Hate Crime Charges Weighed in Shooting of Ahmaud Arbery & Global News

by Debra Brown

Ahmaud Arbery

Each Wednesday, we recap the most important headlines from our global community to keep you up to speed on world news.

Hate Crime Charges Weighed in Shooting of Ahmaud Arbery 

The U.S. Justice Department says it is weighing whether to issue hate crime charges against two white men in Georgia for the shooting death of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man.  

The two men, Gregory McMichael and son Travis McMichael, were arrested months after the shooting after a video of the shooting appeared online and went viral. They have been charged with felony murder and aggravated assault.  

Gregory McMichael is a former police officer who later worked as an investigator for the local district attorney’s office. He retired last year. 

Attorneys for Arbery’s parents have requested a federal investigation into possible hate crime violations. Georgia does not have a hate crime law at the state level.

Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr has promised to investigate why it took more than two months for local police to arrest the suspects.

 

COVID-19 Update: Latin America Struggle Outside International Spotlight

The COVID-19 pandemic has struck cities across Latin America with some of the worst outbreaks in the world. The devastation in Latin America compares to the worst in Europe and the U.S. but is not receiving the same global attention. Latin America has confronted the crisis with far fewer medical or economic resources than Europe or the United States.

Brazil, Peru and Ecuador have large outbreaks and significant Amazonian indigenous populations.

Indigenous leaders are warning that a combination of neglect, inadequate preparations, and a lack of lockdown measures is exposing remote and vulnerable communities in the Amazon to potentially devastating outbreaks of COVID-19. Amazonian indigenous groups are especially vulnerable to dying if they contract COVID-19 because they often live days away from professional medical help.

 

Breonna Taylor’s Murder Gains National Attention

Breonna Taylor, an EMT worker,  was asleep in her Louisville, Kentucky, home when three police officers forced their way inside, “blindly fired” and killed her, according to a lawsuit filed by her family.

The lawsuit states that Taylor and her boyfriend, Kenneth Walker, were asleep in the bedroom when police in plain clothes and unmarked vehicles arrived at the house around 12:30 a.m. The officers were looking for a suspect who lived in a different part of the city and was already in police custody after he was arrested earlier.

Taylor, 26, was shot eight times and died. Walker, 27, was arrested. According to jail records he’s been charged with assault and attempted murder on a police officer. An attorney for Walker could not immediately be reached.

Taylor’s death gained national attention this week after the family hired attorney Ben Crump, who is also representing the family of Ahmaud Arbery, the black man in Georgia who died on Feb. 23 after being pursued and shot by two white men.

 

Airbnb & Uber Lay Off Thousands of Workers

Airbnb is laying off about 25% of its workforce as the coronavirus pandemic upends the travel industry and threatens the company’s core business.

In the US, Airbnb said it will cover 12 months of health insurance for its employees through COBRA. In all other countries, it will cover health insurance costs through the end of this year.

Uber is cutting 3,700 full-time workers, about 14% of its workforce, and its CEO will give up his base salary.

 

Senate Holds First Coronavirus Hearing Since March 

Fauci and other public health experts, including Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield testified in the first hearing on the coronavirus since March. Dr. Anthony Fauci, a key member of the White House’s coronavirus task force, warned senators that states and cities face serious consequences if they open up too quickly, urging states not to reopen until they know they have the capabilities to handle an inevitable uptick in cases once they relax stay-at-home orders.

The hearing occurred as states across the country have started taking actions to roll back the business closures and stay-at-home orders put in place two months ago to try to slow the coronavirus infection rate.

 

House Democrats Propose $3 Trillion Plan For Coronavirus Relief

Democrats are moving forward without Republican support since bipartisan talks have stalled, and the legislation is expected to be dead on arrival for the GOP-led Senate. But Democrats say the plan, dubbed the Heroes Act, details the priorities they believe need to be addressed as the economic and public health impacts of the coronavirus pandemic worsen.

The more than 1,800-page bill marks a long wish list for Democrats, including nearly $1 trillion to state, local and tribal governments and another round of direct cash payments to Americans. It extends unemployment benefits to January, adds hazard pay for front-line workers and expands virus-testing efforts.

Democrats set aside $3.6 billion to protect federal elections, $25 billion to support the U.S. Postal Service, $100 billion for low-income rent support, $75 billion for a homeowner assistance fund and $100 million for the Violence Against Women Prevention and Prosecution Programs.

 

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Navajo Nation Has 3rd-Highest COVID-19 Infection Rate in U.S.

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