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Thursday, August 21, 2014

Good Morning, News!

Posted by Denis C. Theriault on Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 9:29 AM

This is what a quiet night looks like in Ferguson. The clashes between protesters and military-outfitted police that had defined much of the past week seemed to subside for the night, following a day that saw Attorney General Eric Holder blow into town, sit down with community members, and talk about his own very personal experience with racial profiling as an African American man. A grand jury has begun taking up the police shooting of Michael Brown, the unarmed teen whose death helped draw out some of the long-festering tensions in the St. Louis suburb. The protests have also exposed the weak and tangled leadership in the small town.

In St. Louis proper, however, police officers shot another African American man—Kajieme Powell, who appeared to be experiencing some kind of mental health crisis and reportedly was holding a butter knife. One difference? Cell phone video shows the whole thing, with Powell dying just seconds after police arrived with guns drawn. And another? The chief of police showed up almost immediately and provided information Ferguson cops held back for days, all in a bid to keep tensions from escalating.

American journalist James Foley, beheaded by the super-charged militants making up the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, had been kept alive for some time in a bid for millions in ransom cash. The US military didn't pay, deciding, instead, to drop a special forces team into Syria earlier this summer in what became a failed effort to find and free Foley and other hostages.

Afghanistan, on the other hand, is merely looking to kick out a New York Times reporter after quibbling with his reporting on an election dispute that's dragged on for weeks and weeks.

Israeli airstrikes in Gaza, following the collapse of another cease-fire, have reportedly killed three top Hamas military commanders. Those deaths come after a maybe-successful attempt on another leader (whose family wasn't so lucky). This might make the attacks seem surgical and precise. They're not. And they've never been. Regular Palestinians are back to bearing the brunt of the onslaught.

The separatists in Ukraine managed to shoot down a government warplane, adding to the blood and destruction in the Russia-encouraged civil war. But in the midst of all that fighting, aid trucks from a mysterious Russian convoy have slowly been clearing customs and welcomed into battle-scarred Ukraine.

The Ebola crisis continues to ravage West Africa—with soldiers now shooting protesters in a climate of panic and chaos. But back in the USA, it's all smiles. One of the aid workers given an experimental drug and flown back to the CDC has been discharged and declared Ebola-free after nearly succumbing.

A homeless man in New York had been wondering for almost two weeks what happened to his dog, Spot, after New York police officers took the animal away. He finally found out what happened thanks to a reporter. Spot was euthanized without anyone ever telling his owner.

President Obama, giving the finger to Congress while working with business groups shouting for changes, could be ready to address illegal immigration by fixing and expanding one of its feeders: America's byzantine, punitive, and incredibly tight system for legal immigration.



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