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Easter Island Festival

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Easter Island Festival 2020

Easter Island FestivalValley Park Sports Complex, 6802 Ok-20,, Keetonville, OK
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  • One man is dead and another man is critically injured, after a shooting around 3:15 p.m. Friday at a gun range at the 2A Shooting Center near Admiral and Yale. Police say one man shot another before turning the gun on himself. Police initially said the two arrived together and seemed to be shooting together, but a later statement from police said that according to video and witnesses at the scene, the two men arrived separately. Police say the victim appeared to be in the process of leaving the range when the shooter shot him several times in the back, before turning the gun on himself. The victim died.  The shooter was taken to a hospital with what police described as a life-threatening wound. Police say there was no audio on the video, so it's hard to tell if they were having some kind of argument before the shooting. They say they don't know the exact number of rounds that were fired.  
  • Japan has kept its deaths from the new coronavirus low despite a series of missteps that beg the question of whether it can prevent future waves of infections. Authorities were criticized for bungling a cruise ship quarantine and were slow to close Japan’s borders. They have conducted only a fraction of the tests needed to find and isolate patients and let businesses operate almost as usual, even under a pandemic state of emergency. But the roughly 900 deaths, or 7 per million people, in Japan are far fewer than the 320 per million in the U.S. and more than 550 per million in Italy and Britain. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on May 25 declared an end to a 7-week pandemic state of emergency, lauding “the power of the Japan model” and winning World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’s praise as a “success.” Experts say it’s unclear exactly how Japan has managed to keep outbreaks in check, but the country needs to use the reprieve to beef up testing and healthcare systems to better find, isolate and treat patients to minimize future waves of infections. A government-commissioned panel concluded that early contact-tracing helped pinpoint outbreaks, slowing the spread of the virus until late March, when a surge of cases overwhelmed the extremely labor intensive process of investigating clusters of infections.
  • Instead of an unemployment rate topping 20 percent as had been held out as a possibility by economic experts and senior Trump Administration officials, the latest jobs report shows the U.S. economy bouncing back a little, as states loosened restrictions from the Coronavirus, with the jobless rate dropping to 13.3 percent. 'These improvements in the labor market reflected a limited resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it,' the report stated.  At the White House, President Trump reveled in the job gains. 'It’s a stupendous number. It’s joyous, let’s call it like it is,' the President wrote on Twitter. 'The Market was right. It’s stunning!' Jobs data in May showed sharp job gains in construction, retail trade, leisure, education, and health care, as the unemployment rate retreated from a historic high of 14.7 percent in April. Republicans in Congress joined President Trump in hailing the new job figures. 'We’ve still got a ways to go but the Great American Comeback is underway!' said Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA). 'Not only are we going to bounce back, in many ways it may be even better than before,' said Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR). 'America is on a HUGE comeback in record time,' said Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS). 'The Great American Comeback is starting!' said House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy. The jobs report though also showed the level of upheaval within the job market, as over 6 million more Americans are working part-time right now, even though they would rather have a full-time job.
  • JCPenney, which announced last month it had filed for bankruptcy, released a list of 154 stores it will close by the end of summer. The stores will hold store closing sales beginning June 12, according to the company’s website, lasting from 10 to 16 weeks. “While closing stores is always an extremely difficult decision, our store optimization strategy is vital to ensuring we emerge from both Chapter 11 and the COVID-19 pandemic as a stronger retailer with greater financial flexibility to allow us to continue serving our loyal customers for decades to come,” Chief Executive Jill Soltau said in a statement. The stores chosen to be closed are scattered across some two dozen states. JCPenney closed its doors during the COVID-19 pandemic as it was deemed a “non-essential” business. The hit in sales that came after nearly two months of shutdown struck a blow to a company that, like many brick and mortar stores, was already struggling with lagging sales. The company, headquartered in Texas, says it has reopened nearly 500 of its locations. In February, JCPenney employed some 90,000 employees in its roughly 860 locations.
