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U.S. court revives challenge to New York City circumcision law

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/16/2014 - 04:18
By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Friday revived an effort to block a New York City regulation that requires people who perform a Jewish circumcision ritual on infants that involves oral suction to first obtain parental consent. A unanimous panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said a trial judge had been too deferential to the city, which had linked the ritual to a deadly form of herpes, in rejecting a request by rabbinical groups for a preliminary injunction. The three-judge panel directed U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald in Manhattan to instead use "strict scrutiny" to see if the regulation infringed the plaintiffs' free exercise of religion, violating the First Amendment. At issue was the ritual metzitzah b'peh (MBP), in which a mohel who performs a circumcision uses oral suction to draw blood away from a wound on an infant's penis.

After crisis-filled start, Obama's vacation pace slows for a day

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/16/2014 - 04:04

U.S. President Obama cycles with his daughter Malia during their family vacation at Martha's Vineyard in MassachusettsBy Elizabeth Barber OAK BLUFFS Mass. (Reuters) - Nearly a week after arriving on the island of Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, U.S. President Barack Obama appeared to take his first full day off since the start of his summer retreat. Since arriving on Saturday, Obama has had to mix his leisure time with work, making calls to leaders and speaking to the press while fitting in time to golf. Obama spent a bright, almost cloudless day biking and golfing on Oak Bluffs, a stretch of the island where swans swim on private ponds and rock walls undulate across tidy meadows. Just after noon, first lady Michelle Obama sped past reporters on a bike path in Manuel F. Correllus State Forest, a roughly 5,000-acre (2,000-hectare) reserve.

Lucky cat survives 12-story fall in New York City

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/16/2014 - 04:02
NEW YORK (AP) — A cat named Gizmo has only minor injuries after a 12-story fall at a Manhattan apartment building.

End of tax credit in North Carolina could send filmmakers packing

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/16/2014 - 04:01
By Marti Maguire RALEIGH N.C. (Reuters) - The looming end of tax breaks that helped lure major film and television productions such as the Hunger Games and Sleepy Hollow to North Carolina has supporters fearing Hollywood will take its bright lights to states with more generous incentives. State legislators were expected to finish their session on Friday without renewing a tax credit for the film industry that expires at the end of the year and was decried by critics as a "Hollywood handout." The state budget signed last week by Republican Governor Pat McCrory instead allots $10 million for the first half of 2015 toward a grant program for the industry, a fraction of the more than $60 million in tax credits received by production companies last year. Currently, film companies receive a 25 percent refundable tax credit on qualified expenses, with a cap of $20 million in savings per project.    The issue sparked heated debate this summer and split the state's Republican majority.

No bidders for possibly booby-trapped land

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/16/2014 - 04:00

FILE - This June 18, 2007, file photo shows the home of Ed and Elaine Brown in Plainfield, N.H. The tax-evading couple are serving lengthy sentences after being convicted of amassing an arsenal of weapons and holding law enforcement at bay for nine months in 2007. Federal officials are set to auction on Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, the Brown's former fortress-like home sitting on more than 100 acres in Plainfield. Prospective bidders have not been allowed to tour the property. The U.S. Marshals Service cited the possibility of land mines and other explosives buried on the property as a complication. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — No one bid for the compound of a tax-evading couple convicted of amassing an arsenal of weapons and holding federal law enforcement officials at bay for months.

Judge denies Jodi Arias attorney's effort to quit

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/16/2014 - 03:56
PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona judge has denied a request by one of Jodi Arias' attorneys to quit, setting the stage for Arias to represent herself at the penalty phase of her trial.

Inmate religious ceremonies lawsuit gets new look

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/16/2014 - 03:52
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Three Kentucky death row inmates should get another chance to show they have the right to a sweat lodge, powwow and traditional foods to conduct Native American religious ceremonies behind bars at the prison, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday.

Death of suspected molester apparent suicide

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/16/2014 - 03:51
ATLANTA (AP) — Investigators say the death of a man accused of repeatedly raping and molesting unconscious girls appears to have been a suicide.

U.S. lawmakers want to end transfers of military equipment to police

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/16/2014 - 03:50
By Susan Cornwell WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. lawmakers alarmed by the aggressive police response to protests in Ferguson, Missouri, are pushing for Congress to limit the Pentagon's ability to provide civilian police departments with military equipment such as armored vehicles designed for the battlefield. Georgia Democrat Hank Johnson wrote colleagues in the House of Representatives this week seeking support for legislation to curtail a program that passes surplus equipment from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to municipal U.S. police forces, free of charge. Because of the program "our local police are quickly beginning to resemble paramilitary forces," Johnson said.

