Shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing are annoying enough during the day. Waking up in the middle of a coughing fit or being unable to catch your breath in the quiet of the night is downright disturbing. Unfortunately, approximately 30 to 70% of people with asthma experience nocturnal asthma, or a worsening of asthma symptoms at night. Not everyone with asthma feels worse at night, but many do.
Learn more about nocturnal asthma and what to do if you have nighttime asthma with cough and other symptoms.
The most common reasons asthma is worse at night:
Exposure to allergens. Bedbugs. Pet dander. Dust mites. All are common in the bedroom, and all can trigger asthma attacks. You probably spend 6 to 9 hours in bed every day; that’s a long time to be exposed to potential allergens. Some people also experience delayed allergic reactions at night. It’s not uncommon for an allergic response to occur 3 to 8 hours after exposure to an allergen. If you’re exposed to pollen, for instance, in the early evening, you might experience shortness of breath and wheezing when you’re trying to fall asleep.
Supine position and acid reflux. When we lie down, it’s easier for stomach acid to travel back up into the esophagus, the tube connecting the mouth and stomach.Instead of being swallowed, some of this fluid can enter the large airways and provoke an irritating cough. Reflux of stomach acid can also cause the airways to constrict, which leads to more difficulty breathing.
Postnasal drip. People are more susceptible to postnasal drip at night. When you lie flat, it’s easier for fluid to drip down the back of your throat and cause coughing. Lying down also causes fluid to shift from the legs to the chest, which can lead to increased fluid accumulation in the airway walls and narrowing of the breathing passages.
Circadian changes in lung function. Our lungs work differently during the night. Perhaps because human beings evolved to be active during the day, our lung function is best during the day. Airway resistance increases throughout the night, and that effect is more pronounced in people with asthma.
Stress. At least one study has found a relationship between stress and nighttime asthma. Hormones released by the body in times of stress can cause inflammation, so researchers theorize that stress may lead to narrowed airways, at least in some people.
If you wake up in the middle of an asthma attack, use your rescue inhaler. (It’s a good idea to keep it within reach of your bed, especially if you’re prone to nocturnal asthma.) Adopting a more upright position may help too. Some people find that a drink of water can ease a cough.
If you regularly experience asthma symptoms at night, talk with your healthcare provider about the problem. Adjusting the timing of your asthma medicine may help. Some studies, for instance, have shown that an 800 microgram dose of inhaled triamcinolone (Azmacort) at 3 pm is more effective than taking 200 micrograms of it four times a day.
Your healthcare provider may also need to increase or add medication. Asthma tends to get worse over time, and if you’re having symptoms at night, your asthma may be poorly controlled. Tweaking your asthma management plan may eliminate your nighttime symptoms.
Exercise can help alleviate nocturnal asthma as well. Studies have found that physical activity at least twice a week for 6 to 8 weeks decreased nighttime asthma symptoms in children. Ten to 12 weeks of physical exercise also decreased nocturnal asthma and improved sleep in adults.
People whose asthma is worse at night should see a healthcare provider and ask about nocturnal asthma treatment.
More than 60 years ago, the creation of late night TV changed the face of television forever. From Johnny Carson, to David Letterman, to Arsenio Hall, the late night show format continues to endure, evolving to keep pace each new generation. In Behind the Desk: The Story of Late Night host Bill Carter takes us on a journey through late night television’s most memorable moments with first-hand, behind-the-scenes accounts from some of the most notable names in late night history. Behind the Desk: The Story of Late Night is a companion podcast to CNN’s Original Series, The Story of Late Night.
A quality nonstick pan is a true kitchen essential; from stir-fries to burgers to omelets, the stovetop staple basically does it all. Not all pans are created equal, however, and with thousands available in every possible price range, it can be tough to cull through marketing jargon to find the very best one.
So, to determine which nonstick pans were truly the best, we sorted through dozens of published reviews and perused user feedback to settle on 12 to put to the test. We cooked four different meals on every single contender, assessing nonstickiness (as in, could an egg really be flipped without oil or butter and leave no trace?), ergonomics, cleaning ease, temperature distribution and tolerance, durability and general aesthetics. After a lot of pancakes and too many eggs to count (yes, we know our job is tough), we were able to narrow our picks down to the three winners below.
If you’re a minimalist and prefer to have just a single pan in your kitchen, you’d be set with the T-fal E76597. This pan’s depth gives it multipurpose functionality: It cooks standard frying-pan foods like eggs and meats, and its 2½-inch sides are tall enough to prepare recipes you’d usually reserve for pots, like rices and stews. It’s a high-quality and affordable pan that outperformed some of the more expensive ones in our testing field.
GreenPan’s Ceramic Fry Pan boasts materials that’ll please any chemical-conscious consumer. Unlike many nonstick pans, this one is free of materials that may pose long-term health risks, including PFAS, PFOA, lead and cadmium. The nonstick coating is, instead, made from sand, so it won’t release any toxic fumes in the case of overheating.
The HexClad 10-Inch Hybrid Pan feels fancy (and yes, it’s pricey as well), but it’s also a sturdy piece of cookware that blew the competition out of the kitchen during every one of our tests: Food slid off easily, it was a breeze to clean, and heat was evenly distributed while cooking. If you’re looking for a pro-level upgrade to your cookware, this is everything you want in a nonstick pan wrapped in a pretty package.
Best Overall Pan: T-fal E76597 Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick Fry Pan with Lid ($39.99, originally $55.95; amazon.com)
T-fal E76597 Ultimate Hard Anodized Nonstick 10 Inch Fry Pan with Lid
Why we love it in a sentence: Whether you’re looking to steam a mountain of veggies or sear a steak, this affordable option can handle it all with ease.
This pan is a steal. At just under $45 (with lid included), it can cook way more than the average frying pan, with the ability to boil and stew. Its extended side height helps contain voluminous veggies — like kale — that would otherwise overflow before they’re wilted down by heat.
When it comes to pulling off nonstick, the T-fal absolutely delivers. Nothing clings to the pan’s surface, which is made with anodized aluminum, a golden term in the nonstick world but one you might not be familiar with. Anodizing and aluminum go together like peanut butter and jelly; the electrochemical process converts the metal into a more durable, corrosion-resistant material, according to the Aluminum Anodizing Council. Rather than strengthening the pan’s surface layer like a coating would, aluminum that is anodized is integrated, so it can’t peel off or chip.
The T-fal model can withstand up to 400 degrees in the oven (though the lid can handle up to 350 degrees before some of the parts get compromised) and comes with a lifetime warranty. Indeed, the pan came out of a 400-degree oven looking exactly like it went in. And even then, the saucy dish we’d cooked up required no pressure to remove. The center of the pan is marked with a red “thermo spot indicator” that turns solid red when the pan is properly preheated, which does work, but feels a little gimmicky unless you’re particularly passionate about preheating.
