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Airlines American

American Airlines, United Airlines furloughs to impact tens of thousands of employees – WPVI-TV

CHICAGO — United Airlines and American Airlines will move forward with furloughing thousands of employees as the CARES Act expires.

In a letter to employees Wednesday, American Airlines said it will begin the process of furloughing 19,000 employees as the Payroll Support Program expired September 30.

American CEO Doug Parker said he spoke personally with Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, who told him a bipartisan COVID-19 relief package that would extend the PSP is possible within the coming days.

“Please keep contacting your elected officials about the importance of reaching an agreement,” Parker wrote.

United Airlines also said it will involuntarily furlough more than 13,000 employees beginning Thursday.

The carrier previously notified 36,000 employees they faced potential job cuts, but was able to reduce that number to 16,000 through various voluntary buyout and early retirement programs. The carrier said since then, it was able to further reduce the total number of furloughs by working with union partners, introducing new voluntary options and proposing creative solutions that would save jobs.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, United had just under 100,000 employees.

WLS-TV and ABC News contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2020 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.

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American faces

American man faces prison for bad review of Thailand resort – New York Daily News

An American man who complained about the “unfriendly” staff at a Thailand resort in an online review faces up to two years in prison after being accused of causing “damage to the reputation of the hotel.”

Wesley Barnes, who works in the Southeast Asian country, recently vacationed to Koh Chang Island, where he stayed at the Sea View Resort, according to Agence France-Presse.

But the accommodations weren’t to Barnes’ liking, according to a July review he wrote on TripAdvisor, claiming the staff “act like they don’t want anyone here.”

The Sea View Resort owner filed a formal complaint against Barnes, accusing him of “unfair reviews,” Colonel Thanapon Taemsara of Koh Chang police told AFP Saturday.

Barnes was arrested by immigration police and detained in Koh Chang before being released on bail.

If convicted of defamation, Barnes faces a prison sentence and a fine of up to about $6,300.

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American faces

American faces two years in prison for posting unflattering TripAdvisor review of Thailand island resort – Telegraph.co.uk

An American could face up to two years in prison after leaving a negative review for a hotel in Thailand on TripAdvisor.

The Sea View Resort on Koh Chang island claims Wesley Barnes launched a barrage of complaints against them after his stay, forcing them to take legal action.

“The Sea View Resort owner filed a complaint that the defendant had posted unfair reviews on his hotel on the Tripadvisor website,” Colonel Thanapon Taemsara of Koh Chang police told AFP.

Mr Barnes is accused of causing “damage to the reputation of the hotel”, as well as arguing with them during his stay about a corkage fee for alcohol brought to the hotel.

He was arrested by immigration police and returned to Koh Chang for a brief detention, but is now out on bail.  

Mr Barnes, who works in Thailand, had penned multiple reviews on different sites over the past few weeks, the hotel alleges.

In one posted in July, he claimed to have encountered “unfriendly staff” who “act like they don’t want anyone here”.

Another post, which accused the hotel of “modern day slavery”, was removed by TripAdvisor for violating its guidelines.

The Sea View Hotel said they only took legal action to discourage further reviews from being posted, and had attempted to contact Mr Barnes beforehand.

“We chose to file a complaint to serve as a deterrent, as we understood he may continue to write negative reviews week after week for the foreseeable future,” the hotel said.

Thailand has notorious anti-defamation laws that have faced condemnation from human rights organisations in the past. They argue the laws can be used to stifle free expression.

If found guilty for defamation, offenders can face two years imprisonment and a 200,000 baht (£4,965) fine.

In December 2019, a Thai journalist was handed a two year sentence for libelling a chicken farm on Twitter.

Suchanee Cloitre was convicted for a post she made about a legal dispute over working conditions at the Thammakaset farm.

“I’m shocked and did not think the sentence would be so harsh,” Ms Suchanee told Reuters after the sentencing.

