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Sat, 06 Jun 2020
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Neighbors from all walks of life hit Minneapolis streets to help clean up after days of unrest

Minneapolis clean up
The volunteers appeared to be from all demographics, with Black, brown, white and Muslim residents all seen participating in the collective clean up effort.

Volunteers have flocked to the streets of the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area to help clean up the shattered glass, graffiti, and other debris left behind in the aftermath of huge protests and widespread unrest resulting from the brutal killing of George Floyd.

Residents from across Minnesota and neighboring states flooded into neighborhoods in the Twin Cities that saw some of the most massive protests and skirmishes with police to help mop and sweep affected areas, MPR News reports.

The volunteers appeared to be drawn from the same diverse demographic groups as those who took the streets throughout the week, with Black, brown, white and Muslim residents all seen participating in the collective clean up effort.

Comment: Perhaps a good reminder that - in the midst of all the chaos - exist a number of people of good will out there who are seeking to be constructive and finding solutions - instead of exacerbating the problems.

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Australia attempts to stimulate lockdown damaged economy with giant construction projects and home renovations

© Saeed Khan/AFP via Getty Images
A building site in Sydney. Scott Morrison has signalled the next round of federal stimulus for the coronavirus-hit economy will involve construction and be targeted rather than economy-wide interventions.
The federal government has opened the door to providing cash grants for home renovations as part of a new round of economic stimulus aimed at propping up Australia's construction sector.

The government has also hinted it is looking at helping the struggling arts and entertainment sector, which has been pleading for assistance for months because many workers have missed out on the $1,500 fortnightly jobkeeper wage subsidy.

It is understood the support for home renovations is on the table - but the bigger focus of the forthcoming package is likely to be new construction and larger-scale work.

Comment: See also: UK's small businesses face mounting lockdown debt, insolvencies increasing, warn accountancy experts


Two US airmen dead in shooting incident at North Dakota Air Force Base

air force base US
© AP Photo / Dave Kolpack
Two US airmen have died during a shooting incident at the Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota on Monday morning, according to an official press release on the incident.

"A shooting incident at approximately 4:30 a.m. today has left two 319th Reconnaissance Wing active duty military members dead", the release said.

The incident is contained and there is no ongoing risk to other personnel at the base at this time, the incident also said.

The incident is currently under investigation, the release added.

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UK's small businesses face mounting lockdown debt, insolvencies increasing, warn accountancy experts

shops camden
© Mohamed Elmaazi
14 per cent of Small and Medium-Sized businesses won't have enough cash 'to last four weeks of lockdown', according to the latest business survey conducted by two country-wide accountancy networks with tens of thousands of members.

99 per cent of all UK employment is within Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs), businesses employing 250 people or less.

The Association of Certified Charters Accountants (ACCA) UK and the Corporate Finance Network (CFN) produce weekly reports tracking the financial health of SMEs in the UK amid the COVID-19 lockdown. ACCA UK explains to Sputnik that while there has been much effort from the government to assist small businesses, many remain unable to receive the financial support that they require, with the number of SMEs planning to liquidate now reaching 5 percent.

Sputnik: The latest joint ACCA and Corporate Finance Network report says that cashflow is a key concern for SMEs across the UK.

Comment: We've barely begun to see the damage wrought by the unjustified lockdown:


Elon Musk to accept co-operation offer from Russia's space agency Roscosmos

© Reuters/Steve Nesius.
SpaceX CEO and owner Elon Musk celebrates after the launch of a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.
Elon Musk, whose SpaceX company has just performed its first manned flight into orbit, replied to greetings from Roscosmos saying he was ready to work with Russia to explore space further. And, surprisingly, he did it in Russian.

"Thank you, sir, ha ha. We're hoping for a mutually beneficial and prosperous long-term cooperation," the tech billionaire wrote.

The message came in response to Roscosmos boss Dmitry Rogozin's tweet in which - in English - he congratulated his NASA counterpart, Jim Bridenstine, on a successful launch, and asked him to convey his "sincere greetings" to Elon Musk.

But the assistance of NASA's administrator wasn't needed, apparently. Being an active Twitter user, Musk found the tweet himself and swiftly responded to it in Russian, prompting some positive feedback from Russian Twitter users.

Comment: See also:


'Do something positive. Stop making excuses': George Floyd's brother condemns violent protesters

Terrence Floyd brother george floyd
© ABC News
The Rev. Kevin McCall and Terrence Floyd appear on "Good Morning America," June 1, 2020.
The younger brother of George Floyd is pleading with protesters not to "tear up your town" as violent demonstrations have taken place in numerous cities across the country.

In an interview with ABC News' Alex Perez on Sunday night, Terrence Floyd said that he understands why people are angry, but he worries his brother's memory will be overshadowed by the destructive protests.

