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Meet DJ Patil: Obama’s Big Data dude

Thu, 04/09/2015 - 03:59

DJ Patil is still settling into his White House office. It’s by far the most prestigious place he’s ever worked, but it looks more like a bootstrapping startup than a precinct of Washington power.

Real estate scion Durst due back in Louisiana court on gun charges

Thu, 04/09/2015 - 03:02

By Jonathan Kaminsky NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Robert Durst, the real estate scion awaiting extradition to California to face a murder charge, was due back in a Louisiana court on Thursday to face a new indictment on firearms offenses stemming from his arrest last month in New Orleans. Prosecutors in California have been seeking Durst's return to Los Angeles County, where he stands accused of the December 2000 slaying 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." The final episode of the series aired one day after his March 21 arrest at a New Orleans hotel, where authorities said he was staying under an assumed name with $42,000 in cash, a revolver, a stash of marijuana and a latex mask in his possession.

Iran will only sign nuclear deal if sanctions lifted 'same day': Rouhani

Thu, 04/09/2015 - 00:23

By Parisa Hafezi ANKARA (Reuters) - Iran will only sign a final nuclear accord with six world powers if all sanctions imposed over its disputed atomic work are lifted on the same day, President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech on Thursday. Iran and the powers reached a tentative agreement last week in the Swiss city of Lausanne aimed at restricting Tehran's nuclear program in return for removing the economic penalties. All sides are working toward a June 30 deadline for a final deal on the nuclear work, which Western powers fear is aimed at developing an atomic bomb but Tehran says is purely peaceful. "We will not sign any deal unless all sanctions are lifted on the same day ... We want a win-win deal for all parties involved in the nuclear talks," Rouhani said.

Most Americans side with gays in religious freedom disputes: Reuters/Ipsos poll

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 21:02

By Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A majority of Americans believe businesses should not be allowed to refuse services based on their religious beliefs in the wake of controversies in Indiana and Arkansas over gay rights and religious freedom, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found on Thursday. Indiana's Republican governor, Mike Pence, triggered a firestorm in his state this month by signing a law that would allow businesses to refuse services to certain groups or people based on their religious beliefs. Gay rights activists saw the law as discriminatory and the resulting backlash forced Indiana's state legislature to make changes to the law. Days later, Arkansas's Republican governor, Asa Hutchinson, forced his state legislature to change a similar law in order to avoid having it blow up into a controversy in his state.

What personnel file of officer in S.C. shooting reveals

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 20:09

In 2013, a man complained that Officer Michael Slager shot him with a Taser for no reason.

Secret Service supervisor placed on leave after allegations

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 19:21

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Secret Service has placed a high-ranking supervisor on administrative leave and suspended the supervisor's security clearance after what it called "allegations of misconduct and potential criminal activity."

Secret Service supervisor suspended after sex assault accusation: Washington Post

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 18:56

The U.S. Secret Service has put a senior supervisor on leave and suspended his security clearance after a female employee accused him of assaulting her after-hours at the agency's headquarters last week, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday. The District of Columbia police sex-crimes division and a U.S. government inspector general are investigating the female agent's allegation that Xavier Morales of the security clearance division grabbed her on the night of March 31 after they came back from a party at a downtown Washington restaurant, the newspaper said, citing two law enforcement officials with knowledge of the probe.

Video of fatal police shooting may have major impact

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 17:45

NEW YORK (AP) — Graphic videos have surfaced previously that kindled outrage over police use of force — the Rodney King beating in Los Angeles, last year's chokehold death in New York City. The new video from South Carolina is perhaps the most striking yet — its depiction of a fleeing, unarmed black man being shot in the back by a white policeman so vivid that a murder charge came swiftly.

South Carolina officer dismissed after shooting man in back

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 16:01

By Harriet McLeod NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) - A white South Carolina police officer has been fired after being charged with murder for shooting a black man in the back as he fled, but questions remained on Wednesday about some details of the killing that was filmed by a witness. The shooting occurred on Saturday in North Charleston, a town of about 100,000 people, nearly half of whom are black, but it gained national media attention on Tuesday when the video became public. The incident was recorded by a man identified by NBC News as Feidin Santana. In an interview with the network, he said the victim, 50-year-old Walter Scott, had been hit by the officer's stun gun before fleeing to avoid further stun gun fire.

