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- Republican lawmakers accused of hiding positive COVID-19 test result from Democrats, who call it 'immoral'
Democratic lawmakers in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives are demanding answers after learning that one of their Republican colleagues tested positive for COVID-19, shared that information with GOP leadership, but never informed them.
- White House encourages hydroxychloroquine use for coronavirus again
Speaking during a press briefing on Thursday, White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany strongly endorsed the “prophylactic” use of hydroxychloroquine: that is, to prevent contracting the coronavirus.
- ‘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.
- Iran Guards warn US after receiving new combat vessels
Iran'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.
- 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.
- China plans to extend curbs on international flights until June 30: U.S. embassy
Chinese civil aviation authorities plan to extend until June 30 their curbs on international flights to contain the spread of the coronavirus, the U.S. embassy in Beijing said in a travel advisory on Friday. China has drastically cut such flights since March to allay concerns over infections brought by arriving passengers. A so-called "Five One" policy allows mainland carriers to fly just one flight a week on one route to any country and foreign airlines to operate just one flight a week to China.
- One chart shows a noticeable correlation between how late a country started its coronavirus lockdown and the number of excess deaths
- Sen. Cortez Masto withdraws name from Biden VP consideration
Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada said Thursday that she’s not interested in serving as running mate to presumptive presidential nominee Joe Biden. Cortez Masto, who in 2016 became the first Latina elected to the U.S. Senate, said in a statement that she supports the former vice president but does not want to join the Democratic presidential ticket.
- Joshua Wong: Hong Kong Cannot Prosper Without Autonomy
- Denmark and Norway cut coronavirus-hit Sweden out of free travel deal
The governments of Denmark and Norway have cut Sweden out of a deal allowing each other's tourists to travel freely between the two countries — citing their Nordic neighbour's higher levels of coronavirus infection. The deal, announced at parallel press conferences in Oslo and Copenhagen on Friday afternoon, showed Sweden has failed in its diplomatic efforts to be included in the first stage of a Nordic travel bubble. Under the deal, people from Denmark will from June 15 be allowed to enter Norway without needing to quarantine, while tourists from Norway will be able to enter Denmark, so long as they have booked accommodation for at least six days. As she announced the agreement, Denmark's Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen acknowledged that it would be difficult for many Swedes. “Danes and Swedes have family, lovers, and holiday homes across the border,” she said. “Denmark and Sweden are at different places in relation to the coronavirus [epidemic], and this has a bearing on what we can decide in relation to the border.”
- President is slammed for leaving ‘press conference’ without addressing Minnesota as he disbands US relationship with WHO
Donald 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.
- Trudeau: Canadians watching US unrest and police violence in ‘shock and horror’
Prime minister condemned racism and called on Canada to ‘stand together in solidarity’ against racial hate as protests continue in US * George Floyd killing – follow live updatesCanadians are watching unrest and police violence in the United States in “shock and horror”, Justin Trudeau said on Friday – but the prime minister cautioned that his country also has entrenched problems with racism. The city of Minneapolis has been rocked by a third night of violent protests over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, after a white police officer knelt on his neck as he lay on the ground following arrest. “Many Canadians of diverse backgrounds are watching, like all Canadians are, the news out of the United States with shock and with horror,” Trudeau told reporters at a daily briefing.“Anti-black racism – racism – is real. It’s in the United States but it’s also in Canada and we know people are facing systemic discrimination, unconscious bias and anti-black racism every single day,” said Trudeau, calling on the country to “stand together in solidarity” against racial hate. “We have work to do as well in Canada.” Racial inequities continue to persist throughout the country – a grim reality that is often apparent during interactions with police. In December 2018, the province of Ontario released a landmark report that found black residents in Toronto – the country’s largest city – are 20 times more likely to be shot dead by the police than white residents. “It’s a very Canadian tradition to speak in platitudes, to refer to the underground railroad and to speak about Canada as a haven and a place that acknowledges its past mistakes,” said Robyn Maynard, author of Policing Black Lives. “But we continue to see similar structural harms and structural kinds of violence as we do in places where leaders make more overtly vitriolic statements towards black communities.”Last month, 26-year-old D’Andre Campbell was shot dead by police inside his own home, north of Toronto, after Campbell himself called 911.Earlier this week, the family of Regis Korchinski-Paquet said a police officer shoved the young woman over the balcony of the family’s 24th-floor apartment, where she fell to her death. The case is currently under investigation by an arms-length police watchdog.Maynard also pointed out the coronavirus pandemic continues to have a disproportionate impact on black and indigenous residents, who are overrepresented in the country’s prison population.“We continue to see prisons and jails being epicentres of outbreaks,” she said. “Yet there is failure on the part of the federal government to meaningfully release to release prisoners.”Trudeau’s unprompted remarks marked a notable departure for a leader who has gone to great lengths to avoid irritating his US counterpart, Donald Trump.Canadian prime ministers have traditionally refrained from discussing political and social turmoil in the US – Canada’s main ally and largest trading partner. Justin Trudeau has long spoken about the need to tackle racism, but his re-election campaign was marred by pictures of him in blackface as a young man.
