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Minneapolis braces for a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial

Minneapolis is waking up to images of an occupied city on Monday, as the city and the world await a verdict in the Derek Chauvin trial.

What it's like: Residents running errands, picking up dinner and heading to the dog park in recent days encountered heavily-armed National Guard troops stationed throughout the city.

  • Some streets downtown are barricaded as far from the courthouse as Hennepin Ave. and even more businesses across Minneapolis and St. Paul are boarded up.

The big picture: For months, officials and residents have braced for the possibility of more unrest at the culmination of the trial. Operation Safety Net, a centralized command of state and local law enforcement, was formed to prevent a repeat of the fires and looting that followed George Floyd's killing last summer.

  • But the jury deliberations, which will begin following Monday's closing arguments, are coming at an especially fraught time.

What's happening: The police shooting of 20-year-old Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center has raised already heightened community tensions ahead of the verdict.

  • While the protests have been largely peaceful, the situation has escalated into clashes between law enforcement and demonstrators on several nights.
  • Crowd-control tactics, including tear gas and other "less lethal" munitions, and treatment of the press sparked intense backlash from protesters, local lawmakers and even doctors.
  • The Minneapolis City Council passed a largely symbolic resolution Friday seeking to rein the operation in, as some activists and local lawmakers call on Gov. Tim Walz and the mayors to dismantle Operation Safety Net altogether.

The other side: Top state law enforcement officials and leaders say the operation — and its actions in Brooklyn Center — are necessary to keep the peace and protect property.

  • Of note: A more restrained response Saturday resulted in a night of peaceful protest without arrests or confrontation, as MPR News reports.

Businesses, meanwhile, remain on edge after last year. Last week's "crime spree" targeting Twin Cities establishments further rattled many.

  • Given those stakes, leaders in the business community are also defending OSN.
  • "Safety Net has been effective and efficient and done the work that that it was supposed to do," Minneapolis Regional Chamber CEO Jonathan Weinhagen told Axios. "As we head into the next phase of the operation ... I have every confidence that it's going to continue to do just that."

The bottom line: We don't know how long the jury deliberations will take. But expect tense days and weeks ahead.

China makes history with successful Mars landing

A Chinese lander carrying a rover successfully touched down on Mars for the first time, state media reports.

Why it matters: This is the first time China has landed a spacecraft on another planet, and it launches the nation into an elite club of only a few space agencies to successfully make it to the Martian surface.

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UN: 10,000 Palestinians flee homes in Gaza as Israel-Hamas fighting escalates

The United Nations warned Friday that ongoing fighting between Israel and Hamas "has the potential to unleash an uncontainable security and humanitarian crisis," in not only the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, but "the region as a whole."

The big picture: More than 125 Palestinians, including 31 children have been killed in Gaza since fighting began Monday, per the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Seven people, including one child, have been killed in Israel, according to Israeli authorities.

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Bernie Sanders: The U.S. must recognize that "Palestinian rights matter"

The United States must encourage an immediate cease-fire in the Middle East and adopt an "evenhanded approach" that recognizes Palestinians and Israelis have a right to "live in peace and security," Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) wrote in a New York Times opinion on Friday.

Driving the news: Violence escalated this week after Israelis intensified efforts to evict Palestinians from their homes in Jerusalem. Hamas fired rockets and Israel massed troops, leaving more than 125 Palestinians and seven people in Israel dead.

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Uber launches new anti-racism efforts, hires new inclusive design lead

Eager to show progress on the pledge to make its platform and business anti-racist, Uber on Friday announced new anti-racism driver and rider campaigns, as well as fresh internal hiring practices, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Uber is one of the biggest ride hailing companies in the world. Its decisions impact the millions that use the platform, where drivers and riders alike say they have experienced racism.

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Ex-Gaetz associate admits to sex trafficking, agrees to cooperate with federal prosecutors

Joel Greenberg, a former associate of Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), agreed to cooperate with federal investigators and admitted to a variety of federal charges including sex trafficking a minor, New York Times reported Friday citing court papers.

Why it matters: Investigators believe Greenberg introduced women to Gaetz for paid sex and are looking into the Florida congressman's alleged sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Greenberg could be a key witness as federal prosecutors decide whether to charge Gaetz.

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White House: User fees for infrastructure deal would "violate" Biden's tax pledge

The White House on Friday said that Republicans' idea to impose user fees for infrastructure spending would "violate" President Biden's promise not to raise taxes on Americans making less than $400,000 annually.

What they're saying: "The president's pledge and his commitment, his line in the sand, his red line, whatever you want to call it, is that he will not raise taxes for people making less than $400,000 a year," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said. "User fees that have been proposed out there would violate that."

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City of Columbus, Andre Hill's family agree to $10M settlement over the fatal police shooting

Columbus, Ohio, on Friday reached a $10 million settlement with the family of Andre Hill, an unarmed Black man who was fatally shot by police as he walked out of a garage while holding a cellphone.

What they're saying: "We understand that because of this former officer's actions, the Hill family will never be whole," City Attorney Zach Klein said in a statement. "No amount of money will ever bring Andre Hill back to his family, but we believe this is an important and necessary step in the right direction."

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"Mass Effect": Gaming's biggest space opera returns

The iconic spacefaring adventure "Mass Effect" is back today with "Mass Effect: Legendary Edition," a single, remastered version of all three games.

Why it matters: There is no series like "Mass Effect" — even when it comes to BioWare's other choice-driven RPGs like "Dragon Age." "Mass Effect" is a big ol' space adventure first and foremost, but it’s also about loyalty, love, and tough calls.

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