The city of Minneapolis has agreed to pay $27 million to George Floyd’s family to settle a lawsuit over his death in May after police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on his neck for nine minutes, igniting a national reckoning over police violence. “If I could get him back,” said brother Philonise Floyd, “I would give all of this back.” But legal experts fault the timing: The settlement indicating fault could be grounds for a mistrial in Chauvin’s ongoing trial. Prosecutors got a boost Thursday from a ruling to reinstate a third-degree murder charge requiring less proof than Chauvin’s existing second-degree charge. Said one protester outside the courthouse, “it's something. We really need something.”
There are no winners in this battle royal. Last Sunday, the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, and her husband, Prince Harry, may have shifted the foundations of Buckingham Palace a little with their interview with Oprah Winfrey. Accusing their estranged royal family of racism, they prompted both a measured palace response and an ill-advised denial from Harry’s brother, Prince William. And while applauded by those seeking more racial awareness, the Sussexes’ popularity in Britain has never been lower. Nonetheless, the princes reportedly plan to honor their equally controversial mum, Princess Diana, by unveiling a statue of her “shoulder to shoulder” in July.
He’s calling it “cancel culture.” But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who was recently seen as one of the party’s brightest lights, is now up against Democrats who think he should resign or face impeachment. He remains defiant, despite at least six women’s allegations of sexual misconduct and his reported attempts to conceal the true pandemic death toll in state nursing homes. Meanwhile most of the state’s top politicians, from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to progressive firebrand Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, say he’s lost his ability to govern and needs to make room for a replacement.
Like his predecessor, President Joe Biden wants to end “forever wars” like America’s 20-year struggle with the Taliban. But as veteran journalist Michael Hirsh reports in Foreign Policy, career military and intel officials aren’t saluting. Biden even wants Congress to end authorizations for both the “war on terror” and Iraq, but some in the administration argue that a quick pullout, now scheduled for May 1, risks an Iraq-like scenario that could elevate new threats like ISIS. If all goes the commander in chief’s way, he’ll be able to declare an end to the Afghan war in time for the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
Four more people were killed in protests against Myanmar’s military junta today, bringing the death toll since the Feb. 1 coup above 70. Americans have been getting vaccinated faster than ever as other nations ask the U.S. to share its unapproved and unused stockpile of AstraZeneca doses. And the $1,400 stimulus checks approved with the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package are already landing in some Americans’ bank accounts.
This week on The Carlos Watson Show, we're highlighting the pioneers — industry titans who have changed their field and are blazing their own path. She’s hilarious. She’s inappropriate. She’s comedy legend Kathy Griffin. Find out why the Guinness World Record holder for most stand-up comedy specials calls herself the “comedy zombie,” the inside story of her recent marriage and what it was really like being interviewed by the U.S. Secret Service over that infamous photo.
When the world is unpredictable, comfort matters. At DUER, we believe that getting dressed should be simple — so we’ve created one pant that can do it all. From a weekend bingeing Netflix to a high-pressure pitch or a winter commute, our pants can take on any challenge. Not convinced? Maybe 5,000 5-star reviews will drive it home.
The time has come. Or so U.S. legislators say about “springing forward” an hour at 2 a.m. Sunday, then “falling back” to standard time in November. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, along with four fellow Republicans and three Democrats, are reintroducing the Sunshine Protection Act, which would keep daylight saving time year-round. Fifteen states, red and blue, have enacted similar measures but need Congress to make it work. But many parents don’t want their kids risking dark winter trips to school, while some say it’s time to have one global time zone and plan our days by the sun’s movements.
The machine learns. And one of the things that Facebook appears to have learned in its recent soul-searching is that its success depends upon machine learning artificial intelligence, writes MIT Technology Review AI reporter Karen Hao. While its top expert is working to combat the algorithms’ bias against people of color, for instance, it’s not going after their propensity to excite users with such things as hate speech that propelled genocide in Myanmar, or to recommend joining extremists’ pages. Facebook maintains the AI isn’t the culprit, but according to Hao’s research, repeated internal studies by the social network suggest otherwise.
Is home just a word? That question from the film Nomadland could apply to its director. Zhao, who was the first Asian woman to win a Golden Globe for best director, can expect an Oscar nod on Monday. But China’s netizens are blasting her for allegedly calling America “my country” — although the Australian site quoting her has corrected that — and her nearly decade-old assertion that there are “lies everywhere” in China. The reactions have cast doubt about Nomadland’s China debut, and worse, Zhao’s potential Marvel blockbuster, The Eternals. The effort to control the damage at the world’s biggest box office is raising concerns that Beijing gets final say over this narrative.
“We didn't really care about privacy.” It seems shocking, especially in data-sensitive Europe, but this reflection from internet freedom campaigner Siim Tuisk helps explain Estonia’s comfort with digital IDs. Unlike the rest of Europe, the innovative Baltic nation that helped create Skype implemented its system two decades ago. Now the European Union is struggling with the concept, and Estonia provides a perfect example, with nearly all government services, along with commercial transactions, done easily online. But it’s a small country, and there have been cases of data misuse, like a cop who got in trouble for checking his future bride’s medical prescriptions.
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5. Censorship on the Roof of the World
It was some of the worst PR Mt. Everest had suffered: a photo of a line of people summiting in 2019, showing how crowded it had gotten at an altitude that often kills climbers. Now Nepalese authorities, criticized for their liberal issuance of climbing and guiding permits, have found a solution: stop taking photos of other climbers without government permission. The rule is to go into force for this year’s first climbing season after a pandemic hiatus, along with more stringent requirements for guides in an attempt to improve safety — rules veteran mountaineers are greeting with skepticism.