Month: June 2020

Duke plans mass COVID-19 testing and mix of in-person and online classes this fall

Duke University is planning to bring students, faculty and staff back to campus in August with new safety precautions, including mass COVID-19 testing, adjusted classroom layouts and revised housing options in dorms and hotels.

The school also announced the plan for its student-athletes to return to campus, beginning with football players on July 12.

The news comes as state health officials say they are concerned about the recent increase in COVID-19 cases among younger adults.

“While the trends we see today are concerning,” Duke president Vince Price said in a statement, “we believe that the many safety precautions we are putting in place will allow us to responsibly continue along the path towards opening Duke’s fall 2020 semester on campus in August. We ask all members of the Duke community — students, parents, faculty and staff — to recognize and accept that we may need to change our plans based

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Hampton Inn worker fired for calling cops on Black guests; Police open ‘internal investigation’

A Hampton Inn employee has been fired after calling the police on a Black family using the hotel’s swimming pool in Williamston, North Carolina.

“Hampton by Hilton has zero tolerance for racism or discrimination of any kind. On Saturday, we were alerted to an online video of a guest incident at one of our franchise properties,” Shruti Gandhi Buckley, the Global Head of Hampton by Hilton, said in a statement to USA TODAY Monday. “The team member is no longer employed at the hotel.”

In a nearly 10-minute Facebook Live video shared across social media, a white hotel employee and two Williamston police officers approach a Black woman who is using the pool with her children. They ask the woman, identified on her social media account as Anita Williams-Wright, to prove that she’s staying at the hotel. 

“I can’t believe this happened to me and my kids,” Williams-Wright captioned the

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Joe Biden blasts Trump, offers alternatives to coronavirus response

WILMINGTON, Del. – Joe Biden blasted President Donald Trump’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic Tuesday and announced a plan to control the virus that he said Trump should adopt immediately. 

During a speech at Alexis I. duPont High School in Wilmington, Biden outlined the plan, which includes increased testing and rigorous contact tracing. It follows a road map that Biden released in March which he said would have saved lives had it been adopted.

Biden is also proposing to get more protective supplies to health care workers and provide a more consistent message on the importance of wearing a mask in public.

The former vice president stressed that the virus is still here and the threat to American public health remains.

“COVID-19 will likely worsen,” Biden said. “We need real plans, real guidelines with uniform, nationwide standards to help us chart our economic reopening.”

Joe Biden addresses the media on the coronavirus (COVID-19) at the Hotel DuPont, in Wilmington, De., on Thursday afternoon.
Joe Biden addresses the media on
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Penn Badgley and Chace Crawford Share Why It’s ‘Uncomfortable’ for Them to Watch ‘Gossip Girl’

Penn Badgley and Chace Crawford are reflecting on their Gossip Girl days. On the latest installment of Variety‘s Actors on Actors series, the former co-stars reminisce about their time on the teen soap and reveal why they don’t watch episodes of it today.

While Badgley watched the series with his wife, Domino Kirke, years back, he didn’t have a positive viewing experience.

“She had never seen it, and that’s the last time I can remember seeing an episode. I remember even then, it has nothing to do with the show, but it was very hard to watch,” he recalled. “These snapshots of yourself when you’re 20, 21, 22 years old. Who can enjoy that? Sometimes it’s just uncomfortable.”

Despite that experience and not having seen the show “in so long,” Badgley admitted that it’d be “very interesting to watch it now.”

“Buddy, you have to strap me to a

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Which Ones Make More Money Than You?

Although fans won’t be back in stadiums for the rest of this season’s Major League Baseball games, the mascots will be. The MLB reversed a ruling banning mascots from the park amid concerns about the spread of the coronavirus, the Associated Press reported. Mascots can now be in the stands, though they are not allowed on the field, which could possibly mean that mascot traditions like the Sausage Race in Milwaukee and the dashing Presidents in Washington won’t be able to take place. As for mascots from other leagues, including the NBA, their future remains more uncertain.

As the Phillie Phanatic, Mr. Met and other MLB mascots prepare to make enthusiastic returns to their stadiums, see how much bank these mascots make for their home team spirit — you’ll see that this odd job can pay pretty well.

