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Jeb Bush says he can't be 'just the brother of George W' in 2016

Wed, 02/04/2015 - 11:01

He has impressed many observers in public and private since jumping on to the national stage in December as a potential presidential candidate, but on Wednesday, Jeb Bush addressed how he plans to tackle what might be his biggest challenge

Missing 86-year-old Detroit lottery winner found dead: police

Wed, 02/04/2015 - 10:22
(Reuters) - An 86-year-old Detroit man whose family said he disappeared a day after winning $20,000 in the lottery in December was found stabbed to death in a vacant house, authorities said on Wednesday. Arthur Neal Jr., whose family said he went missing on Dec. 20, was found dead on Sunday afternoon, said Officer Nicole Kirkwood, a Detroit police spokeswoman. Family members told local media that Neal won $20,000 in the lottery on Dec. 19. A Michigan Lottery representative could not be reached immediately for comment.

Long-serving Obama senior aide Pfeiffer stepping down

Wed, 02/04/2015 - 09:53

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says one his longest-serving aides plans to step down next month.

New Jersey Governor Christie ducks media after vaccination comments

Wed, 02/04/2015 - 08:12

By Sam Wilkin LONDON (Reuters) - New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a possible 2016 presidential contender, canceled three scheduled media appearances in the UK on Tuesday, amid a controversy over his comments on measles vaccinations. His comments came a few hours after President Barack Obama said parents should have their children vaccinated, saying the science was "pretty indisputable." Christie canceled two question-and-answer sessions and a press statement he was due to make after meeting UK finance minister George Osborne. "We just decided we're not going to have availability today," said Maria Comella, Christie's head of communications, after the last scheduled appearance was canceled.

Investigation begins in fatal commuter train-SUV crash

Wed, 02/04/2015 - 08:08

VALHALLA, N.Y. (AP) — Federal investigators arrived at the site of a deadly commuter train crash Wednesday, looking for clues to how the train was functioning and why the SUV that triggered the fiery wreck was stopped on the tracks.

Ferguson police test less-than-lethal gun attachment; critics fear 'moral hazard'

Wed, 02/04/2015 - 08:01

Police officers in Ferguson, Mo., reportedly have expressed hope that a device called the Alternative will let them incapacitate suspects while not killing them.

September 11 conspirator Moussaoui says Saudi royals backed al Qaeda

Wed, 02/04/2015 - 07:20

By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former al Qaeda operative imprisoned for life for his role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has told lawyers for victims of the attacks that members of the Saudi royal family supported the Islamic militant group. Zacarias Moussaoui made the statements in testimony filed in Manhattan federal court on Tuesday by lawyers for attack victims who accuse Saudi Arabia in a suit of providing material support to al Qaeda. He said a list of donors from the late 1990s that he drafted during al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden's tenure included some "extremely famous" Saudi officials, including Prince Turki al-Faisal Al Saud, a former Saudi intelligence chief.

Sept. 11's '20th hijacker' makes stunning claim

Wed, 02/04/2015 - 05:38

Zacarias Moussaoui made a statement sharply refuted by the Saudi royal family.

Islamic State seeks to up 'terror' ante

Wed, 02/04/2015 - 05:36

Burning a Jordanian pilot alive was the group's most savage execution video yet.

Urban roller skating fights for survival as U.S. rinks close

Wed, 02/04/2015 - 03:30

The Rink and a handful of other decades-old skating venues put Chicago at the center of a vibrant African-American subculture of urban roller skate dancing that stretches from Atlanta to Detroit and from Los Angeles to New York. While mainstream roller skating has been on a long decline, a new generation of skaters including 28-year-old Josh Smith – whose skating handle is "Batman" – travel a circuit of rinks around the country to compete and show off their moves. At the end of a long night of skating in Chicago, at 1 a.m. he jumps in a car with skating buddies and heads to Alabama to compete at a national gathering known as a skate jam. Veteran Chicago skaters call themselves JB skaters - after remixed James Brown songs that are a local staple.

Boston's Super Bowl parade to draw hearty fans amid massive snow piles

Wed, 02/04/2015 - 03:06

By Tim McLaughlin BOSTON (Reuters) - Despite a pair of record-setting snowstorms, die-hard New England Patriots fans are expected to hit the streets of Boston on Wednesday to celebrate their team's Super Bowl victory with a downtown parade. The parade, held in World War Two-era amphibious trucks known as "duck boats," will go on amid snow drifts that are piled 6 feet (1.8 meter) high in places after Boston received more than 40 inches (1 meter) of accumulation over the past week. Mayor Marty Walsh had initially scheduled the parade for Tuesday, but he pushed it back until 11 a.m. Wednesday due to a heavy Monday snowfall. He warned parade-goers not to climb on snowbanks to try to get a closer look at players including star quarterback Tom Brady and Malcolm Butler, the rookie whose interception in the final seconds sealed Sunday's victory over the Seattle Seahawks.

