"We're like the neutral force," said Munir Bahar, co-founder of the 300 Men March movement, whose disciplined followers may have helped prevent greater violence on Tuesday at the protest's nexus at North and Pennsylvania avenues. Now Baltimore is in the midst of some of the worst urban unrest in years, prompting a state of emergency and a citywide curfew. Baltimore erupted in violence and looting on Monday, following the funeral for Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died on April 19 after suffering a spinal injury while in police custody. The ensuing confrontation has brought in plenty of outsiders, from national politicians to international news media to representatives of Billy Graham Ministries, several of whom were in the crowd on Tuesday.
By Megan Davies NEW YORK (Reuters) - A night of arson and looting in Baltimore has shaken the confidence of people running businesses beyond the areas hardest hit. While Baltimore's unemployment rate is higher than the national average and it is lagging in per capita income, the city government's budget is stable, it has a diverse business sector, elite universities and medical facilities, and a growing number of tourists flock to its downtown harbor. "I woke up this morning feeling really concerned about the future of our industry in Baltimore and whether people will want to move here and live here," said Will Runnebaum, owner of Baltimore's Marcus-Boyd Realty. "We started to feel the impact of the events taking place as early as Saturday, with cancellations of parties that were booked for events," said Brian McComas, the owner of Ryleigh's Oyster restaurant which has several Baltimore locations and has temporarily closed one.
By Jason Lange WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In the 1950's Baltimore was the sixth largest city in the United States with a peak population of nearly 950,000. Now the riot-hit metropolis ranks 26th on that measure and scores as one of the less equal American cities when measured by income and educational achievement. By comparison, across the whole of the U.S., the top take in $9.30 for every dollar earned at the bottom. Among 50 major U.S. cities, Baltimore ranked No. 12 in the inequality reading. Growing income inequality has emerged as a key theme ahead of the 2016 presidential election with both Democrats and Republicans calling for the issue to be addressed.
By Ian Simpson BALTIMORE (Reuters) - The looting and street violence that roiled Baltimore this week shows why it is a big mistake to shut down the city's recreation centers, many residents say, fearing the closures make it more likely that young people get in trouble with the law. The rampage by mostly youthful crowds on Monday, sparked by the death of a 25-year-old black man who was injured while in police custody, was a painful reminder that young people badly needed after-school programs and recreation centers, they said. Since 2012, Baltimore has unloaded 14 of 55 centers in an overhaul of its recreation programs, a move forced in part by the city's strained finances and long-term decline of its population. Across the street from the shuttered Parkview Recreation Center and just blocks from where Gray was arrested on April 12, residents said the closure of the facility gave neighborhood youth few choices when school was out.
BP Plc and the United Steelworkers union (USW) chapter representing striking workers at the company's Whiting, Indiana, refinery reached a tentative agreement on Wednesday to end an 11-week work stoppage. The two sides have to negotiate an agreement on returning the striking workers to the Chicago-area plant, but a ratification vote is expected next week, said Dave Danko, president of USW Local 7-1, which represents the workers. "We are pleased to have a tentative agreement in place at Whiting and will work towards getting our colleagues back to work as soon as possible," said BP spokesman Scott Dean.
NEW YORK (AP) — Jurors in the murder trial surrounding the disappearance of 6-year-old Etan Patz in 1979 said Wednesday they were deadlocked after 10 days of deliberating and revisiting reams of testimony and exhibits, but the judge told them to keep going.
ROSWELL, N.M. (AP) — Officials say a crew member who was aboard a freight train that struck a parked train in New Mexico probably would have survived if he had not jumped from the train right before impact.
By Emmett Berg SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A four-month-old girl who was in the back seat of a car that was stolen at a traffic light in San Francisco was rescued unharmed by police after a citywide alert on Wednesday and a suspect was arrested, authorities said. The child was in an SUV that was stopped at an intersection in the city's Tenderloin district when the suspect kicked the side of the vehicle and then ducked out of sight, said Officer Albie Esparza of the San Francisco Police Department. A few miles from the crime scene, the suspect inadvertently stopped in front of the San Francisco Public Defender's office on 7th Street, where, Esparza said, "a diligent sergeant located the vehicle and took the suspect in custody." The child was unharmed and was returned to the SUV's driver, police said. The suspect, Solomon Alemu of San Francisco, will face charges for stealing the vehicle, as well as kidnapping, child endangerment and a probation violation, police said.
One women has died after being shot and another woman remains hospitalized in Wilmington, Delaware.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Five years ago Federal Aviation Administration officials questioned the mental fitness of the Germanwings pilot who crashed an airliner in the French Alps last month, but they awarded him a U.S. pilot license after his German doctor said he had fully recovered from severe depression, government records show.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A serial rapist testified Wednesday in California that forgetfulness led him to let the power in his ankle monitor run too low twice while he was on supervised release — missteps that prompted prosecutors to seek his return to a mental hospital.
SEATTLE (AP) — Prosecutors have filed five charges in juvenile court against the 16-year-old accused of firing a gun inside his Washington state high school.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate panel passed a bill Wednesday that would expand popular tax-free college savings accounts that President Barack Obama failed to scale back.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The United Auto Workers union has 816 members at the Volkswagen plant in Tennessee, or about 55 percent of the total blue collar work force, according the union's latest disclosure with the U.S. Department of Labor.
HAMMONTON, N.J. (AP) — Authorities say a chemical leak at a medical company in southern New Jersey has left several workers feeling ill.
SEATTLE (AP) — Hundreds of climbers and Sherpas who were attempting to climb Mount Everest from the north side when a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck the region are packing their gear and heading out after expedition leaders said Chinese authorities closed all climbing in Tibet for the spring.
By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A decision from Texas Governor Greg Abbott to deploy the Texas State Guard to monitor a U.S. military training exercise some conspiracy theorists see as a prelude for federal occupation was met with puzzlement by the White House on Wednesday. "I have no idea what he's thinking," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told a news conference. The eight-week training exercise known as "Jade Helm 15" is a multi-state exercise with members of the U.S. Army Special Operations Command.
The mother of a motorist shot and killed by police says in a lawsuit filed Tuesday that officers planted evidence to make it seem as though he was reaching for a gun.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Efforts to protect the greater sage grouse under the federal Endangered Species Act could hurt training operations at numerous U.S. military facilities in the West, according to a new report by the Army.
By Brendan Pierson NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former Goldman Sachs computer programmer accused of stealing its trading code may yet see his criminal case come to an end after the judge on Wednesday removed two jurors after a conflict between the two marred deliberations. A male juror and a female juror left the state Supreme Court in Manhattan on the orders of Justice Daniel Conviser shortly after 2 p.m. on the fifth full day of deliberations. The 10 remaining jurors spent the rest of the afternoon weighing whether Sergey Aleynikov broke New York state law when he copied Goldman computer code in June 2009, as he prepared to leave the bank for a high-frequency trading startup in Chicago. A decision to convict must be unanimous, and the judge said letting 10 jurors proceed amounted to "uncharted territory." The three alternate jurors were also discharged after the attorneys agreed to go ahead with 10.