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A Little Bird Told Me This

This is the news tip thread. If you have a tip please post it here.

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Leave your news tips here. Thank you for your help.

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Hagerty Rides Support from President Trump to Senate GOP Win in Tennessee

By Jonathan Mattise


Former U.S. Ambassador to Japan Bill Hagerty has won the Tennessee Republican primary for an open U.S. Senate seat behind the endorsement of President Donald Trump. Hagerty overcame a challenge from trauma surgeon Manny Sethi to clinch his party’s nomination for the seat of retiring Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander.

Hagerty ignored Sethi for most of the campaign, but in recent weeks the two brawled back-and-forth in TV ads over who was more conservative and loyal to Trump. Republicans have held both Tennessee Senate seats since 1994. Hagerty will face the winner of the Democratic primary in the November election.


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India Cricket Board Suspends IPL Deal with Chinese Sponsor

By Associated Press


India’s cricket board has suspended its Indian Premier League title sponsorship deal with Chinese mobile phone company Vivo for the 2020 tournament.

The decision comes as Indian troops are in a tense standoff with Chinese soldiers in eastern Ladakh in the Himalayas. In June, India banned 59 apps with Chinese links, saying their activities endanger the country’s sovereignty, defense and security.

“The Board of Control for Cricket in India and Vivo Mobile India Pvt Ltd have decided to suspend their partnership for Indian Premier League in 2020,” the Press Trust of India quoted a BCCI statement as saying.


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Hand Sanitizer is Not Safe to Drink, Health Officials Warn

By Julie Montoya


The nation’s top health officials are warning people not to drink hand sanitizer.

Four people have died, and many others have become seriously ill. Officials stress that although sanitizer works when applied to hands, it is not safe to ingest. Some people suffered impaired vision or seizures after drinking sanitizer. There have been warnings about more than 100 hand sanitizer products that contained methanol rather than alcohol. But officials said it’s unsafe to drink under any circumstances.


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Trump Plays a Now-Familiar Role in Critical Coronavirus Talks

By Shannon Pettypiece


President Donald Trump sold himself to Americans in 2016 as the ultimate deal-maker. But as he runs for re-election — amid talks that represent one of his final shots at a significant response to what may be the biggest crisis of his presidency — he has notably embraced a very different role: that of interested bystander.

Following a well-established pattern, the president has largely stayed removed from negotiations over a new coronavirus relief bill that would resume federal unemployment benefits and protect millions of people from eviction, White House officials said.


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With String of Attacks on Doctors and Experts, Trump Takes Aim at Science

By Libby Cathey


With the novel coronavirus pandemic impossible to ignore out of existence, President Donald Trump has found a new foil – in science.

The Union of Concerned Scientists has documented 11 times across nine federal agencies when it says the Trump administration's attacks on science have directly undermined the federal government's response to the crisis, including the stalling of Centers of Disease Control and Prevention guidance and changing COVID-19 data collection services to be housed under the Department of Health and Human Services instead of the CDC.


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Trump Signs Order to Address 'Threat' of Chinese App

By Associated Press


The executive order says the US "must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security".

Under the order, beginning in 45 days, any US transaction with ByteDance will be prohibited.

TikTok denies accusations it is controlled by or shares data with the Chinese government.

On Thursday night, he issued a follow-up executive order taking similar action to ban WeChat, an app owned by China-based tech giant Tencent.


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NY AG Letitia James to Make ‘Major’ Announcement after Deutsche Bank Turns Over Trump Finances

By Geoff Herbert


The NY AG released a statement saying she’ll speak from her office at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, but offered no other details.

Some reports suggest James’ announcement will be related to New York state investigations into President Donald Trump’s businesses. The New York Times reported Wednesday that Deutsche Bank has turned over Trump’s financial records after the Manhattan District Attorney’s office issued a subpoena last year.


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Facebook Removes Troll Farm Posing as African-American Support for Donald Trump

By Ben Collins


Facebook removed hundreds of accounts on Thursday from a foreign troll farm posing as African-Americans in support of Donald Trump and QAnon supporters. It also removed hundreds of fake accounts linked to conservative media outlet The Epoch Times that pushed pro-Trump conspiracy theories about coronavirus and protests in the U.S.

Facebook took down the accounts as part of its enforcement against coordinated inauthentic behavior, which is the use of fake accounts to inflate the reach of content or products on social media.


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Trump will Slap Tariffs on Canada's Aluminum Again

By Sabrina Rodriguez


President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he will reimpose tariffs on aluminum imports from Canada, a move reignites trade tensions just a month after his signature North American trade deal took effect.

The U.S. will slap a 10 percent duty on some aluminum from Canada starting on August 16. It comes after the U.S. failed to get Canada to impose quotas on its exports of the metal, three people familiar with the plan told POLITICO.

"Earlier today, I signed a proclamation that defends American industry by reimposing aluminum tariffs on Canada," Trump said during a visit to a Whirlpool manufacturing plant in Ohio.


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Biden Faces Backlash for Comparing Diversity in African American, Latino Communities

By Molly Nagle


Former Vice President Joe Biden has come under fire for comparing diversity in African American and Latino communities during an interview released Thursday.

The former vice president was asked about his view toward normalizing relations with Cuba and pivoted into an explanation of his belief on the differences of opinion between the two communities.

"And by the way, what you all know but most people don't know, unlike the African American community with notable exception.


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Jordan 'Would Bet my House' Trump Wins Ohio in November

By Yael Halon


Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in Ohio by eight percentage points in 2016. President Trump will win Ohio in November and polls indicating otherwise are "baloney," House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, told "The Story" Thursday.

Jordan, who accompanied Trump on a visit to a Whirlpool manufacturing plant earlier Thursday, told host Sandra Smith that the outpouring of support he saw leaves him in no doubt the president will pick up the Buckeye State's 18 electoral votes once again.


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‘A Violent Institution’: These Celebrities Are Funding The ‘Defund The Police’ Movement

By Jake Dima and Peter Hasson


More than a dozen of the world’s most famous celebrities are financing left-wing organizations that openly seek the defunding of America’s police departments, a Daily Caller News Foundation review found.

Actors, models and singers have donated large sums to left-wing organizations including Color of Change, Black Lives Matter Global Network and the Movement for Black Lives, all of which are open about their desire to defund police departments across the country.

The Movement for Black Lives aims to abolish not only police departments, but America’s prisons as well, the organization explains on its website. “We believe that prisons, police and all other institutions that inflict violence on Black people must be abolished and replaced by institutions that value and affirm the flourishing of Black lives,” the website states.

Black Lives Matter Global Network, the national arm of Black Lives Matter, released a statement on May 30 calling for “a national defunding of police.” The organization published a video on June 6 arguing that “defunding the police is the only way to stop pouring resources into a system that doesn’t keep us safe.”

Color of Change is leading a petition campaign that demands elected officials across the country “defund the police, and invest in communities now!”

“Policing is a violent institution that must end. We imagine a country where there is enough money to educate our children, care for our sick and feed those who are financially unstable. Defunding the police allows for this vision,” Color of Change President Rashad Robinson said after the Minneapolis City Council voted to “dismantle” the city’s police department.


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Biden Leading Trump By 39% In California, Poll Finds

By Associated Press


With less than three months until Election Day, presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has a nearly 40 point lead over President Donald Trump in California, according to a new poll.

The poll of 8,328 registered voters by the UC Berkeley Institute of Governmental Studies finds the former Vice President with 67 percent support. Meanwhile Trump’s support in California has dropped to 28 percent. Five percent of those surveyed remain undecided.

Biden enjoys majority support by virtually all major demographic groups surveyed, including among all age groups, education levels and races.


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Rapper Kanye West Files In Wisconsin To Run For President As An Independent Candidate

By Associated Press


Rapper Kanye West filed signatures in Wisconsin Tuesday to run for president as an independent candidate in November.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission said signatures were submitted on behalf of West on the last day for independent presidential candidates to submit the required 2,000 signatures of Wisconsin voters to get on the ballot. But those signatures could be challenged.

West and running mate Michelle Tidball listed themselves as candidates of the BDY, The Birthday Party. A former supporter of Republican President Donald Trump, West broke with Trump and announced his own presidential bid last month.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission staff will be reviewing the petitions in coming days to determine if there are enough valid signatures and if the candidates meet all qualifications to get on the ballot. Trump narrowly won Wisconsin in 2016, snapping a string of Democratic presidential candidates winning the state going back to 1988.


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Photos: ‘Devastated’ Beirut Emerges from the Ashes After Deadly Explosion

By Rebecca Mansour


A massive explosion rocked Beirut on Tuesday, flattening much of the city’s port, damaging buildings across the capital, and sending a giant mushroom cloud into the sky. More than 70 people were killed and 3,000 injured, with bodies buried in the rubble, officials said.

It was not clear what caused the blast, which struck with the force of a 3.5 magnitude earthquake, according to Germany’s geosciences center GFZ, and was heard and felt as far away as Cyprus more than 180 miles across the Mediterranean.

Lebanon’s Interior Minister Mohammed Fahmi told a local TV station that it appeared the blast was caused by the detonation of more than 2,700 tons of ammonium nitrate that had been stored in a warehouse at the dock ever since it was confiscated from a cargo ship in 2014. Witnesses reported seeing an orange cloud like that which appears when toxic nitrogen dioxide gas is released after an explosion involving nitrates.

For blocks around the port, bloodied residents staggered through streets lined with overturned cars and littered with rubble from shattered buildings. Windows and doors were blown out miles away, including at the city’s only international airport. Army helicopters helped battle fires raging at the port.

Beirut’s governor, Marwan Abboud, broke into tears as he toured the site, exclaiming, “Beirut is a devastated city.” Prime Minister Hassan Diab vowed that “those responsible will pay.”


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Trump Administration Calls for Broad Ban on 'Untrusted' Chinese Apps Like TikTok

By Corinne Reichert


The US Department of State unveiled on Wednesday the Clean Network program, calling it an effort to protect individual and corporate privacy, as well as sensitive information. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the program will guard against "aggressive intrusions by malign actors, such as the Chinese Communist Party."

Pompeo said the program had five elements to protect carrier networks and infrastructure in the US, which build on the Trump administration's 5G Clean Path initiative announced in April.


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Trump’s Bank Was Subpoenaed by N.Y. Prosecutors in Criminal Inquiry

By David Enrich


The subpoena, sent to Deutsche Bank, suggests that the inquiry into President Trump’s business practices is more wide-ranging than previously known.

The New York prosecutors who are seeking President Trump’s tax records have also subpoenaed his longtime lender, a sign that their criminal investigation into Mr. Trump’s business practices is more wide-ranging than previously known.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office issued the subpoena last year to Deutsche Bank, which has been Mr. Trump’s primary lender since the late 1990s, seeking financial records that he and his company provided to the bank, according to four people familiar with the inquiry.


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Sally Yates says Comey Went Rogue by Sending Agents to Interview Flynn

By Melissa Quinn


Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, who served in the upper ranks of the Justice Department during the FBI's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, told lawmakers Wednesday that former FBI Director James Comey went rogue when he "unilaterally" dispatched agents to interview former national security adviser Michael Flynn at the White House in the early days of the Trump administration.

In an exchange with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham during a hearing on the FBI's "Crossfire Hurricane" investigation, Yates was asked whether she authorized the FBI's January 24, 2017, interview of Flynn.


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Massive Explosion Shakes Lebanon's Capital

By Danielle Wallace


The blast shattered windows and sent thick smoke billowing from the city center.

A massive explosion shook Lebanon's capital Beirut on Tuesday, wounding a number of people and causing widespread damage.

The cause of the explosion remains unclear. The government has not issued an official count of injuries or casualties. The Lebanese Red Cross tweeted that more than 30 teams were responding to the scene of the blast via ambulances.

The afternoon blast shook several parts of the capital and thick smoke billowed from the city center. Residents reported windows being blown out and ceilings dropping in.

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FBI Serves Search Warrant on Las Vegas 'Graffiti Mansion,'

By Elaine Emerson


FBI Las Vegas confirmed that a federal search warrant was served on a home in Las Vegas Wednesday morning.

Law enforcement with Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, SWAT and FBI were seen at the home Wednesday morning, located near Buffalo Drive and Sahara Avenue. YouTuber Arman Izadi lives in the home.

"The FBI executed a federal search warrant in connection with an ongoing investigation," FBI officials said. "No further information can be released at this time."


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How COVID, Hong Kong, 5G Spying Broke Israel’s US-China Balance

By Yonah Jeremy Bob


During an official visit of Israeli government officials and Israeli media, including The Jerusalem Post, to China in July 2019, the atmosphere was full of celebration because of a skyrocketing partnership.

Not only did the US turn on China in a long-term and far more demanding way, but the Chinese handling of the issue exposed a degree of self-centeredness at the expense of the rest of the globe that shocked Israel and many other international trade partners.


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Trump Pronounces Yosemite as ‘Yo Semites’

By Aaron Bandler


President Donald Trump pronounced Yosemite National Park as “Yo Semites” during a signing ceremony on Aug. 4, sparking a series of jokes on Twitter.

Trump was announcing the signing of the Great American Outdoors Act, which will provide $9.5 billion to maintain national parks.

“We want every American child to have access to pristine outdoor spaces, when young Americans experience the breathtaking beauty of the Grand Canyon, when their eyes widen in amazement as Old Faithful burst into the sky, when they gaze upon Yo Semites,’ yo-seminites’, towering Sequoias, their love of country grows stronger,” Trump said.


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Chicago Leaders Want To Cancel History Classes ‘Until A Suitable Alternative Can Be Found’

By Jake Dima


Chicago-area leaders urged the Illinois State Board of Education on Sunday to halt history classes that “unfairly” communicate history until an “alternative” can be found.

Democratic state Rep. LaShawn Ford of Chicago said the current state history curriculum leads to a “racist society” and may cause “white privilege” before a Sunday press conference in Evanston in a release obtained by NBC 5. In the release, Ford called to replace courses and books that “unfairly communicate” history until a “suitable alternative is developed.”

“When it comes to teaching history in Illinois, we need to end the miseducation of Illinoisans,” Ford said in the release. “I’m calling on the Illinois State Board of Education and local school districts to take immediate action by removing current history books and curriculum practices that unfairly communicate our history.”

“Until a suitable alternative is developed, we should instead devote greater attention toward civics and ensuring students understand our democratic processes and how they can be involved,” he continued.

Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty, a Democrat, said according to the release, “As Mayor, I am not comfortable speaking on education, curriculum, and whether history lessons should be suspended. This is not my area.”

He continued, “Personally, I support House Bill 4954 because I am interested in learning more and believe the history of Black people should be taught to all children and include all groups, Women, LatinX, and Native Indians who helped to build America.”

Meleika Gardner of We Will said in the release that “miseducation” has led to “systemic racism.” We Will is an organization dedicated to women’s empowerment, according to its webpage.


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Trump Claims 2020 Election Results May not be Known for 'Years'

By Dave Maclean


Donald Trump has claimed that some states' election results may not be known for "years" as he continued to rage over Nevada's plan to send absentee ballots to all active voters amid the Covid crisis.

The president continued to fume on Wednesday morning, tweeting that Nevada has "zero infrastructure for mail-in voting, it will be a corrupt disaster if not ended by the courts".

He added that it "will take months, or years, to figure out".


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Hong Kong Newspaper Staff Claim Photos Leaked on ‘Doxxing’ Site Linked to Chinese Travel Agency

By Kelly Ho


Staff members of a Hong Kong newspaper have claimed that their headshots posted on a “doxxing” website came from a Chinese travel agency that processes mainland visas.

Local online news outlet Stand News reported on Tuesday that photos and personal data of Apple Daily staffers had been published on a doxxing website recently. The tabloid is owned by pro-democracy media tycoon Jimmy Lai, who came under fire for supporting last year’s anti-extradition bill protests.

The website – which has since become inaccessible – contained the personal information of more than 100 Apple Daily employees. It published details including their full name, date of birth, contact number, job title and photo. The website offered HK$1,000 to 5,000 for tip-offs about “toxic journalists.”

Reporter Alvin Chan posted a Facebook status on Monday saying he believed his headshot on the doxxing website came from a photo he took in 2008. Chan said the photo was only used once when he applied for the mainland travel permit.

“In conclusion, there is only one photo source, that is the [mainland Chinese] agency,” he wrote.


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Black Lives Matter Protesters Swarm Seattle Police Chief’s Home

By Hannah Bleau


A large group of “aggressive” protesters swarmed Seattle Police Chief Carmen Best’s Snohomish County home over the weekend, the police chief confirmed in an August 2 letter addressed to members of the Seattle City Council, detailing the incident.

Dozens of vehicles lined the road as roughly 200 protesters, “mostly white men and women in their twenties,” gathered in the neighborhood to protest, according to the Lynwood Times. The protesters wore masks and held signs reading, “Black Lives Matter.”

The outlet reported that protesters “shouted profanity and insults at neighbors, took license plate information on vehicles, took pictures of homes, and asked little kids who lived in the neighborhood what schools they attended.”

Some demonstrators attempted to head to Best’s residence (she was not at home at the time) but were stopped by neighbors, who “established a perimeter to protect her [Best’s] home from possible mischief.”

“I feel incredibly unsafe,” one neighbor, who predicted that it will “happen again,” told the paper.

“Their objective was not completed; they never made it to her house, we stopped them … so we think they will be back,” the neighbor added.

Another resident detailed the nature of the protesters to the outlet, describing them as “very organized.”


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Conspiracy Theorists Adamantly Insist Beirut Explosion Was a Nuke (It Wasn’t)

By Mathew Gault


A gigantic explosion went off at a port in Beirut, Lebanon today. Footage of the explosion quickly spread on social media, and understandably so—the videos are horrifying. A smoking factory near the water crackles before exploding and vaporizing a nearby building.

The blast happened mere hours ago, and everyone is searching for an explanation, which we will surely get soon. But that hasn't stopped people—some with large followings—from wildly speculating that this was a nuclear blast or a terrorist attack. We're watching the birth of a new conspiracy theory unfold in real time.

The footage is staggering. There’s a blast wave and a mushroom cloud, which do happen in nuclear blasts. But the explosion in Beirut wasn’t atomic, according to experts who would surely know.


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Beirut Explosion: Large Blast Rocks Lebanese Capital Wounding Thousands

By Associated Press


Scores killed and over 3,700 wounded from blast apparently caused by highly explosive material stored in Lebanese capital's port

A massive explosion ripped through the Lebanese capital Beirut on Tuesday, killing scores of people and injuring thousands.

Lebanon's Health Ministry said at least 73 people had been killed with more than 3,700 wounded, following the blast at a warehouse in Beirut's port.

Health Minister Hamad Hassan described the incident as "a disaster in every sense of the word", and warned that the death toll was likely to rise.

"The capital's hospitals are all filled with wounded people," he said.

Among those killed was Nizar Najarian, secretary-general of the Kataeb party, whose headquarters are near the port's entrance.


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Mask-Dodging Woman Allegedly Smashed Female Cop's Head into Concrete

By Simone Fox Koob


A young policewoman who was enforcing coronavirus restrictions in Melbourne's south-east has allegedly had her head repeatedly smashed into concrete paving during a confrontation with a woman who wasn't wearing a mask.

The 26-year-old constable was on patrol with another officer when they approached the 38-year-old and asked for her name about 5pm near a shopping centre in Frankston.


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Body Cam Footage of George Floyd Encounter Leaked

By Joel B. Pollak


The UK Daily Mail has published leaked footage of the Memorial Day encounter between George Floyd and the four Minneapolis, Minnesota, police offers who were implicated in his death, triggering nationwide unrest and controversy.

The footage, apparently filmed while the body cam footage was being shown in court, appears on the Daily Mail website and includes over eight minutes of the fatal encounter which have not previously been seen or scrutinized by the public.

Some new details emerge in the video. At the start of the encounter, police aim a weapon at Floyd, 46, as he sits behind the steering wheel of a parked car. (The Daily Mail describes officers as aiming at his head, though the angle is not clear.)

Floyd is handcuffed without a particular reason being given, and two people traveling with him are questioned. One tells officers that Floyd was mentally or emotionally disturbed by having a gun aimed at him, having previously been shot.

After being led to a police car, Floyd resists sitting in the car, telling officers that he is claustrophobic. He also says the fateful words, “I can’t breathe,” before he is on the ground and before anyone is seen applying pressure to his neck.


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Outsports Doxxes Hundreds Of Females Urged NCAA Not To Boycott Idaho Over Transgender Athlete Ban

By Shelby Talcott


Outsports, an LGBT sports blog, doxxed hundreds of female athletes who signed a letter to the NCAA urging the organization not to boycott Idaho over a law preventing transgender athletes from competing in female sports.

Idaho became the first state to pass the “Fairness in Women’s Sports Act,” which prevents female sports teams from allowing transgenders who identify as females to compete. Signed by Republican Gov. Brad Little in March, the American Civil Liberties Union and Legal Voice (ACLU) filed a lawsuit in April aimed at preventing the bill from becoming law.

Activist groups have since called for the NCAA to boycott Idaho over the law. In return, over 300 current and former female athletes – including former professional tennis player Martina Navratilova – signed a letter urging the organization not to boycott the state.

While a few of the 309 names were made public, the rest remained private because some were “afraid of the backlash that they might get on social media, of being labeled a transphobe or a hater,” according to Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) lawyer Christina Holcomb. ADF is representing two female athletes who wish to be part of the suit to back Idaho’s new law.

“They’re 309 women who oppose transgender inclusion in sports, and wanted to do so in secret,” Outsports wrote Sunday evening in an article doxxing all of the females who signed the letter. “But Martina Navratilova and her cosigners could not hide from us.”

The blog continued on to say that doxxing the females was “not a witch-hunt” and that the private names of the individuals are “in the public interest.” The website continued on to write that signing the letter meant each individual was standing “in favor of discrimination,” and that the people “ought to be held accountable.”

The letter sent to the NCAA called for a “fair and level playing field” for female athletes. Outsports wrote that this was “coded language which means the group opposes trans women being allowed to compete with women who are cisgender.”


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2 People Dead after Tornado Touches Down in Bertie County

By Diane Wilson


At least two people have died after a tornado touched down in Bertie County as Hurricane Isaias was passing through North Carolina overnight.

On Good Morning America on Tuesday morning, Gov. Roy Cooper said many people were injured after a tornado hit a mobile home park, and search and rescue crews were actively looking for missing people.

"Isaias hit North Carolina head on," Cooper said. "Sadly, we have two deaths attributed to the storm and our thoughts are with those impacted by the devastation. As clean up continues, don't forget the pandemic is still with is. So help your neighbor, but do it safely by wearing your mask, keeping your distance and bringing your hand sanitizer."


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The Perfect Storm, Ukraine Activated, We Are Witnessing A FULL PANIC ATTACK

By Associated Press


The US rebound is continuing, factory orders are up in June, as more business open and manufactures come online the economy is improving. The D’s now want 3.4 trillion for the stimulus bill, the question is, where is the money really going. Trump signed another EO, this will boost jobs for Americans. The [DS]/MSM are in a full panic, the Ukraine raid was activated and now all the pieces of the puzzle are coming together, crimes against humanity, treason and sedition, the clock is ticking down and the [DS] is using everything they have, but as they do this it exposes their true plans. In Lebanon there was an explosion and the MSM is now trying to push the fireworks narrative, what really happened, think arms depot. Patriots have now pushed the [DS] to exactly where they wanted them, pain and panic all at the same time.


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The Former King of Spain Is Apparently Going into Exile

By Lauren Hubbard


The announcement of Juan Carlos's self-imposed exile comes on the heels of months of building controversy about the royal's alleged financial misdeeds. In June, Spain’s Supreme Court began an investigation into Juan Carlos's role in a multibillion-dollar deal in which a consortium including Spanish companies was awarded the contract to build a high-speed rail line in Saudi Arabia.

According to the Guardian, documents from prosecutors allege that while he was King, Juan Carlos received a $100 million "donation" from the king of Saudi Arabia which was then placed in an offshore account.


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Marines Find Location of Sunken AAV after Deadly Training Accident in Southern California

By Peter Martinez


Military teams have found the location of a sunken amphibious assault vehicle (AAV) off the coast of San Clemente Island in Southern California after several military members died in a training accident Thursday. Officials are in the process of recovering the AAV, Lieutenant Biran Tuthill of the Marine Expeditionary Force said in a press release.

Human remains have also been located using underwater remotely-operated video systems, the Navy said.

"The Navy has expedited the movement of assets to recover the remains of the Marines and Sailor, as well as raise the AAV," the press release said. "The equipment to properly and safely perform the recovery from the sea floor will be in place at the end of this week, and a dignified transfer of our Marines and Sailor will occur as soon as possible after the conclusion of recovery operations."


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China Uighurs: A Model's Video Gives a Rare Glimpse Inside Internment

By John Sudworth


As a model for the massive Chinese online retailer Taobao, the 31-year-old was well paid to flaunt his good looks in slick promotional videos for clothing brands.

But one video of Mr Ghappar is different. Instead of a glitzy studio or fashionable city street, the backdrop is a bare room with grubby walls and steel mesh on the window. And in place of the posing, Mr Ghappar sits silently with an anxious expression on his face.

Holding the camera with his right hand, he reveals his dirty clothes, his swollen ankles, and a set of handcuffs fixing his left wrist to the metal frame of the bed - the only piece of furniture in the room.


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Washington Post Bashed as 'Morally Bankrupt' for Glowing Feature on Chinese Communist Party

By Brian Flood


The Washington Post was roasted on Tuesday for publishing a glowing piece praising China’s Communist Party that was quickly compared to Beijing's propaganda.

The piece, headlined “Trump views China’s Communist Party as a threat. Young Chinese see it as a ticket to a better future,” and written by Beijing bureau chief Anna Fifield, was accused of reading like a "press release" by Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas.