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American Native

Native American executed for 2001 murders in fourth federal execution this year – CBS News

Federal inmate executions to resume


Federal inmate executions to resume

02:38

The only Native American on federal death row was executed on Wednesday night for murdering two women in 2001, according to the Department of Justice. Lezmond Mitchell had no last words before he was executed in front of witnesses that included members of the surviving family of his victims, simply responding, “No, I’m good.” 

He was pronounced dead at 6:29 p.m., less than a half an hour after he was injected with the lethal drug pentobarbital. 

Mitchell was found guilty in 2003 of multiple charges, including the gruesome murders of 63-year-old Alyce Slim and her nine-year-old granddaughter Tiffany Lee. 

Slim was stabbed 33 times by Mitchell and his accomplice, after she gave the pair a ride in October 2001. The pair later slit the child’s throat twice and crushed her head with rocks, before dismembering the victims and burning their clothes. Mitchell later directed law enforcement to their bodies after confessing to the heinous killings.

In a statement released shortly after the execution, Justice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said, “Nearly 19 years after Lezmond Mitchell brutally ended the lives of two people, destroying the lives of many others, justice finally has been served.” 

Tiffany’s father, Daniel Lee, attended the execution, and minutes later stood tearfully next to a lawyer who read a statement to reporters on his behalf.

“I have waited 19 years to get justice for my daughter, Tiffany,” Lee’s statement said. “But I hope this will bring some closure.”

Federal Executions
Daniel Lee, father of Tiffany Lee, wipes his face as he leaves the podium after a statement by his attorney at the federal prison complex in Terre Haute, Ind., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020. 

Michael Conroy / AP


Mitchell’s execution is the fourth to take place this summer, and there are three more scheduled to take place in the next month. Like the three men who were put to death before him, Mitchell had exhausted all possible appeals in an attempt to halt his execution.

That effort came down to the wire on Wednesday when the Supreme Court denied a last ditch attempt to delay his execution, declining to review whether or not the jurors at Mitchell’s trial in Arizona should have been interviewed for potential bias against Native Americans.

Mitchell and his victims were members of the Navajo Nation, and while Lee’s family supported his death sentence, tribal leaders from across the country strongly opposed his execution and called on the president to commute his sentence. 

“Today, the federal government added another chapter to its long history of injustices against Native American people,” said Jonathan Aminoff and Celeste Bacchi, attorneys for Mitchell. “Over the steadfast objection of the Navajo Nation, and despite urgent pleas for clemency from Navajo leaders and many other Native American tribes, organizations, and citizens, the Trump Administration executed Lezmond Mitchell, a Navajo man, for a crime against other Navajo people committed on Navajo land.”

The decision to restart enforcing these sentences came after a 17-year freeze on the federal death penalty. Attorney General William Barr announced the decision last year, saying in a statement at the time, “The Justice Department upholds the rule of law — and we owe it to the victims and their families to carry forward the sentence imposed by our justice system.”

“Had it not been for the Trump administration,” Lee’s statement said, “I do not think I would have ever received justice or a sense of finality.”

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American National

National Hot Dog Day 2020: How the hot dog became an American icon – CNN

Story by Hannah Selinger, CNN; video by Diana DiroyPublished 22nd July 2020
(CNN) No matter how you like your wiener prepared, grilled or boiled, with mustard, ketchup or chili, we can all agree on …
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American Fashion

American Fashion Nominates the Designers of the Year. They Really Make You Think. – The New York Times

Unbuttoned

But not in a good way. The Oscars of fashion reflect exactly what the industry needs to change.

Credit…Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

Vanessa Friedman

When the coronavirus prompted the Council of Fashion Designers of America to postpone the 2020 CFDA Fashion Awards, the annual “Oscars of the Fashion World” (industry prom) originally scheduled for June 8, it seemed like another glittering evening of voyeurism and celebration had fallen to the pandemic.

