Former President Barack Obama on Monday addressed the nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd, praising the “overwhelming majority” of peaceful demonstrators, condemning the violence brought on by a “small minority” and calling on a “new generation of activists” to “bring about real change.” “The waves of protests across the country represent a genuine and legitimate frustration over a decades-long failure to reform police practices and the broader criminal justice system in the United States,” Obama wrote in an essay published on Medium.com. The former president then lauded police in Camden, N.J., and Flint, Mich., for publicly supporting peaceful protests before he criticized demonstrators who have been acting violently.
The survey, conducted on May 29 and 30, found that 52 percent of Americans answered yes when asked whether they “think that President Trump is a racist.” Only 37 percent said no. Just 33 percent said the president should continue “posting messages on Twitter.”
Seth Wenig/AP Photo A New York City police officer pointed his gun at peaceful protesters in Manhattan Sunday night. After a video of the incident trended on Twitter, Mayor Bill de Blasio said the officer's actions were "unacceptable" and he should "have his gun and badge taken away." On Saturday, de Blasio was widely criticized for defending police officers who drove into a protesting crowd, before backtracking on his comments Sunday.
The federal judge overseeing the fraught prosecution of former national security adviser Michael Flynn Monday defended his decision to review the Justice Department's effort to abandon the case, calling such a move "unprecedented." "It is unusual for a criminal defendant to claim innocence and move to withdraw his guilty plea after repeatedly swearing under oath that he committed the crime," attorneys for U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said in documents filed in a D.C. appellate court. "It is unprecedented for an acting U.S. Attorney to contradict the solemn representations that career prosecutors made time and again, and undermine the district court's legal and factual findings, in moving on his own to dismiss the charge years after two different federal judges accepted the defendant's plea."
Hours into the mandatory curfew in Washington, D.C., several police officers were recorded engaging in peaceful dialogue with protesters. While remaining in opposition to the extended protests over George Floyd's death, one officer appeared to commiserate with protesters' desire to seek change.
The families of British dual nationals imprisoned by Iran today criticised the Foreign Office for “complete inaction” in trying to secure their release, as an Iranian scientist previously jailed by the US was allowed to fly home. A plane carrying Sirous Asgari took off early this morning and was on its way back to Tehran to bring him home, Iran's foreign minister announced, raising hopes of a potential prisoner swap for Western dual nationals in Iran. Mr Asgari was accused by a US court in 2016 of stealing trade secrets while on an academic visit to Ohio, where he visited a university working on projects for the US Navy.
A truck driver accused of speeding into a crowd of protesters in Minneapolis has been released from jail, acquitted of assault charges. Bogdan Vechirko drove an 18-wheeler among a large group of peaceful protesters on the highway in Minneapolis on Sunday. Video shows the truck driving past protesters gathered on the highway shoulder and then coming to a stop just short of hitting some people who stood in front of its path.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Tuesday that people protesting the death of George Floyd have "by and large" been peaceful, and stressed that looters are a separate group. "What's happening in this environment … all these issues are getting blurred," Cuomo said at his daily press briefing. "We can't blur the lines … don't blur the lines for your political purpose," Cuomo said, noting President Trump's criticism of New York City's response to the ongoing unrest.
Rep. Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat facing a tough primary challenge and questions about his absence from his district, was caught on a hot mic at a district event responding to unrest saying twice that he only wanted press coverage because of an electoral threat. “If I didn't have a primary, I wouldn't care,” Engel said to Ruben Diaz Jr., the Bronx borough president, at a Tuesday press conference responding to unrest and vandalism in his district related to the recent death of George Floyd. Diaz worried about having too many elected officials speak, but Engel pleaded with him for coverage.
The capital was awash with anger and pain as tear gas blew along the streets and rubber bullets flew Sunday night and into the early hours of Monday morning. Protesters clashed with law enforcement for the third straight evening outside the White House, and numerous businesses were vandalized by rioters defying a citywide curfew. Protesters gathered throughout Sunday in Lafayette Park, which is across the street from the White House and has been a focal point of the demonstrations that began here Friday evening.
Chechnya's gay-purging strongman Ramzan Kadyrov has made an unexpected foray into US politics by suggesting Donald Trump might have a thing or two to learn from him about human rights. In a social media post published early on Tuesday morning, the controversial leader demanded American authorities “put an end” to “mayhem” and “illegal actions against citizens.” “Police are lynching people right on the streets of American cities,” he wrote.
China's Ministry of National Defense is reporting that its first indigenous aircraft carrier, the CNS Shandong, is now carrying out sea trials in preparations for deployment and possible war, marking a substantial step forward in China's longstanding Naval modernization efforts. While of course there are many unknowns with China's first home-built carrier, it does appear to massively increase the country's power-projection possibilities, bringing new Pacific-area and international threat possibilities to the U.S. Navy. The sea trials are being conducted according to an annual plan, spokesperson Ren Guoqiang told reporters, according to the Chinese publication People's Online Daily.
While the Democratic Party is working to decide whether it will even have an in-person convention, Republicans are looking at changing the location of theirs to ensure a splashy event. President Donald Trump weighed Tuesday evening in a series of tweets, where he said Republicans were looking for a new state for their convention and criticized North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper for refusing "to guarantee that we can have use of the Spectrum Arena - Spend millions of dollars, have everybody arrive, and....then tell them they will not be able to gain entry." "Governor Cooper is still in Shelter-In-Place Mode, and not allowing us to occupy the arena as originally anticipated and promised," Trump wrote in a series of tweets.
