Trump Administration, Week 177: Friday, 5 June – Thursday, 11 June 2020 (Days 1,232-1,238)

 

Passages in bold in the body of the texts below are usually my emphasis, though not always. This is an ongoing project, and I update the site frequently during the day. Because I try to stay focused on what has actually happened, I usually let the news ‘settle’ for a day or so before posting. I hope readers will peruse the articles in full for a better understanding of the issues and their context; our democracy and our future depend on citizens who can distinguish between facts and falsehoods and who are engaged in the political process.

 

For independent global news, visit Democracy Now!

 

Friday, 5 June 2020, Day 1,232:

 

George Floyd Protests: Minneapolis to Ban Use of Chokeholds by Police.  Major demonstrations are planned across the country on Saturday, including in Washington, where thousands of protesters are expected to converge. The New York Times, Friday, 5 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

George Floyd Protests: Some New York City Protests Ended Quietly. Others Ended in Arrests. Demonstrations filled the city’s streets for another day, and mostly dispersed in a more muted way than they had the two previous nights. The New York Times, Friday, 5 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

George Floyd Protests: Nation braces for another day of protests; North Carolina flags at half-staff for George Floyd, The Washington Post, Hannah Knowles, Ben Guarino, Alex Horton, and Brent D. Griffiths, Friday, 5 June 2020: “Cities and towns across the United States are bracing for another outpouring of protest Saturday amid national outrage over law enforcement excess sparked by the death of George Floyd in police custody. Officials in Washington, D.C., are preparing for the city’s largest demonstration yet, with tens of thousands of people expected to start gathering in the early morning hours. Rallies are also planned near the Trump golf club in Doral, Fla.; in front of Philadelphia’s famed art museum; outside Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz’s official residence; and in many lesser-known places, from Collegeville, Pa., to Poquoson, Va. Researchers say these protests, now in their 12th day, are the broadest in U.S. history, having spread to well over 650 cities and towns, across all 50 states.

Here are some significant developments:

  • A public viewing and private memorial service for Floyd are scheduled to take place Saturday in Raeford, N.C., near his birthplace. North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) has ordered flags at all state facilities to fly at half-staff until sunset in honor of Floyd.
  • Although clashes between protesters and police have ebbed in recent days, and curfews in some places have been lifted, tensions remained high Friday night, with mayhem in Portland, Ore., extending into early Saturday. In New York, police arrested protesters out after an 8 p.m. curfew.
  • Fifty-seven members of the Buffalo Police Department’s emergency response team resigned from the unit to protest the suspension of two officers who shoved a 75-year-old protester to the ground.
  • NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Friday admitted the league had been wrong to ignore players who spoke out against police brutality and encouraged peaceful protest, a remarkable reversal, given the exile of Colin Kaepernick following his own protest.
  • A federal judge ruled late Friday that the Denver Police Department must stop using “chemical weapons or projectiles against peaceful protesters” after four protesters filed suit against the city.
  • Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said the state will conduct an independent review of the in-custody death of Manuel Ellis, a black man who was filmed being beaten by Tacoma police while handcuffed on the ground.

Continue reading Week 177, Friday, 5 June – Thursday, 11 June 2020 (Days 1,232-1,238)

George Floyd Protests: Police to close downtown streets Saturday for protest; D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser renames street outside the White House ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza,’ The Washington Post, Dana Hedgpeth, Perry Stein, Antonio Olivo, Michelle Boorstein, Steve Thompson, Lori Aratani, Justin Jouvenal, and Clarence Williams, Friday, 5 June 2020: “Protests over police violence took place in Washington on Friday for the seventh consecutive day. The demonstrations have evolved drastically since Monday, when a peaceful assembly was disrupted by an aggressive law enforcement offensive and more than 200 arrests were made, many for looting. By Thursday, the streets surrounding the White House had become an orderly ecosystem with a predictable routine and a block party atmosphere — until a thunderstorm moved in.

Here are some significant developments:

• D.C. police will prohibit vehicle traffic in much of downtown Washington on Saturday, starting at 6 a.m., in preparation for thousands of protesters expected to descend on the area. The closure is roughly between L Street NW to Independence Avenue SW. The west boundary is roughly along 19th Street NW, while the eastern boundary is roughly 9th Street NW downtown and Third Street NW along the Mall.

• D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) on Friday formally renamed a street outside the White House ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza’ after ordering city crews to paint the message in gigantic yellow letters down 16th Street. It’s a pointed message in support of demonstrators and against the president, who ordered an escalation of federal military and law enforcement presence on the streets of Washington in response to sporadic looting and unrest earlier in the week.

• Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) formally asked President Trump in a letter to ‘withdraw all extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence from Washington, D.C.’ The Trump administration this week deployed military police and federal law enforcement to respond to demonstrations, drawing widespread criticism from activists and local officials that the tactics were making the situation worse.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Cities Ask if It’s Time to Defund Police and ‘Reimagine’ Public Safety, The New York Times, Farah Stockman and John Eligon, Friday, 5 June 2020: “After more than a week of protests against police brutality and unrest that left parts of the city burned, a growing chorus of elected officials, civic leaders and residents in Minneapolis are urging the city to break up the Police Department and reimagine the way policing works…. Minneapolis is not the only city asking the question. Across the country, calls to defund, downsize or abolish police departments are gaining new traction after national unrest following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck for nearly nine minutes on a busy Minneapolis street.” See also, Minneapolis Anti-Police Brutality Organizer Kandace Montgomery on Defunding the Police: ‘We Don’t Have Time to Wait,’ The Intercept, Alleen Brown, Friday, 5 June 2020: “In the wake of George Floyd’s murder by Minneapolis police officers, a call to defund police departments has gained traction across the U.S. More people than ever are embracing the idea that the time for police reform has passed. As an anti-police brutality organizer, Kandace Montgomery has observed the Minneapolis Police Department undergo years of reform efforts. After 24-year-old Jamar Clark was killed by police in 2015, she helped organize a Black Lives Matter chapter in the city. By 2018, it was clear to her and other organizers in the city that only a plan to take money away from police and give it to other community-led safety initiatives would protect black and brown people. The organization she directs, Black Visions Collective, campaigned alongside its counterpart Reclaim the Block to defund the Minneapolis police, yet the mayor still raised the police budget more than $8 million this year.”

D.C.’s Mayor Muriel E. Bowser Fights for Control of Her City at Trump’s Front Door, The New York Times, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Jennifer Steinhauer, and Kenneth P. Vogel, Friday, 5 June 2020: “After federal law enforcement agents and military troops lined up for days against protesters outside the White House, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser of Washington responded emphatically on Friday: She had city workers paint ‘Black Lives Matter’ in giant yellow letters down a street she has maintained command of that is at the center of the confrontations. The strong poke to President Trump within sight of his home underscored a larger power struggle between the two leaders over which one — the Democratic head of the District of Columbia or the president headquartered there — should decide who controls the streets that Mr. Trump has promised to dominate during protests over the killing last month of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis. Ms. Bowser, a Washington native long steeped in city politics, again called on Mr. Trump on Friday to pull back all federal law enforcement officers and National Guard troops patrolling the city, including unidentified agents in riot gear, and said she would stop paying for the hotels for the Utah National Guard that she does not want in the city to begin with. She renamed as Black Lives Matter Plaza the area in front of Lafayette Square where federal officials used chemical spray and smoke grenades on Monday to clear protesters ahead of Mr. Trump’s photo op at a historic church that faces the road that Ms. Bowser had painted. (The money for the paint job came out of the city’s mural program, city officials said.)” See also, ‘Black Lives Matter’: In giant yellow letters, D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser renames a street in front of the White House ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza,’ sending a message to Trump, The Washington Post, Fenit Nirappil, Julie Zauzmer, and Rachel Chason, Friday, 5 June 2020: “D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser renamed a street in front of the White House ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza’ and had the slogan painted on the asphalt in massive yellow letters, a pointed salvo in her escalating dispute with President Trump over control of D.C. streets. City officials said the actions Friday were meant to honor demonstrators who are urging changes in law enforcement practices after the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in the custody of Minneapolis police. ‘There was a dispute this week about whose street it is, and Mayor Bowser wanted to make it abundantly clear whose street it is and honor the peaceful demonstrators who assembled Monday night,’ said John Falcicchio, the mayor’s chief of staff. For days, Bowser (D) has strongly objected to the escalation of federal law enforcement and the military response to protests and unrest in the nation’s capital. Trump has urged a crackdown on demonstrators, outraged by sporadic cases of looting during protests in Washington and some other cities. He and Attorney General William P. Barr marshaled a huge influx of federal police and National Guard units to the capital against Bowser’s wishes.” See also, D.C. Mayor Bowser has ‘Black Lives Matter’ painted on street leading to the White House, NBC News, Rebecca Shabad and Dartunorro Clark, Friday, 5 June 2020: “District of Columbia Mayor Muriel Bowser on Friday had ‘Black Lives Matter’ painted on the street that leads to the White House where protesters have been demonstrating following George Floyd’s death in police custody.”

Two Buffalo Police Officers Are Suspended After shoving 75-Year-Old Protester Who Was Hospitalized With a Head Injury, The New York Times, Neil Vigdor, Daniel Victor, and Christine Hauser, Wednesday, 5 June 2020: “Prosecutors are investigating the actions of two Buffalo police officers who were suspended without pay on Thursday night after a video showed them shoving a 75-year-old protester, who was hospitalized with a head injury. The video taken by WBFO, a local radio station, shows the man, identified on Friday as Martin Gugino, approaching a group of officers during a protest stemming from the death of George Floyd. He was identified by the Western New York Peace Center, a nonprofit that named him in a Facebook post, saying he is a peace activist and a member. After the video shows Mr. Gugino stopping in front of the officers to talk, an officer yells ‘push him back’ three times; one officer pushes his arm into Mr. Gugino’s chest, while another extends his baton toward him with both hands. Mr. Gugino flails backward, landing just out of range of the camera, with blood immediately leaking from his right ear. An officer leans down to examine him, the video shows, but another officer then pulls the first officer away. Several other officers are seen walking by the man, motionless on the ground, without checking on him. On Friday, John T. Evans, the president of the Buffalo police union, said all 57 officers on the Emergency Response Team, a special squad formed to respond to riots, had resigned from the team in support of the suspended officers, according to The Buffalo News. The officers remain employed by the department. ‘These officers were simply following orders from Deputy Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia to clear the square,’ Mr. Evans told The News. ‘It doesn’t specify clear the square of men, 50 and under or 15 to 40. They were simply doing their job. I don’t know how much contact was made. He did slip, in my estimation. He fell backwards.’ The Erie County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement on Friday that prosecutors were investigating the incident. It said Mr. Gugino was unable to provide a statement to investigators on Thursday night at the Erie County Medical Center, where he was taken for treatment for the head injury. On Friday, Mr. Gugino was in serious but stable condition and was alert and oriented, according to a hospital spokesman.” See also, 57 Buffalo officers resign from special squad over suspension of two who shoved 75-year-old protester to the ground, causing him to hit his head on the sidewalk and suffer a serious injury,  The Washington Post, Meagan Flynn, Hannah Knowles, and Marisa Iati, Friday, 5 June 2020: “Fifty-seven members of the Buffalo Police Department resigned from a special squad Friday to protest the suspension of two officers shown on video shoving a 75-year-old protester to the ground, causing him to hit his head on the sidewalk and suffer a serious injury, officials said. The footage, shot by local NPR affiliate WBFO on Thursday evening, shows the man walking up to uniformed officers in Buffalo’s Niagara Square during an anti-police-brutality demonstration after George Floyd’s death. The officers, who had begun enforcing curfew, yell what sounds like ‘move!’ and ‘push him back!’ One officer can be seen pushing the man with an outstretched arm, while another shoves a baton into him. A third officer appears to shove colleagues toward the man. The man falls to the ground. His head whips backward onto the pavement, and then he lies motionless. ‘He’s bleeding out of his ear!’ someone yells as blood pools beneath the man’s head. The officers then keep walking, leaving the man on the ground, before two state police officers step in to render aid.” See also, Buffalo officers quit special team after 2 officers are suspended for allegedly shoving 75-year-old to the ground, CNN, Jay Croft and Elizabeth Hartfield, Friday, 5 June 2020: “Fifty-seven police officers in Buffalo, New York, have resigned from the force’s emergency response team following the suspension of two officers who allegedly pushed a 75-year-old protester to the ground, a source close to the situation said Friday. An investigation is underway in a protest incident Gov. Andrew Cuomo called ‘wholly unjustified and utterly disgraceful.’ The man was seriously injured.” See also, Buffalo Police Said Protester With Head Wound ‘Tripped and Fell.’ Video Shows they Lied. The Intercept, Robert Mackey, Friday, 5 June 2020: “Police officers in Buffalo, New York used excessive force to disperse a protest against police brutality on Thursday, shoving a 75-year-old protester who posed no threat to them so hard that he fell to the ground and sustained a bloody head wound. Although the incident took place outside Buffalo’s City Hall, in daylight and in full view of witnesses, including at least five journalists, the Buffalo Police Department initially said in a statement that, during a ‘skirmish involving protestors, one person was injured when he tripped & fell.’ However, that account of what happened was quickly revealed to be a lie. Just over 20 minutes after the police statement was made public, the local NPR affiliate WBFO released distressing video of the incident, which clearly showed that the man only fell to the sidewalk in Niagara Square and hit his head because two officers he tried to talk to shoved him roughly.”

A Crisis That Began With an Image of Police Violence Keeps Providing More. The New York Times, Shawn Hubler and Julie Bosman, Friday, 5 June 2020: “A protest movement that was ignited by a horrific video of police violence — a white police officer pressing his knee against the neck of George Floyd, a black man, for nearly nine minutes — has now prompted hundreds of other incidents and videos documenting violent tactics by police. In Atlanta, a half-dozen officers have been criminally charged after bystanders tweeted footage of an abrupt attack on two college students sitting in a car during protests. In Austin, a 20-year-old protester shot in the head by police officers aiming at someone else with what’s described as nonlethal beanbag ammunition was left with a fractured skull and brain damage. Video shows volunteers being shot, too, as they carry him off.”

‘Kettling’ of Peaceful Protesters Shows Aggressive Shift by New York Police. Officers have charged and swung batons at demonstrators after curfew with seemingly little provocation. The mayor said he would review any reports of inappropriate enforcement. The New York Times, Ali Watkins, Friday, 5 June 2020: “It was about 45 minutes past New York City’s 8 p.m. curfew on Wednesday when a peaceful protest march encountered a line of riot police near Cadman Plaza in Brooklyn. Hundreds of demonstrators stopped and chanted for 10 minutes, arms raised, until their leaders decided to turn the group around and leave the area. The protesters had not seen that riot police had flooded the plaza behind them, boxing them in. The maneuver was a law enforcement tactic called kettling. The police encircle protesters so that they have no way to exit from a park, city block or other public space, and then charge in and make 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 police department after curfew have become among the most unsettling symbols of its use of force against peaceful protests, and have 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 rough tactics.”

