(TNS)

Tribune News Service

News Budget for Saturday, August 1, 2020

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Updated at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 UTC).

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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.

^TOP STORIES<

^Hurricane Isaias makes landfall in Bahamas as gusts reach South Florida<

WEA-ISAIAS:FL — The threat to South Florida from Hurricane Isaias diminished late Saturday morning as the storm weakened and the forecast track shifted farther out to sea.

Although a hurricane watch remains in effect for coastal Broward County, forecasters say the county faces a reduced chance of hurricane-force winds. At greatest risk in South Florida is coastal Palm Beach County, from West Palm Beach north, according to the National Weather Service.

1550 by David Fleshler and Marc Freeman in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. MOVED

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^CORONAVIRUS<

^California smashes daily record for coronavirus deaths for the fifth time in a month<

^CORONAVIRUS-CALIF:LA—<California recorded 214 coronavirus-related deaths on Friday, a record-setting daily total that capped a month of rising fatalities amid a surge of new COVID-19 cases.

It marked the fifth time in July that California broke its single-day record for deaths, and the third time this week. The previous record of 176 was just set on Wednesday.

450 by Alex Wigglesworth, Sean Greene and Rong-Gong Lin II. MOVED

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^Fears grow that releasing thousands of California prisoners will spread COVID-19 into communities<

CORONAVIRUS-CALIF-INMATES-FEARS:LA — Missteps by corrections officials handling releases from state prisons are fueling fears in some California counties that thousands of inmates eligible for early release will spread the coronavirus in their communities.

Across the state, county probation officials and others on the front lines of the release of as many as 8,000 inmates by the end of August have complained that prisoners were recently freed with little notice to local authorities and without appropriate transportation or quarantine housing — and in some cases, no clear indication they were virus-free.

County officials also have expressed alarm about potentially infected inmates who were released and allowed to ride on public transportation and mingle with the public.

1700 (with trims) by Anita Chabria, Richard Winton and Kim Christensen in Los Angeles. MOVED

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^Florida surpasses 7,000 COVID-19 deaths<

^CORONAVIRUS-FLA:FL—<Florida's coronavirus report on Saturday included 179 more resident deaths and 9,642 new COVID-19 cases, as the state kept away from the record-setting numbers of the past few days.

Health officials the previous day reported 257 deaths from disease complications, the most during the pandemic. These are fatalities that happened in recent weeks, but took time to confirm for the COVID-19 tally.

1000 by Marc Freeman. MOVED

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^Several COVID-19 vaccines limit viral growth in monkeys, reports show<

^CORONAVIRUS-VACCINE-MONKEYS:SD—<There's been a lot of monkey business in the world of COVID-19 vaccine research this week — literally.

Scientists from San Diego to Boston to Oxford, England, have released results from studies in which monkeys given experimental COVID-19 vaccines were then deliberately infected with the novel coronavirus. And while the specific vaccine formulations differed, all induced immune responses that stalled the growth of the virus.

600 by Jonathan Wosen. MOVED

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^WASHINGTON<

^Could Obama's call to end Senate filibuster shift the tide?<

CONGRESS-FILIBUSTER:CON — Former President Barack Obama's endorsement this week of ending the legislative filibuster energized progressive senators and groups who have championed the issue and converted one previous skeptic, Sen. Bernie Sanders. But will it provide enough momentum to topple a longtime Senate rule that many view as a pivotal check against partisan politics?

The answer to that question wasn't immediately clear in the hours after Obama's remarks at Rep. John Lewis's funeral in Atlanta, where he said doing away with the 60-vote threshold for legislation may be necessary if Congress is ever going to finish Lewis' work on voting rights.

1450 by Lindsey McPherson and Clyde McGrady in Washington. MOVED

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^POLITICS<

^Democrats ply Biden with alternatives to Harris for running mate<

^CAMPAIGN-BIDEN-RUNNINGMATE:BLO—<Democrats around Joe Biden are angling to provide alternatives to Kamala Harris as his running mate, long seen as the front-runner for the post, as his vice presidential selection process enters its final stage.

Although Biden said Tuesday that he would announce his pick the week of Aug. 3, people familiar with the process said they are planning for a rollout the week of Aug. 10, giving the new Democratic ticket only a few days to campaign together before the party's convention, which begins Aug. 17. Biden allies have let it be known that California Rep. Karen Bass, chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, is being seriously considered, and Bass is doing her own campaigning.

