The United States has evidence China is trying to slow down or sabotage the development of a COVID-19 vaccine by Western countries, Republican senator Rick Scott said on Sunday. "China does not want us ... to do it first, they have decided to be an adversary to Americans and I think to democracy around the world." Asked what evidence the United States had, Scott declined to give details but said it had come through the intelligence community.
Brazil's government has stopped publishing a running total of coronavirus deaths and infections in an extraordinary move that critics call an attempt to hide the true toll of the disease in Latin America's largest nation. The Saturday move came after months of criticism from experts saying Brazil’s statistics are woefully deficient, and in some cases manipulated, so it may never be possible to gain a real understanding of the depth of the pandemic in the country. Brazil's last official numbers showed it had recorded over 34,000 deaths related to the coronavirus, the third-highest number in the world, just ahead of Italy.
Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido reappeared in the street in videos distributed Saturday by his team and parliamentary allies, after foreign minister Jorge Arreaza claimed he had taken refuge in the French embassy in Caracas. Guaido, the parliamentary speaker who is recognized as interim president of Venezuela by 50 countries, was referring to the accusation by the United States of "narcoterrorism" against the socialist government of Nicolas Maduro. The videos - which did not specify the date or location they were filmed - were released after Arreaza on Thursday said Guaido was hiding in the French embassy, and demanded he be handed over to "Venezuelan justice."
A 60-year-old surfer was attacked and killed by a 3-meter (10-foot) great white shark off the coast of northern New South Wales state on Sunday, officials said. The man received a bite to the back of his thigh and was brought to the shore by other surfers who had fought off the shark, a surf rescue group, Surf Life Saving NSW, said in a statement. “A shark biologist assessed photographs and confirmed a white shark was responsible for the fatal attack,” the state's Department of Primary Industries said.
The governor of a Mexican state recently roiled by clashes between security forces and demonstrators apologized on Saturday for abuses carried out by police against people protesting the against death of a man in police custody. Enrique Alfaro, governor of the western region of Jalisco, said he was appalled that police in the state capital of Guadalajara had on Friday beaten some participants in a demonstration over the death of the man, Giovanni Lopez. "It embarrasses me, it distresses me, it greatly pains me as a man from Jalisco, and as governor," Alfaro said in a video posted on Twitter.
Rahul Dubey sheltered more than 70 protesters in his Washington, D.C., home Monday night as police were enforcing curfew. "It was unfathomable," Rahul Dubey said of the police violence he saw used against peaceful protesters outside his home.
A populist Taiwanese mayor was recalled by voters on Saturday, abruptly ending the rise of a politician whose failed presidential bid had favoured closer ties with China. The historic recall by citizens in the democratic island that Beijing regards as part of its own territory - vowing to one day seize it, by force if necessary - comes as tensions with China surge. Han Kuo-yu was ousted by more than 40 percent of eligible voters in the southern city of Kaohsiung, with 97 percent of the ballots cast calling for the recall, according to the city's elections commission.
The US Marine Corps has officially ordered the removal of the Confederate battle flag from public display on its bases and offices, citing the flag's use by racist groups as a "threat to our core values".In a statement on 5 June, the service branch said: "The Confederate battle flag has all too often been co-opted by violent extremist and racist groups whose divisive beliefs have no place in our Corps."
Senior lawmakers from German Chancellor Angela Merkel's ruling conservative bloc on Saturday criticized President Donald Trump's decision to order the U.S. military to remove 9,500 troops from Germany. The move would reduce U.S. troops numbers in Germany to 25,000, from 34,500. "The plans once again show that the Trump administration is neglecting an elementary leadership task: the involvement of alliance partners in decision-making processes," Johann Wadephul, foreign policy spokesman for the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, told Reuters.
French President Emmanuel Macron has told Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping he is following events in Hong Kong closely and continues to back the "one country, two systems" principle for Beijing's rule over the city, an Elysee official said. "The President said he was monitoring the (Hong Kong) situation closely and reiterated France's support for the principle of 'one country, two systems'," the official told Reuters on Saturday. China has approved security legislation for Hong Kong that democracy activists, diplomats and some in business fear will jeopardise its semi-autonomous status and its role as a global financial hub.
