Trump squirms in TV spotlight as voters pin him down on Covid, health and race

In a rare excursion outside the friendly media bubble of Fox News on Tuesday night, Donald Trump took questions directly from uncommitted American voters at a televised “town hall” type event, in an experiment his campaign might not be in a hurry to repeat. Under sometimes aggressive questioning from ordinary members of the voting public about healthcare, immigration and the coronavirus, Trump at times twisted in the spotlight, narrowing his eyes at a question about the “race problem in America” and trying to interrupt another voter’s question about health insurance. But the voter shut the president down. “Please stop and let me finish my question, sir,” said the questioner, Ellesia Blaque, a professor from Philadelphia who explained that as a Black woman with a pre-existing health condition, “I’m minimized and not taken seriously.” Trump looked away sourly, but did not try to interrupt again. Political analysts could not look away …

‘It’s getting worse by the day’: India’s Covid battle rages on

The first official cases of coronavirus arrived at Niramaya hospital in Mumbai in early May, but they did not come as much of a surprise to Dr Amit Thadhani. Thadhani, the hospital director, had suspected for weeks that the virus was being virulently transmitted in India’s financial capital, home to 20 million people, after seeing a steady stream of patients with unseasonable viral symptoms. But strict testing restrictions – and a vehement government denial of community transmission – meant he had no way to prove or prevent it. “Our limitations in availability in testing back then is partially responsible for the infections we have now, as we could have picked up a lot more early cases,” he said. Five months on, Mumbai has 1.8 million coronavirus cases and on Thursday, India crossed the dubious threshold of reporting more than5 million cases nationwide. With the fastest rate of infection in the …

Top White House aide’s interview goes haywire over Trump coronavirus remarks

An interview with top White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Sunday went off the rails after he was pressed about revelations last week that President Donald Trump intentionally downplayed coronavirus in the early months of the pandemic. Clashing with host Jake Tapper on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Navarro’s interview cut out as the two men began shouting over one another. Tapper confronted Navarro about Trump’s tape-recorded comments in journalist Bob Woodward’s new book, “Rage,” set to be released this week. In it, Trump told Woodward in a Feb. 7 phone call that coronavirus “is deadly stuff” and worse than the flu. After that conversation, though, Trump publicly downplayed the virus and repeatedly compared it to the flu. “In February, nobody knew,” Navarro said of the novel coronavirus’ potential impact, despite Trump’s comments to Woodward, which were taped. “No, nobody knew. Not the president, not you, not Nancy Pelosi, …

‘No one cares’: Pandemic exacerbates strain on Gaza Strip’s densely packed communities

Effectively, they have lived under lockdown for years. The 2 million Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip have their movement restricted by Israel to the north and Egypt to the south. Both have cited security concerns over the leadership controlled by Hamas. Still, the coronavirus broke through, and as of Friday, the Ministry of Health has reported 1,631 COVID-19 infections and 11 deaths. Of those, only 115 infections and one death were in quarantine facilities. The rest were in the densely packed communities in the blockaded territory. An outbreak could be devastating in the crowded, impoverished area, which only has 97 intensive care unit beds and ventilators, according to the charity Oxfam. “We work under very stressful conditions,” Dr. Mohamad Asfour told NBC News earlier this month at the European Hospital, where he is working to treat people with the virus. Temperatures hit 90 F before he puts on his …

Netflix’s Reed Hastings on Rejecting Brilliant Jerks, the Power of Big Vacations, and Spending $15 Billion on Content

  The pandemic has exacerbated the winner-take-all economy, and Netflix has been a prime beneficiary of the global lockdown. Before the recent tech-stock rout, the company’s stock price had increased by roughly 40% since March, to the mid-$550s, and its market cap of $242 billion briefly exceeded that of the Walt Disney Co., which is no Mickey Mouse operation and has far more in the way of concrete assets and IP. Membership has also increased dramatically for the global streaming service. The company now has 193 million subscribers in 190 countries. So, how do you get to be like Netflix? In a new book, No Rules Rules, company co-founder Reed Hastings (with co-author Erin Meyer) lays out his management philosophy, which includes paying talent top dollar—while steering clear of brilliant jerks—pumping up candor and taking lots of vacations. Hastings, 59, a former Peace Corps volunteer, acknowledges that his approach is …

