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Obama to join 'Bloody Sunday' anniversary in Selma

Sat, 03/07/2015 - 07:11

President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and about 100 members of Congress will mark the 50th anniversary of a landmark event of the civil rights movement.

White House on lockdown after loud bang: pool report

Sat, 03/07/2015 - 06:58
The White House was put on lockdown on Saturday after a loud noise was heard on the South Lawn moments before President Barack Obama and his family were due to take off by helicopter, a White House pool report said on Saturday. It said the noise prompted Secret Service agents to move the press back into the briefing room, lock the doors and put the building on lockdown. Obama and his family were not yet on the South Lawn when the noise was heard. "Lockdown continues, although it doesn't appear as though there's a high level of consternation among Secret Service walking outside," the pool report added later.

Wisconsin lawmaker says she saw events ahead of fatal police shooting

Sat, 03/07/2015 - 06:55
A Wisconsin state representative observed incidents that led up to the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man in Madison, where protesters later gathered at the site of the killing, the lawmaker said on her Facebook page. An officer responded to a disturbance on Friday evening and later forced his way into an apartment that a 19-year-old suspect in a recent battery had entered, the city's Police Chief Mike Koval has told reporters. State Representative Chris Taylor, who said on Facebook she observed what led up to the shooting, is the co-author of a bill signed into law last year that requires outside investigators under the direction of the Wisconsin Department of Justice to probe officer involved shootings. I've been informed that the Department of Justice's division of criminal investigation is on its way to the scene." Taylor's post on Facebook gave no further details on the shooting and she did not return an email seeking comment.

Obama to make call to action in Selma anniversary visit

Sat, 03/07/2015 - 06:32

By Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama will call on Americans to carry forward the spirit of the Civil Rights Movement on Saturday during a visit to Selma, Alabama, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a march that sparked the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Obama, the first black U.S. president, will deliver remarks at the Edmund Pettus Bridge, where police and state troopers beat and used tear gas against peaceful marchers who were advocating against racial discrimination at the voting booth. The event became known as "Bloody Sunday" and prompted a follow-up march led by civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. During a trip to South Carolina on Friday, Obama said he planned to focus on the future in his speech. "Selma is not just about commemorating the past. It's about honoring the legends who helped change this country through your actions today, in the here and now," he told a town hall-style meeting.

Russia: 2 suspects detained in murder of Boris Nemtsov

Sat, 03/07/2015 - 03:56

MOSCOW (AP) — Two suspects have been detained in the killing a week ago of opposition politician Boris Nemtsov, the head of Russia's federal security service said Saturday, an announcement received with both skepticism and reserved satisfaction by some of Nemtsov's comrades.

Pilot dies in helicopter crash near St. Louis hospital

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 22:59
(Reuters) - A helicopter pilot died when the aircraft crashed near a St. Louis hospital, fire officials said. The St. Louis Fire Department said on its Twitter account that the helicopter went down on the street behind the St. Louis University Hospital, killing the pilot and causing a fire. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper reported, citing city Fire Captain Garon Mosby, that the pilot was the only person in the helicopter at the time, and that it was headed to the medical center to pick up a crew. Further details were not immediately available as representatives for the fire department could not be reached.

Sen. Menendez, amid probe, says he's honest, law-abiding

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 22:06

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Amid a federal investigation, U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez insists he has always been honest in his more than 20 years in Congress and says he is "not going anywhere" even as a person familiar with the matter tells The Associated Press that Menendez is expected to face criminal charges soon.

Wisconsin police fatally shoot black teen, prompting protest

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 22:01
(Reuters) - Wisconsin police fatally shot an apparently unarmed African-American teenager on Friday, prompting dozens of people to protest at the site of the killing, according to police and videos published on social media. Madison Police Chief Mike Koval told reporters that an officer responded to a disturbance around 6:30 p.m. local time and later forced his way into an apartment that the 19-year-old, who was also suspected of a recent battery, had gone into. The shooting comes at a time of heightened scrutiny of police violence against minorities across the country. Protests have been held in Los Angeles and Washington state in recent days over police killings of unarmed, minority men.

Top U.S. general optimistic about outcome of Tikrit battle

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 21:56

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (AP) — The one-two punch of Iranian-back militias and Iraqi government troops is likely to prevail in the unfolding battle for Tikrit, but it would not have been possible if U.S. airstrikes had not tied down Islamic State fighters elsewhere in northern Iraq, the top U.S. general said.

Fiat Chrysler recalls 703,000 vehicles in U.S. to fix ignition switches

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 21:00

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is recalling 702,578 SUVs and minivans to fix defective ignition switches that can unexpectedly turn off the engine, according to documents posted Friday by U.S. safety regulators. If there is a key fob, it should also be removed, Fiat Chrysler said in documents posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The company said road conditions or a jarring event may cause the ignition switch to move into the off or accessory position, turning off the engine and disabling the air bags, power steering and power brakes. Fiat Chrysler said it expects to begin replacing the defective ignition switches for the 2008-2009 minivans and SUVs in April and the 2010 vehicles in August.

