MLK’s Daughter Bernice, 5 When He Was Shot, 'Can't Stop Thinking' About George Floyd's Daughter

Rev. Dr. Bernice King, the youngest daughter of assassinated civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr., said on the Today show Friday her heart "always goes to" George Floyd's 6-year-old daughter — who like Bernice will grow up in the shadow of her dad's killing.

"I was 5 when my father was assassinated," Bernice, 57, told Today amid the nationwide unrest following Floyd's death. "I can’t stop thinking about what her journey may be like now without her father and having processed through the viciousness of how he was killed and the images."

Floyd, an unarmed 46-year-old black man, was killed in Minneapolis while in police custody, with a white officer kneeling on his neck for more than eight minutes while he pleaded for air.

In the days after, demonstrations and anger over police brutality and racial inequality spread nationwide.

Video from his arrest shows Floyd being held down by Derek Chauvin and other officers for nearly nine minutes, with Chauvin's knee pressed into Floyd's neck as Floyd says, "I can't breathe." (Chauvin and the three other officers involved have been fired and charged in Floyd's death, but they have not entered pleas.)

"Today, so often I see images I don’t want to see and I hope people are sensitive to that," Bernice King said on Today, pointing out images she's had to see of "my father laid out in a casket" after his assassination in 1968.

"It was necessary for it to be shown to the American public," King told Today, "but I hope people remember that there is a real family behind this tragedy as we go forward and that we continue to pray for that family as we go forward, and other families."


Floyd's family isn't the only one mourning, King pointed out.

Protesters around the country have continued honoring the likes of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery and the other unarmed black people killed in recent months — chanting their names, holding up signs in their memory with repeated calls for justice, among other acts of demonstration.

"This is representative of so much that has happened over the past few years and so for the 6-year-old, I’m praying for her," King said. "I’m praying for the entire family right now.”

She also called for moderate Americans to take action as protests continue and, echoing what she said her father would have said today, that there was a choice between "nonviolent co-existence and violent co-annihilation."

She called for evangelical Christians and their leaders to speak out against President Donald Trump, who has expressed solidarity with Floyd's family but has become fixated on scenes of national unrest. (Many protests are peaceful but some have escalated to looting and violence.)

Trump has said these must be quelled by an overwhelming government force — rhetoric that local leaders say would only inflame tensions further.

"I think people can vote for who they choose to vote for, but when you have someone who’s fanning the flames in a society I think it’s a responsibility of that community to say something and to do something," King said. "Also, I think it’s their responsibility to really reflect Jesus Christ in their daily actions and be involved in these issues of creating a more just, humane and peaceful society and not just be in the safe confines of their pulpits on Sunday mornings.”

To help combat systemic racism, consider learning from or donating to these organizations:

• Campaign Zero which works to end police brutality in America through research-proven strategies.

• ColorofChange.org works to make government more responsive to racial disparities.

• National Cares Mentoring Movement provides social and academic support to help black youth succeed in college and beyond.

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What is a Strawberry Moon – meaning of tonight's rare lunar event

THERE will be a full Moon in the sky tonight and it's called a Strawberry Moon.

The sweet name is actually more to do with the fruit than the Moon itself, as Nasa has explained on its website.

Nasa wrote: "The Maine Farmer's Almanac first published "Indian" names for the full Moons in the 1930's.

"According to this Almanac, as the full Moon in June and the last full Moon of spring, the Algonquin tribes called this the Strawberry Moon.

"The name comes from the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries in the north-eastern United States."

An almanac is an annual publication that lists events.


People across the globe should be able to see the Moon looking vast and potentially pinkish.

June's full Moon is always particularly low in the sky, this can make it shine through more of the atmosphere than at other times in the year.

It won't technically be pink or red but, according to Nasa, its low position can sometimes give the full Moon a reddish or rose colour.

Similar to when a rising or setting Sun appears pinkish or red.

So its fruit-based name isn't technically anything to do with its colour but it may still look pinkish if you catch it as it rises or sets.

Try catching a glimpse after sunset to see if you notice any pinkness.