- '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
- Burundi first lady hospitalised in Nairobi: government sources
Burundi's first lady was in hospital in Nairobi on Friday, after being flown in on a late-night medical flight, according to sources at the airport and in the presidency. First lady Denise Bucumi was flown out of Burundi on a Pilatus plane by the AMREF air ambulance service, according to a source at the Melchior Airport in Bujumbura. A high-ranking government official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP that Bucumi had gone to Nairobi "for treatment as she caught the coronavirus".
- Thailand to further ease restrictions, shorten curfew hours
Thailand will next week shorten curfew hours and ease restrictions on more businesses, the government said on Friday, in response to its low numbers of locally transmitted cases of the coronavirus. Starting from June 1, cinemas and theatres can reopen, but with no more than 200 people at a time and with strict social distancing measures, said Somsak Roongsita, secretary-general of the National Security Council. Zoos, beauty clinics, spas, and traditional Thai massages will be allowed to operate, with social distancing in place, as will soccer fields and volleyball and basketball courts, but only for training purposes and with limits on spectators.
- Minneapolis mayor responds after night of protests and violence in wake of George Floyd's death
At a press conference on Thursday, Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey said protests and unrest after the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man seen on video pinned to the ground by the neck while being arrested by a white police officer, were the result of “built-up anger and sadness” in the black community over the past 400 years.
- Pompeo adviser at center of personal errand probe asks former staffers to support secretary
- Officials cite mistakes as CDC removes coronavirus guidance
U.S. health officials removed some coronavirus reopening tips for religious organizations only hours after posting them late last week, deleting guidance that discouraged choir gatherings and the use of shared communion cups. A federal health official on Friday said the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted a version of the guidance on May 22 that had not been cleared by White House officials. The initial guidance posted last week contained most of the same advice that was in a draft drawn up by the CDC more than a month ago and then shelved for weeks by administration officials.
- Iran outraged by 'honour killing' of 14-year-old girl Romina Ashrafi
The killing of an Iranian teen by her father after she eloped with an older man sparked outrage on Wednesday, with local media denouncing "institutionalised violence" in "patriarchal" Iran. Iranian media covered the apparent "honour" crime extensively, with Ebtekar newspaper leading its front page with the headline "Unsafe father's house". According to local media, Romina Ashrafi was killed in her sleep on May 21 by her father, who decapitated her in the family home in Talesh in northern Gilan province. The reports said her father had refused her permission to marry a man fifteen years her senior, spurring her to run away, but she was returned home after her father reported her. The legal marriage age in Iran is 13 for women. Iranian media reported that after authorities detained the teenager, she told a judge she feared for her life if she was returned to home. But what most outraged public opinion was the lenient punishment the father is likely to face, Ebtekar wrote. The newspaper notes that Iran's normal "eye for an eye" retributive justice does not apply to fathers who kill their children. Accordingly, he is likely to face three to 10 years in prison, a sentence that could be reduced further, the newspaper wrote, denouncing the "institutionalised violence" of Iran's "patriarchal culture". With the farsi hashtag Romina_Ashrafi focusing outrage on Twitter, President Hassan Rouhani "expressed his regrets" in a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, pleading for the speedy passing of several anti-violence bills, his office said. On Twitter, Vice President for Women and Family Affairs, Masoumeh Ebtekar, said a bill on the protection of young people was in the "final phase" of validation by Iran's Guardian Council. The council, which vets legislation to ensure compliance with Iran's constitution and Islamic sharia law, has thrice previously called for changes to the law after it was passed by lawmakers, Ebtekar newspaper wrote. The publication fears that if the council sends back the bill, it will be buried by Iran's new parliament, which held its first session Wednesday and is dominated by conservatives and hardliners opposed to Rouhani.
