1. Articles from USA TODAY

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    1. Kanye West No Longer Supports Trump, Plans to Run Himself

      Kanye West No Longer Supports Trump, Plans to Run Himself

      Kanye West continues to deliver sensational details about his 2020 presidential run, despite an apparent lack of an actual campaign. The rapper, 43, said in a "rambling" interview Tuesday with Forbes that he contracted the coronavirus in February, no longer supports President Donald Trump and plans to run as a member of the "Birthday Party." 

      “Because when we win, it’s everybody’s birthday," West explained to the outlet.

      In a sudden 180-degree shift after showing public support for the president, West said he has lost confidence in Trump's leadership. "I am taking the red hat off," he said. "It looks like one big mess to me. I don’t like that I caught wind that he hid in ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    2. Woman Faces Charges After Calling Police on Black Bird Watcher

      Woman Faces Charges After Calling Police on Black Bird Watcher

      Amy Cooper, the white woman who called 911 on a Black man who asked that she leash her dog in Central Park, is facing a misdemeanor charge of filing a false report, Manhattan's district attorney announced Monday.

      The incident went viral after a video of Cooper emerged showing the 41-year-old woman frantically calling police when Christian Cooper, a Black man who was bird-watching, told her to leash her dog in the area of the park where leashes are required.

      "Today our Office initiated a prosecution of Amy Cooper for Falsely Reporting an Incident in the Third Degree," Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance Jr. said in a statement.

      Charging documents were not immediately available. Amy Cooper, who lost her job ...

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    3. Students Hosting 'COVID Parties' With Cash Reward for Catching Virus

      Students Hosting 'COVID Parties' With Cash Reward for Catching Virus

      As coronavirus cases around the U.S. continue to rise, authorities in one Alabama county may have identified a possible source for their increase. Infected college students.

      Tuscaloosa Fire Rescue Chief Randy Smith said Tuesday that city officials were able to confirm incidents of students knowingly diagnosed with COVID-19 still choosing to attend parties and gatherings within the city and county. “We thought that was kind of a rumor at first,” said Smith, who is heading the city of Tuscaloosa’s Incident Command team in response to the coronavirus. “We did some additional research. Not only did the doctors’ offices help confirm it, but the state confirmed they also had the same information. Smith did not specify how many students ...

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    4. Cirque du Soleil Files for Bankruptcy

      Cirque du Soleil Files for Bankruptcy

      Cirque du Soleil announced Monday it is filing for bankruptcy protection as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rattle the world.

      The entertainment group is working to "restructure its capital structure," according to a statement. Its application will be heard by the Superior Court of Quebec on Tuesday. Once given this initial order, it will file for Chapter 15 bankruptcy protection in the U.S.

      Cirque du Soleil is an institution on the Las Vegas Strip, with its pricey, mesmerizing shows high on visitors’ vacation agendas. The company had six shows operating in major Las Vegas casino hotels when coronavirus crushed travel and closed casinos for nearly three months: "O," "Zumanity,’" "The Beatles LOVE," "Ka," "Mystere," and "Michael Jackson ONE."

      Major ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    5. DNA Aids Investigators in Solving 1982 Murder Case

      DNA Aids Investigators in Solving 1982 Murder Case

      Nearly 40 years ago, eight-year-old Kelly Prosser left her elementary school in Columbus, Ohio. She never arrived home. Two days later she was found dead in a cornfield in a case that puzzled the community and police for decades.

      But on Friday, her family finally got an answer about who killed the child. Columbus police investigators who never gave up on the cold case matched a dead man's DNA to the rape and murder of Kelly.

      "Our family has spent many long years waiting for Kelly Ann's murder to be solved," according to a statement released by Kelly's family after police announced the news. "But Kelly's family is not unique. Those who have suffered the murder ...

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    6. 6 Police Officers Charged for Pulling People Stuck in ATL Protest Traffic from Car

      6 Police Officers Charged for Pulling People Stuck in ATL Protest Traffic from Car

      Six Atlanta police officers have been charged after a dramatic video showed authorities pulling two young people from a car and shooting them with stun guns while they were stuck in traffic caused by protests over George Floyd’s death, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

      Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard announced the charges during a news conference. Atlanta police did not immediately have a comment Tuesday.

      “I feel a little safer now that these monsters are off of the street and no longer able to terrorize anyone else,” said 22-year-old Messiah Young, who was dragged from the vehicle along with his girlfriend, 20-year-old Taniyah Pilgrim.

