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NATION/VIRUSTrump postpones G7 meeting until fall, againadvocates for expansionPage 10

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NATIONSpaceX capsule docks with International Space Station, delivers two astronautsPage 12


Stars and Stripes

RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany — Facing costs in ex-cess of $3,000 to move his pet in the middle of a pandemic, Air Force Tech. Sgt. Gregory Oakley thought he might have to leave his beloved Corgi, Fritzi, behind with another family in Germany.

“I considered having to give her up,” Oakley said of the dog he handpicked six years ago from a litter of puppies in Frankfurt, “because it was just going to cost so much.”

Oakley said he had to “move mountains” to get one of 10 pet spots in the cargo hold flying from Ramstein to Baltimore on Friday on the Patriot Express, a charter

flight contracted by the Pentagon for military families.

Like Oakley, many service members returning from over-seas with pets are scrambling for limited spaces, as commercial shipping costs skyrocket amid the disruption to air travel caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Defense Department has temporarily increased the num-

ber of rotator flights for person-nel and added more in-cabin pet spaces to meet the demand, but out of Ramstein, most spots for animals that don’t fit in the cabin are already booked through Au-gust, base transportation officials said.

“They’re running out fast,” said Revillano Sarao, Ramstein’s in-stallation transportation officer.

Commercial options are also limited and pricey. With thou-sands of flights canceled, airlinesare pivoting to freight to make upfor the lack of passengers, put-ting a premium on cargo space,said Kari Mendoza, a Navy vet-eran who for more than 10 yearshas run Island Pet Movers,


‘We’re sick of it’: Anger over police killingsshatters U.S.; protests spread to Europe

Enough is enough

Police officers confront protesters during a demonstration demanding justice for

George Floyd, Saturday, on Sixth Street in downtown Pittsburgh. Protests continue

across the country over the death of Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained

by Minneapolis police officers on May 25.MICHAEL M. SANTIAGO, POST-GAZETTE/AP

Pandemic air travel costly for service members with pets

Page 11

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American Roundup ..... 14Classified .................. 13Comics ...................... 19Crossword ................. 19Faces ........................ 15Opinion .................16-17 Sports .................. 20-24

Military ratesEuro costs (June 1) .............................. $ 1.09Dollar buys (June 1)..........................€0.8754British pound (June 1) ........................ $ 1.21Japanese yen (June 1) .......................105.00South Korean won (June 1) ............ 1207.00

Commercial ratesBahrain (Dinar) ....................................0.3775British pound .....................................$1.2352Canada (Dollar) ...................................1.3771China (Yuan) ........................................ 7.1420Denmark (Krone) ................................ 6.7031Egypt (Pound) ................................... 15.8405Euro ........................................ $1.1120/0.8993Hong Kong (Dollar) ............................. 7.7548Hungary (Forint) .................................313.28Israel (Shekel) ..................................... 3.5211Japan (Yen) ........................................... 107.54Kuwait (Dinar) .....................................0.3087Norway (Krone) ................................... 9.7140Philippines (Peso).................................50.52Poland (Zloty) .......................................... 4.00Saudi Arabia (Riyal) ...........................3.7563Singapore (Dollar) .............................. 1.4137South Korea (Won) ...........................1237.28

Switzerland (Franc)............................0.9631Thailand (Baht) ..................................... 31.82Turkey (Lira) .........................................6.8401(Military exchange rates are those available to customers at military banking facilities in the country of issuance for Japan, South Korea, Germany, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. For nonlocal currency exchange rates (i.e., purchasing British pounds in Germany), check with your local military banking facility. Commercial rates are interbank rates provided for reference when buying currency. All figures are foreign currencies to one dollar, except for the British pound, which is represented in dollars-to-pound, and the euro, which is dollars-to-euro.)


INTEREST RATESPrime rate ................................................ 3.25Discount rate .......................................... 0.25Federal funds market rate ................... 0.053-month bill ............................................. 0.1430-year bond ........................................... 1.47



















Osan74/54 Busan


The weather is provided by the American Forces Network Weather Center,

2nd Weather Squadron at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.







Morón86/61 Sigonella





Souda Bay68/63




Drawsko Pomorskie



US consumer spending sinks by record 13.6% Associated Press

WASHINGTON — U.S. con-sumer spending plunged by a record-shattering 13.6% in April as the viral pandemic shuttered businesses, forced millions of lay-offs and sent the economy into a deep recession.

Last month’s spending decline was far worse than the revised 6.9% drop in March, which itself had set a record for the steepest one-month fall in records dat-ing to 1959. Friday’s Commerce

Department figures reinforced evidence that the economy is gripped by the worst downturn in decades, with consumers unable or too anxious to spend much.

Even with employers cutting millions of jobs incomes soared 10.5% in April, reflecting billions of dollars in government pay-ments in the form of unemploy-ment aid and stimulus checks.

Friday’s report showed sharp declines in consumer spending across the board — from durable goods like cars to non-durable

items such as clothing to services ranging from doctor visits to hair-cuts. Spending tumbled 17.3% for durable goods, 16.2% for non-du-rables and 12.2% for services.

The depth of the spending drop is particularly damaging because consumer spending is the primary driver of the economy, accounting for about 70% of economic activ-ity. Last month’s figure signaled the April-June quarter will be es-pecially grim, with the economy thought to be shrinking at an an-nual rate near 40%.

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Stars and Stripes

Poland was hit with a barrage of fake news stories last week, including a phony interview with a U.S. commander ridicul-ing allied militaries, days before a major NATO exercise kicks off in the country, Polish officials said.

“The attack coincided with the begin-ning of the next phase of (the) Defender Europe-20 military exercise hosted by Po-land,” Polish government spokesman Stan-islaw Zaryn said in a lengthy statement Thursday, in which he blamed Moscow.

Hackers used “cyberattack tools” to post fake content on various news websites, in-cluding prominent Polish media groups, Zaryn said.

Among the bogus reports was a fabri-cated interview with U.S. Army Europe commander Lt. Gen. Christopher Cavoli, which was published on a website notori-ous for spreading disinformation and was then picked up by other sites, Polish offi-cials said.

The flurry of fake news comes as Poland prepares to host the Agile Spirit exercise this month, the first large-scale exercise with the U.S. since the coronavirus pan-demic forced most major training events to be canceled.

The drill is part of the Defender Europe-20 effort, which was to be the largest Army exercise on the Continent in more than 25 years but was significantly scaled back when the coronavirus hit.

Defender Europe was one of the topics covered in the fake interview with Cavoli,

with fabricated statements about a lack of preparedness for the exercise among Pol-ish and Baltic militaries attributed to the USAREUR commander.

USAREUR, in a Twitter post, quickly dismissed the information as fake.

Another phony story focused on U.S. troops who had unflattering things to say about their Polish counterparts. Among the websites that picked up the fake news

stories was the official site of the town of Orzysz in northeastern Poland, where U.S. troops are based as part of a NATO mis-sion, Polish officials said.

The disinformation campaign is an at-tempt to break down alliance cohesion, “destroy the image of the U.S.” and weak-en its engagement in Europe, and raise doubts about the reliability of countries on NATO’s eastern flank, Zaryn said.

Russia is suspected of being behind the ongoing attacks, which bear the hallmarks of previous disinformation campaigns ledby the Kremlin, Zaryn said.

“The military cooperation between theU.S. and Poland is constantly targeted byRussian activities,” he said.

Other alliance members on the eastern flank, including the Baltic states — whichwere annexed by the Soviet Union after World War II — have also been targeted inrecent months by fake news stories, someof which have seized on the coronavirus to try to undermine NATO.

In February, a phony story claimed an American soldier deployed to Lithuaniawas infected with the coronavirus. Lith-uania’s Kauno Diena newspaper said thefalse story was the work of hackers and was visible for about 10 minutes before being taken down.

Lithuania’s Defense Ministry in Aprilsaid there had been 807 cases of false ormisleading information since Februaryabout the virus, much of it focused onLithuania.

Alarmed by such cases, allies have taken to social media with greater frequency toshoot down fake stories when they pop up.

But the hackers are just as active. Nosooner were the fake articles and Cavoliinterview taken down in Poland than otherbogus reports were posted, including onethat claimed the deleted disinformation wasn’t the work of Russian hackers, but ofthe Polish authorities, Zaryn said. [emailprotected]: @john_vandiver


The Virginian-Pilot

Retired Rear Admiral Fred Lewis was 34 when he first flew an F-14 Tomcat out of Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia. It was 1974, and he was serving in one of

two squadrons at the jet base that stood up the new machine.

“It was a fantastic airplane for its time,” said Lewis, 79. “Really capable.”

But even as the F-14 became a symbol of America’s air supe-riority — and was later retired

— there was no public place in Virginia Beach to remember the plane and those who gave their lives flying it. That will soon change.

A new F-14 Tomcat monument will be installed this month in the Oceanfront’s existing Naval

Aviation Monument Park. Two monuments, each costing about $90,000, will actually be built: one at the Oceanfront and anoth-er in an aviation museum in Pen-sacola, Fla. Lewis is working on a third for San Diego.

For a time, Oceana was home

base for the Navy’s F-14 Tom-cat fleet. The two-person Tom-cats were built by GrummanAerospace and could fly high atsupersonic speeds. Pilots andradar-intercept officers would use radar-guided and heat-seek-ing missiles to target enemies.


Stars and Stripes

The Air Force on Friday an-nounced completion of an update to the official Air Force song that replaces male-only references with gender-neutral lyrics.

Most significantly, the update changed a word in the fourth line of the oft-sung first verse from “At ‘em, boys, give ‘em the gun” to “At ‘em now.”

“These new lyrics speak more accurately to all we do, all that we are and all that we strive to be as a profession of arms,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. David Goldfein said in a statement Friday. “They add proper respect and recogni-tion to everyone who serves and who has served.”

Almost 21% of the Air Force’s roughly 328,250 active-duty air-

men are women, according to Air Force statistics.

This final revision completes a process begun in February when Goldfein, who will step down this summer after a four-year tenure, approved gender-neutral changes to the song’s third verse, which serves as the U.S. Air Force Academy’s school song and is sung after athletic games.

The final line of that verse was changed from “A toast to the host of the men we boast” to “A toast to the host of those we boast.”

“The U.S. Air Force,” as it is properly named, has been the official song of the service since 1947 and is played or sung at countless Air Force events big and small each year. The original version was adopted by the Army Air Corps in 1939.

Other changes to lyrics in the

song include:� “Minds of men fashioned

a crate of thunder” to “Bril-liant minds fashioned a crate of thunder”;� “Hands of men blasted the

world asunder” to “Valiant hands blasted the world asunder”;� “Souls of men dreaming

of skies to conquer” to “Bound-less souls dreaming of skies to conquer”;� “To a friend we send a mes-

sage of his brother men who fly” to “To a friend we send a message of the brave who serve on high”; � “Flying men, guarding the

nation’s border,” to “Fly to fight, guarding the nation’s border”.

Goldfein spoke about the changes Feb. 27 during the Air Force Association’s Air War-fare Symposium in Orlando, Fla.“I want to open a conversation

here, which I hope to have over the next few months about wheth-er we also want to update the first verse,” he told the audience. “I can tell you a number of stories of women who have been giving them the gun throughout the ages but especially most recently as all combat positions are open.”

In September 2016, the Navy announced its intent to rename job titles containing the word “man,”

such as hospital corpsman, withgender-neutral descriptions.Navy leaders dropped the idea afew months later after vociferous negative feedback from sailors.

Air Force officials at the timesaid the service had no plans tomodify the catch-all descriptor of“airman.”

[emailprotected]: @WyattWOlson


Air Force rewrites official song to replace male-only references

Poland hit by fake news days before drills

New Virginia Beach monument will honor F-14 Tomcats and the pilots

BRADLY SCHNEIDER/U.S. Air National Guard

Air Force Staff Sgt. Melissa Lackore, right, and Senior Airman Paula Hunt sing the Air Force song in 2017. The Air Force has updated the song to replace male-only references.


Lt. Gen. Christopher Cavoli, U.S. Army Europe commander, is interviewed by media outlets during a visit to Drawsko Pomorskie Training Area, Poland, last year. Poland was hit by a barrage of fake news as it prepared to host a NATO exercise.

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The Augusta Chronicle

FORT GORDON, Ga. — Fort Gordon Spc. Joshua Boldendoesn’t consider himself a hero after saving a mother and twochildren from a flipped vehicleafter an accident Wednesday.

“It was just second nature to me. I was just helping. It wasn’t like I was trying to be heroic,” Boldensaid. “It was just something that you should do, you should help.That is just something everybodyshould do.”

Bolden, who is part of the 67thExpeditionary Signal Battalion at Fort Gordon, was on his way to pick up his son from the boy’s grandparents’ home when some-one ran a red light, causing athree-vehicle accident in whichone of the vehicles flipped on itsside . Bolden, 19, quickly jumped into action to help.

“My first reaction was, ‘go helpout.’ When I got to the car, the woman told me she had two kids in the back. I couldn’t find the lit-tle daughter at first because she was hanging upside down on her car seat. The son immediately un-strapped and he came to me,” hesaid. “There were a couple of peo-ple outside waiting to help, so assoon as I pulled him out of the car,I passed him off and proceeded to look for the daughter. Since shewas upside down, it was kind ofhard for me to unstrap her whileshe was suspended in the air.”

After pulling everyone to safe-ty and knowing paramedics were on the way, Bolden quietly left thescene. His superiors didn’t knowabout the incident until the next day.


The Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in the Bavarian town of Garmisch is set to reopen in mid-June, weeks after it shut its doors because of the coronavirus, said Armed Forces Recreation Cen-ters, which operates the facility.

But the June 15 reopening will come with some restric-tions, made necessary by the coronavirus.

Initially, reservations will be accepted only from eligible ser-vice members, their families and other authorized guests who re-side in Germany, AFRC said in a statement last week.

A maximum of half of the lodge’s 258 rooms will be occu-pied at any given time, but more guests will be welcomed “as soon as conditions related to COVID-19 permit,” it said.

Services and amenities offered by the resort, which sits at the

foot of Germany’s highest moun-tain, the Zugspitze, will be limit-ed, and several anti-coronavirus measures have been put in place to protect customers and staff, the statement said.

Glass partitions have been in-stalled at the reception area and other locations around the resort; all entrances and restaurants have hand sanitizer stations; and staff have been trained to ob-serve strict standards of hygiene, cleanliness and social distancing to minimize the risk of spreading the virus.

Lifts on the Zugspitze will be open, and the Alpental mini-golf course will operate during the day, the statement said. E-bikes will be available to rent at the Point Wellness Club, but the fit-ness club itself — a popular fix-ture featuring a gym, hot tub, pool and sauna — will remain closed, it said.

Guided tours of the alpine area

will be available, but group size will be limited, the statement said.

Guests should bring face masks to wear in common areas and ob-serve social distancing guidelines during their stay, it said.

Through August, the Edelweiss will allow cancelations up to two days before the start of the reser-vation, the resort says on its web-site. “We want you to only travel when you feel safe,” it says.

In addition to service mem-bers and their families, those authorized to use AFRC facilities like the Edelweiss resort include armed forces retirees, members of other uniformed services such as the public health service, dis-abled veterans, others who have separated from the military, sur-viving spouses and families, and Defense Department [emailprotected]: Manny_Stripes

Stars and Stripes

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The leader of the largest Air Force transport hub in the Far East is slated to return to the Air Force Academy this summer.

Col. Otis Jones, commander of the 374th Airlift Wing at Yokota Air Base, Japan, will replace Col. Houston Cantwell as vice super-intendent of the institution near Colorado Springs, Colo., an Air Force statement said Thursday.

Cantwell, whom the Senate confirmed earlier this year to pin on his first star, is expected to leave the academy July 3 to com-

mand NATO Alliance Ground Surveillance Force at Naval Air Station Sigonella, Italy, the state-ment said.

Jones, in his new role, will support the academy’s super-intendent, a three-star general, in directing “military training, academics, and character devel-opment programs leading to a bachelor’s degree and commis-sioning as a second lieutenant” in the Air Force or Space Force, the statement added.

Jones is no stranger to the acad-emy. He graduated in 1995 as the second-highest scorer in school basketball history, with 2,003

career points, and was a finalist for that year’s Naismith College Player of the Year award.

The Selma, Ala., native has more than 3,000 flying hours in T-37, T-44, C-130, and C-17 air-craft, according to his official bi-ography. Before coming to Japan in July 2018, he led the 19th Op-erations Group at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark.

