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.”
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."
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.
Throughout January, the World Health Organization publicly praised China for what it called a speedy response to the new coronavirus and thanked the Chinese government for sharing the genetic map of the virus “immediately. But in fact, Chinese officials sat on releasing the genetic map, or genome, of the deadly virus for over a week after multiple government labs had fully decoded it, not sharing details key to designing tests, drugs and vaccines. Strict controls on information and competition within the Chinese public health system were largely to blame, The Associated Press has found from internal documents, emails and dozens of interviews.
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.
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.
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 Boston Police Department said 53 arrests have been in relation to the demonstrations made as of Monday. At least seven police officers have been reported to have been injured during the rioting, which began as a peaceful protest over the weekend. The protests follow the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, who died after in police custody after a Minneapolis police officer pinned him to the ground by his neck for a prolonged period of time.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Trump announced on Sunday he'd be designating Antifa as a terror organization, and blamed them for the violence at protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd. Gaetz is one of President Donald Trump's staunchest supports on Capitol Hill. Hours after it was posted, Twitter determined Gaetz's tweet violated its policies against glorifying violence.
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.
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.
Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro urged his supporters on Monday to put off their protests against the country's Supreme Court next weekend after counter-demonstrations triggered violent clashes on Sunday. "Leave things alone on Sunday," the right-wing president said, referring to the protests. Bolsonaro's critics say he has undermined democracy by endorsing almost weekly protests against the top court, which authorized an investigation into the president for allegedly interfering with police appointments for personal motives.
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.