September 14, 2019

The possible Massachusetts Senate showdown between Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-Mass.) might not shape up the way most people think.

Kennedy hasn't officially announced he's challenging Markey, the incumbent, but the signs are pointing to it becoming ever more and more likely. Many expect the 38-year-old Kennedy, if he were to run, to receive votes from the younger, more progressive wing of the Democratic Party (even though the 73-year-old Markey is considered a progressive himself), in what some Massachusetts Democrats fear could become a distracting election that could take away the time, energy, and money they think is required to beat Republicans.

"You know, I think you'll see the establishment-type people gravitate toward Ed, and the more non-establishment-type people gravitate toward Joe," one Boston-based donor told Politico.

But, so far, that hasn't been the case, The Hill reports.

Some younger progressives like Reps. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) — who partnered with Markey on the Green New Deal — are backing the senator. Ocasio-Cortez called Markey "a proud and strong progressive champion for working families" and reportedly urged Kennedy not to run for his seat. Instead, she reportedly encouraged him to run for the other Massachusetts seat that could open up if Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D) leaves the state for the Oval Office next year. Warren is also supporting Markey. Read more at Politico and The Hill. Tim O'Donnell

2:02 a.m.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Minneapolis on Tuesday night to express their outrage over the death of George Floyd.

Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died on Monday night, after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes. The incident was recorded, and Floyd can be heard in the video saying, "I can't breathe." The four police officers involved were fired on Tuesday, a move applauded by Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, and the FBI will investigate the incident for possible civil rights violations.

Several community activists addressed the crowd, including Al Flowers, who warned that "this will happen again if we don't get in front of this." The protesters chanted "Prosecute the police," and a smaller group continued to march to a precinct near where Floyd died. Once there, clashes broke out, with some demonstrators spray painting squad cars and throwing water bottles and rocks at police officers, who in turn fired tear gas and stun grenades at the crowd. Catherine Garcia

1:59 a.m.

"This was a weird Memorial Day," Jimmy Kimmel said on Tuesday's Kimmel Live. "I think we can all agree: Zoom barbecues suck. This weekend Donald Trump, by unauthorized presidential order, made a sweeping declaration to open all churches, temples, and places of worship, in an effort to make sure that the most devout Americans can get a chance to contract the coronavirus, too." And Trump, "a man of great faith," he deadpanned, spent Sunday morning golfing.

"You know, people say he's unfit to be president — they forget, he's barely even fit to play golf," Kimmel said. "It looks bad for the president to be golfing with 100,000 Americans dead and a stay-at-home order in place, but try explaining optics to a guy who stared directly into an eclipse," he added, showing the "the brazen hypocrisy" of both Trump and Fox & Friends when it comes to presidential golfing.

Along with his golfing, Trump spent Memorial Day weekend "tweeting nut-job conspiracy theories and mocking Joe Biden for wearing a mask to a Memorial Day event," Kimmel said. He showed some scenes of mask-less crowds on beaches, more beaches, and at a "Zero Ducks Given" pool party at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri, plus one Staten Island standoff where grocery shoppers yelled a mask-less woman out of the store.

"I have to say, of all the fights we've had over the last few years, this one makes the least sense," Kimmel said. "This is the dumbest standoff ever. We all want to go back to work, we all want to go out to eat, we all want to hang out, none of us want to see people die. So if wearing a mask can help slow the virus and get us back to normal sooner, why not wear a mask? It's so selfish. Are these people also refusing to wash their hands? Or is that for wussies, too?"

The Daily Show's Michael Kosta spoke last week with Florida beach "grim reaper" Daniel Uhlfelder, whose macabre protests in favor of social distancing are, he hopes, giving succor to the mask-wearing majority disheartened by the anti-mitigation protesters. Watch below. Peter Weber

12:48 a.m.

Tom Jordan is several steps closer to living his dream of being a math professor.

The 15-year-old was awarded his associate's degree in general science from Stark State College in North Canton, Ohio, on Sunday, graduating with a 3.93 GPA. On Friday, he will receive his diploma from GlenOak High School, where he finished with a GPA of 4.625.

"What really feels good for me is that it's not really about the fact that I'm here, it's about all the experience and hard work it took to get here," Jordan, the youngest student in Stark State history, told Good Morning America. "If I were to go in and I just easily breezed through, this wouldn't really mean anything to me."

