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Updated: 1 hour 57 min ago

Boy Scouts settle California suit over abuse

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 09:59

The case involved a man who was molested by a Scout volunteer in 2007.


Lindsey Graham to test 2016 Republican presidential waters

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 08:21

By Steve Holland and Susan Cornwell WASHINGTON (Reuters) - South Carolina Republican Senator Lindsey Graham on Thursday formed a political organization to explore a potential run for his party's presidential nomination, the latest high-profile politician to test the 2016 waters. Graham would attempt to use his South Carolina home base to his advantage for any potential run, since the Southern state is typically the third to hold a nominating contest in presidential election years, after Iowa and New Hampshire. "What I'm looking at is, is there a pathway forward on the ground in Iowa and New Hampshire for a guy like me?


Gas blast at Mexico City children's hospital

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 07:41

At least three people are dead and dozens are injured.


Convicted Ft. Hood killer to face military hearing in Kansas

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 07:04

(Reuters) - Former U.S. Army major Nidal Hasan will appear in a military court on Thursday for a procedural hearing related to his capital punishment conviction for the 2009 shooting spree at Fort Hood in Texas that killed 13 people and wounded 32 others. Military Judge Colonel Tara Osborn "plans to review routine matters such as Hasan's post-trial rights and elections, discuss the Record of Trial and Hasan's post-trial representation by counsel," U.S. Army officials said in a statement. The hearing will take place at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, where Hasan was sent after being sentenced to death for the killings. His death sentence is subject to an automatic appeal.


Dartmouth College to ban hard alcohol on campus

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 06:39
(Reuters) - Dartmouth College will ban hard alcohol on campus as it seeks to cut down on binge drinking among students, the Ivy League school's president said on Thursday. The ban, which applies to students and all college-sponsored events, comes at a time when universities across the United States are trying to fight what the White House has described as an "epidemic" of sexual assault. The Hanover, New Hampshire, college is among the more than 50 elite U.S. learning institutions that the Department of Education is investigating to see if their policies on sex assault violate U.S. laws requiring equal treatment for men and women in higher education. Researchers say the culture of binge drinking on college campuses has fueled sex assaults.

Brawl erupts at Missouri meeting over black teen killing case

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 06:18
A meeting aimed at easing tensions between blacks and police in St. Louis erupted into a brawl Wednesday night, underscoring the ongoing anger that persists in the area after the August police killing of an unarmed black teen. The meeting, held at St. Louis City Hall, was focused on seeking public comment for how and why a civilian review board should provide oversight for police. A police union official who was seen wearing a wristband supporting Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson further antagonized some in the crowd, according to the reports. "It seemed he was intentionally trying to provoke people," said Rasheen Aldridge, a member of a separate citizen's commission formed to address racial tensions in Ferguson, who attended the meeting Monday night.

Weekly Ebola cases below 100

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 05:04

By Tom Miles and Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The number of new confirmed Ebola cases totaled 99 in the week to Jan. 25, the lowest tally since June 2014, the World Health Organization said on Thursday, signaling the tide might have turned against the epidemic. "The response to the EVD (Ebola virus disease) epidemic has now moved to a second phase, as the focus shifts from slowing transmission to ending the epidemic," the WHO said. "To achieve this goal as quickly as possible, efforts have moved from rapidly building infrastructure to ensuring that capacity for case finding, case management, safe burials, and community engagement is used as effectively as possible." The outbreak has killed 8,810 people out of 22,092 known cases, almost all of them in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. Cases and deaths have fallen rapidly in Liberia and Sierra Leone in the past few weeks, with just 20 deaths recorded in Liberia in the 21 days to Jan. 25.


U.S. jobless claims plunge 14%

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 05:03

New claims for US unemployment insurance benefits plunged to the lowest level in nearly 15 years last week, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Initial jobless claims, a sign of the pace of layoffs, dropped to a seasonally adjusted 265,000 in the week ending January 24, a hefty decline of 43,000 from the prior week's slightly upwardly revised level of 308,000. It was the lowest level for initial claims since mid-April 2000. The Labor Department said there was no particular factor influencing the week's claims data, which is often volatile.


Exclusive: CDC installing cameras in labs in agency-wide safety push

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 04:26

By Julie Steenhuysen ATLANTA (Reuters) - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has introduced camera monitoring of workers in its highest-level biosafety laboratories as it seeks to restore public faith in its procedures after a series of mishaps, agency officials tell Reuters. The mishaps have raised major questions over safety practices at more than 1,000 laboratory and support facilities that make up the CDC, whose role is to monitor and prevent outbreaks of disease. The move to monitor workers will allow lab directors and senior scientists to ensure they have followed safety protocols exactly, Leslie Dauphin, interim director of laboratory safety, told Reuters in an interview. "That is what the camera system helps with." The agency is expected to release details within a week of its own investigation into the Ebola mishap.


Prosecutors to open murder case against ex-NFL player Aaron Hernandez

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 03:05

By Scott Malone and Daniel Lovering FALL RIVER, Mass. (Reuters) - Opening statements are set for Thursday in the first murder trial facing former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez this year, when Massachusetts prosecutors will seek to prove he fatally shot a semi-professional football player in 2013. Hernandez, 25, was a rising star in the National Football League with a $41 million contract when he was arrested in June 2013 and charged with the execution-style killing of acquaintance Odin Lloyd near his North Attleborough, Massachusetts, home in June 2013. The Patriots, who face the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl on Sunday, cut Hernandez hours after his arrest. Hernandez, who has pleaded not guilty to all three killings, will be tried at Fall River Superior Court in Fall River, Massachusetts, in a trial expected to last six to 10 weeks.


