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AM-Prep: Cooler Copy

June 1, 2020 GMT

TRUMP RIPS GOVERNORS AS “WEAK” CALLS FOR “DOMINATION”

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has derided many governors as “weak” and demanded tougher crackdowns on burning and stealing among some demonstrations in the aftermath of violent protests in dozens of American cities.

Trump spoke to governors yesterday on a video teleconference that also included law enforcement and national security officials, telling the state leaders they “have to get much tougher.”

“Most of you are weak,” Trump said. “You have to arrest people.”

The days of protests were triggered by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died when a white Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for several minutes. The demonstrations turned violent in several cities, with looting and mayhem, and fires ignited in historic park Lafayette Park across from the White House.

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The president urged the governors to deploy the National Guard, which he credited for helping calm the situation Sunday in Minneapolis. He demanded that similarly tough measures be taken in cities that also experienced violence, including New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles.

“You’ve got to arrest people, you have to track people, you have to put them in jail for 10 years and you’ll never see this stuff again,” said Trump.

ADVERSARIES RESPOND TO U.S. UNREST

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Standing at a lectern with a backdrop map of the world behind him reminiscent of one at the State Department, the spokesman of Iran’s Foreign Ministry made a point to criticize the U.S. in English amid ongoing protests over police killings of black people.

“To the American people, the world has ... heard your outcry over this state oppression,” Abbas Mousavi told reporters in Tehran.

So too have Washington’s adversaries in Iran and elsewhere.

Long the target of American criticism, these nations have used protests over the killing of George Floyd as an opportunity to hit back at the country held up by U.S. leaders for decades as “the shining city upon a hill.”

By putting forth images of the unrest, they portray the U.S. as a hypocritical superpower unable to secure its own people, as well as normalizing the violence and repression they visit on their own citizens.

GEORGE FLOYD APPEALS FOR PEACE

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The brother of George Floyd appealed for peace Monday in the aftermath of riots and arson fires following the death of his brother in Minneapolis.

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Terrence Floyd appeared at the intersection in south Minneapolis where his brother, a black man, died after a white police officer pinned his neck with his knee for several minutes a week ago.

Wearing a face mask with the image of his brother’s face on it, Terrence Floyd spent several minutes of silence at the flowers and other memorials that have sprung up to his brother.

“I understand you’re upset,” Terrence Floyd said to the crowd through a bullhorn. But he said civil unrest and destruction is “not going to bring my brother back at all.”

He told the crowd to vote and to educate themselves. “Let’s switch it up, y’all.” He said his brother moved to Minneapolis from Houston and “loved it here. ... So I know he would not want you all to be doing this.”

At the end of his remarks, Terrence Floyd led the crowd in a chant of “What’s his name?” answered by “George Floyd.”

BLACK ALUMNI DENOUNCE LIBERTY U PRESIDENT JERRY FALWELL

NEW YORK (AP) — Nearly three dozen black alumni of Liberty University denounced school President Jerry Falwell Jr. yesterday suggesting he step down after he mocked Virginia’s mask-wearing requirement by invoking the blackface scandal that engulfed the state’s governor last year.

In a letter to Falwell, shared with The Associated Press, 35 faith leaders and former student-athletes told Falwell that his past comments “have repeatedly violated and misrepresented” Christian principles. They said they would stop urging students to attend Liberty, would no longer donate to the university, and would urge fellow people of faith to avoid speaking at the school unless Falwell changes his behavior or steps aside.

Falwell, a stalwart backer of President Donald Trump, is the son of the late evangelist the Rev. Jerry Falwell, whose legacy the alumni invoked in imploring the younger Falwell to “stop this infantile behavior.”

In response, Falwell said his comment about the blackface scandal was made in defense of Liberty students, including minorities, who would be affected by tuition assistance cuts proposed by Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat.

Falwell said in an interview that his involvement in politics was in the spirit of Jesus Christ, saying in an interview, “All they need to do is read the Gospels — Jesus got involved in politics.”

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