🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️NewsHero | Judges in GA, TN block restrictive abortion laws; Pressure leads Trump to drop rule against foreign students; Russian protesters demand Putin resign; WNBA season honors BLM

July 14, 2020 - Issue 138

Welcome to this edition of NewsHero for July 14, 2020.

Dear Heroes,

As shared Monday, it is with a heavy heart that I write to let you know that this will be our last week of delivering NewsHero to your inboxes. It has been an honor and a privilege to bring this to you over these last 130+ issues, and we had high hopes of continuing to serve you in this way, however, we have not been able to bring enough subscribers into the fold to emerge from beta and to scale up our team or our product.

For those of you who have subscribed monthly, you will no longer be charged, and for those of you who have subscribed yearly and would like a refund, we will gladly provide you with one. Please just let us know in reply to this email. Any subscriber money that is not refunded and that is not needed in the cost of closing will be donated to the Committee to Protect Journalists (https://cpj.org/) to help support their vital and ongoing work.

I want to thank you for reading and for sharing. I’m sorry that those of you who took the challenge and made NewsHero your only daily read will have to go back to the way things were. I wish there were better options out there but I have yet to find one.

I want to thank all of the NewsHero team who put their hearts and souls into getting us out and into the world and I want to thank our investors and backers for giving us this chance.

I want to thank all of you, our readers, for your generous feedback and for coming along for the ride.

Wishing all the best to you and yours.

Benji, Co-founder NewsHero

Now, on with this issue, which also includes: Hong Kong Disneyland shuts down again with 38 new COVID-19 cases, while Disney World in Florida opens where there are 15,000 new cases; France agrees to give $9 billion in pay raises to health workers; the Open Society Foundations announces $220 million ‘investment in racial justice’; a judge says women don’t need a doctor visit to get an abortion pill; Pro-democracy candidates in Hong Kong do well at polls


Hong Kong Disneyland Shuts Down Again, Florida’s Disney World Opens

France gives $9 billion in pay raises to health workers

Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci wears a face mask as he waits to testify before a House Committee on Energy and Commerce on the Trump administration's response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP) (UPI)
🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️ - Governments responding appropriately to new COVID-19 outbreaks
🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️ - Dr. Anthony Fauci
🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️ - People wearing face masks!
🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️ - Gov. Andrew Cuomo, for trying to keep New York safe
🦸‍♀️ - Mick Mulvaney, for speaking up about testing problems
🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️ - France, for raising pay for health workers
  • Hong Kong Disneyland on Monday announced that it would close again on July 15, after reopening last month from a shutdown that began in January, Axios reports.

    And how’s this for illustrating different responses to surging cases? As Shane Savitsky from Axios tweeted: Hong Kong: *shuts down Disneyland after 38 new coronavirus cases in a day* Florida: *reopens Disney World with more than 15,000 new cases in a day*

    Yep, that about says it all.

  • Speaking of Florida and its explosion of coronavirus cases, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Monday that visitors to New York from states where infections are on the rise could face a $2,000 fine if they fail to provide information about where they plan to quarantine for two weeks, reports Politico.

    In a tweet Monday, Cuomo wrote that out-of-state visitors from “high COVID states” must provide contact information when they arrive in New York.

    As new cases of COVID-19 reach 60,000 a day nationwide, many leaders, including those who supported Donald Trump’s aggressive plan for quickly re-opening the country, now have little choice but to prioritize science over politics, leaving the President looking out of touch with reality, CNN writes.

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci says that the U.S. is seeing COVID-19 surges because the country didn’t fully shut down, reports NBC News. “We did not shut down entirely,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said. “We need to draw back a few yards and say, ‘OK, we can’t stay shut down forever.’ ...You’ve got to shut down but then you’ve got to gradually open.”

  • New Gallup research on how often face masks are worn shows that less than half of Americans are following health officials’ guidance by covering their nose and mouth whenever in public, especially when social distancing is difficult to maintain.

  • Former White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney on Monday criticized the U.S. coronavirus testing process, calling his family’s difficulties in obtaining tests and delays in the results “inexcusable” in the seventh month of the pandemic, splitting from his former boss’ repeated boasts about testing, writes Politico.

    “I know it isn’t popular to talk about in some Republican circles, but we still have a testing problem in this country,” Mulvaney wrote in an op-ed for CNBC.

  • Worker advocacy groups have filed a civil rights complaint against meat companies Tyson Foods and JBS with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, alleging that the companies’ failure to prevent coronavirus outbreaks among largely black and Latino workers amounted to racial discrimination, reports The Washington Post.

