It will be partly to mostly sunny in the morning with showers and storms developing in the afternoon.
It will be partly to mostly sunny in the morning with showers and storms developing in the afternoon.
President Trump, whose halting leadership in the face of the coronavirus pandemic Americans increasingly question, boasted Monday about his one undisputed success: his ability to command media attention.
The US Postal Service is in a financial crisis, and is now instructing workers to avoid logging overtime — even if it means leaving mail behind.
Police seized Mark and Patricia McCloskey's rifle in a search warrant. Since then, the couple has received over 50 offers to replace it, their lawyer said.
The federal prosecutor whom Attorney General Bill Barr ousted in June told House investigators that he was alarmed at the way Barr attempted to replace him, saying that “the “irregular and unexplained actions by the Attorney General raised serious concerns for me,” according to a transcript of the closed-door interview released by the House Judiciary Committee on Monday. Geoffrey Berman, formerly the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, was brought in for a closed-door session of the Judiciary Committee on July 9 to talk about the events surrounding Barr’s public announcement on June 19 that Berman had “stepped down” from his post, even though the U.S. attorney made clear to Barr multiple times that he was not stepping down. The late-night announcement by Barr immediately sparked confusion and raised questions about his involvement in a crucial prosecutor’s office. The next day, Berman said he would leave the job when Barr agreed to let his deputy take over as acting U.S. attorney, as opposed to Craig Carpenito, the U.S. attorney for the district of New Jersey, whom Barr wanted to install in the position until the Trump administration’s pick, Securities and Exchange Commission chief Jay Clayton, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate.Berman, who at SDNY handled sensitive investigations into Trumpworld figures such as Rudy Giuliani, did not comment specifically to the Judiciary Committee on what he believed Barr’s motivations to be, and he studiously avoided any questions about how specific SDNY probes might have factored into the situation. But Berman made clear that the attorney general’s preferred plan would have slowed and complicated the work of the office, and he raised several questions challenging Barr’s handling of the process. Trump Thought He’d Picked His Perfect U.S. Attorney in Geoffrey Berman. He Was Very Wrong.“Why did the attorney general say that I was stepping down when he knew I had neither resigned nor been fired?” Berman asked rhetorically, in response to questions from Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY). “Why did the attorney general not tell me the actual reason he was asking me to resign instead of saying that it was to get Clayton into the position? And why did he announce the appointment of Craig Carpenito as acting U.S. attorney when Audrey Strauss was the logical and normal successor?”“Replacing me with someone from outside the district would have resulted in the disruption and delay of the important investigations that were being conducted,” Berman said later. “I was not going to permit that. And I would rather be fired than have that done.” At numerous points, Berman expressed his dismay at Barr’s wish to install Carpenito—who would have retained his previous job in New Jersey—in the job instead of Berman’s top deputy, Strauss, a move he said violated 70 years of precedent at SDNY.According to his opening statement that was obtained by The Daily Beast last Thursday, Berman said that during a private meeting in New York that Barr called to open the discussion, the attorney general praised his performance as U.S. attorney but said the Trump administration wanted Clayton to take the SDNY post. Berman said Barr tried to lure him away by dangling other offers—to head the Department of Justice’s civil rights division and, later, the SEC—but Berman declined. Barr told him that if he did not resign, he would be fired. “I believe the attorney general was trying to entice me to resign so that an outsider could be put into the acting U.S. attorney position at the Southern District of New York, which would have resulted in the delay and disruption of ongoing investigations,” Berman told the Judiciary Committee.At one point in the interview, GOP committee attorney Steve Castor asked if Barr had laid out to Berman a set of actions that would have allowed him to keep his job—if there was any “quid pro quo for you getting to keep your job.”Berman said no, and he confirmed that Barr did not mention any specific SDNY investigations—Castor raised Jeffrey Epstein and Guiliani-related probes—in pressuring him to leave. But Berman did say Barr’s offering of other positions could have been construed as a quid pro quo.“You know, he wanted me to resign to take a position. I assume you could call that a quid pro quo. You resign and you get this, that would mean quid pro quo,” said Berman. Asked to clarify those comments later, he said it wasn’t his term but reiterated that “it could be seen as a quid pro quo, his offering me a job in exchange for my resignation.” Berman is a rare U.S. attorney in that he was not confirmed by the Senate but was appointed by the judges of SDNY to hold the position in April 2018. Berman insisted that, as he was a court-appointed prosecutor, neither Barr nor President Trump had the authority to fire him before the Senate confirmed a successor, but some past legal precedent has indicated the president can fire a court-appointed U.S. attorney. Trump has said he had nothing to do with Berman’s ouster. 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.
Iran has executed a former employee of the defense ministry who was convicted of spying on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency, the country's judiciary said Tuesday. The report said Reza Asgari was executed last week. Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said Asgari had worked in the airspace department of the ministry and retired in 2016.
CDC researchers analyzed data from more than 800 adults in two internet surveys in April and May who reported going outdoors in the past week. Data published in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report showed that within days of the first national recommendation, 61.9% people reported using cloth face-coverings when they left home. The use of cloth masks rose in May across socio-demographic groups.
