Friday, 29 May 2020

Caution on China from EU, West's 'soft underbelly'

Caution on China from EU, West's 'soft underbelly'After a video conference with 27 foreign ministers, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell expressed "grave concern" but he could threaten no sanctions and said planning for an EU-China summit would continue. In fact, Borrell said, only one of the European countries even raised the possibly of sanctions -- a diplomatic source told AFP this was Sweden -- and he said European investment in China was not in question.




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'If you say you can't breathe, you're breathing': A Mississippi mayor who defended the officer who stood on George Floyd's neck has been asked to resign

'If you say you can't breathe, you're breathing': A Mississippi mayor who defended the officer who stood on George Floyd's neck has been asked to resignPetal, Mississippi, Mayor Hal Marx tweeted Floyd likely "died of overdose or heart attack" and that Minneapolis police are being "crucified."




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India's economy seen slowing rapidly in March quarter, with worse to come

India's economy seen slowing rapidly in March quarter, with worse to comeGross domestic product data out later on Friday is expected to show India's economy grew at its slowest pace in at least two years in the March quarter as the coronavirus pandemic weakened already declining consumer demand and private investment. The median forecast from a Reuters poll of economists put annual economic growth at 2.1% in the March quarter, lower than 4.7% in the December quarter. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has maintained the lockdown ordered on March 25 to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the world's second most populous country, though many restrictions were eased for manufacturing, transport and other services from May 18.




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Rep. Matt Gaetz: If we wait, Big Tech will steal the election from President Trump

Rep. Matt Gaetz: If we wait, Big Tech will steal the election from President Trump We're seeing domestic election interference, says Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz, Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee.




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The reality of the 'new cold war' with China

The reality of the 'new cold war' with ChinaIt's a good time to be a China hawk. Beijing's new national security law for Hong Kong, the latest effort to neuter the region's promised autonomy, has rung alarm bells across the political spectrum about China's intentions. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has already declared that the move would justify revoking the various special trade and financial agreements the United States has with the territory, and Biden advisers have announced that the presumptive Democratic nominee would impose even greater sanctions on China. While America's options for helping the people of Hong Kong are distinctly limited, that's unlikely to stop us from trying, even if an ineffectual move could backfire. The logic of confrontation appears to be taking over.It's important, though, to understand why.The "great unwinding" of America's economic entanglement with China has deep causes, and, more proximately, the novel coronavirus has revealed in stark terms how important it is from a national security perspective for the United States to reduce its outright dependence on the People's Republic. But that process need not lead to confrontation — indeed, it would be perfectly compatible with a policy of global retreat that would probably make China feel more secure.On the other side, the nature of China's regime has indeed been changing dramatically under Xi Jinping, becoming more nationalistic and repressive as well as less institutional, with power increasingly concentrated in a single leader's hands. But that process also need not lead to conflict — indeed, at the time of Nixon's opening to China, when Mao was in his final years, the communist country was far more insular and repressive, and its political system far more personalized, than it is today.What's truly different, and the necessary additional element that explains the "new cold war" that may be aborning, is the sheer scope of Chinese power. China has now grown sufficiently potent for it to reasonably expect to be able to shape the international order to its liking, and not merely thrive within it as it exists. That expectation would be alarming to the United States even if China were not increasingly repressive, and even if America had not allowed itself to be vulnerable to supply chain disruption.Consider the situation in Hong Kong. Imagine that China, instead of using a hammer on all visible nails, used softer tactics to woo Hong Kong's citizens over to a more complaisant stance, as it had been doing for years prior. Suppose, similarly, that rather than bullying Taiwan, Beijing put the bulk of its efforts into corrupting the island's political system — as, again, it has to some extent done. Suppose these efforts began to bear fruit, to the point that Taipei began to distance itself from Washington in an effort to avoid angering Beijing, and the prospect of reunification was in the air. Suppose that South Korea followed suit. Would the United States view these events with equanimity?Of course not. They would be obvious signs of dramatically weakened American clout in Asia. Moreover, they would materially weaken our military position in the case of a future confrontation with China. And that possibility could never be ruled out, even if China's regime at that moment were less-confrontational.Or consider the ongoing conflict with Europe over Huawei, China's 5G powerhouse. The United States is legitimately concerned for national security reasons about the prospect of a Chinese company becoming dominant in this area, because of the opportunities for espionage. But those concerns — along with the concerns about future Western dependence on Chinese technology in this area, as well as other areas like artificial intelligence — would obtain even if China were less-overtly truculent and bullying. After all, alarm bells were rung in the 1980s over increasing Japanese dominance in high technology, and Japan was an American ally with a pacifistic constitution. How could we not be more alarmed by the rise of a much larger China to something approaching peer-competitor status?In international affairs, intentions are important, but capabilities matter more. That's a tragic reality that Thucydides identified as a key cause of the ruinous Peloponnesian War, and that in modern times paved the way for World War I. The rise of China makes the United States more vulnerable — economically and militarily. We'd need to worry about those vulnerabilities even if China were more benevolent than it now appears, because there could be no guarantee that they would remain benevolent. Indeed, we're observing that transformation in China right now, and ruing the degree to which we have already allowed ourselves to give ground.China's turn to authoritarianism may well make it easier for us to pursue a policy of confrontation — easier to accumulate allies abroad as well as easier to justify ideologically at home — just as the Trump administration's full-spectrum obnoxious incompetence makes it harder. It may also make it seem necessary, since Beijing has closed off many other possible avenues to coexistence. But perceived lack of choice is precisely what leads to tragedy.Because however much we say that we have no quarrel with the Chinese people, all our efforts to respond to our vulnerability will be aimed at constraining their power. We're not trying to preserve a balance of power, after all, however much we may tell ourselves that we are. We're trying to preserve an American preponderance of power. If we choose that path, we should expect China to respond the way we would to efforts to impose such constraints on us, and prepare accordingly.Want more essential commentary and analysis like this delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for The Week's "Today's best articles" newsletter here.More stories from theweek.com Amy Klobuchar didn't prosecute officer at center of George Floyd's death Minnesota governor says Trump's Minneapolis tweets are 'just not helpful' 'A riot is the language of the unheard,' Martin Luther King Jr. explained 53 years ago




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Tucker Carlson: Minnesota Protests Over Police Killing a ‘Form of Tyranny’