- Twitter flags Trump tweet on Minneapolis protests for 'glorifying violence'
- Long Island serial killer victim IDed 2 decades later
A woman whose skeletal remains were found along a suburban New York beach highway, in an area where body parts of 10 other people had been strewn, was identified as a Philadelphia escort who went missing two decades ago, police said Thursday. Suffolk County police said the woman previously known as “Jane Doe No. 6” was identified through genetic genealogy technology as Valerie Mack, who also went by Melissa Taylor and was last seen in 2000 near Atlantic City, New Jersey. Determining the victim's identity has brought clarity to a long-running Long Island mystery that attracted national headlines, was featured on true-crime TV shows and was the subject of a recent Netflix film, Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said.
- Why India must battle the shame of period stain
- Britain pushing US to form 5G club of nations to cut out Huawei
Britain said Friday it was pushing the United States to form a club of 10 nations that could develop its own 5G technology and reduce dependence on China's controversial telecoms giant Huawei. The issue is expected to feature at a G7 summit that US President Donald Trump will host next month against the backdrop of a fierce confrontation with China that has been exacerbated by a global blame game over the spread of the novel coronavirus. Britain has allowed the Chinese global leader in 5G technology to build up to 35 percent of the infrastructure necessary to roll out its new speedy data network.
- New Zealand has no new coronavirus cases and just discharged its last hospital patient. Here are the secrets to the country's success.
- Gov. Cuomo admits he wouldn't send his mother to a nursing home amid coronavirus crisis
- One of the coldest places on Earth is experiencing a record-breaking heat wave
- Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian attacker: army
Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian attacker who tried to run them over with a car in the occupied West Bank on Friday, the military said. No Israelis were hurt in the car-ramming attack near a Jewish settlement, the military said in a statement. Palestinian officials had no immediate comment.
- Marauding monkeys attack lab technician and steal Covid-19 tests
A band of marauding monkeys has attacked a laboratory technician and stolen three Covid-19 test samples, raising fears they will infect themselves and then spread the deadly disease to humans. The worker was attacked outside a medical college in Meerut, northern India, while transporting samples from patients suspected of having coronavirus. The monkeys ran off into a residential area. The employee is said to have been unharmed, but has angered officials after filming the aftermath of the attack, rather than attempting to retrieve the samples from the fleeing monkeys. Monkeys can contract Covid-19 and then infect humans, according to scientists. Some Indians have been worried about catching the deadly virus from animals and it led to pet dogs being released onto the streets during the start of the pandemic. Others saw the funny side of the monkey attack, with the incident coming days after the Indian authorities detained a pigeon in Jammu & Kashmir on suspicion of spying for Pakistan. “The nation wants to know if Pakistan has sent those monkeys to steal coronavirus samples,” joked one user on Twitter. “These are highly trained monkeys and very intelligent monkeys.” In India, groups of monkeys are attacking people with increasing regularity as they are displaced from their natural habitats by urban sprawl. Their attacks can prove deadly - particularly for young children who are vulnerable to their powerful bites. In 2018, a 12-day-old baby boy died after he was bitten by a monkey in the city of Agra, home of the Taj Mahal.