  • The National Weather Service in Tulsa has issued a Heat Advisory for Friday afternoon. The advisory will be in effect from 12pm until 7pm and includes Craig, Creek, Mayes, Muskogee, Nowata, Okfuskee, Okmulgee, Osage, Pawnee, Rogers, Tulsa, Wagoner and Washington counties. Temperatures in the Tulsa area are expected to reach the mid-90s, with heat indices around 105-107 degrees. If you work outside, take frequent breaks, find some shade if you can and drink plenty of water. The National Weather Service recommends checking in on friends and family who are elderly, sick or those who may not have working air conditioning. Try to limit outdoor activities and never leave children or pets in a hot vehicle. More summer heat tips here

Washington Insider

  • Instead of an unemployment rate topping 20 percent as had been held out as a possibility by economic experts and senior Trump Administration officials, the latest jobs report shows the U.S. economy bouncing back a little, as states loosened restrictions from the Coronavirus, with the jobless rate dropping to 13.3 percent. 'These improvements in the labor market reflected a limited resumption of economic activity that had been curtailed in March and April due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and efforts to contain it,' the report stated.  At the White House, President Trump reveled in the job gains. 'It’s a stupendous number. It’s joyous, let’s call it like it is,' the President wrote on Twitter. 'The Market was right. It’s stunning!' Jobs data in May showed sharp job gains in construction, retail trade, leisure, education, and health care, as the unemployment rate retreated from a historic high of 14.7 percent in April. Republicans in Congress joined President Trump in hailing the new job figures. 'We’ve still got a ways to go but the Great American Comeback is underway!' said Rep. Buddy Carter (R-GA). 'Not only are we going to bounce back, in many ways it may be even better than before,' said Rep. Rick Crawford (R-AR). 'America is on a HUGE comeback in record time,' said Rep. Roger Marshall (R-KS). 'The Great American Comeback is starting!' said House GOP Leader Kevin McCarthy. The jobs report though also showed the level of upheaval within the job market, as over 6 million more Americans are working part-time right now, even though they would rather have a full-time job.
  • Even as the number of people demonstrating over the police killing of George Floyd dwindled to a small group on Thursday afternoon in the nation's capital, workers were busy installing new high fencing around the park area known as the Ellipse just to the south of the White House, significantly expanding the security zone for President Donald Trump. 'It's a sad commentary that the (White) House and its inhabitants have to be walled off,' said Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser. 'We should want the White House to be opened up,' the Mayor told reporters. Critics immediately compared the new fencing to the President's push to build a wall along the border with Mexico. 'And American taxpayers, not Mexico, will again be sent the bill,' said Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT). By Thursday afternoon, workers had run the new fencing all the way down to, and along Constitution Avenue, which crosses in between the White House and the Washington Monument. The move to close off the Ellipse - an over 80 acre park which often hosts families, tourists, joggers, and picknickers - was reminiscent of other moves by the federal government to increase security, without the consent of the Washington, D.C. government. For example, after the Oklahoma City bombing, Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House was closed to traffic. Roads were also closed to through traffic on Capitol Hill near House and Senate office buildings, and security bollards were placed in front of a number of federal buildings, museums, and monuments. Because the federal government controls many of those areas, they are not under the direct jurisdiction of the District of Columbia. 'I'm also concerned that some of the hardening that they are doing may be not just temporary,' the Mayor said of the new security fencing. Extra fencing has already been put in place to the north of the White House, to wall off Lafayette Square from demonstrators. Here's a satellite map of the area around the White House to give you a better idea of the changes which are being made: The red area at the top is Lafayette Square. This is normally open to the public, but now a tall fence at the northern end along H Street does not allow anyone into the park. The yellow area is the normal White House security perimeter. The Old Executive Office Building is on the left, and the Treasury Department is on the right. The orange area at the bottom is how the perimeter is being extended with new fencing to add in the Ellipse, which is normally open to the public.  The road at the bottom of the graphic is Constitution Avenue.
