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Trump says he is "your president of law and order"
Posted 32 minutes ago

After protesters and journalists were tear-gassed across from the White House and the area was cleared, the president walked across the street to visit St. John's Church.
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Brit Hume: President Trump has aligned himself with those who feel the restoration of law and order is job one
Posted 2 hours 36 minutes ago

Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume joins Bret Baier on 'Special Report.'
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'Nowhere to be found': Governors blast Trump after he tells them they are 'weak' on phone call
Posted 3 hours 41 minutes ago

After a weekend of nationwide protests and riots, Trump went on an extended rant Monday morning in a conference call with governors of both parties.
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'You Can Only Demean People So Much.' Minneapolis Activists Aren't Surprised a National Movement Started There
Posted 4 hours 11 minutes ago

Activists say the city has a long record of police brutality that is symptomatic of broader racial injustice issues that go back generations.
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George Floyd: Anonymous hackers re-emerge amid US unrest
Posted 4 hours 53 minutes ago

As the US is engulfed in civil unrest, the masked hackers are being credited with new action.
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NYC Imposes Curfew, Doubles Police Presence in Face of Expected Riots
Posted 4 hours 55 minutes ago

New York governor Andrew Cuomo and New York City mayor Bill de Blasio announced Monday that New York City would implement a mandatory curfew and increase its police presence to 800 officers in preparation for another night of violence in the wake of protests surrounding George Floyd’s death.In a joint statement, Cuomo and de Blasio said the curfew would last from 11 tonight to 5 AM Tuesday, and the decision was made in consultation with the New York Police Department “to help prevent violence and property damage.” The additional police forces will be concentrated “in lower Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn,” where rioting and looting have been the most volatile.“I stand behind the protestors and their message, but unfortunately there are people who are looking to take advantage of and discredit this moment for their own personal gain,” Cuomo said in a statement. “The violence and the looting that has gone on in New York City has been bad for the city, the state, and this entire national movement . . . while we encourage people to protest peacefully and make their voices heard, safety of the general public is paramount and cannot be compromised.”De Blasio added that “we can’t let violence undermine the message of this moment. It is too important and the message must be heard.” He also said he had spoken with NYPD commissioner Dermot Shea “at length” over incidents “where officers didn't uphold the values of this city or the NYPD.”“We agree on the need for swift action,” de Blasio, whose daughter was arrested for protesting, stated. Commissioner Shea “will speak later today on how officers will be held accountable,” de Blasio added.On Sunday, the NYPD’s counterterrorism head said that looters had operated in a “systematic” way and “developed a complex network of bicycle scouts” to determine police locations ahead of the destruction.“They prepared to commit property damage and directed people who were following them that this should be done selectively and only in wealthier areas or at high-end stores run by corporate entities,” he told reporters.
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Wife of Derek Chauvin says in divorce filing she wants to change her name
Posted 4 hours 58 minutes ago

Kellie Chauvin is not asking for any spousal support in divorce papers she filed.
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Minnesota National Guard Opened Fire on a Vehicle, Commander Says
Posted 5 hours 12 minutes ago

A soldier fired three rounds at a speeding vehicle deemed a threat, officials said.
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Who was David McAtee? Community praises Louisville business owner killed Monday by authorities
Posted 5 hours 40 minutes ago

Relatives say David McAtee, the owner of YaYa's BBQ in Louisville, was a community pillar who was known to give the police free meals.
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Biden Proposes Training Cops to Shoot Attackers in the Leg to Reduce Fatalities
Posted 6 hours 6 minutes ago

Joe Biden on Monday suggested that police forces could train officers to shoot attackers in the legs in order to reduce potential fatalities.There is "the idea that instead of standing there and teaching a cop when there's an unarmed person, coming at him with a knife or something, to shoot him in the leg instead of in the heart," Biden said. "There's a lot of different things [policies] that can change."Biden made his remarks while meeting with African American community leaders at the Bethel AME Church in Wilmington, Del. The former vice president was discussing the widespread protests touched off by the killing of George Floyd, an African American man, at the hands of white police officers in Minneapolis, Minn.Protests have spread from Minneapolis to major U.S. cities including New York, Chicago, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles. The demonstrations have been widely varied in makeup, with some instances of peaceful protests and others that have devolved into riots with widespread looting.Members of Biden's staff have donated to groups attempting to free jailed rioters on bail. Campaign spokesman Andrew Bates told Reuters that Biden opposes cash bail as the equivalent of a "modern day debtors prison." It was not clear whether the donations were coordinated by the campaign or made individually.President Trump condemned the donations on Saturday, saying they "would financially support the mayhem that is hurting innocent people and destroying what good people spent their lives building."
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Pakistan prime minister defends lifting lockdown, urges nation to 'live with the virus'
Posted 6 hours 52 minutes ago

Pakistan's Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday cited economic losses to justify his government's decision to lift a coronavirus lockdown despite rising infections and deaths, urging people to "live with the virus." Pakistan has rolled back almost all shutdown measures, primarily to avert an economic meltdown. Its economic losses included a decline in exports, a 30% shortfall in revenues and remittances were expected to fall in coming months, Khan said.
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Black Liberty U. alums rebuke Falwell after blackface tweet
Posted 8 hours 34 minutes ago

Nearly three dozen black alumni of Liberty University denounced school President Jerry Falwell Jr. on Monday, suggesting he step down after he mocked Virginia’s mask-wearing requirement by invoking the blackface scandal that engulfed the state’s governor last year. In a letter to Falwell, shared with The Associated Press, 35 faith leaders and former student-athletes told Falwell that his past comments “have repeatedly violated and misrepresented" Christian principles. “You have belittled staff, students and parents, you have defended inappropriate behaviors of politicians, encouraged violence, and disrespected people of other faiths,” they wrote, advising Falwell that “your heart is in politics more than Christian academia or ministry.”
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A New York police officer drew his gun on protesters. Mayor Bill de Blasio says he 'should have his gun and badge taken away.'
Posted 8 hours 44 minutes ago

