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Updated: 2 hours 27 min ago

U.S. border officials seize record 15 tons of pot at California border

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 18:10
U.S. customs officers at a California border crossing seized more than 15 tons of marijuana hidden inside a tractor-trailer shipment designated as a cargo of mattresses, the biggest narcotics bust ever at that port of entry, officials said on Friday.

Missouri murder spree shatters tiny community's comfort zone

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 16:56

A rural Missouri county that had zero homicides last year spent Friday reeling after seven people were murdered by a man who police said went on a house-to-house shooting rampage in the middle of the night.

Prominent Russian opposition figure Boris Nemtsov shot dead

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 15:32

MOSCOW (AP) — Boris Nemtsov, a Russian opposition leader and sharp critic of President Vladimir Putin, was gunned down Saturday near the Kremlin, officials said. Nemtsov was killed just a day before a protest planned against Putin's rule.

Adoption by same-sex parent recognized by Alabama appeals court

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 14:50

An Alabama appeals court ruled on Friday that the state must recognize the out-of-state adoption of three children by the estranged wife of their birth mother, lawyers for the plaintiff said. The decision comes as a handful of Alabama judges have refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples in defiance of a federal ruling, and as another same-sex couple in Mobile has sued seeking similar adoption rights. Alabama this month became the 37th state where gay marriage is legal after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to stay a federal ruling that struck down Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage. Despite that, Roy Moore, the conservative chief justice of the state's Supreme Court, has directed judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Texas snowstorm snarls transport, cancels nearly 600 flights

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 14:09
By Marice Richter DALLAS (Reuters) - A storm that dusted the Dallas area on Friday with about 1 to 3 inches of snow caused hundreds of traffic accidents and led to more than 600 flight cancellations. Flight tracker said as of 4:30 p.m. CST, 595 flights were canceled at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, one of the nation's busiest and a hub for major carrier American Airlines. The slippery weather conditions also led to a pileup of nearly 40 vehicles in Melissa, about 35 miles north of Dallas. No fatalities or serious injuries were reported, Department of Public Safety officials reported.

Stopgap Homeland Security spending bill fails in House

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 13:18

The House has rejected a stopgap spending bill for the Homeland Security Department with just hours to go before a midnight deadline to fund the agency or see it begin to partially shut down.

Jeb Bush’s biggest CPAC win: No gifts for Democrats

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 12:19

The ex-Florida governor addresses complaints conservatives have made about him.

Slain U.S. journalist's father: identification of 'Jihadi John' not important

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 11:10
The father of American journalist James Foley, who was taken captive in Syria and later decapitated by Islamic State militants, has said it was "not important" to him that his son's purported killer, "Jihadi John," had been identified. The Washington Post reported on Thursday that "Jihadi John," who was shown in Islamic State videos of the beheadings of several captives, had been identified as Kuwaiti-born British national Mohammed Emwazi, 26. "'Jihadi John' happened to be in that position, but if it was not him it would be somebody else, so in all fairness discovering who he is might be important to some people, but it's certainly not important to me," John Foley told reporters in Arizona, according to video from local television station KSWT. Foley, whose son's beheading was shown in a video released last August, also said he will be happy when Islamic State "is defeated." John Foley and his wife, Diane, speaking on Thursday on the sidelines of a forum in Tucson, Arizona, where they were panelists, criticized how the U.S. government dealt with them while their son was held captive.

Ukraine conflict at 'crossroads' as troop deaths shake truce

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 09:04

International monitors said Friday the conflict in Ukraine was at a "crossroads" as further losses among government forces rattled a two-week-old truce just as it seemed to be gaining traction. The envoy to Ukraine for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), which is monitoring the peace deal, told the UN Security Council that while there were encouraging signs, the country still risked all-out war. Russia formally annexed the territory in March 2014, triggering an international furore. The uprising in Ukraine's east, which has claimed at least 5,800 lives, began the following month.

7 fatally shot, gunman dead in southeastern Missouri

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 09:02

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri State Highway Patrol says seven people have been killed in overnight shootings in southeastern Missouri and that the gunman is also dead.

