In the heat of political crisis, Belarus launches first nuclear power plant
Astravets nuclear power plant, Belarus, 2020. Photo (c): Hanna Valynets, used with permission.Since August, Belarus has been rocked by mass protests and strikes. The authorities try not to pay attention, for they are preoccupied with a no less historic development — the construction of a new nuclear power plant. That is controversial in a country which suffered greatly from the 1986 Chernobyl catastrophe in neighbouring Ukraine. Concern at the state of democracy dominates Belarusian public life, but alongside it another urgent conversation continues — about the country’s past experience with n...
Meet the man selling marijuana across from Trenton's City Hall. Even the mayor is a fan of 'NJWeedman.'
TRENTON, N.J. — Ed Forchion sells marijuana in New Jersey’s state capital — directly across from City Hall.He doesn’t have a license. What he’s doing is blatantly illegal. He doesn’t care who knows.New Jersey voters are voting in next week’s general election on whether to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use. A statewide legal market could be up and running by late 2021.But Forchion is certain there won’t be a place for him under a state-administered cannabis industry.“Not only am I a convicted felon,” he said, “I don’t have $2 million to pony up for a permit.”Forchion, also known as ...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
'City So Real' review: A sobering Chicago symphony in five movements, on Hulu and National Geo
CHICAGO — Chicago, you should watch it.Everybody everywhere else, you should watch it, too. Seek out “City So Real” either to confirm your suspicions about how this city functions, or to affirm your idea of Chicago as the brash epitome of American character, from politics on down. Or up.There’s another way to watch it, too: as a gradual realization that Chicago is neither Trump’s idea of Chicago (hell) or the typical thin-skinned civic booster’s idea of Chicago (heaven). The grand, sprawling five-episode docuseries complicates and humanizes your idea of the place.Available Friday on Hulu, “Cit...
Meet the star of viral video of voters dancing for joy: 'They can't break us down'
PHILADELPHIA — As a kid growing up in Southwest Philly, Klinton Cooper remembers his grandmother was always dancing, no matter what she was doing.“When she was cooking, going food shopping, whatever,” he said. “Not enough to make a fool of herself, but enough to let the rhythm get into her.”It was from his grandmother, who died in 2015, that Cooper, 31, learned to love dancing. And though she was not around to see video of him dancing in line with other Philly voters go viral on social media this weekend, he knows he and his grandmother danced for the same reason.“As Black people, we dance out...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Despite COVID Concerns, Teams Venture Into Nursing Homes to Get Out the Vote
RALEIGH, N.C. — Each time Beverly Tucker visited a nursing home or long-term care facility this fall, she brought along a rolling tote bag packed with supplies from the Durham County Board of Elections.Boxes of face masks and face shields. Latex gloves and cleaning wipes. Hand sanitizer from Mystic Farm & Distillery, a local facility that was among the first to switch from producing liquor to hand sanitizer in the early days of the pandemic. And most important — even if they were dwarfed by the cleaning supplies — the absentee ballots and ballot request forms that Tucker would help residents c...
Kaiser Health News
App-Based Companies Pushing Prop. 22 Say Drivers Will Get Health Benefits. Will They?
App-based driving services such as Uber, Lyft, DoorDash and Instacart are bankrolling California’s Proposition 22, which would keep their drivers classified as independent contractors, not employees.Leading into the Nov. 3 election, the ballot measure — which has become the most expensive in state history — is mired in controversy and the subject of a lawsuit from Uber drivers alleging that the company inappropriately pressured them to vote for the initiative.But what’s occasionally lost in the debate over Proposition 22 are the claims about what it will mean for app-based drivers.Detractors, ...
Kaiser Health News
Democrats Link GOP Challengers to Trump’s COVID Record, Efforts to Undo Obamacare
In a tweet to his 78,000 followers Sunday, U.S. Rep. Harley Rouda, a Democrat from Orange County, California, described his Republican opponent Michelle Steel’s attendance at an indoor fundraiser without a mask as “sickening.”Democratic U.S. Rep. Gil Cisneros also blasted his Republican opponent, Young Kim, on Twitter for attending the “superspreader fundraiser,” calling it a “slap in the face to frontline workers” and his constituents in southern Los Angeles County and northern Orange County.After President Trump’s superspreader event in Orange County last week, @YoungKimCA decided to host he...
Shaquille O'Neal's mom was 'disappointed' that he never voted before
Shaquille O’Neal has experienced what people hope to never hear from their parents.The NBA legend, who earlier this month revealed he never voted in an election before, said his mother was “disappointed” to hear he had gone so long without voting.“I don’t have any excuses, but I didn’t have time,” the 48-year-old former Los Angeles Lakers star admitted to USA Today. “That’s a bad excuse. My mom was disappointed. (His personal security guard Uncle Jerome Crawford) was disappointed. But this year, I made time.”In early October, O’Neal cast a ballot for the 2020 presidential election, revealing t...
New York Daily News
Melania Trump to hit the 2020 campaign trail
With early voting already underway and eight days until the Nov. 3 election, first lady Melania Trump plans to make her first solo campaign stop Tuesday.The first lady, who has not been on the trail with her husband since he announced his reelection bid in June 2019, will support the president’s campaign effort with a stop in Atglen, Pennsylvania.She’d planned to join the president at an Oct. 20 rally in Erie, Pennsylvania, but canceled that appearance on account of lingering effects of a COVID-19 infection that was announced at the start of the month. The first lady did attend the presidentia...
New York Daily News
US intelligence won't brief Florida delegation on 'spoofed' emails tied to Iran
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The office of Director of National Intelligence on Monday turned down the Florida congressional delegation’s request to be briefed on the claim that foreign governments have targeted voters to sow disinformation in the upcoming election, including through hundreds of emails sent to Florida voters last week.Florida U.S. Reps. Stephanie Murphy, a Central Florida Democrat, and Michael Waltz, a Republican from Northeast Florida, had asked for an FBI briefing for the delegation by Oct. 30 to find out more about the “nature and extend of Iranian and Russian efforts to undermine t...