Comic-Con 2020 ‘At Home’ Thursday Schedule

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To use the words of prophet and frequent convention attendee Hunter S. Thompson, when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. This year, the professional weirdness of Comic-Con has taken a twist, as the four-day event will take place exclusively online.

To their credit, organizers are trying to replicate the commercialized fan-friendly confines of the San Diego Convention Center as much as possible: there is the traditional souvenir book featuring a pretty sweet drawing of Ray Bradbury on a T. Rex on the cover that is available for free .pdf download (and featuring click-through advertisements!), and you can print your own badge (sponsored by Amazon Prime Video!) to wear as you sit in front of your screen at home. The Comic-Con homepage also will take you to an online Exhibit Hall, where there will be interactive exhibits and events offered by vendors.

There are literally hundreds of panels that … Read More

The bright spot in Trump’s coronavirus response

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Hello, everyone! Welcome to the new edition of Insider Today. Please sign up here.


“Person, woman, man, camera, TV … if you get it in order you get extra points.” — President Donald Trump bragging about his performance on a test given to screen people for dementia.


Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is tear gassed while visiting protesters demonstrating against the presence of federal agents on July 22, 2020.
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is tear gassed while visiting protesters demonstrating against the presence of federal agents on July 22, 2020.

Twitter @ByMikeBaker

US weekly jobless claims rose to 1.4 million last week, more than economists expected and the first increase in months. It signals that the recovery has stalled as the virus surges in the South, West, and Midwest. More than 50 million Americans have filed for unemployment during the pandemic.  

Senate Republicans have ditched the payroll tax cut from their proposed relief bill. They’re proposing another round of stimulus checks instead. President Trump seems

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UM professors upset over school’s plan to have in-person classes amid rising COVID cases

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As Miami-Dade County — the epicenter of the pandemic in Florida — reports thousands of COVID-19 cases each day, some faculty and staff at the University of Miami are pushing back over the school’s plan to reopen its campuses, feeling the administration has ignored their pleadings over personal safety.

The private university, based in Coral Gables, granted its nearly 17,000 students the power to decide how to learn, but failed to do the same for many of its approximately 16,000 faculty and staff, full and part time, some employees said.

Students got two choices: Take classes entirely remotely, or return to campus and take some classes in person and some online, which UM describes as a “hybrid protected model.” UM encouraged professors who qualify as vulnerable with underlying medical conditions, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to request accommodations, but didn’t do same for those who

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Theodore Klein, who made model railroaders’ fantasies into a reality, dies

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Theodore Klein, who as proprietor of M.B. Klein Inc., a major supplier of model railroad equipment and supplies, helped turned hobbyists’ fantasy railroads into a reality of rolling trains, cities and country villages, died Sunday of undetermined causes at his home on Upper Park Heights Avenue in Baltimore. He was 84.

To every model railroader, young or old, who ever dreamed of building a miniature version of the Baltimore & Ohio, Pennsylvania, Atlantic Coast Line, New Haven, Reading Co. or any other railroad in the basement or attic of their home, there was only one place to go to make it a reality, and that was M.B. Klein Inc. at North Gay and Saratoga streets.

Theodore Klein, son of Morris Benjamin Klein, founder of M.B. Klein Inc., and his wife, Sarah Miller Klein, a homemaker, was born and raised in Northwest Baltimore.

Mr. Klein dropped out of Forest Park High

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WA Tech Exec Charged With Laundering Coronavirus-Relief Money

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BELLEVUE, WA — A Washington tech executive has been charged for laundering millions of dollars that were supposed to be used supporting businesses and employees during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Department of Justice says 48-year-old Mukund Mohan of Clyde Hill filed eight fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loans for six different companies. Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, loans are supposed to be used to help struggling businesses stay afloat and pay their employees during the pandemic, but prosecutors say Mohan illegally used the money to support himself instead.

