Wednesday's Mini-Report, 7.22.20

Today's edition of quick hits.
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By Steve Benen

Today's edition of quick hits:

* China: "In a dramatic escalation of tensions, the State Department has ordered the closure of China's Houston consulate -- a move the Chinese on Wednesday called an 'outrageous and unjustified' provocation."

* Chicago: "Fifteen people were wounded in a shooting at a Chicago funeral home Tuesday as the city reels from a recent surge in gun violence, authorities said. One person was in custody, Chicago Police First Deputy Superintendent Eric Carter told reporters Tuesday night."

* Another round of trade talks falls short: "The British government has abandoned hopes of clinching a U.S. free trade deal ahead of the presidential election, with officials blaming the novel coronavirus outbreak for slow progress, the Financial Times reported. 'Is it going to happen this year? Basically, no,' said one official quoted by the FT."

* Perhaps Pompeo forgot about pandemic? "Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Copenhagen, Denmark, on Wednesday to discuss the building of a gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, which the U.S. opposes. But despite the testy task at hand, Pompeo tried to be diplomatic and extended his hand to the other foreign ministers at the meeting, The Washington Post's John Hudson observed. Greenland Foreign Minister Steen Lynge, returned his gesture, albeit with a coronavirus-friendly elbow bump."

* This is poised to be a very big deal: "Millions of Americans who have missed rent payments due to the coronavirus pandemic could be at risk of being evicted in the coming months unless government measures to protect them are extended, economists and housing experts say."

* Twitter announced yesterday "that it has begun taking sweeping actions to limit the reach of QAnon content, banning many of the conspiracy theory's followers because of problems with harassment and misinformation."

* A Trump-backed charity: "Charlie Kirk’s nonprofit Turning Point USA has made misleading financial claims and gets its 'independent' audits from its co-founder Bill Montgomery’s former business associate. It has enriched several of its top leaders as it pushes Trump’s message."

* She's right about his weak remarks from this morning: "Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., on Wednesday addressed heated remarks he made on Monday to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. ... but the New York congresswoman said his response was 'not an apology.'"

* 2020 sure is a strange year: "A gunman in Ukraine armed with an automatic rifle and grenades has surrendered to police and released 13 hostages after the country’s president consented to his demand to recommend the 2005 animal rights documentary Earthlings, narrated by Joaquin Phoenix."

See you tomorrow.