Tribune News Service

News Budget for Friday, May 22, 2020


Updated at 11 p.m. EDT (0300 UTC).




Additional news stories appear on the MCT-NEWSFEATURES-BJT.

This budget is now available at TribuneNewsService.com, with direct links to stories and art. See details at the end of the budget.


^Trump demands churches open despite coronavirus fears as Memorial Day weekend begins<

CORONAVIRUS-US:LA — Memorial Day Weekend traditionally means family barbecues, road trips, crowded parks and carefree days spent basking by the water, but Americans venturing out after weeks of sheltering in place are being asked not to let up their guard as the coronavirus continues to spread.

Brushing aside warnings by public-health officials about the ongoing risk of holding large gatherings, President Donald Trump called on governors to reopen churches "right now, for this weekend" during a news briefing at the White House on Friday.

"Today I am identifying houses of worship, churches, synagogues and mosques as essential places that provide essential services," Trump said. "Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential but have left out churches and other houses of worship. It's not right."

1200 (with trims) by Tyrone Beason. MOVED


^Hydroxychloroquine linked to deaths, heart risks in COVID-19 study<

CORONAVIRUS-TRUMP-DRUG-1ST-LEDE:BLO — Anti-malaria drugs that President Donald Trump has touted for treatment of COVID-19 were linked to an increased risk of death and heart ailments in a study.

Hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine didn't benefit patients with the coronavirus, either alone or in combination with an antibiotic, according to the study published Friday by The Lancet medical journal.

400 by John Lauerman. MOVED


^Pakistan jet crash death toll confirmed at 41 as rescue continues<

PAKISTAN-CRASH-1ST-LEDE:DPA — At least 41 bodies have been retrieved after a jetliner crashed into a populated area in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi on Friday, officials said.

Two survivors were found after the Airbus A320 smashed into a narrow street moments before its scheduled landing at Jinnah International Airport, aviation and health officials said.

Rescuers were searching the rubble of the damaged buildings and the wreckage for more bodies and survivors several hours after the crash, as night fell.

500 by Qamar Zaman and Zia Khan in Islamabad. MOVED


^ 'Hong Kong is in a state of shock': New law is China's latest show of strength<

CHINA-HONGKONG:LA — With its COVID-19 outbreak waning, nationalism rising at home and its antagonists in the Trump administration preoccupied by the pandemic and election-year politics, the Chinese Communist Party is boldly moving to crush a dangerous obstacle to its authority.

By imposing a new national security law on Hong Kong, Beijing signaled its determination to squelch a fierce anti-China protest movement — and demolished the longstanding firewall protecting the high-flying territory's human rights and freedoms from interference from the authoritarian mainland.

1100 (with trims) by Shashank Bengali, Alice Su and David Pierson in Shanghai. MOVED


^Actress Lori Loughlin, husband enter guilty pleas in college admissions scandal<

CMP-ADMISSIONS-FRAUD-1ST-LEDE:LA — Actress Lori Loughlin and her husband pleaded guilty Friday to charges of fraud in the college admissions scandal, admitting they scammed their daughters' way into the University of Southern California with lies and illegal payments.

But the case against Loughlin and her husband, J. Mossimo Giannulli, remained unsettled after the judge in the case put off a decision on whether to accept the couple's guilty pleas and the terms of deals they struck with prosecutors.

950 by Joel Rubin in Los Angeles. MOVED




^Little sense of shared grief as virus deaths near 100,000<

CORONAVIRUS-DEATHS-DIVIDE:LA — While Americans have shared undeniable hardships since March — including more than 38 million people forced to file for unemployment, and tens of millions more forced to hunker down at home to avoid the contagion — the carnage is hitting them unevenly.

President Donald Trump, loath to dwell on those dismal figures, is both stoking the polarized response and counting on a fragmented experience to distract the nation from the almost incomprehensible death toll — nearly triple that of any other country — which could tar his presidency and jeopardize his chance for reelection in November.

"I don't think we're taking this in," said David Kessler, an author of six books on grief.

2000 (with trims) by Noah Bierman and Eli Stokols in Washington. MOVED


^Trump orders houses of worship reopened, vows to override states<

TRUMP-CHURCHES:BLO — President Donald Trump said he would order states to allow places of worship to reopen from stay-at-home restrictions imposed to combat the coronavirus outbreak, promising to override any governor who refuses without explaining what authority he had to do so.