The mayor appears to have taken a stricter tone with police violence, some of which has trended on social media.
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Biden: ‘I know I’ve made mistakes’
Posted 9 hours 6 minutes ago

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday attended a campaign event in Delaware and addressed criticism by saying, “I know I’ve made mistakes.”
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Cities push back as airlines seek dozens of new service cuts. Is your airport on the list?
Posted 9 hours 22 minutes ago

The proposed flight cuts come as there are signs that airline demand may finally pick up after the coronavirus sent the travel industry into a spiral.
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WHO pushes to keep ties with 'generous' U.S. despite Trump's exit move
Posted 9 hours 54 minutes ago

The head of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday praised the United States' "immense" and "generous" contribution to global health in a push to salvage relations after President Donald Trump said he was severing ties with the U.N. agency. Accusing it of pandering to China and overlooking an initially secretive response to the COVID-19 outbreak, Trump said on Friday he was ending Washington's relationship with the WHO. "The United States' contribution and generosity towards global health over many decades has been immense, and it has made a great difference in public health all around the world," he said.
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Britain and EU set to clash over new extradition treaty in crunch trade talks
Posted 10 hours 38 minutes ago

British and EU negotiators are set to clash over the terms of a new extradition treaty during a crunch round of trade talks with Brussels, which start on Tuesday. The UK will demand its judges have greater powers to refuse EU extradition requests than under the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) system it must leave at the end of the year. Warrants could be dismissed if there had not yet been a decision to charge or try the wanted suspect to prevent long periods of pre-trial detention, under the British plan, or if the UK courts think the cost of an arrest outweighs the seriousness of the offence. The European Commission wants EU courts to be able to refuse UK extradition requests for suspects facing whole life sentences unless Britain undertakes to review the penalty either on request or, at the latest, 20 years after the sentence. Whole life sentences have been subject to failed legal challenges on the basis they break the European Convention on Human Rights. The UK has refused to commit to never leaving the Convention during the negotiations, which is an EU condition for continued criminal database sharing, but insists it won’t leave it. Brussels also wants judges to refuse extradition requests if they believe they are motivated by the suspect's “sex, race, religion, ethnic origin, nationality, language, political opinions or sexual orientation”. The EAW replaced bilateral extradition agreements between countries with a much faster system that involved the judiciary directly rather than politicians. It was agreed, with British support, two months after 9/11. Brexiteers later argued that carrying out arrests on the orders of foreign magistrates was an affront to national sovereignty. The Government’s refusal to allow any future role for the European Court of Justice in Britain after Brexit means a replacement extradition system must be agreed before the end of the transition period. If the deadline isn’t met by January 1, the UK will fall back on 1956 rules for extradition which are far slower. The UK and EU must also finalise a free trade agreement by December 31, unless Downing Street caves on its repeated insistence it won’t extend transition, or be forced to trade on less lucrative WTO terms.
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Ex-cop charged in George Floyd death moved twice in same day
Posted 11 hours 12 minutes ago

Commissioner of Corrections Paul Schnell said that Derek Chauvin has been moved partially due to COVID-19 concerns
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Italian doctor says new coronavirus may be losing its potency
Posted 12 hours 21 minutes ago

One of the hospitals in Italy that has borne witness to the worst of the pandemic says that it's noticed a marked change in their new patients: the virus inside them seems to be losing its potency. Alberto Zangrillo is the head of the San Raffaele Hospital in Milan. Talking to Italy's RAI television, he said: "In reality, the virus clinically no longer exists in Italy." According to Zangrillo, swab tests on patients performed over the last 10 days showed a much lower viral load compared to ones carried out a month ago. In other words, the new patients have noticeably less of the virus in their bodies. He also said that some experts were too alarmist about the prospect of a second wave of infections and politicians needed to take into account the new reality. The statement is being treated with caution by the Italian government and other health officials, though. A spokesperson for the Italian health ministry asked doctors not to confuse Italians until there was scientific evidence that the virus has disappeared. They instead urged Italians to continue to follow social distancing rules and maintain maximum caution. Italy has the third-highest death toll in the world, with over 33,000 people dying from COVID-19 since late February. It also has the sixth-highest global tally of cases. But new infections and fatalities have steadily fallen in May and the country is unwinding some of the most rigid lockdown restrictions in Europe. A second doctor from northern Italy also told the national ANSA news agency that he was also seeing the coronavirus weaken. But the government has urged caution, saying it was far too soon to claim victory.
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Minnesota Guard Carrying Guns and Ammo in Response to 'Credible Threat,' General Says
Posted 12 hours 33 minutes ago

The FBI is reporting the threat, the Minnesota Guard adjutant general said.
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Defying Trump's Landmark Peace Deal, Taliban Continues to Back Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, UN Report Says
Posted 12 hours 47 minutes ago

A U.N. report shows the Taliban has failed to fulfill it's pledge in this year's landmark peace deal to break ties with al-Qaeda.
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Hong Kong's Tiananmen commemoration banned by police for first time in three decades
Posted 12 hours 51 minutes ago

