Protesters and police clash again in Ferguson

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FERGUSON, Mo. — Anger spurred by the death of a black teenager at the hands of a white police officer boiled over again when protesters stormed into a Missouri convenience store - the same store that Michael Brown was accused of robbing.

Police and about 200 protesters clashed in Ferguson, Missouri, late Friday after another tense day in the St. Louis suburb, a day that included authorities identifying the officer who fatally shot Brown on Aug. 9. At the same news conference in which officer Darren Wilson was named, Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson released documents alleging that Brown stole a $48.99 box of cigars from the convenience store, then strong-armed a man on his way out.

Just before midnight, some in what had been a large and rowdy but mostly well-behaved crowd broke into that same small store and began looting it, said Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson.

Some in the crowd began throwing rocks and other objects at police, Johnson said. One officer was hurt but details on the injury were not immediately available.

Johnson said police backed off to try and ease the tension. He believes looting may have spread to a couple of nearby stores. No arrests were made.

"We had to evaluate the security of the officers there and also the rioters," Johnson said. "We just felt it was better to move back."

Meanwhile, peaceful protesters yelled at the aggressors to stop what they were doing. About a dozen people eventually blocked off the front of the convenience store to help protect it.

Brown’s death had previously ignited four days of clashes with furious protesters. Tensions eased Thursday after Gov. Jay Nixon turned oversight of the protests over to the Missouri Highway Patrol. Gone were the police in riot gear and armored vehicles, replaced by the new patrol commander who personally walked through the streets with demonstrators. But Friday night marked a resurgence of the unrest that had momentarily abated.

Nixon on Thursday appointed Johnson to take over security after concerns were raised about how local police had used tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters earlier in the week. Johnson said one tear gas canister was deployed Friday night after the group of rioters became unruly.

Jackson’s decision to spell out the allegations that Brown committed the robbery, and his releasing of surveillance video, angered attorneys for Brown’s family and many in the community, including U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay. Earlier Friday night, the Democratic congressman took a bullhorn and told protesters, “They have attempted to taint the investigation. They are trying to influence a jury pool by the stunt they pulled today.”

Family attorney Daryl Parks acknowledged that the man shown in the surveillance footage “appears to be” Brown. But he and others said Brown’s family was blindsided by the allegations and release of the footage. They said that even if it was Brown, the crime didn’t justify the shooting of a teen after he put up his hands in surrender to the officer, as witnesses allege.

Another family attorney, Benjamin Crump, said police “are choosing to disseminate information that is very strategic to try to help them justify the execution-style” killing, said Crump, who also represented the family of Trayvon Martin, the teenager fatally shot by a Florida neighborhood watch organizer who was later acquitted of murder.

The surveillance video appears to show a man wearing a ball cap, shorts and white T-shirt grabbing a much shorter man by his shirt near the store’s door. A police report alleges that Brown grabbed the man who had come from behind the store counter and “forcefully pushed him back” into a display rack.

Police said they found evidence of the stolen merchandise on Brown’s body.

Brown’s family and supporters had been pushing for release of the officer’s name. Wilson is a six-year police veteran - two in neighboring Jennings and four in Ferguson - and had no previous complaints filed against him, Jackson said.

The police chief described Wilson as “a gentle, quiet man” who had been “an excellent officer.” Wilson has been on paid administrative leave since the shooting. St. Louis County prosecutor Bob McCulloch said it could be weeks before the investigation of the shooting wraps up.

St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley on Friday asked Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster to take over the case, saying he did not believe McCulloch could be objective. Koster said Missouri law does not allow it unless McCulloch opts out. McCulloch spokesman Ed Magee said McCulloch has no plans to surrender the case.

Also Friday, the Justice Department confirmed in a statement that FBI agents had conducted several interviews with witnesses as part of a civil-rights investigation into Brown’s death. In the days ahead, the agents planned to canvass the neighborhood where the shooting happened, seeking more information, the statement said.

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Depression ‘more common’ in early Parkinson’s

by Tamara Kachelmeier and Biodun Iginla, BBC News

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Depression and anxiety are twice as common in people newly-diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease compared to the general population, research suggests.

