Special

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler: 'leave altogether'

Trump sent secret cops and they're ‘kidnapping people off the streets’

Federal law enforcement officials deployed by President Donald Trump to Portland, Oregon are, by all accounts, operating as if the city is a police state, according to multiple reports and videos.

Katholische Kirche

Carolin Kebekus: "Ihr habt uns zu Nutten gemacht"

Carolin Kebekus (40) geht erneut hart mit der katholischen Kirche ins Gericht. Ein Video der Komikerin, das am Donnerstag veröffentlicht wurde, befasst sich mit der Rolle der Frauen in kirchlichen Institutionen - und lässt daran kein gutes Haar.

USA

20m Americans could have contracted Covid-19

US government experts believe more than 20 million Americans could have contracted coronavirus – 10 times more than official counts, as cases are now rising in more than half of states and a new warning came of the risk of “apocalyptic” infection in major cities.

DONALD TRUMP

Neue Kritik an Deutschland: "Billion"-Schulden

Der Neustart seines Wahlkampfs ist für US-Präsident Donald Trump bei der ersten Massenkundgebung seit Beginn der Corona-Krise enttäuschend verlaufen. Bei der Veranstaltung in einer Arena in Tulsa (Oklahoma) blieben am Samstagabend zahlreiche der gut rund 19.200 Plätze leer.

Bill BARR

Trump on firing of Geoffrey Berman: 'I'm not involved'

Geoffrey Berman, the US attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement Saturday that he would leave his post after Attorney General William Barr sent him a letter saying that President Donald Trump had removed him.

Stampede Trail Alaska

Alaska's 'Into the Wild' bus has been removed by air

The abandoned bus on the Stampede Trail in Alaska - made famous by the book and film "Into the Wild" - has made its first journey in decades. This time by air.

Deutschland

Donald Trump will 10.000 Soldaten abziehen

US-Präsident Donald Trump will Deutschland mit dem Abzug von fast 10.000 Soldaten für aus seiner Sicht zu geringe Militärausgaben bestrafen. Er kündigte an, den nach Japan größten US-Truppenstandort weltweit drastisch zu verkleinern: Von derzeit 34.500 Soldaten sollen nur 25.000 übrig bleiben.

Shortnews

COVID-19

Connecticut to fine people who don't wear masks

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said Monday that the state will impose fines on people who do not adhere to the state’s mask mandate and limits on event capacity. Under a new executive order issued from Lamont, residents will be required to pay $100 fines for not wearing masks, up to $250 for going to large unauthorized events and up to $500 for planning unauthorized events, according to the Hartford Courant. Under present rules, events are limited to 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.

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COVID-19

Connecticut to fine people who don't wear masks

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said Monday that the state will impose fines on people who do not adhere to the state’s mask mandate and limits on event capacity. Under a new executive order issued from Lamont, residents will be required to pay $100 fines for not wearing masks, up to $250 for going to large unauthorized events and up to $500 for planning unauthorized events, according to the Hartford Courant. Under present rules, events are limited to 25 people indoors and 100 people outdoors.

Connecticut Chief Operating Officer Josh Geballe said the order is set to take effect Thursday at midnight. He told the newspaper the state has struggled with how to enforce the mandates.

Local officials currently can issue a $1,000 fine for a violation of the state travel advisory or a misdemeanor charge, which many local officials consider excessive.

“There wasn’t really much that was being done, because many people viewed [a misdemeanor charge] as excessively harsh for failing to wear a mask if you couldn’t socially distance,” Geballe told the Courant. “So they asked for this new tool, an infraction that was a bit of a step-down enforcement.”

Fines already exist for some individual municipalities in the state such as the town of Simsbury, where a violation of either masking or social distancing orders is punishable by a $250 fine.

“It’s come up over and over again, to the point where we felt it was an appropriate thing to do,” Geballe told the Courant.

The order comes as the state’s positivity rate for coronavirus tests has been on the rise. The rate hovered below 1 percent between mid-July and early September, but reached 1.5 percent last Wednesday and has not returned below 1 percent since.

As of Tuesday the state has 54,895 confirmed cases and 4,485 confirmed deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University.

Fox News

Trump accuses Biden of taking drugs

Fox News broadcast an interview in which Donald Trump without any evidence accused Joe Biden of taking drugs to get him through debates. “I think there’s probably – possibly – drugs involved,” Trump told Jeanine Pirro. “That’s what I hear. I mean, there’s possibly drugs. I don’t know how you can go from being so bad where you can’t even get out a sentence … ”. Trump did not finish his own sentence, but he went on to say he was referring to the Democratic presidential nominee’s hesitant performances in early primary debates, before his surge to victory on the back of a win in South Carolina.

