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Attorney general visits Baltimore after charges in Gray case

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 04:08

New Attorney General Loretta Lynch and the head of the Justice Department's civil rights division will travel to Baltimore on Tuesday, the week after the city's top prosecutor charged six police officers in the death of a black man. Lynch planned to meet with city officials, members of Congress, law enforcement, faith and community leaders, a Justice Department official said. Lynch was to be accompanied by Vanita Gupta, head of Justice's civil rights division, and Ronald Davis, director of its Office of Community Oriented Policing Services, or COPS.

Boston bomber's lawyers continue case against death sentence

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 03:40

Lawyers for the convicted Boston Marathon bomber prepared to call fresh witnesses on Tuesday as they argue that a federal jury should sentence Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to life in prison, rather than death, for his role in the deadly 2013 attack. Tsarnaev, 21, was found guilty last month of killing three people and injuring 264 others with a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs at the race's crowded finish line on April 15, 2013, as well as fatally shooting a police officer three days later as Tsarnaev and his older brother prepared to flee Boston. Defense lawyers, who at the trial's opening in March conceded that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev had committed all the crimes of which he was accused, contend that 26-year-old Tamerlan was the driving force behind the bombing, with his younger brother coming along out of a sense of sibling loyalty.

IS claims responsibility for Texas cartoon attack

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 03:17

CAIRO (AP) — The Islamic State group claimed responsibility on Tuesday for a weekend attack at a center near Dallas, Texas, that was exhibiting cartoon depictions of the Prophet Muhammad — though it offered no evidence of a direct link to the attackers.

The Mike Huckabee record

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 01:59

The conservative TV host was not nearly as hardline a governor as many would imagine.

Obama-inspired foundation gets its start, with $80 million in the bank

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 01:59

President Barack Obama announced Monday that a new nonprofit aimed at empowering young men and boys of color has already raised $80 million from PepsiCo, Deloitte and other corporate sponsors.

Gunman in Mohammad cartoon attack in Texas monitored for years

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 01:31

By Jon Herskovitz and David Schwartz GARLAND, Texas/PHOENIX (Reuters) - Federal agents for years monitored one of the two gunmen who were shot dead after opening fire with assault rifles at a heavily guarded Texas exhibit of caricatures of the Prophet Mohammad. Two government sources who asked not to be named said the gunmen were roommates Elton Simpson and Nadir Soofi, of Phoenix. Court documents show Simpson had been under surveillance since 2006 and was convicted in 2011 of lying to FBI agents over his desire to join violent jihad in Somalia. FBI agents and police searched the two men's home at the Autumn Ridge Apartments in north-central Phoenix, cordoning off the complex and evacuating residents for several hours.

Kerry visits Somalia; 1st such trip for a secretary of state

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 01:22

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry made an unannounced trip to Somalia Tuesday in a show of solidarity with a government trying to defeat al-Qaida-allied militants and end decades of war in the African country. He is first top U.S. diplomat ever to visit Somalia.

Eyeing the White House again, Huckabee can’t escape lifelong anxieties about money

Tue, 05/05/2015 - 01:00

Eyeing the White House again, Huckabee can’t escape lifelong anxieties about money Mike Huckabee could add a populist edge to the Republican field. Huckabee and a close friend from Arkansas, David Haak, who owns the house next door, spent months combing the Gulf Coast from Texas to Florida for the “sweet spot” where they could build homes they would eventually retire in. Owning a house next to the ocean, he said, “was something I had never even imagined.” His beachfront enclave, valued at just under $3 million, is a long way from his hometown of Hope, Ark., where Huckabee grew up in a tiny rental house next to the railroad tracks on the poor side of town — not far from where Hope’s other famous son, President Bill Clinton, once lived.

Obama jokes with Letterman about post-retirement life

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 23:08

NEW YORK (AP) — President Barack Obama is envisioning a future of playing dominoes with retiree David Letterman.

Obama on protests: 'There are consequences to indifference'

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 19:37

NEW YORK (AP) — In a deeply personal response to outbreaks of racially motivated protests, President Barack Obama on Monday blamed a lack of opportunity in minority communities and harsher treatment of black and Hispanic men by police for fueling a sense of "unfairness and powerlessness."

Garland shooting suspect's father says son 'made a bad choice'

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 18:53

The father of one of the suspected gunmen in the Garland, Texas, shooting told ABC News today that his son "made a bad choice." "We are Americans and we believe in America," Dunston Simpson said. "What my son did reflects very badly on my family."

