Monday morning news – June 1, 2020

Protests continue, rioters strike near White House » AUDIO: [Sound of protest]

Protests continued across the country Sunday in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody one week ago. Most demonstrations were peaceful, like this march in Brooklyn:  

AUDIO: [Sound of protest]

But violent protesters and opportunists also struck once more from coast to coast. 

AUDIO: [Sound of protest]

In Washington D.C. officials this morning are sweeping sidewalks covered with shattered glass near the White House. Rioters and looters set fires, vandalized cars and buildings, and attacked law enforcement. Chief Peter Newsham of D.C. Metro Police said some of the rioters attacked officers with bricks and that’s not all.

NEWSHAM: And one of the things that we saw in this event that we have not seen in the past is they were throwing incendiary devices. 

As many as 50 Secret Service officers were also reportedly wounded. 

And D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser also said it was clear that some arrived with tools to commit acts of violence or—quote—“a strategy to distribute materials among them.”

BOWSER: So I would say the thing that we’re struck by is that it was an organized group that appeared more bent on destruction than on protests.

O’Brien: ANITIFA, foreign adversaries fueling violence » On Sunday, President Trump announced that the U.S. government will designate the far left group ANTIFA as a terrorist organization. 

National security adviser Robert O’Brien said ANTIFA members have been on the ground in various cities inciting and engaging in violence.

O’BRIEN: The FBI’s got to come up with a plan to deal with ANTIFA. This is not the first time that they’ve engaged in this activity. 

But O’Brien added that numerous entities are fueling violent unrest online—including several foreign foes. 

His remarks followed comments by Acting Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Marco Rubio. On Saturday, he tweeted that the intel community was seeing “VERY heavy social media activity” related to the protests from “accounts linked to at least three foreign adversaries”.

Rubio said they “are actively stoking and promoting violence and confrontation from multiple angles.”

And Robert O’Brien told ABC’s This week

O’BRIEN: Marco Rubio is 100 percent correct that our foreign adversaries are going to take advantage of this crisis to sew discord and to try and damage our democracy, and we’re not going to let that happen. 

O’Brien said Iran has routinely engaged in this kind of activity. He also said Russian activists may also be trying to fuel discord. But he added—quote— “That’s different from China, where “it’s coming straight from the government.”

Family identifies federal officer killed amid rioting » The family of a Federal Protective Service officer killed amid rioting in Oakland, California have identified him as 53-year-old Patrick Underwood.

Authorities said Underwood and another officer were guarding a federal building when someone pulled up in a vehicle and opened fire, striking both officers. The second officer has not been identified. He remains in critical condition. 

Local and Homeland Security officials say they believe the shooting is connected to protests over Floyds death. 

NASA astronauts arrive at space station aboard SpaceX capsule » SpaceX delivered two astronauts to the International Space Station for NASA on Sunday. 

AUDIO: Soft capture complete. Soft capture confirmed. Stand by for retraction and docking. 

Pilots Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken were poised to take over manual control if necessary, but everything went smoothly. The SpaceX Dragon capsule pulled up to the station and docked automatically.  

That followed a historic liftoff from Florida’s Kennedy Space Center on Saturday.  

It was the first time a privately built and owned spacecraft has ever carried astronauts to the orbiting lab. 

Coronavirus continues to surge in India » India’s Health Ministry reported Sunday it recorded more than 8,000 new cases of the coronavirus in a single day. That’s another record high that topped the deadliest week for the country.

The confirmed infections have risen to roughly 182,000 with more than 5,000 fatalities. But those are only the confirmed cases. India has one of the lowest testing rates of any major country in the world. 

India is also suffering under a deadly heatwave and devastating swarms of locusts.

(AP Photo/John Raoux) A SpaceX Falcon 9, with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken in the Dragon crew capsule, lifts off from Pad 39-A at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Fla., Saturday, May 30, 2020. 

WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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