By Jonathan Allen MINNEAPOLIS (Reuters) - A Minneapolis homicide investigator testified on Friday that Derek Chauvin used "totally unnecessary" deadly force when kneeling on George Floyd's neck during an arrest last May that sparked global protests against police brutality. Chauvin, who is white, was fired by the city's police department the day after he was captured on video on top of a handcuffed Floyd as the 46-year-old Black man was dying. The 45-year-old former officer has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges. "Totally unnecessary," Lieutenant Richard Zimmerman told the j...
After weeks of rabble-rousing coverage calling for new rules surrounding mask-wearing, Fox News abruptly shifted its tone on the matter Thursday — just hours after the Centers for Disease Control affirmed the network's calls to announce it was safe for vaccinated individuals to shed their masks indoors.
Now, the new masking guidance appears to be a "distraction," according to a number of Fox News anchors and guests.
On shows across the board Thursday into Friday, hosts questioned the timing of the announcement. Jeanine Pirro went so far as to call the announcement "theater," and listed off a number of so-called crises that the White House was supposedly looking to distract the public from.
Will Cain, who hosts "Fox & Friends" on Friday mornings, even said viewers should question "whether or not science was the guide here."
It was a shocking turnaround for the network, which had for much of the previous year called mask mandates — and any COVID-19-related restrictions, really — a "permanent power grab" and evidence that Democrats "want [COVID-19] to continue indefinitely."
But just minutes after CDC Director Rochelle Walensky held a press conference to announce the agency's new guidance, host Dana Perino — who had herself repeatedly demanded Biden remove his mask in public settings — pointed to the news as a possible conspiracy to help the president's approval rating: "I'm just saying they're either extremely lucky or extremely skilled, and I admire it either way."
Watch the video below via Media Matters for America:
Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) is facing a cocaine scandal after a bombshell report by The Daily Beast.
"When Rep. Matt Gaetz attended a 2019 GOP fundraiser in Orlando, his date that night was someone he knew well: a paid escort and amateur Instagram model who led a cocaine-fueled party after the event, according to two witnesses. The Florida congressman's one-time wingman, Joel Greenberg, will identify that escort to investigators as one of more than 15 young women Gaetz paid for sex, according to a source familiar with the investigation," The Beast reported.
Gaetz had his campaign pay for his hotel room.
"But what distinguishes this woman, Megan Zalonka, is that she turned her relationship with Greenberg into a taxpayer-funded no-show job that earned her an estimated $7,000 to $17,500, according to three sources and corresponding government records obtained by The Daily Beast. On Oct. 26, 2019, Gaetz attended the "Trump Defender Gala" fundraiser as the featured speaker at the Westgate Lake Resort in Orlando. Two witnesses present recalled friends reconvening at Gaetz's hotel room for an after-party, where Zalonka prepared lines of cocaine on the bathroom counter. One of those witnesses distinctly remembers Zalonka pulling the drugs out of her makeup bag, rolling a bill of cash, and joining Gaetz in snorting the cocaine," The Beast reported.
As a Florida state representative, Gaetz was a vocal proponent of drug-testing recipients of government aid.
I strongly support drug-testing for welfare recipients.Applying for welfare is voluntary,if you don’t want to get tested don’t apply.#sayfie— Matt Gaetz (@Matt Gaetz)1300981818.0
Voting now to drug test welfare recipients. Democrats voting against (HB 353 @jimmysmith ) #sayfie @nwfdailynews— Matt Gaetz (@Matt Gaetz)1301590177.0
ACLU opposes public drug testing for welfare but not walmart doing private testing. He who PAYS should be empowered to test #tcot #sayfie— Matt Gaetz (@Matt Gaetz)1301590798.0
Congrats @jimmytsmith for legislation that will drug test welfare recipients in FL; Proud to be a co-sponsor! #sayfie @nwfdailynews #tcot— Matt Gaetz (@Matt Gaetz)1303862952.0
Rep. Corrine Brown opposes our plan to drug test welfare recipients. Who saw THAT coming?! #sayfie #tcot @CapitalSoup— Matt Gaetz (@Matt Gaetz)1307028317.0
Israel intensified its assault on the Gaza Strip on Friday as bloody clashes spread to the West Bank and Lebanese border on the fifth day of fighting.
A senior US diplomat arrived in Tel Aviv to meet Israeli and Palestinian officials as Washington tries to urgently de-escalate the conflict, the worst outbreak of violence in the region since 2014.
Eight people have died so far in Israel after more than 2,000 rockets fired from Palestinian militants in Gaza sent people running for cover in communities across the Jewish State.
The losses were far higher in Gaza. Days of Israeli airstrikes and artillery shelling has led to the deaths of more than 120 people - including 31 children - with over 900 others injured, Palestinian officials said.
Violence erupted in multiple places on Friday, including the West Bank, where the Palestinian Health Ministry said eight people died and some 50 others were injured by bullets and rubber projectiles fired by Israeli forces.
Earlier, the Israeli army said it shot and killed an attacker who tried to stab a soldier with a knife near a military post in Ofra, near Ramallah in the West Bank.
The civil unrest was mounting between Arab and Jewish citizens of Israel, with other protests and riots reported in communities in which a high proportion of Arab Israelis live.
On Friday night in East Jerusalem, there were incidents across Israel of police arrested protesters who were throwing stones and incendiary devices.
Citizens have been facing off for days in the city of Lod, which remains under curfew after becoming a flashpoint for some of the ugliest confrontations.
Further afield, dozens of Lebanese and Palestinians protesting in southern Lebanon managed to cross the border fence into Israel, prompting the Israeli military to fire warning shots.
The pro-Iran Hezbollah movement said one its members, a 21-year-old, died in hospital in southern Lebanon after being hit in the stomach.
A second Lebanese protester injured from Israeli gunfire died later, a Lebanese security source and local media said.
Meanwhile, in Beirut, hundreds of pro-Iranian Hezbollah followers along with Palestinians demonstrated in the Burj al-Barajneh area in the southern suburbs of Beirut.
In Jordan, demonstrators travelled to the border with Israel to protest.
Elsewhere, three rockets were fired from Syria in the direction of Israel on Friday evening, with one of them landing on Syrian soil, according to the Israel Defense Forces.
In Gaza, the Israeli army said "many kilometres" of a tunnel system used by militants were damaged in a major assault that began overnight.
"I said we would hit Hamas and the other terrorist organizations very hard - and that is exactly what we are doing," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, according to remarks released by his office.
The tunnel network is vital in the Gaza Strip for shifting goods and people in and out, since Israel maintains tight restrictions on the region so long as it is ruled by Hamas, a group Israel classifies as terrorist and which has a history of armed resistance to Israeli rule.
The United Nations sounded alarm about the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, calling for the border to be opened to transport petrol and humanitarian goods.
According to UN estimates, some 10,000 Palestinians have had to leave their homes in Gaza because of the ongoing fighting.
International efforts to mediate in the conflict have proven futile so far.
An Egyptian delegation that met with Israeli officials to help negotiate a ceasefire did not reach any positive results, an Egyptian security source said on Friday.
However, the US embassy in Jerusalem said Hady Amr, the deputy assistant secretary of state for Israel and Palestinian affairs, had arrived in Tel Aviv Friday evening to lead the Biden administration's efforts at to end the fighting.
He is set to meet with Israeli and Palestinian officials in the coming days.
Amr will "reinforce the need to work toward a sustainable calm, recognizing Israel's right to self-defense," the embassy tweeted.
"Israelis and Palestinians deserve equal measures of freedom, security, dignity and prosperity," the embassy tweeted.
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