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Federal officers arresting a protester for crossing a fence line around a federal courthouse on July23. Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty Images

U.S. District Judge Michael Simon issued a temporary restraining order on Thursday blocking federal agents in Portland, Oregon, from arresting or using physical force against journalists and legal observers amid ongoing protests unless a crime has been committed.

Why it matters: The order restricts law enforcement officers from the departments of Homeland Security and of Justice operating in Portland, who have been accused of unlawfully arresting protesters.

The restriction will be in effect for 14 days. Federal officers can arrest journalists or legal observers if there is probable cause they have committed a crime.

  • The ruling also allows journalists and legal observers to stay in public spaces even if federal agents issue a dispersal order.
  • Federal officers are prevented from seizing journalists' press passes and equipment unless they are being lawfully arrested.

The big picture: The American Civil Liberties Union is representing journalists and observers who said they were shot with less-lethal munitions by federal officers.

Go deeper: ACLU lawsuit accuses police of attacking Portland volunteer medics

Go deeper

Oct 29, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Civil rights groups sue over Trump order banning anti-racism trainings

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

Civil rights groups filed a lawsuit on Thursday that challenges President Trump's executive order banning federal agencies, grantees and contractors from offering diversity trainings that the administration views as "anti-American."

Driving the news: The order, issued last month, says that trainings "that promotes race or sex stereotyping or scapegoating" promote "divisiveness in the workplace and distract from the pursuit of excellence and collaborative achievements in public administration."

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
50 mins ago - Health

Experts fear a bad flu season on top of COVID

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Public health officials are warning that the U.S. may be on the verge of a dangerous double whammy: COVID and flu, spreading simultaneously.

The big picture: The Delta variant is still circulating across the U.S., and the Omicron variant isn't far behind. On top of that, experts see potential warning signs of a bad flu season, which could leave millions of Americans vulnerable and strain health care resources.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Australia joins U.S. in diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Australia is joining the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in protest of human rights abuses committed by China's government, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: After the Biden administration's announcement that U.S. officials won't attend the Games due to the ongoing genocide of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region of China, Morrison said at a Sydney briefing that Australia would follow suit as "it's the right thing to do."