Tribune News Service

International Budget for Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Updated at 0325 UTC (11:25 p.m. U.S. EDT).

Additional news stories, including full U.S. coverage, appear on the MCT-NEWS-BJT and MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.


^Putin seizes moment to rule until he's 83 amid fading popularity<

RUSSIA-PUTIN:BLO — After two decades in power, Vladimir Putin's approval ratings are at an all-time low as Russia's economy reels under the impact of the coronavirus epidemic and the slump in oil prices. What better time for him to seek to extend his presidency for potentially 16 more years?

It's a measure of how tightly Putin has controlled the operation to amend Russia's constitution that there's little suspense about the result of a referendum on the changes, despite the economic pain unleashed by the virus. Approval in the vote that concludes Wednesday will allow him to seek two more six-year terms after his present one ends in 2024, staying in power until 2036, when he'd be 83.

950 by Henry Meyer and Ilya Arkhipov in Moscow. MOVED



^Iran issues arrest warrant for Donald Trump for killing general<

^USIRAN-TRUMP:BLO—<Iran has issued a warrant to arrest U.S. President Donald Trump and 35 others for the killing of a top Iranian general in January, the semi-official Mehr news agency reported.

"The 36 individuals who were involved in the assassination of Qasem Soleimani have been identified and they include political and military officials from the U.S. and other governments and the judiciary has ordered that a red notice be sought for them from the international police," Mehr cited public prosecutor Ali Alghasi Mehr as saying in a judiciary meeting on Monday.

250 by Patrick Sykes. MOVED


^China approves Hong Kong security law, risking US anger<

CHINA-HONGKONG-1ST-LEDE:BLO — China's top legislative body approved a landmark national security law for Hong Kong, a sweeping attempt to quell dissent that risks U.S. retaliation and the city's appeal as a financial hub.

The National People's Congress Standing Committee voted unanimously to approve the law on the former British colony when it wrapped up a three-day meeting Tuesday in Beijing, multiple Hong Kong media organizations reported, citing unidentified people.

1000 by Iain Marlow in Hong Kong. MOVED


^Bangladeshi man trapped inside sunken ferry rescued after 13 hours<

BANGLADESH-FERRY:DPA — Bangladeshi divers have rescued a man 13 hours after he was trapped inside a passenger ferry that capsized on a river near the capital Dhaka, officials said late Monday.

The ferry sank after colliding with another larger passenger ferry in the morning near Farazganj, leaving at least 32 people dead.

300 by Nazrul Islam in Dhaka, Bangladesh. MOVED



^In hot-spot states, those seeking tests for coronavirus meet long lines and delays<

^CORONAVIRUS-TESTING:BLO—<The U.S. is again grappling with a shortfall of testing that has hobbled the nation since the pandemic's early weeks, and now threatens to further undermine containment efforts at a crucial moment.

In new hot spots like Arizona, Texas and Florida, where COVID-19 is rapidly spreading, lines for testing extend outside of urgent care offices and other sites. Two high school football stadiums in Houston regularly hit capacity by mid-morning and have to turn people away.

The country's largest labs are forecasting a surge in demand that could lead to longer waits for test results, and have warned that limited amounts of critical testing supplies could become a constraint.

1050 by Emma Court. MOVED


^Gilead says it will charge $3,120 per patient for COVID-19 drug<

CORONAVIRUS-DRUG-COST:CON — Gilead will begin charging U.S. patients for the experimental COVID-19 drug remdesivir in two weeks, the company and the government announced Monday, as cases surge and hospitalizations reach crisis levels in several states.

Remdesivir is among the few drugs with promising evidence that it can help COVID-19 patients, with data showing it can modestly hasten recovery time in some people but is not proven to prevent deaths. The coronavirus-related disease has led to at least 502,634 worldwide deaths.

Patients with private insurance will be charged $3,120 for a five-day course of treatment.

750 by Emily Kopp in Washington. (Moved as a business story.) MOVED


^Newsom threatens to reverse California reopening as coronavirus spreads<

CORONAVIRUS-CALIF-REOPENING:LA. — Explaining his decision to require limited bar closures in seven counties, Gov. Gavin Newsom warned Monday that the state will continue to pull back on reopening as COVID-19 spreads in California.

