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VIRUS OUTBREAK-MINNESOTA

Minnesota marks 2,000 COVID-19 deaths, hits daily case high

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MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota has recorded a grim milestone as health officials report that over 2,000 people have died from COVID-19 during the pandemic. The state also posted an all-time high for cases reported in a day with 1,478 people testing positive for the virus. The Minnesota Department of Health recorded 10 new deaths, sending the statewide tally of COVID-19 deaths to 2,004 people. Despite the worrisome marker, the rate of deaths has slowed in recent months after spikes in May and June. Cases have been increasing statewide in the last two weeks. The rolling average number of daily new cases has grown by 376, an increase of 70%.

ELECTION-2020-MINNEAPOLIS-LAWSUIT

Minnesota voter group sues Minneapolis over election grant

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota voter advocacy group is suing Minneapolis to block it from accepting money to help cover a shortfall in funding to carry out the November election amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Minnesota Voters Alliance filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota this week, the Star Tribune reported. The group argues that the city cannot accept funds from private organizations for election costs. Minneapolis is currently applying for a grant between $2 million and $3 million from the Chicago-based non-profit Center for Tech and Civic Life. The city is planning to use the money to cover a shortfall of roughly $1.4 million for election costs.

ELECTION 2020-TRUMP-MINNESOTA

Trump to return to Minnesota for Duluth rally on Wednesday

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — President Donald Trump will campaign in Duluth on Wednesday, marking his third visit to the key swing state of Minnesota in recent weeks. His campaign said Trump will speak at a rally at the Duluth International Airport at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Doors open at 2 p.m. Trump led an airport rally in Mankato on Aug. 17 and another in Bemidji last Friday, the same day that Democratic challenger Joe Biden visited a union training centre in Duluth. In another show of the importance Trump has attached to winning Minnesota, Vice-President Mike Pence and Ivanka Trump visited Minneapolis on Thursday

ELECTION 2020-HOUSE-MINNESOTA-SPECIAL ELECTION

US Rep. Craig asks supporters to vote despite snag in race

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota congresswoman whose race has been roiled by a third-party candidate's death is urging supporters to vote for her and the rest of the Democratic ticket, even though votes in her race won’t count under current circumstances. Democratic U.S. Rep. Angie Craig urged voters to mark their ballots in her race anyway, hinting that a legal challenge could be coming. Craig is running against Republican Tyler Kistner. Also on the ballot is Adam Charles Weeks, of the Legal Marijuana Now Party, whose death triggered a state law that postpones the contest until a special election in February.

VIRUS OUTBREAK-MINNESOTA

Minnesota halts COVID-19 study after reports of intimidation

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota officials have stopped a COVID-19 testing study after multiple reports that state and federal public health workers were greeted by racial and ethnic slurs as they went door-to-door. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control pulled its federal surveyors out of Minnesota this week after they experienced verbal abuse and intimidation. In Eitzen, along the Iowa border, one survey team was boxed in by two cars and threatened by three men, including one with a gun. The news comes as Minnesota was downgraded Friday to the "uncontrolled spread" category by a website that tracks each state’s progress toward stopping the spread of COVID-19.

ELECTION-2020-PENCE-MINNEAPOLIS

Pence, Ivanka visit salon damaged by Minneapolis unrest

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Vice-President Mike Pence and Ivanka Trump made an unannounced stop at a Minneapolis hair salon left in rubble by the violence that followed George Floyd’s death. The campaign visit Thursday was aimed at driving home President Donald Trump’s law-and-order message. Pence and Ivanka Trump say they stand with law enforcement and with Minneapolis business owners who saw their livelihoods destroyed during days of unrest following the death of George Floyd. Flora Westbrooks, owner of the salon, was near tears as she visited the site with Pence and Trump. Pence said there's no excuse for what happened to Floyd, but there's also no excuse for violent protests that followed.

AP-US-AP-POLL-RACIAL-INJUSTICE

AP-NORC poll: Support for racial injustice protests declines

NEW YORK (AP) — Public support for protests against police brutality and racial injustice has fallen among Americans, according to a new poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. Now, 44% disapprove of the protests, while 39% approve. In June, 54% approved of protests. The shift is pronounced among white Americans and Republicans, whose views look closer to the way they did in 2015 after several high profile police killings of Black men. And it comes after months of political sparring between Democrats and Republicans who hoped to use the protests to their advantage in the upcoming presidential election.

ELECTION 2020-MINNESOTA-ABSENTEE BALLOTS

2 Republicans challenge Minnesota plan for late mail ballots

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Republican state representative and a GOP activist are challenging an agreement to accept mail-in ballots in Minnesota that arrive up to a week after the November election. The lawsuit adds to the nationwide legal fight over voting rules before the presidential election. Rep. Eric Lucero and Ramsey County activist James Carson, who both participate in the Electoral College, filed the lawsuit Tuesday in U.S. District Court. The agreement by Secretary of State Steve Simon, a Democrat, violates federal law establishing Nov. 3 as the date of the 2020 election, the lawsuit states. Simon’s office declined to comment on the suit.

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