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Indian woman allegedly raped by Uber driver plans to sue in U.S.

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 03:20
A woman who was allegedly raped by an Uber taxi driver in India's capital has hired a prominent lawyer to sue the online-hailing taxi service in U.S. courts. The financial executive, who cannot be named under an Indian law that grants rape victims anonymity, has hired Douglas Wigdor, a New York-based employment lawyer."We have been in talks over the last few weeks, which led to me being retained," Wigdor said in an email, declining to comment on the basis or timing of any case. Among recent work, Wigdor represented the hotel maid who accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault. The Delhi government blacklisted Uber from operating in the capital last month after the alleged attack on the passenger as she returned home from seeing friends.The case triggered protests and reignited a debate about the safety of women in Asia's third-largest economy, especially in New Delhi, which has been dubbed India's rape capital.

Two dead inside Florida home after robbery suspect cornered

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 02:19
(Reuters) - Police found two bodies in a house in central Florida on Thursday after they had cornered a robbery suspect there then stopped him in a blaze of gunfire as he tried to drive a car through their cordon. Officers had surrounded the house in Haines City after a resident reported suspicious activity at her neighbor's home. Police dogs also tackled him.

Pakistanis protest Charlie Hebdo

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 02:08

Anti-Charlie Hebdo protesters face police outside the French consulate in Karachi.

GOP’s biggest tech challenge for 2016 is closing small-donor gap

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 01:23

In the world of money and politics, Democrats talk a lot about wealthy Republican donors, but the reality is that in recent years they’ve had a cash advantage over Republicans that the GOP has not been able to match.

Republican activists widely say Romney should sit out White House run

Fri, 01/16/2015 - 00:20

By Tim Reid SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Mitt Romney's declaration that he is considering a third shot at the White House after being a two-time Republican presidential loser was widely greeted with disdain at a national gathering of Republican activists on Thursday. Romney, the Republican U.S. presidential nominee in 2012, told a meeting of donors in New York last week that he is considering another White House run in 2016. Romney lost to incumbent Democratic president Barack Obama in 2012, and lost the Republican presidential nominating race in 2008 to Senator John McCain. If Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, does enter the 2016 presidential race, opposition to a possible third White House attempt is already widespread and deeply felt, according to interviews with a gathering of grassroots Republican party members where Romney is scheduled to speak on Friday night.

Belgian terror raid puts Europe on high alert

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 23:42

German and French police make fresh arrests a week after the attacks in Paris.

Pentagon to deploy 400 troops to train Syrian rebels

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 21:13

The U.S. military is planning to deploy more than 400 troops to help train Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State, along with hundreds of U.S. support personnel, a Pentagon spokesman told Reuters on Thursday. The U.S. military has not yet identified where it will draw its forces from for the training mission, expected to begin in the spring at sites outside Syria, Colonel Steve Warren said. The training program is a part of President Barack Obama's multi-year plan to field local forces in Syria to halt and eventually roll back Islamic State fighters, while pounding them with U.S.-led airstrikes.

Oklahoma carries out its first execution since botched one

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 19:55

Another inmate is executed in Florida using the same three-drug method.

Occupy protesters arrested in Oakland to share $1.4 million settlement

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 19:34
Hundreds of protesters arrested during a 2012 Occupy movement demonstration in Oakland, California, have won a nearly $1.4 million settlement of a lawsuit that accused authorities of violating their civil rights, an attorney said on Thursday. The federal lawsuit against Oakland and the county of Alameda said the mass arrests on Jan. 28, 2012, violated the protesters' constitutional rights to free speech, due process, and protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. Attorneys for the protesters contended they were taking part in an Occupy Oakland protest against economic inequality and had gathered peacefully outside a Young Men's Christian Association center in Oakland when, without cause, police took more than 350 people into custody.

Oklahoma and Florida execute convicted murderers

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 17:39

Oklahoma put to death convicted murderer and rapist Charles Warner on Thursday, its first execution since a faulty lethal injection last April sparked widespread criticism and led the state to draw up new protocols for its death chamber. At nearly the same time, Florida executed Johnny Kormondy, 42, for the fatal 1993 shooting of Pensacola banker Gary McAdams and the rape of his wife, according to the state Department of Corrections. Both executions had been delayed as the U.S. Supreme Court considered appeals concerning secrecy surrounding the source of the lethal injection cocktail and what is in the mix.

Obama measures on Cuba trade, travel poke new holes in embargo

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 15:22

By Anna Yukhananov, Matt Spetalnick and Krista Hughes WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States announced sweeping new rules on Thursday that will significantly ease sanctions on Cuba, opening up the communist-ruled island to expanded U.S. travel, trade and financial activities. Defying hardline critics in Congress, President Barack Obama made good on his commitment last month to loosen restrictions on dealings with Cuba as part of an historic effort to end decades of hostility. The U.S. embargo on Cuba, in place for 54 years, will remain. Only Congress can lift it.

