SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A political consultant playing a key role in a San Francisco political corruption scandal that has ensnared a state senator has been released from jail.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia police are looking for several suspects in what appears to be a case of rat retaliation.
BOSTON (AP) — A Boston firefighter and former Marine killed in an apartment blaze last week was praised Thursday as a courageous, compassionate man who served his country in Iraq and his community at home.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Poor risk assessment and management were among factors that led to the grounding of a Shell oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Alaska in 2012, the Coast Guard said in a report released Thursday.
Fatima Alhimidi, taking the witness stand on the third day of her father's murder trial, said that she was sleeping on the morning of March 21, 2012, when she heard noises downstairs. "I heard my mom moan and a while after that I heard glass breaking," a sobbing Alhimidi, 19, told jurors, adding that she initially concluded that her mother, 32-year-old Shaima Alawadi, had probably broken a plate while cooking. Prosecutors accuse the father, 49-year-old Kassim Alhimidi, of bludgeoning her to death, possibly with a tire iron taken from one of the family's cars. El Cajon police and the FBI initially investigated the killing as a possible hate crime because of a threatening note found at the scene.
By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - A German skydiver who was among 222 people trying to set a world record with a group-formation jump was killed on Thursday in the Arizona desert when her main parachute malfunctioned, police and a spokeswoman for the skydiving facility said. The skydiver, identified by police as 46-year-old Diana Paris of Berlin, was taking part in a first attempt to set the record on Thursday morning when the mishap occurred, organizers said. "The malfunctioning parachute was released too low to allow the reserve parachute to fully open," said Jocelyn Bernatchez, a spokeswoman for SkyDive Arizona, the facility about 65 miles south of Phoenix in Eloy where the event took place. The team of 222 veteran skydivers from 28 countries had come to the popular U.S. facility to try to break a record for the largest number of people to complete two aerial formations before deploying their parachutes.
EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — As medical examiners painstakingly piece together the identities and lives of the people killed when a mudslide wiped out a small Washington community, a mystery troubles them.
By Eileen O'Grady and Lisa Maria Garza FORT HOOD, Texas (Reuters) - At the home of the largest Army base in the United States, the people who bask in the pride of serving the country in wars abroad and are now reeling from blood being spilled in their backyard in the third mass shooting in about 20 years. The troubled soul-searching that took place when former Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan shot dead 13 people and wounded 32 others at Fort Hood in 2009 was rekindled when another soldier shot dead three people on Wednesday before taking his own life. Many in Killeen, a town of well-worn American flags, pawnshops and businesses that cater to the some 45,000 military personnel assigned to the base, were tight-lipped about being thrust in the global spotlight for the second time in five years because of a deadly shooting rampage. Those who have been in Killeen a little longer can remember when George Hennard, who served two years in the U.S. Navy, rammed his pickup truck through the plate-glass door of a chain restaurant named Luby's in 1991, opening fire and killing 23 in one of the deadliest mass civilian shootings in the country.
By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee voted on Thursday to declassify its long-awaited report on the CIA's use of brutal interrogation methods that critics say amount to torture. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat who chairs the committee, said the vote was 11-3 to declassify what she called the "shocking" results of investigating the Central Intelligence Agency practices under Republican President George W. Bush. The vote to lift the blackout on the summary and recommendations of the 6,200-page report follows an unprecedented clash by Feinstein with the CIA, and would give the world its first official look at its regimen of interrogation and detentions in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. This is not what Americans do," Feinstein told reporters after the committee voted during a classified meeting.
By Brendan O'Brien (Reuters) - Texas on Thursday executed a suspected serial killer convicted of stabbing a teenage girl to death, a day after a federal appeals court rejected his challenge over the drugs to be used in his lethal injection. Tommy Lynn Sells, 49, was pronounced dead at 6:27 p.m. CDT after receiving a lethal dose of drugs at a state prison in Huntsville, Texas, the state's Department of Criminal Justice said. Sells was the 15th person executed in the United States this year and the fifth in Texas, the state that executes more people than any other in the nation, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. The appeals court said the case might be different if the state were using a drug never before used or unheard of, whose effectiveness was completely unknown, which was not the case.
NEW YORK (AP) — The warden of the 2,100-inmate New York City jail where a homeless, mentally ill veteran "baked to death" in an overheated cell in February has been demoted and transferred to another unit that doesn't house mentally ill inmates.
By Patrick Rucker WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.N. panel will examine the rules for handling the kind of oil-by-rail shipments involved in several recent fiery derailments in a move that could rattle the fast-growing sector. The U.N. panel for shipping hazardous materials said this week it accepted a request from U.S. and Canadian experts to revisit rules that govern shipping the kinds of fuel produced in energy areas such as North Dakota's Bakken. Specifically, the panel will examine whether rules for shipping crude oil properly account for dangerous pressure and volatile gases. "Unprocessed crude oil may present unique hazards based on the specific gas content, posing different hazards in transport," the U.N. panel on transporting dangerous goods said in a statement seen by Reuters.
NEW YORK (AP) — The Rev. Al Sharpton, civil rights leaders and representatives from the retail industry met Thursday with New York Police Department Commissioner William J. Bratton to discuss the role of police officers in allegations of racial profiling at department stores that surfaced last fall in shoplifting cases that have resulted in numerous lawsuits.
BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Good news for people who are sticklers for punctuality: The National Institute of Standards and Technology has a new atomic clock that isn't supposed to gain or lose a second in roughly 300 million years.
By Gary Robertson RICHMOND, Virginia (Reuters) - Legislation requiring that the Korean name for the Sea of Japan be included in new school textbooks has become law in the U.S. state of Virginia, a victory for Korean-American campaigners backed by the South Korean government. Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe signed the law earlier in the week, a spokesman confirmed on Thursday. The law requires textbooks to add the name "East Sea," as the body of water that separate Japan and Korea is known in Korea. Passage of the legislation represents a significant victory for vocal campaigners among Virginia's 82,000 Korean-Americans, who greatly outnumber the state's 19,000 ethnic Japanese.
ELOY, Arizona (AP) — An attempt to set a world skydiving record by having more than 220 people free-fall from an airplane in formation turned tragic Thursday when one jumper died during the daring effort at the same Arizona location where two skydivers fell to their deaths last year trying to set a different record.
HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Tribal leaders from Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon and Washington state told a congressional panel Thursday that they feel shut out of decisions being made in a $1.9 billion land-buyback program managed by the U.S. Department of Interior.
CARLSBAD, N.M. (AP) — Crews investigating a radiation leak from the federal government's underground nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico hope to make a second trip into the half-mile-deep repository Friday.
NEW YORK (AP) — They're high steppers of a different sort. More than 700 people took the long way up at the World Trade Center on Thursday — climbing the stairs.
NEW YORK (AP) — The Rev. Al Sharpton and New York Police Department Commissioner William J. Bratton have met to discuss allegations of racial profiling at department stores.