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2nd Breonna Taylor grand juror criticizes proceedings

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A second person who served on the Breonna Taylor grand jury is criticizing Kentucky’s attorney general for the way the proceedings were conducted.
The anonymous statement released Thursday reiterated another grand juror’s earlier publicized complaint that the panel was only able to consider endangerment charges against one officer for shooting into Taylor’s neighbor’s apartment.
The first grand juror, who has also remained anonymous, won a court fight this week to address the public about the secret proceedings.
In Thursday’s statement, released by Louisville attorney Kevin Glogower, the second grand juror said they agree “wholeheartedly with the statement released by anonymous grand juror #1.”
The first grand juror said they wanted to consider other charges against the officers, but were told “there would be none because the prosecutors didn’t feel they could make them stick.”
The jurors’ statements contradict Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron’s assertion that the grand jury “agreed” the officers who shot Taylor were justified in returning fire after they were shot at by Taylor’s boyfriend. The first grand juror said the panel “didn’t agree that certain actions were justified.”
Cameron announced on Sept. 23 that none of the three officers who fired shots at Taylor’s apartment were charged by the grand jury in her death. The 12-member panel charged one officer with wanton endangerment for shooting into a nearby apartment.
Taylor, a Black emergency medical technician, was shot multiple times on March 13 by officers serving a narcotics warrant. Her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, said he fired his gun when officers entered because he thought an intruder was breaking in. No drugs or cash were found at Taylor’s home.

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Judge urges US to help find parents deported without kids

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A federal judge on Thursday urged the Trump administration to do more to help court-appointed researchers find hundreds of parents who were separated from their children after they crossed the U.S.-Mexico border beginning in 2017.
A court filing revealed this week that researchers have been unable to track down the parents of 545 children — a number much larger than previously known and that drew outcry. Most of the parents were deported to their Central American homelands, and their children were placed with sponsors in the U.S., often relatives.
U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw refrained from issuing an order during a hearing in San Diego and instead asked Justice Department attorneys to explore ways the administration can make it easier to find the parents.
Attempts to find families separated from their children have been underway since Sabraw ordered the government in 2018 to end the much-criticized practice under its “zero tolerance” policy for people who cross the border illegally.
Sabraw initially ordered the government to reunite more than 2,700 children with their families, believing that to be the total number who were separated. But it was later discovered an additional 1,556 children were taken from their parents going back to summer 2017, including the 545 kids who are still separated.
Attorney Lee Gelernt of the American Civil Liberties Union, which sued over the practice, said the government could provide funding for the search, which now is being conducted by a handful of human rights defenders in Central America.
When the issue was originally brought to their attention, U.S. officials were not interested in looking for the parents, he said, but that changed when outcry spread about the number of parents deported without their children.
“In light of the backlash, the government is now claiming it wants to assist us in finding these families,” Gelernt said.
The administration’s foot-dragging has made it even tougher to find the parents because of how much time has passed, he said.
Coronavirus restrictions prevented researchers from going into many areas from March until August, but as those measures ease up, researchers hope to make more progress in coming weeks.
U.S. authorities have provided telephone numbers for 1,030 children to a court-appointed steering committee, which tracked down the parents of 485 of those children.
The committee has advertised toll-free phone numbers in Spanish on billboards and other places in Central America to reach families.
Volunteers have searched for their parents by going door to door in Guatemala and Honduras and combing public records, the ACLU said in a court filing.
The judge called for an update on Dec. 2 and set another hearing for Dec. 4 to discuss the progress.
“This, of course, is the most significant piece remaining” in terms of the family separations, Sabraw said.
U.S. Rep. Joaquin Castro, a Texas Democrat who chairs the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said the government needs to allow parents deported without their children to come back to the U.S. and give them a chance to become legal permanent residents and eventually citizens.
Just nine parents separated from their children were allowed back in January.
Castro also called for a special committee, perhaps in the form of a human rights commission, to investigate the harm done through the mass separation of families in 2017 and 2018.
“This was coordinated cruelty, coordinated abuse, at the highest and the lowest levels of the American government,” Castro said.