Another name given to the phenomenon is Mead Moon or the Honey Moon – a time when honey is ripe and ready to be harvested, potentially to be turned into mead.

The 1500s term "honeymoon" may be linked to this full Moon, referring to the first month after marriage.

The full Moon this evening will also coincide with a penumbral eclipse, which shows up as a slight shadow on the Moon's face.

Stargazers in parts of Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia mat be able to spot the penumbral lunar eclipse if they look closely.

The UK won't have the best view and North America isn't expected to see it.

The subtle eclipse is caused by the Moon passing through part of Earth's shadow.

The Moon – our closest neighbour explained

Here's what you need to know…

  • The Moon is a natural satellite – a space-faring body that orbits a planet
  • It's Earth's only natural satellite, and is the fifth biggest in the Solar System
  • The Moon measures 2,158 miles across, roughly 0.27 times the diameter of Earth
  • Temperatures on the Moon range from minus 173 degrees Celcius to 260 degrees Celcius
  • Experts assumed the Moon was another planet, until Nicolaus Copernicus outlined his theory about our Solar System in 1543
  • It was eventually assigned to a "class" after Galileo discovered four moons orbiting Jupiter in 1610
  • The Moon is believed to have formed around 4.51billion years ago
  • The strength of its gravitational field is about a sixth of Earth's gravity
  • Earth and the Moon have "synchronous rotation", which means we always see the same side of the Moon – hence the phrase "dark side of the Moon"
  • The Moon's surface is actually dark, but appears bright in the sky due to its reflective ground
  • During a solar eclipse, the Moon covers the Sun almost completely. Both objects appear a similar size in the sky because the Sun is both 400 times larger and farther
  • The first spacecraft to reach the Moon was in 1959, as part of the Soviet Union's Lunar program
  • The first manned orbital mission was Nasa's Apollo 8 in 1968
  • And the first manned lunar landing was in 1969, as part of the Apollo 11 mission

In other space news, it recently emerged that an asteroid obliterated early human civilisations in a catastrophic collision with Earth 13,000 years ago.

Scientists recently discovered a "Super-Earth" 31 light-years away that humans could one day colonise.

And, distant planets may host even more life than we have here on Earth, according to one shock study.

Are you an avid fan of the Moon? Let us know in the comments…

We pay for your stories! Do you have a story for The Sun Online Tech & Science team? Email us at [email protected]

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What is a penumbral lunar eclipse and is it safe to look directly at it? – The Sun

TONIGHT stargazers will be able to spot the June 2020 penumbral lunar eclipse around dusk.

But what exactly is a penumbral lunar eclipse and is it safe to look at?

What is a penumbral lunar eclipse?

In a penumbral lunar eclipse only the outer shadow of the Earth, which is called the penumbra, falls on the earth's face.

It's not the most obvious eclipse as it's quite hard to spot, unlike a total eclipse which can turn the entire moon red.

The most people will see is a dark shadowing on the moon's face, but you have to be actively looking for it.

For tonight, we will need the skies to be clear to be able to see the eclipse.

It's best to view where there is less light pollution.

Is it OK to look directly at?

A lunar eclipse is fine to look at but solar eclipses are only safe to look at when the sun is completely obscured by the moon.

Staring at it before then, even briefly, can cause irreparable eye damage, according to scientist Bill Nye.

He said: "The danger is simply that an eclipse is so fascinating, that we are tempted to stare right at the Sun for minutes at a time, much longer than we would even consider on any other day."

What's the difference between a lunar and a solar eclipse?

A solar eclipse happens when the moon gets in the way of the sun's light and casts its shadow on Earth.

This kind of eclipse happens around every year and a half somewhere on Earth but not everyone experiences every solar eclipse.

The moon’s shadow on Earth is not very big, so only a small portion of places on Earth will see it.
The same spot on Earth only gets to see a solar eclipse for a few minutes about every 375 years, according to Nasa.

