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US Jury Starts Deliberations in Trial of Officer Charged with Killing George Floyd

A U.S. jury in a Minnesota courtroom Monday heard sharply different claims of how George Floyd, a Black man, died last year, then began deliberations in the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is accused of killing Floyd in one of the country’s highest profile cases in recent years. A prosecutor accused Chauvin of killing Floyd by kneeling on his neck for more than nine minutes. A defense attorney contended that Floyd died partly from drug use and that Chauvin was following his police training in the way he arrested Floyd last May on a Minneapolis street. Prosecutor Steve Schleicher summed up the case against Chauvin, 45, the white police officer who held down the handcuffed, 46-year-old Floyd, as he lay prone on a city street and gasped — 27 times, according to videos of his arrest — that he could not breathe.Prosecutor Steven Schleicher makes closing arguments as defense attorney Eric Nelson listens during the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for second-degree murder.“He was trapped … a knee to his neck,” Schleicher said, with Chauvin’s weight on him for 9 minutes and 29 seconds.“George Floyd was not a threat to anyone,” Schleicher said. “All that was required was some compassion, and he got none.”But defense attorney Eric Nelson, in more than 2½ hours of arguments before the racially diverse 12-member jury, contended that Chauvin followed his police training in restraining Floyd on the pavement of a Minneapolis city street after the suspect initially resisted police efforts to put him into a squad car.“No crime was committed if it was an authorized use of force,” Nelson argued.“The state has not proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt,” the legal standard for a conviction, the defense attorney concluded as he asked the jurors to acquit Chauvin of murder and manslaughter charges.The defense lawyer contended that rather than treating Floyd poorly, Chauvin told him to relax while he was on the ground and called for an emergency medical crew, although it arrived after Floyd had lost consciousness.Nelson dismissed the prosecution’s claim that Chauvin asphyxiated Floyd, saying that Floyd’s death was caused at least partly by his drug use and a sudden heart failure.WATCH: Video report on Derek Chauvin trialSorry, but your browser cannot support embedded video of this type, you can
Defense attorney Eric Nelson mimics someone feigning a medical emergency as he makes closing arguments during the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for second-degree murder.Trial judge Peter Cahill read instructions on legal aspects of the case to the jurors for them to apply when they consider whether to convict or acquit Chauvin. The judge told the jury not to draw any inference on Chauvin’s innocence or guilt from his declining to testify in the case, as was his right.Last week, Chauvin invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination and did not take the witness stand. Under U.S. law, the prosecution must prove the allegations against defendants, and defendants are assumed innocent until proved beyond a reasonable doubt.Jurors will be sequestered until they reach a verdict.As the case nears the end, authorities in the Midwestern city of Minneapolis are braced for possible street protests after the verdict. Many stores are boarded up to prevent a recurrence of the damage and looting that took place after Floyd’s death almost a year ago.Protests, some of them violent, broke out in many cities in the U.S. and throughout the world. The Black Lives Matter movement was at the forefront of the demonstrations, but thousands of people who had no previous connection to the Black-led protests joined in to condemn Chauvin’s actions, and more broadly, police treatment of minorities.The same issues raised by Floyd’s death came to the forefront in the community again when a now-resigned police officer in a Minneapolis suburb fatally shot a 20-year-old African American man during a traffic stop on April 11.

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Medical Examiner: US Capitol Police Officer Died of Natural Causes After DC Riot

The District of Columbia’s chief medical examiner has ruled that Capitol Police Officer Brian Sicknick had two strokes and died of natural causes, after he tussled with a mob of supporters of former President Donald Trump at the U.S. Capitol. The medical examiner’s office said on Monday that the 42-year-old officer’s cause of death was natural causes after he suffered a stroke. He died the day after the January 6 violence. The findings mean it will be hard for federal prosecutors to bring homicide charges in connection with Sicknick’s death. Two men, George Tanios and Julian Khater, are facing charges they assaulted three police officers, including Sicknick, by spraying them with a chemical irritant on January 6. The Washington Post first reported the medical examiner’s ruling.  
 

