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US Monthly Headline News July 2020 Page 1

Josh Rivera USA TODAY

James Murdoch resigned Friday from the board of News Corp, effective immediately, due to "disagreements over certain editorial content" published by the company’s news outlets, which include The Wall Street Journal and the New York Post.

Murdoch's resignation letter:

   I hereby tender my resignation as a member of the Board of Directors of News Corporation (the “Company”), effective as of the date hereof. My resignation is due to disagreements over certain editorial content published by the Company’s news outlets and certain other strategic decisions.

News Corp, controlled by James' father Rupert Murdoch and the Murdoch family, oversees HarperCollins, Storyful, Realtor.com, the New York Post and Dow Jones (The Wall Street Journal's parent company).

BBC

The unprecedented hacking of celebrity Twitter accounts this month was caused by human error and a spear-phishing attack on Twitter employees, the company has confirmed. Spear-phishing is a targeted attack designed to trick people into handing out information such as passwords. Twitter said its staff were targeted through their phones. The successful attempt let attackers tweet from celebrity accounts and access their private direct messages. The accounts of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden and reality star Kim Kardashian West were compromised, and shared a Bitcoin scam. It reportedly netted the scammers more than $100,000 (£80,000). The attack has raised concerns about the level of access that Twitter employees, and subsequently the hackers, have to user accounts.

Jeff Cox

The U.S. economy saw the biggest quarterly plunge in activity ever, though the plummet in the second quarter wasn’t as bad as feared. Gross domestic product from April to June plunged 32.9% on an annualized basis, according to the Commerce Department’s first reading on the data released Thursday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones had been looking for a drop of 34.7%. Still, it was the worst drop ever, with the closest previously coming in mid-1921.

The report “just highlights how deep and dark the hole is that the economy cratered into in Q2,” said Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. “It’s a very deep and dark hole and we’re coming out of it, but it’ going to take a long time to get out.” Sharp contractions in personal consumption, exports, inventories, investment and spending by state and local governments converged to bring down GDP, which is the combined tally of all goods and services produced during the period. Personal consumption, which historically has accounted for about two-thirds of all activity in the U.S., subtracted 25% from the Q2 total, with services accounting for nearly all that drop. Spending slid in health care and goods such as clothing and footwear. Inventory investment drops were led by motor vehicle dealers, while equipment spending and new family housing took hits when it came to investment.

Greg Iacurci

Senate Republicans unveiled their plan to replace an extra $600-a-week boost in unemployment benefits on Monday. That subsidy — which the federal government has been paying on top of typical state benefits since early April — formally expires July 31. Republicans want to replace it with a $200-a-week subsidy through September. The plan would then shift to a more individual formula, with combined state and federal benefits replacing 70% of lost wages from October through December. Federal aid would be capped at $500 a week. (States unable to implement the formula that quickly could request a waiver to continue the $200 a week through November.) The plan is hugely consequential: There are nearly 31 million Americans collecting jobless benefits, about five times the peak of the Great Recession. So, who would win and lose from this new plan?

Everyone loses
From a personal-finance standpoint, all recipients of unemployment aid lose under the GOP proposal. This is true for both tranches of the plan: the flat $200 checks and the 70% wage replacement. Logically, this makes sense: $200 a week is less than $600 a week.

By Travis Gettys

Police have identified the so-called “umbrella man” who set off a chain reaction that led to days of rioting and looting during Minneapolis protests against George Floyd’s killing.

The man was identified as a 32-year-old white supremacist associated with the biker gangs Aryan Cowboys and Hell’s Angels, but his name was not released because he has not yet been charged, reported the Star Tribune. “This was the first fire that set off a string of fires and looting throughout the precinct and the rest of the city,” police arson investigator Erika Christensen wrote in a search warrant affidavit filed this week in court. “Until the actions of the person your affiant has been calling ‘Umbrella man,’ the protests had been relatively peaceful. The actions of this person created an atmosphere of hostility and tension. Your affiant believes that this individual’s sole aim was to incite violence.”

Dion Rabouin

For years, there's been a popular notion — even among some Black people — that the wealth difference between white and Black Americans could be closed if Black folks collectively "got it together."

Reality check: The wealth gap — which could more accurately be described as a wealth chasm because of just how large it is —would not be closed by Black Americans doing any of the things that have been proposed, or all of them.

Why it matters: The argument goes that Black Americans should focus more on education, family structure and home ownership, put money in Black-owned banks, start more Black-owned businesses, increase savings and investment and generally take personal responsibility the way other "model minorities" have and that would close the wealth gap.

The fact of the matter — evidenced by decades of reporting from the Federal Reserve System, U.S. Department of Labor, Department of Commerce and various academic and professional studies — is that the wealth gap is the product of centuries of inequality and racism that has grown too large to be impacted significantly by individual actions, achievements or choices.

Here are some of the most popular myths about the racial wealth gap's causes and solutions — and why each falls apart with a closer look.

By Justin Wise

The House on Monday approved a proposal from Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) to rename legislation meant to restore a key provision of the Voting Rights Act after the late Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.).  The lower chamber passed the proposal to rename H.R. 4 the John R. Lewis Voting Rights Act by unanimous consent. Lewis, who died at the age of 80 on July 17, played an instrumental role in the 1965 passage of the Voting Rights Act, which established greater protections for people registering to vote in the South.

The bill was passed shortly after Lewis helped lead a group of protesters in the march from Selma, Ala., to Montgomery as part of a push for greater voting rights. Lewis and other protesters were met at the Edmund Pettus Bridge by hundreds of Alabama state troopers. Officers wielding clubs beat demonstrators as they dispersed the crowd in what is historically known as "Bloody Sunday." Lewis, 25 at the time, suffered a fractured skull after being beaten with a club by a state trooper. Scenes from that day shocked the nation and helped lead to then-President Lyndon Johnson signing greater voting protections into law.

By John Bowden

Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBG) said Monday that it would cancel plans to air an interview with a conspiracy theorist who falsely claimed during the segment that Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top coronavirus expert, was responsible for the pandemic. The company told CNN Business in a statement that a further review of the interview with Judy Mikovits, a former researcher who has made widely-criticized false claims about vaccines, viruses, and COVID-19 concluded that her claims were not "appropriate" for air on "American This Week." The show previously planned to air an expert debunking Mikovits's claims as part of the same program.

"Upon further review, we have decided not to air the interview with Dr. Mikovits," a Sinclair spokesperson told CNN Business. "Although the segment did include an expert to dispute Dr. Mikovits, given the nature of the theories she presented we believe it is not appropriate to air the interview." "We also reiterate our appreciation for all that Dr. Fauci and his team have accomplished for the health and wellbeing of Americans and people worldwide," they added. "During this pandemic, Sinclair and its affiliates have positively and prominently  featured Dr. Fauci on air, including interviews with our stations and our network, Stadium. There remains an open invite for Dr. Fauci to appear on our stations any time."

By Megan Sheets For Dailymail.com

A viral video purportedly shows section of the border wall separating the US and Mexico collapsing under strong winds and heavy rains from Tropical Storm Hanna. The video posted to Twitter by journalist Yadith Valdez on Sunday shows construction workers standing by and watching as fierce gusts knock the steel structure to the ground. The clip became the target of widespread ridicule on social media as critics likened the section's collapse to the re-election campaign of President Donald Trump, who has already spent more than $11billion building the wall that is expected to cost an estimated $21.6billion to complete. Some users pointed out that just a few weeks ago Trump boasted that his wall is 'the most powerful and comprehensive border wall structure' in the world. But others users called the validity of the footage into question, noting that its unclear when and where it was recorded.

BBC

A senator for the state of Arkansas has described slavery as a "necessary evil" on which the American nation was built. In a local newspaper interview, Republican Tom Cotton said he rejected the idea that the US was a systemically racist country to its core. He is introducing legislation to ban federal funds for a project by the New York Times newspaper, aimed at revising the historical view of slavery. The project's founder expressed outrage at the remarks. This comes amid the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement. The death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in Minnesota in May sparked huge protests across the US against police brutality and racism.

Protesters and police in the city of Portland, Oregon, have clashed repeatedly in recent days. The confrontations have escalated since a deeply controversial decision by President Donald Trump to send federal law enforcement to the city. Under the US constitution, policing is a matter for individual states, not for the federal government. Senator Cotton has been a strong critic of the nationwide protests, describing them in an opinion piece for the New York Times as an "orgy of violence" and backing Donald Trump's threat to use troops to quell unrest.

Republican gives interview to Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Senator wants to ‘save’ US history from New York Times
Bryan Armen Graham

The Arkansas Republican senator Tom Cotton has called the enslavement of millions of African people “the necessary evil upon which the union was built”. Cotton, widely seen as a possible presidential candidate in 2024, made the comment in an interview with the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette published on Sunday. He was speaking in support of legislation he introduced on Thursday that aims to prohibit use of federal funds to teach the 1619 Project, an initiative from the New York Times that reframes US history around August 1619 and the arrival of slave ships on American shores for the first time.

Cotton’s Saving American History Act of 2020 and “would prohibit the use of federal funds to teach the 1619 Project by K-12 schools or school districts”, according to a statement from the senator’s office. “The entire premise of the New York Times’ factually, historically flawed 1619 Project … is that America is at root, a systemically racist country to the core and irredeemable,” Cotton told the Democrat-Gazette. “I reject that root and branch. America is a great and noble country founded on the proposition that all mankind is created equal. We have always struggled to live up to that promise, but no country has ever done more to achieve it.”

He added: “We have to study the history of slavery and its role and impact on the development of our country because otherwise we can’t understand our country. As the Founding Fathers said, it was the necessary evil upon which the union was built, but the union was built in a way, as [Abraham] Lincoln said, to put slavery on the course to its ultimate extinction.”

Nikole Hannah-Jones, who was awarded this year’s Pulitzer Prize for commentary for her introductory essay to the 1619 Project, said on Friday that Cotton’s bill “speaks to the power of journalism more than anything I’ve ever done in my career”. On Sunday, she tweeted: “If chattel slavery – heritable, generational, permanent, race-based slavery where it was legal to rape, torture, and sell human beings for profit – were a ‘necessary evil’ as Tom Cotton says, it’s hard to imagine what cannot be justified if it is a means to an end.

Solemn crowds watched as Lewis, who died July 17 at the age of 80, was borne by caisson over the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
By Doha Madani

Crowds watched solemnly Sunday as the body of Rep. John Lewis crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge one final time, 55 years after the civil rights icon marched for peace and was met with brutality in Selma, Alabama. Body bearers from the U.S. armed forces placed the late Georgia congressman and civil rights icon onto a horse-drawn caisson Sunday at the Brown Chapel African Methodist Episcopal Church. From there, the public were allowed to line up to honor Lewis for about a half-mile to the foot of the bridge. Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., thanked Lewis’ family during a ceremony at the chapel for sharing the congressman with the public for so many years. “Our nation is better off because of John Robert Lewis,” she remarked. “My life is better, Selma is better, this nation and this world is better because of John Robert Lewis.”

Crowds waited for Lewis’ body at the foot of the bridge, where he was met by Alabama state troopers, who safely escorted him across and on to the state Capitol. “His final march, that final crossing, so different than the first, speaks to the legacy that he leaves behind and the lives that he changed,” Sewell said. "It’s poetic justice that this time, Alabama state troopers will see John to his safety. " As the horse-drawn caisson approached the bridge, the crowds on the sidewalk could be heard singing for Lewis. In an emotional moment, the voices stopped as Lewis' casket began to make its way across the bridge in silent reverence. Lewis, who died on July 17 at the age of 80, made his last journey across the bridge with only his family to join him.

By Jennifer Agiesta, CNN Polling Director

(CNN) With 100 days remaining until Election Day, voters in three critical battleground states swing in former Vice President Joe Biden's way, according to new Arizona, Florida and Michigan CNN polls conducted by SSRS. In Florida (51% Biden to 46% for President Donald Trump) and Arizona (49% Biden to 45% Trump), registered voters break in Biden's favor by single-digit margins, while in Michigan, Biden's lead stands at 52% to 40%, matching the national average for the presidential race per the most recent CNN Poll of Polls. Trump carried all three states in 2016, with his narrowest win in any state coming from Michigan, which he carried by only 10,704 votes. The poll results are among registered voters, but when looking only at those who say they are most likely to vote in this fall's election, support for the two candidates remains about the same.

Nearly all recent high-quality polling out of Florida and Michigan has shown Biden with an edge there, while in Arizona, there has been a mix of Biden leads and results within each poll's margin of error. The new CNN poll in Arizona shows Biden narrowly outside the poll's error margin. Quinnipiac University's poll in Florida, released late last week, showed Biden with a double-digit lead there, larger than most other surveys have found.
But it is worth noting that recent Florida polls have been fairly consistent about Biden's level of support in the state (Quinnipiac pegged it at 51%, same as the new CNN poll, while CBS News landed at 48%, and Fox News placed it 49%), with greater variation in support for the President (46% in the new CNN poll, 42% in CBS News, 40% in Fox News and 38% in the Quinnipiac poll).

Matthew S. Schwartz

The body of John Lewis crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge one last time on Sunday, in what organizers described as "The Final Crossing," part of a multiday celebration of the life of the civil rights icon. In March 1965, a 25-year-old Lewis and hundreds of other civil rights advocates planned to march from Selma to Montgomery to draw attention to the need for voting rights in the state, which was infamous for denying African Americans the right to vote.

"We're marching today to dramatize to the nation, dramatize to the world the hundreds and thousands of Negro citizens of Alabama that are denied the right to vote," Lewis said. "We intend to march to Montgomery to present said grievance to Governor George C. Wallace." But as Lewis led the group across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, he saw a line of white Alabama State Troopers blocking their path. The commander's orders were clear: Gov. George Wallace had proclaimed the march illegal. "You're ordered to disperse," said Maj. John Cloud of the Alabama Department of Public Safety. "Go home or go to your church. This march will not continue."

Tim Reid

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Jimmy Tosh, who runs a multi-million dollar hog and grain farm in Tennessee, is a lifelong Republican. He is pro-gun, supports lower taxes and agrees with most of Republican President Donald Trump’s agenda. He is also spending his money to help defeat Trump in November’s election. “I agree with 80% of the things he does; I just cannot stand a liar,” Tosh, 70, said of Trump. Tosh is one of a growing number of wealthy conservative Americans who say Trump is a threat to democracy and the long-term health of the Republican Party. They are actively supporting his Democratic opponent in the Nov. 3 vote, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Several billionaire and millionaire donors to The Lincoln Project, the most prominent of Republican-backed groups opposing Trump’s re-election, told Reuters that elected Republicans should also be punished for enabling him. Some even support the ouster of vulnerable Republican senators to hand control of the chamber to Democrats. Their money has fueled an unprecedented campaign from members of a sitting president’s own party to oust him from office. This is a sign that Trump has alienated some Republicans, most recently with his response to the coronavirus pandemic and nationwide protests over police brutality against Black Americans.

The Telegraph

Police have clashed with protesters in Seattle, Oakland and Richmond amid a wave of public anger over President Donald Trump's planned "surge" of federal agents into major cities. Police in Seattle used flashbang grenades and pepper spray against protesters who set fire to construction trailers outside a youth jail.

