The 2020 presidential election is less than 100 days away and the COVID-19 pandemic is showing no signs of slowing. So more Americans are saying that they're going to vote by mail this election to avoid the lines.
(It's also a great way to avoid voter suppression.)
A recent poll found that 35% of voters say they will be voting by mail in he upcoming election, a significant increase from the 24% who voted by mail in 2016.
Democrats are at least 30% more likely to say they will be voting by mail than Republicans, a trend that has led to President Trump to cast doubt over the legitimacy of mail-in-ballots by claiming, "Mail ballots, they cheat."
While Trump tries to suppress the vote, Barack Obama is reminding people throughout the country to "Request your ballot early, send it back early," on Twitter. His tweet also came with a graphic displaying the deadlines for requesting a mail-in ballot by state.
He also shared a link where people can request one by entering their address.
It's National Vote By Mail Day. Voting by mail is easy and safe. Take a few minutes to request your vote-by-mail ba… https://t.co/UhTTlT3Rdc— Barack Obama (@Barack Obama)1595953695.0
Actress, singer, and women's rights advocate Lynda Carter turned 69 years old on Friday, July 24, and celebrated it by praising New York Democratic representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.
Cater has become a feminist icon for her portrayal of Wonder Woman on television in the mid- to late-'70s.
Carter tweeted a photo of AOC sitting next to a Wonder Woman poster in her Capitol Hill office. The actress and AOC both share a Latino background, Carter's mother was Mexican and Ocasio-Cortez' family is Puerto Rican.
"Never stop being fierce and brave," the actress said, adding that seeing Ocasio-Cortez's poster tribute "made my birthday that much sweeter."
The tweet received a like form Ocasio-Cortez who thanked Carter for "being a shining example of a woman's strength."
@RealLyndaCarter Thank you for being a shining example of a woman’s strength! Happy birthday ✨— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1595792976.0
The interaction comes on the heels of Ocasio-Cortez's historic speech on the House floor after she was accosted by Republican Representative
who allegedly called her a "fucking bitch."
"I do not care what your views are," she said. "It does not matter how much I disagree or how much it incenses me or how much I feel that people are dehumanizing others.
"I will not do that myself. I will not allow people to change and create hatred in our hearts."
"And so, what I believe is that having a daughter does not make a man decent. Having a wife does not make a decent man. Treating people with dignity and respect makes a decent man."
"And when a decent man messes up, as we all are bound to do, he tries his best and does apologize. Not to save face, not to win a vote. He apologizes genuinely to repair and acknowledge the harm done so that we can all move on," Ocasio-Cortez said.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) Responds to Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) www.youtube.com
Carter's respect for Ocasio-Cortez shouldn't surprise anyone who has followed her career. Since the late '80s she has been an advocate for women's rights, including the Pro-Choice moment.
She is happy to be known as a feminist icon, although, she was just doing what came naturally. "At the time, you're really not aware of it. But when you look back, there is an inspiration there that you are part of. It's really nice," she told the Sun-Sentinel.
She has also advocated for LGBT rights and was named the Grand Marshal for the 2011 New York City Gay Pride Parade.
A victory for LGBTQ rights is a victory for us all. Happy Pride! 🏳️🌈 https://t.co/c5IFBmWSe9— Lynda Carter (@Lynda Carter)1592332780.0
As someone with a Latino background, she has also been an outspoken supporter of DACA.
"Even if you see the illegal immigrants as criminals, as many do, you cannot put that criminal action on top of children. They did not do anything criminal. They did not have choices. They came over with their families. It's not like they say anyone can come over," she said.
"These are people who haven't committed any crimes," she added. "They are going through the process of going to school and registering and there are promises that our government made to them and now those promises are broken," she said.
It must be wonderful for Carter to see that her work on screen and behind the scenes has inspired a younger generation of women such as Ocasio-Cortez, to channel their own inner Wonder Woman. And there's no doubt that Ocasio-Cortez's strength has already inspired another generation of younger women to do the same.
Dominant culture in much of the U.S. has long romanticized grand, antebellum-era plantations as a throwback to a bygone era, conjuring up images of Gone With the Wind romanticism while glossing over the heinous slavery that took place on them.
Plantations, with their mansions, tree-lined driveways and well-kept grounds might make a visually stunning backdrop for an event, but the whole slavery reality gives "stunning" a whole new meaning. Ignoring that reality—which people have done for decades—produces pretty pictures, but when you fully acknowledge the horrible history of the ground you're standing on, it's hard to feel okay about using a plantation as a party venue.
When Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively held their wedding at Boone Farm, a South Carolina plantation, in 2012, they were likely looking through a fairly typical white American (or in Reynolds' case, white Canadian) lens. But in an interview with Fast Company, Reynolds expressed profound regret for their wedding location choice.
