The grand jury has made its decision not to indict Officer Darren Wilson in the death of Michael Brown last August in Ferguson, Missouri. But another verdict became clear last night, too. The decision by St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch to announce the decision at 8:30 p.m. CT was foolish and dangerous.
A little over two days. That's how long the grand jury deliberated before deciding not to bring an indictment against Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri on August 9. St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch announced the grand jury had heard more than 70 hours of testimony from 60 witnesses before reaching its decision, which he said was supported by physical evidence.
No one paying attention to the events in Ferguson, Missouri, since August will be surprised by the grand jury decision Monday night to not indict Officer Darren Wilson.
The University of Virginia has suspended all fraternity activities until January 2015 while authorities investigate allegations of sexual assault made against members of a prominent fraternity house there.
A quip often attributed to Albert Einstein defines insanity as conducting the same actions repeatedly but expecting different results each time. By that characterization, insanity has been running rampant in Vienna, where diplomats from Iran and the P5+1, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany, have extended the deadline for talks aimed at resolving concerns over Iran's nuclear program.
Few will long lament the departure of Chuck Hagel as defense secretary. He was a weak choice for the job, seen as a comfortable one for President Barack Obama, a former senator he knew who was unlikely to ruffle feathers or be as challenging to work with as his stronger predecessors, Robert Gates or Leon Panetta. But if Obama thinks that pushing out Hagel will be seen as the housecleaning that many have recommended for his spluttering national security process, he is likely to be very disappointed.
Washington and Tehran didn't reach the final nuclear deal they were striving for, but the short-term extension of talks announced Monday should help ensure more progress can be made, both in preventing a nuclear-armed Iran and reducing the chances of yet another war in the Middle East.
Recently, an organization called Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. filed a lawsuit against Harvard University, alleging that its admissions practices violate Title VI of the Civil Rights Act for "intentionally discriminating against applicants on the basis of race" -- specifically, against Asian Americans. (A second, similar lawsuit was filed against the University of North Carolina -- Chapel Hill.)
When plans were announced to build a giant new transoceanic canal across Nicaragua, the young Hong Kong businessman leading the project acknowledged the widespread skepticism. "We don't want it to become an international joke," said Wang Jing, a 40-year-old with no significant engineering experience and a background he described as "very normal."
Is there a new President Obama?
Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron, has declared that when dealing with would-be "terrorist fighters," he believes it should be easier to confiscate passports -- to stop people traveling, to prevent those who go abroad to fight from returning to the UK, and to deal decisively with those who are here.
Even back in the days when you could still use the term "peace process" with a straight face, the odds of solving the Jerusalem issue were already pretty long. Then, I would have put those odds a bit north of impossible and a little south of hopeless. Things are even worse now.
President Barack Obama's speech Thursday night was technically a fine speech. It sounded good. It was rhetorically impressive. Its problem -- or perhaps to the President its virtue -- is that very little of it was true.
The latest installment of the epic "Hunger Games" series hit theaters this Friday, and it promises to be the year's biggest blockbuster yet.
The UK Independence Party, led by the pub-clubbable Nigel Farage, has won a resounding second successive Parliamentary by-election and sent British politics tumbling into an abyss of the unknown.
Jerusalem woke up on Tuesday to horrific images of slain Jewish worshipers, and scores injured in a terror attack on a synagogue. The assault which took place in the western Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof, shocked Israel to the core, as well as many others around the world. This is not surprising considering both the brutality of the attack and the fact it was carried out in a holy place, where innocent religious people were worshiping.
One morning about 25 years ago the telephone rang at home.
President Obama finally did it. Through an executive order, the President intends to grant up to 5 million undocumented immigrants relief from deportation.
There is something deeply troubling about President Obama's decision to grant legal safe haven to unauthorized immigrants by executive order.
The plan by President Obama to provide legal status to millions of undocumented adults living in the U.S. presents Congressional Republicans with a political quandary of the highest magnitude.
Talk about wasted energy.
Over the past few weeks, new attention has been paid to longstanding allegations that Bill Cosby sexually assaulted multiple women over the course of his career. As new information and accusers are brought to light, we are reminded of an unshakable feature of American life: rape culture.
When black people protest against police violence in Ferguson, Missouri, they're thought of as a "mob."
The global effort to stop the slaughter of elephants received a major boost when Angelina Jolie announced recently that she will direct and produce a feature film about my efforts to stop the poaching of elephants in Kenya in the 1990s.
For many people, any interest in the resurgence in Icelandic volcanic activity this year is now a distant memory. However, an eruption from Bardarbunga that began on August 31 continues to this day and has now emitted the most lava of any volcano in Iceland since 1947 and shows no sign of stopping.
Suppose you are car shopping and all cars have sticker prices of $60,000.
