10 Things You Need To Know Before The Opening Bell (DIA, SPY, SPX, QQQ, USO, OIL, HP)

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Good morning! Here are the major stories to be aware of before markets open in the US.

Saudi Arabia Signals No Oil Cuts Are Coming. “OPEC leader Saudi Arabia signaled on Wednesday it was unlikely to push for a major change in oil output at the producer group’s meeting this week, a day after Russia refused to cooperate in any production cut,” Reuters’ Alex Lawler and Amena Bakr reported. “Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi said he expected the oil market ‘to stabilize itself eventually’ but did not comment on talks with Russia held on Tuesday, which produced no firm pledge from Moscow to help support flagging oil prices.”

Oil Prices Barely Budge. Brent crude oil prices are at $78.64 per barrel, up 0.4%. WTI crude oil prices are at $74.19, up 0.1%. Prices are right near 4-year lows.

Europe’s Juncker Has A Plan For Growth. “European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker presented a plan on Wednesday to leverage some 300 billion euros ($375 billion) of largely private new investmentin the European Union, saying it was time to kick-start growth without adding to public debt,” Reuters’ Jan Strupczewski reported. “Underlining the need to maintain efforts at structural reforms of aging economies and pare back debt and deficits run up during the financial crisis, the EU’s new chief executive told the European Parliament in Strasbourg that his plan would be the third leg of a strategy to get Europeans back to work.”

The UK Is Humming. UK GDP grew 0.7% in Q3, which reflects 3.0% year-over-year growth. “The broader picture of the recovery is one of employment-led growth as spare capacity is absorbed,” Bloomberg economists Jamie Murray and Niraj Shah wrote. “The Bank of England sees only limited scope for this type of growth before inflationary pressures begin to build — putting the margin of slack at about 1% of GDP. Productivity growth, the only sustainable way for living standards to improve in the long term, has been very limited in the UK for the past 5 years.”

HP Comes Right In Line With Expectations. HP’s Q4 earnings were right in line with expectations, while revenue missed by a rounding error. “I’m excited to say that HP’s turnaround continues on track,” CEO Meg Whitman said.

HP Execs Hint That More Layoffs Are Coming. HP has laid off 41,000 people (with about 9,000 people left to go) under its current downsizing plan for 2014. On Tuesday, the company hinted that more layoffs could be coming with its plans to separate itself into two huge companies.

Markets Are Up. In Europe, Britain’s FTSE 100 is up 0.2%, France’s CAC 40 is flat, and Germany’s DAX is up 0.7%. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei closed down 0.1% and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng closed up 1.1%. Dow futures are up 17 points and S&P futures are up 2 points.

Uber Will Be Valued At $40 Billion In New Round Of Funding. Uber is close to raising a new round of funding that would value it between $35 and $40 billion, according to Bloomberg. T. Rowe Price is said to be among the new investors.

Samsung Just Sold Off Stakes In Chemical And Defence Units For $1.7 Billion. Samsung Group said on Wednesday it is selling stakes in defence firm Samsung Techwin Co and three other units for 1.9 trillion won ($1.72 billion) to Hanwha Group units. Management also announced a $2 billion share buyback plan, the first buyback plan since 2007.

Here Comes Data. There’s a ton of US economic data being released today. Durable goods, personal income and spending, and jobless claims come at 8:30 a.m. ET. That’ll be followed by the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index at 9:45 a.m. and Univ. of Michigan Consumer Confidence at 9:55 a.m. At 10 a.m., we’ll get pending home sales and new home sales. Check out Business Insider’s Monday Scouting Report for the full preview.

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Apple Is Being Pressured To 'Set A Standard' For The Contract Workers Of Silicon Valley (AAPL)

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Apple is being asked to “set a standard” for the security guards who look after the high-flying workers of Silicon Valley, the San Jose Mercury News reports. 

Organised labour is under the microscope at campuses across the sector. And United Service Workers West (USWW), a regional branch of the Service Employees International Union, is trying to unionize security personnel in the Bay. It has Apple in its sights and is pressuring the company to use a different contractor until the dispute is settled. 

The Mercury says there is a “growing debate” about contracted service workers in Silicon Valley, who “struggle to make ends meet” — while they drive shuttle buses and cook in the cafes, it’s no secret that staff at places such as Apple enjoy countless perks. 

The USWW, alongside activist Rev. Jesse Jackson, is pushing hard for better working conditions in the campaign and has apparently set its eye on Apple, as it believes it should set an example for other tech companies to follow.

