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Coronavirus live updates: Italy’s death toll climbs over 9,000

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A pandemic of the novel coronavirus has now killed over 26,000 people around the world.

Globally there are more than 576,000 diagnosed cases of 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.

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The United States has over 94,000 cases of COVID-19, the highest number in the world.

There have been at least 1,438 deaths in the U.S. More than 1,000 people have died in the past week alone.

At least 813 people in the U.S. have recovered.

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Trump: I’ve ‘authorized’ federal arrests for vandalizing statues; says up to 10 years in prison

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President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday morning that he has “authorized” the federal government to arrest those who may vandalize or destroy federal property in accordance with existing laws.

“I have authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S. with up to 10 years in prison, per the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act, or such other laws that may be pertinent,” Trump tweeted.

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“This action is taken effective immediately, but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused. There will be no exceptions!” he added.

It’s unclear whether or not Trump is authorizing any new actions toward those who destroy government property, as laws protecting statues and federal property have already been in place.

While the Veterans’ Memorial Preservation and Recognition Act of 2003 does specify up to 10 years imprisonment for violators, it specifies destruction toward “any structure, plaque, statue, or other monument on public property commemorating the service of any person or persons in the armed forces of the United States.”

Other laws are in place to protect federal property, however. 18 U.S.C. § 1361 states that those who intentionally destroy government property and incur more than $100 in damages are subject to up to 10 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

Trump’s announcement comes the morning after protesters in Washington, D.C.’s Lafayette Square defaced a statue of Andrew Jackson and attempted to pull it down after attaching several ropes to it.

Social media video showed protesters who had climbed the statue to affix the ropes so the crowd could attempt to pull it down. The statue, however, remained in place.

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Supreme Court Rules Against Trump Administration In DACA Case

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A narrowly divided U.S. Supreme Court extended a life-support line to some 650,000 so-called DREAMers on Thursday, allowing them to remain safe from deportation for now, while the Trump administration jumps through the administrative hoops that the court said are required before ending the program.

The vote was 5-4 with Chief Justice John Roberts casting the decisive fifth vote that sought to bridge the liberal and conservative wings of the court.

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Roberts and the court’s four liberal justices said the Department of Homeland Security’s decision to rescind the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, was arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act. (Read the decision here.)

In his opinion, Roberts wrote: “The appropriate recourse is therefore to remand to DHS so that it may reconsider the problem anew.”

President Trump dismissed the ruling as “politically charged,” turning it into a rallying cry for the 2020 election and the opportunity to appoint more conservative justices. The DACA decision follows another major ruling earlier in the week that granted employment protections for LGBTQ people.

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Trump Defends Hydroxychloroquine for COVID, Blames Testing for Surge in Cases

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As coronavirus cases in the United States top 2,100,000, with over 116,000 reported deaths, the Food and Drug Administration has pulled its emergency-use authorization for antimalarial drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, saying, “It is no longer reasonable to believe [they] may be effective in treating Covid-19.” The drugs have been repeatedly touted by President Trump, even as multiple studies showed they were not only ineffective for COVID-19, but potentially could result in heart attack or even death. When asked about this latest news, Trump continued to defend the drugs Monday.

President Donald Trump: “People that were like seriously ill, like they weren’t going to make it, let’s give them a little hydroxy, and then they don’t make it, and they say, ‘Oh, wow, maybe the president was wrong.’ All I know is that we’ve had some tremendous reports.”

President Trump also blamed increased testing for the country’s high number of coronavirus cases. “If you don’t test, you don’t have any cases,” he told reporters. Vice President Mike Pence echoed this idea on a call with governors Monday, encouraging them to adopt the same message that more testing is leading to rising numbers, rather than community spread due to relaxed restrictions. But the data suggests recent spikes in cases are much greater than what would be reflected simply by a higher number of tests being administered.

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Cases continue to surge in Arizona, where over 4,400 new cases were reported over the weekend. Arizona’s outbreak started surging in early June — two weeks after lifting its stay-at-home order. Arizona’s infection rate per capita is now more than three times higher than New York state. Florida, which is also seeing a spike in cases, reported Friday 3,400 children have tested positive for the coronavirus, 10 of whom have a serious inflammatory condition which has been described by health officials as similar to Kawasaki disease, or toxic shock syndrome.

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