CHARLESTON/COLUMBIA, S.C. (Reuters) - South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley on Monday called on lawmakers to take down the Confederate battle flag at the state capitol grounds, a week after a white gunman allegedly shot dead nine black worshipers at a historic church. The flag that has flown at the State House grounds in Columbia for a half century became a fresh focus of criticism after the Charleston church massacre. Federal authorities are investigating the attack as a hate crime and an act of terrorism by accused gunman Dylann Roof, 21, who posed with the flag in photos posted online.
Six Baltimore police officers charged in the death of a black man will go on trial on Oct. 13 in a case that sparked rioting and protests, a spokeswoman for prosecutors said on Monday. The trial is set for Maryland's Circuit Court for Baltimore City, the spokeswoman for State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said. The officers have been charged in the April death of Freddie Gray, 25, who allegedly died from a spinal injury suffered in police custody.
A Florida man who flew a gyrocopter onto the U.S. Capitol grounds rejected a plea deal on Monday that would likely involve jail time, prosecutors said. Douglas Hughes, a 61-year-old mail carrier from Ruskin, Florida, appeared in federal court where he turned down a plea deal, according to a spokesman for Assistant U.S. Attorney Tejpal Chawla. Hughes told reporters outside the courthouse that he would not accept a plea deal that would involve several years of prison time, and called his illegal flight a “pure act of civil disobedience,” according to the Washington Post.
Air bag maker Takata Corp may have put profits before safety, a U.S. Senate committee said in a report released on Monday. The report by the committee on commerce, science and transportation was released the day before a Washington hearing on Takata's defective inflators, which are linked to more than 100 injuries and at least eight deaths globally because of air bags that deploy with too much force and spray metal shards at passengers. "Internal emails obtained by the committee suggest that Takata may have prioritized profit over safety by halting global safety audits for financial reasons," the committee said in its report.
Republican Presidential Candidates Say They Will Return or Donate Contributions From So-Called White Supremacist Leader
Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and former Sen. Rick Santorum said this morning they would return or donate thousands of dollars possibly linked to the head of the Council of Conservative Citizens, which the Southern Poverty Law Center calls a white supremacist group. The group was cited in a purported manifesto believed linked to the suspect in last week’s massacre at a church in Charleston, South Carolina. The head of that group, Earl Holt, appears to have made contributions to several Republican candidates for president over the past several years or their political action committees, including Cruz, of Texas, Paul, of Kentucky, and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, as well as former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, former Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota, and other prominent Republicans.
South Carolina should remove the Confederate battle flag from the state capitol grounds, religious and local elected leaders urged on Monday, after a white gunman last week allegedly shot dead nine black worshippers at a historic Charleston church. The demand for lawmakers to remove the rallying symbol of the pro-slavery South during the U.S. Civil War follows revelations that 21-year-old Dylann Roof, charged with Wednesday's attack on the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, had posted a racist manifesto on the Internet and posed with the flag. A group of black and white leaders called for a rally Tuesday at the State House in Columbia to bring their demand directly to lawmakers.
By Pete DeMola CADYVILLE, N.Y. (Reuters) - The 2-week-old search for two escaped murderers focused on a rural area about 20 miles away from the upstate New York prison they fled, authorities said on Monday, after evidence reportedly showed the pair had been inside a burglarized cabin. CNN, citing an unidentified law enforcement source, said the escapees' DNA was found on items in a cabin in Owls Head, New York. New York State Police said items from the cabin were being tested for DNA, but at a midday news conference, Major Charles Guess would not confirm the DNA of the two convicts had been found.
Both Israel and Palestinian militants may have committed war crimes during last year's Gaza war, a widely anticipated United Nations report said Monday, decrying the "unprecedented" devastation and human suffering. The Commission of Inquiry on the 2014 Gaza conflict announced it had gathered "substantial information" and "credible allegations" that both sides had committed war crimes during the conflict, which killed more than 2,140 Palestinians, most of them civilians, and 73 people on the Israeli side, mostly soldiers. "The extent of the devastation and human suffering in Gaza was unprecedented and will impact generations to come," said the chair of the commission, New York judge Mary McGowan Davis.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday left intact a court ruling that could prevent victims of Bernard Madoff's Ponzi scheme from recouping more than $4 billion from customers who withdrew money before the enterprise collapsed. The high court left in place a December 2014 ruling by the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which said federal bankruptcy law did not let the trustee Irving Picard recoup a variety of payments that Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC made to some customers more than two years before the firm collapsed on Dec. 11, 2008. The decision does not affect the $10.69 billion that Picard has recouped for former Madoff customers, who lost about $17.5 billion of principal.
U.S. President Barack Obama, in a podcast posted online on Monday, used the N word to emphasize his point that the United States has made progress in eliminating racism but there was still more work to do. Obama discussed race and gun control as part of the hour-long podcast interview, in the aftermath of the shooting deaths a week ago of nine black people at a church in South Carolina, allegedly by a 21-year-old white man with racist sentiments. "I always tell young people in particular: 'Do not say that nothing's changed when it comes to race in America unless you lived through being a black man in the 1950s or '60s or '70s,'" Obama told Mark Maron, host of the "WTF" podcast.