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Emergency declared in Missouri county in US after shooting

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Washington: A state of emergency was declared in a Missouri county as protesters turned violent after police shot and critically injured one man on Sunday, the anniversary of the killing of an unarmed black teenager Michael Brown.

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“The recent acts of violence will not be tolerated in a community that has worked so tirelessly over the last year to rebuild and become stronger,” St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger said in a statement on Monday.

Overnight unrest in Ferguson, a small town of 22,000, nearly 70 percent of them black, with all but four of its 53 strong police force white, created “the potential for harm to persons and property,” the statement said.

The order came as roughly 200 demonstrators marched from Christ Church Cathedral to the Thomas F. Eagleton United States Courthouse in St. Louis.

The protesters carried signs, chanted and prayed and demanded the Justice Department take action, according to CNN affiliate KTVI.

At the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis, protesters hung a banner from two balloons. It read, “Racism still lives here #fightback.”

Police arrested 56 people at the courthouse demonstration, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department spokesperson Schron Jackson told CNN.

Later on Monday, another group of protesters blocked part of a highway in Earth City, Missouri. Some of them held yellow signs that said, “Ferguson is everywhere.”

Monday’s planned acts of civil disobedience came after a night of violence that left Ferguson on edge.

Peaceful marches in the St. Louis suburb planned on Sunday were shattered that same night when gunfire broke out, sending protesters and police scattering to safety.

The alleged gunman, 18-year-old Tyrone Harris of St. Louis, is hospitalized in critical condition and in police custody.

Harris’ aunt, Karen Harris, said her nephew attended the protests because he was friends with Brown.

Recounting what other family members who were with Tyrone Harris described, the aunt said Tyrone Harris wasn’t carrying a gun and never fired at police.

He was “running for his life” just like everyone else, she said, when the gunshots were fired.

Brown’s killing on Aug 9, 2014 by White police Officer Darren Wilson sparked outrage and protests nationwide against what some described as racial bias by the police.

(IANS)

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China, US Set To Take Action Against Each Other

US business executives are now bracing for further retaliation from China due to Meng's arrest

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President Donald Trump with China's President Xi Jinping during their bilateral meeting, Dec. 1, 2018 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. VOA

China and the US are set to take action against each other as tensions escalate over trade, cyber hacking and espionage as senior American law enforcement officials identified Beijing as the most serious threat to Washington’s national security, officials said.

China’s methods of non-traditional espionage, including their use of ordinary Chinese expatriates instead of spies at universities and businesses, and intellectual property theft, were explained by the officials from the FBI and Departments of Justice and Homeland Security who briefed US lawmakers on Wednesday, CNN reported.

“As the US proceeds a whole of society response to this threat, we must address the vulnerabilities within our system while preserving our values and the open, free and fair principles that have made us thrive,” E.W. Priestap, the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Assistant Director of Counter-intelligence told the Senate Judiciary Committee.

“What hangs in the balance is not just the future of the US, but the future of the world.”

The Department of Justice’s (DOJ) top national security official told lawmakers on Wednesday the administration was reacting to China’s “steadily increasing” economic espionage activity, which costs the US an estimated $225 billion a year.

From 2011 to 2018, more than 90 per cent of the DOJ’s cases alleging economic espionage by a state have involved China, and more than two-thirds of trade secret thefts have a nexus to China, Assistant Attorney General John Demers said.

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U.S. President Donald Trump. VOA

“From underwater drones and autonomous vehicles to critical chemical compounds and inbred corn seeds, China has targeted advanced technology across sectors that align with China’s publicly announced strategic goals,” Demers said. “The play book is simple: rob, replicate and replace.”

Priestap and his colleagues testified hours after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed in an interview with Fox News that the US believes Beijing was behind the massive cyber-attack on the Marriott hotel chain, CNN reported.

The New York Times reported on Tuesday that the assault was part of a broader Chinese operation that also targeted health insurers and the security clearance files of millions of Americans.

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Those disclosures came a day after President Donald Trump said that he would be willing to use Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Meng Wanzhou who was arrested in Canada for violating US sanctions on Iran as a bargaining chip in his trade war with Beijing, which for now is in a 90-day pause.

A Canadian judge on Tuesday night granted Meng a $7.5 million bail, while she awaits extradition to the US.

US business executives are now bracing for further retaliation from China due to Meng’s arrest. (IANS)