Protesters who have clashed with authorities in the Pacific Northwest are not just confronting local police. Some are also facing off against federal officers whose presence reflects President Donald Trump’s decision to make cracking down on “violent mayhem” a federal priority.
The Department of Homeland Security has deployed officers in tactical gear from around the country, and from more than a half-dozen federal law enforcement agencies and departments, to Portland, Oregon, as part of a surge aimed at what a senior official said were people taking advantage of demonstrations over the police killing of George Floyd to engage in violence and vandalism. Read More
The president of Turkey on Friday formally converted Istanbul’s sixth-century Hagia Sophia back into a mosque and declared it open for Muslim worship, hours after a high court annulled a 1934 decision that had made the religious landmark a museum.
The decision sparked deep dismay among Orthodox Christians. Originally a cathedral, Hagia Sophia was turned into a mosque after Istanbul’s conquest by the Ottoman Empire but had been a museum for the last 86 years, drawing millions of tourists annually. Read More
President Donald Trump commuted the sentence of his longtime political confidant Roger Stone on Friday, just days before he was set to report to prison. Democrats denounced the move as just another in a series of unprecedented interventions by the president in the nation’s justice system.
Stone had been sentenced in February to three years and four months in prison for lying to Congress, witness tampering and obstructing the House investigation into whether the Trump campaign colluded with Russia to win the 2016 election. He was set to report to prison by Tuesday. Read More
A judge issued an injunction Thursday barring the city of Richmond from removing any more Confederate monuments, a process that began last week after Mayor Levar Stoney ordered the statues cleared away amid weeks of protests over police brutality and racism.
Richmond Circuit Court Judge Bradley Cavedo issued the decision after a hearing in a lawsuit filed Tuesday by an unnamed plaintiff, local media outlets reported. The lawsuit asked for an emergency injunction to halt the removal of the statues and alleged that Stoney violated state law by ordering their immediate removal. Read More
Rejecting President Donald Trump’s complaints that he’s being harassed, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday in favor of a New York prosecutor’s demands for the billionaire president’s tax records. But in good political news for Trump, his taxes and other financial records almost certainly will be kept out of the public eye at least until after the November election.
In a separate case, the justices kept a hold on banking and other documents about Trump, family members and his businesses that Congress has been seeking for more than a year. The court said that while Congress has significant power to demand the president’s personal information, it is not limitless. Read More
The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on three senior officials of the Chinese Communist Party, including a member of the ruling Politburo, for alleged human rights abuses targeting ethnic and religious minorities that China has detained in the western part of the country.
The decision to bar these senior officials from entering the U.S. is the latest of a series of actions the Trump administration has taken against China as relations deteriorate over the coronavirus pandemic, human rights, Hong Kong and trade. Just a day earlier, the administration had announced visa bans against officials deemed responsible for barring foreigners’ access to Tibet. Thursday’s step, however, hits a more senior level of leadership and is likely to draw a harsh response from Beijing. Read More
The missing mayor of South Korea’s capital, reportedly embroiled in sexual harassment allegations, was found dead early Friday, more than half a day after giving his daughter a will-like message and then leaving home, police said.
Police said they located Park Won-soon’s body near a traditional restaurant in wooded hills in northern Seoul, more than seven hours after they launched a massive search for him. Read More
The Supreme Court on Thursday kept a hold on President Donald Trump’s financial records that Congress has been seeking for more than a year. The ruling returns the case to lower courts, with no clear prospect for when the case might ultimately be resolved.
The 7-2 outcome is at least a short-term victory for Trump, who has strenuously sought to keep his financial records private. Read More
Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday challenging the Trump administration’s decision to bar international students from staying in the U.S. if they take classes entirely online this fall.
