Attorney General William Barr said Thursday that it was “entirely appropriate” to forcibly remove protesters from the area surrounding the White House ahead of President Trump's seemingly impromptu photo opportunity in front of St. John's Church. “I think the president is the head of the executive branch and the chief executive of the nation and should be able to walk outside the White House and walk across the street to the church of presidents,” Barr said at a press conference when asked about regrets expressed Wednesday by Defense Secretary Mark Esper over the political implication of his appearance with the president at the church.
After infection, symptoms can take up to 14 days to present; testing positive or requiring hospitalization can take even longer. While the country has shifted its attention from the pathogen to the protests, and while COVID-19 infections have continued to decline in some of America's hardest-hit cities, cases have been climbing elsewhere — especially in the South and the West, and most of all in states that moved to reopen early. More than a month has passed since the first wave of reopenings — enough time to start to gauge the impact of looser restrictions, increased interaction and more relaxed attitudes toward social distancing.
A conservative writer from Portland, Oregon, filed a lawsuit Thursday against purported elements of the nebulous, far-left militant groups collectively known as antifa, days after President Donald Trump blamed those groups for inciting violence at protests over police killings of black people. The suit was filed on behalf of Andy Ngo, who is known for aggressively covering and video-recording demonstrators. “I am hoping that this marks a turning point, that militants belonging to a criminal movement can no longer depend on the anonymity ... to get away with their crimes,” said Ngo, who previously was a writer with the online publication Quillette and now is with The Post Millennial.
Peaceful protests in New York took a dark turn Thursday as graphic video emerged of an elderly man being knocked to the ground by police in Buffalo and protesters in New York City were confronted with swarms of police officers using heavy-handed tactics to enforce a statewide 8 p.m. curfew. The shocking incident in Buffalo's Niagara Square occurred outside City Hall, where video posted by local media shows the man approaching police as they attempt to clear the square, only for him to be violently shoved.
Hennepin County Sheriff's Office J. Alexander Kueng and Thomas Lane were two of the four police officers involved in George Floyd's deadly arrest on May 25. Attorneys for the two men told a court on Thursday that they were rookies who had been on the job for less than four days and had no choice but to follow the command of their ranking officer, Derek Chauvin. Previously released police records, however, show that the two men were made full officers in December.
A Brazilian Supreme Court minister on Friday prohibited police raids in Rio de Janeiro's favelas during the novel coronavirus pandemic, as a groundswell of criticism of brutal police tactics grows in Latin America's largest nation. In the decision, Minister Edson Fachin forbid raids in favelas - as Brazil's informal shantytowns are known - "except in absolutely exceptional cases," which most be pre-approved by the state prosecutor's office. Rio's police forces are notoriously violent, having killed over 1,800 people in 2019.
An entire tactical unit of a US police department has quit after two officers accused of brutality were sent on unpaid leave, reports local media. In a video that went viral on Thursday, officers in the city of Buffalo, New York, were seen shoving an elderly man to the ground. According to the Buffalo News, the members have quit the Emergency Response Team, but not the police department.
Read this: Officials blame 'out-of-state' agitators but those at the heart of protests are homegrown Riot, violence, looting: Words matter when talking about race and unrest, experts say Leggat, the security consultant, said intelligence reports from his colleagues indicate most of the hard-core protesters in Minneapolis were far-left or anarchists, and that far-right groups have not yet made a significant appearance. He said looting is typically done by locals – usually people with no criminal record who just get caught up in the moment. But direct conflicts with authorities come from a mix of both locals and outside groups who see these conflicts as a core part of their mission.
Delta Air Lines announced the suspension of service to 11 US cities and Ottawa, Canada amid its pandemic-related recovery efforts. The Department of Transportation approved the cuts, scheduled to take effect on July 8, which primarily impact small, regional destinations across the US. The airline is only cutting service to cities with other air carriers to provide service.
The government's increasingly militarized response to nationwide protests has sparked concern among employees of a Pentagon intelligence agency, who fear they might be compelled to help conduct surveillance on Americans participating in demonstrations, sources tell Yahoo News. The May 25 killing of George Floyd, an African-American man, in Minneapolis police custody set off a series of nationwide protests, including in Washington, D.C. In response, the Trump administration has sent a wide range of law enforcement and military personnel to the nation's capital to help police the demonstrations. The use of military personnel has prompted questions about overreach, including now at the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Former vice president Joe Biden estimated Thursday that about “10 to 15 percent of the people out there” are “just not very good people” and accused President Trump of dividing the nation, adding that as president he would bring Americans together. “The words a president says matter, so when a president stands up and divides people all the time, you're going to get the worst of us to come out,” Biden said during a Young Americans discussion with a group of black supporters that was moderated by actor Don Cheadle. The former vice president's remarks evoked memories of Hillary Clinton's claim during the 2016 campaign season that half of Trump supporters could be put in a “basket of deplorables,” a comment that provoked outrage from Trump, his supporters, and other Republicans.
