President Trump's niece Mary Trump taunted her uncle on Twitter by boasting about higher TV ratings

  • President Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, taunted her uncle by boasting about how her recent MSNBC interview got more views than his last Fox News interview in June.

  • “5.23 million v. 5.11 million,” Mary Trump tweeted on Friday night, with a thoughtful emoji.

  • She also added the hashtag “#seldomseen” — a reference to an attack made by the president on Friday in which he described her as a “seldom seen niece who knows little about me.”

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  • President Trump’s niece, Mary Trump, taunted her uncle on Twitter by boasting about the huge number of viewers that tuned into her appearance on MSNBC.

    “5.23 million v. 5.11 million,” Mary Trump tweeted on Friday night, comparing her MSNBC ratings to the ratings of Trump’s town hall event on Fox News in June, according to the New York Post.

    Mary Trump also included the hashtag “#seldomseen” in the tweet, which is a reference to an earlier attack made by the president in which he described her as a “seldom seen niece who knows little about me.”

    UK poised to suspend Hong Kong extradition treaty: British newspapers

    LONDON (Reuters) – Britain will on Monday suspend its extradition treaty with Hong Kong in a further escalation of its dispute with China over the introduction of a security law in the former colony, British newspapers reported.

    Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, who on Sunday accused China of “gross” human rights violations, will announce the suspension of the treaty in parliament, the Times and Daily Telegraph newspapers said, citing sources.

    Britain’s foreign office declined to comment.

    Such a move would be another nail in the coffin of what former Prime Minister David Cameron has cast as a “golden era” of ties with the world’s second largest economy.

    But London has been dismayed by a crackdown in Hong Kong and the perception that China did not tell the whole truth over the novel coronavirus outbreak.

    Last week Prime Minister Boris Johnson ordered Huawei Technologies [HWT.UL] equipment to be purged completely from Britain’s 5G network by the end of 2027.

    China has accused Britain of pandering to the United States.

    Earlier on Sunday, China’s ambassador to Britain warned of a tough response if London attempted to sanction any of its officials, as some lawmakers in Johnson’s Conservative Party have demanded.

    “If UK government goes that far to impose sanctions on any individual in China, China will certainly make a resolute response to it,” Liu Xiaoming told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

    “You’ve seen what happens in the United States – they sanction Chinese officials, we sanction their senators, their officials. I do not want to see this tit-for-tat happen in… China-UK relations.”

    Raab told the same programme he would not be drawn on future additions to Britain’s sanctions list but he denied that Britain would be too weak to challenge China through this channel.

    Britain says the new national security law breaches agreements made before the 1997 handover of Hong Kong to Chinese rule, and that China is crushing the freedoms that have helped make Hong Kong one of the world’s biggest financial hubs.

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    Man in custody after Nantes cathedral fire – French TV

    PARIS (Reuters) – A 39-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a fire in the 15th century cathedral in the French city of Nantes that blew out stained glass windows and destroyed the grand organ, TV channel LCI reported on Sunday.

    The man, a Rwandan refugee, worked as a volunteer for the cathedral and had been in charge of locking up the building on Friday night, LCI said, citing prosecutor Pierre Sennes.

    Sennes said the man in custody was being held to clear up inconsistencies in his schedule.

    He said on Saturday that three fires had been started at the site and that there had been no signs of a break-in. Authorities said an investigation for suspected arson had been opened.

    The blaze began on Saturday morning, engulfing the inside of the Gothic structure in flames. Firefighters brought it under control after several hours and extinguished it completely by the afternoon.

    It happened just over a year after a fire at the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris which destroyed its roof and main spire.

    (Reporting by Paris Newsroom)

    As the pandemic surges, Americans see travel horizons narrowing

    After months of working from home, stir-crazy Americans have finally reached the long, hot days of summer only to watch their vacation horizons dim, with travel options shrinking as the country’s coronavirus cases soar.

    “All I’ve been doing this year is canceling trips,” 61-year-old Keith Gibbons said with a sigh, a new reality that the government contractor called “very frustrating.”

