Plus the showdown in Hong Kong and lots more. . .
We begin with the Los Angeles Times:
Protests over Ferguson shooting enter third day; arrests in St. Louis
Activists rushed into St. Louis City Hall on Wednesday to protest a grand jury decision not to indict a white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man in nearby Ferguson as the region moved into its third day of demonstrations.
Hundreds of people demonstrated in front of the municipal building, shouting “Shame, Shame.” Some then entered the building and police, carrying riot shields, quickly responded.
As many as five people were arrested, officials said.
The Los Angeles Times again, with some numbers:
183 Ferguson protesters arrested in L.A., many more than in other cities
Los Angeles police arrested 183 protesters overnight Tuesday — a much larger number than in other major cities in the nation on the second night of protests over the grand jury decision in the Michael Brown shooting case.
Los Angeles Police Department Chief Charlie Beck, at a news conference Wednesday morning, said he could not speak to what had occurred in other parts of the country but that the LAPD and CHP had been “extremely generous in allowing the expression of 1st Amendment activities.”
A bulk of the arrests occurred Tuesday night. Of the 183 held, 167 were arrested for disturbing the peace, 15 juveniles for violating curfew, and one person was taken into custody for alleged felony battery after throwing a frozen water bottle at a police officer’s head, Beck said.
And closer to Casa esnl, via the Oakland Tribune:
Ferguson protest: 92 arrests in Oakland during 2nd night of looting, vandalism
Merchants on Wednesday were mopping up after a second night of vandalism and looting in the wake of a Missouri grand jury’s decision not to indict a police officer in the shooting death of Ferguson teenager Michael Brown.
Tuesday night saw 300 march through downtown and North Oakland — vastly reduced from Monday’s estimated crowd of 2,000 — with protesters taking to the freeways two different times to block lanes.
Officials said officers arrested 92 people on Tuesday night, mostly on charges of obstruction and failure to disperse. Police had arrested 43 people the night before.
From BuzzFeed, across the Atlantic:
Ferguson Protest Brings Parts Of Central London To A Standstill
- Hundreds of people marched through central London in solidarity with Michael Brown, who was shot dead by police in Ferguson
Hundreds of protestors congregated outside London’s US embassy in the early evening to protest about the death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
Brown was shot dead by a police officer earlier this year. On Monday a grand jury decided that no charges would be brought against the officer involved.
Over 500 people were on the protest, which brought one of the capital’s main streets to a standstill.
A video report from RT:
London to Ferguson: Crowd protesting police racism tears down Parliament Square barriers
The McClatchy Washington Bureau makes connections:
Social media help take Ferguson protests national
“When you see people kneeling down on the highway, they’re trained to do that . . . it is just straight-up tactics from the civil rights movement,” James Peterson, director of Africana Studies at Lehigh University in Bethlehem, Pa., said in an interview Wednesday. “But social media certainly has been a great tool.”
Twitter, the popular micro-blogging service, has been engorged with Ferguson-related postings. Between Tuesday and Wednesday, 580,000 Tweets citing Ferguson were counted by the analytical service Topsy. One targeted hashtag, #BlackLivesMatter, was included in 72,000 Tweets in just one day.
Underscoring the reach of social media, prisoners at Boston’s South Bay Detention Facility held up signs reading “#BlackLivesMatter” to high-security windows. Other social media venues, such as Facebook, have likewise been aflame with Ferguson news and commentary. One page alone, called Justice for Mike Brown, had accumulated 43,934 “Likes” as of Wednesday.
Rounding out our Ferguson items, a graphic take from Jack Ohman, editorial cartoonist for the Sacramento Bee:
On to the war zones, now with Warthogs, via United Press International:
Air Force to deploy A-10s to combat Islamic State
- “They’re going over there because there’s a need,” says the Air Force
A group of A-10 Thunderbolt fighter jets has arrived in the Middle East where they will be used to halt the spread of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
The A-10s, or Warthogs, are currently the center of Washington debate — senior defense officials want to retire the 283 remaining A-10s to save nearly $4 billion, while many feel such a move would cut off one of the military’s more powerful tools.
“They’re going over there because there’s a need … to be postured for a combat rescue mission,” Air Force spokeswoman Jennifer Cassidy explained to Stars and Stripes.
Although slow and low flying, A-10s can transport and deploy massive amounts of fire power to support combat troops on the ground. The planes have armored bellies to protect pilots from ground fire, and can be armed with a 30mm Gatling cannon and a variety of bombs, missiles and other explosives.
The Christian Science Monitor has the hush-hush:
Why US is mum on special ops raid that rescued hostages in Yemen
- Eight hostages were brought to safety Tuesday after an intense firefight at the cave in remote eastern Yemen where the hostages were being held by Al Qaeda
There are two good reasons the cover-of-night, US-led commando raid that rescued eight Al Qaeda hostages in Yemen Tuesday received none of the fanfare and public back-slapping of previous successful counterterror operations.
One is obvious: No Americans were among the hostages – six Yemenis, one Saudi, and one Ethiopian – brought to safety after an intense firefight at the cave in remote eastern Yemen where the hostages were being held.
But the other explanation is that the Obama administration is very much interested in seeing the successful operation, which included both US and Yemeni forces, reinforce Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi. He is a stalwart US ally in the fight against Al Qaeda in the region, but his grasp on power has been repeatedly shaken over recent months.
