Witnesses to George Floyd’s death gave emotional testimonies at Derek Chauvin’s murder trial. The U.S. says we need more data before we point fingers at what started COVID-19. And SpaceX picked two more Earthlings to send to space.
👀 But first, Brood X is coming: It took us 17 years to recover from the last time this nightmare fuel emerged from the ground. Just in time for these cicadas to pop up again.
The Short List is a snappy USA TODAY news roundup. Subscribe here!
Witnesses take the stand
Through tears, Darnella Frazier, who recorded the infamous video showing the death of Floyd, offered emotional testimony Tuesday in the murder trial of Chauvin. “It seemed like he knew. It seemed like he knew it was over for him,” she said. Frazier was one of four witnesses for the prosecution who took the stand Tuesday.
- Frazier’s cousin, a 9-year-old girl who wore a shirt with the word “love” on it the day Floyd died, said she felt “sad and kind of mad” about what she saw that day.
- High school student Alyssa Nicole Funari, 18, recorded three videos of the incident with her friend’s phone that day. “I was upset because there was nothing we could do except watch them take a life in front of our eyes,” Funari said.
- Donald Williams, a mixed martial arts fighter, told the court he asked officers to stop the “blood choke,” which is a form of chokehold that renders someone unconscious.
- Frazier, who was 17 at the time, said the incident changed her life — and that the only violence she witnessed was “from the cops.”
Floyd, a Black man, died in police custody on May 25, 2020, after Chauvin, who is white, pinned his knee against Floyd’s neck for more than nine minutes as Floyd cried out “I can’t breathe” more than 20 times. Chauvin is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.
- Yesterday: Two other witnesses testified — a 911 dispatcher and a cashier working across the street — and lawyers for the defense and prosecution opened the trial by laying out their cases. Here’s what you missed.
Did pandemic start with lab leak or a bat? We need more data
Could the pandemic have come from a lab leak in Wuhan, China? A joint World Health Organization-China study on the origins of COVID-19,released Tuesday, backed the theory that the virus was most likely transmitted from bats to humans through another animal, and drew little support for the lab-leak theory. But the U.S. and a dozen other countries, including Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom, aren’t totally convinced, releasing a rare joint statement questioning the validity of the WHO study. While not directly blaming China for interfering, the statement said health experts experienced delays in their studies and even when granted access, they were denied “complete, original data and samples.” The WHO’s director, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, also highlighted China’s lack of cooperation. “I do not believe that this assessment was extensive enough,” he said. “Further data and studies will be needed to reach more robust conclusions.”
What everyone’s talking about
Biden puts Ketanji Brown Jackson on fast track to the Supreme Court
President Joe Biden said Tuesday that he plans to nominate U.S. District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the federal appellate bench, a promotion sure to stir speculation about her potential future nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court. Jackson, appointed to the federal court by President Barack Obama in 2013, will be nominated to serve on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. That court, one of the most high-profile in the nation, has long been viewed as a steppingstone for Supreme Court nominees. Biden has promised to name a Black woman to the Supreme Court for the first time in U.S. history, and Jackson’s name has appeared in the mix of leading candidates.
Who will win Tuesday’s Elite Eight men’s games?
By the time Tuesday night is done, the men’s Final Four will be set. OK, it’ll probably be technically Wednesday morning in the Eastern time zone, but you know what we mean. These Elite Eight contests feature the Los Angeles representatives of the Pac-12, the surprise conference of the tournament looking to take its run all the way to the last weekend. Both will be underdogs facing top seeds, but clearly, that hasn’t bothered any of these teams yet. Will one or both keep the upset train rolling?
Ever wanted to be an astronaut? 👨🚀
These civilians are living every kid’s dream: going to space. A science communicator and an aerospace worker were selected from thousands of applicants to fill the last two slots on SpaceX’s all-civilian mission to orbit Earth, the entrepreneur leading the flight said Tuesday. Sian Proctor and Chris Sembroski won seats on Inspiration 4, a Crew Dragon mission that will spend three days in orbit and is designed to benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. They will join Jared Isaacman, the billionaire entrepreneur who purchased the mission from SpaceX, and Hayley Arceneaux, a health care worker – herself a St. Jude’s childhood cancer survivor – representing the hospital.
A break from the news
This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Want this news roundup in your inbox every night? Sign up for The Short List newsletter here.
This Article firstly Publish on www.usatoday.com