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Dylan Scott

Dylan Scott is a reporter for Talking Points Memo. He previously reported for Governing magazine in Washington, D.C., and the Las Vegas Sun. His work has been recognized with a 2013 American Society of Business Publication Editors award for Best Feature Series and a 2010 Associated Press Society of Ohio award for Best Investigative Reporting. He can be reached at dylan@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Dylan

Ferguson, Mo., Mayor James Knowles defended local law enforcement amid growing criticism about their tactics during the protests sparked by the police shooting of an unarmed African-American teen.

Knowles said Thursday on MSNBC that there is "a lot of unlawfulness going around these peaceful protests." Two police officers have been shot at during the demonstrations, he said, which started on Sunday after the shooting of Michael Brown and have resulted in tear gas and rubber bullets being fired into the crowd.

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The images coming out of Ferguson, Mo., in the last few days have been harrowing, and one element in particular has shocked those watching the events unfold. American law enforcement decked out in military fatigues, patrolling the streets in armored vehicles that look like they were plucked out of Afghanistan or Iraq.

And the thing is, they very well might have been. The Ferguson and St. Louis County police departments have both received equipment from the U.S. military through what's known as the 1033 program, a federal program that the American Civil Liberties Union says has been a key catalyst to the broader escalation of law enforcement force in the United States.

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Reporters for the Huffington Post and Washington Post were arrested on Wednesday evening amid the ongoing protests in Ferguson, Mo., after the police shooting this weekend of a young African-American man.

Ryan Reilly of the Huffington Post and Wesley Lowery of the Washington Post, reporting from the scene in Ferguson, relayed their encounters with the police via social media. It appears they were both arrested at a local McDonald's and later released without being charged.

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Ferguson, Mo., Police Chief Thomas Jackson told reporters Wednesday race relations is "a top priority" for the department amid tense confrontations between protesters and law enforcement after the police shooting of an African-American teen.

"Race relations is a top priority right now," Jackson said at a Wednesday press conference. "I'm working with the Justice Department to address that."

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An unconfirmed report surfaced on Wednesday that pro-Russian separatist leader Igor Strelkov, who allegedly boasted of shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 on social media before recanting, had been wounded in battle in eastern Ukraine, sparking some confusion among foreign policy journalists.

The report was quickly denied by some pro-Russian separatist officials, and what actually happened -- if anything -- remains unclear.

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A top White House official said on Wednesday that President Barack Obama could consider sending U.S. ground troops to help in the rescue of thousands of minority Iraqis who have been trapped on a mountain by Islamic extremists.

The New York Times reported that Ben Rhodes, Obama's deputy national security adviser, said that the use of American ground troops could be one of the options presented to Obama to aid Iraqi forces in rescuing thousands of Yazidis, a minority religious community in Iraq. The Yazidis have been stranded on Mount Sinjar in northern Iraq for more than a week after fleeing a nearby town and being surrounded by militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which considers the Yazidis to be "devil worshippers."

Rhodes distinguished between using U.S. troops to fight ISIS, which has wreaked havoc in recent weeks and carved out a self-described caliphate in Iraq and Syria, and a humanitarian mission to help the Yazidis.

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The Ferguson, Mo., police department said Wednesday that those protesting after the police shooting of an African-American teen should disperse by dusk because "those who wish to co-opt peaceful protests and turn them into violent demonstrations have been able to do so over the past several days in the evening hours."

Since Sunday evening, protests over the police shooting have seen officers shooting tear gas and rubber bullets into the crowd. There have also been reports of gunshots fired at police. Brown was shot this Saturday during a confrontation with police. Local and federal authorities are investigating the shooting.

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The Republican Senate candidate in Iowa seemed to lend some weight to the fringe conspiracy theory about the United Nations' Agenda 21, a favorite of tea party icon Glenn Beck, according to a video published Wednesday by Yahoo News.

Ernst was asked in January at a county GOP event about Agenda 21, a non-binding sustainable development plan approved in 1992 that has fixated some on the far right as a means of imposing some kind of New World Order.

Based on her response at the time, via Yahoo, Ernst seemed familiar with the subject and took it seriously.

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This post has been updated.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) has been a mainstay in Iowa as he builds support for a presumed 2016 presidential run, but he was forced to back out of a conference with Iowa conservatives last Saturday. Paul had a "family commitment," he had told event organizers, per the Des Moines Register.

Then the New York Post reported on Monday that Paul had been hobnobbing with actor Alec Baldwin and numerous other celebrities on Saturday afternoon at a fundraiser at a library in the Hamptons.

It seemed to leave some of the Christian evangelical leaders who organized the Iowa event a little perturbed, according to the Register.

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