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Updated: 43 min 19 sec ago

Accused Boston Marathon bomber's Hail Mary to change trial venue

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 00:07

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's attorneys argue that an impartial jury can't be found in Boston.

7 infected, 2 dead after 'superbug' outbreak at hospital

Thu, 02/19/2015 - 00:05

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Contaminated medical instruments are to blame for infecting seven patients — including two who died — with an antibiotic-resistant and potentially deadly "superbug" at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, hospital officials said. A total of 179 patients may be infected.

Member of rapper Nicki Minaj's tour crew killed in Philadelphia stabbing

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 23:28
(Reuters) - A member of rapper Nicki Minaj's touring crew was killed and another seriously injured in a stabbing outside a bar in Philadelphia on Wednesday, police and the musician said. The victims, 29-year-old Devon Pickett and an unidentified 27-year-old man, were stabbed numerous times outside the Che' Bar and Grill in the early hours of Wednesday after an argument, the Philadelphia Police Department said. Minaj's tour is due to launch in Europe in March, according to her website.

UCLA says more than 100 may have encountered 'superbug'

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 21:29

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A potentially deadly "superbug" resistant to antibiotics infected seven patients, including two who died, and nearly 200 others were exposed at a Southern California hospital through contaminated medical instruments, UCLA reported Wednesday.

Washington state protests spread over police shooting of Mexican man

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 20:27
By Victoria Cavaliere SEATTLE (Reuters) - Protests over the fatal police shooting of an unarmed Mexican immigrant in southeastern Washington spread to the state's largest city, Seattle, on Wednesday, with demonstrators renewing calls for change in policing tactics in the United States. About two dozen people attended the rally in downtown Seattle, some 200 miles (320 km) northwest of the largely agricultural city of Pasco, where Antonio Zambrano-Montes was killed on Feb. 10. Demonstrators said during Wednesday's rally in Seattle the shooting was the latest example of police use of excessive force in minority communities in the United States. Zambrano-Montes, a 35-year-old orchard worker from Mexico's Michoacan state, was unarmed when he was shot dead by three officers at whom he had thrown rocks before fleeing in an incident captured on video, law enforcement officials said.

Memorial in Kayla Mueller's hometown honors her life, work

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 19:38

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — Candles lit up the plaza of a central Arizona courthouse Wednesday as hundreds gathered to honor the American woman pictured before them who was taken hostage by Islamic State militants.

U.S. preparing to sue Ferguson police over charges of racial bias: CNN

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 17:25

The U.S. Department of Justice is preparing to sue the Ferguson, Missouri, police department over allegations of racially discriminatory practices unless the police force agrees to make changes, CNN reported on Wednesday. The network, citing sources, said the Justice Department would not charge the white Ferguson police officer involved in the fatal shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown last August but was expected to outline allegations of discriminatory Ferguson police tactics. The department would file suit if Ferguson police did not agree to review and change those tactics, CNN reported. The shooting of Brown last August by officer Darren Wilson led to months of sometimes violent protests in Ferguson and galvanized critics of the treatment by police and the U.S. criminal justice system of blacks and other minority groups.

California confirms 119 cases of measles in state

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 16:54

By Dan Whitcomb and Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Public health officials said on Wednesday that six more cases of measles had been confirmed in California, bringing to 119 the total number of people infected by a strain of the virus that has also been linked to a large outbreak in the Philippines. More than 150 people across the United States have been diagnosed with measles, many of them linked to the wave of illness that authorities believe began when an infected person from out of the country visited Disneyland in late December. California Department of Public Health researchers, in a report to federal officials released on Friday, said that specimens from 30 of the state's measles patients had been genotyped and that all were of the same strain that has caused an outbreak in the Philippines.

Obama: 'We are not at war with Islam'

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 16:17

Katie Couric and experts analyze the president's message about the threat of extremism.

Oklahoma House panel OKs bill to punish licensing of gay marriage

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 16:11
By By Heide Brandes OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - An Oklahoma bill to punish any local or state employee who issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples will be heading to a vote in the state House of Representatives after a committee approved the legislation this week. The bill is one of several in the Republican-dominated statehouse to impose restrictions on same-sex marriages that have been proposed after a U.S. federal judge last year ruled the state's ban on same-sex marriage was unconstitutional. ...

Blast at Exxon refinery in California could hike gasoline prices

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 16:06

By Nichola Groom TORRANCE, Calif. (Reuters) - An explosion and fire ripped through a gasoline processing unit at an Exxon Mobil Corp refinery near Los Angeles on Wednesday, leaving California with the threat of higher gasoline prices. Investigators were trying to determine the cause of the blast in Torrance, California, which occurred shortly before 9 a.m. PST (12 p.m. ET). Four contract workers were injured and sent to Long Beach Medical Center for evaluation. Exxon said late on Wednesday that three of the workers had been released. ...

