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Journalists Under Attack Show How Trump’s Hate for the Press Has Spread

Journalists Under Attack Show How Trump’s Hate for the Press Has SpreadJournalists have been attacked all over the world while on the job covering protests for years, but never like they were this week in the United States during the George Floyd protests.At least half a dozen incidences of arrests and attacks were reported in protests across the United States this weekend. Some were high profile, like the live-on-air arrest of CNN journalist Omar Jimenez and his crew Friday morning. Others got less attention, like Los Angeles Times reporter Molly Hennessy-Fiske getting pelted with rubber bullets and tear gas or the two Los Angeles Times photographers who were briefly taken into custody. To All Black Journalists: We See You, We Support YouWAVE-TV reporter Kaitlin Rust, who was covering protests in Louisville Saturday night, was shot with pepper bullets while live on air. Video showed a police officer aiming directly at her and her crew. “I’ve been shot! I’ve been shot!” Rust, who was wearing a fluorescent vest, carrying a microphone, and standing in front of a camera, can be heard screaming. Police later apologized for the incident. The next day, MSNBC reporter Garrett Haake also appeared to be hit by a police projectile while reporting live from Washington D.C. “We're gonna make some moves here,” he told the anchor, just moments before he was apparently hit. “We’re gonna end up in a place we don’t wanna be here if we’re not careful.” A crew in Denver tweeted after they were targeted by police there with paintballs and tear gas. “Luckily, I ducked,” one of the journalists wrote. The video journalist who was shooting the protests wasn’t so lucky and was struck.Andrea May Sahouri, a breaking news reporter for The Des Moines Register, said she was arrested Sunday while reporting on protests at a local mall. In a video posted to Twitter from the back of a police car, Sahouri said she was in a crowd of people running from police when she stopped to help her boyfriend, who was hit with tear gas. She said officers approached her, pepper sprayed her, and zip-tied her hands, even as she told them she was a reporter. “I’m just doing my job as a journalist, I’m just out here reporting,” she said.Wall St. Journal reporter Tyler Blint-Welsh reported his ankle was in “searing pain” after NYPD officers allegedly hit him in the face with riot shields and pushed him to the ground. “I was backing away as request, with my hands up,” he tweeted. “My NYPD-issued press badge was clearly visible. I’m just sitting here crying.” Anti-Trump protesters in front of the White House turned their anger to Fox News journalist Leland Vittert who told the Associated Press, “We took a good thumping. The protesters stopped protesting whatever it was they were protesting and turned on us and that was a very different feeling.”Briana Whitney, a reporter in Phoenix, was attacked on air and tweeted, “THIS IS NOT OKAY. This is the moment I was intentionally tackled by this man while I was on air trying to report what was happening during the protest at Phoenix PD headquarters. I feel violated, and this was terrifying. Let us do our jobs. We are trying our very best.”In Chicago, freelance reporter and Daily Beast contributor Jonathan Ballew said he was pepper-sprayed even as he brandished his press credentials.KDKA TV journalist Ian Smith said he was attacked while covering protests in Pittsburgh. “They stomped and kicked me,” he wrote under a photo of him in the back of an ambulance. “I’m bruised and bloody but alive. My camera was destroyed. Another group of protesters pulled me out and saved my life. Thank you!”Journalists have been attacked in the U.S. before, but not nearly as often or as brutal as this weekend. Speaking to The Washington Post, Suzanne Nossel, chief executive of PEN America, blamed animosity towards the press on Trump. “By denigrating journalists so often, he has degraded respect for what journalists do and the crucial role they play in a democracy,” she said. “He’s been remarkably effective in contributing to this topsy-turvy sense that journalists are the opposition.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.



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Supreme Court upholds Puerto Rico financial oversight board

Supreme Court upholds Puerto Rico financial oversight boardThe Supreme Court on Monday upheld the oversight board established by Congress to help Puerto Rico out of a devastating financial crisis that has been exacerbated by the coronavirus outbreak, recent earthquakes and damage from Hurricane Maria in 2017. In a unanimous holding, the court will allow the oversight board’s work to pull the island out of the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history to proceed. At one point, Puerto Rico faced more than $ 100 billion in debt and unfunded pension obligations.



