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Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell hospitalized

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 22:10

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Joni Mitchell was in intensive care in a Los Angeles-area hospital on Tuesday, according to the Twitter account and website of the folk singer and Rock and Roll Hall of Famer.

Exclusive: Republican White House hopefuls attack Obamacare but take money

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 21:10

By Andy Sullivan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Several Republican governors likely to run for president have secured hundreds millions of dollars under Obamacare while working to dismantle the healthcare law, according to a Reuters review of federal spending records. Governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Chris Christie of New Jersey, Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and former Texas Governor Rick Perry, all staunch opponents of President Barack Obama's 2010 Affordable Care Act, have collectively applied for and won at least $352 million through grant programs set up by the law, federal records show. "Receiving federal grants that existed prior to the ACA is not the same as participating in the core elements of the ACA." The money in question stems from less controversial parts of the law that enhance public health and other nuts-and-bolts programs, rather than the insurance exchanges and expansion of the Medicaid program for the poor that have drawn fierce opposition from Republicans.

Los Angeles to pay $1.35 million to mother of driver who died in police custody

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 18:26
(Reuters) - The city of Los Angeles will pay $1.35 million to the mother of a man who died of an asthma attack while in police custody, the Los Angeles Times reported. Jorge Azucena, 26, was arrested in 2013 for running a red light, the newspaper said. A subsequent investigation by the police department and the inspector general of the Los Angeles Police Commission found that officers as well as jail personnel ignored his requests for assistance, the newspaper reported. Azucena's mother, Juana Garcia, sued the city, leading to the settlement announced Tuesday.

Folk icon Joni Mitchell hospitalized in Los Angeles

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 18:14

Legendary folk singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell has reportedly been rushed to the hospital after being found unconscious at her Los Angeles home, according to TMZ.

Lavrov, Zarif claim breakthrough in Iran nuclear talks

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 18:09

Russia and Iran's foreign ministers claimed a breakthrough early Wednesday in talks on a framework deal curtailing Tehran's nuclear programme, but the US said not all issues had been agreed yet, as discussions were suspended for the night. "One can say with relative certainty that we at the minister level have reached an agreement in principle on all key aspects of the final settlement of this issue," Russian media quoted Sergei Lavrov as saying at talks in Switzerland. This came after Russia's top diplomat and the foreign ministers of five other major powers and Iran continued working through the night as they missed a midnight (2200 GMT) deadline to agree the main outlines of what they hope will be an historic accord. The powers hope a full agreement, due to be finalised by June 30, will see Iran scale back its nuclear capability to prevent Tehran developing nuclear weapons under the guise of its civilian programme.

U.S. corporations pressure two states accused of curbing gay rights

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 18:03

Arkansas lawmakers passed a Religious Freedom Restoration Act on Tuesday that critics said would allow businesses to deny service to gays and lesbians, drawing a swift demand from Wal-Mart Stores Inc for the governor to veto the bill. Arkansas followed Indiana, which passed a similar act last week. The world's biggest retailer, Wal-Mart , based in Bentonville, Ark., issued a statement saying the Arkansas bill threatened to undermine "the spirit of inclusion" in the state and "does not reflect the values we proudly uphold." Signed by Doug McMillon, chief executive officer, the statement asked Republican Governor Asa Hutchinson to veto the legislation.

Grandson of Getty oil founder J. Paul Getty found dead in Los Angeles

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 18:00
By Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The grandson of billionaire Getty oil founder J. Paul Getty, Andrew Getty, was found dead at age 47 on Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Times reported. Celebrity news website TMZ reported that Getty, the son of Gordon Getty and an heir to his grandfather's oil fortune, was found in a bathroom of his Hollywood Hills home about 2 p.m. under suspicious circumstances and that a former girlfriend was being detained as a potential witness or suspect. The Times said that Andrew Getty had sought a restraining order against a woman two weeks earlier. A Los Angeles Police Department spokeswoman told Reuters that detectives were conducting a death investigation at a home in the Hollywood Hills, where a white male was found not breathing.

Gay basketball player responds to Indiana's religious freedom law

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 12:32
Derrick Gordon shares his concerns with Yahoo's Bianna Golodryga.

Nigeria opposition leader fears 'tricks' after election victory

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 10:18

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's aviation minister says President Goodluck Jonathan has called challenger Muhammadu Buhari to concede and congratulate him on his electoral victory. This paves the way for a peaceful transfer of power in Africa's richest and most populous nation.