Jones will be joining the Air Force Academy about three months after two senior cadets were found dead in their dorm rooms of suspected suicides. The deaths, which happened within 48 hours of each other, prompted

visits by top Air Force leaders and forced the academy to re-think stringent measures taken to prevent an outbreak of the coro-navirus among its roughly 1,000 seniors.

Among the changes that acad-emy officials acknowledged was the decision to allow cadets to have a roommate, if they wanted. The seniors, who graduated in April, had been largely isolated to single-person rooms while taking online classes after the academy’s roughly 3,000 underclassmen were sent home because of the [emailprotected]


Associated Press

KABUL, Afghanistan — The Islamic State took responsibility Sunday for a roadside bomb at-tack against a bus belonging to a local TV station that killed two employees.

Marwa Amini, the deputy spokeswoman for the Afghan in-terior ministry, said four other station employees were wounded in Saturday afternoon’s attack in Kabul.

In a statement on an ISIS-af-filiate website, the group said the attack was against a bus carrying employees of Khurshid TV, a sta-tion it described as “loyal to the Afghan apostate government.”

Both the Taliban and ISIS are active in the area, but ISIS has claimed the recent attacks on ci-vilian targets while the Taliban has taken responsibility for mili-tary targets. ISIS has been in-

creasingly active in Afghanistan after suffering battlefield losses to government and U.S. forces, as well as its Taliban rivals.

Mohammad Rafi Sediqi, an of-ficial with Khurshid, confirmed the deaths of two employees. He said two of the wounded were in critical condition from a bomb-ing that took place on the station’s eighth anniversary.

The attack came after the ex-piration of a truce that Taliban and Afghan nationals security forces reached during the three-day Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr, which ended Tuesday.

Sediq Sediqqi, a spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, tweeted that the Afghan govern-ment strongly condemned the heinous and cowardice attack on Khurshid TV crew in Kabul and “stand by the Afghan media.”

Afghanistan is among the most dangerous countries in the world for reporters.

ISIS claims attack on TV station bus, 2 dead

Edelweiss Resort in the Bavarian Alps to reopen

Tokyo-based chief reassigned to USAF Academy

Soldier from Fort Gordon saves family stuck in car



An Afghan security forces member inspects a bus carrying local TV station employees that hit a roadside bomb in Kabul, Afghanistan, on Saturday .

U.S. Army

The Edelweiss Lodge and Resort in Garmisch, Germany is opening its doors June 15, after being closed due to coronavirus restrictions.

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Stars and Stripes

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — The Japanese government ac-knowledged last week that the relocation within Okinawa of Ma-rine Corps Air Station Futenma to Camp Schwab in the rural north has been impeded by fur-ther construction delays and cost overruns.

The project, which had been set for completion in 2014 by bilater-al agreement, has been pushed to 2030, a spokesman for the Okina-wa Defense Bureau told Stars and Stripes on Friday. The overall cost of the new runway into Oura Bay that will one day facilitate the move has skyrocketed from a 2014 estimate of $3.3 billion to

$8.7 billion.The Defense Bureau, which

represents Japan’s Defense Min-istry on the island, submitted the updated figures to the prefectural government April 21 along with a request to change the already ap-proved and ongoing project, the spokesman said. The prefecture has up to 223 days to respond.

“We estimate the construction will be finished nine years and three months from the time the Okinawa governor approves the request,” the spokesman said.

Government spokespeople in Japan customarily speak on con-dition of anonymity as a condition of their employment.

Should Gov. Denny Tamaki, who has been adamantly opposed to the project, deny the request, the case will be headed back to

the courts, the spokesman said. Estimates for cost and completion could also go up even further.

The relocation is being funded by the government of Japan.

“By law, when a request to modify the construction has been submitted to the prefecture, we must examine the request pre-cisely and determine if the re-quest is reasonable to approve or not,” Tamaki said in a statement in April.

Marine officials on Okinawa told Stars and Stripes by email Friday afternoon that the subject matter expert for the relocation was not available to comment.

Construction of the Schwab runway has been on hold since April 17 when a civilian security guard tested positive for corona-virus. A date to resume the work

has not been set. The project dates to 1995 when

two Marines and a Navy corps-man kidnapped and raped a 12-year-old girl. During the mass protests that followed, Ginowan residents called for relocation of Futenma’s air operations.

Schwab was chosen in 1997 and a plan was unveiled in 2006.

Since then, costs and completiondates have ballooned.

Last year, then-III Marine Ex-peditionary Force commander Lt. Gen. Eric Smith extended thedeadline for completion to 2025or 2026 “or later.”[emailprotected]: @[emailprotected]: @AyaIchihashi


Stars and Stripes

VICENZA, Italy — Civilians who marry foreign nationals in Europe should expect delays obtaining U.S. documentation for their new families following the closure of the U.S. immigration office in Rome, one of the last on the Continent to remain open.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office there stopped taking visa applications as of Friday and is scheduled to close June 30.

The last remaining USCIS office in Eu-rope is in London. That office quit accept-ing new visa applications in March and will stop taking appointments June 19 be-fore its scheduled closure July 31.

The change will mean applications for immigrant visas have to be filed to a USCIS office in Dallas, then sent to the National Visa Center in Washington, D.C., and back to a U.S. embassy in Europe, where an in-terview would take place.

When handled at the Rome field office, the process took two or three months, said Karyn Begin, an immigration attorney currently living in Italy who has offices in Germany and Florida. It’s now expected to take at least 10 months, she said, partly because of an application backlog, due to reduced operations as a result of the coro-navirus pandemic.

“If you have not planned, your family will not be able to PCS with you,” Begin

said. “Quite frankly, if you are not active duty military, the moment you have a rela-tive is the moment you should file.”

Active duty service members seeking such visas are exempt from the new filing procedure. They and their spouses will be able to file at the U.S. Embassy in Rome and have their applications processed there.

The USCIS Rome office closure, one of 15 announced last year, will also affect the timeline for active duty service members seeking U.S. citizenship. They must now file applications with offices in Washing-ton, D.C., or, if based in the Pacific, Guam.

It was announced last year that four over-seas military naturalization “hubs” would

be set up, at Camp Humphreys, SouthKorea; Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan; U.S. Army Garrison Stuttgart, Germany, andNaval Support Activity Naples, Italy. Butthose offices are open only for one week,four times a year, and are only for final in-terviews and swearing-in ceremonies.

The Rome immigration office had juris-diction for Italy, Algeria, Andorra, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, France, Gibraltar,the Vatican, Kosovo, Libya, Macedonia,Malta, Mauritania, Monaco, Montenegro,Morocco, Portugal, San Marino, Serbia,Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia and Western [emailprotected]:@montgomerynance


Stars and Stripes

A Bowie State University ROTC student murdered two days after his Army commissioning in 2017 has been approved for posthu-mous promotion, four Maryland lawmakers said.

The Army’s move to promote 2nd Lt. Richard W. Collins III to first lieutenant recognizes his bravery “in the face of evil,” Dem-ocratic Reps. Steny H. Hoyer and Anthony Brown, and Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen said in a joint statement praising the decision, but calling it “overdue.”

The Army notified them of the decision to promote Collins on Wednesday, they said.

“The Army considered the standards and criteria required for an honorary promotion and found that 2LT Collins displayed exemplary conduct in the per-formance of his duties commen-surate with a first lieutenant,” said Army Secretary Ryan D.

McCarthy in a letter cited by the statement.

Collins was a model student and cadet at the university lo-cated outside Washington, Mc-

Carthy said. Defense Secretary Mark Esper concurred with the let-ter, a Penta-gon memo the lawmak-ers posted online said.

The 23-year-old was set to

graduate in May 2017 when he was stabbed while visiting the University of Maryland’s College Park campus.

In December, a jury found Sean Urbanski, 24, guilty of first-degree murder for the stabbing, but his sentencing was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

“No family should have to en-

dure the heartache felt by the Col-lins family since the tragic death of their son,” the lawmakers said in their statement. “This sense-less loss was deeply disturbing.”

Urbanski, who is white and was connected to the Facebook group “Alt-Reich: Nation,” told Collins to “step left, step left if you know what’s best for you” before the stabbing, police said, according to Annapolis’ Capital Gazette. The social media group, which has since been deleted, contained racist material, officials said.

Prosecutors sought hate crime charges against Urbanski, claim-ing that Collins was targeted be-cause he was black. But a judge dropped that charge on the grounds that the prosecution had failed to provide enough evidence that hatred was his sole moti-vation, as the law required, the newspaper reported.

The prosecutor, backed by the Collins family, had success-fully pushed the state legisla-ture to broaden Maryland’s hate

crime statutes in the wake of the decision.

In Collins’ memory, Mary-land Democrats have introduced House and Senate bills seeking to

extend some military death ben-efits to ROTC graduates and their survivors.

[emailprotected]: @chadgarland


Okinawa’s Marine airfield move delayed, over budget

Americans needing visas for families held up by office closure

ROTC student killed days after commission given honorary promotion

Collins III

Stars and Stripes

Landfill work for the construction of a Marine Corps runway at Camp Schwab, Okinawa, is seen in January 2020.

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Stars and Stripes

DONGduch*eON, South Korea — Kim Chin Ho worked hard to earn his position as a quality inspection technician at Camp Casey and has been employed by the U.S. military for more than three decades.

But he suddenly found himself job hunt-ing again after he was placed on unpaid leave on April 1, along with thousands of other South Korean employees, due to the protracted stalemate between Seoul and Washington in defense cost-sharing talks.

The unprecedented furlough of South Koreans working for U.S. Forces Korea — now in its second month — began in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, mak-ing it hard to find part-time work to make ends meet.

“My colleagues and I never thought we would be furloughed because we have been performing vital tasks for USFK,” Kim said Wednesday in an interview, his voice cracking with emotion.

“I’m going through a really tough time right now,” he said, adding that the money in his final paycheck for work he did in March was running out. “I’m worried about how I can put food on the table next month.”

No end in sight Negotiators have deadlocked over U.S.

demands that South Korea sharply in-crease the amount it pays to offset the costs for stationing some 28,500 American troops on the divided peninsula.

Both sides appeared to harden their stances in recent days, signaling that a deal remains far away. Some experts say no agreement is likely before the U.S. pres-idential election in November.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said Tuesday that Seoul has put forward its best offer, which was a 13% increase from the nearly $1 billion paid last year, according to the Yonhap News Agency.

She also confirmed that President Don-ald Trump had rejected that amount, which was much lower than the nearly fivefold increase that was reportedly the U.S. starting point when negotiations began in September.

“In fact, I think the amount was the highest possible level for us,” Kang told lawmakers, adding that the government must reach a “reasonable” deal since it would need to be ratified by the country’s newly elected National Assembly.

Her comments came days after Trump called South Korea “a very wealthy na-tion” and said it should pay more for the U.S. military presence.

“They’ve offered us a certain amount of money and I’ve rejected it,” he said in

an April 20 press briefing. “We have to be treated equitably and fairly, and so that’s where it is right now.”

The State Department hasn’t publicly revealed figures but said U.S. negotiators had lowered their initial ask. Washington is still believed to be demanding $3 billion to $4 billion per year.

Kim Chin Ho, who joined USFK as a la-borer in 1989 and worked his way up to his current position with the logistics manage-ment team at Camp Casey, just wants to get back to work.

His father worked at Camp Casey in Dongduch*eon, about 20 miles from the heavily fortified border that divides the peninsula, until he died in 1974.

“South Korea and the U.S. are brother nations in a blood alliance. I can never forget that so many Americans shed blood during the Korean War,” he said, bursting into tears. “But now this has happened and I’m sad. Why is the U.S. putting the screws on our government, setting ridiculous conditions?”

Kim said his wife is battling cancer and his son is attending university so he needs to earn money but few jobs are available because of the coronavirus. He has signed up to take the test to become a taxi driver next month.

Alliance worriesThe dispute threatens to jeopardize the

long-standing U.S.-South Korean alliance and disrupt the U.S. military’s readiness to

fight amid a growing nuclear threat from the North.

While polls show that overall support for the alliance remains strong in South Korea, anti-American protests have occurred, with activists accusing the Trump admin-istration of trying to extort money and using American troops as “mercenaries.”

South Korea has supported U.S. troops under the Special Measures Agreement since 1991, with most of the funds used to pay more than 9,000 local employees, lo-gistical support and construction projects.

“Rather than have a balanced, fact-based debate on the costs and merits of U.S. military presence abroad, the Trump administration has chosen an all-or-noth-ing approach that he likely believes will get him reelected in November,” said Jessica Lee of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, a think tank in Washington, D.C.

“South Korean President Moon Jae-in currently has high approval ratings and his party has secured a parliamentary ma-jority, giving him a broad mandate. There is no reason for Moon to cede to Trump’s power moves,” she said in an email.

“The SMA dispute will ultimately erode support for the U.S.-[South Korea] alliance and accelerate calls by South Koreans for the U.S. military to reduce its footprint or leave altogether,” Lee added.

The most recent Special Measures Agreement expired at the end of last year. USFK had been making up for the shortfall with programed funds, but that money ran out on March 31, triggering the furloughs after months of warnings.

USFK commander Gen. Robert Abrams said he was able to keep about 4,500 local employees at work after the Defense De-partment agreed to additional funding for “critical” logistics cost-sharing con-tracts and positions essential for main-taining “life, health, safety and minimum readiness.”

He called the need to place the oth-ers on unpaid leave “heartbreaking” and promised to continue lobbying both sides to reach an agreement “in order to end the partial furlough.”

USFK said the furloughed employees may return to work once a new deal is reached, but that also makes them ineli-gible for unemployment benefits.

With no end in sight, the South Koreangovernment has notified the U.S. that it ismoving forward with plans to enact legis-lation that would provide support for thefurloughed workers. South Korean mediahave reported that sum would then be de-ducted from its contribution under the nextagreement.

The State Department declined to con-firm or comment on the wage proposal as a matter of policy but called for more com-promise from Seoul.

“We have shown significant flexibility inrecent weeks in order to reach a mutuallyacceptable agreement,” a spokesman saidin an email on Monday. “We’re looking forfurther compromise from the [South Ko-rean] government as well.”

The U.S. rejected a previous suggestion by South Korea to expedite a separate wage deal and negotiate the rest later, citing the need for a comprehensive agreement.

The South Korean employees have beencaught in the middle, but USFK also has had to adjust its operations due to the reduc-tion in manpower, raising concerns about anegative impact on fighting capabilities.

Mitigating measures The military said it has implemented

measures to mitigate the hardships andensure essential services such as the hos-pital, law enforcement and others areuninterrupted.

“It’s too early to tell about the furloughsand its impacts to installation servicesas we’ve overlapped with COVID-19,” said USFK spokesman Col. Lee Peters, referring to the disease caused by thecoronavirus.

“As we’ve maintained minimal manning levels, we don’t assess a decline in readi-ness,” he added. “Overall, we maintain ahigh level of readiness and committed toa robust combined defense posture to pro-tect South Korea.”

Yi Taeki, a 59-year-old kitchen workerat a dining facility on Camp Hovey, said he thinks soldiers or local contractors areprobably washing dishes in his place.

“I don’t think the two sides are likely to seal the deal easily, and that will leave me high and dry,” he said recently, sitting in a park near his apartment in Dongduch*eon.

He has been spending his days playingwith his 4-year-old grandson at home butwill need to find part-time work soon.

“I received my wages for my work inMarch, but I haven’t heard anything spe-cial from the government yet,” Yi said. “I have to make a living.”

Cho Mi Kyong, 45, said the furlough wasa double whammy for her family becauseher husband works in the tourism industry, which has been paralyzed by the coronavi-rus crisis.

She had to pull her two children from their private schools and cut otherexpenses.

Cho, who works at a dining facility atCamp Humphreys, the main U.S. basein the rural area of Pyeongtaek, south ofSeoul, said she suddenly feels expendableafter years of being told she played an im-portant role in USFK’s mission.

“Many KNEs worked for USFK for 10,20 or 30 years,” she said, using the acro-nym for Korean National Employees. “Nowsoldiers and subcontract workers are doing their jobs, although they can’t work at thesame level. I feel a sense of shame.”[emailprotected]: @[emailprotected]

S. Korean workers fear extended furloughPACIFIC

KIM GAMEL/Stars and Stripes

Yi Taeki, 59, has been employed by U.S. Forces Korea as a kitchen workers at Camp Casey for 31 years, but he was placed on unpaid leave. Speaking near his home in Dongduch*eon on April 24, Yi said he may have to get a part-time job if the furlough continues much longer.

