The Past 24 Hours or So

Read Time: 9 Minutes

Protest News

  •  Amid growing calls for action in the wake of George Floyd’s death, President Trump plans to announce an executive order addressing police reform on Tuesday. It’s unclear what changes will be called for in the order.
  • Paris police are investigating after French white supremacists of “Generation Identitaire” chanted “Dirty Jews” during an anti-racism demonstration in Paris. 
  • Asked about what he’ll do if his team has some form of protest, Atlanta Falcons coach Dan Quinn says, “I’ll be with them” in whatever they choose to do. 
  • Top defense officials and members of local law enforcement are casting doubt on official statements made by the White House defending a decision for the U.S. Park Police to remove protesters from Lafayette Park prior to the president’s walk to St. John’s Episcopal Church for a photo op.

In interviews with The Washington Post, numerous named and unnamed officials contended that a decision to move a police perimeter by one block, which resulted in law enforcement deploying tear gas and physically chasing protesters from the park, was not made long in advance, as the White House previously contended.

Washington, D.C., Police Chief Peter Newsham told the Post that his agency only learned of the decision to clear protesters from the park “minutes” before the confrontation occurred and publicly questioned the legality of the operation.

The head of the U.S. National Guard, Gen. Joseph Lengyel, added that he “never” heard plans that National Guard service members would be used to remove protesters from the park, adding that he was shocked to see the images on TV.

“I never heard any plan, ever, that police or National Guard were going to push people out of Lafayette Square,” said the general.

  • NJ Attorney General Gurbir Grewal issued a  statewide order requiring law enforcement agencies to identify officers who commit serious disciplinary violations. Every state, county and local law enforcement agency in New Jersey will be required to publish a list of officers who were fired, demoted or suspended for more than five days due to a disciplinary violation.
  • Baseball players at a high school in Des Moines, Iowa, took a knee during the national anthem on Monday as protests against police brutality and racism continue across the country over the police killings of African Americans.

According to a local NBC affiliate, the whole baseball team at the Roosevelt High School kneeled in Principal Park prior to a game on Monday.

  • A 911 dispatcher watching real-time footage of George Floyd’s arrest in south Minneapolis last month became concerned about the officers’ behavior and told a police supervisor she didn’t want to “snitch” but thought he should be made aware of the situation, according to an audio recording.

The supervisor promised to “find out” what was happening, but didn’t immediately respond to the scene.

  • A man was shot Monday night as protesters and armed individuals in Albuquerque, NM, clashed over a bronze statue of a Spanish conquistador.

A group of protesters tried to tear down the statue of Juan de Oñate. Protesters wrapped a chain around the statue and chanted “tear it down.”

The demonstrators reportedly faced members of an armed militia that calls itself the New Mexico Civil Guard. The group carried semiautomatic rifles.

Gunshots were fired, and one of the protesters was shot. He was listed in critical but stable condition late Monday.

Local authorities later confirmed that the FBI is assisting investigators “as they interview people who were involved in the shooting.”

“We are receiving reports about vigilante groups possibly instigating this violence. If this is true will be holding them accountable to the fullest extent of the law, including federal hate group designation and prosecution,” Albuquerque Police Department Chief Michael Geier said in a Tuesday statement on Twitter.

Administration News

  • The United Sates Supreme Court ruled that discriminating against LGBTQ employees violates federal anti-discrimination law.

The Court ruled that a landmark civil rights law protects LGBT people from discrimination in employment, a resounding victory for LGBT rights from a conservative court.

The court decided by a 6-3 vote that a key provision of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 known as Title VII that bars job discrimination because of sex, among other reasons, encompasses bias against LGBT workers.

  • A US Air Force F-15 fighter jet pilot died after the aircraft crashed in the North Sea off England.
  • President Trump accused the news media of attempting to “shame” his reelection campaign over plans to hold a rally during the coronavirus pandemic, accusing them of having “no Covid problem” in their coverage of nationwide protests against police brutality.

“The Far Left Fake News Media, which had no Covid problem with the Rioters & Looters destroying Democrat run cities, is trying to Covid Shame us on our big Rallies. Won’t work!” Trump tweeted, suggesting the coverage of the protests had not pointed out risks of the demonstrations possibly leading to a spread of the coronavirus.

  • President Trump will hold a rally for Jeff Sessions’ primary opponent Tommy Tuberville next month in Sessions’ hometown.
  • President Trump’s niece has reportedly revealed herself as the source of an explosive New York Times investigation on her uncle’s taxes published last year in a new tell-all book she plans to release in August. Mary Trump, daughter of the president’s deceased older brother, Fred Trump Jr., plans to release the book titled “Too Much And Never Enough” just weeks ahead of the Republican National Convention.
  • All major cell phone carriers and Internet Service Providers (ISP)  in the U.S. suffered a large scale Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack. A DDoS attack involves millions of fake users creating strain on servers and overloading them, causing services to be unreachable by real users.

