2020-09-18@11:07:03 GMT
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said Wednesday that:

    The new chief executive of the agency that oversees Voice of America and other government-backed broadcasters said he did not act illegally in firing senior figures on his first day on the job. In an interview with the Washington Examiner, Michael Pack denied that he was turning the outlets into a mouthpiece for President Trump, said he would guarantee the independence of journalists working for him, and accused the Biden campaign of pandering to partisan politics with its threat to remove him in the event of a change of president. Pack took up his post with the U.S. Agency for Global Media two weeks ago after a contentious nomination process dominated by questions about his relationship with former Trump strategist...
    LONG ISLAND (WABC) -- Long Island officially entered Phase 3 of reopening from the coronavirus pandemic Wednesday, meaning nail salons, spas, massage parlors, spa services and tanning salons are back in business.It's the moment for which so many people have been waiting."This is probably like the second best day of my life, right now," Dix Hills resident Mary Jane Lubrano said about t the luxury of a manicure."I did my hair yesterday," Huntington resident Angela Montalvo added. "Hair you can handle, but this feels so good."EMBED More News Videos Long Island officially entered Phase 3 of reopening from the coronavirus pandemic Wednesday, meaning nail salons, spas, massage parlors, spa services and tanning salons are back in business. Both Montalvo and...
    NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York, New Jersey and Connecticut have announced a joint Tri-State COVID-19 quarantine agreement.In rolling out the agreement Wednesday, NY Gov. Andrew Cuomo said people coming in from states that have a high infection rate must quarantine for 14 days."We have a calibration for the infection rate, and any state that goes over that infection rate, that state will be subject to the quarantine," he said.NEW YORK CITYMayor Bill de Blasio delivered some dire news to New Yorkers on Wednesday. He said that the city is now facing a $9 billion projected loss of revenue in the city due to the loss of tourism and commerce.EMBED More News Videos Raw Video: NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio...
    In the Star Tribune, Mike Hughlett reports, “Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison on Wednesday sued ExxonMobil Corp., Koch Industries and the American Petroleum Institute, saying they have long deceived consumers over the effects of climate change. The lawsuit, filed in Ramsey County District Court, includes claims of multiple violations of Minnesota laws, including fraud, deceptive trade practices and false statements in advertising. … ExxonMobil said the Minnesota lawsuit was a ‘politically motivated campaign’ against energy companies.” MPR reports, “Minnesota’s now dealing with a virus cluster of roughly 100 cases in south-central Minnesota of people in their 20s who said they visited bars on June 12 and 13, Kris Ehresmann, the state’s infectious disease director, told reporters Wednesday. She didn’t say...
    (Bloomberg) – The US economic recovery is showing early signs of weakening in some states where coronavirus cases are on the rise. The weakening is evident in high-frequency data such as OpenTable’s restaurant bookings and comes after a big pickup in activity as companies reopened after the closings to control the spread of covid-19. “We are starting to see very early signs that things are flattening out” in some of the states that reopened first and are now seeing increases in virus cases, said Michelle Meyer, head of the US economy at Bank of America Corp. The result is likely to be an uneven recovery, he said, even as gross domestic product recovers rapidly next quarter from what is likely...
    OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — After about a two hour debate the Oakland Unified School District Board tonight voted unanimously to eliminate their police department from campuses. The “George Floyd Resolution” eliminates the school districts police force of 10 sworn officers and 50 unarmed campus safety officers. The Board also added several amendments to the final proposal. One requires the superintendent to ensure all staff receive training “Today, with a vote by the school board, we can have not just police-free schools, but shift our school’s security officers into culture keepers on our campus,” said Mike Hutchinson with the Journey for Justice Alliance at an afternoon rally ahead of Wednesday night’s vote. ALSO READ: San Francisco Unified School District Votes...
    The opening of Disney’s two flagship theme parks in California will be delayed amid an increase in coronavirus cases, the company said Wednesday. Anaheim’s Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, both closed due to the pandemic, had planned a phased reopening beginning on July 17. But the company said in a statement Wednesday that they learned the state was not issuing guidelines for theme park reopening “until sometime after July 4,” CNN Business reported. The company said they “have no choice but to delay the reopening” considering the thousands of cast members that need to come back for the parks to operate. “Once we have a clearer understanding of when guidelines will be released, we expect to be able to...
