Pfizer hopes for October vaccine OK as US orders 100M doses; CDC director ‘absolutely’ wants grandkids back in school

The U.S. government has placed an initial order for 100 million doses of a vaccine candidate being developed by Pfizer and a German firm, BioNTech, for $1.95 billion, the companies announced Wednesday.

The U.S. can acquire up to 500 million additional doses, the statement said.

Meanwhile, federal unemployment benefits are taking a hit at a time when more states are abruptly pausing their reopening plans. The $600 weekly jobless benefits bonus, approved in March, is about to expire and likely won’t be extended or replaced before next month. And a former director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says states should be releasing far more data to help get a handle on the pandemic.

“We’re flying blind on the risk and effectiveness of the response,” Dr. Tom Frieden said. “Data are inconsistent, incomplete and inaccessible.”

The U.S. has been averaging more than 60,000 new cases daily for multiple

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Mind-bending sci-fi films to watch online now Tenet has been delayed

It’s the news film fans had been dreading – Christopher Nolan’s mind bending sci-fi epic Tenet has been delayed indefinitely, with Warner Bros temporarily pulling it from their release calendar.

It was supposed to be the cinematic event of the summer, with an astronomical $200m (£157m) budget and a secretive plot – all we know so far is that it involves John David Washington’s special agent and his attempts to prevent a conflict “worse than World War III” through the manipulation of time.

All is not lost, though. The delay gives film lovers plenty more time to explore incredible time-twisting epics at home, and get their sci-fi references on point before the film eventually arrives.

From modern masterpieces to classics of the genre, these are some of the most ambitious and mind-bending sci-fi movies to discover from home after Tenet’s delay.

Primer

If you get to the end of Primer

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Comic-Con 2020 Opens ‘At Home’ in Uncertain Times

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

Portland protesters push back harder against Trump, federal agents

PORTLAND, Ore. — Najee Gow paced the street Tuesday in front of the graffiti-covered federal courthouse, a megaphone at his lips.

“Feds go home! Feds go home! Get out of our city!” the 22-year-old man shouted. “This is not a dictatorship! This is a democracy!”

Gow was putting words to a wave of growing anger and resentment in Portland after President Donald Trump suddenly deployed more than 100 federal law enforcement agents last week to the liberal city he has repeatedly criticized.

Critics said the president is testing out heavy-handed enforcement in Portland, a largely white city known as one of the most progressive in the nation, before moving on to more diverse cities. They also accused the president of creating more conflict amid ongoing national protests over racial injustice and police brutality against Black Americans.

“My sense is they chose Portland because if they had rolled this out in,

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Why the Black Lives Matter movement doesn’t want a singular leader

In 2015, thousands of Black activists gathered in Ohio for the first national Black Lives Matter convention to consider where the movement would direct its energy.

Attendees in the crowd held up red construction paper to signal “no” to a handful of narrow options, like focusing only on policy or on organizing demonstrations. But then, the activists were asked what they thought about an all-of-the-above, “multi-tactical” approach encompassing everything from organizing and protesting to pushing new legislation at various levels of government.

“It was a sea of green,” said Ash-Lee Woodard Henderson, co-executive director of the Highlander Research and Education Center and one of many leaders in the Movement for Black Lives coalition.

The democratic nature of the vote, and the broad vision it endorsed, illustrate a key, intentional detail about the Black Lives Matter movement that has baffled some outsiders: It doesn’t have a typical power structure — and

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9 Reasons You Could Win a Scholarship for College

Note that the situation for student loans has changed due to the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and relief efforts from the government and many lenders. Check out our Student Loan Hero Coronavirus Information Center for additional news and details.

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If you’re hoping to help finance your college education with money you don’t have to pay back, you may be wondering how to win scholarships. There are many factors that go into getting scholarships or grants.

We’ll discuss nine reasons you might win a scholarship or grant and provide 12 tips to help you in your quest to secure these funds.

How to win scholarship or grants: 9 ways

1. Financial need 2. Academic achievement 3. Community service 4. Athletic accomplishments 5. Gender, ethnicity or sexual orientation 6. Parents’ place of employment 7. Being part of a military family 8. Unusual traits, skills or hobbies 9. Random

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China Vows Retaliation After U.S. Shutters Houston Consulate

(Bloomberg) — China vowed retaliation after the U.S. forced the closure of its Houston consulate, in one of the biggest threats to diplomatic ties between the countries in decades.

The U.S. government gave China three days to close its consulate in America’s fourth-most populous city in an “unprecedented escalation,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a regular briefing Wednesday in Beijing. China planned to “react with firm countermeasures” if the Trump administration didn’t “revoke this erroneous decision,” Wang said.

The U.S. State Department subsequently confirmed in a statement that it had ordered the consulate shut “to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information.” It said international agreements required diplomats to respect the laws and regulations of the host nation and not interfere in its internal affairs.

The first signs of trouble came when Houston police and firefighters descended on the consulate following witness reports that papers were being burned

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Central Florida schools push learning option that lets them can keep student funding

Central Florida public school districts are giving parents choices on how their children learn this fall, and many schools are pushing programs that would keep students in their home district.

The reason? Money. Public schools receive full funding for students who take classes on campus or through their own online learning model, but lose out on funds for kids enrolled in the Florida Virtual School — which could mean teacher layoffs.

Principals in Orange County have sent messages to parents through phone calls and social media posts expressing funding concerns and “highly recommending” the district’s new virtual program, OCPS [email protected], over the other virtual school option.

West Orange High School principal Matt Turner wrote in a newsletter to parents that he was “lobbying heavily” for families to pick on-campus learning if they’re comfortable or [email protected], which will have live, online lessons that follow a traditional school schedule.

“I just wanted

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This $3 billion online education company is seeing a ‘paradigm shift’ due to coronavirus

As more and more colleges weigh their options for adding online education in the fall, one online ed company is reaping the benefits of the shift away from lecture halls.

Industry leader 2U (TWOU) helps big name universities like Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and dozens of others offer educational programs online and as its CEO explained to Yahoo Finance Tuesday, business is booming.

“Over the last three months, we’ve spoken to more presidents and provosts than we had in our entire 12-year history,” CEO Chip Paucek told Yahoo Finance’s YFi PM. “So this is definitely a paradigm shift moment for online ed without question.”

As Paucek highlights, many colleges had been caught off guard when the coronavirus pandemic first hit back in March. Shifting to online classes for many meant little more than a Zoom video conference with a professor. With 2U’s tech, the company is offering the prospect

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Four tips for remote meetings

By Chris Taylor

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Jia Wertz may be a documentary filmmaker in New York City, but these days she feels like a full-time resident of Zoom world.

The director of the new documentary short “Conviction” finds herself on a video chat every single day, often multiple times, since the pandemic has upended all our lives. As a self-described introvert, she is having a hard time getting a handle on the new medium.

“With Zoom calls, you’re ‘on’ 100% of the time, which is so mentally draining,” says Wertz, who juggles a scampering two-year-old at the same time.

In this era of nonstop video-conferencing, you are not alone in feeling like you have just run a marathon or been hit by a truck. Many employees and managers are reporting that online video-conferences seem particularly taxing – often more so than in-person meetings.

“I’m an introvert, and they totally

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