Friday, April 9, 2021

Wake-Up Call: Floyd Died From Lack Of Oxygen, Not Drugs

Medical experts testified Thursday in former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin's murder and manslaughter trial in the death of George Floyd last May that Floyd died from a lack of oxygen due to being pinned down on the pavement with Chauvin's knee on his neck, not from drugs and his underlying health conditions, which the defense contends.

Lung and critical care specialist Dr. Martin Tobin said that Floyd's breathing was severely constricted when he was pinned down and that the lack of oxygen led to brain damage and caused his heart to stop. He said, "A healthy person subjected to what Mr. Floyd was subjected to would have died." Tobin pointed to a moment in a video clip of the incident about five minutes after police began holding Floyd down when he said a change in Floyd's face told him he was dead, stating, "That’s the moment the life goes out of his body."

Dr. Bill Smock, the police surgeon for the Louisville, Kentucky, department who's an expert on deaths from asphyxia, backed up Tobin in saying that drugs didn't cause Floyd's death. Although Floyd was found to have fentanyl in his system, Smock said he didn't have symptoms of a fentanyl overdose, such as constricted pupils and decreased breathing. He said instead his actions were the opposite, stating, "That is not a fentanyl overdose. That is somebody begging to breathe." He blamed Floyd's death on "positional asphyxia," which is a lack of oxygen because of the position of the body.

➤BIDEN ANNOUNCES EXECUTIVE ACTIONS ON GUNS: President Biden announced several executive actions on guns at the White House on Thursday, saying the U.S. has a, quote, "epidemic and international embarrassment" of gun violence, but said much more needs to be done. The new actions include a move to crack down on so-called "ghost guns," which are homemade weapons that don't have serial numbers and are often bought without a background check, and tightening regulations on pistol-stabilizing braces like the one used in last month's mass shooting in a Boulder, Colorado, supermarket that left 10 people dead. However, some of the more ambitious actions on guns that Biden wants to take he is unable to do without Congress, which would be a tough lift in the evenly-divided Senate. However, he did name some of them, including eliminating lawsuit exemptions for gun manufacturers, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, closing background check loopholes and passing the Violence Against Women Act.


Phillip Adams
Five people were shot and killed early Thursday in South Carolina by 32-year-old former NFL player Phillip Adams, who then took his own life. 

Killed at their Rock Hill home were prominent 70-year-old physician Dr. Robert Lesslie, his 69-year-old wife Barbara, and their grandchildren nine-year-old Adah and five-year-old Noah. A 38-year-old man who'd been working at the home, James Lewis, was found dead outside. A sixth person who'd also been working at the home, Robert Shook, was hospitalized in critical condition. York County Sheriff Kevin Tolson said evidence at the scene led them to Adams as a suspect. 

They went to his parents' home, had them leave, and tried to talk Adams into coming out, but eventually found him dead inside with a gunshot wound to his head. Tolson said they haven't determined a motive. AP cited a source as saying Adams had been treated by Lesslie, but Tolson wouldn't confirm that.

Adams played in 78 NFL games over six seasons for six teams, although he rarely started, and ended his career with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015.

➤TEXAS MAN KILLS ONE, WOUNDS FIVE AT WORKPLACE: A 27-year-old Texas man is accused of killing one person and wounding five others, two of them critically, when he allegedly opened fire yesterday at the Bryan, Texas, cabinet-making company where he worked. A state trooper was also shot and wounded before Larry Winston Bollin was arrested about two hours after the shooting about 25 miles away. Bryan Police Chief Eric Buske said he believes Bollin was an employee at the Kent Moore Cabinets location where the afternoon attack happened. A motive hasn't yet been determined.

🛳FLORIDA SUES FEDS OVER CONTINUED NO-SAIL ORDER FOR CRUISE SHIPS: Republican Governor Ron DeSantis announced yesterday that the state had filed a lawsuit against the federal government over its continued no-sail order for cruise ships, demanding that cruises from U.S. ports be allowed to immediately resume. Florida has three of the world's busiest cruise ship ports, and the industry generates billions of dollars for the economy and employs tens of thousands of state residents. DeSantis said yesterday that the no-sail order is outdated, charging there's, quote, "very little evidence and very little data," and is disproportionately hurting his state. He also pointed to cruising having resumed in much of the world, with industry leaders saying there have been no new Covid-19 outbreaks tied to their ships. Cruise sailings from U.S. ports have been shut down by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention since March 2020 at the start of the pandemic, after several coronavirus outbreaks on cruise ships around the world.

➤NUMBER OF KIDS CROSSING BORDER WITH MEXICO ALONE REACHED ALL-TIME HIGH IN MARCH: There were nearly 19,000 children traveling alone who were picked up as they crossed the border with Mexico in March, the highest-ever monthly number and double what it was in February, according to government data released yesterday. The previous high had been 11,475 in May 2019 and 10,620 in June 2014. The big increase in children traveling alone and in families crossing the border has put a severe strain on border holding facilities, with the government trying to find more space told hold them and hire more staff to care for the children until they can be placed with sponsors.

➤'NO' VOTE AHEAD IN BALLOT COUNTING IN AMAZON UNIONIZATION PUSH IN ALABAMA: The "no" vote was leading in the unionization effort at an Amazon warehouse facility in Bessemer, Alabama, as votes were being counted yesterday. By the evening, the unionization effort was behind by a lot, with 1,100 workers voting no and less than half that, 463, voting yes. The count, which is being conducted by the National Labor Relations Board, will resume this morning. The vote has gotten national attention, with President Biden, pro athletes and Hollywood stars among those who've urged a yes for unionization, which would be a first in Amazon's history.


