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Latest from Kevin Rafuse

    Orange County Mayor Jerry Demings and local health leaders unveiled the Coronavirus heat map today. The map shows which zip codes have the most cases of Coronavirus in the county. See the full map below.
  • Augusta National Golf Club announced today that they will be postponing The Masters due to Coronavirus. The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra, FL was canceled earlier this week because of the virus. It’s unclear when the tournament will be made up.
  • Disneyland is closing its California parks through the end of March, park officials said Thursday. There have not been any reported cases of Coronavirus at Disneyland. Disney World remains open at this time.
  • A Florida man got more than he expected after he came across some Space-X debris from their crew dragon launch abort test last week. Captain David Stokes was fishing in Ponce Inlet with some friends when he came across a door panel from the rocket along with two parachuets. Stokes said it took about 40 minutes to bring all the debris onto their boat. The crew brought the debris ashore, and took pictures with it. Space-X had given a warning about possible debris, and asked people who found any to return it. It’s still unclear if the crew will give that debris back.
  • CNN has settled with Covington Catholic student Nick Sandmann after he sued the network for $275 million on defamation and emotional stress charges. The lawsuit involves a video that went viral showing a group of Covington Catholic students interacting with a Native American man at Indigenous Peoples March in 2019. Sandmann had also filed a lawsuit against NBC Universal & the Washington Post. It’s unclear how much the settlement is for.
  • An Amber Alert has been issued in Osceola County for 15-year old Kamelia Issac. She’s described as a White/Hispanic female, who was last seen wearing black jeans, a black shirt and an indigo jacket. Anyone with information is asked to call police immediately. 
  • The driver of a pickup truck backed into a Chuck E. Cheese on International Drive on Monday. According the Florida Highway Patrol, 26-year old Mariano Ajtum was backing up in a parking lot, when he backed into the building. Troopers said nobody was hurt, but the building suffered visible damage as Ajtum backed into a restroom. Ajtum originally ran from the scene, but returned. He told police he was telling his boss what happened. He was ticked for improper backing and driving without a license. Alcohol was not a factor at all in the crash.
  • On Saturday, runners will take to the streets of downtown Orlando for the OUC Orlando Half Marathon & Lake Eola 5k. Because of the race, Southbound Eola Drive between Robinson Street and Washington Street will be closed from 5 PM on Friday, until 2 PM on Saturday. Robinson Street from Rosalind Avenue to Summerlin Avenue will be closed from 2 AM to 2 PM on Saturday. Northbound Eola Drive between Robinson Street and Washington Street will also be closed from 2 AM to 2 PM on Saturday. See the full race course below.
  • If you fly out of Orlando International Airport, you are familiar with the Automatic People Movers, that take passengers to the terminal from the airport’s main concourse. Today, the airport unveiled a new, Star Wars themed APM. The wrap promotes the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It also arrives ahead of the released of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. See the wrap below.
  • Rev. Bryan Fulwider, a former Winter Park Pastor, who was recently arrested on charges of raping an underage girl has died of an apparent suicide at a home in Altamonte Springs. The Winter Park Police Department said Altamonte Springs police found Fulwider at his home on Post Oak Circle around 11:50 p.m. Sunday night. The 59-year old had been out on bail since October 17th. He was accused repeatedly raping a teenage girl while he was her pastor at the First Congregational Church of Winter Park. Fulwider was facing charges including sexual battery on a minor. If convicted, he could’ve faced life in prison. Winter Park Police said the girl was raped between 2005 and 2010, beginning when she was 14. Arrest documents said she had been assaulted well over 100 times. The cause of death is still unknown, as the medical examiner is now conducting a report.
  • Kevin Rafuse


    Kevin Rafuse is a reporter and anchor for News 96.5 WDBO. 

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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison on Wednesday announced that charges have been filed against all four officers involved in the situation that led last week to the death of 46-year-old George Floyd while he was in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Former Officer Derek Chauvin, who was previously charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter, has been charged with second-degree murder. The other officers involved in the situation, Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. Floyd, 46, died May 25 after he was detained for questioning regarding a possible forgery in progress. Video of his death caught by bystanders showed a Chauvin holding his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes as Floyd pleaded for air, sparking outrage. As of Wednesday, at least 40 cities across 16 states have imposed curfews. Live updates for Wednesday, June 3 continue below:  Former defense secretary Mattis denounces Trump in statement Update 6:20 p.m. EDT June 3: Shortly after defense secretary Mark Esper overturned a Pentagon decision to send active-duty soldiers home, former defense secretary Gen. James Mattis broke his silence condemning President Trump. Full statement: In Union There Is Strength I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled. The words “Equal Justice Under Law” are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation. When I joined the military, some 50 years ago, I swore an oath to support and defend the Constitution. Never did I dream that troops taking that same oath would be ordered under any circumstance to violate the Constitutional rights of their fellow citizens—much less to provide a bizarre photo op for the elected commander-in-chief, with military leadership standing alongside. We must reject any thinking of our cities as a “battlespace” that our uniformed military is called upon to “dominate.” At home, we should use our military only when requested to do so, on very rare occasions, by state governors. Militarizing our response, as we witnessed in Washington, D.C., sets up a conflict—a false conflict— between the military and civilian society. It erodes the moral ground that ensures a trusted bond between men and women in uniform and the society they are sworn to protect, and of which they themselves are a part. Keeping public order rests with civilian state and local leaders who best understand their communities and are answerable to them. James Madison wrote in Federalist 14 that “America united with a handful of troops, or without a single soldier, exhibits a more forbidding posture to foreign ambition than America disunited, with a hundred thousand veterans ready for combat.” We do not need to militarize our response to protests. We need to unite around a common purpose. And it starts by guaranteeing that all of us are equal before the law. Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that “The Nazi slogan for destroying us...was ‘Divide and Conquer.’ Our American answer is ‘In Union there is Strength.’” We must summon that unity to surmount this crisis—confident that we are better than our politics. Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children. We can come through this trying time stronger, and with a renewed sense of purpose and respect for one another. The pandemic has shown us that it is not only our troops who are willing to offer the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of the community. Americans in hospitals, grocery stores, post offices, and elsewhere have put their lives on the line in order to serve their fellow citizens and their country. We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution. At the same time, we must remember Lincoln’s “better angels,” and listen to them, as we work to unite. Only by adopting a new path—which means, in truth, returning to the original path of our founding ideals—will we again be a country admired and respected at home and abroad. James Mattis Thousands again protesting near White House Update 5:50 p.m. EDT June 3: Thousands of protesters in the nation’s capital knelt and sang “Amazing Grace” on Wednesday, the sixth night of protests over the death of George Floyd in Minnesota. “We are not going anywhere,” the protesters chanted. As the protesters sang and chanted, law enforcement officers in riot gear stood watching over the crowd, which stretched down 16th Street near the White House. The crowd knelt silently as the time neared for a virtual town hall by former President Barack Obama to discuss Floyd’s death, policing and the protests that have engulfed the country. Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser imposed an 11 p.m. curfew after a peaceful night of protests. The curfew then had been 7 p.m. Virginia governor to announce removal of iconic Richmond statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee Update 5:20 p.m. EDT June 3: Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam is expected to announce plans for the removal of an iconic statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Richmond’s prominent Monument Avenue, a senior administration official told The Associated Press. The governor will direct the statue to be moved off its pedestal and put into storage while his administration seeks input on a new location, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to speak before the governor’s announcement. The announcement is expected Thursday and comes amid turmoil worldwide over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into Floyd’s neck for several minutes, even after he stopped moving. Floyd’s death has sparked outrage over issues of racism and police brutality and prompted a new wave of Confederate memorial removals. The Lee statue is one of five Confederate monuments along Monument Avenue in Richmond, the former capital of the Confederacy. It’s been the target of vandalism during protests in recent days over Floyd’s death. Esper reverses plan to send active-duty troops home, Army says Update 5 p.m. EDT June 3: In an abrupt reversal, Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday overturned an earlier Pentagon decision to send a couple hundred active-duty soldiers home from the Washington, D.C., region, amid growing tensions with the White House over the military response to the protests. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy told The Associated Press that the reversal came after Esper attended a meeting at the White House, and after other internal Pentagon discussions. It is unclear if Esper met with President Donald Trump. McCarthy said he believes the change was based on ensuring there is enough military support in the region to respond to any protest problems if needed. ‘This is going to take months': Minnesota AG asks for patience as investigation continues Update 4:50 p.m. EDT June 3: After charges were filed against all four officers involved in the situation that led to George Floyd’s death last week, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison asked for patience as authorities continue to investigate. “In order to be thorough, this is going to take months,” Ellison said Wednesday at a news conference. “I don’t know how many, but it is better to make sure that we have a solid case -- fully investigated, researched -- before we got to trial than to rush it.” Ellison noted that cases against police officers are particularly difficult to prosecute. “It will take awhile,” he said, “and I can’t set a deadline on that.” 2 of 4 former officers accused in Floyd’s death have been arrested, officials say Update 4:45 p.m. EDT June 3: Two of the four former Minneapolis police officers who have been charged in connection to the death last week of George Floyd were in custody as of Wednesday afternoon, said Drew Evans, superintendent of the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Authorities had previously arrested Derek Chauvin, who on Wednesday was charged with second-degree murder in Floyd’s death. Evans said that officials had apprehended one of the other three former officers charged in Floyd’s death and that authorities were working to arrest the other two. He did not specify which former officer was jailed Wednesday. Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter were filed Wednesday against Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao. Chauvin, Lane, Kueng and Thao were fired last week from the Minneapolis Police Department. Assault by officer led to second-degree murder charge, Minnesota AG says Update 4:40 p.m. EDT June 3: Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said Wednesday that a second-degree murder charge was filed against former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin because George Floyd died as Chauvin was committing or attempting to commit third-degree assault. Under Minnesota law, a person can face a second-degree murder charge if he or she cause someone’s death without premeditation while committing or trying to commit another felony crime, with some exceptions. Prosecutors initially charged Chauvin with third-degree murder. Floyd’s family has called for even stronger charges against the officer. In a statement released through their attorney, family members said, “Attorney General Ellison has informed the family that his office will continue to investigate and will upgrade the charges (against Chauvin) to first-degree murder if the evidence supports it.” A person can face a first-degree murder charge in Minnesota if he or she is accused of causing another person’s death with premeditation. Attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Floyd’s family, said the failure of officers to do more once they realized the 46-year-old no longer had a pulse -- two minutes before body cam footage showed Chauvin took his knee off Floyd’s neck -- amounted to premeditation. Minnesota AG urges demonstrators to continue calling for change peacefully Update 4:20 p.m. EDT June 3: Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said Wednesday that the decision to charge all the officers involved in the situation that led to George Floyd’s death won’t solve all the issues that have sparked widespread protests nationwide. “What I do not believe is one successful prosecution can rectify the pain and loss that so many people feel,” Ellison said at a news conference, noting that the work to ensure justice and fairness for all in America “is the work of all of us.” “The pursuit of justice is always good and right,” Ellison said. “I want to signal to them that we hope that they continue to raise the cause of justice but do it in a peaceful manner.” Ellison announced a second-degree murder charge had been filed Wednesday against Officer Derek Chauvin. Officers Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao were charged with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. Minnesota AG holds news conference Update 4:05 p.m. EDT June 3: Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison confirmed he has filed a second-degree murder charge against former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin. Ellison also said he has filed charges of aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter against former officers Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao. Minnesota AG requests $1 million bail for all officers charged in Floyd’s death Update 4 p.m. EDT June 3: Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison on Wednesday requested that a judge set bail for the four officers charged in George Floyd’s death at $1 million, according to Reuters. Family: Minnesota AG still investigating, may upgrade charge against Chauvin Update 3:55 p.m. EDT June 3: In a statement released Wednesday through family attorney Ben Crump, George Floyd’s relatives said that Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office is continuing to investigate the 46-year-old’s death. The attorney general confirmed to the family that a charge of second-degree murder had been filed Wednesday against former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chuavin, who had previously been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Authorities also charged three other officers who responded to the situation that led to Floyd’s death last week, Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao, with aiding and abetting second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter. “Attorney General Ellison has informed the family that his office will continue to investigate and will upgrade the charges (against Chauvin) to first-degree murder if the evidence supports it,” Floyd’s family said Wednesday. The family also demanded accountability for police, noting that, “These officers knew they could act with impunity, given the Minneapolis Police Department’s widespread and prolonged pattern and practice of violating people’s constitutional rights.” George Floyd’s family calls charging decisions against officers ‘bittersweet’ Update 2:40 p.m. EDT June 3: The family of George Floyd called the decision Wednesday to charge three more officers in the 46-year-old’s death and to upgrade the charge against Officer Derek Chauvin to second-degree murder “bittersweet.” “We are deeply gratified that (Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison) took decision action, arresting (and) charging ALL the officers involved in (George Floyd’s) death (and) upgrading the charge against Derek Chauvin to felony second-degree murder,” Floyd’s family said in a statement shared by Crump. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., confirmed on Twitter that Ellison had decided to upgrade the charge against Chauvin from third-degree murder and to charge the other three officers seen in video captured by passersby standing by or helping to pin Floyd to the ground last week. Chauvin and the other three officers who were part of the police response, identified as Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao, were fired last week from the Minneapolis Police Department. Prosecutor upgrading charge against Chauvin, charging 3 other officer involved in Floyd’s death Update 2:15 p.m. EDT June 3: Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said Wednesday that a murder charge leveled against former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin is being upgraded to second-degree murder. The senator also said three other officers involved in Floyd’s death, Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao, will also be charged. Earlier Wednesday, attorney Ben Crump, who is representing Floyd’s family, told protesters gathered in Minneapolis that he expected the officers who had yet to be charged in the death of the 46-year-old to face charges as accomplices to murder. Crump said the three other officers “are accomplices because (of) their failure to act when they say he (didn’t) have a pulse.” 14,000 complaints made about Seattle police during protests Update 1:30 p.m. EDT June 3: Video of a young girl who appeared to have been pepper-sprayed by Seattle police during a protest over the weekend went viral -- and generated at least 11,000 complaints to the city’s Office of Police Accountability, according to KIRO-TV. OPA Director Andrew Myerberg said Tuesday that his office had received 14,000 complaints about 13 incidents over four days of protests following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police. “People are angry, people want answers now, and we need to do our best to move forward expeditiously with these cases while still being thorough,” Myerberg said, according to KIRO-TV. Myerberg said he wants his civilian-led investigations into the most pressing cases done in 45 to 60 days, instead of the usual six months, KIRO-TV reported. “We are going to get to the bottom of all these cases,” he said. >> Read more on KIRO7.com Photo of boy praying for police during unrest goes viral Update 1:15 p.m. EDT June 3: A photo taken of a 7-year-old boy praying for police in Tulsa, Oklahoma, gone viral with more than 10,500 shares as of Wednesday morning, KOKI-TV reported. The photo shows Trey Elliott with his hand on the shoulder of a Tulsa police officer. The boy’s mother, Brittany Elliot, and her husband told KOKI-TV that they’ve spoken to Trey about protests going on nationwide. Britney Elliott told the news station that her son wanted to pray for officers as some demonstrators began to vandalize Tulsa. >> Read more on Fox23.com Floyd family attorney says he expects 3 officers to be charged as accomplices Update 1 p.m. EDT June 3: Attorney Ben Crump, who is representing the family of George Floyd, told protesters gathered Wednesday in Minneapolis that he expects the officers who have yet to be charged in the death of the 46-year-old to face charges as accomplices to murder. Crump said former Minneapolis police officers Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao “are accomplices because (of) their failure to act when they say he (didn’t) have a pulse.” A criminal complaint filed last week against former Officer Derek Chauvin showed that Lane asked about whether they should move Floyd onto his side after he appeared to stop breathing and speaking. Prosecutors said Kueng checked Floyd’s pulse and said that he couldn’t find one, but officers remained on top of Floyd for another two minutes. “To us, that is intent,” Crump said. “That’s why the family is calling for first-degree murder charges against Officer Chauvin for having his knee in (Floyd’s) neck.” ACLU sues law enforcement over attacks on journalists covering protests Update 12:50 p.m. EDT June 3: Officials with the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota filed a class action lawsuit Wednesday on behalf of journalists who said they were targeted by police as protests over the killing of George Floyd erupted nationwide. The lawsuit alleges a “pattern and practice of conduct by law enforcement,” which the organization says, “tramples on the Constitution.” “Law enforcement is using violence and threats to deter the media from vigorously reporting on demonstrations and the conduct of police in public places,” ACLU-MN Legal Director Teresa Nelson said in a statement. “We depend on a free press to hold the police and government accountable for its actions, especially at a time like this when police have brutally murdered one of our community members, and we must ensure that justice is done. Our community, especially people of color, already have a hard time trusting police and government. Targeting journalists erodes that public trust even further.” The lawsuit’s lead plaintiff is Jared Goyette, a freelance journalist who says he was shot in the face by a rubber bullet fired by police. The suit outlines the number of journalists who have been arrested or injured by police since the demonstrations began last week. Named in the suit were the City of Minneapolis, police Chief Medaria Arradondo, police union head Lt. Bob Kroll, Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington and Minnesota State Patrol Col. Matthew Langer. Decision on more charges in Floyd case expected to be announced Wednesday, report says Update 11:30 a.m. EDT June 3: Unidentified law enforcement officials told CNN on Wednesday that authorities have come to a decision on additional charges against the officers involved in George Floyd’s death. An official told CNN that Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison “will be making a significant announcement in the case early this afternoon.” Last week, officials charged former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death. Video footage caught by passersby showed him pressing his knee to Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes May 25 as Floyd begged for air. Three other officers who were part of the police response, Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao, have not been charged in Floyd’s death. All four officers were fired last week from the police force. Officers involved in George Floyd’s death should be ‘held accountable for his murder,’ Esper says Update 11:10 a.m. EDT June 3: Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Wednesday said that the officers involved in the death of George Floyd should be “held accountable for his murder.” “Let me say upfront, the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis policeman is a horrible crime,' Esper said at a news conference, according to CNN. “The officers on the scene that day should be held accountable for his murder. It is a tragedy that we have seen repeat itself too many times.” Authorities have arrested and charged one of the four officers involved in the incident that led to Floyd’s death. Video footage shot by passersby showed then-Officer Derek Chauvin pressing his knee to Floyd’s neck for nine minutes May 25. He has been charged with third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. Former officers Thomas Lane, J.A. Kueng and Tou Thao, who have all been fired along with Chuavin from the Minneapolis Police Department, have not been charged in Floyd’s death. Esper said Wednesday that while he tries to keep his department apolitical, he felt compelled to denounce the killing of Floyd. “What happened to George Floyd happens way too often in this country and most times we don’t speak about these matters as a department, but as events have unfolded over the past few days it became very clear that this was becoming a very combustible national issue,” he said. Defense Secretary Mark Esper: ‘I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act’ Update 10:25 a.m. EDT June 3: Defense Secretary Mark Esper said Wednesday that he does not support invoking the Insurrection Act amid nationwide protests due to the killing of George Floyd. “The option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations. We are not in one of those situations now,” Esper said during a news conference. President Donald Trump said Monday that he plans to invoke the 1807 federal law, allowing him to deploy active-duty U.S. troops to respond to the unrest nationwide. Trump denies he was taken to bunker during protests Friday in Washington Update 10:15 a.m. EDT June 3: President Donald Trump on Wednesday denied reports that he was taken to the White House bunker on Friday as hundreds of protesters gathered outside the executive mansion. “It was a false report,” he said during an interview with Fox News Radio. The president said he did go down “for a tiny little short period of time” but he said that happened during the day and “was for an inspection.” “I’ve gone down two or three times, all for inspection,” Trump told Fox News Radio. “You go there and someday you may need it.” The New York Times and several other news outlets reported that Secret Service agents rushed Trump to the underground bunker Friday as protests grew outside the White House. More than 200 arrested in Houston protests Update 10:05 a.m. EDT June 3: Houston police said early Wednesday that more than 200 people had been arrested during protests of police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s death, though authorities said the number was relatively low. Police said in a statement posted on Twitter that the arrests were on suspicion of throwing rocks and bottles at officers and other crimes. Many people were also arrested for refusing to clear the streets as authorities tried to keep the peace. Authorities noted that the number of arrests was “extremely low ... considering the thousands of people in our community who marched and demonstrated peacefully.” Police said early Wednesday that they had received no significant reports of property damage or injuries. Doughnut shop set on fire during protest in Brockton, Massachusetts Update 9:30 a.m. EDT June 3: Demonstrators took to the streets nationwide Tuesday for mostly peaceful protests against police brutality in the wake of George Floyd’s death, but things took a turn in Brockton, Massachusetts, where protests turned violent, according to WFXT. The news station reported that protesters began to throw objects Tuesday evening and lit flares at police officers as they stood outside the Brockton police station on Commercial Street. Later, they set a Dunkin Donuts restaurant on fire, WFXT reported. Police later deployed tear gas in an effort to quell the crowd, according to WFXT. >> Read more on Boston25News.com Atlanta police blindsided by charges against officers who used Taser on students Update 8:55 a.m. EDT June 3: In an email obtained by WSB-TV, Atlanta police Chief Ericka Shields indicated that she was blindsided by the charges filed this week against two police officers seen on video using a Taser gun on two students as they sat in their car during protests over the weekend. Shields said she spent hours reviewing video of the situation, which happened Saturday night, and realized conflicting instructions to the students created chaos and escalated a low-level encounter, WSB-TV reported. She called the cops involved “good people and good cops” who made “multiple mistakes in a heated moment.” Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard filed excessive force charges Tuesday against the six officers involved in the situation, according to WSB-TV. >> Read more on WSBTV.com Seattle protesters arm themselves with umbrellas to combat crowd-control sprays Update 5:50 a.m. EDT June 3: Dozens of protesters on the front lines of a Tuesday night standoff with police in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood wielded umbrellas to shield themselves from crowd-control sprays such as pepper spray, CNN reported. Seattle remains under a nightly 10 p.m. curfew, which Mayor Jenny Durkan extended through Saturday. NYC police block Manhattan side of Brooklyn Bridge during standoff with protesters Update 5:38 a.m. EDT June 3: Hundreds of protesters attempting to cross the Brooklyn Bridge on foot en route to Manhattan were met by a police blockade Tuesday night, prompting an hours-long standoff that ended peacefully, The Washington Post reported. The skirmish ended around 10:30 p.m. when police vans advanced toward the crowd, which retreated to begin the return walk to Brooklyn. National Guard mobilizes briefly in DC’s Lafayette Square, pepper sprays protesters Update 5:27 a.m. EDT June 3: The Washington D.C. National Guard mobilized briefly early Wednesday morning to quell hundreds of protesters still demonstrating in Lafayette Park nearly six hours after the city’s 7 p.m. curfew took effect, CNN reported. About 250 protesters gathered near a fence erected earlier this week following skirmishes in the park, and some tossed fireworks and other projectiles at police gathered on the other side of makeshift barricade, the network reported. Guardsmen then fired pepper spray at the crowd and what appeared to be flash bangs to encourage dispersal.  “Now what you’re seeing is the response from the DC National Guard,” CNN Correspondent Alex Marquardt reported from the scene, adding, “I’m not seeing any park police, this is all military police.” Los Angeles police arrest protesters outside mayor's residence Update 5:09 a.m. EDT June 3: Protests in Los Angeles concluded late Tuesday with a handful of straggling demonstrators arrested outside the official residence of Mayor Eric Garcetti. At one point earlier Tuesday night, the crowd outside the home swelled to several hundred protesters, many of whom chanted “defund the police” and called for the firing of Los Angeles Police Chief Michel R. Moore, The Washington Post reported. Earlier in the day Garcetti joined protesters downtown and knelt with them in solidarity. He was not home during Tuesday’s demonstration. Charlotte police corner protesters, livestream video shows Update 4:38 a.m. EDT June 3: Police in Charlotte trapped dozens of peaceful demonstrators next to a parking structure late Tuesday, pummeling them with tear gas, pepper balls and flash bangs. Video of the clash livestreamed by alternative-weekly newspaper Queen City Nerve, captured the encounter. According to The Washington Post, officials in North Carolina’s largest city had not imposed a curfew, and police used a loudspeaker to encourage straggling protesters to disperse or face arrest. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department later took to Twitter to explain projectiles had been hurled at them by protesters and “multiple avenues” were offered for leaving the area before the situation escalated when a line of riot police formed behind the demonstrators and advanced, corralling those refusing to depart. The incident drew harsh criticism from civic leaders, including State Rep. Chaz Beasley. Obama to address police violence in Wednesday livestream Update 3:18 a.m. EDT June 3: Former President Barack Obama will join a host of other leaders in a Wednesday livestream to “discuss the tragic events of recent weeks, the history of police violence in America, and specific action steps needed to transform a system that has led to the loss of too many lives.” The Obama Foundation confirmed the scheduled event early Wednesday morning. The livestream begins at 5 p.m. Washington state trooper heard telling officers in viral video, ‘Don’t kill them. Hit them hard’ Published 3 a.m. EDT June 3: A Washington state trooper heard rallying his troops in a viral video is being defended by his organization and skewered in the court of public opinion Wednesday morning. The unidentified trooper can be heard prepping his fellow officers for Seattle protesters by saying, ‘Don’t kill them. Hit them hard.” Chris Loftis, director of communications for the Washington State Patrol, told The Washington Post the trooper had been demonstrating a “push tactic” intended to “move a group of noncompliant or aggressive protesters.” “This is not, ‘Go out and strike people. This is move them away from the situation and from danger,” Loftis told the newspaper. The trooper featured in the video, which began circulating on Twitter Tuesday night, can be heard telling officers, “Don’t kill them, get them out of the way,” while making a pushing motion with his fists. “We’re aware of the video and we apologize for the poor choice of words by one of our team leaders,” Loftis said.
