Each Wednesday, we recap the most important headlines from our global community to keep you up to speed on world news.
New York passed the Eric Garner Anti-Chokehold Act, becoming one of the latest places to ban police chokeholds in the weeks following George Floyd’s death. The state joins cities like Minneapolis, Denver, Dallas, Houston, and Washington, D.C., as well as California, in changing policies following the anti-police-brutality protests in the U.S. and around the world.
Named after Eric Garner, who died in 2014 after being placed in a chokehold by a New York City police officer, the new act would criminalize chokeholds or similar restraints by police officers that could cause serious physical injury or death. The New York State Assembly announced the class C felony would be punishable by up to 15 years in prison. Governor Andrew Cuomo has promised to sign the bill into law.
As thousands of protesters across the country gathered to demand justice for George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and other black people killed by the police, Defund the Police had gained momentum and national attention.
The North Carolina Supreme Court ruled that over 100 death row inmates have the opportunity to prove racism affected their sentences because they had filed a claim under the state’s Racial Justice Act (RJA) before it was repealed in 2013. If the defendants win their hearings, they’ll be re-sentenced to life without parole.
The ruling was based on the precedent of State v. Keith, an 1869 case in which the state Supreme Court ruled that a Confederate soldier charged with war crimes couldn’t be prosecuted due to a post-Civil War amnesty law that was later repealed. The death row plaintiffs argued that if the state constitution protects Confederate war criminals, it must also protect their right to present evidence of race discrimination after the repeal of the RJA.
The lines on Election Day in Georgia were so long that state officials announced investigations before the polls even closed, raising fears of what’s to come when the nation votes in November. Democrats in Georgia were selecting a candidate for one of the two Senate races in the fall, to oppose an incumbent Republican, David Perdue. The winner of the other seat will be chosen in a special election in November with no primary. Georgia was also holding its presidential primaries, which were postponed from March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Georgia, for the first time in a generation, is expected to be a presidential battleground state. Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, and West Virginia also held primary elections.
Two Republican women are the front-runners in a primary in South Carolina’s First District, vying to challenge Representative Joe Cunningham, who flipped the Charleston-based seat in 2018 in a long-shot Democratic victory.
The Council of Fashion Designers of America explicitly extended allyship to the black community, stating a roll-out of a series of initiatives to actively combat racism within their field.
The CFDA, seeking inroads towards a greater racial equilibrium, outlines its plans to implement an in-house employment program, where the committee will recruit black creatives to touch all branches of the fashion business. Likewise, a mentorship and internship program will be instituted, to ease the throes black students and graduates face getting their foot in the door at established companies.
In an added show of support “immediate contributions” will be made to benefit Campaign Zero, seeing to police reform, and the NAACP, whose members seek to uphold their civil liberties at the behest of Congress, amongst other philanthropies that aim to mitigate systemic racism in America.
In 2018, there were only 15 Black members of the CFDA, a number which has since increased to 19 out of a total of 477 members.
Nearly 7.2 million people have now been confirmed to have the coronavirus and nearly 409,000 have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. The US, the UK, and Brazil have recorded the highest death tolls. The US, Brazil, and Russia have the most cases.
India recorded 9,985 cases in one day and 274 deaths. The spike has come as the government moves forward with reopening restaurants, shopping malls, and religious places in most of its states after a more than two-month-old lockdown.
Asylum applications in Europe fell to the lowest level in April for over a decade as borders closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, European Union figures show, compounding the challenges of people fleeing conflict and persecution.
The number of asylum applications declined to 8,730 during April, an 86 percent drop from 61,421 in February, according to figures obtained by Reuters from the European Asylum Support Office (EASO).