A female prison worker's agreement to drive a getaway car for two escaped inmates was "Plan B" and the convicted killers had another plot that allowed them to flee, Clinton County Sheriff David Favro said. Richard Matt, 48, and David Sweat, 35, both convicted of murder, remained at large for an 11th day on Tuesday after busting out of Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, New York, about 20 miles (32 km) south of the Canadian border. Authorities said Joyce Mitchell, an industrial training supervisor in the prison tailor shop who has been criminally charged in the escape, had agreed to drive the getaway car but got cold feet and never showed up.
Washington state civil rights advocate Rachel Dolezal, who has been accused of falsely claiming she is African-American, said on Tuesday she identifies as black and has been doing so since she was 5 years of age. Dolezal, in an interview on NBC's "Today" television show, said a major shift in her identity came when she was doing human rights work in Idaho and newspaper stories described her as transracial, biracial and black. "I never corrected that," she said, "... because it's more complex than being true or false in that particular instance." Dolezal, 37, who grew up with adopted black siblings, resigned on Monday as president of the Spokane chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, a leading U.S. civil rights organization, amid reports that her parents are white.
Tropical Storm Bill hurtled toward the Texas coast from the Gulf of Mexico early on Tuesday with heavy rains and strong winds, the National Weather Service said, weeks after floods killed about 30 people in the state. Flash flood watches were in effect for central Texas and the Houston area, regions where floods last month swallowed thousands of vehicles and damaged homes. The storm was projected to hit the coast at Matagorda Bay and churn through central Texas toward Austin.
A majority of Americans say Congress should make sure Obamacare subsidies to buy health insurance are available nationwide if the Supreme Court rules that the payments in at least 34 states are illegal, according to a poll released on Tuesday. The Kaiser Family Foundation poll surveyed 1,200 people from June 2 to June 9 in both English and Spanish. The Supreme Court is expected to rule this month whether subsidies provided to states that rely on the federal government's HealthCare.gov insurance exchange are legal based on the requirements of President Barack Obama's healthcare law.
By Steve Quinn JUNEAU, Alaska (Reuters) - Two fast-spreading Alaska wildfires have forced a series of evacuations, destroyed up to 45 homes and forced authorities to restrict traffic on a major highway connecting two of the state's largest cities, state officials said on Monday. As many as 200 firefighters have been battling a 6,500-acre fire about 40 miles (64 km) north of Anchorage since Sunday afternoon. About 137 miles (220km) south of Anchorage, crews are fighting a much smaller, but equally dangerous blaze that threatens nearly 200 homes.
A California judge ruled on Monday that prosecutors had presented sufficient evidence for an ex-convict to face trial in the 2010 sledgehammer killings of a family of four whose remains were found more than two years later buried in the desert. The decision capped a daylong preliminary hearing in the case against Charles "Chase" Merritt, 58, described by authorities as a former business associate of the slain father, Joseph McStay. San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Michael Smith said that evidence outlined by investigators in the proceedings, including cell phone records and DNA analysis, had established probable cause for prosecutors to proceed to trial.
Today, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush put an end today to months of speculation and announced his 2016 presidential campaign. "We are 17 months from the time for choosing," Bush told a cheering audience in Miami. He added, "I will campaign as I would serve, going everywhere, speaking to everyone, keeping my word, facing the issues without flinching, and staying true to what I believe," Bush plans to say this afternoon, according to excerpts of his remarks as prepared for delivery.
Pope Francis on Monday accepted the resignation of two U.S. bishops 10 days after a local prosecutor filed criminal charges against their diocese for failing to protect children from a sexually abusive priest. Wehmeyer, who has been dismissed from the priesthood, is serving a five-year prison sentence after pleading guilty in 2012 to criminal sexual conduct with two minors and possessing child pornography. The pontiff accepted the resignations the week after approving an unprecedented Vatican tribunal intended to judge bishops for covering up or failing to report sexual abuse, which has caused worldwide scandal for more than a decade.