Attorneys representing former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin opened his murder trial Monday morning by arguing that their client used a “necessary” level of force while arresting George Floyd, and said that Floyd’s death was the result of a combination of factors outside Chauvin’s control. Chauvin was filmed pinning African American Minneapolis resident George Floyd to the ground during his arrest in May 2020. Floyd lost consciousness while Chauvin knelt on his neck, and was pronounced dead soon after the incident. The death of Floyd sparked massive riots and protests against police brutality across the U.S. Attorney Jerry Blackwell, appointed to the prosecution by state Attorney General Keith Ellison, said that prosecutors would show that Chauvin killed Floyd through excessive use of force. “You will learn that on May 25, 2020, that Mr. Derek Chauvin betrayed this badge when he used excessive and unreasonable force upon the body of Mr. George Floyd,” Blackwell said. During the trial, “the evidence is going to show that there was no cause in the first place to use lethal force against a man who was defenseless, who was handcuffed, who was not resisting,” Blackwell said. However, Blackwell added that the prosecution would not aim to attack police in general, and would focus only on the allegations against Chauvin. Chauvin’s attorney, Eric Nelson, followed with statements for the defense. Nelson said the defense would show that Chauvin acted within reasonable bounds during his arrest of Floyd. “You will learn that Derek Chauvin did exactly what he had been trained to do over the course of his 19-year career,” Nelson said. “The use of force is not attractive, but it is a necessary component of policing.” Nelson emphasized that his case would be built on evidence presented during the trial without reference to political pressures outside the courtroom. “There is no social or political cause in this courtroom,” Nelson said. On May 25, 2020, officers arrived at a convenience store after an employee called police, saying Floyd had used a counterfeit $20 bill to purchase cigarettes. The officers attempted to arrest Floyd and place him in the back of a squad car. But Floyd exited the car and fell to the ground, telling officers he had claustrophobia, according to the arrest affidavit. After Chauvin arrived at the scene, he pinned Floyd down by placing his knee on Floyd’s neck. Chauvin continued to press Floyd to the ground for over eight minutes, with Floyd repeatedly saying he couldn’t breathe. Floyd lost consciousness while pinned down, and medical workers who arrived by ambulance were unable to revive him. The incident was captured on video and sparked massive riots in Minneapolis, during which rioters burned down a number of businesses as well as the city’s Third Police Precinct, whose officers arrested Floyd. All officers involved in Floyd’s arrest were fired from the department. Rioting spread to cities across the U.S., causing between $1 to $2 billion in damages. Floyd’s death also sparked a wave of major protests against police brutality, including calls by activists to defund police departments entirely. However, the push to defund police has met with resistance in Minneapolis itself, where the City Council voted in February to increase the police budget in order to attract new recruits to the force. Chauvin faces charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter. After initial resistance, Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill agreed to allow the third-degree murder charge earlier this month.
The United States on Monday suspended a trade deal with Myanmar until a democratic government is brought back to the Southeast Asian country after a bloody Feb. 1 coup. The military overthrew the elected government, jailed Aung San Suu Kyi and other civilian leaders and killed and imprisoned protesters in the country also known as Burma.
Alexei Navalny, the jailed Russian opposition leader, says he could be sent to solitary confinement over numerous reprimands for minor infractions, such as getting out of bed early. Mr Navalny, a fierce critic of Russian president Vladimir Putin, has been in custody since he returned to Russia in January after being attacked with a deadly nerve agent in August 2020. He was sentenced to nearly three years in prison last month for failing to see his probation officer while undergoing treatment in Germany, where he had been airlifted after falling into a coma in Siberia. Mr Navalny has accused the Kremlin of being behind the attack, which it denies. Mr Navalny said in an Instagram post uploaded by his team on Monday that he risks being put in solitary confinement as a punishment after he was given six reprimands in the prison colony in the past two weeks. Rights activists and former prisoners have described the IK-2 colony about 120 kilometres east of Moscow as “one of the worst” prisons in Russia where inmates are constantly monitored and punished for the most minor perceived infractions.