Vice president of USWW, Samuel Kehinde, told the Mercury: “Apple can be the leader. They can decide how life should be for this class of workers in the valley.”

Rev. Jackson reportedly sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook, questioning how the group’s security guards are treated by Security Industry Specialists (SIS), which contracts them out. He urged Cook to “take a stand,” says the Mercury, and has requested a meeting to discuss the situation.

Organised labor is gaining more control and power in Silicon Valley. This month, Facebook’s shuttle bus drivers voted to join Teamsters union; and in October, Google announced it would create in-house security staff who’ll get the same benefits as the rest of its employees.

In the past, Google contracted workers from SIS, which Kehinde argues has a poor record of treating its workforce. If Facebook and Google is anything to go by, Apple will probably follow suit — but has not yet commented on the situation. 

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The Mansion Tax Could Drive Angelia Jolie Out Of London

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Angelina Jolie has stormed onto the British political scene, revealing that Labour’s proposed mansion tax could prevent her from moving to London, the Telegraph reported. 

Jolie, who described herself as “quite fond of England,” was speaking to John Snow of Channel 4 when she said that the tax “could put her off.”

Rumours spread over the weekend that Jolie and her husband Brad Pitt were looking for a mansion in Marylebone, the central London borough called “the coolest place on the planet.”

But in a previous interview Pitt himself had raised an issue with the British tax system. “It is good fun here. Still… work on the tax issues,” he said to the Sunday Times.

Labour’s mansion tax, that would hit properties valued at least £2 million ($3.15 million), is said to interest 110,000 properties in the country, 86,000 of these in London alone. 

In the last few years, Jolie has forged a close friendship with William Hague, the Tory politician and former UK Secretary of State at the Foreign Office. The actress and the politician worked together on a campaign to end violence against women in conflict zones. 

Jolie has also confirmed she would quit her acting career to dedicate more time to her campaigning activity, leaving the door open to a political future. She would enter politics “if I felt I would really make a difference,” she said to ITV.

You can see the whole interview with Jon Snow here. The passage about the mansion tax is at the very end:

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China drafts first domestic violence law

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Beijing (AFP) – China has drafted its first national law against domestic violence, a move hailed by activists as a step forward in a country where abuse has long been sidelined as a private matter.

The new law, published Tuesday, formally defines domestic violence for the first time and also streamlines the process for obtaining restraining orders — measures that anti-domestic abuse groups have advocated for years.

“Over the years, we’ve many times felt powerless ourselves to help victims,” said Hou Zhiming, a veteran women’s rights advocate who heads the Maple Women’s Psychological Counselling Centre in Beijing.

“If this law is actually enacted — because the issuing of a draft means it will now enter the law-making process — we will be very pleased,” said Hou, whose centre is one of China’s longest-running anti-domestic violence organisations.

“At the very least, there’s finally movement on this law,” she said.

But advocates also say the draft law, released by the Legislative Affairs Office of China’s State Council, excludes unmarried and divorced couples and falls short in some others areas.

Less than two decades ago, physical abuse was not even acceptable as grounds for divorce in China. In 2001 the marriage law was amended to explicitly ban domestic violence for the first time.

But without a legal definition of the term, many victims — if they report abuse at all — have been shuffled from police to women’s federation to neighbourhood committee, with authorities reluctant to intervene unless serious injury is involved.

Currently little protection is available if a partner threatens violence against a victim who tries to leave, advocates note, as restraining orders are rarely issued in China and shelters are nearly non-existent.

Courts must rule on restraining order requests within 48 hours, according to the draft law — but if one is granted, the victim must start a lawsuit within 30 days or it will lapse.

The draft law stipulates that police must respond to reports of domestic violence and that schools, hospitals and other institutions may face “serious consequences” for failing to report cases to the authorities.

Nearly 40 percent of Chinese women who are married or in a relationship have experienced physical or sexual violence, the state-run China Daily newspaper reported Wednesday, citing new figures from the All China Women’s Federation.

The group, which is linked to the ruling Communist Party, has previously reported that abuse takes place in 24.7 percent of Chinese families.

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Ferguson Protesters Create Mass Gridlock In New York City

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Thousands of protestors gathered around New York City Tuesday night, one night after a grand jury decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August.

As of around 10pm, protesters had reportedly blocked traffic near Wall Street, Times Square, the United Nations, the FDR Drive, Lincoln Tunnel, and numerous city bridges at various points in the evening.

