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Neighbor calls police on black businessman opening new spot in San Francisco: report

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A black businessman in San Francisco explained the hardships of trying to open a business in gentrified neighborhood during a new AJ Plus interview.

Vicktor Stevenson is the proprietor of Gourmonade, a permanent lemonade stand that recently opened on Valencia St. in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Stevenson said that even before opening, people had spray-painted racist graffiti on his storefront, tagging his business as “monkey juice.”

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Things got worse after the opening, with four cops showing up only three days after his grand opening.

“I’m standing here at my store, trying to make sure my security system is up and running properly, and next thing I know, four cops hop out of cars on me,” Stevenson recounted.

“And come to find out, somebody in the neighborhood called and said that I was breaking into my own business,” he continued.

“I didn’t see the other two officers behind me, but the one in front of me had his hand on his gun,” he recalled.

The SFPD Mission Station is less than three blocks away, down the same street.

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Describing the encounter, Stevenson was visibly shaken.

“My son is 9-months old and he knew something was wrong with daddy, and he would not let me go,” he said, tearing up. “He would not let me go all night.”

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He said he wife had nightmares that night.

“I don’t think my family or any other family should have to go through this for no reason,” Stevenson concluded.

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On Facebook, Stevenson urged accountability for those who call police on people of color for no reason.

“People die because of this kinda misuse of police resources and racial profiling everyday,” he reminded.

“I’m just blessed to be alive to tell my story and hopefully can help spark some major changes in how these situations are handled. It’s a criminal act and should be treated as such,” he concluded.

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COVID-19

WHO halts study of ‘coronavirus’ drug touted by Trump

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The World Health Organization said Monday it had temporarily suspended clinical trials of hydroxychloriquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19 being carried out across a range of countries as a precautionary measure.

The decision came after publication last week of a study in The Lancet which indicated that using the drug on COVID-19 patients could increase their chances of dying, WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told a virtual press conference.

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2020 Election

Florida seniors are ‘highly susceptible’ to coronavirus — which could hurt Trump’s reelection chances

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On Monday, The Washington Post examined the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on older voters' politics, and in particular how it is hurting President Donald Trump with the critical demographic in Florida — a state that is almost mandatory for the president to win for a second term.

"While Democrats have worried about Biden’s struggles to excite younger voters, older voters who are upset with the president are poised to be potentially more influential in November, especially in swing states whose populations skew their way, like Florida, Pennsylvania, Arizona, Michigan and Wisconsin," reported Jenna Johnson and Lori Rozsa. "In Florida, more than 20 percent of those who voted in the 2016 election were over age 65, according to exit polls. In 2016, Trump won the Florida senior vote by a 17-point margin over Clinton, according to exit polls. The state ranks as one Trump must almost certainly win to insure his victory, while Biden has other paths to the White House."

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First test of Virgin Orbit rocket fails to accomplish goal

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The first test launch of a rocket that is released from a jumbo jet at 35,000 feet and then propels itself into orbit to deploy a satellite failed on Monday, the Virgin Orbit company said.

"The mission terminated shortly into the flight. Cosmic Girl and our flight crew are safe and returning to base," Virgin Orbit's Twitter account reported as the test was underway off the coast of California.

The plane released the rocket cleanly, but the latter developed trouble of unknown origin after igniting its first-stage engine, the company said.

Founded by British billionaire Richard Branson in 2012, Virgin Orbit wants to offer a quick and flexible launch service for operators of small satellites, weighing between 300 and 500 kilos (600 to 1,00 pounds), a market which is currently booming.

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