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Trump is taking America up to the brink of a race war: Paul Krugman

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US President Donald Trump, embroiled in a scandal over his communications with Ukraine, is facing growing calls from opposition Democrats for impeachment proceedings to be launched against him AFP / SAUL LOEB

Taking in both the massive protests across the U.S. over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of four now-fired Minneapolis police officers and Donald Trump’s inflammatory comments that followed, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman accused the president of trying to start a race war in America.

In his column for the New York Times, Krugman started off by pointing out that Minneapolis police union chief Mark Kroll appeared at a Trump rally last year where he thanked the president for freeing his members from the “oppression” of former President Barack Obama who he claimed ‘handcuffed” officers from doing their jobs.

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According to Krugman, this should have been seen as a warning shot of what was to come.

“The events of the past week, in which the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody led to demonstrations against police brutality, and these demonstrations were met by more police brutality — including unprecedented violence against the news media — have made it clear what Kroll meant by taking the handcuffs off,” he wrote. ” And Donald Trump, far from trying to calm the nation, is pouring gasoline on the fire; he seems very close to trying to incite a civil war.”

“I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that America as we know it is on the brink,” he then warned.

Explaining that the preceding four decades have seen the rich successfully weaponize “white racism to gain political power,” Krugman stated that it is no surprise the country is being torn apart — with the help of Donald Trump.

Writing that, “it requires willful blindness not to see what’s going on,” the columnist pointed out that the president’s policies — particularly when it comes to trade — have hurt his base so he needs to appeal to them on another level. 

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“So what has Trump really offered to the white working class that makes up most of his base? Basically, he has provided affirmation and cover for racial hostility,” he explained. “They don’t make enough money to benefit much from the Trump tax cut. Their jobs will be very much at risk if revenue-starved state and local governments are forced to make drastic spending cuts — and Trump’s allies in the Senate are blocking the aid that might avert such cuts.”

“Republicans have, as I said, spent decades exploiting racial hostility to win elections despite a policy agenda that hurts workers. But Trump is now pushing that cynical strategy toward a kind of apotheosis. On one side, he’s effectively inciting violence by his supporters. On the other, he’s very close to calling for a military response to social protest. And at this point, nobody expects any significant pushback from other Republicans,” he wrote before cautioning, “Now, I don’t think Trump will actually succeed in provoking a race war in the near future, even though he’s clearly itching for an excuse to use force. But the months ahead are still likely to be very, very ugly.”

He concluded with a final — and chilling — warning.

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“If Trump is encouraging violence and talking about military solutions to overwhelmingly peaceful protests, what will he and his supporters do if he looks likely to lose November’s election?” he wrote.

You can read more here.

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Moon may be richer in water than thought — and it could help propel humans farther from earth

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There may be far more water on the Moon than previously thought, according to two studies published Monday raising the tantalising prospect that astronauts on future space missions could find refreshment -- and maybe even fuel -- on the lunar surface.

The Moon was believed to be bone dry until around a decade ago when a series of findings suggested that our nearest celestial neighbour has traces of water trapped in the surface.

Two new studies published in Nature Astronomy on Monday suggest there could be much more water than previously thought, including ice stored in permanently shadowed "cold traps" at lunar polar regions.

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Asymptomatic coronaagvirus sufferers lose antibodies sooner: study

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Asymptomatic coronavirus sufferers appear to lose detectable antibodies sooner than people who have exhibited Covid-19 symptoms, according to one of the biggest studies of its kind in Britain published on Tuesday.

The findings by Imperial College London and market research firm Ipsos Mori also suggest the loss of antibodies was slower in 18–24 year-olds compared to those aged 75 and over.

Overall, samples from hundreds of thousands of people across England between mid-June and late September showed the prevalence of virus antibodies fell by more than a quarter.

The research, commissioned by the British government and published Tuesday by Imperial, indicates people's immune response to Covid-19 reduces over time following infection.

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2020 Election

Early voting to be hit by heavy rain and flooding as Hurricane Zeta barrels towards the Gulf Coast

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Hurricane Zeta is expected to make landfall near Louisiana's border with Mississippi on Wednesday evening as campaigns work to get supporters to the polls and convince any undecided voters to back their candidate.

"Hurricane conditions and life-threatening storm surge are possible along portions of the northern Gulf Coast on Wednesday, and Storm Surge and Hurricane Watches are in effect," the National Hurricane Center warned.

"Between Tuesday night and Thursday, heavy rainfall is expected from portions of the central Gulf Coast into the southern Appalachians and Mid-Atlantic states near and in advance of Zeta. This rainfall will lead to flash, urban, small stream, and minor river flooding," the center explained.

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