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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.