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CDC director warns of potential ‘fourth surge’ in US coronavirus cases – live

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked whether Joe Biden would consider sharing the US coronavirus vaccine supply with Mexico.

“No,” Psaki replied, saying the president is prioritizing the vaccination of Americans right now.

The question comes hours before Biden is scheduled to virtually meet with the president of Mexico, who is expected to raise the issue of vaccine-sharing as well.

White House says it does not intend to overrule Senate parliamentarian

White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked about the Senate parliamentarian’s ruling that the $15 minimum wage provision did not meet the requirements for passage by reconciliation.

A group of House progressives has called on Joe Biden to overrule the Senate parliamentarian by having Vice-President Kamala Harris, the leader of the Senate, approve the inclusion of the minimum wage provision in the coronavirus relief package.

Psaki said having Harris overrule the parliamentarian is “not a simple decision,” and she noted the president and the vice-president both “respect the history of the Senate”.

“That is not an action that we intend to take,” Psaki said.

The press secretary reiterated Biden’s commitment to raising the minimum wage, which would require a separate bill if it is not included in the relief package.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki has taken over the briefing, and she was asked about Joe Biden’s decision not to sanction the Saudi crown prince over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Psaki defended the decision, claiming the administration had “recalibrated the relationship” with Saudi Arabia to ensure such violence does not happen again.

The press secretary said the president does “reserve the right to take any action” against the Saudi crown prince in the future, but she noted that past administrations have not typically sanctioned leaders of nations with which the US has diplomatic relations.

Alejandro Mayorkas was asked whether he would allow reporters access to the temporary detention facilities for migrant children in Texas.

A reporter noted that the department of homeland security has so far rejected media organizations’ requests to access those facilities, citing the need to limit the risk of coronavirus spread.

“I’m happy to take a look at that,” Mayorkas said, adding that he would need to check with fellow DHS officials about why the request was rejected.

The DHS secretary said he was committed to providing “openness and transparency” during his tenure, and he said that principle would apply to the media.

Mayorkas also noted he was once a journalism student, but he said he “wasn’t a good enough writer to make it the whole way”.

Alejandro Mayorkas was asked by a reporter whether he believes there is a “crisis” at the US-Mexican border.

“The answer is no,” the DHS secretary replied.

Mayorkas acknowledged that there are challenges at the border, but he expressed confidence in his department’s ability to handle those challenges.

Alejandro Mayorkas took issue with the idea that the Biden administration’s handling of migrant children is similar to that of the Trump administration.

The DHS secretary noted that the Trump administration expelled migrant children from the US, which the Biden administration is not doing.

The Biden White House has received criticism on the right and the left for reopening a detention center for migrant children that was used under the Trump administration.

Alejandro Mayorkas offered some updates on the Biden administration’s task force to reunite migrant families who were separated as a result of Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policies.

Mayorkas announced that Michelle Brané will serve as the executive director of the task force. “She is an extraordinary talent that will bring justice,” the DHS secretary said.

Mayorkas added that the administration will “explore lawful pathways” to allow separated families to be reunited in the US, if they want to do so.

Alejandro Mayorkas said the department of homeland security is working on processing those in the “Remain in Mexico” program that was implemented during Donald Trump’s presidency.

The DHS secretary emphasized that this is not the time for migrants to attempt to enter the US.

“They need to wait,” Mayorkas said. “It takes time to rebuild the system from scratch.”

Mayorkas noted that those who attempt to enter the US may be returned to Mexico in order to observe guidelines on limiting the spread of coronavirus.

Trump ‘dismantled our nation’s immigration system in its entirety,’ DHS secretary says

The daily White House press briefing is underway, and Alejandro Mayorkas, the secretary of homeland security, is speaking to reporters in the briefing room.

Mayorkas, who was confirmed by the Senate last month, said the department of homeland security will “replace the cruelty of the past administration with an orderly, humane and safe immigration process”.

The cabinet secretary accused the Trump administration of having “dismantled our nation’s immigration system in its entirety”.

