TIME Civil Rights

Feds Clear Ferguson Cop Darren Wilson of Civil Rights Violations

Prosecutors cannot disprove that the officer who shot Michael Brown "feared for his safety”

The Department of Justice has cleared Darren Wilson, the police officer who shot and killed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., of committing civil rights violations in the August confrontation that sparked sometimes violent local and national protests.

A separate report from the Justice Department did find, however, that the Ferguson Police Department was in frequent violation of several provisions of the Constitution.

The report, one of two released on Wednesday, broadly corroborates Wilson’s account of what happened in the St. Louis suburb on Aug.9. The officer said he spotted Brown and a friend walking in the middle of the street. Wilson told prosecutors and investigators he suspected the pair in the theft of cigarillos from a nearby convenience store, and called for backup before pulling to a stop near them.

The officer and some witnesses said Brown reached into Wilson’s police car to punch and grab him. Even though other witnesses stated that Wilson had reached out of his vehicle to grab Brown by the neck, prosecutors said their accounts were “inconsistent with physical and forensic evidence.”

Wilson said he took out his weapon while still in his vehicle and shot Brown in the hand as the teenager attempted to gain control of the gun. The report found “no credible evidence to disprove Wilson’s account” of what happened inside the vehicle.

Brown then ran away and Wilson gave chase, the report said. Autopsy results found that Brown had not been shot in the back as he was running away, as some witnesses reported. Instead, the report found, Brown was approaching Wilson in a manner that “appeared to pose a physical threat” when he was shot. The shooting death led to weeks of often-violent protests in the city.

Witnesses said that “Wilson fired at Brown in what appeared to be self-defense and stopped firing once Brown fell to the ground.” Though a number of witnesses claimed Brown held his hands up in a surrender position before Wilson fired, the report found that they were not credible.

“Some of those accounts are inaccurate because they are inconsistent with the physical and forensic evidence; some of those accounts are materially inconsistent with that witnesses’ own prior statements with no explanation,” the Wilson report concluded. A state grand jury declined to indict Wilson in November; he resigned from the Ferguson Police Department that same month.

A separate Justice Department investigation opened after Brown’s shooting has found routine patterns and practices of racism in Ferguson, including the excessive use of force and unjustified arrests.

“Our investigation showed that Ferguson police officers routinely violate the Fourth Amendment in stopping people without reasonable suspicion, arresting them without probable cause, and using unreasonable force against them,” Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement accompanying the release of the reports. “Now that our investigation has reached its conclusion, it is time for Ferguson’s leaders to take immediate, wholesale and structural corrective action.”

Brown’s parents said they were “saddened” by the decision to clear Wilson, but said they were encouraged by the DOJ’s findings about the Ferguson police. “It is our hope that through this action, true change will come not only in Ferguson, but around the country,” Lesley McSpadden and Michael Brown, Sr. said in a statement. “If that change happens, our son’s death will not have been in vain.”

TIME russia

Putin Says He’ll Rid Russia of ‘Shame and Tragedies’ of Political Killings

President Putin attends Russian Interior Ministry Collegium meeting
Mikhail Metzel—Corbis Russian president Vladimir Putin addresses a meeting of the Russian Interior Ministry's Collegium on March4, 2015 in Moscow.

The Russian President's remarks come days after the murder of Kremlin critic Boris Nemtsov

Russian President Vladimir Putin says it is “necessary to finally rid Russia of the shame and tragedies” of political killings following the murder of former deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov.

Putin’s televised remarks to the interior ministry come several days after Nemtsov was fatally shot on Friday, the BBC reports. Nemtsov had been a vocal opponent of Russia’s role in the in eastern Ukraine conflict and said he worried the president would have him killed because of his criticism. Putin’s aides have denied the Kremlin’s involvement.

“It is necessary to finally rid Russia of the shame and tragedies like the one that we lived through and saw quite recently,” Putin said. “I mean the murder, the brazen murder of Boris Nemtsov right in the center of the capital.”

The Russian President had previously called Nemtsov’s murder a “provocation,” a word that, as TIME’s Europe correspondent Simon Shuster has reported, carries more than one meaning:

To the average viewer of state-TV, Putin’s use of the term “provocation” would be enough to evoke the invisible hand of Russia’s enemies, while also hinting that the Kremlin, once provoked, could be justified in responding in unpredictable ways. Back in 1983, for instance, the Soviet Union claimed that its downing of a Korean airliner full of passengers was in fact the result of a blatant American provocation.

Putin has said he will work to bring Nemtsov’s assassins to justice. Meanwhile, Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Russia’s federal security service, told reporters curious about possible suspects Tuesday that “there are always suspects.”

[BBC]

TIME Music

Here’s Exactly How Much Money ‘Blurred Lines’ Made

The Graham Norton Show - London
Ian West—PA Wire/Press Association Images Robin Thicke and Pharrell performing in 2013.

An ongoing trial reveals the money haul for 2013's big hit

How much money a song makes for its performers, producers and writers is typically a secret, but the ongoing copyright lawsuit involving “Blurred Lines” has revealed the dollar amounts that Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams and T.I. walked away with thanks to their 2013 hit.