Florida court asked to decide if gay sex constitutes 'intercourse'

Wed, 02/04/2015 - 01:07
By Bill Cotterell TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Reuters) - The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments on Wednesday on the definition of sexual intercourse in a test of a law requiring HIV-positive people to tell partners of their status. The case arose in Key West where Gary Debaun was charged in 2011 with falsely telling a man he did not have the virus before they engaged in sex acts. Monroe County Circuit Judge Wayne Miller dismissed the case, saying state law defined "sexual intercourse" as between men and women. The state appealed, arguing that the 1986 law Debaun violated, which requires HIV-infected people to inform their partners, was intended to cover all sex acts, both homosexual and heterosexual, even if it did not precisely define the nature of sexual intercourse.

Whitney Houston's daughter in medically induced coma: friend

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 21:26

By David Beasley ATLANTA (Reuters) - The daughter of the late pop star Whitney Houston and singer Bobby Brown was placed in a coma to stop brain swelling after she was found face down and unresponsive in a bathtub in her Georgia home on the weekend, family friend Kim Burrell told "Access Hollywood". Bobbi Kristina Brown, 21, was transported to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta on Tuesday after three days at North Fulton Hospital in Roswell, CNN reported, citing unnamed sources close to the family. Brown was discovered in the bathtub on Saturday by her partner, Nick Gordon, and a friend. "To correct earlier reports, Bobbi Kristina is not and has never been married to Nick Gordon," a statement issued by Bobby Brown's attorney, Christopher Brown, said.

Taiwanese plane with 53 passengers crashes in Taipei river

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 19:56

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A Taiwanese commercial flight with 53 passengers aboard clipped a bridge shortly after takeoff and crashed into a river in the island's capital of Taipei on Wednesday morning.

Commuter train smashes into SUV on tracks, killing 7 people

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 19:45
The packed train slammed into the SUV at a crossing and erupted into flames.

Jordan executes two Iraqi militants in response to pilot's murder

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 19:33

Jordan has executed by hanging a jailed Iraqi woman militant and an Iraqi al Qaeda operative.

House votes to repeal and eventually replace Obamacare

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 17:57

The U.S. House of Representatives added another notch to its lengthy record of Obamacare repeal votes on Tuesday by approving a measure that would scrap the healthcare law and direct oversight committees to come up with a replacement. Defying a White House veto threat, lawmakers voted 239-186 on a measure to eliminate the complex web of federal subsidies, insurance reforms, taxes and regulations that have extended health coverage to millions of Americans since the Affordable Care Act became law in 2010. The action now moves to the Senate, where Republican Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas conservative, introduced legislation for full repeal on Monday. The influential conservative group Heritage Action for America called the House vote "the beginning of a multi-month effort" to send a full repeal legislation to President Barack Obama's desk.

At least six dead as commuter train strikes car outside New York City

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 17:10

(Reuters) - At least six people died on Tuesday evening when a New York commuter train struck at least one car near the town of White Plains, sparking a fire, ABC News reported. The accident happened about 6:30 p.m. and involved a train heading out of New York City on the Harlem Line. Service was suspended on a segment of the line between North White Plains and Pleasantville, the Metro-North Railroad service said. Several news media showed images of a car on fire and smoke coming from train cars, and reported that passengers were evacuated from the train.

California man arraigned in threats to Muslim civil rights group

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 17:06
By Marty Graham SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - A San Diego-area man accused of placing a threatening phone call to one office of a Muslim civil rights group and sending a threatening message to another pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to hate crimes charges. San Diego police then traced the Jan. 15 phone call to Weissinger and went to his house, where they found an AR-15 assault-style rifle and a high-capacity ammunition magazine, Garcia said. Moreover, Garcia said, investigators found "slurs and writings of a racist nature” in Weissinger's home. Weissinger, 53, was later accused of using his iPhone to send a threatening message to the Washington, D.C., office of CAIR.

Imprisoned shoe bomber says attack on U.S. plane OK under Islamic law

Tue, 02/03/2015 - 13:56
More than 13 years after his failed attempt to blow up a passenger plane with explosives hidden in his shoes, Richard Reid told U.S. researchers he believes his actions were permissible under Islamic law, according to correspondence released on Tuesday. Reid, who is serving a life sentence in a federal prison in Colorado because of the attack, was foiled in his 2001 bid to blow up an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami when passengers and crew overpowered him as he tried to ignite explosives in his shoes. The attempted attack in December 2001 came as Americans were on heightened alert following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on U.S. targets, and prompted federal officials to institute stricter security rules for travelers requiring airline passengers to run their shoes through a screening device. "I do believe my actions to have been permissible in Islamic law, although I admit that many people would dispute that and disagree with me on that point," Reid wrote in one of a series of letters with researchers from the Virginia-based Justitia Institute who reached out to him last June.