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City hosting Trump rally in Alabama declares COVID-19 emergency

Cullman, Ala., on Thursday declared a COVID-19-related state of emergency ahead of a scheduled Alabama GOP rally featuring former President Trump on Saturday as Alabama struggles with a surge in new infections and a shortage of hospital beds.

The state of emergency declaration allows the city to provide additional resources for the rally, a request that was made by the chief operating office of Cullman Regional Medical Center, which is experiencing overcrowding amid a spike in coronavirus-related hospitalizations.

Alabama saw 3,890 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, with a seven-day moving average of about 3,000 new infections…

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With Delta surging, America is dangerously divided over vaccines

HEFLIN, Ala. — Peyton Thetford straddles two Americas.
Inside the intensive care unit at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Hospital, the 27-year-old nurse has witnessed a dramatic uptick in new COVID-19 patients struggling to breathe. But after grueling 12-hour shifts — moving patients from their backs to their stomachs and then turning them onto their sides every two hours to keep their oxygen levels up — he leaves the hospital and sees hardly anyone wearing masks or practicing social distancing.

“It’s kind of like the movie ‘Groundhog Day,’ where you wake up and everything’s the exact same and you can’t do anything to change it,” he said. “You’re just coming to work and watching people die.”

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For many, the belated realization that Covid will be ‘a long war’ sparks anger and denial

In May, when the CDC said fully vaccinated people could ditch masks and social distancing, it seemed to signal a return to normalcy. But epidemiologists cautioned at the time that the move wasn’t likely to be permanent, and shouldn’t be interpreted as the end of Covid-19 as a daily concern. Colder weather or a right hook in the virus’s evolution could bring restrictions right back.

Still, Americans seem shocked by the recent turn of events. Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention advised everyone — even those who’ve gotten Covid-19 shots — to go back to indoor masking, a decision driven by new data showing the hyper-contagious Delta variant colonizes the nose and throat of some vaccinated people just as well as the unvaccinated, meaning they may just as easily spread this new version of the virus, while stilling being protected against the worst manifestations of the disease.

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CDC document warns Delta variant appears to spread as easily as chickenpox and cause more severe infection

The Delta coronavirus variant surging across the United States appears to cause more severe illness and spread as easily as chickenpox, according to an internal document from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The document — a slide presentation — outlines unpublished data that shows fully vaccinated people might spread the Delta variant at the same rate as unvaccinated people.

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Lauren Boebert’s Sarcastic Question To ‘Siri’ About Mask Mandates Didn’t Go Over As Planned

Rootin’ tootin’ Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) can’t (or refuses to) help herself. She’s only a congressional freshman and is nearly as good at self-owning as Sen. Ted Cruz, especially at the U.S.-Mexico border, where lectured a cardboard standee of VP Kamala Harris. Boebert’s latest mission, however, is to endlessly rage against Covid-19 protocols. Earlier this week, she reportedly threw a mask before (not reportedly) tweeting about House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “anti-science, totalitarian mask mandate” with a GIF of ex-President Trump saying “bullsh*t.”

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Pelosi calls McCarthy ‘a moron’ for his mask mandate criticism

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy a “moron” after being asked by a reporter about his criticism of the Capitol physician’s mask mandate in the House, another sign of the souring relationship between the two House party leaders.

“He’s such a moron,” Pelosi, a California Democrat, said while getting into her SUV outside the Capitol, when asked about the House minority leader.

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Washington opens training camp with NFL’s lowest player vaccination rate. ‘I’m beyond frustrated,’ coach says.

As the Washington Football Team opens training camp, the big question coach Ron Rivera faced was why his team, which was No. 1 in preventing COVID infections last year, is now last in the league in vaccination rate.

According to the Washington Post, just 60% of players have received at least one dose, three points lower than the second-worst team, Indianapolis, and well below the league average of 84%.

Last year at this time, Rivera made a personal plea to the team after he was diagnosed with squamous cell cancer, and doctors warned him of the potential dangers if he contracted the virus.

