(Reuters) - Myanmar troops stormed an anti-coup protest camp on Wednesday, a resident said, in a pre-dawn operation that local media said killed and wounded several demonstrators, as activists defied a bloody crackdown and internet blockade by the ruling junta. Myanmar has been in chaos since a Feb. 1 coup that ended a brief period of civilian-led democracy and sparked nationwide protests and strikes, despite the ruling military's use of lethal force to quell the resistance. Violence erupted as troops entered the protest site on Wednesday in the town of Kale in the Saigang region, a hotspot of...
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On Tuesday, CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale published a lengthy debunking of a lie circulating on right-wing social media pages that Black Lives Matter activists "stormed" the Iowa State Capitol, in the same way that pro-Trump insurrectionists attacked the U.S. Capitol.
"A group of right-wing websites and social media personalities, some with hundreds of thousands of followers, claimed that Black Lives Matter protesters 'stormed' Iowa's state Capitol last week," wrote Dale. "Some of them explicitly claimed that the protesters had forced their way into the building," and, he noted, David Harris Jr. wrote this event was "exactly" like the "Stop the Steal" riot.
However, these two things were not remotely alike.
"Protesters had a permit for both outside and inside the building," wrote Dale. "As a Facebook livestream video from one of the protesters showed, and as Iowa journalists on the scene noted later, the protesters walked in one by one through a security checkpoint. Protest co-organizer Angelina Ramirez told CNN that, prior to their entry, she and a colleague 'asked Capitol security and Iowa State Patrol how they would prefer us to funnel into the security line, hence the single-file line.'"
One young protester at the Iowa Capitol was arrested — but only for pushing a police officer's arm "in an attempt to get [his] attention."
"By the late afternoon, Iowa journalists from Iowa Public Radio, the Des Moines Register and the Ames Tribune had all debunked the claim that the Capitol had been stormed," wrote Dale. "Protest co-organizer Harold Walehwa told CNN he was 'frustrated and not surprised' when he saw the false 'storming' claims go viral."
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MLB took its All-Star game out of Georgia to protest voting laws. Now Ted Cruz wants to strip it of its anti-trust immunity
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz on Tuesday called for the removal of Major League Baseball's immunity from anti-trust laws in response to the league's decision to pull the 2021 All-Star game from Atlanta over Georgia's new voting restrictions.
"If they're gonna play partisan enforcer, they shouldn't expect to see special goodies from Washington when they are dishonestly acting to favor one party against the other," Cruz told reporters in a news conference alongside fellow Republican U.S. Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Mike Lee of Utah.
In late March, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law a bill that shrinks the window for voters to request absentee ballots, imposes new voter ID requirements, and bans the handing out of water and food to people waiting in line to vote. Cruz pointed out in his Tuesday remarks that the Georgia bill expands early voting times.
MLB's anti-trust exemption reduces the possibility of a competing league from emerging and threatening its status as the preeminent professional baseball league. MLB is unique compared with its peers in other sports in that it benefits from a 1922 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that treats the league as a sport and not a business.
"Major League Baseball has had an exemption from the anti-trust laws for nearly 100 years," Cruz said. "It was made up by the U.S. Supreme Court."
"The NFL doesn't have that exception. The NBA doesn't have that exception," he added. "Somehow those sports leagues manage to do just fine, but baseball gets this very special carve-out of corporate welfare from Washington. They don't have to play by the same rules everybody else does."
This is the latest move in a tidal wave of Republican fury aimed at the league. Days after the announcement, Gov. Greg Abbott declined to throw out the first pitch at the Texas Rangers season-opening game.
A similar proposal is making the rounds among House Republicans. Without Democratic support, though, it is unlikely either bill will make it to passage. Moreover, President Joe Biden previously expressed support for the MLB's actions.
In his Tuesday remarks, Cruz repeatedly condemned MLB's business practices as "woke," a slang term indicating a heightened sense of social awareness.
"This was not about voting. This was about virtue signaling, and this was about punishment," he added. "Major League Baseball made the decision that the more than half of its fans who happen to be Republicans are now disfavored and that voter fraud is not a concern legislatures should focus on."
But Democrats charge that the new wave of bills across the country that will restrict voting are solutions in search of a problem. Voter fraud is rare in the United States, and Democrats argue that the motives here are about depressing minority turnout at the polls.
And thanks to a mass misinformation campaign on the part of former President Donald Trump and many Republicans, many Americans falsely believe Biden stole the 2020 presidential election. That belief led to the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
This battle over voting rights between Republicans and corporate America is all but certain to expand to other states, including Texas.