They blocked all lanes of traffic on the FDR drive on Manhattan’s east side:

BREAKING: Thousands of ppl marching onto FDR drive, a major roadway in NYC, blocking all lanes of traffic. #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/3sD7DnagF0

— Jenna Pope (@JennaBPope) November 26, 2014

At the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, a large group of protesters sat in silence for several minutes:

Marchers are sitting down in front of The Barclays Center pic.twitter.com/94pKkUg2kL

— Noah Hurowitz (@NoahHurowitz) November 26, 2014

The protesters shut down the Lincoln Tunnel earlier in the evening, but it was reopened around 8:30 pm. This is what the scene looked like earlier in the evening:

Listen live to our NYPD Citywide feed of the protests Block Entrance To The Lincoln Tunnel. http://t.co/ePwAJarmd7 pic.twitter.com/MKcn429jtO

— NYC Fire Wire (@NYCFireWire) November 26, 2014

 

In Manhattan, around 1,000 protesters walked north up Fifth Avenue:

ferguson protest new york

ferguson protest new york

 

//

Post by Julie Zeveloff.

And this was the scene at the Williamsburg Bridge:

No Justice. No Peace. Williamsburg Bridge, NYC #BlackLivesMatter pic.twitter.com/WvoZCs90vZ

— Darling Chuck (@darlingchuck) November 26, 2014

 

Earlier in the day, more than a dozen City Council members walked out on their chambers in protest of the non-indictment, according to NY1.

Here’s video of FDR Drive around 20th St. where protests were blocking traffic:

 

// <div>Please enable Javascript to watch this video</div>

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US National Guard deployed as Ferguson protests

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Ferguson (United States) (AFP) – More than 2,000 soldiers deployed in the US town of Ferguson, on a second night of protest after a grand jury chose not to charge a white policeman who shot dead an unarmed black teen.

After a night of racially-charged unrest following Monday’s decision, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon said the National Guard force in the Ferguson area would be tripled to halt the looting and arson.

At the Ferguson police station a cordon of 50 riot police faced off across a road with around 100 noisy protesters chanting and waving placards, including one that read: “We will not be silenced.”

Inside the perimeter of the station, National Guardsmen equipped with riot shields and batons could be seen preparing for the night. 

The protest crowd was smaller than it had been on Monday, and there was no initial sign of violence, but some masked agitators could be seen on the fringes of the demonstration.

“Lives and property must be protected. This community deserves to have peace,” the governor said, as anger mounted nationwide and fresh protests took place in major cities.

Marchers disrupted traffic on bridges and the Lincoln Tunnel in New York city — leading to a number of arrests — and crowds took to the streets in downtown Washington, near the White House. 

US President Barack Obama decried the violence and called for rioters to be prosecuted, while acknowledging the deep-rooted frustrations of minorities who feel they are unfairly treated by police.

“There are productive ways of responding and expressing those frustrations and there are destructive ways of responding,” he said.

“Burning buildings, torching cars, destroying property, putting people at risk. That’s destructive and there’s no excuse for it. Those are criminal acts.”

 

- ‘Broken process’ -

 

Lawyers for the family of slain youth Michael Brown denounced the prosecutor whose grand jury hearing found that police officer Darren Wilson had killed the 18-year-old in self-defense.

“This process is broken. This process should be indicted,” Brown family lawyer Benjamin Crump told a news conference.

Crump criticized the way Wilson had not been cross-examined when he appeared before the grand jury, which decided not to indict him over the August 9 shooting.

But in his first televised comments since the incident, Wilson told ABC News he had feared for his life during the confrontation, believing Brown was attempting to wrestle his gun away from him.

“I can feel his hand trying to come over my hand and get inside the trigger guard and try to shoot me with my own gun,” Wilson said.

Asked if he believed he would have acted the same way if Brown was white, Wilson responded: “No question.”

The officer said he was comfortable that he had acted correctly.

“I don’t think it’s haunting. It’s always going to be something that happened,” he said, adding that his conscience was clear because “I know I did my job right.”

 

- ‘A nationwide problem’ -

 

Civil rights firebrand Al Sharpton said the Brown case renewed a nationwide fight for greater police accountability.

“This is not a Ferguson problem… This is a problem all over the country,” Sharpton said. “We may have lost one round but the fight is not over. They have broken our hearts, but not our backs.”

