Genius azelyrics.net.ru Lyrics

Genius azelyrics.net.ru .Lyrics

Four Of Diamonds – Polaroid Lyrics

[Verse 1 – Lauren & All]
Let me tell you how it happened
I wasn’t looking for someone that night
Now I was never a believer
That you could fall in love at the first sight

[Pre-Chorus – Caroline &All]
But all of a sudden
We loved and got lost in the moment
All of a sudden
He’s gone in the flash of a light
I never was looking, mmm
I’ll be looking for the rest of my life

[Chorus – Four of Diamonds]
We took a Polaroid, you signed your name upon it
I put it in my wallet hoping I’d see your face again
We took a Polaroid, captured the look in your eyes
It’s only a matter of time before it starts fading
Mmm, mmm, mmm ooh

[Verse 2 – Sophia & All]
Was it my imagination? Ah ah
I could have swore I saw someone like you
A thousand people at the station, Ah ah
And in a second, you slipped out of view

[Pre-Chorus – Yasmin &All]
Then all of a sudden, ooh
I loved and got lost in the moment
All of a sudden, ooh
She’s gone in the blink of an eye
I never was looking, mmm
I’ll be looking for the rest of my life

[Chorus – Four of Diamonds]

We took a Polaroid, you signed your name upon it
I put it in my wallet hoping I’d see your face again
We took a Polaroid, captured the look in your eyes
It’s only a matter of time before it starts fading
Mmm, mmm, mmm ooh

[Bridge – Yasmin, Lauren, Caroline & Sophia]
We were dancing without moving
We were dancing without moving
All my friends are leaving me behind
Leaving me behind
I didn’t wanna catch a feeling
Didn’t wanna catch feelings
But there was something in the flashing light
In the flashing light

[Chorus – Four of Diamonds & Yasmin & Caroline]
We took a Polaroid, you signed your name upon it (you signed your name upon it)
I put it in my wallet hoping I’d see your face again (I put it in my wallet)
We took a Polaroid, captured the look in your eyes (look in your eyes)
It’s only a matter of time before it starts fading (matter of time)

[Outro – Lauren, Caroline, Sophia & Yasmin]
We took a Polaroid
You signed your name upon it
I put it in my wallet
Hoping I’d see your face again

T. Jack – Numb Lyrics (feat. A-Vert & Klow)

[Verse 1: Klow]
I said I’m lost in imitation, nigga tired of the faking
Destination ’round the world, a vacation’s what we taking
I’ve been saying, fry up on the beat just like a pan
Finest Muslim bitch with roots, she’s tracing to Iran
Open Bands what I’m prayin’ for, As-Salamu Alakyum though
Praying for the peace but niggas never seem to make it home
Really wish that I was stoned, probo always on my dome
Playing with my freedom, call my sister of the pay phone
Damn a nigga rantin’, see the rednecks out in Canton
And you know a nigga slidin’ cause the noose they get to tyin’
And a nigga scared of dying, visions of my momma crying
But I never let it happen, nigga always bout that action aye
What you need what you need for the bands huh?
Palm reader see the vision through my hands, yeah
Good p*ssy stretch it like a rubber band
Wanna call me Superman but nigga I ain’t write to Stan

[Verse 2: A-vert]
Said I see you on the ground with that ass, girl let me come through I don’t usually like to ask
No it’s really on you, I don’t need to smash ’cause baby I got options
Can’t be boxed in
I could beat it up like we motherf*ckin’ boxin’
Know I’m ten toes like, what the f*ck my socks in? I mean
What the f*ck in my socks? I done bought the barn like chicken pox
And I came from, sleeping on a cot

And I came from, sleeping on a couch
Get my name out yo mouth
Just gone pull up with that bounce
Used to pull up with them ounces, I ain’t get allowance til I…
(til I, til I)
Went and brought the pound in now I’m plottin…
Chauffeur and accountant
Heard faith can move a mountain
Give me change like a fountain

[Verse 3: T. Jack]
Focused on my riches
Gave me signs but then i missed it
Wrapped me up like stitches and she jumped inside my britches
Different perspective and angles, it’s a different vision
I can see it clearer but I don’t know what I’m missing
I’m too clean up in the kitchen like I’m washing dishes
I just really want it alI guess I’m too ambitious *uh*
Really crazy it’s familiar faces on my hit list
I’m inside my bag man they wish that they could get this
If you f*cking with us put a price up on ya soul (on ya soul)
Beating all the odds, I can’t find a better goal
Tryna break the mold, leave the pieces on the floor
Heard they creeping ‘fore we light up, gone and lock the door (gone and lock it)
So much on my mind, tell me what you wanna know
Expiration on my patience, this shit getting old
Take you back a year and I’m so numb that I can’t feel my toes
Just a year later I can’t find my heart like where’d it go

Teresa Romanowska survived Nazis, Soviets and cancer, but died of COVID-19

Teresa Romanowska survived Nazis, Soviets and cancer, but died of COVID-19

The pandemic is robbing the world of institutional memories of the past as older people fall victim to COVID-19. Indira Lakshmanan, the senior executive editor for National Geographic, shares her mother's story.

By
Christopher Woolf

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Teresa Romanowska with her nanny Maria (center) and her brother Tom (left) on Tom’s pony, Kucka, in Choceń, Poland, 1933.

Credit:

Courtesy of the Lakshmanan family

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Teresa Romanowska survived the German invasion of Poland in World War II, detention in a Nazi camp, Soviet oppression, emigration, divorce, cancer (twice) and a stroke. 

But on June 3, Romanowska, 89, died of the novel coronavirus, one of the more than 400,000 to fall victim to the pandemic that has upended the lives of people around the world. 

“She was someone with just an incredible and indomitable will to live and will to survive,” Romanowska’s daughter, Indira Lakshmanan, described her mother. “It’s just such a devastating disease — for it to take someone who had seemed basically indestructible … I’m still in shock about that. It doesn’t seem real.”

