August 15th, 2014
10:50 AM ET

New Head of Ferguson Security: 'How Would I Feel?'

For the new head of security in Ferguson, Missouri, the work is personal.

The St. Louis suburb has become a flashpoint in the wake of a weekend police shooting that left African-American teenager Michael Brown dead.

State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson was tapped for the job Thursday.

"A young man lost his life and so I grieve for that family because I have a son," he told CNN's Jake Tapper. "We're going to look at this from a personal standpoint and if that was my son - or that was my friend - how would I feel?"

State troopers are taking over security after days of clashes between protesters and local police, who have been accused of using excessive force in response to the demonstrations.

"We do need to do something different and we're doing that," Johnson told Tapper. "Sometimes you just have to - not just let people speak, but you have to listen."

Earlier in the day, he told reporters in St. Louis that he grew up in the area and considers it both his community and home.

Ferguson has been the scene of protests since Saturday, when a police officer shot and killed Brown, who was unarmed. Police say he was trying to grab the officer's gun. Witnesses say the 18-year-old was holding his hands in the air when he was fatally shot.

Follow for more on this developing story

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July 10th, 2014
07:13 AM ET

Obama, Perry Meet in Texas Amid 'Urgent Humanitarian Situation'

President Barack Obama spoke Wednesday in Texas about the immigration crisis, urging Congress to approve his request for $3.7 billion in emergency spending.

"The problem here is not a major disagreement around the actions that could be helpful in dealing with the problem. The challenge ... is Congress prepared to act to put the resources in place to get this done?" Obama asked during a stop in Dallas.

"Are folks more interested in politics or are they more interested in solving the problem?"

They shook hands and then boarded Obama's helicopter for Dallas, where they met with faith leaders and local officials to discuss options for responding to the influx of young immigrants illegally entering the country.

When asked by a reporter to address those who say he should visit the border to witness the immigration crisis firsthand, the President said he wasn't interested in photo ops.
"There's nothing that is taking place down there that I am not intimately aware of and briefed on. This isn't theater. This is a problem," he said.

Discussions aren't enough for GOP critics or even some of Obama's fellow Democrats.

"This is a real crisis and the President needs to treat it as such and I think traveling from Dallas to the border is a 500-mile trip," Republican Sen. John Cornyn of Texas told CNN. "That's not far to go on Air Force One."

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, a possible GOP presidential nominee in 2016, called the situation similar to the much-disparaged federal response to Hurricane Katrina by the Bush administration.

"For him to go to Texas and spend two days shaking down donors and never even getting near the border mess he helped create would be like flying into New Orleans in the highest waters of Katrina to eat Creole cooking, but never getting near the Ninth Ward, the Superdome, or the Convention Center where thousands languished in squalor," Huckabee said.

Perry seized on a similar theme, saying the immigration crisis is no different than another natural disaster - Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

"The American people expect to see their President when there is a disaster," he told CNN's Kate Bolduan in an interview that aired Thursday. "He showed up at Sandy. Why not Texas?"


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Oregon Shooting: 'This is Becoming the Norm.' But Will Anything Change?
June 11th, 2014
05:40 AM ET

Oregon Shooting: 'This is Becoming the Norm.' But Will Anything Change?

Tuesday’s shooting in Portland, Oregon was the second mass shooting in a week. President Obama fears “this is becoming the norm.” If one of the most powerful men in the world feels powerless when it comes to gun legislation, then where do we go from here? Join the discussion on our Facebook page. 


The scenes are becoming depressingly familiar.

A gunman opens fire on an American campus. Students, teachers and administrators duck for cover. Parents anxiously wait for their kids to check in, praying for the phone to ring.

It played out again Tuesday at Reynolds High School in Troutdale, Oregon, a city of 16,400 people about 12 miles east of Portland.

A student at the school shot and killed another student before apparently taking his own life.

The victim was a 14-year-old freshman Emilio Hoffman. Police haven't yet disclosed the shooter's identity – or, more importantly, what compelled him to carry out such a horrifying act.


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May 5th, 2014
05:52 AM ET

9 Performers Injured in Circus Accident

Nine performers were injured Sunday in Providence, Rhode Island, said Steve Payne, spokesman for Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus.

Eight performers fell when the hair-hang apparatus – which holds performers by their hair – failed, Payne said. Another performer was injured on the ground, he added.

Officials said the performers fell from between 25 to 35 feet and many of those injured suffered broken bones, and no spectators were hurt.


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