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|Trump identifies another hoax: The coronavirus
“The most outrageous lies are the ones about Covid 19,” wrote game show host Chuck Woolery in a tweet promoted by the president.
POSTED JULY 13, 2020 11:26 AM
|US Postmaster General tells postal workers to leave mail behind if it slows down their route
The US Postal Service is in a financial crisis, and is now instructing workers to avoid logging overtime — even if it means leaving mail behind.
POSTED JULY 14, 2020 5:47 PM
|The St. Louis couple that aimed guns at Black Lives Matter protesters received dozens of offers to replace a firearm that was seized by police, their attorney says
Police seized Mark and Patricia McCloskey's rifle in a search warrant. Since then, the couple has received over 50 offers to replace it, their lawyer said.
POSTED JULY 14, 2020 4:23 PM
|Civilian searcher says Army overlooked evidence after Vanessa Guillen's death
Vanessa Guillen, 20, a soldier, disappeared from Fort Hood in Texas on April 22, sparking a search and international attention.
POSTED JULY 14, 2020 4:43 PM
|Ousted U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman: Deal Barr Offered ‘Could Be Seen as a Quid Pro Quo’
The federal prosecutor whom Attorney General Bill Barr ousted in June told House investigators that he was alarmed at the way Barr attempted to replace him, saying that “the “irregular and unexplained actions by the Attorney General raised serious concerns for me,” according to a transcript of the closed-door interview released by the House Judiciary Committee on Monday. Geoffrey Berman, formerly the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, was brought in for a closed-door session of the Judiciary Committee on July 9 to talk about the events surrounding Barr’s public announcement on June 19 that Berman had “stepped down” from his post, even though the U.S. attorney made clear to Barr multiple times that he was not stepping down. The late-night announcement by Barr immediately sparked confusion and raised questions about his involvement in a crucial prosecutor’s office. The next day, Berman said he would leave the job when Barr agreed to let his deputy take over as acting U.S. attorney, as opposed to Craig Carpenito, the U.S. attorney for the district of New Jersey, whom Barr wanted to install in the position until the Trump administration’s pick, Securities and Exchange Commission chief Jay Clayton, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate.Berman, who at SDNY handled sensitive investigations into Trumpworld figures such as Rudy Giuliani, did not comment specifically to the Judiciary Committee on what he believed Barr’s motivations to be, and he studiously avoided any questions about how specific SDNY probes might have factored into the situation. But Berman made clear that the attorney general’s preferred plan would have slowed and complicated the work of the office, and he raised several questions challenging Barr’s handling of the process. Trump Thought He’d Picked His Perfect U.S. Attorney in Geoffrey Berman. He Was Very Wrong.“Why did the attorney general say that I was stepping down when he knew I had neither resigned nor been fired?” Berman asked rhetorically, in response to questions from Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-NY). “Why did the attorney general not tell me the actual reason he was asking me to resign instead of saying that it was to get Clayton into the position? And why did he announce the appointment of Craig Carpenito as acting U.S. attorney when Audrey Strauss was the logical and normal successor?”“Replacing me with someone from outside the district would have resulted in the disruption and delay of the important investigations that were being conducted,” Berman said later. “I was not going to permit that. And I would rather be fired than have that done.” At numerous points, Berman expressed his dismay at Barr’s wish to install Carpenito—who would have retained his previous job in New Jersey—in the job instead of Berman’s top deputy, Strauss, a move he said violated 70 years of precedent at SDNY.According to his opening statement that was obtained by The Daily Beast last Thursday, Berman said that during a private meeting in New York that Barr called to open the discussion, the attorney general praised his performance as U.S. attorney but said the Trump administration wanted Clayton to take the SDNY post. Berman said Barr tried to lure him away by dangling other offers—to head the Department of Justice’s civil rights division and, later, the SEC—but Berman declined. Barr told him that if he did not resign, he would be fired. “I believe the attorney general was trying to entice me to resign so that an outsider could be put into the acting U.S. attorney position at the Southern District of New York, which would have resulted in the delay and disruption of ongoing investigations,” Berman told the Judiciary Committee.At one point in the interview, GOP committee attorney Steve Castor asked if Barr had laid out to Berman a set of actions that would have allowed him to keep his job—if there was any “quid pro quo for you getting to keep your job.”Berman said no, and he confirmed that Barr did not mention any specific SDNY investigations—Castor raised Jeffrey Epstein and Guiliani-related probes—in pressuring him to leave. But Berman did say Barr’s offering of other positions could have been construed as a quid pro quo.