    Trips abroad are mostly out: The overwhelming majority of countries now bar American citizens amid a sharp US resurgence of COVID-19. The country’s caseload has climb to over 3.7 million — more than one-fourth the world’s total — and deaths have reached over 140,000.

    As for cross-country trips, it’s not that simple: In the vast US, laws on mask-wearing and social distancing vary dramatically, and sometimes confusingly, from one jurisdiction to another.

    Some states are even imposing quarantines on visitors. Hawaii, for example, has ordered those arriving on the Pacific archipelago to self-quarantine for 14 days.

    Its governor, David Ige, announced Thursday that beginning September 1, visitors will also have to submit to a coronavirus test within 72 hours of departing for the state and present proof of a negative result upon arrival in Hawaii.

    Meanwhile, New York has extended its list of US states — totaling 22 now — whose citizens will be required to self-quarantine after arriving in the northeastern state.

    And in the city of Chicago visitors from 17 states must self-isolate for two weeks — or face fines of up to $500 a day.

    Complicating many Americans’ travel plans, the summer destinations of Florida and California are among the hardest-hit by COVID-19, even if the popular Disney World park in Orlando, Florida has partially reopened and a Disney-linked shopping district in California reopened earlier this month.

    As for ocean cruises, a highly popular travel option in normal years, they remain banned by a federal “No Sail Order” through September.

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    Amid school reopening uncertainty, affluent parents hire private tutors

    Sara Elahi isn’t waiting to find out whether her children’s schools will reopen in the coming months.

    After an extensive interview process of several candidates, she found a private educator who will be going to her home to professionally home-school her two children during the first semester.

    “Education is the most important thing to our family,” she said. “My kids need to have in-person instruction to really learn and absorb material, and, by no fault of their own, I can’t rely on the school to provide that.”

    Elahi, a consultant in the Baltimore area, said that although the costs were high, she and her husband, a pharmacist, were willing to dip into their savings to provide their children with an “undisrupted education.”

    “In our minds, it will be a long-term investment for our kids,” she said. “If they fall too behind in all the shuffle, they’ll be playing catch-up forever.” Her children are starting ninth grade and seventh grade.

    Even though the extra cost, around $2,800 a month, will strain family finances, Elahi said she recognizes that having the choice is a luxury few can even consider.

    Kuwait's ruler, 91, undergoes a 'successful' surgery

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Kuwait’s 91-year-old ruler underwent a “successful” surgery Sunday that required the oil-rich nation’s crown prince to be temporarily empowered to serve in his place, its state-run news agency reported.

    Kuwait has yet to elaborate what required Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Sabah to seek a previously unannounced medical treatment beginning Saturday. However, Sheikh Sabah’s sudden surgery could inspire a renewed power struggle within Kuwait’s ruling family.

    The state-run KUNA news agency had described Sheikh Sabah’s hospitalization Saturday as “medical checks,” citing a statement from the country’s royal court. Several hours later, KUNA published a second report saying that 83-year-old Crown Prince Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah had assumed some of Sheikh Sabah’s powers temporarily, without explaining why that was necessary.

    However, a copy of the ministerial decree posted by Kuwait’s official gazette, Kuwait Al-Youm, and seen by The Associated Press on Sunday said the crown prince would be empowered for “the duration of a surgical procedure until the health event is over.”

    The decree did not elaborate. Kuwait’s Information Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment, though minutes later the state-run KUNA news agency reported Sheikh Sabah underwent a “successful” surgery, without elaborating.

    “May God bless his Highness and grant him a speedy recovery,” the KUNA report said, citing a royal court statement.

    Sheikh Sabah, a widely beloved ruler in this OPEC-member nation, took power in 2006 just nine days into the rule of the ailing Sheikh Saad Al Abdullah Al Sabah. Concerns mounted during Sheikh Saad’s brief reign as he was seen in public only in a wheelchair and did not speak.

    However, Sheikh Sabah’s ascension upset an informal power-sharing arrangement between branches of Kuwait’s ruling family. While Kuwait has since remained politically stable with the most-empowered parliament of any Gulf Arab nation, there have been internal power struggles behind the scenes of his rule.

