1. Two Police Shot as Louisville Decision Sparks Anger
Demonstrations erupted across the U.S. after a Kentucky grand jury’s decision to not charge the officers who killed Breonna Taylor in March. Two Louisville officers were shot responding to a shooting at a protest and hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries. State Attorney General Daniel Cameron called Taylor’s death “a tragedy,” but said the officers who fired the fatal shots were justified because Taylor’s boyfriend fired at them first. A Republican who supports President Donald Trump, Cameron said that “as a Black man,” he understood the pain of Taylor’s death. The grand jury charged one officer for endangering lives in a neighbor’s apartment.
2. Trump Sees Victory in Quashing Ballots, High Court
“Get rid of the ballots,” President Trump said, and “there won’t be a transfer.” He made the declaration when asked if he’d transfer power peacefully if he lost the election. Instead Trump repeated unfounded attacks on “out of control” mail-in voting. Earlier Wednesday, he said he expected the election would “end up in the Supreme Court,” to which he plans to nominate a third justice Saturday. That alarmed many, including Democratic rival Joe Biden, who asked, “What country are we in?” GOP Sen. Mitt Romney tweeted that a peaceful transfer is “fundamental to democracy” and “without that, there is Belarus.”
3. Did North Korea Kill a Man in Fear of Contagion?
It’s a deadly lockdown. The South Korean military says North Korean soldiers shot a government official believed to have defected from the South, then burned his body at sea. The isolationist nation has reportedly instituted a “shoot-to-kill” policy to prevent interlopers from bringing coronavirus across its borders. The unnamed 47-year-old vanished from a South Korean patrol boat on Monday off the country’s east coast, according to Seoul officials, before being found Tuesday by a North Korean patrol. On orders from superiors, the soldiers shot the life-jacketed man, then doused his body with fuel and set it alight.
With great power comes great responsibility. That’s one take on yesterday’s Justice Department call for legislation to weaken Big Tech’s content liability protections on platforms like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Democratic Sen. Ron Widen had another interpretation: President Trump, facing platforms’ increasing fact-checking and regulation of his posts, wants to “work the refs ahead of the election.” Trump yesterday warned social media companies that he’s “watching them very closely during this election cycle.” Either way, politicians from both sides of the aisle have been calling for more accountability from the world’s digital gatekeepers.
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The Tar Heel state has its feet in deep-red Dixie. But its complicated politics could well provide Democrats with the upset they need to wrest the Senate from Republican control in November, according to our OZY model with data firm 0ptimus. In just a week, GOP Sen. Thom Tillis’ chances of keeping his seat dropped to 33 percent. But North Carolina’s 15 presidential electoral votes are up for grabs — an outcome that could hinge on President Trump’s Supreme Court fight energizing evangelical voters or the exponential increase in Latino voters since Trump won the state in 2016.
2. New California Cars Must Be Zero-Emissions by 2035
Ravaged by record wildfires linked to climate change, California is taking action. Gov. Gavin Newsom yesterday ordered that by 2035, all new cars sold there must not emit pollutants. It’s the first mandate of its kind by a U.S. state, and follows 15 nations with similar policies. The order, seen as a challenge to President Trump, who’s openly skeptical of global warming, prompts environmental agencies to create regulations to meet the goal. Newsom urged other states to enact restrictions on fossil fuel-burning, and also called on state legislators to pass laws banning oil fracking.
3. With Conspicuous Exceptions, Israel Reinstates Lockdown
Faced with a new COVID-19 surge, Israel has announced a new lockdown beginning Friday and continuing through the Jewish holidays of Yom Kippur this weekend and Sukkot the next. It limits commerce to essential businesses, but allows synagogues to remain open — while strictly curtailing protests that are often aimed at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson became the world's fourth company to enter late-stage vaccine trials, and in China, first responders decried a “sexist” TV dramatization of the country’s pandemic response for depicting women as peripheral to the effort and reluctant to volunteer.
4. Bolton Book Security Review ‘Politicized’ by Appointee
Will it need a new chapter? Former U.S. national security adviser John Bolton’s tell-all book, The Room Where It Happened, was initially found free of classified information, according to Ellen Knight, the National Security Council official who reviewed it. Knight filed a 17-page letter in court Wednesday in a Justice Department lawsuit that aims to seize the book’s profits, claiming Bolton mishandled the nation’s secrets. Knight said her review was “commandeered by political appointees” who falsely said the book contained classified information. Bolton’s attorney called the letter “a complete surprise.”
Pro football is fraught with hazards. But this? Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Tyrod Taylor was benched with a “chest injury” Sunday, but further explanation didn’t emerge until Wednesday. According to ESPN, his doctor accidentally punctured his lung with a needle he was using to inject painkiller to soothe Taylor’s cracked ribs. To add to the 2015 Pro Bowler’s misfortune, his backup, Justin Herbert, managed to keep pace with Kansas City superstar QB Patrick Mahomes, losing by only 20-23, meaning the puncture, while recoverable, could deprive Taylor of his starting position.