Tens of thousands of protesters took to the streets across America again Sunday, with peaceful demonstrations against police killings of black people overshadowed by unrest that quickly ravaged parts of cities from Pennsylvania to California.
City and state officials had deployed thousands of National Guard soldiers, enacted strict curfews and shut down mass transit systems, but that did little to stop many cities from again erupting into unrest.
Protesters in Philadelphia hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at police, officials said, while masked crowds broke into upscale stores in a San Francisco suburb, fleeing with bags of merchandise. In Minneapolis, a truck driver drove into a massive crowd of demonstrators nearly a week after the death of George Floyd, a black man who pleaded for air as an officer pressed a knee into his neck.
Tensions mounted outside the White House, where police fired tear gas and stun grenades into a crowd of more than 1,000 chanting protesters across the street in Lafayette Park. They scattered, piling up road signs and plastic barriers to light a raging fire in a street. Some pulled an American flag from a nearby building and threw it into the blaze. Others added tree branches. A cinder block building housing bathrooms and a maintenance office in the park was engulfed in flames.
The entire Washington, D.C., National Guard — roughly 1,700 soldiers — was being called in to help control the protests, according to two Defense Department officials who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the matter.
As the protests grew, President Donald Trump retweeted conservative commentator Buck Sexton who called for “overwhelming force” against violent demonstrators.
At least 4,100 people have been arrested over days of protests, according to a tally compiled by The Associated Press. Arrests ranged from looting and blocking highways to breaking curfew.
In Salt Lake City, a leading anti-police brutality activist condemned the destruction of property but said broken buildings shouldn’t be mourned on the same level as black men like Floyd.
“Maybe this country will get the memo that we are sick of police murdering unarmed black men,” said Lex Scott, founder of Black Lives Matter Utah. “Maybe the next time a white police officer decides to pull the trigger, he will picture cities burning.”
Yet thousands still marched peacefully, with some also calling for an end to the fires, vandalism and theft, saying it weakened calls for justice and reform.
Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz brought in thousands of National Guard soldiers to help quell violence that had damaged or destroyed hundreds of buildings in Minneapolis over days of protests. On Sunday, in a display of force, long lines of state patrolmen and National Guard soldiers lined up in front of the Capitol, with perhaps a dozen military-style armored vehicles behind them.
Disgust over generations of racism in a country founded by slaveholders combined with a string of recent racially charged killings to stoke the anger. Adding to that was angst from months of lockdowns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, which has disproportionately hurt communities of color, not only in terms of infections but in job losses and economic stress.
The droves of people congregating for demonstrations threatened to trigger new outbreaks, a fact overshadowed by the boiling tensions.
The scale of the coast-to-coast protests rivaled the historic demonstrations of the civil rights and Vietnam War eras.
Curfews were imposed in major cities around the U.S., including Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle. About 5,000 National Guard soldiers and airmen were activated in 15 states and Washington, D.C.
Thousands of demonstrators marched peacefully through Boston in several protests during the day, but some clashed with officers as night fell, throwing rocks, bricks and glass bottles and torching a police vehicle.
Authorities fired volleys of tear gas to disperse hundreds of demonstrators in downtown Atlanta as a curfew took hold. Some on the fringes of a largely peaceful protest set off fireworks and burned construction materials near a park where police and National Guard troops turned out in force.
In Indianapolis, two people were reported dead in bursts of downtown violence this weekend, adding to deaths reported in Detroit and Minneapolis in recent days.
Secret Service agents rushed President Donald Trump to a White House bunker on Friday night as hundreds of protesters gathered outside the executive mansion, some of them throwing rocks and tugging at police barricades.
Trump spent nearly an hour in the bunker, which was designed for use in emergencies like terrorist attacks, according to a Republican close to the White House who was not authorized to publicly discuss private matters and spoke on condition of anonymity. The account was confirmed by an administration official who also on condition of anonymity.
The abrupt decision by the agents underscored the rattled mood inside the White House, where the chants from protesters in Lafayette Park could be heard all weekend and Secret Service agents and law enforcement officers struggled to contain the crowds.
Friday's protests were triggered by the death of George Floyd, a black man who died after he was pinned at the neck by a white Minneapolis police officer. The demonstrations in Washington turned violent and appeared to catch officers by surprise. They sparked one of the highest alerts on the White House complex since the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 .
“The White House does not comment on security protocols and decisions,” said White House spokesman Judd Deere. The Secret Service said it does not discuss the means and methods of its protective operations. The president's move to the bunker was first reported by The New York Times.
The president and his family have been shaken by the size and venom of the crowds, according to the Republican. It was not immediately clear if first lady Melania Trump and the couple’s 14-year-old son, Barron, joined the president in the bunker. Secret Service protocol would have called for all those under the agency's protection to be in the underground shelter.
Trump has told advisers he worries about his safety, while both privately and publicly praising the work of the Secret Service.
Trump traveled to Florida on Saturday to view the first manned space launch from the U.S. in nearly a decade. He returned to a White House under virtual siege, with protesters — some violent — gathered just a few hundred yards away through much of the night.
Demonstrators returned Sunday afternoon, facing off against police at Lafayette Park into the evening.
Trump continued his effort to project strength, using a series of inflammatory tweets and delivering partisan attacks during a time of national crisis.