Family of mentally ill Florida man releases videos of police shooting

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 15:40
By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI (Reuters) - New videos showing a mentally ill Florida man being shot dead by police call into question a Miami area department's explanation of the shooting, said attorneys for the victim's family who released the footage on Wednesday. Footage captured from within a police car at the scene show shell cases flying as a police officer shot 25-year-old Lavall Hall on Feb. 15. Two of the bullets hit Hall, Miami Gardens police told reporters in the days after the incident, explaining that Hall had attacked officers with a broom stick. A spokesman for the Miami Gardens Police Department was not immediately available to comment.

Victims react to Boston bombing verdicts

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 14:22

A jury finds Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty on all 30 counts for his role in the 2013 attacks.

Man arrested for making ‘disturbing’ phone calls to Sandy Hook school

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 13:50

A Connecticut man was arrested on Tuesday after allegedly placing harassing phone calls to Sandy Hook Elementary School, accusing staffers of staging the 2012 school shootings.

Live updates: Guilty verdict in Boston Marathon bombing trial

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 12:58

A jury finds Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty on all 30 counts in the 2013 attack.

Islamic State group releases over 200 captive Iraqi Yazidis

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 11:19

BAGHDAD (AP) — The Islamic State group released more than 200 Yazidis on Wednesday after holding them for eight months, the latest mass release of captives by the extremists targeted by U.S.-led airstrikes and an Iraqi ground offensive.

Surge in voter turnout gives blacks new voice in Ferguson, Missouri

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 11:12
A surge in voter turnout helped elect two new black city council members in Ferguson, a Missouri city found by the U.S. Justice Department to be rife with racial abuses in its police and court systems. After months of street protests, turnout in Tuesday's vote was 30 percent, or more than double recent municipal elections in the St. Louis suburb, which is two-thirds black but has had only two African-American council members in its 120 year history. Mayor James Knowles on Wednesday called the election a "milestone" for the city. The six-member city council will be split with three African-American and three white members.

Guilty verdict in Boston bombing trial

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 10:12

A jury finds Dzhokhar Tsarnaev guilty on all 30 counts for his role in the 2013 attacks.

Boston bombing jury reaches verdict in Tsarnaev trial

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 09:35

By Scott Malone and Elizabeth Barber BOSTON (Reuters) - The jury hearing the Boston Marathon bombing trial on Wednesday reached a verdict on the guilt of defendant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, charged with killing three people and injuring 264 in the 2013 attack, according to federal prosecutors. The verdict was not immediately disclosed but was expected to be read out in U.S. District Court in Boston later on Wednesday.

Mayor vows body cams for entire force after shooting video

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 09:23

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A white South Carolina police officer who claimed he killed a black man in self-defense has been fired and faces murder charges after a bystander's video recorded him firing eight shots at the man's back as he ran away. The city's mayor also said he's ordered body cameras to be worn by every single officer on the force.

New York woman sentenced to 20 years to life for killing son with salt

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 06:38
A suburban New York woman who wrote a blog about motherhood was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison on Wednesday for murdering her son through salt poisoning so she could use his illness to gain social media attention. Lacey Spears, 27, who chronicled her son Garnett's illnesses on a personal blog called "Garnett's Journey" and other social media, was convicted by a jury in White Plains, New York, last month of second-degree murder in his 2014 death at Westchester Medical Center in Vahalla, New York.

American, Afghan killed in firefight between Afghan and NATO soldiers

Wed, 04/08/2015 - 05:11

By Rafiq Sherzad JALALABAD, Afghanistan (Reuters) - An American soldier and an Afghan soldier were killed when a firefight broke out between Afghan and NATO coalition forces at a compound where a senior U.S. diplomat met a provincial governor in eastern Afghanistan, police and U.S. sources said. A handful of others from both sides were wounded in the shooting, which erupted shortly after the diplomat left the compound aboard a helicopter, according to U.S. and Afghan sources. The NATO soldiers involved in the incident were American, according to Afghan police, and had been leaving the venue to return to Camp Gamberi in east Afghanistan where they were stationed.