The lawsuit, filed in Boston’s federal court, seeks to prevent federal immigration authorities from enforcing the rule. The universities contend that the directive violates the Administrative Procedures Act because officials failed to offer a reasonable basis justifying the policy and because the public was not given notice to comment on it. Read More
Still reeling from the coronavirus pandemic and street protests over the police killing of George Floyd, exhausted cities around the nation are facing yet another challenge: a surge in shootings that has left dozens dead, including young children.
The spike defies easy explanation, experts say, pointing to the toxic mix of issues facing America in 2020: an unemployment rate not seen in a generation, a pandemic that has killed more than 130,000 people, stay-at-home orders, rising anger over police brutality, intense stress, even the weather. Read More
United Airlines is warning 36,000 employees – nearly half its U.S. staff – they could be furloughed in October, the clearest signal yet of how deeply the virus pandemic is hurting the airline industry.
The outlook for a recovery in air travel has dimmed in just the past two weeks, as infection rates rise in much of the U.S. and some states impose new quarantine requirements on travelers. Read More
The job market took a big step toward healing in May, though plenty of damage remains, as a record level of hiring followed record layoffs in March and April.
The Labor Department reported Tuesday that the number of available jobs rose sharply as well, but remained far below pre-pandemic levels. Read More
The personal protective gear that was in dangerously short supply during the early weeks of the coronavirus crisis in the U.S. is running low again as the virus resumes its rapid spread and the number of hospitalized patients climbs.
A national nursing union is concerned that gear has to be reused. A doctors association warns that physicians’ offices are closed because they cannot get masks and other supplies. And Democratic members of Congress are pushing the Trump administration to devise a national strategy to acquire and distribute gear in anticipation of the crisis worsening into the fall. Read More
Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said Tuesday he has tested positive for COVID-19 after months of downplaying the coronavirus’s severity while deaths mounted rapidly inside the country.
The 65-year-old populist who has been known to mingle in crowds without covering his face confirmed the results while wearing a mask and speaking to reporters huddled close in front of him in the capital, Brasilia. He said he is taking hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malaria drug that has not been proven effective against COVID-19. Read More
Work crews on Tuesday took down a monument to Confederate Gen. J.E.B. Stuart, the third major statue to be cleared away in less than a week as the Confederacy’s former capital rushes to remove symbols of oppression in response to protests against police brutality and racism.
As a crowd cheered, crews strapped the huge bronze equestrian statue in harnesses and used a crane to lift it from its granite base to be trucked away. Some in the crowd chanted “Black Lives Matter” after the statue was removed. One person sang, “Na na na na, na na na na, hey hey, goodbye.” Read More
Wall Street joined a worldwide upswell by markets on Monday, as stocks push higher on hopes that the economy can continue its dramatic turnaround despite all the challenges ahead.
The S&P 500 was 1.59% higher in afternoon trading, following up on similar gains in Europe and Asia. The headliner was China’s market, which leaped 5.7% for its biggest gain since 2015, when it was in the midst of a bubble bursting. Treasury yields also climbed in a signal of rising optimism after reports detailed improvements in the U.S. and European economies.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 459 points, or 1.78%, at 26,287. The biggest companies once again led the way, and strength for Apple, Amazon and other tech-oriented titans helped push the Nasdaq composite up 2.21% toward another record. Read More
Country music firebrand and fiddler Charlie Daniels, who had a hit with “Devil Went Down to Georgia,” has died at age 83.
A statement from his publicist said the Country Music Hall of Famer died Monday at a hospital in Hermitage, Tennessee, after doctors said he had a stroke. Read More
While there may be Black Lives Matter posters on Facebook’s walls, the complaint says, “Black workers don’t see that phrase reflecting how they are treated in Facebook’s own workplace.” Read More
In a nearly empty Philadelphia courtroom in June 2015, a lawyer for Bill Cosby implored a federal judge to keep the comedian’s testimony in an old sexual battery lawsuit under wraps. It was sensitive. Embarrassing. Private.
