TUESDAY, APRIL 20
The jury in the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin is now deliberating following closing arguments from the prosecution and defence today.
Chauvin is accused of murdering George Floyd, who died in Minneapolis last year after a run-in with police. Chauvin was filmed kneeling on his neck and back for nine minutes and 29 seconds, a position he maintained despite Mr Floyd’s pleas that he couldn’t breathe.
The former officer has been charged with three offences, the most serious of which is second degree unintentional felony murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.
Chauvin is also charged with third degree murder, which requires proof that he caused Mr Floyd’s death through an “eminently dangerous” act “without regard for human life”. The highest possible sentence for this is 25 years.
The third charge is manslaughter, with a maximum sentence of 10 years.
Minutes after the jury retired to deliberate this afternoon, defence lawyer Eric Nelson moved for a mistrial, citing public remarks from Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Waters over the weekend which he said were prejudicial to the case.
Ms Waters was in Minneapolis on Saturday, where she spoke about the Chauvin trial.
“We’ve got to get justice in this country, and we cannot allow these killings to continue,” Ms Waters said.
“We’ve got to stay on the street and we’ve got to get more active, we’ve got to get more confrontational. We’ve got to make sure that they know that we mean business.
“I hope we’re going to get a verdict that will say guilty, guilty, guilty. And if we don’t, we cannot go away.”
Mr Nelson told Judge Peter Cahill her comments could be “reasonably interpreted” as “threats against the jury process”.
Prince Harry is understood to still be in the UK, with British media reporting he is staying for the Queen’s upcoming birthday.
But after two hours of peace talks with his brother, Prince William, and their father, Prince Charles, just after Prince Philip’s funeral, Harry will stay and spend more time with his family, it’s claimed.
UK newspaper Metro reports he booked an open flight to the US, allowing Harry the flexibility to return to California when he decides.
The Queen turns 95 on Wednesday, and is expected to hold an intimate celebration at Windsor Castle.
While the monarch’s birthday is normally a pompous celebration with various events from April to June, the COVID-19 pandemic last year saw her spend it solo with her late husband, 99-year-old Philip, in line with social distancing rules.
This year, she is expected to be joined by other members of the royal family as they navigate the period of grief.
This Friday also marks the birthday of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s third child, Prince Louis, who will turn three.
Ms Markle, who is expecting the couple’s second child – a daughter – in coming months, was advised by doctors not to accompany her husband to the UK.
The Duchess of Sussex paid her respects by penning a handwritten note to Philip which was placed alongside a floral wreath presented in honour of the Royal Marines.
Broadcasters who have spent billions of dollars to screen Champions League soccer have condemned the plan by top European clubs to form a breakaway Super League as a threat to the future of the game that will not succeed.
News that 12 clubs including Real Madrid, Juventus and Manchester United have joined forces to set up a new competition risks undermining the existing media contracts that help fund the game.
Were the new league to go ahead, media groups that risk watching the value of their existing rights disappear will have to decide whether they want to battle for the new matches against potential rival giants like Amazon or Disney’s ESPN.
The Financial Times reported that Super League organisers had held early discussions with broadcasters, seeking to secure deals with the likes of Amazon, Facebook, Disney and Comcast-owned Sky that would raise annual revenues of 4 billion euros ($6.2 billion).
Facebook and a source familiar with the situation at Amazon said on Monday they were not in talks about broadcast rights.
BT, which owns the right to show European soccer governing body UEFA’s elite Champions League midweek club competition in Britain, Spain’s Mediapro and streaming service DAZN either condemned the move, or distanced themselves from it.
“BT recognises the concerns raised by many of football’s leading voices and fans, and believes the formation of a European Super League could have a damaging effect to the long-term health of football in this country,” the British company said.
Spanish media company Mediapro told Reuters on Monday that broadcasters would not tear up their existing contracts, and predicted the fledgling plan would fail.
Sports streaming service DAZN, owned by billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries, also poured cold water on it.
DAZN last month secured the rights to screen all Serie A Italian top-flight league matches over the next three seasons with a bid of 2.5 billion euros ($3.8 billion), beating pay-TV player Sky.
“Neither DAZN nor Mr. Blavatnik are in any way involved or interested in entering into discussions regarding the establishment of a Super League and no conversations have taken place,” DAZN said.
Were the Super League to go ahead it would threaten not only the viability of the Champions League but also the appeal of domestic leagues after officials warned that any clubs or players taking part in it could be banned from all other competitions.
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