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Arizona ER Doctor Visibly Stunned By Video Of Trump Rally: ‘Dangerous And Stupid’

An emergency room doctor described the behavior of the people who attended a crowded, indoor rally for former President Donald Trump as extremely dangerous and stupid amid soaring COVID-19 case rates in the area.
“If you make a dumb decision about your own health, on one level you could say, ‘Well, it’s your life,’” said Dr. Murtaza Akhter, who works on the COVID-19 frontline with Valleywise Health in Phoenix. “But when it’s infectious disease that’s this contagious and affects so many people, you’re not just affecting yourself, you’re affecting everybody around you.”

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COVID-19 Vaccines Work. Here’s the Real-World Proof

It’s one thing to test a vaccine, and another to see it in action in the real world. More than two months after the first vaccines were authorized in the U.K. and U.S., strong data have emerged showing that the shots are doing what they are supposed to do: protect people from COVID-19.

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Smoking Chair Girls

Top Deals

Ruggs III, H. – LV (WR)

The Athletic’s Vic Tafur believes Raiders WR Henry Ruggs is “the one receiver we can lock in for a lot of targets.” (7/8)
Advice: “Gruden hears the criticism of the Ruggs pick, so he is the one receiver we can lock in for a lot of targets,” Tafur writes. The first receiver drafted among last year’s elite class, Ruggs was primarily used as a decoy under Gruden, receiving two screens on 581 offensive snaps and finishing behind Josh Jacobs in targets (45 to 43). There is some momentum here as Gruden mentioned 22-year-old Ruggs looking “much better” in his second year at offseason workouts. With Nelson Agholor’s team-high 79.3 air yards and additional 5.1 targets per game vacated from last year, there is a fruitful role available for Ruggs to step into if Gruden discovers how to use him over free agent pickup John Brown. Any amount of volume near the line of scrimmage (rather than forgetting Ruggs is on the team) would also help.
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Born: January 24, 1999, Alabama

Russia has been cultivating Trump as an asset for 40 years, former KGB spy says

The KGB cultivated Donald Trump as an asset for 40 years, and he proved a highly valuable asset in repeating anti-Western Russian propaganda in the United States, a former KGB operative told The Guardian.

Yuri Shvets is a key source in “American Kompromat,” a new book detailing the decades-long relationship between Trump and Russia by the journalist Craig Unger.

Toney, K. – NYG (WR)

2021 fantasy player outlook for Kadarius Toney, WR, New York Giants (6/23) Advice: The Giants selected rookie receiver Kadarius Toney at No. 20 overall in the first round from Florida, and he will look to make an impact in a crowded receiving corps in 2021. Toney is worth drafting with a late-round flier in all seasonal Fantasy leagues, and he’s a second-round selection in rookie-only drafts for Dynasty formats. Toney might not make a huge Fantasy impact as a rookie since the Giants have Kenny Golladay, Sterling Shepard and Darius Slayton at receiver, and Toney will likely open the season fourth on the depth chart. But Toney will eventually take over for Shepard in the slot, although that might not happen until 2022. He’s a tremendous playmaker, and hopefully Toney can connect with quarterback Daniel Jones right away. If that happens, Toney can be a star. (
ADP: 8.05 — 15.04
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Born: January 27, 1999, Mobile, AL

What’s Next For The MAGA Movement

Jordan Klepper sits down with one of Trump’s biggest fans and supporters to discuss what happened during the insurrection and what’s next for the MAGA movement. Watch the full special, Jordan Klepper Fingers the Pulse: Into the MAGAverse on Paramount Plus.

Watkins, S. – Bal (WR)

2021 fantasy player outlook for Sammy Watkins, WR, Baltimore Ravens (6/23) Advice: How long has it been since Sammy Watkins has been a quality Fantasy receiver? Well, he averaged 11.1 PPR points per game in 2018. Does that count? Otherwise you’d have to go back to 2015, when he put up 16.3 PPR points per game on average. He was 22 years old and playing in Buffalo. Six seasons and three teams later, Watkins will catch passes from Lamar Jackson in the Ravens’ run-heavy offense. Jackson hasn’t helped a wideout find 800-plus yards in his short career, which is probably fine with Watkins since he hasn’t registered even 700 yards in a season since 2015. You’re probably better off letting someone else draft Watkins because they recognize his name. (
ADP: 12.12 — 15.12
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Born: June 14, 1993, Fort Myers, FL


Lamb Rib Chops | Olive Oil | Garlic | Mustard | Thyme | Oregano | Rosemary | Lemon | Peppercorns | Potatoes | Semolina

Thai Fish Cakes

Fish Cakes can be so dull and boring. But THAI Fish Cakes are FABULOUS! A classic Thai street food and my favourite starter at Thai restaurants along with Chicken Satay.