"The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now," Trump said Friday in a statement to reporters at the White House. "By this weekend."

"If they don't do it I will override the governors," he added.

600 by Justin Sink in Washington. MOVED


^White House opposes extending $600 a week benefit for jobless workers beyond July<

CORONAVIRUS-RELIEF-JOBLESS:WA — The White House does not support extending increased federal unemployment assistance to workers who lost jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, economic advisers to President Donald Trump say they prefer to help closed businesses reopen.

Another 2.4 million people applied for unemployment benefits this week, putting the total number of new jobless claims since early March above 38 million. Without additional action by Congress, those workers will no longer receive an extra $600 weekly benefit after July.

That benefit, which began in late March and expires at the end of July, is in addition to the regular weekly unemployment benefits received by Americans who lost their jobs.

1000 (with trims) by Francesca Chambers and David Lightman in Washington. MOVED


^Americans venture out for holiday travel in test of containment<

CORONAVIRUS-HOLIDAY-TRAVEL:BLO — Americans are fleeing weeks of home isolation for beaches, parks and other leisure destinations over the Memorial Day weekend — and that has pandemic experts and businesses concerned about a spike in coronavirus cases.

Many states have begun to lift restrictions at the urging of President Donald Trump while travel and tourism businesses are seeing signs of life after nearly two months of near-zero demand. Yet those limits on public activity helped slow the spread of the virus, and a surge in tourism could mean trouble, said Jeff Schlegelmilch, deputy director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University.

1250 (with trims) by Ryan Beene and Alan Levin. MOVED


^White House concerned with coronavirus spread in LA area, asks CDC to investigate<

CORONAVIRUS-LA:LA — While some parts of the country are seeing major progress in fighting the coronavirus, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House's coronavirus response coordinator, on Friday singled out Los Angeles as one of three regions where persistent spread remains a significant concern.

Speaking with reporters at the White House, Birx gave a mostly upbeat assessment of the nation's progress but said the Los Angeles metropolitan area, which includes Orange County, is continuing to see problems, along with Washington, D.C., and Chicago.

1300 by Alex Wigglesworth, Luke Money, Noah Bierman and Hannah Fry in Los Angeles. MOVED


^35% of people infected with COVID-19 show no symptoms, according to CDC's 'best estimate'<

CORONAVIRUS-CDC-NOSYMPTOMS:NY — About a third of people infected with coronavirus in the U.S. are asymptomatic, according to newly released guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC and the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response have developed five different planning scenarios to help public health officials making coronavirus decisions based on mathematical modeling.

300 by Muri Assun o. MOVED


^NY to allow gatherings of up to 10 people after lawsuit challenges Cuomo's order<

CORONAVIRUS-NY-CORRECTION:NY — Gatherings of up to 10 people will now be allowed in New York after a lawsuit challenged a directive from Gov. Andrew Cuomo that only gave the green light to Memorial Day celebrations and religious services.

The change came Friday evening after the New York Civil Liberties Union sued the governor on behalf of a Brooklyn woman arrested twice outside City Hall for protesting the statewide coronavirus shutdown.

350 by Denis Slattery in Albany, N.Y. MOVED


^Newsom promises reopening plan for churches as Trump demands immediate action<

CORONAVIRUS-CALIF-NEWSOM:LA — Gov. Gavin Newsom vowed to provide plans Monday for reopening California churches amid mounting pressure to allow in-person religious services both from protesters and President Donald Trump, who is demanding that governors take action immediately.

Newsom's comment comes just days after he said opening churches to congregants was "a few weeks away."

1000 by Phil Willon and Eli Stokols in Sacramento, Calif. MOVED


^Department of Justice declares its support of lawsuit challenging Illinois Gov. Pritzker's stay-at-home order<

CORONAVIRUS-ILL-LAWSUIT:TB — The Department of Justice intervened Friday in support of a challenge to Illinois' stay-at-home coronavirus order, calling for the case to be transferred back to state court.

