10 things you need to know today: April 3, 2021
Police officer killed after attacker rams car into barricade at Capitol building, Minneapolis police officer testifies Chauvin's use of force on George Floyd was 'totally unnecessary,' and more
Police officer killed after attacker rams car into barricade at Capitol building
A U.S. Capitol Police officer identified as William Evans, an 18-year veteran of the force, was killed in an attack at the Capitol building Friday afternoon. A second officer was injured, but is reportedly in stable condition. Shortly after 1 p.m., the suspect, identified as 25-year-old Indiana man Noah Green, rammed his car into two officers before hitting a barricade, Acting Chief Yogananda Pittman said. The suspect then exited the vehicle with a knife and lunged at an officer. An officer then shot the suspect, who died at a hospital. The suspect was not on the radar of Capitol Police, and no motive is known. Lawmakers were not in the building, as Congress is in recess.
Minneapolis police officer testifies Chauvin's use of force on George Floyd was 'totally unnecessary'
The first week of the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin wrapped up Friday with a testimony from Minneapolis' most senior officer, Lt. Richard Zimmerman, who said Chauvin's use of force in his arrest of George Floyd was "totally unnecessary," without mentioning him by name. "I saw no reason why the officers felt they were in danger, if that's what they felt, and that's what they would have to have felt to have to use that kind of force," Zimmerman said. He noted the restraint on Floyd should "absolutely" have stopped once he was handcuffed and on the ground, per department policy, The Star Tribune reports.
MLB moves All-Star Game in protest of Georgia voting law
Major League Baseball is moving this season's All-Star Game and MLB Draft from Atlanta in protest of a new Georgia voting law. The announcement comes one week after Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed into law a new measure to restrict voting access in the state. In a statement, MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred said moving the game is the best way to demonstrate the sport's values. "Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box," Manfred said. A new host city is in the works. In response to the decision, former President Donald Trump called for a boycott of MLB.
Fully vaccinated people can travel safely within U.S., CDC says
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday gave people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 the green light to travel within the U.S. without getting tested or self-quarantining. They should, however, still wear a mask in public areas, avoid crowds, and practice good personal hygiene. The rules for those who are partially vaccinated or not vaccinated have not changed. The new guidelines are based on studies of "real-world'' effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines, said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.
U.S. economy adds 916,000 jobs in March
The U.S. economy added 916,000 jobs in March, The Labor Department announced Friday, blowing past the 675,000 jobs economists had predicted. The unemployment rate fell from 6.2 percent to 6 percent. The trend continues from last month's report, in which 379,000 jobs were added, also exceeding expectations. "Job growth was widespread in March, led by gains in leisure and hospitality, public and private education, and construction," the Labor Department said. The news comes as vaccination availability increases, temperatures rise, and states continue to reopen. As these trends continue, economists predict even faster hiring.
Suez Canal shipping backlog ends, authority says
The Suez Canal Authority announced Saturday that all 422 ships stranded by the previously grounded Ever Given have passed through the canal, ending the backlog caused by the container ship getting stuck horizontally in March. The massive vessel was eventually dislodged Monday after rescue teams worked for almost a week to refloat it. The canal plays a crucial role in global trade, and the incident, Al Jazeera notes, threw international supply chains into disarray. The SCA is now investigating what caused the Ever Given to run aground. Results from the inquiry will reportedly be revealed within the next two days.
DeSantis announces executive order banning COVID-19 vaccine 'passports' in Florida
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Friday announced an executive order prohibiting government entities in the state from issuing COVID-19 vaccine "passports" or "other standardized documentation for the purpose of certifying an individual's COVID-19 status to a third party." Vaccinations are private information, DeSantis argued, adding that he believes "vaccine passports reduce individual freedom and harm privacy." The order, effective immediately, also bans private businesses from requiring patrons to provide documentation certifying either COVID-19 vaccination or prior coronavirus infection. "It's completely unacceptable for either the government or the private sector to impose upon you the requirement that you show proof of vaccine to just simply participate in normal society," DeSantis said. He said Florida's legislature is working on making the ban permanent.
U.S. and Iran agree to indirect talks on nuclear deal
Three years after former President Donald Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal and reimposed economic sanctions, the U.S. is set to take part in indirect discussions to revive the accord. Officials from all participating countries, including the U.S. and Iran, will meet Tuesday in Vienna. However, U.S. and Iranian officials will not meet face-to-face. State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the talks are a "healthy step forward." But Price noted they are in the early stages. "We don't anticipate an immediate breakthrough as there will be difficult discussions ahead," he said.
Investigation into Taiwan train crash targets construction site manager
A Taiwanese construction site manager whose truck rolled down a hill and collided with a train on Friday appeared in court Saturday, The South China Morning Post reports. The accident killed 50 passengers and crew and injured nearly 180 others, reportedly making it Taiwan's worst rail disaster in seventy years. The train struck the unmanned truck, causing the first two carriages to derail outside a tunnel near the city of Hualien. The Taiwan Safety Board launched an investigation into the accident, and investigators are reportedly trying to determine whether the truck's brakes had been properly applied or if there was a mechanical failure. The construction site manager was questioned by police before being sent to the Hualien prosecutor's office. A court granted him bail, but the prosecutor will reportedly seek to appeal.
Arizona upsets UConn to reach NCAA women's title game
The Arizona women's basketball team stunned Connecticut on Friday night to advance to the school's first ever national championship game, where they'll play Pac-12 rival and the tournament's top overall seed, Stanford, on Sunday night. The No. 3 Wildcats were underdogs against UConn, the sport's premier program, but they controlled the game from the start en route to a 69-59 win. In fact, the Huskies never led. Arizona's senior guard Aari McDonald, who has been one of the stars of the tournament, led the way with 26 points. Stanford, meanwhile, pulled out a 66-65 nail-biter against South Carolina earlier in the evening. The Gamecocks missed two shots in the final seconds, and the Cardinal escaped. The men's title game will be set Saturday night. The Final Four will kickoff with an intra-Texas clash between Baylor and Houston at 5:14 p.m. ET on CBS. Undefeated Gonzaga will then take on UCLA.