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 …

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 …

Human rights groups ask IOC to move Olympics from China

TOKYO — China’s repression in Tibet, the status of the exiled Dalai Lama, and its treatment of ethnic minorities spurred violent protests ahead of Beijing’s 2008 Olympics. It could happen again. China is host to the 2022 Winter Olympics with rumblings of a boycott and calls to move the games from Beijing because of alleged human rights violations. International Olympic President Thomas Bach was presented with that demand ahead of the body’s executive board meeting in Switzerland on Wednesday by a coalition of human-rights groups representing Tibet, Uighurs in China’s Xinjiang region, Hong Kong and others. In a letter, the group asked the IOC to “reverse its mistake in awarding Beijing the honor of hosting the Winter Olympic Games in 2022.” The letter said that the 2008 Olympics had failed to improve China’s human rights record, and that since then, it has built “an Orwellian surveillance network” in Tibet and …

Millions projected to travel over Labor Day weekend despite COVID-19 concerns

“Florida is this year’s hot spot.” September 3, 2020, 10:03 AM • 6 min read Millions are projected to travel this holiday weekend despite COVID-19 concerns. Labor Day flight bookings are only around a third of what they were last year according to data analysis from travel itinerary app TripIt, but reservations to Florida have jumped 200 percent. “Florida is this year’s hot spot,” TripIt said in its findings. Orlando, Tampa, and Fort Lauderdale are all listed among TripIt’s top 25 Labor Day travel destinations as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists the Sunshine State as having the second highest total number of COVID-19 cases in the country. Matthew Meltzer, a freelance travel writer, is flying from Louisville, Kentucky, to Miami this weekend to visit friends. “I understand there’s a lot of cases, but it’s just a risk you run,” Meltzer told ABC News. “Life is …

‘It was a setup’: Pelosi snips at salon that publicized her rule-violating visit

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Wednesday complained that her caught-on-video visit to a San Francisco salon that was shuttered because of coronavirus regulations was a “setup” — and the owners should apologize to her. “It was clearly a setup. I take responsibility for falling for a setup by a neighborhood salon that I’ve gone to for years. And that’s, that’s really what it is,” Pelosi told reporters at an event in San Francisco. “I think that they owe, that this salon, owes me an apology for setting me up,” the powerful California Democrat said. Pelosi went to the salon on Monday for a blow-out, Fox News reported on Tuesday. Salon owner Erica Kious told Fox News that Pelosi’s assistant had set up the appointment with an independent stylist who rents chairs in her salon. San Francisco salons were closed for months as part of Mayor London Breed’s emergency coronavirus regulations. …

Barr tightens rules on surveillance of political candidates

The Justice Department is imposing new restrictions on how it conducts any secret national security surveillance of candidates for federal offices or their staff By ERIC TUCKER Associated Press September 1, 2020, 8:09 PM • 4 min read WASHINGTON — The Justice Department announced new restrictions Tuesday on how it conducts any secret national security surveillance of candidates for federal office or their staff members and advisers. The restrictions, announced by Attorney General William Barr in a pair of memos, are part of broader changes to the FBI’s surveillance procedures implemented in response to problems during the 2016 investigation into ties between Russia and President Donald Trump‘s campaign. Coming just two months before the presidential election, the changes are designed to ensure that law enforcement officials have to clear additional hurdles before pursuing the same type of surveillance as was conducted on a former adviser to Trump’s 2016 campaign. Barr …

Trump floats conspiracy theory, without evidence, about plane ‘loaded with thugs’

It was the latest in a long list of conspiracy theories Trump has promoted. September 1, 2020, 6:50 PM • 7 min read President Donald Trump on Tuesday provided no evidence for a conspiracy theory he promoted the day before about a supposed plane full of black-clad protesters he claimed had aimed to disrupt the Republican convention last week. Trump said in a Monday interview with Fox News that “people that are in the dark shadows” have “control” over his Democratic opponent for the presidency, former Vice President Joe Biden. “What does that mean?” the right-wing host, Trump ally Laura Ingraham, asked. “That sounds like a conspiracy theory.” Trump went on: “We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend, and in the plane it was almost completely loaded with thugs wearing these dark uniforms, black uniforms with gear and this and that. They’re on a …

White House public tours to resume Sept. 12 with COVID rules

Public tours of the White House are set to resume later this month with new health and safety policies in place to protect against the coronavirus By DARLENE SUPERVILLE Associated Press September 1, 2020, 3:11 PM • 2 min read WASHINGTON — Public tours of the White House, halted nearly six months ago due to the coronavirus outbreak, are set to resume later this month with new health and safety policies in place. Tours will resume Sept. 12, for two days a week instead of five, and for just a few hours a day, the first lady’s office announced Tuesday. The number of visitors will also be capped. “In order to ensure the safety and health of all visitors, there have been new policies implemented that align with the guidance issued by Federal, State, and local officials,” the White House said. All guests over age 2 will be required to …

