A New PBS Series Shows How Underserved Latino Communities Are Fighting To Protect Themselves During COVID-19

As the coronavirus continues to ravage the United States, it also continues to disproportionately impact Latino communities. Latinos are being hospitalized at more than four times the rate of white people. (African Americans and Native Americans are also being hospitalized at similar rates.) Non-white hispanics are the most overrepresented racial or ethnic group in terms of deaths from COVID-19 compared to their percentage of the overall population, according to the Centers for Disease Control. And the recession has hit Latino communities especially hard, according to a study by Pew Research Center.

“Latinos Are Essential,” a new series of documentary shorts released on Tuesday from Latino Public Broadcasting (LPB) and PBS, attempts to shed light on this imbalance by telling 11 stories of struggle and perseverance during the pandemic. These short films, shot around the country by Latino filmmakers, show how Latino communities and individuals have lacked the structural support to combat the virus and its effects—and instead took on those responsibilities themselves.
“We wanted to show a visual tapestry of Latinos across this country serving their communities at the crossroads of the pandemic,” Sandie Viquez Pedlow, the series’ executive producer and LPB’s executive director, tells TIME. “In every situation you see there is fear, but they go and do the work.”
Experts say there are several reasons why Latinos have been hit especially hard by the pandemic. They make up a large percentage of the essential workforce, rely more heavily on public transportation and more often live in multigenerational homes. Further endangering many undocumented Latino immigrants is their lack of access to health care or safety nets like Social Security. “Many of these people are paying taxes but don’t have health care, so they can’t get tested. If they can’t work, they’re laid off and are not getting unemployment benefits. Many didn’t qualify for the stimulus money,” Pedlow says. “They are helping this country but not benefiting from what is available.”
In creating the series, Pedlow’s goal was twofold: to showcase the stories of essential workers on the frontlines, and to give work opportunities to emerging Latino filmmakers. The filmmakers, once given the green light, were given three and a half weeks to shoot and edit their shorts largely by themselves, in order to reduce the risk of potential coronavirus spread.
One of the films, Jennifer Maytorena Taylor’s “Testing Community,” centers on the Latino Task Force in the Mission District of San Francisco, which mobilized early on to bring free testing to the predominantly Latino area. One of their early studies revealed that 95% of participants who tested positive were Latino or Hispanic, causing them to ramp up their door-to-door to door outreach to spread awareness and health education. “We know that government will never be able to do exactly what it is community needs it to,” Jon Jacobo, the organizations’ health committee chair, says in the video. “But community can do that.”

Another video, Esau Melendez’s “Todos Unidos y Yo,” is shot in Chicago, where the Coalition of Mexican Immigrants has worked with local pantries and organizations like the Mexican Consulate to supply funding and food to locals in need. Alfonso Seiva, the coalition’s president, says that the organization distributes 2,000 tamales every Sunday in South Chicago and also helps those who have contracted COVID-19 pay their rent. “It’s really bad for our community because we can’t stop working: we have bills to pay every time,” Seiva tells TIME. “By myself, I can’t do much. But we can do more if we are organized.”

Other shorts in the series depict an EMT in Denver; two teachers in Puerto Rico; and a Walmart employee who works at the same store where a gunman murdered 22 people last August (a 23rd died months later from wounds). “We wanted to show how diverse the Latino community is,” Pedlow says. “There are stories of Latinos who have been here all their lives, and those who have just immigrated. In every situation, they want to help their communities.”
You can watch the series at PBS.com.

