While You Were Sleeping: 5 stories you might have missed, Aug 19

Trump’s postmaster-general pauses service cuts after mail-in ballots outcry

US Postmaster-General Louis DeJoy on Tuesday suspended all mail service changes until after the November election, bowing to an outcry by Democrats that the moves appeared to be an attempt to boost President Donald Trump’s re-election chances.

The reversal follows charges by Democrats and others that service cuts could slow the handling of mail-in ballots, the use of which is expected to skyrocket for the election as the coronavirus pandemic raises fears of crowds.

These critics have accused the Republican president of trying to hobble the Postal Service to suppress mail-in voting as he trails Democratic presidential challenger Joe Biden in opinion polls ahead of the Nov 3 election.

Trump has repeatedly and without evidence claimed that an increase in mail-in ballots would lead to a surge in fraud, though mail-in voting has long been used in the United States.

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US students line up for coronavirus testing as universities open

Hundreds of New York University students and staff waited in line outside a white tent on Tuesday for coronavirus testing ahead of some classes resuming in early September, a scene expected to unfold on many US campuses in coming weeks.

NYU is testing students who have chosen in-person learning, with classes for undergraduates beginning on Sept 2.

The university in lower Manhattan is also giving students the options of remote learning or a blended programme between the two.

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Trump erupts angrily at Michelle Obama’s convention takedown

Donald Trump lashed out Tuesday at former first lady Michelle Obama after she delivered a scathing takedown of his leadership at the Democratic National Convention, while two ex-presidents prepared their own arguments against the White House occupant.

The party is gathering virtually over four days to formally nominate Joe Biden and showcase why their candidate should replace Trump, with Barack Obama’s wife offering a stinging criticism of the president as a man lacking the character and skills for the job.

“I thought it was a very divisive speech, extremely divisive,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “Frankly, I would not even be here if it wasn’t for Barack Obama. I would be building buildings someplace and having a good time.”

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‘Filth’: Mexican president blasts purported cash bribes seen in viral video

An unverified video that appears to show former Mexican congressional staffers counting piles of cash has exposed the “filth” corrupting politics and shows why the last government’s overhaul of the oil and gas market was tainted, Mexico’s president said on Tuesday.

The video, which went viral on YouTube on Monday, shows plastic bags filled with cash bundles apparently being given to two then senior Senate staffers who worked for the opposition National Action Party (PAN).

The source of the video remains unclear, as does the date and location it was recorded.

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Di Maria leads PSG past Leipzig to first ever Champions League final

Paris St Germain reached their first ever Champions League final with a 3-0 win over RB Leipzig on Tuesday, inspired by Argentine Angel Di Maria.

Goals from Marquinhos and Di Maria put PSG 2-0 up at the interval and Juan Bernat added the third in the 56th minute for what was a comfortable victory at the Estadio da Luz.

The French club, who celebrating the 50th anniversary of their founding in 1970, will meet the winner of Wednesday’s other semi between Bayern Munich and Olympique Lyonnais.

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