Friday's Mini-Report, 7.24.20

Today's edition of quick hits.
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By Steve Benen

Today's edition of quick hits:

* Escalating tensions: "China on Friday ordered the United States to shut its consulate in the city of Chengdu, the latest in a round of tit-for-tat measures as relations between the two powers deteriorate dramatically."

* CDC: "With some school districts just weeks away from the start of the academic year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released long-awaited guidelines Thursday for reopening with a heavy emphasis on getting students back into the classroom."

* On a related note: "On Thursday the CDC released several new documents that emphasize the benefits of school, in line with Trump’s messaging. Some of the guidance was written by White House officials rather than experts at the CDC, people familiar with the process said."

* The racism behind moves like these is not subtle: "The Trump administration is revoking a 2015 rule intended to encourage equity in housing, a move it said would cut red tape but that critics denounced as removing barriers to racial discrimination."

* The Missile Technology Control Regime: "The Trump administration plans to announce on Friday that it will allow the sale of armed drones to other nations and bypass part of an international weapons export control agreement that the United States helped forge more than three decades ago, congressional aides said."

* Madness: "Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the White House’s most prominent health responders to COVID-19 and a target in President Donald Trump’s attempts to downplay the pandemic, said on Thursday that he and his family have been receiving threats."

* Seems like a good idea: "House Democrats demanded in a letter this week that the Defense Department inspector general probe retaliation against a key witness in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump. The heads of the House Oversight and Intelligence Committees asked Defense Department acting Inspector General Sean O’Donnell to probe “a concerted effort” by the White House to lash out at Army Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman in retaliation for testifying before House impeachment investigators last year."

* An obvious honor befitting an American hero: "Rep. John Lewis will lie in state at the U.S. Capitol Rotunda next week, the top congressional leaders of both parties announced Thursday."

* On a related note: "A Virginia high school named after Confederate war general Robert E. Lee is to be renamed to honor the late civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis."

Have a safe weekend.