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 state of Minnesota filed a human rights complaint Tuesday against the Minneapolis Police Department in the death of George Floyd by an officer who pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for minutes, even after he stopped moving. Gov. Tim Walz and the Minnesota Department of Human Rights announced the filing at a news conference Tuesday afternoon. Walz said the investigation into the police department's policies, procedures and practices over the past 10 years will determine if the force has engaged in systemic discrimination toward people of color, and work out how to stop it.
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.
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.
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.
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 viral video of New York police kneeling with demonstrators Sunday dramatically documented the cracks that have formed in the thin blue line of America's law enforcement agencies as some officers denounced the death of George Floyd and sometimes joined the protests. A white former Minneapolis police officer is charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter after Floyd, an African American man, died pleading for his life as the officer pinned his neck to the ground for more than 8 minutes. Typical of the responses was one from Art Acevedo, the police chief in Houston, Floyd's hometown, who said two days later that Floyd's death should be "condemned by all in law enforcement and our extended community."
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.
The comments were made by spokesman Zhao Lijian at the ministry's daily briefing. Trump has accused the WHO of being a puppet of Beijing. Since taking office, the president has quit several organizations and treaties including the U.N. Human Rights Council, the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO, the Paris accord to tackle climate change, and the Iran nuclear deal.
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.
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.
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.
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."
George Floyd, the Minnesota man who died after an officer arresting him pressed his knee onto his neck, died by homicide, according to the results of two autopsies released on Monday — one by the county medical examiner and the other by independent pathologists commissioned by Floyd's family. Dr. Allecia Wilson, one of the pathologists who conducted the independent autopsy, said Monday afternoon that Floyd died as a result of mechanical asphyxiation. The manner of death was ruled homicide, but the office noted that "is not a legal determination of culpability or intent."
Social media is filled with images of wounded protesters and journalists who have been struck by rubber bullets and tear gas canisters in the eyes and face. Some have even lost their sight. Experts policing, however, tell Insider that rubber bullets are considered "less lethal" weapons — and many police departments have considered them a "legitimate tool" for decades.
As the United States deals with widespread civil unrest across dozens of cities, "hacktivist" group Anonymous has returned from the shadows. The hacker collective was once a regular fixture in the news, targeting those it accused of injustice with cyber-attacks. After years of relative quiet, it appears to have re-emerged in the wake of violent protests in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd, promising to expose the "many crimes" of the city's police to the world.
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.”
Born in Branau, Austria, on April 20, 1889, Adolf Hitler rose to lead the Nazi Party in Germany during the 1920s and was appointed the nation's chancellor in 1933. As a boy, Hitler was abused by his father, a low level officer in the civil service, and adored his mother. He was a frustrated artist who failed to gain entry into the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna.
The estranged wife of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin intends to change her name and doesn't want any spousal support, her divorce petition revealed on Monday. Kellie May Chauvin, 45, filed for divorce on Saturday, a day after her 44-year-old husband of nearly 10 years, was arrested and charged with third-degree murder in the death of George Floyd, who died in police custody last week. The eight-page divorce petition, which was made public on Monday, revealed few details of the union, beyond basic language that "there has been an irretrievable breakdown of the marriage relationship of the parties within the definition of" Minnesota statutes.
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.
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."
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.