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Artwork adorning the Lafayette Park fencing in front of the White House in Washington, D.C. Photo: Astrid Riecken for the Washington Post via Getty Images

Lafayette Square, a park located across the street from the White House, reopened on Monday after a roughly yearlong closure, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: The park has been closed to the public since last June, when police used tear gas and batons to clear Black Lives Matter protestors from the square so that then-President Donald Trump could stage a photo-op at St. John's Church.

The big picture: Although some of the fencing remains, the park is now open, according to the Times.

  • The Secret Service did not give an explicit reason for the park's sudden reopening but noted in a statement that it is "committed to balancing necessary security measures with the importance of public access and view," per the Times.

Go deeper

Updated Oct 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

The major police reforms enacted since George Floyd's death

Federal officers in Portland, Oregon on July 21. Photo: Nathan Howard/Getty Images

Nationwide Black Lives Matter protests sparked by George Floyd's killing have put new pressure on states and cities to scale back the force that officers can use on civilians.

Why it matters: Police reforms of this scale have not taken place since the inception of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2013, following George Zimmerman's acquittal for shooting Trayvon Martin, an unarmed Black teenager.

3 hours ago - Health

FDA authorizes mix-and-match for COVID booster shots

Photo: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

The Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) on Wednesday gave its approval for Americans to get booster shots that are different from the COVID vaccine they initially received.

Why it matters: The recommendation from the FDA, which also authorized booster shots for people who received Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines on Wednesday, paves the way for an expansion of booster shots.

GOP congressman forfeits committee seats after indictment

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) on Wednesday stepped down from his committee assignments after being indicted for lying to federal investigators amid a probe into illegal campaign donations.

What they're saying: In a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Fortenberry said he is "grateful for the outpouring of support from my friends and colleagues as we work against the injustice confronting me."

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