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More than 15,000 buildings without power after Oklahoma tornadoes

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 10:29

By Heide Brandes OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - About 15,000 homes and businesses in Oklahoma and Arkansas were without power on Thursday after tornadoes touched down in the states a day earlier, leaving at least one person dead and scores of structures damaged. School were closed in parts of Oklahoma and clean up was under way from the twisters that hit near Tulsa, Oklahoma City and in northwest Arkansas. Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency in 25 counties. Another tornado was spotted in Moore, Oklahoma, where police said multiple buildings were damaged and vehicles overturned.

Trial of ex-NFL star Hernandez interrupted by bomb threat

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 09:10

By Daniel Lovering FALL RIVER, Massachusetts (Reuters) - A bomb scare forced the evacuation on Thursday of the Massachusetts courthouse where the murder trial of ex-NFL player Aaron Hernandez was underway. A court officer at the Bristol County Superior Court in Fall River ordered everyone in the courtroom to leave by the emergency stairwell just after midday because "someone called in a bomb threat." Dozens of people, including reporters, attorneys and court officers filed down the stairs and outside, where it was raining. Judge Susan Garsh told reporters jurors had been moved to a building across the street from the courthouse. Hernandez was placed in a secured prison van.

National Guardsman, cousin arrested for trying to join Islamic State

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 08:39

The FBI has arrested two men -- one of them a current member of the Illinois National Guard -- for allegedly trying to join ISIS, the brutal terrorist group wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq, authorities said. Army National Guard Specialist Hasan Edmonds, 22, was arrested at Chicago Midway International Airport as he was trying to fly to Egypt, according to authorities. His cousin, Jonas Edmonds, 29, was arrested at his home. Hasan Edmonds first came onto the FBI’s radar in late 2014 as he hatched a plan for Hasan Edmonds to join ISIS overseas while Jonas Edmonds launched an attack inside the United States, according to the Justice Department.

Germanwings tragedy: How post-9/11 safety measures factored into crash

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 08:21
After Sept. 11, many airline carriers strengthened cockpit doors and made it more difficult for anyone to get inside once the pilot activated the lock switch — which prevented the captain of Flight 4U 9525 from regaining control.

U.S. lawmaker to Homeland Security: 'clean up' Secret Service

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 07:51
A U.S. lawmaker on Thursday questioned Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson's choice of a veteran agent to lead the U.S. Secret Service and said the agency that protects the American president needs to be cleaned up. We all have the highest of regard and respect for the Secret Service. Rogers questioned the choice of Joseph Clancy, a 27-year veteran of the Secret Service, as its director, citing an independent panel's recommendation that the new director be picked from outside the agency, which it described as insular. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson stepped down in October after a Sept. 19 White House breach in which a man carrying a knife jumped the fence and ran into the executive mansion.

More than 15,000 structures without power after Oklahoma tornadoes

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 06:06

About 15,000 homes and businesses in Oklahoma and Arkansas were without power on Thursday after tornadoes touched down in the states a day earlier, leaving at least one person dead and scores of structures damaged. School were closed in parts of Oklahoma and clean up was underway from the twisters that hit Tulsa, Oklahoma City and northwest Arkansas. Another tornado was spotted in Moore, Oklahoma, where police said multiple buildings were damaged and vehicles overturned. The Oklahoma City suburb was hit by a tornado in 2013 that killed 24 and injured more than 300.

Icelandic whaling: Conservationists split over efficacy of Obama’s sanctions

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 04:07

The Icelandic Hvalur whaling company’s killing of endangered fin whales has been denounced by the United States and the European Union. Is it time for greater action?

'Distrust and Verify': How Obama will sell an Iran nuke deal

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 03:29

The White House is gearing up for an unprecedented campaign to sell a potential pact.

Case against accused Boston Marathon bomber moves towards conclusion

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 03:01

The jury hearing the trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on Thursday is due to hear more details about the deadly 2013 attack as prosecutors prepare to wrap up their case. Through 13 days of testimony at U.S. District Court in Boston, the jurors have heard witnesses ranging from people who lost limbs when the twin pressure-cooker bombs ripped through the crowd at the race's finish line to FBI agents who described finding fuses and metal BB pellets in the apartment where the defendant and his older brother lived. He is also accused of shooting dead a university police officer three days later as he and 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev prepared to flee the city. The two brothers took part in a heated gunfight with police in the Boston suburb of Watertown, Massachusetts, that ended when Dzhokhar roared off in a hijacked Mercedes SUV, running over his older brother.

Official: 1 pilot locked out of Alpine crash plane cockpit

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 02:21

PARIS (AP) — One of the pilots of the German airliner that crashed in the Alps was apparently locked out of the cockpit when the plane went down, an official with knowledge of black box audio recordings said Thursday.

