The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 8 Minutes

Protest News

  • Gen. Mark Milley apologized for appearing in photo-op with Trump after forceful removal of protesters, “I should not have been there. My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics. As a commissioned uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I have learned from.”

Milley discussed resigning after his participation in President Trump’s photo opportunity outside St. John’s Episcopal Church last week, according to three senior defense officials.

  • Trump tweeted: “Our great National Guard Troops who took care of the area around the White House could hardly believe how easy it was. “A walk in the park”, one said. The protesters, agitators, anarchists (ANTIFA), and others, were handled VERY easily by the Guard, D.C. Police, & S.S. GREAT JOB!”

NOTE: By all reported accounts the protesters were peaceful.

  • In a tweet, Trump appeared to threaten to send troops to Seattle to quell civil unrest. “Radical Left Governor @JayInslee and the Mayor of Seattle are being taunted and played at a level that our great Country has never seen before. Take back your city NOW. If you don’t do it, I will. This is not a game. These ugly Anarchists must be stooped (sic) IMMEDIATELY. MOVE FAST!”
  • Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan mocked President Trump on Wednesday, calling on him to “go back to your bunker” after he criticized her response to demonstrations.  

“Make us all safe. Go back to your bunker,” Durkan tweeted.

  • An internal memo sent to Starbucks employees last week specifically warned staffers against wearing accessories or clothes bearing messages in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

The memo, obtained by BuzzFeed News, reminds staffers that such messages are prohibited under the company’s policy against accessories that “advocated a political, religious or personal issue.”

  • The country band Lady Antebellum announced on Thursday that it changed its name to Lady A. 

In a statement announcing the change, the band said, “we are regretful and embarrassed to say that we did not take into account the associations that weigh down this word referring to the period of history before The Civil War, which includes slavery. We are deeply sorry for the hurt this has caused and for anyone who has felt unsafe, unseen or unvalued.”

  • The Senate Armed Services Committee has approved an amendment aimed at blocking President Trump from deploying active-duty troops against protesters.
  • Minnesota governor Tim Walz endorsed a package of sweeping police reforms. Walz urged the legislature to adopt proposals that would put investigations of officer-involved deaths in the hands of the attorney general, revamp oversight and disciplinary procedures and fund community groups that could act as alternatives to the police.

  • San Francisco Mayor London Breed has just announced that the city’s police force would undergo sweeping reform, outlawing tear gas and ending police responding to non-criminal calls, such as calls about homeless people, school discipline or disputes among neighbors.
  • President Trump says that his administration is working on an executive order that will encourage police to meet “professional standards” for the use of force in the line of duty.

“[It] means force, but force with compassion. But if you’re going to have to really do a job, if somebody’s really bad, you’re going to have to do it with real strength, real power,” Trump said.“I said we have to dominate the streets. And I was criticized for that statement. … Well, guess what, you know who dominated the streets? People who you don’t want to dominate the streets.”

  • The Los Angeles Police Department has opened 58 investigations of officer misconduct related to recent protests in the city. Most protests in the city were peaceful.
  • Defense Secretary Mark Esper announced a review of the National Guard’s controversial role in nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd, as lawmakers press for answers on the use of military forces at demonstrations.
  • John Catanzara, the new president of Chicago’s powerful police union, has issued a stern warning to officers. He says any officers showing sympathy to police protesters while in uniform could be thrown out of the union.

“If you kneel, you’ll be risking being brought up on charges and thrown out of the lodge,” Catanzara said.

  • The NFL pledged Thursday to contribute $250 million over 10 years to programs that address racial injustice, bolstering the league’s social justice initiatives first established in cooperation with a group of players amid the national controversy in late 2017 over players’ protests during the national anthem.
  • Hundreds of West Point graduates slammed top Pentagon leaders in a letter, accusing officials of failing to uphold the Constitution and participating “in politically charged events” amid protests over the death of George Floyd: “We are concerned that fellow graduates serving in senior-level, public positions are failing to uphold their oath of office and their commitment to Duty, Honor, Country.”
  • Officer Rubin Rhodes, a five-year San Francisco police veteran who took a knee with protesters was sent home the next day by his supervisors for insubordination.

