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NASCAR releases photo of noose found in Black racing driver Bubba Wallace’s garage

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NASCAR said on Thursday it had completed its own investigation into the noose found in the garage of Bubba Wallace, the only Black driver competing in the top series, without determining who did it or how it got in the stall.

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An FBI investigation into the incident that put a global spotlight on NASCAR determined on Tuesday that no federal crime had been committed.

The noose, a symbol connected to lynching and America's slave history, found in Wallace's stall at the Talledaga Superspeedway on Sunday may have been there since last October.

NASCAR continued to conduct its own probe in an effort to discover how the noose got into the garage and how it went unnoticed for so long.

While NASCAR said it was able to roughly pinpoint when the noose was made, there was no way given garage access and procedures at the time to determine with any certainty who tied it and why.

NASCAR president Steve Phelps said the noose was not in place when last October's race began but was created at some point during that weekend.

"We have completed our own investigation," confirmed Phelps during a conference call on Thursday. "I could speculate but it would not do any good.

New Yorkers rejoice over phase two of lockdown re-opening

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New York City residents, gradually emerging from more than 100 days of coronavirus lockdown, celebrated an easing of social-distancing restrictions on Monday by shopping at reopened stores, dining at outdoor cafes and getting their first haircuts in months.

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But even as New Yorkers, confined for weeks at the epicenter of the global pandemic, returned to some semblance of normalcy, alarming spikes in coronavirus infection rates elsewhere around the country worried public health experts.

Chief among the latest hotspots was Florida, one of the last states to impose stay-at-home restrictions and one of the first to begin lifting them, with nearly 3,000 new infections reported over the previous 24 hours. Arizona, meanwhile, had almost 2,200 additional cases since Sunday.

The two are prime examples of a troubling trend, mostly in the South and West, where the percentage of positive test results among all people who are screened – a metric called the positivity rate – has climbed.

That is a consequence of people venturing back into public spaces without wearing masks and not practicing safe social-distancing, said Eric Toner, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security in Baltimore.

"Wherever people mix, wherever people have person-to-person contact, there will be spread of the virus," Toner told Reuters. "The question is not whether it will spread – that's a certainty. The question is how big that increase will be, and that's largely a function of what government and individuals do."

The World Health Organization considers positivity rates above 5% to be especially concerning, and widely watched data from Johns Hopkins University shows a dozen states with average rates over the past week exceeding that level and rising.

Joel Schumacher, director of Batman films and ‘The Lost Boys’, dies aged 80

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Joel Schumacher, the journeyman director who dressed New York department store windows before shepherding the Brat Pack to the big screen in “St. Elmo's Fire” and steering the Batman franchise into its most baroque territory in “Batman Forever” and “Batman & Robin,” has died. He was 80.

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A representative for Schumacher said the filmmaker died Monday in New York after a yearlong battle with cancer.

A native New Yorker, Schumacher was first a sensation in the fashion world after attending Parsons School of Design and decorating Henri Bendel's windows. As a director, he established himself as a filmmaker of great flare, if not often good reviews, in a string of mainstream films in the 80s and 90s.

The success of his first film, “St. Elmo's Fire," with Rob Lowe, Demi Moore, Emilio Estevez and Ally Sheedy, not only helped make a name for the Brat Pack but made Schumacher in demand in Hollywood. He followed it up with the 1987 vampire horror comedy “The Lost Boys.”

After films including “Flatliners” and “A Time to Kill,” Schumacher inherited the DC universe from Tim Burton. His garish take on Batman resulted in two of the the franchise's most cartoonish movies in 1995's “Batman Forever” and 1997's “Batman & Robin.”

Schumacher also directed the thrillers “Tigerland” and “Phone Booth,” as well as “The Phantom of the Opera.”

Most recently, he directed two episodes of Netflix's “House of Cards" in 2013.

US Justice Department tries to oust attorney probing Trump allies, but lawyer refuses to leave

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The Justice Department moved abruptly Friday night to oust Geoffrey S. Berman, the U.S. attorney in Manhattan overseeing key prosecutions of President Donald Trumps allies and an investigation of his personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. But Berman said he was refusing to leave his post and his ongoing investigations would continue.

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“I have not resigned, and have no intention of resigning, my position,” Berman said. His statement came hours after Attorney General William Barr said Berman was stepping down from his position.

