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Politics • American • US
2020-07-02T20:30:01+00:00
Pence say national mask mandate is not needed, vows to "keep opening up America"
Vice President Mike Pence at the Youngstown Police Department in Youngstown, Ohio – June, 2020
Vice President Mike Pence at the Youngstown Police Department in Youngstown, Ohio – June, 2020 Credit: The White House from Washington, DC / Public domain

In an interview with CNBC, Vice President Mike Pence said he didn't believe "there is a need for a national mandate" and vowed that the Trump administration would "keep opening up America" despite a significant rise in confirmed Covid-19 cases.

Pence further stated that the Trump administration would support states that "are seeing rising cases every step of the way" and that "PPE supplies are strong, testing is strong, more therapeutic medicines are available every day."

Politics • American • US
2020-07-02T18:00:01+00:00
McDonald's halts U.S. reopening plans amid rising Covid-19 cases
McDonald's halts U.S. reopening plans amid rising Covid-19 cases
Credit: unsplash.com/Joiarib Morales Uc

McDonald's announced it would halt its dine-in reopening plans for at least three weeks, as 32 states see a rise in Covid-19 infections. The company urges its restaurants to carefully review state guidance if the closure of indoor service was required and continue to follow social distance and hygiene protocols.

Politics • American • US
2020-07-02T14:30:02+00:00
U.S. reports highest daily Covid-19 case count
U.S. reports highest daily Covid-19 case count
Credit: unsplash.com/Gabe Pierce

The United States reported its highest daily case count with around 50,000 new confirmed Covid-19 infections on Wednesday. Several states, including California, Texas and Georgia, hit single-day case records.

Politics • American • US
2020-07-02T13:48:48+00:00
Official Trump webshop sells merchandise reminiscent of Reichsadler
"America First Tee" sold on Donald Trump's website
"America First Tee" sold on Donald Trump's website Credit: Screenshot via shop.donaldjtrump.com

Donald Trump's website is selling merchandise bearing a symbol that resembles both the Parteiadler, used by the Nazi Party, and the Reichsadler, a symbol used as a national emblem by Nazi Germany. The t-shirts sold on donaldjtrump.com shows an eagle holding the American flag and the words "America First".

Eagles are a popular symbol used by countries worldwide and have been used as an emblem for centuries.

Politics • American • US
2020-07-02T09:46:02+00:00
Bars, restaurants and other indoor businesses ordered to close in 19 Californian counties
Bars, restaurants and other indoor businesses ordered to close in 19 Californian counties
Credit: unsplash.com/Toa Heftiba

California Governor Gavin Newsom has ordered the closure of indoor businesses such as restaurants, theatres and museums amid rising numbers of Covid-19 infections. The new shutdown applies to 19 counties and will remain in place for at least three weeks.

"The bottom line is the spread of this virus continues at a rate that is particularly concerning," so Newsom in a video news conference. "We’ve seen increased activity where people simply aren’t able to practice social distancing."

Politics • American • US
2020-07-02T06:30:02+00:00
Business Insider report: Taliban sources confirm that Russia put bounties on US soldiers

According to a report from Business Insider two active Taliban commanders and one former commander have confirmed that Russia pays for bounties to attack and kill soldiers of the United States in Afghanistan.
All three sources stated that they had not participated in the program and disparaged the practice, but confirmed the existence. According to one source the groups that associate with the Taliban but are not close to the central leadership the Quetta Shura "will do anything for money, and Russia, Iran, Pakistan, and other countries will hire them for operations".

He stated that he wasn't approached by Russia himself as he was based in a different region of Afghanistan as they operate in, but regularly by Iran. According to Business Insider, an official of the NATO military intelligence has also confirmed that the practice is well-known.

Politics • American • Brazil
2020-07-01T23:30:01+00:00
Brazilian delivery apps workers go on strike
Brazilian delivery apps workers go on strike
Credit: Twitter (Reproduction)

Over a thousand food delivery apps workers on motorcycles gathered in São Paulo on Wednesday to protest their work conditions, set by Uber, Colombia’s Rappi and Brazil’s iFood.