"The bottom line is: We're doing this because we have seen an increase in the spread of this virus," Newsom said. "We need to take further steps and that's exactly what we did this weekend."

550 by Taryn Luna in Sacramento, Calif. MOVED


^California's slide from coronavirus success to danger zone began Memorial Day<

CORONAVIRUS-CALIF-SURGE:LA — The seeds of the latest surge in coronavirus cases in California appear to have been planted around Memorial Day.

People had been pent up in their homes; businesses shuttered for months amid the stay-at-home order began to open. And as the reopening accelerated, a lot of people were ready to get out.

The beckon of summer rituals followed — day trips to the beach, Memorial Day barbecues, graduation celebrations, Father's Day gatherings. Around the same time, historic protests began, triggered by outrage over the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd while in police custody, which sparked unprecedented demonstrations across the nation, including in the streets of California.

It would take a few weeks of incubation. But it's now clear that Memorial Day was the beginning of something. A Los Angeles Times analysis has found that new coronavirus hospitalizations in California began accelerating around June 15 at a rate not seen since early April.

1900 (with trims) by Rong-Gong Lin II, Iris Lee, Sean Greene and Soumya Karlamangla in Los Angeles. MOVED


^LA County coronavirus cases surge past 100,000 with record high one-day tally<

CORONAVIRUS-LA:LA — Los Angeles County confirmed 22 additional coronavirus-related deaths and 2,903 new coronavirus cases Monday, the largest single-day number of new infections the county has reported since the pandemic hit the U.S.

The daily tally brings the total number of coronavirus cases in L.A. County to more than 100,000.

1000 by Colleen Shalby and Maura Dolan in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Virus cases spike while local and state officials bicker over face mask mandates<

CORONAVIRUS-MASKS-ORDERS:SH — Every day, Texas continues to break records in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, rivaling hot spots such as Florida and Arizona as the new center of the U.S. pandemic.

As the situation escalates — spiking to a record 6,584 new cases Wednesday and adding more than 5,000 new infections almost every day last week — Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has consistently touted the ways in which Texans can stay safe: Wear a mask, sanitize often, social distance. Last week, he encouraged Texans to just stay indoors, then said he'd put a pause on reopening businesses. By the end of the week, he ordered bars to close and restaurants to cut their occupancy from 75% to 50%.

Yet even as Abbott has warned that Texas will take further measures if the situation doesn't improve, he has refused to allow local officials to penalize people who decline to wear masks in public.

2150 (with trims) by April Simpson in Dallas. MOVED


^Still in short supply, N95 masks are being used over and over<

^CORONAVIRUS-N95-MASKS:MS—<Imagine breathing through a face-hugging N95 mask for an entire eight-hour nursing shift on a hospital floor.

Properly fitted, it clings tightly to the skin, protecting the wearer from breathing in pathogens such as the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

But those filtered-out germs don't just vanish — the novel coronavirus can live up to 72 hours on surfaces, masks included. Just touching the outside of a contaminated respirator is risky, and it's considered the biggest danger of reusing them.

Yet three months into the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses and other clinicians are being forced to reuse hospital masks in ways that would have gotten them written up a year ago.

1100 by Joe Carlson. MOVED


^Florida posts 5,266 new cases of coronavirus<

CORONAVIRUS-FLA:FL — Florida posted 5,266 new coronavirus cases Monday, down from the past two days but continuing the high daily counts that have halted attempts to reopen the state more broadly.

The Florida Department of Health, which posts the daily updates, reported 28 additional deaths.

The new cases tally falls below Saturday's record-breaking count of 9,585 but continues the high numbers that have prevailed over the past week.

250 by David Fleshler in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. MOVED


^Calif. taco restaurant closes temporarily after employees are harassed by mask-averse patrons<

CORONAVIRUS-RESTAURANT-MASKS-HARASSMENT:LA — Hugo's Tacos announced Sunday that it will temporarily close its two locations in Los Angeles after employees reported a mounting onslaught of harassment from customers angered by the business' "no mask, no service" policy.