The standoff set off an extraordinary clash between the Justice Department and one of the nations top districts, which has tried major mob and terror cases over the years. It is also likely to deepen tensions between the Justice Department and congressional Democrats who have pointedly accused Barr of politicizing the agency and acting more like Trumps personal lawyer than the nations chief law enforcement officer.

The move to oust Berman also comes days after allegations surfaced from former Trump national security adviser John Bolton that the president sought to interfere in an Southern District of New York investigation into the state-owned Turkish bank in an effort to cut deals with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Barr offered no explanation for why he was pushing out Berman in the statement he issued late Friday. The White House quickly announced that Trump was nominating the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission to the job, a lawyer with virtually no experience as a federal prosecutor.

Hours later, Berman issued his own statement saying he had learned that he was being pushed out through a press release. He vowed to stay on the job until a Trump nominee is confirmed by the Senate, challenging Barrs power to remove him from office because he was appointed to the job by federal judges, not by the president. Under federal law, a U.S. attorney who is appointed by district court judges can serve “until the vacancy is filled.”

A senior Justice Department official said the department was pressing forward with its plans and will have Craig Carpenito, the U.S. attorney in New Jersey, take over the office temporarily, starting on July 3. The official wasnt authorized to speak publicly about the issue and spoke to AP on condition of anonymity.

Democrats have repeatedly accused Trumps Justice Department of political interference, and those concerns have also been pervasive among some rank and file officials in the agency. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler said his committee was inviting Berman to testify next week.

US judge rules Bolton can publish White House memoir despite Trump bid to block it

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A federal judge ruled Saturday that former national security adviser John Bolton can move forward in publishing his tell-all book despite efforts by the Trump administration to block the release because of concerns that classified information could be exposed.

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The decision from U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth is a victory for Bolton in a court case that involved core First Amendment and national security concerns. But the judge also made clear his concerns that Bolton had “gambled with the national security of the United States” by opting out of a prepublication review process meant to prevent government officials from spilling classified secrets in memoirs they publish.

The ruling clears the path for a broader election-year readership and distribution of a memoir, due out Tuesday, that paints an unflattering portrait of President Donald Trump's foreign policy decision-making during the turbulent year-and-a-half that Bolton spent in the White House.

Nonetheless, Lamberth frowned upon the way Bolton went about publishing the book. Bolton took it “upon himself to publish his book without securing finaRead More – Source

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US police killing of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta ruled a homicide

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The death of Rayshard Brooks, a black man killed by a white police officer in Atlanta on Friday, was a homicide caused by gunshot wounds to the back, the Fulton County Medical Examiner's office said on Sunday.

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Brooks' death reignited protests in Atlanta after days of worldwide demonstrations against racism and police brutality prompted by the death of George Floyd, an African American, in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.

An autopsy conducted on Sunday showed that Brooks, 27, died from blood loss and organ injuries caused by two gunshot wounds, an investigator for the medical examiner said in a statement. The manner of his death was homicide, the statement said.

Brooks' fatal encounter with police came after an employee of a Wendy's restaurant in Atlanta phoned authorities to say that someone had fallen asleep in his car in the restaurant's drive-through lane.

Caught on the officer's body camera and a surveillance camera, the encounter seemed friendly at first, as Brooks cooperated with a sobriety test and talked about his daughter's birthday.

"I watched the interaction with Mr. Brooks and it broke my heart," Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said on CNN. "This was not confrontational. This was a guy that you were rooting for."

But when an officer moved to arrest him, Brooks struggled with him and another officer at the scene before breaking free and running across the parking lot with what appears to be a police Taser in his hand, a bystander's video showed.

US Supreme Court rules Civil Rights Act protects LGBT workers from discrimination

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The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a landmark civil rights law protects LGBT people from discrimination in employment, a resounding victory for LGBT rights from a conservative court.

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The court decided by a 6-3 vote that a key provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 known as Title VII that bars job discrimination because of sex, among other reasons, encompasses bias against LGBT workers.

“An employer who fires an individual for being homosexual or transgender fires that person for traits or actions it would not have questioned in members of a different sex. Sex plays a necessary and undisguisable role in the decision, exactly what Title VII forbids," Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote for the court.

Justices Samuel Alito, Brett Kavanaugh and Clarence Thomas dissented.

“The Court tries to convince readers that it is merely enforcing the terms of the statute, but that is preposterous. Even as understood today, the concept of discrimination because of sex is different from discrimination because of sexual orientation or gender identity,” Alito wrote in a dissent that was joined by Thomas.