Tornadoes hit Oklahoma, Arkansas; 1 dead, several injured

Thu, 03/26/2015 - 00:09

TULSA, Okla. (AP) — The first batch of severe weather in this year's tornado season has devastated an Oklahoma mobile home park, and storms across the area damaged buildings, tore off roofs and left debris strewn across roads. One person was killed and several were injured.

Bergdahl says he tried to escape Taliban captors a dozen times

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 21:50

U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl tried to escape his Taliban captors a dozen times in five years as a prisoner of war, once remaining free for nine days, but each time he was found and brutally beaten, he said in a statement released on Wednesday. The statement, Bergdahl's first account of his time as a Taliban prisoner, was released by his attorney, Eugene Fidell, after the Army charged Bergdahl with desertion and misbehavior in the face of the enemy in connection with his capture.

California police say 'no evidence' supporting claims of woman's abduction

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 20:56

By Daina Beth Solomon HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (Reuters) - Police in California said on Wednesday night there was "no evidence" supporting the reported story that a San Francisco Bay Area woman was kidnapped for ransom earlier this week before inexplicably reappearing alone and unharmed. "There is no evidence to support the claims that this was a stranger abduction or an abduction at all," the Vallejo Police Department said in a message on its Facebook page in regard to the case of 30-year-old Denise Huskins. On Wednesday, Huskins turned up in her coastal hometown of Huntington Beach, 35 miles south of Los Angeles, but the circumstances of her return, as well as her disappearance, remained murky, FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said. Huskins was reported by her boyfriend on Monday afternoon to have been forcibly abducted hours earlier from his home in the San Francisco Bay Area city of Vallejo, sparking an intense search by local law enforcement and the FBI, police said on Tuesday.

One person reported killed as tornadoes hit Oklahoma, Arkansas

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 17:53
A storm system produced at least three tornadoes in Arkansas and Oklahoma on Wednesday, reportedly killing one person and injuring others as the twisters downed power lines, damaged buildings and overturned vehicles, officials said. The Tulsa County, Oklahoma, Sheriff's Office said one person was killed and others injured as the storm moved through the town of Sand Springs, according to ABC News. Police in the Tulsa suburb of Sand Springs said mobile homes were tipped over, and the tornado left large parts of the area without power. The Sand Springs tornado heavily damaged a gymnastics studio that had about 60 people inside, according to local fire department officials.

Ex-U.S. war prisoner Bergdahl charged with desertion, misbehavior

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 17:24

By Kelly Twedell FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Reuters) - U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, a former Taliban prisoner in Afghanistan, was formally charged on Wednesday with desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, and could be sentenced to life in prison if convicted of the most serious count, the Army said. Bergdahl's attorney, Eugene Fidell of Yale Law School, said the Army had scheduled an Article 32 investigation hearing on April 22 to determine whether there was sufficient evidence to proceed with a court-martial. The Army said the investigation, similar to a civilian grand jury proceeding, would take place at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio.

Californians worry about water, favor legalizing pot and like Jerry Brown: poll

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 17:01

By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - Californians support Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, worry about water and increasingly favor legalizing marijuana, a new poll shows. About 55 percent of adults approve of the job Brown is doing, down from an all-time high of 61 percent in January, but still pretty good marks, according to the latest poll by the Public Policy Institute of California. Likely voters in the most populous U.S. state also tend to agree with Brown's position that the University of California should get more funding if it holds tuition flat, with 52 percent in favor.

Saudi Arabia begin airstrikes against Houthi rebels in Yemen

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 16:59

WASHINGTON (AP) — Saudi Arabia began airstrikes Wednesday against Houthi rebel positions in Yemen, vowing that the Sunni kingdom will do "anything necessary" to restore a deposed government that has been routed by the Iranian-backed group.

Pilot in German Airbus crash was locked out of cockpit: Report

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 15:49

One of the pilots on the German Airbus plane that crashed in the French Alps, killing everyone onboard, left the cockpit and was unable to return before the plane went down, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing evidence from a cockpit voice recorder. “The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door and there is no answer,” an unnamed investigator told the Times.

James O'Keefe video purportedly catches Cornell dean encouraging pro-IS groups

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 14:12

A video released this week by Project Veritas, O’Keefe’s nonprofit investigative organization, purports to expose Cornell as a welcoming environment for terrorist groups like IS and Hamas.

U.S. conducting airstrikes to help Iraq retake Tikrit

Wed, 03/25/2015 - 14:00

WASHINGTON (AP) — At Iraq's request, the U.S. began airstrikes in Tikrit on Wednesday in support of a stalled Iraqi ground offensive to retake the city from Islamic State fighters. The bombing marked a significant expansion of the U.S. military role in Iraq.