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    The husband of a woman who died accidentally in an office of then-GOP Rep. Joe Scarborough two decades ago is demanding that Twitter remove President Donald Trump’s tweets suggesting Scarborough, now a fierce Trump critic, murdered her. “My request is simple: Please delete these tweets,” Timothy J. Klausutis wrote to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. The body of Lori Kaye Klausutis, 28, was found in Scarborough's Fort Walton Beach, Florida, congressional office on July 20, 2001. Klausutis said in the letter, sent last week, that his wife had an undiagnosed heart condition, fell and hit her head on her desk at work. He called her death “the single most painful thing that I have ever had to deal with' and said he feels a marital obligation to protect her memory amid “a constant barrage of falsehoods, half-truths, innuendo and conspiracy theories since the day she died.” Klausutis said Trump is among the conspiracy theorists spreading “bile and misinformation” on Twitter “disparaging the memory” of his wife and their marriage. Trump's tweets violate Twitter’s community rules and terms of service, he said. “An ordinary user like me would be banished,” Klausutis wrote. In a statement, Twitter said it was 'deeply sorry about the pain these statements, and the attention they are drawing, are causing the family.” But the company did not say it would do anything about Trump's Tweets or mention them directly. “We’ve been working to expand existing product features and policies so we can more effectively address things like this going forward, and we hope to have those changes in place shortly,” Twitter said. In general, Twitter has taken a hands-off approach to political leaders, contending that publishing controversial tweets from politicians helps hold them accountable and encourages discussion. It modified those rules last year to say that world leaders “aren’t entirely” above the rules and some tweets violating its policy could be slapped with warning labels. Trump has long feuded with Scarborough, now a host of MSNBC's “Morning Joe” show, and has repeatedly tried to implicate him in the death even though Scarborough was in Washington, not Florida, at the time. Trump tweeted this month: “When will they open a Cold Case on the Psycho Joe Scarborough matter in Florida. Did he get away with murder? Some people think so. Why did he leave Congress so quietly and quickly? Isn’t it obvious? What’s happening now? A total nut job!” He echoed that “cold case” allegation in a new tweet on Tuesday, Trump also has asked via Twitter if NBC would fire the political talk show host based on the “unsolved mystery” years ago in Florida. “Investigate!” he tweeted in 2017. But there is no mystery. Medical officials ruled that Lori Kaye Klausutis, who had a heart condition and told friends hours earlier that she wasn’t feeling well, had fainted and hit her head. Foul play was not suspected. Scarborough has urged the president to stop his baseless attacks.
  • President Donald Trump honored America’s war dead in back-to-back Memorial Day appearances colored by an epic struggle off the battlefield, against the coronavirus. Eager to demonstrate national revival from the pandemic, Trump doubled up on his public schedule Monday, while threatening to pull the Republican National Convention out of Charlotte in August unless North Carolina's Democratic governor gives a quick green light to the party's plans to assemble en masse. The U.S. death toll from the pandemic approached 100,000; North Carolina two days earlier reported its largest daily increase yet in COVID-19 sickness. Trump first honored the nation’s fallen at Arlington National Cemetery. Presidents on Memorial Day typically lay a wreath and speak at the hallowed burial ground in Virginia. But the coronavirus crisis made this year different. Many attendees arrived wearing masks but removed them for the outdoor ceremony in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Trump, maskless as always in public, gave no remarks. He approached a wreath already in place, touched it and saluted. Trump then traveled to Baltimore's historic Fort McHenry, where he declared: “Together we will vanquish the virus and America will rise from this crisis to new and even greater heights. No obstacle, no challenge and no threat is a match for the sheer determination of the American people.” He praised the tens of thousands of service members and National Guard personnel “on the front lines of our war against this terrible virus.” His Democratic opponent, Joe Biden, chose Memorial Day to make his first public appearance in the two months since the pandemic closed down the nation. Biden emerged unannounced from his Delaware home to lay a wreath at a nearby park, with no crowd gathered to greet him. It was a milestone in a presidential campaign that has largely been frozen. Biden's words were muffled through a black cloth face mask. “Never forget the sacrifices that these men and women made,” he said after. “Never, ever forget.” The U.S. leads the world with more than 1.6 million confirmed coronavirus cases and more than 98,000 deaths, according to a tally by Johns Hopkins University. Trump tweeted his frustration with North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, who has been moving his state into a cautious reopening that will keep indoor entertainment venues, like its NBA arena, closed for the time being. The state reported a daily high of 1,100 new cases Saturday, and has lost about 750 residents to the pandemic. The president said Republicans will be “reluctantly forced” to find a convention site in another state unless Cooper can guarantee that the GOP will be able to fill its convention spaces, including the arena in Charlotte. Cooper’s office said state officials are working with the GOP on convention decisions. Changing sites would be difficult for numerous reasons, including the contract between Republican officials and Charlotte leaders to hold the gathering there. Trump is intent on accelerating his own schedule as he urges the country to get to work. This month, Trump has toured factories in Arizona, Pennsylvania and Michigan that make pandemic supplies. He plans to be in Florida on Wednesday to watch two NASA astronauts rocket into space, and he played golf at his private club in Virginia on Saturday and Sunday. The Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine commemorates the site where Francis Scott Key wrote a poem after a huge American flag was hoisted to celebrate an important victory over the British during the War of 1812. That poem became “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The fort is closed to the public because of the pandemic. Baltimore Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young objected to Trump’s visit in advance, saying it sends the wrong message about stay-at-home directives and the city could not afford the added cost of hosting him when it is losing $20 million a month because of the pandemic. He cited the disproportionate effect the virus has had on his city and called on Trump to “set a positive example” by not traveling during the holiday weekend. Trump was not dissuaded. “The brave men and women who have preserved our freedoms for generations did not stay home and the president will not either as he honors their sacrifice by visiting such a historic landmark in our nation’s history,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in an emailed statement Sunday. Trump last summer described a congressional district that includes Baltimore as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess” where “no human being would want to live.” He visited Baltimore months later to address a meeting of congressional Republicans, and a giant inflatable rat adorned with Trump-style hair and a red necktie taunted him from a few blocks away. Trump did not visit any Baltimore neighborhoods. ___ Associated Press writer Jill Colvin in Arlington, Va., contributed to this report. ___ Follow Darlene Superville on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/dsupervilleap.
  • Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar's metamorphosis from refugee to the first Somali-American in Congress has been well-documented. Now, Omar is out with a new memoir that offers her own spin on her path to prominence, starting with her childhood in Mogadishu. “This is What America Looks Like: My Journey from Refugee to Congresswoman,” set for release Tuesday, offers no revelations on some of the controversies that have dogged Omar. Instead, it sketches rugged years that Omar says made her a fearless fighter, unafraid to skirmish with President Donald Trump and her frequent conservative critics. A YOUNG FIGHTER In her memoir, written with Rebecca Paley, Omar recounts taking on a much taller boy when she was just 7, rubbing his face in the sand after he picked on someone weaker. “I wasn’t afraid of fighting. I felt like I was bigger and stronger than everyone else — even if I knew that wasn’t really the case,” she wrote. It's a theme woven throughout the book, including after she arrived in America and settled in Arlington, Virginia, knowing almost no English. Omar got into fights in middle school to show she wasn't afraid, she writes, and she describes incidents in which she choked one boy until he foamed at the mouth and kept hitting another girl even after being told the girl was pregnant. “Fighting didn’t feel like a choice. It was a part of me. Respect goes both ways,” she wrote. LIFE IN SOMALIA Omar said she grew up the youngest of seven in a loud, opinionated middle-class family, living in a guarded compound in Mogadishu. Her father’s clan was one of the country’s most powerful, and her mother, who died when she was in preschool, was Benadiri, a Somali ethnic minority. Omar, who described herself as a tomboy, said the only place she fit in was within the walls of her family home. Civil war broke out when she was 8, and after her family's compound came under attack by militia, the family escaped and eventually made it to a refugee camp in Kenya, where Omar spent four years before the family moved to the U.S. LOVE AND STRUGGLES Omar recounts meeting her first husband, Ahmed Hirsi, in Minneapolis when she was 16. She said they were in love, and shortly before she turned 19, their families decided they should marry. By 2008, Omar was struggling. Finances were a stressor, she had two small children, and she began questioning her relationships, including her marriage. Since the couple had married religiously – not civilly -- to get divorced, Hirsi had to simply declare the marriage ended, Omar wrote. She then had what she called “a Britney Spears-style meltdown” in which she shaved her head and eloped with a man, Ahmed Nur Said Elmi, whom she wrote she “spent so little time with that I wouldn’t even make him a footnote in my story if it weren’t for the fact that this event turned into the main headline later on.” In the book, Omar doesn’t name Elmi or say how they met or when their relationship ended. She later reunited with Hirsi and had a third child. Her book also doesn’t mention her recent divorce from Hirsi and new marriage to a man who works as a consultant for her. “SPECULATION AND CONSPIRACIES” Since Omar ran for state lawmaker in 2016, she has been met with allegations that Elmi, the man she married during her split from Hirsi, is her brother. Omar again denies those claims, saying they originated from a post in an online Somali discussion forum that she said was a last-ditch effort to sink her campaign. “That Somalis were some of my harshest critics might seem absurd. But they refused to accept me because I refused to kiss the ring. It goes back to my inability since childhood to submit to bullies,” she wrote. PUBLIC LIFE Omar was elected to the state Legislature in 2016, knocking off a 44-year incumbent. She describes a statehouse “hostile to my presence” because of her determination to attack the status quo, and recounts confronting a fellow Democratic lawmaker unhappy she'd won a leadership position. The lawmaker told Omar she was different, and eventually said it was because she walks into a room “like a man.” “A white man,” Omar said she responded. As a congresswoman, Omar has come under fire for controversial statements, and has been the subject of attacks and falsehoods by critics. She said in her book that she defends her policies, and her identity is not up for debate. “I am, by nature, a starter of fires,” she wrote.
  • In its first-ever virtual graduation and commissioning ceremony, the U.S. Naval Academy on Friday welcomed a new class of officers into the Navy and Marine Corps as the sea services steer through the coronavirus crisis. In remarks recorded earlier in the week, Defense Secretary Mark Esper congratulated the 1,017 graduating midshipmen, reminded them of the importance of character, trust and leadership, and pointed to the pandemic as an example of unexpected challenges they will inevitably face in their military careers. “While the coronavirus is a daunting and, in some ways, an unprecedented challenge, it is just one of the many trials you'll experience throughout a lifetime of military service,” Esper said. “As new threats continue to emerge, you must remain ready, vigilant and prepared to defend our country, our people and our way of life.” The Navy's top officer, Adm. Mike Gilday, was unable to attend the recording session in which Esper and other officials delivered speeches for Friday's virtual ceremony because Gilday remains in quarantine at his home after having come in contact earlier this month with a family member who tested positive for coronavirus. The ceremony at Annapolis, Maryland, comes at a tumultuous time for the Navy as it struggles with the coronavirus and leadership crises. On Thursday, the Senate confirmed Kenneth Braithwaite, a former U.S. ambassador to Norway and a 1984 graduate of the Naval Academy, as Navy secretary. He took over for James McPherson, who held the job temporarily after the acting Navy secretary, Thomas Modly, resigned the post under pressure in April. Modly had stepped in when Richard Spencer was fired last November in a dispute with the White House over disciplinary action against a Navy SEAL. The Navy has suffered coronavirus outbreaks on two deployed ships — the USS Kidd and the USS Theodore Roosevelt, an aircraft carrier that was sidelined in Guam in late March with an outbreak that has infected at least 1,100 members of its crew. The Roosevelt this week returned to sea for training in preparation to resume its duties in the Pacific. Results of a widened Navy investigation into how the Roosevelt's officers and their Navy chain of command handled the coronavirus outbreak are due soon. The decision not to have a live Naval Academy graduation ceremony reflects concern about the coronavirus pandemic. It stands in contrast to the Air Force, which held a scaled-back live graduation ceremony in Colorado Springs, Colorado on April 18. The ceremony was attended by Vice President Mike Pence but without the large crowd that normally fills the academy’s football stadium. The Army is scheduled to hold a U.S. Military Academy live graduation ceremony at West Point, New York, on June 13 with President Donald Trump as the commencement speaker. Army leaders defended their decision to bring students back, saying that despite the coronovirus risk, students would have had to return anyway to prepare for their next duty assignment. The decision has been criticized as a political move to get Trump on stage at the academy, where he hasn’t yet given a graduation address. But Army officials said the students must return for final medical checks, equipment and training. The ceremony for Class of 2020 graduates of the U.S. Coast Guard Academy was done virtually on Wednesday and featured a pre-recorded keynote address by Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In the virtual spirit of Friday's Naval Academy event, Milley, chimed in with a Twitter note of encouragement to the graduates. “Whether at sea, in the air, on land or in the cyber domain, the international order is under assault,” Milley wrote. “Your leadership will have a direct role in preserving great power peace & free & open maritime commons.” Prior to the remarks by Esper and other senior officials, the Naval Academy ran a series of recorded tributes from several current and retired professional athletes, entertainers and others, including 99-year-old George Shultz, the former secretary of state, as well as singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett. As part of its effort to protect its graduates and others, the Naval Academy held a series of five private, live swearing-in ceremonies for the midshipmen between May 12 and May 20. Family members and other guests were not allowed to attend. Excerpts of those five videotaped events were shown during Friday's online ceremony.
