The Seattle City Council unanimously approved a "gun violence tax" on sellers of firearms and ammunition in August, directing proceeds toward violence prevention programs and research beginning in January 2016. A companion measure requires gun owners to report cases of lost and stolen firearms to police.
By Barbara Goldberg NEW YORK (Reuters) - A female Air Force officer who was one of the first openly gay U.S. service members to get married was identified on Tuesday as one of the six U.S. troops killed by a suicide bomber near Bagram air base in Afghanistan. Air Force Major Adrianna Vorderbruggen, who was commanding the security patrol targeted in Monday's attack, was the first openly gay U.S. servicewoman killed in action, the Daily Beast news website reported, citing a Department of Defense official. Vorderbruggen, 36, was assigned to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI), the main law enforcement branch of the Air Force.
(Reuters) - Real estate heir Robert Durst, charged in the 15-year-old murder of a longtime friend as a television show suggested he might have killed her, will return to California from Louisiana to face a homicide charge, prosecutors said on Tuesday. Durst, who also faces charges of illegal firearms possession in federal court in Louisiana, will be arraigned on a single murder charge in the 2000 killing of writer Susan Berman by Aug. 18, 2016 in Superior Court in Los Angeles, District Attorney Jackie Lacy said.
By Marice Richter FORT WORTH, Texas (Reuters) - The search for a Texas teen from a wealthy family, missing after apparently breaking a probation deal that kept him out of prison for killing four people, has been aided by publicity that could lead to his arrest, a sheriff leading the probe said on Tuesday. Ethan Couch, 18, convicted about two years ago in juvenile court for intoxication manslaughter, is being sought as a fugitive. At age 16, Couch was speeding and had a blood-alcohol level of nearly three times the legal limit when he lost control of his pickup truck and fatally struck a stranded motorist on the side of the road and three Good Samaritans who had stopped to help.
San Bernardino shooter Tashfeen Malik denied having any militant sympathies or intentions when she was asked in an application form for a U.S. visa two years ago, documents described to Reuters on Tuesday showed. Information in the documents could bolster complaints of critics in Congress who said flaws in the immigration system meant Malik was not thoroughly investigated, but the papers also showed that statements by Malik and her husband and fellow shooter Syed Rizwan Farook, did not raise any alarms among authorities that they were potential Islamic State militants. U.S.-born Farook said they first met in person and became engaged during the October 2013 Haj pilgrimage to Mecca with their respective families, according to other documents released by a congressman on Tuesday.
By Tom Polansek CHICAGO (Reuters) - Nearly a quarter of Americans who have heard of recent E. coli outbreaks at Chipotle Mexican Grill said they are eating less often at its restaurants, a new Reuters/Ipsos poll showed on Tuesday, while social media sentiment towards the chain hit a low. Consumers and investors are trying to understand whether Chipotle has solved its food problems and is a safe place to eat, and concerns have deepened since federal investigators on Monday said they were looking at what appeared to be a new Chipotle outbreak in late November. The company says it is rolling out a new food safety plan that will "eliminate or mitigate risk to a level as near zero as possible", although industry experts say Chipotle needs to give more details to show that its new plan will work.
By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - A man who lent the Boston Marathon bombers the gun they used to kill a police officer three days after the 2013 attack was sentenced to time served on Tuesday after pleading guilty to drug and firearms charges. U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf sentenced Stephen Silva, who was arrested in July 2014, to time served plus three years' supervised release for the charges that he pleaded guilty to last year. Silva was not accused of playing any role in the April 15, 2013, bombing at the Boston Marathon finish line, which killed three people and injured 264, but admitted having possessed a handgun with its serial number filed off.
Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl deferred entering a plea this morning against charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, after he allegedly deserted his unit in 2009 and was then held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan for five years. If Bergdahl is convicted of misbehavior before the enemy, he could face a life sentence, while the desertion charge carries a maximum five-year sentence. Bergdahl entered his request to be defended by civilian lawyer Eugene Fidell and military lawyer Capt. Frank Rosenblatt rather than the appointed detailed military defense counselor.
Some soldiers resented the military resources devoted to searching for Bergdahl, and Republicans criticized the Obama administration for the deal that freed him in a prisoner swap with the Taliban in 2014. Bergdahl is now stationed at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, near the hospital where he has been treated since his release from captivity.
An Oregon woman who killed one woman and injured at least 35 pedestrians when she plowed her car into crowds on a Las Vegas Strip sidewalk on Sunday evening was driving with her license suspended, authorities said on Monday. Lakeisha N. Holloway, 24, who was homeless and had been living in her sedan with her toddler, gave herself up to officers a short distance from the scene of the carnage. Surveillance video from the scene supports the police assertion that Holloway drove into pedestrians as "an intentional act," Lombardo said.
A federal magistrate on Monday denied bail to the man accused of providing the assault-style rifles used by a married couple to massacre 14 people in San Bernardino, California, in an attack inspired by Islamic State. Enrique Marquez, 24, who told authorities he had plotted attacks with Syed Rizwan Farook before their friendship waned, was shackled for his court appearance and visibly upset by the refusal to grant bail, frowning as he left the courtroom in chains. Marquez was arrested on Friday and charged with providing material support to terrorists for supplying Farook, 28, and his wife, Tashfeen Malik, 29, with the weapons for their Dec. 2 attack on a holiday party attended by Farook's co-workers.