NYPD officer shot in head dies, commissioner cites historic anti-police sentiment

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 15:35

By Ellen Wulfhorst and Sebastien Malo NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York City plainclothes police officer who was shot in the head died on Monday, the fifth officer gunned down in as many months amid anti-law enforcement sentiment not seen since the turbulent 1960s, Police Commissioner Bill Bratton said. Officer Brian Moore, 25, was in an unmarked car pursuing Demetrius Blackwell, who was wanted on a weapons charge, when he was shot during the weekend in a residential neighborhood in the New York City borough of Queens, police said. The shooting in New York comes amid months of mounting tensions after a series of unarmed black men died at the hands of police officers, the most recent in Baltimore where six officers were charged on Friday in the death of Freddie Gray. Moore is the first New York City officer killed in the line of duty since two uniformed officers were ambushed last December.

FBI probed Texas gunman 'over jihadist sympathies'

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 13:33

One of the men shot dead by police when he and an accomplice attempted to storm an event hosted by an anti-Muslim group in Texas was sentenced to three years' probation in 2011 for lying to US federal agents investigating his alleged jihadist sympathies, it emerged Monday. Investigators were delving into the backgrounds of the two suspected Islamist gunmen -- they were roommates, The Los Angeles Times reported -- who opened fire with assault rifles outside Sunday's controversial exhibit of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed. A quick-acting traffic policeman shot the two suspects before they were able to enter the venue in Garland, a suburb of Dallas. Commentators were quick to draw parallels to a January mass shooting at the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo in Paris that killed 12 people and wounded 11 more.

Baltimore police say man's gun discharged during arrest, no injuries

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 12:48

Baltimore police denied a media report on Monday they had shot a black man while trying to take him into custody, saying the man's firearm went off accidentally while officers were arresting him and that no one was injured. The incident, which followed weeks of protests over the death last month of a 25-year-old black man in police custody, drew a crowd of about 100 protesters to a corner that was the site of a riot a week ago. A senior Baltimore police officer on the scene told reporters that the man had been put into an ambulance as a precautionary measure. "Nowhere on his body does he have a gunshot wound." Fox News, which had reported that the man had been shot while he was fleeing authorities, apologized for what it said was an inaccurate report.

Cannons and bells ring out for baby Princess Charlotte

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 12:42

Prince William and his wife Kate announced Monday that their new baby princess will be called Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, as the sound of gun salutes and pealing bells rang out over London. Britain had been on tenterhooks waiting to discover what names the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would give their little princess, who was born on Saturday and is fourth in line to the throne. Charlotte had been the bookmakers' late favourite and is the feminine form of the name of William's father Prince Charles, the heir to the throne. Elizabeth is the middle name of Kate's mother Carole -- another feminine version of Charles -- as well as being the name of the reigning British monarch, great-grandmother Queen Elizabeth II.

Boston bomber emotional as aunt breaks down on stand

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 12:35

Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev showed emotion in court for the first time on Monday, wiping his eyes as a distraught aunt was removed from the courtroom, too overcome to testify. A jury is mulling whether Tsarnaev -- found guilty last month of all counts related to the April 15, 2013 attack on the Boston Marathon that killed three people and wounded 264 more -- should be sentenced to death or life in prison without parole. Last week, his defense team began presenting evidence in a bid to save his life, and had arranged for his aunt, 64-year-old Patimat Suleimanova, to come from Russia to testify.

Georgia-based Clayton State University evacuated after bomb threat: report

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 10:07
(Reuters) - Clayton State University, an Atlanta-area school, was evacuated on Monday afternoon due to a bomb threat, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper reported. The school's website asked that all campus buildings be cleared, but it did not specify a reason for the evacuation. School officials did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment. (Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky in New Orleans)

Garland shooting: Keynote speaker was on al-Qaida ‘wanted’ list

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 07:41

Geert Wilders, who spoke at a controversial Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, where two gunmen were killed Sunday night, was on an al-Qaida hit list that included Charlie Hebdo editor Stéphane Charbonnier.

New York jury resumes deliberating case of boy missing since 1979

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 07:34

By Natasja Sheriff NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jury deliberations resumed for a 14th day on Monday in the trial of a former deli worker who confessed to the 1979 killing of Etan Patz, a New York boy whose disappearance brought national attention to the issue of missing and abducted children. The jury has been struggling since April 15 to decide on kidnapping and murder charges against Pedro Hernandez, 54, in the death of 6-year-old Patz, who vanished on May 25, 1979 as he walked alone for the first time to a school bus stop. Last Wednesday, the jury told Justice Maxwell Wiley at state Supreme Court in Manhattan that it was deadlocked but he sent them back to keep trying. Patz's disappearance from his Soho neighborhood in Manhattan changed the way the United States responds to reports of missing children, and his picture was among the first to appear on milk cartons in a national campaign to locate them.

Famed neurosurgeon Ben Carson announces White House campaign

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 07:12

DETROIT (AP) — Retired surgeon Ben Carson has made it official, telling a crowd in his hometown of Detroit that he's running for president.