Meet Candace Valenzuela, who could become the first Afro-Latina in Congress

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Last month, Candace Valenzuela won her Democratic primary runoff for Texas’s 24th district. And the potential impact of that victory goes beyond her Dallas-Forth Worth area constituents: If she wins the general election in November, Valenzuela will become the first Afro-Latina in Congress.

It’s a milestone that could be achieved twice over this year. Ritchie Torres, the Democratic candidate from New York’s 15th district, who’s all but certain to head to Congress in the fall, would be the first Afro-Latino to serve in the institution upon his swearing in.

Torres brought attention the significance of his likely election with an op-ed that exposed some outdated rules within Congress. Torres wrote that, based on current restrictions, he would not be allowed to join both the Congressional Black Caucus … Read the rest

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Apple pledged $25 to iPhone users over battery problems. Why is it so hard to collect?

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Apple is a world leader in both design and digital payments, but you wouldn’t know it from the clumsy website where millions of iPhone users must go to claim compensation over a battery defect. The website and the process for notifying customers about the iPhone settlement is awkward and ineffective—in short, very un-Apple like. The situation is frustrating many iPhone owners and could also bring new scrutiny of a class action process that critics’ say shortchanges consumers.

The Apple class action in question is over what the tech press has dubbed “battery-gate.” It alleges that Apple manipulated its software in ways that caused the battery of certain iPhones to suddenly drain or make the phone sluggish, prompting some users to desire a new purchase.

Following … Read the rest

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Congress in disagreement as 30.5 million go first week without $600 federal unemployment benefit

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Congress has yet to come to an agreement for extending or replacing the $600 weekly federal unemployment benefit, which paid its final benefit for the week ending July 25.

That means the 30.5 million jobless Americans who were receiving the benefit will go their first week without the $600 check.

“On certain issues we made progress, on certain issues we’re still very far apart,” treasury secretary Steven Mnuchin told reporters on Capitol Hill after leaving a meeting with Democratic leaders on Friday without a deal or short-term fix.

On Monday, Senate Republicans rolled out their stimulus bill, which included reducing the federal unemployment benefit bonus—which is paid on top of state benefits—from $600 to $200 per week for the next two months. After … Read the rest

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The economy is no longer Americans top concern heading into the 2020 election

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It’s not always the economy, after all. 

In prior elections, fears about the economy have always been top of mind for Americans heading to the polls. But voters say that their top political concern heading into the 2020 election are the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and public health, according to data from a Fortune-SurveyMonkey poll of 2,802 U.S. adults between July 17 and 21. 

The survey found that 37% of people say the coronavirus pandemic would be the number one issue on their minds if they went to the polls today. The economy took the number two slot, but virus fears beat economic worries by a longshot with a 13-point spread between the two. Race relations and racism were also of high concern to voters with 15% … Read the rest

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Roche tried to see if its arthritis drug could fight coronavirus. It didn’t work

Good afternoon, readers.

Drug development is a weird business. It’s crucial during a pandemic and the companies trying to make drugs have to get creative in emergency moments like this.

That’s why a whole lot of pharmaceutical firms have been testing out whether their own existing products can fight the coronavirus. Roche is one of them—and, unfortunately, on Wednesday announced that the gambit didn’t work out.

The Swiss drug giant was attempting to see whether or not Actemra, an anti-inflammatory which treats rheumatoid arthritis, could be promising for patients who had been hospitalized for COVID-19 with severe symptoms.

The company said in a statement that the trial of this drug failed both its primary and secondary goals: improvement in health for those with COVID-associated pneumonia as well as lowering the risk of death for these patients.

It’s a disappointing development. But it doesn’t mean that an old drug can’t learn Read the rest

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