NEW YORK – Thousands of people expressing grief, anger and hope for a better future marched peacefully through Staten Island on Saturday to protest the chokehold death of an unarmed black man by a white police officer.
Police reported no arrests after the afternoon rally and march that drew well over 2,500 people to the streets where Eric Garner was taken to the ground on July 17 by a New York Police Department officer using a prohibited martial arts maneuver.
This is a Birmingham, Alabama, moment! the Rev. Herbert Daughtry announced to about 100 demonstrators at a nearby Staten Island church before the march. He asked for anyone who had been harassed, humiliated or disrespected by police to stand. Almost everyone did.
Day after mosque massacre, 42 killed
Bombings in Baghdad and the northern city of Kirkuk killed at least 42 people in Iraq on Saturday as the government investigated a deadly attack on a Sunni mosque the day before that has heightened sectarian tensions amid a fragile political transition.
Parliament speaker Salim al-Jabouri said security officials and lawmakers were probing Friday’s attack against a village mosque in Diyala province, northeast of the capital, which killed more than 60 people.
Mystery airstrikes kill 15 in Libya
Two unidentified airstrikes targeting Islamist militia positions in Libya’s capital killed 15 fighters and wounded 30 on Saturday. A senior militia leader accused Egypt and the United Arab Emirates of being behind the attacks on their posts.
The mysterious airstrikes Saturday were the second this week to target Islamist militia posts in the capital. They have fueled speculation that foreign powers are covertly intervening in Libya’s militia violence, because Libya’s air force does not possess the guided ordnance apparently used in the strikes.
African country bans hiding Ebola
Sierra Leone has passed a new law imposing possible jail time for anyone caught hiding an Ebola patient – a common practice that the World Health Organization believes has contributed to a major underestimation of the current outbreak.
The new law, passed Friday, imposes prison terms of up to two years for violators, said lawmaker Ansumana Jaiah Kaikai. It now goes for presidential approval.
He said the measure was necessary to compel residents to cooperate with government officials, noting that some residents had resisted steps to combat Ebola and build isolation centers in their communities.
China cracks down on film festival
Chinese authorities blocked an annual independent film festival from opening Saturday, seizing documents and films and hauling away two event officials in a sign that Beijing is stepping up its already tight ideological controls.
Li Xianting, a film critic and founder of the Li Xianting Film Fund, the organizer of the Beijing Independent Film Festival, said police searched his office and confiscated materials he had gathered over more than 10 years. Li and festival artistic director Wang Hongwei were detained by police Saturday night but later released, according to their supporters.
In Iceland, airspace closed for volcano
Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano began erupting Saturday under the ice of Europe’s largest glacier, prompting the country to close the airspace over the volcano.
Thousands of small earthquakes have rattled the volcano, located deep beneath the Vatnajokull glacier, in the last week.
Icelandic authorities declared a no-fly zone around the eruption as a precaution, but did not shut down air space over most of the island nation in the North Atlantic.
Faulty launch puts satellites off-kilter
European space officials say they’re investigating whether the inaccurate deployment of two satellites will complicate their efforts to develop a satellite navigation system that would rival America’s GPS network.
The European Space Agency and launch company Arianespace say the satellites ended up in off-target orbits after being launched Friday from Kourou, French Guiana, aboard a Soyuz rocket. Saturday’s agency statement did not explain whether their orbital paths could be corrected.