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.
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.
A truck driver named Bogdan Vechirko is in jail for assault charges after he nearly drove an 18-wheeler into a large group of protesters in Minneapolis on Sunday. Minnesota state officials said on Monday that his truck was not loaded and that, because he slammed the brakes before getting too close to the crowd, he did not intend to injure any protesters. A Facebook post from originally from a trucking education page asserts that truck drivers who are facing protesters have the right to drive into them.
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.
What's new: While early on COVID-19 was branded as a respiratory illness, its wide array of symptoms — from the toes to the brain — baffled experts. According to experts interviewed in an Elemental article, it's unprecedented that a respiratory illness could migrate outside the lungs. But new research suggests COVID-19 may actually be a blood vessel disease, which would explain all of the virus' symptoms.
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.
A medical examiner on Monday classified George Floyd's death as a homicide, saying his heart stopped as police restrained him and compressed his neck, in a widely seen video that has sparked protests across the nation. “Decedent experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest while being restrained by law enforcement officer(s),” the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office said in a news release. Cause of death was listed as “cardiopulmonary arrest complicating law enforcement subdual, restraint and neck compression.”
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.
Kellyanne Conway defended President 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 off 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.
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.
There were more than 250 people arrested into the early morning hours Monday as protesters moved from Downtown Brooklyn and Midtown into SoHo, where numerous stores were looted.
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.
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.
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.
Several Australian states eased social distancing restrictions further on Monday, allowing restaurants to host more people and public attractions to reopen, as the government moves to revive an ailing economy through accelerated infrastructure spending. Australia has recorded about 7,200 coronavirus cases and 103 deaths. In Australia's most populous state, New South Wales (NSW), a maximum of 50 people are now allowed to sit down for a meal in a cafe or restaurants, while 20 can attend a funeral.
Nigerians angered over a series of high-profile cases of violence against women have gone online to demand "justice" in a social movement that is gaining ground -- and results -- in Africa's most populous nation. The rallying cries #JusticeForUwa, #JusticeForTina and #JusticeForJennifer have reverberated among internet users in the country as celebrities have joined virtual campaigns drawing inspiration from Black Lives Matter protests in the United States. The latest outpouring of anger has been unleashed by the cases of three women and girls who were killed or raped in incidents activists say showcase the sexual violence and police brutality widespread in Nigeria.
Officials in Minnesota believe that white supremacist “agitators” were inciting chaos at protests against police brutality and the killing of George Floyd. The Minnesota state corrections department said on Sunday that white supremacists were thought to be attending demonstrations in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, and making chaos. “They're agitators,” said Department of Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell on those who have caused destruction during demonstrations.
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.
President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday endorsed Russia's nuclear deterrent policy which allows him to use atomic weapons in response to a conventional strike targeting the nation's critical government and military infrastructure. In line with Russian military doctrine, the new document reaffirms that the country could use nuclear weapons in response to a nuclear attack or an aggression involving conventional weapons that “threatens the very existence of the state. But the policy document now also offers a detailed description of situations that could trigger the use of nuclear weapons.
On May 25, Minneapolis police officers arrested George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, after a deli employee called 911, accusing him of buying cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. Seventeen minutes after the first squad car arrived at the scene, Floyd was unconscious and pinned beneath three police officers, showing no signs of life. The day after Floyd's death, the Police Department fired all four of the officers involved in the episode, and on Friday the Hennepin County attorney, Mike Freeman, announced murder and manslaughter charges against Derek Chauvin, the officer who can be seen most clearly in witness videos pinning Floyd to the ground.
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 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.
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.