Tribune News Service

International Budget for Saturday, May 23, 2020

Updated at 0000 UTC (8 p.m. U.S. EDT Friday).

Additional news stories, including full U.S. coverage, appear on the MCT-NEWS-BJT and MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.


^'Hong Kong is in a state of shock': New law is China's latest show of strength<

CHINA-HONGKONG:LA — With its COVID-19 outbreak waning, nationalism rising at home and its antagonists in the Trump administration preoccupied by the pandemic and election-year politics, the Chinese Communist Party is boldly moving to crush a dangerous obstacle to its authority.

By imposing a new national security law on Hong Kong, Beijing signaled its determination to squelch a fierce anti-China protest movement — and demolished the longstanding firewall protecting the high-flying territory's human rights and freedoms from interference from the authoritarian mainland.

1100 (with trims) by Shashank Bengali, Alice Su and David Pierson in Shanghai. MOVED



^Pakistan jet crash death toll confirmed at 41 as rescue continues<

PAKISTAN-CRASH-1ST-LEDE:DPA — At least 41 bodies have been retrieved after a jetliner crashed into a populated area in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi on Friday, officials said.

Two survivors were found after the Airbus A320 smashed into a narrow street moments before its scheduled landing at Jinnah International Airport, aviation and health officials said.

Rescuers were searching the rubble of the damaged buildings and the wreckage for more bodies and survivors several hours after the crash, as night fell.

500 by Qamar Zaman and Zia Khan in Islamabad. MOVED




^COVID-19 cases rise in Juarez and El Paso as Mexico readies for reopening of factories<

CORONAVIRUS-BORDER-REGION:DA — This nation is far from flattening the COVID-19 curve, but thousands of maquiladora employees are set to return to work after the government caved in to intense pressure from the Trump administration to ramp up production and restart the supply chain deemed critical for North America's economy.

The target date for reopening is June 1, although some officials say work may begin as early as Monday. The massive supply chain stretches across one of the hardest COVID-19 hit border regions: El Paso and Juarez.

1550 by Alfredo Corchado and Valeria Olivares in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. MOVED



^Little sense of shared grief as virus deaths near 100,000<

CORONAVIRUS-DEATHS-DIVIDE:LA — While Americans have shared undeniable hardships since March — including more than 38 million people forced to file for unemployment, and tens of millions more forced to hunker down at home to avoid the contagion — the carnage is hitting them unevenly.

President Donald Trump, loath to dwell on those dismal figures, is both stoking the polarized response and counting on a fragmented experience to distract the nation from the almost incomprehensible death toll — nearly triple that of any other country — which could tar his presidency and jeopardize his chance for reelection in November.

"I don't think we're taking this in," said David Kessler, an author of six books on grief.

2000 (with trims) by Noah Bierman and Eli Stokols in Washington. MOVED


^Americans venture out for holiday travel in test of containment<

CORONAVIRUS-HOLIDAY-TRAVEL:BLO — Americans are fleeing weeks of home isolation for beaches, parks and other leisure destinations over the Memorial Day weekend — and that has pandemic experts and businesses concerned about a spike in coronavirus cases.

Many states have begun to lift restrictions at the urging of President Donald Trump while travel and tourism businesses are seeing signs of life after nearly two months of near-zero demand. Yet those limits on public activity helped slow the spread of the virus, and a surge in tourism could mean trouble, said Jeff Schlegelmilch, deputy director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University.

1250 (with trims) by Ryan Beene and Alan Levin. MOVED


^White House concerned with coronavirus spread in LA area, asks CDC to investigate<

CORONAVIRUS-LA:LA — While some parts of the country are seeing major progress in fighting the coronavirus, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, on Friday singled out Los Angeles as one of three regions where persistent spread remains a significant concern.

Speaking with reporters at the White House, Birx gave a mostly upbeat assessment of the nation's progress but said the Los Angeles metropolitan area, which includes Orange County, is continuing to see problems, along with Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

1300 by Alex Wigglesworth, Luke Money, Noah Bierman and Hannah Fry in Los Angeles. MOVED


^35% of people infected with COVID-19 show no symptoms, according to CDC's 'best estimate'<

CORONAVIRUS-CDC-NOSYMPTOMS:NY — About a third of people infected with coronavirus in the U.S. are asymptomatic, according to newly released guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response have developed five different planning scenarios to help public health officials making coronavirus decisions based on mathematical modeling.

