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AP News in Brief at 11:04 p.m. EDT

June 18, 2020 - 8:04 PM

Court rejects Trump bid to end young immigrants' protections

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected President Donald Trump’s effort to end legal protections for 650,000 young immigrants, the second stunning election-season rebuke from the court in a week after its ruling that it's illegal to fire people because they're gay or transgender.

Immigrants who are part of the 8-year-old Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals Program will retain their protection from deportation and their authorization to work in the United States — safe almost certainly at least through the November election, immigration experts said.

The 5-4 outcome, in which Chief Justice John Roberts and the four liberal justices were in the majority, seems certain to elevate the issue in Trump's campaign, given the anti-immigrant rhetoric of his first presidential run in 2016 and immigration restrictions his administration has imposed since then.

The justices said the administration did not take the proper steps to end DACA, rejecting arguments that the program is illegal and that courts have no role to play in reviewing the decision to end it. The program covers people who have been in the United States since they were children and are in the country illegally. In some cases, they have no memory of any home other than the U.S.

Trump didn't hold back in his assessment of the court's work, hitting hard at a political angle.

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Bolton critique of Trump could define tell-all book battles

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House fight with former national security adviser John Bolton is the latest chapter in a lengthy history of Washington book battles, yet it will likely define future cases between the U.S. government and former employees determined to write tell-alls.

The government asked a federal court for a temporary restraining order to prevent the release of the book, claiming it contains classified material. But the book, set to be released Tuesday, is already sitting in warehouses. And media outlets, including The Associated Press, have obtained advance copies and published stories on the book.

The 577-page book paints an unvarnished portrait of Trump and his administration. Bolton writes that Trump “pleaded” with China’s Xi Jinping during a 2019 summit to help his reelection prospects and that political calculations drove Trump's foreign policy.

Trump on Thursday called the book a “compilation of lies and made up stories” intended to make him look bad. He tweeted that Bolton was just trying to get even for being fired “like the sick puppy he is!”

The two sides are set to face off Friday in U.S. District Court in Washington, adding Bolton's name to a long list of authors who have clashed with the government over publishing sensitive material. Bolton filed a motion late Thursday to dismiss the government's complaint, citing “failure to state a claim.”

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Decline in new US virus deaths may be temporary reprieve

The number of deaths per day from the coronavirus in the U.S. has fallen in recent weeks to the lowest level since late March, even as states increasingly reopen for business. But scientists are deeply afraid the trend may be about to reverse itself.

“For now, it’s too soon to be reassured that deaths are going down and everything’s OK,” said Dr. Cyrus Shahpar of Resolve to Save Lives, a non-profit organization that works to prevent epidemics.

Deaths from COVID-19 across the country are down to about 680 a day, compared with around 960 two weeks ago, according to an Associated Press analysis of data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. The analysis looked at a seven-day rolling average of deaths through Wednesday.

A multitude of reasons are believed to be at play, including the advent of effective treatments and improved efforts at hospitals and nursing homes to prevent infections and save lives.

But already there are warning signs.

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Juneteenth: A day of joy and pain - and now national action

In just about any other year, Juneteenth, the holiday celebrating the day in 1865 that all enslaved black people learned they had been freed from bondage, would be marked by African American families across the nation with a cookout, a parade, a community festival, a soulful rendition of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.”

But in 2020, as the coronavirus ravishes black America disproportionately, as economic uncertainty wrought by the pandemic strains black pocketbooks, and as police brutality continues to devastate black families, Juneteenth is a day of protest.

Red velvet cake, barbecued ribs and fruit punch are optional.

For many white Americans, recent protests over police brutality have driven their awareness of Juneteenth's significance.

“This is one of the first times since the ’60s, where the global demand, the intergenerational demand, the multiracial demand is for systemic change,” said Cornell University professor Noliwe Rooks, a segregation expert. “There is some understanding and acknowledgment at this point that there’s something in the DNA of the country that has to be undone.”

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AP-NORC poll: Trump adds to divisions in an unhappy country

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans are deeply unhappy about the state of their country — and a majority think President Donald Trump is exacerbating tensions in a moment of national crisis, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

With less than five months until Election Day, the survey offers few bright spots for a president confronting a historic pandemic, a sharp economic decline and national outrage over police brutality against black people. Most Americans — including 63% of Republicans — say the country is heading in the wrong direction. And close to two-thirds — including 37% of Republicans — say Trump is making America more divided.

“Instead of bringing us all together, he’s pulling us all apart,” said Donna Oates, a 63-year-old retiree from Chino, California.

Oates said she was a Republican until March, when her mounting frustration with Trump and the GOP prompted her to change her voter registration to the Democratic Party. Trump’s tenure, she said, has made her “dread getting up to turn on the TV and see any of the news.”

