Greg's Geek Fix: New COVID-19 research
- The Independent
It remains unclear whether the teenager will be charged as a juvenile or as an adult
- The Daily Beast
Sean Rayford/GettyNew body-camera footage shown Tuesday to the family of Andrew Brown Jr. showed sheriff’s deputies “standing on the pavement unloading their weapons” on the 42-year-old Black man as he tried to drive away, the family’s lawyers said Tuesday.The family and one member of their legal team were able to view 19 minutes of about two hours of body-camera footage taken during the April 21 incident. The six new videos included snippets from different body cameras and dash footage. Previously, they’d only been shown about 20 seconds of edited footage, but a North Carolina judge ruled on April 28 that they could see more footage.“At no point did we see Mr. Brown pose a threat to the law enforcement that was there. It was absolutely and unequivocally unjustified,” Chance Lynch, one of the Brown family lawyers, said during a press conference after viewing the extended footage.The description of the new footage corroborates what Chanel Lassiter, another family attorney, said two weeks ago after viewing the original snippet. At the time, Lassiter said that Brown’s hands were on the steering wheel when authorities opened fire—and that he tried to drive away to “evade being shot” before crashing into a tree.Brown was shot at about 8:30 a.m. while deputies were serving a search warrant and arrest warrant at his house in Elizabeth City on felony drug charges. The Pasquotank County Sheriff’s Department released almost no details about the incident for days and, due to North Carolina laws, were unable to release the body-cam footage without a judge’s order.But during a hearing last month about releasing the footage, Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble insisted that the footage showed that Brown's car moved and “made contact with law enforcement” twice before deputies opened fire.Lynch said on Tuesday that Brown was in his car and appeared to be on the phone when he was “ambushed” by the officers. He said he believed that “at no point” did Brown see the seven deputies initially approach his car.While he did not go into details about what prompted the initial shot, Lynch said the gunfire prompted Brown to “put the car in reverse, putting several feet, if not yards, away from the police who were there” before he turned his steering wheel to the left to drive away. At all times, Lynch noted, Brown’s “hands were visible.”“At no point did we ever see any police officer behind his vehicle. At no point did we ever see Mr. Brown make contact with law enforcement,” Lynch said, adding that Brown was apparently trying to leave the scene as officers were unloading their weapons. “We did not see any actions on Mr. Brown’s part that he made contact with them or tried to go in their direction. In fact, he did the opposite. While there was a group of law enforcement were in front of him, he went in the opposite direction.”‘Tragic Day Here’: Deputy Fatally Shoots North Carolina Black Man While Serving Search WarrantLynch said that the “final shot” to Brown’s head made him “lose control...and collide with a tree.” But there were at least six “bullet holes in the passenger side of his car,” he added. The “windows were shattered” and at least one bullet even went through the front windshield, he said.He said that after deputies pulled Brown out of the car and laid him “face-first flat on the ground” and checked on the fatal bullet wound, they “begin to search his home.”“The video I saw [two weeks ago] was pretty much the same as what I saw today. Just a few more details. He wasn’t in the wrong at all. What’s in the dark will come to the light,” Khalil Ferebee, one of Brown’s sons, said Tuesday. “We will get justice.”Attorneys for Brown’s family have previously asked Womble to recuse himself because of his ties to the sheriff’s department and to ensure “fairness, transparency, and pursuit of the ends of justice.”“We do not believe we will have a fair set of eyes looking at this going forward,” Bakari Sellers, another attorney, said Tuesday. He said that while the family were not shown the full two hours of footage from the incident, they believe what was shown today “tells the entire story of what happened to Andrew Brown Jr.”An independent autopsy commissioned by the family’s lawyers concluded that Brown was shot at least five times in his car—including one “kill shot to the back of the head” while his hands were on the steering wheel. The autopsy, performed by Dr. Brent Hall, showed that while Brown sustained four bullet wounds to his right arm, the fatal shot penetrated his brain and skull and never exited his head.Pasquotank Chief Deputy Daniel Fogg said that the arrest warrant operation was classified as “high-risk” because Brown was a convicted felon with a history of resisting arrest. The search warrant, first obtained by WAVY, revealed that Brown was being watched for over a year and had allegedly sold drugs to an informant. Court records show that Brown had a history of criminal charges since the 1990s, including a misdemeanor drug-possession conviction and at least two pending felony drug charges.However, Brown’s family has said no drugs or weapons were seized from the 42-year-old’s property or car, according to Harry Daniels, one of their lawyers.Three of the seven officers—Investigator Daniel Meads, Deputy Sheriff II Robert Morgan, and Corp. Aaron Lewellyn—fired their weapons during the incident and are on administrative leave. The four other deputies—Lt. Steve Judd; Sgt. Michael Swindell; Sgt. Kendall Bishop; and Sgt. Joel Lunsford—were cleared after a follow-up investigation.The shooting, just hours after a Minneapolis jury found ex-cop Derek Chauvin guilty of murdering George Floyd, prompted hundreds of North Carolinians to take to the streets in protest.The FBI also opened a federal civil rights investigation into the incident death while North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper called for a special prosecutor to be appointed “to help assure the community” and Brown’s family that a “decision on pursuing criminal charges is conducted without bias.”The release of body-camera footage comes after weeks of legal hurdles put up by the state, city, and local law-enforcement officials. Under North Carolina law, body-camera footage cannot be released unless there is a court order because it is not considered to be a public record.While the judge ruled on April 28 that Brown’s family could see the footage, he said the public would have to wait at least 30 days in order to allow authorities to pursue criminal charges.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
A further 50 corpses are found on embankments, this time in Uttar Pradesh, as India battles Covid.
