Violent clashes between police-brutality protesters and law-enforcement officers broke out in several American cities, and protests continued in Portland, Oregon, where the Trump Administration has deployed members of the Border Patrol Tactical Unit (BORTAC), a unit that normally conducts high-risk raids against smugglers along the border, to counter demonstrators equipped with umbrellas, bicycle helmets, and pool noodles.1 2 3 The Wall of Moms, the Wall of Vets, Lawyers for Black Lives, Teachers Against Tyrants, and Chef Bloc all participated in the Portland demonstrations, and a group of dads used leaf blowers to disperse tear gas.4 5 “Thank you leaf-blower dads!” shouted one protester. The FAA banned private drone flights within a nautical mile of Portland’s federal buildings out of concern that federal agents were being surveilled, and downtown residents complained of nightly flash-bang and firework explosions, and of tear gas wafting into their homes.6 7 “I compare it to a war zone, and some people will take that and say he must be exaggerating, but no,” said one resident. As part of Operation Legend, purportedly an anti–violent crime initiative, Trump sent federal agents to Albuquerque, New Mexico; Chicago; and Kansas City, Missouri, whose mayor learned about the presence of federal agents in the city on Twitter.8 9 The president also threatened to send agents to the sanctuary cities of New York City and Philadelphia, where the district attorney, Larry Krasner, said he was prepared to charge federal officers with kidnapping or assault.10 11 12 A prosecutor in Snohomish County, Washington, refused to bring fourth-degree assault charges against a protester who had been arrested for teasing a police officer with a donut, and the sheriff of Kalamazoo County, Michigan, was found to have sent two detectives to the home of a local man in order to investigate Facebook messages that he had allegedly sent in which he called the sheriff a “fat ass” and a “fat bitch.”13 14 It was reported that the police department in King City, California, had required all its officers to use handgun-mounted cameras.15 “I really felt it was important to have that perspective of what the officer can most likely see,” said the police chief. “And the best point of view to see that is from the barrel of the handgun.”
The Southwestern University chapter of Kappa Alpha was suspended for a social-media post critical of Robert E. Lee, the “spiritual founder” of the fraternity; Lee’s childhood home, in Alexandria, Virginia, which real estate agents called “the best buy and value of 2020 in the entire region,” sold after two years on the market for just over half its original listing price; and a statue of Lee, along with seven busts of other notable Confederates, was removed overnight from the chamber in the Virginia State Capitol that once housed the Confederacy’s legislature.16 17 18 In Lutsk, Ukraine, a man armed with guns and grenades took 13 hostages on a bus but released them after President Volodymyr Zelensky agreed to promote Earthlings, an animal-rights documentary narrated by Joaquin Phoenix and scored by Moby.19 “Everyone should watch the 2005 film Earthlings,” Zelensky said in a video posted to his Facebook page, before later deleting it. A bird that had a face mask tangled around its legs for several days was rescued by an animal hospital in Essex, England.20 “I’m concerned that this gull could be the first of many victims now that face masks are the norm,” said an inspector from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
The “Million Unmasked March” against Illinois state requirements that children wear protective face coverings in school drew about 250 demonstrators.21 Researchers at a German veterinary university trained dogs to sniff out patients infected with COVID-19, and health officials in British Columbia recommended the use of glory holes to limit the risk of virus transmission during sex.22 23 Many countries in the Southern Hemisphere reported that precautionary measures against COVID-19 had virtually eradicated the seasonal flu.24 Scientists in Hungary accidentally mated sturgeons and paddlefish, creating a new hybrid dubbed the “sturddlefish.”25 “It was unintentional,” acknowledged a member of the team. Venetian gondoliers reduced the maximum capacity on gondolas from six people to five, citing an increased number of overweight tourists.26 “Advancing with over half a ton of meat on board is dangerous,” said the president of Venice’s substitute gondoliers’ association. The Sri Lankan Civil Aviation Authority announced a research project that would attempt to prove that Ravana—the legendary king who, according to the Ramayana, flew an aircraft called the Pushpaka Vimana—was the world’s first aviator.27 “This is not mythology,” said the authority’s former vice chairman. “It’s a fact.” An anonymous person returned a rock to state park officials in Colorado, claiming that “bad things have been happening” ever since it was stolen, and a British couple in Derbyshire won the right to name their child Lucifer.28 29