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.”
An independent autopsy that found George Floyd died solely from asphyxiation could actually bolster the defense of the former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing him, legal experts said. The autopsy released on Monday said Floyd's death, which sparked nationwide protests, was a homicide and that he had no underlying medical conditions. Later on Monday, the Hennepin County Medical Examiner released details of its autopsy findings that also said Floyd's death was a homicide caused by asphyxiation but that he had possible underlying health conditions and intoxicants in his body that may have been contributing factors in his death..
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.
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.
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.”
There will likely be a new rash of coronavirus cases following widespread protests this weekend over racism and the death of George Floyd — but people's concerns need to be heard, Surgeon General Jerome Adams said in an interview. I remain concerned about the public health consequences both of individual and institutional racism [and] people out protesting in a way that is harmful to themselves and to their communities,” Adams said in a phone call. He was leaving a White House meeting with governors to discuss the protests that have rippled across the country after video footage showed a white Minneapolis police officer pinning Floyd, an African American, by his neck.
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.
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.
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.
India's government said on Tuesday it has approved Gilead Sciences Inc's antiviral drug remdesivir for emergency use for five doses in treating COVID-19 patients. Remdesivir, which is administered intravenously in hospital, is the first drug to show improvement in COVID-19 patients in formal clinical trials and is at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19, which has no approved treatment or vaccine. The drug was granted emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month and has received approval by Japanese health regulators.
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."
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
America's allies and adversaries can't believe what they are witnessing unfold in Washington, D.C. — a police officer punching an Australian cameraman and using his shield to strike him in the chest, while another officer uses a baton to hit the correspondent as the news crew attempts to flee. Violent, chaotic scenes like this have been seen elsewhere around the globe — but other countries are reacting with horror as they are not used to seeing them in the heart of the U.S. capital. After days of nationwide demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, police were using tear gas, projectiles and mounted officers to forcefully scatter peaceful protesters near the White House, all so President Donald Trump could walk to St. John's Episcopal Church for a photo opportunity.
The U.S. Air Force is looking at arming otherwise unarmed cargo planes, pressing them into service as makeshift bombers. The service believes future wars with adversaries like Russia or China will require plenty of aerial firepower and transport planes, loaded with pallets of cruise missiles, could provide an inexpensive solution. According to Defense News, the Air Force thinks aircraft such as the C-130J Super Hercules and C-17 Globemaster III could become part-time missile trucks.
Not because the officers didn't do anything wrong, but because there isn't a case from the 8th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court specifically holding that it is unconstitutional for police to kneel on the neck of a handcuffed man for nearly nine minutes until he loses consciousness and then dies. And such a specific case is what Floyd's family must provide to overcome a legal doctrine called “qualified immunity” that shields police and all other government officials from accountability for their illegal and unconstitutional acts. The Supreme Court created qualified immunity in 1982.