AP Headlines: Infections exceed 82,000, man saves officer’s life…

AP PA Headlines 6/23/20

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Confirmed or presumed coronavirus cases in Pennsylvania now exceed 82,000, while new reports of coronavirus-related deaths have slowed significantly in the past couple days. The state Department of Health on Monday reported 456 new cases, and three new deaths. That was the second straight day of single-digit death reports attributed to the virus, bringing the statewide total to 6,426. Of those infected since early March, 78% have recovered, the department said. The number of infections is thought to be far higher than the state’s confirmed case count because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected without feeling sick.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man is being credited with saving a Uniontown Police officer’s life after he helped pull him from a burning car Sunday night. Daylan McLee said he didn’t hesitate to save a human life. The 31-year-old Black man has had several bad interactions with police officers, having filed a wrongful arrest lawsuit against Pennsylvania State Police after he spent a year in jail before being acquitted in a situation where video showed he had disarmed a gunman, not pointed a gun at officers. McLee said Monday he wants more people to look at individuals and not judge all police based on one interaction.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania House has turned to a seven-term Republican member to become its next speaker, elevating him to the chamber’s top job a week after his predecessor stepped down in mid-term. The Monday vote for Rep. Bryan Cutler of Lancaster County made him the House’s presiding officer, one step up from the job of majority leader, a post he held for nearly two years. After he was sworn in, Cutler spoke of the state’s founder, William Penn, as well as the challenges the state currently faces. Republicans elected Rep. Kerry Benninghoff of Centre County to be majority leader, and Rep. Donna Oberlander of Clarion County to be whip.

ERIE, Pa. (AP) — The attorney for a protester kicked by a northwestern Pennsylvania police officer as she was sitting on the street during civil unrest in Erie last month has filed court papers seeking the officer’s identity. Attorney Timothy McNair said Monday he had filed for a writ of summons against the officers involved in the May 30 incident and expects to file a formal complaint alleging excessive force and unconstitutional action. Erie officials announced last week that the unnamed officer would be suspended without pay for three days and would then be on desk duty until he completes sensitivity training.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Trump administration has taken the final step to allow rail shipments of liquefied natural gas, a new front in the movement of energy products that had been opposed by environmental groups and 15 states. The U.S. Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration published the rule late last week for shipments of the flammable and odorless liquid known as LNG. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao says the new rule provides for the safe transportation of LNG by rail to more parts of the country where it is needed. The rule comes amid court and regulatory battles over pipeline projects designed to move the nation’s world-leading production of natural gas to markets.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved


UNDATED (AP) — Another outdoor gear company says it’s putting an ad freeze on Facebook and Instagram. Patagonia says it won’t place ads on the social networking site and its image-driven app for the month of July. It’s part of a protest in which companies say Facebook hasn’t done enough to stop the spread of false information and propaganda. Patagonia joins The North Face and REI, which announced similar boycotts recently. Last week, civil rights groups called on large advertisers to pull ads from Facebook next month to nudge the site toward doing more to curb racist and violent content.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Protesters tried to pull down a statue of President Andrew Jackson near the White House Monday night before being dispersed by police. WUSA-TV in Washington reports that police used pepper spray to move protesters out of Lafayette Square, where the Jackson statue is located. Videos posted on social media show that the protesters climbed on the statue and tied ropes around it, then tried to pull it off its pedestal. The 19th century president’s ruthless treatment of Native Americans has made his statue a target of demonstrators protesting the United States’ legacy of racial injustice. The Jackson statue remains on its pedestal.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Mike Pence and a half-dozen other senior advisers to President Donald Trump have repeatedly voted by mail, according to election records obtained by The Associated Press. That undercuts the president’s argument that the practice will lead to widespread fraud this November. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos votes absentee in Michigan. Campaign manager Brad Parscale voted absentee in Texas in 2018 — after not voting at all when Trump was last on the ballot. The campaign’s chief operating officer Michael Glassner and deputy campaign manager Bill Stepien have both repeatedly voted by mail in New Jersey. Trump’s campaign says it is raising legitimate concerns about the security of the election.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says the United States has done “too good a job” on testing for cases of COVID-19. That’s even as his staff insists the president was only joking on Saturday when he said that he had instructed aides to “slow the testing down, please.” The president’s comments at the Tulsa, Oklahoma, rally this weekend brought quick rebukes from the campaign of likely Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden as well as scores of Democratic lawmakers. White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany says any suggestion that testing has been curtailed is not rooted in fact.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — “Do the Right Thing” is free to rent on several platforms all week and an online discussion will be held with director Spike Lee on his 1989 film about racism, protests, police brutality and a New York neighborhood in turmoil. Universal Pictures is offering the film for free from Monday through Sunday on Amazon, Apple, Vudu and many other platforms. The American Film Institute will host the discussion with Lee Thursday at 8 p.m. Eastern on its YouTube channel. The announcement doesn’t mention recent global protests brought on by the death of George Floyd, but calls Lee “the voice for change that we need now more than ever.”

