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Latest News New York

White House slams desecration of Mahatma Gandhi statue

New York: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has expressed strong resentment against Mahatma Gandhi’s statue being defaced during protests against police brutality in Washington.

For the protesters, “apparently the line goes all the way to Gandhi”, Kayleigh McEnany said, commenting on the spree of defacing and damaging statutes sweeping the nation.

Gandhi’s statue was defaced with personal insults to him and an unprintable anti-India slogan on June 2 by unknown miscreants. President Donald Trump had called the act a “disgrace.”

Asked about demands by protesters against police brutality and their supporters to remove some statues, she said: “What we’re seeing across the country is really quite confusing, because you’re seeing statues defaced, like Gandhi’s statue defaced and Ulysses S Grant’s statues.”

Before becoming President, Grant was the US commanding general during the civil war leading the fight against the secessionist confederate states that opposed the abolition of slavery.

His statue was pulled down by anti-racism protesters in San Francisco on June 19.

A statue of Columbus was toppled and beheaded in Camden in New Jersey on June 18.

McEnanay said: “We’re being told that George Washington’s statue needs to come down and Thomas Jefferson’s statue needs to come down. Where do you draw the line, you know, from Gandhi, all the way down to George Washington?”

The protests against police brutality, some of which have been violent, were set off by the extra-judicial killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man by a policeman in Minneapolis on May 25.

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Latest News USA

White House slams desecration of Mahatma Gandhi statue

New York: White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has expressed strong resentment against Mahatma Gandhi’s statue being defaced during protests against police brutality in Washington.

For the protesters, “apparently the line goes all the way to Gandhi”, Kayleigh McEnany said, commenting on the spree of defacing and damaging statutes sweeping the nation.

Gandhi’s statue was defaced with personal insults to him and an unprintable anti-India slogan on June 2 by unknown miscreants. President Donald Trump had called the act a “disgrace”.

Asked about demands by protesters against police brutality and their supporters to remove some statues, she said: “What we’re seeing across the country is really quite confusing, because you’re seeing statues defaced, like Gandhi’s statue defaced and Ulysses S Grant’s statues.”

Before becoming President, Grant was the US commanding general during the civil war leading the fight against the secessionist confederate states that opposed the abolition of slavery.

His statue was pulled down by anti-racism protesters in San Francisco on June 19.

A statue of Columbus was toppled and beheaded in Camden in New Jersey on June 18.

McEnanay said: “We’re being told that George Washington’s statue needs to come down and Thomas Jefferson’s statue needs to come down. Where do you draw the line, you know, from Gandhi, all the way down to George Washington?”

The protests against police brutality, some of which have been violent, were set off by the extra-judicial killing of George Floyd, an unarmed African-American man by a policeman in Minneapolis on May 25.

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International USA

‘Stop the pain’: Floyd’s brother testifies before US Congress

Washington: In an emotional testimony, Philonise Floyd urged US lawmakers in a Congressional hearing to “stop the pain” and hoped his brother George Floyd’s death changed the world for the better.

“I’m here today to ask you to make it stop. Stop the pain. Stop us from being tired,” Philonise Floyd testified at the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing titled, “Policing Practices and Law Enforcement Accountability”.

The hearing came a day after funeral services for his older brother, the 46-year-old George Floyd, who died on May 25 after a policeman knelt on his neck for almost nine minutes.

The brutal racial attack sparked anger on America’s streets and fresh calls for police reforms.

Philonise urged the lawmakers to honor those from around the world calling for change in the wake of his brother’s death, media reports said.

“Honor them, honor George and make the necessary changes that make law enforcement the solution and not the problem.

“If his death ends up changing the world for the better, and I think it will, then he died as he lived. It is on you to make sure his death isn’t in vain.” said Philonise.

A few days back, congressional Democrats introduced a legislation seeking sweeping reforms to policing policies, which will make it easier to prosecute police misconduct cases and prevent excessive use of force by law enforcement.

While the Democrats stressed the urgency of reforming the broken police system to end police brutality and racial profiling, the Republicans, though also blaming racism, focused more on condemning the rioters that were agitated in the recent “Black Lives Matter” movement.

They argued that police officers and other law enforcement personnel constitute an important pillar ensuring the safety and security of local communities, and that violence against them should not be ignored.

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International Latest News

Protests break out in London against police brutality

London: Thousands of protesters took to the streets of London, rallying for a second day running to condemn police brutality after the killing of the unarmed black man, George Floyd, in Minneapolis, the US, on May 25. An estimated 10,000 people gathered in the city to demonstrate against the killing.

In an incident at Parliament Square, the statue of Mahatma Gandhi was desecrated by the protesters. A similar incident happened in the city of Bristol. A mob toppled a 125-year-old statue of the slave trader, Edward Colston, and dumping it in the harbor during a ‘Black Lives Matter’ march.