The outcome is expected to have a big impact for the estimated 8.1 million LGBT workers across the country because most states dont protect them from workplace discrimination. An estimated 11.3 million LGBT people live in the U.S., according to the Williams Institute at the UCLA law school.

The cases were the courts first on LGBT rights since Justice Anthony Kennedys retirement and replacement by Kavanaugh. Kennedy was a voice for gay rights and the author of the landmark ruling in 2015 that made same-sex marriage legal throughout the United States. Kavanaugh generally is regarded as more conservative.

Chile replaces health minister as Covid-19 deaths spike

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Chile President Sebastian Pinera on Saturday replaced Health Minister Jaime Manalich amid controversy over the countrys figures for deaths from the coronavirus outbreak.

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Pinera said Manalich had spared “no effort” in carrying out his “difficult and noble duty” to protect Chileans health. He replaced him with Oscar Enrique Paris, an academic and medical doctor.

The sudden reshuffle comes as Chile faces its toughest monthin the pandemic so far, with spiraling active cases and deaths rates.

The country now has the highest number of confirmed cases per million people in Latin America, reporting 167,355 cases on Saturday and 3,101 deaths.

Manalich, a tough-talking kidney specialist who once ran one of Chiles top hospitals, has won praise for an aggressive campaign to keep hospitals supplied with ventilators and protective equipment and leading detailed daily press conferences.

But there have been frequent reports of spats among health ministry officials, and Manalich has been criticised by opposition politicians, mayors, medical experts and social groups for refusing to release more detailed contagion data or apply lockdowns sooner and for successive changes in criteria for recording deaths and cases.

On Saturday, a Chilean investigative website, Ciper, reported that the health ministry had told the World Health Organisation that as many as 5,000 deaths in theRead More – Source

Chile replaces health minister as Covid-19 deaths spike

0

Issued on:

Chile President Sebastian Pinera on Saturday replaced Health Minister Jaime Manalich amid controversy over the countrys figures for deaths from the coronavirus outbreak.

Advertising

Read more

Pinera said Manalich had spared “no effort” in carrying out his “difficult and noble duty” to protect Chileans health. He replaced him with Oscar Enrique Paris, an academic and medical doctor.

The sudden reshuffle comes as Chile faces its toughest monthin the pandemic so far, with spiraling active cases and deaths rates.

The country now has the highest number of confirmed cases per million people in Latin America, reporting 167,355 cases on Saturday and 3,101 deaths.

Manalich, a tough-talking kidney specialist who once ran one of Chiles top hospitals, has won praise for an aggressive campaign to keep hospitals supplied with ventilators and protective equipment and leading detailed daily press conferences.

But there have been frequent reports of spats among health ministry officials, and Manalich has been criticised by opposition politicians, mayors, medical experts and social groups for refusing to release more detailed contagion data or apply lockdowns sooner and for successive changes in criteria for recording deaths and cases.

On Saturday, a Chilean investigative website, Ciper, reported that the health ministry had told the World Health Organisation that as many as 5,000 deaths in theRead More – Source

Chile replaces health minister as Covid-19 deaths soar

0

Issued on: Modified:

Chile President Sebastian Pinera on Saturday replaced Health Minister Jaime Manalich amid controversy over the countrys figures for deaths from the coronavirus outbreak.

Advertising

Read more

Pinera said Manalich had spared “no effort” in carrying out his “difficult and noble duty” to protect Chileans health. He replaced him with Oscar Enrique Paris, an academic and medical doctor.

The sudden reshuffle comes as Chile faces its toughest month in the pandemic so far, with spiraling active cases and deaths rates.

The country now has the highest number of confirmed cases per million people in Latin America, reporting 167,355 cases on Saturday and 3,101 deaths.

Manalich, a tough-talking kidney specialist who once ran one of Chiles top hospitals, has won praise for an aggressive campaign to keep hospitals supplied with ventilators and protective equipment and leading detailed daily press conferences.

But there have been frequent reports of spats among health ministry officials, and Manalich has been criticised by opposition politicians, mayors, medical experts and social groups for refusing to release more detailed contagion data or apply lockdowns sooner and for successive changes in criteria for recording deaths and cases.

On Saturday, a Chilean investigative website, Ciper, reported that the health ministry had told the World Health Organisation that as manyRead More – Source

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