Tucker Carlson: Minnesota Protests Over Police Killing a ‘Form of Tyranny’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.“So we know that George Floyd died in police custody, and when an investigation is done we will do a lot more,” the conservative primetime host declared  “It’s possible that at least one police officer will be charged in the case. So as of tonight, those are the facts. Here’s another fact: What happened last night in Minneapolis was not a political protest—it was a riot.”Showing footage of demonstrators breaking windows and cursing, Carlson told his viewers that this is “what rioting looks like,” insisting he wasn’t trying to defend the behavior of the police officers involved in Floyd’s death.“We are defending society itself,” he said. “Rioting is one thing you don’t want. Ugly opinions, police brutality, officious birdwatchers, rude entitled ladies walking their dogs in big city parks—all of that is bad, but none of it is nearly as bad as what you just saw.”“The indiscriminate use of violence by mobs is a threat to every American of all colors and backgrounds and political beliefs,” Carlson continued. “Democracy cannot exist when people are rioting. Rioting is a form of tyranny. The strong and the violent oppress the weak and the unarmed. It is oppression.”The Fox News host went on to accuse CNN and other media outlets of trying to fan racial flames, complaining that CNN labeled the demonstrators as “protesters” rather than “rioters.”While Carlson said that these recent demonstrations against police brutality are riots and not political protests, the Fox News host—who said last summer that white supremacy is a “hoax”—was singing a different tune during the anti-lockdown protests staged by armed, largely white, right-wingers storming the Michigan capitol.“This is America,” Carlson said at the time. “We’re allowed to disagree with what our leaders do however we like, and we’re allowed to express that disagreement in public.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.




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Cockpit voice recorder of crashed Pakistani plane recovered

Cockpit voice recorder of crashed Pakistani plane recoveredThe cockpit voice recorder of the Pakistani airliner that crashed last week was found on Thursday, six days after the passenger plane went down in a crowded neighborhood near the airport in the city of Karachi, killing 97 people on board. The other part of the black box, a flight data recorder, was recovered within hours of the crash. There were only two survivors of the Airbus A320 crash, which was carrying 91 passengers and eight crew members.




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It looks like Trump's draft executive order targeting Facebook and Twitter got leaked online

It looks like Trump's draft executive order targeting Facebook and Twitter got leaked onlinePresident Donald Trump is expected to sign such an order on Thursday.




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Florida governor asks court to stay felon voting ruling

Florida governor asks court to stay felon voting rulingFlorida Governor Ron DeSantis gave notice on Friday that he will appeal a federal judge's decision on voting rights for felons, while asking for a stay on the ruling that appeared to clear the way for hundreds of thousands of citizens to vote in a crucial 2020 state. The law in question, introduced by the state's Republican-controlled Senate last year, requires convicted felons in Florida to pay any court costs, fines, fees and restitution to victims before their right to vote could be restored. Opponents argue the law goes against the wishes of Florida voters who approved an amendment to the state's constitution in 2018 to grant voting rights to felons who served their time and were not convicted of murder or sex crimes.




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Mississippi mayor under fire over comments on George Floyd's death

Mississippi mayor under fire over comments on George Floyd's deathMayor Hal Marx of Petal, Mississippi, said he “didn’t see anything unreasonable” in the video of George Floyd's arrest. "If you can talk, you can breathe."




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Peter Manfredonia, the 23-year-old college student suspected of double murder, has been captured after a weeklong, multi-state manhunt

Peter Manfredonia, the 23-year-old college student suspected of double murder, has been captured after a weeklong, multi-state manhuntPeter Manfredonia had been on the run since last Friday. He is suspected of killing two men and kidnapping one woman.




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AP Explains: What's behind latest India-China border tension

AP Explains: What's behind latest India-China border tensionIndian officials say the latest row began in early May, when Chinese soldiers entered the Indian-controlled territory of Ladakh at three different points, erecting tents and guard posts. China has sought to downplay the confrontation while providing little information. China has objected to India building a road through the valley connecting the region to an airstrip, possibly sparking its move to assert control over territory along the border that is not clearly defined in places.




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Ex-officer who knelt on George Floyd's neck charged with murder

Ex-officer who knelt on George Floyd's neck charged with murderThe suspect's knee was on his neck for more than 8 1/2 minutes, including 2 1/2 minutes after he had passed out, according to a criminal complaint.




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Why the officers fired for the George Floyd killing could ultimately get their jobs back