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -Mexico’s president on Monday sharply condemned the weekend killing of a Salvadoran woman in Mexican police custody who died after a female officer was seen in a video kneeling on her back. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said 36-year-old Victoria Salazar Arriaza had been subject to “brutal treatment and murdered” after her detention on Saturday by four police officers in the city of Tulum on the Caribbean coast. “It’s a situation that fills us with sadness, pain and shame,” Lopez Obrador told a regular news conference which was dedicated to defending the rights of women and featured video by speakers including French President Emmanuel Macron.
Subpoenas are coming. There are now not one, but two grand juries underway in Fulton County, Georgia, where District Attorney Fani Willis is investigating former President Donald Trump for allegedly interfering with and pressuring state election officials as they recounted votes from the 2020 presidential election, The Daily Beast reports. The jurors in the secret proceedings are reportedly expected to issue subpoenas demanding documents and recordings related to the investigation. “I suspect that’s in the very near future,” Willis told The Daily Beast. Willis does not have an easy task ahead of her. For starters, The Daily Beast notes it’s rare for a regional prosecutor to target a former president (although, Trump may be the exception to the rule). But the public integrity unit leading the investigation is also still being assembled after earlier iterations of the unit struggled to achieve success in previous non-Trump-related cases. That said, they do have “a trove of evidence” against Trump, The Daily Beast writes, including phone call recordings already published by The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post. Read more about the investigation and the checkered history of Fulton County’s public integrity unit at The Daily Beast. More stories from theweek.com5 cartoons about Biden’s immigration troublesChuck Schumer floats ‘magical parliamentary trick’ to give Democrats more 51-vote victoriesIs nuclear fusion the answer?
A Tampa-area man lost his job at a marketing and web design company after a TikTok user exposed his video advertising a fake COVID-19 vaccine card business.Why it matters: Without an official database for verifying vaccinations, those little pieces of paper are currently the best source of proving vaccination status — and vaccines remain our best chance to reach herd immunity.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.The state of play: James Koncar’s fake vaccination card video — which included the caption “F*ck masks” — was highlighted by Mississippi pharmacist Savannah Malm, who has posted other viral call-out videos linked to the pandemic.Malm also showed Koncar’s LinkedIn profile and several other TikToks where he used misogynistic and racist language.Just six hours after Malm’s post on Friday, Tampa marketing company Thirteen05 announced it had fired Koncar, who lives in Wesley Chapel, according to a public records search.Thirteen05 declined interviews with Axios and Koncar could not be reached for comment. He has since deleted all social media.What she’s saying: “Over a year into this pandemic, we do not have the time to coddle these people,” Malm told Axios. “We don’t have time to joke. Patient safety and public health are not a joke. Over 500,000 people dead is not a joke. Creating vaccine skepticism when this could end the pandemic is not a joke. If you’re going to post it on social media, I’m going to respond on social media,” she added.Malm told Axios she took down her TikTok at the request of Thirteen05, but it has since been reposted on Twitter. She said she’s received death threats since she started posting her videos.Where it stands: Koncar has not been charged with any crimes as of Monday.Tampa Police and Hillsborough County Sheriff’s officials both said they have not charged anyone with crimes related to forging vaccine cards.For more stories like this, sign up for the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter, designed to help readers get smarter, faster on the most consequential news unfolding in their own backyard.Sign up here.Like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.