ABC’s Twisty, Mountainous Thriller Big Sky Is No Prestige Masterpiece, But It’s Still a Lot of Fun

Broadcast networks will never be able to compete with cable or streaming when it comes to top-shelf dramas. As a rule, pay TV offers bigger budgets, more creative freedom, more leeway to explore adult themes and more flexibility in season and episode length. Still, every once in a while (though increasingly rarely of late) a broadcaster will resist the mandate to churn out nothing but cost-effective primetime procedurals and set to work on something more ambitious.
ABC is marketing Big Sky, which premieres on Nov. 17, as precisely that: a polished, sophisticated, boundary-pushing prestige thriller of the kind that major networks almost never make anymore. Adapted from a series of novels by C.J. Box, it’s a lightning-paced crime story from the sought-after creator David E. Kelley, who was known for broadcast blockbusters like Chicago Hope and Ally McBeal before he was known for Big Little Lies. And it’s not shy about inviting comparisons to classics. As its title suggests, the show is set in Montana. It opens with a montage of natural beauty straight out of the Twin Peaks (which had its original two-season run on ABC) credits sequence—snow-capped mountains, dramatic waterfalls, evergreen forests—before opening in the familiar environs of a frozen-in-time diner called the Dirty Spoon.

The show doesn’t come close to equaling David Lynch’s sui generis philosophical murder soap. (To be fair, neither does 99.999% of content released by cable channels or streaming services.) It’s far more visceral than cerebral. And for all its crisp, immersive cinematography and timely themes, it still feels more like a network potboiler than a groundbreaking work of art. All you can really ask of this kind of series is that it’s entertaining, and in that respect Big Sky delivers.
Because so much of that entertainment comes from the ridiculously frequent twists, it would be cruel to give away anything major. Suffice to say that the plot revs up with the kidnapping of two teenage sisters, Danielle (The Gifted’s Natalie Alyn Lind) and Grace (Jade Pettyjohn of Little Fires Everywhere, an early standout), on a road-trip to visit Danielle’s boyfriend. Throughout the premiere, we meet other rural types whose ties to the crime take a while to tease out. Cassie (Kylie Bunbury, a star in search of a vehicle since her charismatic turn in Fox’s frustratingly short-lived Pitch) and Cody (Ryan Phillippe) are private detectives turned lovers—a relationship that doesn’t exactly delight Cody’s estranged wife Jenny (Vikings star Katheryn Winnick). Truck driver Ronald (Brian Geraghty of NBC’s Chicago franchise) lives with his nagging mom (a reliably over-the-top Valerie Mahaffey). Rick (the wonderful John Carroll Lynch) is a folksy state trooper whose wife (Brooke Smith of Grey’s Anatomy) won’t stop complaining about menopause.

Darko Sikman/ABCRyan Phillippe (left) and John Carroll Lynch in ‘Big Sky’
This isn’t the most imaginative cast of characters, though the subversion of stereotypes can sometimes make for great TV (see: Crazy Ex-Girlfriend). Divergent performance styles among the lead actors doesn’t help; Winnick’s stagey line readings can sound affected in the context of frequent scene partner Bunbury’s easy naturalism. But, in the two episodes provided for review, the bigger problem is in the lack of specificity in the way those characters are written. There’s an unbridgeable divide between the show’s good guys, who are normal (if pugnacious) human beings, and its villains, all of whom come off as cartoonishly odd and unhinged.
While it’s true that its themes are fairly progressive by the retrograde standards of network television, Big Sky nonetheless feels years behind the cultural conversation. There is a current of vague, girl-power feminism running through this story, which sends female investigators on a search for two teen-girl kidnapping victims endowed with far more agency than the typical crime-drama dead girl. The misogyny they’re battling is so over-the-top as to feel goofy rather than menacing. Meanwhile, the nonbinary actor Jesse James Keitel brings grace, intelligence and self-awareness to a history-making role—but their character Jerrie is a sex worker whose anatomy becomes a plot point early in the season, despite years of pushback from trans and gender-nonconforming actors about roles that fetishize their bodies. “Aw, sugar, I’m not the type that people fall in love with,” Jerrie remarks at one point, as though abjection is an obvious and necessary component of this identity.
The attention to detail is lacking, too. ABC’s only new drama this fall, Big Sky is sloppy in its evocation of what is supposed to be the present. “San Francisco! Sanctuary city!” Rick exclaims, somewhat scornfully, when he discovers the hometown of a tourist stuck on a muddy road. Yet despite a handful of such hyper-politicized moments, the show is set during the current pandemic and no one ever wears a mask. This probably has more to do with aesthetics than with the characters’ politics, but the unremarked-upon choice creates cognitive dissonance. The virus plays such a tiny part in early episodes that I wondered why Kelley didn’t just write around it.
Still, the show, in its network-y clumsiness, offers something that failed pay-TV dramas rarely achieve: fun. Recall Kelley’s other recent crime thriller, HBO’s The Undoing. Yes, that Manhattan murder mystery has bigger stars, more consistent performances and more highbrow dialogue. It’s also blander and grayer and more predictable; even its sumptuous rich-people apartments feel dreary. (Plus, Montana-style “cabincore” design is so big right now.) And if Big Sky can feel glib in its exploration of many themes, then the ideas that emerge in The Undoing amount to a jumble of psychobabble and cliché. Both shows might well be on a road to nowhere, but only one promises a wild ride.

