The jury now has the case in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer charged with murder in the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man.
In closing remarks, the prosecution argued that, “This wasn’t policing, this was murder.” The defense countered that “the state has failed to meet its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt,” according to the Associated Press.
Chauvin was fired from the Minneapolis Police Department on May 25, 2021 after Floyd died in police custody. Video shot by a bystander showed Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes even as Floyd gasped, “I can’t breathe.”
The jury will be sequestered until a verdict is reached.
The incident led to protests – some of which were accompanied by violence – across the nation and gave new momentum to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Vaccinations rise, but so do cases
The latest statistics show progress and problems as the U.S. and world cope with the coronavirus pandemic, now in its second year.
According to the New York Times, new cases in the U.S. have risen by five percent over the last 14 days. Deaths have declined by eight percent, however. One quarter – 25 percent of American adults have been fully vaccinated, and 40 percent have received at least one dose. Public health experts want 70 percent vaccination to create “herd immunity.”
However, the virus is surging in India and Brazil. India now has 15.6 million cases and 178,769 deaths. In Brazil, the case count is at 13.9 million, with 373,335 deaths. Some international health officials fear that there is a big undercount in those nations.
Former VP Mondale dead at 93: Walter Mondale, who served as vice president under Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981 and who was the Democratic presidential candidate in 1984, died Monday at the age of 93. Natural causes were cited.
Mondale served in the U.S. Senate from 1964 to 1976. His candidacy for president ended badly, as he lost in a landslide to Ronald Reagan in which he only carried his home state of Minnesota and the District of Columbia.
He did make history, however, by choosing a woman – Geraldine Ferraro – as his vice presidential running mate. He ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate in 2002.
Business: U.S. trailing China in green jobs?
Climate change poses more than an environmental challenge, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken. USA Today reported Monday that Blinken in a speech said that “green” jobs represent both a big chance and a big concern. “If we succeed, we will capitalize on the greatest opportunity to create quality jobs in generations,” he said.
But he warned that America is falling behind other nations – especially China – in producing solar panels, wind turbines, batteries and electric cars.
Wall Street backs off: After a week of big gains, the investment community retrenched on Monday. The Dow was off 123.04 points to close at 34,077.63. S&P 500 dropped 22.21 to 4,163.26. Nasdaq declined 137.58 to 13,914.77.
Sports: Dodgers ranked 1st; Angels 8th
The weekly ranking of the MLB teams by Sports Illustrated again has the Dodgers (13-3) on top as the number one team. That’s not a tough choice; the boys from Chavez Ravine have the best mark in baseball by a margin of three games. The Angels (8-5) kept their position as the number eight team. SI’s top 10 looks like this: Dodgers, first; Padres, second; White Sox, third; Mets fourth; Astros fifth; Braves, sixth; Twins, seventh; Angels eighth; Yankees, ninth; Reds, 10th.
Monday’s games (results as available)
- Seattle Mariners 4, Dodgers 3: Up north, the Dodgers fell behind early 3-0 and couldn’t quite catch up. Cory Seager had a two-run homer in the third which helped cut the margin. Dustin May (1-1) was tagged with the loss. He worked five innings, giving up four hits – two of them homers – and yielded three earned runs. He struck out eight and walked two. Dodgers are now 13-4, still in first in the NL West, 2.5 games ahead of San Francisco.
- Texas Rangers 6, Angels 4: A four-run rally in the seventh by the Halos wasn’t enough to offset a five-run outburst by the visitors in the fifth. Justin Upton homered for the Angels, his third of the season. Dylan Bundy (0-2) took the loss. The Angels, who have lost three of their last four games, are now 8-6. They remain in second place in the AL West, 1.5 games behind Seattle (11-6).
- Utah Jazz 111, Lakers 97: Talen Horton-Tucker scored 24 points for the Lakers in their loss at Staples Center. Kyle Kuzma added 17. With the loss the Lakers are 35-23 and fifth place in the NBA Western Division.
Weather: Play it cool, cats
After flirting with some summer weather over the weekend, the climate here in West Orange County is back in full spring swing. Tuesday will be sunny, according to the forecasts, with a daytime high of (low of 56). Wednesday will be a bit cooler at 65 (55) with partly cloudy skies. If you’re working for the weekend expect highs in the low 70s with partly cloudy skies. For coastal Huntington Beach, daytime highs should be five to six degrees cooler.
Categories: The Wider World