JPMorgan Chase will temporarily close 20% of its bank branches starting Thursday in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the company told employees.The New York-based banking giant, which has nearly 5,000 branches overall, operates more than 200 locations in New Jersey, meaning around 20 branches in the state could shutter. The company has not announced which locations are involved. Chase ranks in the top five for companies with the most bank branches in New Jersey.The move is intended to “protect our employees as we provide essential services to our customers and the communities we serve,” b...
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The failure of the Senate procedural vote showed again how difficult it is for Congress to agree on any response to U.S. gun violence. It followed a racist mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, earlier this month that took the lives of 10 Black people in a predominantly Black neighborhood.
Another mass shooting, this one at an elementary school in Texas on Tuesday, killed 19 children and two adults.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer had scheduled the domestic terrorism legislation, already passed by the Democratic-controlled House, for a vote following the shooting in Buffalo.
“The bill is so important, because the mass shooting in Buffalo was an act of domestic terrorism. We need to call it what it is: domestic terrorism,” said Schumer, a New York Democrat.
“It was terrorism that fed off the poison of conspiracy theories like white replacement theory. Terrorism that left 10 people dead, and a community forever torn asunder.”
But senators fell far short of the 60-vote threshold needed to move debate forward on the legislation. Schumer through a procedural move could bring the bill, H.R. 350, up again if there is more support.
The vote was 47-47, with six senators not casting their votes. Only Democrats backed advancing the bill. The House on May 18 had passed the bill, 222-203, with just one Republican vote.
Meanwhile, Schumer said Democratic Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Chris Coons of Delaware, Martin Heinrich of New Mexico, Joe Manchin III of West Virginia, and others are reaching out to Republican senators to work on some type of bipartisan gun control legislation.
“Make no mistake about it, if these negotiations do not bear fruit in a short period of time, the Senate will vote on gun safety legislation,” he said. “But our hope, even amidst our deep skepticism, is that during this week, Democrats and Republicans at long last will come to agree on something meaningful that will reduce gun violence in a real way in America.”
Schumer on the floor Wednesday had implored Senate Republicans to join Democrats in passing the domestic terrorism bill, as well as bipartisan gun control legislation, in reaction to this month’s mass shootings.
The domestic terrorism legislation creates domestic terrorism offices within the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice, and the FBI to monitor domestic terrorist activity and requires Congress to take steps to prevent domestic terrorism. That includes white-supremacist-related incidents or attempted incidents.
The bill also “creates an interagency task force to analyze and combat white supremacist and neo-Nazi infiltration of the uniformed services and federal law enforcement agencies,” according to a bill summary.
Shortly before the procedural vote, Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky said the bill would brand police and military service members as white supremacists.
“To insinuate that the military is consumed with white supremacy is an insult,” Paul said on the Senate floor.
The Pentagon drafted a report, obtained by Roll Call, that found U.S. military personnel and veterans were considered high prizes as recruits for white supremacist groups.
The chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, said that the bill would not create any new laws, and the purpose of it is for Congress to be informed of reports of domestic terrorism.
Durbin said on the Senate floor that it’s important to include the threat of white supremacy in that category because “this is a category of crime in America that is metastasizing.”
There have been several shootings in the last few years that have targeted communities of color and places of worship. Besides Buffalo, that includes Atlanta, where shootings at several spa shops targeted Asian-American women; El Paso, Texas, where dozens of Latinos were gunned down; and Pittsburgh, where the Tree of Life synagogue was targeted.
Michigan Advance is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Michigan Advance maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Susan Demas for questions: firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Michigan Advance on Facebook and Twitter.
'We will circle back': Texas cop scoffs at reporter asking why officers took an hour to stop Uvalde shooter
Public aggravation with law enforcement's conflicting timeline of Tuesday's mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas that killed 19 students and two teachers and injured 17 others is mounting, and the latest press conference on how emergency teams responded to the assault only fueled further frustration.
The biggest mystery is why it took officers nearly an hour to neutralize the 18-year-old gunman, who police maintain barricaded himself in a classroom before he slaughtered nearly two dozen fourth-graders.
On Thursday, CNN's Crime and Justice Correspondent Shimon Prokupecz asked the officer addressing the media to clarify why it took authorities so long to reach the suspect.
"You guys have said that he was barricaded. Can you explain to us how he was barricaded and why you guys could not breach that door?" Prokupecz asked.
"I have taken all of your questions into consideration. We will be doing updates. We will be answering those questions," the officer replied.
"Can you answer that question now sir? Because we’ve been given a lot of bad information, so why don’t you clear all of this up now and explain to us how is that your officers were in there for an hour, yes, rescuing people, but yet no one was able to get inside that room?" Prokupecz pressed again.
"Shimon, we will circle back with you. we will answer all your questions. We wanna give you the 'why.' That's our job, so give us time. I'm taking all your questions. I'm taking them back to talk to the team," the officer responded.
"Can you tell us how the door was barricaded?" Prokupecz followed up but to no avail.
"Thank you for being here. We'll talk soon," the official said.
Watch below via Acyn:
The margin between GOP candidates Mehmet Oz and Dave McCormick is enough to trigger an automatic statewide recount, with less than 0.5 percent of the vote separating them as of Thursday afternoon.
Both candidates have expressed confidence in the race and facing Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, the Democratic U.S. Senate nominee, in November.
While Oz maintains a narrow lead, McCormick has filed a lawsuit to ensure that undated and incorrectly dated mail ballots still returned by 8 p.m. on Election Day count toward final totals. Earlier this week, the Department of State issued guidance to counties, telling them to segregate and tabulate the undated ballots separately.
Here’s what to know about recounts and what comes next:
Who carries out a recount?
Counties carry out the recount process.
Local election officials must recount all ballots with a different method than the initial tabulation, or they can tabulate by hand.
When does the recount start?
Chapman said she plans to issue the formal declaration of a recount by 5 p.m. on Thursday. Counties could start the process as soon as Friday.
The law requires that counties begin the recount no later than June 1.
How long does a recount take?
Counties must finish the recount by noon on June 7, with final results due to the Department of State by noon on June 8.
How much will a recount cost?
The Department of State estimates that the recount will cost taxpayers more than $1 million.
Is a recount required?
Pennsylvania law requires an automatic statewide recount if 0.5 percent or less of the vote separates the leading two candidates.
The candidate with the second-highest number of votes could waive the recount requirement, but McCormick has not.
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