Piers Morgan threatens to cause chaos on This Morning as he savages Matt Hancock

For 146 days, no Conservative MP has appeared on Good Morning Britain as the government continues to boycott the ITV show. Today, Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid hit out at the Health Secretary for refusing to speak to them ahead of his appearance on This Morning. Morgan even threatened to surprise Mr Hancock by joining him on the This Morning sofa and forcing him to speak to them.

Reid began: “We’d like to ask him about testing and why it is so hard to get a test and why they are introducing a £10,000 fine for people who test positive and don’t obey the rules and whether he thinks that might lead to people not getting any tests at all.”

“I’d like to ask him whether stopped community testing in the middle of March when it was clearly absolutely crucial,” Morgan interrupted.

“I’d like to know why after a pandemic exercise in 2016,m which said we didn’t have enough PPE, they still didn’t have enough PPE four years later when we were hit by a pandemic.

“I’d like to ask what this protective ring around care homes was when in fact they sent 25,000 people from hospital back into care homes without testing them, many of whom had cover creating another epidemic.

READ MORE: Matt Hancock threatens Brits with further COVID restrictions

“But I can’t ask him because for the 146th day, the government is boycotting Good Morning Britain.”

Morgan went on to threaten to join Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield on This Morning as they interview Mr Hancock.

As the camera panned to the wall which separates the GMB and This Morning studios, he teased he would slip onto the show.

“People suggesting that if Matt Hancock is appearing on This Morning today, why don’t we just nip around and ask him some supplementaries,” Morgan started.

Reid added: “Heckle him from the sidelines.”

“I mean it is the next building, it’s literally through that door,” Morgan suggested.

“Maybe we’ll do that. Maybe we’ll jump in. Maybe we’ll just slide in on the sofa.

“There it is behind that wall. All we have to do is open that door, slide in, sit on the sofa and have a few supplementaries with our Health Secretary who has boycotted this show since April.”

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It came after Morgan insisted Christmas should be cancelled if it means stopping the spread of coronavirus.

Addressing the nation, Morgan fumed: ““This virus has not got any less virulent, it doesn’t understand rule of six or Boris’ idea of having Christmas Day off as if somehow we can all amass on Christmas Day and then go back to the rules.

“As if the virus is going, ‘Oh okay, I’ll leave you alone on Christmas Day.’

“If we miss Christmas Day as a country, if that’s what we have to do, we have to do it. This is our war.

“People have to be realistic about that. Hilary lets bring you in here because you’re the master of all this stuff.

“Where are we? With your expert head on, where are we now?

“It’s been described in the papers today, leaks from the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Advisor as an absolutely pivotal moment in the pandemic in this country.”

Dr Hilary hit back: “Well we know that the R rate is about 1.4 which means 10 people are giving this virus to 14 others.

“If that continues the rate will increase exponentially and we will be back to where we were pre-lockdown before March.”

Good Morning Britain airs weekdays on ITV at 6am.

Tropical Storm Beta crawls off Texas coast, threatens flash flooding into Louisiana

The latest tropical storm in an exceptionally busy 2020 Atlantic hurricane season is crawling off the coast of Texas, threatening to bring flash flooding to areas still impacted by Hurricane Laura.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said early Sunday that Tropical Storm Beta is packing maximum sustained winds of 60 mph and is located about 200 miles southeast of Galveston, Texas, moving west-northwest at 3 mph.

“It’s not really moving anywhere, but it will eventually start to do so,” Fox News’ Chief Meteorologist Rick Reichmuth said on “Fox & Friends Weekend.” “Probably make some sort of landfall. A strong tropical storm across parts of the central Texas coastline, it’s going to bring a lot of rain.”


According to forecasters at the NHC, Beta is forecast to slowly move towards the Texas coast and make landfall by Monday night. A tropical storm warning is in effect from Port Aransas, Texas to Morgan City, La., with a storm surge warning posted from Port Aransas to Rockefeller Wildlife Refuge in Louisiana.

Tropical Storm Beta swirls over the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Texas and Louisiana on Sept. 20, 2020.

