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National News

  • California wildfire rages toward scenic coastal communities

    Golocal247.com news

    By Phoenix Tso SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (Reuters) - A raging wildfire pushed toward a string of California coastal cities on Sunday, prompting new evacuations as crews fought to save homes in the face of gusty winds that have fueled blazes across the state for nearly a week. Authorities ordered residents in parts of Carpinteria and Montecito to leave early on Sunday as the Thomas Fire edged closer to Santa Barbara, about 100 miles (160 km) northwest of Los Angeles on the scenic central California coast. The blaze, the worst of six major fires in Southern California in the last week and already the 10th largest on record in the state since 1932, has blackened 173,000 acres (62,726 hectares), destroyed hundreds of structures and left nearly 90,000 homes and businesses without power.

    Sun, 10 Dec 2017 18:30:59 -0500
  • Roy Moore campaign casts Alabama race as referendum on Trump

    By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The campaign of Roy Moore, the Republican candidate for U.S. senator in Alabama who has been accused of sexual misconduct, appealed on Sunday to President Donald Trump's supporters, saying a vote for Moore would be a vote for Trump's agenda. In the final days before Tuesday's special election, opinion polls show a tight race between Moore, a 70-year-old conservative Christian and former state judge, and Democrat Doug Jones, a 63-year-old former U.S. attorney. Dean Young, chief political strategist for Moore, cast Jones as a liberal who would vote against Trump's priorities such as building a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border and cutting taxes.

    Sun, 10 Dec 2017 16:41:05 -0500
  • California firefighters make gains ahead of strong winds

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    Firefighters across Southern California made progress on Saturday battling a slew of scattered wildfires that have killed at least one person, destroyed hundreds of buildings and forced more than 200,000 people from their homes this week. As the dry Santa Ana winds that have fueled the blazes abated slightly, officials lifted evacuation orders for parts of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, and crews started getting the upper hand in containing some major fires. “We’re far from being out of the woods on any of them,” Ken Pimlott, director of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE), told a news briefing in Ventura.

    Sat, 09 Dec 2017 21:44:39 -0500
  • California wildfire responders lose their own homes: 'It's sobering'

    By Ben Gruber VENTURA, Calif. (Reuters) - California sheriff's Commander Dave Murray, usually the guy who helps others evacuate when wildfires rage through their communities, this week surveyed the charred ruins of his own home in a neighborhood north of Los Angeles. "You never believe that it’s going to be your house, your stuff, you treasures that are going to be turned to rubble," Murray said on Friday, visibly shaken. "It’s sobering." The six major wildfires that erupted throughout Southern California in the past week have killed at least one person, destroyed hundreds of buildings, forced more than 200,000 people to flee and choked the air across much of the region.

    Sat, 09 Dec 2017 18:53:58 -0500
  • California firefighters make gains ahead of strong winds

    Golocal247.com news

    By Caroline Anderson VENTURA, Calif. (Reuters) - Firefighters in Southern California made progress on Saturday in their multifront battle against a slew of wildfires that have killed at least one person, destroyed hundreds of buildings and forced more than 200,000 people from their homes this week. As the dry Santa Ana winds that have fueled the blazes abated slightly, officials lifted evacuation orders for parts of Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, and crews started getting the upper hand in containing some of the area's major fires.

    Sat, 09 Dec 2017 17:25:13 -0500
  • California's Getty museum survives wildfire, ready for quakes

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    Southern California's Getty Center, one of the world's wealthiest art institutions, said it had survived a wildfire tearing through Los Angeles thanks to a disaster plan that has it ready for earthquakes as well. Fires that have chased almost 200,000 Californians from their homes covered the Getty's hillside location in smoke this week. Perched above the busy 405 freeway, an artery of California's traffic system, the Getty is among the most visited U.S. museums and reopened on Friday after two days closed.

    Sat, 09 Dec 2017 15:32:22 -0500
  • Trump blasts San Francisco murder acquittal, 'Dreamer' effort

    U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday juxtaposed a high-profile murder case involving an illegal immigrant from Mexico with efforts in Congress to protect undocumented immigrants brought into the United States when they were children. In his weekly radio address, Trump bemoaned this week's acquittal of Jose Ines Garcia Zarate in the murder of Kate Steinle, who was shot as she walked along a San Francisco pier in 2015. Trump has highlighted the case as an example of the failure of "sanctuary cities," where local officials do not work with federal authorities to enforce immigration laws.

