Tribune News Service

International Budget for Saturday, August 1, 2020

Updated at 0000 UTC (8 p.m. U.S. EDT Friday.)

Additional news stories, including full U.S. coverage, appear on the MCT-NEWS-BJT and MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.


^Hong Kong pushes elections to 2021 as opposition charges 'fraud'<

HONGKONG-ELECTION-1ST-LEDE:DPA — Coronavirus risks mean elections set for September have to be delayed by a year, Hong Kong's leader said on Friday, even as opposition activists said the authorities are only worried about control of the 'puppet parliament.'

Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam said postponing the September 2020 Legislative Council (LegCo) elections was due to the seriousness of Hong Kong's third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, which she said showed no sign of easing up.

650 by Lisa Jane Harding in Hong Kong. MOVED



^Pilgrimage 'by proxy': Coronavirus spurs new technologies for age-old hajj<

RELIG-SAUDI-HAJJ-TECHNOLOGY:LA — In the best of times, it's hard to land one of the slots Saudi Arabia parcels out for the hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims are duty-bound to make at least once in their lives. In the worst of times — cue the novel coronavirus — it's well-nigh impossible, with the numbers for this year's event, now underway, capped at just 1,000.

But in these most technologically advanced of times, what if Mecca could be brought to you? That's what some app developers are trying to achieve, in hopes of giving worshippers a virtual way to experience the holy rites of Islam that the COVID-19 pandemic, or more common impediments such as age and poverty, has denied them this summer.

1250 by Nabih Bulos in Beirut. MOVED



^Impasse on coronavirus relief bill deepens as benefits run out<

CORONAVIRUS-RELIEF-1ST-LEDE:LA — The $600 federal unemployment subsidy and the national eviction moratorium on some properties expired Friday after Democrats and Republicans failed to reach an agreement on an economic aid package meant to deal with the growing surge of COVID-19.

Congress passed the last major economic package in March, and the Democratic-led House passed legislation that included an extension in May. But serious attempts to negotiate a new deal did not begin until Senate Republicans put forward a counterproposal this week.

950 by Sarah D. Wire and Chris Megerian in Washington. MOVED


^Fauci says speed on COVID-19 vaccine will not compromise safety<

CORONAVIRUS-FAUCI:CON — Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease specialist, told a House panel Friday that he is "cautiously optimistic" that a COVID-19 vaccine would be ready by the end of this year and said health agencies are not compromising safety standards.

"I know to some people this seems like it is so fast that there might be compromising of safety and scientific integrity," Fauci said at a hearing by the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis. "I can tell you that is absolutely not the case."

400 by Mary Ellen McIntire in Washington. MOVED


^Florida says another 257 people died from COVID-19, a pandemic record for fourth time in a row<

CORONAVIRUS-FLA:FL — Florida reported another record for COVID-19 deaths: 257 listed on Friday's pandemic data report. Nearly 100 of the victims were from Miami-Dade County.

The state has now had four consecutive days of reporting a new high mark of coronavirus fatalities. These are people who died within recent weeks, but finally confirmed by authorities tracking the state's deadliest infectious disease.

900 by Marc Freeman in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. MOVED


^Should the Capitol start COVID-19 testing for staff and members?<

CORONAVIRUS-CAPITOL:CON — Rep. Louie Gohmert's positive coronavirus test this week raised questions about whether people in or around the Capitol should get regular testing — but it's not as simple as it sounds.

"The Capitol physician has not said yet that he thinks that we should be tested," Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Friday.

Pelosi said if testing were to take place on Capitol Hill, it wouldn't be just for members of Congress, as "there are about 20,000 people who make the Capitol run.

650 by Chris Cioffi in Washington. MOVED


^Study: Antiviral drug remdesivir helps white, Black and Latino patients equally<

CORONAVIRUS-DRUG:TB — Remdesivir, the only drug given emergency approval for treatment of COVID-19, appears to provide equal benefits to white, Asian, Black and Latino patients, according to an analysis led by researchers at University of Chicago Medicine.

It's encouraging news, infectious disease experts say, because of the disparate effects of the disease on different groups. Black people are dying at higher rates than people of other races, and Latinos are contracting the disease at higher rates than others.

500 by Hal Dardick in Chicago. MOVED


^Texas adds nearly 300 coronavirus fatalities to statewide death toll<

^CORONAVIRUS-TEXAS:AU—< Texas state health officials reported 295 additional COVID-19 deaths Friday, bringing the statewide virus death toll to 6,569.

The latest deaths occurred over the past week or more, as state health officials are now relying on death certificates instead of local health reports to record deaths.