Tropical Storm Beta swirls over the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Texas and Louisiana on Sept. 20, 2020.

Little change in strength is forecast before Beta reaches the Texas coast, and weakening is anticipated once the storm moves inland. Earlier predictions had Beta reaching hurricane strength before making landfall.

Forecasters warn that through Thursday, Beta is expected to bring 8 to 12 inches of rainfall, with isolated amounts of 20 inches, from the middle Texas coast to southern Louisiana.

“Tropical Storm Beta is forecast to move very slowly toward the Texas coast over the next couple of days,” the National Weather Sevice’s Weather Prediction Center tweeted.  “Heavy rain will likely lead to flash flooding  from the middle Texas coast to southern Louisiana.”

Beta’s slow movement, including persistent winds, raised concerns about a dangerous storm surge and tide that could reach up to 4 feet in some areas.

“A lot of rain for some people,” Reichmuth said on “Fox & Friends.”


Coastal communities began preparing for Beta over the weekend, with the city of Galveston and Galveston County on Saturday issuing voluntary evacuation orders, along with the city of Seabrook.

Waves crash as Houston resident Tinh Pham fishes from the rocks at Diamond Beach on the west end of the Galveston Seawall in Galveston, Texas on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020.

Waves crash as Houston resident Tinh Pham fishes from the rocks at Diamond Beach on the west end of the Galveston Seawall in Galveston, Texas on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020.
(Stuart Villanueva/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

Mayor Pro Tem Craig Brown said in a statement that high tides and up to 10 inches of expected rainfall would leave roads impassable, especially along the city’s west end and low-lying areas.

Stacey Young gives her daughter, Kylee Potts, a piggyback ride across the flooding Stewart Beach parking lot in Galveston, Texas on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020.

Stacey Young gives her daughter, Kylee Potts, a piggyback ride across the flooding Stewart Beach parking lot in Galveston, Texas on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020.
(Stuart Villanueva/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

County Judge Mark Henry said during a Saturday news conference that his concern is also based on rising waters creating a storm surge and that a mandatory evacuation is not expected.

Houston resident Lupe Don removes his flip-flops while moving his car from the flooding Stewart Beach parking lot in Galveston, Texas on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020.

Houston resident Lupe Don removes his flip-flops while moving his car from the flooding Stewart Beach parking lot in Galveston, Texas on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020.
(Stuart Villanueva/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

“If you can survive in your home for three or four days without power and electricity, which we’re not even sure that’s going to happen, you’re OK,” Henry said. “If it’s uncomfortable or you need life-support equipment, maybe go somewhere else.”

The storm system may bring more misery to Lake Charles, La., where thousands of people remain without power more than three weeks after Hurricane Laura slammed into the region.


Donald Jones, a NWS meteorologist based in Lake Charles, said in a Saturday briefing that Beta could bring up to 20 inches of rain in parts of the area.

“A lot of people have been saying, ‘Is this going to be like Harvey? Is this going to be like Imelda?'” Jones said. “We’re not talking about rainfall totals yet that are on the orders of magnitude that we saw with that.”

Tyler Heads totes his belongings through tidewaters as he and other beachgoers cross the flooding Stewart Beach parking lot in Galveston, Texas on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020.

Tyler Heads totes his belongings through tidewaters as he and other beachgoers cross the flooding Stewart Beach parking lot in Galveston, Texas on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020.
(Stuart Villanueva/The Galveston County Daily News via AP)

Imelda, which struck southeast Texas in 2019, was one of the wettest cyclones on record while Harvey dumped more than 50 inches of rain on Houston in 2017. But if Beta slows down, rainfall totals could go higher than 20 inches

“Harvey was a very specific and unique event, but we are talking about the same idea in terms of very heavy, heavy rainfall,” he said.


Beta is one of three named storms whirling in the Atlantic basin during an exceptionally busy hurricane season. The 2020 Atlantic hurricane season has broken numerous records, as forecasters on Friday, ran out of traditional names and went to the Greek alphabet for storms Alpha and Beta.

