Minnesota calls in National Guard to quell unrest over black man’s death in police custody

first_imgMinnesota’s governor activated the National Guard on Thursday to help restore order following two days of violent protests in Minneapolis over the death of a black man seen in graphic video gasping for breath as a white officer knelt on his neck.Governor Tim Walz ordered Guard troops to assist police as local, state and federal law enforcement officials sought to ease racial tensions sparked by Monday night’s fatal arrest of George Floyd, 46.Four city police officers involved in the incident, including the one shown pressing his knee into Floyd’s neck as he lay on the ground, were fired from their jobs the next day. Topics : At a morning news briefing, Police Chief Medaria Arradondo apologized to Floyd’s family, conceding his department had contributed to a “deficit of hope” in Minnesota’s largest city even before Floyd’s deadly encounter with police.”I am absolutely sorry for the pain, devastation and the trauma that Mr. Floyd’s death has left on his family, his loved ones and our community,” he said.Hours later, officials overseeing investigations from the US Justice Department, FBI, Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and local prosecutors appealed for calm at a joint news conference, as they gathered evidence.”Give us the time to do this right, and we will bring you justice, I promise you,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman told reporters. He acknowledged the policeman’s conduct depicted in the video was “horrible,” but said, “My job is to prove that he has violated a criminal statute.”center_img Freeman said his office had also reached out to veteran civil rights activist Jesse Jackson for help in conveying the message that law enforcement takes the case seriously.Minnesota’s US attorney, Erica McDonald, pledged a “robust and meticulous investigation into the circumstances surrounding” Floyd’s arrest and death.The investigation, which Attorney General William Barr had designated a “top priority,” will focus on whether the arresting officers used the “color of law” to deprive Floyd of his civil rights, a federal crime, she said.The announcement capped two days of unrest in which riot police firing tear gas and rubber bullets clashed with rock-throwing protesters who filled the streets in an outpouring of rage over Floyd’s death.Floyd, a Houston native known affectionately to friends as “Big Floyd” and who had worked as a nightclub security staffer, was reportedly suspected of trying to pass counterfeit money when police took him into custody.’I can’t breathe’An onlooker’s video of the arrest showed Floyd lying face down on the street, gasping for air and repeatedly groaning for help as he pleaded, “Please, I can’t breathe.” The officer pinned Floyd’s neck to the ground for about eight minutes, until he grew still. He was pronounced dead at a hospital a short time later.A second night of disturbances on Wednesday, punctuated by looting, vandalism and arson, began hours after Mayor Jacob Frey urged local prosecutors to file criminal charges in the case.Most protesters had been peaceful, while a core group engaged in unruly behavior, the police chief said.The Floyd case was reminiscent of the 2014 killing of Eric Garner, an unarmed black man in New York City who died after being put in a banned police chokehold.Garner’s dying words, “I can’t breathe,” became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement calling attention to a wave of killings of African-Americans by police using unjustified lethal force.United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet urged US authorities on Thursday to deal with “entrenched and pervasive racial discrimination” in America’s criminal justice system.The city named the four officers involved in the encounter as Derek Chauvin, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J Alexander Kueng. Local news media have identified Chauvin as the officer seen kneeling on Floyd’s neck.Chauvin’s attorney, Tom Kelly, declined comment in an email to Reuters.Police department records posted online show 18 internal affairs complaints filed against Chauvin, 16 of which were closed without discipline.last_img read more