Indira Lakshmanan with her parents, T.R. Lakshmanan (left) and Teresa R. Lakshmanan (right), in 1970s Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Credit:

Courtesy of the Lakshmanan family

Lakshmanan is the senior executive editor for National Geographic. She had recently profiled her mother for the magazine as part of its June special edition on the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II. 

“I never met anyone who had survived so many disasters, and so many things that it feels like would bring down anyone human,” Lakshmanan said. “And for her to ultimately have been felled by the coronavirus, well, it brings it home really painfully.”  

Related: Coronavirus most challenging crisis since World War II, UN says

Romanowska’s resilience was evident from a young age, when Nazi Germany invaded Poland in September 1939.

“My mom was only 8 years old when she was essentially robbed of her childhood,” Lakshmanan said.

Teresa, age 8, shortly before the outbreak of World War II in 1939.

Credit:

Courtesy of the Lakshmanan family

Romanowska experienced the terror of an air attack. She cowered in a basement as she heard soldiers fight and die in her front yard. She saw a Jewish neighbor shot dead by Nazis and her father taken away. She fled with her mother and brother after they were thrown out of their home, taking only what they could carry, with a few things thrown into a baby carriage. 

Lakshmanan says her mother always recounted one particular story of the invasion. 

“[She] had this beloved stuffed fox that she slept with. She was clutching it when she first heard the German barrage. And when the soldiers came and forced her and her mother and brother out of their house …  she was holding on to that fox. And the German soldier saw it and grabbed the stuffed fox out of my mother’s hands.”  

The Nazi soldier stuck it on top of his truck like a trophy. 

“It was essentially a perverse trophy to the subjugation of other humans,” Lakshmanan said. 

Related: Giselle Cycowicz shares her story of surviving the Holocaust 

Romanowska was not Jewish, but Nazi ideology considered Polish Catholics “subhumans,” who needed to be cleared away to create more living space for the German race.

In 1944, Romanowska’s family was rounded up and put into a camp. They were later put onto a train, bound for an “extermination through labor” camp. During a stop to air out the cars from the stench of excrement, Romanowska and her mother simply jumped from the train, and despite being fired on by Nazi guards, managed to escape, Lakshmanan said. They survived the war sheltering with relatives. 

In 2019, after a stroke, Romanowska suffered hallucinations and delusions. “Her mind regressed to the Nazi period,” Lakshmanan said. Romanowska fought off nurses trying to give her shots because she believed they were Nazis trying to conduct medical experiments, Lakshmanan added.  

“One of the things she had told me,” Lakshmanan explained, “was that in this transit camp where they were held outside of Warsaw, even though there was disease — there was cholera, there was typhus and roots, lice, there were all sorts of problems — everybody was more terrified of these so-called doctors and medical staff than they were of the actual disease.”

“That was incredibly painful, seeing the PTSD [post traumatic stress disorder] come back in that way.” 

Related: Wajahat Ali on maintaining one’s faith through crises

Many victims of COVID-19 are older. And the pandemic is robbing the world of institutional memories of the past. 

“I think about that generation of people who lived through the Great Depression, who lived through World War II, who lived through incredibly hard times,” Lakshmanan said. “We have so much to learn about how they got through it all. About grit, about determination, and about resilience.”

“But these people are dying out,” she warns, “and we really need to be able to listen to them and glean their wisdom.”  

Iran-Israel cyberattacks threaten unofficial rules of engagement

Iran-Israel cyberattacks threaten unofficial rules of engagement

By
Ariel Oseran

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Commodities containers are seen at Shahid Rajaee harbor at Bandar Abbas port, Iran, Aug. 22, 2019.

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Nazanin Tabatabaee/West Asia News Agency/Reuters

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In late April, workers at a water pumping station in central Israel noticed a warning alert on their computer screens. Then, water pumps started to malfunction, turning off and on without control.  

It took a few hours to figure out what was wrong: The system that regulates the water at the facility had been hacked. According to reports, Iran was behind the attack and used American servers to carry it out.

As the eyes of the world are set on COVID-19 and global outrage over police brutality, in the shadows, Iran and Israel continue to fight — allegedly using cyberweapons.

Related: Israeli plans for annexation weigh heavily on Jordan Valley residents

The cyber breach at the water pumping station was apparently fixed before any real damage was done. Israeli officials have not gone on the record with what they know, and Iran denies it was responsible for the attack. 

But, according to a story in the Financial Times, the goal was to boost the chlorine levels in the water supplied to Israeli homes. That could have made hundreds, if not thousands of people sick. 

“What the Iranians did is, in a way, crossing international red lines,” said Ya’akov Amidror, a former Israeli national security adviser. He says that targeting critical civilian infrastructure, like a water station, was unprecedented for Iran.

“For them, civilian targets are legitimate,” said Amidror. “The Iranians did it in the past by proxies, using Hezbollah, Hamas. But here, it’s the state directly. In a way, you know, it’s terrorism run by a state.”

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has accused Iran of conducting failed cyberattacks in the past. “Iran attacks Israel on a daily basis,” Netanyahu said at a cybersecurity conference last year. “We monitor these attacks, we see these attacks and we thwart these attacks. All the time. We’re not oblivious to these threats, they don’t impress us. Because we know what our power is, both in defense and in offense,” he said. 

Related: A cyberattack could wreak destruction comparable to a nuclear weapon

Military experts consider cyberspace to be the fourth significant battleground after land, air and sea. But the line that distinguishes military and civilian targets is easily blurred.

Israel’s response to the water station attack came on May 9, when operations at the Iranian port of Shahid Rajaee were disrupted. According to news reports, Israel hacked the facility’s computer system. 

