The trial for George Floyd begins jury selection this week, stimulus checks are coming (!!), and more headlines.
Justice for George Floyd
After what seems like the most contentious year in modern history, the case of George Floyd's death is finally starting. On Monday, the jury selection process for former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin was set to begin but was pushed back a day. Chauvin is accused of killing Floyd last May after pressing his knee on the victim's neck for 8 minutes and 20 seconds, while he lay pinned and handcuff on the pavement.
Prosecutors hope that the autopsy reports, eyewitness accounts, and bystander video will assist in their case. All eyes on are the Minneapolis the incident sparked global protests tied to police brutality and systematic racism.
As reported by USA Today, jury selection has been delayed until at least Tuesday. Twelve jurors and up to four alternates will be selected in a process that could take up to three weeks. Opening arguments are scheduled for March 29.
Finally ... the Senate passed President Joe Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill on Saturday after months of debate. It has to go back to the House, which is scheduled to vote on Tuesday to approve changes, as they've already passed a version of the bill.
If and when approved, Americans would receive $1,400 that would start being distributed within days of Biden signing the bill — with some sources saying the money may come by the end of the month. The entire bill is 600-pages so there's more to unpack beyond money immediately hitting our pockets.
But with recent natural disasters that left many homeless, Covid-19, and high unemployment rates, any form of relief can't come soon enough.
Everyone is talking about Nomzamo Mbatha!
South African actress Nomzamo Mbatha stole the show in Coming 2 America that premiered on Amazon Prime last Friday. Without spoiling anything: As Mirembe the royal barber, Nomzamo acts a source of wisdom and a love interest in the film. But to get the role, the audition process was less than dreamy.
“I was supposed to fly from Abu Dhabi straight back to South Africa for the South African Music Awards. They were waiting for me at rehearsals,” she told Essence about immediately jumping at the chance to audition for the role. “So I changed my flight. I canceled my flight from Abu Dhabi to South Africa and booked a whole new flight from Dubai to L.A." Long story short, she got in front of casting director Leah Butler and eventually nabbed the role.
What audiences see in the movie is a remastered version of Zamunda and a spell-binding performance from Nomzamo. And that doesn't even touch on the stunning fashion!
Vaccinated people can gather indoors
The CDC released new health guidelines today for those vaccinated against COVID-19, saying those individuals can gather indoors with others who are fully vaccinated with no precautions. The catch: Everyone must still adhere to masking and social distancing in public spaces.
Seen as one huge step toward normalcy, the announcement comes almost a year after America went into lockdown to prevent the spread of the highly contagious disease.
As the AP reports, the recommendations also say that vaccinated people can come together in the same way — in a single household — with people considered at low-risk for severe disease, such as in the case of vaccinated grandparents visiting healthy children and grandchildren.
So far only 31 million Americans have been fully vaccinated, which is about 9 percent of the country. But! This is one small step toward a potentially fun, socially-safe summer.