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.
Joe Biden said Monday that police under attack in the line of duty should shoot their assailants “in the leg instead of the heart” as a way to avert the killing of civilians. Biden's remarks were made as cities across the nation continue to be engulfed in violent protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an African-American, in police custody in Minneapolis. Former Officer Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, was charged Friday with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst A technology advocacy group filed the first lawsuit challenging President Trump's recent executive order targeting social-media companies. The lawsuit on Tuesday, filed by the Center for Democracy in Technology, argues that the order violates the First Amendment. Trump issued the executive order, which seeks to change a law protecting social-media companies, after Twitter flagged his tweets with a fact-check label.
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."
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.
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.
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 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.
Dave Grossman's "Bulletproof Mind" is teaching law enforcement agencies across the United States militarized tactics in which officers are told to see themselves as "at war" on the streets. Agencies have started turning away from the courses in recent years, after it was discovered the Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile had taken one of Grossman's courses. If you're prepared to kill, Dave Grossman, says, it's "just not that big of a deal."
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.
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.
GERARD JULIEN/AFP/Getty Images Facebook has come under fire for its decision to leave up a post in which President Donald Trump used the phrase "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" while discussing the unrest following George Floyd's death. Leaked audio obtained by The Verge from a company meeting on Friday shows Zuckerberg saying the company might review its policies around the "discussion of state use of force." Zuckerberg justified leaving Trump's post untouched partially on the grounds that he referred to deploying the National Guard.
The San Diego Police Department, spurred by the fallout from George Floyd's death in Minneapolis, has immediately banned a controversial restraint technique. At least three major police departments have banned similar neck holds or chokeholds amid increasing attention on policing maneuvers that cut off oxygen to persons under arrest or restraint. Former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin used a similarly controversial knee-to-neck restraint, pressing his knee into Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, resulting his death.
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.
Joe Biden on Monday suggested that police forces could train officers to shoot attackers in the legs in order to reduce potential fatalities. There is “the idea that instead of standing there and teaching a cop when there's an unarmed person, coming at him with a knife or something, to shoot him in the leg instead of in the heart,” Biden said. Biden made his remarks while meeting with African American community leaders at the Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Del. The former vice president was discussing the widespread protests touched off by the killing of George Floyd, an African American man, at the hands of white police officers in Minneapolis, Minn.
Their lawyer, Saif ul Malook, who also represented Asia Bibi, another Christian woman who had a death sentence for blasphemy successfully overturned, told the BBC the evidence used to convict the couple was deeply flawed. But, he warned, that judges can be "fearful" of acquitting suspects, in case they are targeted themselves by extremists. Court proceedings have also slowed in recent weeks as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
An Iranian scientist imprisoned in the U.S. and acquitted in a federal trade secrets case is on his way back to Iran after being deported, the country's foreign minister said Tuesday. Sirous Asgari was in the air on a flight back to Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an Instagram post. "Congratulations to his wife and his esteemed family,” Zarif wrote.
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.
The Boston Police Department said 53 arrests have been in relation to the demonstrations made as of Monday. At least seven police officers have been reported to have been injured during the rioting, which began as a peaceful protest over the weekend. The protests follow the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, who died after in police custody after a Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground by his neck for a prolonged period of time.
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."
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.”
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.
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.
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.