Andy Ngo Files Lawsuit Against Portland Antifa

Independent journalist Andy Ngo has filed a lawsuit against Portland Antifa for assault, battery, and “intentional infliction of emotional distress.” He also accused the anarcho-communist group of running a racketeering enterprise.

Antifa members and others have tried to “suppress” Ngo’s activities “through a coordinated pattern of violent, harassing, and stalking behavior,” he alleged in the suit (pdf), filled on June 4 with the Multnomah County Circuit Court in Portland, Oregon.

Ngo is known to record protests that involve Antifa. He’s been criticized for being biased against the group in his reporting.

The suit lists as defendants the local Antifa cell, Rose City Antifa, as an unincorporated association, and dozens of other individuals, though only five of them are identified by name: Benjamin Bolen, John Hacker, Corbyn (Katherine) Belyea, Joseph Christian Evans, and Madison Lee Allen.

It also alleges that Luis Marquez is “one of the leaders” of the Antifa group.

“Defendants and their fellow Antifa members or supporters and ‘allies’ have physically accosted and viciously assaulted Ngo at protests that he was covering, stolen his photographic equipment, publicized the addresses of his family home and mother’s business, tried to force entry into his house, and stalked him in his personal life, including by attacking and stealing his phone while at a gym,” the suit says.

Ngo is asking the court to grant him $900,000 in damages and to prohibit the defendants from “harassing, threatening, harming” him and “from further engaging” in racketeering activities.

The suit details several incidents, including on May 1, 2019, when Ngo was allegedly punched in the gut by Bolen and then maced by an unidentified individual.

Less than a week later, Hacker allegedly threw an “unknown liquid” on Ngo at a local gym in “retaliation” to his reporting on Antifa. When Ngo started to record the incident on his phone, Hacker took it from him. Gym staff intervened to get the phone back to Ngo, the suit says.

During protests on June 29, 2019, Belyea and others allegedly threw “milkshakes” at Ngo.

“Portland Police issued a warning on social media that day that the ‘milkshakes’ may have contained quick-drying concrete,” the suit says.

Later that day, about two dozen individuals attacked Ngo, the suit says.

“Without warning, Ngo was suddenly mobbed and bloodied by a group of Rose City Antifa members and others … who threw projectiles, including milkshakes, eggs, and containers; punched; and kicked him. Members also hit him in the head with plywood hard-edged sign placards, and carbon-hardened tactical gloves.”

Ngo sought medical attention, was diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage, and hospitalized overnight, the suit says.

On Oct. 31, 2019, “at least six masked Antifa members … approached Ngo’s family home and stood outside the door,” the suit says.

“Each of their masks bore a printout of Ngo’s face. They banged on Ngo’s windows, rang the doorbell, and tried to gain entry into Ngo’s family home by trying the door handle to see if the door was locked or not. They were not carrying trick or treat bags, and, on information and belief, intended to harass, intimidate, and harm Ngo.”

Ngo is represented by Portland attorney James Buchal and San Francisco-based Dhillon Law Firm led by attorney Harmeet Dhillon. Both Buchal and Dhillon are also Republican Party officials.

Unidentified Rose City Antifa members beat up Andy Ngo, a Portland-based journalist, in Portland, Ore., on June 29, 2019. (Moriah Ratner/Getty Images)

According to Attorney General William Barr, the Department of Justice has evidence that Antifa and other groups have been behind the recent riots in order to fuel their own agenda.

“We have evidence that Antifa and other similar extremist groups, as well as actors of a variety of different political persuasions, have been involved in instigating and participating in the violent activity,” he said on June 4 . “We are also seeing foreign actors playing all sides to exacerbate the violence.”

Also on June 4, investigative journalism nonprofit Project Veritas released a video where an undercover reporter describes the initiation process and tactical training of Rose City Antifa.

The reporter said he joined the Antifa cell in July of a year Veritas didn’t disclose.

Veritas provided undercover footage that shows what the reporter described as “required lectures” the Antifa group’s prospective members need to take.

Several people lectured the prospects on how to conduct violent action in a clandestine fashion and how to minimize risk to themselves, the footage showed.

