The Ku Klux Klan plans to hold a pro-Confederate flag rally at South Carolina's capitol, where a statue of a former state governor who championed white supremacy was vandalized on Tuesday amid scrutiny of symbols associated with slavery. The Civil War-era flag and related monuments have become flashpoints after nine black men and women were gunned down at a historic church in Charleston, South Carolina. The suspected shooter, Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white man, had posed with a Confederate battle flag in photos posted on a website that displayed a racist manifesto attributed to him.
Police responding to race-related protests and riots in Ferguson, Missouri, last summer made a series of missteps, including antagonizing crowds with attack dogs and military-style tactics, according to a U.S. Justice Department report. A Justice Department representative said the "after-action assessment ... will convey the findings and lessons learned." The report focuses on the tactics of police from Ferguson, St. Louis, St. Louis County and the Missouri Highway Patrol. All four agencies tried to quell the protests and riots that broke out after a white Ferguson police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, on Aug. 9, 2014.
ATLANTA (AP) — A strongly worded dissent in the U.S. Supreme Court's narrow decision this week upholding the use of an execution drug offered a glimmer of hope to death penalty opponents in what they considered otherwise a gloomy ruling. One advocate went so far Tuesday as to call it a blueprint for a fresh attack on the legality of capital punishment itself.
By Steve Holland and Linda Stern WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush released 33 years of tax records on Tuesday showing that his net worth of between $19 million and $22 million has been amassed largely through investments and speaking fees that have been as high as $75,000 per engagement. In a show of transparency expected to pressure his rivals to bare their tax records, Bush revealed that since the end of his tenure as Florida governor in 2007, his annual income has risen sharply to nearly $7.4 million in 2013 from $260,580 in 2006. Talking to a handful of reporters in Washington about the 1,150 pages of returns made public, Bush, 62, said his hope was to "give people a sense of who I am." He said, "It's not a life that has been scripted to run for president.
The White House fence will start to get a spiked top on Wednesday in a short-term bid to thwart intrusions at the U.S. executive mansion, authorities said. The "removable anti-climb feature" with sharp metal points will be bolted on top of the black iron fence by the U.S. Secret Service and National Park Service, the agencies said in a statement on Tuesday. The feature was designed by the Secret Service and built by the Rock Island Arsenal Joint Manufacturing and Technology Center.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie launched an uphill run for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday with his trademark brashness, offering up his blunt talk and willingness to tackle tough issues as the cure for Washington dysfunction. Christie, once seen as a leading 2016 White House contender but now viewed as a long shot, said his dose of New Jersey straight talk could help span the partisan divide to solve difficult political problems. "I mean what I say and I say what I mean, and that's what America needs right now," Christie told friends, family and supporters at the campaign launch at his old high school in suburban Livingston, New Jersey.
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to take up a case that could weaken public sector unions, a challenge by 10 nonunion public school teachers who say California's requirement that they pay the equivalent of union dues violates their free speech rights. The case comes as some Republican politicians, most notably Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, have taken aim at public and private sector unions, which generally align themselves with Democrats. In 2011, Walker signed a law that limited collective bargaining rights for state workers.