Read Time: 7 Minutes
Racial & Social Issues
- An overwhelming 93 percent of demonstrations held this summer were peaceful, according to a new report. The report found that, even when protests that turned violent, destruction was “largely confined to specific blocks, rather than dispersed throughout the city.”
- As part of efforts to remove “violent social militias” from its social networks, Facebook removed the pages of U.S. right-wing group Patriot Prayer and its founder Joey Gibson.
Patriot Prayer has hosted dozens of pro-gun, pro-Trump rallies and attendees have repeatedly clashed with left-wing groups around Portland, Oregon, where one group supporter was killed this week.
- Kentucky Republican Rep. Thomas Massie praised 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse, who is charged with a count of intentional homicide in the shooting deaths of two men at a protest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, saying he “exhibited incredible restraint” by not firing all his rounds into the crowd.
- A group of Black Lives Matter protesters who planned to spray paint the phrase on the Atlantic City Boardwalk during a demonstration Friday instead joined the mayor to create the mural elsewhere during a city-sponsored event.
Mayor Marty Small offered to paint the slogan – a symbol of opposition to police brutality against Black people – on the pavement of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in front of the city’s Civil Rights Garden. BLM organizer Steve Young accepted the proposal.
- The White House Office of Management and Budget has directed federal agencies to cancel employee racial sensitivity training that may be “divisive” and “un-American.” The memo specifically notes training sessions that discuss “white privilege” or “critical race theory” and orders all contracts that can be legally canceled to be ended.
- The city council of Lexington, Virgina voted unanimously to approve the name change of the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery, the final resting place of the Confederate general.
- Texas Assistant Attorney General Nick Moutos said he was ousted from his position after posting tweets in support of the right-wing conspiracy theory QAnon. He also made anti-LGBT comments, specifically about the trans community, writing that “trans people’ are an abomination and have a mental disorder.”
- Two Missouri men were arrested at a Wisconsin hotel with an AR-15, a shotgun, handguns and magazines, as well as a dagger and saw. They are allegedly members of an organization called the 417 Second Amendment Militia and court documents included photos of one posing with a gun in front of a pro-law enforcement Blue Lives Matter flag.
- The president disputed a report in The Atlantic that alleged he had asked for disabled veterans be excluded from military parades and had called American war dead “losers.”
- Defense Secretary Mark Esper today defended Trump after an article alleged that the president disparaged the troops. Esper’s statement stopped short of an outright denial of the article’s explosive allegations.
- “The military, the veterans I’ve talked to tonight, they are furious about this and they can’t understand why people are still supporting this individual who is doing these kinds of things,” Retired Lt. General Mark Hertling said in an interview.
- Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean slammed President Trump, directly addressing Trump in a tweet that read: “My brother was captured in Laos in September of 1974 and executed by the North Vietnamese on December 14, 1974. Fuck you, Donald Trump.”
- Army veteran Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) roasted President Trump over his reported comments disparaging fallen US soldiers, citing injuries she sustained in the line of duty.
“I take my wheelchair and my titanium legs over Donald Trump supposed bone spurs any day.”
- Former White House national security adviser John Bolton said he didn’t hear Trump refer to slain American soldiers buried at a French cemetery as “losers” and “suckers” after the allegations were made in a bombshell report.
“I’m not saying he didn’t say them later in the day or another time”, but I was there for that discussion.”
- The Pentagon ordered Stars and Stripes, a newspaper (which also publishes online) that has been a lifeline and a voice for American troops since the Civil War, to present a plan that “dissolves the Stars and Stripes” by Sept. 15 including “specific timeline for vacating government owned/leased space worldwide.”
“The last newspaper publication (in all forms) will be September 30, 2020,” writes Col. Paul Haverstick Jr., the memo’s author.
A coalition of Republican and Democratic senators are calling on the Defense Department to reinstate funding for Stars and Stripes.
- President Trump vowed that funding wouldn’t be cut from the 159-year-old military newspaper Stars and Stripes after a leaked memo revealed that the Pentagon had inexplicably ordered the publication to close. “It will continue to be a wonderful source of information to our Great Military!” he tweeted.
- President Trump cast doubt that leading Russian opposition figure Alexei Navalny was poisoned in an assassination attempt in Siberia, saying he is waiting to review the evidence.
“We haven’t had any proof yet,” Trump said during a briefing at the White House.
The president’s remarks came hours after NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said there is “proof beyond doubt” that Navalny was poisoned with the Novichok nerve agent. The NATO head called it a violation of international law that required an international response.
- The unemployment rate dropped to 8.4 percent in August, the Labor Department reported on Friday, marking the fourth month of declines even as the pace of job growth is slowing.
Economists warn of further layoffs through the fall especially if the White House fails to reach a deal on new stimulus relief, as an expected drop in consumer spending, the expiration of a small business relief program, and other factors could spur a wave of business closures across the country.
- A federal judge ruled the Trump administration to stop detaining migrant children at hotels prior to deporting them.
U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee said the practice violated “fundamental humanitarian protections” and ran afoul of a 20-year rule dictating the treatment of migrant children in government custody. The order mandates border agencies to halt the placement of children in hotels by Sept. 15 and remove those already there as soon as possible.
- The Trump administration is proposing a massive sale that would allow logging across thousands of acres of the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, which critics say will exacerbate climate change and harm wildlife habitat. The Tongass National Forest. like the Amazon Rainforest, is a major carbon sink, meaning its trees soak up carbon from the atmosphere, mitigating the impacts of climate change.
- President Trump announced Friday he will award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to former football coach Lou Holtz.
- A draft report from the Department of Homeland Security says White supremacists present the gravest domestic terror threat to the United States — ranking them higher than foreign terrorist groups.
- Joe Biden denounced the QAnon conspiracy theory as “dangerous” and “embarrassing,” suggesting those that support it seek mental health treatment.
- Iowa is sending all active registered voters an absentee ballot application for the Nov. 3 general election this weekend.
“You can vote from home, you can vote in-person at your county auditor’s office, or at the polls on Election Day. The key is we want every eligible Iowan to participate and to be safe while voting,” Secretary of State Paul Pate (R) said in a statement.
- The first ballots of the 2020 presidential election were sent to voters on Friday as North Carolina elections officials begin processing what they expect to be a record number of absentee requests.
- Despite claiming in a federal lawsuit it filed against Gov. Phil Murphy (D) that New Jersey’s mostly vote-by-mail election on Nov. 3 is an unconstitutional “recipe for disaster,” the Trump campaign has not taken any additional steps to actually stop the state‘s plans.
- Navajo Nation residents in the swing-state of Arizona brought a lawsuit to extend mail-in voting deadlines. The Trump campaign is asking a federal judge to allow it to intervene against the tribe, arguing it is unfair and “could affect the campaign’s chance of success in the state.”
- President Trump lashed out at the news media, accusing them of asking Democratic candidate Joe Biden easier questions.
- The Fraternal Order of the Police, the nation’s largest police union, again endorsed President Trump and praised his calls for law and order.
- A group of more than 175 current and formal law enforcement officials have endorsed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, including dozens of former Attorneys General, U.S. attorneys, local police chiefs and sheriffs.
Sources: ABC News, Associated Press, The Atlantic, Axios, Bloomberg, CBS News, CNN, Chicago Tribune, Financial Times, Forbes, Fox News,The Hill, Independent, MSNBC, NBC News, NJ.com, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post