 

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Musk Says ‘Time To Break Up Amazon,’ Fueling Feud with Bezos

Tesla Inc. Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk said it’s “time to break up Amazon” in a tweet Thursday, escalating a rivalry with Amazon.com Inc. CEO Jeff Bezos, another billionaire investing in space exploration.

“Monopolies are wrong,” Musk tweeted while tagging Bezos, the world’s wealthiest man. The online retailer is among tech companies being scrutinized by federal regulators and lawmakers for the increasing size and the scope of its business.

Musk’s post came in response to a tweet from a writer who said his book titled “Unreported Truths About COVID-19 and The Lockdown” was being removed from Amazon’s Kindle publishing division for violating unspecified guidelines.

An Amazon spokeswoman said the book was removed in error and is being reinstated. “We have notified the author,” she said in an email.

Last year, a Space Exploration Technologies Corp. executive said Amazon’s effort to build a constellation of broadband internet satellites was years behind the closely held company. Musk founded SpaceX eight years before Bezos started rival manufacturer Blue Origin.

With more than 35 million followers, Musk is a prolific tweeter. He has been criticized in the past for his posts on various subjects ranging from the coronavirus outbreak to Tesla’s stock price.

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Universal Credit UK: Concern over policy which could be ‘detrimental to tenants’

Universal Credit provides millions across the country with the valuable support they need with the cost of living, and the benefit has become increasingly relied upon in recent weeks. The lockdown measures within the country have driven many people to claim the benefit to provide them with additional support during this time. Additional financial support for claimants can include the Alternative Payment Arrangement (APA), which can be relieving for those who are worried about eviction.

READ MORE

  • Retail worker faces eviction in lockdown rent crisis – Citizens Advice

If a claimant is facing hardship or is behind on rent, arrangements can be made by their landlord to ease their burden.

APA can:

  • Get the rent paid directly to the landlord
  • Allow the claim to be paid more frequently than once a month
  • Split the payments if a claimant is part of a couple

The APA system has been praised for allowing landlords and tenants to request the housing section of Universal Credit be rerouted to the landlord directly without the need for paperwork. 

A new online system has provided particular assistance during lockdown and social distancing measures implemented across the UK.

However, concern was sparked by recent comments made by the current Work and Pensions Secretary, Thérèse Coffey.

Ms Coffey appeared to pour water on the hope that APA could become commonplace within the Universal Credit system.

Taking questions from the Economic Affairs Committee, Ms Coffey discussed the economics of Universal Credit, and how the system has been functioning. 

As part of these comments, Ms Coffey told MPs she does not wish to see a return to the widespread use of direct rent payments to landlords with tenants in receipt of housing benefit.

This is despite the fact Ms Coffey praised the new online Alternative Payment Arrangement system.

Ms Coffey stated reintroducing the default payment which existed before the invention of Universal Credit would “add too much complication” to the system.

Government officials including Ms Coffey, and Neil Couling, Universal Credit Director-General, indicated this system should be set aside for those who are facing particular hardship.

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READ MORE

  • Universal Credit UK: Important information about benefit repayment

The APA online system was developed by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) alongside Caridon Landlord Solutions, who expressed concern over Ms Coffey’s statements.

The organisation described the comments as disappointing for landlords, but stressed this would also be detrimental for tenants in receipt of Universal Credit.

Sherrelle Collman, Managing Director of Caridon Landlord Solutions said: “We fully understand that one of the key objectives of the introduction of Universal Credit was to simplify the system and make work pay, giving those in receipt of Universal Credit a monthly payment, mimicking how many people in full-time employment receive their salary and preparing them to manage their finances.

“However, we know from experience that rent arrears have not only increased since the introduction of UC, but also a large proportion of claimants are falling into arrears within the first couple of months. 

“Whilst it is important to empower tenants and provide support into independent living, making direct payments to landlords more difficult to access puts the most vulnerable tenants at greater risk.

“Without the confidence to let to tenants in receipt of Universal Credit, landlords will turn their backs on this sector and a time when there is a record number of people in receipt of Universal Credit and rising unemployment as a result of the global pandemic, we should be doing all we can to help make managing finances easier.”