The harassment, ranging from racial epithets to drinks being hurled at workers through order windows, has taken an emotional toll on the mostly Latino employees, Hugo's Tacos part-owner Bill Kohne told The Times.

350 by Laura Newberry in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Trial by Zoom? Some Fla. courts delay test of virtual juries — for now<

CORONAVIRUS-FLA-ZOOM-TRIALS:OS — Reporting for jury duty in Orange and Osceola counties could in the coming months mean turning on your computer and tuning into a Zoom video call.

900 by Monivette Cordeiro in Orlando, Fla. MOVED


^Coronavirus pandemic 'is not even close to being over,' WHO chief warns<

CORONAVIRUS-WHO:DPA — Lacking health measures and political unity have allowed COVID-19 to spiral to 10 million cases and half a million deaths, United Nations health chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said on Monday, warning that he feared for the worst in the current environment.

"We all want this to be over, we all want to get on with our lives. But the hard reality is: This is not even close to being over," the World Health Organization (WHO) chief told a press conference from Geneva.

400 by Albert Otti in Geneva. MOVED



^White House says no consensus existed on Russian bounty reports<

USRUSSIA-BOUNTY:BLO — President Donald Trump wasn't briefed on reports that the Russian government paid bounties for American and allied troops to be killed in Afghanistan because there was no consensus among intelligence officials on the veracity of the claims, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday.

McEnany told reporters at the White House that such intelligence wouldn't be escalated to the White House without broad agreement among intelligence officials. She didn't say whether reports of the bounties or the debate in the intelligence community were included in written daily briefs provided to Trump.

550 by Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou and Justin Sink in Washington. MOVED



Also moving as:

USRUSSIA-BOUNTY:CON — 850 by John M. Donnelly in Washington. MOVED


^Supreme Court liberals, with Roberts, strike down Louisiana abortion law<

SCOTUS-ABORTION-2ND-LEDE:LA — Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. joined the Supreme Court's liberal justices to deal a surprising setback to abortion opponents on Monday, striking down a restrictive Louisiana abortion law and reaffirming the court's past rulings that have upheld a woman's right to choose.

By a 5-4 vote, the court threw out a Louisiana law that would have required abortion doctors to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. If put into effect, it was expected to result in the closing of all but one of the state's abortion providers.

1400 by David G. Savage in Washington. MOVED


^Golden State Killer pleads guilty to murders and other crimes that terrorized California<

CALIF-SERIALKILLER-2ND-LEDE:LA — In a moment his victims have long awaited, a 74-year-old former police officer who terrorized California as the Golden State Killer pleaded guilty to more than a dozen murders and a long list of other crimes Monday in a university ballroom turned courtroom.

Joseph James DeAngelo Jr., clad in orange jail clothing and wearing a clear protective face shield, sat onstage at Cal State Sacramento, with cameras projecting his face onto the ballroom wall so all could see, bringing the guilt phase of the Golden State Killer case to a close.

1650 (with trims) by Paige St. John and Luke Money in Sacramento, Calif. MOVED


^Trump dismisses virus, polls and recession to tell winning story<

CAMPAIGN-TRUMP-MESSAGE:BLO — The America that President Donald Trump describes is a place where the coronavirus outbreak is only surging because of increased testing, the economy is on the verge of roaring back to life and polls showing him losing reelection in a landslide are fiction.

In the president's telling, many of the Americans protesting police brutality are terrorists, anarchists and looters, and concerns about systemic racism are overblown. He claims that his is the most accomplished presidency in history, outshining all his predecessors but Abraham Lincoln on achievements for Black people.

Four months before Americans decide whether to return Trump to the White House, the president has constructed a narrative of the U.S. under his leadership that veers far from reality.

1550 by Josh Wingrove in Washington. MOVED


^Witnesses say there were no warnings from Park Police in clearing of square<

DC-PROTEST:CON — Two witnesses to the police clearing of Lafayette Square on June 1, when law enforcement officers aggressively pushed largely peaceful demonstrators from the park, told House members Monday they did not hear police issue warnings to disperse before charging the crowd and deploying nonlethal weapons.