“Blurred Lines” made $16,675,690 in profits, according to an accounting statement both sides of the lawsuit agree with. Of that, $5,658,214 went to Thicke — a lot of money for someone who testified that he was drunk and high on Vicodin in the studio and didn’t really help write the song. $5,153,457 went to Pharrell Williams (who has said it was Thicke’s voice that made the song what it was), $707,774 went to T.I. and the rest went to the various record companies behind the songs, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The numbers came to light as a result of a lawsuit from Marvin Gaye’s family, which alleges that “Blurred Lines” infringes on the copyright of Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” and that the family is therefor entitled to part of its profits, Thicke’s touring money and actual damages.

[THR]

Read next: Robin Thicke Admits He Didn’t Really Write ‘Blurred Lines,’ Was High in the Studio

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Australia

Part of Australia Might Change Time Zones to Avoid TV Spoilers

It's good for live-tweeting

The Australian government is considering changing South Australia’s time zone to align with the clocks of either Western Australia or the country’s eastern states.

“South Australia’s half-hour time difference to the eastern states and 90-minute difference to Western Australia can cause confusion across the spectrum of our daily lives—from sporting fixtures to public-service administration and business transactions,” South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill said in comments reported by the Wall Street Journal.

But there’s another reason the government thinks the change might be a good move: avoiding TV spoilers. “Most of us have a story about spoilers—like hearing the winner of MasterChef from an interstate friend just as the finale is getting interesting on our local TV station,” reads a government website calling for citizen input. “It puts us adrift of most other Australians.”

The region’s television industry is already on board. South Australia’s networks have turned in a joint statement in support of aligning with the eastern states, highlighting “the benefits of up to the minute national news and current affairs, and live social media interaction with popular programs,” according to Investment and Trade Minister Martin Hamilton-Smith.

Yes, the future of Australian time zones could just come down to live-tweeting.

[WSJ]

TIME movies

Here Are the Nominees for the MTV Movie Awards

Amy Schumer
Charles Sykes—Invision/AP Amy Schumer

Amy Schumer will host the awards on April 12

The Oscars are great and all, but do they have an award for Best Scared-as-S–t Performance? What about Best Shirtless Performance? Nope, and that’s where the MTV Movie Awards come in: The annual ceremony, first started in 1992, cuts through the clutter of seemingly endless winter film awards with their offbeat categories, whose 2015 nominees were announced Wednesday morning.

Amy Schumer will host the April 12 ceremony, during which Guardians of the Galaxy, The Fault in Our Stars and Neighbors will compete to see how many of their respective seven nominations they can take home. The full nominees are:

Movie of the Year
American Sniper
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Guardians of the Galaxy
Gone Girl
The Fault in Our Stars
Boyhood
Whiplash
Selma

Best Female Performance

Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Emma Stone, Birdman
Shailene Woodley, The Fault in Our Stars
Reese Witherspoon, Wild
Scarlett Johansson, Lucy

Best Male Performance
Bradley Cooper, American Sniper
Chris Pratt, Guardians of the Galaxy
Ansel Elgort, The Fault in Our Stars
Miles Teller, Whiplash
Channing Tatum, Foxcatcher

Best Scared-as-Sh-t Performance
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
Annabelle Wallis, Annabelle
Jennifer Lopez, The Boy Next Door
Dylan O’Brien, The Maze Runner
Zach Gilford, The Purge: Anarchy

Breakthrough Performance
Ansel Elgort, The Fault in Our Stars
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
David Oyelowo, Selma
Dylan O’Brien, The Maze Runner
Ellar Coltrane, Boyhood

Best Shirtless Performance
Zac Efron, Neighbors
Chris Pratt, Guardians of the Galaxy
Channing Tatum, Foxcatcher
Ansel Elgort, Fault in Our Stars
Kate Upton, The Other Woman

Best Duo
Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill, 22 Jump Street
Zac Efron and Dave Franco, Neighbors
Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, The Fault in Our Stars
Bradley Cooper and Vin Diesel, Guardians of the Galaxy
James Franco and Seth Rogen, The Interview

Best Fight
Jonah Hill and Jillian Bell, 22 Jump Street
Chris Evans and Sebastian Stan, Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dylan O’Brien and Will Poulter, The Maze Runner
Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, Neighbors
Edward Norton and Michael Keaton, Birdman

Best Kiss
Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley, Fault in Our Stars
James Franco & Seth Rogen, The Interview
Andrew Garfield & Emma Stone, The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans, Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Rose Byrne and Halston Sage, Neighbors

Best WTF Moment
Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne, Neighbors
Jonah Hill, 22 Jump Street
Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day, Horrible Bosses 2
Miles Teller, Whiplash
Rosario Dawson and Anders Holm, Top Five

Best Villain
Rosamund Pike, Gone Girl
J.K. Simmons, Whiplash
Jillian Bell, 22 Jump Street
Meryl Streep, Into the Woods
Peter Dinklage, X-Men: Days of Future Past

Best Musical Moment
Jennifer Lawrence, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Chris Pratt, Guardians of the Galaxy
Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, Neighbors
Bill Hader and Kristen Wiig, The Skeleton Twins
Miles Teller, Whiplash

