04:27 GMT09 July 2020
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    Riots Sweep US After Black Man Dies During Police Arrest (129)
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    The United States has been facing violent protests and riots since last week, following the death of an African American man, George Floyd, in police custody.

    More than 250 people were arrested in New York City during protests against police brutality on Thursday night, a NYPD spokesperson said.

    Earlier this week, a curfew was imposed in the city to last from 8 pm until 5 am following the incidents of violence and looting during the protests. 

    More demonstrations are expected to take place in New York on Friday as people continue to express their anger over police brutality in the US.

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    • 00:47

      Mayor of Seattle Temporarily Bans Use of Tear Gas

      In a statement during a press conference, Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan announced that city police are now banned from using tear gas for the next month. The statement comes amid criticism and numerous complaints against the use of the chemical irritant to curb the protests.

       

    • 00:38

      Facebook Sees No Foreign Meddling in Floyd Protests - Official

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Facebook has not seen any foreign actors using its platform to interfere in the recent protests over the death of George Floyd, the social media giant's cybersecurity policy chief, Nathaniel Gleicher, told reporters.

      On Thursday, US Attorney General William Barr said foreign actors have been meddling in the ongoing protests over the death of George Floyd. The African American man died in police custody in Minnesota last week in an incident that sparked nationwide protests.

      "We have been actively looking and we haven't yet seen foreign interference or domestic coordinated inauthentic behavior targeting these protests," Gleicher said as quoted by The New York Times on Friday.

      Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova on Thursday said Barr's claims are another attempt to explain internal problems via external factors.

    • 21:54

      Canadian PM Trudeau Takes Knee During Black Lives Matter Protest in Ottawa

      Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau knelt on one knee during a Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest in Ottawa on Friday, applauding and nodding in agreement with speakers. One of several BLM demonstrations in the nation's capitol city took place on Parliament Hill.

    • 20:55

      Buffalo Police Team Resigns From Unit in Support of Suspended Officers Who Pushed 75-Year-Old Man

      Screenshot of the video of a New York police officer pushing a man to the ground

      Buffalo Police Team Resigns From Unit in Support of Suspended Officers Who Pushed 75-Year-Old Man

      Video footage emerged on Thursday showing police officers in the city of Buffalo pushing to the ground a 75-year-old unarmed man who subsequently hits his head and, remaining motionless, begins to bleed onto the concrete. City authorities responded to the incident condemning the officers' behavior.
      Read more
    • 20:41

      ATF Agency Offers $10,000 Reward For Information on St John's Church Arsonists

      The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) has offered a reward of $10,000 for information that could help identify those responsible for a Sunday night fire that damaged St. John's Episcopal Church near the White House and the ALF-CIO building.

       

       

    • 20:36

      Minor Clashes Occur in Athens in Aftermath of Anti-Racist Demonstration - Reports

      ATHENS (Sputnik) - Athens police and protesters have clashed on Friday after a rally in solidarity with George Floyd demonstrators got heated in the Greek capital, media reported on Friday.

      According to the Skai TV channel, protesters were seen throwing stones and firecrackers at law enforcement officers, who responded with tear gas and stun grenades. Two people were detained.

      Similar small-scale riots happened also on Wednesday in front of the United States Embassy in Greece.

    • 20:13

      Mayor Bowser Urges Pentagon, States to Pay for Soldiers’ Accommodations in US Capital

      WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Responsible parties who sent troops to Washington to protect the US capital from riots and civil unrest should pay for the soldiers’ hotel accommodations, Mayor Muriel Bowser told reporters on Friday.

      US Senator Mike Lee criticized Bowser earlier for evicting 200 Utah National Guard troops from their Washington hotel as “shameful.”

      “It was certainly not our intent that the soldiers not have a place to stay,” Bowser said during press briefing. “It is our intent, however, that whoever ordered them here - the Army or governors - that they take care on their accommodation.”

      Bowser said the city authorities want all of the troops to be accommodated, but do not want them to have any issues being accommodated in Washington hotels.

      “[T]hey have to be taken care of by the Department of the Army,” she said.

      Bowser noted that the Washington authorities work cooperatively with its partners from the federal government and other jurisdictions. She cited the District of Columbia  National Guard commander who briefed her on working on contractual arrangements with the hotel for his troops.

