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One dead, one hurt in shooting at New Orleans Mardi Gras parade

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 23:24
(Reuters) - One person was killed and another was critically injured in a shooting during a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans on Thursday night, according to police. New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison told reporters a fight broke out between two people and one of them began shooting at the other.

Majority of New Jersey voters view Christie unfavorably: poll

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 20:06

A majority of New Jersey registered voters view Governor Chris Christie unfavorably, a poll showed on Friday, underscoring the headwinds the outspoken Republican could face in securing his party's nomination for the 2016 presidential election. The poll by Rutgers-Eagleton noted that "for the first time" a majority, 53 percent, were unfavorably inclined toward the governor, according to a statement. It said 37 percent of registered voters in the state felt favorably toward the governor, down 7 percentage points in two months. In a late January poll for Bloomberg Politics and The Des Moines Register conducted by Selzer & Co., 36 percent of a sample of likely Iowa voters viewed Christie favorably.

New York Times media columnist David Carr dies at 58

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 19:34

Media columnist David Carr, who wrote the Media Equation column for The New York Times and penned a memoir about his fight with drug addiction, collapsed at his office and died on Thursday. He was 58.

Former U.S. exchange student Amanda Knox is engaged: reports

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 17:21

Former U.S. exchange student Amanda Knox, back in Seattle after being acquitted in the slaying of her British roommate in Italy and then being convicted again in absentia, got engaged last week to a rock musician she has known since middle school, U.S. media reported on Thursday. Two sources close to Knox, who is 27, confirmed the engagement to Reuters but were unable to provide details. According to a Seattle Times newspaper column, Knox is engaged to Colin Sutherland, whom she has known since her school days and moved to Seattle from New York, though no date has been set for the wedding.

Obama to headline cybersecurity summit

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 17:04

The president wants companies to share more cyber threat data with the government.

Top Democrats call on Oregon governor to resign

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 16:43

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon's top Democrats urged Gov. John Kitzhaber to resign Thursday, saying he cannot lead the state effectively amid a growing ethics scandal involving his fiancee, a green-energy consultant suspected of using their relationship to land contracts for her business.

Gay couples wed in once-reluctant Alabama county

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 16:37

MOBILE, Ala. (AP) — The federal judge who overturned Alabama's gay-marriage ban ordered a reluctant county to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, signaling to probate judges across the state that they should do the same.

Alabama official ordered to issue marriage licenses to gay couples

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 16:37

By Jonathan Kaminsky MOBILE, Ala. (Reuters) - A federal judge on Thursday ordered an Alabama official to start issuing marriage licenses to gay couples in compliance with an earlier order, but couples in most counties were still unable to obtain licenses. U.S. District Judge Callie Granade's order clarified that Mobile County Probate Court Judge Don Davis was compelled to adhere to her previous ruling striking down the state's gay marriage ban despite a contravening order from Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore that led many state judges to refrain from issuing licenses to gay couples. Granade's directive marked the latest twist in the controversy over gay marriage in Alabama, where probate judges have faced conflicting orders from federal and state courts.

Uptick in NYC chokehold complaints illuminates need for better-defined rule

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 16:37

Police watchdogs in New York City saw a significant increase in verified complaints of police officers using a banned chokehold maneuver in 2014.

Report: Rise in ‘lone wolf’ domestic terrorists remains ‘substantial threat’

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 15:29

A watchdog group implores the federal government not to overlook terror threats at home.

Thousands join funeral for slain Muslims in North Carolina

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 14:33

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The fathers of three young Muslims allegedly slain by a neighbor who was angry over parking spots stood before their caskets Thursday and urged a crowd of thousands to protect others by demanding justice.

Oklahoma bill would protect clergy who won't perform gay marriages

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 14:07
(Reuters) - Oklahoma state representatives voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to advance a bill that would provide immunity from lawsuits to clergy who refuse to conduct marriages for same-sex couples. The bill, approved by 88-7 in the state House of Representatives, would protect clergy members from any civil claim or cause of action if they refuse to preside over or recognize a marriage of same-sex couples because of their conscience or religious beliefs. The measure next goes to the state Senate for consideration. The bill's sponsor, Republican Representative David Brumbaugh, said many pastors asked for the legislation after a federal judge overturned Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage in January 2014.

