Monday News: Thirteen thousand, two hundred sixty five


POSITIVE TEST RATE DROPS DOWN TO 1.6% IN NORTH CAROLINA: At least 1,007,698 people in North Carolina have tested positive for the coronavirus and 13,265 have died since March 2020, according to state health officials. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services reported 425 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, down from 464 reported the day before. At least 535 people were hospitalized with the coronavirus as of Friday. As of Friday, 1.6% of coronavirus tests were reported positive. Roughly 54% of adults in North Carolina have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine and about 50% were fully vaccinated as of Tuesday, the latest date for which data is available.

DANIEL TOBEN HAS PICKED UP 8,400 BAGS OF TRASH IN TRIANGLE AREA: Even during the pandemic, he spent days picking up litter, writing, "The government said, 'while maintaining social distancing, take a trash bag while you stretch your legs,' so I cleaned up a whole entrance to the lake today." His antics in kindness have gone viral on TikTok and Reddit, where he shares posts updating how many bags of trash he's picked up so far. How many bags has he picked up? So many, he's lost count. "It's over 8,400 for me, and at least a couple thousand for other people who go with me," he said. Just this weekend he he posted another photo, shared after he and his friend picked up another mountain of trash from an NC highway. The image shows his friend posing with the huge pile of full trash bags behind him. Toben also shares updates on TikTok, where his videos inspire others to get out there and do good in their own communities. With over 3 million likes, it's safe to say his kindness is having a ripple effect. "I started because I really wanted a peaceful place to unwind on campus while in college," said Toben. "When I went on walks around NC State, I found trash everywhere."

VIOLENCE CONTINUES TO ROCK DURHAM WITH ANOTHER DRIVE-BY SHOOTING: One person is hurt after a drive-by shooting in Durham. Durham officers are investigating near Lincoln Street and Linwood Avenue, where the drive-by shooting was reported overnight around 3:25 a.m. The police presence expanded around the neighborhood, stretching all the way down to Simmons Street, with yellow tape and flashing lights seen in and around neighborhood homes. According to officials, one driver was shooting out his vehicle window, while another person on the street was shooting back. A male victim was struck in the side, but his injuries were reported as non-life-threatening. The vast majority of firearms used in these incidents started out as legally purchased guns. 361,085 were sold in our state in 2020 alone.

NEW YORKERS ARE USING RANKED-CHOICE VOTING TO ELECT NEXT MAYOR: On the first day of early voting in New York City, Michael and Eunice Collins voted together in Harlem. Both are worried about the city, but they are divided over who is the best person to fix it. Mr. Collins, a transit worker, voted for Eric Adams for mayor. “I think he has a greater sensitivity to some of these hot issues — racial injustice and that kind of thing,” he said. His wife, Ms. Collins, a nurse, wanted a change: “Andrew Yang will bring a fresh perspective to the city.” The couple, both 66, ranked Raymond J. McGuire, a former Wall Street executive, second on their ballots. This is the first time that New Yorkers can vote early in a mayoral election. Voters were sparse on Saturday and Sunday, and lines at polling stations were much shorter than during the presidential election last year. Early voting will last from June 12 to June 20. The primary election is on June 22. Interviews with dozens of voters across the city over the weekend, from the Grand Concourse in the Bronx to Flushing in Queens, revealed that the Democratic primary for mayor was still very much up for grabs, and that most voters were taking advantage of being able to rank up to five candidates out of the field of 13. In Park Slope, Brooklyn, Peter Karp, 63, a software engineer, said he ranked three left-leaning candidates: Ms. Wiley, a former counsel to Mr. de Blasio, first; Scott Stringer, the city comptroller, second; and Dianne Morales, a former nonprofit executive, third. He said he cared most about affordable housing, the city’s economic recovery and reopening schools. “I’m very excited about the ranked voting,” he said. “I feel like it’s an ability to really vote for who closest aligns with your views without throwing your vote to the absolute opposite of that.”

BIBI NETANYAHU IS FINALLY OUSTED FROM ISRAEL'S PRIME MINISTER POSITION: As Benjamin Netanyahu ends his tenure, following the parliament’s approval Sunday of a new governing coalition that excludes him, he is not only Israel’s longest-serving leader but also one of its most influential. He reoriented the country’s decades-old approach to peace and security, reshaped its economy and place in the world, and upended longtime legal norms and notions of civil discourse. This widening schism between Israeli factions — left and right, religious and secular, Arabs and Jews — is one of the most obvious marks that Netanyahu leaves on the country. “His entire political strategy is based on keeping people’s anger alive,” said Anshel Pfeffer, a Jerusalem-based columnist. The Palestinian conflict helped define the tenures of Israeli prime ministers over four decades until Netanyahu began his second stint in the top job in 2009. He came in determined not to resolve the dispute but to push it to the side. Netanyahu had long signaled his belief that Israel would benefit if it focused less on the conflict. He argued that the country should forgo any major concessions to the Palestinians on territory or other demands and instead shift its attention, for instance, to threats from Iran, and move on. “It’s very much been his life’s work to marginalize the issue and take the onus off of Israel,” Pfeffer said. In 2009, he became the first leader from his right-wing Likud party to say he supported a two-state solution, which entails a Palestinian state next to Israel. Six years later, however, he pledged that no Palestinian state would happen “on my watch.” Netanyahu broke with the Obama administration over the 2015 nuclear deal that Iran signed with the United States and other world powers, openly lobbying against it. Then he so closely aligned himself with President Donald Trump and the Republicans that the traditional bipartisan support for Israel in Washington began to erode.



Somebody tried to explain

ranked-choice voting to me one time, and I kind of get it. But it also seems like your #2 pick might be more important than your top choice? Probably overthinking it...