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Uber driver is employee, not contractor: California Labor Commission

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 08:55

A San Francisco-based driver for smartphone-based ride-hailing service Uber is an employee, not a contractor, according to a ruling by the California Labor Commission. The ruling, filed on Tuesday in state court in San Francisco, was the latest in a host of legal and regulatory challenges facing Uber and other highly valued start-ups in the United States and other countries. The commission said Uber is "involved in every aspect of the operation." Classifying Uber drivers as employees opens the company up to considerably higher costs, including Social Security, workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance.

Economists predict shockwaves if Obamacare subsidies are nixed

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 06:28
By Sharon Begley and Caroline Humer NEW YORK (Reuters) - As the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to rule on whether people in 34 states can continue to receive Obamacare health insurance subsidies, economists are projecting billions of dollars in lost healthcare spending for hospitals, drugstores and drugmakers if the justices say the payments are illegal. The immediate consequences of such a ruling would fall on the 6.4 million people who receive the subsidies and live in states that did not establish their own insurance exchanges under President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, instead relying on the federal website. The case, known as King v Burwell, would not affect subsidies in the District of Columbia or in the 13 states that run their own exchanges.

Jeb Bush 'slow jams' the news with Fallon

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 05:08

NEW YORK (AP) — Republican Jeb Bush "slow jammed" the news, told about meeting his wife, offered a guacamole recipe and oddly compared his presidential father and brother during a "Tonight" show appearance.

Rachel Dolezal: Caitlyn Jenner’s story ‘resonated’ with me

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 05:04

The former NAACP leader at the center of a controversy surrounding her race says she cried when reading about the transgender former Olympian’s transition.

Stephen Curry leads Warriors to NBA title his way

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 03:57

He scored 25 points and dished eight assists here Tuesday as Golden State defeated Cleveland 105-97 and closed out the franchise’s first NBA championship in four decades.

Russia does not want arms race with US: Putin aide  

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 03:54

Russia does not want to enter a costly new arms race with the United States, a top Kremlin aide said Wednesday, after President Vladimir Putin said it was boosting its nuclear arsenal. "Russia is trying to react to possible threats with some sort of means but that's it," Yury Ushakov, Putin's top foreign policy aide, told a briefing. "We are against any arms race because it naturally weakens our economic capabilities," Ushakov said.

Massachusetts murderer's lawyers seek move for death-penalty retrial

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 03:01
Lawyers for a man who pleaded guilty to three murders after a Massachusetts carjacking more than a decade ago are due in court on Wednesday to ask that the trial to determine whether he is sentenced to death be moved out of state. Gary Lee Sampson in 2003 was sentenced to death in federal court to murdering two men who had picked him up while he was hitchhiking and later killing a third man after he fled to New Hampshire. Defense lawyers argued in court filings before Wednesday's hearing that the intense publicity surrounding Sampson's case, as well as the recent trial of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was also sentenced to death by lethal injection, would make it impossible to seat an impartial jury in Boston.

Balcony collapse kills six, most of them Irish students, in California

Wed, 06/17/2015 - 00:36

An apartment balcony crowded with birthday revelers collapsed early on Tuesday near the University of California at Berkeley, killing five college students from Ireland and an American friend, and injuring seven others, authorities said. The victims, most of whom were working in the San Francisco Bay area on temporary visas for the summer vacation, had been celebrating a friend's 21st birthday on the fourth-floor balcony when the accident occurred, according to local police and Irish government officials.

Remnants of Tropical Storm Bill move further into Texas

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 22:43

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Flood-weary Texans were bracing for heavy rain and possible flooding as the remnants of Tropical Storm Bill crept further inland early Wednesday.

Tropical Storm Bill charges across Texas and weakens

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 22:19

By Kristen Hays and Terry Wade HOUSTON (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Bill headed further into central Texas with heavy rains and high winds on Wednesday before losing its punch and no serious injuries were reported, relieving officials and residents just three weeks after floods killed about 30 people in the state. The National Hurricane Center said the storm had weakened into a tropical depression. The second named tropical storm of the 2015 Atlantic hurricane season made landfall on Tuesday near the sportfishing town of Matagorda, then lost much of its power, the U.S. National Weather Service said.

