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California drought holds steady amid summer storms, experts say

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 05:04

A tire rests on the dry bed of Lake Mendocino, a key Mendocino County reservoir, in UkiahBy Shawn Hubler SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - As California lawmakers moved a nearly $7.6 billion water bond to the November ballot, federal meteorologists said on Thursday that the state's ongoing drought has appeared to level off, though conditions remain "extreme" in 80 percent of the state. "Areas of dryness and drought remained unchanged," according to the National Drought Mitigation Center, based at the University of Nebraska, despite epic storms that have intermittently lashed parts of both Northern and Southern California. Torrential rains early this month triggered lethal mudslides and flash floods in the San Gabriel Mountains near Los Angeles, and thunderstorms both eased and complicated the work of firefighters battling wildfires this week in Northern California.

Arizona teacher accused of being drunk in class

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 05:03

This Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014 photo shows bottles of alcoholic beverages and juice found in the classroom of Kathleen Jardine, a teacher at Poston Butte High School in San Tan Valley, Ariz. Authorities say Jardine showed up to class drunk on Wednesday and continued drinking throughout the day. Pinal County Sheriff's officials say students at the school called the main office after she began cursing at them. Jardine, of Chandler, Ariz. was cited for one count of consumption of alcohol in public but could face disorderly conduct charges. (AP Photo/Pinal County Sheriff's Office)PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona high school teacher who feared she was too inebriated to drive took a cab to work, then continued drinking throughout the day until students alerted administrators that she was cursing and yelling at them, authorities said Thursday.

Mom jailed over truancy died from heart failure

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 05:00
READING, Pa. (AP) — A mother of seven who was jailed over her children's truancy and then was found dead in her cell died of natural causes, a coroner ruled.

Man killed in Berks Co. tree trimming accident

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 05:00

Man killed in Berks Co. tree trimming accidentPolice in Berks County are investigating a freak accident that killed a tree trimmer.

Billboards go up for fugitive Mexican drug lord wanted in U.S.

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 04:57
By Marty Graham SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - Federal authorities offering a $5 million reward for a fugitive Mexican drug lord who killed a U.S. anti-narcotics agent in the 1980s have taken the unusual step of plastering his face on billboards in southwestern border states. Rafael Caro Quintero, the former leader of the Guadalajara drug trafficking cartel, disappeared almost a year ago after a Mexican court freed him from a Mexican prison on a technicality. Three months after he vanished, Mexico's Supreme Court overturned the lower court's decision and prosecutors issued an arrest warrant for Caro Quintero. Now billboards have gone up near the Mexican border in El Paso, Texas, Phoenix, Arizona, and Los Angeles, California.

New Orleans police: Arrests in drive-by shootings

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 04:54
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — New Orleans police arrested two suspects Thursday in a drive-by shooting that left a man and a teenage girl dead and seriously injured a mother and her two small children.

White man must visit black museum for waving noose

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 04:53
NORRISTOWN, Pa. (AP) — A white construction superintendent must visit the African-American Museum in Philadelphia as part of his sentence for waving a noose at a black man.

Former Florida mayor acquitted on federal extortion charges

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 04:51
By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI (Reuters) - A federal jury acquitted a Miami-area mayor on Thursday on charges that he accepted thousands of dollars from FBI agents during an undercover sting operation. Former Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi, 51, was arrested last August and pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit extortion and four counts of attempted extortion. "While we are disappointed with the outcome in this case, we respect the jury’s verdict,” said U.S. Attorney Wifredo Ferrer. One of his attorneys Ed Shohat framed the investigation, which hinged on the cooperation of a lobbyist-turned-informant and the testimony of the convicted "bag man" in the case, as entrapment.

Woman struck by SEPTA train in Overbook

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 04:51

Woman struck by SEPTA train in OverbookPhiladelphia police are investigating an accident where a SEPTA train struck a woman in Overbrook.

Mother of New York boy stabbed in elevator seeks $281 million

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 04:49
By Laila Kearney NEW YORK (Reuters) - The mother of a 6-year-old boy fatally stabbed in the elevator of a New York City public housing complex has filed a $281 million claim against the city, her lawyer said on Thursday. Prince Joshua Avitto was attacked along with a 7-year-old friend at the Boulevard Houses building in Brooklyn on June 1 as they returned from getting ice cream. The claim, filed on Wednesday by Avitto's mother, alleges that the New York City Housing Authority's negligent and reckless management of its property led to her son's death. “The NYCHA and City of New York provided zero security and protection, intentionally failed to install security cameras and surveillance monitoring and eliminated a tenants’ patrol that would have saved his life,” the mother's attorney, Jack Yankowitz, said in a statement.

