Ferguson attorney: Brown family settlement $1.5 million ST. LOUIS (AP) - The $1.5 million awarded this week to the parents of Michael Brown is the latest of several large settlements involving killings of black people by police, but it's far from the largest. A federal judge in St. Louis on Tuesday approved the settlement in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by Michael Brown Sr. and Lezley McSpadden. Their 18-year-old son was unarmed on Aug. 9, 2014, when he was fatally shot by white officer Darren Wilson during a street confrontation in Ferguson, Missouri. The shooting launched months of protests and led to a U.S. Department of Justice investigation that found racial bias in Ferguson's police and court system.
5 GOP senators now oppose health bill _ enough to sink it WASHINGTON (AP) - Nevada Republican Dean Heller became the fifth GOP senator to declare his opposition to the party's banner legislation to scuttle much of Barack Obama's health care overhaul on Friday, more than enough to sink the measure and deliver a stinging rebuke to President Donald Trump unless some of them can be brought aboard. Echoing the other four, Heller said he opposes the measure "in this form" but does not rule out backing a version that is changed to his liking. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has said he's willing to alter the measure to attract support, and next week promises plenty of back-room bargaining as he tries pushing a final package through his chamber.
Senators ask military to clarify US role in Yemen torture WASHINGTON (AP) - Pressure mounted on the U.S. Defense Department Friday after multiple U.S. senators called for investigations into reports that U.S. military interrogators worked with forces from the United Arab Emirates who are accused of torturing detainees in Yemen. John McCain, Republican chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and the ranking Democrat, Jack Reed, called the reports "deeply disturbing." The reports were revealed in an investigation by The Associated Press published Thursday. That same day, McCain and Reed wrote a letter to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis asking him to conduct an immediate review of the reported abuse and what U.S.
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London council evacuates residents amid fire safety concerns LONDON (AP) - One London community is evacuating some 800 households from five publicly owned apartment towers because of safety concerns following the devastating fire that killed 79 people in a west London high-rise last week. The move comes as residents of thousands of tower blocks around Britain expressed concern about safety after commonly used building materials were blamed for rapidly spreading the blaze at Grenfell Tower. Camden Council in north London, which announced the evacuation Friday night, was the first local government to take the dramatic step of emptying its buildings so safety upgrades could be made. Council leader Georgia Gould said the borough made the decision after the London Fire Brigade and council experts said they couldn't guarantee the safety of residents after inspecting the five towers.
Trump labors to make Mueller-Comey tie a key talking point WASHINGTON (AP) - Robert Mueller, the somber-faced and demanding FBI director who led the bureau through the Sept. 11 attacks, and James Comey, his more approachable and outwardly affable successor, may be poles apart stylistically but both command a wealth of respect in the law enforcement and legal community. That hasn't stopped President Donald Trump and his associates from repeatedly trying to draw unflattering attention to their relationship, insinuating a personal bond they suggest could disqualify Mueller from credibly serving as special counsel in charge of the Russia investigation. Most recently, in an interview that aired Friday on "Fox & Friends," Trump claimed Mueller was "very, very good friends with Comey, which is bothersome."
APNewsBreak: Military heads want transgender enlistment hold WASHINGTON (AP) - Military chiefs will seek a six-month delay before letting transgender people enlist in their services, officials said Friday. After meetings this week, the service leaders hammered out an agreement that rejected Army and Air Force requests for a two-year wait and reflected broader concerns that a longer delay would trigger criticism on Capitol Hill, officials familiar with the talks told The Associated Press. The new request for a delay will go to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis for a final decision, said the officials, who weren't authorized to discuss the internal deliberations publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.
Long after riots, Milwaukee neighborhood sees little change MILWAUKEE (AP) - The scars of the violence that erupted in a Milwaukee neighborhood after a police officer killed a 23-year-old black man remain visible nearly a year later, reminders of how little things have changed. A few blocks from where Sylville Smith was fatally shot Aug. 13, the gas station that protesters torched is still closed, surrounded by chain-link fence to protect the damaged gas pumps that are the only things left. The BMO Harris bank branch that went up in flames hasn't reopened either, nor has the O'Reilly Auto Parts store that was also burned. Jurors on Wednesday acquitted Dominique Heaggan-Brown - the latest recent case where a jury cleared a police officer in a black man's death.
Qatar weighs demands to end crisis amid threat of long siege DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) - With just days to decide, Qatar on Friday weighed an onerous list of demands by its neighbors as a way out of a regional crisis, and a top Emirati official warned the tiny country to brace for a long-term economic squeeze unless it is willing to acquiesce. Qatar did not immediately respond after receiving a clear set of demands for the first time, but the ultimatum was quickly rejected by its ally, Turkey, and blasted as an assault on free speech by Al-Jazeera, the Qatari broadcaster that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and others are demanding to be shut down.
Pride and prejudice? Race tinges LGBT celebrations NEW YORK (AP) - Gay pride marches in New York City, San Francisco and in between this weekend will have plenty of participants - and also protests directed at them from other members of the LGBT community, speaking out against what they see as increasingly corporate celebrations that prioritize the experiences of gay white men and ignore issues facing black and brown LGBT people. The protests disrupted other pride events earlier this month. In Washington, D.C., the No Justice No Pride group blocked the parade route. In Columbus, Ohio, four people were arrested after a group set out to protest violence against minority LGBT people and the recent acquittal of a police officer in the shooting death of Philando Castile, a black man, during a traffic stop.
Trump signs law to make VA more accountable for vets' care WASHINGTON (AP) - President Donald Trump signed a bill into law Friday that will make it easier for the Department of Veterans Affairs to fire employees, part of a push to overhaul an agency that is struggling to serve millions of military vets. "Our veterans have fulfilled their duty to our nation and now we must fulfill our duty to them," Trump said during a White House ceremony. "To every veteran who is here with us today, I just want to say two very simple words: Thank you." Trump repeatedly promised during the election campaign to dismiss VA workers "who let our veterans down," and he cast Friday's bill signing as fulfillment of that promise.