Trump, Twitter slug it out as riots fan out in US cities


Minneapolis: The unrest witnessed in the Minnesota city of Minneapolis, ignited by the death of a black man seen on video gasping for breath while a white police officer knelt on his neck, has fanned out in other American cities. Stoking the unrest was none other than President Donald Trump, who branded those engaging in arson, looting and vandalism as ‘thugs.’

He further said on Twitter that he would send the National Guard troops to assume control of the situation, if the local Left-leaning mayor failed to cap the violence, tweeting “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”. Since the inflammatory tweet was put out, 500 National Guard troops have arrived at Minneapolis to douse the unrest, which reached its peak after ‘‘rioters broke in and set fire to a police station, roaming through its corridors with baseball bats, axes and torches.’’

A backlash was witnessed in New York and in Ohio. Worse still, in Kentucky, seven people were shot in downtown Louisville during a protest demanding justice for a black woman who was shot dead by cops back in March. Even as the Minneapolis killing reignited tensions between the police and the African-American community, Twitter flagged President Trump's tweet saying it was 'glorifying violence.' It also attached a warning label to the tweet saying that it had violated the rules. But there was no let-up, as Trump again began angrily attacking Twitter.

‘‘Twitter is doing nothing about all of the lies & propaganda being put out by China or the Radical Left Democrat Party. They have targeted Republicans, Conservatives & the President of the United States,’’ the president wrote. Trump’s initial tweet is still accessible to the American public, but it has to be clicked into after users read the warning label. The move comes a day after the president signed an executive order, which was a direct response to Twitter fact-checking two of his tweets about voting.

CNN REPORTER ARRESTED LIVE ON AIR: In an interesting sidelight, a black CNN reporter was arrested live on air on Friday morning while reporting on the killing of the black man George Floyd. The correspondent was put in handcuffs and led away in front of his producers for refusing to move when he was told to. ‘‘Do you mind telling me why I am under arrest, sir? Why am I under arrest, sir,’’ he demanded. But no one was listening.