Minneapolis protests escalate, Twitter flags Trump tweet and North Korea's nuclear plant

Protesters focused their attention on the police department's 3rd Precinct, the base of four officers who were fired after Floyd's death in their custody.
Image: Minneapolis protest
Protesters gather around after setting fire to the entrance of a police station as demonstrations continue in Minneapolis on Friday.Carlos Barria / Reuters

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By Petra Cahill

Good morning, NBC News readers.

A major American city erupted in a third night of violence over the death of a black man in police custody, the Trump-Twitter feud just went to another level, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo says if you love New York, wear a mask.

Here's what we're watching this Friday morning.


Minneapolis police station set on fire as George Floyd protests escalate

A Minneapolis police station was set on fire Thursday night as protests over the death of George Floyd raged on for a third night.

Protesters late Thursday focused their attention on the police department's 3rd Precinct, the base of four officers who were fired after Floyd's death in their custody Monday.

Mayor Jacob Frey said in an early morning news conference Friday that he made the decision to pull police out of the precinct. Demonstrators subsequently forcibly entered the building and "ignited several fires," a department spokesman said.

Earlier Thursday, Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order activating the National Guard.

However, NBC News correspondents reporting from the scene of the precinct fire Thursday evening said they saw no sign of the police or National Guard troops' presence.

As some of the protests and looting spread across the Twin Cities, St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter urged people to stay home.

"Please keep the focus on George Floyd, on advancing our movement, and on preventing this from ever happening again. We can all be in that fight together," Carter said Thursday.

Demonstrations spread across the country to other cities last night — including New York and Los Angeles.

In Louisville, Kentucky, where Breonna Taylor was killed by police during a raid at her home, seven people were shot during protests. Police were not involved in the shootings and the circumstances around them were not immediately clear, officials said.

A new video capturing the moment Floyd was detained by police appears to show three officers on the ground with him.

But while activists are calling for murder charges in Floyd's death, criminal justice experts say that they are rare against police.


Twitter flags Trump tweet, says it glorifies violence

While the fires were burning in Minneapolis Thursday night, President Donald Trump weighed in via his formerly favorite social media platform: Twitter.

The president blamed local leadership for the unrest and threatening to deploy National Guard troops that were already in position in the Twin Cities.

"I can't stand back & watch this happen to a great American City, Minneapolis," the president tweeted.

He went on to threaten that "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."

Twitter swiftly slapped a warning on the post, saying the post violated its rules against glorifying violence.

It was the latest salvo in the ongoing feud between the president and the social media giant that has escalated this week.

Earlier Thursday, Trump signed an executive order aimed at regulating what he called social media companies "unchecked power."

The move came days after Twitter added a fact-check label to a pair of Trump's tweets for the first time.

However, legal experts say that Trump's executive order likely won't accomplish much and would be bad public policy.

Protestors demonstrate outside of a burning fast food restaurant on Friday in Minneapolis.John Minchillo / AP

Gov. Cuomo says wear a mask if you love New York

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo threw his weight Thursday behind businesses eager to stop the spread of the coronavirus by signing an executive order authorizing them to deny entry to any customer who doesn't wear a mask or other face covering.

The governor's move comes in the wake of several well-publicized confrontations between companies that require face coverings and customers who have refused to follow orders.

"That store owner has a right to protect himself," Cuomo said at his daily coronavirus briefing.

The move comes as workers in vacation spots, like Moab, Utah, welcome tourists back with caution.

"I've definitely heard locals grumble about tourists not wearing masks, as if they're on vacation, so they're on vacation from the coronavirus, as well," one local said.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a briefing on COVID-19 in Brooklyn on Thursday.Angela Weiss / AFP - Getty Images

North Korea still operating, improving major nuclear fuel plant, experts say

A key source of material for North Korea's nuclear program remains operational and continues to be updated, according to an upcoming report based on recent satellite photos that underscores the persistence of a top threat to U.S. national security, NBC News' Andrea Mitchell and Ken Dilanian report.

In a preview of their analysis obtained exclusively by NBC News, North Korea experts Joseph S. Bermudez Jr. and Victor Cha say imagery taken in March depicts ongoing activity at the Pyongsan Uranium Concentrate Plant, which is believed to produce so-called yellowcake uranium, a precursor of nuclear fuel.


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PLUS


THINK about it

Larry Kramer was a true LGBT radical. And not just for his AIDS activism, Charles Kaiser writes in an opinion piece.


Shopping

Here are the 17 best grilling gifts for Father's Day.


Quote of the day

"Weakness is pointing your finger at somebody else during a time of crisis. Donald Trump knows nothing about the strength of Minneapolis. We are strong as hell."

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey responding to tweets from President Trump criticizing his leadership.


One fun thing

OK, that was a lot of tough news for a Friday morning.

Now everyone could probably use a walk.

Here are some tips from our Better editors on how turn your quarantine walk into a workout — or a meditation.

"Walking allows you to see other people and say hello at a safe distance," says Michele Stanten, an ACE-certified trainer and author of "Walk Off Weight."

"That brief social interaction is enough to boost your mood and make you smile."


Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.

I really hope you can go for that walk and have a peaceful weekend.

If you have any comments — likes, dislikes — drop me an email at: petra@nbcuni.com If you're a fan, please forward it to your family and friends. They can sign-up here.

Thanks, Petra Cahill