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Ex-police officer in George Floyd death asks for charges to be droppedA police officer charged in connection with the death of George Floyd has applied to have his charges dropped, court documents show.Lawyers for Tou Thao, 34, have put forward a motion stating that the former Minneapolis police officer could not have known that Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, was about to commit a crime.

7/30/2020 7:24:02 AM

Two pilots dead after firefighting planes collide while battling Nevada Fire; NTSB investigatingTwo airplanes have collided while battling a 500-acre wildfire in southeastern Nevada, according to authorities.

7/30/2020 10:57:55 PM

Iran says fires missiles from underground in Gulf war gamesIran's Revolutionary Guards said they launched ballistic missiles from "the depths of the Earth" on Wednesday during the last day of military exercises near sensitive Gulf waters. The launches came a day after the Guards struck a mock-up of a US aircraft carrier with volleys of missiles near the Strait of Hormuz, a vital shipping lane for a fifth of world oil output. The Iranian manoeuvres were staged amid heightened tensions between Iran and its decades-old arch enemy the United States.

7/29/2020 10:19:00 AM

What Pullout? Feds Gas Moms in Fresh Portland CrackdownPORTLAND—With roughly two-dozen federal officers in riot gear marching towards her, Demetria Hester linked arms with two other mothers in yellow shirts. “Hands up!” she chanted. “Don’t shoot!” responded the crowd, warily watching a line of federal agents coming towards them from behind a cloud of tear gas and smoke from munition fire. Though the number of protesters in downtown Portland had dwindled to about 100 shortly after midnight Thursday, the number of federal agents out on the streets was larger than ever. Hours after Oregon Governor Kate Brown announced the gradual removal of federal law enforcement officers from Portland, more than 200 of those officers were clashing with protesters outside the federal courthouse, using tear gas to clear the surrounding streets.Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf and President Donald Trump had disputed the governor’s announcement, the former tweeting that federal officers would “remain in Portland until the violent activity toward our federal facilities ends.” And if the scene in Portland early Thursday morning was any indication, the unrest there isn’t close to finished.The line of federal agents, holding shields and riot shotguns, shoved a wall of protesters back from the front of the courthouse. Then came the tear gas, lobbed into the crowd by U.S. Marshals and officers with the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. ‘It’s Spooky Right Now’: Inside the Creepy Federal Crackdown on Portland ProtestersProtesters frantically dodged the flying thick metal canisters and backed away from the rising smoke. With her hands still in the air, Hester pulled down a respirator mask over her mouth. “Hands up!” she kept chanting through her mask, and then slid on a pair of goggles. “Don’t shoot!” came the crowd’s reply, muffled by the sting of tear gas and the sound of jostled bodies.  After tackling and arresting a protester, federal officers continued throwing tear gas into the crowd to clear the area. Her bloodshot eyes tearing up, Hester backed away from the heavy volley of teargas and munitions, coughing into her respirator.  “We weren’t doing anything wrong,” she told The Daily Beast between coughs. “We were just peacefully protesting.” Indeed, before officers closed in, Hester and the other demonstrators standing in front of the courthouse had been peacefully chanting. “George Floyd.” “Breonna Taylor.” “Black Lives Matter.” Earlier in the night, however, a small number of protesters had become violent: shining lasers at officer’s faces and chucking fireworks at the federal courthouse. Now it appeared police officers were targeting specific people for arrest, and tear gassing anyone else in the way. Another demonstrator dressed in yellow—the designated color of the so-called “Wall of Moms,” a group of mothers focused on defending Black lives from police brutality—offered Hester a moist towelette to rub across her stinging eyes. Though Hester came out Wednesday night to protest police brutality alongside other yellow-shirted moms, the 45-year-old mother of two and grandmother of three has been active in the Black Lives Matter movement since May 2017. It was then Hester was assaulted by convicted killer Jeremy Christian the day before he killed two men on a Portland commuter train following a racist tirade. In her testimony, Hester said she interrupted Christian as he was screaming about minorities, after which he hit her in the face with a bottle, badly bruising her right eye. The next day, Christian directed another racist tirade at a small group of young girls, and fatally stabbed two men who interfered. The trial ended late last month with a sentence of life in prison without parole. “It was really after that trial that I started coming down here,” Hester said of the protest site, where a final burst of intense clashes were coming to an end. Hester and a few other mothers asked me where my car was and insisted on walking me there, because “that’s what moms do.” Hester, alongside several other Black activist mothers, has helped take charge of the Wall of Moms alongside a group called Moms United for Black Lives after the former’s original founder was accused of “anti-blackness.”Amid the chaos on the street, Hester recounted the day she was attacked by Christian, when she approached an officer with the Portland Police Bureau and pointed her attacker out. Christian was not arrested.“That white supremacist got special treatment from the police. That’s not acceptable,” she said, pausing to spit out the taste of tear gas. “And that’s what we’re here fighting for today.” So even if the feds did pull out of her city, it was hard to imagine activists like Hester would be satisfied.“It won’t make a difference if they leave or stay,” Hester said, referring to the federal officers. “It all comes down to white privilege in this country.” Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet 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.

