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HeadlinesAugust 20, 2014

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Police: 47 Arrested on 10th Night of Protests in Ferguson, Missouri

Aug 20, 2014

Protests over the fatal police shooting of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown have continued for a 10th night in Ferguson, Missouri. Speaking earlier today, Captain Ron Johnson of the Missouri State Highway Patrol said 47 people were arrested overnight.

Captain Ron Johnson: “As of 1 a.m., there were 47 arrests tonight and early this morning compared to 31 at the same time yesterday. I will add that one of the arrestees was an out-of-state violator whom we’ve arrested for the third time. I also think that over the past 10 days, the men and women of law enforcement and the people of Ferguson have gotten to know better and to understand one another. It makes me proud every night as I see more and more police officers and residents interacting and smiling.”

Jail records obtained by the media show at least 78 people were arrested overnight Monday, more than twice the number cited by police. The overwhelming majority of those arrested were from Missouri.

St. Louis Police Fatally Shoot Black Man Miles from Protest

Aug 20, 2014

Just miles away in St. Louis on Tuesday, police fatally shot a 23-year-old black man accused of stealing energy drinks and pastries from a convenience store. St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson said the man brandished a knife.

Sam Dotson: “Both officers are out of the car. When they initially got out of the car, they did not have their weapons drawn. When the suspect displayed his knife, they drew their weapons. The officers are giving the suspect verbal commands, 'Stop, drop the knife, stop, drop the knife.' Suspect moved towards the passenger, the police officer that was in the passenger seat of the vehicle, at which time he came within three to four feet of the officer, and the officers shot. Both officers fired their weapons, striking the suspect, and the suspect is deceased.”

About 200 people gathered at the scene after the shooting. Some chanted “hands up, don’t shoot,” the constant refrain at protests over the death of Michael Brown.

Top U.N. Human Rights Official: “Apartheid Is Flourishing” in Parts of the United States

Aug 20, 2014

The U.N. high commissioner for human rights has condemned the police crackdown on protests in Ferguson, Missouri. In an interview with Reuters, Navi Pillay said the United States should “cherish … people’s right to protest.” Pillay also compared the clashes in Ferguson to those sparked by apartheid in her native South Africa, saying, “These scenes are familiar to me, and privately I was thinking that there are many parts of the United States where apartheid is flourishing.”

NFL Players Hold Up Hands in Solidarity with Ferguson

Aug 20, 2014

The protests in Ferguson have reached the National Football League. The players on the secondary lineup for the Washington team took to the field Monday night with their hands in the air in a gesture of solidarity with the Ferguson protests. The team is facing a racial controversy of its own with two top football commentators now joining the ranks of those to avoid the name R-dsk-ns because it is a racial slur.

Pentagon Defends Program That Supplied Military Gear to Ferguson Police

Aug 20, 2014

The Pentagon is continuing to defend a program that gives excess military equipment to domestic police departments like the one in Ferguson, Missouri. Pentagon spokesperson Rear Admiral John Kirby listed the equipment Ferguson has received through the program.

Rear Admiral John Kirby: “The Ferguson Police Department since 2007 has — the Defense Logistics Agency has transferred to them — this is excess property — two Humvees, one generator and one cargo trailer to this Ferguson Police Department. Now, in all of St. Louis County over that same period of time, which includes Ferguson, six pistols, 12 rifles, 15 weapons sites, an EOD robot, three helicopters, seven Humvees, as I said, two of which are being used by Ferguson, and two night vision devices.”

Grand Jury to Consider NYPD Chokehold Death of Eric Garner

Aug 20, 2014

In New York City, a grand jury will hear evidence in the death of Eric Garner, an African-American father of six who died after police placed him in a banned chokehold. Staten Island District Attorney Daniel Donovan Jr. said he made the decision to impanel the grand jury after reviewing evidence in the case, including an autopsy that ruled Garner’s death a homicide. Garner’s family has called for a federal investigation.

