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Updated: 38 min 17 sec ago

El Nino investment options range from pest control to ski resorts

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 21:13
By David Randall and Jo Winterbottom NEW YORK/CHICAGO (Reuters) - As the El Niño weather phenomenon makes the U.S. Northeast warmer, the Midwest drier, and the South and the West wetter this winter, Eric Marshall, portfolio manager of the $2 billion Hodges Small Cap fund, is not one of those people who just talks about the weather. "We are trying to pinpoint companies that should see something more than temporary disruptions that will only last one quarter," said Marshall, who runs the $2 billion Hodges Small Cap fund in Dallas. With the warm weather in the United States contributing to a selloff in oil that's pushed prices down to 2009 lows, El Niño's effects are rippling beyond traditional crops and mining interests to boost business for insect control companies, dine-at-home services and roofing specialists.

Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice faces disciplinary hearing over emails

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 19:45
A Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice accused of using state computers to exchange scores of sexually and racially offensive emails with other judges, prosecutors and lawyers over six years was ordered on Tuesday to face a disciplinary hearing. Justice J. Michael Eakin, 66, a Republican elected in 2001, could face a reprimand, suspension, or removal from the bench if found guilty, the state Judicial Conduct Board said in a statement. Eakin's lawyer, William Costopoulos, could not be reached for comment.

California shooters borrowed $28,000 before attack: source

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 16:38

By Mark Hosenball and Michael Erman WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - A married couple who killed 14 people in a California shooting rampage the FBI is investigating as an act of terrorism borrowed about $28,000 from an online lender, a sum deposited into their bank account about two weeks before the attack, sources said on Tuesday. Disclosure of the unsecured loan the husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, took out from San Francisco-based Prosper, a peer-to-peer lending service, offered a new glimpse into the money trail under scrutiny by investigators of last week's mass shooting. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has described Farook, the U.S.-born son of Pakistani immigrants, and his Pakistani-born wife, Tashfeen Malik, 29, as a couple "radicalized" by Islamic extremist ideology.

House tightens controls on visa-free travel to U.S.

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 13:54

WASHINGTON (AP) — Driven by the Paris terror attacks, the House voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to tighten controls on travel to the U.S. and require visas for anyone who's been in Iraq or Syria in the previous five years.

U.S. conducting 'serious review' of alleged Iran missile test

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 13:40

By Louis Charbonneau and Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United States is reviewing and seeking to confirm reports that Iran launched a ballistic missile last month in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said on Tuesday. "The U.S. is conducting a serious review of the reported incident," Power told reporters after a meeting of the Security Council on unrelated issues.

FBI looking into $28,000 deposit in California shooters' account: source

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 10:02

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Syed Rizwan Farook recently took out a $28,500 loan from an online lender, a source said on Tuesday, before he and his wife killed 14 of his co-workers at a holiday party in San Bernardino, California, last week. Authorities have said Farook, 28, and wife Tashfeen Malik, 29, were radicalized Muslims who committed an act of terror.

U.S. justices question Texas 'one person, one vote' challenge

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 08:44

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday appeared skeptical toward a conservative challenge to the method Texas uses to draw state legislative districts in a case that could diminish the clout of Hispanic voters and boost the power of rural, often Republican voters. The plaintiffs, Texans Sue Evenwel and Edward Pfenninger, contend that the current process for counting voters, based not on the number of eligible voters but rather on total population, violates the long-established legal principle of "one person, one vote" endorsed by the Supreme Court in the 1960s. At issue is whether state legislative districts should contain the same number of people or whether they instead should contain the same number of eligible voters.

Washington, Baghdad on different pages in fight against IS

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 08:14

BAGHDAD (AP) — A series of political spats in Baghdad over the past week surrounding foreign forces on Iraqi soil have exposed the increasing weakness of Iraq's prime minister and a disconnect between Washington and Baghdad in the fight against the Islamic State group.

Yale University instructor tied to race protests resigns: school

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 07:52
Yale was one of dozens of U.S. colleges and universities where students protested this fall about the legacies of racism on campus. The wave of demonstrations led to the resignation of the president of the University of Missouri and promises at Ivy League schools including Yale and Brown University to boost the resources they commit to promoting diversity.

Eagles of Death Metal members revisit Paris attack site

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 06:27

PARIS (AP) — Members of the California rock band Eagles of Death Metal on Tuesday revisited the ravaged Paris theater where they survived a massacre by Islamic extremist suicide bombers.

Prosecutors to rest in corruption trial of ex-N.Y. legislative leader

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 03:07

By Joseph Ax and Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - Federal prosecutors on Tuesday are expected to rest their case in the corruption trial of former New York state Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, the second high-profile lawmaker to stand trial in recent weeks for abusing his office. Skelos’ lawyer, Robert Gage, would not rule out calling his client to the stand to testify in his own defense. "With regard to Senator Skelos, we think that decision is properly made at the close of the government's case," Gage said in federal court in Manhattan on Monday.

Chicago police commander faces trial for putting gun in suspect's mouth

Tue, 12/08/2015 - 03:02
A Chicago police commander who had been praised for his crime fighting in some of the city's roughest neighborhoods will go on trial on Tuesday on charges that he put a gun in a suspect's mouth. Glenn Evans, who was relieved of his duties pending the outcome of his case, was charged last year with aggravated battery and official misconduct in the capture of a suspect on Jan. 30, 2013. Evans' trial comes a day after the U.S. Department of Justice said that it was conducting a civil rights investigation of the third-largest U.S. city's police department, including its use of force.

Pig's head thrown at Philadelphia mosque, mayor decries bigotry

Mon, 12/07/2015 - 23:29
Philadelphia Mayor-elect Jim Kenney decried what he called an act of bigotry. Surveillance video showed a red truck driving past the Al-Aqsa mosque in North Philadelphia and someone throwing an object out of the window on Sunday night, police said. A caretaker discovered the pig's head early Monday, police said.

Grappling with attacks, U.S. leaders ask Muslim Americans to fight back

Mon, 12/07/2015 - 22:02

Facing what President Barack Obama has called a new phase of terrorism, U.S. officials appealed to Muslim Americans on Monday to fight harder against extremist ideology.     The Obama administration has defended Muslim Americans after attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, and the inflammatory rhetoric that came in its wake, while a parallel message to Islamic communities is gaining urgency: please help.     As Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump suggested banning all Muslims from entering the country on Monday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson stood in solidarity with an imam and leaders of other faiths at a northern Virginia Islamic center.

The brothers Farook: one a decorated veteran, the other a killer

Mon, 12/07/2015 - 21:30

Syed Raheel Farook and his younger brother Syed Rizwan Farook grew up in the same house, attended the same high school two years apart and, as teenagers, often socialized in the same groups. In court filings, Rafia cited multiple instances of domestic abuse, asserting that her husband was "mentally ill" and threatened "to kill himself on a daily basis." During one violent incident, she said, her son came between them "to save me." Gasser Shehata, a friend of Rizwan's from a San Bernardino mosque, said that Rizwan talked to him in recent years about his religious issues with his dad while growing up, and how he came to side with his mother in their disputes.

Trump's Muslim ban proposal draws extraordinary rebukes

Mon, 12/07/2015 - 20:04

Even the hawkish Dick Cheney says the idea "goes against everything we believe in."

Foreign fighters in Syria more than double, posing threat as they return home

Mon, 12/07/2015 - 17:43

The number of fighters from Western Europe pouring into Syria has more than doubled since last year, swelling the ranks of the Islamic State and other extremist groups by more than 30,000 despite efforts by the U.S. and other Western countries to cut off the flow, according to a new report by an international security firm.