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Updated: 2 hours 27 min ago

John Whitehead, former leader of Goldman Sachs, has died

Sat, 02/07/2015 - 08:23

John Whitehead, former senior partner and co-chairman of Goldman Sachs who helped make it a top-tier Wall Street firm and led its international expansion, has died, the investment bank said on Saturday. "We grieve the loss of John Whitehead and honor his achievements and contributions in service to his country and Goldman Sachs," Goldman chief executive Lloyd Blankfein said in a statement.

New York man sentenced to 30 years in Home Depot bomb plot

Sat, 02/07/2015 - 08:22
A former Home Depot employee was sentenced to more than 30 years in federal prison for threatening to set off pipe bombs in some of the chain's suburban New York stores in an attempt to extort money from the retailer, his trial attorney said on Saturday. Daniel Sheehan, 52, of Deer Park, New York was convicted in 2013 of threatening to explode the bombs on the day after Thanksgiving Day the previous year, according to his trial attorney Leonard Lato. Prosecutors said Sheehan tried to extort $2 million from The Home Depot by planting a pipe bomb in its Huntington, New York store and threatening to plant three more in other stores, forcing them to close, if the money was not paid. U.S. District Judge Denis Hurley in Central Islip, New York sentenced Sheehan to 30 years and one month in prison on Friday, Lato said.

At least 34 killed in three bombings in Baghdad

Sat, 02/07/2015 - 07:26

At least 34 people were killed in three bombings around Baghdad on Saturday, police said, hours before the government was due to lift a long-standing night-time curfew on the capital. In the first attack, a suicide bomber detonated his explosive belt inside a restaurant in the Shi'ite neighborhood of New Baghdad, leaving 22 dead, police told Reuters. In a third attack, a bomb killed two and wounded another seven in the Shi'ite section of Abu Sheir in Baghdad's Dura neighborhood, police said. The Iraqi government announced on Thursday that the decade-old curfew in the capital would end on Saturday at midnight and that four neighborhoods would be "demilitarized".

Powerball players eye jackpot estimated at $380 million

Sat, 02/07/2015 - 04:42
One of the richest Powerball jackpots ever offered is up for grabs on Saturday, with the multi-state lottery's grand prize reaching an estimated $380 million after the previous drawing failed to produce a winner. Powerball jackpots start at $40 million and grow until at least one player comes up with the winning number at a drawing. The jackpot winners receive either payments over 29 years or a smaller cash lump sum. The cash option for the jackpot was about $257 million.

Divers retrieve more AirAsia bodies, raising total to 100

Sat, 02/07/2015 - 04:20

Indonesian divers have recovered several more bodies from December's AirAsia crash, including one from the jet's cockpit, bringing the total number of victims retrieved to 100, an official said Saturday.

Merkel: Uncertain if Ukraine peace talks will succeed

Sat, 02/07/2015 - 01:57

MUNICH (AP) — German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Saturday it's uncertain whether a flurry of diplomacy aimed at resolving the crisis in Ukraine will succeed, and warned that there are no guarantees that any deal would stick.

Islamic State hostage's family hopeful she's still alive

Sat, 02/07/2015 - 01:09

Parents of aid worker Kayla Jean Mueller, who Islamic State extremists say has been killed in an airstrike, express their concern.

Can Greece's new government keep its promises?

Sat, 02/07/2015 - 00:43

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's new prime minister came to power two weeks ago riding a wave of hope for change. But his pledge to rewrite the bailout agreement that has kept the country afloat for nearly five years doesn't depend on him alone.

Anthem: Hackers tried to breach system as early as Dec. 10

Fri, 02/06/2015 - 17:27

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The hackers who stole millions of health insurance records from Anthem Inc. commandeered the credentials of five different employees while seeking to penetrate the company's computer network — and they may have been inside the system since December.

NBC launches internal probe on Brian Williams claims

Fri, 02/06/2015 - 17:18

NEW YORK (AP) — NBC News has assigned the head of its own investigative unit to look into statements that anchor Brian Williams made about his reporting in Iraq a dozen years ago, an episode that's ballooned into a full-blown credibility crisis for the network.

