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Unemployment Cliff: 4.2 Million Gig Workers Will Soon Lose Jobless Aid (Maria)

The author writes, “The nation’s 59 million self-employed workers got a lifeline last year when lawmakers created the first program that extended jobless benefits to this growing group of workers. But that program, Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), will end on September 6, once again placing unemployment benefits out of reach for these workers. About 4.2 million people on the PUA program will lose benefits after September 6, according to a new analysis from the Century Foundation, a left-leaning think tank. The program officially ends September 6 — Labor Day. … The PUA’s end comes at a time when the economic recovery in some regions appears increasingly fragile.”

Trump Is Planning a Much More Respectable Coup Next Time (DonkeyHotey)

From Slate: “In recent weeks, we’ve gotten an even greater glimpse into Donald Trump’s efforts to discredit and overturn the results of the 2020 election. From the clownish ongoing audit in Arizona to the revelation of Jeffrey Clark’s insane and rejected December plan for the Department of Justice to cajole legislatures in states Biden won into overturning those results to the attorneys being sanctioned for their frivolous Trump election lawsuits, the 2020 election subversion attempt is being shown every day to have been a Keystone Cops Coup. The crude and failed nature of Donald Trump’s attempt to destroy the 2020 election has made it easy to dismiss as overblown concerns about the integrity of the 2024 election too. … But there has been a subtle shift in how Trump and his allies have talked about the supposed ‘rigging’ of the 2020 election in a way that will make such claims more appealing to the conservative judges and politicians that held the line last time around.”

Afghanistan War: At Least 27 Children Killed in Three Days, UN Says (Dana)

The author writes, “At least 27 children have been killed in Afghanistan … amid fierce fighting between the Taliban and government forces, the UN has said. The UN children’s agency Unicef said it was shocked by the ‘rapid escalation of grave violations against children.’ The Taliban have been making major advances across the country as foreign troops withdraw, taking six regional capitals since Friday. They have rejected international calls for a ceasefire. More than 1,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the conflict in the past month.”

The China Model: What the Country’s Tech Crackdown Is Really About (Sean)

The authors write, “On the fourth floor of a harborside mall on Grand Cayman, not far from touristy scuba-diving outlets and a jerk-chicken shack, is the offshored home of ride-hailing company DiDi Global Inc., one of China’s biggest technology firms. A few doors down are the internet companies Baidu Inc. and Meituan; Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is registered at a P.O. box up the street, right across from Singh’s Roti Shop & Bar. The Caribbean footholds, essentially leased mailing addresses, have no operational value but have made it easier for Chinese unicorns to attract European and American investors. They’ve been a bridge between East and West, a sunny symbol of the freewheeling capitalism tolerated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as the cost of allowing its homegrown juggernauts to compete with their U.S. counterparts.”

Long Drives, Air Travel, Exhausting Waits: What Abortion Requires in the South (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A tsunami of restrictive abortion regulations enacted by Republican-led legislatures and governors across the South have sent women who want or need an early end to a pregnancy fleeing in all directions, making long drives or plane trips across state lines to find safe, professional services. For many women, that also requires taking time off work, arranging child care and finding transportation and lodging, sharply increasing the anxiety, expense and logistical complications of what is often a profoundly difficult moment in a woman’s life.”

The California Tourist Town That’s Running Out of Water: ‘It’s a Shock’ (Inez)

The author writes, “For the past century, misty, forested Mendocino — despite being nestled along a number of major rivers, creeks and springs — has relied on shallow wells for water. But amid a historic drought desiccating the US west, the aquifers beneath the town’s damp fog layer have rapidly declined, threatening to sink the region’s tourism industry and the residents who rely on it.”

Possible Shaman’s Snake Stick From 4,400 Years Ago Discovered in a Finnish Lake (Mili)

From Live Science: “A wooden stick carved into the shape of a snake dating back about 4,400 years has been discovered by a lake in southwest Finland. The stick may have been used for mystical purposes by a shaman. ‘I have seen many extraordinary things in my work as a wetland archaeologist, but the discovery of this figurine made me utterly speechless and gave me the shivers,’ archaeologist Satu Koivisto said in a statement. Koivisto is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Turku in Finland who leads research at Järvensuo, the site where the object was found.”

Scientists Launching Blob Into Space (Dana)

The author writes, “A single-cell yellow slime mold known as Blob is headed to the International Space Station. Blob is a naturally occurring slime mold with the scientific name Physarum polycephalum. But the European Space Agency, which is sending Blob to the ISS so it can be observed in microgravity, clearly understands that calling it by its nickname makes it way likelier the mold will snag a movie deal.”


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