The U.S. attorney general's office filed a statement of interest in the case of downstate Republican state Rep. Darren Bailey, writing, "Plaintiff has set forth a strong case that the Orders exceed the authority granted to the Governor by the Illinois legislature."

450 by Robert McCoppin in Chicago. MOVED


^San Jose could reap benefits of exodus from San Francisco, LA in wake of COVID-19, study says<

CORONAVIRUS-BIGCITY-EXODUS:SJ — In the wake of a pandemic sweeping through many of the country's most densely packed areas, analysts expect an exodus from cities in favor of car-friendly suburban areas.

San Jose is among the cities best-positioned to reap the benefits of a post-coronavirus world, according to a new study from the data analytics firm Moody's. Researchers looked at the top 100 metro areas in the U.S., favoring those with more educated — and spread-out — populations, to predict which cities would fare best and worst in the aftermath of the COVID-19 crisis.

600 by Evan Webeck in San Jose, Calif. MOVED


^Undercover agents enforcing Ohio's health rules at restaurants, bars<

CORONAVIRUS-OHIO-ENFORCEMENT:OH — As patrons potentially flock to bars and restaurants over the holiday weekend, extra undercover agents will be out to observe, educate and, if necessary, enforce the state's public health order to thwart the spread of coronavirus.

The agents are part of the Ohio Investigative Unit, which is made up of plainclothes peace officers responsible for enforcing Ohio's alcohol, tobacco and food stamp fraud laws.

650 by Sean McDonnell in Columbus, Ohio. MOVED


^In Atlanta, Pence calls Georgia's reopening an 'example to the nation'<

PENCE-GA:AT — Vice President Mike Pence on Friday praised Gov. Brian Kemp and Georgia restaurant owners who have reopened their establishments in recent weeks, lending a high-level of support to state leaders who have been criticized for ending pandemic restrictions too soon.

Pence said Georgia is setting "an example to the nation" by being among the first and most aggressive to restart its economy while staying mindful of public health guidelines.

"In a very real sense, I think history will record that Georgia helped lead the way back to a prosperous American economy," Pence told reporters after a barbecue lunch with the governor and first lady Marty Kemp at Star Cafe near Atlanta's Westside.

700 by Tamar Hallerman in Atlanta. MOVED


^Nevada governor targets June 4 date for reopening casinos<

CORONAVIRUS-NEVADA:BLO — Casino operators and employees in the largest U.S. gambling market got some welcome news at the start of the Memorial Day weekend: a June 4 target date for reopening.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, a first-term Democrat, announced the reopening date Friday. Resorts in Las Vegas have been shuttered since March due to the coronavirus, resulting in a surge in unemployment and a collapse of tax revenue. Sisolak has been under pressure for weeks to reopen one of the state's most-important industries.

300 by Christopher Palmeri. MOVED


^Chicago will cautiously reopen in early June, mayor says<

CORONAVIRUS-CHICAGO-REOPENING:TB — The city of Chicago is on pace to begin cautiously reopening and ease restrictions on certain activities in early June, with outdoor dining at restaurants, barber shops, non-lakefront park buildings and libraries slated to resume limited business, Mayor Lori Lightfoot said Friday.

If safety measures can be put in place, Lightfoot also said the city could potentially reopen summer programs and allow private camps, religious services, gyms, museums and the lakefront later on in the summer.

600 by Gregory Pratt in Chicago. MOVED


^Despite deaths, mass infections, Kentucky federal prison still won't test everyone<

CORONAVIRUS-KY-PRISONS:LX — Despite a COVID-19 outbreak that had killed four inmates and infected at least 216 inmates and staff as of Friday, the Federal Medical Center in Lexington still is not testing everyone on its campus to determine how far the illness has spread inside the prison.

Instead, prison officials say they are only doing "targeted testing" of some inmates in certain areas of the prison complex on Leestown Road.

Critics say this limited effort falls far short of what is needed during the coronavirus pandemic.