“Don’t be that [expletive] guy with goddamned spike brass knuckles getting photos taken of you,” one of the lecturers is heard saying in the video.

He explained, “Police are going to be like: ‘Perfect, we can prosecute these [expletive], look how violent they are.’ And not that we aren’t, but we need to [expletive] hide that [expletive].”

The lecturer apparently instructed the prospects to inflict grave injury on their opponents.

“Practice things like an eye gouge. It takes very little pressure to injure someone’s eyes,” he said.

The reporter had left the organization “some time ago,” according to Veritas.

Similar instructions were given at a training for Antifa members in New York City, according to Veritas video published June 5.

“If you get a good liver or kidney shot, it’s pretty much crippling them. They’re going to be doubled over and in a lot of pain. If you break one of the floating ribs, which are small and right down here. Those are also very painful, it’s hard to move after that, to catch a breath. So, one good body shot could potentially give you all the time in the world to run away while they’re doubled over in pain, or really put a beating on them after that if you really don’t like the person,” an instructor is heard saying in the video.

Another instructor is heard saying, “We just kind of wanted to, in this space, reframe the idea of self-defense as not simply, you’re being acted upon by an aggressor. But it’s kind of a decision you make to fight back. In a lot of ways to say, I am human, and I occupy this space and I will not be [expletive] with.”

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Author: Petr Svab

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OC Judge Refuses to Dump Doctor’s and Girlfriend’s Drugging and Rape Case

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. (CNS)—A judge refused on June 5 to dismiss charges against a Newport Beach surgeon and his girlfriend, who are accused of drugging and sexually assaulting multiple women, and set a hearing for June 12 to consider whether the District Attorney’s Office should be kicked off the case.

“The public’s confidence pursuing justice would be severely undermined if the District Attorney continues on the matter,” Orange County Superior Court Judge Gregory Jones said.

Jones added that it was his “obligation to ensure integrity of all prosecutions,” but that no one has filed a motion to recuse the District Attorney, which is seeking dismissal of the case against Dr. Grant Robicheaux, 39, and Cerissa Riley, 32.

If the DA’s Office is recused, then the case would be assigned to the state Attorney General’s Office, which could keep the case or assign it to a special prosecutor.

“This is a great day for victims of crimes,” said attorney Michael Fell, who represents one of the alleged victims in the case. “It shows that … victims are able to have their voices heard.”

Defense attorney Philip Cohen demanded a preliminary hearing—a proceeding in which a judge determines whether there is enough evidence to proceed to trial. But Jones noted that the defense has waived its right to a speedy preliminary hearing multiple times in the case, so the standard now is to schedule it in a “reasonable time” period, not within 60 days of charges being filed.

Jones issued a sharply critical ruling of District Attorney Todd Spitzer, saying his move to dismiss the charges put the judge “in the unusual and challenging position” of having to make a decision “without hearing any testimony.”

Jones also criticized Spitzer’s predecessor, Tony Rackauckas, who filed the charges before being voted out of office.

“The political aspirations of district attorneys, past and present, and their thirst for media attention, have created a minefield of legal hazards in this case,” Jones wrote.

Jones noted in his ruling that the current and former district attorneys had dueling news conferences on the case leading up to the election. And he pointed out that Spitzer handed out a copy of a search warrant in the case to reporters, “vouching for the accuracy and truth of the allegations summarized in these Newport Beach police reports.”

“He now has reversed field and disavowed these reports. The reasons given for this turnabout are unclear,” Jones added.

Jones also questioned Spitzer’s decision to assign new prosecutors to conduct a complete review of the case that “he had overseen for nearly a year,” which the judge said was “both unusual and curious.”

Jones said he found it “significant” that Spitzer did not tell the Attorney General’s Office of the issues he felt he faced in proving the case when he previously asked the state to consider taking over the case.

The judge also ridiculed Spitzer’s “ludicrous” claim that Rackauckas “manufactured” the case to his political benefit. Jones said it “frankly raises significant concerns about his motivation in filing this motion to dismiss.”

