Daily Dispatches
Demonstrators throng Times Square in New York after George Zimmerman is acquitted.
Associated Press/Photo by John Minchillo
Demonstrators throng Times Square in New York after George Zimmerman is acquitted.

Midday Roundup: Protestors take to the streets after Zimmerman verdict


Verdict protests. The crowd gathered outside the Sanford, Fla., courthouse Saturday night to hear the verdict in George Zimmerman’s murder trial responded peacefully, unlike protestors in other cities across the country. After the jury delivered it’s decision to clear Zimmerman of all charges related to the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, the teen’s hometown supporters wiped away tears, shared hugs, and wondered aloud to reporters about the justice system’s bias against African-American men. But in Los Angeles, New York City, and Oakland, Calif., protestors blocked roads, started fires, and threatened to unleash a violent tide of civil unrest. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti took to Twitter to appeal for calm, but early this morning, police in riot gear were called in to disperse a group of protestors in front of the CNN building. Although Zimmerman is a free man, his lawyer and family members say his life is in danger from those who might seek vigilante justice. And his time in court probably isn’t over: Martin’s family plans to file a civil lawsuit and the Justice Department is investigating whether it could charge Zimmerman with a hate crime.

More leaks coming? Edward Snowden, the former security analyst who leaked details of the National Security Administration’s (NSA) electronic surveillance programs, has much more classified material he could release, according to the Guardian journalist who first broke the story. Glenn Greenwald told the Associated Press over the weekend that Snowden absconded from his post in Hawaii with the instruction manuals for the NSA’s surveillance systems. Anyone with access to those documents would know how the systems work, and how they can be evaded. They also could recreate the monitoring programs. Greenwald claims Snowden doesn’t plan to release those documents because they would be so harmful to the United States government. If that’s true, why take them in the first place? Perhaps he intends to use them as a bargaining chip to help ensure his freedom. Snowden remains in a Moscow airport, where he’s trying to negotiate asylum from Russia and several South American countries that have offered him refuge.

Pro-choice fundraising. The Texas legislature passed strict abortion limits late Friday, a victory for the state’s majority pro-life Republicans. But Democrats are using the legislative battle over the bill and the subsequent protests to their advantage. Sen. Wendy Davis, the Ft. Worth Democrat who made national news by filibustering the bill and forcing Gov. Rick Perry to call another special legislative session to get it passed, raised almost $1 million in the last two weeks of June. Much of the money came through small donations from all across the country. Davis is mulling a run for governor, after Perry announced he would not seek reelection in 2014. Her ability to raise money is key to her decision, she told the Texas Tribune.

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Deadly call. Apple is facing a public relations nightmare in China, where a woman was electrocuted by her iPhone 5. The phone was charging when she answered a phone call. According to her family, 23-year-old Ma Ailun fell down dead when the phone touched her ear. Chinese news sources report Ma purchased the phone at an official Apple store and was using the original charger. And Apple’s not the only cell phone manufacturer suffering from random nightmare scenarios: Rival Samsung is trying to figure out why a Galaxy S III exploded in a woman’s pocket last week, leaving her with third-degree burns on her thigh.

Leigh Jones
Leigh Jones

Leigh lives in Houston with her husband and daughter. She is the managing editor of WORLD's website.


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