Category Archives: Mgm

Obama targets Texas in first round of 2020 endorsements

Obama targets Texas in first round of 2020 endorsementsFormer President Barack Obama unveiled his first round of 2020 endorsements on Monday, and he's got his eyes on Texas, at least at the local level.Obama is endorsing 27 Democratic candidates in Texas, including 19 for the state House, where Democrats need to win nine seats to grab the majority. The focus seems to make sense for Obama, The New York Times notes, because Texas districts will be redrawn after the 2020 census, and Democrats want to gain a foothold before that happens. The former president has made it a priority to back candidates whom the National Democratic Redistricting Committee has labeled key to the redistricting process.He decided to stay out of Texas' Senate race between incumbent Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) and his Democratic challenger MJ Hegar, however. Obama similarly avoided other key Senate races in Republican states, including Montana, Kentucky, and Georgia, where his public support may not provide a boost, or could even prove harmful.> What's missing? Some key red state Senate races, including MT, KY, GA and TX where it is less clear that Obama's public backing would be a benefit.https://t.co/9rIjcI7SvE> > — Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) August 3, 2020In races at the national level, Obama endorsed 52 Democratic House candidates and five for the Senate in battleground states, and he's set to announce a second wave of endorsements for states who have yet to hold their primaries. Read more at The New York Times.More stories from theweek.com The most damning inside portrait of the Trump administration yet 5 brutally funny cartoons about Bill Barr’s brand of justice Why Democratic voters might stay home on Election Day



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Navarro Throws Another White House Health Expert Under Bus Over Hydroxy

Navarro Throws Another White House Health Expert Under Bus Over HydroxyWhite House trade adviser Peter Navarro publicly bashed yet another White House public health expert on Monday while touting an unproven anti-malarial drug, saying he took “exception” to coronavirus testing czar Brett Giroir dismissing hydroxychloroquine as an effective coronavirus treatment.Days after CNN cut short a Navarro interview after he kept repeating the racist phrase “China virus,” the network invited him on for yet another contentious segment that featured the combative Trump aide disseminating coronavirus disinformation.Navarro, who has been an outspoken proponent of hydroxychloroquine and has repeatedly attacked top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci for warning about the drug’s lack of efficacy, doubled down on his embrace of the drug while taking aim at Giroir.“One of the president’s chief advisers on the coronavirus pandemic, Adm. Giroir, he said given five studies now that have found the drug hydroxychloroquine—that there’s no proof that it helps with COVID-19 patients,” host Jim Sciutto noted. “I just wonder, given your past public support for it, is it time for the administration to focus on proven treatments for COVID rather than one that has not been proven?”Navarro—who recently groused that the government is “sitting on millions of doses” of the drug—shot back that he takes “exception to Giroir’s analysis, adding that the HHS official “hasn’t looked at the data” within the past two weeks.“It’s his job to look at data,” Sciutto interjected.After demanding that CNN bring on a couple of doctors who claim the drug is beneficial for COVID-19 patients—CNN had actually interviewed one of them hours earlier—Navarro brushed off the large number of experts criticizing hydroxychloroquine.“My view of this now is doctors' opinions are a dime a dozen and some doctors say it doesn’t work,” he exclaimed. “You’ve got some doctors who say it does.”The CNN host, meanwhile, retorted that this isn’t a “both sides thing,” prompting Navarro to insist that is exactly what it is.“No, it is a both sides. It is—it is both sides,” he declared.Sciutto went on to note that several high-quality double-blinded clinical trials show that there is no benefit to the drug and that the FDA has revoked emergency use of hydroxychloroquine due to concerns over potentially deadly side effects.“This hasn’t passed muster so why all the focus on that drug,” the CNN anchor wondered aloud. “Why not focus on things that work like remdesivir?”Undeterred, Navarro claimed that there is now a study that shows hydroxychloroquine “works better” than remdesivir—even though White House coronavirus coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx said just last week that randomized trials have shown the anti-viral drug has no efficacy as a treatment. She also reiterated that there appears to be no benefit to hydroxychloroquine.Team Trump has suddenly rallied back around the controversial malaria drug after a fringe doctor—who believes that demon sperm causes female medical problems and “alien DNA” is being used in medication—proclaimed it a coronavirus “cure” in a viral video last week. Despite that doctor’s bizarre past claims, President Donald Trump has called her “spectacular,” “very respected,” and an “important voice.”Chris Wallace Confronts Trump Campaign Spox Jason Miller: Admit ‘You’re Losing’Read more at The Daily Beast.Get 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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Annual Sturgis rally expecting 250K, stirring virus concerns

Annual Sturgis rally expecting 250K, stirring virus concernsSturgis is on. The message has been broadcast across social media as South Dakota, which has seen an uptick in coronavirus infections in recent weeks, braces to host hundreds of thousands of bikers for the 80th edition of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. More than 250,000 people are expected to rumble through western South Dakota, seeking the freedom of cruising the boundless landscapes in a state that has skipped lockdowns.



