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Video shows taxi driver helping protester escape police in Belarus – The Guardian

Clip showing movie-like pursuit and escape in Minsk spreads across social media

An unnamed Belarusian taxi driver who helped a man escape from riot police during protests against veteran leader Alexander Lukashenko has transfixed social media users who have shared footage of the dramatic incident.

The 16-second video clip, filmed by a Euroradio.fm reporter, features a movie-like pursuit and escape that unfolded in a Minsk residential area on Wednesday evening as crowds protested against what they said was the illegitimate inauguration of Lukashenko.

The video shows a young man being chased by baton-wielding policemen in riot gear who then manages to jump into a taxi.

The taxi driver, who appeared to be waiting for the traffic lights to change, then apparently makes a split second judgment, zigzags around another car, briefly mounting the pavement before speeding away despite the angry shouts of the policemen.

Police in Belarus detained 364 people at anti-government protests on Wednesday, according to the country’s interior ministry. The protesters accuse Lukashenko, who has led his country for 26 years, of rigging the 9 August presidential election, a charge he denies.

Lukashenko, 66, was sworn in for a new term in an inauguration held without prior notice and denounced as illegitimate by the opposition, the European Union and the United States.

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shows Video

Video shows huge alligator swimming in storm surge after Hurricane Sally hit – CBS News

Sally weakens to tropical depression


Sally weakens to tropical depression

03:10

Hurricane Sally didn’t just bring massive floods and downed power lines to the Gulf Coast — it also left a few natural dangers in its wake. Tina Bennett, who lives in Gulf Shores, Alabama, shared video with CBS affiliate WKRG of a giant alligator swimming through the waters surging outside her residence after Sally made landfall on Wednesday.

“Oh my god, this is outside of our window!” Bennett can be heard saying in the video. “It is a 10 or 12-foot alligator!”  

Our yard on Plash Island in Gulf Shores We have been surrounded by water, alligators, and poisonous snakes

Posted by Tina Lambert Bennett on Wednesday, September 16, 2020

“We have been surrounded by water, alligators, and poisonous snakes,” she wrote on Facebook.  

WKRG-TV meteorologist Thomas Geboy, who shared the video, urged residents to shelter in place until flood waters receded because of the displaced wildlife and the downed power lines in Alabama.  

Meanwhile, Brittany Decker, a reporter with Birmingham’s WVTM-TV, also posted a photo of an eel swimming on the side of a highway in Orange Beach.

Eel swimming on the side of the road on Hwy 161 @WVTM13 pic.twitter.com/4IemUm1XqG

— Brittany Decker (@BrittanyWVTM13) September 16, 2020

In Florida, Jason Garcia, a photographer for WKRG-TV, captured video of a floating island of fire ants in a flooded park in Pensacola.

There are all kinds of reasons to stay out of flood waters from Hurricane Sally and other storms on the Gulf Coast, snakes, gators, downed power lines. But there’s also a hidden hazard that could leave you burning for days, literally.https://t.co/z4ztvsf5tY

— CBS 42 (@CBS_42) September 15, 2020

Fire ant attacks can be  painful, causing huge white pus-filled sting marks, even causing entire limbs to swell.  In 2017, fire ants were seen forming giant rafts to survive Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

“Sigh of relief”: Sally spares a Mississippi gator ranch

As rain and wind from Sally started reaching the Gulf Coast, the manager of a Mississippi alligator ranch was just hoping he wouldn’t have to deal with a repeat of what happened during Hurricane Katrina.

Tropical Weather
In this image made from video, an alligator is seen on Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, in Moss Point, Miss.

Stacey Plaisance / AP


That’s when about 250 alligators escaped their enclosures as storm surge pushed water over the grounds.

But this time, the storm slid east and spared the ranch.

“I’m thinking a sigh of relief somewhat,” said manager Tim Parker, who took over Gulf Coast Gator Ranch & Tours in Moss Point after Katrina.

Earlier this week, forecasters said Hurricane Sally could push up to 9 feet (2.7 meters) of ocean water surging into the swamps and wetlands where the gators roam, floating them up and over the fences around the farm. As the hurricane moved east of Mississippi, the surge forecast was reduced to no more than 4 feet (1.2 meters).

