Black Texas farmers were finally on track to get federal aid. The state’s agriculture commissioner is helping stop that.
Sid Miller is challenging a debt relief program that the U.S. Department of Agriculture saw as a way to correct historic discrimination. An advocate for Black Texas farmers says the challenge “pushes us back even further.”
Vote-by-mail rejections are testing integrity of Texas Republicans’ voting law
With less than a month left to vote by mail in the March primary election, hundreds of applications for mail-in ballots are being rejected as both Texas voters and local election officials decipher new ID requirements enacted by Republican lawmakers.
Long before Colleyville synagogue standoff, Texas houses of worship were preparing for violent attacks
Attacks on houses of worship like the 2017 Sutherland Springs shooting have prompted many religious groups to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars and countless hours to bolster security.
Russia rejects UK claim of trying to replace Ukraine leader
Russia's Foreign Ministry has rejected a British claim that Russia is seeking to replace Ukraine’s government with a pro-Moscow administration and that former Ukrainian lawmaker Yevheniy Murayev is being considered as a potential candidate.
With Roe in doubt, states act on abortion limits, expansions
State-by-state battles over the future of abortion are setting up around the U.S. Republican lawmakers are proposing new restrictions based on laws in Texas and Mississippi and some Democratic-led states are working to preserve access.
Court fight brews over constitutionality of Texas governor’s border arrests
A legal defense group is asking Travis County courts to throw out the arrests of hundreds of migrants swept up in the governor’s border initiative. The case is expected to draw in the Texas attorney general and address whether Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan is unconstitutional.
Chopper's Politics Podcast: Despite the vaccine halo, the Prime Minister isn't inoculated from electoral defeat
Christopher Hope is joined by Telegraph colleagues Camilla Tominey and Tony Diver in this week's Chopper's Politics podcast to discuss what can be learned from three very different recent by-elections. Our associate political editor, Camilla Tominey feels that going forward the same issue faces both the Tories and Labour: "They need to nail their colours to the mast. What kind of Labour party is Sir Keir Starmer going to lead, and equally now he's got Brexit done, what is Boris Johnson's ideolognews.yahoo.com
Bosnia: Officials, firm owner arrested over ventilator deal
Civil protection workers move boxes of ventilators at the customs post in the Bosnia capital Sarajevo, Thursday, April 30, 2020. (AP Photo)SARAJEVO Bosnian authorities have detained two high-ranking state officials and the owner of a private company which imported 100 ventilators from China that were found to be useless for COVID-19 patients. The three are being investigated for money laundering, fraud, embezzlement of state funds and other crimes, the prosecutors were quoted as saying. The company owner has rejected accusations that he imported the ventilators at highly inflated prices. Bosnia, which went through a bloody civil war in the 1990s, is composed of the Muslim-Croat federation and a Serb entity.
As Trump deadline approaches, N.C. wants more on convention
RALEIGH, N.C. North Carolina's top health official asked Friday for more details on how GOP leaders will protect attendees of a Republican National Convention this summer during the COVID-19 pandemic. President Donald Trump has threatened to move his formal renomination elsewhere if he does not soon get guarantees of being able to hold a large-scale event. The GOP's letter Thursday did not mention such a request, but Cohen said it had been discussed by phone. The state continues to support the hosting of the Republican National Convention in Charlotte if it can be done safelty, Cohen wrote to Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and convention CEO Marcia Lee Kelly. Cooper is seeking reelection this fall in a state Trump won in 2016.
The Latest: South Africa has backlog of nearly 100,000 tests
South Africa has backlog of nearly 100,000 unprocessed tests. ___JOHANNESBURG South Africa says it has a backlog of nearly 100,000 unprocessed tests for the new coronavirus. The ministry says one of the latest people to die in South Africa was an employee with the National Health Laboratory Services. Indonesia had recorded more than 24,500 COVID-19 cases as of Thursday with nearly 1,500 deaths, the most fatalities in Southeast Asia. Thailand has had just single-digit increases in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases for most of May.
