1 NATO Addresses "Unusual" Russian Jet Activity Over Europe
Who knows what Russia is up to, but NATO warplanes apparently scrambled 10 times on Monday. The activity is described by NATO as “unusually high.” While they apparently didn’t enter allied airspace, the move is still seen as concerning. “In all, NATO aircraft intercepted six different groups of Russian military aircraft near Alliance airspace,” NATO says in a statement. “In less than six hours.” As NATO explains, whenever Russian aircraft decides to pop up, it’s not as though they transmit a transponder code indicating their position and altitude, or file a flight plan. With that in mind, NATO is touting its ability to respond quickly. “Intercepting multiple groups of Russian aircraft demonstrates NATO forces' readiness and capability to guard Allied skies,” says Brigadier General Andrew Hansen, Deputy Chief of Staff Operations at Allied Air Command. “24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.”
2 Several Eyewitnesses Take Stand In George Floyd Trial
Day two of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin is in the books and it featured some eyewitnesses to Chauvin kneeling on George Floyd's neck. Donald Williams returned to the stand (he first testified on day one) and said he made a 911 call because he believed he was witnessing a murder. Later, 18-year-old Darnella Frazier sobbed as she testified that she saw Floyd "terrified, scared, and begging for his life." It was Frazier who shot the widely-seen cellphone video of Floyd's arrest and death. Off-duty firefighter/EMT Genevieve Hansen testified about yelling at officers to take Floyd's pulse after Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck. She also said no medical assistance was given to Floyd, even though he was obviously in distress. Speaking of distress, Hansen – who was admonished by the judge for some of her more fiery responses – she also called 9-1-1 that fateful day when officers refused to intervene and save Floyd. She is expected to return to the stand today. Chauvin's defense seems to be attempting to paint these witnesses not as bystanders, but as part of a growing mob that heightened the police response. Chauvin is charged with murder after kneeling on Floyd's neck for more than nine-minutes during an arrest last May.
3 World Leaders Call For International Pandemic Treaty
More than two dozen countries are calling for an international treaty to protect the world from pandemics. The U.S., China and Russia were not part of the joint letter. But more than 20 other leaders did sign it including the U.K, France and Germany. They all argue the COVID crisis has posed the "greatest challenge for the global community since the late 1940s." They warn the pandemic will be followed by other health emergencies at some point. The treaty would call for better alert systems, data sharing, distribution of vaccines, and protective equipment. Meanwhile, the W-H-O says the theory about COVID-19 leaking from a lab deserves further investigation – something the United States and Britain have questioned.