Parker’s farm has alligators up to 14 feet long, roaming and swimming through ponds, sand dunes and tall marsh grass. Visitors can take air boat rides or walking paths to see the gators in their natural habitat and learn about the animals. It’s been around about 45 years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Video shows students being dragged away and loaded onto police vans in Minsk – CNN

Minsk, Belarus (CNN)Authorities in Belarus have instigated a harsh crackdown on student protesters after thousands demonstrated against the government Tuesday, according to a local human rights group.

Videos shared on social media showed young people in Minsk being struck by masked police officers, dragged away and loaded into vans as their peers look on.
The detentions followed major protests by the young in the Belarusian capital, with around 3,000 to 5,000 students marching to the city’s Independence Square on Tuesday, according to Human Rights watchdog Viasna 96.
The square is a central location in Minsk and has played host to several anti-government protests over the past few weeks.
Unrest in Belarus erupted last month after President Alexander Lukashenko’s contested victory in an August 9 election that independent observers have criticized for not being free and fair.
Viasna 96 described the police response to the student protests as heavy handed. At least 40 people were detained following the demonstrations.
There was no immediate response from the country’s government to the protests but Lukashenko dismissed the demonstrations while visiting a university in the town of Baranovichi Tuesday.
“This will all pass,” he said. Lukashenko mocked reports that millions had joined the anti-government rallies.
“Listen, if there was a million people [on the streets], we wouldn’t be speaking with you now,” he said.
CNN has contacted the Belarussian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment but has yet to hear back.
Tens of thousands of people have protested against Lukashenko’s re-election in recent weeks.
The 66-year-old is often described as Europe’s last dictator. His victory has been followed by a major clampdown on press freedom amid the groundswell of protest.
Nineteen Belarusian journalists were stripped by government authorities of their accreditation to work for the BBC and other foreign media outlets last week, while two Associated Press reporters were deported from the country.
Last week a video broadcast by local news outlet TUT.BY shows at least eight armored tanks moving in a convoy in Minsk.
Mikalai Anishchanka reported from Minsk and Zamira Rahim wrote from London.

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Israel-UAE shows

Israel-UAE deal shows how the very notion of Middle East peace has shifted under Trump – The Washington Post

The surprise U.S.-brokered agreement last week to establish normal ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates wasn’t the grand bargain that President Trump hoped might make him the American president who finally achieved Middle East peace.

But it was a powerful example of how the very notion of Middle East peace has shifted with his administration’s enthusiastic backing. Arab states are increasingly willing to leave aside the question of Palestinian land and rights to seek a variety of relationships with Israel, the region’s dominant military force and economic powerhouse.

Those ties don’t negate Palestinian demands, which Arab states have backed as a bloc, but represent a growing view of the decades-long conflict as a drag on the region’s economic opportunity and political clout.

The UAE agreement grew out of commercial and other contacts between Israel and the wealthy Persian Gulf nation that predate Trump’s presidency and are mostly rooted in regional concerns.

“We saw an opportunity to take a bold step, one with the potential to fashion a new regional paradigm and introduce a new way of thinking — pragmatic, practical and solution-oriented,” said Omar Ghobash, the UAE assistant minister of public diplomacy. “The paradigm is also one of substantially greater collaboration across critical areas, including but not limited to technology, trade and education, and a strong reduction in the level of tensions. We believe Israel is keenly aware of that same potential.”

Palestinian leaders were not informed of the plan and accused the UAE of selling them out. They reject the UAE assertion that the deal protects Palestinian interests by conditioning it on Israel’s agreement not to go forward with annexation of West Bank land.

Trump and Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and the adviser he picked to lead Middle East peace efforts, said other agreements normalizing ties are expected soon. Oman and Bahrain, with similarly established unofficial relationships with Israel, are considered the most likely to do so. They could follow the UAE’s lead before the U.S. election, giving Trump further bragging rights.

