The Wider World

Violence following death of Floyd

 

A LOUD but peaceful protest slowed cars at Orange Plaza traffic circle Saturday afternoon in downtown Orange. Sign in foreground reads “Being black should not be a death sentence.” (Orange County Tribune photo by Jim Tortolano).

UPDATE: The violent protests and looting in Minneapolis seem to be under control in that city as the National Guard moved in to restore order, but return of both peaceful and violent action in the wake of the death of George Floyd continued Saturday night across America.

An estimated 1,400 people have been arrested, according to news reports, and National Guard forces have been mobilized on Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and other cities.

In Nashville, some fires were started in City Hall, and two police vans ran into protesters in New York City.

Some of the violence may be stoked by “outsiders” – both black and white – who are purportedly said to be seeking to foment disorder for political or other reasons, according to the New York Times.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz suggested that anarchists, white supremacists and even drug cartels contributed to the fires and violence in an “organized attempt to destabilize society,” according to United Press International.

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Protests over the controversial death of a handcuffed black man in Minneapolis are continuing to spread across the country.

For the third day, demonstrations – some peaceful, some violent – raged across not just the Twin Cities area, but also to Louisville, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Brooklyn.

In Minnesota, the entire National Guard there is being mobilized in an attempt to bring order to the streets. “The situation in Minneapolis is no longer in any way about the murder of George Floyd,” said Gov. Tim Walz.

“It is about attacking civil society, instilling fear and disrupting our great cities,” he said, according to multiple reports.

Floyd died after a white police officer – identified as Derek Chauvin – knelt on his neck for eight minutes despite his pleas that the man could not breathe. Four police officers involved in the incident were fired, and Chauvin has been arrested for murder and manslaughter.

Protesters and others have called for the arrest of the other three officers who were at the scene. Floyd was arrested as a forgery suspect.

In Orange County, the protesting came to downtown Orange (see above) on Saturday afternoon as a crowd estimated at several hundred loudly demonstrated as they paraded around the Plaza at the intersection of Glassell Street and Chapman Avenue.

The demonstration slowed autos seeking to navigate the traffic circle, but did not block progress. Protesters chanted “No justice, no peace!,” “Black lives matter!” and “Justice for Floyd!”

FALCON rocket lifts Dragon rocket into orbit Saturday (NASA image).

U.S. blasts back into the space race

The first return to space flight with American rockets and capsules from U.S. soil in nearly a decade took place successfully Saturday as the Dragon capsule rode a Falcon 9 rocket – both designed and built by Elon Musk’s Space X firm – into orbit.

Lifting off from Cape Canaveral, NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, left earth’s gravity with a plan to dock Sunday with the International Space Station for a four-month stay.

This “space shot” was from the same launch pad used by the astronauts who journeyed around and to the moon in the late 60s and early 70s.

“Thanks for the great ride to space,” said Hurley to ground control. The astronauts will return to earth with a splashdown into the ocean.

Coronavirus cases now top 6 million

The total worldwide count of confirmed coronavirus cases has exceeded six million people.

According to Johns Hopkins University, Saturday’s count by mid-afternoon was at 6,003,762.

The nation with the most cases continues to be the United States with 1,764,671 cases. Following are Brazil (465,166), Russia (396,575), United Kingdom/Great Britain (274,219) and Spain (239,228).

Global deaths are now recorded at 367,627, with the U.S. fatalities now pegged at 103,605. Following are the U.K. (38,458), Italy (33,340), France (28,717) and Brazil (27,678).

Put your fog lamps on in the a.m.

If you like London, you might like mornings in Orange County for the next few days. The National Weather Service is predicting patchy fog in the mornings through this weekend and all next week.  Look for partly sunny conditions in the afternoons, with highs ranging from 77 (Sunday) to 83 (Wednesday).

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