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Homicides Spike in 50 Largest Cities across Nation

Homicides Spike in 50 Largest Cities across NationHomicides and gun violence have spiked in major cities around the country since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, spurred by an economic recession and unrest that arose from protests against police brutality.Across the nation’s 50 largest cities, homicides are up 24 percent this year, totaling 3,612 so far, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of police department data. In 36 of those cities, the homicide rate increased by double digits.Shootings have also surged, but other kinds of violent crime have declined, including robberies, which sank 11 percent across the 41 cities that provided such data.Chicago saw the largest jump in homicides, reporting more than 400 more homicides than last year, an increase of more than 50 percent. Philadelphia and New York City came in just behind the country's third-largest city, both tallying more than 200 more homicides this year. Along with Chicago, Austin and Fort Worth, Tx. saw the largest increase in murders.The staggering increase in violence comes after months of protests against police departments that have included calls to defund and dismantle departments in Minneapolis, where the police custody death of George Floyd sparked national outrage. Homicides in Minneapolis have nearly doubled, with 41 homicides compared to 21 by this time last year.Police and crime experts have attributed the spike in violence to a variety of factors, including a rise in gang violence, an economic recession caused by the shutdown of businesses, and the lack of activity during the pandemic by social institutions that historically help tamp down crime, such as churches and schools.Meanwhile, lockdown orders that have kept residents in their homes may help explain the decline in robberies and rapes, since burglars are less likely to target a home with residents inside, and fewer potential victims were on the streets, experts said. The rise in shootings and murders was particularly stark in disadvantaged neighborhoods rather than the sites of protests against racism and police brutality in many cities.The homicide rate in the nation's major cities is still a far cry from the crime levels of previous decades, such as in 1990, when New York City recorded a total of 2,262 murders.



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Leaked report shows DHS targeted Americans who fought against ISIS in attempt to tie antifa to foreign power

Leaked report shows DHS targeted Americans who fought against ISIS in attempt to tie antifa to foreign powerA Department of Homeland Security intelligence report leaked to The Nation has some experts skeptical of the department's motives.The report targeted several left-wing American activists whom the department would normally be prohibited from gathering intelligence on unless they had reason to believe the individuals were operating on behalf of a foreign power. The people named in the report, many of whom have identified with far-left causes, do have connections abroad — they traveled to Syria in the past and fought against ISIS alongside Kurdish factions like the YPG, PKK, and the Peshmerga.The U.S., of course, considers ISIS an enemy, as well, so it may seem surprising that the U.S. government would focus on people who volunteered to fight against the terrorist group, but critics argue the Syria connection could be a front to root out potential antifa members. (Some of the individuals denied membership in antifa, which does not necessarily operate in any organized capacity to begin with.)> This is a big deal. Much as Trump et al want, domestic groups like the anti-fascist movement can't be formally labeled terror orgs. But tying them to foreign groups like the YPG (based on <12 people, incl. those who don't ID as antifa) opens them to otherwise-illegal surveillance https://t.co/upHP57QLdD> > — Kelly Weill (@KELLYWEILL) August 3, 2020The report eventually appears to conclude there is no evidence of a "centralized effort to give marching orders to returning antifa-affiliated" U.S. residents, but either way, the briefing didn't sit well with everyone. "They targeted Americans like they're Al-Qaeda," a former intelligence officer in the department with knowledge of the operations told The Nation. "They were essentially violating people's rights like this was the 60s." Read more at The Nation.More stories from theweek.com The most damning inside portrait of the Trump administration yet 5 brutally funny cartoons about Bill Barr’s brand of justice Why Democratic voters might stay home on Election Day



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Diesel truck soot likely sparked major California wildfire

Diesel truck soot likely sparked major California wildfireA California wildfire raging through dry brush and timber east of Los Angeles, forcing thousands of people from their homes, was likely sparked by burning soot from the exhaust of a diesel truck, investigators said on Monday. The blaze, dubbed the Apple Fire, has scorched more than 26,000 acres (10,500 hectares) since erupting last Friday in the Riverside County community of Cherry Valley, about 70 miles (120 km) east of Los Angeles, and was only 5% contained as of Monday, fire officials said. The fire posed an immediate threat to some 2,400 homes, prompting mandatory weekend evacuations of some 7,800 residents, said Fernando Herrera, a Riverside County Fire Department captain and spokesman for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire).