  • After co-writing the best-selling adult novel of 2018, Bill Clinton and James Patterson have teamed up for another political thriller. “The President's Daughter' will be released in June 2021, the book's publishers announced Thursday. As with the million-selling “The President Is Missing,” the new novel will be a rare joint release by rival companies: Alfred A. Knopf, which has released Clinton's “My Life” among other works, and Little, Brown and Company, Patterson's longtime publisher. “I never imagined I’d be writing a book with a master storyteller like Jim, much less two,' Clinton said in a statement. “I was grateful for the success of the first book, and I believe readers will enjoy reading ‘The President's Daughter' as much as I’m enjoying working on it.” Added Patterson, one of the world's best-selling and most prolific authors: “Working with President Clinton has been a highlight of my career, and I’m thrilled to have the chance to write with him again.” Clinton and Patterson will give interviews for the book, although specific plans are undetermined, in part because of uncertainty about the endurance of the coronavirus pandemic. “The President's Daughter” is not a sequel to “The President Is Missing,” but a stand-alone novel with new characters, albeit one with a familiar occupation. “It follows a former president of the United States, now relocated to rural New Hampshire, whose daughter is kidnapped,” the publishers announced. “Like their earlier book, the story will be told with Patterson’s signature suspense and will be informed by details that only a president can know.” According to an excerpt from the novel being released next week along with a paperback edition of “The President Is Missing,” a motivation for the kidnappers is retaliation for U.S. drone strikes overseas against suspected foes. Drones have long been used for surveillance, but armed drones date back to the administration of Clinton's successor, George W. Bush, and were expanded significantly under President Barack Obama. “For years,” one of the kidnappers thinks, “the West has used these drones to rain down hell fire upon his friends, his fighters, and, yes, his family and other families. Fat and comfortable men (and women!) sipping their sugary drinks in comfortable chairs in safety, killing from thousands of kilometers away, seeing the silent explosions but not once hearing them, or hearing the shrieking and crying of the wounded and dying, and then driving home without a care in the world.” The first book by Clinton and Patterson sold more than 3 million copies even as Clinton initially faced renewed questions in the #MeToo era over his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. “The President Is Missing” focused on a potentially devastating cyber attack, but also briefly referred to impeachment proceedings, a reminder of Clinton's being impeached in 1998 after his relationship with Lewinsky was revealed. The plot for “The President's Daughter” would seem uncomfortable for Clinton, who has a daughter, Chelsea. “This novel is completely and fully fiction,” says Washington, D.C. attorney Robert Barnett, who handles book deals for Clinton and Patterson. “The President's Daughter” is a reunion for the authors and for the book's editors: Michael Pietsch, the CEO of Little, Brown parent company Hachette Book Group, and Knopf publisher and executive vice president Reagan Arthur, the former publisher of Little, Brown. In January, Arthur joined Knopf after the death of its longtime chairman, Sonny Mehta, who worked with Pietsch on “The President Is Missing.” Financial terms for “The President's Daughter” were not disclosed. Clinton and Patterson were represented by Barnett and Deneen Howell of Williams & Connolly. The initial pairing of Clinton and Patterson was suggested by Barnett, according to the two authors, each of whom expressed surprise the other wanted to work with him.
  • A bitterly divided Senate panel voted along party lines Thursday to advance President Donald Trump’s choice to head the Voice of America and other U.S. government-funded international broadcasters that have been the subject of harsh criticism from the White House. After rejecting eight Democratic requests to postpone the move, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee sent Michael Pack’s nomination to the full Senate on a 12-10 vote. Pack is Trump’s choice to run the U.S. Agency for Global Media, which oversees VOA and its sister outlets like Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio Free Asia and the Cuba-oriented Radio and Television Marti. Democrats oppose the nomination of Pack, a former associate of Trump political adviser Steve Bannon, in part because of questions about his past business dealings. Recent criticism of VOA from Trump and the White House has intensified their concerns about his nomination. Trump has pushed for Pack’s confirmation while launching unprecedented attacks on the Voice of America, the venerable broadcaster created during World War II to air independent news and promote American values to the world, for its coverage of China’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Democrats fear that Pack, a conservative filmmaker and former educator, could turn the organization into a Trump propaganda machine funded with more than $200 million a year in taxpayer money. Trump has mused about his desire to control a media outlet. Pack has dismissed concerns he would allow that to happen, but the recent furor has reignited those concerns. The top Democrat on the committee. New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, and other Democrats said the vote should be delayed because Pack has not yet answered questions about discrepancies in tax returns related to a non-profit organization he runs. Yet, the uproar over Voice of America and its recent coverage of China’s handling of the pandemic overshadowed the possible legal issues. It has become a touchstone in the Trump administration’s efforts to criticize Chinese authorities for the outbreak and deflect criticism of the U.S. response as the 2020 presidential campaign heats up. Trump and his allies have long viewed VOA with suspicion, regarding it as an element of a “deep state” trying to thwart their policies. The hostility burst open on April 9 when Trump communications adviser Dan Scavino posted a VOA story about China to his official Twitter account with the comment “American taxpayers—paying for China’s very own propaganda, via the U.S. Government funded Voice of America! DISGRACE!!” The story that VOA posted — about the lifting of the lockdown in the Chinese city of Wuhan, where the new coronavirus first emerged — was actually an Associated Press report, but the following day, an official White House publication accused VOA of using taxpayer money “to speak for authoritarian regimes.” Trump weighed in several days later, calling VOA’s coverage “disgusting” and demanding that the Senate confirm Pack. A planned vote on Pack's nomination was delayed earlier this month after the Washington, D.C., attorney general informed Menendez and committee chairman Jim Risch, R-Texas, that it had an open civil investigation into the tax return discrepancies.
