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.”
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.
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."
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.
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.
The heaving city of 20 million people, which is India's financial and entertainment capital, has been spared of cyclones in modern history. Mumbai hasn't "experienced a serious cyclone landfall since 1891", Adam Sobel, a professor of atmospheric science at Columbia University, told me. All that could change on Wednesday when a severe cyclonic storm with wind speeds from 100 to 120 kmph (60 to 75 mph) could hit the city and India's western coast.
A Wuhan doctor who worked with coronavirus whistleblower Li Wenliang died of the virus on Tuesday, state media reported, becoming China's first COVID-19 fatality in weeks. Hu Weifeng, a urologist at Wuhan Central Hospital, passed away after being treated for COVID-19 and allied issues for more than four months, state broadcaster CCTV said. He is the sixth doctor from Wuhan Central Hospital to have died from the virus, which emerged in the central Chinese city last year.
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 parliament last week approved a decision to create laws for Hong Kong to curb sedition, secession, terrorism and foreign interference. Mainland security and intelligence agents may be stationed in the city for the first time. There is time for China to reconsider, there is a moment for China to step back from the brink and respect Hong Kong's autonomy and respect China's own international obligations,” British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab told parliament.
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.
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.
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.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is planning to hold Brexit talks with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in June, with UK officials warning Johnson that an agreement was needed before autumn, the Financial Times newspaper reported. "We need a broad agreement in place by the summer," an unnamed UK official was quoted as saying by the newspaper on Monday. "We can't still be having this conversation in September or October", the official added.
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.
The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) made its first known intervention on Monday into the spiraling crisis in Minnesota, following the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin. The federal agency charged two men with firebombing a county building in the town of Apple Valley on Friday, and with possessing Molotov cocktails “not registered to them in the National Firearms Registration and Transfer.” The criminal complaint, brought against Garrett Ziegler and Fornandous Henderson, coincided with warnings from President Donald Trump and U.S. Attorney General William Barr of increased federal involvement in local law enforcement efforts to counter the violence that has wracked multiple American cities.
To Beijing, the outpouring of anger in the United States over the death of George Floyd while in police custody has been a gift. In social media, in broadcast and in print, Beijing propaganda authorities have seized on rioting across U.S. cities to drive home a point it often seeks to make: Washington adheres to a “double standard” and lacks the moral high ground to criticize Chinese actions that impinge on its own people's human and civil rights. The timing is highly convenient and a useful distraction for Beijing, which is working overtime both to convince mainlanders that Hong Kong is a willing recipient of a forthcoming national security law, and to refocus the narrative away from a coronavirus lockdown that left the economy reeling and unemployment spiking.
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.
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.
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.
Video obtained by Reuters showed clouds of tear gas being deployed just outside the White House as protesters gathered ahead of a curfew in the city, which was set to begin at 11pm local time (0300 GMT). "Most (of the protesters) dispersed as the police started using flashbangs and pushed protesters back due to several buildings on fire," said Kyle McFadden, who was at the scene close to Lafayette Park. The police deployed tear gas several times during the protests, according to McFadden.
Looters in New York City took freely from luxury stores and pharmacies alike on Sunday evening. In many instances, New York police officers sat and watched as people ransacked the stores. On Monday evening, about 700 people were arrested for looting and other offenses, Mayor Bill de Blasio said during a press conference on Tuesday.
Mexico's military is cooperating with a fresh probe into the 2014 disappearance of 43 student teachers, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday. The apparent massacre of the youths, whose remains are still being searched for, is widely believed to have been committed by corrupt police working with a violent drug gang, and has drawn international outrage. Lopez Obrador, who came into power in 2018, has vowed to uncover what really happened and examine the prior handling of the case, which led to one of the worst crises of his predecessor Enrique Pena Nieto's administration.