July 23, 2019

Former Vice President Joe Biden released a new criminal justice plan on Tuesday, and it didn't take long for the 2020 subtweets to follow.

Biden has faced criticism over his role in writing the 1994 crime bill, including from fellow 2020 Democrat Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who has called the law "shameful" while Biden has argued it did not lead to mass incarceration. On Tuesday, Biden released a new criminal justice plan, with his campaign saying that "we can and must reduce the number of people incarcerated in this country while also reducing crime." The plan's proposals include eliminating mandatory minimums, ending cash bail, and ending the disparity between crack and powder cocaine sentencing, CNN reports.

But Booker, clearly, isn't satisfied, sending out a tweet that doesn't mention Biden's name directly but obviously calls him out by saying that "it's not enough to tell us what you're going to do," telling Biden to "show us what you've done for the last 40 years," a number that just happens to line up with the approximate length of Biden's political career; he began serving in the Senate in 1973. Booker also hits Biden by writing that he "created" the system that he plans to "dismantle."

Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) surged in the polls after going after Biden during the first Democratic debate, and this tweet would appear to suggest Booker has a similar strategy in mind for the second round of debates next week. Though Booker didn't share the debate stage with Biden last month, he will this time — and as Bloomberg's Jennifer Epstein points out, it just so happens that two of Biden's fiercest critics in the field, Booker and Harris, will be on either side of him. Brendan Morrow

1:07 p.m.

President Trump continued his trend of commenting on current affairs on Twitter this weekend as protests against police brutality take place across the country, but he's mostly stayed out of the physical spotlight. The White House on Sunday declared a lid, which means no one should expect to see or hear from the president for the rest of the day, and ABC News reports there's a growing divide within the Trump administration about how Trump should respond to the situation.

Some of his advisers, reportedly including his son-in-law Jared Kushner, don't think there's any political benefit in Trump addressing the nation from the Oval Office since the few times he's done so haven't turned out so great. But others, like White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, believe it's a chance for Trump to show that he's a strong leader and a unifier, in a similar fashion to former President George H.W. Bush during the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles.

One person who doesn't want to hear the president speak? Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. Bottoms said Sunday she hopes Trump remains quiet, arguing he'd likely only make a difficult time even worse. Tim O'Donnell

12:26 p.m.

National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien still believes it's just "a few bad apples" within the U.S. law enforcement agencies that have caused problems leading up to the current nationwide unrest, like the police officer who put his knee on George Floyd's neck earlier this week before Floyd died in custody.

CNN's Jake Tapper asked O'Brien if he believed systemic racism was a problem within American law enforcement. O'Brien said he doesn't believe that's the case, arguing that 99.9 percent of officers are "great Americans" and his "heroes." The officers who don't fall into that category, he said, "need to be rooted out."

O'Brien isn't alone in feeling this way — Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) recently made a similar argument. But, ABC News's Pierre Thomas, who is black, offered a different opinion Sunday. While he did agree with O'Brien that the majority of the nation's police officers are good people who work very trying jobs, he said the issue isn't only centered around police brutality. Rather, what's driving the protests are the "indignities black men and women and people of color face all the time," explaining that, among other things, he's been pulled over simply for driving a nice car multiple times. "I think we're at a point where people are saying 'we're sick and tired of being sick and tired,'" he said. Tim O'Donnell

11:17 a.m.

Protests against police brutality following the death of George Floyd have drawn large gatherings in dozens of major cities across the United States and even in places like London and Berlin. The development has many — including those who have voiced their support for the movement — fearing that a new spike in coronavirus cases could be just around the coroner, The Associated Press reports.

Many demonstrators are wearing masks, but the crowd sizes make social distancing challenging, and public experts have also pointed out that the virus is spread by droplets released when people cough, sneeze, sing, or talk. Chanting, of course, is a common practice at protests. That's not mention the fact that the virus appears to spread even among asymptomatic carriers.

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said people who attended the protests this weekend "probably need to go get a COVID test this week," while also warning that the pandemic "that's killing black and brown people at higher numbers" won't pause for the protests. Read more at The Associated Press. Tim O'Donnell

10:53 a.m.

SpaceX's Crew Dragon, carrying American astronauts Bob Behnke and Doug Hurley, successfully docked with the International Space Station on Sunday after a 19-hour journey from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The mission, run jointly by SpaceX and NASA, was the first crewed space flight launched from U.S. soil since 2011 and the first ever orchestrated by a private company.

The Crew Dragon arrived at the station a few minutes early, and Hurley and Behnken are now conducting a series of pressure and leak checks to ensure their safety before they open the hatch and enter the station. The flight went as planned, and the astronauts said the capsule performed beautifully, per The Associated Press. Watch the docking below and follow along as Behnke and Hurley prepare to enter the station here. Tim O'Donnell

8:39 a.m.

One of the most striking scenes from Saturday's nationwide police brutality protests occurred when New York Police Department vehicles were seen driving into a crowd of protesters, some of whom were holding onto a barricade in front of one the trucks. It's unclear if there were any injuries, CNN reports.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio weighed in on the incident, saying that he wished the officers "hadn't done that," but they "were being surrounded by a violent crowd" and "if those protesters had just gotten out of the way," the "troubling" moment never would have happened.

Another New York politician, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), was not pleased with the mayor's response, deeming it "unacceptable," especially since the police department ultimately falls under his leadership, (although the police union hasn't always taken too kindly to the mayor, either.) Ocasio-Cortez called for de Blasio to "de-escalate" the situation. Tim O'Donnell

8:13 a.m.

President Trump isn't considered a big fan of multilateral diplomacy, and he's often willing to set a separate course for the United States and operate outside the traditional international system. But, when it comes to the Group of Seven, the U.S. president actually want to expand the talks to include several other countries.

Trump on Saturday postponed the G-7 summit, which he had hoped to host in Washington, D.C., at the end of June, until at least September. Both German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau refused to commit to attending over concerns about the coronavirus pandemic, but Trump didn't indicate their potential absences were the primary reasons for his decision.

Instead, Trump said he believes the current group of countries — the U.S., Germany, Canada, Great Britain, France, Japan, and Italy — is "outdated" and doesn't represent "what's going on in the world." He said he plans to extend invitations to Australia, South Korea, India, and Russia. The latter will likely prove the most controversial; Russia was expelled from what was then the Group of Eight in 2014 over Moscow's annexation of Crimea, and other G-7 leaders have continually rejected Trump's efforts to bring Russian President Vladimir Putin back into the fold.

Per Reuters, it seems one of the factors motivating Trump to expand the invite list is so the countries can discuss China, which he's grown increasingly critical of in the wake of the pandemic and its efforts to curtail Hong Kong's autonomy. Read more at CNN and Reuters. Tim O'Donnell

May 30, 2020

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley are making their 19-hour journey from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida to the International Space Station inside SpaceX's Crew Dragon after NASA and SpaceX teamed up for the first launch of a spacecraft carrying humans into space from U.S. soil since 2011.

The launch was originally scheduled for Wednesday, but lightning and rain led to its postponement. Weather threatened to derail Saturday's launch, as well, but the skies cleared in time.

The mission is considered the start of a new era in spaceflight. Not only is it the first launch from U.S. soil in nearly a decade, it's the first time a private company orchestrated a crewed mission to space. Watch a replay of the launch below and follow along with the rest of the astronauts' journey here. Tim O'Donnell

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