Members of the South Korean employees’ union protest the U.S. Forces Korea furlough outside the main gate at Camp Humphreys, South Korea, on April 1 .

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• S T A R S A N D S T R I P E S • F3HIJKLM PAGE 7Monday, June 1, 2020


Costly: Troops struggle to find space for pets during moves due to pandemic FROM FRONT PAGE

a worldwide pet shipping compa-ny on Hawaii that serves primar-ily military customers.

United Airlines stopped flying pets in its cargo compartments in March, Mendoza said, and most carriers on international flights are requiring customers to use pet shippers, rather than allow-ing pets to fly as excess baggage — a less costly option.

“Coming out of Europe, pricing has more than doubled,” she said of pet shipping. In Asia, Men-doza said prices are “absolutely insane,” citing a recent price shared by a colleague of $14,000 to move two German shepherds on Korean Airlines from Incheon to the United States.

Start making plans as early as possible, she advised, and get quotes from more than one ship-per. It may cost less to fly com-mercial on airline carriers with pet spaces than go by military air and pay a company to ship one’s pet, Mendoza said. But those spaces are hard to find on inter-national flights.

It doesn’t appear the Pentagon

will make an exception to the Joint Travel Regulations and re-imburse military personnel for transporting their pets during the pandemic.

Chief Master Sgt. Ramon Colon-Lopez, senior enlisted ad-viser to Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, said during a virtual town hall meeting May 14 that the military would “look into” an exemption.

In a statement to Stars and Stripes on Thursday, U.S. Trans-portation Command officials said pet travel in conjunction with a relocation “would continue to be funded by the traveler.”

In-cabin pet spaces aboard Patriot Express missions were temporarily increased last month from 10 to 20 spaces “to support the anticipated influx of passen-gers traveling with pets,” trans-portation officials said.

Cats or small dogs — up to about 15 pounds — can fly in the cabin aboard Patriot Express flights, but they must ride in a carrier that fits under the seat, said Sabine Fehrentz, the passen-ger travel lead at Ramstein.

Some C-17 flights with pet spaces were added to move pas-sengers out of Ramstein for sum-mer moves, officials at Ramstein’s passenger terminal said Friday.

Those weren’t added in time to help Stephanie Sparkes-Schul-theiss Benson and her family. About three weeks ago, Benson’s husband, an Air Force lieutenant colonel, found out he had to be in Hawaii for his next assignment in June.

But there were no pet spaces available on the Patriot Express for Jax, the family’s wired fox terrier.

After numerous phone calls to the airlines, they found a solution. The family will fly with Jax on Lufthansa from Frankfurt to Chi-cago. Then they’ll take two more flights on Alaska Airlines from Seattle and then onto Hawaii, to complete a 38-hour journey.

“There is a way,” she said. “It was the biggest relief we’ve hadbecause that was the one thing — we’re like, ‘We have to leaveand we are not leaving our dog behind, so what do we do?’ ”

“They’re trying to make itwork,” she said of the military andpet travel. “I just think there’s no great solution.”

[emailprotected]: @stripesktown

JENNIFER H. SVAN/Stars and Stripes

Air Force Tech. Sgt. Gregory Oakley checks on his pet Corgi, Fritzi, while preparing to board a Patriot Express flight to the States on Friday at Ramstein Air Base, Germany.

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• S T A R S A N D S T R I P E S •PAGE 8 F3HIJKLM Monday, June 1, 2020



Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Tens of thousands of mosques across Saudi Arabia reopened Sunday for the first time in more than two months, but worshipers have been ordered to follow strict guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as Islam’s holi-est site in Mecca remained closed to the public.

The Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusa-lem, the third-holiest site for Mus-lims after Saudi Arabia’s Mecca and Medina, also reopened for prayers for the first time since it closed in mid-March. Throngs waited outside the holy site’s gates before it opened early Sun-day, with many wearing surgical masks. As they were allowed to enter, the faithful stopped to have their temperature measured.

The mosque was one of Jerusa-lem’s many holy sites, including the Church of the Holy Sepul-cher and the Western Wall, that were restricted to worshipers at the height of Israel’s coronavi-rus outbreak. Throughout that period, worshipers continued to pray in the alleyways outside the mosque.

In Saudi Arabia, the govern-ment prepared for the reopening of around 90,000 mosques after sanitizing prayer rugs, wash-rooms and shelves holding cop-ies of the Quran, the Muslim holy book.

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs said that millions of text messag-es were sent to people in multiple

languages to inform them about the new rules for public prayer, which include keeping a 6-foot distance between people during prayer, wearing face masks at all times and abstaining from greet-ing one another with handshakes or hugs.

Children under 15 years-

old will not be allowed inside mosques. The elderly and those with chronic conditions are being told to pray at home. People are also being advised to perform the mandatory ablution at home since washrooms at mosques will be closed, to use hand sanitizers and to bring their own prayer rugs

and copies of the Quran.The restrictions call for

mosques to open just 15 min-utes before each of the five daily prayers and to close 10 minutes after they conclude. Friday ser-mons and prayers are to last no longer than 15 minutes.

The new measures come as

Saudi Arabia and other countriesaround the world begin to loosen restrictions and stay-at-home or-ders following weeks of curfewsand lock downs.

The Grand Mosque in Mecca,however, which houses the cube-shaped Kaaba that Muslimsaround the world pray toward,will remain closed to the public. The city has been under a strictlock down for several weeks. Themosque in Medina where theProphet Muhammad is buried will be partially opened to thepublic to pray outside.

The continued closure of Meccapoints to the increasing likelihoodthat the kingdom may suspendthis year’s annual Muslim hajj pilgrimage, which falls in lateJuly. Already, a senior Saudi offi-cial has told prospective pilgrims not to plan for the hajj this yearamid the global pandemic.

Despite taking early and un-precedented measures to curb thespread of the virus, Saudi Arabia has recorded more than 83,000 people contracting the virus, in-cluding 480 deaths.

Meanwhile, Israel has weath-ered the coronavirus better thanother harder-hit countries. It hasrecorded fewer than 300 deathsand has managed to mostly keepits daily infection count to thelow dozens since the beginning of May. But it also imposed se-vere restrictions that battered itseconomy and sent its unemploy-ment rate skyrocketing. Many ofthose restrictions, including onplaces of worship, began to be eased earlier this month.


Associated Press

Many states have yet to spend the federal funding they received more than a month ago to help with soaring costs related to the coronavirus crisis, complicating governors’ arguments that they need hundreds of billions more from U.S. taxpayers.

The Associated Press reviewed plans from governors or lawmak-ers on how they plan to use the money from the coronavirus re-lief bill, and found that at least a dozen states have started distrib-uting the money. But far more have not.

The reasons vary. Some gover-nors want permission to use the federal aid to plug budget holes after business closures and stay-at-home orders eroded the tax revenue that pays for government operations. Others are holding back because they fear that a re-surgence of the virus could mean another wave of expenses. And in other states, governors and law-makers are wrestling over who controls the spending decisions

“If I knew today that another billion dollars was coming to Rhode Island to help solve our budget deficit, I’d spend the $1.25 billion now,” Democratic Gov.

Gina Raimondo said about the state’s portion of the money.

Of other states that have start-ed spending the aid, she said: “They’re taking a gamble, and I’m just not ready to do that yet.”

Congress approved $150 bil-lion for state and local govern-ments in late March as part of a $2.2 trillion response to the virus outbreak, and the money was dis-tributed within a month.

In May, the House approved an additional $3 trillion aid package, with nearly a third of that dedicat-ed to state and local governments. Republicans have said that it’s too much and want to move slowly in the Senate, preferring to see how states spend the first batch of money.

“We need to slow down a little bit here, see what works best in the CARES Act, see what mis-takes were made, weigh the con-sequences of having debt this size in terms of the future of our coun-try and then cautiously make a decision about whether there should be another bill,” Senate Majority Leader Mitch McCon-nell said this past week at a news conference in his home state of Kentucky.

On a call with governors, Vice President Mike Pence said that a majority of states had not yet sent

money to cities and counties, some of which had to furlough staff as tax revenue dropped sharply. He encouraged them “with great re-spect” to get money out the door.

The AP survey found that at least 32 states are considering sharing a portion of the federal aid with local governments.

Governors have said that more federal help is important because they need to approve balanced budgets before the start of the fis-cal year, which for most is July 1. Several states — including Cali-fornia, the most populous — are projecting deficits equal to about 20% of the budgets they proposed before the virus took hold.

They’re warning about deep cuts to K-12 education and other core services, as well as layoffs, furloughs or pay cuts for state workers.

Congress intended for the money to primarily address gov-ernments’ rising costs to respond to the virus outbreak. U.S. Trea-sury Department guidance says that states must use most of it for that purpose, not to make up for lost tax revenue.

The limits were one reason Ala-bama lawmakers scrapped a pro-posal to use some of their funding to build a new Capitol building.

“The number one priority is

to use the money for revenue replacement,” said Tennessee Finance and Administration Com-missioner Butch Eley. “But that’s not permitted at this time.”

In Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey said that he’s giving local govern-ments leeway on how they spend their allocations.

“I don’t like it when the federal government makes governors stand in line and beg, ‘Mother may I?’” the Republican said dur-ing a discussion with mayors this week. “And I don’t want to do that to our local leaders, either.”

Some states are using part of their federal aid as reimburse-ment for the costs of coronavi-rus testing, contact tracing and other health-related costs of the pandemic. Others have plans to replenish fast-depleting unem-ployment insurance funds, buy more laptops so that government employees can work remotely and help schools cover the costs of holding classes online.

Arkansas and North Dakota have considered using the federal money for hazard pay for front-line workers. North Carolina and Wyoming are using it to start grant or loan programs for busi-nesses. Other states, including New Jersey and Colorado, plan to use it for rental, mortgage or util-

ity assistance.In some states, such as Texas

and Florida, spending decisions aren’t being made quickly because the legislatures are out of session. Idaho is holding on to $800 mil-lion, or nearly two-thirds of its $1.2 billion allocation, in case of a future wave of coronavirus cases.

Elsewhere, how the money is being spent — or even who gets to decide — has created a rift.

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities blasted Gov. Ned Lamont for using $2 million to pay a consultant for reopen-ing plans while taking longer to send money to cities and counties. Lamont, a Democrat, said help is on the way.

Lawmakers and governors in several states are arguing over who controls the money. In New Hampshire, the disagreement led to a lawsuit.

Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, a Republican, said that he had the authority to spend the $1.2 bil-lion under a 40-year-old state law. Lawmakers, however, said that the state Constitution gives them spending power.

They eventually agreed to coop-erate. Since then, Reeves signed a bill adopted by lawmakers that will allocate $300 million to small businesses.

Mosques reopen in Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem

While asking for more, states have been slow to spend virus aid


Saudi cleric Hammoud Al-Labban recites the call to prayers as worshippers wearing face masks and observing social distancing guidelines to protect against the coronavirus attend dawn prayers at al-Mirabi Mosque in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, on Sunday .

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• S T A R S A N D S T R I P E S • F3HIJKLM PAGE 9Monday, June 1, 2020


Associated Press

NEW YORK — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Sat-urday granting death benefits to the families of police officers, public health workers and other front-line workers who have died of the coronavirus.

The bill passed by state law-makers this past week provides an accidental death benefit that is more substantial than the regular death benefit that public workers’ families receive. Dozens of police officers, public health workers, transit workers and paramed-ics have died of COVID-19 in the months since New York became the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States.

Cuomo said that 67 people died of COVID-19 in the state Friday, the same number as Thursday and a steep drop from the height of New York’s outbreak in April when more than 700 people were dying of the virus daily.

Speaking in the Bronx, Cuomo said that he will focus this week on providing more testing for the coronavirus and more supplies like masks to neighborhoods in the outer boroughs of New York City where infection rates remain stubbornly high.

Arkansas LITTLE ROCK — The num-

ber of confirmed coronavirus cases in Arkansas has surpassed 7,000 and one additional death is reported due to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, the Arkansas Department of Health reported Saturday.

The department said that there are now at least 7,013 cases and 133 deaths, up from 6,777 cases and 132 deaths reported Friday.

The state health department reported that 5,166 people have recovered from the virus and that 104 were hospitalized, down from 113 hospitalizations reported on Friday.

Delaware WILMINGTON — A fed-

eral judge and a federal appeals panel have rejected a request from a Delaware preacher for an emergency injunction to lift state restrictions on church wor-ship to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Neither the ruling Friday from a judge in Wilmington nor the 2-1 ruling Saturday from the federal appeals court in Philadelphia have ended the matter. They only leave the restrictions in place while a judge considers the mer-its of the issue.

Christopher Allan Bullock, a well-known Wilmington pastor and community activist, had re-

quested an emergency injunction to lift the restrictions ahead of Sunday, which was Pentecost.

Judge Colm Connolly said that the pastor could not prove he would be irreparably harmed, a legal standard that is required for issuing an injunction. But he made clear in his ruling that Bullock’s claims “implicate one of our most treasured rights pro-tected by the Constitution — the right to exercise freely one’s reli-gion.” And he said that he would give Bullock’s arguments full consideration.

Iowa DES MOINES — Iowa report-

ed another 345 coronavirus cases Saturday, surpassing 19,000 total for the pandemic, with another nine COVID-19-related deaths.

The state Department of Public health reported that the number of coronavirus cases rose 1.8% since Friday afternoon, bringing the total to 19,243. The number of COVID-19-related deaths in the pandemic rose 1.7% to 531, the department said.

More than half of the state’s confirmed cases were concen-trated in six counties: Polk, Woodbury, Black Hawk, Linn, Marshall and Dallas.

The state health department said that 43% of cases were in adults 18 to 40, and another 36% in adults 41 to 60. While adults 61 and older accounted for 19% of confirmed cases as of Saturday, they were 87% of the deaths.

Kansas WICHITA — Hundreds of peo-

ple in Kansas’ largest city flocked to bars and clubs on the first week-end they were open after Gov. Laura Kelly and local officials lifted restrictions meant to check the spread of the coronavirus.

By 11 p.m. Friday, bars in the Old Town district of downtown Wichita were packing in cus-tomers for a celebration after being closed for two months, The Wichita Eagle reported. Knots of people moved through the streets, hugging friends they met and, in some cases, even turning cartwheels.

Bars and clubs in Wichita re-opened as the state reported Fri-day that coronavirus cases had surpassed 9,200. Johns Hopkins University on Saturday reported more than 9,600 cases, with 215 COVID-19-related deaths.

Kelly last week converted her directives for a phased reopen-ing of the Kansas economy into recommendations for local of-ficials to follow. Her reopening plan would have kept bars and nightclubs further closed over the weekend.

NY passes bill for front-line worker death benefits


Women dressed like characters from The Handmaid’s Tale demonstrate Saturday against all government restrictions related to concern about the spread of COVID-19 outside the Statehouse in Boston.

Maryland COLLEGE PARK — The 12

state schools that constitute the University System of Maryland will use a mix of in-person and remote learning when they re-open in the fall.

The system, which includes the flagship University of Maryland at College Park, announced a framework Friday for schools to respond to the coronavirus.

Each school will announce its own plans in the next two weeks as to how they’ll adjust their cal-endars and classroom settings. The release said that all schools will provide at least some on-cam-pus, in-person instruction in com-bination with remote learning.

Some schools may adjust calen-dars to start the fall semester as early as July so that the semester can conclude by Thanksgiving. All schools will enact plans to re-duce crowding in residence and dining halls.

Mississippi JACKSON — The Mississippi

Department of Corrections said that it will soon restart the trans-fer of inmates from county jails into state prisons and from one prison to another — a practice that has been on hold for about two months because of the coro-navirus pandemic.

The department said in a news release Friday that transfers will be done in a “limited, controlled and safe manner,” beginning in mid-June.

Mississippi has about 18,000 prisoners in custody. As of Fri-day, 28 inmates and 17 employees had tested positive for COVID-19, the department said. Advocates for inmate safety have questioned whether Mississippi is doing enough testing for the highly con-tagious virus.

Inmates will be quarantined for least 14 days before being moved out of South Mississippi Correc-tional Institution, Central Missis-sippi Correctional Facility or the privately run Tallahatchie County Correctional Facility. The release did not mention the transfer of in-mates out of the other large state-run prison, the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.

Nebraska LINCOLN — Nebraska contin-

ued Saturday to see an increase in coronavirus infections, with confirmed cases approaching 14,000. It also reported another six COVID-19-related deaths.

