Tag Archives: begins

Peaky Blinders video game FREE on Xbox One: The Season 6 hype begins here

Xbox Gold subscribers can download a couple of video games for free this weekend, as Peaky Blinders Mastermind and Hunting Simulator 2 join the Free Play Days promotion.

The latest batch of Xbox Gold free games can be downloaded and played from now until the morning of May 10.

The only drawback is that the Xbox One games are only available to Gold subscribers, and just for a limited time. Think of it like a modern day rental – only for free.

If you want to continue playing after the free period comes to an end, you can purchase both games at a discounted price.

Peaky Blinders Mastermind, for example, is reduced to to just £6.59. That’s a saving of 67% on the original asking price. It’s a great way to get hyped for series 6 later this year.

Elsewhere, Hunting Simulator 2 is available for half of its original price, costing £24.99 instead of £49.99.

And don’t worry about having to start all over again or missing out on in-game Achievements, because all progress carries over to the paid release.

You can download both games by visiting the Free Play Days section on the Xbox website, or by visiting the storefront via the Xbox dashboard.

As a reminder, Xbox One games are also playable on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S via backwards compatibility.

In case you didn’t know about the Peaky Blinders video game, the aim is to pull off the perfect crime.

“Just like Tommy Shelby, become the Peaky Blinders’ Mastermind by pulling off increasingly complex and perfectly synchronized plans,” reads the official description.

“Whether you’re a fan of the multi-award winning BBC and Netflix TV show, or just a fan of puzzle-adventure games, don’t miss your chance to take control of key members of the Shelby family and become the Mastermind as you freely reset and rewind each character’s path and tune their actions for perfect coordination.

“Each mission is an increasingly complex puzzle to be solved undetected and on time. To achieve the highest mission rating, you will need to choose and coordinate the right characters and abilities to execute the optimum Peaky Blinders plan.”

Hunting Simulator 2, on the other hand, is a shooter in which players explore beautiful countryside while hunting animals.

“Set off with your hunting dog and explore vast, open worlds from the plains of Colorado to the forests of Europe,” reads the official description.

“With official gear from the best hunting brands, track down animals in their natural environment, approach them carefully by studying their behaviour, and bring your trophies home.”

The Xbox Free Play Days promotion runs most weeks, so check back next weekend for the latest news on the free games.

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Gaming Feed

I-35 to US 183 flyover blown up as TxDOT begins new improvement project

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The flyover connecting northbound I-35 with northbound US 183 was destroyed early Saturday morning as part of TxDOT improvement works in the area.

TxDOT tweeted this video, showing the moment that district engineer Tucker Ferguson detonated the explosives that sent the flyover crashing down.

The flyover was destroyed because it was steep and caused large vehicles to slow down and delay traffic, TxDOT explained.

It will be replaced by an extended flyover with a lower grade, which will also accommodate a northbound bypass lane for St. John’s Avenue.

TxDOT says the work will take about four months to complete.

Traffic will be affected this weekend and next weekend, May 15-16. Crews need to temporarily close both directions of I-35 and US 183 in the area, as well as the frontage roads, between 6 a.m. and 8 a.m.

While the work takes place, drivers trying to access US 183 from I-35 should use the Rundberg Lane exit and take the non-signalized U-turn at Rundberg Lane to access the new southbound I-35 to northbound US 183 flyover.

In the meantime, drivers should stay patient and aware of crews when traveling through the work zone.

Author: Harley Tamplin
This post originally appeared on KXAN Austin

'Life begins again' Kevin Clifton addresses major career move live on GMB after set backs

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Celebrity News Feed

Speaking on his podcast The Kevin Clifton Show, he didn’t rule out a return to the dancefloor in the future: “Who knows if I’ll go back to Strictly, never say never.

“I think if I’ve learned anything it’s that you never close the door. You just don’t know how things are going to go.”

He added: “I thought I was going to be on stage all year and all of a sudden that’s not happening any more.”

Following the pandemic Kevin’s lead role in musical Strictly Ballroom is on hold.

