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Windows covered and reporters ejected as Paul Manafort faces federal judge inside sealed courtroom

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Paul Manafort, the former campaign chairman for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, appeared in a sealed federal courtroom on Monday, according to Bloomberg.

U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson is considering whether Manafort lied to investigators after pledging to cooperate with Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Prosecutors will reportedly be presenting secret government evidence.

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Reporters were ejected from the courtroom before the hearing began. “Thick loose-leaf binders could be seen near lawyers for the government and Manafort before the courtroom was sealed,” Bloomberg reported.

“They’ve covered the little windows on the doors so you can’t see in. A redacted transcript will come out after,” said Zoe Tillman, a reporter for BuzzFeed News.

Mueller has alleged that Manafort violated his plea agreement by lying to investigators. But Manafort denies the allegations, insisting any misstatements were due to lapses in memory.


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Navy captain fired by Trump over coronavirus letter tests positive for COVID-19: report

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According to a report from the New York Times, the Navy captain relieved of his duties by the Trump administration over a letter drawing attention to dangerous health conditions on his aircraft carrier has tested positive for COVID-19.

The report states, "Capt. Brett E. Crozier, the Navy captain who was removed from command of the coronavirus-stricken aircraft carrier U.S.S. Theodore Roosevelt, has tested positive for Covid-19, according to two Naval Academy classmates of Crozier’s who are close to him and his family."

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Georgia GOP governor orders several beaches to reopen days after acknowledging he’s woefully uneducated on coronavirus spread

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The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported today that Kemp is reopening Tybee Island and other beaches along the Georgia coast.

Local officials in several of Georgia’s coastal communities reacted with fury on Saturday after Gov. Brian Kemp’s shelter-in-place order simultaneously reopened several of the state’s most popular beaches.

The stupidity and lack of regard of human life on display in Republican-run states is beyond criminal and inhumane. In fact, there are no words to describe this. Because the longer these so-called “leaders” make decisions that are in the best interests of, I don’t know who, the longer it will take to come out of this pandemic that is claiming so many thousands of lives.

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Health care insurers expected to jack up premiums as much as 40 percent to recoup coronavirus losses

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Private health insurers are expected to raise premiums by as much as 40% to recoup the costs of coronavirus testing and treatment, according to a new analysis from Covered California, the state's health care marketplace.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Though it remains unclear how much the coronavirus crisis will ultimately cost in health care expenditures, insurers will be submitting their 2021 rates to state regulators next month. Analyzing a wide range of models, Covered California expects that this year's care associated with the virus will cost between $34 billion and $251 billion, or between 2% of premiums and 21% of premiums. The analysis estimates that insurers would price the costs at double the rate into their 2021 premiums, projecting increases that range from as little as 4% to more than 40% for the 170 million workers and individuals who have private plans.

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