Texas Republican lawmakers are pursuing their own sweeping changes to voting, including making it illegal for local election officials to proactively send applications for mail-in ballots to voters, even if they qualify, and restricting the distribution of polling places and voting machines in diverse, urban counties.
Texas-based American Airlines and Dell Technologies recently voiced opposition to those Republican efforts.
Disclosure: Dell has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.
Convulsed by converging cases of racially charged violence, two Black families in Minneapolis stood united in grief and solidarity Tuesday as they demanded an end to police brutality and the killing of unarmed African Americans by white officers.
Tensions have soared over the police shooting death Sunday of Daunte Wright near the Midwestern US city, a community already on edge over the ongoing trial of an officer accused of killing another Black man, George Floyd, last year.
"The world is traumatized watching another African-American man being slain," Floyd's brother Philonise Floyd said of 20-year-old Wright, as he stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Wright's relatives at an outdoor press event in driving snow.
A day earlier Floyd testified in the case against Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer on trial for murder and manslaughter in the case of George Floyd, whose death last year shocked the nation.
"To the Wright family from the Floyd family, you all have our condolences," Floyd said Tuesday as he consoled the latest African-American family devastated by the death of a loved one at the hands of police. "We're here, and we will fight for justice for this family."
Wright was shot dead during a traffic stop by a police officer who apparently confused her handgun with her taser, in what the force later described as a horrible accident.
The officer who shot Wright resigned on Tuesday, as did Brooklyn Center Police Chief Tim Gannon, who had told reporters earlier that the officer "had the intention to deploy their taser but instead shot Mr Wright with a single bullet."
The families rejected the accident explanation, as several relatives and activists at the press event called for the officer to be arrested and jailed for her actions.
"A so-called mistake? A handgun for a taser? It's unacceptable," Floyd's nephew Brandon Williams said.
"Just because you are the law doesn't mean you're above the law," he added. "When is enough enough?"
For activists like Toshira Garraway, Wright's killing is another example of the police brutality and systemic discrimination that has prompted an American reckoning on racial injustice.
"We want the world to know that these are not isolated issues, that in fact George Floyd and Daunte Wright (are) the face of hundreds of murders here in the state of Minnesota that have been covered up for many years," she told the crowd at the press conference.
Surrounded by relatives, Chyna Whitaker, the mother of Wright's one-year-old son, and Wright's own mother Katie Wright spoke emotionally about the last times they spoke with or saw Daunte.
"I'm just so messed up about it, because I feel like they stole my son's dad from him," Whitaker said.
Shortly before the families spoke, prosecutors rested their case against Chauvin in the Floyd trial.
The defense immediately launched into its case. Chauvin's attorney Eric Nelson contends that Floyd died from underlying health problems mixed with his use of drugs fentanyl and methamphetamine, and not from Chauvin's actions.
In a video taken by a bystander at the scene, the 45-year-old Chauvin, who is white, was seen kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes as the handcuffed 46-year-old Black man -- arrested for allegedly passing a fake $20 bill -- complained repeatedly that he "can't breathe."
The recording touched off protests against racial injustice and police brutality in the United States and around the world.
Wright's killing Sunday has triggered fresh tumult. Around 40 protesters were arrested overnight in Minneapolis as a second night of violence broke out despite imposition of a curfew.
Several officers suffered minor injuries and there was sporadic looting, law enforcement officials said.
Hundreds of protesters gathered in front of the police station in Brooklyn Center, the Minneapolis suburb where Wright was killed.
Demonstrators taunted police through wire fencing, and carried signs saying "Jail all racist killer cops" and "No justice, no peace." Police fired tear gas and flash bangs to disperse the crowd.
'I shot him'
In the body camera footage, police officers are seen pulling Wright out of his car after stopping him for a traffic violation and discovering he had an outstanding warrant.
When officers attempt to handcuff Wright, he scuffles with them and gets back in the car. A female police officer shouts, "Taser! Taser! Taser!" but a gunshot is then heard.
"Holy shit, I shot him," the officer says.
President Joe Biden called the killing "tragic" but urged calm as authorities conduct an investigation.
Former president Barack Obama and his wife Michelle said Tuesday they "empathize with the pain" that Black parents and children are feeling after such a loss.
"The fact that this could happen, even as the city of Minneapolis is going through the trial of Derek Chauvin and reliving the heart-wrenching murder of George Floyd, indicates not just how important it is to conduct a full and transparent investigation, but also just how badly we need to reimagine policing and public safety in this country," they said.
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