U.N. LEADERS TO SHUN GENERAL ASSEMBLY BECAUSE OF COVID-19

UNDATED (AP) — The president of the United Nations General Assembly says world leaders will not be coming to New York for their annual gathering in late September for the first time in the 75-year history of the United Nations because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Tijjani Muhammad-Bande told a news conference yesterday he hopes to announce in the next two weeks how the 193 heads of state and government will give their speeches on pressing local and world issues during the assembly’s so-called General Debate.

He said “world leaders cannot come to New York because they cannot come simply as individuals and “it is impossible” to bring large delegations during the pandemic.

“We cannot have them in person as we used to — what happened in the last 74 years — but it will happen” Muhammad-Bande said of the annual gathering.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres recommended last month that the meeting of world leaders, which was supposed to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the United Nations, be dramatically scaled back because of the pandemic.

GEORGE FLOYD MEMORIAL HELD IN HOUSTON

HOUSTON (AP) — The last chance for the public to say goodbye to George Floyd drew thousands of mourners to a church in Houston where he grew up, as his death two weeks ago continues to stoke protests in America and beyond over racial injustice, and spurred France to abruptly halt the use of police choke holds.

In a reflection of the weight of the moment, the service yesterday drew the families of black victims in other high-profile killings whose names have now become seared in America's conversation over race — among them Eric Garner, Michael Brown, Ahmaud Arbery and Trayvon Martin.

“It just hurts," said Philonise Floyd, George Floyd's brother, sobbing as he ticked off some of their names outside the church. "We will get justice. We will get it. We will not let this door close."

Under a blazing Texas sun, mourners wearing T-shirts with Floyd's picture or the words “I Can't Breathe” — the phrase he said repeatedly while pinned down by the knee of a Minneapolis police officer — waited for hours to pay their respects.

Floyd’s body, dressed in a brown suit, lay in an open gold-colored casket.

Some sang “Lean on Me" and Houston's police chief bumped fists and embraced others in line.

Floyd’s funeral will be today, followed by burial at the Houston Memorial Gardens cemetery in suburban Pearland, where he will be laid to rest next to his mother.

FBI SAYS RIGHT-WINGERS SOUGHT TO MAKE TROUBLE AT PROTESTS

LAS VEGAS (AP) — FBI agents found rags, gasoline, aerosol cans and weapons along with booby traps, fireworks and handwritten notes of military and survival tactics while serving search warrants on three Nevada men who authorities say sought to spark violence during recent Las Vegas protests.

In a police report obtained yesterday, U.S. prosecutors say Stephen T. Parshall, 35, Andrew T. Lynam Jr., 23, and William L. Loomis, 40, have ties to a loose movement of right-wing extremists advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government.

Authorities said the men hoped to carry out a plan to create civic unrest by capitalizing on protests over businesses closed due to the coronavirus and later, the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis after a white officer pressed his knee into his neck for nearly nine minutes.

Parshall, Lynam and Loomis, all white men with U.S. military experience, each currently face two federal charges: conspiracy to damage and destroy by fire and explosive, and possession of unregistered firearms. They also face charges of felony conspiracy, terrorism and explosives possession in state court.

They were arrested May 30 as they prepared to attend a protest of Floyd's death after filling gas cans at a parking lot and making Molotov cocktails in glass bottles.

TROPICAL STORM CRISTOBAL COULD STRENGTHEN

UNDATED (AP) — Tropical Storm Cristobal could soon renew its strength by uniting with another storm system coming from the west to form one giant cyclone, forecasters say.

After drenching much of the South, forecasters now expect the remnants of Cristobal to bring fierce winds, heavy rain and thunderstorms to much of the Midwest today.

A very strong storm system sweeping out from the Rocky Mountains is expected to meld with Cristobal in the next couple of days, said Greg Carbin, who oversees forecasts at the Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

“The two will eventually merge into a large cyclone," Carbin said. “It’s a pretty fascinating interaction we'll see over the next couple of days."

Wind gusts of up to 45 mph are expected in Chicago by Tuesday night, the National Weather Service said. Boaters were being warned of gale-force winds on nearby Lake Michigan today and tomorrow.

ARMY: SOLDIER FOUND DEAD W/FAMILY WAS INTELLIGENCE ANALYST

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The soldier who was found dead with his family in an SUV parked in the garage of a San Antonio home was an intelligence analyst, the U.S. Army says.

Staff Sgt. Jared Esquibel Harless along with his wife and four children were found dead Thursday after police went to check on the family in response to a welfare call from his employer.

Sheryll Harless, 36, two boys ages 4 and 11 months, and two girls ages 3 and 1 were found dead when police arrived on the scene in the San Antonio home and detected carbon monoxide. Two cats were also found dead the front seat of the SUV.

Jared Harless, 38, was a 35Q cryptologic cyberspace intelligence collector and analyst, the Army said Saturday. He was assigned to Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.

San Antonio Police Chief William McManus said the deaths seem to be a murder-suicide, not an accident, though it’s too early to confirm. McManus added that the family had been living in the house since January, San Antonio Express-News reported.