US politics: new bodycam videos of George Floyd killing to be made available – live updates

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20:37

Summary

Here’s a recap of the day, from me and Joan E Greve:

  • Joe Biden had a 15-point lead over Donald Trump in the latest Quinnipiac national poll. Biden’s lead over Trump has widened since last month. As coronavirus cases surge across the state, voters were more likely to trust Biden to handle the pandemic and racial inequities.
  • The Twitter accounts of Biden, Barack Obama, Bill Gates and other prominent public figures were compromised. The hacked accounts, promoted a classic bitcoin scam, asking followers to transfer cryptocurrency to a bitcoin wallet in exchange for double the money in return.
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg was discharged from Johns Hopkins hospital. The liberal supreme court justice was admitted to the hospital yesterday for treatment of a possible infection.
  • Dr Anthony Fauci said the White House’s “bizarre” attacks on him only hurt the president. Fauci’s comments were published in the Atlantic a day after Trump’s senior trade adviser, Peter Navarro, wrote a USA Today op-ed raising doubts about the infectious disease expert’s credibility. Maryland’s Republican governor Larry Hogan called the efforts to discredit Fauci,
  • The governor of Oklahoma announced he has tested positive for coronavirus. Despite his positive test result and the climbing number of cases in Oklahoma, Republican governor Kevin Stitt said he does not currently plan to roll back the state’s reopening or institute a statewide mask requirement.
  • The US once again saw a record number of new coronavirus cases in a single day. According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins, more than 67,000 new cases were reported yesterday. Since the start of the crisis, the US has confirmed 3,465,031 cases and recorded 136,940 deaths from the virus.
  • Walmart announced it would require masks at all of its stores. The CEO of Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, said the new policy would take effect on Monday.


19:34

Maryland’s Republican governor, Larry Hogan, said the White House campaign to discredit Anthony Fauci is “absolutely outrageous”.

In an interview with ABC, Hogan said:



It’s one of the biggest mistakes, I think, that the administration has made throughout this entire coronavirus response, because Dr Fauci is, in my opinion, the most respected guy in the administration, and the voice of truth and reason throughout this pandemic.

And there’s a number of mistakes that have been made, but I think sidelining him and trying to run this campaign to attack his credibility is one of their biggest mistakes so far.

Here’s Fauci defending himself against criticism from Trump and his allies:


‘You can trust me’: Anthony Fauci pushes back against Trump attacks – video

Updated


18:54

Julia Carrie Wong

Twitter issued a statement approximately 90 minutes after scam messages began being sent out by Elon Musk and Bill Gates’ accounts, as the attack was ongoing.

“We are aware of a security incident impacting accounts on Twitter,” the company said on Twitter. “We are investigating and taking steps to fix it. We will update everyone shortly.”

The hack likely targeted a vulnerability on Twitter’s end rather than by the individual account holders, said John Ozbay, the chief executive of privacy and security tool Cryptee. Most high-profile users likely engage two-factor authentication, Ozbay said, and the hackers appeared to have enough control over the compromised accounts to “pin” a tweet. That would not have been possible if a hacked account were being controlled by SMS, as occurred when the Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey’s own account was hijacked in 2019.

Schmidt said that the attacks could be related to the fact that Twitter, like much of the rest of the tech industry, has transitioned to remote work during the coronavirus pandemic.

“The likelihood of attacks like this increase when people are working remotely it is much easier for bad actors to impersonate someone through an email and gain access to their accounts,” said Schmidt. “Assuming this wasn’t someone inside Twitter trying to take revenge, it appears to be a spear phishing attack – someone who has access to admin privileges that can override two-factor authentication and strong passwords fell victim to a hack”.


18:27

Candace Valenzuela has won the Democratic primary in the Dallas suburbs, setting her up to become the first Afro-Latina member of the US Congress if she wins in November.

Valenzuela will face off against the Republican Beth Van Duyne in November, competing for a seat vacated by Kenny Marchant, a staunch conservative and founding member of the House Tea Party Caucus.

The district that Valenzuela wants to represent has been a Republican stronghold that progressives are hoping to flip this year. Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren and Georgia representative John Lewis, a civil rights icon, both backed her in the primaries.

Updated


18:12

Biden is leading by 15 points over Trump in new poll

Registered voters are backing Biden over Trump 52% to 37%, per a Quinnipiac national poll. Biden’s lead has increased since last month – in a poll released on 18 June, 49% backed Biden and 41% supported Trump.

Voters trusted Biden over Trump to handle a number of key issues, including the coronavirus crisis and racial inequality. Their disapproval of Trump is also growing. The economy was the only issue on which Trump had a positive rating in Quinnipiac polling but in this most recent tally, only 44% approved of Trump’s handling of the economy – last month that figure was 52%.

Updated


17:41

Barack Obama’s account also seems to have been affected.


Brian Stelter
(@brianstelter)

They got the former president… pic.twitter.com/1KKkcoSWYE

July 15, 2020

From The Guardian’s Julia Carrie Wong:

The scam messages included the address of a bitcoin wallet whose balance grew rapidly to more than 11 BTC (more than $100,000) as the scam spread. Tweets with similar messages were repeatedly deleted and re-posted by some of the compromised accounts over the course of Wednesday afternoon

Updated


17:38

Twitter accounts of Biden and other prominent figures appear to have been hacked

The Twitter accounts of major public figures and corporations, including Joe Biden, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Apple appear to have been hacked as part of a bitcoin scam Wednesday. Twitter said it was looking into the situation.



Hacked tweets promote a Bitcoin scam

Hacked tweets promote a Bitcoin scam Photograph: Twitter

The apparently compromised accounts, which count tens of millions of followers, sent a series of tweets proposing a classic scam: followers were told that if they transferred cryptocurrency to a specific bitcoin wallet, they would receive double the money in return.