The handle is made of silicone and is comfortable, light to grip and, most importantly, stays relatively cool when heated. It’s also punctured with a sizable hole, making it possible to hang vertically — a storage bonus for tiny kitchens.
The pan is marketed as “2x more scratch resistant,” and while that is a pretty vague claim, it boldly stood up to our scratch tests. We gave this thing a real beating with metal utensils, but the pan showed absolutely no evidence of this. (Still, the manufacturers recommend using metal utensils with care.) The material is nontoxic, so even if you were to overheat or scratch the pan, you wouldn’t have to worry about it leaching into your food.
When it comes to cleaning up, T-fal gives no trouble at all. Soap, water and a sponge make the perfect team.
For less than the cost of a quality restaurant meal, this is the nonstick pan that does it all — and then some. A perfect frying pan is hard to come by, and yet the T-fal makes the title seem effortless. We can’t imagine finding anything better. In fact, after our testing, the T-fal tied in terms of overall score with the pro-level HexClad that sells for more than double the price.
Best Eco-Friendly Pan: GreenPan Levels Stackable Ceramic Frypan ($39.95; amazon.com)
GreenPan Levels Stackable Ceramic Frypan
Why we love it in a sentence: True to its name, the GreenPan is a healthier, environmentally friendly nonstick pan that actually works.
Ceramic cookware has become popular in the wellness world; it has a reputation of being “healthier” than those made from Teflon or copper. Ceramic has a benefit — especially when cooking at high temperatures — because there are no possible chemicals that can leach into foods. GreenPan didn’t win our vote just for these reasons (though they are a bonus); it’s simply a really great pan.
Eggs, pancakes and even a sticky peanut sauce glided across the surface like they were Kristi Yamaguchi. After cooking, close to zero residue remained on the pan, which led to a very speedy cleanup consisting of wiping, rinsing and going on with our business.
This pan was a real ergonomic delight. At 2 pounds, it is the lightest of our top three picks, making it easy on the wrist and easy to move, whether you’re transferring food from pan to plate or adding some elbow grease into your sauté. Unlike the other two pans, aesthetically, GreenPan looks basic; without a distinguishing surface pattern, it could be easily mistaken for any ordinary pan, which is part of its charm.
Like the T-fal, this pan boasts an anodized aluminum body, which can be credited for the even cooking and temperature distribution. It’s also incredibly scratch-resistant: Dragging a metal fork across its surface revealed the same marks as running a finger along it — which is to say, none. The pan can tolerate up to 400 degrees in the oven, and its silicone-wrapped handle helps keep it cool to the touch. The Thermolon ceramic nonstick surface, which is derived from sand rather than any kind of toxic materials, thrives at lower heat settings but won’t release chemical fumes if you cook it on high. On its website, GreenPan claims that 60% less CO2 is emitted during Thermolon’s coating process compared with the CO2 emitted during the process of traditional coatings, which we suppose is what puts the “green” in its name.
And Goop fans, you’re in luck. Even Gwyneth Paltrow is on board with this pick; she’s partnered with GreenPan and sells a bevy of ceramic, more Instagrammable offerings through her wellness brand.
Best Restaurant-Quality Pan: HexClad 10-Inch Hybrid Frying Pan ($137; hexclad.com)
HexClad 10″ Hybrid Frying Pan
Why we love it in a sentence: While you’re paying a premium, you’re getting a tough-as-nails pan you’d find in professional kitchens: Nothing you cook will stick, it wards off scratches, it can withstand the highest oven temps out of the bunch we tested, and it looks stunning.
Ooh la la. If anything, displaying this pan atop your stove will make guests believe you know what you’re doing in the kitchen.
While significantly more expensive than the other pans on our list, the HexClad stands out from the rest for its build quality. It has a black hexagon top layer pattern, designed to create a series of “peaks and valleys.” According to the manufacturers, the valleys are what give the pan its nonstick properties, while the stainless steel peaks provide the even heating while protecting the pan from flaking or peeling. To us, the design looks cool and makes for a smooth cleaning and cooking surface. The pan’s unique surface texture does seem to ward off scratches from any foul play — a sharp knife, a menacing fork, and even a metal spatula were no match for the durable pan. (The company CEO even made a very convincing video in which he runs a metal pizza cutter and a motorized hand mixer across the pan without any damage.) Those nooks and crannies also seemed to distribute heat well, as food cooked evenly no matter which side of the pan it was on.
The makers suggest seasoning the pan first, which we did: As directed, we heated up a bit of oil for a couple of minutes and then washed it away. And then, we made a cheesy omelette and devoured every last remnant, since not a single strand of cheese or egg was left behind stuck on the pan. And the same can be said for cooking fish, whipping up pancakes and creating saucy concoctions. Nothing seemed to stick, and cleanup was a breeze.
Another thing this pan has over all the others: It’s the most heat-durable of our three picks, maxing out at 500 degrees in the oven. That means you can throw it in the oven for hours without worrying about it warping. It’s dubbed a hybrid for its stainless steel and nonstick combination, which provides it with a high-quality appearance and will make the piece last. (HexClad is backed with a lifetime warranty, though, just in case.) Stainless steel on its own isn’t a great heat conductor, but this model is built with an aluminum middle layer that perfectly distributes heat for a uniform cooking temp.
Unlike many of the other stainless pans we tried, the bottom of the HexClad didn’t burn or change colors when it was overheated, thanks to the black nonstick design that appears here, too. This is a really nice feature for cleaning; if any of your food spills or overflows, a simple scrub will do. Even melted plastic came off the bottom with a simple swipe with the sponge.
Over the course of testing four different meals on a dozen different pans, we learned some things about nonstick pans that (perhaps naively) we hadn’t known before. Most quality nonstick frying pans, it turns out, work best on medium-low heat. Make the stovetop too hot and you can burn yourself, overcook your food (rubbery eggs are not good eggs) and wear down the pan’s nonstick properties faster, according to manufacturers.
Another thing? Not all frying pans are dishwasher-safe; even the ones that claim to be will probably last longer if you stick to hand-washing. When you’re ready to scrub a pan in the sink, make sure it has fully cooled. This not only keeps you from getting scorched, but will keep the nonstick coating from breaking down. You’ll want to steer clear of abrasive sponges, which can also deteriorate the coating at a faster rate. Stick to soft-to-mild scrubbers; if food is really stuck or burnt onto the pan, you can fill it with a quarter cup of baking soda and about three inches of water, then simmer the mixture for about 10 minutes. This should loosen up even the most stubborn of burns.
