July 20, 2019

The 138th health care worker in the Democratic Republic of Congo was infected during the country's current Ebola outbreak, which was recently declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization.

Helen Branswell of Stat News reports that infections of health care workers are generally common at the start of an outbreak before people realize that the disease is spreading, but the recent "steady stream" of infections is puzzling.

That's because the workers are aware they are at risk of infection and many have been vaccinated, including the worker who was recently infected. In short, Branswell doesn't "think this should be happening."

Branswell went on to write that the disease is "not relenting," citing that there have only been three days in July when the Ebola case increase was in the single digits. In total, since the beginning of the epidemic last August there have been over 2,400 confirmed cases, and over 1,600 confirmed deaths. Tim O'Donnell

9:44 a.m.

The ousted head of the Recording Academy is speaking out about her bombshell claims of harassment and corruption in the organization just days ahead of the Grammys.

Deborah Dugan, former head of the organization that presents the Grammys, spoke to Good Morning America Thursday days after being placed on administrative leave. The Recording Academy said this was due to an allegation of "misconduct" against her, but she came back with a lawsuit alleging retaliation, CNN reports. She claims she raised concerns about "irregularities and conflicts" in the organization and alleged that she was sexually harassed by its outside general counsel, Joel Katz. Katz denies the allegation.

Dugan told Good Morning America there are "conflicts of interest" that "taint the results" of the Grammys, calling on the process to be "transparent." She also alleged she has evidence to back up her claims.

In her complaint, Dugan alleged members of the nomination committee "push forward artists with whom they have relationships" and that it's "not unusual for artists who have relationships with board members and who ranked at the bottom of the initial 20-artist list to end up receiving nominations," Billboard reports.

Dugan's lawyer joined her in the GMA interview, saying the Grammys is "really on life support" and that the organization is is "panic mode" following her allegations. The ousted CEO also took her claims to CBS This Morning on Thursday, repeating to the very network that hosts the Grammys that there are "conflicts of interest that taint the system."

Still, Dugan told GMA that viewers should feel free to still watch the Grammys on Sunday, as she plans to do because "I worked very hard on the show." Brendan Morrow

8:26 a.m.

After climate change activist Greta Thunberg finishes seeing a "good old fashioned movie with a friend," she should go study economics, according to the Trump administration.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin took a swipe at the Swedish climate change activist during a press conference Thursday after he was asked about her advocacy for an immediate end to investments in fossil fuels, The Associated Press reports. When asked how this would affect the U.S. economy, Mnuchin sarcastically asked of Thunberg, "Is she the chief economist? Who is she? I'm confused."

Mnuchin clarified this was a "joke" before telling reporters that "after she goes and studies economics in college, she can come back and explain that to us."

Mnuchin spoke at the World Economic Forum, which Thunberg attended; in an address, she called for fossil fuel divestment, saying, "our house is still on fire." President Trump on Wednesday said he didn't see Thunberg speak but complained she "beat me out" for Time person of the year.

Trump previously mocked Time's decision to select Thunberg as its person of the year as "so ridiculous," telling her to "work on her anger management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend!" Thunberg in an interview last month responded to various personal attacks she's received from world leaders, saying they're "just funny." Brendan Morrow

7:11 a.m.

A narrow 51 percent majority of U.S. adults say the Senate should remove President Trump from office at the end of his impeachment trial, a Pew Research Center poll released Wednesday found, while 46 percent said the Senate should keep him in office. Those numbers are nearly identical to a CNN poll released Monday. An Associated Press-NORC poll Thursday found a 45 percent plurality of Americans who want the Senate to convict and oust Trump, versus 40 percent who favor acquittal and 14 percent who said they didn't know enough to have an opinion.

By narrow margin, public wants Senate trial to result in Trump’s removal from office

There are stark partisan and demographic splits. In Pew's survey, 82 percent of black Americans, 66 percent of Hispanics, 53 percent of college-educated white Americans, 63 percent of Americans under 30, 85 percent of Democrats, and 26 percent of Republicans age 18 to 29 said the Senate should remove Trump from office. The groups that want Trump to remain in office include Americans 65 and older (56 percent), white Americans (58 percent), white Americans without college degrees (64 percent), and Republicans (86 percent).

Pew also found that 63 percent of Americans said Trump has definitely (38 percent) or probably (25 percent) done something illegal since launching his presidential campaign, including 91 percent of Democrats and 32 percent of Republicans.

The AP-NORC poll asked specifically about Trump's interactions with Ukraine that led to his impeachment; 42 percent said Trump did something illegal, up from 38 percent in October, while another 32 percent said he merely did something unethical and 25 percent said he did nothing wrong. The percentage of Republicans who said Trump did something illegal held steady at 8 percent, but the slice that said he did nothing wrong shrunk to 54 percent, from 64 percent before the House's impeachment hearings.

Trump's job approval rating is 40 percent in the Pew survey and 41 percent in the AP-NORC poll, roughly where it has been for months. Pew's American Trends Panel (ATP) surveyed 12,638 people Jan. 6-19, and the full sample has a margin of sampling error of ±1.3 percentage points. AP-NORC polled 1,353 adults Jan. 16-21, and the margin of sampling error for all respondents is ±3.6 percentage points. Peter Weber

5:35 a.m.

"Democrats today made their opening arguments in the impeachment trial," and they "chose the president's favorite, Adam Schiff, to kick things off," Jimmy Kimmel said on Wednesday's Kimmel Live. "Schiff spoke for two and a half hours and made a very persuasive case. He had visual aids and everything," and he "quoted Hamilton so many times today, he was nominated for five Tony awards."

