The police killing of George Floyd has triggered anti-racism protests around the world. A number of monuments with links to colonialism and slavery have been defaced or pulled down in Europe and the United States as demands for racial justice continue.
One of the four former Minneapolis police officers who was charged over the death of Floyd was released on a $750,000 bail.
Floyd died on May 25 after a policeman knelt on his neck for nearly nine minutes. His death has sparked nationwide calls for policing reforms.
General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, walking with President Donald Trump towards St John’s Church in Washington, DC on June 1, 2020 [File: Patrick Semansky/AP Photo]
16:11 GMT – Names of two Confederate leaders to be removed from US Naval Academy
The names of two members of the Confederacy should be removed from buildings at the US Naval Academy, the chairman of the academy’s Board of Visitors announced.
Representative CA Dutch Ruppersberger, a Maryland Democrat, said the Pentagon should consider removing Confederate names from all military bases as people across the country protest against racial inequality and police brutality.
“There has been discussion of renaming these buildings since at least 2017,” Ruppersberger said in a statement. “As the new Chairman, the time for discussion is over. It’s time for action.”
Ruppersberger continued by saying those who qualified to study at the academy should not be forced to “see buildings named for men who fought to uphold slavery and promote white supremacy”.
The academy superintendent’s residence is named after Franklin Buchanan, the academy’s first superintendent who left to join the Confederate Navy at the start of the Civil War.
The academy’s Weapons and Systems Engineering division is housed in Maury Hall, named after Matthew Fontaine Maury. He headed the coast, harbour and river defences for the Confederate Navy.
The Republican-led US Senate Armed Services Committee approved an amendment that would require the Department of Defense to rename military bases named after Confederate generals, setting up a clash with President Donald Trump, who opposes that change.
14:15 GMT – Pentagon chief says he was wrong to accompany Trump on church walk
Army General Mark Milley, the US’s top military officer, said he was wrong to have accompanied President Donald Trump on a walk to a church through Lafayette Square, where he was photographed in his combat uniform with the presidential entourage.
“My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics,” Milley said. “As a commissioned uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I have learned from, and I sincerely hope we all can learn from it.”
Covering the George Floyd protests as a Black journalist | Between Us
The statement by the Joint Chiefs chairman risked the wrath of a president sensitive to anything hinting of criticism of events he has staged. Trump’s June 1 walk through the park to pose with a Bible at a church came after authorities used pepper spray and flashbangs to clear the park and streets of largely peaceful protesters.
Milley said his presence and the photographs compromised his commitment to a military divorced from politics.
“I should not have been there,” Milley said in prerecorded remarks to a National Defense University commencement ceremony.
14:00 GMT – Fitness company apologises for ‘I can’t breathe’ workout
A health club company has apologised on behalf of a franchisee who posted an “I can’t breathe” workout at its gym in Wisconsin.
Photos of the workout instructions drawn on a dry erase board at Anytime Fitness in the city of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin were shared widely on social media and drawn criticism.
The “I can’t breathe” workout included burpees, or squat thrusts, with the instructions “don’t you dare lay down”. It also showed a person in a kneeling position, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Anytime Fitness apologizes for franchisee’s ‘I can’t breathe’ workout, says they will share with other locations as an example of “what not to do.”https://t.co/qXV9935Bbm pic.twitter.com/lb4sDDPnV3
— KARE 11 (@kare11) June 11, 2020
The company said it was “profoundly sorry” that the workout was posted.
“No matter what the intent, we absolutely do not condone the words, illustrations or actions this represents. One of our publicly-stated commitments to antiracism work is to bolster training efforts for our franchise owners to lead with empathy, love and respect. This incident makes it clear we have more work to do in this space,” a statement from the company read.
The workout instructions at the gym have since been removed.
13:00 GMT – One of four Minneapolis police charged over Floyd’s death freed on bail
One of the four former Minneapolis police officers who was charged over the death of George Floyd was released on bail on Wednesday.
The former police officer released, Thomas Lane, 37, had been held on $750,000 bail and was freed from Hennepin County jail, sheriff’s office records showed.
All four officers have been fired from the Minneapolis police department.
Catch up on Wednesday’s updates here.
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Sorry, we can’t find the page that you are looking for. Don’t let that stop you from visiting some of our other great related content.EXPLORE MOREPalestine quits Arab League role in protest over Israel dealsPalestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.At UN,…
Sorry, we can’t find the page that you are looking for. Don’t let that stop you from visiting some of our other great related content.EXPLORE MOREPalestine quits Arab League role in protest over Israel dealsPalestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.At UN, Qatar emir questions world inaction on Israeli occupationQatar’s leader says Israel continues to carry out ‘flagrant violation of international resolutions’.Lebanon: Hezbollah arms depot blast caused by ‘technical error’Lebanon’s official news agency said explosion took place in southern village of Ein Qana, about 50km south of Beirut.
Iran says ‘internal agents’ may be responsible for Natanz blast |NationalTribune.com
Tehran, Iran – The Iranian government said on Tuesday there are strong suspicions that “internal agents” played a role in a massive explosion that occurred at a key nuclear facility earlier this year. On July 2, a fire ripped through a building at Natanz, a major uranium enrichment site. Satellite images showed it caused the…
Tehran, Iran – The Iranian government said on Tuesday there are strong suspicions that “internal agents” played a role in a massive explosion that occurred at a key nuclear facility earlier this year.
