The new Hunger Games prequel is introspective and dark as hell

As our present moment grows to feel more and more apocalyptic — pandemics, climate change, murder hornets, plants that cause third degree burns and also blindness — it can be oddly comforting to escape to a fictional dystopia. In a way, it’s as though we’ve been preparing for this eventuality for decades. Pop culture is America’s subconscious, and ours has been dreaming apocalyptic dreams.

The latest fictional dystopia is also an old one. This week sees the publication of Suzanne Collins’s The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, a prequel to her wildly successful Hunger Games trilogy

Trump dismisses hydroxychloroquine study that undermines him as a “Trump enemy statement”

President Donald Trump is now dismissing medical information promulgated by his own government as a “Trump enemy statement.”

Trump made that remark on Tuesday afternoon, when he was asked following a lunch with Republican senators to explain his rationale for promoting unproven and potentially dangerous hydroxychloroquine treatments for coronavirus. The president’s ensuing effort to defend the stunning announcement he made on Monday that he’s taking the anti-malarial drug didn’t end up making much sense. But it did reveal a reflexive contempt for scientific reasoning that undercuts his talking points.

“Why is it okay for you to promote the use …

3 key races to watch in Oregon’s vote-by-mail primary

Oregon is going ahead with its usual vote-by-mail primary Tuesday, and though the presidential primary race is all but settled, three particular races for US House seats have drawn national attention — and spending.

Headlining the electoral slate is an 11-way race to replace retiring Republican Rep. Greg Walden in the state’s Second Congressional District, and a closer-than-expected primary challenge against Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader in the Fifth.

All registered voters in the state received a mail-in ballot two to three weeks ahead of the primary, which they can then fill out and mail back in or drop off at …

12 things everyone needs to know about the coronavirus pandemic

Before December 2019, SARS-CoV-2 — the virus that causes the Covid-19 illness — was unknown to science. “A pneumonia of unknown cause” was first reported to the World Health Organization on December 31, after a slew of cases appeared in Wuhan, China. Since then, the virus has been detected in millions of people worldwide, and killed hundreds of thousands.

This is a pandemic, a global crisis and tragedy on a scale that’s hard to fathom.

There are a lot of new things for the public to learn — about the virus, controlling its spread, social distancing, treating the sick, …