  • Norma McCorvey loved the limelight. Better known as “Jane Roe,” her story was at the center of the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide. At first she was an abortion rights advocate, but, in a twist, she became a born-again Christian in 1995 and switched sides. Now, three years after her death of heart failure at age 69, she's making headlines again. In a documentary being released Friday, McCorvey says she was paid to speak out against abortion. “This is my deathbed confession,” she says, chuckling as she breathes with the aid of oxygen during filming at a nursing home where she lived in Katy, Texas. “I took their money and they put me out in front of the cameras and told me what to say,' she says in “AKA Jane Roe,” which premieres Friday on FX. Asked whether it was an “all an act,” she responds: “Yeah.” “I did it well, too. I am a good actress. Of course, I’m not acting now,” she says in the documentary, which was filmed in 2016 and 2017. As for her feelings on abortion, McCorvey says: “If a young woman wants to have an abortion, fine. You know, it's no skin off my ass. You know that's why they call it choice. It's your choice.” Filmmaker Nick Sweeney said the documentary condensed hundreds of hours of film he shot over the last year of McCorvey's life and that he hoped it gave her the chance to tell her own complex story. McCorvey’s true feelings about abortion have always been nuanced, said Joshua Prager, who spent eight years working on a book about McCorvey due out next year. In a telephone interview, he said McCorvey made her living giving speeches and writing books on both sides of the abortion debate and was coached by both sides. She had conflicted feelings about each, he said, but was consistent throughout her life in one thing: supporting abortion through the first trimester. Prager, who has not seen the new documentary, said he believes that if leaders of the abortion rights movement had embraced McCorvey, “I don’t think there’s any chance that she would have switched sides.” But, he said, she was desperate for acceptance and “liked being in front of the camera.” “I like attention,' she acknowledged in the new documentary. If the film confirms anything, it is that McCorvey was complicated. She grew up poor and was sexually abused by a relative. She was a lesbian. At 22, she was unemployed and living in Texas when she became pregnant with her third child. McCorvey wanted an abortion, but it was illegal in Texas and most states. That led her to become the anonymous plaintiff in Roe v. Wade. She gave birth to her third child, whom she put up for adoption, before the Supreme Court ruled in her case. McCorvey has had other bombshell moments before. Initially she said that the pregnancy she wanted to end was the result of rape. Later, she said it was not. That admission, and the fact McCorvey was uneducated and not, as she tells it “a demure, quiet, picture-perfect white-gloved lady,” meant the abortion rights movement kept her at arm's length. That, she says, “really set me on fire.” But if one side of the abortion debate didn't embrace her, the other did. Two leaders of the anti-abortion movement, Flip Benham and Robert Schenck, are interviewed in the documentary. Schenck, an evangelical minister who has since broken with the religious right and now supports Roe v. Wade, confirms that McCorvey was coached on what to say and paid. “Money was a constant source of tension. Norma would complain that she wasn’t getting enough money. Her complaints were met with checks,” Schenck says, adding: “There was some worry that if Norma wasn't paid sufficiently, that she would go back to the other side.” He also expresses some misgivings of his own, acknowledging he wondered of McCorvey: “Is she playing us?” 'What I didn't have the guts to say was: ‘Because I know damn well we’re playing her.' What we did with Norma was highly unethical. The jig is up,' he says. McCorvey, for her part, says both parties used the other. As the star of “AKA Jane Roe,” she is wry, sometimes crass and occasionally emotional. On election night in 2016, viewers see her hoping that Hillary Clinton will win. “I wish I knew how many abortions Donald Trump was responsible for. I'm sure he's lost count,' she says. 'You know, if he can count that high.” McCorvey didn’t live to see Trump's two Supreme Court nominees join the high court, shifting it right and worrying abortion rights supporters that the court could ultimately overturn Roe. Earlier this year, the justices heard arguments in one case involving abortion that could reveal how willing they are to do so. A decision is expected by early summer. Prager, her biographer, says McCorvey told him she thought Trump would ultimately get his way and Roe would be overturned. She offers a different assessment in the film: “No, Roe isn't going anywhere,' she says. 'No. It's not going to be tampered with. They can try but it's not happening, baby.”
  • Michigan Senate candidate John James has been called a rising star of the Republican Party so many times it’s become a cliche. The African American combat veteran, business owner and 38-year-old father of three brought down the house at the country's largest gathering of conservatives earlier this year. He has caught the attention of big donors and received the enthusiastic, all-caps praise of President Donald Trump on Twitter. “He checks all the boxes, so to speak, from a candidate perspective,” said former Michigan Republican Party chairman Saul Anuzis. All of the boxes except one: James has never won a general election. He lost the 2018 Senate race to Democrat Debbie Stabenow by 6.5 percentage points. But that better-than-expected showing against an incumbent with four decades in Michigan politics helped fuel his rise in conservative circles and spur hopes he can defeat Sen. Gary Peters, a less-known Democrat seeking his second term this fall. Now James' bid for a victory big enough to equal his hype — running in one of the country's most competitive presidential battlegrounds — has suddenly gotten dicier. And it's come just as Republicans are scrapping for wins to help sustain their precarious Senate majority. Although Trump narrowly won Michigan four years ago, the mood seems to be turning away from the president and the GOP. And unlike 2018, when Stabenow largely avoided talking about James, Democrats are on the attack — and their best weapon may be Trump at the top of the ticket. For months, the party has been using digital ads and social media to attack James as a Trump ally who’s hiding from voters and avoiding questions about his far-right positions on issues such as health care. A website run by the Michigan Democratic Party, titled “John James Revealed,” counted the days James went without granting an interview to a Michigan TV news outlet — a number that at one point surpassed 300 days. James’ critics are armed with comments from his 2018 bid, including a video where James says he supports Trump “2000%.” In another clip, James refers to the Affordable Care Act as a “monstrosity” that shows ”new conservative leadership is needed.' Democrats also are emboldened by their 2018 midterm election gains and by polls showing Trump is less popular in Michigan than Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who has exchanged jabs with the president over the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed nearly 5,000 people in the state and notched an unemployment rate of roughly 25%. On Wednesday, Trump threatened to withhold virus relief funding to Michigan after he said, incorrectly, that the state sent absentee ballots to millions of voters. In a Fox News poll last month, 44% of Michigan voters had a favorable opinion of Trump, with 52% unfavorable. More than half of voters, 58%, had a favorable opinion of Whitmer, with 37% unfavorable. The Democratic governor got higher marks for her handling of the pandemic. The numbers have some GOP campaign operatives “very, very worried about Trump being an anchor around Republicans’ necks,” said Michigan pollster Bernie Porn. Trump returned to Michigan on Thursday to tour a Ford plant in Ypsilanti that's been manufacturing ventilators and for a listening session with African American leaders. James, donning a mask, attended the discussion with the president, who wasn't wearing one. Trump said he's seen James on TV, adding, “You’re doing a fantastic job. If you do come to Washington, you have my ear.” Trump later recognized James as he wrapped up a speech, saying “We’re going to have a great senator, John James.” Trump’s son Donald Trump Jr. held a fundraiser for James on Monday. “The Trumps are bringing in wealthy donors from across the country to funnel money into my far-right opponent’s pockets in an attempt to buy this election,” Peters said in an email to supporters. Asked in an interview if he still supports Trump “2000%,' James wouldn't say, adding that it's “kind of pathetic” that Peters, an incumbent, is attacking him “rather than running on what he's done.” “I’m looking forward to running my own race, being my own man,” James said. 'Of course I support the president for reelection.” He also pushed back on Democrats' claim that he's hiding, saying he's been focused on his family — including a son born last year — and the multimillion-dollar automotive logistics company his father started with a single truck after moving to Detroit from Mississippi in 1971. James’ supporters say that the West Point graduate's service as an Army pilot and successful business record will appeal to the working class voters who backed Trump in 2016 and that he will attract African American voters who traditionally back Democrats. James speaks often of how his family went from slavery to a Senate bid in four generations, calling himself “the walking result of the American dream.' He told a gathering of conservatives that the election is “about freeing those in socioeconomic bondage in our cities” by showing them the benefits of “free will and free enterprise.” He told The Associated Press his message is consistent regardless of audience. “I don’t have a black message or a white message or an Asian message,' he said. 'I have a red, white and blue message.” James has focused heavily on raising money, and it's paid off. James brought in more than Peters for each of the past three quarters. His top donors include members of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos' family — heirs to the Amway marketing empire — and businessman Richard Uihlein, who's active in backing right-wing candidates. Democrats also are investing heavily in the race, but James' haul will help in beating back their attacks. “This time I will have the resources to tell the truth, and they will see that Sen. Peters and (Senate Minority Leader) Chuck Schumer and their D.C. allies have been lying about me, and who I am,' James said, 'and I don’t believe that will be received very well by the people of Michigan.” ___ Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report from Ypsilanti, Michigan. ___ This story has been corrected to show that Trump is meeting with African American leaders in Ypsilanti, not Detroit.
