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5 things to know for July 13: Coronavirus, schools, Hong Kong, economy, election 2020

Walt Disney World reopened this weekend. Want to know how it went? CNN Travel was there.

Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

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1. Coronavirus

The White House is taking aim at the nation’s top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, after days of disastrous news regarding the resurgent spread of coronavirus. Over the weekend, a White House official told CNN that “several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things.” President Trump and Fauci are not on speaking terms, so this latest move isn’t exactly a surprise. However, it can’t hide the ominous reality of the pandemic: Virus hot spots like Florida are reporting record numbers of cases and worryingly high rates of positive test results. In areas where the virus is most prominent, hospitals are running out of remdesivir, the drug showed to reduce the seriousness of Covid-19. Cases are spiking around the world as well, in places like Japan and India. Several Bollywood stars have tested positive for the virus, setting India’s film industry on edge.

2. Schools

Should children go back to school this fall? If so, how? What’s the risk? What’s the plan? These are the unanswered questions parents, administrators and local leaders have as uncertainty continues to loom over the coming school year. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos did little to clear things up when she refused to say whether schools should follow guidelines from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on reopening. In a CNN interview, she called the guidelines “flexible” and said “little flare-ups or hotspots” would be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. DeVos, President Trump and other White House figures have aggressively pushed for children to return to school in person in the fall, even though there aren’t clear plans for things like, say, testing or teacher safety. Some schools are instead planning on a hybrid model, where students will attend in-person classes a few days a week.

3. Hong Kong

Around 600,000 Hong Kong citizens braved scorching conditions, a new wave of coronavirus infections and government warnings they could be breaking the law to cast their ballots in the primary election for the city’s democratic opposition over the weekend. The opposition camp is hoping to seize a historic majority in the parliament. It’s been less than two weeks since China implemented that restrictive new national security law in the autonomous city, and the government has already hinted that it may use the law to bar potentially dozens of opposition candidates from the general election. However, this weekend’s massive voter turnout has inspired cautious optimism. Poland also voted this weekend in their presidential election. Incumbent President Andrzej Duda has declared victory in the contest, but his challenger Rafal Trzaskowski has refused to concede, saying the race is still too close to call.

4. Economy

You thought the economy was already bad? Brace yourself. Major companies are getting ready to release their second quarter earnings, and the numbers are predicted to be even worse. Analysts predict that earnings for the S&P 500 plummeted nearly 45% in the quarter, which would be the biggest drop since a 69% plunge during the depths of the Great Recession in the fourth quarter of 2008. Investors are hoping for a robust recovery early next year. There is fresh economic danger for low income Americans, as well. Many states implemented freezes on utility shutoffs when pandemic restrictions were at their peak. Even though the pandemic is still raging, those moratoriums are being lifted, which could leave countless low-income and unemployed households without power, water and other necessities.

5. Election 2020

Texas? A swing state?! That’s what a new election poll suggests. President Trump is neck-and-neck with Vice President Joe Biden in three key states he won in 2016, according to a set of CBS News/YouGov polls. In Texas, Trump leads Biden 46% to 45% — a slim margin that makes the historically red state an election toss-up. (A Democratic presidential candidate hasn’t won Texas since 1976.) The other danger zones for Trump: Arizona, where he and Biden are tied, and Florida, where his prevalence has dropped to 48% opposite Biden’s 42%. The new poll isn’t an outlier, either. There have been eight polls released publicly since the beginning of June. The overarching conclusion is that Biden and Trump are basically tied, and previously untouchable states are now fertile ground.


Actress Kelly Preston has died after battling breast cancer

The 57-year-old was married to John Travolta.

Turkey is converting the famous Hagia Sophia back into a mosque

The iconic structure had been serving as a museum since 1934.

USC will remove their John Wayne exhibit after the actor’s racist comments in an interview surfaced online

They’re not the only ones making moves to answer to the comments, which were published in Playboy in 1971.

Trump proposed selling Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, the New York Times reports

Don’t worry, the idea wasn’t seriously considered after the President raised it.


The Skins are actually doing it

The Washington Redskins will reportedly announce today that they are changing their name after decades of controversy. No word on the new name, which won’t be rolled out until a later date (given trademark issues and all).



That’s how long it’s been since the last federal execution. That will change today after the execution of federal prisoner Daniel Lewis Lee, pending an appeal to the US Supreme Court. His execution in Indiana was temporarily put on hold last week after the family of his victims filed a lawsuit asking for a delay due to the pandemic — and their fear of becoming exposed while witnessing the execution.


“We need people to understand why they are doing it and we need people to understand how they benefit from it. … US Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who said any mask mandate, whether on the state or federal level, would have to be rolled out with education initiatives. Not only would additional information help people be more secure with the requirement, he said, it would also boost compliance.”

US Surgeon General Jerome Adams, who said any mask mandate, whether on the state or federal level, would have to be rolled out with education initiatives. Not only would additional information help people be more secure with the requirement, he said, it would also boost compliance.


Check your local forecast here>>>


Happy Monday, here’s a cat video

Sometimes you just feel like a cat trying to walk over egg cartons, ya know? (Click here to view.)

Correction: An earlier version of the newsletter gave the incorrect location for Daniel Lewis Lee’s scheduled execution. It is Indiana.

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