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance won’t prosecute protesters amid mass New York City arrests and commends New Yorkers for exercising civil rights at George Floyd demonstrations, New York Daily News, Molly Crane-Newman, Friday, 5 June 2020: “Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance on Friday said his office will decline to prosecute marchers arrested for breaking the city’s 8 p.m. curfew while out protesting the death of George Floyd — and he commended New Yorkers for sticking up for their civil liberties. ‘The prosecution of protesters charged with these low-level offenses undermines critical bonds between law enforcement and the communities we serve. Days after the killing of George Floyd, our nation and our city are at a crossroads in our continuing endeavor to confront racism and systemic injustice wherever it exists,’ Vance said in a statement. ‘We commend the thousands of our fellow New Yorkers who have peacefully assembled to demand these achievable aims, and our door is open to any New Yorker who wishes to be heard,’ he added.”

Pentagon disarms National Guard activated in D.C. and sends active-duty forces home, The Washington Post, Paul Sonne, Fenit Nirappil, and Josh Dawsey, Friday, 5 June 2020: “The Pentagon has told National Guardsmen deployed to the nation’s capital not to use firearms or ammunition, and has issued orders to send home active-duty troops that the Trump administration amassed outside the city in recent days, a sign of de-escalation in the federal response to protests in the city. Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper made the decision to disarm the guard without consulting the White House, after President Trump ordered a militarized show of force on the streets of Washington to quell demonstrations that were punctured by an episode of looting Sunday, two senior administration officials said. Trump had encouraged the National Guard to be armed.”

89 former Defense officials say the military must never be used to violate constitutional rights, The Washington Post, Friday, 5 June 2020: “As former leaders in the Defense Department — civilian and military, Republican, Democrat and independent — we all took an oath upon assuming office ‘to support and defend the Constitution of the United States,’ as did the president and all members of the military, a fact that Gen. Milley pointed out in a recent memorandum to members of the armed forces. We are alarmed at how the president is betraying this oath by threatening to order members of the U.S. military to violate the rights of their fellow Americans.”

Security Concerns Give the White House a Fortified New Look, The New York Times, Peter Baker, Friday, 5 June 2020: “President Trump was furious when news got out last weekend that as protesters gathered outside the White House he had been rushed to an underground bunker. But now, as crowds keep coming back to demonstrate, the entire White House seems to be turning into one. Every day, more fences go up and more concrete barriers are put in place as the security perimeter expands farther and farther. The universally recognized symbol of American democracy increasingly looks like a fortress under siege in the heart of the nation’s capital, a Washington version of the Green Zone that sheltered American and Iraqi officials in Baghdad during the worst of the war. The measures taken over the last week have made the compound occupied by the president, his family and his staff more sealed off from demonstrations but also more removed from the American public. National Guard troops and riot police will certainly withdraw at some point, and White House officials say the barriers will be eventually removed. But history shows that security changes made at the White House in the heat of a momentary perceived threat often become lasting fixtures.”

California: Vallejo police kill unarmed 22-year-old, who was on his knees with his hands up, The Guardian, Sam Levin, Friday, 5 June 2020: “Police in northern California fatally shot an unarmed 22-year-old who was on his knees with his hands up outside a Walgreens store while responding to a call of alleged looting, officials said. An officer in the city of Vallejo was inside his car when he shot Sean Monterrosa on Monday night amid local and national protests against police brutality. Police said an officer mistakenly believed Monterrosa had a gun, but later determined he had a hammer in his pocket. The killing of Monterrosa, who was a San Francisco resident, has sparked intense outrage in the Bay Area, particularly in the city of Vallejo, a city with a long history of police violence and high-profile killings and excessive force complaints.”

The Police Are Rioting. We Need to Talk About It. It is an attack on civil society and democratic accountability. The New York Times, Jamelle Bouie, Friday, 5 June 2020: “If we’re going to speak of rioting protesters, then we need to speak of rioting police as well. No, they aren’t destroying property. But it is clear from news coverage, as well as countless videos taken by protesters and bystanders, that many officers are using often indiscriminate violence against people — against anyone, including the peaceful majority of demonstrators, who happens to be in the streets. Rioting police have driven vehicles into crowds, reproducing the assault that killed Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017. They have surrounded a car, smashed the windows, tazed the occupants and dragged them out onto the ground. Clad in paramilitary gear, they have attacked elderly bystanders, pepper-sprayed cooperative protesters and shot ‘nonlethal’ rounds directly at reporters, causing serious injuries. In Austin, Texas, a 20-year-old man is in critical condition after being shot in the head with a ‘less-lethal’ round. Across the country, rioting police are using tear gas in quantities that threaten the health and safety of demonstrators, especially in the midst of a respiratory disease pandemic…. What we’ve seen from rioting police, in other words, is an assertion of power and impunity. In the face of mass anger over police brutality, they’ve effectively said So what? In the face of demands for change and reform — in short, in the face of accountability to the public they’re supposed to serve — they’ve bucked their more conciliatory colleagues with a firm No. In which case, if we want to understand the behavior of the past two weeks, we can’t just treat it as an explosion of wanton violence; we have to treat it as an attack on civil society and democratic accountability, one rooted in a dispute over who has the right to hold the police to account.”

‘Revolting’: Trump is condemned for saying ‘hopefully George Floyd is looking down right now’ and praising the US economy, The Guardian, David Smith and Dominic Rushe, Friday, 5 June 2020: “Donald Trump was condemned on Friday for making the ‘revolting, enraging, disrespectful’ claim that George Floyd, an African American man killed by police, is looking down from heaven and praising the US economy. The president attempted to take a victory lap after a better-than-expected jobs report showed the national unemployment rate falling to 13.3% last month, with 2.5m jobs gained. But there was a slight uptick in African American joblessness. In White House remarks that folded digressions within digressions, Trump declared: ‘Today is probably, if you think of it, the greatest comeback in American history.’ Speaking after the 10th night of mass anti-racism protests across the country, Trump suggested that Floyd, who died after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes, would be happy about the figures. ‘Hopefully George is looking down right now and saying this a great thing that’s happening for our country,’ he said. ‘There’s a great day for him. It’s a great day for everybody. It’s a great day for everybody. There’s a great, great day in terms of equality.’ The comment earned swift opprobrium. Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, said: ‘George Floyd’s last words, “I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe,” have echoed all across this nation and, quite frankly, around the world. For the president to try to put any other words in the mouth of George Floyd I frankly think is despicable.'” See also, Trump Says Jobs Report Made It a ‘Great Day’ for George Floyd, The New York Times, Katie Rogers, Friday, 5 June 2020.

Former White House chief of Staff John Kelly says he agrees with Jim Mattis that Trump ‘is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people,’ CNN Politics, Sarah Westwood, Friday, 5 June 2020: “Former White House chief of staff John Kelly said Friday he agrees with former Secretary of Defense Gen. Jim Mattis’ stark warning this week that President Donald Trump is ‘the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people’ as nationwide protests have intensified over the death of George Floyd. ‘I agree with him,’ Kelly told Anthony Scaramucci, former White House communications director, during a live-streamed interview. ‘There is a concern, I think an awful big concern, that the partisanship has gotten out of hand, the tribal thing has gotten out of hand,’ Kelly said. ‘He’s quite a man, Jim Mattis, and for him to do that tells you where he is relative to the concern he has for our country.’ Kelly’s comments come after Mattis, who has widespread support among Senate Republicans for his long military service to the country, contended this week that Trump ‘does not even pretend to try’ to unite the country and is instead engaged in a ‘deliberate effort’ to divide the country, while lacking ‘mature leadership.'”

How Jim Mattis reached his breaking point and decided to speak out against Trump, The Washington Post, Carol D. Leonnig and Dan Lamothe, Friday, 5 June 2020: “For former defense secretary Jim Mattis, it was the last straw: the sight of the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, walking the streets of downtown Washington in battle-ready camouflage amid a show of brute federal force. Smoke was still rising from Lafayette Square, where authorities had just used pepper spray and smoke canisters to disperse a group of largely peaceful protesters, when Gen. Mark A. Milley, along with Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper, joined President Trump Monday evening as he strolled to a nearby church to pose for cameras with a Bible. In Mattis’s eyes, the appearance of the two top military leaders appeared to condone an unprovoked use of force. The nonpartisan military that Mattis had served for nearly five decades was being featured as decoration for a photo op, and Mattis fumed that the president was using the leaders who replaced him at the Defense Department to further divide the nation, according to four people familiar with his thinking. He was especially upset to see Milley — whom Mattis believed had sought to curry favor with Trump when he was defense secretary — appear in his Army combat uniform at a peaceful demonstration. That jarring image highlighted the military’s involvement in a heavy-handed crackdown on civilians.”

Letter to U.S. Governors, Mayors, and Police Chiefs from the Committee to Protect Journalists demanding U.S. local authorities halt assaults on journalists, CPJ, Friday, 5 June 2020: “We write to you demanding that you take immediate action to stop the alarming number of assaults on journalists who are lawfully covering protests in your communities. The Committee to Protect Journalists and the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker are currently investigating at least 280 reports of anti-press violence since May 26, a number we have never seen in the United States. The majority of those reports involve police officers acting against journalists, who describe being shot with rubber bullets or other projectiles, sprayed or gassed with chemical irritants, or smacked, shoved, or pushed to the ground. This is not a question of a few isolated missteps. These reports have come from 53 different communities across 33 states. Many of those journalists say they were attacked or arrested even after clearly identifying themselves as press and offering to move as asked. What is the point of press credentials issued by your agencies if armed officers can ignore them and treat journalists as criminals?”

Frustration and Fury as Republican Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky Holds Up Anti-Lynching Bill in the Senate, The New York Times, Nicholas Fandos, Friday, 5 June 2020: “As Congress prepares to wade into a contentious debate over legislation to address police brutality and systemic racial bias, a long-simmering dispute in the Senate over a far less controversial bill that would for the first time explicitly make lynching a federal crime has burst into public view. The bill, called the Emmett Till Antilynching Act after the 14-year-old black boy who was tortured and killed in 1955 in Mississippi, predates the recent high-profile deaths of three black men and women at the hands of white police and civilians that have inspired protests across the country. It passed the House this year by a vote of 410 to 4, and has the backing of 99 senators, who have urged support for belated federal recognition of a crime that once terrorized black Americans. But the private objections of one Republican, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, have succeeded for months in preventing it from becoming law. At a time when lawmakers are looking at an array of other, potentially more divisive proposals to respond to a spate of recent killings of black Americans, the impasse illustrates the volatile mix of raw emotion and political division that has often frustrated attempts by Congress to enact meaningful changes in the law when it comes to matters of racial violence. The issue erupted on the Senate floor on Thursday afternoon, when Mr. Paul sought to narrow the bill’s definition of lynching and push the revised measure through without a formal vote, drawing angry rebukes from two of the bill’s authors, Senators Cory Booker of New Jersey and Kamala Harris of California, both African-American Democrats. Mr. Paul argued that the lynching bill was sloppily written and could lead to yet another injustice — excessive sentencing for minor infractions — unless it was revised.”

Facebook employees said they were ‘caught in an abusive relationship’ with Trump as internal debates raged, The Washington Post, Elizabeth Dwoskin and Nitasha Tiku, Friday, 5 June 2020: “At an emergency town hall meeting Facebook held this week, days after President Trump posted, ‘When the looting starts, the shooting starts’ on his account, 5,500 Facebook employees had a demand for Mark Zuckerberg. Before the meeting, the employees voted in a poll on which questions to ask the chief executive at the meeting, according to internal documents viewed by The Washington Post. The question that got the most votes: ‘Can we please change our policies around political free speech? Fact checking and removal of hate speech shouldn’t be exempt for politicians.’ Zuckerberg also met privately with black executives to discuss their pain and objections to Trump’s post, which referred to responding to protesters over George Floyd’s death while in Minneapolis police custody. And employees questioned whether Facebook was in an ‘abusive relationship’ with the president, according to a trove of documents that included more than 200 posts from an internal message board that showed unrest among employees.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 5 June 2020: Coronavirus Claims Some of World War II’s Last Witnesses, The New York Times, Friday, 5 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Friday, 5 June 2020: Stocks Rally After Unexpected Drop in U.S. Unemployment, The New York Time, Friday, 5 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Friday, 5 June 2020: Free coronavirus testing sites pop up as protests continue, The Washington Post, Antonia Noori Farzan, Jennifer Hassan, Siobhán O’Grady, Miriam Berger, Katie Mettler, and Samantha Pell, Friday, 5 June 2020: “As mass demonstrations continue across the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, multiple states and cities are starting to offer free coronavirus testing. Public health officials are warily eyeing caseloads and hospitalizations to see if there is a spike in infections resulting from the protests, while the total U.S. deaths from the virus near 108,000. In San Francisco, city officials have set up free, pop-up mobile testing for those who are concerned about exposure. Illinois announced that the coronavirus test would be available for anyone without insurance, without a doctor’s note, and without a car, free of charge. And Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced on Thursday that the city would be offering free testing starting Friday. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said earlier Friday that he wants every New Yorker to get a free test for the novel coronavirus causing covid-19 — a recommendation he stressed for the tens of thousands of protesters marching shoulder to shoulder, or mask to mask, throughout the city this past week.

Here are some significant developments:

  • The Dow Jones industrial average rocketed more than 1,000 points Friday after the release of surprising May unemployment numbers, then cut its gains to 829 points. Wall Street is in the midst of a stunning three-month rally that is close to putting investors back where they were in January, before the coronavirus pandemic obliterated trillions in wealth.
  • The authors of a high-profile study that found the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine could have dangerous side effects for covid-19 patients retracted it on Thursday, saying that they ‘can no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.’
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Friday that more of Michigan is ready to enter stage five of six in the state’s phased reopening plan. Under this fifth, ‘containing’ stage of Whitmer’s guidelines, salons, gyms, and movie theaters can serve customers if they follow covid-19 preventive measures.
  • Police in Australia’s most populous state are appealing to the Supreme Court to block a Black Lives Matter rally scheduled for Saturday, saying that the event cannot take place safely during the coronavirus pandemic.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

 

Saturday, 6 May 2020, Day 1,233:

 

George Floyd Protests: Protests Swell in U.S. and Beyond as George Floyd Is Mourned Near His Birthplace, The New York Times, Saturday, 6 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

George Floyd Protests: Protests wind down on East Coast, but clashes persist in the West; hundreds mourn George Floyd near his North Carolina birthplace, The Washington Post, Hannah Knowles, Brent D. Griffiths, Miriam Berger, Brittany Shammas, Meryl Kornfield, Candace Buckner, Samantha Pell, and Derek Hawkins, Saturday, 6 June 2020: “Protests wound down on the East Coast early Sunday after a nationwide outpouring of anger Saturday sparked by the killing of George Floyd in police custody. But clashes continued in Portland, Ore., and in Seattle, where police used stun grenades in an attempt to disperse a crowd outside a precinct and reported several injuries to officers in a melee with rock- and bottle-throwing protesters. Amid heightened attention to complaints of police brutality as a result of the protests, which researchers call the broadest in U.S. history, two police officers in Buffalo were charged after a widely circulated video appeared to show them shoving a 75-year-old protester, who fell and bled from the head as officers walked past him.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Demonstrators streamed into downtown Washington on Saturday for day-long protests that officials described as the largest yet in the city following Floyd’s death.
  • A car rammed through a group of protesters on bicycles during peaceful demonstrations in Brooklyn on Saturday night, setting off a chase that ended in the driver’s arrest.
  • A public viewing and private memorial service for Floyd was held in Raeford, N.C., near his birthplace. His body was later flown to Texas for another service and burial near Houston.
  • Clashes between protesters and police broke out again in Portland, Ore., early Sunday, as late-night demonstrations continued to devolve in the city’s downtown. Police later said they made at least 50 arrests and dispersed the crowd.
  • George Floyd’s younger brother is scheduled to testify before Congress next week in the first congressional hearing on law enforcement reform since Floyd’s death on Memorial Day.
  • Congressional Democrats plan to release expansive legislation to rein in police violence.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

George Floyd Protests: Thousands gathered across D.C. to protest death of George Floyd, The Washington Post, Patricia Sullivan, Justin Wm. Moyer, Justin George, Michelle Boorstein, Jessica Contrera, Samantha Schmidt, Perry Stein, Rachel Weiner, Hannah Natanson, Kyle Swenson, Rebecca Tan, Tom Jackman, Marissa J. Lang, Michael E. Miller, Clarence Williams, Rachel Chason, and Michael Laris, Friday, 6 June 2020: “Thousands of demonstrators streamed into the nation’s capital on Saturday, in the largest local protests so far over police brutality and racial oppression in the United States. On a hot and humid day, people carrying protest signs marched, many with their children, toward the area around the besieged White House, where authorities used tan military Humvees and dump trucks to cordon off large sections to vehicle traffic.