“After seven decades in power, the ruling party has faced potentially existential challenges over the past year, from pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong and an economic slowdown to a devastating coronavirus and, most recently, once-in-a-generation floods that have wreaked destruction across central China,” Fifield wrote.


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Trump Describes Lebanon Explosions as "Attack,

By Kathryn Watson


President Trump on Tuesday described Tuesday's massive explosions in Beirut, Lebanon, as an "attack," claiming that U.S. generals he met with seemed to think it was an "attack" of some kind. It's the first time the horrific incident has been described as an attack — at this point, the Lebanese government isn't describing it as such. Video emerging on social media shows extensive damage and officials said at least 60 people are dead and more than 3,000 injured.

"Well it would seem like it based on the explosion," Mr. Trump said during a news conference. "I met with some of our great generals and they seemed to feel that it was. This was not some kind of a manufacturing explosion type of event. This was a, seems to be, according to them, they would know better than I would, but they seem to think it was an attack. It was a bomb of some kind."


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Beirut Explosion: at Least 78 Dead and 4,000 Wounded, says Lebanon Health Ministry

By Helen Sullivan


A bit of background on the economic challenges that Lebanon is facing.

October last year saw people across Lebanon protest against a lack of basic infrastructure – the tap water is not safe to drink and have for years lived with daily electricity blackouts of, at minimum, three outs – perceived government corruption, and austerity measures.

The protests, which lead to the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri, were fiercely non-sectarian, with people choosing to wave the Lebanese national flag rather than show symbols for individual political parties and marked a euphoric moment for Lebanese residents.


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China Suspends Hong Kong Extradition Treaty in Reply to New Zealand

By Associated Press


China has suspended Hong Kong’s extradition treaty with New Zealand amid a row with western nations protesting against a tough new security law that Beijing imposed on the city.

New Zealand had already suspended the treaty from its end, joining western powers including Canada, Britain, Australia and Germany that did likewise after the law was introduced in late June.

China hit back by suspending Hong Kong’s extradition treaties with Canada, Britain and Australia, a largely symbolic gesture.

“New Zealand’s practices … grossly interfere in China’s internal affairs,” foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said, announcing Beijing’s decision to suspend any judicial cooperation with Wellington.


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Microsoft Exploring Purchase of Chinese-Owned TikTok After Talk with Trump

By Jerry Dunleavy


Microsoft will continue to explore a purchase of Chinese-owned TikTok amid concerns about the popular video-sharing social network’s possible ties to the Chinese Communist Party, the company announced Sunday after CEO Satya Nadella spoke with President Trump.

“Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns,” Microsoft said in a blog post two days after Trump told reporters on Air Force One he planned to ban TikTok in the United States.

“It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury," the statement added. "Microsoft will move quickly to pursue discussions with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, in a matter of weeks, and in any event completing these discussions no later than September 15, 2020. During this process, Microsoft looks forward to continuing dialogue with the United States Government, including with the President.”

The Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States has been alerted that Microsoft is exploring a possible purchase of TikTok’s operations in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand from the app's Chinese parent company ByteDance, Microsoft said.

The plan, according to Microsoft, is to add “world-class security, privacy, and digital safety protections” and the operating model for the service “would be built to ensure transparency to users as well as appropriate security oversight by governments in these countries.”


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Chinese State Media: We Won’t Let the US ‘steal’ TikTok

By Associated Press


Chinese state media report they won’t let the US “steal” TikTok, a popular social media app that has been caught in the crossfire of the US-China trade conflict.

In the past, Trump has accused TikTok of passing on user data to Chinese authorities. TikTok responded by saying that most of its data is not stored in China, and that it would resist handing over the information to its government. TikTok is owned by ByteDance, which is a private company.

Last Friday, President Donald Trump threatened to effectively ban the app over the weekend. On Monday, he changed his mind, saying that Microsoft had 45 days to negotiate with TikTok and acquire the company.


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Arm's Conflicts in China will Complicate Nvidia's Reported Efforts to Buy it from SoftBank

By Hirsh Chitkara


UK-based chip designer Arm appears to no longer be in control of its joint-venture business unit, Arm China. In May, Arm fired Allen Wu, the head of Arm China, but Wu refused to acknowledge the decision and has continued overseeing operations of the business.

Arm China also reportedly won't let members of the UK parent entity onto its premises. Last week, Arm China issued a statement reaffirming its commitment to "empowering the foundation of China's semiconductor industry."


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Vehicle Malfunction Sparked Apple Fire in Southern California

By Associated Press


A wildfire in mountains east of Los Angeles that has forced thousands of people from their homes was sparked by a malfunctioning diesel vehicle, fire officials said Monday. The vehicle spewed burning carbon from its exhaust system, igniting several fires Friday on Oak Glen Road in Cherry Valley.

Authorities were asking anyone who may have seen such a vehicle at the time to contact investigators, according to a statement from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

The blaze in Riverside County, among several wildfires across California, had consumed almost 42 square miles of dry brush and timber since it broke out Friday evening.


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Trump Wants the Treasury to get a Substantial Cut of any TikTok Acquisition

By Isobel Asher Hamilton


China's state media has reacted furiously to Trump's comments that the US Treasury should get a cut of any sale of TikTok to an American company.

President Trump on Monday announced not only that TikTok has a deadline to sell off its US business, but he also expects the government to receive a slice of any deal.

In a tweet Hu Xijin, editor-in-chief of the state-run Global Times, said it constituted "open robbery."

"This is an open robbery. The world is watching and God is watching that how President Trump is turning the once great America into a rogue country,"


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How US-China Decoupling Affects Everyone

By Azhar Sukri


Before he died in 1994, former United States President Richard Nixon had an "uh-oh" moment of historic proportions, at least according to his speechwriter William Safire - a moment of doubt that is reverberating to this day.

"I asked him - on the record - if perhaps we had gone a bit overboard on selling the American public on the political benefits of increased trade [with China]," Safire wrote in an opinion piece for The New York Times in 2000.

"That old realist, who had played the China card to exploit the split in the Communist world, replied with some sadness that he was not as hopeful as he had once been: 'We may have created a Frankenstein',"


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‘Clean Up This Mess’: The Chinese Thinkers Behind Xi’s Hard Line

By Chris Buckley


When Tian Feilong first arrived in Hong Kong as demands for free elections were on the rise, he said he felt sympathetic toward a society that seemed to reflect the liberal political ideas he had studied as a graduate student in Beijing.

Then, as the calls escalated into protests across Hong Kong in 2014, he increasingly embraced Chinese warnings that freedom could go too far, threatening national unity. He became an ardent critic of the demonstrations, and six years later he is a staunch defender of the sweeping national security law that China has imposed on the former British colony.


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Beijing Threatens Retaliation Over US Actions Against Chinese Journalists

By Associated Press


China said on Tuesday it will retaliate if Washington continues what it described as hostile actions against Chinese journalists based in the United States.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said the ministry understands that no Chinese journalist in the United States have had their application for a visa renewal approved since Washington in May moved to limit their visas to 90 days with an option for an extension.


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Some Mystery Seeds Illegally Sent from China Identified

By Associated Press


The U.S. Department of Agriculture has identified some of the plant species in bags of unsolicited seeds arriving in mailboxes across the United States. Officials have warned the shipments of mystery seeds, which appear to have originated in China, could be invasive plant species.

So far, however, the species appear to be innocuous. At least 14 of the seed species had been identified as of July 29, according to Deputy Administrator Osama El-Lissy of the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. They includes mustard, cabbage and morning glory as well as herbs like mint, sage, rosemary and lavender. He said hibiscus and roses were also found.


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House Republicans Seek Information About Chinese Funding From Harvard, Yale, and Other Universities

By Jerry Dunleavy


A trio of House Republican leaders gave Harvard, Yale, and a handful of other universities a week to hand over documents and other information on their foreign funding amid increased scrutiny about the influence of the Chinese Communist Party and other foreign entities on U.S. campuses.

The GOP letters told the schools that “we write to further understand the effects of adversarial foreign direct investment in the U.S. higher education system” and noted that an Education Department investigation “has uncovered over $6.5 billion of previously unreported foreign donations” to U.S. institutions of higher education.

Reps. Jim Jordan of Ohio, James Comer of Kentucky, and Virginia Foxx of North Carolina — the ranking members on the Judiciary, Oversight, and Education committees, respectively — requested Harvard University, Yale University, the University of Chicago, the University of Delaware, New York University, and the University of Pennsylvania provide answers about all of their gifts from and contacts with the governments of or businesses and nationals from China, Russia, Qatar, Iran, and Saudi Arabia by next Monday.

The letters sent to the schools referenced a May 20 briefing from the Education Department, in which the agency “raised concerns about this level of IHEs dependency on foreign funding from adversarial states and the inherent national security risks” and noted that “the Committee learned that many countries use donation agreements or contracts (agreements) with IHEs, professors, or researchers (recipients) to leverage their money into some type of benefit, or quid pro quo.” The Republicans said that “some recipients” of foreign funding also “alter their decision making based on the donations received.”


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Security Law: France Halts Ratification of Extradition Treaty With Hong Kong

France on Monday said it was halting ratification of an extradition treaty with Hong Kong after Beijing introduced a controversial new security law in the former British colony.

“In light of the latest developments, France will not proceed as it stands with the ratification of the extradition agreement signed on May 4, 2017 between France and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region,” the French foreign ministry said in a statement.

The ministry bitterly criticised the new security law, saying it called into question the principle of “‘one country, two systems’… and the fundamental freedoms that result from it.”

“This law also directly affects our citizens and our businesses,” it added.

The introduction of the security law has raised new tensions between China and the West, compounding existing strains over the treatment of the Uighur minority and the behaviour of telecoms giant Huawei.


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China Vows Retaliation If Any U.S. Action Against Journalists

By Yew Lun Tian


China vowed on Tuesday to retaliate if the United States persisted with “hostile action” against Chinese journalists who may be forced to leave in coming days if their U.S. visas are not extended.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told reporters at a daily briefing that no Chinese journalist in the United States had been granted a visa extension since the United States, on May 11, limited their stay to 90 days, with an option to extend.

“The U.S. has been escalating its actions against Chinese journalists,” Wang told reporters. “The U.S. should immediately correct its mistake and stop its actions.”

“If the U.S. persists, China will take a necessary and legitimate response to safeguard its rights,” he said.

Wang did not say how many Chinese journalists were affected or what retaliation China might consider, but the editor of China’s Global Times newspaper said earlier U.S. journalists based in Hong Kong would be among those targeted should Chinese journalists be forced to leave the United States.

“Chinese side has prepared for the worst scenario that all Chinese journalists have to leave,” Hu said on Twitter.

“If that’s the case, Chinese side will retaliate, including targeting US journalists based in HK.”


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'It Was Horrific': Up to 20 People Injured After Three Hot Air Balloons Crash

By Zachary Halaschak


Three hot air balloons crashed into the ground in Wyoming, leaving up to 20 people injured.

The incident occurred at about 8 a.m. on Monday near Jackson, a city of about 10,000 people located in the western part of the state. Teton County Sheriff Matt Carr told KIFI earlier on Monday that first responders were treating between 16 and 20 people for various injuries.

The local hospital, St. John Medical Center, said it received 10 people from the accident and that five have since been released. One person was reportedly airlifted to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for treatment. The Washington Examiner reached out to the hospital Monday evening for an update but did not immediately receive a response.

Clinton Phillips, a passenger aboard one of the three balloons, told ABC News that his balloon, the largest, was the last to crash and that he witnessed the first two hit the ground. He described the wind as “pushing up hard sideways” and said the second balloon was “tossed around” before crashing.

“While we were so busy looking at that, we didn't realize that we were coming down,” Phillips said. “Our pilot hadn't said anything, and I turned around and looked, and I shouted, ‘Brace for impact!’”

“People were screaming for their lives and sobbing,” he recounted. “It was horrific.”


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Giant SOS on Pacific Isle Leads to Rescue of Three Stranded Sailors

By Clarence Fernandez


Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island drew a giant SOS message in the sand to attract the attention of rescuers, who found them three days after they went missing at sea.

Australian and U.S. aircraft located the men on tiny Pikelot island, about 200 km (124 miles) west of where they had set off in a seven-metre (23-ft) skiff before veering off course and running out of fuel.

“I am proud of the response and professionalism of all on board as we fulfil our obligation to contribute to the safety of life at sea wherever we are,” the Australian Navy’s Capt. Terry Morrison said in a defence department statement.

Morrison commands the HMAS Canberra, which sent a helicopter to the rescue after officials in the U.S. territory of Guam raised the alarm, following the men’s failure to complete a 42-km (26-mile) trip between Pacific atolls.

The helicopter landed on the island on Sunday to check the men’s condition and gave them food and water after its crew spotted their appeal for help, close to their makeshift shelter.

A Micronesian patrol vessel is headed to the island to pick up the men, the statement added.


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U.S. Small Business Bailout Money Flowed to Chinese-Owned Companies

By Alan Rappeport


President Trump has blamed China for the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis, but as the White House looks to stabilize small businesses in the United States, the rescue effort has had an unintended beneficiary: Chinese companies.

Millions of dollars of American taxpayer money have flowed to China from the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program that was created in March to be a lifeline for struggling small businesses in the United States. But because the economic relief legislation allowed American subsidiaries of foreign firms to receive the loans, a substantial chunk of the money went to America’s biggest economic rival, a new analysis shows.


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Die-Hard Trump Supporters Say They’re Fed Up With The GOP’s Text Spam

By Andrew Kerr


A growing number of people within President Donald Trump’s conservative support base say they feel insulted over the aggressive, spam-like text messages they receive from the Trump campaign and national Republican groups seeking their money.

Studies have shown that more than 90 percent of text messages are opened and read within three minutes of being sent, making it a valuable tool in the arsenals of Democratic and Republican campaigns to conduct outreach with their supporters.

The Republican apparatus surrounding the Trump reelection effort has gone a step further by placing the technology at the center of its digital strategy, according to Politico.

As a result, the cellphones of many self-proclaimed Trump supporters have become inundated with aggressively-worded text messages from toll-free numbers accusing them of abandoning their president if they don’t fork over their cash to Republican groups.

“I’m a strong Trump supporter, but they’re ridiculous,” Lisa Banner, a Georgia-based Trump supporter, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. Banner said the president’s campaign sometimes texts her multiple times a day asking for money.


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Portland Recorded More Homicides In July Than Any Month Over Last 30 Years

By Jordan Lancaster


Portland recorded a higher number of homicides in July than they had during any other one-month period over the last 30 years, The Oregonian reported.

The surge in crime comes after the Portland City Council voted to cut over $15 million from the police budget.

The homicide numbers come as the city also deals with a spike in assaults, burglaries, vandalism, and shootings, according to the report. 15 people have been killed in Portland in July so far, bringing the total number of killings this year to 24. Compared to past years, person-to-person and property crimes have fallen, police data shows, according to The Oregonian.

Shootings have more than doubled in July compared to last year, according to the report. The Portland police’s Gun Violence Reduction Team is one of several police units that was disbanded by the City Council’s budget cuts, which were passed last month.


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New Anti-Trump Video Mocks Trump for his 5-Year-Long Lie about Having a ‘Healthcare Plan’

By Sarah K. Burris


A brutal new video from MeidasTouch PAC mocks President Donald Trump for another of his broken promises from the 2016 campaign.

Starting in 2015, Trump maintained that the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, should be killed and that he would replace it with something better. The problem is that at no time in the 10 years Republicans have tried to undermine the law have they been able to create an alternative.

“Obamacare. We’re going to repeal it, we’re going to replace it, get something great. Repeal it, replace it, get something great!” Trump said in 2015 at an event at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.


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Steve Hilton Warns Trump Campaign is 'Sleepwalking into a Biden Presidency': 'Wake Up'

By Yael Halon


"The Next Revolution" host Steve Hilton urged the Trump campaign to turn up the tempo on Sunday, expressing concerns over their "baffling complacency" that he fears will result in a Joe Biden victory this November.

During his opening segment on Sunday night, Hilton said the prospect of a Biden presidency "gets closer every day because of the baffling complacency of the Trump campaign."

"Where is the energy,?" he asked. " Where are the ideas in the hope for the future? Two weeks ago we were promised exciting policy announcements in the next two weeks. We are still waiting."


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Black Motorist Shouts at Black Lives Matter Protesters to Stop Blocking Highway

By Emma Colton


A black man who said he was on his way to work was recorded getting out of his car and shouting at a group of Black Lives Matter protesters who were blocking a highway near Austin, Texas.

“Hey look, I understand the cause. I appreciate it, but I gotta go to work!” the unidentified man is heard saying in the video from Saturday night.

“I’m black. I gotta go to work! I got bills. I got kids. Get the f— out my way!” he shouted at the protesters, who were reportedly mostly white.

The protesters eventually allowed him through the group but reassembled so other blocked drivers could not continue on the road, according to the New York Post.

Austin was the site of a shooting last weekend when Garrett Foster was fatally shot while attending a Black Lives Matter protest. Foster was seen carrying an AK-47 while pushing his fiancee in a wheelchair last Saturday when he and a driver got into a confrontation, which allegedly prompted the shooting.

Police are investigating the incident, and U.S. Army Sgt. Daniel Perry has come forward as the person who shot Foster. Perry’s lawyer said his client was acting in self-defense and has not been arrested or charged in the death.


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U.S.-German Ties are Bad Under Trump — if Biden Wins he may Struggle to Repair Them

By Alexander Smith


During the Trump administration, few places have recoiled with as much horror as Germany, once a vital friend that the White House now berates with open hostility.

But anyone hoping the U.S. presidential election in November would quickly reverse years of turmoil with Germany may be sorely disappointed, according to former U.S. diplomats, and officials and analysts in Berlin.

Trump has steered the transatlantic alliance into its worst crisis since World War II, these experts agree. Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee, may be unable or unwilling to turn back the clock to the more cordial days of 2016, when he was vice president.


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Washington State Teen Found Alive in Woods 8 Days After Going Missing

By Katherine Rodriguez


An 18-year-old from Washington state who went missing on July 24 was found eight days later in a heavily wooded section of the Cascade Mountains east of Seattle, in what rescuers say is a “miracle.”

Giovanna “Gia” Fuda was last seen on surveillance footage at a coffee shop in Index, Washington, before she disappeared last Friday, ABC News reported.

She left her home in Maple Valley, Washington, without telling her relatives where she was going.

Authorities found her 2008 Toyota Corolla out of gas on Highway 2 the next day in extremely mountainous terrain. Personal items were discovered inside the vehicle, but her phone was turned off.

But after more than one week of searching, authorities had very little to go after until Saturday.

“It’s very rare. It is definitely a miracle, and we are so thrilled that she is OK and made it out of there,” Sgt. Ryan Abbott told reporters. “There has been so much support, and so much interest and people wanting to help. It’s nice to see.”

A search-and-rescue team came across Fuda’s notebook along a deep stream in the woods around 2:45 p.m. The crew eventually followed the stream and found shoes and clothes that belonged to Fuda.


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Rioters Target Local Police in Portland; Wall Street Journal Says ‘Mostly Peaceful’

By Joel B. Pollak


Violence continued in Portland, Oregon, this weekend even after federal law enforcement pulled back to allow state and local police to take over. Yet the media, including the Wall Street Journal, described the Portland violence as “mostly peaceful.”

On Thursday night, the first night after the Department of Homeland Security struck a deal with the State of Oregon, the violent demonstrations continued, with protesters setting various fires, including one in which a pig’s head was set alight atop an American flag. On Friday night, the fires in the streets continue, with radical leftists burning Bibles on a U.S. flag.

On Saturday night, riots continued, with rioters targeting the Portland Police Department with some of the same weapons they had used against federal officers defending the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse, including lasers aimed at officers.

Portland Police reported that one march on Saturday night was “peaceful.” Another, however, was quite violent. Notably, members of the demonstration disguised themselves as members of the media to carry out their attacks on police officers.


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Wanted by Beijing, Activist in-Exile Wayne Chan Says He Won’t Stop Fighting for HK Independence

Days after he learned he was wanted by police on suspicion of violating the national security law, exiled pro-independence activist Wayne Chan told HKFP that he chose to leave Hong Kong so that he could continue to say things that are banned.

Chan – now in the UK – fled Hong Kong in early June after Beijing’s rubber-stamp congress announced plans to introduce legislation to criminalise subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign powers. The wide-reaching new law was formulated behind closed doors and promulgated without local scrutiny.

State-run CCTV reported on Friday that Chan was wanted by the Hong Kong police, alongside five other overseas pro-democracy figures. He was kept a low-profile since fleeing and says it is unclear to him why he was being sought. But he told HKFP that it may be because he shared a picture of a Hong Kong independence flag on Facebook on July 1.

“I had the idea of leaving around two to three days after the national security legislation was announced,” Chan said. “It was, by then, a clear message that the Chinese Communist Party would not preserve any values of Hong Kong and was about to oppress Hongkongers in the most severe manner.”

He cited human rights abuses at concentration camps in Xinjiang, China – which Beijing insists are Uighur “vocational” centres – adding that he thought such things could happen in Hong Kong too.


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South China Sea is OURS: Beijing Issues Stark Warning to Donald Trump as Tensions Flare

By Ciaran McGrath


The US undertakes regular freedom-of-movement exercises in the region, and has deployed aircraft carriers USS Nimitz and USS Ronald Reagan there in recent weeks.

Ren, speaking during a press conference in Beijing on Saturday, was asked about Mr Pompeo's claim that China was seeking to build a "maritime empire".

Historically China has maintained a sovereignty claim over between 80 and 90 percent of the waters - but Ren appeared to go even further.

China has indisputable sovereignty over South China Sea islands and their adjacent waters, which has full historical and legal basis.

"At present, with the joint efforts of China and Asian countries, the situation in the South China Sea is generally stable, and positive progress has been made in relevant consultations."


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Islamic State Group Claims Deadly Attack on Afghanistan Prison

By Associated Press


The Islamic State (IS) group has said it was behind a high-profile attack on a central prison in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad that saw hundreds of prisoners try to flee.

The attack began on Sunday evening when car bombs were detonated at the prison's entrance by gunmen.

It continued through the night and into Monday morning, with the IS militants battling security forces.

At least 21 people were killed, said a spokesman for Nangarhar province.

According to Attaullah Khogyani, 43 people were injured and taken to a regional hospital. He said three attackers had been killed but others were continuing to resist security forces from the top floor of a residential building.

The prison holds more than 1,700 inmates - most of them Taliban and IS fighters, a security source told news agency AFP.


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Microsoft Moves Ahead with Talks to Buy TikTok after Consulting Trump

By Rebecca Falconer


Microsoft announced Sunday it would pursue discussions with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, "in a matter of weeks," on buying the app in the U.S. following conversations between President Trump and the tech giant's CEO Satya Nadella.

Details: Microsoft said in a blog post the two firms are exploring a preliminary proposal that would see Microsoft buy the TikTok service in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand as well as the U.S. "During this process, Microsoft looks forward to continuing dialogue with the United States Government, including with the President," the post noted.


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Apple Fire: Massive California Wildfire Forces Evacuations

By Associated Press


Fire crews in California are battling a massive wildfire that has forced thousands of people from their homes east of Los Angeles.

More than 1,300 firefighters, backed by helicopters and water-dumping planes, have been tackling the blaze dubbed the Apple Fire which started on Friday.

Parts of the fire are on steep, rugged hillsides, making it hard for fire engines to reach.

Around 7,800 residents have been told to evacuate the area.

Images show flumes of smoke filling the sky over the mountainous region. In a tweet, the National Weather Service said some smoke had blown east to Phoenix, Arizona - nearly 300 miles (482km) away.


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Republicans Dampen Reports of Convention Media Ban

By Associated Press


On Saturday the AP news agency and other news outlets reported that, because of the coronavirus, media would not be allowed to attend the event.

But on Sunday, a convention official said no final decisions had been made.

The delegates will meet in late August in North Carolina.

Last month President Trump scrapped a Florida convention, blaming the coronavirus "flare-up", and announced a scaled-down event in the city of Charlotte.

The Republican National Convention (RNC) will be attended by 336 delegates, who will cast proxy votes for some 2,500 official delegates.

Mr Trump is the party's sole remaining nominee, and his re-nomination will officially launch his re-election bid.


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TikTok: Pompeo says Trump to Crack Down on Chinese Software in Coming Days

By Associated Press


Mr Pompeo said popular video app TikTok was among those "feeding data directly to the Chinese Communist Party".

His comments came days after Mr Trump said he was banning TikTok in the US.

The company has denied accusations that it is controlled by or shares data with the Chinese government.

Speaking to Fox News Channel, Mr Pompeo said the action would be taken "with respect to a broad array of national security risks that are presented by software connected to the Chinese Communist Party".

He said there were "countless" companies doing business in the US that might be passing information on to the Chinese government. Data could include facial recognition patterns, addresses, phone numbers and contacts, he said.

"President Trump has said 'enough' and we're going to fix it," he told Fox News.

Mr Trump told reporters on Friday he planned to sign an executive order to ban TikTok in the US, where it has up to 80 million active monthly users.


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'We're Not Planning on Going Anywhere': TikTok Responds to Trump's Threat to Ban Platform

By Zachary Halaschak


Chinese-owned TikTok issued a message of defiance after President Trump said he plans to ban the popular social media app in the United States.

The company released a Saturday video statement by Vanessa Pappas, TikTok’s U.S. general manager, in which she spoke to the millions of TikTok users in the country about there not being any plans to shut down the app. She drew particular attention to U.S. jobs created by the company.