For Trump, the piecemeal approach makes a virtue of his inability to launch the face-to-face talks between Israel and the Palestinians he had hoped could come early in his presidency. Palestinians walked away from the Kushner effort at the end of Trump’s first year in office, when he announced that the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital and move the U.S. Embassy there.

Arab states opposed the Jerusalem embassy move because of the Palestinian demand for a capital in East Jerusalem. But they continued to engage with Kushner, and in the case of the UAE, Oman and Bahrain, among others, continued to engage with Israel.

A gulf state official who asked not to be identified by name or nationality to speak freely said the deal recognizes that the Middle East is different than it was when Saudi Arabia put forward a bloc proposal for peace with Israel in 2002.

“The realities in the Middle East have changed tremendously since the Arab Peace Initiative,” the gulf state official said. “The threats against our nations have increased, we have gone through severe turmoil, and people in the region understood that even if people call us their allies today, tomorrow they might forget about all of their promises, and we are left alone.”

The official listed Iran, Turkey and Qatar as aggressors and the political uncertainties in the United States as a factor many gulf states are considering. Trump withdrew the United States from the international nuclear deal reached with Iran under former president Barack Obama, but Joe Biden might reinstate it if he wins the presidency. Or, if Trump is reelected, he has said he would be open to a new deal with Iran that he predicted last week could be reached in “one month.”

Israel was as eager as the United States to isolate the Palestinian question, but for its own reasons. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu trumpets his contacts with Arab gulf neighbors, saying those states are ready markets for trade and tourism. Other Israeli officials acknowledge intelligence sharing going back years, mostly about Iran.

“Many people believed that the road to peace with the Arab states must go through Ramallah,” the seat of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to Washington, said in an interview. “It does not. The road to peace with the Palestinians goes through Ramallah, but the road to peace with the Arab states goes through Cairo, Amman, Abu Dhabi and elsewhere.”

Egypt was the first Arab state to make peace with Israel, in 1979. Jordan followed in 1994. Both agreements were under U.S. auspices.

“This is a historic step forward, and things like this don’t happen every day,” Kushner told reporters Friday. “So we’re very, very proud of the accomplishment and of the step forward, and we hope that it really inspires a lot of people in the region to see the potential for what can be, if you’re willing to be creative and take a little bit of risk.”

The Palestinians will have to decide for themselves how they respond, Kushner said later.

“Kushner as usual misreads the whole situation,” said Hanan Ashrawi, a longtime Palestinian adviser.

“I think if he wants, or if they want, to move on, then the better move is to comply with international law,” she said of the United States and Israel. “Withdraw from territories that were occupied and stolen from the Palestinians. This is how you move on.”

Ashrawi dismissed the UAE description of the agreement as a way to salvage the potential for a more viable future Palestinian state. Annexation is shelved as a price of the agreement, but not off the table.

Kenneth Katzman, a Congressional Research Service analyst focused on the Persian Gulf, called the deal “an evolution.”

“We’ve seen over the last six or eight years a clear, growing set of ties between the two countries,” he said. “More and more visits, more and more discussion of security issues, Iran obviously being the focus of that.”

Middle East analysts agreed with Trump that the accomplishment is genuine and historic and probably could not have happened now without the U.S. imprimatur. But it also fits a pattern for Trump of claiming more credit than may be deserved.

“The UAE-Israel strategic relationship was fueled by mutual fears of Iran and formalized by the United States,” said Karim Sadjadpour, a Middle East analyst at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. “It’s an example of Trump slapping his name on a hotel that was essentially already built.”

Ashrawi called it a marriage of convenience on all sides but that of the Palestinians. Netanyahu can distract from his legal problems and protests over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, she said.

“The same thing with Trump, who is trying very hard to distract attention” from his own problems with the virus, she said. “To show he can be a peacemaker even with something so minor as the UAE-Israeli agreement.”

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intelligence shows

U.S. intelligence shows Russia is trying to “denigrate” Biden, while China prefers Trump lose – CBS News

The U.S. intelligence community has assessed that Russia is actively seeking to “denigrate” presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden and that some actors linked to the Kremlin are trying to boost President Trump’s candidacy ahead of the 2020 presidential election, according to the country’s top election security official.  