The complaint against Mohan alleges he lied several times about the companies he was requesting loans for, and about how many people were on their payroll. In one case, the DOJ says Mohan claimed a company of his, Mahenjo Inc., had dozens of employees who were receiving millions in wages during the pandemic. In fact, Mohan had bought Mahenjo online in May of

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More Help Is Coming, But $600 Unemployment Bonus Will Lapse First

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A second economic rescue package is on the horizon, one that will likely include another stimulus check, funding for small businesses and schools, additional jobless benefits and more. But as lawmakers debate the finer points, a critical provision of the first relief package is set to expire.

Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation, or FPUC, boosts all Americans’ unemployment payments by $600 per week, automatically. That provision of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act expires July 31 unless Congress acts immediately to extend it.

That deadline is according to the wording of the CARES Act, but the payments effectively end sooner. State unemployment agencies typically operate on a Sunday to Saturday schedule (or vice versa), meaning the last unemployment payment including the $600 bonus will be paid out either July 25 or July 26.

With the clock ticking, that means jobless Americans are likely to see a lapse in their unemployment payments —

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Republicans Struggling To Finalize Their Next Coronavirus Relief Package

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After days of intra-party squabbles and months of delays, Republicans on Thursday struggled to unify around another economic stimulus package that would help Americans reeling from the resurgent coronavirus pandemic.

The proposal, which was initially expected to be made public on Thursday, now won’t be released until next week due to disagreements among Senate Republicans and the White House. And that’s even before negotiations with the Democrats, whose support will be necessary to send the legislation to the president’s desk.

“We’re still developing the bill. It’s not going to come out till Monday,” Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) said.

The last-minute hangup on a proposal that almost certainly won’t become law in its current form follows months of delays by Republicans, who argued that Congress should pump the brakes and evaluate its earlier stimulus measures before taking action once more. Now, millions more Americans have become unemployed and

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What is a child safety kit?

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It’s every parent’s worst nightmare — an AMBER Alert for their own child. Despite every effort to keep kids safe in public, the unimaginable still happens.

A child safety kit, which is an information packet with up-to-date identifying information about individual children, is an important preemptive tool for parents to have on hand in the event of an abduction, kidnapping, or missing child situation.

While no parent wants to anticipate something happening to their kids, child safety kits ensure that both parents and law enforcement are better prepared in a worst case scenario, according to Corporal Kenneth Hibbert Jr. of the Community Policing Unit of Prince George County Police Department in Maryland.

“Safety kits are definitely a great tool for law enforcement and parents, because it cuts down the speed time trying to figure out where a kid may have gone or who they’re with,” Hibbert told TODAY Parents, emphasizing

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Kayak CEO Hints Company May Get Into the Hotel Business

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There’s been speculation over the years about online travel companies getting into the hotel business, and Kayak CEO Steve Hafner teased as much during an interview on Thursday.

Hafner, who heads Booking Holdings brands Kayak and OpenTable, dropped the hint during a pre-recorded interview for Travel’s Path Forward: Online Travel, when discussing the company’s product roadmap during the Covid-19 hiatus.

Without providing much detail, Hafner teased an announcement about Kayak getting into the hotel business in some form beyond its traditional hotel referral and booking services.

“Soon we are going to announce our first forays into the hotel business,” Hafner said.

Asked whether we would see Kayak-branded hotels, Hafner said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if you did. Put it that way.”

He added another tidbit when discussing OpenTable and loyalty programs.

Later in the interview, Hafner discussed the integration of OpenTable’s dining services with sister company, and he said

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Broadway Community Project Maps Industry Family Tree To Demonstrate Scope Of Shutdown, Need For Relief

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Click here to read the full article.

While Congress debates how much (or how little) to parse out to the entertainment industry in the next COVID-19 relief package, a group of Broadway insiders is making clear just how wide and varied the $14.7 billion Broadway ecosystem really is.

In what is meant to be an evolving effort, The is an interactive online diagram – an industrywide family tree of sorts – displaying the more than 170 roles that represent more than 100,000 jobs that make up what’s known simply as Broadway. There are actors, or course, and ushers, concession employees and stage doormen, but also the workers usually unseen by the public: milliners, say, and insurance brokers, house managers, musical contractors, general managers and, of course, producers, to name just a sampling.

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The interactive diagram – clicking on a particular icon representing a particular job title and

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