Coronavirus State

New York state logs over 1,000 new coronavirus cases for 1st time since June – NBC News

New York state recorded more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day, the first time since June that the state had a daily number that high.

The news comes as more than half of all states in the U.S. have shown percentage increases in the number of coronavirus cases over the last two weeks.

Out of nearly 100,000 coronavirus tests in New York, 1,005 came back as positive, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a tweet Saturday. That’s 1 percent of the total tests.

The last time the state recorded daily numbers that high was on June 5, according to NBC New York. On that day, New York had 1,108 new cases, the state’s health department website shows.

From late July through the start of September the state was seeing an average of around 660 people test positive per day. In the seven-day period that ended Friday, the state had averaged 817 positive tests per day.

Cuomo aide Gareth Rhodes emphasized Saturday that the new positive-case number came out of nearly 100,000 tests, compared to about 60,000 tests daily in June.

“Is there cause for concern? As long as COVID is here, yes,” Rhodes posted on Twitter, noting that certain ZIP codes have seen increases in new cases and hospital admissions. “Key is ensuring these clusters don’t spread into neighboring/other ZIPs.”

Is there cause for concern? As long as COVID is here, yes. Select ZIPs in the lower Hudson Valley & Brooklyn have seen increase in new cases & positivity, & are where new hospital admissions are coming from. Key is ensuring these clusters don’t spread into neighboring/other ZIPs

— Gareth Rhodes (@GarethRhodes) September 26, 2020

Rhodes also noted improving numbers among college-aged people, suggesting better compliance on campuses.

In New York City, health officials have sounded alarms about a rising number of cases in certain neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens where many private religious schools opened for in-person instruction in early September.

Still, New York is in a far better situation than in April, when the number of positive tests per day routinely topped 9,000, even though tests then were hard to get and people were being encouraged not to seek one unless they were gravely ill.

Public school students in New York City’s elementary, middle and high schools are set to resume in-person instruction next week Sept. 29 and Oct. 1.

Image: Minyvonne BurkeMinyvonne Burke

Minyvonne Burke is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.

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Coronavirus State

Coronavirus map of the US: latest cases state by state – The Guardian

With countries all over the world affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the US has emerged as a global hotspot. The Trump administration has been criticized for being slower to act than other countries. The US currently leads the world in both confirmed Covid-19 cases and deaths according to Johns Hopkins University.

It’s important to point out that the actual death toll is believed to be far higher than the tally compiled from government figures.

Confirmed cases
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(Yesterday: +227)

Tests:5,622,498 Yesterday: +29,010

Cases: 698,387 +9,853

Deaths: 14,917 +24

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Tests:13,672,782 Yesterday: +149,624

Cases: 781,694 +3,294

Deaths: 15,018 +31

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Tests:5,117,125 Yesterday: +18,165

Cases: 685,439 +1,685

Deaths: 13,480 +21

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Tests:484,691 Yesterday: +9,942

Cases: 53,959 +1,674

Deaths: 600 +4

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Tests:3,370,667 Yesterday: +52,198

Cases: 129,662 +1,575

Deaths: 6,981 +12

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Tests:5,145,585 Yesterday: +38,234

Cases: 277,933 +1,477

Deaths: 8,693 +7

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Tests:1,219,559 Yesterday: +7,051

Cases: 114,307 +1,463

Deaths: 1,807 +12

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Tests:1,446,368 Yesterday: +6,841

Cases: 108,588 +1,296

Deaths: 1,252 +2

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Tests:2,770,863 Yesterday: +20,041

Cases: 307,339 +1,184

Deaths: 6,604 +2

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Tests:1,082,483 Yesterday: +1,101

Cases: 77,908 +1,101

Deaths: 948 +2

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Tests:1,312,937 Yesterday: +9,462

Cases: 90,942 +925

Deaths: 2,021 +4

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Tests:2,679,406 Yesterday: +12,280

Cases: 184,409 +895

Deaths: 2,233 +15

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Tests:2,856,161 Yesterday: +30,864

Cases: 145,165 +856

Deaths: 4,623 +8

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Tests:1,073,892 Yesterday: +5,564

Cases: 145,780 +818

Deaths: 2,439 +2

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Tests:2,817,539 Yesterday: +12,721

Cases: 194,381 +800

Deaths: 3,247 +4

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Tests:721,595 Yesterday: +3,316

Cases: 78,339 +660

Deaths: 1,274 +9

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Tests:893,602 Yesterday: +7,585

Cases: 76,364 +641

Deaths: 1,197 +16

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Tests:348,448 Yesterday: +638