300 by Muri Assun o. MOVED


^Newsom promises reopening plan for churches as Trump demands immediate action<

CORONAVIRUS-CALIF-NEWSOM:LA — Gov. Gavin Newsom vowed to provide plans Monday for reopening California churches amid mounting pressure to allow in-person religious services both from protesters and President Donald Trump, who is demanding that governors take action immediately.

Newsom's comment comes just days after he said opening churches to congregants was "a few weeks away."

1000 by Phil Willon and Eli Stokols in Sacramento, Calif. MOVED


^San Jose could reap benefits of exodus from San Francisco, LA in wake of COVID-19, study says<

CORONAVIRUS-BIGCITY-EXODUS:SJ — In the wake of a pandemic sweeping through many of the country's most densely packed areas, analysts expect an exodus from cities in favor of car-friendly suburban areas.

San Jose is among the cities best-positioned to reap the benefits of a post-coronavirus world, according to a new study from the data analytics firm Moody's. Researchers looked at the top 100 metro areas in the U.S., favoring those with more educated — and spread-out — populations, to predict which cities would fare best and worst in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis.

600 by Evan Webeck in San Jose, Calif. MOVED


^Undercover agents enforcing Ohio's health rules at restaurants, bars<

CORONAVIRUS-OHIO-ENFORCEMENT:OH — As patrons potentially flock to bars and restaurants over the holiday weekend, extra undercover agents will be out to observe, educate and, if necessary, enforce the state's public health order to thwart the spread of coronavirus.

The agents are part of the Ohio Investigative Unit, which is made up of plainclothes peace officers responsible for enforcing Ohio's alcohol, tobacco and food stamp fraud laws.

650 by Sean McDonnell in Columbus, Ohio. MOVED


^Chicago will cautiously reopen in early June, mayor says<

CORONAVIRUS-CHICAGO-REOPENING:TB — The city of Chicago is on pace to begin cautiously reopening and ease restrictions on certain activities in early June, with outdoor dining at restaurants, barber shops, non-lakefront park buildings and libraries slated to resume limited business, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Friday.

If safety measures can be put in place, Lightfoot also said the city could potentially reopen summer programs and allow private camps, religious services, gyms, museums and the lakefront later on in the summer.

600 by Gregory Pratt in Chicago. MOVED


^Despite deaths, mass infections, Kentucky federal prison still won't test everyone<

CORONAVIRUS-KY-PRISONS:LX — Despite a COVID-19 outbreak that had killed four inmates and infected at least 216 inmates and staff as of Friday, the Federal Medical Center in Lexington still is not testing everyone on its campus to determine how far the illness has spread inside the prison.

Instead, prison officials say they are only doing "targeted testing" of some inmates in certain areas of the prison complex on Leestown Road.

Critics say this limited effort falls far short of what is needed during the coronavirus pandemic.

800 by John Cheves in Lexington, Ky. MOVED


^Royal Caribbean's Filipino crew members ask court to order cruise line to send them home<

CORONAVIRUS-CRUISESHIPS-FILIPINOS:MI — Filipino crew members on Royal Caribbean Cruises' Celebrity ships are asking a federal judge to order the company to send them home immediately.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Miami Thursday, Ryan Maunes Maglana, a Filipino crew member on the Celebrity Millennium ship docked in San Diego, said he and his colleagues have been held against their will without pay for more than two months as the company has repeatedly delayed repatriation plans for them. On behalf of all Filipino crew members on Celebrity's 14 ships, Maglana is asking the court to intervene with emergency relief.

750 by Taylor Dolven in Miami. MOVED


^Lockdowns crippled his 'bouncy house' business. Nearly bankrupt, he's pushing back<

CORONAVIRUS-BUSINESSOWNER-ACTIVIST:LA — Jim Edmonds can't say what led him to join an unauthorized protest against the coronavirus lockdowns at the California state Capitol in May, except fear and boredom and a need to do something as his decade-old business — renting out inflatable jump houses — collapsed in a matter of days.

But he can recall how he felt when California Highway Patrol officers grabbed him, pinned his arms behind his back with plastic zip ties and marched him into a holding pen in the building's basement.

