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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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..
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.
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.
Tear gas choked Paris streets as riot police faced off with protesters setting fires Tuesday amid growing global outrage over George Floyd's death in the United States, racial injustice and heavy-handed police tactics around the world. French protesters took a knee and raised their fists while firefighters struggled to extinguish multiple blazes as a largely peaceful, multiracial demonstration degenerated into scattered tensions. Several thousand people defied a virus-related ban on protests to pay homage to Floyd and Adama Traore, a French black man who died in police custody.
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.”
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.
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.
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."
Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer on Monday announced the firing of the city's police chief after learning that two officers involved in the fatal shooting of a black business owner had not activated their body cameras. The family of the victim identified him as David McAtee, who owned a barbecue near the shooting scene, CBS affiliate WLKY-TV reported. The mayor called McAtee a wonderful citizen, and said many knew him as "the BBQ man."
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.
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.
An Iranian scientist imprisoned in the U.S. and acquitted in a federal trade secrets case is on his way back to Iran after being deported, the country's foreign minister said Tuesday. Sirous Asgari was in the air on a flight back to Iran, Mohammad Javad Zarif said in an Instagram post. "Congratulations to his wife and his esteemed family,” Zarif wrote.
Donald Trump threatened to mobilise the military across the United States, said he was deploying thousands of "heavily armed" soldiers in Washington, and declared himself the "president of law and order”. In extraordinary scenes, Mr Trump made the declaration in the White House Rose Garden as riot police used tear gas, rubber bullets, and horses to clear peaceful protesters outside. In his speech a few minutes earlier at the White House, Mr Trump said: "I am mobilising all available federal resources, civilian and military, to stop the rioting and looting.”
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.
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.
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.
New York City mayor Bill de Blasio has told reporters that he is proud of his daughter, Chiara de Blasio, for getting arrested at a George Floyd protest over the weekend. Ms de Blasio was arrested on Saturday, at a protest at East 12th Street in Manhattan, for “unlawful assembly,” according to NBC News. The mayor's daughter was one of 345 people arrested at protests in New York City on Saturday, and was briefly detained, then released from custody.