The Weekly Download: George Floyd’s funeral, Georgia’s election debacle

Weekend TODAY’s Peter Alexander takes a look back at the biggest stories of the week, including the emotional farewell to George Floyd, the voting debacle on primary day in Georgia and the rising cost of groceries across the country.

  • As COVID cases spike in Florida, Trump now says he's 'flexible' on convention format in Jacksonville
    Yahoo News

    As COVID cases spike in Florida, Trump now says he's 'flexible' on convention format in Jacksonville

    With coronavirus cases exploding in Florida, President Trump said he is “flexible” about the need for a traditional indoor Republican National Convention in Jacksonville next month. The Republican National Committee had scrapped plans to hold the party's convention in Charlotte, N.C., after Gov. Roy Cooper said he would only allow “a scaled-down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings.” In a television interview with former Fox anchor Greta Van Susteren, Trump suggested the format for the Aug. 24-27 event would depend on the severity of the outbreak in the Sunshine State.

  • As COVID-19 makes a comeback, so will lockdowns
    Yahoo News

    As COVID-19 makes a comeback, so will lockdowns

    At the outset, Fauci warned that America was still “knee-deep in the first wave” of the contagion, describing the country's new normal of more than 50,000 cases per day as “a serious situation that we have to address immediately. But how? asked Collins.

  • 2 female firsts at the Supreme Court announce retirements
    Associated Press

    2 female firsts at the Supreme Court announce retirements

    The Supreme Court said Tuesday that the first-ever women to hold two prominent positions at the court, handling the justices' security and overseeing publication of the court's decisions, are retiring. Pamela Talkin's most public role in nearly two decades as the court's marshal has been opening court sessions by announcing the justices' entrance into the courtroom and banging a gavel before court begins. Christine Luchok Fallon's name wasn't on any Supreme Court decision, but part of her job as the reporter of decisions was to oversee the writing of summaries of the justices' opinions that begin each decision, turning lengthy legal explanations into a succinct few pages.

  • Texas Governor Is ‘Putting Lives at Risk,’ Local Officials Say
    The Daily Beast

    Texas Governor Is ‘Putting Lives at Risk,’ Local Officials Say

    Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo believes she knows what her county needs to fight back against COVID-19. “I'm at the mercy of what powers he positively gives us,” Hidalgo told The Daily Beast. As Texas faces a resurgent coronavirus and some officials have emphasized concerns about hospitals in the state becoming potentially overrun or overwhelmed, Hidalgo can find plenty of reasons to worry.

  • ‘Let me borrow your bike’: Atlanta police officer takes passing man’s bicycle to chase fleeing murder suspect
    The Independent

    ‘Let me borrow your bike’: Atlanta police officer takes passing man’s bicycle to chase fleeing murder suspect

    Police in Atlanta were able to apprehend a murder suspect thanks to a passerby's bicycle. The Atlanta Police Department said in a statement that the suspect had been seen around the Old Fourth Ward area last Tuesday when one cop commandeered a bicycle to chase the man down. The department said on Twitter afterwards that a cyclist had assisted with 21-year-old Nicholas Fonseca's arrest, who was wanted in connection with a 28 June shooting.

  • Tenant faces eviction for Black Lives Matter banner on his Illinois balcony, he says
    Miami Herald

    Tenant faces eviction for Black Lives Matter banner on his Illinois balcony, he says

    A man and his family may soon be evicted from their apartment after refusing to remove a Black Lives Matter banner from their Illinois balcony, he says. Donavan Burton, 22, hung the banner in June to protest police killings of Black people following the death of George Floyd, the Associated Press reported. Burton's lease, however, prohibits any “personal belongings” from being stored on the Bloomington property's balcony and his landlord, First Site, repeatedly asked him to take down the banner, WGLT reported.

  • What you need to know about the coronavirus right now
    Reuters

    What you need to know about the coronavirus right now

    New Jersey adopted a stringent coronavirus face-mask order on Wednesday, and New York City unveiled a plan to allow public school students back into classrooms for just two or three days a week, as newly confirmed U.S. COVID-19 cases soared to a daily global record. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy unveiled an executive order requiring face coverings outdoors where social distancing is not possible, citing a rise in the state's coronavirus transmission rate. Coronavirus cases have been on the rise in 42 of the 50 states over the past two weeks, according to a Reuters analysis.

  • Militants kill BJP politician Wasim Bari and his family in Kashmir
    The Telegraph

    Militants kill BJP politician Wasim Bari and his family in Kashmir

    A Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party politician was killed along with his brother and father in Indian administered Kashmir, officials said on Thursday. Wasim Bari, 38, and his family were attacked by militants at his residence in north Kashmir's Bandipora district on Wednesday night. All three were shot at point-blank range and died on the way to hospital.

