First Thing: Biden meets Jacob Blake's family as protests continue in Kenosha

Molly Blackall
·5-min read
<span>Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

Good morning.

Joe Biden met privately with the family of Jacob Blake, a Black man who was paralysed after being shot by police, at the start of his visit to Kenosha in Wisconsin on Thursday, amid continuing protests over his shooting. Blake joined the conversation from hospital, where Biden said he had been released from intensive care. Biden’s trip follows a visit from Donald Trump on Tuesday, in which the president did not mention Blake’s name and blamed racism in policing on “bad apples”.

Speaking after his meeting with Blake’s family, Biden accused the president of actively obstructing progress on racial equality, saying he “legitimizes the dark side of human nature”. Biden also expressed his view that the officers involved with Blake’s shooting should be charged, and compared the Black Lives Matter protests to the civil rights movement of the 1960s.

  • US marshals have shot dead a man suspected of homicide over the death of a far-right protester in Portland, as they tried to arrest him. Michael Forest Reinoehl, 48, had regularly attended protests in the city and was a suspect in the death of Aaron Danielson, who died during clashes between Black Lives Matter protesters and Trump supporters.

  • Rightwing demonstrations in Portland reveal an energised and militant pro-Trump movement, with some prepared to engage in violence, experts say.

Seven officers involved in death of Daniel Prude have been suspended

A demonstrator holds a sign during a protest to demand justice for Daniel Prude in New York
A demonstrator holds a sign during a protest to demand justice for Daniel Prude in New York. Photograph: Kena Betancur/AFP/Getty Images

Seven police officers involved in the death of Daniel Prude in Rochester earlier this year have been suspended, the city’s mayor has announced. Prude died of asphyxiation in March after a group of officers put a hood over his head, before pressing his face into the pavement for two minutes, according to the video and records released by Prude’s family on Thursday.

The mayor, Lovely Warren, said the police chief, La’Ron Singletary, had portrayed Prude’s death as a drug overdose, which was entirely different from what she witnessed in the body-camera videos, and added that she was disappointed she had been misled.

Trump allegedly called American war dead ‘losers’ and ‘suckers

The president also allegedly referred to the 1,800 Marines who died in the first world war battle of Belleau Wood as &#x002018;suckers&#x002019; for getting killed.
The president also allegedly referred to the 1,800 Marines who died in the first world war battle of Belleau Wood as ‘suckers’ for getting killed. Photograph: Alex Brandon/AP

The president repeatedly made disparaging remarks about US soldiers captured or killed in battle, anonymous officials allegedly told the Atlantic. In one instance, Trump reportedly said he did not want to visit the Marne American cemetery in France because it was “filled with losers”. He denies the claims.

  • Trump has cut the rent of oil and gas drillers on public land under a controversial coronavirus relief policy, an analysis by a watchdog group and the Guardian reveals.

  • Stock markets have fallen amid concerns about US unemployment, after significant gains in recent months. Tech companies’ share prices had soared as people shifted to remote communication due to coronavirus, but many have reduced.

In other news …

Coastguards rescuing a Filipino man off Amami Oshima island after the cargo ship sank
Coastguards rescuing a Filipino man off Amami Oshima island after the cargo ship sank. Photograph: 10th Regional Coast Guard Headqu/AFP/Getty Images
  • A second survivor from a cargo ship carrying 43 people and 6,000 cattle that sank off Japan has died, after he was pulled from the water unconscious. The search for 41 others continues.

  • A possible heartbeat has been detected under rubble in Beirut, leading to renewed search efforts for survivors of the explosion, despite the unlikeliness of any remaining survivors being found after a month. The blast killed 191 people and injured 6,000 others.

  • The boycott of Disney’s live-action Mulan has reignited ahead of the film’s release on Friday. Pro-democracy protests in Thailand have joined the boycott, which erupted after the film’s star voiced support for police in Hong Kong.

  • A professor of African American history has been pretending to be Black for years, despite being a white woman from Kansas City.

Great reads

‘I was married to an Islamic State leader’

Tania Joya met her husband on a Muslim dating website, before he became increasingly radical and established himself as a leading propagandist for Islamic State. Here, she tells her story.

How US senior citizens risk being left behind by coronavirus

As the US tries to move towards a new normal, vulnerable groups including senior citizens remain at high risk from coronavirus. Victoria Bekiempis speaks to senior citizens and support groups about the future of the pandemic, and what it means for them.

Opinion: coronavirus will have lasting side-effects on the global economy

Past a deep recession, coronavirus could have long-term effects on our economies, impacting investment, hiring, and productivity, writes Kenneth Rogoff, professor of economics and public policy at Harvard University. However, it could also stimulate a wave of building and investment.

Although the pandemic has underscored the huge problem of inequality in advanced economies, poor countries are suffering far more. Many emerging markets and developing economies will likely be struggling with Covid-19 for years to come, and face the real possibility of a lost decade of development.

Last Thing: fishy situation in Sydney as residents smell strong sea odours

Residents along the coast of Sydney and New South Wales woke on Friday morning to the strong scent of petrichor &#x002013; the smell of the soil or ground after rain &#x002013; tinged with salt.
Residents along the coast of Sydney and New South Wales woke on Friday morning to the strong scent of petrichor – the smell of the soil or ground after rain – tinged with salt. Photograph: Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images

Residents in Sydney and coastal New South Wales have complained on social media of a strong smell of fish wafting over their homes. People living kilometres from the coast have joined the reports, with the source of the scent still unknown. Scientists suggested strong winds could be responsible for bring the odours to shore, while others think seaweed could be responsible.

Sign up

First Thing is delivered to thousands of inboxes every weekday. If you’re not already signed up, subscribe now.