The Politics Thread Will Be Cold in the Ground Before it Recognizes Monday

Derek Chauvin Sentenced to 22 and a Half Years in Prison for George Floyd’s Murder

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer found guilty of murdering George Floyd, has been sentenced to 22 and a half years in prison. The sentencing phase of Chauvin’s trial that began in March is the latest chapter in the aftermath of Floyd’s murder, and it took place Friday as members of Floyd’s family spoke at a hearing.

Teen Vogue

Biden orders airstrikes on Iran-backed militias near Iraq-Syria border in response to UAV attacks

President Joe Biden ordered airstrikes this weekend on Iran-backed militias near the Iraq-Syria border in response to unmanned aerial vehicle attacks, according to Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby.

“At President Biden’s direction, U.S. military forces earlier this evening conducted defensive precision airstrikes against facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups in the Iraq-Syria border region,” Kirby said in a statement Sunday. “The targets were selected because these facilities are utilized by Iran-backed militias that are engaged in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks against U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq.”

Kirby said the U.S. acted within its legal rights and said the airstrikes were a matter of self-defense.

“The strikes were both necessary to address the threat and appropriately limited in scope,” Kirby’s statement said. “As a matter of domestic law, the President took this action pursuant to his Article II authority to protect U.S. personnel in Iraq.”

ABC News

Brazil’s Bolsonaro Linked to Alleged Corruption in Covid Vaccine Buying

A government-allied lawmaker dragged President Jair Bolsonaro into a scandal of alleged corruption in the purchase of a Covid-19 vaccine for Brazil’s immunization campaign, saying he personally warned the president about irregularities.

Lower house representative Luis Miranda, speaking late Friday at a congressional committee probing Bolsonaro’s handling of the pandemic, said he held a meeting with the president in March where he described a series or irregularities in the purchase of the Covaxin vaccine, produced by India’s Bharat Biotech International Ltd.

During the conversation, as described by Miranda, Bolsonaro blamed his leader in the lower house, Ricardo Barros, for meddling in the health ministry, but didn’t stop the purchase. The ministry signed a contract to purchase 20 million doses for 1.6 billion reais ($325 million), although no shots have been delivered yet.


There are at least 200 known cases of the Delta Plus coronavirus variant worldwide. Here’s what we know

A new and slightly changed version of the Delta coronavirus variant is spreading in a number of countries including the United Kingdom, United States and India, health officials say.This strain, which has generated a significant amount of global media attention, is called B.1.617.2.1 or AY.1 — Delta Plus for short, and is a version of the Delta variant first detected in India in February.It was first reported by Public Health England, a government health agency, on June 11. But the UK’s first few cases had been sequenced on April 26 — suggesting the variant may have been present and spreading by the spring.

The Indian government said it has submitted the variant to the Global Data System, and sent samples for genomic testing.

About 200 cases have been spotted in 11 countries. Only one death has been reported so far, in India.

Health experts are investigating whether Delta Plus may be more transmissible than other strains like the Alpha or Delta variants — but it’s too early to say for sure what its effects may be.


U.S. reaches 323 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered -CDC

The United States has administered 323,327,328 doses of COVID-19 vaccines in the country as of Sunday morning, and distributed 381,282,720 doses, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said.

Those figures are up from the 322,123,103 vaccine doses the CDC said had gone into arms by June 26 out of 381,276,030 doses delivered.

The agency said 179,261,269 people had received at least one shot, while 153,028,665 in the United States are fully vaccinated as of Sunday.


Skeletal Remains Exhumed Near Tulsa Race Massacre Site Had Bullet Wounds to Head and Shoulder

Forensic researchers in Tulsa have discovered 35 unmarked coffins from a mass grave that may be connected to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. So far, preliminary analysis has been done on the remains of 19 people exhumed from the site.

The Tulsa World reports that on Friday, officials announced that one set of the remains unearthed from a Black potter’s field in Oaklawn Cemetery and analyzed were of a Black man that was shot multiple times, including in the head and shoulder. Other remains that were partially analyzed belonged to five juveniles and at least two women.

Experts say it’s possible that the women and children may not have been killed during the massacre based on the fact that they were in better coffins than the men they found buried in this section of the cemetery. The excavation team was mainly looking for men buried in cheap coffins, according to The World.

Nothing will be known for sure about the remains until the DNA research is complete. A full report on the findings is expected in the coming months.

The Root

Bill Barr On Trump’s Election Fraud Lies: ‘It Was All Bulls**t’

In an interview published Sunday, former Attorney General William Barr bashed former President Donald Trump’s efforts to spread misinformation about the 2020 election, calling Trump’s lies about voter fraud “bullshit.”

Barr, speaking to ABC News’ Jonathan Karl for The Atlantic, opened up about his final few months working under Trump, when the president pushed the Justice Department to investigate baseless allegations of election fraud in an attempt to overturn Joe Biden’s legitimate victory.

