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.
A truck driver named Bogdan Vechirko is in jail for assault charges after he nearly drove an 18-wheeler into a large group of protesters in Minneapolis on Sunday. Minnesota state officials said on Monday that his truck was not loaded and that, because he slammed the brakes before getting too close to the crowd, he did not intend to injure any protesters. A Facebook post from originally from a trucking education page asserts that truck drivers who are facing protesters have the right to drive into them.
A soldier in Minneapolis opened fire on a speeding vehicle that posed a threat Sunday night -- the second known instance of a National Guard member discharging a weapon during the nationwide mass protests, the Minnesota National Guard commander said Monday. "Our soldier fired three rounds from his rifle in response to a direct threat" from a vehicle that drove at a position held by local law enforcement supported by the Guard, said Army Maj. Gen. Jon Jensen, adjutant general of the Minnesota National Guard. Read Next: Army Vet Lawmaker: Invoke Insurrection Act, Deploy Active-Duty Troops to Riots The driver ignored warnings to stop or turn away before the soldier opened fire, Jensen added.
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.
What's new: While early on COVID-19 was branded as a respiratory illness, its wide array of symptoms — from the toes to the brain — baffled experts. According to experts interviewed in an Elemental article, it's unprecedented that a respiratory illness could migrate outside the lungs. But new research suggests COVID-19 may actually be a blood vessel disease, which would explain all of the virus' symptoms.
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.
As drugmakers race to develop vaccines, tests and therapies for the disease, the United States is looking to secure manufacturing capacity under its "Operation Warp Speed" program announced in May to accelerate vaccine development. "Securing more manufacturing capacity here in America for candidates that make it to the final stages of Operation Warp Speed will help get a vaccine to American patients without a day wasted," Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Alex Azar said in a statement. The HHS task order with Emergent falls under an existing contract with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a U.S. federal agency that funds disease-fighting technology.
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.
Kellyanne Conway defended President Trump's decision to tear-gas protesters for a photo-op in front of St. John's Episcopal Church Monday night by going after the bishop who presides over that congregation. The White House counselor was confronted with the criticism from Episcopal Bishop Mariann Budde during an appearance on Fox News early Tuesday afternoon. After listing off various actions Trump has taken in the name of “religious liberty”—implying that all clergy should be grateful for his help—Conway addressed Budde directly.
A police officer in Las Vegas was critically wounded as others in New York and St. Louis were also injured during ongoing civil unrest sparked by last week's death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, officials said Tuesday. "This has been a long night for your police department ... and a tragic night for our community," Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters Tuesday. "With these protests, which are leading to riots, one tragedy is only leading to another."
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.
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.
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.
Aid organizations are making an urgent plea for funding to shore up their operations in war-torn Yemen, saying they have already been forced to stop some of their work even as the coronavirus rips through the country. “It's almost impossible to look a family in the face, to look them in the eyes and say, 'I'm sorry but the food that you need in order to survive we have to cut in half,'” Lise Grande, resident U.N. coordinator for Yemen, told The Associated Press. The dwindling funds are the result of several factors, but among the top reasons is obstruction by Yemen's Houthi rebels, who control the capital, Sanaa, and other territories.
One of Huawei's leading critics, US Senator Tom Cotton, has told UK MPs that he fears China is trying to use the telecoms equipment-maker to "drive a hi-tech wedge between us". The Republican politician was giving evidence to an inquiry by the House of Commons' Defence Select Committee into the security of 5G. Mr Cotton added that the US, UK and other allies could team up to develop superior 5G technologies of their own. Huawei said the claims lacked evidence.
A senior U.S. Army vaccine researcher said on Tuesday it was reasonable to expect that some sort of coronavirus vaccine could be available to part of the U.S. population by the end of the year. Defense Secretary Mark Esper vowed on May 15 that the U.S. military and other parts of the government would, in collaboration with the private sector, produce a vaccine at scale to treat the American people and partners abroad by year-end. Colonel Wendy Sammons-Jackson, director of the U.S. Military Infectious Disease Research Program, told a Pentagon news briefing it was "reasonable to expect that there will be some form of a vaccine that could be available at some level, to a certain population, by the end of the year."
US riot police were broadcast live on air using aggressive force to push and knock down an Australian reporter and her cameraman as they covered the Black Lives Matter protests in Washington DC, prompting an investigation by the Australian embassy. Amelia Brace, a reporter for Australian television network Channel 7, was broadcasting from the White House with cameraman Timothy Myers when police plouged into the crowd with riot shields, firing rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse them. Footage of the police barrelling at the camera and shoving the news team was viewed over a million times in a matter of hours.
On Tuesday, Joe Biden, former vice president and presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, criticized President Trump for the clearing-out of protesters with tear gas near the White House on Monday evening so the president could be photographed in front of St. John's Episcopal Church.
Violent factions attacked police officers across the U.S. over the last 24 hours as demonstrations against the death of an unarmed black man in police custody have spiraled out of control. George Floyd, 46, died after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was caught on video kneeling on his neck for nearly nine minutes while he was handcuffed on Memorial Day. County Sheriff Joe Lombardo told the Las Vegas Review Journal that the officer survived.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's daughter, Chiara de Blasio, was arrested Saturday night during the citywide protests over the death of George Floyd, a senior NYPD law enforcement official told NBC News. Chiara de Blasio was arrested Saturday night at East 12th Street and Broadway in Manhattan for “unlawful assembly.” The official said Chiara de Blasio was taken into custody at 10:30 p.m. She has been released.
George Floyd died on May 25 of asphyxia due to compression of the neck and back, an independent autopsy found. A video that has sparked outrage across the nation showed a white Minneapolis police officer pinning the handcuffed 46-year-old black man's neck on the ground beneath his knee. The way he was restrained restricted not only "blood flow into his brain, but also airflow into his lungs," said Antonio Romanucci, an attorney working with the Floyd family.
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.
The Taliban in Afghanistan still maintain close ties with the al-Qaida terror network, despite signing a peace deal with the United States in which they committed to fight militant groups, a U.N. report released on Tuesday said. The insurgents promptly slammed the report as “baseless and bigoted.” The U.S.-Taliban accord, signed in Qatar's capital of Doha at the end of February, was meant to allow for American troops to gradually leave Afghanistan after 19 years of war and pave way for intra-Afghan negotiations that would shape the country's political future.