Mayorkas pledged to rebuild that system, saying, “It is hard, and it will take time, but rest assured: it will get done.”

Jeff Zients acknowledged that coronavirus vaccine scheduling remains “too frustrating” for “far too many people” in the US.

The White House coronavirus response team coordinator said the Biden administration is committed to helping states improve their scheduling systems, but he made no mention of a possible national scheduling portal.

The coronavirus response team’s press briefing has now concluded.

Jeff Zients, the coordinator of the White House coronavirus response team, announced the country distributed an average of 1.7 million doses a day over the past week.

Zients said vaccine distribution has rebounded after last month’s winter storm, which impacted deliveries across the central US.

According to Bloomberg, about 2.4 million vaccine doses were administered in the US yesterday.

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Police say officer who shot and killed unarmed Daunte Wright intended to fire Taser

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Police in a Minneapolis suburb said an officer accidentally shot and killed a 20-year-old Black man on Sunday afternoon during a traffic stop, releasing graphic body-camera footage they say shows the officer intended to use a Taser not a handgun during the death of unarmed Daunte Wright.

The incident plunged the suburb of Brooklyn Center into a night of unrest as Minneapolis remains on edge during the murder trial of former officer Derek Chauvin over the death of George Floyd. Hundreds of protesters clashed with police in riot gear who deployed teargas and flash bangs to disperse the crowds.

At a press conference inside Brooklyn Center police headquarters, surrounded by riot police and national guard troops, the police chief, Tim Gannon, described the shooting as “an accidental discharge” and confirmed no weapon had been recovered from Wright’s vehicle.

The county medical examiner has ruled the death a homicide.

The mayor of Brooklyn Center, Mike Elliott, said he had spoken to Joe Biden, who offered assistance.

“I want to say that our hearts are aching right now,” Elliott told reporters. “We are in pain right now. And we recognise that this couldn’t have happened at a worse time.

“We will get to the bottom of this. We will do all that is in our power to make sure that justice is done for Daunte Wright.”

Elliott also said he supported firing the officer involved, who was later identified as Kim Potter, a 26-year veteran of the Brooklyn Center police department.

Protesters face off with police in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota.
Protesters face off with police in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Photograph: Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

Protesters returned to the streets again on Monday evening, despite a 7pm curfew imposed by the governor of Minnesota. Hundreds of people gathered in the cold and rainy weather outside the Brooklyn Center police department, which was ringed by a metal fence, concrete barriers and police dressed in riot gear. Police later deployed flashbangs, teargas and smoke to disperse the crowd.

There are now a few hundred protesters outside the Brooklyn Center police dept, which is circled by fencing. Protesters have also blockaded off parts of Humboldt Ave. pic.twitter.com/jxCLxEzwvH

— Oliver Laughland (@oliverlaughland) April 12, 2021

Police are now firing flash bangs, smoke and pepper balls into the crowd. Some are dispersing but others firing fireworks. pic.twitter.com/mnkrXe6jGv

— Oliver Laughland (@oliverlaughland) April 13, 2021

Earlier in the day, mourners and outraged community members had made their way to the site where Wright was killed. On a grey, damp morning, Ben Witz and his sister came to the site to lay balloons.

“This is more difficult because there was another, there was another unarmed shooting,” Witz said, explaining that family members lived in the area and that the community was still traumatized from Floyd’s killing and the unrest that followed.

“It seems like it’s a common occurrence now with the police,” Witz said. “It’s crazy what’s happening. It really is.”

According to Brooklyn Center police, the incident occurred shortly before 2pm, when an officer pulled over a vehicle due to an alleged traffic violation.

The body-camera footage showed Wright being apprehended by two officers, when a third female officer approaches the scene. A struggle ensues and Wright gets back into his vehicle, at which point the female officer opens fire.

“Holy shit. I just shot him,” the officer is heard saying.

As the body-camera footage was released, a small group of activists in the police headquarters waiting area demanded the officer, who has not been identified, be fired immediately.

