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Boston marks somber second anniversary of deadly marathon bombing

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 23:03

By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - The city of Boston faces a somber day on Wednesday as it marks the second anniversary of the bombing attack on its marathon that killed three people and injured 264. Mayor Martin Walsh plans to mark the day with a low-key ceremony at the site where twin pressure-cooker bombs went off on April 15, 2013, ripping through a crowd of some of the thousands of spectators, volunteers and athletes at the Boston Marathon. The anniversary comes amid a break in the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was convicted last week of carrying out the bombing attack, before the same jury that found him guilty decides whether to sentence him to death or life in prison without possibility of parole. Tsarnaev, 21, was the younger of two brothers who carried out the attack and three days later shot dead a police officer as they prepared to flee the city.

Missouri executes man convicted of murder over child support

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 19:47

(Reuters) - Missouri on Tuesday executed a man convicted of attacking his former wife over child support payments and killing her friend, a prison spokesman said. Andre Cole, 52, was killed by lethal injection and pronounced dead at 10:24 p.m. at the state's death chamber in Bonne Terre, Missouri. He became the 12th inmate executed in the U.S. and the third in Missouri in 2015. (Reporting by Brendan O'Brien; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

Tennessee attorney general says Bible bill unconstitutional

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 17:53
By Tim Ghianni NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Reuters) - Tennessee's attorney general said on Tuesday a bill under consideration in the legislature to make the Bible the official state book would be an unconstitutional endorsement that the sacred text does not need. The bill would violate both the U.S. Constitution and Tennessee's state constitution, Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery III said. He said Tennessee's constitution states that "no preference shall ever be given, by law, to any religious establishment or mode of worship." Governor Bill Haslam, a Republican, also has opposed the measure, which was debated on the floor of the state House of Representatives on Tuesday. The bill has also drawn criticism from religious leaders and others who say it violates the separation of church and state under the U.S. Constitution and Tennessee's constitution.

Protests in U.S. cities against police violence prompt arrests

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 17:52

By Sebastien Malo NEW YORK (Reuters) - Protesters in several U.S. cities blocked highways and swarmed police precincts, leading to at least two dozen arrests in demonstrations touched off by fresh cases of police violence against unarmed black men. Marching across New York's Brooklyn Bridge, some 250 placard-bearing activists organized by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network protested the latest incidents of violent police tactics used against minorities. Police in Los Angeles said they arrested 15 protesters in a group of nearly 100 after they stopped on Metro Rail tracks and ignored orders to disperse. Elsewhere on the West Coast, more than 100 protesters in San Francisco surrounded a police station and disrupted a meeting at City Hall of the Board of Supervisors.

White House agrees to give Congress a say on Iran deal

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 15:35

President Obama bows to pressure from Republicans and his own party.

Protesters gather in New York to demonstrate against police violence

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 13:01

By Sebastien Malo NEW YORK (Reuters) - Protesters angered by fresh cases of police violence against unarmed black men in the United States gathered in New York on Tuesday, hoping to invigorate a national discussion on the thorny issue. Some 250 placard-bearing activists organized by the Stop Mass Incarceration Network rallied at Union Square in Manhattan to protest the latest incidents of violent police tactics used against minorities. Galvanizing their cause was the April 4 fatal shooting of Walter Scott, an unarmed black man shot in the back by a white police officer in North Charleston, South Carolina. "What this protest right here is about is that too many are being murdered," said Nicholas Heyward Sr., whose son Nicholas Heyward Jr. was shot dead at age 13 in public housing by a police officer 20 years ago while playing cops and robbers with a toy gun.

Obama to remove Cuba from state sponsor of terror list

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 12:37

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama will remove Cuba from the list of state sponsors of terrorism, the White House announced Tuesday, a key step in his bid to normalize relations between the two countries.

Durst pleads not guilty to federal gun charge in New Orleans

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 12:28

By Kathy Finn NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Real estate scion Robert Durst, who has been charged with murder in California, pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to a federal gun charge stemming from his arrest last month in New Orleans. Durst's lawyers have sought his extradition to Los Angeles County, where prosecutors want him in connection with the 2000 killing of a longtime friend, Susan Berman, in a case recently chronicled in the HBO documentary series "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst." But the federal charge and similar Louisiana state weapons charges mean that Durst, 72, is likely to remain in Louisiana for the foreseeable future. Appearing frail, Durst entered his not guilty plea before Judge Lance Africk in the Eastern District of Louisiana, who scheduled a hearing in the case on June 11, with a trial to begin on June 22. The final episode of the HBO series aired a day after his March 14 arrest at a New Orleans hotel, where authorities said he was staying under an assumed name with $42,000 in cash, a revolver, about five ounces of marijuana and a latex mask.

