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In France, the killing of George Floyd invokes the memory of Adama Traoré

In France, the killing of George Floyd invokes the memory of Adama Traoré

George Floyd’s killing sparked protests across the world. In France, it reignited calls for justice for Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old French Malian man who died in police custody almost four years ago.

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Lucy Martirosyan

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Assa Traoré, sister of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old, black Frenchman who died in 2016 during police detention, poses during an interview with Reuters in Beaumont-sur-Oise, near Paris, June 7, 2020. 

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Lucien Libert/Reuters

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The death George Floyd, the 46-year-old black man killed by a white police officer on camera late last month in Minneapolis, has sparked protests in cities across the world, including Amsterdam, Seoul and London.

In France, Floyd’s death has reignited calls for justice for Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old French Malian man who died in police custody in a Paris suburb almost four years ago.

Over the weekend, more than 23,000 people across France continued to pay homage to both Traoré and Floyd, denouncing systemic racism and police brutality in a dozen cities including Lyon, Lille, Nice, Bordeaux and Metz. Fearing violence, French police banned protests in front of the US Embassy and on the Champ de Mars lawns in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Saturday.

Related: Protesters worldwide face controversial police tactics

French President Emmanuel Macron asked Interior Minister Christophe Castaner to accelerate propositions for improving France’s police code of ethics. It’s a request Macron said he’s been demanding since the gilets jaunes or “yellow vests” protests against pension reforms in January.

In a press conference on Monday, Castaner announced that French law enforcement would abandon the policing technique known as le plaquage ventral, or “ventral plating,” a method of forceful detainment that involves “the strangulation” of the neck. Castaner also said he would request the suspension of officers involved in suspected racism, referring to an investigation into racist messages allegedly exchanged by police officers in a private Facebook group of nearly 8,000 members.

For the first time since Traoré’s death in 2016, Macron also asked Minister of Justice Nicole Belloubet to look into the case.

Related: Police killing of George Floyd strikes a chord in Kenya

During last Tuesday’s protests in Paris, Assa Traoré, Adama Traoré’s older sister, drew parallels between Floyd and her brother, saying the two black men died the same way in the hands of police.

“Tonight, this fight is no longer just the fight of the Traoré family, it’s everyone’s struggle,” Assa Traoré said. “We are fighting for our brother, in the US, George Floyd, and for Adama.”

The French capital alone garnered support from crowds of more than 20,000 people, defying a ban on large gatherings during the country’s COVID-19 state of emergency. 

On the same day, June 2, Castaner defended the police, criticizing peaceful protests that turned violent. In a tweet, he said that violence has no place in a democracy. And he congratulated the police for “their control and composure.”

La violence n’a pas sa place en démocratie.
Rien ne justifie les débordements survenus ce soir à Paris, alors que les rassemblements de voie publique sont interdits pour protéger la santé de tous.
Je félicite les forces de sécurité & secours pour leur maîtrise et leur sang-froid.

— Christophe Castaner (@CCastaner) June 2, 2020

A protester is detained during a banned demonstration in memory of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black Frenchman who died in a 2016 police operation which some have likened to the killing of George Floyd in the United States, on the Place de la Republique in Lille, France, June 4, 2020. 

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Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

Since her brother’s death, Assa Traoré launched Truth for Adama, an organization that has been trying to prove that Adama Traoré died by asphyxiation at the hands of the French police.

Related: The parallels of police violence in the US and around the world 

On July 19, 2016, French gendarmes — a military force within law enforcement in France — stopped Adama Traoré as he was riding his bike with his brother on the streets of Beaumont-sur-Oise. Adama Traoré, who didn’t have his identification card on him, ran away fearing arrest. Identity checks are part of legislation in France to clamp down on illegal immigration, and police are known to abuse this practice against any person of color in Parisian suburbs. 

Officers chased him down and forcibly detained him. While transported to the police station, Adama Traoré’s condition worsened. He died that evening in police custody while his family was waiting for him at home to celebrate his 24th birthday.

A French court ruled that the gendarmes had no involvement in Adama Traoré’s death and that he died due to underlying health conditions and heart failure.

While the officers involved in the case were exonerated this month, a new, independent report requested by the Traoré family released last week said he died by “positional asphyxiation” — contradicting the original autopsy.

Yassine Bouzrou, the lawyer representing the Traoré family, said that the police used the ventral plating technique where, Bouzrou says, three officers pinned him down onto his stomach with their full weight on top of him — totaling 551 pounds.

Related: ‘No justice, no peace’: Thousands in London protest

“When he was arrested, it was extremely violent. He was crushed by the weight of police officers on top of him. … [Adama Traoré] said he couldn’t breathe.”

Yassine Bouzrou, lawyer, France

“When he was arrested, it was extremely violent. He was crushed by the weight of police officers on top of him,” Bouzrou said. “[Adama Traoré] said he couldn’t breathe.”

Adama Traoré’s death resonates especially with black French people and Maghrebis — North Africans — living in Parisian suburbs who say they feel targeted by police.

“The way people are treated at the banlieue [suburb], it’s like a map,” said Franco Lollia, an Afro Caribbean activist with the Brigade for Anti-Negrophobia in Paris, through an interpreter. “You could compare it to redlining in the United States.”

Redlining was banned more than 50 years ago in the US, but reports say that it reinforced segregation and economic disparities that persist in these cities today. 

According to a 2012 report by Human Rights Watch, young black or Arab French people living in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods in French cities are more likely to be stopped by the police, suggesting that the gendarmes and police in France engage in racial and ethnic profiling.

Related: Human rights should be ‘top value,’ says Ukraine’s former police chief

Lollia, who founded his group in 2005, says there is a psychological, implicit bias that exists against people of color in Parisian suburbs, which ultimately perpetuates systemic racism.

When Adama Traoré died that summer nearly four years ago, his death became a rallying call in the suburbs of Paris against police brutality. That July, in 2016, protests lasted for several days in the French capital, with some violent clashes between civilians and police. People in France were starting to make connections to the Black Lives Matter movement in the US, Lollia said, drawing parallels to Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, and Eric Garner, who also said, “I can’t breathe.”

A protester holds a sign during a banned demonstration in memory of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black Frenchman who died in a 2016 police operation which some have likened to the death of George Floyd in the United States, on the Place de la Republique in Lille, France, June 4, 2020.

Credit:

Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

Lollia connected Traoré’s case to that of Floyd, — but with one major distinction.

“What happened to George Floyd was on camera. What happened to Adama was not on film. … So, if I may say so, they didn’t get the chance to get the death on video. This is how cynical the situation gets for us to prove our innocence. It has to be taped.”

Franco Lollia, activist, Brigade for AntiNegrophobia, Paris, France

“What happened to George Floyd was on camera. What happened to Adama was not on film,” Lollia said. “So, if I may say so, they didn’t get the chance to get the death on video. This is how cynical the situation gets for us to prove our innocence. It has to be taped.”

Bouzrou agrees that there are many similarities between the two cases.

“The first point in common is that both [Floyd and Traoré] died by the ‘ventral plating’ technique, with police officers on top of their backs,” Bouzrou said. “Three police officers were on top of Floyd. And three gendarmes on top of Adama Traoré. The second point in common — they both said they couldn’t breathe. The third point in common is that, in both cases, the first [autopsy] claimed that they died because of a heart attack — Traoré and Floyd. [Fourth,] thanks to independent reports, the real cause of death was found — that is to say, the death was caused by the arrests.”

And finally, Bouzrou said, Adama Traoré and George Floyd were both victims of being black men.

Meanwhile, France’s Police Union official, Yves Lefebvre, insists the two cases are different. According to the BBC, he warned that France’s banlieues were like a pressure cooker, “ready to explode.”

Even though this new report supports Assa Traoré’s claim that her brother was killed by officers, Bouzrou is not hopeful.

Ultimately, he says, President Macron has supported the Paris prosecutor’s office that first suggested Adama Traoré died because of preexisting conditions.

“For us, this position is political because it comes from Macron,” he said.

As for Assa Traoré and her family, Bouzrou says they won’t feel justice is served for Adama Traoré until people fight for it.

“We have to fight and denounce this judicial scandal,” Bouzrou said.

America’s BLM protests find solidarity in South Korea

America’s BLM protests find solidarity in South Korea

On Saturday, around 100 demonstrators walked through downtown Seoul in protest of the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in what was perhaps the first showing of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the nation.

By
Jason Strother

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Protesters in Seoul, South Korea, rallied in support of the Black Lives Matter Movement on June 6, 2020. 

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Jason Strother/The World 

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Calls for racial justice in the US are compelling some South Koreans to point out xenophobia in their own country and reexamine decades-old tensions between black and Korean communities.

On Saturday, around 100 demonstrators walked through downtown Seoul in protest of the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer in what was perhaps the first public showing of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement in the nation.

Marchers held signs in Korean and English with slogans denouncing racial discrimination while some of the event’s expat participants chanted, “No justice, no peace.”

Related: US may be violating international law in its response to protesters, UN expert says

Even though South Korea is largely ethnically homogenous, it has a growing and diverse immigrant community. And as that population increases, some worry that widely held suspicion toward foreigners could incite the kinds of abuse seen in other, more multicultural parts of the world.

“Racism happens here in Korea. Whether they are from China, black or other immigrant workers, they are mocked and looked down on.”

Shim Ji-hoon, protest organizer

“Racism happens here in Korea,” said Shim Ji-hoon, who organized the weekend protest. “Whether they are from China, black or other immigrant workers, they are mocked and looked down on.”

Speaking to the crowd over loudspeakers, Shim says he worries that if these concerns aren’t addressed soon, “what happened to George Floyd could happen here, too.”

Demonstrations across America, as well as in cities such as London, Paris and Sydney, have highlighted the injustice felt by many black or other minority communities in those countries. But for many South Koreans, the protests and reports of coinciding violence and vandalism echo previous unrest that put the African American community at odds with the Korean diaspora in the US.

Resentment held by some Koreans toward black Americans can be traced back to the 1992 Los Angeles riots, which erupted following the police beating of Rodney King and the subsequent acquittal of the officers involved in the incident, some observers say.

