Day: August 7, 2020

L.A. Times Festival Of Books Going Digital For Fall Event, Casting Wary Eye At Spring 2021

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, canceled from its usual spring slot by the pandemic, is going virtual for a fall event.

Originally set for April and then bumped to an anticipated Oct. 3-4 run, the event now will be held online instead of at the University of Southern California campus.

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The country’s largest book festival is now scheduled to start Oct. 18. It will continue over four weeks rather than its traditional two days, but will still have author panels, readings and other events.

The full programming schedule will be announced in mid-September.

“Over the years, festival-goers have listened to Eric Carle read about a ravenous caterpillar; the late Congressman John Lewis discuss his lifelong work for racial equality; Julie Andrews reminisce about the Swiss Alps; Luis J. Rodriguez wax poetic about life in Los Angeles; Viet Thanh Nguyen expound on reclaiming historical narratives; Padma

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How to find COVID-19 statistics about your child’s college

Looking at the statistics can help make a difficult decision easier. <span class="copyright">(Murugiah For The Times)</span>
Looking at the statistics can help make a difficult decision easier. (Murugiah For The Times)

We’re answering readers’ questions about life during the pandemic:

Where can I find trustworthy statistics on how COVID-19 affects young adults?

When the University of Pennsylvania reversed its plans for in-person instruction on July 31, provost Wendell Pritchett wrote that “1.5 million new cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the United States, with the confirmed case count soaring from 2.4 million on June 25 to 3.9 million on July 22. This means that almost 40% of all confirmed COVID-19 cases in the United States since the beginning of the pandemic have been reported in the last month.”

In the announcement, the university linked to data compiled by the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center in reaching its decision. This information source is available to the public online and is considered among the most reliable

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Get to Know Andy Forssell, the Maestro of HBO Max

Friday’s massive restructuring of WarnerMedia under recently appointed CEO Jason Kilar sets lofty expectations for both HBO Max and Andy Forssell, the operating business executive in charge of the streaming service.

Under the new regime, Forssell’s role as general manager will have him reporting directly to Kilar as he oversees the “global rollout” of HBO Max, a clear effort to make the fledgling streamer a rival to Netflix worldwide and a top priority of Kilar’s. (You know, after Kilar gets the service on Amazon and Roku.)

While HBO programming president Casey Bloys will pick the brand’s content, pretty much everything else about Max will be in Forssell’s capable (and likely calloused, more on that below) hands.

The CEO stressed global expansion of HBO Max as a key objective driving the restructuring, referring to it in Friday’s memo as “one of the greatest opportunities in the history of media.” The economic

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8 Back-to-School Mental Health Resources for BIPOC Students

Student sitting cross-legged with an open laptop in her lap against a pink background
Student sitting cross-legged with an open laptop in her lap against a pink background

Many parents and children are looking forward to back-to-school season and easing into a regular schedule once again. Student mental health was already a growing concern before COVID-19. Depression among adolescents in the U.S. has been increasing steadily over the years.

BIPOC students particularly may experience more negative circumstances such as racial/ethnic discrimination, marginalization, and lack of access to resources and services that contribute negatively to their mental health. There are many online resources that can help BIPOC students manage their mental health as back-to-school season begins.

Here are eight back-to-school mental health resources for BIPOC students:

The Steve Fund is an organization dedicated to supporting the mental health and emotional well-being of students of color. The Fund works with colleges and universities, nonprofits, researchers, mental health experts, families, and young people to promote programs

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As leaders in Lebanon deflect responsibility for explosion, skepticism grows

French President Emmanuel Macron, left, and Lebanese President Michel Aoun meet Thursday. Macron visited Beirut to offer French support to Lebanon after the deadly port blast. <span class="copyright">(Thibault Camus / Pool report via Associated Press)</span>
French President Emmanuel Macron, left, and Lebanese President Michel Aoun meet Thursday. Macron visited Beirut to offer French support to Lebanon after the deadly port blast. (Thibault Camus / Pool report via Associated Press)

Following Tuesday’s deadly port explosion in Beirut, Lebanese officials face increasing ire from the public and a skeptical international community that has, nevertheless, promised to provide humanitarian aid to help the devastated city get back on its feet.

While both Lebanese citizens and foreign leaders have pushed for an overhaul in the governance of the small Mediterranean country that had already been in the throes of a major economic crisis before the explosion, Lebanese leaders appeared to be digging in their heels.

