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Cuomo says all New York schools can reopen for in-person learning

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday that all school districts across the state can choose to reopen for in-person learning because it has so far maintained low enough coronavirus transmission rates.

Why it matters: It’s another sign that the state, once the global epicenter of the pandemic, has — at least for now — successfully curbed the spread of the virus even as infections have surged elsewhere around the country.


  • Districts can decide to reopen as long as the average rate of positive tests remains below 5%. The state as a whole — including New York City — has maintained a positivity rate of around 1%.
  • The state is requiring school districts to post their remote learning plans as well as testing and tracing plans online — as well as hold discussion sessions with parents and communities before Aug. 21 and to speak directly with teachers about reopening.
  • Masks and social distancing will also be required, and schools should provide masks to students that do not have them.

Worth noting: Cuomo did acknowledge that the decision to allow children to return to school will ultimately be a personal one for parents as the pandemic continues.

  • "It is not just a question of the state or the local school district pronouncing that the schools are going to be open. The parents are going to make the ultimate decision on a practical level, right?" he said.

Trump says he agreed to TikTok deal "in concept"

President Trump on Saturday said he approved "in concept" a deal whereby TikTok will be allowed to continue operating in the U.S., with Oracle as its "trusted technology partner."

Why it matters: TikTok has nearly 100 million U.S. users, and is still growing fast. Trump has threatened to ban it, due to data privacy concerns related to TikTok's ownership by Chinese tech company

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Trump says he expects to announce a nominee for Supreme Court vacancy "next week"

President Trump said Saturday he expects to announce a nominee for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's vacant Supreme Court seat “next week” and that the person will “most likely” be a woman.

What he's saying: “I think we’ll have a very popular choice whoever that may be," Trump said before departing on Marine One. "We want to respect the process. I think it’s going to go very quickly, actually.”

Go deeper: Trump says Republicans have an obligation to fill Ginsburg's seat

Susan Collins says Senate should postpone Supreme Court vote until after Election Day

Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) said in a statement Saturday that she believes the Senate should wait to vote to confirm a Supreme Court nominee to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat until after the general election.

Why it matters: Collins will be a key senator in how this process plays out. As one of the most centrist Senate Republicans, whether or not the Senate confirms Trump's SCOTUS nominee could hinge on her vote.

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Pinpointing climate change's role in extreme weather

Climate scientists are increasingly able to use computer models to determine how climate change makes some extreme weather more likely.

Why it matters: Climate change's effects are arguably felt most directly through extreme events. Being able to directly attribute the role climate plays in natural catastrophes can help us better prepare for disasters to come, while driving home the need to tackle greenhouse gas emissions.

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Big Tech takes the climate change lead

The tech industry is playing a growing role in fighting climate change, from zero-carbon commitments to investments in startups and pushing for the use of data to encourage energy efficiency.

Why it matters: Big Tech is already dominating our economy, politics and culture. Its leadership in helping to address climate change — and reckon with its role in contributing to it — could have similarly transformative impacts.

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Lindsey Graham says he will vote for Ginsburg's replacement before next election

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Saturday said he plans to support a vote on President Trump's nominee to fill the vacancy left by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who died on Friday, before the election.

Why it matters: Graham in 2016 opposed confirming President Obama's Supreme Court nominee, Merrick Garland, because it was an election year.

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Schumer: "Nothing is off the table next year" if Senate GOP moves to fill Ginsburg's seat

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer told fellow Democrats on a conference call Saturday that "nothing is off the table next year" if Senate Republicans move to fill Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's Supreme Court seat in the coming weeks.

What he's saying: “Let me be clear: if Leader McConnell and Senate Republicans move forward with this, then nothing is off the table for next year," Schumer said, according to a source on the call. "Nothing is off the table.”

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