Michael Hurt, who lectures on cultural theory at the Korea National University of Arts, says during that time, many South Koreans watched lopsided television news reports about the damage inflicted on Korean American business owners in LA without much discussion of the underlying causes of the riots.

“Back then, Korean media tended to be much more ethno-nationalist. The news tended to heavily lean on how does this affect Koreans who own businesses that were destroyed.”

Michael Hurt, Korea National University of  Arts

“Back then, Korean media tended to be much more ethno-nationalist,” he said. “The news tended to heavily lean on how does this affect Koreans who own businesses that were destroyed.”

Hurt explains Korean reporters omitted the views of African Americans in their coverage.

“You might want to interview a black person, but that didn’t happen in ’92,” he said.

A demonstration in Seoul called out racial injustice in the US and xenophobia in South Korea, June 6, 2020. 

Credit:

Jason Strother/The World 

South Korean media still report on how the present-day demonstrations impact Korean-owned businesses in the US.

But Hurt says, unlike coverage from nearly 30 years ago, journalists now are offering more context in their dispatches from US cities and doing an overall better job explaining the history of American racism for Korean audiences.

Related: Protesters worldwide face controversial police tactics

And because South Koreans now consume more media from around the world, Hurt says they’ve been made more aware of black culture and social justice issues.

“There’s a broader exposure and a more sympathetic view these days,” he said.

Despite these advancements, some watchdog agencies say more improvements are needed to reduce prejudice toward all minorities in South Korea.

A survey released earlier this year by the National Human Rights Commission of Korea found that seven out of 10 foreign residents say they have experienced some form of discrimination. And in a 2018 report, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination expressed concerns over the safety of asylum-seekers, marriage migrants and immigrant laborers living in South Korea.

Foreign athletes have also reportedly been victims of racist hate mail and death threats, including two US-born black basketball players.

Foreign nationals account for nearly 5% percent of South Korea’s total population of approximately 52 million, according to government data.

In light of the ongoing racial justice protests, some South Koreans are reflecting on what they can do to make a difference.

Related: Former CIA analyst sees parallels between Trump protest response and social unrest abroad

Lee Sa-rang, who works for an education consultancy that helps college students enter US schools, says it’s time for Koreans “to take a stand.”

“I think Korea, because it’s so homogeneous, it’s easy to stick out if you’re different. Just calling out the elders in my family who make racist remarks” is one small way to fight racism.

Lee Sa-rang, who works for an education consultancy

“I think Korea, because it’s so homogeneous, it’s easy to stick out if you’re different,” the 32-year-old said, adding, “Just calling out the elders in my family who make racist remarks” is one small way she has found that she can fight racism.

Ko Na-eun, a 17-year-old high school student, says she and a friend plan to open a booth in Seoul to provide information about George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement.

“If they [Koreans] are more aware of what’s happening in the US, I feel like it would help them reflect on what they’ve done in the past when they saw foreigners in Korea,” she said.

Ko, who returned to Korea this year after her Connecticut boarding school was closed due to the coronavirus, says some Koreans have prejudices too, and some don’t understand why they should care about the racism experienced by African Americans.

Related: Police killing of George Floyd strikes a chord in Kenya

But protesters in the US have found an unexpected ally in South Korea: K-pop superstars.

Bands like BTS have joined the Black Lives Matter movement, expressing messages of support on social media.

우리는 인종차별에 반대합니다.
우리는 폭력에 반대합니다.
나, 당신, 우리 모두는 존중받을 권리가 있습니다. 함께 하겠습니다.

We stand against racial discrimination.
We condemn violence.
You, I and we all have the right to be respected. We will stand together.#BlackLivesMatter

— 방탄소년단 (@BTS_twt) June 4, 2020

BTS has also donated $1 million to help BLM demonstrators and called on fans to match the group’s contribution.

There’s a cultural connection here, says Bernie Cho, who heads the DFSB Kollective, a music promotions agency in Seoul.

“With a lot of Korean music artists, there’s a deeper respect of the importance and impact that black culture has had on not only their personal but professional lives.” 

Bernie Cho, DFSB Kollective

“With a lot of Korean music artists, there’s a deeper respect of the importance and impact that black culture has had on not only their personal but professional lives,” Cho said.

K-pop fans from across the globe have also hijacked racist hashtags on Twitter by overwhelming these threads with videos of their favorite performers. 

Rianne, a 25-year-old protester who only wanted her first name used, joined Saturday’s demonstration in Seoul. She says that as a black woman from California, she has experienced similar forms of racism in Korea as she has in the US, such as people uninvitingly touching her hair.

But she says she gives Koreans a little more leeway for these kinds of acts than she would for people back home because of the two countries’ very different histories.

She says she was very happy to see so many people expressing concern for African Americans at the rally.

“I am so glad that people came together for this cause,” she said. “It’s not just an American issue; it’s global, and we need to fight together.” 

Americans have ‘fundamental right’ to hear from military leaders, frmr NATO commander says

Americans have ‘fundamental right’ to hear from military leaders, frmr NATO commander says

By
The World staff

Producer
Joyce Hackel

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US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley testifies beside US Defense Secretary Mark Esper before a Senate Armed Services Committee on Capitol Hill, Washington, DC, March 4, 2020. 

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United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley have so far refused to testify before a House panel about President Donald Trump’s interest in deploying active duty military troops to quell protests.

US President Donald Trump told his advisers at one point in the past week that he wanted 10,000 troops to deploy to the Washington, DC, area to halt civil unrest over the police killing of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis, according to a senior US official.

The account of Trump’s demand during a heated Oval Office conversation last Monday shows how close the president may have come to fulfilling his threat to deploy active-duty troops in US cities — despite opposition from Pentagon leadership.

At the meeting, Esper, Milley, and Attorney General William Barr recommended against such a deployment, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The meeting was “contentious,” the official added.

This week the House Armed Services Committee had been hoping to hear from Esper and Milley, but they have refused to appear before the panel.

James Stavridis, a retired Navy admiral and former NATO Supreme Allied Commander said he’s “quite surprised they are refusing to go and testify.”

“I think it’s a significant misstep by the Department of Defense,” Stavridis told The World. “Throughout my time as a senior military officer, I testified in front of Congress on many occasions. Didn’t always want to go and do that; it can be uncomfortable, but it’s a fundamental right of the American people to hear from senior military leadership. That’s the role.”

Related: US may be violating international law in its response to protesters, UN expert says

NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe US Navy Admiral James Stavridis delivers a speech before a panel discussion in Berlin, Jan. 24, 2012.

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Tobias Schwarz/Reuters

Stavridis spoke with The World’s Marco Werman about whether US military leaders will defy the US constitution.

Marco Werman: What does that tell us about the moment we’re living in?

Adm. James Stavridis: Last Monday, as we all know, we saw demonstrations, largely peaceful, that were stopped in order to provide a photo op for President Trump. The military got pulled into participating in that. That’s obviously what the Congress wants to hear about. I’d like to know more about the facts of that case. It bespeaks an attempt on the part of the administration to politicize the military that is unwarranted and I think, frankly, dangerous.

Well, to that point, we learned this weekend that President Trump demanded that 10,000 active-duty troops be ordered into American streets at the height of the recent protests. That’s according to a senior defense official. What would that have looked like across the nation?

Well, it would have been a terrible moment for the country. And I’ll tell you, Marco, as both NATO commander and previously as commander US Southern Command, in charge of all military activity south of the United States, I would often talk to government officials and senior military officials in other countries about how inappropriate it is to use the armed military against protesters. I never thought I’d be in a position of criticizing that here in our own country.

Related: Former CIA analyst sees parallels between Trump protest response and social unrest abroad 

In the end, Sec. Esper rebuffed President Trump’s threat to deploy soldiers. Gen. Milley declared that US armed forces would not allow themselves to be used against nonviolent protesters. In making those statements, were Esper and Mille publicly daring the president to fire them?

I wouldn’t use the word dare, but I think that they are doing their job. Ultimately, of course, they may have to take dramatic action, but I think they wanted to make this public so that if they do end up resigning, there’s a track record going back to the beginning of the controversy.

So, if Esper and Milley went that far with these comments, why not appear before the Armed Services Committee?

Good question. You’d have to address that to the two of them. I am hopeful, and occasionally we see this, that there’s a kind of negotiation between a congressional committee and some branch of the executive department about what will be discussed, what’s classified, what is in the realm of advice given directly to the president. So, perhaps there is a conversation like that unfolding.

Related: Why the US military is supposed to stay out of politics  

Sen. Tom Cotton wrote in The New York Times in support of putting federal troops in the streets to stop protests, which was an opinion so out there that the editor of the Times who let that op-ed through resigned. Why, Admiral, if you see the existentially troublesome side of that proposition, why are there American lawmakers supporting it?

It’s hard for me to gauge that. And let’s just for a moment, do the numbers here. We’ve got over a million sworn law enforcement officers in the United States. We have 500,000 members of the National Guard who are trained, who are citizen soldiers, who know how to back up police officers. That’s almost 1.5 million people. I see nothing going on in terms of violence or looting or disturbances that would be beyond the reach of that 1.5 million force. So, I don’t understand this desire to pull the active-duty military into this.

Related: Tear gas has been banned in warfare. Why do police still use it? 

What are you watching most closely? A decision or shift in position that will tell us about the military’s relationship with the White House right now?

I will look for whether or not the secretary of defense remains in his post. There’ve been conflicting signals in terms of confidence in him. But from what I can see, he is speaking truth to power to the president in terms of recommending no active-duty troop use. So, watch for how long Sec. Esper remains in the job.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Reuters contributed reporting. 

Symbols of ‘racist past’ topple amid global BLM protests; New Zealand reports no active COVID-19 cases

Symbols of 'racist past' topple amid global BLM protests; New Zealand reports no active COVID-19 cases

By
The World staff

The area where the statue of Edward Colston stood is seen, after protesters pulled it down and pushed into the docks, following the death of George Floyd, Bristol, Britain, June 8, 2020

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Matthew Childs/Reuters

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Top of The World — our morning news round up written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Confederate statues in the US have been toppled or defaced as protesters across the country demand a nationwide reckoning on systemic racism. The Black Lives Matter demonstrations and civil unrest around the world following George Floyd’s killing by police officers in Minneapolis has pushed officials to hasten the removal of Confederate and other controversial “artworks that gild the system” and remain “vestiges of a racist past.”

