Rabu, 31 Maret 2021

France ordered into third national lockdown as new COVID-19 infections double in a month - ABC News

France is withdrawing into its third national lockdown as the death toll from the country's coronavirus pandemic nears 100,000.

With intensive care units in the hardest-hit regions at breaking point and a slower than planned vaccine rollout, President Emmanuel Macron has been forced to abandon his goal of keeping the country open to protect the economy.

"We will lose control if we do not move now," he said.

Movement restrictions already in place for more than a week in Paris, and some northern and southern regions, will now apply to the whole country for at least a month from Saturday.

A family sits around a circular dining table watching the tv where Macron is speaking.
Mr Macron said France would be in lockdown for at least a month.(

AP: Bob Edme


Mr Macron also said schools would close for three weeks after this weekend.

The President had tried to avoid a third large-scale lockdown, betting that if he could steer France out of the pandemic without shutting the country down again he would give the economy a chance to recover from last year's slump.

But options narrowed as more contagious strains of the coronavirus swept across France and much of Europe.

"It is the best solution to slow down the virus," Mr Macron said, adding that France had succeeded in keeping its schools open for longer during the pandemic than many neighbours.

Moves to speed up lagging vaccine rollout

Daily new infections in France have doubled since February, to average nearly 40,000.

The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care has breached 5,000, exceeding the peak hit during a six-week lockdown late last year.

The new lockdown will force the temporary closure of 150,000 businesses at a cost of 11 billion euros ($17 billion) per month, the finance ministry said.

It comes as European nations face scrutiny over the slow pace of their COVID vaccination programs.

A man in scrubs gestures a direction to a woman in front of a sign reading "├ętape 3, vaccination".
Mr Macron pledged the vaccination rollout would speed up.(

AP: Jean-Francois Badias


Neighbouring Britain, which finalised its divorce with the bloc on January 1, has inoculated nearly half its population and is re-opening its economy just as France locks down once again.

Only 12 per cent of the French population has been vaccinated, and Mr Macron said the vaccine campaign needed to be accelerated.

He said people in their sixties would be eligible for a shot from mid-April, and those in their fifties a month later. A goal of 30 million adults inoculated by mid-June remained the target, he said.


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2021-03-31 22:32:20Z

CCTV video of George Floyd's last moments before arrest played in murder trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin - ABC News

The jury in the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been shown footage of George Floyd inside a grocery store just before his death.

A cashier who was one of the last people to speak with Mr Floyd alive last May testified at the trial, saying he regretted accepting the allegedly fake $US20 bill that led to Mr Floyd's deadly arrest.

Christopher Martin said Mr Floyd made friendly conversation and seemed to be under the influence of drugs.

"If I would've just not [taken] the bill, this could've been avoided," Mr Martin, 19, lamented at Mr Chauvin's murder trial, joining the burgeoning list of onlookers who expressed a sense of helplessness and lingering guilt over Mr Floyd's slow death last May.

Mr Chauvin, who is white, was fired by the city's police department the day after he was captured on video with his knee on the neck of Mr Floyd, a black man in handcuffs.

A courtroom sketch of a balding, middle-aged white man in a blue suit with serious expression.
Derek Chauvin, 45, faces four decades in jail if convicted.(

Reuters: Jane Rosenberg


He has pled not guilty to murder and manslaughter charges and faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of murder.

A central dispute in the case is his lawyers' contention that Mr Floyd's death, which was ruled a homicide, was instead a drug overdose.

Several other eyewitnesses, one a child of nine, have spent the last two days describing to the jury the shock of watching Mr Floyd struggle beneath Mr Chauvin's knee as bystanders screamed at police that Mr Floyd was falling unconscious.

Video footage of the arrest on May 25, 2020, sparked global protests decrying police brutality against black people.

CCTV showed Floyd filled with energy

A black man in court talking, wearing a black jacket and grey hoodie with short hair.
Christopher Martin said Mr Floyd seemed to be under the influence of drugs.(

AP: Court TV


Mr Martin, a cashier at the Cup Foods grocery store in Minneapolis, accepted the $US20 bill that triggered everything that followed.

He considered letting Cup Foods just dock it from his wage, but ended up telling his manager.

A few minutes later police were outside arresting Mr Floyd on suspicion of passing a counterfeit.

Silent security camera video played for the jury shows Mr Floyd, dressed in a black singlet, approaching the counter with a banana in hand, smiling and making cheerful conversation and putting his arm around a woman.

He appears to be filled with energy and constantly in motion, at one point almost dancing on the spot, shifting his weight from one foot to the other.

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Play Video. Duration: 2 minutes 20 seconds
Trial of officer accused of killing George Floyd.

Mr Martin told the jury he made conversation with Mr Floyd, asking him if he played baseball.

Mr Floyd seemed to take time to find his words but replied that he played football, Martin said.

"But he did seem high."