By Gregory Scruggs

SEATTLE — The Seattle Police Department declared a riot on Saturday afternoon and used nonlethal weapons in an attempt to disperse a crowd of roughly 2,000 people in the Capitol Hill neighborhood marching in the city’s largest Black Lives Matter protest in more than a month. The riot declaration came after protesters set fire to a construction site for a juvenile detention facility and as the police department reported that one person had breached the fencing surrounding the East Precinct, the site of nightly clashes in June that led to a nearly month-long protest occupation, and officers saw smoke in the lobby.

Police said protesters were throwing rocks, bottles and fireworks at the officers. As of 7:30 p.m. local time, the department had reported 25 arrests and three police injuries, including an officer hospitalized with a leg injury caused by an explosive. The department posted a photo of unused fireworks found at the scene to its Twitter feed.

‘Plandemic’ researcher claims expert created the coronavirus. Company says it is ‘incredibly aware’ of pandemic dangers
Martin Pengelly and Oliver Milman in New York

Sinclair Television said on Saturday it would delay airing an interview with a conspiracy theorist who claims baselessly that Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, created the coronavirus behind the current pandemic. Dr Judy Mikovits, a former research scientist, is behind the widely discredited Plandemic video, which makes a string of false and outlandish claims including that any coronavirus vaccine will kill millions and that beaches should not be closed because the sand and ocean will somehow treat Covid-19. Fauci is the 79-year-old director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

He has served six presidents, but Donald Trump has sought to keep him off television, called him “alarmist” and frequently undermined his work. The US is in the grip of a worsening coronavirus outbreak in which more than 4.1m cases have been recorded and more than 145,000 people have died. Mikovits’ lawyer, Larry Klayman, was also interviewed on Sinclair’s America This Week with the former Fox News host Eric Bolling. Footage was posted online. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors far-right groups in the US, Klayman, the founder of the Judicial Watch, is “a pathologically litigious attorney and professional gadfly notorious for suing everyone from Iran’s supreme leader to his own mother”. On Bolling’s show, Klayman and Mikovits said they planned to sue Fauci because, Mikovits claimed, in the last decade the doctor “manufactured” and shipped coronaviruses to Wuhan, China, the origin of the pandemic.

By Dominic Patten

“This issue is not about one incident,” declared Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said today on the House floor in a searing response to being accosted and insulted with profanity by Republican Rep. Ted Yoho of Florida this week. “It is cultural,” the Democrat for New York’s 14th congressional district added, garnering strong reaction from Hollywood, past presidential contenders and others.

In her 10-minute remarksThursday, the savvy progressive politician known to many simply as AOC took aim at Yoho’s behavior and his non-apology on Wednesday as being “accepting of a violence and violent language against women, an entire structure of power that supports that.” Followed by strong support from fellow Democrats, the speech attacking a sexist and toxic culture in the corridors of power and elsewhere struck a chord on cable news and social media:

By Kara Scannell, CNN

New York (CNN) A federal judge ordered Michael Cohen to be released into home confinement after finding the government had sent him back to prison in retaliation for a tell-book he was writing about President Donald Trump. During a phone hearing on Thursday, Judge Alvin Hellerstein rejected prosecutors' argument that they didn't customize a release form prohibiting Cohen from engaging with the media. Hellerstein said there was no other "inference" to take than retaliation for why Cohen was brought back into federal custody after he had been released on furlough.

"The purpose of transferring Mr. Cohen from furlough and home confinement to jail is retaliatory, and it's retaliatory because of his desire to exercise his First Amendment rights to publish a book and discuss anything about the book or anything else he wants on social media," Hellerstein ruled. "In 21 years of being a judge and sentencing people and looking at terms and conditions of supervised release, I've never seen such a clause," Hellerstein said. Cohen sued the Department of Justice on Monday, alleging he was taken back into custody on July 9 to block the release of his book, which is slated for a September release, two months before the presidential election. The judge ordered that Cohen be released by 2 p.m. Friday to serve the remainder of his three-year sentence in home confinement. Cohen will also be tested for coronavirus before he leaves the prison.

Scott Neuman

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged in the murder of George Floyd, has also been charged along with his wife with nine counts of felony tax evasion. The Washington County prosecutor's office announced Wednesday that Chauvin and his wife, Kellie May Chauvin, underreported their joint income from 2014 through 2019 by $464,433, including more than $95,000 that Derek Chauvin earned from off-duty security work. "Revenue investigators initiated a review into the Chauvins in June 2020 for failure to timely file Minnesota individual income tax returns from 2016 to 2019 and fraudulently filing tax returns from 2014 to 2019," the office said in a statement.

"The complaints detail that the Chauvins, both employed and domiciled in Minnesota, failed to file income tax returns and pay state income taxes, underreported and underpaid taxes on income generated from various employments each year, and failed to pay proper sales tax on a vehicle purchased in Minnesota," it said. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine, according to Minnesota Lawyer. County Attorney Pete Orput was quoted by the legal website as saying that Floyd's death had no bearing on the decision to prosecute the tax evasion case.

ESPN

New York Jets owner Woody Johnson was under investigation by a State Department watchdog following allegations that he made racist and sexist comments while serving as an ambassador to the United Kingdom and sought to have the Open Championship played at a golf resort owned by President Donald Trump, according to a CNN report on Wednesday. Among the allegations are that Johnson made racist comments about Black men and questioned the purpose of Black History Month. He allegedly argued that Black fathers don't remain with their families, calling that the "real challenge."

CNN reported that Johnson would comment on women's appearances at the embassy and public events and that he said he preferred working with women because they are cheaper and work harder. Johnson reportedly would hold gatherings at a men's-only club, preventing female diplomats from attending, before he was told by another diplomat to stop the practice.

The New York Times first reported Tuesday that Johnson told colleagues in February 2018 that Trump asked him to try to secure an Open Championship at the Trump Turnberry resort in Scotland. The newspaper reported that Johnson raised the issue with the secretary of state for Scotland, but no Opens have been scheduled at the president's resort.

Kayla Tausche, Jacob Pramuk

Republicans are considering extending the enhanced unemployment insurance benefit at a dramatically reduced level of $400 per month, or $100 a week, through the rest of the year, sources told CNBC. Congress passed a $600 per week, or $2,400 a month, boost to jobless benefits in March to deal with a wave of unemployment unseen in decades as states shut down their economies to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The policy expires at the end of July as the U.S. unemployment rate stands above 11%, despite two strong months of job growth.

The GOP, which has not made a final decision on how it will craft unemployment insurance in a bill set to be released this week, previously discussed extending the benefit at an additional $200 per week instead of $600. Democrats want to make the $600 per week sum available at least until next year. Republicans are considering extending the enhanced unemployment insurance benefit at a dramatically reduced level of $400 per month, or $100 a week, through the rest of the year, sources told CNBC. Congress passed a $600 per week, or $2,400 a month, boost to jobless benefits in March to deal with a wave of unemployment unseen in decades as states shut down their economies to combat the coronavirus pandemic. The policy expires at the end of July as the U.S. unemployment rate stands above 11%, despite two strong months of job growth.  

Tom Sykes

The U.S. government has abruptly ordered China to close its consulate in Houston in what Beijing is calling an “unprecedented escalation.” The forced eviction, which China said was unilaterally initiated by the Trump administration, is the latest sign of deteriorating ties between the world’s two biggest economies. China threatened retaliation for the closure and accused the U.S. of harassing diplomatic staff and intimidating Chinese students, confiscating personal electrical devices, and detaining them without cause. On Tuesday, two Chinese citizens were charged by the U.S. Justice Department with hacking Western sites where coronavirus vaccines are being developed. In a statement early Wednesday, a State Department spokesman said “We have directed the closure of PRC Consulate General Houston, in order to protect American intellectual property and Americans’ private information,” adding the U.S. “will not tolerate the PRC’s violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated the PRC’s unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs, and other egregious behavior.”

The Florida Republican spent thousands of dollars on a speechwriting consultant.
By JAKE SHERMAN and JOHN BRESNAHAN

Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz has privately engaged in several spending practices in his nearly four years in office that appear to be in conflict with the House’s ethics rules, a POLITICO investigation has found. Gaetz, a close ally of President Donald Trump from the Florida Panhandle, improperly sent tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars to a limited liability company linked to a speech-writing consultant who was ousted from the Trump administration, in direct conflict with House rules. In another possible violation, a private company installed a television studio in his father’s home in Niceville, Fla., which Gaetz uses when he appears on television.

Taxpayers foot the bill to rent the television camera, and the private company that built the studio — which Gaetz refuses to identify — takes a fee each time he appears on air, his office said. It’s unclear how much it cost the private company to construct the studio. This may run afoul of the House gift rule, which prohibits any lawmaker, aide, and their family members from accepting gifts worth more than $50. The official definition of a gift is very broad and covers virtually any good or service with monetary value.

By Larry McShane - New York Daily News

The cold-blooded killing of a California men’s rights lawyer was tied Wednesday to the deranged attorney who gunned down the son of a New Jersey federal judge just eight days later, the FBI said. “We are now engaged with the San Bernardino California Sheriff’s Office and have evidence linking the murder of Marc Angelucci to FBI Newark subject Roy Den Hollander,” the feds said in a brief statement on the bicoastal killings. “This investigation is ongoing.” No specifics or additional details were revealed in the terse news release about the killer. The Newark office of the FBI is now running the investigation. Lawyer Marc Angelucci, 52, was shot to death at his Crestline, Calif., home on July 11, with the killer reportedly using the same ruse employed in the July 19 attack on Newark Federal Judge Esther Salas’ suburban New Jersey home — posing as a FedEx deliveryman before opening fire on his helpless victim.

By Stephen Rex Brown - New York Daily News

Former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick ran a depraved sex ring of underage boys at a beach house on the Jersey Shore, a disturbing new lawsuit claims. The suit, filed by a man using the pseudonym Doe 14, claims that in 1982 and 1983, when he was as young as 14 years old, he and other victims were taken on weekend overnight trips to a Sea Girt beach house. “McCarrick assigned sleeping arrangements, choosing his victims from the boys, seminarians and clerics present at the beach house,” according to the suit filed in state court under New Jersey’s Child Victims Act. “On these occasions, minor boys were assigned to different rooms and paired with adult clerics.” The victim claims that he fell into McCarrick’s clutches in 1982 through Brother Andrew Hewitt, who was then principal at Essex Catholic Boy’s High School. Hewitt allegedly abused Doe. He also introduced McCarrick to Doe as someone who could help pay the boy’s school tuition, the suit claims.

By Nelson Oliveira - New York Daily News

A Florida man described as “pure evil” and “out of control” has been charged with murdering three best friends who were on a fishing trip last weekend, authorities announced Wednesday. Tony “T.J.” Wiggins, a career criminal with a whopping 280 felony charges on his record, “literally massacred” the young victims in a senseless murder Friday night in the rural city of Frostproof, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a news conference.  The suspect’s girlfriend and brother are also facing charges, but authorities said Wiggins was the cold-blooded “trigger man” who allegedly killed the victims over some kind of truck deal that’s still under investigation. “He’s a thug,” Judd told reporters. “He’s a criminal. He’s pure evil in the flesh. He’s wild and he’s out of control.” The victims — identified as Damion Tillman, 23, Brandon Rollins, 27, and Keven Springfield, 30 — were violently beaten and murdered shortly after parking their trucks by a lake that night. Tillman and Springfield died immediately after the attack, but Rollins was able to call his father asking for help, according to the sheriff’s office. Rollins ended up dying in his father’s arms a short time later, Judd said.

CBS News

Portland, Oregon — This city remained a flashpoint in nationwide demonstrations for racial justice and against police brutality as the biggest crowd in weeks gathered Monday night, reports CBS Portland affiliate KOIN-TV. But federal authorities used tear gas for the seventh night in a row as well as flash bangs and other crowd-control munitions against protesters downtown. KOIN reporters witnessed protesters and federal officers face off near SW 3rd Avenue and Main Street and saw authorities use pepper balls and throw tear gas canisters and flash bangs. Portland police said early Tuesday on social media that federal law enforcement personnel in the area were using tear gas and that hundreds of protesters had scattered to surrounding streets, adding that some were "throwing projectiles" and were "armed with clubs hammers and other weapons."

Laurel Wamsley at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.

FBI agents arrested Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder on Tuesday morning at his rural farm. Householder was taken into custody in connection with a $60 million bribery scheme allegedly involving state officials and associates. Four others were also arrested: former Ohio Republican Party Chairman Matt Borges, Householder adviser Jeffrey Longstreth, and lobbyists Neil Clark and Juan Cespedes. The charges are linked to a controversial law passed last year that bailed out two nuclear power plants in the state while gutting subsidies for renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The federal complaint describes a years-long bribery campaign to build support for Householder's bid to become House Speaker and then pass the nuclear bailout law with his help. Householder won the Speakership in January 2019, and the bailout passed in July 2019. It went into effect in October. Householder, a Republican, represents a district east of Columbus. He was first elected to the Ohio House in 1997, and served as Speaker from 2001-2004, when he stepped down due to term limits. He then worked as Perry County Auditor before returning to the House in 2017.

Alyssa Bailey

Kanye West has been reported by multiple outlets to be experiencing a major manic episode over the last couple weeks. Last night, the rapper went on a Twitter rant about his wife Kim Kardashian trying to intervene and get him help following his South Carolina campaign rally on Sunday. He asserting on Twitter that she and her mother Kris Jenner were trying to "lock [him] up," and that really upset and devastated Kardashian, Entertainment Tonight is now reporting. For context, during the S.C. rally, West told the audience that Kardashian and West had discussed terminating her first pregnancy (a private matter that Kardashian was reportedly very upset and shocked he publicly disclosed) and that Harriet Tubman “never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other white people."

On Twitter last night, West posted a series of tweets, many of which have been deleted now. He brought up Kardashian's infamous sex tape and her posing on the cover of Playboy in 2007, suggesting Kris Jenner made her do it. "I put my life on the line for my children that North's mother would never sell her sex rape [sic]. I put my life on God that Norths mother would never photograph her doing playboy and that's on God I'm at the ranch ... come and get me." He added in another tweet, "Kim was trying to fly to Wyoming with a doctor to lock me up like on the movie 'Get Out' because I cried about saving my daughters life yesterday."

Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a bid by the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives to fast-track its attempt to enforce subpoenas seeking President Donald Trump’s financial records. The brief order means that the case will not return to lower courts until 25 days after the court’s July 9 ruling that said further analysis was required on whether the subpoenas were valid.

By Ewan Palmer

An anti-Trump political campaign group said Americans must be prepared to take action if the president refuses to accept the results of November's election. The grassroots Stand Up America group accused President Donald Trump of being an "existential threat to our democracy" after he refused to say that he would willingly accept defeat during an interview with Fox News on Sunday. "I'm not gonna just say yes. I'm not gonna say it, and I didn't last time either," Trump said, in reference to comments he made during a 2016 televised debate alongside Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton. The group says Trump's remarks are an "insidious" way for him to sow doubt about the results before a vote has even been cast. Several polls have suggested Joe Biden is currently the favorite to win the election in November.

By Zachary Cohen, Jeremy Herb and Manu Raju, CNN

(CNN) Democratic leaders in the House and Senate wrote to FBI Director Chris Wray requesting a "defensive counterintelligence briefing" for all members about Russia's efforts to interfere in the 2020 presidential election, according to a copy of the letter released Monday. The letter, which is dated July 13 was signed by Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the top Democrats on the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, Sen. Mark Warner and Rep. Adam Schiff. It cites concerns that Congress is being targeted by "a concerted foreign interference campaign which seeks to launder and amplify disinformation in order to influence congressional activity, public debate, and the presidential election in November."