Best Comedic Performance
Channing Tatum, 22 Jump Street
Chris Pratt, Guardians of the Galaxy
Rose Byrne, Neighbors
Chris Rock, Top Five
Kevin Hart, The Wedding Ringer

Best On-Screen Transformation
Eddie Redmayne, The Theory of Everything
Elizabeth Banks, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Zoe Saldana, Guardians of the Galaxy
Steve Carell, Foxcatcher
Ellar Coltrane, Boyhood

TIME Television

Watch Jon Stewart Compare Republicans’ Welcome of Israel’s Leader to a Sex Act

Benjamin Netanyahu is "the leader they wished they had"

Jon Stewart poked fun at congressional Republicans’ very warm welcome of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, comparing it to a certain lewd sex act.

Netanyahu was speaking against the emerging nuclear deal President Obama is pursuing with Iran. Cheers from the majority-Republican Congress were so loud that they actually caused problems for C-SPAN’s sound equipment.

“It was the State of the Union address Republicans wanted, delivered by the leader they wished they had,” Stewart joked on The Daily Show.

Watch the full clip below:

TIME Television

Apparently The Simpsons Discovered the Higgs Boson Particle Before Everyone Else

The Simpsons is the most mathematical TV show on prime-time television in history,” author says

Before it was discovered in 2012, scientists spent decades searching for the elusive Higgs boson particle, which helps explain how everything in the universe has mass. But according to one author, someone else predicted the mass of the Higgs boson particle years before physicists identified it: Homer Simpson.

Yes, the doltish patriarch of the country’s best-known animated family, came awfully close to stumbling upon one of the most important scientific breakthroughs of recent years—so says Simon Singh, the author of the 2013 book The Simpsons and Their Mathematical Secrets.

In the 1998 episode “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace,” Homer decides to become an inventor and is pictured in front of a blackboard with a complex equation in one scene. “That equation predicts the mass of the Higgs boson,” Singh told the Independent. “If you work it out, you get the mass of a Higgs boson that’s only a bit larger than the nano-mass of a Higgs boson actually is. It’s kind of amazing as Homer makes this prediction 14 years before it was discovered.”

But Singh isn’t totally surprised by the show’s affinity for math and scientist: “The Simpsons is the most mathematical TV show on prime-time television in history,” he said. “A lot of the writers on The Simpsons are mathematicians.”

[The Independent]

TIME Emma Watson

Emma Watson Wants to Know How You’re Advancing Gender Equality

Yes, you

In honor of International Women’s Day, actress and U.N. Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson is taking part in a Q&A session Sunday about achieving gender equality around the world.

She’d like you to be there too: on Monday, Watson asked her London-area fans to describe, in 500 words or less, the work they’ve done to promote gender equality or their experience with inequality, for a chance to attend the event in person. The submission deadline has since closed, but the whole thing will be live streamed on Facebook for anyone who didn’t make the cut.

TIME Music

Kacey Musgraves Suggests That You ‘Mind Your Own Biscuits’ On Her New Song

Kacey Musgraves
Wade Payne—Wade Payne/Invision/AP Kacey Musgraves performs on stage at the CMT Music Awards at Bridgestone Arena on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, in Nashville, Tenn.

The two-time Grammy winner is back with the first single from her new album — and it's tasty

If The Real Housewives of Nashville were a show on Bravo, country artist Kacey Musgraves — otherwise known as the country musician for people who don’t think they like country music — has written the perfect tagline: “Mind your own biscuits, then life will be gravy.”

That’s the hook on her new song, “Biscuits,” which is also the first single from her follow-up to Same Trailer Different Park. That album won her two Grammy Awards and landed her on numerous best-of-2013 music lists, thanks to the fresh perspective of songs like “Merry Go ‘Round” and “Follow Your Arrow,” which found the Katy Perry-approved singer giving the judgment-free, you-do-you stamp of approval to gay couples and pot smokers. “Biscuits” is more of the same — but with Musgraves’ songwriting chops, that’s never a bad thing.

TIME Music

Hear Ariana Grande Return the Favor on Cashmere Cat’s ‘Adore’

The two recently debuted the song while on tour together

Norwegian producer Cashmere Cat has been on a roll in 2015, producing new material for Kanye West as well as “Drop That Kitty,” the infectious joint effort from Ty Dolla $ign, Charli XCX and Tinashe. He’s continuing his winning streak (and padding his enviable guest list) with the sultry Ariana Grande-assisted “Adore.” The twinkling, electro-tinged R&B track would have sounded right at home on the “Problem” singer’s latest album, My Everything, which isn’t exactly a surprise: not only did he work on her Grammy-nominated sophomore effort, he’s currently the opening act on her current tour.

In fact, the pair debuted “Adore” live the other night — and it’s good thing the song’s formidable bounce lives up to the promise of the grainy YouTube footage.

Read next: Ariana Grande: I Do Not Always Order a Grande at Starbucks

Read next: Ariana Grande Is Fully Aware That the Lyrics of ‘Break Free’ Make No Sense

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