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Philadelphia woman arrested for trying to support Islamic State

Fri, 04/03/2015 - 08:28
U.S. authorities arrested a Philadelphia woman on Friday and charged her with attempting to provide support to the Islamic State militant group by planning to travel overseas to join the organization, the U.S. Justice Department said. Thirty-year-old Keonna Thomas, also known as Fatayat Al Khilafah and YoungLioness, was charged with trying to provide material support and resources, including herself as a fighter, to a foreign terrorist organization, the department said. Prosecutors allege that Thomas communicated with an Islamic State fighter in Syria, who asked her whether she wanted to take part in what was termed a martyrdom operation, to which she responded: "that would be amazing... a girl can only wish." The criminal complaint also alleges that Thomas did online research on indirect travel routes to Turkey and bought an electronic visa to the country. Turkey is a common transit point for people traveling from Europe to enter Syria and join Islamic State.

Fire hits part of GE's Louisville facility, no injuries reported

Fri, 04/03/2015 - 07:32

(Reuters) - A huge fire ripped through a part of General Electric's Louisville, Kentucky, facility used for warehousing and offices on Friday, the company said. No one was injured in the blaze, according to city officials. City officials ordered a shelter-in-place warning for those living within a half-mile of the facility, and GE evacuated the remaining buildings in the 900 acre (365-hectare) complex, company spokeswoman Kim Freeman said. The fire was contained to a warehouse and office building, Freeman said.

Netanyahu says Iran must accept Israel's existence

Fri, 04/03/2015 - 07:22

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanded that Iranian recognition of Israel's right to exist be written into an emerging nuclear deal, as he convened top officials for talks on Friday. After meeting his security cabinet, which comprises key ministers, National Security Adviser Yossi Cohen and other officials, he said they were unanimous in their opposition to the framework agreement which emerged Thursday from marathon talks in Switzerland between the Islamic republic and world powers. "Israel demands that any final agreement with Iran will include a clear and unambiguous Iranian recognition of Israel's right to exist,' he said.

Tulane’s mental health meltdown

Fri, 04/03/2015 - 03:46

After a spate of campus suicides, students are demanding more psychological services. But how much responsibility does the college bear?

Rough road ahead for jurors in Boston Marathon trial

Fri, 04/03/2015 - 03:03

By Elizabeth Barber BOSTON (Reuters) - Two decades have passed since Timothy McVeigh set off a truck bomb outside a federal office building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people, but the memory remains vivid for Tonya McCabe, who sat on the jury that sentenced him to die. They saw autopsy photos of the mangled bodies of restaurant manager Krystle Campbell, 29, and Chinese graduate student Lingzi Lu, 23.

Man reported missing at sea for 66 days reunites with family

Fri, 04/03/2015 - 00:17

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — A man whose family says he was missing at sea for more than two months is back on dry land and reuniting with his family.

Obama's quest for Iran deal set to collide with Capitol Hill

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 20:22

The president has vowed to veto legislation allowing Congress to approve or reject a deal.

Exclusive: California used 70 million gallons of water in fracking in 2014

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 17:54
By Rory Carroll SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California oil producers used 214 acre-feet of water, equivalent to nearly 70 million gallons, in the process of fracking for oil and gas in the state last year, less than previously projected, state officials told Reuters on Thursday. The practice of fracking has been criticized in the state, which is suffering from a drought so severe that Governor Jerry Brown announced the first-ever mandatory 25 percent statewide reduction in water use on Wednesday. Despite pressure from environmentalists, Brown has not called for a halt to fracking in the state, saying it is not a major drain on water supplies. “Hydraulic fracturing uses a relatively small amount of water – the equivalent of 514 households annually” per well, said Steven Bohlen, the state oil and gas supervisor.

Two New York City women arrested in alleged bomb plot

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 09:39
By Ellen Wulfhorst NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two New York City women have been arrested in an alleged conspiracy to build a bomb and wage a "terrorist attack" in the United States, according to a federal criminal complaint made public on Thursday. Noelle Velentzas, 28, and Asia Siddiqui, 31, devised a plot to target police, government or military targets based on their "violent jihadist beliefs," according to the complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn. The two women, who were roommates in the New York City borough of Queens, conducted extensive research on how to build an explosive device and plotted to attack such targets as a military base or a police funeral, the complaint stated. Velentzas and Siddiqui were charged with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction against persons or property in the United States.