Those who are interested in starting an application for an APA are advised to speak to their work coach.

This will enable them to discuss the options which are best suited to their personal circumstances. 

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Supreme Court Justice Blocks Order to Move Inmates Facing Virus

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor temporarily blocked a judge’s order that would require federal prison officials to move hundreds of inmates out of an Ohio facility where nine people have died from the coronavirus.

Acting Thursday on a Trump administration request, Sotomayor stopped the transfers while the matter goes before a federal appeals court that will hear arguments Friday. She gave no explanation in her one-sentence order.

The administration said it would have had to start transferring inmates from the Elkton Federal Correctional Institution on Friday, when 128 prisoners finish a two-week quarantine. The administration asked the Supreme Court to revisit the dispute after the justices refused to intervene last week.

The Elkton prison has become a hot spot for Covid-19. More than 570 inmates have tested positive, though the Trump administration says the outbreak has subsided dramatically in recent weeks. The low-security facility in western Ohio houses more than 2,300 prisoners in dormitory-style units that make social distancing difficult.

After four prisoners sued, U.S. District Judge James Gwin ordered the prison to prepare to move about 840 vulnerable inmates who either are over 65 or have health conditions that make them vulnerable if they contract Covid-19. Gwin told officials to consider compassionate release, home confinement or transfer to a different prison.

Gwin’s April 22 order was the subject of the administration’s first request to the Supreme Court. In rejecting that bid, the court left open the possibility of intervention later, and pointed to a follow-up order the judge issued May 19.

‘Poor Progress’

Gwin issued the second order because of what he said were the prison’s “limited efforts” to reduce the Covid-19 risks and “poor progress” in moving inmates. The May 19 order requires the Bureau of Prisons to provide an individualized explanation for each inmate who isn’t granted home confinement, compassionate release or transfer to another facility.

U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco told the high court that the Bureau of Prisons is trying to focus its resources on minimizing transmission within each institution.

“The wide-scale inmate transfers ordered by the district court as a means to combat the Covid-19 pandemic are highly disruptive of sound prison administration, and would be all the more so if other courts imposed similar orders,” Francisco argued.

Lawyers for the suing inmates said prison administrators “only dug in their heels” after the first order, categorically barring groups of prisoners from even being considered for home confinement and giving minimal explanations as to why inmates weren’t given compassionate release.

The inmates “face a severe risk of contracting Covid and dying, in a facility where fully one-quarter of inmates have already been infected, and they cannot possibly protect themselves from community contagion,” the prisoners’ legal team at the American Civil Liberties Union argued.

The case is Williams v. Wilson, 19A1047.





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5G is the future. But it's not really here yet

New York (CNN Business)As 2020 kicked off, rolling out 5G was top of mind for telecom companies.

Then coronavirus hit.
Telecom companies had to figure out how to manage remote workforces, grapple with concerns about tech supply chain disruptions and fortify existing networks that suddenly became essential links to the outside world for people sheltering in place.

    But industry players say coronavirus caused only a minor disruption for the rollout of 5G. In fact, many say the pandemic has highlighted the need for the kind of high-speed, high-bandwidth connections 5G promises.
    5G is expected to enable technologies like automated factories and remote augmented reality training, the utility of which are even more apparent in an age of social distancing and working from home.

    “We’ve seen the demand [for 5G] is higher than ever … I think there’s good support globally around driving greater 5G development and investment,” said Bob Everson, Cisco’s senior director for 5G architecture. Cisco (CSCO) is a major provider of equipment and technology for 5G networks.

    Where do companies stand?

