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Updated: 2 hours 29 min ago

Jeb Bush's emails: Total transparency or violation of privacy?

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 14:04

In an attempt to present himself as transparent, tech-savvy and approachable, Jeb Bush may have unintentionally committed a major privacy violation.

History of lynching in U.S. worse than believed, study finds

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 13:44
By Rich McKay ATLANTA (Reuters) - Lynchings in which mobs raided jailhouses to hang, torture and burn alive black men, sometimes leading to public executions in courthouse squares, occurred more often in the U.S. South than was previously known, according to a report released on Tuesday. The slightest transgression could spur violence, the Equal Justice Initiative found, as it documented 3,959 victims of lynching in a dozen Southern states. The report cited a 1940 incident in which Jesse Thornton was lynched in Alabama for not saying “Mister” as he talked to a white police officer. Bryan Stevenson, founder and director of the Montgomery, Alabama-based EJI, said that while current events did not directly equate with lynching, "what happened then has its echoes in today’s headlines." He cited racial differences in reactions to last year's shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, by a white police officer.

NYC building inspectors charged with ignoring safety for bribes

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 13:27

By Jonathan Allen NEW YORK (Reuters) - Fifty New York City building inspectors and construction industry workers were charged with corruption on Tuesday, accused of schemes in which building problems were overlooked in exchange for bribes, city investigators said. The schemes involved some of the most senior building officials charged with overseeing one of the world's most valuable construction markets, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. told a news conference. Rather than a "unifying conspiracy," investigators found at least 26 independent bribery schemes running through two city building agencies, Department of Investigations Commissioner Mark Peters told reporters. The expeditor, David Weiszer, gave the chief a list of addresses owned by his clients, Vance said.

Ferguson prosecutor: Gag order shouldn’t be lifted for grand juror to discuss Wilson case

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 11:30

Robert McCulloch wants a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit by a grand juror seeking to speak out about the secret proceedings..

Gay rights advocates in Alabama sue for right to marriage licenses

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 10:51

Gay rights advocates in Alabama have asked a U.S. judge to force a local judge to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples on Tuesday, a day after officials in most of the state refused to grant the licenses in defiance of the U.S. Supreme Court. Lawyers for the couples filed suit against Mobile County Probate Court Judge Don Davis late on Monday and were working to add additional plaintiffs to the suit on Tuesday, said David Kennedy, an attorney for the plaintiffs. Mobile County, home to Mobile, the state's third-largest city, was the most populous of those refusing to provide marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples, and Kennedy said Granade could apply her order to other counties. Advocates said they hoped U.S. District Court Judge Callie Granade, a President George W. Bush appointee who struck down the state's ban on gay marriage as unconstitutional in a ruling that took effect on Monday, would make a swift ruling in the latest lawsuit.

Man charged with murder of Virginia student Hannah Graham

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 09:59

A hospital worker has been charged with the murder of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, whose disappearance shocked the campus and drew national headlines, authorities said on Tuesday. Jesse Matthew Jr., 33, of Charlottesville, Virginia, was indicted by an Albemarle County grand jury last week. He was the last person seen with Graham, an 18-year-old sophomore, who went missing in September. Matthew has been charged with first-degree murder and abduction with intent to defile, Albemarle County prosecutor Denise Lunsford said.

Jury hears videotaped confession in New York boy's murder

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 08:33

By Natasja Sheriff NEW YORK (Reuters) - The videotaped confession of a man accused of murdering Etan Patz was played for a jury on Tuesday during his trial in the disappearance of the 6-year-old boy in 1979 that sparked a national movement to find missing children. In the courtroom, Pedro Hernandez, 54, saw himself on a large screen near the jury tell law enforcement he lured the boy to the basement of the Soho deli where he worked, strangled him, placed him in a box and dumped the body in an alley. I felt like something just took over me, and I was choking him," Hernandez said on the videotape played at the murder and kidnapping trial in state court in Manhattan. "He was still gasping," Hernandez said on the videotape under questioning by Assistant Manhattan District Attorney Armand Durastanti.

Snow where to go: Boston-area town dumps excess white stuff in harbor

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 08:15

The City of Boston might have to dump some of its excess snow into its famous harbor even though it would hurt the environment.