No. 1 McIlroy feels safe and sharp in PGA Tour return

first_img“I feel like my game is pretty sharp. I’m as sharp as I can be coming in here… the first couple of days here will be the real test. I’ll learn a lot about myself and my game in those first couple of days.”With a spotlight on the first event since The Players Championship was halted after one round in March, McIlroy knows how crucial the week will be for golf and the emergence of sport in general from the COVID-19 outbreak.”This week is very important. Golf will be the center of the sports world,” he said. “For people to have something to watch on TV where they don’t know the outcome, I think that will be a good thing.”McIlroy expects a strange atmosphere without fans lining the course, as spectators are not scheduled to attend a PGA event until next month at the Memorial tournament.”It’ll be a little eerie, you’re not getting claps or feedback from good shots,” McIlroy said. “At the same time, it’s what we have to do. It’s what we’re going to have to live with for the foreseeable future.”McIlroy reiterated, however, that he sees no chance of the Ryder Cup, set to be played in September at Whistling Straits, being contested if spectators cannot attend.”It’s either going to be played this year with fans or we’ll be kicking it down the road,” McIlroy predicted.”I’m pretty sure they won’t carry on without spectators. I don’t think that [playing in such an event] would have to be an option that I would consider. I just can’t see it going ahead without fans.”McIlroy said the rescheduling of events forced by the pandemic showed golf’s global structure could use simplification.”I don’t know if everything being under one umbrella is the solution, but definitely fewer umbrellas is a way forward,” McIlroy said.”The more all these bodies can work together for the greater good of the game can only help everybody.” World number one Rory McIlroy says his game is as sharp as possible and he feels in a safe environment as the US PGA Tour returns to competition Thursday.After three months idled due to the coronavirus pandemic, the four-time major champion from Northern Ireland will tee off without spectators at the Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial in Fort Worth, Texas.There will be face masks and gloves, social distancing, coronavirus tests and temperature-taking to create and maintain a “bubble” of safety for players. Topics : Floyd moves ‘wonderful’The greater good beyond golf was also on McIlroy’s mind in the wake of two weeks of global protests over the police killing of George Floyd and the concern of racial injustice it has raised.”I think everyone can be a little more tolerant and a little more educated and not as ignorant,” McIlroy said. “The fact that it does seem to be this real will to change and have reform is amazing.”McIlroy called the decision to have a moment of silence and vacant tee time at 8:46 a.m. — to symbolize the eight minutes and 46 seconds in which a police officer kneeled on Floyd’s neck — “a wonderful gesture” and noted his own golf idol was black, Tiger Woods.”It didn’t matter what color his skin was, what his beliefs were,” said McIlory. “As long as we continue to give people from different backgrounds opportunities to be in golf, that can only be a good thing.” “It really does feel safe. Everything at the course, everything that has been put in place for us, it has felt very robust, very safe,” McIlroy said.”There’s sanitizer everywhere you look. I feel safe and I’d say basically everyone else that’s here feels the same thing.”McIlroy says his game is as good as can be expected after such a long competition layoff.”The thing I missed the most was the competition,” McIlroy said. “I tried to play with high-caliber players and see where I measured up with them.last_img read more

Global stocks dive as some US states see spike in COVID-19 cases

first_img“The market got too far ahead of itself,” said Markets.com analyst Neil Wilson.In the US, stocks have followed a fairly unbroken path higher from the market’s worst days in March, fueled by optimism over the reopening US economy and the expected boost from aggressive stimulus measures approved in Washington.But US Federal Reserve Chief Jerome Powell offered a sober outlook on the US economy during a press conference Wednesday after the central bank signaled it planes to keep interest rates low for the next few years in light of the shaky recovery.Analysts also fixated on increasingly worrisome trends on new coronavirus cases in several states, including Florida, Arizona and Texas. After a rally lasting more than two months, Wall Street hit a stumbling block Thursday as spiking coronavirus cases in several United States states helped spur the worst sell-off since March, when market turmoil over COVID-19 was at its peak.The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished down 6.9 percent, a loss of more than 1,850 points, to 25,128.17, also weighed down by worries over excess valuations and another massive number of US jobless claims.Bourses in Paris, Frankfurt and London all plunged at least four percent. “Wrong direction,” the Houston Health Department in Texas said in a tweet Thursday that showed recent trends in the city. “If we don’t take the increasing #COVID19 cases seriously NOW, we may soon end up in a  deadly situation.”Wear a mask, social distance, wash hands & get tested.”LBBW’s Karl Haeling said “It’s concerning that a lot of states are seeing a spike in rates.””It’s hard to interpret whether that represents a real increase, or just the fact that more states are testing people now,” he told AFP.Too much optimism?Heading into this week, analysts had begun describing equity valuations as “frothy” following steady gains since March, saying they do not reflect the grinding recovery many economists anticipate.”We’ve been talking about the optimism trade for a while, and it just ran into some facts,” JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade, said in a note.”The facts are we’re not fully reopened and businesses aren’t all the way back,” Kinahan said. “Basically, the market got out a little over its skis.”Losses were broad-based, but some of the worst affected sectors included banks such as Bank of America, down 10.0 percent, oil services companies like Halliburton, down 15.4 percent, and travel-oriented companies including United Airlines, down 16.1 percent and Marriott International, down 10.9 percent.Boeing dove 16.4 percent, hit by the pullback in the broader market as well as news that 737 MAX contractor Spirit AeroSystems had furloughed staff and halted work on the MAX at Boeing’s request. Spirit fell 15.6 percent.Back in Europe, shares in German airline Lufthansa also dived in Frankfurt by around 10 percent after the company said it would axe 22,000 jobs.Topics :last_img read more