  • China’s Confucius Institutes Attempt to Rebrand Following Backlash
    National Review

    China’s Confucius Institutes Attempt to Rebrand Following Backlash

    China is attempting to rebrand Confucius Institutes following a worldwide backlash against the centers. Confucius Institutes, which are present on dozens of U.S. college campuses and at other foreign universities, carry the stated purpose of promoting Chinese language and culture. The Confucius Institute Headquarters in Beijing has changed its name to the “Ministry of Education Centre for Language Education and Cooperation.”

  • Trump admin plans to block asylum seekers from U.S. by citing risk of COVID-19
    NBC News

    Trump admin plans to block asylum seekers from U.S. by citing risk of COVID-19

    The Trump administration has proposed a new rule that would allow it to deny asylum to immigrants who are deemed a public health risk. The soon-to-be published rule would let the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Justice to block immigrants from seeking asylum in the U.S. based on "potential international threats from the spread of pandemics," according to a notice announcing it Wednesday. The rule would apply to immigrants seeking asylum and those seeking "withholding of removal" — a protected immigration status for those who have shown they may well face danger if returned to their home countries.

  • César Duarte: Fugitive Mexican ex-governor arrested in Miami
    BBC

    César Duarte: Fugitive Mexican ex-governor arrested in Miami

    César Duarte, a former Mexican state governor who became a fugitive, has been arrested in Miami after more than three years on the run. Mr Duarte, governor of Chihuahua until 2016, fled after he was accused of embezzling public funds. The arrest came as Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador paid an official visit to the US for talks with President Trump.

  • The Lincoln Project continues anti-Trump ad campaign
    Yahoo News Video

    The Lincoln Project continues anti-Trump ad campaign

    On Tuesday, the Lincoln Project, a conservative political action committee formed in late 2019, released an ad titled “Whispers,” which suggests those in President Trump's inner circle are secretly mocking him. This is the latest in a series of attack ads produced and distributed by the committee, whose members include George Conway, Steve Schmidt and other prominent Republicans who oppose Trump. Yahoo News has assembled a compilation of some of the Lincoln Project's most controversial advertisements.

  • US seizes 81 vehicles in Venezuela smuggling ring
    Associated Press

    US seizes 81 vehicles in Venezuela smuggling ring

    Federal investigators said Wednesday they have seized 81 vehicles worth an estimated $3.2 million that were bound for Venezuela as part of a smuggling ring operated for wealthy and politically connected people. Anthony Salisbury, chief of the Miami Homeland Security Investigations office, said the vehicles were to be smuggled in violation of U.S. export laws and sanctions against the socialist Venezuelan government, “This is all part of an ongoing effort to combat foreign public corruption and in particular for public corruption in Venezuela and the laundering and the fleecing of the Venezuelan people's wealth and the stealing of the Venezuelan wealth from the national treasury for the gain ...

  • Former Marine who played wide receiver in college catches a three-year-old boy thrown from burning building
    The Independent

    Former Marine who played wide receiver in college catches a three-year-old boy thrown from burning building

    A former Marine and wide receiver in college American football caught a three-year-old boy who was thrown from a burning building by his mother. Phillip Blanks was filmed catching Jameson Long on 3 July in Phoenix, Arizona, after he heard the child's mother, Rachel Long, call for help from inside the building. Mr Blanks managed to catch the child just before he hit the ground and carried the three-year-old to safety.

  • Server who told CEO on racist tirade to leave California eatery gets thousands in tips
    Miami Herald

    Server who told CEO on racist tirade to leave California eatery gets thousands in tips

    A California restaurant employee is getting a hefty tip for shutting down a tech CEO's racist tirade. The man, who is white and identified by media outlets as San Francisco cloud computing firm Solid8 CEO Michael Lofthouse, was seen on video posted to Instagram giving an Asian family the middle finger. He's heard saying, “Trump's gonna f--- you.

  • 'I would be very careful in the middle of the street': There have been at least 66 vehicle-ramming attacks in US since May 27
    USA TODAY

    'I would be very careful in the middle of the street': There have been at least 66 vehicle-ramming attacks in US since May 27

    Amid thousands of protests nationwide against police brutality, dozens of drivers have plowed into crowds of protesters marching in roadways, raising questions about the drivers' motivations. While witnesses, law enforcement and terrorism experts say that some of the vehicle incidents appear to be targeted and politically motivated, others appear to be situations where the driver became frightened or enraged by protesters surrounding their vehicle.