Resident Evil Demo start time: Castle Demo begins today on PS4 and PS5

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Gaming Feed

The Resident Evil Castle Demo is the next big reveal from Capcom, offering fans another chance at experiencing the new Village experience.

Resident Evil Village is scheduled to launch in May, and the development team behind the anticipated launch have put together a new timed trial.

The good news is that everyone will be able to try out the new content before the game’s final release.

Capcom has confirmed that both the Village and Castle Demo will be available to play across PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X and PC in May.

But before that, gamers on PlayStation consoles get to try things out, with the Castle Demo going live today.

Publisher Capcom has confirmed that this weekend’s trial will only be available on PlayStation consoles and only for a very limited time.

Sony adds: “If you’re looking to step into the halls of Castle Dimitrescu, you’re in for a treat this weekend.

“PlayStation players will get early access to the terrifying yet beautiful inner workings of the castle, the stronghold of the illustrious Alcina Dimitrescu and her bloodthirsty daughters.

“It’s not available to play just yet, but you can go to the PlayStation Store to pre-download the Resident Evil Village Gameplay Demo in anticipation.

“To clear up any confusion, you just have to download that one demo. Everything will be automatically available to play through the Gameplay Demo during the designated times.

When you first step into the castle, you may immediately feel the contrast between the decrepit village of the first early access experience to its regal interior.

“One of the major motifs of this area, and the game in general, was creating environments filled with beauty.

“When players aren’t running for their lives, we wanted to create a setting that they could enjoy by venturing through and slowly taking in all the sights and scenes. Of course, every picture of beauty hides a face of terror.

“Players may also find themselves beneath the splendour in an underground prison, tiptoeing past cold cellar bars that offer a sharp juxtaposition to the warmth found up above.

The Resident Evil Castle Demo will be available to play for 30-minutes on April 24 in the United States, at 5pm PST.

And then the same demo will be available to play in the UK on April 25, at 6pm BST on the same consoles.

Capcom has confirmed that all platforms will be getting access to the two combined Resident Evil demos on May 1 in the United States and May 2 in the UK.

The Resident Evil Demo start time has been set for 5pm PST in the US and 1am BST in the UK.

“The final demo period will give you a total of 60 minutes to explore both the village and castle, and you’re free to use those 60 minutes however you wish.

“How much time will you spend seeking answers in the village, and how long will you brave the castle’s corridors to uncover its dark secrets?”

Queen Elizabeth begins yearly Balmoral holiday with 'pomp ceremony' including tiny pony

This post originally appeared on Daily Express :: Travel Feed

Queen Elizabeth has travelled to Balmoral on her end of season holiday annually since she was a child. It is a royal tradition that comes with plenty of unique aspects a typical holidaymaker might not experience when heading on their summer travels.

This includes a special “grand welcome” ceremony to mark her heading north of the English border.

Yet, alongside an array of human guests who are on hand to greet Her Royal Highness, there is also one “lovely little” guests of the animal variety.

As Channel 5 documentary The Royals on Holiday explains: “Summering in Balmoral is a royal tradition and as with all royal traditions that one with added pomp and ceremony.”

Victoria Howard, editor of The Crown Chronicles described the special welcome tradition in detail.

READ MORE: Holidays 2021: Will France, Spain and Greece be on green list?

Ms Howard continues: “The Queen inspects the military regiment who take on the role of her personal guard for the duration of her stay at balmoral.”

Although a lot of the holiday is shrouded in royal luxuries, there are also some rather simple aspects of the trip.

In fact, though Balmoral is a grand residence surrounded by 50,000 acres of grounds, according to one insider it is a “shabby chic” alternative for the Royal Family.

Paul Burrell, former servant of the British Royal Household explained: “Balmoral is a place where time stands still.”

Balmoral was built in the 1850s by Queen Victoria and her husband Prince Albert.

It remains a hub for the family to get together, with the younger royals often taking time to travel up north and visit the Queen during the summer months.