1100 by Jennifer Epstein and Tyler Pager. MOVED

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^UNITED STATES <

^China's ByteDance prepared to divest 100% of TikTok in US<

^TIKTOK-TRUMP:BLO—<China's ByteDance Ltd. is prepared to sell 100% of TikTok's U.S. operations as a way to head off a proposed ban on the music-video site by President Donald Trump, said two people with knowledge of the situation.

Details of the proposed transaction weren't immediately known after the parties worked through the night to find an acceptable resolution. The White House had no immediate comment.

350 by Shelly Banjo and Saleha Mohsin. (Moved as a business story.) MOVED

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^THE WORLD<

^Putin challenged by rising in the East that Kremlin won't quell<

^RUSSIA-PROTESTS:BLO—<Just a month after sealing a referendum victory that allows him to remain as Russia's president until 2036, Vladimir Putin is suddenly facing the biggest protests against the government in years. So far, the Kremlin's allowing them to happen.

Residents of the Far East city of Khabarovsk have taken to the streets in daily rallies sparked by the arrest of their popular local governor, Sergey Furgal, with numbers swelling into tens of thousands at weekends. They plan to march again on Saturday amid signs their anger is evolving into broader demands for Putin to step down.

850 by Evgenia Pismennaya and Henry Meyer. MOVED

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^SCIENCE, MEDICINE, ENVIRONMENT<

^SpaceX readies return of NASA astronauts as hurricane looms<

^SPACEX:BLO—<SpaceX and NASA are preparing the return flight of two astronauts from the International Space Station while keeping an eye on Hurricane Isaias as it threatens Florida's Atlantic coast.

Astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are scheduled to undock SpaceX's Dragon capsule from the space station at 7:34 p.m. ET on Saturday if weather forecasts on Earth cooperate.

550 by Justin Bachman. MOVED

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^The seaweed monster is back devouring South Florida beaches. It's not a pretty sight<

^ENV-FLA-BEACHES-SEAWEED:MI—< Like most tourists coming to a South Florida beach for a quarantine break, the Mlynek family had a picture-perfect scene in mind when they arrived from Oklahoma this week: turquoise waters glistening in the sun, gently swaying palm trees and shining stretches of white sand.

What they found in Hollywood instead were smelly, messy mounds of seaweed coating the coastline.

1000 (with trims) by Adriana Brasileiro in Miami. MOVED

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^WEEKEND STORIES<

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These stories moved earlier in the week and remain suitable for publication.

^After missing DACA, she resented her US-born siblings. Trump ruined her second chance<

IMMIGRATION-DACA-MISSED:LA — Beatriz Basurto's father is quick to point out that she — the 19-year-old middle child — is the most responsible of his six children.

She's the one with a well-paying job as a Mixtec interpreter for farmworkers in Oxnard while attending college full time. She's the one who picks up the tab when they go out for lunch and shoves $20 into his pocket because she figures he could use it more than she can.

But she's also the one with perhaps the most uncertain future and greatest disadvantage of all the siblings.

Three years ago, Basurto missed her chance to apply for immigration relief under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, better known as DACA. The Obama-era program allows immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children and are currently without legal status the opportunity to live and work legally in the U.S.

Basurto's youngest brother and sister are U.S.-born citizens. Her older brother and sister, born in Mexico, like her, managed to obtain DACA before Trump began to unwind the program in 2017. Basurto, then 16, was about to apply — and suddenly, DACA was done.

1900 by Cindy Carcamo and Molly O'Toole in Los Angeles. MOVED

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^Beset by pandemic, Trump plots new way to reach voters — through landline telephones<

CAMPAIGN-TRUMP-TELERALLIES:WA — Unable to hold the in-person rallies that were expected to be a signature of his campaign, President Donald Trump is working the phones and holding "tele-rallies" with swing state supporters as his new campaign manager Bill Stepien experiments with pandemic programming.

The campaign has targeted households with landline telephones in southern Wisconsin, Arizona, Michigan, central North Carolina and Iowa so far. Those contacted typically receive a phone call at home, telling them the president is about to have a tele-rally and inviting them to stay on the line to hear from him.

Trump's campaign says the calls, which are not publicized beforehand, have reached "tens of thousands" of homes in battleground communities and more than a million people have streamed sessions of Trump delivering remarks on Facebook's video platform.

2000 by Francesca Chambers in Washington. MOVED

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^Republicans and Democrats battle over who has better voter-data effort<

CAMPAIGN-VOTERS-DATA:CON — By the time this November's presidential race is over, President Donald Trump and his rival — former Vice President Joe Biden — could raise as much as $2 billion as they plug away online and through limited physical rallies to reach citizens and get them to vote either in person or by mail.

