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Updated: 9 min 58 sec ago

Boston bombing jury to begin weighing whether Tsarnaev is guilty

Tue, 04/07/2015 - 03:09

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.

Discredited rape story a test for Wenner, Rolling Stone

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 22:15

NEW YORK (AP) — Through decades of digging into the private lives of rock stars and providing a forum for colorful writers like Hunter S. Thompson and P.J. O'Rourke, Rolling Stone magazine publisher Jann Wenner has never been afraid to push boundaries.

Unlikely freshmen power Duke to title

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 19:24

The Blue Devils surge past Wisconsin to claim their fifth national championship.

Prosecution, defense deliver closing arguments in Boston bombing trial

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 13:41

The jury is expected to begin deliberating Tuesday morning.

Untangling Rolling Stone reporter's key mistakes

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 12:19

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.

Exclusive: Safety concerns rise at big Texas refinery a decade after disaster

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 11:26
By Erwin Seba TEXAS CITY, Texas (Reuters) - U.S. workplace regulators are probing accident data reported by Marathon Petroleum Corp at its huge Texas refinery, as laborers and union representatives raise concerns that safety practices implemented a decade ago following a deadly explosion are being rolled back. The inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration at Marathon's Galveston Bay Refinery, where the worst U.S. refining accident of the last 30 years occurred under former owner BP Plc, came "in response to a complaint regarding the recording of workplace injuries and illnesses," a Labor Department official said. BP sold the plant, which used to be known as the BP Texas City refinery, to Marathon in 2013 as part of a $2.4 billion deal. Marathon, the country's third-largest refiner with seven plants nationwide, confirmed "OSHA initiated an investigation regarding the proper classification of a handful of incidents." OSHA investigations are fairly common at the nation's 142 refineries and the launch of a probe does not necessarily mean the agency believes there has been wrongdoing.

Clinton to start 2016 bid with focus on voter interaction

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 07:20

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.

Supreme Court declines to review North Carolina voting law

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 06:31
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to review the legality of new Republican-backed voting restrictions in North Carolina that were part of a law opponents argued was aimed at making it harder for voters who tend to favor Democrats to cast ballots. The court rejected the state's appeal of an October decision by the Richmond, Virginia-based 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that found that parts of the 2013 law should be provisionally blocked while litigation continues. At issue in the current case are the sections of the law that barred same-day voter registration and provisional voting for voters casting ballots outside their normal precincts. The Supreme Court's action has little immediate impact as a full trial on the legality of the law is scheduled for this summer, with a final ruling likely ahead of the 2016 presidential election.

U.S. top court won't hear appeal by former Cuba prisoner Gross

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 06:15

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.

Jeb Bush marked 'Hispanic' on Fla. voter registration form: NYT

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 05:17

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.

On deck for the Yanquis: Cuban baseball stars await embargo's end

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 03:53

One of the top sluggers in Cuban baseball says it is his “dream” to come to the United States and play in the major leagues for his favorite team, the New York Yankees.

Ukrainian leader lifts objections to vote on regional power

Mon, 04/06/2015 - 03:11

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.

Boston bombing jury to hear closing arguments, begin guilt deliberations

Sun, 04/05/2015 - 21:05

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.

Obama casts Iran talks as part of broader foreign policy

Sun, 04/05/2015 - 20:49

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is casting the Iran talks as part of a broader foreign policy doctrine that sees American power as a safeguard that gives him the ability to take calculated risks.

Exclusive: Ellen Pao talks about tech's boys club

Sun, 04/05/2015 - 20:06
The Silicon Valley exec talks to Katie Couric about losing her high-profile gender-discrimination case.

Rolling Stone retracts explosive UVA rape story

Sun, 04/05/2015 - 18:08

A review says the magazine failed in its reporting at every step of the editorial process.

Rolling Stone rebuked by independent review of campus rape story

Sun, 04/05/2015 - 18:03
By Frank McGurty NEW YORK (Reuters) - Rolling Stone magazine failed to follow basic journalistic safeguards in publishing a story about an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house, according to an outside review of the matter released on Sunday. The discredited story was intended to call attention to the issue of sexual violence on college campuses, but it might have had the opposite effect by reinforcing the notion that rape allegations are often fictitious, a team from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism concluded in its critique. "Rolling Stone's repudiation of the main narrative in 'A Rape on Campus' is a story of journalistic failure that was avoidable," the Columbia Journalism Review said in its report, which was conducted at the magazine's request and published on its website. "The failure encompassed reporting, editing, editorial supervision and fact-checking." Led by Steve Coll, the dean of the Columbia Journalism School, the review examined the editorial process behind the explosive story, which failed to hold up under a barrage of questions raised by other media after its publication in November.

Obama defends Iran deal as 'once in a lifetime' opportunity

Sun, 04/05/2015 - 17:39

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.

Rolling Stone awaits review of discredited Virginia gang rape story

Sun, 04/05/2015 - 15:09
By Ian Simpson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A Columbia University review of a now-discredited Rolling Stone magazine story about an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity was due out on Sunday, addressing questions of journalistic principles raised by the provocative article. Rolling Stone commissioned the review after backtracking on the story, "A Rape on Campus," which caused an uproar over the issue of campus sexual assault when it was published in November. The dissection of the article could lead to a shakeup at Rolling Stone, founded in 1967 by editor Jann Wenner, though CNN reported on Sunday that no one on the staff of the magazine was expected to be fired or punished over the debacle. Representatives of Rolling Stone were not immediately available for comment.