Tribune News Service

News Budget for Tuesday, June 30, 2020


Updated at 6 p.m. EDT (2200 UTC).




Additional news stories appear on the MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.

This budget is now available at TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.


^Trump's deference to Putin back under harsh scrutiny over Russian bounty reports<

USRUSSIA-BOUNTY:LA — President Donald Trump's deference to Vladimir Putin is back under the microscope amid accusations that he ignored intelligence that Russia offered to pay Taliban militants to kill U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

Democrats returning from a classified briefing at the White House on Tuesday pledged to get to the bottom of the matter and questioned whether the president was aware of the intelligence and why he hasn't retaliated against Moscow.

1250 by Chris Megerian and Brian Contreras in Washington. MOVED


^Europe extends block on US travelers over coronavirus concerns<

^CORONAVIRUS-USEUROPE-TRAVEL:BLO—<European Union governments extended a travel ban for U.S. residents, deeming the American response to the coronavirus pandemic insufficient to allow its citizens to enter the bloc for non-essential reasons.

The decree, which will be reassessed every two weeks, signals that the ban disrupting both business and leisure travel across the Atlantic won't be lifted until U.S. authorities control the spread of the deadly virus. In the same decision, the EU will lift travel restrictions for Chinese residents as of July 1, on the condition that Beijing confirms that the same applies to EU citizens.

250 by Viktoria Dendrinou, Ewa Krukowska and Nikos Chrysoloras. MOVED


^As virus surge grips red states, Biden steps up attack on Trump<

CAMPAIGN-BIDEN-CORONAVIRUS:LA — As a resurgent coronavirus rips through America, tearing especially into states that voted for Donald Trump in 2016, Joe Biden is moving to further weaken the president's hold by stepping up attacks on his handling of the crisis.

Unlike the initial wave of illness and death from the pandemic, the current surge of cases is hitting particularly hard in several major red states, leaving Trump unable to cast the public health crisis as the fault of mismanagement by Democratic governors or to depict it to his followers as a problem confined to coastal cities.

500 by Evan Halper in Washington. MOVED


^Carl Reiner, iconic comedian and creator of 'The Dick Van Dyke Show,' dead at 98<

^REINER-OBIT:NY—<Carl Reiner's first book was called "Enter Laughing," and it truly was the story of his life.

The Bronx native, a comedy titan as a writer, producer, actor and director for decades, best known for creating "The Dick Van Dyke Show," died Monday at 98, Variety reported.

He was with his family when he died at his home in Beverly Hills, California. Reiner died of natural causes, his assistant, Judy Nagy, told Variety.

700 by Joe Erwin and Peter Sblendorio. (Moved as an entertainment story.)



Also moving as:

REINER-OBIT:LA — 550 by Steve Chawkins and Dennis McLellan. (Moved as an entertainment story.)



^Protests don't appear to be driving coronavirus surge, researchers say<

CORONAVIRUS-PROTESTS:SE — Spring brought a wave of cancellations that shut down professional baseball, basketball, concerts, movie theaters, youth sports, school plays, camping in state parks and all sorts of other events to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Then, on May 25, came the brutal death of George Floyd as a Minneapolis police officer held a knee to his neck, an act of violence that set off large protests.

More than one month after Floyd's death, the number of COVID-19 cases is rising in some parts of Washington state, including the Seattle area, and the national tally of new cases last week reached all-time highs.

But some researchers say that the protests do not appear to be significantly driving this surge.

1450 (with trims) by Hal Bernton in Seattle. MOVED


^California obliterates daily coronavirus record with more than 8,000 cases<

CORONAVIRUS-CALIF:LA — Three months after Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an unprecedented statewide stay-at-home order designed to stem the spread of the coronavirus, California recorded its highest single-day count of COVID-19 cases.

Monday's tally of more than 8,000 infections broke the state's daily record for the third time in eight days.

On Tuesday, the state was faced with a new grim milestone: passing the threshold of 6,000 coronavirus-related deaths.

