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Envelope mailed to White House tests 'presumptive positive' for cyanide

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 09:52

The White House is seen in front of the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial in WashingtonAn envelope mailed to the White House tested "presumptive positive" for cyanide and will undergo more testing to confirm the results, the U.S. Secret Service said on Tuesday. The agency charged with protecting the president said the envelope, which was received on Monday at the White House Mail Screening Facility, initially tested negative. Biological testing on Tuesday "returned a presumptive positive for Cyanide," the Secret Service said in a statement, adding the sample was then sent to another facility to confirm the results.

Teacher accused of calling Muslim student a Taliban

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 09:44
WESTON, Fla. (AP) — A South Florida high school teacher is being suspended without pay for a week after being accused of calling a Muslim student a Taliban.

Letter sent to White House tentatively tests positive for cyanide

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 09:42

Letter sent to White House tentatively tests positive for cyanideThe Secret Service says an envelope addressed to the White House has tentatively tested positive for cyanide. Initial biological testing was negative. The agency says additional testing Tuesday returned a "presumptive positive" for cyanide. The Secret Service is responsible for President Barack Obama's security.

A look at California's emergency drought water restrictions

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 09:41

FILE - In this July 15, 2014, file photo sprinklers water a lawn in Sacramento, Calif. California residents have to turn off their sprinklers, and restaurants won't give customers water unless they ask under new drought regulations approved Tuesday, March 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Amid a historic drought, the California State Water Resources Control Board voted Tuesday to extend and expand restrictions on water use.

Arizona top court rejects bid to retry ex-death row inmate

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 09:38
By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - Arizona's highest court denied last-ditch appeals by prosecutors on Tuesday seeking to retry a Phoenix woman who spent more than 22 years on death row for the 1989 murder of her 4-year-old son before a federal appeals court tossed out her conviction. Debra Milke, 51, had initially been sentenced to death for the murder of her son, Christopher, who was dressed in his best outfit and was told he was going to see Santa Claus with his mother's roommate, James Styers, just days before Christmas. Milke was freed from prison in 2013 after a federal appeals court threw out the conviction based on prosecutorial misconduct and on Tuesday the Arizona Supreme Court rejected a series of legal moves by prosecutors who want to retry her. Styers and his accomplice, Roger Scott, remain on death row.

U.S. Presbyterian Church approves same-sex marriage amendment

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 09:25

Rev. Paul Mowry leads a Sunday service at Sausalito Presbyterian Church in SausalitoThe U.S. Presbyterian Church on Tuesday approved a change in the wording of its constitution to include same-sex marriage, a move which threatens to further splinter one of the largest U.S. mainline Protestant denominations. A majority of the 171 regional "presbyteries," or local leadership bodies of the church, have now voted to change the wording of the constitution to define marriage as a commitment "between two people, traditionally a man and a woman." That change in the Louisville, Kentucky-based church's constitution was recommended by its General Assembly last year and required a simple majority of 86 votes, achieved on Tuesday, the church said. The church, also known as PCUSA, has more than 1.7 million members, but has lost more than 500,000 over the past decade. "Let us pray that we can allow the Spirit to continue to create in us a common call to follow Christ while respecting each other's convictions," Gradye Parsons, stated clerk of the General Assembly, said in a statement.

Jeb Bush rejects idea of raising federal minimum wage

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 09:18

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, speaks at the South Carolina house republican caucus reception in Columbia, S.C., Tuesday, March 17, 2015. Bush said Tuesday that minimum wage increases should be left to businesses and state governments, opposing a hike in the federal pay floor as an impediment to individuals trying to escape from poverty. (AP Photo/The State, Tim Dominick) ALL LOCAL MEDIA OUT, (TV, ONLINE, PRINT)COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday that minimum wage increases should be left to businesses and state governments, opposing a hike in the federal pay floor as an impediment to individuals trying to escape from poverty.

Teen accused of killing man who spilled coffee on him

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 09:11
STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — A 15-year-old Connecticut boy is being held on $2 million bond after he was charged in the slaying of a man who police say had spilled coffee on him.

Opening statements next in trial over boy cuffed to porch

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 09:07
MONROE, N.C. (AP) — A jury was seated Tuesday in the trial of a North Carolina man accused of handcuffing an 11-year-old boy by his ankle to a porch with a dead chicken around his neck as punishment.