Traffic jams and hold-ups with shipping containers stalled activity at the port for days. This was a serious disruption for a country that is already suffering from crippling economic sanctions as well as the coronavirus pandemic. 

“The Iranians have downplayed the damage and some Iranian outlets have also said that there has been no such attack,” said Meir Javedanfar, a Middle East analyst based in Tel Aviv. He was born in Iran, but moved to Israel in 2004.

Javedanfar says this latest round of cyber tit-for-tat between the two regional rivals has been escalating for over a decade. “Especially starting over the Iranian nuclear program, where allegedly Israel and the United States attacked Iran’s nuclear installation in [the Iranian city of] Natanz with the ‘Stuxnet’ virus,” Javedanfar explained.

Stuxnet is a malicious computer worm discovered in 2010, considered to be one of the world’s first sophisticated cyberweapons ever to be used between countries. 

Related: The history of US-Iran relations: A timeline

Adam Meyers, senior vice president of intelligence at cybersecurity company CrowdStrike, said the discovery of Stuxnet was a watershed moment for Iran. “This is something that awoke the Iranian thinking around cyber and the capabilities of what you could do with a cyber operation.”

Meyers says Iran has recently stepped up cyberattacks against the West, beyond Israel. He notes that in 2013, authorities in Rye, New York, detected an attempt by Iranian hackers to take control over a dam. That attack failed because the dam was under repair and offline.

“We don’t always know what their intention is if it gets stopped, right?” said Meyers. “So the Rye [dam], in New York, example, they had conducted some targeting of this dam, and that may have been opportunistic, it may have been very targeted. It’s hard to say for certain, but because it was stopped, we don’t know necessarily what the outcome would have been.”

Amidror says moves to target civilian infrastructure is dangerous for the future of cyberwarfare.

“The decision to cross the line was a big mistake by the Iranians,” he said. “From now on it’s an open question how Israel will retaliate.”

In Georgia, a young Latina reluctantly casts her primary vote for Biden

In Georgia, a young Latina reluctantly casts her primary vote for Biden

By
Martha Dalton

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Leticia Arcila, a 20-year-old voter in Atlanta, Georgia, said health care is her top priority in a presidential candidate.

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Courtesy of Leticia Arcila

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This story is part of “Every 30 Seconds,” a collaborative public media reporting project tracing the young Latino electorate leading up to the 2020 presidential election and beyond.

Leticia Arcila didn’t want to take any chances when it came to casting her vote in the Georgia state primary Tuesday, June 9. 

This year, state officials pushed back the primary twice due to the coronavirus pandemic. Then they sent absentee ballot request forms to all of the state’s nearly 7 million registered voters — an unprecedented step to “prioritize the health and safety of Georgians,” said Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. 

But Arcila, a 20-year-old first-generation Mexican American living in Atlanta, insisted on voting in person Tuesday. This year is her first time voting in a presidential election cycle. 

Related: For this young Latina voter, pandemic highlights need for ‘Medicare for All’

Arcila said she looked forward to casting her vote, but it’s bittersweet: she had planned to vote for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who dropped out of the race in April. To make matters worse, Georgia voters faced chaos at many polling locations Tuesday amid reports of broken voting machines, lack of provisional ballots and hours-long lines.

Georgia’s primary was originally scheduled for March 24. State officials pushed it back to May 19, due to fears about COVID-19. Finally, they pushed it back even further to June 9. In the meantime, Sanders left the race. 

“I literally needed, like, three days just in my room after I saw that Bernie dropped out. I just didn’t want to see Twitter. I didn’t want to see CNN. I didn’t want to do anything.”

Leticia Arcila,20-year-old first-time voter

“I literally needed like three days just in my room after I saw that Bernie dropped out,” Arcila said. “I just didn’t want to see Twitter. I didn’t want to see CNN. I didn’t want to do anything.”

Eventually, she recovered. If she wanted to, she could still vote for Sanders. His name is still on primary ballots in some states, including Georgia. If Sanders earns 25% of the Democratic Party’s delegates, he can secure representation on committees at the party’s convention — allowing him to heavily influence the Democratic platform on issues like health care and college tuition. 

Despite her admiration for Sanders, Leticia has resigned herself to vote for former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee.

“If you know that the country is going to go a certain way, it makes sense to do everything possible to try and get Trump out,” she said. “[That’s] basically what I’m trying to go for.”

Although Leticia is determined to vote, that might not be the case for every Latino in Georgia. 

“I think Joe Biden still has a lot of work to do in the Latino community and reaching out to the Latino community.”

Jerry Gonzalez, executive director, GALEO

“The polling indicates that the Bernie supporters among the Latino community were upset about the [primary] outcome, but they’re not necessarily not going to participate in the election,” said Jerry Gonzalez, the executive director of the Georgia Association of Latino Elected Officials, or GALEO. “I think Joe Biden still has a lot of work to do in the Latino community and reaching out to the Latino community.”

Related: Can Biden turn out Latinos to vote? Advocacy groups aren’t sure

GALEO is a nonprofit, nonpartisan group focused on engaging Latinos in Georgia in the voting process. Gonzalez says as a group, young Latinos haven’t coalesced around Biden’s candidacy yet.

“I’ve seen the staff changes that are happening and additions that are happening on the [Biden] campaign,” Gonzalez said. “So, I certainly think that there’s going to be a significant amount of outreach associated with that.”

There are signs the Biden campaign is finally investing in targeting Latino voters. It recently hired Julie Chávez Rodriguez as a senior adviser working on Latino outreach. Chávez Rodriguez, the granddaughter of civil rights leader César Chávez, has previously worked for Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris of California and served as deputy director of political engagement for the Obama administration.

Investing in Latino voters in Georgia could pay off big for any campaign. According to Gonzalez, when GALEO began in 2003, there were about 10,000 Latinos registered to vote in Georgia. Now, there are almost 240,000. Gonzalez points out that some recent elections in Georgia have been won by thin margins. For example, President Donald Trump won the state in 2016 by 211,141 votes.