- Will Trump dispute the 2020 election results? His tweets this week suggest so
Trump’s attack on mail-in ballots raise the possibility that, if he loses in November, he would reject the validity of the voteUnhinged as it may be for the president to accuse, without a scintilla of evidence, a morning television host of murder, that particular conspiracy theory was not the most disturbing accusation to issue from Trump’s Twitter feed this week. No, that prize goes to his tweet from 26 May, claiming:> There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out & fraudulently signed … This will be a Rigged Election. No way!The president’s defamation of Joe Scarborough is no more than an extreme version of something we have seen throughout Trump’s tenure in office: his ability to deflect attention from one colossal misstep by simply committing a fresh outrage. The fact that even a handful of Republicans have expressed mild regret at Trump’s bizarre accusation only underscores that it has served its instrumental purpose. For the moment, the news cycle is consumed not with the fact that 100,000 Americans have died in a pandemic that the White House recklessly insisted posed no threat; instead, all attention is riveted on the spectacle of a sitting president accusing an opponent in the “lame stream media” of homicide. Trump’s attack on mail-in ballots, by contrast, is far more ominous. Here, the president is defaming not an individual but the integrity of our electoral process, confidence in which is a key to a stable democratic order. And the purpose of this attack is not distraction but pointedly political. The politics of disenfranchisement has emerged as a staple of Republican electoral strategy, and the reasons for targeting mail-in ballots are not hard to divine. The bulk of such ballots are cast in urban areas, where Democratic voters predominate, and as the nation continues to grapple with the Covid-19 outbreak, we can expect millions of urban voters to cast mail-in ballots in November as a hedge against the obvious health risks that come with in-person voting. Trump’s tweets serve, then, the politics of voter suppression. But that is only one aspect of the dark logic behind the tweets. Far more alarmingly, Trump’s attack on the reliability of mail-in votes establishes the groundwork for a radical refusal to acknowledge electoral defeat. In contrast to ballots cast in-person on 3 November, mail-in ballots often cannot be fully counted until several days after the election. This means that in a very tight race, the results announced on election day may be no more than provisional; and second, because of the demographic patterns I mentioned above, the full counting of ballots may well swing the outcome in the favor of Democratic candidates. The 2018 Arizona senatorial race witnessed a particularly dramatic case of this effect, dubbed the “blue shift” by election law expert Ned Foley. On election day, Martha McSally, the Republican candidate, enjoyed a 15,000-vote lead over her Democratic rival, Kyrsten Sinema. By the time the state’s canvassing had ended, however, McSally found herself defeated by Sinema by some 56,000 votes – a swing of 71,000 thousand votes. Trump is more than familiar with the phenomenon of blue shift. Also in 2018, when the senatorial race in Florida saw Republican Rick Scott’s lead over Bill Nelson shrink from over 56,000 on election day to an uncomfortable 10,000 by the time the state completed its canvass, Trump had urgently tweeted:> The Florida Election should be called in favor of Rick Scott…in that large numbers of ballots showed up from nowhere, and many ballots are missing or forged. An honest vote count is no longer possible—ballots massively infected. Must go with Election Night! Recall that in 2016, Trump’s margin of victory over Hillary Clinton was a combined 70,000 votes in the swing states of Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. It is more than possible that Trump could narrowly capture these states on 3 November, only to see his victory vanish as mail-in ballots are tallied in the days following the election. His tweet from Tuesday tells us how he would respond to such a loss. He will reject it as a product of fraud. That is an eventuality – or even a certainty – that the nation must prepare itself for. * Lawrence Douglas is the author, most recently, of Will He Go? Trump and the Looming Electoral Meltdown in 2020, published by Twelve/Hachette on 19 May. Douglas holds the James J Grosfeld chair in law, jurisprudence and social thought, at Amherst College, Massachusetts, and is also a contributing opinion writer for the Guardian US.
- The Latest: US agency calls back drone it sent to Minnesota
U.S. Customs and Border Patrol says it dispatched a drone to Minneapolis following three nights of violent protests there but ended up sending it back to its base because the unmanned aerial vehicle wasn’t needed. The agency, which typically patrols the nation’s border and ports of entry, said the drone was going to provide live video to assist law enforcement in Minneapolis as they responded to protests that have left dozens of stores burned and looted. President Donald Trump says he talked to members of George Floyd’s family on Friday and “expressed my sorrow.”
