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Breaking Down the Trump Family Line of Succession

Sat, 07/20/2024 - 20:12
 Day 4

At the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump officially assumed his role as the GOP’s nominee for the 2024 presidential election and announced Ohio Senator J.D. Vance as his running mate.

It was not just the patriarch of the Trump family that took center stage at the RNC, but Trump’s sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, and his granddaughter, Kai Trump, who also addressed the crowd. Trump’s wife Melania and his daughter Ivanka were present at the convention, though they did not speak.

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With the Trumps firmly in the limelight, here is a breakdown of the business mogul and former President’s family tree.

Donald Trump Jr.

Trump’s eldest son, and one of three children from his first marriage with the late Ivana Trump, has assumed a public-facing role throughout his father’s business and political career. He serves as executive vice president in The Trump Organization and often defends his father’s Make America Great Again platform. At the time of publication, Trump Jr. has over 11 million followers on X (formerly Twitter) and often uses his profile to champion his father’s campaign. Over a decade before his father was elected president in 2016, Trump Jr. was arrested for public intoxication in downtown New Orleans.

In 2021, Trump Jr. launched a hunting- and outdoors-focused lifestyle media brand called Field Ethos. 

He was previously married to Vanessa Trump, with whom he shares five children. He is now engaged to Kimberly Guilfoyle. 

Kimberly Guilfoyle 

Donald Trump Jr.’s fiancée, a former prosecutor in San Francisco and Los Angeles, also took to the stage at the RNC. Guilfoyle, 55, is the former wife of Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom and served as the first lady of San Francisco in the first two years Newsom served as Mayor, from 2003 to 2005.

Guilfoyle has a son, Ronan, from a previous marriage to businessman Eric Villency, who she wed after Newsom.

TOPSHOT-US-REPUBLICAN-CONVENTION-PARTIES-ELECTION-POLITICS-VOTE Kai Trump

Trump Jr.’s eldest daughter, Kai Trump, addressed the crowd at the RNC to “show a side of [her] grandpa that people don’t usually see,” making her public speaking debut. Kai, 17, is an avid golfer, and is on the varsity team at her high school in Florida.

2024 Republican National Convention Donald Trump III

Donald Trump III is 15 years old. His IMDB lists four credits.

Tristan Trump

Tristan Trump, second son to Trump Jr., is 12 years old. In October 2023, Trump Jr. posted “happy birthday” to his son on Instagram, the note accompanied with a photo of all five of his children around a Tampa Bay Buccaneers birthday cake.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Donald Trump Jr. (@donaldjtrumpjr)

Spencer Trump

The Trump heir’s fourth child, Spencer, is 11. Trump Jr. has posted pictures of the two fishing together on his Instagram, and also posted a happy birthday tribute to his youngest son last year.

Chloe Trump

Trump Jr.’s youngest child, Chloe, turned 10 last month. Her father has posted pictures of her helping him fish and of her with her grandpa at Trump Golf Course in Palm Beach, Florida.

Ivanka Trump

Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka Trump, has frequently accompanied him on the campaign trail or acted as a surrogate for her father. During her father’s presidency, Ivanka, 42, was a senior advisor in his administration, and also was the director of the Office of Economic Initiatives and Entrepreneurship. Since her father’s presidency, though, she has retreated from politics and the public eye. She did not speak at the 2024 RNC, but she did make an appearance on computer scientist Lex Fridman’s podcast, which was released in early July.

Trump Holds a Meeting with Members of his Cabinet Jared Kushner

Ivanka’s husband, 43, is a business mogul in his own right. The CEO of New Jersey real estate empire Kushner Companies and publisher of the New York Observer is the son of Charles Kushner, a real estate developer who founded Kushner Companies..

The Kushner-Trump couple reported between $172m and $640m in outside income while working in the White House, according to analysis by CREW. after Trump left the White House, Kushner’s private equity firm received a $2 billion investment from Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund.

Arabella Kushner

Ivanka and Kushner’s oldest child, Arabella, is 13 and had her Bat Mitzvah in June 2023. After her grandfather was elected, Arabella occasionally joined her mom at the White House for official state visits and duties and also visited the Supreme Court. As displayed on Ivanka’s public Instagram profile, Arabella plays piano, rides horses, and practices Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Ivanka Trump (@ivankatrump)

Joseph Kushner

The couple’s eldest son, Joseph Kushner, 10, shares a name with Jared’s grandfather, a real estate developer and investor.

Theodore Kushner

Kushner and Ivanka’s youngest child, Theodore, is 8 years old. Ivanka has shared multiple milestones of her son’s life on Instagram, including his birth and his first steps.

Eric Trump

Former President Trump’s son Eric, 40, maintains less of a public persona than his older brother, but still has a leading presence in the Trump family business. Eric spoke at the RNC in defense of his father’s presidential candidacy. Eric, like his brother, is an executive vice president at The Trump Organization.

 Day 2 Lara Trump

Eric’s wife, Lara Trump, is a CBS producer. She took center stage at the 2024 RNC, closing the second day of the convention. She focused her speech on Trump’s role as grandparent to her children with Eric.

Lara, 41, has co-chaired the Republican National Committee since March 2024, and has been a major fundraiser for the party, helping them rake in more than $280 million since March. In the past few years, she has risen the ranks in the Republican party, and is overseeing the organization’s early voting drive, dubbed “Swamp the Vote,” a nationwide initiative to encourage Republicans to vote by mail.

Read More: The Lara Trump Project

Former President Trump Addresses  The North Carolina GOP Convention Eric Trump Jr.

Eric Trump Jr., named after his father, is 6 years old. His mother has posted multiple pictures on her Instagram account of him and his sister with their grandpa, including one for Father’s Day this year.

Carolina Trump

Carolina Trump is the former President’s 10th grandchild, and the youngest currently. She is 4 years old.

Tiffany Trump

Donald Trump’s fourth child, Tiffany, stood with her father in the arena at the RNC. Tiffany, 30, is Trump’s only child with second wife and actress Marla Maples, to whom he was married between 1993 and 1999. In 2011, Tiffany released a pop song called “Like a Bird.” She has spoken to the public a few times during her father’s political career, and made a speech during the 2016 RNC.

 Day 2 Michael Boulos

Michael Boulos is a businessman, who’s family, according to Page Six, founded SCOA Nigeria and Boulos Enterprises. He married Tiffany in November 2022.

Barron Trump

Donald Trump’s youngest son, Barron, now 18, largely stays out of the limelight. Throughout his childhood and his father’s presidency, Barron attended private high schools in the New York, Washington D.C., and Palm Beach areas.

Donald Trump Campaigns In Florida

In May 2024, Barron graduated from Oxbridge Academy in Palm Beach, Florida, though he has not announced where he will attend college. Barron joined his father on the campaign trail in July at a rally in Doral, Florida.

Noah Lyles Warms Up For Olympics by Setting Personal Best to Win 100-m in London

Sat, 07/20/2024 - 19:27
Britain Athletics Diamond League

LONDON — Heading into the Paris Olympics, Noah Lyles has never been faster.

The American world champion warmed up for the Paris Games by setting a personal best in the 100 meters at Saturday’s Diamond League meet in London, clocking 9.81 seconds to beat a strong field in the last major meet before the Olympics.

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Lyles trailed his rivals at the start before powering past the field over the last 50 meters. Akani Simbine of South Africa was second in 9.86 and Letsile Tebogo of Botswana was third in 9.88, with the top five finishers all breaking the 10-second mark.

“I could have had a better start. I’ve been having a lot better starts in practice,” Lyles said. “I wanted to drop under 9.80, but I’ll take a PR every day of the week.”

Read More: Welcome to the Noah Lyles Olympics

Lyles’ previous best was the 9.83 he clocked at last year’s world championships in Budapest — where he won the 100, 200 and the 4×100 relay — and then matched in the U.S. Olympic trials last month.

Saturday’s result further underlines him as the favorite for the gold medal in Paris, where he can cement his status as the world’s fastest man.

And Lyles isn’t shy about his goal at the Olympics. “I’m going to win,” he said. “That’s what I always do.”

Other notable results at the London Stadium — which hosted the 2012 Olympics — included Matt Hudson-Smith of Britain setting a world-leading time of 43.74 in the men’s 400 and world champion Femke Bol taking the women’s 400 hurdles in 51.30, her second fastest time ever.

In the women’s 200, Gabrielle Thomas came from behind to pass Julien Alfred and Dina Asher-Smith to win in 21.82.

Disneyland Workers Authorize Potential Strike Ahead of Continued Contract Negotiations

Sat, 07/20/2024 - 18:50
California Disney Union

NEW YORK — Thousands of workers at Disney’s theme park and resort properties in California voted late Friday to authorize a potential strike, as contract negotiations drag on.

The strike authorization was approved by an overwhelming margin, nearly 99% of the members who cast votes according to a union statement. The election was held by a coalition of four unions, which represents 14,000 Disney ride operators, store clerks, custodians, candy makers, ticket takers, parking attendants and other employees.

Union leaders will now have the option to call a strike in the event that they are unable to negotiate a new contract deal with Disney. Leaders from both sides return to the bargaining table starting Monday.

Union members have been in talks with Disney over wage increases, safety measures, attendance policies and other benefits since April.

Florida Man Arrested, Accused of Making Threats Against Trump and Vance Online

Sat, 07/20/2024 - 15:19
Trump Vance

JUPITER, Fla. — A Florida man accused of making threats against former President Donald Trump, U.S. Sen. JD Vance and their families on social media was arrested on Friday, police said.

The Jupiter Police Department said in a news release that officers arrested Michael W. Wiseman on charges of written threats to kill.

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He was taken into custody without incident and lodged in Palm Beach County Jail, according to Jupiter police Maj. Don Hennessy.

Wiseman was in custody at the facility on Friday night, a jail employee confirmed. The employee said she didn’t have information about whether Wiseman had an attorney to contact for comment on his behalf.

Detectives said Wiseman had made multiple written threats on Facebook against Trump and Vance, who became the Republican presidential and vice presidential nominees, respectively, this week. Threats were also made “concerning bodily harm” against members of the Trump and Vance families, according to police.

Multiple people notified local police in person and online about the posts, police said.

Jupiter is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Palm Beach.

The investigation was conducted in coordination with the U.S. Secret Service and the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office, police said.

‘There Will Be a Genocide.’ The Horror I Saw in Haiti

Sat, 07/20/2024 - 14:00
Police and forensics lift a body of a man killed in the streets in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, on July 7, 2024.

The gang war in Haiti may have dropped out of the headlines, but make no mistake, the situation there is still utterly devastating. So much so that Prime Minister Garry Conille, who was installed last month alongside a transitional presidential council, said in a televised address Wednesday that “Life every day in Port-au-Prince has turned into a battle for survival.”

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More than 80% of the Haitian capital is controlled by heavily armed gangs who outgun the police and receive most of their illegally-trafficked weapons from the U.S. Some 2.7 million people are currently living in areas under direct gang control, and hardly anyone I spoke to there believed the arrival of Kenyan police officers as part of a multinational force will change that. But more continue to arrive as part of a U.N.-backed mission that will see their numbers swell to 2,500 at an estimated cost of $600 million a year.

The emergency room of the General Hospital is empty during a visit by Haitian Prime Minister Garry Conille in Port-au-Prince on July 9, after police took control of the medical institution from armed gangs.

This May, my colleague Roméo Langlois and I flew into Port-au-Prince by helicopter—the only way in at that time because gangs surrounded the international airport. We spent weeks filming in and around the capital, meeting the gangs and those at their mercy. The region’s myriad armed groups have formed a powerful alliance; instead of fighting each other they’ve turned their firepower on the state. Haiti has always grappled with gang violence but the situation drastically deteriorated in late February when they joined forces to overthrow then-Prime Minister Ariel Henry. He resigned in April after traveling to Kenya to strike a deal with that country on policing.

