A ‘war room’ that arms Black and Latino voters against disinformation

Elva Mankin

Umarah Mughnee, from left, Ashley Bryant and Aja Campbell of Win Black/Pa'lante. <span class="copyright">(KIrk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)</span>
Umarah Mughnee, from left, Ashley Bryant and Aja Campbell of Win Black/Pa’lante. (KIrk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

As the internet lit up last month with prominent Latinos vowing to boycott Goya pinto beans, Adobo seasoning and other products after the company’s CEO lavishly praised President Trump, a backlash quickly developed on social media.

Accounts identified as belonging to Latino social media users voiced outrage about politically correct “mob” bullying and exploiting people of color.

In an online virtual war room run by a group called Win Black/Pa’lante, activists immediately grew suspicious.

Close inspection revealed that thousands of the posts were not coming from disaffected Latinos at all, but bots.

The Win Black/Pa’lante activists cooked up a counteroffensive, including a mock Goya foods label that exposed “recipes” for disinformation and distorting facts.

The ads and a corresponding educational campaign aimed at arming Black and Latino voters with tools to detect

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Students among first to return offer lessons for reopening schools

Elva Mankin

NASHVILLE – Abigail Alexander shuffled through a stack of papers, trying to find instructions for logging in to her school-issued laptop. 

The 10-year-old chatted with her best friend, a fellow fifth grader, about who is in their classes this year at Head Middle Magnet Prep and what period they have a specific teacher.

Their conversation Tuesday sounded like a typical one between excited, anxious students on the first day at a new school – except this year is like no other.

Abigail was seated in the dining room of her North Nashville home while her two younger foster siblings played around the table. Her friend was on FaceTime, the phone propped up against the side of Abigail’s laptop.

The girls are among more than 86,000 Nashville students who started the school year virtually while their schools remained closed during the the coronavirus outbreak.

Two states away in Indiana, where school

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I’m a Teacher, and I Truly Believe You Should Keep Your Kids Home This Fall

Elva Mankin

Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States
Winston-Salem, North Carolina, United States

I’ve been an educator for 14 years, and in my time in the classroom, I have faced some incredible obstacles and challenges. The end of the last school year, with the COVID-19 pandemic, is one of the hardest and strangest things I’ve experienced in my time as an educator. It felt surreal to have no time to say goodbye to my eighth grade students and to go home on a Friday, expecting first to return in two weeks, then a month, and then not at all for the rest of the school year. Like most educators I know, I figured that we would be open by fall. My school district has chosen to start the year with distance learning, but from what I’ve heard from friends, family, and other educators, many school districts are giving families a choice. Even if you have the option to

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75 Years After Hiroshima, the World Is Still Reckoning With Nuclear

Elva Mankin

Photo credit: Bettmann - Getty Images
Photo credit: Bettmann – Getty Images

From Popular Mechanics

Seventy-five years ago today, on August 6, 1945, President Harry S. Truman issued the order to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.

The number of Japanese people who were immediately killed is estimated to be between 70,000 and 140,000, with longer-term estimates of deaths, including radiation illnesses and cancer, extending up to 220,000.

Photo credit: U.S. Army/Library of Congress/Public Domain
Photo credit: U.S. Army/Library of Congress/Public Domain

“How easily we learn to justify violence in the name of some higher cause,” President Barack Obama said when he visited Hiroshima in 2016. “Technological progress without an equivalent progress in human institutions can doom us. The scientific revolution that led to the splitting of an atom requires a moral revolution, as well.”

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Obama’s use of the present tense is telling: It’s not at all clear that our grasp of nuclear technology fits a moral framework,

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Ruling backs refunds for accessing federal court records online

Elva Mankin

The federal government could be on the hook for millions of dollars in refunds to users of online court records after an appeals court ruled Thursday that court administrators illegally included a wide range of expenses that were never authorized to be recovered from the public.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld a district court judge’s ruling in 2018 that court officials inflated fees for the Public Access to Court Electronic Records or PACER system by including costs for flat-screen courtroom televisions, electronic alerts to victims and police, as well as computer systems to manage jurors.

The three-judge appeals court panel unanimously ruled that Congress gave the federal courts permission to charge for systems that improve public access to court files, but did not create a technology slush fund that could be used to subsidize almost any purchase of electronics by the federal judiciary.

“Using [PACER]

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As the Pandemic Rattles the Global Economy, This Beauty Company’s Sales Are Booming

Elva Mankin

Madison Reed CEO and Founder Amy Errett on running a business that’s thriving, despite (and because of) the pandemic.