  • Orange County Sheriff John Mina said United States law enforcement as a whole is not perfect, but they’ve made incremental improvements and are ready to listen to their communities. Mina was reflecting on the story of a local mother who called the Orange County Sheriff’s Office asking for deputies to come speak with her nervous 11 year-old daughter about the protests happening since George Floyd’s death in Minneapolis. “She was afraid for her daughter because her daughter was feeling tension and scared of the police,”  Mina said. “Then our dispatcher did such a great job of listening to her...and then actually telling her that we would send deputies there.  And I think that’s amazing with everything that’s going on in our community today...” (App users tap here to listen to entire interview) When asked to give advice to other parents who want to talk with their kids about community and police relations, Mina said they should “be honest” like he was with his sons as they were growing up. “Let the know that, unfortunately, we live in an imperfect world,” Mina said.  “And there are people out there that do not have the best intentions.  But as far as law enforcement, the vast majority are good people.  They risk their lives for our community.  And they’re there to help us.  But just like any other profession, unfortunately sometimes we have people that do wrong. “I think it’s important for us as a society to continue to spread that message to our kids that law enforcement is good, they’re there for us, and they’re there to help keep us safe.” Mina called George Floyd’s death “disturbing, horrifying and extremely tragic.”  He thinks it was excessive use of force, a criminal act. “It’s important for us to recognize that,” Mina said. “But it’s also important, I think, for the community to recognize that the law enforcement profession has made incremental changes over the past three decades, and we are improving.” He thinks that point sometimes gets lost with another important one: “We are always willing to listen to our community.” Recently Mina has been in the news for telling protesters he supports their right to demonstrate and for taking a knee with them.  He agrees that by listening, he’s been able to strike a balance between representing law enforcement and understanding protesters. “We definitely gotta listen,” he said. “Law enforcement shouldn’t be the ones out front saying this is how it is.  We should say, you know what, we’re not perfect. Let us listen to what you have to say.  Let’s work together for change, to make things better.  Especially in this community.  We have always had such an open dialogue with our community.  We’re willing to talk and listen and, yes, get down on one knee and march.” Listen to the entire conversation here.
  • David Dorn was trying to help a friend. The retired St. Louis police captain was shot to death early Tuesday during a violent night of protests in which four active St. Louis police officers were also shot. Dorn, who also served as police chief in Moline Acres, was 77, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The shooting took place around 2:30 a.m. Tuesday as Dorn tried to protect Lee’s Pawn & Jewelry from looters, the Post-Dispatch reported. He was shot in the torso and died on the sidewalk in front of the shop. His killing was captured on a Facebook Live video. The violence was part of protests in cities across the U.S. following the May 25 death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer kneeled on Floyd’s neck for several minutes during a forgery arrest. Like the aftermath of Dorn’s shooting, Floyd’s killing was captured on cellphone video.  The protests began peacefully but grew violent overnight, authorities said.  Dorn’s wife, St. Louis police Sgt. Ann Marie Dorn, told the Post-Dispatch her husband responded to his friend’s pawn shop any time the burglar alarm sounded. He was doing so when he was slain. The video of Dorn’s death was taken down shortly after it was broadcast, according to The Associated Press. A Facebook spokesperson told the Post-Dispatch, however, that the removal was a mistake because the video did not expressly violate the platform’s policy on violent or graphic content. “We’re saddened by what took place in St. Louis yesterday,” the Facebook spokesperson told the newspaper. “Under our policies, the video has been covered with a warning screen but remains on the platform so that people can raise awareness or condemn this event.” Snippets of the video remained on Twitter Wednesday. In the footage, Dorn lies on his back, his cellphone still in his hand.  Blood runs from his body in rivulets, pooling in the cracks of the sidewalk as he struggles to stay alive.  “Come on, man! Stay with me,” the man recording the footage cries.  Click here to see the disturbing footage. Warning: The video contains graphic images.  He appears to scream at looters as they run away.  “All for some TVs, man?” the man shouts, telling them that Dorn was “somebody’s granddaddy.” Missouri state Rep. Rasheen Aldridge was one of the people who helplessly watched Dorn die via Facebook.  “I just seen a man die on Live, man,” Aldridge wrote on Facebook. “Smh (shake my head).” Aldridge, D-St. Louis, told the Post-Dispatch he was shaken by what he saw. “Very traumatized right now,” the representative wrote in a message to a reporter. St. Louis Regional Crime Stoppers is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people who killed Dorn. The group is also offering $100,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people who shot four St. Louis police officers early Tuesday. According to the Post-Dispatch, all four officers were alert and conscious at the scene. Their injuries were not life-threatening. “I believe some coward randomly shot at the police line,” St. Louis police Chief John Hayden said during a briefing on the officers’ condition.  Hayden described the night’s violence as “mayhem.” The AP reported that along with the officers who were shot, other St. Louis officers were pelted with rocks and fireworks. A total of 55 businesses were burglarized or damaged, including a convenience store that was burned down, the AP said.  “I don’t know what else to say,” the chief said. “This is horrible.” Hayden told the Post-Dispatch that officers would be wearing black mourning bands on their badges in honor of Dorn, who the AP reported served 38 years on the St. Louis police force. After retiring in 2007, he became chief of the Molene Acres Police Department.  Watch Chief John Hayden speak about the shooting of four St. Louis police officers below, courtesy of KSDK. “Many of us, the other officers, looked up to him,” Hayden said of Dorn, according to the AP. “Was very well-liked, very pleasant. And his wife still works here. So, a very sad time for our agency. We will honor him.” The Ethical Society of Police, a group established in 1972 to aid black police officers in St. Louis, described Dorn as “the type of brother that would’ve given his life to save them if he had to.” “Violence like this is not the answer, whether it’s a citizen or officer,” a statement on the group’s Facebook page reads. “Our prayers are with his family and friends.” Missouri Gov. Mike Parson wrote in a statement that Floyd should not have died on May 25. Dorn shouldn’t have died, either, he wrote. “What Minneapolis police officers did to George Floyd isn’t acceptable and they MUST be held accountable. What criminals have done in St. Louis and across Missouri the past few nights isn’t acceptable. They MUST be held accountable,” Parson wrote on Facebook. “Their conduct had nothing to do with protesting – nothing to do with George Floyd – it was criminal behavior. “The Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Missouri National Guard stand ready to assist local law enforcement when needed.” St. Louis County Councilman Tim Fitch, himself a former St. Louis police chief, called Dorn a “true public servant.” “Protecting & serving all the way to the end,” Fitch tweeted. “None of us who knew you are surprised you went out fighting at Lee’s Pawn this morning. God speed my friend.” Fitch told the AP that Dorn’s personality was “bigger than life.” “He was a fun guy, a happy guy,” Fitch said. “You never had to wonder what he was thinking when somebody did something incredibly stupid like a crime because he would just say it as he saw it.” Missouri Department of Public Safety officials wrote in a Facebook post that Dorn devoted his career to serving his community. “He treated everyone with respect and dignity,” the post read. “His murder is another painful example of the terrible cost crime has on the good people of all our communities.” A Fundly fundraiser for Dorn’s family, which had a goal of $15,000, had raised nearly $195,000 as of noon Wednesday. Dorn’s wife wrote on Facebook that the page was the only legitimate fundraiser set up to memorialize her husband.
