No Bull With Raging Robert.
Derek Chauvin Trial Begins
The murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin begins today, with both sides scheduled to present opening statements. Chauvin faces three charges — second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter — in the May death of George Floyd.
Analysts say the first count is the most serious, carrying a sentence of more than 10 years, and also the most difficult to prove. It requires prosecutors to show beyond a reasonable doubt the tactic — known as prone restraint ($$, WSJ), which Chauvin applied with his knee for almost nine minutes, past the point where Floyd became unresponsive — caused Floyd’s death.
The second count, third-degree murder, requires showing Chauvin was negligent and caused Floyd’s death while acting with a “depraved mind.” The manslaughter charge requires showing Chauvin was culpably negligent and took an unreasonable risk in the manner in which he detained Floyd. Read more on each charge here.
The jury is composed of nine women and six men — two are alternates, and one male juror will be dismissed this morning if all other jurors arrive. Nine self-identify as white, four as Black, and two as multiracial.
The proceedings are not open to the public, though you can watch a livestream of the trial here (9:30 am CT).
A Bloody Day in Myanmar
At least 114 anticoup protesters in Myanmar (Burma) were killed Saturday by government soldiers and local police, the country’s bloodiest day since the military ousted the civilian government at the start of February. At least six children were killed, according to reports. At least two more people were killed in airstrikes carried overnight Sunday, with the total death toll over the past two months exceeding 400 people.
The increasingly severe crackdown coincided with the country’s annual Armed Forces Day. The holiday is meant to honor the Tatmadaw (see history) — the name for the Myanmar military. Dignitaries from China and Russia attended the ceremonies; Russia, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, has been an active supplier of weapons for the Myanmar military. See photos from Saturday’s violence here. ($$, NYT)
Separately, at least 20 people were injured in a bombing during Palm Sunday services in Indonesia.
Brazil’s COVID-19 Boom
The seven-day average of deaths from COVID-19 in Brazil has surpassed 2,500, with 3,650 deaths reported Friday, more than a 350% increase from the country’s daily death rate at the turn of the year. Brazil currently accounts for roughly 25% of the world’s daily death toll and is on track to surpass the pandemic’s third peak in the US, which occurred over the winter and saw average COVID-19 deaths exceed 3,400 per day. Brazil’s total death toll was near 311,000 as of this morning. See a comparison of the US and Brazil here.
Political infighting, a more transmittable variant, lack of medical supplies, poor logistics, distrust of vaccines, and other factors have all been blamed for the rising figures. President Jair Bolsonaro — who has shifted to endorsing vaccines — has resisted pressure to enact further restrictions. Thus far, the country has administered enough vaccines to cover 4.2% of the population.
Meanwhile, more than 93 million people in the US have received at least one vaccination dose (roughly 36% of the adult population). The country’s death toll stands at 549,335, while new cases have begun rising again, currently averaging around 60,000 per day.
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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture
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> Beloved children’s author Beverly Cleary, whose books sold 91 million copies, dies at 104 (More) | Larry McMurtry, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and screenwriter, dies at 84 (More) | Howard Schnellenberger, legendary college and pro football coach, dies at 87 (More)
> Freshman Paige Bueckers powers №1 UConn to 15th straight Elite 8 in women’s NCAA tournament (More) | Men’s №1 seeds Gonzaga, Baylor, and Michigan all advance to Elite 8 on men’s side (More) | Reports say NCAA spent nearly double for men’s basketball tournament versus women’s tournament (More)
> Woody Allen denies sexual abuse allegations by his daughter Dylan Farrow in first sit-down interview in nearly 30 years (More)
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Science & Technology
> New York launches country’s first vaccine passport; digital certificate relies on blockchain technology (More)
> NASA analysis finds the trajectory of the near-Earth asteroid Apophis is unlikely to hit Earth for at least 100 years; considered to have one of the highest impact potentials, the asteroid had a slight risk of hitting Earth in 2068 (More)
> Researchers discover why teeth are hypersensitive to cold air; odontoblasts, cells that make up the inner structure of the tooth, act as temperature sensors (More)
Business & Markets
> US stock markets up Friday (S&P 500 +1.7%, Dow +1.4%, Nasdaq +1.2%); S&P 500 and Dow close at fresh record highs (More)
> Coworking giant WeWork to go public via special purpose acquisition company valuing company at $9B; valuation is well below 2019 SoftBank-led private financing at $47B valuation (More)
> Online clothing consignment marketplace ThredUp shares close up 43% on its first day of trading after raising $168M in initial public offering (More)
Politics & World Affairs
> Ever Given shipping vessel stuck in the Suez Canal, one of the world’s busiest trade lanes, partially dislodged; ship is still blocking transit through the canal (More) | See the physics of the stuck boat here (More, $$, FT)
> At least four people dead, at least 130 rescued amid widespread flooding in middle Tennessee; more than 7 inches of rain recorded in a 24-hour period, the second-highest total on record (More)
> Joint report from the World Health Organization and China says animals were likely the source of the new coronavirus, rebuffing lab leak theory; critics question whether China influenced conclusions (More)
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- Sam Walton
- New York City, Saddle River, Metropolitan Magazine, Nimbus Magazine, English Speaking Union, National arts Club, Saddle River, Drama Critic, Broadway Producer, Making A Difference Show, MNN, Manhattan College.