  • Restaurant owners gave President Donald Trump a sobering accounting of the widespread damage the coronavirus pandemic has dealt their industry and asked him to adjust a loan program for small businesses to address their concerns. The president put a hopeful spin on the situation, saying encouraging news on vaccines and treatment efforts could “negate” the bad news. The president was in good spirits as he met Monday with the restaurant executives at the White House, noting that financial markets were up as states continued to loosen economic restrictions on businesses and following Moderna Inc.’s announcement of encouraging news in early work on vaccine development. “This was a very big day, therapeutically, cure-wise and vaccine-wise,” Trump said. “Tremendous progress has been made, as I've been saying for two weeks, because I've been seeing what's going on and have been spearheading it largely.' “It almost feels like today is the first day,' Trump said at another point in the meeting. “Last week didn't feel the same. Now it feels good. People are starting to go out. They're opening. They get it.” Restaurant owners said they appreciated that the government had acted swiftly on assistance efforts, but cautioned that even opening up to more customers would not necessarily mean a return to profits because they'll be serving fewer customers. They called for extending the eight-week period in which they must spend their Paycheck Protection Program loans to have the loans forgiven. An extension to 24 weeks would give them more time to adjust to the new customer constraints they face as states place limits on how many people can dine at restaurants. “We rely on social interaction so it makes us really unique that we were hit hard quickly, and it’s going to make our comeback really difficult,” said Melvin Rodrigue, president and chief executive of Galatoire’s Restaurant in New Orleans. Rodrigue told Trump he was “glad to hear your news' about vaccines, prompting Trump to respond: “My news negates what you just said because you would be back into business like you had it — no seats lost.” The House passed legislation last week as part of another economic rescue package that allows employers to use the Paycheck Protection Program over 24 weeks, but the White House and Trump have been highly critical of the overall bill. The National Restaurant Association reports that sales at food and drink businesses fell in April to their lowest level in more than 35 years, when adjusting for inflation. Sales came in at $32.4 billion, about half the level from just two months earlier. Trump has consistently raised hopes and expectations for treatments and a vaccine, even as some of his counterparts around the globe remain cautious. 'So I’m very happy, and the market’s up very big,” Trump said earlier in the day at another White House meeting. He added that he thought the economy would soar as quickly as it fell in recent months, sometimes referred to as a V-shaped recovery. “I think you’re going to have a V. I think it’s going to be terrific.” Trump’s remarks follow Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's comments that the economy may need more help. “The coronavirus shock is also the biggest shock that the economy’s had in living memory,” Powell said on CBS’ “60 Minutes.” “And the question is, will it be enough? And I don’t think we know the answer to that. It may well be that the Fed has to do more. It may be that Congress has to do more. And the reason we’ve got to do more is to avoid longer-run damage to the economy.” Senior adviser Kevin Hassett said the White House is in a “wait-and-see mode” on whether the country needs more help from the federal government. “It’s been really encouraging to see how quickly businesses around the country have begun to ramp up,” Hassett told reporters. Trump met with restaurant owners and executives in the afternoon. He again called for companies to be able to fully deduct business meals in restaurants and for other entertainment expenses. “That's going to create a tremendous amount of business. I think you're going to have to open a lot of additional restaurants in this country,' Trump told the executives.
  • Restaurant owners gave President Donald Trump a sobering accounting Monday of the widespread damage the coronavirus pandemic has dealt their industry and asked him to adjust a loan program for small businesses to address their concerns. The president put a hopeful spin on the situation, saying encouraging news on vaccines and treatment efforts could “negate” the bad news. The president was in good spirits as he met with the restaurant executives at the White House, noting that financial markets were up as states continued to loosen economic restrictions on businesses and following Moderna Inc.’s announcement of encouraging news in early work on vaccine development. “This was a very big day, therapeutically, cure-wise and vaccine-wise,” Trump said. “Tremendous progress has been made, as I've been saying for two weeks, because I've been seeing what's going on and have been spearheading it largely.' “It almost feels like today is the first day,' Trump said at another point in the meeting. “Last week didn't feel the same. Now it feels good. People are starting to go out. They're opening. They get it.” Restaurant owners said they appreciated that the government had acted swiftly on assistance efforts, but cautioned that even opening up to more customers would not necessarily mean a return to profits because they'll be serving fewer customers. They called for extending the eight-week period in which they must spend their Paycheck Protection Program loans in order to have the loans forgiven. An extension to 24 weeks would give them more time to adjust to the new customer constraints they face as states place limits on how many people can dine at restaurants. “We rely on social interaction so it makes us really unique that we were hit hard quickly, and it’s going to make our comeback really difficult,” said Melvin Rodrigue, president and chief executive of Galatoire’s Restaurant in New Orleans. Rodrigue told Trump he was “glad to hear your news' about vaccines, prompting Trump to respond: “My news negates what you just said because you would be back into business like you had it — no seats lost.” The House passed legislation last week as part of another economic rescue package that allows employers to use the Paycheck Protection Program over 24 weeks, but the White House and Trump have been highly critical of the overall bill. The National Restaurant Association reports that sales at food and drink businesses fell in April to their lowest level in more than 35 years, when adjusting for inflation. Sales came in at $32.4 billion, about half the level from just two months earlier. Trump has consistently raised hopes and expectations for treatments and a vaccine, even as some of his counterparts around the globe remain cautious. 'So I’m very happy, and the market’s up very big,” Trump said earlier in the day at another White House meeting. He added that he thought the economy would soar as quickly as it fell in recent months, sometimes referred to as a V-shaped recovery. “I think you’re going to have a V. I think it’s going to be terrific.” Trump’s remarks follow Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's comments that the economy may need more help. “The coronavirus shock is also the biggest shock that the economy’s had in living memory,” Powell said on CBS’ “60 Minutes.” “And the question is, will it be enough? And I don’t think we know the answer to that. It may well be that the Fed has to do more. It may be that Congress has to do more. And the reason we’ve got to do more is to avoid longer-run damage to the economy.” Senior adviser Kevin Hassett said the White House is in a “wait-and-see mode” on whether the country needs more help from the federal government. “It’s been really encouraging to see how quickly businesses around the country have begun to ramp up,” Hassett told reporters. Trump met with restaurant owners and executives in the afternoon. He again called for companies to be able to fully deduct business meals in restaurants and for other entertainment expenses. “That's going to create a tremendous amount of business. I think you're going to have to open a lot of additional restaurants in this country,' Trump told the executives.