Writing in the journal Neurology, US researchers say depression increases in frequency in Parkinson’s patients and is often left untreated.

Previous research suggests that the disease’s impact on the brain can be a trigger for depression.

Parkinson’s UK said depression could be due to a number of causes.

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine examined 423 newly-diagnosed Parkinson’s patients and tracked as their mental health over two years.

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There are psychological reasons why people with Parkinson’s can become depressed, but their brain pathways are also affected by the disease”

Prof Daniel Weintraub University of Pennsylvania

At the outset, 14% of patients with Parkinson’s disease were found to have depression, compared to 6.6% of a group of healthy volunteers.

During the follow-up, there was a small rise in the frequency and severity of depression in the group with Parkinson’s, while in the control group a decrease was noted.

At the start of the study, 16% of patients with Parkinson’s were taking an anti-depressant, and this increased significantly to 25% two years later.

But 65-72% of patients who screened positive for depression were still not being treated with medication, the study said.

Brain pathways and mood

Dr Daniel Weintraub, associate professor of psychiatry and neurology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, said depression in Parkinson’s disease was under-recognised.

"There are psychological reasons why people who have been diagnosed with a neuro-degenerative disease like Parkinson’s can become depressed, but their brain pathways are also affected by the disease and these are closely associated with mood."

Prof David Burn, from the University of Newcastle, who is funded by Parkinson’s UK, said depression can be a sign of Parkinson’s.

"It is well-recognised that people do get depression and anxiety up to 10 years before they develop Parkinson’s disease.

"People recognise the tremor and movement problems of Parkinson’s, but the disease actually starts in the brain, affecting certain chemicals.

"This can cause sleep problems initially and can also lead to minor forms of depression."

Depression can also be a side effect of Parkinson’s drugs.

Because of the range of possible causes, Parkinson’s UK says it is important that patients speak to their healthcare professional if they are worried about their symptoms.

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Dutchman returns Holocaust medal after family deaths in Gaza

The director of the Righteous Among the Nations department at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial Museum holds the 'Righteous Among The Nations,' medal, on September 30, 2013 in Jerusalem. The “Righteous Among the Nations” medal is for non-Jews who stood up to the Nazis in World War Two

A Dutchman honoured by Israel for hiding a Jewish child during World War Two has handed back his medal after six of his relatives were killed in an Israeli air strike on Gaza.

Henk Zanoli, 91, wrote to the Israeli embassy in The Hague to say he could no longer hold the honour.

He said an Israeli F-16 had destroyed his great-niece’s home in Gaza, killing all inside, in the recent offensive.

The Israeli embassy has declined to comment on Mr Zanoli’s action.

'An insult'

Mr Zanoli and his mother were awarded the “Righteous Among the Nations” honour by Israel in 2011 for helping to shelter a Jewish child from the Nazis in their family home from 1943-45.

The award is accorded to non-Jews who risked their lives to protect and save Jews during the Holocaust.

However, Mr Zanoli said in a letter published by Israel’s Haaretz newspaper that “to hold on to the honour granted to me by the State of Israel under these circumstances, would be an insult… to those in my family, four generations on, who lost no less than six of their relatives in Gaza.”

A picture taken on 20 July 2014, from the southern Israeli-Gaza border shows smoke billowing from buildings following an Israeli air strike on Gaza City.The UN says more than 2,000 people - mostly Palestinian civilians - have died in recent fighting between the Israeli military and Palestinian militants in Gaza

"The great-great grandchildren of my mother have lost their grandmother, three uncles, an aunt and a cousin at the hands of the Israeli military," he wrote, referring to an air strike by the Israeli military on 20 July.

His great-niece is a Dutch diplomat who is married to Palestinian economist Ismail Ziadah, who was born in a refugee camp in central Gaza.

Mr Ziadah’s mother, three brothers, a sister-in-law and nine-year-old nephew were all killed after their family home was hit by Israeli aircraft.

