Thursday morning news – September 24, 2020

Supreme Court justices honor Ginsburg in private ceremony » The body of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg now lies in repose atop the Supreme Court steps. 

On Wednesday, members of the court’s police force walked her flag-draped casket into the Great Hall. 

The other eight justices met the casket for a private ceremony inside the closed building…

As Rabbi Lauren Holtzblatt read from the book of Psalms.

AUDIO: [Holtzblatt reading]

Ginsburg’s high court colleagues then paid tribute. Chief Justice John Roberts …

ROBERTS: Among the words that best describe Ruth: Tough, brave, a fighter, a winner, but also thoughtful, careful, compassionate, honest. 

Ginsberg died of pancreatic cancer on Friday at age 87.

Tomorrow, her casket will arrive at the U.S. Capitol, where she’ll become the first woman and second Supreme Court justice to lie in state. Her body will be buried next to her husband, Martin, next week at Arlington National Cemetery.

Kentucky jury finds shooting of Breonna Taylor justified » Demonstrators took to the streets in Louisville, Kentucky on Wednesday for protests that turned violent last night. 

Louisville Metro Police Interim Chief Robert Schroeder … 

SCHROEDER: Shots rang out and two of our officers were shot. Both officers are currently undergoing treatment at university hospital. One is alert and stable. 

He said doctors expect both officers to recover and a suspect is in custody. 

Protests erupted after a grand jury found the actions of the police officer that shot and killed Breonna Taylor to be justified. 

Taylor was a black woman who died in March as police served a warrant at her apartment. 

Attorney General Daniel Cameron, who is African American, said the case was emotional for him … but he had to put emotion aside in reviewing the facts.

CAMERON: When my team set out to investigate the circumstance surrounding Ms. Taylor’s death, we did it with a singular goal in mind, pursuing the truth. 

He said a critical factor in the case has been misreported—the belief that police did not announce themselves as they burst through the door. 

Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, opened fire at police as they entered the apartment, wounding one officer. That led police to open fire, killing Taylor. 

Walker said he didn’t know who was coming into the home and fired in self defense. And her death inspired a city ordinance and statewide legislation called “Breonna’s Law,” which would ban so-called “no knock” warrants.

But Cameron told reporters Wednesday…

CAMERON: The officers’ statements about their announcement were corroborated by an independent witness who was near in a proximity to apartment four. In other words, the warrant was not served as a no-knock warrant. 

Cameron defended the actions of Detective Myles Cosgrove and Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly in the March 13th incident.

But the grand jury did indict a third officer, Detective Brett Hankinson, on three counts of wanton endangerment. He reportedly fired 10 rounds into Taylor’s apartment. Some of those bullets passed through a wall into the next apartment endangering three other people. 

Drug maker to begin biggest coronavirus vaccine trial yet » Johnson & Johnson plans to enroll 60,000 volunteers in the biggest COVID-19 vaccine test so far. The company on Wednesday announced its international Stage 3 trial for a single-dose vaccine. The company said the study could yield answers by early next year.

Meantime, top U.S. health officials testified before a Senate panel. FDA Administrator Dr. Stephen Hahn again assured lawmakers that his agency will approve a vaccine based solely on science, not politics. 

HAHN: FDA will not authorize or approve a vaccine that we would not feel comfortable giving to our families. 

Even if a vaccine is ready by the end of the year, as President Trump hopes, rolling it out will take time. Most Americans likely wouldn’t have access to a shot until sometime next year.

Nearly 500 whales stranded in Australia » Wildlife officials in Australia are trying to determine what caused the largest mass stranding of whales ever recorded in the country. 

After finding hundreds of whales this week trapped in shallow water, Nic Deka with Tasmania Parks and Wildlife said an aerial survey detected hundreds more. 

DEKA: We sent them further into the harbor and they have detected around about another 200 in a couple of bays. 

That raised the estimated total to almost 500 pilot whales. Nearly 400 of them have died.

Wildlife officials have launched a rescue operation to return surviving whales to open waters.

Gale Sayers dies at 77 » Pro Football Hall of Famer Gale Sayers has died. He was 77.

Sayers was widely considered one of the best open-field runners the game has ever seen. 

Relatives had said he was diagnosed with dementia. In March 2017, his wife, Ardythe, said she partly blamed his football career. In 2007, Gale Sayers told a Senate committee that the NFL needed to take better care of its former athletes. 

SAYERS: Today, the NFL is a $7-plus billion industry, yet it still struggles to do right by the retired players whose sacrifices built this game. 

Sayers suffered serious knee injuries that cut short his NFL career. He later became a businessman and philanthropist for several inner-city Chicago youth initiatives.

In a statement, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called Sayers “one of the finest men in NFL history and one of the game’s most exciting players.”

(AP Photo/Susan Walsh) People pay respects as Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg lies in repose under the Portico at the top of the front steps of the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 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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