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US Monthly Headline News June 2020 Page 1

The president prepares to hold a rally in a city where, in 1921, up to 300 people were murdered in one of the most horrific acts of racist violence in US history
By Oliver Laughland in Tulsa, Oklahoma - The Guardian

The president prepares to hold a rally in a city where, in 1921, up to 300 people were murdered in one of the most horrific acts of racist violence in US history Brenda Alford stood at the spot where her grandfather’s business was burned to the ground. It was 99 years ago, on 31 May 1921, when a horde of white people in the city of Tulsa, Oklahoma raided the prospering black neighbourhood of Greenwood, firing indiscriminately on hundreds of black civilians and torching the businesses, homes, hotels, churches and cinemas in what was then known as “Black Wall Street”. It was an episode of white supremacist terror that has haunted this city ever since. “I do not feel anger,” Alford said, her feet inches from a black plaque, embedded in the concrete to mark the place where her grandfather’s shoe store “Nails Brothers Shoes” once stood. Now there is just an empty lot that sits in front of a highway. “Because of the positivity they [my grandparents] instilled in us growing up… they had every reason to be angry, to raise us to be negative people. But they didn’t.”

Reuters

Kathryn Wheelbarger, one of the Pentagon’s most prominent and respected policy officials, is resigning after three years in the job after President Donald Trump dropped plans to nominate her for an intelligence post, sources tell Reuters. The Pentagon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Wheelbarger, who is highly regarded by national security experts in Trump’s Republican Party and among Democrats, had been named by the White House on Feb. 13 to a senior intelligence position at the Department of Defense. But in a surprise move last week, the White House instead announced plans to nominate Bradley Hansell, a former special assistant to Trump, to the position of deputy under secretary of defense for intelligence. In her resignation letter, which was seen by Reuters, Wheelbarger said she trusted her colleagues would “continue to be guided by the U.S. Constitution and the principles of our founding, which ensure both our security and our freedom.”

On the eve of Juneteenth, educators said the history of systemic racism in this country and the contributions of Black people have been erased.
By Daniella Silva

A Connecticut fourth grade social studies textbook falsely claimed that slaves were treated just like “family.” A Texas geography textbook referred to enslaved Africans as “workers.” In Alabama, up until the 1970s, fourth graders learned in a textbook called "Know Alabama" that slave life on a plantation was "one of the happiest ways of life." In contrast, historians and educators point out, many children in the U.S. education system are not taught about major Black historical events, such as the Tulsa Race Massacre or Juneteenth, the June 19 commemoration of the end of slavery in the United States. As the country grapples with a racial reckoning following the killing of George Floyd in police custody, educators said that what has and what has not been taught in school have been part of erasing the history of systemic racism in America and the contributions of Black people and other minority groups. “There’s a long legacy of institutional racism that is barely covered in the mainstream corporate curriculum,” said Jesse Hagopian, an ethnic studies teacher in Seattle and co-editor of the book “Teaching for Black Lives.”

While the Emancipation Proclamation freed some slaves in the South in 1863, it wasn’t enforced in many places until after the end of the Civil War two years later.
By Associated Press

Juneteenth commemorates when some enslaved African Americans learned they were free 155 years ago. Now, with support growing for the racial justice movement, 2020 may be remembered as the year the holiday reached a new level of recognition. While the Emancipation Proclamation freed slaves in the South in 1863, it wasn’t enforced in many places until after the end of the Civil War two years later. Confederate soldiers surrendered in April 1865, but word didn’t reach all enslaved black people until June 19, when Union soldiers brought the news of freedom to Galveston, Texas. Celebrations have typically included parades, barbecues, concerts and readings of the Emancipation Proclamation. But after massive demonstrations over George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police, there has been a seismic shift to further elevate black voices. That desire is being felt as states and cities move to make Juneteenth an official paid holiday.

By - AFP

A video purported to show gunfire exchange on a street has been viewed tens of thousands of times on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Weibo in June 2020 alongside a claim that it was taken in the US, where widespread protests against police brutality and racism continue. The claim is false; the video has circulated online since at least January 2020 - months before the protests erupted in late May - and actually shows a scene from The Tomorrow War, a US movie expected to be released in 2021. The video was published here on Twitter on June 3 and has been viewed more than 500 times since. The 16-second video shows shots fired from behind an overturned vehicle and another one parked nearby.

By Lateshia Beachum

The half brother of Robert Fuller, a young black man found hanging from a tree near a Southern California city hall, was killed by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies in a shootout Wednesday, officials say. According to a statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Terron Jammal Boone matched the description of a suspect in a kidnapping and domestic assault. Department detectives followed Boone in an attempt to make a traffic stop once they identified him, the statement said. When the vehicle stopped, Boone opened the front passenger door and fired multiple shots at officers with a handgun, according to the department. An officer on the scene responded by shooting Boone several times in the upper torso, killing him, officials say.

The people of Vidor have long complained that their reputation is outdated. Could a march for racial justice change people’s minds?
Richard Hall reports

The town of Vidor, in east Texas, has a reputation. It’s the kind of reputation that causes its residents to pause when someone asks where they’re from. For years it was known as a sundown town – a place where non-whites were threatened with violence if they stayed after dark, and where they were barred from living through intimidation and discriminatory practices. It has a long history of Ku Klux Klan activity, and was once described by a local magazine as “Texas’ most hate-filled town”. So when a notice appeared on social media earlier this month announcing a march would be held there in support of the Black Lives Matter protests, many believed it was a trap. “Do. Not. Step. Your. Black. Asses. Into. Vidor,” is how one black woman responded to a flyer posted on Twitter. Even the person who organised the march, 25-year-old Yalakesen Baaheth, was aware of how improbable it sounded. “There were a lot of conspiracy theories going around and I was like, yeah, you know what, this does look kind of suspicious,” she says, sipping on an orange juice in a Waffle House in Vidor.

By Peter Baker | The New York Times

John Bolton, the former national security adviser, says in his new book that the House in its impeachment inquiry should have investigated President Donald Trump not just for pressuring Ukraine to incriminate his domestic foes but for a variety of instances when he sought to intervene in law enforcement matters for political reasons. Bolton describes several episodes where the president expressed willingness to halt criminal investigations “to, in effect, give personal favors to dictators he liked,” citing cases involving major firms in China and Turkey. “The pattern looked like obstruction of justice as a way of life, which we couldn’t accept,” Bolton writes, adding that he reported his concerns to Attorney General William Barr. Bolton also adds a striking new allegation by saying that Trump overtly linked trade negotiations to his own political fortunes by asking President Xi Jinping of China to buy a lot of American agricultural products to help him win farm states in this year’s election. Trump, he writes, was “pleading with Xi to ensure he’d win. He stressed the importance of farmers, and increased Chinese purchases of soybeans and wheat in the electoral outcome.”

KTLA 5

The half-brother of a man found hanged from a tree in Palmdale last week, prompting outrage and investigations into what investigators initially labeled an apparent suicide, was killed during a gunfight with Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department deputies in Rosamond on Wednesday, family members said. Steve Kuzj reports from the KTLA 5 Morning News on June 18, 2020.

By Michelle Ye Hee Lee

The top donor supporting President Trump’s reelection and GOP congressional lawmakers is a reclusive heir to the wealthy Mellon family fortune who used racial stereotypes to describe African Americans in a self-published autobiography. Timothy Mellon, the 77-year-old founder of a rail and freight company, who poured $30 million into three GOP super PACs in five months, wrote that black people were “even more belligerent” after the expansion of social programs in the 1960s and 1970s and that Americans who rely on government assistance were “slaves of a new Master, Uncle Sam.” In a self-published 2015 autobiography, Mellon called social safety net programs “Slavery Redux,” adding: “For delivering their votes in the Federal Elections, they are awarded with yet more and more freebies: food stamps, cell phones, WIC payments, Obamacare, and on, and on, and on. The largess is funded by the hardworking folks, fewer and fewer in number, who are too honest or too proud to allow themselves to sink into this morass.”

By Jordan Culver - USA TODAY

When Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard Jr. said Atlanta police officer Devin Brosnan would be a witness against Garrett Rolfe – the former officer charged with felony murder in the shooting death of Rayshard Brooks – he added he was “shocked.” Legal experts who spoke with USA TODAY on Wednesday were shocked, too. It’s rare enough for an officer to be charged, one said. It’s rarer still for an officer to break through "the blue wall of silence” and testify, another said. The revelation didn’t stick, however, as Brosnan’s lawyers quickly refuted Howard’s claim. Brosnan, who is facing three lesser charges, would cooperate with investigators, but “there is no agreement between Mr. Brosnan and the DA’s office for Mr. Brosnan to be a ‘state’s witness,’” attorney Amanda R. Clark Palmer told USA TODAY in an email.  

By Isaac Stanley-Becker

In its online salvo against antifa and “far-left mobs,” President Trump’s reelection campaign is displaying a marking the Nazis once used to designate political prisoners in concentration camps. A red inverted triangle was first used in the 1930s to identify Communists, and was applied as well to Social Democrats, liberals, Freemasons and other members of opposition parties. The badge forced on Jewish political prisoners, by contrast, featured a red inverted triangle superimposed on a yellow triangle. The symbol appeared in Facebook ads run by Trump and Vice President Pence, as well as the “Team Trump” account on Facebook. It was featured alongside text warning of “Dangerous MOBS of far-left groups” and asking users to sign a petition about antifa, a loose collection of anti-fascist activists whom the Trump administration has sought to link to recent violence, despite arrest records that show their involvement is trivial.

Feds built huge stockpile before FDA withdrew emergency authorization
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

(Newser) – The US now has more hydroxychloroquine than it knows what to do with following a series of studies that concluded the drug is an ineffective and potentially dangerous treatment for COVID-19. The federal government, which started stockpiling the drug in March, now has 63 million surplus doses of the drug, donated by companies including Novartis, and another 2 million doses of chloroquine, the New York Times reports. Some 31 million doses from the Strategic National Stockpile were distributed before the FDA withdrew its emergency authorization of the drug to treat the coronavirus. President Trump championed the drug for months, hailing it as a possible "game-changer" and announcing that he was taking it himself.

Facebook posts falsely claim an elderly activist faked an injury after being shoved by police during a protest. By - AFP    

Facebook posts claim an elderly activist faked being injured after he was shoved by police in New York state during a protest over George Floyd's death. This is false; the man was hospitalized, a prosecutor said he was treated for a head injury and bleeding from his ear, and his lawyer dismissed the idea as "ridiculous." "The whole thing was staged. Dude was a known activist that kept coming at police to get them to react, then when they finally pushed him, he faked his injury," says a June 6, 2020 Facebook post that includes an image allegedly showing tubing used for the fake blood.

By Jeremy Pelzer, cleveland.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio—Gov. Mike DeWine on Wednesday laid out a wide number of proposed law-enforcement reforms, including licensing police officers, bolstering training hours and requirements, and mandating outside investigations for officers involved in deaths or causing serious physical harm. During a briefing with Attorney General Dave Yost, DeWine asked lawmakers to pass the reforms, which come in the wake of protests in Ohio and around the country in response to the death of George Floyd, a black Minneapolis resident who was killed by a police officer last month.

Research suggests black people want a systemic overhaul on crime reduction and inequality.
By Aaron Ross Coleman

In the debate over the “defund the police” movement, both Democrats and Republicans have pointed to attitudes in black communities about policing to support their opposition to the idea. However, when it comes to policing and crime, black attitudes elude simple explanations. In polling, black people often express disgust at police racism yet support more funding for police. A 2015 Gallup poll found that black adults who believed police treated black people unfairly were also more likely to desire a larger police presence in their local area than those who thought police treated black people fairly. A 2019 Vox poll found that despite being the racial group with the most unfavorable view of the police, most black people still supported hiring more police officers. And more recently, a June 2020 Yahoo News/YouGov survey taken after the killing of George Floyd found that 50 percent of black respondents still said that “we need more cops on the street,” even as 49 percent of black respondents said when they personally see a police officer it makes them feel “less secure.”

By Perry Vandell - Arizona Republic

PHOENIX – In May, Sheriff Mark Lamb of Pinal County, Arizona, made waves when he said he wouldn't enforce Gov. Doug Ducey's stay-at-home order, in part, because he thought it was unconstitutional. “The numbers don’t justify the actions anymore,” he said in early May. “Three hundred deaths is not a significant enough number to continue to ruin the economy.” On Wednesday afternoon, Lamb then announced that he had tested positive for COVID-19.

By J. Edward Moreno

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S., Americans have skipped payments on 100 million student loans, auto loans and other forms of debt, according to The Wall Street Journal. The number of people who deferred payments or enrolled in forbearance or some other type of relief since March 1 rose to 106 million at the end of May, which is three times higher than it was at the end of April, the Journal reported.  Within student loans, 79 million accounts are in deferment or other relief status, up from 18 million a month earlier. Auto loans in some type of deferment doubled to 7.3 million accounts, and personal loans in deferment doubled to 1.3 million accounts.

By Matthew Wright For Dailymail.com

Republican representative Matt Gaetz launched into a tirade at a House Judiciary Committee after a black congressman from Louisiana accused the Republicans of 'concious bias' in their policing act. The Florida politician had the tense exchange with Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) while the Democrat offered comments about the Justice in Policing Act. Richmond was speaking to his frustration with Republican efforts to include language in the legislation geared towards Antifa. 'By the time I am finished you will be clear that we are not good friends,' Richmond said before explaining that he had experienced police brutality and feared for his son. 'To my colleagues, especially the ones who keep introducing amendments that are a tangent and a distraction to what we are talking about, you all are white males, you have never lived in my shoes and you do not know what it is like to be an African American male,' Richmond declared. The Democrat shared that he was fine with voting on the bill in its present state but really stressed that he did not have time for the partisan politics. He said: 'Please don't come in this committee room and make a mockery of the pain that exists in my community.' Richmond mentioned that during various voting rights bills of the 60s, politicians struck the bills down in their votes because of 'side issues.'

By John Bowden

A group of property owners along Richmond's Monument Ave. have filed a new lawsuit seeking to block the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue located in the center of the city's traffic circle. The Associated Press reported Wednesday that the lawsuit came in response to Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring's (D) decision to move their previous lawsuit to federal court, resulting in the plaintiffs dropping that suit and refiling a similar lawsuit in state court. The property owners are seeking to block a decision by Gov. Ralph Northam (D) to remove the statue, arguing that he does not have the authority to do so and that arbitrarily removing the monument would devalue property along the avenue. - Protecting the monuments of traitor’s means in some way you support what the people who committed treason against America did. We should not honor traitors; honoring traitors gives the impression that you can commit treason against America and be honored. We should not honor the traitors who fought against our country that dishonors all the great Americans who have fought and died for our country.

By Rebecca Klar

A New Mexico prosecutor on Wednesday dropped a shooting charge against a man suspected of shooting a protester in New Mexico, stressing the need for further investigation after “rumors on social media” emerged about the incident. Bernalillo County District Attorney Raúl Torrez dropped an initial aggravated battery with a deadly weapon charge against Steven Baca, a 31-year-old former City Council candidate, after online images emerged showing the protester Scott Williams, 39, holding what is rumored to be a knife before he was allegedly shot by Baca, Reuters reported. “There have been rumors on social media about what transpired in the final seconds before this and we are actively looking into those and whether or not this was justified,” Torrez told an online press briefing, according to the newswire. “The reason he is not facing that charge right now is because this investigation is not complete.” During the protest, Williams was reportedly attempting to topple a statue of a Spanish conquistador. Torrez said he had serious concerns an initial police investigation into the shooting did not identify who owned the multiple weapons – including knives – collected at the scene, nor interviews by key bystanders and police, according to Reuters. The district attorney reportedly said he expected Baca to claim self defense in the case.

By Coral Murphy - USA TODAY

As Juneteenth approaches, some Americans are commemorating the day by flexing the power of the dollar. On June 19, advocates of Black Lives Matter plan to support the namesake civil rights movement by not spending money with companies that aren't aligned with the movement  or have remained silent. Some efforts include boycotting celebrities and politicians who've been vocal in opposition to the movement. Juneteenth, an elision of June 19th, commemorates when news of the American emancipation of enslaved people reached the deepest parts of the former Confederacy in Galveston, Texas. In the midst of protests after the death of George Floyd, whose neck was pinned under a police officer's knee for more than eight minutes, Juneteenth has garnered much attention as a cross-section of businesses scrambled to embrace it this year as a company holiday or time to commemorate. One Facebook event titled Boycott for Black Lives will feature a list of public figures and organizations people can boycott.

Oakland’s mayor says five ropes found hanging from trees in a city park are nooses and racially-charged symbols of terror but a resident says he put them up simply for exercse
By The Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Oakland’s mayor said five ropes found hanging from trees in a city park are nooses and racially-charged symbols of terror but a resident said they are merely exercise equipment that he put up there months ago. Mayor Libby Schaaf said Wedesday that a hate crime investigation was under way after a social media post identified a noose at the city’s popular Lake Merritt. Police said they searched the area on Tuesday and found five ropes attached to trees. The Police Department provided five photographs of trees, some of which showed knotted ropes and one that appeared to have a piece of plastic pipe attached to a rope, hanging from tree limbs. They have been removed by city officials. Victor Sengbe, who is black, told KGO-TV that the ropes were part of a rigging that he and his friends used as part of a larger swing system. He also shared video of the swing in use. “Out of the dozen and hundreds and thousands of people that walked by, no one has thought that it looked anywhere close to a noose. Folks have used it for exercise. It was really a fun addition to the park that we tried to create,” Sengbe said.