Hong Kong police on Monday banned an upcoming vigil marking the Tiananmen crackdown anniversary citing the coronavirus pandemic, the first time the gathering has been halted in three decades. The candlelight June 4 vigil usually attracts huge crowds and is the only place on Chinese soil where such a major commemoration of the anniversary is still allowed. Last year's gathering was especially large and came just a week before seven months of pro-democracy protests and clashes exploded onto the city's streets, sparked initially by a plan to allow extraditions to the authoritarian mainland. But police rejected permission for this year's rally saying it would "constitute a major threat to the life and health of the general public", according to a letter of objection to organisers obtained by AFP. Hong Kong has managed to keep the virus mostly in check, with just over 1,000 infections and four deaths. Bars, restaurants, gyms and cinemas have largely reopened in recent weeks. In the last two days five local infections were reported, breaking nearly two weeks of zero tallies. Organisers accused police of using the virus as an excuse to ban the rally. "I don't see why the government finds political rallies unacceptable while it gave green lights to resumption of schools and other services ranging from catering, karaoke to swimming pools," said Lee Cheuk-yan, chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance which has organised every vigil since 1990.
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Congo hit by a second, simultaneous Ebola outbreak
Posted 13 hours 39 minutes ago

Authorities in Congo announced a new Ebola outbreak in the western city of Mbandaka on Monday, adding to another epidemic of the virus that has raged in the east since 2018. Six cases have been detected, four of which have died in the city, a trading hub of 1.5 million people on the Congo River with regular transport links to the capital Kinshasa. Mbandaka is 1,000 km (620 miles) from an ongoing outbreak that has killed over 2,200 people in North Kivu province by the Uganda border, where containment efforts have been hampered by armed conflict.
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Nine-term Iowa GOP Congressman Steve King may lose his seat at the hands of his own party
Posted 13 hours 45 minutes ago

After comments widely viewed as promoting white supremacy, the GOP turned on Steve King.
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Philippine capital reopens despite jump in virus cases
Posted 15 hours 13 minutes ago

Manila emerged on Monday from one of the world's longest coronavirus lockdowns as the Philippines seeks to repair its badly damaged economy even as the number of new infections surges. "The virus is frightening but it's either you die from the virus or you die from hunger," salesman Himmler Gaston, 59, told AFP as he entered the train station where commuters had their temperatures checked. The Philippines has so far reported 18,638 cases and 960 deaths, but experts fear limited testing means the true figures are likely much higher.
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Hong Kong police ban Tiananmen vigil for first time in 30 years
Posted 15 hours 50 minutes ago

Hong Kong police on Monday banned an upcoming vigil marking the Tiananmen crackdown anniversary citing the coronavirus pandemic, the first time the gathering has been halted in three decades. The candlelight June 4 vigil usually attracts huge crowds and is the only place on Chinese soil where such a major commemoration of the anniversary is still allowed. Hong Kong has managed to keep the virus mostly in check, with just over 1,000 infections and four deaths.
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Kremlin says Putin 'supports dialogue' after Trump's proposed G7 invite
Posted 15 hours 54 minutes ago

The Kremlin said on Monday it needed more details before responding to U.S. President Donald Trump's proposal to invite Russia to attend a Group of Seven nations summit, but that President Vladimir Putin supported dialogue on the issue. Trump said on Saturday he would postpone a G7 summit he had hoped to hold next month until September or later and expand the list of invitees to include Australia, Russia, South Korea and India. "President Putin is a supporter of dialogue in all directions, but in this case, in order to respond to such initiatives, we need to receive more information, which we unfortunately do not have," said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
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Advice changes for shielding people 'not rushed', claims Matt Hancock
Posted 20 hours 3 minutes ago

Coronavirus latest news: Matt Hancock reveals lowest daily death toll since lockdown began Police cannot go into homes to check if lockdown rules are being breached Nicola Sturgeon threatens legal travel limit after thousands of Scots flout new lockdown rules UK to demand British judges have right to reject EU extradition requests in next round of Brexit talks Half a million children stuck at home as councils defy ministers Subscribe to The Telegraph, free for one month Advice for people who have spent the last 10 weeks shielding was not "rushed through", Matt Hancock has said today, fending off criticism from anxious patients. During the daily briefing the Health Secretary was twice asked about the changes, which were announced at the weekend and came into being today - including from a member of the public. Under the new guidelines, people shielding are now allowed to venture outdoors once per day, either with members of their household or one person from another household - as long as social distancing and strict hygiene is maintained. But responding to reports of GPs being inundated by calls from patients worried about the speed of changes, Hancock said: "It hasn't been rushed through, far from it. "We've worked for some time to make sure that any changes that we make and these are small, cautious changes, can benefit people in a safe way. "We announced it at the weekend and I think that being able to make changes like this is important for people. It's important for - especially for those who are shielded." He added: "Absolutely once we made the decision, including and in collaboration with all of the Government bodies, we then communicated that decision and this was the right time to be able to change that advice." Mr Hancock used the briefing to urge people who have symptoms to get tested, as he championed the initial success of the Government's Test & Trace programme, with people showing a "willingness" to isolate when asked. But neither he nor the testing tzar John Newton were able to confirm how many people have been asked so far. The Cabinet minister confirmed that 111 people have died with coronavirus in the last 24 hours - the lowest number since lockdown began on March 23.
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Truck seen driving into protesters in Minneapolis
Posted 20 hours 42 minutes ago

Officials said they have had no reports of injuries. The truck driver was pulled from the cab and has been arrested.
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Palestinians Deserve Better Leaders Than Mahmoud Abbas
Posted 22 hours 45 minutes ago

Abbas has used his long tenure to exert a vice-like grip on Palestinian institutions.
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2 Atlanta police officers were fired and 3 were placed on desk duty for their use of force in arresting 2 college students during a Saturday night protest
Posted 22 hours 49 minutes ago

Mark Gardner and Ivory Streeter, who were both members of the department's fugitive unit, were terminated from the Atlanta Police Department.
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Cuomo Cooks Coronavirus Numbers to Defend Controversial Nursing Home Policy
Posted 1 day 1 hour 45 minutes ago