Barr said he gave DOJ the green light to investigate “substantial allegations” of voter irregularities a week after the election, and also began his own unofficial inquiry into Trump’s claims. But he found the allegations being peddled by Trump and his allies to be unfounded, he told Karl.

“My attitude was: It was put-up or shut-up time,” Barr said. “If there was evidence of fraud, I had no motive to suppress it. But my suspicion all the way along was that there was nothing there. It was all bullshit.”


Critical Race Theory Bans Are a Political Ploy, Students and Teachers Say

Julie, a Black high-schooler in Fort Worth who prefers not to use her real name, is already having a difficult time in her social studies class. On June 15, Texas governor Greg Abbott signed House Bill 3979, which will significantly change the social studies curriculum and civics instruction in public schools across the state. The bill says, among other things, that educators cannot teach students that “an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.”

Critical race theory — an academic framework that recognizes systemic racism as a fundamental part of how U.S. society operates — is at the heart of these latest curriculum battles.

Teen Vogue

Covid-19 exposed the devastating consequences of staff shortages in nursing homes. But the problem isn’t new

Julie Moore recalls harrowing experiences from the pandemic inside the Philadelphia nursing home where she works.As the virus spread throughout the facility last year, emergency responders came and went regularly, taking yet another resident running low on oxygen to the hospital. Staff members were infected and some died, leaving a facility already running low on employees struggling to keep up with residents’ needs. “It was so few of us in the building that we were just literally running from floor to floor seeing who needed help,” Moore, who works as a certified nursing assistant, said. “It was an absolute nightmare.”

Covid-19 ravaged nursing homes across the United States — killing more than 132,000 residents and more than 1,900 staff members as of June 13, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) — and it also highlighted the dire consequences that staff shortages in those long-term care facilities can have.


Global report: rise in Delta variant cases forces tougher restrictions

Moscow has recorded the highest Covid-19 daily death toll of any Russian city so far, as the highly contagious Delta variant forced tougher restrictions on countries across the Asia-Pacific region and fuelled mounting concern over holiday travel in Europe.

Vaccinations have brought infection numbers down in many wealthy countries, and curbs on daily life continue to ease in much of the EU and US, but experts warn the fast-spreading strain means the pandemic – while slowing globally – is far from over.

The World Health Organization this weekend registered the lowest number of cases worldwide since February, but cautioned that the Delta variant, now present in 92 countries, is driving a deadly new wave in countries from Indonesia to Russia.

The Guardian

Survivors and activists speak out 40 years after discovery of AIDS

On Valentine’s Day 1982, Dab Garner was diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in San Francisco. He was 19.

As the U.S. reaches its 40-year milestone since the discovery of the virus, survivors like Garner are taking time to reflect on the lives and the stigma carried by those who remain. Garner and about 75 million others worldwide have been affected by HIV/AIDS.

“You have to remember, during this time period there were no laws protecting people with HIV. So someone could be fired from their job, kicked out of their place of residence and be on the street within 24 hours of people finding out they were positive,” Garner explained.

ABC News

Case files on 1964 civil rights worker killings made public

Never before seen case files, photographs and other records documenting the investigation into the infamous slayings of three civil rights workers in Mississippi are now open to the public for the first time, 57 years after their deaths.

The 1964 killings of civil rights activists James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner in Neshoba County sparked national outrage and helped spur passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. They later became the subject of the movie “Mississippi Burning.”

The previously sealed materials — dating from 1964 to 2007 — were transferred to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History from the Mississippi attorney general’s office in 2019. As of last week, they are now available for viewing by the public at William F. Winter Archives and History Building in Jackson.

AP News

Virginia School Board Meeting Disrupted by Critical Race Theory Protesters Ends in Fights and Arrests

One thing about Republicans: They know how to get their people all riled up over a lie.

Because that’s all this anti-Critical Race Theory hoopla is, right? It’s just the GOP realizing it has to keep its base energized, and now that said base’s rust-colored cult leader is out of office, banned from Twitter, and deterred from making a social media comeback after nobody wanted to read his janky-ass blog, Republicans need a new way to dial up the crazy, which appears to be the only thing Republican voters respond to these days. I mean, Marjorie Taylor Greene can’t be expected to hold down the bat-shit fort all on her own, after all.

The right-winger campaign to burn CRT at the stake like it was accused of witchcraft in the 17th century is just as much a manufactured-through-propaganda issue as the “stop the steal” campaign was before it, which is why white people are responding to it the same way, and it’s why a Virginia school board meeting that had nothing to do with CRT was interrupted by unruly CRT protesters, NBC News reports.

In a statement, the Loudoun County School Board said it had to end its June 22, meeting abruptly after “loud public demonstrations violated the decorum of the meeting,” which is a very polite way of saying white people are crazy and other white people ain’t even got time for their shit.

The Root