Baltimore voters face watershed moment with mayoral primary
In this June 7, 2018, photo, Thiru Vignarajah is shown after a candidate's forum for the office of Baltimore State's Attorney, in Baltimore. Although Tuesday's election is a primary, Democrats outnumber Republicans 10-1 in Baltimore, all but assuring them a general election win in November. The other front-runners are City Council President Brandon Scott, former Maryland Attorney General Thiru Vignarajah and former U.S. Treasury Department Undersecretary for Domestic Finance Mary Miller. Bernard C. Jack Young automatically became mayor after Catherine Pugh resigned, given his position at the time as City Council president. Young is seeking reelection, promising voters he will clean up the city, reduce crime and invest in the communitys youth.
Virus protection adds new wrinkle to Southwest heat relief
There are still few places where our homeless can go," Salvation Army Major David Yardley said at the group's downtown center. Blistering temperatures can endanger health, and can lead to heat exhaustion, heat stroke and even death. The daily high temperatures in Phoenix were forecast to hit 110 degrees (43C) or very close to it during the extreme heat warning in effect through Sunday, National Weather Service forecasters said. The cooling stations in metro Phoenix open when the weather service declares extreme heat warnings They were also open for a string of days during an extreme heat warning in late April. In metro Las Vegas, where an excessive heat warning is in effect until Friday evening, four heat relief stations were open.
Masks on Leatherneck Square: Virus changes Marine training
Katheryn Hunter, a Marine drill instructor at Parris Island Recruit Depot in South Carolina, poses for a photo on May 27, 2020. In ways big and small, the virus is impacting training at the Marine Corps' Parris Island Recruit Depot and across the military. (AP Photo/Lolita Baldor)PARRIS ISLAND, S.C. The booming shouts of the rain-soaked Marine recruits echo across Leatherneck Square training field, barely muffled by their masks. But in ways big and small, the virus is impacting training at the Marine Corps' Parris Island Recruit Depot and across the military. Marine recruits go to either Parris Island or to Camp Pendleton in southern California, for 13 weeks of training.
South Africa has virus testing backlog of nearly 100,000
A woman walks on the promenade in stormy weather in Sea Point, Cape Town, South Africa, Friday, May 29, 2020. With dramatically increased community transmissions, Cape Town has become the center of the coronavirus outbreak in South Africa. (AP Photo/Nardus Engelbrecht)JOHANNESBURG South Africa says it has a backlog of nearly 100,000 unprocessed tests for the coronavirus, a striking example of the painful shortage of testing kits and reagents across Africa as cases steadily rise. South Africa has conducted more tests for the virus than any other country in Africa more than 655,000 and has the most confirmed cases with 27,403. One of the latest people to die in South Africa was an employee with the National Health Laboratory Services.
Chinese grad students may be next hit by US-China tensions
Well be announcing what were doing tomorrow with respect to China and we are not happy with China," Trump told reporters at an unrelated event Thursday, referring mainly to COVID-19. Pompeo's determination opened the door to possible sanctions and the loss of special perks Hong Kong has received from the United States. The officials could not say how many people could ultimately be expelled, although they said it would be only a fraction of the Chinese students in the country. Overall, there were 369,548 students from China, accounting for 33.7% of international students who contributed nearly $15 billion to the U.S. economy in 2018. But the timing of a potential announcement could come at a time of increasingly heated rhetoric about the imposition of national security laws on Hong Hong in violation of the Sino-British accord.
GOP lawyer fights California governor on stay-at-home orders
She is one of Californias two elected members of the Republican National Committee, and shes a co-chair of Women for Trump that is part of the presidents reelection campaign. She chaired the city's Republican Party before winning election as vice chair of the state GOP in 2013. The governor's policies and the policies of counties are falling more heavily on Democrats than Republicans because there are more Democrats than Republicans in the state, Dhillon said. Dhillon represented the California Republican Party in a successful challenge last year to a law aimed at requiring Trump to release his tax returns to be on the California ballot. In fact its reinforcing the bad image of the Republican Party," he said of Dhillon's recent lawsuits.