U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno had another word for it. Read More
One of two people hit by a man who drove his car onto a closed Seattle freeway late Saturday night and into a crowd protesting police brutality has died. Read More
The nearly quarter-million dollars in winning wagers reportedly placed at MGM Resorts last Sunday might be the largest sportsbook loss in Las Vegas history on bets made after an event has started.
Seven longtime Las Vegas bookmakers can’t recall a larger loss, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. But each oddsmaker has taken hits on past posts and said it’s a fairly common occurrence at books. Read More
The developers of the long-delayed, $8 billion Atlantic Coast Pipeline announced the cancellation of the multi-state natural gas project Sunday, citing uncertainties about costs, permitting and litigation.
Despite a victory last month at the United States Supreme Court over a critical permit, Dominion Energy and Duke Energy said in a news release that “recent developments have created an unacceptable layer of uncertainty and anticipated delays” for the 600-mile project designed to cross West Virginia and Virginia into North Carolina. Read More
Prominent Hong Kong democracy activist Nathan Law has left the city for an undisclosed location after testifying in a U.S. congressional hearing about a tough new security law imposed by mainland China on the semi-autonomous territory.
Law, who declined to disclose his whereabouts for safety, said in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday that he left because Hong Kong needs an advocate for democracy who can work internationally. Read More
An online video and messages purportedly claiming responsibility for a fire that analysts say damaged a centrifuge assembly plant at Iran’s underground Natanz nuclear site deepened the mystery Friday around the incident — even as Tehran insisted it knew the cause but would not make it public due to “security reasons.”
The multiple, different claims by a self-described group called the “Cheetahs of the Homeland” included language used by several exiled Iranian opposition organizations. They also focused almost entirely on Iran’s nuclear program, viewed by Israel as a danger to its very existence. Read More
An Ohio school district has decided that its high school sports teams should no longer be known as the Redskins.
The Forest Hills Board of Education voted 4-1 on Thursday to “retire” the name and mascot at Anderson High School. A new name has not been chosen, and officials plan to soon announce a timeline and process for how a new name and mascot will be selected. Read More
Dodger Stadium’s 40-year wait to host the All-Star Game is going to last even longer.
The game scheduled for July 14 was canceled Friday because of the coronavirus pandemic, and Dodger Stadium was awarded the 2022 Midsummer Classic. The 2021 game is set for Atlanta’s Truist Park, home to the Braves since 2017. Read More
Pacific Gas & Electric has emerged from a contentious bankruptcy saga that began after its long-neglected electrical grid ignited wildfires in California that killed more than 100 people.
The nation’s largest utility announced Wednesday it emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy and paid $5.4 billion in initial funds and 22.19% of its stock into a trust for victims of wildfires caused by its outdated equipment. Read More
“Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing” will be performed live or played before “The Star-Spangled Banner” prior to each NFL game during Week 1 and the league is considering putting names of victims of police brutality on helmet decals or jersey patches, a person familiar with the discussions told The Associated Press.
The person said the league is working collaboratively with players to recognize victims of systemic racism throughout the season in a variety of ways. The person spoke to the AP on Thursday on condition of anonymity because discussions between the league and the NFL Players Association are ongoing. Read More
Hugh Downs, the genial, versatile broadcaster who became one of television’s most familiar and welcome faces with more than 15,000 hours on news, game and talk shows, has died at age 99.
Downs died of natural causes at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, on Wednesday, said his great-niece, Molly Shaheen. Read More
President Donald Trump planned a fiery Mount Rushmore speech Friday night including denunciations of protesters he says are trying to “tear down” the nation’s history. He’s adding the condemnation of those who pull down statues to a big fireworks show and his more traditional July Fourth praise of America’s past and values. Read More
U.S. federal prosecutors are seeking to seize four tankers sailing toward Venezuela with gasoline supplied by Iran, the latest attempt to disrupt ever-closer trade ties between the two heavily sanctioned anti-American allies.
