|WSJ Graphic 7/9/2020|
But some governors pushed back against Trump's pressure, saying he has no authority over what schools will do in the fall. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said, "School reopenings are a state decision, period."
|Chicago Tribune 7/9/20|
Among what Floyd said while Officer Derek Chauvin's knee was on his neck was, "You're going to kill me, man," and "They'll kill me. They'll kill me. I can't breathe. I can't breathe." The transcripts were made public as part of former Officer Thomas Lane's request to have the aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter case against him dismissed, with his attorney, Earl Gray, contending there isn't probable cause to charge him. Lane was one of three other officers involved in the May 25th incident. Gray said Lane had asked twice if they should roll Floyd, who was on his stomach handcuffed, on his side and Chauvin said no.
Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter. The other two former officers, J. Kueng and Tou Thao, are also charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and manslaughter. All four officers were fired.
➤SUPREME COURT: EMPLOYERS CAN BLOCK FREE BIRTH CONTROL COVERAGE BASED ON RELIGIOUS, MORAL OBJECTIONS: The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that employers can be exempt from the provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires health insurance to cover birth control free of charge if the employer has a religious or moral objection. Two of the court's liberals -- Justices Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer -- joined the five conservatives in the 7-2 decision. The ruling upheld the administration saying in 2017 that it would allow the birth control exemption, with Justice Clarence Thomas writing in the decision that the administration had the authority to make the change and followed appropriate procedures to do so. The ACA had initially exempted churches, synagogues and mosques from the birth control coverage requirement, and created a way to allow religiously-affiliated organizations like hospitals, universities and charities to opt out too. But the Trump administration expanded the exemption beyond religious and religiously-affiliated organizations.
➤DRIVER WHO KILLED SEATTLE PROTESTER, INJURED ANOTHER CHARGED WITH VEHICULAR HOMICIDE: A 27-year-old man who hit two Black Lives Matter protesters with his car on a Seattle highway early Saturday morning, killing one of them and injuring the other, was charged Wednesday with vehicular homicide, vehicular assault and reckless driving. Dawit Kelete remains in custody on $1.2 million bail. Kelete, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from the African nation of Eritrea, drove around vehicles that were parked on the highway to protect the protesters and hit two people. Summer Taylor, who was 24, died hours later, and Diaz Love was hospitalized with internal injuries and multiple fractures. Kelete's attorney, John Henry Brown, said his client didn't intentionally hit the protesters, calling it a "horrible, horrible accident," and saying, "My client is in tears. He’s very remorseful. He feels tremendous guilt."
➤VINDMAN, WHO TESTIFIED IN IMPEACHMENT CASE, RETIRES FROM ARMY; ATTORNEY BLAMES TRUMP: Lieutenant Colonel Alexander Vindman, who testified in President Trump's impeachment inquiry, announced yesterday that he's retiring from the Army, with his attorney, David Pressman, accusing Trump of carrying out a, quote, "campaign of bullying, intimidation and retaliation" against Vindman.
Trump removed Vindman from his National Security Council job in February, two days after the president was acquitted in his Senate impeachment trial. Vindman had testified before House impeachment investigators about Trump's phone call last July that sparked the impeachment probe in which he pressured Ukraine's president to investigate his then-potential 2020 presidential rival Joe Biden and his son Hunter Biden, using approved congressional aid and a desired White House visit as leverage. During his testimony, he spoke about his father, who brought the family to the U.S. from the Soviet Union when Vindman was a child, and how he'd reassured his father about him testifying, saying that he'd be fine because he was telling the truth and that his father shouldn't worry, quote, "because this is America. . . . Here right matters."
➤MLS RETURNS WITH 2-1 ORLANDO WIN OVER MIAMI: Major League Soccer returned from its coronavirus shutdown last night with a 2-1 Orlando City win over Inter Miami in the opening game of the MLS is Back tournament at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports complex at Disney World. There were no fans in attendance. Before the game, nearly 200 players went on the field for an eight-minute, 46-minute moment of silence to protest racial injustice, representing the length of time George Floyd was on the ground with a police officer's knee on his neck. Some players raised their right arms, wore black face masks that said "Black Lives Matter," black gloves, and black T-shirts with messages that included, "Black And Proud," "Silence Is Violence" and "Black All The Time." Several players also took a knee.
➤IVY LEAGUE CANCELS FALL SPORTS: The Ivy League canceled all fall sports, including football, on Wednesday (July 8th) due to the coronavirus pandemic, becoming the first Division I conference to do so. Also affected are soccer, field hockey, volleyball, cross country, and the fall part of winter sports like basketball. However, the league left open the possibility of moving some seasons to the spring if the pandemic is better controlled in the U.S. by then.