A police officer was on life support Tuesday after being shot during a protest on the Las Vegas Strip, the latest in a handful of attacks on police amid demonstrations across the country over the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The 29-year-old officer in Las Vegas was shot as police tried to disperse a large crowd of protesters in front of a casino shuttered because of the coronavirus. At about the same time and less than three miles (4.8 kilometers) away, police outside a federal courthouse shot a protester who was wearing a black tactical vest and armed with two handguns and a rifle.
The Philippines has told the United States it is suspending its bid to break off a key military pact, the two allies said Tuesday in a sharp turnaround of President Rodrigo Duterte's foreign policy. Duterte in February gave notice to Washington he was axing the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) after accusing the US of interference in his internationally condemned narcotics crackdown. That began a 180-day countdown to ending the deal central to hundreds of joint military exercises with the US per year and a major component of their nearly 70-year-old alliance.
Stephen Maturen/Getty Images A truck driver named Bogdan Vechirko on Sunday was jailed on assault charges after he nearly drove an 18-wheeler into a large group of protesters in Minneapolis, but he was released without charges on Tuesday. A Facebook post originally from a trucking-education page said truck drivers who are facing protesters have the right to drive into them. However, the burden is ultimately on trucking companies to ensure drivers do not end up in dangerous situations.
Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images In a leaked email, the president of the Minneapolis Federation of Police said the ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd were a "terrorist movement" that has occurred following a "long time build up which dates back years." Lt. Bob Kroll blamed politicians for the ongoing tension, specifically targeting Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz and Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey. The former police chief of Minneapolis called on Kroll to resign, and Frey said Kroll was "shockingly indifferent to his role in undermining that trust and support" of the police force.
India has been hit by the worst locust storm the country has experienced in nearly 30 years, as the nation grapples with the ongoing coronavirus crisis that has overrun hospitals. Swarms of millions of desert locusts that stretch up to 4 miles long crossed into the Western state of Rajasthan from Pakistan at the beginning of May and have since entered Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Gujarat. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) believes that the current locust crisis was caused by the strong winds that followed the Cyclone Amphan that hit India and Bangladesh on May 20.
Joe Biden on Tuesday praised the nationwide peaceful protests following the death of George Floyd, calling his killing in police custody a "wake-up call for our nation" and accusing President Donald Trump of sowing division. In a speech from Philadelphia City Hall, Biden repeated Floyd's final words before he died after a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes — and said it was time "to listen to those words ... and respond with action." In an almost half-hour speech, Biden said the country was "crying out for leadership that can unite us" — and that he, not Trump, could provide it.
The Chinese city of Wuhan, where the novel coronavirus outbreak began, has found no new cases of people suffering from COVID-19 after testing almost its entire population, and 300 asymptomatic carriers of the virus, officials said on Tuesday. China does not count people who are infected with the virus but do not show symptoms of the disease as confirmed cases. Officials told reporters in a briefing that there had been no new confirmed cases, and said the asymptomatic carriers had been found not to be infectious; masks, toothbrushes, phones, door handles and elevator buttons that they touched had no traces of virus.
The official history of Russian and Soviet airborne forces began on August 2, 1930, when 12 parachutists were dropped during maneuvers in the Moscow Military District. Prior to maneuvers, the volunteers conducted several practice jumps during their six days of training under the tutelage of Air Force pilot Leonid Minov. Minov himself had only three jumps under his belt, having received his training in the United States only a short time before.
Parts of Mexico and the Caribbean have targeted dates in early to mid-June for reopening from coronavirus restrictions, and the Bahamas are planning to open July 1. At least one EU member nation has announced a target window, however: Spain's prime minister announced that his country will reopen to foreign tourists sometime in July, though he did not specify a date. Iceland has said it will reopen its borders to foreign tourists on June 15, though there's a catch: Visitors will either have to agree to be tested for COVID-19 or self-quarantine for two weeks.
Riot police firing tear gas scattered a protest crowd from a downtown Louisville square Monday night, hours after the firing of the city's police chief in the uproar over the early morning shooting death of a popular restaurant owner by security forces. David McAtee, the owner of a barbecue spot who was known for offering meals to police officers, died while police and National Guard soldiers were enforcing a curfew early Monday amid waves of protests over a previous police shooting in Kentucky's largest city. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer announced the firing of Police Chief Steve Conrad at a news conference Monday.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked a resolution proposed by Senate Democrats that would have condemned President Trump's response to protesters in Washington, D.C., on Monday, when federal law enforcement officers forcefully removed demonstrators from a park across from the White House. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer introduced the resolution on Tuesday, saying on the Senate floor that the removal of the protesters was "appalling" and "an abuse of presidential power." He attempted to pass the measure by unanimous consent, which does not require a vote by the whole Senate but can be blocked by any member.
China has been furious at the US government for criticizing its handling of protests in Hong Kong and for backing pro-democracy demonstrators. Over the weekend, state-run media made the most of the current protests in America, sparked by the police-related death of George Floyd. "US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi once called the violent protests in Hong Kong 'a beautiful sight to behold,'" he wrote.