In Port-au-Prince, we saw how the gangs actively coordinate on the ground, sharing key strategic information. The already beleaguered Haitian police—with a force of 10,000 officers in a country of 11 million people—are finding it harder than ever to fight back against joint attacks in this vast urban warzone.

The gangs are deeply embedded in their strongholds, the slums of lower Port-au-Prince. These desperately poor areas are still packed with people either too poor, scared, or unwilling to flee. The gangs sometimes distribute humanitarian aid delivered to their zones, relishing in portraying themselves as revolutionaries taking on a corrupt state.

In reality, human rights groups say they’re using this vulnerable population as a human shield. There are endless witness accounts of gang brutality. Terrified people told us of the brutal reality their communities endure: rape, kidnapping, and murder as well as theft, arson, and extortion.

The body of a man shot dead lies in a pool of blood in the Petion-Ville neighborhood of Port-au-Prince on May 3. The remains of a building destroyed by gangs is seen during a Kenyan police deployment near the national palace, in the city center of Port-au-Prince on July 17.

The gangs pour scorn on the idea that a U.N.-mandated force could ever weed them out. Jimmy Chérizier, more commonly known as Barbecue, the notorious gang leader and spokesman for the gang alliance, told me that “If the multinational force is deployed, there will be a genocide.”

Instead, he is aiming for a share of power. Barbecue, who is also a former police officer and arguably the most powerful man in Haiti today, regularly organizes protests in the neighborhood where he reigns; large crowds pour through the alleyways under the close watch of his armed foot soldiers. Placards handed out by the gangs call for Haiti’s interim government to negotiate with the armed groups.

The gangs have significant leverage: they have reinforced their grip on strategically vital ports. Incredibly for such a fertile land, Haiti imports more than 50% of its food. Holed up and heavily-guarded in a luxurious residence, the head of Haiti’s Transitional Presidential Council Edgard Leblanc Fils explained how this “connivance” had been long used to “win elections and occupy the sphere of power,” allowing the gangs to arms themselves, make money, and take on the state. The U.S. and Canada have sanctioned not only gang leaders but several high-profile politicians: former senators, ministers, prime ministers, and an ex-President (Michel Martelly). At least two sanctioned politicians were among the select crowd who attended the swearing in of the new Transitional Council. Rooting out such deep-seated corruption will need much more action from the international community.

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Meanwhile, getting basic supplies such as food and fuel in Haiti is a daily struggle. Major road supply routes to and from the capital are all but frozen—the risk of kidnapping and murder at the hands of gangs is still too high. More than 4 million people are living in acute food insecurity. The effects are particularly hard on Haiti’s children. “Haiti is not at risk of being forgotten, it has been forgotten”, the (now former) World Food Programme director for Haiti, Jean-Martin Bauer, told me during a food distribution at a high school now home to hundreds of displaced people.

Across Haiti more than 360,000 people have fled their homes, many left with next to no income. The WFP only has enough funding to carry on emergency operations for a matter of months. The future is uncertain beyond that. And serving up millions of emergency meals isn’t a durable solution; Haiti’s whole supply chain needs overhauling, so its food can finally be grown at home. Meeting Haiti’s complex needs, and ending its spiral of violence and poverty, will take a lot more time, investment, and attention than it’s getting right now.

People displaced by gang war violence live inside a classroom at Darius Denis school, which transformed into a shelter where people live in poor conditions, in Port-au-Prince on May 5. A motorcycle taxi navigates a rocky road, transporting a coffin for a family who live in the Kenscoff community, in the foothills of the Chaîne de la Selle mountain range, on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince on May 14.

Which Olympic Sport Is Hardest on the Body?

Sat, 07/20/2024 - 14:00
Olympic Qualifier Series 2024 Shanghai

Athletes are competitive by nature, so when they get together for a massive sporting event like the Olympics, there’s likely a bit of good-natured one-upmanship when it comes to whose event is the hardest.

Yes, it’s a bit of a parlor game, and everyone has an opinion. But while difficulty is somewhat subjective, there are ways to stratify sports that could start to isolatinge which sports take the biggest toll on the body–by the highest number of injuries racked up by athletes, by what types of injuries they develop, and by which injuries tend to have bigger impacts on their long-term health.

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That data, unfortunately, is not as complete as it could be. The U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC) runs several national training centers, but not all sports take advantage of them. And the USOPC doesn’t track overall injuries experienced by Team USA athletes since those are collected by individual national sport organizations—USA Gymnastics, for example, or USA Rugby. Still, during the two weeks each of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the USOPC does have the entire universe of U.S. athletes competing in 32 sports under its purview, and similarly, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) also tracks injuries during the Olympic Games and reports them in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Sports physiologists divide sports into two broad categories: those that involve direct physical contact (—the combat or collision sports), which include those involving dangerous pieces of equipment such as bikes or horses—and can cause traumatic injuries, and those that test the body’s endurance skills, which and are more likely to cause chronic, overuse problems. Injury information collected by the IOC during the Olympic Games is biased toward traumatic, or acute, injuries because “overuse injuries tend to happen in the buildup to the Games or after the Games,” says Dr. Jonathan Finnoff, chief medical officer of the USOPC. According to the IOC, at the last Summer Olympics in Tokyo, the sport with the highest injury rate was boxing, with nearly 14% of boxers requiring medical care during the Games, followed by 12.5% of sport climbers and 11% of skateboarders. “Speaking generally, during the Olympic Games, the high-speed, high-force and big-air or combat sports cause more injuries,” says Finnoff. During the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, BMX bikers topped the list at 38%, followed by boxing at 30%, mountain-bike cycling at 25%, and water polo and rugby both at 19%. Among Team USA athletes, more than half of rugby players experienced injuries at recent Summer Games, while about half of wrestlers and divers did.

But that doesn’t mean that swimmers or marathon runners are in the clear – chronic injuries due to repetitive motions in their sports are more likely to cause problems that may not appear until years later, because they are harder to identify and more challenging to treat. “Traumatic injuries like muscle tears and broken bones are fixable,” says Dr. Alexis Colvin, professor of sports medicine at Mount Sinai, “whereas chronic overuse issues sometimes linger and aren’t necessarily something that can be fixed.”

Both types of injuries can have long-term health effects, though it’s hard to know specifically what impact training and competing at the Olympic level have on the body, since no sports group collects detailed information on these athletes after their competitive careers are over. Research continues to show, however, that any acute injury such as a broken bone, muscle tear, or damage to the joints can cause problems down the line. “Repetitive damage can lead to higher and higher incidence of long-term bad outcomes, including severe arthritis and even needing early joint replacement,” says Finnoff.

Putting aside injuries that happen during competition, if you consider sports by how many different body parts are at risk of being injured at any one time, Dr. Robert Gallo, a professor of orthopedic sports medicine at Penn State University, says one sport stands out for its potential for both acute and chronic problems. “I personally think that gymnastics combines both,” he says. “You can land on your head, or land on your foot, and they also have a lot of chronic injuries that people don’t see a lot. Every single joint in gymnastics is subject to problems.”

Add to that the fact that most gymnasts begin training at an early age, and the toll on the body is pretty substantial. “Gymnasts have to have a body awareness before they go through puberty, so that’s one reason they start early,” says Mary Barron, associate professor of exercise and nutrition at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University. “If you’re starting a sport when you are 2 years old and participating until you are in your 20s, that’s a lot of wear and tear on the body.”

But that higher risk doesn’t mean injuries are inevitable. “We talk about the body of elite athletes in training in terms of green, yellow, and red lights,” says Dr. Matthew Silvis, director of sports medicine at Penn State University, referring to the amount of pain athletes feel and their ability to finish and recover from daily workouts. “Green means you feel amazing and can continue training with no issues. Red means you can’t finish your workout for the day because you’re in too much pain, and it doesn’t get better by the next day. Most athletes live in yellow—they feel OK even though they hurt and ache while they are working out, but they can complete their workouts and they don’t feel worse the next day.” Knowing when that yellow shifts into red is key to preventing injuries, and keeping the athlete training at optimal levels for as long as possible.

For distance runners, for example, increasingly painful workouts veering toward the red zone might mean switching from outdoor running routes to an underwater treadmill to reduce pressure on the joints, or concentrating on aerobic exercises to maintain that aspect of their performance while reducing time spent pounding on the muscles and bones.

Barron notes that constant improvements in technology also help athletes and their coaches to better protect against injuries. Video of how basketball players land after jumps, for example, can help identify those who tend to overflex their knees beyond their toes once they hit the ground, which can increase their risk of ACL injuries. Strengthening other muscles to avoid that overflexing can go a long way toward avoiding those injuries.

And it’s not just technique that can play a role in avoiding injury—paying attention to things like nutrition and sleep can also be important, especially “to restore the body and give it the best chance of not being injured,” says Silvis. “The model for sports is to be active for life,” says Barron. “The information we gain every year changes what we do the next year, so the way we take care of and try to avoid injuries is very different now than it was four years ago. And that will help them to stay healthier beyond their careers as Olympic athletes.” Which still doesn’t mean any of this is easy. 

U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, Who Had Pancreatic Cancer, Has Died

Sat, 07/20/2024 - 13:35
Obit Sheila Jackson Lee

Longtime U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee of Texas, who helped lead federal efforts to protect women from domestic violence and recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday, has died. She was 74.

Lillie Conley, her chief of staff, confirmed that Jackson Lee, who had pancreatic cancer, died in Houston Friday night with her family around her.

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The Democrat had represented her Houston-based district and the nation’s fourth-largest city since 1995. She had previously had breast cancer and announced the pancreatic cancer diagnosis on June 2.

“The road ahead will not be easy, but I stand in faith that God will strengthen me,” Jackson Lee said in a statement then.

Bishop James Dixon, a longtime friend in Houston who visited Jackson Lee earlier this week, said he will remember her as a fighter.

“She was just a rare, rare jewel of a person who relentlessly gave everything she had to make sure others had what they needed. That was Sheila,” he said.

Jackson Lee had just been elected to the Houston district once represented by Barbara Jordan, the first Black woman elected to Congress from a Southern state since Reconstruction, when she was immediately placed on the high-profile House Judiciary Committee in 1995.

“They just saw me, I guess through my profile, through Barbara Jordan’s work,” Jackson Lee told the Houston Chronicle in 2022. “I thought it was an honor because they assumed I was going to be the person they needed.”

Jackson Lee quickly established herself as fierce advocate for women and minorities, and a leader for House Democrats on many social justice issues, from policing reform to reparations for descendants of enslaved people. She led the first rewrite of the Violence Against Women Act in nearly a decade, which included protections for Native American, transgender and immigrant women.

Jackson Lee was also among the lead lawmakers behind the effort in 2021 to have Juneteenth recognized as the first new federal holiday since Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was established in 1986. The holiday marks the day in 1865 that the last enslaved African Americans in Galveston, Texas, finally learned of their freedom.

A native of Queens, New York, Jackson Lee graduated from Yale and earned her law degree at the University of Virginia. She was a judge in Houston before she was elected to Houston City Council in 1989, then ran for Congress in 1994. She was an advocate for gay rights and an early opponent of the Iraq War in 2003.

Top congressional Democrats reacted quickly to the news Friday night, praising her commitment and work ethic.

Rep. James Clyburn of South Carolina called her “a tenacious advocate for civil rights and a tireless fighter, improving the lives of her constituents.”

Rep. Jamie Raskin of Maryland said he had never known a harder-working lawmaker than Jackson Lee, saying she “studied every bill and every amendment with exactitude and then told Texas and America exactly where she stood.”

Former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California cited Jackson Lee’s “relentless determination” in getting Juneteenth declared a national holiday.

