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Canceled Fireworks

Fireworks canceled this year? Watch the lunar eclipse ‘Buck Moon’ instead – KSL.com

ATLANTA (CNN) — If your family’s Fourth of July fireworks plans are up in smoke because of the pandemic, watch the sky for a lunar eclipse instead.

On July 4, just after 11 p.m. ET, the moon will begin its temporary new look. For exactly two hours and 45 minutes, the moon will pass through the feathered outer shadow cast from Earth, creating a partial penumbral lunar eclipse.

A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the faint penumbra shadow cast by Earth. The moon misses the Earth’s umbral shadow, which is best known for creating total and partial lunar eclipses.

This event might not be as illustrious as a partial or total lunar eclipse where parts of the moon seem to disappear.

Still, a noticeable darkening of the moon’s surface will be visible without a telescope. The eclipse will begin at 11:07 p.m. ET and last through 1:52 a.m. ET, with peak darkening occurring just after midnight.

During this time, it will also peak as the full moon — nicknamed the Buck Moon — just after midnight on Sunday morning. It will appear opposite the Sun (in Earth-based longitude) at 12:44 a.m. ET, according to NASA.

“The Maine Farmer’s Almanac first published ‘Indian’ names for the full Moons in the 1930’s,” according to NASA. “According to this almanac, as the full Moon in July and the first full Moon of summer, the Algonquin tribes of what is now the northeastern United States called this full Moon the Buck Moon.”

The July full moon also has been called Thunder Moon, Hay Moon, Mead Moon, Rose Moon, Guru Moon and Dharma Day.

This event is just the beginning of an astronomical month.

If the clouds get in the way of your lunar eclipse viewing, mark your calendar for these other July astronomical events.

Here are the best places based on the forecasted cloud cover to watch the penumbral lunar eclipse. (CNN Weather)

A great meeting of planets, known by astronomers as a conjunction, will occur every night this summer. In mid-July, Jupiter and Saturn will make their closest approach to Earth in 20 years.

Expect a brighter than usual illumination of the planets as they take center stage across the horizon. Jupiter takes the cake, though, as it’s expected to outshine Saturn by 15 times.

The largest planets of our solar system will follow each other westward across the night sky.

They will be bundled brightly together overhead, creating their most dazzling display of the year.

The capstone of the July astronomy calendar will be marked by two meteor showers peaking on the same night.

At their peak, the Alpha Capricornids and the southern Delta Aquariids will provide roughly 20 to 25 visible meteors per hour.

North American stargazers should look to the low, southern horizon for the best Delta Aquariid meteor viewing. (CNN Weather)

The event will happen on the evening of July 28, lasting into July 29.

The waning crescent moon and ideal summer temperatures will make for perfect viewing conditions for the dual July meteor showers.

Now we just need the clouds to participate, too, in hopes of clear skies to watch streaking meteors.

The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2018 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.

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Canceled Fireworks

Fireworks canceled this year? Watch the lunar eclipse ‘Buck Moon’ instead – CNN

(CNN)If your family’s Fourth of July fireworks plans are up in smoke because of the pandemic, watch the sky for a lunar eclipse instead.

On July 4, just after 11 p.m. ET, the moon will begin its temporary new look. For exactly two hours and 45 minutes, the moon will pass through the feathered outer shadow cast from Earth, creating a partial penumbral lunar eclipse.
A penumbral lunar eclipse occurs when the moon passes through the faint penumbra shadow cast by Earth. The moon misses the Earth’s umbral shadow, which is best known for creating total and partial lunar eclipses.
This event might not be as illustrious as a partial or total lunar eclipse where parts of the moon seem to disappear.
Still, a noticeable darkening of the moon’s surface will be visible without a telescope. The eclipse will begin at 11:07 p.m. ET and last through 1:52 a.m. ET, with peak darkening occurring just after midnight.

