In our news wrap Friday, officials in Seattle warned against federal intervention in protests this weekend after agents arrived in the city. Mayor Jenny Durkan said federal action will incite new trouble and urged demonstrators to stay calm. Also, China has ordered the closure of a U.S. consulate in the western city of Chengdu, as the diplomatic rift between the two countries continues to widen.
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The nation ends this week with 145,000 deaths to date from COVID-19 and infections spreading rapidly beyond four million. Still, the White House renewed a push today to see schools reopen this fall.
Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany cited revised guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
We believe that students should be going back to school, because the effect on a child, we know, scientifically, they are not affected in the same way as an adult.
Again, I point you to CDC guidelines on this that says the best available evidence indicates, if children become infected, they are far less likely to suffer severe symptoms.
President Trump had acknowledged yesterday that reopenings at some schools may need to be delayed.
In another development, McDonald's announced that customers at all of its U.S. locations will have to wear masks starting next month.
Officials in Seattle warned today against federal intervention in protests this weekend. A team of Custom and Border Patrol agents arrived last night to protect federal buildings, without notifying local officials. It followed nights of violence and vandalism in the downtown.
Mayor Jenny Durkan said today that federal action could incite new trouble, and she urged calm.
Don't take the bait. Don't buy into it. Be peaceful. If you come out into the streets and raise your voices, not only is it your right, but, in many ways, it's our obligation.
But for those who are bent on destruction, those who want the fight to come, I say to you, stop.
Meanwhile, in Portland, Oregon, demonstrators massed again at a federal courthouse overnight. Some tried to take down a security fence, and federal agents again fired tear gas to disperse the crowd.
The top federal prosecutor in Oregon said today that at least 18 people have been arrested in Portland this week on federal charges.
President Trump's former personal attorney Michael Cohen was released from prison today for a second time. A federal judge had ordered him freed. He ruled the government revoked Cohen's medical furlough earlier this month as retaliation for a planned tell-all book. Cohen was convicted of tax fraud and lying to Congress.
China has ordered the closure of a U.S. Consulate, as a diplomatic rift keeps growing. The targeted office is in the Western city of Chengdu. It's a response to the closing of China's consulate in Houston.
Wang Wenbin (through translator):
The current situation in Chinese-U.S. relations is not what China desires to see. The U.S. is responsible for all this.
We once again urge the U.S. to immediately retract its wrong decision and create necessary conditions for bringing the bilateral relationship back on track.
Workers at the Chinese Consulate in Houston loaded moving trucks today. They faced an afternoon deadline to clear out the complex.
The State Department says that the consulate was aggressively spying and stealing COVID-19 research. And the Justice Department says that a Chinese researcher who allegedly concealed her military ties is now in custody in San Francisco. She faces charges of visa fraud.
In Turkey, Muslims held Friday prayers at the iconic Hagia Sophia for the first time in 86 years. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was among thousands who prayed at the sixth century site. It was originally a Christian cathedral and then a mosque for centuries. It had been a museum since 1934.
Back in this country, Hurricane Douglas is headed for Hawaii, leaving people to try to shelter and keep social distance at the same time. The storm could bring 100-mile-an-hour winds and 14 inches of rain to the islands this weekend.
And in the Gulf of Mexico, Tropical Storm Hanna could become a hurricane before hitting Texas tomorrow with four to eight inches of rain.
And, on Wall Street, stocks slumped in part over concerns about U.S.-Chinese tensions. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 182 points to close at 26469. The Nasdaq fell 98 points, and the S&P 500 slipped 20.