Cases: 42,476 +638

Deaths: 609 +1

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Tests:1,905,817 Yesterday: +16,692

Cases: 141,138 +627

Deaths: 3,021 +6

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Tests:762,051 Yesterday: +3,886

Cases: 64,394 +622

Deaths: 441 +1

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Tests:9,980,765 Yesterday: +58,319

Cases: 450,473 +573

Deaths: 25,428 +1

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Tests:1,308,645 Yesterday: +6,705

Cases: 112,027 +522

Deaths: 3,512 +6

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Tests:832,709 Yesterday: +7,007

Cases: 64,857 +501

Deaths: 1,913 +0

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Tests:1,467,766 Yesterday: +45,618

Cases: 56,024 +497

Deaths: 4,495 +3

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Tests:1,144,118 Yesterday: +11,523

Cases: 138,124 +416

Deaths: 3,212 +13

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Tests:1,537,629 Yesterday: +8,153

Cases: 120,568 +412

Deaths: 3,883 +4

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Tests:3,353,183 Yesterday: +392

Cases: 200,154 +392

Deaths: 16,069 +2

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Tests:1,065,404 Yesterday: +10,192

Cases: 61,917 +375

Deaths: 1,112 +1

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Tests:1,736,556 Yesterday: +13,516

Cases: 82,548 +349

Deaths: 2,037 +0

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Tests:425,816 Yesterday: +2,456

Cases: 41,083 +286

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Tests:229,511 Yesterday: +1,256

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Tests:2,098,116 Yesterday: +10,835

Cases: 127,796 +256

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Tests:292,286 Yesterday: +2,358

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Tests:2,185,792 Yesterday: +6,793

Cases: 162,501 +243

Deaths: 5,375 +9

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Tests:1,917,993 Yesterday: +9,083

Cases: 150,812 +234

Deaths: 8,004 +23

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Tests:1,390,962 Yesterday: +7,038

Cases: 214,251 +233

Deaths: 5,478 +2

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Tests:666,792 Yesterday: +1,608

Cases: 76,036 +232

Deaths: 1,531 +0

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Tests:638,798 Yesterday: +2,729

Cases: 30,995 +194

Deaths: 529 +3

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Tests:706,906 Yesterday: +3,743

Cases: 93,556 +192

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Tests:177,023 Yesterday: +670

Cases: 18,869 +173

Deaths: 202 +0

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Tests:311,262 Yesterday: +8,449

Cases: 10,429 +130

Deaths: 160 +3

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Tests:519,516 Yesterday: +5,212

Cases: 14,171 +117

Deaths: 312 +2

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Tests:273,213 Yesterday: +1,792

Cases: 19,667 +101

Deaths: 627 +6

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Tests:281,418 Yesterday: +1,569

Cases: 11,403 +77

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Tests:94,131 Yesterday: +1,700

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Tests:428,645 Yesterday: +1,720

Cases: 7,838 +71

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Tests:862,899 Yesterday: +5,443

Cases: 27,579 +67

Deaths: 849 +2

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Tests:320,566 Yesterday: +763

Cases: 23,932 +52

Deaths: 1,097 +3

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Tests:46,354 Yesterday: +396

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Tests:375,392 Yesterday: +1,254

Cases: 5,106 +27

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Tests:357,744 Yesterday: +2,600

Cases: 14,978 +23

Deaths: 621 +1

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Tests:156,739 Yesterday: +844

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Tests:1,571 Yesterday: +0

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Tests:240,401 Yesterday: +0

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Tests:19,314 Yesterday: +0

Cases: 1,269 +0

Deaths: 19 +0

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  • Due to the unprecedented and ongoing nature of the coronavirus pandemic, this article is being regularly updated to ensure that it reflects the current situation as best as possible. Any significant corrections made to this or previous versions of the article will continue to be footnoted in line with Guardian editorial policy.

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Police State

State police return to Portland after protest shooting; Trump plans to visit Kenosha – USA TODAY


A fatal shooting in Portland has led to a war of words between Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and President Donald Trump.


Oregon Gov. Kate Brown announced a plan to curb violence in Portland as the state’s largest city was reeling after a fatal weekend shooting following clashes between Trump supporters and counter protesters.

Brown said Sunday that Oregon State Police would be returning to Portland to help local authorities and called for other local law enforcement agencies in the state to provide help amid the nightly protests that have taken place since the killing of George Floyd.

A man was fatally shot Saturday shortly after a caravan of vehicles carrying Trump supporters rolled through Portland, drawing heated counter protests. Founder of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer Joey Gibson identified the victim as Aaron “Jay” Danielson, and called him a “good friend.” 

