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Israel denies report it spied on U.S.-Iran nuke talks

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 00:44

Israel has spied on Iran's nuclear talks with the United States and other major powers, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. Israel quickly dismissed the report as "not true", and denied spying on the United States. The Journal report, quoting current and former US officials, said the operation was designed to infiltrate the talks and help build a case against the emerging terms of a deal. Besides eavesdropping, Israel obtained information from confidential US briefings, informants and diplomatic contacts in Europe, the officials told the Journal.


Man accused of weekend abduction dies in Wisconsin: media

Tue, 03/24/2015 - 00:28
(Reuters) - A man accused of abducting a woman from a southeastern Wisconsin hospital on Sunday and then abandoning her and fleeing following a gunfight with police died on Monday evening, local broadcaster WISN-TV in Milwaukee reported. Stantavious Sillas, 20, was on the run for nearly a day before police found footprints in the snow leading to his hiding spot in some bushes in Mount Pleasant village, Racine County Sheriff's Office said on its Facebook page. He shot himself with a handgun as police closed in on him and was taken to a Milwaukee hospital for treatment, it said. The hunt for Sillas began on Sunday afternoon after a woman was taken from Lakeview Specialty Hospital and Rehab in Waterford, about 30 miles (48 km) southwest of Milwaukee, the Racine Journal Times reported.

Five wounded in shooting near university in Tennessee

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 20:45
(Reuters) - Five people were wounded in a shooting a few blocks away from the campus of a Tennessee university on Monday night, and Clarksville police were still searching for perpetrator. Two of the wounded were transported via medical helicopter and two were transported by ambulance to hospitals, Hall said. University campus police said in a statement on its Facebook account that one of the victims was transported via medical helicopter from the school's intramural field, the statement said.

Milwaukee panel upholds dismissal of police officer over fatal shooting

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 20:15
(Reuters) - A former Milwaukee police officer who was fired after fatally shooting an unarmed black man with a history of mental illness violated department protocol and will not get his job back, officials decided at a hearing on Monday. The ruling, made by a three-commissioner Milwaukee Fire and Police Commission panel on Monday against Christopher Manney, comes in the wake of high-profile police killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri and New York City that sparked months of protest against police violence nationwide. The panel said that Manney, who was fired from the police force following the fatal April 30, 2014 incident, violated protocol in the 'pat down' and use of force against Dontre Hamilton, according to video of the hearing published online by local broadcaster FOX6. We want better policing," Nate Hamilton, the victim's brother, told reporters on Monday.

Ex-NFL star Sharper admits to sexual assaults in California, Arizona

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 18:07

By Daina Beth Solomon and Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former NFL star Darren Sharper admitted in court on Monday to drugging and raping women in California and Arizona and was expected to plead guilty in similar Nevada and Louisiana cases in plea deals prosecutors say will land him in prison for at least nine years. Appearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Sharper entered a plea of no-contest, the legal equivalent of guilty, to two counts of rape by use of drugs and four counts of furnishing a controlled substance, the prescription sleep medication Zolpidem, sold under the brand name Ambien. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said the five-time Pro Bowl National Football League safety was expected to be sentenced to 20 years in prison under the terms of his plea deal there. Formal sentencing on the California charges was set for July 15.


Robert Durst denied bail in New Orleans, linked to Vermont cold case

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 17:43

By Jonathan Kaminsky NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Robert Durst, the real estate scion awaiting extradition to California to face a murder charge, was denied bail on Monday in New Orleans, as police in Vermont said they were probing a link between him and an 18-year-old woman who went missing in 1971. Durst, recently featured in the HBO documentary "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst," must remain in Louisiana on weapons charges until his next court date on April 2, Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell ruled, finding him a likely flight risk and a potential danger to others. Durst's lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, did not seek bail but argued his client's arrest and the search of his hotel room earlier this month in New Orleans were improper, and that investigators wrongly interviewed him without counsel present. The HBO documentary broadcast Durst being presented with evidence his handwriting appeared to match that of Berman's likely killer.


Ex-NFL star Sharper admits to sexual assaults in California, Arizona

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 14:39

By Daina Beth Solomon and Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former NFL star Darren Sharper admitted in court on Monday to drugging and raping women in California and Arizona and was expected to plead guilty in similar Nevada and Louisiana cases in plea deals prosecutors say will land him in prison for at least nine years. Appearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Sharper entered a plea of no-contest, the legal equivalent of guilty, to two counts of rape by use of drugs and four counts of furnishing a controlled substance, the prescription sleep medication Zolpidem, sold under the brand name Ambien. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said the five-time Pro Bowl National Football League safety was expected to be sentenced to 20 years in prison under the terms of his plea deal there. Formal sentencing on the California charges was set for July 15.


Warrant: Ferguson shooting suspect confessed on hidden cam

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 14:00
A confidential informant wearing a hidden video camera recorded accused gunman Jeffrey L. Williams admitting that he fired the shots that seriously wounded two police officers during a recent demonstration in Ferguson, Mo., according to search warrants obtained by Yahoo News.

Poll: Most Boston residents oppose death penalty for Tsarnaev

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 12:39

A new poll finds most Boston residents oppose the death penalty for admitted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.


New Orleans judge declares Robert Durst major flight risk, denies bail

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 11:26

By Jonathan Kaminsky NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Robert Durst, the real estate scion awaiting extradition to California to face a murder charge, was denied bail on Monday after a judge deemed him to be a potential danger to others and a likely flight risk. Durst, recently featured in the HBO documentary "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst," must remain in Louisiana on local weapons charges at least until his next court date on April 2, Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell ruled. Durst's lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, did not seek bail but argued his client's arrest and the search of his hotel room earlier this month in New Orleans were improper. Durst's attorneys want to expedite his extradition to Los Angeles County, where he has been charged with the 2000 murder of longtime friend Susan Berman.