This was only the second time in history that hurricane center forecasters have had to pull out the Greek alphabet for names, with the last time being 2005.

If the system makes landfall in Texas it would be the ninth named storm to make landfall in the continental U.S. in 2020. Colorado State hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach said that would tie a record set in 1916.

Hurricane season starts June 1 and ends Nov. 30, but September historically produces the most Atlantic Ocean basin tropical activity.

NOAA forecasters have been calling for up to 25 named storms this season with winds of 39 mph or higher; of those, seven to 10 could become hurricanes. Among those hurricanes, three to six will be major, classified as Category 3, 4 and 5 with winds of 111 mph or higher.

That’s far above an average year. Based on 1981 to 2010 data, that is 12 named storms, six hurricanes and three major hurricanes.


So far this year, there have been 23 named storms, including eight hurricanes and of those, two major hurricanes.

Parts of the Alabama coast and Florida Panhandle are still reeling from the effects of Hurricane Sally, which roared ashore on Wednesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Markey threatens to pack Supreme Court, abolish filibuster if Trump fills seat

A leading Democrat in the U.S. Senate came out in support of “packing” the U.S. Supreme Court and eliminating the Senate filibuster if Majority Leader Mitch McConnell works to confirm a potential nominee to fill the seat left by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Ginsburg died Friday at 87 after a difficult battle with metastatic pancreatic cancer.

Nine justices have served on the nation’s highest court since 1869. Before that, the number of justices changed six times, with the maximum number being 10 during the Civil War.

The filibuster is a threshold of 60 votes that’s necessary before a piece of legislation is given an up or down vote.

“Mitch McConnell set the precedent,” Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., wrote from his campaign’s Twitter account Friday. “No Supreme Court vacancies filled in an election year. If he violates it, when Democrats control the Senate in the next Congress, we must abolish the filibuster and expand the Supreme Court.”

Markey did not detail how many justices he would like to see appointed.


After Ginsburg’s death Friday, McConnell promised to hold a vote on a nominee from President Trump.

“President Trump’s nominee will receive a vote on the floor of the United States Senate,” McConnell said after Ginsburg’s death Friday.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., speaks after meeting with Senate Republicans, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., speaks after meeting with Senate Republicans, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Washington Post blogger Greg Sargent agreed, saying that Senate Democrats would have “no choice but to nuke the [legislative] filibuster and try to pack the court.”

“Not doing this won’t be an option,” he tweeted.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., has been cagey when pressed about Democratic plans for the filibuster should his party secure a net gain of four seats and flip Senate control.


“Nothing’s on the table. Nothing’s off the table,” Schumer said. “We’ll have to wait until we get the majority before we can decide what to do and under what conditions and how many votes we have.”

But Schumer’s predecessor as Democratic Leader, former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has been more direct. He dropped the threshold from 60 votes to end a filibuster to a simple majority for all executive branch nominees.

“It’s not a question of if (the filibuster) is going to be gone. It’s a question of when it’s going to be done,” Reid said in an interview with Fox News. “The filibuster is history. It won’t be in existence next year at this time.”

Markey is fresh off a Democratic primary victory over Rep. Joe Kennedy III, the first ever statewide loss for a Kennedy in Massachusetts.


Fox News’ Chad Pergram contributed to this report.

Boris Johnson warned 'rule of six' to fail as serious flaw threatens COVID-19 strategy

Boris Johnson has been warned the police will not be able to always enforce the new social distancing rule of six because of a lack of extra officers. The Prime Minister pledged to introduce an extra 20,000 officers to the force but recruitment and training efforts have been delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) John Apter told Good Morning Britain: “Let me manage expectations. We don’t have lots of extra police officers. 

“We’re already trying to manage extra demands, we will not be able to attend every call.”

Mr Apter also urged the Government to provide both the force and the public with additional guidance on how to best enforce the rule as he forecast quick-acting legislative changes will become the norm over the next few months.

The PFEW chair warned suggesting people they should report their neighbours if they breach the new guidance would affect the relationship the officers have with some members of the public.

