Monday, July 27, 2020

The Rundown: Protests Flare-Up In Cities

VIOLENCE, OVER WEEKEND: Protests that had been ongoing in Portland, Oregon, since the death of George Floyd ramped up over the past week in response to President Trump sending federal agents to the city to defend the federal courthouse, and that continued this past weekend, with protests flaring up in other cities, some of them explicitly in response to agents being sent to Portland. Authorities declared a riot in Portland early Sunday morning when protesters breached a fence surrounding the courthouse. Federal agents repeatedly used tear gas to break up the protests, but many people remained. Things turned deadly in Austin, Texas, where 28-year-old protester Garrett Foster was shot and killed by someone who'd driven his car into the marching protesters. Foster was legally carrying an assault rifle and witnesses said he approached the car. The driver told police Foster pointed the weapon at him -- there are conflicting reports about if that's true -- and that's why he opened fire. The driver was taken into custody and later released while the investigation is ongoing.

In other protests:
  • Police in Seattle retreated into a precinct station early Sunday, hours after large demonstrations in the city. During the protests, rocks, bottles, fireworks and mortars were fired at police, and at least 45 people were arrested.
  • Protesters in Oakland, California, set fire to a courthouse, damaged a police station, shot fireworks and pointed lasers at officers after a peaceful demonstration Saturday evening took a turn.
  • In Aurora, Colorado, a protester shot and wounded someone after a car drove through the demonstrators marching on a highway. Details weren't released about whether the person shot had been in the car. Police also said a courthouse was damaged.
➤TRUMP ADMIN. SUGGESTS SMALLER CORONAVIRUS AID PACKAGE MIGHT BE NECESSARY: After the White House and Senate Republicans failed to come to agreement on a new $1 trillion coronavirus aid package that was supposed to be announced last week, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin suggested yesterday that a smaller package might need to be passed first so that unemployment benefits for millions of Americans don't expire. They named those benefits, money to help schools reopen, tax credits to keep people employed, and lawsuit protection for schools and businesses as their priorities for the legislation that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is expected to unveil today.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi criticized the Republicans, saying, "They’re in disarray and that delay is causing suffering for America’s families." The Democratic-led House passed a $3 trillion aid package two months ago, which the GOP-led Senate has not taken up. Pelosi has also said she's against passing a relief package in a piecemeal way.

There have been more than 146,900 U.S. deaths from the coronavirus as of early this morning, according to Johns Hopkins University's count, and more than 4,234,000 confirmed cases.

➤FLOODING REMAINS THREAT FROM DOWNGRADED HANNA; DOUGLAS VERY CLOSE TO HAWAII: Flooding continues to be a threat from Tropical Storm Hanna, after the downgraded storm pounded the Texas Gulf Coast yesterday (July 26th) with high winds and heavy rain one day after it made landfall as a Category 1 hurricane near Port Mansfield, Texas. Hanna had dropped more than 12 inches of rain on parts of South Texas and Mexico as of yesterday, and caused power outages across the region, which was already being hit hard by the coronavirus. There were no immediate reports of any deaths from the storm. Meanwhile, Hurricane Douglas, a Category 1 storm with 85 mile-per-hour winds, was close to the coast of Hawaii, with the island of Maui feeling the effects Sunday with heavy rain and strong wind gusts. Forecasters said Douglas would pass close to the island of Oahu, home to the state's biggest city of Honolulu, and there was a possibility of a direct hit. Robert Ballard of the Central Pacific Hurricane Center said, "We remain uncomfortably close to a dangerous hurricane here in the state of Hawaii." 

Olivia de Havilland
➤GONE WITH THE WIND’ STAR OLIVIA DE HAVILLAND DIES AT 104: Gone with the Wind and The Heiress star Olivia de Havilland has died at age 104. The two-time Oscar-winning actress died in her sleep at home in Paris. De Havilland’s other credits include To Each His Own, The Snake Pit, Hold Back the Dawn, Captain Blood, The Adventures of Robin Hood, Dodge City, The Charge of the Light Brigade, Hold Back the Dawn, To Each His Own, Lady in a Cage, Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte and The Fifth Musketeer. For the last few decades she has stayed out of the spotlight, with her last major role in 1988’s The Woman He Loved.

➤REPORT: FOUR MARLINS POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS, TEAM DELAYS TRIP HOME: Four Miami Marlins players have tested positive for the coronavirus, including pitcher Jose Urena, who was supposed to start their game yesterday, ESPN reported. The others are catcher Jorge Alfaro, infielder Garrett Cooper and outfielder Harold Ramirez. Because of concerns about players' family members, the Marlins delayed the MLB team's return home from Philadelphia, where they played their season-opening series, until today, before their home opener tonight. Several players may remain behind, with manager Don Mattingly saying, "The guys that tested positive are quarantined here in Philly." Meanwhile, the Cincinnati Reds were without second baseman Mike Moustakas and center fielder Nick Senzel yesterday after both felt sick one day after teammate Matt Davidson tested positive.

➤ASTROS' VERLANDER OUT WITH ARM STRAIN: Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, will be out for at least two weeks with a forearm strain, manager Dusty Baker announced yesterday. But Verlander denied that the injury will end the shortened 60-game season for him, tweeting last night, "The report that I’m currently missing the rest of the season is not accurate. . . . I’m hopeful that with some rest it will heal and I’ll be able to return soon." The 37-year-old pitched in the Astros' season-opener Friday, and Baker said he'd felt tenderness in his arm during the game, in which he pitched six innings and got the win.

➤THOMPSON WINS 3M OPEN: Michael Thompson won the 3M Open at TPC Twin Cities in Minnesota yesterday for his second PGA Tour victory, coming seven years after his first. Thompson had a two-stroke win over fellow American Adam Long, finishing at 19-under 265.

➤TRUMP SAYS WON'T THROW OPENING PITCH AT YANKEE GAME: President Trump announced on MLB's opening day last Thursday that he'd be throwing out the opening pitch at Yankee Stadium on August 15th, but on Sunday he said it wouldn't be happening after all. Trump tweeted that it had been called off because of his, quote, "strong focus" on the coronavirus, vaccines and the economy, but suggested it was just a delay, saying, "We will make it later in the season!" New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. had criticized the invitation to Trump by the Yankees.

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