Why the officers fired for the George Floyd killing could ultimately get their jobs backOfficers in the US are frequently rehired after termination for misconduct – and it increases the likelihood of abuse and killings by police, experts sayThe four Minneapolis officers involved in the killing of George Floyd were swiftly fired after footage of his death went viral.But that doesn’t mean they’re permanently losing their badges. Officers in the US are frequently rehired after their termination for misconduct, a problem that experts say increases the likelihood of abuse and killings by police.Despite the decision on Tuesday to fire the policeman who knelt on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes, along with three other officers at the scene, it’s uncertain if the officers will face long-term repercussions. On the contrary, some civil rights advocates warn the men could ultimately avoid legal and financial consequences, continue working in other police departments or even win back their positions.That’s how policing works across America, researchers and activists said, and it’s a process that can drag victims’ families through years of court proceedings and media attention, with minimal relief at the end. > The officers are afforded every opportunity to clear their name and regain everything they lost> > Adanté Pointer“The officers are afforded every opportunity to clear their name and regain everything they lost – their reputation, their status and their jobs,” said Adanté Pointer, a California lawyer who represents police brutality victims. “The family has to endure disappointment after disappointment.”Floyd’s death on Monday, now under FBI investigation, was the latest example of a black American dying at the hands of a white police officer.Footage captured Derek Chauvin, an officer, kneeling on top of Floyd, 46, as he lay on the ground shouting “I cannot breathe” and “Don’t kill me!” until he became motionless. Bystanders pleaded for Chauvin to stop. Police were responding to a call of a possible forged check, and authorities on Wednesday identified the other terminated officers as Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng.The footage sparked widespread condemnation and massive protests marked by rubber bullets and teargas. Minneapolis’ mayor, Jacob Frey, has said the “officer failed in the most basic human sense”. Floyd’s family has called for murder charges, though in the US prosecution and conviction of officers is rare, since the law gives officers wide latitude to kill, and prosecutors often have close ties with police.Prompt termination is also uncommon – and often doesn’t last. Officers can appeal firings, typically supported by powerful police unions. The outcome is frequently decided by arbiters in secretive hearings. A recent analysis by a local Minnesota paper, the Pioneer Press, found arbiters reversed 46% of police terminations in the last five years. Police chiefs across the US have publicly complained that the process forces them to put officers back on the street after firing them for egregious conduct such as unjustified killings, sexual abuse and lying.When officers are rehired, “it says they have a license to kill”, said Cat Brooks, an activist in Oakland, where transit police killed Oscar Grant in 2009. “If they killed this time, they’ve often killed before or have a history of problematic use of force.” In one Bay Area city with high rates of police violence, there are numerous officers who have been involved in more than one fatal shooting of a civilian. If the fired officers in Minneapolis don’t win their jobs back, “I think they’ll quietly be invited to work in other law enforcement departments”, Brooks predicted. Some police departments also knowingly hire officers who were fired in other jurisdictions, said Roger Goldman, an emeritus law professor at Saint Louis University and expert on police licensing. That’s often because the departments are located in smaller cities with tight budgets and can pay a lower salary to an officer who was terminated. “They are so strapped for cash, so they hire you,” Goldman said. The Cleveland officer who was fired after fatally shooting 12-year-old Tamir Rice in 2014 was hired by a small Ohio village police department four years later. His new employer defended the decision, noting the officer was never charged.The Louisiana officer who killed Alton Sterling in 2016 as he was selling CDs outside a convenience store was eventually fired in 2018. But last year, the city reached a settlement with the officer that retracted the firing and allowed him to resign. “It’s really devastating. You took someone’s life,” Quinyetta McMillon, the mother of Sterling’s son, said in an interview this week. The long process of trying to get justice “impacted us really badly – emotionally, physically, mentally, it was draining”, she said, adding that it was painful to think of the obstacles Floyd’s family will face moving forward, even with the terminations. If fired officers were barred from serving as police, “it would help save a lot of lives”, McMillon said.Sometimes police chiefs unknowingly hire officers with misconduct histories because of laws that allow officers to keep disciplinary records secret. Other times, they aren’t running thorough background checks, or they determine an officer’s record would not be a liability, said Ben Grunwald, a Duke University law professor.In a study Grunwald co-authored last month for the Yale Law Journal, he and another researcher found that an average of roughly 1,100 officers working in Florida each year have previously been fired. They tended to move to agencies with fewer resources and slightly larger communities of color. The fired officers were also twice as likely to be fired a second time compared to officers who have never been fired. The consequences of this rehiring are severe, said L Chris Stewart, a civil rights attorney based in Atlanta. “If you don’t fear losing your job and you know you have all these different immunities that will protect you, you know you will get away with [misconduct].” He said it was hard not to think of this dynamic when watching the video of the Minneapolis killing where the officer ignored Floyd’s cries for help. An attorney for Chauvin did not respond to a request for comment, and the other officers could not be reached. Some advocates have pushed for a publicly accessible national database that documents officers’ disciplinary histories, which could help prevent re-hirings that endanger the public. “You can look up what a doctor has done, what a realtor has done, what you and I have done as members of the public, but you have no way to look into the background of a person with a badge and a gun,” said Pointer.Marc McCoy, whose brother Willie McCoy was killed by police in Vallejo, California last year, said it was hard when the family learned that the officers involved had previously killed other civilians and been the subject of excessive force complaints. “These laws that you think will lead to the officers’ arrest are actually there to protect them,” he said.




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Can you contract coronavirus from a surface or object? 

Can you contract coronavirus from a surface or object? The CDC says that it may be possible to contract COVID-19 by coming in contact with a surface or object that has the virus on it, but you're much more likely to get the coronavirus through person-to-person transmission.




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President is slammed for leaving ‘press conference’ without addressing Minnesota as he disbands US relationship with WHO

President is slammed for leaving ‘press conference’ without addressing Minnesota as he disbands US relationship with WHODonald Trump held a "press conference" on Friday to discuss the United State's relationship with China, but then left the Rose Garden without taking questions or addressing the mounting situation in Minnesota following the death of George Floyd.The president announced during his statement the US would disband its relationship with the World Health Organisation (WHO) amid the coronavirus pandemic.




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Why India must battle the shame of period stain

Why India must battle the shame of period stainAward-winning photographer Niraj Gera takes on stigma surrounding menstruation in India.




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Photos of mass graves in Brazil show the stark toll of the coronavirus, as experts predict that it will surpass 125,000 deaths by August

Photos of mass graves in Brazil show the stark toll of the coronavirus, as experts predict that it will surpass 125,000 deaths by AugustDespite the growing number of coronavirus cases and deaths in Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro has refused to impose a lockdown.




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‘400 Years of Anger’: Minneapolis Police Station Set Ablaze as Trump Threatens to ‘Start Shooting’