On Monday, however, the organization revealed that while the party may be over, at least for this year, the concept would go on.

“In this time of unprecedented challenge and change for our industry, we feel very strongly that it is important to recognize the nominees representing the best of fashion creativity,” said Tom Ford, chairman of the CFDA, in a news release. It announced the names, and said winners would be named on Sept. 14, the start of New York Fashion Week.

And the nominees are….?

Almost exactly the same designers who have been nominated (and won) in years past. Which means that rather than demonstrate the strength and resilience and depth of imagination of American fashion, the award nomination list mostly revealed exactly what is wrong with it. Or some of it.

Image

Credit…Nina Westervelt for The New York Times

In a time when the system itself is under scrutiny in a multitude of ways — from the way its constant churn of collections and shows devalues creations to its racism — nominating a handful of very familiar names as the very best fashion has to offer simply serves to perpetrate that system.

For anyone taken aback by the recent news that it was only this month that a Black photographer was chosen to shoot Vanity Fair’s cover, or that since Tyler Mitchell became the first Black photographer to shoot a Vogue cover in 2018, there hasn’t been another; for anyone thinking that the fashion industry is rife with cronyism, entrenched gatekeepers reluctant to give up power and a deep investment in maintaining the velvet-roped-off status quo, this list of nominees gives substance to the allegations.

Simply consider the fact that the nominees for the three big awards are:

American Womenswear Designer of the Year: Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen for the Row, Brandon Maxwell, Gabriela Hearst, Marc Jacobs and Tom Ford.

Image

Credit…Mike Coppola/Getty Images

American Menswear Designer of the Year: Emily Adams Bode for Bode, Kerby Jean-Raymond for Pyer Moss, Thom Browne, Todd Snyder and Tom Ford.

American Accessories Designer of the Year: the Olsens again, Gabriela Hearst, Jennifer Fisher for Jennifer Fisher Jewelry, Stuart Vevers for Coach and Telfar Clemens for Telfar.

And consider that, of the above, Mr. Ford has not only won a Lifetime Achievement Award (in 2014), which should, it seems to me, disqualify the winner from being nominated again, but has already won six other CFDA awards.

Mr. Jacobs has also won a Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as seven others. Mr. Browne, who has won the men’s award three times, has been nominated for it every year since 2013. The Row has won the accessory award three times, and the women’s wear award once. Mr. Maxwell won the women’s award last year, and the emerging designer award in 2016. (Ms. Bode won that last year.)

Image

Credit…Landon Nordeman for The New York Times

Mr. Jean-Raymond and Mr. Clemens were nominated for the same awards last year, and both have won the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund. Mr. Snyder has been nominated multiple times.

I could go on with almost every name, but you get the idea.

Even the Global Awards, now expanded to include both men’s wear and women’s wear — which were created to enlarge the nominee base and make a night that can feel stiflingly parochial reflect the reality of an international industry — feels stuck in a rut created when the world was a very different place. Which it was, since the nominations were received before March 13, when Covid-19 was just beginning to penetrate everyone’s consciousness.

For women’s wear, after all, there are Daniel Lee for Bottega Veneta, who won four — count ’em — awards at the Fashion Awards in London last December; Dries Van Noten; Miuccia Prada for Prada; Pierpaolo Piccioli for Valentino and Rick Owens. Who has also won the Lifetime Achievement Award in the past.

For men’s, there are Craig Green, Dries Van Noten, Jonathan Anderson for Loewe, Kim Jones for Dior and Virgil Abloh for Louis Vuitton.

Image

Credit…Erin Baiano for The New York Times

I am not saying that the nominees — chosen by CFDA Fashion Awards Guild, which is made up of CFDA members, retailers, journalists (not from The New York Times; our rules prohibit us from voting in such industry competitions) and stylists — are not genuinely talented or that they haven’t built impressive and potent businesses. They are, very much, and they have. They deserve respect and applause, though perhaps not multiple statuettes.