- The New York Times
WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden took office in January with little interest in pursuing an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, for understandable reasons. President Bill Clinton hosted an Israeli-Palestinian summit during his first year in the White House. President Barack Obama appointed a Middle East peace envoy on his second full day in office. And before his swearing-in, Donald Trump vowed to secure an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal “which no one else has managed to get.” All of them failed to achieve a peace deal, as did President George W. Bush, who took up the cause later in his presidency. Sign up for The Morning newsletter from the New York Times Even before the recent explosion of violence in Israel and the Gaza Strip, analysts agreed that prospects for a successful negotiation continued to look hopeless in the near term, with neither side prepared to make concessions the other would demand. Biden and his senior advisers have largely accepted that status quo. Determined to shift the focus of American foreign policy to China from the Middle East and seeing no reliable partner in an unstable Israeli government led by an embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has pursued hard-line positions toward the Palestinians, Biden has issued familiar endorsements of a two-state solution while making little effort to push the parties toward one. But as spiraling riots, rocket attacks on Tel Aviv, Israel, and airstrikes on the Gaza Strip threaten to escalate into a major conflict, calls are growing in the Democratic Party for Biden to play a more active role. Some liberals urge him to more firmly challenge Israeli settlement activity, which makes a peaceful resolution with the Palestinians harder to achieve. “The problem with the Middle East is that you can try to turn your back on it, but it won’t turn its back on you,” said Martin S. Indyk, a former U.S. ambassador to Israel and a former special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations. Biden administration officials on Tuesday publicly called for both sides to show restraint. In recent days, U.S. officials have also pressed Israeli and Palestinian officials in private conversations to avoid inflaming tensions, and issued a successful plea for the postponement of an Israeli court ruling on the eviction of Palestinian families in East Jerusalem that helped lead to recent clashes in the city. Indyk said he did not blame Biden’s approach of “conflict management, rather than conflict resolution,” given the dim prospects for peace after Trump’s presidency, which culminated with a heavily pro-Israel peace plan last year that the Palestinians rejected on arrival. But Indyk said that Biden must now become more active, and he urged the swift appointment to the empty post of American ambassador to Jerusalem. Indyk also noted that the president had not yet spoken with Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority. He also said the administration should reopen a consulate in East Jerusalem, which had been the United States’ main point of contact with Palestinians before it was closed under Trump. “They need to establish a dialogue with the Palestinians,” Indyk said. The White House disclosed Tuesday that Biden and Abbas had exchanged letters after the 2020 election. U.S. officials have also had private, lower-level contacts with Palestinian officials, including Abbas’ senior adviser, Hussein al-Sheikh. Other Democrats urged Biden to exert more pressure on Israel’s government over settlement activity and territorial claims that they say are making the prospects for an agreement with the Palestinians virtually impossible. “If you stand back and the process of creeping annexation is allowed to continue unchecked, it is going to result in this kind of moment,” said Jeremy Ben-Ami, the president of the liberal pro-Israel advocacy group J Street. “You can wish this off your priority list, but this is a conflict with very deep-seated problems, and they need attention. And if you leave it untended, it’s going to catch fire, and people are going to get hurt again,” Ben-Ami said. “We are inches away from this blowing out of control.” The Democratic Party has moved to the left on Israel in recent years, partly because of Netanyahu’s strong alliance with Trump and other Republican leaders, and also because many of its younger activists and members of Congress are more openly sympathetic to the Palestinian cause than those of Biden’s generation. After the State Department said last week that it was “deeply concerned” about the potential eviction of Palestinian families from East Jerusalem, some Democrats rebuked the Biden administration for failure to act more assertively to stop the Israelis. Sen. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland wrote on Twitter that “this is not a moment for tepid statements.” At a briefing Monday, Ned Price, the State Department spokesman, was asked about a tweet by Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., who said that the deputy mayor of Jerusalem, in a defense of the proposed evictions, had endorsed “ethnic cleansing.” Price said the claim was “not something that our analysis supports.” Some analysts said that even if Biden shared the assessment that more pressure on Israel’s government would be effective, he might be wary of further exacerbating tensions with Israeli leaders anxious about his top priority in the Middle East: an effort to restore the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which Netanyahu and other top Israeli officials have long opposed. Biden also took office at a moment of enormous political flux, with Israel in the midst of several failed efforts to form a lasting government and the Palestinians headed toward elections — since postponed, another source of the current unrest — that complicated efforts to devise a clear U.S. policy. Netanyahu is struggling to hold on to power, and U.S. officials say the influence of Abbas over Palestinian protests and violence, driven by militants and social media, is close to zero. Biden also has memories from his days as vice president of Obama’s call for an Israeli settlement freeze and territorial concessions, which had little effect on policies over the long term but drew fierce political blowback from Republicans and some Democrats who said Obama failed to understand Israel’s security needs. Republicans continue to exploit tensions in the Democratic Party over Israel policy. On Tuesday, Trump issued a statement charging that Biden’s “lack of support for Israel is leading to new attacks on our allies.” But it was unclear what support Trump felt the United States was not providing, given that his own statement of support for Israel’s “right to defend itself” matched Biden administration talking points. Many Democrats, including Biden officials speaking privately, say that Trump is a key cause of the current problems. Halie Soifer, the chief executive of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, said that Trump, who fulsomely supported Netanyahu’s pro-settlement policies and defied warnings of Palestinian unrest in moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, “was willing to intervene in Israeli domestic politics and elections to pursue his political agenda, regardless of its impact on the region or the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Soifer said that Biden deserved credit for being a supporter, during the Obama administration, of Israel’s so-called Iron Dome anti-rocket system, which has been defending Israeli cities from incoming fire. “Our priority is on restoring calm. Our priority over the longer term may move toward playing some sort of mediating role between Israelis and Palestinians,” Price, the State Department spokesman, told reporters Monday. “But given circumstances on the ground right now — and even before this current flare-up — we’re just not in a position, I think, to see meaningful progress,” he added. “And our policy has recognized that.” This article originally appeared in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company
He worked with Hitchcock, played tennis with Chaplin and made his final film with Judd Apatow.
- The Independent
On the dark net, the hackers group claims that they don’t have any official backing
- Associated Press
Kawhi Leonard scored 20 points, Paul George added 16 and the Los Angeles Clippers led all the way Tuesday night in a 115-96 win over the Toronto Raptors. Terance Mann also scored 20 points and Ivica Zubac had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Clippers, who stayed one game ahead of the Denver Nuggets in the race for third place in the Western Conference. The Nuggets hold the tiebreaker, having won two of three against the Clippers.
Windfarm CEO Sarah Merrick says being involved in all areas of her business has paid dividends.
- The Week
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) evidently can't think of a single person continuing to question whether the 2020 presidential election was legitimate. McCarthy spoke with reporters at the White House on Wednesday after a meeting with President Biden and asserted that the party has moved on from the 2020 election and that there isn't "anybody" questioning whether Biden is the legitimate president. "I don't think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election," McCarthy claimed. "I think that is all over with. We're sitting here with the president today." This was despite the fact that Trump himself continues to falsely insist he won the 2020 election and question its legitimacy, as reporters quickly pointed out. The former president did so as recently as two days ago. House Leader McCarthy at WH just said: I don't think anyone is questioning the legitimacy of president. FACT CHECK: President Trump is continuing to question the legitimacy of President Biden. And, today Rep Liz Cheney was ousted from leadership for pushing back on Trump's lies. — Yamiche Alcindor (@Yamiche) May 12, 2021 Earlier on Wednesday, Republicans voted to oust Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) from her House leadership position for criticizing Trump over his false election claims. According to Politico, when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) was told about McCarthy's comment, he simply responded, "What?" House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, hours after ousting Rep. Liz Cheney from leadership: "I don't think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election. That's all over with. We are sitting here with the president today." pic.twitter.com/VK0aohLipa — The Recount (@therecount) May 12, 2021 More stories from theweek.comThe doom-loop of a falling fertility rateThe real reason Liz Cheney lost her jobAn anti-vax conspiracy theory is apparently making anti-maskers consider masking up, social distancing
- Raleigh News and Observer
Police found a handgun beside the victim, which is why they suspected he had been shot.
- NBC News
A fire department probe found that two firefighters had taken crash site photos that "served no business necessity," Vanessa Bryant’s lawyers said in a court filing.