The utensils you use on pans can be make-or-break: Some pan instructions warn that metal spatulas can instantly damage pans, and our tests proved that even a slight scrape of a fork can, too. While you may commit to only using wood or plastic on your cookware, this can be a tough rule to enforce when there are other people using your pans. Scratch-resistant pans, in this case, can serve you well.
Most nonstick pans benefit from a little seasoning. This sounds more complicated than it is: Wash and dry the pan after you remove it from its packaging. Rub a little oil on the surface, and heat it up for a few minutes. Wash again and it’s ready to go.
Finally, the word “nonstick” implies that you don’t need any oil or butter to cook, and while most of the pans did just fine without being greased up (we have a feeling this quality would worsen over time), we’d argue there’s no harm in adding a little fat to slick up the pan — plus, any food will taste so much better. Cooking sprays and nonstick pans don’t make a great pair, though. The spray can leave a residue that builds up over time, diminishing the pan’s nonstick powers.
Every pan cooked four separate dishes: pancakes, an omelette, fish and a sticky sauce. We didn’t use cooking oil or butter to prepare the food to audit the nonstick factor. Other criteria we evaluated:
- Durability: To investigate the pans’ durability, we performed scratch tests with metal utensils, rated the heat of the handle, examined the pan’s appearance post-cleaning and checked for warping at the maximum oven-safe temperature.
- Functionality: We ranked the ease of making an omelette, pancake, sticky sauce and fish dish. We also tested how evenly the pan distributed heat by cooking food on different parts of the surface. We noted any special features and the ease of cleanup.
- Aesthetic: A bit more subjective in review, we scored the style of the pans as well as the handles’ comfort and ability to remain cool to touch, and the quality of materials used.
Using the test criteria described above, we calculated points for every pan in every subcategory. Each pan’s total score was made up of the sum of its subcategory marks. Here’s a breakdown of our point systems:
- Durability had a maximum of 25 points: scratch test (10 points), handle temperature (5 points), appearance after cleaning (5 points) and maximum oven temperature (5 points).
- Functionality had a maximum of 55 points: ease of making omelette (10 points), ease of making sticky sauce (10 points), ease of making pancakes (10 points), ease of making fish (10 points), heat distribution (5 points), special features to make it more effective (5 points) and ease of cleanup (5 points).
- Style had a maximum of 15 points: quality of materials (5 points), overall look (5 points) and handle ergonomics (5 points).
- Warranty had a maximum of 5 points: Lifetime (5 points), 2 to 4 years (2 points) and less than 2 years (0 points).
Everything else we tested
All-Clad 4110 NS R2 Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Nonstick Fry Pan ($169.99 for set of two; bedbathandbeyond.com)
This pan got dangerously hot, and maybe we turned up the heat too much, but the bottom of the pan stained with char-like markings upon first use.
All-Clad B1 Hard Anodized Nonstick Fry Pan ($59.99 for set of two; bedbathandbeyond.com)
Surprising to us, this less expensive All-Clad model withstood the heat better than its pricier counterpart. Its handle, however, was unwieldy and uncomfortable to hold while transferring food from pan to plate.
Anolon Advanced Home Frying Pan ($59.99; bedbathandbeyond.com or $59.99; anolon.com)
This Anolon pan had wonderful nonstick power. Its handle is almost entirely covered in silicone to protect the cook from heat, but it’s a little too easy to get close to the unprotected section and risk burning yourself.
Everything else we tested
Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware, 10-inch and 12-inch set ($59.99; bedbathandbeyond.com)
This fry pan was also a winner in the nonstick department. It got points off for the little nodes that connect the handle to the pan; they are positioned on the pan’s interior and can catch food, which can make it annoying to clean.
Cuisinart MultiClad Pro Nonstick Stainless Steel Skillet ($39.99 for an 8-inch; bedbathandbeyond.com)
The bottom of this pan stained with a burn mark on second use. This doesn’t impact the pan’s ability to cook something successfully without sticking, but for people who care about appearances, this isn’t the pick.
Oxo Good Grips Frying Pan, 12-inch ($49.99; amazon.com)
Lightweight but sturdy, this pan is a sensible option for its price point, without any bells or whistles. Scratch-wise, it doesn’t fare wonderfully with metal utensils, but if you follow the rules (don’t use metal utensils), it seems like one that would last.
Everything else we tested
Tramontina Professional Aluminum Nonstick Restaurant Fry Pan ($43.88; amazon.com)
This pan was a runner-up; it received high marks for its comfy grip and scratch resistance. The one downside: Its little rivets where the handle meets the pan created a vulnerable place for food to get stuck, which made it a little annoying to clean. You can, however, remove the red silicone grip and clean it separately.
T-fal Professional Total Nonstick Thermo-Spot Heat Indicator Fry Pan ($30.97; amazon.com)
This T-fal model ran neck-and-neck with its same-brand counterpart, but the latter ultimately won for its high sides and lid. For a shallower pan, this one’s a solid option.
Zwilling Madura Plus 10-inch Nonstick Pan ($49; food52.com)
A metal fork overpowered Zwilling’s nonstick surface, leaving scratches all over, and its handle lacked adequate cushioning. Still, this pan’s sleek surface cooked food evenly and was a breeze to clean.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailer’s listed prices at the time of publication.
Parkinson’s disease is challenging for the patient and their loved ones, but treatments are available to slow down the disease and impact day-to-day life.
We try no short of hundreds of products each month, whether that be new product launches or rediscovering an old faithful. And because we’re committed to exposing you to the best products out there, we decided to start curating roundups of our favorite things we test each month. From cozy sweaters and skin care to that new tech item, keep reading to check out the products that we couldn’t get enough of this April.
