After Charlottesville, Boston aims to avert violence at 'Free Speech' rally

After Charlottesville, Boston aims to avert violence at 'Free Speech' rallyBy Scott Malone and Nate Raymond BOSTON (Reuters) - Hundreds of police officers were positioned around a Boston park where a group plans to hold a "Free Speech" rally with right-wing speakers on Saturday, a week after a woman was killed at a Virginia white-supremacist protest. Streets around Boston Common were lightly trafficked early on Saturday, while some 500 police officers placed barricades to prevent vehicles from entering the park, the nation's oldest. Last weekend's violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, where one woman was killed in a car rampage after bloody street battles, ratcheted up racial tensions already inflamed by white supremacist groups marching more openly in rallies across the United States.



Duke University removes contentious Confederate statue after vandalism

Duke University removes contentious Confederate statue after vandalismThe decision to take down the statue followed discussions among students, faculty, staff and alumni about maintaining safety on campus, university President Vincent E. Price said in a statement. "I took this course of action to protect Duke Chapel, to ensure the vital safety of students and community members who worship there, and above all to express the deep and abiding values of our university," Price said. The prestigious university will preserve the statue of Lee, who led Confederate forces in the American Civil War of 1861-1865, and use it as an educational tool so that students can study "Duke's complex past," Price added.



Solar eclipse presents first major test of power grid in renewable era

Solar eclipse presents first major test of power grid in renewable eraBy Ruthy Munoz HOUSTON (Reuters) - As Monday's total solar eclipse sweeps from Oregon to South Carolina, U.S. electric power and grid operators will be glued to their monitoring systems in what for them represents the biggest test of the renewable energy era. Utilities and grid operators have been planning for the event for years, calculating the timing and drop in output from solar, running simulations of the potential impact on demand, and lining up standby power sources. It promises a critical test of their ability to manage a sizeable swing in renewable power. ...



Powerball jackpot grows to $535 million, fifth largest ever

Powerball jackpot grows to $535 million, fifth largest everA $2 investment could yield more than a half-billion dollars in the Powerball lottery's fifth-largest jackpot in a 25-year history that is up for grabs on Saturday. The Multi-State Lottery Association, which runs Powerball for 44 states as well as Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, said the size of the jackpot increases with the number of tickets sold, and could grow further before the drawing. In the televised drawing set for Saturday at 10:59 p.m. EDT in Tallahassee, Florida, five of 69 white balls and one of 26 red balls - the Powerball - will be randomly selected to form the winning six-digit number.



Millions of Americans to gaze upon Monday's once-in-a-lifetime eclipse

Millions of Americans to gaze upon Monday's once-in-a-lifetime eclipseTwilight will fall at midday on Monday, stars will glimmer and birds will roost in an eerie stillness as millions of Americans and visitors witness the first total solar eclipse to traverse the United States from coast to coast in 99 years. The sight of the moon's shadow passing directly in front of the sun, blotting out all but the halo-like solar corona, may draw the largest live audience for a celestial event in human history. "It will certainly be the most observed total eclipse in history," astronomer Rick Fienberg of the American Astronomical Society (AAS) said last week.





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