How Russia’s Opposition Movement Wants Biden to Confront Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin has so far kept his silence on President-elect Joe Biden’s victory in the November election. But other Russians have not been so circumspect. Opposition leader Alexei Navalny, still in recovery from being poisoned with a military grade nerve agent in August, congratulated Biden in a Tweet on Nov. 8. He praised the “free and fair elections” in the U.S, pointedly describing them as a “privilege which is not available to all countries.”
When Biden enters the White House in January, Russia’s embattled opposition figures want the U.S. President to more forcefully confront the Putin regime with more rigorous and widespread sanctions in order to help them rebuild democracy in Russia. Vladimir Kara-Murza, a Russian democracy activist and chair of the Boris Nemtsov Foundation, tells TIME that “It’s only for Russians to bring democracy to Russia. But the president must stop legitimizing and enabling [a] Putin regime that flouts and violates democratic norms. Frankly, it’s something no U.S. president in 20 years of Putin’s power has done.”

For the past four years, the U.S. approach to Russia has been alternately punitive and permissive. The U.S. Congress has responded forcefully to Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential elections, slapping sanctions on dozens of Russian entities and individuals for election meddling and other malign activity. Yet at the same time Trump has praised Putin for his leadership style, suggested Russia be restored to the G7 group of countries, and even questioned his own intelligence services during a joint press conference with the Russian president.
Critics say that Trump’s behavior has routinely undermined the U.S. sanctions policy on Russia. The White House has “in many ways signaled that there will be no consequences for Russia for human rights abuses,” says Edward Fishman, former member of the U.S. State Department policy planning staff. Unlike many world leaders, Trump failed to condemn Russia over the poisoning of Navalny and unlike the U.K. and E.U., he did not place consequent sanctions on Russia. (Navalny said Putin was behind the attack, but the Kremlin denies any involvement.) That reaction “was particularly egregious,” says Fisher.
Biden, meanwhile, did condemn Russia over the attack against Navalny and said Trump’s “silence is complicity”. In March he pledged to “impose real costs on Russia” for its transgressions at home and abroad, and to “stand with Russian civil society.”
A good place for the Biden Administration to start, says Kara-Murza, would be to sanction six Kremlin officials that the E.U. has already sanctioned over the poisoning of Navalny and other senior Russian officials under the Magnitsky Act.
Signed by the Obama Administration 2012 — and named after a lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, who died in jail after testifying about Russian government corruption — this act sanctions Russian perpetrators of human rights abuses and corruption, including freezing access to their stashes in America’s banks and real estate, and banning their entry to the U.S. “A defining feature of the Putin regime is the astonishing hypocrisy where you have the same people who abuse and attack the most basic norms of democracy in Russia, then come to the West and want to enjoy all the benefits and privileges that these same norms of democracy offer in Western countries.” he says.
Russian officials and businessmen have long chosen London, New York and Miami among their preferred destinations to stash their money, buy luxury property and educate their children. A three year long investigation by Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and Russian investigative news site Novaya Gazeta revealed in 2017, that hundreds of millions of Russian laundered dollars slid into vaults in the West, including some $63.7 million in U.S. banks such as CitiBank and Bank of America.