Though Queen Elizabeth has taken on the tradition alongside Prince Philip over the years, it is likely she will continue her holiday favourite as it is a place of such significance.

“The Queen has adored it as much as her father did and his father did,” said Richard Kay, editor at large of the Daily Mail.

“It is a pivotal part of her childhood and memories growing up there.”

FIFA 21 Community TOTS confirmed as Team of the Season FUT 21 promo begins

Author [email protected] (Nathan Bliss)
This post originally appeared on Mirror – Football

The Team of the Season (TOTS) promo is officially underway for FIFA 21 Ultimate Team, with the Community TOTS and EFL TOTS both revealed.

The FIFA 21 Community TOTS has partly been decided by a fan vote, with FUT 21 players having the chance to choose their favourite eleven out of the 100 Community TOTS players who were nominated, but EA Sports also have a say in which players are chosen for this squad.

The Community TOTS features 11 players who have shown consistently strong performances throughout the season for their domestic clubs, and are only eligible if they’ve received a maximum of one performance-based special item.

* Click here to subscribe to Level up! The Esports and Gaming Show, the podcast is available on Spreaker, Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.*

The EFL TOTS has also been revealed, with the squad dominated by players from Norwich City, Brentford, Watford and Hull City, who have all had excellent seasons in the EFL.

What separates the Team of the Season promo from the Team of the Year promo is that the players selected for TOTS are selected based on individual league campaigns, whereas TOTY items are chosen by performances throughout a calendar year.

Special TOTS items that are awarded to selected players are often very highly rated, with only TOTY cards and a few other special promo items rated more highly.

Here are the confirmed Community TOTS and EFL TOTS squads.

FIFA 21 Community TOTS confirmed

The Community Team of the Season sees fans choose from the best players to get one FUT special item or fewer this FUT cycle, who are then rewarded with heavily boosted Team of the Season special items.

Check out the FIFA 21 Community TOTS below.

FIFA 21 Community TOTS confirmed
FIFA 21 Community TOTS confirmed

GK: Alphonse Areola ( Fulham )

RB: Aaron Wan-Bissaka ( Manchester United )

RB: Nordi Mukiele (RB Leipzig)

CB: Connor Goldson (Rangers)

CB: David Alaba (Bayern Munich)

LB: Nicolas Tagliafico (Ajax)

CM: Federico Valverde ( Real Madrid )

CAM: Christopher Nkunku (RB Leipzig)

CAM: Tanguy Ndombele ( Tottenham Hotspur)

CAM: Piotr Zielinski (Napoli)

LW: Harvey Barnes ( Leicester City)

ST: Moise Kean (Paris Saint-Germain)

ST: Odsonne Edouard (Celtic)

ST: Josip Ilicic (Atalanta)

RW: Leon Bailey (Bayer Leverkusen)

FIFA 21 EFL TOTS confirmed

Here is the confirmed FIFA 21 EFL Team of the Season.

FIFA 21 EFL TOTS confirmed
FIFA 21 EFL TOTS confirmed

GK: Tim Krul (Norwich City)

RB: Max Aarons (Norwich City)

CB: Michał Helik (Barnsley)

LB: Callum Elder (Hull City)

CB: Ricardo Santos (Bolton Wanderers)

RM: Emiliano Buendía (Norwich City)

CM: Will Hughes ( Watford )

CAM: Matt Jay (Exeter City)

CAM: George Honeyman (Hull City)

LM: Jorge Grant (Lincoln City)

LM: Arnaut Danjuma Groeneveld ( Bournemouth )

ST: Ivan Toney (Brentford)

ST: Teemu Pukki (Norwich City)

ST: Jonson Clarke-Harris (Peterborough United)

FIFA 21 Latest News

FIFA 21 is out now on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC, with FIFA 21 next-gen also available now on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.

Players who have purchased one of the new next-generation consoles including the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, and who have already previously purchased FIFA 21 on their older consoles, can now upgrade to FIFA 21 next-gen for free through Dual Entitlement.

Players can also carry over their progress and content in Ultimate Team and Volta Football in FIFA 21.

