Good morning, and happy Thursday. Here are some of the stories we’re following today:
1. Eric Garner decision triggers protests
A New York City grand jury’s decision not to indict a police officer in the chokehold death of Staten Island man Eric Garner on Wednesday led to renewed protests over police brutality. Garner, who was black, died in the July incident that was caught on cellphone camera. In the video, he could be heard pleading, “I can’t breathe,” which turned into a rallying slogan for protesters. Information from the grand jury’s decision could eventually be released, and more protests are expected Thursday. Read more in NEWS.
Eric Garner's widow said on TODAY on Thursday morning that she would not accept the police officer's apology:
2. Yemeni terrorists threaten U.S. hostage
A propaganda video released by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) purportedly shows British-born American hostage Luke Somers. He is threatened with execution if the U.S. government doesn’t meet the militants’ demands. "I'm certain that my life is in danger," Somers says under duress. He was kidnapped by gunmen in 2013 in Yemen's capital of Sanaa. Read more in NEWS.
3. Delays hold up NASA's test launch of space capsule
As part of a bid to send manned missions to Mars in the 2030s, NASA was preparing to launch its Orion capsule Thursday morning in a test fight. But winds were putting the plans on hold. The 4.5-hour mission — known as Exploration Flight Test 1, or EFT-1 — isn’t carrying people. It’s an uncrewed flight, meant to check critical systems that can’t be fully tested on Earth, including the craft’s heat shield and parachutes. The flight plan calls for Orion to splash down in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Baja California. Read more in SCIENCE.
4. Additional Bill Cosby accusers come forward
Three more women claimed Wednesday that they were sexually assaulted by the comedian in previous decades. “There is a huge cloud on his reputation and legacy,” said civil rights attorney Gloria Allred, who introduced the women at a news conference. "If he believes all of the women are being untruthful, this is his opportunity to prove it.” Allred has suggested Cosby establish a fund for the alleged victims as part of a confidential panel of retired judges who could rule on the women’s claims. Read more in NEWS.
5. Suspect arrested in death of American killed in Abu Dhabi
Ibolya Ryan, 47, was fatally stabbed Monday in a mall restroom in Abu Dhabi. Saif Bin Zayed, minister of the interior for the United Arab Emirates, told a press conference Thursday that the "face covered" suspect seen in security footage fleeing the scene of the crime is an Emirati woman now in police custody. Meanwhile, Ryan, a mother of three, was remembered by former colleagues as someone who loved life and one day wanted to open her own school. Read more in NEWS.
6. Michael Brown stepdad apologizes for remarks
Louis Head apologized on Wednesday for remarks he made last week after a grand jury decided not to indict the officer who killed his stepson, Michael Brown. Head had urged a crowd gathered in Ferguson, Missouri, after the decision to “burn this bitch down.” In a statement obtained by NBC News, Head, who is married to Brown's mother, apologized to those "who read my pain and anger as a true desire for what I want for our community. It wasn't." Read more in NEWS.
And now this …
The Smithsonian teamed up with the White House to take a 3D portrait of President Obama.