The civil-forfeiture complaint filed late Wednesday in the District of Columbia federal court alleges that the sale was arranged by a businessman, Mahmoud Madanipour, with ties to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, a U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organization. Read More
British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested Thursday on charges she helped lure at least three girls — one as young as 14 — to be sexually abused by the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, who was accused of victimizing dozens of girls and women over many years.
According to the indictment, Maxwell, who lived for years with Epstein and was his frequent companion on trips around the world, facilitated his crimes and on some occasions joined him in sexually abusing the girls. Read More
Stocks are closing higher Thursday after a report showed the U.S. job market continues to climb out of the crater created by the coronavirus pandemic in the spring. The S&P 500 rose 0.45% and finished the holiday-shortened week with a gain of 4%. Stocks also rose across Europe and Asia, while oil prices strengthened on hopes that a recovering economy will mean more demand. Worries about the virus are still weighing on investors, however. Florida reported another sharp increase in confirmed cases, helping to cut the S&P 500′s earlier gains by more than half. The bond market was also showing continued caution. Read More
A Michigan judge Wednesday allowed Enbridge to resume pumping oil through a Midwestern pipeline, nearly a week after shutting it down because of damage to a structure that anchors a section of the line running through a Great Lakes channel.
Enbridge’s Line 5 moves crude oil and liquids used in propane from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario, passing through parts of Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas. A four-mile-long (6.4-kilometers-long) segment divides into two pipes that cross the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lakes Huron and Michigan. Read More
Government health insurance provider Centene Corp. said on Wednesday it will build an East Coast campus in Charlotte, North Carolina, developing a $1 billion construction project that’s expected to create more than 3,200 new jobs by 2032.
Gov. Roy Cooper described the expansion as the state’s largest single jobs announcement by number in nearly two decades. Read More
Work crews wielding a giant crane, harnesses and power tools wrested an imposing statue of Gen. Stonewall Jackson from its concrete pedestal along Richmond, Virginia’s famed Monument Avenue on Wednesday, just hours after the mayor ordered the removal of all Confederate statues from city land.
Mayor Levar Stoney’s decree came weeks after Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam ordered the removal of the most prominent and imposing statue along the avenue: that of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, which sits on state land. The removal of the Lee statue has been stalled pending the resolution of several lawsuits. Read More
Seattle police turned out in force early Wednesday at the city’s “occupied” protest zone, tore down demonstrators’ encampments and used bicycles to herd the protesters after the mayor ordered the area cleared following two fatal shootings in less than two weeks.
Television images showed police, many in riot gear, confronting dozens of protesters at the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” zone that was set up near downtown following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Read More
Historic numbers of background checks to purchase or possess a firearm were done in June, a trend in a year marked by uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic, a subsequent economic recession, protests over racial injustice and calls to reduce police funding.
FBI numbers released Wednesday show that 3.9 million background checks were conducted last month, the most since the system was created in November 1998 to ensure felons and other prohibited people could not buy or possess a firearm. The previous monthly record came in March, when 3.7 million checks were done. Each week in June is now in the top 10 weeks for background checks. Read More
A pistol-packing restaurant owner who has expressed support for a far-right conspiracy theory has upset five-term U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton in Colorado’s primary elections.
Tipton became the fourth House member to lose renomination bids this year. Republican Reps. Steve King of Iowa and Denver Riggleman of Virginia, and Democrat Daniel Lipinski of Illinois, have already been ousted by challengers. Read More
San Francisco police will stop releasing the mug shots of people who have been arrested unless they pose a threat to the public, as part of an effort to stop perpetuating racial stereotypes, the city’s police chief announced Wednesday.