I am not saying there are no new names: The emerging designer group, which includes Christopher John Rogers, Kenneth Nicholson, Peter Do, Reese Cooper and Sarah Staudinger and George Augusto for Staud, does that job. (Mr. Rogers did win the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund award last year.)

I am not saying that among the many recidivist winners are not some newish, disruptive names, as well as designers of color. But you can count their number on one hand, which means they feel more like token additions than an actual shift.

And I know that fashion, like many industries, is dominated by a handful of companies and creative leaders whose names naturally leap to mind when asked to identify the best of any particular year. Which is, in any case, a term so broad and undefined that it is bound to lead to the most obvious common denominators.

So maybe the results were inevitable, given the current … well, system.

But Mr. Ford is right in saying this is a time of unprecedented challenge, of questioning. So why not question, and change, these awards, too?

Image

Credit…Nina Westervelt for The New York Times

In the past, the CFDA awards have included both broad design categories selected by the guild, and special “honoree” awards chosen — and often invented to fit the times — by the CFDA: the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Award for Positive Change, the Founder’s Award for service to the industry, the Fashion Icon Award.

This time the CFDA decided to eschew the special awards entirely in favor of the traditional designer awards, but that seems to me the wrong choice. What if instead it had decided to tackle the current situation head-on and gone all in on the idea of change, enlarging that category to encompass a designer who genuinely was rethinking how his or her business operated and who was part of it?

What if it had created a Supply Chain Award, for a company that knew every link in its production cycle? A Front-Line Employees Award that could have gone to the men and women in the fulfillment centers who worked through the pandemic, packing boxes for the e-commerce sites that kept many brands afloat? I could go on.

It might have to look beyond the usual suspects for the winners; break down the velvet ropes and barriers to entry. But the redefinition of what makes “designers,” and where they come from, has already begun. (James Jebbia did win the men’s wear award for Supreme in 2018.) This is an opportunity to take it further.

The CFDA awards are potent fund-raisers for an organization that does meaningful work fighting on the front lines for fashion’s causes: intellectual property protection, immigration, education. The group is helping a whole swath of designers weather the shutdown. Their awards should not be abolished.

But maybe they can become something more than simply notches in a designer’s belt, or an insider’s club that may feel, to those looking in, like a secretive fashion cabal.

If we are rethinking everything, it certainly would seem to be the simplest way to start. No one was expecting the awards to happen at all. The nominee announcement came as a surprise.

Just imagine if it had been a real one.

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American Speech

In ‘Buy American’ Speech, Biden Challenges Trump on the Economy – The New York Times

Joseph R. Biden Jr. laid out a populist economic vision to revive and reinvest in American manufacturing on Thursday, calling for major new spending and stricter new rules to “Buy American” as part of an effort to more aggressively challenge President Trump on two of his signature issues: the economy and nationalism.

In a speech in the battleground state of Pennsylvania, Mr. Biden lacerated Mr. Trump for a bungled response to the coronavirus pandemic that has deepened the economic crisis and a misplaced focus on the stock market, while framing his own economic agenda around a new campaign tagline, “Build Back Better.”

Mr. Biden said his plans would leverage trade, tax and investment policy to spur domestic innovation, reduce the reliance on foreign manufacturing and create five million additional American manufacturing and innovation jobs.

“I do not buy for one second that the vitality of American manufacturing is a thing of the past,” Mr. Biden said, speaking at a metalworks factory in Dunmore not far from this childhood home of Scranton, a place where Mr. Biden often returns rhetorically to emphasize his blue-collar roots.

“When the federal government spends taxpayers’ money, we should use it to buy American products and support American jobs,” he added.

On the same day, Vice President Mike Pence embarked on a Trump campaign bus tour across Pennsylvania, a sign of the state’s significance in the Electoral College calculations of both campaigns.

