September 18, 2020
SEATTLE (AP) — A U.S. judge blocked controversial Postal Service changes that have slowed mail nationwide, calling them “a politically motivated attack on the efficiency of the Postal Service” before the November election. Judge Stanley Bastian in Yakima, Washington, said Thursday he was issuing a nationwide preliminary injunction sought by 14 states that sued the Trump administration and the U.S. Postal Service. The states challenged the Postal Service’s so-called “leave mail behind” policy, where trucks have been leaving postal facilities on time regardless of whether there is more mail to load. They also sought to force the Postal Service to treat election mail as first class mail.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Donald Trump almost won Minnesota in 2016 and sees it as a state he can peel away from Democrat Joe Biden in November. That could potentially help insulate him in case he loses any battlegrounds that backed him four years ago. But Minnesota — which hasn’t voted Republican in a presidential race since 1972 — has steadily moved farther away from the president since then. And polls suggest Biden has built a consistent lead as both he and Trump visit the state on Friday, when early voting opens.
MOOSIC, Pa. (AP) — Joe Biden is deriding President Donald Trump for his handling of COVID-19, calling his downplaying of the pandemic “criminal” and his administration “totally irresponsible.” Speaking Thursday about Trump’s admission that he publicly played down the impact of the virus while aware of its severity, Biden declared: “He knew it and did nothing. It’s close to criminal.” The pandemic is responsible for the unusual format of the event. It’s a drive-in of 35 cars parked outside PNC Field, and audience members are watching Biden onstage as they listen from outside their cars or from radios inside their cars.
FAIRHOPE, Ala. (AP) — Winston Groom, the writer whose novel “Forrest Gump” was made into an Oscar winning 1994 movie that became an enduring cultural phenomenon, has died. His death was confirmed Thursday night by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and the mayor of Fairhope, Alabama, where Groom lived. “Forrest Gump” was the improbable tale of a slow-witted man who was a participant or witness to key points of 20th Century history — from Alabama segregationist Gov. George Wallace’s “stand at the schoolhouse door” to meetings with presidents. The movie version won the best picture Oscar and five other Academy Awards, including a best-actor win for Tom Hanks.