Israel Resumes Assault on Gaza; 11 Palestinians Killed

Aug 20, 2014

Israel has resumed its assault on the Gaza Strip, killing 11 Palestinians after a 10-day pause in violence. Israel said it launched at least 60 airstrikes after Palestinian militants fired rockets in violation of the latest ceasefire, which was due to end at midnight. Since fighting resumed, Israeli strikes have reportedly killed seven members of a single family, including three children, as well as the wife and two-year-old son of Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif. There were no reports of Israeli fatalities from rocket fire. More than 2,000 Palestinians, hundreds of them children, have been killed since the Israeli offensive began in July. On the Israeli side, 64 soldiers and three civilians have been killed.

Israeli-Palestinian Truce Talks Break Down in Cairo

Aug 20, 2014

Talks in Cairo aimed at reaching a lasting truce between Israel and the Palestinians have broken down. Israel said it withdrew its team as a result of rockets fired by Palestinian militants. But Palestinian negotiator Azzam al-Ahmed blamed Israel for the breakdown of the talks.

Azzam al-Ahmed: “Despite the collapse of the calm period a few hours ago, it was preceded by the Israeli delegation leaving at around 4 p.m., which is evidence of a decision by the Israeli prime minister, Netanyahu, and it was declared that he was the one that ordered them to leave Cairo. Israel announced the collapse of the negotiations when we were still negotiating through the Egyptian mediator. This is evidence that the decision was premeditated to foil the negotiations and destroy the calm period from the Israeli party’s side.”

Oakland: Protesters Continue Bid to Block Unloading of Israeli Ship

Aug 20, 2014

In Oakland, California, protesters opposed to the Israeli assault on Gaza have continued efforts to block a ship operated by an Israeli company from unloading. On Tuesday, the ship left the Port of Oakland after it was prevented from unloading for a fourth day in a row, but it later returned.

Islamic State Says U.S. Journalist James Foley Beheaded in Revenge for Iraq Airstrikes

Aug 20, 2014

The Islamic State appears to have beheaded American journalist James Foley in retaliation for U.S. airstrikes in Iraq. Foley had reported for Global Post and Agence France-Presse before his capture in Syria in 2012. In a graphic video released Tuesday, a man presumed to be Foley is shown in an orange jumpsuit — an apparent reference to U.S. prisoners at Guantánamo. Before the beheading, he recites a statement blaming his death on the U.S. government and calling U.S. airstrikes “the last nail in my coffin.” Foley was previously captured in Libya in 2011 and held for weeks by forces loyal to ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi. He reflected on that experience in an interview with The Boston Globe.

James Foley: “You don’t want to be defined as that guy who got captured in 2011, and I believe that frontline journalism is important. Without these photos and videos and firsthand experience, we can’t really tell the world how bad it might be.”

In a statement, James Foley’s mother, Diane Foley, said: “We have never been prouder of our son, Jim. He gave his life trying to expose the world to the suffering of the Syrian people.” The Islamic State video also claims to show another American journalist, Steven Sotloff, who has been missing for a year. The militants say his life depends on Obama’s “next decision.”

Iraqi Forces Seek to Reclaim Tikrit from Islamic State

Aug 20, 2014

Iraqi forces faced fierce resistance from Islamic State militants in their push to reclaim the Iraqi town of Tikrit. On Monday, Kurdish and Iraqi forces succeeded in regaining control of the Mosul Dam.

Ebola Deaths Top 1,200; Liberia Imposes Curfew, Isolates Slum

Aug 20, 2014

In West Africa, the number of deaths from a record outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus has topped 1,200, with more than 2,200 total cases. Liberia, which saw the most new cases in recent days, has imposed a nationwide curfew and sent security forces to seal off a slum housing tens of thousands of people. U.N. agencies have stepped up efforts to deliver food to quarantined areas of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. Three sickened Liberian doctors who received the experimental drug ZMapp are said to be improving.

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