Nearly two weeks into protests against the killing of an unarmed black man in Minneapolis police custody, a slew of different cities across the country have been forced to confront the brutal methods used by their own police officers as videos emerged of harrowing incident after harrowing incident. And on Friday, it seemed a reckoning of sorts was in the air: Police officers in multiple cities were suspended, hit with charges, or stripped of their powers after they were caught on camera treating peaceful protesters like combatants. In New York City, where earlier this week authorities had praised the police department’s “restraint” amid protests despite video evidence to the contrary, NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea announced that two officers involved in violent encounters with protesters—including one woman who was violently pushed to the ground and a man who was pepper sprayed after his mask was pulled down—have been suspended without pay.New York Cops Beat Protesters for Crime of Being ThereIn Philadelphia, the District Attorney’s office filed aggravated assault charges against police inspector Joseph Bologna after a video showed him hitting a demonstrator with a metal baton. The demonstrator, a Temple University student who was also arrested and detained for 24 hours, needed ten staples and sutures in his head following Monday's incident in Center City. Several states away, two Chicago police officers caught on video pulling a woman from a car by her hair before placing a knee on her neck have been stripped of their police powers pending an investigation, authorities said in a Friday statement. But before the night was even halfway over, the illusion of change began to unravel. NYPD officers rushed dozens of demonstrators in Manhattan that were out past the 8 p.m. curfew, arresting people in droves and hitting several with batons. At least 10 protesters were arrested after the peaceful protest—several of whom chanted “black lives matter” while they were awaiting transport, according to City & State NY.“This is outrageous. We were engaged in a non-violent protest. Stop arresting New Yorkers for no reason,” NYC Council Member Ben Kallos tweeted.Across the river in Brooklyn, one protester told The Daily Beast he was pushed over by authorities—prompting other residents to shout and swear at officers pushing them to go home past curfew. After a tense stand-off in which cops yelled at reporters and pushed people who had been peacefully protesting onto the sidewalks, at least a dozen were arrested and directed into NYPD vans. And in Buffalo, while there was a sense of accountability after the officers who shoved down 75-year-old Martin Gugino on Thursday night were suspended without pay, there was another sign of the rift between peaceful protesters and police officers as 57 fellow members of the Buffalo Police Department Emergency Response Team resigned in solidarity with the suspended officers.In Minneapolis, where protesters continued to express outrage over the death of Floyd on Friday, demonstrators were skeptical of police being held accountable. Zeque Davies, a 29-year-old whose parents emigrated to Minneapolis from Liberia, said the cities that have disciplined officers in recent days are “trying to prove a point through the media.” “I don’t think they’re actually holding cops accountable,” Davies told The Daily Beast. “A slap on the wrist and a paid vacation is not holding a cop accountable. Trying him, arresting him and giving him a charge, that’s holding a cop accountable.”Demonstrators in other cities weren't convinced that a simple suspension would solve any problems. “I'm sure there are professional police officers. But what we're seeing is that unlike other departments or other services, when a police officer goes rogue, they kill people,” Tara Smith, 30, told The Daily Beast at a vigil held at Union Square in Manhattan. “A city clerk is not going to do the same kind of damage, so you can't tell me that they should not be held to a higher standard than other industries and other departments and services.” Others pointed out that all the recent acts of brutality by police were happening even while people were filming them—raising the question of what happens when the cameras stop rolling. Carolina Martinez, a bartender in Buffalo taking part in a peaceful protest on Friday, said it only took four hours for video of police officers shoving down a peaceful protester to garner worldwide attention a day earlier. “The only thing we can do now is just continue to just broadcast it,” she said. Residents still came out in droves on Friday to protest. In Washington, D.C., the mayor’s office commissioned “Black Lives Matter” to be painted across a street leading to the White House.Cops Reclaim New York in Massive Show of Force In New York, thousands of residents across the five boroughs took to the streets despite the rain. Upstate, in Buffalo, protesters gathered in Niagara Square demanding police reform one day after an elderly activist was shoved to the ground by officers.The nation-wide demonstrations on Friday also focused on Breonna Taylor, the Kentucky EMT worker fatally shot in her home during a botched March police raid. On Friday, Taylor would have been 27-years-old. From New York to Portland to Miami, thousands of protesters sang Happy Birthday in Taylor’s honor. In Kentucky, dozens of demonstrators gathered in Jefferson Square Park in Kentucky to honor her memory, many writing birthday cards that will be sent to Taylor’s family.In Miami, hundreds of residents took to the streets in a Black Lives Matter