Philadelphia Protests After Fatal Shooting by Police & Global News

by Debra Brown

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


Philadelphia Protests After Fatal Shooting by Police

The Philadelphia police fatally shot a 27-year-old Black man, Walter Wallace Jr, who they said was armed with a knife, sparking protests in the city. Wallace was a father of eight who struggled with mental illness.

Protesters marched through West Philadelphia, and video posted on social media appeared to show the police clashing with demonstrators.

Mayor Jim Kenney said the shooting, which was partly captured on video by a bystander, raised “difficult questions that must be answered,” and the police commissioner promised an investigation.

Adults with untreated severe mental illness account for one in every four fatal police shootings, according to a 2015 report by the Treatment Advocacy Center, a national nonprofit focused on making treatment for severe mental illness possible. They also are 16 times more likely to be stopped by the police than other people. And while Black adults are more likely to report persistent symptoms of emotional distress, only one in three Black or African American adults who need mental health care receive it.

Family members believe the officers should have used Tasers to subdue Wallace, but the officers at the scene did not have such weapons with them. About a third of the city’s police force carries a Taser, according to the department.

Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley said she has developed a bill to ensure mental health first responders are deployed instead of police when 911 is called to manage mental health crises.


Amy Coney Barrett Sworn in As Newest Supreme Court Justice

The U.S. Senate confirmed Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, just days before Election Day, solidifying the conservative majority on the court as it is set to consider several high-profile cases in the coming months. She was sworn in shortly thereafter by Supreme Court Associate Justice Clarence Thomas at the White House.

Barrett was confirmed by a vote of 52-48 after Democrats exhausted the procedural maneuvers undertaken to delay her confirmation. Only one Republican, Senator Susan Collins, voted against confirming Barrett to the Supreme Court. All the Democrats voted against her, including red-state Senators Doug Jones of Alabama, who is up for reelection this year, and Joe Manchin of West Virginia, who voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh in 2018.

It was the first time in 151 years that a justice was confirmed without the support of a single member of the minority party.

Barrett’s confirmation has left Democrats concerned about the fate of the nation’s health care law, the Affordable Care Act, and Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision allowing women to have access to abortions. The court will be hearing a case on the constitutionality of the ACA’s individual mandate in November. 


Muslims Worldwide Protesting French President Crackdown on Islam

Thousands of Muslims from the Middle East to Asia are protesting the French government and boycotting French products after President Emmanuel Macron defended the right to display cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed, considered a major taboo by many Muslims.

French President Emmanuel Macron mentions the centuries-long values of freedom of speech and secularism in France. “We will not give in, ever,” he tweeted.

French Muslims may feel extremely targeted by what Macron’s government is doing. Holocaust denial is criminalized, which means some forms of expression are outlawed in France. But when it comes to images of the prophet, Macron says that’s fair play.


U.S. 2020 Presidential Campaign

One week from Election Day, early voters so far are younger, more racially diverse, and more likely to be Democrats than they were ahead of the 2016 election in many of the key states that could decide the next president.

More than 65.5 million votes have already been cast around the US, surpassing the 58.3 million total pre-election votes cast in 2016. That’s almost half of the total presidential votes cast four years ago.

Delivery by the U.S. Postal Service remains slow despite the intervention of federal judges and some voting advocates say ballots not in the mail now may not arrive in time to be counted and should instead be dropped off at voting facilities.

Delivery delays during an election can’t be unlawful, because the Constitution doesn’t guarantee states any particular level of service when it comes to mail-in ballots, the U.S. Postal Service told a federal judge.

We’ve put together an election & voting resource manual to help you vote in this election. 


Covid-19 Updates from Around the World

Data from Johns Hopkins University shows more than 43 million cases globally and nearly 1.2 million deaths from the disease.

The United States reported a record of more than 500,000 new cases over the past week, as states and cities resorted to stricter new measures to contain the virus that is raging across the country.

The record reflects how quickly the virus is spreading. It took nearly three months for the first 500,000 coronavirus cases to be tallied in the United States. 

Protests against new restrictions designed to stem the coronavirus have broken out across Italy, with violence reported in Turin and Milan, in the country’s north.

Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city, emerged from one of the world’s longest and most severe lockdowns, 111 days and no new cases.


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