Other compromised accounts include those of Kanye West, Michael Bloomberg, Uber, and a number of cryptocurrency exchanges or organizations


17:32

My colleague Vivian Ho reports from San Francisco:

California recorded its largest number of coronavirus infections in a single day on Tuesday, amid efforts to halt reopening statewide.

The state tallied 11,126 cases, the highest number since the pandemic began, according to the Los Angeles Times’ coronavirus data tracker. With testing throughout the state more readily available, an uptick in cases would be expected, but the positivity rates among test results has also been steadily increasing to 7.3% over the last seven days.

The number of positive cases has increased 3.3% in the past seven days and 47.2% in the past 14 days, according to state data. In total, the state has reported 347,634 cases since the pandemic started and seen 7,227 deaths. In the past 24 hours, there have been 140 new coronavirus-related deaths.


17:22

Hi there, it’s Maanvi Singh, reporting from the West Coast.

Donald Trump has wrapped up in Atlanta, where he announced changes to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), to speed the approval of federal projects like highways, mines and gas pipelines.

“Today’s action is part of my administration’s fierce commitment to slashing the web of needless bureaucracy that was holding back our citizens,” Trump said. He also used another opportunity to criticize Joe Biden, deriding what he painted as progressive Democratic environmental policies.

NEPA was signed into law by Richard Nixon in 1970. Trump’s rollback “drastically curtails environmental reviews for thousands of federal agency projects nationwide, a move that will weaken safeguards for air, water, wildlife and public lands,” the Center for Biological Diversity said, in reaction to the news.


17:00

Today so far

That’s it from me today. My west coast colleague, Maanvi Singh, will take over for the next few hours.

Here’s where the day stands so far:

  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg was discharged from Johns Hopkins hospital. The liberal supreme court justice was admitted to the hospital yesterday for treatment of a possible infection.
  • Dr Anthony Fauci said the White House’s “bizarre” attacks on him only hurt the president. Fauci’s comments were published in the Atlantic a day after Trump’s senior trade adviser, Peter Navarro, wrote a USA Today op-ed raising doubts about the infectious disease expert’s credibility.
  • The governor of Oklahoma announced he has tested positive for coronavirus. Despite his positive test result and the climbing number of cases in Oklahoma, Republican governor Kevin Stitt said he does not currently plan to roll back the state’s reopening or institute a statewide mask requirement.
  • The US once again saw a record number of new coronavirus cases in a single day. According to data compiled by Johns Hopkins, more than 67,000 new cases were reported yesterday. Since the start of the crisis, the US has confirmed 3,465,031 cases and recorded 136,940 deaths from the virus.
  • Walmart announced it would require masks at all of its stores. The CEO of Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, said the new policy would take effect on Monday.

Maanvi will have more coming up, so stay tuned.


16:42

The vice president tweeted a photo of Dr Anthony Fauci, as the infectious disease expert weathers criticism from some of Trump’s advisers.

Mike Pence, who leads the White House coronavirus task force, shared a picture of the team meeting, with Fauci at the center of the photo.

“Productive meeting of the @WhiteHouse Coronavirus Task Force today,” Pence wrote in the tweet. “As we continue to put the health and well-being of the American people first, we are working closely with states to move forward, safely reopening our Nation and get Americans back to work.”

Mike Pence
(@Mike_Pence)

Productive meeting of the @WhiteHouse Coronavirus Task Force today. As we continue to put the health and well-being of the American people first, we are working closely with states to move forward, safely reopening our Nation and get Americans back to work. pic.twitter.com/WxsZwd8kiM

July 15, 2020

The tweet comes a day after senior trade adviser Peter Navarro published an op-ed raising doubts about the credibility of Fauci, who has led the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.

Pence doubled down on his praise of Fauci in a call with reporters this afternoon, describing him as a “valued” member of the task force. “We couldn’t be more grateful for his steady counsel,” Pence said.


16:26

Ginsburg discharged from hospital

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been discharged from Johns Hopkins Hospital, a day after being admitted for treatment of a possible infection.

“Justice Ginsburg has been discharged from the hospital. She is home and doing well,” a spokesperson for the court said in a statement.

The court previously said Ginsburg was admitted to the hospital after experiencing a fever and chills and underwent a procedure to clean out a bile duct stent that was placed last year.

The 87-year-old liberal justice has had a number of medical issues in recent years, sparking concern that she may step down from the court and give Trump another seat to fill.

Asked yesterday about Ginsburg’s admission to the hospital, Trump said, “I wish her the best, I hope she’s better. … She’s actually giving me some good rulings.”


16:08

Joanna Walters

Donald Trump did not wear a mask when he arrived in Atlanta earlier.

The president is in Georgia to talk about a further rollback in environmental regulations.

He was met by a group of greeters on the tarmac, only some of whom wore masks, reporters with the president reported.

After all the public health experts have said, and even leading Republicans in recent weeks, about the importance of wearing masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus, Trump and Republican governor Brian Kemp were very publicly not wearing masks.



Donald TrumpGeorgia Governor Brian Kemp, third from left, greets Donald Trump at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta this afternoon.

Donald Trump

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, third from left, greets Donald Trump at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta this afternoon. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

US representative Doug Collins and Senator Kelly Loeffler, both Republicans, wore masks. Loeffler and Collins are rivals for her Senate seat this November. Masks: his red, hers black. Again, no mask for Trump.



Representative Doug Collins in red face mask. Senator Kelly Loeffler second from right.

Representative Doug Collins in red face mask. Senator Kelly Loeffler second from right. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

Updated

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