Jones faulted defense attorneys as well, saying their brief “primarily addresses the missteps of the Rackauckas administration. The people’s motion to dismiss is based upon evidentiary weakness, not prosecutorial misconduct. This court is required to rule on the people’s motion, not on an unfiled government misconduct motion.”

The judge was unconvinced by prosecutors’ arguments that “rogue” investigator Jennifer Kearns, who was fired, filed “misleading and incomplete” reports in the case, or that she “deceived, misled and persuaded [victims] to slant their narratives.”

Jones said the issues with Kearns refers to the five alleged victims who were added to the case, and that in the case of the two initial women, “these are the charges that Mr. Spitzer embraced, and weaponized, against Rackauckas in his election campaign, only to now disavow.”

Jones added, “This case should not be dismissed for fear of losing and damaging the public image of the district attorney. It should not be dismissed to tarnish the legacy of the political opponent who filed the charges. Politics should never intersect with the pursuit of justice.”

“The public has heard from the politicians. The public has never heard from the alleged victims,” he wrote. “Any objective analysis of this case leads to the conclusion that these charges should be put before a jury. A back room dismissal by prosecutors without the alleged victims ever having the opportunity to be heard is contrary to the core values of our legal process, and the interests of the public.”

Spitzer issued a statement, saying his office has “represented to the court on multiple occasions that we do not have the evidence to prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt, and therefore we cannot legally, ethically and morally proceed with the prosecution of this case.”

Matt Murphy, a former prosecutor in Spitzer’s homicide unit who represents four of the alleged victims, applauded Jones’ ruling.

“These women have endured shocking abuses of their rights,” he said. “As they participated in this process, the district attorney has treated them horribly. Today the court set that right. We are grateful for the court’s compassion to these victims.”

In their brief seeking dismissal of the case, prosecutors said they were “acutely aware of the gravity of this request and the pain it may cause the alleged victims.” But they argued “the evidence in this case falls short of the level needed to meet the people’s constitutionally required burden of proof of each and every element of the crimes beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Prosecutors say in the brief that the defendants “engaged in a swinger lifestyle and openly pursued scores of women for consensual sexual encounters.”

It’s a sharp contrast from when charges were filed in the case, as the two were characterized by the prosecution as alleged sexual predators who used their good looks to lure unsuspecting women before drugging and raping the victims in the doctor’s Newport Beach home.

Prosecutors now say that some of the alleged victims have told investigators at times that they had consensual sex with the two. One alleged victim has a “history of manufacturing events and a documented instance of giving false information,” prosecutors said.

Another snorted about 15 lines of cocaine that she was aware was “laced with ketamine” before waking up to a nude Robicheaux “spooning her,” prosecutors allege. She refused to undergo a sexual assault exam, prosecutors said.

Spitzer initially backed prosecutors on the case after he was sworn in, but grew more concerned as evidence came out of civil litigation in which an alleged victim is suing the doctor and his girlfriend.

Spitzer contends that Rackauckas and his former chief of staff used the case for publicity during his re-election bid, prompting the DA to ask the Attorney General’s Office to consider taking over the case as he felt it had become too politicized in his office.

The Attorney General’s Office said any conflict was cured by Spitzer’s election and declined to take over the case.

Murphy accused Spitzer of continuing to make “critical decisions colored by raw personal animus and naked political calculation” in his legal brief opposing the dismissal of charges. He argued that there is enough evidence to continue forward with the case, including the amount of Gamma Hydroxybutyrate, the date-rape drug, found in Robicheaux’s home. Police recovered 119 grams of GHB, Murphy said.

Murphy also blasted Philip Cohen, one of the defense attorneys, for courtroom hyperbole. He accused Cohen of mischaracterizing the GHB evidence, and of badgering one alleged victim and her family to the point of making a false gas leak report to “smoke the occupants out of the home” and serve the victim in the civil case.

“This harassment continues to this day,” Murphy said.

 

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Author: City News Service

Fire Tears Through Amazon Distribution Center in Redlands, California

A warehouse that operates as an Amazon distribution center went up in flames in the morning of June 5 after a three-alarm fire broke out, engulfing the entire building.

Thick plumes of smoke could be seen coming out of the building in Redlands, California, as firefighters battled back the flames.

