The Latest: Air New Zealand puts hold on new flight bookings
New Zealand’s national carrier has put a temporary hold on new bookings for flights into the country while the government tries to find enough quarantined hotel rooms for people returning home. Air New Zealand says the hold will last for three weeks and it is also trying to better align flights with the hotel locations. New Zealand has eliminated community transmission of the coronavirus but is still getting cases at the border. For the most part, only residents and citizens are able to fly into the country and must remain in a quarantined hotel room for 14 days.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-ATLANTA MAYOR
Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms contracts COVID-19
ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta's mayor says she has tested positive for COVID-19, despite having what she describes as “no symptoms.” The 50-year-old Democrat is among the women named as a potential vice-presidential running mate for presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden. Bottoms announced her positive test in a tweet on Monday. She says she decided that she and family members should get retested because her husband has been sleeping an unusual amount since Thursday. Bottoms’ national profile has risen in recent months both as a mayor handling the coronavirus pandemic and amid the national reckoning on race since the death of George Floyd.
Trump-connected lobbyists reap windfall in federal virus aid
WASHINGTON (AP) — Forty lobbyists with ties to President Donald Trump have helped their clients secure more than $10 billion in federal coronavirus aid. Among them are five former administration officials whose lobbying work potentially violates an ethics order Trump issued after taking office. The findings were detailed in a report released Monday by the watchdog group Public Citizen. Trump campaigned on a pledge to “drain the swamp.” Yet the report demonstrates how three years into his presidency, it’s mostly business as usual and lobbyists with ties to Trump and his administration are in high demand.
RACIAL INJUSTICE-CENTRAL PARK
White woman charged after racist Central Park confrontation
NEW YORK (AP) — A white woman walking her dog who called the police during a videotaped dispute with a Black man in Central Park was charged Monday with filing a false report. In May, Amy Cooper drew widespread condemnation for calling 911 to report she was being threatened by “an African-American man” when bird watcher Christian Cooper appeared to keep his distance as he recorded her rant on his phone. District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement on Monday that his office had charged Amy Cooper with falsely reporting the confrontation, a misdemeanor. She was ordered to appear in court on Oct. 14.
Death toll from flooding in Japan rises to 50, dozen missing
TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s disaster management agency says the death toll from recent flooding has risen to 50 and at least a dozen others are still missing. Pounding rain since late Friday in Japan’s southern region of Kyushu has triggered widespread flooding. The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said 49 of the dead confirmed as of Tuesday morning were from riverside towns in the Kumamoto region. One person was found dead in Fukuoka as the heavy rain spread across the southern area. At least a dozen people are missing. Rescue operations have been hampered by the floodwater and continuing harsh weather.
Woman pleads guilty in scheme to offer information to Russia
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a West Virginia woman who had served in the Air Force planned to offer classified information to the Russian government. Prosecutors on Monday announced that Elizabeth Jo Shirley of Hedgesville pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement to one count each of willful retention of national defense information and international parental kidnapping. Prosecutors say she took her daughter to Mexico in July 2019 with the intent of contacting Russian government representatives. They say she planned to request resettlement in a country that would not extradite her back to the United States. Shirley was arrested last August in Mexico City.
N. Korea rejects talks ahead of US envoy's arrival in Seoul
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea is again saying it has no immediate intent to resume dialogue with the United States hours before a U.S. representative arrives in South Korea for discussions on the stalled diplomacy. Deputy Secretary of State Stephen Biegun during his meetings with officials in South Korea and Japan this week will discuss allied cooperation on issues including North Korea. Analysts believe North Korea is focusing on bettering its bargaining position before the U.S. elections and will avoid serious talks for now. A North Korean official also ridiculed South Korea’s “nonsensical” calls for revived negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang when it has lost its relevance as a mediator.
Army identifies buried remains as missing Texas soldier
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — An Army commander has confirmed that the remains found last week buried near Fort Hood belonged to a 20-year-old soldier who vanished more than two months ago from the Texas base. A day earlier, an attorney for Spc. Vanessa Guillén's family had said Army officials told the family at their Houston home that the remains were hers. Investigators have said that Guillén, who had been missing since April, was killed and dismembered by U.S. Army Specialist Aaron Robinson, a fellow soldier who took his own life last week.
California Assembly delays session after virus outbreak
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A coronavirus outbreak in the California Legislature has indefinitely delayed the state Assembly’s return to work from a scheduled summer recess. Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon’s office confirmed five people who work in the Assembly have tested positive for the coronavirus. They include Assemblywoman Autumn Burke, who is believed to have contracted the virus while on the Assembly floor last month. Rendon said Monday the Assembly will stay in recess until further notice. He said the decision is to protect lawmakers, staff and the public. The Legislature shut down for nearly two months earlier this year during the pandemic.
NHL, players' union announce plan to resume play on Aug. 1
The National Hockey League and NHL Players’ Association have reached a tentative agreement to return to play this season and extend their collective bargaining agreement by four years. Training camps would open July 13 and games would resume Aug. 1 if approved by the league’s board of governors and players’ executive committee and full membership. The NHL is going straight to the playoffs with 24 teams resuming play. Those teams will travel to one of two “hub” cities July 26. A person with direct knowledge of the agreements told The Associated Press that the NHL has selected Toronto and Edmonton, Alberta, to be the hub cities in hosting the qualifying round and at least first two playoff rounds.
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