Video: Voter Fraud Claims

Our fact-checking collaboration with CNN’s Jake Tapper resumes this week with a video looking at bogus claims about voter fraud made by President Donald Trump and White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer.

Rodgers, A. – GB (WR)

2021 fantasy player outlook for Amari Rodgers, WR, Green Bay Packers (6/23) Advice: Amari Rodgers has an excellent chance to prove himself the second most-talented wide receiver in Green Bay. That will be easier if Aaron Rodgers is participating in offseason workouts, which is certainly a question mark as of the time of publication. Assuming Aaron Rodgers and the Packers work things out, his rookie receiver would be a late-round pick in redraft and an early second round pick in rookie-only drafts. Amari Rodgers should complement Davante Adams in the slot very well and has the skill to take advantage of the lack of attention he’ll receiver with Adams on the field. (
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Dillon, A.J. – GB (RB)

2021 fantasy player outlook for A.J. Dillon, RB, Green Bay Packers (6/23) Advice: Dillon should replace Jamaal Williams in the secondary role in the Green Bay running game, which makes Dillon worth a speculative pick as early as Round 8. Williams averaged 138 carries and 30 catches per season in Green Bay, but with Dillon’s skillset, we’d expect a more run-heavy role. That makes him a better bet in non-PPR, but the truth is Dillon won’t likely be more than a flex unless Jones gets hurt. In Dynasty, Dillon is more exciting because of his youth and his rare size/speed combination. He’s best valued as a high-upside No. 3 back in that format, more valuable to a rebuilder than a contender. (
ADP: 4.10 — 9.11
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Born: May 2, 1998, New London, CT

Carson, C. – Sea (RB)

2021 fantasy player outlook for Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks (6/23) Advice: Fantasy managers might not feel comfortable trusting Chris Carson as a No. 2 running back. Carson, 27 just after the season starts, figures to remain the primary rusher for the Seahawks, but to what degree? His carries per game sunk from 18.5 in 2019 to 11.8 in 2020. As such, Carson had just four games out of 12 with 15-plus carries and seven with 15-plus touches. Those were also down from 2019. There’s no guarantee Carson will regain his previous workload, especially coming off a season where he missed four games and still has a number of talented young rushers on the depth chart behind him. Tack on a tough slate that includes the Steelers, Saints, Washington, Bears and the NFC West, and Carson feels riskier than ever. The bottom line: he’s delivered nice Fantasy weeks about half of the time over each of his past two seasons, and that’s probably close to what a good year would look like from him at this point. Whether you think he can get there or not will determine when you take him, but expect Carson to get snagged between 30th and 40th overall. (
ADP: 2.07 — 4.11
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Born: September 16, 1994, Biloxi, MS


Over the weekend, The New York Times reported that over the course of the 2020 election, the Trump campaign ripped off unwitting supporters for tens of millions of dollars. It did so through an extremely simple yet wildly deceitful scheme in which the default option for donations authorized the campaign to transfer the pledged amount from people’s bank accounts not once but every single week. Later, the campaign introduced a second prechecked box that doubled a person’s contribution and was known internally as a “money bomb.” In order for people to have picked up on this before it was too late, they would have had to wade through “lines of text in bold and capital letters that overwhelmed the opt-out language.” Few people did, hence why the two and half months leading up the the election, the Trump campaign, the RNC, and their shared accounts were forced to issue a whopping 530,000 refunds worth $64.3 million to online donors

The Hidden History of Trump’s First Trip to Moscow

It was 1984 and General Vladimir Alexandrovich Kryuchkov had a problem. The general occupied one of the KGB’s most exalted posts. He was head of the First Chief Directorate, the prestigious KGB arm responsible for gathering foreign intelligence.

