Saturday, June 19

Update on the latest news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. EDT


More US agents may go to Portland; mayors want limits

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The mayors of six U.S. cities are appealing to Congress make it illegal for the federal government to deploy militarized federal agents to cities that don’t want them. The Trump administration is considering sending more of them to Portland, Oregon. The mayors of Portland, Seattle, Chicago, Kansas City, Albuquerque, and Washington D.C. wrote to leaders of the U.S. House and Senate pushing for limits on federal agent deployments. Early Monday, U.S. agents repeatedly fired what appeared to be tear gas, flash bangs and pepper balls at protesters outside the federal courthouse in downtown in Portland.


Second night of protests in Richmond ends with 16 arrests

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Fires were set, windows were smashed and 16 people were arrested as demonstrations continued for a second night in Virginia’s capital city. Richmond police Chief Gerald Smith said at a news conference Monday that a flyer calling for demonstrations Sunday had carried the same tone of “intimidation” as flyers did for Saturday night’s protests. They had been billed by some as support for protesters in Portland, Oregon. That city has been experiencing ongoing tensions between protesters and U.S. agents at the federal courthouse. Richmond’s police chief said Sunday night’s damage included three fires as well as a smashed window at the police department for Virginia Commonwealth University.


The Latest: Pence visits Florida to discuss COVID-19 vaccine

Vice President Mike Pence visited Florida on Monday to hold a round table with University of Miami researchers to speak about the final-stage testing of the experimental COVID-19 vaccine. Pence says the government would not rush the process to approve a vaccine. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn says the timeline for the vaccine trials had been compressed, and the agency was conducting real-time review of the data. In Miami, 500 volunteers would be receiving a real shot and 500 others a dummy without being told which. Thousand other participants are receiving the shots in other sites around the country.


Report: 2,866 COVID claims, 48 deaths among federal workers

WASHINGTON (AP) — A report from the Labor Department’s inspector general says nearly 3,000 federal workers have filed compensation claims for contracting COVID-19 on the job. And that number is expected to double by early next month. Through mid-June, families of 48 federal workers also had filed death claims. The report only reflects the number of federal workers or their families who filed claims by June 16 — not the number who have contracted the coronavirus or died from it. Reports from individual agencies indicate the number of infections and deaths is much higher. The IG report is one of the first centralized assessments of the way the virus is affecting the federal workforce.


Wall Street returns to rallying; gold jumps to record high

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks resumed their upward march on Wall Street Monday, while the price of gold rushed to a record high at the start of a week packed with potentially market-moving events. The S&P 500 rose 0.7% following mixed, modest moves in overseas markets. This week’s headline event may be a two-day meeting for the Federal Reserve on interest rates that begins Tuesday. It’s also a heavy week for earnings reports, and Congress is debating more aid for the economy. Nervousness is still hanging over markets, which helped gold briefly shoot above $1,940 per ounce for the first time.


Pelosi, others hail John Lewis as ‘conscience’ of Congress

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congressional leaders are praising the late Rep. John Lewis as a moral force for the nation in a Capitol Rotunda ceremony rich with symbolism and punctuated by the booming, recorded voice of the late civil rights icon. In a solemn display of bipartisan unity Monday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called Lewis “the conscience of the Congress,” while Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell praised the longtime Georgia congressman as a model of courage. Lewis was born to sharecroppers during Jim Crow segregation, beaten by Alabama state troopers during the civil rights movement and awarded the Medal of Freedom by the nation’s first Black president in 2011.


Experimental COVID-19 vaccine is put to its biggest test

Volunteers rolled up their sleeves Monday to take part in the biggest test yet of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine. The first of some 30,000 volunteers were receiving shots created by the U.S. government as part of the all-out global race to stop the outbreak. It will be months before results trickle in. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump’s national security adviser tested positive for the virus. And there were setbacks in efforts to restart American baseball, with two major league games canceled because of a outbreak, and for Europe’s plans to restart tourism, with rising infection rates in Spain causing concern for that country’s neighbors.


80,000 people fleeing Vietnamese city after new virus cases

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — About 80,000 people, mostly local tourists, are being evacuated from the popular Vietnamese beach city of Da Nang after more than a dozen people there were confirmed to have COVID-19. Vietnam, widely seen as a success in dealing with the coronavirus, reimposed a social distancing order in Da Nang following the cases, the first known to be locally transmitted in the country in over three months. The new outbreak is sparking fear among tourists in the city, with many cutting their trips short. The government says the country’s four airlines have added extra flights and larger planes to transport the people out of the city.


Mnuchin, Meadows to meet Pelosi; GOP seeks jobless aid cut

WASHINGTON (AP) — The top White House negotiators are set to meet with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at the Capitol on the next coronavirus relief package. With deadlines looming, they’re racing to prevent unemployment assistance and an eviction moratorium from expiring for millions of Americans. Republicans want to slash the $600 weekly jobless benefits boost to $200. That’s according to Republicans speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss the emerging GOP plan. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows were set to meet with Pelosi and Democratic leader Chuck Schumer late Monday. She says “time is running out” because federal unemployment assistance and an eviction moratorium expire Friday.


Officer challenges account of violent clearing of protesters

A senior National Guard officer says the U.S. Park Police began the violent clearing of protesters from Lafayette Square last month without apparent provocation or adequate warning. Army National Guard commander Adam DeMarco’s account challenges key aspects of the Trump administration’s explanation for the clearing of the protest just before President Donald Trump walked through the area in front of the White House for a photo opportunity. DeMarco’s statement was in prepared testimony ahead of a hearing Tuesday by the House Natural Resources Committee. The Trump administration says attacks by protesters warranted the use of force. DeMarco says it appeared the protest was peaceful.

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