The deliverymen seek higher pay and better health measures, with Brazil now a Covid-19 epicentre and delivery workers facing exposure to the virus with their work in high demand.

Politics • American • US
2020-07-01T16:30:01+00:00
CNN and Buzzfeed obtain more records of Robert Mueller's investigation
Robert Mueller at the White House, 2021
Robert Mueller at the White House, 2021 Credit: The White House from Washington, DC / Public domain

CNN and Buzzfeed obtained further reports and notes from "special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into the 2016 election [...] in response to Freedom of Information Act lawsuits by BuzzFeed News and CNN." The notes contain interviews with major witnesses during Robert Mueller's investigations, including Steve Bannon and multiple witnesses whose names had been retracted.

Some of the key takeaways of these notes are:

  • Steve Bannon, Trump's former campaign manager, expressed severe mistrust of Roger Stone, accusing Stone of having leaked damaging information to the press to get Paul Manafort as a replacement for Corey Lewandowski as campaign manager. Bannon called Stone a "nasty piece of work" with a "sketchy background."

  • Bannon described Trump asking frequently about "dirt" on Hillary Clinton and her missing emails to hurt her campaign. According to Bannon, Trump assumed the emails could contain information that would link "crooked Hillary" to the conspiracy theory about an illicit uranium deal.

  • FBI agents visited a male, unnamed witness who asked "if the agents were there to inquire about the campaign, and about Erik Prince, a military contractor and unofficial adviser to Trump’s campaign."
Politics • American • US
2020-07-01T14:30:02+00:00
Remdesivir out of stock as United States buy world wide supplies
Remdesivir out of stock as United States buy world wide supplies
Credit: unsplash.com/Christina Victoria Craft

One of the two drugs that have been approved for the treatment of Covid-19, Remedesivir, has been bought up by the United States. For the next three months, there will most likely be almost no supply for other countries. According to Dr Andrew Hill from Liverpool University, the United States "got access to most of the drug supply" of Remdesivir. Over 500,000 doses have been bought.

Alex Azar, the United States health and human services secretary has stated that "to the extent possible, we want to ensure that any American patient who needs Remdesivir can get it. The Trump administration is doing everything in our power to learn more about life-saving therapeutics for Covid-19 and secure access to these options for the American people".

Politics • American • US
2020-07-01T11:30:01+00:00
Memoir of Trump's niece Mary Trump temporarily blocked by NY judge
Cover of "Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man" by Mary L. Trump, Simon & Schuster
Cover of "Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man" by Mary L. Trump, Simon & Schuster Credit: Simon & Schuster, via Amazon

On Tuesday, Judge Hal B. Greenwald of the New York State Supreme Court temporarily blocked the publication of Mary L. Trump's memoir "Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man". Donald Trump's younger brother Robert Trump had filed a temporary restraining order on June 24 to block the book that's described as a "revelatory, authoritative portrait of Donald J. Trump and the toxic family that made him," stating that Mary Trump was breaking a confidentiality agreement.

Mary Trump is represented by Ted Boutrous, a First Amendment attorney, who said the order "flatly violates the First Amendment," and that they would appeal immediately. "This book, which addresses matters of great public concern and importance about a sitting president in an election year, should not be suppressed even for one day," so Boutrous.

Politics • American • Brazil
2020-07-01T10:01:54+00:00
Brazil issues Covid-19 international border restrictions for 30 days
Rio de Janeiro view from the Sugar Loaf
Rio de Janeiro view from the Sugar Loaf Credit: Raphael Nogueira

The Brazilian Government published an ordinance restricting foreign nationals access to the country for 30 days.

"It is restricted, for thirty days, the entry into the country of foreigners of any nationality, by road, by other terrestrial means, by air or by water transport", says the ordinance.

Excluded from the restrictions does not apply are those arriving by air "to establish residency for a specific time and who hold a temporary visa for the following purposes:" research, teaching or academic extension; study; job; making investment; family meeting; artistic or sporting activities with a fixed-term contract ".