550 by Colleen Shalby in Los Angeles. MOVED


^'We're surging again.' Doctors, nurses angry as coronavirus strains California hospitals<

CORONAVIRUS-CALIF-SURGE-MEDICALWORKERS:LA — For a brief moment, California returned to bars, beaches and Botox. But after a few days, much of the state is reversing course as hospitals see an alarming spike in people sick with COVID-19, raising the specter of an overwhelmed medical system.

"It's scary," said Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease expert at UC San Francisco. "We still haven't recovered from the first phase, and now we have to get ready for the next one."

While Chin-Hong and other medical experts said California currently has the capacity it needs to treat patients, the future is uncertain.

1350 (with trims) by Anita Chabria, Emily Baumgaertner, Stephanie Lai and Taryn Luna in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Coronavirus outbreak spreads in California's San Quentin prison<

CORONAVIRUS-CALIF-PRISON:LA — With about a third of San Quentin's inmates now infected with the coronavirus after a transfer of prisoners from a Southern California correctional facility overrun by the illness, Marin County officials revealed Monday that a death row inmate found dead last week in his cell tested positive for COVID-19.

Richard Stitely's death was the first in California's oldest and most notorious prison, where 1,059 inmates and 102 correctional and medical staff have tested positive for the virus.

650 by Richard Winton and Taryn Luna in Los Angeles. MOVED


^July 4 will be a do-or-die moment for California as coronavirus rages<

CORONAVIRUS-CALIF-JULY4-EXPLAINER:LA — With coronavirus cases surging in California, the upcoming July 4 weekend is shaping up to be a crucial test for whether residents can reduce risky behavior and slow the outbreak.

Data show the current jump in cases appears to have begun around the Memorial Day weekend, just as the state was allowing businesses to reopen. Authorities believe many people resumed social gatherings after months of staying home, and that helped spread the virus. Memorial Day holiday events were followed by graduation and Father's Day celebrations.

1050 by Rong-Gong Lin II, Colleen Shalby and Alejandra Reyes-Velarde in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Gov. Greg Abbott halts elective surgeries in 4 more counties as Texas' coronavirus cases spike<

CORONAVIRUS-TEXAS:DA — Gov. Greg Abbott, responding promptly after a key coronavirus metric he's been watching hit "red flag" territory, again has moved to conserve hospital beds by halting elective surgeries.

On Tuesday, he suspended all medical procedures performed in hospitals that are "not immediately, medically necessary" in four South Texas counties — Cameron, Hidalgo, Nueces and Webb. The action came five days after Abbott did that in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis counties.

1450 (with trims) by Robert T. Garrett in Austin, Texas. MOVED


^More than 6,000 new coronavirus cases in Florida as the death toll hits 3,500<

CORONAVIRUS-FLA:MI — Florida's Department of Health on Tuesday confirmed 6,093 additional cases of COVID-19. The state now has 152,434 confirmed cases.

There were also 58 new deaths announced, raising the statewide death toll to 3,505.

650 by Michelle Marchante in Miami. MOVED


^16 states meet threshold for New York quarantine order, Cuomo says<

CORONAVIRUS-NY-QUARANTINE:NY — Gov. Andrew Cuomo doubled the number of states included in a travel advisory mandating visitors coming from areas hit hard by coronavirus must quarantine for two weeks.

Eight additional states reporting rising infection rates meet the threshold set by the governor last week.

250 by Denis Slattery in Albany, N.Y. MOVED


^FBI warns consumers about fraudulent COVID-19 antibody tests<

^CORONAVIRUS-FBI-FRAUD:NY—<The FBI is cautioning consumers about fraudulent COVID-19 antibody tests.

Scammers are marketing the fake or unapproved tests to capitalize on public fears, make a quick buck or even just collect sensitive personal data such as Social Security numbers and Medicare information, the FBI said in the new warning.

150 by Nancy Dillon. MOVED



^Supreme Court rules religious schools should get state grants given to other private schools<

SCOTUS-RELIGIOUS-SCHOOLS:LA — The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that states may not exclude religious schools from tuition grants that support other private schools.

The justices, by a 5-4 vote, decided that denying grants to students in church schools amounts to unconstitutional discrimination against religion.

