Each Wednesday, we recap the most important headlines from our global community to keep you up to speed on world news.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) said that he directed officials in his office to reexamine the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old unarmed Black man who died in police custody last year.
McClain’s death has gained greater attention amid nationwide protests over police brutality and racial injustice. More than 2.6 million people have signed a petition demanding a more in-depth investigation into McClain’s encounter with police in Aurora, Colorado that resulted in his death.
McClain died in August after being stopped by three white Aurora Police Department officers as he walked home from a convenience store. One of the officers placed McClain in a carotid hold, or chokehold, which briefly caused him to lose consciousness. After first responders arrived, McClain was held down and injected with a dose of ketamine to sedate him. McClain experienced a heart attack in the ambulance, according to a letter from the district attorney obtained by CNN. He was declared brain dead on Aug. 27 and died three days later.
The three responding officers, Nathan Woodyard, Jason Rosenblatt, and Randy Roedema were reportedly placed on administrative leave following the incident. But they were reinstated after the Adams County district attorney declined to file criminal charges in the case.
An Aurora Police Department review board in February cleared the officers of any wrongdoing, according to 9News, a local NBC affiliate. The board said that the force officers used during the incident was consistent with policies and police training.
Los Angeles County will close its beaches and ban fireworks displays in anticipation of the Fourth of July holiday, a move health officials say is necessary in light of an alarming spike in coronavirus cases. All public beaches, piers, public beach parking lots, beach bike paths “that traverse that sanded portion of the beach” and beach access points will be closed from 12:01 a.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday. The ban on fireworks displays applies only to the Fourth of July weekend.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said that at the current rate of spread, Los Angeles will revert to numbers reached at the height of the pandemic in about a week. Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered seven counties, including Los Angeles, to immediately close any bars and nightspots that are open.
The Supreme Court struck down a Louisiana law that could have left the state with a single abortion clinic. In June Medical Services v. Russo, the court ruled, 5 to 4, that a Louisiana law violated the Constitution when it required doctors performing abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. added his crucial fifth vote to those of the court’s four-member liberal wing, saying that respect for precedent compelled him to do so, even though he had voted to uphold an essentially identical Texas law in a 2016 dissent.
The chief justice has voted with the court’s liberal wing in three major cases: on job discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers, on a program protecting young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers and now on abortion.
Beijing’s top legislative body has unanimously passed a sweeping national security law for Hong Kong, a controversial move that could effectively criminalize most dissent in the city.
The official Chinese news agency Xinhua reported President Xi Jinping signed the measure into law. Xinhua said it will be incorporated into Hong Kong’s Basic Law, the city’s mini-constitution.
A final text of the law reveals Beijing will set up its own national security agency to prosecute cases on Hong Kong soil but will not be beholden to Hong Kong’s laws. Beijing will also appoint an adviser to supervise the local Hong Kong administration on national security issues. Those found guilty of the highest degree of subversion, secession, foreign interference or terrorism could face life imprisonment.
Beijing has defended the law by arguing such a measure is needed to restore stability to Hong Kong, which has been rocked by sometimes-violent protests over the last year stemming first from a now-shelved extradition bill and general dissatisfaction with Beijing’s heavy-handed governance.
Hundreds turned out to protest the legislation but were met with a heavy security presence. Riot police fired pepper spray into the crowd, kettled and dispersed protesters, and deployed water cannons.
During the protest, Hong Kong police made the first arrests under the new law, including a man who was holding a black independence flag, and soon afterward a woman with a sign reading “Hong Kong Independence.”
At least 70 people were arrested, with two on suspicion of violating the national security law, according to police.
More than 48,000 coronavirus cases were announced across the United States, the most of any day of the pandemic. It was the fourth time in a week that the United States posted a new single-day case record. The number of new cases in the United States has shot up by 80 percent in the past two weeks, according to a New York Times database.
The record comes as Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, testified before Congress that the rate of new coronavirus infections could more than double to 100,000 a day if current outbreaks were not contained. He warned that the virus’s march across the South and the West “puts the entire country at risk.”