Opioid trial judge could deliver biggest judgment in US history

    Summary
    The judge presiding over the historic Oklahoma opioid trial will deliver his ruling Monday afternoon -- a decision that could have sweeping implications as other states and communities try to hold pharmaceutical companies responsible for the opioid epidemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans since 2000.

    All you can see is death' in Amazon rainforest fires

    Summary
    The smoke is so thick, at times the Cessna had to climb to stay out of it. At times your eyes burn and you close the air vents to keep the cabin habitable. Sometimes it is so bad, it is hard to see how bad it actually is on the ground below.

    Rory McIlroy wins PGA Tour Championship

    Summary
    Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy won the 2019 PGA Tour Championship Sunday, becoming only the second person behind Tiger Woods to win the title twice.

    Hong Kong protests take violent turn

    Summary
    Police drew their guns as protesters threw bricks and petrol bombs during one of the most violent nights Hong Kong has seen over 12 consecutive weekends of protests.

    2 years after he was pardoned, Arpaio says he's running for sheriff again

    Summary
    Former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio on Sunday announced he would seek another term as sheriff of Maricopa County, one year after President Donald Trump pardoned him. He had been convicted on charges of criminal contempt related to the hard-line tactics he used to crack down on undocumented immigrants.

    Vast 'pumice raft' found drifting through Pacific Ocean

    Summary
    The mass of pumice, the size of Manhattan, is believed to come from an underwater volcano near Tonga.

    Asian stocks drop as US-China trade war escalates

    Summary
    The threat of new tariffs and hikes to existing duties by the US and China rattled investors in Asia.

    Amazon fires: G7 leaders close to agreeing plan to help, says Macron

    Summary
    President Emmanuel Macron suggests G7 leaders are close to agreeing a plan to help the rainforest.

    Trump's regrets on China trade war 'misunderstood'

    Summary
    The president meant he regretted not raising tariffs on Chinese goods higher, a spokeswoman says.

    G7 summit: Iranian foreign minister attends unexpected talks

    Summary
    Iran's foreign minister makes a "surprise" visit to Biarritz to meet the French president.

    Officer sacked after lying about being shot by a sniper

    Summary
    A Los Angeles County deputy has been fired and could face a criminal investigation after lying about being shot.

    Million hectares lost in Bolivia fires as Amazon continues to burn

    Summary
    Fires have ripped through at least a million hectares - approximately 3,800 square miles - in Bolivia.

    Trump 'surprised' as Iran's top diplomat drops into G7 unexpectedly

    Summary
    Donald Trump was "surprised" Iran's top diplomat was invited to the G7 summit in Biarritz by France, the White House has said.

    Major nations close to agreement on Amazon fires, says Macron

    Summary
    Emmanuel Macron has said leaders of the world's major industrialised nations are close to an agreement on how to help fight the fires tearing through the Amazon in Brazil.

    Holidaymakers among 7 dead as helicopter and small plane collide in Majorca

    Summary
    Seven people, including two children, have been killed in a collision between a helicopter and a small plane in Majorca.

    G7, Amazon Fires, Million-Dollar Drugs: Your Monday Briefing

    Summary
    Here’s what you need to know.

    As Amazon Burns, Fires in Next-Door Bolivia Also Wreak Havoc

    Summary
    The fires have engulfed the country’s largest city in smoke, and are threatening villages, productive farms, and endangered species.

    Rule 1 at the G7 Meeting? Don’t Get You-Know-Who Mad

    Summary
    Determined not to rouse President Trump’s well-known temper, Group of 7 leaders registered their policy differences in the most flattering of tones.

    Trump Offers Contradictory Signals on China Trade War

    Summary
    After initially said that he was having “second thoughts” about a new levies on Chinese goods, Mr. Trump said he only regretted not raising tariffs faster.

    Hong Kong, G7, Kashmir: Your Monday Briefing

    Summary
    Trade war shadows G7 summit.

    PNG prime minister says terms, not alliances will sway debt deal talks

    Summary
    Papua New Guinea (PNG) Prime Minister James Marape said on Monday he will accept debt assistance from any country that offers the best terms, ratcheting up pressure on Australia to offer a sweetened deal to protect its standing in the region.

