Rep. G.K. Butterfield (D-NC) and Dr. Greg Murphy (R-NC), as well as U.S. Senate Candidate Cal Cunningham discuss what North Carolina needs from D.C. after Hurricane Isaias leave a trail of death in destruction behind.
President Donald Trump pulled the plug on his freewheeling daily coronavirus briefings when they turned into a political liability this spring, but he was reviving them Tuesday, looking to halt a campaign-season erosion of support as new cases spike across the country.
President Donald Trump’s negotiators fanned out on Capitol Hill Tuesday over a new COVID-19 aid package as divisions between the White House and Senate Republicans pushed talks into House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office to deal with the mounting crisis.
A major Pennsylvania hospital where three premature infants died in a bacterial outbreak last year has taken the extraordinary step of admitting fault as a condition of a civil settlement with the families announced Wednesday. Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pennsylvania, has acknowledged the process it was using to prepare donor breast milk led to the deadly outbreak in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit. A civil suit filed by some of the families has been settled, though monetary terms were not disclosed. Plaintiffs' attorney Matt Casey says his clients insisted that Geisinger take full legal acceptance of responsibility as a condition of the settlement.
Billboards towering over an African American cemetery in suburban St. Louis will be removed in coming months after a settlement was reached in a lawsuit alleging that the signs desecrate the memory of the people buried there. Attorney Mary Coffey said the judge in the case was advised of the settlement last week. Coffey represents Wanda Brandon, a volunteer whose lawsuit sought the removal of six lighted billboards that stand above Washington Park Cemetery in Berkeley, Missouri. Coffey said DDI Media, the St. Louis-based company that owns the signs, has 180 days from June 11, which was when the settlement was reached, for the signs to come down.
Joining forces on a song with another artist is a big deal for Ellie Goulding, and she remembers working together with late rapper Juice WRLD on “Hate Me,” which is featured on her new album being released Friday. Juice WRLD died of an accidental overdose of oxycodone and codeine in December. Goulding said his death “really it me." The rapper was 21 years old and released a batch of successful songs and albums, including the hit “Lucid Dreams,” which reached No. 2 on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart. His first posthumous album, “Legends Never Die,” was released last week.
The U.S. is downgrading Pakistan's aviation safety rating, a move that blocks that country's airlines from operating flights to the U.S. The Federal Aviation Administration didn't give details behind its action, announced Wednesday, but Pakistan has been roiled by a scandal over pilots getting improper licenses. Nearly one-third of Pakistan’s pilots cheated on exams but still received licenses from the country’s civil-aviation authority. The pilot cheating scandal emerged after an investigation into a May crash in Karachi that killed 97 people. The latest move by the FAA gives Pakistan in a so-called category 2 safety rating, which means airlines from Pakistan can’t start flights to the U.S.
The cost of bringing students back to classrooms is proving a major stumbling block to safely reopening schools across the U.S. In the debate raging from the White House to local school boards about bringing students back, health concerns are getting most of the attention. But school and union officials say cost is a major concern. There's a list of new expenses, including adding teachers, bus drivers, custodians and nurses, plus buying protective gear. Schools are trying to figure out how to reopen amid uncertainty over how to pay for it. They're pushing Congress to foot the bill, but whether it will is not clear.
Atlanta police have charged a suspect with felony murder and aggravated assault in a shooting that killed an 8-year-old girl near the site of an earlier police shooting. Police said Wednesday that they issued warrants a day earlier for 19-year-old Julian Conley in the slaying of Secoriea Turner. Conley's attorney, Jackie Patterson, said Conley was peacefully protesting and witnessed the shooting but did not open fire himself. Secoriea was fatally shot on the Fourth of July while riding in an SUV with her mother and another adult near the Wendy’s restaurant where Rayshard Brooks, a 27-year-old Black man, was killed by a white police officer on June 12.
Ellie Goulding’s fourth album is a perfectly crafted artsy pop record full of songs built with epic production and layered vocals. But underneath the beats are gems of lyrics: dark, poetic one-liners with a heaviness that might raise your eyebrow. Goulding says “Brightest Blue," out Friday, allowed her to face her fears, and open up. She says though she didn’t want to mask the pain behind the songs on her album, she also wanted to offer listeners a sense of hope and optimism. “Brightest Blue” is a double album, with the second half of the project, dubbed “EG.0,” including radio-friendly collaborations with Diplo, Swae Lee, Lauv, blackbear and Juice WRLD.
Portugal is experiencing a heat wave with temperatures way above average, sweltering nights and a heightened risk of wildfires. Portugal’s weather authority, IPMA, is warning that temperatures could rise by an average of five degrees Celsius (nine degrees Fahrenheit) across the country starting on Wednesday, with thermometers hitting as much as 42 C (107.6 F) in some southern inland areas later this week. With temperatures in Lisbon expected to shoot up above 36 C (97 F) on Thursday and Friday, most residents and tourists expressed relief that Portuguese authorities are only requiring the use of masks against the new coronavirus indoors, making them voluntary outdoors.