    Most network operators acknowledged that coronavirus created some hurdles for the physical 5G buildout, at least early on.
    Solving complex engineering problems and installing new cell sites, for example, are more challenging when workers must maintain social distancing and city permitting offices are closed.
    “It has no doubt slowed some things down as people are figuring out business processes — operators are adapting to a time when people can’t be together and engineers that were out there doing it have to be in a different environment,” Everson said.
    AT&T continues to “navigate some delays” as a result of coronavirus, a company spokesperson told CNN Business. (CNN’s parent company, WarnerMedia, is owned by AT&T).
    Kyle Malady, Verizon’s Chief Technology Officer, said during a Twitter livestream earlier this week that the company “did lose a couple of weeks” in the deployment of its 5G mobile edge compute sites, a key piece of Verizon’s 5G strategy.
    However, both companies said the delays have been minor.
    5G and Wi-Fi 6 will improve your WFH experience
    “Our 5G deployment continues, and we expect nationwide 5G coverage this summer,” AT&T’s spokesperson said, referring to the company’s low-band network. The company also plans to continue expanding its 5G networks through 2020. AT&T said in November that nationwide 5G would be available to consumers and businesses in the first half of 2020.
    Verizon last month pointed to several moves it says will accelerate its 5G deployment despite coronavirus-related disruptions. It announced the creation of a new virtual lab to experiment with potential 5G applications at a time when visiting a physical lab isn’t possible due to social distancing requirements. It also launched high-band 5G service in San Diego, its 35th high-band network market.
    The San Diego deployment was an opportunity to learn how to manage building out 5G infrastructure in the midst of coronavirus, Verizon’s director of system performance Marta LaCroix said on Twitter last month.
    “Our operations teams and our performance teams are finding new ways to test,” LaCroix said. “Where we previously would have had a couple of people working together, we’re finding creative ways to do that social distancing, to wear PPE, as we … make sure that we’re ready for launch.”
    After T-Mobile announced its nationwide 5G network in December, the company said in its most recent earnings report that it expanded its network to 2,600 additional sites during the first four months of the year. T-Mobile also finalized its merger with Sprint in early April, a move it has long said will help it build out a better 5G network, faster.
    “Our network build is continuing and on track,” T-Mobile said in a statement to CNN Business. “We’re still moving very quickly to combine the T-Mobile and Sprint networks, and continue building out 5G across the country.”
    The 5G rollout was perhaps better positioned to weather the coronavirus disruption than past network updates would have been, thanks to improvements in network technology, Cisco’s Everson said.

      Network operators are increasingly moving toward greater use of “software defined networks.” That means that, in some cases, when the network infrastructure needs to be updated, it can be done remotely through software, rather than requiring replacement of physical parts of the system.
      “We’ve done some work with operators, where you can take a cell site build process that would normally take eight hours to multiple days, and through automation, the operator just goes out, hangs the radio and plugs it in, and it automatically brings itself up,” Everson said. “It makes it a 15-minute process. The more you can do that, the quicker we can roll out.”
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      U.S. Still Underprepared for Pandemic Threats, CDC Head Says

      The U.S. remains underprepared for major pandemic health threats, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Congress, citing major shortfalls revealed by the coronavirus in state, local and federal authorities’ ability to spot and track disease and develop countermeasures.

      Congress should invest more money in public health, data modernization and contact tracing, CDC Director Robert Redfield told House lawmakers on Thursday.

      “You think we weren’t prepared for this, wait until we have a real global threat for our health security,” Redfield said at a hearing of the House Committee on Appropriations, the panel that leads congressional funding of government agencies.

      The CDC has long been considered one of the world’s preeminent health agencies, and has been a model for other countries setting up similar organizations. But it has come under criticism for reacting slowly to the coronavirus, which has infected more than 1.86 million Americans and killed at least 107,000. While the agency was fast in developing a test, it had significant problems rolling it out around the country and then largely receded from the public face of the Trump administration’s response to the virus.

      In his testimony, Redfield said the agency is having a hard time tracking the impact of the coronavirus on black Americans, making data modernization crucial. Some states are still collecting data “with pen and pencil,” he said.

      “Data is the roadmap. It’s fundamentally the key first step that we need to do to address the health disparities,” Redfield said.

      The U.S. announced Thursday that it will require testing labs to collect zip code data and demographics including race, ethnicity, sex and age, he said.

      The CDC funds as much as 70% of state and local public-health efforts, Redfield said. But significant new preparedness investments are needed, in addition to basic efforts to respond to the coronavirus pandemic.

