Trump, coaches push for college football as cracks emerge

President Donald Trump joined a U.S. senator and a number of coaches hoping to save the college football season from a pandemic-forced shutdown.

There was speculation the Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences might call off their fall seasons.

The Mountain West did just that, postponing until spring.

Old Dominion canceled fall sports, too, and became the first school in the Football Bowl Subdivison to break from its league in doing so.

The rest of Conference USA is going forward with plans to play.

The powerful Southeastern Conference made clear it was not yet ready to shutter its fall season.

Lawmakers talk police reform, other bills at special session

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers discussed unemployment benefits and police reform bills as they returned to the Capitol for a special session that was largely supposed to be focused on the state’s $1 billion budget hole.

In the days leading up to the session legislators have been split whether the session should be solely dedicated to rebalancing the state budget thrown out of whack because of the COVID-19 pandemic or if bills altering policy, such as those addressing police reform.

Lawmakers were hopeful the session would be completed in a day, but by 3:30 p.m. Monday they were behind schedule and the goal seemed further out of reach.

Hate crime victim arrested at protest won’t be prosecuted

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Black woman who became a leading activist in the Black Lives Matter movement after she was assaulted by a white supremacist three years ago won’t be charged after her arrest early Monday fueled anger among protest leaders in Portland, Oregon, authorities said.

Demetria Hester, 46, was booked on suspicion of disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer during the protest that began Sunday night. The Multnomah County district attorney’s office later said Hester would not be prosecuted but offered no further details.

Hester’s arrest drew a sharp rebuke from national Black Lives Matter activists, who are increasingly focusing on demonstrations in Oregon’s largest city.

After her release, Hester said at a news conference that she would keep protesting and joined others in announcing plans for a fundraiser to send Black mothers to Washington, D.C.

“I was born and bred to do this. This is a dream come true,” Hester said, tearing up as the crowd cheered. “This is a revolution and we’re getting reparations. We’re taking it to D.C., baby!”

Hester and 15 other people were arrested during Portland’s 73rd consecutive nights of protest. A group of about 200 demonstrators gathered at a park and then marched to the police union headquarters, where some people set fires outside the building and launched fireworks at officers.

Two officers were injured, including one who was burned on the neck when a firework exploded, police said.

Trump abruptly escorted from briefing after shooting near WH

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump was abruptly escorted by a U.S. Secret Service agent out of the White House briefing room as he was beginning a coronavirus briefing Monday afternoon.

He returned minutes later, saying there was a “shooting” outside the White House that was “under control.”

Trump says, “There was an actual shooting and somebody’s been taken to the hospital.”

He says the shots were fired by law enforcement, and he believes the individual who was shot was armed.

The shooting took place near 17th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue just blocks from the White House, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation.

Crews continue to battle two destructive California fires

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Firefighters are still battling two major blazes that have burned for at least a week and destroyed homes in Southern California.

The Stagecoach Fire in Kern County has charred more than 12 square miles of dry brush since breaking out Aug. 3. The blaze has destroyed 37 structures, including a dozen residences.

Officials estimate crews have protected at least 300 homes south of Lake Isabella. Evacuation orders have been lifted.

The fire was 64 percent contained as of Sunday night. The cause is under investigation.

Four homes have been destroyed by the Apple Fire burning in mountains east of Los Angeles. The wildfire straddling Riverside and San Bernardino counties has consumed more than 51 square miles of brush and trees.

As of Monday morning, it was 45% contained. Evacuation warnings are still in place for some remote communities.

Officials say the blaze was sparked July 31 by a malfunctioning vehicle.

Looters descend on downtown Chicago; more than 100 arrested

CHICAGO (AP) — Hundreds of looters descended on downtown Chicago early Monday following a police shooting on the city’s South Side, with vandals smashing the windows of dozens of businesses and making off with merchandise, cash machines and anything else they could carry, police said.

When police shot a man after he opened fire on officers Sunday afternoon, the incident apparently prompted a social media post hours later urging looters to converge on the business district, Police Superintendent David Brown said at a news conference.

Some 400 additional officers were dispatched to the area after the department spotted the post. Over the next several hours, police made more than 100 arrests and 13 officers were injured, including one who was struck in the head with a bottle, Brown said.

Lawmakers return to Salem for special session

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon lawmakers return to the Capitol for the second special session of 2020.

But the question remains if the session, which begins Monday, will be solely dedicated to rebalancing the state budget thrown out of whack because of the COVID-19 pandemic or if bills altering policy, such as those addressing police reform, will be added to the agenda.

Tasked with filling a $1.2 billion budget hole, leading lawmakers have proposed cuts totaling $387 million across state agencies and utilizing $400 million in emergency funds from the Education Stability Fund.

While some lawmakers predict the session could be completed within a day or two, that time frame could be lengthened depending if the Legislature decides to focus on the budget or to also include bills altering policy, such as ones surrounding police reform following more than two months of sometimes violent protests in Portland after George Floyd’s killing.

States on hook for billions under Trump’s unemployment plan

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — Whether President Donald Trump has the constitutional authority to extend federal unemployment benefits by executive order remains unclear. Equally up in the air is whether states, which are necessary partners in Trump’s plan to bypass Congress, will sign on.

Trump announced an executive order Saturday that extends additional unemployment payments of $400 a week to help cushion the economic fallout of the pandemic. Congress had approved payments of $600 a week at the outset of the coronavirus outbreak, but those benefits expired Aug. 1 and Congress has been unable to agree on an extension.

Many Republicans have expressed concern that a $600 weekly benefit, on top of existing state benefits, gives people an incentive to stay unemployed.

But under Trump’s plan, the $400 a week requires a state to commit to providing $100.

Many states are already facing budget crunches caused by the pandemic. Asked at a news conference how many governors had signed on to participate, Trump answered: “If they don’t, they don’t. That’s up to them.”

Trump expressed a different view on Sunday night, following a day of state officials questioning how they could afford even $100 per person in additional weekly payments. He told reporters as he returned to Washington that states could make application to have the federal government provide all or part of the $400 payments. Decisions would be made state by state, he said.

US intel: Russia acting against Biden; China opposes Trump

WASHINGTON (AP) — Russians are believed to be working against Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden ahead of the November election.

And U.S. officials assess that China prefers that President Donald Trump not win a second term and that Beijing has accelerated its criticism of the president.

That’s according to a rare public statement Friday from the country’s counterintelligence chief, William Evanina.

The statement is believed to be the most pointed declaration by the U.S. intelligence community linking the Kremlin to efforts to get Trump reelected — a sensitive subject for the president.

Portland protests persist as some bring flashes of violence

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — More protests are expected in Portland, Oregon, throughout the weekend following violent demonstrations this week as unrest in the Northwest city continues.

Since George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis protests have occurred nightly for 70 days.

Early Friday morning about 200 people, some wielding homemade shields, clashed with police early for the third consecutive night as two other Black Lives Matter rallies proceeded peacefully elsewhere.

Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler said this week the violent protesters are also serving as political “props” for President Donald Trump’s reelection.

Trump has tried to portray the protesters as “sick and dangerous anarchists” running wild in the city’s streets.