    • 19:23

      Some 3,000 People Rally in Vienna in Solidarity With Floyd Protesters - Police

      VIENNA (Sputnik) - Approximately 3,000 people have joined the Black Lives Matter (BLM) rally in front of the United States embassy in Austria’s Vienna on Friday, the local police told Sputnik.

      "About 3,000 people took part in the protest at the US embassy," a spokesperson for the police said.

      The protesters were on their way to Sigmund-Freud-Park in downtown Vienna, according to the police.

      On Thursday, about 50,000 people took part in a similar BLM demonstration in the Austrian capital to protest police brutality and racism in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an African American man who died in US police custody on 25 May.

    • 18:11

      Pentagon Chief Reportedly Signs Decree for Troops Earlier Deployed to DC to Return to Their Bases

    • 17:51

      Washington Mayor Renames Street Near White House ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza’ - Statement

      WASHINGTON, June 5 (Sputnik) - Washington, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement on Friday that she has renamed a section of a street in front of the White House “Black Lives Matter Plaza.”

      “The section of 16th street in front of the White House is now officially ‘Black Lives Matter Plaza,’” Bowser said via Twitter.

      The mayor also posted a video with her message showing a utility worker installing the new street sign at a light-post.

      Bowser chief of staff John Falcicchio said the move came after a dispute earlier this week about “whose street this is.”

      “Mayor Bowser wanted to make it abundantly clear that this is [Washington,] DC’s street and to honor demonstrators who peacefully protested on Monday evening," Fallacichio said via Twitter.

      On Monday evening, police officers dispersed protesters to secure a passage for President Donald Trump across Lafayette Square to St John’s Episcopal Church that was set on fire by rioters the previous day.

      Rallies in Washington have been part of nationwide protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody on May 25. A video of the arrest posted online shows a white police officer pressing on Floyd’s neck for at least eight minutes while he was handcuffed and repeatedly saying he can not breathe.

      However, the protests soon turned into riots complete with violence against police and civilians as well as acts of vandalism, arson and looting.

    • 16:01

      Cuomo Believes DA Looking at Possible Criminal Charges After Buffalo Police Pushed Elderly Man

    • 15:25

      Trump Administration Will Show No Tolerance for Rioting, Violence - Pence

      WASHINGTON, June 5 (Sputnik) - The Trump administration will not tolerate looting and acts of violence against police or civilians, but does stand together with peaceful protesters, Vice President Mike Pence told CNBC on Friday.

      “We stand with our peaceful protesters, we’re listening,” Pence said. “But there will be no tolerance for rioting and looting and violence against individuals or law enforcement officers.”

      Protests against police brutality and racism erupted throughout the United States following the death of African American man George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 25. A video of Floyd's arrest posted online showed a white police officer pressing on his neck for at least eight minutes as Floyd was kept handcuffed and repeatedly said he could not breathe.

      However, the protests soon turned into riots complete with violence against police and civilians as well as acts of arson, vandalism and looting.

      Pence said more than 32,000 National Guard troops have been deployed to quell violence and destruction of property. The National Guard responds to domestic emergencies as well as engages in overseas combat missions.

      The vice president pointed out that protests in recent days have been largely peaceful and that is an encouraging sign.

      "We’re encouraged to see in recent days that these protests are largely peaceful and we trust that we will continue to see that effort," Pence said.

    • 15:08

      Trump Urges US Governors to Call in National Guard to 'Dominate the Streets' Amid George Floyd Rallies

    • 14:01

      New York City Police Arrest 270 People Overnight Amid Protests - Spokesman

      NEW YORK, June 4 (Sputnik) - The New York Police Department (NYPD) arrested 270 individuals on Thursday night amid ongoing protests over the killing of George Floyd in police custody, an NYPD spokesperson said on Friday.

      “Approximately 270,” the spokesman said when asked how many arrests were made overnight.

      The spokesman declined to provide details on the charges brought against those who were arrested.

