McGrath Wins Kentucky Dem Primary; McConnell Showdown Awaits

Former Marine pilot Amy McGrath overcame a bumpier-than-expected Kentucky primary to win the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination Tuesday, fending off progressive Charles Booker to set up a bruising, big-spending showdown with Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

Voting ended June 23, but it took a week until McGrath could be declared the winner due to the race’s tight margins and a deluge of mail-in ballots. The outcome seemed a certainty early in the campaign but became tenuous as Booker’s profile surged as the Black state lawmaker highlighted protests against the deaths of African Americans in encounters with police.

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Carl Reiner, Beloved Creator of ‘Dick Van Dyke Show,’ Dies

Carl Reiner, the ingenious and versatile writer, actor and director who broke through as a “second banana” to Sid Caesar and rose to comedy’s front ranks as creator of “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and straight man to Mel Brooks’ “2000 Year Old Man,” has died. He was 98.

Reiner’s assistant Judy Nagy said he died Monday night of natural causes at his home in Beverly Hills, California.

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Hong Kong Security Law Takes Aim at Protester Actions

China on Tuesday approved a contentious national security law for Hong Kong that takes direct aim at some of the actions of anti-government protesters last year, in a move many see as Beijing’s boldest yet to erase the legal firewall between the semi-autonomous territory and the mainland’s authoritarian Communist Party system.

Details of the law remained under wraps until 11 p.m. (1500 GMT, 11:00 a.m. EDT), when it was published and took effect immediately.

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Judge Threatens to Move Trial Out of Minneapolis If Public Officials Don’t Stop Speaking Out About Floyd Case

A Minnesota judge on Monday warned that he’s likely to move the trials of four former police officers charged in George Floyd’s death out of Minneapolis if public officials, attorneys and family members don’t stop speaking out about the case.

Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill stopped short of issuing a gag order against attorneys on both sides, but he said he likely will if public statements continue that make it hard to find an impartial jury. Cahill said that would also make him likely to grant a change-of-venue motion if one is filed, as he anticipates.

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Kentucky Democrats Still Looking for the Winner in Last Week’s Primary

One of Kentucky’s most unpredictable political races in years is headed toward the wire Tuesday, but it’s taking a full week after the June 23 primary to sort out a possible photo finish in the Democratic U.S. Senate contest.

Absentee ballots that stacked up amid the coronavirus pandemic have delayed the vote count in the neck-and-neck race between progressive candidate Charles Booker and establishment-backed Amy McGrath. Both are vying for the chance to take on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who coasted to victory in the GOP primary in his bid for a seventh term.

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Former Cincinnati Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard Pleads Guilty in Vote-Sale Case

A former Cincinnati city councilwoman accused of accepting $15,000 as part of a scheme to trade votes for money has pleaded guilty to a federal fraud charge.

Tamaya Dennard entered the plea in federal court to a count of honest services wire fraud, meaning defrauding citizens and the council of their right to honest services. No sentencing date was set immediately. 

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Dow Jones and NASDAQ Close Higher with Boeing and Apple Leading the Way

Stocks climbed broadly higher on Wall Street Monday, as the market clawed back more than a third of its losses from last week.

The S&P 500 was up 1% in afternoon trading after a much healthier-than-expected report on the housing market shook the market from its wobbly start. European stocks had similar fluctuations before pushing higher. Treasury yields were mixed. Oil prices rose.

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California’s Alleged Golden State Killer Set to Plead Guilty

Forty years after a sadistic suburban rapist terrorized California in what investigators later realized were a series of linked assaults and slayings, a 74-year-old former police officer is expected to plead guilty Monday to being the elusive Golden State Killer.

The deal will spare Joseph James DeAngelo Jr. any chance of the death penalty for 13 murders and 13 kidnapping-related charges spanning six counties. In partial return, survivors of the assaults that spanned the 1970s and 1980s expect him to admit to up to 62 rapes that he could not be criminally charged with because too much time has passed.

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Two Dead, Four Wounded After Shooting at California WalMart Distribution Center

A man drove into a Northern California distribution center and started shooting at people Saturday afternoon, killing an employee and wounding four others before he was killed by police, authorities said.

