Theater and Concert Reviews.
Dozens Dead in West Coast FiresAt least 35 people—24 in California, 10 in Oregon, and one in Washington—have died as deadly fires continue to rage along the West Coast, with some of the worst damage in the normally damp Pacific Northwest. Officials in Oregon say more than 1 million acres have been consumed in the past week—twice the annual average—and roughly 40,000 residents are under some form of evacuation orders.
The fires have caused air quality to plummet—the city of Portland registered a 516 on the EPA's pollution index (the scale's max is 500)—though it caused temperatures to drop somewhat, aiding firefighters. Experts say a rare east wind event, exacerbated by ongoing dry conditions, rapidly spread existing smaller fires, fueling the larger blaze. See a detailed map of the devastation here (and photos here).
Across the country, Tropical Storm Sally is threatening to strengthen into a hurricane before hitting New Orleans tomorrow, while Hurricane Paulette is on track to hit Bermuda.
Bahrain Joins Peace DealIsrael and Bahrain will reportedly establish formal diplomatic ties in a US-brokered deal, the White House announced Friday. Bahrain becomes the second Arabian Gulf country to normalize relations with Israel, following a similar announcement by the United Arab Emirates last month.
Muslim-majority Middle Eastern nations have historically opposed Israel largely because of the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict (see 101), and grand visions of Middle East peace typically center on mediating a deal between the two sides. In recent years, tensions between Iran and Gulf nations, led by Saudi Arabia—the former predominantly Persian and Shia Muslims, the latter Arab and Sunni Muslims—have pushed the bloc toward Israel and the West. The exception is Iraq, where neighboring Iran has established extensive influence across the country's government.
Separately, the Taliban and Afghan government began long-delayed peace talks that follow a US-Taliban agreement signed in February.
AstraZeneca Trial Restarts
Biopharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca will restart trials of its potential COVID-19 vaccine in Britain while the study remains on hold in the US and elsewhere. The announcement comes after an adverse event in a participant—reportedly transverse myelitis, or inflammation of the spinal cord—brought the trial to a halt last week. The vaccine candidate is one of nine currently in Phase 3 trials, and the company has signed deals to provide hundreds of millions of doses to the European Union, United Kingdom, and US—assuming it's proven safe.
The news comes as one competitor, Pfizer, announced an expansion of its Phase 3 trial by almost 50% to 44,000 participants. Track all vaccine efforts here.
The seven-day average of new daily COVID-19 cases has fallen to around 34,000, roughly half of the mid-July peak, though health officials say a lagging boom in cases from Labor Day and school reopenings may be on the horizon. Colleges have seen more than 50,000 cases already, and cases in the Midwest have also risen steadily (while dropping elsewhere).
The US has reported 6.52 million total cases, with 194,081 deaths, as of this morning. See rolling averages here and here.
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IN THE KNOWSports, Entertainment, & CultureBrought to you by Onekind
> Quarterback Tom Brady loses in Tampa Bay Buccaneers debut (More) | See full Week 1 scores and takeaways (More) | Mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor detained in Corsica on sexual assault allegations (More)
> “Nomadland,” by director Chloé Zhao, wins top prize at Venice Film Festival (More) | Christopher Nolan’s “Tenet” crosses $200M at global box office (More)
> Japan’s Naomi Osaka wins her second US Open title and third Grand Slam overall (More) | Dominic Thiem of Austria tops Alexander Zverev in five sets to win his first Grand Slam (More)
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Science & Technology> Key protein involved in the development of inner ear hair cells needed for hearing identified; could lead to new treatments for hearing loss (More)
> New quantum sensing technology capable of measuring temperature at the nanoscale; researchers demonstrate the measurement of a fever inside a tiny nematode (More)
> Ancient earthquake may have been responsible for a flourishing Canaanite palace compound at Tel Kabri 3,700 years ago (More)
Business & Markets> Sources say Oracle wins bidding war for social media giant TikTok’s US operations; Microsoft confirms it was notified its offer was rejected (More) | Reports say core algorithm may not be included in the deal (More)
> SoftBank to sell Arm—designer of mobile chips used in iPhone and Android devices—to semiconductor chipmaker Nvidia for $40B (More)
> Big Pharma giant Gilead to buy Immunomedics for $21B; company is the developer of a breast cancer drug granted accelerated FDA approval in second quarter (More)
Politics & World Affairs> Two Los Angeles County deputies injured in ambush shooting in Compton, California; both in stable condition following surgery, suspect at large (More) | See video of attack (More)
> UK Parliament debates the Internal Market Bill, which critics say would alter the Northern Ireland Protocol, a key part of the Brexit deal guiding the withdrawal of the UK from the European Union (More)
> US intelligence suggests Iran is weighing a plan to assassinate the American ambassador to South Africa as revenge for the January death of General Qassem Soleimani (More)
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ETCETERAHow smart people embrace awkward silence.
Watch Brazil's Maya Gabeira surf a mind-boggling 73-foot wave.
They're back: The finalists for the annual Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards.
How dinosaurs came to rule the American roadside.
St. Louis Zoo python lays eggs despite not seeing a male for two decades.
New York City's highest observation deck just reopened.
Killer whales are attacking boats, leaving scientists baffled.
Woman saws off own hand for insurance claim, found guilty of fraud.
Clickbait: Florida city repeals decade-old ban on sagging your pants.
Historybook: President William McKinley dies of gunshot wounds (1901); Soviet probe Luna 2 becomes the first man-made object to reach the moon (1959); OPEC is founded (1960); RIP Grace Kelly (1982); Singer Amy Winehouse born (1983).
"Music is the only thing that will give and give and give and not take."
- Amy Winehouse
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