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Fox News

Trump accuses Biden of taking drugs

Fox News broadcast an interview on Saturday night in which Donald Trump without any evidence accused Joe Biden of taking drugs to get him through debates. “I think there’s probably – possibly – drugs involved,” Trump told Jeanine Pirro. “That’s what I hear. I mean, there’s possibly drugs. I don’t know how you can go from being so bad where you can’t even get out a sentence … ”. Trump did not finish his own sentence, but he went on to say he was referring to the Democratic presidential nominee’s hesitant performances in early primary debates, before his surge to victory on the back of a win in South Carolina.

“You saw some of those debates with the large number of people on the stage,” Trump said. “He was, I mean, I used to say, ‘How is it possible that he can go forward?”

According to the president, Biden won the nomination because the progressive vote was split.

“And he only won because Elizabeth Warren didn’t drop out,” he said. “Had she dropped out Bernie [Sanders] would’ve won Super Tuesday, every state, and you would’ve had Bernie instead of Biden.”

Trump’s claim came not long after his oldest son, Donald Trump Jr, denied claims he used cocaine before speaking at the Republican convention. Remarkably enough, it was also not the first time Trump, 74, has accused Biden, 77, of taking drugs.

Speaking to the Washington Examiner last month, the president said: “We’re going to call for a drug test, by the way, because his best performance was against Bernie [in the final debate] … It wasn’t that he was Winston Churchill because he wasn’t, but it was a normal, boring debate. You know, nothing amazing happened. And we are going to call for a drug test because there’s no way – you can’t do that.”

In the Fox interview broadcast told Fox News he would happily “put down very quickly” any leftwing protests. “Look, it’s called insurrection. We just send in and we, we do it very easy. I mean, it’s very easy. I’d rather not do that, because there’s no reason for it, but if we had to, we’d do that and put it down within minutes, within minutes.”

Trump has sent federal agents to confront protesters, most prominently in Portland. In the Fox interview Trump said it was “retribution” when US Marshals shot dead a suspect in the Portland killing of a member of a rightwing group.

Trump and Biden are due to debate in Cleveland on 29 September, in Miami on 15 October and in Nashville on 22 October. The vice-presidential nominees Mike Pence and Kamala Harris will meet in Salt Lake City on 7 October.

Trump is famously teetotal and disapproving of drug use but his political rise has been fueled by a well-documented love for Diet Coke and junk food. Beset by speculation about his physical and cognitive health, earlier this month the president was moved to deny rumours that a “series of ministrokes” prompted a short-notice visit to hospital in Washington last November.

COVID-19: Latest News

“Rounding the final turn”

Trump claimed the US is “rounding the final turn” in its coronavirus crisis as the country’s death toll nears 200,000. The president said during a White House press conference today, “We’re rounding the final turn, and a lot of good things are happening.” In reality, at least 191,536 Americans have already died from the virus, representing a far higher death toll than any other country in the world.

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COVID-19: Latest News

“Rounding the final turn”

Trump claimed the US is “rounding the final turn” in its coronavirus crisis as the country’s death toll nears 200,000. The president said during a White House press conference today, “We’re rounding the final turn, and a lot of good things are happening.” In reality, at least 191,536 Americans have already died from the virus, representing a far higher death toll than any other country in the world.

Trump insisted he did not lie to the American people about coronavirus, after journalist Bob Woodard revealed that the president admitted to downplaying the pandemic back in March. During his press conference today, Trump again said he was only trying to keep the public calm, but Woodward reports in his new book that the president acknowledged coronavirus was deadly and airborne back in February, as he publicly dismissed concerns about the virus.

Another 884,000 Americans filed first-time claims for unemployment last week. The latest numbers from the labor department, which are nearly identical to the figures from a week before, indicate the US job market is losing steam six months after the start of the pandemic.

The Republican “skinny” coronavirus relief bill failed to pass the Senate. As expected, Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell failed to secure the 60 votes necessary to advance the legislation, leaving no current path forward for a relief package.

Microsoft warned that hackers from Russia, China and Iran have launched unsuccessful attacks on people associated with both major presidential campaigns. “The activity we are announcing today makes clear that foreign activity groups have stepped up their efforts targeting the 2020 election as had been anticipated,” Microsoft said in a statement.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi said Trump’s efforts to downplay the pandemic show his “contempt” for Americans’ health. The Democratic speaker said the president’s comments to Woodward about trying to downplay the seriousness of coronavirus “showed his contempt -- contempt for the American people and their health, contempt for science, contempt for any real effort to crush the virus, contempt for his supporters, their children, their parents.”

Census

Federal judges block Trump admin

A panel of three federal judges blocked the Trump administration on Thursday from excluding undocumented immigrants from the census totals used to determine how many seats in Congress each state gets. Trump acted unlawfully in July when he ordered the Commerce Department to produce data that would allow him to exclude undocumented immigrants from the count, the panel said. Federal law is clear that only a single data source – the census count of total population – can be used to apportion the 435 seats in the US House among states, the judges wrote.

