May 16, 2019

"Right off the bat, I just want to thank the news cycle, because it's a rare treat for a late-night comedian when the subject of your comedy is legislation restricting abortion," Stephen Colbert joked darkly on Wednesday's Late Show. "But that's the big story, so here we go!"

"Yesterday, Alabama lawmakers passed a bill banning nearly all abortions," he began. "That is either an overreach by the Alabama GOP or some pretty intense viral marketing for the new season of Handmaid's Tale. I don't get it, if a TV show has to become reality, why can't it be Star Trek so they can beam me off this planet?" The bill would jail doctors for up to 99 years, and it makes no exception for victims of rape or incest "because the whole point of this law is to establish that a fetus is a person with rights," Colbert said. "Now, that is a bold interpretation of human development, but on the plus side, apparently pregnant women get to vote twice now."

Alabama's female Republican governor signed the nation's most restrictive abortion law on Wednesday, but all 25 votes in favor in the Alabama Senate came from Republican men, Colbert said, making an off-color but on-topic joke about those men. People have lots of different views on abortion, he noted, but the backers of this bill admit it's a cynical overreach to get the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, which they openly speculate is possible now because of President Trump's two high court appointees and — as Alabama Pro-Life Coalition head Eric Johnston said — one justice's questionable health. "So he's pro-life, unless it's Ruth Bader Ginsburg," Colbert said. "Quick, Justice Ginsburg, get pregnant! It's your only chance."

At Late Night, Amber Ruffin took a literal approach to not being able to control her own body, joined by Jenny Hagel and Ally Hord. Watch below. Peter Weber

2:51 p.m.

Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer who was arrested in connection with the death of George Floyd, has now been charged with murder.

Prosecutors on Friday announced that Chauvin, who was fired after being filmed kneeling on Floyd's neck for almost 10 minutes while Floyd said that he couldn't breathe, has been charged with third-degree murder and manslaughter. The charges were unveiled shortly after Chauvin's arrest was announced and four days after Floyd's death, which has sparked nationwide outrage and protests.

Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman in a press conference said this is "by far the fastest we've ever charged a police officer."

"We can only charge a case when he have sufficient, admissible evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt," he said. "As of right now, we have that."

An investigation into the other officers involved in the incident is ongoing, Freeman said, adding that "I anticipate charges." A complaint is being processed and will be released later today.

Shortly after the charges were announced, Attorney General William Barr said in a statement that the Department of Justice is "conducting an independent investigation to determine whether any federal civil rights laws were violated," and "I am confident justice will be served." Brendan Morrow

2:19 p.m.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) has responded to criticism of her time as Minneapolis' top prosecutor.

Before she was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2006, Klobuchar was the Hennepin County attorney in Minnesota, in charge of prosecution for the state's most populous county. Reports have indicated Klobuchar did not go after numerous police officers who shot civilians, and when MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell asked her about that on Friday, Klobuchar described her decisions as routine procedure, but also expressed regret for how she handled those cases.

"When I was county attorney, cases we had involving officer-involved shootings went to a grand jury. I think that was wrong now," Klobuchar said. "It would have been much better if I took responsibility and looked at cases and made a decision myself." Still, Klobuchar maintained that "we did not blow off these cases. We brought them to a grand jury, presented the evidence for a potential criminal prosecution, and the grand jury would come back with the decision."

Klobuchar also addressed a 2006 shooting that involved former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who was arrested Friday after kneeling on the neck of George Floyd, who later died. Klobuchar was elected to the Senate a week after Chauvin was implicated in the shooting of a suspect who was allegedly attacking police, and left her attorney position just a few months into an investigation into the incident. She said it's "absolutely false" that she declined to prosecute the case involving Chauvin, describing it as a case handled by her successor that a grand jury later declined to prosecute.

Klobuchar went on to call for "systematic change" following Floyd's death both in Minnesota and "across the country." Kathryn Krawczyk

1:35 p.m.

President Trump isn't helping the situation in Minnesota with his tweets, the state's governor says.

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) spoke in a news conference on Friday amid the ongoing protests in Minneapolis over the death of George Floyd, a black man who died Monday after a white police officer kneeled on his neck for several minutes. In a late-night tweet about the protests, Trump wrote that "these THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd" and that "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."

"It's just not helpful," Walz said when asked for his reaction to Trump's tweets. "In the moment where we're at, in a moment that is so volatile, anything we do to add fuel to that fire is really, really challenging."

Walz, who said he spoke to the president, added that "there's a way to do this without inflaming." Trump's tweet earned a warning label from Twitter, which said the tweet violated its rules against glorifying violence. The White House later posted the exact same tweet, and was hit with the same warning label from Twitter. Brendan Morrow

1:32 p.m.

