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Black Lives Matter protests: news summary for 17 June

Volunteers work on a 'Black Lives Matter' mural on the street as a protest against racial inequality in the aftermath of the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., June 16, 2020.  REUTERS/Brendan McDerm

Black Lives Matter protests: latest news - 17/18 June


Protesters rally against racial inequality and the death in Minneapolis police custody of George Floyd, around the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia. REUTERS/Jay Paul

Atlanta megachurch pastor apologizes for ‘white blessing’ comments

Louie Giglio, the pastor at Passion City Church in northeast Atlanta, has apologised after suggesting that the "blessing" of slavery is missed in the USA. 

Council of Europe to target" dismantlement of discrimination"

The Council of Europe has committed itself to working on the institutional dismantlement of discrimination but warned that it will no be a swift processm acording to ECRI Vice Chair Domenica Ghidei Biidu. 


Trump backs Kaepernick returning to NFL

(Reuters) U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would be in favor of former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick returning to the field.

Kaepernick says no NFL teams have signed him since he left the San Francisco 49ers after the 2016 season because he knelt during the pre-game playing of the national anthem to protest racial injustice.

"As far as kneeling, I would love to see him get another shot," Trump said in an interview with Sinclair Broadcast Group.

"But obviously he has to be able to play well. If he can’t play well, I think it would be very unfair," Trump said.

As recently as Sunday, Trump said he would not watch NFL games if players did not stand for the national anthem. He has said in the past it was disrespectful to the country.

Roger Goodell has been encouraging teams to sign Kaepernick.

Guardiola was speaking after the four teams that played in the Premier League tonight to honour the Black Lives Matter movement.

Oxford college says it wants to remove statue of colonialist Rhodes

An Oxford University college said on Wednesday it wanted to remove from its facade a statue of 19th century colonialist Cecil Rhodes that has been a target of anti-racism protests, though the decision would be made independently.

Oriel College has been under pressure for several years from the RhodesMustFall campaign, which argues the statue glorifies racism and is an insult to black students, but the college has previously resisted calls to remove it.

Cardinals' Murray plans to kneel for national anthem

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kyler Murray plans to show support of the recent protests of police brutality and systemic racism by kneeling for the national anthem this season.

"I'll be kneeling," Murray said Wednesday, via the team website. "I stand for what's right. That's the bottom line. I call it like I see it. What's been going on is completely wrong. I'll definitely be taking a knee."

Murray's comments come on the heels of athletes speaking their mind following the death of George Floyd on May 25.


Premier League backs BLM movement

Black Lives Matter slogan is seen on the back of Ederson of Manchester City shirt during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal FC at Etihad Stadium on June 17, 2020 in Manchester.

(Photo by Peter Powell/Pool via Getty Images)

Black patients with COVID-19 in Atlanta more likely to be hospitalized (CDC)

A study of coronovirus patients in Atlanta has found that black patients are more likely to be hospitalized than white patients, highlighting racial disparities in the U.S. healthcare system, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on  Wednesday.

About 79% of black patients were hospitalized for COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, against 13% of white patients, according to the study across six metropolitan hospitals and outpatient clinics in Atlanta, Georgia, between March and April 2020.

The researchers found there was an association between being black and the rate of hospitalization in Atlanta, even when they controlled for underlying conditions such as diabetes.

This suggested that other factors like healthcare access or the possibility of bias might explain higher rates of hospitalization for black Americans.

Hospitalized patients tended to be older, male, black, and have underlying conditions, said the researchers. They added that black Americans were more likely to be frontline industry or essential workers, raising their risks for coronavirus infection.

Silver: NBA will address player concerns before return

NBA commissioner Adam Silver plans to listen for now, but he expects the league to address all player concerns before games resume in Orlando next month.

Silver said he has a sense that players and the league should be able to "work through most of those issues over the next few weeks," when asked Monday night about how the NBA is handling concerns over the optics of playing during the Black Lives Matter movement as well as health and safety matters around the coronavirus pandemic.

"It's not an ideal situation," Silver said regarding a series of issues the NBA is facing in an appearance on Monday night's "The Return of Sports" special on ESPN. "We are trying to find a way to our own normalcy in the middle of a pandemic, in the middle of essentially a recession or worse with 40 million unemployed, and now with enormous social unrest in the country.

"And so as we work through these issues, I can understand how some players may feel, that it's not for them ... it may be for family reasons, it may be for health reasons they have, or it may be because they feel -- as some players have said very recently -- that their time is best spent elsewhere."

