By Barbara Goldberg NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City, once notorious for high crime, broke a record on Thursday with no murders reported for 10 straight days, police said. The historic calm achieved at 12:01 a.m. Thursday comes on the heels of a notable year - murders in New York City in 2014 fell to an all-time low of 328, the fewest since the New York Police Department started keeping reliable records in 1963. "Everybody is behaving," said Sergeant Daniel Doody of the New York City Police Department. This year's notable zero comes in the wake of Mayor Bill de Blasio's struggle to mend a serious rift between City Hall and the country's biggest police force.
(Reuters) - A federal judge in Alabama will hear arguments on Thursday on whether to force a local judge to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, a case with implications for dozens of counties in the state that have not granted the licenses in defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court. The hearing, set to take place at 1 p.m. local time in Mobile, will pit gay rights advocates against Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis, whose county is the most populous of more than 40 of 67 in the state that have refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Mobile County's marriage license operations have been shuttered since Monday, when a ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Callie Granade striking down the state's ban on gay marriage took effect.
What resonates in the case of Brian Williams, who was suspended by NBC for six months, is the collision of celebrity, politics and media that first occurred with Gary Hart in 1987. Nearly three decades later, TV news and entertainment are almost impossible to separate, and probably no one has embodied that cultural shift more comfortably than Williams.
Veteran CBS News correspondent Bob Simon, a longtime member of the network's "60 Minutes" on-air team, was killed in a car accident on Wednesday night in New York City, CBS said. The New York Daily News reported that Simon was a passenger in a taxi or car for hire that slammed into the back of another vehicle and struck a metal barrier on Manhattan's West Side. New York police said their officers responded to such an accident but declined to confirm the identity of the victim until next of kin were notified. Simon's career spanned five decades, from covering the Vietnam War to a piece on "60 Minutes" last weekend about the Oscar-nominated civil rights drama "Selma." Tall, lanky and possessed of an erudite demeanor on camera, Simon has covered most major overseas conflicts from the 1960s to the present and has been a regular contributor to the weekly "60 Minutes" news magazine on CBS since 1996.
By Colleen Jenkins CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (Reuters) - A gunman who had posted anti-religious messages on Facebook and quarreled with neighbors was charged with killing three young Muslims in what police said on Wednesday was a dispute over parking and possibly a hate crime. Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, a full-time paralegal student from Chapel Hill, was charged with first-degree murder in Tuesday's shootings around 5 p.m. two miles (three km) from the University of North Carolina campus. The victims were newlyweds Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, a University of North Carolina dental student, and his wife Yusor Mohammad, 21, and Yusor's sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19.
By Robin Respaut SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of commuters on San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit system may have been exposed to measles after an infectious Bay Area resident rode a train to and from work for three days last week, public health officials said on Wednesday. The rider represents the first case of measles confirmed by Contra Costa County health officials during an outbreak of the disease that began in late December. "Although the risk of contracting measles by being exposed on BART is low, Bay Area residents should be aware of the situation," the county public health department said in a statement. The California Department of Public Health said on Wednesday that 110 cases of measles had been confirmed in California, many of them linked to the outbreak that authorities believe began when an infected person from out of the country visited Disneyland in late December.
By Colleen Jenkins CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (Reuters) - In post-9/11 America, Aya Zouhri and her fellow Muslim female friends who cover their heads with scarves say they are used to getting occasional dirty looks or ugly comments from strangers. "The way he said it was very much like, 'I'm actually worried something could happen to you,'" the senior global studies major recalled outside a room at the university where Muslim students gathered for afternoon prayers. Several Muslim students who attend the university said they have always felt safe and accepted in Chapel Hill, a college town about 30 miles (48 km) from Raleigh that is known for basketball and affordable higher education. Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, was a University of North Carolina dental student, his wife Yusor Mohammad, 21, was preparing to start at the dentistry school in the fall, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, was a sophomore at nearby North Carolina State University, where the couple were both alumni.
By Elizabeth Barber BOSTON (Reuters) - The long-running process of picking a jury to hear the trial of accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev resumed on Wednesday after a massive winter storm forced two days of delay. The court is in its sixth week of trying to select 12 jurors and six alternates to hear the case of the April 15, 2013, attack that killed three people and injured 264 at the finish line of Boston's best-attended sporting event.
By Jon Herskovitz STEPHENVILLE, Texas (Reuters) - A former U.S. Marine acted with forethought and malice when he fatally shot Chris Kyle, the former Navy SEAL whose best-selling autobiography was turned into the hit movie "American Sniper," prosecutors told a Texas jury on Wednesday. Opening statements began in the trial of Eddie Ray Routh, 27, charged with murdering Kyle, who was credited with the most kills of any U.S. sniper, as well as Kyle's friend Chad Littlefield in February 2013 at a shooting range about 70 miles (110 km) southwest of Fort Worth.