The shooting by a 31-year-old man with a semi-automatic rifle started about 3:30 p.m. at the Walmart distribution center south of Red Bluff, a city of about 14,000 people about 131 miles (210 kilometers) north of Sacramento, California.

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Mississippi Set to Remove Confederate Emblem from its Flag

Mississippi is on the verge of changing its state flag to erase a Confederate battle emblem that in recent years has become broadly condemned as virulently racist.

The flag’s supporters resisted efforts to change it for decades, but rapid developments in recent weeks have changed dynamics on this issue in the tradition-bound state.

As protests against racial injustice recently spread across the U.S., including Mississippi, leaders from business, religion, education and sports have spoken forcefully against the state flag. They have urged legislators to ditch the 126-year-old banner for one that better reflects the diversity of a state with a 38% Black population.

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Judge: US Must Free Migrant Children from Family Detention

A federal judge on Friday ordered the release of children held with their parents in U.S. immigration jails and denounced the Trump administration’s prolonged detention of families during the coronavirus pandemic.

U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee – who was appointed by President Obama in 2009 – penned the order that applies to children held for more than 20 days at three family detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania operated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Some have been detained since last year.

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Seattle Mayor Meets with Protesters Over Dismantling Zone

SEATTLE, Washington (AP) — Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan met with demonstrators Friday after some lay in the street or sat on barricades to thwart the city’s effort to dismantle an “occupied” protest zone that has drawn scorn from President Donald Trump and a lawsuit from nearby businesses.

Crews arrived with heavy equipment early Friday morning at the Capitol Hill Occupied Protest, an occupied protest zone in Seattle, ready to dismantle barriers set up after protesters seized the area June 8 following clashes with police. But by mid-morning, they appeared to have backed off rather than risk conflict.

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Judge Rejects Cameras in the Courtroom for Former Police Officers’ Pretrial Hearings in Floyd Death

A Minnesota judge on Friday rejected allowing cameras in the court for pretrial proceedings of four former Minneapolis police officers charged in the death of George Floyd.

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US Consumer Spending Up 8.2 Percent, Partly Erasing Record Plunge

American consumers increased their spending by a record 8.2% in May, partly erasing huge plunges the previous two months, against the backdrop of an economy that’s likely shrinking by its steepest pace on record this quarter.

Last month’s rebound in consumer spending followed record spending drops of 6.6% in March and 12.6% in April, when the viral pandemic shuttered businesses, forced millions of layoffs and sent the economy into a recession. Since then, many businesses have reopened, drawing consumers back into shops and restaurants and restoring some lost jobs.

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Council Unanimously Approves Plan to Dismantle Minneapolis Police

The Minneapolis City Council on Friday unanimously approved a proposal to change the city charter to allow the police department to be dismantled, following widespread criticism of law enforcement over the killing of George Floyd.

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Walz Distributes $841M in Federal COVID Aid to Cities, Counties

Gov. Tim Walz approved plans Thursday to distribute $841 million in federal coronavirus aid to cities and counties across Minnesota, along with another $12 million for food banks and food shelves that have seen a surge in demand since the pandemic hit the state.

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Tennessee Unemployment Payouts Sent to 290K People Last Week

Tennessee distributed unemployment benefits to more than 290,000 people last week as the number of jobless workers remains high due to the new coronavirus outbreak.

The Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development reported Thursday that more than 21,000 people filed new claims for unemployment benefits during the week that ended last Saturday.

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Justices Boost Trump Administration’s Power in Asylum Cases

The Supreme Court on Thursday strengthened the Trump administration’s ability to deport people seeking asylum without allowing them to make their case to a federal judge.

Immigration experts suggested the administration would use sweeping language in the majority opinion to bolster broader efforts to restrict asylum.

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US Health Officials Estimate 20M Americans Have Had Coronavirus

U.S. officials estimate that 20 million Americans have been infected with the coronavirus since it first arrived in the United States, meaning that the vast majority of the population remains susceptible.