Here are some significant developments:

• Organizers with Black Lives Matter in the District painted ‘Defund the Police’ on 16th Street NW near the section in front of the White House that D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) renamed ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza’ a day earlier.

•The ninth day of massive protests in the District saw numerous demonstrations across the city — including along the U Street corridor, the Lincoln Memorial, Freedom Plaza and Capitol Hill — over the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, and the Trump administration’s militant approach to the unrest that has gripped cities across the country.

• Some demonstrators said they noticed a shift in the atmosphere at the protests as music played and people posed for selfies. ‘It’s not a carnival,’ a Bowie State University student said to other protesters.

Protesters throng D.C., vowing to be heard after George Floyd’s death, The Washington Post, Samantha Schmidt, Jessica Contrera, Rebecca Tan, Hannah Natanson, and John Woodrow Cox, Saturday, 6 June 2020: “More than 10,000 people poured into the nation’s capital on the ninth day of protests over police brutality, but what awaited this sprawling crowd — the largest yet in Washington — was a city that no longer felt as if it was being occupied by its own country’s military. Gone were the 10-ton, sand-colored tankers in front of Lafayette Square and the legions of officers braced behind riot shields, insisting that citizens stay away. In fact, few police were visible anywhere. And when protesters did see law enforcement — authorities in camouflage, grouped in twos or threes and seldom armed — they rarely screamed abuse, as many of them had in previous days. Few of Saturday’s demonstrations were choreographed, as protesters flowed from one impromptu gathering or march to another. Those who came out in D.C. — and San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia and dozens of other cities across the country — understood that this was a moment in America when change seemed possible. They wanted to be there for it.”

Huge Crowds Around the Globe March in Solidarity Against Police Brutality, The New York Times, Damien Cave, Livia Albeck-Ripka, and Iliana Magra, Saturday, 6 June 2020: “From Paris to Berlin — as in demonstrations this past week in Japan, Sweden and Zimbabwe — people around the world once again turned out in solidarity with American protesters calling for justice in the death of an African-American man, George Floyd, at the hands of the police in Minneapolis. They showed up in circumstances that made it almost impossible to adhere to social distancing regulations. Tens of thousands flowed to Parliament Square in London on Saturday afternoon, shouting anti-racist slogans and carrying signs paying homage to Mr. Floyd, 46, who died after a white police officer held his knee to Mr. Floyd’s neck in Minneapolis on May 25.”

2 Buffalo Police Officers Charged in Shoving of 75-Year-Old Demonstrator, The New York Times, Maria Cramer, Saturday, 6 June 2020: “Two Buffalo police officers were charged on Saturday with felony assault after a video showed officers shoving a 75-year-old man who was protesting outside City Hall on Thursday night, officials said. ‘We had two of our police officers who crossed the line,’ the Erie County district attorney, John J. Flynn, told reporters after the arraignment. ‘My job is to prosecute those who have violated the law, plain and simple. And I believe, and I’m alleging, that these two officers violated the law.’ Prosecutors identified the officers as Aaron Torgalski, 39, and Robert McCabe, 32. They pleaded not guilty and were released on personal recognizance. The charges were filed after a widely viewed video taken by WBFO, a local radio station, showed two police officers appearing to shove Martin Gugino, who has been identified as an activist and a member of the Western New York Peace Center who was attending a protest stemming from the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.”

Trump wanted 10,000 troops to quell protests, ABC News, Ella Torres and William Mansell, Saturday, 6 June 2020: “At a heated White House meeting last Monday morning, President Donald Trump said he wanted 10,000 troops in Washington, D.C., and other cities to quell protests over police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s death, according to a senior U.S. Department of Defense official. However, Defense Secretary Mark Esper, Gen. Mark Milley and Attorney General Bill Barr all opposed such a move, the senior official told ABC News. In the end, there were 1,600 active duty troops sent to the D.C. region on standby in case they were needed. It was the National Guard that was the primary force, with 5,100 guardsman called up, all of whom remain in Washington, D.C.” See also, Trump demanded 10,000 active-duty troops deploy to streets in heated Oval Office meeting, CBS News, Sunday, 7 June 2020: In a heated and contentious debate in the Oval Office last Monday morning, President Trump demanded the military put 10,000 active duty troops into the streets immediately, a senior administration official told CBS News. Attorney General William Barr, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley objected to the demand, the official said.”

In violent protest incidents, a theme emerges: Videos contradict police accounts, The Washington Post, Alex Horton, Saturday, 6 June 2020: “On May 26, the morning after George Floyd’s last gasps underneath a policeman’s knee, the Minneapolis Police Department wrote he had ‘physically resisted’ officers, who noted Floyd ‘appeared to be suffering medical distress.’ That news release went online hours before video revealed two things the public may have never learned otherwise: the source of his distress was nearly nine minutes of Derek Chauvin’s leg pressed into Floyd’s neck, and there is little evidence, if any, that Floyd resisted officers. The pattern — video of violent police encounters that contrast sharply with accounts by the departments or their unions — has repeated with grim symmetry in the days since Floyd’s death. Numerous incidents have captured the rage of the public who point to inaccurate or outright misleading descriptions of what has occurred before their eyes. Taken together, the incidents show how instant verification of police accounts have altered the landscape of accountability. ‘We certainly, as a profession, have been diminished by events that have been witnessed on video over the course of the last couple of weeks,’ Jim Pasco, executive director of the national Fraternal Order of Police, a labor union, told The Washington Post.”

How Police Unions Became Such Powerful Opponents to Reform Efforts, The New York Times, Noam Scheiber, Farah Stockman, and J. David Goodman, Saturday, 6 June 2020: “Over the past five years, as demands for reform have mounted in the aftermath of police violence in cities like Ferguson, Mo., Baltimore and now Minneapolis, police unions have emerged as one of the most significant roadblocks to change. The greater the political pressure for reform, the more defiant the unions often are in resisting it — with few city officials, including liberal leaders, able to overcome their opposition. They aggressively protect the rights of members accused of misconduct, often in arbitration hearings that they have battled to keep behind closed doors. And they have also been remarkably effective at fending off broader change, using their political clout and influence to derail efforts to increase accountability. While rates of union membership have dropped by half nationally since the early 1980s, to 10 percent, higher membership rates among police unions give them resources they can spend on campaigns and litigation to block reform. A single New York City police union has spent more than $1 million on state and local races since 2014.”

Pentagon Ordered National Guard Helicopters’ Aggressive Response in D.C., The New York Times, Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Eric Schmitt, Saturday, 6 June 2020: “Top Pentagon officials ordered National Guard helicopters to use what they called ‘persistent presence’ to disperse protests in the capital this week, according to military officials. The loosely worded order prompted a series of low-altitude maneuvers that human rights organizations quickly criticized as a show of force usually reserved for combat zones. Ryan D. McCarthy, the Army secretary and one of the officials who authorized part of the planning for the helicopters’ mission Monday night, said on Friday that the Army had opened an investigation into the episode.”

Cut the Carceral System Now, New York Review of Books, Jack Norton, Saturday, 6 June 2020: “Jails and prisons are not natural features of the rural American landscape. Mass incarceration was built state by state, county by county. Today, carceral responses—policing, jail, and state supervision—are proposed as ostensible solutions to almost every social and economic problem in the United States. Since the killing of George Floyd by police a little over a week ago, people across the country have been rising up against police brutality, and highlighting the relationships between policing, systemic racism, poverty, and mass criminalization. As people from Louisville, Kentucky, to Duluth, Minnesota, and from Los Angeles to New York City protest police violence, they have been met with escalating police violence. And as people advocate defunding the police and prisons, in favor of reallocating funds to communities, they have been faced with heavily resourced and militarized police forces.”

U.S. Marine Corps Issues Ban on Confederate Battle Flags, The New York Times, Jenny Gross, Saturday, 6 June 2020: “The U.S. Marine Corps on Friday issued detailed directives about removing and banning public displays of the Confederate battle flag at Marine installations — an order that extended to such items as mugs, posters and bumper stickers. ‘Current events are a stark reminder that it is not enough for us to remove symbols that cause division — rather, we also must strive to eliminate division itself,’ the commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. David H. Berger, said in a statement on Wednesday. As protests across the United States have erupted over police brutality, pressure has grown on officials to remove monuments and flags seen as symbols of racism.”

‘Buildings matter, too’: Philadelphia newspaper editor Stan Wischnowski resigns after headline suggests an equivalence between the loss of buildings and the lives of black Americans, The Guardian, Saturday, 6 June 2020: “The top editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer has resigned following an uproar over a headline bemoaning property damage incurred during the protests against police brutality and racial injustice. The newspaper announced on Saturday that Stan Wischnowski, 58, was stepping down as senior vice-president and executive editor, after apologizing on Wednesday for the ‘horribly wrong’ decision to use the headline ‘Buildings Matter, Too’ on a column Tuesday suggesting an equivalence between the loss of buildings and the lives of black Americans.” See also, Stan Wischnowski, Top Editor of Philadelphia Inquirer, Resigns After ‘Buildings Matter, Too’ Headline, The New York Times, Marc Tracy, Saturday, 6 June 2020.

Ransacking the Republic, The New York Review of Books, Walter M. Shaub Jr., published online on Saturday, 6 June 2020 and in the 2 July 2020 print edition: “The Trump era has revealed that our systems for accountability and checks on executive power are too fragile. What can be done? The House of Representatives is now considering a bill to amend the Inspector General Act to limit the reasons for which inspectors general can be fired and to require the president to produce documentation showing cause exists before firing any of them. That’s a good idea, even if there’s little chance the Republican-led Senate will consider it, and it may be challenged in court on constitutional grounds. Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, has offered another worthwhile suggestion, this one for whistleblowers. She urges Congress to give federal workers the right to press claims of whistleblower retaliation in jury trials. As for the civil service, I encourage Congress to shore up due process protections for career federal employees by guaranteeing all of them the right to seek independent review of major disciplinary actions against them, with ample time for processing their complaints and filing appeals…. I believe we need reform, yet there’s a limit to what laws can do. The Supreme Court has weakened the conflict-of-interest laws we have on the books. Trump and his Republican wrecking crew are ripping out the floorboards under the government ethics program. His administration has taught us the difference between theory and application and shown us what immunity to accountability looks like. What good are laws if no one in power will enforce them?… If Congress breaks free of this president’s spell, reforms may help. In the meantime, Trump and his allies in Congress, in the service of his kleptocratic ambitions, are weakening much of the architecture that stands between us and boundless executive power. For all Trump’s difficulties in governing—demonstrated most recently by his floundering response to the coronavirus pandemic—he has excelled at self-dealing, shattering illusions about the republic’s institutional integrity. We are running out of safeguards for Trump to attack. Things will only grow worse if America fails to stanch his corruption.”

Vote for Trump? These Republican Leaders Aren’t on the Bandwagon, The New York Times, Jonathan Martin, Saturday, 6 June 2020: “Former President George W. Bush and Senator Mitt Romney won’t support Mr. Trump’s re-election. Colin Powell will vote for Joe Biden, and other G.O.P. officials may do the same…. Opposing the sitting president of your own party means putting policy priorities at risk, in this case appointing conservative judges, sustaining business-friendly regulations and cutting taxes — as well as incurring the volcanic wrath of Mr. Trump.” See also, Colin Powell: Trump has ‘drifted away’ from the Constitution, CNN Politics, Devan Cole, Sunday, 7 June 2020: Former Republican Secretary of State Colin Powell said Sunday that President Donald Trump has ‘drifted away’ from the Constitution, adding to a growing list of former top military officials who have strongly criticized the President’s response to the nationwide protests surrounding the police killing of George Floyd.”

A ‘misclassification error’ made the May unemployment rate look better than it is. Here’s what happened. The Washington Post, Heather Long, Saturday, 6 June 2020:When the U.S. government’s official jobs report for May came out on Friday, it included a note at the bottom saying there had been a major ‘error’ indicating that the unemployment rate likely should be higher than the widely reported 13.3 percent rate. The special note said that if this ‘misclassification error’ had not occurred, the ‘overall unemployment rate would have been about 3 percentage points higher than reported,’ meaning the unemployment rate would be about 16.3 percent for May. But that would still be an improvement from an unemployment rate of about 19.7 percent for April, applying the same standards.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Saturday, 6 June 2020: “China Defends Its Coronavirus Response, The New York Times, Saturday, 6 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

 

Sunday, 7 June 2020, Day 1,234:

 

George Floyd Protests: Majority of Minneapolis City Council Pledges to Dismantle Police Department. Some cities are starting to heed calls to ‘defund the police,’ as lawmakers push proposals for greater police accountability. National Guard troops are being sent home from Washington, D.C. The New York Times, Sunday, 7 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

George Floyd Protests: 9 Minneapolis City Council members announce plans to disband the police department, The Washington Post, Derek Hawkins, Meryl Kornfield, Adam Taylor, Kareem Copeland, Meagan Flynn, Katie Shepherd, Allyson Chiu, Tim Elfrink, and Timothy Bella, Sunday, 7 June 2020: “Nine Minneapolis City Council members announced plans Sunday to disband the city’s police department. They did not offer a timeline or propose specific actions but said they are ‘taking intermediate steps toward ending’ the force. The group represents a majority on the 12-person council. Two weeks after George Floyd died in police custody in the city, protesters nationwide say their work is far from over. They continue to denounce entrenched bias in law enforcement and call for sweeping changes. In stark contrast, two top Trump administration officials said Sunday they do not believe there is ‘systemic racism’ in the country’s police forces. Attorney General William P. Barr suggested he is reluctant to investigate potential deeper policing problems in Minneapolis, where the national firestorm began.