"[S]ometimes I get angry, I want to bust some heads, too," Terrence Floyd said. "I wanna ... just go crazy. But I'm here. My brother wasn't about that. My brother was about peace. You'll hear a lot of people say he was a gentle giant."

Comment: Full ABC news interview here:

Heart - Black

Killing of unarmed, autistic Palestinian in Jerusalem sparks outrage

Eyad Al-Halaq

Eyad Al-Halaq
Palestinians are reeling after Israeli police shot dead an unarmed autistic Palestinian man inside the occupied East Jerusalem's Old City, where Israeli authorities have a history of using racial profiling and excessive force against Palestinians, specifically young men.

Eyad al-Halaq, 32, was on his way to a school for children and adults with disabilities where he was a student when Israeli police ordered him to stop for a search when they spotted a "suspicious object that looked like a pistol."

Al-Halaq, who according to statements from his family has the "mental age of a six-year-old child," was reportedly spooked by the police and began rushing away from them.

The police officers then began chasing after al-Halaq before firing several rounds at him, ultimately killing him.

Israeli police issued a statement saying that after they "neutralized" the "suspect," they conducted a body search and found no weapon in his possession.

Haaretz reported that while one officer fired warning shots in the air, the second more junior officer shot al-Halaq while he was trying to hide behind a dumpster.

The junior officer reportedly "suspected [al-Halaq] was a terrorist because he was wearing gloves" — an extremely common occurrence here given the coronavirus pandemic.

On top of the fact that al-Halaq was unarmed and was autistic, the arbitrary and conflicting reasoning given by the officers as to why they pursued and shot him has sparked widespread outrage among Palestinians inside Israel and the occupied territories.


India expels Pakistan embassy officials for 'espionage'

Pakistan High Commission
© Prakash Singh/AFP
India and Pakistan routinely expel each other's diplomats on spying charges
Two Pakistani officials expelled by India over spying allegations have returned home, a Pakistan embassy spokesman said, as the nuclear-armed rivals wrangle over the claims.

The two staff members of the Pakistani High Commission in New Delhi, whose names have not been disclosed, returned to Pakistan via the Wagah border crossing, a Pakistan embassy spokesman said on Monday.

Meanwhile, Pakistan summoned India's charge d'affaires in Islamabad to express its "condemnation" of the expulsion order.

Pakistan's foreign ministry called the allegations "baseless" and said New Delhi's action was a "clear violation" of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations.

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Saudi reserves fall again after transfer to sovereign fund

Saudi foreign reserves drop
© Bloomberg
Saudi Arabia's reserves fell for a second month after the kingdom said it had transferred 150 billion riyals ($40 billion) to finance an investment spree by its sovereign wealth fund.

Net foreign assets in the Arab world's biggest economy declined by $20.9 billion in April, a decrease of 4.5% from the previous month, according to data released Sunday by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority. The fall follows a $27 billion plunge in March, when the stockpile shrank at the fastest pace in at least two decades.

"We're still in a comfortable situation," the central bank's governor, Ahmed Alkholifey, said in an interview with Al-Arabiya television on Monday. The change in the level of reserves between the end of May and the end of April is "not significant" and the stockpile is still enough to cover more than 40 months of imports, he said.

Star of David

Palestine: Surrendering to the Zionists or preparing for a third intifada?

palestinian child arrest girl 800p

A terrorised Palestinian teen girl arrested by six Israeli heavily armed security forces. An estimated 7,000 children have been detained, interrogated, prosecuted and/or imprisoned within the Israeli military justice system.
How Trump-Netanyahu Middle East policies help Iran

Through its failed foreign policy, the US administration has unwittingly and unwillingly become the greatest supporter of the "Axis of the Resistance" led by Iran. Along with Israel, Washington is, in fact, globally encouraging countries to rebel against its dominance. Israel effectively contributed to the creation of Hezbollah by invading Lebanon in 1982. The US contributed to the creation of Hashd al-Shaabi in 2014 when it refused to help Iraq to defeat ISIS. Both Israel and the US fostered the creation of Syrian resistance groups and pushed President Bashar al-Assad to join the "Axis of the Resistance" by their efforts to create a failed state in the Levant. And, when President Donald Trump offered the Syrian occupied Golan Heights, Jerusalem and the West Bank to Israel, he left no alternative to the Palestinians but to join Iran and become fully dedicated to the "Axis of the Resistance". Is a third intifada on its way?

Notwithstanding the presence of many senior experts within the US administration, along with numerous strategic studies centres and think-tanks, Washington demonstrates again and again its limited knowledge of Middle Eastern dynamics and local culture. The devastating effect of US foreign policy is uniting many countries and groups in the Middle East under Iran's umbrella to fight back against US-Israel decisions and operations.