West Java limits access to tourist destinations during extended PSBB period

first_img“Every tourist destination is required to form its own task force and provide access to protective equipment, such as face masks,” Dedi said.The West Java administration previously extended large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) across the province to June 26 following a spike in COVID-19 cases last week.The extension will be effective across the province, except for the Jakarta satellite cities of Bogor, Depok and Bekasi, where the policy will remain effective until July 2.West Java has recorded the fourth-highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country, with 2,604 cases and 161 fatalities as of Sunday. Several popular destinations in Lembang, such as The Lodge Maribaya and Farm House, had limited the number of visitors to 30 percent of capacity and conducted ID checks to ensure every visitor was a West Java resident, he added.Read also: Bandung to close three markets after sellers tested positive for COVID-19The governor went on to say that the administration would conduct regular inspections to ensure all tourist destination operators complied with health protocols.West Java Tourism and Culture Agency head Dedi Taufik said the reopening of tourism was being done in compliance with safety precautions stipulated in Gubernatorial Regulation No. 46/2020. Topics :center_img Access to popular tourist destinations across West Java remains limited as the provincial administration reopens a number of sectors to revive the local economy. West Java Governor Ridwan Kamil said his administration was committed to ensuring the health and safety of locals amid the gradual easing of several restrictions.“For the time being, tourism in West Java […] is not yet open to people outside of West Java. Please restrain yourselves, as we are currently focused on reopening the economy and tourism to residents of West Java,” Ridwan said during a field inspection at several tourist destinations in Lembang, West Bandung regency as quoted in a statement on Sunday.last_img read more

Explainer: Why COVID-19 can run rife in meatpacking plants

first_imgThe meat industry is particularly susceptible to coronavirus infections because of the nature of the work: intense physical labor, conducted indoors at close proximity to other workers.”Their work environments – processing lines and other areas in busy plants where they have close contact with coworkers and supervisors – may contribute substantially to their potential exposures,” the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says of meatpacking workers.The CDC maintains a list of recommendations for factories, including steps to keep workers apart such as staggered arrival times and breaks, supplying workers with masks and hand sanitizer and making sure tools are disinfected.It says factories should take workers’ temperatures on arrival and send those with fevers home. Meat-processing plants around the world are proving coronavirus infection hotspots, with an outbreak at a factory in Germany leading to Guetersloh becoming on Tuesday the first area in the country to be ordered back into lockdown.More than 1,500 workers at the Guetersloh plant tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19, while outbreaks have also hit meat and poultry plants in Britain in recent days.In many rural parts of the United States, meatpacking plants have been the main source of infection. On April 28, President Donald Trump signed an executive order to keep such factories open, warning of a potential threat to the US food supply. Topics :center_img Conditions on the factory floor itself are also not the only issue. Meatpacking workers often share transportation and housing once their shifts are over.In Germany, for example, many are migrants from poorer EU countries such as Bulgaria and Romania, often housed in large dormitories where the virus can spread.”Some of these factories have on-site or nearby accommodation where there are several people in each dormitory, they may be transported on a bus to the site of work, and they will be indoors together all day,” said Michael Head, an expert in global health at England’s University of Southampton.In the United States, by the end of May, the UFCW labor union estimated that at least 44 meatpacking workers had died of COVID-19, and that at least 30 meatpacking plants had to be temporarily shut down, impacting more than 45,000 workers and contributing to a 40% reduction in pork slaughtering capacity.last_img read more

