The Department of Justice will open a wide-ranging investigation into whether the Minneapolis police department exhibits systemic discriminatory patterns of enforcement, Attorney General Merrick Garland revealed yesterday. The move comes one day after former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin was found guilty on murder and manslaughter charges in the May death of George Floyd.
Known as pattern-or-practice probes, investigators typically look for repeated instances of behaviors
like excessive force, Fourth Amendment violations, discriminatory policing outcomes, and more. Instead of resulting in charges, the inquiries often end with an overhaul of a department's policies, training, and accountability practices. The investigation is separate from a civil rights probe into Floyd's death launched by former Attorney General William Barr, which is still ongoing.
In related news, Garland last week reinstituted broad use of consent decrees in police reform—a mechanism that facilitates policy changes without either party admitting blame or liability.
Protests and Hunger Strikes
More than 1,000 people were reportedly arrested across Russia yesterday in protests supporting jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny. The 44-year-old dissident is roughly three months into a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence, but is reportedly in the third week of a hunger strike that has left him weak and near death. He was moved to a prison hospital Sunday, where officials say he has agreed to vitamin infusions.
One of the most outspoken critics of Russian President Vladimir
Putin, Navalny was nearly killed in a poisoning attempt in August. Evacuated to Berlin, Navalny recovered from a coma and returned to Russia in January—at which point he was promptly arrested for violating probation. His case has sparked ongoing protests, mostly youth-driven, across the country, with more than 11,000 people being arrested.
Read about Russia's tradition of prisoner hunger strikes here. ($$, WashPo)
Biden Sets Climate Goals
President Joe Biden will pledge to cut US greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% from 2005 levels over the next nine years, according to sources yesterday. The 2030 target—while nonbinding and mostly symbolic—represents the most ambitious part of the administration's climate agenda to date. For reference, previous targets set under the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement committed the US to a decrease of up to 28% from 2005 levels by 2025.
The announcement coincides with the
White House's virtual two-day climate summit set to begin today. More than 40 world leaders are expected to join—most notably Chinese President Xi Jinping. China accounts for more than a quarter of the world's emissions (see breakdown), producing almost double the annual carbon dioxide output of the US.
US emissions have already dropped by about 12% since 2007, spurred largely by the adoption of natural
gas power plants.
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Trust us, LMNT co-founder Robb Wolf knows what he’s talking about. He’s a former research biochemist, two-time New York Times bestselling author, and worked on the Navy SEAL resiliency committee for a decade. After years of mixing his own homemade electrolytes blends and frustration with the lack of healthy options on the market, LMNT Recharge was born.
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>International Olympic Committee reiterates policy that athletes will be punished for kneeling or raising a fist in protest at Tokyo Summer Olympics (More)
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>Engineers demonstrate large-scale origami materials that lock into place without external support, offering a new pathway for rigid deployable structures (More)
> Fallout from nuclear tests performed in the 1950s and 1960s is
detectable in some honeys, study finds; radioactive cesium was dispersed by wind, dissolved into the water supply, and can be mistaken by plants as potassium (More)
Business & Markets
>US stock markets up (S&P 500 +0.9%, Dow +0.9%, Nasdaq +1.2%) as economic reopening drives small-cap stock returns (More)
>Tech companies Google, Apple, Spotify, Match Group, and others testify before Senate Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust to discuss app distribution power of tech giants (More)
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Politics & World Affairs
>Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance to stop prosecuting arrests of prostitution, requests judge to dismiss decades of cases (More) | Virginia becomes first southern state, 17th overall state, to legalize marijuana (More)
>Biden administration announces small business tax credits to companies to cover paid time off for employees getting vaccines (More) | Biden reportedly set to formally recognize the Armenian genocide, likely inflaming tensions with Turkey (More, $$, WSJ)
>Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) declares state of emergency at the Arizona-Mexico border amid surge in migrants, activates 250 National Guard members to support local border law enforcement (More)
It's Time to Ditch Outdoor Masks
Atlantic | Derek Thompson. As vaccination rates rise and COVID-19 deaths drop, Americans need an off-ramp from pandemic restrictions. Wearing masks outdoors, where transmission is already highly unlikely in most scenarios, is a welcome place to start. (Read, $$)
Vanity Fair | Michelle Ruiz. Britain's Prince William and Prince Harry grew up together in the shadow of the tragic death of their mother, Princess Diana. Can the ruptured relationship, culminating with Harry's exit from royal duties and accusations of racism at Buckingham Palace, ever be repaired? (Read)
Historybook: Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Ellen Glasgow born (1873); Earth Day first celebrated in US (1970); RIP photographer Ansel Adams (1984); RIP President Richard Nixon (1994); Former NFL football player Pat Tillman killed during the war in Afghanistan (2004).
"Passion is what makes life interesting."
- Pat Tillman
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