    Sat, 09 Dec 2017 15:22:20 -0500
  • Trump attends civil rights museum opening; black leaders stay away

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    By Jeff Mason JACKSON, Miss. (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump flew to Mississippi on Saturday to attend the opening of a civil rights museum, but his visit was marred by the absence of top African-American leaders who stayed away in protest of his policies and record on race relations. Trump toured the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and delivered brief remarks, paying tribute to African-Americans who fought institutionalized racism, including Medgar Evers, the civil rights activist who was murdered outside his home in Jackson in 1963. "We want our country to be a place where every child from every background can grow up free from fear, innocent of hatred and surrounded by love, opportunity and hope," Trump said in prepared remarks.

    Sat, 09 Dec 2017 13:28:31 -0500
  • Shelter life wears on California evacuees awaiting word on homes

    By Alex Dobuzinskis VENTURA, Calif. (Reuters) - California wildfire evacuee Richard Seabold once spent a month in the South Pole, so he knows something about surviving in tough conditions. Life in an emergency shelter, however, has been particularly hard, the 83-year-old said on Friday as he gripped a Styrofoam cup of coffee and sat next to his cot in a warehouse in the coastal city of Ventura. "I used to live and work at the South Pole, and it was much nicer than here," the military veteran said with a smile, wearing a cap that read "Navy Support Force Antarctica." Seabold and his 91-year-old wife, Yvonne, are among more than 200 people staying at the shelter at the Ventura County Fairgrounds.

    Sat, 09 Dec 2017 03:36:55 -0500
  • Court upholds conviction in 'Making of a Murderer' case

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    In a 4-3 decision, the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled that the murder conviction of Brendan Dassey, 28, in the slaying of Teresa Halbach should stand, court documents showed. Writing for the majority, Judge David Hamilton said Dassey had spoken to police voluntarily with his mother's permission, and provided investigators with "damning details" about the killing in response to open-ended questions. Dassey was sentenced to life in prison after confessing to police that he helped his uncle, Steven Avery, rape and kill Halbach, a freelance photographer, in 2005.

    Sat, 09 Dec 2017 00:37:17 -0500
  • Weather eases the battle as California wildfires grow

    By Alex Dobuzinskis VENTURA, Calif. (Reuters) - Growing wildfires chewing through parts of Southern California on Friday ravaged avocado farms, racehorse stables and a retirement community, even as milder weather aided firefighters in their efforts to slow the progress of six major blazes. Forecasters predicted weather would continue to challenge the 8,700 firefighters who have been battling fast-moving blazes for five days from the San Diego area up the Pacific Coast to Santa Barbara County. The fires killed at least one person, destroyed 500 structures, hurt six people and injured four firefighters.

    Fri, 08 Dec 2017 22:19:23 -0500
  • California wildfires send film, TV productions scrambling

    By Nichola Groom LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Wildfires raging across Southern California are taking a toll on the region's iconic film industry, forcing producers of commercials, television shows and even student films to pause or seek alternate shooting locations. The Los Angeles Police Department on Wednesday suspended permitted filming in zones near the fires as well as other areas deemed to be at severe risk of burning. Applications for filming in the Angeles National Forest were also halted this week.

    Fri, 08 Dec 2017 20:33:39 -0500
  • U.S. top court blocks release of Trump 'Dreamer' immigrant documents

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    The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday granted a request by President Donald Trump's administration to block the release of documents concerning his decision to end a program that shielded from deportation hundreds of thousands of young adults dubbed "Dreamers" brought into the country illegally as children. The nine-member, conservative-majority court, acting despite objections from its four liberal justices, put on hold an order by U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco for the administration to turn over the internal documents by Dec. 22 as part of lawsuits he is overseeing challenging the legality of Trump's September decision. The lawsuits accuse the administration of violating the U.S. Constitution's due process guarantee as well as statutory legal requirements in rescinding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created by Trump's Democratic predecessor Barack Obama.