Marvel’s Avengers Tachyon Anomaly Event Begins April 22

Author Andy Wong, Community and Social Media Manager, Crystal Dynamics
This post originally appeared on Xbox Wire

We first revealed the Tachyon Anomaly event one month ago at Square Enix Presents, and we’re eager to dive into the details to prepare you for its arrival on April 22! Being able to have a Strike Team composed of more than one of the same Hero has been a much-requested feature in the past, so we’re excited to see everyone jump in!

Temporal Assault

AIM’s tampering with time has led to periodic Tachyon Anomalies. Whenever these events occur, Avengers from different timelines can converge in a single location and take on the world’s threats together. The first Tachyon Anomaly is happening from April 22 to May 3 and allows players to form teams of more than one of the same Hero. Players can also matchmake into teams that contain the same Heroes, meaning you’ll never know what combination you may be part of.

Marvel's Avengers Tachyon Anomaly Event

During these two weeks, there will be a weekly mission chain that rewards Hivemind set gear, and daily missions that reward priority set gear for high-level Heroes.

We’re also introducing Temporal Assault nameplates, which are animated nameplates you can earn to add some shine to your experience. You’ll receive an animated team nameplate as a reward for the first completion of the weekly mission chain that can be used on any Hero!

There are also Hero-specific animated nameplates that will be available in the Marketplace:

  • April 22 to 29 – Thor, Hawkeye, Black Widow, Hulk
  • April 29 to May 6 – Iron Man, Captain America, Ms. Marvel, Kate Bishop

Let us know what you think of this event and if you want it to return!

Tachyon Rift Missions

During the Tachyon Anomaly event, multiple Tachyon Rift missions will appear at a time. There will also be new Tachyon Rift missions for Heroes who are power level 1-100, which will rotate every day and offer relevant rewards. Finally, there is a new Tachyon mission in town: And We’re Back.

Marvel's Avengers Tachyon Anomaly Event

Tachyon Rifts are timed missions that usually require power level 140+, with only one appearing on the War Table per week. These missions reward powerful cosmic gear that can allow Heroes to gain willpower (life) upon attacking enemies. To unlock Tachyon Rift missions, players must complete the SHIELD Substation Zero mission chain that takes them to the Pacific Northwest.

If you and a friend are both Iron Man mains and haven’t been able to play together because of the restrictions, make sure to tell them about this event because you can have a Strike Team full of fliers now. We’d love to see some air formation videos!

We invite you to take screenshots of your team in the Temporal Assault event and to tag us in all your photos so we can see how creative you are – we’re @PlayAvengers on Twitter and Instagram!

Xbox Live

Marvel’s Avengers

Square Enix

Marvel’s Avengers is an epic, third-person, action-adventure game that combines an original, cinematic story with single-player and co-operative gameplay*. Take the essential Super Hero gaming experience to another level! Marvel’s Avengers will be available for next-gen consoles at no extra cost.* This version will boast a wide spectrum of improvements to visuals and speed, and will be backwards compatible in single and multiplayer. Marvel’s Avengers has a beautiful world filled with exquisite detail, and with improved Heroics, destruction, graphical fidelity, and framerate versus previous gen, you won’t be missing any of it. Get right into the action with fast loading times and be blown away by the striking detail of enhanced destructive visuals that make Heroics feel truly in your hands. Marvel’s Avengers will support save file transfer and cross-gen play so you can pick up right where you left off and continue fighting AIM with your favorite Super Hero squad. We’re excited to herald in the next generation of consoles on Marvel’s Avengers! Marvel’s Avengers leverages the Smart Delivery technology – buy the game once and play it on either Xbox One or on Xbox Series X|S. Marvel’s Avengers on Xbox Series X|S is available now!*** *One-time online access required for single-player campaign; online access required for multiplayer and to download post-launch content. Free Square Enix Members account required. Platform-specific online subscription fee may be required. *Upgrading from the disk version will require the next-gen version of the same console with a disk drive. **Credits that you purchase are useable on Xbox Series X|S Console version of Marvel’s Avengers. Please be aware that the Credit that you own is synced with your Microsoft account, and the wallet will be shared through both platforms.