He continued: “We should have more guidance. Well, maybe we should have guidance because we haven’t had any yet.

JUST IN: EU explodes in angry response to Boris victory – ‘Trying to blame us!’

“I completely understand this is because this is a fast-moving situation, I think the changes of legislation are going to become the norm over the future.

“It is a complicated situation but my colleagues are on the frontline trying to interpret this law, trying to educate and work with the public, and they are now being accused of asking them to snitch on their neighbours.

“If households, if they genuinely believe there is a serious public health risk – and I’m thinking of large parties, and we have to nip that in the bud, those who are willfully breaking the law.

“When a neighbour thinks another neighbour might have breached the rule in a minor way, certainly I’d have a conversation with my neighbour.”

READ MORE: Sturgeon’s SNP could force through Scottish Brexit laws after losing internal market bid

The ruel of six came into force on Monday across England with some differences in Wales and Scotland, and requires Britons to meet no more than six people indoors.

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse confirmed the Government is still seeking to establish a reporting mechanism suitable for the situation as he suggested people should report any breach of the regulation through the non-emergency 101 number.

Mr Malthouse said: “We are in discussions about what reporting mechanisms there might be, but there is obviously the non-emergency number that people can ring and report issues they wish to.

“It is open to neighbours to do exactly that through the non-emergency number, and if they are concerned and they do see that kind of thing, then absolutely they should think about it.”

Colorado secretary of state threatens to refer Trump for prosecution after double-voting comment

Colorado Secretary of State Jena Griswold threatened to refer President Trump for prosecution after he seemed to suggest that North Carolinians try to vote two ways in the November election.

Griswold said she would include the president in prosecution for suspected cases of double voting “if it makes sense.”

“In Colorado, we take double voting seriously and refer all suspected cases for legal enforcement,” the Colorado secretary wrote on Twitter. “If it makes sense, I will include @realDonaldTrump in the referral for prosecution. He may not have presidential immunity anymore depending on the election.”

When asked whether he has confidence in the mail-in system in North Carolina, Trump said: “So let them send it in and let them go vote, and if their system’s as good as they say it is, then obviously they won’t be able to vote. If it isn’t tabulated, they’ll be able to vote.”


“You can’t let them take your vote away. These people are playing dirty politics. So if you have an absentee ballot, or as I call it, a solicited ballot, you send it in. But I would check it in any event. Go and follow it and go vote,” Trump later told a crowd of reporters.

Some accused the president of encouraging election fraud by urging North Carolinians to try to vote twice – once by mail and then in-person on Election Day. He clarified on Twitter that he only wanted voters to double-check that their vote had been counted.


“Based on the massive number of Unsolicited & Solicited Ballots that will be sent to potential Voters for the upcoming 2020 Election, & in order for you to MAKE SURE YOUR VOTE COUNTS & IS COUNTED, SIGN & MAIL IN your Ballot as EARLY as possible,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning.

“On Election Day, or Early Voting, go to your Polling Place to see whether or not your Mail In Vote has been Tabulated (Counted),” the president continued. “If it has you will not be able to Vote & the Mail In System worked properly. If it has not been Counted, VOTE (which is a citizen’s right to do).”

Griswold told The Denver Post the president could be “partially to blame” if there are double-voting cases, but didn’t explain how he would be legally implicated.


“It’s important to underline to the president and the U.S. attorney general and anyone who is confused that it’s illegal to double vote,” she said. “We have safeguards in place, including signature verification, laws on ballot collection, and checking the participation in other states. If the president is causing people to vote twice, he could be partially to blame and we’ll explore the options if it happens.”

Michael Ball threatens to cut off Gabby Logan after 'middle-aged' jibe: 'She's gone!'

Gabby joined The One Show’s Alex and Michael to discuss a wide range of topics this evening, from women in football to her new podcast, The Midpoint. It was during a chat on the BBC magazine show about her podcast, however, that left 58-year-old Michael less than impressed. Gabby revealed she launched the podcast to speak to as many “inspirational mid-lifers” as possible, before revealing the age bracket in which one would qualify to be classed as the term. Needless to say, Michael wasn’t best pleased to discover he was at the latter end of the scale.

