The mysterious case of Lauren Spierer has bewildered detectives in the charming college town of Bloomington, Ind., ever since June 2011, when the Indiana University sophomore disappeared after a night of partying. Nearly four years later, the death of another IU student and the interest of a former FBI investigator turned TV crime show host are breathing new life into the cold case.
By Ian Simpson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Tuesday awarded posthumous Medals of Honor to two soldiers from World War One, one an African American and the other a Jew, who arguably were denied the honor earlier because of discrimination. The medals, the United States' highest military honor for valor, went to Sergeant William Shemin of Bayonne, New Jersey, and Private Henry Johnson, of Albany, New York, 97 years after they saved comrades on French battlefields. "They both risked their own lives to save the lives of others," Obama said in the White House ceremony.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc said it would raise minimum wages for over 100,000 U.S. employees including some department managers and deli workers, its second wage hike this year. Wal-Mart, the largest private employer in the United States with 1.3 million U.S. workers, has been targeted by labor groups for its minimum wages. The company said in February that it would raise minimum wages for 500,000 U.S. employees.
By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas is set on Wednesday to execute Lester Bower, one of the longest-serving inmates on the state's death row who says he was wrongly convicted of killing four men in 1983 and has spent three decades trying to halt his capital punishment. Lawyers for Bower filed a last-minute appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court last week that faults the sentencing, seeking to prevent the execution by lethal injection scheduled for 6:00 p.m. local time on Wednesday at the state's death chamber in Huntsville. Lawyers for the state said Bower is guilty of fatally shooting the four men in a deal for a $4,000 ultra-light airplane that went bad and there is no compelling legal reason to further delay the execution.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate sped toward passage Tuesday of legislation to end the National Security Agency's collection of Americans' calling records while preserving other surveillance authorities. But House leaders warned their Senate counterparts not to proceed with planned changes to a House version.
By David Rohde NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency used a wider array of sexual abuse and other forms of torture than was disclosed in a Senate report last year, according to a Guantanamo Bay detainee turned government cooperating witness. Majid Khan said interrogators poured ice water on his genitals, twice videotaped him naked and repeatedly touched his "private parts" – none of which was described in the Senate report. Interrogators, some of whom smelled of alcohol, also threatened to beat him with a hammer, baseball bats, sticks and leather belts, Khan said.
Tour guide Zhang Hui "had 30 seconds to grab a life jacket," before the ship overturned in China's mighty Yangtze river during a storm Monday night, the Xinhua news agency reported Tuesday. The 43-year old and a colleague "grabbed everything they could reach and kept their heads above water" as the ship sank, Xinhua said. More than a dozen people have been been saved from the Dongfangzhixing, or "Eastern Star," which went down on the popular tourist route from the eastern city of Nanjing to the southwestern city of Chongqing, Xinhua said.
Indeed, while Bush has lost ground in the contest for the GOP nomination, Clinton does less well against him in a head-to-head matchup. The gap between them has closed from 12 points to three – 47-44 percent, Clinton-Bush, among registered voters, vs. 53-41 percent two months ago. Bush, at the same time, has even greater difficulties with personal favorability than Clinton, and a far weaker home base.
CHICAGO (AP) — The federal judge presiding over former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert's hush-money case donated money to the then-Illinois congressman, but has not said whether he'll recuse himself. That's one of a number of outstanding issues as Hastert prepares to appear in court for the first time at his arraignment on Thursday.
(Reuters) - Nestle USA said on Tuesday it would remove artificial flavors and reduce salt by 10 percent in its frozen pizza and snack products by the end of this year. The move will include more than 250 products sold under the Digiorno, Tombstone, California Pizza Kitchen, Jack's, Hot Pocket and Lean Pockets brands. Nestle USA said in February it would remove artificial flavors and certified colors from its chocolate products, such as Butterfinger and Baby Ruth bars, by the end of the year.
By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - A friend of the Boston Marathon bomber who admitted to obstructing the investigation into the deadly 2013 blast, one of the highest-visibility attacks on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001, is set to be sentenced on Tuesday. Kazakhstan national Dias Kadyrbayev was one of three friends to face federal charges for removing a backpack containing fireworks from bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's college dorm hours after the FBI released photos of the suspect and his older brother. Federal prosecutors are seeking a seven-year prison sentence for Kadyrbayev, who pleaded guilty in August after his roommate and fellow Kazakh exchange student Azamat Tazhayakov was convicted of obstruction of justice.
By Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Human error remains a strong focus of the inquiry into the Philadelphia Amtrak crash, but federal investigators are still digging for answers, aides said ahead of the first hearing in the U.S. Congress on last month's deadly accident. House Republican aides told reporters on Monday that investigators might suspect human error caused Amtrak Train 188 to hit speeds of 106 miles per hour (171 km per hour) in a zone with a 50-mph (80-kph) speed limit. Christopher Hart, chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board, is scheduled to testify to the House of Representatives' Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
By Deanna Dent PHOENIX (Reuters) - An Arizona mosque where hundreds gathered last week for an anti-Islam demonstration, with counter-protesters shouting "Go home, Nazis," was the site of a "love not hate" event on Monday to promote peace and inclusiveness, participants said. The Islamic Community Center of Phoenix said it was hosting a gathering that includes a multi-faith prayer service and speakers to "show that when one of us is mistreated, our community responds with a message of Love and Not Hate." "We ask that you bring a FLOWER as a symbol of love and care," the event organizers said on Facebook. "We are better together, and together we are strong." (https://www.facebook.com/events/1648234602075105) Monday's event, organized by more than 20 groups, comes four days after an anti-Muslim event held outside the mosque drew more than 200 protesters, some armed, who berated Islam and its Prophet Mohammed.] The rally was held at the mosque in part because two Texas gunmen who opened fire outside an anti-Muslim event in Texas last month had worshipped there, said rally organizer Jon Ritzheimer, an Iraq war veteran.
By Marti Maguire RALEIGH, N.C. (Reuters) - A measure that would allow some public officials in North Carolina to opt out of performing gay marriages moved closer to becoming law on Monday, when lawmakers voted to override Republican Governor Pat McCrory’s veto of the bill. The Republican-led state Senate reached the three-fifths majority needed to override McCrory’s veto in a 32-16 vote. The legislation now goes back to the Republican-controlled state House of Representatives, which passed it in February by a margin wide enough to override the veto.