Uber halts operations in Anchorage, Oregon city sues ride-share firm

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 17:39
By Steve Quinn and Shelby Sebens JUNEAU/PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - Uber said it was halting operations in Anchorage on Friday until Alaska's largest city can work out details enabling the ride-share company's drivers to accept paying fares, as an Oregon city sued the firm over safety requirements. An Uber Anchorage operations manager said the company halted operations because the city's efforts to draft rules for Uber drivers, such as insurance and background check requirements, have not come quick enough, despite months of negotiations. Anchorage Mayor Dan Sullivan said Uber's decision "should not be attributed to inaction by the municipality as the process has been continuous and a path forward has been established by the Assembly." Sullivan added that the Assembly members and city officials will meet with Uber on March 18 to try to work out an agreement. The Oregon city of Eugene sued Uber in Lane County Circuit Court on Thursday, asking the court to stop Uber from operating until it meets what the city calls "minimum safety requirements," said Laura Hammond, Eugene's communication and policy analyst.

Ohio man accused of plotting Capitol attack says would have shot Obama

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 17:30

An Ohio man claiming sympathy with Islamic State militants and charged with plotting to attack the U.S. Capitol said in a television interview that he would have shot President Barack Obama in the head. Christopher Cornell, 20, told Cincinnati's FOX 19 WXIX TV that if he had not been arrested by FBI agents in January, he would have carried out an alleged plot to plant pipe bombs on the Capitol and at the Israeli Embassy. I would have took my gun, I would have put it to Obama's head and I would have pulled the trigger," Cornell, of Cincinnati, said in a telephone interview from the Boone County, Kentucky, jail aired on Friday. "Then I would have released more bullets on the Senate and the House of Representative members, and I would have attacked the Israeli Embassy and various other buildings full of kafir (a Muslim term for infidel) who want to wage war against us Muslims and shed our blood.

Sen. Menendez: I've behaved appropriately in office

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 15:53

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, under federal investigation for his relationship with a Florida doctor and political donor, is expected to face criminal charges in the coming weeks, a person familiar with the matter said Friday.

Obama criticizes Ferguson as city seeks settlement over racial bias

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 15:08

President Barack Obama condemned the Missouri city of Ferguson on Friday for "oppressive and abusive" actions against African-Americans that were laid bare in a U.S. Justice Department report accusing police and court officials of racial bias. The president's comments came as U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Friday dismantling the city's police department was a possibility. "That means everything from working with them to coming up with an entirely new structure." Ferguson Mayor James Knowles said three city workers who demonstrated "egregious racial bias" are no longer employed by the city, and said Ferguson officials are pursuing other reforms to try to reach a settlement with the Justice Department.

CUNY refunds fees to undocumented students who unknowingly overpaid

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 14:42

The majority of undocumented high school graduates don't go to college, despite being eligible for some financial aid.

Federal team pores over data from Delta jet in NYC accident

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 14:20

By Laila Kearney NEW YORK (Reuters) - Federal safety investigators have started poring over flight data and cockpit voice recordings from the Delta Air Lines jetliner that skidded off a runway at New York's LaGuardia Airport during a snowstorm, officials said on Friday. A second team from the National Transportation Safety Board would begin interviewing the crew of Delta Flight 1086 on Saturday and review maintenance records, the NTSB said in a statement. The interviews will take place in Atlanta, where Delta has its headquarters. The accident forced the shutdown for more than three hours of LaGuardia Airport, snarling air traffic along the U.S. East Coast and exacerbating weather-related disruptions.

N.J. Sen. Bob Menendez to face corruption charges: reports

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 10:22

Potential charges allegedly stem from the politician’s friendship with a Fla. doctor.

Accused Boston bomber's lawyers gamble with guilt admission: experts

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 10:22

By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - When they admitted Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's role in the Boston Marathon bombing, his lawyers acknowledged that he will almost certainly spend the rest of his life behind bars. Tsarnaev's defense team opened his trial this week by bluntly admitting that the 21-year-old defendant and his older brother planted the twin bombs that killed three people and injured 264 on April 15, 2013, and three days later fatally shot a police officer as they tried to flee the city.

Bloody Sundays: Violence against peaceful protesters from Selma to Belfast

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 10:09

President Obama plans to visit Selma to mark the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

CIA to make sweeping changes, focus more on cyber ops: agency chief

Fri, 03/06/2015 - 10:06

By Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Central Intelligence Agency is launching one of the biggest reorganizations in its history, aimed in part at sharpening its focus on cyber operations and incorporating digital innovations into intelligence gathering, CIA director John Brennan said. In a presentation to reporters this week, Brennan said he also is creating new units within the CIA, called "mission centers," intended to concentrate the agency's focus on specific challenges or geographic areas, such as weapons proliferation or Africa. Historically, electronic eavesdroppers at the National Security Agency have been at the cutting edge of digital innovation within the U.S. government.