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  • More than 5.5 million people worldwide – including more than 1.6 million in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. While efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak continue, states have begun to shift their focus toward reopening their economies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Tuesday, May 26, continue below:  Delaware to allow for outdoor weddings, graduation ceremonies with up to 250 guests Update 1:40 p.m. EDT May 26: Gov. John Carney of Delaware announced Tuesday that he’s lifting restrictions that barred people from holding outdoor gatherings as the state looks to reopen businesses shuttered by the coronavirus pandemic. Beginning June 1, outdoor weddings, graduation ceremonies and other events with as many as 250 people attending will be allowed, Carney said. People who attend such events will be required to wear cloth face coverings and maintain social distancing of at least 6 feet. As of Monday, the most recent date for which data was available, officials in Delaware had recorded 9,055 cases of COVID-19 statewide. At least 335 people have died of coronavirus infections, according to state health officials. “We are where we are because Delawareans listened and stayed home,” Carney said Tuesday in a statement. “While we are slowly reopening our economy, it’s critical that Delawareans not rush out and undo all the hard work they’ve done to get us to this point. Let’s continue to be cautious and responsible as we ease our way into this new normal.” More than 38,000 coronavirus cases reported in Louisiana Update 1:25 p.m. EDT May 26: Officials in Louisiana reported 245 new coronavirus infections Tuesday, raising the state’s total number of infections to 38,054. Statewide, at least 2,596 people have died of COVID-19 and at least 28,700 people have recovered from the viral infection, officials said. Officials urge people who crowded Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks to self-quarantine Update 12:55 p.m. EDT May 26: Leaders in Kansas City and St. Louis are urging people who partied close together at Lake of the Ozarks over the Memorial Day weekend to self-quarantine for two weeks. Big crowds were reported at swimming pools, bars and restaurants at the popular central Missouri lake. Postings showed people without masks partying and swimming together, seemingly ignoring guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and from the state, to keep at least 6 feet apart. St. Louis County Executive Sam Page called it “reckless behavior.” He asked the county’s health department to issue a travel advisory, citing concerns raised by residents and employers just as the county was beginning to reopen after weeks of shutdown caused by the virus. St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, both Democrats, took to Twitter to express their disappointment with the crowds at the lake, which draws from the metropolitan areas on both sides of the state, along with neighboring Arkansas, Illinois, Kansas and Iowa. “If you were part of a group that didn’t socially distance or wear masks, please, for the health of your family, coworkers and friends, stay home for the next 14 days,” Krewson said in a tweet. Kansas City Health Director Rex Archer echoed the call for a 14-day self-quarantine. 703 new cases of COVID-19 reported in New Jersey Update 12:45 p.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said Tuesday that 703 new coronavirus infections have been reported, raising the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state to 155,764. Murphy noted that reports of new cases, which fell Tuesday below the more than 900 new cases reported one day earlier, might be delayed due to the long holiday weekend. “The key metrics from our hospitals continue to move in the right direction,” he said in a Twitter post. “We continue to see many positive signs that we can keep moving forward. We’re seeing many more good days than bad.' Officials also reported 54 more deaths associated with the coronavirus pandemic. As of Tuesday, 11,191 people have died statewide of COVID-19. Pence’s press secretary returns to work after recovering from COVID-19 Update 12:40 p.m. EDT May 26: Vice President Mike Pence’s press secretary, Katie Miller, said Tuesday that she’s returned to work after recovering from a coronavirus infection. President Donald Trump said May 8 that Miller was diagnosed with COVID-19 “all of a sudden.” Miller said Tuesday that she tested negative three times for COVID-19 before returning to work. “Thank you to all my amazing doctors and everyone who reached out with support,” Miller wrote Tuesday in a tweet. “I couldn’t have done it without my amazing husband who took great care of his pregnant wife.” Miller is married to Stephen Miller, the president’s senior adviser. New Jersey allows professional sports teams return to training, competition Update 12:25 p.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey announced Tuesday that professional sports teams are now allowed to resume training and competition in the state. “While leagues make their own decisions about operations, I am confident that teams are equipped to practice and eventually play in a responsible manner, protecting the health and safety of players, coaches, and team personnel,” the governor said, according to NBC News. New York Gov. Cuomo to meet with President Trump on Wednesday Update 12:10 p.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said he will meet Wednesday with President Donald Trump in Washington, D.C. Cuomo said at a news conference Tuesday that he plans “to talk about a number of things” with the president, including the possibility of ramping up infrastructure projects to boost the economy. “There is no better time to build than right now,” Cuomo said. “You need to create jobs and you need to renew and repair this country’s economy and it’s infrastructure. Now is the time to do it. It’s especially the time to do it when some of the volume is lower.” Jacksonville, Florida mayor says city ‘would be honored’ to host RNC Update 12 p.m. EDT May 26: The mayor of Jacksonville, Florida said Tuesday that the city “would be honored to host the Republican National Convention” after President Donald Trump threatened to pull the convention from North Carolina due to the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. >> Read more on WFTV.com In a series of Twitter posts, Mayor Lenny Curry said his administration and Gov. Ron DeSantis “have created a regulatory framework that operates in (a) way that is attractive to significant events like these.” He offered up the city’s partnership with the UFC, which led to several fan-free shows at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena earlier this month, as evidence that the city “has strongly demonstrated the ability to host large events in a safe (and) responsible way.' Earlier Tuesday, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp said his state would be willing and able to safely host the RNC, which is scheduled to take place Aug. 24 to Aug. 27 at the Spectrum Center and Charlotte Convention Center. As of Tuesday morning, 50,916 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections in Florida and 2,259 people have died the viral infection. Officials with the Georgia Department of Public Health said 43,586 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed statewide as of Tuesday morning with 1,853 people killed by the viral infection. In North Carolina, officials said that as of Tuesday morning, 24,140 people had been diagnosed with coronavirus infections and 766 people have died statewide. 73 new fatal coronavirus cases reported in New York Update 11:35 a.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Tuesday that 73 more people have died of COVID-19 statewide. The number was slightly less than the 95 new fatal cases reported one day earlier. Georgia offers to host RNC after Trump threatens to pull convention from North Carolina Update 11:10 a.