4 Minneapolis cops now charged in George Floyd’s death


Greetings, QuickTake readers! In this edition: Barack Obama calls for police reform, Boris Johnson offers Hong Kongers haven in U.K., and Finland aims to be smoker-free.

All 4 officers now face charges

The Minnesota attorney general on Wednesday upgraded charges against the ex-Minneapolis police officer who knelt on George Floyd's neck and issued arrest warrants for the other three officers involved.

AG Keith Ellison elevated charges for Derek Chauvin from third-degree murder and manslaughter to second-degree murder and charged Tou Thao, J. Alexander Kueng, and Thomas Lane with aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

Speaking at a news conference following the announcement, Quincy Mason Floyd, one of Floyd's sons, said he was grateful for the steps taken but "my father should not have been killed like this."

At the same event, Floyd-family attorney Benjamin Crump said it was far too early to celebrate: "An arrest is not a conviction and we want justice. We don't want partial justice, we want whole justice," he said.

$ignificant figures

3 million. U.K. PM Boris Johnson pledged to allow nearly that many people from Hong Kong to live and work in Britain if China imposes a new security law, saying, "Hong Kong succeeds because its people are free."

1,262. Brazil reported a record number of Covid-19 deaths Tuesday, along with 28,936 new cases, pushing the number of fatalities to 31,199 and the country's total infections to 555,383, second only to the U.S.

52%. The share of registered voters who favor Joe Biden over Trump's 41%, according to a Monmouth University poll, which found the former vice president widened his lead over the incumbent by 11 points.

Highly quotable

"This is a priority." Barack Obama called on U.S. mayors to commit to police reforms during a virtual town hall, in which he praised young people of color for "communicating a sense of urgency" around racial injustice.

"I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act." Defense Secretary Mark Esper said he opposes sending military to quell protests. Later, in an abrupt reversal, he overturned a Pentagon plan to send 200 troops home.

"There are no reasons to modify trial protocols." The WHO said it'll restart an international trial using hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19, despite a rigorous study showing the drug failed to prevent infection.

This is not normal

Disappearing. Tropical forests lost 9.3 million acres of tree cover in 2019, equal to a football pitch every six seconds, new data shows, with a third of that loss occurring in the most carbon-rich and diverse areas of the world.

The future is now

Virus-era leisure. Singing your heart out may never feel the same in Japan after new safety rules advised "everyone except the singer" to wear masks at karaoke bars and roller coaster riders to refrain from screaming.

What's good

Snuff out. In Finland, the happiest nation on earth, vaping has been nearly eradicated and the number of smokers has declined by half over the past 20 years, putting it on track to become smoker-free by 2030.

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BTW: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz wrote in chalk this powerful message on the ground while visiting the George Floyd memorial site in Minneapolis

Thanks for reading!
-Andrew Mach


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