North Korea appears to be preparing to launch a new submarine capable of firing nuclear-capable ballistic missiles, with US and South Korean intelligence “thoroughly monitoring” developments at the North’s Sinpo shipyard. New satellite images of the shipyard, on the east coast of the peninsula, show that a floating dry dock has been positioned alongside the launch quay for the vast construction hall where the submarine is being completed. Analysis of the images by experts from The Stimson Center think tank and posted on the 38 North web site suggest the new vessel “may be nearing completion or is ready to be rolled out and launched in the near future”. The news came as European members of the Security Council requested an urgent meeting on Tuesday to discuss the North’s recent ballistic missile launches, which are in contravention of previous Security Council resolutions, with the possibility of additional sanctions on Pyongyang. Recent events suggest that Pyongyang is returning to the “fire-and-fury” diplomatic strategies of the past. Last week, North Korea launched two short-range ballistic missiles from its east coast, the first such launches in nearly a year and widely interpreted as Pyongyang’s first challenge to the new administration of US President Joe Biden. Under the terms of United Nations resolutions, North Korea is banned from firing ballistic missiles. On Monday, North Korea accused the United Nations Security Council of “double standards” for criticism of its recent missile launches. In a statement issued through the North’s KCNA news agency, a senior foreign ministry official defended the launches, saying, “Many other countries across the globe are firing all kinds of projectiles.” Work to refurbish the Shinpo construction hall was completed in late 2016 and it is believed that assembly of the submarine began shortly afterwards. There are additional signs that the vessel may be ready to launch, the analysts said, including an official visit to the site in July 2019 by Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, during which images of the submarine were released by state media. Storage areas at the site that were as recently as last summer full of components for the craft are also now empty. “We are thoroughly monitoring the situation, with close coordination between the South Korean and US intelligence authorities,” a spokesman for the South Korean Defence Ministry told a press conference on Monday. The North has already conducted a series of tests, from submerged barges, to simulate the firing of a submarine-launched ballistic missile. The 2,720-tonne vessel that it is constructing is believed to be designed to carry three ballistic missiles and would theoretically be capable of sailing into the Pacific to threaten US military facilities in Hawaii or even the mainland of the continental US. The US military has warned that the North deploying such a weapons system would be a significant increase in its offensive capabilities and a new cause for concern, but analysts have told The Telegraph that the threat is more limited as US and Japanese underwater monitoring technology will allow the submarine to be closely tracked.
A man accused of shooting three people at a Maryland convenience store, killing two of them, also fatally shot his parents and set his apartment on fire before he shot and killed himself, police said. Joshua Green, 27, was identified Sunday night as the suspect in the deadly shooting at a Royal Farms store in Essex, Baltimore County police said in a statement. Detectives said Green left the convenience store and set his apartment on fire, according to the statement.
COX’S BAZAR (Reuters) – Hundreds of members of a hardline Islamist group attacked Hindu temples and a train in eastern Bangladesh on Sunday, police and a local journalist said, as violence spread across the country in the wake of a visit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Local police and doctors have said at least 11 protesters have been killed since Friday in clashes with police during demonstrations organised by Islamist groups against the Indian leader’s visit. Violence has raged on since Modi’s departure as anger has swelled over the deaths.
The fire that began just after midnight on Sunday (March 28) was accompanied by large explosion and caused minor damage to houses nearby.So far at least five people have been injured and around 950 nearby residents have been evacuated after the fire broke out overnight in the city of Indramayu of Indonesia’s West Java province.Pertamina said in a statement that the cause is unknown but the incident broke out during ‘heavy rain and lightning’.
Record torrential rainfall lashing Tennessee has flooded Nashville-area buildings and resulted in the deaths of at least four people, authorities said Sunday.Details: Nashville Mayor John Cooper (D) told a briefing 7 inches of rain had fallen in two days in Nashville — the second-highest on record. Authorities told the briefing at least 130 people were rescued from the floods overnight.Get market news worthy of your time with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free.We send our deepest sympathies to the loved ones of the four Nashvillians who died in last night’s flooding. Metro’s first responders have worked tirelessly following the city’s second-highest ever two-day rainfall, which flooded neighborhoods across the county. pic.twitter.com/sTjGWs9YIf— Mayor John Cooper (@JohnCooper4Nash) March 28, 2021 Cooper tweeted that he’s signed an executive order “declaring a local state of emergency due to flooding” in the city. He’s seeking state and federal resources to assist in the worst-affected area, Davidson County.By the numbers: 5.75 inches of rain fell in Nashville on Saturday, making it the city’s wettest March day on record, according to the National Weather Service (NWS).The big picture: The flooding comes after powerful winds, rains, thunderstorms and hail that pummeled the Southeast last week, when deadly tornadoes struck Alabama and Georgia.What to watch: While the rainfall has eased, flooding remains a real threat.Per the NWS, the Cumberland River is forecast to peak at 49 feet by midnight Monday — 9 feet above the flood stage.For the record: During the May 2010 floods that killed 36 people, the river crested at 51.86 feet, the Tennessean notes.Posted by New Tribe Church on Sunday, March 28, 2021More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
A convicted serial killer whose victims included two young boys died Sunday at a hospital in Indiana, authorities said. Joseph Edward Duncan died at the medical center near United States Penitentiary, Terre Haute, where he was on death row, according to a statement from prosecutors in Riverside County, California. Duncan, 58, had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer.