Speaking on The One Show, Gabby revealed those between the ages of 30 to 58 are classed as ‘mid-life’ while those 58 and older are classed as ‘old’.

Gobsmacked by the revelation, a stunned Michael asked “what?” before staring around the BBC studio in shock.

Gabby spotted the perfect opportunity for a joke as she quipped: “I know, sorry Michael.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about!” snapped Michael back, jokingly insulted by the insinuation he’d be classed as “old”.

READ MORE: Alex Jones brings The One Show to a halt after Michael Ball blunder

He added: “Why would you talk to me?” as Richard tried to eleviate the tensions by joking it was because he’d recently turned 30.

The One Show hosts and his guests continued to share a laugh by the revelation before Gabby felt the need to plea not to be taken off air.

When asked by Alex which of her guests had felt the most “anxious” about getting older, Michael joked: “Me now.”

This prompted Gabby to reply: “No, Michael, and please don’t pull the plug on me. I can feel you’re just gonne turn me off now.”

Michael jokingly responded: “She’s gone,” as he motioned a swipe with his hand.

The BBC Sport host continued: “It’s interesting, people have got such different attitudes as to where they are.

“Like Claudia Winkleman had a brilliant expression about age and she said: ‘Hey look, that train’s left teh station, I don’t care about getting old,’

“But we did kind of see she does care about still wanting to be active and do things but she says she’s not as ambitious maybe but then she wants to keep working.”

Gabby then gave a special mention to podcast guest and comedian John Bishop as she added: “And then you’ve got people like John [Bishop] who, the reason why I wanted to have John on the first episode is because he was still selling pharmaceutical drugs at 39,

“Didn’t get paid for a comedy gig until he was 40 and what I learnt about Richard last week is you didn’t present a TV show until you were 40.”

Nodding in agreement, Richard replied: “Yeah, absolutely.”

As the chat came to a close, Michael appeared to be a lot more at ease with the idea in what is his final appearance of the week.

The One Show continues every weekday at 7pm on BBC One.

Bolsonaro threatens to punch reporter's face

Bolsonaro, who was visiting the Metropolitan Cathedral in Brasilia on Sunday when a group of journalists met him outside, was seen on video threatening the O Globo newspaper reporter after being questioned about the allegations.

The journalist was seeking comment from the President over alleged deposits made by a former aide of Bolsonaro’s eldest son, Senator Flavio Bolsonaro, into a bank account supposedly belonging to first lady Michelle Bolsonaro.

President Bolsonaro was standing just steps from the Cathedral and told the reporter, “I feel like punching you in your mouth, okay?”

When CNN asked President Bolsonaro’s office about Sunday’s incident, his spokesperson refused to comment.

In early August, Brazilian magazine Crusóe published a report which claimed that Fabrício Queiroz, the former aide to Bolsonaro’s eldest son, transferred around 72,000 Brazilian reals ($12,800) in checks to Michelle Bolsonaro between 2011 and 2016.

Queiroz is currently under house arrest as a result of an ongoing corruption inquiry involving Bolsonaro’s son. President Bolsonaro has not commented on these latest allegations.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Sunday threatened to punch a reporter in the mouth after being asked about his family's links to an alleged corruption scheme.

The Bolsonaro family is facing various investigations, including an alleged scheme involving Flavio Bolsonaro in the Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro State.

The Brazilian Supreme Court has also opened an investigation into Bolsonaro’s two sons, Carlos and Eduardo, for allegedly spreading fake news on the internet. Other investigations include the family’s claimed involvement in protests and the supposed interference in the appointment of the director of the Federal Police of Rio de Janeiro to stop the investigations against Queiroz.

O Globo, one of Brazil’s major news companies, condemned Bolsonaro’s actions against the journalist in a statement published on Sunday hours after the incident.

“GLOBO repudiates President Jair Bolsonaro’s aggression against a newspaper reporter who was just doing their job performing his role, in a totally professional manner,” the statement said.