Although the county medical examiner ruled Mr Floyd's death a homicide resulting from the police restraint, fentanyl and methamphetamine was found in Floyd's blood at autopsy and Mr Chauvin's lawyers argue the death was really a drug overdose.

Mr Martin sold Mr Floyd a pack of cigarettes.

He told the jury he thought the bill was counterfeit and decided to tell his manager, who told Mr Martin to go and confront Mr Floyd, who had got back into a car outside with two other passengers.

Mr Floyd was "just kind of shaking his head and putting his hands in the air, like, 'Why is this happening to me?'" Mr Martin said.

Mr Martin's manager told a coworker to call the police after Mr Floyd and the other passengers refused to come back inside the store.

Mr Martin later said he was upset to see Mr Chauvin on top of Mr Floyd, and went up to another black man on the sidewalk.

"They're not going to help us, this is what we deal with," he recalled telling the other bystander, referring to police.

Mr Martin said he felt guilty.

"I thought if I would not have taken the bill this would have been avoided," he said.

Off-duty paramedic was 'desperate' to check Floyd's pulse

A woman in court wearing her uniform wiping her eyes.
Genevieve Hansen was near the scene of the arrest.

Genevieve Hansen, an off-duty firefighter and paramedic who was near the scene of the arrest, can be heard on the video screaming at the police to check Mr Floyd's pulse.

"I pled and was desperate," she testified on Tuesday, dressed in her Minneapolis Fire Department uniform.

A water bottle shook in her hand as she sipped it to calm her tears.

"It's what I would have done for anybody," she said.

She said another officer at the scene told her: "If you really are a Minneapolis firefighter, you would know better than to get involved."

Mr Nelson asked her if she showed the police her firefighter identification. She said no.

Prosecutor Matthew Frank then asked her if she even had her identification with her. She said she did not, because she was off duty.

The trial continues.


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2021-03-31 21:49:15Z

NZ shuts eyes on COVID-19 report to appease China - The Australian

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  1. NZ shuts eyes on COVID-19 report to appease China  The Australian
  2. Australia's COVID vaccine rollout started off slow — but will it affect when you get it?  ABC News
  3. Government’s failure to meet 4 million COVID-19 vaccine target sparks fears as QLD cases rise
  4. Why Australia remains confident in AstraZeneca vaccine as two countries put rollout on ice  The Guardian
  5. South Australian woman whose husband died from COVID-19 wants everyone vaccinated | ABC News  ABC News (Australia)
  6. View Full coverage on Google News

2021-03-31 20:03:45Z

'Disbelief — and guilt' as cashier takes the stand in George Floyd trial - 9News

The convenience store cashier who sold cigarettes to George Floyd and was handed a counterfeit $20 bill in return has taken the stand at former officer Derek Chauvin's murder trial.

Prosecutors were on Wednesday (Thursday AEDT) laying out the sequence of events that led to Mr Floyd's ill-fated arrest outside the shop.

Christopher Martin, 19, said as he stood on the curb a short time later, his hands on his head as he watched Floyd's arrest, he felt "disbelief — and guilt."

In this image from store video, George Floyd, right, is seen inside Cup Foods. (AP)

"If I would've just not tooken (sic) the bill, this could've been avoided," Mr Martin testified, joining the burgeoning list of onlookers who said they felt a sense of helplessness and lingering guilt over the Black man's death last May.

Prosecutors played store security footage showing Mr Floyd in Cup Foods for about 10 minutes, adding to the mountain of video documenting what happened.

Mr Martin said he immediately believed the $20 Mr Floyd gave him was fake but accepted it even though store policy was that the amount would be taken out of his paycheck.

The cashier said he initially planned to just put the bill on his "tab" but then second-guessed himself and told a manager, who sent him outside to ask Mr Floyd to return to the store.

George Floyd was killed on May 25 last year. ((9News))

The 46-year-old was later arrested outside, where Mr Chauvin pinned his knee on his neck for what prosecutors said was 9 minutes, 29 seconds, as a handcuffed Floyd lay face-down on the pavement.

The Black man was later pronounced dead at a hospital.

Mr Martin said when he asked Mr Floyd if he played baseball, the man replied that he played football but it took some time to respond, so "it would appear that he was high."

The defence has argued the now-fired white officer did what his training told him to do.

It was argued that Mr Floyd's death was not caused by Mr Chauvin's knee on his neck, as prosecutors contend, but by a combination of illegal drug use, heart disease, high blood pressure and the adrenaline flowing through his body.

Mr Martin went outside as people were gathering on the curb and yelling at officers.

He took out his phone and began recording but later deleted it explaining that the ambulance didn't take the fastest route to the hospital so he thought Floyd died.

"I just didn't want to have to show it (the video) to anyone," he said.

