The US Justice Department said Wednesday it will not prosecute the white policeman who shot dead unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, but in a damning report found the local force systematically targeted African Americans. The fatal shooting in August in the St. Louis suburb ignited nationwide outrage and shone a critical spotlight on relations between law enforcement and black Americans, with police tactics also coming in for strong criticism. Wilson was also cleared in November by a grand jury in St. Louis County which opted not to indict him for the death of 18-year-old Brown, meaning the policeman is no longer facing legal action of any kind.
The US Senate on Wednesday failed to override a presidential veto blocking a bill that approved construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, halting -- at least for now -- Republican efforts to advance the project. President Barack Obama issued the veto last month, after the Republican-controlled Congress overcame considerable Democratic opposition to pass legislation approving the controversial pipeline on February 11. Overriding the veto required a two-thirds majority in the Senate and House of Representatives, but the bill failed at the first hurdle Wednesday -- even though some Democrats joined Republican rivals supporting the pipeline. The president said last month he is not against Keystone in principle, but accused legislators of trying to "circumvent longstanding and proven processes" for gauging whether it is in the national interest.