In an unprecedented statement outlining the candidate preferences of several foreign actors, National Counterintelligence and Security Center Director Bill Evanina also said China “prefers that President Trump – whom Beijing sees as unpredictable – does not win reelection,” and that Iran may try to “undermine” U.S. democratic institutions and the president, primarily through online and social media content.   

“Many foreign actors have a preference for who wins the election, which they express through a range of overt and private statements; covert influence efforts are rarer,” Evanina’s statement said. “We are primarily concerned about the ongoing and potential activity by China, Russia, and Iran.” 

Mr. Trump dismissed the intelligence on Russia. When a reporter in New Jersey asked the president about the assessment that Russia wants him to win reelection and China wants him to lose, Mr. Trump said, “The last person that Russia wants to see in office is Donald Trump.” When a reporter pointed out that’s not what intelligence officials said, the president responded, “I don’t care what anybody says.” 

His statement, issued less than three months before Election Day, identifies several examples of behavior the intelligence community considered in forming its assessment. Evanina has been the top U.S. counterintelligence official for years and was tapped to lead intelligence-based election security threat briefings in May. 

“China has been expanding its influence efforts ahead of November 2020 to shape the policy environment in the United States, pressure political figures it views as opposed to China’s interests, and deflect and counter criticism of China,” his statement said. It also cited Beijing’s criticism of the Trump administration’s COVID-19 response, its closure of the consulate in Houston, and recent actions taken to block social media platform TikTok.  

Russia, the assessment said, “is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate” Biden. “For example, pro-Russia Ukrainian parliamentarian Andriy Derkach is spreading claims about corruption – including through publicizing leaked phone calls – to undermine former Vice President Biden’s candidacy and the Democratic Party.” Mr. Trump’s candidacy was being boosted on social media and Russian television by unspecified actors linked to the Kremlin, Evanina’s statement said.  

“We assess that Iran seeks to undermine U.S. democratic institutions, President Trump, and to divide the country in advance of the 2020 election,” the statement continued, adding that Tehran’s efforts “probably will focus on on-line influence.”  

“Tehran’s motivation to conduct such activities is, in part, driven by a perception that President Trump’s reelection would result in a continuation of U.S. pressure on Iran in an effort to foment regime change,” the statement said.  

Friday’s update, which follows mounting pressure from Democratic lawmakers on the intelligence community to release more detailed information about election threats, said it represents “the most current, accurate, and objective election threat information the IC has to offer in an unclassified setting at this time.” 

But a U.S. official briefed on the intelligence cautioned that the update, while more detailed, suffered from an underlying lack of clarity about what each country was doing vis a vis the U.S. election, and why.  

“Only one of the three is actively seeking to interfere to the benefit of one candidate and at the expense of another, and that’s Russia,” the official said. “That doesn’t mean China doesn’t have a preference – but having a preference and doing something about it are not one and the same.”  

In a bipartisan statement, Senate Intelligence Committee acting Chairman Marco Rubio and Vice Chairman Mark Warner praised Evanina for providing “additional context” to a statement he issued late last month, 100 days before the election.  

“We thank him for providing this additional information to the American people, and we look forward to his continued engagement, along with other members of the Intelligence Community and the Administration, with the public over the next 87 days,” the lawmakers said. They encouraged the intelligence community to continue sharing information publicly and admonished political leaders “on all sides to refrain from weaponizing intelligence matters for political gain.” 

National Security Council spokesman John Ullyot said of Friday’s update that the U.S. “will not tolerate foreign interference in our electoral processes and will respond to malicious foreign threats that target our democratic institutions.” 

Publicly identifying the candidate preference of a foreign actor ahead of an election is an unprecedented step for the U.S. intelligence community. Although the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the Department of Homeland Security issued a joint statement in October of 2016 stating that the Russian government was behind the hacking and dumping of emails and had been scanning and probing election systems, it was not until two months later, in January of 2017, that the intelligence community said explicitly that Moscow, having “developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump” took those and other measures in an effort to damage Secretary Clinton’s election chances and boost then-candidate Trump’s.  

