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Two people killed in Pennsylvania house explosion

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 01:30
(Reuters) - Two people died in an early morning house explosion on Tuesday in a rural area of western Pennsylvania, local emergency officials said. The explosion happened at 4 a.m. at a home in South Beaver Township, about 40 miles northwest of Pittsburgh, according to Beaver County Emergency Services Crew Chief Jeff Bolland. South Beaver Township Police Chief Dan McLean said the explosion was heard from several miles away. "It was a pretty loud explosion - a pretty big explosion," McLean said in an interview on WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh.

San Diego City Council votes to raise minimum wage to $11.50 by 2017

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 01:28
By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The San Diego City Council has given tentative approval to an ordinance raising the minimum wage in California's second-largest city to $11.50 by 2017, and giving workers a chance to earn a paid sick leave benefit. If it passes on second reading as expected, the wage hike ordinance would go into effect automatically after 10 business days unless the mayor, Republican Kevin Faulconer, vetoes it. Keach said the bill reflects a compromise negotiated by supporters with a number of small-business owners in the city, but the measure remains opposed by the local Chamber of Commerce and the California Restaurant Association. The Center on Policy Initiatives estimates 279,000 workers would earn up to five days of paid sick leave under a provision of the bill.

Female firefighter is first to muscle into FDNY beefcake calendar

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 01:27

FDNY firefighter Danae Mines, a 11-year veteran of Engine Co. 60 in the South Bronx, stands with fellow firefighters during a promotional signing of the FDNY Calendar of Heroes in New YorkBy Michael Y. Park NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Fire Department of New York's annual celebration of beefcake just added a slice of cheesecake. For the first time, the FDNY Calendar of Heroes features a female firefighter - Miss March, Danae Mines of Engine Co. 60 in the South Bronx, who dons the red suspenders and shows off taut arms. "I’d love to inspire other women to come to the job," Mines said on Tuesday at a Times Square calendar signing with her fellow firefighter pinups, which was attended mostly by moms and giddy young women with boyfriends in tow.

AccuWeather: More Drenching Storms

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 01:13

 More Drenching StormsAccuWeather says we may see severe weather and flooding once again today.

Bystanders stop San Diego carjacking

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 01:08
SAN DIEGO (AP) — A group of quick-acting bystanders came to the aid of a woman who was being carjacked in San Diego, tackling the suspect and holding him for police.

20 dead, 150 injured in Moscow subway derailment

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 01:02

20 dead, 150 injured in Moscow subway derailmentA rush-hour subway train derailed Tuesday in Moscow, killing 20 people and sending 150 others to the hospital, many with serious injuries, Russian officials said.

Washington state bridge collapse result of failed safety measures: NTSB

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 01:00

Cars are seen in the water as a span of highway bridge sits in the Skagit RiverBy Victoria Cavaliere SEATTLE (Reuters) - A Washington state bridge collapse that sent two cars tumbling into a frigid river below after a commercial truck accidentally struck an overhead truss was the result of failed safety precautions and inadequate permitting for oversize loads, federal investigators said on Tuesday. The truck made it across the Skagit River Bridge along Interstate 5 in May 2013 carrying an oversize load even after striking the truss. Seconds later, a section of the span about 55 miles (89 km) north of Seattle buckled. The National Transportation Safety Board, which has led the investigation into the collapse, said in presenting its findings on Tuesday in a public hearing that many state and national policies for permitting and ensuring safe passage of oversize loads were obsolete.

Crews battle destructive Oregon, California fires

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 00:59

In this Sunday July 13, 2014, photo released by the Oregon Dept. of Forestry, the Moccasin Hill fire burns north of Sprague River and northeast of Klamath Falls, Ore. Lightning struck Oregon more than 6,000 times Sunday and Monday, touching off small fires by the dozens. Such a barrage can be expected to cause numerous "sleeper" or holdover fires in coming days. (AP Photo/Oregon Dept. of Forestry, Dennis Lee)PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Firefighters have made some progress on a southern Oregon wildfire that destroyed six homes and 14 other buildings over the weekend.

Man fends off robbers to protect family in Olney

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 00:57

Man fends off robbers to protect family in OlneyPhiladelphia police want your help finding two suspects who they say attempted to rob an auto shop in the city's Olney section.

Yellen says economy still needs Fed support

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 00:53

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, July 15, 2014, before the Senate Banking Committee. Yellen said Tuesday that the economic recovery is not yet complete and for that reason the Fed intends to keep providing significant support to boost growth and improve labor market conditions. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said Tuesday that the economic recovery is not yet complete and for that reason the Fed intends to keep providing significant support to boost growth and improve labor market conditions.