It’s also the Buck Moon

During this time, it will also peak as the full moon — nicknamed the Buck Moon — just after midnight on Sunday morning. It will appear opposite the Sun (in Earth-based longitude) at 12:44 a.m. ET, according to NASA.
“The Maine Farmer’s Almanac first published ‘Indian’ names for the full Moons in the 1930’s,” according to NASA. “According to this almanac, as the full Moon in July and the first full Moon of summer, the Algonquin tribes of what is now the northeastern United States called this full Moon the Buck Moon.”
The July full moon also has been called Thunder Moon, Hay Moon, Mead Moon, Rose Moon, Guru Moon and Dharma Day.
This event is just the beginning of an astronomical month.
If the clouds get in the way of your lunar eclipse viewing, mark your calendar for these other July astronomical events.

Saturn and Jupiter make their closest approach to Earth

A great meeting of planets, known by astronomers as a conjunction, will occur every night this summer. In mid-July, Jupiter and Saturn will make their closest approach to Earth in 20 years.
Expect a brighter than usual illumination of the planets as they take center stage across the horizon. Jupiter takes the cake, though, as it’s expected to outshine Saturn by 15 times.
The largest planets of our solar system will follow each other westward across the night sky.
They will be bundled brightly together overhead, creating their most dazzling display of the year.

July will end with dueling meteor showers

The capstone of the July astronomy calendar will be marked by two meteor showers peaking on the same night.
At their peak, the Alpha Capricornids and the southern Delta Aquariids will provide roughly 20 to 25 visible meteors per hour.
The event will happen on the evening of July 28, lasting into July 29.
The waning crescent moon and ideal summer temperatures will make for perfect viewing conditions for the dual July meteor showers.
Now we just need the clouds to participate, too, in hopes of clear skies to watch streaking meteors.

Read More

Categories
Canceled Pilgrimage

The Hajj Pilgrimage Is Canceled, and Grief Rocks the Muslim World – The New York Times

The coronavirus pandemic upended the plans of millions of Muslims, for whom the once-in-a-lifetime trip is a sacred milestone.

Credit…Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Ben HubbardDeclan Walsh

BEIRUT, Lebanon — For much of his life, Abdul-Halim al-Akoum stashed away cash in hopes of one day traveling from his Lebanese mountain village to perform the hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims who can are obliged to make once in their lives.

He was all set to go this year until the coronavirus pandemic forced Saudi Arabia to effectively cancel the hajj for what some scholars say may be the first time in history.

“It is the dream of every Muslim believer to visit Mecca and do the hajj,” said Mr. al-Akoum, 61, a village official. “But the pandemic came with no warning and took away that dream.”

The Saudi announcement sent shock waves of sadness and disappointment across the Muslim world, upending the plans of millions of believers to make a trip that many look forward to their whole lives and which, for many, marks a profound spiritual awakening.

A 72-year-old retired port worker in Pakistan will stay home, despite his six children having pooled their money to finance his trip. A mother in Kenya will forgo visiting sites she has long dreamed of seeing. An Egyptian school administrator named Zeinab Ibrahim burst into tears.

“It was my only wish,” Ms. Ibrahim said. “To cancel it completely is such a shame. May God relieve us of this burden.”

Performing the pilgrimage at least once for those who are physically and financially able is one of the five pillars of Islam. Making the trip is such a sacred milestone for the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims that in parts of the Arab world families of returned pilgrims paint murals on their homes to alert their neighbors to the pilgrim in their midst.

Image

Credit…Dar Yasin/Associated Press

Many people save up their entire lives to make the hajj and, before modern transportation, spent months getting there.

The pilgrimage conveys such religious status that many Muslims add the honorific “al-Hajj” or “Hajji” to their names on their business cards.

“The hajj is a transformative, emotional and spiritually moving experience — the spiritual pinnacle of a devout Muslim’s life,” said Yasir Qadhi, dean of the Islamic Seminary of America, who was supposed to lead a group of 250 pilgrims to Mecca this year.

Since the Saudi announcement, he added, “There’s a sense of deflation and spiritual loss, and a great sadness.”