    Kuwait, a nation home to 4.1 million people that’s slightly smaller than the U.S. state of New Jersey, has the world’s sixth-largest known oil reserves.

    It has been a staunch U.S. ally since the 1991 Gulf War expelled the occupying Iraqi forces of Saddam Hussein. Today, Kuwait hosts some 13,500 American troops, many at Camp Arifjan south of Kuwait City, which is also home to the forward command of U.S. Army Central.

    China floods: Huai river alert level raised amid heavy rains

    China has raised the flood alert level on a river in the east of the country after days of heavy rainfall.

    Officials have moved the alert warning on the Huai river from Level III to Level II, the second-highest tier, amid fears of further torrential downpours.

    Heavy rains have swept across China for weeks, from the southwest to the east coast.

    At least 14 people have reportedly died in the south of the country due to the flooding.

    Millions have been evacuated and thousands of troops have been deployed across the country to help shore up defences.

  • In pictures: Severe floods engulf eastern China

  • “Floods are occurring at the same time at the Yangtze River, Huai River and Tai Lake…The flood prevention situation is very severe,” the water resources ministry reportedly said.

    The 1,100km (683 mile) Huai river passes through the provinces of Henan, Anhui and Jiangsu and several major cities, including Fuyang, Xinyang and Huainan.

    Officials said 10 reservoirs on the Huai had seen water levels rise by up to 6.85m (22ft).

    China typically endures flooding in the rainy summer months, but there are concerns the downpours this year could disrupt global supplies needed to tackle the coronavirus pandemic – including personal protective equipment (PPE).

    ‘Ugly face’: U.S. and China trade barbs in Myanmar as South China Sea rift deepens

    (Reuters) – China’s embassy in Myanmar on Sunday accused the United States of “outrageously smearing” the country and driving a wedge with its Southeast Asian neighbors over the contested South China Sea and Hong Kong, as tensions mount between the superpowers.

    Responding to U.S. claims Beijing was undermining the sovereignty of its neighbors, the Chinese embassy said U.S. agencies abroad were doing “disgusting things” to contain China and had showed a “selfish, hypocritical, contemptible, and ugly face”.

    The United States last week hardened its position on the South China Sea, saying it would back countries in the region that challenge Beijing’s claim to about 90% of the strategic waterway.

    In a statement on Saturday, the U.S. embassy in Yangon called China’s actions in the South China Sea and Hong Kong, where Beijing has imposed tough new national security laws, part of a “larger pattern to undermine the sovereignty of its neighbors”.

    The U.S. statement drew parallels between China’s actions in the South China Sea and Hong Kong with large-scale Chinese investments projects in Myanmar that the United States warned could become debt-traps, along with trafficking of women from Myanmar to China as brides, and the inflow of drugs from China into Myanmar.

    “This is how modern sovereignty is often lost – not through dramatic, overt action, but through a cascade of smaller ones that lead to its slow erosion over time,” the U.S. embassy said.

    In its rebuke, China said the statement showed a “sour grapes” attitude by the United States towards “flourishing China-Myanmar relations” and was “another farce on a global tour by the U.S. authorities to shift the attention on domestic problems and seek selfish political gains”.

    “The U.S. should first look in the mirror to see whether it still looks like a major country now,” it said.

    The Chinese embassy in Yangon did not answer phone calls seeking further comment. The U.S. embassy was not immediately available for comment.

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    UN agency: US-sought tanker 'hijacked' off UAE now in Iran

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A United Nations agency acknowledged Sunday that a U.S.-sought oil tanker “hijacked” off the coast of the United Arab Emirates after allegedly smuggling Iranian crude oil is back in Iranian waters.

    The International Labor Organization said that the MT Gulf Sky was hijacked July 5, citing its captain. That mirrors earlier reporting by The Associated Press.

    “The vessel was taken to Iran,” the ILO said.

    It said that all 28 Indian crew members disembarked in Iran and all but two of the crew without passports flew from Tehran to India on July 15.