Jokowi changes 2020 state budget again, with deficit at 6.34% of GDP

first_imgPresident Joko “Jokowi” Widodo signed Wednesday Perpres No. 72/2020, a presidential regulation that regulates an increase in state spending and a widening state budget deficit amid Indonesia’s fight against the coronavirus pandemic.The government now officially states that the 2020 state budget deficit is expected to reach Rp 1.03 quadrillion (US$73.4 billion) or 6.34 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) after several high-ranking officials mentioned the figure in recent days. A previous presidential regulation, Perpres No. 54/2020, which also amended the budget, stipulated a deficit of 5.07 percent.Read also: Indonesia’s debt to swell further in 2021 to finance economic recovery The latest regulation stipulates that state spending, which includes government spending and regional direct transfers and village funds, may reach Rp 2.73 quadrillion this year, an increase of Rp 125.3 trillion from the figure stated in the previous regulation announced in April.State income is expected to reach Rp 1.69 quadrillion, a decrease of Rp 60.9 trillion from the government’s earlier projection due to lower tax collection as the pandemic hit all economic sectors.The speed of the revisions underscores the ferocity with which the virus is moving through the economy.“All economic sectors are now under intense pressure,” Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said recently. “The situation is developing rapidly, so the stimulus program will change again as we look at economic developments and try to mitigate the downside risks.”Read also: GDP to contract by 3.1% in Q2 on COVID-19 headwindsThe government has allocated Rp 695.2 trillion worth of stimulus spending in a bid to prevent a more severe economic downturn and strengthen healthcare systems amid the pandemic. This is the latest increase from around Rp 677 trillion allocated in early June.The coronavirus pandemic has ravaged the country’s economy, with government officials expecting an economic contraction of 0.4 percent this year in the worst-case scenario, or growth of 1 percent in the baseline scenario. Indonesia’s economy grew 2.97 percent in the first quarter, the weakest since 2001.Topics :last_img read more

Banten governor extends PSBB in Greater Tangerang to July 12

first_img“We need to extend the PSBB, because a lot of residents are still violating the health protocols in public places. At several traditional markets, for example, there are a lot of people who wear face masks but don’t maintain a physical distance,” Wahidin explained.He said the PSBB extension was aimed at making residents more disciplined in following health protocols, such as wearing masks and maintaining a distance between one another before entering the so-called new normal phase.Tangerang Regent Ahmad Zeki Iskandar said his administration was currently considering extending shopping mall opening hours from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. during the PSBB.In preparation for entering the new normal, the city also plans to allow wedding receptions and sport events, albeit without an audience.”Despite the relaxation, residents need to remain disciplined in wearing masks and following other health protocols,” Zaki said on Sunday.According to data from the Banten Health Agency, there are 1,131 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Greater Tangerang as of Sunday, with 81 fatalities. (nal)Topics : Banten Governor Wahidin Halim has announced that he will extend the large-scale social restrictions (PSBB) in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Greater Tangerang to July 12.”We have agreed to extend the PSBB in Greater Tangerang with some relaxations that are still in accordance with the health protocols,” Wahidin was quoted as saying by kompas.com in a statement on Sunday.He added that the decision to extend the PSBB in Greater Tangerang for a fifth time was taken after a virtual meeting with leaders from South Tangerang, Tangerang city and Tangerang regency.last_img read more

Macron to visit Beirut as France sends rescuers, equipment

first_imgThe blast appeared to have been caused by a fire igniting 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate left unsecured in a warehouse.”It is during trials that friends are there, and we are there,” Le Drian said after a telephone conversation with his Lebanese counterpart Charbel Wehbe.President Emmanuel Macron called his Lebanese counterpart Michel Aoun late Tuesday to express France’s support for the Lebanese people and promise a dispatch of French aid.On Thursday, Macron will travel to Beirut to “meet all political actors”, including Aoun and Prime Minister Hassan Diab, the Elysee announced.Le Drian said France will continue mobilizing assistance as needed.”For now, it is time to ensure international solidarity” with Lebanon, he told the LCI broadcaster, pointing out that food aid will be high on the list as the blast in the port of Beirut had destroyed crucial wheat silos.The UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization expressed fear Wednesday that the destruction of the silos would result in critical severe flour shortages.The 55 rescuers being deployed from Paris Wednesday are specialists in post-disaster rubble clearing and rescue, said the Elysee, adding France was working to “identify additional needs” on the ground in Beirut.French Prime Minister Jean Castex will gather ministers Wednesday responsible for coordinating aid to Beirut. A dozen emergency personnel will also be sent to Beirut shortly “to reinforce hospitals in the Lebanese capital,” said the presidency.Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian later said a third, private humanitarian plane will leave from Marseille in the south of France with teams of medical workers who would be “immediately operational”.The fire department of Marseille said it had made available material and nine staff — four emergency doctors, three nurses and two marine firefighters.A cataclysmic explosion at Beirut port sowed devastation across entire neighborhoods, killing more than 100 people and wounding thousands. France will send three planes to Beirut Wednesday with rescuers, medical equipment and a mobile clinic, followed by a visit Thursday by President Emmanuel Macron to the city devastated by a massive blast, the government said.The presidency announced that two military planes would leave Charles de Gaulle airport outside Paris around midday (1000 GMT) to arrive in the Lebanese capital late afternoon with 55 search and rescue personnel on board, it said.The planes would also bring 25 tones of sanitary equipment and a mobile clinic equipped to treat 500 injured people.center_img Topics :last_img read more