For more than 100 days, the St. Louis area has experienced an unprecedented season of unrest.
Israelis woke up on Tuesday to horrifying news: four men, three of them in their 50s, had been slain while they were chanting their morning prayers at a synagogue in the West Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof. The perpetrators were two young Palestinian men from East Jerusalem, who attacked with butcher knives and guns.
Trust is, supposedly, the new currency of the sharing economy.
Camille Olivia Hanks was studying at the University of Maryland when she met Bill Cosby in the early '60s. He was doing stand-up comedy in Washington when the two were set up on a blind date. They fell in love and she left school to support his burgeoning career in entertainment.
In the many media stories about the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, much of the focus has rightly been on the thousands of foreign fighters ISIS has attracted, its brutal tactics and its robust social media presence.
Following the liberal footsteps of Colorado and Washington, Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia passed ballot initiatives to legalize marijuana this month. Florida's medical marijuana law failed, but only because as a constitutional amendment it needed 60% support; 58% voted in favor of it.
Is college worth the cost? The question has echoed in the halls of government, over the family dinner table and throughout the media for decades. But the alarm bell has rung even louder in recent years, when student loan debt in the United States grew to over $1.2 trillion and tuition increases continued at nearly triple the rate of inflation.
Early on Tuesday morning, two Palestinian men from the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Jabel Mukaber entered a synagogue in the sleepy West Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Nof and went on a killing spree. Armed with guns and knives, the two men killed four rabbis -- three Israeli-American and one Israeli-British -- before they were struck down by Israeli police. The attack, which also claimed the life of a police officer, was the deadliest in a series of recent "lone wolf" attacks against Israelis across Jerusalem.
We have indications that the Ferguson grand jury may reach a decision this week regarding whether to bring criminal charges against Officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown. It has been over three months since the shooting, and many people want to know why it is taking so long.
America is facing the greatest health care challenges in its history.
Ted Cruz is in for the fight of his political career. I'm not talking his possible run for president in 2016. I mean his fight with two far more formidable opponents: comedy and porn stars.
Back in 2010, one of us -- Isabel -- was faced with the question of whether to shake the President's hand. And, despite having been invited to the White House, he decided not to. Why? Because the families and communities of 11 million U.S. residents were still waiting years for President Obama to fulfill his promise of immigration reform. And they are still waiting, and have been left feeling betrayed by the failure of this administration to act.
Last week, the news broke that Russian aircraft will commence patrolling the skies over the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. Washington reacted mildly to Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu's announcement. The U.S. State Department questioned Moscow's rationale for operating off North American coastlines while insisting that such flights "must be consistent with international law and conducted with due regard for the rights of other nations and the safety of other aircraft and of vessels."
Let's hear it for "the man of the moment, the man of the millennium."
The agreement between President Barack Obama and President Xi Jinping of China to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is the most important advance in the several decades-long history of international climate negotiations. It has been greeted with rage by those in Congress whose positions on the science are denialist or evasive ("I am not a scientist"). Their criticisms are specious and predictable.
The lawyer for comedian Bill Cosby, in response to over a dozen allegations of sexual assault by different women over many years, made this statement on November 16:
Chances are you've either heard about or seen the photos of Kim Kardashian posing nude for Paper Magazine. The intention was to "break the Internet" with the provocative photos of Kardashian baring it all. While I was disappointed that Kardashian chose to use nude photos of herself for the occasion, I was even more disappointed to hear all the mean comments and disparaging articles written about her.
Children living in the Syrian city of Aleppo watch the sky. Not for signs of winter's approach, although the cold winds are already blowing, but for the barrel bombs, mortars and shellfire they know will not distinguish between military targets and their families' homes.
Twenty-five-year-old New Yorker Aubura Taylor graduated with honors from college, where he was a football standout. He told us he goes to church regularly and is not involved in gangs or drugs. By any objective standard, there is no reason for police to be bothering him. But he says they are a constant presence in his life.
Shortly before the midterm election, I wrote a strategy memo outlining how core Democratic voters were not yet energized and well-positioned to vote.
The goal of Common Core is laudable: Give all students a common experience in English and math. But the path to that end has been fraught with problems. For one thing, more parents and educators are upset over all the tests students now have to take. Teachers are concerned about the negative impact of teaching to the test.
It's a revolutionary decree. In the midst of the fight against Islamist rebels seeking to turn the clock back to the 7th century, a Kurdish region in Syria has just approved a new law ordering equality for women. Take that, ISIS!
Congress is back at work. Republicans and Democrats are gauging how much progress the lame duck session will be able to make in the coming weeks. Americans understandably are rolling their eyes, not expecting much from an institution that has been so dysfunctional over the past few years.