“Seeing the video just confirms what we already knew,” said Toshira Garraway, the founder of Families Supporting Families Against Police Violence. “It’s just killing after killing after killing.”

She added: “They will always say, ‘I was afraid, or it was an accident.’ But the fact of the matter is: this was a murder. If she is not fired, this is only going to escalate.”

Fatal police shooting sparks protests in Minneapolis – video

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Fatal police shooting sparks protests in Minneapolis – video

Wright’s mother, Katie Wright, told reporters she was on the phone with her son as the encounter occurred. According to her account, reported by local TV news, her son called as he was being pulled over and asked about insurance for the vehicle, which she had recently given him.

She said she heard officers instruct her son to get out of the car and then “scuffling” shortly before the phone hung up.

“A minute later, I called and his girlfriend answered, who was the passenger in the car, and said that he’d been shot and she put it on the driver’s side, and my son was laying there lifeless,” she said.

Police said officers determined the driver had an outstanding warrant.

Mother whose son was shot dead in Minneapolis suburb: 'I just want my baby home' – video

01:44

Mother whose son was shot dead in Minneapolis suburb: ‘I just want my baby home’ – video

Heavily armored national guard troops worked to barricade the police station on Monday morning, as fewer than a dozen protesters faced the building across a road.

Two national guard Humvees, guardsmen carrying long guns and dozens of officers in riot gear were outside the station as police installed concrete blocks. A couple of members of the Original Black Panthers of Minneapolis group chatted with state troopers.

Witz, 40, a liquor store employee, said he was concerned the business would be vandalized if protests over Wright’s killing led to major unrest.

“It was like a war zone,” Witz said of the unrest that followed Floyd’s death. “And now we’re seeing it here and, I mean, why do we have to vandalize, I mean, I, as a white person I don’t get it, but I want to be educated.”

On Sunday evening, hundreds of protesters marched to the police station and were met by officers in riot gear who discharged teargas, flash-bangs and other munitions. Crowds had largely dispersed by midnight.

The Minnesota department of public safety commissioner, John Harrington, said around 20 businesses at the Shingle Creek shopping center were broken into. The mayor, Elliott, urged protesters “to be peaceful and that peaceful protesters are not dealt with force”.

Brooklyn Center is a suburb in north-west Minneapolis with a population of about 30,000. Tensions are high as the murder trial of Chauvin entered its third week.

Some protesters damaged police vehicles.
Some protesters damaged police vehicles. Photograph: Kerem Yucel/AFP/Getty Images

Amid drizzle and grey skies on Monday, protesters such as Bethany Hemrich came to pay her respects near the site where Wright had been shot dead less than 24 hours before.

“As a mother of a Black child, I couldn’t even fathom,” Hemrich, who is white, said. “My son is 10, and I brought him to [the] George Floyd memorial and had to explain racism to him.”

As her voice broke, she continued: “They didn’t have to kill him. I feel like if it was a white person, they wouldn’t have shot him.”

Quinn Redeemed, 46, spoke of the tension in the area around police-involved deaths of Black people.

Redeemed said: “This just added gasoline to the fire. We’re tired and fired up. The world needs to really see what’s going on. And now, the world is watching Minnesota.”

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Police kill student who fired at them at Tennessee high school, authorities say

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A student at a Tennessee high school has been shot and killed by police after opening fire on officers responding to reports of a gunman on campus, authorities said on Monday.

David B Rausch, the director of the Tennessee bureau of investigation, said at a news conference that police found the student in a bathroom at Austin-East magnet high school in Knoxville, a city about 180 miles (290km) east of Nashville. They ordered him out, but he wouldn’t comply, and that is when he reportedly opened fire, Rausch said. Police fired back.

The student died at the school, and an officer was wounded and taken into surgery, authorities said. No one else was hurt.

“It’s a sad day for Knoxville, and it’s tough for Austin-East,” Rausch said.

