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UPDATE: George Floyd protests spread across the US – curfews imposed

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UPDATE: George Floyd protests spread across the US – curfews imposed | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Demonstrators protest in Boston - Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

Violence continues to erupt across cities in the US, the 6th night of protests that were sparked by the death in police custody of an African-American, George Floyd. Riot police have clashed with protesters in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Minneapolis, Washington and firing tear gas and pepper bullets trying to disperse the crowds. There have been more peaceful protests staged in other US cities.

At least 40 cities have now imposed curfews and 5,000 members of the National Guard have been activated in 15 states, as well as Washington, DC in streets and outside the White House. But protesters are defying the curfews, leading to tense stand-offs.

There have been multiple instances of police vehicles being attacked and vandalised, some even set alight . Riot officials are responding with tear gas and flash grenades. Looters are taking advantage of the situation and raiding stores.

A large group of protesters crossed over Brooklyn Bridge into Manhattan, New York yesterday, moving north through the Soho district, where several arrests were made. Protesters are facing off with riot police in full gear. Tensions remain high in New York with protesters shouting “Shame” at the police.

In Minneapolis, where George Floyd was killed, a truck driver was arrested after reportedly crashing through a road barrier before heading towards a crowd of protesters marching along a highway. Footage, posted on social media, shows dozens of people surrounding the vehicle and dragging the driver out of the truck after it was stopped.

Bogdan Vechirko, the man who was at the wheel of the truck that drove into the crowd of protesters has been charged with assault and will appear in court at a later date.

In Denver, thousands of people protested peacefully in Colorado State Capitol by lying face down with their hands behind their backs and chanting: “I can’t breathe.” There have also been largely-peaceful protests in Atlanta, Boston, Miami and Oklahoma City.

In the Atlanta protests, two officers were sacked yesterday for using excessive force, including firing a taser on two college students. In a statement last night the Boston Mayor Marty Walsh thanked peaceful protesters in the city whilst criticising “those who committed destruction and violence”. Cleveland’s Mayor Frank Jackson has extend the city’s curfew until at least tomorrow… “people can only travel for essential activities, and businesses are urged to close”.

The George Floyd case has reignited simmering tensions over police killings of black Americans. The outrage is also reflective of years of frustration over socio-economic inequality and segregation. When added to the statistical imbalance of black Americans in Covid-19 cases, and the difficulty many of them are having accessing proper health care during the pandemic, last weeks are seen to be a tipping point.

At a time when the public are seeking reassurance from the country’s leadership, US President Trump is taking to Twitter to, in almost real time, accuse his political opponents and far-left organisations for being responsible for the unrest, peppered with name-calling and bellicosity. He has also accused the protests of being “professionally managed”.

Just a week ago, on the evening of Monday, May 25, Minneapolis police received a phone call from a grocery store alleging that George Floyd had used a counterfeit $20 note when paying for groceries. Police officers were trying to get him into a police truck when he collapsed onto the ground, explaining to them he was “claustrophobic”.

Police maintain that he physically resisted officers and was handcuffed. Video of the incident does not show how the confrontation started.

With police officer Derek Chauvin’s knee on his neck, George Floyd can be heard on video saying “please, I can’t breathe… don’t kill me”. Derek Chauvin had his knee on GeorgeFloyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, according to a preliminary autopsy by the county medical examiner who also used several videos of the incident in their investigation. Three minutes of the nearly 9 minutes the autopsy report says that “Mr Floyd became non-responsive”.

Nearly 2 minutes before Derek Chauvin removed his knee the other attending police officers checked George Floyd’s pulse and were unable to find one. He was taken to hospital and pronounced dead.

44 year old Derek Chauvin was arrested Friday on charges of 3rd-degree murder and manslaughter for the death of George Floyd. He was meant to make his first court appearance today, but with Minneapolis still gripped by unrest, the appearance has now been pushed back until June 8. Minnesota’s Attorney General Keith Ellison says he expects Chauvin to face additional charges.

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Is this the next big change in pop music? The winners of the IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award, BTS

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Is this the next big change in pop music? The winners of the IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award, BTS | The Thaiger

2020 IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award. In the past 8 years the IFPI Global Recording Artist of the Year Award has been given to Ed Sheeran, Adele, One Direction, and Taylor Swift and Drake. BTS are backed up by ARMY, their huge fanbase.

