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Updated: 19 min 32 sec ago

Hurricane Gonzalo scores bull's eye hit on Bermuda

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 21:03

By Sam Strangeways HAMILTON Bermuda (Reuters) - Hurricane Gonzalo slammed into Bermuda on Friday, knocking out most of the electricity as it lashed the tiny Atlantic island chain with pounding surf, torrential rain and howling wind, but there were no immediate reports of injuries. The strongest storm to sweep the subtropical British territory in a decade made full landfall at about 8:30 p.m. as the 35-mile-wide (56 km) eye of the storm crossed the south-central coast of Bermuda, the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami reported. ...

California police identify remains of missing Saudi student

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 20:06

By Daina Beth Solomon LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Police said on Friday they had identified the remains of a man found alongside a freeway in a Southern California desert city as those of a college student from Saudi Arabia who went missing in September. Abdullah Abdullatif Alkadi, 23, was last seen at his home in the Los Angeles suburb of Reseda on Sept. 17, the Los Angeles Police Department said. Authorities discovered his body in Palm Desert, roughly 125 miles (200 km) to the southeast, on Thursday. ...

Courts knock down gay marriage bans in Arizona, Alaska, Wyoming

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 19:14

By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - Barriers to gay marriage fell in Arizona, Alaska and Wyoming on Friday following a series of federal court actions in the latest in a series of legal victories for supporters of same-sex matrimony in America. In Arizona, U.S. District Judge John Sedwick wrote in a ruling made public on Friday that the state's curbs on gay marriage were "unconstitutional by virtue of the fact that they deny same-sex couples the equal protection of the law." Same-sex couples in the state began getting married right away. ...

Obama names Ebola 'czar,' beefs up Texas response

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 18:06

By Jeff Mason and Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama appointed a former White House adviser as U.S. Ebola "czar" on Friday and named senior officials to help step up the government's response the disease in Texas, where it first appeared on U.S. soil. Obama, facing criticism from some lawmakers over his administration's handling of efforts to contain the virus, appointed Ron Klain, a lawyer who had served as chief of staff to Vice Presidents Joe Biden and Al Gore, to oversee the U.S. response. ...

In turn, gay marriage becomes legal in Arizona

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 15:11

PHOENIX (AP) — Gay marriage became legal in Arizona on Friday, a sharp turn for a state that became ground zero in the clash over gay rights less than a year ago when the state Legislature passed a bill allowing businesses to deny service to gays and lesbians.

Eye of weakening Hurricane Gonzalo smashes into Bermuda

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 14:47

By Sam Strangeways HAMILTON Bermuda (Reuters) - The eyewall of Hurricane Gonzalo made a direct hit on Bermuda on Friday evening pounding the Bermuda coast with high waves, driving rain and gusting winds, becoming the strongest storm to hit the tiny Atlantic island chain in a decade, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center. "At least part of the island, if not the entire island, is going to be in the eye," said hurricane center specialist Stacy Stewart. "It's a very large eye. ...

Good news for Hunter Biden after cocaine controversy

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 11:33

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hunter Biden, the youngest son of Vice President Joe Biden, faces no automatic review of his law license in Connecticut following his discharge from the U.S. Navy Reserve after testing positive for cocaine use, Connecticut legal authorities said Friday.

Supreme Court allows gay marriage in Alaska

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 11:27

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday allowed gay marriage in Alaska to go into effect, increasing the number of U.S. states that permit gay marriage to 31. The nine justices rejected a last-minute request from the state, which wanted to block a ruling by a federal judge on Sunday that struck down the state's ban. Gay and lesbian couples will now be able to obtain marriage licenses. (Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and James Dalgleish)

Mysterious 'space plane' lands in California

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 10:17

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — A top-secret space plane landed Friday at an Air Force base on the Southern California coast.

White House comments on travel ban

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 09:52

The president responds to calls to impose a travel ban as part of efforts to fight Ebola.

Obama appoints Ebola 'czar'; Texas health worker isolated on ship

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 09:34

By Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama appointed a former White House adviser as U.S. Ebola "czar" on Friday as the global death toll from the disease that has hit mostly three West African countries rose to more than 4,500. Amid growing concerns about the spread of the virus in the United States, authorities said a Texas health worker who may have had contact with specimens from an Ebola patient was quarantined on a cruise ship. ...

Federal judge strikes down Arizona's ban on gay marriage

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 09:29

By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - A federal judge has struck down Arizona's ban on gay marriage, declaring it unconstitutional in a move that marks the latest in a series of victories for supporters of same-sex marriage in America, court papers showed on Friday. U.S. District Judge John Sedwick, in a ruling dated Thursday but made public on Friday, wrote that Arizona restrictions on gay marriage were "unconstitutional by virtue of the fact that they deny same-sex couples the equal protection of the law. ...

Girls are going home

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 09:24

Nigeria says it's reached a deal with Boko Haram.

Sentence given in 'loud music' murder

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 09:24

A Florida man who killed a teen playing high-volume music learned his fate.

Fourth U.S. traffic death linked to Takata air bags

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 08:41

By Ben Klayman and Barbara Liston DETROIT/ORLANDO (Reuters) - A fourth traffic death in a Honda Motor Co car has been linked to a defective air bag made by Japanese supplier Takata Corp, according to a county medical examiner in Florida. Hien Tran died Oct. 2, four days after her red 2001 Honda Accord sedan struck another car in Orlando and the air bags exploded, sending shrapnel at the 51-year-old woman, according to the Florida Highway Patrol crash report and Orange-Osceola Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Jan Garavaglia. ...

Texas Gov. Rick Perry speaks out about Ebola

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 08:31

DALLAS (AP) — Texas Gov. Rick Perry has joined calls for an air travel ban from countries hit the hardest by Ebola.

Pushback against Islamic State showing results

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 08:04

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of U.S. troops in the Middle East said on Friday Iraqi forces are "incrementally" recapturing ground from Islamic State militants who seized much of the country's northwest this year, but he added that major Iraq advances will take time. "They are doing some things now to incrementally recapture ground that's been lost," General Lloyd Austin, head of U.S. Central Command, said in his first news conference about the conflict. He cited the Kurdish operation around Mosul Dam and their recapture of the border post of Rabia. Austin said U.S. ...

2nd Ebola nurse 'felt funny' while in Ohio

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 08:03

Officials try to identify anyone who may have come into contact with Amber Joy Vinson.

Nigerian military claims Boko Haram cease-fire, release of schoolgirls

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 07:59

Abuja (AFP) - Nigeria on Friday claimed to have reached a deal with Boko Haram militants on a ceasefire and the release of more than 200 kidnapped schoolgirls but doubts immediately surrounded the purported breakthrough.

Mysterious gun attacks against police in Washington state

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 07:41

MARYSVILLE, Wash. (AP) — A day after dozens of gunshots were directed at police in three Washington state towns, law enforcement officials said little about what prompted the shootings.