The decision is a victory for advocates of school choice, and a setback for those favoring strict interpretation of the principle of church and state separation.

300 by David G. Savage in Washington. MOVED


^87% of Americans unhappy with the state of the country, survey finds<

USDIRECTION-SURVEY:BLO — Almost 90% of Americans say they are dissatisfied with the state of the country, and their unhappiness is affecting their political decisions four months before the presidential election, a new study from Pew Research Center shows.

Only 17% of Americans of any party say they are "proud" of the U.S. while 71% say they feel angry and 66% fearful. Just 12% of Americans say they are satisfied with the direction of the country, less than half of the 31% who said the same in a study in April; 87% now say they are dissatisfied.

550 by Emma Kinery in Washington. MOVED


^Russian support for US extremists a 'significant risk,' Senate report says<

EXTREMISTS-RUSSIA:CON — Amid bipartisan concerns that Russia's spy agency may have paid Afghan insurgents to kill U.S. troops, a new Senate report says Russian support for extremist groups in America and Europe is a major new threat.

The Senate Armed Services Committee's fiscal 2021 defense authorization bill would require the Pentagon to report to Congress on the extent of Russian support for "racially and ethnically motivated violent extremist groups and networks in Europe and the United States" — and what can be done to counter it.

500 by John M. Donnelly in Washington. MOVED


^Pandemic, inequality helped shape Democrats' climate plan<

CONGRESS-CLIMATECHANGE:CON — The climate plan Democrats released Tuesday, the product of the House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, is a complicated tome: 547 pages compiled after 17 official hearings, a year and a half of work and hundreds of meetings.

"That's a lot of pages," said Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif. "And the reason is the climate crisis touches every part of our lives."

600 by Benjamin J. Hulac in Washington. MOVED


^In transportation bill, a call for finer dining on Amtrak<

AMTRAK-DINING-BILL:CON — When the head of Amtrak faced the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in November, Rep. Steve Cohen unloaded his frustration with the railway — specifically, the food service.

Remembering a trip from Memphis to Chicago as a child when he sampled "outstanding French toast" and the "thickest, finest filet mignon," Cohen lamented Amtrak's decision in September to replace that with what it calls "flexible dining" — a service of pre-packaged, reheatable meals.

1100 (with trims) by Jessica Wehrman in Washington. MOVED



^Amy McGrath will face Mitch McConnell after winning Kentucky's Democratic primary <

KY-PRIMARY:LX — Former Marine Corps pilot Amy McGrath held off a surging state Rep. Charles Booker Tuesday to win the Democratic Primary for U.S. Senate in Kentucky a week after ballots were cast, setting up a big-money showdown with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell in November.

Booker won Kentucky's three largest cities — Louisville, Lexington and Bowling Green — but the more liberal voters in those cities weren't enough. McGrath surrounded Booker, winning victories throughout rural parts of the state.

650 by Daniel Desrochers in Lexington, Ky. MOVED


^Kamala Harris' police reform push becomes running mate tryout<

CAMPAIGN-HARRIS-VEEP:BLO — Kamala Harris' push for police reform in the Senate is shaping up as an audition for the job of Joe Biden's vice president, as she makes herself a highly public voice for change after years as a no-nonsense prosecutor.

By promoting a bill to ban police chokeholds and make other changes — and by publicly clashing with a senior Senate Republican over the legislation — Harris has put herself front and center in the debate over congressional efforts to change police behavior.

The reform debate burnishes the former San Francisco district attorney and California attorney general as a social-justice activist. It also protects the Biden campaign from potential criticism of her efforts while in those jobs to slow innocence bids and punish parents whose children were truants, among other contentious actions.

1100 (with trims) by Jeffrey Taylor in Washington. MOVED


^Hillary Clinton talks Trump, protests and that time Chelsea brought her and Bill together<

^VID-HILLARY-CLINTON:LA—<"Hillary," Hulu's four-part documentary about Hillary Clinton, came out of 2,000 hours of footage shot during her 2016 presidential campaign, 35 hours of fresh interviews with the subject herself and a bevy of archival material that filmmaker Nanette Burstein found while researching the project.

