Violent street clashes erupted in Baltimore on Monday after friends and family gathered for the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man whose death in custody triggered a fresh wave of protests over US police tactics. They have broken bones, one is unresponsive," Baltimore police captain Eric Kowalczyk told reporters. Earlier in the day, thousands of people arrived at the New Shiloh Baptist church to pay final respects to Gray, who died on April 19 of severe spinal injuries, a week after his arrest in Baltimore, north of Washington.
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A day before the U.S. Supreme Court hears landmark arguments on whether the Constitution provides a right to same-sex marriage, activists on both sides of the contentious social issue converged on the white marble courthouse to voice their views. Anti-gay rights activists rallied in front of the courthouse steps condemning same-sex marriage, while a line snaked around the block of people, many displaying gay rights messages, hoping to snag one of the limited number of seats available in the courtroom for Tuesday's 2-1/2 hour oral arguments. The nine justices will be hearing arguments concerning gay marriage restrictions imposed in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, four of the 13 states that still outlaw such marriages. The ruling, due by the end of June, will determine whether same-sex marriage will be legal nationwide.
Family and friends gathered Monday for the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man whose death in custody triggered a fresh wave of protests over US police tactics. Thousands of people arrived at the New Shiloh Baptist church to pay final respects to Gray, who died on April 19 of severe spinal injuries, a week after his arrest in Baltimore.
By Ian Simpson BALTIMORE (Reuters) - Mourners lined up on Monday before the funeral of a Baltimore black man who died in police custody, a death that has led to protests in the latest outcry over U.S. law enforcement's treatment of minorities. The long line stretched out of the front door of the New Shiloh Baptist Church for the funeral of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. "I am here to show that Freddie's loss of life was not in vain," said Joe Jones, head of the Center for Urban Families, which provides aid to local residents. President Barack Obama was sending Broderick Johnson, the head of his initiative for minority males, to attend Gray's funeral, the White House said.
By Natasja Sheriff NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jurors in the trial of a former deli worker who confessed to killing Etan Patz in 1979 began a ninth day of deliberations on Monday with a re-reading of testimony that implicated another, earlier suspect in the case of the missing 6-year-old boy. Pedro Hernandez, 54, is charged in state Supreme Court in Manhattan with the murder and kidnapping of Patz, one of the first missing children whose pictures appeared on milk cartons in an effort to locate them. His lawyers have said the real culprit is Jose Ramos, long a prime suspect in the disappearance.
By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - The trial of the convicted Boston Marathon bomber enters a new and critical stage on Monday as defense lawyers begin to present their case that a jury should sentence Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to life in prison, rather than death. Tsarnaev, a 21-year-old ethnic Chechen, early this month was found guilty of killing three people and injuring 264 in one of the highest-profile attacks on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001, as well as fatally shooting a police officer. Defense lawyers have countered that Tsarnaev, 19 at the time of the attack, was adrift and following the lead of his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, who died after a gunfight with police four days after the bombing.
By Keith Coffman CENTENNIAL, Colo. (Reuters) - Colorado's long-awaited cinema massacre trial will start on Monday with jurors asked to decide whether gunman James Holmes was insane when he killed a dozen moviegoers in 2012, or a calculating mass murderer who deserves execution. Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour has said he expects the trial to take four months.
By P.J. Huffstutter and Julie Steenhuysen CHICAGO (Reuters) - Hundreds of farm workers exposed to a highly pathogenic strain of bird flu have been offered antiviral medication as a preventative measure in recent days, U.S. public health officials said. To date, the virulent H5N2 influenza, which has infected turkeys and chickens on Midwestern poultry farms, has not affected humans. Dr. Alicia Fry, a medical officer in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s influenza division, said that while health officials are cautiously optimistic that humans will not be affected, her agency has isolated a pure strain of the H5N2 virus for potential use in a human vaccine, should one be needed. Concerns about human health risk have prompted investigators to ramp up biosecurity measures on infected farms, with some government staff overseeing the culling of birds wearing full protective body suits and ventilators.
By Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A string of deadly confrontations between mostly white police and black men will be among challenges immediately facing Loretta Lynch when she is sworn in on Monday as U.S. attorney general. Lynch, 55, takes over as the country's top law enforcement official after a weekend that saw thousands of people in Baltimore, Maryland, take to the streets in mostly peaceful protests over the latest such case. Building on her career as an accomplished federal prosecutor, Lynch takes over from retiring Attorney General Eric Holder, who served more than six turbulent years at the head of the Justice Department. Besides the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, other questionable encounters between police and black males in recent months have led to unrest in South Carolina, Missouri, Ohio and New York.