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Updated: 1 hour 23 min ago

U.S. court rejects Republican challenge to SEC pay-to-play rule

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 07:14
A U.S. appeals court handed the Securities and Exchange Commission a victory on Tuesday by dismissing a challenge from two state Republican parties to the regulator's pay-to-play rule for investment advisers. Republicans in New York and Tennessee said the rule, which places some restrictions on asset managers who donate to political campaigns, was a violation of free speech rights. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, however, said the Republicans missed a key 60-day deadline to challenge the rule after it went into effect and had lost their chance to try and have it overturned.

Why does the U.S. lead the world in mass shootings?

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 06:48

Unprecedented gun ownership, obsession with fame, and failure to achieve the "American dream" lead to mass violence, a new study finds.

Boston bombing juror would have voted for life, not death: media

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 05:39

One of the 12 jurors who voted to sentence Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to death would have opted for life had he known that one of the victims' families wanted the defendant spared, he told Boston's WBUR radio. The juror, 23-year-old Kevan Fagan, said he did not know that the parents of 8-year-old Martin Richard had urged prosecutors in an open letter on the front page of the Boston Globe in April to seek life in prison for the ethnic Chechen rather than the death penalty.

Katrina's unclaimed dead conjure memories of her ravages

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 03:14

On Saturday, 10 years to the day after Katrina's devastating landfall in Louisiana, city dignitaries will gather at the burial site, known as the Hurricane Katrina Memorial. "Nobody has ever come searching for their loved one in the memorial, as far as I know," said Dr. Frank Minyard, the longtime coroner of Orleans Parish, who helped to build the monument before retiring last year. The stories of those buried inside remain unknown despite the exhaustive efforts of coroners who conducted autopsies on some 900 bodies recovered from around greater New Orleans.

Accuser in New Hampshire rape trial crumpled in interview: detective

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 03:03
A teenaged student at an elite New Hampshire boarding school who has accused a former student of raping her last year crumpled when describing the alleged attack, said a detective who is due back on the witness stand on Tuesday. Concord Police Detective Julie Curtin, who led the investigation into the alleged May 2014 rape at St. Paul's School said the victim had been poised during an initial interview but broke down when brought to the steps of the building where she said the incident occurred. The trial has cast a harsh light on the culture at the exclusive boarding school, whose alumni include Secretary of State John Kerry.

After fleeing Hurricane Katrina, Doris Banks has returned to New Orleans. Was it a mistake?

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 01:32

More than 100,000 New Orleans residents were displaced by Katrina. Many no longer recognize the city they once called home.

Chinese stock index sinks 7.6 percent, Japan also down

Tue, 08/25/2015 - 00:31

China's main index plunges to an eight-month low, but most other Asian markets rebound.

Ashley Madison, parent company sued in U.S. over data breach

Mon, 08/24/2015 - 18:17

(Reuters) - Infidelity website Ashley Madison and its parent company have been sued in federal court in California by a man who claims that the companies failed to adequately protect clients' personal and financial information from theft, saying he suffered emotional distress. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles by a man identified as John Doe, seeks class-action status. The lawsuit accuses Ashley Madison and parent company Avid Life Media Inc, which is based in Toronto, of negligence and invasion of privacy, as well as causing emotional distress.

Judge overhauls troubled Ferguson, Missouri, court

Mon, 08/24/2015 - 15:21

Municipal Court Judge Donald McCullin, appointed in June, ordered that all arrest warrants issued in the city before Dec. 31, 2014 be withdrawn. Defendants will receive new court dates along with options for disposing of their cases, such as payment plans or community service. The changes come five months after the U.S. Department of Justice strongly criticized city leaders in its report, saying the police force and court worked together to exploit people in order to raise revenue.

New England prep school rape defendant had list of targets: friend

Mon, 08/24/2015 - 15:20

Friends of a former student at an elite New Hampshire prep school who is on trial for allegedly raping a younger student described in court testimony on Monday a young man who had made a list of girls he wanted to have sex with before graduation. Prosecutors have said Owen Labrie, now 19, took a 15-year-old girl to the roof of a campus building before sexually assaulting her in a machine room at St. Paul's School in May 2014, shortly before graduation.

White House admits Biden mulling 2016 run

Mon, 08/24/2015 - 14:10

The White House on Monday acknowledged that Vice President Joe Biden is still weighing a possible run for the top job, amid controversy surrounding Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. Biden, President Obama's deputy for nearly seven years, has previously said he would make a decision on entering the 2016 race by the end of the summer. "I would assume that that means he's got a another month or so to think about this and announce a decision," said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

US stocks slump; Dow briefly plunges 1,000 points

Mon, 08/24/2015 - 12:26

The U.S. stock market took investors on a stomach-churning ride Monday, as the Dow Jones industrial average briefly plunged more than 1,000 points and sent a shiver of fear from Wall Street to Main Street.

Drone with drugs, porn seized near Maryland prisons, two arrested

Mon, 08/24/2015 - 10:14
The men were arrested late on Saturday near the Western Correctional Institution and the North Branch Correctional Institution at Cumberland in western Maryland, the state prison department said. A spokesman said officers seized pornographic video discs, tobacco, a loaded handgun, illegal drugs and the drone. The attempt is the first in Maryland to fly contraband into a prison using a drone, the spokesman said.

Colorado movie gunman Holmes to be formally sentenced to life

Mon, 08/24/2015 - 06:42

Colorado movie massacre gunman James Holmes will be sentenced to life with no chance of parole at a three-day hearing that begins on Monday following his conviction last month for murdering 12 people and wounding 70 in his rampage. While the murder convictions carry mandatory life sentences with no parole, Colorado law requires that Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour formally impose the penalties. Samour must also decide the punishment for the other charges Holmes was convicted of. A jury found Holmes guilty of 165 counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder and explosive charges stemming from the July 20, 2012, mass shooting inside a Denver-area multiplex during a midnight screening of a Batman movie.

Louisiana trooper dies after being shot in head

Mon, 08/24/2015 - 06:33
Senior Trooper Steven Vincent, 43, had pulled over to assist the driver of Dodge pickup truck in a ditch on Sunday afternoon, state police said in a statement. The driver, Kevin Daigle, who was driving recklessly earlier, then pulled out a sawed-off shotgun and fired, striking the trooper in the head. You're going to die soon," Louisiana State Police Colonel Michael Edmonson told reporters on Sunday.

How President Bernie Sanders would handle foreign policy

Mon, 08/24/2015 - 04:31

Here is where the Democratic presidential candidates stands on a range of important foreign policy issues.

Wall Street tumbles in volatile action amid global rout

Mon, 08/24/2015 - 04:10

Wall Street dropped on Monday in tumultuous action as traders aggressively sold stocks and bid-up only the safest asset classes.

New Orleans' finances still vulnerable 10 years after Katrina: Moody's

Mon, 08/24/2015 - 03:09

Pension, retiree healthcare and debt service costs combined increased nearly 54 percent from 2009 to 2014, from $129 million to $198 million in 2014, Moody's noted, while fixed costs exceeded 30 percent of the city's operating revenues, even as its contribution to its public pensions fell $17.7 million short in fiscal 2014. New Orleans is also dependent on the oil and gas sector, which is volatile, and its population remains about roughly 18 percent below pre-hurricane levels. In addition, after using its reserves to fill budget gaps during the recession, its liquidity is weak, Moody's said.