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Updated: 1 hour 42 min ago

U.S. Embassy: Turkey, U.S. sign deal to train, arm Syrian rebels

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 11:14

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey and the United States signed an agreement Thursday to train and arm Syrian rebels fighting the Islamic State group, said the U.S. Embassy in Ankara.

Texas county issues historic marriage license to same-sex couple

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 10:07

By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A Texas county issued a marriage license to a same-sex couple on Thursday, the first legal certification for a gay couple in the state since its voters about a decade ago approved a measure defining marriage as only being between a man and a woman. A Travis County clerk said the marriage license was given to just one couple, Sarah Goodfriend and Suzanne Bryant, after a court order earlier in the day and the county, home to the state capital Austin, is not planning to issue more licenses to same-sex couples. Legal experts said there was at least one case of a marriage between a same-sex couple in the early 1970s and none since the voter-approved constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage went into effect. A U.S. district judge in Texas last year ruled the state's bans on gay marriage unconstitutional because it denied the couples equal protection under the law.

Obama: Idea that West is at war with Islam is 'an ugly lie'

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 09:49

The president reiterates his call for the world to stand up to violent extremism.

Ex-New York assembly speaker Silver indicted

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 09:44

A grand jury indicted Sheldon Silver, the former New York State Assembly speaker and one of the most powerful state politicians for two decades, on federal corruption charges on Thursday, federal prosecutors said. Silver, who has resigned as speaker but remains the assemblyman for Manhattan's Lower East Side, was indicted on two counts of "honest services mail fraud" and one count of using his office for extortion. Silver's lawyers said in a statement on Thursday that he is not guilty. Silver was originally charged with five counts relating to bribery and kickback schemes on Jan. 22 and it was not immediately clear why two of the counts appear to have been dropped.

Record-breaking cold in U.S. Midwest heads to frigid East Coast

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 08:05

By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - Bone-chilling cold in the U.S. Midwest shattered records in Chicago on Thursday, closing schools and starting its trudge eastward to an already frozen Boston and New York. Arctic air was expected to keep its grip on the nation's midsection on Friday morning, a day after the minus 8 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 22 Celsius) measured in Chicago broke the low temperature record of minus 7 degrees for the day set in 1936, said National Weather Service meteorologist Bob Oravec. The wind chill made temperatures in Chicago feel like minus 25, he said. Chicago public schools, serving 396,000 students in the third largest U.S. school district, canceled classes on Thursday and many commuters there were bundled so heavily that only their eyes could be seen.

Bostonians look for fun ways to deal with aggravating snow storms

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 07:43

Bostonians are thinking up new ways to have fun as their city deals with the fast-accumulating snow throughout the streets.

Giuliani: Obama doesn’t love America

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 04:16

The former New York City mayor says he believes the president does not love the United States — or the people in it.

More than 100 possibly exposed to 'superbug' within UCLA Health System

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 03:02
The UCLA Health System said seven patients were infected with a potentially deadly, drug-resistant strain of bacteria and that more than 100 might have been exposed to it. The patients were potentially exposed to carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) bacteria between October and January, and the bug may have contributed to the deaths of two patients, UCLA said in a statement on Wednesday. The statement did not specify where the patients were infected, but the Los Angeles Times reported that it occurred at UCLA's Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Los Angeles. According to the Times, UCLA became aware late last month of the outbreak, which may have been spread by a specialized endoscope inserted down the throat.

Lawyers for accused Boston bomber to make case to move trial

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 03:01

By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - Attorneys for the accused Boston Marathon bomber on Thursday will make their case to a three-judge appellate panel to move his trial out of the city that was the site of the largest mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's lawyers for months have been trying to have the trial moved out of Boston, arguing that too many residents of the area were directly affected by the April 15, 2013, attack and by the massive manhunt four days later to allow for an impartial jury to be seated.

‘American Sniper’ trial puts rural Texas town in unwanted spotlight

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 02:05

People in the small Texas town where “American Sniper” Chris Kyle and his best friend were slain want justice, but say celebrity murder cases are meant for Hollywood, not rural hideaways. “It's different than normal life in Stephenville,” longtime resident Chick Elms said of the trial now in its second week.