Traditionally, wedding speeches are used to heap praise on a happy couple as they embark on the next chapter of their lives. But when Donald Trump grabbed a microphone at a Mar-a-Lago reception earlier this month, he railed against Joe Biden, Iran, China, the migrant crisis on the southern border and questioned the result of November’s election in a rant that has been posted online. Dressed smartly in a tuxedo, the former president held court on the dance floor in front of a nervous-looking wedding band at the reception for John and Megan Arrigo, asking guests: “Do you miss me yet?” In a video obtained by TMZ, Mr Trump falsely claimed that Joe Biden, the current US president, had dropped sanctions against Iran and said that the situation on the Mexican border is a “humanitarian disaster,” the “worst that it has ever been” and is going to “destroy the country.” Speaking at the Florida resort where he has been staying since leaving office, Mr Trump said he had “turned off the news” but launched into a number of current affairs issues.
An unnamed worker at the Department of Housing Preservation and Development reportedly addressed the letter to “Chi** Ch***,” a racial slur used against people of Asian descent, in place of the actual names of the Vietnamese immigrant recipients, reports ABC7 NY. Khang Duong and Duc Pham, roommates in an East Side apartment unit, were baffled that the racist letter came from an official city agency.
Rescuers fully dislodged the “Ever Given” from the banks of the Suez Canal on Monday, sending the skyscraper-sized container ship on its way after six days of drama that paralyzed the vital shipping route, according to canal authorities.Why it matters: The massive maritime traffic jam wreaked havoc on global trade and resulted in one of the largest ship salvage operations in modern history.Stay on top of the latest market trends and economic insights with Axios Markets. Subscribe for freeShippers with containers carrying oil, commodities and consumer goods were forced to reroute around the southern tip of Africa, adding weeks and tens of thousands of dollars of additional costs to their voyages.The Suez blockage was estimated to cost $400 million per hour in delays to goods shipments, according to CNBC.BREAKING: the ship is really moving now and horns are blaring in what sounds like celebration.The stern has swung away from us and it looks like it’s really facing the right way now after hours of being jackknifed across the channel. pic.twitter.com/gTuvqWO5ta— Raf Sanchez (@rafsanchez) March 29, 2021 Context: The ship, one of the largest in the world, ran aground in the canal on March 22 after getting caught in poor visibility and high winds from a sandstorm. The 220,000-ton and quarter-mile-long ship, operated by Taiwan-based Evergreen Marine, had been heading from China to the Netherlands.Dredgers and tug boats were able to partially refloat the ship early on Monday morning, before fully freeing it from the bank hours later.The big picture: About 30% of global container shipping volumes pass through the canal, which links the Mediterranean Sea with the Red Sea — a vital connection between European and Asian markets.Maersk, the world’s largest container shipping company, said in an advisory on Monday that the six-day blockage has triggered a series of disruptions to global trade that could “take weeks, possibly months, to unravel.”The company added that it could take at least six days for its current queue of ships to pass through once the Suez Canal is fully cleared for operations again.Our thought bubble: The trouble in the Suez — like the pandemic — underscores the fragility of a global economy built on just-in-time shipping.More from Axios: Sign up to get the latest market trends with Axios Markets. Subscribe for free
Indonesian police discovered powerful explosives and arrested more suspected Islamist militants on Monday, after a series of raids following a suicide attack a day earlier outside a cathedral on the first day of the Easter Holy Week. The two bombers were the only fatalities in Sunday’s attack in the city of Makassar on Sulawesi island, which wounded 19 people and took place as mass was finishing. Police said the bombers were a married couple who belonged to Jamaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD), an Islamic State-inspired group suspected of suicide attacks on churches and a police post that killed at least 30 people in the city of Surabaya in 2018.
An early Republican candidate announced plans Monday to seek the Alaska U.S. Senate seat that has been held since 2002 by Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski. Tshibaka posted on social media a copy of her resignation letter as the department’s commissioner, dated Monday, and a campaign video referred to her as former commissioner. A message seeking comment was sent to a spokesperson for Gov. Mike Dunleavy.