Beirut residents, who had already been protesting government corruption and inertia and failing public services since October, were enraged when it turned out that Tuesday’s blast had been caused by a stockpile of ammonium

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Targeting WeChat, Trump Takes Aim at China’s Bridge to the World

A Chinese construction worker speaks during a video chat with his wife on the WeChat messaging app in Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 1, 2018. (Adam Dean/The New York Times)
A Chinese construction worker speaks during a video chat with his wife on the WeChat messaging app in Colombo, Sri Lanka, June 1, 2018. (Adam Dean/The New York Times)

TAIPEI, Taiwan — In China, WeChat does more than any app rightfully should. People use it to talk, shop, share photos, pay bills, get their news and send money.

With much of the Chinese internet locked behind a wall of filters and censors, the country’s everything app is also one of the few digital bridges connecting China to the rest of the world. It is the way exchange students talk to their families, immigrants keep up with relatives and much of the Chinese diaspora swaps memes, gossip and videos.

Now that bridge is threatening to crumble.

Late Thursday, the Trump administration issued an executive order that could pull China’s most important app from Apple and Google stores across the world and

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Marijuana is no longer a ‘dirty little secret.’ Weed sales are soaring in Illinois, and the pandemic is helping.

At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, 33-year-old Katie Johnston-Smith was feeling “a good, healthy amount of panic.”

She tried wine but it didn’t help. She took a marijuana-infused edible, and a calmness washed over her and sleep came easier.

“It was pretty nice, because it did help me mellow out,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh, this is way better than mellowing out with a glass of wine.‘”

The Roscoe Village neighborhood resident went from using marijuana a couple of times a month before the pandemic to a couple of times a week.

Experts say she is not alone.

The pandemic has sent people searching for ways to cope with the anxiety of a global health crisis and economic downturn. Marijuana — which only became widely legal in Illinois Jan. 1 — has emerged as the coping mechanism of choice for many. Stores selling it were deemed essential businesses

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L.A. Times Festival of Books going virtual as community-wide gathering

Linda Arkin, 75, of Valencia, looks over the Festival of Books section of the Los Angeles Times on April 21, 2018. <span class="copyright">(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)</span>
Linda Arkin, 75, of Valencia, looks over the Festival of Books section of the Los Angeles Times on April 21, 2018. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books is opening a virtual chapter this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

After being postponed from April to October, the 25th Festival of Books, Stories & Ideas will take place online instead of being held on the University of Southern California campus, The Times announced Friday.

The marquee event, a partnership between The Times and USC, will be reimagined as a virtual community-wide gathering.

The e-festival will still celebrate storytelling when it launches Oct. 18. It will continue over four weeks rather than two days. The Times will host author panels, readings and other events during that time.

The full programming schedule will be announced in mid-September.

“Over the years, festival-goers have listened to Eric Carle read

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CDC’s COVID-19 Response Was ‘Muzzled’ By White House

Bill Gates said that the White House “muzzled” the COVID-19 response of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and he offered thoughts on vaccinations and coronavirus conspiracies in a new Wired interview released Friday.

Gates was “surprised at the U.S. [coronavirus] situation because the smartest people on epidemiology in the world, by a lot, are at the CDC,” he told Steven Levy, Wired’s longtime tech writer and editor at large. Gates announced in April that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation would shift its “total attention” to fighting COVID-19.

“I would have expected them to do better,” the Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist said. “You would expect the CDC to be the most visible, not the White House or even Anthony Fauci. But they haven’t been the face of the epidemic. They are trained to communicate and not try to panic people but get people to take things seriously. They

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More Twin Cities School Districts Make Decisions For Fall: LIST

MINNEAPOLIS-ST. PAUL METRO, MN — It’s been more than a week since Gov. Tim Walz and the Minnesota Department of Health released parameters they want schools to meet before fully reopening, and more schools have made decisions about what this fall will look like for students and staff.

Minnesota’s “back to school” season is going to be unlike any other year, due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The recommended model of education — distance learning, hybrid, or in-person — depends on how many coronavirus cases are reported in the county.

However, the ultimate decision of how to reopen school this fall is being left up to the school districts themselves.

Several school districts in the Twin Cities metro have already announced their “education model” decision for this fall, while others are planning to do so later this month:

Note: All school districts in Minnesota are required to offer an online-only

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