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    Pope Francis is cautioning against pessimism as many people emerge from coronavirus lockdowns to lament that nothing will ever be the same. During Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica to mark Pentecost Sunday, Francis noted a tendency to say “nothing will return as before.” That kind of thinking, Francis said, guarantees that “the one thing that certainly does not return is hope.” He took to task his own church for its fragmentation, saying it must pull together. “The world sees conservatives and progressives” but instead all are “children of God,' he said, telling the faithful to focus on what unites them. “In this pandemic, how wrong narcissism is,” Francis said, lamenting “the tendency to think only of our needs, to be indifferent to those of others, and to not admit our own frailties and mistakes.” “At this moment, in the great effort of beginning anew, how damaging is pessimism, the tendency to see everything in the worst light and to keep saying that nothing will return as before!” the pope said. “When someone thinks this way, the one thing that certainly does not return is hope.'' A few dozen faithful, wearing masks and sitting one to a pew, attended the ceremony as part of safety measures to avoid spreading COVID-19. While the Vatican has re-opened the basilica to tourists, the rank-and-file faithful still aren't allowed yet to attend Masses celebrated by the pope for fear of crowding.
  • Israel's defense minister apologized on Sunday for the Israeli police's deadly shooting of an unarmed, autistic Palestinian man. The shooting of Iyad Halak, 32, in Jerusalem's Old City on Saturday, drew broad condemnations and revived complaints alleging excessive force by Israeli security forces. Benny Gantz, who is also Israel's “alternate” prime minister under a power-sharing deal, made the remarks at the weekly meeting of the Israeli Cabinet. He was sat near Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who made no mention of the incident in his opening remarks. “We are really sorry about the incident in which Iyad Halak was shot to death and we share in the family's grief,” Gantz said. “I am sure this subject will be investigated swiftly and conclusions will be reached.” Halak's relatives said he had autism and was heading to a school for students with special needs where he studied each day when he was shot. In a statement, Israeli police said they spotted a suspect “with a suspicious object that looked like a pistol.” When he failed to obey orders to stop, officers opened fire, the statement said. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld later said no weapon was found. Israeli media reported the officers involved were questioned after the incident as per protocol and a lawyer representing one of them sent his condolences to the family in an interview with Israeli Army Radio. Lone Palestinian attackers with no clear links to armed groups have carried out a series of stabbings, shootings and car-ramming attacks in recent years. Palestinians and Israeli human rights groups have long accused Israeli security forces of using excessive force in some cases, either by killing individuals who could have been arrested or using lethal force when their lives were not in danger. Some pro-Palestinian activists compared Saturday's shooting to the recent cases of police violence in the U.S.
  • Another night of unrest in every corner of the country left charred and shattered landscapes in dozens of American cities Sunday as years of festering frustrations over the mistreatment of African Americans at the hands of police boiled over in expressions of rage met with tear gas and rubber bullets. Cars and businesses were torched, the words “I can’t breathe” were spray-painted all over buildings, a fire in a trash bin burned near the gates of the White House, and thousands marched peacefully through city streets to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died Monday after a white Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee on his neck until he stopped breathing. His death is one of a litany of racial tragedies that have thrown the country into chaos amid the coronavirus pandemic that has left millions out of work and killed more than 100,000 people in the U.S., including disproportionate numbers of black people. “We’re sick of it. The cops are out of control,” protester Olga Hall said in Washington D.C. “They’re wild. There’s just been too many dead boys.” People set fire to police cars, threw bottles at police officers and busted windows of storefronts, carrying away TVs and other items even as some protesters urged them to stop. In Indianapolis, police were investigating multiple shootings, including one that left a person dead amid the protests — adding to deaths in Detroit and Minneapolis in recent days. In Minneapolis, the city where the protests began, police, state troopers and National Guard members moved in soon after an 8 p.m. curfew took effect to break up protests, firing tear gas and rubber bullets to clear streets outside a police precinct and elsewhere. At least 13 police officers were injured in Philadelphia when peaceful protests turned violent and at least four police vehicles were set on fire. In New York City, dangerous confrontations flared repeatedly as officers made arrests and cleared streets. A video showed two NYPD cruisers lurching into a crowd of demonstrators who were pushing a barricade against one of them and pelting it with objects. Several people were knocked to the ground, and it was unclear if anyone was hurt. “The mistakes that are happening are not mistakes. They’re repeated violent terrorist offenses and people need to stop killing black people,” Brooklyn protester Meryl Makielski said. Few corners of America were untouched, from protesters setting fires inside Reno’s city hall, to police launching tear gas at rock-throwing demonstrators in Fargo, North Dakota. In Salt Lake City, demonstrators flipped a police car and lit it on fire. Police said six people were arrested and a police officer was injured after being struck in the head with a baseball bat. Police have arrested at least 1,669 people in 22 cities since Thursday, according to a tally by The Associated Press. Nearly a third of those arrests came in Los Angeles, where the governor declared a state of emergency and ordered the National Guard to back up the city’s 10,000 police officers as dozens of fires burned across the city. The damage in U.S. cities came as many Americans plan to return to in-person church services on Sunday for the first time in several weeks since the pandemic forced a ban on large gatherings. Pastors in pulpits across the country will likely be urging peace amid the rubble of riots. Trump appeared to cheer on the tougher tactics Saturday night, commending the National Guard deployment in Minneapolis, declaring “No games!” and saying police in New York City “must be allowed to do their job!” Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden condemned the violence as he continued to express common cause with those demonstrating after Floyd’s death. “The act of protesting should never be allowed to overshadow the reason we protest,” Biden said in a statement Saturday night. Overnight curfews were imposed in more than a dozen major cities nationwide, including Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Francisco and Seattle. This week’s unrest recalled the riots in Los Angeles nearly 30 years ago after the acquittal of the white police officers who beat Rodney King, a black motorist who had led them on a high-speed chase. The protests of Floyd’s killing have gripped many more cities, but the losses in Minneapolis have yet to approach the staggering totals Los Angeles saw during five days of rioting in 1992, when more than 60 people died, 2,000-plus were injured and thousands arrested, with property damage topping $1 billion. But not all protests were marred by violence. In Juneau, Alaska, local police joined protesters at a rally in front of a giant whale sculpture on the city’s waterfront. “We don’t tolerate excessive use of force,” Juneau Police Chief Ed Mercer told a gathering where most people wore masks and some sang Alaska Native songs. The show of force in Minneapolis came after three days when police largely avoided engaging protesters, and after the state poured in more than 4,000 National Guard troops to Minneapolis and said the number would soon rise to nearly 11,000. “The situation in Minneapolis is no longer in any way about the murder of George Floyd,” said Gov. Tim Walz, who also said local forces had been overmatched the previous day. “It is about attacking civil society, instilling fear and disrupting our great cities.” Some residents were glad to see the upheaval dissipating. “l live here. I haven’t been able to sleep,” said Iman Muhammad, whose neighborhood saw multiple fires set Friday night. Muhammad said she sympathized with peaceful protests over Floyd’s death but disagreed with the violence: “Wrong doesn’t answer wrong.” ___ Numerous AP journalists contributed from across the U.S.