“Rest In Peace Jay!” President Donald Trump tweeted. Trump on Monday continued his attacks on Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, calling him a “joke of a mayor” after he called him a “fool” Sunday.

“That’s classic Trump,” an angry Wheeler said during a news conference Sunday. “Mr. President, how can you think that a comment like that, if you’re watching this, is in any way helpful? It’s an aggressive stance, it is not collaborative.”

On Sunday, police declared an unlawful assembly and arrested 29 people as authorities tried to urge people away from downtown and de-escalate tensions.

Here’s what we know Monday:

What happened during the Portland shooting?

Police provided few details about the shooting Saturday evening and said it wasn’t clear whether it was politically motivated.

Portland Police Bureau Chief Chuck Lovell said no arrests have been made and called for peace. 

“The issue with firearms is very troubling to us, but people do have a constitutional right to carry firearms legally,” Lovell said. “So, it’s hard to prevent. Some of the instances that take place, you’re talking split-second, a couple of seconds. A lot of times we’re not right there to see things happen.

The caravan of Trump supporters rolled through Portland Saturday evening following a rally in nearby Clackamas. 

Fights and other skirmishes broke out between the groups. By 8:30 p.m., the caravan had left downtown, and 15 minutes later, the shooting occurred.

What is Patriot Prayer? Right-wing group linked to Portland confrontations


The Trump administration sends federal agents in cities like Portland by citing the Department of Homeland Security. Here is breakdown on the law.


Victim was wearing a Patriot Prayer hat

Videos and photos of the shooting spread on social media, and images showed the man wearing a Patriot Prayer hat.

“We love Jay and he had such a huge heart. God bless him and the life he lived,” Gibson wrote on his Facebook page.

Patriot Prayer is a right-wing group “about fighting corruption, big government, and tyranny using God for strength and the power of love,” Gibson wrote on the group’s Facebook page.

Based in Washington, the group has rallied Trump supporters for demonstrations in Portland since 2017.

On Saturday, the group had organized a “rally for freedom” for the Tip Top Tavern in Vancouver, Washington, protests “intimidation and harassment by the state” amid COVID-19 restrictions.

Gibson arrived in Portland on Saturday night after the shooting and was briefly corralled in a nearby gas station by angry protester.


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Oregon Gov. Brown: Right-wing groups came ‘looking for a fight’

Brown unveiled a “unified law enforcement plan” Sunday night aimed at ending “violence and arson” in Portland while also protecting “free speech.”

The plan calls on law enforcement agencies from around the state to aid local authorities in Portland. Oregon State Police would be deployed to free up investigators with the Portland Police Bureau to make arrests.

Brown’s plan also called on the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office to prosecute arson and other violent offenses. The FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office will also provide resources, Brown said.

“We all must come together — elected officials, community leaders, all of us — to stop the cycle of violence,” Brown said in a statement. “But this is only the first step. Real change will come from the hard work to achieve racial justice. And it starts with all of us listening to each other, and working together.”

Brown added: “The right-wing group Patriot Prayer and self-proclaimed militia members drove into downtown Portland last night, armed and looking for a fight. Every Oregonian has the right to freely express their views without fear of deadly violence. I will not allow Patriot Prayer and armed white supremacists to bring more bloodshed to our streets.

“Time and again, from Charlottesville to Kenosha to Portland, we have seen the tragic outcome when armed right-wing vigilantes take matters into their own hands. Gun violence is never, ever the answer.”

Portland protests continue for nearly 100 consecutive nights

Protests continued Sunday night, though the crowds were smaller. Many in the group wore helmets, gas masks and other gear, police said in a statement, adding that some threw rocks, eggs and other items at officers.

Video shared on social media showed police knocking protesters to the ground during arrests, most of which were for disorderly conduct or interfering with an officer.

Demonstrators have taken to the streets in Portland for nearly 100 nights to demand changes to law enforcement and an end to systemic racism and injustice.

The unrest began in the wake of the death of Floyd, a Black man killed by a white Minneapolis police officer who knelt into Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes on Memorial Day.

Floyd’s death sparked massive protests around the country in the days that followed, including Portland. The size of the unrest in Portland has ebbed and flowed, but the city drew national attention in July after Trump sent in federal agents. The move reignited the protests and led to a rise in tensions as the agents were seen making arrests in unmarked vehicles and using tear gas and other violent tactics. Protesters have lit fireworks, started fires and vandalized buildings throughout the demonstrations.

More than 600 people have been arrested since late May.

