Protests across the United States the past six days over the death of George Floyd have eclipsed issues over the coronavirus pandemic that have dominated much of the past three months.
Demonstrations from coast to coast — some peaceful, some violent — have taken place since the death of Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee against Floyd’s neck for several minutes.
The unrest comes as people around the world gradually try to return to normal. The first day of June saw coronavirus restrictions ease from Asia to Europe and in the United States.
The Colosseum opened its ancient doors in Rome, ferries restarted in Bangladesh, golfers played in Greece, students returned in Britain and Dutch bars and restaurants were free to welcome hungry, thirsty patrons.
The Florida Keys reopened to tourists after being shut down the past two months.
In other developments:
- Federal health authorities have received reports of nearly 26,000 U.S. nursing home residents dying from COVID-19, according to materials prepared for the nation’s governors. A letter from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports more than 60,000 cases of coronavirus illness among nursing home residents.
- As local leaders are pleading for more federal aid — even before protests over police violence erupted in almost every corner of the country — the Senate resumed session Monday with no immediate plans to consider a fresh round of relief. Instead, Senate Republicans are focused on ending the pandemic's stay-home economy by trimming unemployment benefits to push some of 41 million suddenly jobless Americans back to work when jobs return.
- A California biotech company says its experimental drug remdesivir improved symptoms when given for five days to moderately ill, hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Gilead Sciences' drug is the only treatment that’s been shown in a rigorous experiment to help fight the coronavirus.
- Primaries Tuesday in eight U.S. states are the biggest test to date of campaigning during the coronavirus era, a way for parties to test-drive new ways of getting out the vote during a time when it can be dangerous to leave your home. Voters in Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Montana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and South Dakota will cast ballots in both the Democratic presidential contest and a host of down-ballot primaries for everything from governors to state representatives.
- COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted black Americans, infecting and killing them at higher rates across the nation. Experts say the pandemic has also exacerbated existing economic disparities and raised fresh concerns about the survival of black businesses, many of which have been the backbone of cities like Detroit and Atlanta for years.
- Countries around the Mediterranean Sea tentatively kicked off a summer season where tourists could bask in their sunny beaches while still being protected by social distancing measures from the coronavirus. Greece lifted lockdown measures for hotels, campsites, open-air cinemas, golf courses and public swimming pools, while beaches and museums reopened in Turkey, and bars, restaurants, cinemas and museums came back to life in the Netherlands. Commuter trains, taxis, ride-sharing cars, special shuttle buses and motorcycles rumbled back on the roads in the Philippine capital, Manila, but were only allowed to carry a fraction of their capacity as a safeguard.
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