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    7. 24 Hour Fitness Allegedly Prepares to File for Bankruptcy

      24 Hour Fitness Allegedly Prepares to File for Bankruptcy

      Gym chain 24 Hour Fitness Worldwide is reportedly preparing to file for bankruptcy, as retailers and other companies navigate the coronavirus pandemic.

      According to The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg, the company is seeking a loan to allow them to keep operating through a restructuring.

      The company has more than $1.3 billion in debt after a buyout by AEA Investors and the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, reports Bloomberg.

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    8. Walt Disney World Sets Reopening Date After Months of Closure Amid Pandemic

      Walt Disney World Sets Reopening Date After Months of Closure Amid Pandemic

      Walt Disney World plans to reopen July 11, according to a presentation the company made to an economic recovery task force Wednesday.

      Disney's Florida theme parks have been closed since March 15 because of the coronavirus pandemic, and their reopening will follow its Florida rival, Universal Orlando, which is set to reopen June 5.

      SeaWorld Orlando also presented its plan to Orange County's Economic Recovery Task Force and plans to reopenfor employees as soon as June 10, and the public on June 11. 

      Jim McPhee, senior vice president of operations for Walt Disney World, said the company plans a phased reopening of the park, with the Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom opening July 11. Epcot and Disney's ...

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      Mentions: Florida Coronavirus
    9. Tuesday Morning Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and Plans 230 Store Closings

      Tuesday Morning Files Chapter 11 Bankruptcy and Plans 230 Store Closings

      Off-price retailer Tuesday Morning filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Wednesday with plans to close more than a third of its stores.

      Tuesday Morning had been struggling when the coronavirus pandemic began and went into a free fall when it was forced to temporarily close its locations due to the crisis.

      The company joins a growing list of retailers that have tumbled into Chapter 11 bankruptcy during the pandemic, including J.C. Penney, Neiman Marcus and J. Crew. In each case, the companies were already in rough shape before the pandemic began due to excessive debt and declining foot traffic.

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    10. Trump Administration Suspends Travel from Brazil to Limit Spread of COVID-19

      Trump Administration Suspends Travel from Brazil to Limit Spread of COVID-19

       President Donald Trump issued a proclamation Sunday banning people who have been in Brazil within 14 days  from trying to enter the USA in the latest travel restrictions aimed at containing the spread of the coronavirus. 

      The president, citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Homeland Security, said Brazil was the latest country to face travel restrictions amid a surge in cases of COVID-19, according to the order. The order will take effect Tuesday at 11:59 p.m. EDT after the administration announced it was moving up the ban by two days.

      Brazil is among the hardest hit countries in the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 363,000 cases and more than 22,500 ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    11. Coronavirus 'Does Not Spread Easily' On Surfaces, According to CDC

      Coronavirus 'Does Not Spread Easily' On Surfaces, According to CDC

      Recent guidance issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention sheds  new light on how coronavirus spreads through surfaces.

      Though there is the possibility that coronavirus could be transmitted by touching a surface — and then your nose, mouth or eyes — the likelihood of that is lower than person-to-person contact, which is believed to be the primary way coronavirus is transmitted. 

      "COVID-19 is a new disease and we are still learning about how it spreads," says the CDC's recently updated guidelines. 

      Dr. Manisha Juthani, an infectious disease doctor and associate professor of medicine at Yale University, told USA TODAY that plenty of concern has been focused on packages and groceries during the coronavirus pandemic.

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    12. J.C. Penney Plans to Close 29% of Stores – or 242 Locations – As Part of Bankruptcy

      J.C. Penney Plans to Close 29% of Stores – or 242 Locations – As Part of Bankruptcy

      Days after filing for bankruptcy, J.C. Penney says it plans to close more than a fourth of its stores. 

      According to a document filed with the Securities and Exchanges Commission on Monday, approximately 29% of the retailer's 846 stores, or 242 locations, will close between the current fiscal year and next fiscal year. 

      For the current fiscal year, which ends in February 2021, 192 stores are expected to close and then 50 in the next fiscal year, the document notes. After the closings, the company will have 604 remaining locations.

      “The approximately 604 future fleet represent the highest sales-generating, most profitable, and most productive stores in the network,” J.C. Penney said in the SEC filing.

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    13. NCAA Can't Limit College Athletes' Benefits That Are Tied to Education

      NCAA Can't Limit College Athletes' Benefits That Are Tied to Education

      A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday unanimously upheld a district judge’s ruling that the NCAA cannot limit education-related benefits that college athletes can receive.

