Unveiling the flag for his new space force in the Oval Office on Friday, Donald Trump said the US was developing a “super duper missile” to outpace military rivals including Russia and China, writes the Guardian’s Martin Pengelly:
“We have no choice, we have to do it with the adversaries we have out there. We have, I call it the super duper missile and I heard the other night [it’s] 17 times faster than what they have right now,” the president said, sitting at the Resolute desk.
“That’s right,” said the defense secretary, Mark Esper, standing to Trump’s right.
“You take the fastest missile we have right now,” Trump said. “You heard Russia has five times and China’s working on five or six times, we have one 17 times and it’s just got the go-ahead.”
Late afternoon summary
Terrorism charge over threat to governor
A man accused of making credible death threats against Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer and state attorney general Dana Nessel has been charged on a terrorism count, the Wayne County prosecutor’s office said this afternoon.
Robert Tesh made the threats via a social media message to an acquaintance on April 14 and authorities concluded the message amounted to “credible threats to kill,” prosecutor Kym Worthy said Friday in a news release, the AP reports.
Worthy didn’t provide any detail about the threats or how they were determined to be credible. Further details will be presented during court proceedings, she said.
Detroit police officers arrested the 32-year-old man the same day at his home. He was arraigned April 22 on a threat of terrorism charge. If convicted, Tesh could face up to 20 years in prison.
“Emotions are heightened on all sides now,” she told the Associated Press. “These threats ... they are not funny. They are not jokes. There is nothing humorous about it. Even if you don’t carry it out, we’re going to charge you criminally.”
The threats from Tesh were not specific to Whitmer’s stay-at-home order issued in March in an effort to stem the spread of Covid-19 in the state, according to Maria Miller, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office.
Whitmer has been the target of protests and rallies over her executive order which shut down most businesses in the state. The order is effective at least until May 28.
“The alleged facts in this case lay out a very disturbing scenario,” Worthy said. “We understand that these times can be stressful and upsetting for many people. But we will not and cannot tolerate threats like these against any public officials who are carrying out their duties as efficiently as they can.
Protests in Lansing yesterday were led by Michigan United for Liberty, a conservative activist group that has sued Whitmer and organized or participated in several rallies since early April.
During a rally last month, some armed protesters entered the Capitol building.
Tesh was released from jail on April 29 after posting a $50,000 bond. He has been placed on a GPS tether. Comment has been sought from his attorney.
The Guardian’s Mario Koran writes in about Twitter and Square CEO Jack Dorsey announced that he will donate $10 million for computers and internet access to help close the digital divide in Oakland:
Dorsey dropped the news after Oakland mayor Libby Schaaf tweeted a video of one of the estimated 25,000 students who lack access to the internet. “Every student deserves the ability to learn from home”, wrote Schaaf. The mayor also spotlighted a $12.5M plan “to close the digital divide for good.”
@jack quickly answered the call.
Roughly two months into the switch from brick-and-mortar schools to online education, millions of families with school-aged children still remain offline.
The need persists even in the shadow of Silicon Valley. As schools shut down, and educators hustled to equip students with devices, the need for internet access was often unmet. Back orders mounted, compounding wait times for unconnected students.
The same families without internet often face food scarcity or unstable living conditions — both of which have been exacerbated with businesses closed and parents out of work.
Dorsey’s donation, by itself, won’t be enough to close the digital divide in Oakland. But will certainly help. Schaaf called Dorsey’s announcement a “game changer”.
Scenes from the White House press conference
Truckers disrupt Trump press conference