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.”
China has been furious at the US government for criticizing its handling of protests in Hong Kong and for backing pro-democracy demonstrators. Over the weekend, state-run media made the most of the current protests in America, sparked by the police-related death of George Floyd. "US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi once called the violent protests in Hong Kong 'a beautiful sight to behold,'" he wrote.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti on Tuesday faced calls to fire Police Chief Michel Moore after Moore said the death of George Floyd was on the "hands" of those inciting criminal acts at protests as much as the officers involved in Minneapolis. While providing an update on Monday, alongside Los Angeles Fire Department Chief Ralph Terrazas, Moore reported the LAPD had made 700 arrests on Sunday night — 70 of those arrests, he said, were people "who were either burglarizing or looting, victimizing, businesses further." "We didn't have protests last night.
Jose Carlos Fajardo/Digital First Media/The Mercury News via Getty Images Police have fired tear gas into crowds of people protesting across the US this week, from Washington DC, to California, Minneapolis, and Illinois, as Americans speak out against the death of George Floyd. Human rights experts say the use of tear gas on civilians should be a weapon of last resort, not an everyday occurrence. Tear gas is especially dangerous for children, people with breathing issues, and the elderly.
Nearly three dozen black alumni of Liberty University denounced school President Jerry Falwell Jr. on Monday, suggesting he step down after he mocked Virginia's mask-wearing requirement by invoking the blackface scandal that engulfed the state's governor last year. In a letter to Falwell, shared with The Associated Press, 35 faith leaders and former student-athletes told Falwell that his past comments “have repeatedly violated and misrepresented" Christian principles. “You have belittled staff, students and parents, you have defended inappropriate behaviors of politicians, encouraged violence, and disrespected people of other faiths,” they wrote, advising Falwell that “your heart is in politics more than Christian academia or ministry.”
China is striking back at the U.S. over Washington's punitive actions on Hong Kong. Sources tell Reuters Beijing has ordered state-owned firms to stop buying soybeans and pork from the U.S. Also put on hold: large volume purchases of U.S. corn and cotton. The sources said Beijing is ready to expand that list if Washington takes more action on Hong Kong.
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..
Rep. Eliot Engel, a New York Democrat facing a tough primary challenge and questions about his absence from his district, was caught on a hot mic at a district event responding to unrest saying twice that he only wanted press coverage because of an electoral threat. “If I didn't have a primary, I wouldn't care,” Engel said to Ruben Diaz Jr., the Bronx borough president, at a Tuesday press conference responding to unrest and vandalism in his district related to the recent death of George Floyd. Diaz worried about having too many elected officials speak, but Engel pleaded with him for coverage.
Former president Barack Obama decried the looting and burning of American cities in response to the death of George Floyd, saying it was “compounding the destruction” of inner-city communities and “detracting from the larger cause.” The woman, weeping in an interview, said the destruction happened “for no reason” and that “it's not going to bring George back.” MUST WATCH TV: If you're still unclear what impact the rioting and violence is having on the most vulnerable among us, please listen to Stephanie, a disabled Minneapolis woman who offers her heart-wrenching experience after last night's violence.
As a federal appeals court grappled on Tuesday with a politically charged dispute that long ago faded from the headlines, one of the most urgent and politically polarizing legal fights of the moment seemed to lurk just below the surface. The official topic of Tuesday's arguments before the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals was Hillary Clinton's bid to avoid giving an in-person deposition to a conservative group about the subject that dogged her during her 2016 presidential bid: her use of a private email account and server during her tenure as secretary of state. Both the Clinton deposition dispute and the Flynn case imbroglio involve an obscure type of legal mechanism that is not currently a household word but may soon be, at least in Washington: mandamus.
Xinhua via REUTERS China delayed the release of information about the coronavirus, according to a new investigation. Its health officials did not share the coronavirus genome until over a week after scientists in Chinese laboratories decoded it at the beginning of January. Beijing did not warn the World Health Organization that the virus passed between people until two weeks later.
While the Democratic Party is working to decide whether it will even have an in-person convention, Republicans are looking at changing the location of theirs to ensure a splashy event. President Donald Trump weighed Tuesday evening in a series of tweets, where he said Republicans were looking for a new state for their convention and criticized North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper for refusing "to guarantee that we can have use of the Spectrum Arena - Spend millions of dollars, have everybody arrive, and....then tell them they will not be able to gain entry." "Governor Cooper is still in Shelter-In-Place Mode, and not allowing us to occupy the arena as originally anticipated and promised," Trump wrote in a series of tweets.