  • India reported more than 8,000 new cases of the coronavirus in a single day, another record high that topped the deadliest week in the country. Confirmed infections have risen to 182,143, with 5,164 fatalities, including 193 in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry said Sunday. Overall, more than 60% of the virus fatalities have been reported from only two states — Maharashtra, the financial hub, and Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The new cases are largely concentrated in six Indian states, including the capital New Delhi. Public health experts have criticized the Modi government’s handling of the outbreak. A joint statement by the Indian Public Health Association, Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine and Indian Association of Epidemiologists, which was sent to Modi’s office on May 25, said it was “unrealistic” to eliminate the virus at a time when “community transmission is already well-established.” India has denied of any community transmission even though new cases have continued to mount significantly. The health experts said that the infections were rising exponentially despite the “draconian lockdown,” which began March 25. The restrictions have slowly been relaxed, with the government announcing Saturday a phased “Unlock 1” plan from June onwards that allows more economic activities. The restrictions in so-called containment zones — areas that have been isolated due to the outbreaks — will remain through June 30. Modi, who addressed the nation through his monthly radio program on Sunday, said India was faring better than other countries. India has a fatality rate of 2.8%. There are concerns that the virus may be spreading through India’s villages as millions of jobless migrant workers return home from cities during the lockdown. Experts warn that the pandemic is yet to peak in India. In other developments in the Asia-Pacific region: — 27 NEW CASES IN SOUTH KOREA: South Korea on Sunday reported 27 new cases of the coronavirus, including 21 from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where officials are scrambling to stem transmissions linked to clubgoers and warehouse workers. The figures announced by South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on brought national totals to 11,468 cases and 270 deaths. Twelve of the new cases were international arrivals. South Korea was reporting about 500 new cases each day in early March but seemed to stabilize the outbreak with aggressive tracking and tracing, which allowed authorities to ease social distancing guidelines. A rise in infections in the greater capital area has caused alarm as millions of children have begun returning to school. KCDC said more than 100 infections were linked to workers or visitors at a warehouse of local e-commerce giant Coupang, which has seen orders spike during the epidemic. — CHINA REPORTS TWO NEW CASES: China reported two new cases of COVID-19, bringing its total to 83,001. Both cases were imported ones in Shandong province south of Beijing, bringing the number of cases from abroad to 1,740. China has cut international flights drastically to try to keep new cases out, though it allowed a chartered Lufthansa A340 with employees of Volkswagen and other German companies operating in China to arrive Saturday from Frankfurt. It was the first of two such flights from Germany aimed at restarting the economy. No new domestic cases have been reported for a week, since an outbreak that infected 42 people was tamped down in Jilin province in the northeast. The country’s official death toll stands at 4,634. — RESTRICTIONS EASING IN AUSTRALIA: COVID-19 restrictions are easing in most of Australia, but authorities say they’ll be watching carefully to ensure the country’s success in containing the pandemic remains on track. Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth said the lifting of restrictions is a balancing act between socioeconomic benefits and the public health risk. “We’re taking a deliberately safe and cautious approach,” Coatsworth said. “Most importantly we’re taking the time to gather the data over the coming weeks to determine whether it’s safe to move to the next round of lifting restrictions.” Coronavirus cases remain low in Australia by international standards, with 7,180 infections and 103 deaths. The more flexible restrictions, which differ across the states, will mean more movement in public places, including pubs, cafes, and restaurants. But authorities have renewed their call for safe hygiene and social distancing measures to remain. ___ Follow AP news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at http://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.