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Hertz just put more than 20 identical yellow 2019 Corvettes up for sale at a steep discount as the company reportedly prepares for a potential bankruptcy

Hertz just put more than 20 identical yellow 2019 Corvettes up for sale at a steep discount as the company reportedly prepares for a potential bankruptcyHertz is getting ready for a possible bankruptcy, The Wall Street Journal reported in April. Meanwhile, it's selling some of its coolest rental cars.



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Andrew Cuomo is no hero. He's to blame for New York's coronavirus catastrophe

Andrew Cuomo is no hero. He's to blame for New York's coronavirus catastropheHis record was terrible before coronavirus, but his abysmal handling of the crisis should get him thrown out of officeAndrew Cuomo may be the most popular politician in the country. His approval ratings have hit all-time highs thanks to his Covid-19 response. Some Democrats have discussed him as a possible replacement for Joe Biden, due to Biden’s perceived weakness as a nominee. And there have even been some unfortunate tributes to Cuomo’s alleged sex appeal.All of which is bizarre, because Cuomo should be one of the most loathed officials in America right now. ProPublica recently released a report outlining catastrophic missteps by Cuomo and the New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio, which probably resulted in many thousands of needless coronavirus cases. ProPublica offers some appalling numbers contrasting what happened in New York with the outbreak in California. By mid-May, New York City alone had almost 20,000 deaths, while in San Francisco there had been only 35, and New York state as a whole suffered 10 times as many deaths as California.Federal failures played a role, of course, but this tragedy was absolutely due, in part, to decisions by the governor. Cuomo initially “reacted to De Blasio’s idea for closing down New York City with derision”, saying it “was dangerous” and “served only to scare people”. He said the “seasonal flu was a graver worry”. A spokesperson for Cuomo “refused to say if the governor had ever read the state’s pandemic plan”. Later, Cuomo would blame the press, including the New York Times for failing to say “Be careful, there’s a virus in China that may be in the United States?” even though the Times wrote nearly 500 stories on the virus before the state acted. Experts told ProPublica that “had New York imposed its extreme social distancing measures a week or two earlier, the death toll might have been cut by half or more”.But delay was not the only screw-up. Elderly prisoners have died of coronavirus because New York has failed to act on their medical parole requests. As Business Insider documented:“Testing was slow. Nonprofit social-service agencies that serve the most vulnerable couldn’t get answers either. And medical experts like the former CDC director Tom Frieden said ‘so many deaths could have been prevented’ had New York issued its stay-at-home order just ‘days earlier’ than it did. On March 19, when New York’s schools had already been closed, Cuomo said ‘in many ways, the fear is more dangerous than the virus.’”The governor has failed to take responsibility for the obvious failures, consistently blaming others and at one point even saying “governors don’t do pandemics”. (Actually, some governors just don’t read their state’s pandemic plans.) But much of the press has ignored this, focusing instead on Cuomo’s aesthetic presentation: his poise during press conferences, his dramatic statements about “taking responsibility” (even when he obviously hasn’t), and his invisible good looks.> Cuomo’s record was shameful long before coronavirus beganThe mask mural is yet another publicity stunt mistaken by the press as a sign of leadership. On 29 April, Cuomo unveiled a wall of handmade cloth masks that had been sent to his office by concerned citizens all over America. He called it “a self-portrait of America. You know what that spells? It spells love.” Since the arrangement of masks doesn’t form words, the mural doesn’t actually spell anything, but it is a perfect symbol of Cuomo’s leadership failures. Handmade cloth face coverings are not as effective as N95 masks, of course, but if unsuitable for healthcare workers they would still have been perfectly appropriate to distribute to New Yorkers (some of whom have been brutally arrested for not wearing masks). But Cuomo, rather than putting the needs of New Yorkers first, chose to tack hundreds of cloth masks on a wall as a monument to himself.Cuomo’s record was shameful long before coronavirus began. He enabled the IDC (Independent Democratic Conference), a group of conservative Democratic state lawmakers, in allying with the Republican minority to block progressive legislation. (Cuomo denies any role in the IDC, but that stretches credulity.) Before the pandemic, he pushed through Medicaid cuts which shut down necessary hospital space in the name of “efficiency” despite the warnings of medical professionals. And on 3 April, as 3,000 New Yorkers already lay dead from the virus and hospitals like Elmhurst in Queens were overwhelmed with cases, Cuomo forced through further Medicaid cuts, slashing $ 400m from hospital budgets.As the state now staggers to its feet, Cuomo has partnered with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to “reimagine education” (which almost certainly means privatization), and with the ex-Google chief Eric Schmidt to – as Naomi Klein puts it – “permanently integrat[e] technology into every aspect of civic life”. All of this has happened without the democratic input of New Yorkers, who would likely prefer that the progressive legislators they elected could govern without interference, that their hospitals have enough money to function and that billionaires don’t infiltrate and control every element of civic life.There’s something disturbing about Cuomo being hailed as the hero of the pandemic when he should rightly be one of the villains. As Business Insider notes, he is now only able to attain praise for his actions because his earlier failures made those actions necessary. He’s lauded for addressing a problem that he himself partly caused. Of course, part of this is because Donald Trump has bungled the coronavirus response even more badly, so that Cuomo – by not being a complete buffoon – looks like a capable statesman by contrast. But this is the problem: for too long, Democrats have measured their politicians by “whether they are better than Republicans”. This sets the bar very low indeed, and means that Democrats end up settling for incompetent and amoral leaders who betray progressive values again and again. * Lyta Gold is the managing editor and amusements editor of Current Affairs. Nathan Robinson is the editor of Current Affairs and a Guardian US columnist



