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At least 18 million US viewers tuned in for Comey testimony about Trump

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At least 18 million people watched former FBI director James Comey’s dramatic testimony on Thursday about his dealings with President Donald Trump, according to preliminary ratings information from TV networks.

U.S. broadcast networks interrupted regular programing to air live coverage of Comey’s more than two hours of remarks before the Senate Intelligence Committee.

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Early Nielsen data showed that 18.2 million people tuned in to the hearing on six broadcast and cable television networks. Updated figures with additional channels were expected to be released later on Friday.

Football’s Super Bowl, traditionally the year’s most-watched U.S. television broadcast, attracted 111 million viewers in February. Trump’s inauguration in January drew an audience of nearly 31 million.

During his appearance, Comey said he believed the president dismissed him in May to try to undermine a Federal Bureau of Investigation probe into possible collusion between Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign team and Russia.

Trump on Friday said Comey’s testimony showed “no obstruction.”

The television ratings do not include the crowds that watched the highly anticipated congressional hearing at bars and restaurants around the country or online through services like Twitter and YouTube.

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(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Leslie Adler)


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High school wrestling coach posted photo that mocked George Floyd’s death — but insists ‘I’m not a racist’

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A high school wrestling coach in the town of Spanaway, Washington drew criticism this week after he wrote a Facebook post that mocked the death of George Floyd and defended the police officers involved in the tragedy.

Local news station KOMO reports that wrestling coach Dave Hollenbeck this week posted a photo of himself smiling and giving a thumbs-up signal while another person put their knee on the back of his neck -- a clear reference to the video showing a police officer with his knee on George Floyd's neck shortly before he died.

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Central Park incident just one more example of white women using their status to terrorize black men: NYT’s Charles Blow

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Amy Cooper is just the latest example of white women using their privilege and femininity to terrorize black men, according to a new column from Charles Blow.

The New York Times columnist explains that a video recording of an incident involving Cooper, an investment manager, and Christian Cooper, a science editor, has a long and shameful historical precedent.

"This racial street theater against black people is an endemic, primal feature of the Republic," Blow write. "Specifically, I am enraged by white women weaponizing racial anxiety, using their white femininity to activate systems of white terror against black men. This has long been a power white women realized they had and that they exerted."

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New Zealand epidemiologist: ‘We look at Trump’s behavior and we’re horrified’

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To learn how New Zealand has largely eliminated COVID-19, we continue our extended interview with Michael Baker, an epidemiologist who is a member of the New Zealand Ministry of Health’s Technical Advisory Group and advising the government on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He describes how the country’s response compares to the government actions in the United States and worldwide.

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The Quarantine Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González, as we bring you Part 2 of our discussion of New Zealand.

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