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5 things to know for May 25: George Floyd, Covid-19, Justice Dept, immigration, India


The US has warned Americans not to travel to Japan as Covid-19 case numbers there rise, dealing another blow to the already uncertain future of the Summer Olympics.

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1. George Floyd

Today marks one year since the death of George Floyd, a tragedy that set in motion months of protests and reflection about the state of racial justice in America and, indeed, the world. From Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed, to cities across the country, people will gather for marches and other commemorations. Floyd’s sister, daughter and his daughter’s mother will visit the White House at President Biden’s invitation. Meanwhile, there is new hope in Congress that a policing overhaul bill requested by Biden — and in part informed by Floyd’s death — is starting to take shape amid bipartisan negotiations. It still isn’t clear where lawmakers stand on the key, divisive issue of qualified immunity, the controversial doctrine that protects officers accused of violating the Constitution while on duty.

2. Coronavirus

World Health Organization scientists investigating the origins of Covid-19 have zeroed in on previously overlooked data on the extensive screening of animals for coronavirus around the time the pandemic erupted. They hope that by further studying this and other areas of renewed interest, they can get a clearer picture of China’s evolving knowledge of the virus and the likely timing of its emergence. Meanwhile, young people in the US — that’s those 24 and under — are lagging in Covid-19 vaccinations. US health officials warn that, while young people may be at lower risk of dying from Covid-19, they could still face long-term effects.

3. Justice Department

The Justice Department is partially appealing a court order to publicly release a pivotal 2019 memo about whether then-President Trump obstructed the Russia investigation. A highly redacted version of the memo is already publicly available, but the full version could shed new light on how Trump appointees at DOJ justified why he shouldn’t be charged, despite strong evidence from special counsel Robert Muller’s investigation. This appeal is sure to disappoint Trump opponents who are hoping for its full release. Trump’s influence is also echoing in Arizona and Georgia, where vote audits spurred by his false claims of 2020 election voter fraud are moving forward with local GOP support.

4. Immigration

Over the last few months, the Biden administration has scrambled to ease the number of children at Border Patrol holding facilities. Still, experts and advocates are worried that alternative shelters, like the one at Fort Bliss in Texas, aren’t meeting all the needs of a particularly vulnerable population. Officials are now considering doubling the number of children at the Fort Bliss site from 5,000 to up to 10,000. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra defended the operation of Fort Bliss and facilities like it, saying they allow the administration to quickly move children to other places that can better meet their needs.

5. India

Indian government leaders are asking farmers to call off a mass protest this week for fears it will be a coronavirus superspreader event. India just recorded 300,000 Covid-19 deaths as it continues to battle a massive second wave of illness. Through it all, farmers around the country have continued protesting against a series of agricultural laws passed last September that they say will devastate their livelihoods. Tens of thousands of farmers have been living in tents outside the capital of New Delhi ever since. It just so happens the height of the second Covid-19 wave coincided with harvest season, so demonstrations died down. Now they’re ramping up again.


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$200 million

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“They have been after Roman for a long time.”

Dmitry Protasevich, the father of Belarusian dissident journalist Roman Protasevich, who was apprehended after his Ryanair flight was diverted over the weekend. International fury over the incident is mounting, particularly toward Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.


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Keeping it clean

Think your slightly used hotel soap goes to waste? It could be processed, sanitized and recycled into new soap to help struggling families. (Click here to view.)

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