Archive for June 23rd, 2020

RCMP Commissioner faces grilling on systemic racism – The Globe and Mail

June 23rd, 2020

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki speaks during a press event at RCMP ‘Depot’ Division in Regina in this file photo from March 9, 2018.

Michael Bell/The Canadian Press

RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki acknowledged the existence of systemic racism in her organization on Tuesday, but was unable to give a specific example that satisfied some of the MPs at an emergency meeting on the problems facing the national police force.

Speaking in front of the public safety committee of the House, Commissioner Lucki said “there’s absolutely systemic racism” in the RCMP.

However, when Liberal MP Greg Fergus asked her for an example, she spoke of a physical evaluation test in which participants in an obstacle course have to do a broad jump over a six-foot mat. She said, upon review, there was evidence to indicate that an average person can jump only their height.

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“How many six-foot people do we hire? And there are people in all different cultures that may not be six feet, including there’s not a lot of women that are six feet tall, that would not be able to get through that type of test,” Commissioner Lucki said.

Mr. Fergus, who is the chair of the Black caucus in Parliament, said he was not satisfied by her answer. “That would be systemic discrimination,” he said. “But I’m trying to think of systemic racism.”

In her appearance in front of MPs on Tuesday, Commissioner Lucki referred Mr. Fergus’s question to her chief human resources officer, Gail Johnson, who attended the evening session by video link. Ms. Johnson said systemic racism is understood to apply to systems in organizations that disadvantage certain racialized and Indigenous groups.

Ms. Johnson added that attempts to recruit officers from the North have been hindered because people in remote locations had a difficult time coming to write aptitude tests in person. She said the force now recognizes this disadvantaged that group, adding the RCMP has made it easier to participate in the process from northern locations.

The committee passed a motion to study the issue of systemic racism in policing in Canada. Public Safety Minister Bill Blair and Commissioner Lucki were the first witnesses.

NDP MP Charlie Angus said it is ridiculous for the RCMP Commissioner to cite the example of an obstacle course in response to a question about systemic racism in the force.

“What we need to see action on is the fact that Indigenous people are only four percent of the population but make up 36 percent of the deaths at the hands of the RCMP,” he said.

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On June 10, Commissioner Lucki said in an interview with The Globe and Mail that “we don’t have systemic racism” in the force. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau contradicted her the next day, and on June 12, she released a statement acknowledging she was wrong.

RCMP commissioner ‘struggles’ with definition of systemic racism, but denies its presence in organization

Trudeau contradicts Commissioner Lucki over existence of systemic racism in the RCMP

Liberal MP Gary Anandasangaree said he was disappointed by Commissioner Lucki’s “lack of clarity in acknowledging that systemic racism exists” in the RCMP.

Earlier in the committee hearing, Mr. Blair said there is no doubt systemic racism exists in Canada’s justice system, including in police services, courts and prisons.

“I define systemic racism as deficiencies in the system that give rise to different outcomes for different racial groups,” he said.

Mr. Blair, who is a former Toronto Police chief, promised to make it easier and quicker for Canadians to lodge a complaint against the RCMP. Mr. Blair’s comments came in response to a question about the need to change the process overseen by the Civilian Review and Complaints Commission (CRCC).

In particular, Liberal MP Pam Damoff asked Mr. Blair whether the Liberal government would consider bringing in legislation to set timelines for CRCC investigations to address complaints that they take too long. She also asked whether he is open to simplifying the system to ensure more people can access it, saying many feel they need to hire a lawyer to file a complaint.

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“I’m very open to your observations and recommendations coming forward from the work of this committee on how we can make the complaint review system work better, not just for all Canadians, but for police officers who are subjects of these complaints,” Mr. Blair said. “A timely resolution of that complaint is actually in their interest as well, so they can get on with rebuilding their relationship with the people they’re supposed to be serving.”

Mr. Blair also told the committee one of the Liberal government’s priorities is to co-develop a legislative framework that recognizes First Nations policing as an essential service and to ensure the services are culturally appropriate.

The federal government has committed to spend up to $291-million under what is called the First Nations Policing Program. It is designed to support policing services dedicated to First Nation and Inuit communities.

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde has been urging Ottawa to declare First Nations policing as essential.

