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 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.
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.
Nearly three dozen black alumni of Liberty University denounced school President Jerry Falwell Jr. on Monday, suggesting he step down after he mocked Virginia's mask-wearing requirement by invoking the blackface scandal that engulfed the state's governor last year. In a letter to Falwell, shared with The Associated Press, 35 faith leaders and former student-athletes told Falwell that his past comments “have repeatedly violated and misrepresented" Christian principles. “You have belittled staff, students and parents, you have defended inappropriate behaviors of politicians, encouraged violence, and disrespected people of other faiths,” they wrote, advising Falwell that “your heart is in politics more than Christian academia or ministry.”
Amsterdam's mayor faced criticism from politicians and health experts on Tuesday after thousands of demonstrators packed the city centre for an anti-racism rally in violation of social distancing rules put in place to ward off the coronavirus. The protesters rallied in support of George Floyd, a black American who died in police custody in the United States last week, their number swelling from an expected 200-300 to several thousands on Monday. Amsterdam Mayor Femke Halsema, of the Green Left party, said city authorities were caught off guard by the huge turnout and could not have intervened peacefully.
Xinhua via REUTERS China delayed the release of information about the coronavirus, according to a new investigation. Its health officials did not share the coronavirus genome until over a week after scientists in Chinese laboratories decoded it at the beginning of January. Beijing did not warn the World Health Organization that the virus passed between people until two weeks later.
The number of coronavirus fatalities in Brazil has risen by almost 1,000 in a day, making the country's overall death toll the world's fourth highest. Its figure of 28,834 has now surpassed France, and only the US, the UK and Italy have recorded more deaths. President Jair Bolsonaro has consistently played down the outbreak, although the country has the world's second-highest number of cases.
Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who has been appointed to lead the prosecution of any cases arising from the death of George Floyd, said he plans to charge the four officers involved to "the highest degree of accountability that the law and the facts will support." Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who pinned Floyd's neck to the ground with his knee before Floyd died, is charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd's death on May 25. The three other officers involved in the incident have not been charged.
The bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington condemned President Donald Trump on Monday for his visit to St. John's Episcopal Church near the White House after law enforcement officers used tear gas to clear protesters from the area. "Let me be clear: The president just used a Bible, the most sacred text of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and one of the churches of my diocese without permission as a backdrop for a message antithetical to the teachings of Jesus and everything that our churches stand for," Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde told CNN. "And to do so...
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.
Eastern Libyan forces said on Monday they had taken back the small town of al-Asaba south of Tripoli, relieving pressure on their stronghold at Tarhouna after weeks of territorial losses to forces of the internationally recognised government. Ahmed Mismari, spokesman for the eastern-based Libyan National Army under Khalifa Haftar, said in a message that the LNA had retaken Asaba, and footage was published online that appeared to show LNA fighters inside the town. Haftar launched an offensive in April 2019 to capture the capital Tripoli, seat of the U.N.-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA), but has lost ground recently.
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.
A Pakistani girl who was critically injured on the ground last month when a passenger plane went down in a crowded neighborhood of the port city of Karachi has died at a hospital, her relatives and a doctor said Tuesday. Meanwhile, the plane's black box flight recorders were sent to France, where their data was downloaded Tuesday. The Airbus A320 crash killed 97 passengers and crew members; two passengers survived the crash.
BAE Systems has completed a successful ground-to-ground test of its Advanced Precision Kill Weapon System rocket for the first time, the company announced Monday. The test, conducted at the U.S. Army's Yuma Proving Ground in Arizona, involved “several successful shots” of the APKWS rockets out of a launcher, built specifically for ground vehicles by Arnold Defense, according to BAE. A ground-based APKWS, delivered via the Arnold Fletcher launcher, was first unveiled in 2018.
REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the New York progressive, slammed a New York City Police Department union for tweeting confidential information about Mayor Bill de Blasio's daughter's arrest on Saturday during a protest against racism. The Sergeants Benevolent Association tweeted a screenshot of Chiara de Blasio's arrest record and attacked the mayor over his daughter's participation in the protests. Ocasio-Cortez urged the NYPD to de-escalate with protesters rather than respond with violent force, and she told the union to "apologize and own this egregious behavior."
The U.S. Air Force is looking at arming otherwise unarmed cargo planes, pressing them into service as makeshift bombers. The service believes future wars with adversaries like Russia or China will require plenty of aerial firepower and transport planes, loaded with pallets of cruise missiles, could provide an inexpensive solution. According to Defense News, the Air Force thinks aircraft such as the C-130J Super Hercules and C-17 Globemaster III could become part-time missile trucks.
The Minneapolis Police Department Chief filed a civil suit against the department alleging discrimination against people of color including black officers in 2007, CNN reported. Excessive force complaints against Minneapolis officers were common, specifically from African-American residents, The New York Times reported. Derek Chauvin, the ex-police officer charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter tied to George Floyd's death had 18 complaints against him prior to the incident.
President Trump says he's ending the country's relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO) and says funding will now be redirected elsewhere. This has become a regular theme of Mr Trump's criticism of the WHO, and in his letter to its head Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on 18 May, he renewed this attack saying the WHO "consistently ignored credible reports of the virus spreading in Wuhan in early December 2019 or even earlier, including reports from the Lancet medical journal". In response to the criticisms levelled at it, the WHO says it acted properly in accordance with the information it was given by China, sharing it with medical and scientific experts around the world, including from the US.
A viral photo showing the White House with its lights off, shared by numerous Democrats during demonstrations in Washington, D.C., is at least five years old and was edited to make it seem darker, the Associated Press reported on Monday. The original photo shows the lantern on the White House portico and several lights around the fountain in the lawn as lit, while in the doctored image these lights are blacked out. Failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was among those who shared the image, along with Representative Bill Pascrelli (D., N.J.) and former Obama strategist David Axelrod.
Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume joins Bret Baier on 'Special Report.
The viral video of New York police kneeling with demonstrators Sunday dramatically documented the cracks that have formed in the thin blue line of America's law enforcement agencies as some officers denounced the death of George Floyd and sometimes joined the protests. A white former Minneapolis police officer is charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after Floyd, an African American man, died pleading for his life as the officer pinned his neck to the ground for more than 8 minutes. Typical of the responses was one from Art Acevedo, the police chief in Houston, Floyd's hometown, who said two days later that Floyd's death should be "condemned by all in law enforcement and our extended community."
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro urged his supporters on Monday to put off their protests against the country's Supreme Court next weekend after counter-demonstrations triggered violent clashes on Sunday. "Leave things alone on Sunday," the right-wing president said, referring to the protests. Bolsonaro's critics say he has undermined democracy by endorsing almost weekly protests against the top court, which authorized an investigation into the president for allegedly interfering with police appointments for personal motives.
Cyprus is launching a multilingual SMS campaign to head off more migrant arrivals by dispelling the mistaken belief the European Union member country is a gateway to the continent, the Cypriot interior minister said Sunday Nicos Nouris told the Associated Press the text-message blitz aims to counter “disinformation” propagated by people traffickers that securing asylum status in Cyprus will grant would-be migrants a “passport” to other EU countries. Nouris said arriving migrants are effectively “trapped” in Cyprus because the island nation isn't part of the Schengen area — those 26 European nations that have abolished their borders and permit unrestricted travel between them.