AP Headlines: Gov. Wolf divisive mask order, Fox wins big ratings

AP PA Headlines 7/2/20

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf’s administration moved Wednesday to expand its indoor mask order to public places outdoors where social-distancing is impossible. He also said Wednesday that he prefers to let local governments handle further coronavirus restrictions, as opposed to the broad shutdown orders he imposed this spring. Wolf says he doesn’t envision another broad shutdown order to contain the coronavirus. Wednesday’s mask order is similar to a days-old order in Philadelphia, extending it to crowded public places where it is impossible to remain six feet away from other people, as well as on public transportation and any indoor location where the public is generally permitted.

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Pennsylvania’s high court has ruled against an effort by Republican state lawmakers to end Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf’s shutdown orders. A divided court ruled Wednesday that a resolution passed with mostly GOP votes was a “legal nullity” because it wasn’t sent to Wolf to sign or veto. The resolution would have ended Wolf’s emergency disaster declaration that led to the closure of “non-life-sustaining” businesses, bans on large gatherings and orders for people to isolate at home. Two senior Republican senators sued to enforce their resolution, and the high court took up the matter and ruled without hearing oral argument.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Fox News Channel has ended the first quarter of 2020 with a milestone: the highest-rated quarter in the network’s history. According to ratings data compiled by Nielsen, Fox News posted its largest-ever quarter audience in prime time, with a total audience of 3.387 million viewers (up 38% from the same quarter one year ago). Among the key demographic of viewers 25-54, the group most valued by advertisers, FNC drew an average audience in prime time of 585,000 viewers (up 39% from a year ago).

MSNBC was second overall, with a total audience in prime time of 1.928 million viewers (unchanged from 1Q 2019) and CNN (1.427 million viewers, up 35% from 2019). Among viewers 25-54, CNN took second place with 429,000 viewers (up 39%) while MSNBC fell to third with 340,000 viewers (up 2%).

NEW YORK (AP) — President Trump often calls CNN a “failing” news organization. But based on its current ratings, there are a lot of media outlets who would love that kind of failure. The cable news outlet has posted its biggest audience for any three-month period in the network’s 40-year history. Nielsen reports CNN’s weekday prime-time audience was 1.95 million — up 120% over the same period last year. The head of CNN’s parent company couldn’t resist a dig at Trump upon hearing the news. Jeff Zucker says research shows the network is “‘the most trusted name in news” — and that everything Trump and his followers have tweeted about CNN has been proven false.

WASHINGTON (AP) — After long resisting wearing a mask in public, President Donald Trump says he thinks it makes him look like the Lone Ranger — and he likes it. Trump told Fox Business on Wednesday that he’s “all for masks.” Trump’s comments came a day after Republican lawmakers suggested that the president should wear a mask in public to set a good example for Americans. Trump has long resisted wearing a mask in public. In early April, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a recommendation that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures were difficult to maintain.

GEORGETOWN, Del. (AP) — An 8-foot (2.4 meters) tall whipping post was removed from a Delaware county courthouse square Wednesday after activists said the post was a reminder of racial discrimination. The post outside the Sussex County Courthouse in Georgetown was removed after an hour and a half of excavation and put in storage unit with other historical artifacts. The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs said the post was used to bind and whip people publicly for committing crimes up until 1952. However, Black people were disproportionately punished, according to the historical group. The group said the post was a “cold deadpan display” that didn’t “adequately account for the traumatic legacy it represents.”

CARMEL, Ind. (AP) — A bishop has suspended a suburban Indianapolis Catholic priest from public ministry for comparing the Black Lives Matter movement and its organizers to “maggots and parasites.” Bishop Timothy Doherty of the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana took the action Wednesday against the Rev. Theodore Rothrock of St. Elizabeth Seton Catholic Church in Carmel. Rothrock wrote the comments in Sunday’s weekly bulletin. A statement posted on the diocesan website says, “The suspension offers the Bishop an opportunity for pastoral discernment for the good of the diocese and for the good of Father Rothrock.” Rothrock no longer will be assigned as the future pastor of another Carmel parish.

SALT LAKE CITY (CBS) – While the central US sweats through a hundred-degree heatwave, out west – they’ve got snow…because weird things happen in 2020! Idaho, Utah, Montana and Wyoming are looking more like Christmas than Independence Day. They got upwards of 6 inches of snow. Outside of Salt Lake City, they recorded their first June/July snowstorm ever!

UNDATED (CBS) – Scientists have figured out the best fabric to use if you’re making your own face mask, and your grandma’s gonna love it! A study published in the journal of Physics of Fluids finds that a fitted, sewn mask made from two layers of quilting fabric is best at filtering droplets. The worst one they tested was a plain-old bandana. They think the quilted fabric catches germs better because of its two-ply ridges. Now, go raid nana’s quilting drawer!

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