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With rhythm and reverence, New Orleans marks 10 years since Katrina

Sat, 08/29/2015 - 03:28

New Orleans, a town renowned for staging big celebrations, faces a tricky challenge on Saturday, 10 years to the day from when Hurricane Katrina slammed into southeast Louisiana and triggered flooding that would leave 80 percent of the city under water. Thousands of people are expected to turn out as the city's trademark "second line" parades snake through the streets and New Orleans puts its famous musical traditions on display. "A celebration would not be the right gesture for those who will never be made whole," said Kristian Sonnier, an official at the New Orleans Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Obama heads north to Alaska, where drilling decision looms large

Sat, 08/29/2015 - 02:03

By Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Saturday defended his decision to allow Royal Dutch Shell to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean under what he said were rigorous standards, fending off criticism by environmental groups. The trip is part of a broad campaign to seal an international deal later this year to curb carbon emissions, something the White House hopes will cap Obama's legacy on climate during his time in office. While Obama pushes the world to wean itself from fossil fuels, his administration gave Shell the green light earlier this month to drill in the oil-rich Chukchi Sea.

Egypt sentences 3 Al-Jazeera reporters to 3 years in prison

Sat, 08/29/2015 - 01:35

CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian court on Saturday sentenced three Al-Jazeera English journalists to three years in prison, the latest twist in a long-running trial criticized worldwide by press freedom advocates and human rights activists.

Officials urge residents to stay prepared tropical storm

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 22:50

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Tropical Storm Erika may be getting weaker, but Florida officials still want residents to be prepared.

Tropical storm losing strength as it nears Florida, 20 dead in Dominica

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 21:26

By David Adams MIAMI (Reuters) - Tropical Storm Erika was soaking Haiti with heavy rain and strong winds on Friday as it swirled across the Caribbean but showed signs of losing steam as it headed toward south Florida, the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. Twenty people were confirmed dead on the island of Dominica, Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit said in an address carried on television and online late Friday. Erika was no longer forecast to make landfall in the United States as a hurricane due to some likely weakening over mountainous areas of Haiti and Cuba.

Houston sheriff's deputy fatally shot at gas station

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 20:47
A search was under way for the officer's killer, who was described as a male dressed in a white t-shirt, driving a red truck, the Harris County Sheriff's office said. The deputy was in uniform and filling up his car with gas when the gunman approached from behind and fired several shots, sheriff's office spokesman Deputy Thomas Gilliland told reporters. Live video from the scene in northwest Houston, about 20 miles from downtown, showed police tape across the perimeter of the gas station.

Los Angeles committee gives support to bid to host 2024 Olympics

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 18:46
By Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A committee of the Los Angeles City Council voted on Friday to support an effort to bring the 2024 Summer Olympics to Los Angeles, ahead of a deadline next month for U.S. Olympic organizers to decide on an American city to bid for the games. The U.S. Olympic Committee has turned to Los Angeles after dropping Boston in July, after that city's mayor said he would not expose taxpayers in the Massachusetts capital to assuming possible cost overruns. The full Los Angeles City Council is expected to vote on Tuesday on whether to pursue the Olympics after a council committee unanimously recommended moving forward on Friday.

TV gunman plotted to 'hurt a lot more': state governor

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 14:57

The embittered gunman who shot dead two young American journalists on live TV was seemingly hell-bent on committing more violence before he took his own life, Virginia's governor said Friday. Terry McAuliffe visited the studios of WDBJ television in Roanoke two days after Vester Flanagan killed reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, as they were conducting an interview. Flanagan, 41, a former WDBJ reporter fired in February 2013, fatally shot himself a few hours later after police caught up with his rented get-away car on a highway that leads into the city of Washington.

Oregon priest goes missing after hidden camera allegations

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 14:54
Authorities in the Philippines are searching for a Catholic priest from Oregon who went missing while facing criminal charges for allegedly hiding a camera in a church bathroom, officials with the Archdiocese of Portland said on Friday. Father Ysrael Bien is accused of personal invasion of privacy, tampering with physical evidence, and initiating a false police report, according to a search warrant issued last week by a Washington County Circuit Court judge. The camera, disguised as an electrical outlet, was found in late April near a toilet in the men's bathroom of the St. Francis Catholic Church in Sherwood, Oregon.

