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Police wanted Guard in Ferguson neighborhood

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 12:59

St. Louis area authorities planning for a grand jury announcement sought unsuccessfully to station National Guard troops and armored Humvees in a Ferguson neighborhood where Michael Brown had been shot by a policeman, according to records released Tuesday detailing the state's preparations.

U.S. to allow export of armed military drones

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 12:40

The Obama administration is amending its regulations for weapons sales to allow the export of armed military drones to friendly nations and allies.

Oil train accident brings calls for tougher safety rules

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 12:38

By Patrick Rucker WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A fiery oil train derailment in West Virginia this week exposes lax safety standards and strengthens the case for tougher U.S. rules governing such shipments, safety advocates said on Tuesday. "These incidents are making the case for us," said Karen Darch, mayor of Barrington, Illinois. This month, the U.S. Department of Transportation sent a safety plan to the White House for final review.     That proposal would have oil trains fitted with advanced braking systems to prevent pileups and tougher shells akin to those carrying volatile propane gas on the tracks. The American Petroleum Institute and Association of American Railroads have worked together on oil train safety and are eager to see the final safety plan, a spokesperson for each trade group said.

Al-Qaida wanted tried pull off attack like 9/11

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 09:16

The terror group allegedly wanted recruits to infiltrate Western society and pull off a massive strike.

Nancy Pelosi is going to Cuba

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 09:07

The House Democratic leader joins a delegation of Democrats visiting Cuba 'in friendship.'

New York chief judge calls for grand jury reforms after chokehold case

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 09:05
By Daniel Wiessner ALBANY, N.Y. (Reuters) - Responding to outrage over a grand jury's decision against indicting a New York City police officer for killing an unarmed black man with a chokehold, the state's top judge on Tuesday proposed giving courts unprecedented authority over grand jury proceedings involving police. Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman of the New York Court of Appeals said in his annual address in Albany that the public's trust in the justice system had been shaken by the secretive proceedings that did not lead to indictments in the cases of the NYPD officer who killed Eric Garner and an officer in Ferguson, Missouri, who shot and killed an unarmed black teen last year. Lippman said he would soon submit a bill to the state legislature that would require judges to preside over grand jury proceedings in cases involving allegations of homicide or felony assault against police officers. Such oversight, he said, would be a check on the outsized role of prosecutors in grand jury proceedings, giving the public greater confidence in the process.

Towel found by ex-NFL star's alleged victim seen in video: lawyer

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 08:39

By Daniel Lovering FALL RIVER, Mass. (Reuters) - A friend of Aaron Hernandez appeared in a surveillance video with a towel that was found near the body of a man the former New England Patriots star is accused of murdering in 2013, a defense attorney said on Tuesday. Defense attorney James Sultan asked North Attleborough police officer John Grim about footage taken at a gas station and convenience store hours before the body of semiprofessional soccer player Odin Lloyd was found in an industrial park near Hernandez's Massachusetts house.

Minnesota tries softer approach in battling Islamic State

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 07:02

A new strategy that will be tested out in the Twin Cities region of Minnesota this fall uses a “community intervention team” of religious and business leaders — not law enforcement — to respond to concerns of radicalization.

Obama’s ‘Crusades’ controversy explored

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 07:01

President Barack Obama describes the so-called Islamic State as a “death cult.” But critics want him to label its fighters “Islamist radicals.” Ahead of the White House’s “Countering Violent Extremism” summit, Yahoo News looks at the rhetorical battles in the war on terrorism.

Prosecutor asks for Strauss-Kahn acquittal in French sex trial

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 06:57

By Pierre Savary LILLE, France (Reuters) - A French prosecutor asked a criminal court on Tuesday to acquit former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of a pimping charge for his role in what investigating magistrates argued was an organized sex ring using prostitutes. Strauss-Kahn was tipped to become French president before being accused of sexual assault by a New York hotel chambermaid in 2011. U.S. criminal charges were subsequently dropped, and the allegations that he participated in a French sex ring centered in the northern French city of Lille emerged later. "Did Dominique Strauss-Kahn pay prostitutes?