    Nomura cuts recommendation on HK stocks as protests, trade war escalate

    Summary
    Japanese brokerage Nomura downgraded its recommendation on Hong Kong stocks on Monday as violent protests and a worsening U.S.-China trade war darkened the outlook for the former British colony's businesses.

    In calls and emails, Argentine executives seek jobs abroad to escape crisis

    Summary
    By Aislinn Laing, Marina Lammertyn, Marcelo Rochabrun and Nelson Bocanegra

    Israeli air strikes hit Palestinian military position in Lebanon: reports, security source

    Summary
    Israeli air strikes hit a military position belonging to a Palestinian group in Lebanon, near the Syrian border, early on Monday, a security source and Lebanon's An-Nahar news said.

    Israeli air strikes hit Palestinian military position in Lebanon: An-Nahar news

    Summary
    Israeli air strikes hit a military position belonging to a Palestinian group in Lebanon, near the Syrian border, early on Monday, Lebanon's An-Nahar news said.

    Hawaii or Spain? Why location might not matter for big telescope

    Summary
    Despite years of legal battles and protests, officials say Hawaii's highest peak — Mauna Kea — is the best spot for the $1.4 billion instrument

    Hong Kong protests turn dangerous after officer fires warning shot

    Summary
    Police drew their guns and fired a warning shot Sunday night after a group attacked them with sticks and rods, sparking an escalation in the summerlong protests

    Tropical Storm Dorian gathering strength over the Atlantic

    Summary
    The National Hurricane Center said Sunday that Dorian​ could intensify to near hurricane strength over the eastern Caribbean Sea by Tuesday

    Louisiana beats Curacao 8-0 to win Little League World Series

    Summary
    With Louisiana's victory, U.S. teams have won back-to-back Little League crowns for the first time since 2009

    Hong Kong protests take a dangerous turn

    Summary
    Anti-government protests in Hong Kong took a dangerous new turn today. For the first time, a police officer fired a live round. And in another first, a water cannon was used. Ramy Inocencio is there.

    Brush fire burns in Eagle Rock, clogging freeways and forcing evacuations

    Summary
    The fire is thought to have started on West Colorado Boulevard near the interchange of the 2 and 134 freeways and is backing toward homes, the L.A. Fire Department says.

    Suspects detained in possible robbery at Westfield Topanga mall after initial reports of a shooting

    Summary
    LAPD responding to reports of shots fired at Topanga Mall

    Forced removal of transgender women from downtown L.A. bar investigated as possible hate crime

    Summary
    The LAPD is investigating possible hate crime after transgender women were forcefully removed from Las Perlas bar in downtown L.A.

    Suspect arrested in hit-and-run crash that killed a father of two on Father's Day

    Summary
    Maritza Joana Lara, a suspect in a hit-and-run crash that left a dad dead on Father's Day, is in custody after fleeing the country, police say.

    Dialysis industry is spending big — $2.5 million — to avoid oversight in California

    Summary
    The dialysis industry spent about $2.5 million in California on lobbying and campaign contributions in the first half of this year to avoid regulation, according to a California Healthline analysis.

    From Epcot's update to a Spider-Man ride, everything Disney revealed about its parks at D23

    Summary
    Are you planning to visit a Disney park in the next few years? If so, here are the new attractions and shows coming your way, including a Marvel land.

    Alan Alda loves this video of him tap-dancing with his granddaughter. Now, so do we!

    Summary
    The "M*A*S*H" star shared a favorite throwback video that he said was "way-under-rehearsed," but it's still adorable.

    Kelly Ripa, Mark Consuelos drop daughter Lola off at college: 'The nest is getting roomy'

    Summary
    Kelly Ripa shared a throwback photo of daughter Lola before she left for college. She and Mark Consuelos posted again Sunday to mark the big day.

    Nathan Patterson, fan who signed with Oakland A's, posts scoreless outing in third pro game

    Summary
    In his third game with the Rookie-level Athletics, the 23-year-old retired the first eight batters he faced.

