Washington, D.C. Tuesday morning feels like any other day with some young professionals scurrying to the office and others grabbing a coffee or walking the dog before remote work, but an underlying tension can be felt among the populace as the verdict of the Derek Chauvin trial looms.
The prospect that violence could grip the city is a reality. Because of this, city officials say they have prepared for the worst and the Secretary of the Army has approved the activation of the National Guard. However, the 250 D.C. National Guard troops that are being activated to support the D.C. Metropolitan Police Department won’t be armed. They, instead, are expected to assist with street closures and to keep areas around the city safe. The President is the only one who can authorize the troops to arm “at this time, that’s not a plan.”, a spokeswoman for the National Guard said. She requested anonymity.
White House officials did not return an email seeking comment. This story will be updated if and when one is received.
The troops will be unarmed, a D.C. National Guard spokeswoman confirmed to reporter on Tuesday.
It was just last summer when rioters took hold of city streets, burned a church, looted businesses, and attacked law enforcement officers and members of the media. They did so in the name of racial justice after a video made waves on social media showing then-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin with his knee on George Floyd’s neck as Floyd said multiple times “I can’t breathe.” Despite Floyd’s desperate calls, Chauvin didn’t let up the pressure for nearly nine minutes and Floyd died in police custody.
Rioters over the summer in D.C were met with pepper balls, rubber bullets, low flying helicopters were deployed and the Attorney General ‘flooded the zone’ with federal agents, troops, and police. According to Axios, the damage to businesses across the country was the most expensive in insurance history, costing over $1 billion.
The summer left reportedly over 2,000 law enforcement officers injured nationwide.
The jury is now deliberating Chauvin’s, who is charged in Floyd’s death, case after the prosecution and defense presented closing arguments on Monday.
A quick reaction force, however, could be approved by the Secretary of the Army.
“In the event the Metropolitan Police Department does require a quick reaction force, our soldiers and airmen will deploy to provide assistance in crowd management operations alongside law enforcement,” the D.C. National Guard spokeswoman said.
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Pope Francis calls for universal ban on ‘so-called surrogate motherhood’
Pope Francis called for a universal ban on surrogacy, likening the practice as an unborn child “turned into an object of trafficking.”
“I consider despicable the practice of so-called surrogate motherhood, which represents a grave violation of the dignity of the woman and the child, based on the exploitation of situations of the mother’s material needs,” Francis said in a speech to the Holy See on Monday.
The “uterus for rent” process, as Francis has called it, was estimated to bring in $14 billion in the U.S. in 2022, and is projected to grow to a $129 billion market by 2032. National Review reports Individual surrogacies can cost anywhere from $60,000 to $200,000 plus in the U.S. Rising infertility rates, an increase in the number of fertility clinics, and “sedentary lifestyles” contribute to surrogacy’s recent popularity, according to Global Market Insights.
“A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract,” Francis continued. “Consequently, I express my hope for an effort by the international community to prohibit this practice universally.”
Surrogacy is already banned in many European countries. In the United States, commercial surrogacy, or for-profit surrogacy, is legal in some states, and the practice has been used by celebrities who are very public with their decision to use surrogacy.
Altruistic surrogacy, the method by which a woman carries another person’s child for no official compensation, is legal in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, South Africa, Greece, and Iceland, according to the National Institutes of Health.
The speech was about threats to peace and human dignity. “A child is always a gift and never the basis of a commercial contract,” Francis continued. “Consequently, I express my hope for an effort by the international community to prohibit this practice universally.”
Francis also listed Russia’s war on Ukraine, the Israel-Hamas war, climate change, and increased weapons production as great threats to peace on Monday.
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