“You know, he wanted me to resign to take a position. I assume you could call that a quid pro quo. You resign and you get this, that would mean quid pro quo,” said Berman. Asked to clarify those comments later, he said it wasn’t his term but reiterated that “it could be seen as a quid pro quo, his offering me a job in exchange for my resignation.” Berman is a rare U.S. attorney in that he was not confirmed by the Senate but was appointed by the judges of SDNY to hold the position in April 2018. Berman insisted that, as he was a court-appointed prosecutor, neither Barr nor President Trump had the authority to fire him before the Senate confirmed a successor, but some past legal precedent has indicated the president can fire a court-appointed U.S. attorney. Trump has said he had nothing to do with Berman’s ouster. Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
POSTED JULY 13, 2020 7:21 PM
|Portland Protesters Set Fire to Base of Elk Statue During 46th Consecutive Night of Demonstrations
During a night of unrest in Portland, Oregon, on Sunday, July 12, protesters set fire to an empty fountain and the base of an elk statue that was recently removed during protests in the area.
During clashes on July 11, one protester, named as Donavan La Bella, was hospitalized after he was shot in the head with an impact munition, the Portland Tribune reported. Mayor Ted Wheeler has announced that US Marshals will investigate the incident.
Protesters gathered on July 12, the 46th consecutive day of protests in Portland, to call for justice for La Bella, local media reported.
The Oregonian reported that a “120-year-old statue of an elk” that sat atop the David P. Thompson Fountain was removed from downtown Portland after protesters damaged its base by setting it on fire during July 1 demonstrations.
This video shows a figure lying on the base as fire burns in the empty fountain beneath on Sunday night. Credit: Drew Hernandez via Storyful
POSTED JULY 13, 2020 1:04 PM
|Philippines to use police in house-to-house searches for COVID-19 cases
Philippine authorities and police will carry out house-to-house searches for COVID-19 patients to prevent wider transmission, a minister said on Tuesday, amid soaring death and infection numbers and some areas returning to a stricter lockdown. Interior Minister Eduardo Año urged the public to report cases in their neighbourhoods, warning that anyone infected who refused to cooperate faced imprisonment. The tough approach comes during a week where the Philippines recorded Southeast Asia biggest daily jump in coronavirus deaths and saw hospital occupancy grow sharply, after a tripling of infections since a tough lockdown was eased on June 1 to allow more movement and commerce.
POSTED JULY 14, 2020 8:59 AM
|Writer and editor Bari Weiss leaves New York Times over 'bullying' and 'harassment' from colleagues
Opinion writer and editor Bari Weiss is leaving the New York Times claiming she has been bullied and harassed by colleagues over her often controversial opinion articles, and alleging that Twitter is the paper's 'ultimate editor'.Ms Weiss has been a polarising figure for the paper and she frequently generated backlash on social media for her opinions. She is leaving the paper amid a debate in the elite media over the role of journalists and the prevalence of "cancel culture" within the industry.
POSTED JULY 14, 2020 1:37 PM
|Iran executes defense ministry staffer as alleged CIA spy
Iran has executed a former employee of the defense ministry who was convicted of spying on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency, the country's judiciary said Tuesday. The report said Reza Asgari was executed last week. Judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said Asgari had worked in the airspace department of the ministry and retired in 2016.
POSTED JULY 14, 2020 5:48 AM
|'Difficult to attack vanilla': Trump's throwing everything at Biden, but nothing is sticking
It's different from four years ago, when the president was "helped by the fact that Hillary had 20 years of built-in negatives," one Republican said.
POSTED JULY 14, 2020 7:21 PM