"I'm the bouncy house guy, for Chrissakes," he remembers telling them, at first incredulous he was being arrested, then angry. "It was surreal."

1950 (with trims) by Anita Chabria in Roseville, Calif. MOVED



^Placentas in COVID-positive pregnant women show injury with blood circulation and clotting<

CORONAVIRUS-PLACENTAS:TB — The placentas of multiple women who tested positive for COVID-19 showed signs of injury, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study published Friday.

The two major findings about the placenta injuries include an increase in maternal vascular malperfusion, a medical term that means the blood circulation on the maternal side of the placenta is abnormally delivering the same amount of oxygen to the fetus, and blood clotting within the placenta.

800 by Christen A. Johnson in Chicago. MOVED



^Trump orders houses of worship reopened, vows to override states<

TRUMP-CHURCHES:BLO — President Donald Trump said he would order states to allow places of worship to reopen from stay-at-home restrictions imposed to combat the coronavirus outbreak, promising to override any governor who refuses without explaining what authority he had to do so.

"The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now," Trump said Friday in a statement to reporters at the White House. "By this weekend."

"If they don't do it I will override the governors," he added.

600 by Justin Sink in Washington. MOVED


^Hydroxychloroquine linked to deaths, heart risks in COVID-19 study<

CORONAVIRUS-TRUMP-DRUG-1ST-LEDE:BLO — Anti-malaria drugs that President Donald Trump has touted for treatment of COVID-19 were linked to an increased risk of death and heart ailments in a study.

Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine didn't benefit patients with the coronavirus, either alone or in combination with an antibiotic, according to the study published Friday by The Lancet medical journal.

400 by John Lauerman. MOVED


^FBI director orders internal review of its Michael Flynn investigation<

FLYNN-FBI:BLO — FBI Director Christopher Wray ordered an internal review of how the bureau handled the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, including any instances of official misconduct.

The "after-action review" by the Inspection Division will evaluate the bureau's role in the Flynn investigation and look into whether any current bureau employees engaged in misconduct, according to a statement Friday from the FBI.

400 by Billy House in Washington. MOVED


^House Democrats seek to overhaul Puerto Rico financial oversight<

CONGRESS-PUERTORICO:BLO — A group of House Democrats on Friday introduced a long-shot bill that would overhaul the federal government's relationship with Puerto Rico, allow an independent audit of the commonwealth's billions in debt and give local authorities the power to discharge unsecured debt deemed excessive.

The proposal by House Natural Resources Chairman Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., and other lawmakers would make sweeping changes to the Puerto Rico financial rescue law, known as Promesa. But it's unlikely to find much support in the Republican-controlled Senate if it makes it out of the House.

450 by Jim Wyss. (Moved as a Washington story.) MOVED


^Horsford's extramarital affair with former Senate staffer shows how narrow House rules are<

HOUSE-AFFAIR-RULES:CON — Rep. Steven Horsford had an extramarital affair with a former Senate intern spanning several years, an example that highlights how narrow the House prohibition against lawmakers sleeping with congressional staffers is.

Gabriela Linder, the woman with whom Horsford had a sexual relationship, told The Las Vegas Review-Journal that the affair began in 2009 and continued sporadically until it ended in 2019. When they met, Horsford, a Nevada Democrat, was a 36-year old state senator; Linder, then 21, was in college and worked as an intern for former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Horsford didn't begin his first stint representing Nevada's 4th Congressional District until 2013 — after Linder stopped working for Reid. If Horsford were to have had a sexual relationship with Linder while he was a member and she was working in the Senate, although there is no indication he did, it would have been permissible under House rules.

950 (with trims) by Chris Marquette in Washington. MOVED


^Biden: If you can't choose me over Trump, 'you ain't black'<

BIDEN-BLACKVOTERS:LA — Joe Biden, whose presidential bid was buoyed in the primary by support from African Americans, came under scrutiny Friday for telling a radio host that black people who were considering voting for President Donald Trump "ain't black."

The comments by the former vice president came at the end of a spirited interview with Charlamagne Tha God, a host of the popular radio show "The Breakfast Club." A top campaign aide said Biden was joking, but Republicans quickly seized on the statement and some black Democrats expressed concern that the remark could turn off a crucial voting bloc for the presumptive Democratic nominee.