The outrage has brought about a similar reckoning in other countries, as well. In Bristol, England, a statue of Edward Colston, a British slave trader, was toppled and pushed into the docks on Sunday. Some 30,000 people in Belgium have signed petitions to remove statues of King Leopold II, the country’s colonial-era ruler who decimated Congo, enslaving and killing millions of people in the late 1800s.

The moment harkens back to historic images in recent memory, such as dismantling monuments to Joseph Stalin, Saddam Hussein and others. From 2017, The New York Times looks at a visual history of iconoclasm.  

What The World is following

A majority of Minneapolis City Council members said they will “begin the process of ending the Minneapolis Police Department.” Mayor Jacob Frey said he supports reform over dismantling. Abolishing the police has been one of several demands from some protesters, but a debate over the future of policing in the US may turn to examples from elsewhere. One potential example is the Independent Commission on Policing for Northern Ireland. Born out of the Good Friday Peace Agreement and extensive community outreach, the commission has some success changing the composition and culture of the police force, though many argue more needs to be done.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she did “a little dance” upon learning there were no active cases of COVID-19 in the country. New Zealand has moved to the lowest of a four-tier alert system ahead of schedule, allowing businesses to reopen and no longer requiring social distancing. However, borders will remain closed to foreigners. 

That success is not matched in Brazil, where the capital of Brasilia has become the newest hotspot for the virus. 

From The World & Living on EarthUS may be violating international law in its response to protesters, UN expert says

A Seattle police officer wears a “mourning band” for fallen officers over his badge, obscuring the badge number, as Seattle police guard the department headquarters downtown during a rally and march calling for a defunding of Seattle police, in Seattle, Washington, on June 3, 2020.

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Reuters/Lindsey Wasson/File Photo

International human rights advocates observing how the US is handling the protests have said the US may be violating international law. The World spoke to UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard on the use of force by US police: “At least on the basis of the videos that I have watched and the reporting that I have read, there appears to be repeated violations of international law — in particular of two principles that should guide the use of force by police in terms of handling protest: necessity and proportionality.”

Also: Former CIA analyst sees parallels between Trump protest response and social unrest abroad

Big cat ownership in the US is a big problem

The US Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that more tigers live in America than remain in the wild. Most live in small cages like the one pictured here.

Credit:

Rachel Nuwer

“Tiger King,” the Netflix documentary series about the infamous tiger breeder Joe Exotic, has taken America by storm. But while the show may be entertaining to some, its subject is highly problematic: Private big cat ownership in the US is dangerous and the animals suffer greatly for the success or pleasure of their owners.

Global Hit

Singing in Swahili, Luhya, Dholuo and English, award-winning group Sauti Sol from Kenya recently dropped their newest album. The group “pride[s] themselves on storytelling as an East African tradition that permeates music from that region.

Credit:

Screengrab from YouTube

In case you missed itListen: Protesters worldwide face controversial police tactics

Protesters raise their fists during a demonstration in memory of Adama Traoré, a 24-year-old black Frenchman who died in a 2016 police operation which some have likened to the death of George Floyd in the United States, on the Place de la Republique in Lille, France, June 4, 2020.

Credit:

Pascal Rossignol/Reuters

The tactics used by police forces to control protesters around the world over the death of George Floyd have included the use of rubber bullets and tear gas. Use of those instruments may violate international law, experts say. And, one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals, The Lancet, has retracted a scientific article about the effects of hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19. Plus, following months of a liberal approach to social distancing, the Swedish government announced last month that summer camps are allowed to open this season under certain guidelines.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Felling of slave trader statue prompts fresh look at British history

Felling of slave trader statue prompts fresh look at British history

People observe the base of the statue of British slave trader Edward Colston, after protesters pulled it down and pushed into the docks, following the death of George Floyd, Bristol, Britain, June 8, 2020.

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Matthew Childs/Reuters

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The toppling by anti-racism protesters of a statue of Edward Colston, who made a fortune in the 17th century from trading in West African slaves, in the English port city of Bristol has given new urgency to a debate about how Britain should confront some of the darkest chapters of its history.

The Edward Colston statue was torn down and thrown into Bristol harbor on Sunday by a group of demonstrators taking part in a worldwide wave of protests.

Statues of figures from Britain’s imperialist past have in recent years become the subject of controversies between those who argue that such monuments merely reflect history and those who say they glorify racism.

Protesters tear down a statue of Edward Colston during a protest against racial inequality in Bristol, Britain, June 7, 2020 in this screen grab obtained from a social media video.

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Mohiudin Malik/via Reuters

By taking matters into their own hands, the protesters raised the temperature of a debate that had previously remained confined to the realms of marches, petitions and newspaper columns.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s spokesman said the removal of the statue was a criminal act.

“The PM fully understands the strength of feeling on this issue. But in this country where there is strong feeling, we have democratic processes which can resolve these matters,” the spokesman said.

But others countered that such processes had failed to recognize the pain caused by the legacy of slavery.

“People who say — authorities should take statues down after discussion. Yes. But it isn’t happening. Bristol’s been debating Edward Colston for years and wasn’t getting anywhere,” said historian and broadcaster Kate Williams on Twitter.

‘Personal affront’

A street and several buildings in the city are still named after Colston, and the plinth where the statue stood bears the original inscription from 1895, which praises Colston as “virtuous and wise.”

The mayor of Bristol, Marvin Rees, said he did not support social disorder, but the community was navigating complex issues that had no binary solutions.

“I would never pretend that the statue of a slaver in the middle of Bristol, the city in which I grew up, and someone who may well have owned one of my ancestors, was anything other than a personal affront to me,” said Rees, who has Jamaican roots.

Bristol police said they made a tactical decision not to intervene because that could have caused worse disorder.

“Whilst I am disappointed that people would damage one of our statues, I do understand why it’s happened, it’s very symbolic,” said police chief Andy Bennett.

Even Britain’s wartime hero, Winston Churchill, was under renewed scrutiny: a statue of him on Parliament Square in London was sprayed on Sunday with graffiti that read “Churchill was a racist.”

Churchill expressed racist and anti-Semitic views and critics blame him for denying food to India during the 1943 famine which killed more than two million people. Some Britons have long felt that the darker sides of his legacy should be given greater prominence.

These debates in Britain echo controversies in the United States, often focused on statues of confederate generals from the Civil War, and in South Africa, where Cape Town University removed a statue of British colonialist Cecil Rhodes in 2015.

By Estelle Shirbon/Reuters

US may be violating international law in its response to protesters, UN expert says

US may be violating international law in its response to protesters, UN expert says

International human rights advocates observing how the US is handling the protests have said the US may be violating international law. The World spoke to UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard on the use of force by US police.

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The World staff

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A Seattle police officer wears a “mourning band” for fallen officers over his badge, obscuring the badge number, as Seattle police guard the department headquarters downtown during a rally and march calling for a defunding of Seattle police, in Seattle, Washington, on June 3, 2020.

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In cities across the United States this past week, protesters have been confronted by police carrying shields and batons and hulking armored vehicles that might look to some people like a scene straight out of a war zone.

Widespread protests against racial inequalities and excessive use of force by police following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis with a white policeman’s knee on his neck have revived a debate about equipment and tactics used by police around the United States that critics say should be confined to a battlefield. Meanwhile, international human rights advocates observing how the US is handling the protests have said the US may be violating international law in its sometimes violent response. 

Agnes Callamard is the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions as well as the director of Global Freedom of Expression at Columbia University. She led the definitive investigation into the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Callamard joined The World’s host Marco Werman from outside Avignon, France. 

Related: Former CIA analyst sees parallels between Trump protest response and social unrest abroad

Marco Werman: Madame Callamard, civil rights groups are now suing the Trump administration for violating the constitutional rights of demonstrators. You’ve been watching events on the streets of the US this week from France. Are you seeing violations of international law? 

Oh, yes, I have. At least on the basis of the videos that I have watched and the reporting that I have read, there appears to be repeated violations of international law — in particular of two principles that should guide the use of force by police in terms of handling protest: necessity and proportionality. I have seen misuse of so-called “less-lethal weapons” from rubber bullets to batons to tear gas. I have seen the use of “less-lethal techniques,” which have become very harmful, if not lethal, in at least the case of Mr. Floyd. So yes, unfortunately, at the moment, based on what we can watch on our screen and what we can read in our newspaper, there is a pattern of violations committed by police force in handling the protest. 

Related: Tear gas has been banned in warfare. Why do police still use it?

So you’ve noticed the tear gas and the rubber bullets. How do police assaults on reporters in Minneapolis and Washington, DC, not to mention attacks on demonstrators — how do those compare with what we see in other countries? 

Look, the one thing I should say is that unfortunately, the US does not stand out when it comes to those forms of violations. The scale of those violations is unusual, but the nature of the violation is not. So throughout 2019, I have received countless allegations of similar misuse of tear gas or rubber bullets in other contexts, including in Europe, in Chile, in the Middle East. So from that standpoint, unfortunately, there is a global phenomenon of police misusing so-called less-lethal weapons in ways that are either making them lethal or making their use so indiscriminatory that it amounts to a violation. 

So what or who are the authorities internationally and what are they thinking about how to respond to what’s happening in the US? 

First of all, in the US and globally, I will say there is an increasing awareness within the international community, the human rights community, and also the police community, that the so-called less-lethal weapons are no panacea. There is a reasonable factor as to why we need them, because they give police a range of options in terms of handling difficult situations. And that is something that is welcomed. 

We certainly do not want the police to have only recourse to a firearm when confronted with a difficult situation. So the range of options that those less-lethal weapons constitute is welcome. But in order to meet their purposes, which is to police in an effective and safe fashion, they have to be used to properly. And what we are seeing is the repeated misuse, the absence of proper guidelines and regulations, legal frameworks which are enshrining excessive use of force and impunity. That is particularly the case in the US because of the qualified immunity doctrine which is applied to police officers. This is why I and others have called for an end of the doctrine. That will be of first essential step towards addressing the systemic impunity that is attached to excessive use of force. The second is proper regulations regarding those the less-lethal weapons. And the third is proper training attached to those less-lethal weapons.  

