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August 25th: Face Masks at School, Trump on the 2020 Election and a Response from the Kremlin

Face Masks at School

As the debate over when schools should return continues, another related debate has started today, regarding facemasks. Although it has been mandatory for people to wear facemasks in supermarkets for a little while now, and even longer on public transport – the government stopped short of making face-masks mandatory in work-places. They justified this by stating that very few coronavirus cases have been caught in workplaces.

As it currently stands, this is the same for schools – the government has not yet stated that they expect pupils to wear masks. However, with Scotland recently announcing that they expect their secondary-school pupils to wear masks in corridors and headteachers pushing for a review into the use of masks by pupils, it appears that the UK government has a lot of pressure on it to change its mind.

Whether the government will change its mind is yet to be seen.

Trump on the 2020 Election

In US news today, US President Donald Trump has claimed that the Democrats are trying to “steal” the November election over their policy on mail-in ballots. He has claimed that mail-in ballots cause electoral fraud, which would work unfairly to the advantage of his opponents. Despite this claim, many have vocally disagreed with the President – by claiming that this statement is simply untrue. One example of this is the commissioner of the Federal Election Commission, Ellen Weintraub, who has claimed that there is “no evidence” for what she calls the “conspiracy theory” that mail-in ballots cause fraud.

In fact, the overall rate of voter fraud in the US was found to be between 0.00004% and 0.0009%. If we look at the popular vote in US presidential elections historically, the closest an election has ever come is 0.09% – which is far larger than the suspected fraud percentage. Basically, what this means is that the evidence doesn’t suggest that historically, fraud has ever been widespread enough to swing an election.

This is not to say it couldn’t happen this time around – and that Trump could indeed be correct – just that if we do use historical evidence, this doesn’t appear likely. If you want to learn more about this check out the video we made about mail-in voting and who it really helps over on TLDR News US.

A Response from the Kremlin

In other news, the Kremlin has rejected accusations that Russian President Vladimir Putin was behind the poisoning of his political rival, Alexei Navalny. The Berlin hospital that Navalny is being treated at has claimed that he was poisoned with a cholinesterase inhibitor, which is part of a group that includes nerve agents.

The spokesman for the Kremlin has pointed out that any talk of Putin being behind the poisoning is “idle talk” and that there would be no criminal investigation in Russia unless the specific chemical was identified.

They also offered a possible alternative explanation for his current condition: that a mixture of medications caused the drop in cholinesterase in Mr. Navalny.

However, foreign nations do not appear convinced. German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, has demanded a criminal investigation into the matter so that ‘those responsible’ can be held accountable.

Whether this investigation will take place is, as yet, unknown.

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