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Updated: 2 hours 47 min ago

Bill Belichick: 'I don't have an explanation'

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 10:45

Bill Belichick: 'I don't have an explanation'

GOP pushes abortion bill through House after earlier stumble

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 09:50

WASHINGTON (AP) — As thousands of abortion foes surged through the city on their annual protest march to the Supreme Court, Republicans muscled legislation through the House on Thursday tightening federal restrictions on abortions. The vote came after internal divisions forced them into an embarrassing fumble of a similar bill.

Harry Reid speaks out against Obama’s trade plan

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 09:46

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada on Thursday threw cold water on President Barack Obama’s plans to pursue trade agreements in 2015, one of the few points of bipartisan interest from his State of the Union address earlier this week.

New York City subway, bus fares to increase

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 09:07

New York City's Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted on Thursday to increase subway and bus fares on the nation's largest mass transit system in March. The cost of riding a subway or bus will increase to $2.75 from $2.50 and riders will get an 11 percent bonus by putting $5.50 or more on a Metrocard, which is used for access to the system, the MTA said. The increases will help maintain reliability and security for the transit system and its passengers, MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast said at a news conference. The Riders Alliance, an advocacy group, said Governor Andrew Cuomo and the state legislature must find sources of revenue other than fare hikes to fund the MTA's capital needs.

Obama won't meet with Netanyahu during controversial U.S. visit

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 08:38

The White House says the trip is scheduled too close to the Israeli elections.

Eight civilians killed in shelling of Ukraine bus

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 07:20

By Natalia Zinets and Pavel Polityuk KIEV (Reuters) - An artillery shell or mortar struck a public transport stop in the rebel-controlled city of Donetsk in eastern Ukraine on Thursday, killing at least eight civilians in an incident both sides blamed on the other. The missile strike, which wrecked a trolleybus and blew out windows nearby, followed a night of intense fighting at the city's main airport and diplomatic talks in Berlin involving Ukraine and Russia. President Petro Poroshenko, returning early from Switzerland where he told the World Economic Forum that Russia now had 9,000 troops inside Ukraine, said he and defense chiefs would work on a plan to "regroup and stop aggression". Rebel leader Alexander Zakharchenko urged local residents to gather at the scene of the trolleybus attack, promising them the opportunity to confront captured Ukrainian servicemen.

N.Y. state assembly speaker charged with fraud in corruption probe

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 07:16

By Nate Raymond NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, one of the state's most powerful Democrats for more than two decades, was charged on Thursday with fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and other criminal counts after a lengthy corruption investigation, federal authorities said. Silver, a lawyer whose tenure as speaker since 1994 has outlasted governors, mayors and many other politicians, has been under investigation by federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the FBI. Silver, a political power broker who represents Manhattan's Lower East Side, is known as one of Albany's "Three Men in a Room," along with the governor and Senate Majority Leader, who negotiate the state budget and key legislation. The case appeared to accelerate after federal authorities resurrected an investigation into corruption in Albany, the state capital.

N.J. governor convenes emergency team to rescue Atlantic City

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 07:14

New Jersey governor Chris Christie plans on Thursday to introduce former Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr as part of an emergency management team for struggling Atlantic City, according to a press invitation to the event. Atlantic City's municipal finances have declined with the fortunes of the local casino industry, which has suffered steep losses from competition in nearby states. The emergency management team includes Orr. A former corporate bankruptcy lawyer at the firm Jones Day, he most recently guided Detroit through the biggest-ever U.S. municipal bankruptcy.