The beheading of American aid worker Peter Kassig by ISIS is an act of cruelty, but it's also an act of desperation by a terrorist organization that has found itself on the run.
Like misery, failure loves company. Look at the immigration debate and how both liberals and conservatives -- and elected officials in both parties -- bungle it.
Even if U.S. and Iranian negotiators manage to meet the November 24 deadline for a nuclear agreement with Iran, America faces a very inconvenient reality in the Middle East: We're stuck in a kind of Middle East Bermuda Triangle where messy outcomes are more likely than neat solutions, and where ambiguity and uncertainty will rule over clarity and stability for years to come.
If there's only one African musician you've heard of, it's probably my father: Fela Kuti. His innovative musical style and flamboyant showmanship made him famous not just in Nigeria, but throughout the world as he pioneered what became known as Afrobeat. But Fela Kuti was more than a musician -- he was also a legendary activist, who with many other brave Africans was jailed for speaking out.
President Barack Obama has taken a lot of flak lately, some of which has been deserved. But there is one issue that history is likely to show that he deserves major props for innovation and courage -- climate change. Indeed, the deal concluded with China this week marks another example in which the President has bucked conventional wisdom, attacks from the climate deniers, and even lukewarm support from parts of his own party scared to be honest about the impact of fossil fuels or to come up with creative solutions to the challenges posed by climate change.
Practically from the day the Space Age started on October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union launched the first human-made satellite into Earth orbit, it's been like this. Every time there's a conspicuous breakthrough in space, somebody, somewhere will find a way to kill the buzz.
Few issues divide people more sharply than abortion. So it is great news when recently lawmakers across the political aisle in Britain voted 181 to 1 to ban sex-selective abortion. The overwhelming support for banning abortion of a fetus based on its gender is progressive, moral and just.
Patience, it is said, is a virtue. If that's the case, then the scientists involved in the European Space Agency's Rosetta mission have been very virtuous indeed.
President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping just announced a major agreement to cut carbon emissions in both countries and tackle global warming over the coming decades.
Mexico has seen a cascade of political scandals that have shaken the country the last few months, most notably the now well-publicized bloody incident in which 43 teaching students were "delivered" by the Iguala city police to a drug trafficking group, who murdered them under the belief that they were sent by a rival gang.
There is no doubt that in our interconnected world, the G20 has a critical role to play in driving inclusive growth, creating jobs and increasing global living standards.
With a fourth video released, Gruber-gate is now in full swing.
An alleged letter from President Barack Obama to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has prompted consternation not just in Washington, but also Tel Aviv and Riyadh.
The buildup of separatist forces in Donetsk, Ukraine, and Moscow's patently confrontational tone are raising the specter of another offensive in eastern Ukraine before winter grips the region. On Wednesday, NATO warned that "columns of Russian equipment, primarily Russian tanks, Russian artillery, Russian air defense systems and Russian combat troops" had been spotted entering Ukraine.
"Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans -- born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage ..." ? John F. Kennedy, inaugural address, 1961
Throughout the world hearts are breaking over the story of 29-year-old Brittany Maynard. She moved to Oregon for the chance to die peacefully with dignity because that option is not authorized in her home state of California.
Can we really say that the crisis in Ukraine is as important as meeting the challenge of ISIS, also known as the Islamic State, or Ebola, or the South China Sea?
Extinctions, droughts, rising sea levels, bigger and more dangerous storm events; nature has been speaking to us. It's telling us we are taking too much from the planet and saving too little. My colleagues and I at Conservation International (CI) have been listening and now is the time for the world to act.
It has been an eventful few weeks for space news.
President Obama seems determined to launch a two-front war with the new Republican Congress. The bigger news has been about his threatened executive order on immigration. The White House, however, has also indicated a determination to greet the new Senate majority leader from coal country with a series of very expensive environmental regulations necessitated by the climate agreement he announced with China.
Jobs expert Mike Rowe, host of CNN's new series "Somebody's Gotta Do It," took a chance Wednesday. For a little more than an hour, Rowe allowed himself to be asked ANYTHING, by anyone.
For the world's two largest economies -- and largest emitters of greenhouse gas -- to announce a sustained commitment to reducing carbon emissions by almost a third by the year 2030 is a watershed moment for climate politics on so many fronts.
Back in 2007, when I was participating at a conference on U.S.-China relations, the late U.S. diplomat Richard Holbrooke repeatedly came back to the importance of not writing the United States off, while warning against getting overexcited about the new emerging China imperium.
It takes a real man to make the moves on the wife of the most powerful man in the biggest country in the world. Especially when the wife is a civilian major general, her husband is sitting next to her, at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Beijing, hobnobbing with the President of the United States and the entire event is being televised.