“As a powerful voice in the Congress for our Constitution and human rights, she fought tirelessly to advance fairness, equity and justice for all,” Pelosi said.

Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott said he and his wife Cecilia will always remember Jackson Lee, calling her a “tireless advocate for the people of Houston.”

“Her legacy of public service and dedication to Texas will live on,” he said.

Jackson Lee routinely won reelection to Congress with ease. The few times she faced a challenger, she never carried less than two-thirds of the vote. Jackson Lee considered leaving Congress in 2023 in a bid to become Houston’s first female Black mayor but was defeated in a runoff. She then easily won the Democratic nomination for the 2024 general election.

During the mayoral campaign, Jackson Lee expressed regret and said “everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect” following the release of an unverified audio recording purported to be of the lawmaker berating staff members.

In 2019, Jackson Lee stepped down from two leadership positions on the House Judiciary Committee and Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the fundraising of the Congressional Black Caucus, following a lawsuit from a former employee who said her sexual assault complaint was mishandled.

In a statement, Jackson Lee’s family said she had been a beloved wife, sister, mother and grandmother known as Bebe.

“She will be dearly missed, but her legacy will continue to inspire all who believe in freedom, justice, and democracy,” the statement said. “God bless you Congresswoman and God bless the United States of America.”

Breaking Down the Controversy Surrounding YouTuber Cody Ko

Sat, 07/20/2024 - 01:16
Kody Ko; D'Angelo Wallace; Tana Mongeau

The popular commentary YouTuber Cody Ko, who has over nine million subscribers across five channels, has been embroiled in an ongoing controversy after fellow YouTuber Tana Mongeau alleged that he had sex with her when she was 17 and he was 25.

Mongeau, 26, raised the allegation in May, during a live recording of her podcast Cancelled, which she co-hosts with another internet personality, Brooke Schofield. During the show, Mongeau said she slept with Ko when she was 17 in response to a question from an audience member.

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Cancelled Podcast Tour Hot Seat Questions @Tana Mongeau @Brooke Schofield #cancelled #cancelledpodcast #liveshow #tanamongeau #codyko #brookeschofield

♬ original sound – 𝖈𝖗𝖞𝖇𝖆𝖇𝖞

“Oh my god, no one look at me. Cody Ko,” she said onstage in a video that was recorded from the show and later posted online. “I can say that. I was literally 17.”

While Mongeau’s comment made rounds on social media and was covered in publications like Rolling Stone, it mostly flew under the radar. In July, however, another YouTuber, D’Angelo Wallace, brought the issue to wider attention when he posted a video titled “An Uncomfortable Conversation About Cody Ko” to his drama channel. In the video, which received over two million views in less than a week, Wallace called on his viewers to take Mongeau’s claim seriously and not let it be “an open secret and swept under the rug.”

Unpacking Tana Mongeau’s allegation against Cody Ko

Mongeau gained popularity online for her “storytime” videos, where she’d regale audiences with elaborate stories, and has a history making sometimes controversial content with other creators. In 2018, Mongeau attempted to host a rival creator convention to VidCon and named it TanaCon. But the event ended in disaster due to disorganization and an underestimation of how many people would attend. According to New York Magazine, the venue that was booked could only hold 5,000 people but an estimated 20,000 people arrived and waited in blistering California heat for hours to check in. Some were eventually turned away when the event was canceled.

Mongeau pivoted to making the Cancelled podcast with Schofield. On the show, they talk about their opinions on creator drama, interview fellow internet personalities, and as of late, call out other influencers when they feel it’s necessary. Recently, Schofield used the platform to call out her ex-boyfriend, Clinton Kane, and her former friend, radio personality Zach Sang.

Mongeau addressed the allegation after the live event on a June episode of Cancelled.

“This isn’t just some crazy tea. I hooked up with Cody Ko when I was 17 and he was 25,” she said. “Yeah it happened. At 25 now, I would never do anything like that so I’m like, ‘What the f-ck was wrong with you?’”

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, in Florida, where Mongeau says the two had sex, the law for statutory rape says, “A child under 16 years of age cannot consent to sexual activity, regardless of the age of the defendant. A child who is at least 16 years of age and less than 18 years of age cannot consent to sexual activity if the defendant is 24 years of age or older.”

Mongeau said on her podcast that while she doesn’t consider the incident a trauma, recalling it as an adult, she sees that she was “taken advantage of.” Speaking on Trisha Paytas’ podcast on June 20, Mongeau said that after sharing her story, the negative reaction from people online was “heartbreaking.”

“After it started going viral, seeing so many people not believing me, being like, ‘It’s Tana, so who cares’ … I started feeling bad for so many other girls who maybe look up to me and want to speak their truth and see the way that people just don’t believe people,” she said. 

She added that she felt Ko’s widespread popularity has protected him, at her expense. “I know for a fact, if you swapped out Cody Ko with someone that people didn’t like that much? I would be receiving so much more sympathy versus the amount of people in this industry who want to protect him.”

Mongeau declined to comment for this story.

Why D’Angelo Wallace spoke up about Mongeau’s claim

Wallace tells TIME he was prepared for his video to rekindle the fire of this discourse. But he recognizes that he “should not have had to” make the video to bring Mongeau’s allegation to light. 

“I am privileged enough to be listened to, but that doesn’t mean it should take a D’Angelo Wallace video before someone’s allegations of really heinous things are taken seriously,” he says. An avid online content consumer, Wallace says he was surprised by the noticeably absent conversation about what Mongeau said, which prompted him to make the video. 

In it, Wallace implores Ko to address the allegation or at least acknowledge the storm blowing through his comments section. Even Ko’s wife, Kelsey Kreppel, is facing pressure to say something as people online fill the comments section on her page. Ko did not immediately respond to TIME’s request for comment. 

“You have an obligation to, at the very least, call out the misogyny, the victim-blaming, and all manner of cognitive dissonance that’s coming from your audience in the name of defending you against allegations that you’re too cowardly to address,” Wallace said in the video. 

In the video, Wallace noted that although Mongeau has a history of being an unlikeable character on the internet, it doesn’t excuse people from mistreating her or refusing to believe her story. Mongeau has been met with “the most vitriolic victim blaming that I’ve seen in years,” he said, adding that she’s been “dismissed, discredited, and disbelieved before anybody gave her a chance because ‘it’s Tana.’”

Read More: Breaking Down the Clinton Kane and Brooke Schofield Break Up Drama on TikTok

Pressure grows for Cody Ko to speak out as other YouTubers weigh in

Wallace’s video prompted others in the YouTube community to pick up the conversation about Ko and Mongeau. Popular commentary channels like Philip DeFranco (six million subscribers) and Cr1TiKaL (15 million subscribers) also made videos about the allegations. Their videos, along with Wallace’s, have galvanized others online to put pressure on Ko to make a statement.

it has not sat well with me the way no one gives a fuck cody ko slept with a minor just because she isn’t widely loved https://t.co/FF6t0BRDEX

— shaely (@SLlMSHAELY) July 15, 2024

hell yea cody ko is finally getting cooked pic.twitter.com/utpB19cP17

— moon #justice (@angelsknives) July 15, 2024

As commentary over Mongeau’s allegation has grown, Ko has lost more than 160,000 followers in a month, according to SocialBlade, a third party site that tracks social media users analytics. Podcast hosts Enya Umanzor and Drew Philips, whose show Emergency Intercom was produced under Ko’s company TMG Studios, announced on July 19 that they now plan to produce it independently.

@h3_podcast

More and more information is coming out about the Tana Mongeau & Cody Ko Situation and its not looking great…

♬ original sound – H3 Podcast – H3 Podcast

Brittany Broski, a TikToker who recently collaborated with him in videos for his channel and her own, recently put out a statement on her Instagram story earlier this week.

girl pic.twitter.com/5jwN4UTpjc

— adam mcintyre (@theadammcintyre) July 16, 2024

In Wallace’s video, he shared a clip of a former YouTuber, Gabbie Hanna, reportedly discussing the incident on another podcast, saying she told Ko that Mongeau was underage. In the clip, she says, “One time, I told a guy, I saw him making out with a girl at a party who was underage, and I pulled him aside and I was like, ‘Hey man, you probably don’t know—I know she, like, looks a little older—she’s underage. Watch it.’”

Another drama channel creator, Daniel Keem (better known as Keemstar), posted on X that he spoke to Hanna about the incident when it happened. “Years ago, Gabbie Hanna told me in an off-record statement that a 25-year-old Cody Ko was kissing a 17-year-old Tana Mongeau at Playlist Live in Florida,” the post reads. He also writes that he spoke with Mongeau to confirm the story and got permission from Hanna to share this information.

Ko has a lot of decisions to make about managing the growing pressure, says Karen North, a clinical professor of communication at USC Annenberg. North, whose expertise lies in social media, online safety, and reputation management, says it is understandable why Ko hasn’t released a statement just yet. “He’s in a very complex and very threatening legal situation right now,” she says. “Because of the immediacy of the digital age, people want immediate comments, reactions, atonement, and accountability.” She adds: “The people that we’re demanding these statements from have to listen to their lawyers first about whether or not making any statement would cause them either legal peril or amplify the scandal.”

See the Most Memorable Looks From the Republican National Convention

Sat, 07/20/2024 - 00:14

On Thursday night in Milwaukee, one of the more theatrical moments of an already splashy Republican National Convention occurred when wrestler Hulk Hogan took to the stage to rip off his blazer and black t-shirt, unveiling a bright red Trump-Vance tank top. The dramatic reveal was one of many showy sartorial statements made during the convention, where the attire was flashy, bold, and flamboyantly patriotic. 

American flags were omnipresent in every possible iteration, printed and strewn across all manner of clothing and accessories, in varying states of bedazzlement—among them, a reimagining of the stars and stripes as a voluminous gown, a fringed flag-inspired vest, and sky-high stilettos. Classic symbols of Americana also prevailed: cowboy hats and boots were bountiful on the convention floor, as were denim and red, white and blue palettes. Red, long the symbolic shade of the GOP, was, unsurprisingly, one of the most favored colors of the convention, with both Melania Trump and Usha Vance donning it on the final night and nearly all of the men in the Trump camp wearing ties that resembled Trump’s signature red one. Meanwhile, patriotic costuming that ran the gamut from Uncle Sam ensembles to Revolutionary War getups (a seeming nod to the Tea Party movement) abounded. 

However, nothing may have reflected the palpable fervor for the future of the GOP at the RNC than the widespread presence of Trump iconography. Trump-Vance campaign merchandise, MAGA hats, and official Trump-branded attire were all sported proudly. The most unexpected, yet ubiquitous example of the fevered excitement for Trump at the RNC? The DIY ear bandages that delegates and Trump supporters wore in reference to the white rectangular bandage that the former president has worn prominently since the assassination attempt at his rally last week.

Here, some of the most memorable looks from the 2024 Republican National Convention.

An attendee poses for photos wearing a gown with the words "Make America Great Again". Shoes and toes embellished with imagery of former President Donald Trump and the American Flag. A sea of cowboy hats and red on the floor of the RNC in Milwaukee, Wis. Red, white and blue clothing from head to toe. Clothing and accessories worn to show support for former President Donald Trump.

COVID-19 Can Leave a Lasting Mark on the Brain—Especially for Older People

Sat, 07/20/2024 - 00:13
A to-do list a Long COVID patient uses to jog her memory.

COVID-19 no longer poses the urgent public-health threat it once did. But recent research points to a good reason to keep the virus in mind: it could leave a lasting stamp on yours.

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Studies suggest that COVID-19 is associated with possibly long-lasting changes to the brain, potentially contributing to cognitive problems like brain fog, mental fatigue, and memory loss, as well as neurological and mental-health issues. The virus seems able to damage blood vessels and support cells in the brain and may kickstart changes to the immune system that also affect brain function, says Dr. Wes Ely, co-director of the Center for Critical Illness, Brain Dysfunction, and Survivorship at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

What does that mean for the average person as the virus once again circulates widely?

