Trending News for April 19

Matthew McConaughey For Governor; Closing Arguments In Derek Chauvin Trial; Driverless Tesla Kills Two In Texas; Chicago: Phase 2 of  COVID Vaccine; Killing Of 7-Year-Old Girl.  April 19, 2021

 


Matthew McConaughey Thinking Of Running For Texas Governor Post

matthew-mcconaughey-running-governor-texasIt looks like Matthew McConaughey is considering running for office. 

As revealed in a new poll survey, McConaughey has gotten the support of his constituents as the next governor of Texas. 

The 51-year-old actor has not officially declared his candidacy. The poll reveals that McConaughey beat the incumbent Greg Abbott by a couple of digits. 

As the survey showed, 45% of registered voters in Texas said they will be voting for the actor. Abbott only got 33% and 22% said they will choose someone else. The poll surveyed a total of 1,126 registered voters.

But which party will McConaughey belong to? In the past, McConaughey has criticized both Democrats and Republicans. He is also a self-described centrist. 

In the poll, McConaughey got 66% of prospective votes from Democrats and only 8% support from Republicans. More than half of the Democrats in the poll said they were looking for a progressive candidate instead of a centrist. 

Even though the Oscar winner has not officially made his decision, he was quoted last month for saying that he was giving the thought of running for Texas governor “honest consideration.”

McConaughey makes a strong contender considering he is a celebrity in his own right. He is a Texas native, born and raised in the state. 

A construction manager said McConaughey has “some of the same qualities of Donald Trump.” The manager pointed out that McConaughey is “popular, he’s colorful, and he’s not afraid to tell it like it is.” According to the manager, these are the qualities “that will play well in Texas.”

McConaughey is not the only Hollywood celebrity being eyed to join political office. For several years now, Dwayne Johnson has been rumored to be a presidential candidate. In a recent poll, 46% of surveyed individuals said they will support his campaign. 

Another A-lister being rumored to run in the next election is longtime Republican Caitlyn Jenner. Rumors are circulating that Jenner will be running for California governor and has even been consulting with the former staff of Trump. 


Jury: To Hear Closing Arguments In Derek Chauvin Trial Today

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Monday is an important day for the citizens of Minneapolis as it marks the start of the end of former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin’s trial. Chauvin was accused of killing 46-year-old George Floyd last year after he knelt on his neck for over 9 minutes.  

Both the defense and prosecution have rested their cases and are scheduled to deliver their closing arguments. 

The trial lasted over three weeks of expert opinions and emotional testimony. Not to mention, there is added pressure on the trial as two other fatal police shootings took place during that time. With Monday’s schedule, it will give both sides their final opportunity to voice out before a jury makes a decision. 

The 45-year-old former police officer is facing three charges: second-degree manslaughter, second-degree murder, and third-degree murder. 

Judge Peter Cahill encouraged jurors to prepare for a lengthy deliberation before taking a break for the weekend. The judge advises to “plan for long and hope for short.” 

But despite his suggestion, Cahill shared that it is “up to the jury how long you deliberate, how long you need to come to a unanimous decision on any count.”

The prosecution highlighted the testimonies of eyewitnesses, medical experts, and video footage coming from the arrest. Eric Nelson, defense attorney for the defendant, has worked to instill reasonable doubt in the minds of jurors. Nelson argued that Floyd’s death can be attributed to his history of drug use and possible carbon monoxide poisoning coming from the exhaust of the squad car. 

In his opening argument, Nelson said:

“The evidence will show that Mr. Floyd died of a cardiac arrhythmia that occurred as a result of hypertension, his coronary disease, the ingestion of methamphetamine and fentanyl, and the adrenaline flowing through his body — all of which acted to further compromise an already compromised heart.”

The prosecutors argued against this by enlisting experts who pointed out the excessive use of force by the police officers in the arrest. Even the Hennepin County medical examiner, Dr. Andrew Baker, said that he did not believe Floyd’s death was caused by the drugs in his system. Baker also ruled his death as a homicide. 

“In my opinion, the law enforcement subdual, restraint, and the neck compression were just more than Mr. Floyd could take, by virtue of those heart conditions,” Baker told the court.


Driverless Tesla Crashes Into Tree, Kills Two In Texas

driverless-tesla-kills-2-texasLocal authorities in Texas are investigating the killing of two passengers when a Tesla electronic vehicle crashed and erupted into flames late Saturday. According to authorities, the car appeared to be “driver-less”.

One of the two victims was found on the front passenger seat of the Tesla 2019 Model S vehicle. The other casualty was found in the rear. 

In a telephone interview with Harris County Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman, the vehicle crashed into a tree at the Carlton Woods subdivision near The Woodlands. The vehicle was believed to have been traveling at high speed and failed to make a turn. 