Both businesses and customers conflicted as DC reopens
Non-essential businesses, shuttered since late March, will be able to start offering curbside pickup. All across the capital and the four neighboring Virginia counties that are reopening on the same schedule business owners and their customers are deciding whether they're really ready. James Waterhouse runs Garden District, an outdoor beer garden in the heart of a lively stretch of bars and clubs. Customers are going to have to make their own set of decisions about their comfort level. But first there are internal safety modifications to deal with, amid obstacles that include unexpected shortages of suddenly precious resources.
White House punts economic update as election draws near
Paul Winfree, a former Trump White House director of budget policy, doubted that the holdup on the economic update was on Trump's radar. Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, noted that the law requires the White House to update its budget forecast. In 2017, the Trump administration criticized the Obama administration for rosy expectations of growth during the Great Recession more than a decade ago. An updated forecast in the mid-session review could make the Trump White House a similar target for criticism. This is a White House that is in denial about the trajectory of the economy.___Associated Press writers Alexandra Jaffe and Emily Swanson in Washington contributed to this report.
Trump tries a new response after George Floyd's death
I feel very, very badly," Trump said Thursday of George Floyd's death while handcuffed and in the custody of Minneapolis police. But some activists doubt that Trump has suddenly evolved on the issue of police brutality and instead see election-year political calculations. Trump was very upset when he saw that video," White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday. The White House and Department of Justice have long had the power to address these issues. Sharpton credited both the magnitude of outrage in response to Floyd's death as well as the upcoming election for the changed approach.
Police across US speak out against Minneapolis custody death
Law enforcement officials nationwide have rushed to condemn the actions of Minneapolis officers in the death of a black man in custody, a wave of harsh criticism experts say is unprecedented. Police nationwide, in unequivocal and unprecedented language, have condemned the actions of Minneapolis police in the custody death of a handcuffed black man who cried for help as an officer knelt on his neck, pinning him to the pavement for at least eight minutes. A bystander's disturbing video shows Officer Derek Chauvin, who is white, kneeling on Floyd's neck, even as Floyd begs for air and slowly stops talking and moving. Weve got to remember that it was not just Officer Chauvin who was sitting on George Floyds neck, she said. Minneapolis is bracing for more violence after days of civil unrest, with burned buildings, looted stores and angry graffiti demanding justice.
VA says it'll stop almost all use of unproven drug on vets
(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, Pool)WASHINGTON Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie said Thursday that his department has all but stopped use of an unproven malaria drug on veterans with COVID-19. Major veterans organizations had called on the VA to explain its use of hydroxychloroquine after an analysis of VA hospital data was published month showing hundreds of veterans who took the drug saw no benefit for COVID-19. They remained at higher levels before tapering off in late April amid backlash over results of the VA hospital analysis and as remdesivir emerged as a form of treatment. The Food and Drug Administration has warned against the drug and said hydroxychloroquine should only be used for the coronavirus in formal studies. The VA has said it prescribed the drug only when medically appropriate, after full discussion between doctor and patient about the risks.
Mitch McConnell stresses need to wear face masks in public
(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)Wading into a politically charged issue, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell on Thursday preached the importance of wearing masks in public as the nation's economy reopens from the cataclysmic" damage inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic. During a tour of hospitals this week in his home state of Kentucky, the Republican leader has stressed wearing masks in public and following social distancing guidelines. There should be no stigma attached to wearing a mask," McConnell said during an appearance in Owensboro. President Donald Trump has refused to wear face coverings, and polls find that conservative Americans are more likely to forgo them. The events were his first public appearances in the Bluegrass State since mid-March due to the pandemic.
