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Two Colorado avalanche mitigation workers injured in blast

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 02:53
By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - Two workers helping mitigate the risk of avalanches on a Colorado mountain pass were injured on Monday when a mortar shell used to trigger controlled snow slides to prevent larger ones exploded prematurely, officials said. The accident occurred just after sunrise on Loveland Pass, a high snow slide area where five snowboarders were killed last April in an avalanche, said Tony Devito, a regional director with the Colorado Department of Transportation. "We are taking this situation very seriously and will be looking into how to improve the safety of our crew members during avalanche reduction practices," DeVito said, adding that road crews perform routinely perform avalanche mitigation work throughout the winter in the slide-prone state. Twenty-six people have been killed in avalanches in eight Western states so far this season, according to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center, closing in on a 10-year annual average of 28 fatalities.

Asiana: Plane systems partly to blame in crash

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 02:37
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A Boeing 777 that crashed at San Francisco International Airport had inadequate warning systems to alert its crew about problems with air speed, Asiana Airlines said in a filing with regulators released on Monday.

Video of officer apparently shoving woman reviewed

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 02:31
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Tucson police are reviewing video of a woman apparently being shoved by an officer in riot gear during a melee after the University of Arizona basketball team lost in the NCAA tournament.

Explosion risk remains near Washington LNG facility: emergency responders

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 02:25
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Officials are responding to a liquefied natural gas leak from a tank at the Williams Cos Ins LNG facility in Plymouth, Washington, where an explosion occurred earlier on Monday and another is still a possibility, a local emergency responder said. Emergency responders are evacuating residents within a two-mile radius of the site to a shelter in Hermiston, Oregon, and established roadblocks on a nearby highway and an interstate artery, said Deanna Davis, a public information officer with the Benton County Emergency Management office. ...

Mad dash for health care sign-ups on deadline day

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 02:18

A screen shows the countdown for the deadline to sign up for health insurance during a health care enrollment event at SEIU-UHW office, Monday, March 31, 2014, in Commerce, Calif. Monday marks this year's open enrollment deadline, but consumers will get extra time to finish their applications. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)WASHINGTON (AP) — A flood of last-minute applicants rushed to sign up for health insurance on Monday, deadline day for President Barack Obama's health care law, with more than 100,000 people at a time using the fragile system despite a new spate of intermittent ills.

U.S. to require new cars to have rearview cameras by 2018

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 02:06

Camera on Toyota NS4 plug-in hybrid concept car as it is unveiled on the final press preview day for the North American International Auto Show in DetroitThe U.S. government said on Monday it will require new cars and light trucks sold in the United States to have rearview cameras by May 2018, a regulation intended to prevent drivers from backing into pedestrians. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said the new requirement will apply to all vehicles under 10,000 pounds (4,500 kg), including buses and trucks. "Rear visibility requirements will save lives, and will save many families from the heartache suffered after these tragic incidents occur," said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman said in a statement. NHTSA said that 58 to 69 lives will be saved each year once all cars and light trucks on the road have this technology.

Protesters clash with police in Albuquerque, NM

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 02:03

Riot police launch tear gas toward activists in downtown Albuquerque, N.M. following a 10-hour protest around the city, Sunday, March 30, 2014. Hundreds of protesters marched past riot police in Albuquerque on Sunday, days after a YouTube video emerged threatening retaliation for a recent deadly police shooting. The video, which bore the logo of the computer hacking collective Anonymous, warned of a cyberattack on city websites and called for the protest march. (AP Photo/Russell Contreras)ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Hundreds of protesters angry over recent Albuquerque police shootings clashed with riot officers for more than 10 hours, calling on the police chief and other city officials to resign.

U.S. top court wary of major change to software patent law

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 01:56
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court justices stepped gingerly into a raging debate over computer software on Monday, voicing concerns about vaguely defined patents but signaling they would avoid any radical change to existing law. This may help tech companies fend off lawsuits filed by "patent trolls," defined as companies that hold patents only for the purpose of suing firms seeking to develop new products, but not as much as a broad ruling would. From their questions during an hour-long oral argument, the justices appeared likely to rule, as expected, that patents held by Australian company Alice Corp Pty Ltd for a computer system that facilitates financial transactions were not patent eligible. CLS Bank International, which uses similar technology, challenged the patents in 2007.

Health care website stumbles on last day

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 01:52
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration says a new technical problem briefly prevented last-minute users from signing up on the government's health insurance website. The new problem comes as traffic is surging on deadline day.

Students' jobs pay off tuition at 7 work colleges

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 01:49

Students' jobs pay off tuition at 7 work collegesMany students spend years after college working off tens of thousands of dollars in school debt. But at seven "Work Colleges" around the country, students are required to work on campus as part ...

Correction: Work Colleges story

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 01:42
CRAFTSBURY, Vt. (AP) — In a story March 30 about colleges that allow students to work off their tuition, The Associated Press erroneously reported the location of Ecclesia College. It is in Arkansas, not Arizona.

Cincinnati Zoo's only female Sumatran rhino dies

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 01:31
CINCINNATI (AP) — The Cincinnati Zoo says the death of its only female Sumatran rhino is a blow to a breeding program aimed at saving the critically endangered species.

1 hurt in natural gas blast at Washington plant

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 01:30
PLYMOUTH, Wash. (AP) — An explosion and fire at a Williams Northwest Pipeline plant near the Washington-Oregon border have injured one worker and prompted evacuations at the facility and at nearby homes.

Woman on trial in Houston for murdering boyfriend with stiletto heel

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 01:28
By Andrea Lorenz HOUSTON (Reuters) - A woman charged with beating her boyfriend to death with a stiletto high heel after a night of drinking faced a Texas jury on Monday as opening arguments began in a trial expected to take about a week. Prosecutors say Ana Trujillo, 45, stabbed University of Houston professor Stefan Andersson, 59, several times in the head with her spiked-heel shoe after the pair returned to his upscale Houston condominium from a night out. ...

Virginia voters back gay marriage as court hearing nears: poll

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 01:13
A majority of Virginia voters support gay marriage, according to a poll released on Monday, which comes as a lawsuit to strike down the state's ban on same-sex unions is headed to federal appeals court. Some 50 percent of voters in Virginia backed gay marriage, while 42 percent opposed it, a Quinnipiac University poll said. The strongest support is from young people, with 69 percent of Virginia voters aged 18 to 29 backing gay marriage and 25 percent opposing it, according to the Quinnipiac poll.

Prosecutor: Texas man stabbed 25 times with heel

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 01:06
HOUSTON (AP) — A prosecutor has told jurors that a Houston woman stabbed her already injured boyfriend to death by sitting on him and striking him in the face at least 25 times with her stiletto heel.

Police officer fatally shot in upstate New York

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 00:48
JOHNSON CITY, N.Y. (AP) — Authorities say a police officer has been shot to death in an upstate New York village, and the shooting suspect has also died.

Another Apple-Samsung skirmish heads to court

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 00:37

In this Aug. 27, 2012 photo, the Apple iPhone 4s, left, is displayed next to the Samsung Galaxy S III at a store in San Francisco. Apple already has won nearly $1 billion in judgments against Samsung over patent infringements involving older-model devices. Now Apple is alleging Samsung’s newest devices, such as its Galaxy S III, also copied Apple technology. Jury selection for the case begins Monday, March 31, 2014. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — The fiercest rivalry in the world of smartphones is back in court this week in the heart of Silicon Valley, with Apple and Samsung accusing each other, once again, of ripping off designs and features.

USDA: Corn acres expected to shrink 4 percent

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 00:30
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The number of acres devoted to corn is expected to shrink about 4 percent this year as farmers devote more of their land to soybeans.

National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis reopening

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/01/2014 - 00:27

This March 19, 2014 photo shows a recreation of a jail cell in Montgomery, Ala. where Martin Luther King was held in 1963 at the newly-renovated National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tenn. The museum, which first opened in 1991, is now ready to show off new, emotionally-moving exhibits and flashy, informative interactive displays. The museum says it attracts 200,000 people every year, but the renovations are impressive enough that they could lead to a spike in visitor turnout. (AP Photo/Adrian Sainz)MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — One of the first exhibits visitors see at the newly renovated National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis displays statues of shackled and branded black men, sitting in a line with knees near their chins, on the deck of a creaking slave ship headed across an ocean.