In our news wrap Monday, Chicago police are beefing up their presence downtown after widespread looting there overnight. The unrest broke out after police shot a man who had fired at them on the city’s South Side. Mayor Lori Lightfoot deplored the “abject criminal behavior.” Also, 16 people were arrested in Portland, Oregon, after protesters rioted at a police union. Two officers were injured.
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In the day's other news: Chicago police are beefing up their presence downtown after widespread looting there overnight.
The unrest broke out after police shot a 20-year-old man who fired at them on the city's South Side. Hundreds of people descended on the Magnificent Mile shopping district. They smashed windows and stole merchandise. More than 100 people were arrested.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot called it an assault on the city.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot:
What occurred in our downtown and surrounding communities was abject criminal behavior, pure and simple.
And there cannot be any excuse for it, period. This is not legitimate First Amendment-protected speech. These were not poor people engaged in petty theft to feed themselves and their families. This was straight-up felony criminal conduct.
The melee lasted for several hours and left 13 police officers injured.
Sixteen people have been arrested in Portland, Oregon, after protesters rioted at a police union building last night. Demonstrators lit a fire inside the building, before police pushed hundreds of people away. Two officers were injured in the clashes. It was the 70th night of protests there since George Floyd's killing in Minneapolis.
In Lebanon, Prime Minister Hassan Diab resigned today, along with his entire ruling cabinet. The move follows a week of protests demanding a government overhaul since the devastating Beirut port explosion. Diab said the unsafe storage of ammonium nitrate thought to have caused last Tuesday's blast highlighted longstanding negligence.
Hassan Diab (through translator):
Today, we follow the will of the people to hold accountable those responsible for this disaster that has been in hiding for seven years, and their desire for real change.
We take a step back to stand with the people, to undergo this battle of change with them. We want to open the door towards national salvation that the Lebanese people are taking part in. And, thus, I am announcing today the resignation of this government.
Meanwhile, riot police clashed with anti-government demonstrators again in Beirut tonight. The protesters continue to denounce the government's mishandling of the explosion that killed at least 160 people and injured thousands more.
A political crisis is also flaring in Belarus, after Sunday's election that was widely denounced as rigged in favor of longtime President Alexander Lukashenko.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the election was not free and fair. Protesters also insisted it was a fraud, after government-sponsored polls showed Lukashenko took 80 percent of the votes.
Alex Thomson of Independent Television News filed this report.
This is Belarus, the police ordered to tear-gas, stun grenade and beat peaceful protesters off the streets across the country.
Several thousand arrests, at least one reported killed, run over by a police vehicle, which the authorities deny. After 26 years in power, this so-called election duly delivered President Alexander Lukashenko yet another reality-defying victory, 80 percent of the vote.
The man who says, you have to be born to be president, not elected, who praised Hitler, who denied the COVID pandemic existed, says, opposition protests will be crushed.
Alexander Lukashenko (through translator):
If you fight against the country, if you try to plunge the country into chaos and destabilize it, even with minor incidents, you will receive an instant response from me. This is my constitutional authority. So, why blame me?
The protesters are sheep, says the president, manipulated by foreigners. But he offered no evidence.
Quick to congratulate him, two more presidents whose commitment to democracy is, at best, questionable, Russia's Putin and China's Xi.
Quick to condemn him, European democracies. Belarus' opposition candidate has read the message from the streets.
Sviatlaba Tsikhanouskaya (through translator):
I think we have already won, because we overcame our fear. We overcame our indifference to politics. We overcame our apathy and indifference.
Western observers say the last free election here was way back in 1995. This time, the numbers on the streets, not just in the capital, the numbers at opposition rallies, the numbers now arrested, well, it all adds up, some say, to a genuine turning point.
That was Alex Thomson of Independent Television News.
Since filing that report, one protester died in Minsk after an explosive device detonated in his hands as he was trying to throw it at police.
Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani signed a decree today to release the final batch of 400 Taliban prisoners. The Taliban demanded they be freed as a condition for long-awaited peace negotiations with the Afghan government. The militant group said that it's ready to restart those talks in Qatar within a week from the prisoners' release.
And stocks were mixed on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average soared 358 points to close at 27791. The Nasdaq fell 42 points and the S&P 500 added nine.