Politics • American • US
2020-07-01T04:30:01+00:00
Anthony Fauci warns of severe rise in Covid-19 cases if country doesn't take action
Anthony Fauci warns of severe rise in Covid-19 cases if country doesn't take action
Credit: The White House from Washington, DC (Public Domain)

Dr Anthony Fauci warned Congress on Tuesday that, if the country doesn't take any action quickly against the current rise of Covid-19, the situation in the United States "could get very bad."

"We're going in the wrong direction," so Fauci. "We are now having 40-plus thousand new cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around."

Fauci attributes the surge in new cases to people not following guidelines as well as lifting restrictions too soon and too quickly. He further urges younger people to not think that they are "invulnerable" to the disease.

Politics • American • US
2020-06-30T20:00:01+00:00
Arizona closes various business amid new rise in Covid-19 case
Arizona closes various business amid new rise in Covid-19 case
Credit: unsplash.com / PJ Gal-Szabo

Arizona is closing a broad range of business again as the state sees a rising number of Covid-19 infections. Among the businesses affected are bars, gyms, theatres and water parks.

"Our expectation is that next week, our numbers will be worse," Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said. "It will take several weeks for the mitigations we are putting in place to take effect."

Politics • American • South America
2020-06-29T23:00:02+00:00
Uruguay is the only Latin American country in EU's Covid-19 'safe list'
Munich International Airport passport control
Munich International Airport passport control Credit: Vasyatka1 (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The European Union has named 14 countries whose citizens are deemed "safe" to be let in from July 1, and the only Latin American country is Uruguay.

As infection rates in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia are still high, their nationals will face travel restrictions.

The current list is formed by Algeria, Australia, Canada, Georgia, Japan, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Rwanda, Serbia, South Korea, Thailand, Tunisia and Uruguay.

Politics • American • US
2020-06-29T19:23:37+00:00
White House briefs Republicans on Russian bounties on US soldiers, Democrats left out

Seven House Republicans have been briefed by White House officials on the ongoing case of alleged Russian bounties for killing soldiers of the United States by Afghani militants. While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer have both demanded to be brief on the matter as the investigations are still ongoing and it is yet unclear if Vice President Pence and President Trump have known of the Russian activities, the Democrats have been left out of the briefing by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe, and national security adviser Robert O'Brien.

Politics • American • US
2020-06-29T20:58:06+00:00
Nancy Pelosi demands answers for "congress and the country" on Russian bounty operation
Nancy Pelosi at #ProtectOurCare, 2019
Nancy Pelosi at #ProtectOurCare, 2019 Credit: Senate Democrats / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

On Monday, Nancy Pelosi has asked the Trump administration to brief all members of the House on recent reports that Russia offered bounties to Taliban-linked militants to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Trump has denied he had any knowledge of the Russian bounty operation.

In her letter, Pelosi wrote that both "Congress and the country need answers now" and that "Congress needs to know what the intelligence community knows about this significant threat to American troops and our allies and what options are available to hold Russia accountable."

According to Kayleigh McEnany, White House press secretary, members of the congress will be briefed on Monda,y but it's uncertain whether the brief would be open to all members.

Politics • American • US
2020-06-29T14:41:00+00:00
US Supreme Court decides that Louisiana law restricting abortions is unconstituational
US Supreme Court decides that Louisiana law restricting abortions is unconstituational
Credit: unsplash.com / Alejandro Barba

The United States Supreme Court decided 5-4 that the Louisiana law that was passed in 2014 and restricted the access to abortions is unconstitutional. The law required any doctor offering abortion services to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. Two doctors and one clinic that sued against it had argued that only one doctor at one single clinic would be able to provide abortion services for almost 10,000 women in the state.

Politics • American • US
2020-06-29T11:00:02+00:00
Democrats call for California's John Wayne Airport to be renamed due to actor's racist views
John Wayne's statue at John Wayne / Orange County Airport
John Wayne's statue at John Wayne / Orange County Airport Credit: Dave & Margie Hill / Kleerup (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

The John Wayne Airport in California’s Orange County is the subject of a potential name change after the Democratic Party of Orange Country has passed an emergency resolution calling for the airport to revert back to its original name of Orange County Airport.

