By Robert A. Vella
Here’s the news for July 14th 2020:
Four former heads of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday implicitly rebuked President Donald Trump, arguing the “extraordinary” efforts by him and other administration officials to diminish the public health agency’s guidance was contributing to a resurgence of coronavirus cases across the United States.
In an op-ed published in The Washington Post, former CDC directors Tom Frieden, Jeffrey Koplan and David Satcher, as well as former acting CDC director Richard Besser, fiercely criticized “political leaders and others attempting to undermine” the agency as it works to issue recommendations for schools seeking to reopen their doors for the fall semester.
“As the debate last week around reopening schools more safely showed, these repeated efforts to subvert sound public health guidelines introduce chaos and uncertainty while unnecessarily putting lives at risk,” the op-ed’s authors wrote, adding that while “it is not unusual for CDC guidelines to be changed or amended” during a multi-agency clearance process, “it is extraordinary for guidelines to be undermined after their release.”
The federal prosecutor whom Attorney General Bill Barr ousted in June told House investigators that he was alarmed at the way Barr attempted to replace him, saying that “the “irregular and unexplained actions by the Attorney General raised serious concerns for me,” according to a transcript of the closed-door interview released by the House Judiciary Committee on Monday.
Geoffrey Berman, formerly the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, was brought in for a closed-door session of the Judiciary Committee on July 9 to talk about the events surrounding Barr’s public announcement on June 19 that Berman had “stepped down” from his post, even though the U.S. attorney made clear to Barr multiple times that he was not stepping down.
The late-night announcement by Barr immediately sparked confusion and raised questions about his involvement in a crucial prosecutor’s office. The next day, Berman said he would leave the job when Barr agreed to let his deputy take over as acting U.S. attorney, as opposed to Craig Carpenito, the U.S. attorney for the district of New Jersey, whom Barr wanted to install in the position until the Trump administration’s pick, Securities and Exchange Commission chief Jay Clayton, was confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
In a 20-page ruling, Dutchess County Supreme Court Justice Hal Greenwald said the bid by President Donald Trump’s brother Robert to block publication of his niece’s book didn’t pass legal muster — and noted news of the book’s contents had already “reached millions of people by the tremendous attention it has gained by the media.”
The ruling was handed down the night before Mary Trump’s book, “Too Much and Never Enough, How My Family Created the World’s Most Dangerous Man,” goes on sale in bookstores.
“The court got it right in rejecting the Trump family’s effort to squelch Mary Trump’s core political speech on important issues of public concern,” Mary Trump’s lawyer Ted Boutrous said in a statement. “Tomorrow, the American public will be able to read Mary’s important words for themselves.”
Greenwald had initially signed a temporary restraining order in the case against Simon & Schuster, but the order was struck down by an appeals court judge. In his Monday ruling, Greenwald lifted a similar order against Mary Trump.
The United Kingdom has banned Huawei from its 5G telecom network, reversing a January decision to allow the embattled Chinese tech company a limited role in building the country’s super-fast wireless infrastructure.
Operators such as BT and Vodafone have been given until 2027 to remove existing Huawei equipment from their 5G networks, the UK government announced on Tuesday. Digital and Culture Minister Oliver Dowden said new US sanctions imposed on the company in May had “significantly changed” the landscape.
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