Many people of all ages recover just fine, mentally and physically, after a COVID-19 case. But lingering cognitive effects are a real risk, particularly for older people, Ely says. Older adults are more likely to experience severe COVID-19, which has long been linked to a higher risk of long-term complications. And they may have had preexisting cognitive issues that become worse after infection.

“They don’t have as far to fall before they experience a clinical awareness that they’re having problems,” Ely says. Research has shown that a COVID-19 case can accelerate mental decline in older adults with dementia.

Read More: The Isolation of Having Long COVID as Society Moves On

The virus may also raise the chances of developing dementia for the first time, suggests a research review of 11 previous studies that was posted online in February before being peer-reviewed. Adults older than 60 who survived COVID-19 had a significantly higher risk of developing dementia a year later, compared to similar-aged people who hadn’t had a respiratory infection. Cognitive impairment was almost twice as likely among people who’d had COVID-19 compared to an uninfected control group.

Dan Shan, co-author of the study and a former junior researcher at Columbia University, wrote in an email that more research is required to confirm whether the virus is directly causing dementia, but his team is “pretty confident” there’s a connection.

This link may not be unique to the virus that causes COVID-19. “Numerous studies have shown that respiratory infections like the flu can lead to greater risks of cognitive deficits or dementia,” Shan wrote. “However, these findings haven’t captured public attention as much as COVID-19.”

Read More: You’ve Heard of Long COVID. Long Flu Is a Health Risk, Too

Age may be an important risk factor for cognitive issues, but younger people shouldn’t feel immune from COVID-19’s effects, either. Ely says there are “people in their 30s and 40s [who] have neurocognitive deficits that look like mild dementia.”

A large study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in February backs up that warning. It suggests that COVID-19 can hinder cognitive performance among adults of all ages, even those who ostensibly recover fully.

In that study, more than 100,000 adults in the U.K. took tests meant to measure cognitive skills. When the researchers compared people who’d had COVID-19 with demographically similar people who’d never had a confirmed case, they found that the COVID-19 survivors, on average, performed worse “across the board, but particularly on measures of memory function, executive function—for example your ability to decision-make and plan—and reasoning,” says study co-author Adam Hampshire, a professor of cognitive and computational neuroscience at King’s College London.

Read More: Scientists Are Just Beginning to Understand COVID-19’s Effect On the Brain

The study didn’t measure differences in individual participants’ performance pre- and post-COVID, and the results don’t necessarily mean that every single person who catches COVID-19 will experience cognitive decline, Hampshire says. But, when looking at the study group as a whole, there were clear differences between those who’d had COVID-19 and those who hadn’t. The results equated to about a three-IQ-point deficit among people who recovered completely from COVID-19 versus those who’d never had it. Among people with unresolved Long COVID symptoms and those who’d been admitted to the ICU, the deficits jumped to six and nine IQ points, respectively.

But there are some reasons for optimism. In the study, cognitive differences were not as pronounced among people who’d gotten vaccinated multiple times, nor those who got COVID-19 later in the pandemic—which suggests risks may be lower now than they were in 2020.

Read More: What’s the Risk of Getting Long COVID in 2024?

The researchers also didn’t find a dramatic difference between people who’d been infected once versus multiple times. (Other studies, however, have found that repeat infections carry compounding risks of brain complications, as well as other serious health problems.) And people who had Long COVID symptoms but eventually got better “performed at the same [cognitive] level as people who had shorter-duration symptoms,” which suggests some effects of Long COVID may be reversible, Hampshire says.

The data on COVID-19 and cognition are worrying, but more research is required to fully assess the virus’ long-term effects. “These relationships need to be observed over a longer period, potentially 5-10 years, to fully understand the impact of COVID-19 on the development of new-onset dementia, a condition that progresses slowly,” Shan wrote.

Research on if and how COVID-related brain damage can be reversed is ongoing and provides reason for hope, Ely says. But for now, the cognitive risks of COVID-19 are yet another reason to stay up-to-date on vaccines and avoid infection if at all possible.

Breaking Down the Epic Ending of Sweet Home, Netflix’s First Popular K-Drama

Sat, 07/20/2024 - 00:02
Sweet Home S3 Song Kang as Cha Hyun-su in Sweet Home S3. Cr. Kim Jeong Won/Netflix © 2024

Sweet Home, the first Korean drama to enter the Netflix Top Ten in the U.S., just wrapped up its third and final season on the streamer. Adapted from a webtoon written by Kim Carnby and illustrated by Hwang Young-cha, the story follows the residents of Green Home apartment complex following the outbreak of the monster apocalypse. The ongoing disaster sees ordinary humans transforming into diverse creatures, with each person’s monsterization informed by their deepest desires. While not inherently evil, these monsters are often dangerous to each other and the surviving humans, eking out a dystopian existence in this new world order.

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When Sweet Home debuted on Netflix in December 2020, it struck a chord with viewers living through the real-life rapid transition of society due to an infectious outbreak. However, when Season 2 followed three years later in December 2023, many fans were disappointed by the expansion of the show’s world that pulled the focus away from many of the original characters. In July 2024, Sweet Home came to a close with a final, eight-episode season. Despite the disappointments of the previous season, there is much about Season 3 that justifies the continuation of the series. Let’s break down why this drama is worth finishing…

Read more: The Netflix Korean Dramas to Look Out for in 2024

Cha Hyun-su, Sang-won, and the other Special Infectees

Cha Hyun-su (My Demon’s Song Kang) is Sweet Home’s central protagonist. At series’ beginning, he is a severely depressed teen orphan whose plans for suicide are waylaid by the outbreak of the apocalypse. Instead, he tries to help the other residents of Green Home survive. Interestingly, Hyun-su almost immediately begins turning into a monster. However, he is unique in that he is able to fight the process.

By the end of Season 1, Hyun-su has settled into his identity as a “Special Infectee,” the Korean military government’s term for the rare people who have a measure of control over their monsterization. For Cha Hyun-su, this mostly means he can whip out a massive, bladed wing when the situation calls for it. As we learn in Season 2, he is also able to turn monsters back into their human forms, as he does with fellow Green Home firefighter Seo Yi-kyung (Lee Si-young) after her daughter turns her into a monster to save her from dying—but more on that later.

The other significant group of Special Infectees emerge as the series’ main antagonists in Season 2. We meet a body-jumping, psychopathic Special Infectee who calls himself Jung Ui-myeong (Kim Sung-cheol) at the end of Season 1. He takes over the body of Green Home’s thug-with-a-heart-of-gold Sang-wook (Lee Jin-wook), inhabiting it for much of the rest of the show. We eventually learn that he is the monsterized version of Sang-won, Yi-kyung’s scientist fiancé and one of the first people to research the monsterization process. 

Originally a nice guy, Sang-won is driven mad after he volunteers himself as an infected test subject for coworker Dr. Lim (Oh Jung-se). In his pain, he develops the ability to move into others’ bodies and take control. As we learn in Season 3, Dr. Lim uses vials of Sang-won’s blood to turn a small group of other test subjects into Special Infectees. When Sang-won breaks back into the Bamseom research facility, they become his minions.

Read more: The Best Shows to Watch on Netflix

The monster girl called Yi-su Sweet Home S3 Lee Si-young as Seo Yi-kyung in Sweet Home S3. Cr. Kim Jeong Won/Netflix © 2024

Sang-won is obsessed with finding a powerful body to inhabit. This leads him to monsterize his daughter Yi-su (Kim Si-a) when she is still a fetus inside of her mother, Yi-kyung. When Yi-kyung gives birth to Yi-su in Season 2, her baby is part human, part monster. This leads to much of the interpersonal drama in Season 2, as Yi-kyung struggles to accept her daughter for who, and what, she is. Yi-kyung initially leaves her baby to be raised by Hyun-su, which means Hyun-su and Yi-su have a special connection. 

What is Yi-su, exactly? Something special. She ages very quickly, and is tween-sized by the end of Season 2. Yi-su has the ability to turn humans into monsters with only her touch, which is what she does to her mom in Season 2. When Yi-kyung is mortally wounded in a fire, Yi-su turns her into a monster, and Hyun-su brings her back to her mortal form. Yi-kyung eventually dies at the hands of her former fiancé, Sang-won, while she is trying to protect Yi-su from falling into his clutches. 

While Yi-kyung and Yi-su had a complicated relationship, a still-learning Yi-su is devastated when she loses her mother for a second and presumably final time, finally understanding what death means.

What are Neohumans? Sweet Home S3 Lee Do-hyun as Lee Eun-hyeok in Sweet Home S3. Cr. Kim Jeong Won/Netflix © 2024

If that wasn’t enough creature lore to keep track of, the third season of Sweet Home introduces a third kind of “monster”: neohumans. Neohumans are the final evolution of the monster process. When a monster is killed, they are pulled into a husklike cocoon called a “heart.” Neohumans are reborn as shiny new versions of their original human selves, with a superhuman ability to learn and regenerate if killed. While they have all of the memories of their human past, they are reborn with none of the emotions associated. This is not treated as inherently negative, with an implication that these neohumans can learn to feel again.

We learn about neohumans from Lee Eun-hyuk (Lee Do-hyun), a major character in Season 1. He was a resident of Green Home, where he lived with his younger sister, teen ballerina Lee Eun-yu (Go Min-si). The Lee siblings have a complicated, often hostile relationship, but ultimately love one another. 

Though Eun-hyuk seemingly dies at the end of Season 1 when the Green Home building is demolished, Eun-yu never gives up hope that he is alive somewhere as a monster. When Eun-yu finally sees Eun-hyuk again in Season 3, he rebuffs any attempt at closeness. Despite secretly carrying around a photo of the Lee family, Eun-hyeok is slow to feel, still learning the ways of his neohuman self. Eun-hyeok’s apparent ambivalence devastates Eun-yu, and triggers the monsterization process. In her hallucinations, she returns to a memory of Green Home with her brother before his transition into a neohuman. Her ultimate desire is to feel safe and loved, as she did with her big brother.

Read more: The 25 Best Disaster Movies of All Time, Ranked

Sang-won’s ultimate demise

Hyun-su and Eun-hyeok often butted heads in Season 1, but they reach a tentative alliance in Season 3 to go after Sang-won. Hyun-su wants to protect the remaining human survivors, who have holed up at a destroyed Stadium under the protection of the Crow Platoon’s military men. And Eun-hyeok understandably sees Sang-won’s murderous, power-hungry tendencies as a threat to the future of neohumans.

Meanwhile, Sang-won has made progress on his plans to take over his daughter’s powerful body. Initially failing, Dr. Lim has told him that the key to jumping bodies is pain; Sang-won must be in such life-threatening agony that he looks for a new shell. He has the residents of the Stadium build a massive bonfire. First, he throws Dr. Lim into it, furious that Lim has been hoarding a final vial of Sang-won’s blood. Then, he walks into it himself. The resulting pain allows him to take over Yi-su’s body. 

When Hyun-su and Eun-hyeok arrive at the Stadium, things get complicated. Eun-hyeok is fully ready to carry on with the plan to eliminate Sang-won at whatever cost, but Hyun-su is desperate to keep Yi-su safe. Yi-su has other ideas, though. She is able to temporarily wrest control back from Sang-won, letting herself get speared by Eun-hyeok, which forces her father from her body. She dies in Hyun-su’s arms, telling him that she wants to be with her mother. (Though, later, we see a brief shot of her coming back to life.) 

Hyun-su is devastated. Prior to the start of the series, he lost his parents and sister in a car crash. The resulting pain has fueled so much of his behavior throughout the series, as he desperately works to keep as many members of his found family safe from the same fate. He goes to find and kill Sang-won.

