WASHINGTON -- Minnesota Governor Tim Walz on Thursday declared a state of emergency and activated Minnesota National Guard to restore order after protests over the death of George Floyd in police custody turned violent Wednesday night with fires burning and businesses looted in Minneapolis, the biggest city in the midwest state.
Floyd died on Monday evening shortly after a white police officer held him down with a knee on his neck though the black man in his 40s repeatedly pleaded, "I can't breathe," and "please, I can't breathe." The police officer's way of handling the man is not approved by the local police department. (US-Minnesota-Riot)
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UNITED NATIONS -- United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Thursday called on the international community to use more tools, including considering a new issuance of Special Drawing Rights, to help the world, especially poor countries, to recover from the destruction of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We have the tools to enhance global liquidity; I urge you to use them, and especially to consider a new issuance of Special Drawing Rights," the UN chief said at the virtual High-Level Event on Financing for Development in the Era of COVID-19 and Beyond. (UN-Guterres-COVID-19)
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BRASILIA -- Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has signed a bill that provides financial aid to pandemic-hit states and cities, but vetoed part of it, according to Thursday's Government Gazette.
The financial aid takes various forms, including 60 billion reals (about 11 billion U.S. dollars) for states and cities in direct transfer and the suspension of debt payments to the central government. (Brazil-Aid-COVID-19)
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DAMASCUS -- Intense battles broke out between the Syrian army and the Islamic State (IS) group in the northern province of Raqqa, a war monitor reported on Thursday.
The intense battles raged on Wednesday when the IS militants launched a massive offensive against positions of the Syrian army in the desert region of Raqqa, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. (Syria-IS)