“We’ve heard your outpouring of support, and we want to say thank you. We’re not planning on going anywhere,” Pappas said with a grin. “TikTok is a home for creators and artists to express themselves, their ideas, and connect with people across different backgrounds. … We’re here for the long run.”

A TikTok spokesperson reiterated Pappas’s remarks when contacted by the Washington Examiner on Saturday. The spokesperson said privacy and security were paramount to the company.

“TikTok US user data is stored in the U.S., with strict controls on employee access. TikTok’s biggest investors come from the U.S.,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “We are committed to protecting our users’ privacy and safety as we continue working to bring joy to families and meaningful careers to those who create on our platform.”


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Matt Gaetz Accuses Google of Trying to Turn US into China

By Mica Soellner


Rep. Matt Gaetz says Silicon Valley is increasing its influence over voters, accusing Google of engaging in election interference in hopes for a Democratic victory in November.

Beyond getting President Trump out of office, Gaetz said on Wednesday that the tech giant is working to turn the United States into China through its ties with the country.

"We have proved today that many of America’s largest technology platforms are not acting in the best interest of our country," Gaetz said on Fox News's Hannity.

The CEOs of four of the country's biggest tech companies appeared in front of the House Judiciary Committee earlier in the day to answer lawmakers' questions regarding online competition.

Gaetz has been a major critic of Silicon Valley, accusing companies of silencing conservative voices online and on social media. During the testimony, the Florida Republican grilled Google CEO Sundar Pichai about allegations that the company was advancing China's artificial intelligence capabilities after refusing to work with the U.S. military.

"It’s not that they are just working with China, they are trying to turn our country into China," Gaetz said. "Google, in particular, is the most dangerous election interference organization in the world."

Gaetz also said tech companies made him and other Republicans the victims of shadow banning or blocking content from being seen online. He said this was particularly relevant during the Russia investigation.


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Trump Says He’ll Ban TikTok in U.S.

President Donald Trump says he will take action as soon as Saturday to ban Chinese-owned video app TikTok from the United States.

Trump made the announcement to reporters Friday on Air Force One as he returned from Florida.

“As far as TikTok is concerned, we’re banning them from the United States,” Trump said.

U.S. lawmakers have raised intelligence and privacy concerns about the company’s ownership. The company has denied allegations that it shares user data with the Chinese government.

The move comes as Trump has ratcheted up tensions with China during the coronavirus pandemic and stalled trade negotiations between the two nations.

The company’s operations in the U.S. has been under review by the secretive Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States.


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Thousands March in Berlin Against Coronavirus Curbs

Thousands marched in Berlin on Saturday to protest against measures imposed in Germany to stem the coronavirus pandemic, saying they violated people’s rights and freedoms.

The gathering, estimated by police at 17,000, included libertarians, constitutional loyalists and anti-vaccination activists. There was also a small far-right presence with some marchers carrying Germany’s black, white and red imperial flag.

Protesters danced and sang ‘We are free people!’ to the tune of rock band Queen’s ‘We Will Rock You’. Others marched with placards saying ‘We are making a noise because you are stealing our freedom!’ and ‘Do think! Don’t wear a mask!’.

“Our demand is to return to democracy,” said one protester who declined to give his name. “The mask that enslaves us must go.”

The protests followed a rallying call from Michael Ballweg, an entrepreneur and political outsider who has organised similar rallies in Stuttgart and is running to become mayor of the southwestern city.


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Dianne Feinstein Says China, Which Is Putting Muslims In Camps, Is Growing Into A Respectable Nation

By Mary Margaret Olohan


Democratic California Sen. Dianne Feinstein praised China Thursday as a country “growing into a respectable nation” and cautioned against holding the country accountable for the coronavirus pandemic.

“We hold China as a potential trading partner, as a country that has pulled tens of millions of people out of poverty in a short period of time, and as a country growing into a respectable nation amongst other nations. I deeply believe that,” Feinstein said during a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting Thursday, according to the Washington Free Beacon.

The California senator added that stripping China of the country’s foreign sovereign immunity would be a “huge mistake,” noting that if China is held accountable for the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, the United States may also be held accountable, the Washington Free Beacon reports.

Her support for China comes despite the country’s continuing human rights violations.

A June AP investigation found that the Chinese government is using forced abortions, birth control, mass detentions, and imprisonment to dramatically lower the birthrates of Uighur Muslims and other minorities while encouraging other populations to produce more children.


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Critics Slam Hong Kong’s Move to Disqualify Pro-Democracy Candidates from September Election

By Huileng Tan


The United Kingdom has condemned Hong Kong’s decision to disqualify pro-democracy candidates from the upcoming legislative council election. Other critics around the world have also raised concerns over the upcoming polls.

It comes as authorities announced Thursday that at least 12 pro-democracy nominees, including high profile activist Joshua Wong, have been disqualified from running in Hong Kong’s upcoming elections. The Hong Kong government does “not rule out the possibility” that more nominees will be disqualified, it said.


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Pro-Life Students Arrested For Writing ‘Black Preborn Lives Matter’ Outside Of DC Planned Parenthood

By Jordan Lancaster


Pro-life activists were arrested Saturday morning for writing “black preborn lives matter” outside of a D.C. Planned Parenthood.

The chalking was part of an event with Students for Life of America and The Frederick Douglass Foundation where they planned to paint the sidewalk before holding a press conference at 10 a.m.

“I’m gonna tell you now that if you continue chalking you will be placed under arrest for defacing property,” a police officer said to the two protesters. As the officers moved in to arrest the two people who were chalking, someone in the crowd said, “you know they do this every Saturday right?”

“Every Saturday, people are here chalking and you are taking somebody, young people, and arresting them because they are simply putting ‘black preborn lives matter?’ You’ve gotta be joking,” a man said in the video.

The protesters then began chanting “black preborn lives matter!”


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Iran Says It Has Detained U.S.-Based Opposition Leader Over 2008 Bomb Attack

By David Shepardson


Iran said on Saturday its intelligence services have detained a U.S.-based leader of a pro-monarchist group whom it accused of being behind a deadly 2008 bombing and of plotting other attacks, and that he is being held in Iran.

An intelligence ministry statement cited by state television did not say how, where or when the detention took place.

“Jamshid Sharmahd, the ringleader of the terrorist Tondar (Thunder) group, who directed armed and terrorist acts in Iran from America, was arrested following a complicated operation, and is now in (our agents’) powerful hands,” it said.

Television showed a video of a man identifying himself as Sharmahd and giving his date of birth. The man was later shown with a blindfold, saying: “They needed explosives and we provided it.”

Tondar did not confirm the detention. In reaction to what it said were reports of Sharmahd’s “abduction”, the group said on its website it did not confirm “stories being told by various networks”.

However it said in an earlier posting on social media that “Tondar … will continue to fight even in the absence of a commander”.


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Trump-Loving Grandmother Outs Alleged Portland ‘Bomber’ Grandson

By Katherine Rodriguez


A 69-year-old Trump-supporting grandmother outed her grandson as the suspect who allegedly threw a makeshift bomb outside a Portland, Oregon, federal courthouse Tuesday.

The New York Post reported that Karla Fox recognized the alleged bomber as her grandson, Gabriel “Rico” Agard-Berryhill.

In the hours after the attack, social media users sifted through videos showing a slim man wearing an olive-colored vest with the word “ICONS” printed on it, throwing an item over the fence at the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse.

Within seconds, there’s an explosion that covers the courthouse’s front door in flames. The suspect picks something up from the group and slips away from the camera’s view.

Fox immediately recognized her grandson because she gifted him the vest.

“I bought the vest for him after he found one online after getting hit with rubber bullets the night before at the protest,” Fox told the Post. (She even left a positive review on clothing site Hibbett: “I got this for my grandson who’s a protester downtown, he uses it every night and says it does the job.”)


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‘These Are All Signs Of Organized Activities’: Leading Security Expert Reacts To Portland Riots

By Samantha Renck


James Carafano, vice president of the Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Institute at the Heritage Foundation, spoke with the Daily Caller’s Samantha Renck about the protests in Portland, U.S. leadership and more.

After nearly two months of protests and riots in Portland, Oregon, some are raising concerns about whether these incidents are organized attacks.

Carafano, a leading national security expert, differentiated between peaceful protests and riots happening in Portland.”These are mass demonstrations — which are perfectly permissible, they’re people’s First Amendment rights,” he said, “nobody has an issue with that. Even if people want to practice civil disobedience — if you want to break the law, that’s fine. Then you do it peacefully and you pay the consequences for that. That’s not what’s going on here.” Carafano continued, “we’re actually seeing adaptive behaviors. That’s the first sign that makes us think ‘maybe this is organized.'”


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Michigan Governor Vetoes Bill That Would Send Coronavirus Patients Away From Nursing Homes

By Andrew Mark Miller


Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed a bill Friday that would have moved elderly people infected by the coronavirus away from nursing homes into separate facilities.

The Democrat argued that the bill, sent to her by the Republican-controlled legislature, was based on the “false premise that isolation units created within existing facilities are somehow insufficient to protect seniors,” according to The Detroit News.

“Instead of protecting seniors, this bill would require the state to create COVID-19-only facilities, forcing hospitals and many nursing homes to send COVID-19-positive patients to such facilities without any requirement for consent, doctor approval, or notification to the patient or their family,” Whitmer added in a letter explaining her decision. “The legislation fails to explain how such facilities would be staffed or paid for, or how frail residents would be protected during the potentially traumatic transfer from one facility to another.”

State Sen. Peter Lucido, one of the sponsors of the bill, said he was “disappointed” in Whitmer’s decision and urged his Republican colleagues to consider a veto override vote.

“I am very disappointed and saddened that the governor vetoed this extremely important and commonsense legislation,” Lucido said in a statement. “Politics should not prevail over the health and safety of our seniors and healthcare workers, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate and House to consider passing a veto override. We owe this to our citizens, especially the seniors and vulnerable members of our communities who cannot speak for themselves.”


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Bokhari: By Suppressing Medical Debate, It Is Twitter that Endangers Americans

By Allum Bokhari


Twitter has once again acted as judge, juro, and executioner. For four days, Twitter prevented the @BreitbartNews twitter account from posting, only restoring its permissions earlier today. This is in no small part because Twitter dragged its feet on Breitbart News’s appeal

Twitter initially locked Breitbart News’s account because it posted a video of a press conference featuring Rep. Ralph Norman (R-SC) and licensed doctors sharing their views and opinions on coronavirus and the medical response to the pandemic. The event was held by the organization America’s Frontline Doctors and organized by the Tea Party Patriots.

In short, Twitter has punished a news organization for posting a video of a live-streaming of a press conference held by a congressman and licensed medical doctors.

At the event, some of the doctors shared their opinion on hydroxychloroquine, highlighting it as a potentially helpful treatment in fighting COVID-19. One doctor called it a “cure.”

Because Breitbart News’s Twitter account carried a video livestream of their comments, Twitter accused Breitbart of “spreading misleading and potentially harmful information related to COVID-19.”

As an aside, Breitbart News is a news company, not a licensed medical professional and has no editorial position on the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. But for Twitter (which is also not a licensed medical professional) to assert the video contained potentially harmful information rings hollow. Hydroxychloroquine is not Tide Pods; it’s not something people can simply go down to the local drugstore, buy, and ingest without medical advice and supervision.


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Nathan Law Says China’s Hong Kong Crackdown Will Backfire, as He Vows to Continue Lobbying Efforts

By Rachel Wong


Activist Nathan Law left Hong Kong before the national security law was enacted, but he has told HKFP that relocating was the best thing he could do in order to serve the city’s protest movement.

Now settled in London, the former student leader has been reaching out to politicians and lobbying for the pro-democracy cause. Last Tuesday, he met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – a meeting Law described as constructive and fruitful.

“I learned from his staff that he was the one who made the decision to set up the meeting,” he said. “It is sending a signal that the US government and the secretary of state are also paying attention to what’s happening in Hong Kong, and ready to take measures to counter the implementation of the national security law.”

He added that the US had a strong bipartisan consensus on Hong Kong issues, and that Washington had displayed progress in implementing policies.

In mid-July, US President Donald Trump signed the Hong Kong Autonomy Act, ending the city’s special trade status with the US and authorising the imposition of banking sanctions on Communist Party officials.


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How Beijing’s Security Law Transformed Hong Kong in One Short Month

By Jennifer Creery


Once a vague spectre, national security legislation became a reality in Hong Kong last month when – in less than six weeks – Beijing imposed a law granting authorities sweeping powers to clamp down on dissent.

Drafted behind closed doors without local legislative input, the law ostensibly targets acts in the city deemed to threaten state security, including terrorism and collusion with foreign forces, following months of sometimes violent democracy protests.

With broad, catch-all provisions – encompassing acts committed abroad – and charges punishable by up to life imprisonment, the law has sent shivers down the spines of activists who feared it would chip away at the territory’s treasured civil liberties.

The move was welcomed by the pro-Beijing camp as heralding the return of social “stability,” but activists and NGOs have warned it will open the floodgates to more direct mainland interference and spell the end of One Country, Two Systems.

Within a fortnight, local authorities have outlawed select protest phrases and activists were arrested for allegedly inciting secession. Critics warned of a “chilling effect” as foreign governments, such as Australia and New Zealand, suspended their extradition treaties with Hong Kong; former lawmaker Nathan Law fled to the UK and Downing Street created a “lifeboat” citizenship scheme for British National (Overseas) passport holders looking to emigrate from Hong Kong.


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Portland Teenager Charged For Courthouse Fire

By Jordan Lancaster


A man has been charged with arson for allegedly setting the Portland federal courthouse on fire Tuesday.

18-year-old Gabriel Agard-Berryhill was identified by social media videos that showed him wearing a green vest and throwing a flaming object into the courthouse, the Department of Justice said in a Friday press release. A product review for the green vest was posted on Twitter and showed a picture of Agard-Berryhill with the caption: “I got this for my grandson who’s a protestor downtown, he uses it every night and says its does the job.”

Agard-Berryhill was seen in other videos holding a shield in front of a naked woman during a protest. A judge ordered his release from jail today and he is currently awaiting trial, according to the Justice Department.

He could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted. The charges carry a mandatory minimum of 5 years in prison.

The courthouse has been set on fire several times during riots in Portland. President Donald Trump sent federal agents to Portland to help local law enforcement deal with the protests, which have been ongoing since the May 25 death of George Floyd.


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AOC Refers to Canonized Saint Fr. Damien Who Served Lepers as Part of ‘White Supremacist Culture’

By Dr. Susan Berry


Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) denounced the presence of a statue honoring canonized saint Father Damien, who ministered to lepers and died of the dreaded disease, as a remnant of “white supremacist culture.”

In an Instagram story Thursday, in which the congresswoman took her followers on a tour of the U.S. Capitol building, she spoke about the lack of statues memorializing minority figures and referred to the images of America’s honored historical figures from all 50 states as a nod to colonialism.

“Even when we select figures to tell the stories of colonized places, it is the colonizers and settlers whose stories are told – and virtually no one else,” Ocasio-Cortez said, specifically pointing out Hawaii’s statue, that of Father Damien.

“It’s not Queen Lili’uokalani of Hawaii, the only Queen Regnant of Hawaii, who is immortalized and whose story is told,” she continued. “It is Father Damien.”

Writing for Catholic News Agency, however, Matt Hadro reported that Dallas Carter, a native Hawaiian and a catechist for the diocese of Honolulu, observed St. Damien of Molokai is a “hero” to the people of Hawaii.

Father Damien “gave his life” ministering to the leper colony at Kalaupapa peninsula, Carter told Hadro.


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Alan Dershowitz: Jeffrey Epstein May Have 'Paid Off' Prison Guards to Let Him Commit Suicide

By Mica Soellner


Attorney Alan Dershowitz is suspicious of the circumstances surrounding Jeffrey Epstein's death.

In an interview with Fox News's Tucker Carlson on Friday, Dershowitz said he believes it is possible Epstein, a billionaire convicted sex offender, paid off prison guards to let him commit suicide.

"I think he committed suicide," Dershowitz said. "But, I think he may have paid off guards to allow him to commit suicide. It seems to me very difficult that he would've been allowed with video cameras off, cellmate taken out of the cell. I wouldn’t put it beyond him to have paid guards to close their eyes. I don’t think he could bear the possibility of having to spend the rest of his life in jail."

Epstein, who was 66 and a wealthy financier, was arrested last July on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges for allegedly abusing girls as young as 14 years old. He was found dead in August while awaiting a trial at the Metropolitan Correctional Center, which is run by the federal Bureau of Prisons. His death was ruled a suicide by New York City's chief medical examiner.

Epstein's death came up this week during Attorney General William Barr's testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee when a top Democrat accused the Justice Department of allowing "poorly trained" prison guards to let Epstein slip away from under their watch.


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Chinese Long-Range Bombers Join Drills Over South China Sea

By Associated Press


China said Thursday that long-range bombers were among the aircraft that took part in recent aerial drills over the South China Sea amid rising tensions between Washington and Beijing over the strategic waterway.

The exercises included nighttime takeoffs and landings and simulated long-range attacks, Defense Ministry spokesperson Ren Guoqiang said. Among the planes were H-6G and H-6K bombers, upgraded versions of planes long in use with the People’s Liberation Army Air Force and the People’s Liberation Army Navy Air Force, Ren said.

He said the exercises had been previously scheduled and were aimed at boosting pilot abilities to operate under all natural conditions. It wasn’t clear whether live bombs were used.


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Republicans Concerned TikTok Could Be Used by Chinese Government to 'Manipulate' US Elections

By Spencer Neale


Republicans are raising concerns over the expansive reach of Chinese-owned social media app TikTok and its possible effect on this year's elections.

Sens. Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio signed onto a letter to the FBI, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and the Department of Homeland Security on Tuesday to highlight the possibility that the social media app could be used to "manipulate" the public.

“TikTok has become a popular forum for Americans—particularly younger Americans—to engage in political conversations,” the GOP members wrote. “I’m greatly concerned that the CCP could use its control over TikTok to distort or manipulate these conversations to sow discord among Americans and to achieve its preferred political outcomes.”

This isn't the first time that federal lawmakers have called attention to TikTok, which is owned by Chinese company Bytedance and is one of the most downloaded apps in the world, over concerns about the security and privacy data of its U.S. userbase.

“Chinese government officials increasingly use Western social-media companies, including those banned in China, to flood global social media with propaganda and misinformation,” the senators warned.


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China Embassy Criticises Germany's Suspension of Extradition Treaty with Hong Kong

By Andrew Galbraith


China’s embassy in Germany condemned Berlin’s suspension of its extradition treaty with Hong Kong, a move Germany said was a response to the postponement of an election in the Chinese city.

In a statement on its website, dated Friday, China’s embassy said the suspension violated international law and the basic norms of international relations, and “grossly interferes with China’s internal affairs.”

The embassy expressed “strong dissatisfaction and resolute opposition” to the minister’s remarks, and said that China “reserves the right to respond further,” without elaborating.

Germany Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Friday that Berlin will suspend its extradition agreement with Hong Kong, after Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam postponed a Sept. 6 election to the city’s legislature by a year.

“The Hong Kong government’s decision to disqualify a dozen opposition candidates for the election and postpone the elections to the legislature is another infringement on the rights of the citizens of Hong Kong,” Maas said.


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Supreme Court Declines to Stop Trump Border Wall Construction

By Mica Soellner


The Supreme Court declined on Friday to stop the Trump administration from constructing parts of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The 5-4 decision on ideological lines is a loss to environmental groups, represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, who asked the high court to revisit its decision last year to block an injunction that would halt the construction after a panel of judges on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in a 2-1 decision in June that President Trump unlawfully obtained funding by diverting money from the military.

The high court's four liberal justices dissented, saying construction be put to a stop while legal challenges play out. “The Court’s decision to let construction continue nevertheless I fear, may operate, in effect, as a final judgment,” Justice Stephen Breyer wrote in a dissent.

Trump declared a national emergency last year to use the funds as part of an attempt to fulfill a central 2016 campaign promise on immigration. This legal challenge centers on the Trump administration reallocating $2.5 billion approved by Congress for the Pentagon's budget toward building portions of the wall along the southwest border.

The case is poised to return to the Supreme Court in the fall, and the ACLU has signaled it is ready to keep fighting.


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Exile Is No Protection From HK Security Law, Says US Dissident Samuel Chu – Wanted for ‘Secession’

Hong Kong’s arrest warrants for activists overseas show that exile and foreign nationality are no protection against the city’s sweeping national security law, one of the targeted dissidents has warned.

Democracy campaigner and US citizen Samuel Chu, who runs the Hong Kong Democracy Council in Washington, said Friday he had learned he is wanted for allegedly “inciting secession and colluding with foreign powers”.

Chinese state media earlier reported Hong Kong police had ordered the arrest of six pro-democracy activists living in exile on suspicion of violating the new law.

“Hong Kong police is targeting a US citizen for lobbying my own government. I might be the first non-Chinese citizen to be targeted, but I will not be the last,” Chu said on Twitter.

“If I am targeted, any American, any citizen of any nation who speaks out for HK can-and will be-too,” he added.

It is the first time authorities have invoked the law’s extraterritorial jurisdiction to go after activists not in Hong Kong.

Others wanted by Hong Kong police include prominent democracy activist Nathan Law who recently fled the city for Britain, and Simon Cheng, a former British consulate staffer who was granted asylum in the UK after allegedly being tortured in China.


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Chinese Territory Claims In Bhutan, India "Testing" The World

By Associated Press


China's territorial claims in Bhutan and the recent incursion into Indian land are indicative of their intentions, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Thursday, adding that Beijing under Preisdent Xi Jinping was trying to find out whether other countries are going to push back.

Indian and Chinese troops have been locked in a bitter standoff in several areas along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh since May 5. The situation deteriorated last month following the Galwan Valley clashes that left 20 Indian Army personnel dead.

China recently staked claim over the Sakteng Wildlife Sanctuary in Bhutan at the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council and opposed funding to the project.


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Letting Americans Sue China over Coronavirus Response would be 'Huge Mistake'

By Nick Givas


Allowing citizens to sue China for damages caused by the novel coronavirus would backfire and open up the United States to the same level of scrutiny from other countries around the world, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said Thursday.

Feinstein, whose remarks came during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, said, "We launch a series of unknown events that could be very, very dangerous. I think this is a huge mistake."

"Where I live… we hold China as a potential trading partner," she said earlier. "As a country that has pulled tens of millions of people out of poverty in a short period of time. And as a country growing into a respectable nation among other nations. And I deeply believe that. I've been to China a number of times. I've studied the issues."


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Three Officers Shot Outside Chicago Police Station While Making Arrest

By Madison Dibble


Three members of the Chicago Police Department were shot outside a police station while arresting a man for a violent carjacking.

Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown told reporters that three officers were shot outside of the station after the carjacking suspect opened fire on them while they attempted to bring him into the station around 9:40 a.m. local time on Thursday morning.

An officer who was shot in the chin needed to be revived twice and is considered to be in "very critical" condition. A second officer was shot in the hip but was considered to be in stable condition. Another was shot in the chest, but the gunshot did not penetrate the officer's bulletproof vest.

It is not yet clear how the suspect was able to get a gun to shoot the officers. CBS 2 reported that witnesses claimed the suspect used his own gun, which he somehow managed to keep in his possession during the arrest. More than 50 shots were fired between officers and the suspect, who was also wounded and taken to a hospital.

“I want to strongly emphasize the inherent dangers that these and all Chicago police officers experience every, every day protecting the residents of Chicago. When they leave home, they leave their loved ones and put their stars on and risk everything. They risk everything protecting all of us,” Brown said.


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No Charges for Officer Who Shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, after Follow-Up Probe

By Dennis Romero


A new review of the 2014 police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, of 18-year-old Michael Brown has concluded that no murder or manslaughter charges against former officer Darren Wilson are warranted.

The five-month secret review of the Aug. 2014 fatal shooting led St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Wesley Bell to conclude he couldn't prove those allegations in a court of law, he said Thursday.

However, Bell said, "Our investigation does not exonerate Darren Wilson."


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There’s No Cold War with China — and if there Were, We Couldn’t Win

By Dan Coats


Dan Coats, a former U.S. senator from Indiana, served as director of national intelligence from 2017 to 2019. He is a senior adviser to King & Spalding LLP.

China dominates current discussions of foreign policy, primarily because it poses the greatest challenges to our national interests. But China also dominates the discussion because the covid-19 pandemic emerged there, a fact that has become a major theme in the President Trump’s campaign for reelection. The trade relationship seems to be deteriorating along with the political relationship — which the Chinese foreign minister has described as worse than at any point since we established diplomatic relations in 1979.

All this has many observers — even in the White House — speaking of a new “Cold War” between the United States and China. Some even argue that this is desirable, presumably with the belief that our side will naturally emerge victorious.


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China Downgrades its Chengdu J-20 Stealth Fighter to 4th Generation but Claims IAF Rafales No Match

By Zee Media Bureau


Rafale, the 4.5 Generation fighter in the armoury of the Indian Air Force (IAF), has changed the aerial warfare dynamics with both Pakistan and China lagging far behind the superior technology and weapons package of the French-made combat jet.

China claims People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF) Chengdu J-20 is a 5th Generation Stealth fighter and superior to the Rafale but now a Global Times article which tries to find faults with the French-made jets has instead downgraded the J-20 to a 4th Generation combat aircraft.


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One Marine Killed, 8 Missing after Incident in California

By Yaron Steinbuch


One US Marine was killed, two were injured and eight remain missing in an incident involving an amphibious assault vehicle off the coast of Southern California, officials said Friday.

Search and rescue efforts are underway after the incident occurred Thursday, according to the I Marine Expeditionary Force.

All the Marines are assigned to the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

The Navy and the Coast Guard are taking part in the search.


