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.
(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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.