    “Meat-processing workers are uniquely vulnerable to the coronavirus and the risk of contracting it because of the oppressive and dangerous working conditions in these facilities,” said Brent Newell, senior attorney at Public Justice, which is representing the complainants. “This is about how those black, Latino and Asian workers are more significantly affected than their white co-workers.”

  • A new report from the United Nations shows that the coronavirus pandemic could push up to 132 million people into hunger by the end of 2020, NPR says.

    “As progress in fighting hunger stalls, the COVID-19 pandemic is intensifying the vulnerabilities and inadequacies of global food systems,” UNICEF said in a statement. “While it is too early to assess the full impact of the lockdowns and other containment measures, at least another 83 million people, and possibly as many as 132 million, may go hungry in 2020.”

  • The French government has agreed to give pay rises worth $9 billion to health workers, as it praised their role in fighting the coronavirus, BBC News reports. The deal was signed with trade unions on Monday after seven weeks of tough negotiations. Health workers have been hailed as heroes during the pandemic, but they have held protests to demand pay rises and better funding for hospitals.

  • According to the latest Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index, fewer Americans report self-quarantining now than any point since the start of the pandemic, however, more Americans see returning to a pre-coronavirus life as a large risk now than at any time since the high-point of the initial wave in mid-April.

  • A 15-year-old in Michigan was incarcerated during the coronavirus pandemic after a judge ruled that not completing her online schoolwork violated her probation, reports ProPublica. “It just doesn’t make any sense,” said the girl’s mother.

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WNBA Dedicates Season Opening To Black Lives Matter

Open Society Foundations announces $220 million ‘investment in racial justice’

WNBA players are set to wear Breonna Taylor's name on their jerseys. (Instagram: WSLAM / Twitter: ESPN Women's Hoops)
🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️ - WNBA
🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️ - Open Society Foundations
🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️ - Black Lives Matter
  • The WNBA season is scheduled to tip off July 25 with all games that weekend dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement, The Associated Press reports. All 12 franchises will play the opening weekend and honor victims of police brutality and racial violence. Team uniforms will display Breonna Taylor’s name. Players will each have the option to continue to wear Taylor’s name on their jersey for subsequent games.

  • Patrick Gaspard, president of the Open Society Foundations, announces a $220 million investment in racial justice, which will include significant contributions to “a set of organizations that we deem vital—organizations that have helped make this moment happen, and that have the vision, drive and determination to carry it forward into the future. They range from emerging powers such as Black Voters Matter and Circle for Justice Innovations to more established civil rights forces like the Rev. Barber’s Repairers of the Breach and the Equal Justice Initiative. Each of them play a crucial role.”

  • Shirley Cross, a member of the Hudson/Catskill Housing Coalition, which proposed that Black Lives Matter be painted on a stretch of Main Street in Catskill, New York, said, “I knew it was going to be a no.” Village leaders in Catskill balked at the proposal, offering several counterproposals instead, including one that would have allowed the painting, but in the Black area of town, reports The New York Times. “I just feel like it’s a slap in the face for Black people,” Cross said.

  • A report from ProPublica, co-published with The Capitol Forum, details how: “At least six investigations into discriminatory mortgage loan ‘redlining’ have been halted or stalled—against staff recommendations—under the Trump administration’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.”

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Under Pressure From Schools And Businesses, Trump Administration Drops Plan To Strip Foreign Students Of Their Visas

NYT op-ed lays out Facebook’s continual failings

There is worldwide concern about Facebook content. This character depicting hate speech took part in a parade in Düsseldorf, Germany. © REUTERS
🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️ - Kara Swisher, for laying out Facebook’s issues in the NYT
🦸‍♀️ - Twitch, for at least initially banning Trump
🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️ - Opponents of Trump rule on international students
  • In an op-ed for The New York Times, “Zuckerberg Never Fails to Disappoint,” Kara Swisher says “to him and every executive at Facebook: You cannot hold on to such enormous power and avoid responsibility when things get tough.” It’s a good read and an intelligent overview of the social media company’s repeated wrongness.

  • Twitch, after suspending Donald Trump’s account for two weeks over “hateful conduct,” has unbanned him. The question now is how much longer Trump can last on Twitch, says The Verge. “Like anyone else, politicians on Twitch must adhere to our Terms of Service and Community Guidelines,” Twitch previously said. “We do not make exceptions for political or newsworthy content, and will take action on content reported to us that violates our rules.”

  • In brief filed Monday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, as well as tech companies including Facebook, Google, Twitter, Salesforce, and Microsoft sided with Harvard and MIT in their lawsuit against the U.S. government over a rule that would have stripped international students of their visas, Protocol reports.

    Reuters reports today, however: “In a stunning reversal of policy, the Trump administration on Tuesday abandoned a plan that would have forced out tens of thousands of foreign students following widespread condemnation of the move and pressure from colleges and major businesses.”