North and South Dakota Lead in U.S. COVID-19 Growth as Both States Reject Mask Requirements

(SIOUX FALLS, S.D.) — Coronavirus infections in the Dakotas are growing faster than anywhere else in the nation, fueling impassioned debates over masks and personal freedom after months in which the two states avoided the worst of the pandemic. The argument over masks raged this week in Brookings, South Dakota, as the city council considered requiring face coverings in businesses. The city was forced to move its meeting to a local arena to accommodate intense interest, with many citizens speaking against it, before the mask requirement ultimately passed. Amid the brute force of the pandemic, health experts warn that the infections must be contained before care systems are overwhelmed. North Dakota and South Dakota lead the country in new cases per capita over the last two weeks, ranking first and second respectively, according to Johns Hopkins University researchers. South Dakota has also posted some of the country’s highest positivity rates …

Charlottesville Removes Confederate Statue Near Deadly ‘Unite the Right’ Rally Site

(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — A crowd cheered Saturday as workers in Charlottesville removed a Confederate statue near the site of a violent white nationalist rally three years ago. The removal of a bronze figure of a Confederate soldier known as “At Ready” is seen in Charlottesville as a milestone in eliminating divisive symbols of the Civil War. The Washington Post reports that the process of removing the statue began Saturday morning as workers affixed straps to the 900-pound statute to prepare to remove it from its base. A crowd of about 100 people cheered behind metal barricades as the figure was lifted from its pedestal and lowered to the ground. The statue has been outside the Albermarle County courthouse for 111 years. Members of the crowd all wore masks amid the coronavirus pandemic. Some wore blue Union Civil War caps and danced to music broadcast by a local radio station. The …

Mali junta agrees to 18-month transition government

Mali’s military junta that staged a coup last month agreed Saturday to an 18-month transition government led by a military or civilian leader that would pave the way to elections By BABA AHMED Associated Press September 12, 2020, 9:48 PM • 3 min read BAMAKO, Mali — Mali’s military junta, which staged a coup last month, agreed Saturday to an 18-month transition government led by a military or civilian leader that would pave the way to elections. Three days of consultations with leaders of political and civil society groups laid out a charter for the transition, which will also include a vice president and transitional council that will serve as the National Assembly. The president and vice president will be chosen by a group of people appointed by the junta, according to Moussa Camara, spokesman for the talks. Mali’s opposition coalition, the international communities and the West African regional bloc …

10,000 women march to demand that Belarus president resign

About 10,000 women have marched noisily through the Belarusian capital, beating pots and pans and shouting for the resignation of the country’s authoritarian president in the 35th consecutive day of large protests By YURAS KARMANAU Associated Press September 12, 2020, 7:36 PM • 3 min read KYIV, Ukraine — About 10,000 women marched noisily through the Belarusian capital on Saturday, beating pots and pans and shouting for the resignation of the country’s authoritarian president in the 35th consecutive day of large anti-government protests. Many carried portraits of Maria Kolesnikova, a leader of the opposition Coordination Council that is seeking a new presidential election for the ex-Soviet nation of 9.5 million people. She was jailed this week after police tried to force her out of the country. Her lawyer says Kolesnikova was driven to the border with Ukraine, but tore up her passport and refused to leave Belarus. Others carried placards …

Italy shaken by brutal beating death of young Black man

Hundreds of people in Italy have joined a funeral procession for a young Black man whose brutal beating death has shaken up the country and drawn condemnation from the highest levels of government By NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press September 12, 2020, 3:11 PM • 3 min read ROME — Hundreds of people in Italy joined a funeral procession Saturday for a young Black man whose brutal beating death has shaken the country and drawn condemnation from the highest levels of the government. Premier Giuseppe Conte and Italy’s interior minister attended the funeral of 21-year-old Willy Monteiro Duarte, who was killed during a fight in Colleferro, a city on the outskirts of Rome, early Sept. 6. Four Italians have been arrested, including two brothers with police records and a martial arts background, but to date prosecutors haven’t indicated if the slaying was racially motivated. Italian news reports have quoted witnesses as …