The presidency of Donald Trump has already generated a long reading list, but the latest offering from former National Security Adviser John Bolton has attracted more attention than most, given the author's high-ranking status and the nature of his claims.
BBC

His work - The Room Where It Happened - portrays a president ignorant of basic geopolitical facts and whose decisions were frequently driven by a desire for re-election. Critics of Mr Trump have asked why Mr Bolton did not speak up during impeachment hearings, while the president himself has called his former top adviser on security matters "incompetent" and a "boring old fool". The White House is trying to stop the book's release, but US media have obtained advance copies and have started publishing details from it. Here are some of the most eye-catching allegations.

1. Trump wanted help from China to win re-election...
In the book, Mr Bolton describes a meeting between President Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at a G20 meeting in Japan last year. The US president "stunningly, turned the conversation to the coming US presidential election [in 2020], alluding to China's economic capability and pleading with Xi to ensure he'd win," Mr Bolton writes.

In an ABC interview, Bolton says Trump was singularly focused on reelection.
By Conor Finnegan

President Donald Trump is not "fit for office" and doesn't have "the competence to carry out the job," his former national security adviser John Bolton told ABC News in an exclusive interview. In an explosive new book about his 17 months at the White House, Bolton characterizes Trump as "stunningly uninformed," ignorant of basic facts and easily manipulated by foreign adversaries. But his assessment that Trump is not "fit" to be president is among the most stunning indictments of a sitting president by one of their own top advisers in American history.  "There really isn't any guiding principle that I was able to discern other than what's good for Donald Trump's reelection," Bolton told ABC News chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz. "He was so focused on the reelection that longer-term considerations fell by the wayside," he added.

Chief Justice John Roberts wrote the majority opinion.
By Devin Dwyer

The Supreme Court issued an opinion Thursday on President Donald Trump's 2017 decision to cancel Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. The majority opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, overturns Trump's decision to end the program on the basis given at the time.

By Rem Rieder

During a visit to Iowa, Vice President Mike Pence made several false claims about President Donald Trump’s handling of the novel coronavirus pandemic. In remarks to employees of Winnebago Industries in Forest City, Iowa, June 16, Pence said Trump “shut down all travel from China.” The president did impose travel restrictions on China but did not shut down all travel. Pence also said that Trump took the action before there had been a single case of the disease in this country. That also is not accurate. And finally, Pence said that Trump’s action gave the United States time to set up its response to the pandemic. But some disease experts say the Trump administration did not use that time effectively. There have been more than 2.1 million cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, in the United States and more than 116,000 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The novel coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan, China, late last year. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar announced the China travel restrictions on Jan. 31. The restrictions, which went into effect Feb. 2, prohibited non-U.S. citizens who had traveled to China within the previous two weeks from entering the U.S. But the new rules didn’t apply to U.S. citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family members.

By Katie Shepherd

Hours after the Fulton County district attorney announced felony murder and other charges against the former Atlanta police officer who fatally shot Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old black man, in the back, a number of Atlanta police officers called in sick just before a shift change Wednesday evening. The city was left scrambling to cover absences as the Atlanta Police Department tried to tamp down rumors of a mass police walkout that spread widely on social media. It’s unclear how many officers declined to show up for their Wednesday night shift. The police department declined to answer specific questions about the no-shows and the mayor did not release specific numbers when she spoke to reporters late Wednesday. “We do have enough officers to cover us through the night,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) told CNN. “Our streets won’t be any less safe because of the number of officers who called out.”

ABC News

The former national security adviser speaks to ABC News chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz about Trump’s relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

CNN

Former national security adviser John Bolton claims President Donald Trump asked his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to help him win the 2020 US presidential election, according to an excerpt from his upcoming book published by the Wall Street Journal. That encounter, according to Bolton, took place during a June 2019 meeting between the two leaders in Osaka, Japan, where "Xi told Trump that the U.S.-China relationship was the most important in the world" and said that "some (unnamed) American political figures were making erroneous judgments by calling for a new cold war with China."

By Dan Horn - Cincinnati Enquirer

BETHEL, Ohio – Donna Henson sat on her front porch this weekend, as she always does when the weather is nice, and watched dozens of her neighbors walk by with bats in their hands or guns strapped to their sides. They were married couples, friends and relatives, young people and old. All heading up Union Street, toward the center of town. Henson, 78, figured they’d heard the same rumors she had, the ones about busloads of people coming to her town to join small Black Lives Matter protests on Sunday and Monday in Bethel, Ohio. Word was hundreds could be arriving from Cincinnati or Columbus or Detroit. Henson was afraid, and she guessed her neighbors were, too. If they didn’t do something, if they didn’t show up armed and ready, the protests and unrest they’d seen on TV for weeks on far off American streets could come here, to Bethel, a village of 2,800.

By Avie Schneider

The Justice Department is proposing legislation to curtail online platforms' legal protections for the content they carry. The proposal comes nearly three weeks after President Trump signed an executive order to limit protections for social media companies after Twitter began adding fact checks to some of his tweets. "These reforms are targeted at platforms to make certain they are appropriately addressing illegal and exploitive content while continuing to preserve a vibrant, open, and competitive internet," Attorney General William Barr said in a statement Wednesday. "When it comes to issues of public safety, the government is the one who must act on behalf of society at large," he said. "Law enforcement cannot delegate our obligations to protect the safety of the American people purely to the judgment of profit-seeking private firms." In signing the executive order on May 28, Trump said, the tech companies have "unchecked power to censor, restrict, edit, shape, hide, alter" a large sphere of human interaction. Trump has called for revoking Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, a law passed by Congress in 1996 that says online platforms are not legally responsible for what users post. The Justice Department said its proposal would "update the outdated immunity for online platforms" under Section 230.

By George Chidi

Atlanta, GA —  The head of Atlanta’s police union confirmed Wednesday that officers from the Atlanta Police Department in Zones 3 and 6 walked off the job Wednesday afternoon. Vince Champion, southeast regional director of the International Brotherhood of Police officers, said that police officers had stopped answering calls midshift, in response to charges against Officer Garrett Rolfe who is accused of murdering Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta. “The union, we would never advocate this. We wouldn’t advocate a blue flu,” Champion said. “We don’t know the numbers. Apparently we’re learning that command staff are asking outlying counties for support and aren’t getting it.” Decaturish has calls out to public affairs officers in Gwinnett, DeKalb and Cobb counties for confirmation. A spokesperson for APD called reports of a walkout “inaccurate.” “Earlier suggestions that multiple officers from each zone had walked off the job were inaccurate,” the spokesperson said. “However, the department is experiencing a higher than usual number of call-outs with the incoming shift. We have enough resources to maintain operations and remain able to respond to incidents throughout the city.” Zones 3 and 6 cover south Atlanta, where Rolfe killed Rayshard Brooks after a June 12 DUI arrest turned into an altercation. Rolfe fired three bullets at Brooks as he fled with a taser in hand. Video of the shooting suggests Brooks pointed the taser at officers as he fled.

By Sean Boynton Global News

For at least the fourth time in less than a month, a Black person has been found dead by hanging in the United States, which authorities have once again ruled as a suspected suicide. The teenager’s death comes shortly after three other men were found dead by hangings that were also initially ruled suicides, which has drawn suspicion from activists amid the ongoing wave of anti-racism demonstrations. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that the victim was found dead in the parking lot of Ehrhardt Elementary School in Spring, Texas, which lies just north of Houston. “Based on security video, witnesses and other evidence, preliminary indications are the male hanged himself,” the sheriff’s office said on Twitter. “There are currently no signs of foul play,” it added. An official cause of death has yet to be determined, pending an autopsy.

By Jorge L. Ortiz, Jordan Culver - USA TODAY

Former Atlanta police officer Garrett Rolfe was charged Wednesday with 11 counts, including felony murder and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, in the killing of Rayshard Brooks, the latest in a string of Black people dying after altercations with police. If convicted, Rolfe is facing the possibility of the death penalty or life in prison. Arrest warrants have been issued for Rolfe and fellow officer Devin Brosnan, who was also at the scene and is facing three lesser charges. “We’ve concluded at the time that Mr. Brooks was shot that he did not pose an immediate threat of death,” Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said. Howard also said that rather than provide timely medical attention to Brooks after the shooting, as required by city policy, Rolfe kicked Brooks as he lay on the ground and Brosnan stood on the dying man's shoulder.

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

(CNN) There's a common motivation in the White House's attempt to suppress John Bolton's book and its state of denial over alarming new trends in the coronavirus pandemic: President Donald Trump doesn't want Americans to see information that could harm him or the narrative he has constructed. The former national security adviser's behind-the-scenes account is expected to portray Trump, who was impeached over an apparent abuse of power in Ukraine and clashed with Bolton over a number of foreign policy issues, in an extremely poor light. And increasing signs that the pandemic is becoming more virulent in states that heeded the President's calls to open the economy -- like Florida, Arizona, South Carolina and Texas -- contradict his claim that the US has prevailed and it's safe to go back to normal. "They just don't want to deal with the reality of it. They're in denial," an official familiar with the work of the White House's coronavirus task force told CNN's Jim Acosta. Both dramas have the potential to further dent the President's reelection campaign, as polls show him behind presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Bolton is likely to undercut Trump's chosen image as a strong, dominant global leader and could unleash more Ukraine-style controversies over his behavior in office. A surge in coronavirus cases is meanwhile tarnishing the President's narrative of the "Great American Comeback" and the economic openings that may be key to his hopes of a second term.

While Georgia state officials blamed local poll workers, voting rights advocates saw a continued pattern of voter suppression. It is a pattern Republicans seem determined to reproduce.
By The Rev. Dr. William Barber and Tom Steyer

Last week, as historic protests for racial justice grabbed the nation's attention, voters in some of Georgia's predominantly Black and poor precincts reported chaos, long lines and faulty machines at their polling places. While state officials blamed local poll workers, voting rights advocates saw a continued pattern of voter suppression by Republican Gov. Brian Kemp. It is a pattern Republicans seem determined to reproduce. After Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that California will mail absentee ballots to all registered voters this fall as a means of guaranteeing the right to vote during the coronavirus pandemic, the Republican National Committee sued, claiming that California's effort to protect voting rights opened the door to widespread fraud. Next week, voters head to the polls again, including in New York and Kentucky. The fight continues. Though voter suppression has been a quiet tool of Republican administrations for decades, opposition to an expansion of the franchise has become a clear talking point for the Republican Party in 2020. This assault on the franchise is an attack on the very idea of American democracy and its promise of equality for all.

Analysis by Stephen Collinson, CNN

(CNN) There's a common motivation in the White House's attempt to suppress John Bolton's book and its state of denial over alarming new trends in the coronavirus pandemic: President Donald Trump doesn't want Americans to see information that could harm him or the narrative he has constructed. The former national security adviser's behind-the-scenes account is expected to portray Trump, who was impeached over an apparent abuse of power in Ukraine and clashed with Bolton over a number of foreign policy issues, in an extremely poor light. And increasing signs that the pandemic is becoming more virulent in states that heeded the President's calls to open the economy -- like Florida, Arizona, South Carolina and Texas -- contradict his claim that the US has prevailed and it's safe to go back to normal. "They just don't want to deal with the reality of it. They're in denial," an official familiar with the work of the White House's coronavirus task force told CNN's Jim Acosta.

Some of the president’s opponents fear that he’ll refuse to leave the White House if he loses the election. Here’s why.
By Peter Nicholas

Say Joe Biden wins the presidential election in November. On the morning of January 20, Donald Trump will enter the Oval Office and leave a handwritten letter to Biden on the Resolute desk. Later, Trump and his wife, Melania, will stand in the White House’s North Portico to await a visit from the president-elect and his wife, Jill. After the armored limousine glides up the driveway, the couples will exchange pleasantries and maybe gifts before heading inside for coffee. Trump’s pictures would already have been slipped from oversize frames that, for the moment, hang empty on the walls. Workers will pull down drapes and roll up carpets that don’t suit the incoming family’s aesthetic. Sometime before noon, the couples will leave the White House in separate cars and meet again on the Capitol’s west portico. Trump will be in the front row, watching as Biden places his hand on the Bible and takes the oath of office. Back at the White House, Trump’s senior aides will pack up and leave. After the ceremony, the 45th and 46th presidents will walk side by side to a waiting helicopter on the Capitol plaza for a final goodbye. Trump will salute, board, and fly away.

Or maybe not. Every four or eight years, the clock hits noon on January 20 and the nation learns whether the old president accepts the legitimacy of the new. “The current presidential term ends at noon on January 20. Full stop,” Joshua Geltzer, a Georgetown Law professor, told me. If Biden wins, that’s the precise moment when his term would start. It’s democracy’s most dangerous instant: the interval when power changes hands, testing whether the nation stays moored to self-governance. That tradition’s endurance depends on Trump’s cooperation—or the resiliency of the country’s democratic institutions should he withhold it. There’s no assurance that Trump will accept the validity of the election results. He’s already described mail-in voting as a plot to steal the election. And he’s trolled critics with the tongue-in-cheek suggestion that, by popular demand, he might stay in office beyond the Constitution’s eight-year limit.

CBS News

One day after Oklahoma State running back Chuba Hubbard lashed out at coach Mike Gundy on social media for wearing a T-shirt promoting a far-right news channel, Gundy apologized. Hubbard, who is black, suggested Monday he may boycott the program after Gundy was photographed wearing a T-shirt promoting the One America News Network, a cable channel and website that has been critical of the Black Lives Matter movement and praised by President Donald Trump. On Monday evening, Hubbard and Gundy appeared in a video together, with Gundy saying he would make changes.  But Hubbard said despite that video, "It's not over," reports CBSSports.com. " … Don't get it twisted. Foots still on the gas. Results are coming."  

Louis Baudoin-Laarman, AFP USA

Facebook posts show a photo of an injured woman alongside the claim that she was kidnapped and beaten by George Floyd and several accomplices. This is false; the image shows an American student who posted online about being sexually assaulted in Spain. “Let’s make the real George Floyed famous,” one Facebook user wrote in a June 11, 2020 post featuring a photo of a young woman whose face is covered in bruises and blood. The post claims that the woman’s name is Aracely Henriquez, and that she was attacked by Floyd and five accomplices who were looking for drugs and money in her home.

Fact check: A look at the false claim that the previous administration was nowhere on an issue roiling the nation then and now.
By Jane C. Timm

President Donald Trump claimed Tuesday that his predecessor did not take action on reforming police — even though it was under Trump that several Obama-era changes were scrapped. "President Obama and Vice President Biden never even tried to fix this during their eight-year period. The reason they didn't try is they had no idea how to do it," Trump said in the White House Rose Garden before he signed an executive order that encourages police departments to adopt high standards, like banning chokeholds unless the life of the officer is at risk, and to create a database of excessive force complaints. But Obama, the nation's first Black president, who confronted and addressed race and racism frequently, did take action to reform police and try to reduce bias in law enforcement. The Trump administration is well aware of that, too: It unraveled those changes. "He said President Obama did nothing on police reform, but the fact is they made a lot of progress and President Trump rolled it back," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Tuesday. Biden's deputy campaign manager, Kate Bedingfield, said, "Donald Trump says President Obama and Vice President Biden didn't do anything on policing reform, but he knows that isn't true because he has spent the past three years tearing down the very reforms the Obama-Biden administration pursued." In August 2017, Trump reversed an Obama policy that banned the military from selling surplus equipment to police, a measure that had been put in place amid criticism over the armored vehicles, tear gas and assault rifles used to control protests after the police killing of Michael Brown, 18, in Ferguson, Missouri, in 2014.

Three self-identified boogaloo boys were arrested in Nevada for conspiracy to instigate violence at a George Floyd protest
By  EJ Dickson

Three men with military backgrounds have been arrested and charged with conspiracy to instigate violence at the Las Vegas protests against the death of George Floyd. According to authorities, Andrew Lynam Jr., 23, Stephen Parshall, 35, and William Loomis, 40, all met at an anti-lockdown protest in April and self-identified as “boogaloo” boys, a term used to describe those calling for a violent civil conflict. They were arrested on Saturday on their way to a protest in downtown Las Vegas, after filling gas cans and making Molotov cocktails in glass bottles. They face federal charges of conspiracy to damage and destroy by fire and explosives, and possession of unregistered firearms. They are currently each being held on $1 million bond, according to the Star Tribune. They have not yet entered a plea. Their intention was “to hopefully create civil unrest and rioting throughout Las Vegas,” a complaint filed in Las Vegas District Court on Wednesday said. (Rolling Stone reached out to the three men on Facebook for comment, and have yet to hear back.)

By Seth Cohen

On Tuesday, Air Force Staff Sergeant Steven Carrillo, already in custody for the alleged ambush, murder and attempted murder of sheriff’s deputies in Santa Cruz, was charged with murdering a federal security officer outside the U.S. courthouse in Oakland during a protest last month. Yet as troubling as the alleged killings themselves are, it is the affiliation of the suspect to the boogaloo movement, a collection of right-wing anti-government activists, that is even more worrisome. In Tuesday’s announcement, federal prosecutors charged Carrillo with the murder of Federal Protective Service officer David Patrick Underwood as well as other federal charges. Underwood was killed and his partner was wounded on the night of May 29 while they guarded a federal building in Oakland during a nearby protest over the death of George Floyd. When announcing the charges on Tuesday, which could be punishable by death, federal authorities alleged that Carrillo developed the plan to ambush the murdered officer during an online chat among right-wing extremist activists. On Tuesday, Air Force Staff Sergeant Steven Carrillo, already in custody for the alleged ambush, murder and attempted murder of sheriff’s deputies in Santa Cruz, was charged with murdering a federal security officer outside the U.S. courthouse in Oakland during a protest last month. Yet as troubling as the alleged killings themselves are, it is the affiliation of the suspect to the boogaloo movement, a collection of right-wing anti-government activists, that is even more worrisome. In Tuesday’s announcement, federal prosecutors charged Carrillo with the murder of Federal Protective Service officer David Patrick Underwood as well as other federal charges. Underwood was killed and his partner was wounded on the night of May 29 while they guarded a federal building in Oakland during a nearby protest over the death of George Floyd. When announcing the charges on Tuesday, which could be punishable by death, federal authorities alleged that Carrillo developed the plan to ambush the murdered officer during an online chat among right-wing extremist activists.