Sweet Home S3 Lee Jin-uk as Pyeon Sang-wook in Sweet Home S3. Cr. Kim Jeong Won/Netflix © 2024

However, it is not Hyun-su or Eun-hyeok who ultimately do the deed. With Yi-su out of the picture, Sang-won desperately jumps bodies. He ends up back in Sang-wook’s body. This is perhaps the most confusing aspect of the finale, given that Sang-wook seemed long gone—both in body and spirit. Perhaps he has been reborn as a neohuman. Perhaps his monsterized body was strong enough to regenerate. Most likely, the Sweet Home writing staff found it the most emotionally satisfying to have Sang-won, a reluctant hero for the people of Green Home in Season 1, come back one last time to save the day, and ignored plot logic to do so. 

How does Sweet Home Season 3 end? Sweet Home S3(L to R) Lee Do-hyun as Lee Eun-hyeok, Ko Min-si as Lee Eun-yu in Sweet Home S3. Cr. Kim Jeong Won/Netflix ©

Those hoping for a happy ending for Sweet Home mostly got it. Despite all the bloodshed, there seems to be hope for the survivors—human, monster, and neohumans alike. With Sang-won officially defeated, Hyun-su and the surviving members of the Crow Platoon evacuate the survivors. In the search for a new, safe home, the wayward band comes across a group of neohumans. As we learn from a Hyun-su voiceover, the two groups learn to live together. The assimilated community means that the surviving humans don’t have to live in fear of their probable, eventual monsterization. Even after turning, they will still have a home.  

In the final scene of the series, we see Hyun-su and Eun-hyeok meet up on a rooftop, where they also see Eun-yu. Eun-yu appears to be neohuman, like her brother. The scene is a callback to a moment in the very first episode of the show. In that scene, Hyun-su is contemplating stepping off the roof of the Green Home building to his death. Before he can, he notices Eun-yu practicing ballet. Watching Eun-yu dance across the rooftop reminds him of some of the joys of living. The two characters spend the rest of the series figuratively dancing around one another romantically. 

Though we never see Eun-yu and Hyun-su get together, the show ends with both Hyun-su and Eun-hyeok smiling at Eun-yu as walks across a Seoul rooftop, listening to music through a set of headphones. “As this endless hour continues,” Hyun-su tells us in voiceover, “we all require somewhere to wait, and somewhere to come home to. So, as we wait, we’ve decided to call this place Sweet Home.” Hyun-su has finally found some peace.

Why Is July’s Full Moon Called a Buck Moon?

Fri, 07/19/2024 - 22:23
Super Moon in Massachusetts

Make sure to go outside this weekend so you can see July’s full moon!

Known as the Buck Moon, the full moon will reach peak illumination in the U.S. at 6:17 a.m. ET Sunday, July 21. The full moon will still be visible throughout the weekend, from Friday night up until Monday morning.

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The term “Buck Moon” is a reference to male deer, which are also called bucks. In late spring, male deer start to grow new antlers, and these new antlers, coated in velvety fur, can be fully visible by July, according to the Farmers’ Almanac. The name “Buck Moon” comes from Algonquin tribes that lived in what is now the northeastern U.S., according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

July’s full moon has other names too. Some Indigenous groups have dubbed it the Salmon Moon because its timing aligns with salmon runs, which is when the fish migrate up rivers each year. Others have called it the Thunder Moon because of the early summer’s frequent thunderstorms. Europeans refer to the full moon as the Hay Moon because early summer is typically when haymaking takes place.

This year’s Buck Moon coincides with a significant space moment: The 55th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing. On July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the moon. As Armstrong climbed down the ladder to take the first human steps on the moon, he famously said: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for all mankind.” More than half a billion people watched the historic moment on television.

The next full moon after this weekend will occur on Aug. 19. Known as the Sturgeon Moon, it will also be visible for about three days, from the morning of Aug. 18 through the morning of Aug. 21, according to NASA.

Here Are the States 911 Is Impacted Due to the Microsoft Outage—And What to Do

Fri, 07/19/2024 - 22:19

A worldwide Microsoft outage impacted 911 services in at least three U.S. states Friday, as hospitals and government agencies still recover from the outage’s impacts.

Alaska, Arizona, and Oregon all reported disruptions to their emergency systems, though some are already reporting improvements.

“My team is closely monitoring all services that have been impacted and is working to ensure that we continue delivering the critical services that Arizonans rely on,” said Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs on X Friday morning. “As we work to address the problem, there may be delays with certain services. I will continue to keep Arizonans updated as we receive new information.”

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The outage caused companies relying on Microsoft’s Windows system, including airlines and banks, to pause their work because of a faulty update by Crowdstrike, a partner of Microsoft. Non-emergency operations were suspended across numerous hospital systems and local TV channels temporarily paused their shows on Friday.

Emergency calls to the 911 dispatch center throughout Alaska were down but returned as of 4:23 a.m. local time, the Alaska State Troopers said via Facebook. The State Troopers also shared alternative phone numbers that could be called based on residents’ location in Alaska.

In Phoenix, local police noted that their computerized 911 dispatch center was down, but the 911 call line was still operational. Systems were confirmed to be restored by 8:49 a.m. E.T., but Phoenix Police asked people who were seeking “non-emergency police assistance during the outage” to remain patient as officials worked through the calls. 

Across Oregon, 911 calls were still functioning, though the Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC), tells TIME that there were some reports of issues with their Mobile Data Terminals and Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) systems. Workers were able to manually take calls, however.

“I am grateful to the Bureau of Emergency Management and Bureau of Technology Services staff who quickly responded to the outage to help ensure continuation of critical city services,” said Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler in a press release. “I am continuing to receive regular updates and we are closely monitoring the situation.”

In cases where 911 does not seem to be working, residents should check their local police, fire, or emergency management organizations social media pages or websites to find local emergency numbers.

“We’re deeply sorry for the impact that we’ve caused to customers, to travelers, to anyone affected by this, including our companies,” said CrowdStrike CEO on Friday. “That update had a software bug in it and caused an issue with the Microsoft operating system…we identified this very quickly and remediated the issue.”

It’s Trump’s Race to Lose

Fri, 07/19/2024 - 21:49

An hour after Donald Trump was shot at a Pennsylvania rally, he called his son Eric from his room at Butler Memorial Hospital and asked him to conference in other family members. When they all got on the phone, Trump was lighthearted about his brush with death, and the mood shifted from collective shock to hopeful levity. Eric and Don Jr. joked that their father, now missing a chunk of his ear thanks to one of the would-be assassin’s bullets, would have something in common with Evander Holyfield, the heavyweight boxing champion who lost part of his when Mike Tyson bit it off. “You always wanna be like the great ones,” the elder Trump quipped. Then he got down to business. He would fly back to his home in Bedminster, N.J., that night, but he wouldn’t be there for long. “We’re not changing anything about Milwaukee,” Trump told them. “We’re going to the convention. Not a single thing changes.”

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In fact, much had. The shooting on July 13 capped an extraordinary run of luck for the former President. Despite multiple lost elections for the GOP under his leadership, two impeachments, and the deadly Jan. 6, 2021, attack by his supporters on the U.S. Capitol, the Republican Party had fallen into total obeisance behind him. Beset by an unprecedented 88 state and federal criminal charges, Trump had watched as one case seized up after a prosecutor’s indiscretion, another was dismissed by a conservative judge, and a third was postponed. The convictions on 34 felony counts that he received in a fourth ended up boosting his poll numbers rather than tanking them. The hot streak gained pace in late June and early July as the ­Supreme Court first weakened the prosecutions of the Jan. 6 rioters, and then granted Trump and all other Presidents immunity from some crimes. Trump’s opponent, President Joe Biden, imploded in their debate, prompting a Democratic effort to push Biden out of the race. His feeble performance put new states into play at the top of the ticket and increased the chances of total Republican control of government in 2025.

For all that, Trump’s luck on July 13 was of another order, the kind of confluence of events and political circumstance that can change the world. A slight turn of Trump’s head as the sniper pulled the trigger meant the bullet cut his ear instead of killing him. “Holy sh-t, I got lucky,” Trump told his family. “If I turned my head one more second later, it would have gone straight through my head.” After he ducked to the ground, he emerged amid a wall of Secret Service agents, blood on his cheek, pumping his fist and ­exhorting the cheering crowd, “Fight!” It was among the most powerful scenes in recent American history, and it resonated with the central messages of Trump’s campaign: victimhood, strength, defiance.

Riding that breathtaking moment, Trump arrived in Milwaukee holding history in his hands, in a stronger political position than he had ever been in. The question was what he would do with it. For the first time, he may be able to break beyond his hardcore base of supporters and build a political coalition that could not only carry him into a second term but also give him a broad mandate to govern. As the curtain went up in Milwaukee, there were signs he might actually do it. Trump handed speaking roles to former rivals, invited a union leader to deliver a prime-time address, and embraced onetime enemies in the tech world who were calling in with well-wishes. “Everyone’s reaching out to him,” says one person close to Trump. “He’s letting them back in, which is not his nature, which is usually full of revenge.”

Being Trump, that remains the other possibility. Despite his recent show of discipline, he contains the same vindictive streak that has often led him to scupper his own successes with self-­destructive and petty behavior. People close to him call it “the bad Donald Trump.” Trump’s combative instincts are often the enemy of his interests. The burst of momentum he enjoys now could be the prelude to hubristic overreach. “It’s very critical for Trump, in the wake of this, not to revert to that side of himself,” says GOP Representative Wesley Hunt of Texas, who sat with Trump at the convention.

The near future of the nation may depend on how Trump seizes the moment. For his opponents, who have argued that Trump is a power-­hungry potential dictator, the attempted assassination and Trump’s gathering strength sent an already desperate effort to stop him into an accelerating panic. They saw a brand of strongman populism that could long outlast Trump in his choice for his running mate, Ohio Senator J.D. Vance, who has said he would have followed through on the scheme to reinstall Trump as President after he lost the 2020 ­election. For Trump’s supporters, the possibility of an unbridled leader with maximum power was a thrilling vision coming into view.

Only five minutes into his speech in Butler on Saturday, Trump called an audible. Abandoning the teleprompter, he asked technicians to post on two giant screens his favorite chart, which tracks border crossings over the past 12 years. It wasn’t new to the “front-row Joes” and MAGA faithful familiar with Trump’s routine. But it usually comes later on during Trump’s rallies. This time, on a spontaneous whim, he moved it up to the beginning. It was, he recalled to family after he landed in Bedminster that evening, the reason he turned his head just as the shooter pulled the trigger on his AR-15 and sent the bullet toward him.

Read More: Six Takeaways From Donald Trump’s Convention Speech

Family who spoke to him after the near-death experience said Trump was upbeat and grateful to be alive. Former critics called to show goodwill. So did President Biden. The outreach has apparently had a positive effect on Trump. “What’s happening now is more and more people are treating him with respect,” says the person close to Trump. “What you’re seeing is, instead of people treating him bad and then getting the bad Donald Trump, people are ­treating him nice and we’re getting the nice Donald.”

Trump Attacked TIME Magazine cover

How long that lasts, given Trump’s record, is an open question. Aides say Trump is focused on one thing only—winning—and his current mood had been building before the Pennsylvania rally, as Biden sputtered through a miserable post­-debate stretch that saw his polls sag and ­Democrats openly question whether he should remain the party’s standard bearer. In planning his coronation in Milwaukee, Trump had already demonstrated an unusual willingness to heed his campaign advisers’ admonitions to build as broad a tent as possible.