Otherland Garden Party (starting at $36; otherland.com)
Otherland Garden Party
As much as I love an unbelievably cheap Target candle find, I love luxury candles even more. Sure, they’re pricier, but their scents tend to be richer and last so much longer. This brand-new set from Otherland is all about florals and slightly influenced by “Bridgerton,” so bonus points there. I’ve tried the scents Georgette, Ultraviolet and Clean Blossom, and they all smell like a high-end store you actually want to shop in. They also come in equally gorgeous packaging that makes my fireplace mantle look even better. — Rachel Lubitz, lifestyle editor
Evermill The Countertop Rack ($229; evermill.com)
Evermill The Countertop Rack
I truly don’t know what I did before this countertop spice rack by Evermill — it’s really the addition I didn’t know I needed in my kitchen. Not only is it stunning, but it’s also so convenient to have my go-to spices organized and easily available without having to look through my spice cabinet. I also love knowing that when I run out of a spice I can just shoot the brand a text to get more sent my way ASAP. — Kiana Murden, associate lifestyle editor
Cozy Earth Bamboo Sheet Set (starting at $248.80, originally starting at $311; cozyearth.com)
Cozy Earth Bamboo Sheet Set
Admittedly, I’ve never had a truly premium sheet set, leaving that luxury for my vacation hotel stays. But I can say that after trying this bamboo sheet set by Cozy Earth, I will never look back. The sheets are incredibly soft and surprisingly lightweight, so I don’t overheat in the middle of the night like usual. Even better: These are easy to wash and stain-resistant, qualities that are key now that I spend more than half of my day in bed. — Kiana Murden, associate lifestyle editor
Brightland Digestif Candle ($42; brightland.co)
Brightland Digestif Candle
I’m a sucker for a good candle, and I absolutely love Brightland’s Olive Oils, so when the brand released this Digestif candle, I knew I had to check it out. This “kitchen candle,” which of course includes the brand’s olive oil, is made to be burned during or after you cook. I tried it several different times both during and after cooking some particularly fragrant meals, and I was impressed with the way the scent seemed to neutralize cooking odors rather than cover them up or compete with them. This would be a great gift for the home cook who already has everything they could ever need in the kitchen, or just for those who appreciate a pretty candle with a subtle yet appetizing scent. — Hayley Saltzman, head of social media
Slice Ceramic Blade Safety Cutter ($7.26; amazon.com)
Slice Ceramic Blade Safety Cutter
I’ve touted this nifty little device before, and I’ll proudly do it again: The Slice is a simple but extremely useful game changer for opening packages and even for crafting projects. Its tiny little blade is safe to the touch but effortlessly glides through packaging tape, making opening boxes a seamless, hassle-free experience. It has especially come in handy during a move when I needed to open a ton of boxes at once. Do yourself a favor and grab the Slice Ceramic Blade Safety Cutter to save yourself time (and the danger of nicking your finger using scissors or a knife to open packages). — Daniel Toy, copy editor
Headquarters Peace Keeper ($24, originally $30; shopheadquarters.com)
Headquarters Peace Keeper
Before I was introduced to Headquarters, I often found myself extremely unsatisfied with the results of other hair-care products — my scalp constantly felt dry and sensitive, and I had to wash my hair every other day, if not once a day, because it got so greasy so quickly. I fell in love with Headquarters after taking the brand’s quiz and started using the four-step Peace Keeper routine that was recommended to me based on my results. The brand believes that healthy hair starts at the roots, and I 100% believe that to be true, as my hair and scalp noticeably looked and felt better just after a few uses! — Stephanie Griffin, social media strategist
Clark’s Botanicals Jasmine Vital Oil ($99; clarksbotanicals.com)
Clark’s Botanicals Jasmine Vital Oil
Maskne has been my biggest enemy these past few months. I’ve gone through dozens of products in order to find one that legitimately feels like it calms down my skin after a few hours of wearing a mask, and this is it. This Jasmine Vital Oil, from one of my favorite skin care brands for sensitive skin, Clark’s Botanicals, has changed the game. It feels so lovely on my skin after my moisturizer (I’ve been using Jasmine Vital Healing Cream [$75; clarksbotanicals.com] too and love it), and I can’t imagine my life without it now. — Rachel Lubitz, lifestyle editor
Black Girl Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30 ($15.99; target.com)
Black Girl Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 30
I tested Black Girl Sunscreen for a few weeks after hearing great reviews all over the internet. I have to say this has to be one of the best sunscreens for Black women. This product does not leave a white cast on my skin, which is a big issue that most women of color face when using various types of sunscreens. It’s very refreshing to know that there’s a product that emphasizes the importance of SPF while leaving Black women feeling confident and glowing. — Sarai Thompson, editorial coordinator
Summer Fridays Summer Skin Nourishing Body Lotion ($26; sephora.com)
Summer Fridays Summer Skin Nourishing Body Lotion
When it comes to body lotion, I pretty much use whatever I stumble across next (or whatever my beauty editor sister recommends) — but now, after trying this new one from Summer Fridays, pretty much every other body lotion seems totally irrelevant. It’s perfect in pretty much every way, and this is coming from someone who had no remotely strong feelings about body lotions up until this point. The light, beachy scent makes you feel like you’re on vacation (or at least ready to embrace warmer weather), and it absorbs super quickly without any weird residue. It’s light, hydrating and perfectly scented, and it leaves my skin feeling amazing. Cannot recommend it enough! — Hayley Saltzman, head of social media
Bomba Curls Dominican Forbidden Oil ($22; nordstrom.com)
Bomba Curls Dominican Forbidden Oil
This is easily my favorite hair oil I’ve ever tried. It’s so good that even my roommate finds herself reaching for it. Although it’s a super-lightweight oil, it feels nourishing and restoring, meant to reduce frizz and breakage while adding a bit of shine. This will be a staple in my routine for sure. — Kiana Murden, associate lifestyle editor
Mac Pro Longwear Concealer ($22.10, originally $26; nordstrom.com)
Mac Pro Longwear Concealer
I’ve been using Mac products on and off since I was a teenager, so when I saw a YouTuber highly recommend the longwear concealer, I had to give it a try. And let me say that it’s made such a difference. The concealer leaves a flawless, matte finish on the face, and although not full coverage, you can layer to achieve that look. If you prefer a concealer that can cover blemishes without the need for foundation, this is the product for you. — Sarai Thompson, editorial coordinator
Apple AirTag ($29; amazon.com)
If you’re an iPhone owner who constantly loses their stuff, Apple’s new AirTag item finder is for you. Available for $29 for a single tag or $99 for a pack of four, this small coin-shaped device can be attached to any item of your choosing via various accessories and works with the Find My app on your phone to help you pin down your keys, wallet or whatever else you use it with. Where AirTag really blew us away compared to competitors is with Precision Finding, which allows owners of an iPhone 11 or newer to get extremely detailed directions for finding their items (such as “walk 20 feet to the left”). The AirTag has been impressively accurate in all of our tests — just note that you’ll need an Apple device to use one. — Mike Andronico, senior tech writer
Sonos Roam ($169; sonos.com)
A great fit for any upcoming beach trips you may have planned, the Sonos Roam lets you enjoy the high-tech smarts that Sonos devices are known for within a compact portable speaker that you can take just about anywhere. The Roam pumps out impressively loud and rich sound despite not being much bigger than a can of soda, and it has a waterproof design that will keep it safe from a sudden dip in the pool. But where the Roam really stands out is its versatility. It can connect to your Wi-Fi to sync up to other Sonos speakers and take voice commands via Alexa and Google Assistant when you’re home, and it functions as a fully stand-alone Bluetooth speaker when you’re on the go. — Mike Andronico, senior tech writer
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 (starting at $999; microsoft.com)
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
The Surface Laptop 4 is one of the best-looking laptops we’ve ever gotten our hands on, and it’s just a joy to use. Thanks to its optional Alcantara fabric covering, bouncy keyboard and thin and lightweight design, Microsoft’s latest notebook allowed us to stay comfortable through long workdays and was easy to move from room to room. Factor in a uniquely tall 3:2 display that lets you see more of important documents and a fast 11th Gen Intel Core processor that endured heavy multitasking without a hitch, and you’ve got a great WFH laptop that’s as powerful as it is attractive. — Mike Andronico, senior tech writer
Casper Dog Bed (starting at $116, originally starting at $129; casper.com)
Casper Dog Bed
While all dog beds might seem the same, the Casper Dog Bed stands out amongst the rest on the market. Not only is it made with two layers of premium memory foam for extra support and comfort, but it also features a machine-washable material that is both sturdy enough to withstand digging and aesthetically pleasing enough to fit in with the neutral vibe in my apartment. Yes, this over-$100 dog bed might be much nicer than my mattress, but I love going to sleep each and every night knowing my pup sleeps soundly and, most importantly, comfortably. — Stephanie Griffin, social media strategist
Tuft + Paw Stellar Cat Bed ($249; tuftandpaw.com)
Tuft + Paw Stellar Cat Bed
Any cat owner knows that the quest to find a stylish cat bed is a long and tiring one. Most look like little fuzzy houses made of plaid or bright florals, and in my tiny studio apartment — for which I’ve handpicked everything to have a certain modern and midcentury yet eclectic vibe — that simply won’t do.
