National News from Yahoo

Police cite 120 under Baltimore's youth curfew law, mayor says

(Reuters) - Police enforcing Baltimore's tough youth curfew law gave out 120 citations in the measure's first month, the mayor said on Thursday, and officials were divided on its effectiveness. Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who backed the law as a way to keep children safe, said in a statement that 23 offenders were taken to youth centers and 97 were escorted home by police. The data shows that "the expanded curfew and Youth Connections Centers can be an effective tool in connecting vulnerable youth and their families to much-needed resources,” Rawlings-Blake said. Councilman Carl Stokes said the number of citations was about what he expected because he did not think the curfew would be enforced.

N.J. ban on 'gay conversion therapy' upheld

By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Thursday upheld New Jersey's ban on counseling intended to change the sexual orientation of gay and lesbian children. Circuit Court of Appeals said the ban, which Republican Governor Chris Christie signed into law in August 2013, did not violate the free speech or religious rights of counselors offering "gay conversion therapy" to convert homosexual minors into heterosexuals. The panel also said the plaintiffs, who included licensed therapists and a Christian counseling group, lacked standing to pursue claims on behalf of their minor clients. Circuit Judge D. Brooks Smith said the ban, the second in the country after California's, appropriately advanced New Jersey's legitimate interest in protecting people under the age of 18 from harmful or ineffective professional treatment.

Mississippi election winner to be chosen at random after tied race

The election for alderman of a southern Mississippi city ended in a tie, with the winner to be chosen at random, likely by a coin toss or drawing straws, the city's mayor said Thursday. The special election for one of five alderman seats in Poplarville, with a population of about 2,800, ended in a 177-177 tie after one voter who showed up on Tuesday without photo ID, which is required under state law, later produced identification, said Glenn Bolin, one of the candidates. Bolin and his opponent, Stephanie Bounds, a nurse, were not told which candidate the key voter supported, he said. "Now we've got to do what the law says as far as settling this." The tie-breaker, to be overseen by the local election commission, is set to take place Thursday evening, Poplarville Mayor Brad Necaise said.

Arabs back anti-IS move as Syria warns on 'attacks'

Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) (AFP) - Arab nations rallied Thursday behind US President Barack Obama's call to expand operations against jihadists in Iraq and Syria, as Damascus warned it would consider any action on its territory as an attack.

Indicted S.C. House speaker suspends himself from office

South Carolina House Speaker Bobby Harrell suspended himself from the state legislature on Thursday, a day after he was indicted on nine criminal charges related to misuse of campaign money and misconduct in office. Harrell, a Republican, said in a letter that he was taking the step proactively and, according to House rules, had asked the speaker pro tempore to take charge of the legislative body. ...

Dozens of children at N.J. day care accidentally drink bleach

Twenty-eight preschoolers and two adults mistakenly drank bleach at snack time at a New Jersey day care center on Thursday and were taken to a hospital after some complained their stomachs were burning. The children, aged 3 and 4, and adult staff members of the Growing Tree Learning Center in downtown Jersey City were transported in five ambulances to the Jersey City Medical Center after a late-morning call to 911, said Mark Rabson, a hospital spokesman. "There was a poisoning and many children were injured," he said, adding the children were walking on their own or were being carried out by their parents and "have smiles on their faces." Keith Kearney, executive director of United Cerebral Palsy of Hudson County, which runs the day care center that is open to all community members and serves 65 children from infants to age 4, said he had heard no reports of injuries and that the hospital visits were a precaution.

4th Sierra Leonean doctor infected with Ebola

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Another doctor from Sierra Leone who has tested positive for Ebola will be evacuated for medical treatment, an official said Thursday, making her the first citizen of a hard-hit country to be treated abroad.

Witness: Brown was 'walking dead guy,' not rushing Ferguson officer

An eyewitness to the shooting death of Michael Brown says the 18-year-old didn't charge Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Brown “staggered dead after the second shot, 20-25 feet, to the ground,” the unidentified witness told CNN. “He was like a walking dead guy.”

Obama's 'all in' moment

In a prime-time speech, Pres. Obama rallied the nation to a war against the Islamic State.

Warmer air caused ice shelf collapse off Antarctica

Warmer air triggered the collapse of a huge ice shelf off Antarctica in 2002, according to a report on Thursday that may help scientists predict future break-ups around the frozen continent. Antarctica is a key to sea level rise, which threatens coastal areas around the world.. It has enough ice to raise seas by 57 meters (190 feet) if it ever all melted, meaning that even a tiny thaw at the fringes is a concern. Until now, the exact cause of the collapse of the Larsen-B ice shelf, a floating mass of ice bigger than Luxembourg at the end of glaciers in the Antarctic Peninsula, had been unknown.

Man pleads not guilty to fraud in 2012 U.S. meningitis outbreak

By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - A pharmacist who worked for the Massachusetts company that sparked a 2012 U.S. Glenn Adam Chin, 46, said in U.S. District Court in Boston that he was "not guilty" of charges he knowingly shipped a tainted steroid that sickened 700 people in 20 states. He has been confined to his Canton, Massachusetts, home since officials pulled him off a plane last week at the start of what was to be a family trip to Hong Kong for a wedding.

Boko Haram under scrutiny over foreign fighters claim

Cameroon's claims this week that two Tuareg fighters were among the dead when troops bombarded Boko Haram positions have sparked fresh interest in the group's links to the wider jihadi network. Boko Haram was designated an Al-Qaeda-linked terror group earlier this year while its recent land grab in Nigeria's northeast has prompted comparisons to Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq. Andrew Noakes, co-ordinator of the Nigeria Security Network of analysts, said it was "plausible" that Boko Haram had fighters from beyond the lands populated by its Kanuri tribal base. "There is most likely a relationship of convenience between Boko Haram and AQIM (Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb), which may stretch to sourcing militants from outside the insurgency's traditional area of recruitment," he told AFP by email.