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Journalists sue St. Louis County police for stopping Ferguson protest coverage with excessive force

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Four journalists arrested while covering racial unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, last year filed a lawsuit Monday claiming they were battered and falsely arrested by police trying to hinder their ability to cover the protests.

The journalists claim in their lawsuit that police officers used excessive force and intimidation tactics, including shooting at them with rubber bullets, to try to stop the journalists from recording police activity.

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Sometimes violent protests erupted in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb, after the Aug. 9 fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer. Protesters from around the country converged on the small community, and the state brought in police officers from around the region, as well as the National Guard, to try to quell the unrest.

The lawsuit, which was filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, names as defendants the St. Louis County Police Department, and 20 of its officers who were sent into Ferguson to help provide security, as well as St. Louis County.

The suit was brought by Ryan Devereaux, a journalist with Intercept/First Look Media; Lukas Hermsmeier, a freelance journalist for German news outlets; Ansgar Graw, a political correspondent for German news outlets; and Frank Herrmann, a correspondent for German newspapers.

There was no immediate comment from St. Louis County or the police department.

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The lawsuit does not name the 20 officers sued as defendants, but states that they were working on Aug. 18 and/or Aug. 19 when they encountered the plaintiffs.

Devereaux and Hermsmeier claim they had been interviewing protesters and were attempting to return to their car when police shot them with rubber bullets and then arrested them and left them in handcuffs for several hours.

Graw and Herrmann claim they were attempting to interview people and take photos just before they were also arrested and detained in painful plastic handcuffs that left their hands numb.

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The lawsuit claims the actions against the journalists were part of a “concerted effort to suppress constitutionally protected newsgathering.”

(Reporting by Carey Gillam in Kansas City; Editing by Eric Walsh)


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UK travel giant Thomas Cook set to collapse: report

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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.

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‘We are the people’: Watch Billy Porter get a standing ovation for his passionate speech at the Emmys

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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."

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Paris show of King Tutankhamun artifacts set new record with 1.42 million visitors

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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.

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