Derek Chauvin trial: Jury begins deliberations as former officer faces charges in death of George Floyd

Derek Chauvin trial

MINNEAPOLIS (NewsNation Now) — Jurors are beginning deliberations Monday in the trial of Derek Chauvin, a former Minneapolis officer charged in the death of George Floyd, after three weeks filled with countless surveillance videos, emotional testimony and a myriad of medical experts.

NewsNation will provide live coverage of the Derek Chauvin trial online and the NewsNation Now app. You can watch the trial here.

Both the defense and prosecution wrapped up their closing arguments Monday.

The state reiterated its case that Chauvin killed Floyd by keeping his knee on his neck for more than nine minutes, failing to provide aid after he became unresponsive.

The jurors deliberated about four hours before retiring for the night to the hotel where they are being sequestered for this final phase of the trial. They were due to resume Tuesday morning.

“George Floyd’s final words on May 25, 2020, were ‘Please, I can’t breathe.’ And he said those words to ‘Mr. Officer.’ He said those words to the defendant.” Schleicher said as he pointed to Chauvin. “He asked for help with his very last breath.”

The defense continued to argue Chauvin was following his training, acting as a “reasonable officer” would, while pointing to other factors including Floyd’s health as responsible for his death.

“[Chauvin] was following policy. he was trained this way. it all demonstrates a lack of intent,” Nelson said.

Before they began deliberations, Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill gave the jury instructions drawn up by the court with input from prosecutors and the defense. Cahill explained legal definitions, went over different types of evidence and the elements required to prove guilt in each of the counts against Chauvin.

“The fact that other causes contributed to the death does not relieve the defendant of criminal liability,” Cahill said, reading from written jury instructions.

Jurors are normally allowed to take copies of the instructions with them to the deliberation room, where many jurors rely on them as a kind of roadmap to interpreting the evidence.

Chauvin’s brief defense wrapped up last week with Chauvin passing on a chance to take the stand. Chauvin informed the court that he would not testify Thursday, saying he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right.

Chauvin’s right not to testify “is guaranteed by the federal and state constitutions,” said Cahill before closing arguments. “You should not draw any inference from the fact that the defendant has not testified in this case.”

Chauvin is charged with unintentional second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the May 25 death, following an arrest that happened on suspicion Floyd used a fake $ 20 bill to buy cigarettes at a convenience store. Chauvin has pleaded not guilty.

Floyd, a 46-year-old Black man, was declared dead after Chauvin, who is white, pressed his knee against his neck for about nine minutes. Bystander video footage shows Chauvin pressing his knee into a handcuffed Floyd’s neck, with Floyd repeatedly claiming that he could not breathe. Floyd’s death sparked protests and civil unrest in Minneapolis and across the U.S. over police brutality, at points turning violent.

The jury, along with two alternates, is comprised of six white women, two white men, three Black men, one Black woman and two multiracial women, according to court records. They will be sequestered in a hotel outside of deliberation hours.

Their verdict needs to be unanimous. If convicted on the most serious charge of second-degree murder, Chauvin faces a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison.

Closing argumentS: prosecution

During his closing arguments, prosecutor Steve Schleicher repeated a phrase: “Nine minutes and 29 seconds,” — the length of time Chauvin was captured on video on May 25, 2020, with his knee pressed into the dying Floyd’s neck.

Schleicher and the prosecution hope to convince the jury that Chauvin “knew better” but did not follow police training and policies and his actions were reckless, unreasonable and warrant conviction.

“What the defendant did was not policing, it was assault,” said Schleicher, after reminding the jury that the trial was “not prosecution of the police” but of one defendant who chose “pride over policing.”

Schleicher described how Chauvin ignored Floyd’s cries that he couldn’t breathe, and continued to kneel on Floyd after he stopped breathing and had no pulse — even after the ambulance arrived — saying he “had to know what was right beneath him.”