The boogaloo movement, adherents to which are often referred to as boogaloo boys or boogaloo bois, is a loosely organized American far-right extremist movement. Participants generally identify as a libertarian citizen-militia, and say they are preparing for a second American Civil War, which they call the "boogaloo". Widespread use of the term dates from late 2019, and adherents use the term (including variations, so as to avoid social media crackdowns) to refer to violent uprisings against the federal government or left-wing political opponents, often anticipated to follow government confiscation of firearms. The movement consists of pro-gun, anti-government groups. The specific ideology of each group varies, and views on some topics such as race differ widely. Some are white supremacist or neo-Nazi groups who believe that the impending unrest will be a race war; however other groups condemn racism and white supremacy. The boogaloo movement primarily organizes online (particularly on Facebook), and participants have appeared at in-person events including the 2020 United States anti-lockdown protests and the May 2020 George Floyd protests. They are often identified by their attire of Hawaiian shirts and military fatigues, and are heavily armed. In May and June 2020, Facebook acted to limit the movement's activities and visibility across its social media platforms.

By Katie Shepherd

As protests gripped Oakland on May 29, a white van pulled up outside a federal courthouse. A door slid open, and a man peppered the two security officers outside with bullets, killing one and wounding the other. For a little over a week, the crime was a mystery. Was it tied to the protests just blocks away? Even after the suspected killer was dramatically caught in the nearby mountains eight days later, his motive was murky. Now, federal authorities say the man, identified as Air Force Staff Sgt. Steven Carrillo, 32, was an adherent of the “boogaloo boys,” a growing online extremist movement that has sought to use peaceful protests against police brutality to spread fringe views and ignite a race war. Federal investigators allege that’s exactly what Carrillo was trying to do last month. Federal prosecutors on Tuesday charged Carrillo with murder and attempted murder, and leveled aiding and abetting charges against Robert Alvin Justus Jr., who has admitted to serving as a getaway driver during the courthouse ambush, according to the FBI. Protective Security Officer David Patrick Underwood was killed and a second officer, who officials have not named, was critically wounded in the ambush. Inside the three vehicles Carrillo used, police found a boogaloo patch, ammunition, firearms, bombmaking equipment and three messages scrawled in blood: “I became unreasonable,” “Boog” and “Stop the duopoly.”

By Mike Fitts mfitts@postandcourier.com

COLUMBIA — An employee of Richland County Emergency Services has been arrested in the wake of last weekend’s street violence with the Sheriff’s Department saying he appears to be a member of the “Boogaloo boys,” an alt-right group that wanted to foment violence during demonstrations. Kevin Ackley, 22, of Lexington was fired from his post as a medic with Emergency Services after he was arrested Friday, according to a statement from the sheriff’s department. Ackley is charged with inciting a riot and and aggravated breach of peace. According to the department, Ackley threw a water bottle at law enforcement officers during protests against police brutality. “It’s disgusting that a man who is supposed to be protecting the lives of citizens and law enforcement officers alike would participate in a riot that injured people,” Sheriff Leon Lott said. Ackley is alleged by the Sheriff’s Department to be a supporter of the “Boogaloo boys,” a right-wing or anarchist group that wanted to infiltrate peaceful protests and spur violence, according to media reports. Their stated goal is to trigger a second U.S. civil war, according to media reports.  

By John Haltiwanger

As President Donald Trump outlined his executive order on policing in the Rose Garden on Tuesday in a rambling monologue that was more like one of his campaign rallies than a formal announcement, he falsely claimed that former President Barack Obama "never even tried" to reform law enforcement during this tenure. "President Obama and Vice President Biden never even tried to fix this during their eight-year period," Trump said as he discussed bringing about change to policing. "The reason they didn't try is because they had no idea how to do it. And it is a complex situation." But Trump actually rolled back Obama-era efforts aimed at quelling police brutality, including an executive order aimed at demilitarizing the police. In 2014, after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, people across the US looked on in horror as protests over the killing were met by police officers equipped like soldiers.

By Ellen Nakashima and Shane Harris

The theft of top-secret computer hacking tools from the CIA in 2016 was the result of a workplace culture in which the agency’s elite computer hackers “prioritized building cyber weapons at the expense of securing their own systems,” according to an internal report prepared for then-director Mike Pompeo as well as his deputy, Gina Haspel, now the director. The breach — allegedly committed by a CIA employee — was discovered a year after it happened, when the information was published by WikiLeaks in March 2017. The anti-secrecy group dubbed the release “Vault 7,” and U.S. officials have said it was the biggest unauthorized disclosure of classified information in the CIA’s history, causing the agency to shut down some intelligence operations and alerting foreign adversaries to the spy agency’s techniques. The October 2017 report by the CIA’s WikiLeaks Task Force, several pages of which were missing or redacted, portrays an agency more concerned with bulking up its cyber arsenal than keeping those tools secure. Security procedures were “woefully lax” within the special unit that designed and built the tools, the report said.

By Karoun Demirjian and Matt Zapotosky

The House Judiciary Committee issued subpoenas Tuesday for the testimony of two Justice Department officials, including one of former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s top prosecutors, in its probe of what panel Democrats call the agency’s “unprecedented politicization” under President Trump and Attorney General William P. Barr. The committee’s chairman, Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), issued a summons to Aaron Zelinsky, who worked on the team prosecuting Trump’s friend Roger Stone and resigned from the case in protest after being forced to seek a lesser prison sentence following the president’s complaints. In a statement, Nadler said that Zelinsky would appear at a hearing scheduled for June 24 alongside John Elias, acting chief of staff of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division, to whom the committee also issued a subpoena Tuesday.

By Manu Raju and Ali Zaslav, CNN

(CNN) A Senate amendment to remove the names of Confederate leaders on military property "picks on the South unfairly," a GOP senator said Tuesday, the latest sign that President Donald Trump's opposition to the plan has opened up an uncomfortable election-year debate within the party. Sen. John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican whose state has military installations named after leaders of the Confederacy, sharply criticized the amendment, offered by Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, and said he planned to offer his own measure "to rename every military installation in the country after a medal of honor winner." "I think history will show that in the 18th century, in the 19th century, and well into the 20th century, there were many non-Confederate generals, soldiers and others, in both the South and the North who practiced racial discrimination, anti-Semitism and misogyny," Kennedy told reporters. "I don't think we ought to just pick on the South." Kennedy added: "Sen. Warren's amendment, in my opinion, picks on the South unfairly." - Confederates were traitors who should not be honor for attacking America so they could keep slaves. The Republican Party supports traitors by protecting the monuments of traitors. Protecting the monuments of traitor’s means in some way you support what the people who committed treason against America did. We should not honor traitors; honoring traitors gives the impression that you can commit treason against America and be honored. We should not honor the traitors who fought against our country that dishonors all the great Americans who have fought and died for our country.

“What I do think is clearly a bridge too far is this nonsense that we need to airbrush the Capitol," he says.
By ANDREW DESIDERIO

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Tuesday rebuffed Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s calls for nearly a dozen Confederate statues to be removed from the Capitol, saying it was an attempt to “airbrush” history. “What I do think is clearly a bridge too far is this nonsense that we need to airbrush the Capitol and scrub out everybody from years ago who had any connection to slavery,” the Kentucky Republican told reporters, noting that a handful of former American presidents owned slaves. Each U.S. state sends two statues to the Capitol building, and they can be switched out at any time. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who chairs the Senate Rules Committee, said seven states are in the process of removing certain statues from the Capitol. But last week, amid a nationwide reckoning over continued racial injustices highlighted by police killings of unarmed African Americans, Pelosi demanded that 11 Confederate statues be immediately removed. “While I believe it is imperative that we never forget our history lest we repeat it, I also believe that there is no room for celebrating the violent bigotry of the men of the Confederacy in the hallowed halls of the United States Capitol or in places of honor across the country,” Pelosi wrote. - The Republican Party is on the wrong side of history. Confederates were traitors; the Republican Party supports traitors by protecting the monuments of traitors. Protecting the monuments of traitor’s means in some way you support what the people who committed treason against America did. We should not honor traitors; honoring traitors gives the impression that you can commit treason against America and be honored. We should not honor the traitors who fought against our country that dishonors all the great Americans who have fought and died for our country.

Federal dollars should not go to departments that violate people’s rights or turn to violence as a first resort, but I don't support defunding police.
By Joe Biden - Opinion contributor

From the moment I launched my campaign, I have said that we are in the battle for the soul of this nation. And after two weeks of daily protests, with thousands of people coming out to march for racial justice in the midst of a pandemic, with gatherings in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., and in communities of every size, the American people have shown the world exactly where we stand in this battle. We know the nation we want to be. Now we have to deliver on this moment to achieve fundamental changes that address racial inequalities and white supremacy in our country. President Donald Trump’s hate-filled, conspiracy-laden rhetoric is inflaming the racial divides in our country, but just fixing the way the president talks won’t cut it. We need to root out systemic racism across our laws and institutions, and we need to make sure black Americans have a real shot to get ahead.  For too long, black Americans have lived with a knee on their neck — not only institutional violence but daily injustices like having the police called for sitting in a coffee shop or watching birds in the park. I support the proposal pending in New York to enhance penalties for making a false 911 call based on race, gender or religion. No one should be subjected to that kind of discrimination, ever.

By David Edwards

Witnesses in Clayton County, Georgia say that law enforcement officers held at least five black children at gunpoint while they were walking through a neighborhood. Video of the incident, which was said to have occurred on Monday, was shared on Twitter early Tuesday morning. “Today in Clayton County, GA a officer decided to pull his gun out on 5 black teenagers about 13-15 yrs old for going through the neighborhood cut to the store,” a caption on the video reads. “I’m assuming he thought they were robbing a house huh? Wake up people shit is sad it’s a cut in every hood.” The video shows six children standing with their hands up as officers give them commands. At least five of the children were said to be black. “I’m sick,” a woman witnessing the event can be heard saying. “They can’t. Come on, now. Please! Please, sir, they’re kids.”

By Sarah K. Burris

Philadelphia court supervisor Michael Henkel was fired Monday after a video surfaced of him tearing down the Black Lives Matter protest signs made by children at a South Philadelphia park, reported the Philadelphia Inquirer. The video records the woman’s voice telling Henkel that the signs are not his property. He replied, using expletives: “I know. It’s the city. I pay for this. … Yeah, my taxes pay for this place, yep.” “So I can do whatever I want. … I’m always around here, too,” Henkel went on. “Great. I live right here,” the woman can be heard saying. “Black Lives Matter!” “Not to me, they don’t,” he replied. According to CNN host Jake Tapper, who grew up in Philadelphia, a source said “top officials of the city of Philadelphia are aware of this video of a court employee.”

By Sarah K. Burris

President Donald Trump was criticized as being “low energy” during his Rose Garden announcement on police brutality Tuesday. After meeting with the families of some of the people of color killed by police, Trump welcomed officers, but not the families, to a press event to announce his executive order. It sparked questions as to why the families didn’t attend and if they were invited or if they refused to support Trump’s new policy. But Trump soon riffed on the protests, attacking them as rioters and looters. He followed by bragging about the stimulus bill that Democrats worked to negotiate with Senate Republicans and Steve Mnuchin. He then tried to claim that “school choice” was all about civil rights so families can bus children miles away instead of mandating that all schools in all communities be improved and equalized. He went on to call it the biggest civil rights issue of our time, ignoring the actual Civil Rights Movement.

By Sky Palma

An incident that took place this Saturday at a Kroger in Detroit was captured on video by a black woman who says she was confronted by a white woman who blocked her car, refusing to allow her to leave, Fox2 reports. According to Shaneeka Montgomery-Strickland, she was trying to leave the store parking lot when the woman stood behind her car. “This needs to be known. You can’t just stay hush hush about everything and keep on letting people get away with nonsense,” c said, adding that the confrontation started when her son tried to grab a bottle of Gatorade from off the store shelf.

By Eliza Relman

Rep. Tom Rice, a South Carolina Republican, announced on Monday that he, his wife, and his son had been infected with the coronavirus. But just two weeks ago, Rice appeared on the House floor in Washington without a face covering. When CNN reporter Manu Raju asked Rice why he wasn't wearing a mask in the chamber on May 28, the congressman said he could maintain at least 6 feet of distance from everyone on the floor and in the halls of the Capitol and therefore didn't need to wear a mask. COVID-19 can spread even from asymptomatic carriers. "I do wear it sometimes on the floor," he told Raju in May. "I make an effort to ... stay 6 feet away from folks in accordance with guidelines. And when I'm forced into a situation where I can't do that — like on a plane — I do wear a mask." The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends everyone wear a cloth face covering when they cannot maintain at least 6 feet of distance from others.

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

(CNN) President Donald Trump's slow and halting descent down a ramp following his commencement speech at West Point lit up the internet over the weekend, with many speculating about whether he was in ill health. Trump, because he is Trump, responded to the criticism late Saturday night with this tweet: "The ramp that I descended after my West Point Commencement speech was very long & steep, had no handrail and, most importantly, was very slippery. The last thing I was going to do is 'fall' for the Fake News to have fun with. Final ten feet I ran down to level ground. Momentum!" By responding, Trump took what might have been a Twitter-only story and turned it into a much broader -- and longer -- one, with most major newspapers covering it. (Worth noting: In The Washington Post's story, reporter Phil Rucker wrote: "Trump's claim that the ramp had been 'very slippery' was inconsistent with the weather, which on Saturday in West Point, N.Y., was sunny and clear-skied. The grass plain on which the commencement took place was dry.")


Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms shares a personal story about police profiling during a CNN town hall on racial inequality and Covid-19. Source: CNN

By Karin Brulliard and William Wan

Add this to our list of worries in these anxious times: coronavirus-containing clouds that waft into the air when a toilet is flushed. Scientists who simulated toilet water and air flows say in a new research paper that aerosol droplets forced upward by a flush appear to spread wide enough and linger long enough to be inhaled. The novel coronavirus has been found in the feces of covid-19 patients, but it remains unknown whether such clouds could contain enough virus to infect a person. The authors say the possibility of that mode of transmission calls for action in the midst of a pandemic — first and foremost, by closing the lid. “Flushing will lift the virus up from the toilet bowl,” co-author Ji-Xiang Wang, who researches fluids at Yangzhou University in Yangzhou, China, said in an email. Bathroom users “need to close the lid first and then trigger the flushing process,” Wang said, and wash their hands thoroughly if closure isn’t possible. Toilets and modern sanitation systems have been a huge boon to public health and life expectancy since the 19th century. Even so, people have long been leery of germs in bathrooms, and that wariness has only increased during the pandemic. But experts say most of us are focusing on the wrong aspect. For all our paranoia about the surface of toilet seats — the tissue paper we oh-so-carefully lay down, the thin covers often offered in public stalls — germ transmission from skin contact is a relatively small health risk compared with what happens after you flush. That’s when bits of fecal matter swish around so violently that they can be propelled into the air, become aerosolized and then settle on the surroundings. Experts call it the “toilet plume.”

By Sam Levin

At 12.30am on 2 June, as protests for George Floyd raged across California, a Vallejo policeman fired five shots through the windshield of his unmarked car, fatally striking an unarmed young man kneeling in a parking lot. The death of Sean Monterrosa sparked national outrage at a time when a growing number of Americans are focused on police brutality. But in Vallejo, the killing felt painfully familiar and served as a harsh reminder that the city’s police department remains one of the country’s most violent and brutal small-city forces. The Vallejo police chief said officers on Monday night responded to calls for “potential looters” at a Walgreens. Monterrosa was kneeling with his hands raised when he was shot, the chief said, and was not observed looting. Monterrosa had a hammer in his pocket, not a gun. Vallejo police officers have killed 19 people since 2010, one of the highest rates in the state. The officer who shot Monterrosa, Detective Jarrett Tonn, has been involved in four shootings in five years. He’s one of 14 Vallejo policemen whom residents and activists call the “Fatal 14” – officers who have repeatedly shot and killed citizens and never faced consequences. The crisis in Vallejo, activists and families of victims say, represents what happens when a US police department allows repeat offenders to act with impunity, where out-of-control officers keep their jobs or get promoted even after video of their abuse is exposed. “These officers feel they can do whatever they want,” Michelle Monterrosa, Sean’s 24-year-old sister, told the Guardian. “Sean knew the system was made to oppress people of color. It hurt him to see … Sean was angry, he would say: ‘Why are they still killing us this way?’”

By Courtney Subramanian - USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order directing police departments to adopt new standards for the use of force following protests over the deaths of George Floyd and other African Americans at the hands of law enforcement officers. The order also calls for the creation of a national database to allow departments to track potential hires with records of abuse. Speaking from the White House Rose Garden, Trump said he met privately with several families of those killed in police interactions, including family members of Ahmaud Arbery, Botham Jean, Antwon Rose and Michael Dean, before the event. "All Americans mourn by your side, your love ones will not have died in vain," he said in a message to those families, who were not in attendance. "Reducing crime and raising standards are not opposite goals."

Some GOP lawmakers who benefited from the Paycheck Protection Program also opposed legislation requiring lending transparency.
By SARAH FERRIS, MELANIE ZANONA and ZACHARY WARMBRODT

At least four members of Congress have reaped benefits in some way from the half-trillion-dollar small-business loan program they helped create. And no one knows how many more there could be.  It’s a bipartisan group of lawmakers who have acknowledged close ties to companies that have received loans from the program — businesses that are either run by their families or employ their spouse as a senior executive. Republicans on the list include Rep. Roger Williams of Texas, a wealthy businessman who owns auto dealerships, body shops and car washes, and Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri, whose family owns multiple farms and equipment suppliers across the Midwest. The Democrats count Rep. Susie Lee of Nevada, whose husband is CEO of a regional casino developer, and Rep. Debbie Mucarsel Powell of Florida, whose husband is an executive at a restaurant chain that has since returned the loan.