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. Reuters contributed to this report. 

Never before have threats to US democracy been so grave, says political scientist

Never before have threats to US democracy been so grave, says political scientist

By
Elizabeth Ross

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US President Donald Trump holds up a Bible as he stands in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church across from the White House after walking there for a photo opportunity during ongoing protests over racial inequality in the wake of the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody, at the White House in Washington, DC, June 1, 2020.

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Tensions over race may seem at an all-time high, following the death of George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man who perished while in police custody in Minneapolis. But what makes this moment of national unrest especially significant, in a country with a long history of racial division, is that racism has become a threat to our democracy, according to scholars such as Suzanne Mettler, a professor of government at Cornell University.  

It has “been like this underground stream through all of American history. It’s always there, kind of waiting to be tapped, and sometimes it comes to the surface more than others,” explained Mettler. 

In this instance, racial conflict has been layered on top of an already deeply-polarized political system, “with one side insisting upon law and order … and the other side saying we need racial equality in the United States and police brutality is a huge problem and it’s against what the United States is supposed to stand for,” said Mettler. 

Related: Systems of oppression in health care long made ‘invisible,’ Harvard prof says

She believes the way US President Donald Trump has used racial divisions for political gain, is similar to a period in the 1890s when the Democratic Party — with the support of white supremacists — tried to dominate the political scene in the South. In the mixed-race community of Wilmington, North Carolina, the results were far from pretty. There was rampant voter fraud followed by a coup d’état and a massacre on November 10, 1898.

The true story of the massacre was not told in student history books, according to David Zucchino, the author of  “Wilmington’s Lie: The Murderous Coup of 1898 and the Rise of White Supremacy.” He went to high school and college in North Carolina but never heard about the tragic events in Wilmington until the hundredth anniversary of the coup.

The story is of great interest to Mettler, who has also written about it, because of the way in which democracy was curtailed in Wilmington — much as it had been in the 1790s and in the lead up to the Civil War, during the Great Depression, during Watergate and now, she explained.

Mettler, the co-author with Robert Lieberman of Four Threats: The Recurring Crises of American Democracy, has identified four issues that have historically undermined American democracy. For the first time in US history, all four factors: expansive presidential power, political polarization, rising economic inequality and racism or nativism, are at play at the same time, the authors claim.

Related: The slow burn of a long-term slowdown

While the threats are not new, they are convinced that their confluence under Trump has led to the weakening of the very necessary checks and balances built into our political system. The pillars of American democracy, including the rule of law, the legitimacy of opposition and free and fair elections, are under attack now like never before, Mettler explained. 

She is especially concerned about the forthcoming presidential election because of the added crisis of the coronavirus pandemic. “There’s just a lot more opportunity for politicians to then play with electoral rules and procedures in ways that could help them to gain advantage,” Mettler said.

The political scientist fears there could be hotly contested results in November and even violence. If Trump is re-elected, Mettler predicts damage to the integrity of civil rights and liberties and potentially the emergence of a so-called “competitive authoritarian regime” which only bears the “outer look of democracy.”

The fate of the country’s future has also been on the mind of presumptive Democratic nominee, Joe Biden who — in a recent speech in Philadelphia in which he criticized the president for his response to the protests against police brutality — condemned him for “sweeping away all the guardrails that have long protected our democracy.”

At the same time, Biden tried to offer hope by recalling how, during some of the darkest moments of despair in US history, the nation has made some of the greatest progress. Still, it may be a while before we can see what progress, if any, comes from this difficult moment.

Elizabeth Ross is the senior producer of Innovation Hub. Follow her on Twitter: @eross6

Former CIA analyst sees parallels between Trump protest response and social unrest abroad

Former CIA analyst sees parallels between Trump protest response and social unrest abroad

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The World staff

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Ariel Oseran

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Police in riot gear keep protesters at bay in Lafayette Park near the White House in Washington, DC, May 31, 2020.

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Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

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Protests, curfews and aggressive police crackdowns have followed outrage over the police killing of George Floyd, a black man, in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Protesters and journalists have been fired upon with munitions, and US President Donald Trump has called on the military to step in — a move that has been decried by some prominent figures, including former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. 

But what’s happening on US streets right now looks familiar to veterans of the US intelligence community who’ve monitored foreign government responses to social unrest.

Some are pointing out parallels between Trump’s attempts to quell protests, and the actions of authoritarian regimes that have done the same.

Related: Tear gas has been banned in warfare. Why do police still use it?

Gail Helt is a former CIA analyst who tracked developments in China and Southeast Asia and a professor of security and intelligence studies at King University in Tennessee. She spoke with The World’s Marco Werman about the similarities between what’s happening in the US and government repression in other parts of the world. 

Marco Werman: Gail, peaceful protests across the US, but as you see the massive police presence, the use of tear gas, mass arrests, what similarities are you spotting to repression in other parts of the world that you’ve seen in the past?

Gail Helt: I have to say — I think I would be remiss if I didn’t, this being the 31st anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre — and seeing those armored vehicles rolling down the streets of DC does kind of conjure those images, in my mind, of tanks running over peaceful protesters. And I know that might seem like an extreme comparison to some people. But in my opinion, that’s how unusual it is to see armored vehicles being used as crowd control on the streets of American cities.

Related: Why the US military is supposed to stay out of politics 

Are there differences that you would underscore?

I definitely don’t see, or at least I’m hopeful that we won’t see, any kind of repression along those lines here. America is a democracy. America is a republic. We are not supposed to use our military to corral peaceful protesters. And yes, there are some pockets of violence, and that’s horrible. We can handle this. I think that there’s been a ratcheting up of tensions. That concerns me a lot. But we in America have a tradition of peaceful protest. It is a constitutional right. And I think using the military to crack down on that sends a horrible, horrible message about where we’re headed as a country.

President Trump’s former attorney, Michael Cohen, said last year in congressional testimony, “Given my experience working for Mr. Trump, I fear that if he loses the election in 2020, that there will never be a peaceful transition of power.” He’s making the case that Trump losing would be the same as a strong man in a country with a weak democracy. It happens all over the world. Where have you seen this play out? And do you see this happening here in the US?

Well, I am concerned. Trump has been setting the stage, at least for American citizens to question the legitimacy of the upcoming presidential election, for months. When he talks about how mail-in ballots are tantamount to election fraud, we’re on dangerous ground here. If Trump loses in November, I do think he will leave. I don’t think he will leave without a lot of drama, without a lot of protests, without him organizing marches in the streets of Washington, DC.

Related: Police killing of George Floyd strikes a chord in Kenya

Gail, I’d like to get back to Trump’s reliance on law and order. Earlier this week, he called on governors to “dominate the streets” or else he would deploy the United States military and “quickly solve the problem for them.” The way to do this is through the Insurrection Act, which allows the use of active-duty military forces to deal with unrest in US streets. But Defense Secretary Mark Esper has said he’s opposed to invoking the act: “The option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations. We are not in one of those situations now.”What does it mean for any leader to turn the military against citizens? I mean, do you have an example of that? If Trump did it, can you argue that he’s becoming as authoritarian as Bashar al-Assad, for example?

I do think that that is an extreme comparison. I would look at maybe Malaysia in 2012, 2013, when there were pro-democracy, pro-electoral reform protests and the government, which had no interest in electoral reform, pulled out the rubber bullets and the water cannon and the tear gas. It’s a breach of trust. If that happens here in any large-scale way, I think that the breach of trust is going to be something that’s irreparable. And we already have a huge distrust issue with American citizens. And this has been happening for decades. I mean, you can’t pin that all on Trump. The fabric of our society has been fraying a little bit for a couple of decades now. But Trump has just basically pulled those threads and totally unraveled it.

Related: Citing COVID-19, Australian court bans George Floyd protests 

Given what you’ve witnessed in other countries that you’ve paid close attention to over the years, how worried are you personally for the US? What are you telling students at King University right now?

I’m very worried. I’ve used the word terrified. I don’t believe that if Trump is reelected that we can withstand four more years. The Constitution — nobody’s defending it. I mean, I’m defending it, there’s many of us, there are dozens of us who are former national security professionals who are out there defending it and trying to remind our elected officials of the oath that they took, just like the ones that I took, to protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And they’re not actually doing that. To me, in my mind, until they do that, anything can happen.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. 

Protests raise concerns of COVID-19 spread; Researchers retract hydroxycholorquine study

Protests raise concerns of COVID-19 spread; Researchers retract hydroxycholorquine study

By
The World staff

People protest in solidarity with those in the United States protesting police brutality and the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Sydney, Australia, June 2, 2020.

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Top of The World — our morning news round up written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

As protests reverberate around the world over the police killing of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis, Minnesota, some governments have urged would-be protesters to move their activism out of the streets over fears of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, while underscoring her solidarity with protesters, asked them to find an alternative to gathering physically: “Right now, it is the case, unfortunately and regrettably, that large gatherings of people could pose a risk to health and indeed to life.” Scotland is currently under strict coronavirus lockdown rules which prohibit gatherings of more than eight people and require social distancing of at least six feet.

An Australian court banned a Black Lives Matter protest planned in Sydney, citing COVID-19 concerns. While the curve has flattened in New South Wales, authorities warned, “It’s not a time to throw out our caution.” But organizers say they plan to go ahead with the protest, which has also brought attention to deaths in police custody of black and Indigenous people in Australia.

What The World is following

Researchers retracted a study in the Lancet medical journal that found risks in using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients, saying they can “no longer vouch for the veracity of the primary data sources.” The retraction raises concerns about the rush to publish during the pandemic. 

US President Donald Trump tweeted a letter calling demonstrators in Washington, DC’s Lafayette Square “terrorists” and citing other falsehoods after former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis heavily criticized the president. The peaceful protesters were violently cleared from the square Monday for the president’s photo opportunity, prompting a lawsuit from the ACLU.

From The WorldYemen faces spread of COVID-19 ‘with no health care system at all’

Yemen, made vulnerable by more than five years of war, is ill-equipped to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The public health problem is exacerbated by warring factions, who downplay the threat of the pandemic even as Yemeni hospitals — and graveyards — are crowded with victims.