On July 2, a fire ripped through a building at Natanz, a major uranium enrichment site. Satellite images showed it caused the roof to collapse and parts of the building were blackened by the blaze.
“One of the strong theories is based on internal agents being involved in the incident,” government spokesman Ali Rabiei told reporters at a news conference, according to the Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA).
“The issue is being seriously reviewed by the country’s security organisations and we will announce the results after things are clear.”
It is the first time an Iranian official specifically pointed to the possibility of an inside job for the blast.
In late August, Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization confirmed the damage to the facility was the result of “sabotage”.
“But how this explosion took place and with what materials … will be announced by security officials in due course,” spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said at the time, citing “security reasons” for not disclosing further information.
‘Sabotage is certain’
In early September, Kamalvandi announced Natanz saboteurs “have been identified” but refrained from discussing further details, including whether internal agents were complicit.
On Tuesday, Rabiei also reiterated that “sabotage is certain” but the incident still needs to be investigated due to its complexities.
The desert Natanz site, much of which is underground, is one of several Iranian facilities regularly monitored by inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog.
Following the explosion, international media reports indicated Israel may have been behind the attack. Israel has been deliberately vague, neither confirming nor denying involvement while stressing the danger of a nuclear-armed Iran.
“Everyone can suspect us in everything and all the time, but I don’t think that’s correct,” Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said days after the attack.
Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi also said “Iran cannot be allowed to have nuclear capabilities”, adding to that end, “We take actions that are better left unsaid.”
September’s announcement that Iran knows the saboteurs behind the Natanz explosion came one week after IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi visited the country.
The trip was successful, leading to Iran granting access to two suspected former nuclear sites that the UN watchdog wished to inspect.
“In this present context, based on analysis of available information to the IAEA, the IAEA does not have further questions to Iran and further requests for access to locations other than those declared by Iran,” the IAEA and Iranian officials said in a joint statement following the visit.
In a speech during the 64th session of the General Conference of the IAEA on Monday, the president of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi referred to the Natanz incident.
“These malicious acts need to be condemned by the agency and member states,” he said via video conference, adding “Iran reserves its rights to protect its facilities and take necessary actions against any threat as appropriate.”
Salehi also urged the UN watchdog not to compromise its “impartiality, independence and professionalism”.
Iran, UN and the United States are locked in a major disagreement centred around the landmark 2015 nuclear deal signed between Iran and world powers, which US President Donald Trump unilaterally abandoned in May 2018.
The US on Sunday declared it reinstated all UN sanctions on Iran, an announcement that was roundly rejected by the United Nations Security Council as lacking legal basis.
The US is trying to indefinitely extend an arms embargo on Iran that is set to expire in October as part of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the formal name of the nuclear deal.
Iran, which has always maintained it never pursued nuclear weapons, accepted the nuclear deal that removed all UN sanctions in exchange for curbs on its nuclear programme.
The US reneged on the deal, unilaterally imposing a harsh campaign of sanctions that have hit almost all the productive sectors of the Iranian economy. US sanctions have also targeted Iranian officials and organisations.
In response, starting exactly one year after US sanctions were imposed and other parties failed to guarantee economic benefits promised Iran under the deal, Iran started gradually scaling back its nuclear commitments.
Palestine quits Arab League role in protest over Israel deals |NationalTribune.com
Palestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.Palestine has quit its current chairmanship of Arab League meetings, the Palestinian foreign minister said on Tuesday, condemning as dishonourable any Arab agreement to establish formal ties with Israel. Palestinians see the deals that the United…
Palestine was meant to chair Arab League meetings for next six months, but FM Riyad al-Maliki has declined the position.Palestine has quit its current chairmanship of Arab League meetings, the Palestinian foreign minister said on Tuesday, condemning as dishonourable any Arab agreement to establish formal ties with Israel.
Palestinians see the deals that the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed with Israel in Washington a week ago as a betrayal of their cause and a blow to their quest for an independent state in Israeli-occupied territory.
Earlier this month, the Palestinians failed to persuade the Arab League to condemn nations breaking ranks and normalising relations with Israel.
Palestine was supposed to chair Arab League meetings for the next six months, but Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told a news conference in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah that it no longer wanted the position.
“Palestine has decided to concede its right to chair the League’s council [of foreign ministers] at its current session. There is no honour in seeing Arabs rush towards normalisation during its presidency,” Maliki said.
In his remarks, he did not specifically name the UAE and Bahrain, Gulf Arab countries that share with Israel concern over Iran. He said Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Aboul Gheit had been informed of the Palestinian decision.
Palestinians rally against Bahrain-Israel normalisation
The Palestinian leadership wants an independent state based on the de facto borders before the 1967 war, in which Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and annexed East Jerusalem.
Arab countries have long called for Israel’s withdrawal from illegally occupied land, a just solution for Palestinian refugees and a settlement that leads to the establishment of a viable, independent Palestinian state, in exchange for establishing ties with it.
In a new move addressing internal Palestinian divisions, officials from West Bank-based President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction and the Gaza-based Hamas movement were due to hold reconciliation talks in Turkey on Tuesday.
Hamas seized the Gaza Strip in 2007 from Fatah forces during a brief round of fighting. Differences over power-sharing have delayed implementation of unity deals agreed since then.
Source : Al Jazeera, News Agencies
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