800 by John Cheves in Lexington, Ky. MOVED


^Royal Caribbean's Filipino crew members ask court to order cruise line to send them home<

CORONAVIRUS-CRUISESHIPS-FILIPINOS:MI — Filipino crew members on Royal Caribbean Cruises' Celebrity ships are asking a federal judge to order the company to send them home immediately.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Miami Thursday, Ryan Maunes Maglana, a Filipino crew member on the Celebrity Millennium ship docked in San Diego, said he and his colleagues have been held against their will without pay for more than two months as the company has repeatedly delayed repatriation plans for them. On behalf of all Filipino crew members on Celebrity's 14 ships, Maglana is asking the court to intervene with emergency relief.

750 by Taylor Dolven in Miami. MOVED


^Lockdowns crippled his 'bouncy house' business. Nearly bankrupt, he's pushing back<

CORONAVIRUS-BUSINESSOWNER-ACTIVIST:LA — Jim Edmonds can't say what led him to join an unauthorized protest against the coronavirus lockdowns at the California state Capitol in May, except fear and boredom and a need to do something as his decade-old business — renting out inflatable jump houses — collapsed in a matter of days.

But he can recall how he felt when California Highway Patrol officers grabbed him, pinned his arms behind his back with plastic zip ties and marched him into a holding pen in the building's basement.

"I'm the bouncy house guy, for Chrissakes," he remembers telling them, at first incredulous he was being arrested, then angry. "It was surreal."

1950 (with trims) by Anita Chabria in Roseville, Calif. MOVED


^Poll shows 44% of Republicans think Microsoft founder wants to use coronavirus vaccine to microchip them<

CORONAVIRUS-GATES-GOP:NY — A poll taken this week found 44% of Republicans think Bill Gates is working on a coronavirus vaccine because he wants to plant a microchip in them and monitor their movements.

Yahoo News and YouGov found nearly half of Republicans believe that baseless conspiracy theory and may be resistant to using a vaccine that could end the pandemic. The poll also found that 19% of Democrats believe that story is credible while 52% know it is false. Only 26% of Republicans surveyed were certain the Microsoft founder is not hatching such a plot.

300 by Brian Niemietz. MOVED



^COVID-19 cases rise in Juarez and El Paso as Mexico readies for reopening of factories<

CORONAVIRUS-BORDER-REGION:DA — This nation is far from flattening the COVID-19 curve, but thousands of maquiladora employees are set to return to work after the government caved in to intense pressure from the Trump administration to ramp up production and restart the supply chain deemed critical for North America's economy.

The target date for reopening is June 1, although some officials say work may begin as early as Monday. The massive supply chain stretches across one of the hardest COVID-19 hit border regions: El Paso and Juarez.

1550 by Alfredo Corchado and Valeria Olivares in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. MOVED



^Gilead's remdesivir mainly helped healthier COVID-19 patients<

CORONAVIRUS-REMDESIVIR:BLO — Gilead Sciences Inc.'s remdesivir, the first medicine cleared for the treatment of COVID-19, mainly benefited healthier patients who weren't dependent on ventilators or heart-lung bypass machines, according to published results of the study used to get the medicine on the market.

The drug helped patients infected with the novel coronavirus heal faster, allowing them to return home after about 11 days, compared to 15 days for those who were treated with a placebo, according to the report in the New England Journal of Medicine. There were also signs the medicine increased their survival rate — 7.1% on patients on remdesivir and 11.9% on a placebo died within two weeks. Still, the difference wasn't statistically significant, meaning it could have stemmed from chance.

550 by Michelle Fay Cortez. MOVED


^Placentas in COVID-positive pregnant women show injury with blood circulation and clotting<

CORONAVIRUS-PLACENTAS:TB — The placentas of multiple women who tested positive for COVID-19 showed signs of injury, according to a new Northwestern Medicine study published Friday.

The two major findings about the placenta injuries include an increase in maternal vascular malperfusion, a medical term that means the blood circulation on the maternal side of the placenta is abnormally delivering the same amount of oxygen to the fetus, and blood clotting within the placenta.

800 by Christen A. Johnson in Chicago. MOVED


^When coronavirus vaccine arrives, 72% of Americans say they'll get one, survey finds<

CORONAVIRUS-VACCINE-SURVEY:WA — A new survey from the Pew Research Center found the majority of Americans expect a coronavirus vaccine in the next year and 72% would get one when it arrives.

The survey found 73% of U.S. adults said a coronavirus vaccine coming in the next year would "definitely" or "probably occur." Seventy-two percent said that if the vaccine was available today, they would get one.