Police killing of George Floyd strikes a chord in Kenya

A man sits under a graffiti depicting African American man George Floyd, who was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis, in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya, June 4, 2020. The writing reads ”Justice” in Swahili. 

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Baz Ratner/Reuters

George Floyd’s killing by a police offer in the US has struck a chord with Kenyans who have also spoken out against police brutality. When Kenya enacted restrictive policies to curb the spread of the coronavirus, activists sounded the alarm about deadly policing. According to Kenya’s Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA), more than 15 people were killed by police during the coronavirus curfew — including children. Community organizers say that number could be much higher.

From Things That Go Boom: Was the US sleeping through China’s rise? 

China’s millennials reexamine spending habits as economy recovers

Visitors hold face masks at the Shanghai Disneyland theme park as it reopens following a shutdown due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at Shanghai Disney Resort in Shanghai, China May 11, 2020. 

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Aly Song/Reuters

Millennials in China have been known to be big spenders. But as the Chinese economy recovers from a coronavirus-induced slowdown, many young people are reexamining their lives and their spending habits.

Morning focus

Blowing bubbles looks fun across the universe. Watch this black hole send blobs of 400 million billion pounds of matter into space. 

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In case you missed itListen: The parallels of police violence in the US and around the world

A man holds a candle in commemoration of George Floyd, a black man killed while in Minneapolis police custody, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, June 3, 2020.

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Lucas Jackson/Reuters

We continue to focus on the two biggest stories across the globe: Police violence against black people in the US and around the world, and the coronavirus pandemic. The killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and the killing of a 14-year-old boy during a botched police raid in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is forcing a reckoning in both countries. Also, how testing and tracing for COVID-19 is working in the UK. And, pandemic lockdowns have changed the way people around the world are using their streets and sidewalks. We take you to a busy street in Milan to hear how people are using new bike lanes and socially-distanced sidewalks.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Was the US sleeping through China’s rise?

Was the US sleeping through China's rise?

If the US can’t take care of itself in times of major crisis, how exactly is it supposed to “beat” China in global competition?

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Laicie Heeley

Producer
Ruth Morris

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Chinese and US flags flutter near The Bund, before US trade delegation meet their Chinese counterparts for talks in Shanghai, China, July 30, 2019.

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Millennials in China reexamine their spending habits as economy recovers

Millennials in China reexamine their spending habits as economy recovers

By
Rebecca Kanthor

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Visitors hold face masks at the Shanghai Disneyland theme park as it reopens following a shutdown due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, at Shanghai Disney Resort in Shanghai, China May 11, 2020. 

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In China, millennials — defined as anyone born between 1981 and 1996 — have been known to be big spenders. But as the Chinese economy recovers from a coronavirus-induced slowdown, many young people are reexamining their lives and their spending habits.

Wang Aijing, 29, was living the single life in Shanghai, and making a good living working as a fashion journalist. ”I don’t see it’s necessary to save money. Because, for me, like marriage or buying a house — it’s too far away from me,” she said.

Related: Governments work on recovery plans as societies open up 

“Everything was just a mess for me. I realized that I really need to rethink about the whole financial status of myself. And then I realized how much I spend — not very reasonably.”

Wang Aijing, 29

Then the coronavirus outbreak turned everything upside down. Her company downsized, she lost her job, and her plans for the future disappeared. “Everything was just a mess for me. I realized that I really need to rethink about the whole financial status of myself,” she said. “And then I realized how much I spend — not very reasonably.”

She wasn’t alone. A study reported by a Shanghai paper showed that 45% of young people under 30 had experienced a drop in income during the COVID-19 outbreak, more than any other age group.

It was time for a new plan. Last month, she started to save money regularly in her bank account. And she’s changed her shopping habits too: no more buying clothes and makeup.

Related: China sends a new message about centuries-old chopstick tradition

She and her friends started downloading new apps on their phones to sell off secondhand electronics and get group deals. “In the past, we probably would laugh at people who use that, too,” she said. “But now it seems like we discovered its beauty. It’s really bringing cheaper stuff, and it’s okay quality.”

Another poll taken in April showed that more than half of Chinese shoppers under 30 plan to start managing their finances better.

James Roy, an American market analyst in Shanghai, has been paying close attention to young shoppers and people who buy luxuries. He says he’s noticed several shopping trends in post-COVID China. There are revenge shoppers, who did consolation shopping once quarantine ended. There are those who are embracing a simpler life, albeit one marked by fewer but higher quality products. And then there are the bargain hunters, like Aijing.

“Especially this younger group, they’ve been the ones that have been saving the least, you know, they’re big credit card users and have been very avid shoppers,” he said. “I think, in a way, this is a time for some of them where that’s kind of caught up to them.”

Monthly shopping promotions are offering great deals as the government tries to stimulate the economy. And travel restrictions have removed focused spending domestically. 

“You’re not spending that money overseas like when you’re traveling to Hong Kong or to Paris or to Tokyo or Seoul. So, all of that money that they would have been spending abroad is getting spent domestically.”

James Roy, market analyst in Shanghai,

“You’re not spending that money overseas like when you’re traveling to Hong Kong or to Paris or to Tokyo or Seoul,” Roy said. “So, all of that money that they would have been spending abroad is getting spent domestically.”

Related: Shanghai Disneyland reopens — with face masks and social distancing 

Despite these temptations, saving money has actually turned into a new lifestyle for Aijing and others.

She used to grab an expensive latté at an independent coffee shop. Now? She heads to Starbucks for early morning 50%-off deals. She used to meet her friends for brunch at the latest hotspot. Now they choose a restaurant where they can use coupons or points. Sometimes they’ll entertain at home — something they never did before.

She’s found a community of young people just like her in online budgeting groups.  

“It’s interesting to see how they use money, how they save up, how they live the life they feel more meaningful.”

Wang Aijing, 29

“It’s interesting to see how they use money, how they save up, how they live the life they feel more meaningful,” she said. “There are some people saving up money for trips, honeymoon, or their children’s education. There’s always a purpose. I like that. I like saving up money for something that makes your life better.”

The biggest change Aijing is making, though? In a few months, she’ll pack her bags and move back in with her parents in southern Guangxi province — more than 1,000 miles away from her life in Shanghai. She expects to find a job that will pay less than a quarter of the salary she made in Shanghai. But without the temptations of big city life and with no rent and few living expenses, she’ll finally be able to save big.

For many embracing a thrifty lifestyle, it isn’t exactly by choice. But Aijing is feeling positive about it.  

“I feel like although I was paid — OK, I was paid good, but that is at the expense of my life. I just feel like pulling together all the resources that I have makes me feel like I’m smarter than before and it’s a normal thing that everyone does and it is nothing shameful,” she said.

Now that saving has become a habit for her, she has new dreams of what she can achieve, including an apartment for herself and a summer holiday in Italy. The pandemic may have taken Aijing’s job, but it’s also given her a new outlook on life.

Citing COVID-19, Australian court bans George Floyd protests in Sydney

Citing COVID-19, Australian court bans George Floyd protests in Sydney

A woman wears a face mask as people protest in solidarity with those in the United States protesting police brutality and the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Sydney, Australia, June 2, 2020.

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Loren Elliott/Reuters

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Australian authorities have banned protests in Syndey and sought to block protests elsewhere around the country set to take place over the weekend inspired by the death of a black American man George Floyd, saying large gatherings risk new coronavirus infections.

Around 50,000 Australians had been expected at nationwide events on Saturday as anger over Floyd’s death in Minneapolis — where a white policeman knelt on his neck — also focuses attention on mistreatment of indigenous Australians.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said people had the right to express themselves, but should the COVID-19 disease spread at protests, it would be impossible to trace all participants.

“Any mass gathering at this time is a lottery with peoples’ lives,” he told reporters in Melbourne.

Authorities in Australia’s most populous state of New South Wales (NSW) secured a Supreme Court injunction to prevent the largest rally planned for Sydney.  

Judge Desmond Fagan said a gathering of thousands was “an unreasonable proposition” given state directives for no more than 10 people to gather.

“It is self-evident that the social distancing measures … have been the key element in minimizing the spread of this disease,” he said, adding that the right to free expression was being “deferred” until a safer time.

Some protesters, however, said they would carry on.

“I never lose my decision to fight for what is true,” rally organizer Raul Bassi said after the court decision.

Australia has avoided the high infections and casualties of other nations, with only 102 deaths, because of border closures and social distancing since March.

NSW police had originally approved the Sydney protest, on the understanding there would be fewer than 500 participants, but far more had been planning to attend.

“The New South Wales government would never, ever give the green light to thousands of people flagrantly disregarding the health orders,” NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told reporters.

In Victoria state, where gatherings of more than 20 people are banned, police threatened fines for protest organisers and people breaking social distancing rules. Queensland and Western Australia states also urged people not to attend rallies.

“Let’s find a better way and another way to express these sentiments,” urged Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“Let’s exercise our liberties responsibly.”

By Colin Packham and Byron Kaye/Reuters

Police killing of George Floyd strikes a chord in Kenya

Police killing of George Floyd strikes a chord in Kenya

By
Halima Gikandi

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A man sits under a graffiti depicting African American man George Floyd, who was killed by a police officer in Minneapolis, in Kibera, Nairobi, Kenya, June 4, 2020. The writing reads ”Justice” in Swahili. 

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Early this week, Nafula Wafula, a Kenyan activist, got a call from an American friend living in Nairobi. They talked about the recent killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

“When she called me, at the same time I was thinking about the police brutality that is happening here in Kenya,” said Wafula, who is the vice-chairperson of policy at the Commonwealth Youth Council. She also has a brother who lives in the United States.

Related: World responds to protests sparked by George Floyd’s death

“The persons in the poorest communities, informal urban settlements face more police brutality, while in the US it’s more racial.”

Nafula Wafula, activist and vice-chairperson of policy, Commonwealth Youth Council, Kenya

“The persons in the poorest communities, informal urban settlements face more police brutality, while in the US it’s more racial,” said Wafula. Last year, more than 100 people were killed by police violence in Kenya, according to human rights groups. 

