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4:55 PM ET, July 1, 2020

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RELATED:
Mitch Prothero / Business Insider:
Russia did pay extremists to attack US soldiers in Afghanistan, according to 3 separate Taliban sources  — Sources in the Taliban — two current commanders and one former — have confirmed to Insider that Russia pays extremists in Afghanistan to attack US soldiers.
The Daily Beast:
Russian Bounties for Killing Americans Go Back Five Years, Ex-Taliban Claims  —  Russia has been courting the Taliban at least since 2014 with money and weapons, ostensibly to fight ISIS, certainly to undermine the American effort in Afghanistan.  —  Taliban veterans like to laugh about the first time …
CNN:
White House says Trump reads amid questions about his handling of intelligence briefing
Discussion: Raw Story
Barbara Sprunt / NPR:
Trump Calls Bounty Report A ‘Hoax’ Despite Administration's Briefing Of Congress
Jacob Pramuk / CNBC:
Biden expands lead in swing states as voters hammer Trump over coronavirus, CNBC/Change poll says  — Voters in six 2020 swing states largely disapprove of how President Trump is handling the coronavirus as the pandemic continues to wreak havoc on the country, a CNBC/Change Research poll found.
RELATED:
Harry Enten / CNN:
2020's biggest difference with 2016: Trump loses the honesty debate  —  (CNN)President Donald Trump was able to win in 2016 because he was seen as the lesser of two evils.  His victory came from the voters who didn't like either candidate.  A large part of that came from the belief that voters saw neither one as honest.
Jed Graham / Investor's Business Daily:   Joe Biden Extends Lead As Coronavirus, Protests Sink President Trump Job Approval: IBD/TIPP Poll
Richard Lim / Washington Examiner:   Are we being set up for another stunning Trump win?
Aaron Blake / Washington Post:
Trump said ‘experience’ was his edge over Biden.  A poll shows voters disagree by a remarkable margin.
Discussion: Associated Press and The Hill
Frank Bruni / New York Times:   Is Trump Toast?  —  There's a persuasive argument that the 2020 election is already over.
David Marcus / The Federalist:   Joe Biden Owns The Democratic Party's Insanity
Jonathan Swan / Axios:
Scoop: Trump regrets Kushner advice  —  President Trump has told people in recent days that he regrets following some of son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner's political advice — including supporting criminal justice reform — and will stick closer to his own instincts …
RELATED:
Politico:
Senate Republicans shrug off Trump's veto threat over renaming Confederate bases  —  Senate Republicans were unfazed Wednesday by President Donald Trump's threat to veto the annual defense policy bill over his opposition to the renaming of U.S. military installations honoring prominent Confederate figures.
RELATED:
Politico:
POLITICO Playbook PM: Trump revs up for another culture war — over the military
Discussion: Variety, The Daily Beast and KFF
Roxanne Roberts / Washington Post:
The virus didn't stop a Washington socialite from throwing a backyard soiree.  Then the tests came back positive.  —  This is A Cautionary Tale featuring well-intentioned people making poor choices.  It is also the tale of a socialite with an Instagram habit who recently held a fabulous backyard soiree during a pandemic.
Discussion: Eschaton
Daniel Chaitin / Washington Examiner:
Hugh Hewitt: Rumor has it Samuel Alito will retire from Supreme Court  —  Conservative Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito may be eyeing retirement.  —  The “stronger rumor” is that Alito is “going to quit,” conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt told Washington Post reporter Robert Costa on his show Wednesday.
Discussion: Alternet.org and Raw Story
RELATED:
Washington Post:
House to vote on removal of bust of Roger B. Taney, segregationist who wrote Supreme Court's Dred Scott ruling
Discussion: The Hill
ProPublica:
Internal Messages Reveal Crisis at Houston Hospitals as Coronavirus Cases Surge  —  Texas was one of the first states in the nation to ease social distancing mandates.  In Houston, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 has quadrupled since Memorial Day.  “It's time to be alarmed,” one expert said.
RELATED:
NBC News:
Internal messages reveal crisis at Houston hospitals as coronavirus cases surge … HOUSTON — At Lyndon B. Johnson Hospital on Sunday, the medical staff ran out of both space for new coronavirus patients and a key drug needed to treat them.  With no open beds at the public hospital …
Tim Reid / Reuters:
Exclusive: Hundreds of George W. Bush administration officials to back Biden, group says  —  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hundreds of officials who worked for former Republican President George W. Bush are set to endorse Democratic White House hopeful Joe Biden, people involved in the effort said …
Becket Adams / Washington Examiner:
In Mark McCloskey interview, Chris Cuomo fishes for clickbait and proves himself a fool  —  CNN's business model relies heavily on its talent antagonizing conservatives, the New York Post's Karol Markowicz argued this week.  —  The “whole point,” she writes, is to attract the ire of the Right “because, hey, hits are hits.