Mr. Biden’s campaign is riding high in the polls but his advisers, as well as Republican strategists, still see the economy as perhaps his area of greatest vulnerability against Mr. Trump. The president’s campaign — and the president himself when on message — has tried to argue that he oversaw a booming economy until the coronavirus pandemic brought about an “artificial” slowdown.

House Republican leaders recently briefed their members on polling showing Mr. Trump’s enduring advantage on the economy, and a recent New York Times/Siena College poll showed the economy as perhaps a lone bright spot for the president, even as he trailed by 14 percentage points overall.

In some ways, Mr. Biden was seizing the “Buy American” message from Mr. Trump himself, who campaigned on an “America First” agenda in 2016 and wrote on Twitter on his Inauguration Day that “Buy American” was one of “two simple rules” that would guide his administration. (The other was “hire American.”)

Mr. Biden has long cast himself as a champion of the American worker, particularly as vice president, when he led the Obama administration’s Middle Class Task Force and oversaw implementation of the 2009 economic stimulus bill. But he has faced criticism from Mr. Trump and from former liberal rivals like Senator Bernie Sanders over his support for the North American Free Trade Agreement in the 1990s and other trade deals that followed.

On Thursday, the Trump campaign announced a new television ad attacking Mr. Biden’s record as “dangerous and foolish,” highlighting Mr. Biden’s vote for NAFTA in 1993 and his past support for trade relations with China and for the Trans-Pacific Partnership as vice president.

The Pennsylvania speech is the first of several steps Mr. Biden is taking in the coming weeks to detail an expanded economic agenda, beyond what he proposed in the primaries. On Thursday, Mr. Biden specifically proposed a $300 billion increase in government spending on research and development of technologies like electric vehicles and 5G cellular networks, as well as an additional $400 billion in federal procurement spending on products that are manufactured in the United States.

Mr. Biden described it as a level of investment “not seen since the Great Depression and World War II” and emphasized that among his top priorities is to expand prosperity to all corners of the country, both racial and geographic.

“This money will be used purposefully to ensure all of America is in on the deal, including communities that historically have been left out: Black, brown and Native American entrepreneurs, cities and towns everywhere,” he said.

Mr. Biden’s campaign is rallying top surrogates in key battleground states to amplify and showcase his economic message on Friday: Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota will hold a roundtable discussion aimed at Arizona voters, Senators Tammy Duckworth and Tammy Baldwin will do one for Wisconsin, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan will headline one for her state and Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio will hold one for his state.

His campaign aides cheered on Twitter that the three leading cable news networks — CNN, Fox News and MSNBC — carried Mr. Biden’s speech live, even as his remarks were briefly interrupted by a audible downpour at the plant.

As Mr. Trump has increasingly focused his campaign on stoking white resentment and fears, Mr. Biden and his campaign have stressed their efforts to increase opportunities for Black, Latino, Asian-American and other workers. “An economy for every American,” Mr. Biden said on Thursday.

“Donald Trump may believe that pitting Americans against Americans may benefit him. I don’t,” he said. Later in his speech, he invoked Mr. Trump’s recent comments defending the Confederate flag and accused the president of being “determined to drive us apart.”

While Mr. Biden has said in speeches since he began his campaign more than a year ago that Wall Street is not the true economic engine of America, he sharpened his tone on Thursday, saying it was “way past time to put an end to shareholder capitalism.”

He lashed Mr. Trump, in particular, for his focus on the stock market as a metric of success as tens of millions of Americans have been driven to file jobless claims during the ongoing pandemic. “Throughout this crisis, Donald Trump has been almost singularly focused on the stock market, the Dow, Nasdaq,” Mr. Biden said. “Not you. Not your families.”

Aides also said that Mr. Biden, the former vice president, would propose additional deficit spending next year to help the economy recover from the recession caused by the pandemic, building on the more than $3 trillion in new borrowing that Congress and Mr. Trump have already approved amid the crisis.