Trump, Portland mayor spar over city

Trump on Monday repeated his attacks on Wheeler and other Democratic leaders in other cities around the U.S. who he says “have lost control.”

“Portland is a mess, and it has been for many years. If this joke of a mayor doesn’t clean it up, we will go in and do it for them!” Trump tweeted Monday.

Trump has also used the moment to attack his campaign challenger Democratic Presidential nominee Joe Biden and call for “law and order.”

After Trump’s tweets called Wheeler a “fool” Sunday, the mayor responded asking for Trump to “work together” with him. “Why don’t we try that for a change?” Wheeler asked during a news conference.

“I certainly reached out, I believe in a collaborative manner, by saying earlier that you need to do your part and I need to do my part and then we both need to be held accountable,” Wheeler added.

Wheeler also pleaded with those seeking to come to Portland to seek retribution in light of the shooting to stay away. “This is not the time to get hotheaded because you read something on Twitter that some guy made up in his mother’s basement

Kenosha: Trump plans visit; 175 arrested since protests began

President Donald Trump on Tuesday plans to visit Kenosha, Wisconsin, to survey the city following a violent week of protests in the wake of the shooting of Jacob Blake.

Blake, a Black man, was shot seven times by a white Kenosha police officer and is paralyzed from the waist down. The shooting prompted calls for justice and unrest, and last week during a protest, a self-described militia member fatally shot two people and wounded another. Kyle Rittenhouse faces murder charges in connection with the shooting.

Trump also plans to meet with law enforcement during the trip, which was announced Saturday. No other details were immediately available.

More on Kenosha: Wisconsin Gov. Evers asks Trump to ‘reconsider’ planned visit

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Sunday sent a letter to Trump urging him to “reconsider” the visit. He said the past week has been “particularly difficult” and community across the state are dealing with “extraordinary grief.” 

Evers said Kenosha is “exhausted and heartbroken with the division that has ripped apart their community,” but is also working to rebuild. 

Also Sunday, Kenosha police said they had arrested 175 people tied to the unrest in the city following the shooting of Blake.

Most were curfew violations, though others included charges ranging from carrying concealed weapons, burglary and possession of controlled substances. More than 20 firearms were seized.

Kenosha shooting: Maryland official fired for social media posts

Meanwhile Sunday, scores of police supporters marched through downtown Kenosha, a day after thousands had marched in the same city against police brutality. 

Marchers wore shirts with messages such as “back the blue,” waved American flags and applauded when law enforcement vehicles drove past.

Contributing: John Bacon and Jordan Culver, USA TODAY; Elliot Hughes, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; The Associated Press

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Golden State

Golden State Killer sentenced to life without parole, apologizes to victims – ABC News

Golden State Killer sentenced to life without parole, apologizes to victims – YouTube

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Requiring State

One State Is Requiring Its Students to Get Flu Vaccine by End of Year — and, Yes, It’s Legal – Law & Crime

Massachusetts will mandate that all students obtain the flu vaccine by the end of 2020 in order to attend classes next year. This is a valid and constitutional use of the Bay State’s police power.

According to a Wednesday announcement from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, “all children 6 months of age or older who are attending Massachusetts child care, pre-school, kindergarten, K-12, and colleges and universities” will be required to obtain influenza immunizations by December 31, 2020 “unless either a medical or religious exemption is provided.”

The only exceptions are for students who are homeschooled, certain higher education  students “who exclusively attend classes online and never visit campus in person,” and those with either valid medical or religious objections.

“Every year, thousands of people of all ages are affected by influenza, leading to many hospitalizations and deaths,” the Department of Public Health’s Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences Medical Director Dr. Larry Madoff said. “It is more important now than ever to get a flu vaccine because flu symptoms are very similar to those of COVID-19 and preventing the flu will save lives and preserve healthcare resources.”

The announcement set off a predictable wave of condemnation on social media from people who criticized the order using colorful language. Some characterized the public health initiative as an attempt to exert control and/or questioned its legality. While such responses are more or less perennial and largely beyond the realm of this explainer, in legal terms, the order is on sure footing.

In 1905, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a mandatory smallpox vaccination law in the landmark case stylized as Jacobson v. Massachusetts. Under the law in question, those who ran afoul of the requirement were subject to fines and potential imprisonment. The petitioner objected to the law under the 14th Amendment and the nation’s high court issued a 7-2 majority opinion in favor of the state and it’s public health mandate.

Justice John Marshall Harlan noted that “the liberty secured by the Constitution of the United States to every person within its jurisdiction does not import an absolute right in each person to be, at all times and in all circumstances, wholly freed from restraint.”