The much-vilified Hollywood paparazzi are mostly Latino — and they face violence, too

“Justin Bieber lashes out at paparazzi after car crash,” “Bieber urges crackdown on paparazzi after photographer’s death,” “Miley Cyrus blasts paparazzi as ‘fools,’ defends Justin Bieber after photographer’s death.” These were just some of the headlines that appeared from coverage following the 2013 death of Chris Guerra, a 29-year-old paparazzo. According to reports, California Highway Patrol officers instructed Guerra, who was trying to snap pictures of the “Changes” singer during a traffic stop, to return to his car, which would require him to walk across four lanes of traffic with no nearby crosswalk. While abiding authorities’ instructions, Guerra was struck by two cars and died. Most of the immediate coverage and celebrity responses not only centered on Bieber but also vilified Guerra and even suggested that he deserved to die for doing his job. Vanessa Díaz, an assistant professor of Chicana/o and Latina/o studies at Loyola Marymount University, offers an …

Pro-Trump caravan and protesters clashed before shooting death in Portland’s streets

A day of clashes between a pro-Trump caravan and counterprotesters turned violent Saturday, culminating in the shooting death of a man in the streets of Portland, Oregon. Supporters of President Donald Trump had gathered in a Portland suburb in an apparent show of force and an attempt to counter the Black Lives Matter protests that have been ongoing in Oregon’s biggest city for months. The pro-Trump vehicle rally began near Clackamas, southeast of the city center. The caravan, made up of hundreds of cars and trucks, traveled for several hours throughout the city, Portland police said at a news conference Sunday. Mayor Ted Wheeler said at the same news conference that the caravan was “supported and energized by the president himself.” Police said that they tried to take “precautionary measures” to keep protesters out of the downtown area but that they were unsuccessful. Once the caravan reached downtown, clashes occurred …

Thai royalists rally in riposte to anti-government movement

About 1,000 people have gathered in a Bangkok sports arena, swearing to defend Thailand’s monarchy from a student-led mass movement that they believe is a threat to the institution’s existence By JERRY HARMER Associated Press August 30, 2020, 12:17 PM • 3 min read BANGKOK — About 1,000 people gathered in a Bangkok sports arena on Sunday, swearing to defend Thailand’s monarchy from a student-led mass movement that they believe is a threat to the institution’s existence. Calling themselves “Thai Pakdee,” or “Loyal Thai,” most were dressed in yellow shirts — a color closely associated with the monarchy and the ruling establishment. Some clutched portraits of current King Maha Vajiralongkorn and of his late revered father, King Bhumibhol Adulyadej, while others waved giant national flags. The gathering took place as anti-government protests gather momentum across Thailand, posing the strongest challenge yet to the rule of Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha. The …

Trump blames media after DNC tops RNC in TV ratings

Biden’s speech also drew more viewers than Trump’s speech a week later. August 29, 2020, 8:27 PM • 3 min read In a series of tweets Saturday morning, President Donald Trump targeted news outlets for correctly reporting that the Republican National Convention and his speech accepting the nomination were beat in TV ratings by the Democratic National Convention and Joe Biden’s speech a week earlier. Trump’s speech at the RNC Thursday night drew 23.4 million viewers compared with Biden’s speech, which drew 24.6 million, according to Nielson ratings. Overall, the average viewership for all four nights of the conventions were also higher for Democrats than Republicans. The RNC had an average 19.4 million viewers while the DNC averaged 21.6 million, according to the data. In response to the ratings, Trump publicized his campaign’s self-reported numbers, which includes digital and television viewers. “Wow! Despite the Democrats views across TV and online …

Tillis apologizes for failing to keep mask on at White House

North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis says he “fell short” of his own standard by failing to keep his face mask on in the White House crowd while listening to President Donald Trump’s speech By GARY D. ROBERTSON Associated Press August 28, 2020, 8:30 PM • 3 min read RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis said on Friday he “fell short of my own standard” by failing to keep his face mask on in the White House crowd while listening to President Donald Trump accept the Republican nomination. Tillis, who is in a tough reelection bid against Democrat Cal Cunningham, has been consistently talking up face coverings as a chief method to slow the spread of COVID-19. At dozens of virtual town hall meetings, he’s urged participants to wear them when near others. Tillis’ campaign tweeted a picture of the first-term senator wearing a mask on the South Lawn …

House committee begins work to hold Pompeo in contempt over document requests

Pompeo and House Democrats have been at odds for weeks. August 28, 2020, 6:13 PM • 6 min read The House Foreign Affairs Committee will begin work on a resolution to hold Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in contempt, its chair Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., announced Friday. In a lengthy statement, Engel accused Pompeo of an “alarming disregard for the laws and rules governing his own conduct and for the tools the Constitution provides to prevent government corruption.” The charge is a fiery escalation in the fight between the top U.S. diplomat and the Democrat-led panel charged with oversight of his agency. The committee is investigating Pompeo for orchestrating the firing of the department’s inspector general, for delivering a political speech to the Republican National Convention and for refusing to turn over documents provided to a Senate Republican-led probe of former Vice President Joe Biden. The contempt resolution is based …