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Steve Bing: Suicide spurred by money, drugs and mental health struggle – Page Six

June 23rd, 2020

Hollywood and business mogul Steve Bing committed suicide following a yearslong battle with depression and financial woes after blowing much of his $600 million fortune, friends said.

Bing, 55, died after jumping from his 27th-floor apartment in LA’s Century City on Monday. He was a notable philanthropist and Hollywood investor, including as a producer for the Sylvester Stallone remake “Get Carter.”

Bing dropped out of Stanford after receiving a $600 million inheritance from his grandfather, a real-estate developer. He is perhaps best known for being the father of Elizabeth Hurley’s son, Damian, born in 2002.

Bing initially denied he was his father, but a DNA test proved otherwise.

While the Hollywood community remains shaken by his death, those close to Bing say his jet-set life was enviable on the surface — with close friendships with President Bill Clinton and billionaire Ron Burkle and relationships with a host of beautiful women — but he was very troubled in reality.

One friend, who asked not to be named, said, “Steve was the most charming, caring and generous guy you could ever meet. Yes, he liked beautiful women, but it never worked out. He has gone through a dark time for years. He talked about battling mental illness, bipolar disorder. His close friends are devastated about his death but, sadly, not surprised.”

The source added, “Steve did have a drug problem, but it was the mental issues that tormented him. He would often disappear for long periods of time. He didn’t have a strong relationship with his kids, and he was sad about that.

“And, as surprising as this sounds, he had financial problems in the end. He made a lot of ill-advised investments. His latest film with Warren Beatty went upside down, and many people took him for a lot of money. People imagine it is impossible to run through $600 million, but he did. He was too generous.”

A second source added, “Steve recently sold his jet, his home, and was very depressed.”


Jimmy Kimmel faces backlash for ‘non-apology’ addressing blackface controversy – Fox News

June 23rd, 2020

Late-night host Jimmy Kimmel was blasted for what critics call a “non-apology” addressing his history of wearing blackface.

On Tuesday, just one day after Fox News obtained audio of his 1996 use of the N-word in a song impersonating Snoop Dogg, Kimmel issued a statement to Fox News about his use of blackface during his tenure hosting “The Man Show” in the early 2000s, most notably while impersonating former NBA star Karl Malone.

“I have long been reluctant to address this, as I knew doing so would be celebrated as a victory by those who equate apologies with weakness and cheer for leaders who use prejudice to divide us. That delay was a mistake. There is nothing more important to me than your respect, and I apologize to those who were genuinely hurt or offended by the makeup I wore or the words I spoke,” Kimmel began his statement.

“We hired makeup artists to make me look as much like Karl Malone as possible. I never considered that this might be seen as anything other than an imitation of a fellow human being, one that had no more to do with Karl’s skin color than it did his bulging muscles and bald head. I’ve done dozens of impressions of famous people, including Snoop Dogg, Oprah, Eminem, Dick Vitale, Rosie, and many others. In each case, I thought of them as impersonations of celebrities and nothing more,” Kimmel said in the statement. “Looking back, many of these sketches are embarrassing, and it is frustrating that these thoughtless moments have become a weapon used by some to diminish my criticisms of social and other injustices.”


While the “Jimmy Kimmel Live” host insisted that he has “evolved” since his days on the Comedy Central program, he claimed that his past use of blackface “will be used to try to quiet me.”

“I won’t be bullied into silence by those who feign outrage to advance their oppressive and genuinely racist agendas,” Kimmel vowed.

He added, “Thank you for giving me an opportunity to explain and to those I’ve disappointed, I am sorry.”

However, the late-night host was slammed for drawing so much focus on his critics he suggests are the real racists instead of reflecting on his own misdeeds.

“People aren’t ‘feigning outrage,’ you disingenuous fraud @jimmykimmel,” Donald Trump Jr. told the ABC star. “We’re pointing out the utter hypocrisy of you & your lib friends always trying to cancel YOUR political enemies, but refusing to hold yourselves to the same woke standards. This ‘apology’ proves that point.”

“Kimmel went with the Weinstein ‘I’m fighting the NRA defense,'” conservative commentator Stephen Miller reacted, referring to disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein’s initial response to the sexual assault allegations.