    Fri, 08 Dec 2017 20:19:09 -0500
  • Drug industry group sues to stop California drug price law

    The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), in a statement, said it filed litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California challenging a state law requiring drug manufacturers to give notice and a justification for price increases of certain drugs. The law, Senate Bill 17, was signed by California Governor Jerry Brown in October and is set to take effect Jan. 1, 2019. The law requires drug manufacturers to give 60 days notice if prices rise more than 16 percent over a two-year period.

    Fri, 08 Dec 2017 20:15:28 -0500
  • Golf: Former European Ryder Cup player Horton dies, aged 76

    (Reuters) - Tommy Horton, a two-times Ryder Cup player and a stalwart of the European Tour, has died at the age of 76. Horton died in hospital shortly after falling ill on Thursday, the European Tour said on Friday. The Briton won four times on the European Tour and represented Great Britain and Ireland against the United States in the 1975 and 1977 Ryder Cups.

    Fri, 08 Dec 2017 20:08:28 -0500
  • Priest gets life sentence in cold-case murder of Texas beauty queen

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    A retired Catholic priest convicted of murdering a former beauty queen who came to him for confession was sentenced to life in prison by a jury in south Texas on Friday, local media reported, ending a cold case that has troubled the community for nearly 60 years. John Feit, a visiting priest in McAllen, Texas, when the second-grade teacher came to him for confession during Holy Week in 1960, was convicted on Thursday of premeditated murder in the death of Irene Garza, then 25.

    Fri, 08 Dec 2017 19:32:49 -0500
  • U.S. top court blocks release of Trump 'Dreamer' immigrant documents

    Golocal247.com news

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday granted a request by President Donald Trump's administration to block the immediate release of documents concerning his decision to end a program that shielded from deportation hundreds of thousands of young adults dubbed "Dreamers" brought into the country illegally as children. The justices put on hold an order by a federal judge in San Francisco for the administration to turn over the internal documents as part of several lawsuits he is overseeing, including one led by California's Democratic attorney general, challenging the legality of Trump's September decision. The court's action will remain in effect until the justices decide whether to permanently block U.S. District Judge William Alsup's order in the lawsuits regarding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program created by Trump's Democratic predecessor Barack Obama.

    Fri, 08 Dec 2017 18:51:42 -0500
  • Boston Herald files for bankruptcy protection to pursue sale

    The parent company of the Boston Herald filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday and will look to sell the newspaper to Gatehouse Media LLC, a move that underscores the hard times facing traditional print journalism. Publisher and owner Patrick Purcell broke the news personally to the newspaper's staff and said in a letter to employees that a court-supervised sale was the best option for the Boston Herald, which traces its roots to 1846, to stay in business. "All I ever wanted to do was keep the Boston Herald alive," Purcell said in the letter, according to the newspaper's report of the sale and the bankruptcy filing.

    Fri, 08 Dec 2017 18:15:58 -0500
  • New Mexico school gunman was ex-student investigated by FBI

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    A gunman who killed two students at a New Mexico high school and then took his own life was a former student who was investigated by the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation last year after he asked online about buying weapons for a mass shooting, officials said on Friday. Authorities identified the shooter in Thursday's attack as 21-year-old William Atchison, who worked at a gas station in Aztec, New Mexico, and was an enthusiast of active shooter gaming websites. Atchison disguised himself as a student, entered the school as students got off buses, and was in a bathroom preparing for the shooting when Francisco Fernandez, a pupil at the school known for his computer skills, entered the restroom, officials said.

    Fri, 08 Dec 2017 18:13:03 -0500
  • No respite in sight from fast-moving Southern California wildfires

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    By Alex Dobuzinskis VENTURA, Calif. (Reuters) - Exhausted fire crews made little headway on Friday in containing the most troublesome of six major wildfires burning in South California as dry winds fanned flames that ravaged avocado farms, racehorse stables and a retirement community. Forecasters predicted weather would continue to challenge the 8,700 firefighters who have been battling fast-moving blazes for five days from the San Diego area up the Pacific Coast to Santa Barbara County. At least 500 structures have been destroyed, six people hurt, four firefighters injured and 212,000 people forced to flee their homes.