Politics and xenophobia cloud the race for a vaccine in Brazil

Brazil’s National Association of Journalists also issued a statement. “It is unfortunate that once again the president reacts aggressively and without fear to a question from a journalist. This attitude in no way contributes to the democratic and freedom of press provided in the Constitution,” the statement said.

Sunday’s incident also drew condemnation from Bolsonaro’s critics. Alessandro Molon, a lawmaker for the state of Rio de Janeiro tweeted, “What is expected of a president is that he behaves at the height of his position. Threats to the press are threats to democracy itself.” Molon also accused Bolsonaro in the same tweet of trying to hide “his involvement in a criminal scheme.”

House passes $25B in 'emergency' Post Office funding, Trump threatens veto

The House of Representatives Saturday passed a $25 billion funding infusion to the United States Postal Service in a bill that also would reverse new cost-cutting measures and ban any efforts to slow down the mail until at least next year.

The vote was 257-150 with 26 Republicans joining with the Democrats.

Democrats called the rare “emergency” session in the middle of the summer recess because they contend President Trump and new Postmaster General Louis DeJoy are trying to sabotage the 2020 election by delaying service that could compromise mail-in ballots during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are experiencing a global pandemic and now our U.S. Postal Service is under attack,” said Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. “Let it be clear: This administration is waging an authoritarian campaign to sabotage this election by manipulating the postal service to suppress our votes … This is not a conspiracy theory. This is fascism. We will not stand for this.”


Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., said DeJoy is “a crony and major donor of the president.” Together, they have waged a campaign to disrupt the timeliness of mail delivery and to erode public confidence in USPS that — if successful — would be “the largest voter suppression in American history since Jim Crow,” Connolly said.

Republicans dismissed the Democrats’ election concerns as “conspiracy theory.” GOP members said the Post Office is not in a crisis and can handle any uptick in volume from mail-in ballots, pointing to its $14 billion in available cash and access to a $10 billion loan from the Treasury.

“Like the Russia hoax and impeachment sham, the Democrats have manufactured another scandal for political purposes,” said Rep. James Comer, R-Ky.

Rep. Debbie Lesko, R-Ariz., said Democrats are using the USPS to gin up “a new Trump conspiracy theory” even though the president doesn’t control the Postmaster General.

“Seems insane, but all too typical for the Trump-hating Democrats,” Lesko said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Aug. 22. The House is set for a rare Saturday session to pass legislation to halt changes in the Postal Service and provide $25 billion in emergency funds. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Aug. 22. The House is set for a rare Saturday session to pass legislation to halt changes in the Postal Service and provide $25 billion in emergency funds. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

The legislation is not expected to go anywhere. The GOP-led Senate has no plans to take up the bill and the White House issued a veto threat on Friday saying USPS doesn’t need a $25 billion bailout.

Trump Saturday tweeted his opposition to funding for the Post Office and linked it to his objections to universal mail-in voting.

“Vote NO to the Pelosi/ Schumer money wasting HOAX which is taking place now,” Trump tweeted. “Then fight the $51 million unasked for Ballots. Only ABSENTEE BALLOTS are acceptable!”

The Delivering for America Act would prohibit reducing service hours at postal facilities, decommissioning mail sorting machines and removing community mailboxes. The bill would bar any limits on overtime pay, hiring freezes, delaying mail service and treating election mail as anything less than first-class mail.

The legislation also would reverse any cost-cutting measures that DeJoy implemented this year.

Democrats point to growing concerns from constituents over mail delays coinciding with postal changes on DeJoy’s watch. DeJoy rejected any political motives were at play, but told the Senate Friday there has been a slowdown.

“We all feel bad about the dip in our service,” DeJoy said, adding that they working to fix the problems.

Under mounting pressure, a noisy protest at his DC home and alarm over the removal of blue collection boxes in communities, DeJoy Tuesday announced he was putting a pause on any service changes until after the election.

“To avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail, I am suspending these initiatives until after the election is concluded,” DeJoy said.