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia on Tuesday offered his state up as host of the Republican National Convention after President Donald Trump threatened to pull the RNC from it’s planned setting in North Carolina over the state’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. “With world-class facilities, restaurants, hotels, and workforce, Georgia would be honored to safely host the Republican National Convention,' Kemp wrote in a post on Twitter. Trump said in a series of tweets published Monday that North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper must immediately tell organizers whether or not they’ll be able to host the convention as expected from Aug. 24 to Aug. 27 at the Spectrum Center and Charlotte Convention Center. “Plans are being made by thousands of enthusiastic Republicans and others to head to beautiful North Carolina in August,” the president wrote. “They must be immediately given an answer by the governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied.” Cooper said Monday that state health officials are working with the Republican National Committee and reviewing their plans for holding the convention, WSOC-TV reported. “North Carolina is relying on data and science to protect our state’s public health and safety,” Cooper said, according to WSOC-TV. As of Tuesday morning, 24,140 people have been diagnosed with coronavirus infections in North Carolina and 766 people have died, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services. Officials with the Georgia Department of Public Health said 43,586 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed statewide as of Tuesday morning with 1,853 people killed by the viral infection. New Jersey to allow for socially distanced graduation ceremonies Update 10:45 a.m. EDT May 26: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey announced Tuesday that schools will be allowed to begin holding outdoor graduation ceremonies in July provided they comply with social distancing measures. Murphy said the ceremonies will be allowed beginning July 6. The date is about two weeks later than graduations are typically held, according to North Jersey.com. 4,043 new coronavirus infections reported in the UK Update 10:35 a.m. EDT May 26: Officials in the United Kingdom reported 4,043 new coronavirus infections Tuesday morning, raising the country’s total number of infections to 265,227. Officials said that as of 5 p.m. local time Monday, the most recent date for which data was available, 37,048 people had died nationwide of COVID-19. Wall Street up as recovery hopes overshadow virus worries Update 9:50 a.m. EDT May 26: Wall Street opened sharply higher Tuesday as hopes for economic recovery overshadow worries over the coronavirus pandemic. The S&P 500 jumped to nearly a 3-month high, recovering much of its post-pandemic losses. Investors are shifting their focus to how various nations are adapting to getting back to business, while striving to keep new COVID-19 cases in check. Reassuring comments by the head of China’s central bank also helped spur buying. Benchmarks in Paris, London and Tokyo also gained on Tuesday. Brooklyn Nets allowed to begin voluntary player workouts, reopen training facility Update 9:05 a.m. EDT May 26: Officials with the Brooklyn Nets said the NBA team plans to reopen its practice training facility Tuesday, two days after New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said professional sports teams in the state would be allowed to begin spring training statewide. In a statement obtained by CNN, team officials said they plan to reopen the HSS Training Center for voluntary player workouts beginning Tuesday. “The organization will strictly follow the protocols outlined by the NBA and infectious disease experts to ensure that all precautions are taken in order to maintain a safe and healthy environment for players and staff,” the statement said, according to CNN. Several Nets players, including Kevin Durant, tested positive for coronavirus infections in March. Global deaths near 347K, total cases soar past 5.5M Update 7:44 a.m. EDT May 26: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 346,700 early Tuesday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. In the four months since the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, it has infected at least 5,518,905 people worldwide. Meanwhile, 13 nations now have total infection counts higher than China’s 84,102.  The 10 nations with the highest number of infections recorded to date are as follows: • The United States has reported 1,662,768 cases, resulting in 98,223 deaths. • Brazil has recorded 374,898 cases, resulting in 23,473 deaths. • Russia has confirmed 362,342 cases, resulting in 3,807 deaths. • The United Kingdom has reported 262,547 cases, resulting in 36,996 deaths. • Spain has confirmed 235,400 cases, resulting in 26,834 deaths. • Italy has reported 230,158 cases, resulting in 32,877 deaths. • France has confirmed 183,067 cases, resulting in 28,460 deaths. • Germany has reported 180,802 cases, resulting in 8,323 deaths. • Turkey has recorded 157,814 cases, resulting in 4,369 deaths • India has recorded 146,371 cases, resulting in 4,187 deaths. Colorado restaurant owners sue state over Mother’s Day license suspension Update 7:08 a.m. EDT May 26: The owners of a Colorado restaurant who defied statewide shutdown orders by allowing throngs of customers to dine on Mother’s Day have field suit against the state for having their license suspended. The suit was filed Friday by the owners of C&C Coffee & Kitchen in Castle Rock against Gov. Jared Polis; the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and its director; and the local tri-county health department in Douglas County District Court, The Washington Post reported. The suit alleges owners Jesse and April Arellano were denied their “livelihood and ability to operate their business after they simply allowed customers onto their premises to serve food and beverages.” More specifically, it claims that Polis’ statewide restrictions lack empirical evidence to accurately quantify the novel coronavirus pandemic’s toll because they are based on “fluctuating, often inaccurate projections,” the Post reported. Meanwhile, Polis announced Monday that Colorado restaurants will be allowed to reopen dining rooms beginning Wednesday but with strict capacity measures enforced, The Denver Post reported. Global coronavirus cases top 5.5 million Update 5:53 a.m. EDT May 26: The worldwide total of novel coronavirus cases eclipsed 5.5 million early Tuesday. According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, a total of 5,508,904 cases have now been diagnosed globally, resulting in at least 346,508 deaths. South Korea links nearly 250 coronavirus cases to popular Seoul entertainment district Published 4:41 a.m. EDT May 26: A popular nightlife district in South Korean capital Seoul has been linked officially to 247 novel coronavirus cases since social distancing restrictions were eased. According to the Korean Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 83,000 tests have been performed specific to the Itaweon district outbreak, and about 30% of those who tested positive have remained asymptomatic. D.C. officials confident they can contain coronavirus by July Published 3:33 a.m. EDT May 26: The greater Washington, D.C., area could have enough testing equipment, laboratory capacity and contact tracers to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, but only if the public remains vigilant, The Washington Post reported. According to public health officials in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia, the region is expected to reach peak capacity for testing and tracing by June or early July, the Post reported. Read more here. Largest Latin American airline files for bankruptcy amid coronavirus disruptions Update 2:14 a.m. EDT May 26: LATAM Airlines Group has filed for bankruptcy, and the largest Latin American airline cites the novel coronavirus pandemic as the primary cause. In a statement posted to its website, the company said it will reorganize operations under Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the United States. Specifically, CEO Roberto Alvo said LATAM will refocus “on transforming our group to adapt to a new and evolving way of flying, with the health and safety of our passengers and employees being paramount.' No immediate impact is expected to affect reservations, employee pay, flight vouchers or passenger and cargo operations, according to the statement. US coronavirus cases approach 1.7M, deaths surpass 98K Update 1:08 a.m. EDT May 26: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States surged toward 1.7 million early Tuesday across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, there are at least 1,662,302 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 98,223 deaths.  