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Ireland votes in historic referendum on gay marriage

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 23:58

Ireland took to the polls on Friday to vote on whether same-sex marriage should be legal, in a referendum that has exposed sharp divisions between communities in this traditionally Catholic nation. "This burden and pressure that's been on (gay couples), living in the shadows -- that can be removed on Friday by voting 'Yes'," Kenny said.

Washington state police officer shoots two men accused of stealing beer

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 23:33
By Victoria Cavaliere SEATTLE (Reuters) - A police officer in the Washington state capital of Olympia shot and wounded two unarmed black men suspected of trying to steal beer from a supermarket on Thursday, law enforcement said, prompting protests in the city. The two brothers, aged 21 and 24, were hospitalized, one in critical condition with multiple gunshot wounds, Olympia Police Chief Ronnie Roberts told a news conference. Officer Ryan Donald, who had been with the Olympia Police Department for three years, told authorities the men had no weapons but attacked him with a skateboard, and that he had issued a verbal warning before opening fire.

Senate expected to act on NSA collection of phone records

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 23:28

WASHINGTON (AP) — The fate of the bulk collection of American phone records by the National Security Agency is now before the Senate, in what is increasingly looking like a game of legislative chicken.

FBI arrests two suspected Islamic State recruits in California: NBC News

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 22:43
(Reuters) - The FBI has arrested two men in southern California, one at Los Angeles International Airport, suspected of attempting to travel abroad to join Islamic State, NBC News reported on Thursday. NBC, which cited anonymous law enforcement officials, said the two men were unarmed and never posed any threat to the public. The other man was arrested in Orange County. FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller confirmed to Reuters that two men in those locations had been arrested following a joint terrorism task force investigation, but said further details could not be provided until charges were ...

South Korea court frees Korean Air "nut rage" executive

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 22:01

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A South Korean court Friday suspended the prison term of the former Korean Air executive whose onboard "nut rage" tantrum delayed a flight last year, immediately ending her incarceration.

Suspect arrested in D.C. quadruple murder

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 20:35

Daron Dylon Wint is accused in the slayings of a wealthy family and their housekeeper.

Washington quadruple slaying suspect apprehended

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 20:18
By Ian Simpson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The suspect in the killing of a Washington businessman and three others found in a torched mansion last week has been taken into custody, police said late on Thursday. Washington D.C. Metropolitan Police said just before midnight local time that the man, identified as 34-year-old Daron Dylon Wint, had been apprehended. The bodies of businessman Savvas Savopoulos, his wife, son and housekeeper were found inside the multimillion dollar house in a neighborhood near Vice President Joe Biden's official residence after a fire that police called "very suspicious." Earlier on Thursday, Police Chief Cathy Lanier said Wint was believed to be in Brooklyn.

Federal judge rules again that gay couples have right to wed in Alabama

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 19:50

(Reuters) - A federal judge on Thursday reaffirmed her earlier ruling that same-sex couples in Alabama have a right to wed under the Constitution, but she put the ruling on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court issues a landmark decision on gay marriage. U.S. District Judge Callie Granade in January overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage, in a ruling that went into effect the following month and led probate judges throughout much of the state to begin issuing licenses to the couples. In March, the Alabama Supreme Court ordered probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses.

Cleanup of oil-fouled California beach could take months

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 17:32

By Steve Gorman SANTA BARBARA (Reuters) - The U.S. Coast Guard captain overseeing cleanup of oil spilled from a pipeline rupture that closed two California state beaches and fouled offshore waters near Santa Barbara said on Thursday it may take months to restore the area to its natural condition. Up to 2,500 barrels (105,000 gallons) of crude petroleum, according to latest estimates, gushed onto San Refugio State Beach and into the Pacific about 20 miles (32 km) west of Santa Barbara on Tuesday when an underground pipeline that runs along the coastal highway burst. As much as a fifth of the amount was believed to have reached the ocean, leaving oil slicks that stretched for more than 9 miles (15 km) along the coast.

Claims of anti-Asian discrimination at Harvard reveal a long, complicated fight over affirmative action

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 15:16
Does one of the nation’s most prestigious universities really have a racially biased admissions process, or are the organizers behind such a claim merely pushing a larger, more controversial agenda?