Related: Somali Americans share grief and pain over George Floyd’s killing

When Kenya enacted restrictive policies to curb the spread of coronavirus, activists sounded the alarm about deadly policing. According to Kenya’s Independent Police Oversight Authority (IPOA), more than 15 people were killed by police during the coronavirus curfew — including children. Community organizers say that number could be much higher.

On Thursday, the IPOA announced that six police officers would be arrested and charged over the deaths and assault of Kenyans during the coronavirus curfew, including Yasin Hussein Moyo, a 13-year-old boy killed in March. 

Yet, last Friday, Kenyan police officers killed two children and a woman lost her unborn baby during a police raid in the coastal region of Kwale. Days later, Kenyan police reportedly killed a homeless man in the poor neighborhood of Mathare, in Nairobi. Videos on social media show residents demonstrating in the middle of the night on Monday.

Related: ‘No justice, no peace’: Thousands in London protest the death of Floyd

Despite a nationwide curfew and limit on public gatherings, Wafula and her friend organized a small demonstration of their own on Tuesday, outside the US Embassy in Nairobi. Shortly after, the US ambassador released a video statement condemning the killing of George Floyd, a black man. 

For some, it’s a sign of how much the police killing of George Floyd, and the nationwide protests, has resonated within other countries where police violence is also a problem.

“The events happening in the US have sparked police accountability questions in Kenya. … The cops are very clever in terms of hiding evidence and blaming these victims for being criminals.”

Robi Chacha, human rights attorney, Nairobi, Kenya

“The events happening in the US have sparked police accountability questions in Kenya,” said Robi Chacha, a human rights attorney who recently moved back to Nairobi from San Francisco. He’s worked on extrajudicial killing cases but says they rarely get the level of media attention seen in the US now.

Related: Floyd’s death reverberates in Nigeria 

“The cops are very clever in terms of hiding evidence and blaming these victims for being criminals,” he continued.

On Tuesday, Kenya’s national police spokesperson Charles Owino was asked about police brutality on national TV. 

“Let’s take action against individual police officers who are erratic,” he said. “But let’s support the police, let’s not set the public against our police officers.” Owino denied that the man killed in Mathare was shot by police officers.

Years of pressure from community social justice groups, who have been documenting police killings and violence, has led to some police reforms and increased civilian oversight.

“The only concern for me and for many other Kenyans is why those do not reflect in just for these victims and their families as well,” said Chacha.

Fixing health disparities requires ‘the right data,’ says UK doctor

Fixing health disparities requires 'the right data,' says UK doctor

By
The World staff

Volunteers hand out hand sanitizer and masks at Christ the King United Church of Christ, where five members of its 180-member congregation had gotten sick from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and two have died, in Florissant, Missouri, May 22, 2020.

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Lawrence Bryant/Reuters

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Protests around the world are highlighting the way racism impacts every aspect of society. That includes health.

In Washington, DC, on Thursday, a congressional subcommittee met to examine the racial health inequalities around the spread of COVID-19.

“These protests are about more than the treatment of African Americans at the hands of police,” said committee chairman Rep. Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, a Democrat. “They are also about the systemic racial inequities that have festered in our society for years, and are now magnified by the coronavirus that we are here to talk about. This racial inequity is particularly stark in healthcare and has been laid bare by this pandemic.”  

This is not just a problem in the United States. In the UK, a report from Public Health England released this week found that people from ethnic minorities are at a higher risk of dying from coronavirus, but it did not make recommendations for how the government can address these disparities.

Related: Health care part of ‘systems of oppression,’ says Harvard professor

Dr. Hina Shahid is the chair of the Muslim Doctors Association in the UK. She spoke with The World’s Marco Werman about the UK report and what some organizations are doing to address disparities. 

Marco Werman: What are the findings of this new report, and does it tell us anything new?

Dr. Hina Shahid: The findings of the report are pretty much what we already knew and what had been published by a number of other organizations and individuals already. The report confirms that age is a big factor, along with living in deprived areas, having underlying conditions, being from an ethnic minority, being in various occupations and being male, were all the risk factors identified. But we already knew this. So it didn’t really add anything extra to what we knew already.

Related: Pandemic exposes ‘major vulnerabilities’ in US food system 

What the report does not do is put forward recommendations for how to address these disparities. Was that something you were expecting to see? And is this a really missed opportunity?

Yes. I mean, this is a common sentiment. You know, disappointment — actually, disappointment is an understatement with what various BAME [Black Asian and Minority Ethnic] organizations are saying. Racial discrimination plays a huge role in accounting for the disparities that we see in health outcomes among BAME groups. And we were really hoping to get some information on what some of those discriminatory factors look like. We had hoped, initially, that it would answer some of those questions around the whys and the hows. But what it does is just kind of give a summary of the what, which was already known.

Related: Health disparities are top of mind for Latina student voter 

Doctor, what do you think the British government should be doing to protect BAME Britons from coronavirus? What would you recommend?

There’s a lot that needs to be done. The first thing starts with having the right data so that we can understand what is going on. The data that was published in the PHE [Public Health England] review has a very narrow scope. It hasn’t been disaggregated by ethnic minorities. We don’t know the range of clinical risk factors. We don’t have a good idea of some of the wider social and economic factors.

And importantly, there’s no research that’s been done on exploring specifically the impact of discrimination, and those experiences of discrimination, and how they are affecting health inequalities in ethnic minority communities. And that’s what we need to do. We need to really have an understanding of what is going on so that we can then come up with appropriate recommendations about what to do. But we need to acknowledge that that racism and discrimination play a huge part.

Your organization, the Muslim Doctors Association, actually put forward recommendations that were not published in the report. Why do you think that is?

One of our recommendations, based on the research that we’ve been doing, is that we’ve seen that Muslim communities have been particularly affected by COVID-19 in the UK. And that’s because of the intersection of discrimination and disadvantage that Muslim majority ethnic groups face. So one of the recommendations we put forward was that we need data on faith or religion to be published. Also, legally in the UK, this is a protected characteristic. And if you’re going to be doing any research on inequalities, you need to really reach out to those vulnerable groups.

What we’ve been told by PHE is that this is something that they are keen to explore with us. I’m hoping that this is something that they can take on board. It wasn’t covered in this particular review. One of the reasons is because the data quality currently is quite poor. And that is true because we’ve looked at the data ourselves.

Related: ‘We can’t take our health for granted’ as US reopens, says Dr. Howard Koh 

Dr Shahid, as a doctor, do you feel like you’ve gotten enough guidance and protection from the government when you go in to see patients every day?

This has been a really big issue for frontline workers. I don’t know whether you’re aware of the statistics that we have in the UK, but for doctors, for example, over 90% of doctors who’ve died have been from an ethnic minority background. And that is huge. People have actually reported that they felt bullied at work, that they have felt pressurized to work in unsafe conditions, that they’ve not had access to adequate protective equipment.

All these factors, again, that point to longstanding discrimination, which may be accounting for the disproportionate impact and deaths that we’ve seen amongst ethnic minority frontline workers. And this is very serious. And yes, it’s created a lot of anxiety around frontline workers who are scared to go into work. There have been some risk reduction frameworks that the National Health Service has produced to try and reduce that risk. But actually, you know, it’s not really been taken up properly. A lot of colleagues have not really had any risk assessment at work. So, you know, there’s policy formulation, there’s policy implementation. We haven’t really seen the implementation at all, to be honest.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. 

Yemen faces spread of COVID-19 ‘with no health care system at all’

Yemen faces spread of COVID-19 'with no health care system at all'

By
Stephen Snyder

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A health worker takes the temperature of people riding a taxi van, amid concerns of the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), at the main entrance of Sana’a, Yemen May 9, 2020.

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Khaled Abdullah/File Photo/Reuters

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The United Nations has called the situation in Yemen the worst humanitarian crisis on earth. It’s the product of a five-year war, food shortages, widespread poverty and homelessness. And now, Yemen faces the coronavirus pandemic.  

A virtual pledging conference Tuesday, co-hosted by the United Nations and Saudi Arabia, raised a little over half of its $2.4 billion goal — and half the amount pledged at last year’s conference. Aid group Save The Children called the amount “catastrophic.” 

The annual pledges support programs that bring food and clean water and medical assistance to Yemen. 

“COVID-19 is spreading throughout Yemen, and there are few signs that local authorities can handle the rising number of infections. Health facilities are turning people away because they’re already full or they don’t have what they need to treat people with the virus.”

Mark Lowcock, UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator

“COVID-19 is spreading throughout Yemen, and there are few signs that local authorities can handle the rising number of infections,” Mark Lowcock, the UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator, told national representatives who gathered online Tuesday. “Health facilities are turning people away because they’re already full or they don’t have what they need to treat people with the virus.”

Yemeni researchers and activists say the fundraising shortfall follows a pattern in which the war-torn country falls off the global agenda — particularly in light of the pandemic. 

Related: With test kits so scarce, doctors in Yemen are flying blind

“There seems to be a [donor] fatigue over the situation in Yemen,” says Afrah Nasser, a researcher for Human Rights Watch. “Every government is just dealing with their own internal humanitarian situation in light of the COVID-19 crisis. So Yemen is just being forgotten all over again.” 

Nasser, herself a Yemeni working in exile, has watched her country disintegrate since fighting spread throughout the nation in 2015. 

“In the course of the war, we have witnessed systematic targeting of health facilities across the country,” she said. “Hospitals, clinics have been targeted by the different warring parties. And even worse, health workers have been targeted or fled the country. The health care system today, basically, has collapsed. So people today are facing COVID-19 with no health care system at all.”

Yemen reported its first case of the novel coronavirus in April. As of June 4, the World Health Organization was reporting 423 confirmed coronavirus cases, with 96 deaths.

Related: WHO fills gaps to fight COVID-19 in countries with weak systems

The Facebook posts Nasser sees from people inside Yemen provide a more alarming picture. She said she suspects far more people are dying from the virus than official numbers portray.

“I don’t like to exaggerate,” Nasser said. “But I see that there are about 10 or 20 people dying daily. People are expressing the pain and despair through those social media posts … There are funerals happening on a daily basis. There is one graveyard in Sana’a that closed its doors, saying with a big poster on its door that the graveyard is fully occupied.” 

