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San José, Costa Rica, Friday, Sept. 23, 2016, Vol. 17, No. 189
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bullhorn
Voice of America/Arash Arabasadi
Demonstrator with a bullhorn promises that the protests would continue and escalate every night until the police video is made public.

Curfew imposed in Charlotte
as police keep video secret


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Large crowds of demonstrators marched through the heart of North Carolina's largest city Thursday in the third night of protests against the Charlotte police department's handling of a controversial shooting of a black man.

The city's mayor declared a curfew would go into effect after midnight local time, and National Guard members were deployed with rifles outside nearby office buildings.

A young protester who was shot a day earlier died Thursday. He was Justin Carr, 26, who had been struck by a bullet as he stood outside a hotel in the neighborhood where the disorders took place, and police said they did not fire the fatal shot.

Carr's death was the first fatality recorded since the incident at the heart of this week's demonstration, the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott as he got out of his car Tuesday. More than 30 people have been injured when protests turned violent.

Police said Scott was holding a gun when they shot him. His family said Scott was unarmed, and that he may have been simply carrying a book that he was reading.

Police have refused to release to the public any video recordings of the shooting, but they screened the images Thursday for family members, who said it was unclear what, if anything, was in Scott's hands when police fired at him. Comments by Charlotte's police chief also indicated it was difficult to establish exactly what happened from the video police recorded, since it came from a camera in a police cruiser some distance from the confrontation between Scott and the officers who stopped him.

The police have said they recovered a pistol at the scene of the shooting, but Scott's relatives have insisted that he had no weapon. The police also said they found no book at the scene.

Protests in Charlotte this week have centered on demands for the public release of the police video, along with calls for an end to police violence against African-Americans.

Attorney Justin Bamber, representing the Scott family, told reporters Thursday evening that the family wants the video released to the public immediately. The city's police chief, Kerr Putney, said earlier that he would not release the recording unless he believes there is a compelling reason to do so.

Late Thursday, hundreds of protesters were marching through the heart of  Charlotte, a hub for the banking industry and related firms. Police said they would not enforce the curfew unless violence erupted.

Some protesters wore masks over their noses and mouths in case police deployed tear gas, as they had on the previous two evenings. They carried signs saying, "Know Justice, Know Peace," "The People Versus the State" and "Stop Killing Us."

The crowd was a mix of races, African-American, white and Hispanic people, some of whom carried signs saying "Latinos say black lives matter."

People from all around the state of North Carolina came to join the protests in Charlotte. Cherrell Brown, a Black Lives Matter activist and community organizer who goes by "Carolina Bama" on Twitter, drove from nearby Greensboro in solidarity with Charlotte and the African-American community.

"This isn't new," she said, referring to the protests in Charlotte and the Black Lives Matter movement in general. "This is an iteration of a movement that's been going on for 500 years, since the slaves got off the boat."

Many clergy were present at the rallies, urging calm and peace for all present. But other protesters were seen arguing with preachers, claiming they didn't understand the pain Charlotte residents had suffered and that they could not be expected to stay calm.

Before protesters began marching around 8 p.m., volunteers in Romare Bearden park handed out masks and milk to protect from tear gas, as well as water bottles and granola bars.

The curfew order broadcast to the protesters late Thursday night said all people should be off the streets until 6 a.m. Friday. One of the demonstrators, holding a bullhorn, said the protests would continue and escalate every night until the police video is made public.

North Carolina's governor, Pat McCrory, a former mayor of Charlotte, already has declared a state of emergency, and he said police would arrest lawbreakers.

"We cannot tolerate any type of violence . . . or destruction of property," McCrory said.

Police said officers were looking for someone else when they saw Scott get out of a car with a gun, and that the officer fired after Scott ignored warnings to drop the weapon.

The shooting of Carr Wednesday apparently occurred after protesters clashed with police in riot gear, and the demonstration turned violent. Officers fired tear gas to disperse the crowds. Some people smashed store windows and set small fires in the streets.

Three of Charlotte's largest employers, Duke Energy, Bank of America, and the Wells Fargo bank, had told their staff to stay at home Thursday, so the city's streets were quiet until protesters massed in the late evening.

The North Carolina branch of the American Civil Liberties Union also has called for the swift release of any and all footage related to Tuesday's shooting.

In a statement, executive director Karen Anderson said, “In the interest of transparency and accountability, and particularly in light of conflicting accounts about the shooting, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department should quickly release any and all footage it has of the events leading up to the shooting, as well as the shooting itself."

Corine Mack, president of the union’s Charlotte-Mecklenburg branch, said the release of the video would bring transparency to the investigation of Scott’s killing.

“It really doesn’t matter if he had a gun,” Mack said. “Showing he had a gun doesn’t prove he was guilty of anything.”


Both major candidates urge
end to street confrontations


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

U.S. presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are calling for a quick end to deadly street confrontations in the nation's cities in the aftermath of the latest police killings of African-American men.

Trump, the Republican contender in the Nov. 8 election, told a political rally in the eastern city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Thursday, "The violence against our citizens and our law enforcement must be brought to a very rapid end."

He said the deadly encounters between police and residents in the country's often-impoverished inner cities are a never-ending problem.

