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Dining News

Starbucks Will Bring Back the Pumpkin Spice Latte on August 28


The pandemic has forced everyone to re-evaluate what a return to “normal” will mean. When this is all over, what will we bring with us from our quarantine times, and what will we discard from our previous lives? Will we still hug with impunity? Will to-go cocktails endure? Will we keep the momentum on the fight to defund the police? We can’t know. But if you hoped in the chaos that we wouldn’t have to go through the Pumpkin Spice Latte discourse in 2020, sorry, because Starbucks just announced the flavor is coming back on August 28. At least we know that the adage “You shouldn’t wear white or write ‘PSL’ in curly Pinterest font before labor day” is no more.

A location in California posted a photo of a liter of “Pumpkin Spice Flavoured Sauce,” which was apparently enough to whip fans into a frenzy, longing to fill their face masks with vaguely nutmeg-y breath. Apparently no one was put off at all by an opaque, apocalypse-surviving-cockroach brown jug of “flavoured sauce” because fandom is weird!

“We know that customers are eager for the return of their beloved fall drinks from Starbucks and will keep you looped in on any details,” a Starbucks representative told Business Insider, which also published a graph showing past Pumpkin Spice Latte release dates going back to 2011. The earliest official release was on August 27, 2019.

Drumming up excitement for PSL feels like a remnant from another era. August 28 is fully summer, climate change has made “fall” feel ever less cool and cozy, and the pandemic has made the progression of months and seasons basically meaningless. But Starbucks pushes on, wrenching us back to a time when their biggest problem was Starbucks cups eradicating Christmas. A time when PSL was at first alluring, then basic, and then so ubiquitous is was pointless to hate. The rollout feels like an enticing call back. See? It’s just like it was last year!

Yucking yums helps no one. We all need to take comforts where we can, so go ahead and enjoy it if that’s your thing. But it’s also pretty pointless to crow in excitement about a corporate giant continuing to make a thing they’ve made every year for the past decade. Like, really? You think in a year of economic turmoil, where Starbucks lost half its traffic last quarter, they weren’t going to bring back the moneymaker? The Pumpkin Spice Latte’s return doesn’t mean a return to normalcy, or comfort, or that things are inching toward the way they were. It just means Starbucks wants your money and you have every right to give it to them.



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Politics

Biden Pick for Vice President Delayed to Second Week of August: Reports


Presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee former Vice President Joe Biden has reportedly put off choosing his vice presidential nominee until the second week of August–sometime after August 10–according to reports. Biden had initially set a date of around the first of August but told reporters last week he would likely make his decision this coming week. That appears to be put off yet again.

Joe Biden alongside a rejuvenated Kamala Harris. Could this be the ticket?

Biden is taking advantage of the postponement due to the pandemic of the Democrat National Convention in Milwaukee that was originally scheduled for July 13-16 but is now set for August 17-20. Biden has said he would choose a woman to be his running mate, with many in the party urging him to choose a black woman or woman of color.

Among those thought to be top contenders are: Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), Rep. Val Demings (D-FL), Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and former Obama national security advisor and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.

Whomever Biden chooses will have a better than most chance of becoming president due to illness, senility or a decision to not seek a second term by the 77-year-old Biden who would be 78 when inaugurated. Biden would be 82 at the end of a first term.

TRENDING: Leftie James Murdoch Resigns from News Corporation, the Parent Company of FOX News Over “Differences in Editorial Content”

Karen Bass emerged this week as a contender. Bass has served in Congress since 2011 and is currently Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Before that she was Speaker of the California Assembly and a community organizer. A profile of Bass published this week by the Atlantic to inoculate her on being a young communist, details her history in the 1970s of working with the Venceremos Brigades and her many trips to Castro’s Cuba.

The Trump campaign on Saturday questioned Bass’ suitability and Biden’s judgment:





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Breaking New

Belarus Says Russian Mercenaries Planned to Disrupt August Election


Mr. Lukashenko, who has a reputation for erratic behavior and wild claims, announced on Tuesday that he had been infected by the coronavirus but had fully recovered without treatment. That announcement was greeted with skepticism, as it played into his longstanding position that the pandemic poses no serious danger to public health and can be kept at bay by drinking vodka, riding tractors and playing ice hockey.

In June, Mr. Lukashenko had two would-be rival candidates in Belarus’s Aug. 9 presidential elections arrested on corruption charges, claiming that he had thwarted a plot to foment revolution by Russian interests.

On Wednesday, the government released video footage of a nighttime raid this week on a sanitarium near Minsk, where 32 Russian fighters were arrested; another one was arrested in a different part of the country. The video featured heavily armed officers from Belarus’s security service — still called, as in Soviet days, the K.G.B. — storming into guest rooms occupied by the alleged mercenaries. It showed a number of beefy Russians in handcuffs, one of them lying on the floor in boxer briefs, Russian passports and a stack of $100 bills.

But belongings seized in the raid also included bank notes and telephone cards from Sudan and texts written in Arabic, which to some analysts suggested the arrested Russians may have been en route to or from North Africa, rather than on a mission targeting Belarus.

The arrested Russians, according to a report by Belta, aroused suspicion as soon as they arrived in Belarus because each man had three heavy suitcases, wore military-style clothing and behaved in ways “uncharacteristic for Russian tourists,” shunning alcohol and avoiding night clubs.

Wagner Group, the mercenary outfit accused of employing the men, has sent fighters, mostly veterans of Russia’s armed forces, to Syria, Libya, Sudan and various other countries. According to United States officials, it is controlled by Mr. Prigozhin, known as “Putin’s chef” because of his success in winning catering contracts from the Russian military.



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Breaking New

LeBron James will release his first children’s book in August


HarperCollins Publishers announced a two-book deal with the LeBron James Foundation on Tuesday. James’ debut book is a picture book titled “I Promise.” It is scheduled for release on August 11, 2020.

“Books have the ability to teach, inspire, and bring people together. That’s why these books, and the opportunity to get children and parents reading together, mean so much to me,” James said in a news release.

“Most importantly, we wanted to make sure these stories are ones that every single kid can see themselves in.”

James was inspired by the values and initiatives of his foundation’s I Promise program when he started on the picture book, the news release said. A second book, a novel for middle-grade students, will follow in 2021.

The book is illustrated by New York Times bestselling children's book artist Nina Mata.
The three-time NBA champion has dedicated his time off the court to helping students in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. He started the I Promise School, a public school where students have an opportunity to earn full-tuition college scholarships, in fall 2018.
Inaugural class at LeBron James' school to receive free tuition to Kent State

The school has an on-site full family resource center that offers GED assistance, legal aid, medical and mental health resources, job and family services, financial literacy programming and unlimited access to a food pantry, the news release said.

“The philanthropy work that LeBron James does off the court, including the education that he’s providing to the students at the I PROMISE School is remarkable,” said Suzanne Murphy, president and publisher of HarperCollins Children’s Books, in the release. “With a universal message that encourages everyone to always strive for greatness, I PROMISE will resonate with students and readers everywhere.”



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