Ex-Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been arrested in relation to the death of George Floyd, Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington announced Friday. Chauvin is the officer who was filmed kneeling on Floyd's neck for nearly 10 minutes as Floyd protested "I can't breathe;" he was fired from the department earlier this week.

According to KARE 11, the local NBC affiliate, Chauvin's charging decision has not yet been made. Nevertheless, Harrington called Floyd's death a "murder," explaining "that's what it looked like to me … I'm just calling it what I see at that point." The nation has been rocked by protests since Floyd's death, with many of the protesters demanding justice and expressing anger that the officers involved had not yet faced legal repercussions.

Chauvin had at least 10 conduct complaints during his 19-year tenure before he was fired. In particular, he was involved in the shooting death of a man who had stabbed other people before attacking police, as well as some other undisclosed complaints. Additionally, he was placed on leave when he and other officers shot and wounded a Native American man in 2011. Jeva Lange

12:55 p.m.

Disney's story of a rabbit and a fox recognizing and overcoming police bias was apparently used to educate human police officers.

More specifically, St. Paul, Minnesota's police force — which has been pulled into the protests in neighboring Minneapolis — watched Zootopia a few years ago as part of its annual anti-bias training. The animated movie specifically covers discrimination against a young police officer and suspects based on their species, but many officers "never saw the parallels with real life" until they watched it in training, Sgt. Amanda Heu told local station Fox 9 back in 2017.

Zootopia tells the story of the first rabbit to join the animal-run city of Zootopia's police department. She's placed on parking duty and doubted because of her species, but also discriminates against a fox con artist because of his, with nods to human race relations — the fox plays with a sheep's "hair," for instance — along the way.

"When you see the story, it has bias and prejudice woven throughout," Hua said at the time. She specifically pointed to a moment where the fox notes "if the world is only going to see a fox as shifty and untrustworthy, there's no point in trying to be anything else," saying "it boiled down the psychological construct that perpetuates discrimination and prejudice in America." But because the movie used animals instead of humans, officers "could learn from it without being judged," Hua said.

At the time, St. Paul was considering passing the Zootopia training idea on to other departments. Read more at how the Zootopia training went down at Fox 9. Kathryn Krawczyk

12:42 p.m.

Former President Barack Obama issued a statement on Friday reflecting on "conversations I've had with friends over the past couple days about the footage of George Floyd dying face down on the street under the knee of a police officer in Minnesota."

In the statement, Obama explained that it's "natural to wish for life to 'just get back to normal'" during the pandemic but that "we have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly 'normal' — whether it's while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in the park." Obama's comment referenced other recent high-profile instances of brutality and racism this year, including the shooting of 25-year-old jogger Ahmaud Arbery by white residents of southern Georgia in February, and Christian Cooper, who this week recorded a viral video of a white woman in Central Park calling the police on him after he asked her to leash her dog.

"This shouldn't be 'normal' in 2020 America," Obama wrote. "It can't be 'normal.' If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better." Read the full statement below. Jeva Lange

12:25 p.m.

You know what's less cool than a billion dollars? "Inflating" the success of your business for years, as Forbes claims Kylie Jenner has done.

Forbes declared Jenner the youngest self-made billionaire ever last year, but it's now offering an update: actually, now she's not a billionaire at all, self-made or otherwise. The outlet on Friday concluded that Jenner's business is, it turns out, "significantly smaller, and less profitable, than the family has spent years leading the cosmetics industry and media outlets, including Forbes, to believe."

The report describes how Jenner publicists showed Forbes tax returns demonstrating the unbelievable growth of her company, Kylie Cosmetics, and showing $307 million in revenue in 2016. The documents were apparently a little too unbelievable, in fact; the outlet describes the numbers the Jenners provided as "hard to believe" and writes that filings later showed there's "virtually no way" they were accurate.

"If Kylie Cosmetics did $125 million in sales in 2018, how could it have done $307 million in 2016 (as the company's supposed tax returns state) or $330 million in 2017?" Forbes asks.

The answer? While the authors say they can't "prove" it, they suspect the documents they were provided with were fake and suggest her "business was never that big to begin with, and the Jenners have lied about it every year since 2016 — including having their accountant draft tax returns with false numbers — to help juice Forbes' estimates of Kylie's earnings and net worth."

Plus, Forbes also believes Jenner's profits are lower than previously thought, and given these revelations, in addition to bringing the effects of the coronavirus pandemic into account, it now estimates she's not a billionaire and is worth "just under $900 million" — which, you know, still isn't too shabby.

Read the full report, which we can only hope someone is optioning the rights to for an All the President's Men style investigative journalism thriller, at Forbes. Brendan Morrow

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