Thursday’s estimate is roughly 10 times as many infections as the 2.3 million cases that have been confirmed. Officials have long known that millions of people were infected without knowing it and that many cases are being missed because of gaps in testing.

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Audit: US Sent $1.4B in Virus Relief Payments to Dead People

Nearly 1.1 million coronavirus relief payments totaling some $1.4 billion went to dead people, a government watchdog reported Thursday.

More than 130 million so-called economic impact payments were sent to taxpayers as part of the $2.4 trillion coronavirus relief package enacted in March. The Government Accountability Office, Congress’ auditing arm, cited the number of erroneous payments to deceased taxpayers in its report on the government programs.

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White House Wins Ruling on Health Care Price Disclosure

The Trump administration won a court ruling Tuesday upholding its plan to require hospitals and insurers to disclose the actual prices for common tests and procedures in a bid to promote competition and push down costs.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar called the decision in federal court in Washington, D.C., “a resounding victory” for President Donald Trump’s efforts to open up the convoluted world of health care pricing so patients and families can make better-informed decisions about their care.

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US Citizens Likely to be Left Out as Europe Reopens Borders

Americans are unlikely to be allowed into more than 30 European countries for business or tourism when the continent begins next week to open its borders to the world, due to the spread of the coronavirus and President Donald Trump’s ban on European visitors.

More than 15 million Americans are estimated to travel to Europe each year, and such a decision would underscore flaws in the Trump administration’s handling of the pandemic, which has seen the United States record the highest number of infections and virus-related deaths in the world by far.

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Bayer Paying Up to $10.9B to Settle Monsanto Weedkiller Case

Bayer will pay up to $10.9 billion to settle litigation over the subsidiary Monsanto’s weedkiller Roundup, which has faced thousands of lawsuits over claims it causes cancer, the German-based company said Wednesday.

Bayer said it was also paying up $1.22 billion to settle two additional areas of intense litigation, one involving PCB in water, and one involving dicamba, another weedkiller.

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Ohio Governor Not in Favor of Removing Columbus Statue

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said Tuesday that while he’s not in favor of the removal of statues of Christopher Columbus, he’s open to discussions that arise about people’s place in history.

DeWine addressed last week’s removal by Columbus State Community College of its statue of the namesake explorer, and the announcement by Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther that he wants the large statue outside City Hall to also go.

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Appeals Court Orders Dismissal of Michael Flynn Prosecution

A federal appeals court on Wednesday ordered the dismissal of the criminal case against President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn.

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said in a 2-1 ruling that the Justice Department’s decision to abandon the case against Flynn settles the matter, even though Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to prosecutors in special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation.

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No Charges in NASCAR Noose Incident Involving Black Driver

The noose found hanging in Bubba Wallace’s garage stall at Talladega Superspeedway had been there since at least last October, federal authorities said Tuesday in announcing there will be no charges filed in an incident that rocked NASCAR and its only fulltime Black driver.

U.S. Attorney Jay Town and FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp Jr. said an investigation determined “although the noose is now known to have been in garage number 4 in 2019, nobody could have known Mr. Wallace would be assigned to garage number 4 last week.”

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Trump Says He’ll Issue Executive Order to Protect Monuments

President Donald Trump said Tuesday he’ll issue an executive order to protect monuments that are coming under new scrutiny as America wrestles with racism during the unrest sparked by the police killing of George Floyd.

Trump has been clear that he opposes the removal of monuments of leaders of the Confederacy or other distasteful aspects of American history.

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Tech Leads the Way as US Stocks Head for a Third Month of Gains

Stocks closed higher on Wall Street Tuesday, extending the market’s recent winning streak after another strong showing by technology companies.

The S&P 500 rose 0.4% and is on pace for its third straight monthly gain. The Nasdaq composite, which is heavily weighted with technology stocks, climbed to an all-time high for the second day in a row. Bond yields rose, another sign of increasing confidence in the economy.

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US Honeybees Are Doing Better After Bad Year, Survey Shows

American honeybee colonies have bounced back after a bad year, the annual beekeeping survey finds.

