Thursday, April 22

Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment at 6:20 p.m. EDT


Remembering John Lewis, rights icon and `American hero’

WASHINGTON (AP) — John Lewis, who carried the struggle against racial discrimination from Southern battlegrounds of the 1960s to the halls of Congress, has died. He was 80. Lewis was the last survivor of the Big Six civil rights activists, led by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. He was best known for leading 600 protesters in the 1965 Bloody Sunday march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Lewis was knocked to the ground and beaten by state troopers. Televised images forced the country’s attention on racial oppression. A Democrat from Atlanta, he won his U.S. House seat in 1986.


The Latest: South Africa now 5th in world for infections

South Africa now ranks fifth in the world for confirmed coronavirus cases caseload as the African continent faces the pandemic’s first wave head-on. South Africa on Saturday reported 13,285 new confirmed cases for a total of 350,879. That puts the country ahead of Peru and makes up roughly half the cases in Africa. The only four countries with more confirmed cases — the U.S., Brazil, India, and Russia — all have far more people than South Africa’s 57 million. South Africa has seen 4,948 reported virus deaths.


As virus surges in some US states, emergency rooms swamped

Patients struggling to breathe are being placed on ventilators in some emergency wards since intensive care units are full, and the near-constant care they require is overtaxing workers who also are treating more typical ER cases. Some patients have been moved into hallways, and nurses are working extra shifts. A fast-rising tide of new coronavirus cases is flooding emergency rooms in parts of the United States. In Florida, hospitals say they are in desperate need of remdesivir to treat patients who are filling beds. The governor announced 30,000 vials of the drug were being shipped to the state. The medication has been shown to shorten average hospitalization times.


Trump talks less about virus, states look inward for answers

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has taken an increasingly hands-off approach to the coronavirus crisis in recent days even as COVID-19 cases and deaths have surged to record highs in a significant slice of the country. Trump has focused his public comments on the virus on assurances that the worst days of the pandemic are in the rearview mirror, while turning his attention to talking about the economy and attacking Democratic rival Joe Biden. Meanwhile, governors and big city mayors in much of the United States are sending a blunt message to their constituents. That message is don’t expect a federal cavalry to save the day.


No Canada: Blue Jays barred from playing games in Toronto

TORONTO (AP) — The Blue Jays won’t play their home games in Toronto this year because Canada’s government doesn’t think it’s safe for players to travel back and forth from the United States amid the coronavirus pandemic. Canada has flattened the curve of virus infections, while the U.S. is one of the world’s hardest-hit countries. Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said Saturday the federal government had denied the Blue Jays’ request to play at Rogers Centre, confirming what an official familiar with the matter had told The Associated Press ahead of the announcement. The Blue Jays say they are working to finalize a location for their home games.


US lawsuits claim Kuwaiti officials embezzled over $100M

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The U.S. Justice Department has filed a series of lawsuits seeking to recover at least $104 million in funds allegedly embezzled by former officials in Kuwait’s Ministry of Defense. According to the complaints announced this week, three unnamed individuals who were high-level officials in Kuwait’s Ministry of Defense opened unauthorized bank accounts between 2009 and 2016 and used the accounts to facilitate the transfer of more than $100 million in Kuwaiti public funds to California bank accounts connected to a convicted felon. U.S. prosecutors claim the laundered funds were used to purchase luxury real estate, a private jet, a yacht, sports cars and sports memorabilia.


Given a chance, Trump would push court pick before election

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell have tried to make it clear: Given the chance, they would push through a Supreme Court nominee should a vacancy occur before Election Day. The issue has taken on new immediacy with the disclosure that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is receiving chemotherapy for a recurrence of cancer after four earlier bouts with the disease. A nomination less than four months before the Nov. 3 election would fly in the face of McConnell’s refusal in 2016 to consider a Supreme Court nominee by President Barack Obama nine months before that year’s presidential vote.


Oregon officials decry federal agents after protest clashes

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Militarized federal agents deployed by the president to Portland, Oregon, fired tear gas against protesters again overnight as the city’s mayor demanded that the agents be removed and as the state’s attorney general vowed to seek a restraining order against them. Federal agents, some wearing camouflage and some wearing dark Homeland Security uniforms, used tear gas at least twice to break up crowds late Friday night. Protests against systemic racism and police brutality have been a nightly feature in deeply liberal Portland since Minneapolis police killed George Floyd on May 25. President Donald Trump has decried the disorder, helping make the clashes between police and demonstrators a national focus.


Chicago police, protesters clash during bid to topple statue

CHICAGO (AP) — Protesters trying to topple a Christopher Columbus statue in downtown Chicago’s Grant Park clashed with police who responded violently with batons after they say officers were struck by fireworks and thrown cans. The clash Friday evening unfolded after at least 1,000 people tried to swarm the statue in a failed attempt to topple it following a rally in support of Black and Indigenous people. Police say 18 officers were injured and at least 12 people were arrested during the clash. Four protesters were also hurt during the confrontation. A group of elected officials issued a statement condemning the officers’ tactics .


‘Black Lives’ mural outside Trump Tower defaced for 3rd time

NEW YORK (AP) — A “Black Lives Matter” street mural in front of Manhattan’s Trump Tower has been defaced with paint for the third time in a week. Two women were arrested Saturday after police say they vandalized the Fifth Avenue mural with black paint. Bystander video showed police officers surrounding one of the women as she rubbed black paint on the yellow letters. Police say one of the officers slipped on the paint and tumbled to the ground, injuring his head and arm. He was listed in stable condition at Bellevue Hospital. A police department spokesperson said the women’s names and information on possible charges against them weren’t immediately available.

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