“Spare us, Jimmy. You’ve called for the destruction of people for lesser offenses. You think ‘I know my motives, and I’m not racist. It was a joke,’ but you’ve torched those who said the same exact thing. You shouldn’t be canceled, but the people before you shouldn’t have either,” The Blaze’s Jessica Fletcher wrote.

“This reads a bit like ‘how dare you hold me to the same standard the @washingtonpost applies to randos, you racists,'” Hot Air senior editor Ed Morrisey said, invoking the criticized report about the Washington Post who recently targeted a woman who wore blackface at a staffer’s Halloween party in 2018.

Amid the national dialogue following the death of George Floyd, virtually every aspect of American culture is being revisited through the lens of racial sensitivity from monuments and statues, iconic food brands, to every form of entertainment. And Jimmy Kimmel is no exception.

Back in 2018, Kimmel pleaded to comedian Tom Arnold, who was promising at the time the existence of a tape showing President Trump using the N-word during his time hosting “The Apprentice.”

However, it appears a tape exists showing Kimmel using the N-word. Several times.


Just days after Kimmel announced that he was taking the summer off from his show, Fox News obtained audio of a song he recorded imitating Snoop Dogg on a 1996 comedic Christmas album, “A Family Christmas In Your A–,” which came out of the “Kevin & Bean” radio show that aired on KROQ-FM in California.

In the Christmas track, a singer mentioned a “fat n—- in a sleigh giving sh— away,” referring to Santa Claus. The song also referenced “n—– in the manger,” including associates of King Herod.

“I told that motherf—er Santa, bring a pick for my afro,” the singer went on. The “three wise men” were described as “bringing gifts and sh– for baby boo in the hay.”

“Me and my n—– down in LBC, we’ll smoke that motherf—— Christmas tree,” Kimmel said.

Liner notes from the cassette, obtained by Fox News, showed the album was co-produced by “Jim Kimmel” and credited Kimmel for all “comedy material” on the album, except for a handful of unrelated tracks. Kimmel also appeared on the album cover.

In a January 2013 podcast, Kimmel recalled recording the song, saying “This is when Snoop Dogg first came out, hit the scene, and I used to imitate him by only saying, ‘You know what I’m saying?'”

“Jimmy, do you only do black people?” someone asks on the podcast.

“I prefer them, yes,” Kimmel responds, apparently jokingly.


During the same podcast, he also shared his imitation of black comedian George Wallace and recalled how he  “called the president of Comedy Central” from a New York City hotel room after he and friends had been drinking.

While Kimmel’s apology doesn’t specifically address his past use of the N-word, it does address his past use of wearing blackface on “The Man Show,” where he wore dark makeup while impersonating Karl Malone and daytime talk show host Oprah Winfrey.

Earlier this month, the ABC star addressed his own “white privilege” amid the national dialogue about the death of George Floyd.

“You hear the phrase ‘white privilege’ and it’s easy to get defensive. The first time I heard it, I did,” Kimmel said. “To me, white privilege was like what Donald Trump had – a wealthy father and a silver spoon in his mouth. It wasn’t what I grew up with, so I rejected it because I didn’t understand what white privilege meant, but I think I do now…”


He continued: “Here’s what I think it is: people who are white, we don’t have to deal with negative assumptions being made about us based on the color of our skin… whereas black people experience that every day, like every day.

“And please don’t tell me you don’t ever make assumptions about people based on the color of their skin because I don’t believe it. We all do, I know I have, I’m embarrassed to say it, but I have.”

Kimmel’s racially charged humor isn’t the only type of comedy that has been called out by critics. The depiction of women on “The Man Show” has not aged well in the era of the #MeToo movement.

Days after sexual misconduct allegations emerged against disgraced film mogul Harvey Weinstein, an old clip from “The Man Show” surfaced showing Kimmel having women on the street play a game where they had to guess what’s in his pants using their hands.


In the clip, Kimmel suggests to one woman to “use two hands” and jokingly told another, “maybe it’d be easier if you put your mouth on it.”

During an exchange with another woman, he asked how old she was. She said she was “18.”

“Are you sure?” Kimmel responded. “Because Uncle Jimmy doesn’t need to do time.”

