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8:30 AM ET, June 30, 2020

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 Top Items: 
James Laporta / Associated Press:
AP sources: White House aware of Russian bounties in 2019  —  Top officials in the White House were aware in early 2019 of classified intelligence indicating Russia was secretly offering bounties to the Taliban for the deaths of Americans, a full year earlier than has been previously reported …
RELATED:
New York Times:
Lawmakers Press for Answers on Russian Bounty Offers to Taliban to Kill U.S. Troops  —  The investigation into Russia's suspected operation is said to focus in part on the killings of three Marines in a truck bombing last year, officials said.  —  American officials provided a written briefing …
Seung Min Kim / Washington Post:
Republicans once again face questions about why Trump isn't tougher on Russia  —  Senate Republicans are calling for a tougher posture against Russia following reports that the country's military spy unit offered to pay Taliban-linked militants to attack U.S. troops in Afghanistan …
Paul Begala / CNN:
This has got to be the worst of Trump's outrages  —  Paul Begala, a Democratic strategist and CNN political commentator, was a political consultant for Bill Clinton's presidential campaign in 1992 and served as a counselor to Clinton in the White House.  The opinions expressed in this commentary are his.
David Ignatius / Washington Post:
Were Trump's aides too afraid to tell him about the Russian bounties?
Discussion: Raw Story
Carl Bernstein / CNN:
From pandering to Putin to abusing allies and ignoring his own advisers, Trump's phone calls alarm US officials  —  (CNN)In hundreds of highly classified phone calls with foreign heads of state, President Donald Trump was so consistently unprepared for discussion of serious issues …
NBC News:
Trump's ‘white power’ retweet set off ‘five alarm fire’ in White House  —  President Donald Trump set off a “five alarm fire” in the White House Sunday morning after he retweeted a video of one of his supporters saying “white power,” according to two White House officials.
RELATED:
Washington Post:
Trump ‘white power’ tweet set off a scramble inside the White House — but no clear condemnation
Discussion: The Hill and The Week
Jeff Stein / Washington Post:
Exodus from Trump's economic team continues despite fresh fears about new closures and coronavirus crisis
Discussion: Alternet.org
Justin Baragona / The Daily Beast:
Kayleigh McEnany: Trump 'Didn't Hear' White Power Clip but Shared It to Stand With ‘Demonized’ Supporters
Discussion: Raw Story and Washington Post
Olivia Nuzzi / New York Magazine:
Remembering My Friend Betsy Rothstein  —  I don't know what I expected Betsy Rothstein to look like, but I guess I wasn't expecting a woman who made her living filleting media personalities and nurturing feuds to be so tiny in stature.  When she approached me on the grass outside …
RELATED:
Tucker Carlson / The Daily Caller:
In Memory Of Betsy Rothstein  —  Betsy Rothstein passed away Sunday among family following a long battle with cancer.  —  Betsy was the most honest person I've ever met.  She hated lying the way some people hate snakes.  She recoiled in horror from lies.  She found them repulsive, and the people who told them, contemptible.
Discussion: CNN
Michelle Roberts / BBC:
Flu virus with ‘pandemic potential’ found in China  —  A new strain of flu that has the potential to become pandemic has been identified in China by scientists.  —  It emerged recently and is carried by pigs, but can infect humans, they say.  —  The researchers are concerned …
William Feuer / CNBC:
CDC says U.S. has ‘way too much virus’ to control pandemic as cases surge across country  — The coronavirus is spreading too rapidly and too broadly for the U.S. to get it under control as some other countries have, Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Monday.
New York Times:
China Passes Security Law With Sweeping Powers Over Hong Kong  —  Lawmakers in Beijing voted in a process that has been criticized for its secrecy and haste.  The law will extend the Communist Party's reach into Hong Kong.  —  China passed a contentious new law for Hong Kong on Tuesday …
Discussion: NBC News, NPR, The Week, UPI, Breitbart and Axios
RELATED:
Laurenz Gehrke / Politico:
China-US tensions worsen as Beijing passes Hong Kong security law
Wall Street Journal:   China Passes Hong Kong Security Law Aimed at Crushing Protests
Anne Allred / KSDK-TV:
‘The only thing that stopped the crowd was my rifle’ |  Interview with man who pulled out gun amid protest  —  Mark McCloskey gave his first on-camera interview to 5 On Your Side anchor Anne Allred  —  ST. LOUIS — It's an encounter that's gained national attention and it happened in St. Louis' Central West End neighborhood.
RELATED:
St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
Couple points guns at protesters marching to St. Louis mayor's home to demand resignation
Michael Flynn / The Western Journal:
Exclusive from Gen. Flynn: If We Don't Act, 2% of the People Are About To Control the Other 98%  —  I was once told if we're not careful, 2 percent of the passionate will control 98 percent of the indifferent 100 percent of the time.  —  The more I've thought about this phrase, the more I believe it.
New York Times:
‘Our Luck May Have Run Out’: California's Case Count Explodes  —  Los Angeles County, which has been averaging more than 2,000 new cases each day, surpassed 100,000 total cases on Monday.  —  SACRAMENTO — Only a few weeks ago, thousands of Southern Californians were flocking to beaches …
Victor Davis Hanson / National Review:
The Strategies of Dementia Politics  —  Stoke chaos, obstruct economic recovery, and hide Biden in the basement till Election Day.  —  Joe Biden is tragically suffering a mental eclipse and sliding away at a geometric rate.  Understandably, his handlers have kept him out of sight.