A nursing home resident who becomes sick at their nursing home and then dies five minutes after arriving at a hospital is not counted in the state’s tally of nursing home deaths.
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UK taxpayers may be funding research for China’s defence project
Posted 1 day 2 hours 39 minutes ago

Experts fear British taxpayers could inadvertently be contributing to funding the Chinese defence programme, after millions of pounds of public funds were poured into technology research undertaken in collaboration with controversial Chinese universities known for their military links. The UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council distributed more than £6.5 million to British universities including Manchester for technology studies that were undertaken with these controversial Chinese institutions, according to disclosures on academic papers. While the research programmes focused on technologies that could be used for civilian purposes, experts have warned that they also have the potential to be used for military applications, prompting fears that taxpayer-funded research by British universities could be exploited by Beijing. In two cases, researchers even stated on their grant application forms that the technologies they were looking at could have “both civilian and military applications” or be used for “military controlling”. The disclosure comes days after The Telegraph revealed that Huawei has also backed a string of research projects linking British universities with Chinese defence institutions, which focused on these so-called “dual use” technologies. Huawei denies any wrongdoing. Experts have now warned that the studies funded by the EPSRC may be part of a worrying pattern of partnerships between British universities and Chinese universities that are known for their strong military ties – and that they could be used to fuel both China’s controversial surveillance regime and its declared ambition to become the world’s most powerful military force by 2049. On Sunday night, Conservative MP Iain Duncan Smith said the collaborations were “tantamount to transfer of technologies to the Chinese government” and accused the EPSRC and British universities of “living in a naïve world”. “You cannot say that there is any [Chinese] institution that is safe from the reach of that government… If they take technology as part of a market position, they can use it for other things.” His warning comes as Beijing faces growing international hostility over its handling of the coronavirus crisis and attempts to crush dissent in Hong Kong. The EPSRC defended the payments. Executive chairwoman Professor Dame Lynn Gladden said: “These grants were fully consistent with government policy. All UK funding was directed to fund research by UK universities.” A spokesman added that it allocates funding to research projects rather than individual papers “through the lens of the quality of academic research”, and that it is for individual universities to decide who they work with as long as there is no legal breach and the other universities cover their own costs. A Telegraph investigation identified seven papers that were undertaken by British institutions in partnership with Chinese universities, as part of research programmes that accessed EPSRC grants totalling £6,637,875. The funding body is one of nine organisations that make up UK Research and Innovation, which states on its website that it is “principally funded” by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Two of the papers were co-authored by researchers at China's so-called "Seven Sons of National Defence", universities tasked with developing China's defence programme, and six were undertaken with the in-house academy for the People's Liberation Army. Of the money dished out by the EPSRC, £305,891 went to the University of Manchester for research it undertook with Beihang University – an institution sanctioned by America for its work on rockets and drones. The grant application to EPSRC boasted that it would could be used for “environmental monitoring or military controlling". A spokesman for the University of Manchester said: “We carry out due diligence on all research collaborations and we have clear ethical and intellectual property polices and guidelines which all our researchers, overseas and domestic, must adhere to as part of their professional contracts.” Six of the papers were also funded by Huawei, and the remaining one was worked on by its researchers. The company has insisted that they all focused on “common areas of research for telecoms equipment suppliers”, and that it has strict rules to ensure the research it backs is not used for military purposes. “We do not conduct military research either directly, or indirectly, nor do we work on military or intelligence projects for the Chinese government or any other government,” a spokesman said.
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Police act like laws don't apply to them because of 'qualified immunity.' They're right.
Posted 1 day 4 hours 31 minutes ago

There's a legal obstacle that's nearly impossible to overcome when police officers and government officials violate our constitutional and civil rights.
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A black congresswoman was pepper-sprayed by police while marching with George Floyd protesters in Ohio
Posted 1 day 6 hours 9 minutes ago

"While it was peaceful, there were times when people got off the curb, into the streets, but too much force is not the answer to this," she said.
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With cheap gasoline scarce, Venezuelans can buy at a premium
Posted 1 day 6 hours 36 minutes ago

President Nicolás Maduro said that starting Monday Venezuelans will be able to buy gasoline at international market prices, marking a historic break in the socialist country's practice of having the world's cheapest fuel. Across the nation, 200 filling stations will allow drivers to fuel up for the equivalent of 50 cents a liter, or $1.90 a gallon. Venezuelans will also be able to buy a limited amount of subsidized gasoline each month, paying 2.5 cents a liter, or 9 cents a gallon.
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George Floyd protests: Fuel truck drives at crowd of protesters on Minneapolis highway
Posted 1 day 7 hours 4 minutes ago

A fuel truck has ploughed into crowds of protesters marching along a Minneapolis highway – heightening tensions in a city already pushed to the edge.After a day that had been seen entirely peaceful demonstrations, local television stations were broadcasting live as the truck drove into the people, who numbered in the hundreds.
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India Has Lots of Nuclear Weapons
Posted 1 day 8 hours 15 minutes ago

Here is what we know.
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The coronavirus has killed over 100,000 people in the US in just 4 months. This chart shows how that compares to other common causes of death.
Posted 1 day 8 hours 16 minutes ago

Heart disease typically kills about 200,000 Americans between February and May each year, but COVID-19 has been deadlier than other common causes.
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A Reporter's Cry on Live TV: 'I'm Getting Shot! I'm Getting Shot!'
Posted 1 day 9 hours 15 minutes ago