  • Australian man fights off deadly snake that attacked him in his car while he drove down the highway
    INSIDER

    Australian man fights off deadly snake that attacked him in his car while he drove down the highway

    A man police identified as Jimmy was driving down the highway in Calliope, Australia, on June 15 when he saw a snake at his feet. It was an eastern brown snake, one of Australia's deadliest snake species. Police in Queensland, Australia, said in a news release published Tuesday that a 27-year-old, identified only as "Jimmy," was driving down the highway at 100 kilometers (62 miles) per hour when he noticed the highly venomous eastern brown snake near his legs.

  • 15 Platform Beds to Elevate Your Bedroom Style
    Architectural Digest

    15 Platform Beds to Elevate Your Bedroom Style

    You'll love these contemporary styles and budget-friendly price points Originally Appeared on Architectural Digest

  • New York attorney general recommends reducing mayor's power over police
    Reuters

    New York attorney general recommends reducing mayor's power over police

    New York Attorney General Letitia James recommended that New York City's mayor give up sole control over the city police commissioner's hiring, in a preliminary report released on Wednesday on her investigation into the policing of recent protests. The commission would have final say on the department's budget and officer discipline. "There should be an entirely new accountability structure for NYPD," James said in her report, which also recommended giving more power to the Civilian Complaint Review Board, a city agency that reviews police misconduct.

  • Fox News Host Grills Betsy DeVos on ‘Reckless’ Plan to Reopen Schools
    The Daily Beast

    Fox News Host Grills Betsy DeVos on ‘Reckless’ Plan to Reopen Schools

    President Donald Trump threatened to “cut off funding” to schools that don't reopen amidst the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday. On Fox News Wednesday afternoon, host Neil Cavuto repeatedly pressed DeVos on the administration's official “schools must open” policy. “There's nothing in the data that suggests that it would not be appropriate to have kids in school,” DeVos claimed.

  • Navy SEAL who oversaw bin Laden raid says America's biggest national security issue is the K-12 education system
    Business Insider

    Navy SEAL who oversaw bin Laden raid says America's biggest national security issue is the K-12 education system

    Retired Adm. William McRaven, a former US Navy SEAL commander and head of US Special Operations Command, says K-12 education is vital to US national security. "Unless we are giving opportunity and a quality education to the young men and women in the United States, then we won't have the right people to be able to make the right decisions about our national security," McRaven said. McRaven said the US needed to develop a "culture of education" within communities, particularly those where residents think they can't afford it or that their children aren't "smart enough."

  • Brazil: Bolsonaro reportedly uses homophobic slur to mock masks
    The Guardian

    Brazil: Bolsonaro reportedly uses homophobic slur to mock masks

    One day after announcing he had tested positive for coronavirus Jair Bolsonaro has come under fire for allegedly using homophobic language to mock the use of face masks. The Folha de São Paulo, a leading broadsheet, claimed Brazil's far-right leader had baited presidential staff who were using protective masks, claiming such equipment was “coisa de viado” (a homophobic slur that roughly translates as “for fairies”). Bolsonaro is a longstanding enemy of Brazil's LGBTQ+ community and during three decades in politics has made no secret of his homophobia.

  • China dismisses Australian warning of arbitrary detention
    Associated Press

    China dismisses Australian warning of arbitrary detention

    The Chinese Embassy on Wednesday dismissed Australia's warning to travelers of arbitrary detention in China as “ridiculous” and “disinformation” in the latest diplomatic spat to mar a deteriorating relationship. Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on Tuesday in an updated travel advisory for China that authorities have detained foreigners because they're “endangering national security,” adding that Australians may also be at risk. China's embassy in Australia replied in a statement: “This is completely ridiculous and disinformation.”

  • Mom kidnaps daughter and flies to Mexico to give Russia US defense secrets, feds say
    Miami Herald

    Mom kidnaps daughter and flies to Mexico to give Russia US defense secrets, feds say

    A 47-year-old woman is accused of taking her 6-year-old daughter and top secret government documents to Mexico to try to broker a deal with Russian officials. She didn't have custody of the girl — or permission to take the classified documents, according to Justice Department officials. Elizabeth Jo Shirley, of West Virginia, pleaded guilty on Monday to charges of “international parental kidnapping” and taking national defense information, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release.

  • Amid Black Lives Matter protests, more school districts are pushing to address racism. Is it enough?
    USA TODAY

    Amid Black Lives Matter protests, more school districts are pushing to address racism. Is it enough?

    To create an environment in schools where students hopefully will not feel these pressures, the administration has asked the school board to come up with a plan to make equity a key focus by creating a dedicated position to provide “leadership and oversight in equity and excellence,” officials said. You need to look at policies, you need to look at curriculum, you need to look at disciplinary practices, you need to look at simply educating everyone on what's going on,” Kannan said. You need to look at hiring.