SYDNEY – Australia’s second most-populous state on Saturday reported one of its highest daily increases in new coronavirus infections and warned the numbers would get worse before they got better as it began its first weekend under a six-week lockdown. Victoria state recorded 216 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19 in the 24 hours to Saturday morning, down from a record 288 cases the previous day but still one of the biggest daily…"Australia’s Victoria state records another day of high coronavirus infections"
– California will release up to 8,000 inmates early from state prisons to slow the spread of COVID-19 inside facilities, state authorities said on Friday. Several California prisons have suffered large coronavirus outbreaks and the state corrections department said inmates could be eligible for release by the end of August. The release marks the biggest move yet by California to “decompress” prison populations and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission by creating more space for…"California to release 8,000 prisoners to slow pandemic"
BRASILIA – Environmentalist Alfredo Sirkis, a founder of Brazil’s Green Party and a tireless campaigner for policies to curb climate change, died on Friday in a car crash, television network TV Globo said. Sirkis, 69, was killed when the car he was driving hit a post on a highway outside his hometown Rio de Janeiro, broadcaster TV Globo reported, citing firemen at the crash. A former leftist guerrilla, Sirkis was involved in the kidnapping of…"Brazilian environmentalist Sirkis killed in car crash"
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump is considering commuting Roger Stone’s sentence just days before his longtime friend and adviser is due to report to prison, a source familiar with the situation said on Friday. Stone, 67, is scheduled to report by Tuesday to a federal prison in Jesup, Georgia to begin serving a sentence of three years and four months for lying under oath to U.S. lawmakers investigating Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election.…"Trump mulls commuting longtime adviser Roger Stone’s sentence, source says"
– Michael Cohen, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former personal attorney, has been sent back to a federal prison in upstate New York after questioning a gag order as a condition of serving his criminal sentence under home confinement, Cohen’s lawyer said. Cohen, 53, had attended a meeting with probation officers in Manhattan on Thursday when he was presented with a list of conditions for home confinement, including that he not engage with news media outlets,…"Ex-Trump lawyer Cohen sent back to upstate NY prison after questioning gag order"
BEIJING – China’s customs authority said on Friday it was suspending imports from three shrimp producers in Ecuador after detecting the new coronavirus in recent shipments. It said samples taken from shipments from Industrial Pesquera Santa Priscila SA, Empacreci SA and Empacadora Del Pacifico Sociedad Anonima Edpacif had produced six positive results. However, tests on the frozen shrimp and inner packaging were negative. The companies did not respond to requests for comment. The findings are…"China suspends imports of Ecuador shrimp on coronavirus risk"
WASHINGTON – New York City prosecutors are very likely to obtain President Donald Trump’s tax returns after a major U.S. Supreme Court ruling, but it may not happen before the Nov. 3 election if he argues in lower courts as expected that their request was too broad and made in bad faith, legal experts said. Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance is seeking eight years of Trump’s business and personal tax returns and other financial documents…"Prosecutors may not get Trump tax records until after election, experts say"
HOUSTON – A U.S. Supreme Court decision recognizing about half of Oklahoma as Native American reservation land has implications for oil and gas development in the state, raising complex regulatory and tax questions that could take years to settle, according to Oklahoma attorneys. The court on Thursday overturned an Oklahoma tribe member’s rape conviction because the location where the crime was committed should have been considered reservation land and therefore outside the reach of state…"Supreme Court ruling on Oklahoma tribal land raises questions for oil industry"
NEW YORK – Ghislaine Maxwell, the former girlfriend and longtime associate of the late financier Jeffrey Epstein, on Friday forcefully denied charges she lured underage girls so he could sexually abuse them, and said she deserves bail. Maxwell filed her request in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan eight days after being arrested in New Hampshire, where authorities said she had been hiding at a sprawling property she bought while shielding her identity. The 58-year-old…"Ghislaine Maxwell denies charges she aided Jeffrey Epstein, says she deserves bail"
FRANKFURT – Bulgaria and Croatia have been accepted into ERM-2 mechanism, a mandatory stage for joining the euro and beginning the currency bloc’s first expansion in half a decade, the European Central Bank said on Friday. Following the approval from euro zone finance ministers and ECB officials, the two eastern European nations will also join the bloc’s banking union, putting their biggest lenders under the ECB’s supervision from Oct. 1, the bank said in a…"Bulgaria, Croatia take vital step to joining euro"