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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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Latest News New York

Trump to relaunch campaign trail from Tulsa

New York: Ending a three month-long hiatus due to the ongoing Covid pandemic, President Donald Trump is set to relaunch his election campaign next week.

“We’re going to be starting our rallies. The first one, we believe, will be probably — we’re just starting to call up — will be in Oklahoma — in Tulsa, Oklahoma,” he said.

The rally will take place on 19 June, known as “Juneteenth”, the BBC reported.

The timing and place of Trump’s election campaign is significant as it is on June 19 that African-Americans celebrate the end of slavery, and the city of Tulsa was the site of one of the worst massacres of black people in US history in 1921.

The news follows weeks of anti-racism protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man, in police custody.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, who will be the Democratic Party candidate to run against Trump, is leading the President by 8.1 per cent in the latest RealClear Politics average of polls giving a sense of urgency to Trump’s campaign.

Trump did not say what kind of anti-coronavirus precautions will be taken at the rally, but Oklahoma state has one of the lowest infections rates at 1,890 cases per million with a total of 7,480 cases as of Wednesday evening, according to Worldometer.

“They’ve done a great job with COVID, as you know, in the state of Oklahoma,” Trump said.

Trump has chosen a state that is staunchly Republican to ensure that he gets a rousing reception at the campaign relaunch. He had won 65 per cent of the votes in 2016 and state’s Governor Kevin Stitt is a Republican.

After that, he said “we’re going to be coming into Florida — do a big one in Florida, a big one in Texas. They’re all going to be big. We’re going to Arizona”.

Meanwhile, Trump’s campaign has asked CNN to retract and apologize for a recent poll that showed him well behind Biden.

A CNN poll conducted by SSRS showed Trump trailing the former vice president by 14 points, 55%-41%, among registered voters. It also found the President’s approval rating at 38% — his worst mark since January 2019, and roughly on par with approval ratings for one-term Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush at this point in their reelection years — and his disapproval rating at 57%.

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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 Latest News USA

Trump orders National Guard to leave DC

Washington: Assuring that the capital is “under perfect control”, President Donald Trump said he has ordered the National Guard Troops to start withdrawing from Washington.

“I have just given an order for our National Guard to start the process of withdrawing from Washington, D.C., now that everything is under perfect control,” the President tweeted on Sunday.

“They will be going home, but can quickly return, if needed. Far fewer protesters showed up last night than anticipated.”

The 5,000 National Guard troops brought to Washington last week to quell protests against the death of a black man in police custody.

A group of uniformed military personnel were seen in front of the White House last weekend, as thousands of protesters swelled into D.C. to stage what has been the largest demonstration in the capital.

Less than a week ago as the protests escalated and reached the doorsteps of the presidential residence, Trump threatened the use of active-duty military forces to quell the protests, a decision that drew harsh condemnation from both incumbent and former officials.

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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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Ads International

Minneapolis bids adieu to George Floyd

Minneapolis: Minneapolis bid farewell to George Floyd 10 days after his death in police custody which triggered the country’s largest racial justice protests of the 21st century.

Floyd’s funeral will take place in Texas on June 9, but on Thursday a memorial service was held in Minneapolis, the city in which he had lived for the past few years and where he was killed on May 25, reports Efe news.

“George Floyd’s story has been the story of black folks. Because ever since 401 years ago, the reason we could never be who we wanted and dreamed to be is you kept your knee on our neck,” Reverend Al Sharpton said in a eulogy.

Passersby made videos of the incident with their mobile phones that showed Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin, kneeling with his full body weight on Floyd’s neck after he had been handcuffed and placed facedown on the pavement.

On Wednesday, the attorney general of Minnesota, Keith Ellison, said the charge against Chauvin has been upgraded to second-degree murder from the charges of third-degree murder and manslaughter levelled against him on May 29.

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Latest News New York

Indian-American becomes ‘hero’ for providing refuge to protesters

New York: Indian-American businessman Rahul Dubey has become a hero on the social media for protecting about 70 people from arrest.

These people had violated curfew in Washington during protests against police brutality.

Dubey waved at these protesters and welcomed them into his home for which he got “a round of applause from protesters and supporters”, ABC TV in Washington reported.

Dubey told the station: “I hope they continue to fight and I hope they go out there today peacefully as they did yesterday. Our country needs them and needs you and everybody more than ever right now.”

NBC TV said he took dozens of protesters into his “home overnight after police boxed them in and tried to arrest them for violating curfew”.

He “let them stay there until curfew let up the next morning as police continued to arrest people outside” it said, quoting a protester identified only as Meka.

Meka tweeted that police “shot mace at peaceful protesters in a residential neighborhood” and that Dubey “gave us business cards in case they try to say we broke in”.

There have been widespread protests around the US following the video-recorded extra-judicial killing of an African-American man by a policeman who choked him to death by kneeling on his neck in Minneapolis last week.

Some of the protests have turned violent with a section of the demonstrators looting stores, damaging public property and setting a church in Washington on fire.

Following the violence, Washington and dozens of cities and towns have imposed night curfew.

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