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Florida Sets Daily Coronavirus Death Toll Record for Second Consecutive Day

By Alexa Lardieri


The state's health department confirmed 216 resident deaths from COVID-19 on Wednesday, breaking Tuesday's record of 186 and bringing the death toll to 6,333 Florida residents. The second record-breaking day comes just as the U.S. is expected to surpass 150,000 coronavirus fatalities.

The rising numbers are significant because they come after some observers downplayed record numbers of new daily coronavirus infections while the national mortality rate remained low in recent weeks. But health experts warned that the surge in cases would likely be followed by a significant increase in deaths.


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Hong Kong Activist Joshua Wong Says ‘Resistance Will Continue,’ After Election Ban

Hong Kong’s democracy camp will continue to fight Beijing’s crackdown on political freedoms, prominent dissident Joshua Wong said Friday after he and other activists were barred from standing for election.

“Our resistance will continue on and we hope the world can stand with us in the upcoming uphill battle,” he told reporters.

Dressed in a black T-shirt emblazoned with the words “They can’t kill us all”, 23-year-old Wong slammed authorities for disqualifying some of the city’s best-known democracy activists from standing in September’s legislative elections.

“Beyond any doubt (this) is the most scandalous election fraud era in Hong Kong history,” he said.

The disqualifications were the latest blow against the semi-autonomous city’s democracy movement, which has been under sustained attack from China’s Communist Party rulers.

China imposed a national security law last month on Hong Kong outlawing subversion, which it warned was a “sword” hanging over the head of democracy protesters.


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Conservative Firebrand Herman Cain Dies After Battle with Coronavirus

By Hannah Bleau


Conservative firebrand, businessman, and former presidential candidate Herman Cain, 74, has died after a weeks-long battle with the novel coronavirus.

Cain’s website released a statement on Thursday morning penned by editor Dan Calabrese.

“You’re never ready for the kind of news we are grappling with this morning. But we have no choice but to seek and find God’s strength and comfort to deal with it,” the post read.

“We all prayed so hard every day. We knew the time would come when the Lord would call him home, but we really liked having him here with us, and we held out hope he’d have a full recovery,” Calabrese added.

Cain, who tested positive for the virus earlier this month, was in a high-risk category due to his status as a stage 4 colon cancer survivor.


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Court Unseals Documents: Bill Clinton Alleged to Have Appeared on Epstein’s Island

By AWR Hawkins


Documents unsealed by court order Thursday reveal correspondence between Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, and also allege former President Bill Clinton was seen on the private island where Epstein was alleged to have taken underage girls.

Michael Cernovich tweeted excerpts from one of the documents, claiming, “Bill Clinton is implicated by name by one of Jeffrey Epstein’s victims as having been at Pedophile Island.”

Cernovich continued, “The media’s coverage (or non-coverage) of this will be worth observing.”

Techno Fog tweeted a section of the interview in which Clinton’s name was mentioned.

The Guardian reports that Epstein friend Ghislaine Maxwell was arrested July 2, 2020, and police “charged her for allegedly participating in Epstein’s sex trafficking.”

Unsealed documents contain a July 25, 2015, email from Epstein to Maxwell saying, “You have done nothing wrong and i woudl [sic] urge you to start acting like it. Go outside, head high, not as an esacping[sic] convict. go to parties. deal with it.”


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China rejects accusations of hacking attempt on US vaccine developer Moderna

By Susmita Pakrasi


China rejected on Friday charges that hackers linked to its government targeted biotech firm Moderna Inc, a leading U.S.-based coronavirus vaccine research developer, to steal data.

The accusations are baseless and without evidence, and China does not need to and does not engage in technology theft, foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin told a news briefing.


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Court Releases Documents on Ghislaine Maxwell's Dealings with Jeffrey Epstein

By Karen Freifeld


Documents about dealings between Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein were publicly released on Thursday by a U.S. court, where the British socialite faces criminal charges she aided the late financier's sexual abuse of girls.

Among the materials released were email correspondence between the pair in early 2015, including an email in which Epstein told Maxwell she had "done nothing wrong."

U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska had ordered the documents' release by Thursday, saying the public's right to see them outweighed Maxwell's interests in keeping them under seal.

However, two depositions remain under seal after Maxwell filed an emergency motion with the federal appeals court in Manhattan earlier on Thursday to keep them from becoming public.

That court has yet to rule, and the depositions will remain sealed until at least Monday.


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Hong Kong Teen Activist Tony Chung Bailed; Told to Remove Social Media Posts Within 72 Hrs

By Kelly Ho


The ex-convenor of pro-independence group Studentlocalism Tony Chung was released on bail without charge on Friday. However, police told the teen activist to remove social media posts under the Beijing-enacted national security law.

On Wednesday, the 19-year-old became the first political figure to be arrested on suspicion of inciting secession under the controversial legislation that also criminalises subversion, terrorist activities and collusion with foreign forces. Three other ex-members of Studentlocalism – aged 16 to 21 -were rounded up under the same alleged offence.

Speaking to reporters outside the Yuen Long police station where he was detained for 48 hours, Chung said he had to surrender his travel document and report to the police station every month.

The force also asked Chung to delete some social media posts within 72 hours. But the activist said the posts were made by a group founded by some former members of Studentlocalism and he had no connection to the posts in question.


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China-Backed Hackers 'Targeted COVID-19 Vaccine Firm Moderna'

By Christopher Bing


Chinese government-linked hackers targeted biotech company Moderna Inc, a U.S.-based coronavirus vaccine research developer, this year in a bid to steal data, according to a U.S. security official tracking Chinese hacking.

China on Friday rejected the accusation that hackers linked to it had targeted Moderna.

Last week, the U.S. Justice Department made public an indictment of two Chinese nationals accused of spying on the United States, including three unnamed U.S.-based targets involved in medical research to fight the novel coronavirus.

The indictment said the Chinese hackers “conducted reconnaissance” against the computer network of a Massachusetts biotech firm known to be working on a coronavirus vaccine in January.

Moderna, which is based in Massachusetts and announced its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in January, confirmed to Reuters that the company had been in contact with the FBI and was made aware of the suspected “information reconnaissance activities” by the hacking group mentioned in last week’s indictment.

Reconnaissance activities can include a range of actions, including probing public websites for vulnerabilities to scouting out important accounts after entering a network, cybersecurity experts say.


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Shocked Hong Kong in a New Era Under 'White Knuckle' China Grip

By James Pomfret


For 23 years Hong Kong was an anomaly.

A free and partially democratic city under Chinese rule, protected by a tradition of firm rule of law from the British colonial era, and a promise from Beijing of freedoms for its 7.5 million people that were unthinkable on the mainland.

On June 30, however, China imposed a harsh new paradigm on Hong Kong, marking an end to the liberal pledge, say government, political and diplomatic sources.

The national security legislation imposed by Beijing was a response to last year's protracted protests, that were preceded by years of smouldering discontent at what many Hong Kong people saw as China's creeping erosion of the city's freedoms.


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LinkedIn Spy Scandal Shines Spotlight on China’s Online Espionage

By Katrina Manson


"Foreign spies continue to aggressively use fake profiles on professional networking sites to target Americans who have access to government or commercial secrets,” said Bill Evanina, director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, the federal government body that leads US counter-intelligence efforts.

Spies are known to pose as headhunters or people with enticing career opportunities in order to connect with individuals viewed as potential sources who could be tapped for information, he explained, noting that thousands of people were targeted on networking websites traditionally used to brandish professional credentials or secure a new job.


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'China is Powerful Now': Beijing's Aggressive Global Stance Sparks Wave of Nationalism

By Lily Kuo


or days, the US consulate in the Chinese city of Chengdu was not just a site for curious onlookers but for residents eager to express pride in their country. Some waved the Chinese flag while others set off fireworks. In one video, a woman said she was “extremely happy” to see the consulate close. “We have kicked out one more hub for spies!” she said, smiling as she pointed at the building.

Residents noted how different the scene was to one in 1999, when thousands of Chinese protesters descended on the US embassy in Beijing, after the US bombed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade. Crying and pelting the building with eggs, stones, and any other objects they could find, demonstrators were angry at the US but also frustrated at how little their government could do to retaliate.


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Japan Falls 3% After Historic U.S. GDP Contraction China’s Factory Activity Beats Expectations

By Eustance Huang


Stocks in Asia Pacific were mixed on Friday following a record contraction in U.S. gross domestic in the second quarter.

Japanese stocks led losses among Asia’s major markets, with the Nikkei 225 down 2.82% to close at 21,710 as shares of conglomerate Softbank Group dropped 4.39% while the Topix index ending its trading day at 2.82% to 1,496.06. Shares in Australia also saw sizable losses with the S&P/ASX 200 falling 2.04% to close at 5,927.80.

Mainland Chinese stocks were higher on the day, with the Shanghai composite up 0.71% to about 3,310.01 while the Shenzhen component gained 1.27% to around 13,637.88.


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Trump never Raised Russia's Taliban Bounties with Putin

By Jonathan Swan


President Trump has never confronted Vladimir Putin with intelligence indicating Russia paid the Taliban to kill U.S. troops, he told “Axios on HBO” in an interview on Tuesday.

Pressed on why he didn’t raise the matter in Thursday’s call, he said: “That was a phone call to discuss other things, and frankly that’s an issue that many people said was fake news.”

Trump has spoken to Putin at least eight times since intelligence about the alleged Russian bounties was reportedly included in the President's Daily Brief — his written intelligence briefing — in late February.

Trump’s team says he was not verbally briefed on the matter before a June 26 report from the New York Times brought the controversy out into the open.


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Zuckerberg Was The Only Tech CEO To Unequivocally Say China Is Stealing American Technology

By Chris White


Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was the only tech executive at Wednesday’s antitrust hearing who unequivocally said China is stealing technology from American companies.

“I think it’s well documented that the Chinese government steals technology from American companies,” the 36-year-old Silicon Valley executive said after Rep. Greg Steube asked him if China is stealing from U.S. technology companies. The Florida Republican posed the same question to CEOs Tim Cook of Apple, Jeff Bezos of Amazon, and Sundar Pichai of Google.

Steube is one of lawmakers on the House Judiciary’s subcommittee on antitrust who grilled the tech executives about the size and scope of their Silicon Valley empires.

“I don’t know of specific cases where we have been stolen from by the government,” Cook said in response and when Steube asked him the same question. Bezos and Pichai provided similar answers, with the Apple CEO telling lawmakers that he has “no first-hand knowledge of any information stolen from Google.”

Apple admitted in 2017 to removing from its app store hundreds of virtual private network apps in China allowing users to avoid the country’s censors, CNBC reported in 2017. The company built a data center in 2018 in China to comply with Beijing’s cyber security laws, which give the country the ability to seize data on political dissidents, Reuters reported in 2018.


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Lawmakers Batter Big Tech CEOs, but Don’t Land many Blows

By Michael Liedtke


Congressional lawmakers finally got a chance Wednesday to grill the CEOs of Big Tech over their dominance and allegations of monopolistic practices that stifle competition. But it’s not clear how much they advanced their goal of bringing some of the world’s largest companies to heel.

Invective flew as legislators questioned Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Sundar Pichai of Google and Tim Cook of Apple at a hearing of the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust. For the last year, that panel has probed the business practices of the Silicon Valley giants with an eye to determining if they need to be regulated more heavily, or even broken up.


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Women Charged in Beating of Wisconsin State Senator

By The Associated Press


Prosecutors on Wednesday charged two women, including a high school social worker, with attacking a Wisconsin state senator during a chaotic night of violence outside the state Capitol last month.

Kerida O'Reilly, 33, and Samantha Hamer, 26, were each charged with one count of being a party to substantial battery, a felony punishable by up to $10,000 in fines and three-and-a-half years in prison, online court records show.


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Hurricane Hanna Imperiled a Privately Funded Border Wall in Texas

By Jonathan Swan


Intense rain over the weekend from Hurricane Hanna left gaping holes and waist-deep cracks on the banks of the Rio Grande that threaten the long-term stability of a privately funded border fence that is already the focus of lawsuits over its proximity to the river in South Texas.

The damage comes at the start of what is projected to be an active hurricane season, which runs through Nov. 30.

Engineering experts who reviewed photos of the jagged cracks caused by the weekend’s storms said the damage reinforces what many have long said: Building and maintaining a border fence so close to the river poses serious challenges.


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China Says UK Has Poisoned Relations, Some Want New Cold War

By Guy Faulconbridge


China blamed the United Kingdom on Thursday for deteriorating ties after Prime Minister Boris Johnson slapped a 5G ban on Huawei, accusing London of poisoning the relationship by meddling in Hong Kong’s affairs.

“These actions have seriously poisoned the atmosphere of China-UK relationship,” China’s ambassador to London Liu Xiaoming told reporters.


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Student Unions and NGOs Raise Alarm as Hong Kong Rounds Up Activists Under New Security Law

By Jennifer Creery


On Wednesday evening, police arrested four former members of the pro-independence group Studentlocalism on suspicion of inciting secession in the first major roundup of activists under the new national security law.

Officers from the newly-established National Security Department detained three males and one female, aged 16-21, including 19-year-old ex-convenor Tony Chung, ex-spokesperson Ho Nok-hang, as well as ex-members Yanni Ho and Chan Wai-jin, according to local media. All have been denied bail.

Thirteen local university student unions released a joint statement hours after the arrests, under the heading: “Hong Kong has fallen into the Era of White Terror.”

Students’ Unions of Higher Institutions hereby urge Hongkongers not to connive at the atrocities of the communist regime but to stand up against the oppression by any feasible means. To the tyrannical communist puppets, we warn that the world is watching. Any further crimes you commit will not go unseen.

It is crystal clear that more and more Hongkongers would have to endure the Communist terror. But as Samuel Beckett, an Irish poet, said, ‘I can’t go on. I will go on.’ Hongkongers shall uphold the ‘Be-Water’ spirit and continue to fight on in the darkest times. In the past year, Hongkongers have fought the battle against tyranny as if it was our last, revealing the Chinese communist regime’s true colour and unearthing its malignant nature. The free world has stood with Hongkongers against Communist aggression.


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Germany 'New Target for Chinese and Russian Interference'.

By Deborah Haynes


Germany has become a key target for Chinese and Russian interference and influence, putting Europe's largest economy on the "frontline of a new Cold War", a study has said.

Poor relations between US President Donald Trump and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have exacerbated Berlin's sense of exposure to potential dangers from Beijing and Moscow, according to the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) paper released on Wednesday.


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NASA Launches Rocket to Mars: All-American Historic Trip to Red Planet

By Penny Starr


The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will launch a rocket on Thursday morning to Mars on a mission that will include deploying a rover, a helicopter, and collecting samples that scientists hope may show signs of life on the red planet.

“I’m exceptionally excited about what we’re about to do because we’re going to launch Mars 2020 with the Perseverance robot,” NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said at Wednesday’s briefing at the agency’s Kennedy Space Center. “But there is so much more going on here. This is the first time in history where we’re going to Mars with an explicit mission to find life on another world — ancient life on Mars.”

“In 2026, we’re going to launch a mission from Earth to Mars to go pick up those samples and bring them back to Earth,” Bridenstine said. “For the first time in history, we’re doing a Mars sample return mission.”

“NASA Television and the agency’s website will provide live launch coverage tomorrow morning, starting at 7,” the NASA website said of the launch. “Stay tuned as the mission eclipses multiple milestones — including stage separation, main engine cutoff, and spacecraft separation — or follow along at blogs.nasa.gov/Mars2020.”


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Escape to North Korea: Defector at Heart of COVID-19 Case Fled Sex Abuse Investigation

By Hyonhee Shin


Last week, a 24-year-old defector returned to North Korea the way he left in 2017, authorities say, but with a coronavirus pandemic raging in the background this time, his illicit trip drew far more attention.

South Korea has identified the man only by his surname, Kim, and said he was the “runaway” who North Korea accuses of illegally crossing their shared border last week with symptoms of COVID-19.

Facing a sexual assault investigation, Kim evaded high-tech South Korean border control systems by crawling through a drain pipe and swimming across the Han River to the North on July 19, the South Korean military has said. He appears to have spent several days there before being caught.

South Korean military chief Park Han-ki told parliament on Tuesday that Kim, who is 163 cm (5.35 ft) tall and weighs 54 kg (119 lb), cut his way through barbed wire fences installed at the end of the pipe leading to the river.

A Seoul official told Reuters that Kim is believed to have taken a similar path when he defected to the South in 2017, and authorities say he scoped out the area earlier in July, apparently in preparation.

Kim’s story as a defector begins and, so far, ends in the city of Kaesong, a North Korean border town that hosted a now-shuttered inter-Korean factory park and liaison office.


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Man who killed Texas protester Garrett Foster released, claims self defense

By Lee Brown

The driver who shot dead Texas Black Lives Matter protester Garrett Foster was released within 24 hours — claiming he was defending himself after being threatened with an AK-47-style rifle, according to cops.


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MASSIVE 5 alarm inferno in San Francisco, multiple buildings on fire (raw)…

By Citizen Free Press

Friend sent me this insane drive-by video of the San Francisco fire happening near Folsom and 13th street. pic.twitter.com/jCW3WzndjJ

— Collin (@cjflog) July 28, 2020


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Indiana to Chicago Gun Pipeline Leads to Arrest of Recent Illinois Parolee

By Chuck Goudie


The recent arrest of an Illinois parolee has helped expose continued activity on an Indiana-to-Chicago gun pipeline.

Federal gun agents suspect a large portion of the arsenals behind Chicago's street gang shooting war have come from Indiana as state-line gun-runners bring back illegal pistols and rifles for eager buyers.

Now, investigators say they have one such gun runner and some of his guns in their custody.

The interstate connecting Illinois to Indiana has become a gun-runner's alley in recent years according to federal law enforcement officials and the Chicago Police Department.

Benjamin Cortez-Gomez is in the federal lock-up after authorities say he was caught in the middle of a gun deal with a confidential ATF informant while allegedly setting up a gun purchase for a friend.


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Indiana Woman Receives Package of Mysterious Seeds

By Troy Washington


Strange packets in the mail. There's a warning across the nation about mystery shipments of seeds from China.

Experts are advising people not to plant them.

"Oh my gosh, I received some of those packets, let me see who I need to call," Tiffney Craig said. "Indiana wasn't on the list."

Craig thought nothing of it when an Amazon order she canceled still showed up last month.

"I have received two different packages of seeds,"


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Chief Deletes Racist Tweet Urging Texas Schools to Reopen Since 'Mostly Elderly, Hispanics are Dying

By Shawna M Reding


he chief economist for a Texas think tank is under fire for posting a racist, now-deleted tweet which said that, because the elderly and Hispanic population make up a large portion of the coronavirus deaths, those populations should be targeted and schools should reopen.

New data from the Texas Department of State Health Services show that Hispanics represent just over 47% of COVID-19 deaths in Texas, and Texans younger than 40 made up about 3% of total deaths.

After the release of that data, Vance Ginn, the chief economist at the Texas Public Policy Foundation think tank, posted a now-deleted tweet. According to the Texas Tribune, Ginn tweeted that, given the seven-day average of COVID-19 deaths peaked on July 14, "mostly elderly & Hispanics dying" and "very few kids die,"


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Trump Blames Protests as Cases Surge in Seattle, Portland

By Megan Sheets


President Donald Trump has once again decried 'anarchists and agitators' at anti-racism protests - this time blaming them for causing a surge in coronavirus cases in the Pacific Northwest.

'In the wake of the recent mass gatherings Americans have witnessed in the streets of Portland and Seattle, we are also tracking a significant rise in cases in both metropolitan areas because of what's been going on,' Trump said at a White House press briefing on Tuesday.

He went on to double down on his previous attacks on the protesters, who have been embroiled in escalating clashes with federal troops in the cities over the past few weeks.


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Kanye West Submits Paperwork to Appear on Missouri Ballot

By Spencer Neale


The presidential campaign of Kanye West is rolling on after the rapper-turned-political candidate submitted paperwork to appear on the Missouri general ballot.

West's campaign filed signatures with the Missouri State Board of Elections on Monday just before the 5 p.m. cutoff time, according to Maura Browning, a representative for Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft. Browning stressed that West will not appear on the ballot unless all 10,000 signatures required can be validated as legitimate.

West's whirlwind presidential bid was seen as a joke by many pundits, but he has so far delivered by filing to appear on the ballot in Oklahoma and his home state of Illinois. His outsider campaign has promoted a pro-life, pro-gun, pro-illegal immigrant message that pulls from the populist broader instincts of both major political parties.

The candidate also attempted to gain enough signatures to appear on the South Carolina ballot and appeared at an in-person rally to spur support, but he failed to get enough signatures to gain ballot access in the southern state.

West, who was an outspoken supporter of President Trump and has donned his "Make America Great Again" hat at various times throughout the past four years, is running an independent presidential campaign on a self-styled Birthday Party ticket. He has relied on social media and word of mouth to generate exposure and support for his campaign, which kicked off in early July.


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China says its South China Sea Policy Remains Unchanged

By China Daily


China has always strictly implemented international laws including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), and never expanded its claims of sovereignty, a spokesperson said on Tuesday.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said this at a press briefing in response to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s remarks over the South China Sea issue.

China’s South China Sea policy remains unchanged, and has been consistent and stable, Wang said, adding that China has always insisted on resolving territorial and maritime rights disputes with neighboring countries through negotiation in accordance with international law and historical facts.


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Five Eyes Alliance could Expand in Scope to Counteract China

By UK News


The Five Eyes intelligence alliance could be expanded to include Japan and broadened into a strategic economic relationship that pools key strategic reserves such as critical minerals and medical supplies, according to centre-right MPs working internationally to decouple the west from China.

The coronavirus crisis has revealed the west’s key strategic dependencies on China, and plans will be announced shortly under Five Eyes auspices for a major increase in production of rare and semi-rare metals from Australia, Canada, and America in order to reduce dependency on Chinese stocks.


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US Commander Affirms US Support for Japan on China Dispute

By Yuri Kageyama


The United States supports Japan’s protests over Chinese ships venturing into the economic waters near disputed East China Sea islands, the commander of the U.S. Forces in Japan said Wednesday.

“The United States is 100% absolutely steadfast in its commitment to help the government of Japan with the situation in Senkaku,” Lt. Gen. Kevin Schneider said of the group of islands, which are controlled by Japan.

China also claims the islands, which it calls Diaoyu.

“That’s 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There is no deviation in that regard,” Schneider told reporters.


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Trump Vs. Biden: Where They Stand on Health, Economy, More

By Associated Press


President Donald Trump and his Democratic challenger, Joe Biden, both promise sweeping progress over the next four years –- via starkly different paths.

Trump, like many fellow Republicans, holds out tax reductions and regulatory cuts as economic cure-alls and frames himself as a conservative champion in seemingly endless culture wars. But the president, still trying to fashion himself as an outsider, offers little detail about how he’d pull the levers of government in a second term.

Biden, for his part, sounds every bit the Democratic standard-bearer as he frames the federal government as the collective force to combat the coronavirus, rebuild the economy and address centuries of institutional racism and systemic inequalities. A veteran of national politics, Biden also loves framing his deal-making past as proof he can do it again from the Oval Office.


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Donald Trump Jr Has Been Suspended From Twitter For Posting Coronavirus Disinformation

By Chris York


Donald Trump Jr has been suspended from Twitter for posting “misleading and potentially harmful information” about coronavirus from a doctor who also believes that cysts are caused by having sex dreams about demons.

The president’s son shared a video of Dr Stella Immanuel in which she called hydroxychloroquine a “cure” for coronavirus, even though the anti-malaria drug has not been found to be an effective Covid-19 treatment.

President Trump retweeted his son’s post, but that has since been removed from his Twitter timeline.


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I'm Going to Answer the Damn Question': Barr, House Democrats Face Off Over Portland, Politicization

By Kristine Phillips


Attorney General William Barr called riots in Portland, Oregon, "an assault on the government of the United States," countering Democratic lawmakers who have characterized federal officers' actions against protesters as unconstitutional, politically charged fearmongering.

In his first testimony before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, Barr offered an unmitigated defense of the deployment of federal officers to Portland, where he said "a mob" hijacked legitimate demonstrations against police brutality.


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China Hackers Infiltrated Vatican Ahead of Expected Talks

By Associated Press


A cybersecurity firm has concluded that Chinese hackers penetrated the Vatican’s computer networks in recent months during the lead-up to negotiations between the Catholic Church and Beijing.

The attack, reported Tuesday by the Massachusetts-based firm Recorded Future, comes as the Chinese government works to strengthen its control over religious groups in the country. It also comes before September negotiations regarding control over the appointment of bishops and the status of churches in China.

The infiltration targeted the Vatican and the Holy See’s Study Mission to China, a group of informal Vatican diplomats based in Hong Kong who have been negotiating the Church’s status in China, and began in early May.


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U.S. Small Businesses Face Mass Closures Without More Pandemic Aid

By Ann Saphir


After surviving two strokes at age 27, Olivia Colt threw herself into starting a catering business, a lifelong dream. Ten years and another stroke later, she had built Salt & Honey Catering Plus Events into a thriving operation in downtown Oakland.

Now with the coronavirus pandemic forcing cancellations of her customers’ weddings and events, she has slashed her staff from 25 to six and tried to drum up new business by selling groceries online. She secured a $100,000 forgivable loan under the U.S. Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and another $150,000 loan under a federal program usually used for natural disasters. She expected the money to get her through just a few months of hardship.

But the hardships are dragging on.

“I’ve applied for all the grants and loans, I have maxed out my credit card, used my company’s reserves, spent my savings,” she said.

Colt now fears she may have to shutter her business permanently. Many small businesses nationwide are reaching similar breaking points in an economy with the highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression. Small firms have survived the pandemic so far with a mix of government aid, forbearance on debt and rent and creativity in selling to an increasingly homebound and financially distressed populace.


