“I can't breathe” were some of the last words that a handcuffed George Floyd said as he was pinned on the ground, while a white Minneapolis police officer held a knee to his neck for several minutes on Monday. Floyd, a black man, is now dead. Now the four officers from the Minneapolis Police Department involved in the incident have been fired.
On a day when the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus pandemic neared 100,000, President Trump sought to direct the nation's attention back to the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic as a way to smear the reputation of his Democratic rival Joe Biden, who was vice president at the time. Joe Biden's handling of the H1N1 Swine Flu was a complete and total disaster. In the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., Trump repeatedly sought to show that he was doing a good job dealing with the pandemic compared with how Biden and then-President Barack Obama had responded to the H1N1 pandemic.
The United States said on Wednesday it will terminate sanctions waivers that had allowed Russian, Chinese and European companies to carry out work originally designed to make it harder for Iranian nuclear sites to be used for weapons development. The waivers, which officials said expire on July 27, covered the conversion of Iran's Arak heavy water research reactor, the provision of enriched uranium for its Tehran Research Reactor and the transfer of spent and scrap reactor fuel abroad. In a statement, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave no precise justification for the move, which will halt some work originally designed to make it more difficult for Iran to potentially develop fissile material for nuclear bombs.
Riot police flooded central Hong Kong as people of all ages took to the streets to protest the territory's legislators preparing to debate another bill, one that would make it illegal to insult or abuse the Chinese national anthem. Pro-democracy protesters and politicians say the bill, which carries penalties of up to three years in jail and fines of up to $50,000 Hong Kong dollars ($6,450), is yet another sign of increasing interference from Beijing. Hong Kong Police said they have arrested more than 300 people on a number of charges, including possession of weapons and illegal assembly in the city center, Mong Kok, the Causeway Bay area and Wan Chai area.
A Pakistani villager has urged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to return his pigeon, currently being held in India on charges of spying. The Pakistani villager, who claims the arrested pigeon is his, says the code is actually his mobile phone number. Pakistan's Dawn newspaper has identified the man as Habibullah and reports that he owns a dozen pigeons.
A pair of Russian planes restricted a Navy pilot from safely maneuvering over international waters for more than an hour, service officials said on Tuesday. Two Russian Su-35 aircraft on Tuesday simultaneously flew close to each wing of a Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea, according to Navy news release describing the incident. It was the third time in two months that Russian aircraft have intercepted Navy aircraft in the Sixth Fleet of operations, the release states.
A Eurowings flight from Düsseldorf, Germany, to Sardinia, Italy, was forced to turn around at the last minute because the destination airport was closed due to coronavirus lockdowns in Italy. The plane made it all the way to Sardinian airspace on Saturday when they were told that the airport was closed to commercial traffic. An aviation blog theorized that the mistake was made because the airport was ordered to reopen earlier this month, but that decision was immediately overruled by the local government.
SpaceX is readying for a historic launch, and you can watch the whole thing live. NASA's Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are headed to the International Space Station and will become the first astronauts to launch from the U.S. since 2011, NPR reports. NASA on its website hails the fact that with this launch, a "new era of human spaceflight is set to begin," and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said this week this is a "unique opportunity to bring all of America together in one moment in time and say, look at how bright the future is."
MINNEAPOLIS—Flames and black smoke poured into the sky over Minneapolis late Wednesday as the second day of protests over the death of George Floyd took a violent turn, with a local business near police headquarters set ablaze and at least one person fatally shot in the area. Minneapolis Police spokesman John Elder confirmed the shooting shortly before midnight local time, but he did not say if it was connected to the protests, according to the Star Tribune. The shooting came amid reports of widespread looting and a major fire at an AutoZone near the police headquarters.
Legislation extending surveillance authorities that the FBI sees as vital in fighting terrorism was thrown into doubt as President Donald Trump threatened a veto and Republican leaders and top liberal Democrats said they would oppose it. House Democratic leaders abruptly adjourned without considering the bill, hours after saying there would be a vote Wednesday evening. In between, Trump said explicitly for the first time that he would veto the measure.
A Japanese man suspected of killing 36 people and injuring dozens in an arson attack at an animation studio last July was arrested on Wednesday after spending 10 months in hospital for treatment. Police had issued an arrest warrant for Shinji Aoba at the time of the fire but had been unable to question him after he suffered serious burns in the blaze at Kyoto Animation. Aoba, 42, was arrested at a Kyoto hospital and transferred to police headquarters for further questioning, police said in a statement.
A New York pharmacist bought up $200,000 worth of N95 masks before the coronavirus pandemic grew severe in the US, then sold them at up to a 50% markup, prosecutors allege. The pharmacist, 66-year-old Richard Schirripa, sold more than $2,000 worth of masks to an undercover officer, and said during the transaction he felt "like a drug dealer standing out here." Schirripa has been arrested and charged with violating the Defense Production Act by hoarding and price-gouging.