That assessment – and subsequent efforts by the intelligence community to identify a preferred candidate in closed briefings – have become politically charged topics. Officials who told members of the House Intelligence Committee in February that Moscow had again demonstrated a preference for President Trump were criticized by Republicans who questioned the validity of the underlying intelligence.  

Press reports about that briefing infuriated Mr. Trump, who tweeted that Democrats had launched a “misinformation campaign” about Russia’s preference for his candidacy and removed then-acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire. Mr. Trump has consistently downplayed Russia’s 2016 interference campaign while highlighting Russian president Vladimir Putin’s denials that Moscow had meddled at all.   

The president has also criticized the work of U.S. intelligence agencies, whose findings on Russia’s 2016 campaign have been reinforced by a bipartisan Senate Committee and bolstered by the report compiled by special counsel Robert Mueller. 

Since 2016, intelligence and other administration officials have warned consistently that Russia and other adversaries were likely to continue engaging in election interference, likely using new and more sophisticated and less detectable tactics.   

All three countries identified in 2020 have previously been named as candidates likely to engage in disinformation and influence campaigns – including in the 2019 Worldwide Threat Assessment, an annual report compiled by the intelligence community on top global security challenges.   

“We expect our adversaries and strategic competitors to refine their capabilities and add new tactics as they learn from each other’s experiences, suggesting the threat landscape could look very different in 2020 and future elections,” the 2019 assessment said.  

Some Democrats have been sharply critical of many of ODNI’s election security disclosures to date. Senior Democrats belonging to the so-called “Gang of 8,” a select group of lawmakers routinely briefed by the executive branch on classified matters, criticized Evanina’s July statement for creating a false equivalence among actors of “unequal intent, motivation and capability,” and that the warning about Russia’s activities was “so generic as to be meaningless.”

Those same lawmakers – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff and Warner – previously expressed concerns that Congress was being targeted in a “concerted foreign interference campaign” and called for a defensive counterintelligence briefing from the FBI.  

On Friday, Pelosi and Schiff welcomed Evanina’s update, though they maintained it did not go far enough to differentiate among the activities of the three countries.  

“[T]oday’s statement still treats three actors of differing intent and capability as equal threats to our democratic elections,” Schiff and Pelosi said. “Members of Congress have now been briefed on the specific threats facing the 2020 election, and we have been clear with the Intelligence Community that the American people must be provided with specific information that would allow voters to appraise for themselves the respective threats posed by these foreign actors, and distinguish these actors’ different and unequal aims, current actions, and capabilities.”  

Evanina, along with other senior national security officials, briefed lawmakers in multiple classified sessions late last week and early this week. 

His statement on Friday explicitly accused the Ukrainian politician, Derkach, of undermining Biden through weaponized leaks. Derkach is known to have met late last year with President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, who has spoken openly about working with Ukrainian contacts to obtain information about Biden.  

Sources previously confirmed to CBS News that Democrats’ concerns had stemmed from some of Derkach’s materials being sent to certain lawmakers, including members of a Senate committee, led by Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron Johnson, that is currently investigating Biden and his son, Hunter. Politico first reported the details of Democrats’ concerns. 

Johnson has denied receiving information from foreign nationals about Biden and, together with Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, accused Democrats of assisting Russian disinformation efforts.   

In Friday’s update, Evanina said the intelligence community would continue to provide classified briefings to relevant stakeholders and unclassified updates to the public.  

“Aside from sharing information, let me assure you that the IC is also doing everything in its power to combat both cyber and influence efforts targeting our electoral process,” he said. “Our election should be our own.” 

— CBS News’ Kathryn Watson contributed to this report. 



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shows Video

Video shows prison inmate saying ‘I can’t breathe’ as officers restrain him before he dies – ABC News

John Neville, 56, died in a hospital days after officers restrained him in jail.

Kelly McCarthy

August 6, 2020, 11:17 AM

5 min read

Video released of five North Carolina detention officers restraining an inmate in a cell shows the prisoner saying “I can’t breathe” before he lost consciousness and died two days later.