Crowds rally in New Zealand’s Auckland against coronavirus lockdown

People wait for a walk-up Covid-19 test on August 14, 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. Covid-19 restrictions have been reintroduced across New Zealand. Fiona Goodall | Getty Images News | Getty Images Large crowds of people rallied in Auckland on Saturday against the government’s social distancing restrictions imposed on the country’s largest city after an outbreak of the novel coronavirus last month.  Local television footage showed tightly packed crowds, with many people not wearing masks, with estimates of the attendance varying in reports between a thousand and a few thousand people. “We are all here today because we believe we need to stand up for our rights,” the public Television New Zealand cited Jami-Lee Ross, the leader of the Advance New Zealand party, one of the organizers of the protest, as saying. “We’re all here today because we believe it’s time to stand up and say, ‘We need to get our rights and freedoms back’.” …

China’s state media condemns raids on Chinese journalists in Australia

A general view of a Australian flag is seen during a welcome ceremony for Australia’s then Prime Minister Julia Gillard outside the Great Hall of the People on April 9, 2013 in Beijing, China. Feng Li | Getty Images Raids on Chinese journalists living in Australia are “utterly appalling” and damage relations between the two countries, state news agency Xinhua said. China’s state-backed tabloid Global Times reported earlier this week that Australian authorities raided the homes of four Chinese journalists residing in the country in June. “This gross, imperious and unreasonable act was utterly appalling. It fully exposes the Cold-War mentality and political prejudice of some Australian departments and officials,” a Xinhua spokesperson said, according to the agency. “What they have done not only seriously harms the reputation and image of Chinese media, but also seriously interferes with the normal people-to-people exchanges between China and Australia,” added the spokesperson, who was not identified. On Thursday, foreign ministry spokesman …

Trump and Biden attend 9/11 memorial ceremonies – US politics live

  Florida can require former felons to pay fines before voting, court rules The Guardian’s Sam Levine reports: Florida can require people with felony convictions to repay all outstanding debts before they are eligible to vote again, but does not have to tell them how much they owe, a federal appeals court ruled Friday. The hugely consequential decision will likely shut out hundreds of thousands of voters in the key battleground state in this fall’s presidential election. The 6-4 ruling from the US Court of Appeals for the 11th circuit came in a lawsuit challenging a 2019 Republican-backed law imposing the restrictions. After Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a 2018 measure – often called Amendment 4 – to automatically restore voting rights to people once they complete their criminal sentences, Republicans authored a new law requiring repayment of all fines, fees, and court costs before they can vote again. An estimated …

Coronavirus live news: French PM rules out full national lockdown as cases rise by 9,406

  A summary of today’s developments France has ruled out imposing a new national lockdown despite recording more than 9,000 new cases for the second consecutive day. Instead the prime minister, Jean Gastex, announced an increase in test and trace measures and a reduction the quarantine period for those with the virus from 14 to seven days. There were 80 deaths in the past 24 hours from the virus, according to the country’s health ministry. The total is now 30,893. Spain has reported 4,708 new coronavirus infections in the last 24 hours. It brings its cumulative total to 566,326 – the highest in western Europe. A further 3,539 people have tested positive in the UK, the largest daily figure since mid-May. It was also announced that the R value for both the UK and England is between 1 and 1.2. The US government’s infectious disease expert, Dr Anthony Fauci, said …

Coronavirus: England ‘on knife-edge’ as cases rise and lockdowns grow

New cases of coronavirus are doubling almost weekly across England, figures revealed, as Birmingham became the biggest local authority to announce a tightening of lockdown measures and health officials flagged “worrying signs” of infections in elderly people. The measures to be introduced in Birmingham next week mean more than 7.3 million people – 11% of the UK population – will be living in areas affected by some level of local lockdown, according to a Guardian analysis. After signs that the number of virus infections is accelerating sharply, the former UK government chief scientific adviser Sir David King urged ministers to improve the NHS test-and-trace system. He said England was on a “knife-edge”. King’s warning came as the latest figures showed another huge surge in UK positive cases on Friday – up to 3,539, compared with 1,940 a week ago. While the number of people dying from Covid-19 remains low, there …

