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Protesters and police clash outside La Scala opera house on opening night

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The glamourous season opener at Milan’s Scala opera house was marred Sunday by clashes between riot police and protesters which left two wounded.

Around 300 demonstrators, using banners reading “fight the power” and “we resist!” as shields, threw flares and Molotov cocktails at baton-wielding police in front of La Scala, where musical director Daniel Barenboim was taking his last opening-night bow.

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Two policemen were reported to have sustained injuries during the clashes with the protesters, who were demonstrating against austerity in the recession-hit country as well as demanding rights for social housing following a series of squat evictions.

The season premier “Fidelio” marks the end of Barenboim’s nine years at the prestigious opera house and the glitzy evening at the 18th-century theatre was attended by fashionista, show girls and leading politicians.

Milan’s prefect Francesco Paolo Tronca, among the guests, slammed the “unacceptable violent protests against police” and the “hijacking of cultural events which serve to give strength and value to our city.”

There was also little sympathy from president of the Lombardy region where Milan is situated, Roberto Maroni, who said “what a way to ruin a party.”

“We always present the worst image of ourselves to the world. La Scala’s opening night is a unique spectacle and we manage to ruin even that,” he said.

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But the demonstrators received some support from former minister of economic development Corrado Passera, who said there was “such a level of need among some parts of the population that it is wrong to get angry with those who protest.”

The riot darkened an already uneasy season following a summer which saw Rome’s conductor Riccardo Muti quit the Teatro dell’Opera amid bureaucratic difficulties and threats of strikes.


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Central Park incident just one more example of white women using their status to terrorize black men: NYT’s Charles Blow

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Amy Cooper is just the latest example of white women using their privilege and femininity to terrorize black men, according to a new column from Charles Blow.

The New York Times columnist explains that a video recording of an incident involving Cooper, an investment manager, and Christian Cooper, a science editor, has a long and shameful historical precedent.

"This racial street theater against black people is an endemic, primal feature of the Republic," Blow write. "Specifically, I am enraged by white women weaponizing racial anxiety, using their white femininity to activate systems of white terror against black men. This has long been a power white women realized they had and that they exerted."

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New Zealand epidemiologist: ‘We look at Trump’s behavior and we’re horrified’

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To learn how New Zealand has largely eliminated COVID-19, we continue our extended interview with Michael Baker, an epidemiologist who is a member of the New Zealand Ministry of Health’s Technical Advisory Group and advising the government on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He describes how the country’s response compares to the government actions in the United States and worldwide.

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: This is Democracy Now!, democracynow.org, The Quarantine Report. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González, as we bring you Part 2 of our discussion of New Zealand.

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Trump White House hammered for covering up their own economic projections as jobs vanish

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The Trump White House has decided against releasing midyear economic projections this summer, breaking precedent at a time when unemployment is expected to top 20 percent.

The Washington Post reports that the administration is not releasing updated economic projections that "would almost certainly codify an administration assessment that the coronavirus pandemic has led to a severe economic downturn" with massive job losses that have topped 36 million in just two months.

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