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Trump Ally Who Skipped Mask Tests Positive For Coronavirus

By Associated Press


A Republican lawmaker who made a habit of walking around Congress without a mask tested positive for the novel coronavirus Wednesday as he prepared to leave for his native Texas with President Donald Trump.

Louie Gohmert announced his diagnosis a day after attending a major hearing featuring testimony from Attorney General Bill Barr, with whom he was seen walking and chatting at a close distance while neither wore a mask.

The news angered House Democrats and prompted Speaker Nancy Pelosi to order the wearing of masks on the chamber floor – with punishment of removal for anyone disobeying.


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Hong Kong Security Law: Four Students Arrested for 'Inciting Secession'

By Associated Press


The four were detained for "inciting secession" on social media after the new law began on 1 July, police said.

A pro-independence group said those arrested included its former leader, Tony Chung.

Beijing's controversial new law criminalises subversion, secession and collusion with foreign forces.

Previous arrests under the new law have been made for slogans and banners at protests.


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Sen. Tom Cotton Launches Bill Banning Federal Funds for Teaching America Founded on Slavery

By Dr. Susan Berry


Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) introduced a bill Thursday that would ban federal funds for teaching the New York Times’s revisionist “1619 Project,” which claims America was founded on slavery.

The Saving American History Act of 2020 asserts America was founded on July 4, 1776, when its fundamental principles were set forth in the Declaration of Independence. The bill continues:

An activist movement is now gaining momentum to deny or obfuscate this history by claiming that America was not founded on the ideals of the Declaration but rather on slavery and oppression.

This distortion of American history is being taught to children in public school classrooms via the New York Times’ “1619 Project,” which claims that ‘‘nearly everything that has truly made America exceptional’’ grew “out of slavery.”

“The New York Times’s 1619 Project is a racially divisive, revisionist account of history that denies the noble principles of freedom and equality on which our nation was founded,” said Cotton in a press statement. “Not a single cent of federal funding should go to indoctrinate young Americans with this left-wing garbage.”

The senator’s office notes that, while the 1619 Project has received widespread criticism, some schools, including those in Chicago, Newark, NJ; Buffalo, NY; and Washington, DC, have already incorporated the project into their curricula.

The principal author of the 1619 Project is Times writer Nikole Hannah-Jones, who wrote in June, “If true justice and equality are ever to be achieved in the United States, the country must finally take seriously what it owes black Americans.”

In her “project,” Hannah-Jones has attempted to revise American history by changing its start from 1776 to 1619, the year the first slaves arrived in what was then the colonies. In her mind, therefore, anything that happened in America after that date relates to slavery.


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India Gets New Jets Amid Border Tension with China

By Associated Press


The aircraft are part of India's deal with France in 2016 to buy 36 warplanes.

Delhi is hoping to modernise its dwindling Soviet-era air force fleet with the induction of Rafale multi-role jets.

But experts warn that these aircraft cannot be used right away in case of a conflict.

Air Marshal (retd) Pranab Kumar Barbora, who oversaw the induction of the Jaguar aircraft fleet, told the BBC that the arrival of the Rafale was a welcome move because "it will significantly enhance the air force's capability".

"But it will take a while before these aircraft are fully operational. You have to set up a logistics chain, train technical and ground staff in India," he said.

He added that it usually takes up to two years before a new squadron is fully functional. The Rafale squadron will be fully operational when it has at least 18 aircraft.


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China Tried To Steal Vaccine Research From US University

By Associated Press


Amid worsening ties between US and China, the University of Texas, whose work has contributed to some promising COVID-19 vaccine candidates has been contacted by FBI over allegations that Chinese consulate in Houston had sought to obtain such research, reported South China Morning Post.

The US recently ordered China to close its Consulate General in Houston over allegations of espionage. China retaliated by ordering the US to close its Consulate General in Chengdu.

The University of Texas, as per the report, told faculty and research staff in an email on Monday that it was notified of the investigation by the FBI last week.


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Threat from Chinese Communist Party Very Real, Pompeo Asserting Trump Admin Taking 'Right Action

By Associated Press


The threat from the Communist Party of China is very real, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday asserting that the Trump administration has begun to take all the "right actions" to rebalance the relationship with Beijing in a way that protects and secures freedom for Americans.

Pompeo also expressed hoped that the Chinese will decide that their commitments under the Phase one trade deal must be complied with. "Will wait and see if they come through with their obligations there," he noted.

"From America's national security perspective, the threat the President (Donald Trump) identified when he campaigned back in 2015 from the Chinese Communist Party is very real.


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India and China Race to Build Along a Disputed Frontier

By Pratik Jakhar


India and China are trying to out-build each other along their disputed Himalayan border.

A new road to a high-altitude Indian forward air base is said to have been one of the main triggers for a clash with Chinese troops last month that left at least 20 Indian soldiers dead.

The 255km (140-mile) Darbuk-Shyok-Daulat Beg Oldi (DSDBO) road - which winds through mountain passes up to the world's highest airstrip more than 5,000m above sea level in the Ladakh region - was finished last year after nearly two decades of work. Its completion could increase India's ability to move men and materiel rapidly in a conflict.

The 15 June clash, in Ladakh's Galwan Valley, gave rise to concerns that tensions between the two nuclear powers could boil over. They have never agreed on the exact position of their 3,500km border, and their armies - two of the world's largest - come face-to-face at many points along the rough, inhospitable terrain.


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NYPD Refuses To Release 1996 Complaint Filed Against Ghislaine Maxwell

By Mary Margaret Olohan


The New York Police Department will not release a 1996 complaint filed against convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s cohort Ghislaine Maxwell.

The NYPD denied the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for the complaint, filed under New York’s Freedom of Information Law, saying “such information, if disclosed, would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.”

Painter Maria Farmer said in a August 2019 interview with The New York Times that she told the FBI and the NYPD in 1996 that Epstein and Maxwell had sexually molested both her and her sister. She also said that after she fled from Epstein’s home, Maxwell called her and threatened to destroy Farmer’s artwork.

Farmer claimed the NYPD referred her to the FBI regarding her allegations of assault but took a report on Maxwell’s alleged threats. According to NYPD spokeswoman Sergeant Mary Frances O’Donnell, Farmer’s complaint was filed for aggravated harassment and not for assault.

The complaint contained the following information, according to O’Donnell: “On Thursday, July 11, 1996, the victim stated the perp called her and threatened to burn her paintings and send her polaroids of the burnt paintings.”

The NYPD has not responded to many requests for comment from the DCNF repeatedly as to whether the NYPD took any action on Farmer’s complaint. Farmer did not respond to requests for comment.


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Vatican Computers Hacked in Chinese Espionage Effort, Cybersecurity Firm Says

By Spencer Neale


Hackers working for the Chinese Communist Party allegedly accessed the private computing network of the Vatican for several months ahead of a September meeting to discuss the appointment of bishops in the Asian country.

Analysts with Recorded Future, a Massachusetts-based cybersecurity company, said they had detected an attack on Vatican computers in which Chinese infiltrators accessed communications between high-ranking officials in the church, who openly discussed upcoming negotiations pertaining to the pope's role in confirming bishops to the heads of Chinese churches, the New York Times reported Tuesday.

According to a Recorded Future report set for release on Wednesday, the espionage tactics began in early May. The firm outlined how one electronic file was masked in such a way that it appeared as if it was sent from the Vatican to Monsignor Javier Corona Herrera, the head chaplain of the Holy See’s Study Mission in Hong Kong.

Malware attached to the message allowed hackers to gain access to the Holy See’s Study Mission servers and private servers at the Vatican. Recorded Future analysts suggested the intrusion was performed by a CCP-backed group they named RedDelta.


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University of Florida Students Say Founding Fathers Are 'Villains' Rather Than 'Heroes

By Anthony Leonardi


Colleges students in Florida believe the Founding Fathers did more evil than good.

In a video released by Campus Reform on Friday, digital reporter Eduardo Neret asked students if they perceive the founders as heroes or villains, to which most said the latter because of their acceptance of slavery.

"Do you think the Founding Fathers were more villains or heroes?" Neret asked.

"They were kind of like the foundation of this country, I guess, and like getting everything started. But like, most of them were racists, so, like they owned slaves and stuff like that," one female student said.

"I would say yes and no," a shirtless male student said. "I think it's new times now, so we now have to make up new things. So I would say villains, yeah."

"I would say more on the villain side, just because they were the Founding Fathers. And they pretty much created the foundation for America, which is one of the biggest reasons we have all these problems today and why they haven't gone away," a student wearing a blue mask said.


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Election Interference: Google Purges Breitbart from Search Results

By Allum Bokhari


A few days after the 2016 election, at an internal meeting later leaked to Breitbart News, top Google executives, including Sundar Pichai, Sergey Brin, and Kent Walker, lamented President Trump’s victory, comparing Trump voters to “extremists” and discussing their desire to make Trump’s election and the populist movement a “blip” in history.

True to their word, four years later, Google is deliberately working to interfere with the reelection of Trump in 2020.

There are several ways in which Google is interfering in the 2020 election, but this article will focus primarily on one of them: political search bias.

Google Has Been Purging Breitbart Content from Search Results Since the 2016 Election

Search visibility is a key industry measure of how findable a publisher’s content is in Google search. New data shows that Google has suppressed Breitbart’s search visibility by 99.7 percent since 2016.

On April 4, 2016, Breitbart ranked in the top ten search positions (i.e., on the first page of Google search results) for 355 key search terms; but now, as of July 20, 2020, Breitbart ranks in the top ten search positions for only one search term. And, on April 4, 2016, Breitbart ranked in the top 100 search positions for 16,820 key search terms; but now, as of July 20, 2020, Breitbart ranks in the top ten search positions for only 55 search terms.

Moreover, organic Google search traffic to Breitbart (measured by unique visitors) is down 63 percent when comparing the first half of 2016 with the first half of 2020.

The following chart shows the visibility of Breitbart content in the Google search engine since 2011. It shows that Google has nearly eliminated Breitbart content from its search results.


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One Dead After Shooting at Black Lives Matter Protest in Texas

By Simon Kent


One person was killed after shots were fired Saturday night at a Black Lives Matter protest in Austin, Texas, local police said.

Dramatic footage uploaded to a Facebook Live feed showed the moment when shots split the night air in the Texas capital as some 100 protesters marched and chanted, “Fists up! Fight back!”

Austin police confirmed on their Twitter feed reports of a shooting just after 10 p.m. in the area of Congress and 4th Street in downtown. Soon after they said they were starting homicide investigations.

Police did not immediately link the shooting with the events in the live stream.

Initial reports indicate the suspect was carrying a rifle and shot at the victim, who was in his car, police told a briefing. The suspect has been detained, they said.

A witness at the scene named Julian told KUT’s Mose Buchele the vehicle almost came into contact with a group or protesters before the shooting started.


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Media Downplays Ongoing Violence In Portland, Claims ‘Right-Wing’ Outlets Are Playing Up The Unrest

By Shelby Talcott


The Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse and federal officers continue to be targeted night after night in Portland, but some in the media are downplaying the violence.

Protests and riots in Portland are nearing 60 consecutive days. During that time, the courthouse and officers guarding it have repeatedly been subjected to violent acts by rioters, as Daily Caller reporters on the ground have reported. Despite this, many in the media have downplayed the violence, with CNN’s Brian Stelter claiming that it’s simply the “right-wing media” playing “up Portland protest ‘violence.'”

“Right-wing media ramped up its coverage of scattered unrest in Portland, Oregon last week at roughly the same time that federal officers descended on the downtown area,” Stelter wrote on July 20. ” [Fox News’ Sean] Hannity and other Fox hosts evidently decided that a small group of self-described anarchists suddenly deserved national news coverage.”

Stelter continued on to point to “local reporters” who appeared to tell the network that the blame for escalating violence was due to federal officers being deployed to guard the courthouse.

“Some local reporters, who have been hard at work covering Portland demonstrations since they first began, tell us there was a noticeable shift in protests after Trump sent in the Feds,” CNN correspondent Josh Campbell tweeted. “Protestors want the federal cavalry out now.”


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China Seizes U.S. Consulate in Chengdu, Retaliating for Houston

By Martin Quin Pollard


China took over the premises of the U.S. consulate in the southwestern city of Chengdu on Monday, after ordering the facility to be vacated in retaliation for China’s ouster last week from its consulate in Houston, Texas.

The seizure capped a dramatic escalation in tensions between the world’s two biggest economies that began when employees at China’s Houston consulate were seen burning documents in a courtyard last Tuesday, hours before Beijing announced that it had been ordered to leave the facility.

The U.S. consulate in Chengdu, in Sichuan province, was closed as of 10 a.m (0200) on Monday, and Chinese authorities had entered the building from the front door, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

On Friday, Beijing announced that it had asked the United States to close its Chengdu post, and gave the Americans 72 hours to vacate, the same amount of time China was given to leave its Houston mission, which was shut on Friday.

“We are disappointed by the Chinese Communist Party’s decision and will strive to continue our outreach to the people in this important region through our other posts in China,” a U.S. State Department spokesperson said in an email to Reuters.

At midday on Monday, police removed a roadblock that had restricted access to the Chengdu facility, and dozens of passersby stopped to take photos and videos.

One man stood across the street and played the Chinese national anthem from his phone.


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Mystery Seeds from China are landing in Americans' Mail Boxes

By Associated Press


The USDA and agriculture officials in multiple states have issued warnings about unsolicited shipments of foreign seeds and advised people not to plant them.

"USDA is aware that people across the country have received suspicious, unsolicited packages of seed that appear to be coming from China," the USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) said in a statement Tuesday.

It said it is working closely with federal and state partners, including Customs and Border Protection, to investigate.


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hinese Netizens Suggest The Closed US Chengdu Consulate Be Transformed For These Purposes

By Ananya Varma


Shortly after China shut down the US consulate in Chengdu, debates are already up in the Communist country on what can be built in its place. Editor of the Chinese Communist Party's mouthpiece Global Times Hu Xijin took the opportunity to hit out at the US and President Trump in a rather nasty tweet saying that netizens were already planning a hot-pot restaurant, a Huawei flagship store or an exhibition of 'Chuanjianguo’s' good deeds, in place of the US consulate.

It is important to mention that 'Chuanjianguo' is a nickname given to President Trump by Chinese netizens. 'Chuan' holds a similar pronunciation to Trump's name in Mandarin while 'Jianguo' is a phrase traditionally used by the Chinese for the boomer generation born in the 1950s-60s that worked towards nation-building.


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May not have the Proper Equipment:’ 100+ Police Departments Won’t be Responding to DNC

By Jason Calvi


More than 100 police departments originally planning to help with security at the Democratic National Convention say they’re out. Officials with West Allis and Franklin said Tuesday, July 28 they’re worried because Milwaukee’s police oversight board is trying to limit the use of tear gas, with the DNC set to begin Aug. 17.

FOX6’s cameras captured a fence up and tents and heavy equipment unloaded at the Wisconsin Center Tuesday amid more questions about protesters and security.

With violence erupting in Portland, will we see the same thing outside the DNC?


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Trump to Extend Current DACA Protections, Reject New Applications after Supreme Court Knockdown

By John Fritze


President Donald Trump's administration will continue to reject new applications for an immigration program that allows young, undocumented immigrants to live and work in the country but will let current "Dreamers" renew those protections.

The decision, announced in a Department of Homeland Security memo, comes a month after a divided Supreme Court blocked the White House from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, finding the administration was "arbitrary and capricious" in how it sought to wind down the Obama-era program.


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NYPD says 303 Police Vehicles Damaged Since George Floyd’s Death, Costing Department $1m

By James Crump


The New York City Police Department (NYPD) has announced that 303 of its vehicles have been damaged since the death of George Floyd on 25 May.

On Monday, the department announced that the cost of the damage to police vehicles totalled nearly $1m, (£773,835), according to the Associated Press.

The department claims that of the 303 vehicles, 14 have been written off due to fire damage, seven are still being repaired and the rest are back in use.


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Iran Holds Annual Gulf Drill Amid Rising Tensions With U.S.

By Parisa Hafezi


Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards launched a military drill in the Gulf on Tuesday, Iranian state television reported, at a time of high tension between Tehran and Washington.

The U.S. military said the drill had caused two bases with American troops in the region to go on heightened alert and said Tehran's missile launches were irresponsible.

There have been periodic confrontations in the Gulf in recent years between the Guards and the U.S. military, which has accused the Guards' navy of sending fast-attack boats to harass U.S. warships as they pass the Strait of Hormuz.

Tehran, which opposes the presence of U.S. and Western navies in the Gulf, holds annual naval war games in phases in the strategic waterway, the conduit for some 30% of all crude and other oil liquids traded by sea.


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"China Under Xi Has Become Bullish," Says Ex-US Envoy Nikki Haley

By Associated Press


China under President Xi Jinping has become more aggressive and bullish, former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Tuesday, asserting that such a behavior is unlikely to last long.

Indian-American Nikki Haley, in an interview to Fox News, said the Chinese were quiet and strategic during her tenure at the UN. They moved and made sure that they were trying to get positions in certain areas, and trying to get things done behind closed doors, she said.


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Japan’s Air force Faces a ‘Relentless’ Burden, Imposed by China



More than twice a day, Japanese fighter pilots hear a siren blare, bolt up from their ready-room seats, run to their jets, and scream aloft, able to intercept a probably unidentified incursion into Japanese airspace.

It occurred to Japan’s Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) 947 instances within the final fiscal 12 months ending in March. The offender in most of these circumstances, warplanes from China’s People’s Liberation Army Air Force (PLAAF).

And Shirota says the variety of potential incursions is rising.

“The number of scrambles against airspace violations has been increasing rapidly over the past decade — especially in the southwest air zone,” stated Shirota in an unique interview with CNN. “About 70% of the scrambles done by Japan’s SDF annually are conducted in this area.”


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China Halts Hong Kong Extradition Treaties with Canada, Australia and UK

By Lily Kuo


China has suspended Hong Kong’s extradition treaties with Canada, Australia, and the UK, in a tit-for-tat move after similar decisions by those countries over its controversial new security law.

On Tuesday, China’s ministry of foreign affairs said Hong Kong was suspending criminal assistance agreements, including extradition, accusing those countries of “politicising judicial cooperation”. Canada, Australia and the UK cancelled extradition agreements with the semi-autonomous territory after Beijing imposed a sweeping national security law that critics fear will be used against government critics.


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Firearm Ownership Surging Among Black Americans amid Nationwide Run on Firearms

By AWR Hawkins


Gun ownership is surging among black Americans as stores across the country report that the run on guns and ammunition is continuing.

Politico reports that black Americans have been arming themselves “since the beginning of the pandemic.”

National African American Gun Owners’ Association (NAAGA) president Philip Smith has seen as many as 2,000 new members a day since coronavirus warnings and shutdowns began impacting the country earlier this year. That rush in membership only continued following the May 25, 2020, death of George Floyd.

Smith intimated that the very onset of the coronavirus made some black Americans give gun ownership serious thought for the first time: “If you have a half a brain in your head even saying, ‘Oh, this might get serious, let me plan accordingly.'”

His group “has grown to more than 30,000 members” this year and has nearly 90,000 online followers.

On June 11, 2020, PRNewswire reported that “90% of NAAGA’s members are African American, more than half of them women, and over 1,000 are law enforcement and military.”

Black Gun Owners Association’s Derrick Morgan also explained the increase in black American gun ownership by presenting through a prism of coronavirus fears, but he also pointed to police response times.

Morgan said, “A lot of people are reaching out to us, mainly new gun owners and people who wouldn’t have considered owning a gun or firearm for their protection, have been lining up to purchase firearms and access information from our website.”


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Here Are The Major Cities Hit With Violent Protests And Riots Over The Weekend

By Mary Rose Corkery


Several major cities, including Portland, experienced chaos this weekend as demonstrators clashed with law enforcement and protests turned violent.

Demonstrations in Seattle, Richmond, Austin, New York, Denver and Oakland also turned violent amid widespread protests against police brutality and systematic racism.

Protesters have pushed for police reform for more than two months following the death of George Floyd. Floyd, a black man, died in police custody after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes, video of the incident shows.


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Barr to Condemn Rioting at much-Anticipated House Hearing

By Eric Tucker


Attorney General William Barr is defending the aggressive federal law enforcement response to civil unrest in America, saying “violent rioters and anarchists have hijacked legitimate protests” sparked by George Floyd’s death at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Barr will tell members of the House Judiciary Committee at a much-anticipated hearing on Tuesday that the violence taking place in Portland, Oregon, and other cities is disconnected from the death of Floyd, which he described as a “horrible” event that prompted a necessary national reckoning on the relationship between the Black community and law enforcement.

“Largely absent from these scenes of destruction are even superficial attempts by the rioters to connect their actions to George Floyd’s death or any legitimate call for reform,” Barr will say of the Portland protests, according to a copy of his prepared remarks released by the Justice Department on Monday.


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Democrats Start to Worry Support for Portland Riots Will Help Trump

By Joel B. Pollak


The first signs of worry emerged early Monday as some opponents of Trump, surveying the damage after a weekend of nationwide riots, began to worry openly if supporting “peaceful protests” in Portland, Oregon, would hurt Democrats.

Led by former Vice President Joe Biden, Democrats have insisted that the riots targeting a federal courthouse and federal law enforcement officers in Portland are actually “peaceful.” They have been supported by media that downplays violence committed by the “protesters” and highlights anything the officers do to defend themselves or to disperse the crowd. The Democrats have also demonized federal law enforcement for merely doing what local authorities have refused to do.

Last week, Biden accused federal law enforcement of “brutally attacking peaceful protesters” in Portland. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) called the officers “stormtroopers” and Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) called them “Gestapo.” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that the demonstrators “represent the best of our democratic ideals.”

But after a weekend of violence across the nation in “solidarity” with Portland, some Democrats are thinking twice.


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China Hawks See Echoes of Mao's Cultural Revolution in American Protests

By Rob Crilly


America faces its own “year zero” and cultural revolution if protesters gain the upper hand in seizing cities and toppling statues, according to conservative leaders meeting to highlight the threat posed by China.

Administration officials, senators, and advisers to Donald Trump gathered at the Trump International Hotel on Monday against a backdrop of violent protests across the country and deep tensions between the United States and China.

Trump’s former chief strategist Steve Bannon said it was time for an “awakening” of the American people while a string of speakers put China’s Communist Party at the center of economic, national security, and cultural threats.

Sen. Marsha Blackburn, who last week published a white paper on overhauling the relationship, said: “The same Marxist philosophy used by the Chinese Communist Party is filling the streets of Portland, Chicago, and even a few blocks away from right where we are right now here in Washington, D.C."

“Now, these rioters claim they're fighting for criminal justice reform, but consider the tactics, you can trace all of it — destruction of cultural symbols to the devaluing of the nuclear family and the complete rejection of history — to Marx.”


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AP Reporter Embedded With Federal Police In Portland Recounts ‘Eye Opening Experience’

By Jake Dima


An Associated Press (AP) reporter watched several U.S. Marshal agents sustain wounds as thousands sparred with police during the journalist’s stay at a federal courthouse over the weekend.

An estimated 4,000 people converged on Portland’s Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse, and demonstrators made their presence known by hurling concrete and launching fireworks from behind the massive fence that stood between them and federal agents, according to an AP report.

AP reporter Mike Balsamo was inside the building during the siege and watched a total of six agents sustain injuries, including one who was bloodied after taking a direct hit from a firework, he reported.

“We wanted to show you a look inside the protests from both perspectives — out in the crowd with protesters and inside the courthouse with federal officers,” Balsamo wrote on Twitter Monday. “It was a really eye opening experience to see it firsthand. I was inside the courthouse & @gflaccus was outside the fence.”

Protests often began peacefully, but frequently devolved into violence when demonstrators made a nightly march to the federal courthouse, according to Balsamo. Officers defending the area continued to fear for their lives.

“It’s scary. You open those doors out, when the crowd is shaking the fence, and … on the other side of that fence are people that want to kill you because of the job we chose to do and what we represent,” a Deputy U.S. Marshal, who requested anonymity because protesters reportedly posted his personal information online, told AP.


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China Halts Hong Kong Extradition Treaties with Canada, Australia, UK

China announced the suspension Tuesday of Hong Kong’s extradition treaties with Canada, Australia and Britain, a tit-for-tat move following similar decisions by those countries over a controversial new security law.

Canada, Britain and Australia are part of the “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance. The other members are New Zealand, which suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong earlier on Tuesday, and the United States, which has signalled it is preparing to do the same.

“The wrong action of Canada, Australia and the UK in politicising judicial cooperation with Hong Kong has seriously hurt the basis of judicial cooperation,” said foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin at a regular press briefing.

“China has decided to suspend extradition treaties between Hong Kong and Canada, Australia and UK, as well as criminal justice cooperation agreements.”


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Najib Razak: Former Malaysian PM Guilty on All Charges in Corruption Trial

By Associated Press


He had pleaded not guilty to the charges of criminal breach of trust, money laundering, and abuse of power.

The case against Najib, in office from 2009 to 2018, was widely seen as a test of Malaysia's anti-corruption efforts.

The scandal around Malaysia's 1MDB sovereign wealth fund has uncovered a global web of fraud and corruption.

Najib could now face decades in prison - but he is expected to remain out of prison until appeals are exhausted.

"After considering all evidence in this trial, I find that the prosecution has successfully proven its case beyond a reasonable doubt," judge Mohamad Nazlan Mohamad Ghazali told the Kuala Lumpur High Court.


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ABC News mocked for claiming 'peaceful demonstration intensified,' with courthouse set ablaze, polic

By Brian Flood

ABC News was mocked on Sunday for describing an California protest that featured demonstrators setting fire to a courthouse, vandalizing a police station and shooting fireworks at police officers, as “peaceful.”


