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Updated: 1 hour 56 min ago

McCain urges 'boots on the ground' to combat IS

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 14:29

US Senator John McCain on Monday urged the deployment of international ground forces to combat jihadists in Syria and Iraq, as he toured the Middle East with a Senate delegation. "For months we've been bombing (Syrian border town) Kobane and we still haven't driven ISIS out," the Senate Armed Services Committee chairman told reporters in Jerusalem, using an acronym for the Islamic State group. "The reality is, we need more boots on the ground... we need intelligence, we need special forces, and we can't treat Iraq and Syria as different battlegrounds because it's the same enemy," McCain said.

FAA probing near miss between planes at New York airport

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 13:20
The Federal Aviation Administration said on Monday that it was investigating whether an air traffic control problem caused a near miss between two planes in New York over the weekend. A JetBlue Airways Corp flight to Austin, Texas, was preparing to takeoff at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport on Saturday when a Caribbean Airlines flight crossed its path, the FAA said in a statement. The Caribbean Airlines Boeing 737 was returning from South America's Guyana. The departing JetBlue Airbus 320 had received control tower clearance when it attempted to takeoff but returned to the gate after the mishap, JetBlue said in a statement.

Oil spills in Yellowstone River after pipeline leak

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 09:27
(Reuters) - Crews worked on Monday to clean up crude oil that spilled in and near the Yellowstone River in eastern Montana even as Bridger Pipeline LLC tried to determine what caused the weekend breach, the Wall Street Journal reported. The release of crude oil from Bridger's Poplar Pipeline system near Glendive, Montana began on Saturday morning, the company said in a statement. Bridger said its initial estimate was that 300-1,200 barrels of crude oil had been released.

Tributes, protests mark Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 09:17

By Laila Kearney and Sebastien Malo NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tributes to civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. were held around the United States on Monday as protests over the treatment of minorities by law enforcement rolled on across the country. Observers of Martin Luther King Jr. Day have this year linked the federal holiday to a rallying cry in recent months during demonstrations over police brutality: "Black lives matter." In a pre-dawn rally in Oakland, California on Monday, about 40 people converged on the home of Mayor Libby Schaaf, calling for harsher punishment of police who use violence against civilians. They chalked outlines of bodies on the tree-lined street, played recordings of King's speeches and projected an image of the slain civil rights leader with the words "Black lives matter," on the mayor's garage door. Other protests were planned in major cities such as Dallas and New York, where the family of Eric Garner, who died after being placed in a police chokehold, was set to lay a wreath on the Brooklyn street where two uniformed officers were ambushed in December by a gunman claiming to avenge Garner's death.

Plea to imams to fight extremism draws Islamophobia charge

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 07:26

By Andrew Osborn LONDON (Reuters) - Muslim groups accused the British government of copying the language of the far right on Monday and of stoking Islamophobia after ministers wrote to imams asking them to explain to Muslims how Islam is compatible with being British. In a letter to over 1,000 imams last Friday, Eric Pickles, the minister for local government and communities, asked them to explain to Muslims how Islam can be "part of British identity", arguing they had a duty to do more to fight extremism and root out anyone preaching hatred. Muslim groups said the letter unfairly singled them out. "The letter has all the hallmarks of very poor judgment which feeds into an Islamophobic narrative, which feeds into a narrative of us and them," Tahla Ahmad of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) told Sky News.

Syria begins destruction of chemical weapons facilities

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 05:52

The destruction of production and storage centers begins.

EU calls for anti-terror alliance with Arab countries

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 01:43

The proposal comes in the wake of deadly attacks and arrests across the EU.

Rebels, military battle near Yemen's presidential palace

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 01:22

Bodies lay in the streets, witnesses say, and the status of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi was not immediately clear.

Attorney's biggest challenge: Defending the accused Boston Marathon bomber

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 01:16

Judy Clarke is known as the “patron saint of defense attorneys” for her willingness to take on the cases of notorious killers and finding a way to save their lives. But she faces her biggest challenge yet in trying to spare accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev from the death penalty.

Which current members of Congress voted against making MLK Day a federal holiday?

Mon, 01/19/2015 - 01:11

In 1983, Congress voted overwhelmingly to approve legislation to honor the memory of the late Martin Luther King Jr. by observing a federal holiday on the third Monday of every January. But not every elected official was onboard with the effort.