So imagine my glee upon finding this cat oasis that looked straight out of West Elm. For starters, my cat loves the thing. For several hours a day you can find her nestled inside the orb (as I like to call it), with her tiny body a mere black blob on the soft fur cushion inside. Sure, it took her a day to get used to the thing, but nothing that a few sprinkles of catnip couldn’t fix. It honestly brings me so much joy looking at it. There is simply no going back. — Rachel Lubitz, lifestyle editor
Fable Pets The Game ($55; fablepets.com)
After adding a pup to my little family back in January, I was determined to find a premium pet brand that fits my home’s Scandinavian-simplistic aesthetic — but also served a real purpose — and Fable Pets stood out amongst the rest. I’ve since snagged the brands acrylic crate (which doubles as a side table), their hands-free leash, and more recently, The Game, which features a super sleek design and essentially feeds and exercises my dog all at once. It can hold up to 1.5 cups of dry food, so that my pup can eat an entire meal, while also getting the physical and mental stimulation he often craves throughout the day. He is always so satisfied (and sleepy) after using it and now I truly can’t remember a time without it. — Stephanie Griffin, social media strategist
Outdoor Voices Athena Dress ($88; outdoorvoices.com)
Outdoor Voices Athena Dress
During the warmer months, I am usually pretty active, whether I’m in the gym, outside walking my dog or stepping out to play a quick game of tennis or golf with my partner. There’s nothing worse (in my opinion) than overheating in a pair of dark, black leggings. That’s why I was initially thrilled to try the super-popular Athena Dress from Outdoor Voices and switch things up a bit. It’s unlined, so I can add a sports bra and shorts underneath for extra support and coverage. It’s incredibly flattering and hugs me in all the right places — not to mention I felt much more comfortable and cool in the dress versus when I wear my leggings. I can’t wait to toss this dress on all spring and summer long! — Stephanie Griffin, social media strategist
Please Repeat Small Hex Link Bracelet ($149; pleaserepeat.com)
Please Repeat Small Hex Link Bracelet
This bracelet was truly love at first sight, and naturally I haven’t taken it off since. It’s simple enough to layer with other pieces of jewelry but makes enough of a statement to make me feel put together even when it’s the only accessory I’m wearing. I also love the hexagon link design that’s unique to my collection. — Kiana Murden, associate lifestyle editor
Naadam Café Cotton Cashmere Cropped Hoodie ($135; naadam.co)
Naadam Café Cotton Cashmere Cropped Hoodie
More than a year into the pandemic, I’ve finally found the perfect hoodie. I’m really petite (around 5 feet…on a good day), and lots of hoodies go beyond my hips and sometimes even my butt. As much as I love Ariana Grande, I know in my soul that I cannot be her. So this cropped hoodie, which is a cashmere blend that actually doesn’t make you sweat, has been life-changing for me. I wear it several times a week, and it’s one of the softest items I own. — Rachel Lubitz, lifestyle editor
H&M Braided Slides ($24.99; hm.com)
H&M Braided Slides
I spotted these braided slides on an unnecessary trip to H&M a couple weeks ago, and they’ve quickly became my go-to sandal now that the weather is warming up. They combine the best of both style and ease, being super comfortable and sleek-looking. The subtle platform is an added bonus. — Kiana Murden, associate lifestyle editor
Theragun Wave Solo ($79; theragun.com)
Theragun Wave Solo
I’ve been a big fan of Theragun for a while now, so when I saw the brand released new devices I just had to check them out. The Wave Duo and Wave Solo fall into the brand’s line of foam rolling devices. I especially love the Wave Solo because of its teeny-tiny size and low volume, so I can leave it on my desk and roll out my wrists while I’m taking calls. — Kai Burkhardt, editorial coordinator
DribbleUp Smart Medicine Ball ($79.99, originally $99.99; dribbleup.com)
DribbleUp Smart Medicine Ball
I live in a studio apartment, so getting a quality workout in 500 square feet has been a challenge. Luckily, DribbleUp’s smart medicine ball doesn’t take up a lot of space and I can manage all the live workouts even in my small living room. I love that the workouts are short enough to fit in my routine but challenging enough that I definitely feel the burn after the 15 minutes are up. — Delaney Strunk, programming editor
Long March 5B: China rocket debris likely plunged into the Indian Ocean near the Maldives, says China’s space agency
Most of the huge Long March 5B rocket, however, burned up on reentering the atmosphere, the China Manned Space Engineering Office said in a post on WeChat.
It was unclear if any debris had landed on the atoll nation.
The US Space Command said the Long March 5B had reentered Earth over the Arabian Peninsula.
The rocket, which is about 108 feet tall and weighs nearly 40,000 pounds, had launched a piece of a new Chinese space station into orbit on April 29. After its fuel was spent, the rocket had been left to hurtle through space uncontrolled until Earth’s gravity dragged it back to the ground.
Generally, the international space community tries to avoid such scenarios. Most rockets used to lift satellites and other objects into space conduct more controlled reentries that aim for the ocean, or they’re left in so-called “graveyard” orbits that keep them in space for decades or centuries. But the Long March rocket is designed in a way that “leaves these big stages in low orbit,” said Jonathan McDowell, an astrophysicist at the Astrophysics Center at Harvard University.
In this case, it was impossible to be certain exactly when or where the booster would land.
The European Space Agency had predicted a “risk zone” that encompassed “any portion of Earth’s surface between about 41.5N and 41.5S latitude” — which included virtually all of the Americas south of New York, all of Africa and Australia, parts of Asia south of Japan and Europe’s Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece.
