The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 6 Minutes

Protest News

  • The New York City Police Department has reportedly removed officers out of district attorneys offices in several boroughs after some prosecutors decided to not file charges against some protesters arrested during recent demonstrations.
  • Martin Gugino, the 75-year-old activist who Buffalo, N.Y., police knocked to the ground and hospitalized, is unable to walk after his injury, his attorney said Tuesday.

“I am not at liberty to elaborate at this time other than to confirm that his skull was fractured. While he is not able to walk yet, we were able to have a short conversation before he became too tired.”

  • Steven Ray Baca, a former city council candidate, has been arrested and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon with a firearm enhancement after police say he shot and critically injured a protester during a demonstration calling for the removal of the “La Jornada” sculpture in front of the Albuquerque Museum Monday night.
  • Columbus, Ohio police will no longer be allowed to use tear gas for crowd control, joining a growing number of cities across the country cracking down on chemical irritants as viral videos and reports show peaceful protesters being targeted with the weapons.

“Tear gas will no longer be used to break up peaceful protests. Period,” Mayor Andrew Ginther said.

Administration News

  • Leaders at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) violated the agency’s scientific integrity policy by issuing a statement in September contradicting the National Weather Service shortly after President Trump said Hurricane Dorian was headed toward Alabama.

“The development of the statement was not based on science but appears to be largely driven by external influence from senior Commerce [Department] officials who drafted the Sept. 6 statement,” the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) concluded in its report.

  • Interviews with nine current and former Chinese officials point to a shift in sentiment in favor of the sitting president, even though he has spent much of the past four years blaming Beijing for everything from U.S. trade imbalances to Covid-19. There is a belief that the benefit of the erosion of America’s postwar alliance network would outweigh any damage to China from continued trade disputes and geopolitical instability.

“If Biden is elected, I think this could be more dangerous for China, because he will work with allies to target China, whereas Trump is destroying U.S. alliances,” said Zhou Xiaoming, a former Chinese trade negotiator and former deputy representative in Geneva. Four current officials echoed that sentiment, saying many in the Chinese government believed a Trump victory could help Beijing by weakening what they saw as Washington’s greatest asset for checking China’s widening influence.

  • More than two weeks after President Trump said the U.S. would withdraw from the WHO, his government remains a member of the U.N. agency and continues to coordinate with it, raising hopes among agency officials the U.S. may not follow through.
  • President Trump signed an executive order that he says will deploy grants to help police departments meet certification standards on use of force, create a database on excessive force complaints, and encourage involvement of mental health professionals in nonviolent cases.
  • President Trump says chokeholds will be banned “except if an officer’s life is at risk” under a new credentialing process for police under the new executive order.
  • “President Obama and Vice President Biden never even tried to fix this during their 8 year period. The reason they didn’t try is because they had no idea how to do it and it is a complex situation.”

NOTE: Under Obama, 14 consent decrees were enforced upon troubled and discriminatory police agencies. The Trump administration removed these tools for imposing accountability on police forces engaging in systemic racial discrimination and abuse.

  • In the middle of his Rose Garden speech about the signing of an executive order addressing police brutality, President Trump described the issue of school choice as the civil rights issue of the decade “and probably beyond.”
  • The president said, “These are the people, the best, the smartest … And, they’ve come up with the AIDS vaccine”

NOTE: There is no AIDS vaccine.

  • The Trump administration sued John Bolton on Tuesday to stop the publication of his memoir about his time in the White House, saying it contains classified information that would compromise national security if it became public.
  • Elaine McCusker, the Pentagon budget chief who questioned the Trump’s administration for its holding on aid to Ukraine last year, will leave her post at the end of the month, Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced Tuesday. 
  • Vice President Pence said Tuesday that President Trump’s campaign is considering “outside activities” and a different venue for his upcoming Tulsa rally

“It’s all a work in progress. We have had such an overwhelming response that we’re also looking at another venue, we’re also looking at outside activities and I know the campaign team will keep the public informed as that goes forward,” Pence said on “Fox & Friends”

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • United Airlines announced that passengers who refuse to wear masks will be put on an internal travel restriction list and not be allowed on future flights.
  • New Zealand has reported its first new cases of coronavirus in more than a week after two women who traveled abroad tested positive after being released from their quarantine early. The pair of cases break the country’s eight-day streak of being COVID-19 free.
  • Representative Ilhan Omar, a Democratic congresswoman from Minnesota, said that her father had died from complications of Covid-19.
  • A clinical trial in Great Britain has found that a cheap, widely available drug reduces deaths from coronavirus in severely ill patients on ventilators by one-third, which researchers hailed as a significant breakthrough.

The drug, a steroid called dexamethasone, was found to reduce deaths among coronavirus patients on ventilators by one-third and by one-fifth among patients receiving oxygen only. There was no benefit among patients not on ventilators or receiving oxygen.

  • Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said that a full recovery from the pandemic-driven recession is “unlikely” until Americans no longer fear contracting COVID-19, despite recent strong economic data.
  • Florida’s Department of Health on Tuesday morning confirmed 2,783 additional cases of COVID-19, setting another daily total record high since the start of the pandemic. The state now has a total of 80,109 confirmed cases.

Florida, Texas and Arizona hit daily records for virus cases, each identifying well over 2,000 new infections as they have moved swiftly to reopen.

  • Beijing’s city government on Tuesday raised its COVID-19 emergency response level to II from III, according to state media.

The Chinese capital has been battling with a fresh outbreak of the new coronavirus, with more than a 100 new cases confirmed in recent days.

  • Woodbridge Township NJ police department paid a local barber to set up shop and give haircuts to police officers inside the station — as well as paying members of the public, despite an executive order from Gov. Phil Murphy that has banned similar personal care services for the past three months.

Police Director Robert Hubner told NJ Advance Media on Tuesday that the department paid the local barber for the first round of haircuts, totaling $1,605 for time and supplies, using funding from the federal Cares Act and that he was hired so the officers could comply with the department’s personal grooming standards.

  • Vice President Pence on Tuesday blamed the media for stoking concerns of a “second wave” of coronavirus in the United States, insisting in an op-ed that the Trump administration’s response has been successful even as infections are climbing in several states.
  • The U.S. coronavirus death toll on Tuesday surpassed the number of U.S. service members who died in World War I.

Sources:  ABC News, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, NBC News, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

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