By Elizabeth Barber BOSTON (Reuters) - The jury that will determine whether Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is guilty of carrying out the 2013 bombing attack on the Boston Marathon that killed three people and injured 264 is due to begin deliberations on Tuesday. Tsarnaev, 21, is also charged with shooting a police officer to death three days after prosecutors contend he and his older brother set of a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs at the race's crowded finish line on April 15, 2013. The question of whether the ethnic Chechen defendant is guilty of 30 criminal counts may be the easy part of the jury's job. "The judgment is entirely yours," U.S. District Judge George O’Toole told the jurors on Monday after they heard closing arguments by prosecutors and Tsarnaev's lawyers.
On the heels of the Columbia Journalism Review’s blistering investigation that found Rolling Stone failed in its “reporting, editing, editorial supervision and fact-checking” of its explosive 2014 report about an alleged gang rape on the University of Virginia campus, journalism experts are weighing in on the case.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton is expected to launch her campaign for president sometime in the next two weeks and will initially focus on intimate events, rather than soaring speeches to big rallies, as her team looks to put her in direct contact with voters in states with early primaries or caucuses.
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected an appeal filed by Alan Gross, the U.S. contractor detained in Cuba for five years who had sued the U.S. government for negligence. Gross, who was released in December as part of the recent thaw in relations between the United States and Cuba, had sued in 2012. A district court judge threw out the lawsuit and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit agreed in a November 2014 ruling. Separately, Gross is due to receive $3.2 million as part of a settlement reached with the U.S. Agency for International Development and the contractor for which he worked, Bethesda, Maryland-based DAI.
Likely Republican presidential contender Jeb Bush, who was popular among Spanish-speaking voters while Florida governor, marked himself as 'Hispanic' on a 2009 voter registration application, The New York Times reported on Monday. The newspaper posted a fuzzy copy of the form, which it said it obtained from the Miami-Dade County Elections Department. Carolina Lopez, a spokeswoman for the county elections department, did not immediately return calls to Reuters. The brother of former President George W. Bush and son of former President George H.W. Bush, Bush is exploring a presidential bid and is considered a frontrunner in the crowded field of possible Republican candidates.
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Monday publicly lifted his objections to a referendum that could give more powers to the restive regions engulfed in more than a year of warfare, reversing his government's previous position. Russia-backed separatists, however, dismissed Poroshenko's gesture as meaningless.
By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - Attorneys for accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and federal prosecutors who say he killed four people are due to make their closing statements on Monday before a jury begins deliberations on whether he is guilty of the attack in 2013. The first half of Tsarnaev's trial in Boston federal court proceeded at a blistering pace, with the two sides making their case in just 16 days, less time than it took to select the jury. Monday's closing statements could be a preview of the arguments each side plans to make during the next phase of the trial, when the same jury will hear a fresh round of witness testimony before determining whether to sentence Tsarnaev to life in prison without possibility of parole, or to death. "The rules of evidence are severely relaxed during the penalty phase of a capital trial and much more open to any sort of mitigating evidence of any sort that limits the defendant's responsibility," said Peter White, a lawyer at Schulte Roth & Zabel in Washington and former federal prosecutor.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama staunchly defended a framework nuclear agreement with Iran as a "once-in-a-lifetime opportunity" to prevent a bomb and bring longer-term stability to the Middle East. He insisted the U.S. would stand by Israel if it were to come under attack, but acknowledged that his pursuit of diplomacy with Tehran has caused strain with the close ally.