    (CNN)President Donald Trump will not abide by a new travel advisory in New Jersey requiring a quarantine period for visitors from coronavirus hotspots when he visits his Bedminster golf club this weekend."The President of the United States is not a civilian. Anyone who is in close proximity to him, including staff, guests, and press are tested for COVID-19 and confirmed to be negative," White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement. Trump recently traveled to Arizona, one of the states designated by New Jersey as a hotspot requiring quarantine. The governors of New Jersey, Connecticut and New York announced Wednesday that they would require people who'd been to those states to quarantine for 14 days or face fines. Deere,...
    Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York City BY SARAH N. LYNCH U.S. House Democrats blasted Attorney General William Barr at a hearing on Wednesday over accusations he had improperly meddled in criminal cases and antitrust probes for political gain, but they stopped short of pledging to take any steps to try and oust the nation’s top law enforcement official. “Mr. Barr’s work at the Department of Justice has nothing to do with correcting injustice. He is the president’s fixer,” said Jerrold Nadler, the Chairman of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee. “He has shown us that there is one set of rules for the president’s friends, and another set...
    A shopper shops in a Ross store.Francis Dean | Corbis | Getty Images As coronavirus cases surge in a number of hot spots across the country, some retailers may be more at risk than others of having to shut their stores down again.  The higher rates of Covid-19 have tended to follow decisions by state and local governments to open up restaurants, nonessential retailers and personal care services. While no state has rolled back phases of reopening yet, some states have slowed the pace.  White House coronavirus advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci said Tuesday at a congressional hearing that he doesn't think states will need to return to lockdown, but they may consider returning to a prior phases of reopening as...
    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey isn’t considering tightening its lockdown restrictions even though the number of daily coronavirus infections registered since they were eased is "higher than anticipated,” the health minister said Wednesday. Speaking to reporters following the weekly meeting of the country’s scientific advisory council, Fahrettin Koca blamed the uptick in cases on widespread complacency and failure to comply with social distancing. “We can say that the numbers are higher than what we anticipated,” Koca said. “We see that many people are under the perception that we have returned to normal. This perception must rapidly be deactivated.” Turkey has witnessed an increase in the daily number of infections after the government authorized cafes, restaurants, gyms, parks, beaches and museums...
    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey isn’t considering tightening its lockdown restrictions even though the number of daily coronavirus infections registered since they were eased is “higher than anticipated,” the health minister said Wednesday. Speaking to reporters following the weekly meeting of the country’s scientific advisory council, Fahrettin Koca blamed the uptick in cases on widespread complacency and failure to comply with social distancing. “We can say that the numbers are higher than what we anticipated,” Koca said. “We see that many people are under the perception that we have returned to normal. This perception must rapidly be deactivated.” Turkey has witnessed an increase in the daily number of infections after the government authorized cafes, restaurants, gyms, parks, beaches and museums...
    “We cannot allow mob rule,” Sen. Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga., told “America’s Newsroom” on Wednesday reacting to growing calls to defund police departments following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody last month. Loeffler made the comment shortly before the Senate planned to hold its first vote on Wednesday on their “Justice Act” police reform legislation, which would hold officers accountable with an enhanced use-of-force database, pursue restrictions on chokeholds and create new commissions to study law enforcement and race. “We are a nation of the rule of law,” Loeffler said on Wedesday, noting that "mob rule" will take place “if we defund the police.” “That's exactly what the Democrat want to do, they have a move to defund, dismantle law enforcement,” she added. ...
    HUNTINGTON, Long Island (WABC) -- Owners of personal care establishments on Long Island like nail salons and spas are getting ready to enter Phase 3 of reopening on Wednesday, while restaurant owners are preparing to offer indoor dining at 50% capacity."We're going to have disposable menus, disposable silverware, just basically everything that we can do to make people feel at ease, more comfortable to be able to come back out and actually sit down again," said Adam Streeter, chef at Hatch restaurant in Huntington.At Christopher's restaurant in Huntington, owner Jack Palladino is organizing the tables to allow for six feet between them. He hopes to be able to seat 25 to 30 people inside.Eyewitness News has found that most restaurants...