Proponents of marriage equality for lesbians, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) persons had been on quite a winning streak -- every federal district court, save one in Louisiana, had found a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. Four federal courts of appeal -- one rung below the U.S. Supreme Court, have reached that same conclusion, with same-sex marriage now legal in conservative states like Utah, Oklahoma and Idaho. As a result of the Supreme Court's refusal to hear these cases, 32 states and the District of Columbia now allow same-sex marriage.
The question of whether or not Jesus had a wife is back again.
"How can Jon Stewart hire you to be 'The Daily Show''s senior Muslim correspondent when you don't even know how to pronounce Salaam Al-aikum?!"
Whether or not we reform our nation's immigration laws may all come down to cantaloupes versus cojones.
Analysts are right to assess the level of national preparedness to climate change -- but well-intentioned efforts to rank countries can inadvertently sow hopelessness among those considered to be ill-prepared.
The 30-mile highway from Kifri to Tuz Khurmatu in northern Iraq is a no-man's-land dotted with motley gatherings of thousands of displaced families, caught between the cruelty of ISIS forces and targeted by militias backed by Iraq's government.
Ebola is not a death sentence. That is the lesson to the world from the release this week of Dr. Craig Spencer from a hospital in New York.
The author William Doyle caused a stir last week with reports about his finding of White House Situation Room recordings of President Ronald Reagan making telephone calls to foreign leaders. The President made these recordings, according to Doyle, to make sure the historical record was accurate.
On Monday, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced changes in the way police will deal with people caught with small amounts of marijuana. Now police officers will no longer arrest anyone caught with less than 25 grams of pot. Instead, they will issue a summons to appear in court. De Blasio hopes this policy will spare young people the burden of a criminal conviction. "A summons will not affect their future. An arrest could," de Blasio said at a news conference.
President Barack Obama is visiting China, Myanmar and Australia this week for a series of key regional summits. The trip is his first opportunity since his Democratic Party's massive defeat in the midterm elections to demonstrate the power of the presidency.
Editor's note: CNN's Mike Rowe regularly attends an annual San Francisco ball which celebrates the birth of the U.S. Marine Corps. He wrote this essay about the event last year.
If the confirmation process for Loretta Lynch, President Obama's nominee for attorney general, gets significantly delayed, the reason will be pure politics.
After the past week's political upheavals in Washington and around the country, we are reminded that certain things remain constant in politics. Unfortunately, one of those things is the sexism leveled at any woman who rises to power in the White House -- under presidents of either party.
President Obama has written yet another letter to Iran's Supreme Leader and, by all accounts, his missives remain unrequited.
We celebrate Veterans Day this week, but we have been riding a crest of war remembrance for months now. World War I's centenary alone has brought forth new books -- histories of that war, based on historical documentation and letters unearthed in family and state archives. We look anew at the inscriptions on tombs of known and unknown soldiers and posters from the past whose propagandistic messages shout at us across the divide of time.
OK, so Chinese President Xi Jinping and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's brief summit featured all the enthusiasm of two unhappy schoolboys forced to make up after a schoolyard dust-up.
Military spouse Michelle Aikman has lived through five moves with her husband and their two young children. Currently living at Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Washington, she has made each new town "home" for her family while her husband has served overseas during 13 deployments.
Now that Republicans have won control of the Senate, Washington is awash with rumors and speculation about how President Barack Obama and the GOP Congress will get along. Armchair Dr. Phils are already yakking about how the two sides should just get along "for the sake of the children...er, country."
In April this year, people in Myanmar picked up their newspapers and saw ... nothing.
A nonprofit's attempt to expose -- and stop -- the degrading street harassment women face every day has turned dangerously ugly.
Voter turnout was terrible last Tuesday. As President Barack Obama lamented in his post-election press conference Wednesday, two-thirds of voters chose not to vote, making it perhaps the lowest midterm turnout since the 1940s. Conventional wisdom says low turnout favors Republicans, and it did last week. But the days when one party sees low turnout as being in its own interest might be drawing to a close -- and it may be Republicans who will drive the change.
After 14 years, Larry Page has confessed to the Financial Times that Google "probably does need" a new mission statement. Back in 1999, Google came up with "ten things we know to be true" that defined the then-little Silicon Valley start-up. So here are some suggested tweaks to make the Google's original mission statement more relevant in 2014.
China's propaganda system appears to be working hard to belittle U.S. President Barack Obama before he heads to Asia for three key multilateral meetings. The open mockery of the Democratic Party's loss in the midterm elections is likely an attempt to put the President on the defensive before he lands in Beijing on Monday. But it's really little wonder that China is trying to change the subject from its own problems, both foreign and domestic.
Securing the release of American prisoners Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller from North Korea was not cost-free. It may also be an omen of the return of recurring efforts by U.S. administrations of both parties to negotiate deals with Pyongyang that inevitably fail.