Mourners remember slain North Carolina Muslims; fresh calls for hate probe

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 13:27

By Colleen Jenkins WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Reuters) - Thousands of mourners attended the funeral prayers on Thursday for three young Muslims killed in North Carolina, and the father of two of the victims urged U.S. authorities to probe whether religious hatred was a motive for the murders. Newlywed Deah Barakat, 23, a University of North Carolina dental student, his wife Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19, a student at North Carolina State University, were gunned down on Tuesday in a condominium about two miles (three km) from the UNC campus in Chapel Hill. Police charged the couple's neighbor, Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, with murder. The case has garnered international attention and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan criticized President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday for not speaking about the incident.

Federal judge in Alabama orders county to wed gay couples

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 12:56

A federal judge has ordered Mobile County to start issuing gay marriage licenses.

Los Angeles officer shoots boy, 15, after seeing replica gun

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 11:05
By Michael Fleeman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles police were investigating on Thursday the shooting of a 15-year-old boy who was shot and wounded by a police officer who saw a person next to the teenager pointing what turned out to be a replica gun, police said. The Los Angeles police department said officers from a gang homicide unit had been conducting a follow-up investigation on Tuesday when they encountered several people, including one carrying what appeared to be a gun. "Officers saw that individual pointing the firearm at another individual," a police statement said. The individual ignored the officer's commands and an officer-involved shooting occurred." The 15-year-old, who was not identified, was shot once in the upper back, while the person who had been holding the replica was not injured.

Senate approves Carter as new defense secretary

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 10:26

Ashton Carter is now confirmed to lead the Pentagon.

UN warns Yemen 'collapsing' as Qaeda seizes army camp

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 10:23

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon warned Thursday that Yemen was falling apart and called for action to avert chaos, as Al-Qaeda fighters overran an army camp and seized heavy weaponry. The UN chief was reporting to the 15-member council after talks with Gulf officials that he said concentrated on "preventing civil war in Yemen". "Let me be clear: Yemen is collapsing before our eyes. Long on the front line of the war against Al-Qaeda, Yemen has descended into chaos since Shiite militiamen, known as Huthis, seized Sanaa in September and ousted the government last week.

Family, friends say 3 slain in NC left a legacy of giving

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 09:24

The funeral for the three Muslim family members killed in Chapel Hill is held today.

Maryland, sheriff settle deputy's sex harassment suit

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 08:44
A former Maryland sheriff's deputy who alleged sexual harassment at work will get $250,000 under a settlement with the U.S. Justice Department, the state and the sheriff's office, the department said on Thursday. The Queen Anne's County sheriff's deputy, Kristy Murphy-Taylor, alleged in a federal lawsuit that she had undergone unwanted groping by supervisors, including the brother of Sheriff Gary Hofmann, and had been fired when she complained about it. As part of the settlement, Maryland and the sheriff's office on the state's Eastern Shore agreed to revise sexual harassment policies and how complaints about harassment and retaliation are handled, the statement said. The Maryland State Police will oversee sexual harassment complaints involving the sheriff's office.

Body of 'American Sniper' Kyle surrounded by weapons, Ranger testifies

Thu, 02/12/2015 - 08:37

By Jon Herskovitz STEPHENVILLE, Texas (Reuters) - The former Navy SEAL whose best-selling autobiography was turned into the hit movie "American Sniper" was found dead at a rural Texas shooting range, the only loaded weapon within reach a 1911-style semiautomatic pistol, a Texas Ranger told a court on Thursday. Former U.S. Marine Eddie Ray Routh, 27, is on trial for murdering Chris Kyle and friend and neighbor, Chad Littlefield, in February 2013 at a shooting range about 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Fort Worth. Kyle and Littlefield had been shot multiple times, with two guns. "The only weapons on the scene that were loaded were two 1911-style handguns," Texas Ranger Michael Adcock told the court in rural Erath County.