- Coronavirus deaths in US top 100,000
- ‘Looting, Fire, Whatever It Takes’: Chaos Surges Across the Country
MINNEAPOLIS—Hours after a now-fired Minneapolis cop was charged with murder in the death of 46-year-old George Floyd on Friday, protests exploded in major U.S. cities across the country, with police vehicles set ablaze, windows smashed in, and protesters attempting to storm buildings. In New York City, where dozens were arrested in Manhattan a day earlier, hundreds of people swarmed to meet police officers outside the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. Around 7:30 p.m., cops unleashed pepper spray on the chanting crowd. That apparently wasn't enough to stop the unrest: An NYPD van was set on fire a short time later. In Atlanta, a peaceful demonstration to protest Floyd’s death quickly descended into violence, with clashes erupting between police and protesters outside CNN Center.Pepper spray was used there, too, and as the standoff grew more tense, the CNN sign was defaced. Videos from the scene also showed people apparently smashing up empty police vehicles and setting them on fire before later attacking CNN Center and hurling objects at police standing inside the lobby. In Boston, police holding wooden bats stood guard outside the Roxbury station as hundreds of protesters took to the streets. And in Houston, hours after a peaceful rally, tension was in the air—with a police car being vandalized and shoving matches breaking out.Protesters in Houston also blocked an entrance ramp to Interstate 45, marched on U.S. 59, and reportedly chased away a woman spotted carrying a rifle near City Hall. Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo was later quoted by ABC 13 saying he intends to arrest the woman for attempting to start a riot. In Louisville, Kentucky, where seven people were shot amid protests late Thursday, basement windows to the Hall of Justice were smashed and a fire was set inside. Police were said to be located inside the building. San Jose, California, protesters shut down Highway 101 in both directions and reportedly broke windows on police vehicles before facing off against cops in riot gear near City Hall. Video from the scene showed tear gas being fired and at least one demonstrator in a brawl with several police officers.In Los Angeles, an officer trying to detain a protester was surrounded by other demonstrators, some of whom appeared to be trying to pull him away; others could be seen hitting him.Even the White House was on edge amid protests, as the Secret Service briefly imposed a lockdown late Friday when demonstrations broke out nearby. In Minneapolis and St. Paul, the National Guard was out in force and despite curfews being imposed in the hopes of quelling destructive unrest, protesters remained on the streets and faced off police officers who fired rubber bullets and tear gas. Activists were resolute that one set of criminal charges wasn’t even close to enough. After all, three other cops were fired in connection with Floyd’s death on Monday.“I don’t plan on entertaining any curfew,” 33-year-old Joseph Bennett of St. Paul told The Daily Beast. “Ideally, things shouldn’t go down like this. But justice hasn’t been fully served yet.“The looting, fire, that’s what gets things heard,” he added. “Whatever it takes.”Protesters there squared off against police who arrived after the National Guard left the area. Officers fired rubber bullets and deployed tear gas, but the demonstrators had them surrounded on two sides and refused to budge. After police left the scene, they celebrated what they saw as a victory over the cops. “I think they were trying to trick us or bait us with the National Guard leaving. We came in closer but didn’t move after the tear gas,” Stanley Jackson told The Daily Beast. “We could tell when the National Guard put on gas masks it was time to get ready. So when they hit us with the gas we just took it,” Armando Maurelli said.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.
- The Chinese CDC now says the coronavirus didn't jump to people at the Wuhan wet market — instead, it was the site of a super-spreader event
- Hong Kong on borrowed time as China pushes for more control
Hong Kong has been living on borrowed time ever since the British made it a colony nearly 180 years ago, and all the more so after Beijing took control in 1997 and granted it autonomous status. China’s passage of a national security law for the city is the latest sign that the 50-year “one country, two systems” arrangement that allowed Hong Kong to keep its own legal, financial and trade regimes is perishable. China’s communist leaders have been preparing for decades to take full control of the glittering capitalist oasis, while building up their own trade and financial centers to take Hong Kong's place.