"It's something we'll always be deeply and unreservedly sorry for. It's impossible to reconcile. What we saw at the time was a wedding venue on Pinterest. What we saw after was a place built upon devastating tragedy. Years ago we got married again at home—but shame works in weird ways. A giant fucking mistake like that can either cause you to shut down or it can reframe things and move you into action. It doesn't mean you won't fuck up again. But repatterning and challenging lifelong social conditioning is a job that doesn't end."
Ryan Reynolds revealed he and Blake Lively regret holding their 2012 wedding on a former slave plantation in South… https://t.co/Q2ukjMU3OX— E! News (@E! News)1596579928.0
Reynolds' acknowledgment could be viewed as lip service if it ended there. But it doesn't.
On the financial front, Reynolds and Lively made two $1 million donations to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights last year. They also donated an additional $200,000 to the NAACP Legal Defense Fund this May following the killing of George Floyd.
Though Fast Company says Reynold's is reluctant to talk about racism too much, for fear of being just another white celebrity drowning out voices of people of color, the star has used his social media platform to draw attention to social justice issues and encourage civic action through electing leaders that will make needed reforms in the justice system.
Regarding justice in the workplace, the actor, producer and entrepreneur also told Fast Company, "Representation and diversity need to be completely immersive. Like, it needs to be embedded at the root of storytelling, and that's in both marketing and Hollywood. When you add perspective and insight that isn't your own, you grow. And you grow your company, too."
Reynolds is backing that statement up with action as well. In an Instagram video last week, he announced the Group Effort Initiative, in which he will be using a portion of his salary on an upcoming film to bring in people from marginalized communities to work on the film, get paid for training, and gain valuable skills in the filmmaking industry.
It's one thing to recognize that you've done something insensitive or harmful. It's another to acknowledge it, learn from it, and make amends through real action. While we can't undo the past, we can all strive to build a more equitable and just future.
A devastating explosion in Beirut, Lebanon has killed over 100 people, injured more than 4,000 and left an estimated 300,00 homeless. Unfortunately, these early reports of the injured and dead are expected to rise in the coming days as more information is made available.
Lebanon's General Security chief Abbas Ibrahim says the blast that occurred in the city's port area was caused by "high explosive materials." It's believed that a warehouse fire ignited 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate stored nearby.
Lebanese officials say that the ammonium nitrate was confiscated from in 2013 from an Africa-bound ship.
The blast was so massive it's said to have been about one-fifth the size of the atomic blast that leveled Hiroshima, Japan in 1945.
Satellite images show a massive crater at the site of Tuesday's explosion in Beirut's port. The images show that ne… https://t.co/r89LwpVX7Z— CNN (@CNN)1596644949.0
The news traveled around the world through shocking videos taken by first-hand witnesses.
Please take a minute or two to pray for our brothers & sisters at Beirut, Lebanon.There has been a massive explosio… https://t.co/degWLOu7sH— mannat (@mannat)1596600975.0
One of the most striking early images of human resilience in the face of tragedy was taken at the Al Roum hospital on the outskirts of Beirut by photojournalist Bilal Jawich. He captured the image of a nurse wearing her scrubs and mask while holding three newborn babies.
The photographer told CNN that he" followed the smoke until I reached the port of Beirut" and that his "journalistic instinct" led him to the hospital.
The photo was taken shortly after the blast rocked the medical center, killing 12 patients, two visitors and four nurses.
According to the photographer, the nurse was surrounded by dozens of bodies wounded or killed in the blast. The unidentified nurse told Jawich that when the blast hit she was in the maternity ward and it left her unconscious.
When she woke up, she "found herself carrying these three children," said.
"I was amazed when I saw the nurse holding three newborns," Jawich told CNN. "I noticed the nurse's calm, which contrasted the surrounding atmosphere just one meter away."
"However, the nurse looked like she possessed a hidden force that gave her self-control and the ability to save those children. People stand out amidst these violent and dark and evil circumstances and this nurse was up to the task," he added.
Jawich says that he has covered "lots of wars" throughout his career as a photographer but has never seen anything like the devastation in Beirut.
A doctor told Al Arabiya English that hospital officials are now working to relocate its patients to unaffected medical facilities.
"We're bringing the patients to the emergency building, and from there, we're trying to send them to different hospitals because the urgent care is also full. What can we do?" Hospital director Firass Abiad said according to Metro UK.
The image of the nurse managing to hold three babies and take a phone call while surrounded by chaos shows the incredible resolve that healthcare have during times of crisis. The nurse is a fantastic example of how this power can be harnessed to create moments of triumph during even the darkest of tragedies.