      In March 2019, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken ruled that the NCAA had violated antitrust law and could not “limit compensation or benefits related to education” for athletes playing Division I men’s or women’s basketball or Bowl Subdivision football.

      Among the items Wilken said those athletes may receive were scholarships to complete undergraduate or graduate degrees at any school. The judge also appeared to open the possibility of athletes being able to receive cash or cash-equivalent awards based on academics or graduation, albeit under ...

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    14. Supreme Court Struggles to Find Balance Between Religious freedom and Reproductive Rights

      Supreme Court Struggles to Find Balance Between Religious freedom and Reproductive Rights

      The Trump administration's effort to exempt employers with religious or moral objections from offering insurance coverage for contraceptives teetered Wednesday before a closely divided Supreme Court.

      With Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg denouncing the regulation from her hospital room due to illness, Chief Justice John Roberts emerged as the potential swing vote in a battle that has stretched for nearly a decade.

      Under the Affordable Care Act, most employers must provide cost-free coverage for contraceptives. Churches and other houses of worship were exempted from the start; religious charities, hospitals and universities can direct their insurers to provide the coverage directly. And in 2014, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that privately held corporations with religious objections also could opt out. 

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    15. Gold's Gym Files for Bankruptcy Protection Amid Coronavirus Closings

      Gold's Gym Files for Bankruptcy Protection Amid Coronavirus Closings

      Gold's Gym filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday as the coronavirus pandemic wreaks havoc on the company's business.

      With fitness centers in most of the nation shuttered due to COVID-19, Gold's Gym said it was forced to seek relief from its creditors.

      The mostly franchised Gold's Gym, which recently permanently closed 30 company-owned locations, said the bankruptcy "will have no further impact on current operations."

      Following the closure of those 30 gyms, Gold’s Gym will have nearly 700 locations, including about 63 company-owned and operated, Gold’s Gym CEO Adam Zeitsiff said. The bankruptcy, he said, would help the company shed those leases.

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    16. Royal Caribbean Cruises Hopes to Trademark 'Seaface' Face Mask as Coronavirus Spreads

      Royal Caribbean Cruises Hopes to Trademark 'Seaface' Face Mask as Coronavirus Spreads

      Dying to get back on a cruise ship when the CDC's no-sail order expires but nervous about the potential spread of coronavirus on board? Royal Caribbean is looking for a solution.

      On April 8, the cruise company filed an application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office to trademark their very own sanitary face mask, aptly named "Seaface."

      All subsidiaries of Royal Caribbean will use the mask if the patent is approved and the company chooses to implement it, spokesperson Jonathon Fishman. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. includes Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Azamara, Tui Cruises, Silversea Cruises and Pullmantur. 

      The application for the "sanitary masks for virus isolation purposes," which can be viewed on the U.S. Patent ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    17. Lawsuit Alleges Wells Fargo Unfairly Shuffled Paycheck Protection Program Applications in COVID-19 Relief Program

      Lawsuit Alleges Wells Fargo Unfairly Shuffled Paycheck Protection Program Applications in COVID-19 Relief Program

      A California-based company filed a class-action lawsuit against Wells Fargo citing unfair actions against some small businesses seeking government-sponsored coronavirus relief under the Paycheck Protection Program. 

      In March, the Treasury Department announced the $349 billion forgivable loan plan for small businesses that helps them pay employees during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. The fund ran out of money on Friday.

      The lawsuit filed on behalf of small business owners on Sunday alleges that Wells Fargo unfairly prioritized businesses seeking large loan amounts, while the government's small business agency has said that PPP loan applications would be processed on a first-come, first-served basis. 

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    18. Media Companies Line Up to Trademark Coronavirus Pandemic

      Media Companies Line Up to Trademark Coronavirus Pandemic

      In the weeks since the coronavirus seized the globe’s attention, dozens of brands, media companies, celebrities and average Joes have filed trademark applications to cash in on newly ubiquitous phrases. 

      Records from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office show that since early March, more than 140 applications have been filed for variations on the words coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic and shelter-in-place. 

      The makers of What Do You Meme?, the party card game similar to Cards Against Humanity, filed March 20 to trademark “Social Distancing. The Game.” A California man filed a wide-ranging claim to the phrase “Love in the Time of Coronavirus” for apparel and entertainment. A Florida man wants to sell "COVID-19 Baby" onesies nine months from now.

