By Elizabeth Barber BOSTON (Reuters) - Jurors hearing the Boston Marathon bombing trial are barred from attending this year’s race, a federal judge told the panel on Tuesday as part of instructions ahead of the trial's sentencing phase. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 21, was convicted last week of planting two homemade bombs at the crowded finish line of the world famous marathon in 2013, killing three people and injuring 264 others. "Do not attend the Boston Marathon or any related events or gatherings," Judge George O’Toole told jurors in U.S. District Court in Boston, describing the sentencing phase as "sensitive." The famed race, which draws elite runners from around the world, takes place on the Patriots Day holiday in Massachusetts - commemorating the first battles of the American Revolution - and has taken on special significance for the city's residents since the 2013 bomb attack.
By Krista Hughes and Shelby Sebens WASHINGTON/PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - It is crunch time for President Barack Obama's push to finalize an ambitious Pacific free trade pact and anyone wondering why it is such a tough sell may want to talk to the people of Oregon. This West Coast state of 4 million people, which hosts major operations of global giants Nike Inc and Intel Corp, exemplifies the nation's ambiguity about free trade and shows the battle lines between its advocates and critics. With 44 percent of Oregon's exports already heading to the Trans Pacific Partnership countries and an estimated one in five jobs dependent on trade, local businesses are lobbying for the 12-nation pact that would stretch from Japan to Chile, covering 40 percent of the world economy. "We understand that it's a necessary thing, you have to have trade, you have to be able to put your products in other markets," says John Kleiboeker, 45, Boeing Co worker of 18 years and machinists' union president at the aircraft maker's Gresham factory east of Portland.
Nigeria's president-elect Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday cautioned he could not make promises on the return of 219 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram, as the country marked the first anniversary of their abduction. The comments by Buhari, who takes office on May 29, stand in contrast to outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan, who has repeatedly said the girls will be found, and the military, which said last year it knew where the teenagers were being held. Events were taking place in Nigeria and around the world to mark the first anniversary of the abduction, which Amnesty International said was one of 38 since the beginning of last year that had seen at least 2,000 women taken by the militants. Buhari said there was a need for "honesty" in his new government's approach to the girls' abduction, with nothing seen or heard from the students since last May when they appeared in a Boko Haram video.
By Jeffrey Dastin NEW YORK (Reuters) - JetBlue Airways Corp , the fifth biggest U.S. airline by passengers carried, consistently cancels flights sooner than rivals when storms pummel the U.S. Northeast, a tactic that may help its customers reach destinations more reliably, a Reuters analysis of flight data shows. Scrapping some flights hours ahead of a storm lets an airline re-allocate planes and crew earlier, meaning fewer flights and passengers canceled in total as a storm passes. Canceling early also spares travelers unnecessary trips to the airport and gives them more options to rebook, compared with cancellations that take place at the last minute. Early cancellations reduce requests for refunds, JetBlue's Chief Executive Officer Robin Hayes told Reuters. The Reuters analysis found that 41 percent of cancellations by the five biggest U.S. carriers this winter occurred 12 or more hours before scheduled departures.
By Robin Respaut and Lucas Iberico Lozada NEW YORK (Reuters) - By one estimate U.S. online political advertising could quadruple to nearly $1 billion in the 2016 election, creating huge opportunities for digital strategy firms eager to capitalize on a shift from traditional mediums like television. These firms - mostly small, partisan and based in Washington and surrounding suburbs - have grown in sophistication since the last presidential election in 2012. A niche sector in a multi-billion election industry, they are poised to play a much bigger role in 2016 as digital ads assume more importance and change the way political money is spent on advertising. A candidate's ability to micro-target likely voters with adverts on issues they care about is crucial in a modern American political campaign.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Retired physician Ben Carson, considered a potential Republican presidential contender, plans a major announcement on May 4 in Detroit, CNN reported on Monday, citing his spokeswoman. "He will make an announcement. But he's still very much in the exploratory phase, so he hasn't made a decision yet," the spokeswoman, Deana Bass, told the network. Carson, 63, who is popular with Tea Party conservatives, said in February he was considering a possible presidential announcement in May. ...
By Heide Brandes OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - Oklahoma prosecutors charged a sheriff's reserve deputy with second-degree manslaughter on Monday in the fatal shooting of a black man this month in Tulsa, the most recent in a series of U.S. cases that have raised questions about race relations and policing. Reserve deputy Robert Bates, 73 and white, fatally shot Eric Harris, 44, an African-American, on April 2. Bates thought he was using a Taser instead of his gun, the Tulsa Sheriff's office said of the incident seen in a video released over the weekend. Legal experts said second-degree manslaughter in Oklahoma can bring between two and four years in prison.
The conservative 43-year-old first-term lawmaker, son to poor immigrants from Cuba, presented the 2016 presidential election as "a generational choice" -- a clear jab at his more senior rivals, notably the newly-announced Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and his fellow Republican and potential adversary Jeb Bush.
A federal judge sentenced four former Blackwater security guards to lengthy prison terms on Monday in the 2007 massacre of 14 unarmed Iraqis, closing a chapter of the U.S. war in Iraq that tested relations between the two countries. Nicholas Slatten was sentenced to life in prison for his murder conviction in the killings at a Baghdad traffic circle. U.S. District Court Judge Royce Lamberth sentenced three other former Blackwater guards, convicted of manslaughter in the killings, to 30 years each. A heavily armed, four-truck Blackwater Worldwide convoy had been trying to clear a path for U.S. diplomats.