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Walz declares state of emergency

Plus: governor to sign ‘hands-free’ bill; UMD men’s hockey team back in NCAA championship game; NY Post slammed over Omar cover; and more.

Gov. Tim Walz
MinnPost photo by Peter Callaghan
Gov. Tim Walz
In the Star Tribune, Tim Harlow and Danish Raza report: “As a fierce spring snowstorm headed into a third day of pounding Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz declared a state of emergency in 64 counties and three tribal nations. Walz’s move Thursday night authorized the National Guard to provide emergency aid in areas struggling with storm and flooding dangers.”

Says the AP: Gov. Tim Walz is about to sign into law a bill that will require Minnesota motorists to use hands-free devices when they’re driving while phoning. The bill cleared its final legislative hurdle Thursday when the Senate approved compromise language 48-12. The final version dropped a provision that would have allowed for phones tucked under headware such as hijabs. The signing ceremony is set for Friday. The law will take effect Aug. 1.”

MPR’s Jon Collins and Riham Feshir report on the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Mohamed Noor: “Thursday afternoon’s testimony with officer Jesse Lopez will continue on Friday. Lopez was tasked with escorting Noor’s partner Matthew Harrity after the shooting. He testified that he told Harrity not to use a city-provided cellphone to call his wife, and lent him his own personal phone to use. … Lopez’s body camera footage played in court Thursday showed him talking to Noor right before Lopez turned his body camera off. ‘You all right, kiddo?’ Lopez asked Noor. ‘Just keep to yourself, keep your mouth shut until you have to say anything to anybody.’”

In the Duluth News-Tribune, Matt Wellens writes: “On the eve of the 2019 NCAA Frozen Four, Providence coach Nate Leaman credited the adversity his team faced throughout the year for getting them to Buffalo this year. … On Thursday at KeyBank Center, it was the defending national champion [University of Minnesota Duluth] Bulldogs drawing on the adversity they faced this season, using it to overcome a pair of disallowed goals in a 4-1 victory over Providence to reach the NCAA championship game for the third consecutive season. UMD will face Massachusetts at 7 p.m. Saturday.”

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From The Washington Post: “The cover of the New York Post on Thursday showed an image of the World Trade Center exploding into flames on Sept. 11, some 17 years ago. The target of the tabloid’s ire? U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar, one of the first two Muslim women to ever serve in Congress, who has become a frequent target of criticism, harassment and outright anti-Islamic rhetoric from the right wing since her election in November. Omar, D-Minn., had made some brief remarks about Islamophobia at an event in March that came in the aftermath of the shooting that left 50 Muslim worshippers dead in New Zealand. But after video of the event was published this week, conservative figureheads fixated on the way she had phrased a reference to 9/11, as ‘some people did something.’ … The decision touched off a storm of indignation and anger among liberal commentators online.”

Ryan Cooper in says, “In context, it is absolutely beyond question that Omar was not downplaying 9/11, she was simply pointing out the injustice of all 1.8 billion Muslims worldwide being blamed for a small number of people committing a horrible atrocity. She’s not even avoiding mentioning that the attackers were Muslim — on the contrary, it is taken for granted in the logic of her entire speech that everyone she is talking about is Muslim. No less than George W. Bush made this point in a speech before Congress after 9/11 … .”