Trump had signed off on inviting former primary rivals Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley to give speeches at the convention. He’d also helped choreograph a speech by Teamsters president Sean O’Brien, a striking pro-­labor play that would have been unthinkable in past GOP conventions. “Trump has his hand in everything,” says his daughter-in-law and handpicked RNC co-chair Lara Trump. “Some of our big, exciting speakers, he’s been very involved in talks about that.”

Trump’s rewrite of the official GOP policy document, making it shorter and less detailed, revealed his efforts to extend the party’s appeal as well as his own. The week before the shooting, according to three sources, Trump spent hours with his top campaign brass in Bedminster to craft the RNC’s 2024 platform, a list of 20 priorities for a second term. Among the long-­standing GOP planks removed: the party no longer says life ­begins at ­conception or expresses any opposition to same-sex marriage. Trump’s heavy involvement also stemmed from his frustration over media speculation that outside groups like the Heritage Foundation—which, along with over 100 conservative organizations, crafted a 900-page policy prescription called Project 2025—were preparing to be the policy puppet masters of a future Trump Administration. “People point to this Project 2025 and all this other nonsense,” the official tells TIME. “The American people can look at the Trump-RNC platform. That is the agenda for the next term.”

The biggest decision still in front of Trump after the shooting was his running mate. To many, the vice-­presidential selection represented a proxy war on the right. On one side, many Republicans pushed for a conventional pick: perhaps Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a Reaganite neo­conservative who might aid the party’s push for Hispanic voters, or North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, a wealthy former entrepreneur and a favorite of the Chamber of Commerce crowd. On the other were MAGA true believers, who wanted Trump to choose an avatar of America First populist nationalism. Trump fielded calls on the Monday morning after the shooting from Republican mainstays, including Rupert Murdoch and Kelly­anne Conway, pushing Burgum or Rubio. Several of Trump’s confidants rushed to convince him otherwise; Don Jr., the former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, and the right-wing provocateur Charlie Kirk were all pushing Vance.

Read More: Why Trump Chose J.D. Vance

Trump was already leaning toward Vance, then 39, his advisers say. He was impressed with the Senator’s trajectory: growing up poor in Ohio, joining the military, graduating from Yale Law School, serving a stint in Silicon Valley, becoming a U.S. Senator. Trump had gotten over Vance’s initial harsh criticisms of him in 2016—Vance once called him “America’s Hitler”—and the two had forged a relationship over the past two years. Trump also liked Vance’s vigorous defense of him during hostile interviews on network television. The clincher, those close to Trump say, came after the Butler shooting, when Trump began to think of Vance’s youth as an asset. “One of the discussions after the assassination attempt was a real reflection on the future,” says a source close to Trump, and “the idea that one day, the movement will go on.”

The choice is also a play to win over voters in the so-called Blue Wall states of Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, which are all but must-wins for Biden. Because of Vance’s roots and story of self-invention, the thinking goes, working-­class voters and some Democrats may respond to a youthful Senator who is skilled at articulating the ideological pillars of Trumpism: an aversion to foreign entanglements and American adventurism overseas; a deep skepticism of free-trade agreements; and a hostility to immigration. “He’s somebody who will be very, very, very effective in the Rust Belt,” says senior campaign official Brian Hughes.

Trump’s final move ahead of the convention was rewriting his speech to tone down his attacks on Biden and craft a message that could expand his realm of support. “It’d be awfully easy for him to take a middle road, or even low road and not be nice,” says Eric Trump. By all accounts, the speech Trump had prepared before the shooting was not. Says the younger Trump of the rewritten version, “the tone is different, the cadence is different.”

Read More: America Met a New, Kinder Trump—Then Came the Rest of the Speech

If the question hanging over America after the assassination attempt was which Trump would emerge, the answer, judging from the speech he ended up delivering, seemed to be both. He started with some 15 minutes recounting his near miss days earlier, speaking in an uncharacteristically quiet, almost reflective tone. But soon enough he reverted to his defensive, angry default, ­attacking Biden and “crazy Nancy Pelosi,” pushing the falsehood that the 2020 election was stolen, and describing gruesome killings allegedly committed by undocumented immigrants. Some of the red-meat riffing was Trump going off script, but plenty of it had been written into the speech as well. The former President seemed to feel the stakes, even as the rambling speech ticked toward a record 90 minutes. “I better finish strong,” he said. “Otherwise we’ll blow it and I can’t let it happen.”

Trump’s ability to win new voters remains in question, but he is coming out of the convention with momentum. For months, some polls have suggested that he was eating away at some of the pillars of Biden’s political coalition, including young voters and Black and Hispanic ­voters, ­especially men. Now his team began to detect a softening in the social stigma that had long kept Trump from gathering support in certain circles. “In the 2016 campaign, it started becoming socially very hard for people to say publicly they were for Trump,” says the source close to Trump, who speaks with him frequently. “Privately, in places like Hollywood and Silicon Valley and New York,” the person says, “people are reaching out and trying to restart the relationship with him because they see an inevitability of his winning.”

The campaign believes that the boost Trump got from his reaction to the shooting and Biden’s struggles has opened up the electoral map. Advisers think all seven battleground states—Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, and North Carolina—are theirs for the taking. Meanwhile, the list of states the campaign hopes to flip red has expanded to include Virginia—which Biden won by 10 points in 2020—as well as Minnesota, Maine, New Mexico, and New Hampshire. “We’re in a position to be expanding the map,” says a top campaign lieutenant.

The former President can now run up the score, agrees Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia and a vocal Trump critic. “It’s almost impossible for me to imagine Trump getting a majority of the popular vote, though given all the factors, it’s a lot more possible than it ever has been. But the Electoral College right now, and maybe for the foreseeable future, isn’t going to be particularly close,” Sabato says. Trump is likely to get “way over 300 electoral votes,” he says. “Which swing state isn’t going for Trump now? I can’t think of one.”

In recent weeks, the Biden campaign has sought to reverse its losing streak by sounding the alarm about Project 2025. The document, and the people behind it, calls for sweeping abortion restrictions and massive deportations of people living in the U.S. Trump has distanced himself from the group, and Kevin Roberts, president of the Heritage Foundation, tells TIME that he understands why Trump doesn’t want to embrace the project. “He exists in a lane right now that’s political,” Roberts says. “When we get to the season of policy­making and President Trump deciding who his key personnel are, we will stand ready to be of service.”

Read More: Column: How America Can Still Come Together

If it’s now Trump’s race to lose, he’s still perfectly capable of doing so. Polling shows that a significant section of America is dug in on their dislike for Trump. An AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research analysis found that 6 in 10 Americans have a very or somewhat unfavorable opinion of him, a proportion that has remained steady since 2021. Fresh examples of his disregard for the law, recklessness on the foreign stage, or elevation of personal interests above all else could rapidly undermine any progress he is making with those voters willing to give him a second look. Despite Trump’s highs and Biden’s lows, most surveys show it still to be a close race.

How long will the beneficent, big-tent-­building Trump last? The person close to Trump says he’s in a good place: “A happy Trump is a winning Trump.” But his family says he is unlikely to abandon his pugilistic impulses. Says Eric Trump: “It’s very hard to take the right hook out of the boxer.” —With reporting by Leslie Dickstein, Simmone Shah, and Julia Zorthian

Firefighter Killed at Trump Rally Honored With Bagpipes and Gun Salute

Fri, 07/19/2024 - 21:45
APTOPIX Election 2024 Trump Shooting

CABOT, Pa. — The keen of bagpipes, a three-volley gun salute and a bugle sounding taps pierced the air of a small Pennsylvania town on Friday as hundreds gathered to honor an ex-fire chief who was shot and killed at a rally for former President Donald Trump.

Following funeral services for Corey Comperatore, large crowds of mourners waiting outside the Cabot Methodist Church fell silent as firefighters loaded his flag-draped casket onto a fire truck draped in black bunting. Three firefighters stood sentry on the back of the truck as a parade of vehicles lined up behind it.

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A sharpshooter team mounted on a nearby rooftop served as a reminder of last weekend’s bloodshed. Officials have said that Comperatore spent his final moments shielding his wife and daughter from gunfire at Trump’s rally last Saturday in Butler, Pennsylvania.

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Trump, who suffered an ear injury in the shooting but was not seriously hurt, is not going to the funeral because of Secret Service concerns, according to a person familiar with the situation who was not authorized to speak publicly.

Annette Locke, a member of the West Deer Township Volunteer Fire Department, stood across the road from the church and lightly touched her heart as she spoke about the horrific toll from the “totally senseless” shooting.

“He was with his family on a beautiful sunny day, and now he’s gone,” Locke said.

Joe and Jen Brose stood at the edge of their driveway with their three young boys, all dressed in T-shirts celebrating the USA, watching the long procession of fire and emergency trucks go by.

“The community comes together at times like this,” Joe Brose said.

“I thought it was very heartwarming, it was very humbling to see it,” said Jen Brose, whose sister had attended the Trump rally.

Trump honored Comperatore during his speech Thursday night at the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee. He displayed Comperatore’s firefighting gear on the convention stage, kissing his helmet and heralding the ex-chief as “an unbelievable person.”

Mike Drane, who lives near the church where the funeral was held, said he was overwhelmed by Trump’s tribute.

“Trump knew that that bullet was for him, not for Corey,” Drane said.

Nancy Macurdy, who lives across the street from the church, was away camping when the shooting happened but wanted to be back home for the funeral.

“We’re a very close community here,” she said.

Comperatore, 50, worked as a project and tooling engineer, was an Army reservist and spent many years as a volunteer firefighter after serving as chief, according to his obituary. He and his family attended the Cabot Methodist Church, where their pastor, Jonathan Fehl, presided over the funeral services. Comperatore was to be buried in the city of Freeport, where he grew up.

On Thursday, thousands of mourners filed into a banquet hall to pay their respects to Comperatore and his family. Hundreds of people gathered Wednesday at a vigil for him at an auto racing track.

Guests at Thursday’s visitation for Comperatore saw a slideshow of photos from his life — his wedding, a recent 50th birthday party, time with his daughters, firefighting, fishing, and palling around with his Dobermans. Also on display was a framed copy of a note to Comperatore’s wife signed by Trump and former first lady Melania Trump.

“Corey will forever be remembered as a True American Hero,” the Trumps wrote.

A statement issued Thursday by Comperatore’s family described him as a “beloved father and husband, and a friend to so many throughout the Butler region.”

“Our family is finding comfort and peace through the heartfelt messages of encouragement from people around the world, through the support of our church and community, and most of all through the strength of God,” the statement said.

Two other people were wounded at Trump’s rally: David Dutch, 57, of New Kensington, and James Copenhaver, 74, of Moon Township. As of Wednesday night, both had been upgraded to serious but stable condition, according to a spokesperson with Allegheny Health Network.

The Chaos and Commotion of the RNC in Photos

Fri, 07/19/2024 - 21:36

The Republican National Convention kicked off this week in Milwaukee in the shadow of an apparent assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump. The dramatic scene last Saturday in Butler, Penn., in which the GOP presidential nominee stood defiantly with a raised fist after being wounded in the ear, added a charge to the proceedings, energizing attendees already optimistic about their chances against President Joe Biden in November.

Photographer Evan Jenkins documented the convention for TIME, capturing the chaos, excitement, and all the moments in between. From a governor’s dog who took the stage, to t-shirts on sale featuring Trump’s mugshot, here are some of the most compelling visuals from a week inside the Republican National Convention.

Can You Really ‘Tame’ a Tornado? A Meteorologist Weighs in on the Science Behind Twisters

Fri, 07/19/2024 - 20:32
Kate (Daisy Edgar-Jones) and Tyler (Glen Powell) in 'Twisters'

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Twisters.

It’s been nearly 30 years since Twister spiraled into theaters and changed the disaster movie game forever. Thanks to groundbreaking visual effects, palpable chemistry between leads Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt, and the world’s enduring fascination with tornadoes, Jan De Bont’s 1996 blockbuster still holds up as a genre gem.

