This is the KBOO Afternoon News brief for Tuesday, May 26th.
There have still been only 113,000 tests for coronavirus in Oregon, where the death toll stands at 138. Ninety seven thousand people have died in the USA so far, 29,000 in New York State. France has shut down its hydroxychloroquine trials, citing deadly side effects. In related news, Republicans in Congress are complaining that $600 unemployment checks are too high and may lead to laziness in the working class; meanwhile, many Oregonians have yet to receive even their basic $1200 relief check. In related news, faced with science stating a larger, deadlier wave of infections is likely to strike in a few weeks due to the premature opening of businesses and public places in conservative states, governors intend to stay the course. Deaths are projected to rise sharply in Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, and Georgia as a result of the re-openings.
The Root and Common Dreams websites reveal White Minneapolis police casually murdered an unarmed, handcuffed Black man as he lay prone on the sidewalk. Viral video shows the man complaining that he cannot breathe as a large policeman crushes the man's neck with his knee. The cop continued to suffocate the man even after it was clear he had passed out, laying unconscious on the asphalt. Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey responded to the killing, saying “Being black in America should not be a death sentence...for five minutes, we watched a white officer press his knee into a black man’s neck. Five minutes. When you hear someone calling for help, you’re supposed to help. This officer failed in the most basic, human sense. What happened on Chicago and 38th [streets] last night is awful. It was traumatic. It serves as a reminder of how far we have to go." After the Minneapolis Police Department issued excuses for the killing and a City council member became politically involved, the FBI announced it was beginning an investigation. In related news, Ethiopia Amdino of Portland will receive $125,000 in compensation after being injured in a wild and out-of-control police pursuit that had nothing to do with him.
Bike Portland and Willamette Week report plans to open South East Portland streets to exclusive pedestrian and bicycle use. The Portland Bureau of Transportation is set to announce details and formal plans Thursday. Portland commissioner Choloe Eudaly's spokeswomann Margaux Weeke was quoted saying "Commissioner Eudaly and PBOT's plan for using the public right of way to support Portland's businesses is well underway." She said the plan "considers open air commerce as a whole, meaning we are designing a permit process that will allow not just restaurants but bars, retail and personal service businesses to access the right of way." The idea is to allow greater space for al fresco dining arrangements during the COVID-19 crisis.
The latest climate report by the Russian forecasting service Roshydromet says that average winter temperatures along the Northern Sea Route, the waters located along the country’s Arctic coast, have increased by about 10 degrees since the 1990s. And the warming is most significant in the areas around the Kara Sea, according to the Barents Observer. The extraordinarily heat continues into spring. Temperature maps show that another heat wave in mid-May swept over the region. In parts of northern Siberia, including the remote Arctic peninsulas of Yamal, Gydan and Taymyr, the average temperature on the 23rd May were as much as 30 degrees higher than normal.
The South China Morning Post says China threatened countermeasures against the United States if it is punished for the Hong Kong sedition law.
The new security law bans treason, subversion and sedition in Hong Kong and comes after months of massive, often-violent pro-democracy protests last year.
But many Hongkongers, business groups and Western nations fear the proposal could be a death blow to the city’s freedoms, and thousands took to the streets on Sunday despite a ban on mass gatherings introduced to combat coronavirus.
As police dispersed the crowds with tear gas and water cannons, the US national security adviser, Robert O’Brien, warned the new law could cost the city its preferential US trading status.
But China’s foreign ministry said Beijing would react to any sanctions from Washington.
“If the US insists on hurting China’s interests, China will have to take every necessary measure to counter and oppose this,” foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Monday.
Radio Havana writes New data from the U.S. Census Bureau found nearly half of all American adults say they or a member of their household had lost employment income since mid-March. But not all Americans have suffered. One new report found the wealth of the nation’s billionaires has increased by $434 billion, or 15%, since the pandemic began. Chuck Collins of the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, DC, reports: “Since March 18th, 38.5 million people have filed for unemployment. Over that same two months, billionaire wealth has surged — $434 billion in that short time. And we’re seeing the billionaire class in the United States, overall, seeing their wealth accelerate in the last couple months. ...Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg’s wealth combined has gone up $60 billion since March 18th.”
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You've been listening to a KBOO Afternoon Covid News update, I'm Theresa Mitchell.
COVID-19 Update 5/26/20
This is the KBOO Afternoon News brief for Tuesday, May 26th.