The Texas Department of State Health Services also announced 8,839 new cases, bringing the statewide tally to 420,946.

The number of new cases in Texas appear to have plateaued over the last two weeks, which Gov. Greg Abbott has said is a promising sign that his statewide mask order is working.

And the percentage of positive cases has declined, hovering around 12% over the last few days. Abbott has said anything over 10% would be cause for concern.

300 by Nicole Cobler in Austin, Texas. MOVED


^Facial recognition, thermal imaging part of future with coronavirus<

CORONAVIRUS-OHIO-TECHNOLOGY:OH — Smile for the camera — it might be taking your temperature.

The coronavirus pandemic has inspired a new wave of technology closely tied to Ohio businesses, including thermal imaging and facial recognition software that can detect fevers among employees, a common symptom of the virus.

750 by Samantha Raudins in Columbus, Ohio. MOVED


^Coronavirus deaths among LA County food processing workers bring dire plea from health officials<

^CORONAVIRUS-FOODPROCESSING-WORKERS:LA—<The latest surge in COVID-19 that hit California more than a month ago as the economy reopened has been tied in part to low-wage employees becoming ill at work and then spreading the virus in their communities. Essential workers — many of them Latino — have been hit hard both in urban areas such as Los Angeles and agricultural hamlets in the Central Valley.

1050 (with trims) by Colleen Shalby, Leila Miller and Rong-Gong Lin II in Los Angeles. MOVED


^An inmate tested positive for COVID-19. Prison staff housed him with uninfected inmates, he says<

CORONAVIRUS-CALIF-INMATE-POSITIVE:LA — Midway through explaining how an inmate who'd tested positive for COVID-19 had been placed in his unit at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison, Gary Croom paused.

"Here," he told a reporter. "I'm going to give him the phone."

Saddled with guilt, worried he might touch off a resurgence of the disease that swept through the prison on the eastern edge of Riverside County a month ago, Alejandro Cantu took the phone.

700 by Matthew Ormseth in Los Angeles. MOVED



^Trump can't postpone the election, but officials worry he and the GOP could starve it<

TRUMP-ELECTION-GOP:LA — The elections chief in the Detroit suburb of Rochester Hills, Michigan, a competitive softball player in her younger days, feels like she's been pushed back into the batting cage. This time, nobody is giving Tina Barton a bat.

"It is like I am just standing there without anything to hit the balls back," Barton said. "Every day I step in, and something new is coming at me at high speed."

Poll workers quitting. A churn of court decisions throwing election rules into tumult. A COVID-19 outbreak at City Hall that could sideline her department at a critical moment.

The viral pandemic has put the nation's election system under a level of stress with little precedent.

And, although figures in both parties rejected President Donald Trump's suggestion of postponing the November election when he flirted with the idea Thursday, they haven't provided the money that officials like Barton need to get ready for it.

1250 (with trims) by Evan Halper in Washington. MOVED


^Supreme Court sides with Trump on building border wall with diverted military funds<

SCOTUS-BORDERWALL:LA — The Supreme Court has allowed President Donald Trump to defy Congress and continue to spend more than $6 billion diverted from military funds to pay for the construction of a border wall in parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and California.

By 5-4 vote, the justices on Friday rebuffed lawyers for the Sierra Club and House Democrats who sued to challenge Trump's diversion of funds as illegal and unconstitutional.

They won rulings before judges in California and Texas, but in a brief order last summer the court allowed Trump to continue spending the disputed funds while the litigation continues.

But over the dissents of the four liberal justices, the court kept that order in place.

800 by David G. Savage in Washington. MOVED


^Supreme Court sides with Trump on building border wall with diverted military funds<

SCOTUS-BORDERWALL-1ST-LEDE:LA — The Supreme Court has allowed President Trump to defy Congress and continue to spend more than $6 billion diverted from military funds to pay for the construction of a border wall in parts of Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and California.

By 5-4 vote, the justices on Friday rebuffed lawyers for the Sierra Club and House Democrats who sued to challenge Trump's diversion of funds as illegal and unconstitutional.

They won rulings before judges in California and Texas, but in a brief order last summer, the court allowed Trump to continue spending the disputed funds while the litigation continues.

But over the dissents of the four liberal justices, who said the decision would likely "operate in effect as a final judgment," the court kept that order in place.

950 by David G. Savage in Washington. MOVED


^Hurricane Isaias track shifts west and closer to Florida as it crosses Bahamas<

WEA-ISAIAS-1ST-LEDE:MI — Hurricane Isaias' potential path has once again shifted west, upping the chances of a landfall along the southeast coast of Florida — possibly as a tropical storm — on Sunday.

