Friday morning news – June 26, 2020


House passes far-reaching police reform bill » House Democrats approved a far-reaching police reform bill Thursday. 

AUDIO: On this vote, the yeas are 236. The nays are 181. The bill is passed. 

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the bill, named after George Floyd will “fundamentally transform the culture of policing” in America and “save lives.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy complained Democrats cut Republicans out of the process. 

MCCARTHY: They didn’t give us one amendment, nor did they work with us, and today they didn’t allow one amendment on the floor. They just make this political instead of rise to the occasion. 

The bill passed largely down party lines one day after Senate Democrats blocked a GOP-led police reform bill from coming to the floor. 

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, one of three Black members of the Senate authored that bill. On Wednesday, Pelosi said Senate Republicans are—quote— “trying to get away with murder, actually—the murder of George Floyd.” GOP leaders have demanded an apology. Pelosi responded on Thursday…

PELOSI: Absolutely, positively not. 

The two parties are now locked in a familiar standoff, but the competing bills do share some common ground that could provide a framework for compromise.

Both bills would create a national database of use-of-force incidents, restrict police chokeholds and set up new training procedures.

The Democratic bill goes further on some measures, while also making it easier for people to sue police officers in civil court. 

Supreme Court: Government may quickly deport some who enter illegally » The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the federal government can quickly deport certain individuals entering the country illegally and it can do so with limited judicial review. WORLD’s Mary Reichard has the details. 

MARY REICHARD, REPORTER: The ruling centred on the case of a Sri Lanka native arrested just 25 yards north of the southern border. Immigration officials reviewed Vijayakumar Thuraissigiam’s case and rejected his claim of credible fear of persecution in his homeland. An asylum officer then ordered his removal, but Thuraissigiam claimed a right to court review of that decision. 

You can hear the eventual ruling in this comment from Justice Brett Kavanaugh during the March oral argument, quoting from another settled case: 

KAVANAUGH: The Court has long held that an alien seeking initial admission to the United States requests a privilege and has no constitutional rights regarding his application. So that’s a statement of law for 8 justices.

The ruling was 7-to-2 with Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissenting. The opinion overturns the US Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and orders the lower court dismiss Thuraissigiam’s  application for review. 

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Mary Reichard. 

CDC director: 5 to 8 percent of U.S. population has likely caught coronavirus » CDC Director Robert Redfield says that while the United States has about 2.3 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, you can probably multiply that by 10. 

He told reporters Thursday that—quoting here—”Our best estimate right now is that for every case that’s reported, there actually are 10 other infections.”

REDFIELD: Looks like it’s somewhere between 5 and 8 percent of the American public. 

And that percentage is rising. 

Confirmed daily U.S. cases peaked back in April at 36,400. And this week, new daily cases crept within 2,000 of that high water mark. 

According to an Associated Press analysis, the daily average has climbed by more than 50 percent in two weeks.

Expanded testing may partly explain the resurgence, but only partly. Daily deaths, hospitalizations and the percentage of positive tests are also rising in some places. Dallas, Texas Mayor Eric Johnson said Thursday…

JOHNSON: COVID-19 is spreading rapidly in Dallas County. The data is clear. Our case numbers and our hospitalization numbers, which we’ve been tracking daily, are headed in the wrong direction. 

Texas was one of six states to hit single-day case records this week. Nevada is another, where Governor Steve Sisolak has ordered the wearing of face masks in public. 

U.S. unemployment claims dip » Just under 1.5 million people filed jobless claims last week. That marked the 12th straight drop. 

Still, an additional 700,000 people applied for benefits under a new program for self-employed and “gig economy” workers that made them eligible for aid.

The numbers suggest the U.S. job market’s gains may have largely stalled as coronavirus infections are back on the rise.

The government also reported Thursday that the economy contracted at a 5 percent annual rate in the first three months of the year.

Bayer to pay up to $11 billion in Roundup weedkiller settlement » The parent company of a popular line of weedkiller products announced this week that it will pay billions to settle lawsuits over claims that the products cause cancer. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more. 

AUDIO: [Roundup commercial]

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: Thousands have sued the Bayer corporation over its weedkiller Roundup, which is made by its Monsanto subsidiary. 

The company maintains that the products are safe. But it also announced this week that it will pay up to nearly $11 billion dollars to settle more than 100,000 claims. 

Bayer will make a payment of up to nine-and-a-half billion to resolve current litigation, and nearly 1.3 billion to address potential future litigation.

Monsanto developed glyphosate—a key ingredient in Roundup—in the 1970s. The company said last year that all government regulators that have looked at the issue have rejected a link between cancer and glyphosate.

The herbicide came under increased scrutiny after an arm of the World Health Organization classified it as a “probable human carcinogen” in 2015.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.


(Kevin Dietsch/Pool via AP) Dr. Robert Redfield, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, testifies before a House Committee on Energy and Commerce on the Trump administration’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, June 23, 2020. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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