A congressional official told CNN on Monday that to ensure "a clear and unambiguous record of the counterintelligence threats of concern," the four Democratic lawmakers included a classified addendum "that draws, in large part, from the Executive Branch's own reporting and analysis." "The counterintelligence experts at the FBI must provide the full Congress with a defensive counterintelligence briefing on these threats before the August recess," the official added. The letter comes as Gen. Paul Nakasone, the top official at both the National Security Agency and US Cyber Command, warned Monday that the US is seeing a "rise in capacity" and "capability" of cyber programs from major foreign adversaries, including Russia, China, North Korea and Iran.

Under the assault, 53-year-old Christopher David seems at first like a redwood tree — impervious to the blows.
Associated Press

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Navy veteran stands passively in Portland, Oregon, amid swirling tear gas. One of the militarized federal agents deployed by President Donald Trump swings a baton at him with full force. With both hands. Five times. Under the assault, 53-year-old Christopher David seems like a redwood tree — impervious to the blows. But in a video shot by a reporter, another officer — wearing green military camouflage, a helmet and gas mask — sprays David full in the face with what appears to be pepper gas. Video of the Saturday night incident has gone viral. Accounts of it have been reported by news outlets in the United States and around the world. Today, David, who suffered two broken bones in his hand, finds himself a reluctant symbol of the protests taking place in Oregon’s largest city and the federal response to it. Militarized officers from a handful of agencies have been using tear gas, flash-bangs, pepper spray, “less-lethal” impact weapons and other munitions to disperse crowds. “It isn’t about me getting beat up. It’s about focusing back on the original intention of all of these protests, which is Black Lives Matter,” David said in a phone interview Monday with The Associated Press.

By Marissa J. Lang

PORTLAND, Ore. — He came to the protest with a question. He left with two broken bones in a confrontation with federal officers that went viral. Christopher David had watched in horror as videos surfaced of federal officers in camouflage throwing protesters into unmarked vans in Portland. The 53-year-old Portland resident had heard the stories: protesters injured, gassed, sprayed with chemicals that tugged at their nostrils and burned their eyes. David, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and former member of the Navy’s Civil Engineer Corps, said he wanted to know what the officers involved thought of the oath they had sworn to protect and defend the Constitution. So, he said, on Saturday evening, he headed to downtown Portland to ask them. That night’s protests outside the federal courthouse — the 51st day of ongoing demonstrations — began with a line of local moms linking arms and demanding the federal agents stop targeting Portland kids. David, who had never attended a protest before, hung back and watched.

By Allyson Chiu

When Toni Fulton and her sister jumped in the car Sunday for a roughly two-hour road trip through South Carolina to attend Kanye West’s first campaign event since the rapper declared he was running for president earlier this month, neither could predict what would await them at the venue in North Charleston. But the last thing the Fultons expected was to find themselves angrily marching out of the event after being there for only 20 minutes. The cause of their sudden exit? West declaring onstage that famed abolitionist Harriet Tubman, who has been called “the Moses of her people,” “never actually freed the slaves.” “She just had the slaves go work for other white people,” West said.

Loud groans and unintelligible murmuring immediately erupted from the large crowd of several hundred people who had gathered at the Exquis Event Center. “Come on, man,” a voice shouted out. Meanwhile, the Fulton sisters, who are black, decided they had seen enough. In a now-viral video capturing West’s comment, Toni Fulton made her exasperation with the Grammy Award-winning artist clear in a single statement. “Yo, we leavin’ right now,” she could be heard saying in the background of the short clip as it abruptly cut off. “We’re young, black women and there weren’t a lot of us in the room,” Fulton, 30, told The Washington Post. “We know better than to be in a space that we’re not uplifted in. While he was saying a lot of crazy things that didn’t directly offend us, that was offensive and it wasn’t appropriate for us to be there anymore.”

Peniel E Joseph

The Georgia congressman’s life was more complex than tributes might make out. His embrace of Black Lives Matter shows he knew racist oppression never came close to ending. The death of John Lewis, the Alabama-born civil rights activist, Freedom Rider and student leader turned Georgia congressman, represents a generational transition in America’s long struggle for Black freedom, dignity and citizenship. A disciple of Dr Martin Luther King Jr who experienced brutal and repeated acts of violence by racist white law enforcement and vigilantes that left him with permanent physical scars, including a cracked skull, Lewis remained stubbornly resolute in his insistence that Black life mattered. As a student organizer, Lewis braved repeated arrests, jail stints and death threats during protests to end the Jim Crow system of racial segregation that maintained a stranglehold on American democracy.

His lifelong quest to create what he later characterized as “good trouble” made him a quintessential figure of the times, one whose authentic love of poor, unlettered peoples was rooted in his own humble origins that began in a shotgun shack in 1940, just outside Troy, Alabama. Lewis’s preternaturally calm demeanor, southern drawl and genuine humility lulled opponents and even friends into underestimating him. In truth, he contained multitudes, a complexity that reflects the richness of the movement and era that shaped him. As chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Lewis matched a personal and tactical commitment to nonviolence with a passion for ending a caste system rooted in racial slavery, segregation, poverty and violence. His youthful militancy was on full display at the March on Washington in 1963, where he vowed to help lead a relentless pursuit of racial justice and citizenship:

Jem Aswad

Kanye West broke down in tears, made an outrageous claim about abolitionist Harriet Tubman, had a heckler ejected and claimed his brain was too big for his skull on Sunday at the first campaign event for his bewildering presidential run. “Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other white people,” he said at one point in a rambling speech that bounded from one topic to another with little seeming structure. At another moment, he broke down when sharing that he and wife Kim Kardashian West had considered an abortion (they have four children), and then said his own father wanted to have him aborted. “There would have been no Kanye West… because my dad was too busy!,” West sobbed.

Hundreds of companies are currently boycotting Facebook advertising
By Associated Press

MENLO PARK, Calif. — The Walt Disney Co. has “dramatically” slashed its advertising budget on Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. It’s the latest setback for the social network, which is facing a growing advertising boycott over its policies and actions on hate speech on its platforms. The Journal, citing unnamed sources familiar with the matter, said the time frame for Disney’s pullback was not clear. Disney DIS, -0.65% was Facebook’s FB, +0.45% biggest U.S. advertiser for the first six months of 2020, according to research firm Pathmatics Inc. Disney joins hundreds of other companies that have paused spending on the service. The report did not say whether Disney is officially joining the ad boycott. Some companies, such as Starbucks SBUX, -0.30% , are pulling back social media advertising due to hate speech and other concerns but have not officially joined the “Stop Hate for Profit” campaign.


Top celebrities, politicians and businesses are caught up in a “social engineering attack” on Twitter — with theories swirling around that it could have been an “inside job.” This week, Twitter and Bitcoin suffered a PR disaster. In a coordinated, ambitious attack, about 130 high-profile accounts were hijacked. Top celebrities, entrepreneurs, politicians, businesses and crypto exchanges were affected. Many posted similar tweets that promised followers that Bitcoin payments sent to a specific address would be doubled. Fraudulent messages were speedily deleted — but on some profiles, such as Elon Musk’s, they quickly reappeared again. Twitter had little choice but to suspend all verified accounts as it struggled to get on top of the breach. It’s estimated the attackers received 375 payments worth $120,000 as a result of the attack, with one Japanese wallet sending $40,000 in BTC. Blockchain intelligence firms have said some of the crypto has been moved and sent through mixing services, and the FBI has launched an investigation.

By Marshall Cohen, CNN

(CNN) The head of the New York Police Department's second-largest police union gave a television interview Friday afternoon while sitting in front of a mug emblazoned with QAnon imagery and slogans. The mug was positioned behind Ed Mullins, president of the Sergeants Benevolent Association, during a roughly seven-minute interview on the Fox News show "Your World with Neil Cavuto." Followers of the QAnon conspiracy believe there is a "deep state" within the US government that is controlled by a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles. According to the conspiracy, the cabal is largely run by Democratic politicians and liberal celebrities -- and President Donald Trump is trying to take them down. The baseless theory has been linked to several violent incidents.

The mug behind Mullins featured the word "QANON" and the hashtag #WWG1WGA, which stands for "where we go one, we go all," a popular slogan among QAnon supporters. At the center of the mug was a large letter Q, which refers to a supposed government insider who, according to QAnon supporters, posts cryptic clues on the Internet about the "deep state." More than a year ago, the FBI reportedly assessed that QAnon was a dangerous movement that was likely to inspire its most extreme members to commit violent acts of domestic terrorism. Mullins and the union didn't respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio retweeted an image of the mug, calling it "delusional." Sleuths on social media quickly noted that Mullins gave at least two interviews to conservative outlets in the past week from the same office, with the same QAnon mug in the background.

Jessica Glenza in New York

Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey have led tributes from across US society to the civil rights leader and Georgia congressman John Lewis, who died on Friday evening at the age of 80. Lewis, who had been suffering from pancreatic cancer, dedicated his life to the fight for racial equality and justice and worked closely with Dr Martin Luther King Jr in the 1960s, the high water mark of the civil rights movement in the US. He became a congressman in 1987. “He loved this country so much that he risked his life and his blood so that it might live up to its promise,” Obama wrote in a Medium post. “And through the decades, he not only gave all of himself to the cause of freedom and justice, but inspired generations that followed to try to live up to his example.” Winfrey released footage of Lewis speaking during a recorded conversation between the two last week. Posting the footage, Winfrey wrote: “He sounded weak but was surprisingly more alert than we expected. I had a final chance to tell him what I’ve said every time I’ve been in his presence: ‘Thank you for your courage leading the fight for freedom. My life as it is would not have been possible without you.’ “I know for sure he heard me. I felt good about that. He understood and was so gracious.”

The Sun

THE Black Lives Matter mural in front of Trump Tower has been vandalised for a third time this week, this time by a black woman.

By Chauncey Alcorn CNN Business

New York (CNN Business)Sony is re-evaluating its support for Georgia Senator Kelly Loeffler's campaign, and Target said it disagreed with her, after she denounced Black Lives Matter and urged the WNBA to stop supporting the movement. Loeffler, a Republican, is the co-owner of the Atlanta Dream pro-basketball franchise. She is facing backlash from players and fans for objecting to the league's decision to honor the Black Lives Matter movement, which Loeffler has dismissed as "Marxist." The backlash has put a spotlight on companies that have donated to Loeffler's reelection campaign. Many, including Sony, Target, Google, Best Buy, FedEx, AT&T and Comcast have also issued statements or taken action in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. Each of those companies donated at least $1,000 to Loeffler's campaign before her comments became public, according to Federal Election Commission records. In response to questions from CNN Business, Sony (SNE) said it is reassessing whether or not they will make future political contributions to Loeffler. Other companies did not respond to multiple requests for comment. The company's campaign donations were reported Thursday by Think Progress and Popular Information founder Judd Legum, whose newsletter post was retweeted by Atlantic writer Jemele Hill.  

Loeffler comes under fire
The WNBA, like many businesses and organizations, publicly supported Black Lives Matter after the killing of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis in May. More than 67% of the league's players are Black, according to a 2019 Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports study. Earlier this month, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution published a letter Loeffler wrote to WNBA Commissioner Cathy Engelbert, saying Black Lives Matter subscribes to "a particular political agenda [that] undermines the potential of the sport and sends a message of exclusion." When the letter was made public, several WNBA players demanded the league force Loeffler to sell her stake in the Atlanta Dream. In response, Loeffler doubled down on her position in a July 8 press conference and a July 9 tweet that described Black Lives Matter as "a radical movement that seeks to destroy American principles." "I stand with @realDonaldTrump," Loeffler added in the tweet. "I stand with the American flag, which has endured for 244 years. And I will not apologize for it."

You deserve privacy. Here's how to check your phone, laptop, and online accounts to make sure no one's looking over your shoulder.
Wired

Whether it's a prying boss or a paranoid partner, no one should snoop on your phone or laptop. But that's exactly what can happen if stalkerware somehow gets installed on your devices. These software tools are designed to be hidden and difficult to detect, but you can find them if you know how. There's a wide range of scenarios here, from friends playing pranks to partners being abusive. If you're in a relationship where you feel trapped and afraid, help is available from the National Domestic Violence Hotline, the Coalition Against Stalkerware, and many other places—please reach out. Dealing with programs planted on company-owned devices by your employer is a little different than someone you know personally trying to spy on you. The company you work for may have what it sees as valid reasons to keep tabs on how productive you are, especially if it provides the hardware and software you use every day. Regardless of whether that kind of monitoring is justified, at the very least your bosses should be telling you they're watching rather than keeping it a secret from you. Plus, with company-owned phones and laptops, it's always safer to assume you are being monitored.

By Andrew Court For Dailymail.com and Wires

Anti-mask demonstrators have clashed with a black pastor calling for reparations over the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre that left an estimated 300 African Americans dead. Footage shared to social media earlier this week shows Rev. Robert Turner speaking into a megaphone outside Tulsa City Hall with a small group of supporters. The activists  then become surrounded by large crowd of demonstrators protesting against mandatory mask-wearing.  he group of anti-maskers  - who waved placards that read 'Fire Fauci' and 'Masks Harm Health' - attempted to down out Turner by changing 'USA! USA!' However, Turner was not deterred, telling the crowd about the city's historic race massacre. 'An angry racist mob of white descended upon Greenwood [in 1921] and killed black people. Not one of those racist, white angry fools had a trial for the cause,' he stated into the megaphone.  A white anti-mask demonstrator then stated: 'Sweetie, let us have our voice and you can have yours!' She subsequently yelled at Turner: 'You're racist! You're racist!'

"I did not. You're out of your mind," Stone replied when Morris W. O'Kelly questioned him about it.
By Dennis Romero

Roger Stone, friend and former campaign adviser to President Donald Trump, called a Black radio host a racial slur on air Saturday while the two debated Stone's federal conviction. Stone's sentence was commuted by Trump on July 10, just days before he was scheduled to surrender for 40 months of incarceration after he was convicted of witness tampering and making false statements to Congress as it investigated Russia's influence in the 2016 election. On Saturday night, Stone was grilled by radio host Morris W. O’Kelly on "the Mr. Mo'Kelly Show" on KFI AM 640 in Los Angeles. The phone interview was broadcast and streamed. Stone claimed his conviction last year was the result of bias against himself and the president. "It was a jury of my political opponents," Stone said. O'Kelly pushed back and challenged the idea that Stone did not get a fair trial or that the evidence did not clearly show his transgressions. The host also suggested that not only was Stone not a victim of biased justice, but that he likely benefitted from knowing the president.

