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A New York judge cited a recent Supreme Court ruling.

By

Aaron Katersky

August 7, 2020, 8:57 PM
4 min read

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President Donald Trump cannot delay or stop a defamation lawsuit by a former advice columnist who has accused him of rape, a judge in New York has ruled.
The judge, Verna Saunders, denied Trump’s request to stay the defamation lawsuit brought by E. Jean Carroll.

Saunders cited the recent Supreme Court decision that allowed Manhattan DA Cy Vance to proceed with a subpoena for Trump’s tax returns, a ruling that rejected the president’s claim of absolute immunity from any aspect of criminal procedure while in office.

“This court construes the holding in Vance applicable to all state court proceedings in which a sitting President is involved, including those involving his or her unofficial/personal conduct,” Saunders wrote.
The White House declined to comment on this latest update.
Carroll, who served as an advice columnist at Elle magazine for over 20 years, has accused Trump of raping her in the 1990s. He has denied ever meeting her.

E. Jean Carroll arrives at New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan for a hearing on her lawsuit against President Donald Trump, March 4, 2020.

E. Jean Carroll arrives at New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan for a hearing on her lawsuit against President Donald Trump, March 4, 2020.
Jefferson Siegel/The New York Times via Redux, FILE.

She sued him for defamation, arguing he damaged her reputation and career – she lost her job at Elle – by denying her story and claiming she took money from political opponents to fabricate it.
“We are very gratified that Judge Saunders, recognizing the clear holding of the Supreme Court in Vance, has rejected President Trump’s assertion of absolute immunity and has denied his motion to stay E. Jean Carroll’s case,” her attorney, Roberta Kaplan said.

“We are now eager to move forward with discovery so that we can prove that Donald Trump defamed E Jean Carroll when he lied about her in connection with her brave decision to tell the truth about the fact that Donald Trump had sexually assaulted her.”
“See you in court,” Carroll tweeted Friday, tagging the president.

A New York judge cited a recent Supreme Court ruling.

By

Aaron Katersky

August 7, 2020, 8:57 PM
4 min read

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President Donald Trump cannot delay or stop a defamation lawsuit by a former advice columnist who has accused him of rape, a judge in New York has ruled.
The judge, Verna Saunders, denied Trump’s request to stay the defamation lawsuit brought by E. Jean Carroll.

Saunders cited the recent Supreme Court decision that allowed Manhattan DA Cy Vance to proceed with a subpoena for Trump’s tax returns, a ruling that rejected the president’s claim of absolute immunity from any aspect of criminal procedure while in office.

“This court construes the holding in Vance applicable to all state court proceedings in which a sitting President is involved, including those involving his or her unofficial/personal conduct,” Saunders wrote.
The White House declined to comment on this latest update.
Carroll, who served as an advice columnist at Elle magazine for over 20 years, has accused Trump of raping her in the 1990s. He has denied ever meeting her.

E. Jean Carroll arrives at New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan for a hearing on her lawsuit against President Donald Trump, March 4, 2020.

E. Jean Carroll arrives at New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan for a hearing on her lawsuit against President Donald Trump, March 4, 2020.
Jefferson Siegel/The New York Times via Redux, FILE.

She sued him for defamation, arguing he damaged her reputation and career – she lost her job at Elle – by denying her story and claiming she took money from political opponents to fabricate it.
“We are very gratified that Judge Saunders, recognizing the clear holding of the Supreme Court in Vance, has rejected President Trump’s assertion of absolute immunity and has denied his motion to stay E. Jean Carroll’s case,” her attorney, Roberta Kaplan said.

“We are now eager to move forward with discovery so that we can prove that Donald Trump defamed E Jean Carroll when he lied about her in connection with her brave decision to tell the truth about the fact that Donald Trump had sexually assaulted her.”
“See you in court,” Carroll tweeted Friday, tagging the president.

