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Boston Marathon to run second-largest field in history one year after tragedy

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Some 36,000 athletes, including Kenyan and Ethiopian runners who are consistently ranked among the world’s fastest, will run in the 118th Boston Marathon on Monday, putting the world-renown race back in the spotlight after it was marred by last year’s bombing attack.

Returning men’s and women’s champions Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia and Rita Jeptoo of Kenya are among the top-ranked runners expected to compete in the 26.2 mile race.

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But each faces a rival with a faster personal-best time: Dennis Kimetto of Kenya ran last year’s Chicago Marathon in 2:03:45 and Ethiopia’s Mare Dibaba turned in a 2:19:52 performance at the 2012 Dubois marathon.

No American athlete has stood atop the podium on Boston’s Boylston Street, not far from the site of last year’s bombing, since 1985 when Lisa Larsen-Weidenbach of Michigan won the women’s race. The drought has been longer for U.S. men: Greg Meyer of Massachusetts won in 1983.

But there are several U.S. hopefuls in the field, including Ryan Hall of California, who placed third in 2009 and Desiree Linden, who missed winning by just two seconds in 2011.

Race organizers expanded the field by some 9,000 runners this year, to allow the roughly 5,000 athletes who had been left on the course last year when the twin pressure-cooker bombs went off near the finish line another chance to compete.

Amateur runners often work for years to post the strict age-graded times needed to qualify for the elite race.

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Three people died and 264 were injured last year when a pair of ethnic Chechen brothers bombed the finish line, prosecutors contend.


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Wisconsin GOP slammed for making people choose between their health and their vote

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After Republicans nationally and in Wisconsin successfully sued in both state and federal court to block voters from being given extra time and options to cast votes in the middle of a pandemic, commenters on social media reacted with fury.

What just happened re: Wisconsin can seem a bit confusing. The TL;DR: The Supreme Court decided that Republicans winning elections is more important than keeping voters healthy & alive.

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COVID-19

ESPN reports the NBA is looking to rapid COVID-19 tests to resume professional basketball

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The NBA and the union representing players are working together on a possible solution to re-open professional basketball in America, ESPN reported Monday.

"In recent weeks, officials within the NBA and NBPA have been collaborating in assessing the viability of multiple blood-testing devices for the novel coronavirus that could provide accurate results within a matter of minutes, a process that would hopefully enable the league to track the virus in what's considered a critical first step toward resuming play in the near future," ESPN senior writer Baxter Holmes reported.

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Watch how the BBC reports on ‘the reality’ in the United States during COVID-19 crisis

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The British Broadcasting Corporation is reporting on the "frantic and on-the-edge" situation in an intensive care unit in New York City.

The BBC had footage from CBS News, which was allowed in the ICU.

"Though the administration says there's no shortage of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), the reality is otherwise," the BBC noted.

A front-line worker wearing a garbage bag "wished" she had the same PPE as the reporter.

"It's very, very difficult, it's like something out of 'The Twilight Zone,'" she said.

"And I don't think any of us going through it will ever be the same," she added.

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