  • Pulse shooting survivor and Orlando political activist Brandon Wolf feels “galvanized” by what’s happening in the United States since George Floyd’s death. “Because the very same teeth of hatred and bigotry that took my best friends and forty-seven others at Pulse nightclub is the same hate and bigotry that we see on display,” Wolf said.  “It’s the same hate and bigotry that killed George Floyd in the streets of Minneapolis.” Mentioning the recent deaths of Brianna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, Wolf concluded it’s the “same hatred and bigotry that we fight today, that we were fighting then, that we fought for centuries.” (App users tap here) Next week will mark four years since the Pulse nightclub terror attack, and though this year’s observance by the onePULSE Foundation will be virtual, Wolf said he feels victims are tied even closer together in their fight against injustice. “It also serves as a moment for us to reflect on what we do as a community moving forward,” Wolf said.  “And I really hope that when we talk about honoring the victims with action, that we don’t just mean showing up on June 12th in a virtual sense.  That we mean honoring them by creating a world that they would be proud of.  A world that treats everyone with dignity and respect.” Wolf’s Action Plan Wolf believes “unwinding systemic racism” is going to be hard and complicated, but there are some actions to consider right now: 1. Demilitarize the police. “We have to ask ourselves why are police officers in the United States today trained and equipped like they’re going to war, instead of to serve the communities that they’re supposed to live in?” Wolf said.  2.  Implement community review boards for police accountability. “So that police officers are responsible to the communities that they serve for their actions.  So that the police are not the ones tasked with policing themselves.” 3. Reconsider levels of funding for law enforcement and incarceration. “We have to ask if those monies are actually doing the things that we want them to do,” he said.  “Are they actually making our society safer? Better? And the answer is probably no.” The Whole Conversation Wolf reflected about the death of his friend Drew during the Pulse attack. He promised Drew he’d never stop fighting for a world of which he’d be proud.  He also told a detailed story of getting pulled over many years ago in Winderemere and how the police officer “mocked and jeered” at him. “My experience is not nearly as traumatizing or horrific as others, but it also isn’t right,” Wolf said. Listen to the entire conversation.
  • More than 6.4 million people worldwide – including more than 1.8 million in the United States – have been infected with the new coronavirus, and the number of deaths from the outbreak continues to rise. While efforts to contain the COVID-19 outbreak continue, states have begun to shift their focus toward reopening their economies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is tracking cases in the U.S. here. Live updates for Wednesday, June 3, continue below: Florida to begin second phase of reopening Friday Update 2:30 p.m. EDT June 3: Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida announced Wednesday that the second phase of reopening businesses shuttered statewide due to the coronavirus pandemic will begin Friday, according to WFTV. DeSantis said 64 of Florida’s 67 counties will move into the new phase. The counties not moving into the phase are Palm Beach County, Miami-Dade County and Broward County, according to WFTV. The second phase of reopening in Florida will allow bars, nightclubs, bowling alleys and movie theaters to reopen at 50% capacity, WFTV reported. >> Read more on WFTV.com 652 new cases of COVID-19 reported in New Jersey Update 1:50 p.m. EDT June 3: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said Wednesday that 652 new coronavirus infections have been reported, raising the total number of COVID-19 cases in the state to 162,068. On social media, the governor encouraged people to continue social distancing. “We cannot lose sight of what’s important -- remaining vigilant and keeping up with our social distancing,” Murphy said. “We’re still at or near the top of the list in terms of patients in our hospitals and the number of residents we are losing to (COVID-19).” Officials also reported 112 more deaths associated with the coronavirus pandemic. As of Tuesday, 11,880 people have died statewide of COVID-19. New Jersey to allow restaurants, bars to reopen for outdoor dining Update 1:20 p.m. EDT June 3: Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey said Wednesday that he plans to sign an executive order to allow for in-person, outdoor dining at restaurants and bars statewide beginning June 15. The governor said businesses will still need to allow for social distancing measures to continue at the businesses. Last coronavirus patients leave Boston Hope field hospital Update 1:05 p.m. EDT June 3: The last two patients released from field hospital Boston Hope Medical Center departed the makeshift facility for recovering coronavirus patients to applause and celebration Tuesday, WFXT reported. Joseph Murphy, 68, pumped his fists in victory as staff wheeled him outside following a 36-day stay, according to WFXT. Family members watched by FaceTime as staff members sang along to Murphy’s favorite songs from Frank Sinatra and Neil Diamond with tears in their eyes, the news station reported. The very last patient to leave, Oger Julien, 78, of Malden, waved his arms, thankful for his health and his medical team. >> Read more on Boston25News.com 1,871 new coronavirus infections reported in the UK Update 1 p.m. EDT June 3: Officials in the United Kingdom reported 1,871 new coronavirus infections Wednesday, raising the country’s total number of infections to 279,856. Officials said that as of 5 p.m. local time Tuesday, the most recent date for which data was available, 39,728 people had died nationwide of COVID-19. 49 new fatal COVID-19 cases reported in New York Update 12:05 p.m. EDT June 3: Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York said Wednesday that 49 more people have died of COVID-19 in the state, the lowest daily death toll reported from the virus since the beginning of the pandemic. The number fell below the 58 new fatal cases reported one day earlier and below the 54 deaths reported on Monday. Some Pennsylvania schools to resume in-person classes in July, officials say Update 11:40 a.m. EDT June 3: Officials with the Pennsylvania Department of Education announced Wednesday that some elementary and secondary schools in the state will be allowed to resume in-person classes and activities July 1. Officials said schools in parts of the state that are under the yellow or green phases of reopening will be allowed to resume on-campus activities. Post-secondary institutions and adult basic education programs will be allowed to resume in-person classes as soon as Friday. “We need to direct our energy to focus on how to resume instruction in the 2020-21 school year,' state Education Secretary Pedro Rivera said Wednesday in a statement. 