While the U.S. has “by any objective measure” been successful in imposing the Global Magnitsky Act, which applies to all foreign human rights abuses and corrupt officials, it has been “wrong” not to sanction more Russians under the Magnitsky Act, says Bill Browder, CEO of Hermitage Capital. Browder was Magnitsky’s client in the corruption case surrounding his death, and has been campaigning against corruption and human rights abuses in Russia ever since. Under Obama, such sanctions were introduced on a yearly basis, but under Trump there were no new sanctions in 2018 or so far this year, says Browder.
At least 50 Russian officials have been targeted by the U.S. through the Magnitsky Act. But there are many more eligible candidates, activists say, including propagandists like the head of Russia Today, Dmitry Kiselyov, who led a vilification campaign against Putin’s opponents, such as the now-murdered Boris Nemtsov. “The evidence is plentiful. The legislative framework is in place. All that’s needed is political will,” says Kara-Murza.
Browder expects that Biden will ramp up the pressure on Putin over his human rights record. “I think it’s going to be a big theme,” he says. Analysts including Tatiana Stanovaya, CEO of R.Politik, a political analysis firm, agrees. “Russia expects Biden to tighten sanction policies and react more fiercely to human rights abuses,” she says. And that might help to explain the Kremlin’s silence on Biden’s win. “The Magnitsky Act was one of the most upsetting things to happen to Putin in his dealings with the U.S.”, says Browder.
But not everyone sees sanctions as a priority. “They’re not a silver bullet,” says Vladimir Ashurkov, Executive Director of Russia’s Anti-Corruption Foundation. While personal sanctions can be “quite helpful”, they are not particularly “effective instruments” at bringing about “long term, lasting change” in Russia in terms of restoring civil freedoms or media freedom, he says. “The most important aspect of U.S. foreign policy as it relates to Russia is the restoration of the U.S. as a global power promoting democracy and human rights, and strengthening Transatlantic relations through NATO,” says Ashurkov.
Cracking down the flow of corrupt Russian money into the West will take more than just individual sanctions, Ashurkov says. “Tackling the network of enablers – financiers, bankers, lawyers, etc. – used by the dirty money will have a much stronger effect, but it requires a lot of political will,” he says. The E.U. recently introduced new anti-money laundering directives and analysts say now it’s time for America to step up as well. Nigel Gould-Davies, former Head of the British Embassy’s Economic Section in Moscow and a former ambassador to Belarus, says “It’s not enough for the West to try to resist Russian influence with traditional diplomatic and military means. It has to protect its own systems from the malign effects of foreign money,” he says.
For the Russian opposition, 2024 will be the year when Biden’s promise for a tough stance on Russia will be put to the test. In the spring of that year Russia will hold presidential elections. Following a constitutional reform in July that the European Parliament said was “enacted illegally,” Putin has been granted the right to hold the presidency beyond his final mandate in 2024. “These amendments are null and void,” says Kara-Murza.
If Putin tries to cling onto power beyond the end of his current term, as most expect him to, he should become as illegitimate as dictators like Belarus’ Alexander Lukashenko and Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, he adds, both of whom are illegal leaders in Washington’s eyes. “There must be a very clear public policy of non recognition on the part of the free world, of course led by the U.S.,” says Kara-Murza.

