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Updated: 2 hours 12 min ago

Baltimore riot shows 'crisis' in community policing: Obama

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 09:09

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.

Iran diverts Marshall Islands cargo ship in Strait of Hormuz

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 09:03

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps ships intercepted a Marshall Islands-flagged commercial cargo vessel in the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday, forcing it “further into Iranian waters,” the Pentagon said. Multiple U.S. government sources said there were no Americans aboard the Maersk Tigris.

Supreme Court hearing historic same-sex marriage arguments

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 08:27

The debate over gay marriage in America is underway in the Supreme Court, and the cases could make same-sex marriage the law of the land.

Judge sets ex-NY Assembly Speaker Silver's corruption trial for Nov. 2

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 07:59

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.

Skeptical Supreme Court justices hear gay marriage case

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 07:09

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.

Boston bomber's lawyers to probe Tsarnaev's troubled history

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 03:05

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.

Closing arguments due in rape trial of former Goldman banker

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 03:01
By Edward Krudy NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York judge is set to hear closing arguments on Tuesday in the trial of a former Goldman Sachs banker accused of raping an Irish student on Long Island in the summer of 2013. Jason Lee, a former managing director, is accused of barging into a bathroom and raping the woman, who was 20 years old at the time, after a night of drinking at a popular night spot. He left Goldman Sachs soon thereafter. Lee's lawyer, Andrew Lankler, argued that the circumstances were consistent with consensual sex and said injuries on the woman were either old or may have been caused during consensual sex.

The speech that put Chuck Robb ahead of history on gay marriage

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 01:42

The moderate Virginia Democrat was an unlikely — and unsung — trailblazer for gay equality.

Helicopters ferry injured from Nepal villages near epicenter

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 00:42

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.

Tyson Foods plans to cut human antibiotics in U.S. chicken flocks by 2017

Tue, 04/28/2015 - 00:02
By P.J. Huffstutter CHICAGO (Reuters) - Tyson Foods Inc, the largest U.S. poultry producer, plans to eliminate the use of human antibiotics in its chicken flocks by September 2017 - one of the most aggressive timelines yet set by an American poultry company. The move marks the latest push by the livestock and food industries to reduce the use of antibiotics crucial to human health in meat production. Authorities are concerned that the routine feeding of antibiotics to animals could spur the creation of antibiotic resistant superbugs in humans, creating a health hazard. Tyson's move, announced on Tuesday morning, aims to help the company meet a deadline recently outlined by McDonald's Corp. to have its U.S. restaurants gradually stop buying chicken raised with human antibiotics over the next two years.

National Guard deployed as Baltimore burns

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 23:48

Riots erupt following the funeral of a black man who died in police custody.

Nevada's Attorney General charges Bitcoin-fueled poker website -newspaper

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 22:05
(Reuters) - Nevada's Attorney General has charged the operator of an online poker website that accepted Bitcoin for running it without a license, the Las Vegas Review-Journal newspaper reported on Monday. Bryan Micon's Seals with Clubs poker site was shut down in February, the newspaper reported, and an arrest warrant filed on Monday in Las Vegas Justice Court charged Micon with operating an unlicensed interactive gaming system. The newspaper said Attorney General Adam Laxalt had set a Tuesday news conference to announce details of the case.

U.S. Supreme Court set to hear pivotal gay marriage arguments

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 21:01
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The nine justices of the U.S. Supreme Court are set on Tuesday to hear arguments on whether the Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry, taking up a contentious social issue in what promises to be the year's most anticipated ruling. The decision, due by the end of June, will determine whether gay marriage will be legal nationwide. The arguments center on gay marriage bans in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee, four of the 13 states that currently prohibit it. All eyes will be on conservative Justice Anthony Kennedy, who may cast the deciding fifth vote on a court closely divided on gay rights.

Nurses union plans short strikes in California and Illinois

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 16:49
A union representing nurses in California and Illinois said on Monday 6,400 members planned to walk off their jobs later this week for a series of one- and two-day strikes amid contract negotiations. Issues in contention vary from location to location, but include salary, health benefits and nurse-to-patient staffing ratios, said Chuck Idelson, spokesman for the California Nurses Association. Unless progress is made in contract negotiations over the next two days, union nurses will walk out on Thursday and Friday at Kaiser Permanente's Los Angeles Medical Center, Idelson said. They also plan to strike for one day on Friday at two hospitals owned by Providence Health and Services, St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica and Little Company of Mary in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance.

Baltimore erupts in riots after funeral of man who died in police custody

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 16:19

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.

World 'closer than ever' to Iran nuclear deal, Kerry says

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 15:50

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.

New bird flu cases probable in Iowa, millions of birds affected

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 15:12
By P.J. Huffstutter CHICAGO (Reuters) - Initial tests have found five probable new cases of the rapidly spreading avian influenza on commercial poultry sites in Iowa, affecting more than 6 million birds, the state's agriculture department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Monday. In the avian influenza outbreak of 1983 to 1984 in the northeast, which was the largest in U.S. history, about 17 million birds were culled. "This is a big deal," Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said during a conference call on Monday. Or does this mean more birds as we go forward." Iowa state officials have quarantined the five farm sites, Northey said.

Clashes in Baltimore after funeral of man who died in custody

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 13:05

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.