➤GAETZ ASSOCIATE SEEKING PLEA DEAL IN SEX TRAFFICKING CASE: An associate and political ally of Rep. Matt Gaetz is seeking a plea deal with federal prosecutors in their sex trafficking investigation, it was revealed during a hearing yesterday in Orlando. If a deal if reached, Joel Greenberg could potentially be a witness against the Republican Florida congressman. An attorney for Greenberg, Fritz Scheller, said after the hearing, "I am sure Matt Gaetz is not feeling very comfortable today." Gaetz is reportedly under investigation over whether he violated federal sex trafficking laws, including if he had sex with a 17-year-old and other underage girls, and paid them or offered gifts in exchange for sex.

➤NIKE REACHES SETTLEMENT WITH 'SATAN SHOES':  Nike reached a settlement of its trademark infringement lawsuit with art brand MSCHF yesterday over Lil Nas X's "Satan Shoes" for an undisclosed amount, and as part of the agreement, the Nike Air Max '97 sneakers that were modified with red and black accents, an inverted cross and a "drop of human blood" will be voluntarily recalled. MSCHF will buy back any "Satan Shoes" for their original retail price of $1,018 to remove them from circulation, although it's unclear how many people will actually want to sell them back. The Satan Shoes were released in conjunction with the rapper's controversial music video for the song, "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," which featured Biblical and Satanic imagery, including his character giving Satan a lap dance. At least 200 of the 666 pairs of Satan Shoes that were manufactured were shipped before a judge granted Nike a temporary restraining order on April 1st. According to MarketWatch, David Bernstein, an attorney at the firm that represented MSCHF, said they made the Satan Shoes, quote, "to make a point about how crazy collaboration culture has become," adding that the collection "appeared to be in collaboration with Satan."

➤LINKEDIN IS ADDING ‘STAY-AT-HOME MOM’ AS AN OFFICIAL JOB TITLE: LinkedIn is adding “Stay-At-Home Mom” as an official job title after the site was accused of used “sexist and old-fashioned terminology” to describe breaks from employment. Helen Bolen of New York took to Medium, a blogging platform, to complain that LinkedIn’s drop-down menu automatically suggested “Homemaker” when she searched for mother, father, or housewife. She argues that women are forced to “manipulate” their digital resume to justify the time off taken to have a baby and accuses the site of having gender bias. LinkedIn’s director of engineering, Bef Ayenew, responded, saying, “To make it easier for moms, and all parents, we’re making some important changes to the profile. We introduced two new job titles, including ‘stay-at-home mom,’ ‘stay-at-home dad’ and ‘stay-at-home parent’ to allow full-time parents and caretakers to more accurately display their roles.” He also added, “In the near future, we’ll also add a new field specifically for employment gap types to the profile- like ‘parental leave,’ ‘family care,’ or ‘sabbatical’ so that people can address any gaps in their career journey.” In addition, he said members of the platform will soon be able to add their preferred pronouns.

🏌ROSE IN LEAD AFTER FIRST ROUND OF MASTERS: English golfer Justin Rose is in the lead after the opening round of the Masters Tournament at Augusta National in Georgia yesterday. Rose shot a 7-under 65, giving him a four-stroke lead over American Brian Harman and Hideki Matsuyama of Japan, who are tied in second place. Defending champion Dustin Johnson, who set the record last year at 20-under 268, failed to break par.

🏌FLEETWOOD GETS HOLE-IN-ONE: English golfer Tommy Fleetwood got a hole-in-one in the opening round of the Masters Tournament yesterday. He made the 170-yard shot on the par-3 16th hole at Augusta National. It was the second tournament in a row in which the 30-year-old Fleetwood hit a hole-in-one, after also making one two weeks ago at the Match Play Championship. The rest of the day didn't go as well, however, for Fleetwood, who ended at two-over par.

➤WATSON'S ATTORNEY GRANTED EMERGENCY COURT HEARINGS: The attorney for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, Rusty Hardin, was yesterday granted two emergency court hearings to take place today related to the civil lawsuits that have been brought against Watson alleging sexual assault and misconduct by 22 women. Hardin will be asking a judge to rule that the attorney representing the women, Tony Buzbee, has to identify them. Only two of the women have publicly come forward. Watson has denied the allegations.

🎾FRENCH OPEN TO BE POSTPONED ONE WEEK: The president of the French tennis federation said Thursday that the French Open will be postponed one week because of surging cases of the coronavirus in France. The clay-court Grand Slam tournament was supposed to begin on May 23rd, but will now start on May 30th. Federation president Gilles Moretton said, "This postponement will give us a little more time to improve the health situation and should allow us to optimize our chances of welcoming spectators at Roland Garros." Last year's tournament was postponed several months to September because of the pandemic, and fan attendance was limited to 1,000 people per day.

➤LANCE ARMSTRONG'S SON CHARGED WITH 2018 SEXUAL ASSAULT: Former cyclist Lance Armstrong's 21-year-old son, Luke Armstrong, was arrested Tuesday (April 6th) and has been charged with sexual assault related to a 2018 incident that took place when he was 18, according to media reports yesterday that cited police records. The alleged victim, who is now 19, told police in November 2020 that she was assaulted by Armstrong when she was 16 after he drove her from a party to his father’s house. He has been charged with felony sexual assault of child. Armstrong's attorney claims the two were in a consensual relationship and that he didn't assault her. The arrest affidavit says the woman told police she met Armstrong in June 2018, and that she was at a party and intoxicated two days later when she called him to pick her up. She said she didn't remember the car ride, but she woke up in his house where he sexually assaulted her before driving her home. The girl told police she told six people Armstrong had sex with her, and that four of them remembered her saying it wasn't consensual, while one said she interpreted it as having been consensual.

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