The Trump administration has ordered Marriott International to wind down hotel operations in Communist-run Cuba, a company spokeswoman told Reuters, extinguishing what had been a symbol of the U.S.-Cuban detente.
A new Department of Transportation order banning Chinese airlines from flying to and from the U.S. is an added hardship for thousands of Chinese students in the U.S. who were already struggling to get back home due to their own government's cap on international flights. The U.S. DOT order, posted Wednesday on a federal website, is scheduled to take effect on June 16. Several Chinese students in New York tell NBC News that previous Chinese regulations limiting the number of flights into China because of the coronavirus pandemic have already had them scrambling for weeks to find flights home with little success.
Sweden's former ambassador to China went on trial in Stockholm on Friday accused of overstepping her mandate and risking national security by trying to negotiate the release of a dissident. Anna Lindstedt faces up to two years in prison if she is convicted of brokering an unauthorised meeting in January last year when she was ambassador. She was trying to secure the freedom of Chinese-born Swedish citizen Gui Minhai, who published gossipy titles about Chinese political leaders in a Hong Kong book shop.
LONDON—A corrupt former police officer who was caught working with Trump Tower lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya has revealed in a Swiss court how Russia's complex foreign influence campaign targets justice systems in Western countries. The former consultant to the Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office was sacked and convicted after his entanglement with Veselnitskaya and the Russian prosecutor general's office was exposed. On the visit to the spectacular Kamchatka Peninsula and Lake Baikal, the official, who is identified only as Victor K., reportedly admitted that he spent a week fishing, enjoying the rugged countryside, and hunting for bear, including from a helicopter, with officials from the Russian prosecutor general's office.
The rocket flew its first test flight on June 4, 2010. It's been a decade of spaceflight innovation ever since. From Popular Mechanics
Black Lives Matter protesters across the country have adapted a technique pioneered by last year's Hong Kong pro-democracy demonstrators to combat tear gas. The protesters are using leaf blowers to blow the gas away from them, then dousing the canisters in water so they are put out. "Having been on the global forefront against police brutality, we're heartened to learn that our experience and creativity have proven useful," Hong Kong activist Jeffrey Ngo this week.
Kamala Harris and Corey Booker spoke out against an amendment from Sen. Rand Paul that is holding up an anti-lynching bill. Paul claimed the bill was too broad. The effort came as a memorial service was being held for George Floyd, a black man who died at the hands of a police officer who has since been fired and charged with murder.
Attorney General William Barr on Thursday defended the deployment of black-clad federal law enforcement officers who wear neither badges nor any other visible identification in response to protests in Washington, D.C. Barr and Bureau of Prisons Director Michael Carvajal said at a Thursday press conference that the officers were from the Bureau of Prisons Special Operations Response Team (SORT). Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, along with House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, wrote to Barr about the “the use of federal security forces to oversee protests without specific agency identifiers or badge numbers.”
Donald Trump has claimed the city of Minneapolis was “under siege” before the US National Guard was called in during a press conference on Friday in which he implored other cities facing major protests to call the federal government for assistance. “They were ripping that place apart,” the president said about the city in which George Floyd was killed at the hands of a white police officer named Derek Chauvin, who has since been charged with second-degree murder. Washington DC Mayor Muriel Bowser meanwhile called on Mr Trump to remove “all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence” from the city as protests have continued for ten days.
Virginia's Governor Ralph Northam has announced that a statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee will be removed from the state capital. The monument has been vandalised during recent protests over the killing of African American George Floyd. At a news conference, a round of applause erupted when Governor Northam said the 12-ton statue would be removed.
One of the four former Minneapolis officers charged in George Floyd's death tried to warn his fellow officers during the arrest, his attorney claimed in court Thursday. J. Alexander Kueng hadn't yet completed his third full shift as a police officer when the deadly arrest occurred, his attorney Tom Plunkett claimed. Plunkett says Kueng allegedly told his fellow officers as they were detaining Floyd, “You shouldn't do that."
A black man who called out “I can't breathe” before dying in police custody in Tacoma, Washington, was killed as a result of oxygen deprivation and the physical restraint that was used on him, according to details of a medical examiner's report released Wednesday. The Pierce County Medical Examiner's Office concluded that the death of the man, Manuel Ellis, 33, was a homicide. Investigators with the Pierce County Sheriff's Department were in the process of preparing a report about the March death, which occurred shortly after an arrest by officers from the Tacoma Police Department, said the sheriff's spokesman, Ed Troyer.
China could stand to lose almost all of its ballistic and cruise missiles if it were to sign a new strategic arms control treaty, according to a new regional security assessment. The analysis, titled “The End of the Intermediate Range Nuclear Forces Treaty: Implications for Asia,” is one of the chapters of the annual Asia-Pacific regional security assessment published by the International Institute for Strategic Studies think tank. IISS' report was released June 5 and covered regional security topics such as Sino-U.S. relations, North Korea and Japanese policy.
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