Genevieve Hansen, one of several bystanders seen and heard shouting at the officer as he pinned Mr Floyd down, wept on Tuesday (Wednesday AEDT) as she recalled being prevented from using her EMT training to help Mr Floyd.

The crowd tries to intervene and help Mr Floyd.
The crowd tries to intervene and help Mr Floyd. (Supplied)

She described her desperation as she recounted how she was unable to come to the man's aid or tell police what to do, such as administering chest compressions.

"There was a man being killed," said Ms Hansen, who testified in her dress uniform and detailed her emergency medical technician training.

"I would have been able to provide medical attention to the best of my abilities. And this human was denied that right."

Mr Chauvin, 45, is charged with murder and manslaughter. The most serious charge against him carries up to 40 years in prison.

Mr Floyd's death, along with the harrowing bystander video of him pleading that he couldn't breathe as onlookers yelled at Mr Chauvin to get off, triggered sometimes-violent protests around the world and a reckoning over racism and police brutality across the US.
A picture of George Floyd hangs on a fence in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone) (AP)

Witnesses and video depicted police keeping back some of those on the sidewalk who tried to intervene.

Mr Chauvin appeared unmoved by their pleas, according to the bystanders, including the teenager who shot the video that set off nationwide protests.

"He didn't care. It seemed as if he didn't care what we were saying," said 18-year-old Darnella Frazier, one of several witnesses who testified through tears.

She said he gave the bystanders a "cold" and "heartless" look.

Mr Chauvin continued to kneel on Floyd while fellow officer Tou Thao held back about 15 onlookers, even when Ms Hansen identified herself as a firefighter and pleaded repeatedly to check Floyd's pulse, according to witnesses and bystander video.

"They definitely put their hands on the Mace, and we all pulled back," Ms Frazier told the jury.

The testimony from the prosecution witnesses was apparently aimed at showing Mr Chauvin had multiple opportunities to think about what he was doing and change course.

Defence attorney Eric Nelson questions a witness as on Tuesday. (AP)

But defence attorney Eric Nelson sought to bring evidence onlookers were agitated, in an apparent attempt to show that the police were distracted by what they perceived as a growing and increasingly hostile crowd.

Witnesses testified that no bystanders interfered with police.

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2021-03-31 17:02:20Z

Man, 74, gets ‘rare’ severe rash all over body and says his ‘skin peeled off’ after Johnson & Johnson vaccine -

A 74-year-old man was hospitalised after his “skin peeled off” from a severe body rash triggered by the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Richard Terrell received the one-dose COVID-19 vaccine in Ashland, Virginia, on March 6 and started suffering symptoms four days later.

He told WRIC that he first felt a “discomfort” in his armpit but that the itchy rash quickly spread, turning his skin a bright red and causing his body to swell.

“It all just happened so fast. My skin peeled off,” Mr Terrell told the broadcaster.

“It’s still coming off on my hands now. I began to feel a little discomfort in my armpit and then a few days later I began to get an itchy rash, and then after that I began to swell and my skin turned red.”

RELATED: America facing ‘impending doom’

Mr Terrell visited a dermatologist for a consultation as the reaction worsened and he was sent to the emergency room on March 19.

He said that at the worst of his reaction to the vaccine, his legs and hands were unrecognisable and his skin was red and patchy.

“It was stinging, burning and itching,” Mr Terrell said.

“Whenever I bent my arms or legs, like the inside of my knee, it was very painful where the skin was swollen and was rubbing against itself.”

He spent five days in the VDU Medical Center before being released to recover at home.

Mr Terrell revealed that he is still very weak and it will take him a while to recover but he’s still grateful to have received the vaccine.

The doctor treating Mr Terrell has confirmed that the rash was caused by a drug reaction.

They conducted a biopsy that concluded Mr Terrell’s reaction had something to do with his genetic makeup and the vaccine type.

“We ruled out all the viral infections, we ruled out COVID-19 itself,” said Dr Fnu Nutan, a dermatology hospitalist at Virginia Commonwealth University Health.

“We made sure that his kidneys and liver was okay, and finally we came to the conclusion that it was the vaccine that he had received that was the cause.”

RELATED: Disturbing long-term symptom

Dr Nutan cautioned that it could have been life-threatening if left untreated.

“Skin is the largest organ in the body, and when it gets inflamed like his was, you can lose a lot of fluids and electrolytes,” Dr Nutan explained.

But she also pointed out that such a severe reaction is extremely rare.

“If you look at the risk for adverse reaction for the vaccine it’s really, really low,” she added.

“We haven’t seen a great concern at all. I am a big proponent of the vaccine.”

Mr Terrell’s reaction was reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and he has still encouraged people to get vaccinated.

Dr Nutan has also urged people not to use the rare response as a reason not to get the vaccine, and said that she has seen worse symptoms from COVID-19.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has said that the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is 85 per cent effective at preventing severe illness and 66 per cent protective overall against moderate cases.