A subdued Trump, a real estate tycoon seeking his first elected office, said, "America desperately needs unity and it needs the spirit of togetherness . . . which has lifted us up to our greatest achievements as a nation. We need to bring that spirit to every part of our country and become one American nation, united by shared values and principles as American citizens."

He added, "Our country looks bad to the world, especially when we are supposed to be the world's leader. How can we lead when we can't even control our own cities?"

Mrs. Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate, referred in a Twitter message to two black men shot by police in disputed circumstances in recent days in Charlotte, North Carolina, and Tulsa, Oklahoma.

"Keith Lamont Scott. Terence Crutcher. Too many others. This has got to end. -H," she said, signing the post herself, even as she stayed off the campaign trail Thursday as she prepared for Monday's first presidential debate with Trump.

Wednesday, Mrs. Clinton, a former U.S. secretary of State looking to become the country's first female president, said the killings are unbearable and need to become intolerable.

She said the country needs strength, love and kindness and that "we are safer when communities respect police and police respect communities."

The number of crimes has fallen for years in the United States, but more recently murders and shootings have spiked in some cities, like Chicago, Illinois, the third biggest city in the country.

Trump suggested Wednesday that big city police departments throughout the country need to adopt a controversial stop-and-frisk policy in which police confront people on the street in communities plagued by high crime to see if they are carrying illegal weapons or drugs. New York had such a policy in years past, but abandoned it when it became apparent that police most often indiscriminately stopped and frisked blacks and other minorities.

Thursday, however, Trump said he only meant that Chicago adopt the stop-and-frisk policy.

"Chicago is out of control," he said.

The New York billionaire suggested. Falsely. that violence in Chicago is worse than that in Afghanistan

"I think Chicago needs stop and frisk," Trump said. "When you have 3,000 people shot and so many people dying, I mean it's worse than some of the places we're hearing about like Afghanistan, you know, the war-torn nations."


Police officer to face charge
in death of black motorist


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Prosecutors in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Thursday charged a police officer in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man.

Officer Betty Shelby was charged with first-degree manslaughter in the death of Terence Crutcher, 40, Sept. 16.

Video recorded by a dashboard camera and a police helicopter shows Crutcher with his hands up, appearing to comply with police officers and leaning against his car. He is then shot once by Officer Shelby and falls to the ground.

The footage does not offer a clear view of when Officer Shelby fired the single shot that killed Crutcher.

Her attorney has said Crutcher was not following police commands and that Officer Shelby feared for her life and opened fire when the man began to reach into a window in his car.

But the victim's family has discounted that claim, saying the father of four posed no threat to the officers. They also pointed to an enlarged photo from police footage that appears to show Crutcher's window was closed. And police said Crutcher did not have a gun on him or in his vehicle.

Among the definitions in Oklahoma of first-degree manslaughter is a killing "perpetrated unnecessarily either while resisting an attempt by the person killed to commit a crime, or after such attempt shall have failed.'' If convicted, Officer Shelby could face a minimum of four years in prison.


Yahoo admits hacker stole
data on 500 million users


By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

Yahoo, Inc., said on Thursday information for at least 500 million user accounts was stolen from its network in 2014 by what it believed was a state-sponsored actor, a theft that appeared to the biggest cyber breach ever.

Yahoo said data stolen may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and encrypted passwords but that unprotected passwords, payment card data and bank account information did not appear to have been compromised, the company said.

"This is the biggest data breach ever,” said well-known cryptologist Bruce Schneier.

He said it was too early to say what impact the breach might have on Yahoo and its users because many questions remain, including the identity of the state-sponsored hackers behind it.

Three U.S. intelligence officials, who declined to be identified by name, said they believed the attack was state-sponsored because of its resemblance to previous hacks traced to Russian intelligence agencies or hackers acting at their direction.

Yahoo said it was working with law enforcement on the matter. The FBI said it was aware of the matter, and the U.S. Secret Service was not immediately available for comment.

"The investigation has found no evidence that the state-sponsored actor is currently in Yahoo's network," the company said.

Shares of Yahoo stock were barely changed for the day after the news, while shares of Verizon Communications, which has agreed to buy the company's Internet business, were up about 1 percent.

It was not clear how this disclosure might affect Yahoo's deal with Verizon.

Verizon, which announced in July an agreement to buy Yahoo's core internet properties for $4.83 billion, said in a statement it was made aware of the breach within the last two days and had limited information about the matter.


Hacker obtains passport shot
of  first lady Michelle Obama

By the A.M. Costa Rica wire services

An image described as a scanned copy of U.S. first lady Michelle Obama's passport has been posted on a hacker Web site, DC Leaks.

The posts also include personal emails said to belong to a low-level White House staffer who worked with Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign.

The leaked files have not been verified, but Obama administration officials said Thursday they were aware of the claims and were looking into the matter.

The information was part of a batch of emails from February 2015 through July 2016 and purportedly hacked from the Gmail account of a White House staffer, responsible for logistics for official trips. The breach included the photo-and-information page of her passport.

The same Web site recently disclosed former secretary of State Colin Powell's private emails showing his distaste for Mrs. Clinton and her Republican rival, Donald Trump. Powell has confirmed the hacked messages were authentic.
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