San Francisco Police Chief Bill Scott said the policy, which goes into effect immediately, means the department will no longer release booking photos of suspects to the media or allow officers to post them online. Read More
Former Marine pilot Amy McGrath overcame a bumpier-than-expected Kentucky primary to win the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination Tuesday, fending off progressive Charles Booker to set up a bruising, big-spending showdown with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
Voting ended June 23, but it took a week until McGrath could be declared the winner due to the race’s tight margins and a deluge of mail-in ballots. The outcome seemed a certainty early in the campaign but became tenuous as Booker’s profile surged as the Black state lawmaker highlighted protests against the deaths of African Americans in encounters with police. Read More
Carl Reiner, the ingenious and versatile writer, actor and director who broke through as a “second banana” to Sid Caesar and rose to comedy’s front ranks as creator of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and straight man to Mel Brooks’ “2000 Year Old Man,” has died. He was 98.
Reiner’s assistant Judy Nagy said he died Monday night of natural causes at his home in Beverly Hills, California. Read More
China on Tuesday approved a contentious national security law for Hong Kong that takes direct aim at some of the actions of anti-government protesters last year, in a move many see as Beijing’s boldest yet to erase the legal firewall between the semi-autonomous territory and the mainland’s authoritarian Communist Party system.
Details of the law remained under wraps until 11 p.m. (1500 GMT, 11:00 a.m. EDT), when it was published and took effect immediately. Read More
One of Kentucky’s most unpredictable political races in years is headed toward the wire Tuesday, but it’s taking a full week after the June 23 primary to sort out a possible photo finish in the Democratic U.S. Senate contest.
Absentee ballots that stacked up amid the coronavirus pandemic have delayed the vote count in the neck-and-neck race between progressive candidate Charles Booker and establishment-backed Amy McGrath. Both are vying for the chance to take on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who coasted to victory in the GOP primary in his bid for a seventh term. Read More
Forty years after a sadistic suburban rapist terrorized California in what investigators later realized were a series of linked assaults and slayings, a 74-year-old former police officer is expected to plead guilty Monday to being the elusive Golden State Killer.
The deal will spare Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. any chance of the death penalty for 13 murders and 13 kidnapping-related charges spanning six counties. In partial return, survivors of the assaults that spanned the 1970s and 1980s expect him to admit to up to 62 rapes that he could not be criminally charged with because too much time has passed. Read More
A federal judge on Friday ordered the release of children held with their parents in U.S. immigration jails and denounced the Trump administration’s prolonged detention of families during the coronavirus pandemic.
U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee – who was appointed by President Obama in 2009 – penned the order that applies to children held for more than 20 days at three family detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania operated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Some have been detained since last year. Read More
SEATTLE, Washington (AP) — Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan met with demonstrators Friday after some lay in the street or sat on barricades to thwart the city’s effort to dismantle an “occupied” protest zone that has drawn scorn from President Donald Trump and a lawsuit from nearby businesses.
Crews arrived with heavy equipment early Friday morning at the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, an occupied protest zone in Seattle, ready to dismantle barriers set up after protesters seized the area June 8 following clashes with police. But by mid-morning, they appeared to have backed off rather than risk conflict. Read More
American consumers increased their spending by a record 8.2% in May, partly erasing huge plunges the previous two months, against the backdrop of an economy that’s likely shrinking by its steepest pace on record this quarter.
Last month’s rebound in consumer spending followed record spending drops of 6.6% in March and 12.6% in April, when the viral pandemic shuttered businesses, forced millions of layoffs and sent the economy into a recession. Since then, many businesses have reopened, drawing consumers back into shops and restaurants and restoring some lost jobs. Read More
The Supreme Court on Thursday strengthened the Trump administration’s ability to deport people seeking asylum without allowing them to make their case to a federal judge.
Immigration experts suggested the administration would use sweeping language in the majority opinion to bolster broader efforts to restrict asylum. Read More
U.S. officials estimate that 20 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus since it first arrived in the United States, meaning that the vast majority of the population remains susceptible.
Thursday’s estimate is roughly 10 times as many infections as the 2.3 million cases that have been confirmed. Officials have long known that millions of people were infected without knowing it and that many cases are being missed because of gaps in testing. Read More