Donald Trump's administration has declared that Hong Kong is no longer highly autonomous from mainland China, escalating a stand-off with Beijing over its new national security legislation. The move indicated that the US could end some of its special trade provisions with the territory if Beijing pushes through its controversial proposed law, which is seen by critics as undercutting Hong Kong's liberty. Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, released a statement announcing that he had notified Congress on the new view of Hong Kong.
A top executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei is scheduled to learn Wednesday if a U.S extradition case against her can proceed. Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei's founder, at Vancouver's airport in late 2018. The U.S. wants her extradited to face fraud charges.
A cruise ship crew member died last week of self-inflicted harm, the US Coast Guard said Wednesday as it confirmed the latest in a series of apparent suicides among such workers trapped at sea because of the coronavirus pandemic. A 32-year-old Filipino worker on a ship called Scarlet Lady, the only cruise ship owned by Virgin Voyages, died of "apparent self-harm," the Coast Guard told AFP. The Florida-based company founded by British billionaire Richard Branson expressed its condolences over the death of its employee but gave no details of what happened.
ReOpen NC, an anti-lockdown group that has entered the spotlight for its protests across North Carolina, may use violence to ward off public-health measures, says one member. "Are we willing to kill people?" asked Adam Smith, the husband of ReOpen NC founder Ashley Smith. The anti-lockdown group describes itself as "peaceful" on its social media page.
The much-heralded joint launch between NASA and Elon Musk's SpaceX was postponed on Wednesday due to light rain in Florida. It was a disappointing anticlimax for the first manned space launch from American soil since 2011 — all systems were "go" just an hour before astronauts Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley were scheduled for 4:33 p.m. liftoff — but there was a silver lining to the clouds above Cape Canaveral: the world got to see, for the first time, NASA and SpaceX's alarmingly cheesy spacesuits, which looked something like man-sized Mentos dispensers topped off with garden galoshes. Whether or not Behnken and Hurley find themselves menaced by rubbery Venus ghouls in some misbegotten Roger Corman epic, the suits might lead to an even graver danger: not being able to extract their heads from the two-sizes-too small helmets that Musk looks to have grabbed from his local Spirit Halloween.
George Floyd, who was black, repeatedly told a white police officer kneeling on his neck that he couldn't breathe. People gathered on the 3700 block of Chicago Avenue, where Floyd was arrested for suspicion of forgery outside a deli. After he was taken into custody and the incident that followed, the 46-year-old was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, according to CBS Minnesota.
Two days after the US recorded its first case of coronavirus, Donald Trump said the situation was "totally under control" and assured the public it was "going to be just fine". Fast forward four months and the virus has spread across all 50 states, leaving a death toll of 100,000 from more than 1.6 million confirmed cases. The death toll in the US became the highest in the world in early April and has risen dramatically since then.
An Israeli court Tuesday ruled that a former teacher accused of sexually abusing her students in Australia is fit to stand trial for extradition, capping a years-long battle that has strained relations between the two allies and angered Australia's pro-Israel Jewish community. The ruling was hailed by Malka Leifer's alleged victims, who have accused their one-time school principal and Israeli authorities of dragging out the case for far too long. A July 20 extradition hearing was set by the court.
Japan is unlikely to change its academic year to start in September rather than April in either 2020 or 2021, domestic media said on Thursday, despite calls for reform that advocates say would help internationalise the country's education system. High-profile politicians like Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike backed reforms, and the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) set up a panel to review options. The Asahi newspaper quoted Masahiko Shibayama, a former education minister heading the LDP working group, as saying, "Most lawmakers felt that this time, introducing a system to delay the start of the school year by half a year to September ... was not a good idea."
The Iranian oil tanker Fortune slipped into Venezuelan waters in the pre-dawn dark of Monday morning, the first of five tankers from the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines (IRISL) bringing vitally needed gasoline to a regime the Trump administration has, for years, tried and failed to bring down. Four days before the Fortune arrived in Venezuelan waters, Secretary of State Michael Pompeo announced that sanctions slapped on Iran's shipping lines last December will take effect on June 8. The message seemed to get through.
The Justice Department has closed its investigation into three senators over stock sales made just before the market slide triggered by the coronavirus outbreak, according to people familiar with the matter. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Kelly Loeffler, R-Ga.; and James Inhofe, R-Okla.; that the Justice Department will not be pursuing insider trading charges against them, people familiar with the matter said. A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment on the development, which was first reported by the New York Times.
When the U.S. government first rolled out forgivable loans to small businesses in April under the Paycheck Protection Program, loan officers at Bank of the West in Grapevine, Texas, worked nights and weekends to process a tsunami of applications.