“If we show up to vote, the Latino community can determine a competitive statewide race.”

Jerry Gonzalez, executive director, GALEO

“If we show up to vote, the Latino community can determine a competitive statewide race,” Gonzales said.

Getting people to vote during the pandemic, though, could be a challenge. Gonzalez says because Latinos haven’t traditionally voted via absentee ballots, GALEO will spend time explaining that process. 

“The particular instructions are confusing and there’s a lot of ways in which your vote can be disqualified if you don’t follow all the particular steps associated with that process, so there’s going to be a lot of education around that,” he said.

Arcila doesn’t need to be convinced that voting is important. She just wishes she had a candidate who promises the things Sanders did, including universal access to healthcare. 

Arcila was laid off shortly after the pandemic spread in Georgia and doesn’t have health insurance. But even though she thinks Biden lacks bold ideas, she’s committed to voting for him.  

“The country is going to vote one way or another, and so I guess we might as well just go for the thing that’s going to help us in the end and if that’s Biden, then it’s Biden,” she said.

Still, Arcila says Georgia’s delayed primary makes her feel like she missed out on shaping who the Democratic candidate would be.

“It’s hard to kind of accept because you kind of feel like it’s your future,” she said. “And you want to conquer it and make something amazing out of it. It kind of feels almost, like, taken away from you.”

The power of protest: Part II

The power of protest: Part II

Critical State looks at the power and impact of protests over time. As today’s protesters lay out their demands for public safety systems that severely curb police capabilities for violence, economists Jamein Cunningham and Rib Gillezeau offer insight into the stakes of their struggle.

By
Sam Ratner

Protesters rally against the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, at the Barclays Center in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, May 31, 2020. 

Credit:

Jeenah Moon/Reuters

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This analysis was featured in Critical State, a weekly newsletter from The World and Inkstick Media. Subscribe here.

Last week, Critical State’s Deep Dive looked at some of the electoral effects of mass protest.

Related: The power of protest: Part I

This week, Deep Dive digs into the research on one of the apparent mysteries of the past couple weeks: Do American police forces respond to protests against police killings by increasing their violence against civilians? Or does it just seem that way because of the unending stream of videos and reports of police violence against protesters?

paper from last year by economists Jamein Cunningham and Rob Gillezeau in the Journal of Quantitative Criminology offers a jarring answer to that question. Cunningham and Gillezeau looked back at earlier waves of protest against police violence in the 1960s and 70s, testing the effects of those actions on police killings in the years that followed.

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

They started by collecting a dataset of all the protests and riots (what Cunningham and Gillezeau call “racial uprisings”) by black Americans that took place in the US between 1964 and 1971, mapped down to the county level.

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

Their data includes over 700 uprisings in that seven-year period, which gives a sense of the level of upheaval in the US during that time. With a list of counties that experienced uprisings and the year the first uprising in each county took place, Cunningham and Gillezeau could begin researching how those uprisings — often a direct result of police violence against civilians — affected subsequent police killings.

In the first three years after a county experiences a racial uprising, police killings of both white and non-white civilians jump.

The effect, it turns out, was to increase those killings. In the first three years after a county experiences a racial uprising, police killings of both white and non-white civilians jump, and by similar amounts.

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

The average county that had an uprising saw police kill between 2.2 and 2.4 more white people in the three years following the first uprising than in the average county that had no uprising, and the increase in killings of non-white people was between 1.4 and 3.1 in the same time frame.

That might be surprising, given that the uprisings themselves were largely the result not of generalized police violence, but of specifically anti-black police violence. If police are not just violent but racist in their violence, why would killings of white people spike alongside killings of non-white people?

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

Well, the data doesn’t stop three years from the first uprising. When Cunningham and Gillezeau looked at a wider timescale — the 15 years from the first uprising in a county — they found that the effect of killings of white people subsided over time.

In 15 years, an uprising predicted that police would kill an additional 3.8 to 6.6 white people beyond what would happen in an average county with no uprising, and the biggest effect was in the first three years. For non-white people, though, the effect of the uprising never really went away. In the 15 years following the first uprising, police in a post-uprising county killed an average of between 9 and 15.1 more non-white people than their brothers in blue from non-uprising counties.

Expressing displeasure with police violence without limiting police ability to mete out further violence is likely to lead to more civilian death.

Cunningham and Gillezeau make no claims about the mechanism that causes police killings to rise after uprisings, but it is clear from their data that expressing displeasure with police violence without limiting police ability to mete out further violence is likely to lead to more civilian death.

As today’s protesters lay out their demands for public safety systems that severely curb police capabilities for violence, Cunningham and Gillezeau offer insight into the stakes of their struggle.

Critical State is your weekly fix of foreign policy without all the stuff you don’t need. It’s top news and accessible analysis for those who want an inside take without all the insider bs. Subscribe here.

After lockdown, Milan rolls out plan to open more streets to cyclists and pedestrians

After lockdown, Milan rolls out plan to open more streets to cyclists and pedestrians

The Strade Aperte plan, translated as “Open Roads,” is one of the world’s most dramatic examples of how city planners around the world, after COVID-19 lockdowns, are redesigning city streets to be friendlier to pedestrians and cyclists.

By
Anna Kusmer

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Milan’s “Open Streets” plan makes way for more cyclists and pedestrians. 

Credit:

Courtesy of @bikeitalia

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Pinar Pinzuti describes herself as a professional “cycling brainwasher.”

Her Milan company, Bikenomist, advocates for more bike lanes in her community. Pinzuti said that recently, there’s been an increase in public acceptance of bike lanes, particularly for commuters and families.

“More and more people accept the bicycle as a means of transportation, finally.”