The Washington Football Team has released running back Derrius Guice after he was charged in multiple domestic violence incidents

By

STEPHEN WHYNO AP Sports Writer

August 8, 2020, 12:04 AM
2 min read

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The Washington Football Team released running back Derrius Guice on Friday after he was charged in multiple domestic violence incidents.
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Department told The Associated Press that Guice was arrested on one count of strangulation, three counts of assault and battery and one count of destruction of property. Strangulation is a Class 6 felony in Virginia.

The team said in a statement it learned of a potential domestic violence situation Thursday, immediately notified the NFL and met with Guice to excuse him from activities pending a review. After learning of the multiple charges against him, reviewing the case and discussing the matter, Washington said it decided to release Guice.
The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Department said the incidents were reported to the Montgomery County Police Department in Maryland where the victim lives. Loudoun officials then learned July 22 that they happened in their jurisdiction in February, March and April.
Guice, 23, turned himself in and was released on $10,000 bond, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
Washington selected Guice in the second round of the 2018 draft out of LSU. The Louisiana native tore the ACL in his left knee in the preseason and didn’t make his pro debut until 2019.
Guice played in just five games last season after injuring his his right knee and then his left knee again. He was expected to be a part of Washington’s backfield and was signed through the 2021 season as part of his rookie contract.
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More AP NFL: https://apnews.com/NFL and https://twitter.com/AP—NFL

Ellen Richards, Riz Khaliq and Edith Bartley say they are ready for justice.Twenty-two years and one day since their lives were upended by the bombings at the U.S. Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya, the survivors and the families of those killed have finalized a settlement with the government of Sudan, whose previous leader harbored the al-Qaida operatives responsible for those bloody attacks.

“My family was devastated by the bombing. My whole world was turned upside down. My career in the Foreign Service went down the tubes. But you know, through all of it, through every bit of it, I’ve always believed that justice would be served,” said Richards, who worked for the Commerce Department and was blinded in the Nairobi bombing.

For the Sudanese people, who overthrew genocidal dictator Omar al Bashir in a historic uprising last year — it is also a critical moment.

A member of a Sudanese family beneficiary of a cash support system is pictured in Khartoum, July 9, 2020. Sudan has begun distributing cash handouts under an internationally backed plan to help millions cope with an economic crisis aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic, recipients and the authorities said.

A member of a Sudanese family beneficiary of a cash support system is pictured in Khartoum, July 9, 2020. Sudan has begun distributing cash handouts under an internationally backed plan to help millions cope with an economic crisis aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic, recipients and the authorities said.
Ashraf Shazly/AFP via Getty Images

Amid widespread hunger and political instability, a new civilian transitional government has tried to steer the country through the uncertainty and toward democratic elections. But it has suffered under the yolk of international sanctions that block foreign aid and investment.
The Trump administration has said a settlement for those American families would unlock sanctions relief, including lifting Sudan’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism by the State Department — the most stringent of commercial penalties.

But there are some concerns that the deal reached, with Sudan offering $335 million in total, is inequitable. One U.S. senator, Bob Menendez, D-N.J., has blocked the congressional approval needed to finalize the settlement, even as its advocates say sanctions must be lifted urgently to support Sudan’s young civilian government.
“This is the first time in as long as I can remember that we have an opportunity to not only hold a country accountable for what they did at that time in history, but also help a country become part of the world economy, help a country set a path toward improving lives of their citizens,” said Khaliq, who was serving as a commercial attaché when he survived the attack in Nairobi.

Rescue workers carry Susan Francisca Murianki, a U.S. Embassy office worker, over the rubble of a collapsed building next to the embassy, Aug. 7, 1998 in Nairobi, Kenya. Terrorist bombs exploded minutes apart outside the U.S. embassies in the Kenyan and Tanzanian capitals.

