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Opening statements in Boston bombing trial delayed

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 06:50

Opening statements in the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have been postponed as jury selection has taken longer than expected, meaning lawyers will not begin presenting cases Monday as planned, the court said on Thursday. The delay comes as Tsarnaev's attorneys launched a fresh effort to move the trial outside of Boston, arguing that it will be impossible to find an unbiased panel of jurors in the city where the attack took place. "It is not possible yet to specifically target a new start date," a spokeswoman for the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts said in a statement. Tsarnaev is accused of setting off twin pressure-cooker bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013, killing three people and injuring more than 260 in the worst such incident on U.S. soil since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.


Jobless claims off seven-month high

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 06:30

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week from a seven-month high, pointing to continued improvement in labor market conditions. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 307,000 for the week ended Jan. 17, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Some, however, wondered if some of the elevation in claims reflected layoffs in the oil industry in the wake of plunging crude prices. "It is unclear at this point whether or not this move up in the trend reflects issues seasonally adjusting the data around the holidays or if it represents a more meaningful deterioration in the labor market," said Daniel Silver, an economist at JP Morgan in New York.


Top NY politician charged with 5 criminal counts

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 06:11
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was arrested after a lengthy corruption investigation.

NY Assembly speaker arrested, suspected of graft

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 04:34

Sheldon Silver, one of the most powerful politicians in NYC, is in FBI custody.


Orrin Hatch is the happiest senator in Washington

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 00:13

The longest-serving Republican senator talks about his role as the Senate's bipartisan mediator and his friendship with Elizabeth Warren.


St. Louis officers shoot, kill armed teen: police

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 00:10
(Reuters) - Police officers shot dead a teenager armed with a handgun after he got out of a stolen car in St. Louis on Wednesday night, their force said. The shooting comes five months after a white police officer shot dead an unarmed black teenager in a suburb of the city -- one of a number of racially-charged cases that have prompted protests about police tactics across the United States. Officers were tailing the car, which was reported stolen in December, when it struck a wall and the engine stopped, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson told reporters.

Subway accident probe faults D.C.'s Metrorail ventilation system

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 21:00
By Tom Ramstack WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government’s top safety investigator said on Wednesday irregularities were found in the ventilation system of Washington's subway after smoke filled a tunnel and two rail cars last week, killing one passenger and injuring scores. The disclosure came during a news conference in the U.S. Capitol building to detail the first stages of an accident investigation that could last six months to a year. "We have tested the ventilation system and noticed some anomalies," Christopher Hart, acting chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), told reporters, though he did not elaborate on the abnormalities discovered. Minutes before Hart spoke, members of Congress whose home districts are serviced by the Washington area’s transit system, known as Metrorail, said ventilation fans apparently drew smoke into rail cars, where passengers suffered smoke inhalation.

Hundreds displaced in New Jersey apartment building fire

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 20:47

EDGEWATER, N.J. (AP) — Hampered by winds and frigid temperatures, firefighters battled a huge fire Wednesday night at a New Jersey apartment complex that sent flames sky high and smoke visible from New York City across the Hudson River.


House GOP abruptly drops plans to debate abortion bill

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 18:38

A bill banning most late-term abortions is dropped after a revolt by GOP women and others.


Justice Department said ready to clear Ferguson officer: N.Y. Times

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 17:50

The U.S. Justice Department is about to close the investigation into the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, and clear the white police officer involved of any civil rights charges, The New York Times reported on Wednesday. The newspaper quoted law enforcement officials as saying that federal prosecutors had begun work on a legal memo recommending no civil rights charges against the officer, Darren Wilson, after an FBI investigation found no evidence to support charges against him. The Justice Department declined comment. The agency is still conducting a probe into the Ferguson police force.


Newtown votes to raze home of gunman in school massacre

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 16:09

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — Officials in Newtown have voted to tear down the home where Adam Lanza lived before he carried out the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.


