July 24, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) - East County Magazine's World Watch helps you be an informed citizen on important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:
- Trump’s Payroll Tax Cut Would Harm Social Security, Seniors Group Argues (Financial Advisor)
- Renters struggle as hopes for financial relief dim (CNN)
- Postal Service memos detail ‘difficult’ changes, including slower mail delivery (Washington Post)
- Republican infighting leads to embarrassing setback on aid (Politico)
- House passes massive spending bill in bid to thwart election year shutdown (Politico)
- Trump Insists U.S. Has 'Lowest Mortality Rate' From Coronavirus, Despite Being Fact Checked By Fox News Anchor (Newsweek)
- Presence, tactics of federal agents in Portland, Oregon, prompt questions and criticism (PBS)
- Judge temporarily bars federal officers from using force, threats, dispersal orders against journalists, legal observers (OregonLive)
- More than 7,000 Children in Florida Have Tested Positive for COVID-19 (Americano News)
- As Trump Ignores Virus Crisis, Republicans Start to Contradict Him (NY Times)
- Judge unseals documents in 2015 Ghislaine Maxwell case, delays release pending appeal (The Hill)
- Coronavirus is crushing safari tourism and cutting off a lifeline for wildlife (Washington Post)
- China orders U.S. to shut Chengdu consulate, retaliating for Houston (Reuters)
- 300,000 Stranded at Sea During Pandemic Beg for Looser Travel Restrictions (Newsweek)
- Euro zone businesses bounce back in July as lockdowns loosen (Reuters)
For excerpts and links to full stories, click “read more” and scroll down.
Trump’s Payroll Tax Cut Would Harm Social Security, Seniors Group Argues (Financial Advisor)
The Senior Citizens League warns that President Trump’s proposal for a payroll tax cut in the second economic stimulus package would worsen existing financing problems for Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries. …The group said not only will it harm Social Security and other beneficiary programs, but it also likely wouldn't provide financial help for unemployed workers who need the money most.
… More than 26% of adults reported missing last month's rent or mortgage payment or having slight or no confidence that their household can pay next month's rent or mortgage on time in the most recent weekly Census survey. House Democrats have proposed a $100 billion rental assistance program, but that aid is not included in the current negotiations among congressional Republicans over a new economic relief package.
Analysts say the memos recast the USPS as a business rather than a government service.
Amid a series of crises — with 30 million Americans unemployed and coronavirus cases spiking nationally — White House officials and Senate GOP leaders couldn’t even come to an agreement among themselves on a starting point for a new relief package, let alone begin bipartisan talks with Democrats.
The House approved a $259.5 billion spending package on Friday in Democrats’ opening bid to ward off a government shutdown — a potentially devastating scenario while the nation is embroiled in a pandemic and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.
President Donald Trump insisted during an interview with Fox News Sunday that the U.S. has the "lowest mortality rate" from the novel coronavirus pandemic, even as anchor Chris Wallace fact-checked the claim, pointing out that the U.S. actually has one of the "worst" fatality rates.
State and local leaders in Portland, Oregon, are calling for the departure of federal agents sent in response to protests. Their presence and tactics -- including deploying tear gas, driving unmarked vans and wearing military-style gear -- have raised questions about the role of the federal government to police cities.
A federal judge on Thursday issued a 14-day order temporarily barring federal officers from using force, threats and dispersal orders against journalists or legal observers documenting the daily demonstrations in downtown Portland. …U.S. District Judge Michael H. Simon quoted case law from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, saying, “When wrongdoing is underway, officials have great incentive to blindfold the eyes of the Fourth Estate. The free press is the guardian of the public interest, and the judiciary is the guardian of the press.”
The CDC’s new guidelines exclude age as a factor for COVID-19 contagion as more than 7,000 kids test positive in Florida alone, according to the Department of Health. But that number continues to grow rapidly.
President Trump continues to press for a quick return to life as usual, but Republicans who fear a rampaging disease and angry voters are increasingly going their own way.
A federal judge overseeing a 2015 civil case against Ghislaine Maxwell agreed to unseal documents related to the case now that the longtime associate of Jeffrey Epstein is awaiting trial on charges that she helped recruit girls who were sexually abused.
A major migration has disappeared from the savanna: the horde of tourists driving a billion-dollar tourism industry that employs millions and is essential to wildlife conservation in many African countries.
China ordered the United States on Friday to close its consulate in the city of Chengdu, responding to a U.S. demand for China to close its Houston consulate, as relations between the world's two largest economies deteriorate.
Ship captains and crews are seeking immunity from travel and border regulations in response to the pandemic, which prevent them from returning home.
Euro zone business activity grew in July for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic hit, as more parts of the economy that were locked down to curtail its spread reopened and people emerged from their homes to work and spend money.