Police: 3 football players stabbed in fight at Morgan State

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 09:03

 3 football players stabbed in fight at Morgan StateTwo groups of people got into a fight Tuesday outside a dining hall on the Morgan State University campus, and three football players were stabbed by someone swinging a knife wildly, police and college officials said.

Prince Charles, Camilla in US capital; will meet with Obama

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 08:50

Britain's Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall, arrive at Andrews Air Force Base, on Tuesday, March 17, 2015, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md. The couple is scheduled to visit cultural and educational sites over the next three days. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md. (AP) — Britain's Prince Charles and his wife, Camilla, arrived in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday for a three-day visit, during which they plan to visit cultural and educational sites before heading to Kentucky.

Penn State professor arrested in Miami after rant on plane

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 08:48
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A Penn State University associate sociology professor says she doesn't know why her onboard speech about U.S.-Venezuela relations got her pulled off a flight in Miami.

Alaska state lawmakers seek pet protection in domestic violence cases

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 08:46
By Steve Quinn JUNEAU, Alaska (Reuters) - The well-being of pets would be considered in divorce, domestic violence and other types of cases under a bill introduced in the Alaska legislature, lawmakers said on Tuesday. The bill is in part designed to disarm abusers who use pets as leverage, said Republican State Representative Liz Vazquez of Anchorage, one of the bill's authors. "More and more animals are used by an abuser for punishment, manipulation or revenge against a victim," Vasquez said. "They will threaten to kill, maim or torture a pet to gain control over the family." The bill, introduced on Monday, also would amend domestic violence statutes to include temporary care or protection for animals.

U.S. review of San Diego police misconduct finds lax supervision

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 08:40
By Marty Graham SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - A U.S. Department of Justice review of the San Diego Police Department has recommended the department overhaul its supervision practices following misconduct in which officers took advantage of women sexually, officials said on Tuesday. The San Diego police chief welcomed the findings from the Department of Justice report, which had been requested by the former head of the city's police department. The most high-profile case of misconduct that led to the federal review involved former officer Anthony Arevalos, who in 2012 pleaded guilty to sexual battery and other charges for demanding sexual favors from several women he stopped on duty. He was sentenced to eight years in prison, and the city eventually paid nearly $6 million to settle a lawsuit over Arevalos' misconduct against one woman.

Snowpack is declining in valleys where Colorado River begins

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 08:36

This Oct. 22, 2010, file photo, shows low water levels in Boulder Harbor in Lake Mead, Ariz. Drought in the southwestern U.S. is depleting the vast Lake Mead on the Colorado River to levels not seen since Hoover Dam was completed and the reservoir was filled in the 1930s. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Mark Henle, file)Snowpack in the mountains and valleys where the Colorado River originates has been shrinking since the beginning of March, a federal water expert said Tuesday. The snow ranged between 89 and 91 percent ...

Mom was ordered away from baby she's accused of decapitating

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 08:30
CINCINNATI (AP) — A woman accused of decapitating her 3-month-old daughter had been ordered by a court to stay away from the child, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

Feds: US Air Force vet tried to join Islamic State group

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 08:22
NEW YORK (AP) — A U.S. Air Force veteran and airplane mechanic plotted to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group and was arrested on terrorism charges, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.

4-alarm fire in Northeast Philadelphia under control

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 08:21

4-alarm fire in Northeast Philadelphia under control, 100 displacedA 4-alarm fire at a Northeast Philadelphia apartment building has been placed under control.

Premera Blue Cross breached, medical information exposed

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 08:20
By Jim Finkle BOSTON (Reuters) - Health insurer Premera Blue Cross said on Tuesday it was a victim of a cyberattack that may have exposed medical data and financial information of 11 million customers, in the latest serious breach disclosed by a healthcare company. Premera said the attackers may have gained access to claims data, including clinical information, along with banking account numbers, Social Security numbers, birth dates and other data in an attack that began in May 2014. It is the largest breach reported to date involving patient medical information, according to Dave Kennedy, an expert in healthcare security who is chief executive of TrustedSEC LLC. About 6 million of the people whose accounts were accessed are residents of Washington state, where customers include employees of Inc , Microsoft Corp and Starbucks Corp , according to Premera. "Medical records paint a really personal picture of somebody's life and medical procedures," Kennedy said.

Officer kills man upon return from leave for other shooting

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/18/2015 - 08:18
KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — On his first day back from a mandatory leave for shooting and wounding a knife-wielding man earlier this month, a Wisconsin police officer shot and killed an armed suspect after confronting him following a chase, authorities said.