Trump Administration to Begin Highest Level Taiwan Visit in Decades Amid Plummeting US-China Ties

Washington has billed the Taiwan trip as an opportunity to learn from the island’s fight against the coronavirus and to celebrate its progressive values. 

Asenior member of US President Donald Trump’s administration will land in Taiwan Sunday for Washington’s highest level visit since switching diplomatic recognition to China in 1979, a trip Beijing has condemned.  

During the three-day visit Health Secretary Alex Azar will meet President Tsai Ing-wen, an advocate for Taiwan being recognised as a sovereign nation who is loathed by China’s leaders. Azar is the most senior cabinet member to visit Taiwan in decades and it comes as relations between the world’s two biggest economic powers plunge to historic lows.

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All New York school districts authorized to reopen: Governor Andrew Cuomo

Last month he said that school districts would be allowed to reopen in September if the positive test rate for their region stayed below 5 per cent — a threshold every state region has met as of Friday.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on Friday announed that all school districts across city have been authorized to reopen for the fall semester.

During a press confeence, Cuomo said, “By our infection rates, all school districts can open” with tight precautions”.

Cuomo cleared the way for schools to offer at least some days of in-person classes, alongside remote learning this fall, according to a media report.

Students will be required to wear masks throughout the school days, he added.

“We are probably in the best situation in the country right now”, the governor said.

Last month he said that school districts would be allowed to reopen in September if the positive test rate for their region stayed below 5 per cent — a threshold every state region has met as of Friday.

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Russia claims its COVID-19 vaccine is ready for rollout in September

Russian Defence Ministry says final check-up of volunteers at Burdenko Hospital showed complete improvement in their immunity with no side-effects; vaccine is being developed by Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow

Russia has claimed its COVID-19 vaccine — touted as the world’s first coronavirus vaccine — is all set for rollout in September after clearing all the trials and receiving necessary approvals.

The Russian Defence Ministry has said the final check-up of volunteers at the Burdenko Hospital showed complete improvement in their immunity with no side-effects. The vaccine is being developed by the Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology in Moscow.

“The results of the check-up clearly demonstrate an unmistakable immune response attained through the vaccination. No side effects or issues with the body of the volunteers were found”, the ministry said, Russia’s Sputnik News reported.

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17-year-old mastermind was behind high-profile Twitter hack, pretended to be Twitter employee

A 17-year-old recent graduate from Florida was arrested for the major Twitter hack on July 15. He faces 30 felony charges and is being charged as an adult.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) arrested Graham Clark, a 17-year-old from Tampa, Florida over the major Twitter hack that took place on July 15. He is accused of being the mastermind in the most high-profile Twitter hack. Clark faces 30 felony charges including organized fraud, communications fraud, identity theft, and hacking. Clark is being charged as an adult in the state of Florida considering how bad the consequence of the hack could have been.

Clark is a recent graduate and was found in his Florida apartment by himself when arrested. His accomplices in the Twitter hack are a 19-year-old from the United Kingdom Mason John Sheppard and a 22-year-old Nima Fazeli from Orlando. They go by the hacker aliases Chaewon and Rolex respectively and are in custody.

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From Bond girl to Gone Girl, Rosamund Pike on her most memorable roles

Splashing onto the scene like an invisible car tearing through a melting ice palace, Pike made her big-screen debut as Bond girl Miranda Frost in Lee Tamahori’s flashy spy thriller, the 20th entry in the iconic series. Never having been in a movie (or even seen a Bond film), “everything was new to me — everything,” Pike remembers. “There’s so much mythology around the Bond films, there’s so much riding on it, so much attention on it, there’s so many eyes on it — I didn’t really understand any of that.” Luckily, she felt protected by her co-stars: “Pierce [Brosnan] was wonderful to me, [and] it was pretty phenomenal to meet Halle Berry,” she says. “Her stature in the business seemed like she was on another planet, really, from me. It was when she was in her Oscar whirl and she’d just done that amazing performance in Monster’s Ball, and she seemed so glamorous.”

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WHY KANYE WEST IS A CHARACTER IN JIM CARREYS NEW BOOK, PLUS MORE NEWS

Jim Carrey talks celebs as semi-real-life ‘characters’ in his semi-memoir

Random … or perfect? Even Jim Carrey isn’t sure what to make of his decision to include Kanye West as a character in his new semi-autobiographical book, “Memoir and Misinformation.” But he knows why he wanted to include him. As he told Bill Maher recently on “Real Time” (via JustJared), Nicolas Cage “thought it was awesome” that he appeared in the pages, while he was told Rodney Dangerfield “would have loved it.” But what about Kanye West, who also appears in the pseudo-memoir? “It’s a very strange thing where parody becomes very parallel with reality,” Jim mused. “But we’ve got to mark these things, you know? [Kanye West] is one of the great characters of our zeitgeist at this moment and I wanted him to have a place in it. No matter what he’s doing. I can’t figure it out.”

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What We Know and Dont Know About the Beirut Explosions

More than 100 people were killed, and the second blast was felt in Cyprus. An investigation and a search for survivors are underway.

A pair of explosions, the second much bigger than the first, struck the city of Beirut early Tuesday evening, killing at least 100 people, wounding more than 4,000 and causing widespread damage.

The second blast sent a billowing, reddish plume high above the city’s port and created a shock wave that shattered glass for miles. On Wednesday morning, despite a huge search operation, dozens were still missing in the city, the capital of Lebanon on the eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

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States Where the Virus Is Growing the Fastest

After an alarming surge in coronavirus cases that began in June and continued through most of July, it appears that new COVID-19 infections may be leveling off nationwide. On Monday, the U.S. reported fewer than 50,000 new cases for the first time in nearly a month. This is still well above the roughly 20,000 new cases per day reported nationwide in early June. And while the number of new daily cases appears to be leveling off, or even declining nationwide, COVID-19 continues to spread at a growing rate in a number of states.

Using data from state and local health departments, 24/7 Wall St. compiled and reviewed the average of new daily confirmed COVID-19 cases for the week ending Aug. 1 and compared it to the average of new daily cases from the previous week to determine the states where the coronavirus is growing the fastest. 

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