    Padres pull hilarious prank on visiting Red Sox fans during 'Sweet Caroline' singalong

    Summary
    The Padres got in on the "rickroll" meme by inserting Rick Astley's "Never Gonna Give You Up," at the chorus of Fenway Park staple "Sweet Caroline."

    Tropical Storm Dorian Intensifies as It Moves West

    Summary
    (MIAMI) — Forecasters say the fourth tropical storm of the Atlantic hurricane season is maintaining its strength as it moves toward the Windward Islands. The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Sunday that Tropical Storm Dorian could intensify to near hurricane strength over the eastern Caribbean Sea by Tuesday. As of 8 p.m. EDT Sunday, Dorian’s center was located about 335 miles (540 kilometers) east-southeast of Barbados and was moving west at 14 mph (23 kph). Maximum sustained winds are at 50 mph (85 kph). A tropical storm warning is in effect for Barbados, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. A tropical storm watch was issued for Grenada and Martinique. Forecasters say Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and the Virgin Islands should monitor Dorian’s progress.

    Massive Gas Explosion Destroys Maryland Office and Shopping Complex

    Summary
    A powerful natural gas explosion badly damaged a Maryland office complex and shopping center Sunday morning, ripping away part of the facade and exposing twisted metal, authorities said. No injuries were reported in the thundering blast, which occurred at about 8 a.m. It came after authorities said they had evacuated the area around the complex because of a suspected early morning gas leak near the complex in Columbia, Maryland. Fire crews responded about an hour before the explosion because of a fire alarm that was upgraded to a report of a gas leak in the parking lot, officials said. When fire personnel arrived, they immediately evacuated everyone from the surrounding area and made sure the building was vacant. The subsequent explosion ripped away a significant part of the facade, scattering debris. “It was so powerful it could be heard in communities many miles away,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball in a statement. No businesses were open, said Stephen Hardesty, the battalion chief of the Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services. He said the time of day played a major role in the lack of injuries, and he described it as one of the worst explosions he’s seen. “The building is at risk of collapsing, so we’re working with some building inspectors and the property owner to figure out what our next steps are to secure the building and help out as much as we can with the investigation that’s going to ensue with this,” Hardesty said. Gov. Larry Hogan thanked first responders for being on the scene within minutes. The governor said the Maryland Joint Operations Center and the State Fire Marshal have offered their full support and assistance. “This massive explosion was felt in many of the surrounding communities, a shock to families across the area,” Hogan said in the tweet. “Thankfully, no injuries have been reported so far.” Ball said the county will be helping affected businesses and workers. “I have mobilized our team from the Howard County Economic Development Authority to assist those businesses and works who may find themselves displaced by this event,” Ball said. “We will do everything possible to minimize the impact of this explosion (on) those who are affected by it.” Columbia is about 20 miles (32) southwest of Baltimore, Maryland, in a populous area between Baltimore and the nation’s capital.

    Volunteer at Minnesota State Fair’s Republican Party Booth Reports Being Groped After Argument

    Summary
    (FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn.) — Police at the Minnesota State Fair say they’re investigating after a volunteer at the Republican Party booth reported being groped through her clothes after a political argument with another woman. The 40-year-old GOP volunteer told police her assailant walked away after the incident Friday night. The *Star Tribune* reports that State Fair police spokeswoman Brooke Blakey declined to say what part of the victim’s body was groped. The assailant was described as a woman in her 30s. There were no immediate arrests. Police are asking any witnesses to come forward. The party’s state chairwoman, Jennifer Carnahan, told KSTP-TV that other people also have been hostile while visiting the booth. She says people have used foul language and obscene gestures against volunteers, cursed President Donald Trump and poured drinks on merchandise.