The hajj is also big business. The hajj, a five- or six-day pilgrimage that starts this year at the end of July, and the umrah, a lesser pilgrimage that can be performed at any time of the year, earn Saudi Arabia billions of dollars each year, and Muslim communities from Texas to Tajikistan have travel agencies specializing in getting pilgrims to and from the holy sites and providing accommodation along the way.

“It is a catastrophe on all levels — economic, social and religious,” said Tariq Kalach, who runs a Beirut travel agency that was planning to take 400 pilgrims to Mecca this year.

Pilgrimage packages cost from $3,000 to $10,000, he said. He also provides services to a number of Islamic associations that pay for groups of poor Muslims to make the trip each year.

Image

Credit…Fethi Belaid/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

He said the cancellation was devastating, but that it was the right thing to do.

“It is a very dangerous virus and it will spread like a brush fire,” he said. “May the almighty make things easy for the Muslims.”

The Saudi government, for which the hajj is a major source of prestige and tourism, announced Monday that no pilgrims from outside the kingdom could perform the hajj this year in order to prevent contagion.

On Tuesday, Saudi officials narrowed the order, saying that only about 1,000 pilgrims would be permitted this year — a tiny fraction of the 2.5 million who came last year.

The pilgrimage has been interrupted or curtailed many times because of wars and disease, but has faced no significant limits on attendance since the mid-1800s, when outbreaks of cholera and plague kept pilgrims away for a number of years.

Saudi Arabia, whose king bears the title “the custodian of the two holy mosques,” a reference to holy sites in Mecca and Medina, has never canceled the hajj since the modern kingdom was founded in 1932.

“This is the first time in the global phenomenon of the hajj that it has been canceled in such a manner,” said Dr. Qadhi, the scholar. “The dynamics have changed. Five hundred years ago you couldn’t ban it. There were no passports, no visas.”

The Mongol invasion of the Levant in the 13th century, for example, prevented pilgrims from reaching Mecca, he said, “but even then, the locals did it.”

Few criticized the decision to limit the event since Saudi Arabia is suffering from one of the largest coronavirus outbreaks in the Middle East, with 161,000 declared infections and more than 1,300 deaths. Epidemiologists have warned that mass gatherings — from concerts to sporting matches — can become so-called super-spreader events.

Khalid Almaeena, a Saudi political and media analyst who has attended the hajj many times, said that much of the pilgrimage’s importance comes from the way it mixes Muslims from different countries, races and social classes who might not otherwise cross paths.

“This is the religious, social, cultural aspect of the hajj,” he said. “It is not just the ritual, but the meeting places, the many great friendships and bonds that are established and built there year after year.”

Image

Credit…Reuters

In Egypt, the economic hardship of recent years has turned the hajj into an elusive dream for many, which only sharpened the blow of the cancellation.

Ms. Ibrahim, the school administrator, applied four years in a row to a government lottery that offers free trips to the hajj, failing every time. But this year, she scraped together the cost from her own funds. “I wanted to go while my health is still good,” said Ms. Ibrahim, 58, who earns about $175 a month. “I didn’t care about the cost.”

  • Updated June 22, 2020

    • Is it harder to exercise while wearing a mask?

      A commentary published this month on the website of the British Journal of Sports Medicine points out that covering your face during exercise “comes with issues of potential breathing restriction and discomfort” and requires “balancing benefits versus possible adverse events.” Masks do alter exercise, says Cedric X. Bryant, the president and chief science officer of the American Council on Exercise, a nonprofit organization that funds exercise research and certifies fitness professionals. “In my personal experience,” he says, “heart rates are higher at the same relative intensity when you wear a mask.” Some people also could experience lightheadedness during familiar workouts while masked, says Len Kravitz, a professor of exercise science at the University of New Mexico.

    • I’ve heard about a treatment called dexamethasone. Does it work?

      The steroid, dexamethasone, is the first treatment shown to reduce mortality in severely ill patients, according to scientists in Britain. The drug appears to reduce inflammation caused by the immune system, protecting the tissues. In the study, dexamethasone reduced deaths of patients on ventilators by one-third, and deaths of patients on oxygen by one-fifth.

