A social media user whose far-right memes featuring doctored footage have been reposted by Donald Trump has been kicked off the platform.
Logan Cook, who posted from the account @CarpeDonktum has been permanently banned from Twitter after he posted a video that criticized CNN using doctored footage from the channel. A clip featuring a CNN video with the fake chyron “Terrified toddler runs from racist baby” was flagged by Twitter as “manipulated media” after Trump retweeted it.
Cook’s account had previously been suspended multiple times for violating copyright rules, and for posting a video that depicts Trump as a cowboy kicking CNN’s Jim Acosta.
Here’s more about the “racist baby” video that was flagged last week:
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The World Health Organization is warning of a global oxygen shortage, as coronavirus cases globally rise by 1m per week. Follow The Guardian’s live global coverage of the pandemic here:
Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, is facing a new federal grand jury indictment, according to the Department of Justice. The new allegations “broaden the scope of the conspiracy” that Assange has been charged with orchestrating, the DOJ said, accusing him of working with intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning and Anonymous to a classified Department of Defense computer.
Assange is currently detained in the UK, where he is being held for extradition to the US pending a hearing in September. He spent seven years at the Ecuadorian embassy in London until Ecuador rejected his request for asylum last April.
The fresh allegations don’t add new counts to the 18-count indictment under the Espionage Act filed last year – but it expands the scope of those charges.
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Democratic National Convention is scaling back physically, expanding virtually
The Democratic National Convention Committee (DNCC) has asked state delegations not to travel to Milwaukee for the convention, and attend virtually instead. Although Joe Biden will accept his nomination in Milwaukee, from where the party will broadcast the program.
But planners are also planning to broadcast from “other satellite cities, locations and landmarks across the country”, the DNCC announced in a statement.
“The city of Milwaukee has been an incredible partner and we are committed to highlighting Wisconsin as a key battleground state at our convention this August.” said Jen O’Malley Dillon, the Biden for President campaign manager. But convention planners are “developing new ways to organize and engage online with more voters than ever before during this critical election year” the DNCC noted.
The committee said that public health officials have yet to determine how many delegates and can safely gather in Milwaukee to participate in-person. All delegates will be able to cast their convention votes remotely during the convention, which is planned to take place from 17 to 20 August.
Coronavirus cases are also climbing among young adults in many states where bars, retailers, and restaurants have reopened. Last week, more than 8,000 new cases were reported among people aged 15 to 34, compared with about 2,000 among people 55 to 64 years old.
Again, while increased testing could explain some of this trend, experts say there’s more going on. “Younger people are more likely to be out and taking a risk,” Ali Mokdad, professor of health metrics sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle told the AP.
While young, otherwise healthy people are less likely to die of the virus — the elderly remain the most vulnerable to complications from Covid-19 — young people report suffering stretches of extreme pain and fatigue. Health experts also worry about young patients passing on the infection to older people with a heightened risk of dying from the virus.
While new infections have been declining in New York and New Jersey — both former hotspots, they’ve been rising in Arizona, California, Mississippi, Nevada, Texas, and Oklahoma.
Though some of the surge in recorded cases can be chalked up to aggressive testing in states like California, there has also been an uptick in coronavirus hospitalizations in North Carolina and South Carolina, which broke records for the number of residents hospitalized with Covid-19.
US coronavirus cases hit highest single day total
More than 38,600 new infections were reported today — surpassing records set in late April.
The COVID Tracking Project
The real news today is that the U.S. set a record for new cases today: 38,672.
The previous record was April 25 at 36,001. pic.twitter.com/pcFcLUeeKk
June 24, 2020
There have been more than 2.3 million coronavirus cases recorded in the US since the pandemic began, and more than 121,800 deaths according to the Johns Hopkins Covid Tracker.
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The Guardian’s Kenya Evelyn reports:
Rhode Island governor Gina Raimondo has signed an executive order announcing the state would move forward with changing its official name due to its ties to American slavery.
The state’s official name, “The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations,” appears on state documents. But the order would shorten it to just “Rhode Island”.
“The pain that this association causes to some of our residents should be of concern to all Rhode Islanders and we should do everything in our power to ensure that all communities can take pride in our state,” the governor wrote.
Raimondo, a Democrat, added that the new name would take effect “as soon as practicable” and apply to all state government communications, including agency websites and correspondence.
at 11.04pm BST
The Republican attorney general of Mississippi has endorsed changing the state’s flag, which features a Confederate emblem.
Statement on the State flag pic.twitter.com/LOe9gMIlAq
June 24, 2020
Pressure to change the state flag has mounted amid a nationwide reckoning with systematic racism. Walmart announced it would no longer display the flag at stores, and the state’s largest Baptist group urged leaders to choose a new flag.
“The racial overtones of this flag’s appearance make this discussion a moral issue,” the Baptists said. “A significant portion of our state sees it as a relic of racism and a symbol of hatred.”
Attorney general Lynn Fitch noted that “a new flag offers us a pathway forward, moving together as a people toward greater opportunities.”
But it’s unclear whether the idea will gain traction among the state’s Republican legislators. On Monday, governor Tate Reeves rejected a plan to create a second state flag, which he called “ the “Separate but Equal” flag option”.
North Carolina governor Roy Cooper has issued a statewide mask requirement, as the state’s number of new coronavirus cases continues to rise.
Cooper is following in the footsteps of his counterparts in California and Washington, where the governors have also mandated masks in public.
In North Carolina, retailers, supermarkets, meat processing facilities and other businesses could face citations if all employees – and their customers – are not wearing a face covering.