Immigrants can now get Mexican birth certificates in U.S.

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 14:47

SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — For Mexicans living in the U.S. illegally and hoping to stay in the country under President Barack Obama's new immigration policy, things just got one step simpler.

Bill Cosby praises fans for loyalty before Denver shows

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 14:00

Bill Cosby released a statement thanking his fans for sticking by his side and buying tickets to his upcoming performances in Denver.

Obama measures on Cuba trade, travel poke new holes in embargo

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 12:18

By Anna Yukhananov, Matt Spetalnick and Krista Hughes WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States announced sweeping new rules on Thursday that will significantly ease sanctions on Cuba, opening up the communist-ruled island to expanded U.S. travel, trade and financial activities. Defying hardline critics in Congress, President Barack Obama made good on his commitment last month to loosen restrictions on dealings with Cuba as part of a historic effort to end decades of hostility. The 54-year-old U.S. embargo on Cuba will remain in place - only Congress can lift it. It was the first tangible U.S. step to implement economic changes Obama pledged on Dec. 17 when he and Cuban President Raul Castro announced plans to restore diplomatic relations between the old Cold War foes.

Picking Boston Marathon bombing jury looms as challenge

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 12:09

By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - The challenge of seating a jury to hear the Boston Marathon bombing trial became clear on Thursday as candidates included a man whose roommates had urged him to vote for execution and a theologian worried such a vote would end his career. U.S. District Judge George O'Toole worked his way through a few dozen people as he sought to build a panel of 12 jurors and six alternates to determine whether 21-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was guilty of killing three people and injuring 264 in the attack and, if so, whether he deserves the death penalty. Another candidate, a professor of Catholic theology, said he could vote for the death penalty only if the U.S. prison system had physically collapsed. "Should the walls come down and we needed to protect innocent lives, then one could enforce the death penalty," said the man, who added such a vote would likely prevent him from getting tenure.

New Yorkers concerned by mayor's rift with police, poll shows

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 11:51

A majority of New York City residents are concerned by the unusually deep rift that has formed between Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city's police department, according to a poll released on Thursday, with 77 percent saying the relationship is bad. Forty-five percent say it is the mayor's fault, while 43 percent say it is the police's, according to the Quinnipiac University Poll. Amid police anger over the mayor's qualified support for some of the police's fiercest critics, the number of arrests and court summonses plummeted for two weeks in late December as the nation's largest police department embarked on what city leaders called a slowdown.

Belgium police kill 2 in anti-terror raid during shootout

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 11:48

VERVIERS, Belgium (AP) — Belgian security forces killed two terror suspects with links to Syria in a fierce shootout in the eastern city of Verviers on Thursday and arrested another, foiling a major and imminent attack against police buildings, authorities said.

Charlie Hebdo cofounder blames slain editor for provoking attack

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 11:16

Stéphane Charbonnier is criticized for "overdoing it" by publishing provocative cartoons.

Protests against police violence close Boston highway

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 09:41

Massachusetts State Police on Thursday arrested 29 people who stopped traffic on two sections of a major highway into Boston during the morning rush hour to protest the recent killings by U.S. police of unarmed black men. Protesters stopped traffic north and south of Boston during the morning rush hour, officials said. "Our nonviolent direct action is meant to expose the reality that Boston is a city where white commuters and students use the city and leave, while black and brown communities are targeted by police, exploited and displaced," organizer Katie Seitz said in a statement. Massachusetts State Police said the protesters prevented an ambulance carrying a crash victim with life-threatening injuries from reaching a trauma center in Boston, and forced it to divert to a smaller hospital outside the city.

Michigan must recognize legal marriages of 300 same-sex couples

Thu, 01/15/2015 - 08:56

Michigan must recognize the legal marriages of about 300 same-sex couples who were wed in the state in a one-day period last year after a federal court struck down a ban on gay marriage and before the decision was put on hold by a U.S. appeals court, a judge ruled Thursday. The same-sex couples who married in Michigan during that brief period acquired a fundamental right under the U.S. Constitution even though a U.S. appeals court has reversed the 2014 decision that struck down the Michigan law, U.S. District Court Judge Mark Goldsmith ruled. Eight same-sex couples had challenged Michigan's refusal to recognize their marriages entered into after a federal judge ruled on March 21 that the state's ban was unconstitutional and before a 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals stay closed the window the next day. Thursday's ruling comes as the U.S. Supreme Court considers whether to take up cases concerning gay marriage bans in Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky and Tennessee, all part of the Cincinnati-based 6th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that upheld same-sex marriage bans in November.