More from that opinion, at length:

The authority of the state to enact this statute is to be referred to what is commonly called the police power,—a power which the state did not surrender when becoming a member of the Union under the Constitution. Although this court has refrained from any attempt to define the limits of that power, yet it has distinctly recognized the authority of a state to enact quarantine laws and ‘health laws of every description;’ indeed, all laws that relate to matters completely within its territory and which do not by their necessary operation affect the people of other states. According to settled principles, the police power of a state must be held to embrace, at least, such reasonable regulations established directly by legislative enactment as will protect the public health and the public safety.

Here, the analogous situation would be that any student who refuses to be vaccinated–whether out of their own desire or because their parents forbid getting such a shot in the arm–would simply not be allowed to attend “child care, pre-school, kindergarten, K-12” or college in Massachusetts for the 2021-2022 school year.

Notably, the Supreme Court also said that governments must be reasonable with mandatory public health laws and not act “in such an arbitrary and oppressive manner as to justify the interference of the courts to prevent wrong and oppression.”

The existence of the above-mentioned exemptions for students solely using distance education, denominations opposed to injections and for students with genuine medical issues are likely enough to satisfy the reasonableness requirement.

And, though well over 100 years old, the case is still good law.

In April of this year, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals cited the ruling to maintain a controversial abortion ban in Texas which was ostensibly enacted in order to combat the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Under the pressure of great dangers, constitutional rights may be reasonably restricted as the safety of the general public may demand,” the court noted. “That settled rule allows the state to restrict, for example, one’s right to peaceably assemble, to publicly worship, to travel, and even to leave one’s home. The right to abortion is no exception.”

In May, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania cited Jacobson in a brief before the Supreme Court in order to maintain its own COVID-19-related lockdown against opposition from the owner of a golf course who complained that public health orders were bad for business. The golf course owner ultimately lost.

[image via EVA HAMBACH/AFP via Getty Images]

Editor’s note: this story has been amended post-publication for clarity.

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senator State

State senator charged with ‘injury’ to Virginia Confederate monument – POLITICO

The reaction from some of her fellow Democrats was swift.

“It’s deeply troubling that on the verge of Virginia passing long-overdue police reform, the first Black woman to serve as our Senate Pro Tempore is suddenly facing highly unusual charges,” Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, tweeted on Monday evening.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia called for the charges against Lucas and several others to be dropped. The ACLU said the charges constitute a stark overreach by police because they were not approved by the local prosecutor’s office.

Lucas did not respond to an email and phone call seeking comment. Her attorney, Don Scott, told WAVY-TV that Lucas will “vigorously” fight the case and be vindicated.

Lucas is being charged at a time when many memorials to the Confederacy are being taken down, whether by demonstrators opposed to racial injustice or by authorities seeking to dismantle them through official channels. The monuments have long been viewed by many as symbols of white supremacy. But they’ve drawn increasing attention following the death of George Floyd, a Black man who died in Minneapolis police custody.

The monument in Portsmouth consists of a large obelisk and statues of four Confederate military personnel. During protests that drew hundreds of people in June, heads were ripped off some of the statues while one was pulled down, critically injuring a demonstrator.

Greene, the Portsmouth police chief, said that “several individuals conspired and organized to destroy the monument as well as summon hundreds of people to join in felonious acts.”

Greene said those acts “not only resulted in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage to the monument, but also permanent injury to an individual.”

Greene did not detail exactly what Lucas or several other people are accused of doing did to merit the charges that have been filed against them.

Other people facing charges include members of the local NAACP chapter, a local school board member and members of the public defenders office, the police chief said.

Greene said requests were made to state and federal authorities to conduct an independent investigation. And she said that a discussion with the Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney “did not yield any action.”

“It was the duty of the Portsmouth Police Department to begin a thorough and comprehensive investigation,” Greene said.

Stephanie Morales, the Portsmouth Commonwealth’s Attorney, told The Associated Press in an email that her office did not sign off on the police department’s charges.

Claire G. Gastañaga, executive director of the ACLU of Virginia, said Virginia is one of the few states in which a felony warrant can be filed without a prosecutor’s approval.

“These charges are political, and I think they’re discriminatory,” she said.

“The police department is making decisions about who should be charged in a circumstance in which the elected (prosecutor) is being bypassed,” Gastañaga added. “The police want a different result” and that is alarming.

Meanwhile, Republican Party of Virginia Chairman Rich Anderson said the senator should turn herself in.