The threat to populated areas of land was not negligible, but fortunately the vast majority of Earth’s surface area is consumed by oceans, so the odds of avoiding a catastrophic run-in were slim.
Despite recent efforts to better regulate and mitigate space debris, Earth’s orbit is littered with hundreds of thousands of pieces of uncontrolled junk, most of which are smaller than 10 centimeters.
Objects are constantly falling out of orbit, though most pieces burn up in the Earth’s atmosphere before having a chance to make an impact on the surface. But parts of larger objects, like the Long March rocket in this instance, can survive reentry and threaten structures and people on the ground.
“Norms have been established,” McDowell said.
“There’s no international law or rule — nothing specific — but the practice of countries around the world has been: ‘Yeah, for the bigger rockets, let’s not leave our trash in orbit in this way.'”
US Coronavirus: Vaccines are helping bring down US Covid-19 numbers. But the virus is now hitting one group of Americans harder
And the country has averaged more than 49,400 new Covid-19 cases daily in the past week, according to Johns Hopkins. On January 8, the country averaged more than 251,000 cases every day — the highest seven-day average of the pandemic.
“We are starting to see the effects of all these vaccinations,” Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of the Brown University School of Public Health told CNN on Monday.
Especially, he added, among the country’s older population, which was prioritized early on for the shots.
“This pandemic now is really among young people and it is a very dangerous time to be unvaccinated in the country because it is spreading pretty efficiently among young people and unvaccinated people,” Jha said.
So it’s critical that younger Americans get a shot as well, experts say, for both their own protection and to help the country reach widespread protection.
Governor: Young Oregonians hospitalized with ‘severe’ Covid-19
In Oregon, Gov. Kate Brown recently tightened some restrictions amid a surge in new cases and hospitalizations.
US could be dealing with this for ‘a long time’
More than 44% of the total US population has gotten at least one vaccine dose and nearly 32% is fully vaccinated, CDC data shows.
Among US adults, more than 56% have gotten at least one shot, the data shows, and more than 40.5% are fully vaccinated.
Once the US is able to vaccinate more than 70% of its adults, we may finally be able to see a semblance of normalcy, Jha said on Monday.
“Case numbers will plummet. We may not be at herd immunity, we’ll see little outbreaks here and there but life will begin to really get back to normal,” he said.
But what if we don’t get there?
“That’s a problem,” Jha said. “We’re going to be stuck with dealing with this for a long time.”
“If we just don’t vaccinate, then obviously one of the things we’ve known is we get big outbreaks, you can get more variants,” he said. “It’s going to be hard to do those large gatherings, indoor concerts, outdoor baseball games, this stuff will get much, much harder if we do not make more progress on vaccinations,” he added.
What could likely happen, one expert said, is communities that have a lower vaccination coverage will continue to see high transmission of the virus, while in other parts of the country with more vaccinations, case rates will be much lower.
“In this country, there’s a real divide around vaccination,” former acting CDC director Dr. Richard Besser told CNN. “People tend to live among people with similar beliefs.”
An important authorization could come next week
The one puzzle piece experts say is missing is getting children inoculated.
But there’s good news on that front.
Pfizer has applied for emergency use authorization. The FDA, which is currently reviewing data submitted by Pfizer, will have to amend the emergency use authorization for the vaccine, but the process should be straightforward, the official said.
A group of advisers to the CDC will schedule a meeting for after any FDA decision to extend the EUA to new age groups and will advise the CDC on whether to recommend the use of the vaccine in 12 to 15 year-olds.
Walensky will then have to decide whether the agency will recommend the vaccine’s use in the new age group.
“That will immediately add millions of more people eligible for vaccination. I bet a lot of those kids will get vaccinated,” Jha told CNN. “That will make a big difference as well in terms of building up population immunity.”
Pfizer and Moderna are both testing their vaccines in children as young as 6 months old and expect to ask the FDA for EUAs covering infants and children later this year.
CNN’s Deidre McPhillips and Maggie Fox contributed to this report.
Republican response: Sen. Tim Scott says ‘the President and his party are pulling us further and further apart’
“President Biden promised you a specific kind of leadership,” Scott said in his remarks. “He promised to unite a nation, to lower the temperature, to govern for all Americans no matter how we voted.”
While rebuttals typically offer the opposing party a chance to critique the President’s message, Scott’s speech directly called out Biden and his party, as the Republican senator touched on a wide range of issues, offering up praise for the Trump administration and slamming Democrats as divisive.
“Our nation is starving for more than empty platitudes,” he said. “We need policies and progress that bring us closer together. But three months in, the actions of the President and his party are pulling us further and further apart.”
Scott, the only Black Republican in the Senate, was selected by his party’s leadership to deliver their response, giving him a prominent national platform to speak to the country and the opportunity to draw a contrast between the GOP and Biden’s agenda.
‘America is not a racist country’
Scott waded into an array of hot-button policy debates and issues, including infrastructure, voting rights, policing reform and racism and discrimination, saying at one point that “America is not a racist country.”
“Republicans support making it easier to vote and harder to cheat,” Scott said.
Scott used his remarks to speak in deeply personal terms during the speech, saying, “I have experienced the pain of discrimination,” though he cited his experience as a critique of left-leaning politics.
“I get called ‘Uncle Tom’ and the N-word — by progressives, by liberals,” he said, “Believe me, I know firsthand our healing is not finished.”
In his remarks, Scott criticized higher education institutions as well as businesses for “doubling down on the divisions we’ve worked so hard to heal” and profiting off of racial politics.
“From colleges to corporations to our culture, people are making money and gaining power by pretending we haven’t made any progress at all,” he said.
Later he added, “You know this stuff is wrong. Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country.”
Scott credits Trump administration for vaccines and slams Biden infrastructure agenda
Scott credited the Trump administration with the development of effective vaccines to address Covid-19 and cited school closures during the pandemic as a key issue.
“The coronavirus is on the run. Thanks to Operation Warp Speed and the Trump administration, our country is flooded with safe and effective vaccines. Thanks to our bipartisan work last year, job openings are rebounding,” he said. “So why do we feel so divided and anxious?”
He criticized school closures, a hot-button issue amid the ongoing pandemic.
“Locking vulnerable kids out of the classroom is locking adults out of their future,” he said. “Our public schools should have reopened months ago. Other countries did. Private and religious schools did. Science has shown for months that schools are safe.”
Scott also slammed Biden’s sweeping infrastructure push, saying that Republicans are ready and willing to work to advance traditional infrastructure priorities, but that Democrats “won’t even build bridges to build bridges” and instead are trying to jam through a liberal wish list of unrelated agenda items.
