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11:25 PM ET, August 4, 2020


 Top Items: 
US defense officials contradict Trump: No indication yet of attack in Beirut  —  (CNN)Three US Defense Department officials told CNN that as of Tuesday night there was no indication that the massive explosions that rocked Beirut on Tuesday were an “attack,” contradicting an earlier claim from President Donald Trump.
Associated Press:
Massive Beirut blast kills more than 70, injures thousands  —  BEIRUT (AP) — A massive explosion rocked Beirut on Tuesday, flattening much of the city's port, damaging buildings across the capital and sending a giant mushroom cloud into the sky.  More than 70 people were killed and 3,000 injured …
Discussion: Reuters, Politico, CNN, Mediaite, KRON4 and OutKick
Washington Post:
Nearly 50 people killed and more than 2,750 injured in Beirut explosions, health minister says  —  BEIRUT — At least two massive explosions shook Beirut on Tuesday, injuring and killing hundreds of people, strewing devastation across multiple neighborhoods and shattering windows for miles around.
Ben Hubbard / New York Times:
At Least 25 Killed as Powerful Explosion Rocks Beirut: Live Updates
Discussion: Breitbart and Townhall
White House eyes executive orders to upend virus negotiations  —  The White House is considering a trio of executive orders aimed at shaking up coronavirus relief negotiations with Democrats, a sign of frustration within the Trump administration at the sluggish pace of the talks …
Politico:   Endangered Republicans to McConnell: Don't leave town
Howard Koplowitz /   Poll: Tommy Tuberville leads Doug Jones by 17 points in Alabama Senate race
USA Today:   Poll shows Mitch McConnell with large lead over Democratic Senate rival Amy McGrath
Washington Post:
White House, Democrats agree to try for coronavirus relief deal on evictions, unemployment by week's end
New York Times:
No Relief Bill, No Vacation
Discussion: Raw Story
Jonathan Chait / New York Magazine:
The 9 Wildest Answers in Trump's Interview With Jonathan Swan  —  President Trump's campaign spent the past several weeks trying to center the presidential campaign on cogency.  His message has combined spreading baseless claims that Joe Biden is trying to get out of debating him and offering …
Greg Sargent / Washington Post:
How to interview a serial liar and narcissist who is unfit to be president  —  President Trump's peculiar brew of relentless dishonesty and utter shamelessness often acts as a shield against his interviewers.  The lies tumble out at such a furious pace, and the display of corrupt motives is so blatant …
Jennifer Rubin / Washington Post:
Mainstream media: Stop admiring good interviews and reform your approach
Discussion: The Daily Beast, Axios and The Hill
Vivian Yee / New York Times:
I Was Bloodied and Dazed.  Beirut Strangers Treated Me Like a Friend.  —  In a land conditioned by calamity, people knew what to do, including helping wounded people they didn't know.  —  BEIRUT — I was just about to look at a video a friend had sent me on Tuesday afternoon …
German ambassador pick disparaged immigrants and refugees, called for martial law at US-Mexico border  —  (CNN)President Donald Trump's nominee to become the US ambassador to Germany has a history of making xenophobic and racist comments about immigrants and refugees in both Germany and the US.
Discussion: Daily Kos
Associated Press:
Chasm grows between Trump and government coronavirus experts  —  But as the crisis has spread to all reaches of the country, with escalating deaths and little sense of endgame, a chasm has widened between the president and the experts.  The result: daily delivery of a mixed message to the public …
New York Times:
Kris Kobach Loses Kansas Senate Primary, Easing Republican Worries  —  Mr. Kobach, a polarizing figure in Kansas politics and an ally of President Trump's, was defeated by Roger Marshall, the preferred choice of many Washington Republicans.  —  Kansas Republicans on Tuesday rebuffed …
Discussion: Washington Post
Ginger Gibson / NBC News:
McConnell says he will likely rely on Democratic votes for coronavirus aid package
Discussion: MSNBC and New York Times
Jim DeFede / CBS Miami:
Exclusive: Gov. Ron DeSantis Acknowledges State's Unemployment System Was Built With ‘Pointless Roadblocks’ To Pay Out ‘Least Number Of Claims’  —  MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Gov. Ron DeSantis is acknowledging or the first time that the state unemployment system was deliberately designed to frustrate people …
Discussion: Raw Story and Florida Politics
Christopher Cadelago / Politico:
Trump campaign mum after aide confirms he'll debate Biden 3 times  —  A Donald Trump campaign spokeswoman said Tuesday the president has agreed to participate in three scheduled debates against Joe Biden organized by an independent commission.  —  Trump spokeswoman Erin Perrine appeared …
Discussion: Breitbart
New York Times:
Republicans Aid Kanye West's Bid to Get on the 2020 Ballot  —  At least three people involved in the effort to get Kanye West's name before voters in several states have G.O.P. connections, renewing questions about the aim of his campaign.  —  At least three people who have been active …
Discussion: The Hill and The US Sun
Cameron Joseph / VICE:
A Well-Connected GOP Strategist Is Helping Kanye West Get on the Ballot in Wisconsin
Discussion: New York Magazine
Wall Street Journal:
Saudi Arabia, With China's Help, Expands Its Nuclear Program  —  Kingdom harbors hopes for a civilian nuclear power program, but U.S. critics worry about its ambitions for nuclear weapons  —  WASHINGTON—Saudi Arabia has constructed with Chinese help a facility for extracting uranium yellowcake …
Marc Caputo / Politico:
Karen Bass eulogized Communist Party USA leader  —  When Rep. Karen Bass' “friend and mentor” died three years ago, she eulogized the community organizer's passing in remarks she inserted into the Congressional Record.  —  The California Democrat described Oneil Marion Cannon as a one-man force …
Monica Torres / HuffPost:
Instead Of Saying ‘Hey, Guys!’  At Work, Try These Gender-Neutral Alternatives … “Hey, guys!”  It's the greeting that launched a thousand meetings and Zoom calls.  —  Etymologists trace the term “guys” to the historical figure Guy Fawkes.  It's evolved from the name of one man who attempted …
Jessica Porter /
Aurora police detain Black family after mistaking their vehicle as stolen  —  AURORA, Colo. — Police detained and handcuffed a Black mother and several children after mistaking their SUV for a stolen motorcycle from another state.  —  It happened in the parking lot of a shopping center off …
Discussion: Law & Crime, Raw Story and Denver Post
Teo Armus / Washington Post:
Colorado police apologize over viral video of officers handcuffing Black girls in a mistaken stop
James LaPorta / Associated Press:
Navy SEALs cut ties with museum over Colin Kaepernick video  —  DELRAY BEACH — The commander of the Navy SEALs said the unit will suspend its support of the National Navy SEAL Museum, a nonprofit organization not overseen by the military after videos surfaced online of dogs attacking …
New York Times:
The Anonymous Professor Who Wasn't  —  A professor at Arizona State University does not exist.  —  An anonymous anthropology professor remained outspoken about fairness in academia even as she suffered for months with coronavirus.  —  “This person was a scientist who got Covid …
Washington Post:
Republicans consider South Lawn of the White House for Donald Trump's convention speech  —  Republican National Convention planners are considering the White House South Lawn as the site of President Trump's nationally televised nomination acceptance speech later this month, according to a Republican familiar with the discussions.
Discussion: Fox News, Raw Story and New York Times
Lionel Laurent / Bloomberg:
Good Covid-19 News From Italy...and Sweden  —  The countries' policies for taming the outbreak couldn't have been more different, but their current success in avoiding a resurgence should be heeded.  —  The lifting of Covid-19 lockdowns around the world was never going to be easy.
Coloradoan Online:
CSU athletes, staff say athletic administration covering up COVID-19 health threat  —  CSU football players and university athletic department staff say coaches have told players not to report COVID-19 symptoms, threatened players with reduced playing time if they quarantine and claim CSU …
J. David Goodman / New York Times:
N.Y.C. Health Commissioner Resigns After Clashes With Mayor Over Virus  —  The resignation of Dr. Oxiris Barbot, the commissioner since 2018, came after Mayor Bill de Blasio stripped her agency of a key virus tracing program.  —  New York City's health commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot …
Nick Gillespie / Reason:
Kindergarten Cop Is Canceled, Likened to Birth of a Nation  —  It's come to this: Kindergarten Cop, a banal 1990 comedy-action movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a police detective who masquerades as a teacher, has been canceled and likened to the explicitly racist silent film Birth of a Nation.
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 More Items: 
John Eligon / New York Times:
Distrust of the Minneapolis Police, and Also the Effort to Defund Them
Caitlin McFall / Fox News:
Turley explains how Antifa is the ‘Keyser Soze’ of social unrest
Discussion: Breitbart
Wall Street Journal:
The Teenager Allegedly Behind the Twitter Hack and How He Did It
Steven Mufson / Washington Post:
BP built its business on oil and gas. Now climate change is taking it apart.
Yuichiro Kakutani / Washington Free Beacon:
NYT Quietly Scrubs Chinese Propaganda
Discussion: Washington Post and Fox News
The fascinating mystery of Trump's approach to Putin
Discussion: Raw Story
Gabby Orr / Politico:
‘Never Trump’ Republicans team with progressives to convert the president's religious base
Discussion: Raw Story
 Earlier Items: 
Robert S. Taylor / Lawfare:
Contingency Planning for Presidential Interference with the Election
Discussion: Liberty Unyielding
Carla Marinucci / Politico:
Becerra charges Los Angeles DA's husband for pulling gun on Black Lives Matter protesters
David Corn / Mother Jones:
The Self-Destruction of Donald J. Trump
Stef W. Kight / Axios:
Trump is registering more new voters than Democrats in key states
Discussion: Breitbart and Townhall
John Caniglia / Plain Dealer:
FBI raids offices at downtown One Cleveland Center building tied to Ukrainian oligarch
Discussion: Talking Points Memo and Bloomberg
New York Times:
When Covid Subsided, Israel Reopened Its Schools. It Didn't Go Well.