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Now, Twisters, a spiritual sequel to the original from director Lee Isaac Chung (Minari), is gearing up for what’s expected to be a $55 million opening weekend. Starring Daisy Edgar-Jones as Kate and Glen Powell as Tyler, two rival Tornado Alley storm chasers who begin to realize their passions overlap in more ways than one, Twisters builds on its predecessor’s pitch for gathering data from inside a tornado by speculating on the possibility of “taming” one of the destructive funnel storms.

“In the original Twister, the idea of putting these Dorothy sensor balls into a tornado is completely science fiction, but it inspired a generation of people to want to do scientific research on storms,” Chung told the Hollywood Reporter. “And with this movie, the endeavor that Kate is on to see if she can disrupt the dynamics of a tornado, this is also based on a lot of science fiction. We’re just theorizing, and it’s definitely not something we want people to be doing, but we wanted the film to pay homage to science and research and conducting very big ideas out there.”

To try to figure out how realistic the plot of Twisters actually is, TIME spoke with Michael Seger, the chief meteorologist for 2News Oklahoma KJRH, about tornado science, the likelihood of getting blown away, and the culture surrounding storm chasing.

Read more: The 25 Best Disaster Movies of All Time, Ranked

TIME: Scientifically, how plausible is the idea of taming a tornado?

Seger: From what we know right now, not very. That is the one part where they did kind of venture into science fiction. Everything else in the movie I thought was pretty much on point. That doesn’t mean in the future we won’t be able to tame a tornado in some way. But right now, that is more science fiction than actual science.

Would Kate’s method of collapsing a tornado by feeding it polymers work in theory if not necessarily in practice?

How a thunderstorm works, especially supercells, is you have your updraft—that’s where the air is rising up through the storm—and then you have your downdraft—that’s where all the precipitation is falling and you get hail. And what’s different about a supercell compared to your normal, pop-up summertime thunderstorm is that the updraft is tilted. So all the precipitation falls off to the side, but the updraft is able to sustain itself. That’s how it can maintain its organization for sometimes hours at a time, it doesn’t cut itself off. What drives a supercell is rising motion into the storm. It’s ingesting this warm and humid air. When you chase these storms, if you sit in the inflow region you can literally feel the storm sucking in air. You will have air rushing from behind you. With the strongest storms, the inflow can be sucked in at 50-60-plus miles per hour. It’s incredibly powerful at times. And so what they’re trying to do in the film is cut off the inflow. It’s like, hey, if we can get the updraft to precipitate, the air will start flowing down, cut off the updraft, and, therefore, kill the tornado.

Now, that could also cause repercussions and you may have just created an incredible microburst. If you have a 60,000-foot thunderstorm and all of a sudden the air starts collapsing and you get this massive downburst when that hits the ground, it’s going to spread out and you’re going to have a lot of wind and and then you have the outflow that could generate more storms downstream. So, in theory, you could try to do something like that, but right now, I just don’t think it’s possible. And they would have to do a lot more than just have a little trailer full [of polymers].

Are people really able to naturally sense tornadoes like Kate does?

That’s definitely more Hollywood than real. They kind of do the same thing in the first Twister with Bill Paxton. I do a lot of storm chasing. And I always say there is an art to it. But we don’t really know why one storm will produce a tornado and another won’t. There are certain things we can look for—what environment is it in, are there other storms nearby that could interfere. But when it comes down to it, when you have Storm A and Storm B in what is seemingly an identical atmospheric environment and one goes on to produce a long track EF-4 tornado and another gets a tornado warning but doesn’t really do anything, we don’t really know why that is. There’s something else going on that we haven’t been able to figure out.

Would Tyler’s truck screwing into the ground keep it from being blown away?

I think they got that premise from the TIV, the Tornado Intercept Vehicle, which was created by Sean Casey. He did the [Tornado Alley] IMAX film. But that was like a highly armored tank that would drive spikes into the ground and was designed to drop down to limit airflow underneath. If you were just out there in a normal vehicle, it would be battered. Stuff would be flying through the windows. So the screwing might help to keep the vehicle on the ground, but the debris is the most damaging part. It would probably be destroyed.

Could that many tornadoes actually happen in a week?

There are instances where the pattern will set up, and we will have multiple days of severe weather. So that absolutely can happen. It’s not something that happens very often, but it can.

Is storm chasing culture really that intense in Tornado Alley?

There’s definitely a big culture of storm chasing. It’s hard to describe, but they tried to portray it in the movie. Like when they pull into the gas station and all the chasers are there, that is 100 percent on point. Because a lot of times on chase day, in the morning you try to pick a target area. Obviously you don’t know exactly where a storm is going to go, but you’ll circle say a 50-mile radius just to get an idea. And so what will happen is a lot of chasers will start to funnel to those locations and you usually just find a place to park and wait. That’s kind of the big thing with storm chasing that a lot of people don’t realize, it’s a lot of sitting and waiting. But a lot of the time you’re gathered with other chasers so there’s a bit of camaraderie there. The scenes where they’re battling on the road are definitely more Hollywood, but the gathering and everyone looking at data together is realistic.

Was there anything else that particularly stuck out to you from the movie?

I was so impressed with the computer graphics. They did so well modeling those tornadoes in the film. In the scenes where they’re driving through the storms, it looks incredibly close to the real thing. You could tell they worked with storm chasers and consulted with meteorologists to really get the motion right. They just did a fantastic job.

Breaking Down the Major Changes in Lady in the Lake’s Jump From Book to TV

Fri, 07/19/2024 - 20:10

Warning: This post contains spoilers for eps. 1 and 2 of Apple’s Lady in the Lake

In Lady in the Lake, the new show releasing on Apple TV+ on July 19, two chilling murders change the course of a woman’s life in 1960s Baltimore. The seven-episode limited series, which was adapted from author Laura Lippman’s popular 2019 thriller novel of the same name, stars Natalie Portman in her first TV role. Portman plays Madeline “Maddie” Morgenstern, a bored Jewish housewife-turned-aspiring journalist, whose obsession with the fatal disappearance of a young Jewish girl (Bianca Belle) leads her to investigate another crime—the overlooked murder of a young Black mother named Eunetta “Cleo” Johnson (Moses Ingram), whose body was found in the fountain of a park lake.

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Lippman’s book was inspired by two real-life and unrelated murder cases that took place in Baltimore in 1969, an 11-year-old Jewish girl named Esther Lebowitz, who received ample media coverage and whose body was found a few days after she was reported missing, and Shirley Parker, a 35-year-old Black woman, whose body was found in Baltimore zoo’s lake fountain months after she went missing because someone had written to the local newspaper help column asking why the lights were off in the fountain. In the novel, Maddie’s ambitious—if, at times, self-absorbed—journey to becoming a journalist and forging the new life she desires is told through the perspectives of those she’s interacting with, from her landlord’s eager daughter to her sexist coworkers at the newspaper; meanwhile, Cleo’s ghost provides a haunting omniscient narration.

Read more: Lady in the Lake Casts Natalie Portman in a Strikingly Subversive ’60s Noir

The book is fundamentally a mystery, but it’s also a clear-eyed examination of the restrictive social structures at the time—for example, Maddie can’t sell her car without her estranged husband’s signature and resorts to committing insurance fraud with her wedding ring, while Cleo is subject to constant racial discrimination, even in death, when her murder is deemed “not important” enough for Maddie’s newspaper to report on. And though they come from vastly different worlds and backgrounds, what Maddie and Cleo do share is a desire to live life on their own terms, free from the expectations and mores of others.

For director and writer Alma Har’el, who also executive produced the series, the parallel lives of Maddie and Cleo provided a compelling glimpse into the swiftly changing landscape of Baltimore, and more largely, society during this time.

“What really spoke to me was Maddie and Cleo and the idea of a murder mystery that has so many twists and turns, but at the same time, tells the story of the city and its politics and the social aspects of the time,” she tells TIME. “I felt it was like a double-edged sword in a way—there’s a whodunnit, who killed these women, but also what’s within ourselves that we have to investigate and figure out to not become the people that we don’t want to be.” 

Here’s what to know about Lady in the Lake and the book that inspired it.

What are the biggest changes from the book to the screen?

Though Har’el and the other writers who worked on Lady in the Lake rooted the show in the novel, they wanted to give a wider look at the world of 1960s Baltimore in the adaptation, which meant making some key changes.

The largest of these changes may be the expansion of the character of Cleo Johnson, the titular “Lady in the Lake,” who has a more richly developed personal life and backstory in the show. Likewise, Maddie’s Jewish heritage and her inner life (a major part of her decision to leave her marriage and pursue a career) are explored in more depth on-screen, as are the secrets in her past. For Har’el, showing the role that both of these communities played in the development of Baltimore during the time was an integral part of the story.

Read more: A Crime Writer Tackles the Sinister Side of Baltimore

“The story deals with two murders that happened and Maddie trying to solve these murders. Her connection to the whole city and to Cleo specifically, is what informs the tension of the whole show,” Har’el says. “Both of them as characters show us a picture of Baltimore at the time. There’s something about the relationship between Black folks and Jewish people, who both suffered a lot of struggle, that has taken a turn in the 1960s. I very much wanted to bring to life both of those stories and make both of these women as rounded characters as possible to explore the conflict and the differences that came up.”

Additionally, the details and circumstances surrounding Tessie’s disappearance and death are fleshed out more and given a personal connection to Maddie. Maddie’s investigation into Tessie’s killer, Steven, and his mother is also given a more intricate storyline. 

Why were some characters replaced and new characters added?

Though many of the major figures in Lady in the Lake stay true to the book, there are some notable changes when it comes to some of the supporting characters. Some people from the book were replaced with new characters, like the novel’s local dry cleaning entrepreneur and senate hopeful (and Cleo’s secret lover) Ezekiel Taylor, whose role in the story became two new characters in the show: Myrtle Summer, a former teacher of Cleo’s who’s running for senate against the wishes of local racketeer Shell Gordon; and Slappy Johnson, Cleo’s comedian husband. Others, like Latetia, Cleo’s roommate, change slightly (Latetia becomes Dora, Cleo’s lifelong best friend and a singer at the Pharaoh club). Still others, like Shell’s right hand Reggie Robinson, are entirely new creations made for the show.

Har’el said that the motivation for these changes was to imagine the nuanced and rich worlds of both Maddie and especially Cleo, whose storyline is expanded in the show.

Read more: 5 Questions With Natalie Portman

“We wanted to create a whole world and write new characters that weren’t in the book like Slappy Johnson and Reggie [Robinson], as well as the Pharaoh club and the political world she [Cleo] was involved in,” Har’el says. “A lot of it came from researching some of the stories that inspired the book, including the Black woman Shirley Parker, whose disappearance and murder were never solved, and reading about her life and the women in those circles and the jobs they juggled, the different kind of code-switching they did to just get by every month.”

Other characters were altered and combined to streamline the storylines and heighten the themes of the overall story. While in the book, Maddie doesn’t have a personal connection to Tessie, the young Jewish girl who is murdered, whose body she finds by the same lake that Cleo’s body would be found in months later, in the show, Tessie’s father is Maddie’s former boyfriend, whose reappearance in her life brings up memories of the clandestine affair she had with his father that resulted in a secret abortion. 

Why is Cleo’s story so different in the show?

Of all the characters in Lady in the Lake, Cleo may have the most dramatic transformation from book to screen. While Cleo’s ghostly narration from the afterlife provides much needed context in the book, the show presents a different and much fuller depiction of her character. 