In Aden, Yemen’s southern port city, gravediggers can not keep up with the demand for burials.

Fatima Saleh, a civil society activist living in Sana’a, has also noted the rise in death announcements on Facebook. 

“I’m seeing condolences to our friends, to friends of friends, on a daily basis. It’s crazy. I mean, we’ve been in a war for, like, six years, but we’ve never seen something like this.”

Fatima Saleh, civil society activist living in Sana’a, Yemen

“I’m seeing condolences to our friends, to friends of friends, on a daily basis,” she said. “It’s crazy. I mean, we’ve been in a war for, like, six years, but we’ve never seen something like this.”

Preventative measures observed widely throughout the developed world have not yet been adopted in Saleh’s neighborhood in the Yemeni capital. 

“Yesterday, I went on an errand,” Saleh says. “I was in the shop and many people were not social distancing … And also, many people are not wearing masks or any kind of protection.”

Hisham Al-Omeisy, a Yemeni political analyst living in Cairo with close ties to friends and family in Yemen, says the country is not doing enough to protect its people from the virus.

“All the shops are open. All the roads are open. Even the big areas, where a lot of people crowd, are open,” Al-Omeisy said.

Related: As it braces for coronavirus, Yemen offers lessons of survival

“I just feel scared when I go outside because I know that people are not being careful and cautious regarding COVID,” Saleh said. “And some of the people treat it as just the flu.” She sees ominous signs in Sana’a’s busy streets and marketplaces. “Countries in the first world closed all facilities. But we didn’t take lessons learned from this … And we don’t know if we are at the peak or not. Nobody is telling us any death toll or any numbers.”

“The situation back home is hell,” Omeisy said. “People are literally dropping like flies.” 

Omeisy says Yemeni officials seem to be deliberately opaque about the spread of the virus: “On one hand, they tell the UN and other bodies it’s serious, on another, they downplay it locally.”

“The Houthis even had the audacity to announce they are preparing 19 cures for the ‘US-made virus,’” said Omeisy, who was imprisoned and tortured by the Houthis before he escaped to Cairo. He says lack of a clear public health response by authorities imperils the Yemeni way of life. “We’re completely helpless against a virus that cares nothing about our goodness or community values. It even seems that the virus is capitalizing on [our] closely-knit society to ravage through our communities.”

Mattis, Obama speak out; The anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown; Arctic oil spill

Mattis, Obama speak out; The anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown; Arctic oil spill

By
The World staff

US President Donald Trump speaks to the news media while gathering for a briefing from his senior military leaders, including then Defense Secretary James Mattis (L), at the White House, October 23, 2018.

Credit:

Leah Millis/Reuters/File Photo

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Top of The World — our morning news round up written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis broke his silence Wednesday, denouncing President Donald Trump’s call for a military response to the civil unrest gripping the US after the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died as a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck last week.

Mattis, an influential retired Marine general who resigned over Trump’s policy on Syria in 2018, accused the president of trying to divide the country. “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try,” Mattis wrote in The Atlantic. Only hours before Mattis’ comments were published, the current defense secretary, Mark T. Esper, also distanced himself from Trump, suggesting the use of the military to contain the protests was unnecessary at this time.

In a day with several high profile figures speaking out, former President Barack Obama on Wednesday urged mayors across the country to review their police department’s use-of-force policies, but also struck a note of optimism. “In some ways, as tragic as these last few weeks have been, as difficult and scary and uncertain as they’ve been, they’ve also been an incredible opportunity for people to be awakened to some of these underlying trends,” Obama said via livestream from his home in Washington, DC.

What The World is following

Today marks the 31st anniversary of China’s bloody Tiananmen Square democracy crackdown. But for the first time since 1989, commemorations have been banned by Chinese authorities citing concerns over the coronavirus. Despite the ban, thousands in Hong Kong defied the police and gathered in the city’s Victoria Park. The Tiananmen Square anniversary comes as China’s central government passed a law making it a crime to mock the country’s national anthem. It also falls against the backdrop of the Trump administration’s forcible removal of peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square near the White House in advance of a photo op.

In another echo of 1989, a huge fuel leak into a river within the Arctic Circle has lead Russian President Vladimir Putin to call for a state of emergency. Greenpeace has likened the spill to the Exxon Valdez disaster 31 years ago. 

From The WorldSudanese women seek justice one year after pro-democracy crackdown

Sudanese protesters march during a demonstration to commemorate 40 days since the sit-in massacre in Khartoum, North, Sudan, on July 13, 2019. 

Credit:

Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters

One year ago, women protesters were the target of Sudanese security forces, who raided a protest camp of pro-democracy activists on June 3, 2019. Now, a year on, many are concerned that those responsible for the attack are not being held accountable.

Despite recent historic gains in ending FGM, Somalia sees dramatic increase

Internally displaced girls in Somalia queue before at a school beside an IDP camp in Dollow, Somalia, April 4, 2017.

Credit:

Zohra Bensemra/Reuters 

Some 200 million women and girls worldwide have undergone female genital mutilation, a practice condemned by the World Health Organization as a violation of human rights. During COVID-19 lockdowns worldwide, activists working to end FGM say they have seen both progress — and concerning backsliding.

Morning focus

Thanks to new research, we now know what a 2,900-pound armor-plated dinosaur’s last meal was (hint: lots and lots of veggies).

Amazing new research in @royalsociety Open Science, co-authored by our Dr. Caleb Brown with @BrandonUni & @usask colleagues, reveals what the world’s best-preserved armoured dinosaur ate! https://t.co/dv5iMeMfLX #RTMPResearch pic.twitter.com/4hvql3dQFx

— Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology (@RoyalTyrrell) June 3, 2020In case you missed itListen: Facing the threat of coronavirus and state violence

Colby, holding his son Jahaziel through a sunroof, lifts his hand in solidarity with other protesters during a spontaneous caravan rally of vehicles against the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, downtown Houston, Texas, June 2, 2020.

Credit:

Adrees Latif/Reuters

Black Americans are facing two existential threats: the coronavirus pandemic and state violence. And, a recent exchange of cyberattacks between Iran and Israel, which included an attack on critical civilian infrastructure, is threatening to change the unofficial, but implicit agreement on the rules of engagement between these regional rivals. Also, a new collection from music producer and DJ, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, uses bird recordings collected during the coronavirus quarantine.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

El Fantasma – Borracho De Cochera Lyrics

Aunque de nadie me dejo
No me la doy de valiente
No he conocido la envidia
Eso es para los corrientes
Todos quieren buena vida
Y nadie trabajar decente
Viendo como está la cosa de caliente

La vida no vale nada
En un ratito la pierdes
Hoy cualquier tonto te atrasa
Todo por unos billetes
Cuídate de los tacuaches
Aunque sea tu amigo el jefe
Por eso aquí traigo con que defenderme

Nada más se ocupan huevos
Para salir de adelante
Yo no tengo amigos nuevos
Porque no confío en nadie

Soy borracho de cochera
Y enemigo del desmadre
A los queda bien a chingar a su madre

El mitote es pa’ las viejas

Y el dinero no es pa’ todos
La amistad sin intereses
La respeto y la valoro
He heredado a lo cabrón
Y me sale por los poros
Trucha que no anda muy mansito el toro

Yo no le jalo las patas
A quien su mano me a dado
Hay que ser agradecido
Con los que siempre ha jalado
No es de hombres olvidar
Al que un día te hizo el paro
Si alguien me ocupa jalo con las cuatro

Nada más se ocupan huevos
Para salir de adelante
Yo no tengo amigos nuevos
Porque no confío en nadie
Soy borracho de cochera
Y enemigo del desmadre
A los queda bien a chingar a su madre

Tomorrow X Together – Puma Lyrics

West side east side
Didn’t know where to where to go
Tonight we ride
적막한 이 밤의 소음
어둠 속 저 문이 열려
누가 막아 아무도
West side east side
It doesn’t matter anymore

뜨거 뜨거 뜨거 뜨거
뜨거 발이 데인 나
눈떠 느껴 숨 쉬어 꿈꿔
꿈꿔왔던 세상

생애 제일 거대한 night sky
내 발의 speed는 벌써 마하
눈앞의 저 green light
뭐가 뭐가 두려워

They came catch my back
절대 잡히면 안 돼
They came catch my friends
짙게 깔린 저 안개

여긴 사방은 까맣고
심각한 분위기로
귓가에 들리는 건
Bang bang bang
달려야 해

But 왠지 나는 기뻐
처음 느껴본 이 기분
처음 자유를 만난 지금

Woo 왠지 나는 기뻐
내 선택이 내 leader
내가 나의 believer

두근대네 심장이
처음 보는 나의 피
번져가네 조금씩
나를 뛰게 하는 뛰게 하는 피

동물원을 벗어나고 나서
마주친 세상은 너무 낯선
누구 하나도 나를 안 반겨
매일 같은 걸음아 날 살려 race

밤이 되면 저 달엔
얼굴 그리웠던 엄마의
서글퍼진 맘
내 두 번째 걸음마

I told ya
홀로 서기엔 아직 너무 어려
이 세상은 jungle full of warriors
조준경이 너의 목을 노려
수천 개의 눈이 인터넷에 접속
조심해 네 적이 삽시간에 퍼져
꿈에 닿을 때까지 얼마나 더 걸려
그 질문엔 매번 총성만이 번져
난 계속 숨을 쉬기 위해 다시 run up

But 왠지 나는 기뻐
처음 느껴본 이 기분
처음 자유를 만난 지금

Woo 왠지 나는 기뻐
내 선택이 내 leader
내가 나의 believer

두근대네 심장이
처음 보는 나의 피

번져가네 조금씩
나를 뛰게 하는 뛰게 하는 피

West side east side
Didn’t know where to where to go
Tonight we ride
적막한 이 밤의 소음
어둠 속 저 문이 열려
누가 막아 아무도
West side east side
It doesn’t matter anymore

Mickey Guyton – Black Like Me Lyrics

Little kid in a small town
I did my best just to fit in
Broke my heart on the playground, mmh
When they said I was different

Oh, now
Now, I’m all grown up and nothin’ has changed
Yeah, it’s still the same

It’s a hard life on easy street
Just white painted picket fences far as you can see
If you think we live in the land of the free
You should try to be black like me