NOTE: President Trump eliminated the cybersecurity coordinator position at the NSC in 2018. And in 2019 at least a dozen high-level officials resigned from the cybersecurity mission established under Obama.

  • The Supreme Court on Monday denied a request by the Trump administration to review California’s so-called sanctuary laws. With the denial, the Supreme Court let stand the lower court’s resolution in favor of three California sanctuary laws, which limited law enforcement cooperation on immigration and banned state and local authorities from using their resources to enforce federal immigration laws.
  • President Trump and Attorney General William Barr did not deny on Monday that the administration would sue to block the impending release of John Bolton’s memoir, with Barr insisting that the former national security adviser had yet to finish the required pre-publication clearance process.
  • President Trump today said he wants to pull thousands of U.S. troops from Germany in response to what he characterized as German delinquency on military spending. “We’re at 52,000 soldiers in Germany, that’s a tremendous amount of soldiers, that’s a tremendous cost to the United States,” Trump said. “Germany, as you know, is very delinquent in their payments to NATO.”

“They are delinquent of billions of dollars, this is for years delinquent,” Trump said. “So we are putting the number down to 25,000 soldiers.”

NOTE: Contrary to Trump’s comments, Germany does not owe that money to NATO.

  • Two top editors at the U.S. government-funded Voice of America (VOA) resigned Monday following the Senate’s approval of President Trump’s appointee for the federal agency that oversees the news outlet.

Director Amanda Bennett and Deputy Director Sandy Sugawara submitted their resignations ahead of Michael Pack’s arrival to run the independent news organization, which began broadcasting in 1942.

Coronavirus/COVID-19

  • The president Tweeted: “Our testing is so much bigger and more advanced than any other country (we have done a great job on this!) that it shows more cases. Without testing, or weak testing, we would be showing almost no cases. Testing is a double edged sword – Makes us look bad, but good to have!!!”

NOTE: The United States ranks eleventh in per capita testing worldwide.

  • The Food and Drug Administration has withdrawn emergency use authorizations for two controversial coronavirus treatments promoted by President Donald Trump, amid concerns about their safety and effectiveness.

The drugs, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, have failed in several recent clinical trials and doctors say they can cause serious heart problems. The FDA had allowed their use in hospitalized Covid-19 patients and in clinical trials.

  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said in an interview the reason the public was advised not to wear masks at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic was that they were in short supply.

When asked why people weren’t told to wear masks in the beginning, Fauci replied, 

“Well, the reason for that is that we were concerned the public health community, and many people were saying this, were concerned that it was at a time when personal protective equipment, including the N95 masks and the surgical masks, were in very short supply. And we wanted to make sure that the people namely, the health care workers, who were brave enough to put themselves in a harm way, to take care of people who you know were infected with the coronavirus and the danger of them getting infected.”

Fauci went on to say, “Masks are not 100% protective. However, they certainly are better than not wearing a mask. Both to prevent you [and others]. [A mask] can protect you a certain degree from getting infected from someone who, either is breathing, or coughing, or sneezing, or singing or whatever it is in which the droplets or the aerosols go out. So masks work.”

  • Nashville mayor John Cooper announced the city will stay in Phase 2 of reopening “for at least a few days longer” while “we await more data.” The 14-day case trend remains elevated, the mayor said.
  • GOP Rep. Tom Rice announced Monday that he and his family had tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming the eighth member of Congress to have a confirmed or presumed case of the disease. Rice and other Republicans, including President Trump, have been referring to the coronavirus as the “Wuhan virus” or “Chinese virus.”
  • The Academy Awards will be delayed for the first time in 40 years, extending eligibility for films after Covid-19 shut down productions and theaters. The event has been rescheduled for April 25, 2021.
  • Director of the United States National Economic Council Larry Kudlow said the record number of coronavirus cases in some states is something we’re going to have to get “used to,” and added that Trump is “disinclined” to recommend the re-closing of state economies even if cases spike.
  • The New York Stock Exchange will allow a limited number of market makers to return to its trading floor on Wednesday, nearly three months after closing it due to the coronavirus pandemic.
  • The president predicted schools would fully reopen in the fall. “The schools hopefully are gonna be back in the fall. They’re gonna be back in full blast. But the young people have very strong immune systems. I imagine that’s the reason.”
  • President Trump on Monday downplayed concerns of a rising number of coronavirus cases in states across the country, indicating that the increase was due to more testing.

“If we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases, if any,” Trump said during a White House event.

  • The American Red Cross will now test all blood, plasma and platelet donations for Covid-19 antibodies, the organization said.
  • Vice President Mike Pence encouraged governors to adopt the administration’s explanation that a rise in testing was a reason behind new coronavirus outbreaks, even though testing data has shown that such a claim is misleading.

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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