Pizar Pinzuti, Bikenomist

“More and more people accept the bicycle as a means of transportation, finally,” Pinzuti said.

Related: Venice battles climate change and lack of tourism

She appreciates that her city is making more room for cyclists, and she hopes more people will soon take advantage of the changes. The impact on just one major thoroughfare, Corso Buenos Aires, she says, is already evident.

Piano di azione per la mobilità urbana postCovid è un manuale in open source pensato per i comuni nella realizzazione della mobilità urbana. A cura di Paolo Pinzuti, arch. Paolo Gandolfi, arch. Valerio Montieri, arch. Matteo Dondé, Gabriele Sangalli.https://t.co/OfKbcGap0l pic.twitter.com/b19jm7xXYx

— Bikenomist (@bikenomistcom) May 20, 2020

“The street that I once avoided visiting became my favorite destination to observe the transformation,” Pinzuti said, speaking about Milan’s decision to rapidly and dramatically change miles of urban street design. 

Corso Buenos Aires now has two new bike lanes that extend along five miles of one of the city’s most prominent shopping streets. Corso Buenos Aires is Milan’s first street to be transformed as part of a citywide plan to convert 22 miles of roads this summer into bike paths and pedestrian areas. 

The Strade Aperte plan, translated as “Open Roads,” is one of the world’s most dramatic examples of how city planners around the world, after COVID-19 lockdowns, are redesigning city streets to be friendlier to pedestrians and cyclists.

“The idea is to accelerate projects the city [started] before,” said Pierfrancesco Maran, the deputy mayor for urban planning, green areas and agriculture for the city. “It’s 10 years we’ve been working to reduce pollution, to reduce congestion, to move in a better way.”

Now, as lockdowns slowly lift in many cities around the world, cars are coming back on the roads, which will provide a test for Milan’s redesigned streets.

Related: The changing face of Venice

“There is a very long queue of traffic. I think this is longer than it used to be before quarantine. Many people are using their private cars to move in the city center.”

Fabio Moliterni, Milan resident

“There is a very long queue of traffic. I think this is longer than it used to be before quarantine,” said Fabio Moliterni, a Milan resident. “Many people are using their private cars to move in the city center.”

Maran said although many drivers in Milan may oppose the new bike lanes, he believes the redesign strikes a balance between their needs and a more walkable city for residents.

“People who use cars say that it was better before,” Maran said. “We have to listen to everybody, even the people that complain. Our idea is that cities are not just made for cars. We have to find space for everybody.”

At the height of Italy’s lockdowns, car traffic dropped by up to 75%, which contributed to major drops in the country’s air pollution. Maran said the city has a goal to reduce the amount of air pollution that comes back as cars reenter the roads. High air pollution is associated with high rates of mortality of COVID-19, and northern Italy historically has some of the worst air quality in Europe.

The Strade Aperte plan, translated as “Open Roads,” is one of the world’s most dramatic examples of how city planners around the world, after COVID-19 lockdowns, are redesigning city streets to be friendlier to pedestrians and cyclists.

Credit:

@bikeitalia

On top of new bike lanes, the Strade Aperte plan includes new and widened sidewalks, more stringent speed limits for cars and the opening of pedestrian- and bike-priority streets.

Milan has one of the most ambitious plans, according to a global overview put out by the National Association of City Transportation Officials. But other cities — Paris, Auckland, New Zealand, London, Mexico City and Bogotá, Colombia — have had similar changes, creating emergency bike lanes and extra pedestrian areas amid lockdowns.

Related: Robot nurse helps Italian doctors care for COVID-19 patients

Milan has the ability to lead the world in urban street design, said Janette Sadik-Khan, a former transportation commissioner for New York City, who now works with Bloomberg Associates and chairs NACTO. Sadik-Khan has spent the last two years working with Milan on plans to transform their public spaces. She said the pandemic sped up a process that was already in motion.

“Milan is giving the world a master class in seizing this difficult moment. We don’t just want cities to return back to normal, we want cities to come back more resilient, more equitable and economically connected.”

Janette Sadik-Khan, Bloomberg Associates

“Milan is giving the world a master class in seizing this difficult moment,” Sadik-Khan said in an email. “We don’t just want cities to return back to normal, we want cities to come back more resilient, more equitable and economically connected.”

More than half of Milan residents took public transit to work before the pandemic. And as the systems start to reopen, the capacity of buses, trams and subways will be largely diminished, down to less than a third of what was available before.

Pinar Pinzuti of the Milan company, Bikenomist, said that recently, there’s been an increase in public acceptance of bike lanes, particularly for commuters and families.

Credit:

Courtesy of @bikeitalia

Part of the reasoning behind Strade Aperte is to encourage residents to avoid choosing cars — by offering a pleasant alternative. The planned bike lanes follow subway lines, to create an alternative for people who used to rely on public transit for their daily commutes.

“[Commuters] can have the same itinerary every day, but do it by bike instead of by subway as before,” Maran said.

Related: Living under lockdown in the Eternal City

Sofia Carra, a 19-year-old high school student who lives in Milan, said she was heartened to see the bike lanes lining Corso Buenos Aires, but she’s worried as she sees the cars coming back to the streets.

“The fact that the government decided to create this new bike path shows how they are starting to care more about the climate change issue. But I think it would be just a drop in the ocean. I think we could easily go back to how Milan was before the lockdown.”

Sofia Carra, high school student, Milan

“The fact that the government decided to create this new bike path shows how they are starting to care more about the climate change issue. But I think it would be just a drop in the ocean,” Carra said. “I think we could easily go back to how Milan was before the lockdown.”

Corso Buenos Aires is Milan’s first street to be transformed as part of a citywide plan to convert 22 miles of roads this summer into bike paths and pedestrian areas. 

Credit:

Courtesy of @bikeitalia

But Sadik-Khan argues that transforming city streets is a step toward system change in cities, with lasting improvements for both people and the environment.

