Testing poop to predict Miami's COVID-19 trends? It's been a messy process so far
MIAMI — In March, when it became clear that the U.S. was facing an unprecedented pandemic, Miami-Dade County began sampling its sewage as a potential tool for measuring the extent of COVID-19 infections. The hope was that testing the county’s poop for the coronavirus could serve as an early warning indicator of a dreaded second wave expected in the fall.Now, with cases rising all over the country and Florida experiencing a steady increase to levels not seen since August, what is the sewage saying?The short answer: Not much, at least not yet. The process got off to a slow, messy start but they’...
Nation and world news briefs
War hero Scott O’Grady gets Trump’s nod for defense post, squares off with criticsWASHINGTON — President Donald Trump has nominated Texan Scott O’Grady, who once campaigned for state Senate, for assistant secretary of defense for international security affairs.Following his nomination, the Dallas resident known for his career as a fighter pilot and war hero quickly came under fire on social media.O’Grady made headlines in 1995, when his F-16 fighter was shot down over Bosnia. He survived in enemy territory for about a week before he was rescued by the U.S. Marines. O’Grady’s story inspired his...
Tribune News Service
Martin Schram: A victorious president views us from afar
My plan to sabotage, shatter and forever shame the famous democracy that Americans always brag about is going great! Unbelievably great! And the whole world is watching!Celebrating only privately inside his Kremlin inner sanctum, Vladimir Putin has surely allowed himself to think ecstatic thoughts about what all the world is watching on its news screens. You won’t see Putin fist-bumping and high-fiving. But make no mistake — Russia’s president is secretly celebrating, and he has every reason to be elated. Thanks to the incredible cult-like appeal of his top man in America, Putin has already ac...
Tribune News Service
Commentary: The terrorist threat still lurks: A grim reminder for Joe Biden
A twisty, narrow way in the cramped heart of Vienna’s oldest quarter, a busy street in an upscale neighborhood of Tehran and remote woods in Nigeria seem unlikely to share a theme or have relevance for the incoming Biden administration.As Viennese were enjoying their last night out in the little bars of the Innere Stadt on Nov. 2, before another COVID lockdown started, the music and good times were suddenly punctuated by the sharp staccato of gunfire. A young radical Islamist ran through the cobblestoned alleys near the old synagogue, shooting 27 people, four fatally, before being shot dead by...
New York Daily News
Editorial: Biden should reboot transatlantic ties
China and 14 other Asian-Pacific nations have signed a massive free trade agreement — the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership. The pact covers about 2.2 billion people in the 10 countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, as well as U.S. allies Australia, New Zealand, Japan and South Korea.The deal, announced Sunday, mostly lowers tariffs, with less focus on environmental, labor, intellectual property and other standards. Those virtues were features of another free trade pact meant as a counterbalance to China’s rise — the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.That 2016 deal...
Star Tribune (Minneapolis)
Trump legal team pushes conspiracy theories of hacked voting machines — claims it called ludicrous four years ago in court
PHILADELPHIA — In a fever dream of a news conference Thursday, Donald Trump’s legal team pledged to finally lay out its evidence of a “massive, well-funded conspiracy” among Democratic officials in several U.S. cities and shadowy foreign actors to hijack the 2020 election in Pennsylvania and other battleground states.But once it had, it amounted to little more than a ream of innuendo-laden affidavits — most of which they refused to release for fear, they said, of exposing their authors to the “tender mercies of a vicious press” — and wildly speculative, thoroughly debunked conspiracy theories ...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Venezuelan insurgent describes how betrayal in ranks produced failure, summary executions
More than four dozen men who set out in motorboats on the first day of May from Colombia as part of a botched coup known as Operation Gideon, a doomed attempt at ousting Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro, were betrayed by five companions who sold the exact landing coordinates shortly before departure, says a high-ranking insurgent.In an exclusive interview, the man involved in Gideon broke his silence to detail events that led to the capture of 47 Venezuelans and two Americans, and the execution of six Gideon participants.The Maduro regime knew precisely where the first boat would arrive and...
Seattle basketball lifer Rick Turner has a new challenge: Take the Jamaican men to the Olympics
SEATTLE — I swear I was going to write this column without mentioning “Cool Runnings” or the Jamaican bobsled team. It seemed too obvious.But then Rick Turner, a Seattle basketball lifer who has taken on the ambitious task of leading Jamaica’s men’s national basketball team to the 2024 Olympics — and sustaining success with a pipeline of youth programs — brought it up, unsolicited.“The Jamaica brand, there’s a coolness to it. It resonates with people,” Turner said. “Even a guy like me can’t ruin the coolness of it. I think it’s natural for people to want to root for Jamaica.”After delving into...
The Seattle Times
A revelatory new recording of Gershwin's landmark Concerto in F
In 1949, pianist Oscar Levant released an LP of the most famous extended work for piano and orchestra ever penned by an American composer: George Gershwin’s Concerto in F (1925).The piece looms large in our popular culture thanks partly to Levant’s hyper-virtuoso performance of excerpts in the beloved Gene Kelly film musical “An American in Paris” (1951).Ever since Levant’s renditions on screen and record, his approach has stood as definitive – the interpretation against which all others are measured.Now there’s another that can stand alongside it.Pianist Kevin Cole, currently the country’s le...
Pistons trade Luke Kennard, add new talent with trio of first-round picks
DETROIT — Pistons general manager Troy Weaver began to put his stamp on remaking the roster on Wednesday with his first NBA draft since coming over from the Oklahoma City Thunder.Weaver already had the No. 7 pick in the draft, but he didn’t waste time in jump-starting the rebuild. He negotiated a pair of trades to bolster the cache of assets, adding the No. 16 and No. 19 pick as well.With the seventh pick, the Pistons selected Killian Hayes, a 6-foot-5 point guard who played at Ulm in Germany. Hayes, 19, has been projected in the top 10 during most of the lead-up to the draft and Weaver pounce...
The Detroit News