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California court says Uber, Lyft drivers are employees

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A California appeals court on Thursday upheld an order requiring Uber and Lyft to treat their California drivers as employees instead of independent contractors, less than two weeks before voters will be asked to exempt the ride-hailing giants from the state’s gig economy law.
The decision won’t have any immediate impact because it doesn’t take effect for at least 30 days, well after the Nov. 3 vote on Proposition 22.
Uber and Lyft — who along with DoorDash have heavily bankrolled the ballot measure — had appealed an August preliminary injunction by a San Francisco judge. But the appellate ruling found “no legal error” and allowed it to stand.
“We conclude that the injunction was properly issued in accordance with enduring principles of equity,” the 74-page ruling said. “It is broad in scope, no doubt, but so too is the scale of the alleged violations.”
Uber and Lyft issued statements noting that the ruling doesn’t take immediate affect and urging voters to approve Prop. 22. Lyft also said it also is considering appealing to the California Supreme Court.
Together, the two companies have more than 400,000 drivers in California.
The decision came in a lawsuit filed by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the city attorneys of Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco under a new California law that says companies can only classify workers as contractors if they perform work “outside the usual course” of their business.
Treating Uber and Lyft drivers as employees instead of independent contractors would guarantee benefits such as overtime, sick leave and expense reimbursement for workers who make up much of the freewheeling gig economy.
The law has wide-reaching implications across a number of sectors, but none more so than the ride-hailing industry. Lawyers for Uber and Lyft say drivers are not fundamental to the business, arguing the companies are “multi-sided platforms” whose activities encompass much more than transportation.
Becerra praised the appellate decision.
“Californians have fought long and hard for paycheck and benefit protections. Uber and Lyft have used their muscle and clout to resist treating their drivers as workers entitled to those paycheck and benefit protections,” Becerra said in a statement. “The courts saw right through their arguments. In the midst of a COVID health and economic crisis, what worker can afford to be denied basic protections like paid sick leave, unemployment insurance, minimum wage, or overtime?”

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COVID delay: New coronavirus relief may slip past election

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is quickly moving past the point at which it can deliver more coronavirus relief before the election, with differences between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, her Senate Republican rivals and President Donald Trump proving durable despite the glaring needs of the country.
Trump’s GOP allies are reconvening the Senate this week for a revote on a virus proposal that about one-third the size of a measure being negotiated by Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. But the Senate GOP bill has failed once before, and that Trump himself now says is too puny. The debate promises to bring a hefty dose of posturing and political gamesmanship, but little more. A procedural vote on a stand-alone renewal of bipartisan Paycheck Protection Program business subsidies is slated for Tuesday.
Even the architect of the larger Senate measure, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., isn’t claiming the vote will advance the ball. Once the measure fails, he plans to turn the chamber’s full attention to cementing a 6-3 conservative majority on the Supreme Court by confirming Judge Amy Coney Barrett. It is likely to be the Senate’s final act before Election Day.
In that context, this week’s action has the chief benefit of giving Republicans in tough reelection races one last opportunity to try to show voters they are prioritizing COVID relief — and to make the case to voters that Democrats are the ones standing in the way.
“It was important to indicate to the American people before the election — not after — that we were not in favor of a stalemate, that we were not in favor of doing nothing,” McConnell said in a Kentucky appearance last week.
McConnell is resurrecting a measure in the $650 billion range that would repurpose $138 billion in small business subsidies to provide a second round of paycheck relief, add $300 per week in supplemental unemployment benefits, and help schools and universities reopen. The last version of the bill left out help for states and local governments sought by Democrats and another round of $1,200 direct payments demanded by Trump.
The last coronavirus relief package, the $1.8 trillion bipartisan CARES Act, passed in March by an overwhelming margin as the economy went into lockdown amid fear and uncertainty about the virus. Since then, Trump and many of his GOP allies have focused on loosening social and economic restrictions as the key to recovery instead of more taxpayer-funded help.
Trump has been anything but consistent. He now insists that lawmakers should “go big” with a bill of up to $2 trillion or more, a total reversal after abandoning the talks earlier this month. But Trump’s political problems aren’t swaying Senate Republicans.
“He’s talking about a much larger amount than I can sell to my members,” McConnell said.
The most recent bill from House Democrats weighs in at $2.4 trillion — or more than $2.6 trillion when excluding a $246 billion tax increase on businesses that’s unlikely to gain GOP acceptance. The package is a nonstarter with Senate Republicans and McConnell, who is making the case for a more targeted approach that’s well south of $1 trillion.
The moment is challenging for Pelosi as well. For months she has been promising a COVID relief package of more than $2 trillion stuffed with Obama-era stimulus ideas. Even though the Senate and White House are both in GOP hands — and will be at least into January — she has sharply rebuffed anyone who suggests that Democrats should take a smaller deal now rather than risk going home empty-handed until next year.
“This is not the time to say, ‘Okay, let’s fold.’ This is what we have been building up to,” Pelosi told fellow Democrats on a recent teleconference. She said Sunday that she remains optimistic of reaching an agreement with the administration but that a deal would have to come within 48 hours — or Tuesday — for it to be enacted by Election Day.
Taking a smaller bill now would likely require Pelosi to give up tax cuts for the working poor and accept a far smaller aid package for states and local governments. But it would also mean that relief would flow immediately to millions of workers whose supplemental unemployment benefits were cut off this summer.
Liberal economist Jared Bernstein, who worked for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in 2009 and advises him now, says inaction would mean “a lot of completely avoidable suffering for economically vulnerable people.”
When an aid bill finally passes may depend on the outcome of the election.
If Trump loses, Congress is likely to stagger through a nonproductive lame-duck session comparable to the abbreviated session after the decisive 2008 Obama-Biden victory or the 2016 session that punted most of its leftovers to the Trump administration. That scenario would push virus aid into 2021.
Delays in coronavirus aid come as the recovery from this spring’s economic shutdown is slowing and as the massive stimulus effects of the $1.8 trillion March relief measure wear off. COVID cases are spiking again heading into a third wave of the pandemic this winter. Poverty is climbing and the virus is continuing to take a disproportionate toll on minority communities.
“If Congress doesn’t act the next administration is going to inherit a real mess,” said Harvard economist Jason Furman, a former top Obama adviser. “Economic problems tend to feed on themselves.” He is in the Democratic camp that prefers imperfect stimulus now rather than a larger package in four months or so.
Instead, if history repeats, COVID relief is likely to be the first major item out of the gate next year, but it’s not clear even then that it’ll be as big as Democrats hope.
“Pelosi decided in July that the political benefit of the next package would accrue to the president’s benefit and therefore she was going to lay out the most aggressive terms possible,” said veteran GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, who predicts that Pelosi won’t get much more next year than she could have gotten now “unless they’re willing to break the filibuster for a $3 trillion bailout for blue states.”