By Andrew Selsky and Gillian Flaccus The Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The mayor of Portland demanded Friday that President Donald Trump remove militarized federal agents he deployed to the city after some detained people on streets far from federal property they were sent to protect. “Keep your troops in your own buildings, or have them leave our city,” Mayor Ted Wheeler said at a news conference. Democratic Gov. Kate Brown said Trump is looking for a confrontation in the hopes of winning political points elsewhere. It also serves as a distraction from the coronavirus pandemic, which is causing spiking numbers of infections in Oregon and the nation. Brown’s spokesman, Charles Boyle, said Friday that arresting people without probable cause is “extraordinarily concerning and a violation of their civil liberties and constitutional rights.” Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum said she would file a lawsuit in federal court against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Marshals Service, Customs and Border Protection and Federal Protection Service alleging they have violated the civil rights of Oregonians by detaining them without probable cause. She will also seek a temporary restraining order against them. The ACLU of Oregon said the federal agents appear to be violating people’s rights, which “should concern everyone in the United States.” “Usually when we see people in unmarked cars forcibly grab someone off the street we call it kidnapping,‘' said Jann Carson, interim executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon. ‘'The actions of the militarized federal officers are flat-out unconstitutional and will not go unanswered.”

By Amir Vera, Konstantin Toropin and Josh Campbell, CNN

(CNN) The US Attorney for the Oregon District on Friday requested an investigation into masked, camouflaged federal authorities without identification badges who are arresting protesters in Portland. The request is aimed specifically at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) personnel who have been captured on various videos arresting protesters and putting them in unmarked SUVs. Demonstrators in Portland have been protesting racial inequality and police brutality for the last 50 nights, US Attorney Billy J. Williams said in a statement. Federal authorities have protected the Mark O. Hatfield US Courthouse and, at times, interaction between protesters and law enforcement has gotten violent. Last weekend, one protester was seriously injured after the man was shot in the head with impact munition. Oregon's governor and Portland's mayor demanded the troops be withdrawn and a US senator joined them in condemning the arrests. "Authoritarian governments, not democratic republics, send unmarked authorities after protesters," tweeted US Sen. Jeff Merkley, a Democrat representing Oregon. Merkley also tweeted one video of such an arrest showing two masked, camouflaged individuals with generic "police" patches, detain a person dressed in a black outfit and place them in an unmarked van before driving away.

CNN

John Robert Lewis, the son of sharecroppers who survived a brutal beating by police during a landmark 1965 march in Selma, Alabama, to become a towering figure of the civil rights movement and a longtime US congressman, has died after a six-month battle with cancer. He was 80. Lewis, a Democrat who served as the US representative for Georgia's 5th congressional district for more than three decades, was widely seen as a moral conscience of Congress because of his decades-long embodiment of nonviolent fight for civil rights. His passionate oratory was backed by a long record of action that included, by his count, more than 40 arrests while demonstrating against racial and social injustice. A follower and colleague of Martin Luther King Jr., he participated in lunch counter sit-ins, joined the Freedom Riders in challenging segregated buses and -- at the age of 23 -- was a keynote speaker at the historic 1963 March on Washington.

The late congressman’s lifelong fight for equality mirrored the US’s racial struggles
David Smith in Washington

He was the youngest speaker at the March on Washington in 1963. More than half a century later, he stood outside the White House surveying the words “Black Lives Matter” painted on a street. John Lewis’s story was in many ways America’s story and testament to its unfinished journey. Lewis, a titan of the civil rights movement, died on Friday at the age of 80, severing a vital link with the generation that rose in the 60s to resist the US’s version of racial apartheid. The news was met with a depth of grief normally reserved for former presidents. Lewis transcended party politics and was truly admired and beloved. He grew up on a farm in rural Alabama, a short walk from the cotton fields of the Jim Crow south. Lewis, who had ambitions to be a minister, tried out his oratory by preaching to the family chickens. He went to segregated public schools and was denied a library card because of the colour of his skin, but he was an avid reader of books and newspapers and was inspired by the sound of Martin Luther King’s sermons on the radio. Lewis wrote to King seeking support to become the first black student at his local college, and became a fellow advocate of nonviolent protest, civil disobedience and, as he put it to the end, “good trouble”. But this was never to be mistaken for a lack of radicalism or willingness to put himself on the line: he was arrested 40 times from 1960 to 1966. Lewis organised sit-ins at whites-only lunch counters and volunteered as a Freedom Rider, enduring beatings and arrests while challenging segregated interstate travel. He helped form the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and became its chairman.

By Chantal Da Silva

Political leaders in Oregon have accused President Donald Trump of interfering in Portland's handling of widespread protests and riots in the wake of George Floyd's death as a political stunt to rally his base ahead of the November election. Despite repeated calls from Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler for federal authorities to remove their officers from the city's streets, the Trump administration has remained adamant on maintaining a law enforcement presence in Portland. In an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity on Thursday, Homeland Security Acting Secretary Chad Wolf acknowledged that local and state officials wanted federal authorities to "pack up and go home." However, he said: "That's just not gonna happen on my watch." Instead, he said federal law enforcement, including officers and agents from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Border Protection agencies, would continue to patrol the streets of Portland.

Six weeks of protests sparked by George Floyd's killing have drawn the Trump administration's ire
Andrew Naughtie

Federal law enforcement officers sent to quell demonstrations in Portland, Oregon last night used tear gas on hundreds of protesters at the city’s federal courthouse. It comes amid an escalating row with the federal government over the need to impose “law and order” on the streets, with the city’s mayor at odds with the Department of Homeland Security. The demonstrations that began after the killing of George Floyd have continued in Portland for more than six weeks, with clashes between protesters and law enforcement sometimes erupting into violence and damage to property. Federal forces have now been sent in to shut the protests down – sometimes with violent consequences. Last Saturday, 26-year-old protester Donavan LaBella was shot in the face by federal officers using so-called “less lethal” munitions – which the local police are currently barred from deploying against non-violent protesters. The incident, captured on graphic video by bystanders, left Mr LaBella in hospital with a fractured skull. Meanwhile, according to local news investigations and videos distributed on social media, federal officers have for several days been picking protesters up then detaining them without explanation or charge. One clip widely shared on Twitter shows two officers in camouflage uniform and helmets walking silently up to a protester and walking him to a black SUV, apparently without explanation.

By Ali Zaslav, CNN

(CNN) Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is continuing to hammer home his message about mask-wearing to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, saying that while he's not addressing the government's authority to implement rules requiring masks, everyone should be wearing one. On Thursday, the Kentucky Republican made clear that he is not getting involved in Kentucky Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear's battle to mandate facial coverings in public in certain situations. "I'm not in that fight," he said at a medical center in Leitchfield, Kentucky. At the same time, he urges Kentuckians to wear masks.
"I know there's an argument going on here in the state over whether the governor can or cannot make you wear a mask," he said. "I'm not in that fight. But I'm here to tell you, put it on. The single best way all of us can be responsible to ourselves and sensitive to the health of others is to wear a mask and to practice social distancing." The Senate majority leader in recent months has significantly diverged from President Donald Trump, who wore a mask publicly for the first time only over the weekend, rarely urges Americans to wear masks and often boasts about the country's response while dismissing rising coronavirus cases.

Android apps targeted by this new trojan include banking, dating, social media, and instant messaging apps.
By Catalin Cimpanu for Zero Day

A new Android malware strain has emerged in the criminal underworld that comes equipped with a wide range of data theft capabilities allowing it to target a whopping 337 Android applications. Named BlackRock, this new threat emerged in May this year and was discovered from mobile security firm ThreatFabric. Researchers say the malware was based on the leaked source code of another malware strain (Xerxes, based itself on other malware strains) but was enhanced with additional features, especially on the side that deals with the theft of user passwords and credit card information. A new Android malware strain has emerged in the criminal underworld that comes equipped with a wide range of data theft capabilities allowing it to target a whopping 337 Android applications. Named BlackRock, this new threat emerged in May this year and was discovered from mobile security firm ThreatFabric. Researchers say the malware was based on the leaked source code of another malware strain (Xerxes, based itself on other malware strains) but was enhanced with additional features, especially on the side that deals with the theft of user passwords and credit card information.

By Anna Bahney, CNN Business

(CNN) Mortgage rates fell below 3% for the first time ever as the economy continues to struggle from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to a record low of 2.98% this past week, according to Freddie Mac. That's the lowest level in the nearly 50 years of the mortgage giant's survey. The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage dropped to 2.48%. The average rate for a 30-year-fixed mortgage dropped below last week's record low of 3.03% and marks the seventh new low since March. Record-low rates have led to increased demand among homebuyers, according to Freddie Mac. But the mortgage giant warns that the rise in new virus cases is stalling the the economic recovery, and this pause risks turning temporary layoffs into permanent job losses. That could negatively impact home buying. The record low rates have come amid a roller coaster of optimism and pessimism about the economy, said Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com.

Ashley Boucher

Nick Cannon is apologizing for anti-Semitic remarks he made during a recent podcast episode. "First and foremost I extend my deepest and most sincere apologies to my Jewish sisters and brothers for the hurtful and divisive words that came out of my mouth during my interview with Richard Griffin," Cannon, 39, wrote on Twitter Wednesday evening. "They reinforced the worst stereotypes of a proud and magnificent people and I feel ashamed of the uninformed and naïve place that these words came from," he wrote, adding that the interview, which was part of his Cannon's Class podcast, has been removed. "While the Jewish experience encompasses more than 5,000 years and there is so much I have yet to learn, I have had at least a minor history lesson over the past few days and to say that it is eye-opening would be a vast understatement," Cannon continued. The actor expressed his "gratitude" to "Rabbis, community leaders and institutions who reached out to me to help enlighten me, instead of chastising me."

Zack Whittaker

A hacker allegedly behind a spate of Twitter account hacks on Wednesday gained access to a Twitter “admin” tool on the company’s network that allowed them to hijack high-profile Twitter accounts to spread a cryptocurrency scam, according to a person with direct knowledge of the incident. The account hijacks hit some of the most prominent users on the social media platform, including leading cryptocurrency sites, but also ensnared several celebrity accounts, notably Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden. Vice earlier on Wednesday reported details of the Twitter admin tool. A Twitter spokesperson, when reached, did not comment on the claims. Twitter later confirmed in a series of tweets that the attack was caused by “a coordinated social engineering attack by people who successfully targeted some of our employees with access to internal systems and tools.” A person involved in the underground hacking scene told TechCrunch that a hacker, who goes by the handle “Kirk” — likely not their real name — generated over $100,000 in the matter of hours by gaining access to an internal Twitter tool, which they used to take control of popular Twitter accounts. The hacker used the tool to reset the associated email addresses of affected accounts to make it more difficult for the owner to regain control. The hacker then pushed a cryptocurrency scam that claimed whatever funds a victim sent “will be sent back doubled.”

By Li Cohen

Some of the world's richest and most influential politicians, celebrities, tech moguls and companies were the subject of a massive Twitter hack on Wednesday. Elon Musk, Joe Biden, Jeff Bezos, Michael Bloomberg, Kim Kardashian West and Bill Gates were among the accounts pushing out tweets asking millions of followers to send money to a Bitcoin address. All of the tweeted messages from the accounts shared similar language. The tweet from Kanye West's account said he is "giving back to my fans"; the message from Bezos' account said he had "decided to give back to my community"; and Musk's account said "feeling greatful." Bezos, Musk, and Gates are among the 10 richest people in the world, based on Forbes' calculations. According to the Associated Press, the three men have a combined worth of $362 billion.

By Caitlin O'Kane

A squirrel has tested positive for the bubonic plague in the Town of Morrison in Colorado, Jefferson County Public Health officials announced in a statement over the weekend. The squirrel, discovered on Saturday, is the first case of plague in Jefferson County, the statement said.  A spokesperson for Jefferson County Public Health told CBS News on Tuesday that someone in Morrison reported seeing at least 15 dead squirrels around the town. Officials tested one, and since it was positive for bubonic plague, they expect others are also infected. In a statement, officials warned that plague, an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis, can be contracted by humans and household animals. They said humans can be infected through flea bites, the cough of an infected animal or by coming in direct contact with blood or tissue from an infected animal.

By Aris Folley

A man wearing a Make America Great Again hat showed his gun to an employee at a restaurant in Mission, Kan., after he was asked to provide an explanation for not wearing a mask in accordance with coronavirus restrictions, staff told local media this week. Arlo Kinsey, 18, told The Kansas City Star that the encounter occurred shortly after the customer, who has not yet been identified, entered the eatery without a mask during Kinsey's shift at RJ’s Bob-Be-Que Shack a week ago. Kinsey, who the paper noted in its coverage is now a “former” employee of the restaurant, said he asked the man when he first came in if he “could go get his mask or if he had a mask, and he said he had an exemption.” “I asked him if I could see the exemption just to make sure, and then he showed me his gun, saying that that was his exemption,” he continued. Moments later, Kinsey said he called for the restaurant's owner to speak to the man. Words were exchanged, and the man eventually left,  Kinsey added. “I just graduated high school. I’m working in a minimum-wage job just to save up for college, and then I’ve got to tell this dude to wear a mask because, that's, you know, what I’m required to do by law,” he said, referring to Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly's (D) recent order requiring all residents to wear masks in public to help slow the spread of COVID-19. “And he’s going to shoot me because of that? It just doesn’t make sense to me. The cost-benefit analysis is just not, you know, just doesn’t work,” Kinsey said.

By Julie Coleman and Jorge Fitz-Gibbon

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s giant Black Lives Matter mural outside Trump Tower is already getting dumped on. An unidentified man walked up to the giant mural outside the Midtown skyscraper and poured red paint on the bright yellow letters shortly after noon Monday, then ran off before cops showed up to survey the damage. “I knew it was going to happen — there’s all this racist s–t going on,” construction worker Billy McCabe told The Post. “The mural shouldn’t have been done right in front of Trump Tower.” The Black Lives Matter street mural in front of Trump Tower is vandalized with red paintThe Black Lives Matter street mural in front of Trump Tower is vandalized with red paint.CitizenApp The mural, announced by de Blasio earlier this month, has already become a flashpoint for face-offs between pro- and anti-Trump forces — including an ugly back-and-forth on Saturday. De Blasio commissioned the mural last month, and on Thursday he was jeered by protesters as he helped paint the mural with first lady Chirlane McCray and the Rev. Al Sharpton.

Madison Hartmann worked at SeaQuest in Utah, an aquarium and petting zoo, until she shared artistic images in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Lauren Strapagiel

A young woman in Utah lost her job at an aquarium attraction after being told another employee felt threatened by artistic images she'd shared on Facebook of KKK members being lynched. Madison Hartmann, 24, had been an employee at SeaQuest's Utah location for four years but was recently let go over her social media posts. Hartmann, a zoology and anthropology double major at Weber State University, had been working with the attraction's animals including large reptiles, lizards, crocodilians, exotic birds, and mammals. "I just really like teaching people about the animals that we share with the world," she told BuzzFeed News. On June 25, Hartmann was pulled into a meeting to discuss a post on her Facebook page. She provided a recording of that meeting to BuzzFeed News. The post in question was a photo of an art installation by the Indecline collective that showed figures in KKK robes hanging from a tree. Titled "Ku Klux Klowns," the piece was a response to the 2017 killing of anti-racist protester Heather Heyer at the 2017 “Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.  The piece is a grim nod to the numerous lynchings of Black Americans carried out by KKK members and sympathizers. These lynchings involved mobs of white people terrorizing, beating, and ultimately killing Black people, often by hanging, and incidents were still being recorded into the 1980s. Some activists view the killings of unarmed Black Americans by police to be a kind of continuation of those murders.