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      Mentions: Florida Coronavirus
    19. Old Laws May Shield Cruise Lines From Huge Payouts in Coronavirus Lawsuits

      Old Laws May Shield Cruise Lines From Huge Payouts in Coronavirus Lawsuits

      Debi Chalik listened in horror as Vice President Mike Pence announced at a news conference that 21 passengers aboard the Grand Princess had tested positive for coronavirus. It was Friday, March 6, and her parents were on the cruise. She knew that their ages, 74 and 69, would make them particularly susceptible to the virus.  

      “I was very angry, given that there was no doubt my parents’ lives were placed at imminent risk of serious harm,” Chalik said. As an attorney, Chalik said she thought the cruise line had breached its duty to provide reasonable care for Ronald and Eva Weissberger and the rest of the ship’s 3,500-plus passengers and crew by failing to take precautions to stop ...

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    20. Scientists Chase Two Options in How to Treat Coronavirus

      Scientists Chase Two Options in How to Treat Coronavirus

      Doctors and scientists are working furiously to find effective treatments for the illness caused by the new coronavirus but are cautioning the public not to self-medicate or hoard mentioned drugs not yet proven to work.

      Despite widespread rumors, social media reports and President Donald Trump's own optimism surrounding the effectiveness of several existing drugs, so far there are no proven treatments for COVID-19, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

      “There’s no magic drug out there right now,” Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at a news conference Thursday. 

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      Mentions: Coronavirus
    21. Furniture Giant Ikea Kept Selling a Dresser it Knew was Dangerous to Children

      Furniture Giant Ikea Kept Selling a Dresser it Knew was Dangerous to Children

      Over the past decade, Ikea’s tip-prone dressers have killed six children, forcing the retail giant to recall millions of bureaus worldwide and pay at least $96 million in settlements to grieving families.

      But last year, when another Ikea dresser no longer met safety standards, the company didn’t rush to take the product off its shelves.

      Instead, it kept selling the dresser.

      Ikea’s three-drawer Kullen dresser became noncompliant with the furniture industry’s safety standard in mid-August after it was updated to further safeguard against the danger of bureaus falling onto children. Sixteen weeks passed before Ikea took the dresser off the market on Dec. 2. Then the company waited again, until last week, to issue a recall ...

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    22. Former Convict in Detroit Becomes First-Time Voter at Age 60

      Former Convict in Detroit Becomes First-Time Voter at Age 60

      For the first time ever, 60-year-old Kerwin Brown-El cast a ballot.

      "It felt really good, really good," he said

      Brown-El couldn't vote because he has been incarcerated. He was released from prison and discharged from parole in 2018. His fiancée, Veronica Harrison, 34, of Detroit helped him fill out his first ballot.

      Brown-El cast his vote in the Michegan Democratic primary for former Vice President Joe Biden at his polling place at Thurgood Marshall Elementary School in Detroit.

      "I feel that he’s going to reinstate a lot of the programs that Donald Trump eliminated," Brown-El said. "We need unification for the country. We’re too angry. We’re too disrespectful."

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    23. Family of Florida Man Killed by Sheriff's Deputy Argues to Overturn $4 Verdict Award

      Family of Florida Man Killed by Sheriff's Deputy Argues to Overturn $4 Verdict Award

      A federal appeals court is a step closer to deciding whether to overturn a $4 verdict awarded by a jury to the family of a man fatally shot six years ago in his Fort Pierce, Florida, home by a St. Lucie County sheriff’s deputy.

      The $4 verdict, which sparked national headlines and stunned the family of Gregory Hill Jr., 30, who was killed in his garage Jan. 14, 2014, was later reduced to 4 cents.

      A panel of three judges seated on the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, in Miami, heard oral arguments Feb. 12 in an appeal filed by Hill’s mother, Viola Bryant, who filed a civil rights and wrongful death lawsuit against St. Lucie ...

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    24. Wells Fargo to Pay $3B Settlement for Violating Antifraud Rules, Resolving Fake Account Probes

      Wells Fargo to Pay $3B Settlement for Violating Antifraud Rules, Resolving Fake Account Probes

      Wells Fargo has agreed to pay $3 billion to settle claims related to its creation of millions of fake accounts to meet sales goals, including $500 million that will be returned to investors, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Friday.

      The agreement, with the SEC and Justice Department, says the banking giant misled investors about its strategy of selling additional financial products to existing customers, according to the SEC. That “cross-sell” strategy was “inflated by accounts and services that were unused, unneeded, or unauthorized,” the SEC said.

      From 2002 to 2016, Wells Fargo opened millions of financial accounts that were unauthorized or fraudulent. Wells Fargo also pressured customers to buy products they didn’t need, the SEC said.

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