The 5 p.m. update from the National Hurricane Center showed a storm that is slowing down and getting better organized, despite a struggle against higher wind shear, as it passed through the warm waters of the central Bahamas.

The latest projection showed Hurricane Isaias scraping along the coast near Riviera Beach Sunday at 2 a.m. with 80 mph winds and 100 mph gusts, triggering a round of upgraded hurricane warnings for Florida's coast.

1400 by Alex Harris, Michelle Marchante, Jacqueline Charles and Doug Hanks in Miami. MOVED


^Tampa teen arrested in hack of Twitter accounts of Obama, Bill Gates, Kanye West and others<

TWITTER-BITCOIN-HACK-1ST-LEDE:PT. — A 17-year-old from Tampa is at the center of a Twitter hack scheme that gave him and two others access to the high-profile accounts of Bill Gates, Barack Obama and many other celebrities with millions of followers, authorities say.

Graham Ivan Clark was arrested Friday at his home in Greater Northdale, according to the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office. The two others charged Friday are 22-year-old Nima Fazeli of Orlando and 19-year-old Mason Sheppard of the United Kingdom, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office in California.

850 (with trims) by Josh Fiallo and Peter Talbot in Tampa, Fla. MOVED


^Supreme Court secrecy breach sheds light on internal dynamics<

^SCOTUS-LEAKS:BLO—<The U.S. Supreme Court this week witnessed an extraordinary breach of its rules of confidentiality, as a series of CNN stories exposed some of the justices' internal deliberations during their just-completed term.

The series, written by veteran Supreme Court reporter Joan Biskupic and based on unidentified sources, shed light on the maneuvering among the justices in major cases over abortion, subpoenas for President Donald Trump's financial records and job discrimination against LGBT workers.

The revelations are likely to send a chill through a court that is normally among the most leak-proof institutions in Washington. Biskupic's stories included information known to only a handful of people — the nine justices, their law clerks and office assistants and perhaps the justices' spouses and closest outside confidants.

850 by Greg Stohr. MOVED


^Rep. Schweikert sanctioned in rare action on House floor<

CONGRESS-SCHWEIKERT:CON — The House on Friday formally reprimanded Arizona Republican Rep. David Schweikert for permitting his office to misuse taxpayer dollars, violating campaign finance reporting requirements, and several other violations of federal law and House rules, a rare sanction of an individual member by his colleagues.

The resolution passed the House by voice vote, the first time a member has been reprimanded on the floor since 2012, when California Democrat Laura Richardson was sanctioned.

400 by Chris Marquette in Washington. MOVED


^International tribunal rules it has authority in case of man killed by US border officials<

BORDER-DEATH-TRIBUNAL:SD — U.S. law enforcement's killing of a man at the San Diego-Tijuana border a decade ago will go on trial before an international tribunal, after the organization decided this week that it has authority to hear the case.

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, part of the Organization of American States, will determine whether officials with Customs and Border Protection violated the human rights of Anastasio Hernandez Rojas and his family.

700 by Kate Morrissey in San Diego. MOVED


^Ethics report details allegations against Rep. Sanford Bishop<

CONGRESS-BISHOP:CON — Rep. Sanford D. Bishop Jr. may have used thousands in campaign funds for personal expenses on gas fill-ups for him and his family, greens fees at country clubs, luxurious trips and school tuition.

Further, the Georgia Democrat also may have spent more than $16,000 in taxpayer money for joint Christmas parties — featuring a saxophonist and DJ equipment — with his congressional staff and his wife's employees, according to an Office of Congressional Ethics report released Friday.

1400 by Chris Marquette in Washington. MOVED


^'My boss had a front-row seat': Tulsi Gabbard on serving in the National Guard<

^GABBARD-QA:CON—< There is no one quite like Tulsi Gabbard in Congress, and she felt that acutely when she first came to the Hill. She had just returned from Iraq and would soon leave again for Kuwait. In the meantime, she was working as an aide to Daniel K. Akaka, the legendary Hawaii senator.

Her brief back then was veterans issues, but when she looked around, she didn't see many staffers who knew what it was like to serve in a post-9/11 military.

That was a problem, she says, if only because bosses could easily miss how much things had changed. Not Akaka. Whenever she got back from drilling with the National Guard, she gave him a report. "My boss had a front-row seat," Gabbard says of the World War II veteran.

1250 (with trims) by Eleanor Van Buren in Washington. MOVED


^Trump campaign halts ad spending while it reviews strategy<

CAMPAIGN-TRUMP-ADS:BLO — Donald Trump's 2020 reelection campaign halted radio and television advertising spending this week while it reviews its strategy under new campaign management.