“The cities that take this moment to reset their streets and make it easier for people to walk, bike and take public transport will be positioned to prosper after this pandemic and not simply recover,” she said.

Maran posted a video on Twitter in May, riding along Corso Buenos Aires’ new bike lane.

“It’s incredible. We go into politics because we want to change our city,” Maran said. “The idea that after a pandemic, we try to have a better city … that’s something that is fantastic, and to ride on something you created, it’s emotional.”

North Korea stops answering daily calls with South; Past epidemics underscore importance of mental health

North Korea stops answering daily calls with South; Past epidemics underscore importance of mental health

By
The World staff

Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un attends a wreath-laying ceremony in Hanoi, Vietnam, March 2019.

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

North Korean officials did not answer a routine daily call to the liaison office with South Korea or calls on military hotlines this morning. The move is seen as a first step toward shutting down contact with Seoul. Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, threatened last week to close the office unless South Korean groups were stopped from sending pro-democracy leaflets into the North. In an effort to salvage ties, South Korean officials pledged to legislate a ban on the leaflets.

The daily calls between North and South Korea were established in 2018 to reduce tensions after peace talks. The two countries remain technically at war because the 1950-1953 Korean War ended with an armistice rather than a peace treaty.

What The World is following

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he and US President Donald Trump agreed on “some issues” on the conflict in Libya during a phone call yesterday. Turkey and the US support the UN-backed government of Fayez al Sarraj. In recent weeks, Sarraj’s troops have pushed back an assault on the capital of Tripoli by renegade commander Khalifa Haftar, who is backed by Russia and US allies, France, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

Today, mourners in Houston, Texas, bury George Floyd, a black man killed in police custody whose death has sparked global protests over systemic racism and police violence. In London, Mayor Sadiq Khan has called for a review of all statues in the city for ties to slavery.

Also a new study of satellite images shows a surge in traffic to hospitals in Wuhan, China, in August, coinciding with a spike in online searches for “cough” and “diarrhea” — suggesting the coronavirus may have been spreading in the city far earlier than reported.

America’s BLM protests find solidarity in South Korea

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

Credit:

Jason Strother/The World 

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. Over the weekend, 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.

Past epidemics underscore importance of mental health amid COVID-19

Women wearing masks to prevent contracting Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) ride a subway train in Seoul, South Korea, on June 12, 2015.

Credit:

Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji 

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. Over the weekend, 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.

Discussion: Reporting on the 2020 Latino vote amid the pandemic

Young Latinos could swing the outcome of the election — if they cast their ballots. That’s because approximately every 30 seconds, a young Latino turns 18 and becomes eligible to vote. For the past four months, The World’s “Every 30 Seconds” project has been following the stories of eight young Latino voters in different corners of the US.

Join The World’s Daisy Contreras for a conversation with three of the eight Every 30 Seconds journalists — Naomi Prioleau of WUNC in Chapel Hill, Max Rivlin-Nadler of KPBS in San Diego and Martha Dalton of WABE in Atlanta — focusing on their experiences reaching out to young Latinos for a yearlong reporting project and the lessons they’ve learned on reporting during the pandemic.

You can watch the Facebook Live Q&A on The World’s Facebook page Wednesday, June 10 at 12pm ET. Ask your questions during the live event or email us at [email protected].

Morning Meme

Someone found it! Thousands have searched but after more than a decade, someone actually found Forest Fenn’s buried treasure — worth more than an estimated $1 million — somewhere in the Rocky Mountains.

NEW: A bronze chest filled with gold, jewels, and other valuables worth more than $1 million and hidden a decade ago somewhere in the Rocky Mountain wilderness has finally been found. https://t.co/AzvKoMwjbd

— The Denver Post (@denverpost) June 7, 2020In case you missed itListen: Global protests against racial discrimination continue to spread

A man observes the base of the statue of Edward Colston, a slave trader in the 17th century, after protesters pulled it down and pushed into the docks, following the death of George Floyd, Bristol, Britain, June 8, 2020.

Credit:

Matthew Childs/Reuters

Protests against racial discrimination and social injustice continue across the globe. At a rally last weekend in Bristol, England, activists pulled down the statue of a 17th-century slave trader and dumped it in the harbor. And, the notion of putting the US military into the streets to quell unrest is a bridge too far for many people, including many military leaders. Also, As East African countries such as Uganda begin easing lockdowns, borders remain a big concern. Truck drivers crossing borders between Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania have contributed to the spread of COVID-19.

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

George Floyd to be buried Tuesday as global anti-racism protests spread

George Floyd to be buried Tuesday as global anti-racism protests spread

A portrait of George Floyd is seen during a protest against racial inequality in the aftermath of his death in Minneapolis police custody, in New York City, New York, June 8, 2020.

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Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

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Thousands of mourners paid their respects to George Floyd will be buried in Houston on Tuesday two weeks after his death while being held by police in Minneapolis, Minnesota, as more anti-racism rallies inspired by his treatment were set to take place around the world.

The mourners filed past Floyd’s open coffin at the Fountain of Praise Church in Houston, Texas, where he grew up.

Some mourners bowed their heads, others made the sign of the cross or raised a fist. Many wore face masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in a service that lasted more than six hours. The funeral will be a private ceremony and he will buried next to his mother’s grave.

“I’m glad he got the send-off he deserved,” Marcus Williams, a 46-year-old black resident of Houston, said outside. “I want the police killings to stop. I want them to reform the process to achieve justice, and stop the killing.”

Floyd, a 46-year-old African American, died on May 25 after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Unarmed and handcuffed, he lay face down in the street, gasping for air and groaning for help before falling silent, footage filmed by a bystander showed.

His death unleashed a surge of protests across the US cities and around the world against racism and the systematic mistreatment of black people.