Aerial views of the fire show entire sections of the warehouse and roof had collapsed.

Thick plumes of smoke could be seen coming out of the warehouse that operates as an Amazon distribution center after it went up in flames after a three-alarm fire broke out, engulfing the entire building, in Redlands, Calif., on Jun. 5, 2020. (Courtesy of KABC)

The call came in at approximately 5:30 a.m., and mutual aid came from all over San Bernardino County and other surrounding agencies to battle the fire, Redlands city spokesman Carl Baker told CNN. Active firefighting efforts were still ongoing as of an hour ago, Baker said.

About 100 employees self evacuated and were able to get to safety, and no injuries have been reported, Baker said. No nearby Amazon sites have been impacted by the fire.

“We are glad everyone is safe, and thankful for the efforts of the local firefighters and first responders,” Amazon said in a statement to CNN. “This site was operated by a third party and we will support them throughout this process.”

Redlands Fire Chief Jim Topoleski told CNN affiliate KTLA that they will launch an investigation into the cause of the fire. The building is new and had the latest fire protections, Topoleski said.

The building is operated by Kuehne and Nagel, which is a third-party operator that assists Amazon in shipping extra-large items to customers, Amazon said.

Amazon expects minimal customer impact, as customer orders can be fulfilled from other locations, the company said.

The CNN Wire contributed to this report

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Author: Wire Service

Wall Street Surges on Striking US Jobs Report

U.S. stocks staged a respectable rally Friday, surging on a surprisingly upbeat May jobs report, while safe havens like bonds and gold gave up gains.

The moves extended a stock recovery that has seen Wall Street claw back many of the deep losses driven by the economic fallout from the pandemic.

All three major equities indexes climbed 2 percent or more, with the tech-heavy Nasdaq briefly hitting a new all-time high before ending the session a sliver below.

The benchmark S&P 500 is almost back to where it was earlier in the year, closing 5.7 percent off its record high.

By closing bell, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 829.16 points, or 3.15 percent, to 27,110.98; the S&P 500 gained 81.58 points, or 2.62 percent, to 3,193.93; and the Nasdaq Composite added 198.27 points, or 2.06 percent, to 9,814.08.

The Nasdaq Composite Index (IXIC) between August 2019 and June 2020. (Tradingview)

The U.S. economy added a remarkable 2.5 million jobs last month, rebounding from April’s record 20.7 million drop and pushing the unemployment rate down to 13.3 percent. Analysts expected unemployment to soar to a historic 19.8 percent.

“The numbers are a huge surprise to the upside,” said Michael Arone, chief investment strategist at State Street Global Advisors in Boston.

“It would suggest a further confirmation the economy is coming back online,” Arone added. “This is a strong signal that the effects are temporary and that the economy is improving.”

Chief White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said the strong rebound was not that surprising.

“Preceding this number were a number of ‘green shoots,’ as we call them in economics or finance,” Kudlow said at a White House press conference Friday, referring to signs of economic recovery.

“Housing applications for new homes are skyrocketing,” Kudlow said. “New businesses and new business applications are skyrocketing. So we’ve seen a lot of pieces of evidence.”

Kudlow said the key to the strong jobs number is that many of those who were temporarily laid off have returned to work. He credited the administration’s small business relief loan scheme, the Payroll Protection Program (PPP), which offers businesses forgivable loans if they don’t lay off workers for a period of time.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow talks to media outside the White House in Washington on Sept. 26, 2019. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

“The Payroll Protection Program has kept people on temporary call, kept them furloughed but they knew they were going to come back,” Kudlow said, adding that the PPP has distributed $510 billion and “has probably saved as much as 50 million jobs.”

U.S. Treasury yields rose on Friday’s strong jobs data, a move that signals greater investor appetite for risk. It also gives a boost to interest rate-sensitive banks, with the S&P 500 Banks index ending the session up 4.9 percent.

The price of gold, a classic safe haven sought out by investors in times of turmoil, dropped 2.5 percent for its biggest one-day slide since March.

Gold spot price (XAUUSD) between March-June 2020. (Tradingview)

President Donald Trump at a press conference Friday touted the rebound as being better than a V-shaped recovery, which refers to a sharp economic surge after a plunge.