Iowa senator's remarks, captured on video, followed Salon's exclusive report on McSally's claims
Roger Sollenberger

Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa repudiated last Wednesday an argument that her Republican colleague Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona published in a law journal in 2007, in which she said that military servicewomen should be counseled against the "foolishness of entering into a lifetime commitment (motherhood)" to avoid deployment. In the article — first reported earlier that week by Salon and titled "Women in Combat: Is the Current Policy Obsolete?" — McSally, the first woman combat pilot in U.S. history, also called for the Pentagon to address the "problem" at the national level by repealing the policy that, in her view, allowed women to use pregnancy as an excuse to "skirt" their commitment. Ernst, herself a veteran of the Iowa National Guard who served in Kuwait during the Iraq War and retired as a lieutenant colonel after 22 years, made the remarks at the Barefoot Bar in Lake Okiboji, Iowa, and they were captured in a video obtained by Salon. Asked whether she believed that women in the military get pregnant to avoid deployment, Ernst replied, "I don't think so. No, I don't think so." "Most of the time, too, when you're put on notice it would be really hard for them to get their cycle and everything," she added.

'Kids don't go to schools by themselves'
By Dakin Andone, CNN

(CNN) -- After months out of the classroom, Sarah Gross, a high school English teacher in New Jersey, is eager for schools to reopen in the fall. But she's skeptical about how that could happen safely as Covid-19 cases rise across the country. "I desperately want to go back to my classroom," Gross told CNN. "But I think that a lot of people who call for schools to reopen -- especially because we need childcare or the economy to restart -- don't have any idea of what schools look like today." Teachers who spoke to CNN said they are trying to puzzle out an avalanche of unanswered questions about schooling amid a global pandemic. As coronavirus case numbers rise, they are weighing the risks to students and colleagues, their families and themselves. Decisions about whether schools will reopen, and in what capacity, have mostly been left to school districts, with some guidance from state officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

By Luke Kenton For Dailymail.com

Pennsylvania police department has come under fire after a harrowing video emerged over the weekend of an Allentown police officer kneeling down on a man’s neck during an arrest. The footage circulated across social media on Saturday night showing a group of three police officers attempting to arrest a man outside of St. Luke’s Hospital–Sacred Heart on West Chew Street in Allentown. In the video, which is less than 30 seconds long, one officer appears to be using his arm and elbow on the man’s back to restrain him, before pressing his knee into the man’s neck, prompting the suspect to cry out in pain. The scene evoked similar images to those seen in the police killing of George Floyd in May, who died gasping for breath as Officer Derek Chauvin knelt down on his neck for nearly nine minutes, ignoring his cries of ‘I can’t breathe’.

The Texas Republican tweets in support of Donald Trump and gets slammed
Juan Pablo Garnham

The Texas Republican is criticizing calls for a boycott because the Hispanic food company's CEO praised President Donald Trump. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz on Friday said calls for a boycott of Goya Foods because its CEO praised President Donald Trump were an attempt to "silence free speech." But one year ago, the Texas Republican encouraged people to boycott Nike after the company halted plans to sell shoes featuring the Betsy Ross flag that some say glorifies slavery and racism, according to NPR. On Thursday, Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue praised president Donald Trump in a ceremony at The White House. Goya bills itself as America's largest Hispanic-owned food company. "We're all truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder, and that's what my grandfather did," said Unanue. "He came to this country to build, to grow, to prosper. And so we have an incredible builder, and we pray for our leadership, our president, and we pray for our country that we will continue to prosper and to grow." That sparked an immediate reaction on Twitter, where hashtags like #BoycottGoya, #GoyaFoods and #Goyaway began trending. Hispanic leaders, including former Texas congressman and presidential hopeful Julián Castro, responded with anger, noting that the president has villainized and attacked Latinos "for political gain."

Kevin Johnson USA TODAY

Former Russia special counsel Robert Mueller pushed back against President Donald Trump on Saturday, defending the prosecution of Roger Stone and the larger investigation into Russia interference in the 2016 election, saying that the flamboyant political operative was "prosecuted and convicted because he committed federal crimes." "He remains a convicted felon, and rightly so," Mueller said in a column published Saturday in The Washington Post. Mueller's remarks, prompted by Trump's commutation of Stone's 40-month prison sentence Friday, are the first since he testified before a House committee nearly a year ago after his team brought charges against at least a half-dozen former Trump aides during his campaign and after he took office. Stone was the last person charged by the Mueller team during the nearly two-year Russia investigation. "Russia’s actions were a threat to America’s democracy," Mueller wrote. "It was critical that they be investigated and understood." Mueller said the FBI had evidence that the Russians had signaled to a Trump campaign adviser that they could assist the campaign through the anonymous release of information damaging to the Democratic candidate.

The Eagles said there is a plan for the star to move forward and suggested that his staying with the team depends on it.
By Phil Helsel

The Philadelphia Eagles penalized wide receiver DeSean Jackson who posted anti-Semitic quotes he attributed to Hitler on Instagram this week, the team said Friday. The Eagles did not provide details about the penalty, but said it acted because of "conduct detrimental to the team." Jackson accepted the consequences and apologized, according to the team statement. "In our many conversations with him, it has also been made clear that this is only the beginning. We have discussed a concrete plan for how we and he can heal moving forward," the Eagles said in a statement. "He understands that in order to remain on the team, he must also commit to supporting his words with actions," the team said. NBC Sports reported that the penalty is a fine, and that according to terms of the new collective bargaining agreement, NFL teams can fine a player up to one week’s pay for conduct detrimental to the team. The team did not immediately respond to an email from NBC News Friday night seeking comment about details of the penalty.

Christal Hayes USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – Weeks before President Donald Trump accepts his party's nomination, cracks are deepening within the party as a host of GOP lawmakers distance themselves from the Republican standard bearer as they weigh their election chances in November. Republicans have increasingly split with Trump on a host of issues shadowing his administration, from his tone on racism and the removal of Confederate statues, to wearing a face mask amid the coronavirus pandemic and questions over intelligence reports of a Russia-backed bounty program on U.S. troops in Afghanistan. It's a rare moment in the president's three-and-a-half-year tenure, during which Trump otherwise relished inparty unity on issues such as his impeachment and former special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation. "There’s a real disagreement between the president and his party in this election,” said Alex Conant, a GOP strategist and former aide to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. "I think a lot of Republicans are really fed up with the president's divisive strategy. People are just throwing up their hands with some of the rhetoric that's coming out of the president. It's really unhelpful not just to his own re-election, but also to keeping the Senate."

Ruling, which includes most of Tulsa, casts doubt on hundreds of convictions
Associated Press

The US supreme court has ruled that a large part of eastern Oklahoma remains a Native American reservation, a decision state and federal officials warn could throw the entire state into chaos. The court’s 5-4 decision, written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, means that Oklahoma prosecutors lack the authority to pursue criminal cases against Native American defendants in parts of Oklahoma that include most of Tulsa, the state’s second-largest city. “On the far end of the Trail of Tears was a promise,” Gorsuch wrote in a decision on Thursday, joined by the court’s liberal members. “Forced to leave their ancestral lands in Georgia and Alabama, the Creek Nation received assurances that their new lands in the west would be secure forever ... Today we are asked whether the land these treaties promised remains an Indian [Native American] reservation for purposes of federal criminal law. Because Congress has not said otherwise, we hold the government to its word.” The court’s ruling casts doubt on hundreds of convictions won by local prosecutors. But Gorsuch suggested optimism. “In reaching our conclusion about what the law demands of us today, we do not pretend to foretell the future and we proceed well aware of the potential for cost and conflict around jurisdictional boundaries, especially ones that have gone unappreciated for so long,” he wrote.

Miles Parks

Ever since the pandemic struck, state and local election officials across the country have made it clear: To avoid an election disaster in November, they need more money now. Congressional Republicans are now signalling a new willingness to provide that, after initial fears from voting rights advocates that the federal government would provide no more support than the $400 million that came as part of a March relief package. Experts expect as many as 70% of all ballots cast in November's presidential election will be cast through the mail, a quick and radical shift that will require equipment upgrades and greatly increase costs for cash-strapped states and counties. During the 2018 midterms, about a quarter of ballots were cast by mail.

Joshua Bote USA TODAY

Transcripts released of body camera footage reveal an extended account of the moments leading up to George Floyd's death, an abridged clip of which set into motion months of ongoing protests against anti-Black racism and police violence. In the exchange, Floyd appears to be deferential to officers as he pleads to not be put in a squad car and instead be restrained on the ground, repeatedly telling them that he has claustrophobia and anxiety and is not carrying a weapon. He told officers he couldn't breathe nearly 30 times. "I'll do anything, I'll do anything y’all tell me to, man," he tells officers early into the transcript. "I'm not resisting, man. I'm not!" Footage from police body cameras used by Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng — as well as transcripts from both cameras — was released Wednesday as part of former officer Thomas Lane's plea to dismiss charges of aiding and abetting Derek Chauvin, who is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter after pinning Floyd's neck down and asphyxiating him with his knee for more than eight minutes.

The proposals ahead of the Democratic National Convention don’t include the kind of systemic upheaval that won Sanders so many followers.
By CAITLIN OPRYSKO

Joe Biden’s presidential campaign on Wednesday rolled out the policy recommendations reached by its joint task forces with supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders ahead of the Democratic National Convention, which is slated for next month. The 110-page document has been submitted to the Democratic National Committee’s Platform Committee and will be personally reviewed by Biden ahead of the nominating convention, the former vice president’s campaign announced. The task force recommendations don’t include the kind of wide-scale systemic upheaval that won Sanders such a fervent following in his two presidential campaigns — while provoking an outcry from moderate Democrats and Republicans alike. A single-payer health care system such as “Medicare for All,” a “Green New Deal” overhauling environmental policy, and doing away with Immigration and Customs Enforcement are not among the policy proposals. But while the recommendations hew more closely to priorities laid out by Biden during the primary, like expanding the Affordable Care Act through a public option, they also include ambitious time lines for reaching certain environmental benchmarks, such as eliminating carbon pollution from power plants and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions for new buildings.

Tensions also continue in some areas as officers confront crowds with flash-bang grenades and pepper spray
Kenya Evelyn

Sustained demonstrations across the US calling for racial justice and an end to police brutality in the wake of the May killing of George Floyd are being met with a rising trend for apparent counter-protesters using vehicles to threaten or slam into marchers. Tension has also continued between protesters and police in some areas, with reports of law enforcement officers confronting crowds with flash-bang grenades and pepper spray. In several US cities there has been a spate of people driving into protesters, with reports of multiple injuries and at least one death. A truck was witnessed accelerating towards a small crowd demonstrating in Newton, near Boston, Massachusetts, on Tuesday. “It was horrifying,” Rachel Alpert-Wisnia, a 16-year-old high school student, told the local outlet WCVB, after a man in a truck reportedly revved his engine and beeped before speeding toward the crowd. Alpert-Wisnia was one of the organizers of the Black Lives Matter action, a protest group of mostly teens. In two videos shared online, a truck can be seen rushing toward the students as they fled to a driveway nearby. New York police department officials confirmed they had detained a man who drove through a Black Lives Matter protest near Times Square in Manhattan on Tuesday night. The driver pulled on to the street after demonstrators first attempted to stop his car as they marched or cycled along.

Scott Neuman

Transcripts of police body camera video in the minutes leading up to George Floyd's death show that he pleaded some 20 times that he couldn't breathe and that one of the officers expressed concern about Floyd's well-being, but was rebuffed by his superior.

The transcripts from cameras worn by former officers Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng were filed in Minnesota state court on Wednesday as part of a motion to dismiss charges against Lane. knee, face-down to the pavement and complaining that he could not breathe, Lane, who was holding Floyd's legs, asked Chauvin whether the suspect should be moved.

Floyd: My face is getting it bad.

Lane: Here, should we get his legs up, or is this good?

Chauvin: Leave him.

And, again, as Floyd is heard speaking for the last time:

Floyd: Ah! Ah! Please. Please. Please.

Lane: Should we roll him on his side?

Chauvin: No, he's staying put where we got him.

Lane: Okay. I just worry about the excited delirium or whatever.

Chauvin: Well that's why we have the ambulance coming.

By Kate Gibson

A Florida man has been fired from his job as an insurance agent after his videotaped tirade when asked to wear a face mask at a Costco Wholesale store drew a massive audience on social media. The video posted Monday on Twitter shows a man wearing flip-flops and a red T-shirt emblazoned with "Running the world since 1776" shouting in the store after reportedly being asked why he was not wearing a face covering, as required at all Costco locations. Screaming "I feel threatened," "back off," and worse, the man lurched in a menacing manner towards an employee who came to the aid of an elderly woman who had asked about his lack of a face covering. The incident at a Fort Myers Costco occurred June 26, and involved a man later identified by multiple news outlets as Daniel Maples, an insurance agent for Ted Todd Insurance.

Javier E. David

United Airlines Holdings (UAL) warned on Wednesday that it may be forced to furlough as many as 36,000 workers, or 45% of its workforce, as weak demand and travel restrictions in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak create “the worst crisis” the industry has ever faced. As the COVID-19 pandemic ravages global demand, United — along with other major carriers like Delta (DAL), Southwest (LUV), JetBlue (JBLU) and Alaska — have struck a deal with the federal government for a major cash infusion worth billions of dollars. The CARES Act, the omnibus coronavirus relief package, set aside $25 billion in loans for air carriers. Yet new domestic flare ups of the virus — along with international travel restrictions — are amplifying the threat, and forcing United to weigh cutting workers en masse. According to United, 36,000 workers — or 45% of U.S. positions — may be impacted or laid off by October 1. Although 3700 have already taken an early-out option, the potential losses affect 15,000 flight attendants, 11,000 airport staffers, 5500 maintenance positions and 2250 pilots, the company told reporters on a conference call. Fallout from the coronavirus pandemic is “the worst crisis to hit the airline industry and United Airlines,” a United executive said on Wednesday. “We can’t count on additional government support to survive.”

"I probably should have never posted anything that Hitler did, because Hitler was a bad person and I know that," the NFL wide receiver said in an apology.
By David K. Li, Mohammed Syed and Ali Gostanian

Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson, one of the NFL's most recognizable stars, is being widely condemned for posting anti-Semitic quotes he attributed to Hitler on Instagram. On his Instagram story from Monday, Jackson showed a picture of text detailing a conspiracy theory about a Jewish plot to oppress African Americans. Jackson cited Adolf Hitler as the source of the anti-Semitic text, but it's more likely to have come from the book "Jerusalem" by Dennine Barnett. Then in another Instagram post on Monday, Jackson blacked out much of that offensive text and wrote "this," pointing to only one portion of the screed about a "plan for world domination," apparently as evidence he's not anti-Semitic. Jackson posted an apology video on Instagram on Tuesday and spoke directly into the camera. "I probably should have never posted anything that Hitler did, because Hitler was a bad person and I know that," Jackson said. "I was just trying to uplift African Americans."

