“I can't breathe” were some of the last words that a handcuffed George Floyd said as he was pinned on the ground, while a white Minneapolis police officer held a knee to his neck for several minutes on Monday. Floyd, a black man, is now dead. Now the four officers from the Minneapolis Police Department involved in the incident have been fired.
On a day when the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus pandemic neared 100,000, President Trump sought to direct the nation's attention back to the 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic as a way to smear the reputation of his Democratic rival Joe Biden, who was vice president at the time. Joe Biden's handling of the H1N1 Swine Flu was a complete and total disaster. In the early weeks of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S., Trump repeatedly sought to show that he was doing a good job dealing with the pandemic compared with how Biden and then-President Barack Obama had responded to the H1N1 pandemic.
In late March, Congress passed the largest stimulus package in American history in an effort to offset the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. One of the most important elements of the massive $2 trillion bill was a provision that boosted unemployment insurance benefits for those who lost work because of stay-at-home orders designed to limit the spread of the virus. Nearly 39 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the past nine weeks.
Anti-Semitic crimes in Germany last year reached their highest level since the country started keeping statistics, amid an overall strong increase in right-extremist criminality that is a cause for “great concern,” Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said Wednesday. Overall, politically-motivated crimes were up 14.2% in 2019 over the previous year, which is the second highest level since authorities began tracking such crimes in 2001, Seehofer told reporters in Berlin. Crimes by the extreme left rose the most, increasing 23.7% to 9,849, but the majority of politically motivated crimes were from the extreme right, with 22,342 cases and an increase of 9.4%.
The University of Connecticut student wanted in connection with two deaths has been captured after a nearly weeklong manhunt, officials said Wednesday night. "Peter Manfredonia has been found & is in custody," Connecticut State Police tweeted. Manfredonia, who was captured in Maryland, was not injured, officials said.
A Pakistani villager has urged Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to return his pigeon, currently being held in India on charges of spying. The Pakistani villager, who claims the arrested pigeon is his, says the code is actually his mobile phone number. Pakistan's Dawn newspaper has identified the man as Habibullah and reports that he owns a dozen pigeons.
Saudi Arabia will allow mosques to open for Friday prayers, state TV reported on Tuesday, as the kingdom eases restrictions on movement to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Mosques will be authorised to open 20 minutes before Friday prayers and should close 20 minutes after they finish, state TV said on Twitter, citing the ministry of Islamic affairs. Saudi authorities said on Monday that restrictions would be lifted in three phases, culminating in a curfew ending - with the exception of the holy city of Mecca - from June 21.
A pair of Russian planes restricted a Navy pilot from safely maneuvering over international waters for more than an hour, service officials said on Tuesday. Two Russian Su-35 aircraft on Tuesday simultaneously flew close to each wing of a Navy P-8A Poseidon patrol aircraft over the Mediterranean Sea, according to Navy news release describing the incident. It was the third time in two months that Russian aircraft have intercepted Navy aircraft in the Sixth Fleet of operations, the release states.
"Life-threatening" flash flooding is expected across parts of Virginia, and South and North Carolina, after Tropical Storm Bertha made landfall sooner than expected. NASA satellites are closely watching the storm as it prepares to send two astronauts to space in a historic launch aboard SpaceX on Wednesday afternoon. The National Weather Service, meanwhile, warned that the second named storm of the season would cause ongoing river flooding across the region.
MINNEAPOLIS—Flames and black smoke poured into the sky over Minneapolis late Wednesday as the second day of protests over the death of George Floyd took a violent turn, with a local business near police headquarters set ablaze and at least one person fatally shot in the area. Minneapolis Police spokesman John Elder confirmed the shooting shortly before midnight local time, but he did not say if it was connected to the protests, according to the Star Tribune. The shooting came amid reports of widespread looting and a major fire at an AutoZone near the police headquarters.
A gang of 26 suspected people smugglers have been arrested in France and Belgium in an investigation prompted by the deaths of 39 Vietnamese migrants found in the back of a lorry in Essex last year. In Belgium, 11 Vietnamese and two Moroccans were held, while in France, authorities said the suspects were “mostly Vietnamese and French”. The suspects are allegedly part of an organised crime group that smuggles refugees from Asia, particularly from Vietnam, and that likely has transported up to several dozen people every day for several months, Europol said in a statement.
A top executive of Chinese tech giant Huawei is scheduled to learn Wednesday if a U.S extradition case against her can proceed. Canada arrested Meng Wanzhou, the daughter of Huawei's founder, at Vancouver's airport in late 2018. The U.S. wants her extradited to face fraud charges.
