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Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

A judge ruled on Thursday that all three men charged in the death of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man who was shot and killed in February Glynn County, Georgia, will stand trial, AP reports.

Why it matters: The video of Arbery's death was among several catalysts in the mass protests against racial injustice that have unfurled across the country and world over the past week and a half.

  • Gregory and Travis McMichael, two white men, were arrested on charges of murder and aggravated assault in May.
  • William Bryan Jr., who recorded the event, was also arrested in May on a felony murder charge and attempt to commit false imprisonment.

Details: The McMichaels pursued Arbery, who was out for his daily jog, after telling police they suspected that he had committed a burglary, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.

  • An agent from the GBI testified at the probable cause hearing on Thursday that Bryan told police that Travis McMichael used a racial slur as he stood over Arbery's body after shooting him with a shotgun, according to AP.
  • The agent also testified that there is evidence that McMichael used racial slurs "numerous times" on social media and in text messages.

What they're saying:

"There's evidence of Mr. Bryan's racist attitude in his communications, and from that I extrapolate the reason why he made assumptions he did that day. He saw a man running down the road with a truck following him, and I believe he made certain assumptions that were, at least in part, based upon his racial bias."
— GBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Richard Dial, according to CNN

The big picture: Protesters have demanded the prosecutors involved in investigating Arbery's death resign after long delays in the arrests of the men involved. The Justice Department is investigating whether the shooting qualifies as a hate crime.

Go deeper

COVID cases fall by 20%

Expand chart
Data: N.Y. Times; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

The number of new COVID-19 cases continues to plummet all across the U.S.

By the numbers: The U.S. is now averaging roughly 70,000 new cases per day, a 20% drop over the past two weeks.

12 mins ago - Health

Democrats' risky health care play

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Some Democrats say it's possible that pieces of their social policy agenda end up being enacted or extended for only a year or two, including major Affordable Care Act and Medicaid provisions.

Why it matters: Limited terms may be the only way Democrats can strike a deal within their budget. But the risk is that Republicans will be able to undo these temporary programs if they're able to regain control of Congress through next year's midterms.

2 hours ago - World

Taiwan leader confirms U.S. troops on island training forces

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen in Taipei earlier this month. Photo: I-Hwa Cheng/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-wen told CNN Thursday that a small number of American troops are on the island for training purposes and she has "faith" the U.S. would defend the democracy against a Chinese military attack.

Why it matters: This is the first time a Taiwanese leader has publicly acknowledged the presence of U.S. troops on the self-governing island since the last U.S. garrison left in 1979, when Washington switched formal diplomatic recognition to Beijing.