Here are some significant developments:

  • President Trump said Sunday he is ordering National Guard troops to begin withdrawing from the nation’s capital. D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) and others had criticized the use of heavily armed federal officers as security during largely peaceful demonstrations.
  • The New York Times announced the resignation of its editorial page editor James Bennet, days after the publication of a controversial op-ed from Sen. Tom Cotton (R.-Ark.) that called for military intervention in U.S. cities where protests over police brutality have ignited violence.
  • The concept of defunding the police has become a growing topic of interest as protests continue nationwide. Supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement have called for the action as one step toward combating what they view as institutionalized racism within police departments.
  • Philonise Floyd is scheduled to testify before Congress on Wednesday, the first congressional hearing on law enforcement reform since his brother’s killing in police custody on Memorial Day.
  • Former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama addressed the unrest sparked by Floyd’s death and the coronavirus pandemic in their commencement speeches to the Class of 2020 on Sunday, telling graduates that they, too, are anxious about the events that have unfolded in recent months. “It’s fair to say that your generation is graduating into a world that faces more profound challenges than any generation in decades,” Barack Obama said.
  • The Denver Police Department changed its rules Sunday to ban all uses of chokeholds as part of a wider effort to address the use of force by its officers amid ongoing protests over Floyd’s death.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Minneapolis Will Dismantle Its Police Force, Council Members Pledge. Saying the existing Police Department cannot be reformed, a majority of the City Council has promised to rethink public safety from the ground up in the wake of George Floyd’s killing. The New York Times, Dionne Searcey and John Eligon, Sunday, 7 June 2020: “Nine members of the Minneapolis City Council — a veto-proof majority — pledged on Sunday to dismantle the Police Department, promising to create a new system of public safety in a city where law enforcement has long been accused of racism. Saying that the city’s policing system could not be reformed, the council members stood before hundreds of people gathered late in the day on a grassy hill and promised to begin the process of taking apart the Police Department as it now exists. For activists who have been pushing for years for drastic changes to policing, the move represented a turning point that they hope will lead to a transformation of public safety in the city.”

Trump Orders Troops to Leave D.C. as Former Military Leaders Sound Warning, The New York Times, Lara Jakes and Helene Cooper, Sunday, 7 June 2020: “President Trump said on Sunday that he had ordered National Guard troops to begin withdrawing from the nation’s capital, after a week of relentless criticism over his threat to militarize the government’s response to nationwide protests, including rebukes from inside the military establishment itself. Mr. Trump announced his order on Twitter as three former chairmen of the Joint Chiefs of Staff harshly condemned him for using force to drive protesters back from the White House and threatening to send troops to quell protests in other cities. They warned that the military risked losing credibility with the American people. The president said the National Guard soldiers would withdraw ‘now that everything is under perfect control.'” See also, Trump pulls back National Guard, and cities cancel curfews, as peaceful protests continue and grow, The Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez, Matt Zapotosky, and Meryl Kornfield, Sunday, 7 June 2020: “A day after thousands of people filled the streets of Washington and other cities to demand action against police brutality and systemic racism, local and national figures on Sunday moved to further de-escalate tensions, with President Trump pulling back the National Guard and more cities — including New York, Philadelphia and Chicago — lifting curfews. As Americans again turned out for what researchers are calling the most sweeping and sustained protests in the country’s history, the steps taken by leaders in Washington and elsewhere were a reflection of the fact that the demonstrations, which were initially marked by confrontations and violence, have become more peaceful even as several cities saw their largest ever crowds.”

Atlanta mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms says she is disgusted by Trump’s invocation of George Floyd, CNN Politics, Simret Aklilu, Sunday, 7 June 2020: “Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said she was ‘simply disgusted’ by President Donald Trump’s invoking George Floyd’s name during a Friday bill signing ceremony touting the latest jobs report, which exceeded economists’ expectations. ‘I think if the President was going to say anything, it may have been more appropriate to talk about his [Floyd] family,’ said Bottoms in an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash on ‘Inside Politics.’ ‘It just shows that this President is incapable of showing any type of empathy. He always gets it wrong, time and time again, and I think we have got to stop expecting any more from him.'”

Attorney General Bill Barr Defends Attack on Peaceful Protesters Saying Falsely That ‘Pepper Spray Is Not a Chemical Irritant,’ Daily Beast, Justin Baragona, Sunday, 7 June 2020: Attorney General William Barr on Sunday repeatedly defended the violent show of force used by D.C. police last week to clear peaceful protesters from Lafayette Park moments before President Donald Trump’s photo-op at St. John’s Episcopal Church, ultimately playing semantics on the use of chemical munitions by law enforcement. During a wide-ranging interview on Face the Nation, anchor Margaret Brennan pressed the attorney general on whether he felt in hindsight it was ‘appropriate for them to use smoke bombs, tear gas, pepper balls, projectiles at what appeared to be peaceful protesters?’ An unapologetic Barr, who was behind the order to aggressively clear the demonstrators, insisted that ‘they were not peaceful protesters’ and that this is ‘one of the big lies that the media’ is perpetuating. Brennan, for her part, pointed out that three of her CBS colleagues were present and didn’t hear the so-called warnings from police or see any projectiles thrown, claims made by both Barr and the police.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Sunday, Reopening States Are Ill Prepared for Mass Protests, The New York Times, Sunday, 7 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

 

Monday, 8 June 2020, Day 1,235:

 

George Floyd Protests: Democrats Unveil Police Reform Bill, The New York Times, Monday, 8 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

George Floyd Protests: George Floyd’s funeral on Tuesday will include ‘a call to justice,’ The Washington Post, Allyson Chiu, Meagan Flynn, Teo Armus, Tim Elfrink, John Wagner, and Lateshia Beachum, Monday, 8 June 2020: “George Floyd, whose May 25 death sparked widespread protests against police brutality and racial injustice, will be laid to rest Tuesday at Houston Memorial Gardens, next to his mother’s grave. His burial will follow a private funeral at Fountain of Praise church, whose co-pastor, Mia K. Wright, called Floyd’s death in police custody ‘the spark of a movement in the nation and in the world.’ The service, which will be live-streamed, will include ‘a call to justice, a call for social reform,’ Wright said, on the same day that congressional Democrats unveiled sweeping police reform legislation.

Here are some significant developments:
  • As a national ‘defund the police’ debate swirls, the San Diego City Council passed a budget that increases funding for police, causing uproar among activists. Meanwhile, President Trump and his presumptive Democratic rival, Joe Biden, publicly opposed the push to cut funding for police departments in some cities.
  • court ordered officers in Minneapolis to stop using chokeholds and neck restraints — prohibiting the tactic used by officer Derek Chauvin for eight minutes before Floyd’s death.
  • Portland Police Chief Jami Resch announced she is resigning and that her replacement will be Charlie Lovell, an African American lieutenant. The Portland Police Bureau has faced criticism for its handling of demonstrations.
  • A judge temporarily blocked Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) from removing a towering statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond. Meanwhile, Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy are ‘open to having a bipartisan discussion’ over renaming several bases that carry the names of Confederate leaders, a Pentagon official said.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

George Floyd Protests: D. C. officials call for change to police practices as protests continue; Richmond judge halts removal of Lee statue for 10 days, The Washington Post, Dana Hedgpeth, Monday, 8 June 2020: “As the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police stretched into their 11th day in Washington, District leaders proposed significant reforms to the city’s police force, saying the protesters have been heard and police practices must change.

Here are some significant developments:
• The D.C. Council is scheduled to vote Tuesday on a sweeping package of legislative reforms. The bill includes a prohibition on neck restraints, which are banned by D.C. police policy but not by law, and a requirement that police make public the name of an officer involved in a serious use of force and the footage from the officer’s body-worn camera within 72 hours. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) stopped short of endorsing the legislation Monday.
• A Richmond judge on Monday temporarily blocked Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) from removing a towering statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from the Monument Avenue traffic circle where it has stood for 130 years.

• The 11 consecutive days of mass protests are among the longest stretch ever seen in Washington, a city well-accustomed to political rallies. These demonstrations have swelled each day with new faces; on Monday, just as on the days before, many who toted handmade signs said it was their first day joining the crowd. Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Defying Police Unions, New York Lawmakers Ban Chokeholds, The New York Times, Luis Ferré-Sadurni, Jeffery C. Mays, and Ashley Southall, Monday, 8 June 2020: “Inspired by the protests sweeping the state and nation, New York legislative leaders on Monday began to approve an expansive package of bills targeting police misconduct, defying longstanding opposition from law enforcement groups, including police unions. The measures range from a ban on the use of chokeholds to the repeal of an obscure decades-old statute that has effectively hidden the disciplinary records of police officers from public view, making it virtually impossible for victims to know whether a particular officer has a history of abuse. The legislation marks one of the most substantial policy changes to result from the nearly two weeks of national unrest that followed George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, including in New York City, where tens of thousands of protesters participated in mostly peaceful marches to demand more police accountability.”

Democrats Unveil Sweeping Bill Targeting Police Misconduct and Racial Bias. The measure, the most expansive intervention into policing that lawmakers have proposed in recent memory, is likely to draw opposition from Republicans and police unions. The New York Times, Catie Edmondson, Monday, 8 June 2020: “Democrats in Congress on Monday unveiled sweeping legislation aimed at combating excessive use of force and racial discrimination by the police and making it easier to identify, track and prosecute misconduct, the most expansive federal intervention into law enforcement that lawmakers have proposed in recent memory. Introduced as a direct response to the recent killings of unarmed black Americans as protests of police violence and racial discrimination continue across the country, the bill proposes significant changes to the rules that govern how police officers operate and how they can be held accountable for wrongdoing. It comes as tens of thousands of Americans have taken to the streets to call for a nationwide reckoning with systemic racial discrimination, particularly by law enforcement. The legislation would curtail protections that shield police officers accused of misconduct from being prosecuted and impose a new set of restrictions on law enforcement officers to prevent them from using deadly force except as a last resort. It includes many measures that civil rights activists have been pushing for decades, which have met with strong opposition from police unions and law enforcement groups.” See also, Democrats unveil broad police reform bill as George Floyd’s death sparks protests nationwide, The Washington Post, Paul Kane and John Wagner, published on Tuesday, 9 June 2020: “Congressional Democrats rallied Monday around broad police reform legislation, urging President Trump and Republicans to rapidly embrace measures aimed at boosting law enforcement accountability, changing police practices and curbing racial profiling. As Democrats put forward a unified response to the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, which has sparked nationwide protests, leading members of the party also sought to distance themselves from the growing calls from liberal activists to ‘defund the police’ — a slogan that Trump and fellow Republicans have seized upon to portray Democrats as weak on crime.” See also, ‘Black Americans want to stop being killed’: Democrats unveil sweeping police reform bill, Politico, Heather Caygle, John Bresnahan, and Sarah Ferris, Monday, 8 June 2020: “Top Democrats unveiled a major police reform bill Monday morning in an effort to galvanize public pressure into legislative action as protesters nationwide demand racial justice after the killing of George Floyd. The bill would make dramatic changes to police policy across the country and undo decades-old laws that Democrats and activists say have led to the deaths of African Americans at the hands of police officers, including 46-year-old Floyd in Minneapolis two weeks ago.”

John Oliver explains ‘defund the police’ and why it doesn’t mean ‘no police,’ MarketWatch, Nicole Lyn Pesce, Monday, 8 June 2020: “In the two weeks since George Floyd died after a Minneapolis police officer put his knee on his neck for almost nine minutes, many of the people protesting systemic racial injustice and police brutality across the country have called to ‘defund the police’ as a possible solution. While both President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden argued against defunding the police on Monday, some lawmakers and political leaders are considering the controversial measure. Minneapolis City Council members vowed to ‘dismantle’ the local police department on Saturday, in order to ‘recreate systems that actually keep us safe.’ New York City mayor Bill de Blasio pledged on Sunday to cut some money from the NYPD’s $6 billion budget, and redistribute funds to youth services and social services. Details will be hammered out over the next three weeks ahead of the city’s July 1 budget deadline…. ‘[John Oliver] outlined law enforcement’s history of enforcing laws ‘explicitly designed to subjugate black people,’ beginning with capturing escaped slaves, as well as the Jim Crow laws that enforced segregation after Emancipation, leading up to the War on Drugs, ‘broken windows’ policing and ‘stop-and-frisk’ policies that disproportionately targeted people of color…. ‘All the while, as we were continuing to boost funding for police and give them more authority, we were simultaneously slashing spending on key social services,’ Oliver said. ‘That meant that in many communities, the police were the only ones left to handle almost any issue that people had, which is a real problem … we are asking police to do far too much.'” See also, Defund the police? Here’s what that really means. The Washington Post, Christy E. Lopez, published on Sunday, 7 June 2020: “Since George Floyd’s death, a long-simmering movement for police abolition has become part of the national conversation, recast slightly as a call to ‘defund the police.’ For activists, this conversation is long overdue. But for casual observers, this new direction may seem a bit disorienting — or even alarming. Be not afraid. ‘Defunding the police’ is not as scary (or even as radical) as it sounds, and engaging on this topic is necessary if we are going to achieve the kind of public safety we need. During my 25 years dedicated to police reform, including in places such as Ferguson, Mo., New Orleans and Chicago, it has become clear to me that ‘reform’ is not enough. Making sure that police follow the rule of law is not enough. Even changing the laws is not enough. To fix policing, we must first recognize how much we have come to over-rely on law enforcement. We turn to the police in situations where years of experience and common sense tell us that their involvement is unnecessary, and can make things worse. We ask police to take accident reports, respond to people who have overdosed and arrest, rather than cite, people who might have intentionally or not passed a counterfeit $20 bill. We call police to roust homeless people from corners and doorsteps, resolve verbal squabbles between family members and strangers alike, and arrest children for behavior that once would have been handled as a school disciplinary issue.” See also, What Would Efforts to Defund or Disband Police Departments Really Mean? The New York Times, Dionne Searcey, Monday, 8 June 2020: “Across the country, calls are mounting from some activists and elected officials to defund, downsize or abolish police departments. A veto-proof majority of the Minneapolis City Council pledged on Sunday to dismantle the Minneapolis Police Department, promising to create a new system of public safety in a city where law enforcement has long been accused of racism. The calls for change have left people uncertain of what those changes would really mean and how cities would contend with crime. Much remains uncertain and the proposals vary between cities, but here are answers to some questions about the issue.” See also, Joe Biden Does Not Want to Defund the Police, Spokesman Says, The New York Times, Thomas Kaplan, Monday, 8 June 2020: “Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. ‘does not believe that police should be defunded,’ a spokesman for his campaign said Monday, weighing in on a call from protesters and activists that has gathered steam as protests against police brutality and systemic racism have grown. The spokesman, Andrew Bates, said in a statement that Mr. Biden ‘hears and shares the deep grief and frustration of those calling out for change’ and ‘supports the urgent need for reform.’ But Mr. Bates emphasized that Mr. Biden believes providing funding is necessary to help improve policing, including by supporting ‘community policing programs that improve relationships between officers and residents.'” See also, Trump Rebuffs Protests Over Systemic Racism and Calls Police ‘Great People. In a meeting with law enforcement officials, Mr. Trump said he opposed any defunding or dismantling of police departments, which many demonstrators have been demanding to address police violence. The New York Times, Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman, Monday, 8 June 2020: “President Trump on Monday flatly denied that systemic problems existed in American police departments, declaring that as many as 99.9 percent of the nation’s officers are ‘great, great people’ as he rebuffed mass street protests denouncing racist behavior in law enforcement. Mr. Trump, who has adopted an uncompromising law-and-order posture and scorned demonstrations that have broken out in cities nationwide, surrounded himself with law enforcement officials at the White House and tried to link liberals’ calls to defund the police to his Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. — even though Mr. Biden came out earlier against defunding the police.”