Democrats charge OSHA isn't protecting front-line workers
Instead of an emergency standard, the agency has relied on voluntary guidance that recommends companies erect physical barriers, enforce social distancing and install more hand-sanitizing stations, among other steps. More than 80,000 cases of COVID-19 have been reported among health care workers, meatpacking employees and prison staff, including at least 372 deaths, Adams said. OSHA quickly pivoted to focus intensely on giving employers and workers the guidance they need to work safely in this rapidly changing situation. A group of Senate Democrats asked the Labor Departments inspector general to investigate OSHAs inspections and citations related to COVID-19. The lawmakers, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., also want the watchdog to investigate OSHAs decision not to put in place a temporary emergency standard to deal with the virus.
Court denies request to revive US pipeline permit program
A U.S. appeals court on Thursday turned down a request by the Trump administration and energy industry groups to revive a permit program for new oil and gas pipelines that had been canceled by a lower court. The case originated with a challenge to the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada to the U.S. but has affected oil and gas pipeline proposals across the nation. Backed by numerous states and industry groups, attorneys for the government argued the cancellation would delay construction of pipelines needed to deliver fuel to power plants and other destinations. Circuit Court of Appeals denied an emergency request to block Morris' ruling. They said in a one-page decision that the government, states and industry groups had not demonstrated sufficient harm to their interests to justify reviving the program while the case is still pending.
Graham urges older judges to retire so GOP can fill openings
Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing on the nomination of Judge Justin Walker to be a U.S. Circuit Court judge for the District of Columbia Circuit on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 6, 2020. So if youre a circuit judge in your mid-60s, late 60s, you can take senior status. If confirmed, Walker would take an appeals court seat being vacated by Judge Thomas Griffith, who intends to retire in September. The vacancy creates an election-year slot on the influential appeals court, where four of the nine current Supreme Court justices served, including Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh.
Trump ally Stone won't need to go to prison quarantine site
But Roger Stone, a longtime confidant of President Donald Trump, will start his prison sentence without needing to comply with a Bureau of Prisons directive that newly sentenced inmates be sent to a federal quarantine site. Just last week, the agency said it would process all newly-sentenced Bureau inmates through one of three quarantine sites or at a federal detention facility. Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman Sue Allison told The Associated Press that Stone is supposed to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons by Saturday and will not be required to go to a quarantine facility. Stone will need to quarantine for 14 days at the prison where he surrenders, Allison said. Stone was sentenced to serve more than three years in prison plus two years probation and a $20,000 fine.
Failed Maduro coup leader flew on pro-govt magnate's plane
The invaders were caught almost immediately and the embattled leader paraded on state TV the American combatants as evidence of a U.S.-backed coup attempt. Its unclear why the men traveled on the plane to Colombia or if Durn even knew about it. lvarez was named in 2017 director of Industrias Venoco de Centroamerica, two years after the company was registered in Panama. Upon Durn's release in 2011 and return to Venezuela, a legal battle with the Venezuelan state to reclaim Venoco ensued. But Durn appears to have never wavered in his support of the anti-imperialist revolution to which he owed his fortune.
Lawmakers ejected in Hong Kong debate on Chinese anthem bill
Chu was ejected from the legislative chamber, disrupting the start of the debate on a contentious bill that would criminalize insulting or abusing the Chinese national anthem. Lee was recently elected chair of a key committee that sent the anthem bill to the full legislature for consideration. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)HONG KONG Two pro-democracy lawmakers were ejected from Hong Kong's legislative chamber Thursday morning, disrupting the start of a second day of debate on a contentious bill that would criminalize insulting or abusing the Chinese national anthem. Chu was carried out by security guards, even as fellow pro-democracy lawmakers protested his removal and tried to stop it. Other pro-democracy lawmakers surrounded Chan, who then hid under a table, as security officers tried to remove him.
Bipartisan opposition leaves surveillance bill in doubt
House Democratic leaders abruptly adjourned without considering the bill, hours after saying there would be a vote Wednesday evening. If the FISA Bill is passed tonight on the House floor, I will quickly VETO it," Trump tweeted, using the acronym for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The legislation first passed the House in March with broad bipartisan support after Attorney General William Barr negotiated a deal with Republican and Democratic House leaders. The final bill passed the Senate with 80 votes. House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, D-Calif., announced Tuesday that Democrats had agreed on a similar, but tweaked, amendment that they would offer to the House bill.