protest, forcing officials to shut down several highways and the mayor to change the city-wide curfew. The Miami Police Department closed Interstate 95 in both directions to allow space for the continued protesters chanting “say their names” near Wynwood. “I think the protests are finally getting politicians and police departments to finally listen. Everyday it's a step forward,” Ashlynn Lee, 20, told The Daily Beast. Her friend, Tanisha Brown, 20, added: “They are definitely listening to what these protests are about. We are taking not only over the streets in the 50 states and different countries, but also social media. All you see when you scroll down is black lives matter. People are starting to shout it is definitely happening. Everybody is fighting for black lives.”About an hour later, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Giminez moved the curfew to 10 p.m., after it was pushed back to midnight earlier this week. Alan, one protester who attended the Miami protests, called the mayor’s decision to bump up the curfew due to “unrest” a “bullshit move.”“If it wasn't about Black Lives Matter and police reform, the protestors would be treated differently. There was no unrest,” Alan said. In Minneapolis, the intersection where Floyd was killed has turned into a constant block party—complete with a stage that hosts speakers, spoken word artists, and rappers. Robin Jackson, 27-year-who lives down the street, told The Daily Beast things are peaceful in the downtown Minneapolis neighborhood, for now. He added that while some Americans are reeling from Floyd’s tragic death, the black community is simply witnessing what they have known for years.“I feel like this is just the acknowledgment among people other than Black people, where they can say, “Ok, maybe they have a point,” Jackson said. “They’re at least acknowledging that something is happening.”The ongoing protests have already sparked police reform in two states. City officials in Minneapolis have agreed to ban police chokeholds while detaining suspects and require officers to intervene when they see unauthorized force used by a colleague. Every Buffalo Cop in Elite Unit Quits to Back Officers Who Shoved Elderly Man to GroundIn California, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday ordered the “carotid hold,” a neck restraint move that blocks blood flow to the brain, be removed from police training. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan on Friday announced a ban on the police use of tear gas for 30 days as protests are expected to continue in the city. The ban came just hours after three civilian police watchdog groups urged Seattle leaders to ban the violent tactic that public health officials believe may potentially increase the COVID-19 spread. A federal judge in Denver Friday also ruled that police must limit their use of “chemical weapons or projectiles” and a number of other measures of force against protesters, calling the past actions of law enforcement nation-wide “disgusting.”As demonstrators have continued to take to the streets, one medical worker in New York acknowledged that the health care community is concerned about how the protests will ultimately impact the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. “Obviously it worries us because we’re afraid of a spike in coronavirus cases. We all work at a hospital and we know what that means when that happens,” Sushmitha Echt, an attending physician at Northwell Health, told The Daily Beast. “At the same time, we’re wearing our masks... there are certain things we just have to take a stand for. This is one of those things.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
NEW YORK - It was about 8:45 p.m. in Brooklyn on Wednesday, 45 minutes past the city's curfew, when a peaceful protest march encountered a line of riot police, near Cadman Plaza.Hundreds of demonstrators stood there for 10 minutes, chanting, arms raised, until their leaders decided to turn the group around and leave the area.What they had not seen was that riot police had flooded the plaza behind them, engaging in a law enforcement tactic called kettling, which involves encircling protesters so that they have no way to exit from a park, city block or other public space, and then charging them and making arrests.For the next 20 minutes in downtown Brooklyn, officers swinging batons turned a demonstration that had been largely peaceful into a scene of chaos.The kettling operations carried out by the city's police after curfew on recent nights have become among the most unsettling symbols of the department's use of force against peaceful protests, which has touched off a fierce backlash against Mayor Bill de Blasio and the police commissioner, Dermot F. Shea.In the past several days, New York Times journalists covering the protests have seen officers repeatedly charge at demonstrators after curfew with seemingly little provocation, shoving them onto sidewalks, striking them with batons and using other aggressive tactics.The escalation in the use of force in New York is part of a national trend. Across the country, local police have resorted to violent tactics to control the protest movement that was ignited by the death George Floyd, a black man, as he was being held down by a white officer in Minneapolis.The strategy has been broadly defended by both de Blasio and Shea, who said it was necessary escalation to deter looters who ransacked parts of Manhattan over the weekend."There comes a point where enough is enough," de Blasio said Thursday.But there have been few reports of looting in the last three days of unrest. Instead, police