'We fully expect students to return to classrooms in some capacity and are confident that schools will use this guidance to build a framework that best meets the unique needs of their students and communities.” 130 new cases of COVID-19 reported in DC Update 11:15 a.m. EDT June 3: Health officials in Washington D.C. said Wednesday that 130 new coronavirus infections have been reported in the area, raising the total number of cases in the area to 9,016. Officials also announced that three more people between the ages of 67 and 91 had died of COVID-19 in Washington D.C., bringing the total number of deaths in the District to 473. University of Southern California to resume in-person classes in August Update 10:40 a.m. EDT June 3: University of Southern California President Carol Folt said Tuesday that officials expect to resume classes on campus for the fall semester beginning in August. “While we still have many details to work out, we are planning for an in-person fall semester for students beginning on August 17, 2020, a week earlier than scheduled,” Folt said in a letter posted on the school’s website. 'All classes, including final exams, will end by Thanksgiving. By ending the semester before Thanksgiving, we are aiming to minimize the spread of the virus, particularly as the flu season commences.' To accommodate for the changes in the school schedule, Folt said the regular fall break has been cancelled for the 2020-2021 school year. “Please understand that these plans remain contingent on several factors, including the continued spread of COVID-19, and the health orders from state and local authorities,” Folt said. “So, things could change, but we are excited to move forward and to have you back.” Wall Street’s rally rolls into Day 4 on reopening hopes Update 10 a.m. EDT June 3: Stocks pushed higher in early trading Wednesday on Wall Street as the stock market’s rally carried into a fourth day. The S&P 500 added 0.7% to gains made in earlier days on optimism that lifting lockdowns around the world will allow the economy to recover from its current hole. Treasury yields also rose in a sign of improved confidence after a report suggested U.S. job losses weren’t as horrific last month as economists expected. “The theme of reopening optimism has its stronghold on markets going into the midweek,” said Jingyi Pan, market strategist for IG. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 191 points, or 0.7%, at 25,933, as of 9:37 a.m. Eastern time, and the Nasdaq composite was up 0.3%. NC governor: ‘Unfortunate’ RNC didn’t agree to ‘make changes to keep people safe’ from COVID-19 Update 9:55 a.m. EDT June 3: Gov. Roy Cooper of North Carolina said Tuesday that officials in the state have been committed to ensuring that people are safe during the Republican National Convention, planned for August, and lamented that party officials wouldn’t agree to “make changes to keep people safe.” “We have been committed to a safe (Republican National Committee) convention in North Carolina and it’s unfortunate they never agreed to scale down and make changes to keep people safe,” he said Tuesday in a tweet. “Protecting public health and safety during this pandemic is a priority.” Cooper’s comments came after President Donald Trump announced that he’s seeking another state to host this year’s convention, saying that North Carolina officials couldn’t guarantee that the event could be held in Charlotte as planned without restrictions due to the novel coronavirus outbreak. City officials later said in a statement obtained by WSOC-TV that they had yet to receive notification from the RNC about plans to move the convention. City officials said the RNC is under contract to hold the convention in Charlotte and that the city attorney would be in contact with the RNC’s attorneys, WSOC-TV reported. >> Read more on WSOCTV.com First human trials begin for COVID-19 antibody therapy Update 9:15 a.m. EDT June 3: Officials with Eli Lilly and Company announced Monday that the first human trials of the pharmaceutical company’s COVID-19 antibody therapy drug have begun. “Lilly scientists delivered the first doses of our potential COVID-19 antibody treatment, flown to hospitals in several U.S. cities to start the world’s first human study of this kind of therapy to fight COVID infections,” company officials said on Twitter. Officials said the of its experimental drug were administered to patients in Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles. >> Read more on WSBTV.com Global deaths near 381K, total cases top 6.4M Update 7:58 a.m. EDT June 3: The global death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus reached 380,764 early Tuesday, according to a Johns Hopkins University tally. In the four months since the virus was first identified in Wuhan, China, it has infected at least 6,404,872 people worldwide. Meanwhile, 16 nations now have total infection counts higher than China’s 84,159. The 10 nations with the highest number of infections recorded to date are as follows: • The United States has reported 1,831,821 cases, resulting in 106,181 deaths. • Brazil has recorded 555,383 cases, resulting in 31,199 deaths. • Russia has confirmed 431,715 cases, resulting in 5,208 deaths. • The United Kingdom has reported 279,393 cases, resulting in 39,452 deaths. • Spain has confirmed 239,932 cases, resulting in 27,127 deaths. • Italy has reported 233,515 cases, resulting in 33,530 deaths. • India has reported 208,479 cases, resulting in 5,834 deaths. • France has confirmed 188,450 cases, resulting in 28,943 deaths. • Germany has reported 184,097 cases, resulting in 8,576 deaths. • Peru has reported 170,039 cases, resulting in 4,634 deaths. South Korea will start importing remdesivir to help treat COVID-19 patients Update 7:42 a.m. EDT June 3: South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety announced Wednesday it has approved imports of the antivirus drug remdesivir to address the nation’s novel coronavirus infections. In its announcement the ministry pointed to success with the drug in shortening the treatment period for severe COVID-19 patients in the United States, Japan and the United Kingdom throughout the pandemic. The ministry, alongside its Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will now negotiate to import the drug via Gilead Science Korea. UK ethnic minorities up to 50% more likely to die from COVID-19 than white people, report Update 7:26 a.m. EDT June 3: A government review has concluded people from the United Kingdom’s ethnic minority communities are as much as 50% more likely to die from contracting the novel coronavirus than their white peers. Public Health England’s study found that people of Bangladeshi heritage who tested positive for the virus were around twice as likely to die as their white British peers, CNN reported. Other minority communities