What video and other records show about the police crackdown in Lafayette Square on Monday, 1 June, before Trump’s photo op holding a bible in front of St. John’s Church, The Washington Post, Dalton Bennett, Sarah Cahlan, Aaron C. Davis, and Joyce Lee, Monday, 8 June 2020: “Late in the day on June 1, demonstrators gathered near the White House, on the edge of Lafayette Square, to protest police abuse following the death in custody of Minneapolis resident George Floyd. Similar protests had erupted across the country. Many were peaceful, but some included property destruction and clashes with police. Earlier in the day, President Trump berated local and state leaders as ‘weak’ for not doing more to quell unrest, and in a call with governors he pledged decisive action. ‘We’re going to do something that people haven’t seen before,’ he said, ‘but you got to have total domination, and then you have to put them in jail.’ At about 6:30 p.m., just north of the White House, federal police in riot gear fired gas canisters and used grenades containing rubber pellets to scatter largely peaceful demonstrators. Their actions cleared the way for the president, surrounded by the nation’s top law enforcement and military leaders, to walk to the historic St. John’s Church for a three-minute photo op. Drawing on footage captured from dozens of cameras, as well as police radio communications and other records, The Washington Post reconstructed the events of this latest remarkable hour of Trump’s presidency, including of the roles of the agencies involved and the tactics and weaponry they used.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate minority Leader Charles Schumer call on Trump to reopen Lafayette Square amid peaceful protests over killing of George Floyd, The Washington Post, Felicia Sonmez, Monday, 8 June 2020: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Monday called on President Trump to reopen Lafayette Square, one week after authorities pushed back largely peaceful protesters by charging at them with mounted police and firing canisters that sent plumes of noxious smoke into the crowd. In a letter to Trump, the two Democratic leaders emphasized that the square ‘has long been a venue where Americans can gather to freely exercise their constitutional rights in close proximity to the White House. You have now erected heavy, semi-permanent steel fencing to wall off the Square,’ Pelosi and Schumer wrote. ‘Your conversion of this unique public park in the heart of our Nation’s capital to what looks like a militarized zone denies citizens access to the park and sends the worst possible message to the American public and people around the world.’ They added ‘Lafayette Square should be a symbol of freedom and openness, not a place behind which the leader of our Executive Branch cowers in fear of protesters who are crying out for justice.'”

Army reverses course and will consider renaming bases named for Confederate leaders, Politico, Lara Seligman, Monday, 8 June 2020: “Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy is now ‘open’ to renaming the service’s 10 bases and facilities that are named after Confederate leaders, an Army spokesperson told POLITICO, in a reversal of the service’s previous position. Defense Secretary Mark Esper also supports the discussion, the spokesperson said. ‘The Secretary of Defense and Secretary of the Army are open to a bi-partisan discussion on the topic,’ Army spokesperson Col. Sunset Belinsky said in a statement Monday. The recent uproar over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police drove McCarthy’s reversal, one Army official said. The events of the past two weeks ‘made us start looking more at ourselves and the things that we do and how that is communicated to the force as well as the American public,’ the official said. As recently as February, the Army said the service had no plans to rename the facilities, following the Marine Corps’ announcement that it would ban images of Confederate flags from its installations.”

Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas rallies conservatives and raises national profile as op-ed on military intervention causes uproar, The Washington Post, Seung Min Kim, Monday, 8 June 2020: “With his call for the military to be deployed in U.S. cities gripped by protests over police brutality, Sen. Tom Cotton has found himself in a familiar position: Rallying conservatives, enraging Democrats and further raising his national profile amid growing speculation over his future ambitions. The Arkansas Republican has been minted as a political up-and-comer since he entered Congress in 2013, yet he cemented his status as a hero on the right when an op-ed he authored for the New York Times on using the military to deter looting and violent unrest amid the demonstrations provoked an unusual public furor among its journalists, who called it inflammatory. The uproar led to the ouster of the newspaper’s powerful opinions editor.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Monday, 8 June 2020: Global Coronavirus Caseload Passes 7 Million, The New York Times, Monday, 8 June 2020: The W.H.O. warned that the pandemic appeared to be worsening, and said that asymptomatic transmission was not a significant factor in how the virus spreads. China is using Twitter to drown out criticism during the pandemic.”

  • As the global caseload surges past 7 million, the W.H.O. issues a warning.
  • On Twitter, Beijing tries to shape the global narrative about the virus and more.
  • New York City began a tentative reopening.
  • The S&P erased its losses for the year.
  • California allows movie theaters to reopen on Friday, under certain conditions.
  • Air travel in the U.S. is picking up, fueled by vacationers.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, 8 June 2020: Once the coronavirus epicenter in the U.S., New York City begins to reopen, The Washington Post, Antonia Noori Farzan, Teo Armus, Jennifer Hassan, Rick Noack, Brittany Shammas, Kim Bellware, Taylor Telford, Steven Goff, and Kareem Copeland, Monday, 8 June 2020: “On Monday, 100 days after the first coronavirus case was confirmed there, the city that was once the epicenter of America’s coronavirus pandemic began to reopen. The number of cases in New York has plunged, but health officials fear that a week of protests on the streets could bring a new wave. Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) estimated that between 200,000 to 400,000 workers returned to work throughout the city’s five boroughs. ‘All New Yorkers should be proud you got us to this day,’ de Blasio said at a news conference Monday morning at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, a manufacturing hub.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Since the start of June, 14 states and Puerto Rico have seen their highest-ever seven-day average of new covid-19 cases, according to data tracked by The Washington Post.
  • Harsh nationwide lockdowns, while widely loathed by those undergoing them, may have saved millions of lives and prevented hundreds of millions of infections, according to a pair of studies published Monday in the medical journal Nature.
  • The U.S. economy officially entered a recession in February, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, which announced that a 128-month expansion officially ended then. The World Bank estimates that global gross domestic product will shrink 5.2 percent in 2020 as the pandemic continues to disrupt business, travel and manufacturing.
  • A Post review found that several large states are not following federal recommendations to report probable coronavirus cases and deaths. That is partly why government officials and public health experts say the virus’s true toll is above the U.S. tally of about 1.9 million cases and 109,000 deaths.
  • Officials from the World Health Organization warned that the coronavirus pandemic is ‘far from over,’ saying ‘this is not the time for any country to take its foot off the pedal.’
  • Tropical Storm Cristobal made landfall in Louisiana on Sunday evening, producing dangerous flooding in communities where residents were forced to weigh the relative risks of staying in the storm’s path and evacuating to shelters where social distancing could be difficult.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

14 states and Puerto Rico hit highest seven-day average of new coronavirus infections, The Washington Post, Kim Bellware and Jacqueline Dupree, Monday, 8 June 2020: “As rates of coronavirus infections ease in places such as New York and Illinois and onetime hot spots move into new phases of reopening, parts of the country that had previously avoided being hit hard by the outbreak are now tallying record-high new infections. Since the start of June, 14 states and Puerto Rico have recorded their highest-ever seven-day average of new coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, according to data tracked by The Washington Post: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina, Mississippi, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Utah. If the pandemic’s first wave burned through dense metro hubs such as New York City, Chicago and Detroit, the highest percentages of new cases are coming from places with much smaller populations….”

Lockdowns May Have Helped Prevent Half a Billion Coronavirus Cases, Bloomberg, Janice Kew, Monday, 8 June 2020: “Lockdowns and other public-health measures may have prevented about half a billion coronavirus infections in six countries, including China and the U.S. The virus has now caused some 7 million reported cases of Covid-19, with more than 400,000 fatalities. Published Monday in the journal Nature, the first peer-reviewed analysis of the impact of health policies suggests that the toll would have been vastly worse without lockdowns, social distancing, travel restrictions and other interventions. Many coronavirus infections are relatively mild, and most of the roughly 500 million averted cases would have gone undetected, according to the study.” See also, Study published in the journal Nature finds shutdowns prevented 60 million coronavirus infections in the U.S., The Washington Post, Joel Achenbach and Laura Meckler, Monday, 8 June 2020: “Shutdown orders prevented about 60 million novel coronavirus infections in the United States and 285 million in China, according to a research study published Monday that examined how stay-at-home orders and other restrictions limited the spread of the contagion. A separate study from epidemiologists at Imperial College London estimated the shutdowns saved about 3.1 million lives in 11 European countries, including 500,000 in the United Kingdom, and dropped infection rates by an average of 82 percent, sufficient to drive the contagion well below epidemic levels. The two reports, published simultaneously Monday in the journal Nature, used completely different methods to reach similar conclusions. They suggest that the aggressive and unprecedented shutdowns, which caused massive economic disruptions and job losses, were effective at halting the exponential spread of the novel coronavirus.”

Centers for Disease Control (CDC) wants states to count ‘probable’ coronavirus cases and deaths, but most aren’t doing it, The Washington Post, Beth Reinhard, Emma Brown, Reis Thebault, and Lena H. Sun, Monday, 8 June 2020: “Fewer than half the states are following federal recommendations to report probable novel coronavirus cases and deaths, marking what experts say is an unusual break with public health practices that leads to inconsistent data collection and undercounts of the disease’s impact. A Washington Post review found that the states not disclosing probable cases and deaths include some of the largest: California, Florida, North Carolina and New York. That is one reason government officials and public health experts say the virus’s true toll is above the U.S. tally as of Sunday of about 1.9 million coronavirus cases and 109,000 deaths — benchmarks that shape policymaking and public opinion on the pandemic. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention works closely with a group of health officials called the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists to issue guidelines for tracking certain illnesses. The guidelines are voluntary, though states generally comply. The goal: solid comparisons between states and accurate national statistics that inform public health decision-making.”

The National Bureau of Economic Research Says Recession in the U.S. Began in February, The Wall Street Journal, Kate Davidson, Monday, 8 June 2020: “The U.S. officially entered a recession in February, marking the end of the 128-month expansion that was the longest in records reaching back to 1854. While Monday’s announcement by the National Bureau of Economic Research didn’t come as a surprise to economists, the group typically waits until a recession is well under way before declaring it has started. But this time, the severity and breadth of the coronavirus-induced downturn prompted it to break with past practice, ‘even if it turns out to be briefer than earlier contractions,’ the NBER’s Business Cycle Dating Committee said. Investors are betting on that outcome: The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 461 points on Monday, up 1.7% and just 6.7% shy of its February highs.” See also, The U.S. Entered a Recession in February, The New York Times, Jeanna Smialek, Monday, 8 June 2020: “The United States economy officially entered a recession in February 2020, the committee that calls downturns announced on Monday, bringing the longest expansion on record to an end as the coronavirus pandemic caused economic activity to slow sharply. The economy hit its peak in February and has since fallen into a downturn, the National Bureau of Economic Research’s Business Cycle Dating Committee said. A recession begins when the economy reaches a peak of activity and ends when it reaches its trough. This downturn is the first since 2009, when the last recession ended, and marks the end of the longest expansion — 128 months — in records dating back to 1854. Most economists expect this recession to be both particularly deep and exceptionally short, perhaps just a few months, as states reopen and economic activity resumes.”

Minuscule number of potentially fraudulent ballots in states with universal mail voting undercuts Trump claims about election risks, The Washington Post, Elise Viebeck, Monday, 8 June 2020: “As nearly every state expands its capacity for absentee voting this year, President Trump and his GOP allies have attacked the process as prone to rampant fraud. ‘MAIL-IN VOTING WILL LEAD TO MASSIVE FRAUD AND ABUSE,’ Trump tweeted last month. ‘. . . WE CAN NEVER LET THIS TRAGEDY BEFALL OUR NATION.’ But a Washington Post analysis of data collected by three vote-by-mail states with help from the nonprofit Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) found that officials identified just 372 possible cases of double voting or voting on behalf of deceased people out of about 14.6 million votes cast by mail in the 2016 and 2018 general elections, or 0.0025 percent. The figure reflects cases referred to law enforcement agencies in five elections held in Colorado, Oregon and Washington, where all voters proactively receive ballots in the mail for every election. The minuscule rate of potentially fraudulent ballots in those states adds support to assertions by election officials nationwide that with the right safeguards, mail voting is a secure method for conducting elections this year amid the threat of the novel coronavirus — undercutting the president’s claims.”

Contradicting Trump, Attorney General William Barr Says Trump’s Bunker Visit Was for Safety, Not an ‘Inspection,’ The New York Times, Peter Baker and Katie Benner, Monday, 8 June 2020: “Attorney General William P. Barr contradicted President Trump on Monday and confirmed that the president was taken to an underground bunker late last month not for an ‘inspection’ but because of security concerns over street demonstrations outside the White House. ‘Things were so bad that the Secret Service recommended the president go down to the bunker,’ Mr. Barr said in an interview with Fox News. ‘We can’t have that in our country.’ Mr. Barr’s account of the events of May 29 stood in direct contrast to the version that Mr. Trump offered last week when he denied a report in The New York Times that the Secret Service had taken him to the bunker for his security amid the protests. The president called that a ‘false report’ and suggested that he had merely been looking the place over. ‘I wasn’t down — I went down during the day, and I was there for a tiny little short period of time, and it was much more for an inspection,’ Mr. Trump said last week. ‘There was no problem during the day.’ The trip to the bunker has become a major irritant to the president, who was infuriated at the notion that he would be seen as cowering in the face of protests even if the Secret Service was following protocols. Officials noted that a temporary barricade near the Treasury Department next door to the White House had been breached.”

 

Tuesday, 9 June 2020, Day 1,236:

 

George Floyd Protests: The Reverend Al Sharpton Delivers Eulogy at George Floyd’s Funeral, The New York Times, Tuesday, 9 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

George Floyd Protests: At George Floyd’s funeral, the Reverend Al Sharpton calls out Trump in eulogy, The Washington Post, Meagan Flynn, John Wagner, Lateshia Beachum, Marisa Iati, Katie Mettler, Michael Brice-Saddler, and Meryl Kornfield, Tuesday, 9 June 2020: “The Rev. Al Sharpton on Tuesday used his eulogy at George Floyd’s funeral service to take aim at President Trump after former vice president Joe Biden in a somber video linked Floyd’s death in police custody to the nation’s enduring struggle for civil rights. Floyd — whose final words, ‘I can’t breathe,’ became a rallying cry, sparking widespread protests against police brutality and racial injustice — will be laid to rest at Houston Memorial Gardens.

Here are some significant developments:

  • Sharpton said that the outcome for the now-fired Minneapolis police officer who was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck would be very different if their races were flipped.
  • The New York state legislature on Tuesday passed a bill that would disclose years of law enforcement disciplinary records. Those in support of the bill say it will help rebuild public trust in law enforcement and increase accountability.
  • Trump sparked another uproar with a morning tweet endorsing the baseless conspiracy theory that a 75-year-old protester in Buffalo could have been part of a ‘set up’ coordinated by anti-fascist demonstrators.
  • A New York police officer who was caught on video violently shoving a woman to the ground during a recent protest is facing criminal charges, prosecutors said.
  • A Chicago police officer who was pictured flipping off a crowd of protesters is on desk duty, the police department announced Tuesday.
  • Joe Biden said in an interview with CBS News that there is ‘absolutely’ systemic racism in policing, but also in housing, in education and ‘in everything we do.’

