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Monday, Aug 03rd

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Trump cancels Republican convention activities in Jacksonville

Trump cancels Jacksonville conventionPresident Donald Trump announced Thursday that Republicans have scrapped plans to hold convention activities in Jacksonville, Florida.

The move is a striking turnaround for Trump, who moved the convention to Jacksonville after North Carolina's governor raised public health concerns about having massive gatherings in Charlotte, as the GOP had long planned.
Pared-back events in Charlotte will still be held, Trump said.
Trump said he informed his team that his focus was on protecting the American people, even though aides advised him they could make an in-person convention safe.

Chamber of Commerce, others sues Trump administration over restrictions on work visas

US Chamber of Commerce
Top business groups representing multiple industries filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the Trump administration over newly issued limits on work visas.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), National Retail Federation (NRF), TechNet and International Training and Exchange (Intrax) filed the complaint against acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“American innovation rests on having the best and brightest working here. Over the past century, the United States has benefited immensely from courageous individuals who have left their homes, accepting an invitation to travel to America for temporary work,” reads the lawsuit filed in federal court in California.

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Ghislaine Maxwell case: ‘extremely personal’ documents to be unsealed

Ghisslaine Maxwell personal documents

An extensive collection of “extremely personal” documents in civil litigation against British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell can be unsealed, a Manhattan federal court judge ruled on Thursday.

The documents relate to Maxwell’s deposition in this litigation, as well as her early 2015 correspondence with her longterm associate, the disgraced financier Jeffrey Epstein.

Maxwell was arrested earlier this month and charged over her alleged involvement with Epstein’s sex trafficking of minors. Maxwell pleaded not guilty on 14 July, and remains in jail while awaiting trial.

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Ocasio-Cortez Rips Rep. Ted Yoho to Shreds on House Floor for ‘F*cking Bitch’ Comment

AOC rips Rep. Ted Yoho on House floor
The words “fucking bitch” are not often—if ever—heard on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. But Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said them loud and clear on Thursday when tearing into Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) for accosting her on the Capitol steps this week.
In a verbal assault overheard by a reporter, Yoho called Ocasio-Cortez “disgusting” for linking rising poverty and unemployment in New York with a crime spike. As he walked off, he said, “Fucking bitch.” Yoho later offered a half-hearted apology, suggesting he didn’t direct the derogatory term at Ocasio-Cortez and would not apologize for his “passion.”

Judge Orders Former Trump Lawyer Michael Cohen Released From Prison

Cohen ordered back to jail

A federal judge has ordered that President Trump's former personal attorney and fixer, Michael Cohen, be released from prison to home confinement. He found that his recent return to prison was retaliation for plans to publish a tell-all book.

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein sided with a lawsuit from Cohen's lawyers saying that conditions of Cohen's home confinement — that he not speak to the media or publish a book — violated his first amendment rights.

Cohen was initially released to home confinement in May over concerns related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

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New unemployment claims rose last week to 1.4M, ending months of declines

New unemployment claims at 4.1 million

Unemployment claims rose to 1.4 million last week, up about 100,000 from the week before, the Labor Department reported, ending 15 weeks of consecutive declines in new applications.

An additional 975,000 people applied for aid under the temporary federal pandemic unemployment assistance program, created to provide jobless aid to workers ineligible for traditional unemployment benefits, such as gig workers.

The increase in the number of workers seeking new aid comes as several states like California, Texas and Florida have closed some businesses down again, and coronavirus cases have shot up across the United States.

More than 30 million Americans are currently on unemployment and several states have delayed reopening plans in recent weeks -- shrinking the already small pool of available work.

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Ann Taylor and Loft parent files for Chapter 11; Justice stores closing

Ann Taylor parent company closing 1600 storesThe parent company of Ann Taylor and Loft, Ascena Retail Group, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday and said it would close some 1,600 stores.

According to CNBC, "Ascena was once the biggest clothing retailer for women in the country, having amassed a portfolio of well-known brands for various sizes and age groups."

Ascena also is in the process of shutting down Catherines and is shutting down 600 of its Justice stores.

Justice stores in Tupelo, Biloxi, Hattiesburg, Meridian, Ridgeland and Southaven will be closed.

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Rookie middlemen muddle the government’s effort to buy coronavirus supplies

COVID supplies disrupted by rookie middlemenMiddlemen seeking to profit from the coronavirus pandemic have sprung up overnight to score billions of dollars in federal COVID-19 contracts, their stake as small as a mailbox rental or virtual office subscription.

Some never touch the product: They simply buy it from a manufacturer and resell it directly to the government – at an often steep markup.

Global demand for personal protective equipment has attracted hundreds of companies from construction, financing and technology that have shifted the focus of their business to supplying health care products, many of them without any experience. One in 10 federal COVID-19 vendors are government contracting newcomers.

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Portland mayor tear-gassed by federal officers, warns 'somebody's going to die' during chaotic protests

Portland Mayor Ted Weeler tear gassedMayor Ted Wheeler was tear-gassed by federal officers along with a large crowd of protesters late Wednesday night after he tried for hours to calm down angry activists demanding police reform from City Hall and calling for federal authorities to withdraw from this mostly liberal, mostly white city.

The mayor was caught in a chaotic display of violence and mayhem that began around 11:15 p.m., after some protesters threw flaming bags of garbage over a fence protecting the local federal courthouse, prompting the federal officers to fire tear gas at the crowd.

Wheeler had spent many hours in the thick of the protest, attempting to answer questions from the crowd, which booed and jeered as he tried to explain a lengthy process for making reforms. At one point, he acknowledged that he's a "white, privileged male."

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