“Felony charges leveled against a sitting state senator are to be taken seriously, and should not be sought out for political gain,” he said in a statement. “It is for that reason that the Republican Party of Virginia calls for Senator Lucas to turn herself in. Immediately.”

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Department State

State Department orders China to close its consulate in Houston – POLITICO

“The Vienna Convention states diplomats must ‘respect the laws and regulations of the receiving state’ and ‘have a duty not to interfere in the internal affairs of that state,’” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said. “The United States will not tolerate the PRC’s violations of our sovereignty and intimidation of our people, just as we have not tolerated the PRC’s unfair trade practices, theft of American jobs, and other egregious behavior.”

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin, speaking at a daily news briefing in Beijing, called the American order to close the consulate an “outrageous and unjustified move that will sabotage relations between the two countries.”

“The unilateral closure of China’s consulate general in Houston within a short period of time is an unprecedented escalation of its recent actions against China,” Wang said in remarks that were reported by The Associated Press. Reciprocal actions by the Chinese could include closing U.S. consulates within its borders, but the ruling Communist Party has not yet announced any response.

The Chinese Embassy in Washington echoed Wang‘s statements and urged the U.S. to revoke the move, saying it would “only backfire on itself.”

“Otherwise, China will have to respond with legitimate and necessary actions,“ the embassy said in a statement on Wednesday.

The embassy also denied that it had violated any diplomatic conventions, calling the State Department‘s claims “groundless fabrications.“

“For the US side, if it is bent on attacking China, it will never be short of excuses,“ the statement said.

The further breakdown in relations between the world’s two largest economies is a significant shift from just six months ago, when the countries signed a “phase one” trade deal and Trump boasted that the U.S.-China relationship “might be the best it’s been in a long, long time.”

Now, in addition to closing the consulate, the U.S. is also considering a ban on Chinese-owned mobile apps such as Tik Tok, removing Chinese technology from the electrical grid, and sanctioning Communist Party officials over the internment of Muslims and a security law that effectively ends Hong Kong’s independent legal status.

Trump has also cut off additional trade talks and threatened to penalize China because he said “they could have stopped” the pandemic.

On Tuesday, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he “hopes” to travel to China before the end of the year to help quell tensions and establish crisis communication networks. But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took a tougher line Wednesday, saying in Denmark that the U.S. was “setting out clear expectations” for how China should behave.

“And when they don’t, we’re going to take actions that protect the American people, protect our security, our national security, and also protect our economy and jobs,” he said. “That’s the actions that you’re seeing taken by President Trump. We’ll continue to engage in this.”

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has frequently criticized Trump’s posture toward China, and Trump is eager to appear tough on Beijing prior to November’s general election. Virtually all public polling shows him trailing Biden badly in the race for the White House.

In Houston, Chinese consulate staff were already preparing for their eviction Tuesday afternoon, according to The Houston Chronicle.

Firefighters also responded to a call at the consulate, though they were not permitted to enter. Local police told news station FOX 26 that consulate staff were burning “classified documents” ahead of their eviction, though it is not clear how they identified the fuel for the fire.

Nahal Toosi and Matthew Choi contributed to this report.

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Football State

Ohio State football could face new threats in reworked Big Ten schedule: Buckeye Take –

Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan (17) runs in for a touchdown past Ohio State cornerback Cameron Brown (26) during the first half of the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2src19, in Indianapolis.

Wisconsin quarterback Jack Coan (17) runs in for a touchdown past Ohio State cornerback Cameron Brown (26) during the first half of the Big Ten championship game, Dec. 7, 2019, in Indianapolis.AP

COLUMBUS, Ohio — We know Ohio State football will not play Bowling Green, Oregon or Buffalo in 2020 after the Big Ten’s Thursday announcement that it will play only conference games due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The rest of the Buckeyes’ schedule remains murky. The Big Ten has not announced exactly how many games its football teams will play, nor has it decided whether it will keep the original nine-game conference structure.

As it stands, Ohio State is scheduled to play its customary six Big Ten East opponents and three crossover opponents from the West: Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska.

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said he favors a 10-game model of conference games. If that simply means adding a road game against one of the other four West Division teams, the Buckeyes’ schedule could receive an intriguing boost.

One of those four teams has the same Oct. 3 schedule opening, plays only four home games compared to OSU’s five. It also happens to be located within a reasonable bus drive, if deemed preferable due to COVID-19 concerns.

That opponent — Purdue — happens to be the biggest thorn in Ohio State’s side among Big Ten teams over the past decade. The Boilermakers have won three of their last six meetings against OSU, with all three victories in West Lafayette. Ohio State fans certainly remember the 49-20 drubbing in 2018.

