The Washington Post - USA (2020-09-16)

(Antfer) #1
BY ISAAC STANLEY-BECKER

One tweet claimed coronavirus
numbers were intentionally in-
flated, adding, “It’s hard to know
what to believe.” Another warned,
“Don’t trust Dr. Fauci.”
A Facebook comment argued
that mail-in ballots “will lead to
fraud for this election,” while an
Instagram comment amplified
the erroneous claim that 28 mil-
lion ballots went missing in the
past four elections.
The messages have been ema-
nating in recent months from the
accounts of young people in Ari-
zona seemingly expressing their
own views — standing up for
President Trump in a battle-
ground state and echoing talking
points from his reelection cam-
paign.
Far from representing a genu-
ine social media groundswell,
however, the posts are the prod-
uct of a sprawling yet secretive
campaign that experts say evades
the guardrails put in place by
social media companies to limit
online disinformation of the sort
used by Russia during the 2016
campaign.
Teenagers, some of them mi-
nors, are being paid to pump out
the messages at the direction of
SEE TURNING POINT ON A


BY KAREN DEYOUNG
AND ANNE GEARAN

President Trump presided
over a White House signing cer-
emony Tuesday of agreements
establishing formal ties between
Israel and two Arab states, the
United Arab Emirates and Bah-
rain, saying the accords would
“change the course of history.”
With trumpet flourishes and
speeches under the flags of all
four nations, Trump, Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netan-
yahu, and the UAE and Bahraini
foreign ministers addressed an
invited crowd seated in season-
ably cool sunshine on the South
Lawn.
The agreements mark the
third and fourth Arab nations to
normalize relations with Israel —
and the first since Jordan took
the step in 1994, following Egypt
in 1979. Trump took full credit
for setting the path and encour-
aging them to take it. A White
House statement attributed the
success to his “foreign policy
vision and his acumen as a
dealmaker.”
But the countries involved,
Trump said Tuesday, “had to
make that choice themselves.”
In formal remarks each leader
delivered in turn from a podium
set on the White House balcony
looking down on the audience,
both Trump and Netanyahu said
that other Arab countries were
prepared to take the same step.
At various points during the
day, Trump said that five, six and
“seven or eight or nine” Arab
countries were queuing up to
join. “Including the big ones,” he
told reporters as he returned to
the South Lawn later in the day
to depart for an evening trip to
SEE AGREEMENT ON A

Israel establishes ties with UAE, Bahrain


TRUMP PRESIDES AT
WHITE HOUSE EVENT

Accords lay ground for
diplomatic, other links

JABIN BOTSFORD/THE WASHINGTON POST
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, President Trump, Bahraini Foreign Minister Abdullatif al-Zayani and United Arab
Emirates Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed stand on a White House balcony during a signing ceremony for the Abraham Accords.

BY ANNIE GOWEN

lawrence, kan. — Everyone
was hungry, and the free sack
lunches Meg Heriford has been
handing out at her shuttered
diner since the pandemic began
disappearing with alarming
speed.
Before the shutdown, Lady-
bird Diner was a busy spot on the
main street of this college town,
where up to 600 people a day
packed into the tiny space, a swirl
of chaos and vitality, pancakes
and pie — coconut cream with
lofty meringue, apple with rustic
latticework and the one they
called the Duchess, with a sour
cream custard and blackberries,
topped with oat crumble.
The “Fresh Daily” case was
empty now, the turquoise vinyl
booths devoid of diners and the
rotating dessert tower turned
into temporary storage for loaves
of bread.
Days after Heriford closed her
doors in March and laid off her
staff, she and two former employ-
ees began making sack lunches
for anybody in town who needed
SEE DINER ON A

BY CHRISTIAN DAVENPORT

Like its overachieving pred-
ecessors, full of doctorates and
service medals, the newest class of
NASA astronauts has its share of
decorated military officers and es-
teemed scientists — even a Navy
SEAL who got his medical degree
from Harvard. Previous classes
may have had John Glenn, Neil
Armstrong and Sally Ride. But the
class of 2020 has Jonny Kim, who
“could kill you and bring you back
to life. And do it in space,” as Sen.
Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) said earlier this
year at a graduation ceremony.
Chosen from a pool of 18,
applicants, the most ever in
NASA’s history, Kim’s class has op-
portunities unlike any before it —
the ability to fly on two new com-
mercially developed spacecraft
designed to go to the International
Space Station, as well as a third
capsule intended to take astro-
nauts to the moon.
It is a significant change from
the previous decade, when, after
the space shuttle was retired in
2011, the only way to space was by
hitching a ride on a Russian rocket
that blasted off from a desolate
launchpad in Kazakhstan — so far
away that many Americans didn’t
SEE ASTRONAUTS ON A


Opportunities


abound for


newest NASA


astronauts Meg’s choice: Business or service


She could reopen her diner. But what about the hungry people she’s feeding?