Beekeepers only lost 22.2% of their colonies this past winter, from Oct. 1 to March 31, which is lower than the average of 28.6%, according to the Bee Informed Partnership’s annual survey of thousands of beekeepers. It was the second smallest winter loss in the 14 years of surveying done by several different U.S. universities.

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No More ‘Summer of Love:’ Seattle Mayor Will Move to Dismantle CHOP/CHAZ Protest Zone

Faced with growing pressure to crack down on an “occupied” protest zone following two weekend shootings, Seattle’s mayor said Monday that officials will move to wind down the blocks-long span of city streets taken over two weeks ago that President Donald Trump asserted is run by “anarchists.”

Mayor Jenny Durkan said at a news conference that the violence was distracting from changes sought by thousands of peaceful protesters seeking to address racial inequity and police brutality. She said the city is working with the community to bring the “Capitol Hill Occupied Protest” zone to an end.

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In Minneapolis, Talk of Changing the Police Department Means Taking on the Union

by Amy Forliti   MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota (AP) — The fiery leader of Minneapolis’ police union has built a reputation of defying the city, long before he offered the union’s full support to the officers charged in George Floyd’s death. When the mayor banned “warrior training” for officers last year, Lt.…

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‘Jaws,’ ‘Black Panther,’ and More Coming Back to the Drive-In, with a Percentage of the Proceeds Going to Black Lives Matter

Jaws,” “Black Panther” and “Back to the Future” are just a few of the modern popcorn classics coming to the drive-in this summer.

Tribeca Enterprises, IMAX and AT&T on Monday announced the initial lineup for its summer series of films, comedy and football, running every weekend from July 2 through Aug. 2 in cities like Los Angeles, New York, Dallas, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Miami and Seattle.

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Stock Indexes Move Higher on Wall Street After a Shaky Start

Stock indexes are higher on Wall Street in choppy trading Monday as investors weigh the risks that rising coronavirus cases could pose to hopes for an economic recovery.

The S&P 500 rose 0.4% in midday trading after an initial slide of 0.6% following weakness in overseas markets as the global tally of infections approaches 9 million. The price of gold rose, a signs of caution in the market. Bond yields were mixed.

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Shelby County Reports Biggest Virus Spike Since Pandemic Began

Tennessee’s largest county reported Saturday its highest single-day increase in COVID-19 cases, though officials were trying to figure out if the jump represented a surge in people getting sick or delayed results from testing laboratories.

The Shelby County Health Department in Memphis reported an increase of 385 cases of the new coronavirus, eclipsing the previous single-day spike by more than 100 cases.

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Tennessean Admits Big Mistake After Running Ad That Generates Withering Criticism

A Tennessee newspaper said Sunday it is investigating what its editor called a “horrific” full-page advertisement from a religious group that predicts a terrorist attack in Nashville next month.

The paid advertisement that appeared in Sunday’s editions of The Tennessean from the group Future For America claims Donald Trump “is the final president of the USA” and features a photo of Trump and Pope Francis. It begins by claiming that a nuclear device would be detonated in Nashville and that the attack would be carried out by unspecific interests of “Islam.”

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Comedian DL Hughley Announces He Is COVID-19 Positive After Fainting Onstage

Comedian D.L. Hughley announced he tested positive for COVID-19 after collapsing onstage during a performance in Nashville, Tennessee.

The stand-up comedian, 57, lost consciousness while performing at the Zanies comedy nightclub on Friday night and was hospitalized, news outlets reported. On Saturday, Hughley posted a video on Twitter in which he said he was treated for exhaustion and dehydration afterward.

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Judge to Approve $58 Billion Plan to End PG&E Bankruptcy After Wildfires, Pay $25.5 Billion for Losses

A federal judge on Friday said he was approving a $58 billion plan by the nation’s largest utility to end a contentious bankruptcy saga that began after Pacific Gas & Electric’s outdated equipment ignited wildfires in California that killed more than 100 people, wiped out entire towns and led the company to confess to crimes driven by its greed and neglect.

The decision by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis Montali clears the way for PG&E to pay $25.5 billion for losses from devastating fires in 2017 and 2018. The judge said he will sign the formal order confirming PG&E’s plan late Friday or Saturday after the company’s lawyers make a few minor revisions worked out during a two-hour hearing.

