Published Friday, Sept. 4, 2020 | 9 p.m.
Updated Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020 | 2:27 p.m.
NEW YORK (AP) — Showcasing Black Americans at the Republican National Convention to allay white voters’ fears that President Donald Trump is a racist. Sharing touching stories about the president’s concern for the military. Painting Democrat Joe Biden as an unacceptable alternative who threatens the American way of life. It’s all part of the Trump campaign’s effort to construct a “permission structure” — a clunky catchphrase for creating an emotional and psychological gateway to help disenchanted voters feel comfortable voting for the president again despite their reservations about him personally. Both the GOP convention and the president’s recent “law and order” mantra have been aimed squarely at former Trump supporters who’ve grown unhappy with his inflammatory rhetoric and handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Peter Strzok spent his FBI career hunting Russian and Chinese spies, but after news broke of derogatory text messages he had sent about President Donald Trump, he came to feel like he was the one being hunted. There were menacing phone calls and messages from strangers, and anxious peeks out window shades before his family would leave the house. FBI security experts advised him of best practices — walk around your car before entering, watch for unfamiliar vehicles in your neighborhood — more commonly associated with mob targets looking to elude detection. “Being subjected to outrageous attacks up to and including by the president himself, which are full of lies and mischaracterizations and just crude and cruel, is horrible,” Strzok told The Associated Press in an interview.
NEW YORK (AP) — Ahead of Labor Day, unions representing millions across several working-class sectors are threatening to authorize work stoppages in support of the Black Lives Matter movement amid calls for concrete measures that address racial injustice. In a statement first shared with The Associated Press, labor leaders who represent teachers, autoworkers, truck drivers and clerical staff, among others, signaled a willingness Friday to escalate protest tactics to force local and federal lawmakers to take action on policing reform and systemic racism. They said the walkouts, if they were to move forward with them, would last for as long as needed.
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — New York’s attorney general on Saturday moved to form a grand jury to investigate the death of Daniel Prude, a Black man who died after being hooded and held down by Rochester police earlier this year. “The Prude family and the Rochester community have been through great pain and anguish,” Attorney General Letitia James said in a statement of Prude’s death, which has sparked nightly protests and calls for reform. She said the grand jury would be part of an “exhaustive investigation.” Prude’s death after his brother called for help for his erratic behavior in March has roiled New York’s third-largest city since video of the encounter was made public earlier this week, with protesters demanding more accountability for how it happened and legislation to change how authorities respond to mental health emergencies.
PHOENIX (AP) — Samuel Lavi knew he’d have to find unique ways to stay connected to refugee families when the coronavirus pandemic shut down Valencia Newcomer School. Parents and students speak more than a dozen languages, and they’d need help navigating the technology around remote learning. So the gregarious teaching assistant, himself a Congolese refugee, created group chats on the WhatsApp messaging app in Swahili and some of the other six languages he knows. To ensure parents who can’t read or write could participate, Lavi taught them to record and share small audio clips. With remote classes now underway at the K-8 school for refugee children in Phoenix, Lavi helps students connect from home with loaned iPads so they can learn English before transferring to mainstream schools.
LE PECQ, France (AP) — Facebook on Saturday blocked live broadcasts from a chronically ill bed-ridden man who appealed to French President Emmanuel Macron for a medically-assisted death and who wanted to show what he expects will be a painful end to his life after he announced that he was stopping all food and drink. Prostrate on his bed, Alain Cocq posted video of himself Friday after taking what he said would be his last liquid meal. “I know the days ahead are going to be very difficult,” he said. “But I have taken my decision and I am serene.” In a letter this week, which Cocq also posted, Macron said that French law forbade him from granting his request for the “right to leave with dignity,” with a medically-assisted death.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said he never called John McCain a loser — he did — and denigrated the record of the late Republican senator on veterans affairs despite routinely appropriating one of McCain’s crowning achievements on that front as his own. Trump distorted events in Kenosha, Wisconsin, over the past week and his own hand in them before a furor over his reported comments on fallen soldiers diverted his rhetoric. Democratic rival Joe Biden claimed to have been the first person to have called for the use of emergency production powers in the pandemic, when he was not, and he tried to shed light on the history of the incandescent bulb, but was a bit hazy.
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday warned Greece to enter talks over disputed eastern Mediterranean territorial claims or face the consequences. “They’re either going to understand the language of politics and diplomacy, or in the field with painful experiences,” he said at a hospital’s opening ceremony in Istanbul. Ankara is currently facing off against Greece and Cyprus over oil and gas exploration rights in the eastern Mediterranean. All sides have deployed naval and air forces to assert their competing claims in the region. “They are going to understand that Turkey has the political, economic and military power to tear up the immoral maps and documents imposed,” Erdogan added, referring to areas marked by Greece and Cyprus as their economic maritime zones.
ISLAMABAD (AP) — An elephant who has become a cause celebre for animal rights activists around the world will be allowed to leave his Pakistani zoo and transferred to better conditions, the animal welfare group helping with the case said Saturday. Dubbed the ‘world’s loneliest elephant’ by his supporters, Kaavan has languished at a zoo in the Pakistani capital of Islamabad for more than 35 years. Martin Bauer, a spokesman for Four Paws, said the elephant has been finally given medical approval to travel, most likely to Cambodia, where he will find companionship and better conditions. The overweight elephant Kaavan underwent a full medical examination at the zoo on Friday, said Bauer.