    • 13:48

      London is Reportedly Concerned About the Way Foreign Journalists are Treated During US Protests

      Protesters stand in front of riot police in Washington DC on 3 June 2020

      UK Embassy in Washington Raises Issue of Police Conduct During US Protests - Reports

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The United Kingdom’s embassy in Washington has raised concerns over US police behaviour during the ongoing anti-racism protests, the media reported on Friday, citing a UK government spokesman.
      Read more
    • 13:06

      French Police Ban Two George Floyd Protests Near US Embassy in Paris

      MOSCOW, June 5 (Sputnik) – The Paris police have decided on Friday to ban demonstrations over the death of George Floyd, which were planned to take place in front of the US Embassy on June 6, as coronavirus related restrictions, including public gatherings, remain in effect in France.

      "In accordance with the decree of May 31, 2020, on the health emergency [regarding the COVID-19 outbreak], the prefect of police decided to ban two rallies [over George Floyd’s death] organized on Saturday, June 6," the Paris Police Prefecture said in a statement.

      Apart from health risks, such demonstrations can generate "disturbances to public order" and cause "incidents" similar to those during an authorized protest against racial injustice and police violence in Paris on June 2, the police department added.

      Anti-police demonstrations mirroring the US Black Lives Matter movement took place on June 2 in several of the country's cities, including Paris, Marseille, Lyon and Lille, despite the police ban. Thousands of protesters gathered in memory of Adama Traore, a 24-years-old black French citizen who died in police custody in 2016.

      Protests against police violence and racism have escalated worldwide in solidarity with demonstrations in the US over George Floyd's case.

      Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, died last week in the US city of Minneapolis after a white police officer knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.

    • 13:02

      National Guard is Reportedly Activated in North Dakota Ahead of Protest

      US National Guard during protests in Washington DC, 3 June 2020

      North Dakota Activates National Guard Ahead of George Floyd Protest in Fargo - Reports

      MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The North Dakota National Guard has been sent to the border with Minnesota ahead of a George Floyd protest in the city of Fargo later in the day, ABC News TV channel reported on Friday.
      Read more
    • 10:33

      Watchdog Slams Australian Police for Trying to Ban Black Lives Matter Protest

      MOSCOW, June 5 (Sputnik) - A prominent watchdog on Friday spoke against an attempt by Australian police to declare the upcoming Black Lives Matter demonstration in Sydney illegal.

      Earlier in the day, Mick Fuller, the police commissioner of the New South Wales state, said he would file an injunction with his state's Supreme Court against the Saturday event due to the risk of spreading the COVID-19 disease.

      "Peaceful protest is a fundamental human right, and the New South Wales police should work with organisers to ensure that attendees can social distance, and protests can be carried out in a safe manner. Police must also commit to not fine anyone inadvertently breaking a COVID-19 guideline," Joel Clark, an Amnesty International Australia campaigner, said in a statement, adding that his organization urges attendees to follow social distancing guidelines.

      The demonstration was prompted by the May 25 death of African American man George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody in the US state of Minnesota. A video of the arrest showed a white police officer pressing his knee onto Floyd’s neck for at least eight minutes while the detainee was kept handcuffed on his stomach, repeatedly saying he could not breathe. The incident has sparked protests against police violence and racism in various cities across the US and in other countries.

    • 10:31

      Civil Rights Activist Al Sharpton Plans to Repeat Legendary March on Washington - Reports

      MOSCOW, June 5 (Sputnik) - African American preacher and activist Al Sharpton has announced a new march on Washington in August to commemorate the 57th anniversary of the seminal 1963 march, led by Martin Luther King, CNN reports.

      Sharpton announced the planned march during the memorial service dedicated to George Floyd, an African American man who died in police custody, which sparked a wave of protests against racism and police brutality across the United States.

      According to Sharpton, the march will be headed by African American families who have lost their relatives to police violence, including relatives of George Floyd and Eric Garner, who died under similar circumstances in 2014.

      On August 28, 1963, King organized the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom on the US capital during which he delivered the famous "I Have a Dream" speech. The event is widely considered to be one of the most iconic moments in the history of the civil rights movement.

    • 10:30

      Floyd's Death Only One of Many Cases of Police Violence Against People in US - Professor

      MOSCOW, June 5 (Sputnik) - The case of George Floyd, an African American man who died in Minneapolis police custody, is only one of many examples of police brutality against people in the United States, Gay J. McDougall, a professor in Leitner Center for International Law and Justice in New York said on Friday at a video conference of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights.

      "The reality is that his [George Floyd's] death is one of a strain of deaths of innocent people, unarmed, by police across the country," McDougall said, adding that the real demand of the demonstrators is that racism, hatred and fear finally be fully confronted and dealt with.