When Burstein had a version of the movie that was close to locked, she sent it to Clinton at her home in Chappaqua, N.Y., where she watched it in a single sitting. As you might expect, taking it all in, Clinton says, chuckling, was an "overwhelming experience."

"It's daunting to watch your life unfold on the screen," Clinton says. She's on the phone, along with Burstein, in early June, as America continues to reel from the coronavirus pandemic and nationwide protests following the police killing of George Floyd.

1450 by Glenn Whipp. (Moved as an entertainment story.)



^George Floyd family attorney Ben Crump preparing federal civil rights lawsuit<

MINN-POLICE-DEATH-ATTORNEY:MS — Ben Crump, the Florida attorney representing George Floyd's survivors, calls himself the "African American family emergency plan."

"Because when you think about it, who are you going to call when the police kill your family?" Crump said by phone last week from a hotel room in Milwaukee, where he had just arrived to demand body camera footage from another deadly police encounter. "You're not going to call the police."

900 by Stephen Montemayor. MOVED


^5 (more) times California fought Trump on immigration — and what happened<

TRUMP-CALIF-IMMIGRATION:SA — California had two big victories this month with the Supreme Court ruling in favor of the state's sanctuary laws and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrival protections for immigrants brought to the U.S. illegally as children.

From the 2020 Census citizenship question controversy to the Mexico border wall funding, here are five (more) times the state has challenged the Trump administration on immigration since 2016 and where the litigation stands now.

750 by Kim Boj rquez in Sacramento, Calif. MOVED


^'Unprecedented': With 95 homicides, Kansas City on pace for its deadliest year ever<

KANSASCITY-VIOLENCE:KC — Hours before dawn on Monday, someone fired a gun into an apartment building, adding one more to the hundreds of shootings recorded in Kansas City each year.

In this case, the victim was killed as he slept He was the 95th homicide victim of the year in Kansas City, where an onslaught of shootings in the first six months of 2020 has put the city on pace for its deadliest year ever, according to data kept by The Star, which includes law enforcement shootings.

1700 (with trims) by Luke Nozicka, Robert A. Cronkleton, And Glenn E. Rice in Kansas City, Mo. MOVED


^The coronavirus pandemic and surveillance plane have not stemmed Baltimore's torrid rate of homicides this year<

BALTIMORE-VIOLENCE:BZ — Not continuing calls by residents to end the violence, not the launch of a police surveillance plane, not even the coronavirus pandemic have slowed Baltimore's relentless pace of homicides. Approaching the year's halfway point, more people have been killed in the city than during 2019, which had the highest homicide rate on record.

1400 (with trims) by Jessica Anderson in Baltimore. MOVED


^Sex videos bring appeals fight in Robert Kraft's prostitution case<

FLA-DAYSPA-ARRESTS:FL — Lawyers clashed Tuesday over whether police went too far when they recorded activities at a Palm Beach County massage parlor in a sting that ensnared New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft last year.

Arguing in front of a three-judge panel of the Fourth District Court of Appeal, prosecutors defended the legal process that left police and prosecutors with hours of video footage, some allegedly showing Kraft and two dozen other men paying for and receiving sexual favors at the Orchids of Asia Day Spa in Jupiter in January 2019.

400 by Rafael Olmeda in Palm Beach, Fla. MOVED


^Unidentified remains found in same area as body of Fort Hood soldier<

FORTHOOD-MISSINGSOLDIER:AU — Investigators are working to determine whether unidentified remains discovered near a field in Killeen, where a Fort Hood soldier was found dead earlier this month, are human.

Participants in a vigil for Pvt. Gregory Morales on Saturday found the remains in the same area where his body was spotted, according to Killeen police on Tuesday.

300 by Heather Osbourne in Austin, Texas. MOVED


^School board member resigns after posts mocking NASCAR's Bubba Wallace<

NC-SCHOOLBOARD-WALLACE:CH — Union County, N.C., Board of Education member Travis Kiker resigned Monday, after posting what the chairperson of the board chair called "insensitive" and "inappropriate" images on his personal Facebook page.