  • The Latest on the effects of the coronavirus outbreak on sports around the world: ___ The coach of Italian soccer club Atalanta says he acquired COVID-19 and was concerned for his life in mid-March. Gian Piero Gasperini tells the Gazzetta dello Sport that he started feeling sick on March 9, a day before Atalanta played at Valencia in the second leg of the Champions League round of 16. He says that when he returned to Bergamo, which was quickly becoming the epicenter of the pandemic, “I didn’t have a fever but I felt destroyed and as if I had a 40-degree (Celsius, or 104 Fahrenheit) fever.” He adds, “Every two minutes an ambulance passed by as there’s a hospital nearby. It seemed like a war. At night, I would think, ‘If go in (the hospital), what will happen to me?’” Gasperini said he quickly recovered without checking into the hospital and didn’t confirm he had the virus until the entire Atalanta team was tested 10 days ago. ___ More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
  • Childhood actor. Pro-democracy activist. Avid supporter of the European Union and LGBT rights. Warsaw’s liberal mayor Rafal Trzaskowski made a late entry in Poland’s presidential election and has quickly emerged as the main challenger to the conservative incumbent, Andrzej Duda. He has injected competition and suspense into a race that Duda had previously seemed certain to win. Trzaskowski jumped in after the coronavirus pandemic forced the conservative government to postpone the election, originally scheduled for May 10. Civic Platform, a centrist, pro-EU party, seized its chance to replace its original candidate, Malgorzata Kidawa-Blonska, who was polling in the low single digits. A new date for the presidential election has not been officially announced, but the conservative ruling Law and Justice party, which backs Duda, says it wants the election held June 28. If no candidate gets at least 50% of the votes, a runoff would take place on July 12. Duda is favored to win, according to recent polls. But his lead has fallen significantly since Trzaskowski's entry into a field that includes 10 candidates. It is considered extremely likely that Duda and Trzaskowski, both of whom are 48, will face off in the runoff. Many Poles feel this is the most important election since Poland threw off communism three decades ago. “At last I know who to vote for. Trzaskowski can really change Poland's politics, and they need changing,” said Aldona Stefanowicz, 58. The Polish president can propose laws and, most importantly, veto laws passed in parliament. He is also the supreme commander of the armed forces. Winning this election is a matter of key importance for Law and Justice if it wants to continue putting its conservative stamp on the country and completing a controversial takeover of the judicial system. Over the past five years Duda has only very rarely blocked the party's plans. Liberal critics of the government see the election as the last chance to save Poland's democracy and mend its relations with the EU, which have soured badly. The EU has denounced laws that have consolidated Law and Justice's control of the courts and other judicial bodies, considering them a violation of the democratic standards of the 27-member union. Trzaskowski's European credentials are certainly solid. He obtained a PhD in political science from Warsaw University in 2004 with a dissertation on the EU decision-making system, and launched his political career as adviser to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament. In 2009 he won a four-year term as a member of the EU parliament. From 2013-14 he was the administration and digitization minister in the government of then-Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who later served as EU president. Later he served as deputy foreign minister for EU affairs and as Poland’s negotiator in areas including sanctions towards Russia and energy security. In 2017, he was awarded France’s highest distinction, the Legion of Honor, for strengthening Polish-French relations. While he criticizes Poland's conservative government, Trzaskowski also has said he does not want the EU to punish Poland with financial sanctions. He argues that would hit ordinary people hardest and instead wants the EU to bypass the national government and make its funding directly available to local governments. In 2015 he became a lawmaker in the Polish parliament and since 2018 he has been the mayor of his hometown of Warsaw, winning support from liberals for his strong support for LGBT rights. Last year he signed a declaration of tolerance for gays and lesbians that included promises of city help for gay youth rejected by their families, and he rode on a float in the city's annual gay pride parade. His strong position — unusual in this largely conservative and mostly Catholic country — triggered a backlash. Ruling party leader Jaroslaw Kaczynski denounced the LGBT rights movement as a threat to the Polish nation and many other Polish municipalities declared themselves “LGBT-free zones.' Trzaskowski has said his win would launch a “huge wave of change.' It's unclear, however, if enough Poles will embrace the kind of change he represents. In a recent survey, voters gave Duda an edge of about 2.7 percentage points over Trzaskowski in a possible second round. Trzaskowski is the son of late pianist and composer Andrzej Trzaskowski. He was briefly a child actor in a children's series, an experience he remembers as a 'nightmare.' In the dying days of communist rule, when he was 17, he helped “the best I could” the pro-democracy Solidarity movement organize Poland's first partly free election in 1989, putting up posters and even sweeping the office floor. The historic vote led to the ouster of communists from power. Knowing several languages — he speaks English, French, Spanish, Russian and Italian — Trzaskowski assisted Western journalists in covering the events in Poland.