Randall Lane Forbes Staff

And that’s just for starters. For much of the phone calls, his core message, strategically, was that he has 30 days to make a final decision about running for president. At that point, he says, he’d miss the filing deadline for most states, though he believes an argument could be made to get onto any ballots he’s missed, citing coronavirus issues. “I’m speaking with experts, I’m going to speak with Jared Kushner, the White House, with Biden,” says West. He has no campaign apparatus of any kind. His advisors right now, he says, are the two people who notably endorsed him on the Fourth: his wife Kim Kardashian-West, and Elon Musk, of whom he says, “We’ve been talking about this for years.” (Adds West: “I proposed to him to be the head of our space program.”) An hour into the interview, the hedging was done: He says he definitely plans to run in 2020, versus his original plan in 2024. The campaign slogan: “YES!” His running mate? Michelle Tidball, an obscure preacher from Wyoming. And why the Birthday Party? “Because when we win, it’s everybody’s birthday.” *** Don’t waste your vote on Kanye it only helps Trump. Kanye wants to help Trump by pulling votes from Biden. Kanye said bush was racist but he has not said a word about his buddy Trump’s racism who is far more racist than bush. ***


FORT MYERS, Fla. — A Florida man was caught screaming at a woman inside a Costco store after she confronted him about not wearing a mask. The altercation happened on June 27 at the store at Gulf Coast Town Center. The person who recorded the video said the man was getting aggressive toward an elderly woman after she asked him why he wasn’t wearing a mask inside the store.

By Ariane de Vogue, CNN Supreme Court Reporter

(CNN) The Supreme Court on Wednesday cleared the way for the Trump administration to expand exemptions for employers who have religious or moral objections to complying with the Affordable Care Act's contraceptive mandate. The 7-2 ruling reverses a lower court decision that had blocked Trump's move nationwide. The ruling is a win for President Donald Trump, who has vowed to act aggressively to protect religious liberty as well as the Little Sisters of the Poor, a Roman Catholic religious order for women who, along with the Trump administration, asked the Court to step in. The case required the justices to balance concerns for women's health care against claims of religious liberty. The law requires that employer-provided health insurance plans cover birth control as a preventive service at no cost. Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote the majority opinion, wrote that the justices held that the government "had the statutory authority to craft that exemption, as well as the contemporaneously issued moral exemption." Thomas commended the Little Sisters of the Poor for their efforts.
"For the past seven years, they—like many other religious objectors who have participated in the litigation and rulemakings leading up to today's decision—have had to fight for the ability to continue in their noble work without violating their sincerely held religious beliefs," he wrote.

Nina Totenberg at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.,

A 7-2 Supreme Court carved out a giant exception to the nation's fair employment laws, ruling that federal employment discrimination laws do not apply to teachers whose duties include instruction in religion at schools run by religious institutions. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissented. The cases before the court involved two fifth grade teachers at Catholic parochial schools in California who were fired from their jobs. One, a veteran of 16 years at her school contends her firing was a case of age discrimination. The other said she was fired after telling her superior that she had breast cancer and would need some time off — a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Both schools denied the allegations but maintained that regardless, the federal fair employment laws do not apply to their teachers because they all teach religion from a workbook 40 minutes a day, in addition to other academic subjects. Dividing along ideological lines, the court's conservative majority agreed with the schools that because of the pervasive nature of religious education, teachers are covered by the"ministerial exception" to laws that generally apply in the workplace. Justice Samuel Alito, a Catholic who did not attend parochial schools, wrote the majority opinion.

By Ariane de Vogue and Paul LeBlanc, CNN

(CNN) Chief Justice John Roberts was briefly hospitalized on June 21 after falling while walking near his home, a spokeswoman for the Supreme Court said Tuesday. "The Chief Justice was treated at a local hospital on June 21 for an injury to his forehead sustained in a fall while walking for exercise near his home," said Kathy Arberg, public information officer for the Supreme Court. The fall happened at the Chevy Chase Club, according to a source familiar with the matter.
"The injury required sutures, and out of an abundance of caution, he stayed in the hospital overnight and was discharged the next morning. His doctors ruled out a seizure. They believe the fall was likely due to light-headedness caused by dehydration." The Washington Post was first to report that Roberts had gone to the hospital. Roberts was taken to Suburban Hospital, a source with direct knowedge told CNN. The Supreme Court did not issue any statement to the media in the days after Roberts fell. Arberg says she responded Tuesday night after an inquiry from the Post. When asked why the public had not been told of the incident earlier, Arberg told CNN, "The injury was not significant; he stayed overnight out of an abundance of caution and went home first thing in the morning.

Jibe comes in light of allegations in Mary Trump's book that her uncle cheated on SATs
Louise Hall

A Republican political action committee has mocked Donald Trump over cheating claims by posting a clip of Biff Tannen from the Back to the Future films. The Lincoln Project, known for its frequent scathing attacks and political adverts against the president, posted the clip on Twitter of Biff, played by Thomas F Wilson, tormenting George McFly to make sure he completes homework on his behalf. “Think McFly, think. I’ve got to have time to re-copy it. Do you realise what would happen if I handed my homework in your handwriting? I’d get kicked out of school. You wouldn’t want that to happen would you?” the renowned bully says in the clip from the hit 1985 movie.

By Christina Zdanowicz and Artemis Moshtaghian, CNN

(CNN) A White man and a White woman who allegedly painted over a California community's Black Lives Matter mural this weekend are each facing a hate crime charge, the Contra Costa County District Attorney's Office said Tuesday. David Nelson and Nicole Anderson are each charged with three misdemeanor counts, including violation of civil rights, vandalism, and possession of tools to commit vandalism or graffiti, the district attorney's office said in a statement. The incident happened soon after the mural was painted in front of the courthouse in Martinez, California, on July 4. "We must address the root and byproduct of systemic racism in our country. The Black Lives Matter movement is an important civil rights cause that deserves all of our attention," District Attorney Diana Becton said in a statement. "The mural completed last weekend was a peaceful and powerful way to communicate the importance of Black lives in Contra Costa County and the country," she said. "We must continue to elevate discussions and actually listen to one another in an effort to heal our community and country."

An Instagram account offers an array of pictures of Jeffrey Epstein’s confidante with celebrities from Kevin Spacey to Princess Diana
Poppy Noor

Should you care about who Ghislaine Maxwell is photographed with? Probably not, seeing as the socialite and confidante of Jeffrey Epstein is photographed with just about everybody. But that doesn’t mean you won’t become enthralled, as thousands have, by an Instagram account dedicated to showing you every celebrity and powerful person photographed with Maxwell, who last week was arrested on sex trafficking charges. The details of the Epstein saga so far have felt closer to soap opera than real life: well-connected, influential financier gets arrested on sex trafficking charges that have the potential to implicate some of the world’s richest and most powerful people, but dies before he is tried; the cause of death is determined as suicide but his lawyers allege foul play; meanwhile a long-time confidante of his (Maxwell) goes into hiding; and a member of British royalty – a prince no less! – becomes implicated after a woman claims she was trafficked by Epstein and forced into a sexual relationship with Prince Andrew while she was underage. Finally, Maxwell is found hiding out at a New Hampshire retreat and arrested on sex-trafficking charges and two counts of perjury, for allegedly helping Epstein to procure and traffic underage girls.

By Brian Fung, CNN Business

(CNN Business) Civil rights and activist groups blasted Facebook's leadership on Tuesday after meeting with CEO Mark Zuckerberg and other executives to discuss the demands of a large advertiser boycott that now includes hundreds of brands. "The meeting we just left was a disappointment," said Rashad Robinson, the president of Color of Change. "[Facebook] showed up to the meeting expecting an 'A' for attendance." Free Press, a media activist group and one of the organizers of the #StopHateForProfit campaign to halt ad spending on the social network, said Facebook still has not taken the boycott's calls to action seriously.
"Instead of committing to a timeline to root out hate and disinformation on Facebook, the company's leaders delivered the same old talking points to try to placate us without meeting our demands," said Free Press Co-CEO Jessica Gonzalez. "Facebook approached our meeting today like it was nothing more than a PR exercise."

Andrew Holleran

The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback posted a message about the American holiday on Saturday. Kaepernick, 32, made his thoughts on the holiday very clear. Kaepernick said that Black people should not join in on the July 4 celebration, which is one of “white supremacy.” “Black ppl have been dehumanized, brutalized, criminalized + terrorized by America for centuries, & are expected to join your commemoration of ‘independence’, while you enslaved our ancestors. We reject your celebration of white supremacy & look forward to liberation for all,” the former NFL quarterback wrote on Twitter on Saturday afternoon.

Fox Business

Rapper and business mogul Kanye West tweeted that he will run for president. However, some critics are skeptical and believe it will hurt Joe Biden's chances in the election.

The decision is a win for election officials who warned of chaos if presidential electors could go against the will of voters in their states.
By Pete Williams

WASHINGTON — The 538 people who cast the actual votes for president in December as part of the Electoral College are not free agents and must vote as the laws of their states direct, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Monday. The unanimous decision in the "faithless elector" case was a defeat for advocates of changing the Electoral College, who hoped a win would force a shift in the method of electing presidents toward a nationwide popular vote. But it was a win for state election officials who feared that empowering rogue electors would cause chaos. Writing for the court, Justice Elena Kagan said the Constitution gives states far-reaching authority over choosing presidential electors. That includes the power to set conditions on an elector's appointment, "that is to say, what the elector must do for the appointment to take effect." What's more, she wrote, "nothing in the Constitution expressly prohibits states from taking away president electors' voting discretion." The ruling aligns with "the trust of a nation that here, We the People rule," Kagan said.

Laurel Wamsley at NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.

A federal judge has ruled that the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline must be emptied for now while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers produces an environmental review. In a decision posted Monday, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg said that it was clear shutting down the pipeline will cause disruption. But he said "the seriousness of the Corps' deficiencies outweighs the negative effects of halting the oil flow" during the estimated 13 months it will take to complete the environmental impact statement.

Memorials to Robert E. Lee in Richmond and Charlottesville are stuck in legal battles despite public protests and the governor's pledge.
By Deepa Shivaram

Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia, might need a new name soon. Virginia has always been the state with the most Confederate statues, but in recent weeks, and especially in the city that was once the capital of the Confederacy, the statues have been coming down. Construction crews removed Stonewall Jackson and Matthew Fontaine Maury from Monument Avenue in Richmond last week, and more statues are expected to come down Monday. But one very prominent monument that towers over Richmond remains standing. The six-story-tall statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, a state-owned memorial that Gov. Ralph Northam has committed to taking down, is stuck in court, thanks to an injunction over a deed the state signed when it took on the statue. Essentially, when the statue arrived in Richmond in the late 1800s, the state told landowners in the area that it would keep the monument intact — and the plaintiffs argue that if the statue were removed, the state would be violating its original promise. "The issue in the Richmond Lee case is what we call private law, which is that there's a property claim being made here that promises were made by the state to private property owners over 100 years ago," said Richard Schragger, a professor of law at the University of Virginia.


CHICAGO (CBS) — Nearly 80 people have been shot in Chicago since Friday night this July 4th holiday weekend, and 15 of them have been killed. Twelve of the weekend shooting victims were under age 18. Two of the 12 were killed. Among the incidents were a shooting that left a 7-year-old girl dead while she was visiting her grandmother for a 4th of July party in South Austin Saturday night, and two mass shootings – one of which left four people dead and four more wounded. Around 7:02 p.m. Saturday, Natalia Wallace, 7, was shot in the forehead as she and other children played in the yard in the 100 block of North Latrobe Avenue. She was taken to Stroger Hospital of Cook County where she later died, police said. Natalia was on the sidewalk when a light-colored vehicle pulled up and an unknown number of people exited. Those people then took out guns and fired shots her direction, police said. A 32-year-old man was also wounded in the shooting, police said. He transported himself to Mount Sinai Hospital in fair condition with a gunshot wound to the ankle and a graze wound to the leg. Family describes Natalia as “sweet, shy, loving, and good at math.” “Kids outside playing, they shouldn’t have to worry about guns and people shooting,” Natalia’s father, Nathan Wallace, told CBS 2’s Marissa Parra. A person of interest was being questioned Sunday night in Natalia’s death. Charges are pending.

Statue of abolitionist, which stood on site of Underground Railroad in Rochester, New York, found damaged by unknown perpetrators
Martin Pengelly in New York

A statue of the great abolitionist Frederick Douglass was torn from its base in Rochester, New York on Sunday, 168 years to the day since the city was the setting for one of his greatest speeches, What to the Slave is the Fourth of July? The statue stood in Maplewood Park, a site on the Underground Railroad, the network through which Douglass and Harriet Tubman, both escaped slaves themselves, and others helped ferry people enslaved in southern states to freedom in the north. One of 13 statues which were placed around Rochester in 2018, the 200th anniversary of Douglass’s birth, the monument was found next to a river gorge, about 50ft from its pedestal, police said. The base and a finger were damaged. Carvin Eison, who worked on the project which brought the statues to the city, told the Democrat & Chronicle newspaper: “It’s particularly painful that it happened at this time … It’s really sad because here in Rochester the statue of Frederick Douglass has always been a face of good.”

Amid protests, some want removal of Washington statue which shows president standing over a man who has broken his chains
Martin Pengelly

An argument between history professors over a statue which many protesters say should be removed from Lincoln Park in Washington led to the discovery of a letter in which Frederick Douglass described his feelings about it. “The negro here, though rising, is still on his knees and nude,” the civil rights campaigner wrote to the National Republican newspaper in 1876, about the statue of Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president, standing over a man who has broken his chains. “What I want to see before I die is a monument representing the negro, not couchant on his knees like a four-footed animal, but erect on his feet like a man.” Amid protests over structural racism and police brutality, debate over such statues has surged. Donald Trump has made defending monuments to Confederate leaders and figures with outdated views on race a central part of his campaign for re-election.

TMZ

An Arizona woman says she was sent by President Trump and a conspiracy theory group to take Target to task for selling face masks ... and to flaunt her alleged high-priced watch. The Internet has dubbed this gal here "QAnon Karen" after she filmed herself going into a Scottsdale-area Target and knocking down all the face masks on display in one of their aisles. She had to talk herself up before doing it, making it sound like a last stand mission. She rants and about "not doing it" anymore -- which we think means she's not gonna let face masks be sold anymore??? Who the hell knows, but she went to town on the display.

FOX News Videos

Jeffrey Epstein's alleged madam is reportedly set to cooperate with the FBI after her arrest; reaction and analysis on 'The Five.'


Chicago police say that 16 people, including a young girl, are dead and at least 62 others have been wounded in shootings across the city over the Fourth of July weekend. Multiple fatal shootings were reported across the city early Sunday morning, including in the 1000 block of East 132nd Street. According to Chicago police, multiple people became involved in an argument with another man before leaving a parking lot and walking into a residence. Police say the man then opened fire through the door, striking two individuals. A 24-year-old man was shot in the left torso, and was later pronounced dead at Christ Medical Center.

Nathan Brown - Indianapolis Star

INDIANAPOLIS — Nothing about Jimmie Johnson’s final full season in NASCAR has been normal. In search of his first victory in the Cup series since 2017, Johnson popped up at IndyCar’s Open Test during Daytona week, saw his sport go on pause for two months due to a pandemic and has been scheduled to test for two different IndyCar teams. This weekend, he was vying to become just the third driver across any racing circuit to win at Indianapolis Motor Speedway five times, joining Jeff Gordon and Michael Schumacher. But Friday’s news that he had contracted COVID-19, forcing him to miss possibly his final Brickyard 400 to be held Sunday at IMS, was an all-too-jarring reminder to the auto racing community of the present-day realities.

Jori Epstein, Mike Jones - USA TODAY

Amid mounting criticism from external figures and a key sponsor asking for change, the Washington Redskins said in a statement Friday morning the franchise will undergo an evaluation of its team name. “In light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community,” the team said, “the team will undergo a thorough review of the team’s name.” Washington said the review "formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks." NFL players, teams and the league itself have shifted tone on racial justice advocacy since George Floyd was killed May 25 in the custody of Minneapolis police. “In the last few weeks we have had ongoing discussions with Dan and we are supportive of this important step," NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement.

