The Derek Chauvin trial hears closing arguments, and the jury begins to deliberate on the legal case which will undoubtedly set the tone for protests throughout this summer.
Meanwhile, Elizabeth Warren suggests that military aid to Israel should be restricted so it can’t be used against Palestinians.
And lastly, the largest mine workers union in America said that it supports a switch to renewable energy, provided the Biden administration works with them to protect their jobs and ease the transition away from coal and natural gas.
THESE ARE THE STORIES YOU NEED TO KNOW:
The trial of Derek Chauvin is almost over. Judge and jury heard closing arguments today from both Chauvin’s defense and the prosecution, which is seeking to hold the former Minneapolis cop responsible for killing George Floyd last May.
Chauvin’s defense leaned heavily on their plan all along: to sow doubt that it was Chauvin’s knee that killed George Floyd by suffocating him to death. But prosecutors were relentless in showing just how cynical, cruel, and brutal Chauvin’s conduct at the scene was.
Prosecutors final words to the jury were: “The reason George Floyd is dead is because Mr. Chauvin’s heart was too small.”
The jury began deliberations on Monday evening. As they did, the defense lobbed a hail-mary attempt to get a mistrial by complaining that prosecutors suggested they were lying.
Rep. Maxine Waters also caused a stir this week by telling protestors on the street in nearby Brooklyn Center that if the jury acquits Chauvin, quote:
“We’ve got to stay on the street. And we’ve got to get more active.”
The defense is also alleging Waters’ comments may have threatened or intimidated the jury. Per the New York Times, Judge Peter Cahill says Waters quote “may have given the defense something on appeal.” endquote.
In other words, despite the upcoming verdict, we may be headed for more legal battles in an appeal. This may not be decided today, but one thing is for sure: protests and the police violence against them will continue.
Warren Wants Accountability for Israel Aid
At an insider’s conference in Washington D.C. on Monday, Elizabeth Warren had a surprising idea: maybe, it’s not a good thing that Israel uses the billions of dollars it gets in U.S. aid to oppress Palestinians.
Warren’s quote was hedged a little, of course, such is politics. Here’s what she said in context: Quote.
“I support military assistance to Israel. But if we’re serious about arresting settlement expansion and helping move the parties toward a two-state solution, then it would be irresponsible not to consider all of the tools we have at our disposal.
One of those is restricting military aid from being used in the occupied territories. By continuing to provide military aid without restriction, we provide no incentive for Israel to adjust course.”
This would be a pretty good start! Right now, the U.S. gives Israel a blank check to buy guns, planes, drones, bombs, and basically anything else you can think of, and asks very little questions as to how they use it. More often than not, it gets used on Palestinians.
The problem with what Warren is suggesting is that it would be pretty hard to enforce. The end goal of course is maybe spending a little bit less on directly funding the military of an apartheid state. Warren’s record doesn’t suggest she’d go that far -- but at least she appears to be thinking about things from a slightly more progressive perspective than many of her peers.
Coal Miners Union Signals Support for Green Future
The largest coal-miners union in the country has made a shocking, and promising concession: they’re open to working with the Biden administration on new climate legislation and a gradual shift toward clean energy.
Leadership for the United Mine Workers of America said in an interview on Monday that they were amenable to a shift towards a greener future provided the government made real steps to preserving their jobs in the short term.
The decline of the coal industry has ravaged towns and work forces in states like Joe Manchin’s West Virginia, partially explaining some of the rogue Senator’s resistance to core Democratic party goals.
To try to stem this blood flow, the UMWA has largely fought tooth and nail against vital climate legislation. But in comments today, the union signaled that it was looking for a better way to help the people connected to the industry move toward a greener future -- as long as the Government makes some concessions to them.
In the short term, they’re asking for government help protecting jobs and collective bargaining agreements, but in the long term, the union said it would need support to help coal employees transition into careers in renewable energy.
It’s not the coal miners fault that their industry is dying -- but for the good of all of us, it’s got to go. Now it’s the government’s job to make that transition as quick and as painless as possible.
AND NOW FOR SOME QUICKER QUICKIES:
After the pandemic disrupted routine medical visits for a year, the Washington Post reports that doctors are now seeing the consequences, as patients suffered more damage from untreated heart disease, missed cancer screenings, and put off treatment for lingering illnesses.
The White House proclaimed on Monday that every adult in the U.S. is now eligible to get the coronavirus vaccine. Some states are still struggling with distribution, but in others there are doses to spare and appointments ready for anyone who has yet to get a jab.
Elon Musk’s futuristic car company is once again under investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration after one of its cars caused a fiery crash that killed two people. Musk claimed that the car was not equipped with his so-called “autopilot” feature, though police alleged that there was no one at the wheel when it crashed.
The RWDSU on Monday formally filed 23 objections against Amazon alleging a range of illegal conduct during the fierce union battle in Bessemer, Alabama. While Amazon’s workers lost their vote to unionize, the RWDSU could strike some blows in legal challenges, as listeners of this program will know that Amazon’s conduct was truly reprehensible.
APRIL 20, 2021 - AM QUICKIE
HOSTS - Sam Seder & Lucie Steiner
WRITER - Jack Crosbie
PRODUCER - Dorsey Shaw
EXECUTIVE PRODUCER - Brendan Finn