President Donald Trump retreated from an earlier statement Wednesday that he would withhold federal funds for coronavirus relief to states that planned to use some of the money to pay for mail-in voting.
According to the Associated Press, the president initially said he would stop money for Michigan and Nevada because voting by mail “promotes a lot of illegality.” Evidence of widespread voting fraud has not been established, states the AP.
Trump later said, “I don’t think it’s going to be necessary. Voting is an honor. It shouldn’t be something where they send you a pile of stuff and you send it back.” That was in apparent reference to Michigan mailing out absentee ballot applications, not the actual ballots. Nevada, however, does send out absentee ballots to return by mail as a measure against the coronavirus pandemic.
In Texas, a legal battle over voting by mail on Wednesday took a new turn as a federal court temporarily blocked planned expansion of mail-in voting that had been ordered the day before by a federal judge in San Antonio. That judge ruled that Texas must give all registered voters in the state – 16 million – the choice to vote by mail, rather than in person – during the pandemic.
High court blocks release of Mueller material
A request by the U.S. House of Representatives to get material submitted to a grand jury by investigators working for former special counsel Robert Mueller was temporarily blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The federal Justice Department will have until June 1 to file a formal appeal. The request for the material was made by the House Judiciary committee investigating President Donald Trump, according to United Press International.
Global coronavirus cases close to 5 million
An estimated 4,992,487 people have contracted the coronavirus worldwide, according to figures compiled by Johns Hopkins University. Of that number, 1,550,959 are from the United States.
Following are Russia with 308,705, Brazil with 291,579 and the United Kingdom with 249,619.
Global deaths are at 327,642, with the greatest number in the United States with 93,406, the United Kingdom with 35,786 and Italy with 32,330.
Wall Street stocks on the rise
An increase in stock prices followed a drop the day before. At the closing bell on Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial average was up by 369.04 points or 1.52 percent.
The S&P 500 rose by 48.67 points (1.67 percent), while Nasdaq was up 190.67 points (2.08 percent).
The biggest gainers were Phunware, Inc. (up 134.43 percent), Cinedigm (up 105.84 percent) and Ren Ren, Inc (up 81.4 percent).
Weather: Sun giving way to some clouds
Thursday will be sunny with the high at 81 for the Orange County area, according to the National Weather Service. But then patchy fog moves in Friday morning, giving way to sun in the afternoon with a high of 77. Saturday will see clouds most of the day, dispersing later with a high of 75 degrees.
Categories: The Wider World