BY PAUL SCHWARTZMAN
AND JOHN D. HARDEN

Police in D.C. are far more
likely to arrest Blacks than
Whites for marijuana-related of-
fenses, five years after the city
enacted reforms that proponents
hoped would end racial dispari-
ties in enforcement.
Although marijuana arrests
have declined by more than half,
African Americans still account
for just under 90 percent of those
arrested on all pot-related charg-
es, according to a Washington
Post analysis, even as they make
up 45 percent of the city’s popula-
tion.
And while studies show that
marijuana use is equally preva-
lent among Blacks and Whites,
84 percent of more than 900
people arrested for public con-
sumption in the nation’s capital
were African American in the
four years after legalization.
At a time when police treat-
SEE ARRESTS ON A

Clear racial


gap persists


in District’s


pot arrests


ABCDE


Prices may vary in areas outside metropolitan Washington. M2V1 V2 V3 V


Mostly sunny 77/65 • Tomorrow: Mostly cloudy, humid 78/63 B8 Democracy Dies in Darkness WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16 , 2020. $


Pro-Trump


group pays


teens for


online hype


Facebook and Twitter
disable accounts in effort
likened to ‘troll farm’

COLIN MACMILLAN FOR THE WASHINGTON POST
Meg Heriford and Erin Brown prepare to serve trays of sack lunches to the locals who are beginning
to congregate on the sidewalk out front at Ladybird Diner in Lawrence, Kan.

BY OVETTA WIGGINS

Two years before George Floyd’s
killing forced a reckoning with
American racism, Jordan Keemer
was in his high school government
class in Pasadena, Md., acting as
the judge in an exercise that re-
sembled a mock trial.
The teen doesn’t remember the
topic, or his verdict.
But stained in his mind are the

stinging words he says his teacher
uttered quietly as he sat, a 16-year-
old Black student surrounded by
mostly White classmates: “I don’t

trust you n----- people.”
The incident became a water-
shed moment in Anne Arundel
County, a glaring example of the
intractable history of hate in a
sprawling suburb of strip malls
and subdivisions. Keemer’s teach-
er retired after the teenager and
his parents came forward. At com-
munity meetings, residents shared
other experiences of racism —
some recent, some decades ago.

When County Executive
Steuart Pittman (D) was elected
months later, part of a 2018 blue
wave fueled by opposition to Presi-
dent Trump, he homed in on data
showing that Pasadena reported
the highest number of hate or bias
incidents in Anne Arundel Coun-
ty, which itself has recorded the
most incidents in the state.
That made Pasadena, popula-
SEE RACISM ON A

A Md. suburb’s slaveholding past — and racist present


Anne Arundel County,
home to the capital, has
state’s most hate incidents

Settlement in police killing Louisville will


pay $12 million to Breonna Taylor’s family


and modify search warrant procedures. A


Some Baptists drop the ‘Southern’ Church


leaders say that part of their denomination’s


name invokes historical support of slavery. A


FOOD
NYC’s pizza plight
The pandemic forced
changes — most
dismayingly a temporary
halt to sales of the
signature single slice —
at the city’s pizzerias. E

STYLE
‘Jeopardy!’ is back
It’s in the studio again for
a 37th season, with GOAT
contestant Ken Jennings
in a new role. C

In the News


THE NATION
Health insurance be-
came slightly more
scarce in the U.S. in
2019 — before corona -
virus-related job losses,
federal data shows. A
House Democratic
leaders dismissed a bi-
partisan $1.5 trillion
coronavirus relief pro-
posal amid mounting
pressure for action after
talks with the White
House stalled last
month. A
As Hurricane Sally
lumbered toward the
Gulf Coast, officials
warned of “life-threat-
ening” storm surge from
Louisiana to Florida. A

A top official a t the
Department of Health
and Human Services
apologized for remarks
accusing colleagues of
“sedition.” A

THE WORLD
In Australia, V ictoria’s
governor remains popu-
lar despite imposing
some of the most strin-
gent pandemic-control
measures on Earth. a
As top Trump adminis-
tration officials sought a
firm response to t wo wa-
tershed events in Russia
— the poisoning of an
opposition figure and the
Belarus uprising — Pres-
ident Trump has taken a

more tepid stance. a

THE ECONOMY
Apple’s new watch
showcases its years-
long effort to break into
the health-care indus-
try. A
U.S. trade policies
drew strong pushback,
as the World Trade
Organization sided with
China on tariffs and
Canadian threats of re-
taliation led the U.S. to
abandon plans for new
import taxes. A

THE REGION
D.C.’s St. Elizabeths
psychiatric hospital is
restraining and seclud-
ing patients more often,
a nonprofit group re-
ported. B

One week into remote
schooling, students, par-
ents and teachers
throughout Northern
Virginia are adjusting to
a new, virtual reality. B
D.C. reopened its mas-
sive convention center
with hope it will serve as
an example of how key
spaces in the city can be-
gin to reopen safely. B
The District’s i nde-
pendent auditor is ex-
amining fatal police
shootings since 2018 as
the city looks broadly at
its policing. B
The D.C. Housing Au-
thority settled a suit by
the city’s attorney gener-
al, agreeing to s pend
more than $3 million on
measures to curb c rime
in public housing. B

Inside


BRYAN WOOLSTON/REUTERS

BUSINESS NEWS.......................A
COMICS.......................................C
OPINION PAGES........................A
LOTTERIES...................................B
OBITUARIES................................B
TELEVISION.................................C
WORLD NEWS............................A

CONTENT © 202 0
The Washington Post / Year 143, No. 286

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