According to a report from the agency released in late February, it has had noticeably milder side effects than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

“Common side effects – fatigue, fever headache, injection site pain, or myalgia (pain in a muscle or group of muscles), all of which generally resolve within a day or two,” wrote Yale Medicine last month.

The CDC has encouraged Americans to take a vaccine and said they are proven to be “safe and effective”.

“The vaccines met FDA’s rigorous scientific standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality needed to support emergency use authorisation,” it said on Thursday.

A request for comment from Johnson & Johnson about Mr Terrell’s reaction had not yet been returned.

Is the Johnson & Johnson vaccine safe?

In a statement on Thursday, the CDC reminded Americans that COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine has had noticeably milder side effects than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

Safety trials for this vaccine demonstrated mild side effects and no severe allergic reactions, CONE Health reports.

“In the studies of this vaccine, no one developed a severe allergic reaction, and side effects of the vaccine were similar to those of other vaccines, including fever experienced by 9 per cent of volunteers,” wrote the Journal of the American Medical Association Network.

“The vaccine did not appear to cause any excess serious complications.”

Common reactions include swelling, redness and pain at injection site, fever, headache, tiredness, or muscle ache.

A small number of people have had a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis after vaccination, but this is extremely rare, the CDC urges.

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission

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2021-03-31 08:23:19Z

Myanmar's Aung San Suu Kyi looks healthy, says lawyer, amid 'horrifying violence' in wake of coup - ABC News

Myanmar's deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi appeared to be in good health, her lawyer said following a video meeting.

The detained Nobel laureate, who has been in custody since the Myanmar military seized power, wanted to meet lawyers in person. 

Instead, the meeting was a wide discussion by video in the presence of police that she did not agree to, said lawyer Min Min Soe.

The only discussions that took place were about the legal cases against her following the coup were discussed uring the video conference, the lawyer said.

Woman looking
Aung San Suu Kyi has been in detention since February 1 after the country's army seized power.(

AAP image: Mick Tsikas


Ms Suu Kyi, 75, was arrested the same day the military seized power and faced charges that included illegally importing six handheld radios and breaching coronavirus protocols.

The military has also recently accused her of bribery.

Her lawyers said the charges were trumped up and dismissed the accusation of bribery as a joke.

The next hearing in her case is on Thursday.

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Play Video. Duration: 4 minutes
Australia joins international condemnation of Myanmar military junta's killing of civilians

The military seized power saying that November elections won by Ms Suu Kyi's party were fraudulent. The election commission said the vote was fair.

Myanmar has been in turmoil since the reimposed military rule after a decade of tentative steps towards democracy.

'Increasingly disturbing and even horrifying violence'

At least 521 civilians have been killed in protests, 141 of them on Saturday, the bloodiest day of the unrest, according to the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPP).

Fighting has also flared between the army and ethnic minority insurgents in frontier regions. Refugees fleeing the turmoil are seeking refuge in neighbouring countries.

The AAPP said a further eight people were killed on Tuesday, when thousands came out to march in several towns, according to media and photos on social media.

There were also new candle-lit protests overnight in several towns in defiance of a curfew and reportedly at least one dawn march on Wednesday.

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Play Video. Duration: 44 seconds
Myanmar security forces use violence to clear protesters

There is growing concern in many countries about prospects for the country with no sign of a path out of the crisis. The junta has not taken up offers from its South-East Asian neighbours to help find a solution.

The United States on Tuesday ordered the departure of non-emergency US government employees and their family members due to concerns over civil unrest.

Police and a spokesman for the Myanmar junta did not answer calls seeking comment.

Western countries have condemned the coup and the violence and called for Mrs Suu Kyi's release. Some have imposed limited sanctions.

But those pressing for change have limited leverage in a country that was largely isolated for decades under strict military rule, and which retains the support of countries like Russia and China.

In Washington, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said foreign countries and companies with significant investments in enterprises that support Myanmar's military should reconsider those stakes.

He said the recent violence was "reprehensible" and followed a pattern of "increasingly disturbing and even horrifying violence" against demonstrators opposing military rule.


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2021-03-31 10:20:13Z

Australia's COVID vaccine rollout started off slow — but will it affect when you get it? - ABC News

At the start of the year, Prime Minister Scott Morrison spoke of his hope that by the end of March, the COVID-19 vaccine would be in the arms of 4 million Australians.

But as it stands on the last day of March, less than 700,000 doses of the vaccine have been administered — just over 16 per cent of the target that was set in January.

Here's how Australia's vaccine rollout is tracking, and where you fit into it.

How many people has Australia vaccinated?

As of today, Australia has vaccinated 670,000 people.

But the numbers are well short of where the Prime Minister initially hoped we would be at this stage.

