First Thing: Trump juked the stats over police killing black Americans

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First Thing: Trump juked the stats over police killing black Americans


Good morning,

Donald Trump has once again stoked racial divisions after telling a CBS interviewer that “more white people” than black are killed by US police, in his answer to a question about the death of George Floyd and the nationwide protests over police brutality and racism that followed. The Guardian’s reporting has found that black people are in fact more than twice as likely as other Americans to be killed by law enforcement.

In the same interview on Tuesday, Trump criticised Nascar’s ban on the Confederate flag, describing it as a free speech issue: “People love it, and I know people that like the Confederate flag, and they’re not thinking about slavery,” he said.

  • A Phoenix police officer brutalised a woman during a minor traffic stop in January, body camera footage has revealed. The video also shows another policeman instructing the officers at the scene to “cover your ass” in the paperwork.

Fauci says young people are ‘inadvertently’ fuelling the virus

A lawn sign supporting Dr Fauci outside a home in Rockport, Massachusetts



A lawn sign supporting Dr Fauci outside a home in Rockport, Massachusetts. Photograph: Brian Snyder/Reuters

From California to Oregon, Nevada to Texas, US states and localities are locking down amid the ongoing surge in Covid-19 infections, just as they did in the early days of the pandemic. In Florida, however, the state’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, has persisted with his reopening strategy, despite being told by the mayor of Miami that “things have not gone according to plan. That’s something of an understatement: on Tuesday, the state surpassed its daily record for coronavirus deaths.

Dr Anthony Fauci has said the global coronavirus outbreak could end up being as bad as the 1918 flu pandemic, and warned that young Americans may be spreading the virus by socialising en masse. “They don’t mean to be part of the problem,” he said. “But inadvertently they are part of the problem.” Observers are not surprised the plain-speaking infectious disease expert is under attack from the White House, reports David Smith:


Trump has a long history of resenting staff or spokespeople who come to rival him for media attention. In the early days of the pandemic, the president was reportedly disturbed by the coverage that Fauci was receiving.

Joe Biden has a new $2tn climate and jobs plan

Socially distanced reporters cover Biden’s campaign event in Wilmington, Delaware on Tuesday.



Socially distanced reporters cover Biden’s campaign event in Wilmington, Delaware on Tuesday. Photograph: Patrick Semansky/AP

As he bids to claim a corner of the spotlight from the incumbent, the Democratic presidential challenger, Joe Biden, has unveiled his new and notably more aggressive climate plan, proposing $2tn for clean energy infrastructure and other climate solutions, which would also create new jobs in an economy devastated by the coronavirus crisis. “When Donald Trump thinks about climate change, the only word he can muster is ‘hoax’,” Biden said. “When I think about climate change, the word I think of is ‘jobs’.”

  • A coronavirus recovery designed to counter humanity’s destruction of the natural world could create 400m jobs worldwide and $10tn in business value each year by 2030, according to a report from the World Economic Forum.

‘This is the rule by fear’: life in the new Hong Kong

Pro-democracy activists campaign in Hong Kong last weekend.



Pro-democracy activists campaign in Hong Kong last weekend. Photograph: May James/AFP/Getty Images

Trump announced on Tuesday that the US would end its preferential economic treatment of Hong Kong, after China tightened its grip on the supposedly semi-autonomous territory by implementing a controversial new national security law. China, in turn, warned of a “firm response” against the US for interfering in its “purely internal affairs”.

Pro-democracy activists in Hong Kong say the city has already been drastically altered since the legislation took effect earlier this month, but have vowed to keep campaigning against Beijing’s “rule by fear”. Amid the uncertainty over press freedom under the new law, the New York Times has announced it will relocate about one-third of its Hong Kong bureau to Seoul, the South Korean capital.

In other news…

The sculpture of BLM activist Jen Reid on the Bristol plinth previously occupied by slaver Edward Colston.



The sculpture of BLM activist Jen Reid on the Bristol plinth previously occupied by slaver Edward Colston. Photograph: Ben Birchall/PA

Great reads

Republican Voters Against Trump: “This guy couldn’t lead his way out of a wet frickin’ paper bag”



Republican Voters Against Trump: “This guy couldn’t lead his way out of a wet frickin’ paper bag” Photograph: Lawrence Bryant/Reuters

The never (again) Trumpers: ‘I’d rather vote for a tuna fish sandwich’

A group of traditionally GOP-supporting Never Trumpers have sought out conservatives who backed Trump in 2016 but have now decided “never again”. Poppy Noor talks to some of the the Republican Voters Against Trump.

The president won power four years ago thanks to America’s authoritarian streak, writes Jennifer Mercieca. Will those same voters – who appear to value the social status quo over democracy – help him to keep it in 2020?

The deadly plague that could devastate America’s rabbits

Rabbit hemorrhagic disease has been around since the 1980s, and already wiped out about 140m domestic rabbits in China. Now the virus – which causes fevers, internal bleeding and liver failure – has hit the US wild rabbit population. It could prove catastrophic, as Katharine Gammon reports.

Opinion: healthcare is Trump’s Achilles heel

About 5.4 million people have lost healthcare coverage as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Meanwhile the Trump administration is trying to strike down the Affordable Care Act. The president’s timing could not be worse, says Lloyd Green.


Rugged individualism has limited appeal when death looms and collapse is all around. Trump’s stance appears to be more about keeping the Republican donor-base happy than winning votes.

Last Thing: how many hotdogs can one human eat?

Competitive eater Joey Chestnut holds the current world record of 75 hotdogs in 10 minutes.



Competitive eater Joey Chestnut holds the current world record of 75 hotdogs in 10 minutes. Photograph: Peter Foley/EPA

The four-minute mile and the two-hour marathon were once thought impossible: now a new gauntlet has been thrown down for the world of elite competition, writes Hannah Devlin. A scientific analysis suggests competitive eaters have come within nine hotdogs of the limits of human performance.

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