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‘Big pile’ of eels dumped in NYC park; impact not yet known

NEW YORK (AP) — Andrew Orkin was taking a break from his evening jog to sit by Prospect Park Lake when he turned around and was startled to see a tangle of wriggling snakes.
“And quite a big pile — fully alive,” said Orkin, a music composer who lives near the Brooklyn park.
They turned out to be eels that had escaped from one of two large plastic bags that split open as a man dragged them to the shoreline. After dumping the eels in the lake, the man walked away, explaining to bystanders that “I just want to save lives.”
The illegal release late last month became a curiosity on social media, but the dumping of exotic animals in urban parks isn’t new. In cities across the country, nonnative birds, turtles, fish and lizards have settled into, and often disturbed, local ecosystems.
New Yorkers free thousands of non-native animals every year, many of them abandoned pets that quickly die. But others can survive, reproduce and end up causing lasting harm.
“People like animals and they sometimes think they’re doing a good thing by letting them go,” said Jason Munshi-South, urban ecologist at Fordham University. “Most will die. Some will become a problem, and then there’s no going back.”
New York state and city officials say it’s too soon to know how the eels in Prospect Park might affect local species. But based on photos taken by bystanders, officials identified them as swamp eels native to Southeast Asia like those that have been found in at least eight states.
Once introduced — often after being purchased at local live fish markets, officials say — the eels eat almost anything including plants, insects, crustaceans, frogs, turtles and other fish. And they could prey upon or compete with the park’s native species for however long they survive, said Katrina Toal, deputy director of the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation’s Wildlife Unit.
There are no plans to eradicate the eels. Since they’re nocturnal and spend most of their time burrowed in the sediment of lakes, rivers and marshes, spotting and removing them from the lake could be impossible.
“This kind of species is a little tricky. They’re well hidden,” Toal said. “We’ re not going to go out there and try to trap any of them.”
Without having witnessed the release, officials from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, which is investigating the incident, could not specify the number of eels released last month. Bystanders described seeing more than 100 of them.
DEC officials say they will look for swamp eels during the agency’s next survey in the spring, but don’t expect them to make it through the winter.
However, said University of Toronto freshwater ecologist Nicholas Mandrak, “Even if they don’t survive, they could have negative short-term impacts.”
If some Prospect Park transplants survive for a few years, climate change could feasibly warm up city waters enough to render them hospitable for swamp eels, Mandrak said.
“We shouldn’t come to an immediate conclusion that because they’re found in Asia they couldn’t survive in New York City,” he said.
The exotic species previously has shown up in western New York state’s Hemlock and Canadice lakes in 2019 and Queens’ Meadow Lake in 2017. Elsewhere, biologists have found Asian swamp eels in waterways in Hawaii, Georgia, New Jersey, Maryland, Michigan, Florida and Pennsylvania.
New York City has a long history of people introducing exotic species into its parks.
In 1890, Shakespeare enthusiasts released a flock of about 60 European starlings in Central Park that grew into a current population of hundreds of millions nationwide that outcompete native birds, destroy crops and occasionally snarl jet engines.
For decades, pet Red-eared slider turtles have been abandoned in city ponds, creating a major nuisance that has crowded out local painted turtles and fueled green algae blooms.
Voracious, sharp-toothed Northern snakehead fish — introduced by way of pet stores, live food markets and aquarium hobbyists across the U.S. — have been spotted in New York’s Harlem Meer and Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
And descendants of escaped or released monk parakeets and Italian wall lizards are scattered across the city’s boroughs.
The eels are just the latest episode. “This is an unusual and eye-catching story,” Toal said, “but something that happens far more often is people release one unwanted pet.”