550 by Summer Lin. MOVED



^FBI director orders internal review of its Michael Flynn investigation<

FLYNN-FBI:BLO — FBI Director Christopher Wray ordered an internal review of how the bureau handled the investigation of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, including any instances of official misconduct.

The "after-action review" by the Inspection Division will evaluate the bureau's role in the Flynn investigation and look into whether any current bureau employees engaged in misconduct, according to a statement Friday from the FBI.

400 by Billy House in Washington. MOVED


^Trump must now grapple with how to confront Beijing's crackdown on Hong Kong<

USCHINA-TRUMP:LA — Beijing's move to tighten its grip on Hong Kong drew swift condemnation from U.S. officials as they weighed options for new sanctions in the latest escalation of a brewing cold war between the two superpowers.

The strongest step readily available to the Trump administration would be to revoke Hong Kong's special economic and trading status with United States. That could deal a major blow to a Chinese economy still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. But it's far from clear that Beijing's leaders will back down.

1400 by Don Lee in Washington. MOVED


^House Democrats seek to overhaul Puerto Rico financial oversight<

CONGRESS-PUERTORICO:BLO — A group of House Democrats on Friday introduced a long-shot bill that would overhaul the federal government's relationship with Puerto Rico, allow an independent audit of the commonwealth's billions in debt and give local authorities the power to discharge unsecured debt deemed excessive.

The proposal by House Natural Resources Chairman Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz., and other lawmakers would make sweeping changes to the Puerto Rico financial rescue law, known as Promesa. But it's unlikely to find much support in the Republican-controlled Senate if it makes it out of the House.

450 by Jim Wyss. (Moved as a Washington story.) MOVED


^Horsford's extramarital affair with former Senate staffer shows how narrow House rules are<

HOUSE-AFFAIR-RULES:CON — Rep. Steven Horsford had an extramarital affair with a former Senate intern spanning several years, an example that highlights how narrow the House prohibition against lawmakers sleeping with congressional staffers is.

Gabriela Linder, the woman with whom Horsford had a sexual relationship, told The Las Vegas Review-Journal that the affair began in 2009 and continued sporadically until it ended in 2019. When they met, Horsford, a Nevada Democrat, was a 36-year old state senator; Linder, then 21, was in college and worked as an intern for former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Horsford didn't begin his first stint representing Nevada's 4th Congressional District until 2013 — after Linder stopped working for Reid. If Horsford were to have had a sexual relationship with Linder while he was a member and she was working in the Senate, although there is no indication he did, it would have been permissible under House rules.

950 (with trims) by Chris Marquette in Washington. MOVED


^US Army plans massive recruiting drive for summer<

ARMY-RECRUITMENT:NY — As nationwide unemployment figures reach record highs, the Army is offering career-seekers an opportunity to be all they can be.

The U.S. Army plans to launch a major recruiting drive between June 30 and July 2. The initiative, called Army National Hiring Days, was reportedly pitched to the Army's service secretary and chief of staff earlier this month. It will begin shortly after the storied military branch celebrates its 245th birthday on June 14.

400 by Brian Niemietz. MOVED



^Biden: If you can't choose me over Trump, 'you ain't black'<

BIDEN-BLACKVOTERS:LA — Joe Biden, whose presidential bid was buoyed in the primary by support from African Americans, came under scrutiny Friday for telling a radio host that black people who were considering voting for President Donald Trump "ain't black."

The comments by the former vice president came at the end of a spirited interview with Charlamagne Tha God, a host of the popular radio show "The Breakfast Club." A top campaign aide said Biden was joking, but Republicans quickly seized on the statement and some black Democrats expressed concern that the remark could turn off a crucial voting bloc for the presumptive Democratic nominee.

850 by Melanie Mason. MOVED



Also moving as:

BIDEN-BLACKVOTERS-1ST-LEDE:BLO — 850 by Mario Parker and Tyler Pager. MOVED


^Prominent #MeToo lawyer drops Joe Biden sexual assault accuser as client<

BIDEN-ALLEGATION-LAWYER:NY — Tara Reade, the former Senate staffer accusing Joe Biden of sexual assault, parted ways with her lawyer on Friday, just two weeks after hiring him.