Rhodes was accused of being insubordinate after coming to work with his earrings on. Rhodes had worn earrings to work nearly every day prior without issue.

Administration News

  • President Trump signed an executive order Thursday authorizing economic sanctions and travel restrictions against workers from the International Criminal Court (ICC) who are investigating American troops and intelligence officials for alleged war crimes in Afghanistan.

The ICC’s chief prosecutor, requested that the court open investigations into U.S. forces in 2017, arguing that it had enough evidence to prove that they had “committed acts of torture, cruel treatment, outrages upon personal dignity, rape and sexual violence” in Afghanistan in 2003 and 2004.

  • The Federal Reserve projects the U.S. economy will contract by 6.5 percent this year, and Fed Chair Powell is signaling that lawmakers can do more to ease the pain, “If there were more fiscal support, you’d see better results sooner.”
  • The GOP-led Senate Armed Services Committee has adopted an amendment behind closed doors for the Pentagon to remove the names of Confederate generals from military assets within three years.
  • People requesting tickets for Trump’s Iowa rally must agree to this waiver, “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. By attending the Rally, you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19 and agree not to hold Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.; BOK Center; ASM Global; or any of their affiliates, directors, officers, employees, agents, contractors, or volunteers liable for any illness or injury.”
  • 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.
  • Customs and Border Protection spent some of the $112 million appropriated to the agency for food and medical care for migrants on ATVs, dirt bikes and boats, according to a Government Accountability Office report.

Coronavirus/COVID-19 

  • Vice President Pence deleted a tweet showing staff crowded together at the Trump campaign office in Virginia while not socially distancing or wearing face coverings. Under phase one of Virginia’s reopening plan, the state calls for employers to discourage large gatherings and temporarily move or stagger workstations to ensure six feet of separation.
  • In a stunning move, the Trump administration is signaling that it won’t disclose the recipients of more than $500 billion in bailout money delivered to 4.5 million businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program. Secretary of the Treasury Steve Mnuchin says it’s “proprietary” and “confidential” information. The General Accounting Office told POLITICO that the Small Business Administration is also withholding PPP loan data the agency requested as part of its oversight efforts.
  • A top Harvard doctor said Thursday that the U.S. could see its death toll from the coronavirus pandemic hit 200,000 by September, as several states have seen spikes in the number of COVID-19 cases.

“The numbers are concerning particularly in states like Arizona, North and South Carolina, Florida and Texas — places where we’re seeing pretty consistent increases,” Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute told NBC’s “Today.” 

  • He added, “It is about two weeks after Memorial Day that we’re seeing this, and this is what we were worried about. I had hoped that the fact that people are spending more time outside, it’s summer, we would not see such a big increase so fast.”
  • Mnuchin is dismissing any doubt that the economy needs another shot of federal funds, after the Trump administration took a wait-and-see attitude the last several weeks.
  • Mnuchin also said, “We can’t shut down the economy again. I think we’ve learned that if you shut down the economy, you’re going to create more damage and not just economic damage.”
  • Another 1.5 million people applied for unemployment insurance for the first time last week, adding to the tens of millions of people who have applied for the benefits since the pandemic began.
  • 1,698 new reported COVID-19 cases in Florida. The single highest daily rate yet.
  • Alabama set a record for the number of new coronavirus cases recorded in a single day as many states across the country are also seeing spikes in cases. The Alabama Department of Public Health reported 848 cases Thursday with 11 deaths.
  • Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago announced Thursday that doctors there performed a double lung transplant on a young woman infected with coronavirus, in what could be a model used for some other seriously ill patients. The dramatic story of the young woman in her 20s is boggling doctors, who had to put her on life support for weeks after she contracted the virus even though she was previously very healthy.
  • Ohio State Sen. Steve Huffman has been fired from his position as an emergency room doctor after using racist language to question whether people of color are disproportionately affected by the coronavirus because of poor hygiene.

Sources:  ABC News, Axios, CBS News, CNN, Financial Times, Fox News,The Hill, NBC News, NPR, NY Times, Politico, Reuters, Salon, Slate, Vanity Fair, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post

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