    CHICAGO — Chicago’s school board will consider Wednesday whether to terminate its contract with the Chicago Police Department — even as the schools chief defended the school police program at a press conference Monday.  If the motion passes, it would make Chicago the largest city in the country to remove school police from its public schools.  School boards across the country have terminated school police programs in recent weeks, including Minneapolis, Denver, and Milwaukee.  In Los Angeles, a task force appointed by the superintendent said it will review the role and budget for school police.  The vote also could set up a stand-off between Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Chief Executive Officer Janice Jackson, and the appointed board of education. Both the...
    Several Atlanta Police officers have called in sick after a fired officer was charged with felony murder for fatally shooting a man in the back. It’s unclear how many officers called in sick or didn’t show up to their shift Wednesday evening. The Atlanta Police Department said that it was experiencing a “higher than usual number” of call-ins, but quelled rumors that multiple officers walked out during their shift.  “We do have enough officers to cover us through the night,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D) told CNN Wednesday. “Our streets won’t be any less safe because of the number of officers who called out.” Bottoms said other law enforcement agencies in the area would help patrol the city if needed.  “We...
    President Donald Trump claimed on Wednesday evening that former Vice President Joe Biden was staying in his basement - only to tweet footage showing the Democratic presidential candidate out on the campaign trail in Pennsylvania a few minutes later. On Wednesday evening, Trump appeared on Hannity where he claimed that Biden had 'been in the basement for a long time.' Trump continued by claiming that the nominee was 'not running his campaign. People are running his campaign.'  The president continued: 'I see quotes all the time saying he said this and he said that about me and they are long, beautiful flowing sentences.  'I said "Joe didn't make that statement and Joe doesn't even know that statement was made." But they are leaving...
    (CNN)A hate crime investigation is underway after several nooses were found hanging from trees in Oakland, California.The nooses were found around the area of Lake Merritt and have been removed, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a tweet on Wednesday."Symbols of racial violence have no place in Oakland and will not be tolerated," Schaaf said in a statement posted on Twitter. She added that the incident will be investigated as hate crimes.This incident follows the hanging deaths of two black men in Southern California that are being investigated by both local and federal agencies. Robert L. Fuller, 24, was found hanging from a tree early last Wednesday in Palmdale. His death was described by authorities as "an alleged death by...
    Casey-Sanger said volunteers started removing almost everything from the fence late Tuesday night out of concern that it would suddenly be taken down early Wednesday morning. The National Park Service originally told the Associated Press that most of the fence would be dismantled Wednesday, but it later reversed course. In a statement Wednesday night, the Park Service said the Secret Service was "continuing to remove the temporary fencing around Lafayette Park, and the public will have access to Lafayette Park beginning on June 11." Some fencing will remain around damaged areas while the Park Service makes repairs. On the other, southern side of the White House, parts of the temporary fencing were also being dismantled. Hundreds of the signs and...
    A combination of dry weather and record heat in recent days has led to several wildfires in California, forcing some evacuations on Wednesday. Officials in Ventura County issued an evacuation order for a remote area of Piru located about 48 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles for a blaze known as the Lime Fire. The blaze broke out Wednesday afternoon near the Lake Piru campground and has burned about 450 acres so far. Fire officials said Thursday that two minor injuries have been reported so far, and the fire is 20 percent contained. WILDFIRE IN CALIFORNIA DESTROYS SEVERAL HOMES, FORCES EVACUATIONS Firefighters told FOX11 the blaze has the potential to reach 1,000 acres and at least 25 structures are threatened. Over...
    A batch of slow-moving thunderstorms Wednesday caused flash flooding around New Orleans -- a problem made worse by a city drainage system issue. The National Weather Service (NWS) said between 4 to 6 inches of rain fell in portions of the city in a few hours Wednesday morning, causing water to quickly cover streets. Flash flood warnings were issued. SEVERE WEATHER KNOCKS OUT POWER TO MORE THAN 500K IN MIDWEST, FLIPS SEMI-TRUCKS; STORM RISK MOVES EAST At one point, a city website for mapping flooding showed more than 100 streets in the Big Easy affected by the slow-moving storms, according to NOLA.com. Significant street flooding was reported in New Orleans on Wednesday as thunderstorms brought heavy rains to the city. (NOLAReady/Twitter) Neighborhoods such...