  • The Latest on the coronavirus pandemic. The new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms for most people. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or death. TOP OF THE HOUR: — Russia sees over 9,000 new virus cases — Pakistan sees single-day high of 88 virus deaths — India records more than 8,000 new infections in a day — South Korea reports 27 new virus cases, including 21 from Seoul — Colombia to shut down Bogota neighborhood amid rising virus cases ___ MOSCOW — Russia reported 9,268 new cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, the first time in a week that the daily tally exceeded 9,000, but the lowest death toll in several days: 138. Overall, Russia has recorded 405,843 cases and 4,693 deaths from COVID-19. The relatively low mortality rate compared with other countries has prompted skepticism domestically and abroad. In a bid to dispel suspicions that authorities are trying to lower the death toll for political reasons, Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova explained last week that Russia’s count contains only those confirmed to have died directly of the infection, but she also gave figures for people who tested positive for the virus but died of other causes. ___ ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s daily death toll from the coronavirus is climbing, hitting a new high of 88 overnight, amid reports of acute care bed shortages and near daily warnings from health professionals to tighten lockdown measures. The government, however, has kept mosques open, urging safe distancing but not enforcing the rules. In the latest reduction of restrictions, the government has withdrawn the limits on congregations in mosques and churches in Muslim-majority Pakistan, where minorities make up less than 5% of the population of 220 million. Pakistan has confirmed 69,496 cases of the coronavirus, including 1,483 deaths. ___ DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Tens of thousands of mosques across Saudi Arabia have reopened for the first time in more than two months. Worshipers have been ordered to follow strict guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Islam’s holiest site in Mecca remains closed to the public. Also Sunday, the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem that had been closed since mid-March reopened for prayers. Worshipers waited outside the gates, many wearing surgical masks. As they entered, they were stopped to have their temperature taken. The new measures come as Saudi Arabia and other countries around the world begin to loosen restrictions following weeks of curfews and lockdowns. ___ BRISBANE, Australia — COVID-19 restrictions are easing in most of Australia, but authorities say they’ll be watching carefully to ensure the country’s success in containing the pandemic remains on track. Deputy Chief Medical Officer Nick Coatsworth says the lifting of restrictions is a balancing act between the socio-economic benefit from their removal and the public health risk. “We’re taking a deliberately safe and cautious approach,” Coatsworth said. “Most importantly we’re taking the time to gather the data over the coming weeks to determine whether it’s safe to move to the next round of lifting restrictions.” Coronavirus cases remain low in Australia by international standards, with 7,180 infections and 103 deaths. The more flexible restrictions, which differ across the states, will mean more movement in public places, including pubs, cafes, and restaurants. But authorities have renewed their call for safe hygiene and social distancing measures to remain. ___ NEW DELHI, India — India has recorded more than 8,000 new cases of the coronavirus in a single day for the first time as the infection tally surged to 182,143. The death toll climbed to 5,164 after 193 fatalities were recorded in the last 24 hours, according to the health ministry data. This week has been the deadliest in India, with cases of infections and deaths reaching a new high almost every day. Overall, more than 60% of the country’s virus fatalities have been reported from only two states — Maharashtra, the financial hub of India, and Gujarat, the home state of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The new cases of infections are also largely concentrated in six Indian states, including the national capital New Delhi. Public health experts have criticized the Modi government’s handling of the outbreak. A joint statement by the Indian Public Health Association, Indian Association of Preventive and Social Medicine and Indian Association of Epidemiologists, which was submitted to Modi’s office on May 25, said it was “unrealistic” to eliminate the virus at a time when “community transmission is already well-established.” India has denied of any community transmission of the virus even though new cases have continued to mount significantly. The health experts said that the infections were rising exponentially despite India’s “draconian lockdown” which began on March 25. The restrictions have slowly been relaxed in the months since with the government announcing on Saturday a phased ‘Unlock 1’ plan from June onwards which allows more economic activities to restart. The restrictions in so-called containment zones — areas that have been isolated due to coronavirus outbreaks — will, however, remain through June 30. Experts warn that the pandemic is yet to peak in India. ___ SEOUL, South Korea -- South Korea has reported 27 new cases of the coronavirus, including 21 from the densely populated Seoul metropolitan area, where officials have been scrambling to stem transmissions linked to club-goers and warehouse workers. The figures announced by South Korea’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Sunday brought national totals to 11,468 cases and 270 deaths. Twelve of the new cases were linked to international arrivals. South Korea was reporting about 500 new cases per day in early March but had seemed to stabilize its outbreak with aggressive tracking and tracing, which allowed authorities to ease social distancing guidelines. But cases in the greater capital area have been rising steadily again since May amid increased public activity, causing alarm as millions of children have begun returning to schools. On Saturday, KCDC senior official Kwon Jun-wook said at least 108 infections were linked to workers or visitors at a warehouse of local e-commerce giant Coupang, which has seen orders spike amid the epidemic. Around 270 other infections have been linked to nightclubs and other entertainment venues, which saw huge crowds in early May amid the relaxed atmosphere on social distancing. ___ BOGOTA, Colombia — The mayor of Colombia’s capital is planning to shut down one of the city’s largest neighborhoods as cases there continue to rise. Mayor Claudia Lopez said Saturday that starting June 1st the working-class Kennedy area – home to nearly 1.5 million people – will be under a strict quarantine. Police and military will enforce the lockdown and no one will be allowed out, except to seek food or medical care or in case of an emergency. Businesses like manufacturing that had been allowed to operate will be ordered closed. Lopez said that testing for the virus will be doubled. The Kennedy area was inaugurated by late U.S. President John F. Kennedy, who visited Bogota in 1961 as part of the Alliance for Progress. The area today has more nearly 2,500 cases and hospitals there are reaching maximum capacity. Lopez said that in the rest of Bogota no new sectors of the economy will be allowed to reopen until at least the middle of June. ___ ATHENS — Greek officials said Saturday said that the country will not limit incoming tourists to those from a list of 29 nations, but travelers from countries not on the list will be subject to mandatory testing on arrival and a period of quarantine depending on test results. The policy will only be applied during the final two weeks of June, although Greek authorities left open the prospect of additional restrictions after that date. The list announced Friday includes Albania, Australia, Austria, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Estonia, Japan, Israel, China, Croatia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lebanon, New Zealand, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, Norway, South Korea, Hungary, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Czech Republic and Finland. Arrivals from those countries will be tested randomly. The list was drawn up based on a document from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency. ___ ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy says travelers to Alaska will have to be tested for COVID-19 before boarding a plane to the state, or submit to a 14-day quarantine upon arrival. Out-of-state travelers will need to show proof of testing within 72 hours of boarding and fill out paperwork. If either test results or paperwork are lost, travelers will be subjected to another test at the airport or quarantine for two weeks. Dunleavy also extended the state’s 14-day quarantine rule until the new policy begins Friday. Further policy changes are expected to be clarified Monday. ___ NEW YORK — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill Saturday granting death benefits to the families of police officers, public health workers and other front-line workers who have died of the coronavirus. The bill passed by state lawmakers provides an accidental death benefit that is more substantial than the regular death benefit that public workers’ families receive. Dozens of police officers, public health workers, transit workers and paramedics have died of COVID-19 in the months since New York became the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States. Cuomo said 67 people died of COVID-19 in the state on Friday, the same number as Thursday and a steep drop from the height of New York’s outbreak in April, when more than 700 people were dying of the disease daily. ___ Follow AP news coverage of the coronavirus pandemic at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak
  • It’s nothing flashy. But then, it’s not supposed to be. The plywood wall that surrounds a building site, painted with the words ``WE GRIEVE″ in massive letters, has become a focal point for people of the Stamford Hill neighborhood. It is there that they gather each Thursday to remember those who have died during the coronavirus pandemic. It might seem an odd venue. But it’s central and there’s space for social distancing — a place for civic grief. 'What we’ve found, almost by accident, is the need for communities to stand together and grieve,″ said the Rev. William Taylor, vicar of St. Thomas’, an Anglican church on Clapton Common. This London neighborhood is diverse, even for a multicultural city. The common park was once surrounded by terraced houses built for the genteel who flocked to the area in the 19th century. But new groups moved in after World War II, and these days it is most well known as home to one of the largest Ultra Orthodox Jewish communities in Europe. And, in a way, it is that diversity that spawned the grief wall. Taylor felt bereft when Britain’s coronavirus lockdown prevented him from mourning with others after the death of his friend Rabbi Avrohom Pinter, a leader of the Orthodox Jewish community. The friendship between Taylor, who tweets as @HackneyPreacher and Pinter, a leading figure in the deeply traditional community of thousands, may have seemed unlikely. But the two bonded over their wish to build a spirit of friendship among those who lived near Clapton Common. Among many initiatives, the pair worked together to convert a derelict public toilet into a community center on the edge of the common. The mock-Tudor structure was half-timbered like the Liberty department store in central London, giving the new center its name — Liberty Hall. The project was designed to create neutral ground. Pinter, for instance, was adamant that it offer a bicycle repair clinic, so his cycling-mad community would go there. After years of work, Liberty Hall was nearly complete. Ahead of its April opening, backers painted the words THANK YOU on the temporary wall surrounding the site in bright orange letters to show gratitude for often small contributors who raised 50,000 pounds, ($61,600), for the project. Then the virus struck. Pinter tried to persuade his community to follow the government’s lockdown rules, which many were reluctant to do. He spread the word door-to-door until he contracted COVID-19 himself. The rabbi died April 13. Taylor grieved. One morning while running the common, he was jarred by the sign on their joint project. He discussed it with other members of the Clapton Commons community group, and they decided to repaint the wall. “THANK YOU’’ was replaced by “WE GRIEVE.’’ Everyone who rode the 254 bus into central London could see it. The community responded, flooding social media with support. The wall clearly hit a nerve, for Britain has seen over 38,000 people die in the pandemic, a death toll second only to the United States. A conversation between Taylor and designer Mike Abrahams led to the ceremony of posting the names of the dead every Thursday, just before the nation pauses to clap in support of health workers battling the pandemic. Each person is remembered with a simple sheet of paper glued to the wall. A bell is rung. Then there’s a moment of silence. Sixteen people have been remembered. They include a doctor, a hospital porter, a father and son who worked as cobblers, a retired seamstress, and a bass guitarist. Marcia Mullings came to remember a friend and her brother, Gary, who died of cancer and had only a small funeral because of coronavirus restrictions. Being with her neighbors eased her pain. “We remember that we have lost loved ones,’’ she said. “We also are going to remember that we’re not alone in this.'' ___ While nonstop global news about the devastating effects of the coronavirus pandemic have become commonplace, so, too, are tales of kindness. “One Good Thing” is a series of AP stories focusing on glimmers of joy and benevolence in a dark time. ___ Follow AP coverage of the pandemic at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak and https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak.