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Judge Says Women Don’t Need Doctor Visit To Get Abortion Pill

Judges in Georgia, Tennessee block restrictive abortion laws

A pro abortion-rights protest in Atlanta, Georgia, in May 2019. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images
🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️ - U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson
🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️ - U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang
🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️ - U.S. District Judge Steve Jones
🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️ - U.S. District Judge William Campbell
🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️ - Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner
🦸‍♀️ - Texas Republicans for agreeing to go virtual
  • The Justice Department on Monday released Donald Trump’s clemency order for Roger Stone, showing the president not only wiped away Stone’s prison sentence but also a period of supervised release and a fine, Fox News reports.

    U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson ordered the government to explain the “scope” of Trump’s commutation of Stone. In February, Jackson sentenced Stone to 40 months in prison, along with 24 months of supervised release and a $20,000 fine.

    All this brings to mind a Facebook post Roger Stone made last month. A CBS News report from June 22 covered Stone’s saying he was seeking “to delay the death sentence ordering me to a COVID-19 infested prison.” As if it could get grosser: why should Trump’s buddies have to go to a prison where the country’s poor coronavirus response would put them at risk—with all the other Americans stuck in those prisons? Oh whatever, it doesn’t matter, because why should Stone even go to prison at all? That solves that.

  • U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang in Maryland agreed Monday to suspend a rule that requires women during the COVID-19 pandemic to visit a hospital, clinic, or medical office to obtain an abortion pill, reports PBS NewsHour.

    “Particularly in light of the limited timeframe during which a medication abortion or any abortion must occur, such infringement on the right to an abortion would constitute irreparable harm,” the judge wrote in his decision.

  • In GeorgiaU.S. District Judge Steve Jones struck down Georgia’s 2019 “heartbeat” abortion law as unconstitutional, Axios reports. Jones ruled against the state in a lawsuit filed by abortion providers and an advocacy group. The Georgia law sought to ban abortions once a “detectable human heartbeat” was present, with some limited exceptions, according to AP News.

  • In TennesseeU.S. District Judge William Campbell blocked the state's abortion law shortly after Gov. Bill Lee signed the bill on Monday, Axios reports. Campbell opted to wait for the bill to become law to rule on whether to block the bans included in it. In granting the temporary restraining order Monday, he wrote that he’s “bound by the Supreme Court holdings prohibiting undue burdens on the availability of pre-viability abortions,” reports AP News.

  • The Republican Party of Texas changed course Monday night and accepted a virtual convention after courts refused to force Houston, hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic, to let the party stick to its original plans of a massive indoor gathering, reports The Associated Press. Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, a Democrat, said last week he did not feel the convention could be held safely.

  • The House is planning to quickly try again to get Donald Trump’s personal financial records, urging the Supreme Court on Monday night to take its final steps on the matter so lawmakers can get at it again in the lower courts, Politico reports.

    “The Committees’ investigations are ongoing, remain urgent, and have been impeded by the lack of finality in these litigations, which were initiated in April 2019,” the House’s top lawyer, Douglas Letter, and other House attorneys wrote in a Monday filing.

Protesters In Russia Demand Putin Resign

Pro-democracy candidates in Hong Kong do well at polls

In this video grab taken from the Associated Press Television footage, people attend a protest in support of Sergei Furgal, the governor of the Khabarovsk region, who was arrested in Khabarovsk Thursday and flown to Moscow for interrogation, in Khabarovsk, Russia, Saturday, July 11, 2020. A court in Moscow ruled Friday to jail a provincial governor pending a probe on charges of his involvement in multiple murders. The arrest of Furgal, who has remained widely popular in his region, has stoked broad discontent, with a petition protesting his arrest quickly getting more than 37,000 signatures and residents of Khabarovsk staging pickets in his support. (AP Photo)
🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️ - Pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong
🦸‍♀️ - Mike Pompeo, for standing up to China in South Sea
🦸‍♀️🦸‍♀️ - Britain, U.S. for using caution with Chinese technology in new 5G networks
  • Tens of thousands of Russians took to the streets to protest the arrest of a regional governor, demanding both his release and President Vladimir Putin’s resignation, reports Fox News.

    Sergei Furgal, is a member of the Liberal Democratic Party, having defeated a candidate of Putin’s own United Russia party. Just days after Putin won a landslide ballot on constitutional reforms, Furgal was arrested on suspicion of multiple murders, according to the Moscow Times.

    “The very fact that they could not find anything more fresh to accuse him of is a clear signal that this is an act of political repression,” Nikolai Petrov, a political analyst, told the New York Times in a telephone interview. “They are telling local elites that if they can arrest a sitting governor for crimes going back 15 or 20 years then they can arrest anyone.”

