Mattis, Obama speak out; The anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown; Arctic oil spill

Mattis, Obama speak out; The anniversary of the Tiananmen Square crackdown; Arctic oil spill

The World staff

US President Donald Trump speaks to the news media while gathering for a briefing from his senior military leaders, including then Defense Secretary James Mattis (L), at the White House, October 23, 2018.


Leah Millis/Reuters/File Photo


Top of The World — our morning news round up written by editors at The World. Subscribe here.

Former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis broke his silence Wednesday, denouncing President Donald Trump’s call for a military response to the civil unrest gripping the US after the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died as a white police officer pressed a knee into his neck last week.

Mattis, an influential retired Marine general who resigned over Trump’s policy on Syria in 2018, accused the president of trying to divide the country. “Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people — does not even pretend to try,” Mattis wrote in The Atlantic. Only hours before Mattis’ comments were published, the current defense secretary, Mark T. Esper, also distanced himself from Trump, suggesting the use of the military to contain the protests was unnecessary at this time.

In a day with several high profile figures speaking out, former President Barack Obama on Wednesday urged mayors across the country to review their police department’s use-of-force policies, but also struck a note of optimism. “In some ways, as tragic as these last few weeks have been, as difficult and scary and uncertain as they’ve been, they’ve also been an incredible opportunity for people to be awakened to some of these underlying trends,” Obama said via livestream from his home in Washington, DC.

What The World is following

Today marks the 31st anniversary of China’s bloody Tiananmen Square democracy crackdown. But for the first time since 1989, commemorations have been banned by Chinese authorities citing concerns over the coronavirus. Despite the ban, thousands in Hong Kong defied the police and gathered in the city’s Victoria Park. The Tiananmen Square anniversary comes as China’s central government passed a law making it a crime to mock the country’s national anthem. It also falls against the backdrop of the Trump administration’s forcible removal of peaceful protesters from Lafayette Square near the White House in advance of a photo op.

In another echo of 1989, a huge fuel leak into a river within the Arctic Circle has lead Russian President Vladimir Putin to call for a state of emergency. Greenpeace has likened the spill to the Exxon Valdez disaster 31 years ago. 

From The WorldSudanese women seek justice one year after pro-democracy crackdown

Sudanese protesters march during a demonstration to commemorate 40 days since the sit-in massacre in Khartoum, North, Sudan, on July 13, 2019. 


Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters

One year ago, women protesters were the target of Sudanese security forces, who raided a protest camp of pro-democracy activists on June 3, 2019. Now, a year on, many are concerned that those responsible for the attack are not being held accountable.

Despite recent historic gains in ending FGM, Somalia sees dramatic increase

Internally displaced girls in Somalia queue before at a school beside an IDP camp in Dollow, Somalia, April 4, 2017.


Zohra Bensemra/Reuters 

Some 200 million women and girls worldwide have undergone female genital mutilation, a practice condemned by the World Health Organization as a violation of human rights. During COVID-19 lockdowns worldwide, activists working to end FGM say they have seen both progress — and concerning backsliding.

Morning focus

Thanks to new research, we now know what a 2,900-pound armor-plated dinosaur’s last meal was (hint: lots and lots of veggies).

Amazing new research in @royalsociety Open Science, co-authored by our Dr. Caleb Brown with @BrandonUni & @usask colleagues, reveals what the world’s best-preserved armoured dinosaur ate! #RTMPResearch

— Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology (@RoyalTyrrell) June 3, 2020In case you missed itListen: Facing the threat of coronavirus and state violence

Colby, holding his son Jahaziel through a sunroof, lifts his hand in solidarity with other protesters during a spontaneous caravan rally of vehicles against the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, downtown Houston, Texas, June 2, 2020.


Adrees Latif/Reuters

Black Americans are facing two existential threats: the coronavirus pandemic and state violence. And, a recent exchange of cyberattacks between Iran and Israel, which included an attack on critical civilian infrastructure, is threatening to change the unofficial, but implicit agreement on the rules of engagement between these regional rivals. Also, a new collection from music producer and DJ, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, uses bird recordings collected during the coronavirus quarantine.

Don’t forget to subscribe to The World’s Latest Edition podcast using your favorite podcast player: RadioPublicApple PodcastsStitcherSoundcloudRSS.