500 by Caroline Petrow-Cohen in Charlotte, N.C. MOVED


^72-year-old repeatedly gored by bison in Yellowstone National Park while trying to snap photo<

^YELLOWSTONE-GORING:NY—<A 72-year-old California woman intent on getting the perfect photo inside Yellowstone National Park was gored by a bison after she repeatedly approached the giant animal, officials said.

The unidentified woman "sustained multiple goring wounds" and was treated by Yellowstone rangers before being flown to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for further care.

300 by Jessica Schladebeck. MOVED



^Pompeo gives UN dire warning over Iran arms embargo's expiration<

^USIRAN:BLO—<U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo urged the United Nations Security Council to work together to extend an expiring arms embargo on Iran, warning Tehran would quickly become a greater threat to the region if allowed to do so.

"This Chamber has a choice: Stand for international peace and security, as the United Nations' founders intended, or let the arms embargo on the Islamic Republic of Iran expire, betraying the U.N.'s mission and its finest ideals — which we have all pledged to uphold," Pompeo told the Security Council on Tuesday.

300 by David Wainer. MOVED


^Teen volunteer to WikiLeaks' Assange dug dirt and wooed Justin Bieber, Paul McCartney<

^ASSANGE-VOLUNTEER:BLO—<Julian Assange was drawing up an enemies list. It was November 2010, and WikiLeaks, the controversial organization and website that Assange founded, had in the previous months exploded onto the global stage after publishing thousands of classified U.S. government documents about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Assange turned to a teenager for help. He provided the volunteer with names of prominent journalists, researchers and former WikiLeaks associates who had turned against the organization and asked him to compile information about them.

The volunteer was Sigurdur Thordarson, a then 17-year-old Icelandic citizen, whose conversations with Assange are revealed in previously undisclosed online chat transcripts seen by Bloomberg. Thordarson began volunteering with WikiLeaks earlier in 2010, and later became close to Assange. But the Icelandic teenager later grew disenchanted with WikiLeaks — and became an informant for the FBI, according to four people familiar with the matter, documents and emails reviewed by Bloomberg.

1650 by Ryan Gallagher. MOVED




NEWSBRIEFS:MCT — Nation and world news briefs.

Moving later


^'Something is not right.' George Floyd protests push white Americans to think about their privilege<

WHITE-AMERICANS-PRIVILEGE:LA — Mike Sexton is white and a Republican who lives in an affluent suburb of Fort Worth, where many neighbors back President Donald Trump and some work in law enforcement. Rage wells up in his voice as he says that George Floyd, a Black man, was "basically lynched."

Shawn Ashmore is an independent who lives nearby in east Dallas. He's using Floyd's killing to teach his young sons uncomfortable lessons about the privileges their family enjoys because they're white — how, for instance, they'll never fear for their lives during an encounter with the police the way some Black men do.

Floyd's killing in Minneapolis has led white Americans to call out racism against Black Americans more vigorously than at any moment in recent memory. And it's prompting many white people to think more deeply about the color of their own skin.

1850 by Tyrone Beason in Gualala, Calif. MOVED


^As Biden expands polling lead, Democrats still can't shake this November nightmare<

CAMPAIGN-DEMOCRATS-VOTING:WA — Long lines. Electronic tablets failing. Last-minute legal haggling. Delayed results because of a surge in absentee balloting. And a president casting doubt over the whole "rigged" process.

As Joe Biden expands his national and state polling lead over Donald Trump, Democrats can't shake this nightmare November scenario: That even a Biden advantage heading into Election Day could be nullified by chaos at the polls, layered by added confusion around the fast-changing voting laws that officials are adjusting for an ongoing pandemic.

Even before voter accessibility was seen as arguably the most significant potential hurdle to a successful election year for Democrats, party officials had been taking steps to avoid — or at least reduce — chances for such an abominable ordeal, with early staffing and new technology to pinpoint and remedy problems.

1050 by David Catanese in Washington. MOVED




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