    • What is pandemic paid leave?

      The coronavirus emergency relief package gives many American workers paid leave if they need to take time off because of the virus. It gives qualified workers two weeks of paid sick leave if they are ill, quarantined or seeking diagnosis or preventive care for coronavirus, or if they are caring for sick family members. It gives 12 weeks of paid leave to people caring for children whose schools are closed or whose child care provider is unavailable because of the coronavirus. It is the first time the United States has had widespread federally mandated paid leave, and includes people who don’t typically get such benefits, like part-time and gig economy workers. But the measure excludes at least half of private-sector workers, including those at the country’s largest employers, and gives small employers significant leeway to deny leave.

    • Does asymptomatic transmission of Covid-19 happen?

      So far, the evidence seems to show it does. A widely cited paper published in April suggests that people are most infectious about two days before the onset of coronavirus symptoms and estimated that 44 percent of new infections were a result of transmission from people who were not yet showing symptoms. Recently, a top expert at the World Health Organization stated that transmission of the coronavirus by people who did not have symptoms was “very rare,” but she later walked back that statement.

    • What’s the risk of catching coronavirus from a surface?

      Touching contaminated objects and then infecting ourselves with the germs is not typically how the virus spreads. But it can happen. A number of studies of flu, rhinovirus, coronavirus and other microbes have shown that respiratory illnesses, including the new coronavirus, can spread by touching contaminated surfaces, particularly in places like day care centers, offices and hospitals. But a long chain of events has to happen for the disease to spread that way. The best way to protect yourself from coronavirus — whether it’s surface transmission or close human contact — is still social distancing, washing your hands, not touching your face and wearing masks.

    • How does blood type influence coronavirus?

      A study by European scientists is the first to document a strong statistical link between genetic variations and Covid-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Having Type A blood was linked to a 50 percent increase in the likelihood that a patient would need to get oxygen or to go on a ventilator, according to the new study.

    • How many people have lost their jobs due to coronavirus in the U.S.?

      The unemployment rate fell to 13.3 percent in May, the Labor Department said on June 5, an unexpected improvement in the nation’s job market as hiring rebounded faster than economists expected. Economists had forecast the unemployment rate to increase to as much as 20 percent, after it hit 14.7 percent in April, which was the highest since the government began keeping official statistics after World War II. But the unemployment rate dipped instead, with employers adding 2.5 million jobs, after more than 20 million jobs were lost in April.

    • My state is reopening. Is it safe to go out?

      States are reopening bit by bit. This means that more public spaces are available for use and more and more businesses are being allowed to open again. The federal government is largely leaving the decision up to states, and some state leaders are leaving the decision up to local authorities. Even if you aren’t being told to stay at home, it’s still a good idea to limit trips outside and your interaction with other people.

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      Common symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue and difficulty breathing or shortness of breath. Some of these symptoms overlap with those of the flu, making detection difficult, but runny noses and stuffy sinuses are less common. The C.D.C. has also added chills, muscle pain, sore throat, headache and a new loss of the sense of taste or smell as symptoms to look out for. Most people fall ill five to seven days after exposure, but symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days.

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      If air travel is unavoidable, there are some steps you can take to protect yourself. Most important: Wash your hands often, and stop touching your face. If possible, choose a window seat. A study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window, as people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. Disinfect hard surfaces. When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down, too. (Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them.)

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      If you’ve been exposed to the coronavirus or think you have, and have a fever or symptoms like a cough or difficulty breathing, call a doctor. They should give you advice on whether you should be tested, how to get tested, and how to seek medical treatment without potentially infecting or exposing others.


In many countries, even those who can muster the expense often wait years to be included in their country’s quota of pilgrims, which are set by Saudi Arabia with the aim of equalizing the opportunity across the Muslim world.