The case also thrust President Donald Trump into a political crisis. He has repeatedly threatened to order the military on to the streets to restore order and has struggled to unite the nation.

The demonstrations have reinvigorated the Black Lives Matter movement and raised demands for racial justice and police reforms to the top of the political agenda ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election.

“I’m here to protest the mistreatment of our black bodies. It’s not going to stop unless we keep protesting,” said Erica Corley, 34, one of hundreds attending a gathering in the Washington suburb of Silver Spring, Maryland.

Around the world

Floyd’s death triggered protests across the globe, particularly in countries with a history of colonialism and involvement in the slave trade.

In Britain, thousands of people of all races rallied in several cities over the weekend. In the port city of Bristol, the statue of Edward Colston, who made a fortune in the 17th century from trading African slaves, was pulled down and dumped in the harbor.

A protest is scheduled for Tuesday night at Oxford University to demand the removal of a statue of Cecil Rhodes, a 19th century businessman in southern Africa long accused of imperialist exploitation.

Mayor Sadiq Khan ordered a review of London statues and street names which largely reflect Britain’s empire in the reign of Queen Victoria.

“It is an uncomfortable truth that our nation and city owes a large part of its wealth to its role in the slave trade and while this is reflected in our public realm, the contribution of many of our communities to life in our capital has been wilfully ignored,” Khan said.

The British parliament held a minute’s silence at 11 a.m. to mark Floyd’s death.

In France, the family of a black Frenchman who died in police custody called for a nationwide protest on Saturday and spurned a government offer of talks.

Adama Traoré died in July 2016 after three police officers used their weight to restrain him. His family and supporters have demanded that the officers involved be held to account. No one has been charged.

Thousands of people marched in Paris last Saturday to mark Traoré’s death and in solidarity with the US protesters.

Murder charge

Derek Chauvin, 44, the policeman who knelt on Floyd’s neck and is charged with second-degree murder, made his first court appearance in Minneapolis by video link on Monday. A judge ordered his bail raised from $1 million to $1.25 million.

Chauvin’s co-defendants, three fellow officers, are accused of aiding and abetting Floyd’s murder. All four were dismissed from the police department the day after Floyd’s death.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden met with Floyd’s relatives for more than an hour in Houston on Monday.

“He listened, heard their pain and shared in their woe,” family lawyer Benjamin Crump said. “That compassion meant the world to this grieving family.”

In Washington, Democrats in Congress announced legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime and to allow victims of police misconduct and their families to sue law enforcement for damages in civil court, ending a legal doctrine known as qualified immunity.

Trump resisted calls to defund police departments, saying 99% of police were “great, great people.”

In Richmond, Virginia, a judge issued a 10-day injunction blocking plans by the state governor to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

By Erwin Seba/Reuters

Past epidemics underscore importance of mental health amid COVID-19

Past epidemics underscore importance of mental health amid COVID-19

The mental health repercussions of the 2015 MERS outbreak were little acknowledged. But this time around, experts are sounding the alarm on the mental health crisis of the novel coronavirus as it sweeps the globe.

By
Elana Gordon

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Women wearing masks to prevent contracting Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) ride a subway train in Seoul, South Korea, on June 12, 2015.

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Reuters/Kim Hong-Ji 

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In 2015, a never-before-seen coronavirus called Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS, made its way to South Korea. The outbreak ultimately infected nearly 200 people in the country, most of whom worked in the health care sector. About three dozen died. 

“People were so shocked at the time,” recalled Dr. Sun Jae Jung, a preventive medicine specialist and psychiatric epidemiologist who was working at a hospital in Seoul during the outbreak. “It didn’t have any vaccines. It didn’t have a treatment.”

Fear of the virus ripped through Korean society, Jung recalled. The mental health repercussions of the contagious disease weren’t widely acknowledged. Health workers and people in quarantine lacked psychosocial support and suffered from conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.

“People were so frustrated that I think they didn’t even recognize it’s a mental health issue. So they were mostly focused on the biology of the virus and your fatality and how to prevent [it], but not about the mental health issues or of the frustrations or anxiety. … They did not talk about it at that time.”

Dr. Sun Jae Jung, preventive medicine specialist and psychiatric epidemiologist, Seoul, South Korea

“People were so frustrated that I think they didn’t even recognize it’s a mental health issue. So they were mostly focused on the biology of the virus and your fatality and how to prevent [it], but not about the mental health issues or of the frustrations or anxiety,” Jung said. “They did not talk about it at that time.” 

Five years later, it is clear the new coronavirus pandemic is causing a worldwide crisis in mental health as it makes its way around the globe, destroying lives and livelihoods. The United Nations has urged governments to take mental health consequences seriously. Previous infectious disease outbreaks, from Ebola to SARS, are now informing present-day virus responses. It helps that the global spotlight on mental health has grown in recent years. 

Related: COVID-19: The latest from The World

In South Korea, Jung said, she and others in the medical field wanted to prevent the mistakes made during the MERS outbreak. When COVID-19 emerged in the country in late January, they were keenly aware of the serious mental health challenges that could follow. Jung, who specializes in psychiatric epidemiology at Yonsei University College of Medicine in Seoul, began conducting surveys on the mental health of the general population. The results have yet to be published.

“People were more anxious and [had] more acute stress symptoms,” Jung said. “A lot of people reported they have issues in sleep, and also they have issues in anxiety symptoms —  like they have a palpitation — they have some kind of panic symptoms.” 

Lessons from MERS

After the MERS outbreak, Jung and other health professionals came to realize that working on the medical front lines, or being infected and put in quarantine, could lead to acute stress, anxiety and PTSD. Those mental health issues were on top of broader anxiety people often felt about the possibility of getting sick and having their lives disrupted. 