State Department of Health and Human Services data showed that the number of coronavirus cases rose by 4.9% or 644 from Thurs-day night to Saturday evening, to 13,905 since the pandemic began. The state is now reporting 170

COVID-19-related deaths, up 3.7% since Thursday night.

Despite steady increases in cases, Gov. Pete Ricketts hasmoved to ease social distancingrestrictions starting Monday. The relaxed rules will allow for largercrowds at public events, and bars and other attractions will be ableto reopen for the first time inmonths.

South Carolina COLUMBIA — Hundreds

more cases of the coronaviruswere reported Saturday in SouthCarolina. The South CarolinaDepartment of Health and En-vironmental Control announced 266 new cases and four additionaldeaths. Those numbers bring thetotal number of people confirmedto have COVID-19 in South Caro-lina to 11,394 and those who havedied to 487.

Two elderly individuals in Wil-liamsburg County were among the latest deaths, in addition to one elderly person in ClarendonCounty and one in a middle-agedindividual from Florence County.

As of Saturday, the data alsoshows that 199,735 total tests have been conducted in the state.

To reach more people in under-served and rural communities,the state has scheduled 103 mo-bile testing events through July2.

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Stars and Stripes

TOKYO — A popular, land-mark tourist spot reopened in Tokyo with the recent easing of a state of emergency imposed by the Japanese government nearly two months ago to curb the coro-navirus pandemic.

Tokyo Tower, an iconic red and white communications and obser-vation structure in central Tokyo, opened its doors Thursday for the first time since April 8, according to the tower’s website.

However, the popular tour-ist destination will operate with shorter hours than usual, with the main deck open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m daily.

The number of visitors rid-ing the elevator at one time will be limited as an anti-coronavi-rus measure, the tower’s website stated.

However, every day until June 14 visitors may take the 600-step outside stairs to the main deck, which is usually open only on weekends and holidays. The stair-way, which rises 500 feet, will be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., weather permitting, with last access at 7:30 p.m., the website states.

The higher observation floor at 820 feet is accessible only by join-ing a top-deck, special elevator tour instead of the usual top-deck tour. The 8,000 yen-per-group tour (about $75) is limited to groups of four, which allows fam-ilies and close friends to partici-pate without sharing the elevator with strangers.

The usual multilingual record-ed guide and binoculars are not available for rental.

All visitors are asked to wear masks and agree to a tempera-ture screening at the entrance,according to the website.

Other spots, such as museums,are also beginning to resumeoperations.

The National Museum of Na-ture and Science in the Ueno dis-trict of the city is reopening on Monday, though reservations arerequired to visit. The Tokyo Na-tional Museum, also in Ueno, isscheduled to reopen on Tuesday.

Most museums and facilities in Tokyo closed after the Japanesegovernment, faced with a risingnumber of coronavirus cases, de-clared an emergency April 7 inTokyo and several other prefec-tures. The declaration was laterextended nationwide before beinglifted on May 25.

Japan counted 16,719 coronavi-rus infected cases and 874 deaths as of Thursday, according to Min-istry of Health, Labour and Wel-fare news release.

Tokyo, considered hardest hitby the virus in Japan, on Thurs-day reported just four new casesfrom the previous day for a totalof 15, according to the metropoli-tan government website. Sinceearly April, the city has reported5,195 cases.

Blue Impulse, the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s aerobaticdemonstration team, flew overTokyo on Friday afternoon tothank and honor medical person-nel combatting the virus. It was only the third time Blue Impulseflew over Tokyo, Defense Minis-ter Taro Kono said on [emailprotected]: @HanaKusumoto

Stars and Stripes

SEOUL, South Korea — Two newly as-signed American soldiers tested positive for the coronavirus after arriving in South Korea on a government-chartered flight from the United States, the military said Saturday.

The confirmation raised to 30 the num-ber of coronavirus cases linked to U.S. Forces Korea, including six active-duty service members, but the command said

all other patients have recovered.The soldiers were tested according to

procedure after arriving on the Patriot Express at Osan Air Base on Wednesday and received the results while in manda-tory quarantine at Camp Humphreys, ac-cording to a press release.

“Since testing positive, the soldiers have been moved to Camp Humphreys’ isola-tion barracks designated for confirmed COVID-19 cases,” USFK said, referring to

the disease that is caused by the virus.USFK health professionals cleaned and

disinfected the plane, the quarantine bus and the soldiers’ quarantine rooms.

However, officials said there was a lim-ited need for contact tracing since all ar-rivals in South Korea must be tested and quarantined for two weeks as part of mea-sures aimed at preventing the further spread of the virus.

Only two service members contracted

the respiratory disease while in SouthKorea. The others tested positive upon ar-rival from abroad.

“USFK remains at a high level of readi-ness with only two active duty servicemembers who are currently confirmed positive for COVID-19 as all other USFK-affiliated persons have recovered,” it said.

At least 28,500 American service mem-bers are stationed in South [emailprotected]


Stars and Stripes

TOKYO — Army posts in Japan have relaxed some restric-tions imposed on service mem-bers to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

U.S. Army Japan announced late Friday afternoon that those living in on-base family housing or in off-post homes paid for by the government may “engage in restricted parties or social gath-erings of up to 10 people.” The limit for soldiers living in bar-racks rooms is four people.

“All personnel are required to continue to practice social dis-tancing, use of personal protec-tive equipment and enhanced sanitation,” the statement said.

The rules are effective immediately.

Starting Monday, limited dine-

in options will be offered at Army posts in Japan, the announcement said. Social distancing measures will be enforced.

No changes have been made to off-post dining restrictions, which are limited to takeout within 10 kilometers, or 6.2 miles, of a per-son’s duty station.

Also on Friday, U.S. Army Gar-rison Japan, based at Camp Zama near Tokyo, announced that a worker at Sagamihara Yaei Post Office near the Army’s Sagami General Depot had tested positive for the coronavirus.

The post office will remain off limits to all U.S. Army Japan per-sonnel through June 12, the an-nouncement said.

“Anyone who visited that post office since May 12 should im-mediately contact their chain-of-command,” it added.

The updates come less than a

week after Japanese Prime Min-ster Shinzo Abe ended a 42-day state of emergency in all areas of Japan, including Tokyo, where the pandemic was most deeply felt. People were asked but not forced to stay at home; nones-sential businesses were asked to close or reduce operations.

U.S. military bases in the Tokyo metro area remain under a public health emergency declared April 15 by U.S. Forces Japan. Restric-tions vary by installation but typically limit travel to off-base homes and workplaces and shop-ping for essential services only.

Those restrictions are sched-uled to end June 14, except at Yo-kota Air Base in western Tokyo, where they may last until June [emailprotected]:@sethrobson1


Associated Press

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE — President Donald Trump said Saturday that he will postpone until the fall a meeting of Group of 7 nations he had planned to hold next month at the White House despite the ongoing coro-navirus pandemic. And he said he plans to invite Russia, Austra-lia, South Korea and India as he again advocated for the group’s expansion.

He said he had not yet set a new date for the meeting, but thought the gathering could take place in September, around the time of the annual meeting of the United Nations in New York, or perhaps after the U.S. election in November.

Alyssa Farah, White House director of strategic communica-tions, said that Trump wanted to bring in some of the country’s tra-ditional allies and those impacted by the coronavirus to discuss the

future of China.The surprise announcement

came after German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s office said Satur-day that she would not attend the meeting unless the course of the coronavirus spread had changed by then.

The leaders of the world’s major economies were slated to meet in June in the U.S. at Camp David, the presidential retreat in Mary-land, but the coronavirus out-break hobbled those plans. Trump announced in March he was can-celing the summit because of the pandemic and that the leaders would confer by video conference instead. But Trump then switched course, saying a week ago that he was again planning to host an in-person meeting.

“Now that our Country is ‘Transitioning back to Greatness’, I am considering rescheduling the G-7, on the same or similar date, in Washington, D.C., at the legendary Camp David,” Trump tweeted. “The other members are also beginning their COME-BACK. It would be a great sign to

all — normalization!”The G7 members are Canada,

France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the Unit-ed States. The group’s presidency rotates annually among member countries.

Trump has repeatedly advo-cated for expanding the group to include Russia, prompting op-position from some members, in-cluding Canada’s Justin Trudeau, who told reporters he had private-ly aired his objection to Russian readmittance.

“Russia has yet to change the behavior that led to its expulsion in 2014, and therefore should not be allowed back into the G7,” he said at a news conference.

The House also passed a bi-partisan resolution in December 2019 that supports Russia’s pre-vious expulsion from the annual gathering.

Russia had been invited to at-tend the gathering of the world’s most advanced economies since 1997, but was suspended in 2014 following its invasion of Ukraine and annexation of Crimea.


Trump postpones G7, considers adding members

AKIFUMI ISHIKAWA/Stars and Stripes

People visit Zojoji, a Buddhist temple near Tokyo Tower, Thursday.

Iconic Tokyo Tower reopens for visitors after 2 months

Two soldiers test positive for virus after arriving in South Korea from US

Army relaxing restrictions for members at Japanese posts

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Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS — Ameri-cans awoke Sunday to charred and glass-strewn streets in doz-ens of cities after another night of unrest fueled by rage over the mistreatment of African Ameri-cans at the hands of police, who responded to the chaos with tear gas and rubber bullets.

Tens of thousands marched peacefully to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died last Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck until he stopped breathing. But many demonstrations sank into may-hem as night fell: Cars and busi-nesses were torched. The words “I can’t breathe” were spray-painted all over buildings. The damaged buildings include many near the White House.

The scale of the protests, ex-tending to nearly every part of the country and unfolding on a single night, seemed to rival the historic demonstrations of the civil rights and Vietnam eras. And by Sunday morning, the outrage had spread to Europe, where thousands gathered in London’s Trafalgar Square. Despite government rules barring crowds because of the COVID-19 pandemic, demon-strators clapped and waved plac-ards as they offered support to U.S. demonstrators.

“We’re sick of it. The cops are out of control,” protester Olga Hall said in Washington, D.C. “They’re wild. There’s just been too many dead boys.”

People set fire to squad cars, threw bottles at officers and bust-ed windows of storefronts. They carried away TVs and other items even as some protesters urged them to stop. In Indianapolis, two people were reported dead after multiple shootings that happened during downtown violence. Those slayings added to deaths reported in Detroit and Minneapolis in re-cent days.

In Minneapolis, the city where the protests began, police, state troopers and National Guard members moved in soon after an 8 p.m. curfew took effect to break up the demonstrations.

President Donald Trump ap-peared to cheer on the tougher tactics Saturday night, commend-ing the National Guard deploy-ment in Minneapolis, declaring “No games!” and saying police in New York City “must be allowed to do their job!”

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden condemned the violence as he continued to express common cause with those demonstrating after Floyd’s death.

“The act of protesting should never be allowed to overshadow the reason we protest,” Biden said in a late-night statement.

On Sunday, maintenance crews near the White House worked to replace windows that had been completely shattered with large pieces of wood. Buildings for blocks were marked with graffiti, including curses about Trump and anti-police sentiments. Shat-tered glass still covered the side-walks. The damaged buildings included the Department of Vet-erans Affairs, directly across the street from the White House.

Cleanup soon began in cities across the country. In Madison, Wis ., hundreds of volunteers gathered to pick up after the vio-lence that included setting a po-lice squad car on fire, stealing from businesses and breaking windows at dozens of stores and an art museum.

Few corners of America were untouched, from protesters set-ting fires inside Reno’s city hall, to police launching tear gas at rock-throwing demonstrators in Fargo, N.D . In Salt Lake City, demonstrators flipped a police car and lit it on fire. Police said six people were arrested and an officer was injured after being struck in the head with a baseball bat.

Overnight curfews were im-posed in more than a dozen major cities nationwide, includ-ing Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Seattle.

At least 13 police officers were injured in Philadelphia, and at least four police vehicles were set on fire. In New York City, danger-ous confrontations flared repeat-edly as officers made arrests and cleared streets. A video showed

two NYPD cruisers lurching into a crowd of demonstrators who were pushing a barricade against one of them and pelting it with objects. Several people were knocked to the ground. It was un-clear if anyone was hurt.

“The mistakes that are hap-pening are not mistakes. They’re repeated violent terrorist offens-es, and people need to stop killing black people,” Brooklyn protester Meryl Makielski said.

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp au-thorized the deployment of up to 3,000 National Guard troops to Athens, Savannah and any other cities where more demonstra-tions were planned Sunday. Kemp had already approved up to 1,500 Guardsmen to help enforce a 9 p.m. Saturday curfew in Atlanta.

“The protesters need to know we’re going to support their ef-forts in a peaceful, nonviolent protest,” the Republican told tele-vision station WSB late Saturday. “The agitators need to know that we’ll be there ... to take them to jail if they’re destroying lives and property.”

T he unrest recalled the riots in Los Angeles nearly 30 years ago

after the acquittal of the white police officers who beat Rodney King, a black motorist who had led them on a high-speed chase. The protests of Floyd’s killing have gripped many more cities, but the losses in Minneapolis

have yet to approach the stagger-ing totals Los Angeles saw during five days of rioting in 1992, whenmore than 60 people died, 2,000-plus were injured and thousandsarrested, with property damage topping $1 billion.

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — The mayor of Atlanta, one of dozens of U.S. cities hit by massive protests in recent days, has a message for demonstrators: “If you were out protesting last night, you prob-ably need to go get a COVID test this week.”

As more beaches, churches, schools and businesses reopened worldwide, civil unrest in the United States over repeated ra-cial injustice is raising fears of new coronavirus outbreaks in a country that has seen more infec-tions and deaths than anywhere

else in the world.Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance

Bottoms warned that “there is still a pandemic in America that’s killing black and brown people at higher numbers.”

Violent protests over the death of George Floyd have shaken the country from New York City to Minneapolis, from Atlanta to Los Angeles. Some protests have turned into riots and clashes with police, leaving stores burned and torched cars in the streets. City officials have ordered overnight curfews to quell the violence.

Floyd, a black man, died May

25 in Minneapolis after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck. It was the latest in a se-ries of deaths of black men and women at the hands of police in America.

Health experts fear that silent carriers of the virus who have no symptoms could unwittingly infect others at protests where people are packed cheek to jowl, many without masks.

“Whether they’re fired up or not, that doesn’t prevent them from getting the virus,” said Bradley Pollock, chairman of the Department of Public Health Sci-

ences at the University of Califor-nia, Davis.

The U.S. has seen over 1.7 mil-lion infections and nearly 104,000 deaths in the pandemic, which has disproportionately affected racial minorities in a nation that does not have universal health care.

The Minnesota health commis-sioner warned that the protests are almost certain to fuel new infections.

“We have two crises that are sandwiched on top of one other,” Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said.

Even for the many protest-ers wearing masks, those don’tguarantee protection. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control andPrevention says cloth masks keepinfected people from spreading the virus but are not designed to protect wearers from getting it.

More than 6 million infectionshave been reported worldwide, with nearly 370,000 deaths, ac-cording to a tally by Johns Hop-kins University. The true deathtoll is believed to be significantly higher, with experts saying manyvictims died of the virus without ever being tested.


A man walks past a damaged building following overnight protests over the death of George Floyd Sunday in Minneapolis, Minn.



Three protesters, in the background, marching in support of detained migrants Sunday in Nicosia, Cyprus, hold up placards to demonstrate their solidarity with African-American man George Floyd who died after a police officer pressed a knee on his neck.

Protests, unrest continue, spread into Europe

Massive protests raise fears of new coronavirus outbreaks

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Associated Press

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX delivered two astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA on Sunday, following up a historic liftoff with an equally smooth docking in yet another first for Elon Musk’s company.

With test pilots Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken poised to take over manual control if necessary, the SpaceX Dragon capsule pulled up to the station and docked auto-matically, no assistance needed.

It was the first time a privately built and owned spacecraft car-ried astronauts to the orbiting lab in its nearly 20 years. NASA con-siders this the opening volley in a business revolution encircling Earth and eventually stretching to the moon and Mars.

The docking occurred just 19 hours after a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket blasted off Saturday after-noon from Kennedy Space Cen-ter, the nation’s first astronaut launch to orbit from home soil in nearly a decade.

Thousands jammed surround-ing beaches, bridges and towns to watch as SpaceX became the world’s first private company to send astronauts into orbit, and ended a nine-year launch drought for NASA.

A few hours before docking, the Dragon riders reported that the capsule was performing beauti-fully. Just in case, they slipped

back into their pressurized launch suits and helmets for the rendezvous.

