Several New York City police officers were attacked and injured Wednesday as pro-police and anti-police protesters clashed on the Brooklyn Bridge.
At least four officers were hurt, including Chief of Department Terence Monahan, and 37 people were arrested, police said. Information on charges was not immediately available.
Surveillance video posted on social media by the police department showed a man on the bridge's pedestrian walkway rushing toward a group of officers and reaching over a fence to bash their heads with a cane.
Police photos of the aftermath showed a lieutenant with a bloodied face, a detective holding a bandage to his head, and a bicycle officer helping a fellow officer dress a head wound.
Monahan, who last month knelt in a show of solidarity with protesters, sustained injuries to his hand.
He and the other injured officers were marching with a pro-police group led by local clergy when they were met on the bridge by anti-police activists, some of whom have been camping outside City Hall in recent weeks to demand severe cuts to police funding.
Some people in the pro-police group marched with a banner that said, "We Support the NYPD." The leader of that group said they were calling for an end to a recent spate of violence, including the shooting death of a 1-year-old boy in Brooklyn.
Wednesday's demonstrations were the latest in a wave of protest activity across the country since George Floyd was killed May 25 by Minneapolis police.
The first few nights of protests in New York City were marred by stealing, unrest and violence inflicted both by and on police officers. Since then, protests have largely been peaceful.
Arizona, Texas and Florida together reported about 25,000 new coronavirus cases on Wednesday as restrictions aimed at combating the spread of the pandemic took hold in the United States and around the world in an unsettling sign reminiscent of the dark days of April.
The face-covering mandates, lockdowns, health checks and quarantine orders underscored the reality that the number of infections is continuing to tick upward in parts of the world and that a return to normalcy may be further off than many leaders had envisioned just weeks ago.
Alabama will begin requiring face masks after the state reported a pandemic-high of 40 deaths in a single day. In Texas, which again set a record Wednesday for confirmed new cases with nearly 10,800, Republican Governor Greg Abbott has increasingly emphasized face coverings as the state's way out of avoiding another lockdown, which he has not ruled out.
Among the sternest measures were in New York, where Governor Andrew Cuomo added to a list totaling 22 states whose visitors will be required to quarantine for 14 days if they visit the tri-state region. Out-of-state travelers arriving in New York airports from those states face a $2,000 fine and a mandatory quarantine order if they fail to fill out a tracing form.
Governor tests positive
The broad reach of the virus has brought scrutiny to governors' decisions. Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt, a first-term Republican governor who has backed one of the country's most aggressive reopening plans, became the first U.S. governor to announce that he had tested positive for COVID-19. He plans to quarantine at home.
Stitt, who has resisted any statewide mandate on masks and rarely wears one himself, attended President Donald Trump’s rally in Tulsa last month, which health experts have said likely contributed to a surge in coronavirus cases there, though Stitt said he’s confident he didn’t contract the virus at the gathering.
“As far as where he became infected, it’s really unknown,” Oklahoma Health Commissioner Dr. Lance Frye said.
Florida broke the 300,000 barrier on confirmed cases Wednesday, reporting 10,181 new ones as its daily average death rate continues to rise. Major cities in Florida have imposed mask rules, but Governor Ron DeSantis has declined to issue a statewide order, arguing those are best decided on and enforced locally.
Still, on Tuesday the governor wore a mask while speaking publicly for the first time — at a round-table news conference with Miami-Dade County mayors.
“We have broken single-day records several times this week and there’s nothing about it that says we’re turning the corner, or seeing light at the end of the tunnel. I don’t’ see that in the numbers," said Dr. Nicholas Namias, chief of trauma and surgical critical care at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
He said diminishing bed capacity was creating problems at the Miami medical center. “We’re getting to the point where it’s going to be full. We have gridlock and we won’t be able to take patients and they’ll just be stacked in the ERs,” Namias said.
Walmart requires masks
Businesses imposed their own restrictions, too, with Walmart becoming the largest U.S. retailer to require customers to wear face coverings at all of its Sam’s Club and namesake stores.
Recreation and entertainment destinations were confronting how and when to return to business.