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Kim Jong-un Exposed: North Korean Officials beg China for Vaccine as COVID-19 Fears Grow

By Manon Dark


The country’s elites are seeking to obtain a foreign COVID-19 vaccine amid beliefs it lacks faith in its own ability to create one.

A source in North Korea said: “A growing number of high-level officials and those from the entrepreneurial class have been offering dollars to those they know overseas to buy a foreign vaccine as soon as one is developed, irrespective of how much it costs.

“There is word that Chinese traders have been inundated with inquiries from Pyongyang and border regions about whether a vaccine has been developed.

“It appears these requests are based on the calculation that selling the vaccine will be profitable.”


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New Zealand Suspends Extradition Treaty with Hong Kong After China Passes National Security Law

By Associated Press


New Zealand has suspended its extradition treaty with Hong Kong and made a number of other changes in light of China's decision to pass a national security law for Hong Kong, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said on Tuesday (Jul 28).

"New Zealand can no longer trust that Hong Kong’s criminal justice system is sufficiently independent from China," Peters said in a statement.

"China's passage of its new national security legislation has eroded rule-of-law principles, undermined the 'one country, two systems' framework that underpins Hong Kong's unique status, and gone against commitments China made to the international community," Peters added.

"If China in future shows adherence to the ‘one country, two systems’ framework then we could reconsider this decision."


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Dickson Yeo: China 'not Aware' of Case, Says US Should Stop Using 'Espionage Issue' to Smear it

By Associated Press


China on Monday (Jul 27) said it was not aware of the case involving Singaporean Dickson Yeo and urged the United States to "stop using the so-called espionage issue to smear" the country.

Yeo pleaded guilty last week in the US to working for Chinese intelligence. The former National University of Singapore (NUS) PhD student said he was recruited by Chinese intelligence operatives in Beijing and helped to collect sensitive information about the US military and government.

When asked about the case at a regular press briefing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said that it was "open knowledge" that the US conducts espionage activities.


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South China Sea dispute: China in Live-Fire Drill as Tensions Escalate with Australia

By Aurora Bosotti


The South China Sea has been at the centre of a dispute between China and other Southeast Asia countries all claiming control of the region. The US has repeatedly intervened to maintain the peace and to ensure the free navigation of vessels through the sea but Beijing has been steadily pushing its boundaries to stake its claim.

But China has now sparked fears of further escalation after conducting a series of live-fair drill in the region, forcing Australia to scramble a group of frigates to the region amid growing tension.


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John Oliver Explains China's 'appalling' Treatment of Uighurs

By Adrian Horton


John Oliver returned to Last Week Tonight on Sunday with a segment demanding attention be paid to China’s persecution and forced detention of the Uighurs, a mostly Muslim ethnic minority from the country’s north-west Xinjiang region, over a million of whom have been detained by the Chinese government in re-education camps.

“If this is the first time that you’re hearing about an estimated million people who’ve been held in detention camps – mostly Uighurs but also Kazakhs and other ethnic minorities – you are not alone,” said Oliver. “And it’s probably because China has done its level best to keep this story from getting out.”


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Marlins Have 14 Positive Tests, Monday's Game Cancelled

By RealGM Wiretap

The Miami Marlins won't play their scheduled game against the Baltimore Orioles on Monday night. The game has been cancelled.


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Jerry Nadler Ambushed - ‘Antifa violence is a myth’

By Citizen Free Press

Fleccas finds Jerry Nadler somewhere in DC and asks a simple question — “There’s violence across the whole country, do you disavow the violence from Antifa that’s happening in Portland right now?”


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Ex-Navy Pilot: Chatter About UFO Sightings in Government Channels on the Rise

By Spencer Neale


Are there strange objects flying through the earth's atmosphere? According to one ex-Navy fighter pilot, the answer is yes.

In a follow-up to a New York Times report claiming the Pentagon will soon release never-before-seen documents pertaining to the possible existence of "off-world vehicles not made on this earth," retired naval aviator David Fravor talked to Fox News host Tucker Carlson on Friday evening about what he saw during a routine training mission in November 2004 off the coast of California.

"I never want to speculate what the government truly has, but I would say, there's stuff out there," Fravor said. "The four of us who chased the 'Tic Tac' in 2004 have attested to it multiple times that what we saw exceeded anything that we had in our inventory, far superior to the airplanes that we were flying in, at the time, they were brand new, so I'd say, yes there's something out there."

Fravor has dismissed the idea that foreign governments could be behind the flying objects that have been caught on video moving at incredible speeds and defying physics. The ex-pilot said on Friday he believes the "taboo" about discussing unidentified flying objects, or UFOs, is starting to disappear.


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Brooklyn man admits to stabbing, dismembering French wife in Mediterranean vacation home

By Danielle Wallace

An American man has been charged with murder after allegedly admitting to fatally stabbing and dismembering his French wife in their Mediterranean coastal vacation home before the couple was scheduled to return to Indonesia where they lived and worked.


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Recap: Weekend Rocked by BLM-related Violence; DHS Blasts Democrat Leaders

By Luis Miguel

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf on Sunday defended the federal government’s response to persistent rioting, vandalism, and violence in Portland, criticizing local leaders for continuing to refer to the instigators as “peaceful protesters.”


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Luck? Genetics? Italian island spared from COVID outbreak


GIGLIO ISLAND, Italy (AP) — Stranded on a tiny Italian island, a cancer researcher grew increasingly alarmed to hear that one, and then three more visitors had fallen ill with COVID-19.


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oogle to keep employees home until summer 2021 amid pandemic

By Reuters

Alphabet Inc's Google will keep its employees home until at least next July, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai made the decision himself last week after debate among an internal group of top executives that he chairs, according to the report.


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Video: All Hell Breaks Loose In Memphis… 400 Teens Destroy Putt Putt Center

By Citizen Free Press

A mini-golf complex got flooded with hundreds of kids after a mass parent drop-off, who then started wreaking havoc when they couldn’t get their money back … so say cops, anyway.

This went down Saturday night at the Putt-Putt Fun Center in Memphis, where police officers responded to call for service over reports of chaos breaking out after several different parents left upwards of 300 to 400 children at the facility, who began destroying the joint.


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Portland PD Declares Riot, Battles Rioters with Federal Officers After Courthouse Fence Is Torn Down

By Shelby Talcott


The Portland Police Department declared Saturday’s protest a riot after members of the crowd successfully tore down fencing in front of the federal courthouse.

Saturday evening began with two crowds – one stationed in front of the Mark O. Hatfield Federal Courthouse and another marching from Alberta Park. The two groups converged at the courthouse just after 11 p.m., with the Alberta Park group arriving as a standoff had already begun between protesters and federal officers.

Members of the crowd repeatedly launched fireworks over the fence where federal officers were stationed, according to Daily Caller reporters on the ground. In return, officers used crowd control munitions, including tear gas and pepper bullets.

The back-and-forth battle between crowd members and federal officers has been consistent each night, reporters on the ground said. The crowd has recently found more ways to combat officers, including chasing after tear gas canisters and tossing them back over the fence.

Earlier in the day, Craig Gabriel, assistant U.S. attorney for the District of Oregon, told reporters that officers would not engage with the protesters if the fence was left alone.

“If the protesters don’t seek to damage or destroy the fence, then the officers have no need to go outside the fence or leave federal property,” Gabriel told reporters during a press briefing Saturday afternoon.


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Protesters Set Fire to California Courthouse as 'Agitators' Launch 'Dangerous Projectiles' at Police

By Anthony Leonardi


A protest in California descended into chaos and vandalism, with some "agitators" setting fire to a courthouse.

Approximately 700 demonstrators assembled in Oakland, California, on Saturday night to protest against racism, but parts of the crowd separated from the main group to engage in criminal activity, vandalizing a police station, setting several fires to buildings, and launching fireworks at police officers.

"Fireworks and dangerous projectiles are some of the items agitators used to assault officers. We ask the organizers of tonight's demonstration to work with us, calling for peace and help us provide safe spaces and safe places for demonstrators," the Oakland Police Department said in a statement on Twitter.

"We ask organizers of tonight's protest to help maintain peace. Currently, some demonstrators in the area of 17th & Lakeside are breaking windows and chanting racial slurs at residents," another message said.

The Alameda County Superior Courthouse set ablaze was reportedly contained shortly after the fire was lit. Photos later released by the Oakland Police Department showed shattered glass from doors and paint on the walls of its station.


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Covid-19: Hong Kong Enacts 2-Person Limit on Group Gatherings

By Rachel Wong and Tom Grundy


Hong Kong is to enact a 2-person limit on group gatherings from Wednesday in response to the escalating Covid-19 outbreak.

Dining-in at restaurants will also be banned and mask-wearing will be compulsory in outdoor public places, Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung has said. The measures will expire on August 4.

Hong Kong is to enact a 2-person limit on group gatherings from Wednesday in response to the escalating Covid-19 outbreak.

Dining-in at restaurants will also be banned and mask-wearing will be compulsory in outdoor public places, Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung has said. The measures will expire on August 4.

Cheung said the government was responding to the severity of the pandemic: “We have thoroughly considered the Centre for Health Protection risk assessment and the government expert panel’s advice. We try to strike a balance between the three factors: public safety, the economy and citizens’ endurance. In view of the situation, we are proportionately imposing these measures.”

The Executive Council approved the measures on Monday as the city recorded two more coronavirus-related fatalities – a 76-year-old female and 92-year-old male at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei. The death toll now stands at 20 with 2,633 infections.


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Hurricane Douglas Closes in on Hawaii, Bringing 'Triple Threat of Hazards'

By Carlin Becker


Hawaii is bracing for the arrival of what is poised to become its third hurricane in modern history.

Hurricane Douglas brought rain and wind to the island nation while passing north of Maui on Sunday. With it, residents prepared for a "triple threat of hazards," including high winds, flooding rainfall, and high surf. As of mid-afternoon local time, a hurricane warning was in effect for parts of the state while a tropical storm warning was set for others.

According to the National Weather Service, the hurricane "will pass near, or over, the islands from Maui to Kauai" within hours. The storm is expected to weaken over the next 48 hours but maintains hurricane status after its maximum sustained winds were recorded around 85mph.

If the category 1 hurricane makes landfall, it would be just the third to pummel the island nation since the year 1900, as most storms tend to come close, but pass the state. Category 1 Hurricane Dot hit Hawaii in 1959, followed by category 4 Hurricane Iniki in 1992.

"It is fairly common for hurricanes to track towards Hawaii, but they usually dissipate or at least weaken considerably before impacting the islands," Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist at Colorado State University, told CNN.


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Couple Wears Swastika Masks in Minnesota Walmart

By Associated Press


A couple in Minnesota wore red face masks emblazoned with swastikas to a Walmart in a video posted on social media.

Police were called Saturday to the Walmart in Marshall, in the southwest part of the state, on a report that two shoppers were wearing the mask with the symbol used by the Nazi Party. Another shopper, Raphaela Mueller, who is a vicar of a southwest Minnesota parish, posted video on Facebook of the man and woman being confronted by others in the store, the Star Tribune reported.

“If you vote for (Democratic presidential candidate Joe) Biden, you’re going to be living in Nazi Germany, that's what it's going to be like,” the woman with the swastika mask said in the video as her husband loaded bags of groceries into a shopping cart.


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Armed activists Demand Justice in Louisville, Breonna Taylor's Hometown

By Associated Press


Hundreds of armed, predominantly Black activists demanded justice for Breonna Taylor during peaceful demonstrations on Saturday in her Kentucky hometown that drew counter-protesters from a white militia group.

Police closed streets and set up barricades to keep the two groups apart as tensions remained on edge in Louisville, where protests have flared for months over the death of Taylor, a Black woman killed when police busted into her apartment in March.

By the time Black activists dressed in black fatigues arrived in the heart of downtown Saturday afternoon, most of the white militia members had already left. Police in full riot geared looked on.

Earlier in the day, three people were accidentally shot at a park where Black activists had gathered, police said.


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President Donald Trump Tosses 'Make America Great Again' hats to NJ Crowd

By Ilana Keller


President Donald Trump may not be tossing out the first pitch at the New York Yankees game on Aug. 15, but he did get in some throwing practice on Sunday.

More:President Donald Trump won't throw out first pitch at Yankee Stadium on Aug. 15

As the president left Trump National Golf Club Bedminster after a weekend visit, he stepped out of a black SUV and threw a handful of his signature red baseball caps to a small crowd of supporters gathered outside, as seen in photos captured by the Associated Press and Getty Images.


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Stanley Kurtz Sheds Light on Trump's Latest 'Tremendous Accomplishment,'

By Yael Halon


Stanley Kurtz, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, spoke to Fox News about what he called a "tremendous accomplishment" of the Trump administration, one that the mainstream media apparently failed to notice.

In an interview on "Life Liberty & Levin" that aired Sunday, Kurtz shed light on the "Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule," (AFFH) a law added by former President Barack Obama to the 1968 Fair Housing Act, which the conservative scholar said has aimed to expand federal influence over suburbia.


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Body of John Lewis Makes Final Journey over Selma Bridge

By Associated Press


The late United States Representative John Lewis crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, for the final time on Sunday as remembrances continue for the civil rights legend.

A crowd began gathering near the bridge that became a landmark in the fight for racial justice when Lewis and other civil rights marchers were beaten there 55 years ago on "Bloody Sunday," a key event in the fight for voting rights for Black Americans.


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Tropical Storm Hanna, Hurricane Douglas Threaten Parts of U.S.

By Jennifer Calfas


Two powerful storms on Sunday were bearing down on parts of the U.S. that were already contending with increases in new coronavirus cases.

Heavy rainfall and life-threatening flash floods drenched southern Texas and northern Mexico Sunday as the weakening Tropical Storm Hanna moved inland. Meanwhile Hawaii prepared for Hurricane Douglas to make landfall.


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Asia Stocks Mostly Trade Higher as China’s June Industrial Profit Soars

By Eustance Huang


Asia markets mostly traded higher Monday morning as investors continue to watch for developments on issues such as the coronavirus pandemic.

Stocks in Taiwan led gains among the region’s major markets as the Taiex soared 2.69%, with shares of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company up nearly 10%. South Korea’s Kospi also saw robust gains as it rose 1.29%.

Mainland Chinese stocks were also higher in early trade, with the Shanghai composite up 0.55% while the Shenzhen component added 1.074%. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index traded 0.93% higher.


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US Flag Lowered at Chinese Consulate in Chengdu: State Media

By Associated Press


The flag of the United States outside its consulate in China's southwestern city of Chengdu was lowered early on Monday, state media reported, after China gave the country days to leave the building in response to a US order for Beijing to close its Houston consulate.

Chinese state broadcaster CGTN said the flag was lowered on the building in Sichuan province at about 6:18am local time on Monday (22:48 GMT on Sunday). Reuters news agency reported the deadline for the Americans to leave is 10am (02:00 GMT).


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Nick Cannon Goes On Racist Rant, Says ‘White People’ And Jewish People Are ‘The True Savages’

By Peter Hasson


“America’s Got Talent” host Nick Cannon delivered a racist and anti-Semitic rant in a June 30 episode of his podcast, “Cannon’s Class.”

Cannon hosted rapper Professor Griff, whose record of anti-Semitic comments is well documented, for an interview in which they promoted anti-Semitic conspiracies about Jewish families secretly controlling the world and claimed that black people can’t be anti-Semitic because they’re the real Semitic people.

“In order for me to be anti-Semitic, I’d have to be anti-black man, anti-black woman, anti-black people, anti-Africa, anti-all other people,” Griff said.

“Because the Semitic people are black people,” Cannon added.

Cannon and Griff spoke positively of Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, a notorious anti-Semite, throughout the interview, which has garnered more than 250,000 views on YouTube alone.

“When you have a person who has the lack of pigment, the lack of melanin that they know they will be annihilated, therefore they know that however they got the power, they have a lack of compassion, melanin comes with compassion,” Cannon said.

“Melanin comes with soul, that we call it soul, we soul brothers and sisters, that’s the melanin that connects us so the people that don’t have it, are, and I’m going to say this carefully, are a little less and where the term actually comes from, and I’m going to bring it back around to Minister Farrakhan, where they may not have the compassion,” he added.


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Biden Leads Trump in Texas Poll

By Susan Milligan


The survey released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University has Biden with the support of 45% of Texas voters to 44% for Trump. The former vice president has a commanding lead among independents, taking 51% of their support compared to 32% for Trump.

Texas has long been a GOP stronghold, to the point where Republican presidential nominees barely need to campaign there to secure the Lone Star State's place in the red column. It is still a relatively conservative state, with the GOP holding every statewide elected post and having control of both chambers of the state legislature.


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Rep. John Curtis: Democrats ‘Won’t Join Us’, Refuse to Hold China Accountable

By Kyle Morris


Rep. John Curtis (R-UT) joined Breitbart News Saturday on SiriusXM 125 the Patriot Channel, where he discussed his bill that would hold the Chinese officials who covered up the coronavirus pandemic accountable.

“We need to be bipartisan as we deal with China,” Curtis told host and Breitbart News Washington Political Editor Matthew Boyle. “The Democrats have chosen not to join us … we’ve got this China taskforce, and they won’t join us on that, and it’s one of the most important issues facing the country right now.”

“Li Wenliang was a scientist, who early on pointed out to his colleagues that there was a virus out there,” Curtis said. “He was grabbed by the local police, forced to sign a statement that it was an error. Three weeks later, he actually died of the COVID virus. Had we started on this thing three weeks earlier, which his warning would have allowed us to do, we would have dramatically reduced the number of infections around the world.”

Curtis further expounded on his displeasure with China’s handling of the virus by referring to a study published in March.

“There was a study published in March which indicated that if Chinese authorities had acted just three weeks earlier, which they would have had the information to do, the number of cases could have been reduced by 95 percent around the globe,” Curtis continued. “We lost that three-week jump, and that’s the intent of this bill.”


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George Soros Group to Spend $220M on Causes Promoting Racial Equality and Criminal Justice Reform

By Madison Dibble


A prominent nonprofit group founded by liberal mega-donor George Soros announced plans to dump more than $200 million into initiatives dedicated to ending racial inequality.

The Open Society Foundation will announce its $220 million funding mission on Monday, committing $150 million to racial justice organizations that are under the leadership of black people and $70 million to organizations that promote civic engagement or local criminal justice reform initiatives.

"These investments will empower proven leaders in the black community to re-imagine policing, end mass incarceration, and eliminate the barriers to opportunity that have been the source of inequity for too long," Alexander Soros, George Soros' son and the organization's deputy chair, told the New York Times.

The Open Society has already selected many of the groups that will receive funding, including the Black Voters Matter Fund, a group that promotes black participation in elections, and the Equal Justice Initiative, an organization working to end mass incarceration of black citizens.

“There is this call for justice in black and brown communities, an explosion of not just sympathy but solidarity across the board. So it’s time to double down. And we understood we can place a bet on these activists, black and white, who see this as a moment of not just incrementalism, but whole-scale reform," said Patrick Gaspard, the organization's president.

Gaspard noted that the Open Society has been funding organizations that aim to help black citizens and encourage black voter turnout for more than 25 years. George Soros, 89, has been one of the nation's most prolific donors to liberal causes and Democratic elected officials.

His deep pockets and Jewish heritage have driven far-right conspiracy theories about the methods of advocacy he supports. Earlier this year, Open Secrets denied conspiracy theories that claimed the organization was funding violent rioters following the death of George Floyd.


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Opposing Armed Militias Expected to Demonstrate in Louisville This Weekend

By Mike Brest


Two opposing armed militias are expected to face off this weekend in Louisville, Kentucky, amid demonstrations over the fatal police shooting of Breonna Taylor.

The NFAC (Not F—ing Around Coalition), an Atlanta-based black militia, is scheduled to protest to demand the arrest of the officers who shot and killed Taylor in March, according to the Courier-Journal. The far-right "Three Percenter" militia started rallying support for a counterprotest to provide "security" after John "Grandmaster Jay" Johnson, the founder of the NFAC, said that his group would be dressed in black with shotguns and semi-automatic rifles.

"We're there to get an answer, not to fight a war. This is for Bre," Johnson said in a video posted online Thursday night. "It's always scary when black folks do it. But when everybody else do it, they don't have a problem at all. They want to go up to the statehouse and stand around with guns, and nobody says a word. But as soon as we do it, we're terrorists, and we're thugs."

The III% Security Force asked militia members to counter the NFAC and provide "security." Chris Hill, who is reportedly a member of the group, said on social media, "I ain't f-ing around, neither. And I've got some hard-headed motherf-ers coming with me."

Louisville Metro Police Maj. Aubrey Gregory said he expects the protests to be peaceful.

“Everything from the Kentucky militia, Mississippi militia, a group that calls themselves the Patriots for Reclamation, a lot of Three Percent groups, One Percent groups, from as far away as Kansas,” Gregory told WAVE3 of Louisville. “We have been in contact with both groups coming to Louisville, and we expect nothing but a peaceful protest this weekend.”

Johnson told city officials that he expects 5,000 to 6,000 militia members to show up for the event.


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Mass Exodus, 90 Chinese Nuclear Scientists Suddenly Resign High Paying Jobs with No Explanation.

By Associated Press


The State Council, China’s Cabinet, has sent an investigative team with other government agencies to look into the recent resignation of over 90 nuclear security scientists at an institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the academy said on Tuesday.

The mystery surrounding the resignation of half of the employees in that research institute became one of the most talked-about topics in China.


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Seattle Riot: Police Arrest 25 After ‘Explosives’ Thrown at Officers

By Joshua Caplan


The Seattle Police Department declared a riot and arrested 25 people after “explosives” were thrown at officers when a protest turned violent in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood on Saturday.

FOX 10 reports:

Up to 1,000 protesters gathered about 2 p.m. Saturday for a peaceful march in solidarity with unrest and violent demonstrations in Portland. By 4 p.m., crowds had broken away from the protest, setting fires to construction trailers at the Juvenile Detention Center and attacking camera crews. […]

Police reported multiple explosions in the area and multiple fires, including one inside the East Precinct, where rioters breached a security fence to vandalize the building. Police are investigating “possible explosive damage” to the walls of the East Precinct and more explosives being thrown at police.

Seattle police said the protesters were arrested for assaults on officers, obstruction, and failure to disperse. Prior to announcing the arrests, police shared a photo of flammable objects being hurled at officers.

Q13FOX correspondent Simone Del Rosario and others shared photos and video of protesters clashing with officers, along with images of heavily damaged buildings in the area.


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Federal Judge Denies Oregon Attorney General's Motion to Restrain Federal Officers in Portland

By Haley Victory Smith


A federal judge has denied the Oregon attorney general's motion to restrict federal law enforcement activities in Portland, Oregon.

U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman issued his decision on Friday.

Oregon argued that federal law enforcement officials were violating protesters' constitutional rights and snatching them off the streets.

The judge concluded that while the state's attorneys provided evidence of two interactions with federal police that may have been considered improper, that evidence alone was not enough to allow the motion to stand.

"The State has presented just one example of an arrest without probable cause and one example of an unreasonable seizure," he said. "It has presented no evidence of any official orders or policies and has presented no evidence that these allegedly illegal seizures are a widespread practice."

In recent days, federal agents have established a presence in Portland in order to protect a federal facility from rioters. The inspectors general from the Justice Department and Homeland Security Department announced on Thursday they will investigate the actions by federal law enforcement in both Portland and Washington, D.C.

Protests in Portland have persisted since the death of George Floyd in late May.


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Sinclair Delays Report Containing Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories

By Brian Steinberg


Sinclair Broadcasting, one of the nation’s largest operators of local TV stations, said on Saturday it would delay its planned presentation of a news report featuring commentators offering discredited conspiracy theories about the nation’s coronavirus pandemic, after the piece drew scrutiny and pushback.

“We will spend the coming days bringing together other viewpoints and provide additional context,” the Hunt Valley, Maryland, company said in a statement Saturday afternoon. “All stations have been notified not to air this and will instead be re-airing last week’s episode in its place.”


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'Taking Further Action': Twitter Bans Thousands of QAnon Accounts in Sweeping Crackdown

By Zachary Halaschak


Twitter is taking new actions to curtail followers of the so-called QAnon conspiracy theory in an effort to crackdown on misinformation and harassment.

The Tuesday night announcement comes as the fringe theories espoused by QAnon’s adherents have crept into mainstream politics, with some right-wing candidates expressing support for the movement going into the 2020 election. QAnon supporters subscribe to the notion that there is a child-killing satanic cabal working to control the United States.

“We’ve been clear that we will take strong enforcement action on behavior that has the potential to lead to offline harm. In line with this approach, this week we are taking further action on so-called ‘QAnon’ activity across the service,” Twitter announced the crackdown in a thread on the platform.

“We will permanently suspend accounts Tweeting about these topics that we know are engaged in violations of our multi-account policy, coordinating abuse around individual victims, or are attempting to evade a previous suspension — something we’ve seen more of in recent weeks,” it added.


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200-Plus Firefighters Respond To Karen Fire Burning In Jurupa Valley

By CBSLA Staff


A wildland fire broke out on Saturday afternoon in Jurupa Valley, leading to a response of more than 200 firefighters.

The Karen Fire was reported just after 3 p.m. on Sierra Avenue and Karen Lane.

The fire grew from approximately 5-10 acres to roughly 150 acres as of 6:15 p.m.

Containment at last check was at 10% and 225 firefighters from Cal Fire, Riverside County Fire Department, City of Corona Fire Department, and San Bernardino County Fire were on scene battling the fire.

No injuries or structural damages have been reported, and no evacuations have been ordered.


