From the KAWC Newsroom

Capitol Media Services file photo by Howard Fischer

Arizona Bars, Gyms, Theaters, Water Parks To Close Ahead of 4th of July Weekend, Schools Delayed

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey today announced a month-long closure of several businesses before the 4 th of July weekend as COVID-19 numbers throughout the state continue to soar.

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A little more than four months before Election Day, the Trump and Biden campaigns each announced massive fundraising totals as the former vice president's effort to unseat President Trump gains momentum.

Despite a pandemic and the subsequent economic free fall, President Trump's reelection campaign and the Republican National Committee announced Wednesday evening they had raised $266 million for the three months ending June 30, including $131 million in June alone.

Germany's defense minister on Wednesday disbanded a unit of the country's elite commando force, known as the KSK, following an official report earlier this year that found far-right extremism within its ranks.

In January, a report by Germany's Military Counterintelligence Service revealed that some 500 soldiers in the German military, or Bundeswehr, were being investigated for far-right extremism. It noted that 20 of those cases involved soldiers who were part of the Command Special Forces, or KSK – an anti-terrorism and hostage rescue unit with approximately 1,300 soldiers.

Members of the Boston Art Commission voted unanimously Tuesday evening to remove Boston's copy of Thomas Ball's sculpture Emancipation Memorial from Park Square. The work depicting a formerly enslaved man at the feet of Abraham Lincoln has stood there since 1879.

As with Confederate memorials around the country, this sculpture has been controversial for years. The original in Washington, D.C., was funded by formerly enslaved people, but designed without their input.

Russian voters have overwhelmingly backed a referendum on constitutional changes that include a provision allowing President Vladimir Putin — who has already served for some two decades — to remain in power until 2036.

With nearly all of the ballots counted, the tally for the voting that has taken place over a full week, showed a 78% "yes" vote, according to Russia's Central Election Commission. The commission estimated the turnout was 65% of eligible voters.

The opposition accused the government of rigging the vote.

As protests swept the nation following the police killing of George Floyd, there was a surge of reports that Nextdoor, the hyperlocal social media app, was censoring posts about Black Lives Matter and racial injustice.

In an interview with NPR, Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar said the company should have moved more quickly to protect posts related to Black Lives Matter by providing clearer guidance.

Mark Levy, Sierra Vista Herald/Review

By Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services

PHOENIX -- New pressure is building on Gov. Doug Ducey to reverse his defense of having monuments to the Confederacy on state-owned property.

In a letter Wednesday, James McPherson III, president of the board of the director of the Arizona Preservation Foundation, reminded the governor of the calls in 2017 by many, including his organization, to remove the monuments following violence by white supremacists in Virginia.
"Unfortunately, nothing was done,'' McPherson wrote.

House members unanimously passed an extension of the $660 billion Paycheck Protection Program, aimed at helping small businesses weather the COVID-19 pandemic. The voice vote came a day after the Senate approved the measure.

The PPP had expired Tuesday at midnight. If President Trump signs the extension, the program will operate through Aug. 8.

A group of former George W. Bush administration officials has pledged to "engage and mobilize disenchanted GOP voters" through a new super PAC formed to elect Joe Biden to the White House.

The group — 43 Alumni for Biden, a reference to Bush, the 43rd president — described its formation as an effort to restore "the principles of unity, tolerance and compassion to the greatest elected office in the world."

The surge in COVID-19 infections throughout Alabama is forcing Gov. Kay Ivey to rethink plans to reopen the state.

For the last seven days, Alabama has logged an average of nearly 1,000 new daily coronavirus cases, with hospitalizations at their highest level since the pandemic began.

So you want to wear a face mask? Good call.

A growing body of evidence supports the idea that wearing face masks in public, even when you feel well, can help curb the spread of the coronavirus — since people can spread the virus even without showing symptoms. That's the main reason to wear a mask: to protect other people from you.

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