Republicans scrambling to organize a four-day "celebration" in Florida in which President Donald Trump is set to accept the GOP presidential nomination face considerable uncertainty because of the coronavirus and may be forced to scale the festivities back to a single day, USA TODAY has learned. The explosion of coronavirus cases in Florida – the state reported a sharp increase in COVID-19 deaths – and the later-than-usual selection of Jacksonville has cast doubt on the party's ability to convene a major event there to rally supporters, five Republicans familiar with the planning said on condition of anonymity to discuss internal matters. Republican officials announced last month that Trump would move the highest-profile speeches of the Republican National Convention to Jacksonville from Charlotte, North Carolina, after the state's Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, imposed a shelter-in-place order that could have severely limited the large, made-for-television event Trump wanted.
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images When it comes to any notion of Ivanka Trump as a "moderating influence" on her father, Mary Trump just isn't having it. "I think she's the one who disproves that on an almost-daily basis," Mary, President Trump's niece, told The Washington Post in a new interview. "She doesn't do anything," Mary said.
After hours of emotional public testimony and a middle-of-the-night vote by Berkeley leaders, the progressive California city is moving forward with a novel proposal to replace police with unarmed civilians during traffic stops in a bid to curtail racial profiling. The City Council early Wednesday approved a police reform proposal that calls for a public committee to hash out details of a new Berkeley Police Department that would not respond to calls involving people experiencing homelessness or mental illness. The committee also would pursue creating a separate department to handle transportation planning and enforcing parking and traffic laws.
Virginia police are investigating white supremacist flyers that are appearing in local resident mailboxes across the state.
Senator Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.) revealed on Tuesday that he is attempting to declassify an FBI memo describing an interview with a crucial source for the Steele dossier, whose comments undermined the dossier's assertions. The source was dossier author Christopher Steele's only direct source inside Russia for many of the allegations included in the dossier. The Justice Department Inspector General report released in December 2019 noted that the individual, referred to as the “Primary Sub-Source,” has since disputed various claims in the dossier, including that Trump-campaign officials colluded with Russian operatives during the 2016 election.
Ghislaine Maxwell has secretly married but refused to disclose her husband's identity to FBI investigators, it was claimed in court. Federal prosecutors told a judge hearing Maxwell's application for bail that she had a spouse although his name has been withheld. The existence of a husband might explain why Maxwell chose to remain in the US while being hunted down by the FBI over child sex trafficking allegations rather than fleeing abroad.
The fury surrounding the start of summer school in Detroit this week offers a preview of the emotional battles that could hit many more communities this fall. The city's main public school district made the unusual decision to open classrooms for in-person summer learning starting Monday in hopes of helping children catch up four months after the coronavirus forced schools to close. While the district says it took safety precautions to prevent the spread of the virus and stressed that no students or teachers were forced to participate in face-to-face instruction, the first two days of classes were met with protests.
The case for reopening schools and day care centers during the pandemic is strong. Reopening them would provide much needed child care for parents and other caregivers who need to work, help feed the 30 million U.S. children who rely on low-cost or free school meals, and prevent further inequitable learning losses. As cases of COVID-19 increase around the country, children in day cares are already testing positive.
The Republican leader in the U.S. House of Representatives introduced legislation on Thursday that would cut federal aid to state and local governments if they do not protect statues, after protesters attacked monuments to people who owned slaves or fought for the Confederacy. "It is wrong to erase our history," House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said in a statement, criticizing "left-wing mobs" who have attacked statues across the United States. Under his bill, introduced with fellow Republican Representatives Jim Jordan and Sam Graves, some federal funds would be withheld if local governments do not "restore order or arrest rioters."
Seth Meyers summed up Donald Trump's 2020 platform on Wednesday as a movement that “rejects science and empathy in favor of dumb culture war grievances like statues and cancel culture.” “Ivanka Trump is the last person who should be lecturing anyone on learning new skills to cope with a job loss,” Meyers said. According to the United States Office of Government Ethics, “Executive branch employees may not use their Government positions to suggest that the agency or any part of the executive branch endorses an organization (including a nonprofit organization), product, service, or person.”
The U.N. environment chief said Wednesday that “time is running out” to avert an environmental, economic and humanitarian catastrophe from a deteriorating oil tanker loaded with 1.1 million barrels of crude oil that is moored off the coast of Yemen. Inger Andersen told the U.N. Security Council that an oil spill from the FSO Safer, which hasn't been maintained for over five years, would wreck ecosystems and livelihoods for decades. Houthi rebels, who control the area where the ship is moored, have denied U.N. inspectors access to the vessel so they could assess the damage and look for ways to secure the tanker by unloading the oil and pulling the ship to safety.
In an extraordinary move, the Asheville City Council has apologized for the North Carolina city's historic role in slavery, discrimination and denial of basic liberties to Black residents and voted to provide reparations to them and their descendants. "Hundreds of years of Black blood spilled that basically fills the cup we drink from today," said Councilman Keith Young, one of two African American members of the body and the measure's chief proponent. Instead, it will make investments in areas where Black residents face disparities.