South Korea reports highest daily virus cases since March

first_imgSouth Korea reported its highest daily number of coronavirus cases since early March on Sunday as authorities warned the country was “on the brink of a nationwide pandemic” and tightened social distancing rules.The majority of the 397 new infections were in the greater Seoul region — home to half the country’s 51 million people, the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.Authorities warned of tougher social distancing rules, which may include closing schools and businesses, if the number of new cases continues to grow at a fast pace after South Korea had largely brought its earlier outbreak under control. “The situation is very grave and serious as we are on the brink of a nationwide pandemic,” KCDC chief Jung Eun-kyeong told reporters.”Please stay home if possible,” Jung said, adding the number of infections has not peaked yet.Virus curbs were tightened in the Seoul region last week and were further expanded to the rest of the country on Sunday.The measures include restrictions on large gatherings such as religious services and the closing of nightclubs, karaoke bars and cyber cafes. All beaches have also been closed.The Seoul Metropolitan Government said Sunday that face masks would be mandatory for indoor and crowded outdoor areas in the capital from midnight.South Korea has reported a total of 17,399 coronavirus infections with 309 deaths.The country endured one of the worst early outbreaks outside mainland China but brought it broadly under control with extensive tracing and testing while never imposing the kind of lockdowns ordered in much of Europe and other parts of the world.South Korea has been seen as a model on how to combat the pandemic with the public largely following safety health measures such as face masks.It even started allowing limited numbers of spectators at sports events in July — which was reversed for the greater Seoul area last week and nationwide from Sunday.Topics :last_img read more

Police violated procedures by using helicopter to disperse rally: Ombudsman

first_imgRead also: ’Student deaths possibly unlawful killing’Read also: Civil movements in Indonesia fail to form resilience after #ReformasiDikorupsi: ObserversAn officer, identified AM, was named a suspect during the investigation into the incident. He was charged under Article 351 of the Criminal Code on assault, as well as articles 359 and 360 on negligence causing death, which carry a maximum penalty of seven years’ imprisonment. The officer is still being tried at the South Jakarta District Court.He previously underwent disciplinary hearings, with five other officers, for carrying firearms at the student protest. The six officers received a sanction of 21 days in jail, written warnings, the postponement of salary, rank promotion and were required to undertake education.In response to last Saturday’s incident, the police’s internal affairs division said it was currently questioning five officers who “operated” the helicopter during the rally. “We will see whether an ethics violation occurred after asking for clarification from the officers,” said the division head, Sr. Comr. Bambang Satriawan, on Monday.Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Ferry Walintukan, meanwhile, claimed the officers took the initiative to fly the helicopter themselves, without securing permission from their superiors. (Vny)Topics : The ombudsman, he said, would look into the case and seek clarification from the Southeast Sulawesi police chief, Yan Sultra Indrajaya, about the matter.Hundreds of university students reportedly staged a rally in front of the Southeast Sulawesi police headquarters last Saturday to commemorate the deaths of students La Randi and Muhammad Yusuf Qardawi.The two students, who studied at Halu Oleo University in the province’s capital in Kendari, were killed during clashes between protesters and police in front of the provincial legislative council building on Sept. 26, 2019, during a demonstration against several controversial bills under deliberation at the House of Representatives, including a revision to the Criminal Code.Randi died at the scene after being shot in his chest, while Yusuf died the day after suffering severe head injuries.  The Southeast Sulawesi chapter of the Indonesian Ombudsman has condemned the police’s use a helicopter to disperse a student rally in front of their headquarters.According to a kompas.com report, a police helicopter was seen flying low over a protest last Saturday, forcing the crowd to scatter to avoid flying dust and debris.“The police have allegedly violated their operating procedures, as regulated in National Police Regulation No. 2/2009 on the handling of riots,” said head of the Southeast Sulawesi ombudsman office, Mastri Susilo, on Sunday. last_img read more