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Morning headlines: Behind the lines of protests in Portland; 2020 campaign watch; Hurricane Douglas skirts Hawaii
alert special report AP

Morning headlines: Behind the lines of protests in Portland; 2020 campaign watch; Hurricane Douglas skirts Hawaii

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Today is Monday, July 27, 2020. Let's get caught up.

These non-virus headlines are in the news this morning: The Associated Press went behind the lines with protesters and federal agents in Portland to document the movement gripping America; President Donald Trump tries to turn his re-election campaign around; and Hurricane Douglas began to spin away from the Hawaiian islands.

Read on for these stories, other top headlines, celebrity birthdays and more.


Top stories

On Portland's streets: Anger, fear, and a fence that divides

The nation is seething with anxiety and deeply divided about the role of police, the value of Black lives and the limits of federal authority in an election season like none other. In Portland, on a single city block owned by the U.S. government, that anxiety has turned to turmoil.

Is this the beginning of the United States transforming into a military state, where federal agents flood the streets and overrule local authorities? Or is it a battle to keep the violence in Portland from becoming the new America, a frightening vision painted by President Donald Trump of what the future will hold without his leadership?

Fear and uncertainty about the answers to those questions have exploded in Portland in a surreal armed conflict that plays out every night.

***

2020 Watch: Can Trump turn around his beleaguered campaign?

With fewer than 100 days before polls open across America, President Donald Trump is running short on time to reset his beleaguered reelection bid. The death toll from the coronavirus pandemic is surging again, the economic recovery appears to be slipping backward and racial divisions are still exploding.

More Americans say the country is heading in the wrong direction than at any previous point in his presidency, according to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Even a significant portion of Republicans have soured on his handling of the coronavirus.

After spending much of the year playing down the crises, Trump has adopted a more serious tone in the latest round of White House pandemic briefings. He canceled the Republican National Convention events in Florida and even tweeted a picture of himself in a face mask. His track record, however, suggests his newfound discipline likely won't last.

***

Hurricane Douglas gains strength; skirts the state of Hawaii

Hurricane Douglas gained some strength and began to spin away from many of the Hawaiian Islands as it skirted the state late Sunday.

Forecasters said a hurricane warning was canceled for Oahu but remained in effect for Kauai County, including the islands of Kauai and Niihau, which could still be hit by the system with strong wind gusts and rough surf.

In other news today ...

  • Deep-pocketed and often anonymous donors are pouring over $100 million into an intensifying dispute about whether it should be easier to vote by mail, a fight that could determine President Donald Trump's fate in the November election.
  • Roughly three months before Election Day, a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that Joe Biden's supporters are less enthusiastic than Trump's — both about the campaign itself and about their candidate — although the Democrat's coalition may be equally motivated by anxiety.
  • A downgraded Hanna continued charging across the borderland of South Texas and northeastern Mexico, where flooding remained the biggest threat Monday in a region that was already reeling from a surge in cases of the coronavirus. Hanna, now a tropical depression, passed over the U.S.-Mexico border Sunday with winds near 50 mph. It unloaded more than 12 inches of rain in some areas, and more was expected.
  • The late U.S. Rep. John Lewis crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, for the final time Sunday as remembrances continue for the civil rights icon. The bridge became a landmark in the fight for racial justice when Lewis and other civil rights marchers were beaten there 55 years ago on “Bloody Sunday," a key event that helped galvanize support for the passage of the Voting Rights Act.
  • In the more than 40 years since China and the U.S. established formal diplomatic relations, accusations have been traded, tensions have risen and fallen and the two sides have come dangerously close to outright confrontation. Yet the forced closure of the Chinese Consulate in Houston and China’s order in response to shutter the U.S. Consulate in the Chinese city of Chengdu mark a new low point in ties between the world’s largest economies that can’t easily be smoothed over.
  • They have the largest economies in the world. They spend more than anyone else on their militaries. From high-tech chips to control of the high seas, their interests are closely intertwined. The ongoing sharp deterioration in U.S.-China ties poses risks to both countries and the rest of the world. 
  • The price of gold surged to a record above $1,934 per ounce on Monday as investors moved money into an asset seen as a safe haven amid jitters about U.S.-Chinese tension and the recovery from the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Protests took a violent turn in several U.S. cities over the weekend with demonstrators squaring off against federal agents outside a courthouse in Portland, Oregon, forcing police in Seattle to retreat into a station house and setting fire to vehicles in California and Virginia.

Click on the links below for full versions of these stories and scroll further for trending stories, a look at today in history and celebrity birthdays.

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