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Census

Federal judges block Trump admin

A panel of three federal judges blocked the Trump administration on Thursday from excluding undocumented immigrants from the census totals used to determine how many seats in Congress each state gets. Trump acted unlawfully in July when he ordered the Commerce Department to produce data that would allow him to exclude undocumented immigrants from the count, the panel said. Federal law is clear that only a single data source – the census count of total population – can be used to apportion the 435 seats in the US House among states, the judges wrote.

The decennial census does not ask about citizenship status and by requesting a second set of data outside of the decennial census, Trump ran afoul of the law.

“Congress mandated that the president use a specific set of numbers – those produced by the decennial census itself – for purposes of the reapportionment,” the panel wrote. “By deviating from that mandate, the presidential memorandum exceeds the authority of the president.” The three judges who issued the unanimous ruling were US district judge Jesse Furman, an appointee of Barack Obama and appellate judges Peter Hall and Richard Wesley, George W Bush appointees.

The decision, which is likely to be appealed to the US supreme court, is a major legal win for the civil rights and immigration groups, as well as nearly two dozen states and several cities, that challenged the law. The federal government has long included immigrants, regardless of their legal status, in the apportionment count and excluding them was understood as an unmistakable effort to preserve political power for white Americans.

“This is a huge victory for voting rights and for immigrants’ rights. President Trump has tried and failed yet again to weaponize the census against immigrant communities,” said Dale Ho, the director of the Voting Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, which helped represent some of the plaintiffs. “The law is clear – every person counts in the census.”

The ruling is the latest development in an ongoing legal battle over the 2020 census. The US supreme court blocked an effort to add a citizenship question to the decennial survey last year and there are ongoing legal challenges seeking to force the Trump administration to extend the deadline for counting Americans.

COVID-19

Republicans fail to advance stimulus bill

The Senate failed Thursday to advance a Republican coronavirus stimulus plan, the latest blow to stalled efforts to pass another package to mitigate the pandemic’s economic damage. The measure fell short of the 60 votes needed on a procedural step to move toward passage. All Democrats present, and one Republican — Rand Paul of Kentucky — opposed it in a 52-47 vote. The nearly unanimous vote for the GOP followed weeks of disagreements within the Republican caucus about whether to pass any more aid at all.

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COVID-19

Republicans fail to advance stimulus bill

The Senate failed Thursday to advance a Republican coronavirus stimulus plan, the latest blow to stalled efforts to pass another package to mitigate the pandemic’s economic damage. The measure fell short of the 60 votes needed on a procedural step to move toward passage. All Democrats present, and one Republican — Rand Paul of Kentucky — opposed it in a 52-47 vote. The nearly unanimous vote for the GOP followed weeks of disagreements within the Republican caucus about whether to pass any more aid at all.

The legislation would have reinstated enhanced federal unemployment insurance at a rate of $300 per week, half of the $600 weekly payment that expired at the end of July. It also would have authorized new small business loans and put money toward schools and into Covid-19 testing, treatment and vaccines.

The measure did not include a second $1,200 direct payment to individuals. It also lacked new relief for cash-strapped state and local governments or money for rental and mortgage assistance and food aid — all priorities for Democrats.

“It is beyond insufficient. It is completely inadequate,” Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said of the GOP plan earlier Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, brought the measure to the Senate floor this week as efforts by the Trump administration and Democratic leaders to strike a bipartisan relief agreement remained stalled.

He aimed not only to show that Republicans, and particularly vulnerable GOP senators running for reelection this year, were taking action to fight the pandemic, but also to put pressure on Democrats ahead of Election Day.

“They can tell American families they care more about politics than helping them,” McConnell said of Democratic senators who oppose the bill.

Congress has failed to pass a fifth coronavirus aid package even as the outbreak infects tens of thousands of Americans per day and economic pain felt by millions of jobless people sharpens. Lifelines including the jobless benefits, a federal moratorium on evictions and the window to apply for Paycheck Protection Program small business loans have all lapsed.

While President Donald Trump has taken unilateral steps to extend temporary unemployment aid to some Americans and limit evictions for a few months, only Congress can pass comprehensive relief because it controls federal spending.

Doubts have grown about lawmakers’ ability to approve any more stimulus during the heated final weeks before the 2020 election. Even so, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told reporters Thursday she is hopeful Congress can pass another bill before the Nov. 3 election.

Asked Wednesday about whether another relief bill would come together, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin responded, “I don’t know.”

“We’ll see. I hope there is. It’s important to a lot of people out there,” the top Trump administration negotiator in aid talks said.

As Republicans try to hold on to their 53-47 Senate majority in November, every GOP incumbent running this year supported the aid package. The most vulnerable Senate Democrat, Doug Jones of Alabama, opposed it.

So did Sens. Gary Peters of Michigan, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and Tina Smith of Minnesota, all of whom will face voters this year in states where the 2016 election was close.