Steve Gorman

(Reuters) - A predominantly Black group of heavily armed protesters marched through Stone Mountain Park near Atlanta on Saturday, calling for removal of the giant Confederate rock carving at the site that civil rights activists consider a monument to racism. Video footage of the Independence Day rally posted on social media showed scores of demonstrators dressed in black - many in paramilitary-style clothing and all wearing face scarves - quietly parading several abreast down a sidewalk at the park. Many of the protesters carried rifles, including military-type weapons, and some wore ammunition belts slung over their shoulders. Although African Americans appeared to account for the vast majority of the marchers, protesters of various races, men and women alike, were among the group. One video clip showed a leader of the demonstrators, who was not identified, shouting into a loudspeaker in a challenge to white supremacists who historically have used Stone Mountain as a rallying spot of their own. “I don’t see no white militia,” he declared. “We’re here. Where ... you at? We’re in your house. Let’s go.”

Less than half of US adults said that they are ‘extremely proud’ to be American
Louise Boyle

American patriotism is at its lowest ebb for almost two decades, a new poll has found. A survey by Gallup found that while 70 per cent of US adults said they are “proud” to be American, less than half said that they are “extremely proud”. The findings were released ahead of the Fourth of July national holiday amid the country’s struggle to rein in the coronavirus pandemic, and calls for racial justice and an end to policy brutality in Black Lives Matter protests in every state. Gallup said that US pride is at its lowest point since the company began taking polls on it in 2001. It is the second year that the number of “extremely proud” people dropped below the majority (45 per cent). Over the decades, the numbers were fairly stable - 81- 92 per cent - but declined to 75 per cent in 2017, during the first year of the Trump administration.

Rich McKay

ATLANTA (Reuters) - Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial, a nine-story-high bas-relief sculpture carved into a sprawling rock face northeast of Atlanta, is perhaps the South’s most audacious monument to its pro-slavery legacy still intact. Despite long-standing demands for the removal of what many consider a shrine to racism, the giant depiction of three Confederate heroes on horseback still towers ominously over the Georgia countryside, protected by state law. The monument - which reopens on Independence Day weekend after the COVID-19 pandemic forced it to close for weeks - has faced renewed calls for removal since the May 25 killing of George Floyd, a Black man who died during an arrest by a white police officer who pinned his neck to the ground with a knee. The brutality of Floyd’s death, captured on cellphone video, triggered a national outcry against racial injustice, and revived a long-simmering battle between those demanding the removal of racist symbols from the public sphere, and those who believe monuments honor the tradition and history of the South. “Here we are in Atlanta, the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement and still we have the largest Confederate monument in the world,” said Gerald Griggs, a vice president of the Atlanta chapter of the NAACP civil rights group, which staged a march last week calling for the carving to be scraped from the mountainside. “It’s time for our state to get on the right side of history.”

By Katie Bernard

Two Overland Park City Council members are asking the mayor to call for an emergency executive session about a $70,000 severance payment made to the officer who shot and killed 17-year-old John Albers in 2018. Council members Faris Farassati and Scott Hamblin made the request in an email Tuesday after numerous reports revealed the payment made to former officer Clayton Jenison when he resigned. Farssati said it’s an important transparency issue for the city. The Overland Park City Council president, however, said he’d been aware of the settlement for years and that the session would be a “dog and pony show” from which he couldn’t “see anything to be gained.” The decision on whether to move forward with the session will be left to Mayor Carl Gerlach, who could not be reached Thursday because he is out of town, according to city spokesman Sean Reilly. Police Chief Frank Donchez and the Overland Park Police Department spokesman did not respond to The Star’s request for comment in time for publication.

McClain, 23, was pronounced dead Aug. 27, 2019 – a few days after he went into cardiac arrest following a struggle with Aurora Police officers.
Author: Dacia Johnson (9NEWS), Allison Sylte

AURORA, Colo. — The Aurora Police Department has fired two of the three officers who took photographs depicting a choke hold in front of the memorial for Elijah McClain, who died after a confrontation with officers in August 2019.  A third officer was fired for his response to the photos that he received in a text message, and another officer involved resigned Thursday, before his punishment could be handed down. "I speak for all men and women of the Aurora Police Department to say we are ashamed, we are sickened and we are angry about what we have to share with you," Interim APD Chief Vanessa Wilson said at a news conference Friday, where she shared the process of the investigation and the news of the terminations. "While the allegations of this internal affairs case are not criminal, it is a crime against humanity and decency. To even think about doing such a thing is beyond comprehension," she said. "It shows a lack of morals, values and integrity, and judgment. I can no longer trust to allow them to wear this badge." Wilson offered an apology to McClain's family, friends and the community over the incident.

Heather Osbourne - Austin American-Statesman

KILLEEN, Texas — Authorities on Thursday released the names of two suspects — including a Fort Hood soldier who died Wednesday of a self-inflected gunshot wound — after both were tied to the disappearance of Spc. Vanessa Guillen. U.S. Army officials at Fort Hood identified the soldier as 20-year-old Spc. Aaron David Robinson of Illinois. Hours later, United States Department of Justice officials identified the second suspect as Cecily Anne Aguilar, a 22-year-old Killeen resident. Officials during a news conference at Fort Hood Thursday told reporters that Robinson ran away from his post Tuesday evening after reports that partial human remains were found near the Leon River in Bell County. Local law enforcement later found Robinson in the 4700 block of East Rancier Avenue, east of Fort Hood near North Twin Creek Drive, where he pulled a gun and shot himself when confronted by Killeen police early Wednesday.

The Lead

CNN's Jeff Zeleny speaks to longtime Republicans in Florida who say they will not vote for President Donald Trump in November because of his response to the coronavirus pandemic. Source: CNN

By Hollie Silverman, CNN

(CNN) An Oregon State Trooper is on administrative leave and officials have apologized after coffee shop owners say the trooper used profanity and scoffed at the state's mask mandate when he and other officers were asked to wear one. "Oregon State Police Troopers are not above the law and this conduct is being immediately addressed," Travis Hampton, Superintendent of the Oregon State Police, said in a statement emailed to CNN. On Wednesday, four Oregon State Troopers entered a Corvallis coffee shop without wearing face masks despite the statewide mandate issued by Gov. Kate Brown requiring facial coverings in indoor public spaces, Robert and Kathryn Morgan, owners of Allan's Coffee and Tea, said in an email statement to CNN. According to the Morgans, when the troopers were asked to put on masks, one officer "used profanity to disparage the Governor and express his political opinion that the Governor could not infringe on his civil liberties and that businesses need not worry about complying with the order because law enforcement would not be enforcing the order."

By Viral News

Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the rest of the extreme Right Wing media consistently share Trump’s lies and misrepresentations as fact. With the Coronavirus deaths in the US now passing 130,000 and total cases approaching 3 million (remember when Trump said it would soon go down to zero?), Right Wing media must shoulder their share of the blame due to all of their parroting of Trump’s lies and dangerously ignorant ramblings about the deadly virus. The Fox News network and its hosts have shown they are willing to put their own audience at grave risk just to remain in Trump’s good graces. A news network has one responsibility to its viewers: Keep them informed by telling the truth. We’ll let you be the judge: But Fox News… isn’t a news network. It’s a Trumpist propaganda machine masquerading as a journalistic enterprise. Even so, you would hope that a global pandemic bearing down on America would trigger some moral sense of responsibility among its hosts. Wrong. The opposite happened. Worse yet, the Murdoch family, which owns Fox News, took precautions against the new coronavirus as the network’s hosts downplayed the risk posed by the pandemic on TV.

By Timothy Bella

Two Oklahoma police officers were charged with second-degree murder this week as part of a July 4 incident last year in which the men allegedly used Tasers on a man more than 50 times before he died, according to court documents. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation announced Thursday that Wilson, Okla., police officers Joshua Taylor, 25, and Brandon Dingman, 34, were charged in connection with the 2019 death of 28-year-old Jared Lakey. Court documents filed in Carter County, Okla., show that the officers’ use of Tasers was a “substantial factor” in Lakey’s death and that the 50-plus uses of the Tasers “greatly exceeded what would have been necessary or warranted by the attendant circumstances.” Records show that his cause of death is listed as multiple heart attacks as well as “law enforcement use of electrical weapon and restraint,” the Ardmoreite reported.

By Paul P. Murphy, CNN

(CNN) Since its origin three years ago, QAnon has festered in the darker corners of the internet. Now the group's followers, who call themselves "believers," have found a niche on social media and within the Republican Party. QAnon began as a single conspiracy theory. But its followers now act more like a virtual cult, largely adoring and believing whatever disinformation the conspiracy community spins up. Its main conspiracy theories claim dozens of politicians and A-list celebrities work in tandem with governments around the globe to engage in child sex abuse. Followers also believe there is a "deep state" effort to annihilate President Donald Trump. But followers of the group have expanded from those beliefs and now allege baseless theories surrounding mass shootings and elections. Followers have falsely claimed that 5G cellular networks are spreading the coronavirus. There's no evidence that any of what QAnon claims is factual. ​

By Travis Gettys

A ranger at Carlsbad Caverns National Park tased and then fatally shot a man during a New Mexico traffic stop and then handcuffed his lifeless body. Charles “Gage” Lorentz was traveling March 21 from his work site in Pecos, Texas, to his family’s home in southwest Colorado when he detoured at the national park to meet a friend, and that’s where he encountered National Park Ranger Robert Mitchell, reported KOB-TV. The ranger stopped the 25-year-old Lorentz for speeding on a dirt road near the park’s Rattlesnake Springs area, and Mitchell’s lapel video shows him ordering Lorentz to spread his feet and move closer to a railing. Lorentz complies with the order, but he briefly dances to music coming from a nearby vehicle before calmly refusing to turn around.

By Washington Post Staff

The video of George Floyd’s death at the hands of police in Minneapolis triggered protests around the world. It brought renewed attention to the high-profile deaths of black Americans during the past decade and ongoing concerns about systemic racism in the criminal justice system. The police response in some cities has further fueled protesters, leading to calls to defund the police. In Washington, D.C., President Trump’s use of the military and federal police to seize control of parts of the city — including dispersing peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square near the White House — has drawn heavy criticism from the public and top military figures. Floyd’s killing, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, which has disproportionately infected and killed black people, has exposed long-standing racial inequities in every aspect of American life and forced a deep reckoning across society. Corporations are pledging to combat systemic racism in their companies. Some cities are considering proposals to eliminate police or reduce funds to police departments. And activists have renewed calls to remove Confederate monuments, with some even toppling the statues themselves. To help provide context to the issues driving the debate among people attending marches and rallies or those having more quiet conversations with their families and friends, we’ve compiled deeply reported stories, videos, photo essays, audio and graphics on black history, progress, inequality and injustice.


Social media posts shared thousands of times in the United States contain multiple false or misleading claims about face masks used to stop the spread of COVID-19, including that they violate federal standards for oxygen supply, cloth masks "do not filter anything" and trap carbon dioxide, surgical masks spread germs, and N95 masks expel unfiltered air. "Masks violate OSHA 19.5% min. oxygen level," reads a widely-shared image of text painted on a windshield, referring to the US Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration's respiratory protection standards. Similar posts are available here and here. Many posts with the image, which has been circulating since at least June 21, 2020, also include a caption attributed to an "OSHA 10&30 certified" expert, claiming: "Everytime you put your (surgical) mask on you are breathing the germs from EVERYWHERE you went," "CLOTH masks do not filter anything," "Cloth masks trap this carbon dioxide... It actually risks health. !!!!!" and "N95 blows the virus into the air from a contaminated person," and more. Experts say the post contains false and misleading information.

By Carrie Johnson

With a boost from the Republican-led Senate, President Trump has now confirmed 200 federal judges. Each one has a life term, representing a legacy that could extend for a generation. The president often trumpets the achievement in speeches and on Twitter. But the credit belongs as much to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., who took a victory lap last week. "When we depart this chamber today, there will not be a single circuit court vacancy for the first time in at least 40 years," said McConnell, who's been advancing the judicial nominees with single-minded focus. "McConnell confirmed the fewest judges since President Truman during Obama's last two years in office," said Christopher Kang, who vetted judicial nominees in the Obama White House. "So the reason President Trump had 200 judgeships to fill in the first place is because McConnell obstructed." Obama made the nominations, but McConnell kept them from being confirmed to wait for a Republican — in Trump — whose campaign the Senate majority leader then carried out with zeal, Kang said. *** Mitch McConnell stacked the court with unqualified judges some who do not know the law.

By Anneken Tappe and Annalyn Kurtz, CNN Business

New York (CNN Business) The US unemployment rate fell to 11.1% as the economy added a record 4.8 million jobs in June, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported on Thursday. The data was far better than economists predicted, and the unemployment rate also fell more than expected. It was the second-consecutive month of growth after more than 20 million jobs were wiped out in April during the coronavirus lockdown. The reopening of the economy is easing the burden on America's stressed labor market.

By Faith Karimi and Alexandra Meeks, CNN

(CNN) A Southern California man who tested positive for coronavirus after attending a party expressed his fear and regret a day before he died. Thomas Macias, 51, went to a barbecue last month near his community in Lake Elsinore, about 70 miles from Los Angeles. Shortly after the party, he started feeling sick. On June 20, he posted a poignant message on Facebook to warn his loved ones about the risks of the virus, his family said. "I went out a couple of weeks ago ... because of my stupidity I put my mom and sisters and my family's health in jeopardy," he wrote. "This has been a very painful experience. This is no joke. If you have to go out, wear a mask, and practice social distancing. ... Hopefully with God's help, I'll be able to survive this." He never made it. He died a day after that post.

Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

The number of confirmed U.S. deaths due to the coronavirus is substantially lower than the true tally, according to a study published Wednesday in JAMA Internal Medicine. Using National Center for Health Statistics data, researchers at Yale University compared the number of excess U.S. deaths from any causes with the reported number of weekly U.S. Covid-19 deaths from March 1 through May 30. The numbers were then compared with deaths from the same period in previous years. Researchers found that the excess number of deaths over normal levels also exceeded those attributed to Covid-19, leading them to conclude that many of those fatalities were likely caused by the coronavirus but not confirmed. State reporting discrepancies and a sharp increase in U.S. deaths amid a pandemic suggest the number of Covid-19 fatalities is undercounted, they said. “Our analyses suggest that the official tally of deaths due to Covid-19 represent a substantial undercount of the true burden,” Dan Weinberger, an epidemiologist at Yale School of Public Health and a lead author of the study, told CNBC. Weinberger said other factors could contribute to the increase in deaths, such as people avoiding emergency treatment for things like heart attacks. However, he doesn’t think that is the main driver. The study was supported by the National Institute of Health.

Maxwell had kept a low profile and her whereabouts were unknown since Epstein’s arrest last July on sex trafficking charges
Guardian staff

Ghislaine Maxwell, the British socialite and close friend of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, has been arrested by the FBI, according to US media. “She was arrested on the east coast on Epstein-related charges and is expected to appear in a federal court later today,” NBC News said in a report that first broke the news. Maxwell had kept a low profile and her location was unknown since Epstein’s arrest last July on charges that he abused and trafficked in women and girls in Manhattan and Florida between 2002 and 2005. The search for Maxwell has been the subject of intense speculation, with reported sightings and rumors of her whereabouts popping up across the US and even abroad. The New York Times reported that Maxwell had been arrested in New Hampshire.

