Ferguson (United States) (AFP) – US President Barack Obama urged calm Friday ahead of an expected grand jury decision in a town rocked by unrest after a white police officer shot a black teen to death.
A grand jury in the St Louis suburb of Ferguson is looking at the racially charged shooting, in which Officer Darren Wilson shot unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.
The August 9 death led to weeks of violence, and Missouri’s governor this week declared a state of emergency and activated the state National Guard ahead of the decision.
“First and foremost, keep protests peaceful,” Obama told ABC News in interview excerpts aired Friday.
“This is a country that allows everybody to express their views, allows them to peacefully assemble to protest actions that they think are unjust, but using any event as an excuse for violence is contrary to rule of law and contrary to who we are.”
Obama’s comments came after Brown’s father and Attorney General Eric Holder also made separate appeals.
“Thank you for lifting your voices to end racial profiling and police intimidation, but hurting others or destroying property is not the answer,” the victim’s father, Michael Brown Sr, said in a somber video plea.
“No matter what the grand jury decides, I don’t want my son’s death to be in vain.”
In the United States, grand juries meet in secret to review some cases before deciding whether criminal charges should be brought.
The jury could indict Wilson, meaning he could face trial, or determine there is no case for him to answer.
Authorities have previously said they expect the grand jury decision any time between mid- to late-November.
- Planning for announcement -
St Louis County prosecutors, meanwhile, indicated an announcement may be imminent.
“We are in the process of setting up the press conference to announce the decision on the Darren Wilson case,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.
“The date, time and location hasn’t been decided as of yet. The grand jury is still in session.”
In another sign, schools in the area announced they would be closed Monday and Tuesday, “due to the potential Ferguson unrest.”
Holder, America’s top law enforcement official, released a video urging restraint from his subordinates if people take to the streets.
“Over the past few months, we have seen demonstrations and protests that have sought to bring attention to real and significant underlying issues involving police practices, implicit bias and pervasive community distrust,” Holder said.
“This is the hard work that is necessary to preserve the peace and maintain the public trust at all times, particularly in moments of heightened community tension.”
The shooting led to weeks of violence in the St Louis suburb of 21,000, which has an African American majority and an overwhelmingly white police force and town government.
Brown, a high-school graduate planning on attending technical college, was shot at least six times by Wilson. His body was left in the street for hours.
Wilson has reportedly told the grand jury he acted in self-defense after tussling with the youth. Others claim Brown had his hands up in the air when he was shot.
Some demonstrators complained that police used undue force during peaceful protests and there was widespread criticism of the military-style equipment and uniforms deployed by local officers.
In his video plea, Brown’s father appealed to locals to come together.
“We’re stronger united. Continue to lift your voices with us and let’s work together to heal, to create lasting change for all people regardless of race,” he said.
Rufus Wainwright has announced the launch of his official mobile app. A one-stop channel for all things Rufus, the new app
Billy Joel will play his 65th show at Madison Square Garden next July.
Slack an app that lets coworkers chat with one another has been taking the enterprise world by storm.
Launched to the public in February, Slack has nabbed more 300,000 people as users, 73,000 of them paid users, and recently raised $120 million in investment, making the startup worth $1.12 billion.
You’d think that its popularity would be validating to the man responsible for it, Stewart Butterfield who, prior to Slack, was best known as a cofounder of Flickr.
In an interview with MIT Technology Review, when asked about if he was working to improve Slack, he answered with refreshing honesty:
Oh, God, yeah. I try to instill this into the rest of the team but certainly I feel that what we have right now is just a giant piece of shit. Like, it’s just terrible and we should be humiliated that we offer this to the public. Not everyone finds that motivational, though.
Disclosure: The Business Insider tech team uses Slack every day. We probably wouldn’t describe the app in quite so salty of terms, but he’s right that it’s just a basic chat room that could be improved a lot. We have to warn him, though, the basic-ness of it is what we like. Too many layers would turn Slack into something like a Yammer (in other words, spoil it).
Still, Butterfield tells MIT the Slack folks are working on some things that could be awesome: the ability to “favorite” comments, and something that helps you manage chat overload (too many comments and missing the important ones).
The fact that Slack emerged almost by accident might protect it. Butterfield and his then-company Tiny Speck invented Slack when they were working on a game called Glitch. Glitch was a flop, but the tool the team built to talk to each other became winner.
So if the team continues to use Slack to communicate about building Slack, that would be a winning combination.
Kevin Abosch, the photographer behind the minimalist aesthetic of the Lenka black and white camera app, has heard the pleas of photographers who wanted something just like Lenka — except for color photos. Abosch’s brand new photo app, Kimiko Pro Color Cam, answers that call. If you know how to use Lenka — and who does not know how to use Lenka? — then you already know how to use Kimiko. The interface is identical to Lenka’s, including the steady illumination button that toggles on or off — no flash, thank you. The subtle cool-warm tint in Lenka translates into a stronger color temperature…
This story continues at The Next Web
Cooliris just posted on its site that it has been acquired by Yahoo. The company stated the following on its site: Cooliris is passionate about creating fast, fluid mobile experiences for content and communication – as exemplified by our newest product, BeamIt. Yahoo has a clear vision and unwavering commitment to making mobile an intuitive and effortless experience. This makes Yahoo the perfect partner for Cooliris, and we are excited to come together to bring indispensable products to a worldwide audience. Cooliris has developer is know mostly for its photo-aggregation app of the same name. It’s too much of a leap…
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Leonard Cohen turned 80 earlier this year, and he celebrated by releasing his new album Popular Problems. It’s quite possibly the best LP ever created by an octogenarian, and next month he’s releasing the CD/DVD Live In Dublin. There’s no word on future tour dates, but we’re all hoping he’s going to go back on the road in 2015.
Now we have a question for you: What is Leonard Cohen’s single greatest song? Feel free to vote for a 1960s classic like “Suzanne” or “Bird on a Wire,” a 1980s comeback tune like “I’m Your Man” or “Tower of Song” or something more recent like “Almost Like the Blues” or “Going’ Home.” (You can also be super obvious and vote for “Hallelujah.”) Vote for whatever song you like, but please only vote once and only for a single selection.
You can vote here in the comments, on facebook.com/RollingStone or on Twitter using the hashtag #WeekendRock.