Why the U.S. Could Be the Big Loser in the Huge RCEP Trade Deal Between China and 14 Other Countries

When 15 nations across the Asia-Pacific region inked the largest regional free trade agreement ever on Nov. 15, there were no handshakes or state dinners—but the significance of the deal was no less dramatic for it.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), signed via videoconference due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, brings together countries that comprise some 2.2 billion people and 30% of the world’s economic output.
The signatories are Australia, China, Japan, South Korea and New Zealand and the 10 members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN.) The pact is meant to reduce trade barriers and make it easier for the regional neighbors to do business—and the biggest winners and losers are already clear.

Experts say the deal—while more symbolic than substantive—is a clear marker of both China’s power and waning American influence in the Asia-Pacific region. Even U.S. treaty allies like Japan, South Korea and Australia moved to strike a bargain with China in the absence of an alternative, observers note.

Read More: This Is How Joe Biden Might Start Fixing America’s Relationship With China
The signing of the RCEP also indicates that it may be more difficult than previously thought for a Biden Administration to reverse course on four years of President Donald Trump’s “America First” withdrawal from multilateralism.
“The trade pact more closely ties the economic fortunes of the signatory countries to that of China and will over time pull these countries deeper into the economic and political orbit of China,” says Eswar Prasad, a professor of economics and trade policy at Cornell University and the former head of the International Monetary Fund’s China Division.
Here’s what to know about it.
What is the RCEP?
The RCEP will lower or eliminate tariffs on various goods and services, although the scope of the agreement—essentially an extension of free trade under existing frameworks—is limited.
One of the biggest benefits, experts say, relates to the pact’s so-called rules of origin, which make it easier for companies to set up supply chains spanning multiple countries.
Deborah Elms, the founder of the Asian Trade Centre, says it will be much easier to manufacture and sell goods in the region once RCEP comes into force. “Firms can just build and sell across the region with just one certificate of origin paper and no more juggling different forms and rules,” she says.
That means that it will be harder for companies from the U.S., and other countries that aren’t party to the RCEP, to compete in Asia. “Companies in Asia will have lower tariffs to pay, may get better access at customs, have improved market access for services and significantly better investment opportunities,” says Elms.
The full list of RCEP signatories is: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.
India was initially meant to sign on, as well. But, fearing a deluge of cheap imports, it withdrew from negotiations in late 2019. That caused concern among some parties to the agreement that China, the world’s second largest economy, would have outsized influence.
Why is the RCEP important?
It’s one of the largest trade pacts ever signed, with its member nations representing just under a third of the world’s population and economic output.
It also marks the first multilateral trade deal for China, the first bilateral tariff reduction arrangement between Japan and China, and the first time China, Japan and South Korea have been in a single free-trade agreement.
The RCEP will add almost $200 billion to the global economy and 0.2% per year to the GDP of its members, according to estimates by academics Peter A. Petri and Michael G. Plummer, writing for the Peterson Institute for International Economics.
Plummer, director of Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies campus in Bologna, Italy, says the agreement is important because it will inspire investor confidence.
The RCEP’s formalization comes as the Asia-Pacific region, which has largely been able to keep the pandemic under control, seeks to recover economically. Although experts caution that the agreement will take time to implement, it may still help boost Asian economies.
“RCEP underscores the high priority that the region places on opening up international markets and deepening economic integration, at a very challenging time for the global trading system,” says Plummer.
What does the RCEP mean for the U.S. and China?
To understand what the RCEP means for the United States, it’s important to look at the big trade deal that got away: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).
The TPP was part of the Obama Administration’s “pivot” to Asia, and was intended to counter China’s rise by improving economic cooperation with regional allies. The TPP included a raft of environmental, human rights, intellectual property and labor regulations that stood to bolster U.S. competitiveness. The authors of the deal hoped that if enough of China’s other major trade partners signed on, China would be forced to join as well—and comply with the new standards.
But Trump made quitting the TPP a campaign issue in 2016, painting it as another free trade deal that would ship U.S. manufacturing jobs overseas. He withdrew from it on his first full day in office in 2017. The agreement morphed into the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), which 11 nations—including Japan, Canada and Australia—have signed. But, without the heft of the U.S. in the mix, China has not signed on.
The RCEP, unlike the TPP does not include detailed provisions related to environmental and labor standards.
“The U.S. now has even less leverage to pressure China into modifying its trading and economic practices to bring them more in line with U.S. standards on labor, the environment, intellectual property rights protection, and other issues related to free trade,” says Cornell’s Prasad.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in a statement on Monday that it is concerned that the U.S. is being left behind as economic integration accelerates across the Asia-Pacific region—pointing out that the region is forecast by the IMF to regain an average growth rate of over 5% in 2021. “U.S. exporters, workers, and farmers need access to these lucrative markets if they are to share in this dramatic growth,” the U.S. business group said.
China is already a major trade partner for most Asian economies, and its clout is set to grow under RCEP.
This may make it difficult for the U.S. to come back from Trump’s “America First” foreign policy. The swift about-face on the TPP, which undermined trust in the United States as a trading partner, may also make re-engagement in the region more difficult.
“Even if I was able to get a win-win outcome under this U.S. president, how do I know that it will remain under the next one? If the U.S. can so easily cancel commitments, it can do so again in the future,” says Elms.
So far, President-elect Joe Biden has been noncommittal about whether he will seek to join the updated TPP. But, experts say, the RCEP might force the next administration to re-engage in the region.
Speaking on Monday, Biden said that the U.S. needs to work with its allies to set global trading rules to counter China’s growing influence.
“We make up 25% … of the economy in the world,” Biden said of the U.S. “We need to be aligned with the other democracies, another 25% or more so that we can set the rules of the road instead of having China and others dictate outcomes because they are the only game in town.”
Plummer says that he hopes the RCEP will act as an incentive for the U.S. to rebuild its ties. “Otherwise China’s influence is going to rise significantly” he says, “and the U.S. risks falling behind in the world’s most economically promising region.”