And there are almost certainly more, according to aides and lawmakers. But only the Small Business Administration and Treasury Department have that information, and the Trump administration is refusing to provide any details. That leaves it entirely up to business owners — including elected officials — to decide whether to come forward about a loan, which can be as large as $10 million. Democrats have tried to pry free the list of recipients. But their push in the House to require disclosure of at least some companies was blocked on the floor late last month by Republicans — including Williams and Hartzler, who voted against the bill. Lee and Powell joined all Democrats in supporting it. All four lawmakers have previously voted in favor of the small-business program.

“Again and again, Attorney General Barr has demonstrated that he will cater to President Trump’s private political interests," Jerry Nadler says.
By KYLE CHENEY and LEAH NYLEN

One of four prosecutors who withdrew from the case of longtime Donald Trump ally Roger Stone after Justice Department leaders intervened in his sentencing, Aaron Zelinsky, is prepared to testify before the House Judiciary Committee next week, Chairman Jerry Nadler revealed Tuesday. Nadler issued two subpoenas, one for Zelinsky and one for DOJ antitrust prosecutor John Elias, describing both as "whistleblowers" prepared to testify to allegations of political interference in Attorney General William Barr's Justice Department. A hearing with both men is set for June 24. They'll appear alongside Donald Ayer, a former deputy attorney general in President George H.W. Bush's Justice Department, who is expected to speak broadly about the importance of an independent Justice Department.

“Again and again, Attorney General Barr has demonstrated that he will cater to President Trump’s private political interests, at the expense of the American people and the rule of law," Nadler said in a statement. "He has abruptly reversed course on prosecutions against the President’s allies and friends. He has pursued pretextual investigations against the President’s perceived political enemies. He has failed to defend the Affordable Care Act, and he has helped to roll back important civil rights protections.”

The GOP's majority faces increasing peril.
By BURGESS EVERETT and JOHN BRESNAHAN

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said on Tuesday he planned to stay on as Republican leader regardless of whether he's relegated to the minority or keeps control of the Senate. "I do," McConnell said when asked if he'll continue to seek the party leader role after the November elections. McConnell, 78, has had the job of GOP leader since 2007 and is the longest serving Republican leader of all time.

By Mary Cadden - USA TODAY

Mary Trump, the niece of President Donald Trump, has penned a book that's on the president and is being released July 28, according to Simon & Schuster. The book is described by the publisher on Amazon as a "revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him," saying Mary Trump, a trained clinical psychologist and the president’s only niece, "shines a bright light on the dark history of their family in order to explain how her uncle became the man who now threatens the world’s health, economic security, and social fabric."

The book, titled “Too Much And Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” is timed to come out less than a month before Trump accepts the Republican nomination for a second term. The Republican National Convention is scheduled for Aug. 24-27 and has been moved from North Carolina amid coronavirus concerns to Jacksonville, Florida.

“It’s important that we recognize that all Americans have equal rights under our Constitution,” Sen. Deb Fischer said.
By BURGESS EVERETT and MARIANNE LEVINE

onservatives are seething over Justice Neil Gorsuch’s opinion that cemented new protections for LGBTQ people. The Senate Republicans who confirmed him? Not so much. Seven years ago, just nine Senate Republicans supported a bill codifying workplace protections for sexual orientation and gender identity. And after it passed the Senate, the GOP-controlled House never took it up. But on Monday, the Republican Party seemed generally supportive of both the substance and process by which the Supreme Court extended Civil Rights Act protections to gay, lesbian and transgender workers. President Donald Trump declined to trash the decision, calling it “powerful” — and his party largely agreed with the Supreme Court’s surprising ruling. “It’s important that we recognize that all Americans have equal rights under our Constitution,” Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) said. “I’m fine with it.” Plus, the decision could take from Congress a divisive social issue — five months before the 2020 elections. Congress has repeatedly failed to address the issue. The Democratic Senate’s 2013 passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act was the last serious effort in the Senate at legislating on LGBTQ issues and just four GOP senators that supported that bill remain in office. The Republican Senate has shied away from taking up the matter, a reflection of divisions in the GOP over how — or whether to — address the issue.

By Maegan Vazquez, CNN

(CNN) Top officials at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association violated its ethical standards and scientific integrity policy when it issued a statement contradicting a local National Weather Service office during Hurricane Dorian in 2019, a scientific misconduct investigation determined. During Dorian's approach to the United States last year, President Donald Trump showed members of the media an image of the storm's potential path, which included a marker drawing in an area of Alabama. Responding to calls of concern, the National Weather Service's Birmingham, Alabama, office tweeted out, "Alabama will NOT see any impacts from #Dorian. We repeat, no impacts from Hurricane #Dorian will be felt across Alabama. The system will remain too far east." But on September 6, NOAA released a statement saying, "The information provided by NOAA and the National Hurricane Center to President Trump and the wider public demonstrated that tropical-storm-force winds from Hurricane Dorian could impact Alabama. ... The Birmingham National Weather Service's Sunday morning tweet spoke in absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at the time."

Now, a new memo laying out the final decision on three allegations of misconduct says that an independent panel investigating NOAA leadership's actions during the storm's approach violated the agency's ethical and scientific standards. Specifically, the panel determined that acting Administrator of NOAA Neil Jacobs and NOAA Deputy Chief of Staff and Director of Communications Julie Roberts violated NOAA's Code of Ethics for Science Supervision and Management and the agency's Scientific Integrity Policy in writing and releasing the September 6 statement. By excluding the Birmingham office from the development of the statement, Jacobs and Roberts "engaged in the misconduct intentionally, knowingly, or in reckless disregard of the Code of Scientific Conduct or Code of Ethics for Science Supervision and Management in NOAA's Scientific Integrity Policy," the panel wrote. In addition, the panel addresses the allegation that "the drafting of the September 6 Statement was driven by external political pressure from Department of Commerce ... senior leaders and inappropriately criticized the September 1 Birmingham Tweet and underlying scientific activity."

By Tucker Higgins, Dan Mangan

The Supreme Court on Monday said it will not hear appeals of a slew of cases involving gun laws, dealing a blow to Second Amendment activists who seek to expand the rights of gun owners. In an order released Monday morning, the court denied petitions for appeals of 10 cases. The cases rejected by the court involved questions of whether laws banning interstate handgun sales in some cases violate the Second Amendment, whether there is a constitutional right to carry a firearm outside the home for self-defense, if Illinois and Massachusetts can ban assault rifles and large-capacity ammunition magazines, and whether a state can limit handgun permits to people who demonstrate a specific need for self-defense. The denials comes just weeks after the justices declined to issue a substantive opinion in its first Second Amendment case in nearly a decade. In that case, over a since-repealed New York City handgun regulation, the court said the controversy was no longer active because the measure had been amended by the city.

By JEREMY B. WHITE

OAKLAND — California’s “sanctuary” immigration enforcement law will not go before the U.S. Supreme Court, handing California a capstone victory in an ongoing clash with the federal government. The high court on Monday turned down the Justice Department's request to review a federal appeals court decision that largely upheld three California laws. One of the laws passed soon after Donald Trump became president, Senate Bill 54, partitions local law enforcement from federal immigration authorities, protecting arrested immigrants and low-level offenders from deportation.  The federal government asked the Supreme Court to review SB 54. The court announced Monday that it declined that review, though Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas would have heard the case. Trump and allies have lambasted California's sanctuary law as an example of what they called Democratic lawlessness on immigration, but it has withstood federal attacks. In addition to rejecting the administration’s argument that California was preempted by federal law, judges have turned back a Trump administration effort to withhold law enforcement funding from “sanctuary” jurisdictions. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra hailed the Supreme Court's decision for bolstering California’s effort to build “trust between law enforcement and our hard-working immigrant communities.”

"We're talking about Black men dying. We're talking about systemic racism in police work," said a leader of one Black law enforcement association.
By Erik Ortiz

After the deaths of George Floyd in Minneapolis, Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta and other recent cases of fatal police encounters, the public clamor for changing the culture of policing is running up against powerful opposition in the form of police union leadership. But in cities like St. Louis, Miami and New York, some of the calls for significant reform are coming from another place: within police departments themselves, among smaller pockets of officers who don't necessarily feel heard by their police unions or the department brass, which are largely white. While these mostly Black police officers' organizations aren't as big and so don't wield the same influence as unions and fraternal orders with bargaining power and political pull, they do exist in dozens of communities and often share the same views as the residents they serve on issues of racial discrimination, inequality and overaggressive policing. "This is a new era in America, and we have to embrace the change," said Charles Billups, president of the Grand Council of Guardians, a Black law enforcement association in New York whose membership includes about 3,000 New York Police Department officers. "If you keep recycling those same people in leadership positions, you'll never get real change. We have to get out of the past and move into the future."

By Jacqueline Howard and Arman Azad, CNN

(CNN) The Food and Drug Administration has revoked its emergency use authorization for the drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine for the treatment of Covid-19. Hydroxychloroquine was frequently touted by President Donald Trump, and he has claimed to have used it himself. After reviewing the current research available on the drugs, the FDA determined that the drugs do not meet "the statutory criteria" for emergency use authorization as they are unlikely to be effective in treating Covid-19 based on the latest scientific evidence, the agency noted on its website on Monday. "FDA has concluded that, based on this new information and other information discussed in the attached memorandum, it is no longer reasonable to believe that oral formulations of HCQ and CQ may be effective in treating COVID-19, nor is it reasonable to believe that the known and potential benefits of these products outweigh their known and potential risks," FDA chief scientist Denise Hinton wrote in a letter to Gary Disbrow of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) on Monday. Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine have been tied to serious cardiac events as well as other side effects among Covid-19 patients. "Accordingly, FDA revokes the EUA for emergency use of HCQ and CQ to treat COVID-19," Hinton wrote in the letter, using abbreviations for hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine. "As of the date of this letter, the oral formulations of HCQ and CQ are no longer authorized by FDA to treat COVID-19."

By Nada Hassanein - Tallahassee Democrat

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Oluwatoyin Salau, a 19-year-old protester who begged for justice in the wake of Black lives lost, has died. Police and her family confirmed the death Monday morning. Salau was found dead Saturday night after she went missing more than a week ago, on June 6, family members told the Tallahassee Democrat, part of the USA TODAY Network. Salau was one of two homicide victims discovered Saturday night in southeast Tallahassee, a couple miles from where she was last seen at a library.

The Hollywood Reporter's columnist says that though such racist content is damaging, "we need a way to present art within its historical context so the works can still be available and appreciated for their achievements but not admired for their cultural failings."
by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

I have mixed feelings on John Ridley’s well-reasoned Los Angeles Times Op-Ed article asking HBO Max to temporarily remove Gone With the Wind, which the service then did on Jun 9. On one hand, Ridley is 100 percent correct. The film glorifies the Confederacy as if they were a bunch of highly principled martyrs hunkered down in holy glory instead of an entitled mob of human-trafficking murderers, rapists and traitors trying to destroy the United States. The film also romanticizes slavery as if it was nothing more than a workplace sitcom in which all the slaves were happy baristas at the plantation’s Starbucks. On the other hand, very few movies or TV shows from the past could withstand today’s rightfully rigorous standards. Almost every one of them that pees on the stick of political correctness will come up positive for insensitivity— or worse.

By Paul Davidson USA TODAY

President Trump had planned to hold a rally this week in Tulsa, Oklahoma – the site of the worst racial attack in U.S. history, by many accounts. After days of controversy over that choice, he changed the date. The history of the massacre in the area, which was also known as "Black Wall Street," has shined a spotlight on the formation of an affluent Black community and the gruesome events that destroyed it. In 1921, a white mob attacked a predominantly Black area in Tulsa, killing hundreds of people and destroying the country’s wealthiest African-American community. Its abrupt demise and similar incidents around the country during that period played a role in widening the racial wealth divide, experts say. Part of what enranged critics, Trump had planned to speak to supporters on June 19, or Juneteenth, known as Emancipation Day -- the date in 1865 when a Union general traveled to Galveston, Texas to read President Lincoln’s orders freeing the slaves. “This isn't just a wink to white supremacists—he's throwing them a welcome home party,” Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., tweeted Thursday. Now Trump will hold the rally one day later on June 20th.Trump's plan followed weeks of protests across the country over the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man, by a Minneapolis police officer. Trump has denied that he chose the location and date to play off racial divisions. “Think about is a celebration,” he had said. The controversy, however, is highlighting anew the Tulsa Race Massacre, a horrific event whose legacy still reverberates in Black communities.

San Jose, San Francisco and Los Angeles Police unions call for a use of force standard and early warning system

By Elliott Almond, Aldo Toledo | Bay Area News Group

SAN JOSE — In what could signal a major shift in law-enforcement attitudes toward longstanding complaints about its use of violence, California’s largest police unions called Sunday for a reform agenda aimed at lessening the use of force, increasing accountability and rooting out racist police officers. In full-page ads in the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, the Mercury News and the East Bay Times, the San Jose Police Officers Association, the San Francisco Police Officers Association and the Los Angeles Police Protective League announced the national reform proposal after weeks of protests and marches against police violence, even as new deaths have happened at the hands of police. In Atlanta, police department officials announced Sunday that an officer had been fired over the fatal shooting Friday of Rayshard Brooks, 27, outside a Wendy’s restaurant, the latest flashpoint in a nationwide upheaval over police violence. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Saturday that she had accepted the resignation of Police Chief Erika Shields; the officer who shot Brooks was fired hours later. “No words can convey our collective disgust and sorrow for the murder of George Floyd,” the unions said in the advertisement. “We have an obligation as a profession and as human beings to express our sorrow by taking action.”

By Nina Totenberg

Amid the tumult over police brutality allegations across the country, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to reexamine the much-criticized, modern-day legal doctrine created by judges that has shielded police and other government officials from lawsuits over their conduct. In an unsigned order, the court declined to hear cases seeking reexamination of the doctrine of "qualified immunity." Justice Clarence Thomas dissented, saying the "qualified immunity doctrine appears to stray from the statutory text." It takes the votes of four justices to grant review of a case.

Developed in recent decades by the high court, the qualified immunity doctrine, as applied to police, initially asks two questions: Did police use excessive force, and if they did, should they have known that their conduct was illegal because it violated a "clearly established" prior court ruling that barred such conduct? The idea behind the doctrine was to protect police from frivolous lawsuits and allow some "breathing room" for police mistakes that involve split-second judgments in tense and dangerous situations. But in practice, because of recent Supreme Court decisions, lower courts have most often dismissed police misconduct lawsuits on grounds that there is no prior court decision with nearly identical facts.

Several recent studies, including one conducted by Reuters, have found that dozens of cases involving horrific acts, some just as bad as those involving George Floyd in Minneapolis and Breonna Taylor in Louisville, Ky., were thrown out of court on the grounds that there was no "clearly established" court precedent forbidding the conduct.

Updated: Police have filed charges against a Kensington man they say attacked activists on the Capital Crescent Trail Monday afternoon.
By Alessia Grunberger, Patch Staff

BETHESDA, MD — After Twitter users wrongly accused multiple people — including a retired Montgomery County Police employee — of being the bicyclist who attacked activists on the Capital Crescent Trail, authorities have arrested a Kensington man in the assault. Anthony Brennan III was taken into custody on a District Court arrest warrant Friday evening. Detectives from the Maryland-National Capital Park Police charged Brennan, 60, with three counts of second-degree assault, according to a news release. The assaults occurred about 12:45 p.m on June 1 as a young man and two young women walked the trail near the Dalecarlia Tunnel and posted flyers about a call for community action. Brennan argued about the flyers and grabbed them from one of the victims, police said, then used his bicycle to knock down the man. Park Police investigators received hundreds of tips that pointed to Brennan as the suspected attacker. Brennan and his attorney talked with police Friday, who were allowed to search his home and seize evidence.

Man with nunchucks in the studio showing his technique
by Sojournlist

Olympia, Washington–So, this is a thing that actually happened in the real world. At this point between the murder hornets, increased volcanic activity at Yellowstone, and pretty much every single piece of news that comes out of the White House, I’m not sure why I am surprised. I wouldn’t even be shocked if it were revealed that the biker gang that attacked the protesters was lead by Steven Seagal. A peaceful protest had been going on in Olympia, Washington for several hours last night. There were probably fewer than 200 protesters in attendance. I did not witness a single arrest or incident of vandalism throughout the night. I was live-streaming it to our Facebook page. I noticed a group of motorcycles circling the area that had been cordoned off by Police.

The zone was established one week ago after police evacuated the area
By Olivia Rudgard Seattle

Vigilante groups have threatened to "re-take" the independent zone in Seattle where protesters have set up barricades to keep police out. Over a thousand people have responded to a Facebook event to attack the so-called Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone, which they say is "illegally occupying public property and terrorising small businesses". The zone, established on Monday, covers a six-block area of the city surrounding the abandoned East Precinct police station. Some protesters are camping overnight and medic stations, food stalls and sound systems have been set up within the area.

By Julianne Cuba

Police threw a cyclist to the ground and violently arrested him for riding too slowly for the fed-up cops driving behind him in a police van during a Black Lives Matter protest in Brooklyn on Saturday night, according to the victim and a horrified witness who captured the attack on video. Victim Pierce McCaffrey told Streetsblog on Sunday night that he was riding in front of an NYPD van as they headed up Nassau Street near Gold Street at around 7:40 p.m. trailing a crowd of protestors after a solidarity ride, when four cops jumped out of the van and threw him to the ground, smashing his head against the pavement. “They started tackling me to the ground, punched me, put my hands behind my back, handcuffed me and threw me into the car,” said McCaffrey, reliving an attack caught on video. (Content warning: police violence and brutality)

By George T. Conway III - Contributing columnist

John Bolton made a mistake. It’s not the one you may think it is. The former national security adviser’s memoir about his experiences working for President Trump will arrive on June 23. For months, the book has triggered criticism that Bolton put commercial profit over country by saving his depiction of Trump for the book, instead of providing it under oath during Trump’s impeachment proceedings last winter. A new wave of such criticism hit Bolton on Friday, when his publisher revealed more about what’s in the book. In short: Trump is as bad as we thought, perhaps worse. According to the publisher, Bolton will describe Trump as “a president for whom getting reelected was the only thing that mattered, even if it meant endangering or weakening the nation.” Bolton even “argues that the House committed impeachment malpractice by keeping their prosecution focused narrowly on Ukraine when Trump’s Ukraine-like transgressions existed across the full range of his foreign policy.”

