Retired Marine Gen. John Allen on Wednesday said President Trump's threats to use the U.S. military on protesters “may well signal the beginning of the end of the American experiment.” Allen, the former commander of the NATO International Security Assistance Force and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, said Trump's halting Rose Garden speech in which he declared himself the “president of law and order,” the use of tear gas on protesters outside the White House and the church photo op that followed Monday was a “stunning” moment and potentially a pivotal one. “Donald Trump expressed only the barest of condolences at the murder of George Floyd, but he also said nothing about the fundamental and underlying reasons for the unrest: systemic racism and inequality, a historic absence of respect, and a denial of justice,” Allen wrote.
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.
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.
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.
Vladimir Putin declared a state of emergency after more than 20,000 tons of diesel fuel spilled into a river in the Russian Arctic. Several miles of the Ambarnaya river were turned red after a fuel tank at a power plant in Norilsk, an industrial city in northern Siberia, collapsed on Friday. Mr Putin berated regional officials for their slow response in a Zoom call broadcast on state television on Wednesday.
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.
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.
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.
Foreign residents in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz on Friday spoke of their hopes that the parents of British girl Madeleine McCann, who went missing there 13 years ago, can find closure at last. Madeleine, then aged 3, disappeared from her hotel room in 2007 during a family holiday in Praia da Luz, a small town in the southern Algarve where some foreign visitors end up living all year round. "I think for parents, even if horrible, at least they know and they can find closure," she told Reuters not far from the resort complex where Madeleine disappeared.
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.
The rocket flew its first test flight on June 4, 2010. It's been a decade of spaceflight innovation ever since. From Popular Mechanics
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Lightning causes a huge amount of damage every year, mostly to property much closer to the ground. The marble Washington Monument is topped with a set of lightning rods. A Washington, D.C. news channel captured astonishing footage of lightning repeatedly striking the Washington Monument on Thursday night.
Alabama's port city removed a statue of a Confederate naval officer early Friday after days of protests over the police killing of George Floyd, with the mayor saying the monument was a “potential distraction” to focusing on the city's future. The bronze likeness of Admiral Raphael Semmes, which stood in a middle of a downtown street near the Mobile waterfront for 120 years, had become a flash point for protest in the Gulf Coast city. Vandalized during a demonstration this week and then cleaned by the city, it was removed overnight without any public notice.
Masked men and women protesting police abuses vandalized buildings and threw stones at the U.S. embassy in Mexico City on Friday as Mexican state authorities arrested three officers in a bid to quell anger over the death of a man in police custody. Protesters have been demanding that authorities be held accountable over the death of Giovanni Lopez, who died in police custody in the western state of Jalisco last month. Jalisco Attorney General Gerardo Solis said authorities had arrested three police officers over the death of Lopez, a construction worker.
The entire country is on edge right now with people protesting police brutality in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and other unarmed black people by law enforcement. All the while, the world continues to cope with a deadly pandemic, one that disproportionately affects African-Americans. And in November there is a presidential election.
As protesters clash with riot squads in cities across the country, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo has drawn national praise for his willingness to march with activists and call for officers to be held accountable when they kill without justification. Days after George Floyd's death last week under the knee of Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin, Acevedo was among the first big city police chiefs to speak out, telling The Washington Post that “actions have to have consequences.” When President Donald Trump called on governors to “dominate” protesters in the streets, Acevedo responded on national television with a message of his own: “Keep your mouth shut.”
Hong Kong banned residents from memorializing the Tiananmen Square massacre for the first time, but thousands of protesters gathered on Thursday anyway. Hong Kongers came together to light candles, chant slogans, and honor those who died in the pro-democracy fight that China crushed in 1989. The Hong Kong government cited the coronavirus as the reason for the ban, but many believe it to be a direct act of suppression, after China passed a national security law to crush Hong Kong dissent.