Daily Digest: Protests continue in Turkey, MERS Virus spreads to Italy and WWII veteran U.S. Senator dies

Rebecca Harrington

Here's your Daily Digest for Monday, June 3: 


Protests continue in Turkey, PM labels protestors extremists

Protests are now in their fourth day in Turkey, where a peaceful demonstration against turning Istanbul's last park into a shopping mall turned violent Friday as police clashed with protestors, CNN reports. 

The demonstrators are mostly young people who are now calling for more freedom of speech and for Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to resign, who has been in office for more than a decade, the New York Times reports. On Sunday, Erdogan called the protestors "looters" and "bums." 

"This is a protest organized by extremist elements," Reuters reported Erdogan said in a news conference on Monday. "We will not give away anything to those who live arm-in-arm with terrorism."

Nearly 2,000 people have been arrested in more than 48 cities, according to the Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.


MERS virus spreads to Italy, WHO director calls it "threat to the entire world" 

The World Health Organization confirmed the 53rd case of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, or MERS, in Italy on Sunday. Three dozen people have died since the virus' outbreak last September. 

WHO Director Margaret Chan called the virus a "threat to the entire world" in a speech last week, The Verge reported. 

The virus is similar to the SARS virus that killed nearly 800 people in 2003, according to Reuters. Symptoms include fever, cough, trouble breathing and diarrhea, according to the WHO

MERS' transmission mechanism is still unknown, Forbes reports, and health professionals are advised to use quarantine protocols if they suspect someone has the virus. 


The U.S. Senate’s last WWII vet died at 89

Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., died early Monday morning in a Manhattan hospital at the age of 89, NPR reports.

Lautenberg was the Senate’s oldest member, and its last World War II veteran. His accomplishments include banning smoking on airplanes, raising the drinking age to 21 and stricter gun control measures during his five terms, according to the New York Times.

"[Lautenberg] came from the corporate world where he used to give orders and things happened," former Senate staff aide Steve Schlein told New Jersey's Star-Ledger. "He would get his back up on issues and mix it up with other senators. He wasn’t beloved and he didn’t try to be. He just focused on the issues in front of him, and often that meant butting heads."

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will likely appoint a Republican to fill Lautenberg’s place, which would tip the Senate’s makeup to 46 Republicans, 52 Democrats and two independents, according to the New York Times.