US secretary of state Mike Pompeo characterized the foremost human rights priorities of the Trump administration as the protection of ‘private property’ and ‘religious freedom’.
Human rights groups quickly criticized the implication that human rights exist in a hierarchy, and the suggestion that some are more important than others. The Trump administration’s own human rights record has been under scrutiny for horrific violations, including putting children in cages, responding to peaceful protests with brutality, and attacking the free press.
More from the Guardian’s Julian Borger in Washington:
Pompeo, launching a draft report by a Commission on Unalienable Rights he established a year ago, also claimed that a proliferation of human rights asserted by different US and international institutions had the effect of diluting those rights he viewed as the most important.
“Many are worth defending in light of our founding; others aren’t,” Pompeo said at a launch ceremony in Philadelphia. He did not specify which rights he thought were superfluous, but the state department during his tenure has been aggressive in opposing references to reproductive and gender rights in UN and other multilateral documents.
In the report launched on Thursday, the authors – a mix of academics and activists – said they could not agree on the application of human rights standards to issues like “abortion, affirmative action, and capital punishment, to name a few”.
The Supreme Court voted Friday to expedite a court case compelling Donald Trump to release his tax returns.
The ruling is the latest development in Trump’s fight against a subpoena from the Manhattan district attorney for eight years of tax returns. Last week the court ruled Trump does not have broad immunity from such a subpoena but that he can still challenge it on other grounds.
The order passed Friday will allow the judgment to be issued more quickly than the standard 25 days. Trump’s lawyer said the team plans to file an amended complaint to raise new challenges to the state grand jury subpoena, a move the district attorney has called “a delay tactic”.
Hello readers, Kari Paul here on the west coast taking over the blog for the evening. Stay tuned for updates.
Today so far
That’s it from me today. My west coast colleague, Kari Paul, will take over the blog for the next few hours.
Here’s where the day stands so far:
- California’s governor, Gavin Newsom, unveiled the statewide plan for reopening schools. The plan would prevent most of the state’s 10,000 schools from resuming in-person instruction this fall because a majority of counties are included on the Newsom administration’s coronavirus monitoring list, as cases continue to rise in California.
- The US again broke its record for the number of new coronavirus cases reported in one day. The country reported more than 77,000 new cases yesterday, and a poll out this morning indicates Trump is losing support because of the alarming trend. The Washington Post-ABC News poll found that 38% of Americans approve of Trump’s handling of the pandemic, down from 46% in May and 51% in March.
- Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been receiving treatment for a recurrence of cancer. The 87-year-old justice said she is “encouraged by the success of my current treatment” and intends to remain on the court.
- Trump is reportedly weighing an executive order banning undocumented people from being counted in the 2020 census. Such a policy could prevent areas with high numbers of undocumented residents from getting proper funding and representation in the government. However, it’s unclear how the policy would be implemented, considering the supreme court already blocked the Trump administration’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the census.
- The defense secretary, Mark Esper, effectively banned the display of the Confederate flag at military bases. Esper issued a memo on the display of flags at military bases, which included a list of acceptable flags to display. The Confederate flag was notably omitted from the list.
Kari will have more coming up, so stay tuned.
In his Fox News Sunday interview, Trump reiterated his false claim that the Joe Biden-Bernie Sanders unity document calls for defunding the police.
Fox News anchor Chris Wallace corrected Trump in the interview, which is set to air Sunday. The president responded to Wallace’s correction by demanding that an aide fetch a copy of the document.
The president made a similar claim during his blatantly political speech in the Rose Garden earlier this week.
Trump said on Tuesday, “The Biden-Sanders agenda is the most extreme platform of any major party nominee, by far, in American history. … They now want to abolish our police departments. They want to abolish our prisons, I guess.”
But Biden has repeatedly said he does not support the movement to defund the police, and Politifact gave Trump’s claim a rating of “Pants on Fire.”
Trump’s interview comes as his campaign seeks to paint Biden as an extreme liberal, but polls show voters view Biden as more of a moderate than the president.
More from the Guardian’s Mario Koran on California’s approach to reopening schools:
New guidance handed down by California creates for the first time a statewide approach to reopening schools as cases across the state continue to surge.
Until now, counties have been allowed a wider degree of discretion in how to move forward, which has created an uneven patchwork of plans.