San Jose police fatally shoot woman, 19, holding power drill

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/16/2014 - 03:39
(Reuters) - A 19-year-old woman brandishing a power drill was shot dead by a police officer in San Jose on Thursday, police said. Police received a report that morning that a woman was threatening to kill her family with an Uzi assault weapon, San Jose Police spokeswoman Heather Randol said in a news release. One of the officers, Wakana Okuma, shot the woman, who was taken to a local hospital and pronounced dead. The shooting is being investigated by San Jose homicide detectives, Randol said.

Measles outbreak in Ohio appears to be ending: health officials

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/16/2014 - 03:37
By Kim Palmer CLEVELAND (Reuters) - A massive measles outbreak in Ohio that was behind the largest outbreak of the disease in the United States in two decades appears to be coming to an end, with no new confirmed cases in the state in nearly a month, state officials said on Friday. "I am cautiously optimistic that the outbreak is nearing the end," said Dr. Mary DiOrio, an epidemiologist at the Ohio Department of Health. The Centers for Disease Control said there have been nearly 600 cases of measles this year in the United States, with the majority of those infected being unvaccinated. The Ohio outbreak began in March when unvaccinated travelers returning from the Philippines brought the disease to the largely unvaccinated Amish community in Holmes County, state health officials said.

Chief: Officer didn't know Brown was a suspect

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/16/2014 - 03:36

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson releases the name of the the officer accused of fatally shooting Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, Friday, Aug. 15, 2014, in Ferguson, Mo. Jackson announced that the officer's name is Darren Wilson. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) — The chief in the St. Louis suburb where an unarmed black teenager was fatally shot by police says the officer didn't know the teen was a robbery suspect at the time of the shooting.

Ferguson Chief: Cop didn't know Michael Brown was suspect

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/16/2014 - 03:24

 Cop didn't know Michael Brown was suspectThe police chief in the St. Louis suburb where an unarmed black teenager was fatally shot by police says the officer didn't know the teen was a robbery suspect at the time of the shooting.

Ferguson Chief: Officer didn't know Michael Brown was a suspect

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/16/2014 - 03:23

 Cop didn't know Michael Brown was suspectThe police chief in the St. Louis suburb where an unarmed black teenager was fatally shot by police says the officer didn't know the teen was a robbery suspect at the time of the shooting.

U.S. court upholds FERC rules on electric grid planning

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/16/2014 - 03:18

The sun rises behind windmills at a wind farm in Palm SpringsBy Ros Krasny WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. court on Friday upheld rules from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission calling on utilities to take various actions, including increased planning of large transmission projects. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit affirmed FERC's "Order 1000," a series of measures from 2011 that requires large-scale regional planning of the nation's electric grid designed in part to create greater access to renewable energy. The case addressed whether states could be forced to coordinate on transmission planning, carbon standards and paying for actions to create new transmission capacity. "The Commission reasonably determined that regional planning must include consideration of transmission needs driven by public policy requirements," the three-judge panel wrote in a 97-page unanimous ruling.

Union chief: Teachers felt rushed after Newtown

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/16/2014 - 03:10
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The president of the local teachers union says his members felt rushed back to the classroom after the 2012 mass shooting in Newtown.

Former Mexican policeman wanted in homicide arrested in Colorado

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/16/2014 - 03:01
By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - A former Mexican police officer, wanted in his home country for allegedly shooting to death a man nearly 15 years ago with his government-issued AR-15 rifle, has been arrested in Colorado, U.S. immigration officials said on Friday. Jesus Gabriel Ibarra-Espinoza, 41, was detained this week in the Denver suburb of Centennial where he was living with his wife and family, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said in a statement. Ibarra-Espinoza was wanted for the Jan. 2000 shooting death of Adrian Almodovar-Villalba in Mocorito, Mexico. According to a witness, Ibarra-Espinoza was working as a police officer for the city of Mocorito when he was assigned to a security detail at a local party.

California moves to keep film production at home

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/16/2014 - 02:59

FILE - In this photo taken on Thursday, Aug. 14, 2014, production assistant Adrien Noriega holds a reflector before a film shoot outside the Department of Water and Power headquarters in Los Angeles. Hoping to keep film productions from fleeing California for other states and countries, lawmakers have moved to quadruple tax subsidies for location shooting. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)LOS ANGELES (AP) — Hoping to keep film production in California, lawmakers have moved to quadruple tax subsidies for location shoots.

Marine who urinated on corpses in Afghanistan dies

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/16/2014 - 02:41
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A decorated retired Marine whose career as a sniper was derailed by a video that showed him urinating on the corpses of Taliban fighters has died, his attorney said Friday.

More cuts announced for Philadelphia schools

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/16/2014 - 02:36
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The cash-strapped city school district will cut another $32 million in services to free up enough money to start classes on time, but massive layoffs still loom if state lawmakers don't approve a cigarette tax, officials said Friday.