Douglas Wigdor, a prominent #MeToo attorney who counts some Harvey Weinstein victims among his clients, issued a brief statement saying that his firm "no longer represents" Reade.

300 by Chris Sommerfeldt. MOVED


^Want to know who won the presidential race on election night? Get ready to wait<

ELECTION-PA-RESULTS:PH — It's a familiar election night routine: Polls close, and everyone wants to know who won — immediately. Every minute matters for Americans anxiously awaiting the results. News organizations race to meet the demand by using complex statistical models to "call" the winner long before all the votes are counted.

But get comfortable waiting: Instant electoral gratification is about to become a thing of the past.

1500 (with trims) by Jonathan Lai in Philadelphia. MOVED



^Online child sex abuse reports surge as kids spend more time on computers amid coronavirus<

CHILD-SEXABUSE-ONLINE:LA — Law enforcement officials across the country have been overwhelmed in recent months by a surge in tips about online child sex abuse, with social media platforms and other service providers flagging explicit content and suspicious interactions at an alarming rate.

With schools closed, youth activities canceled and kids spending more time online under stay-at-home orders related to the coronavirus pandemic, sexual predators have ramped up their efforts to solicit pictures and videos, officials say.

1300 by Kevin Rector in Los Angeles. MOVED


^Autistic 9-year-old abducted from mother's car found dead<

FLA-BOYDEAD:OS — A 9-year-old autistic boy abducted from his mother's car in Miami on Thursday has been found dead. The Amber Alert issued for the child has been canceled.

The boy, Alejandro Ripley, was taken by two unknown black males driving an unknown light blue four-door sedan during an incident near the intersection of SW 158th Avenue and Kendall Drive in Miami.

200 by Richard Tribou. MOVED


^Investigation into Ahmaud Arbery's death nearing the end, GBI director says<

GA-JOGGER-KILLING:AT — The Georgia Bureau of Investigation's probe into the fatal shooting of Ahmaud Arbery is nearing completion and will soon be turned over to the office of Cobb County District Attorney Joyette Holmes, the fourth prosecutor to inherit the case, GBI Director Vic Reynolds said Friday.

Thursday night, William "Roddie" Bryan, the Glynn County man who filmed the cellphone video of Arbery's final seconds alive, became the third person arrested in the GBI's 16-day probe.

750 by Christian Boone in Atlanta. MOVED


^Epstein sex abuse victims fund moving forward soon, estate says<

EPSTEIN-VICTIMS-FUND:BLO — A fund to compensate abuse victims of financier Jeffrey Epstein, who killed himself in August while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges, will move forward soon, a lawyer for his estate said.

The lawyer, Bennet Moskowitz, said in a phone conference with a federal magistrate judge Friday that he believes delays caused by related litigation in the U.S. Virgin Islands appear to be resolved and that the estate expects to begin putting a plan for the fund into effect June 15.

300 by Bob Van Voris in New York. MOVED


^Trump administration yanks approval for homeless shelters in Sacramento, across California<

CALIF-HOMELESS:SA — The Trump administration has yanked approval for major homeless shelter projects it previously approved in Sacramento and San Francisco.

The move undermines a critical component of Gov. Gavin Newsom's plan to shelter the homeless on state land and throws nearly two dozen potential shelter projects across the state into question, according to letters the Federal Highway Administration sent the California Department of Transportation earlier this month.

1400 (with trims) by Theresa Clift in Sacramento, Calif. MOVED


^Devin Nunes' lawyer is warned about 'forum shopping' as judge moves CNN lawsuit to NY<

NUNES-CNN-LAWSUIT:SA — A Virginia judge on Friday moved Rep. Devin Nunes' lawsuit against CNN to New York and wrote that there was no "logical connection" for the California congressman to sue the media company in Virginia.

The lawsuit is one of seven defamation cases Nunes and attorney Steven Biss filed since 2019 against news organizations, Twitter, his critics and the investigative research firm that created the so-called Steele dossier.

700 by Kate Irby in Washington. MOVED


^Family of Conn. woman releases statement ahead of anniversary of her disappearance, say questions remain<

MISSINGMOTHER:HC — Ahead of the one-year anniversary of Jennifer Farber Dulos' disappearance, her family and friends issued a statement Friday saying that many questions remain unanswered as they grieve her death.