- IKEA manager in Poland charged for firing worker over anti-gay comments
- Exclusive: U.S. warns governments, firms against aiding Iran fuel shipments to Venezuela - envoy
Seeking to deter further shipments of Iranian fuel to Venezuela, the Trump administration has quietly warned foreign governments, seaports, shipping companies and insurers that they could face stiff U.S. sanctions if they aid the tanker flotilla, the U.S. envoy on Venezuela told Reuters on Friday. Elliott Abrams, Washington’s special representative on Venezuela, said the pressure campaign targeting heavily sanctioned U.S. foes Iran and Venezuela was being waged “to be sure everyone recognizes this would be a very dangerous transaction to assist.”
- Rep. Steve Scalise on ‘abused’ FISA court: ‘Dirty cops who broke the law’
- 'Orwell is rolling in his grave': Anger and disbelief at strict new lockdown rules in Moscow
The Moscow City Hall on Wednesday promised to re-open parks and finally allow walks after nine weeks of coronavirus lockdown but the incredibly strict rules regulating outdoor activities have been met with universal derision. Sergei Sobyanin, the Moscow mayor, announced something that could be a cause for celebration on Wednesday, telling Vladimir Putin, the president, in a televised conference call that the Russian capital was poised to begin lifting some of the lockdown restrictions. The number of new Covid-19 cases recorded in Moscow on Thursday, was just over 2,000, the lowest in five weeks, and the number of hospitalisations dropped by 40 per cent in a fortnight, according to the mayor. Most of Moscow’s shops and parks will re-open on Monday, and walks and outdoor exercises will finally be allowed but with a caveat. The details of what the City Hall dubbed an “experiment” have angered even the mayor’s supporters who have credited him for stemming the outbreak. Each apartment building will be assigned three days a week when residents will be allowed to venture outside but only between 9 am and 9 pm, exercising will be permitted only before 9 am, and face masks will be mandatory.
- George Floyd protests: Man calls police on black entrepreneurs for using same gym in Minneapolis in viral video
A white man in Minneapolis asked whether black men were entitled to use the same gym and threatened to call the police on them, amid protests at George Floyd’s death.The exchange between black gym users and a white man was posted online in an Instagram video on Tuesday before spreading on social media.
- Coronavirus: How the pandemic in US compares with rest of world
- How to Screw Up a Vice-Presidential Pick
Joe Biden’s choice for vice president is arguably the biggest decision of his campaign—and it could go very, very wrong. And no one knows more about failed veep picks than Steve Schmidt and Philippe Reines, who worked on the McCain/Palin and Clinton/Kaine campaigns.In Episode 12 of The New Abnormal, The Daily Beast’s podcast for a world gone off the rails, Schmidt and Reines tell Molly Jong-Fast and Rick Wilson about what went south with Hillary Clinton’s VP approach, and how Biden can avoid the same fate.“It’s not a matter of who you want to go to the movies with. It’s a matter of being able to do it on day one,” says Reines. “In a perfect world, he would pick Bernie Sanders,” he adds. “I mean that would be a horrible world, but in that world he would pick Bernie to consolidate the party and money.”On this planet, Reines says, Elizabeth Warren is the best person to help with that consolidation. (Reines says also he wanted Warren on the Clinton ticket in 2016, and that the Massachusetts senator was a finalist for the role.) Schmidt thinks Kamala Harris better rounds out the Biden ticket.Schmidt and Reines also talk about Stacey Abrams and why choosing her would ultimately do more harm than good: “This is not a time to gamble.”Asked about Trump’s re-election chances, neither of them think things look too good right now. Julián Castro on Why Everyone Hates Ted Cruz“I think right now, Trump is losing,” says Schmidt. Reines chimes in: “For those who wanted to make things better, this is a failed experiment and amateur hour is over. Forty million Americans are out of a job. How the hell does a president get re-elected?” Plus! Our dynamic duo asks the important questions, like: What exactly is wrong with Mark Zuckerberg? And will the caregivers at the White House assisted-living facility try to give Donnie the pudding he likes?Listen to The New Abnormal on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Stitcher.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.
