Theater and Concert Reviews.
A Slow RecoveryRoughly 860,000 Americans filed initial unemployment claims last week, a figure below the previous week's 893,000 claims but which remains stubbornly above the pre-pandemic record of 695,000 set in 1982. Continuing claims, a better proxy for current unemployment, fell by 900,000 to about 12.6 million. Economists said the drop in continuing claims was partly due to an improving labor market, but may be influenced by claimants exhausting eligibility, limited to 26 weeks in many states. When accounting for self-employed and gig economy workers—who aren't typically covered under standard unemployment insurance—the number of Americans receiving some form of jobless benefits is 29.7 million (see all data).
Analysts say the report reflects an economy that is improving but at a dangerously slow place, largely paralyzed as states continue to grapple with the coronavirus while facing further uncertainty as the country heads into flu season.
Separately, new CDC data showed a relatively low number of COVID-19 deaths in children and young adults under 21—totaling 121 through July 31—but a disproportionately high number (78%) were minorities.
The US has reported 6.67 million cases as of this morning, with 197,643 deaths. See rolling averages for cases and deaths here and here.
FBI Director Christopher Wray testified yesterday before the House Committee on Homeland Security, covering a broad range of topics from counterterrorism to foreign election interference. In comments that align with a previous report from the director of national intelligence, Wray said Russia is actively using misinformation campaigns to denigrate Democratic nominee Joe Biden—seeing him as part of a larger bloc of anti-Russian sentiment in the US. The previous DNI report additionally noted that China is likely to take measures undermining the Trump campaign.
Responding to a separate question, Wray said that antifa—short for anti-fascists, whose self-identifying members have been blamed for riots across the country—exists, but the agency views it more as an ideology than an organization. Acting Homeland Security chief Chad Wolf defied a subpoena to testify during the hearing. Separately, former FBI Director James Comey will publicly testify on the origins of the 2016 Russia probe Sept. 30 before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Speaking of the election, it's a short 46 days away. See battleground polls here, and read why the outcome may hinge on who wins Pennsylvania.
Eisenhower Memorial DedicatedA memorial honoring former President Dwight D. Eisenhower was formally dedicated yesterday in Washington, DC, marking the culmination of a contentious, two-decade development process. Designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, the dedication was originally scheduled for May 8, the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II—a victory helmed by Eisenhower, serving as supreme allied commander—but was delayed by the pandemic.
Sitting adjacent to the National Mall, the memorial includes three bronze sculptures of Eisenhower, each at different stages of life along with a soaring stainless steel tapestry (w/photos). Earlier iterations of the design were heavily criticized—at one point Eisenhower's family wanted the project scrapped, saying the depiction of him as a young barefoot Kansan was unbecoming.
The plaza is the first major monument to open on the National Mall since the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial opened in 2011. Explore the history of the Mall here ($$, WashPo).
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IN THE KNOWSports, Entertainment, & CultureBrought to you by Pierre Henry Socks
> Jimmy Kimmel to host the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday (8pm ET, ABC); telecast will include nominees live from more than 100 locations (More) | See the full nominations list (More)
> Jerry Harris, the breakout star of Netflix’s docuseries “Cheer,” charged with producing child pornography; Harris faces 15 to 30 years in prison if convicted (More)
> President Obama’s first volume of his presidential memoirs, “A Promised Land,” to be released Nov. 17 (More) | Winston Groom, author best known for “Forrest Gump,” dies at 77 (More)
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Science & Technology> Moderna says early data on its COVID-19 vaccine trial may be sufficient to gauge efficacy by November (More) | In unusual step, Moderna and Pfizer release full vaccine development roadmaps (More)
> Archaeologists uncover a new mass extinction event based on a meta-analysis of the fossil record; episode is believed to have been sparked by a massive volcanic eruption in Western Canada more than 230 million years ago (More)
> Scientists teach bees to pollinate specific plants based on scent; could lead to more efficient pollination and crop yields (More)
Business & Markets> US stock markets down (S&P 500 -0.8%, Dow -0.5%, Nasdaq -1.3%) on weakness in US labor markets (More)
> Ford to build $700M plant to create all-electric F-150; standard F-150 is the most-sold vehicle in US (More)
> Video game design software maker Unity prices $1.3B IPO above range; second billion-dollar plus software IPO this week will begin trading today on NYSE (More)
Politics & World Affairs> Two people dead, 400,000 remain without power as Hurricane Sally causes major flooding across the Deep South (More) | See photos (More)
> Former model Amy Dorris alleges President Trump sexually assaulted her at 1997 US Open tennis tournament; story reportedly corroborated by friends and family (More) | Trump campaign denies claims, says it will consider legal action (More)
> India again breaks record for most COVID-19 cases reported in a single day at 98,000; world nears 30 million cases reported globally (More) | New York City delays return to in-person school for second time (More)
IN-DEPTH'This Could've Been Prevented'Task & Purpose | Haley Britzky. Vanessa Guillén, a Houston soldier stationed at Fort Hood, was brutally murdered in April at the hands of a higher-ranking soldier with a track record of sexual harassment—one allegedly ignored by leadership. (Read)
'I Have Blood on My Hands'BuzzFeed | Staff. In a scathing 6,600-word resignation letter, a former Facebook data scientist details how the company knew governments around the world abused the platform to manipulate voters, but looked the other way. (Read)
A Social DilemmaNetflix | Jeff Orlowski. Complementing the above article, this new docudrama made a splash by interviewing the Silicon Valley talent responsible for the explosion of social media—and how it threatens modern society in unprecedented ways. (Trailer)
Editor's note: ... and check out this piece on what the film missed.
What We Really Know About Extraterrestrial Life Outside | Staff. (Podcast) Signs of possible macrobiotic life were detected on Venus earlier this week. Take a listen to this serious exploration of a topic most don't take seriously. (Listen)
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ETCETERAA monstrous alligator arrives in Sally's storm surge. (w/video)
Travelers rate the best fine dining in the US.
Watch a time-lapse of the West Coast wildfires from space.
Heard about the government's heat ray? Here's how it works. (w/video)
Divers may have located a lost World War II sub.
The rise and fall of the rice cake.
Got $8M? Stan the T. rex could be yours.
The oldest sperm cells ever discovered found locked in amber.
The world's strongest beer is a whopping 58% alcohol.
Clickbait: German soccer team thrashed 37-0 after socially distancing from opponent.
book: Royal Opera House opens in London (1809); HBD New York Times (1851); Margaret Chase Smith becomes first woman to be elected to both the US House and Senate (1948); RIP Jimi Hendrix (1970); Cyclist Lance Armstrong born (1971).
"Standing for right when it is unpopular is a true test of moral character."
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