As cities burned night after night and images of violence dominated television coverage, Trump’s advisers discussed the prospect of an Oval Office address in an attempt to ease tensions. The notion was quickly scrapped for lack of policy proposals and the president’s own seeming disinterest in delivering a message of unity.
Trump did not appear in public on Sunday. Instead, a White House official who was not authorized to discuss the plans ahead of time said Trump was expected in the coming days to draw distinctions between the legitimate anger of peaceful protesters and the unacceptable actions of violent agitators.
Bangladesh is observing the ‘World No Tobacco Day’ on Sunday with other countries of the world.
The day’s focus is on protecting youth from industry manipulation and preventing them from tobacco and nicotine use.
For decades, the tobacco industry has deliberately employed strategic, aggressive and well-resourced tactics to attract the youth to tobacco and nicotine products.
Tobacco causes 8 million deaths worldwide. In Bangladesh alone, tobacco-related illness claims 126,000 lives a year, according to a press release from PROGGA.
PROGGA said that to attract teenagers and the youth and transform them into future loyal customers, tobacco companies spend $9 billion a year.
According to US Surgeon General Report 2014, nearly 90 percent of adult smokers began smoking by the age of 18.
Teens who smoke are three times more likely than nonsmokers to use alcohol, eight times more likely to use marijuana, and 22 times more likely to use cocaine, the release said.
“So, tobacco and nicotine addiction is not an addiction on its own; it is a gateway to other more devastating realms of addictions,” PROGGA said.
ABM Zubair, executive director, PROGGA (Knowledge for Progress), said 49 percent of the total population of Bangladesh is youth- aged 24 years or below.
It makes Bangladesh susceptible to the greedy prying eyes of tobacco industry who wants to expand its business and profits by hooking as many youths as possible to the deadly addiction that it sells, he added.
Meanwhile, experts and health professionals have already warned that the use of tobacco increases the risk of coronavirus infection and also the risk of serious illness once infected.
During this pandemic, to save lives and protect public health, and also facilitate transformation towards a tobacco-free future within 2040, the government must take strict measures to end all manipulation tactics of tobacco companies.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases surpassed 6 million on Sunday morning, according to data provided by the Johns Hopkins University.
Meanwhile, death toll from the virus rose to 369,085. So far, 2,564,462 COVID-19 patients have recovered.
The United States has the highest number of confirmed cases – 1,769,776 – and the highest death toll – 103,768.
Among other countries, Brazil has recorded 498,440 cases.
Read Also: Coronavirus: Global cases near 6 million
Russia has confirmed 396,575 cases, the UK 274,219, Spain 239,228, Italy 232,664 and France 188,752.
The UK has the second-highest death toll at 38,458, followed by Italy (33,340 deaths), France (28,774), Brazil (28,834) and Spain (27,125), according to Johns Hopkins University.
Coronavirus cases were first reported in China December last year. The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus crisis a pandemic on March 11.
Coronavirus situation in Bangladesh
Coronavirus cases in Bangladesh rose to 44,608 with the detection of 1,764 new cases in 24 hours on Saturday.
Besides, the country also reported 28 more death during the same period, raising the death tally to 610.
Besides, 360 patients recovered, the health authorities said. So far, 9,375 people have made recovery.
The government has decided to allow limited operation of public transport and offices from Sunday to June 15. But health experts say the number of new cases and deaths will rise if people do not properly follow the health guidelines.
Global coronavirus cases are approaching 6 million with 364,849 deaths since the virus emerged in China late last year.
The number of globally confirmed coronavirus cases reached 5,923,432 as of Saturday morning, according to figures compiled by the U.S.-based Johns Hopkins University.
In terms of the total number of cases and fatalities, the U.S. leads with over 1.7 million cases and 102,808 deaths.
The second-highest number of cases has been confirmed in Brazil with 465,166, followed by Russia with 387,623, the U.K. with 272,607, Spain with nearly 238,564 patients, Italy with
232,248 cases, France with over 186,923 infections and Germany with above 183,000 cases.
The UK has the second-highest death toll at 38,243, followed by Italy (33,229 deaths), France (28,717) , Brazil (27,878) and Spain (27,121), according to Johns Hopkins University.
India is now the country worst-hit by the coronavirus in Asia.
India on Friday reported 7,467 new cases and 175 deaths of COVID-19 in 24 hours, the highest single-day surge so far.
With 173,491 cases and 4,980 deaths, India has surpassed China's official death count caused by the novel coronavirus.
According to Johns Hopkins University, the country has reported nearly double the number of cases in China, which are currently at 84,119, and has surpassed its 4,638 coronavirus-related deaths as well.
Coronavirus cases were first reported in China December last year.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) declared the coronavirus crisis a pandemic on March 11.
Coronavirus situation in Bangladesh
Coronavirus cases in Bangladesh rose to 42,844 with the detection of record 2,523 new cases in the last 24 hours on Friday.
With this the country broke the record of the highest number of detection within a day as Bangladesh had detected 2,029 cases Thursday.
“Twenty three more patients died during the same period, taking the death tally to 582,” Prof Dr Nasima Sultana, the Additional Director General of the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS), said at the regular online briefing.
Besides, 590 more patients made recovery, she said adding that so far 9,015 people have recovered from the disease in country.
The government has decided to allow limited operation of public transport and offices from May 31 to June 15 amid the outbreak.