Attorneys at Chauvin trial in Floyd death make final pitch

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Attorneys in the trial of a former Minneapolis police officer charged with killing George Floyd are set to make their closing arguments Monday, each side seeking to distill three weeks of testimony to persuade jurors to deliver their view of the right verdict.

For prosecutors, Derek Chauvin recklessly squeezed the life from Floyd as he and two other officers pinned him to the street for 9 minutes, 29 seconds outside a corner market, despite Floyd's repeated cries that he couldn't breathe — actions they say warrant conviction not just for manslaughter but also on two murder counts.

For the defense, Floyd, who was Black, put himself at risk by swallowing fentanyl and methamphetamine, then resisted officers trying to arrest him — factors that compounded his vulnerability to a diseased heart and raise sufficient doubt that Chauvin, who is white, should be acquitted.

Each side will pull key testimony to support their narrative for what killed Floyd in a case that roiled America 11 months ago and continues to resonate. The anonymous jury will later deliver verdicts in a courthouse surrounded by concrete barriers and razor wire, in an anxious city heavily fortified by National Guard members and just days after fresh outrage erupted over the police killing of a 20-year-old Black man in a nearby suburb.

The attorneys aren't limited by time, though legal experts say overlong arguments risk losing jurors' attention and may be less effective. Prosecutors Steve Schleicher and Jerry Blackwell will share the closing, with Schleicher leading off and Blackwell coming on for the last-word rebuttal of defense attorney Eric Nelson's closing.

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India's capital to lock down as nation's virus cases top 15M

NEW DELHI (AP) — New Delhi was being put under a weeklong lockdown Monday night as an explosive surge in coronavirus cases pushed the India's capital's health system to its limit.

Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said in a news conference the national capital was facing shortages of oxygen and some medicine.

"I do not say that the system has collapsed, but it has reached its limits," Kejriwal said, adding that harsh measures were necessary to "prevent a collapse of the health system." 

According to India's health ministry on Monday, Delhi reported 25,462 cases and 161 deaths in the past 24 hours.

India overall reported 273,810 new infections on Monday, its highest daily rise since the start of the pandemic and now has reported more than 15 million infections, a total second only to the United States.

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Bitter experience helps French ICUs crest latest virus wave

ROUEN, France (AP) — Slowly suffocating in a French intensive care ward, Patrick Aricique feared he would die from his diseased lungs that felt "completely burned from the inside, burned like the cathedral in Paris," as tired doctors and nurses labored day and night to keep gravely ill COVID-19 patients like him alive. 

A married couple in the same ICU died within hours of each other as Aricique, feeling as fragile as "a soap bubble ready to pop," also wrestled the coronavirus. The 67-year-old retired building contractor credits a divine hand for his survival. "I saw archangels, I saw little cherubs," he said. "It was like communicating with the afterlife."

On his side were French medical professionals who, forged on the bitter experiences of previous infection waves, now fight relentlessly to keep patients awake and off mechanical ventilators, if at all possible. They treated Aricique with nasal tubes and a mask that bathed his heaving lungs in a constant flow of oxygen. That spared him the discomfort of a thick ventilation tube deep down his throat and heavy sedation from which patients often fear — sometimes, rightly so — that they will never awake.

While mechanical ventilation is unavoidable for some patients, it's a step taken less systematically now than at the start of the pandemic. Dr. Philippe Gouin, who heads the ICU ward where Aricique underwent treatment for severe COVID-19, said, "We know that every tube we insert is going to bring its share of complications, extensions in stay, and sometimes morbidity."

About 15 percent to 20 percent of his intubated patients don't survive, he said.

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Police: FedEx shooter legally bought guns used in shooting

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The former employee who shot and killed eight people at a FedEx facility in Indianapolis legally bought the two rifles used in the attack despite red flag laws designed to prevent such purchases, police said.

A trace of the two guns found by investigators at the scene revealed that suspect Brandon Scott Hole, 19, of Indianapolis, legally bought the rifles last July and September, officials with the Indianapolis police said Saturday.

The police did not say where Hole bought what they described as "assault rifles," citing the ongoing investigation, but said he was seen using both rifles during the shooting.

Details about the weapons' make, model and caliber won't be released until the investigation is complete, said Genae Cook, a spokesperson for the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department.

Authorities said Hole shot and killed eight people, four of them from the city's Sikh community, at the FedEx facility late Thursday before killing himself.

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Key events since George Floyd's arrest and death

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A timeline of key events that began with George Floyd's arrest on May 25, 2020, by four police officers in Minneapolis:

May 25 — Minneapolis police officers respond to a call shortly after 8 p.m. about a possible counterfeit $20 bill being used at a corner grocery and encounter a Black man, later identified as George Floyd, who struggles and ends up handcuffed and face down on the ground. Officer Derek Chauvin uses his knee to pin Floyd's neck for about nine minutes while bystanders shout at him to stop. Bystander video shows Floyd crying "I can't breathe" multiple times before going limp. He's pronounced dead at a hospital.

May 26 — Police issue a statement saying Floyd died after a "medical incident," and that he physically resisted and appeared to be in medical distress. Minutes later, bystander video is posted online. Police release another statement saying the FBI will help investigate. Chauvin and three other officers — Thomas Lane, J. Kueng and Tou Thao — are fired. Protests begin.

May 27 — Mayor Jacob Frey calls for criminal charges against Chauvin. Protests lead to unrest in Minneapolis, with some people looting and starting fires. Protests spread to other cities.

May 28 — Gov. Tim Walz activates the Minnesota National Guard. Police abandon the 3rd Precinct station as protesters overtake it and set it on fire. 