    Trump Administration Asks Supreme Court to Legalize Workplace Discrimination Against Gay Employees

    Summary
    With an amicus brief filed on Friday, the Trump administration is asking the Supreme Court to essentially legalize anti-gay discrimination in the workplace. The brief, from Solicitor General Noel Francisco, argues federal prohibitions on employer discrimination do not extend to protect individuals from being fired or otherwise disenfranchised in the workplace because of their sexual orientation. The Justice Department’s arguments pertain to the employment protections offered by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which are being argued in two Supreme Court cases involving gay workers in October. Title VII is a federal law that prohibits employment discrimination on the basis of sex, race, color, religion or national origin. But it does not, the Justice Department says, cover sexuality. Earlier this month, the Justice Department submitted another brief asking the Justices to conclude that Title VII does not protect transgender people from employer discrimination. Toeing a similar line, federal lawyers now argue that “Title VII’s prohibition on discrimination because of sex does not bar discrimination because of sexual orientation.” By effectively drawing a distinction between sex and sexual identity, the brief aims to carve out the latter from Title VII’s protections. The brief goes on to assert that discriminating against same-sex couples is not discriminatory on the basis of sex — arguing that employers are only required to apply similar treatments to people in male-male relationships and female-female relationships. In other words, as long as male and female members of the queer community are treated equally, the brief appears to argue, it is not a violation of Title VII to treat them differently than people in heterosexual relationships. “Unfavorable treatment of a gay or lesbian employee as such is not the consequence of that individual’s sex,” the Justice Department argued, “but instead of an employer’s policy concerning a different trait—sexual orientation—that Title VII does not protect.” Asked last week about his administration’s legal steps to make it easier to discriminate against LGBTQ people in the workplace, Trump sidestepped the question, touting his recent endorsement by the Log Cabin Republicans, a national LGBTQ organization. Several members of that group have quit in response to the endorsement, however, including board member Jennifer Horn. “I’ve done very well with that community,” the President said last week. “Some of my biggest supporters are of that community.” The Justice Department’s most recent brief pertains to two cases currently slated to be argued before the Supreme Court. In one, *Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia*, Gerald Bostock, a former county government employee, claimed he was fired because of his sexual orientation. In the other case, a skydiving instructor, Donald Zarda, also claimed he was fired for being gay. The Department of Justice previously submitted an amicus brief in 2017 when the Zarda case went before Second Circuit Court of Appeals. That brief also argued against extending Title VII protections to gay workers. Zarda died in 2014, and his partner and sister have continued the lawsuit on behalf of his estate. The Second Circuit decided in favor of the Zarda estate; Bostock’s case was dismissed in lower courts. “Most of America would be shocked if the Supreme Court said it was legal to fire Aimee because she’s transgender or Don because he is gay,” said James Esseks, director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) LGBT & HIV Project, in an April statement on the Zarda case and the transgender discrimination case, *R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission*. “Such a ruling would be disastrous, relegating LGBTQ people around the country to a second-class citizen status. The LGBTQ community has fought too long and too hard to go back now, and we are counting on the justices not to reverse that hard-won progress.” The ACLU is co-representing the Zarda estate, and also representing Aimee Stephens, the plaintiff in the transgender discrimination case. The Supreme Court is slated to hear oral arguments in the two Title VII sexual orientation discrimination cases on October 8, as well as on the case pertaining to Title VII and gender identity. The Justice Department’s amicus brief states that it is up to Congress to amend Title VII to cover anti-gay discrimination, should it choose to do so. “Congress has amended other statutes expressly to cover sexual-orientation discrimination, and it remains free to do the same with Title VII,” it says. “But until it does, this Court should enforce the statute as it is written.” More than 150 House representatives and senators filed their own amicus brief on the three LGBTQ discrimination cases in July. “Congress’s consideration of other legislation, such as the Equality Act, does not diminish protections under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wrote in a statement in July. “The LGBTQ community, and all Americans, are entitled to the full protection of the law – in school, in the workplace and everyplace.”