A pair of gloved hands uses a syringe to measure a vaccine.
Ausralia is now manufacturing its own AstraZeneca vaccine.(

ABC News: Isabella Higgins


A determining factor in this is an international shortfall in supply — Mr Morrison said the target of 4 million shots by April had been ditched weeks ago in response to the changing circumstances.

"That was dispensed with because of the problems we had with vaccines not coming from overseas," he said.

"Of course at the outset, when 3 million or so vaccines aren't able to be delivered to Australia because of the vaccine release out of Europe, in particular, that was obviously going to impact the early success."

The European Union has blocked some vaccine shipments destined for Australia, citing the country's low infection rate and skyrocketing cases in Europe.

But Australia's local manufacturing of the AstraZeneca vaccine is ramping up, and 72,000 vaccinations were administered yesterday.

Does this change when I am eligible for the COVID vaccine?

Not according to the Government.

Most of the people vaccinated so far are from phase 1A of the vaccination rollout, which encompasses people in aged care homes and frontline health workers.

Phase 1B, which includes people over 70 and Indigenous people over 55, commenced last week.

Greg Hunt mid-sentence
Mr Hunt would not say when phase 2B would begin.(

AAP: James Ross


Vaccination of those groups will continue for some time, before stages 2A and 2B commence later in the year.

Government releases requesting expressions of interest from community pharmacies suggest stage 2A, which includes people over 50 and all Indigenous people, is set to begin in May.

Stage 2B, which covers the rest of the adult population, will follow that, and the Government is maintaining its commitment to have every Australian receive their first shot by the end of October.

Health Minister Greg Hunt today refused to put a firm start date on phase 2B.

"We've talked about towards the middle of the year for phase 2A and we'll judge those on when we start to see a decline in demand for each of the respective phases," he said.

"We haven't changed our time frames with regards to any of our milestones, and when we do, we will indicate that."

Why isn't it happening faster?

We're now more than a month into Australia's vaccine rollout, and millions of doses behind where the Government hoped we would be.

A slanging match has erupted between the federal government and some states over whether more vaccines should have been administered by this point.

Putting aside the global supply issues, members of the federal government have accused states, particularly Queensland, of hoarding vaccines unnecessarily.

"They have done three-fifths of bugger all," deputy Nationals leader David Littleproud said.

But the Queensland government has defended its actions, saying it is holding vaccines because there is a lack of certainty about supplies, and it has a responsibility to offer timely vaccinations to people who have already received their first dose of the vaccine.

"We have not had that commitment from the Commonwealth that those second doses will be there." Deputy Premier Steven Miles said.

The Commonwealth says it is responsible for ensuring there is enough supply for second doses.

GP clinics, which are the bedrock of stage 1B's delivery, have also raised concerns about a lack of supply throttling the number of vaccinations they can deliver.

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2021-03-31 06:19:04Z

US President Joe Biden's dog Major involved in second White House biting incident - ABC News

US President Joe Biden's dog Major has bitten a second person this month, the White House confirmed.

The dog "nipped someone while on a walk" earlier this month, first lady Jill Biden's spokesman, Michael LaRosa, said. 

Mr LaRosa said the person bitten by Major was seen by the White House Medical Unit "out of an abundance of caution" and returned to work without injury.

The dog was seen on a walk around the White House South Lawn before the President and first lady travelled to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial early Monday evening.

The German Shepherd only returned to the White House last week — along with his sibling Champ — after causing a minor injury to a member of the US Secret Service.

After that incident, Mr Biden said Major was "a sweet dog".

Mr Biden explained the biting by saying that the dog had "turned a corner, there's two people he doesn't know at all, you know, and they move and he moves to protect".

Among the Democratic front-runners, Joe Biden shares his life with a German shepherd, Major.
Mr Biden's dog Major is the first rescue dog to call the White House home.(

Instagram: Delaware Humane Association


Major, a three-year-old rescue dog, and Champ, who is 12, were moved to the Bidens' Delaware home after the incident.

The President said Major was being trained in Delaware but disputed the idea that the pup had been sent away after the incident.

He said the dogs went to Wilmington because he was going to be out of town.

"He was going home," Mr Biden said.

The dogs met the Bidens two weekends ago at Camp David in Maryland and came back to Washington on March 21.

Last week, one of the two German Shepherds waited on the balcony of the White House as Marine One landed on the South Lawn, having ferried the President back from a speech in Columbus, Ohio.

"The dogs will come and go and it will not be uncommon for them to head back to Delaware on occasion as the President and first lady often do as well," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.


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2021-03-31 05:45:05Z

Selasa, 30 Maret 2021

George Floyd murder trial: Judge castigates witness for arguing with defence lawyers -

The trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, accused of murdering George Floyd, took a dramatic turn late on Tuesday as the judge halted proceedings to castigate a key witness.

Genevieve Hansen, a Minneapolis firefighter who says police officers prevented her from giving Mr Floyd desperately needed medical attention as Chauvin knelt on his neck, was being cross examined by the defence team.

