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‘Trump planned to deploy 10,000 active-duty troops to quell protests’

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Trump planned to deploy 10000 active-duty
WASHINGTON, D.C.: Troops surrounded a barricaded White House on Saturday as Washington D.C. prepared for the largest George Floyd protest yet. Protesters remain fenced off from the streets up to the White House by fence

US President Donald Trump reportedly came close to deploying 10,000 active-duty troops to quell protests in Washington, DC, against police violence and systemic racism sparked by the recent police killing of unarmed, handcuffed African-American man George Floyd.

According to a senior Pentagon official, Attorney General Bill Barr, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley advised President Trump against the deployment in a meeting at the White House, the Washington Post and CBS News reported on Saturday.  

“We need to get control of the streets. We need 10,000 troops up here [in Washington]. I want it right now,” Trump said at Monday’s meeting, according a Pentagon official familiar with the matter.

Trump’s advisors reportedly demanded that the president hold off the deployment of active-duty forces, trying to assure the president that National Guards activated by state governors were capable of maintaining order in Washington and elsewhere.

Trump is reported to have shouted at Esper when the Pentagon chief opposed the use of the Insurrection Act, a senior Department of Defense (DoD) official told CBS News.

The Insurrection Act of 1807 allows the president to deploy American military troops nationwide for domestic law enforcement.

President Trump said he was planning to invoke the law to control nationwide protests surrounding the death of Floyd, who died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25.

Esper, however, broke with Trump on Wednesday on using the country’s military forces to crush the protests.

The Pentagon chief said that he would not invoke the Insurrection Act, which would allow Trump to use the National Guard against protesters.

Trump’s own former defense secretary, James Mattis, has even denounced his handling of nationwide anti-racism protests, saying the president is trying to turn Americans against each other.

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis said in his rebuke of the president. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership.”

Trump planned to deploy 10000 active-duty

Former US Joint chiefs of staff chairman Martin Dempsey has likewise slammed Trump for his handling of the protests.

“The idea that the president would take charge of the situation using the military was troubling to me,” Dempsey said in an interview with NPR on Thursday.

“The idea that the military would be called in to dominate and to suppress what, for the most part, were peaceful protests — admittedly, where some had opportunistically turned them violent — and that the military would somehow come in and calm that situation was very dangerous to me,” he added.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people in dozens of cities across the US held demonstrations on Saturday against the police brutality, racial profiling and the killing of Floyd.

The protest campaign erupted across the country last week after a video footage of Floyd’s killing went viral. It showed former officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes, remaining in that position even after the victim had become unresponsive. 

US police forces in different cities have demonstrated their brutality during protest rallies in recent years by severely beating and arresting protesters and even journalists, using tear gas and rubber bullets, as well as employing helicopter crowd control tactics and other forceful measures.

Trump planned to deploy 10000 active-duty

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Top US general slams Confederate leaders as traitors, backs renaming bases

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Top US general slams

A top US general has censured American Confederate leaders as traitors and withdrawn his support for naming military bases and statues after those who fought in the Civil War era, a viewpoint that puts him on a collision course with US President Donald Trump.

Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, addressed the topic of military bases and statues named after Confederate leaders and said on Thursday that the US military needs “to take a hard look at the symbology” of the 1861-65 Civil War.

“The American Civil War… was an act of treason at the time against the Union, against the Stars and Stripes, against the US Constitution — and those officers turned their backs on their oath. Now, some have a different view of that. Some think it’s heritage. Others think it’s hate,” Milley said.

“The way we should do it matters as much as that we should do it. So we need to have, I’ve recommended, a commission of folks to take a hard look at the bases, the statues, the names, all of this stuff, to see if we can have a rational, mature discussion,” he added.

Milley estimated that minorities account for 43 percent of the US military and at least 20 percent of soldiers in the army are African Americans.

“We’ve also got to take a hard look at the symbology, the symbols, things like the Confederate flags and statues and bases,” Milley underlined.

Top US general slams Confederate leaders as traitors

This comes as Trump has made clear that he intends to block any plans to rename the bases and has made exploiting racial and cultural divisions a key tenet of his re-election strategy.

Trump said in a tweet last month that, “These Monumental and very Powerful Bases have become part of a Great American Heritage… Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations.”

The US president also threatened to veto a military spending bill if it contains an amendment that demands the removal of the names of Confederate leaders from military assets.

The US army has been pressured in recent weeks to rename 10 military bases named after Confederate leaders in the wake of the brutal murder of unarmed African American George Floyd in Minnesota.