U.S. says Saudi was bin Laden's 'man in London'

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 13:27

By David Ingram NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. prosecutor asked a jury on Wednesday to find a Saudi man guilty of conspiring with al Qaeda in the 1990s when he allegedly managed a training camp in Afghanistan and then served as Osama bin Laden's agent in London. Near the end of a month-long trial of Khalid al-Fawwaz, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Buckley told jurors in a closing argument that they had seen enough evidence to convict al-Fawwaz of four terrorism counts. "Khalid al-Fawwaz did everything that al Qaeda asked of him," Buckley said in Manhattan federal court.

Oklahoma House panel OKs bill to punish licensing of gay marriage

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 12:20
By By Heide Brandes OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - An Oklahoma bill to punish any local or state employee who issues marriage licenses to same-sex couples will be heading to a vote in the state House of Representatives after a committee approved the legislation this week. It also says that those who issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples can be subject to removal from office. The bill's author, Representative Sally Kern, a Republican, said the measure is a response to U.S. courts overstepping their authority by forcing Oklahoma to recognize gay marriage. Representative Emily Virgin, a Democrat who voted against the measure in committee on Tuesday, said: "No other state in the union has seen more anti-LGBT legislation introduced during this legislative session.

Jeb Bush tiptoes into critique of his brother’s Iraq legacy

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 11:21

The former Florida governor says "there were mistakes made in Iraq for sure."

Ex-NFL star Hernandez's attorneys question handling of evidence

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 10:58

By Elizabeth Barber BOSTON (Reuters) - Attorneys for former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez questioned on Wednesday whether police followed their own rules when they gathered evidence being presented at the first of two murder trials he will face this year. Defense questioning focused on a wad of chewed bubble gum and a .45-caliber shell recovered from a rental car the former tight end had returned the day that semiprofessional football player Odin Lloyd's bullet-riddled body was found in an industrial park in June 2013. Hernandez, 25, is on trial in Massachusetts Superior Court in Fall River on charges of fatally shooting Lloyd in an industrial park near the former NFL star's North Attleborough, Massachusetts, home. North Attleborough Police Detective Michael Elliott testified that he and other officers found items including the chewed piece of gum and the shell in a dumpster after employees at a rental car agency cleaned out a car Hernandez returned on the day Lloyd's body was found.

Oklahoma lawmakers aim to halt Advanced Placement history course

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 10:22
By Heide Brandes and Jon Herskovitz OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - Oklahoma lawmakers are trying to block funding for Advanced Placement U.S. history courses, saying the curriculum is not patriotic enough, as they aim to join others in halting a program designed to prepare top students for college. Cultural conservatives blast the changes they see as questioning American exceptionalism, while supporters say the course offers students a balanced way to analyze how American history has unfolded. This week, a bill to cut funding for Advanced Placement U.S. History courses in the state passed an Oklahoma House committee along party lines, with 11 Republican voting for the measure and 4 Democrats opposed. Opponents say the revised guidelines for the history course cast the United States in a harsh light by giving undue emphasis to topics such as slavery and the treatment of Native Americans, while distorting events such as the U.S. involvement in World War Two.

Refinery blast at Exxon refinery in Torrance, California injures three

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 10:08

A fire is raging at Exxon Mobil Corp's Torrance, California, refinery after an explosion.

Defense to present first full day of ' Sniper' trial testimony

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 09:47

STEPHENVILLE, Texas (AP) — The sister of the former Marine accused of fatally shooting "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle and another man testified Wednesday that when her brother came to her home on the day of the killings, he seemed "almost in a daze."

CSX oil train still on fire after West Virginia derailment

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 08:40

By Edward McAllister NEW YORK (Reuters) - Tank cars from a derailed oil train were still on fire in West Virginia on Wednesday, two days after an explosive accident in which 25 cars went off the rails, a CSX Corp spokeswoman said. "We still have some fires on and near tank cars," CSX railroad spokeswoman Melanie Cost said, without giving an exact number. The burning cars were being left to burn out, and some cars were still leaking oil. Booms were deployed in the nearby Kanawha River to collect any leaking oil but none was detected in water tests carried out by local water provider West Virginia American Water.

UMass reverses decision to ban Iranian students from some science courses

Wed, 02/18/2015 - 08:26

The University of Massachusetts Amherst claimed federal law forced it to prohibit Iranian nationals from taking classes that focus on nuclear energy.