Farber Dulos, who was 50 when she went missing, was last seen on May 24, 2019, when she dropped her children off at their school in New Canaan in the morning.

550 by Nicholas Rondinone in Hartford, Conn. MOVED


^Texas mayor defends belief that women shouldn't lead public prayer<

MAYOR-WOMEN-PRAYER:DA — Wylie, Texas, Mayor Eric Hogue says he believes women can do "anything and everything" — so long as they don't lead public displays of religion.

Hogue is defending his beliefs after the release of an email in which he requests that only male members of a Christian missionary group say a prayer before a City Council meeting.

600 by Tom Steele in Dallas. MOVED


^HIV drug patients' privacy violated by Gilead, lawsuit claims<

HIVDRUG-PRIVACY:PH — A drug company may have violated the privacy of thousands of people who are taking a medicine to prevent them from coming down with HIV.

Gilead Sciences, the biopharmaceutical giant, sent out a mass mailing in mid-April to people on its antiretroviral drugs, Truvada and Descovy. The drugs are used to reduce the risk of HIV infection, a prevention measure called pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP).

On Thursday, the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania filed a federal class action suit against Gilead.

600 by Sam Wood in Philadelphia. MOVED


^Judge tosses One America News Network's defamation suit against Rachel Maddow <

MADDOW-LAWSUIT:NY — A judge ruled on Friday that the host of the MSNBC program "The Rachel Maddow Show" did not malign the ultraconservative political network when she called it "Russian propaganda" and dismissed OAN's $10 million defamation lawsuit, reported Variety.

One America News Network's parent company, Herring Networks, argued that Rachel Maddow besmirched the company during a 2019 episode of her show while discussing a Daily Beast article that reported one OAN contributor also worked for the Russian-based news site Sputnik.

300 by Storm Gifford. MOVED


^NY judge tosses R. Kelly's attempt to dismiss charge he gave herpes to fan<

RKELLY:NY — A Supreme Court ruling that struck down states' anti-sodomy laws will not spare disgraced R&B star R. Kelly from charges that he knowingly infected a 19-year-old fan with herpes, a Brooklyn Federal Court judge ruled Friday.

Judge Ann Donnelly rejected the "I Believe I Can Fly" singer's claim that the charge against him was unconstitutional because the sex involved was between consenting adults.

400 by Noah Goldberg in New York. MOVED




NEWSBRIEFS:MCT — Nation and world news briefs.



^California's prisons and jails have emptied thousands into a world changed by coronavirus<

CORONAVIRUS-RELEASED-INMATES:LA — In short order, the coronavirus pandemic has ushered in a sweeping and historic emptying of California's overcrowded prisons and jails, as officials have dramatically lowered the number of people held in custody to avert deadly outbreaks.

State data show California's prisons have released about 3,500 inmates while the daily jail population across 58 counties is down by 20,000 from late February.

The exodus is having a profound and still-evolving effect: Those leaving custody enter a vastly different world in which a collapsed economy, scant job opportunities and the closure of many government offices have compounded the challenges of getting lives back on track.

2400 by Matt Hamilton, James Queally and Alene Tchekmedyian in Los Angeles. MOVED


^How a company misappropriated Native American culture to sell health insurance<

^INSURANCE-SCHEME:KHN—<Jill Goodridge was shopping for affordable health insurance when a friend told her about O'NA HealthCare, a low-cost alternative to commercial insurance.

The self-described "health care cooperative" promised a shield against catastrophic claims. Its name suggested an affiliation with a Native American tribe.

The company promises 24/7 telemedicine and holistic dental care on its website. It says it provides more nontraditional options than "any other health care plan."

It struck Goodridge as innovative. She signed up for a high-deductible plan, paying more than $9,000 in premiums and fees over 13 months, she said. Yet she could not get O'NA to cover her family's medical bills.

A yearlong investigation by the state insurance agency prompted by her complaint concluded she was right, uncovering a business scheme operating in the gray areas of insurance regulation and tribal law to appeal to patients looking to save money on health care.

1900 by Fred Schulte. MOVED




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