    The ILO cited the International Seafarers’ Welfare and Assistance Network for its information. The ILO earlier filed a report saying the vessel and its sailors had been abandoned by its owners without pay since March off Khorfakkan, a city on the eastern coast of the United Arab Emirates.

    Iranian state media and officials have not acknowledged the hijacking and arrival of the MT Gulf Sky to Iran. The U.S. government similarly has not commented.

    In May, the U.S. Justice Department filed criminal charges against two Iranians, accusing them of trying to launder some $12 million to purchase the tanker, then named the MT Nautica, through a series of front companies.

    Court documents allege the smuggling scheme involved the Quds Force of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, which is its elite expeditionary unit, as well as Iran’s national oil and tanker companies. The two men charged, one of whom also has an Iraqi passport, remain at large.

    A U.S. bank froze funds associated with the sale, causing the seller to launch a lawsuit in the UAE to repossess the vessel, the Justice Department earlier said. That civil action was believed to still be pending, raising questions of how the tanker sailed away from the Emirates after being seized by authorities there.

    As tensions between Iran and the U.S. heated up last year, tankers plying the waters of the Mideast became targets, particularly near the crucial Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf’s narrow mouth through which 20% of all oil passes. Suspected limpet mine attacks the U.S. blamed on Iran targeted several tankers. Iran denied being involved, though it did seize several tankers.

    Czech active coronavirus cases swing to new high as local outbreaks continue

    PRAGUE (Reuters) – The tally of active cases of the new coronavirus has risen to 4,764, above the previous high of 4,737 seen in April, health ministry data showed on Sunday.

    On Saturday 113 new cases were identified, bringing the total since the beginning of March when first cases were found to 13,885.

    The central European country of 10.7 million has had 358 deaths from the COVID-19 disease caused by the coronavirus, far fewer than many western European nations.

    The rise in active cases has grown as daily infections held above 100 in the past days, outpacing the number of recoveries. The new cases — many in the country’s industrial north-east where a mine outbreak occurred — have so far been milder than before.

    The number of people in hospitals was 135 on Saturday, less than a third of the peak of 446 in April and far below capacities of the national health system as presented by the government.

    Pressure on hospitals is among criteria the government uses when deciding on response.

    Since lifting a strict nationwide lockdown imposed in March, the authorities have pledged to avoid future countrywide measures and instead respond to local outbreaks regionally.

    On Friday, authorities tightened coronavirus restrictions in the northeast of the country after a spike in cases in several locations, reinstating compulsory face coverings, limiting restaurant opening hours and ordering checks on cross-border commuters.

    (Reporting by Jan Lopatka;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

    Netanyahu's graft trial resumes amid Israeli virus anger

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s corruption trial will resume in earnest in January, with thrice-weekly evidentiary hearings set to begin then, a Jerusalem court decided Sunday.

    It was not immediately clear if Netanyahu would be required to be present at each hearing, although some Israeli media reported he would. Regardless, the grueling judicial schedule will keep Netanyahu’s legal woes firmly in the national consciousness and conversation — and continue to raise questions over whether he can keep serving while simultaneously standing trial.

    The court’s decision came after the trial’s second hearing, a procedural deliberation that set the pace for the remainder of the proceedings.

    The trial opened in May after a two-month delay prompted by concerns over the coronavirus. Its resumption comes as Netanyahu faces mounting discontent over his handling of the health crisis and its economic fallout.

    Netanyahu is charged with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in a series of scandals in which he is alleged to have received lavish gifts from billionaire friends, and exchanged regulatory favors with media moguls for more agreeable coverage of himself and his family.

    Netanyahu denies wrongdoing, painting the accusations as a media-orchestrated witch hunt pursued by a biased law enforcement system.

    At the first hearing in May, just before appearing in front of the judges, Netanyahu took to a podium inside the courthouse and flanked by his party members bashed the country’s legal institutions in an angry tirade.

    Netanyahu did not appear at Sunday’s hearing.