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

‘Fight for my brother.’ As George Floyd is laid to rest, his family implores the nation to continue quest for justice. The Washington Post, Arelis R. Hernández, Brittney Martin, Marisa Iati, and Lateshia Beachim, Tuesday, 9 June 2020: “George Perry Floyd Jr. was buried next to his mother here on Tuesday, taking his final resting place in the city where he was raised. It marked the end of his body’s physical journey after his killing at the hands of police on a Minneapolis street corner two weeks earlier, but it also signaled the acceleration of a movement for social justice that will forever bear his name. The final words in tribute to the 46-year-old father, friend and brother were a recommitment by those who knew him — and now millions who know of him — to turn against racism. Speaker after speaker at his funeral Tuesday afternoon implored America to move from indifference to healing, from fear to courage and from mistrust to unity. They want to ensure Floyd’s life was not lost in vain.”

Trump Falsely Targets Buffalo Protester, 75, as ‘Antifa Provocateur.’ The president attacked Martin Gugino even as the activist was in the hospital recovering from a head wound sustained when the police shoved him to the ground. The New York Times, Alan Feuer, Tuesday, 9 June 2020: “It is true, his friends admitted: Martin Gugino is an activist, a seasoned peacenik who in a lifetime of protest has taken part in demonstrations against military drones, climate change, nuclear weapons and police brutality. But Mr. Gugino is also a football fan, they said, a mild-mannered bachelor and a Buffalo native who returned to his hometown some years ago to care for his ailing mother. The one thing he is not, however, those who know him said, is what President Trump suggested he was on Twitter Tuesday morning: a wily Antifa provocateur. Mr. Trump’s tweet — none of it backed by fact — raced across the internet all day even as Mr. Gugino, 75, still lay in the hospital, recovering from the serious head wound he sustained on Thursday night when two Buffalo police officers shoved him to the ground at a demonstration marking the police killing of George Floyd. A cellphone video of the encounter has now been seen by millions of people and led to charges being filed against the officers on Saturday.” See also, Trump draws rebukes for suggesting 75-year-old protester pushed to the ground in Buffalo was part of a ‘set up,’ The Washington Post, Ashley Parker and John Wagner, Tuesday, 9 June 2020: “President Trump sparked another uproar Tuesday with a morning tweet endorsing the baseless conspiracy theory that a 75-year-old protester in Buffalo, seen on video being pushed to the ground by police last week could have been part of a “set up” coordinated by anti-fascist demonstrators. Trump’s speculation — which originated on a conspiracy website and was not supported by any evidence — came as the president is already struggling to manage both a deadly pandemic and racial unrest across the nation. The missive demoralized some aides and allies, who were frustrated if not particularly surprised by Trump’s latest incendiary suggestion.” See also, Trump’s conspiracy theory on 75-year-old protester draws sharp backlash, Politico, Quint Forgey, Tuesday, 9 June 2020: “President Donald Trump has a long history of toying with conspiracy theories, many of which get little traction or even reaction. But his Twitter message on Tuesday suggesting that the 75-year-old man whose head was cracked open by Buffalo law enforcement last week was a tech-savvy ‘ANTIFA provocateur’ prompted an immediate outcry, as well as support for the still-hospitalized victim.” See also, That Trump Tweet About the 75-Year-Old Protester in Buffalo? Republicans Prefer Not to See It. The New York Times, Emily Cochrane, Tuesday, 9 June 2020: “On the 161st day of the fourth year of the Trump presidency, having grown accustomed to Republican lawmakers’ favorite excuse for refusing to comment on President Trump’s latest incendiary tweet, reporters resorted to a rare tactic. They printed out copies of Mr. Trump’s post — this one containing an unsubstantiated suggestion that an older protester shoved and injured by the police in Buffalo was an Antifa provocateur who staged his own assault — for any Republican who might try to fall back on what has become a stock response: ‘I didn’t see the tweet.’ It did not work. Even faced with documentary evidence of the president’s inflammatory remark, most Republicans averted their gaze on Tuesday, declining to comment as they darted through the hallways of Capitol Hill and appearing to wish away what was on paper in front of them.” See also, One America News, the Network That Spreads Conspiracies to Trump, The New York Times, Michael M. Grynbaum, Tuesday, 9 June 2020: “The conservative cable network One America News has a minuscule audience, attracts few readers on the web and has struggled to break into the television mainstream. But thanks to one powerful viewer in the White House, the network’s influence — and its conspiracy theories — are echoing in the highest reaches of American politics. President Trump, responding to a One America News segment, floated a baseless theory on Tuesday that a 75-year-old man in Buffalo who was knocked to the ground by the police — and hospitalized after bleeding from his head — was ‘an ANTIFA provocateur’ who had tried to interfere with law enforcement.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Tuesday, 9 June 2020: Surging Coronavirus Cases Push Latin America ‘to the Limit,’ The New York Times, Tuesday, 9 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Tuesday, 9 June 2020: In Retreat, Wall Street Pulls Back From Rally, The New York Times, Tuesday, 9 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Tuesday, 9 June 2020: Hospitalizations in at least nine states are on the rise; U.S. nears 2 million cases, The Washington Post, Miriam Berger, Brittany Shammas, Hamza Shaban, Kim Bellware, Samantha Pell, Candace Buckner, Antonia Noori Farzan, Katie Shepherd, Jennifer Hassan, and Rick Noack, Tuesday, 9 June 2020: “As the number of new coronavirus cases continues to increase worldwide, and more than a dozen states and Puerto Rico are recording their highest seven-day average of new cases since the pandemic began, hospitalizations in at least nine states have been on the rise since Memorial Day. In Texas, North and South Carolina, California, Oregon, Arkansas, Mississippi, Utah and Arizona, there are an increasing number of patients under supervised care since the holiday weekend because of covid-19 infections. The spikes generally began in the past couple weeks and in most states, are trending higher. There have been more than 7.1 million cases of covid-19 officially reported worldwide, including more than 405,000 fatalities, though the totals are likely higher. Nearly 2 million cases have been reported in the United States, with more than 109,000 of those fatal.

Here are some significant developments:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Dr. Anthony Fauci Warns That the Coronavirus Pandemic Is Far From Over. The nation’s leading infectious disease expert tells biotech executives that Covid-19 has inflicted global damage, exposing worrisome racial disparities. The New York Times, Denise Grady, Tuesday, 9 June 2020: “In a wide-ranging talk to biotech executives, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci delivered a grim assessment of the devastation wrought around the world by the coronavirus. Covid-19 is the disease that Dr. Fauci always said would be his ‘worst nightmare’ — a new, highly contagious respiratory infection that causes a significant amount of illness and death. ‘In a period of four months, it has devastated the whole world,’ Dr. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Tuesday during a conference held by BIO, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. ‘And it isn’t over yet.'”

In Georgia, primary day snarled by long lines, problems with voting machines–a potential preview of November, The Washington Post, Amy Gardner, Michelle Ye Hee Lee, Haisten Willis, and John M. Glionna, Tuesday, 9 June 2020: “Lines snaked out the doors, poll workers struggled with new machines and voters furiously demanded to know why so much had gone wrong in Georgia’s primaries on Tuesday, a potential preview of how the novel coronavirus pandemic and new voting technology could affect the presidential election in November. Problems were concentrated in Atlanta and surrounding counties, where voters described standing in line for hours, with election officials processing paper ballots by hand painfully slowly because they could not get new touch-screen machines to work or they had not been delivered in time.” See also, Georgia election ‘catastrophe’ in largely minority areas sparks investigation. Long lines, lack of voting machines, and shortages of primary ballots plagued voters. NBC News, Kevin Collier, Cyrus Farivar, Dareh Gregorian, and Ben Popken, Tuesday, 9 June 2020: “Hourslong waits, problems with new voting machines and a lack of available ballots plagued voters in majority minority counties in Georgia on Tuesday — conditions the secretary of state called ‘unacceptable’ and vowed to investigate. Democrats and election watchers said voting issues in a state that has been plagued for years by similar problems, along with allegations of racial bias, didn’t bode well for the November presidential election, when Georgia could be in play.” See also, ‘I Refuse Not to Be Heard’: Georgia in Uproar Over Voting Meltdown, The New York Times, Richard Fausset, Reid J. Epstein, and Rick Rojas, Tuesday, 9 June 2020: “Georgia’s statewide primary elections on Tuesday were overwhelmed by a full-scale meltdown of new voting systems put in place after widespread claims of voter suppression during the state’s 2018 governor’s election. Scores of new state-ordered voting machines were reported to be missing or malfunctioning, and hourslong lines materialized at polling places across Georgia. Some people gave up and left before casting a ballot, and concerns spread that the problems would disenfranchise untold voters, particularly African-Americans. Predominantly black areas experienced some of the worst problems.”

Trump Administration Revives Banned Hunting Techniques in Alaska. The move reverses an Obama-era ban on hunting methods like baiting bears with doughnuts and shooting swimming caribou. The New York Times, Lisa Friedman, Tuesday, 9 June 2020: “Baiting grizzly bears with doughnuts soaked in bacon grease. Using spotlights to blind and shoot hibernating black bear mothers and their cubs in their dens. Gunning down swimming caribou from motorboats. Hunting methods that for years were decried by wildlife protectors and finally banned as barbaric by the Obama administration will be legal again on millions of acres of Alaskan wilderness in time for the warm July weather. The National Park Service policy published the new rules in the Federal Register on Tuesday, reversing Obama administration rules and giving trophy hunters, outfitters and Alaskans 30 days to prepare to return to national preserves in Alaska with the revived practices. Among the reinstated tactics: killing wolves and coyotes, including pups, during the season when mothers wean their young, and using dogs to hunt bears. Expanding hunting rights on federal lands has been a priority under the Trump administration, and an issue championed by the president’s son, Donald Trump Jr., an avid hunter.”

 

Wednesday, 10 June 2020, Day 1,237:

 

George Floyd Protests: America’s Reckoning on Racism Spreads Beyond Policing. The House Judiciary Committee heard testimony on police accountability as the fallout from protests spread across industries. The New York Times, Wednesday, 10 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

George Floyd Protests: Trump rejects calls to rename military bases honoring Confederate generals, The Washington Post, Lateshia Beachum, John Wagner, Brittany Shammas, Katie Mettler, Felicia Sonmez, Meryl Kornfield, and Derek Hawkins, Wednesday, 10 June 2020: “As racial justice demonstrations stretched into their third week, President Trump said Wednesday that he would ‘not even consider’ growing calls to rename U.S. military bases that honor Confederate generals. ‘Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with,’ Trump tweeted. Civil rights activists and former military officials, including retired U.S. Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, have stepped up pressure to rename installations such as Fort Bragg and Fort Benning, saying they wrongfully glorify leaders who committed treason to defend slavery in the United States. Earlier in the day, the brother of George Floyd made an emotional plea before the House Judiciary Committee for lawmakers to take action to prevent more deaths at the hands of police. ‘I’m tired,’ Philonise Floyd said. ‘I’m tired of the pain. … I’m here today to ask you to make it stop. Stop the pain. Stop us from being tired.’

Here are some significant developments:
  • NASCAR announced Wednesday that it was banning displays of the Confederate flag at all its ‘events and properties.’
  • Amazon has banned police from using its controversial facial-recognition technology for a year amid ongoing nationwide protests over police brutality and racial profiling. Studies have shown that facial-recognition systems misidentify people of color more often than white people.
  • Statues honoring Christopher Columbus were toppled, destroyed and disfigured in St. Paul, Boston and Richmond on Wednesday — the latest in a wave of attacks on historic monuments by George Floyd protesters.
  • More than 1,250 former Justice Department workers on Wednesday signed a letter calling on the agency’s internal watchdog to investigate Attorney General William P. Barr’s involvement in law enforcement’s move last week to push a crowd of largely peaceful demonstrators back from Lafayette Square using horses and gas before Trump’s photo op at St. John’s Episcopal Church.
  • Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo said he was withdrawing from contract negotiations with the local police union as he pursues reforms that would make it easier to terminate officers who act inappropriately.
  • Floyd’s family and the Rev. Al Sharpton are expecting 100,000 people to attend a new March on Washington in August to push for criminal justice reform on the 57th anniversary of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s original March on Washington.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

George Floyd’s Brother Philonise Floyd Pleads With Congress: ‘Make it Stop.’ Philonise Floyd, the star witness at a House hearing on Democrats’ policing bill, called for Congress to ‘stop the pain’ caused by the killings of black men at the hands of police. The New York Times, Catie Edmondson, Wednesday 10 June 2020: “Philonise Floyd, whose brother’s death in police custody has inspired two weeks of sprawling protests across the country, made an impassioned plea to Congress on Wednesday to enact sweeping changes to law enforcement in America to address police brutality and systemic racism. In wrenching testimony on Capitol Hill, Mr. Floyd described to the House Judiciary Committee the agony he felt as he watched the video of George Floyd, his older brother, dying while pinned under the knee of a white police officer for nearly nine minutes, gasping that he could not breathe. The elder Mr. Floyd was arrested over a complaint that he had bought cigarettes with a counterfeit $20 bill. ‘I am asking you, is that what a black man’s life is worth? Twenty dollars?’ Mr. Floyd asked members of Congress. ‘This is 2020. Enough is enough. The people marching in the streets are telling you enough is enough.'”

More than 1,250 former Justice Department workers call for internal watchdog to investigate the role of Attorney General William Barr in clearing demonstrators from Lafayette Square, The Washington Post, Matt Zapotosky, Wednesday, 10 June 2020: “More than 1,250 former Justice Department workers on Wednesday called on the agency’s internal watchdog to investigate Attorney General William P. Barr’s involvement in law enforcement’s move last week to push a crowd of largely peaceful demonstrators back from Lafayette Square using horses and gas. In a letter to Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, the group said it was ‘deeply concerned about the Department’s actions, and those of Attorney General William Barr himself, in response to the nationwide lawful gatherings to protest the systemic racism that has plagued this country throughout its history. In particular, we are disturbed by Attorney General Barr’s possible role in ordering law enforcement personnel to suppress a peaceful domestic protest in Lafayette Square on June 1, 2020, for the purpose of enabling President Trump to walk across the street from the White House and stage a photo op at St. John’s Church, a politically motivated event in which Attorney General Barr participated,’ the group wrote.”

