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Minneapolis hiring social media influencers for George Floyd murder trial

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Minneapolis hiring social media influencers for George Floyd murder trial

Minneapolis officials will hire a team of social media influencers to send “approved messages” during the upcoming murder trial of ex-cop Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd, according to reports.

The city will pay six influencers $2,000 each to relay approved information from the high-profile and potentially volatile trial when it gets underway next month, Fox News said.

The move is part of a $1 million plan approved by the Minneapolis City Council on Friday, as the Minnesota city braces for possible unrest in the controversial case.

“The goal is to increase access to information to communities that do not typically follow mainstream news sources or city communications channels and/or who do not consume information in English,” the council said in a statement, WCCO-TV reported.

“It’s also an opportunity to create more two-way communication between the city and communities.”

Chauvin, 44, is charged with murder in Floyd’s May 25 police-custody death after viral videos of the incident went public, showing the former cop kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes while he is handcuffed.

Jury selection in the case is scheduled to begin March 8, with opening arguments due to get underway no earlier than March 29.

There other ex-cops — J. Alexander Kueng, Thomas Lane, and Tou Thao — are due to stand trial separately on charges of aiding and abetting murder.

The case sparked global Black Lives Matter protests that in some cities sparked violent clashes with police — and Minneapolis officials now fear a resurgence of the unrest and are taking no chances.

The city has not identified the social influencers it hopes to hire, but said it is targeting social media users with large followings.

Some city activists weren’t thrilled with the council’s initiative.

“The key word here is ‘city approved,’” said community activist Toussaint Morrison, who has more than 11,000 Instagram, told WCCO.

“What do you think the message is going to be? It’s going to be pro-city. It’s going to be anti-protest.”

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Trump blasts Sen. Mitch McConnell at Mar-a-Lago dinner: report

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Trump blasts Sen. Mitch McConnell at Mar-a-Lago dinner: report

Former President Donald Trump called Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell a “son of a bitch” during a donor soiree at Mar-a-Lago on Saturday, according to a report.

Trump veered from his prepared remarks when he lashed out at the Kentucky lawmaker, Reuters reported, citing an attendee at the Republican National Committee dinner in Palm Beach, Florida.

Vice President Mike Pence was also a target of the ex-president’s ire.

Trump said he recently told Pence that he was still disappointed in him for not intervening to stop the congressional certification of President Biden’s election win — something the VP didn’t have the authority to do.

Pro-Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol on Jan. 6 in an effort to stop the vote certification some of them caught on camera shouting that Pence should be hanged.

Speaking to hundreds of top donors Saturday, Trump didn’t rule out seeking another term in 2024, but said any talk of him possibly running should wait until after the November 2022 midterm elections.

Representatives for McConnell and Pence did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reuters.

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Sole survivor of South Carolina shooting by Phillip Adams dies

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Sole survivor of South Carolina shooting by Phillip Adams dies

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A sixth person has died following a shooting earlier this week at the hands of a former NFL player who also killed four members of a South Carolina family, local officials said Saturday.

Robert Shook, 38, an air conditioning technician from Cherryville, North Carolina, has died from injuries sustained in the Wednesday shooting while he was working at the home, according to York County Coroner Sabrina Gast.

Authorities say Phillip Adams killed Rock Hill physician Robert Lesslie; his wife, Barbara; two of their grandchildren, 9-year-old Adah Lesslie and 5-year-old Noah Lesslie; and another air conditioning technician, James Lewis, who had been working with Shook at the Lesslie home.

Adams later shot himself to death. His brain is now being examined for possible degenerative disease that has been shown to cause violent mood swings and other cognitive disorders in some athletes and members of the military.

Adams, 32, played in 78 NFL games over six seasons for six teams. He joined the 49ers in 2010 as a seventh-round draft pick out of South Carolina State, and though he rarely started, he went on to play for New England, Seattle, Oakland and the New York Jets before finishing his career with the Atlanta Falcons in 2015.

As a rookie, Adams suffered a severe ankle injury and never played for the 49ers again. Later, with the Raiders, he had two concussions over three games in 2012.

Whether he suffered long-lasting concussion-related injuries wasn’t immediately clear. Adams would not have been eligible for testing as part of a broad settlement between the league and former players over such injuries, because he hadn’t retired by 2014.

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UK won’t welcome Prince Harry home: Brexit leader Nigel Farage

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UK won't welcome Prince Harry home: Brexit leader Nigel Farage

At least one Brit doesn’t think Prince Harry should rush home for his beloved grandfather’s funeral.

Brexit leader Nigel Farage yanked up his welcome mat in a tweet slamming Harry and wife Meghan Markle for their terse statement on the death of Prince Philip Friday at age 99.

“For a couple that do public emotion as a career, this third person and one sentence statement shows their contempt for this great man and the monarchy,” Farage tweeted Friday.

“The British public will not welcome Harry and Meghan back, even for the funeral,” he added.

Buckingham Palace confirmed Saturday that Prince Harry, 36, will indeed make the trip home for the first time in a little more than a year to attend Prince Philip’s funeral — and that Markle won’t be with him.

The heavily pregnant Markle, 39, who is due to give birth to the couple’s daughter this summer, will stay home in California on her doctor’s advice — even though she flew to New York for a baby shower while seven months pregnant with son Archie in February 2019.

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