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Trump administration refuses to close America’s national parks — and now their staffs are up in arms

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America’s national parks are still open during the coronavirus pandemic, and it’s causing revolts among staff members who say they and their communities are being put at risk.

The Daily Beast reports that staffers at the Grand Canyon National Park are begging their bosses to temporarily shut down the park until the worst of the disease has passed.

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“We feel our boss is not meeting up with our pleas,” one Grand Canyon ranger tells the publication. “It’s political, to keep up the image… I feel people’s idea of the Grand Canyon is that you can isolate, but there’s two entrances. They are all going to the same view stations and same trails. It funnels people to the same spots.”

Dustin Stone, a former human resources employee at Alaska’s Klondike Goldrush Historic National Park, tells The Daily Beast that he resigned his job because his boss was not taking the threat of the virus seriously.

“Being told over and over again that, ‘The system is working, trust the system, it’s taking its time,’ was like being given the middle finger over and over again,” Stone explained in an interview. “There is no time for bureaucracy right now when hours are so important.”

The National Parks Service says that it has so far found at least seven of its employees have been infected with the virus, although the agency in recent days has grown more secretive when it comes to confirming cases.

“Smoky Mountain National Park Spokesperson Dana Soehn on Saturday said she could no longer confirm the coronavirus case she had previously confirmed… citing the new policy,” The Daily Beast writes.

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World virus cases top 6 million as leaders disagree on pandemic response

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The number of coronavirus cases worldwide topped six million Sunday, with Brazil registering another record surge in daily infections as divisions deepened on how to deal with the pandemic.

Latin American countries are bracing for difficult weeks ahead as the disease spreads rapidly across the region, even as much of the world exits lockdowns that have wrecked economies and stripped millions of their jobs.

In Brazil -- the epicenter of South America's outbreak with nearly 500,000 confirmed cases, lagging only behind the United States -- disagreement among leaders over lockdown measures has hampered efforts to slow the virus as the number of fatalities in the country nears 30,000.

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Curfews and clashes as police brutality protests escalate

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Curfews were imposed on major US cities as clashes over police brutality erupted across America with demonstrators ignoring warnings from President Donald Trump that his government would stop the violent protests "cold."

Minneapolis, the epicenter of the unrest, was gripped by a fifth consecutive night of violence on Saturday with police in riot gear firing tear gas and stun grenades at protesters venting fury at the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, during an arrest in the city on Monday.

Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta were among two dozen cities ordering people to stay indoors overnight as more states called in National Guard soldiers to help control the civil unrest not seen in the United States for years.

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2020 Election

‘Insanity outside the White House’: After Trump stokes tensions, fresh clashes between police and protesters

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As protests against police violence and the killing of George Floyd continued in cities across the U.S. on Saturday, a massive crowd gathered outside President Donald Trump's White House as demonstrators again turned their ire and demands for justice and healing towards the nation's most powerful elected official. After tensions built, clashes erupted between law enforcement and demonstrators.

Tensions flared near the White House. Not sure what triggered it, all I saw was a blast of pepper spray and a sudden sprint backward. There’s a lot more pressure on the police cordon and they’re pulling out gas masks. pic.twitter.com/X4uCQRzPkw

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