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Coronavirus-Weary Texas Braces as Hurricane Hanna Arrives

Hurricane Hanna roared ashore onto the Texas Gulf Coast on Saturday, bringing winds that lashed the shoreline with rain and storm surge, and even threatening to bring possible tornadoes to a part of the country trying to cope with a spike in coronavirus cases.

The first hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season made landfall twice on Saturday afternoon within the span of little over an hour. The first landfall happened at around 5 p.m. about 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of Port Mansfield, which is about 130 miles (209 km) south of Corpus Christi and about 70 miles (113 km) north of Brownsville. The second landfall took place at around 6:15 p.m. in eastern Kenedy County, about 15 miles (24 km) north-northwest of Port Mansfield. As of Saturday evening, it had maximum sustained winds of 90 mph (145 kph).

Many parts of Texas, including areas near where Hanna came ashore, have been dealing with a surge in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, but local officials said they were prepared for whatever the storm might bring.

Corpus Christi Mayor Joe McComb said Saturday that he had seen some residents doing last-minute shopping for supplies, but he warned that if that hadn't been done already, people should stay at home and ride out the storm.

"We've been staying at home for five months because of the corona(virus). … So staying home doesn't sound real popular, but right now this is a real important matter," McComb said, adding that residents should remember to wear masks if they have to evacuate their homes.

Steady rain fell Saturday in Corpus Christi and the winds got stronger.


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‘Unlawful Assembly’ Declared In Portland As Fires Burn, Federal Officers Battle With Rioters

By Shelby Talcott


An “unlawful assembly” was declared early Friday morning after a large, peaceful protest turned into another night of battling in front of the Federal Courthouse in Portland, Oregon.

Thousands gathered Thursday evening as part of ongoing protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death, according to Daily Caller reporters on scene. Moms were out en mass as well, linking elbow-to-elbow and forming a human barricade around the crowd. While the night began peaceful, it broke down as the time wore on – becoming a battle with federal officers once again.

Thursday’s riot crowd began by preparing for battle, with makeshift shields and umbrellas holding the line directly in front of the moms at the courthouse. The crowd became increasingly agitated as officers remained inside the courthouse, and many began banging on the fence. Others threw glass bottles and firecrackers over the fence and fires were set.

Federal officers issued multiple warnings over a loudspeaker instructing the crowd to leave the fence alone. Each time, the crowd would begin screaming and banging on the fence in an attempt to drown out the voice, according to on-scene reporters.

As the evening wore on, officers emerged from the courthouse after issuing warnings and began to try and disperse the crowd. Reporters noticed that the rioters appeared largely un-phased by the barrage of flash bombs, pellets and tear gas.

As officers went on the offensive, rioters were often seen backing up, only to regroup and head back to the courthouse. The area of downtown Portland quickly filled with thick smoke and loud explosions as rioters refused to fully disperse.


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‘Any Accident Could Really Lead To A War’: Helen Raleigh Criticizes The Chinese Communist Party

By Samantha Renck


Helen Raleigh, a Centennial Institute Fellow and senior contributor for the Federalist, spoke with the Daily Caller’s Samantha Renck about the United States’ decision to close the Chinese consulate in Houston, China’s response to that action and more.

This week, the United States ordered the shutdown of the Chinese consulate in Houston. Days later, the Chinese responded by demanding the U.S. shut down their consulate in Chengdu.

“Closing a consulate is a dramatic, serious step,” Raleigh said. “Normally, countries do not engage in such a dramatic step, as you mentioned. U.S. ordered China to close a consulate and now China retaliated.”

Raleigh continued, “this kind of dramatic step usually means — if we keep at it — it will lead to dissolved diplomatic relationships so this the most important and serious step. I don’t think there’s any doubt we’re engaged in a Cold War.”

Raleigh also discussed the significance of the South China Sea and recent action by the Trump Administration.


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Reporters Recount Night Of Chaos On Location At The Federal Courthouse

By Anders Hagstrom


The Daily Caller’s Shelby Talcott and Richie McGinniss are on the ground in Portland, Oregon where protesters are engaged in an ongoing standoff with law enforcement.

President Donald Trump recently dispatched hundreds of federal agents to cities across the country experiencing unrest, including Portland, Chicago, and Kansas City. At least one police officer has said the protesters are mostly white and have shouted racially charged phrases at black officers.

“It says something when you’re at a Black Lives Matter protest, you have more minorities on the police side then you have in a violent crowd, and you have white people screaming at black officers: ‘You have the biggest nose I’ve ever seen,’” said officer Jakhary Jackson.

Jackson added that he believed some of the protesters were genuine about advancing change in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

“I got to see those people get faded out by people that have no idea what racism is all about, never experienced racism,” Jackson added. “They don’t even know that the tactics they are using were the same tactics that were used against my people.”


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Hong Kong Gov’t Grills 9 Pro-Democracy Election Hopefuls on Political Stance

By Kelly Ho


At least nine Hong Kong democrats received letters from electoral officers on Saturday demanding answers about their positions on the national security law, US sanctions and other issues after they applied to run in the 2020 Legislative Council election.

The pro-democracy candidates involved included Civic Party members Alvin Yeung, Dennis Kwok, Kwok Ka-ki and Tat Cheng. Former reporter Gwyneth Ho, Sunny Cheung, Ventus Lau and District Councillors Fergus Leung and Tiffany Yuen also received letters from officers at the Electoral Affairs Commission requiring a response within a day.

According to Civic Party leader Alvin Yeung on Facebook, the authorities asked if he would continue to urge the US to impose sanctions on Hong Kong, citing his previous meetings with American officials. The New Territories East electoral officer questioned how Yeung’s lobbying would fulfil the election nomination form requirement that candidates must swear allegiance to the Basic Law and the HKSAR.

“Your words and actions to ask overseas countries to make laws targeting the HKSAR and imposing sanctions are in fact using the power of foreign governments to put pressure on the HKSAR government, as well as letting foreign countries interfere in the internal affairs of the HKSAR,” the letter claimed.

The electoral officer also grilled young about his pledge to ensure all Civic Party members will vote against all government motions, bills and funds if the chief executive does not meet the protest movement’s demands in her upcoming policy address. He was asked to explain how such a stance would meet the allegiance requirement.


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North Korea Declares Emergency in Border Town as First Suspected COVID-19 Case Reported

By Sangmi Cha


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un declared an emergency and a lockdown in a border town after a person suspected of being infected with the novel coronavirus returned from South Korea after illegally crossing the border, state media said on Sunday.

If confirmed, it would be the first case officially acknowledged by North Korean authorities.

Kim convened an emergency politburo meeting in response to what he called a “critical situation in which the vicious virus could be said to have entered the country”, the North’s KCNA state news reported.

A person who defected to South Korea three years ago returned across the fortified border that divides the two Koreas to the town of Kaesong this month with symptoms of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, KCNA reported.

“An emergency event happened in Kaesong City where a runaway who went to the south three years ago, a person who is suspected to have been infected with the vicious virus returned on July 19 after illegally crossing the demarcation line,” KCNA said.

KCNA did not say if the person had been tested, but said an “uncertain result was made from several medical check-ups of the secretion of that person’s upper respiratory organ and blood”, prompting officials to quarantine the person and investigate anyone he may have been in contact with.


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U.S. Sends Envoy to Press for Peace Talks in Afghanistan

By Jason Lange


Washington has dispatched a special envoy for Afghanistan to press for peace talks between the government and Taliban fighters, with the diplomat scheduled to visit Kabul on a trip with stops in five nations, the U.S. State Department said on Saturday.

U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad departed on Friday to travel to Doha, Kabul, Islamabad, Oslo and Sofia, the department said in a statement.

The United States is drawing down its troops in Afghanistan under an agreement struck in February with the Taliban.

The agreement aimed to pave the way for formal peace talks between the insurgents and the Afghan government, and Khalilzad’s task is to try and bring both sides to the table.

Khalilzad plans to press for a deal on prisoner exchanges and a reduction in violence, two issues that have hampered progress toward starting peace talks.


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"If Free Nations Do Nothing...": US' Warning On South China Sea Tension

By Associated Press


In one of the strongest attacks by the United States on Beijing's illegal territorial claims in the strategic waters of South China Sea, State Secretary Mike Pompeo on Saturday stressed that Washington's policy in the region is crystal clear and said that the disputed territory in the South China Sea (SCS) is "not China's maritime empire".

"The United States' policy is crystal clear: The South China Sea is not China's maritime empire. If Beijing violates international law and free nations do nothing, history shows the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) will simply take more territory. China Sea disputes must be resolved through international law," Mr Pompeo said in a tweet.


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Chinese Mogul Expelled from Party after Calling Xi Jinping a 'Clown,' Accused of Corruption

By Peter Aitken


A Chinese real estate mogul has been expelled from the Communist Party after he called President Xi Jinping “a clown,” with the party bringing charges of corruption against him.

Ren Zhiqiang reportedly disappeared in March following a scathing criticism he wrote over Xi’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic in China. Ren published an essay accusing Xi of covering up the early stages of the outbreak, saying that no one in the party “took responsibility,” the Independent reported.

“Standing there was not an emperor showing off his new clothes but a clown who had stripped off his clothes and insisted on being an emperor,” Ren wrote, not naming Xi specifically.


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Louisville Protests Descend into Chaos when Armed Protester Accidentally Shoots Members of His Group

By Vandana Rambaran


Gunshots erupted during a planned protest in Louisville, Ky., Saturday and three members of the heavily armed militia group, the “Not F—ing Around Coalition” (NFAC), were injured by shots fired from one of their own member's guns, police told Fox News.

The shooting took place near Baxter Square Park around 1 p.m. and all of the victims were transported to the University of Louisville Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) told Fox News.


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Thousands of Protesters Gather in Seattle in Solidarity with Portland; Police Declare Riot

By The Associated Press


Seattle police declared a riot Saturday following large demonstrations in the city’s Capitol Hill neighborhood and deployed flash bangs and pepper spray to try to clear an area near where weeks earlier people had set up an “occupied protest zone” that stretched for several blocks.

Via Twitter, police said they had made at least 16 arrests for assault on officers, obstruction and failure to disperse. They also said they were "investigating a possible explosive damage" to the walls of the city's East Precinct police station.


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Three Injured as Rival Armed Militias Converge on Louisville

By Emily Shugerman


Shots rang out in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday as hundreds of members of heavily armed militia groups converged on the city for a protest against police brutality.

Louisville police confirmed three people were injured when a gun discharged as members of the “Not Fucking Around Coalition,” an all-Black militia, gathered in Baxter Park shortly before 1 p.m.

A spokesperson for the police department described the shooting to The Daily Beast as “negligent” and said there were “no charges at this time” and no outstanding suspects.


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The Police Tried to Make Me Medically Examine a Man Against His Will

By Michele Harper


Just make him do it! ” A voice rang out, followed by the sound of metal grating on metal.

I leaned past my computer screen toward the triage area to see a young man in handcuffs chafing at the bony prominences of his reddened wrists. Fading charcoal gray lines of graphic tattoos on his left forearm were almost indecipherable against his dark skin.

“I didn’t do nothing!” the prisoner shouted.

“That’s enough out of you!” a police officer commanded. “Listen, we have to take your vital signs. Put on this gown.” The voice was from Carl, the charge nurse assigned to head the nursing team for the shift


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Texas Republicans Face Tough 2020 Election after a Rocky 12 Months

By Patrick Svitek


It was one more technical mishap for a convention that was full of them. But Cornyn's obscured warning was also thick with irony: As Texas Republicans prepare for their most important election in a long time, new problems seem to keep getting in the way, making an already challenging road to November even rockier.

Democrats had made it known since the beginning of this election cycle that Texas would be a top battleground for them, and this time last year, the state's Republicans had ample reason to be optimistic. They had just come off a state legislative session that was light on intraparty conflict and heavy on the kind of policy achievements — property tax reform, public education funding — that they could sell to general election voters.


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Huge Portland Protest Crowds, Standoff with Feds Go On

By Gillian Flaccus


Thousands of people gathered in Portland streets for another night of protests Friday, the same day a U.S. judge denied Oregon’s request to restrict federal agents’ actions when they arrest people during chaotic demonstrations that have roiled the city and pitted local officials against the Trump administration.

By 8 p.m. a few hundred people, most wearing masks and many donning helmets, stood near the fountain on Salmon Street Springs, one spot where groups meet before marching to the Hatfield Federal Courthouse and the federal agents there. They chanted and clapped along to the sound of thunderous drums, pausing to listen to speakers.

Among various organized groups, including Healthcare Workers Protest, Teachers against Tyrants, Lawyers for Black Lives and the “Wall of Moms,” was Portland Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who spoke to protesters outside the Justice Center.


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Mike Pompeo Sets Agenda for a New Cold War with China. Russia will be Key



On the day his Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was goading the world to rise up against the tyranny of Chinese President Xi Jinping, US President Donald Trump dialled his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin to discuss the inclusion of Beijing in future talks on strategic arms control, oil security and Iran developments.

According to diplomats based in Washington and Moscow, this was President Trump’s fifth call to President Putin in the past two months as Russian Federation is the key to holding a rampaging China accountable in the long term interests of global peace.

While the US President understands the importance of Russia in handling Beijing, he faces stiff resistance from the cold warriors and anti-Trump activists in Washington who still see Moscow, not China as the enemy number 1. President Trump’s conversation on Iran was to dissuade President Putin from supporting Tehran who wants to join hands with China for a long term anti-US alliance.


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Student Who Refused To Apologize For Tiananmen Square Protest Photo Plans To Sue His School

By Jake Dima


A Chinese student at Fordham University is reportedly preparing to sue the New York School after the college demanded an apology for an Instagram post showing the student holding an AR-15 to show solidarity with the Tiananmen Square massacre anniversary.

Austin Tong, a Chinese immigrant, has been barred from the university campus and is required to do mandatory “implicit bias” training, the Washington Free Beacon reported. Administrators also demanded the student write a letter of apology as a consequence of his June 4 Instagram post, according to a disciplinary letter.

Tong held an AR-15 with the caption “Don’t tread on me #198964” — a reference to the Tiananmen Square massacre of 1989, in which communist Chinese authorities killed and arrested thousands who advocated for freedom from the state.

A refusal to apologize could mean expulsion from the New York college, according to the letter. Tong is instead preparing to sue the university, according to the Beacon.

“For a mere $50,000 a year in tuition, Fordham has smeared our client’s reputation and permanently damaged his career prospects,” Tong’s lawyer, Brett Josphe told the Free Beacon. “This behavior by the school and its officials shocks the conscience and there should be a heavy price to pay.”

Tong told the Free Beacon: “I will not apologize. I did nothing wrong and they did everything wrong. [Fordham is] a total disgrace.”

“I will not apologize, whatever consequence there may be,” he continued. “I don’t think I’ll even be able to finish college. This is a total bet on my part, but we’ll see what happens.”


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China's Pushback: Beijing questions Western Reporting on Xinjiang

By Associated Press


Despite China's best efforts, journalists are finding innovative ways to tell the story of the mass internment of Uighur Muslims in the Xinjiang province.


Timothy Grose - Assistant Professor of China Studies, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

Alim Seytoff - Director of Uyghur Service, Radio Free Asia

Adrian Zenz - Senior Fellow in China Studies, Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation

Sophie Richardson - China Director, Human Rights Watch

On our radar

A journalist in Pakistan is abducted by mysterious armed men and then released. In Zimbabwe, a journalist is arrested. Both men seemingly targeted for criticising people in power. Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Nic Muirhead about both these cases.


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WATCH: L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti Backs Portland Demonstrations, Despite Violence

By Joel B. Pollak


Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Friday that he stood by his support for protests in Portland that have turned violent, saying that “individual moments” of violence did not reflect the behavior of demonstrators as a whole.

Garcetti had tweeted Thursday in solidarity with the violent demonstrations in Portland, saying that they “represent the best of our democratic ideals.”

On Friday, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany showed reporters a video montage of violence during recent demonstrations in Portland, which included scenes of rioters firing fireworks at a federal courthouse, assaulting a federal law enforcement officer, setting fires, and toppling a statue of George Washington.

She also detailed some of the injuries suffered by federal officers defending the courthouse, noting that three might have been permanently blinded by lasers aimed by rioters.


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After a COVID-19 lull, North Korea gets back to sanctions-busting as China turns a Blind Eye

By Dan De Luce


After a brief lull due to the COVID-19 pandemic, North Korea is carrying out large-scale smuggling operations off the coast of China in violation of U.N. sanctions, importing oil and selling coal and sand to keep its economy afloat, according to experts and current and former Western officials.

Much of the sanctions-busting operations rely on front companies registered in China and take place within China's heavily patrolled territorial waters, where Chinese radar and coast guard vessels closely track commercial shipping traffic, experts said.

China has made major investments in its navy and coast guard in recent years, and it seems improbable that Beijing is not able to detect or prevent the North Korean shipments that often employ large barges, said Neil Watts, who served on a U.N. panel investigating North Korea's sanctions violations.


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New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Lashes Out At Conservative Media When Asked About Nursing Home Deaths

By Chuck Ross


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo lashed out at conservative news outlets Friday when asked if he would appoint an independent commission to investigate whether his polices were responsible for a surge of nursing home deaths in the state.

“I believe it is a political issue,” Cuomo said at a press conference when a New York Post reporter asked about a possible independent review of his nursing home polices, The Post reported.

“I think it’s the New York Post, I think it’s Michael Goodwin, I think it’s Bob McManus, I think it’s Fox TV,” the Democrat said, naming two Post columnists.

Cuomo has come under fire over a March 25 order that required hospitals to send nursing home patients back to their facilities even if they tested positive for coronavirus. Cuomo’s critics said that the policy would increase the risk of outbreaks at long-term care facilities, putting residents’ lives in danger.

More than 6,400 nursing home patients have died in New York since the coronavirus pandemic started.

Cuomo has claimed that his policy did not cause the surge in nursing home deaths by citing a New York State Department of Health study released on July 6 that said that nursing home staffers were likely taking the virus into facilities.


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(Exclusive) 9-year-old Boy hit by Truck Riding Bike

By Associated Press


Well, david glenda error and young says was just a horrific accident her son parker was hit by truck well riding his bike and doing jumps on a normally quite street she says he was wearing a helmet and that helmet probably saved his life I would not have.

My son today if he did not have his helmet on it's a mother's worst nightmare the absolute worst I can't I've that was the scariest day of my entire life young's nine-year-old son parker was jumping is bike monday long cecilia an avenue and an area he says he felt safe that quickly changed after parker jumped bike into a moving truck his forehead was now hadn't been into seeking out I've never seen anything like that my life erin says a parker wasn't wearing a helmet.


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ACLU Sues to Get Illegal Aliens Counted in Congressional Apportionment

By John Binder


The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing to have illegal aliens counted when apportioning congressional representation.

On Friday, the ACLU dropped a lawsuit against the Trump administration on behalf of a number of open borders lobbying groups — including New York Immigration Coalition, Make the Road New York, CASA, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, ADC Research Institute, and FIEL Houston — demanding that illegal aliens be counted in congressional apportionment.

This week, Trump signed a memorandum to exclude illegal aliens from being counted when the federal government apportions congressional representation to the states — a reversal of existing policy that allows states with large illegal populations to soak up more political power by counting all residents rather than legal residents.

The ACLU lawsuit claims not counting illegal aliens in congressional apportionment is unconstitutional.

“The new policy of excluding undocumented immigrants from the Census conveys a xenophobic message aimed at suppressing Census participation from households containing immigrants and noncitizens,” the lawsuit states.

“Unless enjoined, the policy undoubtedly will undermine the effectiveness of the Census Bureau’s operations and deter members of immigrant communities — including undocumented immigrants, noncitizen immigrants with legal status, and United States citizens — from participating in the Census,” the lawsuit continues.

White House officials have said federal law gives the president authority to determine “the whole number of persons in each state,” which informs the allocation of congressional representatives to each state. The memorandum ensures states with small illegal alien populations are not rewarded less representation in Congress than states with large illegal alien populations.

Before Trump’s memorandum, red states that disincentivize illegal immigration were set to lose congressional representation.


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Chengdu Consulate Readies for Closure as US-China Relations Deteriorate Into Cold War-Style Standoff

By Julia Benarrous


US-China relations deteriorated in a Cold War-style standoff as Beijing ordered a US consulate to shut in retaliation for the closure of its Houston mission — accused of being a hub for espionage and intellectual property theft.

Chinese officials were seen loading large sacks of objects and documents onto U-Haul trucks and tossing more into dumpster bins at the country’s large mission in the Texas city, given a Friday deadline to vacate the building.

Friday night, a State Department spokesperson said: “We can confirm that the PRC Consulate General in Houston is closed.”

After the last of Beijing diplomats departed the complex, law enforcement cordoned off the area and US officials were seen entering the consulate after using tools to force open a door.

In the Chinese city of Chengdu, in southwestern Sichuan province, some two dozen police were stationed in front of the US consulate as onlookers took photos before being prodded to move along, with the deadline for the Americans to vacate unclear.


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Why is Xi Jinping pitting China against the World?

By Lily Kuo


Earlier this week, Chinese leader Xi Jinping held a rare meeting in Beijing with business leaders. Admitting that the Covid-19 pandemic had a “huge impact” on the country’s economy, Xi used a Chinese idiom to assure his listeners.

“While the green hills last, there will be wood to burn,” he said. “If we maintain our strategy … we will find opportunity in crisis and turbulence. The Chinese people will surely prevail over all difficulties and challenges ahead”.

Xi’s remarks – reported in state media under the headline: “Xi Jinping conveyed confidence! Confidence! Nevertheless, confidence!”


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Dr Fauci Throws out Ceremonial First Pitch on Opening day of Baseball Season

By Alex Woodward


Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert and a key figure in the fight against the coronavirus, tossed out out the ceremonial opening pitch to mark the beginning of an abbreviated Major League Baseball season on Thursday, as America's pastime returns amid a pandemic with empty ballparks, canned crowd audio and "virtual" spectators for televised audiences.

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases appeared on the mound for defending World Series champions the Washington Nationals, though his pitch hit the grass and rolled short of the home plate.

The team faced the New York Yankees to begin the regular season, which has been shortened from 162 games to just 60 – the season typically begins in April and ends in October – as teams attempt to mitigate spreading the virus while navigating new rules for an unprecedented season that league and government officials have insisted must go on.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert and a key figure in the fight against the coronavirus, tossed out out the ceremonial opening pitch to mark the beginning of an abbreviated Major League Baseball season on Thursday, as America's pastime returns amid a pandemic with empty ballparks, canned crowd audio and "virtual" spectators for televised audiences.


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Soros-Funded Group Vows to Turn Out 6M Hispanic Voters to Defeat Trump

By John Binder


An open borders lobbying group, funded partially by billionaire George Soros, is vowing to defeat President Trump by turning out to vote about six million young and disenfranchised Hispanic Americans.

United We Dream activists said during a press call this week that they are “powering up” their members to turn out millions of new Hispanic American voters to tank Trump’s reelection campaign.

The group has long advocated for an amnesty for all 11 to 22 million illegal aliens and, specifically, the nearly 800,000 illegal aliens enrolled in former President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

Soros’ Open Society Foundations has been a donor to United We Dream since at least 2015.

“We know that in order to defend immigrants, protect DACA and defend our democracy, that Trump must be defeated this November,” United We Dream Executive Director Cristina Jiménez said, according to NBC News.

Jiménez said United We Dream is targeting about 2.5 million mostly Hispanic Americans who are the family members of DACA illegal aliens.


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St. Louis Couple Who Brandished Weapons at Protesters Charged

By Mike Brest


The St. Louis couple who made national news for brandishing firearms at protesters who were approaching their house have been charged.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner filed charges against Mark and Patricia McCloskey on Monday. They were each charged with one count of unlawful use of a weapon, flourishing, according to KSDK, a local NBC affiliate. The weapons charge is a class D felony, and they face anywhere from one to four years in prison and fines of up to $5,000 if convicted.

The McCloskeys drew their weapons on June 28 outside their home as protesters marched through their gated neighborhood to demand the resignation of St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson. They have defended themselves and claimed that the protesters were threatening to kill them and take over their property.

“That couple had every right to protect their property. They had the ability to do that as private citizens, like everyone else. What they should not go through is a prosecutor attempting to take their constitutional rights away by filing charges against them for protecting their property,” Gov. Mike Parson said days before the charges were filed.

The governor also teased pardoning the couple over the weekend, saying, "I don't think they're going to spend any time in jail."


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Singapore Man Admits being Chinese Spy in US

By Associated Press


A Singaporean man has pleaded guilty in the US to working as an agent of China, the latest incident in a growing stand-off between Washington and Beijing.

Jun Wei Yeo was charged with using his political consultancy in America as a front to collect information for Chinese intelligence, US officials say.

Separately, the US said a Chinese researcher accused of hiding her ties to China's military was detained.

China earlier ordered the closure of the US consulate in Chengdu.

The move to shut down the diplomatic mission in the south-western city was in response to the US closing China's consulate in Houston.


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Russian Bid to Host SCO, Brics Meets Shadowed by China’s Ladakh Move

By Dipanjan Roy Chaudhury


Russia’s efforts to host the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and Brics summits with physical presence of the leaders is being overshadowed by China’s move to amass troops in eastern Ladakh along the Line of Actual Control.

While the disengagement process has been initiated, PLA troops continue to be amassed, casting a shadow over the two non-Western plurilaterals of which Russia holds the current presidency, ET has reliably gathered.


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Australia Declares 'there is no Legal Basis' to Beijing’s Claims in South China Sea

By Elias Visontay


Australia has declared “there is no legal basis” to China’s territorial and maritime claims in the South China Sea, marking an escalation of recent tensions with Beijing and bringing Canberra further in line with Washington.