Airbnb Details Years of Losses Ahead of a Planned IPO

Airbnb was losing money even before the pandemic struck and cut its revenue by almost a third, the home-sharing company revealed in documents filed Monday ahead of a planned initial public offering of its stock.
The San Francisco-based company has yet to set a date for the IPO but it is laying the groundwork by filing financial records with U.S. securities regulators.
The documents show that leading up to the coronavirus outbreak earlier this year, Airbnb was spending heavily on technology and marketing to grow its business. The company said it was expanding its operations and adding new programs, like tours and other experiences that travelers could book through its website.

Its revenue jumped 32% to $4.8 billion in 2019, but it reported a net loss of $674 million that year. The company also lost money in 2018 and 2017.
This year, Airbnb said, revenue fell 32% to $2.5 billion in the first nine months as travelers canceled their plans after the pandemic crippled travel and forced lockdowns around the world.
The pandemic forced a financial reckoning, the company said. In May, Airbnb cut 1,900 employees, or around 25% of its workforce, and slashed investments in programs, like movie production, not related to its core business.
Airbnb funded operations with $2 billion from various sources, including a $1 billion investment from private equity firms Silver Lake and Sixth Street Partners.
Now, the company said, demand is rebounding as some travelers see home rentals as safer than crowded hotels. The number of nights and experiences booked, which plummeted more than 100% in March and April, were down 28% in July, August and September.
Airbnb said that indicates its business model is resilient and can adapt to future travel needs, including an increase in business travelers who want to work from a rental home.
“We believe that the lines between travel and living are blurring, and the global pandemic has accelerated the ability to live anywhere,” the company said.
Airbnb said it currently has 7.4 million listings run by 4 million hosts worldwide. Eighty-six percent of its hosts are outside the U.S. and 55% are women, the company said.
The company said it had 54 million guests in 2019.
Airbnb was founded 12 years ago by Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia — classmates at the Rhode Island School of Design — and Nate Blecharczyk, a software engineer. Their first listing was Chesky and Gebbia’s apartment in San Francisco.
Chesky, Airbnb’s CEO, will receive a multi-year equity grant worth an estimated $120 million in lieu of a salary, the company said. The award will vest if he meets stock-price targets over the next decade.
Airbnb’s massive growth hasn’t been without complications.
The company has angered some cities that accuse it of promoting overtourism and making neighborhoods less affordable by taking housing off the market. Cities like Los Angeles, Barcelona, Paris and even Airbnb’s home city of San Francisco have passed laws restricting its rentals.
The company has tried to clean up its couch-surfing reputation by adding luxury rentals and promising to verify each of its properties to make sure the photos on its website match the accommodations.
It has also been cracking down on parties since a 2019 shooting at an illegal Airbnb house party in California. The shooting left five people dead.
In the meantime, relationships with its hosts have sometimes frayed. Earlier this year, hosts were infuriated when Airbnb allowed guests to cancel and get full refunds amid the pandemic. Airbnb later promised $250 million to hosts to make up the shortfall.
More recently, the company said it will set aside 9.2 million shares for a host endowment, which will fund projects for hosts when its value tops $1 billion. It also named a 15-member host advisory committee to distribute those funds and meet regularly with Airbnb leadership.