are deploying their aggressive tactics against protesters who have done little beyond violating the city's 8 p.m. curfew to march. About 270 people were arrested Thursday night.As images of police officers using force to arrest seemingly peaceful demonstrators circulated online, de Blasio, who ran on a platform to reform the police, came under fierce criticism from some elected officials, community leaders and even his former aides. He was jeered and booed at a memorial for Floyd on Thursday.By Friday, after more than a week of protests, the mayor had softened his tone, pledging to review reports of police officers behaving inappropriately and promising he would announce disciplinary measures against some officers shortly.Later, in an interview on WNYC, the mayor said the encircling of protesters was sometimes necessary for public safety."I don't want to see protesters hemmed in if they don't need to be," he said, but he added "that sometimes there's a legitimate problem and it's not visible to protesters."On Thursday, the police commissioner said some police officers could be suspended if their behavior is found to have violated department standards. But he also said the anti-police rhetoric of the protesters and some elected officials who support them was putting officers in danger and he pointed to numerous instances in which the police had been injured with flying debris."We need healing," Shea said. "We need dialogue. We need peace."For many protesters, however, the aggressive tactics of police to enforce the curfew have only worsened the crisis.Axel Hernandez, 30, was protesting at Cadman Plaza on Wednesday night when police rushed into the crowd. Hernandez, who had marched several times this week, said it was one of the most peaceful demonstrations he had attended until the police charged in."That was the most peaceful, no bottles thrown, no anything," he said. "The next thing I know, police rush in, with batons, and started moving people, and start hitting people."The kettle is a crowd control technique that has been used for decades. In theory, officers surround protesters and give them no exit, tire them out, then let them disperse in small groups.But in New York in recent days, the maneuver has often ended with a charge and mass arrests. Since the city put a curfew in place this week, police have used the technique in Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx.According to accounts from Times journalists, other witnesses, and protesters who were arrested, many demonstrators have been trapped in kettle formations by police and have had no way to disperse. In one instance, in Manhattan, police refused to let compliant protesters leave the area and comply with their orders."We were asking them, 'Where should we go?' Everyone's hands were in the air," said Lucas Zwirner, one of the protesters arrested Wednesday after being surrounded by police officers in Manhattan after curfew.Many demonstrators told police they would disperse and go home, Zwirner said, but officers would not let them through.Police officers have used the maneuver to end some marches but not others. In Brooklyn on Wednesday, the police waited until 9 p.m. - an hour beyond the 8 p.m. curfew - to surround protesters and charge.The day before, they allowed thousands to march peacefully across the Manhattan Bridge hours after curfew had ended and escorted a group of thousands back to Brooklyn to disperse. In the Bronx on Thursday, officers began surrounding a group of demonstrators before 8 p.m. and began making arrests by 8:02 p.m."We are continuing to exercise discretion," Shea said Thursday evening. "Where we have made arrests, we have made them strategically."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company
Over the past two days, President Trump has twice been asked how he plans to try to fix the daunting problem of systemic racism in police departments across America and both times he has made clear that he believes a healthy economy will do the trick.
“Look at what’s going in Florida, it’s incredible,” Trump said at one point. “The job the governor of Florida’s done, it’s incredible. The numbers they’re doing ... you gotta open it up.” Much like Florida, Georgia has had the integrity of its coronavirus numbers questioned.
Black police officers find themselves torn between two worlds: They feel the pain of seeing yet another black man killed at the hands of fellow officers, yet they must also try to keep the peace during angry protests fueled by that death. The 46-year-old black man died in Minneapolis after a white officer pressed his knee into his neck for several minutes even after Floyd stopped moving and pleading for air as other officers watched. “My emotion, my fervor is no less than those people on the streets," said New York City police Detective Felicia Richards, who is black.
The authors of two major medical studies on coronavirus patients— including one that raised global concerns about the use of the hydroxychloroquine — retracted their papers on Thursday. Dr. Bob Lahita, chairman of medicine at St. Joseph University Hospital, joined CBSN to discuss the retractions.
Calls have grown in recent days for New York City officials to end a curfew amid protests against police brutality and the death of George Floyd, as reports show police arresting essential workers alongside demonstrators.The 8pm curfew has caused confusion and further disruption in the city, despite Mayor Bill de Blasio designating on-demand food delivery workers essential — as some workers and industries have been labelled throughout the coronavirus pandemic.
