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 U.S. judge in the criminal case against President Donald Trump's former adviser Michael Flynn defended himself on Monday, saying it was proper to seek outside views on the Justice Department's request to drop a charge to which Flynn has pleaded guilty. Lawyers representing U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan said in a court filing that he is not a "mere rubber stamp" and needed to carefully consider the department's "unprecedented" request. Democrats and former federal prosecutors have accused Attorney General William Barr of politicizing the criminal justice system to go light on Trump associates in key cases.
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.
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.
North Carolina's Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, on Tuesday rejected the GOP's plans for a full-fledged convention in Charlotte, telling Republican officials the only way the event would move forward is with proper health protocols in place. The people of North Carolina do not know what the status of COVID-19 will be in August, so planning for a scaled-down convention with fewer people, social distancing and face coverings is a necessity, Cooper wrote in a letter to the Republican National Committee. The letter is a rebuke of the fully-attended convention that the RNC and President Trump have been pushing for despite concerns about spread of the coronavirus.
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.”
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.
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 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.
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.”
Two Atlanta police officers were fired Sunday for their conduct at a protest Saturday, the city's mayor and police chief said. Investigators Mark Gardner and Ivory Streeter, who were both members of the department's fugitive unit, were terminated from the police force, a spokesperson for the Atlanta Police Department told Insider. Investigators Carlos Smith and Willie Sauls, and Sergeant Lonnie Hood, were placed on administrative duty, the spokesperson said.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Unrest in America: Peaceful protesters lament violence at George Floyd demonstrations, but understand the rage behind it The CPJ said it is investigating reports of attacks and arrests in Louisville, Kentucky, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. U.S. police have arrested or attacked journalists more than 110 times since May 28, according to the Nieman Foundation for Journalism, President Donald Trump has verbally attacked the media throughout his term. Saturday afternoon, he tweeted a message that "Fake News is the Enemy of the People." Sunday, he accused the media of "doing everything within their power to foment hatred and anarchy."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Paris riot officers fired tear gas Tuesday as scattered protesters threw projectiles and set fires during an unauthorized demonstration against police violence and racial injustice. Several thousand people had previously rallied peacefully for two hours around the main Paris courthouse in homage to George Floyd and to Adama Traore, a French black man who died in police custody. Police had banned the protest because of virus restrictions that forbid any gathering of more than 10 people.