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Jury trials begin again, carefully, as communities reopen

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Woman judge pounding a gavel (Shutterstock)

PORTLAND, Ore. — On a drizzly spring day in mid-May, potential grand jurors lined up 6 feet apart outside the Multnomah County Courthouse.Raincoats and umbrellas dripping, they filed one by one into the courthouse and through a metal detector, all the while maintaining appropriate social distance from court employees. Most visitors wore masks, which the court encouraged and made available for free but did not require. Nearly all court employees wore face coverings.Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, had issued a stay-at-home order to slow the spread of COVID-19 nearly two months before, and it…

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COVID-19

COVID-19 has shelter providers scrambling to protect homeless people against the coming winter weather

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SEATTLE — On any given day before the COVID-19 pandemic, Mary’s Place in Seattle had more families calling to ask for shelter than it had beds available.That changed after the outbreak hit and state and local eviction moratoriums went into place to help people struggling financially. This summer, Mary’s Place had space for any homeless family seeking help — even though it lost almost a quarter of its 675 beds after closing shelters where people couldn’t keep their distance.“They were able to stay in their homes … or they were finding other solutions,” said James Flynn, chief program officer at... (more…)

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2020 Election

Mental health expert: Trump is waging ‘psychic terrorism against Black Americans

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A prominent Black psychologist is accusing President Trump of waging "psychic terrorism" against Black Americans, and warns that the "psychological trauma" experienced by people of African descent won't simply go away if Trump loses the election.

Dr. Kevin Washington, the former president of the Association of Black Psychologists and the head of the sociology and psychology department at Grambling State University, studies the cultural and historical trauma of people impacted by the legacy of slavery in America. In a recent interviw, he told Salon that the president's rhetoric has effectively given "permission" to act out on "white supremacist" ideology, but was not the primary cause of rising racial tensions across the country.

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2020 Election

There were several glaring omissions in the FBI’s bizarre announcement about election interference

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Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe and FBI Director Christopher Wray announced on Wednesday in a last-minute press briefing that both Iran and Russia have obtained voter registration information and have "taken specific actions to influence public opinion."

In particular, Ratcliffe said that Iran has been found to have sent "spoofed emails designed to intimidate voters, incite social unrest, and damage President Trump." He seemed to be referring to an incident described in a Washington Post story published right before the conference, which said the U.S. has concluded that Iran had sent emails pretending to be from the right-wing group the Proud Boys to Democratic voters.

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