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President Trump has threatened to cut federal funding to several major US cities affected by social justice protests because he says their Democratic leaders are allowing “anarchy, violence and destruction.” His threat may not be legally viable, but it certainly fits his “law and order” messaging. In Rochester, New York, the family of a Daniel Prude, a Black man who died after an encounter with police in March, is calling for the firing and arrest of the officers involved. They say officers knelt on Prude and placed a bag over his head. Meanwhile, Attorney General William Barr said during an interview with CNN that he thinks the deaths of Black Americans at the hands of police aren’t often racially motivated and a “false narrative” has been created about their prevalence. “I don’t think there are two justice systems,” he said.
3. Election 2020
No, you can’t vote twice in an election. Still, President Trump appeared to encourage people in North Carolina to do exactly that — once in person and once by mail — to essentially test that their initial vote was counted. The bizarre suggestion is being roundly criticized. Meanwhile, the Republican National Committee and the Trump campaign have sued Montana in federal court to cut back voting by mail statewide. During his CNN interview, Barr said voting by mail is “playing with fire” because it is susceptible to fraud and coercion — a claim that has been repeatedly disproved.
Russian opposition leader Alexey Navalny, the politician who fell ill last month, was indeed poisoned with a chemical nerve agent from the Novichok group of Soviet-era chemical weapons. That’s the conclusion of the German government following toxicology tests at a German military lab. This is a huge revelation. For one, it makes it clearer that Navalny, who is still hospitalized, was the victim of attempted murder. It also points the finger squarely at the Russian government. European leaders, including the UK’s Boris Johnson and Germany’s Angela Merkel, condemned the poisoning and implored Russia to provide an explanation. “There are very serious questions now which only the Russian government can and must answer,” Merkel said.
The US is imposing new restrictions on Chinese diplomats as payback for China restricting the actions of US diplomats. Chinese diplomats will now be required to seek US government permission to engage in a number of routine activities, including organizing large cultural events. This is the latest volley in a round of reciprocating jabs between the two countries, which have recently included China’s expulsion of US journalists and the shuttering of a Chinese consulate in Houston. India is also striking back at China for their worsening relationship by banning another collection of Chinese apps, including the mobile version of the popular game PUBG.
Dwayne Johnson says he and his family are on the mend from coronavirus
He says it was a formidable foe, even for him.
‘Star Trek: Discovery’ will introduce history-making nonbinary and transgender characters
Everyone is welcome in space!
Harry and Meghan have signed production deal with Netflix
The pair will give the royal treatment to a set of exclusive films and series.
Google maps rolls out a traffic lights feature
But you won’t actually USE it at traffic lights, right? RIGHT?
Lego sales are surging during the pandemic
Also surging: Parents cursing as they step on them in the middle of the night.
THIS JUST IN …
US sanctions ICC officials
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced sanctions against two International Criminal Court officials as part of the Trump administration’s most aggressive move yet to try to deter an ICC investigation into possible war crimes by US military and intelligence officials. Trump made a similar move in June.
That’s the amount the federal budget deficit is projected to reach this year, according to the Congressional Budget Office. It would be more than triple the shortfall recorded in 2019 and the largest deficit as a percentage of GDP since 1945.
“As it turns out, it was a setup. So, I take responsibility for falling for a setup.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is catching flak for getting her hair done inside a San Francisco hair salon, in apparent violation of the city’s Covid-19 safety regulations. Pelosi says the owner of the salon was trying to embarrass her.
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Happy Birthday, Beethoven!
This year marks Ludwig van Beethoven’s 250th birthday. Here’s how Germany is celebrating its native son and one of the most famous composers (maybe the most?) of all time. (Click here to view.)