Rescue workers carry Susan Francisca Murianki, a U.S. Embassy office worker, over the rubble of a collapsed building next to the embassy, Aug. 7, 1998 in Nairobi, Kenya. Terrorist bombs exploded minutes apart outside the U.S. embassies in the Kenyan and Tanzanian capitals.
Khalil Senosi/AP, FILE

The bombings killed 224 people, including 12 Americans killed at the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi.
But the settlement, reached with the U.S. government’s backing, would provide $3 million for each American or their family, while most of the victims, who were locally employed staff, will receive $400,000, including those who have since become U.S. citizens.

Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has called that unfair. His office did not respond to ABC News’ request for comment, but told The Washington Post in a statement, “We need a deal that, at minimum, is fair to all Americans with claims. There is no serious effort in the Senate to approve the Trump deal because it doesn’t meet that minimum standard.”

Bartley, whose father and brother were killed in the blast, said that repeated requests from the families and victims to speak with Menendez have gone unanswered.
In response to his concerns, Bartley, who’s become a spokesperson for the families of those killed, said that the U.S. has provided other means of financial support, including $500 million from Congress’s victims of state-sponsored terrorism fund, and that the U.S. is limited in its ability to negotiate on behalf of other countries’ citizens.

Sudanese protesters take part in a demonstration to denounce the July 29 Al-Obeid killings, in the capital Khartoum, Aug. 1, 2019. Tragedy struck Al-Obeid on July 29 when four high school students and two other protesters were shot dead at a rally against growing bread and fuel shortages in the city in central Sudan.

Sudanese protesters take part in a demonstration to denounce the July 29 Al-Obeid killings, in the capital Khartoum, Aug. 1, 2019. Tragedy struck Al-Obeid on July 29 when four high school students and two other protesters were shot dead at a rally against growing bread and fuel shortages in the city in central Sudan.
Ashraf Shazly/AFP via Getty Images, FILE

“Our government espouses and only has the authority to espouse the claims of American citizens, those who were Americans at the time of the event,” she told reporters during a briefing with Khaliq, Richards and former congressman and House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Ed Royce, R-Calif.
“Every agreement could be better. We have to look at what’s obtainable here. We have to look at the ticking time bomb that is the situation that the Sudanese government is in if it doesn’t become stabilized or if it doesn’t get the support, get pulled into the global economy and the international community,” Khaliq added.

It’s been 14 months since those peaceful protests ousted Bashir, an autocratic leader who came to power in a coup in 1989, ruled during decades of oppression and violence, and has been found responsible for genocide and other war crimes in Darfur.
The historic demonstrations against him have powered through violent attacks and a military crackdown and yielded a transitional government that is tasked with laying the ground work for civilian rule and democratic elections.

But that government and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok are struggling amid economic instability, deep poverty and now the novel coronavirus. Hamdok was nearly assassinated in March.
To advocates, that puts even greater pressure to act now.
“This happens in the middle of a pandemic, the middle of what Oxfam calls one of the hunger hot spots on the globe, the middle of a collapsing economic system because we can’t get relief in because of this sanction on state sponsor of terrorism — and it’s an injustice to call it that when the very individual is on trial in the country who brought the terror, and we are now in a position of undermining those who are trying to bring him to justice,” said Royce. “That’s the irrationality of where we are right now. That’s why the Senate has to act.”

Mnuchin said he will recommend Trump take executive action this weekend.

By

Allison Pecorin
and

Trish Turner

August 7, 2020, 9:56 PM
6 min read

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Talks between the administration and Democratic leadership on a path forward for a COVID-19 relief bill collapsed Friday, with both parties leaving negotiations citing no measured progress toward an agreement and no plans for a future meeting.
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Chief of Staff Mark Meadows have been in daily discussion with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer over a possible relief package, but with no agreement in site, the parties appear to have now gone their separate ways.

