The NBA officially returns tonight after a four-month delay brought on by the then-emerging coronavirus. Teams are sequestered in Orlando, Florida, to avoid infections and all games will be played without fans at Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex. The Los Angeles Lakers (49-14) and Milwaukee Bucks (53-12) enter favored to meet in the championship (see standings and odds here).
The league has adopted a unique structure in an attempt to salvage the season. The 16 top teams in the league will be joined by six teams (five from the Western Conference, one from the East) currently competing for eighth place in each conference. Eight remaining teams simply will not return—including the Golden State Warriors, who've played in the past five championships (winning three) but cratered this season after star Steph Curry was injured. The first game features the New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz (6:30pm ET, TNT).
NASA's next visit to Mars gets underway this morning, with the Perseverance rover scheduled to depart from Florida's Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. The $2.7B mission follows 2018's InSight lander, though unlike its predecessor—which deployed a stationary subsurface probe—Perseverance will be capable of exploring the Martian surface.
The ambitious goal is to search for signs of former life on the red planet, with the nuclear-powered rover touching
down mid-February 2021 in the Jezero Crater ($$, NYT). Geological formations in the 28-mile-wide site suggest it once was an ancient lake; the vehicle has a plethora of tools—including a foldable helicopter—designed to test soil samples to look for signs of organic materials. The samples will be held for a not-yet-scheduled retrieval mission. Watch the launch live here (7:30am ET).
See a great breakdown of Perseverance's design here.
Feds to Depart Portland
Federal agents in Portland, Oregon, will begin a phased departure today, according to Gov. Kate Brown (D). The decision followed a tentative agreement between state and federal officials that state forces will be used to bolster local protection of federal property in the city. Members of the Federal Protective Service—who act as year-round security—will remain at selected sites, including the Hatfield Federal Courthouse.
It is unclear whether the decision will help
quell unrest in the city, which saw their 63rd consecutive night of protests last night. The courthouse itself has become a focus of the demonstrations, with clashes between crowds and police becoming increasingly violent. Dozens of protestors have been arrested for property damage and assaulting police, while critics say federal agents are not properly trained and have abused their power (opposing views here and here).
What do you hope the future will hold? Flying cars? Teleportation devices? World peace? Thumb drives that fit in the USB port on your first try?
Hear us out; we're vying for adult cereal that tastes great without the unhealthy ingredients. And we're no prophets, but we think Magic Spoon might just be the hero of our future. They've recreated your favorite childhood breakfast cereals (flavors like cocoa, frosted, fruity, and blueberry) with more protein, fewer carbs, and zero sugar. Time magazine named them in the Top 100 Inventions of 2019, and Forbes has called them "the future of cereal."
>Ashley Judd wins appeal and can pursue sexual harassment claim against Harvey Weinstein (More) | PBS Documentaries channel to launch on Prime Video Aug. 4; will feature full Ken Burns collection including upcoming features on Leonardo da Vinci and Muhammad Ali (More)
>Notre Dame to join Atlantic Coast Conference and share revenue for 2020 college football season which will include 11-game schedule (More)
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Kennedy Human Rights Ripple of Hope recipients to include Dolores Huerta, Colin Kaepernick, and Dr. Anthony Fauci (More)
>Analysis of long-lost piece of Stonehenge almost conclusively proves the largest rocks came from a forest 15 miles away; ancient builders began work on the structure around 3,000 BCE (More)
>Prototype fabric made with boron nitride nanosheets is 10 times more efficient at conducting heat than conventional fabrics; applications include passively cooled clothing (More, w/video)
>New report says pharmacy chain Rite Aid has deployed facial recognition technology in roughly 200 stores across the US over eight years, mostly in low-income
areas; company says cameras were turned off as of last week (More)
>Tech CEOs Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Tim Cook (Apple), and Sundar Pichai (Alphabet/Google) grilled by the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee; Certain Republican lawmakers questioned whether conservative voices are suppressed, while certain Democrats focused on anticompetitive actions (More)
>Federal Reserve holds
rates steady at 0-0.25% as expected (More) | Treasury department to lend US Postal Service $10B in pandemic relief as losses continue to mount (More)
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Politics & World Affairs
>Rep. Louie Gohmert (R, TX-1) tests positive for COVID-19; Gohmert has resisted wearing a face mask on Capitol Hill, including during committee hearings(More) | The US has reported 4.43 million total cases, with 150,713 deaths; see the three-day moving average (More)
>Sweeping Turkish law cracks down on social media, requires platforms with more than 1 million users to open local offices and comply with requests to take down content; major companies haven't commented yet (More)
>Funeral for Rep. John Lewis to be held today at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta; famous church was once led by Martin Luther King Jr. (More)
We Thought It Was Just a Respiratory Virus
UCSF Magazine | Ariel Bleicher, Katherine Conrad. For those racing to understand the coronavirus, new research often raises more questions than it answers. Here is one of the best overviews we've seen on the complex, full-body symptoms, often linked to the body's complicated immune response. (Read)
A Historical Rarity
Washington Post | Sydney Trent. At 88 years old, Daniel Smith is one of the few remaining Americans who are the living offspring of a slave. Through his father—born on a Virginia plantation early in the Civil War—Smith has witnessed the full trajectory of the country's slow lurch toward racial justice. (Read, $$)
LET'S TALK PROTEIN
How much protein does your current breakfast go-to have? Is it giving you the energy and strength you need to take on the day? It might be time to check out Magic Spoon: their cereals are packed with 11g of protein (along with only 110 calories, 3g net carbs, and zero sugar).
Historybook: Automobile pioneer Henry Ford born (1863); Uruguay wins first World Cup (1930); HBD Arnold Schwarzenegger (1947); Medicare and Medicaid established in US (1965); RIP actress Claudette Colbert (1996).
"Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths."
- Arnold Schwarzenegger
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