The three space station resi-dents kept cameras trained on

the incoming capsule for the ben-efit of flight controllers at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif ., and NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston.

Gleaming white in the sunlight, the Dragon was easily visible from a few miles out, its nose cone open and exposing its docking hook as well as a blinking light.

The capsule loomed ever larger on live NASA TV as it closed thegap.

Hurley and Behnken tookover the controls and did a littlepiloting less than a couple hun-dred yards out as part of the testflight, before putting it back intoautomatic for the final approach. Hurley said the capsule handled“really well, very crisp.”

SpaceX and NASA officials hadheld off on any celebrations untilafter Sunday morning’s dock-ing — and possibly not until thetwo astronauts are back on Earthsometime this summer.

NASA has yet to decide howlong Hurley and Behnken willspend at the space station, some-where between one and fourmonths. While they’re there, theDragon test pilots will join the one U.S. and two Russian stationresidents in performing experi-ments and possibly spacewalks to install fresh station batteries.

In a show-and-tell earlier Sun-day, the astronauts gave a quicktour of the Dragon’s sparklingclean insides, quite spacious fora capsule. They said the liftoff was pretty bumpy and dynamic,nothing the simulators could have mimicked.

The blue sequined dinosaur ac-companying them — their youngsons’ toy, named Tremor — wasalso in good shape, Behnken as-sured viewers. Tremor was goingto join Earthy, a plush globe de-livered to the space station on lastyear’s test flight of a crew-less crew Dragon. Behnken said both toys would return to Earth withthem at mission’s end.

An old-style capsule splash-down is planned.


Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Members of three House and Senate commit-tees will interview former State Department Inspector General Steve Linick on Wednesday as part of an investigation by House Democrats into his abrupt firing by President Donald Trump.

Linick will speak to members of the House Foreign Affairs Com-mittee, the House Oversight and Reform Committee and the Sen-ate Foreign Relations Committee,

according to two congressional aides working on the investiga-tion who requested anonymity to further discuss the closed-door meeting.

Democrats announced Friday that they are expanding their probe into Linick’s firing in May with a series of interviews. The investigation is part of a larger ef-fort by Democrats and some Re-publicans to find out more about Trump’s recent moves to sideline several independent government watchdogs.

The Democrats plan to inter-view multiple officials in the

administration who may have more information about Linick’s dismissal May 15, including whether Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recommended the firing for retaliatory reasons. Pompeo has denied that Linick’s firing was retaliatory, but has not given spe-cific reasons for his dismissal.

The investigation is being led by House Foreign Affairs Com-mittee Chairman Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., House Oversight and Re-form Chairwoman Carolyn Malo-ney, D-N.Y., and New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations

Committee. Republicans on those panels will also be invited to ques-tion Linick and other witnesses.

“If Secretary Pompeo pushed for Mr. Linick’s dismissal to cover up his own misconduct, that would constitute an egre-gious abuse of power and a clear attempt to avoid accountability,” the Democrats said in a joint statement Friday.

The committees said that they will release transcripts shortly after each interview.

It’s unclear whether Linick will come to Capitol Hill in person or appear virtually for the tran-

scribed interviews. The Housewill be out of session over thecoming week as lawmakers workfrom home during the coronavi-rus pandemic.

The committee has asked sev-eral other State Department of-ficials to sit for interviews in the probe, including Undersecretaryof State for Management BrianBulatao, Assistant Secretary forPolitical-Military Affairs Clarke Cooper, Pompeo’s executive sec-retary Lisa Kenna and actingState Department legal adviser Marik String, according to thecongressional aides.

SpaceX delivers astronauts to Space Station

Democrats to interview ousted State Department watchdog


A SpaceX Falcon 9, with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in the Dragon crew capsule, prepare to lift off from Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on Saturday .

After historic launch Saturday, capsule docks 19 hours later

In this image taken from NASA TV video, the SpaceX Dragon crew capsule, with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley, left, and Robert Behnken aboard, docks with the International Space Station on Sunday .NASA TV/AP

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Associated Press

BEIJING — The mouthpiece newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party said that the U.S. decision to end some trading privileges for Hong Kong “gross-ly interferes” in China’s internal affairs and is “doomed to fail.”

The Hong Kong government called President Donald Trump’s announcement unjustified and said it is “not unduly worried by such threats,“ playing down concern that they could drive companies away from the Asian financial and trading center.

Trump’s move came after Chi-na’s ceremonial parliament voted

Thursday to bypass Hong Kong’s legislature and develop and enact national security legislation on its

own for the semi-autonomous ter-ritory. Democracy activists and many legal experts worry that

the laws could curtail free speech and opposition political activities.

The Chinese government issued no official response Saturday, but has said previously it would re-taliate if the U.S. went ahead with its threat to revoke trading ad-vantages granted to Hong Kong after its handover from British to Chinese rule in 1997.

In Hong Kong, small groups of Beijing supporters marched to the U.S. Consulate on Saturday carrying Chinese flags and signs protesting “American interfer-ence in China’s internal affair” and calling Trump “shameless and useless.”

Elsewhere in the city, youth-ful activists including Joshua

Wong held a news conference towelcome Trump’s announcementand try to downplay any econom-ic fallout.

Tensions between the U.S. andChina over Hong Kong have in-creased over the past year, withthe U.S. defending pro-democ-racy protesters who clashed withpolice last year and China vilify-ing them as violent rioters andseparatists.

Trump said Friday that his administration would begineliminating the “full range” ofa*greements that had given HongKong a relationship with the U.S.that mainland China lacked, in-cluding exemptions from controlson certain exports.

Associated Press

JERUSALEM — Israel’s de-fense minister apologized Sun-day for the Israeli police’s deadly shooting of an unarmed, autistic Palestinian man.

The shooting of Iyad Halak, 32,

in Jerusalem’s Old City on Satur-day, drew broad condemnations and revived complaints alleging excessive force by Israeli secu-rity forces.

Benny Gantz, who is also Is-rael’s “alternate” prime minis-

ter under a power-sharing deal, made the remarks at the weekly meeting of the Israeli Cabinet. He sat near Prime Minister Ben-jamin Netanyahu, who made no mention of the incident in his opening remarks.

“We are really sorry about the incident in which Iyad Halak was shot to death and we share in the family’s grief,” Gantz said. “I am sure this subject will be investi-gated swiftly and conclusions will be reached.”

In a statement, Israeli policesaid they spotted a suspect “with a suspicious object that looked likea pistol.” When he failed to obey orders to stop, officers openedfire, the statement said. Policespokesman Micky Rosenfeld latersaid no weapon was found.

Israeli defense minister issues apology for Palestinian death

China: US action on Hong Kong ‘doomed to fail’

KIN CHEUNG/Associated Press

Pro-democracy activists, from left; Joshua Wong, Nathan Law and Agnes Chow attend a press conference Saturday in Hong Kong.

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Snake interrupts online school lesson on Zoom

NM LAS CRUCES — A New Mexico elemen-

tary school teacher on Zoom with students had a lesson interrupted thanks to an uninvited guest: a bullsnake.

The desert animal surprised Sunrise Elementary School fourth-grade teacher Annette Otero Nunez during a class May 12 via Zoom from her backyard in Las Cruces , the Las Cruces Sun-News reports.

Animal control officer Juan Valles captured the animal and then gave students a quick lesson on identifying desert snakes and snake safety.

The bullsnake, prevalent in the American Southwest, is not venomous

Man arrested for trying to make healthy meth

CO LONGMONT — A Colorado man is facing

drug charges after police say he told them he was attempting to create a healthy meth substance with acai berries inside a meth lab in his garage .

Craig William Rogers, 49, was arrested on suspicion of con-trolled substance possession, possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful distribution, manu-facturing, and dispensing of a controlled substance, the Long-

mont Times-Call reported. Investigators found a “berry-

like substance” inside the lab, “No amount of meth is safe,

whether it has a berry in it or not,” Longmont Deputy Chief Jeff Satur said. “It’s a highly ad-dictive, life-destroying drug.”

Investigators said no meth was found inside the garage but believe Rogers had the tools to make up to an ounce of meth a day. Satur said police will test the duplex where Rogers was living for meth contamination .

Officials: Lawnmower death second in a week

ME APPLETON — A rid-ing lawnmower appar-

ently tumbled from a retaining wall, killing a woman in the town of Appleton, officials said.

Doreen Robbins, 59, was dis-covered underneath the lawn mower by a family member, said

Knox County Chief Deputy Pat-rick Polky. Emergency medical technicians performed CPR but were unable to revive the woman, officials said.

The exact circ*mstances of the death are being investigated, but investigators believe the mower fell from a 5-foot retaining wall. It was the second lawnmower death in a week in Maine.

Man stomps Chihuahua to death, leaves at lake

MA WEYMOUTH — A Massachusetts man

stomped his family’s pet Chihua-hua to death and tried to hide the body, police said.

Shykeim Basden, 19, of Wey-mouth, faces arraignment after his arrest on several charges including animal cruelty, Wey-mouth police said in a statement.

A witness told responding of-ficers that Basden had stomped

on the Chihuahua named Coco several times, then fled the apart-ment with the dog in his arms.

A family member told police they thought Basden was going tothrow the dog in a nearby pond.Police searched the pond’s shore-line and found the dog’s bodynear a residence.

War memorial graffitied on Memorial Day

PA PITTSBURGH — Au-thorities in western

Pennsylvania are investigating vandalism of a Pittsburgh warmemorial on the eve of MemorialDay.

The statue of a World War Idoughboy in the city’s Lawrence-ville neighborhood was splashedwith red paint during the nightand also appeared to have beensprayed with a logo similar to that of a hammer and sickle.

A message spray-painted at the base of the memorial read “June19, 1986! Glory to the Day of Hero-ism!” The phase has been used by some groups in reference to 1986Peruvian prison uprisings by im-prisoned Maoist revolutionaries.

Police spokeswoman Cara Cruzsaid that investigators are review-ing “all available video footage”from the area. She also said thatarrangements are being made toclean the memoria l.

AMERICAN ROUNDUPUnknown object breaks GOP office window

AZ BULLHEAD CITY — An unknown object

broke through a window at a Re-publican Party office in north-western Arizona while volunteers were hosting an organizing event for President Donald Trump, ac-cording to police and the Trump campaign.

The initial call reported a “weapons offense,” but police do not believe the window was struck by gunfire, said Emily Fromelt, a spokeswoman for Bullhead City police. Six people were in the building at the time. No one was injured.

No one was seen fleeing the area, and no arrests have been made, Fromelt said.

Animal control allows bystanders to ride gator


for an animal control company allowed bystanders to ride and pose for pictures and videos with an alligator that was captured on a South Carolina miniature golf course, drawing condemnation from town leaders.

Hilton Head Island Town Manager Steve Riley issued a statement saying officials were “deeply concerned about the egregious and unacceptable be-havior,” after the alligator was trapped , news outlets reported.

Joey Maffo, 19, led the capture of the gator at Legendary Golf in front of a crowd of about 100 peo-ple, The Island Packet of Hilton Head reported. He was among a team that responded when the golf course contacted Critter Management, an animal control company founded by his grandfa-ther, Joe Maffo.

“As soon as I taped the gator, I thought it was a good opportunity to get people to understand how big and powerful it was,” Joey Maffo told the newspaper.

Both Joey and Joe Maffo apolo-gized for the incident.

“It certainly wasn’t our in-tent to exploit this alligator,” Joe Maffo said.

Dispatcher aids woman with runaway SUV

OH CAMBRIDGE — A wild ride on an inter-

state in central Ohio came to a safe end when a highway patrol dispatcher calmly instructed a driver how to stop her runaway SUV.

The driver, named Emma, 20, called 911 for help when her SUV would not slow down or stop on Interstate 77 due to a mechanical problem, the Ohio State Highway Patrol said.

The driver, who was crying, said nothing happened when she tapped her brakes. The dispatch-er remained calm.

“Take ahold of your emergency brake and just gradually pull that a little bit and see if it slows you down at all,” the dispatcher said. “Emma, does it slow you down at all?”

The SUV began to slow down and came to a stop near the me-dian. No one was injured.

Tight squeeze

The estimated value of the damages made to a high school in South Florida by a naked man who broke into the school. Security cameras caught Matthew Crandall, 21, on video trashing Miramar High School. He

wore only a hat and headphones while smashing computers and televisions, Mi-ramar police said in a tweet. The video showed Crandall broke into the school around 7 a.m. and spent nearly 24 hours at the building. He caused flooding in hallways and vandalized classrooms, walls and hallways throughout the school in Broward County, police said. They said that Crandall is charged with burglary and criminal mischief.




From wire reports

Shawn Gott works to untangle himself from Dante, his pet sunglow boa constrictor, while taking the snake with him on a walk through downtown Rockland, Maine . An albino gene gives the specially bred snake a bright color.

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New Britney Spears musicalert! On May 29, the “Toxic” pop singer released the bonus track“Mood Ring (By Demand)” from her 2016 album “Glory,” a trackthat was previously only availablein Japan.

“Repurposed this since wedidn’t use it,” Spears wrote onInstagram May 28, alongside thenew album cover. “What was re-quested next is out now ... I hope you turn #MoodRing up sooooooo loud!!!”

Earlier this month, Spears re-leased a new cover for “Glory”after fans started the #Justice-ForGlory social media campaign,and the album rose through thecharts on iTunes.

“You asked for a new Glorycover and since it went to number one we had to make it happen!!!!,”the artist said on Instagram.“Couldn’t have done it without you all.”

The repurposed “Glory” coverfeatures Spears lying in the des-ert in a gold bathing suit with sil-ver chains spread around her.

New novel coming from ‘The Revenant’ author

The author of “The Revenant,”the historical novel adapted into the Oscar-winning movie star-ring Leonardo DiCaprio, will bepublishing his first new work offiction in nearly 20 years.

Henry Holt and Company an-nounced May 28 that Michael Punke’s “Ridgeline” will be re-leased in June 2021. The book isset in the American West in the1860s and “interweaves the per-spectives of key U.S. Army of-ficers, the family members theybrought with them to settle theWest, and the indigenous peoplewho fought off the invasion oftheir land, including the legend-ary Crazy Horse,” according to Henry Holt. From wire reports

FACESSpears drops first new song in years

‘Out’ short features Pixar’s first openly gay protagonist BY JAKE COYLE

Associated Press

In Steven Clay Hunter’s 23 years as an animator at Pixar, he has drawn a seven-armed octopus, a Canadian daredevil and a wheezing toy penguin. But there were scenes he never expected to animate until he began work-ing on his short, “Out.”

Hunter wrote and directed the nine-minute Pixar film, which recently debuted on Disney Plus. It’s about a man named Greg who, while packing up to move, temporarily switches bodies with his dog, Jim. While frantically try-ing to hide evidence of his boyfriend, Manuel, Greg dis-covers the courage to reveal his sexual orientation to his parents.

Greg, who’s loosely based on Hunter, is Pixar’s first LGBTQ protagonist. And while “Out” includes some more typically Pixar material (a pair of rainbow animals, a cameo from Wheezy of “Toy Story”), it features images never seen before in the 25 years of the studio, or in the longer history of Disney. Like when Greg and his boy-friend, Manuel, embrace.

“The first time I drew Greg and Manuel holding each other in the bedroom, I was bawling my face off,” says Hunter. “All this emotion came welling up because I real-ized I had been in animation for decades and I had never drawn that in my career. It just hit me.”

“Out” is a small movie on a streaming service, not one of Pixar’s global blockbusters. But it has already had an

outsized impact and been celebrated as a milestone for in-clusion in family entertainment. GLAAD called it “a huge step forward for the Walt Disney Company.”

“ ‘Out’ represents the best of Disney and Pixar’s legacy as a place for heartwarming stories about finding one’s own inner strength in the face of life’s challenges,” said Jeremy Blacklow, GLAAD’s director of entertainment media.

“I felt like this was something I had to do,” said Hunter,a 51-year-old animator making his directorial debut. “Ididn’t come out until I was 27 and I’m 51 now, and I feellike I’m still dealing with it. You can’t hide who you are for half of your life and then not carry that baggage around.You’ve got to process it somehow. I got lucky enough to process it in the making of this movie.”

It’s part joke, part truth that “Out” is labeled “based ona true story.” The first shot is of a magical dog and cat jumping through a rainbow. Hunter has had a dog namedJim but, naturally, hasn’t experienced a canine “FreakyFriday.” But the central story is autobiographical.

