Breaking news
September 23, 2020

Two police officers were shot in Louisville on Wednesday night and are receiving treatment at an area hospital, Interim Louisville Metro Police Chief Robert Schroeder said in a press conference.

Schroeder told reporters the officers suffered injuries that are not life-threatening, and both are in stable condition. A suspect is in custody, but Schroeder did not say if this person was involved in the Breonna Taylor protests.

Demonstrators began gathering in downtown Louisville after a Kentucky grand jury indicted one of the three officers involved in the shooting of Taylor; former detective Brett Hankison was charged with three felony counts of wanton endangerment for shooting into the apartment next to Taylor's, but none of the officers were directly charged in Taylor's death.

A journalist with The Associated Press reports there is a massive police presence in downtown Louisville, with officers in riot gear and military-style vehicles blocking off roadways. Before a curfew went into effect, there were times when officers threw pepper balls and fired flash bangs, AP reports, and a few small fires were started. The demonstrations in support of Taylor and against racism and police brutality spread beyond Louisville, with protesters also marching in New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, and Philadelphia. Catherine Garcia

September 10, 2020

A panel of three federal judges on Thursday evening blocked President Trump's July order to exclude undocumented immigrants from the census count that is used to allocate seats in Congress.

The panel wrote that this violates federal law, which says apportionment has to be based on everyone who resides in the United States, and the order would cause harm lasting a decade, The Washington Post reports.

Earlier in the day, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ordered the government to turn over internal documents related to its decision to end the 2020 census count a month earlier than planned. Koh said the Trump administration needs to provide all documents and communications from mid-April, when the Census Bureau said the count would be extended to Oct. 31 because of the coronavirus pandemic, to Aug. 3, when it was announced the count would now end on Sept. 30. Catherine Garcia

September 8, 2020

The Justice Department moved Tuesday to take over President Trump's defense in a defamation suit filed by author E. Jean Carroll, who accused Trump of raping her in a Manhattan department store dressing room during the 1990s.

Carroll sued Trump last year after he called her a liar and claimed he had never met her before. In court papers, Justice Department lawyers argued that they should be able to replace Trump's private attorneys because he made his comments about Carroll while in office. The DOJ cited the Federal Tort Claims Act, which is an extremely unusual move, University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck told The New York Times. Lawyers for the government have never before tried to use the law to include the actions of a president conducted before he took office, he explained.

Last month, a New York judge ruled that Carroll could go forward with her suit, after Trump attempted to temporarily halt the proceedings. Carroll's lawyers have asked that Trump provide a DNA sample, in order to check if any of his genetic material is on the dress Carroll said she wore during the alleged incident.

In a statement, Carroll's attorney Roberta A. Kaplan said the Justice Department's motion is "shocking" and Trump's "effort to wield the power of the U.S. government to evade responsibility for his private misconduct is without precedent and shows even more starkly how far he is willing to go to prevent the truth from coming out." Catherine Garcia

August 23, 2020

White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, one of President Trump's longest-serving aides and most visible defenders, informed Trump on Sunday night that she is leaving his administration at the end of the month, she announced in a statement.

Conway's husband, conservative lawyer George Conway, is a co-founder of the Lincoln Project, an organization founded by Republicans who do not want to see Trump re-elected in November. In her statement, Kellyanne Conway said her time at the White House has been "heady" and "humbling," and while she and her husband "disagree about plenty," they are "united on what matters most: the kids."

They have four children in middle and high school, and because of distance learning, this "requires a level of attention and vigilance that is as unusual as these times," Conway said. Her decision to leave the White House is "completely my choice," she added. "In time, I will announce future plans. For now, and for my beloved children, it will be less drama, more mama."

George Conway often tweets about his displeasure with Trump, and The Washington Post reports that in addition to taking a step back from the Lincoln Project, he will be taking a break from Twitter. This comes after their teenage daughter tweeted on Saturday and Sunday about her family and issues surrounding their politics; she later thanked followers for their "love and support" and said she was taking a "mental health break" from social media. Catherine Garcia

August 10, 2020

Jimmy Lai, a 72-year-old media tycoon and activist who is a vocal critic of the Chinese Communist Party, was arrested early Monday, accused of colluding with foreign forces, The Washington Post reports.

This is a crime under Hong Kong's new national security law that aims to stifle dissent, and anyone found guilty could receive life in prison. Lai's company, Next Digital, publishes the Apple Daily, a pro-democracy newspaper, and a person familiar with the matter said several company executives were also arrested on Monday, the Post reports.

In a statement, the Hong Kong Police Force said seven men between the ages of 39 and 72 were arrested on suspicion of breaching the security law, but did not release their names. Mark Simon, one of Lai's close aides, said two of Lai's sons were among those arrested.

Lai is from mainland China, and became politically active in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. He has been calling for greater freedoms and democracy in Hong Kong, and was arrested in February on charges of illegal assembly and intimidation. Catherine Garcia

August 6, 2020

On Thursday night, President Trump issued executive orders banning American people and companies from doing business with the Chinese parent companies of TikTok, a video-sharing app, and WeChat, a messaging app.

The executive orders did not explicitly say what business transactions will be prohibited; the bans go into effect in 45 days, and by that time, the Commerce Secretary must define what exactly is banned, The Associated Press reports.

TikTok is owned by ByteDance, while WeChat is owned by Tencent; neither responded to AP's requests for comment. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has called TikTok and WeChat security threats, and earlier Thursday, the Senate voted unanimously in support of a bill banning federal employees from installing TikTok on government-issued devices.

TikTok has a separate U.S. enterprise, and has said it does not store American user data in China. WeChat has also denied sharing data with the Chinese government, saying it stores U.S. user data in Canada. Microsoft is now in talks with ByteDance to purchase TikTok's U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand entities. Catherine Garcia

July 26, 2020

The United States announced late Sunday night that it has closed its consulate in Chengdu, China.

On Thursday, the Chinese government ordered the consulate shuttered in retaliation for the United States telling China earlier in the week that it had to close its consulate in Houston. U.S. officials accused China of using the consulate to engage in economic espionage, a charge Beijing denied.

The Chengdu consulate "stood at the center of our relations with the people in western China, including Tibet, for 35 years," the State Department said in a statement. It was one of five U.S. consulates in mainland China, and the State Department said it plans to use its other missions to continue outreach in the region. Catherine Garcia

July 24, 2020

China on Friday said it has ordered the United States to shutter its consulate in the western city of Chengdu, in response to the Trump administration telling China on Tuesday it had 72 hours to close its consulate in Houston.

U.S. officials accused China of using the Houston consulate to engage in economic espionage, allegations Beijing denied. The United States has five consulates in mainland China, and the Chengdu location is valuable for gaining information on Tibet and Xinjiang, two areas that have experienced security crackdowns, The New York Times reports.

On Thursday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a speech at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Southern California, and said the United States "must admit a hard truth that should guide us in the years and decades to come, that if we want to have a free 21st century, and not the Chinese century of which [Chinese President] Xi Jinping dreams, the old paradigm of blind engagement with China simply won't get it done. We must not continue it and we must not return to it."

In response, Hua Chunying, a Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman, said Pompeo is "launching a new crusade against China in a globalized world. What he is doing is as futile as an ant trying to shake a tree." Catherine Garcia

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