Former Florida clinic owner faces sentencing in baseball doping case

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 05:35
By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI (Reuters) - The owner of a Florida business at the heart of a steroid scandal that led to the suspension of Major League Baseball star Alex Rodriguez faces up to about four years in prison when he is sentenced on Tuesday for supplying performance-enhancing drugs. Anthony Bosch, 51, pleaded guilty in October to conspiring to distribute testosterone. The owner of the now-defunct anti-aging BioGenesis clinic is asking for a judge to cut prosecutors' recommendation by six months, noting in court filings that he cooperated with federal and Major League Baseball investigators. Bosch became a key witness for MLB, which has been paying his legal and security bills after suspending more than dozen players based on information he provided.

Prosecution expected to rest in 'American Sniper' trial

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 03:47

STEPHENVILLE, Texas (AP) — Prosecutors showed a Texas court a videotaped confession by a former Marine who apologized for fatally shooting "American Sniper" author Chris Kyle and his friend in 2013.

At least 20 dead by electrocution in Haiti Carnival accident

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 02:07

Riders on a music group's packed float in Port-au-Prince were killed in a terrible accident.

Ukraine army, rebels miss deadline to start weapons pullback

Tue, 02/17/2015 - 00:24

LUHANSKE, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian government troops and Russia-backed rebels failed Tuesday to start pulling back heavy weaponry from the front line in eastern Ukraine as a deadline passed to do so.

Texas judge temporarily blocks Obama plan to protect undocumented immigrants

Mon, 02/16/2015 - 22:04

(Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge on Monday temporarily blocked President Barack Obama's plan to protect millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation, an issue likely to be seized upon in the 2016 presidential campaign. Ruling in favor of some two dozen U.S. states opposed to the administration's plan, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville, Texas, said in a decision posted on the Los Angeles Times website that the administration had failed to comply with procedure. In November, Obama announced a program to lift the threat of deportation from some 4. ...

Federal judge stalls Obama's executive action on immigration

Mon, 02/16/2015 - 21:29

The move gives a 26-state coalition time to pursue a lawsuit aimed at stopping the orders.

Icy storm paralyzes central U.S., pummels nation's capital

Mon, 02/16/2015 - 18:27

By Elizabeth Barber BOSTON (Reuters) - Record-breaking cold gripped the eastern United States while an icy winter storm crippled the nation's central states and then plowed into the mid-Atlantic, dumping snow and forcing federal offices in Washington, D.C. to close on Tuesday. Heavy snowfall and ice moving eastward from the Southern Plains pounded Missouri, Arkansas, southern Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio, the National Weather Service said. With the storm headed east and sleet and freezing rain expected to also take a swipe at the South, states of emergency were declared in North Carolina, Virginia, Mississippi, Georgia, Kentucky, as well as in Washington, D.C. The U.S. Office of Personnel Management announced on its web site that federal offices are closed in D.C. Fort Knox, a U.S. Army post south of Louisville, Kentucky, also will be closed on Tuesday due to weather and road conditions, it said on its website.

CSX train hauling North Dakota oil derails, cars ablaze in West Virginia

Mon, 02/16/2015 - 17:48

One or two of the cars plunged into the Kanawha River, said Robert Jelacic of the West Virginia Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. CSX said the train was hauling 109 cars from North Dakota to the coastal town of Yorktown, Virginia, where midstream firm Plains All American Pipelines runs an oil depot. As of 9:30 p.m. local time, billowing flames could still be seen coming from several rail cars and something appeared to be burning on the partially frozen river.

N. Korea threatens strong response to D.C. rights meeting

Mon, 02/16/2015 - 17:07

Pyongyang gets defensive before a conference about its human rights abuses.

USW leader: U.S. refinery strike could spread over safe staffing

Mon, 02/16/2015 - 16:48

By Erwin Seba HOUSTON (Reuters) - A strike by U.S. refinery workers that passed its 16th day on Monday could spread if there is no progress in talks this week with plant owners on safe staffing levels, said the lead negotiator for the United Steelworkers union (USW). "The longer that this strike rolls on, the more people that will be affected," said Gary Beevers, USW international vice president, in a telephone interview on Monday. Asked if a lack of progress in talks with lead oil company negotiator Royal Dutch Shell Plc could result in strikes at more plants, Beevers said: "There certainly will be." About 5,200 workers from 11 plants, including nine refineries accounting for 13 percent of U.S. capacity, were walking picket lines after talks between the USW and Shell Oil Co failed to reach an agreement on a new national contract. The USW has said the company is also considering a counterproposal from the union.