That was seen this week when the state’s two largest school districts in Los Angeles and San Diego announced they’d open the school year with online classes only. Meanwhile, education officials in Orange county, between the two, recommended that students return to school with in-person instruction, without the use of masks.
The recommendations endorsed by the Orange County officials made the case that masks can lead to anxiety, depression and even learning disabilities — a claim, one doctor told me, that was not backed by any evidence that he was aware of.
An educational consultant told EdSource that governor Gavin Newsom made the decision to support school staff and insulate district officials from angry parents who want schools to reopen for in-person classes. Newsom’s move effectively takes that decision out of the hands of county school officials.
Fox News Sunday has released a teaser of Chris Wallace’s interview with Trump, and it features the president arguing with the news anchor about an easily verifiable fact.
Wallace noted the recent increase in shootings in many cities, and he asked Trump why he thinks such violence is on the rise now.
The president replied, “I explain it very simply by saying they’re Democrat-run cities. They’re liberally run. They’re stupidly run.”
Wallace responded by noting that many cities have long been run by Democratic mayors, so that doesn’t explain the recent alarming trend.
“They’ve run them poorly. It was always bad, but now it’s gotten totally out of control,” Trump said. The president then made a false claim about Joe Biden, saying of his election opponent, “It’s really because they want to defund the police, and Biden wants to defund the police.”
“No, sir, he does not,” Wallace interjected.
But Trump stood by his false claim, incorrectly saying that a unity platform endorsed by both Biden and Bernie Sanders embraces calls to defund the police.
In reality, Biden has repeatedly said he does not support the movement to defund the police and has instead called for reforming departments.
When Wallace tried to explain this to Trump, the president responded by ordering an off-screen aide to get him the document. “Let’s go! Get me the charter, please!” Trump says.
So make sure to watch the interview on Sunday because, if that teaser is any indication, it was clearly eventful.
More from the Guardian’s Mario Koran on California’s approach to reopening schools:
California’s plan to reopen schools, new today, includes requirements for personal protective equipment, physical distancing, distance learning and guidance for what should happen if students get sick.
Schools would not be able to reopen for in-person instruction until the counties they’re located in have been off a statewide monitoring list for 14 days, based on stable case rates.
Masks will be required for students in third grade and older; for students in second grade and younger, masks or face shields (which can be less intimidating to youngsters) will be strongly recommended.
Staff must maintain six feet of distance between each other and students, and each day would begin with checks for symptoms. If 5% of students at a school are sick, it would force a school closure.
Distance learning, which saw a disastrous rollout this spring, will also have new requirements: connectivity and devices for all kids, a requirement of daily live interaction with teachers and others students, assignments that are comparable to in-person classwork and lessons adapted for English learners and special education students.
Newsom blocks in-person instruction for most California schools this fall
The Guardian’s Mario Koran reports from California:
California governor Gavin Newsom has released guidelines on the safe reopening of schools, tying reopening plans to county health metrics.
Schools in counties that are on the state’s monitoring lists, as determined by case rates and community spread, will not be allowed to reopen for in-person classes this fall.
With 31 of California’s 58 counties now on the watch list, including the state’s most populous areas, that would mean most of the state’s 10,000 schools would start the school year without in person instruction.
Tensions are reportedly rising within Fox News, as the network attracts more criticism for its coverage of the recent protests against racism and police brutality.
Despite complaints from some of their black colleagues, Fox’s on-air talent has continued to disparage the Black Lives Matter movement and warn America is “under attack.” Host Tucker Carlson’s top writer was also recently forced out over past racist and sexist posts online.
The Daily Beast reports:
Two people familiar with the situation told The Daily Beast that Fox Corporation CEO Lachlan Murdoch personally approved what Carlson would say in his defensive Monday remarks addressing the exit of his top writer. Despite demands from Fox News executives that he pre-tape the segment and strike a conciliatory tone, Carlson barely sounded apologetic, knowing he had the full backing of the Murdoch heir.
A rep for Murdoch did not respond to a request for comment. But The Daily Beast spoke to more than a dozen Fox News insiders, who all suggested that behind the scenes there is a growing despair among employees about the network’s role in demonizing and spreading fear about Black Americans in particular.
One employee was especially angry, saying, ‘They created a cell—they created a white supremacist cell inside the top cable network in America, the one that directly influences the president… This is rank racism excused by Murdoch.’