  • Tens of thousands of mosques across Saudi Arabia reopened Sunday for the first time in more than two months, with worshipers ordered to follow strict guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as Islam's holiest site in Mecca remained closed to the public. The Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Islam's holiest site outside of Saudi Arabia, also reopened for prayers for the first time since it was closed in mid-March. With little regards for social distancing, throngs waited outside the holy site's gates before it opened early Sunday, with many wearing surgical masks. As they were allowed to enter, the faithful stopped to have their temperature measured. The mosque was one of Jerusalem’s many holy sites, including the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Western Wall, that were restricted to worshipers at the height of Israel’s coronavirus outbreak. Throughout that period, worshipers continued to pray in the alleyways outside the mosque. Jews also resumed their pilgrimages Sunday to the hilltop compound they revere as the Temple Mount, site of the two Jewish biblical temples. In Saudi Arabia, the government prepared for the reopening of around 90,000 mosques after sanitizing prayer rugs, washrooms and shelves holding copies of the Quran, the Muslim holy book. The Ministry of Islamic Affairs said millions of text messages were sent to people in multiple languages to inform them about the new rules for public prayer, which include keeping a two-meter (six-foot) distance between people during prayer, wearing face masks at all times and abstaining from greeting one another with handshakes or hugs. Children under 15 years-old were not being allowed inside mosques. The elderly and those with chronic conditions were being told to pray at home. People are also being advised to perform the mandatory ablution at home since washrooms at mosques will be closed, to use hand sanitizers and to bring their own prayer rugs and copies of the Quran. The restrictions call for mosques to open just 15 minutes before each of the five daily prayers and to close 10 minutes after they conclude. Friday sermons and prayers are to last no longer than 15 minutes. On Sunday, Saudi Arabia also lifted a ban on domestic air travel and permitted some public sector workers to resume office work again, though full attendance will not be allowed until mid-June. The new measures come as Saudi Arabia and other countries around the world begin to loosen restrictions and stay-at-home orders following weeks of curfews and lock downs. However, the Grand Mosque in Mecca, which houses the cube-shaped Kaaba that Muslims around the world pray toward, will remain closed to the public. The city has been under a strict lock down for several weeks. The mosque in Medina where the Prophet Muhammad is buried will be partially opened to the public to pray outside. The continued closure of Mecca points to the increasing likelihood that the kingdom may suspend this year's annual Muslim hajj pilgrimage, which falls in late July. Already, a senior Saudi official has told prospective pilgrims not to plan for the hajj this year amid the global pandemic. Despite taking early and unprecedented measures to curb the spread of the virus, Saudi Arabia has recorded more than 83,000 people contracting the virus, including 480 deaths. Israel has weathered the coronavirus better than other harder-hit countries. It has recorded fewer than 300 deaths and has managed to mostly keep its daily infection count to the low dozens since the beginning of May. But it also imposed severe restrictions that battered its economy and sent its unemployment rate skyrocketing. Many of those restrictions, including on places of worship, began to be eased earlier this month. The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism, but for the most part Jews are forbidden to pray there and instead do so at the adjacent Western Wall. In recent years Jewish activists have been agitating for greater Jewish access to the site, including what they say is the right to pray there. That has angered Palestinians who see the attempt as part of Israeli encroachment on land they seek for their future state. The fate of the shrine is an emotional issue at the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In Pakistan meanwhile, the country's daily death toll from COVID-19 kept climbing, hitting a new high of 88 overnight. Amid reports of an acute bed shortage and near daily warnings from health professionals to tighten lock down measures, the government has kept mosques open, urging safe distancing but not enforcing it. In the latest easing of restrictions, the government has withdrawn the limits on congregations in mosques and churches. Pakistan’s coronavirus death toll of 1,483 is third only to Iran and Turkey in the Middle East. The country has counted 69,496 positive cases of COVID-19. ____ Associated Press writers Tia Goldenberg in Jerusalem and Kathy Gannon in Islamabad, Pakistan, contributed to this report.
  • The Latest on the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man who pleaded for air as a white police officer pressed a knee on his neck: ___ RICHMOND, Va. — Photos on social media show several fires throughout downtown Richmond overnight as protests in the Virginia capital continued. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the headquarters of the nearby United Daughters of the Confederacy burned early Sunday and was marked with graffiti. Several Confederate statues along the city’s Monument Avenue were defaced with graffiti. The newspaper reports that an apartment building on a downtown street also caught fire, but protesters initially wouldn't let fire crews through until police cleared the area with tear gas. Police headquarters was the target of protesters for the second night in a row as officers formed a barricade around the building late Saturday night. A dumpster was set afire near the police headquarters, which had its front windows broken out Friday night. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported that the police fired tear gas to move crowds away from the building. Several blocks away near Virginia Commonwealth University hundreds of protesters blocked streets chanting “George Floyd,” referring to the black man who died Monday after an arresting officer in Minneapolis pushed his knee into Floyd’s neck while he was on the ground handcuffed. Media reports showed video of protesters hurling what appeared to be water bottles at a police car, which moved through the crowd and sped away. A police cruiser was burned in the violence on Friday night, along with a city bus. ___ PHOENIX -- Protesters marched the streets of downtown Phoenix and Tucson Saturday after the cities’ leaders implored them to refrain from violence. The marches appeared to be largely peaceful, according to local media reports. On Saturday night, however, Phoenix police had to defend the department’s headquarters. Shortly after 10 p.m., Phoenix police said a large group of protesters downtown had become an unlawful assembly, the Arizona Republic reported. The police said they needed to disperse immediately. The protesters were seen kneeling with their hands up in the streets outside Phoenix police and municipal buildings, the Republic reported. They chanted, “Hands up, don’t shoot” and “Black lives matter.” ___ San Francisco Mayor London Breed has declared a citywide curfew for Sunday night as violent protests rage throughout the city in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death. Breed says the curfew will last from 8 p.m. on Sunday to 5 a.m. on Monday. The mayor says she has asked Gov. Gavin Newsom to put the California National Guard on standby. Authorities say there have been increased levels of violence, crime, vandalism and assaults on police officers Saturday night as the protests took a dark turn. Los Angeles is already under a citywide curfew overnight and the National Guard is en route to help police quell the violence. ___ DALLAS — Protesters badly beat a man Saturday night after he confronted them carrying a machete to “allegedly protect his neighborhood,” according to police Sgt. Warren Mitchell. Brief videos of the confrontation posted on social media appear to show protesters throwing things at a man carrying a long object. He then raises it and chases one of them as someone is heard screaming. Moments later, a group of people can be seen punching and kicking the man, before clearing away to leave