Prosecutors: Lubitz probed suicide methods, cockpit security

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 09:20

BERLIN (AP) — The co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525 appears to have researched suicide methods and cockpit door security in the days before he flew the plane into the French Alps, killing 150 people, German prosecutors said Thursday.

World powers, Iran reach framework for nuke deal

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 09:02

Iran and six world powers have agreed on the outlines of an understanding to limit Iran's nuclear programs, officials told The Associated Press Thursday. Negotiations continued on a dispute over how much of it to make public.

Robert Schuller, Crystal Cathedral megachurch founder, dies

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 08:57

ARTESIA, Calif. (AP) — The Rev. Robert H. Schuller, the Southern California televangelist and author who beamed his upbeat messages on faith and redemption to millions from his landmark Crystal Cathedral only to see his empire crumble in his waning years, has died. He was 88.

Boston bombing prosecutors ask judge to explain conspiracy to jury

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 08:11

Federal prosecutors asked a judge on Thursday to instruct the jury in the Boston Marathon bombing trial that defendant Dzhokhar Tsarnaev need not have known all the details of the plot to be guilty.

Second black box found from French Alps plane crash

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 06:27

The second black box from the Germanwings plane that crashed in the French Alps last week has been found after a nine-day search, prosecutors said on Thursday. Authorities are hoping to unearth more clues about the disaster from the black box after the first voice recorder suggested that co-pilot Andreas Lubitz deliberately flew the plane into a mountain. The first black box, found the same day as the crash, recorded conversations between Lubitz and the pilot and showed that the 27-year-old German was alone at the time of the crash. He apparently took advantage of the captain's brief absence to lock him out and set the plane on a deadly descent into the Alps.

Eleven children hospitalized in Connecticut school bus crash

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 06:25
MILFORD, Conn. (Reuters) - Eleven children ages 7 to 9 were hospitalized with minor injuries on Thursday after a school bus struck a parked car outside Hartford, Connecticut, an ambulance company said. Seven ambulances were dispatched to the scene in the town of Wethersfield after the school bus hit the car, said Dave Skoczulek, spokesman for Aetna Emergency Medical Services. "It was all kids and they were shaken up and are being evaluated at area hospitals," Skoczulek said. (Reporting by Richard Weizel; Writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Will Dunham)

Arkansas, Indiana lawmakers seek fixes of religion acts

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 05:52

Lawmakers in Indiana and Arkansas plan remedies on Thursday to religion acts that were sent back to them this week following criticism from rights activists and businesses who said the measures allowed discrimination against gays. In Indiana, lawmakers planned to unveil changes to the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), enacted into law last week, which spurred protests, threats of boycotts and warnings from powerful U.S. firms about pending economic damage for the act's perceived stand against U.S. ideals of inclusion. "What was intended as a message of inclusion, inclusion of all religious beliefs, was interpreted as a message of exclusion, especially for the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community," Speaker Brian Bosma told a news conference. The Arkansas Senate took up the challenge late on Wednesday, sending legislation to the House of Representatives that would bring it in line with federal statutes.

Indiana lawmakers announce proposed religious law changes

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 05:20
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's Republican legislative leaders have unveiled changes to the state's new religious objections law that has faced criticism it could allow discrimination against lesbians and gays.

Matt Bai: Marco Rubio wants his identity back

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 03:44

“Someone stole my credit card,” Marco Rubio said when I entered his office last week.

McDonald's raising average worker wage to about $10 an hour

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 03:12

McDonald's Corp plans to raise the average pay of about 90,000 U.S. workers to around $10 an hour, but the increase will not benefit workers at the vast majority of the restaurants, because they are operated by franchisees, who make their own wage decisions. Workers groups said the move by McDonald's, which is also adding benefits such as paid vacations, fell short of their goals. McDonald's, which announced the increases on Wednesday, has been fighting weak traffic and slumping sales in the United States. Starting wages at the restaurants will move to $1 above the locally mandated minimum wage.

Gunmen attack university in Kenya

Thu, 04/02/2015 - 03:07

Masked gunmen open fire in dormitories, killing at least 15 people and wounding 60 others.