By Laura Zuckerman SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - The largest school district in Idaho has banned from its curriculum an award-winning book about the struggles of a Native American teenager after complaints by parents that the novel was rife with profanity, racial epithets and anti-Christian rhetoric. The school board in Meridian, Idaho, voted 2-1 this week to keep the book, "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian," off a supplemental reading list for 10th graders, meaning it will not be part of the curriculum at the high school, said school board clerk Trish Duncan. The 2007 Sherman Alexie novel, which won the 2007 National Book Award for Young People's Literature, is still available in the school's library, she said.
By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Dynamics Corp said on Friday that the U.S. Army denied its protest about the terms of multibillion-dollar competition for a new armored vehicle, which General Dynamics said were skewed to favor its rival, BAE Systems Plc. General Dynamics spokesman Pete Keating said the company would study the Army's ruling and decide on the next steps to take. The company has 10 days to file a protest with the Government Accountability Office, an arm of Congress that rules on federal contract disputes. The Army's competition for a new Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (AMPV) to replace nearly 2,900 Vietnam-era M113 infantry carriers is one of few new weapons development programs available for U.S. ground vehicle makers.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Paul Salamunovich, longtime director of the Los Angeles Master Chorale who helped score movies including "The Godfather," has died. He was 86.
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, commander at the Fort Hood Army post in Texas, on Friday released the names of the three soldiers killed by Spc. Ivan Lopez, who then used the same .45-caliber pistol to kill himself. Milley said the shooting rampage on Wednesday at Fort Hood followed a verbal altercation.
DETROIT (AP) — As Steve Utash lies in a Detroit hospital bed, with his brain swollen and a gash in his head, he appears to remember the brutal beating that a neighborhood mob inflicted days earlier.
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — The Fort Hood soldier who gunned down three other military men before killing himself had an argument with colleagues in his unit before opening fire, and investigators believe his mental condition was not the "direct precipitating factor" in the shooting, authorities said Friday.
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A longtime aide to Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has given testimony to a federal grand jury in an investigation of traffic jams created near the George Washington Bridge in a political payback scandal.
By Marty Graham SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - An Iraqi-American man charged with murdering his wife in their California home in what was first investigated as a hate crime heard testimony from his daughter on Friday that showed deep conflict within the family. Kassim Alhimidi, 49, who prosecutors accuse of beating his wife to death, possibly with a tire iron, glared at his daughter during cross-examination on the fourth day of the trial and then began weeping. Shaima Alawadi, a 32-year-old mother of five, died of her injuries several days after her daughter found her bloodied body on the kitchen floor of their home in the San Diego suburb of El Cajon, California, in March 2012. The testimony of his 19-year-old daughter Fatima Alhimidi painted a picture of a family in turmoil in the months before the killing, as arguments erupted over whether she would wed a cousin in Iraq in an arranged marriage and over her relationship with a boyfriend.
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A University of Arizona freshman has died after he fell from a 20-foot cooling tower he was climbing on a dormitory roof.
FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — The three soldiers killed in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood by another military man had served in the military for years and been deployed to Iraq as well as other places.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Months after vowing to boost security at a Kansas City school where a student says she was dragged to a room and raped, district officials have suspended six employees amid new allegations from a 14-year-old girl who alleges a boy repeatedly raped her at school.
PHOENIX (AP) — Skeletal remains found south of Phoenix in 1988 have been identified as an Arizona woman who disappeared more than 25 years ago.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Attorneys representing North Dakota's only abortion clinic asked a federal judge Friday to permanently block a law that bans abortions when a fetal heartbeat is detected, saying it would outlaw most abortions in the state.
By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI (Reuters) - A federal judge on Friday sentenced a South Florida doctor to more than six years in prison on a money-laundering conviction related to prescriptions she wrote for thousands of painkillers to addicts and drug dealers. A jury in July 2013 acquitted Dr. Cynthia Cadet, 43, a retired U.S. Air Force major, and Joseph Castronuovo, 74, on charges that their roles in a chain of South Florida pain clinics led to the deaths of nine patients. But the jury convicted the two of money laundering for their role in the "pill mill" conspiracy. U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra sentenced Cadet to 78 months in prison, while Castronuovo received 18 months.
By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) - A prominent Democratic California state senator and gun-control advocate was indicted by a San Francisco grand jury on charges of corruption and conspiracy to traffic in firearms, according to court documents released on Friday. The indictment adds to the troubles facing state Senator Leland Yee, who was arrested last week and criminally charged along with two dozen others in the same case. Yee, 65, is the third California state senator to face criminal charges this year in separate cases that have cost Democrats a cherished two-thirds legislative majority in an election year and prompted them to cancel a major fundraiser planned for this weekend. Senate Democratic leader Darrell Steinberg, who has said that the charges against Yee "sickened" him, on Friday renewed calls for the senator to resign.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two Southern California bank robbers who threw the loot out a car window during a police chase have been sentenced to long prison terms.
A federal judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit filed against the U.S. government by the families of three American citizens killed in U.S. drone strikes in Yemen in 2011 but said their case raised serious constitutional issues. Judge Rosemary Collyer of the U.S. District Court in Washington threw out the case.
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Gray wolves in the U.S. Northern Rockies are showing resilience as states adopt increasingly aggressive tactics to drive down their numbers through hunting, trapping and government-sponsored pack removals.
By Jonathan Kaminsky DARRINGTON, Washington (Reuters) - A contractor who studied the risks to a rural neighborhood in Washington state wiped out by a mudslide last month made recommendations more than a decade ago that included possible relocation of homes elsewhere. News of the recommendations, made in a report for a Native American tribe with traditional fishing rights in the area, emerged as searchers scoured a pile of mud and debris for victims of the March 22 slide that left dozens dead or missing. About 30 people have been confirmed dead from the slide, which roared over the north fork of the Stillaguamish River and state Highway 530, engulfing about three dozen homes on the outskirts of the rural town of Oso in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Jim Miller, a geological engineer with GeoEngineers, said his company prepared a 2001 report for the Stillaguamish tribe that warned of a "significant risk to human lives and private property" at the slide site.
DALLAS (AP) — After three mass shootings at military bases in the U.S. over the last five years, security experts say the sad truth is that there is probably no practical way of preventing members of the armed forces or civilian employees from carrying guns onto big installations like Fort Hood.