In this image from video, U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies during a video virtual hearing before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee on the U.S. Postal Service during COVID-19 and the upcoming elections, Aug. 21, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (US Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs via AP)

In this image from video, U.S. Postmaster General Louis DeJoy testifies during a video virtual hearing before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee on the U.S. Postal Service during COVID-19 and the upcoming elections, Aug. 21, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (US Senate Committee on Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs via AP)

But Democrats said DeJoy paused the changes only because he “was caught red-handed” and argued the emergency legislation was needed to bar him from undermining mail delivery and the 2020 election.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney, the chair of the House Oversight Committee, produced a new internal USPS document on the House floor Saturday that she says revealed a significant drop in service standards at USPS since DeJoy implemented changes. The document was a presentation prepared for DeJoy on Aug. 12.


“To those who still claim there are ‘no delays’ and that these reports are just ‘conspiracy theories,’ I hope this new data causes them to re-think their position and support our urgent legislation today,” Maloney, D-N.Y., said.

Republicans took a couple of shots at Maloney during the debate, pointing to her primary race in New York City which took weeks to call as election officials struggled to count mail-in votes. They said her race should serve as a warning of the dangers of universal mail-in voting for the November election.

“If anyone should know, it should be the chairwoman of this committee who had to wait six weeks after the election day to get the results of her election,” said Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio., who dismissed the House legislation as a political “charade.”

“Imagine what the Democrats want to do — throw live ballots out there to everyone.”

The Post Office has lost about $80 billion since 2007 through a decline of mail volume and a congressional requirement that the USPS pre-fund pension costs. The problems at the Post Office have been under the spotlight especially this year with the pandemic and greater reliance on mail-in services.

The USPS board requested the $25 billion in funding from Congress earlier this year and Democrats agreed. The funding was initially included in the $3 trillion coronavirus relief bill the House passed in May, but the HEROES Act died in the GOP-controlled Senate.

Republicans and the White House said the $25 billion isn’t needed and they took special issue with the language that blocks DeJoy from implementing any reforms at an agency that is losing money.


White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said Trump “at no time has instructed or directed the Post Office to cut back on overtime, or any other operational decision that would slow things down.” He said the process of removing blue mail boxes and sorting machines started back in 2011 and the USPS has “more than enough money in the bank account.”

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows

The vote Saturday, sandwiched between the Democratic and GOP conventions, got heated at times on the House floor.

Rep. Stephen Lynch, D-Mass., said American democracy is more endangered now than during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks because the country is more divided and the threat is coming from within.


“Today the greatest threat to our democracy is the current administration,” Lynch said of the Trump White House.

Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., shot back that Democrats are doing the damage to America. “The greatest threat to democracy in the country is the current majority in the House of Representatives,” he said.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to respond to constituents’ concerns on mail delays and take up the bill.

“Public sentiment is everything,” Pelosi said. “They’ll be hearing from their constituents because this hits home. Not receiving your mail in a timely fashion hits home. Not receiving your prescriptions, especially for our veterans, hits home in a way that is harmful to our country.”

Croatia holidays: Expert shares urgent warning for booked holidays as travel ban threatens

Holidays to Croatia could be under threat as a sudden surge in coronavirus cases begins to creep across the nation. Though the country is currently on the UK’s quarantine-free travel list, sudden rises in the virus have led to the rapid removal of countries such as Spain and France. Experts suggest that Croatia could be next to face the chop.

However, this is likely concerning news for the thousands of Britons who have impending holiday plans.

Since it’s placement on the list, Croatia has reported a surge in tourism traffic.

In fact, Croatia has recorded 7.2 million overnight stays so far this month.

According to the Croatian tourism board, it is around 70 percent of last year’s figure for the same period.

Yet, if the country is suddenly axed, it could mean devastation for would-be travellers.

READ MORE: Croatia on the brink of being added to quarantine list

Those with pending plans could see them cancelled if the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) reinstated its travel advisory against all non-essential travel to the destination.