Al Jazeera America covers the latest drone attacks:
US drone strike in Pakistan kills five suspected Taliban fighters
- Strike follows critical report on number of innocent civilians killed in US drone strikes
A U.S. drone strike on Wednesday killed five suspected militants in northwest Pakistan, a government official said, as an anti-Taliban offensive by the Pakistani military grew in intensity. The deadly strike comes one day after a human rights group issued a report drawing international attention to the number of innocent lives claimed by U.S. drone strikes.
The drone strike on Wednesday targeted a house in Datta Khel near the Afghan border. Pakistani fighters in the area allegedly used the residence as a safe house.
“The Government of Pakistan condemns the drone strike that took place in the early hours of Wednesday, 26 November 2014 at Garga, north of Shawal in North Waziristan Agency,” the government said in a statement.
An update from the Express Tribune in Karachi:
Eight suspected militants killed in North Waziristan drone strike
Eight suspected militants were killed in latest US drone attack in border area of North Waziristan on Wednesday, security officials said.
“The drone fired two missiles, killing at least eight people and injuring two others,” a security official in the area told AFP via phone on condition of anonymity.
“There may be more dead bodies under the rubble,” he said.
The identity of those killed could not be determined immediately, however, few of them are believed to be foreign militants.
The same story as seen by Iran’s PressTV:
US drone attacks kill 11 people in Pakistan, Afghanistan
US assassination drone strikes in Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan have killed nearly a dozen people.
A drone attack killed eight people in Pakistan’s tribal region along the Afghan border. The unmanned aircraft fired two missiles at a compound in the town of Dattakhel in North Waziristan. Three Afghans lost their lives in a similar attack in Afghanistan’s Laghman province. The US military conducts deadly drone strikes in several Muslim countries including Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen. Washington says the air raids target militants, but a large number of civilians have been killed in the attacks.
Drone coverage from the domestic front from the Washington Post:
Near-collisions between drones, airliners surge, new FAA reports show
Pilots around the United States have reported a surge in near-collisions and other dangerous encounters with small drones in the past six months at a time when the Federal Aviation Administration is gradually opening the nation’s skies to remotely controlled aircraft, according to FAA records.
Since June 1, commercial airlines, private pilots and air-traffic controllers have alerted the FAA about at least 25 episodes in which small drones came within a few seconds or a few feet of crashing into much larger aircraft, the records show. Many of the close calls occurred during takeoffs and landings at the nation’s busiest airports, presenting a new threat to aviation safety after decades of steady improvement in air travel.
Many of the previously unreported incident reports — released Wednesday by the FAA in response to long-standing public-records requests from The Washington Post and other news organizations — occurred near New York and Washington.
The Hill clicks Undelete:
National Archives backs off plan to destroy CIA emails
The National Archives and Records Administration is taking a second look at the CIA’s proposal to delete its employees’ emails after they leave the agency.
The record-keeping agency “intends to reassess” the proposal to destroy old emails of all but 22 top officials at the spy agency, chief records officer Paul Wester wrote to the agency last week.
Citing concerns from top congressional overseers and transparency advocates, “we are concerned about the scope of the proposed schedule and the proposed retention periods,” Wester wrote in the letter, which was unearthed by the Federation of American Scientists’s project on government secrecy on Wednesday.
The National Archives had tentatively backed the agency’s proposal to destroy “non-senior” staffers’ emails three years after they leave the agency “or when no longer needed.” At the time, the records agency said that any important communications will likely exist in other formats, which will be catalogued for a permanent record.
The Intercept spins the spin:
The US/UK Campaign to Demonize Social Media Companies as Terrorist Allies
In May, 2013, a British Army soldier, Lee Rigby, was killed on a suburban London street by two Muslim British citizens, who said they were acting to avenge years of killings of innocent Muslims by the British military in, among other places, Afghanistan and Iraq. One of the attackers, Michael Adebolajo, had also been detained and tortured in 2010 in Kenya with the likely complicity of Her Majesty’s Government. The brutal attack on Rigby was instantly branded “terrorism” (despite its targeting of a soldier of a nation at war) and caused intense and virtually universal indignation in the UK.
In response, the British Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee resolved to investigate why the attack happened and whether it could have been prevented. Ensuring that nothing undesirable would occur, the investigation was led by the Committee’s chair, the long-time conservative government functionary Sir Malcolm Rifkind. Yesterday, Sir Malcolm’s Committee issued its findings in a 191-page report. It contains some highly predictable conclusions, but also some quite remarkable ones.
Predictably, the report, while offering some criticisms, completely cleared the British intelligence agencies of any responsibility for the attack. It concluded: “we do not consider that any of the Agencies’ errors, when taken individually, were significant enough to have affected the outcome,” and “we do not consider that, given what the Agencies knew at the time, they were in the position to prevent the murder.”
After the jump, the U.N. calls for releasing the CIA torture report, draconian new state security legislation in Old Blighty, France deprivatizes the phone tap, Google European breaking legal questions pondered, ap-tracking Twitter, Hookers in your cell phone, you annual cyberscam warning, China corporateers win disclosure in a U.S. court, Egypt sends children to prison for protesting, the death rattle of the Arab Spring in Cairo, Turkey clamps down on the Fourth Estate, the wrong song sends a Pakistani actress to price for decades, brutality allegations probed in Australian military academies, Hong Kong police mass to block re-Occupation while some of the colleagues are busted for brutality, and tycoons seek their own Hong Kong asylum. . . Continue reading