"There was some riveting stuff," but "the senators are said to be having trouble staying awake," including Sen. Jim Risch (R-Idaho), sketched fast asleep, Kimmel said. "A spokesman for Sen. Risch said he wasn't sleeping, he was just listening closely — which is exactly what my grandmother used to say. ... But if he did nod off, I don't blame him. Democrats have a clear strategy in place: They believe that if they talk for long enough, Mitch McConnell will eventually die of old age and they'll have a shot at a real trial, which this is not."

Tuesday's session "lasted 13 hours," Jimmy Fallon said at The Tonight Show. "And out of habit, once the trial lasted more than four hours, every old senator panicked and called their doctor."

"One of the articles against Trump is something called obstruction of Congress, because the White House is withholding all the materials needed and requested to investigate Trump's Ukraine scheme," Stephen Colbert said at The Late Show. "Apparently, Trump's pretty proud of that particular crime."

Trump also told reporters Wednesday he'd love to see former National Security Adviser John Bolton testify in his impeachment trial, then backtracked, The Daily Show's Trevor Noah said. Trump started "with the fake excuse but then he'll just keep going until you learn the real reason. Just, like: 'Sadly, we can't hear from Bolton because it's a national security thing, and also he'll reveal what I think about other world leaders, and also he hates my guts, and also he'll implicate me in the crimes that I committed.'"

Back at the trial, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) "quoted Biggie on the floor of Congress," Noah cheered. "Hip hop has come a long way. Think about it: In the '80s and '90s, it was considered gangsta music, and now it's being quoted in an impeachment trial." He imagined McConnell rapping.

The Late Show turned that idea into a full-on rap battle by Trump's defense team. Watch below. Peter Weber

4:22 a.m.

Three Americans aboard a C-130 Hercules water tanker aircraft died Thursday when their plane crashed in New South Wales, Australia, during a firebombing mission. Coulson Aviation in Oregon said one of its flying tankers was lost in an "extensive" accident after it took off from Richmond, New South Wales, to drop fire retardant on Australia's raging wildfires.

"The only thing I have from the field reports are that the plane came down, it's crashed, and there was a large fireball associated with that crash," said Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons. "Unfortunately, all we've been able to do is locate the wreckage and the crash site and we have not been able to locate any survivors," and "there is no indication at this stage of what's caused the accident." Coulson said that until the cause of the crash is determined, it has grounded its other firefighting aircraft, removing a powerful tool from the firefighting arsenal in southeastern Australia.

The death of the three U.S. crew members brings the number of fatalities from Australia's wildfires to at least 31 since September. The fires have also scorched an area larger than Indiana and destroyed more than 2,600 homes so far. Peter Weber

3:42 a.m.

A woman in her 40s is dead and seven people wounded after multiple people fired guns during a dispute outside a McDonald's in the busiest part of downtown Seattle during rush hour on Wednesday, Seattle police said Wednesday night. Those injured include a woman in her 50s listed in critical condition and a 9-year-old boy, upgraded to satisfactory condition from serious, the Seattle Times reports.

Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best said according to preliminary information, including security camera footage, multiple people fired shots just after 5 p.m. outside a McDonald's at Third Avenue and Pike Street, about two blocks from Pike Place Market. The shots sent people scurrying for cover in different directions, and it's unclear whether any of the injured people were involved in the dispute and how many suspects fled the scene, she said. "There were a lot of people outside, guns came out, and people started running," and "we responded immediately and we discovered victims at the scene in about a one-block radius."

"I am horrified and dismayed to hear about the shooting in Seattle tonight," Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said in a statement. "We grieve for the one individual confirmed dead in the shooting, and wish a full and speedy recovery to those who were injured." This was the third shooting in the area since Tuesday, when a man was found dying of a gunshot wound in the stairway of the Westlake Center mall, about block away from Wednesday evening's shooting. Earlier Wednesday, police shot and wounded a man reported to have a gun. Peter Weber

2:54 a.m.

"It's Day 2 of Donald Trump's Senate impeachment trial," Stephen Colbert said on Wednesday's Late Show, and "once again, the lead manager of the case today was Adam Schiff. It was gratifying to see someone taking the constitutional responsibility of their office seriously. He laid out the case against the president clearly, passionately, cogently, and, I believe, courageously. Because whether or not President Trump is removed from office, history will not forgive those who look the other way at his abuses or forget those who stepped into the breach at this moment of crisis." He looked at Wednesday's top trending topics on Twitter, sighing: "We're doomed."

"Schiff stood there today in front of his audience, discussing the president's corruption and incompetence using graphics, audio and video of witnesses, even clips of Trump incriminating himself," Colbert said. "Hey Schiff, you're treading on my turf! If I find out you've got a house band, I'm suing."

Senate Republicans, meanwhile, blocked every Democratic request to subpoena new witnesses and documents, Colbert noted, and he had some advice: "Aren't you the least bit curious about all the crazy s--t Trump did? You don't even have to do anything about it, just vote to find out what it was! Everybody wants to find out their boss' secrets. Take it from me, you don't want to learn it from a Ronan Farrow article."

"One non-witness' non-testimony will be especially fascinating to not hear," Samantha Bee said on Full Frontal: Lev Parnas. She ran through some of his recent evidentiary dump, and one document in particular: "If it were any more of a smoking gun, Don Jr. would be holding it over a dead elephant."

But Bee also explained why "Republicans are setting themselves up for trouble by not hearing the evidence" against Trump now. "Every time Trump proclaims his innocence, another piece of evidence pops up to poke a hole in his story," she said. "Look, guys, we know you're going to acquit Trump, but do you really think that will be the end? You think there won't be any more accomplices who snitch on Trump to protect themselves? Or any more journalists who dig up proof of his guilt? Even if Trump is re-elected, this Ukraine story will haunt him until the blessed day when he's forcibly plunged out of the White House." There's some borderline NSFW language. Watch below. Peter Weber

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