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Capitol Visitor Center reopened, no fire found

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 06:42
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Capitol Visitor's Center was reopened on Tuesday after no fire was discovered following the sounding of a fire alarm, U.S. Capitol Police said.

Joyce Mitchell’s husband: ‘Do I still love her? Yes. Am I mad? Yes’

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 05:15

The husband of Joyce Mitchell, the New York prison worker accused of helping two convicted killers escape, says he knew nothing of his wife’s alleged role in the plot until he was able to speak with her after her arrest.

Former U.S. agent to plead guilty to bitcoin theft in Silk Road probe

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 05:12
Carl Force, a former U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent, has agreed to plead guilty on July 1 to charges of extortion, money laundering and obstruction of justice, according to papers filed on Monday in federal court in San Francisco. The deal came after prosecutors last week reached a plea agreement with Shaun Bridges, a former Secret Service agent who was charged along with Force in March with stealing bitcoins, the web-based digital currency, during the investigation.

Lawmakers' changing tone on flag follows 15 years of refusal

Tue, 06/23/2015 - 00:40

On Monday, Gov. Nikki Haley did what a previous GOP governor found to be political suicide.

'Titanic' composer dies in California plane crash: media

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 23:55

Hollywood composer James Horner, who scored the Oscar-winning film "Titanic" and its mega-hit theme song "My Heart Will Go On", died in a plane crash in southern California on Monday, U.S. media reported. The aircraft came down in the Los Padres National Forest, north of Los Angeles, triggering a fire that charred more than an acre of brush, local fire authorities said. Star actors from Russell Crowe to Kirstie Alley took to Twitter to pay tribute to Horner, after trade publications The Hollywood Reporter and Variety reported he had died in his private plane.

Tornado rips up homes near Chicago, disrupts power, traffic, injures several

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 22:04
(Reuters) - A tornado destroyed several homes near Chicago late on Monday, injuring some people and leaving others trapped, besides forcing the closure of a highway, weather and rescue officials said, in addition to snapping power links to thousands of homes. Emergency responders in the small town of Coal City, about 60 miles (100 km) south of Chicago, reported that homes were destroyed by the storm, said Joe Schroeder, director of the Grundy County Emergency Management Agency. At least three homes had been heavily damaged in Monday night's storm, Brittany Halliday, daughter of Coal City Mayor Terry Halliday, told a regional newspaper, the Herald-News.

Diddy released in arrest at UCLA, where son plays football

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 21:50

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hip-hop music mogul Diddy was released from jail late Monday night after an alleged assault with a weight-room kettlebell at the athletic facilities of UCLA, where his son is on the football team, police said.

JetBlue adds premium class to Boston flights on corporate demand

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 20:15

JetBlue Airways Corp on Tuesday said it will add its premium "Mint" class to transcontinental flights from Boston, the first new city for a service that JetBlue credits with helping it steal share from competitors. JetBlue will offer Mint service, the airline's answer to first and business class, on flights from Boston to San Francisco starting March 2016 and to Los Angeles starting in the fall of that year. The move reflects the budget airline's plan to roll out Mint to more cities since it entered the lucrative market for premium travel a year ago, starting with Mint between New York and the California hubs.

South Carolina governor calls for Confederate flag's removal

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 18:08

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.

Top lawmaker: Remove Confederate sign from Mississippi flag

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 17:02

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A top Mississippi lawmaker said Monday that the Confederate battle emblem is offensive and needs to be removed from the state flag.

Report: Walmart to halt sales of Confederate-flag related merchandise

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 16:12

Walmart will reportedly pull items displaying the Confederate flag, according to a report late Monday.

Baltimore police face October trial for Freddie Gray death

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 15:44

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.

Florida man who flew gyrocopter to U.S. Capitol rejects plea deal

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 13:14

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.

Haley: Remove Confederate flag

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 13:11

The S.C. governor joined those calling for the flag to be removed from state Capitol grounds.

Obama to give eulogy for slain Charleston pastor

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 13:11

President Barack Obama on Friday will deliver the eulogy for pastor and South Carolina state senator Clementa Pinckney, one of the nine victims of the mass shooting at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston last week.

Three men convicted in parachute jump from New York's 1 World Trade Center

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 12:52
Three men who jumped with parachutes from the top of One World Trade Center were convicted of criminal charges on Monday in their plunge from America's tallest building. A jury in state Supreme Court in Manhattan deliberated over the course of four days before reaching a verdict in the trial of James Brady, 33, Andrew Rossig, 34, and Marko Markovich, 28, who live in the New York City suburbs.

Senate committee: Takata may have put profits before safety

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 11:52

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

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 10:06

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.

Activists urge South Carolina capitol to take down rebel flag after massacre

Mon, 06/22/2015 - 09:30

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.