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How does coronavirus spread at a concert? Germans do a test
8/27/2020 11:44:18 AM

BERLIN (AP)—Germany held a pop concert Saturday to see how those attending could spread coronavirus if they had it. German researchers studying COVID-19 packed part of a Leipzig arena with volunteers, collecting data in a “real life” simulation of a pop concert but one with strict health and safety controls. About 1,500 people took part in the experiment run by the University Hospital in Halle, each taking a coronavirus test ahead of time, testing negative, and having to wear protective masks throughout the day's testing. Researchers equipped each...

Chris Evans hopes to shield democracy with politics website
8/20/2020 11:26:01 AM

By Ryan Pearson   LOS ANGELES (AP)—Chris Evans became the most politically prickly “Avenger” a few years back with withering tweets about President Donald Trump and his Republican supporters. But the “Captain America” actor is staying relatively quiet during this presidential campaign. He wants to amplify the voices of elected officials instead. Last month, Evans launched a civic engagement app and website called A Starting Point, featuring short videos from both Republican and Democratic members of Congress and other U.S. politicians...

Apple, Google drop Fortnite from app stores over payments
8/20/2020 11:23:37 AM

By Mae Anderson   NEW YORK (AP)—Apple and Google dropped the popular game Fortnite from their app stores after the game's developer introduced a direct payment plan that bypasses their platforms. Apple and Google both take a 30% cut from in-app revenue purchases in games, which has long been a sore spot with developers. Fortnite is free, but users can pay for in game accoutrements like weapons and skins. Its developer, Epic Games, said in a blog post Thursday that it was introducing Epic Direct payments, a direct payment plan for Apple's iOS and Google...

Sumner Redstone, who built media empire including CBS, dies
8/20/2020 11:21:13 AM

By The Associated Press   Sumner Redstone, who joined his family's drive-in movie chain in the 1950s and used it to build a vast media empire that included CBS and Viacom, has died. He was 97. Under his watch, Viacom became one of the nation's media titans, home to pay TV channels MTV and Comedy Central and movie studio Paramount Pictures. ViacomCBS Inc., which he led for decades, remembered Redstone for his “unparalleled passion to win, his endless intellectual curiosity and his complete dedication to the company.” Redstone built the company...

Coronavirus hasn't devastated the homeless as many feared
8/20/2020 11:17:41 AM

By Janie Har   SAN FRANCISCO (AP)—When the coronavirus emerged in the U.S. this year, public health officials and advocates for the homeless feared the virus would rip through shelters and tent encampments, ravaging vulnerable people who often have chronic health issues. They scrambled to move people into hotel rooms, thinned out crowded shelters and moved tents into designated spots at sanctioned outdoor camps. While shelters saw some large COVID-19 outbreaks, the virus so far doesn't appear to have brought devastation to the homeless population as many...

Seth Rogen's Israel comments highlight fraught diaspora ties
8/13/2020 6:51:58 PM

By Tia Goldenberg   TEL AVIV, Israel (AP)—It began as a lighthearted conversation between two Jewish comedians, riffing on a podcast about the idiosyncrasies of their shared heritage. But after talk turned to Israel, it didn't take long for Marc Maron and Seth Rogen to spark an uproar. Their comments about Israel—especially Rogen saying the country “doesn't make sense”—infuriated many Israel supporters and highlighted the country's tenuous relationship with young, progressive Jewish critics in the diaspora. Israel has long...

Amid pandemic, future of many Catholic schools is in doubt
8/13/2020 6:49:41 PM

By David Crary   NEW YORK (AP)—As the new academic year arrives, school systems across the United States are struggling to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic. Roman Catholic educators have an extra challenge—trying to forestall a relentless wave of closures of their schools that has no end in sight. Already this year, financial and enrollment problems aggravated by the pandemic have forced the permanent closure of more than 140 Catholic schools nationwide, according to officials who oversee Catholic education in the country. Three of the nation's...

Lack of study and oversight raises concerns about tear gas
8/13/2020 6:48:10 PM

By Andrew Selsky   SALEM, Ore. (AP)—On June 2, Justin LaFrancois attended a protest against police violence and racism in downtown Charlotte, North Carolina, where he planned to livestream the event for his alternative newspaper's website. Shortly into the march, police, who reported that water bottles and rocks were being thrown at them, unleashed a volley of tear gas on the entire crowd, including those who were marching peacefully. The protesters tried to run. But hemmed in by tall buildings and desperate for an escape route, they tugged at the closed gate of...

Overdoses up as people in recovery struggle during pandemic
8/13/2020 6:44:46 PM

By Nick Watson and Megan Reed   GAINESVILLE, Ga. (AP)—When the state of Georgia shut down as part of its battle with the COVID-19 pandemic, Gainesville's recovery community was the busiest it has ever been. Just two miles from the Jeffrey Dallas Gay Jr. Recovery Center on Juanita Avenue, Northeast Georgia Medical Center and its health system were seeing more overdoses in the first half of 2020 compared to the year before. “A lot of people that have been pretty established in their recovery are really, really struggling,” said Jordan Hussey,...

Girl Scout Teaches English to Blind Students in Thailand
8/13/2020 3:34:57 PM

Jessica Shiflett from Camarillo, CA, earns her Girl Scout Gold Award Ventura — Jessica Shiflett, a current senior at Adolfo Camarillo High School, is half Thai and has had the privilege of visiting family in Thailand every summer. Year after year, she was shocked to see the number of visually impaired individuals on the streets in each city she went to. While Thai students in traditional primary schools have been taught English for years, visually impaired students don’t always have the necessary resources to gain full comprehension of the language. Armed with inspiration,...