    Fri, 08 Dec 2017 18:08:49 -0500
  • U.S. top court takes up Republican challenge to Maryland electoral district

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    By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday added a second case to its docket on a contentious issue that could have major consequences for American elections, agreeing to decide whether Democratic lawmakers in Maryland unlawfully drew a congressional district in a way that would prevent a Republican candidate from winning. The court's agreement to take up an appeal by Republican voters in Maryland regarding the U.S. House of Representatives district came two months after the justices heard arguments in a high-profile challenge by Democratic voters to Republican-drawn state legislative districts in Wisconsin.

    Fri, 08 Dec 2017 17:26:20 -0500
  • Delta Air Lines cancels hundreds of flights due to winter storm

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    Delta Air Lines has canceled more than 600 flights due to inclement weather at its Atlanta hub, the carrier said on Friday, as a winter storm travels towards the northeast, threatening more cancellations and delays. The Atlanta-based airline said a wintry mix was to blame for lengthy delays on de-icing planes. By Friday evening, the carrier had canceled 625 flights from Atlanta.

    Fri, 08 Dec 2017 17:10:37 -0500
  • N.J. Governor Christie eyes nuclear power subsidies, sparks criticism

    Christie said at a press conference on Wednesday that he would like to see nuclear power plants continue to operate. "I think having nuclear power in the state is an important thing to have and I think it’s important for our energy security to have it and I think it’s a positive thing from an environmental perspective to have nuclear here," Christie said. There was also some backlash to his comments especially since they came about a month before Gov.-elect Phil Murphy takes office on Jan. 16.

    Fri, 08 Dec 2017 16:47:28 -0500
  • Ex-Penn State coach Sandusky's son sentenced for child sex crimes

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    Jeffrey Sandusky, 42, pleaded guilty in September to soliciting two teenage sisters for sex, according to Pennsylvania prosecutors. Centre County Court of Common Pleas Judge Pamela Ruest sentenced Sandusky to three-and-a-half to seven years in prison followed by one year of probation, district court administrator Kendra Miknis said in an email. Sandusky's lawyer, Lance Marshall, declined to comment on the sentence, but he said that his client is currently being held at the Centre County Correctional Facility and will be moved to the State Correctional Institution in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.

    Fri, 08 Dec 2017 15:08:36 -0500
  • NYC mother seeks millions from city after child's lead poisoning

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    A Brooklyn mother is seeking millions from the city after her toddler was poisoned while living in a lead-infested apartment, the latest charge that New York has failed to protect children from the toxin. Natalia Rollins, a 25-year-old mother of two, informed the city this week of her intent to sue and filed a separate lawsuit in Brooklyn’s Kings County Supreme Court against her landlord and property managers, filings show. In 2015, city agencies helped place the formerly homeless family into the privately owned apartment, telling her the dwelling was safe for her two infant sons, Rollins contends.

    Fri, 08 Dec 2017 13:14:08 -0500
  • U.S. has begun fully implementing Trump travel ban: State Dept.

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    The U.S. State Department said it began fully implementing President Donald Trump's travel ban targeting six Muslim-majority countries on Friday, four days after the Supreme Court ruled the order could be enforced while legal appeals continue. Trump's order, which calls for "enhancing vetting capabilities" at U.S. embassies and consulates overseas, directs the departments of State and Homeland Security to restrict the entry of people from six Muslim-majority countries - Chad, Iran, Libya, Syria, Somalia and Yemen - as well as from Venezuela and North Korea.

    Fri, 08 Dec 2017 12:10:39 -0500
  • Trump declares emergency in California over wildfires

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    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday declared a state of emergency in California due to raging wildfires that have destroyed hundreds of structures and forced thousands from their homes. In declaring the emergency, Trump ordered the release of federal assistance to bolster the local response to the wildfires in Southern California, the White House said in a statement. (Reporting by Maria Caspani; Editing by Tim Ahmann)

    Fri, 08 Dec 2017 11:26:44 -0500
  • Abdul-Jabbar urges athletes to continue political protests

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    NBA Hall of Fame center Kareem Abdul-Jabbar says NFL players and other professional athletes should continue their protests against police brutality in the United States and has rejected the notion that speaking out is in any way unpatriotic. The six-time NBA champion said protests in the NFL, where players have sat, knelt or locked arms during the pre-game playing of the national anthem, were creating a useful dialogue around long-neglected issue of race. "I think it's going in a good direction," said Abdul-Jabbar, who has been a political activist since his college days and is currently raising awareness about the fight against cancer.