Federal officers, including the U.S. Park Police, are required under a 2015 legal settlement to issue three clear and audible warnings to protesters and leave room for them to exit the area. The USPP said it gave three warnings over a loudspeaker system telling protesters to disperse.

Kishon McDonald, who joined protests June 1 outside the White House, said he did not hear warnings from police that day.

800 by Benjamin J. Hulac in Washington. MOVED


^Florida's coronavirus outbreak complicates Republican convention, Trump's reelection bid<

CAMPAIGN-GOP-CONVENTION:MI — When Vice President Mike Pence, the head of the White House coronavirus task force, returns to Florida Thursday, he'll find a much different situation than when he last visited in late May.

Florida at the time was reopening restaurants and gyms. Politicians were paving the way for the Republican National Convention to relocate from Charlotte, North Carolina. And the state — a must-win this November for President Donald Trump — was hailed by Fox News anchors as a conservative success story.

"We succeeded," a defiant Gov. Ron DeSantis said on May 20, chiding his critics in Orlando next to a nodding Pence.

1150 (with trims) by David Smiley and Francesca Chambers in Miami. MOVED


^Bolton won't support Nikki Haley for president in 2024. 'That makes us even,' she says<

CAMPAIGN-BOLTON-HALEY:WA — Former White House National Security Adviser John Bolton says he won't support Nikki Haley for president in 2024 after clashing with her when they served in the Trump administration together.

Bolton criticized Haley as an attention-seeker in a new memoir and told McClatchy in an interview late last week that his former colleague would not have his support if she pursues the White House in four years.

"No, I wouldn't support her for president," Bolton said. "I think there are plenty of qualified candidates in 2024, and I think many of them are already in the field, including her."

600 by Francesca Chambers and Michael Wilner in Washington. MOVED


^Stone to be treated like any other felon in pandemic, judge says<

STONE:BLO — The judge who sentenced Roger Stone to 40 months behind bars for lying to Congress said the Republican operative who sought three delays in starting his prison term is a criminal and should be treated like one.

In a memo unsealed Monday, U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in Washington balked at the government's explanation for not challenging Stone's request for a delay of two more months because of the coronavirus pandemic, saying it didn't add up.

300 by Erik Larson in Washington. MOVED


^Judge says public officials speaking about George Floyd's death could force change of venue<

MINN-POLICE-DEATH-1ST-LEDE:MS — Comments made by public officials and others about the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd and the former Minneapolis police officers charged in his death threaten to move court proceedings outside of Hennepin County, a judge warned Monday.

At a hearing Monday afternoon, several of the defense attorneys representing the former officers — Derek Chauvin, J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao — criticized city, county and state officials for expressing opinions they believe have tainted their clients' constitutional right to a fair trial.

1200 by Chao Xiong in Minneapolis. MOVED


^St. Louis couple who pointed guns at protesters saw threat by 'bad actors,' lawyer says; protester says he feared 'bloodbath'<

STLOUIS-PROTEST-2ND-LEDE:SL — Lawyers Mark and Patricia McCloskey, who pointed a rifle and pistol at protesters Sunday night in front of their St. Louis mansion, said through their lawyer Monday that they felt threatened by two "bad actors" who destroyed an iron gate to their private street and lobbed insults at them.

"My clients, as melanin-deficient human beings, are completely respectful of the message Black Lives Matter needs to get out, especially to whites," said lawyer Albert Watkins. He said the McCloskeys "acted lawfully" out of "fear and apprehension, the genesis of which was not race-related."

1050 (with trims) by Kim Bell, Rachel Rice and Joel Currier in St. Louis. MOVED


^YouTube cites policies on hate speech in banning David Duke and Richard Spencer<

YOUTUBE-HATESPEECH:NY — YouTube switched off channels belonging to right-wing pundits Richard Spencer and Stefan Molyneux, as well as former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke on Monday.

"We have strict policies prohibiting hate speech on YouTube, and terminate any channel that repeatedly or egregiously violates those policies," a YouTube spokesperson told The Verge, which first reported the story.

450 by Brian Niemietz. MOVED


^NAACP intends to move HQ from Baltimore to DC<

NAACP-HEADQUARTERS:CON — The NAACP has signed a letter of intent to move its national headquarters to Washington, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced Monday.