Golden State downs Cleveland, wins NBA championship

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 21:55

The NBA’s best team fulfilled its promise in Game 6 of the 2015 NBA Finals.

U.S. hotel heir Conrad Hilton gets fine, community service for disrupting flight

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 21:12
(Reuters) - Hotel family heir Conrad Hilton, the younger brother of socialite Paris Hilton, was sentenced on Tuesday to 750 hours of community service and fined $5,000 after threatening flight attendants on a transcontinental flight last year. U.S. Attorney's Office spokesman Thom Mrozek said the sentence, which also requires Hilton to undergo mental health and substance abuse treatment, is part of a three-year probation period. Conrad Hughes Hilton, the 21-year-old great-grandson of the founder of the Hilton Hotels chain, entered a guilty plea in March in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles under an agreement with prosecutors.

Breaking down Trump's candidacy

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 18:55

The billionaire TV personality's vision for the White House includes plans to restore America to greatness.

5 things you never knew about Richard Nixon

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 18:55

Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric sat down with best-selling author Evan Thomas to discuss the many lives of the former president.

Off-duty officer shoots ex-wife dead after New Jersey car chase

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 17:56
Driving an SUV, Phillip Seidle, 51, was pursuing his recently divorced wife, Tamara Seidle, in her car when she crashed into another vehicle in Asbury Park, New Jersey, said Charles Webster, spokesman of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office. Seidle, a 22-year veteran of New Jersey's Neptune Township Police Department, got out with his service weapon, a .40-caliber Glock handgun, and fired several shots into his ex-wife's car from the driver's side, Webster said.

Official: California balcony collapse kills at least 6 people

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 17:23

BERKELEY, Calif. (AP) — A 21st-birthday party thrown by a group of visiting Irish college students turned tragic early Tuesday when the fifth-floor balcony they were crammed onto collapsed with a sharp crack, spilling them about 50 feet onto the pavement. Six people were killed and seven seriously injured.

U.S. arrests New York man for Islamic State-inspired bomb plot

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 14:30
U.S. authorities have accused a New York City college student of plotting to set off a pressure cooker bomb in the city in support of the militant group Islamic State, according to court documents made public on Tuesday. Munther Omar Saleh, 20, was arrested early on Saturday morning after he and another man got out of their car and ran toward a surveillance vehicle that had been tracking their movements, according to documents filed in federal court in Brooklyn. A defense lawyer for Saleh could not be identified on Tuesday.

NY escape highlights relationships between inmates, prison employees

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 12:12

Reports that a sexual relationship had developed between two escaped New York inmates and a prison employee who has been charged with helping them break out 11 days ago illustrates the difficulties of policing relationships within prisons. The problem of sex between prisoners and staff is well documented and enough of a concern that New York set up a special statewide office in 1996 to investigate and prevent it. Joyce Mitchell, 51, was charged this week with providing chisels and hacksaws to convicted murderers Richard Matt and David Sweat, who were found missing from the Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, near the Canadian border on June 6.

New York appeals court hears arguments over grand jury records in chokehold death

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 12:07

A New York state appeals court heard arguments on Tuesday over unsealing minutes of a grand jury that declined to indict a white New York police officer in the chokehold death of an unarmed black man. A coalition of groups seeking release of the transcripts told the four-judge panel that grand jury secrecy undermined confidence in the justice system and hampered debate among state lawmakers weighing grand jury reforms. The groups, which included the Legal Aid Society, want the appeals court to overturn a Staten Island justice's decision in March to bar release of records of the grand jury that probed the death of Eric Garner, 43, last year.

Indictment: Man helped plan Texas cartoon-contest shooting

Tue, 06/16/2015 - 11:36

PHOENIX (AP) — A man has been charged with helping plan an attack on a provocative Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas that ended with two Phoenix men being killed in a shootout with police.