Discussion: Redstate and CNN
RELATED:
Ian Schwartz / RealClearPolitics:
CNN's Cuomo vs. St. Louis Home Defender: You Are The Face Of “White Resistance” To Black Lives Matter
Discussion: The Gateway Pundit
Tucker Carlson / RealClearPolitics:   Tucker Carlson: Going Forward Republican Voters Must Demand 3 Things From Their Candidates
Axios:
Trump calls proposed Black Lives Matter sign in NYC a “symbol of hate”  —  President Trump attacked New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday for reallocating $1 billion from the NYPD's budget and ordering a large Black Lives Matter mural to be painted on Fifth Avenue, condemning it in a tweet as a “symbol of hate.”
RELATED:
Madeline Charbonneau / The Daily Beast:
Trump Freaks Out Over Black Lives Matter Mural to Be Painted Outside Trump Tower
Des Moines Register:
Governor's vehicle struck Black Lives Matter protester who blocked the road
Michael M. Grynbaum / New York Times:
Fox News Fires Ed Henry Over Sexual Misconduct Claim  —  The veteran Washington correspondent and anchor was one of the most prominent reporters at the cable news channel.  —  Fox News has fired Ed Henry, one of the network's most prominent Washington-based journalists …
RELATED:
Quint Forgey / Politico:
Fox News anchor Ed Henry fired after sexual misconduct investigation
David Bauder / Associated Press:
For third time this month, Fox News leads all networks
Discussion: Axios
About Facebook:
Facebook Does Not Benefit from Hate  —  This piece originally ran in AdAge.  —  When society is divided and tensions run high, those divisions play out on social media.  Platforms like Facebook hold up a mirror to society — with more than 3 billion people using Facebook's apps every month …
RELATED:
Joan Donovan / Wired:   You Purged Racists From Your Website? Great, Now Get to Work
RELATED:
Mohamed Younis / Gallup:
Americans Want More, Not Less, Immigration for First Time  —  WASHINGTON, D.C. — Thirty-four percent of Americans, up from 27% a year ago, would prefer to see immigration to the U.S. increased.  This is the highest support for expanding immigration Gallup has found in its trend since 1965.
Doug Palmer / Politico:
U.S. urges companies to avoid entanglement with Uighur human rights abuses  —  The Trump administration has cautioned U.S. companies about doing business with Chinese suppliers that rely on the forced labor of Uighurs, an ethnic group that lives mostly in China's Xinjiang province.
RELATED:
Denise Lavoie / Associated Press:
Richmond mayor orders prompt removal of Confederate statues  —  RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney on Wednesday ordered the immediate removal of all Confederate statues in the city, saying he was using his emergency powers to speed up the healing process for the former capital …
New York Times:
Meet the Supporters Trump Has Lost  —  A significant majority of people who voted for him in 2016 are planning to do so again.  What is different about those who've had a change of heart?  —  For some, the disenchantment started almost as soon as Donald J. Trump took office.
Discussion: Alternet.org
Chris Isidore / CNN:
The Trump administration just lent $700 million to a trucking company sued for ripping off taxpayers  —  New York (CNN Business)The US Treasury is giving a $700 million loan to YRC Worldwide, a troubled trucking company that warned in May it was in danger of going out of business.
Rachel Siegel / Washington Post:
Fed officials raised concerns in June that U.S. could enter a much worse recession later this year if coronavirus cases continued to spike  —  The scenario, which officials described as plausible, was revealed in minutes of their June meeting before the surge in cases escalated
Discussion: Political Wire
Matthew Lee / Associated Press:
Trump allies take aim at his global media chief for firings  —  WASHINGTON (AP) — Seven U.S. senators, including two strong allies of President Donald Trump, harshly criticized Trump's new chief of U.S.-funded global media on Wednesday for firing the heads of several international broadcasters without consulting Congress.
Isabel Wilkerson / New York Times:
America's Enduring Caste System  —  Our founding ideals promise liberty and equality for all.  Our reality is an enduring racial hierarchy that has persisted for centuries.  —  We saw a man face down on the pavement, pinned beneath a car, and above him another man, a man in uniform …
 
 
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 More Items: 
Joe Kinsey / Outkick:
Chicago Red Stars Soccer Player Defends Decision To Stand For Anthem
New York Times:
Coronavirus Live Updates: Some States Halt Reopenings and Indoor Dining as Cases Surge
Discussion: Twitchy
The Hill:
GOP senators debate replacing Columbus Day with Juneteenth as a federal holiday
Discussion: Fox News
6abc:
Whipping post removed from outside Sussex County Courthouse
Washington Post:
We can reopen schools in the fall — if we close bars and gyms now
NBC News:
For Trump, June was the darkest of months
 Earlier Items: 
Caitlin Oprysko / Politico:
Poll: Trump job approval dips as coronavirus fears rise
Discussion: The Hill
Tony Romm / Washington Post:
Myrtle Beach reopened to survive the summer. Now, it's a coronavirus ‘petri dish.’
Discussion: Gothamist
Bloomberg:
The Mercenary Who Botched a Maduro Coup Is Laying Low in Florida
Jacob Silverman / Columbia Journalism Review:
Spies, Lies, and Stonewalling: What It's Like to Report on Facebook
Washington Post:
‘Cries for help’: Drug overdoses are soaring during the coronavirus pandemic
Sally Goldenberg / Politico:
Civil rights activist and former de Blasio official considering run for mayor
David W. Blight / New Yorker:
Europe in 1989, America in 2020, and the Death of the Lost Cause