1. Police Declare Riots as More Protest Federal Tactics
Thousands of people in cities across the U.S. took to the streets over the weekend to protest violent tactics used by federal agents against protesters in Portland, Oregon. In Seattle, police declared a Black Lives Matter protest to be a riot and pepper-sprayed 2,000 people. In Austin, a motorist shot protester Garrett Foster dead while he was pushing his wife’s wheelchair. Meanwhile, some protesters took it right to the top, with dozens demonstrating outside the Virginia home of acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf.
It’s gotten so bad, even North Korea has acknowledged having one suspected case. Last Wednesday, global coronavirus cases topped 15 million. By Sunday it was 16 million, with 646,000 deaths. Where are the outbreaks? Nearly everywhere, the worst being America’s 4.2 million cases and nearly 147,000 deaths. It’s even surging in places where the virus seemed in check, like Hong Kong and Vietnam, which is ejecting 80,000 tourists. Elsewhere, the U.K.’s health minister has urged Britons to eat less — a quixotic attempt to cut COVID-19 risks associated with obesity.
3. New Low in China Relations as US Consulate Closes
This morning Old Glory was lowered and a container was hoisted onto a truck at the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu, China. Chinese authorities had given the Americans 72 hours to clear out — the same deadline imposed on Chinese diplomats in Houston, who shuttered their mission last week amid Washington’s espionage claims. While there are plenty of reasons for the world’s top economic powers to sink to their worst relationship in decades, some experts fear this could be the end of a policy of engagement that has kept the peace for a half-century.
4. Congress Haggles Over Helping Hard-Hit Americans
The extra $600-per-week unemployment benefit Americans have depended upon during the pandemic downturn has effectively already expired for many due to the way states process such aid. But Congress is locked in a battle over whether to extend it, with Republicans saying it discourages people from returning to work — and instead proposing a $1 trillion relief bill that would include a new round of $1,200 checks. Negotiations are expected to take weeks, which could leave many Americans in the lurch — right as a federal moratorium on evictions also runs out.
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1. John Lewis Makes Final Selma Crossing
The first time, he endured police fists and batons while crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge — suffering a broken skull in the fight for civil rights. On Sunday, 55 years later, state troopers were there to protect Lewis’ flag-draped casket on a horse-drawn wagon as he crossed over rose petals on pavement once stained with the blood of Lewis and his fellow marchers. After lying in repose at the Alabama Statehouse, the 17-term Georgia congressman will lie in state today at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., where mourners will be able to pay their respects.
It’s frivolous. It’s silly. And yet TikTok is conquering the world with its algorithmic barrage of one-minute stylized videos. So far, it’s mainly an addictive form of escapism, not the political screaming fights often found on Twitter and Facebook. And yet it’s at the center of a global power struggle, notes OZY in its comprehensive look at the wildly successful platform. Born in China, it’s already banned in India — its fastest growth market — over concerns it shares data with Beijing. Now the company, with its new U.S. CEO, is scrambling to adjust so America doesn’t follow suit.
They say the UV rays help. “Spain is a safe country,” Foreign Minister Arancha González Laya insisted Sunday even as a slew of other nations, including the U.K. and France, have imposed new travel restrictions against it in recent days. While new outbreaks pushed Spain’s daily cases above 900, González Laya said authorities are working to isolate the infected, treat them and trace their contacts so that “tourists can continue to enjoy Spain.” Tourism generates 12 percent of the country’s GDP, but it’s collapsed since the pandemic gripped the nation, killing at least 28,000 people.
4. Screen Icon Olivia de Havilland, Host Regis Philben Die
At 104, she was the last survivor of Hollywood’s Golden Age and a pioneer in breaking the studios’ iron grip on talent with a successful lawsuit. To fans, the double Oscar winner de Havilland, who died in Paris Sunday of natural causes, will always be the saintly Melanie, Scarlett O’Hara’s BFF in the 1939 film Gone With the Wind. Also from a famous duo, Philbin of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and Live!with Regis and Kathie Lee (Gifford), died Friday of natural causes at age 89.
He’s calling in sick. Expected to throw out the first pitch to open Yankee Stadium Aug. 15, President Trump has backed out, blaming his “strong focus on the China Virus.” It’s not a huge surprise, considering he hasn’t participated in the uniquely American presidential tradition. Speaking of pitching, there are conflicting reports that 2019 Cy Young winner Justin Verlander won’t pitch for the Houston Astros for the rest of this season after straining his right forearm Friday. Also sitting out are at least four Miami Marlins — reported to have tested positive for the coronavirus.