Separate protests flared, meanwhile, in Cleveland, Ohio, following the fatal shooting by police of a 12-year-old black boy holding a replica gun at the weekend.

Despite appeals by Brown’s family for calm in Ferguson on Monday, protests rapidly degenerated into looting, arson and running street battles between police and stone-throwers. 

Protesters shot at police, robbed locally-owned stores and set cars and buildings ablaze in what police said was the worst violence since Wilson shot Brown.

Ferguson mayor James Knowles meanwhile declined to comment Tuesday on the Wilson’s future, saying only that the 28-year-old officer remained on administrative leave.

“His current employment status has not changed,” Knowles said.

The August shooting sparked weeks of protest and a nationwide debate about military-style police tactics and race relations.

The Ferguson grand jury concluded Wilson had acted lawfully in firing 12 shots at Brown after he first reached into the officer’s car to grapple with him, then turned on him as he gave chase. 

Brown’s death, the aggressive police response to protests and now the result of the grand jury hearing have stirred racial tensions in Ferguson, a mainly black suburb with a mostly white police force. 

The town’s African American community of 21,000 has been on edge since the shooting, and residents complain of years of racial prejudice and heavy-handed police tactics.

 

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Juncker unveils massive EU investment plan

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Strasbourg (France) (AFP) – European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker was set to unveil an eagerly awaited 300-billion-euro investment plan in European Parliament on Wednesday, intended to boost the continent’s flatlining economy.

The plan is the cornerstone of Juncker’s five-year agenda to jumpstart the EU’s moribund economy, which has failed to grow since the financial crisis and is mired in mass unemployment and near-deflation.

The new European Fund for Strategic Investment will be funded to the tune of 21 billion euros, but its work will have an net effect on the economy of about 315 billion euros ($390 billion), according to an official estimate.

As expected, overall responsiblity for the three-year plan will fall to the European Investment Bank, a little-known EU institution based in Luxembourg that is often criticised for its lack of ambition.

Juncker will formally introduce the plan to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Wednesday before submitting it to EU leaders at a summit in December.

The heart of the problem in the 28-nation bloc is a drastic lack of investment, which remains way off pre-crisis levels, in stark contrast to the US and despite unprecedented stimulus measures by the European Central Bank.

The plan announced Tuesday is designed to attack the investment problem head-on, but with the added challenge to do so without more public spending, with most EU countries already paralysed by high deficits and mountains of debt.

- No new money -

Crucially, the Juncker plan in the end relies on no new money, but re-engineers existing funds in such a way, officials said, that will provide far more added value than in their existing allocation.

“The amounts are lower than we hoped, but we felt that coming in recent weeks,” an EU diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.

In essence, the plan uses existing cash from both the EIB and EU to feed an investment fund that will be tasked with financing private-sector driven projects. Officials said the projects would provide a “real added value” for the European economy.

The overall figure multiplies the initial 21 billion euros by a factor of 15, which was a “conservative” estimate, EU officials said.

But economist Reinhard Cluse at UBS in London said that EU investment plans “focus too hard on big headline numbers”.

“These have relied on significant ‘crowding in’ of private resources, which has often failed to materialise,” he said, before the final details of the plans emerged.

A list of projects is currently being drawn up by EU and EIB officials, with the input of member states.

Officials hope the fund can be operational by mid 2015.

Once up-and-running, a team of financial experts at the new fund will help decide projects, mostly based on their level of advancement and the likelihood to draw in private investors. 

Expectations have been high for the plan, with EU member states at odds over the final amount and the balance between public and private spending.

Economics Affairs Commissioner Pierre Moscovici warned last month that whatever the case, the plan should be convincing.

Otherwise “this will seem like a trick, recycling, and therefore a flop,” he said.

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Average House Price Now Half a Million

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Despite the reports on Britain’s house prices becoming stuck at
the same prices since 2004, the London housing market is still
showing signs of inflation. According to the latest article on

The Guardian website, London house prices are growing by
20% each year.

This growth seen in the London property market is five times
that of the increase seen in other areas of the UK, such as the
North East, and the same article on the Guardian website
explains that the typical mortgage in London now demands a
£100,000 salary.

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Greenwich Millenium Village, South-East London – photo
credit: Wikimedia Commons

London shows the biggest level of growth across the UK and with
soaring property prices, getting on the ladder for first-time
buyers is more difficult than ever.

