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At least nine of the 20 largest US school districts are making masks optional for students
Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

At least nine of the 20 largest US school districts are making masks optional for students

As the new school year quickly approaches, at least nine of the 20 largest school districts in the US are making masks optional for students in school while another nine are requiring masks. Two districts remain undecided with just weeks left until schools plan to open their doors. With varying rules for indoors and outdoors,…MORE

Staff director for 1/6 committee accused of retaliating against whistleblower
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/FILE

Staff director for 1/6 committee accused of retaliating against whistleblower

David Buckley, the newly named staff director for the House Select Committee investigating the January 6 Capitol insurrection, was found to be retaliating against a whistleblower during his time as the CIA inspector general, according to a report by the Inspector General of the Department of Homeland Security. Andrew Bakaj, a former special agent for…MORE

New Capitol Police chief says he’d be ‘a fool to not be concerned’ about ongoing threat
Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc./Getty Images

New Capitol Police chief says he’d be ‘a fool to not be concerned’ about ongoing threat

In his first day on the job, Tom Manger — the new chief of the US Capitol Police — said Friday that he would be “a fool to not be concerned” about the threat of more attacks on the Capitol, especially given chatter on extremists’ forums about possible action in August. “The safety and security…MORE

Tokyo 2020 isn’t the first Olympic Games to battle a pandemic
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Tokyo 2020 isn’t the first Olympic Games to battle a pandemic

Covid-19 has thrown more than few curve balls at Tokyo Olympic organizers — but this isn’t the first Games to battle a pandemic. A century ago, the 1920 Antwerp Olympics were held only a few months after the Spanish flu ravaged the world, killing at least 50 million people. In 2010, the Vancouver Olympics were…MORE

Tennessee resumes vaccination outreach but with marketing emphasis on parents, not children
Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images

Tennessee resumes vaccination outreach but with marketing emphasis on parents, not children

Tennessee’s top health official said Friday that vaccination efforts for teens will continue but that marketing efforts would be clearly directed at parents rather than their children. The Tennessee Department of Health announced mid-July that it had stopped outreach on all adolescent vaccines, including the Covid-19 shot. That pause followed the firing of a top…MORE

Bumble match turns in January 6 suspect who allegedly whipped police

Bumble match turns in January 6 suspect who allegedly whipped police

Yet another US Capitol suspect was caught this week, all thanks to his Bumble match. Prosecutors say Andrew Taake of Texas used the dating app Bumble while in Washington on January 6. The match asked if he was near the Capitol and he said he was there “from the very beginning.” He sent several selfies…MORE

They dodged flames pushed by 30 mph winds. Crews fighting the huge Bootleg Fire still are trying to tame it
Payton Bruni/AFP/Getty Images

They dodged flames pushed by 30 mph winds. Crews fighting the huge Bootleg Fire still are trying to tame it

When crews battling the massive Bootleg Fire saw wind-driven flames race across the treetops, they had one option: retreat. “We had a running crown fire, which means that the fire has reached the top of the trees and being pushed by the wind” moving at 30 mph, firefighter Eric West told CNN. “We all had…MORE

Defense Department has had about 2,000 breakthrough Covid cases
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Defense Department has had about 2,000 breakthrough Covid cases

The Department of Defense has experienced about 2,000 breakthrough Covid-19 cases among its more than 2 million fully vaccinated personnel, Pentagon spokesman Maj. Cesar Santiago-Santini told CNN in a statement, but it’s unclear how many are a result of the Delta variant. “Like the civilian sector, we are seeing a rise in COVID-19 cases, driven…MORE

The week in 12 headlines

The week in 12 headlines

This week, Senate Republicans blocked a key vote to start debate on a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill long sought by President Joe Biden, leaving his political agenda potentially on the brink. Meanwhile, the White House toughened its tone regarding Covid-19 as the Delta variant continued to spread and some cities reassessed their relaxed mask mandates.…MORE

National Guard unit starts to make cuts after Congress fails to pay for Capitol security mission
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National Guard unit starts to make cuts after Congress fails to pay for Capitol security mission

The Nebraska National Guard has begun canceling training events as other Guard units across the country prepare to take even more drastic measures if Congress doesn’t reimburse the National Guard Bureau for the more than half a billion dollars spent securing the Capitol in the months following the January 6th riot. The annual weapons qualification…MORE

Liz’s Dirt

Friday’s Dirt

Kevin Hart has won the war. Remember when Nick Cannon sent Kevin a llama for his birthday and Kevin vowed to get even? Well, he did. Kevin posted Nick’s personal phone number on billboards in LA, Atlanta and New York. The billboards said ‘For any advice on fatherhood? Call my best friend Nick Cannon.’ Nick…

Thursday’s Dirt

I don’t care what it costs, I would pay for this. The Jonas Brothers have challenged the Hemsworth Brothers to a MMA fight. They were obviously joking but I am all in for this. My money is on the Hemsworths. So the Rock has finally responded to Vin Diesl’s claim that he was tough on…