'Selma' stars including Oprah march in Alabama

Sun, 01/18/2015 - 20:07

Hundreds marched to recall one of the bloodiest chapters of the civil rights movement.

Patriots roll over Colts, will play Seahawks in Super Bowl

Sun, 01/18/2015 - 19:33

New England crushes Indianapolis, 45-7, to reach its sixth Super Bowl in 14 seasons.

Seahawks return to Super Bowl with miracle win

Sun, 01/18/2015 - 16:33

Seattle earns a second straight NFC title with a stunning overtime victory over Green Bay.

Icy roads lead to crashes, five deaths in U.S. Northeast

Sun, 01/18/2015 - 16:25
(Reuters) - Five people were killed and others injured in crashes on icy roads in Pennsylvania and Connecticut on Sunday, authorities said. Light rain in the Philadelphia area caused flash-freezing on the roads and numerous crashes shut parts of Interstate 76 and other highways, said Eugene Blaum, spokesman for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation. Two people died in crash on a frozen highway just west of Philadelphia in Delaware County, according the Pennsylvania State police. In northeastern Pennsylvania, a 34-year-old man died on Interstate 84 when his car overturned and he and his 12-year-old son were thrown from it.

Former 'enemy combatant' back in Qatar after release from U.S. prison

Sun, 01/18/2015 - 16:08
By Harriet and McLeod CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) - A Qatari man declared an enemy combatant following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and imprisoned as an al Qaeda operative has been freed from a U.S. prison and is back in Qatar, his lawyer said on Sunday. Ali al-Marri, who was convicted in 2009 of providing material support to al Qaeda, was released from federal prison in Colorado in the last few days and is home in Doha, Qatar, Charleston attorney Andy Savage said.

Freezing rain makes Northeast roads slick; at least 5 killed

Sun, 01/18/2015 - 14:36

NEW YORK (AP) — Rain "flash-freezing" on roads and sidewalks left an icy glaze under feet and tires across much of the northeast on Sunday, causing crashes that claimed at least five lives.

Secret Service: Shots fired outside Bidens' Delaware home

Sun, 01/18/2015 - 13:34

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — Multiple gunshots were fired from a vehicle near the Delaware home of Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday night, the U.S. Secret Service said Sunday. The vice president and his wife were not at home at the time of the shooting, authorities said.

University of Virginia legal costs mount after discredited rape story

Sun, 01/18/2015 - 13:23
By Gary Robertson RICHMOND, Va. (Reuters) - The costs to the University of Virginia after a discredited report by Rolling Stone magazine of a fraternity gang rape are mounting, with lawyers' contracts totaling more than $500,000, a newspaper reported on Sunday. Virginia's flagship university was thrown into turmoil in November after Rolling Stone reported about a 2012 gang rape in a fraternity. To tighten security on the Charlottesville campus, the university’s Board of Visitors, or trustees, were told in December that one-time infrastructure improvements, such as upgraded camera and lighting systems, would cost an estimated $3.5 million. As for legal expenses, the Daily-Progress newspaper in Charlottesville on Sunday published a contract totaling $500,000 for the international law firm of O'Melveny & Myers.

Manhunts, death threats as Europe on high terror alert

Sun, 01/18/2015 - 12:51

Europe was on high alert Sunday as the suspected mastermind of a jihadist cell in Belgium remained at large and jittery authorities blocked anti-Islamist rallies in Germany and France. With tensions heightened, the second gunman in the Charlie Hebdo magazine attack was buried discreetly in an unmarked grave near Paris late Saturday in the hope that it would not become a pilgrimage site for radical Islamists. Meanwhile, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, considered the brains behind the cell plotting to kill Belgian police, was still on the run days after the group was dismantled by intelligence services. The group claimed the threat came from the Islamic State group based in Syria and Iraq, with local media reporting that PEGIDA's most prominent leader Lutz Bachmann was the target.

Greg Plitt, fitness model and TV actor, killed by train

Sun, 01/18/2015 - 12:01
(Reuters) - Fitness model and television actor Greg Plitt was struck and killed by a commuter train in Burbank, California, on Saturday while filming on the tracks, police said on Sunday. Plitt, who starred in Bravo network shows “Work Out” and “Friends to Lovers,” was hit by a Metrolink passenger train and pronounced dead at the scene, said Burbank Police Sergeant Chris Canales. "Our thoughts and deepest sympathy are with Greg's family and friends." Plitt had done previous filming on railroad tracks doing pushups and other fitness routines, according to promotional videos posted online.