    According to the court, the judge decided that the trial’s evidentiary stage would begin in January and would take place three times a week.

    Netanyahu’s lawyer also asked for a delay in the proceedings because of the virus, saying mask-wearing impeded his job of questioning witnesses.

    The trial resumes as Netanyahu faces widespread anger over his government’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.

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    China blasts dam to release floodwaters as death toll rises

    BEIJING (AP) — Authorities in central China blasted a dam Sunday to release surging waters behind it amid widespread flooding across the country that has claimed scores of lives.

    State broadcaster CCTV reported the dam on the Chuhe River in Anhui province was destroyed with explosives early Sunday morning, after which the water level was expected to drop by 70 centimeters (more than 2 feet).

    Water levels on many rivers, including the mighty Yangtze, have been unusually high this year because of torrential rains.

    Blasting dams and embankments to discharge water was an extreme response employed during China’s worst floods in recent years in 1998, when more than 2,000 people died and almost 3 million homes were destroyed.

    Last week, the gargantuan Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze opened three floodgates as the water level behind the massive dam rose more than 15 meters (50 feet) above flood level. Another flood crest is expected to arrive at the dam on Tuesday.

    Elsewhere, soldiers and workers have been testing the strength of embankments and shoring them up with sandbags and rocks. On Saturday, firefighters and others finished filling in a 188-meter (620-foot) break on Poyang Lake, China’s largest freshwater lake, that had caused widespread flooding across 15 villages and agricultural fields in Jiangxi province. More than 14,000 people were evacuated.

    Seasonal flooding strikes large parts of China annually, especially in its central and southern regions, but has been especially severe this summer. More than 150 people have died or are missing in flooding and landslides brought on by the torrential rains — 23 of them since Thursday alone.

    About 1.8 million people have been evacuated and direct losses attributed to flooding are estimated at more than 49 billion yuan ($7 billion), according to the Ministry of Emergency Management.

    Major cities have been spared so far, but concern has risen over Wuhan and other downstream metropolises that are home to tens of millions of people.

    'It's a hoax' say California's anti-mask proponents

    Huntington Beach (United States) (AFP) – For Davey, a resident of the city of Huntington Beach in southern California, the requirement to wear a mask to curb the spread of coronavirus is not something he takes seriously.

    “It’s a hoax,” the 51-year-old told AFP as he exited a clothing store maskless, referring to a state rule that people in most public places wear face coverings.

    “The more you test people, the more you come up with new cases,” he said, echoing words from President Donald Trump as he attempted to explain the record number of infections recently recorded in California and several other states.

    Davey is not the only resident of this city in Orange County, which has a large Republican presence, to revolt against lockdowns and mask rules.

    “It’s my constitutional, God-given right not to wear a mask,” said Davey, who declined to give his last name.

    While the number of COVID-19 cases in Orange County has not exploded like in some particularly hard-hit cities across the country’s south and west, the disease’s incidence is still worrisome.

    An employee at a nearby shop said many business owners had given up trying to ensure mask compliance, given how sensitive the issue has become.

    “We had a lot of protests against beach closures and masks here,” said the employee, who did not wish to be named. “Basically, a lot of shops around here are doing what they can not to lose customers.”

    Few people encountered along city streets on a recent afternoon wore masks.

    Among them was Tracy, a 25-year-old walking back from the beach carrying her surfboard.

    She said she initially tried to convince friends to wear masks but eventually gave up.

    “It sometimes ended up quickly in a fight,” she said. “I don’t know why, but the issue is totally sensitive. I decided to let it go.”

    – ‘New behavior for Americans’ –

    Controversy over the issue prompted the county’s chief health officer, Nichole Quick, to resign last month after weeks of defending her countywide face mask order.

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    Hong Kong security law sends jitters through city's feisty press

    Hong Kong (AFP) – Hong Kong’s status as a bastion of press freedom is in crisis as authorities toughen their line against international media and fears grow about local self-censorship under the city’s sweeping new security law.

    For decades the former British colony has been a shining light for journalists in Asia, lying on the fringes of an authoritarian China where the ruling Communist Party keeps a tight grip on public opinion.