The resolution reads "The Democratic Party of Orange County condemnsJohn Wayne’s racist and bigoted statements, and calls for John Waynes’ name and likeness to be removed from the Orange County airport, and calls on the OC Board of Supervisors to restore its original name: Orange County Airport."

In a 1971 Playboy interview, John Wayne advocated derogatory views of African Americans, Native Americans and movies with gay characters. He even admitted to being a believer in white supremacy.

The final decision is up to the Orange County Board of Supervisors to make.

Politics • American • US
2020-06-29T07:30:01+00:00
Mississippi to replace state flag displaying Confederate emblem
The Mississippi state flag
The Mississippi state flag Credit: Michaelswikiusername at English Wikipedia / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

On Sunday, the Mississippi state legislature passed a bill to remove the Confederate emblem from the state's flag, the last remaining state flag to display the Confederate insignia. The Mississippi House voted 91 in favour and 23 opposed of removal, the Senate vote was 37 to 14. Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves (R) said he would sign the legislation into law.

Politics • American • US
2020-06-28T14:30:02+00:00
Justice Department charged 4 men for trying to take down Andrew Jackson monument
Andrew Jackson memorial, Lafayette Park, Washington, D.C
Andrew Jackson memorial, Lafayette Park, Washington, D.C Credit: Daderot (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

Four men have been charged with destruction of federal property by the Justice Department. The complaint alleges that Lee Cantrell, Connor Judd, Ryan Lane and Graham Lloyd had "damaged and attempted to tear down the statue depicting Andrew Jackson located in Lafayette Square" and that "Cantrell was captured on video attempting to pry the statue off its base." According to the DOJ's statement, Judd was arrested on Friday.

Politics • American • Brazil
2020-06-28T10:00:01+00:00
Brazil to start production of experimental Covid-19 vaccine
Brazil to start production of experimental Covid-19 vaccine
Credit: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

The Brazilian government has announced on Saturday that it will start producing an experimental Covid-19 vaccine locally. The government has signed an agreement worth $127 million with AstraZeneca who developed the experimental vaccine. According to the World Health Organization the vaccine is considered the world's leading candidate which has been developed by researchers at Oxford University in the United Kingdom. Human trials are still undergoing and final proof of the effect against Covid-19 is still pending.

Politics • American • US
2020-06-28T08:30:01+00:00
1 dead and 1 injured during Breonna Taylor protests in Louisville
"Say Their Names" sign at a BLM protests in D.C.
"Say Their Names" sign at a BLM protests in D.C. Credit: unsplash.com/Clay Banks

One man was killed and another person was injured during a peaceful protest in Louisville, Kentucky on Saturday night. Protestors had gathered at Jefferson Square Park to demand justice for Breonna Taylor when a man fired over a dozen shots at the protestors. The park was cleared and closed by police so homicide detectives can conduct their investigation to identify the people involved with the shooting.

In a statement on Facebook, Louisville mayor Greg Fischer wrote he was "deeply saddened by the violence that erupted in Jefferson Square Park tonight, where those who have been voicing their concerns have been gathered."

Politics • American • US
2020-06-28T07:00:02+00:00
"George Floyd" police reform bill passed by the House of the United States
"George Floyd" police reform bill passed by the House of the United States
Credit: unsplash.com/ElevenPhotographs

The United States House of Representatives, in which the Democratic party has a majority, has passed a police reform bill named after George Floyd. The chamber voted 236-181 in favor of the bill, but Donald Trump has already threatened to veto the legislation. If the legislation would be put into law, police officers could be held personally liable for lawsuits, ban no-knock warrants and stop the cash flow of the military surplus towards the police. The Republicans in the senate are also presenting a reform bill, though the senate one is far less reaching.

Politics • American • US
2020-06-27T22:16:01+00:00
Princeton University to remove Woodrow Wilson's name from school
Robertson Hall, home to Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Robertson Hall, home to Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs Credit: Zane R. / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

Princeton University's board of trustees announced on Saturday that they would remove Woodrow Wilson's name from Princeton's School of Public and International Affairs. Wilson served as the U.S. president from 1913 to 1921 and is known for his involvement in the resegregation of multiple agencies of the U.S. government.