The Wisconsin Republican is playing a major role in pushing Trump's sought after probes.
By ANDREW DESIDERIO

Sen. Ron Johnson wouldn’t appear to be one of President Donald Trump’s closest allies at first glance. The Wisconsin Republican doesn’t flood the airwaves to defend the president. He isn’t a fixture in the conservative media world, and he hasn’t seen his political stock boosted by a barrage of tweets and retweets from the president. In 2018, he even criticized Trump’s mix of tariffs and bailouts as a “Soviet-style economy.”  But Johnson, the chairman of the Senate’s chief oversight body, is playing a major role in advancing a key theme of the president’s reelection bid — that he and his associates were targeted unfairly by the outgoing Obama administration. He is also investigating corruption allegations involving Hunter Biden, the son of the Democratic presidential nominee, stemming from the younger Biden’s role on the board of the Ukrainian gas company Burisma. Trump and congressional Republicans have claimed the former vice president sought to shield his son from a Ukrainian-led investigation into Burisma — though Biden denies the allegation. In both instances, Democrats have accused Johnson of abusing his power, misusing the Senate’s oversight resources to boost Trump’s political prospects, and even operating a Russian disinformation front that jeopardizes U.S. election security — all serious allegations, even in today’s hyperpartisan Senate. But Johnson insists it’s just the opposite.

By Ariane de Vogue and Devan Cole, CNN

Washington (CNN)Federal civil rights law protects gay, lesbian and transgender workers, the Supreme Court ruled Monday.
The landmark ruling will extend protections to millions of workers nationwide and is a defeat for the Trump administration, which argued that Title VII of the Civil Rights Act that bars discrimination based on sex did not extend to claims of gender identity and sexual orientation. The 6-3 opinion was written by Justice Neil Gorsuch and joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and the court's four liberal justices. "An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids," Gorsuch wrote.

By Ella Lee USA TODAY

The claim: Joe Biden and a grand wizard of the KKK were photographed together. A photo circulating around Facebook and Instagram claims to depict former Vice President Joe Biden with a grand wizard of the KKK. “Biden with Grand wizard Of KKK. So who again is playing you, lying to you, using you for the votes, Creators of the KKK, opposed civil right of blacks. Yup that’s the Democratic party,” the text above the image reads. The image, posted to Facebook on June 27, 2019, but garnering attention anew online shows Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, holding hands with former Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., who is circled in red as the alleged KKK grand wizard. The user who shared the post did not respond to USA TODAY for comment.

Byrd was not a KKK grand wizard — but he did once lead a chapter
This picture of Biden and Byrd was taken by the Associated Press in October 2008 at a campaign rally in Charleston, West Virginia, during the time that Biden was running for vice president alongside then-Sen. Barack Obama. Byrd grew up in West Virginia, which is where he got involved with the KKK. “Many of the ‘best’ people were members — even senators and other high officials,” he wrote in his autobiography. “It was with such background impressions, therefore, that I sought to become a member of the KKK in the early 1940s.”

Footage captures fury of protesters who demand to know why police maced a child, and made no attempt to help

By Hallie Golden in Seattle

Standing among a group of peaceful anti-racism protesters in downtown Seattle on a recent Saturday afternoon, Mando Avery held his seven-year-old son’s hand as he and three generations of his African American family finished a prayer with members of their church. Only feet away, Evan Hreha, 34, a hairstylist, arrived at the protests alone. That was when, Avery said, out of nowhere, a police officer fired mace at the group. It hit his son square in the face. As the young boy screamed and clutched on to his father, Hreha caught it all on camera. He confronted the officer he believed had maced the boy and told him the footage was going online. He then posted it on social media. The footage captures the outrage of protesters who demand to know why police maced a child, and made no attempt to help. Since then, Hreha has been arrested and spent two days in jail for what some are calling police retribution for a video which went viral. The young boy is still traumatized, reeling from the chemical burn on his cheek and asking his parents what he did to deserve it. “I would say that you were targeting my boy,” Avery told the Guardian, asked what he would say to police. “I don’t know if you were trying to set an example and strike fear into him. You did a great job.”

“This is a structure that has been developed that we have got to deconstruct,” the South Carolina Democrat said.

By KELSEY TAMBORRINO

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn said Sunday no one is going to defund the police, and instead called for a "reimagining" of police forces across the country. "I would simply say, as I have always said, nobody is going to defund the police," Clyburn (D-S.C.) said on CNN. "We can restructure the police forces, restructure, reimagine policing," he added. "That is what we are going to do. The fact of the matter is, the police have a role to play. What we have got to do is make sure that their role is one that meets the times, one that responds to these communities that they operate in." Protesters across the country have rallied behind a call to defund police departments following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and others. But top Democrats on the Hill have spoken out against those calls. "The fact of the matter is, this is a structure that has been developed that we have got to deconstruct," Clyburn told host Jake Tapper. "So, I wouldn't say defund. Deconstruct our policing."

By Troy L. Smith, Cleveland.com

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- “Why aren’t we talking about black on black crime?” If you’ve expressed support for Black Lives Matter, spoken out against police brutality, or written a modest column in the past few weeks, you’ve probably been asked (or chastised) for not mentioning how many more black people kill other black people compared to the police. There are answers to the question, “Why aren’t we talking about black on black crime?” But critics of Black Lives Matter don’t want to hear them. If they cared, they’d be asking about crime within the African American community year-round, as many black activists and neighborhood leaders do. But as Doughboy told Tre in 1991’s “Boyz N the Hood” (and it’s still true today), “Either they don’t know, don’t show, or don’t care about what’s going on in the hood.” When an opponent of Black Lives Matters talks about “blacks killing blacks” it’s almost always to deflect attention away from police brutality. As if one issue makes the other more acceptable. When someone commits an act of terrorism against in the United States, which rightfully leads to anger and sadness, no one asks, “Well what about how many Americans kill other Americans each year?” Because that would crazy, now wouldn’t it? But, by all means, let’s talk about “black on black crime.” You’ve probably heard a statistic like this before – The majority of black people murdered are killed by other black people. That’s true, but also misleading. The overwhelming majority of white murder victims each year are killed by white assailants. So, when’s the last time you heard the term “white on white crime?”

By Ilya Zhegulev

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian officials on Saturday said they were offered $5 million in bribes to end a probe into energy company Burisma’s founder, but said there was no connection to former board member Hunter Biden whose father is running for the U.S. presidency. The Ukrainian company was thrust into the global spotlight last year in the impeachment inquiry into whether U.S. President Donald Trump improperly pressured Kiev into opening a case against his rival for the November election race. Trump wants an investigation into the Democrats’ 2020 candidate, former Vice President Joe Biden, and his son. Artem Sytnyk, head of Ukraine’s national anti-corruption bureau (NABU), said three people had been detained, including one current and former tax official, over the bribe offer. The money was the largest cash bribe ever seized in the country, NABU said. It was put on display during a press briefing, brought by masked men in see-through plastic bags.

THE confederate flag will never fly again, NASCAR has proclaimed, following weeks of demonstrations against racial inequality in the US culminating in several sweeping changes to US public conduct. What does the confederate flag represent?
By Liam Doyle

Confederate flag bans levelled by NASCAR in the US drew outrage from select pockets of American society this week. The racing association declared its presence "runs contrary to our commitment to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment" in a statement on its website. The decision brought the ire of little-known driver Ray Ciccarelli, who said he believed people should "fly whatever flag they love", but the confederate flag has inescapable ties to centuries of deeply rooted racism in the US.

What does the confederate flag represent?
Americans elected President Abraham Lincoln in 1860 with the plurality of the popular vote and a majority in the electoral college. The former representative of Illinois assumed the Oval Office while the US was fracturing, with his anti-slavery platform taking shape in the north and the south desperately clinging to the practice. Tension from his appointment boiled over and led 10 southern states to secede and organise themselves as the confederacy. The confederacy ultimately gained no ground, failed to claim its sought-after sovereignty and suffered devastating at the hands of the north. Defeated, the states reunified under Abraham Lincoln's leadership, but the spirit of the dead regime endured in the south. While they begrudgingly accepted their place in the country, confederate, white supremacist sentiment wore on through organisations such as the United Daughters of the Confederacy and its infamous flag. During the war, the confederacy adopted a series of "national" flags depending on the state or body they represented.

Since 2003, Minneapolis has paid out $45 million in court settlements over use-of-force complaints about its police department. Cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago have seen a similar culture of abuse, and taxpayers are footing the bill. Jeff Pegues speaks to one man who got a six-figure settlement after six officers attacked him.

By Linette Lopez

When President Donald Trump tells us he does not want to change the names of US military bases named after Confederate military leaders, or that he wants Confederate monuments left alone, he's telling you who owns this country — white Americans. And when he does so while the country is still reeling from his attempt to unleash the US military on anti-racist protesters, he's forcing us to reckon with the inextricable link between American racism and American fascism. No, the Civil War was not fought over tariffs, and it isn't correct to say it started over states rights either. The Confederates were fascists who used racism as the ideology that organized their authoritarian society. Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis and the entire Confederacy were fighting to preserve a social structure that left Black Americans out of citizenry and firmly established white property holding men on top. They believed the country belonged to these white, landowning men, and that they were the only ones entitled to govern or profit from it. They also believed that those men should preserve it with violence if necessary. To build this slavocracy they became traitors to our homeland. As one southern planter so perversely put it on the eve of secession, "give us slavery or give us death." In 1857 the Athens Southern Watchmen, a prominent pro-secession political journal, laid it out more eloquently. It repudiated the egalitarianism of Thomas Jefferson saying that he had lead our country astray with his talk of "vulgar democracy." It mused that it was absurd to think the "pauper and the landholder are alike competent to manage the affairs of a country." This is why, in the election of 1860, non-property holding men in South Carolina were disenfranchised, and only the planter aristocrats in the Electoral College cast their votes.

Tenants are being put in the precarious situation of having to endure hostility or leave their homes in the midst of a public health crisis.
By Safia Samee Ali

Sada Jones anxiously paces inside her apartment every time she catches a glimpse of her building’s maintenance workers through a damaged glass patio door half boarded up with scrap wood that she says her landlord refuses to repair. Jones, 23, a hotel cook, has been unable to make rent payments on her New Orleans-area apartment since being furloughed on March 19 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, she alleges, her landlord began using aggressive tactics to force her out, including cutting off her utilities and sending maintenance workers to demand she leave. “I’m scared because I don’t want to move with the situation that’s going on with COVID, but I also don’t want to live in these conditions,” she said. “I’m constantly anxious and paranoid about what they’ll do next. I don’t feel safe.” Despite efforts by many jurisdictions to halt evictions either through formal moratoriums or court closures, some landlords have taken matters into their own hands with illegal “self-help” evictions and have been harassing and intimidating tenants like Jones who are unable to pay rent — many due to pandemic-related job loss — in an effort to get them out. These tenants, many who are waiting on unemployment or stimulus checks, are put in the precarious situation of having to endure hostility or leave their homes in the midst of a public health crisis.

Police in South Carolina released body camera video of officers fatally shooting a handcuffed black man they said was wielding a gun in a Walmart parking lot
By The Associated Press

CHESTER, S.C. -- Police in South Carolina released body camera video of officers fatally shooting a handcuffed black man they said was wielding a gun in a Walmart parking lot. Ariane Lamont McCree, 28, was shot and killed by police in November outside a Chester Walmart. He was handcuffed at the time of the shooting after being detained on suspicion of shoplifting. The South Carolina attorney general’s office said in a March news release that the officers acted in self-defense and that McCree pulled a gun on police as he was fleeing the shoplifting arrest.

Donald Trump and his followers want "order," but they have zero respect for the law. Maybe America sees that now
By David Masciotra

Mark Twain's instruction to curious residents of Freedom Central is, by now, familiar: "If you want to see the dregs of society, go down to the jail and watch the changing of the guard." There is little doubt that the corrections officer who beats and torments the inmates under his supervision would use the phrase "law and order" as a defense for his own lawlessness. Almost any usage of that loaded term in American civic discourse serves as qualification for membership in a diner's club of hell. Donald Trump, the latest political demagogue to employ the term as a rhetorical bludgeon against peaceful protesters, can look forward to sitting alongside Sen. Joseph McCarthy, former Alabama Gov. George Wallace, Chicago Mayor Richard J. Daley, who ordered police to attack political demonstrators at the 1968 Democratic convention, Richard Nixon and many foreign dictators in the annals of history — and if there is an afterlife, in the middle of the inferno. Beyond the term's dark history and utility, there is also the rarely discussed fiction it is meant to disguise. In fact, the United States is one of the least lawful societies in the developed world, and that the bulletproof bullies who scream about "law and order" are typically society's most committed enablers of criminality and corruption. The police lynching of George Floyd provoked widespread denunciation, with even ghouls like Rush Limbaugh and Mitch McConnell condemning the individual officers responsible for the death. What they do not want to acknowledge is the continuation of not only systemic racism within criminal justice, but also a culture of crime. Pundits on the American right delight in reciting the bromide, "a few bad apples," as if they coined it, but they have seemingly forgotten the full cliché: "One bad apple spoils the bunch." One need look no further than Buffalo, New York, to observe how the mold of a single fruit will soon spread to the rest. When two sadists in uniform shoved an elderly man to the ground for the crime of approaching them, causing him a critical head injury, their fellow cops made no attempt to help the victim. After the city of Buffalo suspended the perpetrators and charged them with assault, 57 officers resigned from the Emergency Response Team in support of their "brothers" whose version of "law and order" includes inflicting random violence on unarmed senior citizens.

FAKING IT

Tracy Connor - The Daily Beast

Fox News reportedly spliced together a photo of an armed man with separate photos of broken shop windows and road barriers to create two misleading images for a report on Seattle’s police-free protest area, called the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. The Seattle Times reports Fox had no disclaimers indicating the pictures—taken more than a week apart—had been altered. The network removed them when questions were raised but reportedly replaced them with an image taken before the zone was established. Fox also removed a photo of a burning city it had put above stories about Seattle; the picture actually showed an earlier protest in Minnesota. President Trump has been in a tizzy about the autonomous zone, claiming anarchists are now in control of the city, while Seattle officials note the zone has been mainly peaceful. - This may help explain why Fox News viewers do not know the truth; Fox News lies and uses alternative facts and pictures.

Newspaper found in base of marble structure is from 1936, long after the civil war for which Confederate leader is known
By Martin Pengelly in New York

Officials supervising the removal of a statue of Jefferson Davis from the Kentucky state capitol on Saturday found items left in its base. Those who put up the marble statue of the Confederate president left a Glenmore Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey bottle and a newspaper – dated 20 October 1936. Davis was born in Fairview, Kentucky in 1808 and became a soldier, a senator from Mississippi and US secretary of war. From 1861 to 1865 he led the Confederacy through the American civil war. “African slavery, as it exists in the United States, is a moral, a social and a political blessing,” he said. The Confederacy lost the war and slavery was abolished under the 13th amendment, ratified in December 1865. Davis was charged with treason but never tried, having his citizenship stripped instead. He died in New Orleans in 1889. Though Kentucky remained in the Union during the war, and indeed was the home state of Abraham Lincoln, the presence in its capitol of a statue of a Confederate leader is not particularly unusual. Nor should it seem particularly surprising that the bottle and newspaper found under the Davis statue were from the 1930s. Southern states erected many of the monuments to Confederate leaders and soldiers that are now the focus of national protests long after the civil war, at the height of the Jim Crow system of racial segregation and repression and later during years of civil rights protest and reform.


A four-year-old video showing a gang of robbers loot a gun store in Houston, Texas in 2016 has been revived and falsely linked to the recent rioting and violent protests that have erupted all across the United States following George Floyd's death. Protests broke across several cities in the United States following the death of an African-American man, George Floyd, who died after being pinned to the ground by police officers in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25, 2020. The 1 minute 22 second long surveillance cam footage shows the robbers in masks pulling up in front of a store, smashing the windows at the entrance. They proceed to break through the security door by attaching a chain to it and tying it to their running vehicle, thereby yanking it open. The gang then swarms into the ammunition store, ransacks it, smashing display cases, pocketing pistols and an entire wall of rifles. The footage from 2016 is now falsely being linked to ongoing protests claiming it shows Black Lives Matter protesters/Antifa - a far-left organisation.

By J. Edward Moreno

Prosecutors in Texas’s Harris County are investigating irregularities in the record of a Houston police officer who arrested George Floyd in 2004 on a minor drug charge, the Associated Press reported Friday. Floyd, who died at the hands of Minneapolis police on May 25, reportedly pleaded guilty in 2004 and served time for selling $10 worth of crack. But Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg told the AP that Floyd’s case could be one of the dozens that former officer Gerald Goines fabricated during his tenure. “Gerald Goines’ arrest of George Floyd reveals an offense report that is incomplete and suspect,” Ogg said in a statement to the AP. “I have instructed prosecutors to verify the facts in this offense report.” Goines is also facing murder charges after he provided false information in a January drug raid that left two people dead and several officers injured in 2019. Dozens of convictions stemming from Goines’s arrests have already been dismissed dating back to 2008. The police department told the AP that if Floyd’s case is found to be falsified, all of Goines’s cases dating back to 2004 will be considered tainted.