US Navy A US Navy destroyer challenged China in the South China Sea with a freedom-of-navigation operation on Tuesday. The USS Ralph Johnson sailed near the disputed Spratly Islands, the Navy said, adding in a statement that "unlawful and sweeping maritime claims in the South China Sea pose a serious threat to the freedom of the seas." The operation, one of at least six such operations this year, comes after the US State Department officially rejected most of China's sea claims, declaring its maritime efforts to assert sovereignty unlawful.
Last month, a San Diego woman named Amber Gilles publicly shamed a Starbucks barista for refusing to serve her because she wasn't wearing a face mask. A GoFundMe campaign raised more than $100,000 in tips for the barista, Lenin Gutierrez. Now Gilles says she wants half of the money, telling KGTV she was the one who was "discriminated against."
A once obscure internet debate over the limits of free speech and the rise of what critics call “cancel culture” has, somewhat improbably, become a significant 2020 campaign issue. President Trump tapped into conservative worries about cancel culture — the notion that everyone from intellectuals to everyday citizens can be “canceled” and see their lives upended if they become the target of an online “mob” — in a July 3 speech at Mount Rushmore. Cancel culture, the president insisted, is “the very definition of totalitarianism.”
Seoul prosecutors have opened an unprecedented probe into North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister over Pyongyang's blowing up of a liaison office last month, officials said. The move is likely to infuriate the nuclear-armed North, which has repeatedly condemned South Korea in recent months, including directing personal insults at President Moon Jae-in. Seoul Central District prosecutors received a criminal complaint against Kim Yo-jong from a Seoul-based lawyer and had started an investigation, a spokeswoman told AFP.
A Marine master sergeant blasted his way into a building filled with at least eight Taliban fighters in an attempt to save an Afghan comrade during an hours-long fight in which he braved point-blank gunfire and grenade blasts, earning him the nation's third-highest valor award. The master sergeant was one of eight Marine Raiders recognized by Marine Forces Special Operations Command for their actions during the April 10, 2019, mission in southern Afghanistan. Three other Raiders -- a major and two staff sergeants -- were awarded Bronze Stars with combat "V" devices for their roles in the raid.
The Philippines' health ministry on Thursday reported 29 new coronavirus deaths and 2,498 additional cases, the country's the biggest daily rise in confirmed infections in more than a week. In a bulletin, the ministry said total deaths had increased to 1,643, while confirmed infections reached 61,266. President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday retained partial quarantine measures in the capital Manila for two weeks until the end of July, but warned that stricter curbs would be reinstated if the rise in new cases and deaths did not slow.
In pre-pandemic days, it was the most mundane of catchphrases, a bit corny and comical, freighted with a bittersweet wish that the chlorine-scented days of summer could last a little longer. President Trump, eager to revive a devastated U.S. economy, is demanding that schools open for in-person instruction. School administrators are scrambling, trying to figure out rules on everything from facial coverings to plexiglass separators if students do physically return, and how to manage months of online learning if they do not.
Democratic challenger Amy McGrath continued her blistering fundraising pace in the spring, outdistancing Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell for another quarter in their bruising, free-spending campaign in Kentucky. Despite her prodigious pace, McGrath ended the quarter with slightly less money in the bank after spending heavily at the end of her bumpier-than-expected primary battle against state Rep. Charles Booker. The bonanza partly reflects McConnell's close ties to President Donald Trump, which has made him a lightning rod for Democrats across the nation.
Skywatchers are in for a treat over the next few weeks as newly discovered Comet Neowise is paying a visit to the inner solar system for the first time in 6,800 years. The comet has been getting brighter and brighter in the early morning sky, AccuWeather said, and in the coming days, it will make an appearance in the evening after sunset. Neowise is one of the few comets visible to the unaided eye this century, an inner-solar system "intruder" that might become known as the Great Comet of 2020, NASA said.
Ghislaine Maxwell appeared in Manhattan federal court via video feed on Tuesday, to plead not guilty regarding her alleged involvement in Jeffrey Epstein's sex trafficking of minor girls. One, in an anonymous statement read to the court, described “the sociopathic manner in which [Maxwell] nurtured our [relationships]” and said that “she would have done anything to get what she wanted, to satisfy Mr Epstein”. Long out of the public eye, Maxwell, 58, appeared unsettled, a far cry from the glamorous, jet-setting image she once cultivated.
US Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced on July 6 that international students who were taking courses entirely online would not be allowed to remain in the US. The new policy was met with immediate backlash as 17 states and Washington, DC, filed a lawsuit to block the motion while Harvard and MIT led a similar suit that quickly garnered the support of 200 more universities. An international student told Insider that while she is happy about the rollback, she is still unsettled by the inconsistency of the Trump administration on potentially life-altering issues for students like her.
Facebook Starting on Thursday, Facebook is rolling out labels on all posts from federal politicians and elected officials that involve voting. The labels point Facebook users to a voting information page, which is currently hosted on USA.gov. Facebook is rolling out its own "Voting Information Center," announced by Mark Zuckerberg last month, but it isn't ready just yet.