7/30/2020 10:31:45 AM

Archaeologists have solved a longstanding mystery about Stonehenge: the origin of the monument's iconic sandstone bouldersThe origin of the 25-ton boulders that make up most of Stonehenge once baffled experts. A new study shows they came from a woodland 15 miles away.

7/29/2020 2:47:00 PM

The best argument against Kamala Harris for VPSenator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) is reportedly the frontrunner to be picked as Joe Biden's running mate. At a time of close attention to racial justice issues, the first Black woman vice president would be a marked symbolic advance.However, there is another side to Harris' record on this question. Alex Sammon examined documents from Harris' tenure as California attorney general for The American Prospect, and found that she disobeyed for years a Supreme Court order to reduce the extreme overcrowding in the state's prisons. Harris took office in 2011, and in May that year the court ruled the state's packed prisons — which had previously reached 200 percent of their design capacity — were a violation of the Eighth Amendment. They instructed the state to cut capacity to 167 percent by the end of 2011, to 137.5 percent by June 2013, and appointed a 3-judge oversight panel.Harris refused. The state made little progress in 2011, and in 2012 appealed to get the final figure raised to 145 percent (which was denied). By April 2013 the state was still 9,636 prisoners over the cap, and the oversight board recommended extending "good time" credits to nonviolent offenders. Harris's office fought tooth and nail against this proposal. The judges found their arguments so "continually equivocated regarding the facts and the law" that they nearly held the state in contempt of court. Eventually, in 2014, Harris gave in and the prison population was duly reduced.This stubborn foot-dragging to keep nonviolent, low-risk offenders in grossly overcrowded prisons bears a striking contrast with Harris's decision not to prosecute Steven Mnuchin (now secretary of the Treasury) for illegal foreclosures when he was head of OneWest Bank. As David Dayen reported at The Intercept, California prosecutors wrote a memo in 2013 describing how they "uncovered evidence suggestive of widespread misconduct," including 1,000 alleged legal violations in just a sample of OneWest loans. They recommended Harris file charges, but she declined to do so.So on the one hand, Harris went to the mat to keep thousands of nonviolent offenders behind bars. On the other, she would not prosecute a rich, well-connected person even when her own staffers found 1,000 alleged crimes. It's not a great fit for a time when the rampant injustice in American police departments and prisons has become a first-rank political issue.More stories from New Lincoln Project video imagines what it's like to wake up from a coma in 2020 Could America split up? Now a Category 1 hurricane, Isaias approaches the Bahamas

7/30/2020 12:42:39 PM

Letters to the Editor: Portland protesters, it's time to stop. You're playing into Trump's handsGod forbid President Trump gets another four years in office because of average voters' disgust with violent protests.

7/31/2020 5:00:28 AM

Democrats reject $600 benefit extension from White House, push for moreDemocrats rejected a short-term extension of a $600 weekly unemployment benefit proposed by the White House on Thursday.

7/31/2020 5:31:32 AM

SpaceX crew prepares for splashdownThe Crew Dragon capsule carrying two NASA astronauts is headed for the agency's first ocean splashdown in 45 years.

7/29/2020 5:58:00 PM

Former U.S. Marine sentenced to 9 years in Russian prison for assaulting police officerThe U.S. ambassador to Moscow has called the evidence against Reed "flimsy," and the latest example of Russia treating American citizens unfairly.

7/30/2020 9:23:00 AM


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