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Obama is now on a head-on collision course with Trump to save the 2020 US election

Obama is now on a head-on collision course with Trump to save the 2020 US electionBack in February 2008, congressman John Lewis had some bad news for Hillary Clinton and her presidential campaign.It was true that just a few months earlier, the civil rights hero had backed her bid to become the nation’s first woman president. But now, painfully and after no small consideration, he was having to take that endorsement back.



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Chris Wallace Confronts Trump Campaign Spox Jason Miller: Admit ‘You’re Losing’

Chris Wallace Confronts Trump Campaign Spox Jason Miller: Admit ‘You’re Losing’Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace interrupted his guest’s attacks on Joe Biden to bring up some important points about the Trump campaign this weekend.“Despite what you say about the Biden campaign, the fact is it is the Trump campaign that just replaced your campaign manager,” Wallace told Trump campaign adviser Jason Miller. “It’s the Trump campaign that just paused all television advertising for six days to recalibrate.” From there, Wallace put up on the screen a series of polling averages that show Trump trailing Biden by wide margins both nationally and in three of the crucial swing states he won in 2016. “How do you turn this around, because at this point, Jason, you’re losing?” the host asked.Unsurprisingly, Miller dismissed the premise of the question. “Well, we think we’re in great shape and well positioned to win this,” Miller said in response. He then falsely stated that in all the states President Trump needs to get to 270 electoral votes “he’s either leading or within the margin of error.” He also cited the outlier Rasmussen poll that has Trump with a 50 percent approval ratings as of this past Friday.‘He’s Terrified of Losing’—Trump Goes Into Hyperdrive to Delegitimize the ElectionBut when he started to attack Fox News’ polling specifically, Wallace stopped him. “I think the Fox poll compares very favorably to the Rasmussen  poll in terms of accuracy,” Wallace said. “I knew you were going to attack one poll. As I said the national poll is based on nine polls. The state polls, based on multiple polls as well. Are you really going to blame this—it seems to me that you hurt your credibility if you don’t admit, yeah, we’re losing and we’ve got to turn things around.”“I disagree,” Miller replied. Undeterred, he insisted, without evidence, that Trump is “in a good position right now.” Stephen Miller Spreads Blatant Lies About Mail-In Voting on ‘Fox & Friends’Read more at The Daily Beast.Get 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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Pelosi calls Barr 'despicable' after contentious appearance before House panel

Pelosi calls Barr 'despicable' after contentious appearance before House panelHouse Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) believes Attorney General William Barr accomplished one thing during his appearance before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.Barr "demonstrated to the American people the contempt that he has for our democracy," Pelosi told MSNBC's Ari Melber. Throughout the hearing, Barr was on the defensive, as Democrats accused him of intervening in the criminal cases of people close to President Trump and questioned him about his role in sending federal agents to cities where anti-racism and anti-police brutality protests are taking place.Pelosi was not impressed by anything Barr had to say, telling Melber, "I just thought he was despicable and so beneath the dignity of the attorney general." Pelosi called Barr out for his "inconsistencies" in "not sending law enforcement in when people invaded the legislature in Michigan" while carrying guns, but saying that in cities where "demonstrators are out on the streets, that's violent."She also said Barr should be "answering for what he did at Lafayette Square," when he ordered that peaceful protesters be pushed out of the Washington, D.C., park ahead of a Trump photo op at St. John's Episcopal Church. Barr denied that tear gas was used against the protesters, and Pelosi called the entire incident "a disgrace. He was like a blob, just a henchman for the president of the United States, instead of the attorney general of the United States of America."Pelosi told Melber she paid particular attention to questions "related to upholding the Constitution of the United States," and felt Barr "fell very short in that regard. He is there to support the president of the United States, Donald Trump, no matter what. He's not the president's lawyer, that was Michael Cohen, and you know what happened to him." > WATCH: @SpeakerPelosi hits back at AG Barr for criticizing her "stormtrooper" comment. pic.twitter.com/iYQ0y6OyD5> > — The Beat with Ari Melber on MSNBC (@TheBeatWithAri) July 29, 2020More stories from theweek.com Rep. Louie Gohmert told his staff he tested positive for coronavirus in person Even mild coronavirus cases can cause lasting cardiovascular damage, study shows Michelle Obama's podcast sounds suspiciously like a stump speech



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Lebanon PM slams 'dangerous' Israeli border escalation

Lebanon PM slams 'dangerous' Israeli border escalationLebanon’s premier condemned Tuesday a “dangerous military escalation” by Israel after a security incident at the border led the Jewish state to fire artillery across the frontier. “Israel has once again violated Lebanon’s sovereignty… in a dangerous military escalation,” Hassan Diab said on Twitter, in his government’s first official response to Monday’s shelling. The Israeli army had said a group of three to five men armed with rifles crossed the UN-demarcated Blue Line in the disputed Mount Dov area, claimed by Lebanon, Syria and Israel.