      “That needs to be augmented,” Redfield said. “The cost of nothing isn’t nothing. the time to do it is now and get that investment.”

      He cited local labs as one key area. While New York’s state lab was able to develop its own tests, other states have not done so. Redfield also said that states needed to hire 30,000 to 100,000 contact tracers by September to follow new Covid-19 cases. He said he was hopeful AmeriCorps, a community service program supported by the federal government, would be used to augment the contact-tracing workforce.

      Redfield also said masks and face coverings remain an important tool to stop the spread of Covid-19.

      “We continue to see this as a critical public health tool,” Redfield said. Responding to questions about large public gathers of unmasked people, he said that, “obviously we’re very concerned that our public-health message isn’t resonating.”

      When asked if the CDC has recommended to the White House that tear gas not be used at demonstrations around the country, since coughing can spread the coronavirus, Redfield said, “We have advocated strongly the ability to have face coverings and masks available to protesters.”

      When pushed about tear gas he added, “I’ll pass on this comment at the next task force meeting.”

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      Haven’t received your coronavirus stimulus check? IRS says some Americans need to take action

      New coronavirus stimulus should incentivize going back to work: Financial planner

      Doug Flynn of Flynn Zito Capital Management on a new report from the Congressional Budget Office projecting a 10-year economic recovery from the coronavirus.

      The federal government has delivered cash payments intended to blunt the economic pain of the coronavirus pandemic to 159 million Americans, according to the Internal Revenue Service, but some individuals are still waiting for the money to arrive.

      Continue Reading Below

      The payments totaled nearly $267 billion. The IRS said it sent $120 million to Americans via direct deposit; $35 million by check; and $4 million in the form of a prepaid debit card.

      But millions of low-income people, homeless people and others who aren’t required to file a tax return may not have received the money — and are still eligible to get it. In order to do so, they need to take some steps to provide the agency with the necessary information about where to send the check.

      DEMAND FOR SMALL BUSINESS LOANS FADES, HERE'S WHY

      "Even with these unprecedented steps, there remain people eligible for these payments who need to take action,” IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig said in a statement.

      Individuals who normally do not file a tax return can register for the payment and submit their information through the “Non-Filers” tool. If you filed a 2018 tax return, or plan to file a return in 2019, you do not need to use the tool; the IRS has said doing so could slow down the distribution of the money.

      The non-filers tool is intended for couples who earn less than $24,400 and individuals who earn less than $12,200, as well as those who are homeless. The IRS noted that whether or not individuals have earned an income or work, they’re eligible to receive the payments.

      NEXT VIRUS RELIEF BILL COULD INCLUDE CHANGES TO UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS, HASSETT SAYS

      It’s unclear how many individuals are still waiting on the check; more than 15 million Americans on Social Security do not file an annual tax return because their income is so low, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

      The money can be substantial, particularly for low-income individuals who qualify for the maximum one-time payment of $1,200 (or $2,400 for couples). Plus, families receive an extra $500 for every child under the age of 17. The payments are tapered for higher-earners and phase out completely for individuals who earn more than $99,000.

      WHAT HAPPENS TO YOUR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS IF YOU REFUSE TO GO BACK TO WORK?

      The cash is intended to blunt the financial pain for Americans caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which brought the economy grinding to a halt in mid-March. In the span of 11 weeks, close to 42 million Americans filed for unemployment, the Labor Department said Thursday. The record-shattering number is a stunning sign of the depth of the economic calamity inflicted by the outbreak of the virus.

      GET FOX BUSINESS ON THE GO BY CLICKING HERE

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      Cuomo Fears Covid-19 Spike; Mourners to Gather: Protest Update

      Mourners are set to gather Thursday in Minneapolis for the first in a series of memorials honoring George Floyd, the unarmed black man whose death has sparked rolling nationwide protests against police brutality.

      President Donald Trump, facing a direct challenge to his leadership from his current and former defense secretaries over his response to the demonstrations, has no plans to attend.

