Las Notis is a daily news column that gets you up to speed on the political, media + other goings-on in the United States, Latin America, and the diaspora—all in one quick digest.
Here’s your glimpse at what’s going on today:
- D.C. National Guard Maj. Adam D. DeMarco told lawmakers in sworn testimony this week that federal officers authorized 7,000 rounds of ammunition and searched through technology and material “considered too unpredictable to use in war zones” (sound canons, heat ray devices) to address protest gathering over the killing of George Floyd in D.C. His account contradicts the Trump administration’s characterization of the protests, which claimed that demonstrators were violent and given plenty of time to disperse.[WaPo]
- A new poll conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health sheds light on how the pandemic has strained finances in Latino families. According to the poll, which surveyed people from July 1 to Aug. 71% of Latino households in Los Angeles say that they have experienced serious financial problems during the pandemic, compared with 52% of Black households and 37% of white households in the same area.[NPR]
- Donald Trump publicly disputed remarks made by Robert R. Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who said in a Senate committee hearing this week that a vaccine would not be widely available until next year and that masks were vital and even more important than a vaccine to fight Covid-19. Trump said of Redfield’s remarks, “it’s just incorrect information” and argued that a vaccine “under no circumstance will it be as late as the doctor said.” [NYT]
- Amid allegations of hysterectomies performed in detention centers without the consent of patients, one woman who says the procedure was done to her was nearly deported by I.C.E. Pauline Binam had been put on a plane destined for Cameroon when a member of Congress intervened and had her pulled off as part of the investigations into the agency. [NPR]
- Forest fires have devastated Brazil’s tropical Pantanal wetlands, an area that has seen more than been more than 15,000 blazes this year alone—which is triple the number of fires recorded in the same period in 2019. Experts say it’s impossible to predict how many animals and how much wildlife has been destroyed, but estimate the losses to be huge. [BBC]
- Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega proposed a legal reform that would allow sentences of life in prison to be applied to opponents of his government. He accused them of committing “hate crimes” and appeared to lash out at protesters who gathered in the country in 2018 in universities to demand he step down. These protesters were met with violent force, with several reports of killings at the hands of police and paramilitaries. [Latino Rebels / AP]