The five officers and a nurse were charged last month with involuntary manslaughter in the December 2019 death of John Neville, a 56-year-old Black man, at Forsyth County Detention Center in Winston-Salem.

Neville was being held at the facility on a pending assault charge when he apparently fell from the top bunk of his bed onto a concrete floor, prompting officers to check on him, according to authorities.

“Alright John, we’re going to take your blood pressure,” one of the five officers to respond could be heard telling Neville in body camera footage of the Dec. 2 incident that was released Wednesday.

Things took a turn when the officers put a spit mask over Neville’s head as the nurse attempted to treat him. An autopsy report said he was thrashing and at times unresponsive.

The officers handcuffed Neville behind his back and moved him to another cell for observation.

“I can’t breathe,” he can be heard saying in the video.

The five detention officers restrained him facedown and attempted to unlock the handcuffs, but required the use of bolt cutters to remove them from Neville’s wrists.

Again, Neville said he was having trouble breathing, to which a guard responded, “You can breathe — you’re talking aren’t you?”

Neville died two days later in an area hospital, after jail staff found him not breathing and could not detect a pulse. A medical examiner said he ultimately died from a brain injury that was caused by the way he was being restrained.

The autopsy also found a number of underlying medical conditions, including asthma and heart disease. The five detention officers were fired as a result of the incident.

A spokesperson for Wellpath, the medical agency that employs the nurse, said that she did not engage in misconduct and, when permitted to act, she worked diligently to save Neville’s life. The spokesperson added that she is currently on paid administrative leave and has Wellpath’s complete support.

Forsyth County Superior Court Judge R. Gregory Horne issued a ruling Friday releasing the video footage because he said it “is necessary to advance a compelling public interest.”

The Forsyth County sheriff issued an apology in the wake of the newly released videos.

“I apologize again for what happened on that day,” Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough said at a news conference Tuesday. “We’re sorry for the mistakes made that day. I take responsibility for that as the sheriff.”

Neville’s family, represented by attorney Michael Grace, has filed a civil lawsuit against the county of Forsyth and Wellpath “to see the family is justly compensated.”

“The sheriff has acknowledged mistakes were made and that means a lot to the family. It won’t bring John Neville back … but it goes a way toward causing this terrible scar to heal over again,” Grace said at the news conference.


ABC News


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location shows

This map shows the location, evacuations for the Apple Fire in Cherry Valley – Press-Enterprise

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Polls shows

Polls shows dead even race in Georgia between Trump, Biden; GOP leads Senate races – Fox News

It’s been nearly three decades since a Democrat won Georgia in a presidential election.

Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton carried the state in the 1992 election.

But a new poll in Georgia indicates the state’s 16 electoral votes are up for grabs in the race between President Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden.

WHAT THE LATEST FOX NEWS POLLS IN THE BIDEN-TRUMP RACE SHOW

According to a Monmouth University poll conducted July 23-27 and released on Wednesday, the president and the presumptive Democratic nominee are deadlocked at 47 percent among registered voters in Georgia, with 3 percent saying they’ll vote for Libertarian candidate Jo Jorgensen and 3 percent undecided.

The poll shows that among the smaller pool of voters likely to vote in the general election, Trump has the slight edge. A high turnout likely model indicates the president with 48 percent support and Biden at 47 percent. A low likely turnout projection shows Trump at 49 percent support and the former vice president at 46 percent.

An average of the most recent polls conducted in Georgia compiled by Real Clear Politics indicates the president with a narrow 2.3 percent edge.

Trump won Georgia by 5 percentage points over 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

“There is a lot of parity between the two candidates. Trump has a lock on his base but Biden is performing much better than Clinton did in key swing areas,” Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray highlighted.

While the polls show a close contest in Georgia, the Biden campaign has not – to date – gone up with commercials in the state, according to Advertising Analytics, a leading political ad tracking firm.