him immobile and bleeding in the street. Mitchell said the man is at a hospital in stable condition and the incident is under investigation. ___ INDIANAPOLIS - Authorities are investigating “multiple shootings,” including one that left a person dead, in downtown Indianapolis on Saturday amid protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Randal Taylor confirmed the shootings during a late night news conference, but didn’t offer any more details. Police later tweeted that no officers were involved. Protests became dangerous for a second straight night in Indianapolis as buildings were damaged, officers deployed tear gas and at least one business was briefly on fire. ___ Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden condemned the violence in a statement, as he continued to express common cause with those demonstrating after George Floyd’s death. “The act of protesting should never be allowed to overshadow the reason we protest,” Biden said in a statement Saturday night. “It should not drive people away from the just cause that protest is meant to advance.” ___ MINNEAPOLIS — Officials in Minneapolis say they’ve succeeded for now in stopping the violent protests that ravaged parts of the city for several days after the death of George Floyd. Police, state troopers and National Guard members moved in to break up protests after an 8 p.m. curfew took effect, firing tear gas and rubber bullets to clear streets outside a police precinct and elsewhere. The show of force came after three days where police mostly declined to engage with protesters. It also came after the state poured in more than 4,000 National Guard members and said the number would soon rise to nearly 11,000. As Minneapolis streets appeared largely quiet, Corrections Commissioner Paul Schnell said the heavy response would remain as long as it takes to “quell this situation.” ___ LOS ANGELES -- The mayor of Los Angeles says the National Guard will be deployed overnight to help local law enforcement quell violence in the nation’s second-largest city. Mayor Eric Garcetti says he asked California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Saturday to send 500 to 700 members of the Guard. Crowds of demonstrators have torched police cars, vandalized and burglarized stores and clashed with lines of officers. Hundreds of people have been arrested since Friday night. ___ SALT LAKE CITY — Protests are continuing in Salt Lake City despite a curfew issued by the mayor and National Guard troops deployed by Utah’s governor. Police officials say they are prepared to give people time to leave, but they plan to arrest people who refused to comply. What started as a peaceful demonstration Saturday against the death of George Floyd turned destructive. A group of people flipped over a police car and lit it on fire. A second car was later set on fire. Police officials say six people have been arrested and that a police officer was injured after being struck in the head with a baseball bat. ___ RENO, Nevada -- City officials in Reno instituted an immediate mandatory curfew Saturday night after protesters broke windows at City Hall and set fires. Police fired tear gas into the building, the Rene Gazette Journal reported, and a SWAT team arrived to help disperse the crowd. The fires were extinguished. In announcing the curfew in a statement, city officials asked residents to avoid the downtown area, where a “heavy police presence” would be in force overnight. ___ RALEIGH, N.C. — More than 1,000 people marched in downtown Raleigh on Saturday night, breaking windows as police in riot gear released tear gas and pepper spray to disburse the crowds. WRAL-TV showed video of throngs of people in front of the Wake County Courthouse, some walking with signs, others on bikes and skateboards to protest the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis by a police officer on Monday. Protesters gathered in late afternoon marching peacefully north from the courthouse chanting “No Justice, No Peace.” But tension grew after nightfall as some people threw rocks at windows and spray painted anti-police slogans on walls. Fayetteville Street was the focus of most of the vandalism with multiple buildings along the street having windows broken out. ___ MIAMI — A student at Florida International University said the protest was largely peaceful with the crowd of about 500 “singing, we were doing poetry” and urging each other not to “break windows” or hurt businesses. But when they arrived at the police station, another group of protesters also converged there and things escalated within minutes. “There was a sniper on the roof with the police chief standing next to him and they started throwing smoke bombs to the crowd,' 27-year-old Liseth Hatta said. “Most of them were kids. They couldn’t’ have been older than 21. Everyone ran away screaming;” They tried to flee and rushed to the train station to head home, but police closed down the entrance. “A lot of people tried to get back on the train to leave and they weren’t letting us,” Hatta said. “They basically trapped us in.” ___ ATLANTA — An Atlanta police officer was struck by someone riding an ATV in downtown Atlanta during protests that continued despite a curfew, and police said they were still trying to determine whether the crash was deliberate. Police spokesman Carlos Campos said it happened about 10:30 p.m.; the mayor had set a 9 p.m. curfew. The officer suffered significant injuries and was in stable condition, Campos said. The ATV drive suffered minor injuries and was taken into custody, Campos said. ___ LOS ANGELES — Police have arrested nearly 1,400 people in 17 U.S. cities as protests continue over the death of George Floyd. Floyd, a black man, died Monday in Minnesota after a white police officer put his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes. The officer was arrested Friday and charged with third-degree murder. But the arrest has done little to quell protests across the country. Most have been peaceful. But a few have erupted in violence. An Associated Press tally of arrests found at least 1,383 people have been arrested since Thursday. The actual number is likely higher as protests continue Saturday night. ___ WASHINGTON — The National Guard has been called out in Washington, D.C., as pockets of violence erupted during a second straight night of protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and President Donald Trump’s reaction to it. Hundreds of protesters converged on the White House during the day Saturday and marched on the National Mall, chanting “Black Lives Matter,” “I can’t breathe” and “No justice, no peace.” Police used pepper spray to try to disperse the crowd but the standoff continued. Protesters dragged away barricades and some broke up concrete to use as projectiles. At one point, a trash bin was set on fire. National Guard troops took up position around the White House on Saturday night. ___ WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump appears to be cheering on the tougher tactics being used by law enforcement around the country to confront sometimes violent demonstrators joining in protests over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. On Saturday, the president commended National Guard troops deployed in Minneapolis, declaring “No games!” He also said police in New York City “must be allowed to do their job!” In a tweet, Trump said: “Let New York’s Finest be New York’s Finest.” He was commenting on Twitter from the White House while crowds of protesters gathered outside. ___ NASHVILLE, Tennessee — The mayor of Nashville, Tennessee, has