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One Man Dead, 11 People Wounded in Minneapolis Shooting

A shooting in a popular Minneapolis nightlife area early Sunday left one man dead and 11 people wounded in a chaotic scene that sent people ducking into restaurants and other businesses for cover.

The shooting broke out shortly after midnight in the city’s trendy Uptown neighborhood, a nightlife hub with bars, restaurants and retail including Apple and Fjallraven stores.

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Minnesota Ends ‘Train Wreck’ Special Session With No Deal on Policing, Bonding Bill

Minnesota legislative leaders traded barbs Saturday after a special session collapsed with no deal on revamping policing following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, a session that one group called “a train wreck.”

The two sides may be back at it in another special session next month.

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Brazil Tops 1 Million Cases as Coronavirus Spreads Inland

Brazil’s government confirmed on Friday that the country has risen above 1 million confirmed coronavirus cases, second only to the United States.

The country’s health ministry said that the total now stood at 1,032,913, up more than 50,000 from Thursday. The ministry said the sharp increase was due to corrections of previous days’ underreported numbers.

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Judge: Book May Proceed Despite Bolton’s Gambling with U.S. National Security

A federal judge ruled Saturday that former national security adviser John Bolton can move forward in publishing his tell-all book despite efforts by the Trump administration to block the release because of concerns that classified information could be exposed.

The decision from U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth is a victory for Bolton in a court case that involved core First Amendment and national security concerns. But the judge also made clear his concerns that Bolton had “gambled with the national security of the United States” by taking it upon himself to publish his memoir without formal clearance from a White House that says it was still reviewing it for classified information.

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Memphis Police Department to Stop Using No-Knock Warrants

The Memphis Police Department has decided to stop using “no-knock” warrants in the wake of the fatal shooting of a black Kentucky woman by narcotics detectives who burst into her home.

Memphis police spokeswoman Karen Rudolph said the move to eliminate no-knock warrants had been a source of discussion since the death of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor, who was killed in March after police detectives smashed through her front door while serving a drug warrant in Louisville.

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Apple Closes Stores in Four States, Again, as Infections Rise

Apple is closing 11 stores in Arizona, Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina that it had reopened just few weeks ago as coronavirus infections rates in some regions in the U.S. begin to rise.

The decision announced Friday is another sign that the pandemic might prevent the economy from bouncing back as quickly as some states have been hoping. Those concerns sent stocks on Wall Street lower Friday.

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Statehouse Defaced with Red Hand Prints as Protests Continue

Authorities are conducting a criminal investigation after the outside of the Ohio Statehouse was defaced with red hand prints and the phrase “hands up, don’t shoot” in protest of police brutality.

State troopers began to wash off some of the red paint on the western side of the statehouse on Thursday afternoon as a group of people protesting police brutality watched. It’s the latest example of damage to the downtown Columbus icon since protests over the police killing of George Floyd began three weeks ago.

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Oklahoma’s Supreme Court Rules Saturday’s Trump Rally in Tulsa May Proceed as Planned

The Oklahoma Supreme Court on Friday rejected a request to require everyone attending President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa this weekend to wear a face mask and maintain social distancing inside the arena to guard against the spread of the coronavirus.

The court ruled that the two local residents who asked that the thousands expected at Saturday night’s rally be required to take the precautions couldn’t establish that they had a clear legal right to the relief they sought. Oklahoma has had a recent spike in coronavirus cases, but in a concurring opinion, two justices noted that the state’s plan to reopen its economy is “permissive, suggestive and discretionary.”

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Injunction Extended Against Removing Lee Statue in Virginia

A judge on Thursday indefinitely extended an injunction preventing the Virginia governor from removing a historic statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee from a famed avenue in the former capital of the Confederacy.

Richmond Circuit Court Judge Bradley Cavedo made the decision after hearing from attorneys for the state and for the plaintiff in a lawsuit against Gov. Ralph Northam. Earlier this month, Cavedo had issued a 10-day injunction barring Northam from removing the bronze equestrian statue of the Confederate hero from Monument Avenue.

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