Judge Peter Cahill felt she was arguing with defence lawyer Eric Nelson instead of answering his questions directly.

“Do not argue with counsel, and specifically do not argue with the court. They have the right to ask questions. Your job is to answer them,” the judge said.

“I was finishing my answer,” she protested.

“I will determine when your answer is done,” Judge Cahill shot back.

He pointed out that prosecutors could ask Ms Hansen follow-up questions on redirect if they felt the defence had left out important details.

“Are we clear?” he asked.

She said yes. He then dismissed her from the stand for the day, telling her to return on Wednesday morning to complete her testimony.

RELATED: Opening arguments in George Floyd murder trial

Ms Hansen arrived at the scene of the incident as a bystander, but as she had emergency medical training, tried to help Mr Floyd. She said police officers would not even let her examine him.

By the time Judge Cahill intervened this afternoon, she had already engaged in several tense exchanges with Mr Nelson.

At one point he asked about her demeanour at the scene, and specifically whether she had got “angry” with police and called one of the officers “a b**ch”.

“I got quite angry after Mr Floyd was loaded into the ambulance, and there was no point in trying to reason with them anymore because they had just killed somebody,” she replied.

At another point, as he quizzed her on the demeanour of other bystanders, she lost patience.

“I don’t know if you’ve seen anybody be killed, but it’s upsetting,” Ms Hansen said.

Mr Nelson suggested the stress of the situation may have affected her memory.

“A stressful situation can affect memory, right?” he asked.

“Yes. That’s why it’s great that we have it on video,” she responded.

He also asked whether it was “reasonable to assume” that police had already called for medical assistance when Ms Hansen arrived on the scene, the implication being that her help was not needed.

“Your question is unclear because you don’t know my job,” she told him.

Earlier, under direct examination from the prosecution, Ms Hansen laid out her version of events.

“There was a man being killed,” she said.

“I would have been able to provide medical attention to the best of my abilities. And this human was denied that right.”

The firefighter specifically blamed Officer Tou Thao for refusing to give her access to Mr Floyd.

“He said something along the lines of, ‘If you really are a Minneapolis firefighter, you would know better than to get invovled,’” she recounted.

“That wasn’t right. That was exactly what I should have done. There was no medical assistance on scene, and I got there and I could have given medical assistance. That’s exactly what I should have done.”

Asked what she would have done, given the chance, she said she would have checked Mr Floyd’s airway for obstructions and checked his pulse.

“When I didn’t find a pulse, if that was the case, I would have started compressions, and continued impressions at a rate of 100 a minute until help arrived,” Ms Hansen explained.

She said she told the officers that, if they weren’t going to allow her into the scene, they should check his pulse themselves and start compressions if necessary.

“That wasn’t done either,” she said.

Ms Hansen was left “frustrated” and “totally distressed”.

At this point she paused her testimony to wipe her eyes.

Continuing a few moments later, Ms Hansen said she tried several different approaches to appeal to the officers, from “calm and reasoning” to “assertive”.

“I pled and was desperate,” she said.

The prosecutor asked whether she used “foul language”. The answer was yes.

“I was desperate to help, and I wasn’t getting what I needed to do. I needed access,” said Ms Hansen.

Chauvin has been charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and manslaughter, and could face up to 15 years in jail.

Earlier on day two of the trial, the jury heard from Donald Williams, a mixed martial arts fighter and one of the bystanders who witnessed the incident.

“You could see that he was going through tremendous pain,” Mr Williams said.

“You could see he was trying to gasp for air.”

He said he tried to intervene to help Mr Floyd, but was prevented from doing so by Mr Thao.

When Mr Floyd was removed from the scene by an ambulance, Mr Williams called 911.

“Why did you do that?” the prosecution asked him.

“Because I believed I witnessed a murder,” he replied.

Prosecutors then presented audio of the 911 call. Mr Williams grew visibly emotional and wiped away a tear as the recording played.

“The officers are trying to definitely kill a citizen in front of a store,” Mr Williams told the 911 dispatcher.

“He just pretty much just killed this guy that wasn’t resisting arrest. He had his knee on the dude’s neck the whole time.

“He wasn’t resisting arrest or nothing. He was already in handcuffs. They pretty much – it’s stupid, dude. I don’t even know if he’s dead for sure, but he was not responsive when the ambulance came and got him.

“The officer that was just out here left, the one that actually just murdered him in front of everybody.

“That was bogus, what they just did to this man. He was unresponsive. He wasn’t resisting arrest or any of it.”

The dispatcher then sought to put Mr Williams through to a sergeant.

Towards the end of the call, Mr Williams could be heard speaking to an officer at the scene.

“Murderers, bro. Y’all are murderers, pal,” he said.

When the recording ended, the prosecution again asked him why he made the 911 call. He said he “didn’t know what else to do”, and felt like it was the right course of action.