Rondale Moore, the Boilermakers’ star that day, remains in gold and black. Last year when Moore was injured, receiver David Bell emerged as a freshman All-American. So did defensive end George Karlaftis. Purdue could be lurking as a surprise team in the West after a 4-8 season.

A year ago that breakthrough team from the West was Minnesota. The Golden Gophers waged a populist campaign for a College Football Playoff spot into November before settling for a top-20 finish. Minnesota has a talented quarterback in Tanner Morgan, an All-Big Ten receiver in Rashod Bateman and a coach in P.J. Fleck who has invigorated this program in a short amount of time.

Or maybe the Buckeyes will draw another meeting with Wisconsin. Ohio State has beaten the Badgers in two of the last three Big Ten championship games, along with last season’s 38-7 victory in Ohio Stadium. The Buckeyes have only played in Madison once since 2012, and Wisconsin’s physical rushing attack potentially plays better there than in Lucas Oil Stadium.

None of those opponents equates to Oregon, which could again be in the playoff conversation. But none of them can be dismissed as a legitimate threat, either.

Or maybe the Buckeyes can get lucky and draw Northwestern, the same team it beat 52-3 in Evanston last season.

Then again, no one has benefited from an abundance of luck in 2020.

Ohio State Buckeyes Adult Face Covering

Fanatics has released Ohio State Buckeyes Adult Face Coverings. This 3-pack of adult masks, retails for $29.99.

New Ohio State face masks for sale: Here’s where you can buy Ohio State-themed face coverings for coronavirus protection. A 3-pack is available on Fanatics for $29.99.

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Chambers State

Penn State’s Pat Chambers apologizes for racially-charged ‘noose’ comment to Rasir Bolton –

Penn State men’s basketball coach Pat Chambers issued an apology Monday for comments he made to former guard Rasir Bolton

The 20-year-old Bolton began the conversation Monday morning with a social media post titled “Why I chose to leave Penn State.” In it, Bolton discussed the reason why he transferred to Iowa State following his freshman season.

A “noose” around my neck is why I left Penn State. Head Coach Patrick Chambers, the day after his one-game suspension in January 2019, in talking to me referenced a “noose” around my neck. A noose, symbolic of lynching, defined as one of the most powerful symbols directed at African Americas invoking the history of lynching, slavery and racial terrorism. Due to other interactions with Coach, I knew this was no slip of the tongue.

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Chambers responded on Twitter and accepted responsibility for his statement.

I’ve realized the pain my words and ignorance caused Rasir Bolton and his family and I apologize to Rasir and the Bolton family for what I said. I failed to comprehend the experiences of others, and the reference I made was hurtful, insensitive and unacceptable. I cannot apologize enough for what I said, and I will carry that forever.

I try and respond to mistakes I have made by learning and growing, and I hold myself accountable and strive to be a better person and a better coach. In talking with our players and their families, I a committed to seeking knowledge and gaining a better understanding of diverse perspectives and impact of bias in our society. I have much more to learn.

It is critically important for me to recognize my responsibility in better understanding the experiences of others and I am committed to doing the necessary work required to do just that. I love our student-athletes and want each of them to grow and succeed, individually, and as part of our team. I promise that I will keep listening. I will keep learning, and continue our conversations within our team and our Penn State family.

Chambers was reacting to the short essay posted Monday by Bolton, in which he explained his decision to leave Happy Valley.

For the past year, many have questioned why I left Penn State after my freshman year. I was a scholarship athlete on the Men’s Basketball program. I got playing time, I started part of the season and I was on the Dean’s List. I formed many relationships at Penn State that I still maintain today. However, no one ever stops to consider that there is more to a college athlete than the sport. We are human, we are young men and women, and in my case, I am a young Black man FIRST.

A “noose” around my neck is why I left Penn State. Head Coach Patrick Chambers, the day after his one-game suspension in January 2019, in talking to me referenced a “noose” around my neck. A noose, symbolic of lynching, defined as one of the most powerful symbols directed at African Americas invoking the history of lynching, slavery and racial terrorism. Due to other interactions with Coach, I knew this was no slip of the tongue.

I reported this immediately to my academic advisor. I confronted Coach Chambers. I spoke directly with the AD’s office myself. My parents contacted the AD’s office in writing and by phone. My parents drove the five hours to Penn State to meet with the AD’s office and Coach Chambers more than once. During this time Coach Chambers admitted to what he said.

I was provided one meeting and a phone number to text with a psychologist. I was taught “ways to deal with Coach Chambers’ personality type.”