“Perhaps you missed what I said,” Pelosi said when asked what would come next for negotiations. “I said come back when you’re ready to give a higher number.”
President Trump’s advisers left Capitol Hill Thursday telling reporters that they will now advise him to go at it alone by taking executive action over the coming weekend.
“The Chief of Staff and I will recommend to the president, based upon our lack of activity today, to move forward with some executive orders,” Mnuchin said.

Meadows told reporters that the executive orders would come this weekend.

President Donald Trump leaves the stage after speaking during an event at the Whirlpool Corporation Manufacturing Plant, Aug. 6, 2020, in Clyde, Ohio.

President Donald Trump leaves the stage after speaking during an event at the Whirlpool Corporation Manufacturing Plant, Aug. 6, 2020, in Clyde, Ohio.
Tony Dejak/AP

Trump will focus his executive orders on issues related to unemployment insurance, student loans and evictions, Mnuchin said.
It is not clear exactly what these orders will involve, but Mnuchin said that individuals receiving unemployment insurance will not receive a full $600 a week in unemployment benefits as was the case under the previous coronavirus relief package. On Friday, Mnuchin seemed to point to the Senate GOP bill that he helped negotiate which cuts the federal unemployment insurance benefit to $200 a week through roughly September and then those benefits would be set at 70% or a worker’s lost wages.
For two weeks now, the two parties have struggled to find common ground on their two proposals which came in at sizably different prices. The original Democratic proposal, which passed the House in May, was worth $3.4 trillion. The Republican proposal came in around $1 trillion.
Pelosi and Schumer said during a press conference Friday that they attempted to negotiate the price of the bill during talks on Thursday. They offered to lower their asking price to $2 trillion if Republicans would raise their price to meet them.
“That’s a non-starter,” Mnuchin said, when asked about the deal on Friday.
Democrats would have achieved a lower price for the bill by shortening the length of certain benefits, but not by cutting them from their proposals, a tactic that Meadows said was not palatable.

“Even with their trillion dollar Washington D.C., magical way of saying they are coming down a trillion they can’t come up with any significant cuts to their bill,” Meadows said.
Earlier this week, Mnuchin and Meadows set a deadline for an agreement to be reached by Friday. As hopes of an agreement waned, each side accused the other of being too rigid and unwilling to compromise.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin speak to members of the press after a meeting at the office of Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi at the U.S. Capitol, Aug. 7, 2020 in Washington, DC.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin speak to members of the press after a meeting at the office of Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi at the U.S. Capitol, Aug. 7, 2020 in Washington, DC.
Alex Wong/Getty Images

Both administration officials expressed frustration about returning to Capitol Hill today only to be met with more of the same during talks.
“I’m extremely disappointed that we came up here today just to hear the same thing repeated over and over again which is the same thing we’ve heard repeated for the last two weeks,” Meadows said.
Throughout negotiations, Republicans have advocated for a slimmed-down bill that targets specific areas, whereas Democrats have argued that a robust bill addressing a wide spread of health and economic issues was necessary.
“We’re there representing the kitchen table needs of the American people,” Pelosi said. “They are there representing the board conference room table and that is a different perspective. And that’s why it takes long.”

William R. Evanina released a report on foreign election interference Friday.

By

Mike Levine
and

Mark Osborne

August 7, 2020, 7:29 PM
5 min read

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A U.S. government intelligence report released on Friday says China is actively interfering in the 2020 election process against President Donald Trump’s campaign.
“We assess that China prefers that President Trump — whom Beijing sees as unpredictable — does not win reelection,” William Evanina, director of the United States National Counterintelligence and Security Center, wrote in a release. “China has been expanding its influence efforts ahead of November 2020 to shape the policy environment in the United States, pressure political figures it views as opposed to China’s interests, and deflect and counter criticism of China.”