Los Angeles man convicted of ex-girlfriend's murder 35 years later

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 04:48
A Southern California man, who prosecutors say stabbed and strangled his ex-girlfriend to death in 1979, was found guilty of her murder by a Los Angeles jury on Thursday, more than three decades later. Douglas Gordon Bradford, a 62-year-old engineer, was convicted by a jury of seven men and five women after two days of deliberations in the case, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said. Bradford, who was taken into custody immediately following the verdict, faces 26 years to life in prison when he is sentenced in October. Bradford's former girlfriend, 28-year-old Lynne Knight, was found dead in her apartment in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance on Aug. 29, 1979.

Bin Laden son-in-law should get 15 years in prison: defense lawyer

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 04:45
By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - A defense lawyer for the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden convicted on terrorism-related charges in New York federal court said on Thursday that his client should serve no more than 15 years in prison. Kuwaiti-born Suleiman Abu Ghaith, 48, faces up to life behind bars after a jury convicted him in March of conspiring to kill Americans, conspiring to provide material support for terrorists, and providing such support. The trial, which featured testimony from Abu Ghaith himself, offered an unusual glimpse into bin Laden’s actions in the days following al Qaeda’s attacks in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001, that killed nearly 3,000 people. Prosecutors accused Abu Ghaith of serving as an al Qaeda mouthpiece, recording inflammatory videos that the group used in recruiting.

Missouri governor names black security chief for Ferguson protests

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 04:41

TENSION RISING IN FERGUSON(Reuters) - Missouri Governor Jay Nixon on Thursday named a black Missouri Highway Patrol captain to oversee security in Ferguson, Missouri, where protesters have clashed with police officers following the police killing of an unarmed black teenager last weekend. Nixon named Captain Ronald Johnson to direct security in the racially charged community.

Dropbox helps police nab sexual predator in Reading

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 04:39

Dropbox helps police nab sexual predator in ReadingPolice in Berks County say an online file sharing service helped them catch a sexual predator.

Arab Bank called Hamas 'paymaster' as trial opens in New York

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 04:27
By Bernard Vaughan NEW YORK (Reuters) - Arab Bank Plc served as "paymaster" of funds supporting Hamas, lawyers for a group of Americans suing the bank for compensation stemming from attacks by the Palestinian militant group told a jury on Thursday as a long-anticipated civil trial got under way. In opening statements in U.S. federal court in Brooklyn, lawyers for the plaintiffs said the Amman, Jordan-based bank provided "extensive and substantial" material support to Hamas. A lawyer for Arab Bank told jurors the evidence will show it did not knowingly support the Islamist group, which runs Gaza and is currently locked in a military conflict with Israel. Close to 300 U.S. citizens who were the victims or the family members of victims of 24 attacks allegedly carried out by Hamas in Israel and the Palestinian territories between 2001 and 2004 sued the bank in 2004.

US victims' lawyer: Arab Bank financed terrorists

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 04:18

Gary Osen, an attorney for the plaintiffs in a case against Jordan-based Arab Bank, talks with reporters outside federal court in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014. Families of about 140 American victims of two dozen terror attacks in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank during a Palestinian uprising from 2001 to 2004 went to court in an effort to force Jordan-based Arab Bank to pay for allegedly helping Hamas finance a "death and dismemberment benefit plan" for martyrs. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)NEW YORK (AP) — A large Jordan-based bank funneled tens of millions of dollars to the families of suicide bombers and terrorist operatives with ties to Hamas during a deadly Palestinian uprising from 2001 to 2004, lawyers for American terror victims said Thursday at a federal trial in Brooklyn.

Missouri governor says State Highway Patrol will take over supervision of security in Ferguson

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 04:17
NORMANDY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri governor says State Highway Patrol will take over supervision of security in Ferguson.

Missouri governor says State Highway Patrol will take over supervision of security in Ferguson

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 04:17
NORMANDY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri governor says State Highway Patrol will take over supervision of security in Ferguson.

Hernandez excused from hearing in Boston murders

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 04:14

Judge Jeffrey Locke addresses the court during a pretrial hearing for former New England Patriots NFL football player Aaron Hernandez Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, in Suffolk Superior Court in Boston. Prosecutors allege that Hernandez ambushed and shot to death two men in 2012 after a chance encounter inside a Boston nightclub. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, Pool)BOSTON (AP) — Former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez was excused from a pre-trial hearing Thursday in his Boston double homicide case.

New Orleans clears out homeless camp of 160 people

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 08/15/2014 - 04:13

Rose Frazier, who is homeless and lives with up to 150 others under the Pontchartrain Expressway overpass, sits among her possessions in New Orleans, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2014. The city’s health department put up notices Monday giving the estimated 150 homeless people 72 hours to leave the area, citing health hazards. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)NEW ORLEANS (AP) — City workers wearing gloves — and a few in face masks — threw sofas, armchairs and quilts into garbage trucks Thursday, clearing out a homeless encampment of about 160 people. Officials said it attracted rats and called it a public health hazard.