Asked about the overwhelming police response to a call that came in just before afternoon dismissal, the Knoxville police chief, Eve Thomas, said, “We have a student, a school incident. It’s our worst fear, an active shooter in a school.”

The shooting comes as more classrooms are reopening to students after months of remote learning during the coronavirus pandemic, which cut down the number of mass killings in the US. The nation has seen series of mass shootings in recent weeks, including eight people killed at three Atlanta-area massage businesses on 16 March and 10 people killed at Colorado supermarket on 22 March.

Speaking outside a hospital, Knoxville’s mayor, Indya Kincannon, told WATE-TV that she had spoken with the wounded officer and he was conscious and in good spirits.

Kincannon, a former Knox county schools board president, spoke at a February press conference about the gun violence that took the lives of three Austin-East students less than three weeks apart this year. Two of the victims were 15, and the other was 16. The shootings did not take place in the school.

Law enforcement officers respond to the shooting.
Law enforcement officers respond to the shooting. Photograph: Saul Young/AP

“I know that school is a safe place,” Kincannon said at that time, according to the Knoxville News Sentinel. “It’s a place where people are learning … The issues with violence are happening in the community, and it’s affecting kids when they’re outside of the school. That’s why we are focusing our efforts to protect the innocent, protect the school, protect the children and students and staff.”

Bob Thomas, the superintendent of Knox county schools, tweeted on Monday that a shooting had occurred but the building had been secured.

“The school building has been secured and students who were not involved in the incident have been released to their families,” Thomas said.

He added in a separate tweet that authorities were gathering information and about “this tragic situation” and that additional information would be provided later.

Police urged people to avoid the area, adding that a reunification site had been set up on a baseball field behind the school for students to be reunited with family.

Last week, the Republican governor signed off on legislation that would make Tennessee the latest state to soon allow most adults 21 and older to carry handguns – openly or concealed – without first clearing a background check and training.

The state’s governor, Bill Lee, backed the legislation over objections from law enforcement groups, who argued that the state’s existing permit system provided an important safeguard for knowing who should or shouldn’t be carrying a gun.

The law, which does not apply to long guns, will take effect 1 July. The new measure also increases certain penalties relating to theft, and also makes exceptions for people with certain mental illnesses and criminal convictions.

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Alex Rodriguez and billionaire Marc Lore near deal for NBA’s Timberwolves

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Former MLB star Alex Rodriguez and billionaire Marc Lore appear to be close to owning the Minnesota Timberwolves, finalizing a deal with current owner Glen Taylor, according to reports.

The pair released a statement on Saturday:

“We look forward to entering this phase of the process with Glen Taylor. Our respect for him and the legacy he built lays an amazing foundation for what is to come. We are excited by the prospect of getting to know the Timberwolves organization, the talented team and their incredible fans.”

The letter of intent paves the way for a 30-day exclusive negotiating window. If a deal is finalized, they would first become minority owners, according to the Athletic, and in 2023, would gain full control.

The Athletic reported an agreement was reached on a $1.5bn price and that the team would remain in Minneapolis – a requirement from Taylor, who has owned the team for almost 30 years.

ESPN also reported the deal was being finalized.

Rodriguez attempted last year to buy the New York Mets alongside ex-fiancee Jennifer Lopez, and Lore was among the other partners in that bid.

Lore, a billionaire New York native, stepped down as Walmart CEO in January. The former entrepreneur created Jet.com (sold to Walmart for $3bn) and Diapers.com (sold to Amazon for $545m), among other business ventures.

A three-time AL MVP, Rodriguez retired in August 2016 with 698 home runs, a .295 average and 2,086 RBIs in 22 years. He was suspended for the 2014 season for violations of Major League Baseball’s drug agreement and labor contract.

A-Rod, now 45 years old, earned about $448m as a player. The 14-time All-Star started his career with Seattle, signed a record contract with Texas in December 2000, and then moved from shortstop to third base when he was traded from the Rangers to the New York Yankees ahead of the 2004 season.

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