“We’re opening and we’re opening with a bang and we’ve been talking about the V,” Trump said, adding, “This is better than a V. This is a rocket ship.”

The president also cheered the strong jobs number in a series of tweets Friday morning.

“It’s a stupendous number. It’s joyous, let’s call it like it is. The Market was right. It’s stunning!” Trump wrote in a tweet.

Investors are divided between those who believe the dip in economic activity has been priced in, and those who think of the surge in stocks as a relief rally that will soon run out of steam.

Sixty-seven percent of investors in a survey cited by The Wall Street Journal believe the S&P 500’s next 10 percent move will be down.

“Long may it last,” Arone said of the equities rally.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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Author: Tom Ozimek

French Army Kills Al-Qaeda North Africa Chief Droukdel: Armed Forces Minister

PARIS—France said on Friday its military forces had killed al Qaeda’s North Africa (AQMI) chief Abdelmalek Droukdel during an operation in northern Mali, a key terrorist that its forces had been hunting for more than seven years.

“On June 3, French army forces with the support of their local partners, killed al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb’s emir, Abdelmalek Droukdel, and several of his closest collaborators, during an operation in northern Mali,” French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly wrote on Twitter.

Droukdel was among North Africa’s most experienced terrorists and was one of those who took part in the Islamist terrorist takeover of northern Mali before a French military intervention in 2013 drove them back and scattered fighters across the Sahel region.

Droukdel was believed to be hiding in the mountains of northern Algeria. The group operates across northern Mali, Niger, Mauritania and Algeria.

Parly said that French forces, which number about 5,200 in the region, had also on May 19 captured Mohamed el Mrabat, a terrorist she identified as a veteran militant in the region and member of ISIS terrorist group in the Greater Sahara.

“Our forces, in cooperation with their local partners … will continue to track these (people) down without respite,” Parly said.

By John Irish and Tangi Salaun

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Author: Reuters

Astronomers May Have Found an Earth-Like Exoplanet Orbiting a Sun-Like Star

Some 3,000 light-years away from Earth, researchers believe they have found an Earth-size exoplanet orbiting a sun-like star.

The star is known as Kepler-160, and it was observed during NASA’s exoplanet-hunting Kepler mission between 2009 and 2013. It’s similar in size and temperature to our sun.

Previous observations in the last six years have revealed that Kepler-160 is orbited by two exoplanets, Kepler-160b and Kepler-160c. But these are much bigger than Earth and closely orbit the star, making their surface temperatures very hot and inhospitable to life.

Little variations in the time it takes Kepler-160c to orbit the star suggested, however, that there might be a third planet in the system. Instead, astronomers found not one more, but two more planets.

“Our analysis suggests that Kepler-160 is orbited not by two but by a total of four planets,” said René Heller, lead study author and Max Planck Institute for Solar System Research scientist, in a statement.

The study detailing their discoveries published this week in the journal Astronomy & Astrophysics.

The third planet is Kepler-160d, which is responsible for distorting the orbit of Kepler-160c. But the other potential planet they discovered is even more distinct and exciting.

The planet candidate has been dubbed KOI-456.04. It is less than twice the size of Earth and receives a similar amount and type of light from its sun-like star.

The planet candidate is also orbiting at a distance that places it within the habitable zone of the star, where the surface temperature of the planet could support liquid water—and the potential for life. That’s similar to where Earth sits in relation to the sun.

And it has an orbital period around the star of 378 days, similar to the Earth year it takes to complete an orbit around the sun.

“KOI-456.01 is relatively large compared to many other planets that are considered potentially habitable. But it’s the combination of this less-than-double the size of the Earth planet and its solar-type host star that make it so special and familiar,” Heller said.

All of the factors of the way this potential planet interacts with its host star mean that conditions on the surface could be similar to Earth—but that all depends on if it has an atmosphere. The researchers said if the planet had a stable atmosphere with mild warming from a greenhouse effect similar to what Earth experiences, the average temperature would be similar to our planet’s mean global temperature.