The Army Was Open to Replacing Confederate Base Names. Then Trump Said No. The New York Times, John Ismay, Wednesday, 10 June 2020: “Monuments and memorials bearing the names of men who fought to preserve slavery and uphold white supremacy are facing a reckoning, as demonstrations against police brutality have erupted across the country in response to the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. The protests have also reignited a debate within the military community over 10 Army bases named after Confederate leaders, which as recently as February the service said it had no intention of changing, according to the military website Task & Purpose. The service backtracked on that position, as a Pentagon official said Monday that Secretary of Defense Mark P. Esper and Secretary of the Army Ryan D. McCarthy were ‘open to a bipartisan discussion on the topic’ of removing Confederate names from the bases. The announcement, first reported by Politico, came as each of the services have started to contend with many longstanding practices and allegations of racial bias that have gone unaddressed. The Pentagon official said Esper and McCarthy wanted Congress, the White House and other government officials to weigh in, according to CNN, shifting the responsibility onto lawmakers. President Trump on Wednesday was quick to shut down any bipartisan discussions, tweeting, ‘my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations.'” See also, Trump Rejects Renaming Military Bases named After Confederate Generals, The New York Times, Peter Baker and Helene Cooper, Wednesday, 10 June 2020: “President Trump responded to waves of demonstrations for racial justice on Wednesday by picking a fight over the legacy of the Confederacy, further inflaming the nation’s culture war at a time when tensions were already high after the killing of George Floyd and widespread street protests against police brutality. On the same day that Mr. Floyd’s brother pleaded with Congress to tackle racism in the United States, Mr. Trump publicly slapped down the Pentagon for considering renaming Army bases named after Confederate officers who fought against the Union during the Civil War. The White House said the president would go so far as to refuse to sign the annual defense authorization bill if Congress tried to force his hand. In speaking out on behalf of Confederate base names, the president positioned himself even more firmly against the growing movement for change that has emerged since Mr. Floyd’s death in the custody of a white Minneapolis police officer who pressed a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes. While Mr. Trump has denounced the killing, he has emphasized a law-and-order, pro-police message appealing to his hard-core base and dismissed complaints of systemic racism.” See also, Trump rejects calls to rename military bases honoring Confederate generals, The Washington Post, Anne Gearan, Colby Itkowitz, and Missy Ryan, Wednesday, 10 June 2020.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi calls for removal of Confederate statues in Congress, The Washington Post, Colby Itkowitz, Wednesday, 10 June 2020: “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi renewed a years-long quest to remove the remaining Confederate statues from the U.S. Capitol as calls to erase monuments to the Confederacy increase amid the nation’s reckoning with its racist past. Pelosi wrote in a letter Wednesday to colleagues who co-chair the Joint Committee on the Library that Congress should ‘lead by example. The statues in the Capitol should embody our highest ideals as Americans, expressing who we are and who we aspire to be as a nation,’ Pelosi (D-Calif.) wrote. ‘Monuments to men who advocated cruelty and barbarism to achieve such a plainly racist end are a grotesque affront to these ideals. Their statues pay homage to hate, not heritage. They must be removed.'”

HBO Max Pulls ‘Gone With the Wind,’ Citing Racist Depictions. The streaming service said it planned to eventually bring the 1939 film back ‘with a discussion of its historical context.’ The New York Times, Daniel Victor, Wednesday, 10 June 2020: “HBO Max has removed from its catalog ‘Gone With the Wind,’ the 1939 movie long considered a triumph of American cinema but one that romanticizes the Civil War-era South while glossing over its racial sins. The streaming service pledged to eventually bring the film back ‘with a discussion of its historical context’ while denouncing its racial missteps, a spokesperson said in a statement on Tuesday. Set on a plantation and in Atlanta, the film won multiple Academy Awards, including best picture and best supporting actress for Hattie McDaniel, the first African-American to win an Oscar, and it remains among the most celebrated movies in cinematic history. But its rose-tinted depiction of the antebellum South and its blindness to the horrors of slavery have long been criticized, and that scrutiny was renewed this week as protests over police brutality and the death of George Floyd continued to pull the United States into a wide-ranging conversation about race. Gone With the Wind is a product of its time and depicts some of the ethnic and racial prejudices that have, unfortunately, been commonplace in American society,’ an HBO Max spokesperson said in a statement. ‘These racist depictions were wrong then and are wrong today, and we felt that to keep this title up without an explanation and a denouncement of those depictions would be irresponsible.’ HBO Max, owned by AT&T, pulled the film on Tuesday, one day after John Ridley, the screenwriter of 12 Years a Slave, wrote an op-ed in The Los Angeles Times calling for its removal. Mr. Ridley said he understood that films were snapshots of their moment in history, but that ‘Gone With the Wind’ was still used to ‘give cover to those who falsely claim that clinging to the iconography of the plantation era is a matter of heritage, not hate.’”

Starbucks Won’t Let Employees Wear Gear That Supports Black Lives Matter Because It Is Political or Could Incite Violence, BuzzFeed News, Brianna Sacks, Albert Samaha, Wednesday, 10 June 2020: “As protesters took to the streets in hundreds of cities across the United States and the globe to support Black Lives Matter and decry police brutality, Starbucks, like many major American companies, rushed to publicly proclaim its support for the movement and pledged to do more to combat racial injustice. On June 1, the coffee retailer vowed on Twitter to ‘stand in solidarity with our Black partners, customers and communities.’ A few days later, it tweeted, and then pinned, a more in-depth commitment to supporting Black Lives Matter and confronting bias and racism and to ‘being a part of change.’ Being part of that change does not extend, however, to allowing the company’s baristas and other employees to wear T-shirts, pins, or any other accessory that mentions Black Lives Matter. In fact, the company explicitly stated that Black Lives Matter attire was prohibited from the lists of things employees can wear due to its dress code policy, which also includes any type of political, religious, or personal accessories or clothing. However, as many employees noted to BuzzFeed News, Starbucks not only exempts buttons and attire celebrating LGBTQ rights and marriage equality, but hands them out.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Wednesday, 10 June 2020: European Union Slams China Over Disinformation Campaign. The U.S. surpassed two million coronavirus cases on Wednesday. Infections are rising in 21 states, as governments ease restrictions and Americans try to return to their routines. The New York Times, Wednesday, 10 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for Wednesday, 10 June 2020: Federal Reserve Expects Unemployment Rate to Stay High, The New York Times, Wednesday, 10 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday, 10 June 2020: Trump announces rallies in states where new infections are surging, The Washington Post, Antonia Noori Farzan, Teo Armus, Jennifer Hassan, Rick Noack, Miriam Berger, Kim Bellware, Hamza Shaban, and Marisa Iati, Wednesday, 10 June 2020: “President Trump announced Wednesday that he will resume his campaign rallies soon, and the gatherings will take place in a handful of states currently battling surges of new covid-19 infections. His first rally in months is set for June 19 in Tulsa, which is located in a county that has reported a gradual uptick of new cases since the beginning of June. The president also mentioned campaign stops in states that have seen sharp increases in new cases and hospitalizations: Florida, Texas, Arizona and North Carolina. Meanwhile, more than a dozen states are showing new highs in the number of positive coronavirus cases or hospitalizations, according to Washington Post data, a few weeks after lifting restrictions on most businesses and large gatherings. Nearly 2 million cases have been reported in the United States, with more than 110,000 of those fatal.

Here are some significant developments:
  • Federal Reserve leaders predicted a slow recovery for the U.S. economy, with unemployment falling to 9.3 percent by the end of this year and 6.5 percent by the end of 2021.
  • The tech-heavy Nasdaq closed above 10,000 for the first time, continuing a three-day streak of setting records. But the Dow Jones industrial average and the Standard & Poor’s 500 index slid for the second day in a row.
  • The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development issued a report in which it said, ‘The global economy is now experiencing the deepest recession since the Great Depression in the 1930s.’ The U.N. body projected the economy is on track to shrink by at least 6 percent by the end of 2020.
  • The European Union accused China of making a concerted effort to spread disinformation about the coronavirus, its highest-level and most forceful criticism yet of Beijing’s messaging about the outbreak.
  • Seeking a city willing to allow a large-scale event amid the pandemic, Republicans have tentatively settled on Jacksonville, Fla., as the new destination for the premier festivities of the Republican National Convention in August, according to three Republican officials briefed on the plans.
  • A British study from researchers at Cambridge and Greenwich universities in Britain says that if everyone wears masks in public it may be enough to stave off a second wave of infections without requiring renewed lockdowns.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

White House goes quiet on coronavirus as outbreak spikes again across the U.S., Politico, Dan Diamond, Wednesday, 10 June 2020: “The coronavirus is still killing as many as 1,000 Americans per day — but the Trump administration isn’t saying much about it. It’s been more than a month since the White House halted its daily coronavirus task force briefings. Top officials like infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci have largely disappeared from national television — with Fauci making just four cable TV appearances in May after being a near fixture on Sunday shows across March and April — and are frequently restricted from testifying before Congress. Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is preparing to resume his campaign rallies after a three-month hiatus, an attempted signal to voters that normalcy is returning ahead of November’s election, and that he’s all but put the pandemic behind him.”

Fact check: Trump blames testing for spike in COVID-19 cases. Experts fault reopening of states. NBC News, Jane C. Timm, Wednesday, 10 June 2020: President Donald Trump has repeatedly blamed testing as the reason for documented spikes in the number of COVID-19 cases across the U.S. — but data and public health experts attribute the surge to the easing of lockdown restrictions just weeks ago…. COVID-19 cases are on the rise in 21 states, according to data compiled by The New York Times. There is some indication that expanded testing is catching more cases, but public health experts say that in reality, the surges are due to states’ reopening and people’s relaxing their social distancing protocols.”

Detained migrants say they were forced to clean COVID-infected ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) facility, NBC News, Jacob Soboroff and Julia Ainsley, Wednesday, 10 June 2020: “Asylum-seeking migrants locked up inside an Arizona Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center with one of the highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases say they were forced to clean the facility and are ‘begging’ for protection from the virus, according to a letter obtained exclusively by NBC News. ‘This is a life or death situation,’ said a translation of their message, dated May 18, and sent to the Florence Immigrants & Refugees Rights Project, a legal advocacy group that has filed a lawsuit on behalf of migrants in the facility.”

John Gleeson, Outsider Tapped in Flynn Case, Calls the Justice Department Reversal a ‘Gross Abuse’ of Power, The New York Times, Charlie Savage and Adam Goldman, Wednesday, 10 June 2020: “A retired federal judge accused the Justice Department on Wednesday of a ‘gross abuse of prosecutorial power’ and urged a court to reject its attempt to drop the criminal case against Michael T. Flynn, President Trump’s former national security adviser. The arguments in a 73-page brief by John Gleeson, the retired judge and former mafia prosecutor appointed to argue against the Justice Department’s unusual effort to drop the Flynn case, were the latest turn in a politically charged case that now centers on the question of whether Mr. Flynn should continue to be prosecuted. He said Mr. Flynn should be sentenced. The Justice Department’s intervention last month, directed by Attorney General William P. Barr, came after a long public campaign by Mr. Trump and his allies and prompted an outcry from former law enforcement officials that the administration was further politicizing the department.” See also, ‘Everything about this is irregular’: John Gleeson, the retired judge tapped to review the Michael Flynn case, blasts the Trump Department of Justice. Gleeson says the Justice Department improperly bowed to Trump’s will. Politico, Josh Gerstein and Kyle Cheney, Wednesday, 10 June 2020: “A former judge selected to advise on a path forward in the criminal case against Michael Flynn is accusing the Justice Department of exercising a ‘gross abuse of prosecutorial power’ to protect an ally of President Donald Trump, distorting known facts and legal principles to shield Flynn from a jail sentence. The former federal judge, John Gleeson, skewered Attorney General Bill Barr’s handling of the case, describing it as an ‘irregular’ effort that courts would ‘scoff’ at were the subject anyone other than an ally of Trump. The 82-page excoriation featured a painstaking reconstruction of the Flynn case and accused DOJ of contradicting its own arguments and precedents to justify dropping the case against Flynn.”

Jon Ossoff Wins Democratic Senate Primary in Georgia, The New York Times, Ruchard Fausset and Reid J. Epstein, Wednesday, 10 June 2020: “Jon Ossoff, the 33-year-old Georgia Democrat who earned national attention in 2017 with a spirited but unsuccessful congressional race in the Atlanta suburbs, won his party’s nomination in a race for a Senate seat on Wednesday, a day after the state’s elections descended into chaos. Mr. Ossoff will now face off against Senator David Perdue, an incumbent Republican and ally of President Trump’s. The general election in November, one of two Senate races in the state that are expected to be competitive and could help tip the balance of power in Congress, will almost certainly be viewed as a referendum on Trumpism. Mr. Perdue, a business executive who is seeking a second term, has highlighted his close relationship with the president, arguing that it has helped Georgia’s business climate.” See also, Voting debacle in Georgia came after months of warnings went unaddressed, The Washington Post, Amy Gardner, Michelle Ye Hee Lee, and Shawn Boburg, Wednesday, 10 June 2020: “The warnings came from all sides in the months leading up to Georgia’s disastrous primaries on Tuesday: local election officials, voting rights advocates and even the state’s top election official. The combination of limited training on new voting machines and reduced polling locations due to the novel coronavirus could produce crushingly long lines and severely hamper voting access, they cautioned. Yet none of those in charge of Georgia’s elections were able to head off what all agreed was a breakdown of the voting system. Residents waited for hours to cast ballots, some past midnight. Workers struggled to operate new touch-screen machines. Some polling places in suburban Atlanta opened with no equipment at all.”

White House Tells Trump’s Former National Security Adviser John Bolton That His Memoir Still Contains Classified Information, The New York Times, Michael S. Schmidt and Maggie Haberman, Wednesday, 10 June 2020: “The White House has told John R. Bolton, President Trump’s former national security adviser, that his memoir of working for the president, scheduled for publication in less than two weeks, contains classified information and could present a security threat. Mr. Bolton has told associates he believes he has made changes to the book that accommodate the national security concerns and that the White House is using the claims of classified information as a way of keeping it from the public. Mr. Trump has repeatedly told advisers he wants to stop the publication of the book. He has wide latitude to determine what materials are classified.”

 

Thursday, 11 May 2020, Day 1,238:

 

George Floyd Protests: Seattle Mayor Defies Trump. The mayor defended Seattle’s decision to cede an “autonomous zone” to protesters. A Chicago congressman says security video shows police officers relaxing in his offices while nearby stores were vandalized. The New York Times, Thursday, 11 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

George Floyd Protests: Lafayette Square reopens to public early Thursday; Jefferson Davis statue pulled down in Richmond, Virginia, The Washington Post, Dana Hedgpeth, Hannah Natanson, Marissa J. Lang, Rebecca Tan, and Emily Davies, Thursday, 11 June 2020: “As the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police stretched into their 12th day in Washington, District leaders proposed significant reforms to the city’s police force, saying the protesters have been heard and police practices must change.

Here are some significant developments:

• The National Park Service said Wednesday evening that the public would have access to Lafayette Square starting Thursday, though a portion of temporary fencing would remain in some damaged areas. The announcement came after confusion earlier in the day about how long the fencing near the park would remain. Other fencing surrounding the White House was removed earlier Wednesday.

• Late Wednesday in Richmond, protesters pulled down a statue of Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederacy. The statue was located about a half-mile from a monument of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, which Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam (D) has said he plans to remove.

• George Floyd’s family and the Rev. Al Sharpton have begun planning for 100,000 people to converge on Washington in a recommitment to the ideals championed by the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. more than half a century ago, according to a permit application filed with the National Park Service.