UK coronavirus live: Department for Education’s most senior civil servant to step down in wake of exams row

11.29am EDT 11:29 More on the most senior civil servant in the Department for Education stepping down from his post in the wake of the exams crisis. The general secretary of the senior public servants’ union FDA, has had it was clear that the government would “throw civil service leaders under a bus without a moment’s hesitation to shield ministers from any kind of accountability. Jonathan Slater, permanent secretary at the Department for Education. A government announcement said that Slater will be leaving his post at the start of September after the prime minister concluded that there is a need for fresh official leadership at the Department for Education. Photograph: House of Commons/PA He added: Those who have dedicated their lives to public service are being discarded without hesitation to keep scrutiny from the Government’s door. “Whilst the origins of the exams fiasco may be complex, the solutions for this …

Democrats slam Pompeo for unprecedented GOP speech

WASHINGTON — Melania Trump is expressing sympathy for families affected by COVID-19, an “invisible enemy” she said has challenged America but brought its citizens together. In her prime-time Republican National Convention address on Tuesday night, the first lady said she has “been moved in the way Americans have come together in such an unfamiliar and frightening situation.“ She says her husband “will not rest until he has done all he can” to stem the “invisible enemy” of the coronavirus outbreak. Mrs. Trump also talked about “the beautiful side of humanity” she has observed in the wake of natural disasters around the country, noting that a common thread “is the unwavering resolve to help one another.” The first lady spoke from the newly renovated Rose Garden, where her husband was front and center in the audience gathered to hear her remarks. The seats in the audience were about 2 feet apart, …

Trump steamrolls norms with White House convention speech, raising ethics concerns

As the Republican National Convention gets underway this week, President Donald Trump has set the stage for a norms-busting political event that has transformed the White House into a backdrop for his campaign, raising ethical questions as he steamrolls over precedent. The president is set to deliver his nomination acceptance speech from the South Lawn of the White House Thursday evening complete with an audience — amid the still raging coronavirus pandemic — while first lady Melania Trump will deliver her address to the partially-virtual convention from the historic and freshly-renovated Rose Garden on Tuesday night. Beyond that, the participation of other White House officials and most notably the president’s daughter and senior adviser Ivanka Trump, who is set to introduce the president Thursday night, has raised a host of ethical questions. Kathleen Clark, an ethics lawyer and professor at Washington University Law School in St Louis, said in an …

RNC 2020 Day 1 updates: GOP formally nominates Trump to second term

Republicans opened their scaled-back national convention Monday with a roll call vote to formally renominate President Donald Trump to top the Republican ticket in November. The overall theme of the convention, “Honoring the Great American Story,” will highlight “the promise and greatness of America” and Trump’s “leadership and what he has planned for the future,” a Trump campaign official said. Each night will also have a sub-theme; on Monday, it is “Land of Promise.” Before attention turns to primetime programming, the presidential nomination, seconding speeches and roll call took place in Charlotte, North Carolina, on Monday morning. As previously reported by ABC News, Trump is expected to be a part of the programming for each night of the convention. ABC News Live will kick off primetime coverage each day at 7 p.m. ET on the network’s streaming news channel, and primetime coverage will air from 10-11 p.m. ET each night …

5 takeaways from Joe Biden’s and Kamala Harris’ 1st joint interviews

With the 2020 presidential election just over two months away, former Vice President Joe Biden sat down with “World News Tonight” anchor David Muir and “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts for their first joint interview since officially becoming their party’s presidential and vice presidential nominees. The wide-ranging interview touched on a number of pressing issues — from their previous confrontation on the debate stage to what the candidates are doing to prepare for their upcoming debates with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence. Here are five takeaways from “The Ticket: The First Interview,” which aired Sunday during a special edition of “20/20” on ABC. Biden on his vice presidential pick: ‘It was easy for me’ After a months-long search, Biden told Roberts “it was easy” for him to choose Harris. “I mean she had the best recommendation she can get: my son Beau, not a joke,” Biden …

Bellicose words won’t stop the Channel dinghies – but compassion might | Regina Catrambone

The dangerous waters of the Channel have seen a rise in the number of people trying to cross to the UK in desperately unsuitable and overcrowded dinghies. The British government has called for the use of defence forces to stop them. Fears of “outsiders” bringing danger are exacerbated in the strange times of the coronavirus pandemic, when most of us face unprecedented restrictions on movement, making it a fertile climate to propagate anti-migrant messaging.   With the Conservative government securing Brexit with vows to tighten border controls, it is hardly surprising to see emotions getting heated over “record numbers” of people crossing the Channel without the requisite paperwork. But the bellicose language is worrying and dangerous. The home secretary’s creation of the post of “clandestine Channel threat commander” to deal with those making the crossing is utterly dehumanising and instigates racism. A significant number of those arriving are children, many …