As one contestant aggressively felt his pants with her hands, he jokingly told her “You’re gonna make a fine wife.”

Kimmel, who is still set to host the Emmy Awards this fall despite the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, announced on his show last Thursday that he was taking a hiatus to spend time with his family.


“There’s nothing wrong me, my family is healthy, I’m healthy,” Kimmel assured his viewers. “I just need a couple of months off. So, while I’m gone, a cavalcade of very kind and capable people will be filling in for me. I think you’re going to be very happy with them. They will be guest hosting the show.“

The “Jimmy Kimmel Live” host also appears to be laying low on Twitter, showing no activity since Saturday.

Fox News’ Brian Flood and Gregg Re contributed to this report. 


Poll: What was your favorite announcement during Apple’s WWDC keynote – 9to5Mac

June 23rd, 2020

Canada’s justice minister has authority to intervene in Meng extradition: lawyer – CTV News

June 23rd, 2020

TORONTO — The federal government has the “unequivocal” authority to intervene in the extradition case of a Chinese executive, even if it doesn’t want to exercise it, says a prominent defence lawyer.

Brian Greenspan told CTV’s Power Play Tuesday that under the Extradition Act, the justice minister can withdraw the authority to proceed with the extradition of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou, who was arrested by Canadian authorities in Vancouver in December 2018 after the United States requested her extradition.

While her arrest sparked outrage in China and a rapid cooling of relations between Canada and China,

the Canadian government has repeatedly insisted that the court process be allowed to unfold without political interference.

It has stuck to that message, despite China’s detention of Canadians Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig since shortly after Meng’s arrest.

But Greenspan said the judicial process includes what he called a “safety valve,” which allows the minister to determine if an extradition should proceed.

“The process itself is initiated by the minister of justice, initiated with an authority to proceed, and during that first phase of extradition, which is the judicial process, there’s express language which permits the withdrawal of that authority to proceed at any time,” Greenspan said.

Earlier on Tuesday, Greenspan told CTV News Channel that an overhaul of the Extradition Act in 1999 gives the justice minister “unfettered discretion to withdraw an extradition at any time during the judicial phase of extradition,” which offers the federal government a “very clear option.”

“I don’t express, nor would I express an opinion as to whether they ought to exercise it or whether they should withdraw, that’s a question that’s political in nature,” Greenspan said. “The best interests of Canada have to be considered. That’s a question for the government. But whether they can in fact, intervene at this stage, in my view is very clear: they can.”

But Treasury Board president Jean-Yves Duclos emphasized the importance of judicial independence when he was asked about this option to withdraw the extradition during his Tuesday press conference.

“In Canada, we have not only a tradition but a responsibility to work in a manner that is supportive of the integrity and the independence of our justice system,” Duclos said.

“This is very important for the way in which our institutions work in Canada, we have a separation between the executive, and the legislative, as well as the judicial systems, and that’s exactly what it should be.”

But as Meng’s case inches through hearings at the B.C. Supreme Court, and she remains out on bail in Vancouver, Spavor, a businessman, and Kovrig, a former diplomat, have languished in Chinese custody for more than 560 days.

The Canadian government has repeatedly described their detention as retaliation for Meng’s arrest and an attempt to exert pressure on Canada, but China denies that. The Chinese government charged Spavor and Kovrig with espionage Friday.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau condemned the charges, saying Canada was “using a wide range of public and private measures” to secure the release of the men. But he is facing growing criticism from opposition parties who say Ottawa must do more.

Duclos said the government is “very preoccupied and saddened and angered” by their detention, which he called “totally unacceptable.”

“There are all sorts of things we don’t understand, including the fact they don’t have access to consular services, which is an obligation under international treaties. We are making that well understood and well felt by the Chinese government.”

But he said the independence of the Canadian justice system is important to its citizens and the country’s international reputation.

“We believe our anger and frustration are also shared by many partners outside of Canada and some of them have voiced their level of anger and frustration. I think this is something essential.”

U.S. authorities have charged Meng, the daughter of the founder of Huawei and the giant telecom’s chief financial officer, with fraud alleging she circumvented American sanctions on Iran.