“The relationship of Manuel and Greg is something I went through,” he says. “I wasn’t out to my family and Iwas in a relationship but they didn’t know about him. Ittook a toll on our relationship and we ended up breaking up because of that. And that break-up led to me coming out to my family, over the phone in a conference room atPixar.”

Hunter first came up with the idea of a coming-out filmfive years ago. But it was the Pixar SparkShorts program, which is meant to discover new voices and experimentwith different techniques, that presented Hunter with anopportunity. After working on the Spark short “Purl,” hepitched “Out.” It was greenlit and finished by December.

“It was cool that he was telling this coming out story buthe was doing so while coming out as a filmmaker,” says Sachar. “It was really wonderful for everyone to be a part of and witness.”


Pixar’s animated short film “Out” features a gay protagonist, the first in the studio’s 25-year history.

BY DAVID BAUDER Associated Press

Jason Isbell had big plans for this summer, between a new album specifically designed to introduce his music to a wider audience and a schedule that had him onstage most nights from May to September.

Like millions of others, many of Isbell’s dreams are on hold because of the corona-virus. So on a recent evening, he and wife Amanda Shires performed his new songs for an internet audience at a near-empty Nashville club. Stray claps sounded like they came from a handful of janitors sweeping up in the back.

“It wasn’t a new experience,” said Isbell, recalling a night in State College, Penn., where his only spectators were the opening band and bar employees.

But it’s one that belongs in the rear-view mirror. The 2013 breakthrough album “Southeastern” established Isbell as an im-portant new voice, and two vibrant follow-ups proved that wasn’t a fluke. With Lucinda Wil-liams and the late John Prine, Isbell formed a holy trinity for fans of Americana music.

Labels can be cages, though they didn’t limit forebears like Bruce Springsteen or Tom Petty. They were rock stars whose music topped the pop charts. Isbell has simi-lar lofty ambitions and, longtime producer Dave Cobb believes, the talent to back it up.

“You always want to reach people you haven’t reached before,” Isbell explained. His last few albums effectively captured

Isbell and his band, the 400 Unit, as if they played live in a room together. But Isbell wanted production touches that could help the disc “Reunions” appeal to people who might not listen to Americana music.

The touches were subtle: some synthesiz-ers here and there, a guitar that occasion-ally recalls Dire Straits’ Mark Knopfler. The song “Only Children” sounds like it has a ce-lestial choir in the background.

Isbell’s carefully-crafted songs are still the backbone. “Reunions” topped Billboard’s country music chart on its first week of re-lease, and was No. 9 on the pop chart.

His songs handle emotions complex and universal, from his life and others. “St. Pe-ter’s Autograph” is about his difficulty deal-ing with his wife’s grief over the death of her friend. In “Letting You Go,” he tries to write about a father walking his daughter down the aisle while avoiding cheap sentiment.

Isbell has alluded in song to the turning point in his life — getting sober eight years ago — but never in the head-on manner he

does with “It Gets Easier.”“I felt like I had a certain perspective on it

that I hadn’t had before,” he said. “I’m sure that perspective will change with time. I felt a little bit safer doing that and a little bit more qualified.”

It may get easier, he concludes, but it never gets easy. Isbell’s inability to acknowledge the pressure that he felt while songwriting caused such conflict with Shires that, for 10 days, she moved out of their house and into a nearby hotel. They talked about the diffi-culties for an article in The New York Times that felt, in part, like an uncomfortable peek into a marriage counseling session.

Too much information?“I didn’t regret saying any of those things,”

Isbell said. “My brand is the truth, for lack of a better term. People who are interested in following my story and my music are inter-ested in honesty, so I’ll give it to ’em.

“If I’m living in a way where I think I should hide things from people, then maybe I should change the way I’m living.”


Jason Isbell, shown March 9 in Nashville, is king of the Americana genre, but he’s ambitious for more. His new “Reunions” album seeks a broader reach sonically, and as always, Isbell’s well-crafted songs lie at the center of what he does.

DreamsdeferredJason Isbell hoped to share new album ‘Reunions’ in person

stripes Enough is enough - [PDF Document] (16)

Monday, June 1, 2020

China’s grip tightens but can’t crush Hong Kong


Special to The Washington Post

Regime change in Iran is one of the biggest taboos in U.S. foreign policy. Bring it up and you will be scorned as a warmonger, a fo-

menter of chaos. Yet we have encouraged and welcomed the collapse of dictatorships in other countries, especially within the former Soviet empire. And we used severe sanctions against apartheid South Africa to bring fundamental change. The Islamic Republic has been directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands in Syria. Is that a lesser sin?

The Iranian theocracy’s disregard for the rights and livelihoods of its people pe-riodically drives them into mass protests . Its imperialist ambitions endanger its neighbors. Yet American leftists routinely argue that we can never dare to replace it. Two liberal analysts recently warned in The Washington Post that “it is fair to ask whether the political and social collapse of a country of 80 million people at a time of a global pandemic is in the United States’ — or anybody’s — interests.” To speak of its demise, much less try to hasten it, is considered untoward and egregiously ide-ological in polite Washington society.

To a remarkable extent, we have turned Iran policy into a debate about ourselves. If the regime is opposed by conservatives, liberals veer the other way, often trying hard to find something redeeming about the Islamic Republic (at a minimum, it isn’t Saudi Arabia). For them, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., is reactionary, if not a tad villainous, because of his ardent opposi-tion to Tehran. When Cotton prophetically warned Iran’s leaders in an open letter in 2015 that a nuclear agreement would not

be binding on a Republican president, his colleague Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., de-scribed his move as “undermining the au-thority of the president,” while Secretary of State John F. Kerry professed himself to be in “utter disbelief.”

The advocates of cooperation with the clerical regime often play down its crude and constant anti-Semitism. Its misogyny and hom*ophobia somehow do not invite calls for sanctions from liberals. The ar-dent left — for example, Sen. Bernie Sand-ers’, I-Vt., foreign policy staff — can see bigotry and bellicosity in any use of “mul-lah” to describe Iran’s religious govern-ment (even though “mullah” is a word used most often by Iranians to describe a cleric). And some even manage to blame Tehran’s harsh repression of its own people on anti-American animus that is allegedly empow-ering the hard-liners who would be weaker if Washington weren’t so mean.

If the intellectual classes can’t contem-plate the demise of the Islamic Republic, neither can the intelligence community, which has a knack for echoing the zeitgeist. Without seeing classified documents, one can be assured that a typical CIA memo-randum will point out all the problems confronting the regime and yet end with pretty firm assurance of its survival. By temperament, our spies are rarely capable of spotting discontinuities. Iran today is probably where the Soviet Union was in the 1970s, an exhausted regime mishandling every crisis it encounters. And the same intelligence services that just couldn’t see the Soviet Union dying don’t see the cracks in the clerical regime.

Arms control defines America’s ap-proach to the Islamic Republic. It did so during the Obama years, and it lingers in the Trump White House. The problem with

an arms-control approach is that you haveto pretend that your interlocutors are suffi-ciently “moderate” to seek regional stabil-ity. You have to pretend that the Iranians are willing to concede their religious ideol-ogy and imperial ambitions. Most impor-tantly, you have to pretend that the regimeyou are dealing with is durable and can soften if given access to the global econo-my. Americans are particularly suscepti-ble to this business argument, even thoughrecent history (see post-Mao China) surely tells us that wicked authoritarianism canadapt to market imperatives.

Much of Washington fears that the onlyalternative to arms control is war. Far preferable would be a strategy of relentless pressure that with time cracks the regime.This was the definition of containment asenvisioned by George Kennan. He advo-cated unrelenting patience with the Soviet Union; we should do the same with Iran.

It shouldn’t be hard to see that anti-Americanism is an inextricable part of thisrevolutionary Islamist state, or that Su-preme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei , the ruling clerical elite and the Islamic Revo-lutionary Guards have no desire to createa normal country. Once you accept thisreality (which many Democrats did beforethe Iran nuclear deal undercut their sup-port for sanctions policy), regime changebecomes the only viable option — assum-ing, of course, that you believe the UnitedStates has a role to play in the Middle Eastin the first place.

Seeking regime change isn’t rude. It is pragmatic, cost-sensitive, humane and — in the best sense of the word — liberal.Reuel Marc Gerecht is a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies. Ray Takeyh is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.


Special to The Washington Post

The successes of Hong Kong, Tai-wan and the rest of the Chinese diaspora have always been an em-barrassment for Beijing. Not only

are they reminders of China’s historical failures, but they also represent an alterna-tive way of life, where peoples of the same origin could somehow thrive outside of the watchful eye of the Communist Party. To Beijing, that’s an irreconcilable insult, a memory that needs to be murdered.

That helps explain why China’s govern-ment is so determined to tighten its author-itarian grip on their cultural exports. In the past, it has even gone as far as making Hong Kong and Taiwanese artists sign a pledge that they will identify as “Chinese” and not engage in any “politically incor-rect” activity while in the mainland.

The latest example of this trend is Bei-jing’s brazen decision to push through a “national security” law in Hong Kong in reaction to the city’s pro-democracy pro-tests. In effect, the legislation criminalizes any action the state perceives as dissent. For the Chinese government, it’s one step closer to repairing a fractured ego and erasing the humiliation it faced in the past — better known as the “Century of Humil-iation” — when China was overrun with foreign invasion from every corner of the world and lost Hong Kong to the British Empire. But it’s a nightmare come true for Hong Kongers — including the city’s writ-ers, artists and entertainers, who are used to freely expressing their views through their mediums.

As I was growing up in the United States,

the Chinese pop albums I listened to and movies I watched were primarily from Hong Kong and Taiwan. While the main-land remained impoverished and closed off — thanks to a generation of controlling politicians traumatized by the past and willing to throw the collective traditions of the dynasties into a bonfire — neighboring Hong Kong and Taiwan started to thrive. They became epicenters for modern Chi-nese pop culture and gateways to how the rest of the world understood Chinese entertainment.

At its peak, the tiny island territory of Hong Kong alone had the third-largest film industry in the world, behind Bol-lywood and Hollywood, with the Shaw Brothers introducing the world to a genre of high-octane kung fu flicks and competi-tor Golden Harvest producing stars such as Bruce Lee.

As China started developing, creative exchanges flourished within the region despite political differences. Even today, Hong Kong artists and Taiwanese celebri-ties hold considerable cultural clout, work-ing in the mainland and appearing and performing on variety shows and televi-sion dramas.

However, the Chinese government’s in-creasingly hostile political efforts are now eroding the collaborative efforts within the Chinese-speaking region, forcing artists to take sides and segregating both Hong Kong and China’s creative industries. This is furthering a cultural rift.

When I interviewed Anthony Wong — a Hong Kong civil rights activist, producer and electronic indie musician — during his U.S. tour last fall, he told me, “In a way, the

Chinese government is starting a secondCultural Revolution, killing and sacrific-ing the culture for its own gain.”

“I think the most terrifying thing isthat everyone is living in fear,” Wongcontinued.

This couldn’t come at a worse time. Foryears, China has been making huge head-way not only as an economic powerhousebut also a cultural influencer — shaking the stereotype that modern China’s ten-dency is toward intellectual and creativetheft.

But all of that work to change China’simage is unraveling because of an unre-lenting tyrannical government confusingunification with ethnic cleansing, surveil-lance and censorship. Instead of leverag-ing the unique diversity and creativity of the greater Chinese community, it aims tohom*ogenize, sterilize and subdue it.

The tighter the grip of Chinese officials,the more they act like their colonial op-pressors. But Beijing will never receive the respect it craves through fear and in-timidation, no matter how economically orpolitically powerful it becomes.

This is why Hong Kong cannot fall. It isa custodian of the memories and traditions the Chinese government wants to erase. Itis the home to the families that had to fleepersecution. It is the sole territory that’sable to hold China accountable for theTiananmen Square Massacre. And now, it’s the battleground for a young generation fighting for the freedoms they were prom-ised. Beijing does not have the right to take that away. Arthur Tam is a journalist and was formerly an editor at Time Out Hong Kong and Cedar Hong Kong.

Regime change in Iran is necessaryOPINION


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OPINIONF3HIJKLM PAGE 17Monday, June 1, 2020

The case for reopening grade schools this fall

A Corona Corps could fight the virus and youth unemployment

BY DANIEL T. HALPERIN Special to The Washington Post

As lockdown restrictions ease, a critical question looms: When do we reopen schools? Parents and others weighing COVID-19’s

risk to children and the adults they may in-fect, directly or indirectly, should consider emerging evidence that suggests children are not significant transmitters of COVID-19. These data, coupled with the enormous adverse impacts of continuing closures, argue for reopening schools by fall.

Of about 360,000 COVID-19 deaths worldwide, only about two dozen children are known to have died. For all the recent reports of serious complications among young people, these are statistically rare and, if detected early, most afflicted youths recover within weeks.

While most countries have shuttered schools, others such as Taiwan have achieved effective responses without clo-sures. In Denmark and Norway, where schools began reopening in mid-April, COVID-19 cases and deaths have de-creased. Normally, gregarious youngsters are efficient spreaders of respiratory pathogens. But this appears not to be the case with COVID-19.

Emerging evidence suggests that, much like with the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome epidemic in 2003, children are less likely to become infected with this coronavirus. From Feb. 12 to April 2, just 1.7% of U.S. cases for which age is known occurred among people younger than 18. Some researchers theorize that some re-sistance has been conferred by previous exposure to other coronaviruses, such as those that produce the common colds that children frequently acquire. Additionally, a study published in JAMA found that youths are less prone to infection because they produce smaller quantities of a pro-tein, ACE2, that both SARS and the new coronavirus use to enter cells.

A German study that warns against re-opening schools found viral loads in infect-ed children at levels comparable to adults. There is evidence, however, that as with the earlier SARS outbreak, children who have COVID-19 are less contagious than adults. Many children with COVID-19 are asymptomatic; in the absence of coughing and sneezing, they emit fewer infectious droplets. Remarkably, contact tracing studies in China, Iceland, Britain and the Netherlands failed to locate a single case of child-to-adult infection out of thousands of transmission events analyzed. A review of studies from several Asian countries identified few cases of children bringing the virus home, and a recent analysis of COVID-19 interventions found no evidence that school closures had helped contain the epidemic.

Some of this data likely underestimates children’s potential to infect others be-cause information was collected after lockdowns and other mitigation measures were implemented. Still, the findings from contact tracing and the significant biologi-

cal differences between COVID-19 and more common respiratory ailments sug-gest that children are not major sources of infection.

Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Dis-eases, recently warned against reopening schools too early, and noted complications in some children that resemble Kawasaki disease. The emerging condition, known as multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children, is troubling and must be moni-tored. But it also appears rare; so far, only several hundred U.S. cases have been reported.

The low numbers of children affected by COVID-19 and the new syndrome should be considered in additional context: More than 200 U.S. children were killed last year by flu; some 10,000 others died from vari-ous childhood diseases. A rare condition that is not commonly fatal does not jus-tify keeping 55 million American students home into the next academic year.

In March, Imperial College of Lon-don modeling estimated that 2% to 4% of

COVID-19 deaths in Britain might be pre-vented by closing schools and colleges,compared with a potential 17% to 21% pre-vented from self-isolating. This suggeststhat schools are not particularly signifi-cant contributors to community transmis-sion. As schools reopen, one concern is forthe risk to groups already known to be vul-nerable to COVID-19: predominantly olderpeople with predisposing conditions suchas chronic illness, obesity and smoking.The options are distressing: potentiallygreater numbers infected vs. the rising educational costs to millions of children.

School closures of course affect morethan academics. Students are also deprived of social connections and physical activ-ity. Socioeconomic disparities are exacer-bated, as some families have resources toenhance online learning, while less privi-leged children fall further behind.

Other consequences of school closuresinclude recent surges in child abuse; hun-ger from missed subsidized meals; greateranxiety, depression and isolation. Students with autism, Down syndrome, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and otherspecial needs are at particular risk. But months away from friends and schoolstructure takes a toll on all students, as be-leaguered parents everywhere can attest.

Schools have begun reopening in France,Germany, Switzerland, Japan, Australiaand elsewhere. Adequate testing and evi-dence-based safety precautions are essen-tial for protecting teachers and other staff.Although some COVID-19 cases regretta-bly may result from reopening schools, theexisting evidence does not warrant inflict-ing potentially long-term academic, socialand vocational disadvantages on millions of children.Daniel T. Halperin is an epidemiologist and adjunct professor at the University of North Carolina’s Gillings School of Global Public Health. He co-authored “Tinderbox: How the West Sparked the AIDS Epidemic and How the World Can Finally Overcome It.”