Opinion by John Avlon

(CNN) You reap what you sow. And President Donald Trump's embrace of conspiracy theories is creating a new headache that many Republicans would like to ignore: a growing number of QAnon conspiracy theorists who will be running on their ballot line this November. On Tuesday night in Colorado, conservative newcomer Lauren Boebert bested five-term GOP congressman Scott Tipton in Colorado's 3rd district. Boebert is a gun rights activist and local bar owner who has expressed interest in the sprawling QAnon conspiracy theory. In a statement to CNN, Boebert's campaign manager denied that Boebert was a follower of QAnon. But earlier this year, Boebert told the host of an online talk show that she was "very familiar with" QAnon and that she "hope(s) that this is real." She joins the GOP's Oregon Senate nominee Jo Rae Perkins and Georgia's Marjorie Taylor Greene, who won a 20-point victory in a June primary and faces an August run-off in a safe Republican district. Perkins, after winning the nomination, said in a video "Where we go one, we go all. I stand with President Trump. I stand with Q and the team. Thank you Anons and thank you patriots -- and together we can save our republic." Greene said in a 2017 video that "Q is a patriot," and that "He is someone that very much loves his country, and he's on the same page as us, and he is very pro-Trump."

By Jasmine Gearie

Facebook has admitted that it wrongly shared the personal data of ‘inactive’ users for longer than it was authorized to, as revealed in a blog post from the company. The social media giant estimates the error saw around 5,000 third-party app developers continue to receive information about users who had previously used Facebook to sign into their apps, even if users hadn’t used the app in the past 90 days. Exceeding that time frame goes against Facebook’s policy, which promises third-party apps would no longer be able to receive personal information about a user if they had not accessed the app within the last 90 days. While the company didn’t confirm how many people were affected, it said personal information shared with third-party apps could include email addresses, birthdays, gender or language spoken.

“Harvey avoided accountability for decades, and it was a powerful moment for us to band together and demand justice," plaintiff Caitlin Dulany said.
Addy Baird

A group of women who sued movie producer Harvey Weinstein for sexual misconduct reached a nearly $19 million tentative settlement Tuesday. New York Attorney General Leticia James announced late Tuesday that the settlement, which is part of a class action lawsuit against Weinstein, would also release the women from confidentiality and NDA agreements. A group of women who sued movie producer Harvey Weinstein for sexual misconduct reached a nearly $19 million tentative settlement Tuesday. New York Attorney General Leticia James announced late Tuesday that the settlement, which is part of a class action lawsuit against Weinstein, would also release the women from confidentiality and NDA agreements. “We fought a long and grueling battle in the courtroom,” Caitlin Dulany, one of the plaintiffs in the suit, said in a statement provided by James’ office. “Harvey avoided accountability for decades, and it was a powerful moment for us to band together and demand justice. Knowing that we will help so many women who are long overdue for relief gives me hope that this settlement will continue to empower others to speak.” If approved by bankruptcy and US district courts, the $18,875,000 settlement will provide Weinstein victims with between $7,500 and $750,000 each, according to the settlement filing.

Chuck Labella worked on Trump’s show for years. Now, despite having no ostensible political work on his resume, he’s helping with the 2020 convention.
Lachlan Markay, Sam Stein

Last year, the Republican National Convention began cutting checks to a former producer of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice who was accused of having, as one contestant put it, “all the dirt” on Donald Trump. From August 2019 through May 2020, the Committee on Arrangements for the 2020 Republican National Convention made a dozen payments totaling more than $66,000 to Labella Worldwide, Inc. for “production consulting services.” The firm is run by Chuck Labella, a former NBC executive and the talent producer who worked on Donald Trump’s famous reality show. Labella is not just a former Apprentice bigwig. According to actor Tom Arnold, who was a contestant on the show and has since become a vociferous Trump critic, Labella was in possession of Trump’s ostensibly salacious—and, in political and media circles, long-sought—behind-the-scenes Apprentice outtakes. "Chuck LaBella was there and knows all,” Arnold said.

Arnold’s accusations are often brushed aside by Trump World as conspiracy mongering. But the charges he leveled were reportedly serious enough that Trump’s then personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, helped situate Labella with a close attorney, Keith Davidson, in late 2017. Davidson’s name became prominent for his representation of another Trump-adjacent personality: porn star Stormy Daniels, whom he helped arrange hush money payments for in order to maintain her silence about her alleged affair with Trump. Davidson did not return a request for comment.  

Desperate to distract from the coronavirus catastrophe, Trump and his media allies are going full-on rabid racism
Amanda Marcotte

Racism is all he's got. Everything else Donald Trump was going to run on this summer and fall has evaporated. The "booming" economy? (Which he inherited from Barack Obama in the first place.) The U.S. has the worst unemployment rate since the Great Depression and the situation is about to get exponentially worse as unemployment benefits expire. And no, "reopening" is not a solution, since the data makes clear that consumers have little interest in shopping or eating out during a pandemic. And then there was Trump's plan to hold big rallies to make himself look like he's got momentum, while Joe Biden campaigns in responsible ways that don't spread the coronavirus Not only was that plan sociopathic, it's also not working. Trump's big comeback rally in Tulsa was a hilarious failure, with only a third of the arena filled. Now Trump has canceled a rally in Alabama, citing coronavirus fears. It's just as likely that the campaign was scared of more empty seats — even some of his most ardent followers would rather root for him at home rather than risk getting sick.

Trump's efforts to paint Biden as too old and out of it to do a job as difficult as being president? Well, in the face of reports that Trump did nothing to push back against Russia paying Afghan fighters to kill American soldiers, the only "defense" of Trump is that he's either too lazy or too illiterate to pay attention to his intelligence briefings. For a 74-year-old man trying to argue he's sharper than his slightly older opponent, having his press secretary argue that Trump does too know how to read is arguably not a great look. As for the coronavirus itself, Trump is so hostile to any efforts to meaningfully fight the disease that people have started to wonder, only half-facetiously, whether he's campaigning on a pro-coronavirus agenda.

The '43 Alumni for Biden' super PAC seeks to unseat Donald Trump, who they say is unfit to lead the United States.

Hundreds of officials who worked for former Republican United States President George W Bush endorsed Democratic White House hopeful Joe Biden on Wednesday, the latest Republican-led group coming out to oppose the re-election of Donald Trump. The officials, including Cabinet secretaries and other senior people in the Bush administration, have formed a political action committee called "43 Alumni for Biden" to support the former vice president in his November 3 race. Bush was the country's 43rd president. Will Donald Trump win a second term? The Super PAC launched with a website and Facebook page and plans to release "testimonial videos" praising Biden from high-profile Republicans. It will also will hold get out to vote efforts in the most competitive states.

In one instance, an ad agency “representing a large entertainment corporation” sent Vice a block list that included “Black people” and “Black Lives Matter."
By Variety

Vice Media Group is calling on the advertising industry to review “brand safe” keywords, after the company recently found that ad blocklists have included such terms as “Black Lives Matter,” “George Floyd,” “protest” and — in one case — “Black people.” Marsha Cooke, Vice Media Group’s SVP of impact, outlined the problem, which she called “the brand-safety paradox,” at the company’s virtual Digital Content NewFronts. While such strategies are designed to keep advertisers away from controversial topics, the result is that their marketing messages end up against content that is “pretty far removed from the national conversation,” Cooke said.

In a recent internal analysis, Vice Media Group discovered that content related to the death of George Floyd and resulting protests was monetized at a rate 57% lower than other news content. That, according to Cooke, is the result of brands and agencies specifically blocking their ads from being next to “quality journalism” about these issues. “In some cases, campaigns outright canceled because of the unrest,” she said. In one instance, an ad agency “representing a large entertainment corporation” sent Vice a blocklist that included “Black people” and “Black Lives Matter,” according to Cooke. She didn’t identify the company but said “it was sent the very same week that the corporation issued a statement in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.”

Bill Chappell

Seattle police started to dismantle the Capitol Hill Organized Protest zone early Wednesday morning, after Mayor Jenny Durkan issued an emergency order declaring the blocks-long area an "unlawful assembly" that requires immediate action. Durkan's order calls for clearing barricades out of the streets near Cal Anderson Park and the police department's East Precinct — two main landmarks of the zone that is widely known by its acronym, CHOP. As of 9:25 a.m. local time, officers had "made a total of 31 arrests for failure to disperse, obstruction, assault, and unlawful weapon possession," the Seattle Police Department said via Twitter. Officers who made their way into the area this morning announced that protesters could leave the zone through a "safe exit" to the south, the department said. As of Wednesday, the Cal Anderson Park area is now closed. The mayor ordered city agencies to remove tents used by people who have been camping in the park, saying police should order protesters to leave. "I can see people wearing florescent vests with 'SDOT' on them putting tents and stuff from the side of the road into bags," said reporter Anna Boiko-Weyrauch, reporting from the scene for member station KUOW. "There are large clusters of police on every side, on the perimeter of the CHOP, some with bicycles, very heavily outfitted, some have coffee at this point in the morning."

The two men held up their arms in surrender, but were beaten by officers, the district attorney said. One of the men suffered a fractured eye socket, the other a broken nose.
By Ben Kesslen

Eight police officers in Louisiana were indicted on charges of excessive force for allegedly beating two men who had raised their arms in surrender when pulled over for seatbelt violations. Caddo Parish District Attorney James Stewart announced Tuesday that each of the officers in Shreveport has been charged with one count of malfeasance in office in connection to the arrest in January. The Jan. 24 incident began when an officer attempted to pull over driver Chico Bell and his passenger, Damon Robinson, for seatbelt violations as the two men were leaving a private home. The men didn't stop the vehicle, and a pursuit began, with video from a police car "showing that Bell threw several unknown objects from the window of his Chevrolet truck during the chase,” the district attorney wrote in a press release.

By Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN

(CNN) A White hotel employee called the police on a guest, a Black woman and her children, who were using the hotel's swimming pool over the weekend. Missy Williams-Wright, her son, 11, and daughter, 7, were staying at the Hampton Inn in Williamston, North Carolina, when a hotel employee called the police to report a trespassing, Williamston Police said in a statement on Monday. Williams-Wright tells CNN she was in town from Raleigh on business, and that she believes she was racially discriminated against because of the color of her skin. "Hilton has zero tolerance for racism or discrimination of any kind," a company spokesperson told CNN on Tuesday. "Through our extensive Diversity & Inclusion training program, we have made diversity and unconscious bias training mandatory for Team Members at all properties and corporate offices globally."

One of the most powerful local police agencies in the US has a history of abuse. Families of those killed by LASD want systematic change
Sam Levin in Los Angeles

One of America’s most powerful local law enforcement agencies is facing a reckoning after decades of reports of violence and corruption. The Los Angeles sheriff’s department (LASD) is the largest county police agency in the US, with 9,000 officers who patrol nearly 200 different southern California cities and towns in a region bigger than most states. It controls a $3.3bn budget and runs the world’s largest jail system. LASD’s history of abuse and scandal is as overwhelming as its size. Two weeks ago, amid national protests over the killings of George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks, LASD killed 18-year-old Andres Guardado at his security job at an autobody shop, allegedly shooting him in the back as he fled. The department also faces questions over its handling of the death of Robert Fuller, a 24-year-old Black man found hanging on a tree.

Trump had endorsed the losing candidate in the contest but tweeted congrats to the victor.
By Associated Press

DENVER — Five-term Rep. Scott Tipton was upset in Tuesday's Colorado Republican Party primary by Lauren Boebert, a pistol-packing businesswoman, ardent defender of gun rights and border wall supporter who wants to abolish the Department of Education. Boebert won after a campaign in which she accused Tipton of not being sufficiently pro-Donald Trump even though the president had endorsed Tipton, and even though Tipton is the Trump campaign's co-chair for Colorado. Trump congratulated Boebert on Twitter, saying, "Congratulations on a really great win." She will run in November's general election against Diane Mitsch Bush, a former state lawmaker who won the Democratic nomination on Tuesday by defeating businessman James Iacino. Tipton defeated Mitsch Bush in the 2018 election to represent the 3rd Congressional District, which encompasses a swath of southern and western Colorado.

Gregory Scruggs

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Seattle crews on Tuesday used heavy machinery to remove some barricades around the city’s “autonomous zone”, as die-hard anti-racism demonstrators camped out for a fourth week despite legal and political pressure to end their protest. Following four nights of gun violence in the last 10 days that left two black teenagers dead and two more people hospitalized, the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest (CHOP) outside an abandoned police precinct has diminished in size and scope. Medic stations, a mobile health care clinic, and multiple free food tents in a police-free zone set up in the wake of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis police custody have dwindled to a single free kitchen. The crowds that came by the thousands to listen to speeches about police brutality and marvel at street art commemorating black lives, have disappeared.

Joe Sommerlad

Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden says self-proclaimed “wartime president” Donald Trump “has surrendered, waved the white flag and left the battlefield” when it comes to tackling the coronavirus and standing up to Russia and “does not know what’s going on” in a blistering new campaign speech. With the US passing 2.6m cases of Covid-19 and 126,000 deaths, the administration has bought up almost all global supplies of the drug remdesivir, one of only two treatments proven to assist in the fight against the condition. The president’s top infectious diseases expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, told Congress on Tuesday that the country could find itself facing 100,000 infections a day if tighter shutdown measures are not taken to tackle its renewed spread.

Joe Hernandez

When President Trump tweeted Sunday night about alleged fraud in a May special election in New Jersey, he tried to wrap it into his ongoing effort to claim voting by mail is less secure than in-person voting. "Absentee Ballots are fine. A person has to go through a process to get and use them. Mail-In Voting, on the other hand, will lead to the most corrupt Election is USA history. Bad things happen with Mail-Ins," he tweeted. "Just look at Special Election in Patterson, N.J. 19% of Ballots a FRAUD!" But election law experts say that Trump's spotlight on the case also shows both how rare these kinds of cases are and the safeguards in place to protect the integrity of ballots. "I had been predicting that the Paterson scandal was going to get to the president's attention, because he's been making so many unsupported claims about voter fraud that when there is an actual case involving election crime and absentee ballots, it's not surprising that he's making some hay out of it," said Rick Hasen, an election law professor at the University of California Irvine School of Law.

David Lawder, Dave Graham, David Ljunggren

WASHINGTON/MEXICO CITY/OTTAWA (Reuters) - The revamped trade pact between the United States, Canada and Mexico taking effect on Wednesday was meant to create a kind of fortress North America, boosting the region’s competitiveness - but cracks are already starting to show in the foundation. As the deal kicks in, the Trump administration is threatening Canada with new aluminum tariffs, and a prominent Mexican labor activist has been jailed, underscoring concerns about crucial labor reforms in the replacement for the 26-year-old North American Free Trade Agreement. The risk of disputes among the three trading partners is growing, analysts say. The U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement includes tighter North American content rules for autos, new protections for intellectual property, prohibitions against currency manipulation and new rules on digital commerce that did not exist when NAFTA launched in 1994, an agreement U.S. President Donald Trump has lambasted as the “worst trade deal ever made.”

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