The global economy — and retail, in particular — is struggling. With the pandemic bringing uncertainty to virtually every industry, this is a period in which many entrepreneurs are overhauling their businesses, reassessing their priorities and figuring out how to survive. 

For direct-to-consumer, at-home hair color company Madison Reed, though, business is positively booming.

Like Clorox wipes and Purell, it turns out that Covid-19 has created massive demand for DIY hair color options that allow consumers to skip the salon. That’s putting it mildly, if you consider Madison Reed’s recent sales figures: According to a representative, over the past several months, the company experienced 12 times the number of new customers it normally would. In February, Madison Reed sold a Radiant Color Kit every 24 seconds; by May, that stat had

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eHealth, Brown & Brown, Arthur J. Gallagher and Marsh & McLennan Companies

Elva Mankin

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – August 6, 2020 – Today, Zacks Equity Research discusses Insurance Brokerage, including eHealth, Inc. EHTH, Brown & Brown, Inc. BRO, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. AJG and Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. MMC.

Link: https://www.zacks.com/commentary/1036541/bright-near-term-prospects-for-insurance-brokerage-industry

The Zacks Insurance – Brokerage industry comprises companies that primarily offer insurance and reinsurance products and services. Insurance brokers act on behalf of their clients and offer advice keeping in mind clients’ interests against brokerage fees. Some of these companies are also involved in providing risk management, third-party administration, and managed health care services.

Technavio analysts forecast the global insurance brokerage market to grow by $13.84 billion or at a CAGR of more than 4% during 2020-2024, according to their latest market research report.

Here are the industry’s three major themes:

  • The operational results of the industry players are affected directly by clients’ level of business activity, which in
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How the sound of religion has changed in the pandemic

Elva Mankin

<span class="caption">The Rev. Philip Dinwiddie sings to a pre-recording of mass at St. James Episcopal Church in Grosse Ile, Michigan.</span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/the-rev-philip-dinwiddie-sings-in-his-office-adding-music-news-photo/1220888445?adppopup=true" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Gregory Shamus/Getty Images">Gregory Shamus/Getty Images</a></span>
The Rev. Philip Dinwiddie sings to a pre-recording of mass at St. James Episcopal Church in Grosse Ile, Michigan. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Things sound different in a lockdown. The silence of usually bustling streets, the two-tone whirr of ambulance sirens and the sudden awareness of birdsong, all formed an aural backdrop to the coronavirus pandemic.

Nowhere has the change in sound been more noticeable than at houses of worship. The voices of congregants praying, chanting and singing has been quietened in churches, mosques and temples. Instead, congregants have had to work in new acoustic settings, both in person and online.

In short, religion, too, sounds different during the pandemic. We know this, because we have been documenting the sounds of religious life in America. Over the last six years, our teams of faculty and student researchers at Michigan State University and The Ohio State University have cataloged hundreds of audio

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4 Best Tech Mutual Funds Rallying on Work-From-Home Practices

Elva Mankin

Thematic investment has taken center stage in the past years given the massive changes that the world is undergoing. It helps investors diversify investments and incorporate the latest trends such as the coronavirus-triggered structural shifts in the present scenario. Talking about the latest trends, the coronavirus pandemic has forced businesses to close down offices and work from home.

Owing to advancement in technology, several companies have been operational to the maximum available capacity even as the virus wrecks havoc, globally. The work-from-home trend has become an attractive theme to invest in. Technology-based companies that facilitate in remote working have not only become highly resilient investment options but also help investors play safe during the slump.

These work-from-home stocks generally include technological infrastructure and services and deal in cloud technology, cybersecurity, remote communications, online project and document management among others. In fact, their commendable performance during the coronavirus-driven economic slump in

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@DepopDrama Is Where Fashion And Meme Culture Collide

Elva Mankin

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

From Esquire

It started with with an argument over £30. In October 2018 the Instagram account @depopdrama posted an exchange between a buyer and seller on the fashion retail platform Depop. The seller responded to the meagre offer with ‘are you joking’, the buyer countered with ’35 plus will follow ur insta’, and a sensation was born.

Two years later and the Jerry Springer Show of social media, Depop Drama, is now nearing half a million followers, who revel in their tales of dubious consumer ethics and vicious insults, fun wisecracking and deeply strange exchanges, which result from letting vendor and customer loose on one another without an employee code of conduct to keep things in check.

Depop has democratised selling clothes: a slicker, fashion-focused iteration of eBay which connects someone in Bristol who wants to get rid of a Champion t-shirt to someone on the

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