Scott at the center of policing overhaul talks
The Republican rebuttal comes as Scott has been seen as a key negotiator on Capitol Hill, known for working across the aisle and being praised by Democrats.
Scott has served in the Senate since 2013 and previously served in the House of Representatives representing his state’s 1st Congressional District.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death last year, he drafted legislation aimed at overhauling policing, an effort that ultimately failed on the Senate floor. Now he’s at the center of a new bipartisan effort.
Scott’s discussions over a bipartisan Senate bill overhauling policing with Democratic Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey and Democratic Rep. Karen Bass of California, the author of the House-passed George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, have intensified in recent weeks.
Their goal remains crafting a compromise bill, according to a source familiar with the talks.
During his speech Wednesday, Scott said, “In 2015, after the shooting of Walter Scott, I wrote a bill to fund body cameras. Last year, after the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, I built an even bigger police reform proposal. But my Democratic colleagues blocked it.”
“I extended an olive branch. I offered amendments. But Democrats used the filibuster to block the debate from even happening. My friends across the aisle seemed to want the issue more than they wanted a solution,” he lamented.
“But I’m still working. I’m hopeful that this will be different,” he said.
A new political environment in a non-election year and an increasing sense of urgency spurred by a number of police shooting deaths across the country have given this effort a better chance of bipartisan success. But key sticking points remain — a challenge that will put the ability of the lead negotiators to forge compromise to the test.
This story and headline have been updated with additional developments Wednesday.
CNN’s Daniel Dale, Diane Gallagher and Ali Zaslav contributed to this report.
But unlike other high-profile incidents across the country, officials in Columbus released clips of both shootings within a day and, in the most recent case, within hours. They followed that up with more body camera footage later.
Since the rise of body cams, police departments across the country have grappled with whether and how to release videos of violent incidents involving officers and the people they’ve shot or killed. Mayors sometimes want to get the footage out to mollify protesters, police chiefs can use the clips to defend their officers, and prosecutors are left worrying about tainting the jury pool. In some places, local officials may not have a choice because state law prevents or spells out how it can be released.
Official videos of fatal police encounters are coming out faster than ever, adding clarity to tense situations where rumors can thrive and disinformation flourishes online.
In Ma’Khia’s case, the first video to emerge showed her still legs and rainbow-colored Crocs while an officer stood nearby. There was no sign of the apparent knife she was wielding when the officer opened fire — that was first publicly revealed in the body cam clips released that night.
“There were a lot of things being said and shared out in the community that may or may not have been consistent with what we’ve seen with our own eyes here,” Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther said about releasing the tapes at a Wednesday press conference. “And I think, critically, during a time of crisis, it’s very important to be as transparent and responsive as possible.”
“It wasn’t just social media, it was regular (media) as well. What we knew was that — residents, our black community in particular, basically has been holding their breath for a year on this verdict and barely had an opportunity to exhale before this tragedy,” said Robin Davis, a spokeswoman for the city of Columbus. “So, it was extremely important we get the information out as soon as we could. To be able to respond as quickly as possible. That’s always, always how we want to be able to do this.”
The press for transparency after an incident is driven, in large part, by social media and online influencers weighing in on evidence of shootings surfaced by bystanders or witnesses and media interest in cases that garner that attention.
At the time Ma’Khia’s on camera swinging toward the second woman, she’s holding what appears to be a knife in her right hand. Reardon fires his first shot five seconds after Ma’Khia first appears to be fighting, seemingly when Ma’Khia raises her right arm toward the second woman, who Ma’Khia has pinned against a car.
Ginther said the video was released “because the public deserves to know what happens. They needed to have this footage … to have this information, to have this transparency, to have this power, given to the community. So, it’s no longer about an officer’s word versus a resident’s word or different neighbors’ takes on things, but we have this footage. And we know that having this footage increases accountability on both sides of a camera.”
‘Be prepared to get that video out’
The moments after an officer shoots someone is chaotic. Depending on bystander video and because of the ease of sharing video on social media, the call for release of the video can become public before officers are finished hanging tape around the scene.
Mayors, police chiefs, police unions, prosecutors, attorneys for families of those shot by police, and activists all have separate and often competing interests in weighing whether to release or advocate for the release of video. The release by a mayor or police department may be an attempt to correct rumors or speculation on social media or to mollify protesters, or an attorney may seek the video’s release if they suspect wrongdoing or that the video would be helpful to an eventual lawsuit.
Just the act of affixing a body-worn camera to a police uniform is telling the public that what police do is a matter of public record, said Chuck Wexler, the executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a research organization whose goal is to “advance professionalism in policing.”
“If (departments) adopt body worn camera videos, they need to be prepared to get that video out as soon as possible because the expectation is: ‘Well, you gave them the cameras, what’s your timeframe for getting it out?'” Wexler said.
Wexler said there could be some compelling reason for holding off, but “by and large I think departments are better off getting the video out as quickly as possible.”
In Columbus, he said the department did two things right: released the body camera quickly and “showed compassion,” adding that a big part of public trust and how events play out comes down to “how these stories are told in the first days.”
David LaBahn, president of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, said prosecutors would prefer police not release videos until it’s gone through some agreed-upon process and authorities can decide whether a shooting was lawful. That process is different depending on the jurisdiction. In some places, an outside law enforcement agency handles the investigation; in some cases a charging decision is made by prosecutors or a grand jury.
There’s no category of crime where police officials routinely release evidence of a potential crime prior to a police department, prosecutor, or grand jury choosing whether to file charges, LaBahn said. But in his perfect world, after a determination is made on the shooting, prosecutors would either file video evidence as a public record in court or could release the material if a decision was made to not file charges.
“In that way, everyone would get to see everything. It’s just a matter of when,” he said. “But we don’t live in a perfect world, we’re in a 24/7 media cycle, and not just police but other people taking pictures of something. It becomes quick response model … and that’s where we’re at with the question of law enforcement agencies, do they even want to go to the area of creating a policy. And if they did, what would it say.”
“I have responded to many officer-involved shooting scenes and spoken with many officers following these critical incidents,” the city’s report stated. “There was something very distinct about the officers’ engagement following this critical incident that is difficult to describe for this letter.”
A grand jury indicted Coy and he pleaded not guilty to murder and other charges. He was charged with murder during a felony, felonious assault, and two counts of dereliction of duty. Coy pleaded not guilty and a judge initially set bond at $3 million. Bond was later reduced.
After Reardon shot Ma’Khia on Tuesday, the mayor of Columbus and other officials gathered to discuss a way to get video out as quickly as possible, said Davis, the Columbus spokeswoman.
“The discussions were about being as transparent as we could with the public,” Davis said. “We don’t rush every bit of body-worn camera footage we have. But we aren’t looking at if this is going to reflect poorly on us, that’s not a concern. How quickly we got out the Andre Hill footage speaks to that. That was not something that reflected well on the Columbus Division of Police and there was no hesitancy to get it out.”