    The civil liberties that have stewarded the city’s success were promised to Hong Kongers for another 50 years under a deal that returned the trading hub to Chinese rule in 1997.

    But Beijing’s new national security law — imposed in response to last year’s huge and sometimes violent pro-democracy protests — has sent a shiver through the financial hub’s media landscape.

    “It’s a body blow. It’s the end of press freedom as we knew it in Hong Kong,” Yuen Chan, a former local reporter now lecturing at London’s City University, told AFP.

    The New York Times, CNN, Bloomberg, the Wall Street Journal, CNBC, the Financial Times and AFP are among numerous international media outlets with a presence in the city, many basing their regional headquarters there.

    Free from the harassment, censorship and restrictions pervasive on the authoritarian Chinese mainland, semi-autonomous Hong Kong has thrived as a safe haven for both local and foreign reporters.

    But signs of the sands shifting have begun to emerge since China introduced its draconian new law earlier this month.

    On Tuesday the New York Times announced it would relocate a third of its staff to Seoul, saying it faced unprecedented trouble obtaining visas.

    Hong Kong authorities recently launched a review of independent but state-funded broadcaster RTHK following accusations it was overly sympathetic to pro-democracy protests.

    Immediately after the security law was passed, two columnists quit the city’s rambunctious Apple Daily newspaper, a staunch advocate for greater democracy.

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    Syrians vote for new parliament amid war, economic turmoil

    Damascus (AFP) – Syrians go to the polls Sunday to elect a new parliament as the Damascus government grapples with international sanctions and a crumbling economy after retaking large parts of the war-torn country.

    More than 7,400 polling stations will open at 7.30am (0430 GMT) in government-held parts of Syria, including for the first time in former opposition strongholds.

    President Bashar al-Assad’s Baath party and its allies are expected to take most of parliament’s 250 seats in the third such polls to be held since the war started nine years ago.

    On the eve of the polls, one person was killed and another wounded in two blasts in Damascus, state news agency SANA said.

    Several lists were allowed to run across the country but any real opposition is absent, and the ruling Baath party is expected to retain its hegemony.

    Portraits of the contenders have been displayed across the capital for weeks, with the 1,658 candidates including several prominent businessmen.

    The elections, twice postponed from April due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, come at a time when most Syrians are worried about the soaring cost of living.

    Many candidates are running on programmes pledging to tackle inflation and improve infrastructure ravaged by the conflict.

    “Lawmakers are going to have to make exceptional efforts to improve services,” said Umaya, a 31-year-old woman who works in a dentist’s practice.

    Millions of Syrians living abroad, after fleeing a war that has killed more than 380,000 people, are not eligible to vote.

    But for the first time, voting will take place in territory retaken by the government, including in the Eastern Ghouta region outside Damascus and in the south of Idlib province in the country’s northwest.

    After a string of military victories backed by key ally Russia, the government is back in control of around 70 percent of the country, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says.

    In the last polls in 2016, turnout stood at 57 percent.

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    Oregon AG sues federal agencies over Portland arrests, says tactics are similar to kidnapping

    Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum has sued multiple federal agencies alleging agents in unmarked vehicles have grabbed people off Portland’s streets without a warrant in recent days.

    The lawsuit, filed Friday in Oregon U.S. District Court, says the agents violated the civil rights of Oregon residents using unlawful tactics. It comes after federal authorities allegedly injured and threatened peaceful protesters and seeks to bar the agencies from arresting people without probable cause or a warrant.

    It also asks the court to require federal agents to identify themselves and their agency before conducting an arrest and give an explanation to any person being detained for the arrest. 

    Local U.S. Justice Department authorities have questioned the tactics as well.

    U.S. Attorney Billy Williams in Portland said Friday he had asked the Department of Homeland Security inspector general to investigate reports that agents arrested people without probable cause.

    Meanwhile, an ACLU lawsuit filed against the Trump administration Friday is aimed at ending “lawlessness” in Portland and seeks to end attacks on journalists and legal observers at protests by the Department of Homeland Security, among other agencies.