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Early in-person voting begins in key swing state of Florida

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — Florida begins in-person early voting in much of the state Monday as the Trump campaign tries to cut into an early advantage Democrats have posted in mail-in votes in the key swing state.
With its 29 electoral votes, Florida is crucial to both candidates but especially so for President Donald Trump, who moved his official residence to his Palm Beach estate Mar-a-Lago from New York last year. A Florida loss would make it nearly impossible for Trump to reach the 270 electoral votes needed to retain the White House over former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden.
Under state law, counties can offer up to two weeks of early voting and many do, including Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach and other population centers. Large counties offer multiple sites and all counties allow those who have received mail-in ballots to drop them off. The latest a county can start early voting is Saturday.
About 2.5 million mail-in ballots have already been cast, with Democrats returning 1.2 million and Republicans about 755,000 as of Sunday. Non-affiliated voters and third-party members make up the rest. The number of mail-in votes is already approaching the 2.7 million cast in 2016 when Republicans had a 70,000-vote margin on returns. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in the state by about 113,000 votes. No Republican has won the presidency without winning Florida since Calvin Coolidge in 1924.
Florida Republicans have said they aren’t worried about the mail-in gap, believing any advantage Biden gets will be swamped by Trump supporters casting in-person ballots starting this week and on Election Day. They believe Democrats are “cannibalizing” their own votes — moving in-person voters to mail-in without increasing their overall support. They point to their increased voter registration, which narrowed the Democrats’ lead to 134,000, down 327,000 four years ago.
Long lines have plagued early voting sites in Georgia and other states, but Florida county elections supervisors have said they expect lines to move smoothly.
Some elections in Florida have been won on the thinnest of margins, becoming the center of intense focus during recounts of ballots — including the 2000 presidential race between Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Al Gore. The recount drew a chaotic slew of court challenges that ultimately ended with U.S. Supreme Court halting further recounting, deciding the race for Bush.
Elections officials are predicting that between mail-in ballots and early voting, about 70% of the ballots expected will be cast before Election Day. The state allows those ballots to be processed, but the actual count remains secret until after the polls close Nov. 3.
Counties must end early voting by Nov. 1. Mail-in ballots, with few exceptions, must be received by 7 p.m. Nov. 3.

