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John Lewis Inspired by Floyd Outcry in Final Days: Protest Wrap

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(Bloomberg) — Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis, in an op-ed written before his death and published in today’s New York Times, said he was inspired in the last hours and days of his life by those seeking change in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

“Though I may not be here with you, I urge you to answer the highest calling of your heart and stand up for what you truly believe,” he wrote. “In my life I have done all I can to demonstrate that the way of peace, the way of love and nonviolence is the more excellent way. Now it is your turn to let freedom ring.”

A funeral service for Lewis is underway at the historic church once led by Martin Luther King Jr. Barack Obama, who considered Lewis a personal hero, is among the speakers.

Nestle SA will include Juneteenth as a U.S. holiday starting next year, becoming one of the first European companies to commemorate the formal end of slavery in the country in 1865. The Swiss food giant joins the likes of Nike Inc. and Twitter Inc. in adding June 19 to its corporate holiday calendar. In the U.S., McDonald’s Corp. said today it will step up efforts to fight systemic racism by addressing any hiring biases, increasing the diversity of its leadership and doing more to attract diverse franchisees.

Amid the outcry for racial justice, some economists have called on the Federal Reserve to target narrowing the gap between White and Black unemployment as it makes policy decisions. Fed Chair Jerome Powell told reporters Wednesday there has been more attention to the gap in recent years, but there are limits as to what the central bank can do about it. Instead, he suggested fiscal, education and health care policies in the U.S. can do more than monetary policy to combat the issue.

Powell’s comments came after a former senior Fed economist levied a broad critique of her profession, saying that racism, sexism and elitism have led to toxic work environments and bad policy advice.

The Trump administration struck a deal with Oregon to end weeks of clashes between federal officers and protesters in downtown Portland that President Donald Trump has made a focus of his re-election campaign. But federal and state officials gave seemingly conflicting accounts of the agreement. Oregon Governor Kate Brown said customs and immigration officers would leave Portland starting Thursday. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told reporters that agents will withdraw when it’s clear that state and local law enforcement can secure downtown streets and prevent property destruction at the federal courthouse.

In Oakland, California, a judge ruled local police can’t fire certain less-lethal munitions like rubber bullets and pepper balls at protesters. The judge limited the use of tear gas or flash grenades, and required officers to wear body cameras and face masks and to wear bags or nameplates showing their name or identification number.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Justice Department will deploy additional federal agents to Detroit, Milwaukee and Cleveland to help fight violence, as part of an initiative started July 8 in Kansas City that has expanded to Albuquerque and Chicago, U.S. Attorney Matthew Schneider said Wednesday in a statement.

Key Developments:

Snap Commits to Doubling Women and Minorities on StaffNYPD’s Use of Unmarked Van in Arrest Draws Parallels to PortlandWhere George Floyd Was Killed: Solemn by Day, Violent by NightHe Held a Black Lives Matter Sign in ‘America’s Most Racist Town.’ Nestle Makes Juneteenth Holiday in U.S. Amid Racial Tensions

More From Bloomberg QuickTake:

Outcry over NYPD use of unmarked van to arrest protester:

Governor Brown on Portland:

Vandalism toward police:

Trump here:

(Updates with funeral service underway)

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