Trump campaign asks US judge to kill Nevada vote-by-mail law

Less than eight weeks before the Nov. 3 elections, President Donald Trump’s campaign is urging a federal judge in Las Vegas to block a new state law and prevent mail-in ballots from going to all active Nevada voters amid the coronavirus pandemic By KEN RITTER Associated Press September 10, 2020, 10:31 PM • 3 min read LAS VEGAS — Attorneys for President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign are urging a federal judge in Las Vegas to block a state law and prevent mail-in ballots from going to all active Nevada voters less than eight weeks before the Nov. 3 elections and amid the coronavirus pandemic. The campaign argues in documents filed Tuesday in a bid to keep its lawsuit alive that it is hurt by the state law passed in July by the Democrat-led Legislature because it forces Republicans to divert resources to “educating Nevada voters on those changes and encouraging …

Trump tries to deflect blame but stands by comments made in Woodward interview

President Donald Trump, at a White House news conference Thursday, continued to defend comments he made to journalist Bob Woodward in which he admitted he deliberately downplayed the seriousness of the coronavirus to the public despite knowing its deadly danger, and argued that if the comments were so bad, Woodward should have made them public sooner. “If Bob Woodward thought it was bad, he should have immediately gone out publicly, not wait for months,” Trump said, appearing to try to deflect any blame. Woodward told The Associated Press Wednesday that he needed time to confirm that Trump’s private comments were accurate. “If I had done the story at that time about what he knew in February, that’s not telling us anything we didn’t know,” Woodward said, saying he made it a priority to get his story out before the election. “Had I decided that my book was coming out on …

How to keep the police from killing more mentally ill people

The police chief and the entire command staff of the Rochester, New York, force resigned Tuesday amid outrage at the killing of Daniel Prude after a police encounter in March. Last week, police body camera video became available showing Prude, while he was in the midst of a psychiatric emergency, in a “spit hood” the police had put on him to guard against the coronavirus, limiting his ability to breathe and apparently leading to his death. For people in mental health emergencies who are already feeling inordinate amounts of confusion, stress and anxiety, police on the scene are often not a solution but a problem. Tragically, the death of a person with mental illness during a police encounter is far from rare. Last month, Damian Daniels, a military veteran who was experiencing mental distress, was killed in a tragic confrontation with San Antonio police. In June, George Zapantis, a man …

President Trump Says He Deliberately Played Down Danger of Coronavirus

(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump talked in private about the “deadly” coronavirus last February, even as he was declaring to America it was no worse than the flu and insisting it was under control, according to a new book by journalist Bob Woodward. Trump said Wednesday he was just being a “cheerleader” for the nation and trying to keep everyone calm. His public rhetoric, Trump told Woodward in March, was part of a strategy to deliberately minimize the danger. “I wanted to always play it down,” the president said. “I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create a panic.” Trump, according to the book, acknowledged being alarmed by the virus, even as he was telling the nation that it would swiftly disappear. Coming less than eight weeks before Election Day, the revelations in the book — accompanied by recordings Woodward made of his interviews with Trump …

U.S. Crime Victims Often Don’t Get the Government Money Meant to Help Them Heal—and Say They Feel ‘Excluded’

Aswad Thomas’ dream of pursuing a career in basketball was disrupted about a decade ago when he was shot twice in the back during an attempted armed robbery in Connecticut. In the following years, Thomas—like many other victims of violent crime—didn’t know that Congress had set aside money and resources for his recovery decades ago. Had Thomas known, the 37-year-old says he would have been better able to deal with the injury as well as his PTSD by tapping into counseling services, physical therapy and relocation support. “I was shot just blocks away from where I live so the fear of going outside was something I struggled with for years,” Thomas says. “I would have loved physical therapy to help me get back on my feet and see if I could continue my basketball career.” Thomas was 26 when he was shot, just three months after he became a first-generation …