- The Telegraph
Jason Knauf, former communications secretary to both the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, has quit as chief executive of the Royal Foundation after several years at the heart of a tumultuous royal period. The American-born former corporate affairs executive is relocating abroad as his partner has taken up a diplomatic posting overseas. Mr Knauf found himself at the centre of the Duchess of Sussex’s legal battle against the Mail on Sunday after it emerged that he had helped the Duchess when she was drafting a letter she sent to her father, Thomas Markle. He was also thrust to the heart of a recent bullying scandal after a leaked email revealed he had raised concerns about the Duchess’s behaviour. In an email complaint sent in October 2018 to Simon Case, then the Duke of Cambridge's private secretary, he said: “I am very concerned that the Duchess was able to bully two PAs out of the household in the past year. The treatment of X was totally unacceptable.” He added: “The Duchess seems intent on always having someone in her sights. She is bullying Y and seeking to undermine her confidence. We have had report after report from people who have witnessed unacceptable behaviour towards Y.” The claims resulted in a Buckingham Palace investigation, conducted by an external legal firm, in which any current and former staff with concerns about The Duchess’s behaviour are encouraged to take part. The Duchess has denied bullying. Last month, as the Duchess’s legal battle against the Mail on Sunday continued, Mr Knauf wrote to the newspaper’s lawyers emphatically denying that he had any copyright claim over the letter she had sent to her estranged father, landing a final blow to the newspaper’s case. The letter, sent in April, a month after the Sussexes’s televised Oprah Winfrey interview, insisted he led “extensive efforts” to protect the Duchess’s privacy and reputation during her time as a working member of the Royal Family, appearing to cast doubt over her claim that was “unprotected” by Kensington Palace staff.
- The Week
At Wednesday's House Oversight Committee hearing addressing the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) scolded former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller for seemingly changing his opinion of former President Donald Trump's culpability in the Capitol insurrection. Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) goes after former acting Defense Sec. Christopher Miller for taking back his written statement saying President Trump “encouraged” protesters on January 6. Miller: “That’s ridiculous”Lynch: “You’re ridiculous.” pic.twitter.com/8drl4UjR5D — The Recount (@therecount) May 12, 2021 On Tuesday, Miller released a written testimony intended for the hearing, writing, "I stand by my prior observation that I personally believe [Trump's] comments encouraged the protestors that day," although he went on to add he is "not in a position to make an official assessment of [Trump's] responsibility" and stands by his decisions as Pentagon chief on Jan. 6. Christopher Miller, the Pentagon chief on January 6, will testify tomorrow that he personally believes Trump "encouraged" the deadly attack. pic.twitter.com/IFmg9VfAhu — Jan Wolfe (@JanNWolfe) May 11, 2021 However, when asked by Lynch if he believed Trump incited the riots, Miller replied, "I think I'd like to modify my original assessment." He said new information led him to believe the assault was far more organized than originally thought — in essence, suggesting that while Trump did "offer" the Capitol to rioters, the president's remarks were not "the unitary factor." Lynch fired back, quoting Miller himself: "Would anybody have marched on the Capitol or tried to overrun the Capitol without the president's speech? I think it's pretty much definitive that would not have happened." As the two continued to bicker, Miller called the accusation he had reversed his comments "ridiculous," to which Lynch replied, "You're ridiculous." More at Politico. More stories from theweek.comThe doom-loop of a falling fertility rateThe real reason Liz Cheney lost her jobAn anti-vax conspiracy theory is apparently making anti-maskers consider masking up, social distancing
- Business Insider
More than 100 Republicans, including former governors and lawmakers, are threatening to form a third party if the GOP doesn't split from Trump
The group plans to release a letter outlining its threat on Thursday, The New York Times and Reuters reported.
The singer shared a video of herself writing the 2017 single, which she called "a song about a place and person that at the time I loved very much."
McCarthy after ousting Cheney: 'I don’t think anybody is questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election'
Rep. Liz Cheney lost her leadership spot Wednesday for openly criticizing former President Donald Trump's embrace of the "Big Lie."
- Business Insider
Internet Computer is already one of the top 10 cryptocurrencies with a market cap of $45 billion - just two days after launching
The first day of trading saw its price swing wildly as it hit an intraday high of $700 before declining to around $250.
- Los Angeles Times Opinion
A reader who identifies as a lifelong Republican shares the letter he sent to party leadership over the way Liz Cheney has been treated.
- Business Insider
More than 120 retired generals and admirals wrote to Biden suggesting he wasn't legitimately elected and questioning his mental health
The letter published by "Flag Officers 4 America" appeared to advance a false conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was illegitimate.
- Business Insider
Bill Gates is reportedly hiding out in his mansion at a billionaires' golf club in California that costs $250,000 to join
Bill Gates has been at his $12.5 million mansion at The Vintage Club for about three months, a source told Page Six. Membership costs $250,000.