Lil Wayne – Sleepless Lyrics

Play this song

Angels, Witches
Angels, Witches

[Verse 1]
Demonic, Exotic, Exotic, Demonic
I pop Oxycodone like antibiotic
Textin’ my phone, Right now I’m on molly
It got me perspiring like I’m in Somalia
I should be more careful, Right now I be wildin’
I could be more helpful, could not be more stylish
She could be my devil, she might be my goddess
It could be Satanic, it might be platonic
I tip my hat to her, she’d rather dollars
I drip a bath for her, she’d rather shower
She turned her back on me, I just massage her
Knew we were a match; didn’t know we started fires
A bird is a plane? If it is, it’s a private
Swerve in the lane, she either hittin’ or dodgin’
Meet me at the crossroads, I’m in the middle of rush hour
I’m the end of the road, Boyz II Men don’t die

[Chorus 1]
Angels and witches
Angels and witches
Bengals and kittens
Swingers and hittas
Signels and sinners
Ankles, physicians
The pictures, the painters
The sick one, the sane one
The lit one, the lame one
The mistress, the main one
The witch and the angel

Just got it started, y’all are welcome to finish…

Lady Leshurr – 3AM In Brum Lyrics

Yo, me no rap around this year ya know

[Verse 1]
Here comes the “Big baddie” (woo)
Big bars, big talent, you’re invalid
Big bank, big balance, got a big batty (woo, woo)
Flows hot, it’s in Cali and it’s static (yeah)
I don’t need a Big Daddy (haha)
Man, it’s 20-L-teen and I’m back and full of force (yeah)
You don’t wanna go there like there’s acid on the floor
Man you couldn’t get it patterned even if you had it drawn (woo, woo)
Got ’em all stressed out like they’re battling divorce, huh

[Verse 2]
And it’s hard you was at the altar
You thought you’d embark on it for the culture (hah)
You started it likkle rodent
They light as a feather Wingardium Leviosa (woo, woo)
And if you do not want to hear the truth do not war with her (nah)
Think ya bad because you got a tool she turn to carpenter (woo)
Watch me nuh
Knocking down your crew like a domino (yeah)
Do not holla me or follow me
Block me off Twitter, cha

They don’t want no drama na (Na)
Mi ah guh send ’em to the corner shop (He-he-he)
Your new ting looks like Aunty Barbara

Flows are bullets du-du-du-du-duu, hit up all ah ya (Blow!)
Du-du-du-du-duu, hit up all ah ya (woo)
Flows are bullets du-du-du-du-duu, hit up all ah ya (Blow!)
Du-du-du-du-duu, hit up all ah ya (woo)
Flows are bullets du-du-du-du-duu, hit up all ah ya (Brrr!)

[Verse 3]
It’ll leave Italy ya body in Venice no Italia
Yeah I got a link to couple G’s in Somalia (yeah)
Talking all these straps oh baby please buy a guitar for ya (yeah)
Go over their heads for man
It will get on top for ya, it’ alot for ya (woo)
I’ll be waiting in the parking lot for ya
Four rings in the whip I will send the car to ya, clarter ya (woo)
Leave ’em leaning like a drunk in mardi gras
I’m too hot for ya, lava ya, then say tarrah ta ya

[Verse 4]
Couple gyal started with me, I’ll finish off for ya (yeah)
I just keep sending them love that’s a heart attack
I will snatch a wig, you’ll catch a fade, I’ll have to barber her
Say it with your chest, I’ll unhook the bra for ya (woo)
Rattatata to ya with ya weak excursion
When there’s trouble you desert, you’s a cheesecake person (yeah)
Now I got ’em shaking in their boots, believe they twerking
You’s a clone of me (woo), you the Btech version, look

Nah they don’t want no drama, nuh (Nuh, nuh, nuhh)
Mi ah guh send ’em to the corner shop (Yeah-yeah)
Your new ting looks like Aunty Barbara

Flows are bullets du-du-du-du-duu, hit up all ah ya (Blow!)
Du-du-du-du-duu, hit up all ah ya (woo)
Flows are bullets du-du-du-du-duu, hit up all ah ya (Blow!)
Du-du-du-du-duu, hit up all ah ya (woo)
Flows are bullets du-du-du-du-duu, hit up all ah ya (Brrr!)

Hit up all ah ya
Mi ah guh hit up all ah ya
Hit up all ah ya
I’m one in a million like all ah ya