"We believe that Wilson's racist thinking and policies make him an inappropriate namesake for a school whose scholars, students, and alumni must be firmly committed to combatting the scourge of racism in all its forms," read the statement by the board.

Politics • American • US
2020-06-26T22:00:02+00:00
United States Senate discusses bill to regulate encryption
United States Senate discusses bill to regulate encryption
Credit: Santeri Viinamäki (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

The "Lawful Access to Encrypted Data Act", introduced by senators Graham, Blackburn, and Cotton would force manufacturers of devices and systems with encryption to be able to decrypt data upon request of public authorities or court orders.

The law is tied to other regulations regarding surveillance and national security including Section 215 of the Patriot Act. For technology companies, the only reason to not unencrypt data would require proof that it is "technically impossible" and then they could be forced by the government to redesign their systems.

Politics • American • US
2020-06-26T17:00:01+00:00
Texas is pausing reopening plans amid surge in Covid-19 cases
Gov. Greg Abbott in 2016
Gov. Greg Abbott in 2016 Credit: World Travel & Tourism Council / CC BY (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)

In a press conference on Thursday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced a temporary pause on reopening measures amid a surge in Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations. The state reported almost 6,000 new cases on Thursday and a record high for Covid-19 hospitalisations.

"The last thing we want to do as a state is go backwards and close down businesses. This temporary pause will help our state corral the spread until we can safely enter the next phase of opening our state for business," so the Governor.

Politics • American • US
2020-06-26T12:00:01+00:00
Trump administration files brief to Supreme Court claiming that Medicaid is unconstitutional
President Barack Obama speaks at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, N.H., at a town hall meeting about health care reform on Aug. 11, 2009
President Barack Obama speaks at Portsmouth High School in Portsmouth, N.H., at a town hall meeting about health care reform on Aug. 11, 2009 Credit: Pete Souza / Public domain

The Trump administration has asked the Supreme Court to declare the Medicaid program established under president Obama unconstitutional. The administration aims to eliminate medical insurance coverage for 20 million Americans with low enough incomes to qualify for the program. At this point, the White House has not proposed an alternative solution in case they succeed in court.

Politics • American • US
2020-06-26T11:00:01+00:00
C.D.C warns that US "probably recognized about 10 percent of the outbreak"
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield (l) with Dr. Anthony Fauci (r) at the Vaccine Research Center, 2018
CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield (l) with Dr. Anthony Fauci (r) at the Vaccine Research Center, 2018 Credit: NIH Image Gallery from Bethesda, Maryland, USA (Public Domain)

On Thursday, C.D.C. director Dr Robert Redfield warned that the numbers of Covid-19 infections are most likely to be 10 times higher than the official numbers of 2.3 million, basing these assumptions on recent antibody test results.

"Now that serology tests are available, which test for antibodies, the estimates we have right now show about 10 times more people have antibodies in the jurisdictions tested than had documented infections," so Redfield.

Politics • American • Brazil
2020-06-26T09:00:02+00:00
Brazil registers 40,673 new cases of Covid-19, 1,180 deaths
Covid-19 testing in Uruçuca, Bahia
Covid-19 testing in Uruçuca, Bahia Credit: Gustavo Lima Brandão

The consortium of Brazilian media companies, compiling data from state health authorities, announced Thursday Brazil recorded 40,673 new confirmed cases of the Covid-19 in the past 24 hours as well as 1,180 deaths.

The country has now a death toll of 55,054, and 1,233,147 confirmed cases.

Politics • American • US
2020-06-26T05:00:02+00:00
US government offical says that Americans "just have to live with that" after Covid-19 infections are surging
Larry Kudlow
Larry Kudlow Credit: Gage Skidmore (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.0)

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow has stated that "We’re going to have hot spots, no question" in regards to the surging numbers of Covid-19 cases in the United States as the country previously recorded the day with the highest number of new cases so far. He added that Americans "just have to live with that".