      The professor also raised concerns about the use of rubber bullets, tear gas, pepper spray and, in some cases, live ammunition by police officers toward peaceful protesters, which violates international standards of the use of force. Within the context, McDougall called on the US to abide by human rights obligations and refrain from using weapons against peaceful protesters and journalists.

      Meanwhile, Pap Ndiaye, a professor at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po Paris) and the former UN Special Rapporteur on Minorities, said that Floyd's case should be made a topic for serious discussion, as this was not purely a US problem.

      "This is not something purely foreign, some young people in Europe may face the same problems," the professor added.

      According to Ndiaye, the free circulation of weapons in the US partially explains the high level of violence, though Floyd was "bare-handed" when he was killed.

      "The European Parliament should make a priority of democratic control of police forces in Europe," Ndiaye said, adding that it would be a very good idea to issue some guidelines to democratize relations between the police and the population in Europe.

      Member of the European Parliament Heidi Hautala, in her turn, said that police should be present during protests to protect and not shoot. The lawmaker also said that such direct discrimination in Europe should end. In particular, Hautala referred to a Danish law submitting people living in an ethnically profiled residential area to different standards of human rights.

      "We need to address the EU situation, we need an EU framework for national strategies, for the social inclusion of ethnic minorities. We need to collect equality data ... and the EU Council should unblock the anti-discrimination horizontal directive," Hautala added.

      The lawmaker also proposed holding a European anti-racism summit on combating structural discrimination in Europe.

      Floyd died in the US state of Minnesota on May 25. A video of the arrest showed a white police officer pressing his knee onto Floyd’s neck for at least eight minutes while the African American man was kept handcuffed on his stomach, repeatedly saying he could not breathe. The incident has sparked protests against police violence and racism in various cities across the US and in other countries.

    • 07:26

      Virginia Governor Says He Ordered Statue of Confederate General Lee Removed From Capital

      Virginia Governor Ralph Northam said during a press briefing on Thursday that he has directed the state authorities to remove the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from the state capital of Richmond.

      "I am directing the Department of General Services to remove the statue of Robert Lee as soon as possible," Northam told reporters.

      During the US Civil War, Lee led the forces of the Confederacy — a group of Southern states that believed the institution of slavery should be protected. Northam said the statue will go into storage and Richmond residents will determine its future. The governor noted that the statue has been in Richmond for a long time and said that was wrong.

      Northam predicted that many residents will be angry and protest the statue’s removal, but urged everybody to take an honest look at Virginia’ past.

      "It is a time to heal," Northam said.

      A descendant of General Robert E. Lee, who bears the same name, spoke at his ancestor's statue following the governor's announcement, voicing support for the removal of the statue and expressing solidarity with African American minority's sentiments.

      "This feels a little weird for a pastor from North Carolina to be here but it also feels like this [the statue] has always been here and it needs to go away, too. I am tired. But I also realize that I am a white person in America, so being tired is a little different for me than it is for the countless people of color who make up the rest of this nation," he said.

      Lee stated that the decision to remove the monument was a "decision of the commonwealth of Virginia," reiterating that black lives matter.

      "And trust me, when I say that the Lee family has heard, it because there are members of my family that are shaking in their boots, and I know Robert E. Lee is rolling around in his grave, and I say: let him roll," he concluded, being met with applause by attendees of the event.

    • 05:23

      New South Wales Police Want Supreme Court to Ban Anti-Racist Protests

      Police of Australia's New South Wales (NSW) decided to go to Supreme Court to ban the anti-racist protests amid the COVID-19 pandemic, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said on Friday.

      According to NSW police, organizers of the protests promised to hold rallies involving up to 50 people but the real number of activists, who joined the demonstrations, reached 10,000. 

      “It became abundantly clear that police would not be able to assure the maintenance of those health orders, that the number of protesters far exceeded what the initial request was. The police commissioner and I discussed the fact that the police commissioner would apply to the supreme court to have the intended protest tomorrow that was intended to go ahead deemed illegal,” Berejiklian said at a press conference.

    • 04:54

      Denver Police Investigate Shooting Near State Capitol, Close to Protests

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    Riots Sweep US After Black Man Dies During Police Arrest (129)
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