BY SCOTT GALLOWAY Special to The Washington Post

Among its many victims, the COVID-19 pandemic has left a generation of young Americans adrift and without options. After

a spring spent peering at pixelated approx-imations of their instructors on Zoom, 75% of college students are unhappy with the quality of e-learning and 1 in 6 high school seniors are considering deferring college for a semester or a full year. Meanwhile, unemployment among 18- and 19-year-olds stands at an astounding 34%. With jobs scarce and social opportunities all at a distance, how can we prevent a year of Fortnite and TikTok for the most fortunate, and a slide into poverty for the rest?

I propose a United States Corona Corps: an organization in the long tradition of youth service, from Mormon missionaries to Teach for America to the Peace Corps, but one laser-focused on the crisis at hand.

While new cases of COVID-19 are declin-ing in much — but not all — of the country, a second wave of infections is likely com-ing in the fall, and it will hit a population already short on emotional, physical and financial resources. But we do not need to once again shut down our society to pre-vent that second wave. We have seen a bet-ter system work elsewhere: South Korea has even published a playbook. The proven formula for flattening the curve without

putting the economy back in an induced coma is simple: testing, tracing and isola-tion. That is, we need widespread testing followed by the swift identification and temporary isolation of everyone who has come in contact with infected people.

This system requires an army of trac-ers out in the field. We do not have nearly enough.

The United States entered the pandemic with 2,200 tracers, or “disease interven-tion specialists,” as they are formally known. Working for the Centers for Dis-ease Control and Prevention and local health agencies, they have until now been focused on STDs and food-borne illnesses, and are truly unsung heroes. Today, we need 180,000 of these heroes, according to public health experts.

Enter the Corona Corps: a volunteer army of 18- to 24-year-olds, trained and equipped to fight the virus — and reshape the trajectory of their own lives. The Corps’ main job would be contact tracing: interviewing infected people, evaluating the nature of their contacts and reaching out to those put at risk. The Corps would also staff testing centers across the coun-try and work with people who are required to isolate, providing anything from food delivery to a sympathetic ear.

The government-funded Corona Corps would pay their costs and a modest wage, say $2,500 a month. Those who serve at least six months would receive a credit

toward educational costs or student loan debt.

This investment would pay dividends in three ways. First, it would cauterize the spread of the coronavirus, thus sav-ing lives, and saving us all from another multi-month lockdown. Second, it would train a generation of young people in valu-able skills and novel life experience. Trac-ers would learn to work independently and to interact on sensitive issues with people of varying backgrounds. Some might get crash training in epidemiology, social work, programming or operational man-agement — skills directly relevant to fu-ture employment.

The third dividend is less quantifiable, but perhaps the most important over the long term: bridging partisan divides. Be-tween 1965 and 1975, more than two-thirds of the members of Congress had served their country in uniform. The important legislative achievements of those years were shaped by leaders who shared that bond, larger than politics or party. Today, fewer than 20% have that common bond.

The military does not have a monopoly on service. Since the founding of the Peace Corps in 1961, almost a quarter of a million of its volunteers have served in 142 coun-tries. Public service generates the empa-thy so deeply needed in our hyperpartisan climate. The Corona Corps could provide it.

Other have had similar ideas; for exam-

ple, a Senate bill introduced in April callsfor employing the current Peace Corpsvolunteers displaced from their jobs by thepandemic. Rather than building the Coro-na Corps from scratch, using those volun-teers and expanding their mandate might provide an opportunity to build on existinginfrastructures.

Service in the Corps would not be with-out risk. But we send young people to thefront lines of wars not because they are im-mune from bullets, but because someone must go. And we know that young adultsface much lower risk from COVID-19 thanolder people. Corps members would be regularly tested and, if they were infected,they would have an overwhelming likeli-hood not just of recovering, but of develop-ing antibodies.

A Corona Corps would not be cheap:180,000 members at, I estimate, $60,000 each for compensation, training and sup-port would cost nearly $11 billion. The government could no doubt find a way tomake it cost twice that. Yet that’s a round-ing error on the sums allocated for stimu-lus and unemployment to date.

Consider it a warranty against needinganother multitrillion-dollar rescue pack-age, and an investment in the future. Anarmy of super-soldiers stands ready tobattle COVID-19, and our partisan divide.Let’s arm them.Scott Galloway is a professor of marketing at NYU Stern School of Business.


Joyce Manning, the bookkeeper at Brattleboro Union High School in Brattleboro, Vt., hands out a diploma sleeve to Edie Cay, a graduating senior, on May 22.

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Associated Press

For a league that took so many years to find a catch rule that makes sense — we think the cur-rent one does that — it can’t be a surprise that the somewhat radi-cal proposal of an alternative to the onside kick has been tabled.

No, fourth-and-15 is not a dead issue, and very likely will be re-visited in March. That’s when, pending developments with the coronavirus pandemic, the own-ers would vote on rules changes or additions.

While the idea presented by the Philadelphia Eagles has mer-its, it also is gimmicky. And as competition committee members Rich McKay and Troy Vincent — two of the league’s most influ-ential executives — pointed out, it raises lots of questions.

“Rules like this that are sub-stantial in nature, they typically take some time,” says McKay, president of the Atlanta Fal-cons, “and this is one of the rea-sons: People will raise questions and say ‘why?’ and ‘explain’ and you’ve got to come back with answers.”

The NFL desperately is seek-ing ways to eliminate the more dangerous plays, and the onside kick has been deemed one. It oc-curs rarely, and in recent years with alterations to alignments and run-ups, the probability of it succeeding has plummeted. It always was a big gamble, but less than 10% of them have worked in the last two seasons.

So Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie suggested giving teams an alter-native. They could still try the onside kick, or they could opt for a fourth-and-15 play from the kick-ing team’s 25-yard line (barring penalties on the previous scor-ing plays that would be applied on the kickoff). Convert and you keep the ball, with a limit of two attempts in regulation time only.

Newfangled? Absolutely.Exciting? Likely.

Not ready for prime time? Ap-parently so.

Remember this is a league that took years to adopt the two-point conversion and decades to move back the extra point kick after it became automatic .

Plus, all those alterations to the catch rule that took it from con-founding to, more confounding.

“We probably talked some 20-30 minutes on that and ended up tabling it,” McKay says. “Just taking a little bit of an under-standing of where teams stood on it, the questions they had on it. The commissioner has asked us as a committee to make sure we get all feedback from the teams, where they are, and are there ways to address this type of pro-posal and bring it back at some point? So that’s what we’ll do as a committee.

“Although we didn’t take a for-mal vote, we probably had more clubs that support this year (than in the past). It’s a change, and so as a change mark there were a lot of really good questions about the impacts of all the nuances of the rule, and how that may affect the end of a game .

“Rules like this take time. It took us a long time to make a change like the extra point. This is a pretty major change in giving the offense the ball on fourth-and-15. There’s a lot of things to talk through and that’s what we did today.”


Zoom call from his home in Texas, where he’s been holed up during the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’m not going to put any added pressure on myself. There’s no need for that. Because if I win, good things will happen. That’s the most important part.

“ That’s why quarterback is one of those positions that’s the hardest in sports. If I play better, our team’s going to do better. So I put that pressure on myself. So it doesn’t matter what year it is, I have to be way better each year.”

Mayfield was way worse in 2019 than 2018. He followed a record-setting rookie season by throwing 21 interceptions, completing just 59.4% of his passes, with a pal-try 78.8 passer rating. He lacked confidence in the pocket, never got on the same page with star receiver Odell Beckham Jr., and had a handful of minor media meltdowns.

Nothing went as planned for him or the Browns, who fell flat on their collective face masks.

Mayfield is determined to learn from those mistakes. And, as he’s done throughout his football life, prove people wrong.

To start, he’s been noticeably low key. For him, that’s a major change.

“I have a different approach this year,” he said. “Everybody who has been interviewed on our team has hit the nail on the head over and over about this is time to work. It is time to do our thing, instead of talking about it. This is the first media thing I have done, just because there is no need to be talking about it. It is just time to go do it and right now.

“It is moving in silence, which is fine with me. That is how I used to do it before getting on a bigger stage, so I am happy to get back to those roots, get back to the fun-damentals to where I can accom-plish the goals when the season

comes around.”Never one to mince words — on

or off the field, — Mayfield feels time at home has given him per-spective and a greater apprecia-tion of his profession.

Circ*mstances have changed and so has he.

“You only get so many oppor-tunities in this game that I have been blessed to play,” he said. “It does not last forever. To be able to take advantage of that and enjoy the moments, I think it is going to be good for me, getting back to that and having fun and enjoying the process of how to get to win-ning, because that is the most en-joyable thing looking back on it.”

In addition to down time play-ing board games or boating with his wife, Emily, Mayfield has spent a major chunk of the past two months getting to know new Browns coach Kevin Stefanski, the former Minnesota offensive coordinator replacing Freddie Kitchens.

Mayfield is impressed with Ste-

fanski, who recently moved his family to Ohio after being stuckin Minnesota when coronaviruschanged normalcy and shut down pro sports.

“Kevin is obviously an ex-tremely sharp guy,” Mayfieldsaid. “He’s able to relate to every-body. That is one of the best partsabout him and being around him so far. Just hearing his message,everything he does is with apurpose.”

Mayfield was able to imple-ment some of Stefanski’s newoffense recently after he invited nine teammates, including back-up quarterback Case Keenum and newly signed Pro Bowl tightend Austin Hooper, to join him inTexas for workouts.

“A lot of them were here lastyear, but it was good for every-body to be around, speaking thesame terminology and just kind of hanging out during all this,”he said. “You are kind of stuck athome, but we had a chance to get outside and throw a little bit.”

Basics: Mayfield struggled in second season


DID YOU KNOW ?As the NFL seeks ways to eliminate dangerous plays, the onside kick has become an obvious target. It occurs rarely, and in recent years with alterations to alignments and run-ups, the probability of it succeeding has plummeted. The play always was a big gamble, but less than 10% of them have worked over the last two seasons.

SOURCE: Associated Press


The Tennessee Titans’ Rashad Johnson, center, and Kevin Byard (31) try to control an onside kick by Cleveland’s Cody Parkey (3) during a game in 2016. The Browns recovered the ball on the play.


Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield slumped during his sophom*ore season in Cleveland, following up a record-setting rookie year by throwing 21 interceptions and completing just 59.4% of his passes.


Browns QB Baker Mayfield struggled to establish a connection with wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr., pictured, during their first season together, leading to persistent offseason rumors that Cleveland was open to trading the three-time Pro Bowl selection.

League holds off on onside kick changes

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• S T A R S A N D S T R I P E S • F3HIJKLM PAGE 21Monday, June 1, 2020


Associated Press

MANCHESTER, England — Horse racing will be the first main sport to resume in England on Mon-day after the government approved the end of the 11-week shutdown of events if there are no specta-tors and coronavirus protocols are followed.

Jockeys will wear masks and medical checks will be required on arrival and before leaving the course in the northeast city of Newcastle, where 10 races are planned.

The guidance that allows elite sports competi-tions to restart from Monday was published by the government on Saturday as COVID-19 lockdown restrictions that were imposed in March are eased further. Snooker and greyhound racing events have also been lined up for Monday.

“The wait is over,” Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said. “Live British sport will shortly be back on in safe and carefully controlled environments.”

It paves the way for the planned June 17 return of the Premier League, the world’s richest soccer competition.

“There is still much work to be done to ensure the safety of everyone involved,” Premier League chief executive Richard Masters said.

The government announcement allows English cricket authorities to plan for international series against West Indies and Pakistan. Formula One is also exploring two races at Silverstone from July,

with the season yet to start due to the pandemic.The return of horse racing will allow Britain’s 59

courses that have been closed since March to start to open again.

British horse racing employs tens of thousands of people and the absence of meets since March 17 has left many facing “considerable hardship,” according to the Jockey Club.

“The lockdown has been an incredibly hard peri-od for our industry and it will be a long road back to recovery,“ Jockey Club chief executive Delia Bush-ell said. “While we are not a human-contact sport, extensive plans are nevertheless in place to create the safest possible environment for participants.”

Competitors and other staff will be required to travel to venues individually and by private trans-port where possible. Screening for coronavirus symptoms is required before entering.

Where social distancing cannot be maintained — staying 6 feet apart — activities need to be risk- assessed and mitigated. Media have been told to “minimize crossover” with others at the venue, in-cluding players. There is also a request that “during any disputes between players and referees, or scor-ing celebrations” they must stay apart.

“This guidance provides the safe framework for sports to resume competitions behind closed doors,” Dowden said. “It is now up to individual sports to confirm they can meet these protocols and decide when it’s right for them to restart.”

Associated Press

NEW YORK — NFL Com-missioner Roger Goodell says “there remains an urgent need for action” following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the protests around the country that have followed.

From New York to Los Ange-les and several cities in between, thousands protested Floyd’s death and repeated police kill-ings of black men. Floyd was a handcuffed black man who died Monday after a Minneapolis po-lice officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after he stopped moving and pleading for air.

Officer Derek Chauvin, 44, was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.

Floyd’s death and the ensuing protests have prompted many sports figures — including ath-letes, coaches and league officials — to speak out in recent days.

“As current events dramati-cally underscore, there remains much more to do as a country and as a league,” Goodell said in his statement Saturday. “These tragedies inform the NFL’s com-mitment and our ongoing efforts. There remains an urgent need for action. We recognize the power of our platform in communities and as part of the fabric of American society.

“We embrace that responsibil-ity and are committed to con-tinuing the important work to address these systemic issues to-gether with our players, clubs and partners.”

Goodell added that the protest-ers’ reactions “reflect the pain, anger and frustration that so many of us feel.” He also sent con-dolences to Floyd’s family — as well as those of Breonna Taylor in

Louisville, and Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia. Taylor, a 26-year-old EMT, was shot eight times by narcotics detectives who knocked down her front door on March 13. Arbery, who was the cousin of De-troit Lions safety Tracy Walker, was a 25-year-old black man who was shot dead after being pursued by two white men while running in their neighborhood.

NFL Players Association exec-utive director DeMaurice Smith sent a letter to all of the league’s players Saturday, addressing the events around the country.

“The country is hurting, there is uncertainty and there is dan-

ger,” Smith wrote. “It is also clear that the pain, while shared by so many, has a history of being (borne) more by some than oth-ers. It is as wrong to be willfully ignorant to this pain as it is to use this pain as cover for inflicting pain on others.”

NFLPA president JC Tretter of the Cleveland Browns also wrote a statement on Twitter, saying he felt “a range of emotions” this week.

“Racism is something that we all must take responsibility to end,” Tretter wrote. “As human beings, we need to identify and challenge prejudice, rather than

deny it. Silence in the face of in-justice only works to protect and perpetuate that injustice.”

Coach Dwane Casey of the NBA’s Detroit Pistons also re-leased a statement.

“Fifty-four years ago, I was an 8-year-old boy living in rural Kentucky when the schools were desegregated,” Casey said. “I walked into a white school where I was not wanted nor welcomed. At that time, there were no cell phones to record my treatment, no cable news stations with 24/7 coverage, no social media to re-cord the reality of the situation or offer support nor condemna-

tion. But I can remember exactly how I felt as an 8-year-old child. I felt helpless. I felt as if I was neither seen, nor heard, nor un-derstood. As I have watched the events unfold in the days follow-ing the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a city where I coached and once called home, I see how many people continue to feel those same feelings — help-less, frustrated, invisible, angry. I understand the outrage because it seems the list continues to grow: Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd. The injustices con-tinue to mount and nothing seems to be changing.

“Fifty-four years later, my son is now 8 years old and I look at the world he is growing up in and won-der, how much has really changed? How often is he judged on sight? Is he growing up in a world where he is seen, and heard, and under-stood? Does he feel helpless? Will he be treated like George Floyd or Ahmaud Abrey? What have we really done in the last 54 years to make his 8-year-old world better than mine was? We all have to be and do better.”

In Germany, U.S. national soc-cer player Weston McKennie played for Schalke on Saturday wearing an armband referencing Floyd’s death.

The midfielder had the hand-written message “Justice for George” on white tape around his left arm.

“To be able to use my platform to bring attention to a problem that has been going on to (sic) long feels good!!!” McKennie wrote on Twitter alongside pictures of him-self wearing the armband. “We have to stand up for what we be-lieve in and I believe that it is time that we are heard!”