The report on foreign election interference also highlights disinformation campaigns by Russia and Iran.
While China allegedly works against Trump, the report says Russia is fighting against Democratic nominee and former Vice President Joe Biden.
“We assess that Russia is using a range of measures to primarily denigrate former Vice President Biden and what it sees as an anti-Russia “establishment,'” Evanina wrote. “This is consistent with Moscow’s public criticism of him when he was Vice President for his role in the Obama Administration’s policies on Ukraine and its support for the anti-Putin opposition inside Russia.”

In this June 29, 2019, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, western Japan.

In this June 29, 2019, file photo, U.S. President Donald Trump, left, shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Osaka, western Japan.
Susan Walsh/AP, File

It was just over two weeks ago that Biden said he was putting the Kremlin “on notice” over its election interference.
“If elected president, I will treat foreign interference in our election as an adversarial act that significantly affects the relationship between the United States and the interfering nation’s government,” Biden wrote as part of a lengthy statement.
The release from Evanina does not say whether Iran is working for or against any candidate, but instead that it is working against “democratic institutions.”
“We assess that Iran seeks to undermine U.S. democratic institutions, President Trump, and to divide the country in advance of the 2020 elections,” Evanina wrote. “Iran’s efforts along these lines probably will focus on on-line influence, such as spreading disinformation on social media and recirculating anti-U.S. content.”

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Ranking Member Mark Warner, D-Va., thanked Evanina in a joint statement for his latest statement on election threats, and encouraged “political leaders on all sides to refrain from weaponizing intelligence matters for political gain, as this only furthers the divisive aims of our adversaries.”
“NCSC Director Evanina’s statement today builds on and provides additional context to his previous statement two weeks ago,” Rubio and Warner wrote. “We thank him for providing this additional information to the American people, and we look forward to his continued engagement, along with other members of the Intelligence Community and the Administration, with the public over the next 87 days.”
“Evanina’s statement highlights some of the serious and ongoing threats to our election from China, Russia, and Iran,” the letter continued. “Everyone — from the voting public, local officials, and members of Congress — needs to be aware of these threats. And all of us should endeavor to prevent outside actors from being able to interfere in our elections, influence our politics, and undermine confidence in our democratic institutions.”

NEW YORK — Racial disparities in the the U.S. coronavirus epidemic extend to children, according to two sobering government reports released Friday.One of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports looked children with COVID-19 who needed hospitalization. Hispanic children were hospitalized at a rate eight times higher than white kids, and Black children were hospitalized at a rate five times higher, it found.

