Tuesday morning news – June 23, 2020

White House blasts Bolton as tell-all book hits shelves » The White House is taking aim at former national security adviser John Bolton as his new tell-all book hits shelves today despite a Trump administration lawsuit. 

Former Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told Fox News: 

MULVANEY: The Wall Street Journal wrote a piece earlier this week or last week that asked what ever happened to the concept of honor in public service. Clearly, John Bolton doesn’t have any left.

White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany called Bolton a “warmonger” who “will be remembered as a failed national security adviser.”

President Trump says Bolton is breaking the law, releasing classified information in his book The Room Where It Happened. But a federal judge ruled Saturday that his administration cannot block the book from being published. 

However U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth also said Bolton “gambled” with U.S. national security and—quote—“exposed his country to harm and himself to civil (and potentially criminal) liability.” 

In an interview with ABC News, Bolton highlighted some of the claims he makes in his book. Among them… 

BOLTON: He focused on terms like China buying more agricultural products, which he said to Xi Jinping directly would help him in the farm states—a really, to me, stunning, stunning statement by a president. 

Mick Mulvaney on Monday refuted that claim. 

Bolton also said Trump did tie aid to Ukraine to investigations of political rivals, as House Democrats asserted during the impeachment trial.

U.S. coronavirus infections continue to rise » White House trade adviser Peter Navarro says the Trump administration is preparing for a possible second coronavirus wave. But he said the administration does not believe a second wave is already upon us. 

Cases are on the rise, however. The number of newly confirmed cases across the country per day has reached more than 26,000. That’s up from about 21,000 two weeks ago. And infections are speeding up in 29 states.

Florida surpassed 100,000 cases on Monday. With much of the increase centered in South Florida, Miami Mayor Francis Suarez announced new safety measures on Monday. 

SUAREZ: Everyone will have to be wearing masks in public. Right now, the mask requirement is only when you are inside, when you are in parks but are not exercising. Now it will be a public requirement.

The virus is also spreading more rapidly in Texas. Dr. Marc Boom is CEO of Houston Methodist Hospital. He said COVID-19 hospital admissions have tripled since Memorial Day to more than 1,400 across the Houston area. He predicted that in three weeks hospitals could be overwhelmed.

Boom said much of the problem is that “people have let their guard down.”

And Dr. Michael Osterholm, who heads disease research at the University of Minnesota, agrees. He told NBC’s Meet the Press:

OSTERHOLM: We just have not really, I think, gotten the message across to the public yet that this is a very serious issue, that we can’t shut down our economy, but we can’t just suddenly say we’re done with it. 

He predicted that the country will likely see—quote—“one very, very difficult forest fire of cases.”

South Korea battles “second wave” as coronavirus continues global spread » Meantime in South Korea, health officials said Monday that the country is now battling a “second wave” of infections in and around Seoul. Authorities say the new surge began around a holiday weekend in early May. 

And at a news conference yesterday, World Health Organization director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus said the virus is not slowing down.

GHEBREYESUS: Globally, the pandemic is still accelerating. It took more than three months for the first 1 million cases to be reported. The last 1 million cases were reported in just eight days. 

A global increase in testing may be part of the explanation for a rise in cases. But WHO emergencies chief Dr. Michael Ryan told reporters “We do not believe this is a testing phenomenon.” 

He said the pandemic is peaking in a number of big countries at the same time and that is largely driving the increase. 

Siberian town records record triple-digit temperature » A Siberian town with the world’s widest temperature range has recorded a new high. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin reports. 

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The temperature in Verkhoyansk just hit 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit amid a severe heat wave. Much of Siberia this year has had unseasonably high temperatures, leading to large wildfires.

The town of just over a thousand people is located above the Arctic Circle—about 2,900 miles northeast of Moscow.

Guinness World Records has recognized the town for the most extreme temperature range, with a low of minus-90 degrees Fahrenheit. The previous record high temperature was about 99 degrees. 

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.

FBI investigating discovery of noose in garage of black NASCAR driver » FBI investigators are working to figure out who placed a noose in the garage stall of a black NASCAR driver at Talladega Superspeedway.

Bubba Wallace is the company’s only Black full-time driver. 

PHELPS: This morning at 7:30, we notified the Birmingham office of the FBI and they are currently on site.

NASCAR President Steve Phelps told reporters Monday…

PHELPS: As we have stated unequivocally, there is no place for racism in NASCAR. And this act only strengthens our resolve to make this sport open and welcoming to all. 

The incident comes just weeks after Wallace successfully pushed the stock car series to ban the Confederate flag at its venues.

U.S. Attorney Jay Town said his office, the FBI and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division are looking into the incident.

(AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File) In this Sept. 30, 2019, file photo, former National security adviser John Bolton gestures while speakings at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. 

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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