A fourth-grade boy shot four times in Atlanta was filming TikTok videos with his two siblings when an unknown gunman fired into a crowd during a drive-by shooting, his mother said.Javonni Carson, 9, who was one of three people injured in the attack, has undergone surgery and is expected to recover, mother Keyona Carson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The partnership between Chinese tech companies and the Chinese Communist Party is threatening global Internet freedom. But the U.S. has the chance to push back and safeguard online free speech and privacy worldwide.Last Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Fox News’s Laura Ingraham that the U.S. is “certainly looking at” banning TikTok, a video-sharing social-media platform owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, over its ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).Pompeo cited the threat of “Chinese surveillance” to national security, as TikTok user data is surely being passed on to the CCP. A day later, in an interview with Greta Van Susteren, President Trump took a different tack, listing a ban on TikTok as “one of many” potential ways to punish the Chinese government for its hand in the coronavirus pandemic.TikTok is no stranger to U.S. scrutiny. Government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security have banned the app for security reasons. And last year, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department investigated the company after it was alleged to have used data from users under 13 years of age in violation of American privacy laws. It was recently reported that the app may have failed to address regulators’ concerns on that front.It might seem strange that an app known for making harmless, entertaining videos go viral would be the center of so much controversy. But the problem isn’t the content TikTok allows users to share with the world; it’s the company’s meticulous collection of user data and its close, troubling relationship with the CCP.Parent company ByteDance is allegedly working with the CCP in its surveillance efforts. Just as unsettling, the app has been accused of aiding Chinese propaganda efforts through the use of “shadow bans,” fiddling with the app’s algorithm so that users — even users outside China — don’t see content concerning Tiananmen Square or the Hong Kong protests. For instance, in 2019, TikTok user Feroza Aziz had her account suspended after posting a makeup tutorial that secretly condemned China’s mass detention and abuse of Uighur Muslims in Xianjiang Province.Such abuses are not limited to TikTok. Other Chinese tech companies have done the CCP’s bidding inside and outside China as well. According to an Australian Strategic Policy Institute report, Chinese tech giants such as Huawei, Tencent, and Alibaba are using artificial intelligence to collect users’ data and aid and abet China in fulfilling its global ambitions.And what are those ambitions? One is obviously the legitimizing of the CCP’s dictatorship abroad. But China may also be seeking to normalize authoritarianism more generally. For instance, TikTok has reportedly censored criticisms of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey’s authoritarian president.It’s like a virtual Belt and Road Initiative, in which viral dance videos replace seemingly good-faith investments as the vehicle for the spread of CCP influence.In the face of China’s threats to the freedom of the world’s Internet, the Trump administration should be applauded for considering a ban on TikTok. As Chinese censorship, surveillance, and propaganda spread worldwide, the U.S. has a chance to fight back and change the trajectory of the Information Age for the better. At a press conference on Wednesday, Pompeo said that “the infrastructure of this next hundred years must be a communications infrastructure that’s based on a Western ideal of private property and protection of private citizens’ information in a transparent way.” He added, however, that realizing that vision would be difficult: “It’s a big project, because we’ve got partners all around the world where infrastructure crosses Chinese technology and then comes to the United States.”It won’t be easy, but it must be done. Nothing less than global Internet freedom is at stake.
The US "will not let China claim the South China Sea as its own," a senior US State Department official said Tuesday.
During a night of unrest in Portland, Oregon, on Sunday, July 12, protesters set fire to an empty fountain and the base of an elk statue that was recently removed during protests in the area.During clashes on July 11, one protester, named as Donavan La Bella, was hospitalized after he was shot in the head with an impact munition, the Portland Tribune reported. Mayor Ted Wheeler has announced that US Marshals will investigate the incident.Protesters gathered on July 12, the 46th consecutive day of protests in Portland, to call for justice for La Bella, local media reported.The Oregonian reported that a “120-year-old statue of an elk” that sat atop the David P. Thompson Fountain was removed from downtown Portland after protesters damaged its base by setting it on fire during July 1 demonstrations.This video shows a figure lying on the base as fire burns in the empty fountain beneath on Sunday night. Credit: Drew Hernandez via Storyful
Black youth in Michigan are incarcerated more than 4 times as often as white youth. The governor had discouraged such sentences due to the pandemic.
Maybe the trout will be running this week for Fox News' Tucker Carlson. In only one case — Bill O’Reilly’s trip to Europe following reports of sexual misconduct settlements with women — did the vacation become permanent. Carlson said that the online comments by former writer Blake Neff were wrong, but had nothing to do with his show.
Philippine authorities and police will carry out house-to-house searches for COVID-19 patients to prevent wider transmission, a minister said on Tuesday, amid soaring death and infection numbers and some areas returning to a stricter lockdown. Interior Minister Eduardo Año urged the public to report cases in their neighbourhoods, warning that anyone infected who refused to cooperate faced imprisonment. The tough approach comes during a week where the Philippines recorded Southeast Asia biggest daily jump in coronavirus deaths and saw hospital occupancy grow sharply, after a tripling of infections since a tough lockdown was eased on June 1 to allow more movement and commerce.
Philippine police are being deployed to ensure people who test positive for the coronavirus and cannot self-isolate at home are taken to state-run quarantine centres, sparking warnings Wednesday of potential rights violations. The move comes as authorities step up efforts to slow the rapid spread of the disease by increasing testing, reimposing lockdowns, and building dozens of quarantine centres to isolate patients with mild symptoms. To clamp down on local transmission, police are accompanying health workers to the homes of people who have tested positive and taking them to government facilities if their homes are considered inadequate for self-isolation or if they live with "vulnerable" people, officials said.
It's different from four years ago, when the president was "helped by the fact that Hillary had 20 years of built-in negatives," one Republican said.
A major earthquake on the San Andreas fault line would crumble buildings, rupture gas lines, trigger landslides, and devastate Los Angeles.