Behind each candidate's advertising, social media messaging, and turn-out-the-vote effort is a data operation that meticulously tracks not only past patterns of voters, but a vast array of demographic, consumer and behavioral data about them. Plus, the data operation figures out the best of multiple ways to reach the voters and predicts who's likely to vote or be swayed on specific topics and policies.

1100 by Gopal Ratnam in Washington. MOVED

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^Will coronavirus dim the Friday Night Lights of Texas high school football?<

CORONAVIRUS-TEXAS-FOOTBALL:LA — In this town of 4,600, home to the Bearcats and a well of pride that has withered lesser teams, Tim Buchanan, aka Coach Buc, watched his players arrive at the stadium before first light. It is like this every year: cleats hitting turf, shouted drills and the promise of another state title in December.

Aledo has come to expect this. The Bearcats have won a record nine championships, most recently last year. They are the town's joy and occasional agony, the reason business slows Fridays as residents — even those without a child on the team — swagger into the 9,000-seat stadium. But as players took the field this week, they heard an unlikely command from Coach Buc:

"Cover that nose up!"

Those words didn't sound natural echoing out over the artificial turf, but this pandemic season of face masks, social distancing and temperature checks is changing — perhaps even endangering — the hallowed rhythms of Texas football.

1550 by Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Aledo, Texas. MOVED

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^SPECIAL REPORT: HARASSMENT IN THE COAST GUARD<

^Silenced No More: She was a pioneering Coast Guard rescue swimmer. A tsunami of sexual harassment followed<

COASTGUARD-HARASSMENT:MI — Sara Faulkner had the "it" factor as the first woman to graduate from the Coast Guard's helicopter rescue swimmer school in North Carolina and join its elite group of swimmers. The South Florida woman's against-the-odds story met a bitter end, she says, after sexual harassment saddled her with PTSD and forced the 20-year service member into retirement.

Two women had trained at the Navy's rescue swimmer program, but Faulkner was the first to pass the testing program. Once sent to do the job she loved, rescuing people from helicopter drops, Faulkner said she endured groping, licking, butt smacking, leering and crude sexual innuendos meant to humiliate her in front of colleagues.

Amid the #MeToo movement, Faulkner's story, one she's just starting to fully tell, follows a survey published last July showing that almost half of female cadets at the Coast Guard Academy reported sexual harassment.

2800 by Kevin G. Hall in Jupiter, Fla. MOVED

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^Silenced No More: Mechanic dreamed of joining the Coast Guard. Then his wife was groped by his superior<

COASTGUARD-MECHANIC:MI — Sean Persinger dreamed of being a crewman on the daring rescues performed by the H-60 Jayhawk helicopter units, lowering baskets in rough weather to haul up distressed mariners from raging seas.

His U.S. Coast Guard career as an Aviation Maintenance Technician at Air Station Kodiak, responsible for everything non-electrical on helicopters and aircraft, hit a series of setbacks after a barroom incident in 2007 involving inappropriate sexual behavior by an officer. The issue still haunts his family more than a decade later as he retired June 1, earlier than planned.

For reasons that are in dispute, the officer was not investigated for sexual impropriety, and the Persingers insist they weren't even the ones who reported the original incident. Yet they say they suffered sustained retaliation, their complaint present from the outset in government records they later obtained.

3050 (with trims) by Kevin G. Hall in Elizabeth City, N.C. MOVED

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^Silenced No More: An elite swimmer's wife said she was fondled at a Coast Guard party. He paid the price<

COASTGUARD-SWIMMER:MI — As an elite Coast Guard rescue swimmer, Claude Morrissey racked up the honors, his exploits prominently on display in the Weather Channel's television series "Coast Guard Alaska."

The mountain-sized Morrissey was even named GEICO'S U.S. Military Person of the Year in 2013, honored in the nation's capital.

But after 18 years of service and 14 medals, Morrissey's career came crashing down after his wife, Elizabeth, reported that she was sexually assaulted in May 2016 by one of his superiors.

The Morrisseys maintain that retaliation followed, including being forcibly separated from his wife and kids for more than a month. A decorated rescue swimmer without a history of problems, Morrissey eventually went through a summary court-martial — a lower-level form of the military legal proceeding — for talking back to one of his superiors and kicking a desk.

Those who knew him say the seemingly minor infractions committed by a popular rescue swimmer were symptoms of the larger issue going on. He was furious over the inaction about inappropriate sexual advances on his wife and the threat of violence from a co-worker.

2800 by Kevin G. Hall in Elizabeth City, N.C. MOVED

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