After Darren Wilson shot and killed an unarmed Michael Brown, no one photographed his bloody hands. He returned to the station alone and bagged his own gun as evidence. None of the interviews with Wilson were ever taped. These unorthodox procedures add to the mystery of what happened that day and illustrate the enormous complexity of police work largely unknown to the public. Two experts give OZY an inside look at what it’s like to be a cop — and what might have been going on in Wilson’s mind.
The Presidential Daily Brief
The U.S. may breathe a little easier. Obama plans to announce new EPA rules slashing ground-level ozone, aka smog, from 75 parts per billion to 65-70 range. Some industry leaders say the new regulations will be so costly they could potentially harm the economy. The announcement comes a day after the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments against other EPA rules requiring power plants to scale back air pollutants. The court ruling, and the new guidelines, won’t come until next year.
Darren Wilson, the Ferguson officer who shot Michael Brown, insists that his conscience is clear. In his first interview since the August incident, Wilson expressed confidence that “I did my job right.” Brown’s family says that Wilson’s version of events “sounds crazy.” Michael Brown Sr. insisted that his son “respected law enforcement,” acccusing police of demonizing him. Ferguson saw more protests on Tuesday night, but authorities reported much less property damage. That’s not to say that the wave of anger seen in the city and across the nation is gone.
After nearly 60 days, the Mong Kok protest site in Hong Kong was dismantled on Wednesday morning. Police arrested more than 100 people, including leading student activists Joshua Wong and Lester Shum. When the site was previously cleared on October 17, it was almost immediately reclaimed by crowds. But the police now appear more organized and the protests — demanding greater popular participation in elections — have lost public support. Attention will now turn to the largest remaining occupied site, located near police and army headquarters.
The U.S. to the European Parliament: Back off. That’s the word coming down from the Americans as certain continental legislators call for Google’s breakup on antitrust grounds. Parliament can’t force Google apart on it’s own, but a vote could put political pressure on the European Commission, which is also investigating the Silicon Valley giant. The Europeans fear Google’s domination of all things Internet is rife for abuse against competitors. Potentially more dangerous might be the precedent set by going after the Googleplex.
Job done. A team of U.S. special forces and local Yemeni soldiers dashed into hostile al-Qaida territory on Tuesday, freeing eight hostages. Six Yemenis, a Saudi and an Ethiopian were rescued, while rumors that an American hostage was in the group were swiftly quashed. Seven militants were killed in an ensuing shootout. The raid was a gesture of support for the shaky American-allied administration of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, in a country whose al-Qaida branch is considered the most dangerous in the world.
Apple Inc. has founded a new club. Already the biggest company in the world by market capitalization, on Tuesday the company topped $700 billion, the highest valuation on record. The tech behemoth is on a tear with a strong lineup of iPhones, iPads, Apple Pay and an upcoming smart watch. Its shares are up 47 percent this year alone, riding an incredible six-year rally. For context , Apple’s market cap currently exceeds the gross domestic product of all but the 19 richest countries in the world.
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has heart surgery. (CNN)
Sixty killed in Nigeria suicide bombings. (Al Jazeera)
Gay marriage bans overturned in Arkansas, Mississippi. (Reuters)
Dozens of civilians killed in Syrian government air strikes. (WP)
Pope Francis warns of European decline. (NYT)
This may be the most tattooed American generation ever, but why? Once used in the U.S. as wearable IDs for sailors, academics argue that today tattoos are a way to solidify identities broken up by digital media and overwhelming consumer options. About 20 percent of Americans now have some body art, and the number of artists has expanded more than 20 times over since the 1950s. And one often isn’t enough — about half of tattooed people have between two and five.
“When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.” Somehow, we don’t think Samuel Johnson was talking about commuting by springing along a stretchy elastic sidewalk — yet Transport For London has announced a $2.8 million plan to fund the world’s longest urban trampoline. The Bounceway is part of a broader initiative to introduce innovative, inexpensive upgrades to London’s streets, and will be launched with the proceeds of a crowdfunding campaign.
Ready to get your Amazon shipments by drone? You may have to wait a little longer. The Federal Aviation Administration — which now officially has authority over unmanned flights — recently laid out the ground rules, and they’re stricter than anyone anticipated. All drone operators will need a pilot’s license from the FAA to fly in American airspace, meaning that aerial delivery schemes may be difficult to realize. But when it comes to operating micro-aircraft in urban areas, tight regulation is probably better than no regulation.
It’s 22 years later, and the scientists on Isla Nublar have been working hard to achieve something even stupider than before. Enter genetically modified hybrid dinosaurs who will “kill anything that moves” and — spoiler alert — have escaped from the lab. Starring Chris Pratt and with Steven Spielberg on board as executive producer, Jurassic World will open June 12, 2015. Though real-life scientists are already grumbling , the movie promises to transport old-school fans right back to prehistoric 1993.
Charlie Sifford played a lot of his career in the rough. Not because he was a poor player, but because the former caddie struck down the PGA’s Caucasian-only clause in 1961, becoming the first African-American player on the tour. On Tuesday, the 92-year-old was rewarded by the nation’s first black president, Barack Obama, with the Presidential Medal of Freedom along with 18 others, including Stevie Wonder and Meryl Streep. He was Jackie Robinson, but without teammates to have his back.