850 by Melanie Mason. MOVED



Also moving as:

BIDEN-BLACKVOTERS-1ST-LEDE:BLO — 850 by Mario Parker and Tyler Pager. MOVED


^Prominent #MeToo lawyer drops Joe Biden sexual assault accuser as client<

BIDEN-ALLEGATION-LAWYER:NY — Tara Reade, the former Senate staffer accusing Joe Biden of sexual assault, parted ways with her lawyer on Friday, just two weeks after hiring him.

Douglas Wigdor, a prominent #MeToo attorney who counts some Harvey Weinstein victims among his clients, issued a brief statement saying that his firm "no longer represents" Reade.

300 by Chris Sommerfeldt. MOVED


^In Atlanta, Pence calls Georgia's reopening an 'example to the nation'<

^PENCE-GA:AT—<Vice President Mike Pence on Friday praised Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia restaurant owners who have reopened their establishments in recent weeks, lending a high-level of support to state leaders who have been criticized for ending pandemic restrictions too soon.

Pence said Georgia is setting "an example to the nation" by being among the first and most aggressive to restart its economy while staying mindful of public health guidelines.

"In a very real sense, I think history will record that Georgia helped lead the way back to a prosperous American economy," Pence told reporters after a barbecue lunch with the governor and first lady Marty Kemp at Star Cafe near Atlanta's Westside.

700 by Tamar Hallerman in Atlanta. MOVED


^Want to know who won the presidential race on election night? Get ready to wait<

ELECTION-PA-RESULTS:PH — It's a familiar election night routine: Polls close, and everyone wants to know who won — immediately. Every minute matters for Americans anxiously awaiting the results. News organizations race to meet the demand by using complex statistical models to "call" the winner long before all the votes are counted.

But get comfortable waiting: Instant electoral gratification is about to become a thing of the past.

1500 (with trims) by Jonathan Lai in Philadelphia. MOVED


^Epstein sex abuse victims fund moving forward soon, estate says<

EPSTEIN-VICTIMS-FUND:BLO — A fund to compensate abuse victims of financier Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in August while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges, will move forward soon, a lawyer for his estate said.

The lawyer, Bennet Moskowitz, said in a phone conference with a federal magistrate judge Friday that he believes delays caused by related litigation in the U.S. Virgin Islands appear to be resolved and that the estate expects to begin putting a plan for the fund into effect June 15.

300 by Bob Van Voris in New York. MOVED


^Family of Conn. woman releases statement ahead of anniversary of her disappearance, say questions remain<

MISSINGMOTHER:HC — Ahead of the one-year anniversary of Jennifer Farber Dulos' disappearance, her family and friends issued a statement Friday saying that many questions remain unanswered as they grieve her death.

Farber Dulos, who was 50 when she went missing, was last seen on May 24, 2019, when she dropped her children off at their school in New Canaan in the morning.

550 by Nicholas Rondinone in Hartford, Conn. MOVED



^Lockdowns crippled his 'bouncy house' business. Nearly bankrupt, he's pushing back<

CORONAVIRUS-BUSINESSOWNER-ACTIVIST:LA — Jim Edmonds can't say what led him to join an unauthorized protest against the coronavirus lockdowns at the California state Capitol in May, except fear and boredom and a need to do something as his decade-old business — renting out inflatable jump houses — collapsed in a matter of days.

But he can recall how he felt when California Highway Patrol officers grabbed him, pinned his arms behind his back with plastic zip ties and marched him into a holding pen in the building's basement.

"I'm the bouncy house guy, for Chrissakes," he remembers telling them, at first incredulous he was being arrested, then angry. "It was surreal."

1950 (with trims) by Anita Chabria in Roseville, Calif. MOVED



^Actress Lori Loughlin, husband enter guilty pleas in college admissions scandal<

CMP-ADMISSIONS-FRAUD-1ST-LEDE:LA — Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband pleaded guilty Friday to charges of fraud in the college admissions scandal, admitting they scammed their daughters' way into the University of Southern California with lies and illegal payments.

But the case against Loughlin and her husband, J. Mossimo Giannulli, remained unsettled after the judge in the case put off a decision on whether to accept the couple's guilty pleas and the terms of deals they struck with prosecutors.

950 by Joel Rubin in Los Angeles. MOVED




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