U.S. Congress pursues stopgap funding to avert security agency shutdown

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 08:59

By David Lawder and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Congress on Friday appeared to be headed toward approving a three-week-long stopgap funding bill for the domestic security agency that postpones the threat of a partial shutdown, but moves lawmakers no closer to a permanent solution. With only hours remaining before Department of Homeland Security funding expires at midnight, the House of Representatives was pursuing a short-term funding extension. It would give Republicans more time to agree on a way to keep the agency open over the long term, while still fighting Democratic President Barack Obama over his immigration order lifting the threat of deportation for millions of undocumented residents. The measure would then go to the Senate for expected approval on Friday afternoon.

Senate passes Homeland Security funds through Sept. 30

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 07:39

The DHS has three weeks of funding hours before it would have run out.

Attackers in Bangladesh hack to death American blogger

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 06:20

DHAKA, Bangladesh (AP) — A prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger known for speaking out against religious extremism was hacked to death as he walked through Bangladesh's capital with his wife, police said Friday.

Despite fiery CPAC speech, is Ted Cruz changing course?

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 06:19

Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas used a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday to rail against the party establishment, calling himself a “disruptive app” like Uber that would upend the political system. Delighting the assembled conservative shock troops, Cruz castigated the Republican leadership for selling out their principles by separating a funding bill for the Department of Homeland Security from a measure that would roll back President Obama’s executive action on immigration

Eight people reported dead in murder, suicide in Missouri

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 05:54

Eight people were found dead overnight in an apparent mass murder and suicide in rural southern Missouri, the Missouri State Highway Patrol said on Friday. The events unfolded around 10 p.m. Thursday night when the Texas County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call about a disturbance involving a weapon at a residence in Tyrone. After further investigation, authorities said they found five other victims and one person who was wounded in three other homes in Tyrone. Houston School District Superintendent Scott Dill said the killings shocked the small community.

Holder says U.S. malls should 'step up' security: CNN

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 04:05

Shopping mall operators need to increase security through more staff, cameras and other techniques in light of threats made against the Mall of America in Minnesota and other shopping centers by Somali-based Islamist militants this week, outgoing U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said. "I certainly think we have to step up our sensitivities to what goes on in these commercial enterprises," Holder said in an interview with CNN that aired on Friday. "It would be the responsible thing for operators of these malls to increase their capabilities when it comes to keeping people safe who are just going about their everyday lives." In a separate interview with Politico, also published on Friday, Holder said he would push in his final weeks in office to lower the standard of proof for civil-rights offenses that would make it easier for the federal government to bring charges in future cases. The Justice Department recently closed its investigation into the shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black teenager, without filing charges against gunman George Zimmerman because of "insufficient evidence." "I think that if we adjust those standards, we can make the federal government a better backstop - make us more a part of the process in an appropriate way to reassure the American people that decisions are made by people who are really disinterested," he told Politico.

German Parliament approves Greece's bailout extension

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 02:42

BERLIN (AP) — Germany's Parliament overwhelmingly approved the four-month extension of Greece's financial bailout on Friday, despite unease over the new government in Athens.

For Jeb Bush, the Q&A is the message

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 01:17

The former Florida governor's openness sets him apart from his likely 2016 opponents.

Former Notre Dame president Rev. Theodore Hesburgh dies at 97

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 00:43
Rev. Theodore Hesburgh, who reshaped the University of Notre Dame from a Catholic college known for its football team into an academic force, died late on Thursday night, the school said in a statement. Hesburgh, one of the premier Catholic educators in the United States and "champion of human rights", presided over the Indiana university for three and a half decades, stepping down in 1987, the statement said. He also oversaw the Notre Dame's transformation into a coeducational university when women were first admitted to its undergraduate program in 1972, the school said. Internationally, he served four popes on issues such as atomic energy and human rights.

Republicans prepare to pass Homeland Security funding

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 23:31

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hours from a partial agency shutdown, Congress is moving to approve a short-term funding bill for the Homeland Security Department that leaves intact Obama administration immigration policies Republicans vowed to repeal.