Ex-NFL star Sharper pleads no contest in Los Angeles to two rapes

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 10:52

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former National Football League star Darren Sharper pleaded no contest on Monday to charges in Los Angeles of drugging four women and raping two of them, after receiving a nine-year prison sentence for a sexual assault case in Arizona. (Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)


U.S. top court rejects challenge to Wisconsin voter ID law

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 07:55

By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday rejected a challenge to Wisconsin's Republican-backed law requiring voters to present photo identification to cast a ballot, a measure Democrats contend is aimed at keeping their supporters from voting. The justices declined to hear an appeal filed by the American Civil Liberties Union, which challenged the law. The ACLU said it then filed an emergency motion with a federal appeals court to try to keep the law from taking effect immediately. Republican Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel said the law cannot be implemented for the state's April 7 election because absentee ballots are already in the hands of voters but would be in place for future elections.


U.S. top court declines to hear Texas death row inmate's appeal

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 06:06
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal filed by Texas death row inmate Lester Bower, including his assertion that three decades on death row amount to cruel and unusual punishment. Bower, 67, is one of the longest-serving prisoners on death row in Texas. He was sentenced to death for murdering four men in 1983 in an aircraft hangar near Sherman, Texas.

New Orleans judge to weigh whether Robert Durst a major flight risk

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 03:05

By Jonathan Kaminsky NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Robert Durst, the real estate scion awaiting extradition to California to face a murder charge, is set to appear in a New Orleans courtroom on Monday on local weapons charges, with a judge expected to weigh how big a flight risk he represents. Durst's attorneys have said they plan to seek both to expedite his extradition to Los Angeles County, where he has been charged with the 2000 murder of longtime friend Susan Berman, and to challenge the basis for his arrest on a Los Angeles County murder warrant earlier this month in New Orleans. The final installment of the HBO documentary "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst" broadcast evidence that Durst's handwriting appeared to match that of Berman's likely killer. The 71-year-old Durst's voice was then captured on a microphone saying to himself that he had "killed them all." Long a suspect in the disappearance of his wife, Kathleen Durst, in 1982 in New York, Durst was acquitted in the dismemberment killing of his male neighbor in Texas in 2003.


Slain Mexican farmworker's life crumbled after traumas in America

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 03:04

By Eric M. Johnson PASCO, Wash. (Reuters) - The afternoon before Antonio Zambrano-Montes was shot dead by police after he pelted them with rocks, the farmworker had walked out of a Washington state jail a free man. Zambrano-Montes' death sparked protests by demonstrators who complain Pasco police were too quick to use lethal force in their fourth slaying in seven months, in an agricultural city with about 68,000 residents. Like many migrant workers, Zambrano-Montes arrived in Washington state's apple-growing belt seeking opportunity about a decade ago, but his life swiftly crumbled after a series of personal tragedies and drug use. "He had a hard time, he certainly needed help," said Eduardo Baca Cuenca, the Seattle-based Mexican consul.


Extremist literature in focus at Boston Marathon bombing trial

Mon, 03/23/2015 - 03:01

An FBI computer specialist will face cross-examination by defense attorneys, who have already admitted that the 21-year-old defendant committed all the crimes he is accused of, but they also contend he did so in an act of subservience to his older brother, not because of a personal passion. Copies of Al Qaeda's "Inspire" magazine found on his laptop, including one titled "How to Make a Bomb in the Kitchen of Your Mom" and another document titled "The Slicing Sword," could be central to prosecutors' bid to establish his motive and convince the jury he deserves a death sentence. FBI Special Agent Kevin Swindon will be the first witness to speak on Monday, the 11th day of Tsarnaev's trial in U.S. district court in Boston. Tsarnaev is accused of killing three people and injuring 264 with a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs at the race's crowded finish line on April 15, 2013, and with fatally shooting a police officer three days later as he and his 26-year-old brother, Tamerlan, tried to flee the city.


Sen. Ted Cruz launches campaign at world's largest Christian college

Sun, 03/22/2015 - 23:54

He announces his presidential candidacy on Twitter just after midnight.


Confederate flag at center of Supreme Court free-speech case

Sun, 03/22/2015 - 23:27

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is weighing a free-speech challenge to Texas' refusal to issue a license plate bearing the Confederate battle flag.


Woman fatally stabbed while visiting at Chicago area hospital

Sun, 03/22/2015 - 18:30
By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - Chicago suburban police are investigating the stabbing death of a woman by an estranged family member while both were visiting a patient at a hospital on Sunday. The 42-year-old woman was attacked by a 44-year-old man at Alexian Brothers Medical Center in Elk Grove Village. The suspect was immediately taken into custody without incident and was being cooperative, according to Elk Grove Village Police. The woman was identified as Francisca Quintero of Burlington, Wisconsin, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office.

Remains may be linked to Alaska family missing nearly a year

Sun, 03/22/2015 - 17:53
By Steve Quinn JUNEAU, Alaska (Reuters) - Clothing and human remains possibly connected to the May 2014 disappearance of a Kenai, Alaska, family of four have been found along a trail near their home, police said on Sunday. Rebecca Adams, 23, her two young daughters and her 38-year-old boyfriend, Brandon Jividen, were reported missing on May 27 from their home in Kenai, a city of about 7,300 located 65 miles southwest of Anchorage. The daughters are 3-year-old Jaraca Hundley and 6-year-old Michelle Hundley. A preliminary review of the area west of the family’s apartment produced items identified as missing from the residence, the Kenai police said in a statement.

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