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Alabama Republican celebrates KKK member's birthday as state remembers civil rights hero John Lewis

Alabama Republican celebrates KKK member's birthday as state remembers civil rights hero John LewisA Republican senator in Alabama celebrated a Ku Klux Klan (KKK) member’s birthday at the same time hundreds were honouring the life of civil rights hero John Lewis.State Representative Will Dismukes took part in an event marking the KKK grand wizard and former Confederate Army General, Nathan Bedford Forrest, as Alabama honoured the late Georgia Democrat this weekend.



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Prosecutors: 'Alarming' that Maxwell may publicize victims

Prosecutors: 'Alarming' that Maxwell may publicize victimsSome witnesses in the criminal case against Jeffrey Epstein’s former girlfriend may face harassment and intimidation and could be reluctant to cooperate with the government if defense attorneys are allowed to discuss them publicly, prosecutors said Tuesday. Prosecutors asked a Manhattan federal court judge to block lawyers for British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell from publicly identifying women who have already spoken about the financier or Maxwell on a public forum. “The victims of Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein have suffered enough,” prosecutors said, urging privacy for accusers except for anyone who acknowledges publicly they are part of the criminal case against Maxwell.



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Kayleigh McEnany Struggles to Defend Trump’s Demon Sperm Doctor Retweets

Kayleigh McEnany Struggles to Defend Trump’s Demon Sperm Doctor RetweetsKayleigh McEnany had a difficult job even before her boss started retweeting conspiracy theories from a fringe doctor who blames demon sperm and alien DNA for America’s health problems. CBS This Morning co-host Anthony Mason wasted no time getting to that particular story when he invited the White House press secretary on his show Wednesday morning. “Why is the president pushing hydroxychloroquine again when his own health experts say it’s not effective in treating the virus?” he asked. McEnany began by explaining that, despite science to the contrary, Trump has a “positive outlook” on the drug’s potential as a “prophylaxis in the early stages.” The president famously told the press he was taking hydroxychloroquine two months into the pandemic because he had “heard a lot of good stories” about it. “He wants to save lives, that is his goal here,” she added. “That is why he’s promoting this drug as a prophylaxis but only in consultation with your doctor.” Kayleigh McEnany Urges Fox News Viewers to ‘Follow Trump’s Lead’ on MasksAfter pointing out that Dr. Anthony Fauci has contradicted the president’s “positive outlook” on the drug by citing medical evidence, Mason zeroed in on the video that Trump retweeted of Dr. Stella Immanuel in which she not only promoted hydroxychloroquine as a miracle “cure” for COVID-19 but also declared that people “do not need to wear masks” and that shutdowns are “unnecessary.” “This just comes a week after the president said masks are ‘patriotic,’” the host continued. “There’s a shift in tone here and what appear to be very mixed messages. Why?” McEnany’s defense? “That was a three-second remark in a more than five-minute video,” she said, arguing that Trump was simply using Dr. Immanuel’s video to push the unproven drug he likes. When she started praising Trump for finally wearing a mask in public months into the crisis, Mason pushed back. “But there’s a message in there that says it’s not necessary and it comes from the president who has 80 million followers!” he replied. “Did he not look at the whole video?” “The president did look at the whole video,” McEnany said, perhaps not helping her case. “And the overarching message of the video, more than five minutes from this doctor, was talking about hydroxychloroquine.” Trump himself seemed to predict this controversy during an interview last week when he said, “You know what I find? It’s not the tweets, it’s the retweets that get you in trouble.” The president then admitted that when he “sees something that looks good” on Twitter, he doesn’t always “investigate” it before hitting the retweet button. Trevor Noah Unloads on Trump for Trusting ‘Dr. Demon Sperm’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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Colombia coronavirus quarantine to be extended until Aug 30

Colombia coronavirus quarantine to be extended until Aug 30Colombia’s national lockdown to curb infections of the new coronavirus will be extended by one month until the end of August, President Ivan Duque said on Tuesday. The Andean country has reported more than 267,300 coronavirus cases and 9,074 deaths. “Obligatory preventative isolation, as the general concept, will continue until August 30,” Duque said in his nightly broadcast.



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National teacher union supports strikes over reopening plans

National teacher union supports strikes over reopening plansOne of the nation’s largest teachers unions is authorizing its members to strike if their schools plan to reopen without proper safety measures in the middle of the global pandemic. The American Federation of Teachers, which represents 1.7 million school employees, issued a resolution on Tuesday saying it will support any local chapter that decides to strike over reopening plans.



