Federal law enforcement agents are still patrolling the streets of Portland, Oregon, ostensibly to disperse the ongoing anti-racism protests there. Now, Donald Trump has threatened to send federal officers into several other US cities whose mayors he described as “liberal Democrats”, including New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore and Oakland.
Critics say the threatened crackdown is part of a re-election campaign strategy, with Trump trying to present himself as a “law and order” president while repeatedly – and falsely – accusing his rival Joe Biden of planning to “defund the police”, thus surrendering cities and suburbs to violent crime.
Speaking at the White House on Monday, Trump described Chicago as “worse than Afghanistan” after more than 63 people were shot in the city over the weekend, 12 of them fatally.
And you know what? If Biden got in, that would be true for the country. The whole country would go to hell. And we’re not going to let it go to hell.
The Trump administration has consulted “torture lawyer” John Yoo – who infamously wrote the legal justification for waterboarding during the George W Bush presidency – on how the current president could rule by decree on issues including immigration, healthcare and “inner-city policy”.
Trump endorsed face masks, three months after the experts
More than three months after the US Centers for Disease Control said face coverings could help slow the spread of Covid-19, and long after masks became an unlikely battleground in the US culture wars, Trump at last has endorsed them, tweeting that “many people say it is Patriotic to wear a face mask when you can’t socially distance”.
Trump also said on Monday that he planned to bring back his televised daily coronavirus briefings, as he met Republicans at the White House to discuss a new coronavirus relief package, which looks set to be a source of disagreement not only between Republicans and Democrats but also between the president and his own party.
The bad news…
Military medical teams have been sent to California hospitals overwhelmed by the influx of Covid-19 patients.
Disney theme park staff are concerned about returning to work at resorts in California and Florida, both states in which coronavirus cases are surging.
The better news…
The Oxford coronavirus vaccine produced a strong immune response in people who volunteered to trial it in the UK. Large-scale trials of the vaccine have now begun in Brazil and South Africa.
The trial of a Covid-19 inhaler treatment given to UK hospital patients significantly reduced the numbers needing ventilators or dying, researchers have said.
Fox News faces another round of sexual misconduct claims
Ed Henry, the former chief national correspondent of Fox News, has been accused of rape and sexual assault by a former co-worker at the cable news channel. A federal lawsuit filed in New York on Monday says Henry groomed and later assaulted the then 24-year-old Jennifer Eckhart, demanding she be his “sex slave” and threatening her with retaliation if she did not comply. Henry, who was fired by Fox News this month, denies the accusations.
Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity are also named in the lawsuit by a second former Fox News employee, Cathy Areu, who says she was publicly humiliated by Hannity and propositioned by Carlson – claims that Fox described as “false, patently frivolous and utterly devoid of any merit.”
How Twitter can escalate global conflicts
US diplomats were reportedly dismayed when Trump in 2018 taunted the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, via Twitter about the size of his “nuclear button”. Earlier this year, amid tensions between Washington and Tehran, Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei tweeted an image of Trump’s face with a red handprint, as if he had been slapped.
Security experts at King’s College London have now published a study examining how political leaders’ tweets escalate global tensions outside the traditional diplomatic channels. Adrienne Matei reports.
In other news…
The white couple who pointed guns at anti-racism protesters outside their St Louis mansion last month are to face criminal charges. Personal injury lawyers Mark and Patricia McCloskey will be charged with felony unlawful use of a weapon and a misdemeanor charge of fourth-degree assault.
An “anti-feminist” lawyer suspected of shooting the family of a federal judge was himself found dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound in the Catskills on Monday. Police said Roy Den Hollander was the prime suspect in the killing of Daniel Anderl, son of the US district judge Esther Salas.
Rich Americans’ homes generated 25% more greenhouse gases than the homes of the less affluent, according to a study which found that the most energy-intensive dwellings are in Maine, Vermont and Wisconsin, while the least energy-intensive are in Florida, Arizona and California.
What can we learn from Netflix’s all-time top 10?
The streaming service has revealed its 10 most-watched original movies, topped by the Chris Hemsworth action thriller Extraction, seen by 99 million viewers. Benjamin Lee asks what the list can tell us about which films work best online.
Why even the ‘perfect Uighur’ isn’t safe from the camps
Beijing claims its re-education camps in China’s Xinjiang province are to combat Islamic terrorism among the Uighur Muslim minority. Yet Dilara and her family are educated, hard-working, cosmopolitan model citizens – and even they have not been spared. Eveline Chao reports.
Ellen Pao on why Facebook can’t beat hate
Tech executive Ellen Pao first broke ground in Silicon Valley with a gender discrimination suit against her former venture capital firm. Then she tried to take on the trolls as the boss of Reddit. She tells Julia Carrie Wong how Facebook and others ought to tackle hate on their platforms: “Just do the right thing.”
Opinion: the NBA’s wokeness has its limits
Allowing its stars to wear messages on their jerseys in support of social justice was supposed to show the NBA in a positive light. Instead, writes Hunter Felt, the lukewarm response from players demonstrates the limits of corporate virtue-signalling.
The NBA has gained a reputation as the most liberal of the major US sports leagues, but it’s a reputation that it has mostly achieved thanks to comparisons to the more conservative leadership of the NFL, NHL and MLB.
Last Thing: Greta Thunberg gives $1.15m to the climate fight
The teenage climate campaigner Greta Thunberg has been awarded a €1m ($1.15m) Portuguese rights award, the Gulbenkian prize for humanity – and promptly pledged it all to environmental groups.
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