A coalition of players including Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving has held a series of players-only calls and also communicated concerns to the league regarding how to use the NBA platform to continue the BLM movement -- and not detract from it while playing.

Premier League players show support for BLM on return to action

All players and match official took a knee ahead of the Premier League game at Villa Park between Aston Villa and Sheffield United as the English top flight returned after the enforced Covid-19 break.


In Tulsa, fears that Trump rally may worsen racial unrest, spread of coronavirus

When President Donald Trump takes the stage at his first rally in three months on Saturday night, the scene in Tulsa, Oklahoma, will be familiar: A large venue filled with ardent supporters wearing "Keep America Great” hats and T-shirts.

Trump’s campaign advisers believe the rally is a way to rejuvenate his base and display the enthusiasm behind his re-election bid, at a time when a string of national and state opinion polls have shown Trump falling behind his Democratic rival, Joe Biden.

In Tulsa, officials said they were worried the rally would set the stage for potential clashes between Trump supporters and protesters who may try to crash the event to argue the Republican president has failed to address racial injustice or police brutality against African Americans.

Trump has positioned himself as a "law-and-order" president and advocated a militarized response to the protests,  alling on states to crack down on the unrest.

Residents have also been rattled by the prospect of a large,indoor gathering - the biggest-such event in the United States since the coronavirus pandemic began in March, at a time when Oklahoma, along with other states, has reported a new spike in COVID-19 cases.


Brother of George Floyd backs U.N. probe into U.S. racism, violence

The brother of the late George Floyd called on the top U.N. human rights body on Wednesday to investigate police brutality and racial discrimination in the United States.

Philonise Floyd, speaking via videoconference to the Geneva forum, said of his brother's death in police custody last month:

"The way you saw my brother tortured and murdered on camera is the way black people are treated by police in America." "I hope that you will consider establishing an independent commission of inquiry to investigate police killings of black people in America, and the violence used against peaceful protesters," he told an urgent two-day debate convened at the request of African countries who are seeking an inquiry.

Leopold Ismael Samba, ambassador of the Central African Republic who spoke on behalf of African countries, urged all governments to take collective measures to combat systemic racism and police brutality.

"Pre-existing racial disparities factor into what we're seeing with the pandemic"

Speaking to the Big Picture Science podcast, Yale medicine professor Dr Marcella Nunez Smith has discussed the impact of racial inequality on the coronavirus pandemic, with greater proportions of minority-ethnic groups contracting Covid-19 than white Americans.

“It is a key message for everyone to understand that pre-existing racial disparities, things such as basic access to food and access to stable and safe housing, access to healthcare - that these are the same determinants that then factor into what we’re seeing with the pandemic and the stark disparities and outcomes there," Nunez Smith said.

You can listen to the full podcast here:

Human-rights expert urges US to listen to protesters

Speaking to the Guardian, UN human-rights expert Agnès Callamard has called on United States authorities to listen to the protesters who have taken to the streets since the killing of George Floyd last month, saying: "I am horrified because we are watching people dying in public at the hands of those who are supposed to protect us."


A 'Black Trans Lives Matter' sign and a sign referring to a Donald Trump tweet about Seattle hang on the fence at Cal Anderson Park as protesters against racial inequality occupy space at the CHOP area near the Seattle Police Department's East Precinct in Seattle, Washington, U.S. 16 June 2020. (Photo:Reuters/Lindsey Wasson)

Breonna Taylor's gender twist

Yousra Elbagir looks at the 'largely invisible' challenges faced by black women.

George Floyd remembered

UK PM responds to marches

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday there was more work to be done to tackle discrimination in Britain but that his government would look at new ways of legislating against vandalism of war memorials.

"It is clear from the Black Lives Matter march and all the representations that we have had that more work needs to be done," he said when asked why he was launching another review on racial inequality and discrimination.

Catch up

Here is a selection of the news that has been making the headlines over the past 24 hours:

- Trump signs executive order to reform police brutality in the US

- Black cowboys and cowgirls have shown up up to support Black Lives Matter

- The Black Lives Matter movement can learn from the missteps of the #MeToo movement

- Albuquerque mayor Tim Keller announced a new civilian Community Safety Department for dispatch to non-violent 911 calls

- Former US Pres. Jimmy Carter's charity said "America must come to grips with its long history of systemic racism"

Black Lives Matter protests, live updates: welcome

Hello and welcome to our live coverage of the Black Lives Matter protests sparked in the US and across the world by the killing of George Floyd in police custody late last month.

We'll endeavour to bring you the latest developments as they unfold.