Trending News for April 21

Jury: Derek Chauvin Is Guilty; Family Attacks Asian Couple & Their Pets; Survey Reveals Californians Want To Continue Remote Work; Chicago Woman Gets 6.5 Years For Labor Trafficking; COVID-19 Cases Rising In Suburban Chicago School 


Jury Decides Derek Chauvin Is Guilty

Earlier today, the jury handling the case of Derek Chauvin against the murder of George Floyd has reached a decision. The former Minneapolis police officer was found guilty on all three charges, including second-degree manslaughter, second-degree and third-degree murder. Out of the three, the gravest charge is the second-degree murder count, which brings a prison sentence of up to 40 years. 

The 45-year-old officer furrowed his brow slightly as the verdict was read. Chauvin was led away in handcuffs to await his sentencing in eight weeks. 

After the verdict was read, Minnesota attorney-general Keith Ellison said: “I would not call today’s verdict justice, however, because justice implies true restoration. But it is accountability, which is the first step towards justice.” 

Elliot led the prosecution team. 

This particular trial has been one of the most closely monitored US court cases in recent years. And it is expected, especially since the murder of Floyd led to an upsurge of some violent protests around the world.

Following the verdict, President Joe Biden made a phone call to the family of Floyd. He told them: “At least, God, now there is some justice.” 

Biden also made a speech at the White House where he expressed his relief at the verdict. The president shared that the decision had the potential to become “a moment of significant change.” He also encouraged police reform. 

In downtown Minneapolis, a crowd waited for the announcement outside the Hennepin County Government Centre. The person leading the chant can be heard shouting “Say his name!” The crowd would then respond, “George Floyd.”

Regardless of the jury’s decision, the city had already expected protests to take place. Since March of this year, the Government Centre has been barricaded with a fence and a concertina wire on top of it. After another police shooting involving a black man at a traffic stop last week, civil unrest broke in a northern suburb. This prompted the National Guard to increase troops in the metro area. 


Family Attacks Asian Couple & Their Pets In A Brooklyn Park

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The victims of a brutal attack in a Brooklyn park have turned to social media to share their experience from a few weeks ago. The woman, her boyfriend, and their pets were involved in the altercation. One of their pets, a cat named Ponzu succumbed to his injuries on Easter Sunday. 

The incident was shared on the Facebook account of ChaRee Pim. Pim said that she posted about the incident after the Thai woman, popularly known as Chef Bao Bao online, said that she is ready to speak up. 

As shared in the post, the couple decided to take their pets (a dog, two cats, and a parrot) for an evening stroll on April 4th. Out of nowhere, a Puerto Rican boy they believed to be around 12 years old, suddenly “snatched and pulled the leash up … into the air” before the cat was finally dropped on the floor. When Ponzu tried to escape, the boy reportedly stepped on his leash. 

The cat was finally able to get away from his captor only for the couple to realize that he already had a bloodied back. They turned towards the suspect, who ran to his family. The mother then started to verbally berate the Asian couple.

The post says that the unidentified woman told Chef Bao Bao “You don’t blame me, you’re the one who was wrong. Why did you take a cat [for a walk]? This is what you [get] when you walk you f*****g cat b***h!”  

After this, the Puerto Rican family started physically assaulting the couple and their other pets. 

One of the teenage boys punched the parrot on the boyfriend’s shoulder, which flew away and landed on the street. Bao Bao hurried to take her pet before it could be run over by a car. 

The other group then laughed and the teenager pretended to kick the dog before pulling its tail and lifting it in the air. 

One of the teenage girls then physically assaulted Bao Bao, who started to defend herself at this time. Unfortunately, she was ganged on by the mother and other women who kicked, choked, pulled her hair, and even attempted to gouge her eye out. 

Bao Bao’s boyfriend was also punched by the teenage boy, causing his nose and glasses to break. 

Two gentlemen stepped in to break the brawl apart and asked why they jumped on the couple. The family answered back that the “cat hurt my son first and this b***h hurt my son too!” 

Before the police could arrive, the family hurried to their vehicle and sped away. 

The New York City Police Department has changed the assigned detective three times because no one wanted to take the case. 

Chef Bao Bao is also called Suchanan Aksornnan. 


Survey Reveals Californians Prefer To Work From Home After Pandemic Is Over

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According to a new survey conducted by the University of Southern California and the California Emerging Technology Fund, it looks like people would prefer to work from home even when the pandemic is over. 

The study explored how Californians see remote work, telehealth, and remote learning after over a year of being in a health crisis. As evidenced in the research, the hesitances that people experienced with these practices have all been met with a warm welcome.