    TOP OF THE HOUR: — English city hauls toppled slave trader statue out of the harbor — Jefferson Davis statue torn down in Richmond — Officer charged in George Floyd’s death posts bail. — George Floyd’s brother gives emotional testimony on Capitol Hill. — Museums interested in preserving artifacts from protests in nation’s capital. ___ LONDON — A statue of a 17th-century slave trader that was toppled by anti-racism protesters in Bristol, England, has been fished out of the harbor by city authorities. Bristol City Council says the bronze statue of Edward Colston was recovered early Thursday morning to avoid drawing a crowd. The council says it has been taken to a “secure location” and will end up in a...
    WASHINGTON (AP) — Almost as soon as the towering black fencing was erected last week to seal off Lafayette Park, the barrier became an art gallery and a sounding board for the demonstrators protesting years of black deaths at the hands of police officers. Now, with much of the temporary fencing around the White House coming down, there’s an effort to preserve hundreds of pieces of instant American history. Both the Washington, D.C., government and several museums in the Smithsonian network have expressed an interest, but for now volunteers on the scene are working to gather up the items and keep them safe. “We’re trying to be as gentle as we can with everything,” said Natalie Casey-Sanger, a...
    SEATTLE (AP) — Seattle Police say they are looking to reopen a precinct in the city’ Capitol Hill neighborhood that was shuttered during ongoing George Floyd protests. At a news conference Wednesday, Assistant Chief Deanna Nollette said barriers were removed from the front of the precinct after it became a flashpoint between officers and protesters. Police also have remained scarce in that area and in the several nights since, protests have continued peacefully. Despite that, President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday night to criticize the governor and Seattle’s mayor, saying they should “take back” the city, and, “If you don’t do it, I will.” People on Capitol Hill Wednesday began painting what looked to be Black Lives Matter on one...
    HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf and the GOP-led Legislature headed toward a legal clash Wednesday over the emergency declaration he issued at the beginning of the pandemic, with lawmakers voting to end it and Wolf insisting he holds veto power. In largely party-line votes, the Legislature approved late Tuesday ending Wolf’s 3-month-old emergency proclamation and restarting businesses and other activities shut down as COVID-19 began tightening its grip on Pennsylvania. Retailers and many other kinds of businesses have since been permitted to reopen, but with restrictions. Supporters of the resolution - which they asserted would do away with many, if not all, pandemic restrictions - maintained that state law authorizes the Legislature to end the emergency declaration...
    Pharmaceutical giant Johnson and Johnson said Wednesday it will accelerate the development of its COVID-19 vaccine by launching human trials in late July instead of September. The study will examine the investigational vaccine’s safety and its ability to produce an immune response in more than 1,000 adults in the U.S. and Belgium, the company said. J&J’s chief scientific officer, Dr. Paul Stoffels, said its Janssen division sped up the timeline based on “the strength of the preclinical data we have seen so far and interactions with the regulatory authorities.” TOP STORIES Abraham Lincoln monument torched in Chicago: An absolute disgraceful act Coronavirus hype biggest political hoax in history Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz orders residents to observe moment of silence for...
    ROSELAND — Dog and cat food will be given away to pet owners in need in Roseland and East Garfield Park Wednesday as part of a project to help pets around the city. The first pickup location is Ald. Anthony Beale’s community service office at 34 E. 112th St. in Roseland. Residents can begin picking up the pet food at 10 a.m. Wednesday. There will be a second pickup at noon at Breakthrough’s Fresh Market food pantry, 3334 W. Carroll Avenue in East Garfield Park. “With everything that happened last week we realized that there is an even greater need now since not all the stores that are in the neighborhood may even have pet food currently,” said Lydia...
    SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott spoke with ABC7 News after Wednesday night's march in the city's Mission District. The conversation covered a lot of ground, from his impressions of the march to accountability in his department.The chief was impressed with the peaceful display from demonstrators Wednesday."It went very well," Scott said. "Peaceful, overwhelmingly peaceful. There was a large crowd, you saw for yourself. Our officers were, they had to facilitate First Amendment activities, First Amendment rights, and some of our officers actually participated in some of the protests. And, joined the protesters in taking a knee in honor of Mr. George Floyd. It was a very moving moment for a lot of people."The chief said...
    WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) - The Navajo Nation is extending its closure of tribal government facilities and continuing its overnight curfews while ending weekend lockdowns imposed due to the coronavirus outbreak. Tribal health officials reported 128 additional cases of COVID-19 and seven additional deaths, increasing the total number of cases to 5,661 with 259 deaths, as of Wednesday. Tribal President Jonathan Nez on Wednesday signed an order extending the closure of Navajo Nation government offices and entities to July 5,, officials said Wednesday night in a statement. TOP STORIES Trump fires back at overrated James Mattis: Glad he is gone! Gov. Ralph Northam to announce removal plans for Richmonds iconic Robert E. Lee statue Coronavirus hype biggest political hoax...
    Law enforcement officers in Huntsville assaulted dozens of people Wednesday night following a peaceful protest and march.  This is the accurate description of what took place in Huntsville.  I don’t care what you heard on “the news” or what you read on Facebook or Twitter. That’s what happened.  Following a peaceful protest downtown — for which the NAACP obtained a permit, because it planned to block traffic — dozens of protesters, gathered to speak out about police brutality of black citizens in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd, began to march around the downtown area.  Subscribe to APR's daily newsletter This is their right. It is guaranteed by the U.S. constitution.  Contrary to popular belief, and according to...
    (CNN)Covid-19 is not mutating, health experts say, but that doesn't mean it's not dangerous. So far, evidence does not show that the coronavirus is changing to become more severe or more transmittable, but complacency by people and local governments could increase its spread, World Health Organization infectious disease epidemiologist Maria Van Kerkhove said Wednesday at a news briefing. What we mean by a second peak of coronavirusAlmost 20,000 new US cases were reported Wednesday, data from Johns Hopkins University shows, and officials warn that packed protests over the death in police custody of George Floyd could exacerbate the pandemic that has killed at least 107,175 people nationwide."I remain concerned about the public health consequences both of individual and institutional racism...
    Police were out in force Wednesday evening in cities across the country to enforce curfews that were seen as helping reduce late-night rioting Tuesday, and officials are hoping for a calmer evening amid the ongoing George Floyd protests. In cities such as New York City and Orlando, video captured police taking curfew violators into custody just after 8 p.m. Peaceful protests in dozens of cities across the U.S. at times turned violent as security officials clashed with demonstrators over racial inequality and police brutality. All four former police officers involved in the George Floyd case were charged Wednesday. MINNEAPOLIS OFFICER FACES UPGRADED MURDER CHARGE IN GEORGE FLOYD DEATH, 3 OTHERS CHARGED Derek Chauvin, the former policer officer that kneeled on the back of...
    PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Explosions have destroyed or damaged 50 cash machines in and near Philadelphia since the weekend, and one man has died, in a coordinated effort to steal them or blow them up and take the money inside, authorities said. The federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is leading the investigation, and no arrests have been announced. A 24-year-old man died hours after trying to break into an ATM early Tuesday, and explosives were recovered, police said. But the ATM hits have continued, with explosions echoing overnight into Wednesday in the city or just outside it. Police are asking businesses that host the machines to take the cash out to discourage further hits. “It’s not worth it,”...
    (CNN)Latin America is in crisis. But parts of it are reopening anyway. The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the region is spiking fast. The death toll in Brazil, the worst-hit country in Latin America, passed 30,000 yesterday. Yet President Jair Bolsonaro continues to dismiss the threat and parts of the nation are rushing to lift restrictions. Churches and non-essential businesses in Rio de Janeiro are now allowed to reopen.Similarly, Mexico reported its highest single-day spike in cases yesterday, but is nevertheless pushing ahead with plans to reopen some sectors of its economy, including the tourism industry.The Pan American Health Organization, the World Health Organization's branch in the region, has warned against the prompt reopening, saying the epidemiological curve is...
    RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The Republican National Committee says it wants to hear from North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper by Wednesday on whether the state can fully accommodate the party’s national convention in August this summer. The letter sent Saturday by RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel to Cooper comes a day after Cooper talked by phone with President Trump about the issue. The two disagreed about the viability of a full-fledged convention. The convention is currently scheduled to begin Aug. 24 in Charlotte. Trump and Republicans have said they want no coronavirus-related restrictions on attendance or hotel and restaurant capacity. Cooper’s administration has said it needs details from Republicans on how they plan to hold a convention with up to 20,000...