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Police throw 15-year-old boy to ground after he allegedly blocked traffic and tried to flee

Police throw 15-year-old boy to ground after he allegedly blocked traffic and tried to fleeA teenage boy allegedly resisting and attempting to flee police was grabbed by the neck and pulled to the ground in a video that has gone viral across social media.While the video showed a shortened version of the exchange, police said the boy was part of a larger group of bicyclists riding through New Jersey that were blocking traffic and causing a safety hazard.



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AG Barr Calls Black Lives Matter Protests in Portland ‘an Assault’ on U.S. Government in Testy Hearing

AG Barr Calls Black Lives Matter Protests in Portland ‘an Assault’ on U.S. Government in Testy HearingIn his first appearance ever before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Attorney General William Barr declined to say that political concerns weren’t animating the Trump administration’s use of federal troops to crack down on Black Lives Matter demonstrators.Asked by Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY) if he’d discussed the politics of the crackdown with Trump or anyone in his inner circle, Barr didn’t specifically mention the Department of Justice operations but confirmed that the election “comes up” in his conversations with the president. “I’m a member of the Cabinet,” said Barr, “and there’s an election going on.”Pressed further by Nadler on the topic, Barr demurred: “I’m not going to get into my discussions with the president.” Bully Boy Bill Barr is America’s Ultimate Chaos AgentAs well, Barr indicated he views protesters in Portland, Oregon, not as demonstrators demanding Black liberation or defending themselves from an unwanted federal intrusion but as insurrectionists.“What unfolds nightly around the courthouse cannot reasonably be called a protest,” Barr said in his highly anticipated testimony. “It is, by any objective measure, an assault on the government of the United States.”Later, in response to GOP questioning, Barr thundered “is that OK?” in outlining demonstrators’ alleged offenses against federal officers. “I reject the idea that the Department has flooded anywhere and attempted to suppress demonstrators… We are at the courthouse defending the courthouse, we’re not out there looking for trouble.” Barr’s rhetoric represented the latest escalation by the Trump administration in demonizing the protests, which are part of what has become the largest sustained movement in American history. A Monday statement from the U.S. Marshals, a component of the Justice Department, called elements within the protesters “violent extremists,” a term typically used by the U.S. government to describe domestic terrorists, though a Marshals spokesperson said the reference was unintentional. “In the wake of George Floyd’s death, violent rioters and anarchists have hijacked legitimate protests to wreak senseless havoc and destruction on innocent victims,” Barr contended. Democrats fumed through the hearing on what they saw as Barr’s hypocrisy on that count. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) asked Barr whether he was aware of the pro-Trump protests in Michigan targeting Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, which featured heavily armed demonstrators. Barr said no. “You are aware of certain kinds of protesters, but in Michigan when protesters carried guns and Confederate flags and called for the governor of Michigan to be shot and lynched, somehow you are not aware of that, somehow you didn’t know about it, so you didn’t send federal agents in to do to the president’s supporters what you did to the president’s protesters,” charged Jayapal. The testimony from Barr, which has been more than a year in the making, has been hotly anticipated by Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill as an opportunity to litigate a number of his actions as Trump’s attorney general. Over the past year, Barr has overseen a reduction in the desired sentence and then the commutation of Trump ally Roger Stone’s conviction; the withdrawal of the criminal case against another Trump ally, Michael Flynn; the tear-gassing of Black Lives Matter protesters in D.C.’s Lafayette Park; an effort to oust the New York federal attorney handling sensitive investigations into Trumpworld; the transference of former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort from prison to home confinement; and the deployment of armed, militarized federal agents against protesters in Portland over the objections of local and state elected officials. The growing portfolio of outrages that Barr has assembled has been overwhelming for House Democrats, some of whom have embraced the idea that the only remaining avenue for holding the attorney general—who has already been held in contempt of Congress—to account is to impeach him. But getting Barr on the House Judiciary witness stand, which was originally set for March and then later postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak, is widely seen as the first step in whatever House Democrats decide to do next.In his opening statement, Nadler previewed the crux of Democrats’ case by arguing that Barr has been Trump’s fixer. “Your tenure,” Nadler told Barr, “is marked by a persistent war against the department’s professional core in an apparent effort to secure favors for the president.”Barr shot back that he was trying “to reestablish the rule of law.”Trump Administration Plots Crackdown by Feds in Cities NationwideThe attorney general’s handling of nationwide protests proved the focus of the hearing from the beginning. Federal agents, including the Marshals and others from the Department of Homeland Security, cited vandalism against the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse in Portland as a justification for their persistent presence. Barr, in his opening statement, called such vandalism the work of “hundreds of rioters.” Yet the federal response has generated the majority of the violence at the protests, which has included shooting protesters in the head with rubber bullets; breaking the hand of an unarmed Navy veteran; frequent pepper-spray dousings and tear-gassings; and street arrests without probable cause by minimally identified federal agents driving unmarked vans. Barr equivocated on whether federal agents can arrest protesters without probable cause, saying they could “not strictly” arrest someone because they were proximate to someone they believed was violent. But he demurred about whether such a thing represented an actual arrest, saying “that would require an intensive review” into each circumstance. It remains unknown exactly how many people in Portland have been arrested by federal agents during the July deployments. At one point, late in the hearing, Barr called pepper spray a “very important nonlethal tool” against “rioters” and added, “When people resist law enforcement, they’re not peaceful.”