“The defendant heard him say that over and over. He heard him, but he just didn’t listen. He continued to push him down, to grind into him, to shimmy, to twist his hand for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. He begged. George Floyd begged until he could speak no more, and the defendant continued this assault,” said Schleicher, who repeatedly used the word “assault.”

Prosecutors need to prove underlying assault for most serious charge of second-degree murder.

In this image from video, prosecutor Steve Schleicher gives closing arguments as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides Monday, April 19, 2021, in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis. Chauvin is charged in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd. (Court TV via AP, Pool)

It might be difficult to “imagine a police officer doing something like this,” said Schleicher, but reminded jurors that they were asked during jury selection to set aside any preconceived notions about police officers.

“George Floyd was not a threat to anyone. He wasn’t trying to hurt anyone. He wasn’t trying to do anything to anyone. Facing George Floyd that day did not require one ounce of courage. And none was shown on that day. No courage was required. All that was required was a little compassion and none was shown on that day.”

“Use your common sense. Believe your eyes. What you saw, you saw,” Steve Schleicher said, referring to the excruciating bystander video of Floyd pinned to the pavement with Chauvin’s knee on or close to his neck.

Portions of the bystander video and other footage were replayed during his closing, as Schleicher dismissed some of the defense theories as “nonsense,” saying Chauvin’s pressure on Floyd killed him by constricting his breathing.

He rejected the drug overdose argument, the contention that police were distracted by what they saw as hostile onlookers, the notion that Floyd had “superhuman” strength from a state of agitation known as excited delirium, and the suggestion that Floyd suffered carbon monoxide poisoning from auto exhaust.

The prosecutor referred to the idea that it was heart disease that killed Floyd as an “amazing coincidence.”

Schleicher concluded by reminding the jury: “You have the power” to convict and to trust the evidence they had seen throughout the trial. “It is exactly what you knew, it’s what you felt in your gut, what you know know in your heart… This wasn’t policing, this was murder.”

Closing arguments: Defense

Chauvin’s lead lawyer, Eric Nelson, later countered that Chauvin behaved as any “reasonable police officer” would, arguing that he followed his training from 19 years on the force.

He repeated a single phrase scores of times, saying Chauvin behaved as a “reasonable police officer” would in dealing with a man as “large” as Floyd, who was struggling against being put in a police car when Chauvin arrived, responding to a call for back-up.

Chauvin, dressed in a grey suit and dark blue shirt and tie, removed his face mask, worn as part of the coronavirus pandemic’s social-distancing requirements, and watched his lawyer defend him.

Nelson walked through the events of the day, moving step by step and saying what he believed Chauvin was seeing and learning after arriving on the scene, asking jurors to consider what a “reasonable officer” would do.

Nelson said jurors have to consider all the information Chauvin had from dispatchers, his arrival as two officers struggled to push Floyd into a patrol car and the increasingly upset people standing nearby and loudly pleading with them to get off the Black man.

Nelson said the prosecution has been focused on the time Chauvin had his knee on Floyd, arguing this disregards the behavior of both Floyd and the officers up until that point. Nelson said all the law enforcement witnesses testified the level of force was appropriate up until Chauvin placed his knee on Floyd.

“You have to take into account that officers are human beings, capable of making mistakes in highly stressful situations,” Nelson said. “In this case, the totality of the circumstances that were known to a reasonable police officer in the precise moment the force was used demonstrates that this was an authorized use of force, as unattractive as it may be, and this is reasonable doubt.”

Once Floyd was on the ground, Nelson said one of the witnesses said it is not uncommon for people to “pretend to have a medical emergency” to avoid being arrested, so a “reasonable officer” relies on their observations instead.

Nelson said Chauvin was also following police training in observing the bystanders on the scene, saying they were “in crisis” so he was actively watching for potential signs of aggression from the crowd.

He said a “very critical thing” happens at the “very precise moment” a witness said George Floyd took his last breath: Chauvin pulled his mace from his belt and was startled by someone coming up from behind him. Nelson said the distraction of the crowd kept Chauvin from noticing Floyd had stopped breathing.

