By Susan Cornwell and Caroline Humer WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday overwhelmingly approved a bill to permanently repair the formula for reimbursing Medicare physicians, marking a rare bipartisan achievement and sending the issue next to the Senate. The measure drafted and driven forward by Republican House Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi would fix a long-standing problem with how Medicare pays doctors. The Senate may not act until it returns from a two-week recess that starts this weekend. Democratic President Barack Obama praised the House passage and said he hoped the Senate would approve the measure too, because he wants to sign it.
By Heide Brandes OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - About 15,000 homes and businesses in Oklahoma and Arkansas were without power on Thursday after tornadoes touched down in the states a day earlier, leaving at least one person dead and scores of structures damaged. School were closed in parts of Oklahoma and clean up was under way from the twisters that hit near Tulsa, Oklahoma City and in northwest Arkansas. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency in 25 counties. Another tornado was spotted in Moore, Oklahoma, where police said multiple buildings were damaged and vehicles overturned.
By Daniel Lovering FALL RIVER, Massachusetts (Reuters) - A bomb scare forced the evacuation on Thursday of the Massachusetts courthouse where the murder trial of ex-NFL player Aaron Hernandez was underway. A court officer at the Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River ordered everyone in the courtroom to leave by the emergency stairwell just after midday because "someone called in a bomb threat." Dozens of people, including reporters, attorneys and court officers filed down the stairs and outside, where it was raining. Judge Susan Garsh told reporters jurors had been moved to a building across the street from the courthouse. Hernandez was placed in a secured prison van.
The FBI has arrested two men -- one of them a current member of the Illinois National Guard -- for allegedly trying to join ISIS, the brutal terrorist group wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq, authorities said. Army National Guard Specialist Hasan Edmonds, 22, was arrested at Chicago Midway International Airport as he was trying to fly to Egypt, according to authorities. His cousin, Jonas Edmonds, 29, was arrested at his home. Hasan Edmonds first came onto the FBI’s radar in late 2014 as he hatched a plan for Hasan Edmonds to join ISIS overseas while Jonas Edmonds launched an attack inside the United States, according to the Justice Department.
About 15,000 homes and businesses in Oklahoma and Arkansas were without power on Thursday after tornadoes touched down in the states a day earlier, leaving at least one person dead and scores of structures damaged. School were closed in parts of Oklahoma and clean up was underway from the twisters that hit Tulsa, Oklahoma City and northwest Arkansas. Another tornado was spotted in Moore, Oklahoma, where police said multiple buildings were damaged and vehicles overturned. The Oklahoma City suburb was hit by a tornado in 2013 that killed 24 and injured more than 300.
The jury hearing the trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Thursday is due to hear more details about the deadly 2013 attack as prosecutors prepare to wrap up their case. Through 13 days of testimony at U.S. District Court in Boston, the jurors have heard witnesses ranging from people who lost limbs when the twin pressure-cooker bombs ripped through the crowd at the race's finish line to FBI agents who described finding fuses and metal BB pellets in the apartment where the defendant and his older brother lived. He is also accused of shooting dead a university police officer three days later as he and 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev prepared to flee the city. The two brothers took part in a heated gunfight with police in the Boston suburb of Watertown, Massachusetts, that ended when Dzhokhar roared off in a hijacked Mercedes SUV, running over his older brother.
U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl tried to escape his Taliban captors a dozen times in five years as a prisoner of war, once remaining free for nine days, but each time he was found and brutally beaten, he said in a statement released on Wednesday. The statement, Bergdahl's first account of his time as a Taliban prisoner, was released by his attorney, Eugene Fidell, after the Army charged Bergdahl with desertion and misbehavior in the face of the enemy in connection with his capture.