Jordan first enrolled at Stark State four years ago, signing up for a pre-algebra class. Last year, he enrolled full-time for independent study classes, and was able to receive high school credit as well. When he's not studying, Jordan enjoys playing chess, and he was singing in a choir and volunteering with Toys for Tots. This fall, he will attend the College of Wooster in Wooster, Ohio, to study math, and hopes to earn his doctorate from either Harvard or the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Catherine Garcia

12:15 a.m.

When your criticism-sensitive boss falsely accuses a prominent critic of murder, then doubles down after the dead woman's husband publicly pleads for him to stop spreading these "horrifying lies" and "filth," you may not have great options when asked to respond. And White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany chose some bad responses at Tuesday's press briefing.

There is no "cold case" involving the 2001 death of Lori Klausutis, a constituent services staffer in a Florida congressional office of MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, then a Republican congressman. The authorities never had any doubt her death was an accident. "The President of the United States has taken something that does not belong him — the memory of my dead wife — and perverted it for perceived political gain," her widow, Timothy Klausutis, wrote in an open letter to Twitter on Tuesday. "My wife deserves better."

Most of the Scarborough-related questions McEnany fielded Tuesday were some variation on why Trump continues to falsely accuse him of murder, causing additional pain to Timothy Klausutis. McEnany's response was that Trump did not originate this false conspiracy theory and that Scarborough laughed when radio shock jock Don Imus apparently joked about those conspiracy theories in 2003.

"Joe Scarborough should be held to account for saying people will die by taking hydroxychloroquine," McEnany said. "Does that justify the president spreading a false conspiracy theory that suggests he's responsible for murder?" a reporter asked. "I would point you back to Joe Scarborough, who laughed and joked about this item on Don Imus' show," McEnany replied. "It's Joe Scarborough that has to answer these questions."

Pressed again later on why the president is falsely accusing Scarborough of murder despite the pain these lies cause the widow, McEnany replied: "Our hearts are with Lori, and I think the onus is on Joe Scarborough to explain his interaction with Don Imus." (It isn't.) Peter Weber

May 26, 2020

Singer Andrea Bocelli shared on his Facebook page Tuesday that he and some members of his family tested positive for coronavirus in March, but were "fortunate enough to have a swift and full recovery recovery" by the end of the month.

Bocelli shared that he had a mild case, and waited to tell fans because he did not want to "unnecessarily alarm" them. Bocelli also said he has donated blood to help researchers find a cure. Last week, Bocelli told The Wall Street Journal he had been infected and had a "fever" and "a little bit of a cough."

For Easter on April 12, Bocelli sang alone inside the Duomo in Milan, with his performance livestreamed on YouTube. He set a record for biggest audience to watch a classical livestream, with more than 2.8 million concurrent viewers at one point. Catherine Garcia

May 26, 2020

Health officials in Missouri and Kansas are calling on people who packed the Lake of the Ozarks over Memorial Day weekend to go into self-quarantine for 14 days.

Lake of the Ozarks is a popular reservoir in central Missouri, and video posted online showed revelers standing shoulder to shoulder in the water, with most not wearing masks. On Monday night, the St. Louis County Department of Health issued an advisory saying anyone who was there and ignored social distancing guidelines should self-isolate for 14 days or until they test negative for coronavirus. On Tuesday, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment made the same recommendation.

"This reckless behavior endangers countless people and risks setting us back substantially from the progress we have made in slowing the spread of COVID-19," St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said in a statement. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) said during a press conference on Tuesday that "poor decisions were made and the social distancing was not followed," which is "potentially dangerous for everyone, especially our most at-risk individuals."

As of Tuesday evening, there are 12,291 confirmed coronavirus cases in Missouri, a 1.3 percent rise over the last 24 hours and an 8.3 percent increase over the last week, ABC News reports. Catherine Garcia

May 26, 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden said on Tuesday that President Trump is "supposed to lead by example" when it comes to wearing a mask and social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic, but has failed at both those things and keeping the death toll down.

The United States is close to reaching the grim milestone of 100,000 confirmed coronavirus deaths. During an interview with CNN's Dana Bash, Biden said it is as important as ever to stay safe by social distancing and wearing a face covering, as the COVID-19 threat is "not over."

Biden then appeared to reference a recent report by Columbia University researchers, who found that if federal social distancing measures had been enacted nationwide just one week earlier in March, about 36,000 coronavirus deaths would have been prevented, with even more lives saved if they were released on March 1. The first imported case of COVID-19 in the U.S. was reported on Jan. 20, with community transmission following a few weeks later.

"One hundred thousand deaths and at least 35,000 to 50,000 were avoidable, but for a lack of attention and ego," Biden said. Catherine Garcia

See More Speed Reads