With 95 days until the election, the Trump campaign spent only $4,700 on advertisements over the last three days while Democratic rival Joe Biden spent about $6 million in the same time period, according to Advertising Analytics.

400 by Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou in Washington. MOVED


^DeSantis' popularity plummets in another Florida poll<

FLA-DESANTIS-POLL:OS — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis' job rating has plunged since March, according to a Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy poll released Friday, the second such survey in a week with similar findings.

The survey of 625 registered Florida voters found 45% approved of the governor, while 49% disapproved and 6% were unsure. In March, the same poll found much better numbers for DeSantis, with 62% who backed his job performance, 24% disapproval and 14% not sure.

250 by Mark Skoneki in Orlando, Fla. MOVED


^Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg 'doing well' after checking out of hospital<

^GINSBURG:NY—<Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was released from a Manhattan hospital on Friday and is "doing well" at home, according to a spokeswoman.

The 87-year-old justice, who's been in and out of hospitals all year, was discharged from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center on the Upper East Side after undergoing a precautionary procedure to adjust a bile duct stent, the spokeswoman said.

300 by Chris Sommerfeldt. MOVED



^Boston Marathon bomber's death sentence overturned by appeals court<

^BOSTON-MARATHON-BOMBING:NY—<Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the two Boston Marathon bombers, is no longer on death row.

A federal appeals court overturned Tsarnaev's death sentence Friday, ruling that two of the 12 jurors who sentenced him to death in 2015 were unfairly biased.

200 by Joseph Wilkinson. MOVED


^Documents: Prince Andrew helped Epstein pressure US government for reduced sentence<

EPSTEIN-MAXWELL-PRINCEANDREW:SJ — Newly released documents in a lawsuit against Jeffrey Epstein's associate, Ghislaine Maxwell, shed new light on the late accused sex trafficker's friendship with Prince Andrew, including the claim that the British royal worked to help Epstein secure a reduced sentence in a child prostitution case in Florida in 2008.

1000 by Martha Ross. MOVED


^New Ghislaine Maxwell papers revive lurid tales <

EPSTEIN-MAXWELL-1ST-LEDE:NY — One of Ghislaine Maxwell's worst-case scenarios is now a reality.

While the accused madam for Jeffrey Epstein sits in prison, reams of newly unsealed papers have revived allegations about Bill Clinton and Alan Dershowitz's association with the multimillionaire sex offender, as well as claims that Maxwell joined "constant" orgies on his private Little St. James island.

700 by Stephen Rex Brown in New York. MOVED


^1 Marine dead, 8 troops missing after training accident off Southern California coast<

MARINES-ACCIDENT:LA — One U.S. Marine has died and eight service members are missing after an accident during a training exercise off San Clemente Island, officials said Friday.

The incident occurred when an amphibious assault vehicle carrying 15 Marines and one Navy sailor began taking on water at about 5:45 p.m. Thursday during a training exercise, according to the United States Marine Corps.

300 by Luke Money in Los Angeles. MOVED



^Regis Philbin is buried in 'the place he loved so much' — his alma mater, Notre Dame<

^PHILBIN-BURIAL:NY—<Regis Philbin, the iconic TV host who died of a heart attack at age 88, was buried Wednesday in a private ceremony at the University of Notre Dame, the stomping grounds of his youth.

200 by Tim Balk. MOVED


^Art Institute of Chicago reopens — and returning visitors finally get an art fix<

ART-ARTINSTITUTE-CHICAGO:TB — Early visitors, as the Art Institute let the public back in for the first time since mid-March, didn't go to "A Sunday on La Grande Jatte," typically the museum's most crowded work.

At one moment during the first hour of reopening day Thursday, only a security guard stood in front of Georges Seurat's routinely besieged pointillist study of a Parisian waterfront park.

Instead, many headed straight to the Modern Wing and the museum's newly hung Basquiat canvas — the Art Institute's first by the 1980s art world darling — and many more queued up to get into the big El Greco special exhibition, which was open only a week before COVID-19 forced the shutdown of most public life in Chicago and the U.S.

1050 by Steve Johnson in Chicago. MOVED



^2 Cardinals positive for COVID-19 as Friday's game postponed and team self-isolates in hotel<

BBN-CORONAVIRUS-CARDINALS:SL — The St. Louis Cardinals' traveling party has been instructed to self-isolate in hotel rooms after two players tested positive for COVID-19 and others are going through subsequent exams, sources confirmed to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

As result, the team will not leave the hotel Friday and undergo an additional round of tests, according to a team source. The afternoon game at Miller Park was postponed, the Brewers announced later Friday morning.

450 by Derrick Goold in Milwaukee. (Moved as a sports story.) MOVED




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