‘400 Years of Anger’: Minneapolis Police Station Set Ablaze as Trump Threatens to ‘Start Shooting’MINNEAPOLIS—Protesters demanding action over the death of 46-year-old George Floyd took over the Minneapolis Police Department's Third Precinct late Thursday and set the building ablaze.Video from the scene showed demonstrators chanting “I can’t breathe” and cheering as the building was breached, with alarms blaring in the background.“This is 400 years of anger,” one protester, Justin Galbraith, told The Daily Beast as the flames sent smoke up into the sky.Others in the crowd echoed that sentiment. “There are so many innocent lives lost by the police. We protest peacefully and there is no accountability. So this happens,” demonstrator Cecilia Zwak said. The takeover appeared to mark a turning point in the protests that kicked into a new gear nationwide Thursday, as a bumbling press conference by confused prosecutors risked inviting further rage and violence.  From New York City to Denver to St. Paul, activists massed in the face of a pandemic to call out what they saw as the wanton killing of Floyd, an unarmed black man, by a Minneapolis cop on Monday. Dozens of arrests were reported by late Thursday afternoon in Manhattan’s Union Square, at least one protester in Minneapolis was said to be stabbed, and along with horrifying video footage of a car slamming into a protester in Denver, gunfire was reported at the state capitol there.After midnight, the president threatened a violent response. “These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen,” he wrote on Twitter. Trump added, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” quoting the controversial Miami Police chief Walter Headley who became infamous in the 1960s for his aggressive tactics in putting down black youths he claimed were taking advantage of civil rights legislation.At one point in Minneapolis early Thursday evening, a brawl broke out between members of a small group of protesters. Anthony Thornton, 32, of North Minneapolis, said he chased down the alleged assailant.“I saw him in the fight across the street and saw him run away. People were yelling that he stabbed someone,” Thornton told The Daily Beast, while brandishing a pistol. “I jumped in my Jeep and chased him across the parking lot, pointed my gun at him, and told him to stop. He stopped and walked here with me peacefully.”“I’ve been here for three days. I’m a protester,” Thornton added. “Things are not supposed to go down like this. I’m just making sure things stop.” The question—as cops continued to use tear gas, protesters threw eggs at cop cars, and vandalism and looting reportedly percolated in the Twin Cities—was how authorities would respond to escalating chaos in the hours ahead. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz officially activated the National Guard earlier in the day, raising the prospect of a military-style occupation of swaths of a city with a long history of police violence.Meanwhile, a longtime friend of George Floyd, former NBA star Stephen Jackson, appealed to protesters to stand up for Floyd the “right way.” In an interview with MSNBC, Jackson said his slain friend “wouldn’t want it to be this way.” “He wouldn’t have wanted people to be tearing stuff down, and people getting hurt,” he said. “He wouldn't want businesses and people to suffer."The more immediate concern for activists, however, may have been county and federal prosecutors calling a press conference Thursday afternoon to announce nothing—except, well, that they thought the case was complicated. “There is other evidence that does not support a criminal charge,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said of calls to bring charges against the white police officer in Floyd’s death. The officer was caught on video kneeling on Floyd’s neck for at least seven minutes while Floyd pleaded and warned that he couldn’t breathe. He was without a pulse when placed in an ambulance a short time later. U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald went so far as to apologize for summoning the press for no reason, while Freeman said he wanted to avoid potentially prematurely filing aggressive charges only to see them go down at trial. He specifically cited the failed prosecution of police over the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore in 2015. Demonstrators who faced down tear gas projectiles in Minneapolis on Thursday were less concerned with legal precedents and more determined to have the case seen for the outrage that they say it is. “George Floyd was killed over nothing. It was a modern day lynching. We have no voice,” demonstrator Josh Estes told The Daily Beast. “I feel it’s necessary. Otherwise, nothing is going to change,” Summer Bond, 22, told The Daily Beast of sprawling destruction that included a police vehicle. “I do feel bad for the businesses. But the squad car? The station? Not at all.”In Denver, a person with a scarf around his face took a bat to two official state vehicles, and rocks were hurled at first-floor building. Police there also used tear gas on demonstrators around 8:30 p.m.Reports of gunfire sent the city’s State Capitol building into lockdown a few hours earlier, according to the Colorado State Patrol. No injuries were immediately reported, but protests continued apace.“This only makes me more resolved. We have more work to do,” Leslie Herod, a state legislator, told The Daily Beast while sheltering in place.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.




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Rep. Jim Jordan on 2.1M filing for unemployment benefits in a week

Rep. Jim Jordan on 2.1M filing for unemployment benefits in a week Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan, Republican member of the House Judiciary Committee, joins ‘The Daily Briefing.’




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Pompeo adviser at center of personal errand probe asks former staffers to support secretary

Pompeo adviser at center of personal errand probe asks former staffers to support secretaryThe staffers are being asked to sign a letter in solidarity against the "unfounded attacks," claiming a "smear campaign" had been launched against the secretary of state.




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Twitter slaps 'glorifying violence' warning on Trump's 'when the looting starts, the shooting starts' tweet

Twitter slaps 'glorifying violence' warning on Trump's 'when the looting starts, the shooting starts' tweetYou can still read President Trump's early-Friday tweet about sending the National Guard into Minneapolis if you go to his Twitter feed, but you now have to take an extra step to read the follow-up tweet threatening: "When the looting starts, the shooting starts." That's because Twitter replaced it with this note: "This tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public's interest for the tweet to remain accessible." You can click the warning to read the tweet.Minneapolis is engulfed in chaotic protests over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed and handcuffed black man apparently killed by a white police officer who kneeled on his neck for eight minutes. There has been looting and fires, including at a breached police station. Gov. Tim Walz (D) activated the National Guard on Thursday afternoon.Twitter's intervention came hours after Trump signed an executive order targeting Twitter and other social media companies in response to Twitter adding a note to two of his tweets with an exclamation point and a hyperlink reading: "Get the facts about mail-in ballots."More stories from theweek.com Amy Klobuchar didn't prosecute officer at center of George Floyd's death Minnesota governor says Trump's Minneapolis tweets are 'just not helpful' 'A riot is the language of the unheard,' Martin Luther King Jr. explained 53 years ago




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SpaceX launch: Nasa astronauts set for second try

SpaceX launch: Nasa astronauts set for second trySpaceX will need to beat the weather to get Nasa astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken into orbit.




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Thursday, 28 May 2020

UConn student wanted in connection to 2 deaths is captured

UConn student wanted in connection to 2 deaths is captured"Peter Manfredonia has been found & is in custody" after a nearly weeklong manhunt, officials said Wednesday.




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Huawei CFO Meng to find out if a U.S extradition case against her will proceed

Huawei CFO Meng to find out if a U.S extradition case against her will proceedA 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. Her arrest infuriated Beijing, which sees her case as a political move designed to prevent China’s rise.




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Five UK mercenaries offered $150,000 each to fly helicopters for Gen Haftar in Libya, say UN

Five UK mercenaries offered $150,000 each to fly helicopters for Gen Haftar in Libya, say UNFive British mercenaries involved in an operation to fly assault helicopters for Libya’s renegade General Khalifa Haftar were offered bounties of up to $150,000 each for their role in the daring plot which went awry. The men, comprised of former Royal Marines and RAF personnel, were among 20 foreign mercenaries who traveled to Libya last June in an operation to pilot assault helicopters and speed boats to intercept Turkish ships ferrying weapons to Haftar’s opponents – the UN-backed government in Tripoli. A source with knowledge of the secret UN report which revealed the plot told The Daily Telegraph that the men involved were believed on sums of “$30,000 to $50,000 a month, or $20,000 to $40,000 per month depending on whether you were pilot or aircrewman”. “It was a three-month contract”. The Telegraph can reveal that the UN investigation concluded that the operation was led by Steven Lodge, a former South African Air Force officer who also served in the British military. Mr. Lodge, who now resides in Scotland, is a director of Umbra Aviation, a South-Africa based company that has recently supplied helicopters to the Government of Mozambique, where the country is battling a jihadist insurgency in its restive north. Speaking to The Telegraph over the phone, Mr. Lodge flatly denied the chronicle of events detailed in the UN report. “All the info is incorrect - the whole facts behind the whole thing,” he said.