Linda Tirado, a freelance photographer, activist and author, was shot in the left eye Friday while covering the street protests in Minneapolis.Tirado is one of a number of journalists around the country who were attacked, arrested or otherwise harassed -- sometimes by police and sometimes by protesters -- during their coverage of the uprisings that have erupted nationwide after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.With trust in the news media lagging, journalists have found themselves targeted.A television reporter in Louisville, Kentucky, was hit by a pepper ball on live television by an officer who appeared to be aiming at her, causing her to exclaim on the air: "I'm getting shot! I'm getting shot!"Outside the White House, protesters attacked a Fox News correspondent and his crew, taking the journalist's microphone and striking him with it.In Atlanta, masses of protesters Friday night converged on CNN headquarters, where they broke through the front door, lobbed fireworks and vandalized the building. Earlier in the day, Omar Jimenez, a reporter for the network, was detained as he reported live, despite calmly offering to move to the location of the police officer's liking. On Saturday, he reported that his crew's cameraman and producer were hit by rubber bullets.Tirado, 37, drove to Minneapolis from Nashville to photograph the protests and donned goggles to protect her eyes. In the commotion of running from tear gas, they slipped off her face."I was aiming my next shot, put my camera down for a second, and then my face exploded," she said in a telephone interview after being released from the hospital. "I immediately felt blood and was screaming, 'I'm press! I'm press!'"Tirado said the shot, which she thought was a rubber bullet, came from the direction of the police. Protesters carried her out, and she had surgery within the hour. Although doctors told her that she is not likely to recover her vision, she is grateful for one thing: She shoots with her right eye."I would say there is no way that anyone had looked at me and not known that I am a working journalist," she said. "That said, police have been pretty clear that they don't care if you are working journalist."John Elder, a spokesman for the Minneapolis Police, said he was unaware of the incident. He said the department had not used rubber bullets for decades."If someone believes that we have injured them, we encourage people to contact our Internal Affairs Unit or the Office of Police Conduct Review," he said in an email.In Louisville, police are investigating the circumstances behind the WAVE-3 reporter who was struck."We will identify the officer involved and review the video to determine what was going on at the time and if further action is needed," Sgt. Lamont Washington, a spokesman, said.The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press logged about 10 different incidents that ranged from assaults to menacing in Phoenix, Indianapolis, Atlanta and Minneapolis."With the unraveling of civil peace around the country, reporters are perceived as a target by both the police and the protesters," said Bruce Brown, the executive director of the Reporters Committee, "and that is an extremely frightening place to be."Leland Vittert, the Fox News journalist who was attacked near the White House, said a man in a hoodie and black bandanna kept hovering around his live shots asking: "Who are you with? Who do you work for?"When the man found a photo online that identified Vittert as an employee of Fox News, the heckler gathered other demonstrators around him.As the journalists and their security guards tried to flee, they were pummeled with objects. The security guard was punched in the jaw, and Vittert was struck with his own microphone."My role as a journalist is to report and show what's going on," Vittert said in an interview. "If there's some kind of thought that the reason I was targeted is because I work for Fox News, I would like to show them tweets where President Trump has gone after me personally."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company
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Thousands of Complaints Do Little to Change Police Ways
Posted 1 day 9 hours 17 minutes ago

