A Silicon Valley fundraiser for Joe Biden raised $4 million in one Zoom call

A small group of billionaires and other elite Silicon Valley donors on Thursday threw Joe Biden a fundraiser — over a video conference link with no wining and dining or schmooze time. And it ended up being what is believed to be his biggest fundraiser of the entire campaign.

It was a peculiar event, even for today’s big-money era of presidential politics. Just 25 donors pitched in a total of $4 million for the presumptive Democratic nominee and the Democratic Party as a whole. Simple math shows that an average of $160,000 per person was handed over in return for …

A major study on Covid-19 and hydroxychloroquine has been retracted

The Lancet, one of the world’s leading journals in medical science, has retracted a paper finding that the malaria drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, touted by President Trump as Covid-19 treatments, increase mortality in patients.

To be clear, there is, as of this writing, little evidence that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are effective treatments for Covid-19, in spite of their popularity as an “alternative remedy” that even Trump himself says he has taken as a prophylactic. Research on the topic is ongoing; on Wednesday, a major randomized controlled trial of hydroxychloroquine as a Covid-19 prevention drug found no benefits.…

Hong Kong defies ban to honor Tiananmen Square massacre victims

Thousands of people in Hong Kong defiantly commemorated the Tiananmen Square massacre on Thursday, holding a vigil despite a police ban as the territory witnesses Beijing stamp out its freedoms in real time.

Each year, the pro-democracy protesters killed by Chinese government forces on June 4, 1989, are honored in Hong Kong — one of the few places in China, along with Macau, where the day is usually allowed to be recognized. China has tried to erase and rewrite the history of the massacre, and in the mainland, little is known of how the Chinese military crushed the democracy

How Covid-19 can be more and less deadly than we knew

There are two ways you could assess the deadliness of a crisis like the novel coronavirus pandemic. One is to ask, “How many people are dying?” And the other is to ask, “What is the risk of dying if you contract the virus?” For months, public health officials were unable to fully answer either of those questions.

Now, with death certificates and antibody-survey data coming in, we’re slowly getting a better picture of Covid-19 mortality. As we explain in the above video, that picture is of a disease that’s killing more people than we knew, but a lower percentage …

Rubber bullets can seriously mess you up

Around the country, police and law enforcement agents are responding to the protests against police brutality with … brutality.

Standard crowd-control weapons — including rubber bullets, chemical irritants, flash-bangs, and contraptions that combine aspects of all three — are being deployed against protesters and the journalists covering them to disperse crowds, sometimes seemingly unprovoked, and against peaceful protesters.

While these riot-control weapons are said to be “nonlethal” or “less lethal” by police and their manufacturers, they can still cause significant harm. In some cases, they can kill or cause lasting disability.

“These weapons are supposed to be used …

The protests over Breonna Taylor’s shooting death, explained

Hundreds of people gathered in Jefferson Square Park in Louisville, Kentucky, on Tuesday, many wearing masks, some bearing signs with messages like “No More Excuses, No More Fear.”

They were there, like thousands around the country, to protest police violence in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May. But in Louisville, protesters are also mourning deaths closer to home. In March, Breonna Taylor, an EMT, was fatally shot in her apartment by police who were looking for someone else. And late on Sunday night, David McAtee, the owner of a local barbecue …

Jack Dorsey is giving millions to Colin Kaepernick’s criminal justice group

The police killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man in Minneapolis, has shaken the country — including Silicon Valley. Tech billionaires are putting millions into criminal justice efforts as protests of police brutality and racial injustice have spread across the US.

The largest announced gift yet came on Wednesday from Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, who said he was donating $3 million to a group founded by NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who became the face of protests against police brutality in 2016 by kneeling during the national anthem.

The millions in donations are a new push for Silicon …