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.
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.
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. ...
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.
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.
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.
Following remarks by President Obama at the White House Summit on "Countering Violent Extremism," Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric will lead a compelling discussion with experts and members of the Yahoo News team that will provide perspective and analysis on Obama's strategy, the use of social media by extremists to gain new recruits, and the threat that these terrorist groups pose to the United States.
By David Ingram and Mica Rosenberg NEW YORK (Reuters) - President Barack Obama's administration faces a difficult and possibly lengthy legal battle to overturn a Texas court ruling that blocked his landmark immigration overhaul, since the judge based his decision on an obscure and unsettled area of administrative law, lawyers said. In his ruling on Monday that upended plans to shield millions of people from deportation, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen avoided diving into sweeping constitutional questions or tackling presidential powers head-on. The failure to do so, Hanen wrote, was a violation of the 1946 Administrative Procedure Act, which requires notice in a publication called the Federal Register as well as an opportunity for people to submit views in writing.