Kryuchkov had begun his career with five years at the Soviet mission in Budapest under Ambassador Yuri Andropov. In 1967 Andropov became KGB chairman. Kryuchkov went to Moscow, took up a number of sensitive posts, and established a reputation as a devoted and hardworking officer. By 1984, Kryuchkov’s directorate in Moscow was bigger than ever before—12,000 officers, up from about 3,000 in the 1960s. His headquarters at Yasenevo, on the wooded southern outskirts of the city, was expanding: Workmen were busy constructing a 22-story annex and a new 11-story building.

Here’s what the officers testifying said they want the Jan. 6 committee to investigate

Rep. Bennie Thompson, the chairman of the House select committee, asked the four officers testifying at the hearing today what they want the committee to uncover in their investigation.

DC Metropolitan Police Officer Michael Fanone asked the committee to investigate the organizing of Donald Trump’s “stop the steal” rally and the “violent political rhetoric” leading up to and during the event.

He said that “the time, the place, and the circumstances of that rally, that rhetoric, and those events to me leads in the direction of our president,” referring to former President Trump, “and other members” of Congress and the Senate.

He called for the committee to conduct “an investigation into those actions and activities which may have resulted in the events of Jan. 6,” and whether or not there was “a collaboration between those members, their staff, and these terrorists.”

The new politics of climate change

A billionaire, a novelist and a professor all write a book about climate change. 

That may sound like the start of a joke but it is not, especially for philanthropist Bill Gates and author Jonathan Franzen. Their books have come out just as Michael E Mann, one of the world’s best known climate scientists, has published a book accusing each of abetting new forces of inactivism slowing efforts to tackle climate change.


The Trump administration has formally revised a proposal that would significantly restrict the type of research that can be used to draft environmental and public health regulations, a measure that experts say amounts to one of the government’s most far-reaching restrictions on science.

Hikers in Hawaii Who Disobey Signs May Soon Have to Pay for Their Own Rescues

Don’t say they didn’t warn you. Along with the scenic hiking trails in Hawaii come inherent risks, be it flash-flood warnings, hazardous cliffs, or falling debris, among other dangers. Despite signage indicating that areas are closed, many still venture beyond the warnings and find themselves in precarious situations. To emphasize the importance of adhering to warnings, a proposed bill is making its way through the Hawaii state senate that would require those hikers who disobey signs to pay for their own rescues, CNN reports.

Haleiwa Joe’s

Wow, simply wow. This place is incredible! Great food, service, and of course views! We showed up at 4:10pm on a Monday and it was already filling up! This place is POPULAR! They maintained social distancing and covid guidelines. The food was all delicious! I liked the guava butter and the luau crab dip in particular but my fish with lobster sauce was also incredible! They don’t take reservations but you can walk around the gardens as you wait.

Thomas, M. – NO (WR)

2021 fantasy player outlook for Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints (6/23) Advice: Drafted as the near-consensus WR1, Michael Thomas was one of Fantasy’s biggest disappointments in 2020. He dealt with an ankle injury early in the season that hampered him even once he returned. Thomas also took a hit when Drew Brees was out as the two had developed one of the best rapports in the NFL during their time together. While Thomas now seems on paper like an excellent buy-low at his 2021 draft price, there is inherent risk in drafting him now that he will be playing extensively without Brees for the first time in his career. (
ADP: 1.03 — 3.11
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Born: March 3, 1993, Los Angeles, CA

Ekeler, A. – LAC (RB)

2021 fantasy player outlook for Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers (6/23) Advice: Austin Ekeler’s reception-heavy upside carries him as a first-round value in PPR formats, but not necessarily in non-PPR. He followed up his breakout 2019 season with a modest 2020 thanks in part to a hamstring injury that cost him six starts. Still, the Chargers rusher averaged 93.3 total yards per game, just 3.6 yards off his 2019 average. He also averaged 5.4 receptions per game, 0.4 grabs off what he did a year prior. Ekeler has comfortably moved into the lead role, but he still has work to do when it comes to getting carries near the goal line (one last year, six the year before) and heavy workloads (15-plus touches in just 17 of his past 40 games). Maybe that puts Ekeler toward the beginning of Round 2 in non- and half-PPR leagues, but the catches he’ll get from game to game keep him in play as a top-10 overall choice in full PPR. (
ADP: 1.01 — 2.06
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Born: May 17, 1995, Lincoln, NE

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