Military virus aid could look different if 2nd wave hits
But he said U.S. forces may not be deployed the same way if or when the virus surges in a second large wave or even, more likely, a series of smaller bursts. Esper said he has taken the test to see if he has the virus antibodies but doesn't yet have the results. Unlike the nasal swab tests being used to diagnose active infections, antibody tests look for blood proteins called antibodies, which the body produces days or weeks after fighting an infection. The Pentagon, Esper said, is also taking a broad look at how best to respond to any future outbreaks. The two U.S. Navy hospital ships that went to New York City and Los Angeles, for example, treated few patients.
Washington recovers $300M in fraudulent unemployment claims
This photo shows a sign at the headquarters for Washington state's Employment Security Department Tuesday, May 26, 2020, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Washington state's rush to get unemployment benefits to residents who lost jobs due to the coronavirus outbreak left it vulnerable to criminals who made off with hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulent claims. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)OLYMPIA, Wash. Washington has recovered $300 million paid to criminals who used stolen personal information to file fraudulent unemployment benefit claims amid the COVID-19 crisis, state officials said Thursday. This is a national attack by sophisticated criminals and isnt just happening to Washington state, LeVine said. Nearly 1.5 million claims for benefits with some of that number reflecting people who filed multiple claims were filed for the week of May 17-23, and more than $494.5 million was paid last week to 424,995 individual claims. Washingtons stay-at-home order has been in place since March 23 and the states unemployment rate jumped to a record 15.4% last month.
Trump continues to claim broad powers he doesn't have
As he battles the coronavirus pandemic, President Donald Trump has been claiming extraordinarily sweeping powers that legal scholars say the president simply doesn't have. Trump also has showed he's willing to exercise powers that modern presidents have largely avoided, including his recent purging of inspectors general. All the while he continues to claim stunning powers that he doesnt have, he said. Even if he doesn't follow through on threats, Trump's statements still can have consequences as he uses his bully pulpit. But Jack Balkin, a Yale University law professor and First Amendment expert, said thats not Trump's point.
Twitter fact-checks Trump; he threatens new regs or shutdown
President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, May 27, 2020, after traveling to Florida. !Press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told reporters Trump would sign an executive order relating to social media companies but provided no further details. Trump and his campaign had lashed out at the company Tuesday after Twitter added a warning phrase to two Trump tweets that called mail-in ballots fraudulent and predicted that mail boxes will be robbed, among other things. Trump and his allies have long accused the tech giants in liberal-leaning Silicon Valley of targeting conservatives on social media by fact-checking them or removing their posts. The protections have been credited with allowing the unfettered growth of the internet for more than two decades, but now some Trump allies are advocating that social media companies face more scrutiny.
UK police say Johnson aide made 'minor' lockdown rule breach
LONDON British police said Thursday that Prime Minister Boris Johnsons adviser Dominic Cummings likely broke the rules by traveling away from home during lockdown, but will not face further action. Cummings has acknowledged driving 250 miles (400 km) to his parents house in Durham, northeast England, during the lockdown, and later taking another drive to a scenic town 30 miles (50 kms) away. Durham Constabulary said that the second drive, to the town of Barnard Castle, might have been a minor breach of lockdown rules that would have warranted police intervention" had he been caught in the act. He says he drove to Barnard Castle to test whether his eyesight, which had been affected by illness, was good enough for the long trip back to London. Johnson has stood by his aide.
House casts proxy votes in pandemic, Republicans have doubts
The House rules change tries to strike a balance between working from home during the coronavirus outbreak and honoring the Constitutions requirement to be present and voting. Twenty Republicans joined the lawsuit against the move, which House GOP leader Kevin McCarthy of California says is unconstitutional. Republicans declined to participate, but dozens of Democrats many from California and other Western states submitted formal requests for proxy votes to the House Clerk. Not even during the Civil War, the Spanish Flu or any other emergency has the House allowed proxy floor votes. Under the new rules, proxy voting is allowed only under emergency conditions, for 45 days at a time.