The hardest-hit states remain New York with 362,764 cases and 29,229 deaths and New Jersey with 155,092 cases and 11,147 deaths. Massachusetts, with 93,271 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 6,416, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 112,017. Only 16 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 6,000 cases each. Five other states have now confirmed at least 51,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • California: 96,400 cases, resulting in 3,769 deaths • Pennsylvania: 71,925 cases, resulting in 5,146 deaths • Texas: 56,409 cases, resulting in 1,533 deaths • Michigan: 54,881 cases, resulting in 5,241 deaths • Florida: 51,746 cases, resulting in 2,252 deaths Meanwhile, Maryland, Georgia and Connecticut each has confirmed at least 40,000 cases; Louisiana, Virginia, Ohio and Indiana each has confirmed at least 31,000 cases; Colorado, North Carolina, Minnesota, Tennessee and Washington each has confirmed at least 20,000 cases; Iowa, Arizona and Wisconsin each has confirmed at least 15,000 cases; Alabama and Rhode Island each has confirmed at least 14,000 cases, followed by Mississippi with 13,458; Missouri and Nebraska each has confirmed at least 12,000 cases, followed by South Carolina with 10,178 and Kansas with 9,125; Delaware, Kentucky, Utah and the District of Columbia each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases; Nevada and New Mexico each has confirmed at least 7,000 cases; Oklahoma and Arkansas each has confirmed at least 6,000 cases. Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
  • The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is asking for victims to come forward after they made an arrest of a man on May 8. Tyler De La Cruz, 30, was arrested on four counts of extortion and three counts of sexual battery.  According to the arrest report, JSO was notified by St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office on May 7 that Cruz was extorting and sexually battering a suspect over the course of five years. The victim told police that she and Cruz talked on social media in 2015 and she sent nude photos to Cruz and they did have one consensual sexual encounter. However, she did not want to continue the relationship. The victim told police that Cruz then demanded $1,000 from her or else he would send the photos to her family. She paid him and didn’t hear from him again until this past February. Cruz then contacted the victim and between February and May 4, 2020, he demanded an additional $4,500. The arrest report shows he also demanded oral sex in addition to the money or else he would expose the photos.  On May 4, the report states Cruz demanded $1,500 from the victim. She only gave him $200 because that’s all she had. On May 6, she notified St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office. On May 8, Cruz allegedly contacted the victim saying that she needed to bring the rest of the money if she “wanted to avoid people getting hurt or heartbroken”. He gave a location where she could meet him, and he was instead met by police and was subsequently arrested. Police say that they believe there may be other victims. Anyone with any information is asked to contact JSO at 904-630-0500.
  • Commissioners from St. Johns County voted this morning to officially ask Elon Musk and the Tesla Company to move to St. Johns County. Earlier this month, Elon Musk was tweeting about how the stay-at home restrictions in Alameda County, California were “facist” and robbed people from their freedom of going back to work. Since then, several cities and states have reached out to Tesla saying they are more than welcome to relocate the car-making plant. That now includes St. Johns County. 'Tesla, Inc., is hereby respectfully and enthusiastically invited to consider St. Johns County, Florida, as a potential destination in the relocation of its headquarters or any future programs,' the resolution states. The resolution also states several facts about St. Johns County, listing why it would be a good place to relocate the headquarters. “St. Johns County, while we have experienced a devastating virus, we are still open for business and we have got to employ our residents so they can put food on the table,” Commissioner James Johns said. This vote was a followup to a discussion by the commissioners on May 19. 
  • The FBI is investigating after video surfaced early Tuesday that appeared to show a police officer holding a knee against a man’s neck as he struggled to breathe shortly before he was pronounced dead at a hospital. The 10-minute video was caught by Darnella Frazier, who was on her way to meet with friends Monday night when she saw a man on the ground near a police cruiser and began to record, The Washington Post reported. In the video, later posted on Facebook, the man on the ground can be heard shouting that he can't breathe. “Don’t kill me!” he said, according to the Post. In a news briefing early Tuesday with police Chief Medaria Arradondo, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said the officer seen in the video with his knee to the man’s neck “failed in the most basic human sense,” according to KARE. 'For five minutes we watched as a white officer pressed his knee to the neck of a black man,' he said. 'For five minutes.' Police said they were called around 8 p.m. Monday to a report of a forgery in progress on the 3700 block of Chicago Avenue South. Officers who responded found a man in his 40s who was believed to have been under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Police said officers ordered him to step away from his car and that afterward he “physically resisted officers.” 'Officers were able to get the suspect into handcuffs and noted he appeared to be suffering medical distress,' police said in a statement released after the incident. 'Officers called for an ambulance. He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center by ambulance where he died a short time later.' In video of the incident, bystanders can be heard questioning officers’ treatment of the man. “He’s not even resisting arrest right now, bro,” a bystander tells one of the two responding officers in the video, according to WCCO. “You’re (expletive) stopping his breathing right now, you think that’s cool?” The video shows when the man on the ground appears to lose consciousness. “Whatever the investigation reveals, it does not change the simple truth … that he should be with us this morning,” Frey said Tuesday, according to KARE. The two officers who responded to the incident have been placed on paid administrative leave as authorities investigate, according to WCCO. Neither the officers nor the man who died were identified.
  • Washington Insider Jamie Dupree first reported over the weekend that the President had raised the possibility of moving the GOP convention from North Carolina. Then Vice President Mike Pence floated Florida, Georgia and Texas as possible second choices.  And Politico reports that Jacksonville could make a pitch to serve as host.  Mayor Lenny Curry told Playbook that he’s interested in the convention and that his city has already shown it is ready, according to reporters Gary Fineout and Matt Dixon.  Meantime, Jamie Dupree reports that Democrats still haven’t figured out what they’re doing in Milwaukee in August. 

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