Obama vetoes Republican bid to block union election rules

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 09:43

U.S. President Barack Obama on Tuesday vetoed a measure by Republicans in Congress that would have blocked a government labor agency's rules designed to speed up the time it takes to unionize workers. The rules would shorten the period between a union filing a petition to represent workers and an election, from the current median of 38 days to as little as 14 days. Employers would be required to share workers' names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses with unions. The National Labor Relations Board adopted the rules last year and they are set to take effect April 14.

Co-pilot told flight school of depressive episode in 2009

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 09:25

Lufthansa says the note was found in emails that Andreas Lubitz sent.

New Jersey school evacuated after reports of armed intruder

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 09:00
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New Jersey elementary school was evacuated on Tuesday after reports of an armed intruder on the grounds, law enforcement officials said. Police and SWAT teams converged on Village Elementary School in Holmdel Township, about 40 miles (64 km) south of New York City, just after noon local time and searched for a gunman, said Charles Webster, a spokesman with the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office. No shots were reported fired and no one was injured, Webster said. (Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Chizu Nomiyama)

Police: Prisoner who stole gun, fled hospital found in DC

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 08:59

WASHINGTON (AP) — Police credit a call from an alert tipster in southeast Washington on Tuesday morning for the capture of a prisoner who escaped custody at a northern Virginia hospital hours earlier with a guard's gun.

Armed man caught after taking hostages at Pennsylvania firehouse

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 08:47
(Reuters) - An armed suspect believed to be a former firefighter was apprehended on Tuesday after taking four firefighters hostage inside a suburban Philadelphia firehouse, officials said. Reports of an armed suspect at the LaMott Fire Company in Cheltenham Township, about 13 miles north of Philadelphia, came in to authorities at about 10:40 a.m., said John Corcoran, spokesman for the Montgomery County Department of Public Safety. About an hour later, a suspect was taken into custody, officials said. No one was injured in the incident. ...

Indiana governor wants changes to religious-objections law

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 08:26

Mike Pence said Tuesday that he wants legislation on his desk by the end of the week to clarify that a new religious-freedom law does not allow discrimination.

U.S. top court says private medical providers can't sue states over Medicaid

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 06:13
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that private medical providers cannot sue a state in order to raise Medicaid reimbursement rates to deal with rising medical costs. The justices, on a 5-4 vote, ruled in favor of the state of Idaho, which says that medical providers have no legal recourse to sue. (Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Will Dunham)

Reports: Banned group takes prosecutor hostage in Turkey

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 05:44

ISTANBUL (AP) — Members of a banned leftist group took a chief prosecutor hostage in his office Tuesday inside a court house in Istanbul, Turkish news agencies said. Police said negotiators were speaking to two militants in attempts to end the standoff.

On a cold Boston morning, remembering Teddy Kennedy

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 03:40

A host of political luminaries attended the dedication Monday of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute on Columbia Point, right next to the presidential library of Teddy’s older brother, President John F. Kennedy.

Armed prisoner breaks free from Washington area hospital

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 03:18
(Reuters) - An armed prisoner was on the run early on Tuesday after escaping from a hospital in a northern Virginia close to Washington where a shot was fired during a struggle with a guard, police said. The prisoner, identified as Wossen Assaye by the Fairfax County Police Department, broke free from a private security guard at Inova Fairfax Hospital in Falls Church, Virginia, and fled with the guard's weapon, the department said on its Twitter account. Police said Assaye was being held by the nearby city of Alexandria on federal charges of armed bank robbery and was taken to a local hospital after he tried to harm himself. Roads around the hospital were shut down as authorities from several different agencies searched for the suspect, who was dressed only in a hospital gown, police said.

Defense to intensify in trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber

Tue, 03/31/2015 - 03:04

Defense of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is expected to intensify on Tuesday with his lawyers' first full day of calling witnesses. They have contended that Tsarnaev's brother, 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, was the driving force behind the bombing and that Dzhokhar played a secondary role in it and in the fatal shooting of a police officer three days later. Their argument is intended to reduce Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's relative culpability in the jury's eyes and persuade them to sentence him to life in prison. On Monday, prosecutors wrapped up their case against Tsarnaev with testimony from the medical examiners who autopsied 23-year-old Chinese exchange student Lingzi Lu and 8-year-old Martin Richard.