      Tensions were high overnight as large crowds gathered in New Orleans and New York, yet the ninth straight night of protests over Floyd’s death remained largely peaceful in most cities.

      Key Developments:

      • More than 10,000 people have been arrested, according to AP tally
      • Kneeling comments spark backlash, protests in New Orleans
      • Read ex-Defense Secretary Jim Mattis’s full statement on Trump here:
      • While Crime Fell in America, the Cost of Policing Tripled
      • From Goldman to Apple, Companies Gauge New Calculus on Race
      • How ‘Black Lives Matter’ Became a U.S. Protest Cry: QuickTake

      Here’s the latest. All times are New York-based:

      28,633 in BrazilMost new cases today

      -8% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

      -0.​9801 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

      -2.​3% Global GDP Tracker (annualized), May


      N.Y. Sees Worst Civil Unrest in 50 Years, Cuomo Says (8:50 a.m.)

      New York is dealing with civil unrest “that we haven’t seen in 50 years,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said Thursday in a radio interview.

      The governor said he is “hoping and praying” that the protests don’t lead to a spike in Covid-19 cases. Tens of thousands of people are protesting, and many are ignoring social distancing and not wearing masks, he said.

      “These are the most perilous times we have faced,” Cuomo said on LI News radio. “Unless you see locusts appear tomorrow morning, we’ve worked our way through the biblical horrors.”

      Drew Brees Apologizes After Comments on Kneeling (8:20 a.m.)

      New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees apologized after his comments on kneeling during the national anthem sparked backlash. Brees had said he would “never agree with anybody disrespecting the flag of the United States of America or our country.”

      The backlash to anthem-kneeling protests led by former NFL star Colin Kaepernick was cited as fueling demonstrations in New Orleans on Wednesday. Protesters there chanted opposition to Brees’s comments.

      Police dressed in riot gear fired tear gas to disperse a crowd of protesters in the city. Local news outlet NOLA.com said it was the first time law enforcement used tear gas in the protests this week.

      Tim Cook Says Apple Must Do More on Racism (7:29 a.m.)

      Apple Inc. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook wrote an open letter on racism, highlighting that his company must do more. The full text of the letter was posted to the iPhone maker’s website.

      “To create change, we have to reexamine our own views and actions in light of a pain that is deeply felt but too often ignored,” Cook said. “Issues of human dignity will not abide standing on the sidelines. To the Black community -- we see you. You matter and your lives matter.”

      Racial Unrest Is New Blow to U.S.-Africa Relationship (6:12 a.m.)

      Floyd’s death and resulting civil upheaval have set back U.S. efforts to strengthen its tenuous relationship with Africa and counter China’s growing influence.

      Mousse Faki Mahamat, the chairman of the African Union Commission, joined senior officials from Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana in condemning the death of Floyd. They berated the U.S. for failing to deal with racial discrimination -- remarks that contrast sharply with the guarded diplomatic tones typically used in interactions with the world’s biggest economy.

      Meghan Markle Pays Tribute to Floyd (2:36 a.m.)

      Meghan Markle said in a video message to graduating students at her old Los Angeles-area high school that Floyd’s life “mattered,” and told them to be ”part of a movement” of hope changing the world for the better.

      Markle, the biracial American actress who married Britain’s Prince Harry and later moved back to LA with him and their young son Archie, told graduates to have the courage to put others’ needs over their own. “I wasn’t sure what I could say to you. I wanted to say the right thing and I was really nervous that it would get picked apart,” she said in the call, according to U.K. media. “And I realized the only wrong thing to say is to say nothing.”

      L.A. to Cut Police Budget, Invest in Black Community (2:19 a.m.)

      California’s largest city will identify $100 million to $150 million in cuts from its police budget as part of a review of spending priorities in California’s largest city following George Floyd’s death, the Los Angeles Times reported.

      Mayor Eric Garcetti, a Democrat, said Los Angeles would “identify $250 million in cuts so we can invest in jobs, in health, in education and in healing,” especially focused on the city’s black community, communities of color and others seen as left behind. Cuts will come to every department to fund the rebalancing, he said.