By Oliver Darcy, CNN Business

New York (CNN Business) Fox News published digitally altered and misleading images on its website's homepage Friday that made a demonstration in Seattle, in which a group of largely peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters have occupied six city blocks, appear violent and dangerous. The deceitful tactic was called out by The Seattle Times. The local newspaper reported that when it asked Fox News about the images, the network removed them. Fox News' depiction of the demonstration mirrors much of right-wing media's attempt to portray it as menacing. Protesters have declared a small slice of Seattle an "autonomous zone" after clashes with authorities led police to evacuate a precinct. While there have been some sightings of armed individuals, the area has remained largely peaceful with people gathering for food, speeches, and movie screenings. The narrative that took hold this week in right-wing circles was one in which armed members of Antifa seized a section of Seattle. City officials have said they have not interacted with members of Antifa, a network of loosely affiliated groups that have a history of violently clashing with right-wing organizations. "It's not an armed takeover," Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan said on CNN Thursday night. "It's not a military junta." President Trump has, however, seemingly seized on reports in right-wing media, calling the protesters "domestic terrorists" and threatening to use federal force to clear them out of the area. Despite a description by the President that is at odds with the reality on the ground, Fox News has continued to present the situation as dangerous. Its publishing of altered and misleading images on its highly-trafficked website was the latest — and arguably the most egregious — example of that. Among the photos that Fox News published on its homepage was one that showed a protester running past a burning vehicle and building with the headline "CRAZY TOWN" blaring across the website. The image, which accompanied a story about the situation in Seattle, was in fact taken from the unrest last month in Minnesota. In other photos that showed the scene in Seattle, Fox News digitally added an image of a man armed with an assault rifle. - This may help explain why Fox News viewers do not know the truth; Fox News lies and uses alternative facts and pictures.

The Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — Fox News has removed digitally altered photos from its website after the Seattle Times on Friday noted misleading images used in the network’s coverage about a Seattle neighborhood that’s become a protest center against police brutality and racial injustice. As of Saturday, Fox News included an editors note posted at the top of at least three stories on its website covering the protest zone, saying it replaced a “home page photo collage” because it “did not clearly delineate between these images” and that it mistakenly included a St. Paul, Minnesota, photo in a slideshow about Seattle. The Seattle Times reports Fox News’ website featured at least two photos on Friday that inserted an image of a man standing with a military-style rifle, and that there were no disclaimers on how they were manipulated when featured on the network’s website for most of the day Friday.- This may help explain why Fox News viewers do not know the truth; Fox News lies and uses alternative facts and pictures.

By Jason Slotkin

Atlanta's chief of police has resigned, less than a day after police fatally shot a 27-year-old black man outside of a fast food restaurant. Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Saturday that she had accepted Erika Shields' resignation. During a press conference, Bottoms said Shields had informed her of the decision, saying it was out of a desire for the Atlanta Police Department to serve as a model for reform. "Chief Shields has offered to immediately step aside as police chief so that the city may move forward with urgency in rebuilding the trust so desperately needed throughout our community," Bottoms said. Shields' resignation follows an outcry over the Friday night death of Rayshard Brooks. A police officer shot the 27-year-old after Brooks ran away with an officer's Taser and pointed it at police following a scuffle, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said. Police had been called after Brooks was found asleep in a car at a Wendy's drive-through. The GBI said officers attempted to arrest him when Brooks failed a sobriety test. Authorities have not identified Brooks' race, though widely circulated video on social media shows a black man grappling with two police officers before running away with one of their Tasers. The two officers then give chase and shots are heard out of view. During the press conference, Bottoms offered her condolences to Brooks' family. She also called for the immediate termination of the officer who fired the shots that killed Brooks. "While there may be debate whether this was an appropriate use of deadly force, I firmly believe there is a clear distinction between what you can do and what you should do," Bottoms said. "I do not believe that this was a justified use of deadly force and have called for the immediate termination of the officer."

Authorities in Palmdale vowed to look into Robert Fuller’s death after a medical examiner refused to label the death a suicide. Protesters gather at the Palmdale sheriff’s station to demand an investigation into Robert Fuller’s death. The 24-year-old black man was found hanging from a tree near city hall.
Guardian staff and agencies

Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Palmdale in southern California on Saturday to demand a full investigation into the death of a 24-year-old black man found hanging from a tree near city hall. Authorities in the southern California city vowed on Friday to investigate the death of Robert Fuller, after the Los Angeles county medical examiner deferred an earlier decision labeling the cause of death as suicide pending a full autopsy. Community members had confronted city officials at a contentious news briefing Friday, asking why they were quick to label Fuller’s death on Wednesday a suicide and demanding an independent autopsy. On Saturday, protesters marched from the park where Fuller was found to the Los Angeles county sheriff’s station, demanding a full investigation into the man’s death. Many carried signs that said “Justice for Robert Fuller”.

By Tracy Jan, Jena McGregor, Renae Merle and Nitasha Tiku

Corporate America — including Wall Street and Silicon Valley giants — is now pledging to play a bigger role in combating systemic racism across the United States, but an examination of companies’ track records shows that they have repeatedly stopped short of major overhauls during prior opportunities for change. The new corporate posture has spread across firms from nearly every industry in the past few weeks as companies rushed to respond to nationwide protests. One of the most provocative statements came from Jamie Dimon, chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, kneeling with his mostly white staff at a branch of United States’ largest bank. Dimon, wearing shorts, sneakers and a mask, was adopting the once-controversial protest pose of former quarterback Colin Kaepernick, still blacklisted from the NFL for calling attention to police brutality against African Americans. Finance, tech and retail firms are proclaiming support for a protest movement that has galvanized the American public amid a pandemic that has disproportionately claimed black lives and livelihoods. Pushed by employees in some cases, and in others by a fear of losing customers, corporations are being forced to examine their roles in perpetuating inequalities in hiring, pay and promotion, fostering toxic workplace cultures and consumer discrimination. Their track records have raised skepticism about whether they will indeed introduce the kind of change that would make this moment a turning point for racial equity. “There’s a lot of performative allyship going around,” said Y-Vonne Hutchinson, chief executive and founder of diversity consulting firm ReadySet. “Nobody’s asking for a CEO to take a knee. You take the knee after you change your policies.”

Hammer Time

Angry Woman Smashes Up Neighbor's Car
TMZ

A racist woman in L.A. brought hammers to a face-off with her neighbors -- whose car she proceeded to smash up ... which got her an ass-whooping. Check out this video that was shot earlier this week in Chatsworth, just outside of central L.A. in the San Fernando Valley. The video picks up with this older white-looking woman using two hammers to bang up the side of her neighbor's sedan. You only see her hit it twice once the camera starts rolling, but if you take a good look along the exterior ... it looks like she went to town on it beforehand. The woman proceeds to walk toward the neighbors with both hammers in hand, almost as if she's going to attack -- but she stops, and tells them to "get the f*** out of this neighborhood." She then tells 'em to call the cops, but the neighbors are way ahead of her.

By Isaac Stanley-Becker

Fox News on Friday removed manipulated images that had appeared on its website as part of the outlet’s coverage of protests over the killing of George Floyd, which has occasioned peaceful assemblies in cities across the country and, in Seattle, given rise to an unusual experiment in self-government. The misleading material ran alongside stories about a small expanse of city blocks in Seattle that activists have claimed as the Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone. The police-free environment has become an object of scorn for right-wing activists and President Trump. As protesters occupied a six-block area surrounding an abandoned police precinct — and as Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan (D) promised to protect their First Amendment rights — Trump this week labeled them “domestic terrorists” and pledged to “take back” the city if state and local officials didn’t. The occupation has been peaceful, with activists from around the city visiting the car-free streets for political speeches, concerts and free food. But Fox’s coverage contributed to the appearance of armed unrest. The misleading material spliced a June 10 photograph of an armed man at the Seattle protests with different photographs — one also from June 10, of a sign reading, “You Are Now Entering Free Cap Hill,” and others from images captured May 30 of a shattered storefront and other unrest downtown. The conservative news site, in coverage that labeled Seattle “CRAZY TOWN” and called the city “helpless,” also displayed an image of a city block set ablaze that was actually taken in St. Paul, Minn. Fox removed the edited images in response to an article in the Seattle Times, telling the outlet in a statement, “We have replaced our photo illustration with the clearly delineated images of a gunman and a shattered storefront, both of which were taken this week in Seattle’s autonomous zone.” The image of the shattered storefront, however, was not captured this week in the autonomous zone. - This may help explain why Fox News viewers do not know the truth; Fox News lies and uses alternative facts and pictures.

Reuters

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services issued a rule on Friday that would lift anti-discrimination protections under Obamacare for transgender people and women seeking abortions, drawing condemnation from Democratic lawmakers.

By Amber Phillips

QAnon is a conspiracy theory that didn’t exist until a few years ago. It’s actually a webbed network of conspiracy theories that, at its most basic, alleges there is a secret group of elites working to get President Trump out of office. There are allegations of pedophilia mixed in there, too. So what’s up with two congressional candidates who have embraced this relatively new conspiracy theory winning their primaries in 2020? One even has a good shot of going to Congress. In May, Jo Rae Perkins won a Republican Senate primary in Oregon after saying she supports the conspiracy theory. And on Tuesday, Marjorie Taylor Greene made it to an August runoff in a competitive Republican congressional primary in northwest Georgia. Greene is now a pretty sure bet to make it to Congress: She beat her runoff opponent by 20 points in the primary, and the district is a safe Republican one. Experts on conspiracy theories and political psychology warned about reading too much into these wins. “Two is not a trend,” said Joseph Uscinski at the University of Miami, who has written a book about why people believe in conspiracy theories. He said there is probably more we can take away from the roughly 50 QAnon supporters who are running for Congress this year. Their campaigns suggest adherents of a fringe theory feel emboldened to come out of the shadows under Trump.

'It shows how deeply rooted racism is in this body,' said state Rep. Juanita Brent.
By Corky Siemaszko

Ohio lawmakers have thwarted two bids to bar Confederate memorabilia from certain public events even as thousands of Americans protest the police killing of George Floyd and organizations like NASCAR ban the "banner of white supremacy." Overnight, the Republican majority in the statehouse rejected an amendment that would “prohibit the sale, display, possession or distribution of Confederate memorabilia at local and county fairs.” “The Confederate flag is a banner of white supremacy and a reminder of our nation’s original sin of slavery,” Rep. Juanita Brent, a Cleveland Democrat and sponsor of the amendment, said in a statement. Brent also noted that in 2015 the Ohio State Fair banned the sale of Confederate flag merchandise. But GOP lawmakers argued such a ban would violate First Amendment rights and removed it from a bill aimed at providing aid to the 87 county and seven independent fairs that were shut down by the coronavirus pandemic, Brent told NBC News.

By Brendan Cole

An investigation is under way into the circumstances surrounding the death of a 24-year-old black man found hanged near Palmdale City Hall in a case which was initially ruled a suicide but which has sparked concern from the local community that foul play may have been involved. Robert Fuller of Antelope Valley was found by a passerby in Poncitlan Square, across from the building early Monday morning in what the city's coroner's office had initially described as an "alleged death by suicide." City Hall initially issued a statement about the death which said: "Sadly, it is not the first such incident since the COVID-19 pandemic began," CNN reported. The cause of his death has since been deferred pending an investigation and a full autopsy. Fuller's death has sparked much attention at a time of heightened awareness over race expressed in protests following the police killing of George Floyd. Community members in Palmdale want a full probe into whether the death was in fact a homicide. On Friday, dozens of people held a rally in the area where the body was found, My News LA reported, with some labeling it a lynching and criticizing authorities for ruling it so quickly as a suicide.

Prior to this primary season, the conspiracy theorists had mostly kept their activities to the internet. But QAnon boosters are now aiming for elected office.
By TINA NGUYEN

For the last three years, the amorphous QAnon conspiracy movement has seeped into the fringes of President Donald Trump’s internet world, with supporters even popping up at the president’s rallies. But QAnon adherents are now filtering into electoral politics. According to Media Matters, a progressive watchdog group that monitors conservative media, there are 51 candidates running for Congress who have promoted the messages of “Q” — a mysterious internet figure who drops digital “crumbs” about a secret war Trump is waging against a cabal of pedophile political elites in Washington. And on Tuesday, seven of them emerged in congressional Republican primaries. One of them, Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia, is favored to eventually end up in Congress. The loosely connected cohort that follows Q, known as QAnon, exists in a symbiotic relationship with the president, and sees Trump as an almost messianic figure. Q has prophesied an upcoming event dubbed “The Storm,” when Trump will reveal the mass arrest — and potentially even the mass execution — of the Washington figures responsible for everything from a worldwide child sex ring to murdering a Democratic National Committee staffer. Meanwhile, Trump has flirted right back, inviting one of QAnon’s top promoters to pose with him in the Oval Office, and retweeting over 130 tweets that directly reference QAnon-related claims.

By Sarah Moon, CNN

(CNN) Dozens of people gathered at Palmdale city council chambers Friday as officials held a press conference on the death of a 24-year-old black man who was found hanging from a tree in northern Los Angeles County. Shortly after 3:30 a.m. Monday, a passerby noticed a man, later identified as Robert L. Fuller, hanging from a tree in Palmdale, California. Fire department personnel who responded to the scene determined he was dead, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement. Palmdale city described it as "an alleged death by suicide." "Sadly, it is not the first such incident since the COVID-19 pandemic began," the city said in a statement that included information on resources for mental health. "The city remains committed to addressing mental health issues during these difficult times. We are in this together." When a spokesperson for the sheriff's department announced the preliminary findings of Fuller's death during the news conference, outraged crowds demanded an investigation. "We're working hard to try to figure out exactly what happened," Palmdale Mayor Steven D. Hofbauer shouted as he tried to calm people down. Attendees asked for camera footage of the incident, but a city official said there's none. Throughout the news conference, officials repeatedly called it an ongoing investigation, saying a full autopsy is underway.

The killing of George Floyd has been a turning point for for everyone but the president – who has seldom been so isolated from his own party and the public
By David Smith in Washington - The Guardian

Longtime observers of Donald Trump have often compared him to an old man sitting at the end of a bar, holding forth with crazed opinions, overwhelming self-assurance and taboo-busting shock value guaranteed to draw a crowd. Now, perhaps for the first time, it seems the US president may have lost the room. Trump’s sixth sense for striking populist notes appears to have deserted him in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an African American man killed when a white Minneapolis police officer kneeled on his neck for nearly nine minutes, sparking Black Lives Matter protests nationwide. Over the last three weeks the president has found himself on the wrong side of public opinion – and history – on everything from police reform to symbols of the Confederacy which fought a civil war to preserve slavery 150 years ago. Even a sport synonymous with his base, Nascar (National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing), is on a different wavelength having banned the Confederate flag from its events. Some presidents capture a moment and give voice to a movement. At this time of national reckoning, however, Trump seems to have hit the wrong notes, out of tune with much (if not all) of the rest of the nation. “Whether it is suggesting shooting protesters or siccing dogs on them, pre-emptively defending the Confederate names of military installations or arguing that his supporters ‘love the Black people’, Mr Trump increasingly sounds like a cultural relic, detached from not just the left-leaning protesters in the streets but also the country’s political middle and even some Republican allies and his own military leaders,” the New York Times wrote on Thursday.

By Morgan Gstalter

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Friday slammed the Trump administration’s decision to roll back LGBTQ protections in the Affordable Care Act, calling the move “unconscionable.” “This action is unconscionable — and to do so during Pride Month, on the fourth anniversary of the deadly terrorist attack at the Pulse Nightclub that claimed 49 lives, many of them members of the LGBTQ+ community, is despicable,” the presumptive Democratic nominee said in a statement. During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Biden accused Trump of being “more consumed with destroying the legacy of the Obama-Biden Administration than protecting the health care of millions of Americans.” The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on Friday released a final rule scrapping ObamaCare’s nondiscrimination protections for sex and gender identity. The previous administration’s rule made it illegal for doctors, hospitals and other health care workers to deny care to someone whose sexual orientation or gender identity they disapproved of by expanding the law’s definition of sex discrimination to include gender identity for the first time. The new policy establishes the government’s interpretation of sex discrimination to be based on "the plain meaning of the word 'sex' as male or female and as determined by biology."

No.
Factcheck

In viral tweets Wednesday, political provocateurs Candace Owens and Charlie Kirk suggested that donations to the Black Lives Matter Foundation are being sent instead to ActBlue, a Democratic political committee: Daily Beast reporter Lachlan Markay pointed out that Owens’s tweets, and Kirk’s by extension, are inaccurate—while ActBlue is organized as a political committee, it acts as a nonprofit fundraising tool that serves as a conduit, rather than a collector, for donations. ActBlue’s website explains that the platform is available to “Democratic candidates and committees, progressive organizations, and nonprofits that share our values.” Such groups can incorporate an ActBlue contribution form into their websites for free—although there is a 3.95 percent processing fee on donations—allowing groups and candidates to raise funds without having to create and maintain their own secure method of receiving donations. While donations go to ActBlue initially, the group delivers the funds to the organization or candidate intended by the donor. It’s only possible for ActBlue to redirect funds if the recipient refuses a donation or doesn’t cash a check from ActBlue for 60 days. In such an instance, a donation is re-designated as a contribution to ActBlue (if earmarked for a campaign or committee), to support social welfare activities (if earmarked for social welfare organizations), or to ActBlue Charities (if earmarked for a charitable organization). In other words, even if Black Lives Matter were to refuse donations the funds would be given to another similar cause, not the Democratic Party or any political candidates. Donations can be made directly to ActBlue as well to support the organization.