Figures from the NHF

The National Housing Federation, which markets itself as a the
‘voice of affordable housing’, shares regular insights into the
London housing market, and one of its most recent news articles
shares the terrifying report of
working Londoners forced onto housing benefit due to the
rising house prices. Despite higher wages in the capital,
housing affordability still remains to be a key issue and the
average home in the city is now up to half a million pounds.
There are also predictions that this will reach £1 million in
the next decade or so.

As it stands, the current average house price is 14 times the
average London wage, making it impossible for working
professionals to get – or stay – on the property ladder.

Cheaper Council Tax Areas in London

One of the solutions pushed by estate agents in the London
area, such as Featherstone
Leigh, is to opt for the cheaper council tax areas in the
city to cut back on costs for those able to get a London
mortgage.

Areas such as Battersea (located across the river from the
affluent Chelsea area) are now up and coming locations for the
London buyer and can be much more affordable alternatives for
buyers looking for a good deal.

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alt="Battersea, London" class="size-full wp-image-21716"
data-recalc-dims="1">

Battersea, London – photo credit: Roger Marks

Housing in the Battersea Area

For anyone looking for the elegance of Chelsea at a much more
affordable price, now is prime time to shop around in
Battersea; an area said to be the younger and much more
affordable alternative.

Since the commissioning of Battersea Power Station’s renovation
into flats, where the rich and famous are said to have bought
already – including artist Sting and his wife Trudie Styler –
the area has seen vast improvement. It is said to have promise
to become London’s new property paradise by many experts.

Whilst Battersea still boasts one of the lowest council tax
zones in the whole of London, and the housing bubble shows no
sign of backing down, buyers will find this area of be full of
opportunity.

If you would like more advice on buying property in the bubble,
head over to the
London Evening Standard online for the latest tips.

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class="avatar avatar-100 photo" height="100" width="100">

About the Author: Ivan
Widjaya is the Owner/Editor of Noobpreneur.com. He is a web
property investor, blogger and web property builder.
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posts from Ivan Widjaya »

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Arsenal take on Dortmund in crucial Champions League clash

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London (AFP) – Arsenal captain Mikel Arteta insists his side will learn the lessons of their painful loss against Manchester United when they take on Borussia Dortmund in a crucial Champions League clash on Wednesday.

Arsene Wenger’s side need a draw against Group D leaders Dortmund at the Emirates Stadium to be sure of joining the German club in the knockout stages of Europe’s elite club competition.

But a defeat could leave Arsenal needing a result in their final fixture — in an extremely hostile environment at Galatasaray — to avoid being eliminated at the group stage for the first time in 15 seasons.

Given Dortmund have already beaten Arsenal 2-0 in the group stages this year and won 2-1 at the Emirates at the same stage last term, there is every reason for Arteta and company to be concerned — especially since Arsenal’s 2-1 home defeat against United on Saturday condemned the team to their worst start to a season since 1982.

Arsenal’s failure to convert a series of chances to kill off United was a major frustration, but Spanish midfielder Arteta is confident they will make amends against Dortmund.

“We will have to analyse what we did wrong to lose the game, but if we played 10 times like this against Man United, then we would win nine and draw one,” the Spaniard said.

“The fans have seen both the quality and the determination which the team played with, so we say sorry, we tried our best, but it was not our day – (next time, the team) just have to put the ball in the net.”

There were, though, signs of a growing discontent among some Arsenal fans after their second successive defeat in a season which has seen them collect only four Premier League wins, while they squandered a three-goal lead in a 3-3 draw against Anderlecht in their previous European fixture.

- Heated exchange -

United substitute Darren Fletcher was involved in a heated exchange with fans behind the opposition bench following his team’s opening goal, when objects, including red wine, were reportedly thrown at the visitors as they celebrated.

A few Arsenal fans also held up A4-sized placards calling for Wenger’s dismissal, which were quickly confiscated by club stewards.

With so much negativity surrounding the club, Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny has warned his side not to take qualification for granted.

“We know that we only need one point from our last two matches to qualify for the last 16, but we know that we have not made it yet,” said Szczesny, who faces a race to be fit for the Dortmund game after suffering an injury that forced him off against United.

“We are all ready to bounce back against Dortmund on Wednesday and hopefully get a place in the last 16.”

Should Arsenal beat Jurgen Klopp’s side, and the Germans then lose at home to Anderlecht on matchday six, there is an unlikely scenario which could see them go through as top seeds and so avoid the likes of Barcelona or Bayern Munich in the knockout stage.