Imam Mokhi Turk, 45, said that 15 people from his embattled farming village in Kunduz Province, Afghanistan, had been waiting for their turn to do the hajj and that some of his neighbors had sold land to pay for it.

Mr. Turk and four of his relatives registered for the pilgrimage four years ago, but only he made the list this year.

“This makes me very sad, because every Muslim hopes to go to hajj once in his whole life, and when it was my turn, it was canceled,” Mr. Turk said. “I’m very upset because I’m not sure if I’ll be alive in the next few days, let alone next year.”

Image

Credit…Amr Nabil/Associated Press

Since the first hajj in 632, Muslims have traveled to Mecca in the face of hardship, adversity and disasters, gradually transforming the pilgrimage from an elite pursuit limited to small numbers of people into one of the world’s largest Muslim gatherings.

For centuries, it was a feat just to make it to Mecca in one piece.

Under the Ottoman Empire, camel-riding pilgrims crossed the vast deserts of Arabia in giant caravans that set out from Cairo or Damascus in a journey often taking six weeks and vulnerable to attacks by Bedouin bandits.

Others came by sea, braving storms, disease outbreaks in crowded ships, and other threats. In 1502, the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, battling for control of trade routes, captured a ship filled with pilgrims as it returned from Mecca, set it on fire and killed several hundred people. In the 19th century, periodic cholera epidemics killed thousands of pilgrims.

The Suez Canal shortened the sea voyage for many after it opened in 1869, and the advent of motor vehicles eased the land voyage starting in the 1920s. Even then, numbers remained low: The hajj of 1929 registered 66,000 pilgrims.

The numbers started soaring in the 1970s, as mass air travel became more affordable, and Saudi rulers recognized that the pilgrimage brought not just religious prestige but also income. The hajj currently earns the kingdom billions of dollars a year.

Image

Credit…Terry Fincher/Daily Express, via Getty Images

Since the 1990s, the pilgrimage has been marred by stampedes, giant tent fires and worries about outbreaks of diseases such as SARS or, more recently, MERS. The deadliest stampede occurred in 2015 when more than 2,200 people died.

Despite the periodic tragedies, the Saudi authorities never canceled it.

The cancellation weighs particularly heavily on older Muslims who have been waiting for years to go in hopes that they can fulfill their religious obligation before death.

“I have been dreaming about it for 20 years and I hoped to do it before I got this old,” said Firiyan al-Masri, 68, a woman from Beirut.

Finally this year, she got her name on the list of a Lebanese Islamic association that finances trips for those in need, only to see her chances dashed by the pandemic.

“If God wills it, I will do the pilgrimage next year,” she said. “If I am still alive.”

Ben Hubbard reported from Beirut, and Declan Walsh from Cairo. Reporting was contributed by Abdi Latif Dahir from Nairobi, Kenya; Nada Rashwan from Cairo; Nahim Rahim and Fahim Abed from Kabul, Afghanistan; Zia ur Rehman from Karachi, Pakistan; and Ismail Khan in Peshawar, Pakistan.

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Canceled Paramount

‘Cops’ Canceled By Paramount Network; ‘Live PD’ Return Evaluated By A&E – Deadline

Cops‘ six-year run on Paramount Network and its predecessor has come to an end. Pulled last week in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, the series will not be coming back.

“Cops is not on the Paramount Network and we don’t have any current or future plans for it to return,” a Paramount Network spokesperson said in a statement to Deadline.

The long-running Cops premiered on Fox in 1989 and aired for 25 seasons. The show was resurrected in 2013 when Spike TV ordered new episodes. Spike TV rebranded as Paramount Network in 2018, with the docuseries carried over to the new network.

Cops, whose 33rd season was slated to premiere yesterday, has been off the air since June 1 when it was pulled with no plans to run any additional episodes. Paramount Network has been moving away from all unscripted programming.

A&E on June 5 pulled last weekend’s episodes of its hit docuseries Live PD amid continued nationwide protests over Floyd’s death. The network still is evaluating the right time to bring it back, though a return this weekend appears unlikely at the moment.

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