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George Floyd’s Family Demands Justice As Murder Trial Begins

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George Floyd’s Family Demands Justice As Murder Trial Begins

Ahead of the opening arguments on Monday in the trial of the white police officer, Derek Chauvin accused of killing the Black man, George Floyd whose agonizing death ignited protests against racism and police brutality across the United States and around the world on Monday, Floyd’s family has demanded that justice must be serve.

Chauvin was accused of killing George Floyd in May last year, after he was recorded by passers-by in the city of Minneapolis kneeling on the neck of Floyd, who was black, for more than nine minutes.

44-year-old Chauvin who was fired from the police force along with three other officers, could be sentenced to up to 40 years in prison if convicted of the most serious charge — second-degree murder.

Ahead of the trial, family and friends of George Floyd held a vigil and prayer service in Minneapolis. His brother Terrence said “we are [a] God-fearing family, we [are] church people. So, therefore, I’m just going to end it on this – we’re asking the system for the justice”.

Another of his brothers, Philonise Floyd, told reporters on Sunday: “I have a big hole right now in my heart. It can’t be patched up… I need justice for George. We need a conviction.”

Prosecutors are expected to play the video showing Chauvin’s knee on  Floyd’s neck early on in the trial. In order to secure a conviction, they must prove that his conduct was a “substantial causal factor” in Floyd’s death.

While, Chauvin’s defence team is expected to focus on the fact that Floyd used drugs before his arrest which may have contributed to his death, along with underlying health conditions, and whether Chauvin followed police procedure.

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Dozens Dead As Fire Rips Through Coronavirus Hospital In Iraq

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Dozens Dead As Fire Rips Through Coronavirus Hospital In Iraq

At least 60 persons have been killed on Monday after a fire in a coronavirus isolation ward at a hospital in the Iraqi city of Nasiriya.

According to state news agency INA on Tuesday more than 100 were also injured in the fire that broke out at the al-Hussein Teaching Hospital in the southern city.

The blaze was brought under control by civil defence teams but cause of the fire at the al-Hussein hospital is still unclear even though reports suggested it began after an oxygen tank exploded.

A health official with the directorate told AFP news agency the “main reason behind the fire… was the explosion of oxygen tanks”.

Haydar al-Zamili, the local health authority’s spokesperson, said earlier on Tuesday that 52 bodies had been retrieved while 22 persons had been hurt after the fire had “ripped through the COVID isolation ward”.

Iraqi PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi ordered the arrest of the head of the hospital.

State media put the death toll at 64, with nearly 70 others injured.

Since the incident there has been reported clashes between demonstrators and police at the scene, and two police vehicles set ablaze.

Health sources told Reuters news agency the death toll could rise as many patients were still missing.

The new ward, opened just three months ago, contained 70 beds.

The Dhi Qar health directorate said that among those killed were two medical staff members, and the hospital’s security guard.

According to Johns Hopkins University data, Iraq has recorded 1.4 million infections of COVID-19 with more than 17,000 fatalities.

The middle east country has given at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID to just over one million of its roughly 40 million citizens.

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South Korea Puts Seoul Under Tightest COVID Restrictions

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The strictest level four COVID-19 restrictions have gone into effect in greater Seoul, South Korea on Monday.  Prime minister Kim Boo-Kyum said on Friday this is necessary as new COVID-19 cases climbed to a daily record for the second day running.  The new measures will last for two weeks.

The country reported 1,316 new COVID-19 cases as of midnight Thursday, up from Wednesday’s previous record of 1,275 a day. On Thursday a top health official warned the numbers may nearly double by the end of July.

Under the new curbs, people are advised to stay home as much as possible, schools are closed, public meetings are restricted to two persons after 6 p.m. And rallies or other events are banned.

Nightclubs and bars would be shut, while restaurants and cafes would be allowed limited seating and only take-out services after 10 p.m.

Kim also said that during the two-week semi-lockdown, the government will suspend a program introduced earlier this year that allowed mask-free outdoor gatherings for citizens vaccinated with at least one covid-19 shot.

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Possible Earlier COVID-19 Circulation In Italy

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