Meghann Showers

Born to prevent war, United Nations at 75 faces deeply polarized world

UNITED NATIONS — Born out of World War II’s devastation to save succeeding generations from the scourge of conflict, the United Nations officially marks its 75th anniversary Monday at an inflection point in history, navigating a polarized world as it faces a pandemic, regional conflicts, a shrinking economy and growing inequality.

Criticized for spewing out billions of words and achieving scant results on its primary mission of ensuring global peace, the U.N. nonetheless remains the one place that its 193 member nations can meet to talk.

And as frustrating as its lack of progress often is, especially when it comes to preventing and ending crises, there is also strong support for its power to bring not only nations but people of all ages from all walks of life, ethnicities and religions together to discuss critical issues like climate change.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, looking back on the U.N.’s history in an

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California parents struggle as Covid and fires collide

With much of northern California still under lockdown and wildfires raging across the state, Corinne Perham’s nine-year-old daughter recently asked: can coronavirus and fire make people extinct?

Covid-19 changed the lives of Perham’s family in ways large and small – her husband, an emergency room doctor, started showering before he came home from work, and her nine- and 10-year-old daughters were distance learning at their Chico home. Then a deadly wildfire burning nearby rained ash on the region and created hazardous air that meant no one could go outside for days. Perham’s kids started asking “when will the fires be over?” along with “when will corona be over?”

Related: ‘We need to show children we can survive’: how to parent through a pandemic

“The children of Chico are so resilient,” Perham, 44, told the Guardian told this week, adding that her daughters were familiar with the sight of smoke because

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Betsy DeVos vows to make standardized tests great again: 4 questions answered

Betsy DeVos
Betsy DeVos

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos Getty Images/Saul Loeb/Salon

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced on Sept. 3 that the government intended to enforce federal rules that require all states to administer standardized tests at K-12 public schools during the 2020-2021 school year. Nicholas Tampio, a Fordham University political scientist who researches education policy, puts this declaration into context.

1. What did DeVos say?

Since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, U.S. public school students have had to take federally mandated standardized tests every year.

Students got a break in the spring of 2020 when DeVos announced that states could apply for waivers due to the pandemic. “Neither students nor teachers,” she explained, “need to be focused on high-stakes tests during this difficult time.”

In September, DeVos reaffirmed her commitment to federally mandated testing. “It is now our expectation,” DeVos wrote in a letter to chief

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Britain stands at a ‘critical point,’ Chris Whitty to warn this morning

Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty, left and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance - AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali
Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty, left and Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance – AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..
Coronavirus Article Bar with counter ..

Britain stands at a “critical point” in the coronavirus pandemic, Professor Chris Whitty will warn this morning, potentially laying the ground for tough new controls in an urgent attempt to halt the surge in infections.

In a televised briefing expected at around 11am, the Chief Medical Officer for England will say the country faces a “very challenging winter”, with the current trend heading in “the wrong direction”.

Boris Johnson spent the weekend with senior ministers and advisers discussing what action to take as the rise in the number of new cases showed no sign of slowing.

It is thought the Prime Minister could set out new measures in a press conference as early as Tuesday.

This morning, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has delivered a similar message,

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How to be financially ready for the next COVID-19 lockdown

The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 has hit 200,000. And, a chilling forecast from the University of Washington predicts the number could more than double or even triple by January as people spend more time indoors and tire of social distancing and other recommended measures.

Other countries are imposing new lockdowns as coronavirus case numbers explode, and a new Newsweek poll finds a majority of Americans would support a national lockdown to stop the spread.

The earlier lockdowns in the U.S. led to layoffs and furloughs, and even a new series of smaller, more localized ones could spell trouble for workers still feeling drained after round one.

But you have time to prepare if Americans are asked to hunker down again. Here are nine things you can do to protect your finances ahead of a second lockdown wave.

1. Keep on saving

As the first wave of the pandemic swept

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Money laundering is a dirty, even deadly business. Miami plays a huge role

Emily Spell heard the screams from outside her parents’ red brick home.