Despite their 100 percent record in Europe this season, Dortmund have already lost seven times in the Bundesliga this season and a 2-2 draw with Paderborn at the weekend left them one point off the bottom of the German league table.

To make matters worse, Dortmund will be without Marco Reus until the new year after the forward suffered ankle ligament damage against Paderborn

Yet Szczesny maintains Arsenal should not read too much into Dortmund’s sluggish form.

“I am really surprised how much Dortmund have been struggling in the Bundesliga this season. Especially when you look at their results in the Champions League this season, they have won every single game comfortably,” he said.

“But I still think they are going to do well as they are such a good side.”

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In Ferguson, blacks say racial bias is fact of life

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Ferguson (United States) (AFP) – When Sean Jackson became a father, he says he knew he needed to teach his son how to interact with police so as to avoid arrest — or worse. 

Such is the life of a black man in Ferguson, Missouri.

Ferguson is at boiling point over a grand jury’s decision not to indict a white officer for shooting dead an unarmed black teenager, and African Americans here are furious over police brutality, racism and what they say is daily profiling.

“Listen. This is what most white people don’t understand,” says the 45-year-old Jackson, standing outside the burnt-out ruins of a store after the worst night of violence the St Louis suburb has seen since Michael Brown, 18, was killed in August.

“Any black man driving through Ferguson is a nervous man because he’s worried about the police pulling him over.

“You’re nervous about getting killed or getting locked up, or a ticket — you’re hoping for a ticket. When every day you’re living your life and you have to be nervous — it’s not fun.”

Local residents have staged protests ever since Brown was shot dead. On Monday, they degenerated into looting and arson after a grand jury cleared officer Darren Wilson of any wrongdoing.

Jackson says he has been harassed by police multiple times. He taught his son, now 25, to keep his hands up, and say “yes sir, no sir” if he is ever stopped.

“We do have to teach our sons how to deal with the police so they don’t get killed,” he said, describing St Louis as one of the most prejudiced cities in the United States.

“People here get so in tune with that we don’t even notice it — people from outside are hollering about it. Man, you know what? Time for change.”

- ‘Could have been me’ -

The US Bureau of Justice Statistics says of the 2,931 “arrest-related” homicides from 2003 to 2009, almost all were men and more than half aged 25 to 44.

Blacks suffer disproportionately. Blacks made up 32 percent of the casualties, yet just 13 percent of the population.

According to a Justice Department report, blacks and Hispanics are three times more likely to be searched during a traffic stop than whites, and four times as likely to experience the use of force in encounters with police.

One in three African-American males can expect to spend time in prison, while black high school students are far more likely to be arrested than white classmates, the liberal Center for American Progress think tank has noted.

Men here say they know they could have been in Brown’s place on August 9.

“I understand it as a black male, to know that could have been me shot,” said Darrell Alexander, 56, a retired registered nurse, touring the riot-hit area.

“Justice is still not being served so the young people are mad, and they have every right to be. This was blatantly racism, the whole situation.”

Alexander is a supporter of Copwatch, an organization that researches complaints against police officers in a bid to promote public safety and ensure officers remain accountable.

Two summers ago, he says he was pulled over by St Louis County police at midnight as he drove into his affluent neighborhood, his hair in dreads, on a bogus insurance call, which was later thrown out in court.

“It was because it was 12 am, I didn’t look like I lived in that neighborhood… I didn’t look the part so I was ticketed and these are the kind of unnecessary things that we have to go through,” Alexander said.

“These are the types of things that white privileged America can’t understand because they don’t see it. It doesn’t happen to them.”

- ‘Still hurting’ -

MZ Tay, a nurse wearing a “no justice, no peace” T-shirt who was so upset she was nearly in tears, warned that Ferguson was in for a bumpy ride in the coming days.

“This is not going to fly. This is going to get so much worse before it gets better. I can see other places getting burned down,” she told AFP.

“This is just the beginning because everyone is still hurting. Everyone is just so in uproar, how is it we still live in slavery days.”

She also said she now kept a camera in her car to record the number of times she has been pulled over in her expensive vehicle.

Ferguson’s police department is overwhelmingly white, even though its population over two decades has grown to become two-thirds African-American.

Terrence Williams, 23, spent Tuesday picking up trash from the side of the road. He said he had been out volunteering since 7:00 am.

Williams has a degree in criminal justice and dreams of joining the police force — “anything to be a positive role model at such a negative time,” he said.

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