Mr. Biden has thus far proposed to offset the entirety of his spending plans with nearly $4 trillion in tax increases, largely by reversing some of Mr. Trump’s signature tax cuts for high earners and otherwise raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Aides said he would do the same to fund his procurement and research plans.

Mr. Biden proposed the smallest amount of new federal spending among the major Democratic contenders during the presidential primary race, and his plan, despite its new spending, remains far less expensive than those proposed by his former rivals, like Mr. Sanders of Vermont and Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Mr. Biden has sought to straddle the line on economic policy and elsewhere between his moderate political instincts and a progressive wing of the party that lined up in the primaries behind candidates, like Mr. Sanders and Ms. Warren, who promised sweeping and systemic change.

On Wednesday, a Biden-Sanders “unity task force” published 110 pages of platform recommendations, including plans on the economy. Its recommendations included more sweeping proposals than Mr. Biden has embraced in the campaign, including a New Deal-style federal jobs program to use government funds to put Americans to work on infrastructure and other projects. The recommendations also included a so-called baby bonds proposal that would seek to reduce wealth disparities between Black and white Americans by giving every child in the country a government-funded savings account.

Mr. Biden is planning four rollouts ahead of the Democratic National Convention in August on his plans to “mobilize the American people” for challenges in a future Biden administration. The speech on Thursday was the first in the series.

The next three, according to a campaign document, will be on “modern infrastructure and an equitable, clean energy future,” then a plan “to build a 21st-century caregiving and education work force” followed by a plan “to advance racial equity in America.”

Updated July 9, 2020


    • Joseph R. Biden Jr. laid out a populist economic vision as part of an effort to more aggressively challenge President Trump on his signature issue.

    • Here are 13 women who have been under consideration to be Joe Biden’s running mate, and why each might be chosen — and might not be.

    • Get an email recapping the day’s news
    • Download our mobile app on iOS and Android and turn on Breaking News and Politics alerts

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American reopening

Reopening American schools, and why Trudeau skipped a visit to the White House – CNN

This was originally published as the July 8 edition of CNN’s Meanwhile in America, the daily email about US politics for global readers. Click here to read past editions and subscribe.

(CNN)They might not admit it, but America’s kids need to go back to school. As the pandemic spirals out of control, the longest summer vacation on record is now threatening to become a lost year.

Donald Trump is here to help, though his new push to get kids and teachers back into germ-laden classrooms may be more about fostering a sense of normality to boost his reelection hopes. He is bringing the same defiance of science, politicization and wishful thinking to schools as he did to premature economic openings that worsened the Covid-19 disaster. “SCHOOLS MUST OPEN IN THE FALL!!!” the President tweeted.
He’s not wrong. Months of missed lessons risk seriously denting the education of a generation of children. Experts fear that emotional and mental problems and even teen suicides will reach critical levels if schools remain empty. Millions of poor American pupils get their only square meals of the day at school. And online learning pulled together in a rush is a poor substitute for classrooms.
Trump himself doesn’t actually have the power to fling open school doors — in public education, the buck stops with states. But presidential pressure is a powerful force. One of his top allies, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, has already said schools will be open all day, every day, come what may.
Most children don’t get that sick with Covid-19. But teachers braving the classrooms every day will be at high risk. And what happens when kids take the virus home to parents and grandparents? School administrators and teachers unions are developing schemes to mitigate the infection risk through smaller class sizes, part-time lessons and online education. But as states and cities roll back reopenings, it’s becoming harder than ever to envisage that the first day of school this fall will resemble any kind of “normal.”

The ‘Trump of the Tropics’ tests positive

It’s never too late to change your ways, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has learned after months of greeting supporters without a mask. More than 1.5 million Brazilians have been infected with the coronavirus, and Bolsonaro himself is among them, he announced Tuesday. “I’m not going to see anyone for meetings,” the President conceded to CNN Brasil after his diagnosis. “Everything will be done via videoconference and I will rarely meet people if I need to deal with more reserved matters.”