Malaysia declares MH370 an 'accident', airline to proceed with compensation

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 01:49

Malaysia declared on Thursday the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 an accident, clearing the way for the airline to pay compensation to victims' relatives while the search for the plane goes on. "We officially declare Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 an accident ... and that all 239 of the passengers and crew onboard MH370 are presumed to have lost their lives," Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said in a statement. The announcement is in accordance with standards of annexes 12 and 13 in the International Civil Aviation, said Azharuddin. It will allow families of the passengers to obtain assistance through compensation, he said.


Police find human remains in suitcase on San Francisco sidewalk

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 00:42
San Francisco police on Wednesday discovered human body parts stuffed inside a suitcase that had been ditched on the sidewalk of a downtown street, officials said. Police closed off blocks around the package around 4:15 p.m. and found more remains after searching the area, police spokeswoman Grace Gatpandan said in a statement.

Matt Bai: Jeb and the myth of the Sister Souljah moment

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 00:12

Contrary to what people say, there’s really no such thing as a “Sister Souljah moment” unless a political candidate has spent a good bit of time making the argument that underlies it first.


Co-pilot at controls when AirAsia plane crashed: investigator

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 23:53

The co-pilot of an AirAsia flight that crashed into the Java Sea last month was at the controls when it went down, killing all 162 people on board, investigators said on Thursday. The announcement came as fishermen found two more bodies from the crash in waters off Sulawesi island in central Indonesia, around 1,000 kilometres (600 miles) from where the plane crashed, a search and rescue official said. AirAsia Flight QZ8501 went down in stormy weather on December 28 during what was supposed to be a short trip from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore. Indonesian investigators have been analysing data from the plane's black boxes -- the flight data recorder and the cockpit voice recorder -- and this week submitted a preliminary report to the UN's International Civil Aviation Organization.


One dead, six injured in San Francisco fire

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 23:14
One person died and six people were injured after a fire scorched a San Francisco building on Wednesday night, officials said. Firefighters responded to the flames ripping through the Mission District building around 6:45 p.m. local time and immediately evacuated residents, San Francisco Police spokeswoman Grace Gatpandan said in a statement. Roughly 50 people moved to an evacuation center set up by the American Red Cross at a building on the nearby City College of San Francisco campus, Red Cross spokesman Woody Baker-Cohn said. "It's devastating," 12-year resident Ricardo Cedeno told the San Francisco Chronicle.

IS purportedly sets new deadline for hostage swap

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 22:51

A voice claiming to be a Japanese hostage relays the group's latest threat.


Montana bride has no grounds to appeal murder conviction: prosecutors

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 20:12
Federal prosecutors on Wednesday said a Montana bride who admitted pushing her new husband off a cliff at Glacier National Park has no grounds to appeal her murder conviction after lying to officials and using trickery in a bid to conceal her crime. Jordan Graham pleaded guilty in December 2013 to second-degree murder in the July 7 death of Cody Johnson, 25, her husband of eight days in a case that garnered international headlines. The former nanny was sentenced last March to 30 years in prison by a U.S. judge after he rejected her request to withdraw the guilty plea that came as part of a deal with prosecutors that saw them dismiss a first-degree murder charge. Graham last October appealed her conviction, arguing prosecutors engaged in misconduct by publicly labeling her a sociopath, distorted facts and acted in a vindictive manner toward her.

Top Nevada lawyer joins suit against Obama's immigration relief plan

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 18:50
Nevada's newly minted Republican attorney general has joined a multi-state lawsuit seeking to block President Barack Obama's order easing the threat of deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants, without the support of the state's moderate governor. Attorney General Adam Laxalt, sworn in Jan. 5 after a campaign that focused at times on challenging federal overreach, said that Obama's November order undermines the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution.

Islamic State group issues new threat to kill Jordanian pilot

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 18:04

Islamic State militants say they will execute a Jordanian pilot "immediately" if Amman does not hand over a female suicide bomber by sunset Thursday, as Japan waits in anguish for news of a journalist the extremists are also holding. In a new audio recording, a voice identifying itself as Japanese freelancer Kenji Goto says his captors will kill Maaz al-Kassasbeh if an Iraqi woman on death row in Jordan is not handed over by the end of the day. "If Sajida al-Rishawi is not ready for exchange for my life at the Turkish border by Thursday sunset, 29th of January, Mosul time, the Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh will be killed immediately," Goto said, in an unverified audio message distributed by IS-linked Twitter accounts. Amman had offered to free the Iraqi woman, who was convicted for her part in 2005 triple-hotel bombings in the Jordanian capital that killed 60 people, if the IS group released their airman.


Homeless vets to get housing at L.A. VA site under settlement

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 17:38
By Michael Fleeman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Homeless veterans will get housing and services at a large Department of Veterans Affairs health campus in Los Angeles under a deal to settle a lawsuit accusing the agency of misusing the land, officials said on Wednesday. The 387-acre site located between the affluent Westwood and Brentwood neighborhoods was deeded to the United States in 1888 to give a home to disabled veterans. The campus houses the nation's largest veterans health center, but the Department of Veterans Affairs long ago eliminated permanent housing for veterans there and it leased out portions of the property. Under the agreement, the agency has agreed to work with the American Civil Liberties Union and the plaintiffs the group represents to help the estimated 4,200 homeless veterans in Los Angeles County.

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