Texas executes man for 1993 triple murder in San Antonio home

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 15:52

By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas on Wednesday executed a 41-year-old man convicted of stabbing three people to death with a screwdriver, including his great-uncle and great-aunt, in a San Antonio home robbery in 1993, a prison officials said. Arnold Prieto died at 6:31 p.m. CST at the state's prison death chamber in Huntsville after receiving a lethal injection, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said. He was the 519th person executed in Texas since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, the most of any state. Prieto and two other men went to the home of Rodolfo Rodriguez, 72, and his wife, Virginia, 62, who cooked the visitors breakfast.


Tootsie Roll's 95-year-old CEO dies, sparks takeover speculation

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 12:47

The chief executive of Tootsie Roll Industries Inc has died after more than half a century at the helm of the U.S. candy maker, sparking speculation that the company could soon be ripe for acquisition. Tootsie Roll's shares rose as much as 8 percent to a 17-month high of $33.28 on Wednesday. Melvin Gordon died, aged 95, after a brief illness, according to a statement from the company he had headed since 1962. His wife, Ellen Gordon, takes over as chief executive.


Justice Department said ready to clear Ferguson officer: N.Y. Times

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 12:43

The U.S. Justice Department is about to close the investigation into the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, and clear the white police officer involved of any civil rights charges, The New York Times reported on Wednesday. The newspaper quoted law enforcement officials as saying that federal prosecutors had begun work on a legal memo recommending no civil rights charges against the officer, Darren Wilson, after an FBI investigation found no evidence to support charges against him. The Justice Department declined comment. The agency is still conducting a probe into the Ferguson police force.


Reappearance of 'Jihadi John' raises questions, concerns about his identity

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 10:11

The masked terrorist known as “Jihadi John” reappeared in another hostage video this week, prompting many to question what U.S. and British intelligence agencies know about him.


Police release video of more than 180 Ferguson looting suspects

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 08:31

Footage taken from surveillance cameras shows more than 180 suspected looters storming the Dellwood Market.


U.S. and Cuba start historic talks on restoring ties

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 07:06

By Daniel Trotta HAVANA (Reuters) - The highest-level U.S. delegation to Cuba in 35 years began talks on Wednesday aimed at restoring diplomatic relations and eventually opening up full trade and travel ties between two adversaries locked in Cold War-era hostilities. The two days of meetings are the first since U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced on Dec. 17 they had reached a historic breakthrough after 18 months of secret negotiations. Obama has set the United States on a path toward removing economic sanctions and a 53-year-old trade embargo against the communist-ruled island. He also urged Congress to start work on ending the embargo but critics at home say Obama first needs to win concessions from Cuba's communist government on political prisoners and democratic rights, the claims of U.S. citizens whose property was nationalized after Cuba's 1959 revolution, and U.S. fugitives who have been given asylum in Cuba.


Town to vote on demolishing Sandy Hook killer's Connecticut home

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 07:04

By Richard Weizel NEWTOWN, Conn. (Reuters) - Civic officials will vote on Wednesday evening whether to demolish the Connecticut home of the 20-year-old man who killed 26 children and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 in one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, on Dec. 14, 2012, at the white colonial-style house shortly before driving to the school to continue his shooting spree, which ended with him killing himself. "The best thing we can do to honor the families is to demolish the house," Patricia Llodra, Newtown's most senior elected official, said in telephone interview ahead of Wednesday's public hearing. Llodra said the Newtown Board of Selectmen, the administrative body that she leads, had unanimously approved a recommendation to demolish the house.


Boehner invites Israeli leader to address Congress on Iran

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 07:03

WASHINGTON (AP) — Rebuffing President Barack Obama on Iran, House Speaker John Boehner said Wednesday he had invited Israel's prime minister to address a joint meeting of Congress next month about the threats from Tehran and radical Islam.


Legal experts warn of stealth jurors infiltrating Colorado movie theater shooting trial

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 07:00
Trial experts say the James Holmes trial is ripe for a stealth juror with an agenda.

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