That pessimism poses reelection challenges for Trump in his face-off against Democrat Joe Biden. Presidents seeking four more years in office typically rely on voters being optimistic about the direction the country is headed and eager to stay the course — a view most Americans don’t currently hold.

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Who they are: Six DACA recipients rejoice over court ruling

PHOENIX (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court has kept alive, for now, the Obama-era program that allows immigrants brought here as children to work and protects them from deportation. The high court on Thursday ruled that the Trump administration attempted to end the program improperly when it announced it was rescinding it in 2017. Since then, only people who were already enrolled in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program have been able to stay on board, and no new applicants have been accepted. About 650,000 people have DACA protections. Here are six from around the country.

Joella Roberts

Age: 22

Lives: Washington, D.C.

Country of origin: Trinidad and Tobago

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Atlanta police call out sick to protest charges in shooting

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta police officers called out sick Thursday to protest the filing of murder charges against an officer who shot a man in the back, while the interim chief acknowledged members of the force feel abandoned amid protests demanding massive changes to policing.

Interim Chief Rodney Bryant told The Associated Press in an interview that the sick calls began Wednesday night and continued Thursday, but said the department has sufficient staff to protect the city. It’s not clear how many officers have called out.

“Some are angry. Some are fearful. Some are confused on what we do in this space. Some may feel abandoned," Bryant said of the officers. "But we are there to assure them that we will continue to move forward and get through this.”

Prosecutors brought felony murder and other charges against Garrett Rolfe, a white officer who shot Rayshard Brooks after the 27-year-old black man grabbed a Taser during a struggle and ran, firing it at the officer, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said.

Howard said Brooks was not a deadly threat at the time and that the officer kicked the wounded man and offered no medical treatment for over two minutes as he lay dying. Another officer, Devin Brosnan, who the district attorney said stood on Brooks’ shoulder as he struggled for his life, was charged with aggravated assault and violation of his oath.

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Curtains for Camelot: Last Kennedy sibling's death ends era

BOSTON (AP) — Camelot's inner circle is just about gone — though its spirit, some say, is very much alive.

Wednesday's death of Jean Kennedy Smith, an acclaimed former U.S. ambassador to Ireland and the last surviving sibling of President John F. Kennedy, virtually erases those who were closest to the assassinated 35th U.S. president.

“This is sort of bringing down the curtain on one of America’s three political dynasties — the Adamses, the Roosevelts and now the Kennedys,” said Patrick Maney, a Kennedy scholar and retired professor of history at Boston College.

Only Ethel Kennedy, the 92-year-old wife of JFK's brother, Robert F. Kennedy — himself felled by an assassin's bullet five years later amid a mighty struggle for civil rights with echoes reverberating now in 2020 — remains with us.

“The world seems less bright today,” said Victoria Reggie Kennedy, whose husband, former U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy, another JFK brother, died in 2009.

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Facebook removes Trump ads with symbols once used by Nazis

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facebook has removed campaign ads by President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence that featured an upside-down red triangle, a symbol once used by Nazis to designate political prisoners, communists and others in concentration camps.

The company said in a statement Thursday that the ads violated “our policy against organized hate." A Facebook executive who testified at a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday said the company does not permit symbols of hateful ideology “unless they're put up with context or condemnation.”

“In a situation where we don't see either of those, we don't allow it on the platform and we remove it. That's what we saw in this case with this ad, and anywhere that that symbol is used, we would take the same action," Nathaniel Gleicher, the company's head of security policy, told lawmakers at a hearing.

The Trump campaign spent more than $17,000 on the ads for Trump and Pence combined. The ads began running on Wednesday and received hundreds of thousands of impressions.

In a statement, Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh said the inverted red triangle was a symbol commonly used by antifa so it was included in an ad about antifa. He said the symbol is not in the Anti-Defamation League's database of symbols of hate. The Trump campaign also argued that the symbol is an emoji.

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Players at 70 games, MLB at 60, Manfred says deadline near

NEW YORK (AP) — Baseball players proposed a 70-game regular-season schedule Thursday, a plan immediately rejected by baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred with the sides 10 games and about $275 million apart on plans to start the coronavirus-delayed season.

As part of the union proposal, players would wear advertisement patches on their uniforms during all games for the first time in major league history.

“This needs to be over," Manfred said. "Until I speak with owners, I can’t give you a firm deadline.”

Both sides envision spring training resuming June 26. Counting back, that means pitchers and catchers would have to travel Monday for the start of medical intake testing the following day.

While the gap has narrowed, both sides remain opposed to additional concessions, The path toward an agreement remains uncertain and difficult.

News from © The Associated Press, 2020
The Associated Press

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