The SpaceX Capsule With Four Astronauts On Board Has Reached the International Space Station

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX’s newly launched capsule with four astronauts arrived Monday at the International Space Station, their new home until spring.
The Dragon capsule pulled up and docked late Monday night, following a 27-hour, completely automated flight from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center.
“Oh, what a good voice to hear,” space station astronaut Kate Rubins called out when the Dragon’s commander, Mike Hopkins, first made radio contact. The linkup occurred 262 miles (422 kilometers) above Idaho.
This is the second astronaut mission for SpaceX. But it’s the first time Elon Musk’s company delivered a crew for a full half-year station stay. The two-pilot test flight earlier this year lasted two months.

The three Americans and one Japanese astronaut will remain at the orbiting lab until their replacements arrive on another Dragon in April. And so it will go, with SpaceX — and eventually Boeing — transporting astronauts to and from the station for NASA.
This regular taxi service got underway with Sunday night’s launch.
Hopkins and his crew — Victor Glover, Shannon Walker and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi — join two Russians and one American who flew to the space station last month from Kazakhstan. Glover is the first African-American to move in for a long haul. A space newcomer, Glover was presented his gold astronaut pin Monday.
The four named their capsule Resilience to provide hope and inspiration during an especially difficult year for the whole world. They broadcast a tour of their capsule Monday, showing off the touchscreen controls, storage areas and their zero gravity indicator: a small plush Baby Yoda.
Walker said it was a little tighter for them than for the two astronauts on the test flight.
“We sort of dance around each other to stay out of each other’s way,” she said.
For Sunday’s launch, NASA kept guests to a minimum because of coronavirus, and even Musk had to stay away after tweeting that he “most likely” had an infection. He was replaced in his official launch duties by SpaceX President Gwynne Shotwell, who assured reporters he was still very much involved with Sunday night’s action, although remotely.
As they prepared for the space station linkup, the Dragon crew beamed down live window views of New Zealand and a brilliant blue, cloud-streaked Pacific 250 miles below.
“Looks amazing,” Mission Control radioed from SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California.
“It looks amazing from up here, too,” Hopkins replied.
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The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

About 90,000 Sex Abuse Claims Have Been Filed in the Boy Scouts Bankruptcy Case

NEW YORK — Close to 90,000 sexual abuse claims have been filed against the Boy Scouts of America as the Monday deadline arrived for submitting claims in the organization’s bankruptcy case.
The number far exceeds the initial projections of lawyers across the United States who have been signing up clients since the Boy Scouts filed for bankruptcy protection in February in the face of hundreds of lawsuits alleging decades-old sex abuse by Scout leaders.
“We are devastated by the number of lives impacted by past abuse in Scouting and moved by the bravery of those who have come forward,” the Boy Scouts said in a statement. “We are heartbroken that we cannot undo their pain.”

