By Colleen Jenkins WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Reuters) - Thousands of mourners attended the funeral prayers on Thursday for three young Muslims killed in North Carolina, and the father of two of the victims urged U.S. authorities to probe whether religious hatred was a motive for the murders. Newlywed Deah Barakat, 23, a University of North Carolina dental student, his wife Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19, a student at North Carolina State University, were gunned down on Tuesday in a condominium about two miles (three km) from the UNC campus in Chapel Hill. Police charged the couple's neighbor, Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, with murder. The case has garnered international attention and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan criticized President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday for not speaking about the incident.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned Thursday that Yemen was falling apart and called for action to avert chaos, as Al-Qaeda fighters overran an army camp and seized heavy weaponry. The UN chief was reporting to the 15-member council after talks with Gulf officials that he said concentrated on "preventing civil war in Yemen". "Let me be clear: Yemen is collapsing before our eyes. Long on the front line of the war against Al-Qaeda, Yemen has descended into chaos since Shiite militiamen, known as Huthis, seized Sanaa in September and ousted the government last week.
By Jon Herskovitz STEPHENVILLE, Texas (Reuters) - The former Navy SEAL whose best-selling autobiography was turned into the hit movie "American Sniper" was found dead at a rural Texas shooting range, the only loaded weapon within reach a 1911-style semiautomatic pistol, a Texas Ranger told a court on Thursday. Former U.S. Marine Eddie Ray Routh, 27, is on trial for murdering Chris Kyle and friend and neighbor, Chad Littlefield, in February 2013 at a shooting range about 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Fort Worth. Kyle and Littlefield had been shot multiple times, with two guns. "The only weapons on the scene that were loaded were two 1911-style handguns," Texas Ranger Michael Adcock told the court in rural Erath County.
By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Thursday said it would hear arguments on whether to move the trial of the Boston Marathon bombing suspect out of the city that was the site of the largest mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. The appeals court's decision to hear arguments on Feb. 19 comes after a district court judge three times rejected pleas by defendant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's attorneys to move the trial. Defense attorneys contend too many people in the Boston area had a direct connection to the event to empanel an impartial jury. Three people were killed and 264 injured when two homemade bombs went off at the race's crowded finish line on April 15, 2013.
By Barbara Goldberg NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City, once notorious for high crime, broke a record on Thursday with no murders reported for 10 straight days, police said. The historic calm achieved at 12:01 a.m. Thursday comes on the heels of a notable year - murders in New York City in 2014 fell to an all-time low of 328, the fewest since the New York Police Department started keeping reliable records in 1963. "Everybody is behaving," said Sergeant Daniel Doody of the New York City Police Department. This year's notable zero comes in the wake of Mayor Bill de Blasio's struggle to mend a serious rift between City Hall and the country's biggest police force.
(Reuters) - A federal judge in Alabama will hear arguments on Thursday on whether to force a local judge to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, a case with implications for dozens of counties in the state that have not granted the licenses in defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court. The hearing, set to take place at 1 p.m. local time in Mobile, will pit gay rights advocates against Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis, whose county is the most populous of more than 40 of 67 in the state that have refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Mobile County's marriage license operations have been shuttered since Monday, when a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Callie Granade striking down the state's ban on gay marriage took effect.
What resonates in the case of Brian Williams, who was suspended by NBC for six months, is the collision of celebrity, politics and media that first occurred with Gary Hart in 1987. Nearly three decades later, TV news and entertainment are almost impossible to separate, and probably no one has embodied that cultural shift more comfortably than Williams.