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Tulsa digs again for victims of 1921 race massacre

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A second excavation begins Monday at a cemetery in an effort to find and identify victims of the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre and shed light on violence that left hundreds dead and decimated an area that was once a cultural and economic mecca for African Americans.
“I realize we can tell this story the way it needs to be told, now,” said Phoebe Stubblefield, a forensic anthropologist at the University of Florida and a descendant of a survivor of the massacre who is assisting the search, told The Associated Press. “The story is no longer hidden. We’re putting the completion on this event.”
The violence happened on May 31 and June 1 in 1921, when a white mob attacked Tulsa’s Black Wall Street, killing an estimated 300 people and wounding 800 more while robbing and burning businesses, homes and churches.
“People, they were just robbed, white people coming in saying Black people had better property than they had and that that was just not right,” said Stubblefield, whose great-aunt Anna Walker Woods had her home burned and property taken. “Burning, thieving, killing wasn’t enough. They had to prevent Black people from recovering.
“Personally, professionally, spiritually I have an investment in this,” said Stubblefield, a Los Angeles native who said she is in her early 50s and learned of the massacre and her ancestor, who she doesn’t recall ever meeting, in the 1990s.
The two locations to be searched are in Oaklawn Cemetery in north Tulsa, where a search for remains of victims ended without success in July, and near the Greenwood District where the massacre took place.
The earlier excavation was done in an area identified by ground-penetrating radar scans as appearing to be a human-dug pit indicative of a mass grave. It turned out be a filled-in creek, said Mayor G.T. Bynum, who first proposed looking for victims of the violence in 2018 and later budgeted $100,000 to fund it after previous searches failed to find victims.
The massacre — which happened two years after what is known as the “Red Summer,” when hundreds of African Americans died at the hands of white mobs in violence around the U.S. —- has been depicted in recent HBO shows “Watchmen” and “Lovecraft County.”
It also received renewed attention after President Donald Trump selected Tulsa as the location for a June rally amid a national reckoning over police brutality and racial violence. Trump moved the date to avoid coinciding with a Juneteenth celebration in the Greenwood District commemorating the end of slavery.
Bynum, who is 43, said he didn’t learn of the massacre until about 20 years ago during the mayoral campaign of his uncle Bill LaFortune, and his grandparents confirmed the events.
“That’s a very common thing in Tulsa. That’s how you learned about it, not through books or the media or in school,” Bynum said. “People didn’t start talking about this event in Tulsa until about 20 years ago.”
Bodies, if discovered, will not be disturbed, Bynum said. The excavation would stop, and investigators would “do what they need to do to identify them and determine a cause of death,” Bynum said.
Efforts would also be made to find any descendants, a project that could prove difficult, according to Bynum.
“A hundred years after the fact, the descendants are scattered all around the world. Tracking down the descendants could take years,” Bynum said.
One site to be searched, known as the Original 18, is where old funeral home records indicate up to 18 Black people who were massacre victims were buried. The other site is where a man named Clyde Eddy said in the 1990s that, as a 10-year-old boy, he saw Black bodies being prepared for burial shortly after the massacre, but was told to leave the area.
Archaeologists have identified two additional possible sites, said state archaeologist Kary Stackelbeck, who is leading the investigation.
“We have multiple areas that we have identified as having merits for investigation,” based on the 2019 radar scans, Stackelbeck said. “We just have to ask for grace and patience” during the search.
The latest search is scheduled to last about a week, but could be extended, according to Stubblefield.
“I’m fully prepared to find human remains,” she said. “The questions are just whether they’re the remains we’re looking for.”

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Former Democratic power broker James A. Johnson dies at 76

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — James A. Johnson, a former Democratic campaign operative who was CEO of housing lender Fannie Mae in the 1990s and served as chairman of Walter Mondale’s presidential bid, died Sunday at his home in Washington. He was 76.
Johnson’s son, Alfred, confirmed that his father had died, telling The Washington Post and Wall Street Journal that the cause was complications from a neurological condition.
A native of Benson, Minnesota, and the son of a prominent state lawmaker, Johnson had a political, cultural and business resume that prompted Harold M. Ickes, President Bill Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, to dub him “the chairman of the universe.” Johnson chaired the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Brookings Institution think tank and Fannie Mae all at the same time.
Besides running Mondale’s failed run for the White House against Ronald Reagan in 1984, Johnson was a key player in the presidential campaigns of Eugene McCarthy, Edmund Muskie and George McGovern.
He turned his political savvy into business success. David O. Maxwell, former head of Fannie Mae, hired Johnson as vice chairman in 1990, after Johnson had helped the company hold off privatization efforts by the Reagan administration. Johnson was promoted to chairman and CEO the next year.
Johnson immediately set his sights on maintaining Fannie Mae’s lucrative government privileges and ensuring that new regulations were not overly burdensome. Johnson and his lobbyists helped fashion a 1992 law signed by President George H.W. Bush that aimed to reduce the chance of an expensive taxpayer bailout if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac had bad loans on their books.
It also opened up a new era of home ownership for families who were previously unable to get mortgage loans.
After retiring from Fannie Mae at the end of 1998, Johnson served on the boards of several companies, including UnitedHealth Group, KB Home and Target, and was vice chairman of the Washington private-equity firm Perseus. He had chaired the advisory council of the Stanford Center on Longevity since 2011.