In nearly two decades with the Minneapolis Police Department, Derek Chauvin faced at least 17 misconduct complaints, none of which derailed his career.Over the years, civilian review boards came and went, and a federal review recommended that the troubled department improve its system for flagging problematic officers.All the while, Chauvin tussled with a man before firing two shots, critically wounding him. He was admonished for using derogatory language and a demeaning tone with the public. He was named in a brutality lawsuit. But he received no discipline other than two letters of reprimand.It was not until Chauvin, 44, was seen in a video with his left knee pinned to the neck of a black man, prone for nearly nine minutes and pleading for relief, that the officer, who is white, was suspended, fired and then, on Friday, charged with murder.His case is not unusual. Critics say the department, despite its long history of accusations of abuse, never fully put in place federal recommendations to overhaul the way in which it tracks complaints and punishes officers -- with just a handful over the years facing termination or severe punishment.Even as outrage has mounted over deaths at the hands of the police, it remains notoriously difficult in the United States to hold officers accountable, in part because of the political clout of police unions, the reluctance of investigators, prosecutors and juries to second-guess an officer's split-second decision and the wide latitude the law gives police officers to use force.Police departments themselves have often resisted civilian review or dragged their feet when it comes to overhauling officer disciplinary practices. And even change-oriented police chiefs in cities like Baltimore and Philadelphia -- which over the last few years have been the sites of high-profile deaths of black men by white officers -- have struggled to punish or remove bad actors.The challenge has played out against and reinforced racial divisions in America, with largely white police forces accused of bias and brutality in black, Latino and other minority communities. Floyd's death came just weeks after Ahmaud Arbery, a black man in southeast Georgia, was pursued by three white men and killed, and after Breonna Taylor, a black woman, was fatally shot by police in Kentucky.Their deaths have unleashed a wave of tremendous protests across the country, extending far beyond Minneapolis on Friday, with protesters destroying police vehicles in Atlanta and New York, and blocking major streets in San Jose, California, and Detroit -- all cities that have wrestled with accusations of police misconduct.In Minneapolis, authorities took quick action against Chauvin and three other officers involved in Floyd's death, firing them one day after a graphic video emerged of the encounter. But that does not mean the officers are gone for good. Public employees can appeal their dismissals -- and in scores of cases across the country, the officers often win.The St. Paul Pioneer Press analyzed five years' worth of such appeals and found that between 2014 and 2019, Minnesota arbitrators -- a group that hears a range of public service complaints -- ruled in favor of terminated law enforcement and correction officers 46% of the time, reinstating them.In three terminations involving law enforcement officers that were reviewed this year, two were overturned.Dave Bicking, a board member of Communities United Against Police Brutality, a Twin Cities advocacy group, said many disciplinary actions are overturned because they are compared to previous cases, making it hard for departments to reverse a history of leniency or respond to changing community expectations."Because the department has never disciplined anybody, for anything, when they try to do it now, it's considered arbitrary and capricious," he said.Bicking described a history of attempts to clean up the Minneapolis police force, which is overwhelmingly white and for decades has faced accusations of excessive force, especially by African American residents.In Minneapolis, a city heralded for its progressive politics, pretty parks and robust employment, the racial divide runs deep. From education to wages, African Americans are at a disadvantage, graduating at much lower rates and earning about one-third less than white residents.And while black residents account for about 20% of the city's population, police department data shows they are more likely to be pulled over, arrested and have force used against them than white residents. And black people accounted for more than 60% of the victims in Minneapolis police shootings from late 2009 through May 2019, data shows.When there was a civilian review board to field the complaints, it would recommend discipline, but the police chief at the time would often refuse to impose it, said Bicking, who served on the board.Across the country, civilian review boards -- generally composed of members of the public -- have been notoriously weak. They gather accounts, but cannot enforce any recommendations.In 2008, the Police Executive Research Forum issued a report on disciplinary procedures in Minneapolis, at the department's behest. It recommended resetting expectations with a new, matrix specifying violations and consequences. But Bicking said the department soon fell back to old ways.In 2012, the civilian board in Minneapolis was replaced by an agency called the Office of Police Conduct Review. Since then, more than 2,600 misconduct complaints have been filed by members of the public, but only 12 have resulted in an officer being disciplined, Bicking said. The most severe censure has been a 40-hour suspension, he said."When we say there's a failure of accountability and discipline in this city, it is extreme," he said, adding that the City Council had promised to review the board, but has yet to do so.Any member of the public may file a complaint, and experts say that the volume of complaints may reflect a host of issues other than actual misconduct, such as the level of trust the community has in its department.Maria Haberfeld, an expert on police training and discipline at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York, said Chauvin's complaint tally averaged to less than one a year, not unusual for a street officer, and probably not high enough to trigger an early warning system.But the patchwork nature of the city's disciplinary tracking was clear in Chauvin's case. The city released an Internal Affairs summary with 17 complaints. The city's police conduct database listed only 12, some of which did not appear to be included in the summary, and Communities United Against Police Brutality, which also maintains a database, had yet more complaint numbers not included in the first two sources.The nature of the complaints was not disclosed.Chauvin was one of four officers who responded to a call on Memorial Day that a man had tried buying cigarettes with a fake $20 bill. The other officers, identified by authorities as Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng, also were fired and remain under investigation. The county attorney said he expected to bring charges, but offered no further details.Neither Lane nor Kueng had misconduct complaints filed against them, according to the department. But Thao faced six in his career and also was the subject of a lawsuit that claimed he and another officer punched, kicked and kneed an African American man, leaving the man with broken teeth and bruises.According to the lawsuit, the incident occurred in early October 2014, when the man, Lamar Ferguson, then 26, was walking home with his girlfriend. A police car approached and Ferguson's girlfriend kept walking.The lawsuit states that Thao asked Ferguson to put his hands on the roof of the car and then handcuffed him. The complaint said that the other officer then "falsely stated there was a warrant out" for Ferguson's arrest regarding an incident involving family members. Ferguson told the officers he had no information to tell them.During the encounter, "Officer Thao then threw" Ferguson, "handcuffed, to the ground and began hitting him."Patrick R. Burns, one of the lawyers who represented Ferguson, said in an interview Friday that the city settled the case for $25,000."What I learned from that case and several others I have handled against the department is that some of the officers think they don't have to abide by their own training and rules when dealing with the public," he said.The head of the police union, Lt. Bob Kroll, is himself the subject of at least 29 complaints. Three resulted in discipline, The Star Tribune reported in 2015. Kroll was accused of using excessive force and racial slurs, in a case that was dismissed, and was named in a racial discrimination lawsuit brought in 2007 by several officers, including the man who is now the police chief.Teresa Nelson, legal director for the ACLU of Minnesota, said attempts by the city's police leaders to reform the department's culture have been undermined by Kroll, who she said downplays complaints and works to reinstate officers who are fired, no matter the reason.She said that in a 2015 meeting after a fatal police shooting, Kroll told her that he views community complaints like fouls in basketball. "He told me, 'If you're not getting any fouls, you're not working hard enough,'" she said.Kroll did not return several messages seeking comment this week.Changing department policies and culture can take years, even when there is a will to do so.In 2009, the Minneapolis department instituted an Early Intervention System to track red flags such as misconduct allegations, vehicle pursuits, use of force and discharge of weapons. Such systems are supposed to identify "potential personnel problems" before they become threats to public trust or generate costly civil rights lawsuits.In a case similar to the death of Floyd, David Cornelius Smith, a black man with mental illness, died in 2010 after two officers trying to subdue him held him prone for nearly four minutes. The chief at the time defended the officers, and they were never disciplined, said Robert Bennett, a lawyer who represented Smith's family.In 2013, the police chief at the time, Janee Harteau, asked the Department of Justice to review the department's warning system. A federal report found that it had "systemic challenges" and questioned its ability to "create sustainable behavior change."Early warning systems are considered a key part of righting troubled departments, criminologists say. Most cities that have been found to have a pattern of civil rights violations and placed under a federal consent decree, or improvement plan, are required to have one.Harteau, who left the top post in the wake of a 2017 fatal police shooting, said she took many steps to reform the department, including training officers on implicit bias and mandating the use of body cameras. But the police union, she said, fought her at every turn.In 2016, the department updated its use of force policy to hold officers accountable for intervening if they see their fellow officers using excessive force, Nelson said.The new policy, made in the wake of previous fatal shootings, was part of an effort to reform police culture in the city."It's why you saw four officers fired," in Floyd's case, she said.It's not clear whether an improved early warning system would have flagged Chauvin, who also had been involved in at least three shootings in his career, or the other officers involved in Floyd's death. Departments choose from a number of bench marks, and from a range of responses when they are exceeded.Haberfeld, the training expert, said police departments will not change until they invest significantly more in recruitment and training, areas where the U.S. lags far behind other democracies.Otherwise, she said, "There is a scandal, there is a call for reform -- committees and commissions and nothing happens. Nothing."This article originally appeared in The New York Times.(C) 2020 The New York Times Company
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Bangladesh lifts virus lockdown, logs record deaths on same day
Posted 1 day 10 hours 21 minutes ago