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Biden pressed on emissions goal as climate summit nears

WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Joe Biden convenes a virtual climate summit on Thursday, he faces a vexing task: how to put forward a nonbinding but symbolic goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that will have a tangible impact on climate change efforts not only in the U.S. but throughout the world.

The emissions target, eagerly awaited by all sides of the climate debate, will signal how aggressively Biden wants to move on climate change, a divisive and expensive issue that has riled Republicans to complain about job-killing government overreach even as some on the left worry Biden has not gone far enough to address a profound threat to the planet.

The climate crisis poses a complex political challenge for Biden, since the problem is harder to see and far more difficult to produce measurable results on than either the coronavirus pandemic relief package or the infrastructure bill.

The target Biden chooses "is setting the tone for the level of ambition and the pace of emission reductions over the next decade," said Kate Larsen, a former White House adviser who helped develop President Barack Obama's climate action plan.

The number has to be achievable by 2030 but aggressive enough to satisfy scientists and advocates who call the coming decade a crucial, make-or-break moment for slowing climate change, Larsen and other experts said. 

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Jailed Navalny to be moved to a hospital in another prison

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian state penitentiary service said Monday a decision has been made to transfer imprisoned Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who is in the third week of a hunger strike, to a hospital. 

The announcement comes two days after Navalny's physician said his health was deteriorating rapidly and the 44-year-old Kremlin critic could be on the verge of death.

The state prison service, FSIN, said in a statement that Navalny would be transferred to a hospital for convicts located in another penal colony in Vladimir, a city 180 kilometers (110 miles) east of Moscow. According to the statement, Navalny's condition is deemed "satisfactory" and he has agreed to take vitamin therapy. 

Navalny's physician, Dr. Yaroslav Ashikhmin, said Saturday that test results he received from Navalny's family show him with sharply elevated levels of potassium, which can bring on cardiac arrest, and heightened creatinine levels that indicate impaired kidneys. "Our patient could die at any moment," he said in a Facebook post.

Navalny went on hunger strike to protest the refusal to let his doctors visit when he began experiencing severe back pain and a loss of feeling in his legs. Russia's state penitentiary service has said that Navalny was receiving all the medical help he needs.

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Super League clubs tell FIFA legal action already started

LONDON (AP) — The 12 European clubs pursuing a Super League have told the leaders of FIFA and UEFA that legal action is already being pursued to stop them from action intended to thwart the launch of the breakaway competition, according to a letter obtained Monday by The Associated Press. 

The letter was sent by the group of English, Spanish and Italian clubs to FIFA President Gianni Infantino and UEFA counterpart Aleksander Ceferin saying the Super League has already been underwritten by funding of 4 billion euros ($5.5 billion) from a financial institution. 

UEFA warned the Super League clubs, including Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United, after leaks of their plans on Sunday that legal action would be taken against rebel clubs and saying they would barred from existing domestic competitions like La Liga in Spain and the Premier League in England and international competitions. 

"We are concerned that FIFA and UEFA may respond to this invitation letter by seeking to take punitive measures to exclude any participating club or player from their respective competitions," the Super League clubs wrote to Infantino and Ceferin

"Your formal statement does, however, compel us to take protective steps to secure ourselves against such an adverse reaction, which would not only jeopardize the funding commitment under the Grant but, significantly, would be unlawful. For this reason, SLCo (Super League Company) has filed a motion before the relevant courts in order to ensure the seamless establishment and operation of the Competition in accordance with applicable laws."

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Australia-New Zealand travel bubble opens with joy, tears

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — As the passengers walked a little dazed through the airport gates, they were embraced one after another by family members who rushed forward and dissolved into tears.

Elation and relief marked the opening of a long-anticipated travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand at the Wellington Airport on Monday. Children held balloons and banners and Indigenous Maori performers welcomed the arrivals home with songs. 

The start of quarantine-free travel was a long time coming for families who have been separated by the coronavirus pandemic as well as to struggling tourist operators. It marked the first, tentative steps toward what both countries hope will become a gradual reopening to the rest of the world.

Danny Mather was overcome to see his pregnant daughter Kristy and his baby grandson for the first time in 15 months after they flew in from Sydney for a visit on the first flight after the bubble opened. What did they say to each other?

"Not a thing," he said, laughing. They just hugged. "It's just so good to see her and I'm just so happy to have her back."

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Luke Bryan wins top ACM Award, but female acts own the night

NEW YORK (AP) — Carrie Underwood brought the Academy of Country Music Awards to church. Maren Morris won two honors, including song of the year. Miranda Lambert performed three times and held on to her record as the most decorated winner in ACM history. And Mickey Guyton, the first Black woman to host the awards show, gave a powerful, top-notch vocal performance.

Though female country stars didn't compete for the night's top prize – Luke Bryan was named entertainer of the year – they owned Sunday's ACM Awards.

Underwood's performance stood out the most. She was joined by gospel legend CeCe Winans and the dynamic duo blended their voices like angels onstage. Underwood performed songs from her recent gospel hymns album "My Savior," kicking off the set with "Amazing Grace" and "Great Is Thy Faithfulness." Then Winans joined in, matching her strong vocal performance.

Lambert performed three times, first alongside rock-pop singer Elle King for a fun, energetic performance of their new duet "Drunk (And I Don't Wanna Go Home)." Lambert, who founded pet shelter nonprofit MuttNation, also performed alongside album of the year winner Chris Stapleton for "Maggie's Song," a tribute to Stapleton's dog who died 2019. Her final performance was with Jack Ingram and Jon Randall.

The performances that aired Sunday were pre-taped at various locations in Nashville, Tennessee, including the Grand Ole Opry House, the Ryman Auditorium and The Bluebird Cafe. Winners, wearing masks, accepted awards in real time in front of small audiences made up of medical and health care workers.

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