    Trump ‘Ordered’ U.S. Businesses to Cut Ties With China. Here’s the Obscure Federal Law That Might Grant Him the Authority

    Summary
    (BIARRITZ, France) — President Donald Trump is threatening to use the emergency authority granted by a powerful but obscure federal law to make good on his tweeted “order” to U.S. businesses to cut ties in China amid a spiraling trade war between the two nations. China’s announcement Friday that it was raising tariffs on $75 billion in U.S. imports sent Trump into a rage and White House aides scrambling for a response. Trump fired off on Twitter, declaring American companies “are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China.” He later clarified that he was threatening to make use of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act in the trade war, raising questions about the wisdom and propriety of making the 1977 act used to target rogue regimes, terrorists and drug traffickers the newest weapon in the clash between the world’s largest economies. Our Country has lost, stupidly, Trillions of Dollars with China over many years. They have stolen our Intellectual Property at a rate of Hundreds of Billions of Dollars a year, & they want to continue. I won’t let that happen! We don’t need China and, frankly, would be far…. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019 ….better off without them. The vast amounts of money made and stolen by China from the United States, year after year, for decades, will and must STOP. Our great American companies are hereby ordered to immediately start looking for an alternative to China, including bringing.. — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 23, 2019 It would mark the latest grasp of authority by Trump, who has claimed widespread powers not sought by his predecessors despite his own past criticism of their use of executive powers. “For all of the Fake News Reporters that don’t have a clue as to what the law is relative to Presidential powers, China, etc., try looking at the Emergency Economic Powers Act of 1977,” Trump tweeted late Friday. “Case closed!” The act gives presidents wide berth in regulating international commerce during times of declared national emergencies. Trump threatened to use those powers earlier this year to place tariffs on imports from Mexico in a bid to force the U.S. neighbor to do more to address illegal crossings at their shared border. It was not immediately clear how Trump could use the act to force American businesses to move their manufacturing out of China and to the U.S, and Trump’s threat appeared premature — as he has not declared an emergency with respect to China. “If I want, I could declare a national emergency,” Trump told reporters Sunday during a breakfast meeting with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. He cited China’s theft of intellectual property and the large U.S. trade deficit with China, saying “in many ways that’s an emergency.” But he added, “I have no plans right now.” Bloomberg—Bloomberg via Getty ImagesU.S. President Donald Trump, left, and Xi Jinping, China’s president, shake hands during a news conference at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017. Even without the emergency threat, Trump’s retaliatory action Friday — further raising tariffs on Chinese exports to the U.S. — had already sparked widespread outrage from the business community. “It’s impossible for businesses to plan for the future in this type of environment,” David French, senior vice president for government relations at the National Retail Federation, said in a statement. The Consumer Technology Association called the escalating tariffs “the worst economic mistake since the Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1930 — a decision that catapulted our country into the Great Depression.” And trade association CompTIA stressed the logistical strain that would follow if companies were forced to shift operations out of China, saying it would take months for most companies. “Any forced immediate action would result in chaos,” CEO Todd Thibodeaux said in emailed comments. The frequent tariff fluctuations are making it hard to plan and are casting uncertainty on some investments, said Peter Bragdon, executive vice president and chief administration officer of Columbia Sportswear. “There’s no way for anyone to plan around chaos and incoherence,” he said. Columbia manufactures in more than 20 countries, including China. This diversification helps shield the company from some fluctuations, but China is an important base for serving Chinese customers as well as those in other countries, Bragdon said. The company plans to continue doing business there. “We follow the rule of law, not the rule of Twitter,” he said. *Read more*: *The U.S.-China Trade War Is Steering the World Toward Crisis and There Is No Easy Retreat* Presidents have often used the act to impose economic sanctions to further U.S. foreign policy and national security goals. Initially, the targets were foreign states or their governments, but over the years the act has been increasingly used to punish individuals, groups and non-state actors, such as terrorists. Some of the sanctions have affected U.S. businesses by prohibiting Americans from doing business with those targeted. The act also was used to block new investment in Burma in 1997. Congress has never attempted to end a national emergency invoking the law, which would require a joint resolution. Congressional lawmakers did vote earlier this year to disapprove of Trump’s declared emergency along the U.S.-Mexico border, only to see Trump veto the resolution. China’s Commerce Ministry issued a statement Saturday condemning Trump’s threat, saying, “This kind of unilateral, bullying trade protectionism and maximum pressure go against the consensus reached by the two countries’ heads of state, violate the principles of mutual respect, equality and mutual benefit, and seriously damage the multilateral trading system and normal international trade order.”

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