Midday Roundup: Ferguson violence simmers after post-grand jury explosion
by Leigh Jones
Posted 11/26/14, 12:44 pm
Night Two. Overnight protests in Ferguson, Mo., were less violent than on Monday, but angry rioters did torch one police car and vandalize several businesses. Police used tear gas several times throughout the night and arrested 44 protesters. Hundreds more people demonstrated peacefully to call for changes in the way police officers deal with members of the African-American community after officer Darren Wilson shot and killed unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown in August. A grand jury announced Monday it would not indict Wilson for Brown’s death. Protesters held rallies in 170 cities across the country, almost all of them peaceful. In an interview with ABC News that ran last night, Wilson said he had a “clean conscience” because he did his job right. He said the incident did not haunt him. Wilson insisted he feared for his life and said Brown never raised his hands in surrender.
IRS lawsuit. A conservative watchdog group is suing the IRS to get documents related to a semi-secret program to monitor churches. Chris Farrell of Judicial Watch said the IRS failed to answer its Freedom of Information Act request. Judicial Watch wants documents showing how the IRS came to an agreement with the atheist group Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) to monitor churches for alleged political speech. Farrell said the problem is the one-sided nature of the monitoring. FFRF sued the IRS in 2012 for not enforcing what it saw as electioneering in churches. But the case was dropped after the IRS agreed to monitor certain churches. Details of that agreement were never released. Judicial Watch also wants information about a secretive “political activities referral committee” set up in the agreement that chooses which churches to monitor.
Health scare. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg had a stent placed in her heart this morning to clear a blockage in one of her arteries. She is expected to be released from the hospital in a few days. Doctors discovered the problem after Ginsburg, who is 81, felt discomfort while exercising with her personal trainer at the Supreme Court’s private gym. She has dismissed calls for her resignation so President Barack Obama can appoint her successor. She has said she is perfectly healthy and won’t step down from the job until she can no longer do it. Democrats fear if a Republican president gets to appoint her successor, it would change the balance of power on the court.
Romney re-run? A new Quinnipiac University poll released this morning puts Mitt Romney at the top of a pack of possible presidential contenders in 2016. Romney, who lost to President Barack Obama in 2012 and has not indicated he would run again, got support from 19 percent of those polled. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who has hinted at a possible candidacy, got 11 percent. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and conservative commentator Ben Carson tied with 8 percent. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., came in with 6 percent. The results may be discouraging for conservatives, who would prefer a less centrist candidate. Conservative champions Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, and Mike Huckabee each had support from 5 percent of those polled.
Turkey travel trouble. Today is the busiest travel day of the year, and people trying to leave or come to the East Coast may be in for a long, frustrating journey. A nor’easter is expected to bring rain and snow to the area at the worst time possible. Airlines have already canceled more than 800 flights and delayed about 1,000 more.
WORLD Radio’s Jim Henry contributed to this report.
Leigh is acting managing editor for WORLD Radio. She is a World Journalism Institute graduate who spent six years as a newspaper reporter in Texas before joining WORLD. Leigh also co-wrote Infinite Monster: Courage, Hope, and Resurrection in the Face of One of America's Largest Hurricanes. She resides with her husband and daughter in Houston, Texas.