Last updated: June 30, 2020

How Mascot Salaries Stack Up

If you’re

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How the Americana Association Decided Show Must Go On With Live Awards, Virtual Music Conference

Click here to read the full article.

The storm may have been too strong for most music-biz awards events or conferences to go on in anything resembling their traditional form this year, but the Americana Music Association likes to think of itself as, well, more rooted than that. The org that celebrates the rootsier forms of contemporary music has had a slew of more uplifting announcements in recent weeks, since announcing that the annual AmericanaFest gathering in Nashville was, like nearly all other live events, toast.

The Americana Honors & Awards will take place at the Ryman Auditorium Sept, 16, as planned — with or without a TBD live audience — with a slate of nominees that includes Brandi Carlile, Brittany Howard, Nathaniel Rateliff, Tanya Tucker, Yola, Drive-By Truckers and the late John Prine. Moreover, the sorts of panels, conversations and live showcases that would have taken place in hotels

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With bankruptcies surging, 2020 may become one of the busiest years for Chapter 11 filings since the Great Recession

Twelve midsize to large corporations – all with more than $10 million in debt – filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection during the third week of June, another consequence of the coronavirus pandemic and continued trouble in America’s oil industry.

The filings represent the highest weekly total of the year, and experts believe this is just the beginning of a bankruptcy tsunami that will wash over the country’s largest companies this summer and then drench both smaller businesses and individuals if government stimulus money dries up.

“I very much expect to see the numbers continue to rise” said Ed Flynn, a consultant for the American Bankruptcy Institute, a nonpartisan research organization. “Every day there are more rumors of this or that company, and the rumors are almost never wrong.”

The types of companies affected are unsurprising. Since the start of the pandemic, they have included businesses that consumers have studiously

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On The Beach hunts for bargains amid travel sector chaos

Two men set up sun umbrellas at the beach in Praia da Luz, in Portugal's Algarve coast - Armando Franca/AP
Two men set up sun umbrellas at the beach in Praia da Luz, in Portugal’s Algarve coast – Armando Franca/AP

The coronavirus crisis has caused demand for travel to nosedive and sent airlines into freefall, but holiday retailer On The Beach is keeping its eyes peeled for deals.

Britain’s biggest online travel agent has built up a £50m war chest in a bid to increase its market share by scooping up struggling rivals struck by the pandemic.

On The Beach has not been shielded from the havoc in the sector, however. On Tuesday it slumped to a £34.1m loss for the six months to April, in contrast to a profit of £11.9m a year earlier. 

Sales plunged by two-thirds during the period to £21.4m, while costs related to Covid-19 and the cancellation of bookings set the business back close to £35m in the period. 

During the crisis, any dealmaking within

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How to Save Money: 101 Genius Tricks

Benjamin Franklin — a man who knew a thing or two about frugal living — once warned: “Beware of little expenses. A small leak will sink a great ship.”

From grocery shopping to impulse buys, the choices we make every day have a huge impact on our budget. With these 101 money saving tips, you’ll learn how to spend less and pocket more no matter the day or time of year. Incorporating as many of these hacks into your life as possible could be a real game-changer for your finances — especially since it’s nearly impossible not to find something new on this list that you haven’t tried before.

Our 101 savings tips fall into the following categories:

Everyday lifestyle tweaks Online shopping apps and strategies Food and drink Travel Regular bills and subscriptions Energy and automobile savings Eliminate fees and interest charges Seasonal savings Plus: How to save money

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How ‘AGT’ is reshaping season during COVID-19, from no audiences to outdoor Judge Cuts

What is the sound of 10 hands clapping?

“America’s Got Talent” fans will find out when the NBC summer reality competition returns Tuesday (8 EDT/PDT), with acts performing only for the four judges and host Terry Crews – along with crew members – in an otherwise empty Pasadena Civic Auditorium.

It’s the first episode of Season 15 to reflect the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which sidelined entertainment production when “AGT” auditions were being taped in March. 

Three months later, “AGT” is one of the first shows back in production, last week filming a Judge Cuts episode (airing July 28) outdoors in Los Angeles. And, the season’s live shows are still on tap, starting Aug. 11.

Simon Cowell, a judge and executive producer, found a “silver lining” in having to reconfigure the season during production.

In an ‘AGT’ first, judges Howie Mandel, left, Sofia Vergara and Simon Cowell observe auditions

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