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Trump, Biden go on offense in states they’re trying to flip

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — President Donald Trump and Democratic rival Joe Biden went on offense over the weekend as both campaigned in states they are trying to flip during the Nov. 3 election, just over two weeks away.
Trump began his Sunday in Nevada, making a rare visit to church before a fundraiser and an evening rally in Carson City. Once considered a battleground, Nevada has not swung for a Republican presidential contender since 2004.
The rally drew thousands of supporters who sat elbow to elbow, cheering Trump and booing Biden and the press. The vast majority wore no masks to guard against the coronavirus, though cases in the state are on the rise, with more than 1,000 new infections reported Saturday. The Republican president, as he often does, warned that a Biden election would lead to further lockdowns and appeared to mock Biden for saying he would listen to scientists.
“He’ll listen to the scientists. If I listened totally to the scientists, we would right now have a country that would be in a massive depression,” Trump said.
Biden, a practicing Catholic, attended Mass in Delaware before campaigning in North Carolina, where a Democrat has not won in a presidential race since Barack Obama in 2008.
Both candidates are trying to make inroads in states that could help secure a path to victory, but the dynamics of the race are remarkably stable. Biden enjoys a significant advantage in national polls, while carrying a smaller edge in battleground surveys.
Earlier in the day, Trump sat in the front row at the nondenominational International Church of Las Vegas as the senior associate pastor, Denise Goulet, said God told her early that morning that the president would secure a second term.
“At 4:30, the Lord said to me, ‘I am going to give your president a second win,'” she said, telling Trump, “you will be the president again.”
Trump spoke briefly, saying “I love going to churches” and that it was “a great honor” to attend the service. He dropped a wad of $20 bills in the collection plate before leaving.
The message was far different in both style and substance later in the day, when Biden attended a virtual discussion with African American faith leaders from around the country.
Biden held up a rosary, which he said he carries in his pocket every day, and described it as “what the Irish call a prisoner’s rosary” since it was small enough to be smuggled into prisons.
“I happen to be a Roman Catholic,” Biden said. “I don’t pray for God to protect me. I pray to God to give me strength to see what other people are dealing with.”
Earlier, at a drive-in rally in Durham, North Carolina, Biden focused heavily on promoting criminal justice changes to combat institutional racism and promised to help build wealth in the Black community.
He noted that Trump had said at one of his rallies that the country had turned the corner on the pandemic.
“As my grandfather would say, this guy’s gone around the bend if he thinks we’ve turned the corner. Turning the corner? Things are getting worse,” Biden said.
In addition to public polling that indicates Biden has an edge, the former vice president enjoys another considerable advantage over Trump: money.
Trump raked in $12 million during a fundraiser Sunday afternoon at the Newport Beach home of top GOP donor and tech mogul Palmer Luckey, which also featured a performance by the Beach Boys.
But over the past four months, Biden has raised over $1 billion, a massive amount of money that has eclipsed Trump’s once-overwhelming cash advantage.
That’s become apparent in advertising, where Biden and his Democratic allies are on pace to spend twice as much as Trump and the Republicans in the closing days of the race, according to data from the ad tracking firm Kantar/CMAG.
Though Trump has pulled back from advertising in Midwestern states that secured his 2016 win, he’s invested heavily elsewhere, including North Carolina, where he is on pace to slightly outspend Biden in the days ahead.
In Nevada, which Trump came close to winning in 2016, Democrats are set to outspend Trump in the closing days by a more than 3-to-1 ratio.
Trump’s visit to the state is part of an aggressive schedule of campaign events, where he has leaned heavily into fear tactics.
Trump’s Carson City rally was held at an airport with a golden scrub brush-covered hill providing a dramatic backdrop. He relived fond moments from his 2016 campaign against Hillary Clinton, revisited his long-running feud with NFL players and went on an extended rant about water management policy, which he blamed for people having to “flush their toilet 15 times.”
He also added to his litany of hyperbolic attacks against Biden, claiming that, if Biden were elected, he would mandate new lockdown measures that would make Carson City “a ghost town” and “the Christmas season will be cancelled.”
As he surveyed his crowd, Trump expressed disbelief that he could possibly be tied (in fact losing, according to public polls) to Biden in the state.
“How the hell can we be tied?” he asked. “What’s going on? … We get these massive crowds. He gets nobody…. It doesn’t make sense!” Biden has held very small and virtual events in recent months because of the ongoing pandemic.
Biden started his day with Mass in Delaware at St. Joseph’s on the Brandywine, as he does nearly every week. He and his wife, Jill, entered wearing dark-colored face masks. She carried a bunch of flowers that including pink roses.
The church is a few minutes’ drive from Biden’s home. Biden’s son Beau, who died of brain cancer in 2015, is buried in the cemetery on its grounds. Joe and Jill Biden visited the grave after the service.
Trump attends church far less often but has drawn strong support from white Evangelical leaders and frequently hosts groups of pastors at the White House. Trump often goes to the Church of Bethesda-By-The Sea near Mar-a-Lago in Florida for major holidays, including Easter, and he attended a Christmas Eve service last year at Family Church in West Palm Beach before the onset of the pandemic.
If elected, Biden would be only the second Roman Catholic president in U.S. history and first since John F. Kennedy. The former vice president speaks frequently about his faith and its importance in his life.