North Carolina governor: RNC hasn't submitted safety plan
North Carolina Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen sent a letter Monday to the top RNC organizer asking for a written safety plan after Trump demanded in a tweet that North Carolina guarantee a full-scale, in-person convention will be held. Cooper and Cohen say that they had discussed various scenarios with convention organizers but want their plan in writing. Were ready to hold the RNC convention in North Carolina in a safe way. Cooper said his administration required a similar written plan from NASCAR ahead of its recent race in the Charlotte area that was held without fans. The county surrounding Charlotte has had the most virus cases of any in North Carolina, and the state is experiencing an upward trend in cases.
Patrons under plastic: Restaurants get creative in virus era
A man and a woman demonstrate dining under a plastic shield Wednesday, May 27, 2020 in a restaurant of Paris. As restaurants in food-loving France prepare to reopen, some are investing in lampshade-like plastic shields to protect diners from the virus. The strange-looking contraptions are among experiments restaurants are trying around the world as they try to lure back clientele while keeping them virus-free. The prototype plastic shields are known as the Plex'eat, and they resemble big clear lampshades suspended from the ceiling. Mathieu Manzoni, the director of H.A.N.D, said he thinks the plastic shields are a pretty, more poetic solution for restaurateurs who fear that social distancing could cut their capacity by half or more.
Czech National Museum exhibits masks made during pandemic
Visitors view en exhibition of face masks at the National Museum in Prague, Czech Republic, Thursday, May 28, 2020. With the coronavirus pandemic still not over yet, the Czech National Museum in Prague has put on display the most visible symbol of the country's response to it, face masks. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)PRAGUE The National Museum in Prague has put on display the most visible symbol of the Czech Republic's response to the coronavirus - face masks. If we want to leave a legacy for future generations, this collection of face masks says only positive things about us, National Museum spokeswoman Lenka Bouckova said Thursday. The Nation Museum exhibition is set to expand with future donations when people no longer need to use masks.
Hungary to commemorate victims of Danube boat catastrophe
FILE- In this Tuesday, June 11, 2019, file photo a crane places the wreckage of the sightseeing boat on a transporting barge at Margaret Bridge, the scene of the fatal boat accident in Budapest, Hungary. Just seven of the 33 South Korean tourists aboard the Hableany (Mermaid) survived the nighttime collision. The boats two-man Hungarian crew also died, while a female South Korean tourist is still missing. South Korean divers attempted a couple of early dives but after experiencing the Danube's powerful flow, they gave way to Vigh's team. Still, the first body found at the wreck was recovered by Korean divers, mainly for religious reasons, Vigh said.
Trump tries a new response after George Floyd's death
I feel very, very badly," Trump said Thursday of George Floyd's death while handcuffed and in the custody of police in Minneapolis. But some activists doubt that Trump has suddenly evolved on the issue of police brutality and instead see election year political calculations. Trump was very upset when he saw that video," White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday. The White House and Department of Justice have long had the power to address these issues. Sharpton credited both the magnitude of outrage in response to Floyd's death as well as the election for the changed approach.
Chinese lawmakers endorse Hong Kong national security law
(AP Photo/Andy Wong)BEIJING Chinas ceremonial legislature on Thursday endorsed a national security law for Hong Kong that has strained relations with the United States and Britain. The National Peoples Congress approved the bill as it wrapped up an annual session that was held under intensive anti-coronavirus controls. The Hong Kong security law will alter the territorys mini-constitution, or Basic Law, to require its government to enforce measures to be decided later by Chinese leaders. The measure and the way it is being enacted prompted Washington to announce it no longer will treat Hong Kong as being autonomous from Beijing. Activists in Hong Kong have complained the law will undermine civil liberties and might be used to suppress political activity.