  • Pro-democracy primary polls aimed at selecting candidates who stand the best chance in September elections for the Legislative Council, Hong Kong’s governing body, have been warned as violating Beijing’s new national security law, Reuters reports. Preliminary results showed a group of young democrats, or “localists”, performed strongly in the elections that drew more than 600,000 votes.

  • The U.S. and the world “will not allow Beijing to treat the South China Sea as its maritime empire,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday, prompting China to hit back, as tensions between the two powers increase, reports NBC News.

    “We are making clear: Beijing’s claims to offshore resources across most of the South China Sea are completely unlawful, as is its campaign of bullying to control them,'“ Pompeo said in a statement, referring to the energy-rich stretch of water.

  • Britain will bar new deployments of Huawei equipment in its developing 5G network, the government said today, in a blow to the Chinese technology giant and a win for the U.S., which has been urging others to block the firm, The Washington Post reports. The U.S. has effectively banned Huawei and other Chinese companies from its early 5G platforms.

    On top of pressure from Washington, the Chinese crackdown in Hong Kong and Beijing’s lack of transparency on the origins of the coronavirus have added to concerns about using Chinese technology, officials and analysts said.

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  • At U.K. Care Home, Residents Brilliantly Recreate Iconic Album Covers On Twitter - NPR

  • Brexit Border Bureaucracy Looms for Truckers, Pet Owners and Travelers - The New York Times

  • ‘It’s Like a War.’ Revisiting Dr. Fabiano Di Marco - The Daily

  • A Teenager Didn’t Do Her Online Schoolwork. So a Judge Sent Her to Juvenile Detention. - ProPublica

  • Why We’re Losing the Battle With Covid-19 - The New York Times

  • Inside Facebook’s exclusive clubs for its top advertisers - Financial Times

  • Trump Says He “Disagreed” With Privately Funded Border Wall, So Why Did His Administration Award the Builder $1.7 Billion in Contracts to Erect More Walls? - ProPublica

  • Supreme Court clears way for execution of federal prisoner - Fox News

  • Trump’s Convention? ‘Everybody Just Assumes No One Is Going’ - The New York Times

  • Trump Outpaces Biden in Zeroing In on Voters With Facebook Tools - Bloomberg

  • Remember Liu Xiaobo by Supporting Rights Activists in China - The Diplomat

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Sources:

Hong Kong Disneyland to close again due to coronavirus surge - Axios
Shane Savitsky - Twitter
Dr. Anthony Fauci says U.S. coronavirus cases are surging because nation didn't totally shut down - CNBC
Americans' Face Mask Usage Varies Greatly by Demographics - gallup
Cuomo will fine Floridians and other visitors for Covid-19 violations - Politico
Bottleneck for U.S. Coronavirus Response: The Fax Machine - The New York Times
Mulvaney calls U.S. coronavirus testing abilities 'inexcusable,' breaking from Trump - Politico
Op-ed: We still have a coronavirus ‘testing problem in this country’ - CNBC
Worker groups file bias complaint against meat giants - The Washington Post
U.N. Report Says Pandemic Could Push Up To 132 Million People Into Hunger - NPR
CDC Employees Call For Racial Justice At The Federal Agency - NPR
America shuts down again—choosing reality over Trump's false claims - CNNPolitics
Coronavirus: France's health workers given pay rises worth €8bn - BBC News
Despite seeing great risk, Americans slow to make major changes to deal with COVID - Ipsos
WNBA season scheduled to tip off on July 25 - AP News
A $220 Million Investment in Racial Justice - Open Society Foundations
Black Lives Matter Street Painting Is Rejected in Catskill, N.Y. - The New York Times
Trump Financial Regulator Quietly Shelved Discrimination Probes Into Bank of America and Other Lenders - ProPublica
Opinion | Zuckerberg Never Fails to Disappoint - The New York Times
Twitch unbans Trump after two-week suspension for ‘hateful conduct’ - The Verge
Tech giants join fight against ICE restrictions on foreign students - Protocol
Judge orders government to explain 'scope' of Roger Stone commutation - Fox News
Federal judge rules women can get abortion pill without doctor visits - PBS NewsHour
Federal judges block "heartbeat" abortion laws in Tennessee and Georgia - Axios
Texas GOP votes to move convention online after court losses - AP News
House to quickly revive legal effort to get Trump’s financial records - Politico
Thousands of Russians protest governor's arrest, demand 'Putin step down' - Fox News
Beijing's Hong Kong office warns pro-democracy poll could violate new security law - Reuters
U.S. says most of China's claims in South China Sea are unlawful - NBC News
Britain bars Huawei from its 5G wireless networks, part of a growing shift away from the Chinese tech giant - The Washington Post