During cross examination, the defence suggested Mr Williams had behaved in a threatening and disruptive way towards police, feeding into its opening argument that bystanders contributed to the incident by distracting the officers.

In footage of Chauvin pinning Mr Floyd to the ground, Mr Williams could be heard calling Chauvin a “bum” and telling the officer he would shoot himself “within the next two years”.

“You can’t paint me out to be angry,” Mr Williams told defence lawyer Eric Nelson.

Mr Nelson also stressed that Mr Williams had no medical experience with which to judge the officers’ treatment of Mr Floyd.

Today the jury also heard from Darnella Frazier, the teenager whose video footage of Chauvin kneeling on Mr Floyd went around the world.

RELATED: Shocking video from George Floyd incident

Ms Frazier, who was 17 at the time of the incident, came across the scene while walking past the Cup Foods store with her nine-year-old cousin. She directed her cousin to enter the store instead of staying outside with her.

Prosecutors asked Ms Frazier whether she did so because there was something she didn’t want her cousin to see.

“Yes. A man terrified, scared, begging for his life,” she replied.

“It wasn’t right. He was suffering. He was in pain.”

She proceeded to pull out her phone and record the officers’ actions.

The prosecution told Ms Frazier to tell the jury what she observed from that point onwards.

“I heard George Floyd saying, ‘I can’t breathe, please, get off of me. I can’t breathe.’ He cried for his mum. He was in pain,” she said.

“It seemed like he knew it was over for him. He was terrified. He was suffering. This was a cry for help, definitely.”

Ms Frazier grew particularly emotional when she was asked to explain how the event she witnessed had changed her life. Speaking through tears, she said she had stayed up at night apologising to Mr Floyd for not doing more to intervene.

“When I look at George Floyd I look at my dad. I look at my brother, I look at my cousins, my uncles. Because they are all black.

“I look at how that could have been one of them.

“It’s the nights I’ve stayed up apologising to George Floyd for not doing more, and not physically interacting, not saving his life.”

This morning, Judge Peter Cahill ruled that four witnesses – including Ms Frazier – could testify off camera because of their age.

Another of them, identified only as Alissa, also cried.

“I felt like there wasn’t anything I could do as a bystander. I felt like I was failing him,” she said.

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2021-03-30 22:41:15Z

AstraZeneca vaccine suspended for under-60s in two German cities after 'rare blood clots' - ABC News

Authorities in Berlin and Munich have again suspended the use of AstraZeneca's coronavirus vaccine for residents under the age of 60, due to new reports of unusual blood clots.

The action was taken on Tuesday as a precaution ahead of a meeting of representatives from Germany's 16 states and before further recommendations expected from national medical regulators, said Berlin's top health official, Dilek Kalayci.

The decision came after the country's medical regulator announced it had received a total of 31 reports of rare blood clots in recent recipients of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Nine of the people died, and all but two of the cases involved women aged 20 to 63, the Paul Ehrlich Institute said.

Some 2.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been administered across Germany so far.

Reports of an unusual form of blood clot in the head, known as sinus vein thrombosis, prompted several European countries to temporarily halt the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine earlier this month.

After a review by medical experts, the European Medicines Agency concluded the benefits of the vaccine outweighed the risks.

At the same time, the agency recommended that warnings about possible rare side effects should be provided to patients and doctors.

Most European Union countries, including Germany, resumed use of the vaccine.

Earlier on Tuesday, two state-owned hospitals in Berlin announced that they had stopped giving the AstraZeneca vaccine to female staff members under 55.

The heads of five university hospitals in western Germany called for a temporary halt to the vaccine for all younger women, citing the blood clot risk.

A hand holding a vaccine vial. AstraZeneca 5ml is printed on the label
AstraZeneca vaccinations for people under 60 will be suspended in some German cities.(

Getty Images: KONTROLAB


"We have not had a case of serious side effects in Berlin yet," said Ms Kalayci, the Berlin state health minister.

"Still, we need to treat it carefully and wait for the talks taking place at the federal level."

The decision could affect appointments for tens of thousands of teachers and people with pre-existing conditions who received invitations to get vaccinated in Germany's capital in recent days.

German news agency DPA quoted a spokesman for Munich, the country's third-largest city, saying that the suspension of AstraZeneca vaccinations for people younger than 60 would "last until the issue of possible vaccine complications for this group of persons has been resolved".

Some other European countries remain hesitant about giving the AstraZeneca shot to older people.

In Spain, Madrid residents aged 60 to 65 started receiving the vaccine on Tuesday, ahead of those between the ages of 66 and 79.

That was because Spanish authorities had not reviewed new data provided by AstraZeneca about how well it worked in the older age group.

The Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are used in Spain for people over the age of 80.

Spanish health authorities are hoping to speed up the rollout of vaccines thanks to a jab developed by pharmaceutical company Janssen, a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, which has also been approved for use in Europe and requires one shot only.