- Navy SEAL who oversaw the Osama bin Laden raid says 'Batman and Superman are not coming' in a speech advising college graduates to become their own heroes
- Powell: Fed to soon begin 'challenging' Main Street lending
Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged Friday that the Fed faces a major challenge with the launch in the coming days of a program that will lend to companies other than banks for the first time since the Great Depression. The Fed's Main Street Lending is geared toward medium-sized companies that are too large for the government's small business lending program and too small to sell bonds or stock to the public. Powell said that Main Street will make its first loans in a “few days.”
- Peter Manfredonia, the 23-year-old college student suspected of double murder, has been captured after a weeklong, multi-state manhunt
- Pompeo accuses top Democrat of 'hackery' over government watchdog review
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday accused a leading Senate Democrat of “hackery” for questioning whether Pompeo violated a law restricting officials’ political activities, saying an investigation found no evidence he had done so. The agency investigates alleged breaches of the 1939 Hatch Act barring federal workers from engaging in political activities while acting in their official capacities.
- Coronavirus quietly started spreading as early as January, CDC says
- Russia slams 'dangerous' US foreign policy moves
Russia said on Thursday the United States was acting in a dngerous and unpredictable way, after Washington withdrew from a key military treaty and moved to ramp up pressure on Iran. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova made the comments after Washington announced it would end sanctions waivers for nations that remain in a nuclear accord signed with Iran.
- More than £3 million in drugs and cash seized in biggest Government-backed assault on county lines gangs
Cash and drugs worth £3 million have been seized by police in the biggest operation against county lines gangs backed by a dedicated Government fund. The campaign - by four forces - saw police make more than 650 arrests, close nearly 140 “deal” lines supplying drugs from cities to suburban and rural towns and seize more than 100 weapons including guns and knives. Some 140 children being exploited by the gangs were also safeguarded in the raids conducted over five months from November to March this year. Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, said: “I am determined to roll up county lines drugs gangs and stop them from terrorising our towns and exploiting our children. “I have seen first-hand the important work the police are doing to tackle county lines, and these impressive results show just how much of an impact our investment is having.” The “surge” operations - British Transport Police, the Metropolitan Police, Merseyside Police and West Midlands Police -were funded by £5 million from the Government’s £25 million package to tackle county lines. The Met and Merseyside forces closed 131 lines, while the British Transport police made the most arrests at 276 as drug couriers were caught on their way to and from the county drug dealerships. Merseyside seized £1.5 million class A drugs, thought to be predominantly cocaine. Andy Cooke, Merseyside Police Chief Constable, said: “It is vital that we keep up this relentless level of activity targeting criminals and protecting the young and vulnerable who they groom to do their dirty work. "Those responsible for these County Lines bring misery to our local communities through their drug dealing.” Met deputy assistant commissioner Graham McNulty, national lead for county lines, said: “This issue is not being tackled in isolation. Dedicated teams in forces across the nation are identifying lines, locating those running them and dismantling their operation entirely. “This work will not cease – it will increase and intensify over the coming months.”
- U.S. firms in Hong Kong awake to 'sad day' as Trump vows to curb economic ties
The American Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong said on Saturday it was "a sad day" for the global financial centre, hours after U.S. President Donald Trump moved toward stripping the city of its special treatment in a bid to punish China. In some of his toughest rhetoric yet, Trump said Beijing had broken its word over Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy by proposing new national security legislation and the territory no longer warranted U.S. economic privileges. "We will take action to revoke Hong Kong's preferential treatment as a separate customs and travel territory from the rest of China," Trump said, adding that Washington would also impose sanctions on individuals seen as responsible for "smothering - absolutely smothering - Hong Kong's freedom."
- Rohingya refugee crisis: 'The bodies were thrown out of the boat'