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By Katie Bernard

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

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

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

Heather Osbourne - Austin American-Statesman

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

The Lead

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

By Hollie Silverman, CNN

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

By Viral News

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

By Timothy Bella

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

By Paul P. Murphy, CNN

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

By Travis Gettys

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

By Washington Post Staff

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

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

By Carrie Johnson

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

By Anneken Tappe and Annalyn Kurtz, CNN Business

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

By Faith Karimi and Alexandra Meeks, CNN

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

Berkeley Lovelace Jr.

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

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

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

Opinion by John Avlon

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

By Jasmine Gearie

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bill Chappell

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

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

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

By Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN

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

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

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

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

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

Gregory Scruggs

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

Joe Sommerlad

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

Joe Hernandez

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

David Lawder, Dave Graham, David Ljunggren

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

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