Top US general slams Confederate leaders as traitors

Milley made the comments at a House Armed Services Committee hearing, which had been called to discuss the Pentagon’s response to nationwide protests over racial injustice following the killing of Floyd while in US police custody and the growing support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

The death of Floyd on May 25 was captured on video while a white police officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes in Minneapolis.

Moreover, monuments honoring certain historical figures, most of them racism and slavery era icons, have been removed in the United States and around the world following Floyd’s death.

The US National Guard has been deployed to protect Confederate monuments in some states across the country as anti-racism demonstrators have gone as far as taking up arms to make their voices heard. 

A group of heavily armed protesters marched through Stone Mountain Park near Atlanta on Saturday, calling for removal of the giant Confederate rock carving at the site that civil rights activists consider a monument to racism.

The protesters all carried rifles, including military-type assault rifles, and some wore ammunition belts slung over their shoulders. African Americans appeared to account for the bulk of the marchers, but protesters of various races, men and women alike, were also among the group.

Top US general slams Confederate leaders as traitors

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US Satanic Temple threatens to sue Mississippi over God reference

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US Satanic Temple threatens
Members of the Mississippi Highway Safety Patrol Honor Guard retire the state flag outside the Mississippi State Capitol building in Jackson, Mississippi on July 1, 2020.

The US Satanic Temple has threatened to sue the state of Mississippi over using the word “God” on its new design of flag.

An attorney writing on behalf of the Satanic Temple made the warning in a letter sent to Mississippi Attorney General Lynn Fitch.

The US state has decided to change its flag over the Confederate emblem on it in the wake of the latest wave of the nation’s struggle to end police brutality and racial injustice, triggered by the murder of George Floyd by a white police officer.

US Satanic Temple threatens

The letter suggested that if the state “is going to place a religious phrase on its flag, it should include reference to Satan,” instead of “In God we trust” as it is more consistent with the state’s values.

“On the other hand, we can imagine that there would be some Mississippians who would be a bit put off by the words ‘In Satan we Trust’ on the state flag,” the letter continues. “If you can imagine that, then you might imagine how atheists, Satanists, and other people of nontheistic faiths could feel excluded by the addition of ‘In God we Trust’ to the state flag.”

Earlier this month, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves signed a bill into law to replace the current state flag bearing a confederate emblem.

“We trust that you will take our request under advisement,” the group said. “However, should the state of Mississippi insist on placing  this  exclusionary  religious  phrase  on  its  flag, we do intend to  file suit and seek  injunctive  relief  against  this  act.”

The new design is expected to include the words “In God We Trust” and no Confederate symbols.

Due to their racist origins, Confederate symbols have been a target of the Black Lives Matter activists.

The protesters are destroying the oldest traces of racism and slavery in America after the police brutal killing of Floyd, an African American.

US Satanic Temple threatens

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US first lady Melania Trump statue set on fire in Slovenia

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US first lady Melania
US President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump visit the Saint John Paul II National Shrine, to lay a ceremonial wreath and observe a moment of remembrance under the Statue of Saint John Paul II on June 2, 2020 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)

A wooden sculpture of US first lady Melania Trump was torched near her hometown of  Sevnica, Slovenia, on the night of July Fourth, as Americans celebrated US Independence Day, said the artist who commissioned the sculpture.

Brad Downey, a Berlin-based American artist, told Reuters he had the life-sized blackened, disfigured sculpture removed as soon as police informed him on July 5th of the incident.

“I want to know why they did it,” said Downey, who had hoped the statue would foster a dialogue about the political situation in the United States, highlighting Melania Trump’s status as an immigrant married to a president sworn to reduce immigration.

US first lady Melania

In Washington, the office of Melania Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In recent weeks, President Donald Trump has pledged to take a hard line on anyone destroying or vandalizing US historical monuments, as political activism against racial injustice has swept across the country.

Downey, 39, said he had filed a police report and would like to interview the culprits, if found, for a film he is preparing ahead of his exhibition due to open in Slovenia in September.

“The investigation in this case has not been completed yet so we cannot reveal details due to the interest of further procedures,” police spokeswoman Alenka Drenik told Reuters.

Although the statue’s face was rough-hewn and unrecognizable prior to the fire, the figure was painted with a pale blue wraparound coat resembling the one Melania Trump wore at the swearing in of her husband US President Donald Trump.

The figure was carved with a chainsaw by local folk artist Ales Zupevc from the trunk of a living linden tree.

In January, a large wooden statue resembling Donald Trump, designed by a local artist last year, was burnt in Slovenia’s city of Moravce, east of the capital Ljubljana.

US first lady Melania

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