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August 13, 2020

Trump Goes to War with USPS

This Day in History | 1926

Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro is born in the Oriente province of eastern Cuba.

Trump Goes to War with Postal Service as Election Nears 

(AP) – President Donald Trump frankly acknowledged Thursday that he’s starving the U.S. Postal Service of money in order to make it harder to process an expected surge of mail-in ballots, which he worries could cost him the election.

In an interview on Fox Business Network, Trump explicitly noted two funding provisions that Democrats are seeking in a relief package that has stalled on Capitol Hill. Without the additional money, he said, the Postal Service won’t have the resources to handle a flood of ballots from voters who are seeking to avoid polling places during the coronavirus pandemic.

“If we don’t make a deal, that means they don’t get the money,” Trump told host Maria Bartiromo. “That means they can’t have universal mail-in voting; they just can’t have it.”

Trump’s statements, including the false claim that Democrats are seeking universal mail-in voting, come as he is searching for a strategy to gain an advantage in his November matchup against Joe Biden. He’s pairing the tough Postal Service stance in congressional negotiations with an increasingly robust mail-in -voting legal fight in states that could decide the election.

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US budget deficit swells to record $2.81 Trillion

(Fox Business) – The U.S. budget deficit climbed to a record $2.81 trillion in the first 10 months of the fiscal year, a record high, the Treasury Department said Wednesday.

In July, the gap between what the government spent and what it collected hit $62.9 billion, well below the $864 billion recorded in June. That was the lowest monthly figure since the coronavirus pandemic brought the nation’s economy to a grinding halt in mid-March.

Federal spending rose to more than $626 billion last month but was offset by the $563 billion the government collected in tax revenue after it extended the tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15. That extension allowed Americans to hold onto their cash longer as they dealt with the fallout from the virus and injected about $300 billion of liquidity into the economy.

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Feds Say Yale Discriminates Against White, Asian Applicants

(US News) – A Justice Department investigation has found Yale University is illegally discriminating against Asian American and white applicants, in violation of federal civil rights law, officials said Thursday.

Yale denied the allegation, calling it “meritless” and “hasty.”

The findings detailed in a letter to the college’s attorneys Thursday mark the latest action by the Trump administration aimed at rooting out discrimination in the college application process, following complaints from students about the application process at some Ivy League colleges. The Justice Department had previously filed court papers siding with Asian American groups who had levied similar allegations against Harvard University.

The two-year investigation concluded that Yale “rejects scores of Asian American and white applicants each year based on their race, whom it otherwise would admit,” the Justice Department said. The investigation stemmed from a 2016 complaint against Yale, Brown and Dartmouth.

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No Social Distancing: California Church Defies Health Officials, Holds Services for Thousands

(CNN) – To hear Pastor John MacArthur tell it, all Grace Community Church did was open its doors and the people came, like the animals to Noah’s Ark.

The megachurch in suburban Los Angeles had closed its doors in mid-March because of the coronavirus pandemic. It announced plans to re-open in May, but a federal court upheld the state’s ban on indoor services. The church reopened in late July.

“People started slowly coming back,” MacArthur told CNN on Tuesday, “and they just kept coming until there were six or seven thousand.”

That’s several thousand more people than California allows at indoor worship services. According to an order issued July 29, houses of worship in Los Angeles County must limit indoor gatherings to 100 people or 25% of the building’s capacity, whichever is lower.

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AMC Movie Theaters to Reopen with 15-cent Tickets

(CBS News) – AMC Theatres, the nation’s largest movie theater chain, will reopen in the U.S. on August 20 with retro ticket prices of 15 cents per movie.

AMC Entertainment, which owns the chain, said Thursday that it expects to open the doors to more than 100 cinemas — or about a sixth of its nationwide locations — on August 20 with throwback pricing for a day.

AMC theaters have reopened in numerous international countries but have remained shuttered in the U.S. since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, which shuttered businesses across the country. The chain touted the reopening as “Movies in 2020 at 1920 Prices.”

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