Governor Roy Cooper
Right now, the data is showing that we need to hit the pause button on reopening. But if we all work together and wear face coverings, we can protect our loved ones and get our trends back in the right direction to restore our economy and beat this virus. https://t.co/iW0MuUYGQ8 pic.twitter.com/zOvvELNJmr
June 24, 2020
Cooper, a Democrat, has also ordered a “pause” on easing any more restrictions. Restaurants, barbershops and some other businesses have been allowed to reopen with safety measures in place, but Cooper has vetoed legislation that would allow gyms, fitness clubs and bars to open.
“We don’t want to go backward. We want to stabilize our numbers so we could continue to safely ease restrictions and most importantly get our children back in school,” he said at a news conference. “I urge everyone to be a leader in wearing face coverings. I encourage businesses to be strong in enforcing it. Slowing the spread helps our economy and these face coverings do that.”
The state reported 1,721 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday, the second-highest daily total since the pandemic began.
Republican senators of Texas push back against withdrawal of federal funds for coronavirus testing
Republican senator John Cornyn of Texas has offered a rare rebuke of Donald Trump from the GOP over the president’s decision to wind down funding for 13 testing sites — including some in Texas.
“I know there’s concern, concern I share, over some of the statements being made about withdrawing federal support for coronavirus testing in Texas at the end of June,” Cornyn said. “It’s pretty clear to me, and I think it’s clear to all of us, that with the uptick of cases, now is not a time to retreat from our vigilance in testing.”
He called on the White House to extend federal support for Texas, “at least until we get this most recent uptick in cases addressed.”
Ted Cruz, the other Republican senator of Texas, is also pushing back against the withdrawal of funds for testing. A Cruz spokesman told NBC News that he “has urged and will continue to urge [health officials] to extend the community testing sites in Texas.”
Hi there, it’s Maanvi Singh, blogging from the West Coast.
I’ll be with you for the next few hours — feel free to send news, tips, comments via Twitter. You can find me @maanvisings.
Today so far
That’s it from me today. My west coast colleague, Maanvi Singh, will take over the blog for the next few hours.
Here’s where the day stands so far:
Senate Democrats blocked the Republican police reform bill from advancing. Democratic senators successfully filibustered the Republican legislation, which they criticized as an insufficient response to police brutality. Congress now appears to be at a standstill on police reform, considering Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell has already said House Democrats’ bill is a non-starter.
A grand jury has indicted three men in connection to the killing of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man who was fatally shot while jogging in a Georgia neighborhood. The Cobb county district attorney announced that a grand jury has indicted Travis McMichael, Greg McMichael and William R. Bryan on malice and felony murder charges for the February 23 death of Arbery.
The governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced new coronavirus travel restrictions. Starting at midnight tonight, anyone traveling to the three states from a state with a high level of community spread of coronavirus will have to quarantine for 14 days.
A federal appeals court ordered a judge to dismiss the criminal charges against Michael Flynn. A three-judge panel of the DC circuit court of appeals issued a 2-1 decision overruling judge Emmet Sullivan and ordering him to dismiss the criminal charges against Flynn, Trump’s former national security adviser. The ruling comes a month after the justice department filed a motion to dismiss the case, prompting allegations of political bias.
Joe Biden is leading Trump in a series of newly released polls. A New York Times/Siena College national poll showed Biden leading Trump by 14 points, while a Marquette Law School poll of Wisconsin found Biden leading by 8 points in the battleground state. A Quinnipiac poll also showed the two candidates effectively tied in Ohio, which is considered a must-win state for Trump.
Maanvi will have more coming up, so stay tuned.
Trump just concluded his joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda in the Rose Garden.
Before the event concluded, the president was asked about the Republican police reform bill, which was blocked by Senate Democrats today.
Trump said he hoped the legislation would be able to advance and accused Democrats of trying to “weaken the police,” pledging that his administration would not “do anything to hurt our police.”
#BREAKING: President Trump to sign executive order on monuments: “Now they’re looking at Jesus Christ. They’re looking at George Washington. They’re looking at Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson. Not going to happen, not going to happen. Not as long as I’m here.” pic.twitter.com/zIqUTUj3tD
June 24, 2020
The president then shifted his focus to monuments, bizarrely claiming activists are now trying to take down statues of Jesus Christ.
“Now they’re looking at Jesus Christ,” Trump said. “They’re looking at George Washington. They’re looking at Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson. Not going to happen, not going to happen. Not as long as I’m here.”
Trump also claimed protesters do not actually understand why they are trying to take down the statues. However, most of the statues that have been targeted in recent days are those representing leaders of the Confederacy, and protesters have repeatedly argued such monuments are a tribute to white supremacy.
The president said he would sign an executive order on protecting monuments later this week, describing the order as “very strong.”
Speaking at his joint press conference with Polish President Andrzej Duda, Trump confirmed he would be drawing down the US troop presence in Germany.
The US president told reporters gathered in the Rose Garden that his administration would reduce troop numbers in Germany from 52,000 to 25,000 and would probably then send some of those troops to Poland.
“They’ll be paying for the sending of additional troops” — Trump announces that Poland has bought US troops that have been stationed in Germany pic.twitter.com/4DnhvNQrcv
June 24, 2020
Duda emphasized he was opposed to reducing the US troop presence in Europe, and he said he had made that clear during his meeting with Trump.
The Polish president cited Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea as an example of the threats European countries face, arguing the US troop presence remained very necessary.
Trump then blamed the 2014 annexation of Crimea on “President Obama and Sleepy Joe Biden,” his opponent in the presidential election.
Trump does Putin’s bidding by blaming Obama and Joe Biden for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2014 pic.twitter.com/MvYiK7W62Z
June 24, 2020