The Wider World

Trump: Re-open houses of worship

AERIAL VIEW of the Christ Cathedral in Garden Grove, one of the nation’s best-known houses of worship (OC Diocese photo).

President Donald Trump on Friday pronounced religious services to be “essential” and said he would “override” the decisions of any governors who didn’t let churches re-open over the Memorial Day weekend.

According to United Press International, Trump said, “Today, I’m identifying houses of worship ­– churches, synagogues, and mosques – as essential places that provide essential services.”

The Center for Disease Control on Friday issued guidelines under which congregations could safely gather, including limiting the size of gatherings, curbing the use of choirs and musical ensembles and congregant singing, and limiting the sharing of frequently-touched objects that cannot be easily cleaned, such as prayer books, shared cups, prayer rugs and more, according to the New York Times.

Some states – including California – have not included religious gatherings on their “essential” list, but Gov. Gavin Newsom is reported to be close to issuing guidelines under which such houses of worship could re-open.

Biden backpedals on racial remark

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden recanted an off-hand remark in which he said that any African Americans who support President Donald Trump “ain’t black.”

He made the remarks while speaking on a radio program in Atlanta with a mostly black audience.
“I shouldn’t have been such a wise guy,” he said, according to the Associated Press.

“No one should have to vote for any party based on their race or religion or background.”

He received criticism that suggested that he was taking the African American vote for granted, which he denied and apologized for what he called a “cavalier” remark.

U.S. coronavirus deaths near 100,000

The number of deaths from the coronavirus in the United States is now at 95,886, according to the count kept by Johns Hopkins University. Friday’s global tally shows 337,534, with the U.S. having the most, followed by the United Kingdom with 36,475 and Italy with 32,616.

Total confirmed cases of COVID-19 are now at 5,205,131, with the U.S. at 1,598,131, followed by Russia with 326,448 and Brazil with 310,087.

Wall Street shows mixed returns

Friday’s closing stock market indexes showed a mixed report. According to Yahoo/Finance, the Dow Jones Industrials fell by 8.96 points (0.04 percent) to 24,465.16.

But the Standard and Poor’s 500 rose by 6.94 points (0.24 percent) to 2,955.45. The Nasdaq showed a much larger increase of 39.71 points (0.43 percent) to 9,324.59.

American stock markets will be closed on Monday for Memorial Day.

Weather: Sun defeats the clouds

Memorial Day weekend should be mild, with cloudy mornings giving way to sunny weather in the afternoon across most of Orange County. Saturday’s highs will be around 74, warming up to the low 80s on Sunday and Monday,

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