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In lean times, fierce dinosaur Allosaurus resorted to cannibalism

In lean times, fierce dinosaur Allosaurus resorted to cannibalismThe dreaded dinosaur Allosaurus was the scourge of the Jurassic Period landscape some 150 million years ago, an apex predator just as Tyrannosaurus rex was 80 million years later during the Cretaceous Period. The researchers unearthed 2,368 fossil bones including several different dinosaurs and other creatures. Remarkably, 29% of the bones bore evidence of bite marks, a much-higher percentage than usual, indicative of heavy scavenging in what may have been a stressed ecosystem caused by a seasonal drought or potentially a wildfire.




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Elon Musk told NASA astronauts' kids ahead of the SpaceX launch, 'We've done everything we can to make sure your dads come back OK'

Elon Musk told NASA astronauts' kids ahead of the SpaceX launch, 'We've done everything we can to make sure your dads come back OK'NASA has estimated a 1-in-276 chance that the astronauts on the SpaceX rocket could die during the company's first crewed mission.




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Coronavirus is a 'racial pandemic,' doctors and scholars warn

Coronavirus is a 'racial pandemic,' doctors and scholars warnEven as President Trump and many of his allies are rushing to reopen the nation from a months-long pandemic lockdown, that pandemic continues to devastate communities of color, a raft of witnesses warned legislators on Capitol Hill on Wednesday.




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The next 100 days: How the coronavirus will continue to change your life at home, at work, at school and beyond

The next 100 days: How the coronavirus will continue to change your life at home, at work, at school and beyondIn a little over 100 days, the coronavirus killed 100,000 Americans. What awaits the country over the next 100 days in the COVID-19 battle?




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Here are the likely contenders on Biden's vice president shortlist

Here are the likely contenders on Biden's vice president shortlistWhile Joe Biden has committed to selecting a female running mate, few further details are confirmed. Here's a look at five women in the picture.




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Iran Guards warn US after receiving new combat vessels

Iran Guards warn US after receiving new combat vesselsIran's Revolutionary Guards on Thursday warned the United States against its naval presence in the Gulf as they received 110 new combat vessels. "We announce today that wherever the Americans are, we are right next to them, and they will feel our presence even more in the near future," the Guards' navy chief Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri said during a ceremony in southern Iran. Iran and the United States have appeared to be on the brink of an all-out confrontation twice in the past year.




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The man who filmed his encounter with a woman in Central Park says her actions were 'definitely racist,' but he's asking people to stop making death threats against her

The man who filmed his encounter with a woman in Central Park says her actions were 'definitely racist,' but he's asking people to stop making death threats against herChristian Cooper told CNN that he thinks Amy Cooper's apology is sincere, and has asked people to stop making death threats toward her.




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English court to weigh recognition of Maduro, Guaido in Venezuela gold case

English court to weigh recognition of Maduro, Guaido in Venezuela gold caseAn English court on Thursday said it would need to decide which of Venezuela's dueling political factions to recognize before ruling on President Nicolas Maduro's request for the Bank of England to hand over gold the country has in its vaults. Venezuela for decades stored gold that makes up part of its central bank reserves in the vaults of foreign financial institutions including the Bank of England, which provides gold custodian services to developing countries. The bank since 2018 has refused to transfer the funds to Maduro's government, which Britain does not recognize.




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Job losses continue to mount in US despite reopenings

Job losses continue to mount in US despite reopeningsThe coronavirus crisis threw at least 2.1 million Americans out of work last week despite the gradual reopening of businesses around the country, stoking fears Thursday that the scourge is doing deep and potentially long-lasting damage to the U.S. economy. Amid a few glimmers of hope, most of the latest economic news from around the globe was likewise grim, as some of the world's most populous countries continued to report rising infections and deaths. The latest job-loss figures from the U.S. Labor Department bring to 41 million the running total of Americans who have filed for unemployment benefits since the coronavirus shutdowns took hold in mid-March.




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Outrage in Iran over gruesome 'honour killing' of teenage girl

Outrage in Iran over gruesome 'honour killing' of teenage girlIran’s president has called for so-called honour killings to be outlawed following the gruesome murder of a teenage girl, allegedly by her father, for running away from home with an older man. Romina Ashrafi, 14, was allegedly beheaded by her father as punishment for fleeing her home in Talesh, near Tehran, with a 29-year-old man. The couple were detained and Romina was handed back to her family as her father appeared to have forgiven her, according to the state news agency IRNA. But on May 21, the girl’s father attacked her while she was sleeping and cut off her head with a sickle, according to a local news website called Gilkhabar. The father has since been arrested, as well as the man Romina eloped with according to local media reports. Under Iranian law, young girls can marry from 13 although most women get married in their early 20s according to the Associated Press. If convicted, the girl’s father would face a prison sentence of ten years. Iran’s penal code currently reduces the penalties for fathers, or other family members, who carry out honour killings on their relatives. Romina’s death has shocked Iran and prompted Hassan Rouhani, the president, to order his Cabinet to speed up legislation against so-called honour killings.




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Amy Cooper: Woman sacked after calling police on black man

Amy Cooper: Woman sacked after calling police on black manThe woman, identified as Amy Cooper, called police saying an African-American man was threatening her life.




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Putin says worst-case coronavirus scenario in Moscow averted as lockdown unwinds

Putin says worst-case coronavirus scenario in Moscow averted as lockdown unwindsPresident Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Moscow, the epicentre of Russia's coronavirus outbreak, had succeeded in preventing what he called worst-case scenarios as the city announced it would ease tough lockdown measures within days. Speaking to Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, an ally, by video conference, Putin said it was obvious the situation in the city of 12.7 million people had stabilised thanks to steps taken by the authorities. It was now time for Moscow to provide medical help to regions where the coronavirus remained rampant, said Putin, something Sobyanin said would be organised immediately.




