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Jury selection begins this week in a Minneapolis courtroom for Derek Chauvin's trial for the death of George Floyd — a case that sparked widespread outrage and global protests over police violence and racism. Chauvin, the former police officer who was filmed kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes in a deadly use of force in May, faces murder and manslaughter charges. The process of jury selection was paused Monday — and could resume as early as Tuesday —as an additional third-degree murder charge is pending review by the County District Judge.
Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, who pleaded for his life saying, "I can't breathe," has become a symbol for many around the world in the fight against police brutality. His gruesome death sparked Black Lives Matter demonstrations in cities around the world from London to Sydney for months during the summer, sending thousands into the streets to demand justice and police reform.
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Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, a British Iranian woman held in prison for five years in Iran over spying charges, has been released after completing her sentence. But while Zaghari-Ratcliffe was allowed to remove her ankle monitor and leave house arrest, a future return to her London home remains unclear with a debt dispute between Britain and Iran continuing and reports that she now faces murky new charges.
“It feels to me like they have made one blockage just as they have removed another, and we very clearly remain in the middle of this government game of chess,” her husband Richard Ratcliffe said.
And, a widely discussed and eye-opening interview with Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, has captured headlines around the world. The couple, who left their official British royal family duties in March last year, told Oprah Winfrey about the racism Meghan experienced in the hands of the British tabloids and details emerged about a conversation between Harry and a member of the Royal family where he was asked about how dark the baby's skin tone could be. Meghan also described that her life as a member of the Royal family was so dire she contemplated suicide.
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China, the world’s biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, released its latest five-year economic plan during its annual ceremonial meeting of its National People’s Congress.
The country also announced moderate new energy and climate targets, eschewing any major moves to reduce carbon emissions and instead, maintaining plans to continue developing coal power.
Tesoros de Colombia (Treasures of Colombia), a company just outside of Bogotá, has taken a unique approach in an effort to counter a poaching threat to the country's rare and native frog species. The company sells frogs to collectors in Europe and the United States with the aim to put poachers out of business.
In hundreds of glass terrariums, the frog farm breeds tiny amphibians — about 2 inches long and native to Colombia’s forests — to export as pets.
Anonymous graffiti artist Banksy is hoping to raise over $4 million for the UK’s National Health Service with the auction of the original canvas of “Game Changer,” a painting done as a tribute to health care workers during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic. The framed painting depicting a boy playing with a superhero nurse first appeared at a hospital in Southampton, England. After the auction, a reproduction of the art will remain at the hospital.
Andrew Matthews/PA via AP
In case you missed it
Listen: A global lens on China’s National People’s Congress
China's National People's Congress began Friday by setting out broad plans for economic growth. Environment observers around the world are also keeping an eye on plans from China’s top lawmaking body for reducing carbon emissions over the next five years. And, for years, the US military has depended on Afghan interpreters for languages and advice on local norms. But when troops return home, the interpreters stay behind and can face deadly threats. Also, in Colombia, a frog farm is trying to defeat poachers, by competing against them.