TALLADEGA, Ala. (AP) — The FBI is investigating the discovery of a noose found in the Talladega Superspeedway garage stall of Bubba Wallace and the governor of Alabama has condemned the act against NASCAR’s only Black full-time driver. Wallace two weeks ago successfully pushed NASCAR to ban the Confederate flag at its venues but the sanctioning body has not outlined any plans on how it will enforce the restriction. Hours after Sunday’s race was postponed by rain, NASCAR said a noose had been found in the garage stall. President Steve Phelps says security has been stepped up.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Golden Globes is refusing to let the pandemic get in the way of its party. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association says the ceremony will be held Feb. 28 in Beverly Hills, California, with previously announced hosts Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, The Golden Globes positions itself as the freewheeling start to awards season, set in hotel ballroom that’s arranged more like an oversized dinner party with drinks. Exactly which movies and TV shows will be eligible for honors remains to be seen, given the virus-caused delay in production that’s only now easing. Eligibility rules will be announced in the coming weeks.

HOLLYWOOD – ’30 Rock’ was between a rock and a hard place. Savvy users on social media noticed a few episodes missing from streaming platforms. Turns out they’ve been pulled because the episodes show Jenny Maroney (played by Jane Krakowski) in blackface. In one, she trades places with Tracy Morgan’s character (Tracy Jordan). In another, she dresses as former Pittsburgh Steelers star Lynn Swann. A pair of live episodes from Season 5 and 6 were also taken down. Show creators Tina Fey and Robert Carlock made the decision to remove the episodes.

NEW YORK – The NYPD says running over protesters with cars is not use of force. In the days following George Floyd’s death, viral video showed two New York City police cars drive through protesters blocking the street. During testimony for New York State’s Attorney General, the head of the force, Dermot Shea, says he doesn’t consider what happened a use of force.

NEW YORK (AP) – Shakira, Miley Cyrus, Jennifer Hudson and Coldplay will perform a televised concert aimed at drawing awareness to the coronavirus outbreak’s impact on people of color and the needy. Usher, Chloe x Halle, J Balvin, Justin Bieber and Quavo also will perform in isolation. The concert is not a fundraiser, but a call for world leaders to make sure all people have access to coronavirus testing and treatment. The advocacy group Global Citizen and the European Commission will sponsor the concert, which airs Saturday on NBC.

WASHINGTON (AP) – PBS will still run its Independence Day special “A Capitol Fourth,” but only the fireworks will be live from the National Mall in Washington. Patti LaBelle, John Fogerty, Brantley Gilbert and The Temptations will tape performances without an audience from iconic places around the country. Other performers include Trace Adkins, Andy Grammer, Lauren Alaina and Yolanda Adams. The special also will feature highlights from past years. John Stamos and Vanessa Williams will host..

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