Mr Zanoli, a retired lawyer, offered sharp criticism of Israel’s Operation Protective Edge offensive, warning that such actions could lead to possible convictions of “war crimes and crimes against humanity”.

Israel has defended its offensive in Gaza, saying its forces had gone to “unprecedented lengths to keep Palestinians out of harm’s away” by issuing warnings via text message, telephone and leaflet dropping.

Mr Zanoli has faced his own share of family tragedy after losing his father at a Nazi concentration camp and a brother-in-law who was killed for his role in the Dutch resistance during World War Two.

"Against this background it is particularly shocking and tragic that today, four generations on, our family is faced with the murder of our kin in Gaza. Murder carried out by the State of Israel," he wrote in the letter addressed to Israeli ambassador Haim Davon.

He was reportedly too frail to hand the medal back in person, but instead sent it to the Israeli embassy in the Netherlands.

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Russia say its vehicles not destroyed in Ukraine

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Latest News Merkel to Putin: Halt flow of arms to Ukraine

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KAMENSK-SHAKHTINSKY, Russia  — NATO on Friday said a Russian military column ventured overnight into Ukraine, and the Ukrainian president said his forces destroyed most of it. Russia denied all of this, but the reports spooked global markets and overshadowed optimism driven by agreement over a Russian aid convoy bound for eastern Ukraine.

The White House said it was looking into what it called unconfirmed reports that Ukraine’s security forces disabled vehicles in a Russian military convoy inside Ukraine.

The Russian aid convoy of more than 250 trucks has been a source of tensions since it set off from Moscow on Tuesday. Kiev and the West were suspicious that the mission could be a pretext for a Russian military incursion into eastern Ukraine, where government forces are battling pro-Russia separatists and clawing back rebel-held territory.

Throughout the eastern crisis that erupted in April, there have been consistent allegations that Russia is fomenting or directing the rebellion. Moscow rejects the allegations and the high-profile aid convoy could be aimed, in part, at portraying Russia as interested in cooling the conflict. Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared to cultivate that perception in a Thursday speech in which he said Russia hopes for peace in Ukraine.

It was not clear what Russia could hope to gain by sending in a military column while world attention was trained on its efforts to get the aid convoy into eastern Ukraine.

But some foreign journalists reported that Russian armored personnel carriers were seen crossing into Ukraine on Thursday night. On Friday, a statement on Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko’s website said “the given information was trustworthy and confirmed because the majority of the vehicles were destroyed by Ukrainian artillery at night.”

NATO secretary-general Anders Fogh Rasmussen also confirmed that Russian military vehicles had entered Ukraine, but he gave no specifics.

In Moscow, a spokesman for the Russian Defense Ministry insisted that no Russian military vehicles were destroyed because none had crossed into Ukraine. Yet Britain said it summoned Russian Ambassador Alexander Yakovenko in to clarify reports of the Russian incursion.

In Washington, National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said the U.S. government is working to gather more information about the reports. She said the U.S. remains concerned about repeated Russian and Russian-supported incursions into Ukraine.

Markets sold off heavily Friday, spooked by thought of Ukrainian troops engaging with Russia forces inside Ukraine. Germany’s DAX, which had been trading over 1 percent higher, ended the day 1.4 percent lower.

The crossing reportedly took place near the southern Russian town where the aid trucks have been parked, awaiting permission to go into Ukraine.

After days of controversy, Russia nominally consented to let Ukrainian officials inspect the convoy while it was still on Russian soil and agreed that the Red Cross would distribute the goods in Ukraine’s region of Luhansk.

In Washington, a Pentagon spokesman said Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu “guaranteed” Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Friday that no Russian troops are involved in the transport of humanitarian relief supplies to eastern Ukraine.

In their first telephone conversation since late April, Shoygu assured Hagel that the Russian convoy “was not to be used as a pretext to further intervene in Ukraine,” according to the spokesman, Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby. Kirby did not mention whether the two discussed Ukraine’s claim that it had attacked Russian military convoy vehicles.