The power of ARMY. The IFPI represents the recorded music industry worldwide. It’s not a Grammy or a popularity vote. The award is calculated according to an artist’s or group’s worldwide performance across digital and physical music formats during the past year. Everything from streams to vinyl, CDs and downloads…. and covers their entire body of work. The award was announced last week at the culmination of the IFPI Global Artist Chart, which counted down the top 10 best-selling artists of the past year.

And it’s certainly been a great year for music… not so much for going to live concerts but we’ve certainly had a lot more time to listen to our favourite artists and stream their clips on YouTube.

The group that won this year, based on their pure sales, actually came second in 2018 and 7th in 2019, so it isn’t some statistical blip on the music radar.

The win also represents somewhat of a quantum shift in world music… the sort of thing that only happens once in a generation. Rather than the popular cross-over style shift represented by the George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in 1924, the brith of rock with Bill Haley in 1955 or the rise of British pop in the 1960s, personified by The Beatles, this year’s IFPI signals another generational milestone in tastes, method, world reach and engagement with fans.

In all the right-hand turns of the popular music genre, there has usually been a technological breakthrough that has accompanied them, or at least been a key aspect of their success.

In the case of the the Great American Songbook, the foundations of the pop music genre, it was the recorded record and the start of radio-as-entertainment in the 1920s that provided a method to reach a huge audience with the new sounds and tunes for the first time.

Then it was the 7” single that made music cheaper and easier to play, that revolutionised the radio music formats of the 1960s and provided the perfect vehicle of the British pop revolution to spread around the world.

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Myanmar

38 people die “bloodiest day” since Myanmar coup – United Nations

Caitlin Ashworth

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38 people die “bloodiest day” since Myanmar coup – United Nations | The Thaiger
Anti-coup protest in Myanmar on February 14 / Photo by Htin Linn Aye via Wikimedia Commons

38 people died during Myanmar’s anti-coup protests yesterday in what the United Nations is calling the “bloodiest day” in the country since the February 1 military takeover. UN special envoy for Myanmar Christine Schraner Burgener said the death toll is “shocking” and that the situation in the Southeast Asian country could lead to a “real war.”

Since last month’s coup, more than 50 people have died while many others have been wounded in protests against military rule. Witnesses say police and soldiers have opened fire with little warning. In a virtual briefing, the UN envoy said experts believe the Burmese police are using 9mm sub-machine guns to fire shots at civilians.

“I saw today very disturbing video clips. One was police beating a volunteer medical crew. They were not armed… Another video clip showed a protester was taken away from police and they shot him from very near, maybe one metre. He didn’t resist his arrest and it seems he died on the street.”

Burmese troops seized power of the civilian government last month, citing what they say was a fraudulent election, although the election commission said the vote was fair. A number of civilian politicians were arrested including democratic leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who had won the November election for state counsellor in a landslide.

Christine says more than 1,200 people are now under detention and many do not know where their loved ones are.

SOURCE: UN News | Aljazeera

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World

Muay Thai added to European Games 2023

Caitlin Ashworth

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Muay Thai added to European Games 2023 | The Thaiger
Stock photo via Wikimedia

Thailand’s national sport Muay Thai has been added to the European Games 2023, set to be held in Poland. While Asia has been leading the sport for decades, many recent Muay Thai champions are from Europe, according to Sakchye Tapsuwan, president of the International Federation of Muaythai Associations, the governing body for the sport.

“Europe has grown in strength, evidenced at the last two World Championships, where the overall winners were teams from Europe.”

Held by the European Olympic Commission, the European Games is considered a staging post to the Olympics. Thousands of elite athletes from 50 participating nations have the opportunity to compete in one of the 15 sports. Now Muay Thai, an ancient martial art dating back 1,000 years with ties to centuries-old traditions, is included on the list.

The format of the European Games is in line with the Olympic Movement standards for gender equality. The categories are equal for men and women with 7 male and female divisions and 2 coed teams. Creating equal opportunities for men and women fighters is a “vision” both the federation and the European Olympic Committee share, according to director of the federation, Charissa Tynan.

“For IFMA, gender equality is not about ticking the box, it is about ensuring that women and men have the same opportunities to shine together on one stage as one family.”

SOURCES: IFMA | EOC

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