    Fri, 08 Dec 2017 09:02:36 -0500
  • Trump lifts refugee ban, but admissions still plummet, data shows

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    By Yeganeh Torbati WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In late October, President Donald Trump lifted a temporary ban on most refugee admissions, a move that should have cleared the way for more people fleeing persecution and violence to come to the United States. In the five weeks after the ban was lifted, 40 percent fewer people were allowed in than in the last five weeks it was in place, according to a Reuters analysis of State Department data. As he lifted the ban, Trump instituted new rules for tougher vetting of applicants and also effectively halted, at least for now, the entry of refugees from 11 countries deemed as high risk.

    Fri, 08 Dec 2017 06:06:14 -0500
  • U.S. Department of Justice investigating fetal tissue transfers

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    The U.S. Department of Justice asked on Thursday for documents related to a Senate committee's report on the transfer of fetal tissue by abortion provider Planned Parenthood, according to a letter seen by Reuters. The Department of Justice's investigation will likely revive the controversy over fetal tissue transfers, which was sparked by videos released by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress in 2015. The activist group said the videos showed Planned Parenthood officials negotiating prices for fetal tissues collected from abortions.

    Fri, 08 Dec 2017 05:58:04 -0500
  • Fugitive, convicted of $100 million Ponzi scheme, escapes from prison

    Frederick Darren Berg, 55, on Wednesday walked out of the U.S. Penitentiary Atwater Satellite Prison Camp, where he was serving a 18-year sentence for what is considered the state of Washington's biggest Ponzi scheme, the Seattle Times reported, citing the U.S. Marshals Service. Berg pleaded guilty in a Seattle federal court in 2012 to defrauding more than 800 investors of more than $100 million through a series of funds for real estate investments he ran for about a decade.

    Fri, 08 Dec 2017 05:53:04 -0500
  • Exclusive: U.S. spy chief orders changes in 'unmasking' policy

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    By Warren Strobel and Jonathan Landay WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top U.S. intelligence official has ordered tighter restrictions on how the names of Americans kept secret in intelligence reports can be revealed during presidential transitions, according to documents seen by Reuters. The move follows unsubstantiated charges by President Donald Trump and his allies that his predecessor's administration spied on Trump and improperly "unmasked" the identities of his associates during the 2016 presidential campaign and transition. Current and former senior U.S. intelligence officials who have reviewed the documentation dispute those claims by the president.

    Fri, 08 Dec 2017 05:14:23 -0500
  • Be 'ready to GO!' Southern California warns residents as fires rage

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    FARIA BEACH/LILAC, Calif. (Reuters) - Fanned by gusting winds, wildfires raged in densely populated Southern California for a fourth day on Thursday, with a new blaze north of San Diego exploding in size in just a few hours and dangerous conditions forecast until Sunday. Flames hopscotched over highways and railroad tracks, and residents rushed to evacuate their homes with only minutes' warning, some leaving behind holiday gifts. About 200,000 residents were evacuated from their homes at one point, though some were due to return on Thursday evening.

    Thu, 07 Dec 2017 22:01:52 -0500
  • Just subtract water - how a dry spell allowed winds to lash California with flames

    By Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Hot, dry Santa Ana winds will likely whip up the unseasonably fierce wildfires ravaging Southern California on Thursday, forecasters said. The gales have come at the worst time, at the end of a long dry spell. The combination of savage Santa Anas and tinder-dry plants have ignited large wildfires in the region this week, upending lives at a time when many people were preparing for the winter holidays, officials said.

    Thu, 07 Dec 2017 22:01:52 -0500
  • Civil rights pioneer to eschew museum opening after Trump says will attend

    “President Trump’s attendance and his hurtful policies are an insult to the people portrayed in this civil rights museum," Lewis said in a statement. Trump said earlier this week that he would attend the opening of the museum in Jackson, the state capital.

