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AP News in Brief at 9:04 p.m. EDT

"Angelo Blais" (2020-08-12)


More protests sweep US cities as Trump decries 'lowlifes'

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump on Tuesday turned up the pressure on governors to quell the violence set off by the death of George Floyd, demanding New York call up the National Guard to stop the "lowlifes and losers."

As more demonstrations began taking shape around the country, and cities including Washington prepared for another possible round of scattered violence after dark, the president amplified his hard-line calls of a day earlier, in which he threatened to send in the military to restore order if governors didn´t do it.

"NYC, CALL UP THE NATIONAL GUARD," he tweeted. "The lowlifes and losers are ripping you apart. Act fast!"

One day after a crackdown on peaceful protesters near the White House, thousands of demonstrators massed a block away from the presidential mansion, facing law enforcement personnel standing across a black chain-link fence. The fence was put up overnight to block access to Lafayette Park, just across the street from the White House.

"Last night pushed me way over the edge," said Jessica DeMaio, 40, of Washington, who attended a protest Tuesday for the first time. "Being here is better than being at home feeling helpless."

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The Latest: Washington protests on Tuesday lacking tension

The Latest on the May 25 death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck:

TOP OF THE HOUR:

- Protest in Washington on Tuesday lack tension of previous night's demonstrations.

- U.S. Park Police deny using tear gas to disperse protesters outside White House on Monday.

- Mother of George Floyd's 6-year-old daughter wants justice for him "because he was good."

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Protests in top 25 virus hot spots ignite fears of contagion

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - As demonstrators flooded streets across America to decry the killing of George Floyd, public health experts watched in alarm - the close proximity of protesters and their failures in many cases to wear masks, along with the police using tear gas, could fuel new transmissions of the coronavirus.

Many of the protests broke out in places where the virus is still circulating widely in the population. In fact, an Associated Press review found that demonstrations have taken place in every one of the 25 U.S. communities with the highest concentrations of new cases. Some have seen major protests over multiple days, including Minneapolis-St. Paul, Chicago, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.

The protests have come just as communities across the nation loosen restrictions on businesses and public life that have helped slow the spread of the virus, deepening concern that the two factors taken together could create a national resurgence in cases.

"As a nation, we have to be concerned about a rebound," Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser warned Sunday after days of protests rocked the nation´s capital. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo bemoaned the crowds, saying that hundreds could potentially have been infected, undoing months of social distancing.

A fresh outbreak in the places where protesters gathered could lead to reinstituting shutdowns.

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Thousands remain protesting in NYC streets, defying curfew

NEW YORK (AP) - Thousands of demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd remained on New York City streets on Tuesday after an 8 p.m. curfew put in place by officials struggling to stanch destruction and growing complaints that the nation´s biggest city was reeling out of control night by night.

Mayor Bill de Blasio had doubled down on a citywide curfew, moving it up from 11 p.m. the night before, but rejected urging from President Donald Trump and an offer from Gov. Andrew Cuomo to bring in the National Guard.

The police department announced it would allow no vehicle traffic south of 96th Street in Manhattan after curfew, though residents, essential workers, buses and truck deliveries were exempt.

"We´re going to have a tough few days. We´re going to beat it back," de Blasio, a Democrat, said in announcing that an 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew would remain through Sunday.

Protests had resumed Tuesday during the day over the death of Floyd, a black man who died on May 25 after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed a knee on his neck even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.

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The Latest: Biden wins Maryland's presidential primary

The Latest on Tuesday's primary elections (all times EDT):

8:55 p.m.

Joe Biden has won Maryland´s Democratic presidential primary.

Biden was declared the winner of Tuesday´s primary on a night when six other states and the District of Columbia are voting in the presidential nomination contest. The result has been expected because Biden´s rivals have already dropped out of the race.

Voters in Maryland were strongly urged to vote by mail because of concerns about further spread of the coronavirus.

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Tropical Storm Cristobal forms, flood threat for Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) - Tropical Storm Cristobal formed in the southern Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday, bringing some flooding to Mexico's southern Gulf coast and threatening more deadly inundations farther inland.

Cristobal was the earliest third named storm of an Atlantic hurricane season on record; in 2016, Tropical Storm Colin formed in the Gulf on June 5.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Cristobal was now expected to dip inland along the Mexican coast near the low-lying, flood-prone city of Ciudad del Carmen and meander there for a couple of days. That could pump a huge amount of water into coastal lagoons behind the city.

Police in Campeche state, where Ciudad del Carmen is located, said they have already closed several highways because of flooding.

By Friday, the storm is expected to make a northward turn and head towards the U.S. Gulf coast, where the Hurricane Center said "there is a risk of storm surge, rainfall, and wind impacts this weekend along portions of the U.S. Gulf Coast from Texas to the Florida Panhandle."