TMZ

A 27-year-old African-American man was shot in the back and killed by Atlanta police Friday night, after someone complained he was sleeping in his car at a Wendy's drive-thru. TMZ obtained video of what went down around 10:30 PM ... cops got a call that the car in which the man was sleeping was blocking other cars in line. The other customers could still pick up their food ... they just had to go around him to the window. According to the police report, 2 officers tried placing Rayshard Brooks under arrest -- after they say he failed field sobriety testing. In the video, you can see the officers wrestling with Rayshard on the ground for nearly 30 seconds. When Rayshard stood up, cops say he had taken a taser from one of the officers -- the other cop opened fire with his taser, and Rayshard started running away. Both cops started chasing him from behind ... and within seconds 3 shots were fired at Rayhsard. He was taken to a hospital where he died during surgery.

TMZ

3:41 PM PT -- Torrance police have identified this "Karen" as 56-year-old Lena Hernandez from Long Beach. They say she's been involved in at least 3 racial incidents in which criminal reports were taken.

During one incident this past October, cops say Hernandez allegedly harassed a custodian and physically assaulted a Good Samaritan.

6:19 AM PT -- 6/12 -- A new video -- which is somehow even more disturbing than the first -- has surfaced of SoCal Karen. The clip shows the woman confront an Asian man in a parking lot and launch a series of racist remarks at him. We're told this incident happened after the first one, but on the same day, and a police report for criminal threats was filed this time. Cops are still working to get in touch with the woman.

2:42 PM PT -- Law enforcement sources tell TMZ ... cops have now spoken to the young woman exercising at the park and we're told police took a report for misdemeanor criminal threats. Our sources say cops are now working to locate the woman who spewed the racist tirade. When cops wrap up the investigation, we're told they'll submit the case to the city attorney.

New rule (apparently): Where there's a park, there's an angry white woman -- aka "Karen" -- spewing hateful, racist words ... and this winner does her biz in a Southern California park. Meet Torrance "Karen," everyone.

ABC News

At the height of his career in the NFL, Kaepernick took a stand against racial inequality and police brutality for the world to see. Since then, his allies say his intentions have been misinterpreted.

In 2019, USA TODAY led a national effort to publish disciplinary records for police officers. George Floyd's death has renewed calls for transparency
By John Kelly, and Mark Nichols, USA TODAY

At least 85,000 law enforcement officers across the USA have been investigated or disciplined for misconduct over the past decade, an investigation by USA TODAY Network found. Officers have beaten members of the public, planted evidence and used their badges to harass women. They have lied, stolen, dealt drugs, driven drunk and abused their spouses. Despite their role as public servants, the men and women who swear an oath to keep communities safe can generally avoid public scrutiny for their misdeeds. The records of their misconduct are filed away, rarely seen by anyone outside their departments. Police unions and their political allies have worked to put special protections in place ensuring some records are shielded from public view, or even destroyed. Reporters from USA TODAY, its affiliated newsrooms across the country and the nonprofit Invisible Institute in Chicago spent more than a year creating the biggest collection of police misconduct records. Obtained from thousands of state agencies, prosecutors, police departments and sheriffs, the records detail at least 200,000 incidents of alleged misconduct, much of it previously unreported. The records obtained include more than 110,000 internal affairs investigations by hundreds of individual departments and more than 30,000 officers who were decertified by 44 state oversight agencies.

Among the findings:
   Most misconduct involves routine infractions, but the records reveal tens of thousands of cases of serious misconduct and abuse. They include 22,924 investigations of officers using excessive force, 3,145 allegations of rape, child molestation and other sexual misconduct and 2,307 cases of domestic violence by officers. Dishonesty is a frequent problem. The records document at least 2,227 instances of perjury, tampering with evidence or witnesses or falsifying reports. There were 418 reports of officers obstructing investigations, most often when they or someone they knew were targets. Less than 10% of officers in most police forces get investigated for misconduct. Yet some officers are consistently under investigation. Nearly 2,500 have been investigated on 10 or more charges. Twenty faced 100 or more allegations yet kept their badge for years. The level of oversight varies widely from state to state. Georgia and Florida decertified thousands of police officers for everything from crimes to questions about their fitness to serve; other states banned almost none.

According to new research, reassigning police officers with a history of misconduct makes it more likely that their new peers will also misbehave.
ByKatherine J. Wu

Nearly five years after fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald in October 2014, former Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke is now serving a seven-year prison sentence on a conviction of second-degree murder. But firing 16 bullets at a black teenager holding a knife was likely far from Van Dyke’s first offense. Since he began policing in 2001, at least 25 separate complaints have been filed against Van Dyke by civilians and fellow officers, most involving excessive force. Prior to the most recent charges, none of these allegations resulted in disciplinary action, leaving Van Dyke in the employ of the Chicago Police Department until he was stripped of the position during indictments. Van Dyke’s case is extreme. But his trajectory wasn’t anomalous. Rather than being fired, officers accused of stealing, lying, mistreating civilians, or otherwise abusing their power are often allowed to retain their roles as public servants, with some rerouted into new positions in the force as a reprimand for bad behavior. Now, new research published today in the journal Nature Human Behavior suggests that retaining misbehaving officers in police organizations may have far worse consequences than leaving accusations unaddressed: It could actually propagate misconduct itself.


Black people are being murdered and brutalized by police with near impunity. Act with us to end police brutality, demand racial justice, and defend our right to protest. Your donation will fuel our legal battles and urgent advocacy efforts.

By Tom Jackman

So far this month, two New York City police commanders have been arrested on corruption allegations, an officer in Killeen, Tex., has been accused of sexually assaulting a female driver, a Philadelphia police officer has been charged with extortion of a drug dealer, and an officer in Hono­lulu has been accused of raping a 14-year-old girl. Such sporadic news accounts of police officers being arrested led one group of researchers to a question: How much crime do police officers commit?  No one was keeping track, much as no one was tracking how often police officers shoot and kill civilians, although both may involve use of police power and abuse of public trust. Now there is an answer: Police officers are arrested about 1,100 times a year, or roughly three officers charged every day, according to a new national study. The most common crimes were simple assault, drunken driving and aggravated assault, and significant numbers of sex crimes were also found. About 72 percent of officers charged in cases with known outcomes are convicted, more than 40 percent of the crimes are committed on duty, and nearly 95 percent of the officers charged are men. The study is thought to be the first-ever nationwide look at police crime, and was conducted by researchers at Bowling Green State University through a grant from the Justice Department’s National Institute of Justice. The research covered seven years, 2005 to 2011, and sought to quantify not only the prevalence of police officers arrested across the country, but also how law enforcement agencies discipline officers who are arrested and how officer arrests might correlate with other forms of misconduct.

President Trump’s election-year push to foreground immigration is officially in full swing.
By Nicole Narea

The Trump administration has proposed a regulation that would deliver its biggest blow to the US asylum system yet, vastly expanding immigration officials’ authority to turn away migrants. If enacted, it would all but close America’s doors to asylum seekers — a signature policy for a president desperately trying to rally his base in an election year. The regulation, which was announced Wednesday, would allow immigration officials to discard asylum seekers’ applications as “frivolous” without so much as a hearing, and make it impossible for victims of gang-related and gender-based violence to obtain protection in the US. It would also refuse asylum to anyone coming from a country other than Canada or Mexico, or who does not arrive on a direct flight to the US, as well as anyone who has failed to pay taxes, among other provisions. President Donald Trump has been working to dismantle the asylum system for years, but this latest regulation is part of an election-year push to curtail immigration. In recent months and under the pretext of responding to the coronavirus pandemic, his administration has closed the US-Mexico border, begun rapidly returning asylum seekers arriving on the southern border to Mexico, and issued a temporary ban on the issuance of new green cards — policies that are now being challenged in court. He is also expected to soon impose new restrictions on work-based visas with the stated purpose of protecting jobless Americans. These policies had already made it exceedingly difficult for asylum seekers to apply for and obtain protections amid the pandemic. The administration’s latest regulation would make it all but impossible.

The question of past arrests often surfaces among people who want to rationalize police officers' actions when Black men are killed in custody.
By Jessica Lee

As cities worldwide erupted in protests over the death of George Floyd — a Black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis — the leader of that city’s police federation sent the below-displayed email to union members. In it, he criticized journalists’ and politicians’ portrayal of the man whose death had sparked a global reckoning over racism in policing. “What is not being told is the violent criminal history of George Floyd,” said Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) Lt. Bob Kroll, who represents more than 800 police officers. “The media will not air this.” The June 1, 2020, letter by Kroll, whom Snopes could not reach for this report, inspired a wave of claims online about Floyd’s alleged arrests and incarcerations before his death — mostly among people who seemed to be searching for evidence that either the actions by the Minneapolis police officer who choked Floyd were justified, or memorials to honor him were unnecessary. Among the most popular claims were those by the right-wing commentator Candace Owens, who, in a roughly 18-minute video that’s been viewed more than 6 million times, made several accusations about Floyd’s past and the events that led to his death. She said:     No one thinks that he should have died in his arrest, but what I find despicable to be is that everyone is pretending that this man lived a heroic lifestyle when he didn’t. …I refuse to accept the narrative that this person is a martyr or should be lifted up in the black community. …He has a rap sheet that is long, that is dangerous. He is an example of a violent criminal his entire life — up until the very last moment.” She claimed reporters had wrongly interpreted Floyd’s death to the public by purposefully omitting details about his past unlawful behavior, and she falsely and inappropriately called police brutality a “myth” and part of some nefarious scheme by news media to polarize Americans before the 2020 U.S. presidential election. That video, as well as misleading photographs, memes like the one displayed below, and sensationalized tabloid stories about Floyd’s past, prompted numerous inquiries to Snopes from people wondering if he had indeed served time in jail or prison before his death at age 46.

Police Arrested Floyd a Total of 9 Times, Mostly on Drug and Theft Charges
According to court records in Harris County, which encompasses Floyd’s hometown of Houston, authorities arrested him on nine separate occasions between 1997 and 2007, mostly on drug and theft charges that resulted in months-long jail sentences.

It’s an Exaggeration of Toxicology Findings To Claim Floyd Was ‘High on Meth’ When He Died
In response to one of Owens’ claims  — “George Floyd at the time of his arrest was high on fentanyl and he was high on methamphetamine” — as well as assertions by social media users who seemed to be in search of proof for why the MPD officers acted the way they did, here we unpack the results of Floyd’s autopsy report. The claim is two-pronged: that Floyd had meth in his system and that he was high on the drug when Chauvin knelt on his neck, choking him.

From the lies-are-useful-right-up-until-they-aren't dept
By Tim Cushing

The fallout continues from a no-knock raid in Houston that left the two homeowners dead. The warrant was predicated on statements/controlled buys "performed" by a nonexistent informant using drugs apparently "found" in Officer Gerald Goines' squad car. What was supposed to be the takedown of a dangerous heroin dealer was actually the killing of two people who possessed no heroin. Instead, investigators found personal use amounts of cocaine and marijuana, and none of the drugs or weapons Officer Goines claimed would be found at the residence in his warrant application. Since then, it has been proven that sworn officer Gerald Goines is less trustworthy than the public he was supposed to protect. Goines is now facing a handful of state and federal charges related to the unjustified no-knock raid that ended with two Houston citizens dead. It often appears that few police officers -- especially those in drug units -- want to earn the public's trust. All they want is a bunch of easy wins. Forced to confront the dirty dealings of a few dirty cops, the local prosecutor's office is voluntarily giving up a bunch of their easy wins. Here's Jacob Sullum of Reason with more details:

‘RELIEVED OF DUTY’

Years before a monster cop in Minneapolis cut George Floyd’s life tragically short, Gerald Goines carried out an insidiously routine bit of police misconduct in Houston on Floyd.
By Michael Daly

Among the mourners at George Floyd’s funeral was Harris County Attorney Kim Ogg, whose office sent Floyd a letter last year saying he may have been a victim of a police injustice, long before the one that killed him. The letter is dated March 8, 2019, and was sent to 3512 Nalle St. in Houston, the last address listed in court records. His mother, Larcenia Floyd, resided there until her death on May 30, 2018. Floyd had not lived here since 2014, when he moved to Minneapolis. He may have never received the notification that addressed him not as Mr. Floyd or as George Floyd, but as he is listed in the case cited at the top of the page. Goines’ veracity in general was called into question after he was arrested last year. He was alleged to have cited a fictitious informant in securing a search warrant for a house where there was supposed drug dealing. The ensuing raid resulted in Dennis Tuttle and his wife, Rhogena Nicholas, being shot to death by police, who also killed their dog. No drugs were found. The couple seems to have been wholly innocent.

Minor drug offenses like Mr. Floyd’s aren’t cases ‘that we would accept for charges under my administration,’ Harris County district attorney says
By Erin Ailworth

Houston’s top prosecutor has concluded that a scandal-ridden former Houston police officer likely lied when he arrested George Floyd on a minor drug offense for which Mr. Floyd served time in state jail. The Harris County District Attorney, Kim Ogg, also said that due to her office’s examination of Mr. Floyd’s case it could expand a continuing investigation to examine more arrests made by Gerald Goines, who was charged with murder after a botched drug raid in 2019 in which two people were killed.

MSNBC

In a newly released comedy special, Comedian Dave Chappelle addressed the murder of George Floyd. In the socially-distant comedy special entitled “8:46,” a nod to the length of time the officers knelt on Floyd’s neck, Chappelle said “one of the hardest parts of the tape to listen to” was hearing Floyd tell “the police he couldn’t breathe.” Chappelle questioned the motive of the officers, asking if they kneeled “on a man’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds and feel like you wouldn't get the wrath of God.”

By Mack Jones

SALT LAKE CITY — Rep. Ben McAdams says he is “outraged” by Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin’s decision to withhold information on who received loan money from the $500 billion Paycheck Protection Program. The paycheck loan program was approved by Congress earlier this year to help small businesses keep paying their employees during shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Mnuchin said during a congressional hearing earlier this week that the names of business that received the loans and the amount they received is “proprietary information.” “What part of ‘it’s taxpayer money’ does (Mnuchin) not understand? These tax dollars are meant to help Main Street businesses in cities and towns across the country,” McAdams said in a press release. “We know that is not what is happening, based on news accounts of large companies getting these loans while small business owners were left out in the cold. Transparency, not secrecy, is the only way to keep faith with citizens that their money is getting to those for whom it was intended.”

The Treasury secretary's refusal has created a new flashpoint in Congress' oversight of the Trump administration's use of coronavirus bailout funds.
By ZACHARY WARMBRODT

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is facing criticism from lawmakers and watchdog groups after refusing to disclose the businesses that received more than $500 billion in government-backed emergency loans. Mnuchin ignited controversy on Wednesday when he said the Trump administration will not reveal the names of companies and nonprofits that got the so-called Paycheck Protection Program loans, which are guaranteed by the taxpayer and can be forgiven in full if borrowers maintain their payrolls. Mnuchin said the names and specific loan amounts were "proprietary" and "confidential," but that came as a shock after officials had indicated earlier that the information would be subject to public scrutiny. The Small Business Administration warns borrowers in the program's loan application that their names and loan values will be released under Freedom of Information Act requests. POLITICO has sought the information under FOIA, and several other news outlets are suing the government to obtain it. Republicans and Democrats have pressed the administration to disclose loan recipients in recent weeks, and Mnuchin's refusal has created a new flashpoint in Congress' oversight of the Trump administration's use of coronavirus bailout funds. It's fueling concerns that have dogged the program since its April 3 launch that too much of the aid is going to well-financed businesses that don't need it. “Given the many problems with the PPP program, it is imperative American taxpayers know if the money is going where Congress intended — to the truly small and unbanked small business," Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said Friday. "The administration’s resistance to transparency is outrageous and only serves to raise further suspicions about how the funds are being distributed and who is actually benefiting.”

By Joshua Partlow, David A. Fahrenthold and Jonathan O'Connell

The head of President Trump’s flagship hotel stood on Pennsylvania Avenue with face mask on and two thumbs up. After three brutal months of empty hotel rooms and a skeleton staff, Mickael Damelincourt finally had something to celebrate: new sidewalk seating to safely welcome back Trump’s MAGA-loving customers. “Let’s get back to work,” Damelincourt tweeted on May 28. By the next day, Trump was in his underground bunker, protesters swarmed downtown Washington cursing Trump’s name, and the hotel’s outdoor seating experiment was tabled. The whiplash at Trump’s D.C. hotel is emblematic of the problems faced by his company, which was already suffering from a tarnished brand before the novel coronavirus hit. The fresh wave of political anger directed toward Trump complicates an already difficult recovery for the company. Interviews with current and former Trump Organization employees and tenants, and emails obtained by The Washington Post, show the pandemic in particular has rattled operations at the company. With thousands of Trump’s hotel rooms empty, the company laid off or furloughed more than 2,800 employees and scoured for even the smallest savings. It eliminated flowers, chocolates and newspapers at its New York hotel and turned off lights in common areas in its Chicago hotel to save on electricity, according to letters that hotel management sent to investors. “This was not just a step down,” Eric Danziger, the chief executive of Trump Hotels, told board members of Trump’s Chicago hotel on April 22, according to an account of his phone call obtained by The Post. “This was a steep dive.”