The second report examined cases of a rare virus-associated syndrome in kids. It found that nearly three-quarters of the children with the syndrome were either Hispanic or Black, well above their representation in the general population.
The coronavirus has exposed racial fractures in the U.S. health care system, as Black, Hispanic and Native Americans have been hospitalized and killed by COVID-19 at far higher rates than other groups.
Meanwhile, the impact of the virus on children has become a political issue. President Donald Trump and some other administration officials have been pushing schools to re-open, a step that would allow more parents to return to work and the economy to pick up.
On Wednesday, Facebook deleted a post by Trump for violating its policy against spreading misinformation about the coronavirus. The post featured a link to a Fox News video in which Trump says children are “virtually immune” to the virus.
The vast majority of coronavirus cases and deaths have been in adults, and kids are considered less likely to have serious symptoms when they’re infected. Of the nearly 5 million cases reported in the U.S. as of Wednesday, about 265,000 were in children 17 and under — about 5%. Of the more than 156,000 deaths reported at that time, 77 were children — about 0.05%.
But Friday’s CDC reports are a “gut punch” reminder that some children are getting seriously ill and dying, said Carrie Henning-Smith, a University of Minnesota researcher who focuses on health disparities.
“It’s clear from these studies, and from other emerging research, that kids are not immune,” she said. ”Kids can pass along COVID, and they can also suffer the effects of it.”
She said the studies should give community leaders pause about opening schools. “We need to be really, really careful. We are potentially talking about putting children in unsafe situations,” Henning-Smith said.
The first report is based on cases received from hospitals in 14 states. The researchers counted 576 hospitalizations of kids from March 1 through July 25 of this year. The report did not have detailed medical information on all of them, but at least 12 were sick enough to need a machine to help them breathe. One died.
The hospitalization rate for Hispanic children was about 16.4 per 100,000. The rate for Black children was 10.5 per 100,000, and for white kids it was 2.1 per 100,000.
As with adults, many of the hospitalized children had existing health problems, including obesity, chronic lung conditions and — in the case of infants — preterm birth. The reported death was a child with several underlying conditions, the report said.
A number of possible factors could explain the disparities, said Dr. Cyrus Shahpar, who oversees epidemic prevention efforts for a not-for-profit data and advocacy organization called Resolve to Save Lives.
Larger percentages of Hispanic and Black kids may go to hospital emergency rooms when they’re sick, which could be driven by difficulty getting into — or paying for — doctor’s office visits. That lack of access to regular health-care could lead to more severe illness, he suggested.
The second CDC report focused on 570 kids diagnosed with a rare coronavirus-linked inflammatory condition. Eight of them died.
Some children with the syndrome have symptoms resembling Kawasaki disease, another rare childhood condition that can cause swelling and heart problems. Other symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, neck pain, rash, bloodshot eyes or feeling extra tired.
In the study, many of the patients with the condition had severe complications, including heart problems and kidney damage. Nearly two-thirds of the cases overall were admitted to intensive care units, and the average ICU stay was five days.
The CDC report covered illnesses that began from mid-February to mid-July. Forty states reported cases.
The report found that 13% of kids with the condition were white, while more than 40% were Hispanic and 33% were Black. Overall, about half of U.S. children are white, around 25% Hispanic and about 14% are Black, according to population estimates.
Scientists are still learning about the condition. Experts say genetics has nothing to do with why some racial and ethnic groups are more likely to be infected by the virus, get seriously sick from it or die from it. But it’s not yet clear if genetics play a role in the childhood inflammation condition, Shahpar said.
———
The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

Prosecutors in Louisiana have agreed to release a Black veteran serving a life sentence in prison over a $30 marijuana sale

By

The Associated Press

August 7, 2020, 6:41 PM
2 min read

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ABBEVILLE, La. — Prosecutors in Louisiana have agreed to release a Black veteran serving a life sentence in prison without parole over a $30 marijuana sale, according to his defense attorneys.
The decision reached Thursday in Vermilion Parish will allow Derek Harris to be freed after nine years in state prison, news outlets reported.

Harris was convicted under Louisiana’s habitual offender law after selling less than a gram of marijuana to an undercover agent in 2008, news outlets have reported. He had prior nonviolent convictions for theft and drug-related offenses, records showed.
At Harris’ initial sentencing in 2012, a judge suggested he receive a 15-year sentence instead of the 30-year maximum. But Vermilion Parish prosecutors invoked the habitual offender law, and the judge changed course, saying he had no choice but to sentence Harris to the maximum time, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate said.
The Louisiana Supreme Court granted Harris a new hearing last month, and his legal team argued that his first attorney failed him by not challenging the sentence.
The district attorney’s office agreed Thursday that Harris received ineffective assistance of counsel, according to Cormac Boyle, an attorney with the Promise of Justice Initiative who represented Harris. He was resentenced to 9 years, which he already served, according to a statement from the organization.
Boyle said Harris was set to be released and would move to be near family in Kentucky.
The attorney added that it was time to rethink how Louisiana uses its habitual offender law, arguing it disproportionately affects Black defendants.
“While in theory such a law may be fine, in practice it perpetuates and exposes some of the worst aspects of the criminal justice system,” The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate quoted Boyle as saying.