“There is no precedent for the Department of Justice actively seeking out conflict with American citizens, under such flimsy pretext, or for such petty purposes,” said Nadler. He said Barr “aided and abetted the worst failings of the president.”Elected officials, from Oregon’s governor to both its U.S. senators to the Portland mayor, have denounced the federal presence as a provocative escalation of violence. Barr and acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf have vowed to remain until the protests are quelled. ‘Shaking in Their Boots’: Trump Wanted a Portland-Style Offensive in ChicagoLast week, Barr justified a coming “surge” in federal law enforcement to Chicago, Albuquerque, and other cities—expected to last through the November election—by citing the Black Lives Matter protests as a source of public disrespect toward police. Black Lives Matter activists and their allies in Chicago are seeking an injunction against the use of Portland-style federal violence. After acknowledging “it is understandable” for Black Americans to distrust police, Barr said it was “an oversimplification” to view “some deep-seated racism generally infecting our police departments.” Defunding police is “grossly irresponsible,” he said, portraying crime as a “massively greater” threat to Black lives than police. Nadler countercharged: “At your direction, Department officials have downplayed the effects of systemic racism and abandoned the victims of police brutality; refused to hold abusive police departments accountable for their actions; and expressed open hostility to the Black Lives Matter movement.”But later in the hearing, Democrats also pressed Barr over his handling of criminal prosecutions stemming from Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation. Rep. Ted Deutch (D-FL) repeatedly asked Barr why Stone appeared to get special exceptions for leniency based on his age and conduct. “Can you think of any other cases where the defendant threatened to kill a witness, threatened a judge… where the DOJ claimed those were mere technicalities?” asked Deutch. “Can you think of even one?” Barr raised his voice in response, asserting the judge agreed with his analysis, though the witness in question, Randy Credico, did say he felt threatened by Stone. Democrats also tried to nail down definitive answers from Barr on a number of other subjects, such as whether he believed increased voting-by-mail increased the risk of voter fraud as Trump has alleged. Barr said it did. Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) also raised concerns Trump would move the date of the election or even reject the results, given Trump’s arguments about absentee voting and the possibility that final results won’t be known for some time after Election Day. Barr tersely responded, “if the results are clear, I would leave office.” GOP Senators Will Say This Much: Trump Photo Op Wasn’t a Good LookBarr also seemed to dismiss the convictions and guilty pleas reached by Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, saying that the Justice Department would not prosecute “some esoteric, made-up crime, but [rather] a meat-and-potatoes crime.”On Tuesday, Barr—who wrote in his prepared opening statement that he is not “the President’s factotum”—received a warm reception from Republicans, for whom the attorney general has become a hero. The top House Judiciary Republican, Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), said last month the attorney general was doing “the Lord’s work.” “Spying. That’s why they’re after you, Mr. Attorney General,” Jordan said on Tuesday, before proceeding to portray the Black Lives Matter protests as violent through an extensive video that showed no police-induced violence.   A day before Barr’s hearing, a D.C. National Guard officer present at the Lafayette Park protest on June 1 told a different House committee that “the use of force against demonstrators in the clearing operation was an unnecessary escalation of the use of force.” Barr has denied accounts placing him in command responsibility for suppressing the protest. But the officer, West Point graduate and Iraq veteran Adam DeMarco, recounted Barr conferring with the Park Police shortly before they advanced to clear protesters from the square for Trump’s photo op. “From my observation, those demonstrators—our fellow American citizens—were engaged in the peaceful expression of their First Amendment rights,” DeMarco told the House natural-resources committee on Monday. “Yet they were subjected to an unprovoked escalation and excessive use of force.”Barr, questioned by Jayapal, dismissed his comments. “I don’t remember DeMarco as being involved in any decision-making,” he said, implying DeMarco was not credible since he “ran as a Democratic candidate in Maryland.” Read more at The Daily Beast.Get 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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China records highest surge in virus cases since April

China records highest surge in virus cases since AprilChina recorded 61 new coronavirus cases on Monday — the highest daily figure since April — propelled by clusters in three separate regions that have sparked fears of a fresh wave. The bulk of 57 new domestic cases were found in the far northwestern Xinjiang region, according to the National Health Commission, where a sudden outbreak in the regional capital of Urumqi occurred in mid-July. Fourteen domestic cases were also recorded in the northeastern province of Liaoning where a fresh cluster broke out in the city of Dalian last week.