Nelson used the same videos as the prosecution to try to prove an opposite point: The fact that Chauvin continued kneeling on Floyd even as he knew he was being filmed was evidence he believed he was responding to the scene in a reasonable way, Nelson said.

“In this case, the totality of the circumstances that were known to a reasonable police officer in the precise moment the force was used demonstrates that this was an authorized use of force, as unattractive as it may be,” Nelson said. “And this is reasonable doubt.”


Prosecutor Jerry Blackwell had the final word, offering the state’s rebuttal argument. The prosecutor, who is Black, said that the questions about the use of force and cause of death are “so simple that a child can understand it.”

“In fact, a child did understand it, when the 9-year-old girl said, ‘Get off of him,’” Blackwell said, referring to a young witness who objected to what she saw. “That’s how simple it was. `Get off of him.’ Common sense.”

Blackwell said prosecutors only have to prove that Chauvin’s actions were a substantial causal factor in his death, not the sole cause, questioning why the former officer continued to kneel on Floyd after he became unresponsive.

“How is that a reasonable exercise of the use of force?” Blackwell said. “Reasonable is as reasonable does – what you saw here today was not reasonable.”

Blackwell questioned another argument raised by Nelson, who said there was no bruising or other evidence of asphyxia in the autopsy of George Floyd, saying an expert testified that it was not uncommon.


The prosecution called two weeks’ worth of witness to the stand whereas the defense only used two days of testimony before resting its case.

Law enforcement veterans inside and outside the Minneapolis department testified for the prosecution that Chauvin used excessive force and went against his training, while medical experts said Floyd died of asphyxia, or lack of oxygen, because his breathing was constricted by the way he was held down.

Notably, Minneapolis Police Chief Medaria Arradondo testified that Chauvin, 45, broke the department’s rules and ethics code.

George Floyd’s brother broke down on the witness stand last week as he was shown a picture of his late mother and a young George during the trial.

“He was one of those people in the community that when they had church outside, people would attend church just because he was there,” Philonise Floyd said. “Nobody would go out there until they seen him. And he just was like a person that everybody loved around the community. He — he just knew how to make people feel better.”

Prosecutors used a legal doctrine called “spark of life” to call his brother to testify about Floyd’s life, and previously used it to call Courtney Ross, Floyd’s girlfriend to the stand. Ross testified about her romance with Floyd and how an addiction to painkillers took hold of their life together. Minnesota is a rarity in explicitly permitting such “spark of life” testimony ahead of a verdict. Defense attorneys often complain that such testimony allows prosecutors to play on jurors’ emotions.

The defense said Floyd put himself at risk by swallowing fentanyl and methamphetamine, then resisted officers trying to arrest him — factors that compounded his vulnerability to a diseased heart and hoped to raise sufficient doubt enough that Chauvin should be acquitted.

Lawyers for Chauvin began presenting their case at the start of the third week of testimony by calling to the stand a now-retired officer who pulled over a car in which Floyd was a passenger in 2019 – a year before his deadly encounter with Chauvin.

The testimony, accompanied by body camera video of the incident, was intended to show the jury what effects the ingestion of opioids may have had on Floyd.

Chauvin’s defense called a police use-of-force expert and a forensic pathologist to help make the case that Chauvin acted reasonably against a struggling suspect and that Floyd died because of an underlying heart condition and his illegal drug use. Floyd had high blood pressure and narrowed arteries, and fentanyl and methamphetamine were found in his system.

Barry Brodd, a private consultant in the use of force by law enforcement, said Chauvin was following his training, given that he was dealing with a tense and fluid situation.

“I felt that Derek Chauvin was justified, and was acting with objective reasonableness, following Minneapolis Police Department policy and current standards of law enforcement, in his interactions with Mr. Floyd,” he said.

Guilty verdicts must be unanimous, which means Nelson needs to raise doubt in the minds of just a single juror on the various counts.


The jurors will be sequestered at a hotel in a city whose downtown is filled with National Guard troops and boarded-up windows, preparing for potential unrest.