Bangladesh lifted its coronavirus lockdown Sunday, with millions heading back to work in densely populated cities and towns even as the country logged a record spike in deaths and new infections. "The lockdown has been lifted and we are heading almost towards our regular life," health department spokeswoman Nasima Sultana said, calling on those returning to work to wear masks and observe social distancing. The lifting comes as Bangladesh -- which on Friday took an emergency pandemic loan from the International Monetary Fund -- reported its biggest daily jump in infections Sunday, with 2,545 new cases and a record 40 deaths.
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Masks and no ablution: Saudis flock to reopened mosques
Posted 1 day 12 hours 36 minutes ago

Mask-clad worshippers flocked to Saudi mosques that reopened nationwide Sunday -- except in the holy city of Mecca –- over two months after congregational prayers were halted under a coronavirus-triggered lockdown. Complying with stringent social distancing rules, worshippers kept a minimum of two metres apart. "Worshippers rushed to the home of God to perform their obligatory duty (prayers) after the reopening of mosques," the ministry of Islamic affairs said on Twitter.
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Protesters tear through D.C. after National Guard troops and Secret Service keep them from the White House
Posted 1 day 12 hours 54 minutes ago

Downtown Washington, D.C., was filled with flames and broken glass in the early hours of Sunday morning as large groups of protesters moved through the city for the second straight night. 
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The YouTuber who received backlash for 'rehoming' her adoptive son with autism said he 'wanted this decision 100%'
Posted 1 day 13 hours 8 minutes ago

Myka Stauffer and her husband, James, recently told viewers they placed their son Huxley in a new home, and received intense criticism as a result.
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Letters to the Editor: Stacey Abrams lost in Georgia, but she could lift Biden as his VP.
Posted 1 day 15 hours 45 minutes ago

Even with alleged voter suppression, Stacey Abrams came very close to winning in Georgia. She would make a great VP pick for Biden.
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Reuters camera crew hit by rubber bullets as more journalists attacked at U.S. protests
Posted 1 day 19 hours 28 minutes ago

Two members of a Reuters TV crew were hit by rubber bullets and a photographer's camera was smashed in Minneapolis on Saturday night as attacks against journalists covering civil unrest in U.S. cities intensified. Footage taken by cameraman Julio-Cesar Chavez showed a police officer aiming directly at him as police fired rubber bullets, pepper spray and tear gas to disperse about 500 protesters in the southwest of the city shortly after the 8 p.m. curfew. "A police officer that I'm filming turns around points his rubber-bullet rifle straight at me," said Chavez.
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Florida’s Seen a ‘Statistically Significant’ Uptick in Pneumonia Deaths. The CDC Says It’s Likely COVID.
Posted 1 day 19 hours 36 minutes ago

