Thursday, Sept. 21, 2023|
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Witnesses: Onlooker anger increased as Floyd stopped moving
MINNEAPOLIS — Onlookers grew increasingly angry as they begged Minneapolis Officer Derek Chauvin to take his knee off George Floyd’s neck, but Chauvin would not let up, and another officer forced back members of the crowd who tried to intervene, witnesses testified Tuesday at Chauvin’s murder trial.
Witness after witness described how Chauvin was unmoved by their pleas, with the teenager who shot the harrowing video of the arrest that set off nationwide protests testifying that the officer gave the crowd a “cold” and “heartless” stare.
“He didn’t care. It seemed as if he didn’t care what we were saying,” said 18-year-old Darnella Frazier, one of several witnesses who testified through tears.
Chauvin continued to kneel on Floyd while fellow Officer Tou Thao held the crowd of about 15 back, even when one of the onlookers identified herself as a firefighter and pleaded repeatedly to check Floyd’s pulse, according to witnesses and bystander video.
“They definitely put their hands on the Mace, and we all pulled back,” Frazier told the jury.
Video shows vicious attack of Asian American woman in NYC
NEW YORK — A vicious attack on an Asian American woman as she walked to church near New York City’s Times Square is drawing widespread condemnation and raising alarms about the failure of bystanders to intervene amid a rash of anti-Asian violence across the U.S.
A lone assailant was seen on surveillance video late Monday morning, kicking the 65-year-old woman in the stomach, knocking her to the ground and stomping on her face, all as police say he shouted anti-Asian slurs and told her, “you don’t belong here.”
The attack happened outside an apartment building two blocks from Times Square, a bustling, heavily policed section of midtown Manhattan known as the “Crossroads of the World.”
Two workers inside the building who appeared to be security guards were seen on the video witnessing the attack but failing to come to the woman’s aid. Their union said they called for help immediately. The attacker was able to casually walk away while onlookers watched, the video showed.
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called the video of the attack “absolutely disgusting and outrageous” and said it was “absolutely unacceptable” that witnesses did not intervene.
Germany to restrict AstraZeneca use in under-60s over clots
BERLIN — German health officials agreed Tuesday to restrict the use of AstraZeneca’s coronavirus vaccine in people under 60, amid fresh concern over unusual blood clots reported in a tiny number of those who received the shots.
Health Minister Jens Spahn and state officials agreed unanimously to only give the vaccine to people aged 60 or older, unless they belong to a high-risk category for serious illness from COVID-19 and have agreed to take the vaccine despite the small risk of a serious side-effect. The same option will be available to anyone who gets the shot at their GP, which will start to become possible later this month.
“In sum it’s about weighing the risk of a side effect that is statistically small, but needs to be taken seriously, and the risk of falling ill with corona,” Spahn told reporters in Berlin.
The move follows the recommendations of Germany’s independent vaccine expert panel and comes after the country’s medical regulator released new data showing a rise in reported cases of an unusual form of blood clot in the head — known as sinus vein thrombosis — in recent recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
The news is a further blow to the vaccine, which is critical to Europe’s immunization campaign and a linchpin in the global strategy to get shots to poorer countries. It comes less than two weeks after the EU drug regulator said the vaccine does not increase the overall incidence of blood clots following a similar scare.
Over 4,000 migrants, many kids, crowded into Texas facility
DONNA, Texas — The Biden administration for the first time Tuesday allowed journalists inside its main border detention facility for migrant children, revealing a severely overcrowded tent structure where more than 4,000 people, including children and families, were crammed into a space intended for 250 and the youngest were kept in a large play pen with mats on the floor for sleeping.
With thousands of children and families arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border in recent weeks and packing facilities, President Joe Biden has been under pressure to bring more transparency to the process. U.S. Customs and Border Protection allowed two journalists from the Associated Press and a crew from CBS to tour the facility in Donna, Texas, in the Rio Grande Valley, on the condition they share their reporting with other outlets as part of a pool arrangement.
More than 4,100 people were being housed on the property Tuesday, 3,400 of them unaccompanied children and the rest people who arrived in families, a mix of parents and children. Most were unaccompanied children processed in tents before being taken to facilities run by the Department of Health and Human Services and then placed with a family member, relative or sponsor.
The children were being housed by the hundreds in eight “pods” formed by plastic dividers, each about 3,200 square feet in size. Many of the pods had more than 500 children in them, spaced closely together and many of them laying on the ground on mats and foil blankets.
Oscar Escamilla, acting executive officer of the U.S. Border Patrol in the Rio Grande Valley, said 250 to 300 kids enter daily and far fewer leave.
Olympic gold medalist charged with child sex abuse in Utah
SALT LAKE CITY — A gold medalist in sledding at the 2002 Winter Olympics has been charged with sexual abuse of a child in Utah, authorities said.
James “Jimmy” Shea made his first court appearance Monday on one count of aggravated sexual abuse of a child and two counts of sexual battery. The incidents occurred in 2020, court documents show.
Shea’s attorney, Rudy Bautista, said Tuesday that the charges are a result of a family dispute and a misunderstanding about what his client contends was loving and affectionate touching.
Shea, 52, plans to plead not guilty to the charges that he thinks should be dropped, Bautista said.
The Associated Press isn’t identifying the relationship of the alleged victim to Shea to protect the child’s identity. In general, the AP does not identify people who say they are victims of sexual abuse.
SpaceX launches test rocket, breaks apart before landing
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — SpaceX chalked up another failed landing Tuesday for its futuristic, bullet-shaped Starship, as the prototype Mars rocket broke apart right before touchdown.
A camera on the rocket froze not quite six minutes into the test flight, and dense fog in South Texas obscured views of the ruptured rocket. Other video showed debris raining down and explosions could be heard.
“At least the crater is in the right place!” SpaceX chief executive Elon Musk tweeted.
Musk said “something significant” happened shortly after the engine firings for landing: “Should know what it was once we can examine the bits later today.” In addition, one of the three engines had trouble during the ascent, he noted.
This was the fourth full-scale stainless steel model to launch since December to an altitude of more than 6 miles (10 kilometers). The previous three exploded at touchdown or shortly afterward. The prototype is 164 feet (50 meters) tall.
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