The diplomatic war of words seems to be escalating.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement Monday that the Chinese prosecution of the two Canadians is “politically motivated and completely groundless.” He said the “unjustified detentions” are aimed at coercing Canada. He called for the immediate release of the two men.

A Chinese Foreign Affairs spokesperson said Tuesday that talk of “political motives, improper detention and arbitrary arrests” applies to Canada and the U.S., not China.

The U.S. has “abused its national power” and the “case of Meng Wanzhou was completely a serious political incident,” said Zhao Lijian at a press conference in Beijing.

“If the arbitrary arrest of Meng Wanzhou by the U.S. and Canada is the so-called ‘judicial independence,’ why do they use various pretexts to interfere in the independent handling of cases by the Chinese judicial department? Such unfounded countercharges based on double standards refresh our understanding of the lower limit of the U.S. and Canadian politicians.” 

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The Canadian government can intervene to end Meng’s extradition trial. Should it? –

June 23rd, 2020

While seasoned jurists say the Canadian government has every legal right to intervene to free Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou from her extradition trial to the U.S., some experts warn such an action could have significant political ramifications.

“The question isn’t whether the [Canadian government] can, the question is whether they should,” said Toronto-based lawyer Brian Greenspan.

In 1999, the Extradition Act was amended to include a specific provision that provides the federal minister of justice the power to intervene in an extradition at any point during the judicial phase.

“The minister has the right to withdraw the authority to proceed and to end the extradition proceeding, and it’s totally at the discretion of the minister of justice,” Greenspan said.

Extradition proceedings continue in the case against Meng, who was arrested in 2018 in Vancouver on behalf of American justice officials. The United States wants to prosecute Meng for fraud, alleging she lied to banks about her company’s connections with Iran, which could possibly violate U.S. sanctions.

The issue of the Canadian government intervening in the case of Meng, the daughter of the Chinese technology giant’s founder, was raised recently by the wife of Michael Kovrig, one of two Canadians being held in China on charges of spying.

Michael Spavor, left, and former Canadian diplomat Michael Kovrig are in Chinese custody. Both have been charged with spying. (The Associated Press/International Crisis Group/The Canadian Press)

The Trudeau government has accused China of detaining Kovrig and Michael Spavor in retaliation for the arrest of Meng. Some have suggested Canada could secure their freedom if it put an end to the extradition proceedings against Meng and allowed her to return to China. 

Trudeau has said his government continues to work behind the scenes to secure the release of the two Canadians but has ruled out a prisoner exchange.

Still in custody

The Office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, David Lametti, said in a statement Tuesday they are “well aware of the laws and processes governing” the extradition proceedings.

“As Ms. Meng’s case remains before the courts, and the Minister of Justice has a direct role in the extradition process, it would not be appropriate to comment further on this matter,” the statement said.

Former Supreme Court of Canada justice John Major said while Lametti can intervene at any time in the extradition process, it would be unusual — especially if after a prolonged court hearing, it concluded in favour of extradition.

But Major noted there may be reasons to do it, especially as Kovrig and Spavor languish in Chinese detention. 

“I would hope before the attorney general intervenes, [he] would have reasons that convince Canadians he should,” Major told CBC News.

“The attorney general has to be very cautious in overruling a trial judge who has conducted a full hearing … You just want [Lametti] to act judiciously, not politically.”

‘Be very cautious’

Major said Canada is stuck in a difficult position, because if the attorney general quashes the judge’s decision in Meng’s case, the U.S. could react. Likewise, if the judge approves extradition, China could retaliate.

Legal experts say Attorney General David Lametti could intervene at any time in Meng’s extradition case. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

“It’s a delicate situation where you have the U.S. at odds with China and Canada being caught in the middle,” Major said.

Donald Abelson, director of St. Francis Xavier University’s Brian Mulroney Institute of Government, said he believes it would be “a very dangerous game for Canada to play in terms of succumbing to pressure” to intervene politically in the case.

“I don’t think that’s a game that we want to play,” said Abelson, who was also a founding director of the Canada-U.S. Institute. “It puts us in a very, very precarious position because we don’t want to be seen by the Americans as succumbing to Chinese political pressure.”

