Morning Security Brief: Ferguson Unrest, Train Crash, Google Sharks, and Deadly Floods

By Mark Tarallo

►Missouri's governor said early today that he would send the National Guard into the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson to restore calm after authorities forcibly dispersed a crowd protesting last week's fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen by police. Gov. Jay Nixon signed an executive order deploying the U.S. state militia, saying demonstrators overnight had thrown Molotov cocktails and shot at police as well as a civilian, a description of the night's events that diverged widely from some eyewitness accounts, Reuters reported. A midnight curfew was imposed on both Saturday and Sunday nights in Ferguson, which has been hit by demonstrations since Michael Brown, 18, was shot to death on Aug. 9 by police officer Darren Wilson. At around dusk on Sunday, hundreds of protesters fled to safety after police wearing gas masks and body armor fired tear gas and smoke canisters to scatter them hours ahead of the curfew. Protestors said the tear gas and smoke bombs were unprovoked, and that the reaction was excessive. Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder ordered a federal autopsy of Brown's body, and sought to assure the family and community there will be a thorough investigation. A preliminary private autopsy, asked for by Brown's family, showed the teenager was shot at least six times, the New York Times reported on Sunday night.

►Part of Hoxie in Lawrence County, Arkansas, was evacuated over the weekend after two freight trains collided in the area overnight, killing two Union Pacific train crew members, authorities said. Jonesboro Police and Fire said in a statement that the crash happened shortly after 2:30 a.m. Sunday on tracks near U.S. 67 between Hoxie and Minturn. Arkansas State Police said the evacuation of part of south Hoxie was "precautionary" because the two Union Pacific trains were carrying "toxic cargo" and one engine caught on fire. Arkansas Department of Emergency Management spokesman Kendell Snyder said the car on fire contained alcoholic beverages, which along with the diesel fuel from the train was feeding the flames, reported.

►Google says it is strengthening its underwater cables in the Pacific Ocean to protect against shark bites. Google is wrapping its fiber-optic cables in a Kevlar-like material, said Dan Belcher, a product manager on the Google cloud team at a company event last week, according to Network World. Sharks have a "unique ability" to detect electromagnetic fields, and they may be "confused" and believe that the cable is an animal, George Burgess, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research. "No doubt the electromagnetic fields associated with these wires are highly attractive to these sharks," Burgess told USA Today. The underwater cables are part of a $300 million trans-Pacific cable network Google is building. It will connect west coast cities, including Los Angeles, Portland and Seattle to cities in Japan.

►At least 160 people are reported to have been killed in floods and landslides following days of torrential rain in Nepal and northern India, the BBC . In Nepal, officials said at least 101 people were known to have died, and more than 130 people are still missing. Officials also voiced fears about a possible cholera outbreak. In several northern Indian states, severe flooding after rainfall left at least 60 dead and entire villages marooned. More than 1,500 villages are inundated in India's Uttar Pradesh state, where 28 people have died and thousands have been left homeless. In Uttarakhand, cloudbursts and landslides killed 32 and in Bihar at least two people have died. The worst of the rain is now thought to be over, and rescue helicopters have been deployed to convey emergency supplies to those stranded.


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