MAJOR PRO-GOP OUTSIDE GROUP POURS MONEY INTO INCREASINGLY COMPETITIVE GEORGIA

In Georgia’s regularly scheduled Senate election, the survey shows Republican incumbent David Perdue holding a 49-43 percent advantage over Democratic challenger Jon Ossoff, who narrowly lost a 2017 special congressional election that was the most expensive House election in history.

There’s also a special Senate election on Nov. 3 in the race to fill the final two years of the term of former Republican Sen. John Isakson, who stepped down in December due to health reasons.

GOP Gov. Brian Kemp named Republican Kelly Loeffler as Isakson’s temporary replacement. She’s running in the November election to fill the rest of Isakson’s term. So is Republican Rep. Doug Collins, who President Trump had hoped would be appointed as Isakson’s temporary replacement. A number of Democrats are also running.

The poll indicates Loeffler leading the pack at 26 percent, followed by Collins at 20 percent. Democrat Matt Lieberman – the son of former Democrat turned independent Sen. Joe Lieberman of Connecticut – is third at 14 percent.

If no candidate tops 50 percent in the Nov. 3 special election, a runoff contest between the top two finishers will be held on Jan. 5.

Monmouth University used live telephone operators to question 402 registered voters in Georgia. The survey’s overall sampling error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

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launches shows

Snap launches new shows, games, developer tools in bid to grow audience – Reuters

FILE PHOTO: The Snapchat app logo is seen on a smartphone in this picture illustration taken September 15, 2017. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

(Reuters) – Snap Inc on Thursday announced a slate of new features for its photo messaging app Snapchat, such as new original shows and ways for outside developers to create products that will entice users to spend more time using the app.

Snap has sought to set itself apart from rivals for both users and investors, focusing on communication between close friends rather than broadcasting to an open audience, and allowing it to avoid the misinformation and hate speech problems that have plagued Facebook and Twitter. Shares of Snap have risen more than 50% over the past year.

During a webcast for Snap’s Partner Summit, which gathers developers who use the Snapchat app, as well as its creators and marketers, Snap said it will add an “action bar” to make it easier to navigate the app.

Users will now be able to find local businesses on its Snap Map feature, which will open up new ways for Snap to make money by allowing companies to promote their business, Snap said.

Snapchat, known for photo messages that disappear after being opened, has invested heavily in shows made to be watched on mobile, as well as in-app gaming. On Thursday, it announced 10 new original shows, including “Coach Kev” starring comedian Kevin Hart who will share “daily doses of positivity and wisdom,” and “Queen of Stylez,” a documentary series that follows celebrity hairstylist Tokyo Stylez.

The company also launched Snap Minis, which will allow outside developers to build experiences inside the Snapchat app. For example, popular meditation app Headspace will introduce a mini version inside Snapchat, allowing users to do quick meditations and send encouraging messages to their friends.

Reporting by Sheila Dang; Editing by David Gregorio

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Alligator shows

Alligator shows up at NASA launch site – WFLA

Lawsuit: Ultra refuses refunds for canceled music festival

MIAMI (AP) — Two men are suing organizers of Ultra Music Festival, claiming they were denied refunds after the the three-day electronic dance music festival in Miami was canceled in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Samuel Hernandez, of Miami, and Richard Montoure, of Washington state, filed the lawsuit Tuesday in Miami federal court. They are also seeking class-action status to obtain full refunds, with interest, for thousands of ticketholders from around the world.


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Walt Disney World to use reservation system when parks reopen

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Theme park fans in Tampa Bay will soon be able to explore central Florida’s abundance of attractions but things will be different than when they closed in March.

Walt Disney World, one of the world’s top tourist destinations, announced its plans Wednesday to reopen its parks in July.


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Florida wildlife officials use doughnuts to lure city-roaming bear into trap

FORT MYERS, Fla. (AP) — Glazed or jelly? A black bear roaming around a Florida city proved no match for the doughnuts that lured the animal into a humane trap.

The Fort Myers News-Press reports that the juvenile 250-pound (113- kilogram) bear spent a good chunk of Tuesday morning meandering around the Gulf coast city. Wildlife officials say bears tend to move more in the spring in search of mates and, as always, food.


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