Laurent Corbaz, the International Committee of the Red Cross’ director of operations in Europe, described a tentative plan in which the trucks would enter Ukraine with a single Russian driver each - as opposed to the current crew of several people in each truck - accompanied by a Red Cross worker. In line with Red Cross policy, there would be no military escort, he said.

However, some Russian military vehicles near the aid convoy were seen Friday carrying a Russian acronym standing for “peacekeeping forces” - a signal that Moscow was considering a possible military escort.

Germany, meanwhile, said Chancellor Angela Merkel pressed Putin to end the flow of military goods and personnel into Ukraine ahead of a weekend meeting of foreign ministers aimed at easing tensions.

Merkel spokesman Steffen Seibert said the two leaders spoke Friday evening ahead of a meeting Sunday between the Russian, Ukrainian, German and French foreign ministers in Berlin.

He said Merkel urged Putin to de-escalate the situation “and in particular put an end to the flow of military goods, military advisers and armed personnel over the border into Ukraine.”

The fighting in eastern Ukraine has claimed nearly 2,100 lives, half of those in the last few weeks as the Ukrainian troops regained more and more rebel-held territory. It began in April, a month after Russia annexed Ukraine’s Black Sea peninsula of Crimea.

The eastern Ukrainian city of Luhansk has suffered extensively from an intense military barrage over the last few weeks. The city remains cut off from power and water supplies, and its mobile and landline telephone systems barely function, local authorities said Friday. Little food is available but bread is still being made using portable generators.

Ukraine, meanwhile, proceeded with its own aid mission to the Luhansk area. Trucks sent from the eastern city of Kharkiv were unloaded Friday at warehouses in the town of Starobilsk, where the goods were to be sorted and transported further by the Red Cross. Starobilsk is 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Luhansk.

Other Ukrainian aid was taken to the town of Lysychansk, which retaken by Ukrainian forces late last month but has seen sporadic clashes until earlier this week.

Dozens of houses showed signs of damage Friday in Lysychansk - some had windows blown out, while others had been blasted or burned to the ground. An Associated Press reporter saw small children playing in the rubble of one destroyed house.

As Ukrainian emergency workers discussed how to distribute the aid, clusters of older women and small children began appearing on the town’s streets. Residents said the aid was the first they had seen since fighting had ended.

—-

Family of shot Missouri teenager urges calm

CCTV pictures show a robbery that took place minutes before the shooting

The family of the black teenager shot by police on Saturday in Ferguson, Missouri, have appealed for calm after police revealed he was a suspect in a robbery.

Police have released CCTV footage showing Michael Brown, 18, stealing from a convenience store.

Mr Brown’s family have criticised what they see as a police attempt to “justify the execution-style murder”.

The killing sparked days of angry clashes between police and protestors.

"Stay with us, we don’t want to see any violence on the streets. Please continue to peacefully protest," said Michael Brown’s cousin, Eric Davis.

Eric Davis, Michael Brown’s cousin: “We do not want violence in the street”

"The family have never said that Mike Brown was perfect," said a lawyer representing Brown’s family.

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson said the officer who shot Brown did not know that he had allegedly stolen goods from a nearby store.

"The initial contact between the officer and Michael Brown was not related to the robbery," he said.

Instead, he added, the reason for the stop was that Brown “was walking down the middle of the street stopping traffic”.

A tear rolls down the cheek of Lesley McSpadden, the mother of slain teenager Michael Brown, during a community meeting held at Greater St. Marks Family Church to discuss the killing of her son and the civil unrest resulting from his death 12 August 2014 in St Louis, Missouri Michael Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden, during a community meeting on Tuesday
Ferguson protestProtests on Thursday night were peaceful after four nights of violence

Mr Jackson said he had released the footage of the crime only because he had been forced to do so because of numerous freedom of information requests from journalists.

He described the robbery at the convenience store as being committed without the use of a weapon.

CCTV pictures in a police report show a well-built black man intimidating a clerk in the store.

The police report identifies the man as Mr Brown, described as being 6ft 4in (193cm) and 292 pounds (132kg).

