George Floyd has become the latest symbol of the simmering frustration over inequities felt by the black community. Today, he was remembered at a private memorial.
It's Ashley with Thursday's news to know.
But first, material to better educate yourself on racial injustice: Books about race are flying off the shelves. Many are sold out, but digital books are still available!
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Floyd brings Americans together in mourning
Hundreds streamed into a memorial service in Minneapolis on Thursday to honor Floyd. His brothers shared stories about the gentle nature of their 6-foot-4 brother, who despite his imposing size, was a magnet for friends. “Everywhere you'd go and see people, how they'd cling to him," brother Philonise Floyd said. "They wanted to be around him." The memorial featured a moment of silence that lasted eight minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time a policeman pressed his knee against Floyd's neck as he lay on the ground, saying he couldn't breathe before dying.
Floyd's words, “I can’t breathe,” have given life to a searing moment in the nation’s struggle for human rights. The overwhelming chorus of outrage, as well as the militarism of the government’s response, have formed a reality few Americans have witnessed before.
Here are the latest developments:
- To "recommit that dream," Rev. Al Sharpton will organize a march on Washington on the anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.
- Most Americans disapprove of President Donald Trump's response to the death of George Floyd, his handling of the ensuing protests and the way he has dealt with race relations in general, according to four polls released this week.
- A statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee that has towered over Richmond for more than 100 years will be removed "as soon as possible," Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam announced.
- New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees apologized for "insensitive" comments he made about NFL players protesting during the national anthem. Brees drew massive backlash from the sports world after he said he wouldn't be okay with protesting racial injustice if it meant disrespecting the flag.
Thousands demand justice and equality
- "We can do better." Obama urged mayors to take the lead on reforms.
- "George Floyd's life mattered": Duchess Meghan gave an emotional graduation speech amid protests.
- Beyoncé urged protesters to remain "focused in our call for real justice."
- "We must change now": 16-year-old tennis star Coco Gauff gave a powerful speech in Florida.
- This 9-year-old girl gave a powerful speech at a Black Lives Matter protest.
- "Star Wars" star John Boyega gave a passionate speech at a London protest.
This is fine: A stadium-sized asteroid is heading near Earth
Everybody stay calm, but there's a massive asteroid heading eerily close to Earth on Saturday. Thankfully, it is expected to remain a safe distance away. Named 2002 NN4, the asteroid is more than 1,000 feet across and will swing by near enough to make it onto NASA's "close approach" list. It's traveling at more than 20,000 mph – so the damage 2002 NN4 could inflict on Earth would be catastrophic, said Derek Buzasi, professor of physics at Florida Gulf Coast University. And it’s massive. Buzasi says it’s bigger than roughly 90% of asteroids, and he likened it to a football stadium.
Also heading our way: Tropical Storm Cristobal
Tropical Storm Cristobal could hit the USA late this weekend after strengthening in the Gulf of Mexico. U.S. landfall intensity is heavily dependent on the next 48 hours. Forecasters expect Cristobal to become a depression today, regain strength as it moves back into the Gulf of Mexico, then turn north toward the USA this weekend. Most projections call for a landfall in Louisiana, but a few models put Cristobal farther east into Florida's Panhandle. It's likely to make landfall as a tropical storm, but Cristobal could grow into a low-end Category 1 hurricane.
- We expect a busy hurricane season, with up to 19 named storms possible.
- Madeleine McCann’s family hopes for closure as German authorities say they believe the missing British girl is dead.
- "Abhorrent" and "dangerous": Sen. Tom Cotton's call for a military response to protests was slammed by experts.
- 1.88 million Americans filed unemployment claims last week, marking nine straight weeks of declines.
- Are public pensions doomed because of the coronavirus pandemic?
- Prince Charles says he has missed hugging his family during the long weeks of lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Mavericks owner Mark Cuban apparently hired a pollster to gauge a presidential run last month.
- Authors of a major study on the drug hydroxychloroquine have asked a scientific journal to retract their study, saying they are no longer confident in its findings.
Iran set an American Navy veteran free
Iran released an American Navy veteran, Michael White, who had been imprisoned by Tehran's leaders for nearly two years, his mother and President Donald Trump announced Thursday. White, 48, a veteran from California, was sentenced in 2019 to 10 years in an Iranian prison after being convicted of insulting Iran’s supreme leader and posting private information online. White's release came two days after the U.S. deported an Iranian scientist, Sirous Asgari, who was acquitted on charges of trying to steal secret research from Case Western Reserve University.
- Prisoners are given a "face mask and an onion": Americans detained abroad face a new threat amid coronavirus.
A break from the news
- This grandma was so excited to ride her scooter through a skate park.
- The 5 best Amazon deals you can get Thursday.
- It's summer, after all: How to find sunscreen that won't make you look ghostly.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: George Floyd memorial, Drew Brees, Tropical Storm Cristobal: Thursday's news.