Opening statements in Boston bombing trial delayed

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 06:50

Opening statements in the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev have been postponed as jury selection has taken longer than expected, meaning lawyers will not begin presenting cases Monday as planned, the court said on Thursday. The delay comes as Tsarnaev's attorneys launched a fresh effort to move the trial outside of Boston, arguing that it will be impossible to find an unbiased panel of jurors in the city where the attack took place. "It is not possible yet to specifically target a new start date," a spokeswoman for the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts said in a statement. Tsarnaev is accused of setting off twin pressure-cooker bombs at the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013, killing three people and injuring more than 260 in the worst such incident on U.S. soil since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Jobless claims off seven-month high

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 06:30

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell last week from a seven-month high, pointing to continued improvement in labor market conditions. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits slipped 10,000 to a seasonally adjusted 307,000 for the week ended Jan. 17, the Labor Department said on Thursday. Some, however, wondered if some of the elevation in claims reflected layoffs in the oil industry in the wake of plunging crude prices. "It is unclear at this point whether or not this move up in the trend reflects issues seasonally adjusting the data around the holidays or if it represents a more meaningful deterioration in the labor market," said Daniel Silver, an economist at JP Morgan in New York.

Top NY politician charged with 5 criminal counts

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 06:11
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver was arrested after a lengthy corruption investigation.

NY Assembly speaker arrested, suspected of graft

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 04:34

Sheldon Silver, one of the most powerful politicians in NYC, is in FBI custody.

Orrin Hatch is the happiest senator in Washington

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 00:13

The longest-serving Republican senator talks about his role as the Senate's bipartisan mediator and his friendship with Elizabeth Warren.

St. Louis officers shoot, kill armed teen: police

Thu, 01/22/2015 - 00:10
(Reuters) - Police officers shot dead a teenager armed with a handgun after he got out of a stolen car in St. Louis on Wednesday night, their force said. The shooting comes five months after a white police officer shot dead an unarmed black teenager in a suburb of the city -- one of a number of racially-charged cases that have prompted protests about police tactics across the United States. Officers were tailing the car, which was reported stolen in December, when it struck a wall and the engine stopped, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson told reporters.

Subway accident probe faults D.C.'s Metrorail ventilation system

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 21:00
By Tom Ramstack WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government’s top safety investigator said on Wednesday irregularities were found in the ventilation system of Washington's subway after smoke filled a tunnel and two rail cars last week, killing one passenger and injuring scores. The disclosure came during a news conference in the U.S. Capitol building to detail the first stages of an accident investigation that could last six months to a year. "We have tested the ventilation system and noticed some anomalies," Christopher Hart, acting chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), told reporters, though he did not elaborate on the abnormalities discovered. Minutes before Hart spoke, members of Congress whose home districts are serviced by the Washington area’s transit system, known as Metrorail, said ventilation fans apparently drew smoke into rail cars, where passengers suffered smoke inhalation.

Hundreds displaced in New Jersey apartment building fire

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 20:47

EDGEWATER, N.J. (AP) — Hampered by winds and frigid temperatures, firefighters battled a huge fire Wednesday night at a New Jersey apartment complex that sent flames sky high and smoke visible from New York City across the Hudson River.

House GOP abruptly drops plans to debate abortion bill

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 18:38

A bill banning most late-term abortions is dropped after a revolt by GOP women and others.

Justice Department said ready to clear Ferguson officer: N.Y. Times

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 17:50

The U.S. Justice Department is about to close the investigation into the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, and clear the white police officer involved of any civil rights charges, The New York Times reported on Wednesday. The newspaper quoted law enforcement officials as saying that federal prosecutors had begun work on a legal memo recommending no civil rights charges against the officer, Darren Wilson, after an FBI investigation found no evidence to support charges against him. The Justice Department declined comment. The agency is still conducting a probe into the Ferguson police force.

Newtown votes to raze home of gunman in school massacre

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 16:09

NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — Officials in Newtown have voted to tear down the home where Adam Lanza lived before he carried out the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Texas executes man for 1993 triple murder in San Antonio home

Wed, 01/21/2015 - 15:52

By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas on Wednesday executed a 41-year-old man convicted of stabbing three people to death with a screwdriver, including his great-uncle and great-aunt, in a San Antonio home robbery in 1993, a prison officials said. Arnold Prieto died at 6:31 p.m. CST at the state's prison death chamber in Huntsville after receiving a lethal injection, the Texas Department of Criminal Justice said. He was the 519th person executed in Texas since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, the most of any state. Prieto and two other men went to the home of Rodolfo Rodriguez, 72, and his wife, Virginia, 62, who cooked the visitors breakfast.