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New tropical hotspot may emerge in Atlantic amid busy start to hurricane season

New tropical hotspot may emerge in Atlantic amid busy start to hurricane seasonTwo tropical storms have already formed prior to the official start of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, which begins on June 1- and AccuWeather meteorologists say there are two factors behind the unusual occurrence. These weather factors could soon cause more storms to brew, but this time, forecasters are watching a new tropical hotspot of the basin.Tropical Storm Arthur, the first storm of the season, was named by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) on May 16, the earliest-named tropical system to form in the Atlantic since Tropical Storm Arlene in April 2017. The system first developed into a tropical depression about 125 miles off Melbourne, Florida. As the disturbance gained strength and moved northward over warm waters in the western Atlantic, Arthur avoided landfall in North Carolina. But, the system still unleashed wind gusts of up to 49 mph in the state. Fortunately, no major impacts were reported, and Arthur went out to sea before it could directly strike land.Less than two weeks later, Tropical Storm Bertha became the second-named storm of the season on May 27 in a similar area to where Arthur had developed. Bertha will also go down as the first-named storm to make landfall in the U.S. this year. Bertha struck about 20 miles south of Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday, and unleashed flooding rainfall across the Carolinas and portions of the mid-Atlantic. Before officially being named the system drenched South Florida with flooding rainfall, which pushed monthly rain totals to more than two times the normal amount for May in places like Miami.The last time two named storms preceded the official start of hurricane season in the Atlantic was in 2016, when Hurricane Alex and Tropical Storm Bonnie both formed before June 1. This GOES-16 satellite image taken Wednesday, May 27, 2020, at 11:40 UTC and provided by THE National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), shows Tropical Storm Bertha approaching the South Carolina coast. (NOAA via AP) "You get early season development when you get an interaction between the jet stream and the tropics," AccuWeather Chief Broadcast Meteorologist Bernie Rayno said. "It's still early enough in the year that, at times, the jet stream can take pronounced dips into the south."A southward plunge in the jet stream causes weather systems to interact with the warm water of the Atlantic, explained Rayno."The jet stream brings down frontal boundaries that stall, frontal boundaries are locations where showers and thunderstorms could form, and in time, if you can get that area to sit, you start to get lower pressure to form, and in time this could turn into a tropical system," said Rayno.Arthur and Bertha both formed from a similar set of weather factors, and a third-named tropical storm could form as early as next week, fueled by another big dive of the jet stream."On Monday, this dip in the jet stream [is] gonna push a frontal boundary into the northwest Caribbean. That frontal boundary will stall as we get into Monday. [On] Tuesday, showers and thunderstorms start to form and by mid- to- late-next week, I think we are going to get an area of low pressure to form," said Rayno. The Miami skyline is shrouded in clouds as a cyclist rides along Biscayne Bay at Matheson Hammock Park, Friday, May 15, 2020, in Miami. A trough of low pressure moved through the Florida Straits and organized over the northwest Bahamas to become Tropical Storm Arthur. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky) Rayno said that he believes there is a 50/50 chance that the third named storm, which would be called Cristobal, could be the result of this setup.AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist David Samuhel said tropical trouble could first brew in the East Pacific before emerging into the Atlantic. Forecasters have been monitoring an area of disturbed weather in the East Pacific this week that could soon churn out a tropical entity, which could take an unusual track into Central America."We are watching an area south of Mexico and Central America. It is expected to become a tropical depression or even a named storm as it approaches the coast of El Salvador, Guatemala and southern Mexico," Samuhel said.Even though the storm that is being monitored will likely dissipate over land, Samuhel said that, "There will be abundant moisture associated with the system and when that moisture moves northward into the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, it could reform into a new tropical system."The last three tropical cyclones to make landfall in the U.S. during the month of June were all Gulf of Mexico storms, similar to the hotspot currently being monitored. The most recent Gulf of Mexico storm to result in a June landfall was Tropical Storm Cindy, which came ashore in western Louisiana in 2017.Samuhel advised that while the reformation of the storm would not happen until several days into June, the conditions could be favorable for development as water temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico are above normal and upper-level conditions in the atmosphere could remain favorable.It has been a few years since the third-named storm of the season formed as early in the season as June and made landfall in the U.S., with the last occurrence being Tropical Storm Cindy in 2017 and then again in 2016 when Tropical Storm Colin developed and slammed into the Gulf Coast of Florida, north of Tampa.Before that, it had been several decades since this happened with the last time prior to 2016 being back in 1968, when Tropical Storm Candy formed in late June.Having three named storms this early in the season is a rare occurrence, and only twice in the last decade has a fourth-named storm formed in June with Tropical Storm Danielle in 2017 and Tropical Storm Debby in 2012. Tommy and Dorothy McIntosh walk away from their daughters flooded home in Live Oak Fla., Wednesday, June 27, 2012. Dozens of homes and businesses were flooded by torrential rains from Tropical Storm Debby. (AP Photo/Dave Martin) Landfalling hurricanes are even more rare during the month of June. Hurricane Bonnie in 1986 was the last hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. during the month. The Category 1 storm generated peak winds of 85 mph before rolling into High Island, Texas. Bonnie claimed five lives in the U.S. and it triggered more than a foot of rainfall in parts of Texas, including 13 inches in Ace, Texas."Only one major hurricane has made landfall in June anywhere in the U.S.," Samuhel said, adding that Hurricane Audrey dealt a devastating blow to southwestern Louisiana when it crashed onshore as a Category 3 storm, packing 125-mph winds, in 1957, and killed more than 400 in the U.S. According to the National Weather Service (NWS), Bonnie ranks as the seventh deadliest storm to make landfall in the U.S. and the third deadliest in Louisiana history.Dan Kottlowski, AccuWeather's top hurricane expert, and his team of long-range meteorologists, have been hard at work analyzing weather patterns for the upcoming Atlantic hurricane season since late in winter. Kottlowski warned about early season risks in the Gulf of Mexico in his initial forecast for the season, which was released on March 25.Kottlowski upped the numbers projected for the 2020 season in an early May forecast update. He expressed "growing concern" for an active season due to a La Niña pattern that is expected to develop during the season. La Niña is the cool phase and counterpoint to El Niño -- and it is characterized by three consecutive months of below-normal temperatures in the central and eastern Pacific, near the equator. The team is now predicting 14 to 20 tropical storms and seven to 11 hurricanes, since La Niña patterns can limit episodes of high winds that can disrupt tropical development in the Atlantic.Four to six of the storms could strengthen into major hurricanes - Category 3 or higher. And Kottlowski warned that four to six named tropical systems could make direct impacts on the U.S mainland, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.The AccuWeather TV Network on Thursday night will host its first-ever hurricane town hall. The exclusive one-hour event will be moderated by AccuWeather Broadcast Meteorologist Brittany Boyer who will lead a roundtable discussion with several of the top minds in hurricane forecasting and weather preparedness.Among those joining the discussion will be National Hurricane Center Director Ken Graham, AccuWeather's own hurricane expert Dan Kottlowksi and Trevor Riggen of the American Red Cross, along with several others. Chief among the topics being discussed will be the impact the coronavirus pandemic will have on preparing for hurricanes this season, which AccuWeather forecasters believe will be very active. Tune in to the AccuWeather TV Network at 9 p.m. EDT Thursday evening and check AccuWeather.com for highlights and a recap.Keep checking back on AccuWeather.com and stay tuned to the AccuWeather Network on DirecTV, Frontier and Verizon Fios