Ohio’s Republican governor won wide praise for his quick response early during the coronavirus outbreak. Now he’s facing criticism from both Democrats and Republicans. Some think Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s edicts have gone too far and others believe he’s backed down from protecting the public. His early aggressive moves have been tilting lately toward messages of personal responsibility. But now with the virus surging again in Ohio, DeWine is requiring masks in just the hardest hit counties even as some states are issuing wider and stricter measures. The Ohio governor says he’s worried about controlling the virus, not his critics.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt says he has tested positive for the coronavirus and is isolating at home. The first-term Republican governor made the announcement Wednesday. The 48-year-old Stitt has backed one of the country's most aggressive reopening plans, has resisted any statewide mandate on masks and rarely wears one himself. Stitt attended President Donald Trump's rally in Tulsa last month, which health experts have said likely contributed to a surge in coronavirus cases in that city. Stitt says he's confident he didn't catch the virus at the Trump rally, which took place nearly a month ago. He started feeling symptoms on Tuesday.
Most theaters in America may be closed, but one musical isn’t letting the virus pandemic stop it from getting prepared to put on a show. “KPOP,” a musical exploring the world of Korean pop, is conducting a video-based global casting call in hopes of being ready whenever live performances resume. Producers are looking for Korean, Korean American and Asian American men and women in their 20s. They “must be excellent singers with a strong, pop belt” and “dance at an advanced level.” Familiarity with K-Pop is, of course, a plus. The show represents a rarity — a stage production with a nearly all-Asian cast.
More than 70 rich countries have signed up to a global coronavirus vaccine initiative intended to ensure that any effective shots are fairly distributed globally _ but which may also allow them to buy more vaccines for their own stockpiles. In a statement on Wednesday, the vaccines alliance Gavi said that 75 countries have said they will join its new “Covax facility” along with 90 low-income countries, who hope to receive donated vaccines. The Associated Press reported this week that the plan may allow rich countries to reinforce their own coronavirus vaccine stocks while leaving fewer shots for more vulnerable populations.
Police in Belarus say officers detained more than 250 people, after mass protests against barring two candidates from the Aug. 9 presidential election erupted in the country. Thousands of people took to the streets of Minsk and other cities Tuesday, protesting against the exclusion of two main rivals of President Alexander Lukashenko from the ballot. Footage of the rally showed people marching down the city streets and clapping, a popular protest gesture in Belarus, Police officers clashing with some of the protesters while trying to detain them. Amnesty International on Wednesday condemned mass detentions as provoking violence and violating protesters’ rights.
Days after reopening two theme parks amid a spike in coronavirus cases in Florida, Walt Disney World is welcoming back visitors to two more theme parks that had been shuttered since March because of the new coronavirus. The Florida theme park resort reopened Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios on Wednesday. It completed a rolling opening of Disney World’s theme parks that started last weekend with Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom welcoming back visitors. The parks were the last of Orlando’s major theme parks to reopen after being shuttered since March. Both Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando opened their doors last month.
Prague officials say a fire broke out at a modern art museum in the heart of the Czech capital. A spokesman for Prague firefighters says electrical cables at one of Museum Kampa's buildings caught fire Wednesday, sending acrid smoke across the nearby Vltava River. The official says the firefighters managed to extinguish the blaze, but had to evacuate pieces of art from an exhibition hall hit by the thick smoke. It wasn't immediately clear if any artwork was damaged. The museum is known for its valuable collection of paintings by Frantisek Kupka, a pioneer of modern abstract painting.
France’s new prime minister is firmly defending the police despite growing concerns about police brutality. He's also pledging to crack down on ethnic or religious “separatism” in neighborhoods with large minority populations. Prime Minister Jean Castex vowed to fight racism and anti-Semitism, but didn’t directly address recent protests in France against racial injustice and police violence unleashed by George Floyd’s death in the United States. Instead he criticized drug traffickers and petty criminals who ambush police and promised a “firm response." Multiple cases are running through French courts involving accusations that police were at fault for deaths or injuries during difficult arrests.
Thousands of census takers are about to begin the most labor-intensive part of America’s once-a-decade headcount. They will be visiting the 56 million households that have not yet responded to the 2020 questionnaire. The visits that start Thursday kick off a phase of the census that was supposed to begin in May before it was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. The virus forced the Census Bureau to suspend field operations for a month and a half. Census takers will ask questions about who lives in a household and the residents’ race, sex and relations to each other.
Courts are beginning to hold jury trials again after the coronavirus shut down much of the criminal justice system. The proceedings are happening with added safety measures, but some attorneys say those precautions are insufficient and infringe on the constitutional rights of the accused. Many courts are mandating masks and screening people for fevers. Defense lawyers fear their clients won’t get a fair shot if distracted jurors struggle to focus on evidence or rush through deliberations to get home quickly. Others say masks make it impossible for jurors to assess a witness’ credibility because the coverings obscure facial expressions.
Walmart has become the latest major retailer to require customers to wear face coverings at all of its namesake and Sam’s Club stores. The nation's largest retailer said the policy will go into effect on Monday to give the company time to inform stores and customers. The Bentonville, Arkansas-based company said that currently about 65% of its more than 5,000 stores and clubs are located in areas where there is already some form of government mandate on face coverings. The retailer also said it will create the role of health ambassador at its Walmart stores and will station them near the entrance to remind customers without masks of its new requirement.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says the U.S. is imposing travel bans on employees of the Chinese technology giant Huawei and other companies the U.S. determines are assisting authoritarian governments in cracking down on human rights. He also says the Trump administration is finalizing plans to crack down on the popular Chinese video streaming app TikTok, although he stopped short of saying it would be banned in the U.S. Pompeo made the announcements on Wednesday, a day after the British government said it would ban Huawei from its 5G networks over concerns that sensitive data could be compromised by China.