• Nation and World Briefs
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     | August 20,2014
     

    FERGUSON, Mo.

    Local leaders pledge outreach

    Ferguson’s leaders urged residents Tuesday to stay home after dark to “allow peace to settle in” and pledged several actions to reconnect with the predominantly black community in the St. Louis suburb where the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown has sparked nightly clashes between protesters and police.

    According to a statement from the city, Ferguson’s mayor, City Council and other employees have been exploring how to increase the number of African-American applicants to the law enforcement academy, develop incentive programs to encourage city residency for police officers and raise funds for cameras that would be attached to patrol car dashboards and officers’ vests.

    “We plan to learn from this tragedy, as we further provide for the safety of our residents and businesses and progress our community through reconciliation and healing,” the leaders said in the statement Tuesday.

    Benjamin Crump, an attorney for Brown’s family, said the 18-year-old’s funeral and memorial service would be Monday, though the time and location haven’t been finalized.

    The National Guard arrived in Ferguson Monday but kept its distance from the streets during another night of unrest.



    BAGHDAD

    Iraqis, militants clash near Tikrit

    Skirmishes broke out Tuesday between Iraqi security forces and militants on the outskirts of Tikrit, a local official and a resident said, a day after the Iraqi and Kurdish troops backed by U.S. airstrikes dislodged Islamic militants from a strategic dam in the country’s north.

    The United Nations refugee agency, meanwhile, said it is launching one of its largest aid pushes aimed at helping close to a half million people who have been forced to flee their homes by the violence in Iraq.

    The clashes in Tikrit, some 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of Baghdad, began on the militant-held city’s southwestern outskirts when a military convoy was travelling along the main highway that links Baghdad with the northern provinces, they said. The Iraqi military shelled militant positions inside and outside the city.

    There were no immediate reports of casualties. The local official and resident both spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing for their safety.

    Sunni extremists from the Islamic State group have occupied Tikrit and the northern city of Mosul since early June, as well as large parts of the country’s north and west. The militant onslaught has plunged Iraq into its worst crisis since the withdrawal of U.S. troops in 2011.



    DONETSK, Ukraine

    Attacks, diplomatic efforts continue

    Government troops pressed attacks Tuesday in the two largest cities held by pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine, while Kiev also pursued diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict that has killed more than 2,000 and displaced another 300,000.

    Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko prepared to host German Chancellor Angela Merkel this weekend before heading to a meeting next week with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

    The next two weeks “will be crucial for finding the way to move from war to peace,” said Valery Chaly, the deputy head of Poroshenko’s administration.

    He said in a televised briefing that Kiev sees “clear diplomatic roadmap” ahead and expressed hope that a new approach could be found to end the war.

    Poroshenko’s efforts to quell the insurgency have been focused on encircling Donetsk, the largest rebel-controlled city and a regional capital. Fighting began in mid-April after Russia annexed Crimea, a peninsula on the Black Sea, while Kiev’s forces have recaptured significant amounts of territory from the separatists.


    NEW YORK

    Famed SNL announcer Pardo dies

    Few would recognize his face, but most knew his voice: the booming baritone that for nearly four decades heralded “Saturday Night Live.”

    Don Pardo, the eras-spanning radio and TV announcer whose resonant voice-over style was celebrated for its majesty and power, died Monday in Arizona at the age of 96.

    “He became our link to the beginnings of television on NBC — and radio,” said Lorne Michaels, who, as creator of “SNL” (and who remains its executive producer) hired Pardo.

    Pardo’s strong jaw and leading-man smile were seldom on display, but for more than 60 years his elegant pipes graced newscasts, game shows (during the original run of “Jeopardy!,” its emcee ritually called on him to “Tell ‘em what they’ve won, Don Pardo”) and especially “SNL,” where he played an integral role through last season, heralding the lineup, like always, as recently as the May finale.

    “There was no greater thrill than hearing Don Pardo bellow your name for the first time in the opening credits of ‘Saturday Night Live,”’ said long-time cast member Tina Fey. “It meant you were officially ‘on television.”

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