such as people of Chinese, Indian, Pakistani and Caribbean descent also had a 10% to 50% higher risk of death from COVID-19. Meanwhile, the rate of infection per 100,000 patients was more than double for women in black ethnic groups than for white women and nearly triple for men in those same groups, the network reported. USC resuming in-person classes in August Update 7:18 a.m. EDT June 3: The University of Southern California will resume in-person classes when the fall semester begins in August, president Carol L. Folt confirmed Tuesday. According to Folt’s message to students, classes will start one week earlier than originally planned and conclude by Thanksgiving. Folt also said the majority of in-person classes will also be offered online, giving faculty and students the option of not returning to campus. In addition, masks and physical distancing will be mandatory at all times, while dorms and dining halls “will be modified to reduce density and contact,” Folt wrote. Oklahoma State linebacker tests positive for COVID-19 after attending protest Update 7:04 a.m. EDT June 3: Oklahoma State linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga said in a Tuesday tweet that he has tested positive for the novel coronavirus after attending a protest. “After attending a protest in Tulsa AND being well protective of myself, I have tested positive for COVID-19,” Ogbongbemiga tweeted. “Please, if you are going to protest, take care of yourself and stay safe.” India confirms COVID-19 cases top 200K Update 6:57 a.m. EDT June 3: Today is the day tourism returns to Italy, at least partially. As the country reopens to European visitors only, Italian tourism officials can only wait and see how much wanderlust remains among the traveling public following the extended novel coronavirus pandemic. According to The Washington Post, Italy hosted 63 million overseas visitors last year, but the country’s minister for culture and tourism, Dario Franceschini, has said that he does not expect the industry to recover fully until 2023. Major attractions such as the Colosseum and the Leaning Tower of Pisa have already reopened for domestic tourists, the Post reported. Italy welcomes return of European tourists Wednesday Update 6:38 a.m. EDT June 3: With 8,909 new novel coronavirus cases confirmed during the past 24 hours, India became the seventh nation worldwide to surpass 200,000 total infections. According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, India has confirmed a total of 208,404 cases, resulting in 5,833 deaths. The other six nations topping the 200,000 mark to date include: • United States: 1,831,821 • Brazil: 555,383 • Russia: 431,715 • United Kingdom: 279,392 • Spain: 239,932 • Italy: 233,515 US coronavirus cases climb past 1.8M, deaths top 106K Update 12:50 a.m. EDT June 3: The number of novel coronavirus cases in the United States continued to climb past 1.8 million early Wednesday across all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. According to a Johns Hopkins University tally, there are at least 1,831,821 confirmed U.S. cases of the virus, which have resulted in at least 106,181 deaths.  The hardest-hit states remain New York with 373,040 cases and 29,968 deaths and New Jersey with 161,545 cases and 11,771 deaths. Massachusetts, with 101,163 cases, has the third-highest number of deaths with 7,085, while Illinois has the third-highest number of cases with 122,848. Only 15 states and territories have confirmed fewer than 5,000 cases each. Six other states have now confirmed at least 54,000 novel coronavirus cases each, including: • California: 117,215 cases, resulting in 4,305 deaths • Pennsylvania: 77,225 cases, resulting in 5,667 deaths • Texas: 67,310 cases, resulting in 1,716 deaths • Michigan: 57,731 cases, resulting in 5,553 deaths • Florida: 57,447 cases, resulting in 2,530 deaths • Maryland: 54,175 cases, resulting in 2,597 deaths Meanwhile, Georgia, Virginia, Connecticut and Louisiana each has confirmed at least 40,000 cases; Ohio, Indiana and North Carolina each has confirmed at least 30,000 cases; Colorado, Minnesota, Tennessee, Washington, Arizona and Iowa each has confirmed at least 20,000 cases; Alabama and Wisconsin each has confirmed at least 18,000 cases, followed by Mississippi with 16,041 and Rhode Island with 15,112; Nebraska and Missouri each has confirmed at least 14,000 cases, followed by South Carolina with 12,415; Utah and Kentucky each has confirmed at least 10,000 cases; Kansas and Delaware each has confirmed at least 9,000 cases; the District of Columbia, Nevada and New Mexico each has confirmed at least 8,000 cases; Arkansas, Oklahoma and South Dakota each has confirmed at least 5,000 cases Click here to see CNN’s state-by-state breakdown. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Washington Insider

  • With President Donald Trump demanding answers on what he's coined 'Obamagate,' the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday began hearings into the genesis of the Russia investigation, as the first witness told Senators he had seen no evidence of wrongdoing by former President Barack Obama. 'Now we're going to look at the Mueller investigation,' said Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) as he opened the hearings. 'And we're going to look hard.' 'We're going to get to the bottom of this,' Graham declared. The first witness was former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who defended his decision to name former FBI Director Robert Mueller to take charge of the Russia probe, which was focusing on Russian interference in the 2016 elections. 'Russians influenced crimes in seeking to influence the election,' Rosenstein said. 'And Americans did not conspire with them.' Asked at one point about 'Obamagate' - the President's catch-all moniker for the Russia investigation, Rosenstein said he had not seen any evidence of wrongdoing by the former President. 'I have not,' Rosenstein told Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), though Rosenstein made clear he was uncomfortable with reports of FBI errors uncovered by an internal watchdog at the Justice Department. 'I do not consider the investigation to be corrupt, but I certainly understand the President's frustration, given the outcome,' Rosenstein said at another point. GOP Senators basically turned Rosenstein into a pinata in the witness chair, using their questioning time to denounce the investigation, raising questions about errors in the process of obtaining a FISA warrant on one-time Trump foreign policy adviser Carter Page, and demanding to know why Rosenstein wasn't to blame. 'I'm accountable,' Rosenstein said during a verbal tug of war with Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO). Democrats did all they could to downplay the hearing, saying it was just a political effort by the GOP, as Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) compared it to watching old baseball games on TV during the current Coronavirus pandemic.