Protesters take credit for Ferguson resignations

FERGUSON, Mo. - The protesters who spent eight months pressing for changes in Ferguson's police practices after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown take credit for this week's resignations of the city manager and the police chief.

And they insist they still have unfinished business, with many planning to stay in the streets until the mayor of the St. Louis suburb is forced out and the entire police force dissolved.

"We will protest until we see everything in our favor. This movement has legs," Derrick Robinson, a protest organizer, declared yesterday. "We're out here fighting for justice and equality, and that's what we'll continue to fight for."

Part of the movement has also been channeled into legislative change. On Wednesday, about two dozen people from the Don't Shoot Coalition and the American Civil Liberties Union traveled to the Missouri Capitol in support of the "Fair and Impartial Policing Act," a measure that would strengthen state laws about racial profiling and require police to undergo "anti-bias" training.

The Justice Department fueled the sense of achievement among activists, announcing in a scathing report last week that it had found widespread racial bias in the city's policing and in a municipal court system driven by profit extracted from mostly black and low-income residents.

Gay groups to march in St. Patrick's parade

BOSTON - The St. Patrick's Day parade in Boston will make history tomorrow as two gay and lesbian groups join the fun.

The advocacy group Boston Pride and OutVets, a group of gay military veterans, have been welcomed by the organizers.

"This is a tremendous leap forward," Boston Pride organizer Sylvain Bruni said yesterday.

Until now, gay-rights groups have been barred by the South Boston Allied War Veterans Council from marching in the parade, which draws as many as a million spectators each year. Twenty years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the organizers' right to keep gays out.

But parade organizer Brian Mahoney is shrugging off questions about sexual orientation.

Hillary picks campaign aides in New Hampshire

CONCORD, N.H. - In a direct step toward a run for the presidency, Hillary Clinton is hiring political staff to guide her Democratic primary efforts in the early voting state of New Hampshire.

The team-in-waiting is made up of senior operatives in Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's successful re-election bid in 2014, when she survived a Republican wave that knocked out many other Democrats. Mike Vlacich, Shaheen's campaign manager, will serve as Clinton's state director, said a New Hampshire Democrat with knowledge of the move.

Clinton is expected to announce her 2016 White House bid in the next few weeks, a race that presents few primary rivals at this point, in contrast to the crowded Republican contest.

The former secretary of state has been trying to dig out from a controversy over her use of a private email account and server after acknowledging days ago that she should have avoided relying exclusively on personal email while at the State Department.

- Associated Press