Hernan says that the incident is still “under investigation.” But based on the position of the victims when they were found, statements, and the other physical evidence at the scene of the accident suggest that “no one was driving the vehicle at the time of impact.”

Hernan’s office is currently coordinating with federal authorities but did not specify which ones. At the time of publication, the local authorities do not know whether or not the Autopilot feature was activated. 

The vehicle burned for hours and required over 30,000 gallons of water to put out the fire. 

When asked for a comment Sunday, Tesla Inc. did not respond right away.  

In the past, federal officials have criticized Tesla for the number of fire risks related to their vehicles’ battery packs. They have also been under fire for not doing enough to ensure that drivers do not inappropriately use the driver-assist function found in their cars. 

In a hearing last year, the National Transportation Safety Board’s chairman said in a hearing that “it’s time to stop enabling drivers in any partially automated vehicle to pretend that they have driverless cars.” 

The NTSB does not plan to open a new investigation into the new incident, especially since they have already investigated several other Tesla crashes in the past. 

Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, took to Twitter to defend the safety record of their vehicles. He recently shared a report on the social media site that says Tesla vehicles with engaged Autopilot are nearing a “10 times lower” chance of encountering an accident compared to a typical vehicle. 


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Chicago Moves To Phase 2 Of COVID Vaccine Eligibility

Good news to all Chicago residents! Chicago is getting ready to roll over to Phase 2 of its COVID-19 vaccine appointments by opening eligibility to residents who are 16 years old and above. 

Starting Monday, residents can now set an appointment to receive the vaccine. The schedule opens a week after Illinois moved to its second phase of eligibility. 

Eligibility for the next phase comes as the city declares that over 1 million residents have already received at least the first dose of the vaccine against the coronavirus. 

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot shared: “Opening vaccine eligibility to all adults in Chicago is another important milestone in our goal of vaccinating everyone, and moving past the pandemic to reopen our city safely.”

The mayor reminded that there is currently still a limited supply of vaccine doses available in the city and encouraged everyone to remain patient. 

Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady of the Chicago Department of Public Health shared that she wishes the supply of the vaccine from the federal government will continually increase so they will be able to vaccinate residents and avoid an uptick of COVID cases throughout the city. 

As stated by Dr. Arwady: “I am encouraged by our increased vaccination rates, but we also continue to see a slow and persistent increase in COVID-19 case counts, especially among younger Chicagoans. As we expand eligibility, we can increase vaccination for younger populations to slow the spread of the virus.”

It was only a week ago that Illinois started accepting vaccination appointments to adults over the age of 16 at state-supported mass vaccination sites, pharmacy partners, and local health departments. The eligibility has been expanded across all state jurisdictions except Chicago. This is because Chicago receives its vaccine supply directly from the federal government and is separated from the state. As a result, the city gets to operate on its own timetable and framework.  

Prior to today’s announcement, Chicago officials estimated that the city would be able to enter the second phase on May 31st. However, this would mean that the city will be behind the timelines of the state and President Biden. 


Police Looking For Motive Behind Killing Of 7-Year-Old Girl In Parking Lot

A 7-year-old girl sustained gunshot wounds multiple times in her body in Homan Square on the West Side while sitting inside their vehicle Sunday afternoon. 

The girl was with her father, a 29-year-old man, inside a parked vehicle near a McDonald’s drive-thru at 3200 West Roosevelt Road, near the intersection of South Kedzie Avenue around 4:18 p.m. Chicago police said that the man sustained a gunshot wound on the torso.

The police said that the two “heard gunshots and felt pain.” 

The young girl was transported by an on-scene CPD unit to Stroger Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office identified the girl as Jaslyn Adams, of Oak Park. 

The other victim was also taken to the hospital, where he is currently being treated and is in critical condition. Doctors expect him to survive.  

He was later identified as Jaslyn’s father, Jontae.

After the incident, police cordoned off the area with police tape where the shooting occurred. Detectives are paying attention to a car parked in the drive-thru area of the McDonald’s chain.

Authorities found at least 30 shell casings around the victim’s vehicle. The tinted windows on the side have been shot out. The car’s frame and back window also had bullet holes. 

The police do not yet have anyone in custody related to the shooting. A motive for the shooting still needs to be identified. Police are also still trying to figure out if the shooting was targeted, but have not warned the public.

The family of the victim spoke to members of the media about the incident. The girl’s aunt, Tawny McMullen, shared that this is “really emotional now for my family.”

As soon as the shooting occurred, Jontae called his mother and said “They shot my baby!” 

They remember the young girl as “sweet and outgoing; really talkative, really lovable.”

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot talked about the shooting on Twitter and said that she was “heartbroken and angered.” The mayor also called for an end to “the epidemic of gun violence.”