• U.S.
    The Guardian

    'Words of a dictator': Trump's threat to deploy military raises spectre of fascism

    The president suggested the US could use troops against Americans – true to the instincts of a man surrounded by sycophants * George Floyd killing – latest US updates * See all our George Floyd coverage“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross,” goes an oft-quoted line of uncertain origin.On Monday evening, Donald Trump, with four US flags behind him, threatened to send in the military against the American people, then crossed the road to pose for a photo outside a historic church while clutching a Bible.He was only able to get there after heavily armed police and horse-mounted national guardsmen fired teargas and rubber bullets to chase away peaceful protesters and journalists.The shocking split-screen moment probably left millions of Americans shaken, frightened and outraged. Comparisons to dictators, fashionable during Trump’s political ascent, have fallen out of favour in recent years. Now they might be in for a comeback. Certainly top Democrats did not hold back.Ron Wyden, a Democratic senator for Oregon, tweeted: “The fascist speech Donald Trump just delivered verged on a declaration of war against American citizens. I fear for our country tonight and will not stop defending America against Trump’s assault.”Kamala Harris, a Democratic senator for California, told the MSNBC network: “These are not the words of a president. They are the words of a dictator.”Trump’s speech sowed fear and uncertainty, not least because of its vagueness. Legally, he would have to invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act for active-duty troops to conduct law enforcement on US soil, but he does not appear to have done so yet.It is possible that, for now, he is using it as a threat to force the hand of state governors to call up more troops from the national guard, just as he used the Defense Production Act to push companies to manufacture ventilators for people with coronavirus.Politically, he would face intense criticism from Democrats but he probably assumes that, as ever, Republicans will remain in lockstep with him. There were few signs of dissent on Monday night from within his own party.The alarming development ended days of speculation over how the president, already overwhelmed by the coronavirus pandemic, might respond to the most widespread civil unrest in America in more than half a century.Media reports suggested heated debates among White House officials over whether Trump should deliver an Oval Office address. In the end, there was a familiar winner: Trump himself.The choreography of his remarks in the White House Rose Garden and protesters being roughed up just outside was a made-for-television moment around the time of the evening news. Trump remains a reality-TV impresario.The darkness of his tone was also true to his instincts. His authoritarian tendencies include a love of military parades, putting his name on buildings, hiring family members, staging populist rallies, berating the media and threatening to “lock up” political opponents. He thrives on conflict.It was clear that those advising a moderate course had lost. On Sunday the Axios website reported that advisers inside and outside the White House pleaded with him to curb divisive outbursts that threatened to hurt him at the ballot box with independent voters and suburban women.The Axios report named Hope Hicks, a longtime aide who returned to the White House in February from the Fox Corporation, as expressing concern about a tweet in the early hours of Friday in which Trump used a historically loaded phrase: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”Hicks reports to Jared Kushner, senior adviser to Trump and husband of his daughter Ivanka. The couple are thought to be among those urging the president to exercise restraint.“It’s Jared Kushner but probably it’s Jared channelling his wife, who doesn’t want to give her father bad news or challenge her father, so she’s making Jared do it,” said Rich Galen, former press secretary to Dan Quayle, an ex-vice-president.But there was a fundamental problem, Galen added. “You can’t tell the president anything because he won’t listen and, even if he pretends to listen, he’ll just go off and do what he wants anyway.”Earlier in his presidency, Trump was surrounded by military figures, including chief of staff John Kelly and national security adviser HR McMaster, who might have found ways to thwart his strongman posture. Now such guardrails are gone and the president’s inner circle is compliant.Chris Whipple, author of The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency, said: “This is someone who has never empowered anyone to tell him what he does not want to hear and the result is a complete failure of leadership. It’s clear that he no longer has a functioning White House chief of staff.”“There is no one who can walk into the Oval Office, close the door and tell him hard truths … He has the presidency he’s always wanted, which is a presidency of enablers and sycophants and people who will not dare to tell him what he needs to hear, and so we’re seeing the results,” Whipple said.Influenced by Fox News, Trump is free to be himself purely and, for many observers, there could be nothing more alarming in the current crisis.If he can go this far, how much further can he go?Joe Lockhart, a former White House press secretary, tweeted on Monday night: “I lived through MLK and Bobby being assassinated, our cities burning, Watergate, 9/11 and other national tragedies. I’ve never been so frightened for our country as I am tonight. Trump has to go now.”

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  • Celebrity
    E!

    Stephen "tWitch" Boss and Allison Holker Share Powerful Message About "White Privilege"

    In the wake of George Floyd's death, Stephen "tWitch" Boss and Allison Holker delivered a powerful message about "white privilege."

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  • World
    Good Morning America

    Coronavirus updates: US reports over 21,000 new cases amid mass protests

    A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed more than 375,000 people worldwide. Over 6.2 million people across the globe have been diagnosed with COVID-19, the disease caused by the new respiratory virus, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to testing shortages, many unreported cases and suspicions that some governments are hiding the scope of their nations' outbreaks.

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  • Sports
    Golf Digest

    Henry Ruggs III slashes thigh helping friend move, reminding everyone to never, ever help their friends move

    In one of the mild surprises of the NFL Draft back in April, the Las Vegas Raiders selected Alabama speedster Henry Ruggs III 12th overall, making him the first receiver off the board. “Experts” had widely projected Ruggs’ teammate Jerry Jeudy and Oklahoma’s CeeDee Lamb as the 1A/1B receiver combo of the first round, but instead it was Ruggs who heard his name called first. Unfortunately, Ruggs is off to a rough start in Vegas, but not for the reasons you might typically associate with Sin City.

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  • U.S.
    Variety

    Jay-Z Calls for ‘Every Politician, Prosecutor and Officer in the Country to Have the Courage to Do What Is Right’

    As the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police has become the flashpoint of weekend protests in nearly every state in the U.S., Jay-Z reached out to Minnesota Governor Tim Walz to tell him that “Justice needs to be served here.” Walz then announced that state attorney general Keith Ellison will head […]

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  • Lifestyle
    USA TODAY

    States are reopening, but many require travelers to self-quarantine. Here's where

    States are beginning to open back up, but some require or recommend visitors self-quarantine for two weeks.

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