“If I were you, I would plan for long and hope for short,” Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill told jurors on the question of how much to pack.

With the trial in session, Minneapolis has been bracing for a possible repeat of the protests and violence that broke out last spring over Floyd’s death.

The racially diverse jury will begin deliberating at a barbed-wire-ringed courthouse in a city on edge — not just because of the Chauvin case but because of the deadly police shooting of a 20-year-old Black man in a Minneapolis suburb a little over a week ago. Unrest and potential protests are expected.

Hundreds of demonstrators have gathered outside the heavily guarded Brooklyn Center police station in the days since the shooting. Protesters have shouted profanities, launched fireworks, shaken a security fence surrounding the building and lobbed water bottles at officers. Police have driven away protesters with tear gas grenades, rubber bullets, flash-bang grenades and long lines of riot police.

Minneapolis Public Schools will move students back to remote learning Wednesday through Friday in anticipation of a verdict and potential unrest.

Floyd’s death last summer sparked protests and civil unrest in Minneapolis and across the U.S. over police brutality, at points turning violent.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

Amy Forliti, Stephen Groves and Tammy Webber reporting for AP. Jonathan Allen reporting for Reuters.

Mike Ewing

This article originally appeared on KXAN Austin

Aldi: Supermarket slashes the price of groceries to 19p as Easter price war begins

Aldi is offering customers the chance to pick up super cheap groceries ahead of the Easter bank holiday weekend. Shoppers can save a huge amount of money when shopping at the discount retailer this week.
Lidl is also thought to have slashed the price of their groceries too this week.

Retailer Asda isn’t far behind the discounters with their one kilogram of carrots down to just 20p.

The supermarket giant has also slashed the price of other essentials.

During the pandemic, Asda dropped the price of more than 1,000 essential items such as meats, cheeses and cupboard staples.

Customers can currently pick up two giant eggs for just £7 including Cadbury and Nestlé ones.

Large Easter Eggs are currently on a special deal where shoppers can pick up four for just £10 while a selected range of medium eggs are on rollback for just 75p.

These offers are available online as well as in stores.

There are great options for children too, including Asda’s bundle for £10 containing four large eggs from Thorntons, Smarties and Cadbury. 

Aldi also has some great chocolate egg options including its showstopper Specially Selected exquisite blond beehive egg & hidden truffles.

Available in-stores now for £14.99, the Easter Egg boasts chunky honeycomb pieces and bee pollen.

Supermarkets will regularly update their shoppers on coronavirus safety rules that it has in place to protect staff and colleagues.

Customers heading for a food shop ahead of Easter should make note of all the current guidance in place.

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Yulia Efimova celebrates her return to Russia with bikini snap

Revered Russian swimmer Yulia Efimova has marked her return to Moscow following an 18-month absence from her home country ahead of the Olympic Games – and couldn’t resist setting pulses racing with a new bikini shot,

The 28-year-old, who is preparing to perform in Tokyo this summer, has returned to participate in the national selection of athletes for the Olympic team.

Efimova hasn’t visited Russia since the pandemic began, suffering the effects of travel restrictions.

Upon arriving in Moscow, the world breaststroke champion posed in a bikini at the Chaika Sports Complex, an open-air swimming pool near the Kremlin.

Cold frost and sunshine,” Efimova captioned the snap, citing a famous poem by Alexander Pushkin, the ‘Winter Morning.’

The athlete proudly demonstrated her toned body, triggering a chorus of complimentary comments from her followers.

The swimmer, who has six world titles to her name, has yet to win Olympic gold.

In 2016, Efimova risked missing the Olympic Games after the International Swimming Federation ruled that athletes with unclean doping records wouldn’t be allowed to participate.

The athlete succeeded in overturning that decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and was approved to take part in the competition just days before the swimming section began.

Also on rt.com ‘Wait, did you say a sex ban?’ Swimming champ Yulia Efimova talks intimacy restrictions at Tokyo Games, feminism & Covid vaccines

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