    Thu, 07 Dec 2017 21:15:31 -0500
  • Indiana police officer reinstated after 'white male privilege' remark

    Plainfield police Captain Carri Weber, placed on leave following an incident posted online that drew national press attention, was issued a reprimand but returned to her duties by the city's board of police commissioners, city officials said. The suspension stemmed from a Nov. 1 Plainfield police diversity training seminar, a video of which was obtained by local media and posted online.

    Thu, 07 Dec 2017 19:23:08 -0500
  • Two students, gunman dead in New Mexico school shooting

    The suspect was male, San Juan County Sheriff Ken Christensen told a news conference, but neither his name nor the names of the two students killed was released. The suspected shooter was a student at Aztec High School, the Farmington Daily Times reported, although state and local law officials declined to confirm that. Christensen and New Mexico State Police Chief Pete Kassetas also declined to say whether the suspect shot himself to death or was killed by officers from the Aztec Police Department.

    Thu, 07 Dec 2017 19:14:13 -0500
  • Be 'ready to GO!' Southern California warns residents as fires rage

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    By Ben Gruber FARIA BEACH, Calif. (Reuters) - Fanned by gusting winds, wildfires raged in densely populated Southern California for a fourth day on Thursday, forcing 200,000 people to flee their homes with dangerous conditions forecast until Sunday. Authorities said the four major fires - ranging from Los Angeles up the Pacific coast to Santa Barbara County - were whipped up by the region's notorious westward Santa Ana winds that could reach hurricane strength. The winds, which blow in hot and dry from the California desert, could reach 75 miles per hour (120 km per hour), authorities said.

    Thu, 07 Dec 2017 18:46:54 -0500
  • Connecticut infrastructure funding in question: state report

    Connecticut's infrastructure projects are in jeopardy after revenue that helps pay off the state's transportation debt has decreased and additional funding sources have not yet been identified, according to a report released on Thursday. Revenue that supports the state's Special Transportation Fund (STF), a debt-servicing entity, has declined in the past few years, with the fund projected to operate at a deficit by fiscal 2020, said the report by the state's Office of Policy and Management and the Department of Transportation. As a result, transportation projects throughout the state could risk cancellation or deferral if measures are not taken to fund the STF, the report said.

    Thu, 07 Dec 2017 18:08:43 -0500
  • U.S. to deport Ohio man charged with hiding role in Bosnian massacre

    The U.S. government last year accused Oliver Dragic, of Akron, Ohio, of failing to disclose that he served in a special unit in Bosnia and fraudulently gaining entry to the United States as a refugee in 1998, claiming to be a victim of the war. Dragic, 42, is the latest of several men in northern Ohio who prosecutors have charged in recent years with concealing their involvement in the Bosnian war to enter the United States.

    Thu, 07 Dec 2017 17:48:02 -0500
  • U.S. Justice Department taps prosecutor to oversee asset forfeiture program

    The U.S. Justice Department has tapped a North Carolina-based prosecutor for a new role designed to provide more checks and balances to its civil asset forfeiture program, following criticism of its abuse by the police. Corey Ellis, the first assistant U.S. attorney of the Western District of North Carolina, will serve as director of asset forfeiture accountability starting in January, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a statement on Thursday.

    Thu, 07 Dec 2017 17:19:58 -0500
  • EPA chief says public climate debate may be launched in January

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    By Valerie Volcovici WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency could launch a public debate about climate change as soon as January, Administrator Scott Pruitt said on Thursday, as the agency unwinds Obama-era initiatives to fight global warming. The agency had been working over the past several months to set up a "red team, blue team" debate on the science relating to man-made climate change to give the public a "real-time review of questions and answers around this issue of CO2," Pruitt said. "We may be able to get there as early as January next year," he told the House Energy and Commerce Committee during his first congressional hearing since taking office.

    Thu, 07 Dec 2017 17:15:48 -0500
  • Gold trader Zarrab says he was threatened in jail for cooperating with U.S.

