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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.

Clinton also used iPad for email; mixed personal, work chats

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 23:28

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Rodham Clinton emailed her staff on an iPad as well as a BlackBerry while secretary of state, despite her explanation she exclusively used a personal email address on a homebrew server so that she could carry a single device, according to documents obtained by The Associated Press.

Differences persist on deadline day for Iran nuke talks

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 23:24

Diplomats scrambled to reach consensus just hours ahead of a self-imposed deadline.

Suspect in massive Los Angeles arson fire seen in video: L.A. Times

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 23:22

(Reuters) - A suspect who sparked a massive arson fire last year that gutted a multi-story apartment complex under construction in Los Angeles was captured on surveillance tape reviewed by authorities, the Los Angeles Times reported on Monday. The video showed the suspect parking a car on the 110 Freeway before walking into the building with "cans of fuel," the paper said, based on a recording of a community meeting last week addressed by Los Angeles Fire Department Battalion Chief Steve Ruda. Fire department representatives could not be immediately reached for comment.

Parents of dead student sue Clemson University, fraternity

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 22:45
By Harriet McLeod CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) - The parents of a 19-year-old Clemson University student who died last year after falling from a highway bridge during a pre-dawn fraternity run sued the university, the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and three of its members for $50 million on Monday. Tucker Hipps' body was found by police last September beneath a highway bridge over a lake near the Clemson, South Carolina campus when he didn't return from the run with other fraternity pledges. The two civil suits, which seek $25 million each, allege that Hipps died as a result of a confrontation with a fraternity member over breakfast food he was told to bring that morning. Hipps then went over the railing of the bridge into shallow water in Lake Hartwell head first, the lawsuits said, adding that a fraternity member shone a flashlight into the dark water below but took no further action to locate the student.

Detroit commission OKs raises for city council, clerk: newspaper

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 21:11

Just months after Detroit officially exited the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, a panel recommended on Monday 2.5 percent raises for city council members and the city clerk starting next fiscal year, the Detroit Free Press said. The Detroit Elected Officials Compensation Commission, which determines whether elected officials can receive raises, voted unanimously on Monday night to support the pay hikes, the newspaper said. The move would bring the salary for the clerk and council members to $78,761 from $76,840 and the council president's to $82,776 from $80,757, the Free Press said. The compensation commission's recommendation will go into effect unless it is rejected by the City Council by a two-thirds vote, according to the Free Press.

Indiana to clarify 'religious freedom' law, Georgia, N.C. bills stall

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 17:58

Indiana Republicans pledged on Monday to clarify a new "religious freedom" law, while similar proposals stalled in Georgia and North Carolina after businesses and activists said such measures could be used to discriminate against gays. Arkansas lawmakers, however, signaled they would move forward with their own bill, even after Indiana was rebuked by companies and executives including Wal-Mart Stores Inc , Apple Inc CEO Tim Cook, and Eli Lilly and Co . Indiana's law, signed by Governor Mike Pence last week, was perceived as going further than those passed in 19 other states, giving businesses a right to refuse services on religious grounds.

Theater gunman not a ‘monster,’ Arlene Holmes writes in new book

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 17:36
The mother of accused Colorado theater gunman James Holmes says in a new book that she prays for her son’s victims daily, even calling out the deceased by name. “The first time that I prayed for them by name and by wound, I was shaking, overcome,” Arlene Holmes writes.

Boston bombing jury hears of grisly deaths, defense calls first witness

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 17:32

By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - The two youngest people killed by the Boston Marathon bombing were torn apart by one of the blasts that ripped through the crowd at the finish line, medical examiners testified on Monday as prosecutors wound up their case against accused bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and defense attorneys began calling witnesses. Massachusetts' Chief Medical Examiner Henry Nields showed the jury 8-year-old Martin Richard’s bloodstained gray New England Patriots T-shirt with holes that correlated with injuries to the child’s torso. On the 15th day of testimony in Tsarnaev's trial at Boston federal court, Nields said a piece of shrapnel appeared to have gone straight through Richard's body. Shrapnel from the same homemade pressure cooker bomb that killed Richard punched through Chinese exchange student Lingzi Lu's legs, causing the 23-year old to bleed to death within minutes, Boston medical examiner Katherine Lindstrom testified.

Indiana lawmakers try to quiet firestorm surrounding new law

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 14:56

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Gov. Mike Pence called off public appearances Monday and sports officials planned an "Indy Welcomes All" campaign ahead of this weekend's NCAA Final Four in Indianapolis as lawmakers scrambled to quiet the firestorm over a new law that has much of the country portraying Indiana as a state of intolerance.

Exclusive: Pentagon chief sends military wish lists to Congress with reservations

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 14:38

By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter on Monday sent Congress the military's annual "wish lists," including 12 Boeing Co F/A-18 fighter jets and 14 Lockheed Martin Corp F-35 fighter jets, but said he would not back any of the requests unless lawmakers passed a larger overall defense budget. Carter told lawmakers he was sending the lists of "unfunded priorities" to Congress as required under the fiscal 2013 defense policy law, but registered his concerns about any moves by Congress to restructure the Pentagon's budget request.

1 dead, 2 injured in shooting at gates of NSA

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 13:59
Two men dressed as women smashed a stolen car into a police vehicle, prompting officers to open fire.

U.S. Justice Department sues Oklahoma university over transgender professor

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 12:18
The U.S. Justice Department filed a lawsuit on Monday against Southeastern Oklahoma State University, alleging the school discriminated against a transgender assistant professor. The DOJ said it also sued the Regional University System of Oklahoma. The department said the woman, Rachel Tudor, was denied a promotion because of her gender identity and retaliated against after she complained. Southeastern Oklahoma State University said in a statement it "is committed to diversity and equal employment opportunities.

One dead, one hurt as men try to ram U.S. spy agency gates: reports

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 09:07
Guards shot one man dead and seriously wounded a second when they tried to ram a vehicle into the entrance gate at the Fort Meade, Maryland, headquarters of the National Security Agency on Monday, news reports said. Federal law enforcement officials told Reuters that two people in a car tried to ram the spy agency's gate and initial indications are that at least one was seriously injured. White House Principal Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz said: "The President has been briefed on this morning's incident at the National Security Agency and will be updated as appropriate." NBC, quoting sources, said the men, disguised as women, were in a stolen car. The other, a dark vehicle, had front-end damage.

Trevor Noah to replace Jon Stewart as host of 'The Daily Show'

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 08:42

It’s official: Comedy Central has announced that Trevor Noah will succeed Jon Stewart as the next host of “The Daily Show.”

NSA shooting: 1 dead after men dressed as women tried to crash gate

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 07:46

A second person is "severely injured" after a gunfight erupted at Fort Meade, officials say.

U.S. defense chief sees military recruitment challenges ahead

Mon, 03/30/2015 - 06:41

By David Alexander ABINGTON, Pa. (Reuters) - The U.S. military faces a challenge recruiting people with the high-tech skills it needs for the future as those who joined after the Sep. 11, 2001 attacks leave the service and the U.S. economy creates more jobs, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Monday.