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ЄСПЛ прийняв до розгляду скаргу Навального і повідомив про це владі Росії

Зазвичай комунікація скарги в ЄСПЛ може тривати понад два роки. Винятки існують, але це потребує застосування судом спеціальної прискореної процедури

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EU: Russian Troop Buildup Along Ukraine, Crimea Highest Ever

The European Union says roughly 150,000 Russian troops are massed along the border of Ukraine and in Crimea — calling it the highest such military deployment.EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell described Russia’s military buildup on the Ukraine border and annexed Crimea as very worrying.”The military deployment of Russian troops, with all kinds of materials — deploying campaign hospitals and all kinds of warfare — has been continuing. I cannot tell you where this figure comes from, but it is my reference figure. It is the highest military deployment of Russian army in Ukrainian borders ever,” he said.But Borrell said for now — and despite separate accusations by the Czech Republic that Russia was behind explosions in 2014 at an ammunition depot— the 27-member bloc is not planning more sanctions against Moscow.”At the time being there is no move on the field of more sanctions to Russia. Things can change, but the situation is the way I am explaining,” he said.A Ukrainian soldier is seen at fighting positions on the line of separation from pro-Russian rebels near Donetsk, Ukraine, April 19, 2021.The Czech Republic has expelled 18 Russian diplomats accused of being spies in the case related to the explosion. In a tit-for-tat move, Moscow ordered 20 Czech diplomats out of Russia.The EU has followed Washington in warning Moscow about another key issue — the deteriorating health of opposition activist Alexey Navalny, who began a hunger strike last month demanding better medical care. Navalny reportedly has now been moved to a military hospital.“They are responsible for Navalny’s safety and health, and we will hold them to account for it,” said Borrell.The prison service said at the present time, Navalny’s health is deemed satisfactory, and that he is being examined daily by a physician. Officials also say he agreed to take vitamin therapy.FILE – Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny stands inside a defendant dock during a court hearing in Moscow, Russia, Feb. 20, 2021, in this still image taken from video. (Press Service of Babushkinsky District Court of Moscow/Handout)Russia was the top item at Monday’s EU foreign ministers meeting — held by video link because of the coronavirus pandemic. Experts say tensions between Russia and the West are at their highest point since the Cold War. Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France also held four-way talks in Kyiv.Senior analyst Amanda Paul, of the Brussels-based European Policy Center, said she is not surprised the EU isn’t taking bolder action against Russia, which annexed Crimea in 2014.“The problem is, like always, you don’t have one voice. Obviously, there’s some member states that would like the EU to respond with a much tougher narrative or tougher steps. But you have the other part that is more cautious and wants to wait and see,” she said.On other hotspots, the EU adopted a new round of sanctions against Myanmar following the February coup there. It also criticized the lack of progress on Ethiopia’s Tigray region, where fighting between the federal government and the region’s former ruling party erupted last year.A burned tank stands near the town of Adwa, Tigray region, Ethiopia, March 18, 2021.The EU says troops from Eritrea have not withdrawn and human rights violations continue. Eritrea had been fighting on the side of the Ethiopian federal forces. Eritrea previously denied being in the Tigray region.On a positive note, Borrell was upbeat about progress between Washington and Tehran at indirect nuclear talks in Vienna.“I think both parts are really interested in reaching an agreement,” she said.The Reuters news agency cites a Russian diplomat saying negotiations to save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal were in a drafting stage, although solutions to issues were still far away.
 

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Радники «нормандської четвірки» підтвердили прагнення до перемир’я на Донбасі – українська делегація в ТКГ

Головним питанням зустрічі політичних радників стало «обговорення практичних кроків, необхідних для дотримання режиму повного та всеосяжного припинення вогню»

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Арестович анонсує на 20 квітня екстрене засідання підгрупи ТКГ з безпеки

19 квітня відбулося засідання політичних радників лідерів «нормандської четвірки»

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NASA’s Mars Helicopter Takes First Successful Test Flight

The U.S. space agency, NASA, Monday received images and data confirming its small helicopter, Ingenuity, successfully performed the first controlled powered flight of an aircraft on a planet other than Earth. Scientists in the control room at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the California Institute of Technology burst into applause and cheers when data confirmed Ingenuity had successfully spun its rotors, lifted off to a height of three meters and landed safely back on the surface of Mars.   “Wow!”The @NASAJPL team is all cheers as they receive video data from the @NASAPersevere rover of the Ingenuity #MarsHelicopter flight: pic.twitter.com/8eH4H6jGKs— NASA (@NASA) April 19, 2021A picture taken by the small craft of its own shadow on the ground below it arrived seconds later, as did video of the flight taken by NASA’s Perseverance rover probe several meters away.   
 