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Lawmakers: FAA certification of new planes needs an overhaul

Lawmakers: FAA certification of new planes needs an overhaulThe Federal Aviation Administration outlined steps to change how it approves new passenger planes, but lawmakers said they will push ahead with legislation to change the current system that lets aircraft makers including Boeing play a key role in the certification process. The FAA has been under pressure to change its certification process after failing to catch problems with new flight-control technology on the Boeing 737 Max. Design problems have been blamed for two crashes that killed 346 people. For decades, the FAA has relied on employees of aircraft makers to vouch for the safe design of components on planes.



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Cyclone kills 14 in India, Bangladesh leaving trail of destruction

Cyclone kills 14 in India, Bangladesh leaving trail of destructionA powerful cyclone pounded eastern India and Bangladesh on Wednesday, killing at least 14 people and destroying thousands of homes, officials said, leaving authorities struggling to mount relief efforts amid a surging coronavirus outbreak. The populous Indian state of West Bengal took the brunt of Cyclone Amphan, which barrelled out of the Bay of Bengal with gusting winds of up to 185 km per hour (115 mph) and a storm surge of around five metres. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said at least 10 people had died in the state, and two districts been completely battered by one of the strongest storms to hit the region in several years.



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New Zealand still supports Taiwan at WHO despite Chinese rebuke

New Zealand still supports Taiwan at WHO despite Chinese rebukeNew Zealand’s foreign minister on Tuesday said the country has to stand up for itself after China warned its backing of Taiwan’s participation at the World Health Organization (WHO) could damage bilateral ties. Taiwan, with the strong support of the United States, has stepped up its lobbying to be allowed to take part as an observer at next week’s World Health Assembly (WHA), the WHO’s decision-making body – a move which has angered China. Taiwan is excluded from the WHO due to the objections of China, which views the island as one of its provinces.



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US says China trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine as markets slump

US says China trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine as markets slumpChinese hackers are trying to steal COVID-19 vaccine research, US authorities said Wednesday, ratcheting up tensions between the superpowers as markets slumped on warnings from the US Federal Reserve that prolonged shutdowns could cause “lasting damage”. Europe, meanwhile, pushed ahead with plans to gradually reopen for summer tourism, even as fears persist of a second wave of infections in the pandemic that has forced more than half of humanity behind closed doors in recent months. With some countries scrambling after a fresh surge in cases and the global death toll exceeding 294,000, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned Wednesday that the virus “may never go away.”



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NASA researcher arrested over alleged secret China connections

NASA researcher arrested over alleged secret China connectionsA university professor funded by NASA has been arrested for allegedly keeping connections to the Chinese communist government a secret from US authorities.The FBI arrested University of Arkansas professor Simon Saw-Teong Ang, 63, for allegedly defrauding NASA and the university "by failing to disclose that he held other positions at a Chinese university and Chinese companies".



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