The declaration, made in a submission to the United Nations on Thursday, comes after the United States hardened its position earlier this month, accusing Beijing of a “completely unlawful … campaign of bullying” to control the sea.


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US Arrests Chinese Researcher Accused of Hiding Military ties, saying Suspect Tang Juan

By Owen Churchill


A Chinese researcher accused of hiding her military affiliations and believed to have been sheltering for weeks in the Chinese consulate in San Francisco has been arrested by US authorities, officials announced on Friday.

Tang Juan, one of four visiting researchers recently charged with visa fraud, was apprehended on Thursday evening, a senior Justice Department official told reporters during a background briefing. The official declined to disclose details of Tang’s arrest, including whether she had volunteered herself to authorities.


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US Military Claims Russia Sending Military Equipment to Libya

By Associated Press


The United States military has said Russia appears to be sending more military equipment to its mercenaries in Libya, including in the flashpoint city of Sirte, in breach of an arms embargo.

The US military's Africa Command (AFRICOM) said on Friday there was mounting evidence from satellite photos of Moscow's military cargo planes, including IL-6s, bringing supplies to fighters from Russian private military contractor Wagner Group.


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Researcher who took Refuge at China's Consulate is in US Custody

By Associated Press


A Chinese researcher who took refuge from US authorities at China's San Francisco consulate in a bid to avoid visa fraud charges has been arrested, according to the US Department of Justice, and is expected to appear in court on July 27.

Juan Tang, who is accused of hiding her ties to the Chinese military when she applied for a visa to work in the United States, was being held at a jail in Sacramento County, California, records showed on Friday.


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Hong Kong Activist Protesting China's National Security Law Says Suspicious Cars Are Following Him

By Haley Victory Smith


Hong Kong activist Joshua Wong says he believes he is being followed.

Wong repeatedly turned to look over his shoulder and out the back window during a Monday interview with the BBC that took place in a car.

"Maybe Chinese agents. I don't think they might be police," he said when asked who he thought were the occupants of a car behind him.

Wong was a leader in Hong Kong's 2014 umbrella movement and is now seeking a seat in the city's legislative council. China's new national security law, which he is protesting, criminalizes subversion, secession, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces. The law is written very vaguely, which has allowed it to be used to target opponents of the Chinese Communist Party. Wong said he fears that he may be the party's next target.

"After the national security law was implemented, it's hard for myself to ensure the personal safety, and I might be being chased by a private car or unknown people day by day," he said. "I wonder how many cars are waiting for me every day. It's crazy."

Wong added that it is not clear who may be following him, asserting that it might just be "pro-Beijing journalists." He said the worst thing that could happen to him would be getting arrested by Chinese agents and sent to Beijing for trial.

Under the new law, Wong could be eligible for years in prison. Already, demonstrators who have displayed Hong Kong independence flags have been arrested, and pro-democracy activists have been told that the primary election they held recently was "nakedly illegal."


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Rubio: Chinese Consulate in Houston ‘a Front’ for Spying

By Ian Hanchett


On Wednesday’s broadcast of the Fox Business Network’s “Mornings with Maria,” Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) stated that the recently closed Chinese consulate in Houston is “a front” and “kind of the central node of a massive spy operation, commercial espionage, defense espionage,” and stated that the closure should have happened a long time ago.

Rubio said, “So, this consulate is basically a front for a — it’s kind of the central node of a massive spy operation, commercial espionage, defense espionage, also influence agents to try to influence Congress. You know, they use businessmen as fronts, in many cases, to try to influence members of Congress and other political leaders at the state and local level. And so, it’s long overdue that it be closed.”

Rubio added that China’s agents will have 72 hours to leave the United States or they will be subject to arrest as spies.

He also stated that while the United States is “nowhere near where we need to be yet in terms of being aware of this threat [of Chinese influence and lobbying] and addressing it, but we have certainly come a long way. I think there are encouraging signs, both in academia and in other places, about this threat.”


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'Predictable': Supreme Court Transgender Decision Leads to Religious Liberty Legal Battle

By Nicholas Rowan


A transgender man last week filed a lawsuit against a Catholic-run hospital in Maryland, citing in his complaint June's landmark Supreme Court decision on transgender rights, fulfilling conservative fears that the ruling would usher in a legal war.

The suit, filed on behalf of Jesse Hammons by the American Civil Liberties Union, alleges that St. Joseph Medical Center, a Catholic-run hospital within the University of Maryland Medical System, violated the First and Fourteenth Amendments by refusing to perform a surgery necessary to Hammons’s transition from woman to man. The suit uses Justice Neil Gorsuch’s majority opinion in Bostock v. Clayton County to buttress its argument, namely, that refusing services to transgender people is a form of discrimination on the basis of sex.

When Bostock was decided in June, many social conservatives predicted that it would have dire implications for women's sports leagues, single-sex dorms on college campuses, and general religious liberty exceptions to nondiscrimination laws granted to faith-based institutions.

“Predictable. Indeed, predicted,” tweeted Ryan Anderson, a senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation, in reference to the arguments in the case culled from Bostock.

Anderson pointed to his own work on transgender activists’ clashes with religious institutions and said that the ACLU's argument holds no water, since “good hospitals remove diseased organs, not healthy ones. Regardless of ‘identity.’”


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Trump, Carson Are ‘Tearing Down’ An Obama-Era Rule Accused Of Funneling Money Into Wealthy Areas

By Christian Datoc


The Trump administration will end the Obama administration’s 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule Thursday morning, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and senior HUD officials explained Wednesday to the Daily Caller.

“At the request of the President, HUD will be tearing down the Obama Administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule,” Carson told the Daily Caller. “In nearly every case, it is a fact that local governments are more adequately equipped to deal with their community’s unique needs than any unelected bureaucrat in Washington.”

“President Trump made a promise to preserve America’s neighborhoods, I am pleased to report that promise has been kept.”

The AFFH rule was added to the decades-old Fair Housing Act by the Obama administration in an effort to hold local HUD grantees accountable to the idea of furthering affordable housing by producing and maintaining assessments of fair housing practices. Those assessments saddled HUD’s payroll with an estimated 64 additional employees, whose salaries cost American taxpayers up to $15 million a year.

Furthermore, the Trump administration argues the rule hurt low income Americans by forcing federal funds into wealthy areas, as numerous local jurisdictions opted out of the program due to the cost of producing reports, delivering them to HUD, and in many cases, forcing through zoning changes to maintain compliance.


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Judge Orders Release of Epstein Flight Logs in Ghislaine Maxwell Lawsuit

By JOSHUA CAPLAN 23 Jul 2020


A federal judge in Manhattan on Thursday approved the unsealing of documents from a civil lawsuit against Ghislaine Maxwell — the alleged madam of deceased pedophile Jeffrey Epstein — as the British socialite faces charges for enticing minors to engage in illegal sexual activities.

Reuters reports:

Over Maxwell’s objections, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska in Manhattan said the presumption the public has a right to access large portions of the more than 80 documents at issue outweighed Maxwell’s arguments for keeping them under wraps, including that they could prove embarrassing. […]

Preska also said personal identifying information contained in the documents, as well as the names of many “non-parties,” will be redacted. […]

They include flight logs from Epstein’s private jets, deposition testimony in 2016 in which Maxwell’s lawyers said she was asked “intrusive” questions about her sex life, and police reports from Palm Beach, Florida, where Epstein had a home.

The records are a part of a lawsuit brought by Epstein accuser Virginia Giuffre against Maxwell that was settled in 2017.

One of Epstein’s most famous guests aboard his private jet is former President Bill Clinton, as Breitbart News previously noted:

Fox News reported in May 2016 that Clinton went on at least 26 trips aboard Epstein’s plane — the “Lolita Express” — between 2001 and 2003, according to flight logs from the Federal Aviation Administration. Listed as the destination for those trips were exotic locales like the Azores, Singapore, Brunei, Norway, and Russia, among others.

On at least five of those excursions, the flight logs denote that Clinton was not accompanied by any Secret Service personnel. The former president, though, did occasionally travel in the company of Maxwell and Sarah Kellen, Epstein’s former assistant.

Thursday’s ruling comes as federal authorities continue to hold Maxwell without bail since her July 2 arrested at her New Hampshire residence.

Last Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Alison J. Nathan ruled Maxwell was a flight risk, citing the 35 years she faces in prison if convicted. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Maxwell, currently imprisoned at a Brooklyn detention center, reportedly believes Epstein was murdered in his prison cell and fears she could meet the same fate, a family friend of the alleged madame recently divulged to The Sun. “Everyone’s view, including Ghislaine’s, is Epstein was murdered. She received death threats before she was arrested,” the former friend also told the British tabloid paper.

Maxwell is the daughter of the late British media magnate Robert Maxwell and was frequently seen at Epstein’s side in a high-profile social life among leading figures from the worlds of politics and the arts.

The UPI contributed to this report.


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McCarthy: Pelosi Promoting Chinese Propaganda by Calling COVID ‘Trump Virus’

By Ian Hanchett


During a press conference on Thursday, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) stated that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) referring to coronavirus as “the Trump virus” is promoting Chinese Communist Party propaganda and wondered, “what does the Chinese Communist Party have on the Democrats? Why can’t they hold them accountable?”

McCarthy said, “China’s deception has directly led to Americans’ deaths. China covered up the truth about the virus. China hoarded personal protective equipment and tried to extort other countries for political leverage. Now, China is trying to hack our vaccines, which will harm our ability to serve the world and solve this problem. China is no friend to the United States, and that fact is clear to everyone except the Democrats. … My question to my Democratic colleagues is simple: Are you willing to step up to stop these escalating threats from China, or will you continue to defend the actions of the Chinese Communist Party. Their actions and words continue to show Democrats have a China problem.”

He added, “Why does the speaker promote their propaganda by trying to blame the president of the United States for the Chinese Communist Party’s lies, even calling the virus the name of our president? … My final question would be: What does the Chinese Communist Party have on the Democrats? Why can’t they hold them accountable?”


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China Reacts to UK Envoy’s Remarks on India-China Stand Off, says ‘No Need for any Interference’

By Rezaul H Laskar


Chinese ambassador Sun Weidong on Friday criticised his British counterpart Philip Barton’s remarks regarding the India-China border standoff, saying it was a bilateral matter that required no “third party interference”.

Barton had said on Thursday that China’s actions around the globe, including imposing a national security law in Hong Kong and the border standoff with India, posed a challenge for the world community and Britain will work with partners to call out violations of international law.

Sun took to Twitter early on Friday morning to criticise the comments.

“Noted remarks regarding #China by British High Commissioner to India, rife with mistakes & false allegations. Boundary question falls within bilateral scope [between] #China & #India. We have wisdom & capability to properly handle differences. No need for third party interference,” he tweeted shortly before 1 am.


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China Orders U.S. to Shut Chengdu Consulate, Retaliating for Houston

By Tony Munroe


China ordered the United States to close its consulate in the city of Chengdu on Friday, in a tit-for-tat response to being told to shut its consulate in Houston earlier this week, as relations between the two world powers deteriorated further.

China had warned it would retaliate after it was unexpectedly given 72 hours - until Friday - to vacate its Houston consulate, and had urged Washington to reconsider.

“The U.S. move seriously breached international law, the basic norms of international relations, and the terms of the China-U.S. Consular Convention. It gravely harmed China-U.S. relations,” China’s foreign ministry said in a statement.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China informed the U.S. Embassy in China of its decision to withdraw its consent for the establishment and operation of the U.S. Consulate General in Chengdu,” it said.

The U.S. Department of State and the U.S. embassy in Beijing did not immediately respond to requests for comment.


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China Orders U.S. to Close Consulate in Chengdu amid Rising Diplomatic Tensions

By Luke Denne


China on Friday ordered the United States to shutter its consulate in Chengdu following the closing of the country's diplomatic post in Houston.

The announcement from China's Foreign Affairs Ministry is the latest move amid rising diplomatic tension between the two superpowers, whose relations have become increasingly strained.

"The measure taken by China is a legitimate and necessary response to the unjustified act by the United States," the foreign ministry said in a statement.


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Security Law: Gov’t ‘Deplores’ UK’s Move to Offer Hongkongers Path to British Citizenship

By Rachel Wong


The Hong Kong government says it “deplores” and opposes the UK government’s decision to offer citizenship to Hongkongers with British National (Overseas) passports.

The statement came after the UK Home Office laid out pathways for the three million BN(O) passport holders in Hong Kong and their dependants to obtain citizenship. The UK’s home secretary Priti Patel wrote in a policy statemen ton Wednesday that the scheme was a “proportionate response to the situation which has arisen.”

The UK’s offer follows the enactment of a broad-ranging national security in Hong Kong which criminalises subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign powers.

The Hong Kong government criticised the move in a statement on Thursday night: “The high-profile measures taken by the UK Government on the pretext of the National Security Law are purely made out of political maneuver. They not only seriously violate the UK’s own pledge, but also seriously interfere in the affairs of the HKSAR.”


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Philadelphia’s Top Prosecutor Is Prepared to Arrest Federal Agents

By Brentin Mock


After numerous reports and lawsuits in Portland regarding un-badged and un-uniformed federal officers arresting, beating, and detaining people in unmarked vehicles, the Trump administration’s response is that they’re going to do it even more, and in more cities. Saying that his federal agents are doing a “fantastic job,” Trump has suggested that he will also deploy agents in New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore and Milwaukee to do the same.

In one of those cities, the city prosecutor has already preemptively warned Trump’s police forces what he will do if they bring the same tactics to Philadelphia:


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US Consulate: China Orders US Consulate Closure in tit-for-tat Move

By Associated Press


China said the move was a "necessary response" to the US, which ordered China to close its consulate in Houston earlier this week.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US decision was taken because China was "stealing" intellectual property.

Tensions have been rising between the US and China over several key issues.

President Donald Trump's administration has clashed repeatedly with Beijing over trade and the coronavirus pandemic, as well as China's imposition of a controversial new security law in Hong Kong.


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Portland Mayor Joins Violent ‘Protest’; Booed by Protesters, Tear Gassed by Feds

By Joel B. Pollak


Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler joined a violent demonstration in his city Wednesday night at which “protesters” threw flaming bags of garbage at a federal courthouse — and where he was jeered by the crowd before being tear gassed by federal officers.

The Oregonian reported that the mayor’s appearance on the 56th night of violent “protest” in downtown Portland “attracted attention and jeers from the crowd of more than 2,000 people” at the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse.

USA Today reported: “The mayor was caught in a chaotic display of violence and mayhem that began around 11:15 p.m., after some protesters threw flaming bags of garbage over a fence protecting the local federal courthouse, prompting the federal officers to fire tear gas at the crowd.”

Video shot on the scene captured Wheeler at the fence around the courthouse, with flames burning in the background.

Nonetheless, the Oregonian noted, the mayor, who is also the local police commissioner, had been determined to stand in solidarity with the crowd against federal law enforcement. ““The reason I am here tonight is to stand with you,” he told the crowd, the paper reported. “If they’re launching the tear gas against you, they’re launching the tear gas against me.”

That solidarity did not win the hearts and minds of the crowd, apparently: “Protesters greeted Wheeler’s arrival at the start of the night by chanting his name preceded by an expletive. The crowd often shouted to drown out what he was saying.”


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Portland Judge Temporarily Bars Federal Officers From Arresting Journalists and Legal Observers

By Mica Soellner


As unrest continues in Portland, Oregon, a federal judge issued an order to prohibit federal law enforcement officers from arresting or using physical force against legal observers and journalists.

Judge Michael Simon issued a temporary restraining order on Thursday, which will remain in place for 14 days, while discussing the importance of a free press. He also said journalists are allowed to ignore dispersal orders from authorities.

Protests have erupted in Portland in recent days, demanding structural change toward racial inequality. The violence and unrest have prompted the Justice Department and Homeland Security to send federal agents to the scene to control the situation. Under the temporary order, they will only be allowed to arrest journalists or legal observers if there is probable cause they have committed a crime.

Over 40 people have been arrested by federal officers, and 26 have been federally charged.

Prosecutors wrote that the new order to protect journalists is "unworkable from a practical standpoint" because "it would require law enforcement officers responding to a violent situation threatening public safety to draw fine distinctions among a crowd based on who is wearing press identification badges and different colored hats, all under the threat of potential contempt."


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Judge Denies Ghislaine Maxwell’s Request for Gag Order to Stop DOJ From Discussing Her Alleged Crime

By Jerry Dunleavy


The federal judge presiding over the criminal case against Ghislaine Maxwell, the alleged accomplice of deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, denied a request by Maxwell’s lawyers for a gag order to stop Justice Department and witness lawyers from publicly criticizing her.

Judge Alison Nathan, a judge for the Southern District of New York who served as a White House counsel under President Barack Obama, shot down the effort by Maxwell’s lawyers on Thursday, saying, “The court firmly expects that counsel for all involved parties will exercise great care to ensure compliance with this court’s local rules … and the rules of professional responsibility,” but that a judicial order limiting what prosecutors are allowed to say was not needed.

Earlier this week, Maxwell’s lawyers filed a motion with the judge “to request that the Court enter an order prohibiting the Government, its agents, and counsel for witnesses from making extrajudicial statements concerning this case” by claiming that “although Ms. Maxwell is presumed innocent, the Government, its agents, witnesses and their lawyers have made, and continue to make, statements prejudicial to a fair trial.”

Maxwell, 58, Epstein's longtime friend and on-again, off-again girlfriend, was arrested in early July and been charged with conspiring with Epstein to recruit, groom, and sexually abuse underage girls, as well as perjury in depositions regarding Epstein. The British socialite has said that she “vigorously denies the charges” and pleaded not guilty. She was denied bail by Nathan earlier this month.

Epstein, 66, a registered sex offender and wealthy financier, was arrested last July on federal sex trafficking and conspiracy charges for allegedly abusing girls as young as 14. He was found dead in his Manhattan prison cell in August, which the New York City medical examiner determined to be a suicide.

Maxwell’s defense team pointed to statements made by acting U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss and FBI special agent William Sweeney, who both criticized Maxwell for the alleged crimes she had committed, with Maxwell’s lawyers quoting the duo at length in their motion.


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Not A Single Minneapolis Police Recruit Dropped Out Of Training Amid Riots, Unrest And Defunding

By Jake Dima


Not one of the most recent Minneapolis Police Academy recruits dropped out of the training process, despite massive riots in the Minnesota city and calls to defund their department.

Every individual enrolled and set to graduate on June 29 finished the process, Minneapolis Police director of public information John Elder told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an email. Elder said he’d noticed a decrease in the number of people looking to become police officers since the 1980’s, but reported that “no one dropped out” in the most recent class.

Minneapolis is the epicenter of the nationwide protests and violence that has occurred since George Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes, video showed. The Minneapolis Police Precinct was burned to the ground later in the week as demonstrators ransacked, looted, and set the city ablaze, according to Twin Cities Pioneer Press.

Derek Chauvin, the officer who was seen on video allegedly compressing Floyd’s neck with his kneecap, was arrested and charged with manslaughter on May 29, as calls to prosecute him grew in number, CBS Minnesota reported. Chauvin’s charges were later raised to second degree murder, and officers Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane were arrested on June 3 for allegedly being party to Floyd’s death.

Minneapolis City Council member Jeremiah Ellison, son of former Democratic National Committee deputy chair Keith Ellison tweeted June 4 that he would “dismantle” the Minneapolis Police Department.

“We are going to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department,” Ellison said on Twitter. “And when we’re done, we’re not simply gonna glue it back together.We are going to dramatically rethink how we approach public safety and emergency response. It’s really past due.”

Democratic Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was booed by his constituents when he visited a protest and did not express an interest in completely defunding or abolishing law enforcement in his city on June 7, according to CNN.


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Coronavirus Case Rate Of Increase Drops In Some States Hit Hardest: Report

By Mary Rose Corkery


The rate of newly confirmed coronavirus cases dropped this week in U.S. areas hit hardest, Axios reported Thursday.

Overall, newly confirmed cases increased at a rate of 7% this week in the U.S., compared to the more than 20% increases every week for most of July, according to data compiled by Axios. This week, confirmed coronavirus cases went up at a 3% rate in Texas and 9% in California.

Arizona was one of four states that saw more than 10% decrease in cases this week, according to Axios’ data. Washington D.C.’s confirmed cases rose 28% over the 7-day period ending July 21, and Puerto Rico’s cases doubled over the same period. The U.S. reports an estimated 66,000 cases every day, Axios reported.

The Texas State Department of Health (DSHS) reportedly removed 3,484 probable COVID cases June 17, the Texas DSHS reported. The number change came amidst a record case surge in Texas, according to a statement from Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.


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Hong Kong Press Body ‘Extremely Concerned’ After Police Fine Journalists Covering Protest

By Jennifer Creery


The Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA) has expressed “extreme concern” over the fining of reporters covering a shopping mall protest.

Police repeatedly searched and fined people wearing press vests on Wednesday as dozens gathered in Yuen Long’s YOHO Mall to mark one year since a violent mob attack at the MTR station. The force issued fixed penalties of HK$2,000 to those who could not present valid HKJA accreditation on the basis of allegedly breaching an anti-coronavirus public gathering ban on groups of more than four people.

People gathering for the purposes of work are exempted from the group restriction under the Prevention and Control of Disease Regulation, implemented in March.

The Association said as of 3.30 pm on Wednesday, it had received 17 reports about the Yuen Long dispersal operation. Police reportedly fined one journalist after they denied they were registered with the government Information Services Department. Several student reporters also received penalties for not being employed by media organisations.

Hong Kong does not have an official press accreditation system – HKJA membership and registration with the Information Services Department is voluntary.

“[The government regulation] shows that police have no power to arbitrarily define or screen journalists. There is no legal basis for issuing fixed penalty tickets for violating the group gathering ban to those carrying out reporting. The HKJA urges the force to stop abusing its power and interfering with journalists’ work,” its statement on Thursday read.

The force previously accused civilians of dressing up as reporters in order to take part in prohibited public gatherings. It claimed more than one-third of the 150 people intercepted while wearing press vests were not reporting or employed by media organisations.


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Pakistan Acts Against All-weather Ally China; Warns 'great Mischief Of Modern Time' TikTok

By Jay Pandya


China has invested billions of dollars in Pakistan in recent times and this move by Pakistan comes at a time when Chinese apps are under scrutiny globally. However, Pakistan is not worried about the security threats these apps pose but instead is worried that the content on these applications is 'objectionable' that influences youths negatively.

On July 2, Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), in a statement, said that it has received numerous complaints from different segments of society against immoral, obscene and vulgar content on social media applications particularly TikTok and Bigo and their extremely negative effects on the society in general and youth in particular.


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Pompeo Urges More Assertive Approach to 'Frankenstein' China

By David Brunnstrom


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took fresh aim at China on Thursday and said Washington and its allies must use “more creative and assertive ways” to press the Chinese Communist Party to change its ways, calling it the “mission of our time.”

Speaking at the Nixon Library in President Richard Nixon’s birthplace in Yorba Linda, California, Pompeo said the former U.S. leader’s worry about what he had done by opening the world to China’s Communist Party in the 1970s had been prophetic.

“President Nixon once said he feared he had created a ‘Frankenstein’ by opening the world to the CCP,” Pompeo said. “And here we are.”

Nixon, who died in 1994 and was president from 1969-74, opened the way for the establishment of U.S. diplomatic relations with Communist China in 1979 through a series of contacts, including a visit to Beijing in 1972.

In a major speech delivered after Washington’s surprise order this week for China to close its Houston consulate, Pompeo called for an end to “blind engagement” with China and repeated frequently leveled U.S. charges about its unfair trade practices, human rights abuses and efforts to infiltrate American society.

He said China’s military had became “stronger and more menacing” and the approach to Beijing should be “distrust and verify,” adapting President Ronald Reagan’s “trust but verify” mantra about the Soviet Union in the 1980s.


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Yanks, Nats kneel in Black Lives Matter salute; Fauci’s toss

By Howard Fendrich


The Nationals and Yankees knelt in unison before the first game of the baseball season as part of an opening day ceremony Thursday night that featured references to the Black Lives Matter movement, the coronavirus pandemic including an off-the-mark first pitch by Dr. Anthony Fauci and the home team’s 2019 championship.

Players from both clubs wore T-shirts saying Black Lives Matter during batting practice at Nationals Park, and the letters “BLM” were stenciled into the back of the mound at the center of the diamond.

In a poignant reference to the racial reckoning happening in the U.S., players and other members of both teams held a long black ribbon while standing spaced out along the two foul lines. After they placed the ribbon on the ground, everyone then got on their knees.


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Judge Orders Michael Cohen to be Released from Prison

By Larry Neumeister


A judge on Thursday ordered the release of President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer from prison, saying the government retaliated against him for planning to release a book critical of Trump before November’s election.

Michael Cohen’s First Amendment rights were violated when he was ordered back to prison on July 9 after probation authorities said he refused to sign a form banning him from publishing the book or communicating publicly in other manners, U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein said during a telephone conference.


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Political Leaders Sound off after President Trump ends Plans for RNC in Jacksonville

By Kent Justice


President Donald Trump on Thursday scrapped plans for a four-night Republican National Convention celebration in Jacksonville that had been set to draw more than 10,000 people to a pandemic hot spot to mark his renomination.

News4Jax political analyst Rick Mullaney called it the right decision given the unprecedented nature of 2020.

“Some people may view this as a missed opportunity. I think a large number will view this as we dodged a bullet, and I think there will be a sigh of relief,” Mullaney said.


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US Arrests Three Chinese Nationals for visa Fraud

By Associated Press


Three are under arrest while the FBI is seeking to arrest the fourth, who is said to be in China's San Francisco consulate.

FBI agents have also interview