U.S. President Barack Obama asked Congress on Monday for $263 million for the federal response to the civil rights upheaval in Ferguson, Missouri, and is setting up a task force to study how to improve modern-day policing.
The funds would pay for body cameras for police officers to use and expand training for law enforcement in an attempt to build trust in communities such as Ferguson, where a grand jury decided not to indict a white police officer in the August shooting death of an unarmed black teenager, the White House said.
Philadelphia police commissioner Charles Ramsey and Laurie Robinson, a George Mason University professor who is a former assistant attorney general, will lead the task force on 21st century policing, officials said.
The White House made the announcement as Obama met with civil rights leaders and various elected officials and community leaders on Monday to discuss how to respond to the challenge presented by Ferguson.
Obama’s moves were the most tangible taken by Obama since a grand jury last week opted not to indict officer Darren Wilson in the shooting of Michael Brown. Obama has said he sympathized with people upset by the decision and that police in a variety of communities need to build trust with the people they serve.
On Monday, protests triggered by the events in Ferguson stretched into Washington, where a group of protesters snarled morning traffic from Northern Virginia into the city by shutting down a key artery at rush hour.
The $263 million would be spread over three years and would help purchase 50,000 body-worn cameras that could help provide additional information about incidents involving police interactions.
Also on Monday, the White House released the results of a months-long review into whether community police need some of the military-style weaponry and hardware sent to police departments nationwide since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
The review found a lack of consistency in how federal programs provide such equipment. As a result, Obama ordered his staff to develop recommendations within 120 days on how to provide greater oversight, such as requiring local civilian approval of such acquisitions.
“We’ve found that in many cases these programs actually serve a very useful purpose. What is needed, however, is much greater consistency in oversight of these programs,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.
(Additional reporting by Julia Edwards and Roberta Rampton; Editing by Bill Trott and Susan Heavey)
UK travel giant Thomas Cook set to collapse: report
Thomas Cook's 178-year existence was reported to be coming to an end on Monday after the British travel firm struggled to find private investment to keep it afloat, potentially affecting thousands of holidaymakers.
The operator has said it needs £200 million ($250 million) or else it will face administration, which could affect 600,000 holidaymakers and require Britain's largest peacetime repatriation.
A source close to the negotiations told AFP that the company had failed to find the cash from private investors and would collapse unless the government intervened.
But ministers are unlikely to step in due to worries about the pioneering operator's longer-term viability, the Times reported, leaving it on the brink.
‘We are the people’: Watch Billy Porter get a standing ovation for his passionate speech at the Emmys
In a powerful and passionate speech accepting his Emmy, "Pose" actor Billy Porter showered the audience with love and proudly reminded all of their right to belong and be loved.
"Oh, my God. God bless you all! The category is love, y'all, love!" Porter exclaimed.
The epic FX show "Pose" depicts Black and Latinos in the LGBTQ ballroom culture of New York City in the 1980s in the first season and the early 1990s in the second season.
"I am so overwhelmed and so overjoyed to have lived long enough to see this day," he said. "James Baldwin wrote, 'It took many years of vomiting up the filth I was taught about myself and half-believed, before I was able to walk on the earth as though I had a right to be here.' I have the right. You have the right. We all have the right."
Paris show of King Tutankhamun artifacts set new record with 1.42 million visitors
A blockbuster Tutankhamun show set a new all-time French record Sunday, with 1.42 million visitors flocking to see the exhibition in Paris, the organisers said.
The turnout beat the previous record set by another Tutankhamun show billed as the "exhibition of the century" in 1967, when 1.24 million queued to see "Tutankhamun and His Times" at the Petit Palais.
"Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh" -- which has been described as a "once in a generation" show -- will open in London in November.
The last time a show of comparable size about the boy king opened there in 1972 it sparked "Tutmania", with 1.6 million people thronging the British Museum.