The former head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division told Yahoo News she feels “absolute and total disgust” over President Trump's tweet Friday morning that seemed to imply protesters demonstrating against police brutality in Minneapolis should be shot. “Here we have a situation where we should have the Justice Department on the ground in Minneapolis, working with community leaders, activists, [and] local officials showing real leadership in this moment, the president should be showing leadership, and instead he's basically calling for the shooting of protesters,” said Vanita Gupta, who served as acting assistant attorney general and head of the Civil Rights Division in the Obama administration.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says contaminated surfaces are not the main way the virus is transmitted, the agency hasn't ruled surfaces out as a possible mode of infection. “If you want a reliable way to prevent yourself from getting the coronavirus, worry less about the surfaces you touch, and worry more about how frequently you wash your hands,” says Dr. Dara Kass, a Yahoo News Medical Contributor and associate professor of emergency medicine at Columbia University Medical Center. Confusion over how the virus is transmitted was reignited last week when the CDC edited the “How COVID-19 Spreads” page on their COVID-19 website to mention contaminated surfaces and objects under a new heading entitled, “The virus does not spread easily in other ways.”
Canadians are watching unrest and police violence in the United States in “shock and horror”, Justin Trudeau said on Friday – but the prime minister cautioned that his country also has entrenched problems with racism. The city of Minneapolis has been rocked by a third night of violent protests over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, after a white police officer knelt on his neck as he lay on the ground following arrest. “Many Canadians of diverse backgrounds are watching, like all Canadians are, the news out of the United States with shock and with horror,” Trudeau told reporters at a daily briefing.
China's legislature on Thursday approved a controversial national security law that gives the mainland government new powers to police subversion and foreign intervention in Hong Kong. Critics of the new law say it's a violation of the “one country, two systems” agreement that has granted Hong Kong certain levels of autonomy — like its own police force and judicial system — since the island became part of China in 1997 after more than a century of British rule. Similar laws have been pursued by pro-Beijing members of Hong Kong's legislature several times in recent years, but none were passed.
A Falcon 9 rocket with two U.S. astronauts aboard lifted off Saturday en route to the International Space Station. It had been nine years since NASA astronauts had been sent into space.
In Japan, seven people have died for every 1 million residents — a death rate about 45 times lower than America's. The number of daily new cases peaked at 743 on April 12, but has varied between 90 and 14 for the past week, according to the World Health Organization; the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients has dropped from 10,000 about a month ago to 2,000 today. On Monday, the Japanese government lifted the state of emergency over greater Tokyo, effectively ending the country's version of a lockdown.
A former Minneapolis police officer has been arrested and charged with murder following the death of an unarmed black man in custody. Derek Chauvin, who is white, was shown in footage kneeling on 46-year-old George Floyd's neck on Monday. Hennepin County Prosecutor Mike Freeman said Mr Chauvin was charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Saturday demanded that Russia free a former US marine accused of spying in Russia after the man underwent urgent surgery in a Moscow hospital. Fifty-year-old Paul Whelan had emergency hernia surgery late Thursday after suffering "severe abdominal pain," his brother David Whelan said in a statement Friday. Paul Whelan, who also holds Canadian, Irish and British citizenship, was detained in Moscow in December 2018 for allegedly receiving state secrets.
Israeli police officers fatally shot a Palestinian they suspected was carrying a weapon in Jerusalem's Old City on Saturday, a police spokesman said, but the man was later found to have been unarmed, Israeli media reported. Palestinian officials said the man killed suffered mental health issues. "Police units on patrol there spotted a suspect with a suspicious object that looked like a pistol.
A mayor in Mississippi is facing fierce backlash and calls to resign after saying that he “didn't see anything unreasonable” about the death of George Floyd. Mr Floyd, who was black, died while in police custody in Minneapolis after a white officer was filmed pinned him to the ground by his neck for a prolonged period of time. In the footage, Floyd can be heard saying “I can't breathe” to officers multiple times.
A former top Justice Department official told Yahoo News she is deeply worried that President Trump could “delegitimize a lawful election” this November “and not cede power.” Vanita Gupta ran the civil rights division at the Department of Justice from 2014 to 2017 and is now part of an informal, bipartisan group that has spent the past year preparing for Trump to potentially contest the results of the election. “He's already talking about how this will be a rigged election and saying if more and more people are voting using these so called mail-in ballots, that the election will be rigged,” Gupta told Yahoo News' “Skullduggery” podcast.
CNN Center, the cable network's Atlanta headquarters, came under attack Friday night during protests over police brutality sparked by the death of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis. A largely peaceful demonstration erupted first in vandalism, then in violence. Cops used pepper spray, and then some in the crowd were seen smashing windows and defacing the giant CNN sign with spray-paint.
The coronavirus began quietly spreading in the U.S. as early as late January, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday — before President Donald Trump blocked air travel from China and a full month before community spread was first detected in the country. It was also the first media briefing from the CDC in more than two months. "As America begins to reopen, looking back at how COVID-19 made its way to the United States will contribute to a better understanding to prepare for the future," Dr. Robert Redfield, director of the CDC, said Friday during a call with reporters.