Coach Chambers never apologized, he said he was “from the north and wasn’t aware.” Subtle repercussions followed. Some teammates were told I couldn’t be trusted and I was told the team didn’t trust me. I wasn’t “all in” and “loyal.” Because I stood up for myself? During my final player/coach meeting in April 2019, Coach Chambers told me he was really impressed with how well spoken and organized my parents were.” Yet, another subtle insult.

I only heard fro Penn State’s Integrity Office in reference to my situation six months later, once I was at my new school, requesting a waiver. I tell this story because it is not alleged, it was admitted to and documented.

I was provided what my family and I consider surface level resources while still finishing the season, practicing and participating in team events under Coach Chambers. Had I or my parents reacted differently, it would have only hurt me; had I quit, it would have only hurt me. I chose to use my head.

I wasn’t the first and I know I won’t be the last. Everyone’s position to speak out isn’t the same so I am only speaking for myself. There is serious need for change in the way players are protected and helped across the country when faced with these situations. Surface level resources are not good enough. In most cases it is the Coach who is protected, while the player is left to deal with it or leave.

BE the change you want to see.

On the court, Bolton played in 32 games at Penn State in 2018-19, starting in nine and averaging 11.6 points per game.

The next year at Iowa State, Bolton started 30 games and averaged almost 15 points per game.

Off the court, stories like the one told by Bolton are finally having a chance to see the light of day in the wake of the George Floyd protests following his death in May and the subsequent momentum built by the Black Lives Matter movement.

Chambers is preparing for his 10th season as head coach at Penn State. The men’s basketball coach previously owned up to his noose comments to Bolton, telling The Undefeated, “I didn’t realize that word would hurt him, and I am truly, truly sorry for that.”

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Golden State

Golden State Killer Suspect Pleads Guilty To More Than A Dozen Murders – NPR

Golden State Killer suspect Joseph James DeAngelo (center) pleaded guilty on Monday in Sacramento, Calif., to 13 murders and other related charges.

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

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Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Golden State Killer suspect Joseph James DeAngelo (center) pleaded guilty on Monday in Sacramento, Calif., to 13 murders and other related charges.

Rich Pedroncelli/AP

Wearing an orange jumpsuit and a clear face shield to protect against the coronavirus, former police officer Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. pleaded guilty on Monday to 13 counts of first-degree murder. The string of murders in the 1970s and ’80s terrorized California, and the suspect who committed them became known as the Golden State Killer.

DeAngelo, 74, sat in a wheelchair as he rasped out “yes” and “I admit” to the charges, after prosecutors described the grisly circumstances of each crime. Otherwise, he hardly spoke and did not look at the victims’ families.

“Mr. DeAngelo is acknowledging his guilt for the heinous crimes he has committed,” said Contra Costa County District Attorney Diana Becton. “There is really nothing that could give full justice because he has committed horrendous acts and murder up and down the state of California. But at least we can now begin the process — after decades — to bring some closure to families.”

The hearing took place in a makeshift courtroom within a ballroom at Sacramento State University, NPR’s Eric Westervelt reports from the scene. The chairs in the gallery were spaced 10 feet apart for social distancing, attorneys wore face shields, and sheriff’s deputies wore black face masks.

The long-unsolved murders grabbed headlines anew in 2018 when law enforcement officers announced they had identified DeAngelo as the suspect using DNA from a publicly available genealogy website to crack the case.

In Hunt For Golden State Killer, Investigators Uploaded His DNA To Genealogy Site

Investigators used the DNA evidence from one of the murder scenes to create a profile of the killer, which they then uploaded to the genealogy website. That site linked the killer’s profile to a distant relative of DeAngelo. Investigators then confirmed the link by collecting DeAngelo’s DNA from his car door and a discarded tissue, according to The Associated Press.

DeAngelo’s attorneys struck a plea deal with prosecutors that means DeAngelo will avoid the death penalty. California has not executed an inmate since 2006. In March 2019, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed an executive order instituting a moratorium on the death penalty in the state. DeAngelo will face consecutive life sentences with no chance of parole.

Easy DNA Identifications With Genealogy Databases Raise Privacy Concerns

The use of genealogy data to find a murder suspect has raised privacy concerns. People who decide to have their DNA analyzed by popular services are potentially giving away data that could point to their relatives and their descendants.

“The police currently [are] using these techniques to find … [murderers] and bad people,” researcher Yaniv Erlich told NPR’s Rob Stein in 2018. “But are we OK with using this technique to identify people in a political demonstration who left their DNA behind? There are many scenarios that you can think about misuse.”

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