White House won't issue economic projections this summer
WASHINGTON The White House will not release its official midyear economic update this summer, declining to put its stamp on data documenting the plunge into recession during the coronavirus pandemic and avoiding going on record with a prediction about the economy's future. Updated information about the budget picture will come out as planned, a senior Trump administration official said Thursday. A key report on second-quarter economic growth will not come out until after the July 15 deadline for the annual update. The Trump team's economic projections, like those from earlier administrations, have tended to be overly optimistic, and the White House has not shown much interest in put in place its annual budgets, which have called for spending cuts unpopular even among its allies on Capitol Hill. The Washington Post first reported the White House decision to scrap the economic data release.
Chinese grad students may be next hit by US-China tensions
Four administration officials say President Donald Trump is currently considering a months-old proposal to revoke the visas of Chinese students affiliated with educational institutions in China that are linked to the Peoples Liberation Army or Chinese intelligence services. Serious consideration of the proposal, first reported by The New York Times, has faced opposition from U.S. universities and scientific organizations who depend on tuition fees paid by Chinese students to offset other costs. In addition, those institutions fear possible reciprocal action from Beijing that could limit their students' and educators' access to China. The officials could not say how many people could ultimately be expelled, although they said it would be only a fraction of Chinese students in the country. That was, in turn, followed by the limiting of the number of visas for Chinese journalists allowed to work in the United States.
The Latest: India sees record jump of COVID-19 cases
India sees no respite from the coronavirus caseload at a time when the two-month-old lockdown across the country is set to end on Sunday. (AP Photo/R S Iyer)The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The Health Ministry reported a total of 158,333 cases on Thursday, a jump of 6,566 cases in the past 24 hours, with 4,531 deaths, an increase of 194. The Bank of Korea said last month that South Koreas economy shrank 1.4% during the first three months of the year, the worst contraction since late-2008. ___Follow AP news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
Moscow updates coronavirus statistics to show more deaths
(AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)MOSCOW Health officials in Moscow updated their figures on coronavirus deaths Thursday, seeking to dispel doubts about Russia's comparatively low COVID-19 death toll. On top of 636 deaths in April directly caused by COVID-19 reported earlier, the Moscow Health Department added the deaths of 756 people who tested positive for the virus but died of other causes. The health department also factored in 169 deaths of people who tested negative but autopsies showed likely succumbed to the virus. Earlier this month, the Moscow Health Department acknowledged that the 639 coronavirus deaths it reported for April represented about 40% of the people who died in the city after testing positive for the virus. If only the deaths directly caused by the coronavirus are taken into account, Moscow's virus mortality index last month would stand at 1.4%, the health department said.
UK will extend HK visa rights if China pursues security law
LONDON The British government said Thursday that it will grant hundreds of thousands of Hong Kong residents greater visa rights if China doesnt scrap a planned new security law for the semi-autonomous territory. U.K. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said about 300,000 people in Hong Kong who hold British National (Overseas) passports would be able to stay in Britain for 12 months instead of the current six if China does not rethink its plan. Raab said the length of stay also would be extendable and provide a pathway to U.K. citizenship. When Hong Kong returned to China in 1997 after 150 years as a British colony, its residents were not granted the right to live in the U.K.Chinas proposed national security law aims to reinforce Beijings control over Hong Kong in a bid to prevent a return of often-violent protests seen for months last year. Raab and the foreign ministers of the United States, Canada and Australia said in a joint statement the proposed law would curtail the Hong Kong peoples liberties, and in doing so, dramatically erode Hong Kongs autonomy and the system that made it so prosperous.