The civil rights organization agreed to relocate in the city's municipal office building at the corner of 14th and U Streets in Northwest Washington after a remodel. The NAACP's move to Washington means its national headquarters will be leaving Baltimore, where it has called home for decades.

"A new home in Washington will allow us to not only fully participate in the growth of this great city, but to also amplify the voices of the Black people as we fight for the crucial policy changes and economic empowerment needed in communities across the country," said Derrick Johnson, president and CEO of the NAACP.

350 by Chris Cioffi in Washington. MOVED


^EPA's relaxed enforcement of pollution reporting due to COVID-19 ends in August<

ENV-EPA-RULES:WA — The Environmental Protection Agency will end a temporary policy that relaxed reporting requirements on pollutants due to the coronavirus at the end of August, amid criticism that the pandemic policy has jeopardized public health.

800 by Michael Wilner in Washington. MOVED


^Hurricane center watching 2 systems that may develop in Atlantic<

WEA-ATLANTIC-SYSTEMS-1ST-LEDE:OS — Two systems with low odds of developing were brewing in different parts of the Atlantic on Monday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

200 by Joe Mario Pedersen in Orlando, Fla. MOVED


^The show will not go on: Broadway extends its shutdown until January<

^STAGE-CORONAVIRUS-BROADWAY:LA—<The Broadway League announced Monday that performances in New York City would remain suspended at least through the end of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Returning productions are expected to resume over a string of rolling dates early next year, with ticket sales starting soon. Three shows, however, including Disney's musical "Frozen," have already announced that they will not return when Broadway reopens.

350 by Laura Zornosa. MOVED


^At BET Awards, racial upheaval and COVID-19 add potency and portent to Black music honors<

^MUS-BET-AWARDS:LA—<In a normal year, Sunday night's BET Awards would surely have made much of the fact that the show — an annual celebration of Black excellence in music and culture put on by the cable network founded in 1980 — was celebrating its 20th anniversary.

As it was, that milestone barely registered in a busy production that had more news to address than any awards telecast in recent memory.

Let's begin with COVID-19, which is the reason you can't actually remember a recent awards telecast to compare this one to: Unlike the numerous shows that have been postponed or called off over the last few months because of the pandemic, BET's flagship event elected to go the virtual route, with actor and comedian Amanda Seales hosting from in front of a green screen at her house and throwing to pre-taped performances and acceptance speeches by stars including Beyonc , Roddy Ricch, John Legend, Megan Thee Stallion, DaBaby, Jennifer Hudson, Lizzo, Lil Wayne and Alicia Keys.

700 by Mikael Wood. MOVED


^Appreciation: Chicago's Freddy Cole, Nat King Cole's gifted kid brother, created his own sound<

^MUS-COLE-APPRECIATION:TB—<It could not have been easy being the kid brother of Nat King Cole, an icon of American music.

But jazz singer-pianist Freddy Cole, who died June 27 in Atlanta at age 88 of complications from a cardiovascular ailment, carried that burden with remarkable grace and individuality.

True, his gauzy voice and speech-song delivery recalled his elder brother's velvet vocals and easygoing manner (he sang the role of his brother in the Oscar-nominated film "Chico & Rita"). Freddy Cole's fluidity at the piano similarly echoed Nat King Cole's seemingly nonchalant keyboard virtuosity.

Yet the younger Cole never sought to imitate his considerably more famous sibling, nor dwelled on it as others did.

800 by Howard Reich in Chicago. MOVED


^Mark Hamill and George Takei push for mask awareness amid coronavirus surge<

^CORONAVIRUS-MASKS-HAMILL-TAKEI:NY—<Stars collided when Mark Hamill and George Takei both promoted the wearing of face masks to slow the spread of coronavirus Sunday.

Hamill, who established himself as a living sci-fi legend in 1977 when he first played Luke Skywalker in "Star Wars," posted a photo of his character donning a helmet while training to be a Jedi warrior.

"Real Men Wears Masks," the 68-year-old star captioned that photo.

350 (with trims) by Brian Niemietz. MOVED




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