Department of Justice charges six with supporting Islamic State

Fri, 02/06/2015 - 17:12

Six people have been charged with providing money and equipment including U.S. military uniforms to support groups such as al Qaeda, Nusra Front and Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, the U.S. Justice Department said on Friday. The six are Bosnian natives living in Missouri, Illinois and New York. Five of them were arrested in the United States and charged with conspiring to provide material support and resources to terrorists. Members of the group conspired to provide money and equipment - including U.S. military uniforms, combat boots, tactical gear, military surplus goods and firearms accessories - to be used to commit crimes outside the United States, according to the indictment released by Justice.

Study: Medical marijuana may do more harm than good for kids

Fri, 02/06/2015 - 16:08

A new report quells suggestions that medical marijuana could ease behavioral disorders.

Heroics of engineer recounted after deadly New York train crash

Fri, 02/06/2015 - 15:47

By Sebastien Malo TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (Reuters) - The engineer of a New York commuter train that plowed into a vehicle this week at a suburban rail crossing picked up an injured passenger and carried him off the train as it became engulfed in flames, federal investigators said on Friday. The heroics of Metro-North engineer Steven Smalls Jr., 33, a married father of two, were described at a news conference held by the National Transportation Safety Board three days after the deadliest rail accident in the New York area in more than three decades. Six people died on Tuesday evening after the rush-hour train, traveling from New York's Grand Central Terminal, struck a Mercedes sports utility vehicle that became stuck on the wrong side of a crossing gate in the Westchester suburb of Tarrytown. After exiting the engineer's compartment moments after the crash, Smalls helped five or six passengers escape the first train carriage and then noticed a passenger who was unable to walk crawling toward the door, said NTSB member Robert Sumwalt.

New York train was moving at 49 miles per hour when it hit SUV: NTSB

Fri, 02/06/2015 - 14:34

A New York commuter train was traveling at 49 miles per hour when it struck an SUV at a suburban rail crossing in a fatal collision on Tuesday, a federal safety official said on Friday. The train struck the SUV four seconds after its engineer engaged its emergency brake, said Robert Sumwalt, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board which is investigating the crash, at a news conference. Five passengers and the SUV driver were killed when the Metro-North train slammed into the vehicle in suburban Valhalla, New York, during the evening rush hour.

Former Florida professor deported from U.S. over Palestinian terrorist ties

Fri, 02/06/2015 - 14:15
By Letitia Stein TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) - A former Florida university professor was deported this week, ending years of legal battles over accusations that he aided a Palestinian terrorist organization. Sami Al-Arian left on Wednesday night on a commercial flight out of Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said in a statement. He was headed to Turkey, according to a blog post by his criminal attorney, Jonathan Turley. The case against Al-Arian, formerly a computer science professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa, received international attention as a test of U.S. government's powers under the Patriot Act.

U.S. economy creates 1 million jobs in 3 months

Fri, 02/06/2015 - 13:15

The Labor Department's January employment report released Friday also showed a modest gain in wages, and while the unemployment rate edged up to 5.7 percent from 5.6 percent, analysts said that related more to a jump in returnees to the labor force -- a positive sign. With the economy marking the 11th straight month of 200,000-plus jobs added, "This was another incredibly strong employment report for the US," said Harm Bandholz of UniCredit. Most economists said the fresh data showed real signs of the economy gaining traction after a bumpy 2014 during which it grew a modest 2.4 percent.

No evidence 'at this time' to confirm Islamic State claim

Fri, 02/06/2015 - 11:13

The U.S. says it can't confirm an ISIS claim that a female American hostage was killed.

Jordan airstrike possibly killed female U.S. hostage

Fri, 02/06/2015 - 11:10

A statement purportedly from the Islamic State made the startling claim.

In Boston Marathon bombing case, jury selection is an ongoing struggle

Fri, 02/06/2015 - 11:03

In the slow process of trying to seat a jury impartial enough to fairly judge Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the Boston Marathon bombing case, the defense attorneys have argued that their client can’t get a fair trial in Boston — though their motions to move the case out of the city have been repeatedly denied.

Professor among two dead in University of South Carolina shooting

Fri, 02/06/2015 - 10:53
By Harriet McLeod CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) - A University of South Carolina professor died of multiple gunshot wounds to his upper body after being shot in an apparent murder-suicide in a campus building in downtown Columbia, a coroner said on Friday. Dr. Raja Fayad, 45, appeared to be the victim in Thursday's incident, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said. He was shot with a semi-automatic handgun, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division spokesman Thom Berry told Reuters. Fayad was an associate professor of applied physiology who served as graduate director at the university's Arnold School of Public Health.