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Armed man arrested in LA where Biden was due to speak

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 14:14
A man with a loaded handgun was arrested in Los Angeles on Wednesday as he tried to drive through a security checkpoint outside a business where U.S. Vice President Joe Biden was due to speak a few hours later, police said. Biden was not at the venue when the man was taken into custody at about 9:15 a.m. in the city's North Hollywood area, just west of the Bob Hope Airport in neighboring Burbank, according to Los Angeles police Sergeant Kyle Kirkman. Law enforcement officers confronting the man were alerted to the possibility of a gun when he "advised them that he had a loaded weapon in the vehicle," a Secret Service spokeswoman in Washington, Nicole Mainor, told Reuters.

Federal charges including hate crimes for accused shooter

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 14:01

The man accused of killing nine black church members last month in Charleston, South Carolina, was indicted Wednesday on 33 federal counts, including hate crimes, firearms violations and obstructing the practice of religion, which could include the death penalty.

New York moves to raise state minimum wage to $15 for fast-food workers

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 13:45

By Sebastien Malo NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York moved on Wednesday to raise the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 an hour by the end of 2018 in New York City and by mid-2021 in the rest of the state. The New York Wage Board voted unanimously for the increase, which would cover some 180,000 workers statewide and affect fast-food chains with 30 locations or more in the United States. The three-member board was formed at the behest of Governor Andrew Cuomo in May after the state legislature turned down his proposals for minimum wage increases for most workers.

Alleged Charleston shooter faces federal hate crime charges: Lynch

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 11:42

(Reuters) - Alleged Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof faces federal hate crimes and firearms charges that could lead to the death penalty or life in prison, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Wednesday. A federal grand jury in South Carolina returned a 33-count indictment against Roof, accused of killing nine people attending Bible study at a historically black church last month, Lynch said. The federal government has not decided if it will seek the death penalty if Roof is convicted, according to Lynch.

LaGuardia, JFK workers suspend plans to strike Wednesday: union

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 10:09
(Reuters) - Command Security Corp employees who work at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport have suspended plans to strike on Wednesday, the 32BJ SEIU service workers union said.

FBI says still not known if Tennessee shooting suspect was radicalized

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 09:42

The FBI still has not determined whether the suspect in the fatal shootings of five U.S. servicemen in Tennessee last week was radicalized in the run-up to the rampage, the special agent in charge of the investigation said on Wednesday. "At this time, we’re treating him as a homegrown violent extremist," Reinhold said.

Unearthed: 1970s Bill Cosby on drugs and downers

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 08:26

Bill Cosby discussed downers on a Grammy Award-winning album for children called “Bill Cosby Talks to Kids About Drugs” in the 1970s.

Texas officials say video of Sandra Bland traffic stop not edited

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 08:20

(Reuters) - The dashboard video camera of a traffic stop in Texas of a black woman later found hanging dead in her jail cell was not edited but efforts are being made to repost it, Texas officials said on Wednesday, citing technical issues. The video, released publicly late on Tuesday, shows how the stop of Sandra Bland for a failure to signal a lane change quickly escalated into an altercation between her and a state trooper. Footage where a car or a tow truck driver are suddenly seen in different places or gone raised questions about whether the video had been altered.

U.S. team in Jordan to interrogate uncle of Tennessee shooter: lawyer

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 04:45

U.S. investigators are in Jordan to interrogate the Jordanian-American uncle of a suspect in the fatal shooting of five U.S. servicemen in Tennessee last week, the uncle's lawyer said on Wednesday. The suspected gunman, 24-year-old Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, was killed in a gunfight with police on July 16 after he sprayed gunfire at a military recruitment center in Chattanooga and then at a nearby Naval Reserve Center. The engineer's family say he had long-standing psychological and substance abuse issues and was taken to stay with his uncle, Assad Ibrahim Abdulazeez Haj Ali, in Amman for a short visit last year to help his recovery.

Colorado death penalty in focus as massacre trial enters new phase

Wed, 07/22/2015 - 02:09

The lead prosecutor in the Colorado movie massacre trial tore into the state's governor at a news conference, calling him arrogant and weak for giving the mass murderer a reprieve from execution. This was two years ago, and Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler was not talking about James Holmes, who last week was found guilty on all counts by a jury for fatally shooting 12 people and wounding 70 at a midnight premiere of a Batman film in July 2012. At the time, Brauchler was responding to Governor John Hickenlooper's decision to grant a temporary reprieve in an earlier Denver-area mass killing.

Obama tells Jon Stewart: You 'cannot leave the show'

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 19:42

Fulfilling yet another obligation as an outgoing President, Barack Obama paid a ceremonial visit to The Daily Show on Tuesday night, his farewell to another outgoing dignitary, Jon Stewart.  “I’m going to issue a new executive order,” said the President. “Jon Stewart cannot leave the show.” Then he added wryly, “It’s being challenged in the courts.” With a tone approaching jealousy, Obama said, “I can’t believe you’re leaving before me.”

Video shows how traffic stop escalated into confrontation

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 19:39

HEMPSTEAD, Texas (AP) — A police dashboard video released Tuesday shows that a Texas state trooper tried to pull a black motorist out of her car, then drew his stun gun and threatened her after she refused to follow his orders during a traffic stop.

Video shows that traffic stop of woman who died in Texas jail escalated quickly

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 18:01

Dashboard camera video released on Tuesday involving the traffic stop in Texas of a woman later found hanging dead in her jail cell showed how the incident quickly escalated into an altercation between her and a state trooper. Sandra Bland, a 28-year-old black woman from the Chicago area, was pulled over on July 10 in Prairie View, Texas, northwest of Houston, for failing to signal a lane change. The 52-minute video, released by the Texas Department of Public Safety, shows the trooper, Brian Encinia, approaching the car and asking if Bland is irritated.

Tennessee suspect's family sees depression, shame behind rampage

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 17:20

Members of Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez's family believe deep depression and shame over an drunken driving charge may have led him to go on a rampage in which five U.S. servicemen died last week, a source close to the family said on Tuesday. Two days before the Chattanooga attack, Abdulazeez told his family he was going to work, the source said, but they learned from his friends that he instead took a marijuana and alcohol-fueled "joy ride" in a rented car. The trigger for his "bender" was the worsening of depression that had dogged him for years, the family believes.

Trump gives out Lindsey Graham's cell number

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 14:47

Rogue GOP candidate Donald Trump retaliates after Graham calls him "the world's biggest jackass."

On 'Daily Show,' Obama teases Cheney fans on Iran deal

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 13:21

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama told comedian Jon Stewart on Tuesday that critics of his Iran deal think he should have sent former Vice President Dick Cheney to the negotiations with the Iranians.

Facebook must hand over New York users' info to prosecutors, court rules

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 11:47

Facebook Inc cannot challenge search warrants New York prosecutors used to get information from its site on hundreds of users suspected of Social Security fraud, a state appeals court said on Tuesday, in a decision likely making it harder for New Yorkers to keep their digital lives private. The warrants, which applied to 381 users' photos, private messages and other account information, could only be challenged by individual defendants after prosecutors gathered evidence, the Manhattan-based court unanimously ruled. Facebook was backed in the case by a group of large Internet companies including Google Inc and Microsoft Corp, which argued the case could set a troubling precedent giving prosecutors access to all kinds of digital information.

U.S. appeals court vacates some convictions of former Illinois Governor Blagojevich

Tue, 07/21/2015 - 11:27

(Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday said it had vacated some convictions of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who was charged with attempted extortion from campaign contributors, wire fraud and other crimes.