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Navy admiral submits results of probe on virus-infected ship

Navy admiral submits results of probe on virus-infected shipThe Navy's top admiral on Wednesday received the results of an internal investigation into the spread of the coronavirus aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt and the firing of the aircraft carrier's skipper in April. The report is not expected to be made public until decisions are made about potentially restoring Capt. Brett Crozier to command of the Roosevelt or disciplining other officers. It was submitted Wednesday to Adm. Mike Gilday, the chief of naval operations.




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Study: Death Rates for Drivers Vary by Car Size

Study: Death Rates for Drivers Vary by Car SizeWhen it comes to vehicle crashes, size and weight matter a great deal. That’s the conclusion of a comprehensive, three-year study into how drivers fared in their vehicles over time by the Insuran...




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Ford made its police SUV heat itself up to more than 133 degrees to kill the coronavirus

Ford made its police SUV heat itself up to more than 133 degrees to kill the coronavirusFord worked with Ohio State and police departments to develop the tech. Ford has a longstanding relationship with law enforcement.




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Sudan says three jailed members of ousted Bashir regime have coronavirus



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It's a bad week to be named Amy Cooper

It's a bad week to be named Amy CooperSeveral Amy Coopers have received hate mail after being mistaken for the woman who called police on a Central Park birdwatcher.




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Iran's newly elected parliament convenes despite pandemic

Iran's newly elected parliament convenes despite pandemicIran's newly elected parliament convened on Wednesday, dominated by conservative lawmakers and under strict social distancing regulations, as the country struggles to curb the spread of the coronavirus that has hit the nation hard. The lawmakers were sworn in after many of them arrived for the opening ceremony wearing face masks and observing social distancing regulations. Iran is grappling with the deadliest outbreak in the Middle East, with more than 7,500 fatalities out of over 141,500 confirmed cases.




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Attorney general taps prosecutor to look into episodes of 'unmasking' by Obama administration officials

Attorney general taps prosecutor to look into episodes of 'unmasking' by Obama administration officialsJustice Department spokeswoman Kerri Kupec said John Bash, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Texas, will look into the issue.




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Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Special Report: U.S. takes aim at the power behind Venezuela's Maduro - his first lady

Special Report: U.S. takes aim at the power behind Venezuela's Maduro - his first ladyThe man, Yazenky Lamas, worked as a bodyguard for the person widely considered the power behind President Nicolas Maduro's throne: first lady Cilia Flores. Now, with help from Lamas' testimony, the United States is preparing to charge Flores in coming months with crimes that could include drug trafficking and corruption, four people familiar with the investigation of the first lady told Reuters. If Washington goes ahead with an indictment, these people said, the charges are likely to stem, at least in part, from a thwarted cocaine transaction that has already landed two of Flores' nephews in a Florida penitentiary.




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US priest who founded Knights of Columbus to be beatified

US priest who founded Knights of Columbus to be beatifiedThe 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.




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Watch SpaceX's 1st astronaut launch live

Watch SpaceX's 1st astronaut launch liveSpaceX is readying for a historic launch, and you can watch the whole thing live.On Wednesday, SpaceX will for the first time launch astronauts into orbit. NASA's Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken are headed to the International Space Station and will become the first astronauts to launch from the U.S. since 2011, NPR reports.NASA on its website hails the fact that with this launch, a "new era of human spaceflight is set to begin," and NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said this week this is a "unique opportunity to bring all of America together in one moment in time and say, look at how bright the future is."The launch will take place at Florida's Kennedy Space Center, and it's scheduled for just after 4:30 p.m. Eastern, although NBC News notes that NASA is "monitoring weather reports at the Florida launch site that may delay proceedings." NASA will live stream the launch below. More stories from theweek.com It only took two hours for Trump's administration to contradict his threat to shut down Twitter Why Biden benefits by disappearing CNBC's Andrew Ross Sorkin explodes on co-host Joe Kernen: '100,000 people died and all you did was try and help your friend the president'




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‘No Restraint’: Violent Chaos in Minneapolis Could Spark the Next Ferguson