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2021-03-30 22:05:37Z

Why the world’s container ships grew so big - Sydney Morning Herald

By Niraj Chokshi

The traffic jam at the Suez Canal will soon begin easing, but behemoth container ships such as the one that blocked that crucial passageway for almost a week and caused headaches for shippers around the world aren’t going anywhere.

Global supply chains were already under pressure when the Ever Given, a ship longer than the height of the Empire State Building and capable of carrying furnishings for 20,000 apartments, wedged itself between the banks of the Suez Canal last week. It was freed earlier this week, but it left behind “disruptions and backlogs in global shipping that could take weeks, possibly months, to unravel,” according to A.P. Moller-Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company.

The Ever Given caused global shipping chaos that could take months to resolve when it got stuck in the Suez Canal.

The Ever Given caused global shipping chaos that could take months to resolve when it got stuck in the Suez Canal. Credit:Suez Canal Authority via AP

The crisis was short, but it was also years in the making.

For decades, shipping lines have been making bigger and bigger vessels, driven by an expanding global appetite for electronics, clothes, toys and other goods. The growth in ship size, which sped up in recent years, often made economic sense: Bigger vessels are generally cheaper to build and operate on a per-container basis. But the largest ships can come with their own set of problems, not only for the canals and ports that have to handle them, but for the companies that build them.

“They did what they thought was most efficient for themselves — make the ships big — and they didn’t pay much attention at all to the rest of the world,” said Marc Levinson, an economist and author of Outside the Box a history of globalisation. “But it turns out that these really big ships are not as efficient as the shipping lines had imagined.”

Despite the risks they pose, however, massive vessels still dominate global shipping. According to Alphaliner, a shipping-data firm, the global fleet of container ships includes 133 of the largest ship type — those that can carry 18,000 to 24,000 containers. Another 53 ships are on order.

The world’s first commercially successful container trip took place in 1956 aboard a converted steamship, which transported a few dozen containers from New Jersey to Texas. The industry has grown steadily in the decades since, but as global trade accelerated in the 1980s, so did the growth of the shipping industry — and ship size.

In that decade, the average capacity of a container ship grew by 28 per cent, according to the International Transport Forum, a unit of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Container-ship capacity grew again by 36 per cent in the 1990s. Then, in 2006, Maersk introduced a massive new vessel, the Emma Maersk, which could hold about 15,000 containers, almost 70 per cent more than any other vessel.


“Instead of this pattern of small increases in capacity over time, all of a sudden we had a quantum leap and that really set off an arms race,” Levinson said.

Today, the largest ships can hold as many as 24,000 containers — a standard 20-foot box can hold a pair of midsize SUVs or enough produce to fill one to two aisles in a grocery store.

The growth of the shipping industry and ship size has played a central role in creating the modern economy, helping to make China a manufacturing powerhouse and facilitating the rise of everything from e-commerce to retailers such as Ikea and Amazon. To the container lines, building bigger made sense: Larger ships allowed them to squeeze out savings on construction, fuel and staffing.

“Ultra Large Container Vessels (ULCV) are extremely efficient when it is about transporting large quantities of goods around the globe,” Tim Seifert, a spokesman for Hapag-Lloyd, a large shipping company, said in a statement. “We also doubt that it would make shipping safer or more environmentally friendly if there would be more- or less-efficient vessels on the oceans or in the canals.”

A.P. Moller-Maersk said it was premature to blame Ever Given’s size for what happened in the Suez. Ultralarge ships “have existed for many years and have sailed through the Suez Canal without issues,” company chief technical officer Palle Brodsgaard Laursen said in a statement Tuesday.

But the growth in ship size has come at a cost. It has effectively pitted port against port, canal against canal. To make way for bigger ships, for example, the Panama Canal expanded in 2016 at a cost of more than $US5 billion ($6.6 billion).

That set off a race among ports along the East Coast of the United States to attract the larger ships coming through the canal. Several ports, including those in Baltimore, Miami and Norfolk, Virginia, began dredging projects to deepen their harbours. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey spearheaded a $US1.7 billion project to raise the Bayonne Bridge to accommodate mammoth ships laden with cargo from Asia and elsewhere.

The race to accommodate ever-larger ships also pushed ports and terminal operators to buy new equipment. This month, for example, the Port of Oakland, California, erected three 1600-tonne cranes that would, in the words of one port executive, allow it to “receive the biggest ships.”

But while ports incurred costs for accommodating larger ships, they didn’t reap all of the benefits, according to Jan Tiedemann, a senior analyst at Alphaliner.

“The savings are almost exclusively on the side of the carrier, so there was an argument that the carriers have been in the driving seat and have just pushed through with this big tonnage, while terminal operators, ports and, in some cases, the taxpayer, has footed the bill,” he said.

The New York Times

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2021-03-30 20:10:00Z