By Marty Graham SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - An animal rights group said SeaWorld Entertainment Inc, known for its dolphin and killer whale performances, sent an employee on secret missions to infiltrate events organized by the group in an attempt to undermine its work. For years, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has campaigned against SeaWorld over its treatment of killer whales. In 2011, the group sued the company for violating the civil rights of a captive orca.
The family of Eric Garner, a black man who died after a white police officer put him in a chokehold a year ago, renewed calls to criminally charge the police officer on Tuesday, a day after the family reached a $5.9 million settlement with New York City. A grand jury in December declined to indict the officer Daniel Pantaleo, who placed Garner, 43, in the chokehold, a maneuver banned by the New York City Police Department. After the state grand jury declined to indict, then-U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in December promised a full investigation into Garner's death.
By Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two months after discovering that sensitive personal information on 21.5 million Americans was compromised in a hack of government databanks, none of those affected has been officially notified, government officials said on Tuesday. The officials from multiple agencies, who are familiar with an investigation into the breach, said the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), which oversaw the data, is working with other agencies to set up a system to inform the victims. One official at OPM, who declined to be identified, said that because of the complicated nature of the data and the fact that government employees and contractors often move among different agencies, it would be weeks before a mechanism was in place.
(Reuters) - Planned Parenthood said on Tuesday a secretly recorded video that surfaced on the Internet falsely portrayed the reproductive health group's participation in the sale of tissue and body parts from aborted fetuses. The non-profit organization said the video had been heavily edited and recorded by a group that was established to damage its reputation. It said in a statement the video "falsely portrays Planned Parenthood's participation in tissue donation programs that support lifesaving scientific research." The video, which has gotten widespread exposure on the Internet, was produced by the California-based Center for Medical Progress, a self-described organization of citizen journalists dedicated to monitoring and reporting on medical ethics and advances.
By Keith Coffman CENTENNIAL, Colo. (Reuters) - Lawyers in the trial of Colorado movie massacre gunman James Holmes will make their closing arguments on Tuesday to jurors who must decide whether he is a calculating mass murderer or was legally insane when he killed 12 people. Prosecutors and the defense have been allotted two hours each to present their case by Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour, after testimony in the almost three-month-long capital trial ended last week. When the shooting stopped, 12 moviegoers lay dead and 70 were either wounded by gunfire or were injured fleeing the theater. Prosecutors will seek the death penalty for Holmes if he is convicted.
A Wal-Mart Stores Inc employee sued the retailer on Tuesday, saying its prior policy of denying health insurance benefits to the spouses of gay employees violated gender discrimination laws. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Boston, seeks nationwide class-action status. Wal-Mart, the largest private U.S. employer, began offering health insurance benefits to same-sex spouses last year, after the Supreme Court in 2013 struck down part of the Defense of Marriage Act that denied federal benefits to married gay couples.
MONROEVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Author Harper Lee's hometown of Monroeville buzzed with excitement for the Tuesday release of her novel "Go Set a Watchman," the sequel to the Pulitzer Prize-winning "To Kill a Mockingbird." The town has planned a full day of celebrations, including readings, walking tours and a mint julep cocktail hour outside the old courthouse.
David Zink, 55, is scheduled to die by lethal injection after 6 p.m. CDT (1900 ET) at a state prison for the murder of Amanda Morton of Strafford, Missouri. Lawyers for Zink have filed a flurry of appeals seeking to halt the execution, including claims that Missouri officials will be violating federal law by using compounded pentobarbital in the execution. Zink is the named plaintiff in a lawsuit brought by a group of death row inmates in Missouri against state officials alleging its lethal-injection protocol is unconstitutional and creates a substantial risk of severe pain.