Kentucky's governor on Saturday called in the National Guard to “help keep the peace” in Louisville after a second night of protests sparked by the police shooting of a black woman led to widespread damage. Gov. Andy Beshear said he didn't want to silence protesters but decided to activate the Guard to quell the actions of “outside groups” that are “trying to create violence. His action came after the unrest Friday night spread through parts of downtown Louisville, resulting in windows being shattered and small fires being set.
The governments of Denmark and Norway have cut Sweden out of a deal allowing each other's tourists to travel freely between the two countries — citing their Nordic neighbour's higher levels of coronavirus infection. The deal, announced at parallel press conferences in Oslo and Copenhagen on Friday afternoon, showed Sweden has failed in its diplomatic efforts to be included in the first stage of a Nordic travel bubble. Under the deal, people from Denmark will from June 15 be allowed to enter Norway without needing to quarantine, while tourists from Norway will be able to enter Denmark, so long as they have booked accommodation for at least six days.
At a little past midnight on Saturday as smoke billowed and flames rose from the tops of a nearby bank and a post office building, Minneapolis grocery store owner Mohammad Abdi knew he had a critical business decision to make. Either go out into the street and confront the dangerous vandals and looters who were preparing to torch his Tawakal Halal Grocery or standby and watch them destroy his livelihood. "I told them this is my business, this is my building, please don't do it," he said late on Saturday morning, pointing to the alcove in the front of his building where footprints remained from the looters, who were armed with accelerant.
Britain said Friday it was pushing the United States to form a club of 10 nations that could develop its own 5G technology and reduce dependence on China's controversial telecoms giant Huawei. The issue is expected to feature at a G7 summit that US President Donald Trump will host next month against the backdrop of a fierce confrontation with China that has been exacerbated by a global blame game over the spread of the novel coronavirus. Britain has allowed the Chinese global leader in 5G technology to build up to 35 percent of the infrastructure necessary to roll out its new speedy data network.
An Ethiopian soldier shot a man dead in front of several people after his phone rang during a public meeting, Amnesty International says. It is one of many incidents the rights watchdog recorded from a security crackdown in Oromia regional state at the end of 2018 and 2019. This was the year that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed won the Nobel Peace Prize.
After the video of George Floyd's arrest and his subsequent death went viral on Monday, a Tennessee police chief tweeted his thoughts on Wednesday. David Roddy said that officers who don't have an issue with Floyd's arrest should turn in their badges. A Tennessee police chief by the name of David Roddy sent a message to his fellow officers on Twitter in response to the death of George Floyd.
There are backlit billboards announcing the upcoming campaign event for President Trump. Outside a large arena footage of Trump plays on giant screens as supporters chant “Four more years!” Inside the arena, Trump's surrogates appear on a large Jumbotron as the crowd roars. While rallies had been Trump's trademark prior to the public health crisis, his reelection team has embraced virtual events and believes they provide a major advantage over his Democratic rival, former Vice President Joe Biden, on the “digital campaign trail.”
Chinese President Xi Jinping is so nervous about the position of the Communist Party that he is risking a new Cold War and imperilling Hong Kong's position as Asia's pre-eminent financial hub, the last British governor of the territory told Reuters. Chris Patten said Xi's 'thuggish' crackdown in Hong Kong risked triggering an outflow of capital and people from the city which funnels the bulk of foreign investment into mainland China. The West, he said, should stop being naive about Xi, who has served as General Secretary of the Communist Party since 2012.
Research indicates that there's little difference in the viral loads between coronavirus patients who show symptoms and those who don't. "A growing body of results shows that people who are asymptomatic appear to have the same viral load as symptomatic cases," Gigi Gronvall, an immunologist and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told the university. "This suggests that transmission is possible equally from both asymptomatic patients and noticeably sick patients."
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged Friday that the Fed faces a major challenge with the launch in the coming days of a program that will lend to companies other than banks for the first time since the Great Depression. The Fed's Main Street Lending is geared toward medium-sized companies that are too large for the government's small business lending program and too small to sell bonds or stock to the public. The individual loans, which could reach $600 billion, will technically be made by banks.
One of the coldest regions on Earth has been experiencing a record-breaking heat wave in recent weeks amid growing fears about devastating wildfires and melting permafrost. Khatanga, a town in Siberia's Arctic Circle, registered highs of over 80 degrees Fahrenheit this week, according to Accuweather, far above the 59 degrees F historical average, as the whole of western Siberia basked in unseasonable warmth. While locals flocked to popular spots to sunbathe, experts sounded alarms about the possible implications for the region's wildfire season this summer, with some blazes already breaking out in recent months.
Reporting on the arrest of a CNN reporter and his crew by Minnesota state police on Friday morning, Fox News anchor Sandra Smith framed the incident as a he said-he said situation despite the entire ordeal being broadcast on live television. Reporting from Minneapolis after another night of violent protests over the death of George Floyd, CNN correspondent Omar Jimenez found himself surrounded by a group of cops clad in riot gear. As the situation was broadcast on CNN's New Day, Jimenez showed the officers his credentials and calmly asked them where they would like the crew to move.