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Updated: 2 hours 17 min ago

Officials: 4 escape from Mississippi jail; 2 still at large

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 09:20

RAYMOND, Miss. (AP) — Four prisoners escaped from a Mississippi jail before a late-night bed check with help from inside and outside the facility, officials said, and two remained at large Tuesday.

Your questions on Iran nuke deal answered

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 08:49

Katie Couric and guests break down what the historic accord means for the U.S. and the world.

Colorado cinema massacre trial to hear closing arguments

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 07:01

By Keith Coffman CENTENNIAL, Colo. (Reuters) - Lawyers in the trial of Colorado movie massacre gunman James Holmes will make their closing arguments on Tuesday to jurors who must decide whether he is a calculating mass murderer or was legally insane when he killed 12 people. Prosecutors and the defense have been allotted two hours each to present their case by Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour, after testimony in the almost three-month-long capital trial ended last week. When the shooting stopped, 12 moviegoers lay dead and 70 were either wounded by gunfire or were injured fleeing the theater. Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Holmes if he is convicted.

Wal-Mart sued over denying health insurance to gay worker's wife

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 06:12

A Wal-Mart Stores Inc employee sued the retailer on Tuesday, saying its prior policy of denying health insurance benefits to the spouses of gay employees violated gender discrimination laws. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Boston, seeks nationwide class-action status. Wal-Mart, the largest private U.S. employer, began offering health insurance benefits to same-sex spouses last year, after the Supreme Court in 2013 struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act that denied federal benefits to married gay couples.

Harper Lee's town joyful, anxious over 'Mockingbird' sequel

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 04:37

MONROEVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Author Harper Lee's hometown of Monroeville buzzed with excitement for the Tuesday release of her novel "Go Set a Watchman," the sequel to the Pulitzer Prize-winning "To Kill a Mockingbird." The town has planned a full day of celebrations, including readings, walking tours and a mint julep cocktail hour outside the old courthouse.

Missouri to execute man who killed teenage girl and left body in cemetery

Tue, 07/14/2015 - 03:21

David Zink, 55, is scheduled to die by lethal injection after 6 p.m. CDT (1900 ET) at a state prison for the murder of Amanda Morton of Strafford, Missouri. Lawyers for Zink have filed a flurry of appeals seeking to halt the execution, including claims that Missouri officials will be violating federal law by using compounded pentobarbital in the execution. Zink is the named plaintiff in a lawsuit brought by a group of death row inmates in Missouri against state officials alleging its lethal-injection protocol is unconstitutional and creates a substantial risk of severe pain.

Formal nuclear deal has been reached with Iran

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 22:55

VIENNA (AP) — A landmark Iran nuclear agreement was reached Tuesday after clearing final obstacles, and a senior diplomat said it included a compromise between Washington and Tehran that would allow U.N. inspectors to press for visits to Iranian military sites as part of their monitoring duties.

Oregon governor signs paid sick leave, retirement legislation

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 19:57

Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed legislation on Monday mandating paid sick leave for nearly all workers and establishing a first-of-its kind state-run retirement program for private sector employees. Brown said the four bills, dubbed the "Fair Shot" agenda, will help working, low-income families by ensuring a living wage, retirement security and protection against racial profiling by police. With the passage of the bills, Oregon became the first state in the nation to automatically enroll residents in a defined-contribution plan if they are hired by an employer that does not already offer retirement benefits, according to the task force that designed the measure.

Can Scott Walker become a national winner?

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 17:19

The governor is looking to do what he does best, but in a brutal GOP primary: Survive and advance.

Only GOP woman running for president may not be in first debate

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 17:19

Carly Fiorina, the 60-year-old former Hewlett Packard CEO, will be watching the proceedings on TV like the rest of the nation.

New York City to pay $5.9 million to family of Eric Garner

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 17:10

Eric Garner's death, along with the fatal shooting of an unarmed 18-year-old black man in Ferguson, Missouri, last August by a white police officer, sparked protests around the country by people outraged over police treatment of African Americans. "No sum of money can make this family whole, but hopefully the Garner family can find some peace and finality from today's settlement," Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement. New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer said on Monday the settlement with Garner's family was "in the best interest of all parties," adding that the city did not admit liability.

Boy Scouts committee approves allowing gay adults as leaders

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 13:32
The Boy Scouts of America Executive Committee unanimously approved allowing gay adults to serve as leaders, officials said on Monday, in a major step toward dismantling a policy that has caused deep rifts in the 105-year-old organization. The group's National Executive Board will meet to ratify the resolution on July 27, the Boy Scouts said in a statement. "This resolution will allow chartered organizations to select adult leaders without regard to sexual orientation, continuing Scouting’s longstanding policy of chartered organizations selecting their leaders," it said.

Obama commutes sentences of 46 prisoners

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 10:20

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama commuted the sentences of 46 federal prisoners on Monday, a move he said is part of his commitment to reforming the U.S. criminal justice system.

The Koch brothers love Scott Walker — but not his tough-on-crime past

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 10:00

The activist brothers are impressed by Walker's anti-union stance, but one major area of disagreement remains.

Clinton pledges U.S. income equality, bashes Wall Street

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 07:16

By Luciana Lopez and Jonathan Allen NEW YORK (Reuters) - Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton put the fight for higher wages for everyday Americans at the heart of her economic agenda on Monday and talked tough against Wall Street in the first major policy speech of her White House bid. Clinton said the U.S. economy will only run at full steam when middle-class wages rise steadily along with executive salaries and company profits. With one eye on the growing support for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist who is also seeking the Democratic Party nomination, Clinton laid out a vision of economic equality.

Austin police officer placed on leave for fatally shooting suspect

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 05:09
An Austin, Texas, police officer has been placed on administrative leave after fatally shooting a suspect who was trying to flee and appeared to be reaching for a weapon, police said on Monday. "Officers instructed him to go and place his hands behind his back," said Austin Assistant Police Chief Brian Manley.

Iran talks hit final stage but deal remains elusive

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 03:52

VIENNA (AP) — Disputes over attempts to probe Tehran's alleged work on nuclear weapons unexpectedly persisted at Iran nuclear talks on Monday, diplomats said, threatening plans to wrap up a deal by midnight — the latest in a series of deadlines for the negotiations.

Obama remains the ‘Scrooge’ of pardons

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 03:40

What does it take to get a pardon from President Obama? It’s a question Sala Udin, a former Pittsburgh City Council member and onetime civil rights Freedom Rider, is asking a lot this summer, more than three years after he first asked a president he deeply admires to grant him a pardon for a 44-year-old federal firearms conviction.

Walker enters Republican race, needs to show appeal beyond Iowa

Mon, 07/13/2015 - 03:30

By Steve Holland MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - Scott Walker jumped into the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on Monday, needing to prove he has learned from early missteps and can appeal to voters beyond the conservatives who dominate the first nominating contest in Iowa. The Wisconsin governor, the 15th Republican to announce a presidential candidacy, has a resume that appeals to conservatives and has placed him among the top contenders for his party's nomination in poll after poll. Walker's advisers say he will portray himself as a "fighter who can win" at a campaign launch at 6:15 p.m. EDT in Waukesha, just outside of Milwaukee.