A few hours before the 5 p.m. EST deadline, the number of claims totaled 88,500, lawyers said.
Eventually, the proceedings in federal bankruptcy court will lead to the creation of a compensation fund to pay out settlements to abuse survivors whose claims are upheld.
The potential size of the fund is not yet known and will be the subject of complex negotiations. The national organization is expected to contribute a substantial portion of its assets, which include financial investments and real estate. The Boy Scouts’ insurers also will be contributing, as will the Boy Scouts’ roughly 260 local councils and companies that insured them in the past.
Andrew Van Arsdale, a lawyer with a network called Abused in Scouting, said it has signed up about 16,000 claimants. He said that number doubled after the Boy Scouts, under the supervision of a bankruptcy judge, launched a nationwide advertising campaign on Aug. 31 to notify victims that they had until Nov. 16 to seek compensation.
“They spent millions trying to encourage people to come forward,” Van Arsdale said. “Now, the question is whether they can make good on their commitment.”
The Boy Scouts said it “intentionally developed an open, accessible process to reach survivors and help them take an essential step toward receiving compensation.”
“The response we have seen from survivors has been gut-wrenching,” the organization added. “We are deeply sorry.”
The bankruptcy has been painful for the 110-year-old Boy Scouts, which has been a pillar of American civic life for generations. Its finances were already strained by sex abuse settlements and declining membership — now below 2 million from a peak of over 4 million in the 1970s.
Most of the pending sex abuse claims date to the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, before the Boy Scouts adopted criminal background checks, abuse prevention training for all staff and volunteers, and a rule that two or more adult leaders must be present during activities.
Among the contentious issues still to be addressed in the bankruptcy case is the extent to which the Boy Scouts’ local councils contribute to the compensation fund.
In its bankruptcy filing, the national organization said the councils, which have extensive property holdings and other assets, are separate legal entities and should not be included as debtors in the case. An ad hoc committee representing the councils has been negotiating what they will pay in.
Under the terms of the case, no additional sex abuse claims can be filed against the Boy Scouts after Monday. However, attorney Jason Amala, part of a legal team representing more than 1,000 claimants, said new claims still could filed against local councils in some states that have victim-friendly statute-of-limitations laws, such as New York, New Jersey and California.
Lawyer Paul Mones, who won a $19.9 million sex abuse verdict against the Boy Scouts in Oregon in 2010, said painstaking work lies ahead to determine which insurers were responsible for coverage of the national organization and the local councils over the decades in which abuse occurred.
He said the eventual payments are likely to vary, depending on the severity and duration of the abuse.
“The number of claims is mind-boggling,” Mones said, noting that many abuse victims likely have not come forward. “It’s chilling in terms of the amount of horror that was experienced.”
Some of the claims may be hard to verify, if they involve abuse allegations against volunteer Scout leaders whose names don’t appear in official rosters from long ago, Mones said.
One of the official parties in the case, a group of nine sex abuse survivors representing all the victims, called the case “the largest and most tragic bankruptcy ever resulting from sexual abuse liability.”
“More sexual abuse claims will be filed in the Boy Scouts bankruptcy than all claims filed against the Catholic Church throughout the nation,” the Torts Claimants Committee said.
“Sexual abuse in scouting is unprecedented and the remedies for victims must, likewise, be unprecedented,” said the committee’s chairman, John Humphrey.

Falling behind in games continues to haunt Washington

Alex Smith looked up at the scoreboard late in the first half, saw the big “3” next to Washington and started thinking about what went wrong. He remembered the drive deep into Detroit territory that went backwards and out of field-goal range, the missed kick and the fumble. “I was stunned before half that we […]