FT Thursday 14th August 2014

  1. US police clash with protesters after Mike Brown killing

Racial deep-seated tensions in the USA have once again been hoisted into the spotlight. Protestors in Ferguson, a majority black suburb of St Louis, Missouri have taken to the streets to express their dismay at the killing of recent high-school graduate Michael Brown. It has been reported that Brown was killed by a white police officer whilst he walked toward him with his hands in the air. He is thought to have been shouting, “don’t shoot” when he was killed. The community has come out in large numbers to demonstrate and last night local police responded with violence. In an action that was live trending on twitter, police fired tear gas, smoke bombs, rubber bullets and flash grenades at the crowds. The police also arrested reporters from both the Washington Post, Wesley Lowrey, and the Huffington Post, Ryan J Reilly, after they refused an order to stop filming. The killing of Brown and the militarised reaction of the predominantly white police force to the demonstrators have highlighted that problem of race and civil rights in the US remains.       

  1. Russian convoy heads in direction of Lugansk


The summer warring season shows no sign of stopping. The crisis in the Ukraine, pushed out of the public consciousness recently due to the world’s other big geopolitical crises in Gaza and Iraq, could be set to reignite. Russia has sent a humanitarian aid mission to eastern Ukraine, which has caused rather a lot of consternation in both Kiev and the West. Given their recent provocations in the Ukraine some fear that that the contents of the 262-truck aid convoy are not quite as the Russians claim. Russia’s foreign ministry has stated that the trucks headed for the region contain medical equipment, baby food, bottled water, canned meat and sleeping bags. The trucks are headed for eastern Ukraine because this part of the country has faced a recent onslaught from the Ukrainian military that has attempted to take it back from militants. The city of Lugansk, currently held by rebels, has been without electricity and water for the past week. Many residents have been forced underground to avoid shelling. Putin, ever the astute strategist, uses the language of humanitarian intervention to mirror the West’s recent actions in the Kurdish region of Iraq, giving the US and EU little space in which to raise objection.


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