Health professionals, who were likeliest to be infected, faced an additional layer of stress during the MERS outbreak: They went from being a highly regarded sector to being almost vilified, with the stigma of the disease casting blame on those who were infected or at risk of spreading it.

Related: Inside the global network of scientists racing to curb the spread of COVID-19

This time around, teams of psychologists in South Korea have been working with patients who are in quarantine for COVID-19, and more psychosocial support has been set up for hospital workers. 

But perhaps most notable, Jung said, is the shift she has observed in Korean society: People are talking about mental health. They even devised a term for pandemic-related emotional problems, especially after everyday life came to a halt.  

“We don’t say corona depression, but we say ‘corona blue.’ I mean, like, everyone was depressed.”

Dr. Sun Jae Jung, preventive medicine specialist and psychiatric epidemiologist, Seoul, South Korea

“We don’t say corona depression, but we say ‘corona blue’,” Jung said. “I mean, like, everyone was depressed.”

South Korea has experienced less than 300 COVID-19 deaths and had some 11,500 reported cases. The growing acknowledgment of  “corona blue” has spread to other countries, too. Singapore, for its part, elevated mental health awareness in the wake of coronavirus.

Early on in the coronavirus pandemic, Silver Ribbon, a group mental health agency in Singapore, set up virtual counseling services and tried to raise awareness about the emotional impact of disruptions to everyday life — such as social distancing, loss of physical connections and staying home. 

“We started receiving more calls,” said the group’s director, Porsche Poh, who is also a board member of the World Federation for Mental Health. “And many people are sharing that they were experiencing anxiety.”

In response, her group has been reaching out to the elderly, who might not be as tech-savvy. They are also organizing virtual events and concerts to encourage people to connect with one another, come forward to get help and find ways to cope. 

Related: Study tracks a growing list of COVID-19 symptoms in real-time

Musician Eugene Yip Goh Mingwei joined one recent virtual concert hosted by the group.  

“I’ve been through mental health issues in the past, and this really kept me going,” Mingwei said. He then sang a cover of “A Little Braver” by New Empire to participants on the call.

Increased global awareness

The last decade has seen a shift in mental health. Awareness has increased worldwide. 

A turning point came in the late 2000s, when The Lancet, a leading medical journal, established a major commission on global mental health. The United Nations and the World Health Organization have made mental health a priority on their global agenda, and they’ve issued guidelines on recognizing and treating psychological distress from COVID-19.

A growing body of research shows mental health interventions can be effective around the globe in a variety of settings, from refugee camps to urban centers.

Dr. Vikram Patel, a psychiatrist at Harvard Medical School, has spent the past few decades spreading awareness of and access to mental health services worldwide.

“It turns out that psychological pain, just like physical pain, is a fundamental universal human experience.”

Dr. Vikram Patel, psychiatrist, Harvard Medical School, Massachusetts

“It turns out that psychological pain, just like physical pain, is a fundamental universal human experience,” he told The World last year. “And I think this is a very powerful piece of science because it suggests to us that knowledge around how you can help people with mental health problems recover that has been generated in one context, can have great application in other contexts.” 

Expensive specialists and formal therapy are not the only ways people can build coping skills. Community members can receive training in ounseling, and there are some core methods that people can adopt to manage anxiety and depression. That includes identifying and doing activities that bring people purpose and enjoymentcan help break cycles of destructive thought and behavior. Other simple techniques that all kinds of mental health specialists recommend include breathing exercises

Still, Patel worries that even while the psychological toll of this pandemic is just beginning, mental health is “being shoved back into the shadows.” 

Though there is now more awareness about mental health, he said, it is unclear whether governments and health care systems will innovate and invest resources to better respond to the long-term psychological repercussions from COVID-19.

“The widening of inequalities in countries, the continuing uncertainties about future waves of the epidemic and the physical distancing policies begin to bite deeper into our mental health,” Patel told The World in an email. “Mental health care systems in most countries will be ill-equipped to deal with this surge, not only because of the paucity of skilled providers but also because of the narrow biomedical models which dominate mental health care.”

Discussion: Reporting on the 2020 Latino vote amid the pandemic

Discussion: Reporting on the 2020 Latino vote amid the pandemic

By
The World staff

 “Every 30 Seconds” highlights the diversity of backgrounds and opinions of young Latino voters during the 2020 US election.

 

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Photos by Chris Kalafarski/The World

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The US presidential election in November could be the first time Latinos are the largest minority group in the electorate.

Young Latinos could swing the outcome of the election — if they come out to vote. That’s because approximately every 30 seconds, a young Latino turns 18 and becomes eligible to vote.

For the past four months, The World’s “Every 30 Seconds” project has been following the stories of eight young Latino voters in different corners of the United States, reporting on the issues, influences, concerns and challenges driving Latino decision making and turnout for the election. It’s a collaboration with public radio stations across the US.  

View the full project: Every 30 Seconds

Join The World’s Daisy Contreras for a conversation with three of the eight Every 30 Seconds journalists — Naomi Prioleau of WUNC in Chapel Hill, Max Rivlin-Nadler of KPBS in San Diego and Martha Dalton of WABE in Atlanta — focusing on their experiences reaching out to young Latinos for a yearlong reporting project and the lessons they’ve learned on reporting during the pandemic.

You can watch the Facebook Live Q&A on The World’s Facebook page Wednesday, June 10 at 12pm ET. It will be live-streamed on this page on The World’s website. Ask your questions during the live event or email us at [email protected].

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.

By
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. 

Credit:

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. 

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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

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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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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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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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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.

By
The World staff

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Stephen Snyder

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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

By
The World staff

Producer
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. 

Credit:

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. 

Credit:

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. 

Credit:

M. Espinasse et al./Université de Paris/CXC/NASA

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?

Host
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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Aly Song/Reuters

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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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Aly Song/Reuters

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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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Baz Ratner/Reuters

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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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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'

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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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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.

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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