Cleo is depicted in the book as a young single mother who works as a dancer and bartender at the Flamingo, a club owned by Shell Gordon, on Baltimore’s Pennsylvania Avenue. Although she’s a loving parent to her two young sons, whose fathers are out of the picture, they live with her mother and father, while she lives with a roommate, Latetia. Cleo is described in the book as being hungry for life, and dating men from the club as a way to supplement her income, although she is secretly in a relationship with a wealthy married man, Ezekiel Thomas, who’s running for a senate seat, when she mysteriously disappears. 

In the series, while Cleo is still a bartender working at Shell’s club (reimagined for the screen as The Pharaoh club) she also is his bookkeeper, making her privy to the illegal numbers game he runs—although she is constantly searching for ways to sever her ties with Shell and his dealings, for the safety of her sons and because her father left town due to his gambling issues with Shell. Instead of dating men from the club as she does in the book, she is married to Slappy Johnson, a down-on-his-luck comedian with whom she shares two sons.

Joe Biden, Isolated in Delaware, Plans His Next Move

Fri, 07/19/2024 - 19:44
President Biden Holds NATO Summit News Conference As Questions Surround His Candidacy

This article is part of The D.C. Brief, TIME’s politics newsletter. Sign up here to get stories like this sent to your inbox.

Depending on their vantage, Democrats who watched Donald Trump’s record-breaking 92-minute acceptance speech on Thursday—and stretching into Friday—came away with very different verdicts

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For those who have been urging President Joe Biden to rethink his own re-nomination for three full weeks, Trump’s ominous rhetoric proved the risks the former President poses and why the incumbent should step aside for a stronger captain. For those still working to salvage Biden’s bid for a second term, Trump’s wildly inconsistent delivery and tone made the task of blocking him seem perhaps doable for the first time in a long while.

But a third audience—population, one—was the only one that mattered, and that was Biden himself isolating at his beach house on the Delaware coastline while he recovers from what doctors described as a mild case of Covid-19. And after watching the Trump’s meandering hodgepodge of a greatest-hits speech in Milwaukee, Biden still sees himself as the strongest player to boot his predecessor from the field of American politics. The White House declared “a lid” just after 9:30 a.m., meaning there would be no sightings of Biden in public on Friday, and he would remain at home with no public events. The bunkering continued with no public timeline for his return to Washington, although he says he wants to get back on the campaign trail next week.

Biden, aides say, is still working the phones and Zoom rooms with advisers and staff, going about the day-to-day task list of the President, such as facing a global computer meltdown that left U.S. airspace a hellscape on Friday. But Biden is also finding himself increasingly, albeit begrudgingly, open to conversations about his next moves. His family is starting to plot his exit. In that, Democrats mindful of their own fortunes are suddenly less sullen about the slog toward November’s Election Day.

After three full weeks of pummeling, Biden is finally starting to take the hint that no one in his party’s institutional ranks wants him to helm the ticket. Even his former boss, Barack Obama, is harboring fears, insiders say. Public and private polls alike are showing Biden a drag on fellow Democrats, although his defenders argue that he’s not as much of a clunker as the critics say. For the first time since the debate, Biden is at least testing his own assumptions even as he is disinclined to cede ground to his critics. His weekend in Rehoboth is expected to give him a window to reflect on the information that is reaching him. 

As the private conversations that started as a rumble have grown into a roar, it still remains Biden’s call how to proceed. As Republicans gavel out their convention, the disparity between the comity-soaked Republicans and the chaos-sacked Democrats is glaring. Behind the scenes, Democrats were left in an awkward holding pattern. Biden’s top operative, Jen O’Malley Dillon, said in a television interview on Friday that Biden was 100% committed to staying atop the ticket. “Absolutely, the President is in this race,” she told MSNBC’s Morning Joe. “Joe Biden is more committed than ever to beat Donald Trump, and we believe on this campaign [that] we are built for the close election that we are in, and we see the path forward.”

Still, another Biden insider, former two-time chief of staff Ron Klain, acknowledged his boss gets it. “I think he’s feeling the pressure,” Klain told the network.

To be clear: the pressure is real. The Democratic National Committee on Friday and again on Sunday was set to revisit the rules and guidelines for the nominating process. Party insiders quietly agreed that they’d delay Biden’s official renomination timeline to start after Aug. 1, a slight shift rightward on the calendar. Still, Democrats are moving forward with a plan to have Biden arrive at his nominating convention in Chicago on Aug. 19 as the settled nominee. A repeat of the messy 1968 convention in Chicago was to be avoided at all costs, even if that meant deciding the nomination by GoogleDoc and silencing the protests on social media timelines. Democratic insiders agreed to put off the formality, but not too long.

That doesn’t mean Democrats of any stripe are exactly happy after the last month. Biden’s campaign insisted on an early debate and then the candidate bombed. Biden’s clean-up efforts were miserable. His fundraising has all but dried up, with aides bemoaning that they’d be lucky to hit 25% of their major-dollar goal this month. And down-ballot Democrats—including marquee party insiders like Chuck Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, and Hakeem Jeffries—are telling the White House in stage whispers that the party’s fortunes were sinking with Biden’s poll numbers. 

“He just doesn’t get it,” says a senior Democratic hand on the Hill. “Joe Biden has done so much for this country but he stands to be the undoing of this party.”

Democrats across the spectrum are trying to discern if Biden understands that being an anchor for his party is not always an asset. Sure, he’s keeping the Democratic barge in place, but it’s not a good place. The inertia is the best case scenario but insiders say the drift is actually benefiting Republicans, who have a narrow majority in the House and are within real striking distance of winning back the Senate. Other Democrats who want Biden to keep fighting looked at Trump’s Milwaukee soliloquy as evidence that he’s still defeatable if only the media would focus on his precedent-shattering posture rather than Biden’s verbal stumbles. Biden’s campaign has a simple counter: stop fighting Biden’s renomination and the focus moves back to Trump.

One common emotion pervaded both Democratic camps, though: they’re all waiting on Biden to either plow forward as the presumptive nominee or to bow out. Biden has been trying to demonstrate the former, but not convincingly enough. In private, Biden’s top deputies say he’s less headstrong than he was over the July 4 holiday weekend, finally starting to grasp that his choices matter to more than just those who share his surname. 

By no means does this mean Biden is ready to exit. No, he’s still plotting an aggressive travel schedule this month and readying tens of millions in advertising. The money is becoming tougher to come by, but he has a pile of cash that is letting him lap Trump on air by a 25-to-1 margin in some markets. Things are going to be rough for Biden as he tries to quiet the tumult in his own party’s ranks but he’s found himself running against the conventional wisdom before. And, if things go sideways in a big way, he still controls the levers of his party’s nominating machinery; the nod is his until he doesn’t want it, and the signs that he may soon be ready to give it up remain fuzzy. Put plainly: Democrats have only one opinion that matters, and that belongs to an embattled Joe Biden who has never been at his best when backed into a corner.

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ICJ Says Israel’s Presence in Occupied Palestinian Territories Is ‘Unlawful’

Fri, 07/19/2024 - 18:51
World Court Israel Palestinians


THE HAGUE, Netherlands — The top U.N. court said Friday that Israel’s presence in the Palestinian occupied territories is “unlawful” and called on it to end and for settlement construction to stop immediately, issuing an unprecedented, sweeping condemnation of Israel’s rule over the lands it captured 57 years ago.

In a non-binding opinion, the International Court of Justice pointed to a wide list of policies, including the building and expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, use of the area’s natural resources, the annexation and imposition of permanent control over lands and discriminatory policies against Palestinians, all of which it said violated international law.

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The 15-judge panel said Israel’s “abuse of its status as the occupying power” renders its “presence in the occupied Palestinian territory unlawful.” It says its continued presence was ”illegal” and should be ended as “rapidly as possible.”

It said Israel must end settlement construction immediately and that existing settlements must be removed, according to the 83-page opinion read out by court President Nawaf Salam.

Israel, which normally considers the United Nations and international tribunals as unfair and biased, did not send a legal team to the hearings. But it submitted written comments, saying that the questions put to the court are prejudiced and fail to address Israeli security concerns. Israeli officials have said the court’s intervention could undermine the peace process, which has stagnant for more than a decade.

In response to the ruling, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the West Bank and east Jerusalem were part of the Jewish people’s historical “homeland.”

“The Jewish people are not conquerors in their own land – not in our eternal capital Jerusalem and not in the land of our ancestors in Judea and Samaria,” he said in a post on the social media platform X. “No false decision in The Hague will distort this historical truth and likewise the legality of Israeli settlement in all the territories of our homeland cannot be contested.”

The court’s opinion, sought by the U.N. General Assembly after a Palestinian request, is unlikely to effect Israel’s policy. But its resounding breadth — including saying Israel could not claim sovereignty in the territories and was impeding Palestinians’ right to self-determination — could impact international opinion.

It came against the backdrop of Israel’s devastating 10-month military assault on Gaza, which was triggered by the Hamas-led attacks in southern Israel. In a separate case, the International Court of Justice is considering a South African claim that Israel’s campaign in Gaza amounts to genocide, a claim that Israel vehemently denies.

Israel captured the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza Strip in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians seek all three areas for an independent state.

Israel considers the West Bank to be disputed territory, whose future should be decided in negotiations, while it has moved population there in settlements to solidify its hold. It has annexed east Jerusalem in a move that is not internationally recognized, while it withdrew from Gaza in 2005 but maintained a blockade of the territory after Hamas took power in 2007. The international community generally considers all three areas to be occupied territory.

At hearings in February, then-Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki accused Israel of apartheid and urged the United Nations’ top court to declare that Israel’s occupation of lands sought by the Palestinians is illegal and must end immediately and unconditionally for any hope for a two-state future to survive.

The Palestinians presented arguments in February along with 49 other nations and three international organizations.

Erwin van Veen, a senior research fellow at the Clingendael think tank in The Hague, said that if the court rules that Israel’s policies in the West Bank and east Jerusalem breach international law, it would “isolate Israel further internationally, at least from a legal point of view.”

He said such a ruling would “worsen the case for occupation. It removes any kind of legal, political, philosophical underpinning of the Israeli expansion project.”

It would also strengthen the hand of “those who seek to advocate against it” — such as the grassroots Palestinian-led movement advocating boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel.

He said it also could increase the number of countries that recognize the state of Palestine, in particular in the Western world, following the recent example of Spain and Norway and Ireland.”

It is not the first time the ICJ has been asked to give its legal opinion on Israeli policies. Two decades ago, the court ruled that Israel’s West Bank separation barrier was “contrary to international law.” Israel boycotted those proceedings, saying they were politically motivated.

Israel says the barrier is a security measure. Palestinians say the structure amounts to a massive land grab because it frequently dips into the West Bank.

Israel has built well over 100 settlements, according to the anti-settlement monitoring group Peace Now. The West Bank settler population has grown by more than 15% in the past five years to more than 500,000 Israelis, according to a pro-settler group.

Israel also has annexed east Jerusalem and considers the entire city to be its capital. An additional 200,000 Israelis live in settlements built in east Jerusalem that Israel considers to be neighborhoods of its capital. Palestinian residents of the city face systematic discrimination, making it difficult for them to build new homes or expand existing ones.

The international community considers all settlements to be illegal or obstacles to peace since they are built on lands sought by the Palestinians for their state.

Netanyahu’s hard-line government is dominated by settlers and their political supporters. Netanyahu has given his finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, a former settler leader, unprecedented authority over settlement policy. Smotrich has used this position to cement Israel’s control over the West Bank by pushing forward plans to build more settlement homes and to legalize outposts.

Authorities recently approved the appropriation of 12.7 square kilometers (nearly 5 square miles) of land in the Jordan Valley, a strategic piece of land deep inside the West Bank, according to a copy of the order obtained by The Associated Press. Data from Peace Now, the tracking group, indicate it was the largest single appropriation approved since the 1993 Oslo accords at the start of the peace process.

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