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July 26, 2020

Hurricane Hanna Threatens COVID Battered TX | Flashpoint: Seattle Riot Ends with Injuries, Arrests

This Day in History | 1775

The U.S. postal system is established by the Second Continental Congress, with Benjamin Franklin as its first postmaster general. Franklin put in place the foundation for many aspects of today’s mail system.

Good morning Middle Americans, 

Texas became the landing ground for this season’s first Hurricane from the Atlantic Basin. Hawaii is also under a hurricane watch, as Douglas nears the islands. For a while, we’ve been wondering what would happen should a hurricane hit a COVID-19 hotspot. Will it make things worse? Will it not matter at all? We will now find out. 

Also today – Seattle is waking up today after a lot of violence.  Police declared a riot Saturday following large demonstrations in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood. In Colorado, a jeep drove through a crowd and a protester was shot in the Denver suburb of Aurora during demonstrations against racial injustice. We’re also learning more about a massive hacking scheme by the Russian military’s GRU targeting U.S. Government agencies. 

Finally today – we say goodbye to TV legend Regis Philbin. His family has now confirmed his death. He was 88 years old. 

Read all about it. 

-Fraser Dixon

Hurricane Hanna Threatens COVID Hot Spot Texas

(Reuters) – South Texas braced for flooding Sunday after Hanna roared ashore as a hurricane the day before, bringing winds that lashed the Gulf Coast with rain and storm surge to a part of the country trying to cope with a spike in cases of the coronavirus.

The first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic cyclone season made landfall twice as a Category 1 storm on Saturday afternoon within the span of little over an hour. The first landfall happened at around 5 p.m. about 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of Port Mansfield, which is about 130 miles (209 km) south of Corpus Christi. The second landfall took place nearby in eastern Kenedy County. Hanna came ashore with maximum sustained winds of 90 mph.

Read more here

Police Declare Riot at Seattle Protests, Make Arrests

(AP) – Seattle police declared a riot Saturday following large demonstrations in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood and deployed flash bangs and pepper spray to try to clear an area near where weeks earlier people had set up an “occupied protest zone” that stretched for several blocks.

Via Twitter, police said they had made more than two dozen arrests for assault on officers, obstruction and failure to disperse. They also said they were “investigating a possible explosive damage” to the walls of the city’s East Precinct police station. 

Authorities said rocks, bottles, fireworks and mortars were thrown at officers as they attempted to clear the area over the course of several hours stretching into Saturday night. One officer was hospitalized with a leg injury caused by an explosive.

See the aftermath here

Car Drives Through Black Lives Matter Protest in Aurora, Colorado

(The Guardian) – A car drove through a crowd and a protester was shot in the Denver suburb of Aurora during demonstrations against racial injustice.

The Aurora Police Department said on Twitter that protesters were walking on Interstate 225 Saturday when a vehicle drove through. Police said a protester fired a weapon, striking at least one person who was taken to a hospital in stable condition.

Authorities said the vehicle was towed and they are investigating. Protesters also broke windows at the courthouse and a fire was started in an office, police said. An unlawful assembly was declared and police ordered protesters to leave the area, authorities said.

Find out more here

Russian Hackers Hit US Government and Energy Targets

(Wired) – RUSSIA’S GRU MILITARY intelligence agency has carried out many of the most aggressive acts of hacking in history: destructive  worms, blackouts, and—closest to home for Americans—a broad hacking-and-leaking operation designed to influence the outcome of the 2016 US presidential election. Now it appears the GRU has been hitting US networks again, in a series of previously unreported intrusions that targeted organizations ranging from government agencies to critical infrastructure.

From December 2018 until at least May of this year, the GRU hacker group known as APT28 or Fancy Bear carried out a broad hacking campaign against US targets, according to an FBI notification sent to victims of the breaches in May and obtained by WIRED. According to the FBI, the GRU hackers primarily attempted to break into victims’ mail servers, Microsoft Office 365 and email accounts, and VPN servers. The targets included “a wide range of US-based organizations, state and federal government agencies, and educational institutions,” the FBI notification states. And technical breadcrumbs included in that notice reveal that APT28 hackers have targeted the US energy sector, too, apparently as part of the same effort.

Get informed here

Regis Philbin, Legendary Television Host, Dies at 88

(People) – Regis Philbin has died. The beloved star was 88.

The longtime television host died on July 24, PEOPLE confirms. “We are deeply saddened to share that our beloved Regis Philbin passed away last night of natural causes, one month shy of his 89th birthday,” his family shares with PEOPLE in an exclusive statement on Saturday.

“His family and friends are forever grateful for the time we got to spend with him – for his warmth, his legendary sense of humor, and his singular ability to make every day into something worth talking about. We thank his fans and admirers for their incredible support over his 60-year career and ask for privacy as we mourn his loss,” the Philbin family says.

In 1988, Philbin began his iconic career as the host of Live! with Regis and Kathie Lee alongside Kathie Lee Gifford. After 15 years, Gifford left the ABC show but the pair remained close after her departure.

Read more here

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