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.
Joe Biden said Monday that police under attack in the line of duty should shoot their assailants “in the leg instead of the heart” as a way to avert the killing of civilians. Biden's remarks were made as cities across the nation continue to be engulfed in violent protests in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an African-American, in police custody in Minneapolis. Former Officer Derek Chauvin, who kneeled on Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, was charged Friday with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
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.”
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.
Jose Carlos Fajardo/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty Images Police have fired tear gas into crowds of people protesting across the US this week, from Washington DC, to California, Minneapolis, and Illinois, as Americans speak out against the death of George Floyd. Human rights experts say the use of tear gas on civilians should be a weapon of last resort, not an everyday occurrence. Tear gas is especially dangerous for children, people with breathing issues, and the elderly.
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.”
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..
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.
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.
Former president Barack Obama decried the looting and burning of American cities in response to the death of George Floyd, saying it was “compounding the destruction” of inner-city communities and “detracting from the larger cause.” The woman, weeping in an interview, said the destruction happened “for no reason” and that “it's not going to bring George back.” MUST WATCH TV: If you're still unclear what impact the rioting and violence is having on the most vulnerable among us, please listen to Stephanie, a disabled Minneapolis woman who offers her heart-wrenching experience after last night's violence.
Boris Johnson is ready to open the door to nearly three million Hong Kong citizens if China imposes a new security law that critics say would rob the territory of its autonomy. The Prime Minister, writing in The Times, has offered to make what he says would be one of the "biggest changes" in the history of the British visa system to allow 2.85 million Hong Kong citizens the chance of fully-fledged citizenship. The move, which represents a dramatic escalation in the stand-off between the UK and China, would put Hongkongers "on the route to citizenship", said the Conservative Party leader.
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst A technology advocacy group filed the first lawsuit challenging President Trump's recent executive order targeting social-media companies. The lawsuit on Tuesday, filed by the Center for Democracy in Technology, argues that the order violates the First Amendment. Trump issued the executive order, which seeks to change a law protecting social-media companies, after Twitter flagged his tweets with a fact-check label.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
Senator Tom Cotton (R., Ark.) on Monday proposed invoking the Insurrection Act to quell the riots overtaking cities across the country. While use of the law is rare, then-president George H.W. Bush invoked the law in 1992 to send troops into Los Angeles during the Rodney King riots. “If local law enforcement is overwhelmed, if local politicians will not do their most basic job to protect our citizens, let's see how these anarchists respond when the 101st Airborne is on the other side of the street.”
The Trump administration did not secure the freedom of an American imprisoned in Iran in exchange for releasing an Iranian scientist held on U.S. immigration charges, the National Interest has learned. Sirous Asgari was deported to Iran on Tuesday after nearly three years in U.S. detention, first for sanctions-busting charges that were later dropped, and then for an expired visa. Iranian officials had raised the possibility of trading Asgari for Michael White, a U.S. Navy veteran imprisoned since 2018.
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."
REUTERS/John Sibley In this photo, protesters are also seen marching with signs in London's Parliament Square. REUTERS/John Sibley In Germany, people gathered in multiple locations throughout Berlin to demand justice for Floyd and fight against police brutality. REUTERS/Christian Mang "People all over the world understand that their own fights for human rights, for equality and fairness, will become so much more difficult to win if we are going to lose America as the place where 'I have a dream' is a real and universal political program," Wolfgang Ischinger, a former German ambassador to the US, told the New Yorker.
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.
Illinois Governor JB Pritzker has called in more reinforcement from the National Guard after protests in some Chicago suburbs devolved into violence and looting overnight.