In a statement released by the study’s lead researcher, Hernan Galperin, “we’re seeing a seismic shift in the way people want to work, learn, and manage health visits among those who have broadband access. Those changes give us a real opportunity to cut congestion and carbon emissions.”

The survey results revealed that 42% of currently full-time remote workers wish to continue working from home post-pandemic. 21% of the respondents who want to keep working from home said they would be willing to go into their office one or two times a week. Only 17% of the survey participants said that they want to go back to working five days a week at their workplace. 

The study also revealed that college-educated women were more likely to be able to work from home and that those between 18 and 34 were the least likely to be able to work from home. 

In distance learning, the study showed that one-third of Californians aged 18 and above admitted to taking an online training or class during the health crisis. Two-thirds of the respondents said they would continue distance learning if they had an opportunity. 

More surprisingly, the use of telehealth during the pandemic increased favorably. A little over half of the survey respondents were able to gain healthcare access via phone, computer, or smartphone. The survey also showed that people of color were less likely to utilize these services. And despite their lack of tech-savviness and low internet connectivity, seniors aged 65 and above used telehealth services the most. 

The study also found that traffic could be drastically improved with the wider adoption of distance learning, telehealth, and telecommuting. Over half of the respondents expected that their commute will be cut to at least once a week after the pandemic. Meanwhile, 70% of the respondents who made use of telehealth services believe they could cut their medical-related car trips by at least half post-pandemic. 


 

Chicago Woman Sentenced To 6.5 Years For Labor Trafficking

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A woman from suburban Chicago has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison following her guilty plea to the charges she is facing. 

Concepcion Malinek, 50, of Cicero, pleaded guilty to one count of labor trafficking. She has been accused of helping many people from Guatemala enter the country in illegal ways. She also forbade these individuals from leaving her home until they could pay off their debts to her. 

As alleged by prosecutors, Malinek helped at least 10 immigrants from Guatemala throughout the dates of 2009 to 2019. These Guatemalans were able to enter the country illegally and forced by Malinek to work in a factory so they could pay off their debts. 

Malinek allegedly threatened her victims with deportation and even forced them to work so they would not be separated from their children. Most of her victims lived in her basement where she paid a close eye on them. 

According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher V. Parente, the woman controlled every move of her victims by knowing their whereabouts at all times. She also controlled their paycheck, which she stole from her victims. 

“Malinek knew her victims were scared of deportation and separation from their loved ones far more than they dreaded the abuse and exploitive actions she imposed on them.”

During her sentencing, Malinek teared up and told the judge that she got herself in trouble by “acquiescing to people that asked me for a favor.” She also said that she gave too many immigrants the help they needed to try to look for a better life for themselves in the U.S.

Her sentencing hearing started last month but was suspended after Malinek experienced chest pains. 

Apart from her prison sentence, she was ordered to pay $112,545 in restitution to her victims. Her sentencing was presided upon by U.S. District Judge Edmond E. Chang. 


COVID-19 Cases Rising In Suburban Chicago School

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Health officials are looking into the rise of COVID-19 cases in areas in Chicago where high schools have started to resume in-person learning. Unfortunately, they are unable to specify the origin of these cases as these vary by school. 

According to school officials, there are 12 active cases at John Hersey High School in Arlington Heights. The school has put a total of 147 students in quarantine as of this writing. 

Principal Gordie Sisson says that those who have reported positive infections have admitted to being with a group of kids without masks on in basements or in eating places, like a sandwich shop or something like that.”

The school principal says that there is no one who is seriously ill right now and that there have been no hospitalizations needed. 

Upon this writing, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) is monitoring a total of 21 school outbreaks. The government agency believes some of these may be linked to sports. 

“While it is difficult to determine where an exposure occurred, we are hearing during investigations about people unmasked in locker rooms, weight rooms, social gatherings, bus rides, and even on the field [not wearing or improperly worn masks],” IDPH spokesperson Melaney Arnold said. 

Arnold added that there have been some athletes who played “while symptomatic and not getting tested for fear of missing playing time or quarantine.”

Sisson believes that their school is not facing an outbreak by Cook County’s definition of the word since there are no five or more linked cases. 

According to the Lake County Health Department, the number of recent cases has doubled among children between the ages of 14 and 18 years old. It poses a danger since the virus can easily spread to other family members, who are more at risk for serious complications. 

“We really need to make sure that our children, if they are eligible to get vaccinated, are vaccinated,” Lake County Health Department’s Dr. Sana Ahmed said. “That in the interim, we are very cognizant that we are practicing those three W’s of wearing a mask, washing your hands, and watching your distance.”