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    A Turkish-Iranian gold trader testifying for U.S. prosecutors in a criminal trial involving sanctions against Iran said on Thursday that he was removed from a New York federal jail after another inmate threatened to kill him for cooperating with authorities. "He said that he had received instructions to kill because I was cooperating," the trader Reza Zarrab told jurors in a Manhattan courtroom. The U.S. Bureau of Prisons did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Thu, 07 Dec 2017 17:01:35 -0500
  • U.S. delays rule on methane emissions from federal lands

    The Trump administration will delay an Obama-era rule limiting emissions of the powerful greenhouse gas methane from oil and gas operations on federal and tribal lands, it said on Thursday, a move slammed by environmentalists. The Bureau of Land Management, an office of the Department of Interior, will officially suspend the rule on Friday to "avoid imposing likely considerable and immediate compliance costs on operators for requirements that may be rescinded or significantly revised in the near future," it said in a document to be published on Friday. Energy companies say the rule, finalized at the end of the Obama administration, could cost them tens of thousands of dollars per well, and some driller groups had sued the previous administration.

    Thu, 07 Dec 2017 16:32:01 -0500
  • Exclusive: U.N. watchdogs call for probe of Taser assaults in U.S. jails

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    By Stephanie Nebehay and Jason Szep GENEVA (Reuters) - The U.N. special rapporteur on torture urged U.S. authorities to investigate and weigh criminal charges against jail officials in Ohio, Tennessee, Oklahoma and Arkansas for the “clearly gratuitous infliction of severe pain and suffering” from the use of Tasers on inmates, citing a Reuters report this week. After reviewing footage of jail incidents obtained by Reuters, Nils Melzer said the “grave abuse” from Taser use in some U.S. jails violated the United Nations’ prohibition on cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment and, in some cases, amounted to torture.

    Thu, 07 Dec 2017 15:20:29 -0500
  • U.S. gymnastics team doctor sentenced to 60 years for child pornography

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    A federal judge on Thursday sentenced Larry Nassar, the former USA Gymnastics team doctor accused of sexually assaulting gymnasts, to 60 years in prison on federal child pornography charges that grew out of a sex abuse investigation. U.S. District Judge Janet Neff in Grand Rapids, Michigan handed down the sentence sought by prosecutors, who said there was a link between Nassar's child pornography and his "prolific molestation of children," according to court documents. "He has demonstrated that he should never again have access to children," Neff said according to the Lansing State Journal.

    Thu, 07 Dec 2017 14:39:13 -0500
  • Gunman, two students dead after New Mexico high school shooting

    Few other details were immediately available about the incident at Aztec High School in the city of Aztec, about 200 miles (322 km) northwest of Santa Fe, including whether the shooter was a student or if the shooter was killed by police. The New Mexico State Police said no other injuries were reported, that the school was evacuated, and families of the victims were notified. Police said there were no other credible threats to students.

    Thu, 07 Dec 2017 14:38:31 -0500
  • Low water halts shipping on lower Ohio River: U.S. Army Corps

    (Reuters) - A stretch of the Ohio River near Paducah, Kentucky, was closed to shipping traffic after a barge tow ran aground in the receding waters, halting shipments of commodities such as grain and coal for at least the fourth time since September.

    Thu, 07 Dec 2017 14:28:14 -0500
  • Ex-South Carolina cop gets 20 years in prison for black motorist's death

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    The white former policeman caught on video shooting an unarmed black man in the back after a 2015 traffic stop in South Carolina was sentenced on Thursday to 20 years in prison, with a federal judge ruling that the killing amounted to murder. The decision came a year after Michael Slager's state murder trial for the death of 50-year-old Walter Scott ended with a deadlocked jury. Slager, 36, is one of the few police officers in recent years in the United States to receive prison time for an on-duty shooting.

    Thu, 07 Dec 2017 14:15:59 -0500
  • Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Warren Moon denies harassment claim

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    Professional football Hall of Fame quarterback Warren Moon denied accusations of sexual harassment by a woman who was an executive assistant to the former National Football League player at the sports marketing firm he co-founded. According to the lawsuit filed Monday in Superior Court in Orange County, California, Moon required Wendy Haskell to share his bed during business trips, wear lingerie and made unwanted sexual advances while she worked as his executive assistant at Sports 1 Marketing. "Warren Moon has yet to be served with the lawsuit filed by Wendy Haskell, but he is aware of the claims contained in it.

    Thu, 07 Dec 2017 13:51:36 -0500
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