Not all cities are the same
Police in at least three other cities across America have found themselves dealing with intense media and public pressure to release videos of officers killing people.
The city agency that investigates shootings released the footage more than two weeks later, after family had a chance to see it, and then the police department released an edited compilation of videos.
“Our special agents are working this investigation as quickly and as thoroughly as possible. We understand the need for transparency and will release what information we can when we’re able to release it,” a statement from the State Bureau of Investigation stated Thursday. “As for the release of any body camera video, it is not the SBI’s decision as to when and how body camera video is released. In North Carolina, body-worn video shall only be released pursuant to a court order.”
LaBahn, of the Association of Prosecuting Attorneys, said the best practice would be to either always release videos, or never release videos. But only releasing them if the shooting’s thought to be lawful would likely lead to community unrest if videos are then withheld in cases where it’s less clear. In either case, releasing videos has the potential to taint juries and lead to a venue change where people from that city won’t be able to serve on either a grand jury or as a juror in a criminal trial.
“In the light of everything going on, they were … mayors, and the public interest in their department using force versus an accused’s right to a fair trial … those are two things you’re balancing,” LaBahn said. “If an agency gets into habit of releasing, releasing real quickly what they believe to be lawful shoots, lawful uses of force, and have another incident and they don’t release, that’s going to have (the media) and the community realizing something’s wrong with case.”
While there have been a flurry of efforts at local levels, the usual outcome at moments like this is political paralysis as Washington — where national polarization is institutionalized — fails to produce even marginal reforms to law enforcement or gun safety.
The question now is whether a nation that has lost more than 560,000 people in a pandemic, which disproportionately affected minorities, is willing to accept a return to its old normal. Events of recent days suggest that there is no end in sight to a grim cellphone video showreel of Americans of color dying at police hands and regular mass killings.
Jurors in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the Minnesota cop who left his knee on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes and 29 seconds while he died last May, will hear closing arguments on Monday before retiring for their deliberations.
But that has not stopped the trial from being seen in the United States and around the world as a watershed moment that will highlight unfairness in how the American law enforcement system treats Black and minority Americans.
Given the deeply disturbing footage repeatedly aired at the trial of Floyd’s agonizing last moments, the need for unanimity among the jury, and the high profile of the trial, there is concern about what could follow not guilty verdicts.
Verdict is only the first step
If Chauvin is convicted, the sentencing phase of the trial will also be crucial, Bass said. “The verdict is step one, but what we’ve seen in too many of these cases, in the rare time there is a guilty verdict, we have seen people get off with minimal sentences,” added Bass, the sponsor of the Democratic police reform bill named for Floyd.
Her comments were an example of the extraordinary political pressure surrounding the trial in Minneapolis, from which the jury will be insulated by being sequestered for as long as it takes to complete their deliberations.
The idea that the case, which stirred massive nationwide and global activism after Floyd died last year, would prove in itself to be a change agent has been belied by a stream of recent police killings and harassment of Americans of color.
Still, despite the continuing violence, some activists see the Chauvin trial as a highly consequential moment.
“The outcome that we pray for in (the) Derek Chauvin trial is for him to be held criminally liable for killing George Floyd because we believe that could be a precedence of finally making America live up to its promise of liberty and justice for all,” civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump said Sunday.
“We have to finally have this racial reckoning, America, because if we don’t, then people are going to continue to have these emotional protests,” Crump, who acts for Floyd’s family, said on ABC’s “This Week.”‘
Whatever the outcome of the trial, it will be up to America’s political leaders to determine what level of action is required to tackle a culture of impunity that reinforces discriminatory and even lawless behavior in police dealings with minorities.
The realities of a deadlocked Senate
But like most other issues before the Senate, the package faces an uncertain future in a 50-50 chamber amidst a tense political atmosphere that is prone to demagoguery from radicals on both sides of the political aisle.
Republicans, for instance, have seized on demands by a minority of left-wing Democrats to defund and dismantle police departments, to portray the entire bill as a passport to eliminating policing entirely. That’s a position that even Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has said he disagrees with.
But those attacks, portraying the bill as part of an extreme liberal crusade, put moderate Democrats, like West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin — a crucial vote in the caucus — in an uncomfortable position. Other Republicans, meanwhile, are likely to object to the bill by arguing that it imposes unworkable and undesirable federal solutions on local jurisdictions.
It is also unclear how much political capital President Joe Biden will invest in the effort, given his personal political priorities including infrastructure, a desire not to alienate moderate Republican voters he has courted and given his historic kinship with police unions. Still, Biden is under intense pressure on the issue given that his victory in the Democratic primary was largely based on the support of African American voters — who were also critical constituencies in big cities in the swing states like Georgia and Pennsylvania that handed him the White House.
Bass, however, said on “State of the Union” that she was hopeful common ground could be forged in the Senate, especially under the leadership of South Carolina Republican Sen. Tim Scott.
“I believe that the Republicans that I am working with are operating in good faith,” Bass said. “Again, it’s one thing to pass legislation in the House. It’s a super hurdle to get it passed in the Senate.”
The mass shootings just go on and on
The weekend brought no respite from the firearms deaths.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, America’s top infectious disease expert, who is most identified with the fight against Covid-19, bemoaned the incessant loss of life from gun crimes during an appearance on “State of the Union.”
“I mean, in this last month it’s just been horrifying what’s happened,” Fauci told Bash when asked whether gun violence was a public health emergency. “How can you say that’s not a public health issue?”
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said last week that he planned to bring legislation to the Senate floor to address the “epidemic” of gun violence. Given that there is little sign that the political dynamics of gun control have shifted, Schumer’s efforts seem most likely to amount to symbolism.
Republicans have little political incentive to cooperate with Democrats given the antipathy to any form of firearms restrictions among grassroots conservatives persuaded by GOP arguments that any restrictions are unconstitutional. But there is often less attention on the freedoms to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness denied the multiple victims of mass shootings.
For example, when Biden recently used executive power to enforce some modest measures, including limiting self-assembled or handmade firearms made from directions and materials available online, he was falsely accused by former President Donald Trump — still the most powerful voice in the GOP — of seeking to overturn the Second Amendment.
Democratic Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut have been seeking Republican votes for a set of limited reforms to background checks and restricting gun sales to the mentally ill.
But Republicans argue that Democrats use mass shootings as an excuse to take away guns from law-abiding Americans who need weapons to defend themselves in such situations.
So the chance of any serious gun control measures reaching the threshold of 60 votes in the Senate to overcome Republican blocking tactics remains slim. Hopes for police reform could dissolve for the same reason, rooted in the entrenched politics of an internally estranged country.