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Minnesota officer charged with second-degree murder in Australian’s death

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The Minneapolis police officer who fatally shot an unarmed Australian woman last July was arrested on Tuesday on charges of second-degree murder and third-degree manslaughter, according to county records.

Mohamed Noor was arrested by the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and his bail was set at $500,000, according to county jail records.

Minneapolis’ top prosecutor Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman is expected to announce the charges at a news conference at 2:30 p.m. local time in the July 2017 death of Justine Damond, 40, who was shot by Noor from his patrol car.

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Freeman had delayed his decision in December, saying his office needed more time and he did not have enough evidence to charge Noor. The county attorney’s office declined to comment beyond the statement on Tuesday.

Noor has been on paid leave and had declined to be interviewed by Minnesota state investigators. Neither Noor’s attorney, Tom Plunkett, nor the head of the Minneapolis Police Union, Bob Kroll, could immediately be reached for comment.

Plunkett has said that Noor extended his “thoughts and wishes” to Damond’s family and raised concerns about Freeman’s objectivity.

The attorney for Damond’s family, Bob Bennett, could not be reached on Tuesday. He has said that the family supported the delay in the charging decision as they wanted a thorough investigation.

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Damond, who was living in Minneapolis and engaged to be married, had called police about a possible sexual assault near her house and approached the police after their arrival, authorities have said.

The shooting drew condemnation in Minnesota and Australia, where Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called it “shocking” and “inexplicable.” Then-Minneapolis police chief Jamee Harteau resigned after city officials said procedures had been violated and that Damond “didn’t have to die.”

 Neither Noor, who came to the United States from Somalia as a child, nor Matthew Harrity, another officer in the patrol car, had their body cameras activated, police have said.
Harrity has told investigators that he was startled by a loud sound near the patrol car shortly before Noor fired through the open driver’s-side window, striking Damond. Court documents said a woman slapped the back of the car before the shooting.

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Reporting by Todd melby, Writing by Ben Klayman


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Swiss holding ‘funeral march’ to mark disappearance of an Alpine glacier

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Dozens of people will undertake a "funeral march" up a steep Swiss mountainside on Sunday to mark the disappearance of an Alpine glacier amid growing global alarm over climate change.

The Pizol "has lost so much substance that from a scientific perspective it is no longer a glacier," Alessandra Degiacomi, of the Swiss Association for Climate Protection, told AFP.

The organisation which helped organise Sunday's march said around 100 people were due to take part in the event, set to take place as the UN gathers youth activists and world leaders in New York to mull the action needed to curb global warming.

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2020 Election

UAW strike ‘threatens to upend the economy in Michigan’ — and could destroy Trump’s re-election: report

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At the end of the first week of a major strike by the United Auto Workers, the employment standoff threatens to upend President Donald Trump's 2020 re-election map, the Chicago Times reported Saturday.

Approximately 46,000 workers have been striking against General Motors.

There are two major threats to Trump's campaign from the strike.

The first is that the strike could cause regional recessions -- threatening Trump's political standing in key Rust Belt states.

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Security forces fired live rounds at protesters calling for the ouster of Egyptian president: report

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Egyptian security forces clashed with hundreds of anti-government protesters in the port city of Suez on Saturday, firing tear gas and live rounds, said several residents who participated in the demonstrations.

A heavy security presence was also maintained in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the epicentre of Egypt's 2011 revolution, after protests in several cities called for the removal of general-turned-president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Such demonstrations are rare after Egypt effectively banned protests under a law passed following the 2013 military ouster of Islamist ex-president Mohamed Morsi.

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