Since the beginning of this year, Florida has experienced an uptick in the number of pneumonia and influenza deaths, according to data from the Centers for Disease and Control. Experts and Trump administration officials responsible for keeping tabs on mortality rates across the country believe that many of those individuals had likely contracted and died from COVID-19.According to the data from the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, since the beginning of the year there has been a total of 1,519 deaths in Florida where pneumonia and influenza were listed as the underlying cause. By comparison, in the same time period last year, Florida recorded 1,207 such deaths. The CDC has historically counted pneumonia and influenza deaths together. CDC officials told The Daily Beast that most of the deaths included in that category are pneumonia. Bob Anderson, the chief of the Mortality Statistics Branch in CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, told The Daily Beast that the increase of deaths in Florida where pneumonia and influenza were the underlying cause was “statistically significant” and that those mortalities were “probably COVID cases that weren’t reported as such.” The coronavirus can cause lung complications such as pneumonia.The increase has sparked a conspiracy theory on the left, that Florida is deliberately trying to undercount coronavirus fatalities by labeling them as something else. There’s no evidence to suggest any such underhand efforts, or that the state is unique across the country. But officials, including Anderson, do believe that a portion of the pneumonia and influenza deaths in Florida involved patients who were infected with, but never tested for, COVID-19. In such scenarios, though the virus likely contributed to the death, it may not have been recorded as the cause of death by the physician, coroner or medical examiner. “We’re definitely experiencing an underreporting issue nationwide,” Anderson said, pointing to the CDC’s study of “excess deaths” during the coronavirus. “[In Florida] most likely what we’re seeing are folks dying without having been tested and the best evidence that the doctors or whoever is filling out the death certificate had pointed to the person dying of pneumonia.”Anderson added that the numbers currently reflected on the CDC’s website for pneumonia and influenza deaths for 2020 are lower than reality because the death certificate reporting system lags by several weeks, especially in states that do not have digitized systems to process the papers. ‘F*cking Dangerous’: Dems in Pennsylvania Lose It After GOP Kept Virus Diagnosis a SecretThough other states are experiencing a similar phenomenon, there has been notable scrutiny placed on Florida, due to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ (R) handling of the coronavirus response and his decision to move to quickly reopen the state. DeSantis allowed some Florida beaches to reopen in the middle of April, even as the number of coronavirus cases and related deaths continued to rise across the state. The governor has since criticized members of the press for rushing to warn that Florida would experience a spike in COVID-19 cases, and calling his actions cavalier. Conservative and Trump supportive commentators have pointed to the absence of a notable uptick as evidence that fears of a hasty reopening were overblown. DeSantis’ office did not return a request for comment. But the actual story, like much related to the pandemic, appears to be more complicated. And it underscores how much of the public’s understanding of, and opinions about, the pandemic are affected by bureaucratic decisions and accounting formulas related to categorizing fatalities. As The Daily Beast previously reported, President Trump and members of his coronavirus task force have pressed the CDC to change how the agency works with states to count coronavirus-related deaths, arguing for revisions that could lead to far fewer deaths being attributed to the disease. The administration has also moved to allow nursing homes the ability to only report coronavirus deaths that occurred after May 6—well after facilities across the country experienced a massive uptick in coronavirus-related deaths. States, as well, have different methods of collecting relevant data and calculating COVID-19 death counts and that, in turn, has sowed speculation about political motivations. On that front, few governors have been as closely watched as DeSantis. Part of that is because of his close relationship with the president. Part of that is because of decisions he has made. Earlier this month the DeSantis administration fired Rebekah Jones, the data manager for the Florida Department of Health who worked on the state’s coronavirus online dashboard. In a statement posted to her website, Jones said she was removed from her position because she pushed back when officials in the health department asked her to “manipulate and delete data in late April as work for the state’s reopening plan started to take off.” The DeSantis administration has since said Jones was fired for insubordination.FL Gov. Overrides County Officials to Allow Church During Coronavirus LockdownWith Florida already under a national microscope, news of the state’s pneumonia fatalities circulated on social media this week as liberals accused DeSantis and members of his administration of manipulating data and deliberately downplaying the number of coronavirus deaths. Howard Dean, the former Democrat governor from Vermont, commented on Florida’s statistics Thursday, going so far as to accuse Florida of “cooking the books on COVID-19 deaths.” Andy Slavitt, the former Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said while Florida appears to have the coronavirus under control, it was experiencing an “unprecedented ‘pneumonia’ crisis.”But Anderson said it is unlikely that a physician with a patient who tested positive for the coronavirus would have marked anything other than COVID-19 as the underlying cause on the death certificate. If individuals die, for example, in their homes or in nursing facilities without having been tested, a medical examiner or coroner could hypothetically mark the individual as having died of pneumonia. That scenario would have likely played out in the early days of the coronavirus outbreak when testing was difficult to access and when physicians were still learning how the coronavirus presented itself, Anderson said. According to a report by the Miami Herald, officials inside the DeSantis administration kept the Florida public in the dark in February for about two weeks as they scrambled to come up with a plan on how to respond to the state’s outbreak. A similar phenomenon took place in Flint after a switch in water supply exposed thousands of people to lead poisoning and caused one of the largest outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease in U.S. history. Last year, a team of reporters at PBS Frontline found that there may have been about 70 more deaths from Legionnaires’ during the outbreak than the 12 that were officially recorded. But because the government was not forthcoming about the crisis, doctors were not alerted to it and therefore did not know to look or test for the disease. Many people who died of Legionnaires’ disease were originally reported as having died from other causes, such as pneumonia. Donald Trump Is Gaslighting Andrew Cuomo and Sucking Up to Ron DeSantisCurrently, health officials and statisticians are researching how many of the states’ “excess deaths” over the last several months should be attributed to the coronavirus. One study by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene published earlier this month said that there were thousands of “excess deaths” in the city from March 11 to May 2. About 18,879 of those deaths were explicitly tied to the coronavirus. But the study said there were also an additional 5,200 deaths that were not identified as either laboratory-confirmed or probable COVID-19-associated cases, but could have been tied to the virus in some other way. At the CDC, officials found 1,500 individuals who were mistakenly overlooked in the first few weeks the agency was calculating the coronavirus death count, and Anderson’s team is now going back and correcting those calculations to produce a more accurate death toll.The CDC relies largely on the state department of health systems and a reporting system that is more than 100 years old to calculate the annual death toll in the U.S.. When an individual dies, a doctor, coroner or medical examiner records on the death certificate a sequence of events that contributed to that person’s demise and what ultimately caused it. The certificate then goes to the state’s registrar, or sometimes a funeral director, who examines the certificate and determines whether to send it back to the physician, coroner or medical examiner for more information. Once the state registrar is satisfied with the certificate, he or she sends it on to the state’s department of health. Then, the state sends portions of data from the death certificate onto the CDC. Anderson’s team is charged with using that death certificate data, along with data from a national digital coding system, to tabulate causes of death per state each year. The emergence of the coronavirus strained the reporting system in a way that has led to a significant national undercounting, Anderson said, adding that the death-certificate count usually lags anywhere from two to eight weeks. “We’ve never experienced anything like this before,” Anderson said. “We’re still learning new things about this virus every day. The reporting will only get better.”Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.
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Police across the country draw outrage for excessive force against protesters and media
Posted 1 day 20 hours 16 minutes ago

Videos circulated online showing instances of police officers using excessive force, both against demonstrators and members of the media.
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FBI's top lawyer, Dana Boente, ousted amid Fox News criticism for role in Flynn investigation
Posted 1 day 23 hours 22 minutes ago

Boente was asked to resign on Friday and two sources familiar with the decision to dismiss him said it came from high levels of the Justice Department rather than directly from FBI Director Christopher Wray.
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