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Congress returns with only days to pass new coronavirus relief as pandemic rages

The U.S. Capitol Building is reflected against an ambulance along the East Front on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 16, 2020.Tom Brenner | ReutersCongress returns to Washington this week facing a critical deadline to pass another coronavirus aid bill as the pandemic tears through the United States. Lawmakers in the divided Congress will need to quickly decide how to resolve broad differences on the best tools to both blunt an outbreak spreading unabated and lift an economy battered by the health crisis. They will…

Inside the Shrinking 2020 Democratic Convention in Milwaukee

When Democrats awarded their 2020 convention to Milwaukee, plans called for a crowd of more than 50,000 delegates, journalists, party officials and V.I.P.s. But as the coronavirus spread this spring and the convention was pushed back to August, the number dwindled.First to 5,000 attendees. Then, a mere 1,000.Now, one month before the party is set to gather at a convention site smaller than the one originally selected, officials are expecting the quadrennial event to include as few as 300 people — a number that includes not…

Pentagon Sidesteps Trump to Ban the Confederate Flag

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon, without once mentioning the word “Confederate,” announced a policy on Friday that essentially banned displays of the Confederate flag on military installations around the world.In a carefully worded memo that Defense Department officials said they hoped would avoid igniting another defense of the flag from President Trump, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper issued guidance that listed the types of flags that could be displayed on military installations — in barracks, on cars and on signs.According to…

John Lewis, Towering Figure of Civil Rights Era, Dies at 80

Representative John Lewis, a son of sharecroppers and an apostle of nonviolence who was bloodied at Selma and across the Jim Crow South in the historic struggle for racial equality, and who then carried a mantle of moral authority into Congress, died on Friday. He was 80.His death was confirmed in a statement by Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives.Mr. Lewis, of Georgia, announced on Dec. 29 that he had Stage 4 pancreatic cancer and vowed to fight it with the same passion with which he had battled racial…

In an apparent break with Trump, Pentagon effectively bans Confederate flag from U.S. military installations

Supporters of Confederate statues and symbols display a Confederate flag under a U.S. flag during the Lee-Jackson Day state holiday in Lexington, Virginia, U.S. January 17, 2020.Jonathan Drake | ReutersWASHINGTON — The Pentagon on Friday unveiled what's effectively a ban on public displays of the Confederate flag on U.S. military installations. The policy change may draw ire from President Donald Trump, who said last month that his administration would "not even consider" the removal of Confederate symbols.The carefully…

Oregon outrage: Elected officials blast federal authorities for grabbing protesters off the streets in Portland

Oregon elected officials blasted President Donald Trump's administration after reports that federal law enforcement personnel in recent days have arrested protesters off the streets of Portland while using unmarked government vehicles and refusing to tell people why they are being detained.The tactics came as federal authorities already were being criticized for shooting a protester in the head with an impact munition on Saturday night outside of Portland's federal courthouse."This political theater from President Trump has…

Joe Biden’s joint committees raise nearly $100 million in second quarter as big-money donors get off the sidelines

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at an an event about affordable healthcare at the Lancaster Recreation Center on June 25, 2020 in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.Joshua Roberts | Getty ImagesJoe Biden and his joint fundraising committees combined to raise close to $100 million in the second quarter on the backs of many new donors from the business community who have come off the sidelines to help him try to defeat President Donald Trump. Biden's committees, the Biden Victory Fund and…

Supreme Court leaves in place Florida ‘pay-to-vote’ law aimed at felons

The U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.Liu Jie | Xinhua via Getty ImagesThe Supreme Court on Thursday said it would not step in to block a Florida law requiring those with felony convictions to pay fines before they may vote, potentially blocking about three-quarters of a million otherwise eligible voters from the polls. The decision was announced in an unsigned order. Justices Sonia Sotomayor, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan dissented from the decision.The move will prevent voters from registering for…

Trump Replaces Brad Parscale as Campaign Manager, Elevating Bill Stepien

President Trump on Wednesday shook up his re-election team with less than four months until November’s vote, replacing his campaign manager, Brad Parscale, in an acknowledgment of the president’s diminished standing in nearly all public and private polling since the spring.Mr. Parscale, who was named campaign manager unusually early, in February 2018, will step out of the job and Bill Stepien, currently the deputy campaign manager and a veteran political operative, will take over. Mr. Parscale will stay on with the campaign,…

Trump and Biden Square Off Over Environment

President Trump traveled on Wednesday to the new political battleground of Georgia to blast away at one of the nation’s cornerstone conservation laws, vowing to speed construction projects by limiting legally mandated environmental reviews of highways, pipelines and power plants.One day earlier, his Democratic presidential rival, Joseph R. Biden Jr., took a different tack, releasing a $2 trillion plan to confront climate change and overhaul the nation’s infrastructure, claiming he will create millions of jobs by building a…