Organizers canceled the 2021 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, because of the pandemic's impact on long-range planning for the New Year’s tradition, the Tournament of Roses Association said Wednesday. But Disney World went ahead with the rolling opening of its Florida theme parks that started last weekend, welcoming back visitors to Epcot and Hollywood Studios — despite the surge of cases in the state.
As schools contemplate how to safely hold classes, at least three dozen high school students in northern Illinois tested positive for the coronavirus after some attending summer sports camps showed symptoms of the disease. In South Carolina, meanwhile, elected leaders were joining forces to demand that schools open five days a week for in-person instruction.
Other countries imposed lockdowns and implemented new health checks at their borders.
Tourist flow slows
All travelers arriving in Greece from a land border with Bulgaria were required to carry negative coronavirus test results issued in the previous 72 hours. The new rules, which follow an increase in tourism-related COVID-19 cases, triggered an immediate drop in arrivals compared to recent days.
Traffic at the crossing fell by about half, authorities said, but waiting times were still lengthy and a line of cars and trucks was over 1,640 feet (500 meters) long as the number of tests carried out by medical teams at the border was increased.
Gergana Chaprazova, 51, from Plovdiv in southern Bulgaria, planned to visit the Greek seaside town of Kavala with her husband, and complained that she was being tested again.
“I have to wait for a test but I [already] have a test from Bulgaria. I don’t understand why I must have a test here,” she told The Associated Press.
The developments came as more than than 13 million coronavirus cases were confirmed worldwide, with over 578,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University. The actual numbers are thought to be far higher for several reasons, including limited testing.
Romania, citing the rising number of infections, announced a 30-day extension for a nationwide state of alert. And residents of Australia’s second-largest city, Melbourne, were warned Wednesday to comply with lockdown regulations or face tougher restrictions. Melbourne’s 5 million people and part of the city’s semirural surroundings are a week into a new, six-week lockdown to contain a new outbreak there.
“The time for warnings, the time for cutting people slack, is over,” Victoria state Premier Daniel Andrews said. “Where we are is in a very serious and deadly position.”
In Serbia, which has been hit by a spike in infections and anti-government protests, a government crisis team expanded a ban on gatherings of more than 10 people from Belgrade to the entire country. Masks were also made mandatory in public spaces where there is no opportunity for 6 feet (1.8 meters) of distancing, such as in shops and bus stations.
After a surge in daily infections beginning last month, Israel moved last week to reimpose restrictions, closing events spaces, live show venues, bars and clubs. It has imposed lockdowns on areas with high infection rates, which in some cases sparked protests from residents.
Officials warned that if case numbers don’t come down in the coming days, Israel will have no choice but to lock the entire country down again, as it did in the spring.
South Africa is already showing signs of being overwhelmed by the pandemic — an ominous outlook for the rest of the continent of 1.3 billion people.
A ban on alcohol sales and a night curfew were reimposed this week to reduce the volume of trauma patients to hospitals that are struggling to cope with an influx of COVID-19 patients.
One result was more economic pain in a country that already has an unemployment rate of 30%.
“This return to the booze ban is causing havoc to the restaurant business, and it’s causing people to lose jobs,” said Gerald Elliot, owner of a popular Johannesburg restaurant, Ba Pita, which he said closed because of the restrictions, with a loss of 28 jobs.
The Trump administration has imposed sanctions on companies connected to Russian businessman who is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and suspected of helping finance the covert social media campaign aimed at American voters ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
The actions announced Wednesday take aim at front companies that officials say Yevgeny Prigozhin has relied on to process millions of dollars and to evade sanctions in Sudan, where the Trump administration says Russia has been involved in paramilitary operations and supporting authoritarian regimes.
“Today’s actions will further limit attempts by Prigozhin and his backers to foment disorder or undermine democratic reforms in Sudan,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement announcing the sanctions by the Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Prigozhin, whose close relationship to Putin has earned him the nickname of “Putin's Chef," attracted attention in 2018 after he and Russian companies he controlled were indicted in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign. He was accused of financing an effort to use social media posts to spread disinformation and to divide American public opinion on hot-button social issues ahead of the election.
The Justice Department in March dropped charges against two of those companies, Concord Management and Consulting LLC and Concord Catering, citing concerns that the entities would use the case to send sensitive law enforcement tools back to Russia while facing no meaningful punishment even if convicted.