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Hundreds jam airport as evacuations from Vietnam's Danang begin

Hundreds jam airport as evacuations from Vietnam's Danang beginThe airport in the central Vietnamese tourism hotspot of Danang was packed on Monday after three residents tested positive for the coronavirus and the evacuation of 80,000 people began. The Southeast Asian country is back on high alert after authorities on Saturday confirmed the first community infections since April, and another three cases on Sunday, all in or around Danang. A further 11 cases linked to a Danang hospital were reported late on Monday.



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Senate Republicans reportedly want to cut weekly unemployment boost from $600 to $200 per week

Senate Republicans reportedly want to cut weekly unemployment boost from $  600 to $  200 per weekAs part of a broader $ 1 trillion coronavirus relief bill, Republican lawmakers are proposing to cut weekly emergency unemployment benefits established in the previous CARES Act from $ 600/week to $ 200/week, people familiar with the unreleased plan told The Washington Post.Democrats want to extend the $ 600 figure, which is set to expire this week, until January while the unemployment rate remains high, and many economists think keeping things as they are or even raising the total a bit makes more sense than slashing. But the Senate GOP isn't on board. The cut would be temporary, however, and is meant to fill the gap between now and until states implement a Republican-favored approach that involves paying workers 70 percent of the income they earned before losing their jobs due to the pandemic. In that scenario, the weekly unemployment boost wouldn't be tied to a specific number, but would vary for individuals. Read more at The Washington Post.More stories from theweek.com Trump only pivoted on coronavirus after reportedly being warned of spikes among 'our people' in red states Trump economic adviser Larry Kudlow wears mask at press conference, says it's necessary to reopen economy Supreme Court conservatives reportedly don't trust John Roberts for a 5th vote on gun rights cases



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Consulate closures an inflection point in China-US relations

Consulate closures an inflection point in China-US relationsIn the more than 40 years since China and the U.S. established formal diplomatic relations, accusations have been traded, tensions have risen and fallen and the two sides have come dangerously close to outright confrontation. Mistrust and rancor surrounding disputes over alleged technology theft, national security, human rights, Hong Kong, Taiwan and the South China Sea are now the main drivers in a relationship that had long sought to compartmentalize such issues to prevent them from impeding trade ties and cooperation in managing issues such as North Korea’s nuclear program and conflicts in the Middle East and Africa. Chinese authorities took control of the former U.S. Consulate in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province, on Monday after it was ordered closed in retaliation for a U.S. order to vacate the Chinese Consulate in Houston.



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Sen. Hawley Sets New Pro-Life Standard for Supreme Court Nominees

Sen. Hawley Sets New Pro-Life Standard for Supreme Court NomineesSenator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) said Sunday he would not support any Supreme Court nominee unless they had publicly acknowledged that Roe v. Wade was “wrongly decided” prior to their nomination.“I will vote only for those Supreme Court nominees who have explicitly acknowledged that Roe v. Wade is wrongly decided,” Hawley told the Washington Post, referring to the 1973 ruling that established federal protection for abortion. “By explicitly acknowledged, I mean on the record and before they were nominated.”“I don’t want private assurances from candidates,” the former law professor added. “I don’t want to hear about their personal views, one way or another. I’m not looking for forecasts about how they may vote in the future or predications. I don’t want any of that. I want to see on the record, as part of their record, that they have acknowledged in some forum that Roe v. Wade, as a legal matter, is wrongly decided.”Hawley’s stance comes as pro-lifers have underscored the importance of vetting Supreme Court nominees after chief justice John Roberts dealt a series of disappointments to pro-life activists and conservatives in siding with the Court’s liberal justices on abortion, immigration and LGBTQ rights.  Last month Roberts joined the Court’s liberals in striking down a Louisiana abortion law requiring abortionists to have hospital admitting privileges to perform abortions. Roberts drew sharp criticism from many conservatives for saying his decision was meant to follow the precedent set in the 2016 Texas case Whole Women’s Health v. Hellerstedt, though he believed that case had been wrongly decided. In his 2005 confirmation hearing, Roberts said Roe was “settled as a precedent of the court,” a position since cited by Republicans during nomination fights. But Hawley’s position could pressure Republicans to move away from that.“Roe is central to judicial philosophy. Roe is and was an unbridled act of judicial imperialism. It marks the point the modern Supreme Court said, ‘You know, we don’t have to follow the Constitution. We won’t even pretend to try,’” said Hawley, 40, who once served as a clerk for Roberts.The movement is preparing for the possibility that President Trump could name a new justice this year — marking his third nomination — should there be a vacancy. White House officials and some top Republicans have privately discussed the possibility that Clarence Thomas could retire, the Post reported.“This standard, for me, applies to Supreme Court nominees, whether they’re a sitting judge or whatever,” Hawley said. “If there is no indication in their record that at any time they have acknowledged that Roe was wrong at the time it was decided, then I’m not going to vote for them — and I don’t care who nominates them.”