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Twitter CEO says it was wrong to block links to Biden story

Twitter was wrong to block weblinks to an unverified political story, CEO Jack Dorsey said on Friday, as the company responded to criticism over its handling of the story that had prompted cries of censorship from the right.
“Straight blocking of URLs was wrong, and we updated our policy and enforcement to fix,” he tweeted. “Our goal is to attempt to add context, and now we have capabilities to do that.”
After initially blocking people from sharing links to the story Wednesday, on Friday Twitter was letting its users to post the link. It served as demonstration of how quickly things can change when it comes to social media, misinformation and the coming U.S. election as companies try to navigate unprecedented times.
Dorsey was weighing in after an executive at the social media company announced changes late Thursday to its policy on hacked content following an onslaught of criticism.
Twitter will no longer remove hacked material unless it’s directly shared by hackers or those working with them, the company’s head of legal, policy, trust and safety, Vijaya Gadde, said in a Twitter thread.
And instead of blocking links from being shared, tweets will be labeled to provide context, Gadde said.
“We want to address the concerns that there could be many unintended consequences to journalists, whistleblowers and others in ways that are contrary to Twitter’s purpose of serving the public conversation,” she said.
Twitter and Facebook had moved quickly this week to limit the spread of the story published by the conservative-leaning New York Post, which cited unverified emails from Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s son that were reportedly discovered by President Donald Trump’s allies. The story has not been confirmed by other publications.
San Francisco-based Twitter initially responded by banning users from sharing links to the article in tweets and direct messages because it violated the company’s policy prohibiting hacked content. But it didn’t alert users about why they couldn’t share the link until hours later.
But by Friday, people were free to post the links again. Twitter said that was because the “once-private” information in the article is now “widely available” in the press and on other platforms.
Dorsey had first tweeted that it was “unacceptable” the company hadn’t provided more context around its action. A little over 24 hours later, Gadde announced the company was making changes after receiving “significant feedback (from critical to supportive)” about how it enforced the policy.
Facebook said it was “reducing” the story’s distribution on its platform while waiting for third-party fact-checkers to verify it, something it regularly does with material that’s not banned outright from its service, though it risks spreading lies or causing harm in other ways.
Trump is now incorporating Twitter’s action into his campaign rallies, pleading with his supporters to send a message on Election Day to what he described as “censors.”
“We’re not just running against Joe Biden. We’re running against left-wing media and we’re running against big tech,” Trump said.