My daddy worked day and night
For an old house and a used car
Just to live that good life, mmh
It shouldn’t be twice as hard

Oh, now
Now, I’m all grown up and nothin’ has changed
Yeah, it’s still the same

It’s a hard life on easy street
Just white painted picket fences far as you can see
If you think we live in the land of the free
You should try to be, oh, black like me

Oh, I know
I’m not
The only one
Oh, yeah
Who feels
Like I
I don’t belong

It’s a hard life on easy street
Just white painted picket fences far as you can see
And if you think we live in the land of the free
You should try to be, oh, black like me
Oh, and some day we’ll all be free
And I’m proud to be, oh, black like me
And I’m proud to be black like me
I’m proud to be black like me
Black like me

Frank Sinatra – Desafinado Lyrics

When I try to sing you say I’m off key
Why can’t you see how much this hurts me
With your perfect talent and your perfect pitch
You’re a perfect terror
When I come around, must you always put me down

If you say my singing is off key my love
You will hurt my feelings don’t you see my love
I wish I had an ear like yours
A voice that would behave
But all I have is feeling and a voice god gave

You insist my music goes against the rules
Yes but rules were never made for lovesick fools
I wrote this little song for you but you don’t care
It’s a crooked song oh but all my heart is there

The thing that you would see if you would play your part
Even if I’m out of tune I have a gentle heart
I took your picture with my trusty Rollaflex
And now all I have developed is a complex

Possibly in vain I hope you weaken oh my love
And forget those rigid rules that undermine my dream of
A life of love and music with someone who’ll understand
That even though I may be out of tune
When I attempt to say how much I love you
All that matters is the message that I bring
Which is my key one I love you.

Bubblegum Lemonade – Here They Come Lyrics

[verse 1]
I didn’t know there was a problem
Until you told me
You say that you have the solution
Well, now you’ve sold me

[Chorus]
Here they come
You won’t see them
Here they come

[verse 2]
I long to look just like the faces
That I see
On TV screens in public places
All around me

[Chorus]
Here they come
You won’t see them
Here they come

[verse 3]
I long to look just like the faces
That I see
In magazines and my back pages
They fall around me

[end section]
Here they come
You won’t see them
Here they come
You won’t see them
Here they come
They’re the hidden persuaders
Here they come
They’re the hidden persuaders
Here they come
You won’t see them
Here they come…

Cielo Razzo – Belicosis Lyrics

Pido perdon por ser el peso en tus ojos
Gran parte de esta verdad grita deforme y espanta
Bajo ese mazo se esconden tus cartas

Un vacio invernal y esto enloquecerà, quiero enconrtar el lugar
Para esta luna enferma
Cuando fisura el mundo acà es donde tiembla

Viendo refugios que arden y caen, latiendo hasta el final
Esto es nuestro es tan real
Dame, dame tu plan que son los dias de ejecucion

Si esto es lo que creo los que caen somos vos y yo

Esta arteria es final, simulacion del caos vieja dolencia que nunca
Da respiro y avanza
La precision la fatal estocada

Viendo refugios que arden y caen, latiendo hasta el final
Esto es nuestro es tan real
Dame, dame tu plan que son los dias de ejecucion
Si esto es lo que creo los que caen somos..

DJ Zan D – Why You Mad ft. Gigi Lamayne

DJ Zan D – Why You Mad ft. Gigi Lamayne

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DJ Zan D – Why You Mad ft. Gigi Lamayne

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June 9, 2020

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South African premier hip-hop DJ, DJ Zan is back with a new joint titled “Why You Mad”. Featuring Gigi Lamayne. Listen up & Download below!!!

READ ALSO:   Lyrics For Do Better By 2pm Djs Ft Zaddy Swag, Touchline, Gigi Lamayne & Emteehttp://live.awadimusic.com/file/uploads/2020/06/DJ_Zan_D_ft_Gigi_Lamayne_-_Why_You_Mad-AwadiMusic.Com.mp3

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Sauti Sol – Intro

Sauti Sol – Intro

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Sauti Sol – Intro

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June 9, 2020

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Multiple Award Winning Kenyan Singer, Sauti Sol Returns with a brand new single Dubbed “Intro”. Taken off his 2020 Project Tagged “MidNight Train Album”. Hit the Download bottom below!!!

READ ALSO:   Harmonize ft Burna Boy – “Your Body”http://live.awadimusic.com/file/uploads/2020/06/Sauti_Sol_-_Intro-AwadiMusic.Com.mp3

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Sauti Sol ft. India.Arie – My Everything

Sauti Sol ft. India.Arie – My Everything

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Sauti Sol ft. India.Arie – My Everything

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46 mins ago

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June 9, 2020

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Multiple Award Winning Kenyan Singer, Sauti Sol Returns with a brand new single Dubbed “My Everything”. Featuring India.Arie. Taken off his 2020 Project Tagged “MidNight Train Album”. Hit the Download bottom below!!!

READ ALSO:   Sauti Sol – Feel My Lovehttp://live.awadimusic.com/file/uploads/2020/06/Sauti_Sol_ft_IndiaArie_-_My_Everything-AwadiMusic.Com.mp3

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Sauti Sol – Feel My Love

Sauti Sol – Feel My Love

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Sauti Sol – Feel My Love

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June 9, 2020

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Download mp3 Sauti Sol – Feel My Love Mp3 Download

Multiple Award Winning Kenyan Singer, Sauti Sol Returns with a brand new single Dubbed “Feel My Love”. Taken off his 2020 Project Tagged “MidNight Train Album”. Hit the Download bottom below!!!

READ ALSO:   Lyrics: Sauti Sol – Melanin ft. Patorankinghttp://live.awadimusic.com/file/uploads/2020/06/Sauti_Sol_-_Feel_My_Love-AwadiMusic.Com.mp3

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Sauti Sol – Midnight Train

Sauti Sol – Midnight Train

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Sauti Sol – Midnight Train

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June 9, 2020

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Download mp3 Sauti Sol – Midnight Train Mp3 Download

Multiple Award Winning Kenyan Singer, Sauti Sol Returns with a brand new single Dubbed “Midnight Train”. Taken off his 2020 Project Tagged “MidNight Train Album”. Hit the Download bottom below!!!

READ ALSO:   Sauti Sol – Feel My Lovehttp://live.awadimusic.com/file/uploads/2020/06/Sauti_Sol_-_Midnight_Train-AwadiMusic.Com.mp3

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Sauti Sol – Nenda Lote

Sauti Sol – Nenda Lote

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Sauti Sol – Nenda Lote

Published

6 mins ago

on

June 9, 2020

By

awadi


Download mp3 Sauti Sol – Nenda Lote Mp3 Download

Multiple Award Winning Kenyan Singer, Sauti Sol Returns with a brand new single Dubbed “Nenda Lote”. Taken off his 2020 Project Tagged “MidNight Train Album”. Hit the Download bottom below!!!

READ ALSO:   King Bash ft B3nchmarq & Redbutton – “Winterstock”http://live.awadimusic.com/file/uploads/2020/06/Sauti_Sol_-_Nenda_Lote-AwadiMusic.Com.mp3

DOWNLOAD MP3: Sauti Sol – Nenda Lote

CHADEYA FITOOR Lyrics and Video Song – Shivin Narang

Rab varga noor tera
Chadeya fitoor tera
Tere piche ghumda phiraan
Nede tere aun nu karda
Love you tainu kehan ton darda
Tu hi das ki main karaan

Ho chhat te tera jo aana
Ankhaan naal ankhaan milana
Bin bole sab wo keh jana

Ho gaya jo nahin hona si
Tere naal pyar
Ho gaya jo nahin hona si
Tere naal pyar

Ho gaya jo nahin hona si
Tere naal pyar
Ho gaya jo nahin hona si
Tere naal pyar

Hathan di lakira te
Naam tera likhna ve
Sachi muchi pagal ho gaya
Haaye..

Dil naal dil di yaadein
Ho gayi ye gallan ve
Tere bare soche mar hi jave

Rab ton duayein mangta ae
So so gal main padh da ae
Khud na jane kab tera ho gaya

Ho gaya jo nahin hona si
Tere naal pyar
Ho gaya jo nahin hona si
Tere naal pyar

Ho gaya jo nahin hona si
Tere naal pyar
Ho gaya jo nahin hona si
Tere naal pyar

Marjaniyan dil na tu tod ve rall
Dil lutt le janwaleya dil lutt le janwaleya

Marjaniyan haye dil na tu tod ve rall
Dil lutt le janwaleya dil lutt le janwaleya

Ho tainu mummy naal milone
Tainu bas apna bnaune
Jind tere naal kar jana

Ho gaya jo nahin hona si
Tere naal pyar
Ho gaya jo nahin hona si
Tere naal pyar

Ho gaya jo nahin hona si
Tere naal pyar
Ho gaya jo nahin hona si
Tere naal pyar

AJJ KAL VE Lyrics and Video Song – Barbie Maan

Eh gall tu vi jaanda ae
Tera kinna karde aan
Na keh hove na reh hove
Iss jag to darde aan

Tu hath phadd ke na ja Sidhua
Kyun karda ve shakkiyan

Ajj kal ve pal pal ve
Tainu dekh diyan ankhiyan
Chaundiyan ne na saundiyan ne
Hoyi yaaran di pakkiyan

Hundal on the beat yo!

Ho har vaar hi tu mileya
ve Mere dil vich tollan te
Tera hi naa nikle
Ve mere bulliyan kholan te

Main jhalli jehi ho gayi aan
Mainu aakh diyan sakhiyan

Aaj kal ve pal pal ve
Tainu dekh diyan ankhiyan
Chaundiyan ne na saundiyan ne
Hoyi yaaran di pakkiyan

Ho parde aitbaran de
Main uthde dekhe ne
Kayi haani roohan de
Pind luttde dekhe ne

Tu vi na aivein kar deyi
Tethon aasa rakhiyan

Ajj kal ve pal pal ve
Tainu dekh diyan ankhiyan
Chaundiyan ne na saundiyan ne
Hoyi yaaran di pakkiyan..
Haan.. haan..