Brazil could surpass the US as the country worst hit by coronavirus this summer

Brazil reported a new 24-hour record for new coronavirus cases on Friday, pushing the country’s total to over 1 million confirmed cases — an indicator that the South American nation could surpass the US as the worst-hit country in the world this summer.

Experts say that President Jair Bolsonaro’s anti-scientific attitude toward the virus and resistance to robust social distancing measures have contributed significantly to the accelerating spread of Covid-19 and its mounting death toll.

The 54,771 new cases reported on Friday bring the country’s confirmed total to 1,032,913. Total official fatalities due to the coronavirus hit 48,954, and given …

Trump fires the US attorney investigating his allies

President Donald Trump has fired Geoffrey Berman, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York in Manhattan who has led investigations of the president’s inner circle. Berman had refused to step down from his post Friday after US Attorney General Bill Barr attempted to oust him.

Barr, who has long been accused of protecting Trump’s close allies, announced Berman’s resignation in a press release late Friday in an apparent effort to draw little attention to the matter. He named Jay Clayton, the current chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, who has no experience as a prosecutor, as …

Trump falsely suggests wearing a mask at his Tulsa rally could be harmful 

President Donald Trump told Axios on Friday that he anticipated a “wild evening” at his Saturday campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, while recommending “people do what they want” when it comes to wearing a mask at the event — and even suggested it could be harmful to wear one.

Trump’s comments come as the city has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases in the past few weeks. They also stand at odds with recommendations from public health officials in his own administration who recommend mask-wearing whenever social distancing isn’t possible, and with warnings from experts that indoor concerts and shows …

“A Juneteenth like no other”: Juneteenth celebrations take on a special meaning this year

Tens of thousands of Americans participated in protests, rallies, street parties, strikes, and Confederate statue-toppling across the nation in celebration of Juneteenth, the holiday commemorating the effective end of slavery in the US, fueled by momentum from the racial justice protest movement that’s emerged after the police killing of George Floyd in May.

The lively demonstrations come as many politicians and prominent business have taken steps to make the holiday a day off from work and school, and reflects an ongoing cultural realignment among progressives intended to acknowledge and support the struggle for racial equality.

Typically Juneteenth — a …

A national US power grid would make electricity cheaper and cleaner

Electricity is the fuel of the future. And as more and more of American life is electrified — transportation and buildings are already on their way — the electricity grid will face greater demands and will need to evolve to meet them.

One branch of that evolution is smaller. “Microgrids” are small grids that connect a college campus, a business, or even a single house, allowing it to act as a semi-independent island within the larger grid. Microgrids are helping to support the growth of distributed energy, with power generation, storage, and management taking place on …

“The oppression doesn’t end, it adapts”: America’s history of lynching and its resonance today

When Robert Fuller was found dead, hanging from a tree in a square across from Palmdale’s City Hall, authorities said it was a suicide.

“It is not the first such incident since the COVID-19 pandemic began,” the California city said in a statement, according to CNN, adding that “the city remains committed to addressing mental health issues during these difficult times.”

But family members of the 24-year-old, and others in the community, were deeply skeptical. As one woman put it at a recent press conference, “No black man would hang himself in public like that.”

Her comment is …