      L.A. also announced a string of other plans focused on police procedures, including requiring police officers to intervene when they see inappropriate use of force.

      U.S. Apologizes to India After Gandhi Statue Defaced (1:55 a.m.)

      A statue of Mahatma Gandhi was defaced by Black Lives Matters protesters in Washington D.C., ANI reported.

      The monument, which stands outside the Indian Embassy, was spray painted with graffiti. Local authorities have started a probe into the incident, according to ANI. The U.S. Ambassador to India Kenneth Juster later issued an apology for the incident, saying that the U.S. stands against prejudice and discrimination of any type.

      Seattle Ends Its Curfew Early (12:02 a.m.)

      After a day of meeting with protest leaders, Mayor Jenny Durkan and Police Chief Carmen Best opted to lift a nightly curfew that was intended to continue through Saturday. An hour before the curfew was to begin, Durkan announced on her Twitter account that Best had decided the police can balance public safety and allow peaceful protests.

      N.Y. Public Advocate Decries ‘Aggressive Tactics’ (11:54 p.m.)

      New York Public Advocate Jumaane Williams says he’ll hold a press briefing Thursday “to discuss the police response to demonstrations in New York City after taking part in a nonviolent protest met with aggressive tactics by the NYPD.”

      Williams posted videos of standoffs between police and protesters in New York on his Twitter feed.

      NYT Criticized For Running Cotton Op-Ed (11:43 p.m.)

      The New York Times is getting criticism including from journalists on its own staff for running an op-ed penned by Republican Senator Tom Cotton, who argued military troops should be used if needed to restore order in U.S. cities.

      “I’ll probably get in trouble for this, but to not say something would be immoral. As a black woman, as a journalist, as an American, I am deeply ashamed that we ran this,” said Nikole Hannah-Jones, a Pulitzer prize-winning correspondent who helped lead the Times’s recent 1619 Project on the origins of slavery in the U.S. Dozens of others posted messages online saying running the piece puts black staff at the Times in danger.

      Editorial page editor James Bennet defended the decision to run the piece, saying the opinion page “owes it to our readers to show them counter-arguments, particularly those made by people in a position to set policy.”

      Trump’s Police Vision Echoes in Washington (11:16 p.m.)

      As night fell across America, a place that President Trump will see the sort of militarized security he’s called for in cities across the country is its federal capital, Washington, D.C.

      Trump has boasted of summoning a phalanx of security to the capital. Photos showed officers from a range of departments, reportedly including the military, Department of Homeland Security and Drug Enforcement Agency, among others. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has also said it was dispatching officers. The move drew the ire of the city’s mayor, Muriel Bowser, who said the federal government “continues to militarize our city” because it lacks statehood.

      While some cities and states have activated National Guard units in supporting roles, mayors and governors have broadly rejected sending in additional troops to police their streets. So Washington will look different tonight than its counterparts, a live case study of the president’s preferred tactics.

      Minneapolis Mayor Seeks Federal Aid to Fix Damage (10:54 p.m.)

      City officials in Minneapolis will seek state and federal aid to fix damage from riots in the wake of George Floyd’s death, the Star Tribune reports. Costs are estimated at $55 million so far, though expected to rise.

      Trump Reiterates Call For Tougher NYC Response (10:45 p.m.)

      President Donald Trump reiterated Wednesday in an interview with Sean Spicer, his former press secretary who is now a conservative media personality, that New York should formally request military aid to quell protests in New York City. “If they don’t get it straightened out soon, I’ll take care of it,” he said.

      Floyd Tested Positive for Covid-19, Paper Reports (10:42 p.m.)

      George Floyd, whose death has sparked global protests over the treatment of black people in America, tested positive for COVID-19 in early April, though it wasn’t cited as a factor in his death, the Star Tribune newspaper in Minneapolis reports.

      The report was released with the consent of Floyd’s family.

      — With assistance by Stacie Sherman, Jodi Schneider, Derek Wallbank, Kathleen Hunter, and Nour Al Ali

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