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Curfews give sweeping powers to cops, but are often flouted

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Hundreds of cities have imposed curfews to keep the peace during a week of violent unrest across the U.S., employing a tactic that gives law enforcement sweeping arrest powers but is frequently flouted and criticized as being unconstitutional.

From New York City to Fargo, North Dakota, cities large and small have put curfews in place - in some cases for the first time in decades - sending out emergency notices on phones and highway signs urging people to stay off the streets.

But the deadlines aren't hard and fast - many of them have exceptions for people heading to and from work, reporters, public transportation and even people buying groceries. Many protesters and citizens have routinely disregarded the restrictions, and police have allowed peaceful demonstrations to continue after curfew while focusing their attention on violent unrest.

A curfew allows police the ability without any other reason to threaten to arrest or detain crowds of protesters that linger or groups that appear to be a danger to order. And curfews can be a deterrent to get law-abiding citizens off the street and allow police to focus their efforts on the unrest and not get bogged down in run-of-the-mill violations.

New York City put in place a large-scale curfew for what appeared to be the first time in nearly 80 years this week as groups vandalized buildings and stole from stores. The curfew was originally 11 p.m., but Mayor Bill de Blasio rolled it back to 8 p.m., before the sun goes down.

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Zuckerberg still under fire over inflammatory Trump posts

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg isn´t budging over his refusal to take action on inflammatory posts by President Donald Trump that spread misinformation about voting by mail and, many said, encouraged violence against protesters.

His critics, however, are multiplying. Some employees have publicly quit over the issue and civil-rights leaders who met with him Monday night denounced Zuckerberg's explanation for choosing to leave Trump's posts alone as "incomprehensible."

A day after dozens of Facebook employees staged a virtual walkout over the issue, the Facebook chief met Tuesday with employees for a Q&A session held via online video. During that session, which had been moved forward from later in the week, Zuckerberg reportedly doubled down on his stance to leave Trump´s posts alone - although he did suggest that the company was considering changes to its existing policies around "state use of force," which Trump´s Minneapolis post fell under.

Facebook rival Twitter flagged and demoted a Trump tweet in which he referenced protests over police violence in Minneapolis using the phrase "when the looting starts the shooting starts." But Facebook let an identical message stand on its service. Zuckerberg explained his reasoning in a Facebook post Friday, a position he has since reiterated several times.

"I know many people are upset that we´ve left the President´s posts up, but our position is that we should enable as much expression as possible unless it will cause imminent risk of specific harms or dangers spelled out in clear policies," Zuckerberg wrote.

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Eagles' Don Henley asks Congress to change copyright law

WASHINGTON (AP) - Eagles songwriter Don Henley urged Congress on Tuesday to "Take It to the Limit" to protect artists against online pirating, wading into a copyright fight pitting Hollywood and the recording industry against big tech platforms like Google´s YouTube.

The blockbuster hitmaker of the 1970s testified online from his home before a Senate Judiciary subcommittee weighing possible changes to a 1998 copyright law. The law allows holders of copyrighted material to formally ask parties they believe have taken their content without permission to remove it. The parties can dispute the claim. If they comply promptly with the request, there are no legal consequences. Otherwise, they may be subject to criminal penalties.

Henley said the law is weak and needs to be changed to make it more effective in stopping online piracy.

The so-called "notice and takedown" system under the copyright law is used by the movie and recording industries, entertainment software makers and book authors to pursue tech platforms, universities and other facilitators of file-sharing.

Henley called the copyright law "a relic of a MySpace era in a TikTok world." With hundreds of millions of takedown notices sent, for every link taken down, "a dozen more pop up in its place," he said. The system "still allows Big Tech to rake in revenue" after repeated copyright infringements, Henley said.

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Washington man has some surprise guests: about 60 protesters

WASHINGTON (AP) - Rahul Dubey had some unexpected guests Monday night - about 60 in all - as a tense nation´s capital continued to grapple with the fallout from the death of George Floyd while in police custody.

They were protesters out after Washington´s 7 p.m. curfew and 웹툰 야짤 about to be arrested when Dubey frantically waved them into his rowhouse. Police chased them as far as the entrance. Inside, pandemonium ensued as some of the screaming protesters hit by pepper spray sought relief for their eyes with milk and water. On the back patio, neighbors pitched in by handing milk over the fence.

"The whole time he didn´t think of himself," said one of the protesters, a 22-year-old Virginia man named Meka who declined to give his last name. "He was just trying to keep everybody safe, make sure we knew our rights and to make sure our spirits were lifted throughout the night."

Dubey said a police line was about two houses away when he flung his door open and he encouraged people to come inside.

"And now the pepper spray is coming, and they´re coughing and they can´t see and they´re tripping up on the stairs and their friends or whoever´s around them is helping them, pulling them inside the house. And this went on for 10 minutes," Dubey said, adding that "it was pure terror. It was 10 minutes of terror."