Cutting the cable cord, explained

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 12:12

Dozens of apps, subscription services and devices can help you ditch your cable company without facing any FOMO. Cable companies are scrambling to catch up by building better bundles and providing more options to their consumers.

Chicago school closure battle intensifies with hunger strike

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 11:58

A long-standing battle between activists and the City of Chicago over school closures in minority neighborhoods has intensified with a dozen protesters entering their twelfth day of a hunger strike on Friday over a shuttered high school. Camped out on the lawn in front of Dyett High School in South Chicago, the strikers vow to consume only liquids - such as juice and chicken broth - until the city agrees to reopen the school. The protest comes as the Chicago Public Schools, the third-largest school system in the country, cuts 1,400 jobs, seeks a $480 million bailout from the state of Illinois and struggles to beef up underfunded pensions.

A decade after Hurricane Katrina a new city rises, but not for all

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 11:44

“The city has changed and ultimately we needed to change,” says New Orleans native Brooke Boudreaux.

Former prep school student convicted of sex charges

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 10:32

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A graduate of an exclusive New England prep school was cleared of felony rape but convicted of lesser sex offenses Friday against a 15-year-old freshman girl in a case that exposed a campus tradition in which seniors competed to see how many younger students they could have sex with.

Former New Hampshire prep school student found not guilty of rape

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 10:21

By Ted Siefer CONCORD, N.H. (Reuters) - A former student of an elite New Hampshire prep school was found not guilty on Friday of raping a 15-year-old girl days before graduation last year in a case that has shone a harsh spotlight on the school's culture. Owen Labrie, 19, was found not guilty of three felony counts of raping a fellow student at St. Paul's School in Concord. Central to the trial was the "senior salute," a longstanding tradition among St. Paul's students that involved seniors inviting underclassmen to get together before graduation, often for sexual purposes.

U.S. court hands win to NSA over metadata collection challenge

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 07:58

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Friday threw out a judge's ruling that would have blocked the National Security Agency from collecting phone metadata under a controversial program that has raised privacy concerns. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit said there were not sufficient grounds for the preliminary injunction imposed by the lower court. The three-judge panel concluded that the case was not moot despite the change in the law and sent the case back to U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon for further proceedings.

Reporting Hurricane Katrina: How covering the story swept journalists into the drama

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 07:08
Journalists are observers. We are trained to help others by reporting stories, not by becoming part of them. Hurricane Katrina, however, tested those boundaries for many of us.

Virginia television journalists shot in heads, bodies: medical examiner

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 07:07

Reporter Alison Parker, 24, and cameraman Adam Ward, 27, of Roanoke CBS-affiliate WDBJ7 were slain during a live broadcast on Wednesday by disgruntled former employee Vester Flanagan. Flanagan later shot himself and died of his wounds.

Ashley Madison CEO steps down in wake of hacking

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 07:02

NEW YORK (AP) — The CEO of adultery website Ashley Madison is stepping down in the wake of the massive breach of the company's computer systems and outing of millions of its members.

Behind bright facade, Mississippi coast still battles Katrina demons

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 04:27

The columned facade of Pass Christian's city hall looks out over the Mississippi coastline to a refurbished harbor, a new yacht club and a bar where locals streamed in for sundown cocktails.     A few miles west, in the city of Bay St. Louis, tourists strolled through the colorful galleries, antique stores and cafes that dot its quaint main street.     Ten years ago this week, the eye of Hurricane Katrina ripped through these two small towns, which face each other across a small bay 60 miles (97 km) east of New Orleans.

Bush returns to New Orleans for 10th anniversary of Katrina

Fri, 08/28/2015 - 03:07

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Former President George W. Bush is returning Friday to New Orleans — the scene of one of his presidency's lowest points — to tout the region's recovery from the nation's costliest natural disaster on the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.