New charges announced against officers involved in Floyd’s death » All four of the fired police officers involved in George Floyd’s death last week now face criminal charges.
Derek Chauvin is the man seen in video footage with his knee pinned against Floyd’s neck. Prosecutors upgraded his third-degree murder charge to second-degree murder along with second-degree manslaughter.
And Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said he filed a complaint against the other three officers…
ELLISON: That charges police officers King, Lane, and Tauo with aiding and abetting murder in the second degree, a felony offense.
They’re also charged with aiding and abetting manslaughter.
Floyd’s family will hold a memorial service for him in Minneapolis today, the first of several services. And Minnesota’s Democratic Governor Tim Walz told reporters Wednesday…
WALZ: Tomorrow will be a day of mourning and of celebration of George Floyd’s life. But I think it’s critically important for them to see, and for Minnesotans, to display to them that there’s another side to them and to this state that they did not see last Monday night.
Services are also scheduled for June 6th in Floyd’s hometown of Raeford, North Carolina and June 8th in Houston.
Esper opposes use of active duty troops to quell rioting » Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday he does not support using military forces to contain current street protests.
President Trump has called on governors to deploy the national guard in sufficient numbers to “dominate the streets.” And he said if governors don’t do so, he would use the U.S. military to restore order.
But Esper told reporters at the Pentagon…
ESPER: The option to use active duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort, and only in the most urgent and dire situations. We are not in one of those situations now.
Deploying active duty soldiers on U.S. streets would involve invoking the Insurrection Act of 1807. Esper made clear that he would oppose such a move.
But hundreds of active duty troops will remain on standby in the Washington D.C. area. Esper reversed an order late Wednesday that would have sent the troops home.
Fmr. Defense Secretary rips Trump’s handling of protests » Meantime, President Trump’s former defense secretary Jim Mattis on Wednesday penned a scathing rebuke of Trump’s heavy-handed approach to the protests.
In a statement published by The Atlantic, Mattis said Trump has set up a false conflict between the military and civilian society. And he said he’s watched this week’s events “angry and appalled.”
He also seemed unconvinced by the president’s insistence that he had no involvement in clearing Washington’s Lafayette Square before walking through the park to pose for a picture in front of a nearby church.
Mattis said he never dreamed troops “would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief.”
He called the incident an abuse of power. And he added, “We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”
Moody economist: COVID-19 recession may be over » Finally, some possible good news on the economy: the worst of COVID-19’s impact may be behind us. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more.
KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The payroll company ADP reports that U.S. businesses shed 2.8 million jobs in May. That’s not good. But it is far less than the roughly 9 million job losses expected.
Mark Zandi is chief economist at Moody’s Analytics. He said he believes the COVID-19 recession is over, barring a major second wave or—quote—“serious policy errors.”
He expects job growth “to resume in June.”
That’s the good news. The bad news, according to Zandi, is that the recovery will likely be slow “until there’s a vaccine or therapy that’s distributed and adopted widely.”
If the recession is over, he noted that it would be the shortest recession on record, but also among the most severe.
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.
Senate Judiciary panel grills Rosenstein on Russia probe origins » Former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein was on Capitol Hill Wednesday for a series of hearings to review the origins of the FBI’s Russia probe.
He told the Senate Judiciary Committee that every warrant he signed under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act appeared justified at the time.
But committee chairman Lindsey Graham asked Rosenstein…
GRAHAM: If you knew then what you know now, would you have signed the warrant application?
ROSENSTEIN: No, I would not.
The Justice Department’s inspector general found 17 errors and rules violations in the FISA warrant application to surveil former Trump campaign aide Carter Page.
It was Rosenstein who appointed special counsel Robert Mueller to lead the Russia probe after former Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the investigation.
U.S. to block Chinese flights amid trade and travel tensions » The Trump administration moved Wednesday to block Chinese airlines from flying to the United States in an escalation of trade and travel tensions between the two countries. WORLD’s Anna Johansen reports.
ANNA JOHANSEN, REPORTER: The Transportation Department said it would suspend passenger flights by four Chinese airlines to and from the United States starting June 16th.
The decision was in retaliation for China’s failure to let United Airlines and Delta Air Lines resume flights to China this month.
The airlines suspended those flights earlier this year in response to the coronavirus pandemic that started in China’s Wuhan province.
The Transportation Department accused China of violating an agreement between the two countries covering flights by each other’s airlines.
The department said talks will continue, but—quote—“In the meantime, we will allow Chinese carriers to operate the same number of scheduled passenger flights as the Chinese government allows ours.”
Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen.