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Japan refers US military pilot to prosecutors over Osprey crash

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Japanese authorities on Tuesday referred the case of a US military pilot to prosecutors over the 2016 crash of an Osprey aircraft that fuelled sentiment against a US base on Okinawa island.

The crash did not kill anyone and only caused injuries to two of the five crew members aboard the US Marine MV-22 Osprey.

The Pentagon described the December 2016 crash as a “mishap”, which saw the plane end up in shallow water off Okinawa.

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But Japanese coast guard officials on Tuesday referred the case to prosecutors on suspicion that the pilot had been flying too fast, causing the crash, a coast guard spokesman said.

Under the terms of the Japan-US Status of Forces Accord that governs the presence of US troops in the country, Japan can indict US military personnel accused of crimes in the country.

But Japanese courts do not have automatic jurisdiction to hear the cases.

The coast guard spokesman said the pilot has not been identified by US forces, and that the American military has so far not cooperated with the investigation into the accident.

The incident sparked anger on Okinawa, a strategic outpost of US military power, which hosts more than half of the 47,000 American military personnel in Japan.

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The military presence is a sensitive subject on the island, where many feel other parts of Japan should share the burden of hosting US personnel.

The incident also came at a delicate time, with Tokyo and Washington pushing to build a new airbase on Okinawa despite local opposition.

The MV-22 Osprey, a so-called tilt-rotor plane, is half helicopter, half turboprop with the manoeuvrability of a chopper and the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft.

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But a series of accidents involving the plane have prompted protests by Okinawa residents concerned about its use on the island.


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2020 Election

Trump shows all the signs of being ‘rattled’ now that the White House is under siege from protesters: columnist

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In a column for the Atlantic, longtime political observer Peter Nicholas stated that Donald Trump is showing all the signs of a scared man as massive protests have broken out across the country over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of four former Minneapolis cops -- and angry Americans are taking their case all the way up to the White House gates.

As Nicholas wrote, "Presidents live within a protective cocoon built and continually fortified for one purpose: keeping them alive. But inside the White House compound these days, Donald Trump seems rattled by what’s transpiring outside the windows of his historic residence."

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Black Londoner explains George Floyd protester support with story of how cops murdered his brother

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In an interview with MSNBC's Molly Hunter, a Black Londoner explained why he turned out for a protest near Trafalgar Square in support of Americans who have hit the streets in the U.S. over the murder of George Floyd by four former Minneapolis police officers.

According to the man -- identified as Daniel and who was wearing a COVID-19 mask and a New York Yankees hat -- his brother was also murdered by police and the cops walked free.

"You've been marching all day," Hunter began. "Look, I have two questions for you: what was it like watching the U.S. this week from London? Does it resonate?

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Denver cops busted for doing drive-by shootings of anti-police brutality protesters

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In a video posted to Twitter, a young Denver man protesting the killing of George Floyd at the hands of four former Minnesota police officers, found himself on the receiving end of an attack by police himself as he filmed them riding on the side of a truck -- only to have his phone hit by a fired police projectile while still in his hand.

According to Rachelle D'nae, a staff writer at Slate, her brother went to the Denver protest and was filming the officers when the incident occurred.

"My older brother went to a protest in Denver last night. as the police were leaving, one of them shot him with a pepper pellet that smashed the back of his phone and exploded in his face. they were ~30 feet from each other and it looks like the officer aimed directly at his face," she wrote before adding in a second tweet, "when my brother told me he was going I prepared for the worst. I made sure he had my number memorized so I could bail him out if I needed to and I sat up until he made it home, trying not to cry as he told me he had been tear-gassed."

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