House GOP slashes IRS tax enforcement budget

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 00:50
WASHINGTON (AP) — The GOP-controlled House has slashed the budget for the Internal Revenue Service's tax enforcement division by $1.2 billion, a 25 percent cut that would mean fewer audits of taxpayers and make it more likely that people who cheat on their taxes will get away with it.

Suspect in Indiana officer death pleads not guilty

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 00:29

The casket of fallen Indianapolis police Officer Perry Renn is draped with an American flag during a funeral service Friday, July 11, 2014, in Indianapolis. Renn died Saturday night after being shot three times by a man armed with an AK-47 assault rifle. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Prosecutors said Tuesday they may seek the death penalty against the man charged in the shooting death of an Indianapolis police officer.

Man bitten by shark while fishing off Florida

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 00:29
FORT WALTON BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say a Tennessee man was hospitalized after being bitten by a shark in the waters off Florida's Panhandle.

U.S. court sides with Chinese firm in dispute with Obama

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 00:25
By Aruna Viswanatha WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal appeals court on Tuesday issued a surprising rebuke to U.S. President Barack Obama and said he deprived a small Chinese-owned firm of its right to due process when he squashed its bid to build wind farms close to a U.S. naval training site. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit reversed a lower court ruling and ordered that the firm, Ralls Corp, be provided the evidence on which Obama had rejected the bid. Obama had issued an order in 2012 instructing Ralls to sell off its four planned wind farms due to national security risks, the first time since 1990 that a U.S. president has formally blocked a business transaction or required a sale on such grounds.

Fed's Yellen says U.S. recovery incomplete, defends loose policy

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 00:06

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Yellen delivers remarks at the inaugural Michel Camdessus Central Banking Lecture at the International Monetary Fund in WashingtonBy Howard Schneider and Michael Flaherty WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. economic recovery remains incomplete, with a still-ailing job market and stagnant wages justifying loose monetary policy for the foreseeable future, Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen told a Senate committee on Tuesday. In a strong defense of the central bank's current stance, Yellen said early signs of a pickup in inflation aren't enough for the Fed to accelerate its plans for raising interest rates, a move currently expected in the middle of next year.

Judge finds accused Boston bomber friend's words to FBI voluntary

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 00:03
By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - A friend of the accused Boston Marathon bombing suspect did not speak involuntarily when telling FBI agents about the removal of a laptop and backpack from the suspect's room and his statements are admissible as evidence, a U.S. judge said on Tuesday. Lawyers for Kazakh exchange student Azamat Tazhayakov had argued against admission of the comments he made during an hours-long interview that began when more than 50 heavily armed agents raided his apartment four days after the deadly blasts and continued into the next morning. Tazhayakov's attorneys said he did not feel free to leave during the interrogation. During six days of testimony at Tazhayakov's trial on obstruction of justice charges, FBI agents said he and roommate Dias Kadyrbayev admitted to taking the laptop and backpack from bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev's dorm room at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.

Billy Joel's mother, inspiration for song, dies

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 00:01
HICKSVILLE, N.Y. (AP) — The mother of singer-songwriter Billy Joel, who inspired him to write "Rosalinda's Eyes," has died in New York at the age of 92.

Long Island rail strike may cost economy $50 million/day: N.Y. comptroller

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 23:57
A strike by workers at New York's Long Island Rail Road could cost $50 million a day in lost economic activity, a blow for a region still overcoming the effects of the recession and Superstorm Sandy, the state's top financial watchdog said on Tuesday. Talks to avert a strike at Long Island Rail Road broke down on Monday and the unions representing workers at the country's largest commuter railroad said they were proceeding with plans to strike on Sunday, increasing the chances of rush hour chaos in one the country's most densely populated regions. "A LIRR strike would cause headaches and financial hardships for riders and businesses," New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in statement. "Both sides must go the extra mile to reach a reasonable settlement so we can avoid the costly impact of a strike." The LIRR serves 300,000 passengers each day, carrying commuters between Long Island and New York City as well as within Long Island itself.

Rallies begin in Arizona town over immigration

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 23:48
ORACLE, Ariz. (AP) — Protesters have begun gathering in a small town near Tucson after an Arizona sheriff said that the federal government plans to transport about 40 immigrant children to an academy for troubled youths.

Woman struck by vehicle in Northeast Philadelphia

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 07/15/2014 - 23:48

Woman struck by vehicle in Northeast PhiladelphiaEmergency crews responded to the scene of where a woman was struck by a vehicle in Northeast Philadelphia Tuesday morning.