Live updates from Iowa: Hillary Clinton’s first presidential campaign event

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 10:14

Yahoo News is following the 2016 Democratic candidate as she holds her first official events in the key state.

Reserve deputy turns himself in to face manslaughter charge

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 09:23

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A 73-year-old Oklahoma volunteer sheriff's deputy who authorities said fatally shot a suspect after confusing his stun gun and handgun was booked into the county jail Tuesday on a manslaughter charge.

Former Atlanta educators sentenced to up to seven years in prison

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 09:02
By David Beasley ATLANTA (Reuters) - Eight former Atlanta public school educators were ordered on Tuesday to serve between one and seven years in prison, a stiff punishment for their convictions on racketeering charges in one of the nation's largest test-cheating scandals. Superior Court Judge Jerry Baxter gave three of the 11 educators found guilty by a jury this month 20-year sentences, ordering that seven years must be served in prison and the rest on probation. Two convicted educators avoided potentially harsher punishments by making sentencing agreements with prosecutors. One was ordered to serve six months of weekends in jail and five years of probation.

Deputy in fatal shooting in Oklahoma released on bond

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 08:37

By Heide Brandes OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - A white sheriff's reserve deputy charged in the fatal shooting in Oklahoma of a black suspect in a police sting operation has been released on bond after turning himself in to authorities, one of his lawyers said on Tuesday. The volunteer deputy, Robert Bates, thought he was using a Taser instead of his gun, the Tulsa Sheriff's office has said of the incident seen in a video released over the weekend. Oklahoma prosecutors on Monday charged Bates, 73, with second-degree manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Eric Harris, 44, on April 2. Bates turned himself in after an arrest warrant was filed, and plans to plead not guilty at his preliminary hearing, his lawyer Corbin Brewster said.

Boston bomb trial jurors barred from this year's marathon

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 06:01

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.

Matt Bai: Chris Christie bets on bold

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 04:11

hristie’s gambit on entitlements is about more than the policy. It’s also about reintroducing him to primary voters as the only guy out there who is willing to tell you, in blunt terms, what you need to hear about the realities of government.

Floyd Mayweather: ‘I’m a winner and I know how to win’

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 03:54

The world's highest-paid athlete talks to Katie Couric about the 'Fight of the Century.'

Suspect arrested in Florida for deadly shooting at North Carolina college

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 03:51
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Reuters) - The 20-year-old former student sought in the fatal shooting of an employee at a North Carolina community college was arrested on Tuesday after being found sleeping on a beach in Florida, police said. Kenneth Morgan Stancil III was carrying a knife when he was taken into custody and is being held at the jail in Daytona Beach, said police in Goldsboro, North Carolina. Stancil is accused of killing Wayne Community College print shop director Ron Lane not long after Lane arrived for work Monday morning. Goldsboro police Captain Dwayne Dean would not comment Tuesday morning on how Stancil ended up in Florida.

Battle for Oregon highlights Obama's free-trade challenge

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 01:58

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.

Man critical in hospital after arrest by Baltimore police

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 01:22
(Reuters) - A man was in critical condition in the hospital on Monday after being arrested by several Baltimore police officers in an incident that was at least partly captured on video, police officials said. Local broadcaster WJZ-TV said family members of the man, who the footage it published showed was black, had identified him as 27-year-old Freddie Gray. Use of force by U.S. police, particularly against minorities, has come under increased scrutiny following police killings of black men in Ferguson, Missouri, New York City and North Charleston, South Carolina that have sparked nationwide protests. "A number of officers made an arrest of a man who fled from them," Baltimore Police Deputy Commissioner Jerry Rodriguez told a news conference on Monday.

How Marco Rubio’s Cuban roots explain his campaign

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 01:11

Rubio’s views on both foreign and domestic policy—hawkish in the former instance and gentler in the latter—have been defined by his family’s roots in Cuba and his experiences coming of age in Miami’s exile community.

Nigeria marks first anniversary of Boko Haram schoolgirl kidnappings

Tue, 04/14/2015 - 00:47

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.