Abelson said Canada would be “tempting fate” with the U.S, particularly in the current political climate, where the Chinese government has become the focus of Donald Trump’s ire in terms of the COVID-19 pandemic and the countries’ trade war.

Abelson said Canada doesn’t want to become a “punching bag” for Washington.

WATCH | Wife of Michael Kovrig says Canada can choose to end the extradition process:

Michael Kovrig’s wife (though separated) Vina Nadjibulla speaks for the first time in an exclusive interview with Adrienne Arsenault about his detention, Canada’s diplomacy and her fears for the future. Nadjibulla also shares letters Kovrig has sent during his 560 days in a Chinese prison. 13:23

Diplomatic gloves come off

David Carment, a a professor at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, said he believes Canada’s intervention would prompt the Trump administration to use it as a rallying cry to undermine Trudeau’s leadership and his pursuit for a majority government when he calls an election.

“I think all sort of diplomatic gloves would come off in this case. The United States would come out fighting and work to undermine this current government’s mandate,” he said.

Christopher Sands, director of the Centre for Canadian Studies at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, said that the state department officials who brought the case forward against Meng would be unhappy with Canada’s decision to intervene.

Trump would likely be angry, send off a dismissive tweet or give Trudeau the cold shoulder at the next G7 meeting. But Sands doesn’t believe it would result in major policy ramifications against Canada.

“Would it be ‘Canadians are no longer allowed to cross the border?’ No. The relationship between us and Canada is too big and complex for that,” he said. “I can’t see any lasting damage.”

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California Breaks Record For New Daily Coronavirus Cases, Hospitalizations Surge – Deadline

June 23rd, 2020

The California state health department on Tuesday reported a record number of new coronavirus cases. The new daily tally of 5,019 was a big jump from the previous record of 4,230, which was recorded on Monday. Hospitalizations, a confirmation that these are new infections vs. the result of increased testing, also rose to a record of 3,868 total.

Hospitalization totals broke records on both Saturday and Sunday, with 3,702 COVID-19 patients reported in hospital beds. The previous high before the weekend came nearly two months earlier on April 29. That was 3,497 new hospitalizations.

California was one of seven states that, on Tuesday, reported the highest number of hospitalizations since the pandemic began, according to the Washington Post. The others included Texas, Arizona, Arkansas, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Hospitalized patient figures are increasing most rapidly in Southern California. But some counties in the Central Valley and Bay Area came within a handful of cases of their highest-ever total number of COVID-19 hospitalizations, as well.

Generally, after an increase in cases is reported, experts look to see if there is then an increase in hospitalizations to confirm an outbreak — as opposed to just increased cases from increased testing. L.A. County’s weekly number of tests sits at 87,000. That’s an eight-week low, down from a high of 117,000 five weeks ago.

The Los Angeles County health department — the state’s largest– announced on Tuesday the fourth instance in a week that the region had seen over 2,000 new COVID-19 cases. That’s a daily mark not seen even at the height of the virus’s spread. The 24-hour total reported Tuesday was 2,364.

Even more worrisome was rise in hospitalizations and spread rate.

From the L.A. health department’s press release:

Public Health continues to assess key recovery indicators to understand how COVID-19 is affecting communities and capacity to treat people who may become seriously ill. Public Health is seeing small increases in hospitalizations and in the 7-day average of the daily positivity rate. There are 1,515 people who are currently hospitalized, 27% of these people are in the ICU and 18% are on ventilators. Although this number is significantly lower than peaks of over 1900 people hospitalized daily for COVID-19, this is higher than 1350 to 1450 daily hospitalizations seen in recent weeks. And while the cumulative positivity rate remains at 8%, the 7-day average of the daily positivity rate has increased to 8.8%.

One day earlier, the department had pegged the 7-day positivity rate at 8.4 percent.

See Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announce a new COVID-19 testing initiative on Tuesday:


Rosetta lacks support for x86 virtualization, Boot Camp not an option on Apple silicon – AppleInsider

June 23rd, 2020

Rosetta lacks support for x86 machine virtualization, Boot Camp not an Apple silicon option – AppleInsider

June 23rd, 2020

Rosetta lacks support for x86 machine virtualization apps, Boot Camp not an option on Apple silicon – AppleInsider

June 23rd, 2020