Music industry launches 'Blackout Tuesday' in support of US protesters


IN THE PAPERS – Tuesday, June 2: Reactions to protests in the US continue, more than a week after George Floyd's death in police custody – including Barack Obama's opinion piece and the music industry rallying behind protesters with "Blackout Tuesday". Also, outrage in Zimbabwe after three female politicians accused of illegally holding a demonstration against food shortages were tortured and sexually assaulted. Their hospital ward has now been converted into a makeshift courtroom. Finally, things are looking up for a Pakistani pigeon accused of espionage and facing life in prison!


Protesting continued for a seventh night in the US, a week after George Floyd's death in police custody. Rather than adopting a conciliatory tone, President Donald Trump has threatened to use military force to quell the unrest, something the conservative paper the Wall Street Journal discourages. While restoring public order is primordial, the papers says the sight of troops on streets would more likely inflame tensions than calm them.

Meanwhile, former president Barack Obama offers his perspective in the website Medium today. He encourages Americans notably to make this moment the turning point for real change by taking part in local elections, where authorities have the most say in criminal justice and reforming police departments.

The music industry is also rallying behind protesters by launching Blackout Tuesday, a day to stop working. Music labels are stopping work, some artists have cancelled interviews and music platform Spotify will add an 8 minute, 46 second silent track, representing the time that George Floyd was suffocated. 

Changing topics now, we head to Zimbabwe. Three female politicians faced torture and sexual assault for organising what authorities say is an illegal demonstration against food shortages. In a shocking decision, their ward was converted into a makeshift courtroom so they could face trial, sparking outrage from human rights groups. You can read about that in the Times of London. 

Finally, Indian authorities have released a pigeon facing life in prison for espionage! The bird crossed the border from Pakistan into India days ago and was captured because of a code written on its foot. Well it turns out that far from being a spy, the pigeon belongs to a Pakistani fisherman who dabbles in pigeon racing and the so-called suspicious code was in fact his phone number! That's in the French version of Slate.

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