Parents of U.S. woman held by Islamic State notified of her death

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 07:59

Kayla Mueller, 26, has died, according to the White House and her family.

Newsweek's Twitter feed hacked by supporters of IS

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 07:00

The magazine's Twitter feed was the victim of a hack by supporters of the Islamic State militant group.

U.S. Senate panel backs Carter for Secretary for Defense

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 06:21

The U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee voted 25-0 on Tuesday to back Ashton Carter as President Barack Obama's next Secretary of Defense, paving the way for what is expected to be an easy confirmation in the full Senate as soon as Wednesday. Carter, 60, a former Pentagon No. 2 seen as a technocrat, was nominated to be Obama's fourth defense secretary after Chuck Hagel resigned under pressure last year. Although many Senate Republicans are sharply critical of Obama's defense policies, Carter's confirmation has gone far more smoothly than Hagel's two years ago.

Spider-Man to finally join Marvel Cinematic Universe

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 05:47

Spider-Man to finally join Marvel Cinematic Universe

New York conducts annual homeless count, critics say it's flawed

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 05:33
By Ellen Wulfhorst NEW YORK (Reuters) - Thousands of volunteers fanned out across New York before dawn on Tuesday to conduct the city's yearly homeless survey, trying to count the people who wander the sidewalks all night, sleep in subways for warmth or slip into the shadows to avoid being seen. New York City, like other major U.S. cities, uses a count of people living on its streets and alleys, parks and subways to estimate program needs, allocate resources and educate the public on issues facing the poorest residents. Critics say it grossly undercounts the homeless population, while others say a flawed count is better than none. Last year's count by the Department of Homeless Services found 3,357 street homeless people in New York City, most of them in the subways.

Schools, trains halted at Massachusetts digs out from record storm

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 05:28

Schools and most public transit systems remained closed around Boston on Tuesday as eastern Massachusetts dug out from its third major winter storm in two weeks. Officials warned that buildings with flat roofs were at risk of collapsing after a three-day storm dropped about two feet (60 cm) across the region and a suburban school district north of Boston canceled all classes for the rest of the week out of concern to allow crews to clear roofs. Boston's mayor, Marty Walsh, began talks with the city's teachers union on how to make up some of the eight school days canceled so far this year due to the repeated storms that have hit the region in the past two weeks. "We're now up to basically somewhere between six and seven feet of snow across most of eastern Massachusetts over the past 14 days," said Governor Charlie Baker, who ordered nonessential state personnel to stay home, in part because of the shut down of all rail service by the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority.

Meet Jeb Bush

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 05:22

The former Florida governor is employing an 'e' strategy to introduce himself to voters.

Obama concealed support for gay marriage

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 04:56

During his first run for president, Obama reportedly pretended to oppose same-sex marriage.

Jeb Bush seeks money, talks education at home in Florida capitol

Tue, 02/10/2015 - 04:07

By Bill Cotterell TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Reuters) - Republican Jeb Bush plans a high-profile visit to the Florida capital on Tuesday to raise money and showcase the education reforms that he started as the state's former governor, burnishing key credentials as he eyes a presidential bid. With a $1,000-per-plate luncheon scheduled at a hotel just blocks away from the Governor's Mansion, the trip highlights Bush's enduring strength in the largest U.S. swing state, crucial to GOP hopes of regaining the White House in 2016. Bush also plans to speak about education policy at a school reform conference, hosted by his Foundation for Florida Future. Other keynote speakers at the event, dubbed "Keeping the Promise: A Florida Education Summit," include the state's current Republican governor, Rick Scott, and top legislators, business leaders and schools experts.

Most Alabama counties defy feds by blocking gay marriage

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 23:46

At least 51 of 67 Alabama counties were not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples today in defiance of a federal ruling to do so, according to an ABC News count.

Obama to send new war powers request to Congress

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 23:10

The president is expected — as early as Tuesday — to seek new authority to fight IS militants.

New England digs out from latest winter whopper

Mon, 02/09/2015 - 21:28

BOSTON (AP) — A relentless storm that dumped more than two feet of snow on some parts of New England was finally expected to wind down on Tuesday but not before bringing the Boston-area public transit system to its knees and forcing some communities to consider dumping piles of snow into the ocean to help relieve clogged streets.