Ingenuity, weighing a mere 1.8 kilograms, was stowed away on the Perseverance when it landed on Mars in February. It was unfolded and dropped from the rover about two weeks ago to prepare its launch.  The first test of the helicopter had been scheduled for more than a week ago, but a software problem was discovered that required an update.  In this image from NASA, NASA’s experimental Mars helicopter Ingenuity lands on the surface of Mars, April 19, 2021. The helicopter is considered by NASA to be a technology demonstration, designed to test a new capability — in this case, flight in the thin Martian atmosphere — for the first time. It has specially designed rotors that spin much faster than they would have to on Earth to achieve flight. It also has innovative batteries and solar cells for recharging. 
 
Aside from cameras, Ingenuity carries no scientific instruments.  

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US Jury Hearing Closing Arguments in Trial of Officer Charged with Killing George Floyd

A jury in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is hearing closing arguments Monday in the murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, accused of killing a Black man, George Floyd, last year by kneeling on his neck in an incident that triggered widespread protests against police abuse of minorities.Prosecutor Steve Schleicher summed up the case against Chauvin, 45, the white police officer who held down the handcuffed, 46-year-old Floyd, as he lay prone on a city street and gasped that he could not breathe.“He was trapped … a knee to his neck,” Schleicher said, with Chauvin’s weight on him for nine minutes and 29 seconds.“George Floyd was not a threat to anyone,” Schleicher said. “All that was required was some compassion, and he got none.”The prosecution at the trial, now in its fourth week, argued that Chauvin, a 19-year police veteran before he was fired in the aftermath of Floyd’s death, ignored his police training in the way he arrested Floyd and used excessive force in holding him down. Floyd was accused of attempting to pass a counterfeit $20 bill at a nearby convenience store.The prosecution contended that Chauvin, with his knee on Floyd’s neck, asphyxiated him. Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years in prison.Eric Nelson, Chauvin’s defense attorney, is expected to tell the 12-member, racially diverse jury that Chauvin followed normal police procedures in apprehending Floyd and that the suspect died from a weak heart and underlying drug use, not from the policeman kneeling on his neck.WATCH: Video report on Derek Chauvin trialSorry, but your browser cannot support embedded video of this type, you can
download this video to view it offline.Download File360p | 8 MB480p | 11 MB540p | 14 MB720p | 30 MB1080p | 58 MBOriginal | 70 MB Embed” />Copy Download AudioSchleicher’s closing argument lasted an hour and 43 minutes, with the prosecutor repeatedly contending that Floyd “didn’t have to die” last May 25, if only Chauvin had followed his police training and used appropriate force in apprehending Floyd or given him medical assistance when he said he could not breathe.“He violated police use of force. He did not provide emergency care. He did it on purpose,” Schleicher argued. “He violated his training, and he killed a man.”The prosecutor claimed that Chauvin was “consciously indifferent” to Floyd’s life.Schleicher rhetorically asked the jury, “Was this authorized use of force? Was it justified? It was not.”“This was murder,” Schleicher concluded.Before the closing arguments, trial judge Peter Cahill read instructions on legal aspects of the case to the jury to apply when it starts considering whether to convict or acquit Chauvin. The judge told the jury not to draw any inference on Chauvin’s innocence or guilt from his declining to testify in the case, as was his right.Last week, Chauvin invoked his constitutional right against self-incrimination and did not take the witness stand. Under U.S. law, the prosecution must prove the allegations against defendants.Jurors will be sequestered until they reach a verdict.As the case nears the end, authorities in the Midwestern city of Minneapolis are braced for possible street protests after the verdict. Many stores are boarded up to prevent a reoccurrence of the damage and looting that took place after Floyd’s death last May.  Protests, some of them violent, broke out in many cities in the U.S. and throughout the world. The Black Lives Matter movement was at the forefront of the demonstrations, but thousands of people who had no previous connection to the Black-led protests joined in to condemn Chauvin’s actions, and more broadly, police treatment of minorities.The same issues raised by Floyd’s death came to the forefront in the community again when a now-resigned police officer in a Minneapolis suburb fatally shot a 20-year-old African American man during a traffic stop on April 11.