Overnight Briefing & General Reality Check - Dec 2, 2014
December 2, 2014
The Feds on Ferguson:
PRESIDENT OBAMA met with members of his Cabinet, civil rights leaders, law enforcement officials, and young activists Monday and called for a "sustained conversation" surrounding the relationship between police and the communities they serve, referring to the "disintegration of trust" between law enforcement and the public.
Obama admits past task forces have fallen short, but said "this time will be different because the president of the United States is deeply vested in making it different."
Obama announced he'll tighten standards on the provision of military-style equipment to local police departments and provide funds for police officers to wear cameras-- $263 million for up to 50-thousand body cameras for cops. Video footage could clarify disputed incidents like the deadly encounter between MICHAEL BROWN and the police officer DARREN WILSON in Ferguson, MO.
But the transfer of military-grade gear to local law enforcement will continue, though administration sources say local authorities need common standards in the types of hardware they request and better training in how to use it.
Speaking at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta last night, Attorney General ERIC HOLDER defended the ongoing federal investigation into the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson last summer, calling the probe "rigorous and independent from the very beginning." The Justice Department is also investigating allegations of unconstitutional policing patterns or practices by the Ferguson Police Department.
The chair of the Congressional Black Caucus also spoke out on Ferguson and broader racial tensions in the United States in far less measured tones on the House floor.
"The Ferguson grand jury's decision not to indict former officer Darren Wilson was yet another slap in our face," said Ohio Democratic Rep. MARCIA FUDGE. "The fact that our country --the greatest country in the world-- remains mired in race relations issues in the year 2014 is an embarrassment," she said. "If we are to learn anything from the tragic death of Michael Brown, we must first acknowledge that we have a race issue that we are not addressing." (Kaye)
Why get network news on TV when you can see it on Facebook? Yep, it's on there.
Daily Variety reports starting last night, ABC's "World News Tonight" anchor DAVID MUIR is hosting a daily, one-minute video update featuring a round-up of top stories and trending topics each weekday.
The show, called "Facecast: The One Thing," will reportedly be filmed behind the scenes at ABC News headquarters in New York City and then posted on the "World News Tonight" Facebook page.
The Girl Scouts of America announced that they will now be selling cookies online. The organization raises nearly $800 million raised in annual cookie sales, with around 80 percent of the two million girl scouts selling cookies every year.
Until this year, the Girl Scout organization prohibited sales online. But now, the NY Times reports each scout may have her own cookie website, which customers can gain access to only if the scout sends them an emailed invitation. No identifying information about the scout may be posted so that it is visible publicly. Cookie sales will start nationally in January.
U2 was supposed to do a surprise concert last night in New York's Times Square for World AIDS Day, but since BONO got banged up in a bike accident, he couldn't be there. The show went on anyway with BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN, and CHRIS MARTIN of COLDPLAY taking turns on the lead vocals with the rest of U2 backing them up. KANYE WEST and CARRIE UNDERWOOD also performed at the big event which was streamed live on YouTube. (Marino)
You Are What You Eat --Drunk History Edition:
Humans may have started consuming alcohol about 10 million years ago, long before modern humans began brewing booze. New research says the ability to break down alcohol likely helped our human ancestors make the most out of rotting, fermented fruit that fell to the ground. LiveScience.com says researchers at Santa Fe College in Gainesville, Florida have found that there was a single genetic mutation 10 million years ago that gave our human ancestors an enhanced ability to break down ethanol. The timing of this mutation coincided with our ancestors moving from living in up trees to living life down on the ground. Being able to consume rotted fermenting fruit would have been a trait that would help human ancestors survive when other food was scarce. (Bartha)
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