McKennie’s Schalke team lost 1-0 to Werder Bremen.


Sports events in England resuming

Goodell: ‘Urgent need for action’ remains


Schalke’s Weston McKennie (2) wears an armband with the words “Justice for George” written on it during the Bundesliga match on Saturday. To be able to use my platform to bring attention to a problem that has been going on to long feels good!!!” McKennie wrote on Twitter.

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• S T A R S A N D S T R I P E S •PAGE 22 F3HIJKLM Monday, June 1, 2020


Burns roughs up Woodley in UFC’s return to Vegas

Associated Press

LAS VEGAS — Gilbert Burns dominated former UFC welter-weight champion Tyron Woodley to win a unanimous decision on Saturday night in the mixed mar-tial arts promotion’s return to Las Vegas.

Brazilian heavyweight Augusto Sakai employed some unpunished gamesmanship to eke out a split-decision victory over Bulgaria’s Blagoy Ivanov in the penultimate bout of the UFC’s first show in its hometown since the coronavirus pandemic began.

The event was held without fans at the UFC Apex, a small gym with broadcast fa-cilities on the promotion’s corporate campus. The UFC used minimal personnel to stage the fight, and the promotion said everyone involved was subject to strict health and safety protocols.

The 33-year-old Burns (19-3) dominated on his feet and on the ground, finishing his first main-event bout with likely the biggest win of his career and his sixth consecutive victory since July 2018, including four straight since moving back up to welterweight.

From a first-round knockdown to a strong finish, the Florida-based Brazilian soundly defeated one of the most accomplished welterweights in UFC history and made his case for a shot at cham-pion Kamaru Usman, who hap-pens to be his training partner.

“I trained so hard for this fight, and I knew I could do it,” said Burns, who entered the bout ranked sixth in the crowded 170-pound division. “I was calling these guys out for a reason. I’m coming to stay. That was a former champion right there. You saw a dominant performance against a former champion. I’m ready. I feel so good right now.”

The judges all gave all five rounds to Burns, scoring it 50-45, 50-44 and 50-44 .

“I love the champ, my train-ing partner,” Burns said. “But come on, give me a shot. A lot of respect, a lot of love for you, but I think I’m next. ... If they want to make a fight in July, come on. I don’t have a scratch.”

Burns dropped the ex-champ in the opening seconds and gained a full mount. A gaping cut opened in Woodley’s left eyebrow in the opening minutes, and Burns again overcame Woodley’s famously

strong takedown defense to drop Woodley in the second round.

Woodley (19-5-1) hadn’t fought since losing his title in a one-sided thrashing from Usman in March 2019. Woodley had reigned atop the division for nearly three years, and the 38-year-old Uni-versity of Missouri graduate said he dealt with depression while debating whether to stay in MMA or to pursue a music career.

Burns’ victory capped an en-tertaining show at the Apex, where the octagon is only 25 feet in diameter, compared to 30 feet in most competitive cages. The compact dimensions typically lead to more aggressive fighting, and this card featured six finish-es in its 11 bouts.

Burns was fighting in a fan-free arena for the second time in 2½ months. He stopped vet-eran Demian Maia in Brasilia on March 14 in the UFC’s final show before it halted competition.

After an eight-week break, the UFC returned to competition in May with three shows in eight days in Jacksonville, Fl a .

Although this card was fairly light on star power, the promo-tion will stage UFC 250 next Sat-urday night from the same gym. Two-division champion Amanda Nunes’ featherweight title defense against Canada’s Felicia Spencer headlines the pay-per-view card.

UFC President Dana White continues to promise additional shows this summer from the so-called “Fight Island,” an undisclosed private isle where the promotion intends to host bouts between fighters who can’t enter the U.S. due to health restrictions.

Sakai (15-1-1) remained un-beaten in the UFC with his fourth straight victory when two judges favored him 29-28 after a lively bout with Ivanov (18-4) .

Sakai escaped punishment from referee Jason Herzog in the third round when he blatantly grabbed the chain-link wall of the cage while attempting to avoid a takedown attempt by Ivanov.

Grabbing the cage is illegal and punishable by a point deduc-tion, but Herzog merely warned Sakai verbally. The decision was met with audible disbelief by Daniel Cormier, the former UFC heavyweight champion work-ing in the quiet arena as a color commentator.

Strawweight contender Mack-enzie Dern opened the main card by finishing Hannah Cifers with a knee bar that was the first leg-lock submission victory by a woman in UFC history. Dern (8-1) earned her first win since giving birth to her daughter last year.


Associated Press

Four-year colleges facing bud-get shortfalls stemming from the pandemic are approaching an unwelcome milestone: In coming days, the number of eliminated sports programs will almost sure-ly pass 100.

Research by The Associated Press found a total of 97 teams eliminated at four-year schools through Friday. The count includes only teams cut with the coronavi-rus outbreak and its impacts cited as all or part of the reason.

Of the 78 teams lost in Divisions II and III and the NAIA, 44 were from three schools that closed at least in part because of financial fallout from the pandemic.

No Power Five conference school is known to have dropped any sports. Most of the 19 Division I teams cut — 15 men’s, four wom-en’s — are from schools in the so-called Group of Five conferences.

Some of the cuts might not have been made, critics say, if decision-makers had considered the ben-efits those sports brought to the schools as a whole.

“College presidents are just not thinking this through,” for-mer University of Idaho president Chuck Staben said. “I cannot be-lieve they are making all these probably bad financial decisions for their university when what we need them to do in the face of this pandemic and pending budget cuts from tuition shortfalls and state funding shortfalls is to make good financial decisions that ben-efit students.”

Staben argues athletes often pay more than the value of their partial scholarships for tuition, room and board and books, and bring diversity to campuses. This, he said, is especially important at a time when enrollment declines are accelerating as budget woes hit higher education.

Akron athletic director Larry Williams was ordered to chop 23%, or $4.4 million, from his budget. Akron depends on student fees for 40% of its athletic budget and en-rollment is expected to be down 20% this fall. The school dropped men’s cross country and golf and women’s tennis two weeks ago, and there will be other spending and staff reductions.

Williams noted the accounting system used by his and other uni-versities often consider the athletic department a cost center and rev-enue is generally not considered.

“So we in athletics don’t get credit for any of those tuitions that are paid by the walk-ons. The uni-versity does,” Williams said.

Williams said deep cuts to foot-ball would not be a good idea for Bowl Subdivision schools because the sport typically supports the

rest of the athletic department.Akron, for example, draws rev-enue from the Mid-AmericanConference’s television contract, guarantees for playing noncon-ference road games, ticket sales, sponsorships and donations.

David Ridpath, associate pro-fessor in Ohio University’s SportsAdministration program andpresident of the Drake Group, anonprofit that advocates for aca-demic integrity and athlete wel-fare, said the pandemic marks atipping point for college sports.

“There is a ton of fat to cut be-fore you get to dropping teams,”he said.

Ridpath said he would start withfootball, suggesting there are too many coaches and staff members on D-I teams. He also said thereshould be more regional sched-uling for all sports to save travelcosts and that a school should havethe flexibility to play football at the Division I level but play tennis, golf and other non-revenue sports at D-III, where there are no ath-letic scholarships.

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said he worries about schools cutting Olympic sports. Aformer member of the U.S. Olym-pic Committee, he said collegesplay a big role in the developmentof international-level athletes.

“There are only 17 men’s gym-nastics programs in the country,”he said. “If those go away, our Olympic efforts in men’s gymnas-tics will be devastated. Similarly,with different numbers, the sameis true with women’s gymnasticsand swimming, wrestling and awhole array of other things likewater polo.


Runners in the men’s NCAA Division I Cross Country Championships in Terre Haute, Ind., on Nov. 23. Four-year colleges facing budget shortfalls from the coronavirus outbreak have eliminated a total of nearly 100 sports programs since March, including six men’s and five women’s cross country teams.

4-year colleges have cut 97 sportsprograms due to virus shortfalls

DID YOU KNOW ?Of the 97 sports programs cut by four-year schools because of the coronavirus outbreak, 52 have been men’s sports, 44 have been women’s sports and one (Tiffin’s equestrian team) had a roster of 25 women and one man.

SOURCE: Associated Press

‘ I trained so hard for this fi ght, and I knew I could do it. ’Gilbert Burns

UFC welterweight

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• S T A R S A N D S T R I P E S • F3HIJKLM PAGE 23Monday, June 1, 2020


Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — The Phillie Phan-atic had stories of his favorite adventures — from the Galapagos Islands to the cob-blestone streets of Philadelphia — read to him most weeks from his very best buds. The Philly furball was tucked in with a bedtime story from Bryce Harper. An-drew McCutchen and manager Joe Girar-di stopped by as guest readers to entertain fans and unite the Phillies community.

But should the Phillies play ball this year, well, the book will close on the Phanatic.

MLB wants to ban the birds — sorry, Pi-rate Parrot — and Bernie Brewer, Bloop-er, Bernie the Marlin, heck, all costumed creatures great and small from the ball-park this season. Firebird, Paws, the Ori-ole Bird, all face extinction — at least this season, should baseball resume.

Not even a muzzle on Mr. Met or a mask on Mariner Moose would help the cause.

Gasp! Baseball’s furriest and funni-est fans are forbidden from entering a ballpark.

And that’s not cool.“Every mascot should be essential be-

cause of its ability to connect and distract with fun,” mascot guru Dave Raymond said.

Raymond should know as well as any performer, as the first person to take on the 6-foot-6, 300-pound, 90-inch waist frame of the Phanatic. He’s since become a mas-cot consultant to the stars and helped cre-ate, brand and train the next generation of hundreds of stadium characters. Mascots are as much a ballpark staple as hot dogs and the long ball, and each fuzzy fist bump or chance concourse encounter hooks the youngest fans on the game.

As baseball prepares for a summer slate without fans, Raymond wonders: What’s a game without a mascot?

“You don’t have to convince me of that,” Raymond said. “It’s the powers that be that don’t understand that simple truth.”

There’s already a blueprint MLB could follow that explains why mascots fit in bar-ren ballparks.

Take a look across the globe. Mascots re-mained a staple of baseball games in Tai-wan and the KBO League in South Korea. American fans who stayed up late (or is it, woke up early?) to watch KBO games on ESPN were mesmerized by mascots gone wild in empty stadiums. The LG Twins mascots — twin robot boys named Lucky and Star — wore masks. So did cheer-leaders and a drum section that provided the soundtrack for an otherwise dreary

atmosphere.The Chinese Professional Baseball

League barred spectators over concerns of spreading the new coronavirus in a crowd-ed space, but the league decided it was safe to let in cheerleaders and costumed mascots.

“This is the most important time to le-verage fun, when people are sick and dying and dealing with the brutality of life,” Raymond said. “That is the time that you find a way to distract people and entertain them.”

Philadelphia Inquirer cartoonist Rob Tornoe drew the Phanatic (wearing a mask) sitting atop the dugout with his phone and on hold with the unemployment office.

“This is life or death now for a lot of characters, a lot of performers,” former Timberwolves mascot Jon Cudo said.

It’s not that dire for most MLB perform-ers who often have other duties within the organization or remained active in the community with food drives, firetruck pa-rades or other feel-good efforts during the pandemic.

Raymond had former and current mas-cots, including Cudo, join this week on his webinar, “What The Heck Should My Mascot Do Now?” The best suggestion to stay connected with fans — with the ATV

temporarily parked — is engaging through social content.

Mascot Mania has gone wild on Insta-gram and TikTok. Mr. Met cleans windows. D. Baxter the Bobcat taught crosswalk safety. Wally the Green Monster records virtual messages for charity.

Then again, mascots have problems just like us: Who gives the Phanatic a trim dur-ing quarantine?

“The Phanatic doesn’t need to get his hair cut,” Raymond said. “It’s actually a positive when it gets unkempt and long.”

The Phanatic already underwent one makeover this year — his new look fea-tures flightless feathers rather than fur-colored arms, stars outlining the eyes, a larger posterior and a powder blue tail, blue socks with red shoes, plus a set of

scales under the arms — because of alawsuit filed against the team by the cre-ators of the original Phanatic. The creatorsthreatened to terminate the Phillies’ rightsto the Phanatic as of June 15 and “make the Phanatic a free agent” unless the team renegotiated its 1984 agreement to acquire the mascot’s rights.

Mascots were lumped in with other baseball traditions that would be weeded out under a 2020 proposal. The traditionalexchange of lineup cards would be elimi-nated, along with high-fives, fist bumpsand bat boys and girls.

“I don’t know of anybody who boughtseason tickets to watch the bat boy,” Ray-mond said. “But you can say that in spadesfor the mascots. We’d be losing one of the draws that brings in people beyond the sta-tistic nerds.”

Plus, any fan who attended a Philliesgame in the late 1990s at Veterans Stadiumknows the Phanatic can play in an empty ballpark.

Mascots just want to honk, honk, honkfor the home team and they do care if they ever get back.

“I’m just imploring them to value thecharacter brands,” Raymond said. “There is a safe way for you to have fun, and frank-ly, fun is the most important thing you can invest in right now.”


Muzzle Mr. Met? Phinish off the Phanatic? Mascots argue against ban’s logic

Mascot ban plan ruffles some feathers


Above: The Phillie Phanatic performs before a Feb. 25 spring training game against the Toronto Blue Jays in Clearwater, Fla. Mascots will be banned this season in Major League Baseball should the sport resume. They remain in leagues in South Korea and China. Below: SK Wyverns’ cheerleaders cheer for their team against the Hanwha Eagles in Incheon, South Korea, on May 5.

US Open scenarios include group flights, COVID-19 tests BY HOWARD FENDRICH

Associated Press

Charter flights to ferry U.S. Open tennis players and limited entourages from Europe, South America and the Middle East to New York. Negative COVID-19 tests before traveling. Central-ized housing. Daily temperature checks.

No spectators. Fewer on-court officials. No locker-room access on practice days.

All are among the scenarios being considered for the 2020 U.S. Open — if it is held at all amid the coronavirus pandemic .

“All of this is still fluid,” Stacey Allaster, the U.S. Tennis Associ-ation’s chief executive for profes-

sional tennis, said Saturday. “We have made no decisions at all.”

With that caveat, Allaster added that if the USTA board does de-cide to go forward with the Open, she expects it to be held at its usual site and in its usual spot on the calendar. The main draw is scheduled to start Aug. 31.

“We continue to be, I would

say, 150% focused on staging a safe environment for conduct-ing a U.S. Open at the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York on our dates. It’s all I wake up — our team wakes up — thinking about,” Allaster said. An announcement should come from “mid-June to end of June,” Allaster said.

All sanctioned competition has been suspended by the ATP, WTA and International Tennis Federa-tion since March and is on holduntil late July.

The French Open was post-poned from May to September; Wimbledon was canceled for the first time since 1945. There is no COVID-19 protocol for tennis .

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S T A R S A N D S T R I P E S Monday, June 1, 2020 F3HIJKLM


MLB mascot ban plan ruffling some feathers » Page 23


Associated Press

aker Mayfield went back to his roots during this strange offsea-son, a time he’s used to reflect and forget a season that didn’t go well for the Browns’ brash quarterback.

He’s also worked on his golf game.“I’ve always been a high-effort guy,” he

said. “I am swinging hard still, but it is still not going straight.”

Neither is his NFL ca-reer, and Mayfield’s spent the past two months try-ing to get it back on the proverbial fairway.

After an electrify-ing rookie season, he regressed significant-ly with Cleveland. On Wednesday, Mayfield, who will be playing for his fourth coach in three years in 2020, spoke to reporters for the first time since January, when

the Browns’ 6-10 letdown was followed by yet another coaching change, front-office purge and renewed questions about wheth-er he’s a franchise QB.

Mayfield knows the upcoming season is vital.

“There’s no doubt Year 3 is always a big year in these contracts and timing-wise, everybody knows that,” Mayfield said on a


Browns’ Mayfield refocused after difficult ’19 season

‘ It is time to do our thing, instead of talking about it. ’Baker Mayfi eld

Cleveland QB

Inside:� Analysis: No surprise league tabled proposed alternative to onside kick, Page 20

Nothing much seemed to go as planned for

the Cleveland Browns and star quarterback Baker Mayfield last

season. Mayfield spent the offseason learning from his mistakes, and is ready to do as he’s

done all his football life — prove people wrong.

David Richard/AP

Viva Las VegasBurns dominates ex-welterweight champion Woodley » MMA, Page 22

stripes Enough is enough - [PDF Document] (2024)


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