Prosecutor: 6 officers indicted in death of Freddie Gray

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 14:19

The state attorney in Baltimore says all six officers charged in the police-custody death of Freddie Gray have been indicted by a grand jury.

Grand jury indicts Baltimore police in death of Freddie Gray

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 14:14

(Reuters) - A grand jury has brought charges against six Baltimore police officers in the death of Freddie Gray from injuries suffered while in police custody, Baltimore City State Attorney Marilyn Mosby told a news conference on Thursday. Gray's death on April 19 set off weeks of largely peaceful protests in Baltimore punctuated by a day of rioting and arson after his funeral on April 27, when rioters threw rocks at police and set buildings and cars on fire.

Exclusive: Iowa bird-flu farms fall short on containment measures

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 13:31

By Tom Polansek and P.J. Huffstutter IRETON, IOWA/CHICAGO (Reuters) - Measures to control the worst bird flu outbreak in U.S. history are not being enforced at several farms at its epicenter in northwestern Iowa, potentially increasing the risks that the disease could spread further, spot checks by Reuters show. In visits to six affected sites in Iowa last week, a Reuters reporter found procedures at three in Sioux County did not comply with USDA or state protocols for restricting access to infected sites, providing protective gear to workers and cleaning the wheels of vehicles leaving the sites.     Burke Healey, the USDA's national incident commander coordinating response to the bird flu, said he was concerned about the findings of lax biosecurity in Iowa after hearing about them from Reuters.

Boy Scouts president says ban on gay leaders needs to end

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 10:56

By Marice Richter DALLAS (Reuters) - Boy Scouts of America President Robert Gates said on Thursday the group's ban on adult gay leaders needs to end, taking a step toward dismantling a policy that has caused deep rifts in the 105-year-old organization. Gates said at a national meeting of the group in Atlanta he does not plan to revoke the charters of Boy Scout councils that allow gay leaders, according to a text of the speech, which could significantly weaken enforcement of the ban. The status quo in our movement’s membership standards cannot be sustained," said Gates, who as U.S. secretary of defense helped end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that barred openly gay individuals from serving in the military.

Man who flew gyrocopter to U.S. Capitol pleads not guilty

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 10:55

By Ian Simpson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Florida man who flew a gyrocopter onto the grounds of the U.S. Capitol pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges of aircraft violations and breaching some of the world's most restricted airspace. Douglas Hughes, a 61-year-old mail carrier from Ruskin, Florida, was indicted by a federal grand jury on Wednesday. The flight of the small, unauthorized aircraft was among the most high-profile of recent security lapses in the U.S. capital.

Robert Gates: Boy Scouts' ban on gay adult leaders not sustainable

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 08:36
The Boy Scouts of America will no longer seek to revoke the charters of chapters that accept gay adult leaders, the organization's president Robert Gates told its national leadership on Thursday.

Obama's trade agenda clears key Senate hurdle

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 08:03

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's trade agenda cleared a key Senate hurdle and advanced toward likely passage on Thursday despite the strong opposition of most Democrats.

Detroit prosecutors join criminal probe of Takata over air bags

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 06:44

Prosecutors in Detroit have joined the U.S. federal probe into Takata Corp's defective air bag inflators that are linked to at least six deaths globally. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan and the U.S. Department of Justice’s Criminal Division, Fraud Section in Washington "are jointly handling the criminal investigation into Takata," Gina Balaya, spokeswoman for the Detroit office, said on Thursday.

Domestic violence charges against former NFL player Ray Rice dismissed: ABC

Thu, 05/21/2015 - 05:59

(Reuters) - Domestic violence charges against former NFL running back Ray Rice were dismissed on Thursday, according to ABC. The move comes after Rice completed a pretrial intervention program, ABC reported. Rice, formerly of the Baltimore Ravens, had his $35 million contract terminated in September when a graphic video surfaced of him knocking out his then-finance in a New Jersey casino elevator. He filed a wrongful termination grievance after he was cut from the Ravens. (Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales; Editing by Bill Trott)