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5 things to know for June 12: Protests, election, economy, coronavirus, Lebanon

Andrew Cuomo

The NFL is the latest big name to make a commitment to racial justice — to the tune of $250 million over the next 10 years.

Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

(You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Protests

Defense Secretary Mark Esper has ordered a review of the National Guard’s support of law enforcement across the country in response to unrest over George Floyd’s death. The review is considered standard, and this one will look at the training, organizing and deployment of roughly 74,000 National Guard members. Also, Gen. Mark Milley, the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, apologized for appearing with President Trump last week in combat uniform after the forceful clearing of peaceful protesters outside the White House. He said his being there “created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics.” Meanwhile, the protests continue to spur palpable change: The Louisville metro council unanimously passed an ordinance called “Breonna’s Law” that bans no-knock search warrants following the shooting death of Breonna Taylor, a black EMT. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky introduced a similar bill to ban no-knock warrants for federal officers.

2. Election 2020

President Trump will accept the Republican nomination in Jacksonville, Florida, in August instead of in Charlotte, North Carolina, as originally planned. Trump had grown intent on moving the Republican National Convention over disputes with North Carolina’s governor over how to handle it during the pandemic. So now, GOP delegates will elect their nominee from Charlotte, and Trump will make his acceptance speech three states away. The President is expected to hit the campaign trail long before that, though, with his first stop in Tulsa, Oklahoma — the site of one of the worst acts of racist violence the country has ever seen — next Friday. That’s Juneteenth, a day that commemorates the end of slavery in the US. Political insiders think the President may use the Tulsa event to deliver a long-awaited speech on race amid the ongoing unrest.

3. Economy

New coronavirus fears are putting a swift end to Wall Street’s recent rally. US stocks plummeted yesterday, recording their worst day since March 16. Those fears spread to Asian markets, which fell early today. This could signal that investors are concerned about a second pandemic wave, especially since the US recently hit 2 million Covid-19 cases. American joblessness also continues to climb, with 1.5 million more Americans filing for first-time unemployment last week. However, no matter how bad the pandemic gets again, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said the US economy will not be shut down again.

4. Coronavirus

There’s some good news on the coronavirus front, though. Experts say an existing polio vaccine could help protect against the disease. There is plenty of evidence that existing inoculations like polio vaccines protect children against a wide range of infections, and researchers recently wrote in Science magazine that it’s worth trying them out against the coronavirus. An oral polio vaccine is safe, cheap, easy to give and widely available, with over 1 billion doses produced and used annually in more than 140 countries. Meanwhile, the first trial of a Covid-19 antibody cocktail in the United States is underway. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. says if its drug combination is successful, it could treat and prevent Covid-19 — and hopefully be available by the fall.

5. Lebanon

Anti-government protesters have flooded the streets of Lebanese cities as the country’s currency tanked, adding to a string of economic woes. Lebanon’s currency has lost around 70% of its value since October, with a big dip in the last few days. The currency’s collapse has stirred panic in a nation that relies heavily on imports for its basic needs. On top of it all, Lebanon has endured soaring food prices, mass layoffs and business closures in recent months. The government, led by Prime Minister Hassan Diab, has been in power for just over 100 days, and protesters say it hasn’t done enough to address the economic problems or curb government corruption.


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A 50,000-year-old lake in India just turned pink, and no one knows why

Seems extremely normal during these troubling times, nothing to see here.

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Tamagotchi, the virtual pet from the ’90s, is back in the US

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That’s approximately how many accounts Twitter recently removed that it said were tied to the Chinese government. Experts working with Twitter who reviewed the accounts said they pushed deceptive narratives about Covid-19, the Hong Kong protests and other topics.


“Baby Lives Matter”

A slogan on a baby onesie sold on the Trump campaign’s website, written in the style of the Black Lives Matter logo. Some have used the “lives matter” portion of the Black Live Matters slogan to co-opt that movement’s message. A campaign spokesperson declined to comment.


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We could all use a little laugh

Why is this seriema (a type of South American bird) playing with a golf ball? Is it trying to eat it and failing miserably? Is it just having some fun? Either way, we win. (Click here to view.)

Article Topic Follows: US & World

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