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Thao, Kueng say they rejected plea deal in Floyd killing

Two former Minneapolis police officers charged in George Floyd’s killing told a judge that they have rejected plea deals that would have resulted in three-year prison sentences. The statements from Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng on Monday at a brief hearing in Minneapolis set the stage for trial in October. The pair are charged with aiding and abetting both second-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in Floyd’s death. They and Thomas Lane were working with Derek Chauvin when he pinned Floyd’s neck with his knee for more than nine minutes as the 46-year-old Black man said he couldn’t breathe and eventually grew still. Thao said “it would be lying” for him to accept a plea deal.

So-called ‘Don’t Say Gay’ law confuses some Florida schools

Some Florida schools have moved library books and debated changing textbooks in response to a law critics call “Don’t Say Gay.” Educators are cautiously making changes as they wait to see how the new law governing lessons on gender and sexual orientation will be interpreted and enforced. The law was championed by Florida’s GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis. It bans lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade. It also forbids any lessons on those topics for students of any grade if they are not age-appropriate. Some worry it will stifle classroom discussion and leave LGBTQ teachers and kids feeling ostracized.

Starbucks asks labor board to halt union votes temporarily

Starbucks is asking the National Labor Relations Board to suspend all union elections at its U.S. stores in response to a whistleblower's allegations of improper coordination between regional NLRB officials and the union. In a letter sent Monday to the NLRB, Starbucks said an unnamed career NLRB official told the company about issues in the NLRB’s St. Louis office while it was overseeing an election at a Starbucks store in Overland Park, Kansas, earlier this spring. The labor board says it doesn't comment on open cases. More than 220 U.S. Starbucks stores have voted to unionize since late last year. The company opposes unionization.

Stocks slip on Wall Street, oil drops amid economy worries

Stocks edged lower on Wall Street as investors remain focused on the economy and prepare for several updates from retailers this week. The S&P 500 is 0.3% lower Monday morning. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq also fell. Oil prices dropped much more sharply on worries about the global economy. China’s central bank cut a key interest rate after acknowledging more needs to be done to shore up its economy, the world’s second largest. Treasury yields also fell, as a measure of manufacturing in New York state unexpectedly sank deeply into contraction. The losses ate into a four-week winning streak for U.S. stocks.

Six Flags amusement park shooting near Chicago leaves 3 hurt

Authorities say three people were injured in a shooting in a parking lot of an amusement park north of Chicago that sent visitors scrambling for safety. The Gurnee Police Department says officers responded about 7:50 p.m. Sunday to Six Flags Great America, about 45 miles north of Chicago. Police say in a statement that the shooting “was not a random act, and appeared to be a targeted incident.” Police say a white sedan entered the parking lot and drove toward the park’s front entrance. The suspects got out and shot at another person in the parking lot before driving away. Police say two people had non-life-threatening wounds. A third had a shoulder injury and declined to be taken to a hospital.

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