‘If you are an American adult, it is more likely than not that China has stolen your personal data’

FBI Director Christopher Wray came out swinging against China on Tuesday, CNN’s David Shortell reports. “The Chinese government is engaged in a broad, diverse campaign of theft and malign influence and it can execute that campaign with authoritarian efficiency,” Wray said during a speech at the conservative Hudson Institute in Washington. “If you think these issues are just an intelligence issue, or a government problem, or a nuisance largely just for big corporations who can take care of themselves—you could not be more wrong. It’s the people of the United States who are the victims of what amounts to Chinese theft on a scale so massive that it represents one of the largest transfers of wealth in human history,” he said. “If you are an American adult, it is more likely than not that China has stolen your personal data.

Safe and sound north of the border

He would have likely been forgiven for skipping the handshake — but in declining an invitation to the White House this week, Justin Trudeau is sidestepping a whole minefield of Covid-19 etiquette and politics.
While Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador journeys to Washington for a celebratory get-together with Trump over the implementation of a new North American trade deal — the USMCA, which replaces NAFTA — Canada’s Prime Minister will be conspicuously absent.
He would have stuck out like a sore thumb, anyway. While Trump and López Obrador have never been seen in public wearing masks, Trudeau doesn’t leave home without one. For him, it would have been like risking a lunch with neighbors who you know aren’t taking the virus as seriously — which is not far from the truth, as López Obrador dismisses mass testing and Trump pushes economic reopening.
The curves of infection are moving in opposite directions in the US and Canada, and America’s new surge has put Canadians on edge. Polls show the vast majority of Canadians want the US-Canadian border to remain closed to nonessential traffic, and anyone who does enter Canada has to quarantine for 14 days. Trudeau might have been exempt after attending the trade meeting at the White House, but his staff would not have been — and their health and safety was likely a real issue in planning travel to the US. “We’re concerned about the health situation and the coronavirus situation that is hitting all three of our countries,” Trudeau said last week.
For weeks, Canada has been logging just a few hundred new cases of Covid-19 per day. Just like in the US, some younger Canadians are skirting rules — a few dozen people have so far been infected after a night out near Montreal. But unlike the US, Canadian contract tracing at such low numbers is viable and mostly thorough. A growing list of cities and towns are also helping to limit new outbreaks by making masks mandatory.
Skipping a trip to the White House was an easy call for Trudeau. He’s simply following the same coronavirus rule of thumb that governs all Canadians — don’t cross the border unless absolutely essential. — CNN’s Anchor and Canada Correspondent Paula Newton writes to Meanwhile

‘Donald was to my grandfather what the border wall has been for Donald’

Trump’s psychologist niece, Mary Trump, has a new book out titled “Too Much and Never Enough: How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” which argues that the President’s current behavior is the product of a toxic family dynamic and a bullying father. The demanding family patriarch, Fred, shaped the President by propping up his many failed endeavors, she writes: “Donald was to my grandfather what the border wall has been for Donald: a vanity project funded at the expense of more worthy pursuits.” White House deputy press secretary Sarah Matthews responded Tuesday that “the President describes the relationship he had with his father as warm and said his father was very good to him. He said his father was loving and not at all hard on him as a child.”

Spotted

Presidents fear one thing above all: Bob Woodward.
The famed reporter — half of the Washington Post duo who brought down President Richard Nixon (along with Carl Bernstein, who filed this blockbuster for CNN last week) — is on the prowl again. His last exposé, “Fear,” stunningly lifted the lid on the chaos and feuding of Trump’s early years in power. He has a new book coming in September, and this time around, the President is attempting to shape it by talking with Woodward, who has been spotted several times around the White House.
Every President since Nixon has had to choose between talking to Woodward as he ferrets around in the administration or trying to discredit his damaging scoops. Trump has plenty of other things on his mind right now, including his own teetering reelection prospects. But judging by the marker-scrawled note spotted in Trump’s jacket pocket on Tuesday by sharp-eyed CNN producer Kevin Liptak, Woodward is still casting his spell.