Democratic lawmakers seek records on Russian ventilators
The lawmakers, who lead five House committees and subcommittees, sent the request to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has confirmed that no Aventa-M ventilators purchased from Russia have been used in the U.S., but lawmakers still have concerns. The lawmakers said the State Department received a final invoice from Russia for $659,283. They are seeking all records and communications between the State Department and the White House related to the shipments and a summary of a March 30 call between President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as other records. The White House referred questions to the State Department, which did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
US charges North Korean bank officials in sanctions case
WASHINGTON The Justice Department unsealed charges Thursday against more than two dozen North Korean individuals accused of making at least $2.5 billion in illicit payments linked to the country's nuclear weapons and missile program. The case, filed in federal court in Washington, is believed to be the largest criminal enforcement action ever brought against North Korea. The 33 defendants include executives of North Korea's state-owned bank, Foreign Trade Bank, which in 2013 was added to a Treasury Department list of sanctioned institutions and cut off from the U.S. financial system. Five of the defendants are Chinese citizens who operated covert branches in either China or Libya. The prosecution underscores ongoing concerns about sanctions violations by North Korea.
French way of life to resume with restaurants reopening
France is reopening its restaurants, bars and cafes starting next week as the country eases most restrictions amid the coronavirus crisis. Edouard Philippe defended the gradual lifting of lockdown up to now, saying the strategy was meant to avoid provoking a second wave. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)PARIS The French way of life is set to largely resume next week, with most virus-related restrictions easing as the country prepares for the summer holiday season amid the pandemic. From June 2 restaurants and cafes will reopen, together with monuments and museums, concert halls and theaters, beaches, campsites, gyms and public swimming pools. Philippe also pledged to revive cultural and sport life. Most shops reopened on May 11, and hotels are now awaiting clients.
The Latest: Cyprus to cover costs for infected tourists
Cyprus pledges to cover costs for visiting tourists who test positive. ___NICOSIA, Cyprus Cyprus is pledging to cover costs for anyone testing positive for the coronavirus while vacationing in the east Mediterranean island nation. More than 2 million high school juniors, middle school seniors, first and second graders and kindergarten students were expected to return to school on Wednesday. The number of new cases reported Tuesday also set a daily high, with 3,455 additional infections confirmed. Brazil leads in daily deaths with over 800.
Hypocrisy gone viral? Officials set bad COVID-19 examples
From U.S. President Donald Trump to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, global decision-makers have frequently set bad examples, whether it's refusing to wear masks or breaking confinement rules aimed at protecting their citizens from COVID-19. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said normally she would fire Clark but that the country couldnt afford massive disruption in its health sector while it was fighting the virus. He and others didnt wear masks during those meetings, and Putin also didnt cover his face for events marking Nazi Germanys defeat in World War II. The prime minister has respected all guidelines, according to a statement read by a spokesman. And as such the prime minister was with her during her last night."
Trump threatens Twitter over fact checks: What's next?
QUESTION: Twitter has resisted taking action on Trump's tweets for years, despite the president's history of spreading misinformation and abuse on the platform. Twitter began flagging tweets that spread disputed or misleading claims about the virus with get the facts links to more information, including news stories and fact checks. Those tweets met specific Twitter criteria for misinformation on certain topics, including the coronavirus, how to vote in elections and the census. QUESTION: How does Twitter decide which tweets get flagged with the warnings? ANSWER: Trump's tweets got flagged after someone reported them.
White House defends, but does not explain, watchdog firings
FILE - In this Oct. 2, 2019, file photo State Department Inspector General Steve Linick leaves a meeting in a secure area at the Capitol in Washington. A White House letter issued in response to concerns from a prominent Republican senator does little to explain the decision-making behind Trump's recent upheaval of the inspector general community. The tumult has not been limited to the watchdog offices at the State Department and intelligence community. Democrats say Steve Linick was fired as State Department inspector general as he was conducting multiple investigations tied to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The White House Counsels letter does not address this glaring conflict of interest," Grassley said.
Nation's capital set to begin a gradual reopening on Friday
District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, May 27, 2020, in Washington. Bowser announced the start of the Phase 1 response to the coronavirus in Washington is to begin Friday, May 29. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)WASHINGTON Mayor Muriel Bowser says the nation's capital will begin a gradual reopening Friday, even as she warns that it probably will result in more coronavirus infections. But nail parlors and public playgrounds will remain closed and gatherings of more than 10 people will be prohibited. Bowser said Wednesday that the public health emergency she declared in March will remain in place.