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

At Dallas talk on police and race, Trump shrugs off ‘bad apples’ and again vows to ‘dominate the streets.’ Trump excluded the county’s three top law enforcement officials, all black, ahead of a $10M campaign dinner at the home of billionaire Kelcy Warren. The Dallas Morning News, Todd J. Gilman and Gromer Jeffers Jr., Thursday, 11 June 2020: “At a discussion in Dallas on race and policing, President Donald Trump recommitted himself Thursday to a policy that police should ‘dominate the streets,’ a stance that has alarmed minority advocates fighting to tamp down the use of force after a police killing in Minneapolis. But Trump also expressed openness to reforms intended to reduce friction between law enforcement and the public, and weed out officers who do abuse their power. The White House took heat for excluding the county’s three top law enforcement officials, who are all black, from an event that at times felt much like a campaign rally, albeit far smaller than usual for Trump. The president drew cheers time and again from hundreds of supporters at Gateway Church as he forcefully rejected complaints about widespread police brutality and mocked ‘radical efforts to defund, dismantle and disband the police. You always have a bad apple. No matter where you go you have bad apples, and there are not too many of them … in the police department,’ he said. ‘What happens late at night when you make that call to 911 and there’s nobody there? What do you? What are you doing, whether you’re white or black or anybody else? … There is no opportunity without safety.'” See also, Trump Defends Police, but Says He’ll Sign Executive Order Encouraging Better Practices, The New York Times, Peter Baker and Thomas Kaplan, Thursday, 11 June 2020: “President Trump offered only a vague policy response on Thursday to the killing of George Floyd, saying he would sign an executive order encouraging better practices by police departments while rejecting more far-reaching proposals to tackle racial injustice and police brutality in the United States. Dismissing police misconduct as the work of only a few ‘bad apples,’ Mr. Trump strongly defended law enforcement agencies and made clear he had little interest in broader legislation being debated in Congress. At a round-table discussion he convened in a Dallas church before hosting a campaign fund-raiser, the president derided activists calling for defunding or dismantling police departments.”

‘A Slap in the Face’: Black Veterans on Bases Named for Confederates. Trump has vowed to block efforts to remove Confederate names from military bases. The New York Times, Jennifer Steinhauer, Thursday, 11 June 2020: “For many black service members, who make up about 17 percent of all active-duty military personnel, the Pentagon’s decision to consider renaming Army bases bearing the names of Confederate officers seems excruciatingly overdue. Generations of black service members signed up for the military to defend the values of their country, only to be assigned to bases named after people who represent its grimmest hour. ‘It is really kind of a slap in the face to those African-American soldiers who are on bases named after generals who fought for their cause,’ said Jerry Green, a retired noncommissioned officer who trained at Ft. Bragg, N.C., which is named for a Confederate general, Braxton Bragg. ‘That cause was slavery.'” See also, Defying Trump, Senate Armed Services Committee Moves to Strip Military Bases of Confederate Names, The New York Times, Catie Edmondson, Thursday, 11 June 2020: “A key Senate committee voted on Wednesday to require the Pentagon to strip military bases and equipment of Confederate names, monuments or symbols within three years, setting up an election-year clash with President Trump on the issue amid a rapidly building national outcry against historical representations of racism. The move by the Armed Services Committee to insert the mandate into a must-pass defense authorization bill, which was supported by Republicans and Democrats alike, came as Mr. Trump publicly declared his refusal to even consider removing any of the names. He raged about it on Twitter on Thursday, exhorting members of his party to resist the effort even as a growing number of Republicans on Capitol Hill said they were open to removing symbols of the Confederacy. The conflict underscored how isolated the president is becoming, even from members of his own party, as protests of police brutality against black people fuel a broader discussion of race and identity in America. The break is more than rhetorical. The move to include the proposal, written by Senator Elizabeth Warren, Democrat of Massachusetts, raised the prospect of an election-year Senate vote on the issue.” See also, These Are the 10 U.S. Army Installations Named for Confederates Who Fought to Preserve Slavery and to Uphold White Supremacy, The New York Times, Michael Levenson, Thursday, 11 June 2020.

General Mark A. Milley, Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Apologizes for Role in Trump Photo Op: ‘I Should Not Have Been There,’ The New York Times, Helene Cooper, Thursday, 11 June 2020: “The country’s top military official apologized on Thursday for taking part in President Trump’s walk across Lafayette Square for a photo op after the authorities used tear gas and rubber bullets to clear the area of peaceful protesters. ‘I should not have been there,’ Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said in a prerecorded video commencement address to National Defense University. ‘My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics.’ General Milley’s first public remarks since Mr. Trump’s photo op, in which federal authorities attacked peaceful protesters so that the president could hold up a Bible in front of St. John’s Church, are certain to anger the White House. Mr. Trump has spent the days since the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis taking increasingly tougher stances against the growing movement for change across the country.” See also, Top general apologizes for appearing in photo-op with Trump after forceful removal of protesters from Lafayette Square in D.C., CNN Politics, Ryan Browne, Barbara Starr, and Zachary Cohen, Thursday, 11 June 2020: America’s top general has apologized for appearing in a photo-op with President Donald Trump following the forceful dispersal of peaceful protesters outside the White House last week, calling the move a ‘mistake’ and saying his presence ‘created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics.'”

Minnesota governor unveils sweeping police reforms as George Floyd’s death continues to spark change, The Washington Post, Toluse Olorunnipa and Reis Thebault, Thursday, 11 June 2020: “The governor of Minnesota said Thursday that he would convene a special session of the state legislature to position his state at the forefront of a national movement to overhaul policing and address systemic racism in the wake of George Floyd’s death. Gov. Tim Walz, a Democrat, endorsed what he described as a ‘coordinated, powerful set of reforms’ that would revamp oversight and disciplinary procedures, fund community groups that could act as alternatives to the police and put the state attorney general in charge of investigating officers who use lethal force.”

Free Food, Free Speech, and Free of Police: Inside Seattle’s ‘Autonomous Zone,’ The New York Times, Mike Baker, Thursday, 11 June 2020: “On the streets next to a police station in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, protesters and officers spent a week locked in a nightly cycle of standoffs, at times ending with clouds of tear gas. But facing a growing backlash over its dispersal tactics in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis, the Seattle Police Department this week offered a concession: Officers would abandon their building, board up the windows and let the protesters have free rein outside. In a neighborhood that is the heart of the city’s art and culture — threatened these days as rising tech wealth brings in gentrification — protesters seized the moment. They reversed the barricades to shield the liberated streets and laid claim to several city blocks, now known as the ‘Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone.’… On Wednesday night … [Trump] called for government leaders to crack down on the protesters, declaring on Twitter that ‘Domestic Terrorists have taken over Seattle.’ ‘Take back your city NOW,’ Mr. Trump wrote in a tweet directed at Mayor Jenny Durkan and Gov. Jay Inslee that he repeated on Thursday. ‘If you don’t do it, I will. This is not a game.'”

Tulsa police release body cam video of officers handcuffing black teenagers for jaywalking, CNN, Rebekah Riess, Jamiel Lynch, and Jennifer Henderson, Thursday, 11 June 2020: “Tulsa police have released body camera footage from two officers who arrested a black teenager and handcuffed a second for jaywalking last week. The videos were released in response to social media messages from the community about the arrest, police said. The videos appear to have been blurred and redacted by police to conceal the teenagers’ identities. Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum said in a statement Wednesday that the incident is under investigation.”

Trump’s Tulsa campaign rally sign-up page includes coronavirus liability disclaimer, The Washington Post, Filicia Sonmez, Thursday, 11 June 2020: “The sign-up page for tickets to President Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa next week includes something that hasn’t appeared ahead of previous rallies: a disclaimer noting that attendees ‘voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19’ and agree not to hold the campaign or venue liable should they get sick. Trump’s reelection campaign announced Thursday that the president’s next ‘Make America Great Again’ rally will be held June 19 at the BOK Center.” See also, Trump Supporters Must Waive Right to Sue Over Virus to Attend Rally, The New York Times, Jenny Gross, Thursday, 11 June 2020: “As part of President Trump’s push for America to return to life as it was before the coronavirus pandemic, he is resuming indoor campaign rallies this month even while health officials continue to say people should avoid crowded places. But the president’s optimism has its limits: Attendees cannot sue the campaign or the venue if they contract the virus at his June 19 rally in Tulsa, Okla.’By clicking register below, you are acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to Covid-19 exists in any public place where people are present,’ says a statement on Mr. Trump’s campaign website directed to those wishing to attend the event.”

Some Global Coronavirus Updates for Thursday, 11 June 2020: Trump Fans Can’t Sue if They Contract Covid-19 at Rallies, Campaign Says, The New York Times, Thursday, 11 June 2020:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Some Business Coronavirus Updates for 11 June 2020: Economic Warnings Rattle Markets, The New York Times, Thursday, 11 June 2020:

Other significant developments are included in this article.

Some significant developments in the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday, 11 June 2020: U.S. surpasses 2 million coronavirus cases, The Washington Post, Antonia Noori Farzan, Katie Shepherd, Jennifer Hassan, Rick Noack, Katie Mettler, Adam Taylor, Hamza Shaban, and Lateshia Beachum, Thursday, 11 June 2020: “The United States surpassed 2 million confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus, according to data tracked by The Washington Post. The grim milestone, by far the highest reported total in the world, was reached less than five months after the first reports that the virus had reached American soil. New cases have declined in places such as Illinois, Michigan, New York and Washington — states that recorded higher infection rates in the first wave of the U.S. outbreak. But a new wave has emerged, largely in states that previously had lower rates of infection. Cases in states such as Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Texas and Utah have been on the rise since just before Memorial Day, when many states started to ease stay-at-home restrictions. The same states have also had a rise in hospitalizations at the same time. More than 7.4 million cases and 416,000 deaths have been reported worldwide, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

Here are some significant developments:

Many other significant developments are included in this article.

Vice President Mike Pence tweets and then deletes a photo of Trump’s reelection campaign staff not wearing face masks or physical distancing, CNN Politics, Thursday, 11 June 2020.

Republican state Senator Steve Huffman of Ohio is fired from his emergency room job over remarks about ‘colored population’ and covid-19, The Washington Post, Allyson Chiu, Thursday, 11 June 2020: “A Republican lawmaker in Ohio was fired from his job as a physician for asking whether ‘African Americans or the colored population’ have been disproportionately affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic because they ‘do not wash their hands as well as other groups.’ State Sen. Steve Huffman, who represents a district north of Dayton, raised the question Tuesday during a hearing on whether to declare racism a public health crisis. Huffman, an emergency room doctor, wanted to know why African American communities are being hit so much harder by the virus, posing the query to Angela Dawson, executive director of the Ohio Commission on Minority Health. ‘I understand African Americans have a higher incidence of chronic conditions and that makes them more susceptible to death from covid. But why does it not make them more susceptible to just get covid?’ he asked. ‘Could it just be that African Americans or the colored population do not wash their hands as well as other groups? Or wear a mask? Or do not socially distance themselves? Could that be the explanation for why the higher incidence?'” See also, Republican Ohio State Senator Steve Huffman Asks Racist Question About Black People and Hand-Washing, The New York Times, Trip Gabriel, Thursday, 11 June 2020: “An Ohio lawmaker was fired from his job as a physician on Thursday after asking at a hearing this week if the high rate of coronavirus cases among African-Americans was because ‘the colored population’ did not wash their hands as well as other groups. State Senator Stephen A. Huffman, a Republican and a doctor, made his remarks on Tuesday during a hearing of the Senate Health Committee about whether to declare racism a public health crisis. They came as he speculated about reasons black people might be more ‘susceptible’ to Covid-19.”

Unemployment claims climbed by 1.5 million last week, despite jobs gains in May, Politico, Rebecca Rainey, Thursday, 11 June 2020: “Workers filed another 1.5 million claims for jobless benefits last week, the Labor Department reported, suggesting that some Americans are still being pushed out of work nearly three months into the pandemic. Additionally, nearly 706,000 people applied for benefits under the new temporary Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program created for people who are ineligible for traditional unemployment benefits. With those workers added, the number of new claims filed last week could be higher than 2.5 million, despite every state loosening stay-at-home orders and allowing businesses to reopen in recent weeks.” See also, U.S. Initial Unemployment Claims Fell to 1.5 Million Last Week. Total drawing unemployment benefits declined slightly to 20.9 million. The Wall Street Journal, Sarah Chaney and Kim Mackrael, Thursday, 11 June 2020: “The number of people seeking unemployment benefits continued to fall while those receiving them appeared to plateau, signs the U.S. labor market continues to slowly mend from the coronavirus employment shock.”

Republicans announce Trump convention events will move to Jacksonville, Florida, The Washington Post, Annie Linskey, Thursday, 11 June 2020: “The Republican National Committee announced Thursday that President Trump’s renomination speech and other convention festivities will move to Jacksonville, Fla., from Charlotte, after the original site refused to go along with Trump’s demands for a crowded large-scale event amid the coronavirus pandemic.”

U.S. to Penalize War Crimes Investigators Looking Into U.S. Troops. The International Criminal Court has collected evidence of what it says is torture, rape and other crimes by American forces during the war in Afghanistan. The New York Times, Lara Jakes and Michael Crowley, Thursday, 11 June 2020: “International investigators looking into charges of war crimes by Americans in Afghanistan will face economic penalties and travel restrictions, the Trump administration warned on Thursday, accusing a Hague-based court of corruption and maintaining that the United States can prosecute its own military and intelligence personnel. The sanctions come more than two years after the International Criminal Court announced an inquiry into allegations of crimes against humanity — including torture and rape — by U.S. forces in Afghanistan and at C.I.A. interrogation facilities abroad. President Trump ordered the new penalties on Wednesday, and dispatched four of his most senior advisers to announce them on Thursday as a rebuke to what the administration described as an affront to American sovereignty, despite the risk of appearing to dismiss attention to possible human rights abuses.” See also, Trump authorizes sanctions against workers at the International Criminal Court who are investigating U.S. troops and intelligence officials for possible war crimes, Associated Press, Deb Riechmann and Matthew Lee, Thursday, 11 June 2020: “In a broadside against the International Criminal Court, President Donald Trump on Thursday authorized economic and travel sanctions against court workers investigating American troops and intelligence officials and those of allied nations, including Israel, for possible war crimes in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Trump’s executive order was his administration’s latest attack against international organizations, treaties and agreements that don’t hew to U.S. policies. The order would block the financial assets of court employees and bar them and their immediate relatives from entering the United States. While Israel welcomed the move, there were expressions of concern and condemnation from the United Nations, the European Union and human rights groups.”

Republicans Secure More Subpoena Power in Push to Discredit Russia Inquiry, The New York Times, Nicholas Fandos, Thursday, 11 June 2020: “Senate Republicans plunged forward on Thursday with an election-year bid to discredit the Trump-Russia investigation, voting to give themselves expansive authority to subpoena dozens of national security aides and several high-ranking Obama administration officials, including a top campaign adviser to President Trump’s Democratic challenger, Joseph R. Biden Jr. The party-line vote by the Judiciary Committee was the second time in a week that a Republican-led panel has moved to expand its reach by granting its chairman the power to unilaterally compel documents and testimony related to the Russia matter. In both cases, Republicans are seeking to tarnish the investigators and to recast Mr. Trump and his campaign not as beneficiaries of Russian assistance in 2016, but as victims of dangerous overreach by a Democratic administration and law enforcement officials.”