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Iowa governor's push to reopen schools descends into chaos

Iowa governor's push to reopen schools descends into chaosAn aggressive push by Iowa’s pro-Trump governor to reopen schools amid a worsening coronavirus outbreak has descended into chaos, with some districts and teachers rebelling and experts calling the scientific benchmarks used by the state arbitrary and unsafe. At issue is Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds’ mandate in July that districts offer at least 50% classroom instruction. The conflict intensified Wednesday when the statewide teachers union announced a lawsuit challenging the governor's ability to make such decisions for local districts.



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Federal Agents ‘Beaten Back’ Into Portland Courthouse by 2,000 Protesters, Including Parent Groups

Federal Agents ‘Beaten Back’ Into Portland Courthouse by 2,000 Protesters, Including Parent GroupsAn estimated crowd of 2,000 people participating in the protests in Portland, Oregon, “tore open the doors of a federal courthouse and then beat back the agents inside” in the early hours of Tuesday morning, a journalist on the scene reported on Twitter. Bellingcat writer Robert Evans posted multiple videos online that appeared to show federal agents shooting what are assumed to be non-lethal projectiles at protesters, including a parents group, Wall of Moms, out of “murder holes” in a wooden structure built around the courthouse to protect it. The new clashes represent a further escalation in the conflict between protesters and federal agents sent into the city by the Trump administration. Trump praised federal law enforcement agents on Monday, saying they were doing a “fantastic job” in Portland and said he planned to replicate the response in other major U.S. cities led by Democratic mayors and escalate the crisis. 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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Coronavirus: Far-right president Jair Bolsonaro forced into U-turn on releasing death figures following national uproar

Coronavirus: Far-right president Jair Bolsonaro forced into U-turn on releasing death figures following national uproarFar-right President Jair Bolsonaro has been forced into a U-turn on releasing data showing Brazil’s total number of Covid-19 cases and deaths following a national uproar.In a move officials said was personally ordered by the president, months’ worth of coronavirus data vanished from Brazil’s health ministry website overnight on Friday, with a supreme court judge describing the manoeuvre as “totalitarian”.



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Rights groups call for probe into Venezuela prison riot that left 46 dead

Rights groups call for probe into Venezuela prison riot that left 46 deadHuman rights groups on Saturday called for an investigation into a prison riot in western Venezuela that left 46 people dead and 75 injured, and questioned authorities’ explanation that the incident was linked to a failed escape attempt. The U.N.’s Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNOHCR) said on Twitter it was “gravely concerned” about the incident on Friday at the Los Llanos penitentiary in Portuguesa state. The South American country’s prisons are infamous for extreme levels of violence and poor conditions.



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Hawley Calls for ‘Full, International Investigation’ into China’s Coronavirus Coverup

Hawley Calls for ‘Full, International Investigation’ into China’s Coronavirus CoverupSenator Josh Hawley (R., Mo.) on Wednesday warned the Chinese Communist Party that it would have “to pay” for its attempts to coverup the coronavirus outbreak in Wuhan, and called for a “full, international investigation” to get to the bottom of the situation.“There needs to be a full, international investigation of China Communist Party’s actions that helped turn coronavirus COVID19 into a global pandemic,” Hawley tweeted Wednesday morning.> There needs to be a full, international investigation of China Communist Party’s actions that helped turn coronavirus COVID19 into a global pandemic – and China needs to be prepared to pay other countries for the havoc the CCP has unleashed https://t.co/u1Uo0H0PTj> > — Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) March 18, 2020The freshman senator was referencing a story that Beijing has attempted to drown out with a propaganda campaign. China on Tuesday stripped press passes from reporters at the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Washington Post who were stationed in China and Hong Kong, its latest action to escape accountability and international censure over its handling the outbreak.In December, genomics laboratories in Wuhan sequenced coronavirus and discovered it closely resembled the deadly SARS virus which broke out in 2002-2003, but were subsequently gagged by authorities, who ordered them to turn over or destroy the samples.Hawley, a China hawk who slammed the regime for its crackdown on Hong Kong protestors in the fall, has been vocal in recent months as the coronavirus pandemic grew. He sent a letter in January to the heads of four government agencies to ask whether the Trump administration was considering any potential Chinese travel ban to prevent an American outbreak of the coronavirus — a move the White House made soon after.Last month, the senator introduced legislation to reorient medical supply chains and to reduce reliance on China for the manufacture of certain prescription drugs and other medical supplies.



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