Legislation extending surveillance authorities that the FBI sees as vital in fighting terrorism was thrown into doubt as President Donald Trump threatened a veto and Republican leaders and top liberal Democrats said they would oppose it. House Democratic leaders abruptly adjourned without considering the bill, hours after saying there would be a vote Wednesday evening. In between, Trump said explicitly for the first time that he would veto the measure.
The senior adviser central to the investigation into allegations that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo used an employee to run personal errands is now leading the charge to find support among former staffers against what they describe as a "smear campaign," NBC News has learned. Shortly before he was fired, State Department Inspector General Steve Linick was looking into allegations that Pompeo senior adviser Toni Porter was asked to walk the secretary's dog, pick up his laundry and make dinner reservations for him and his wife, Susan, NBC News reported. The State Department's Foreign Affairs Manual prohibits using the office for personal benefit.
Two missing walkers have been found in the New Zealand wilderness, 19 days after they set off. Jessica O'Connor and Dion Reynolds, both 23, began walking in the Kahurangi National Park on 9 May, and expected to be gone for six or seven days. The Kahurangi, in the north-west of the South Island, is New Zealand's second biggest national park.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro on Wednesday pledged to begin charging citizens for gasoline, as the fourth cargo of a five-tanker flotilla bringing fuel from Iran approached the South American nation's exclusive economic zone. Iran is providing the country with up to 1.53 million barrels of gasoline and components to help it ease an acute scarcity that has forced Venezuelans to wait in hours-long lines at service stations or pay steep prices on the black market. With the arrival of the gasoline, Maduro said he would end the policy of providing fuel effectively for free after more than two decades of frozen pump prices.
Tropical Storm Bertha made landfall on South Carolina's coast Wednesday morning shortly after it formed, forecasters said. Bertha is the second named storm of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which doesn't officially begin until June 1. A tropical storm warning was in place for much of the South Carolina coast.
Fox News host Tucker Carlson condemned the protests that have broken out in Minneapolis following the killing of George Floyd by police, claiming on Wednesday night that they are a “form of tyranny” and “oppression.” With demonstrations growing violent and chaotic as protesters have clashed with riot gear-clad police—who have cracked down on the protesters with tear gas and rubber bullets—Carlson devoted most of his attention to the actions of the demonstrators, who are protesting the death of a black man who was pinned down by a cop.
The Monterey County District Attorney's Office announced that it will investigate if Tara Reade misrepresented her educational credentials after she served as an expert witness in court cases for a decade, Politico reported. Several California defense lawyers said they would be reviewing cases where Reade, then known as Alexandra McCabe, testified as an expert witness amid the concern that she "misrepresented her educational credentials in court." Reade claimed she had earned her bachelor's degree from Antioch University in Seattle under a "protected program."
Tony Giberson/Reuters Mark Lua, a former Florida teacher, pleaded guilty last year to charges related to the sexual abuse of students. Last week, during his sentencing hearing, Mark Lua asked for chemical castration instead of a prison sentence. The judge ignored his request and sentenced him to 12 years in prison, according to the Pensacola News Journal.
The founder of the Knights of Columbus, the influential U.S.-based lay Catholic organization, is moving a step closer to possible sainthood. Pope Francis has approved a miracle attributed to the intercession of the Rev. Michael McGivney, a Connecticut priest who died at age 38 of pneumonia in 1890 during a pandemic similar to the current coronavirus outbreak. The Vatican said Wednesday that Francis had signed off on the miracle required.
As President Donald Trump attacks the legitimacy of elections with increased mail-in voting, his campaign is trying to make it easier for supporters in Pennsylvania to request mail-in ballots for next week's primary there. Through its website, the Trump campaign is providing Pennsylvania supporters with an easy access link to help them request ballots for next week's election. By clicking the link, supporters are prompted to enter their personal information which the website then uses to create a form that voters can send to their local election officials.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday that Hong Kong was no longer sufficiently autonomous from mainland China, following Beijing's announcement that it plans to implement a national security law for the territory. It bypasses Hong Kong's own legislature, which has not met its obligation to pass such a law since the territory was retroceded to China in 1997 after 156 years as a British colony. “No reasonable person can assert today that Hong Kong maintains a high degree of autonomy from China, given facts on the ground,” Pompeo said in a statement.
Churches may be closed amid the coronavirus lockdown, but one lucky couple were able to still to get married in the midst of the pandemic. Jann Tipping, a 34-year-old ambulatory emergency nurse, and Annalan Navaratnam, a 30-year-old acute medical registrar, were married in the Grade II-listed chapel at St Thomas' Hospital in London at the end of last month. The couple, front line key workers treating coronavirus patients, had been forced to scrap a planned summer wedding amid fears that their families would not be able to travel safely from Northern Ireland and Sri Lanka.