Finding Exoplanets

The researchers discovered the two additional potential planets in the Kepler-160 system when they searched through Kepler data using a detailed model of variations of star brightness. So far, they’ve found 18 exoplanets by going through the archival data collected during the nine-year Kepler mission.

“The planetary signal is so faint that it’s almost entirely hidden in the noise of the data. Our new search mask is slightly better in separating a true exoplanetary signal from the noise in the critical cases,” Heller said.

The researchers cautioned, however, that they have not confirmed that this is a planet and haven’t ruled out that it could be a measurement error. Based on their information, it’s 85 percent likely to be a planet—but 99 percent is required for it to be dubbed a planet.

Future observations of the system using ground or space-based telescopes could confirm if it’s a planet. This includes the European Space Agency’s PLATO mission that will launch in 2026 and search for Earth-size planets around sun-like stars, among other objectives.

Many of the Earth-size exoplanets discovered in recent years orbit small red dwarf stars, rather than sun-like stars. These stars are much smaller and cooler than our sun and the exoplanets around them are in closer orbits than Earth is to the sun, but they likely have similar moderate surface temperatures because the stars are cooler.

These red dwarf stars, however, emit infrared radiation as opposed to the visible light we receive from the sun. They also lash their planets with highly energetic flares and radiation, which is why these planets are debated as potential hubs for life outside of our solar system.

“The full picture of habitability, however, involves a look at the qualities of the star, too,” Heller said.

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Author: Wire Service

Hundreds of Virus Patients Test Positive Again After Initial Recovery in China: Leaked Internal Documents

A growing number of patients in China who previously recovered from the CCP virus are relapsing, according to internal government documents obtained by The Epoch Times.

The publication obtained internal reports on relapse rates from several local governments: Inner Mongolia, Guangdong, Sichuan, Shandong, Guizhou, Ningxia, and Hainan provinces and the city of Chongqing. There are a total of 32 provinces and directly-governed municipalities in China.

The governments collected the data in early April. The highest rate among the data sheets was in Hulunbuir, Inner Mongolia, which was 42.86 percent.

The figures in the internal reports are much higher than the 5 to 15 percent that Wang Guiqiang, director of the infectious diseases department at Peking University First Affiliated Hospital, cited during a central-government-hosted press conference on May 7. He said that range was for the “overall situation” in the country.

He added that some relapsed patients experience symptoms again. Some patients’ lungs were further damaged after they relapsed.

The CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus, first broke out in central China’s Wuhan city in late 2019, and has since spread across China and to over 200 countries and regions.

Relapse

The government reports contain two parts. One is a general report about the number of patients in each prefecture-level city, the number of patients who relapsed, and the relapse rate.

The second part is a list of relapsed patients with their detailed personal information: when they were first discharged from the hospital; when they relapsed; nucleic acid test results from their sputum, throat mucus, nasal mucus, and anal sample; blood antibody test results; where they were being isolated when the relapse occurred, and so on.

For example, the general report from Inner Mongolia recorded the current status of COVID-19 patients in its 11 prefecture-level cities. COVID-19 is the disease caused by the CCP virus. Inner Mongolia has 12 prefecture-level cities; the Alxa League has never reported domestic infections.

According to the data, 74 COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals in Inner Mongolia. 12 of them relapsed later. The overall relapse rate for the region is 16.22 percent. After treatment, ten of them were discharged again. Two relapsed patients still tested positive with the virus and were being isolated when authorities collected the data.

In Inner Mongolia, Hulunbuir city had the highest relapse rate, at 42.86 percent.

Inner Mongolia provincial government reports their CCP virus patient’s relapse rate is 16.22 percent in Hohhot, China in April, 2020. (Provided to The Epoch Times by insider)

Other Provinces

In Chongqing city, 174 out of 570 discharged patients relapsed. The relapse rate is 30.53 percent.

One patient surnamed Huang relapsed on the 45th day after being discharged from the hospital. This was the longest incubation period—the time period from when a patient was discharged to when he relapsed—recorded in the data.

In Guangdong, 1,344 out of 1,348 discharged patients took a nucleic acid test. 228 of them tested positive, which means the relapse rate is 16.96 percent.