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US officers force open rear door of Chinese consulate in Houston following closure order

US officers force open rear door of Chinese consulate in Houston following closure orderLaw enforcement officials were seen forcing open a door at the Chinese consulate in Houston shortly after the US-imposed deadline for its closure took effect.The group, who were accompanied by a State Department official, pried open a rear door and went inside without responding to questions from reporters.



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Dr. Birx says 'we have to change our behavior now' as U.S. faces 'essentially three New Yorks'

Dr. Birx says 'we have to change our behavior now' as U.S. faces 'essentially three New Yorks'The White House's coronavirus task force coordinator is imploring Americans to change their behavior "now."Dr. Deborah Birx, response coordinator of President Trump's coronavirus task force, spoke to Today on Friday as new COVID-19 cases have continued to climb in the U.S. and especially in Texas, California, and Florida."I just want to make it clear to the American public: what we have right now are essentially three New Yorks with these three major states," Birx said. "And so we're really having to respond as an American people, and that's why you hear us calling for masks and increased social distancing to really stop the spread of this epidemic."New York was for a time the hardest-hit state in the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic; its daily number of new COVID-19 cases has since fallen. California earlier this week surpassed New York as the state with the most reported coronavirus cases total, though its population is much larger, and New York has still reported more COVID-19 deaths. Texas and Florida have also faced surging COVID-19 cases in recent weeks.Birx described the nation's COVID-19 outbreak as "very serious," and speaking on Trump's recent decision to cancel the Florida portion of the Republican National Convention, she said this is an example of the kind of steps that are needed as the virus continues to spread."This is a signal to the American people: we have to change our behavior now before this virus completely moves back up through the north," she said. "We can do that, and we can do that as an American people." > White House task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx talks to @SavannahGuthrie about the rising coronavirus cases in states including Florida, Texas and California. > > "What we have right now are essentially three New Yorks with these three major states," she says. pic.twitter.com/mczzED47NX> > — TODAY (@TODAYshow) July 24, 2020More stories from theweek.com Jared Kushner has reportedly refused to aid the House GOP's election wing America is coming apart. Europe is coming together. Family members honor John Lewis at hometown memorial service



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Court orders 4th sentencing for actress in 2010 fatal crash

Court orders 4th sentencing for actress in 2010 fatal crashA former “Melrose Place” actress who has already served a sentence for a fatal drunken driving crash could go back to prison. The complicated legal history of the case against Amy Locane includes three sentences imposed by two judges, as well as numerous appeals. It stems from a crash in March 2010 that killed Helene Seeman and seriously injured her husband, Fred, as they turned into their driveway in Montgomery Township in central New Jersey.



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Chicago takes down statues of Columbus, plans review of all monuments

Chicago takes down statues of Columbus, plans review of all monuments“This step is about an effort to protect public safety and to preserve a safe space for an inclusive and democratic public dialogue about our city’s symbols,” Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office said in a statement. Protesters for racial equality have targeted Columbus monuments across the United States, challenging heroic portrayals of him in American education that downplay or ignore the explorer’s cruelty toward indigenous people of the Americas.



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White House: children should go back to school even if studies show they spread coronavirus

White House: children should go back to school even if studies show they spread coronavirusChildren still should go back to school even if it turns out that they are transmitting the deadly novel coronavirus that has claimed more than 140,000 U.S. lives, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany said on Friday. President Donald Trump is pushing to re-open U.S. schools, which abruptly shuttered this past spring when the coronavirus first began spreading across the country – despite teachers’ and families’ concerns that children could contract or transmit the disease should they return to classrooms. “Even if there is transmission and later studies come out, let’s say, we believe that students should be going back to school because the effect on a child we know – scientifically, they are not affected in the same way as an adult,” McEnany said in answer to a press briefing question about comments made by Dr. Deborah Birx, a member of the White House coronavirus task force, about how the disease behaves in small children.



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