Gov. Kemp goes after COVID restrictions amid virus surge Georgia
Georgia's Republican governor issued an executive order Thursday that bans cities from requiring businesses to enforce local restrictions aimed at curbing the coronavirus pandemic, but what impact, if any, the measure would have on new mask requirements in Atlanta, Savannah and other cities was not clear.
College educators form alliance to defend free expression
This image shows the logo for the newly formed Academic Freedom Alliance. Members range politically from Harvard University's Cornel West, a Bernie Sanders supporter, to retired Vanderbilt University professor Carol Swain, a backer of former President Donald Trump. AdSome members have been involved in free speech controversies. Whittington, whose books include “Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech,” said the alliance would be “narrowly focused on free speech and academic freedom issues.” He cited two recent examples of why he says the alliance is needed. Ad— Also last summer, Auburn University professor Jesse Goldberg faced calls for his firing, and, he said, threats of violence, after posting a profane tweet that included, “The police do not protect people.
Assange lawyer says Trump offered deal to avoid extradition
Supporters of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange take part in a protest outside the Central Criminal Court, the Old Bailey, in London, Monday, Sept. 14, 2020. The London court hearing on Assange's extradition from Britain to the United States resumed Monday after a COVID-19 test on one of the participating lawyers came back negative, WikiLeaks said Friday. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)LONDON – A lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has told a London court that her client was indirectly offered a “win-win” deal by President Donald Trump that would see him avoid extradition to the U.S. if he revealed the source of a leak of documents from the Democratic Party before the 2016 election. James Lewis, a lawyer acting on behalf of the U.S. government, said it wasn't contesting that “these things” were said. Assange has been in a British prison since his ejection from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London in April 2019.
Defiance grows as Georgia governor blocks local mask rules
(Curtis Compton/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)ATLANTA Mayors in Atlanta and other Georgia cities deepened their defiance of Gov. He went so far as to say local governments couldn't order masks on their own property, which would include Atlanta's airport. Kemp's stance not only shying away from a statewide order but trying to bar local governments from instituting their own leaves him standing virtually alone. In the South, Republican governors in Tennessee, South Carolina and Florida have resisted calls for a statewide mask mandate but allow local jurisdictions to implement them. Republican governors in Alabama and Texas and Democrats in Kentucky, Louisiana and North Carolina have issued statewide mask requirements.
Georgia governor says mask mandate not needed amid spike in coronavirus cases
Brian Kemp says he has not yet weighed whether the state will take legal action against local governments that try to impose mask requirements, as Georgia faces a spike in confirmed coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. The Republican governor held a news conference Wednesday morning before departing on a statewide tour to promote wearing a mask, but said he will not mandate it. A series of executive orders from Kemp have prohibited local governments from setting coronavirus restrictions that go beyond those imposed by the state. Georgia has seen a startling surge in confirmed cases of the coronavirus in recent weeks. Georgia has had nearly 85,000 total confirmed cases of the coronavirus, according to data released Wednesday from the state Department of Public Health, though experts say official counts likely only capture a fraction of those infected.
Savannah mayor to require masks in businesses or face fines
SAVANNAH, Ga. The mayor of Savannah said Tuesday hes ordering people to wear masks inside retail shops, grocery stores and other public places and those who refuse could face $500 fines. Some Georgia cities have moved to require face coverings inside government buildings, said Larry Hanson, executive director of the Georgia Municipal Association. But Savannah is the first hes aware of to extend that requirement to public businesses, he said. Kemp, a Republican, has refrained from ordering people to wear face coverings. However, he plans a tour of cities across Georgia before the Fourth of July weekend to urge residents to wear masks.
The Latest: Georgia elections chief probing voting problems
WASHINGTON The Latest on the 2020 primary elections (all times local):2:30 p.m.Georgia's secretary of state has opened an investigation into voting problems in two counties in metro Atlanta amid reports of voting machine malfunctions in its twice-delayed primary election. Republican Brad Raffensperger on Tuesday announced investigations into Fulton and Dekalb counties' election process. It's the first time Georgia is using its new voting system, which combined touchscreens with scanned paper ballots in races for president, U.S. Senate and dozens of other contests. However, voting delays weren't limited to Atlanta. News outlets also reported problems with poll workers operating voting equipment in Macon and a long line stretching through the parking lot of polling site at a church in Columbus.
Republicans tour Savannah as possible GOP convention site
SAVANNAH, Ga. Organizers of the Republican National Convention are giving Georgias oldest city a close look as a possible replacement venue for the August convention after President Donald Trump dumped Charlotte, North Carolina, as the site where hell accept the GOP nomination. Brian Kemp joined GOP convention CEO Marcia Lee Kelly on Monday for a tour of Savannah and its convention center on Hutchinson Island, which overlooks the city's historic and tourist-friendly riverfront. The group was greeted by Savannah Mayor Van Johnson, City Hall spokesman Nick Zoller said. He sounded skeptical Monday about the city hosting the GOP convention. The GOP convention would be the largest event to come to Savannah since President George W. Bush hosted the G-8 summit of world leaders on the Georgia coast in 2004.