In Sichuan, 536 out of 541 discharged patients took the test. 76 tested positive, amounting to a relapse rate of 14.18 percent.

In Shandong Province, the relapse rate was 11.54 percent. The longest incubation period was 36 days.

The relapse rate was 11.11 percent in Guizhou, 13.11 percent in Ningxia, and 12.30 percent in Hainan.

A Chinese health worker carries out a nucleic acid test on a journalist covering events around the National People’s Congress in Beijing, China on May 28, 2020. (Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Disputed Relapse Case

On May 30, Hefei city in eastern China’s Anhui province announced one relapse case, a 24-year-old woman surnamed Wei.

Chinese state-run broadcaster CCTV reported that Wei tested positive again on May 26, more than two months after she was discharged from the hospital. Her colleagues told the Chinese-language Epoch Times that the workplace has since adopted strict measures to prevent further virus spread.

Wei works at the laundry machine department, within the Hefei city campus of Chinese electrical appliance manufacturer Midea Group.

“All employees in our factory took a nucleic acid test on May 27,” one co-worker said on May 31. “Now, no visitors can enter our campus, and all employees must use a keyfob to enter.”

An employee who works at the refrigerator department of Midea Group said he and his colleagues also had to take nucleic acid tests.

The owner of a restaurant inside the campus said she has not received any official notice from the company about the virus case.

Locals shared information on social media platforms, and claimed that six other Midea employees were diagnosed. But local police refuted the rumors in a May 30 social media post. They detained at least one person who shared this information with friends, and fined another person 300 yuan ($42).

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Author: Nicole Hao

Republican Leaders Criticize Far Left’s Calls to Defund the Police

After the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officers, Democrats began a campaign on Twitter to defund police departments. Although grassroots organizations and progressive politicians in some cities are calling for cutting funding to their police, Republican lawmakers are fiercely opposed.

“First, Democrats wanted to defund ICE. Then, they wanted to defund DHS. Now, they want to defund the police. This is how radical today’s Left has become!” Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said.

“Any City or Entity that Abolishes Their Police Department: What effect do you believe this will have on economic development, tourism, and public safety? If you are looking for a good place to visit or state to do business, come to #SouthCarolina,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.).

According to a 2016 survey done by the Cato Institute on the public’s attitude toward the police, the majority of Americans have a favorable view of the police in their community. It found that 81 percent of Republicans, 59 percent of Independents, and 59 percent of Democrats view police has necessary.

“We should get clear on something. Without the police, without law enforcement, without the fine men & women in blue, the Constitution is just words on a page. Rights require protection. Democracy requires the rule of law,” said Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.).

The Cato survey found no group is “anti-cop,” even though African-American and Hispanics are more likely to have neutral feelings toward police officers.

Meanwhile, the far-left wing of the Democratic party, what President Trump has labeled the “Squad” are the ones that have been the most vocal about defunding and disbanding the police.

“The radical Left Democrats new theme is ‘Defund the Police.’ Remember that when you don’t want Crime, especially against you and your family. This is where Sleepy Joe is being dragged by the socialists. I am the complete opposite, more money for Law Enforcement!” said President Trump.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), one of the members of the “Squad,” supports disbanding her city’s police department.

“The Minneapolis Police Department has proven themselves beyond reform. It’s time to disband them and reimagine public safety in Minneapolis. Thank you to @MplsWard13 for your leadership on this!” said Omar (D-Minn.).

However, the survey found more African Americans think the police are too quick to use excessive force, 73 percent, as opposed to whites, 35 percent, and Hispanics, 54 percent.

A Minneapolis City Council member for Ward 13, Steve Fletcher wrote in an opinion piece for Time Magazine, “Every member of the Minneapolis City Council has now expressed the need for dramatic structural change. I am one of many on the Council, including the Council President and the Chair of Public Safety, who are publicly supporting the call to disband our police department and start fresh with a community-oriented, non-violent public safety and outreach capacity.”

Another Minneapolis city council member, Alondra Cano, said on Twitter, “The Mpls Police Department is not reformable. Change is coming. #Justice4George.”