‘No Restraint’: Violent Chaos in Minneapolis Could Spark the Next FergusonMINNEAPOLIS—Jeremy Kocke held up the back of his shirt to show a large bruise forming from a rubber bullet. “I turned around and was shot in the back,” he said Wednesday evening. “I didn’t do anything to get shot.”The 32-year-old was one of several protesters struck by Minneapolis Police projectiles after activists surrounded the department’s embattled Third Precinct. Some threw water bottles and rocks over a hastily constructed police barricade. From the roof, looming police brandished weapons at the crowd below.Earlier on Wednesday, Kocke and a roommate had listened to Minneapolis City Council members “talk about how the police need to be restrained and will show restraint,” he told The Daily Beast. “They asked protesters to show restraint. But they [the police] aren’t. This isn’t restraint. There is no restraint. This is chaos.”Like COVID-19 death rates and social-distancing arrests, a new wave of protests—and their police response—are highlighting racial disparities in the coronavirus era. Tuesday’s initial demonstrations in Minneapolis, which protested the death of 46-year-old black man George Floyd after he was pinned down on the neck by a local cop, likewise saw officers in riot gear crack down on demonstrators, striking at least one protester in the head with a rubber bullet and bloodying a reporter. Meanwhile, right-wing “re-open” protests in Minnesota and elsewhere have generally proceeded without police violence, even as mostly white demonstrators—some with extremist ties—occupied government buildings with semi-automatic rifles.Derek Chauvin, Minneapolis Cop Shown Kneeling on George Floyd’s Neck, Hires Philando Castile Shooter’s Lawyer Activists in Minneapolis say race is a motivating factor in police responses to the protests. It’s why some say they’re coming out to protest—even during a deadly pandemic—in the first place, and why an increasingly volatile landscape in a progressive city began to take on the feel of Ferguson-style unrest.“Throwing tear gas at kids is not going to help,” Leslie Redmon, president of the Minneapolis NAACP,  told The Daily Beast. Redmon said she was among the demonstrators hit with tear gas on Tuesday, and that the heavy-handed response would not improve the police's relationship with protesters.Nekima Levy-Armstrong, Minneapolis-based civil rights attorney and founder of the Racial Justice Network, a racial equality group, described the police response as “excessive and militarized.” Officers were filmed using tear gas, rubber bullets, and what appeared to be stun grenades on demonstrators on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. “There was no communication to protesters that police were going to start shooting projectiles and shooting rubber bullets and spraying tear gas,” Levy-Armstrong told The Daily Beast, echoing activists and journalists who were caught in the crossfire. “They just started doing it. They didn't give people time to leave the area if they didn't want to engage with police on that level.”Monique Cullars-Doty, an organizer with Black Lives Matter Twin Cities, said the police response hindered medical care for at least one person struck in the head with a rubber bullet. “They called 9-1-1 and the protesters were told that the police [on the scene] were the first responders and no medical attention was given. They were trying to get this person to ride to the hospital,” said Cullars-Doty, whose own nephew was killed by police in nearby St. Paul in 2015.After witnessing one night of tear gas, Lisa Grimm brought water and milk to Wednesday night’s protest. “I live less than a mile away from the murder. This is my home,” she told The Daily Beast.“How have the killers not been arrested and held like anyone else? This wouldn’t be happening like this. We wouldn’t have to risk our safety. We wouldn’t be at risk for coronavirus. It’s common logic.” Some of the response might have stemmed from the police department’s unprecedented decision to fire four officers involved in Floyd’s death. A viral video showed Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for at least seven minutes after police apprehended him over an alleged forgery. In the harrowing video, captured by a bystander, Floyd repeatedly states that he cannot breathe and that he is dying. Bystanders plead with Chauvin to get off Floyd, noting that he appears to have died. Although police initially claimed Floyd later died in the hospital after a “medical incident,” a Minneapolis Fire Department report found that he had no pulse when he was placed in an ambulance.The four officers’ brisk firings were a first for the city, and may have motivated police response to protesters, Levy-Armstrong argued. (The Minneapolis Police Department did not immediately return a request for comment.)“They want to retaliate,” she told The Daily Beast earlier Wednesday. “They're angry, they're upset, and that's what we witnessed last night. Why did they need to wear riot gear and treat people like they were serious threats?”Images from re-open protests, including of white militia members lynching an effigy of Georgia’s governor, or armed protesters storming Michigan’s statehouse, have led some protesters to question whether activists of color could get away with the same stunts.“When I look and see the angry white protester with their guns and having the opportunity to celebrate their constitutional rights, then look at black protesters who are peaceful …  getting tear gas and shot with rubber bullets,” said Toya Woodland, a minister and Black Lives Matter activists. “We’ve never been looked at as whole people. We’re still being looked at as animals, by the Three-Fifths Compromise,” she said, referring to the part of the constitution classifying enslaved people as less than fully human.Carmen Perez-Jordan, president of the nonprofit The Gathering for Justice, likewise tied the disparity in police response to America’s centuries-long racial divides.“How is it that an officer feels safe with an armed white person yelling and spitting in their face, but not with an unarmed black person?” she asked. Minneapolis, in particular, has struggled with those narratives. In 2015, Minneapolis police shot and killed Jamar Clark, a 24-year-old black man. When activists staged a days-long occupation outside the police station in protest, white supremacists fired on the crowd, seriously wounding five people.In 2016, a police officer in nearby Falcon Heights shot and killed Philando Castile, a black man during a traffic stop, while Castile’s girlfriend and her young daughter looked on in horror. Chauvin, the officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck, has hired the lawyer who defended Castile’s killer.Protests over Castile’s killing were also marked by arrests.“My friend had a bouquet of flowers in her hand, and there’s a photo of her being arrested,” Cullars-Doty said. “How much more peaceful can you be when you’re just standing holding flowers?”She noted that the Castile protests had taken place at the state capitol, where re-open protesters had demonstrated earlier this month, without incident. (The protests took place in neighboring St. Paul, which has its own police force.)Re-open protesters don’t deserve the crackdown Minneapolis protesters experienced, Perez-Jordan noted. But their demands differ. “Black and brown people are asking for their full humanity to be respected. They're asking for the right to live,” she said, as opposed re-open protesters who are demanding “a perceived right to access to privilege, like having a certain haircut or being able to go out to eat in public. That’s very different from what we're seeing online every single day when it comes to police officers who can kill an unarmed black person or an unarmed brown person with impunity.”And while re-open protesters will theoretically go home when the lockdowns end, Minneapolis protesters said the demonstrations might continue.Anika Bowie, an activist who attended the Minneapolis protests on Wednesday, said the demonstrations were building on momentum from the Black Lives Matter protests that touched off after the killing of black teenager Mike Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.“Just since Ferguson, we’ve had this whole backlog of history of police brutality,” she said. “Now, we have more networks to exchange this information and communication.” In spite of the coronavirus, Tuesday night’s protests were the largest Levy-Armstrong had ever seen, she said, with thousands of people RSVPing on Facebook. Cullars-Doty attributed them to the nature of Floyd’s death. It wasn’t the first time a horrific video of a black man who died in police custody went viral. But the deaths are adding up.“That video that we just have is gut wrenching,” she said. “I was getting messages from people who haven't been out protesting ever. They’re saying now that they're either fed up; they sat on the sidelines too long and some people have had their eyes opened. So I think this really is a big one.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.




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Taiwan leader vows 'action plan' for Hong Kong protesters

Taiwan leader vows 'action plan' for Hong Kong protestersTaiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen on Wednesday pledged a humanitarian "action plan" for Hong Kongers pushing for democracy in the financial hub as an influx of activists seek sanctuary on the self-ruled democratic island. Hong Kong was upended by months of often violent pro-democracy protests last year sparked by rising fears that Beijing is chipping away at the city's freedoms. Unrest has returned in recent days after Beijing announced plans last week to impose a sweeping national security law in response to the protests, a move that has alarmed many western governments and Taiwan.




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