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Prosecutors seek tougher sentence for Derek Chauvin following guilty verdict

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and state prosecutors are seeking a more severe sentence for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin following a jury finding him guilty in the murder of George Floyd, according to court documents filed Friday.

Why it matters: Under Minnesota statues, Chauvin will only be sentenced on the most serious charge that he was found guilty of — second-degree murder, AP reports. Experts say he is not expected to be given the maximum sentence of 40 years. He was also found guilty of third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter.


Prosecutors cite five factors in support an aggravated sentence for Chauvin:

  • Floyd "was a particularly vulnerable victim" when Chauvin pinned him against the pavement by holding a knee to his neck, since the use of force continued after he became unresponsive. Floyd was also intoxicated.
  • Prosecutors argue that Floyd "was treated with particular cruelty" as he was held on the pavement after repeatedly saying he could not breathe and while bystanders called for Chauvin to stop, and that he was not offered CPR or medical assistance by officers.
  • They also accuse Chauvin of abusing his position of authority as a uniformed officer and committing a crime, as part of a group of three or more people, in the presence of multiple children.

What they're saying: Chauvin's attorneys responded in opposition to a higher sentence by noting that Floyd's size, and his ability to continuously struggle while being restrained during what they described as a lawful arrest, serves as evidence that he was not particularly vulnerable.

  • The defense argued that bystanders were free to leave the scene anytime they wished and that officers called for an ambulance to get Floyd medical attention.
  • His attorneys also stated that the other officers on the scene with Chauvin have not been convicted of a crime related to his own offenses. Former Minneapolis police officers Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng are charged with manslaughter as well as aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

Liz Cheney says she regrets voting for Trump in 2020

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who was ousted Wednesday as the third-highest ranking House Republican, told ABC's "This Week" that she regrets voting for former President Trump in 2020, although she could never have supported Biden.

Why it matters: Cheney, voted out of House Republican leadership over her repeated condemnation of Trump and his unfounded claims of election fraud, plans to challenge the former president for ideological dominance of the GOP.

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Blinken speaks with Associated Press CEO after Israeli airstrike destroys Gaza office

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Associated Press CEO Gary Pruitt on Saturday after an Israeli airstrike destroyed the outlet's local media office in the Gaza Strip, which also housed the Al Jazeera office.

Why it matters: "The world will know less about what is happening in Gaza because of what transpired today" Pruitt said in a statement — as fighting between Israel and Hamas continues to bring more casualties.

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Fashion

Consumers and retailers alike are still trying to figure out what Americans will want to wear as they head back out into the world after a year at home, in sweatpants.

Why it matters: The choices people make about their post-pandemic wardrobes will help define what, exactly, our “new normal” is. They'll indicate how both work and socializing have changed, and will tell the story of how people expressed themselves in the aftermath of a year of massive transformation.

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UN Security Council meeting on Israel-Gaza as Netanyahu vows to continue strikes

The United Nations Security Council was preparing to meet Sunday, as the aerial bombardment between Israel and Hamas between entered a seventh day.

The latest: Four Palestinians died in airstrikes early Sunday, as Israeli forces bombed the home of Gaza's Hamas chief, Yehya al-Sinwar, per Reuters.

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In photos: Protesters rally across U.S. and the world over Israeli–Palestinian conflict

Thousands of people rallied across the U.S. and the world Saturday following days of violence in Gaza and Israel that's killed at least 145 Palestinians, including 41 children, and eight Israelis, per AP.

The big picture: Most demonstrations were in support of Palestinians. There were tense scenes between pro-Israeli government protesters and pro-Palestinian demonstrators in Winnipeg, Canada, and Leipzig, Germany, but no arrests were made, CBS News and DW.com report.

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Biden in call with Netanyahu raises concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza

President Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Saturday and raised concerns about civilian casualties in Gaza and the bombing of the building that housed AP and other media offices, according to Israeli officials.

The big picture: At least 140 Palestinians, including dozens of children have been killed in Gaza since fighting between Israel and Hamas began Monday, according to Palestinian health officials. Nine people, including two children, have been killed by Hamas rockets in Israel.

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The COVID lab-leak theory goes mainstream

A group of high-profile scientists published a letter calling for renewed investigation into the origins of COVID-19 — including the theory that it spilled out of a virology lab.

Why it matters: The possibility that SARS-CoV-2 was created in a Chinese lab and accidentally escaped — rather than emerging naturally from an animal — was initially dismissed as a conspiracy theory. But the letter shows a potential lab leak is increasingly being taken seriously.

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Colonial Pipeline resumes normal operations after ransomware hack

Colonial Pipeline resumed normal operations on Saturday after a ransomware attack forced the pipeline to shut down last week, the company announced.

Why it matters: The pipeline is now delivering fuel to states that had experienced gas shortages at the same capacities as before the extortion scheme hit the critical pipeline, which runs from Texas to New York and carries roughly 100 million gallons of fuel per day.

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