In our news wrap Thursday, the governor of Missouri ordered the National Guard to begin withdrawing from the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. A police officer was suspended for pointing a semi-automatic rifle at a crowd of protesters Tuesday night, and threatening to kill one of them. Also, a college friend of the accused Boston Marathon bomber pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice charges.
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The governor of Missouri ordered the National Guard today to begin withdrawing from the Saint Louis suburb of Ferguson. They were deployed Monday, amid the unrest over the police shooting of Michael Brown.
Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder urged Americans everywhere to address tensions between minorities and police. He spoke a day after visiting Ferguson to talk with local residents and investigators.
ERIC HOLDER, Attorney General:
The national outcry we have seen speaks to a sense of mistrust and mutual suspicion that can take hold in the relationship between law enforcement and certain communities. I wanted the people of Ferguson to know that I personally understood that mistrust. I wanted them to know that, while so much else may be uncertain, this attorney general and this Department of Justice stands with the people of Ferguson.
The streets of Ferguson were relatively calm overnight in a further sign that tensions are easing some. Small crowds demonstrated peacefully, and only six people were arrested. Police also announced that of the 163 people arrested to date, only seven live in Ferguson.
Meanwhile, a police officer seen in this amateur video was suspended for pointing a semiautomatic rifle at a crowd of protesters Tuesday night and threatening to kill one of them.
A friend of the accused Boston Marathon bomber pleaded guilty today to obstruction of justice charges. Dias Kadyrbayev allegedly removed evidence from a college room, including a backpack holding emptied firework casings. Under a plea agreement, he will serve no more than seven years. The 2013 bombing killed three people and wounded more than 260.
In Ukraine, there was no break in the heavy fighting around the eastern cities of Donetsk and Luhansk. At least 50 people were killed yesterday, as government forces pressed their offensive against pro-Russian rebels. Meanwhile, the first of more than 200 trucks in a Russian relief convoy began clearing customs. They’re being inspected by Ukrainian border guards. The Red Cross has agreed to oversee distribution of the humanitarian aid.
The ice bucket challenge sweeping social media now faces challenges of its own. The campaign features people being doused with freezing water to raise money for research into ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease. Today, the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati ordered its schools not to take part because some of the research involves embryonic stem cells. And the State Department ruled that ambassadors may not raise money for any private cause, however worthy.
And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 60 points to close at 17,039. The Nasdaq rose five points to close at 4,532. And the S&P 500 added more than five points to finish at 1,992 a new record.