“Similarly to the situation in Spain, a quarantine could be enforced very quickly and could leave a lot of tourists in a tricky situation,” the travel expert continues.

“The reintroduction of a mandatory quarantine for another popular destination would create more uncertainty for holidaymakers who now may be considering if they should cancel or postpone their trips to the former Yugoslav country.”

Though Britons may want to act fast to cancel and avoid disappointment, Nicky has a vital warning.

“If you have a trip coming up in the next few days and are unsure on the best option, it’s always best to wait for your operator to cancel rather than doing so yourself,” he states.

“If this happens, you are legally entitled to a refund.

“You may be offered travel vouchers, a change of holiday or a Refund Credit Note instead of a cash refund, so make sure you pick what choice is best for you.”

Holidaymakers who cancel their trip themselves risk losing money.

Travel insurance is also vital for those who are impacted by a potential travel ban.

“Ensure you double-check your travel insurance before you travel – most policies have changed since the pandemic began to exclude situations like these.

“If you wish to cancel a holiday that is still running, and the FCO isn’t advising against travel, you are not automatically entitled to claim on your insurance if you have to abandon your trip, so it’s worth checking how flexible the policy is with your travel company,” Nicky explains.

“If Croatia is added to the quarantine list, I would recommend being incredibly careful with booking.

“If the FCO advises against non-essential travel to Croatia, your travel insurance will likely be invalid whilst on your trip if you do decide to travel, and in the case something goes wrong, you may be paying out of pocket.

“It’s unwise to travel without cover generally, let alone in the current situation.”

Though many Britons are desperate to get away following months of lockdown measures, the current uncertain landscape presents a number of worrying scenarios according to the expert.

He concludes: “Overall I would urge travellers to remain cautious about booking to any destination with a rise in cases – even if upon arrival back into the UK, you are able to quarantine without impacting your work, don’t forget to consider the insurance implications and the prospect airlines may cancel flights as certain routes lose popularity.”

Iowa State professor threatens to dismiss students who oppose abortion, Black Lives Matter

An Iowa State University professor is coming under fire after she issued a syllabus threatening discipline against students who undertook projects that opposed Black Lives Matter and abortion.

Labeled a “GIANT WARNING,” the portion of the syllabus banned “instances of othering,” which it defined as “sexism, ableism, homophobia,” and a variety of other things. “The same goes for any papers/projects: you cannot choose any topic that takes at its base that one side doesn’t deserve the same basic human rights as you do (ie: no arguments against gay marriage, abortion, Black Lives Matter, etc). I take this seriously,” it added.

Young Americans Foundation, a conservative youth organization, released a screenshot of the syllabus on Monday, claiming that it came from a professor named Chloe Clark. According to Iowa State’s website, the course, English 250, is for “written, oral, visual, and electronic composition.” The course is required as part of students’ “Communication Proficiency” requirement for graduation.

In a statement to Fox News, the university described the syllabus as “inconsistent” with its commitment to the First Amendment.


“The syllabus statement as written was inconsistent with the university’s standards and its commitment to the First Amendment rights of students,” a statement from the taxpayer-funded university read.

“After reviewing this issue with the faculty member, the syllabus has been corrected to ensure it is consistent with university policy. Moreover, the faculty member is being provided additional information regarding the First Amendment policies of the university.”

It added: “Iowa State is firmly committed to protecting the First Amendment rights of its students, faculty, and staff. With respect to student expression in the classroom, including the completion of assignments, the university does not take disciplinary action against students based on the content or viewpoints expressed in their speech.”


The Black Lives Matter movement began in the wake of the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of unarmed African American teenager Trayvon Martin in July 2013. The three Black women who first used the hashtag on social media later expanded their effort into a network of local Black Lives Matter chapters. However, the broader movement against police brutality and systemic racism — which reignited after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis — is decentralized and larger than those chapters.

Iowa State University has promoted the organization. After George Floyd’s death, the dean issued a “Black Lives Matter” statement that pledged “a critical examination of our own policies and practices, from classroom teaching to faculty and staff recruitment, to ensure that they are truly equitable.”