Washington Post: At the heart of dismal U.S. coronavirus response, a fraught relationship with masks

Washington Post: At the heart of dismal U.S. coronavirus response, a fraught relationship with masks. “The mask is the simplest and among the most effective weapons against the coronavirus in the public health arsenal. Yet from the start, America’s relationship with face coverings has been deeply fraught. Faulty guidance from health authorities, a cultural aversion to masks and a deeply polarized politics have all contributed. So has a president who resisted role modeling the benefits of face coverings, and who belittled those who did. The result, experts say, is a country that squandered one of its best opportunities to beat back the coronavirus pandemic this spring and summer. In the process, the United States fell far behind other nations that skipped the fuss over masks, costing lives and jeopardizing the recovery heading into the fall.”

Courthouse News: African Ancestry Data Offers Deeper Examination of History of Slavery

Courthouse News: African Ancestry Data Offers Deeper Examination of History of Slavery. “The transatlantic slave trade officially ending in the 19th century, but the effects of that brutal system continue to reverberate in the genes of enslaved people’s ancestors, according to a new study. Pairing genetic data with historical records, researchers at 23andMe can now paint a clearer picture of African ancestry in the New World, detailing the origins of enslaved Africans and the methods used to exploit them after they survived the grueling Middle Passage.”

Coronavirus: US economy sees sharpest contraction in decades (BBC)

BBC: Coronavirus: US economy sees sharpest contraction in decades. “The US economy shrank by a 32.9% annual rate in the April-to-June quarter as the country grappled with cut backs in spending during the pandemic. It was the deepest decline since the government began keeping records in 1947 and three times more severe than the prior record of 10% set in 1958.”

State Archives of North Carolina: The Reemergence of Colonial Court Records

State Archives of North Carolina: The Reemergence of Colonial Court Records. “‘Accessing North Carolina’s Early Court Records’ is a special project funded by the National Historic Publications and Records Commission. Begun in 2019, this effort will reintroduce some of North Carolina’s oldest and forgotten historical records to the public. Colonial Court Records, SR.401, and District Superior Court Records, SR.398, span the years ca. 1665–1823. We’re happy to announce that in mid-2020, the project archivist for the project, Marie Stark, completed work on the Colonial Court Records, providing more detailed description to increase their visibility and, in the process, stabilizing their storage to facilitate preservation for years to come.”

New York Jewish Week: Digital Archive Takes Talmudic Approach to America’s Founding Texts

New York Jewish Week: Digital Archive Takes Talmudic Approach to America’s Founding Texts. “Could democracy take a page from the Talmud? The creators of Sefaria think so. Since 2012 the website has offered free access to classic Jewish texts and linked commentary, establishing itself as an invaluable resource for millions of teachers, students and scholars. Now it’s applying the same approach to foundational texts of American democracy.”

CNN: US surpasses 4 million reported coronavirus cases as hospitalizations near record

CNN: US surpasses 4 million reported coronavirus cases as hospitalizations near record. “The US on Thursday surpassed 4 million officially recorded Covid-19 cases — and a quarter of that count came in just the last 15 days. The country’s rising daily rate of confirmed coronavirus cases, along with a near-record number of hospitalizations, signals the US is far from containing a virus that is straining hospitals and labs, health experts say.”

Canada .com: Anxiety high as Canadian schools prepare for students from COVID-ravaged U.S.

Canada .com: Anxiety high as Canadian schools prepare for students from COVID-ravaged U.S.. “Post-secondary students from the pandemic-riven United States are getting ready to go back to school in Canada — a rite of passage that’s causing more anxiety than usual for parents and front-line university workers alike in the age of COVID-19.”

The crisis that shocked the world: America’s response to the coronavirus (Washington Post)

Washington Post: The crisis that shocked the world: America’s response to the coronavirus. “Isabelle Papadimitriou, 64, a respiratory therapist in Dallas, had been treating a surge of patients as the Texas economy reopened. She developed covid-19 symptoms June 27 and tested positive two days later. The disease was swift and brutal. She died the morning of the Fourth of July. The holiday had always been her daughter’s favorite. Fiana Tulip loved the family cookouts, the fireworks, the feeling of America united. Now, she wonders whether she’ll ever be able to celebrate it again. In mourning, she’s furious.”

Coronavirus: Why are Americans so angry about masks? (BBC)

BBC: Coronavirus: Why are Americans so angry about masks?. “In the midst of the pandemic, a small piece of cloth has incited a nationwide feud about public health, civil liberties and personal freedom. Some Americans refuse to wear a facial covering out of principle. Others in this country are enraged by the way that people flout the mask mandates.”

No Canada: Blue Jays barred from playing games in Toronto (AP)

AP: No Canada: Blue Jays barred from playing games in Toronto. “The Blue Jays won’t play their home games in Toronto this year because Canada’s government doesn’t think it’s safe for players to travel back and forth from the United States, one of the countries hit hardest by the coronavirus pandemic.”

The Guardian: Okinawa demands answers from US after 61 marines contract coronavirus

The Guardian: Okinawa demands answers from US after 61 marines contract coronavirus. “The governor of Okinawa island in Japan has demanded that a United States military commander take tougher prevention measures and have more transparency after officials were told more than 60 marines at two bases have been infected with the coronavirus over the past few days.”

CNN: US-Canada border closure to be extended another month, officials say

CNN: US-Canada border closure to be extended another month, officials say. “The US border with Canada border is expected to remain closed until at least August 21, two Canadian government sources with knowledge of the situation tell CNN, extending the ban on non-essential travel between the two countries for another month.”

Neowin: EU wants the U.S. to come back to the table on digital taxes

Neowin: EU wants the U.S. to come back to the table on digital taxes. “The European Union has asked the United States to come back to the negotiation table to discuss the issue of digital taxation. The EU said that it wanted the talks to take place at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) but that if those talks fell through, would be willing to make a new proposal at the EU level.”