The self-proclaimed Democratic-socialist leader Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders wrote a Twitter post for defunding police, which was later retweeted by a “Squad” member, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).

“Every police department violating people’s civil rights must be stripped of federal funding,” he wrote.

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Author: Masooma Haq

Buffalo Police Emergency Response Team Members Resign From Positions

A special squad on the Buffalo Police department known as the Emergency Response Team resigned from their special posts, said the Buffalo Police Benevolent Association on Friday.

It came after two officers were suspended without pay when they were allegedly seen in a video pushing over a 75-year-old protester, who was hospitalized.

“Fifty-seven resigned in disgust because of the treatment of two of their members, who were simply executing orders,” said John Evans, the president of the Police Benevolent Association, reported WGRZ.

The Emergency Response team was created several years ago and is deployed during riots and mass protests.

“The City of Buffalo is aware of developments related to the work assignments of certain members of the Buffalo police force. At this time, we can confirm that contingency plans are in place to maintain police services and ensure public safety within our community. The Buffalo police continue to actively work with the New York State Police and other cooperating agencies,” said Mayor Byron Brown, according to local news outlets.

Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz also issued a comment on the development.

“I’m very disappointed if they resigned. I don’t know how many individuals there are, as I said I have no oversight directly, that is no oversight over the Buffalo Police Department. My goal as county executive is to ensure the safety and welfare of the entire public. The individuals who are protesting, our general members of the public who may be not as well as our local police force, because I want each and everyone one of them to be safe in all our endeavors,” Poloncarz remarked.

Reports said that the elderly man, activist Martin Gugino, was taken to the Erie County Medical Center with serious injuries, although he is now active and alert.

The video immediately generated outrage, including among elected officials, in the wake of the death of Floyd—a man who died after a police officer pressed a knee on his neck for several minutes.

Gugino is a veteran peace activist involved with the Western New York Peace Center and Latin American Solidarity Committee, said Vicki Ross, the center’s executive director. His Twitter timeline includes tweets and retweets supportive of progressive causes and critical of police. One tweet from Wednesday read: “The cops should not have clubs. And should not be in riot gear. The National Guard should arrest the police.”

The district attorney’s office “continues to investigate the incident,” officials said in a news release, but the victim could not talk to investigators Thursday night.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Author: Jack Phillips

US Will Allow Limited Flights by Chinese Airlines, Not a Ban

The Trump administration said June 5 it will let Chinese airlines operate a limited number of flights to the United States, easing off from an earlier threat to ban the flights.

The decision came one day after China appeared to open the door to U.S. carriers United Airlines and Delta Air Lines resuming one flight per week each into the country.

The Transportation Department said it will let Chinese passenger airlines fly a combined total of two round-trip flights per week between the United States and China, matching the number of flights that China’s aviation authority will allow for U.S. carriers.

United and Delta did not comment immediately on the latest development in the dispute between the two countries and how it will affect their plans. Both had hoped to offer more flights.

The dispute between Washington and Beijing over airline service has been building for weeks and is part of broader trade and diplomatic tension between the world’s two biggest economies.

In early January, there were more than 300 flights per week between the two countries, but international carriers reduced and then stopped flying to China as the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic devastated demand for air travel. United, Delta, and American Airlines suspended flights to China before mid-March.

Chinese airlines reduced but didn’t eliminate their flights to the United States. They ran about 20 flights per week in February, and 34 by mid-March. Air China, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, and Xiamen Airlines continue flying those routes.

Travel in both China and the United States has partly recovered in the past two months, although it remains far below 2019 levels. In May, United and Delta petitioned China to resume flights there, but received no response.

The Trump administration protested that China’s refusal to grant access to U.S. airlines was unfair. The Transportation Department announced Wednesday that it would prohibit all passenger airline flights from China no later than June 16.

On Thursday, the Civil Aviation Administration of China said it would let more foreign airlines fly to China starting next week as anti-CCP virus controls are eased.

The order did not identify airlines, but appeared to limit United and Delta to one flight per week because they stopped flying to China before mid-March. American does not plan to return to China before October.

By David Koenig, 

The Associate Press and Epoch Times staff contributed to this report.

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Author: Web Staff