It says he “grabbed a box of Swisher Sweet cigars” and handed them to a second suspect identified as Mr Brown’s friend, Dorian Johnson.

The BBC’s Aleem Maqbool describes the “extraordinary scenes” in Missouri after state police took charge of security

Since the shooting on Saturday, Mr Johnson has given a number of interviews in which he has said Mr Brown held up his hands in an act of surrender before being shot by the officer.

Also on Friday Mr Jackson revealed the name of the officer who shot and killed Mr Brown - Darren Wilson - and said he was injured in a struggle with Mr Brown.

Mr Wilson, is a six-year veteran of the police force with no disciplinary record, Mr Jackson said.

Members of the majority black Ferguson community have reacted angrily to the revelations.

Ferguson resident Milton Jackson, 37, said: “I don’t believe what the officer did was called for. Even if there was a robbery, it was unnecessary force to shoot an unarmed black man.”

Michael BrownMichael Brown had recently graduated from high school

On Thursday night, tension seemed to ease, at least momentarily, as state police took charge of security after days of violent clashes between protesters and police.

There was no sign of the heavily armed police presence of previous nights.

US Attorney General Eric Holder said the use of military equipment and vehicles in Ferguson had sent a “conflicting message”, while President Barack Obama said there was no excuse for police using “excessive force”.

Mr Obama has promised a full investigation by the US Department of Justice into the teenager’s death, and the FBI has launched its own inquiry.

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Ukraine forces attack Russian armour inside Ukraine

KIEV Fri Aug 15, 2014 1:01pm EDT

Ukrainian forces inspect Russian aid convoy (01:09)

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Ukraine said its artillery partly destroyed a Russian armoured column that entered its territory overnight and said its forces came under shellfire from Russia on Friday in what appeared to be a major military escalation between the ex-Soviet states.

Russia’s government denied its forces had crossed into Ukraine and accused Kiev of trying to sabotage deliveries of aid. NATO said there had been a Russian incursion into Ukraine, while avoiding the term invasion, and European capitals accused the Kremlin of escalating the fighting.

Kiev and its Western allies have repeatedly accused Russia of arming pro-Moscow separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine, and of sending undercover military units onto Ukrainian soil.

But evidence of Russian military vehicles captured or destroyed on Ukrainian territory would give extra force to Kiev’s allegations - and possibly spark a new round of sanctions against the Kremlin.

Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for the Ukrainian military, told a news briefing that Kiev’s forces had picked up a Russian military column crossing the border under cover of darkness.

"Appropriate actions were undertaken and a part of it no longer exists," Lysenko said.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko briefed British Prime Minister David Cameron on the incident and told him a “significant” part of the Russian column had been destroyed, according to statement from Poroshenko’s office.

Britain summoned Russia’s ambassador to ask him to clarify reports of a military incursion into Ukraine, and European Union foreign ministers said any unilateral military actions by Russia in Ukraine would be a blatant violation of international law.

NATO

Earlier on Friday, responding to reports that a Russian column had entered Ukraine overnight, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said the alliance had seen what he called a Russian incursion into Ukraine.

"It just confirms the fact that we see a continuous flow of weapons and fighters from Russia into eastern Ukraine and it is a clear demonstration of continued Russian involvement in the detribalization of eastern Ukraine," the NATO chief said.

A spokesman for Russia’s border guard service was quoted by Russian news agencies as denying that any Russian military units had entered Ukraine.

In a statement issued by the Russian foreign ministry, Moscow accused Ukrainian forces of intensifying the fighting against pro-Moscow separatists in eastern Ukraine in an attempt to sabotage Russian efforts to get aid into rebel-held areas.

After Ukraine reported the clash, Russia’s rouble currency weakened against both the dollar and the euro. Russian shares were also dragged lower.

The dollar hit a three-week low against the safe-haven Swiss franc CHF=, benchmark German 10-year Bund yields DE10YT=TWEB fell about 4 basis points to a new record low of 0.962 percent and European stocks .FTEU3 sold off, led by the Russia-exposed German DAX index .GDAXI.