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Top Story:  Trump pitches fear to suburban voters.

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Accessed on 22 July 2020, 1347 UTC, Post 399.

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Russ Roberts
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by Korva Coleman and Jill Hudson

First Up

President Trump is making a play for suburban voters by trying to convince them that if Democrat Joe Biden wins, then crime will be rampant.
Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Here's what we're following today.

President Trump has been issuing increasingly dire and outlandish warnings about what Democrats will do to the suburbs. He warns suburbanites will face rising crime and falling home values if they elect Joe Biden. The message: be afraid, be very afraid.

Researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that although a majority of Americans haven't been exposed to the coronavirus, the actual infection rate is roughly 10 times higher. The agency based this on antibody blood samples taken in 10 regions. Experts say at least 50% to 60% of exposure is needed for “herd” immunity.

President Trump took to the White House briefing room on Tuesday to praise his administration's response to the virus that has killed more than 140,000 Americans so far. In a reversal of his recent statements and tone, he acknowledged the severity of the pandemic and urged Americans to comply with preventative measures.

The U.S. has ordered China to close its diplomatic consulate in Houston within 72 hours. The move comes one day after the Justice Department indicted two Chinese hackers on charges of trying to steal research into a coronavirus vaccine. Local Houston media reported Tuesday that employees at the Chinese consulate in the city were burning documents in the consulate courtyard.

Millions of Americans are facing the real threat of eviction as a federal moratorium that has protected renters during the pandemic is set to expire Friday. That eviction delay, coupled with extra unemployment assistance from the CARES Act, has helped some renters stay in their homes.

On Tuesday, Twitter announced the removal of more than 7,000 accounts associated with the QAnon conspiracy theorya loose group of online provocateurs who support President Trump and spread absurd claims about forces supposedly attempting to topple the president. 

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Today's Listens

'Hamnet' by Maggie O'Farrell.
Knopf

How much do we really know about the inspiration for one of the most famous plays ever performed? When William Shakespeare sat down to write Hamlet, his only son, Hamnet, had been dead for four years. Hamnet Shakespeare only lived to the age of 11. His death was recorded. The cause was not. NPR's Mary Louise Kelly talked to author Maggie O'Farrell about her new novel, which imagines the boy's life and death. Click here to listen or read a review.

A historic drop in mortgage rates has millions of homeowners refinancing to save money. It's helping home sales, but it's not helping the broader economy as much as it would in a normal recession. Click here to listen or read the story.

In his first broadcast interview since being ousted, former counterterrorism chief Russ Travers warned that cutbacks to the National Counterterrorism Center’s budget put the U.S. at risk for a terrorist attack. Travers also expressed frustration at the poor state of relations between the intelligence community and the Trump administration. Click here to listen or read the story.

Before You Go

Drag queens Trixie Mattel, left, and Katya Zamolodchikova co-authored "Trixie and Katya’s Guide to Modern Womanhood."
Courtesy Albert Sanchez
  • The new book from RuPaul’s Drag Race stars Katya and Trixie Mattel is based on a vintage etiquette manual and dishes advice on everything from beauty to hookups and travel. "We like the irony and the absurdity of two white, bald, gay, 30-something men telling people how to be women,” says Katya Zamolodchikova.
  • Kristy, Claudia, Mary-Anne and Stacey are back! Netflix has adapted the book series The Baby-Sitters Club, and hopes to reintroduce it to young viewers and nostalgic millennials. Click here to listen.
  • The 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act is Sunday. Click here to let us know how it has affected your life.
  • After performing her opening song, "Heat Rises," singer Nilüfer Yanya pauses to say a few things about herself, something we've been asking artists to do for NPR Music's Tiny Desk (home) concerts.
— Suzette Lohmeyer contributed to this report.

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WORLD NEWS MONITORINGGet by Email •  RSS Published on 09:12 GMT
Armenia violates ceasefire with Azerbaijan 24 times on Feb.14 - Feb.15 15 February 2020 12:18 (UTC+04:00) 239 By Trend Over the past 24 hours, Armenian armed forces have violated the ceasefire along the line of contact between Azerbaijani and Armenian troops 24 times, Trend reports referring to the Azerbaijani Defense … Source: Azer News Published on 01:31 GMT
Here's where to fin…