An Ohio grand jury declined to press charges against an officer who fatally shot Tamir Rice in November 2014. Prosecutor Tim McGinty called the events a “perfect storm of human error,” and argued that officers couldn’t have known Rice was holding a pellet gun when he reached into his waistband. The shooting was one of several that inspired the “Black Lives Matter” movement. Rice’s family continues to question the investigation, accusing McGinty of “acting like the police officers’ defense attorney,” and are asking the Justice Department to intervene.
The Presidential Daily Brief
They’re admitting “heartfelt responsibility.” During WWII, Japan, which occupied the Korean peninsula from 1910 to 1945, forcibly recruited local women to serve in military brothels as sex slaves. Forty-six of these so-called comfort women are still living in Korea, and the question of reparations has strained relations between the two countries for decades. Now Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has officially apologized — and Japan will put $8.3 million toward a fund to help the women, in a move that could bring two major regional U.S. allies together at last.
He’s had enough. Mayor Rahm Emanuel, who’s come under fire for his conduct in the case of a videotaped police shooting of a Black teenager, says “the public deserves answers” over the death this weekend of two Chicago residents who were shot by police. Grandmother Bettie Jones, 55, an activist, was reportedly shot by mistake, while police say Quintonio LeGrier, 19, was “combative” before he was killed. Emanuel’s demanding “real changes” in the way police operate, while many activists — who are protesting at City Hall today — are still demanding Emanuel’s resignation.
For many, it was a tragic holiday. A twister with winds topping 200 mph ravaged a Dallas suburb, killing at least 11 people over Saturday night, while Midwestern flooding killed 13, adding to a weekend total of more than 40 U.S. weather fatalities across the South, Southeast and Midwest. After record Christmas warmth on the East Coast, snowstorms pummeled Texas, 1500 flights were canceled yesterday, and the governors of Missouri and New Mexico declared states of emergency. Now four states are broadcasting tornado warnings — and hoping for better weather in 2016.
It was a safe haven. As the island territory’s debt has mounted over the last decade, the sales tax-backed Cofina bonds were considered the least risky investment investors could make there. But many suspect Puerto Rico, which has to pony up $1 billion by the end of the week, will try to use money meant for the Cofina bonds to pay off general obligation debts. Some say that would violate the constitutions of both the U.S. and Puerto Rico — and bondholders say they’ll sue over the money, adding to Puerto Rico’s many woes.
Iraqi military declares victory against ISIS in Ramadi. (USA Today)
Army deployed to North England in flood relief effort. (NYT)
One dead and 13 wounded in Kabul suicide attack. (Reuters)
Kentucky mall reopens after being shut down by teenage mob. (CBS)
China enacts domestic violence law, but excludes same-sex couples. (CNN)
He was the “Clown Prince of Basketball.” After more than 16,000 performances around the world from 1954 to 1978 and a spot in the Basketball Hall of Fame, the 6-foot-3-inch trick shooter and behind-the-back passer died Sunday at his home in Scottsdale, Ariz. The late NBA legend Wilt Chamberlain, who also played with the Globetrotters, once described Lemon as “the most … incredible basketball player I’ve ever seen.” As a tribute, the team said it would dedicate its 2016 90th anniversary tour to Lemon and teammate Marques Haynes, who died May.
Gordon Brown had it right when he called 2015 a year of fear– and that was only five months in! From ISIS and terrorism to the risk of a nuclear apocalypse, the past 12 months have featured plenty of frightening developments. In today’s issue, OZY reviews the more notable scares of the year. Check out the ways in which scientists deal with anxiety over the impending end of the world as we know it — and feel it — and then move on to a plan to defeat ISIS.
This one is required reading. After nearly going extinct in the age of ascendant Amazon, many second-hand bookstores are thriving. Local retailers across the country say customers are coming back — and many have never left, drawn to the competitive prices and communal atmosphere. Add to that the fact that people enjoy literature’s physical manifestation — it’s never flagged as a go-to idea for holiday gift-giving. And now retailers are making use of Amazon’s third-party marketplace, showing that there might be a harmonious and profitable next chapter for a recently endangered trade.
This is going to sting. England’s chief medical officer says the STD risks becoming untreatable as it becomes more resistant to antibiotics. The warning came in a letter to pharmacies urging vigilance about which medications they dispense, as half-treatments can encourage resistant strains. Gonorrhea is normally treated with a two-drug combination, and the new superstrain is reportedly showing resistance to one of the remedies. That’s probably because doctors have been prescribing antibiotic pills without an injection first — so health officials are urging nothing less than a one-two punch from now on.
He kept it simple. The acclaimed painter who developed a “uniquely American” and influential abstract style, died at his home in New York state. Kelly, who went to art school in 1945 on the GI Bill after serving in World War II, spent his formative artistic years knocking around Paris and developing his signature geometric approach. In one of numerous social media tributes, U.S. art critic Jerry Saltz tweeted that Ellsworth was a “cosmic geographer,” while art historian Simon Schama mourned the loss of his “intense radiance through deceptive simplicity.”
He says it’s “garbage,” but can he get rid of it? The Denver Broncos quarterback could sue Al Jazeera over its apparently discredited report claiming that Manning and other professional athletes used growth hormone now banned by the NFL. Manning, 39, who’s been rehabbing from injuries since mid-November, said he’ll “probably” file suit against the network, whose main source in the story, Charlie Sly, has recanted his secretly recorded doping claim. If Manning does sue, as a public figure, he’ll have to clear a high bar of evidence to prove defamation of character.