The judge overseeing the case of a fired Minneapolis police officer charged in the death of George Floyd has denied an attorney’s request to have the local prosecutor removed

By

The Associated Press

August 7, 2020, 6:52 PM
2 min read

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MINNEAPOLIS — A judge overseeing the cases against the four former officers charged in the death of George Floyd has denied a request to have a local prosecutor removed.
J. Kueng’s attorney filed a motion Thursday arguing that Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, the county’s top prosecutor, had “compromised his ethics” and his ability “to impartially prosecute” the case.

Among other things, attorney Tom Plunkett said Freeman had called Floyd’s death a “senseless death” and that Freeman said a bystander’s video of the incident “is graphic, and horrible and terrible, and no person should do that.” Plunkett also accused Freeman’s office of leaking information about potential plea negotiations.
Judge Peter Cahill ruled Friday that Freeman can stay on the case, saying Plunkett failed to establish that there was a conflict of interest and “failed to provide legal authority for the removal of a prosecutor by the Court, even if the allegations of improper conduct are true.”
A spokeswoman for Freeman’s office said Thursday that the office would not comment on the case. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office is leading the prosecution.
Kueng is one of four officers charged in the May 25 death of Floyd, a handcuffed Black man who died after Derek Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for nearly eight minutes as Floyd said he couldn’t breathe. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. Kueng and two other officers, Thomas Lane and Tou Thao, are charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter. All four were fired.
The next court hearing for the four is Sept. 11.

The image showed students packed together, with some not wearing masks.

By

Lena Camilletti

August 7, 2020, 7:03 PM
4 min read

A student suspended within 24 hours of posting to social media a photo of a crowded hallway at her school has had her punishment revoked, her mother confirmed to ABC News.
Hannah Watters, 15, is a 10th grader at North Paulding High School (NPHS) in Dallas, Georgia, where on Tuesday she photographed her peers shoulder to shoulder, mostly ignoring social distancing guidelines. A number of other students also weren’t wearing masks.

“Going in [to school] I was nervous, but trusting that Paulding would keep us safe,” Hannah told ABC News. “But it was worse than I thought it was going to be. I didn’t feel safe, especially coming home to family after going to school.”
Frustrated with the difficulty of keeping a safe distance from other students, Watters shared her image on Twitter shortly after classes were dismissed on Tuesday. School administrators swiftly took action, suspending Hannah.

In this photo posted on Twitter, students crowd a hallway, Aug. 4, 2020, at North Paulding High School in Dallas, Ga.

In this photo posted on Twitter, students crowd a hallway, Aug. 4, 2020, at North Paulding High School in Dallas, Ga.
Hannah Watters/Twitter via AP

“I didn’t think it would get anywhere, so when it did, I got a little nervous — what if people get mad at me?” Hannah said. “But I realized that if they get mad at me, it’s not as bad as if someone at school were to die from COVID-19.”
Hannah’s photo emerged as educators, parents and politicians throughout the country are attempting to navigate the immediate future of in-person public education amid the spread of a virus that’s killed more than 150,000 Americans in just five months. Georgia has seen nearly 200,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 3,000 deaths.

In a letter sent to all NPHS parents, Paulding County Superintendent Dr. Brian Otott claimed her photo was “taken out of context.”
“Under the COVID-19 protocols we have adopted, class changes that look like this may happen, especially at a high school with more than 2,000 students,” the letter read. Addressing the students seen without masks, the superintendent’s letter said that although face coverings are strongly encouraged, ultimately they’re a personal choice because “there’s no practical way to enforce a mandate to wear them.”
On Wednesday, the same day Hannah was notified of her suspension, an announcement was made over the intercom at NPHS in which students were warned of “consequences” should they distribute photos or videos that negatively impact the school’s reputation.

Lynne Watters, Hannah’s mom, wrote a letter to the principal of NPHS objecting to her daughter’s punishment. With Hannah’s suspension lifted Friday morning, she’s expected back at school on Monday.
Neither NPHS administrators nor the Paulding County Board of Education responded to requests for comment from ABC News.
ABC News’ Stephanie Wash contributed to this report.