Protests also saw Winston Churchill’s statue being defaced with the word ‘racist’ painted across the plinth. Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, condemned the actions of the group and said that such acts of vandalism were a “distraction from the cause in which people are actually protesting about”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “People have a right to protest peacefully & while observing social distancing but they have no right to attack the police.”

Sadiq Khan, London Mayor, said: “The vast majority of protesters in London were peaceful. But this vital cause was badly let down by a tiny minority who turned violent and threw glass bottles and lit flares, endangering other protesters and injuring police officers. This is simply not acceptable, will not be tolerated and will not win the lasting and necessary change we desperately need to see.”

Scotland Yard said that 29 people were arrested and 14 officers were injured during clashes between police and protesters the day before.

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International Latest News USA

Democrats introduce bill against police violence

Washington: In the wake of anti-racial protests across the US, Democrats have introduced a bill aimed to reform police departments, including language to prohibit actions that caused the death of African-American man George Floyd.

“This moment of national anguish is being transformed into a movement of national action as Americans from across the country peacefully protest to demand an end to injustice. Today, with the justice and policing at the Congress is standing with those fighting for justice and taking action,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Monday while announcing the “Justice in Policing Act” at a press conference along with some 20 Congressmen and senators.

The bill would prohibit officers from using chokeholds or other acts to restrain suspects that could cut off their breathing, tactics that many police departments around the country have already banned but which are still used regularly in certain parts of the US.

In addition, the bill would prohibit judges from approving warrants for police drug raids on residences without first knocking and announcing themselves as police.

The bill would also formally state that police tactics that are racially discriminatory are illegal and would require police departments to deliver data to a federal government database on the use of force so that any negligent police conduct can be catalogued and monitored.

Also, the bill would make it easier for victims to sue police departments for civil rights violations.

The bill specifically states that it is not only geared at preventing police abuses in African-American communities, but also against Latinos, Asian Americans and Native Americans, according to the Congressional Black Caucus president, Karen Bass.

However, the bill does not address the demand being made by the Black Lives Matter movement and many progressives who have been demonstrating since Floyd’s death that police departments be “defunded”, that is have their funding severely reduced or eliminated, and those funds invested in local communities.

President Donald Trump reacted to the Democratic bill, saying: “LAW & ORDER, NOT DEFUND AND ABOLISH THE POLICE. The Radical Left Democrats have gone Crazy.”

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International USA

Powell to endorse Biden; calls Trump a liar

Washington: Ruing that President Donald Trump “lies all the time”, former Secretary of State Colin Powell became the first Republican to endorse Democratic candidate Joe Biden for the upcoming presidential election.

“I’m very close to Joe Biden on a social matter and on a political matter. I worked with him for 35, 40 years, and he is now the candidate and I will be voting for him,” Powell told CNN in an interview.

In response to the endorsement, Biden said in a tweet: “This isn’t about politics. This is about the future of our country. Grateful for your support, Secretary Powell.”

The former top diplomat slammed Trump calling him an ineffective leader, who has “drifted away” from the US Constitution and “lies about things”.

“We have a Constitution. And we have to follow that Constitution. And the President has drifted away from it,” Powell, a retired general, told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “State of the Union.”

“The situation has gotten worse,” Powell told CNN in an interview, adding: “Every American citizen has to sit down and think (it) through… Use your common sense. Say, ‘Is this good for my country?’

Powell had led the US military during the 1991 Gulf War in Iraq under Republican former President George HW Bush and later led the Department of State under President George W Bush.

In response to Powell’s interview, Trump took to Twitter recalling the role the former Secretary of State played in the narrative pushed by the George W Bush administration that Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that the US had to go to war with the Middle Eastern nation to ensure they were not used against Washington or its allies.

“Colin Powell, a real stiff who was very responsible for getting us into the disastrous Middle East Wars, just announced he will be voting for another stiff, Sleepy Joe Biden,” Trump tweeted.

“Didn’t Powell say that Iraq had ‘weapons of mass destruction?’ They didn’t, but off we went to WAR.”

The President also said that Powell, a four-star general, is “overrated”.

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Latest News New York

NYT editor resigns over controversial article

New York: The New York Times’ editorial page editor James Bennet has resigned following public furor over the publishing of an op-ed piece calling for military forces to quell anti-racism protests.

The article was written by Tom Cotton, a Donald Trump loyalist and a junior senator for Arkansas.

Titled, Send in the Troops, the article called for Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 and use military force against citizens to suppress unrest sparked by the death of George Floyd.

The newspaper had initially stood by the publication but then said the article “did not meet” its standards, the BBC reported.

The article’s publication also led to widespread criticism within the NYT newsroom. Over 800 staff members signed a letter of protest to senior editors and the company’s executives, arguing that Cotton’s article contained misinformation.

Bennet later apologized and admitted that he had not read the piece before its publication.

Hundreds of thousands of Americans have been protesting in recent weeks against racism and police brutality.

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