Boston

Politics • American • US
Fifteen US mayors sign letter opposing use of federal law enforcement with "no oversight" against protesters
Black Lives Matter protest in Portland, Oregon. People protesting police brutality and the deaths of several members of the Black community - sparked by the recent death of George Floyd.
Black Lives Matter protest in Portland, Oregon. People protesting police brutality and the deaths of several members of the Black community - sparked by the recent death of George Floyd. Credit: unsplash.com/Tito Texidor III

Fifteen US mayors have addressed a letter to Attorney General William Barr and Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security Chad Wolf opposing the use of federal federal law enforcement with "no oversight" against protesters. The letter is calling the act of deploying federal forces against protesters an "abuse of power" and is demanding the withdrawal of "extraordinary federal law enforcement and military presence" from Portland and other American cities.

"These are tactics we expect from authoritarian regimes -- not our democracy [...] The murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis sparked a national uprising and reckoning. The majority of the protests have been peaceful and aimed at improving our communities. Where this is not the case, it still does not justify the use of federal forces. Unilaterally deploying these paramilitary-type forces into our cities is wholly inconsistent with our system of democracy and our most basic values," the letter, posted by Mayor Muriel Bowser, said.

The list of mayors who signed the letter is as follows: Jenny A. Durkan, Seattle; Ted Wheeler, Portland; Keisha Lance Bottoms, Atlanta; Lori Lightfoot, Chicago; Muriel Bowser, Washington DC; Quinton D. Lucas, Kansas City; Martin J. Walsh, Boston; Jim Kenny, Philadelphia; Michael Hancock, Denver; Eric Garcetti, Los Angeles; Sam Liccardo, San Jose; Libby Schaaf, Oakland; Regina Romera, Tucson; Darrell Steinberg, Sacramento; Kate Gallego, Phoenix.

Portland officials had previously stated that federal officers were working in coordination with local law enforcement but have since come out saying that "coordination was not made with Portland police" as the "federal police have their marching order."

According to Chad Wolf, federal law enforcement had only been deployed to Portland. On Monday, Trump vowed to send federal officers to other cities.

Politics • American • US
Almost 60 U.S. universities back Harvard, MIT lawsuit against Trump administration
Almost 60 U.S. universities back Harvard, MIT lawsuit against Trump administration
Credit: unsplash.com/Nathan Dumlao

59 U.S. universities are backing the lawsuit filed by Harvard and MIT against the Trump administration trying to block a directive that would force international students to return to their home countries if all of their classes and coursework were taken remotely.

After Harvard and MIT filed their lawsuit on Wednesday in a federal court in Boston, dozens of other universities, including Duke and Standford and five other Ivy League colleges, submitted a so-call amicus brief.

Politics • American • US
Facial-recognition technology banned by Boston City Council
Flat Recognition Facial Face Woman System
Flat Recognition Facial Face Woman System Credit: teguhjatipras

The City Council in Boston has, in a unanimous vote, banned the usage of facial-recognition technology by the police. Councilor Ricardo Arroyo has stated that "It puts Bostonians at risk for misidentification", which is the reason why the technology has not been in use previous to the ban. The second Councilor, Michelle Wu, who co-authored the order with Arroyo said that "Boston should not be using racially discriminatory technology" as a study by the MIT found that facial recognition technology has a racial bias against people with darker skin.

Sports
Boston Marathon cancelled for the first time in 124 years
Boston Marathon 2019 women chasers
Boston Marathon 2019 women chasers Credit: ArnoldReinhold (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

During a news conference, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced the 2020 Boston Marathon has been cancelled for the first time in the event's history.

The Boston Athletic Association has determined that the traditional one day running of the 124th Boston marathon will not be feasible this year, given the Covid-19 pandemic.

The event was already postponed from April 20 to Sept. 14.

Health
Covid-19: New study links hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to a greater risk of death

According to a new study published in The Lancet Covid-19 patients with a severe illness caused by the new coronavirus treated with chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine were more likely to die or develop dangerous heart arrhythmias.

"This is the first large-scale study to find statistically robust evidence that treatment with chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine does not benefit patients with COVID-19," co-author Dr Mandeep R. Mehra, executive director of the Brigham and Women's Hospital Center for Advanced Heart Disease in Boston noted in a press release.