  • Worried by photos of large gatherings of people which could lead to a spike in Coronavirus cases, the head of the Centers for Disease Control used testimony before Congress Thursday to plead with Americans to wear masks in public and continue to engage in social distancing measures to stop the spread of the virus. 'We're very concerned that our public health message is not resonating,' Redfield told a hearing of the House Appropriations Committee. Redfield told of his own personal experience in seeing how mask use changes just by driving up the road 45 minutes. 'In the Baltimore area, I don't see anybody without a mask,' Redfield told lawmakers. 'But a lot of times when I walk through Washington, D.C., I see a lot of people without a mask. At the hearing, Redfield saw first hand some of the opposition to the idea of wearing masks, in an exchange with Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD). 'There is now a cult of masks,' said Harris, a physician who has been highly critical of what he says has been an overbearing government response to the Coronavirus outbreak. 'I’m afraid to get a picture taken of me without a mask somewhere, because someone will say how can you possibly, you’re a doctor, how can you not wear a mask?' Harris told Redfield. But the CDC Director said a combination of masks - and continued social distancing - would be needed not only this summer, but later this year as well. 'Because we're going to need them to be our major defense again, in October, November, and December,' Redfield said. Asked about the massive wave of protests and large gatherings in the wake of the police killing of George Floyd, Redfield said he would strongly recommend that anyone joining those protests wear some type of face covering as well.
  • The Pentagon on Wednesday rolled back and forth on using active duty soldiers on the streets of Washington, D.C. to quell riots over police brutality like a ship in heavy seas, as the Defense Secretary first ordered military units brought to the nation's capital to return to their bases in other states, and then reversed the move a few hours later. The day began with Secretary of Defense Mark Esper seemingly carving out some space between the Pentagon and the White House. 'I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act,' Esper said at a Pentagon news conference, arguing the use of active duty units to fight riots should only be done as the last option. “It should only be used as a matter of last resort, and only in the most urgent and dire of situations,” Esper said. But the Pentagon message of the day was just starting what would be a political roller coaster ride. Early in the afternoon, Esper was ordering military units brought to Washington this week to go back to their bases, seemingly not needed as clashes between protesters and security forces around the White House had dissipated. But after less than supportive public words from the White House Press Secretary, Esper reversed course, and kept those units in the nation's capital area. The Associated Press quickly reported that Esper had changed his orders after a White House meeting with President Trump. In the area around the White House blocked off by a combination of soldiers, police, and unidentified federal paramilitary security forces, there were clear signs of the U.S. military, with troop transport trucks being used to block streets north of the White House. It was not clear how long the area around Lafayette Square would be cordoned off, as a large number of demonstrators and others flocked to the area on Wednesday. 'Eight minutes, 46 seconds!' protesters chanted, referencing the amount of time that a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on the head and neck of George Floyd, killing him last week. At various times around Washington - from the U.S. Capitol to streets near the White House - demonstrators chanted, 'I can't breathe,' the last words of Floyd.
  • With President Donald Trump demanding answers on what he's coined 'Obamagate,' the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday began hearings into the genesis of the Russia investigation, as the first witness told Senators he had seen no evidence of wrongdoing by former President Barack Obama. 'Now we're going to look at the Mueller investigation,' said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) as he opened the hearings. 'And we're going to look hard.' 'We're going to get to the bottom of this,' Graham declared. The first witness was former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who defended his decision to name former FBI Director Robert Mueller to take charge of the Russia probe, which was focusing on Russian interference in the 2016 elections. 'Russians influenced crimes in seeking to influence the election,' Rosenstein said. 'And Americans did not conspire with them.' Asked at one point about 'Obamagate' - the President's catch-all moniker for the Russia investigation, Rosenstein said he had not seen any evidence of wrongdoing by the former President. 'I have not,' Rosenstein told Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), though Rosenstein made clear he was uncomfortable with reports of FBI errors uncovered by an internal watchdog at the Justice Department. 'I do not consider the investigation to be corrupt, but I certainly understand the President's frustration, given the outcome,' Rosenstein said at another point. GOP Senators basically turned Rosenstein into a pinata in the witness chair, using their questioning time to denounce the investigation, raising questions about errors in the process of obtaining a FISA warrant on one-time Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page, and demanding to know why Rosenstein wasn't to blame. 'I'm accountable,' Rosenstein said during a verbal tug of war with Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO). Democrats did all they could to downplay the hearing, saying it was just a political effort by the GOP, as Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) compared it to watching old baseball games on TV during the current Coronavirus pandemic.