She found her brother, Joseph Williams, 31, splayed on a mattress in the basement. His eyes, half open, were yellow. His lips were blue.

“Joe, wake up! Joe, wake up!” his wife, Kristina, hollered, while pounding on his chest.

Spell, a nursing student, started CPR. Joe’s mother, who’d raced home from work at the Piggly Wiggly grocery in Garland, North Carolina, tore into the room.

“It’s OK, baby, you can go ahead and sleep,” Susan Williams said. “Do you want a cigarette? Are you cold?”

“I thought my mama had lost her mind,” Emily remembers. “Of course he was cold. Because he was dead.”

Joe’s family had no idea that he was one of the first of thousands of Americans who would die from fentanyl, the most dangerous narcotic in the world. And even after they saw the

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Apps are tracking WhatsApp users’ online activity, including whom they’re likely talking to and when they’re sleeping

Hello everyone! Welcome to this weekly roundup of Business Insider stories from executive editor Matt Turner. Subscribe here to get this newsletter in your inbox every Sunday.

Read on for news about the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, WhatsApp-tracking apps that are letting people figure out when you’re sleeping, how home-listing site Zumper weeded out thousands of Section 8 renters, and a toxic culture in Yelp’s Phoenix office. 

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. <p class="copyright">Drew Angerer/Getty Images</p>
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Hello!

The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is likely to make intense political polarization in the US even more severe.

Ginsburg’s death opened up a vacancy on the Supreme Court that President Trump said he will fill as quickly as possible. But a new national survey from Insider found that most respondents disagree with the plan to fill the seat as soon as possible. You can get the latest on the response to

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Just got a job offer? Be smart about your new benefit choices like health coverage, 401(k) savings levels

Dear Pete,

I’ve been without work income for four months now, but I just received a job offer. I haven’t started a new job for almost twenty years, as I’d been with the same company that entire time. When it comes to starting a new job, have things changed from a benefits and procedural perspective? I want to make sure I don’t make any mistakes.

Allison, New Haven, Connecticut

Congratulations. And I hope millions of other Americans are soon able to experience what you’re about to experience.

You’re smart to pause and ensure your onboarding process goes smoothly. It’s incredibly easy to let the excitement and relief of the moment distract you from making prudent, calculated benefits decisions. 

It begins with your W-4, the form which lets your employer know how to set-up your paycheck’s tax withholding. This form was redesigned for 2020, and if you haven’t seen it yet,

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Special needs students struggle to adapt to on-screen, hands-off learning amid pandemic

For sixth-grader Santiago Casas, who has autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, going to school means staying home and staring at a computer for six hours.

The screen, like a drawbridge stuck in the up position, has left him stranded, cut off from the cognitive and social nurturing he received in the classroom.

He has trouble with organization, so clicking between online calendars, messages, documents and assignments for six advanced classes is “like negotiating a maze,” said his mother. He has trouble concentrating, so sitting still through the 115-minute periods of his new online block schedule at Glades Middle School on two-dimensional Zoom and Teams meeting platforms is “like torture,” she said.

Santiago used to love school. Now he hates it. So do his parents and teachers. Remote learning, a disruption to everyone’s education during the coronavirus pandemic, creates an even higher barrier for students with special physical, emotional and

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Faked videos shore up false beliefs about Biden’s mental health

Joe Biden
Joe Biden

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks about climate change and the wildfires on the West Coast at the Delaware Museum of Natural History on September 14, 2020 in Wilmington, Delaware. Biden has scheduled campaign stops in Florida, Pennsylvania and Minnesota later this week. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

From Ronald Reagan in 1984 to Bob Dole in 1996 and even Hillary Clinton in 2016, candidate health has become a common theme across recent U.S. presidential campaigns.

The issue is poised to take on added significance this fall. No matter who wins, the U.S. is set to inaugurate its oldest president by a wide margin.

The Trump campaign and its surrogates have seized on Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s age and have been painting him as mentally unfit for the presidency. Videos of Biden falling asleep during an interview, misspeaking about the dangers of “Joe Biden’s America” and appearing lost during a

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