RELATED:
Josh Feldman / Mediaite:
Grassley Hits Hannity For Interview Question Trump Whiffed On: ‘You Assume Fox News Wants Him to Get Reelected’  —  One of the most notable exchanges from President Donald Trump's Fox News town hall with Sean Hannity was the president's odd response to one of the most straightforward questions …
Rong-Gong Lin II / Los Angeles Times:
L.A. County issues dire warning amid ‘alarming increases’ in coronavirus cases  —  Los Angeles County health officials issued a dire warning Monday that conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic are deteriorating rapidly and the highly contagious virus is spreading swiftly in the nation's most populous county.
Discussion: Washington Post, Deadline and The Week
Michelle Goldberg / New York Times:
Three Families.  Nine Weeks.  ‘Things Are Getting Annoying.’  —  There we go.  Good.  There we go.  Yay.  Yay.  [MUSIC PLAYING] We're the Pauls.  We're the Orangos.  We are at the Carter-McLaughlin-Milstein family.  Or Mill Carterstein McDonlaughlinsons.  We spent the first three weeks just butting heads.
Micah Maidenberg / Wall Street Journal:
Facebook Sees Growing Ad Boycott in Protest Against Handling of Speech  —  Civil-rights groups have been pushing advertisers to pull spending, citing a failure to halt hate speech and misinformation  —  Ford Motor Co., Clorox Co. and Denny's Corp. are joining a parade of companies that have moved …
Mike Masnick / Techdirt:
As Predicted: Parler Is Banning Users It Doesn't Like  —  Well, that did not take long at all.  On Friday we predicted that just like every other social media platform out there, the new favorite among people who falsely say that Twitter is censoring conservatives, would start taking …
Jonathan D. Karl / The Atlantic:
The Second Battle of Charlottesville  —  Trump is reliving a defining moment in his presidency—and enacting the lessons he took from it.  —  The image of President Donald Trump holding aloft a Bible in front of St. John's Episcopal Church is destined to be a defining image of his presidency.
Politico:
Publisher's wife played undisclosed role for Melania Trump  —  The owner of the news outlet that published the columns at the center of the Ukraine scandal helped secure an unpaid White House position for his wife — a fact the publication did not disclose to readers.
Discussion: Raw Story
ABC News:
Biden to ramp up attacks on Trump, accuse him of ‘surrendering’ to coronavirus pandemic  —  The former VP has already slammed Trump as “whining” over the crisis.  —  In a speech Tuesday afternoon in Wilmington, Delaware, former Vice President Joe Biden will ramp up his attacks …
Zach Lowe / ESPN:
Sources: NBA, union plan to paint ‘Black Lives Matter’ on courts in Orlando  —  The NBA and National Basketball Players Association are planning to paint “Black Lives Matter” on the court inside both sidelines in all three arenas the league will use at the Walt Disney World Resort when it resumes …
Politico:
Conservative groups see abortion ruling as catalyst for reelecting Trump  —  The Supreme Court decision will be a rallying cry for nominating more justices, religious and anti-abortion groups say.  —  Anti-abortion protesters wait outside the Supreme Court for the decision on abortion access in Louisiana on Monday.
Discussion: New York Times and Washington Post
New York Times:
De Blasio and Council, Facing Fiscal Crisis Over Virus, Agree on Budget With Big Cuts  —  The mayor and City Council pared $1 billion in funding for the Police Department, but nearly half of that would come from budgetary sleight of hand.  —  Bowing to political pressure and a bleak fiscal reality …
Discussion: UPI and Politico
 
 
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 More Items: 
Sarah Kliff / New York Times:
Two Friends in Texas Were Tested for Coronavirus. One Bill Was $199. The Other? $6,408.
Discussion: Observer
Martin Matishak / Politico:
Republicans have been skipping House Intelligence meetings for months
Discussion: The Hill
Doina Chiacu / Reuters:
‘Wear a mask!’ Republicans split with Trump as virus cases surge
Rich Lowry / New York Post:
Woke censorship is basically a superstitious cult
Jacob Kornbluh / Jewish Insider:
Four progressive congresswomen circulate letter threatening to condition aid to Israel over annexation
Tom Boggioni / Raw Story:
Ad-Free Login - Go Ad-Free & Join The Movement
Associated Press:
Group of Texas bar owners sues to reopen amid pandemic
Discussion: The Daily Caller and The Hill
Elizabeth Joseph / CNN:
More than 200 people are advised to quarantine after possible Covid-19 exposure at gym in West Virginia
 Earlier Items: 
Catherine E. Shoichet / CNN:
People with coronavirus are crossing the US-Mexico border for medical care
Matt Novak / Paleofuture:
Trump Misidentifies Sculpture in Oval Office While Saying Statues Help Teach History
Ken Doctor / Nieman Lab:
Newsonomics: The next 48 hours could determine the fate of two of America's largest newspaper chains
Michael Shellenberger / Environmental Progress:
On Behalf Of Environmentalists, I Apologize For The Climate Scare
Anya Kamenetz / NPR:
U.S. Pediatricians Call For In-Person School This Fall
Julia Alexander / The Verge:
YouTube bans Stefan Molyneux, David Duke, Richard Spencer, and more for hate speech