Matt Bai: Obama, facilitator-in-chief

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 01:59

In the last year or so, Barack Obama’s team has deployed the presidential summit as a central response to just about every topic of national significance. At this late stage of Obama’s presidency, the idea seems to be that talking about a policy — or at least being seen talking about it — is a kind of policy in itself.

Accused Boston Marathon bomber's Hail Mary to change trial venue

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 00:07

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's attorneys argue that an impartial jury can't be found in Boston.

7 infected, 2 dead after 'superbug' outbreak at hospital

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 00:05

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Contaminated medical instruments are to blame for infecting seven patients — including two who died — with an antibiotic-resistant and potentially deadly "superbug" at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, hospital officials said. A total of 179 patients may be infected.

Member of rapper Nicki Minaj's tour crew killed in Philadelphia stabbing

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 23:28
(Reuters) - A member of rapper Nicki Minaj's touring crew was killed and another seriously injured in a stabbing outside a bar in Philadelphia on Wednesday, police and the musician said. The victims, 29-year-old Devon Pickett and an unidentified 27-year-old man, were stabbed numerous times outside the Che' Bar and Grill in the early hours of Wednesday after an argument, the Philadelphia Police Department said. Minaj's tour is due to launch in Europe in March, according to her website.

UCLA says more than 100 may have encountered 'superbug'

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 21:29

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A potentially deadly "superbug" resistant to antibiotics infected seven patients, including two who died, and nearly 200 others were exposed at a Southern California hospital through contaminated medical instruments, UCLA reported Wednesday.

Washington state protests spread over police shooting of Mexican man

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 20:27
By Victoria Cavaliere SEATTLE (Reuters) - Protests over the fatal police shooting of an unarmed Mexican immigrant in southeastern Washington spread to the state's largest city, Seattle, on Wednesday, with demonstrators renewing calls for change in policing tactics in the United States. About two dozen people attended the rally in downtown Seattle, some 200 miles (320 km) northwest of the largely agricultural city of Pasco, where Antonio Zambrano-Montes was killed on Feb. 10. Demonstrators said during Wednesday's rally in Seattle the shooting was the latest example of police use of excessive force in minority communities in the United States. Zambrano-Montes, a 35-year-old orchard worker from Mexico's Michoacan state, was unarmed when he was shot dead by three officers at whom he had thrown rocks before fleeing in an incident captured on video, law enforcement officials said.

Memorial in Kayla Mueller's hometown honors her life, work

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 19:38

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — Candles lit up the plaza of a central Arizona courthouse Wednesday as hundreds gathered to honor the American woman pictured before them who was taken hostage by Islamic State militants.

U.S. preparing to sue Ferguson police over charges of racial bias: CNN

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 17:25

The U.S. Department of Justice is preparing to sue the Ferguson, Missouri, police department over allegations of racially discriminatory practices unless the police force agrees to make changes, CNN reported on Wednesday. The network, citing sources, said the Justice Department would not charge the white Ferguson police officer involved in the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown last August but was expected to outline allegations of discriminatory Ferguson police tactics. The department would file suit if Ferguson police did not agree to review and change those tactics, CNN reported. The shooting of Brown last August by officer Darren Wilson led to months of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson and galvanized critics of the treatment by police and the U.S. criminal justice system of blacks and other minority groups.

California confirms 119 cases of measles in state

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 16:54

By Dan Whitcomb and Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Public health officials said on Wednesday that six more cases of measles had been confirmed in California, bringing to 119 the total number of people infected by a strain of the virus that has also been linked to a large outbreak in the Philippines. More than 150 people across the United States have been diagnosed with measles, many of them linked to the wave of illness that authorities believe began when an infected person from out of the country visited Disneyland in late December. California Department of Public Health researchers, in a report to federal officials released on Friday, said that specimens from 30 of the state's measles patients had been genotyped and that all were of the same strain that has caused an outbreak in the Philippines.

Obama: 'We are not at war with Islam'

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 16:17

Katie Couric and experts analyze the president's message about the threat of extremism.