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Updated: 33 min 17 sec ago

Airlines prep for holiday crush: More flights, bigger planes

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 16:38

DALLAS (AP) — Airlines are shifting the timing of thousands of flights, even adding dozens of redeyes, as they try to avoid delays while hauling millions of passengers from now through the Christmas weekend.


Competency evaluation ordered for accused Planned Parenthood gunman

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 16:29

By Keith Coffman COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (Reuters) - The man accused of killing three people and wounding nine others in a Nov. 27 shooting rampage at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado was ordered on Wednesday to undergo a psychiatric evaluation after he insisted on acting as his own lawyer. Judge Gilbert Martinez ordered the examination to determine whether Robert Lewis Dear, 57, is fit to represent himself against charges of murder and other offenses. During the court hearing, Dear said he distrusted his lawyers and demanded to serve as his own attorney.


Black Lives Matter holds 'Black Xmas' protests in Minnesota, California

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 15:48

By David Bailey BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (Reuters) - Black Lives Matter held demonstrations in Minnesota and California on Wednesday to protest police killings of unarmed blacks, dubbing the day "Black Xmas" to show it could affect the economy on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. "Black communities across the United States are taking brave actions to impede the flow of goods and commerce with peaceful protests to call for an immediate overhaul of the justice system," Black Lives Matter said in a statement on Facebook. "Instead of buying gifts to fuel this system, Black Xmas is a day of action." The loosely organized movement grew out of protests over police killings of black men in Ferguson, Missouri, New York and other cities.


Black Lives Matter holds 'Black Xmas' protests in Minnesota, California

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 14:28

Black Lives Matter held demonstrations in Minnesota and California on Wednesday to protest police killings of unarmed blacks, dubbing the day "Black Xmas" to show it could affect the economy on one of the busiest shopping days of the year. "Black communities across the United States are taking brave actions to impede the flow of goods and commerce with peaceful protests to call for an immediate overhaul of the justice system," Black Lives Matter said in a statement posted on Facebook.


Competency evaluation ordered for accused Planned Parenthood gunman

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 14:28

The man accused of killing three people and wounding nine others in a Nov. 27 shooting rampage at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado was ordered on Wednesday to undergo a psychiatric evaluation after he insisted on acting as his own lawyer. Judge Gilbert Martinez ordered the evaluation to determine whether Robert Lewis Dear, 57, is fit to represent himself against murder and other charges. During the court hearing, Dear said he distrusted his lawyers and insisted on acting as his own attorney.


Planned Parenthood shooter to get mental evaluation

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 14:19

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A man who acknowledges killing three people in an attack on a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic defiantly told a judge Wednesday that he would not submit to a mental competency evaluation and wanted to fire his public defender and represent himself.


Carson suggests campaign shake-up is coming

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 13:38

UPPERCO, Md. (AP) — Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said Wednesday morning he is moving toward a major shake-up of his struggling campaign, with less than six weeks to go until early voting begins to select party nominees.


Rand Paul Ribs GOP Rivals in Annual 'Airing of Grievances' on Twitter

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 12:32

GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul (R-KY) continued his annual "airing of grievances" tradition today, in which he tweets lighthearted complaints about everything from wasteful government spending to alternate-side parking to people who mock his turtlenecks.But this year Paul had a new target: his rivals for the GOP nomination.The Festivus tradition grew out of an episode of Seinfeld. The Kentucky senator has made the gag his own in the last couple years, exploiting Twitter's town hall-like atmosphere and staccato pacing to rib fellow political figures. ...


US blocks UK Muslim family from boarding plane to Disneyland

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 12:05

LONDON (AP) — British Prime Minister David Cameron will look into claims that U.S. officials prevented a British Muslim family of 11 from flying to Disneyland for a planned holiday.


Truck driver indicted in crash that hurt comic Tracy Morgan

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 10:54

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey grand jury has indicted the truck driver who crashed into a limo van carrying Tracy Morgan, killing one man and severely injuring the comedian.


Driver who plowed into Las Vegas crowd due for first court appearance

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 02:08

By Alexia Shurmur LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - An Oregon woman accused of plowing her car into a crowd on the Las Vegas Strip, killing one person and injuring dozens, was due to make her first court appearance on Wednesday to face charges that include murder. Lakeisha Holloway, 24, who police said had her 3-year-old daughter with her in the car at the time, has been charged with one count of murder through use of a deadly weapon in the death of a 32-year-old Arizona woman who was among the pedestrians struck by the car. Holloway has been detained without bond since her arrest shortly after Sunday's incident, which happened near Planet Hollywood, where the Miss Universe beauty pageant was being held.


Kentucky governor orders clerks' names removed from marriage licenses

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 01:12

By Steve Bittenbender LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Reuters) - Kentucky's new governor on Tuesday ordered county clerks' names removed from state marriage license forms at the center of a controversy involving Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, who was jailed after refusing to issue licenses to gay couples. Governor Matt Bevin had said shortly after his election in November, as only the second Republican governor of Kentucky since 1971, that he would change the forms that had drawn objections from Davis and some other clerks. "To ensure that the sincerely held religious beliefs of all Kentuckians are honored, I took action to revise the clerk marriage license form," Bevin said in a statement.


Man pulled out alive from China mudslide after three days

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 00:09

By Paul Carsten SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) - A man was pulled out alive from rubble in a southern Chinese city on Wednesday, more than 60 hours after a waste heap collapsed and buried dozens of buildings in mud and construction debris, state media said. Tian Zeming, who was found at 3:30 a.m. (2.30 p.m. ET Tuesday), was in a coherent state but his legs had been crushed in Sunday's landslide at an industrial park in Shenzhen, a boomtown near Hong Kong. "He told the soldiers who rescued him, there is another survivor close by," state news agency Xinhua said, although it later reported rescuers had found another body rather than a survivor.


Judge upholds Seattle's 'gun violence' tax

Tue, 12/22/2015 - 19:32

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.


Identities revealed for all six U.S. troops killed in Afghanistan attack

Tue, 12/22/2015 - 19:07

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.


Real estate heir Robert Durst to be extradited to Los Angeles in writer's death

Tue, 12/22/2015 - 14:53

(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.


Media spotlight will help in catching Texas 'affluenza' teen: sheriff

Tue, 12/22/2015 - 14:33

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 killer denied militancy in U.S. entry papers

Tue, 12/22/2015 - 14:13

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.


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