LONDON—A corrupt former police officer who was caught working with Trump Tower lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya has revealed in a Swiss court how Russia’s complex foreign influence campaign targets justice systems in Western countries. The former consultant to the Swiss Federal Prosecutor's Office was sacked and convicted after his entanglement with Veselnitskaya and the Russian prosecutor general’s office was exposed. He reportedly told a court in Switzerland this week that he discussed a high-profile corruption case against Russia with Russian officials during an all-expenses-paid hunting trip to Siberia. On the visit to the spectacular Kamchatka Peninsula and Lake Baikal, the official, who is identified only as Victor K., reportedly admitted that he spent a week fishing, enjoying the rugged countryside, and hunting for bear, including from a helicopter, with officials from the Russian prosecutor general’s office. Victor K. told the appeals court Tuesday that he had conferred with the Russian officials on the trip about the high-profile Magnitsky case, which he was supposed to be investigating. The $230 million fraud against the Russian people was uncovered by Sergei Magnitsky, who was subsequently detained and beaten by Russian officials, who left him to die in a prison cell. The case led to American sanctions against Russia, which were signed into law by President Barack Obama in 2012, after a campaign by U.S.-born financier Bill Browder. While the Swiss authorities originally froze millions connected to the Magnitsky case that flowed through Switzerland nine years ago, the case has stalled.The appeals court ruled Friday that Victor K. was guilty of improperly accepting the hunting trip, but it dismissed the fine that had been imposed by a lower court. “The decision holds; he received undue benefit from the Russians, but it’s just a slap on the wrist for a serious crime,” Browder told The Daily Beast. “The fact that the Swiss discovered a Russian mole and he bears effectively no consequence is pretty alarming, and makes Switzerland look like a banana republic.”According to a lawyer who attended the hearing, Victor K. told the court that he had spent three or four hours discussing the Magnitsky case with the Russian officials. The lawyer’s transcript also said he told his bosses in the Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office that they should drop the case, because they would never be able to follow the money trail, which he likened to finding the source of several bottles of wine once they had all been poured into the same barrel.On a previous trip to Moscow, Swiss court papers revealed that Victor K. met Veselnitskaya, the lawyer responsible for the notorious Trump Tower meeting with Donald Trump Jr., Paul Manafort, and Jared Kushner.Victor K., who was responsible for working on investigations into the Swiss financial dealing of the Russian mafia and oligarchs for decades, had met Veselnitskaya’s collaborator, Russian Deputy Attorney General Saak Albertovich Karapetyan, in Geneva, Zurich, and Moscow “without the knowledge of his superiors,” according to Swiss court papers. Karapetyan was one of the members of the delegation on the Siberian hunting retreat.Novaya Gazeta reported last month that Victor K. mysteriously continued to take trips to Russia after he stopped working for the Swiss authorities.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
Two men charged with conspiring to incite violence and civil unrest at protests over the killing of George Floyd previously sought to do the same thing at protests against coronavirus lockdowns, federal prosecutors say.
President Jair Bolsonaro threatened on Friday to pull Brazil out of the World Health Organization after the U.N. agency warned Latin American governments about the risk of lifting lockdowns before slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus throughout the region. A new Brazilian record for daily COVID-19 fatalities pushed the county's death toll past that of Italy late on Thursday, but Bolsonaro continues to argue for quickly lifting state isolation orders, arguing that the economic costs outweigh public health risks. Latin America's most populous nations, Brazil and Mexico, are seeing the highest rates of new infections, though the pandemic is also gathering pace in countries such as Peru, Colombia, Chile and Bolivia.
Seven people have been found shot dead in an Alabama home in what police described as a “horrific” scene.Police were responding to an emergency call reporting gunshots on Sunday evening when they arrived to find the house on fire.
The potential ousting of a high-profile mayor in a recall vote on Saturday has cast a spotlight on Taiwan’s hardening views towards China under increasing threats and intimidation from Beijing during the global pandemic. Han Kuo-yu, 62, a charismatic but polarising figure in the opposition Kuomintang party, considered by critics to be too close to Beijing, fell out of favour with many of his constituents after deciding to run for president less than a year after his surprise election as mayor of Kaohsiung, Taiwan’s third largest city. He was defeated by incumbent President Tsai Ing-wen in January, whose record-breaking win reaffirmed the island’s rejection of closer ties with Beijing in favour of a stronger assertion of Taiwanese identity. In a double whammy for Mr Han, the wheels were already in motion to try to push him out of office in Kaohsiung after the city’s aggrieved residents gathered enough support to force a recall vote. If their attempt succeeds, Mr Han would be the most senior Taiwanese politician ever to be expelled from office by constituents. A majority of 25% of eligible voters would be needed to do so. Lev Nachman, a Fulbright research fellow specialising in party politics in Taiwan, said the recall would likely pass if the voter threshold was met. “It’s a very popular idea,” he said.