    Rosenblum’s filing includes a statement from Mark Pettibone, who says he was detained early Wednesday morning while he was walking down the street after taking part in a Black Lives Matter protest.

    “Without warning, men in green military fatigues and adorned with generic ‘police’ patches, jumped out of an unmarked minivan and approached me,” the statement reads.

    “I did not know whether the men were police or far-right extremists, who, in my experience, frequently don military-like outfits and harass left-leaning protesters in Portland. My first thought was to run. I made it about a half-block before I realized there would be no escape from them.”

    Rosenblum’s complaint says such tactics could lead a person to reasonably believe they are being kidnapped: “Ordinarily, a person exercising his right to walk through the streets of Portland who is confronted by anonymous men in military-type fatigues and ordered into an unmarked van can reasonably assume that he is being kidnapped and is the victim of a crime.”

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    UK asks Japan for Huawei alternatives in 5G networks – Nikkei

    TOKYO (Reuters) – The British government asked Japan to help build its 5G wireless networks without Huawei Technologies, the Nikkei said on Sunday, a further step in a global technology and security war between the United States and China.

    Britain named NEC Corp and Fujitsu Ltd as potential alternative suppliers to Huawei, the business daily reported, without citing sources.

    British officials met with their counterparts in Tokyo on Thursday, two days after Britain ordered Huawei equipment purged from its 5G networks by the end of 2027, the Nikkei said.

    As Britain prepares to leave the European Union, fears over the security of Huawei have forced Prime Minister Johnson to choose between the United States and China, weighing a critical alliance against billions in investment.

    The Nikkei said the latest move reflects Britain’s effort to bring in new equipment suppliers to foster competition and help reduce costs for the country’s wireless carriers.

    The British embassy in Tokyo and Fujitsu did not immediately respond to email or text inquiries on Sunday. Japan’s Cabinet Secretariat and NEC did not answer calls. Huawei and China’s foreign ministry had no immediate comment.

    British digital minister Oliver Dowden last week said Britain was working with its allies to foster stronger rivals to Huawei, naming firms from Finland, Sweden, South Korea and Japan.

    (Reporting by Makiko Yamazaki in Tokyo; Additional reporting by David Kirton in Shenzhen and Ryan Woo in Beijing; Editing by William Mallard)

    Coronavirus updates: Global fatalities pass 600,000; virus on track to become a leading cause of worldwide deaths

    The world hit yet another grim milestone on Saturday in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic as the global death tally surpassed 600,000, according to Johns Hopkins University.

    Of the 188 countries tracked by the university, only 17 have not yet reported a virus-related death. The United States has the highest number of fatalities and is the only country reporting more than 100,000 deaths.

    Confirmed cases of the virus have doubled globally since early June, according to data from the university. If deaths – which often lag weeks behind cases – follow a similar trend, the virus could become one of the top 10 global causes of deaths in coming months.

    Leading causes of death globally – including tuberculosis, road injuries, stroke and heart disease – kill between 1.2 million and 9.4 million people in a year, according to 2016 data from the World Health Organization .

    Some recent developments: 

  • Curfews have also been imposed in two Florida counties.

  • Iran’s president Saturday estimated as many as 25 million Iranians could have been infected with the coronavirus since the outbreak’s beginning.

  • Nevada’s largest labor union says COVID-19 has killed 22 Culinary Union members, including their spouses or dependents.

  • In the last 30 days, there is only one U.S. state that has not seen a single COVID-19- related death: Vermont.

  • Another retailing heavyweight weighed in on the national mask-wearing issue: Home Depot will now require all shoppers wear them.

  • The U.S. border closures with Canada and Mexico have been extended into late August as COVID-19 cases surge in America.

  • Florida’s former top coronavirus data scientist filed a whistleblower complaint Thursday against the Health Department.

  • ? Today’s stats: The U.S. has about 3.7 million cases and more than 139,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. Globally, there have been 14.2 million cases and more than 600,000 deaths.

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