By Devan Cole, CNN

Washington (CNN) The Trump administration announced Friday it is eliminating an Obama-era regulation prohibiting discrimination in health care against patients who are transgender. The move -- coming during Pride Month, an annual celebration of the LGBTQ community that takes place throughout the month of June, and on the four-year anniversary of the deadly Pulse nightclub shooting, in which 49 people were killed at a popular LGBTQ venue in Orlando -- was swiftly denounced by LGBTQ groups, which see the action as discriminatory. Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act, known as the Health Care Rights Law, "prohibits discrimination based on race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability in certain health programs and activities." A rule enacted in 2016 interpreted the ban on sex discrimination to include discrimination on the basis of gender identity, building on similar interpretations in other federal civil rights laws and court rulings, and termination of pregnancy. But the US Department of Health and Human Services said in a statement Friday that it was eliminating "certain provisions of the 2016 Rule that exceeded the scope of the authority delegated by Congress in Section 1557. HHS will enforce Section 1557 by returning to the government's interpretation of sex discrimination according to the plain meaning of the word 'sex' as male or female and as determined by biology."  "The 2016 Rule declined to recognize sexual orientation as a protected category under the ACA, and HHS will leave that judgment undisturbed," HHS said. The department had proposed a similar change to the Obama-era rule last year, saying that in light of several legal challenges to the rule, it wanted to "address the overbroad interpretations" of it and "reduce the significant confusion and unjustified burdens" it said the rule caused. Several LGBTQ rights groups immediately condemned the change, and The Human Rights Campaign said it plans to mount a legal challenge. "We cannot and will not allow Donald Trump to continue attacking us. Today, the Human Rights Campaign is announcing plans to sue the Trump administration for exceeding their legal authority and attempting to remove basic health care protections from vulnerable communities including LGBTQ people," Alphonso David, the group's president, said in a statement.

By Sonam Sheth

President Donald Trump claimed in a Fox News interview with Harris Faulkner that he's done more for the Black community than any other president in history, including Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln is one of the most popular presidents in US history and widely revered for signing the Emancipation Proclamation, which ended slavery. "So I think I've done more for the Black community than any other president, and let's take a pass on Abraham Lincoln because he did good, although it's always questionable, you know, in other words, the end result —" Trump said before Faulkner interjected. "Well, we are free, Mr. President, so I think he did pretty well," she said, referring to Lincoln. "We are free," Trump said. "You understand what I mean." "Yeah, I get it," Faulkner said. This isn't the first time Trump has claimed he's done more for the Black community than his predecessors. "This may well be the president's most audacious claim ever," Michael Fauntroy, a professor of political science at Howard University, told The New York Times earlier this month. "Not only has he not done more than anybody else, he's done close to the least." The majority of historians and experts believe Lincoln and former President Lyndon B. Johnson have had the most legislative achievements in advancing civil rights, according to The Times. Johnson, in particular, advocated for the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and the Fair Housing Act. Other presidents like Ulysses S. Grant, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton also took action to protect and enforce the constitutional rights of Black Americans, as well as diversify the federal government and the judiciary.

By Selena Simmons-Duffin

The Trump administration Friday finalized a rule that would remove nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people when it comes to health care and health insurance. "HHS respects the dignity of every human being, and as we have shown in our response to the pandemic, we vigorously protect and enforce the civil rights of all to the fullest extent permitted by our laws as passed by Congress," said Roger Severino, who directs the Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Health and Human Services, in written statement announcing that the HHS rule had become final. The rule is set to go into effect by mid-August. This is one of many rules and regulations put forward by the Trump administration that defines "sex discrimination" as only applying when someone faces discrimination for being male or female, and does not protect people from discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Supporters of the rule say this is a necessary reversal of Obama-era executive overreach, and will reduce confusion about the legal meaning of "sex discrimination." Critics argue the rule could further harm an already vulnerable group — transgender people — in the midst of a pandemic and historic unrest spurred by the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police in Minneapolis.

By Jacob Pramuk

President Donald Trump downplayed the danger of police chokeholds on Friday even as he suggested he could support banning the practice during a nationwide outcry against brutality. In a Fox News interview, the president said that “the concept of chokeholds sounds so innocent and so perfect” in “one-on-one” struggles. He added that it becomes “a bit of a different story” if “it’s two-on-one.” “With that being said, it would be I think a very good thing that, generally speaking, it should be ended,” Trump said. Asked at what level of government a ban should take place, he said that “in some cases” the law could come from local officials, but the U.S. government could make “very strong recommendations” about the practice. The killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old unarmed Black man who died after police knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes in Minneapolis last month, has sparked more than two weeks of demonstrations calling for officials to address police violence and systemic racism. Floyd’s pleas of “I can’t breathe” echoed the words of Eric Garner, a Black man killed in New York City when police held him in a banned chokehold in 2014.

By Colin Dwyer

Three major drug store chains have announced plans to stop locking up beauty and hair care products aimed at black women and other customers "from diverse backgrounds." The companies — Walmart, Walgreens and CVS — made their plans known in separate statements shared with NPR on Friday. "We're sensitive to the issue and understand the concerns raised by our customers and members of the community," a Walmart spokesperson said, "and have made the decision to discontinue placing multicultural hair care and beauty products — a practice in place in about a dozen of our 4,700 stores nationwide — in locked cases." The intention was echoed by Walgreens and CVS, the latter of which also added that it had expanded its stock of products that "appeal to communities of color" by 35% over the past year. The nationwide protests directed at racial injustice and policing in the U.S. have retrained attention on a practice that critics call discriminatory — locking up items that generally cater to black customers or placing them behind a cover. But the controversy simmered long before the most recent eruption of outrage.

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

(CNN) Since the moment late on November 8, 2016 when it became clear that Donald Trump would be the 45th president of the United States, many Democrats have been counting the days until November 3, 2020 -- the day that they believe he will be voted out of office. Which may well happen! There's no question that Trump is an underdog for a second term right now, with former Vice President Joe Biden leading in key swing states as well as nationally. But even if Democrats do get their wish in 144 days, it's not at all clear that they (or the country) will be rid of Trump -- not just as entity in our culture, but potentially as a presidential candidate. Again. Trump would be entirely within his Constitutional rights to do so. While a president can only serve two consecutive four-year terms (although Trump has "jokingly" floated breaking that limit!), there's no law against a president coming back to run for the office after losing a bid for a second term. In fact, it's already happened once in our history! Grover Cleveland was elected president in 1884 but lost to Benjamin Harrison in 1888. (Harrison won the Electoral College while Cleveland won the popular vote. Sound familiar?) Unbowed, Cleveland beat Harrison in 1892, becoming both the 22nd and 24th president. When you consider Trump's inability to admit defeat and the very real possibility that he never actually concedes to Biden if he loses, the idea of him running again -- or not ever stopping running -- starts to make a lot of sense. Yes, there is already an active effort within the GOP to be the next Donald Trump, the inheritor of the political coalition built by the billionaire businessman during his hostile takeover of the Republican Party. But everyone knows that Trump believes himself to be a great man of history, the sort of person who can't be replicated or duplicated. He tells anyone who will listen that the 2016 campaign was among the greatest ever run. He compares himself favorably to the likes of our greatest presidents. ("I've always said I can be more presidential than any president in history except for Honest Abe Lincoln, when he's wearing the hat," Trump said in 2019.) He insists that his administration has produced the "greatest" economy in history (it hasn't) and that he has done more in his first term than any president ever (impossible to check or prove).

By Joey Garrison USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — Five months before the November election, the incumbent president and his Democratic challenger are both telling Americans their opponent could "steal" the election perhaps setting the stage for a contentious fight even after the voting is over. The warnings from President Donald Trump and presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden are growing louder and earlier than in 2016, when Trump decried a "rigged" political system in the final weeks before his victory over Hillary Clinton. The claims are also more direct, reflecting the deeply divided nation that has defined the Trump era. Both men's rhetoric is largely aimed at the same issue – vote-by-mail, which Biden and Democrats support to allow citizens to vote safely amid the coronavirus and Trump strongly opposes. Trump has long stoked fears of election-stealing.But in a new warning Wednesday, Biden ramped up his attacks on the president over voter access. "It's my greatest concern, my single greatest concern: This president is going to steal this election," the former vice president said in an interview with host Trevor Noah on "The Daily Show." "This is a guy who said all mail-in ballots are fraudulent, direct voting by mail, while he sits behind a desk in the Oval Office and writes his mail-in ballot to vote in the primary."

By Ryan Nobles, CNN

(CNN) Attendees of President Donald Trump's upcoming rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma, must agree not to sue the campaign if they contract coronavirus. Rallygoers are asked to RSVP to gain admission to the event and by registering, they must agree to a disclaimer that states they acknowledge the "inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present." "By attending the Rally, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; BOK Center; ASM Global; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers liable for any illness or injury," the disclaimer reads. Trump's campaign officially announced plans on Wednesday for the President's first campaign rally since most of the country shut down to prevent the spread of the virus. He will appear at an indoor venue, the BOK Center, in Tulsa on Friday, June 19. The rally announcement comes as coronavirus cases are on the rise in some parts of the US. Cases are still increasing in several states, even as others show a downward trend or are holding steady. Nationally, more than 2 million people have been infected by the virus and more than 112,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. Catherine Sharkey, a law professor at New York University School of Law, said waivers like the Trump campaign's are likely to become a regular part of American life as the country reopens and the coronavirus remains a threat. However, the waivers offer only a base-level protection against liability.

By Maegan Vazquez, CNN

(CNN) President Donald Trump says he didn't schedule his first rally since the start of the coronavirus pandemic on Juneteenth "on purpose." Trump was interviewed by Fox News host Harris Faulkner on Thursday, when the President visited Dallas to host a roundtable with law enforcement and community leaders in the wake of George Floyd's death at the hands of police officers. In newly aired interview footage, Faulkner asked: "Your rally is set for June 19. Was that on purpose?" "Uh, no, but I know exactly what you're going to say. ... Think about it as a celebration. My rally is a celebration," Trump said, adding, "Don't think about it as an inconvenience." The President will hold his first campaign reelection rally since the start of the pandemic on June 19 -- the holiday commemorating the end of slavery in the United States. "The fact that I'm having a rally on that day -- you can really think about that very positively as a celebration. Because a rally to me is a celebration," Trump said. "It's an interesting date. It wasn't done for that reason, but it's an interesting date." But given Trump's history of racist statements, including the birther movement, many instead see the upcoming campaign event as a call out to rally white supremacists. Sen. Kamala Harris, a California Democrat who is widely viewed as a top contender to be Joe Biden's vice presidential pick, blasted Trump's decision to hold the rally there on Juneteenth. "This isn't just a wink to white supremacists -- he's throwing them a welcome home party," she tweeted Thursday. Harris has been critical of Trump's posture on race, frequently saying he's unfit to be president because he doesn't understand the racial turmoil engulfing the nation. Other Democratic leaders chimed in to slam the President for holding the rally at the site that bore a horrific act of communal racial violence 99 years ago.

By Jennifer Smith For Dailymail.com

Two black female members of Seattle's African American Community Advisory Council were booed on Thursday as they told protesters inside the city's 'autonomous zone' that they have hijacked the Black Lives Matter movement. Protesters descended on the six-block zone in Seattle earlier this week to declare it an autonomous zone. They took over the police precinct, sending the few cops who remained there fleeing.  Photos of armed guards and checkpoints startled outsiders and drove President Trump to declare the area full of 'domestic terrorists' and 'ugly anarchists'. But over the last few days, people inside the zone have likened it more to a peaceful street party where the protesters dine on vegan pizza, watch civil rights documentaries and listen to seminars and musical performances. Among the many stands that have popped up is one that is collecting signatures on three petitions. One is to defund the Seattle Police Department but the other two are to slap Amazon with more taxes and to call on Mayor Jenny Durkan - who supports the free zone - to resign. ow, some say the original message of outrage over the brutal police killing of George Floyd, has been lost. On Thursday, members of the African American Community Advisory Council - which is part of the police department - went to the zone to plead with protesters to speak to them and come to a peaceful resolution.  'The thing is, you have hijacked this! 'You have taken the meaning away!' Victoria Beach, who is part of the council, fumed at the crowd.

DOG WHISTLE
By Allison Quinn

President Trump’s planned convention speech in Jacksonville, Florida, on Aug. 27 falls on the city’s 60th anniversary of a brutal KKK-orchestrated attack on black activists known as “Ax Handle Saturday.” According to the Florida Historical Society, hundreds of members of a white mob chased the activists throughout downtown Jacksonville and beat them with bats and ax handles. In confirming Jacksonville as the location of the Republican National Convention on Thursday, RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said the state of Florida holds a “special place” in Trump’s heart, but it wasn’t clear if Republican officials were aware of the historical significance of the date.

THE NEW ABNORMAL

In Ep. 16 of The New Abnormal, former DOJ prosecutor Glenn Kirschner takes down Bill Barr. Plus, Rick and Molly chat election predictions, Confederate flag truthers and more.
The Daily Beast

Attorney General Bill Barr was in on Trump’s scheme to bribe and lean on Ukraine’s president. He let his boss’ criminal cronies off the hook. But the worst part, former DOJ prosecutor Glenn Kirschner says, was Barr’s crackdown in Lafayette Square on people just expressing their First Amendment rights. And if Barr isn’t under criminal investigation in 2021 for that, he tells Rick Wilson and Molly Jong-Fast, then “shame on us.” It’s all part of a jam-packed episode of The New Abnormal in which Kirschner crucifies the AG and the Trump administration: “I would say under Donald Trump—first to Jeff Sessions, then to Matt Whitaker, and then to Bill Barr—it has gone from bad to worse to criminal.” Then, Rachel Bitecofer of the Niskansen Center for Public Policy, joined Molly and Rick to present her forecast for this November—and she has some promising news for Democrats.

Analysis by Brianna Keilar, CNN Anchor

Washington (CNN) It's head-scratching, really, that the most prominent Army base in America is named for Braxton Bragg. He was on the wrong side of history, as a Confederate general and a slave owner. It's hard to find a redeeming account of Bragg. Historians repeatedly highlight just how poorly he got along with everyone -- except perhaps Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate States. Davis seemed to have a soft spot for Bragg, but he was still relieved of his command. As it turns out, Bragg wasn't even that good at his job. The highlight of his military career was leading Confederate soldiers at the Battle of Chickamauga in Tennessee in 1863, perhaps the biggest and bloodiest win for the Confederacy on the western front of the Civil War -- but it was a Pyrrhic victory. Bragg failed to capitalize on the win and Union General Ulysses S. Grant ultimately overpowered his forces at the Battle of Chattanooga. That's when Davis sacked him. When Bragg later returned to the battlefield it was to lead a smaller contingent of forces in the loss of the last port of the Confederacy -- a significant data point on the graph of the South's defeat. "The irony of training at bases named for those who took up arms against the United States, and for the right to enslave others, is inescapable to anyone paying attention," retired four-star Army General David Petraeus wrote this week in The Atlantic. Petraeus commanded coalition troops in Iraq during the surge and in Afghanistan. Fort Bragg in Fayetteville, North Carolina, is home to the elite 82nd Airborne -- the military unit that can be anywhere within 18 hours, parachuting in behind enemy lines if needed. It's also home to Army Special Forces and the training facility for Green Berets.

By Phil Gast, CNN

(CNN) There's a new push to remove the names of Confederate commanders from 10 Army installations in Southern states. President Donald Trump is against the idea, saying the posts trained and deployed heroes "on these hallowed grounds." The idea has gained impetus since the death of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. The removal of monuments to Confederate soldiers and leaders has hastened in the past three weeks and their battle flag is no longer welcome at NASCAR races. The Marine Corps has banned the flag at its facilities and the Navy is in the process of doing so. Here's a look at the 10 Southern officers -- all but one a general -- who fought to preserve slavery and the posts that carry their names. The Civil War -- which cost more than 600,000 lives -- led to the abolition of slavery but did not eliminate the systemic racism that persists in the country today.

First Read is your briefing from "Meet the Press" and the NBC Political Unit on the day's most important political stories and why they matter.
By Chuck Todd, Mark Murray, Carrie Dann and Melissa Holzberg

WASHINGTON — For someone who’s been prone to deliver mixed messages on policy and take multiple positions on issues, President Trump has almost always been on the same consistent side when it comes to race. This week alone, he defended military bases named after Confederate generals, and he announced he would restart his campaign rallies in Tulsa — the site of a 1921 massacre of black citizens by a white mob — on Juneteenth. In the past month, when the protests over George Floyd’s death first began, he tweeted about “THUGS” and warned that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Earlier as president, he attacked Colin Kaepernick and protesting NFL players ("Get that son of a bitch off the field right now”); he referred to the Baltimore-area district represented by the late Rep. Elijah Cummings as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess”; he did pretty much the same to Rep. John Lewis’ Atlanta district; and he talked about Haiti and African nations as “sh--hole countries.” And before he became president, Trump led the “birther” crusade against Barack Obama; he began his 2016 campaign assailing Mexican “rapists”; he retweeted fake statistics spread by white supremacists falsely claiming that black criminals disproportionately prey on whites; and he called for the death penalty for the Central Park Five — five African-American and Latino men who, as teenagers, were wrongly convicted of raping a jogger. So not only is Trump currently bucking much of the shifting corporate and cultural views on race, as the New York Times writes this morning. This is who he is — and has always been.

School resource officers were supposed to prevent mass shootings and juvenile crime. But some schools are eliminating them amid a clamor from students after George Floyd’s death.
By Dana Goldstein

The national reckoning over police violence has spread to schools, with several districts choosing in recent days to sever their relationships with local police departments out of concern that the officers patrolling their hallways represent more of a threat than a form of protection. School districts in Minneapolis, Seattle and Portland, Ore., have all promised to remove officers, with the Seattle superintendent saying the presence of armed police “prohibits many students and staff from feeling fully safe.” In Oakland, Calif., leaders expressed support on Wednesday for eliminating the district’s internal police force, while the Denver Board of Education voted unanimously on Thursday to end its police contract. In Los Angeles and Chicago, two of the country’s three largest school districts, teachers’ unions are pushing to get the police out, showing a willingness to confront another politically powerful, heavily unionized profession. Some teachers and students, African Americans in particular, say they consider officers on campus a danger, rather than a bulwark against everything from fights to drug use to mass shootings. There has been no shortage of episodes to back up their concerns. In Orange County, Fla., in November, a school resource officer was fired after a video showed him grasping a middle school student’s hair and yanking her head back during an arrest after students fought near school grounds. A few weeks later, an officer assigned to a school in Vance County, N.C., lost his job after he repeatedly slammed an 11-year old boy to the ground.


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