President Obama condemned rioting in Baltimore, saying there was "no excuse" for the violence, but acknowledged a "slow-rolling crisis" in community policing, especially in treatment of African Americans. "We have seen too many instances of what appears to be police officers interacting with individuals -- primarily African American, often poor -- in ways that raise troubling questions," Obama told reporters at the White House. "I think there are police departments that have to do some soul-searching. Obama was reacting to the violence that erupted in Baltimore after the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African American man who died after suffering a spine injury while in police custody.
By Tom Brown NEW YORK (Reuters) - Embattled former New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, accused by prosecutors of taking millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks, will go to trial on Nov. 2 on a sweeping series of corruption charges. A federal judge in Manhattan set the trial date on Tuesday during a hearing in which Silver's lawyers said he pleaded not guilty to all charges in a revised indictment unveiled last week. After the hearing, one of Silver's lawyers, Steven Molo, accused the government of "withholding" evidence that could help his client, who was one of the most powerful politicians in New York until he was accused of taking bribes in January. The new indictment issued on Thursday by a Manhattan federal grand jury added four new counts to three earlier ones facing the Democratic politician.
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Supreme Court heard arguments on Tuesday on whether the Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry, with a majority of the nine justices firing skeptical questions at a lawyer asking them to legalize gay marriage nationwide. Five justices including a possible swing vote, Justice Anthony Kennedy, and a member of the court's liberal wing, Justice Stephen Breyer, asked lawyer Mary Bonauto why the high court should change a definition of marriage that has existed for millennia, rather than allowing American voters to decide. The oral arguments, scheduled for 2-1/2 hours, continued and were expected to end about 12:30 p.m.. A lively crowd estimated at more than 1,000 people, with those favoring legalized gay marriage outnumbering those opposed, gathered outside the white marble courthouse as the justices heard arguments in the case, known as Obergefell v. Hodges.
Lawyers for convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Tuesday are set to probe his troubled family history as they make their plea for a jury to sentence him to life in prison rather than death. The 21-year-old ethnic Chechen was convicted earlier this month of killing three people and injuring 264 in the April 15, 2013, bombing, as well as shooting dead a police officer three days later alongside his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev. Defense attorneys opened their case on Monday by arguing that 26-year-old Tamerlan, who died following a gunfight with police hours after the police officer's shooting, was the driving force behind the attack and that his younger brother had been raised to follow his lead. During the first day of defense witness testimony, the jury heard from people who had seen Tamerlan's outbursts at a mosque near his Cambridge, Massachusetts, home and from his mother-in-law, who described his growing obsession with religion.
GORKHA, Nepal (AP) — Helicopters crisscrossed the skies above the high mountains of Gorkha district on Tuesday near the epicenter of the weekend earthquake in Nepal, ferrying the injured to clinics, and taking emergency supplies back to remote villages devastated by the disaster that killed more than 4,400 people across the region.
By Ian Simpson BALTIMORE (Reuters) - Hundreds of rioters looted businesses and set buildings on fire in Baltimore on Monday in widespread violence that injured at least 15 police officers following the funeral of a 25-year-old black man who died after he was injured in police custody. The disturbances broke out just a few blocks from the funeral of Freddie Gray and then spread through parts of Baltimore in the most violent U.S. demonstrations since looting in Ferguson, Missouri, last year. Maryland Governor Larry Hogan declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard as firefighters battled blazes set by looters. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake called the rioters "thugs" and instituted a citywide curfew for all adults and minors beginning Tuesday night.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The world is "closer than ever" to reaching a comprehensive nuclear deal with Iran but the work is far from over, with key issues unresolved, Secretary of State John Kerry on Monday told a global gathering on nuclear disarmament, where he and Iran's foreign minister met on the sidelines.
Violent street clashes erupted in Baltimore on Monday after friends and family gathered for the funeral of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man whose death in custody triggered a fresh wave of protests over US police tactics. They have broken bones, one is unresponsive," Baltimore police captain Eric Kowalczyk told reporters. Earlier in the day, thousands of people arrived at the New Shiloh Baptist church to pay final respects to Gray, who died on April 19 of severe spinal injuries, a week after his arrest in Baltimore, north of Washington.