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.
Boris Johnson is ready to open the door to nearly three million Hong Kong citizens if China imposes a new security law that critics say would rob the territory of its autonomy. The Prime Minister, writing in The Times, has offered to make what he says would be one of the "biggest changes" in the history of the British visa system to allow 2.85 million Hong Kong citizens the chance of fully-fledged citizenship. The move, which represents a dramatic escalation in the stand-off between the UK and China, would put Hongkongers "on the route to citizenship", said the Conservative Party leader.
During demonstrations in the nation's capital on Monday night, one Washington, D.C. resident allowed more than 50 protesters to take shelter in his home overnight after they were reportedly pepper-sprayed and attacked by police officers. A 7 p.m. curfew was imposed by Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser on Monday; according to Mayor Bowser, 25 minutes before the curfew started, federal police used “munitions on peaceful protestors in front of the White House.”
Their lawyer, Saif ul Malook, who also represented Asia Bibi, another Christian woman who had a death sentence for blasphemy successfully overturned, told the BBC the evidence used to convict the couple was deeply flawed. But, he warned, that judges can be "fearful" of acquitting suspects, in case they are targeted themselves by extremists. Court proceedings have also slowed in recent weeks as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.
Mexico's military is cooperating with a fresh probe into the 2014 disappearance of 43 student teachers, Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Tuesday. The apparent massacre of the youths, whose remains are still being searched for, is widely believed to have been committed by corrupt police working with a violent drug gang, and has drawn international outrage. Lopez Obrador, who came into power in 2018, has vowed to uncover what really happened and examine the prior handling of the case, which led to one of the worst crises of his predecessor Enrique Pena Nieto's administration.
A video has emerged online appearing to show a New York Police Department (NYPD) officer being attacked by several people in the Bronx, New York, on Monday amidst the George Floyd protests. The footage, which was tweeted by the city's Sergeant's Benevolent Association appears to show an NYPD officer struggling on the ground with someone. A bystander then approaches the scene and seemingly throws an object at the officer.
Kellyanne Conway defended President Donald 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 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.
Israel's defense minister urged the military on Monday to hasten preparations for the country's planned annexation of parts of the occupied West Bank, in apparent anticipation of what could be fierce Palestinian protests against the move. The statement by Benny Gantz came as Israeli media reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu discussed annexation on Monday in a call with Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's senior adviser who stands behind a White House Mideast plan that largely favors Israel. In a statement sent by his office, Gantz appeared to command the military to prepare for the fallout from annexation, asking the military chief of staff to “speed up the (military's) preparedness ahead of political steps on the agenda in the Palestinian sphere.”
The San Diego Police Department, spurred by the fallout from George Floyd's death in Minneapolis, has immediately banned a controversial restraint technique. At least three major police departments have banned similar neck holds or chokeholds amid increasing attention on policing maneuvers that cut off oxygen to persons under arrest or restraint. Former Minneapolis officer Derek Chauvin used a similarly controversial knee-to-neck restraint, pressing his knee into Floyd's neck for nearly nine minutes, resulting his death.
A truck driver accused of speeding into a crowd of protesters in Minneapolis has been released from jail, acquitted of assault charges. Bogdan Vechirko drove an 18-wheeler among a large group of peaceful protesters on the highway in Minneapolis on Sunday. Video shows the truck driving past protesters gathered on the highway shoulder and then coming to a stop just short of hitting some people who stood in front of its path.
The Trump administration did not secure the freedom of an American imprisoned in Iran in exchange for releasing an Iranian scientist held on U.S. immigration charges, the National Interest has learned. Sirous Asgari was deported to Iran on Tuesday after nearly three years in U.S. detention, first for sanctions-busting charges that were later dropped, and then for an expired visa. Iranian officials had raised the possibility of trading Asgari for Michael White, a U.S. Navy veteran imprisoned since 2018.
Dave Grossman's "Bulletproof Mind" is teaching law enforcement agencies across the United States militarized tactics in which officers are told to see themselves as "at war" on the streets. Agencies have started turning away from the courses in recent years, after it was discovered the Minnesota police officer who fatally shot Philando Castile had taken one of Grossman's courses. If you're prepared to kill, Dave Grossman, says, it's "just not that big of a deal."