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Airlines American

American Airlines will fly at full capacity — only 3 U.S. airlines have blocked the middle seat on domestic flights – MarketWatch

One new safety measure: more lines open at security

Travelers arrive for flights at a nearly-deserted O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois. The airport, which typically serves 8.2 million passengers a month, has significantly reduced air travel.


Getty Images

American Airlines
AAL,
-1.98%

has come under scrutiny for its decision not to block the middle seats on flights in the name of preventing coronavirus transmission — but many other airlines have taken this same stance.

The carrier announced last week that starting Wed., July 1, it would resume booking flights to full capacity.

Previously, the airline had said it would limit its flights to 85% capacity and block certain seats to ensure social distancing onboard its aircraft. Moving forward, passengers will be alerted if their flight is going to be crowded and be given the opportunity to switch flights free of charge.

Aside from American, other airlines that aren’t capping flight capacity or blocking seats include United
UAL,
-0.46%
,
Allegiant
ALGT,
-0.84%
,
Spirit
SAVE,
-0.39%

and Sun Country.

The move has drawn criticism from public-health experts. “We don’t think it’s the right message,” Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testified during a Senate committee hearing on Tuesday. “It’s really important that individuals, whether [they’re in] a bus or a train or a plane, are social distancing to the degree that’s feasible.”

Delta is one of only a few U.S. airlines to block middle seats on its flights to promote more social distancing onboard aircraft during the coronavirus pandemic.


Getty Images

During that same hearing, Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said the policy change at American “is something that is of concern.” Both Fauci and Redfield made the comments in response to a question from Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who asked why the government wasn’t working to stop “that type of activity.”

An American Airlines spokesperson said the company was “unwavering” in its commitment to safety. “We know our customers are placing their trust in us to make every aspect of their journey safe, and we are committed to doing just that,” the spokesperson said in an email.

“We have multiple layers of protection in place for those who fly with us, including required face coverings, enhanced cleaning procedures, and a pre-flight COVID-19 symptom checklist — and we’re providing additional flexibility for customers to change their travel plans, as well,” the spokesperson added.


Three other airlines made moves to reduce capacity: Alaska Airlines, Frontier Airlines and Southwest.

American Airlines is not alone in its stance. In fact, only three U.S.-based airlines — Delta
DAL,
-1.24%
,
Hawaiian
HA,
-1.92%

and JetBlue
JBLU,
-2.11%

— have blocked the middle seats completely on their domestic flights, reducing the capacity on their aircraft substantially.

Three other airlines have made moves to reduce capacity.

Alaska Airlines
ALK,
-1.54%

blocks “select” seats.

Frontier Airlines blocks 20 of its middle seats per flight to give customers the option to purchase a seat that will be more socially distanced. On one of the airline’s typical aircraft, one in five seats have a guaranteed empty middle seat next to them. “This is a confirmed measure we take on every flight — not a ‘we’ll make a best effort’ scenario,” Jennifer de la Cruz, Frontier’s director of corporate communications, told MarketWatch in an email.

Southwest Airlines
LUV,
-1.08%

has committed that none of its flights will be booked more than two-thirds full through Sept. 30. Southwest does not assign seats, though, so middle seats remain open, but passengers are encouraged to socially distance as much as possible when they board.

But experts have also questioned the efficacy of social distancing on planes as an approach to curb the transmission of the virus that causes COVID-19 on airplanes. To reduce the probability of exposure to a very low level, “you would need to make the seating density so low that it would be impractical to operate an aircraft economically,” Byron Jones, an engineer and professor at Kansas State University, told lawmakers during a hearing last week before the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Space and Aeronautics.

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