declared a state of civil emergency after protesters set a fire inside the Metro Courthouse in the state’s capital city. Thousands had rallied near the Capitol building Saturday afternoon to peacefully protest police brutality and racism. But things turned violent after darkness fell, with protesters breaking windows in government buildings and causing other property damage. The Tennessean newspaper says demonstrators also pulled down a statue outside the Capitol of Edward Carmack, a controversial former lawmaker and newspaper publisher who espoused racist views. Police deployed tear gas and began warning demonstrators that the protest was unlawful. Gov. Bill Lee issued an order Saturday night for the National Guard to mobilize “in response to protests that have now taken a violent, unlawful turn in Nashville.” ___ MINNEAPOLIS — Police in Minneapolis are confronting protesters out after curfew on the fifth day of protests over the death of George Floyd. A group of marchers was moving north toward downtown on a city street when officers fired tear gas Saturday night. The group immediately retreated. Soon after, officers fired tear gas and moved in to push away throngs of protesters who were milling around the city police’s 5th Precinct. The tougher tactics came after city and state leaders were criticized for not more strongly confronting violent and damaging protests. Minneapolis has been the epicenter of protests since the death Monday of Floyd after a police officer pressed his knee on Floyd's neck for several minutes. The protests have spread to cities across the United States. ___ CHICAGO — Chicago’s mayor has announced an overnight curfew in the city running from 9 p.m. Saturday until 6 a.m. Sunday, and she says police will crack down on any violence. Mayor Lori Lightfoot says that peaceful protesting over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has “devolved into criminal conduct.” She says police will be aggressive with arrests for anyone caught damaging property. In the mayor’s words: “We can have zero tolerance for people who came prepared for a fight and tried to initiate and provoke our police department.” ___ MIAMI — An initially peaceful protest in Miami over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis has turned violent, with some demonstrators setting fire to police cars. Witnesses to the clash Saturday say officers responded with tear gas and fireworks to disperse the crowd. The mayor has declared a 10 p.m. curfew. At one point, Interstate 95 was shut down as protesters stood on the busy highway. Police also used bicycles to push back an increasingly rowdy crowd throwing rocks. Elsewhere in Florida, protesters in Tampa smashed store windows and set a gas station ablaze Saturday night after a peaceful demonstration during the day. Some broke into AT&T and Gold N Diamond stores. ___ Curfews are in effect or imminent in more than a dozen U.S. cities facing rising unrest following the death of George Floyd. The start times Saturday evening range from 6 p.m. in parts of South Carolina to 10 p.m. around Ohio. People are being told to get off the streets beginning at 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. in Atlanta, Denver, Los Angeles and Seattle. A curfew is in effect for a second night in and around Minneapolis, where Floyd died earlier this week after a police officer pressed his knee on Floyd’s neck for several minutes during an arrest. Thousands ignored the Friday night curfew and peaceful protests gave way to violence late into the night. ___ PHILADELPHIA — Authorities in Philadelphia say a peaceful demonstration protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis later turned violence, and at least 13 police officers have been injured amid incidents of arson and store break-ins in the city's doqwntown. Police Commissioner Danielle Outlaw says at least four police vehicles were set ablaze and other fires were set throughout downtown Saturday afternoon. Protesters smashed windows and stole merchandise from stores as police tried to worked to corral the crowd, which Outlaw estimates numbered about 3,000. Protesters also sprayed graffiti on a statue of former Philadelphia Mayor Frank Rizzo, tried to topple it and set a fire at its base. Rizzo was Philadelphia's mayor from 1972 to 1980 and was praised by supporters as tough on crime but accused by critics of discriminating against minorities. Authorities in Philadelphia have ordered a citywide curfew has been implemented from 8 p.m. Saturday to 7 a.m. Sunday. ___ SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has activated the Utah National Guard after protesters angry over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis turned violent during a demonstration at which some participants carried rifles in Salt Lake City. Herbert says in a tweet that the Guard will help control “the escalating situation” in the downtown area following the unrest Saturday afternoon. The protest started out peacefully, but degenerated into violence. A group of people flipped over a police car and lit it on fire. Some demonstrators smashed eggs and wrote graffiti on the walls of the Salt Lake City police station. Others marched through downtown to the state Capitol. Some people in the protest openly carried rifles, which is legal in Utah. ___ SEATTLE — The Washington State Patrol has closed Interstate 5 in both directions through downtown Seattle after a protest over the death of George Floyd spilled onto the freeway. Thousands of people gathered in the downtown area Saturday for a largely peaceful demonstration, but some protesters turned rowdier as the afternoon worn on. Police used pepper spray on the demonstrators and deployed flash bang devices. Police said arrests were made but an exact figure wasn’t available. State patrol Chief John Batiste said in a statement that ”the freeway is not a safe or appropriate place for demonstration.” ___ ATLANTA — A crowd has gathered in Atlanta to protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and some people have started throwing objects at officers guarding the Georgia governor’s mansion. Hundreds of people stood on a residential sidewalk Saturday evening across the street from the mansion in the city’s affluent Buckhead neighborhood. Cars and motorcyclists continued to sporadically drive by in front of the demonstrators. Authorities responded by taking at least one person into custody. Gov. Brian Kemp was not inside the home Saturday evening. Earlier in the day, Atlanta’s mayor announced a curfew will be in effect in the city from 9 p.m. Saturday to sunrise Sunday. That order followed a night of violence that erupted in the city during demonstrations over Floyd's death. ___ MINNEAPOLIS — Several Minneapolis City Council members are asking Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz to appoint the state’s attorney general as a special prosecutor in the death of George Floyd. Six of the council’s 13 members say they support a call from Floyd’s family for Attorney General Keith Ellison to handle the prosecution of the police officer who held his knee on Floyd’s neck Monday. The council members say they don’t think Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman has the public trust necessary for the job. Freeman on Friday charged now-fired officer Derek Chauvin with third-degree murder in Floyd’s death. Chauvin is white; Floyd was black. The council members say Freeman waited too long in bringing charge. They say Ellison, who is black, is best qualified to handle the case. They also cite a working group he helped lead on deaths involving police.