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 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.
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.
While the Democratic Party is working to decide whether it will even have an in-person convention, Republicans are looking at changing the location of theirs to ensure a splashy event. President Donald Trump weighed Tuesday evening in a series of tweets, where he said Republicans were looking for a new state for their convention and criticized North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper for refusing "to guarantee that we can have use of the Spectrum Arena - Spend millions of dollars, have everybody arrive, and....then tell them they will not be able to gain entry." "Governor Cooper is still in Shelter-In-Place Mode, and not allowing us to occupy the arena as originally anticipated and promised," Trump wrote in a series of tweets.
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.”
Rep. Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat facing a tough primary challenge and questions about his absence from his district, was caught on a hot mic at a district event responding to unrest saying twice that he only wanted press coverage because of an electoral threat. “If I didn't have a primary, I wouldn't care,” Engel said to Ruben Diaz Jr., the Bronx borough president, at a Tuesday press conference responding to unrest and vandalism in his district related to the recent death of George Floyd. Diaz worried about having too many elected officials speak, but Engel pleaded with him for coverage.
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.
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 Donald 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 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 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.
As demonstrations continue over George Floyd's death, activist Curtis Hayes is challenging protesters to "come up with a better way" and urging everyone to ask why these protests are happening in the first place. He joined CBSN to discuss the fight against racial injustice.
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.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday faced calls to fire Police Chief Michel Moore after Moore said the death of George Floyd was on the "hands" of those inciting criminal acts at protests as much as the officers involved in Minneapolis. While providing an update on Monday, alongside Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas, Moore reported the LAPD had made 700 arrests on Sunday night — 70 of those arrests, he said, were people "who were either burglarizing or looting, victimizing, businesses further." "We didn't have protests last night.
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.
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."
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.
Up to 150 peaceful protesters – many of whom had narrowly escaped being hit by a speeding fuel truck – were arrested and handcuffed after police in Minneapolis fired tear gas and flash rounds to surround them. A number of those being arrested said they were not read their rights, and were not informed of what they were being charged with. The Independent watched as one young woman was overcome after being hit by tear gas and had to lie on the ground as others urged the police to call for a medic.
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.
Israel's defense minister urged the military on Monday to hasten preparations for the country's planned annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank, in apparent anticipation of what could be fierce Palestinian protests against the move. The statement by Benny Gantz came as Israeli media reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed annexation on Monday in a call with Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's senior adviser who stands behind a White House Mideast plan that largely favors Israel. In a statement sent by his office, Gantz appeared to command the military to prepare for the fallout from annexation, asking the military chief of staff to “speed up the (military's) preparedness ahead of political steps on the agenda in the Palestinian sphere.”
In a poll released in May, a representative survey of U.S. adults by the University of Chicago Divinity School and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found two-thirds of Americans don't think that "prohibiting in-person religious services" during the pandemic is a violation of freedom of religion, and that includes a majority of evangelical Christians and Republicans, according to our analysis. When asked about "placing restrictions" on in-person religious services, rather than prohibiting them, 82% of American adults overall think that would not violate religious liberty.
China is striking back at the U.S. over Washington's punitive actions on Hong Kong. Sources tell Reuters Beijing has ordered state-owned firms to stop buying soybeans and pork from the U.S. Also put on hold: large volume purchases of U.S. corn and cotton. The sources said Beijing is ready to expand that list if Washington takes more action on Hong Kong.
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."
PHOENIX Like many police chiefs across the country, Phoenix Chief Jeri Williams has denounced the death of George Floyd, the black man killed by a white police officer in Minneapolis, while at the same time she struggles to support her officers and maintain peace in the midst of the resulting protests. "The level of voice that we're seeing now is unlike anything that the world has ever seen, especially in the United States of America," Williams said.