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Yahoo! National News

Better weather may have lifted job growth in March

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 16:32

FILE - In this Thursday March 13, 2014, file photo, job seekers line up to attend a marijuana industry job far in Downtown Denver. The government issues the March jobs report on Friday, April 4, 2014. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — Hiring went into a deep freeze this winter as harsh weather slowed the economy. A warmer March has raised a key question for Friday's monthly jobs report: Did hiring rebound in March along with the temperatures?


Serial killer executed with Texas' new drug supply

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 16:32

This handout image provided by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice shows convicted killer Tommy Lynn Sells, who is scheduled to die Thursday, April 3, 2014. On Wednesday, April 2, 2014, a federal appeals court threw out a ruling requiring the Texas prison system to disclose more information about where it gets lethal-injection drugs, reversing a judge who had halted the upcoming execution. (AP Photo/Texas Department of Criminal Justice)HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A serial killer was put to death Thursday in Texas after the U.S. Supreme Court rejected his lawyers' demand that the state release information about where it gets its lethal injection drug.


Health insurance isn't a year-round thing anymore

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 16:27

 Healthy customers with money to spend will no longer be able to walk into a private insurance office or go online and buy standard coverage any time of year. With limited exceptions, insurers don’t plan to sell to individuals outside the open enrollment period in HealthCare.gov and the state insurance marketplaces. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)WASHINGTON (AP) — Here's more fallout from the health care law: Until now, customers could walk into an insurance office or go online to buy standard health care coverage any time of year. Not anymore.


'Cuban Twitter' heads to hearings in Congress

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 16:27

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., enters a classified security briefing on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, April 3, 2014. Menendez, the son of Cuban immigrants, commented on the creation of a secret “Cuban Twitter" — a communications network designed to undermine the communist government in Cuba, The Obama administration project, which lasted more than two years and drew tens of thousands of subscribers, sought to evade Cuba's stranglehold on the Internet with a primitive social media platform. First, the network would build a Cuban audience, mostly young people; then, the plan was to push them toward dissent. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the U.S. government agency that secretly created a "Cuban Twitter" communications network designed to undermine the communist government in Cuba is expected to testify next week before a senator who thinks the whole idea was "dumb, dumb, dumb." The congressional hearing could resolve key questions around the clandestine program, including whether the Obama administration adequately informed lawmakers about its plans.


Scant evidence of threats to execution drugmakers

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

FILE - The gurney in the death chamber is shown in this May 27, 2008 file photo from Huntsville, Texas. Anti-death penalty advocates believe, Texas and other states are trumping up the possibility of violence to avoid having to disclose their name of suppliers, ensuring they can keep buying the drugs they need to put condemned inmates to death. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, File)DALLAS (AP) — Texas prison officials have offered scant evidence to support their claim that pharmacies that supply the state with execution drugs would be in danger of violence if their identities were made public.


Fort Hood victim's mom, 77, had just met daughter

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 13:43

This undated family photo provided by Glen Welton shows U.S. Army Sgt. Tim Owens, left, of Effingham, Ill., with his cousin Glen Welton. Owens was one of three people killed by a shooter at Fort Hood, Texas on Wednesday, April 2, 2014. The shooter, identified as Ivan Lopez, also wounded 16 others before shooting himself, according to authorities. (AP Photo/Courtesy of the Owens family)CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — The mother of a 37-year-old Illinois soldier killed during an attack at Fort Hood, Texas, says she was reunited less than two weeks earlier with a daughter she gave up for adoption at birth.


Reports: Paula Deen restaurant closes

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 13:12

FILE - In this June 23, 2006 file photo, Uncle Bubba's Oyster House chef and owner Bubba Hiers, who is also Paula Deen's brother, grills oysters at the Savannah, Ga. restaurant. The wildly popular Georgia restaurant at the center of a lawsuit that left the reputation of famed Southern celebrity cook Paula Deen in shambles has reportedly closed. The Savannah Morning News and WSAV television both reported Thursday April 3, 2014 that Uncle Bubba's Seafood & Oyster House announced the closure on its Facebook page. (AP Photo/Stephen Morton, File)SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A wildly popular Georgia restaurant at the center of a lawsuit that left the reputation of famed Southern celebrity cook Paula Deen in shambles has reportedly closed.


Legal victory for big-money campaign donors to be felt in states, courts

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 13:07

U.S. President Obama speaks at a campaign fund raising event in PhiladelphiaBy Lawrence Hurley and Gabriel Debenedetti WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down the overall cap on federal election contributions is sending ripples across American politics, as states have begun backing away from their own restrictions on donations and lawyers are forecasting a new wave of challenges to campaign finance laws nationwide. The court's 5-4 ruling on Wednesday was unsettling for many Washington fundraisers, donors and lobbyists who were comfortable with federal rules that had limited total donations to candidates and party groups to $123,200 in the 2014 election cycle. Now, thanks to the court's decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, donors who are able to give millions of dollars to candidates and their parties will see their influence expanded - much as it was by a 2010 ruling that inspired the creation of independent "Super PACs" and other groups that could receive unlimited donations. Both rulings are part of a series of decisions by the conservative-led Supreme Court that have given big-money donors more influence in U.S. elections.


White House defends 'Cuban Twitter' to stir unrest

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 12:47

Students gather behind a business looking for a Internet signal for their smart phones in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, April 1, 2014. The U.S. Agency for International Development masterminded the creation of a "Cuban Twitter," a communications network designed to undermine the communist government in Cuba, built with secret shell companies and financed through foreign banks, The Associated Press has learned. The project, which lasted more than two years and drew tens of thousands of subscribers, sought to evade Cuba’s stranglehold on the Internet with a primitive social media platform. Its users were neither aware it was created by a U.S. agency with ties to the State Department, nor that American contractors were gathering personal data about them. In 2012, the text messaging service vanished as mysteriously as it appeared. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration defended its creation of a Twitter-like Cuban communications network to undermine the communist government, declaring the secret program was "invested and debated" by Congress and wasn't a covert operation that required White House approval.


US secretly created 'Cuban Twitter' to stir unrest

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 12:30

In this March 11, 2014 photo, a woman uses her cellphone as she sits on the Malecon in Havana, Cuba. The U.S. Agency for International Development masterminded the creation of a "Cuban Twitter," a communications network designed to undermine the communist government in Cuba, built with secret shell companies and financed through foreign banks, The Associated Press has learned. The project, which lasted more than two years and drew tens of thousands of subscribers, sought to evade Cuba’s stranglehold on the Internet with a primitive social media platform. (AP Photo/Franklin Reyes)WASHINGTON (AP) — In July 2010, Joe McSpedon, a U.S. government official, flew to Barcelona to put the final touches on a secret plan to build a social media project aimed at undermining Cuba's communist government.


Three die of meningitis outbreak in Los Angeles area

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 12:10
Three men in their 20s have died from a meningitis outbreak in the gay community in the Los Angeles area this year, a public health spokesman said on Thursday, a day after officials called on HIV-positive gay men in the region to be vaccinated against the disease. One man died in February and the other two died in late March, said a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. They were among eight people who have contracted invasive meningococcal disease in 2014, the Public Health Department said in a statement. That is seen as a high rate of infection for the Los Angeles area, which in recent years has seen the number of annual cases range between 12 and 37.

Motorist who struck boy critical after mob attack

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 11:02
DETROIT (AP) — A suburban Detroit man was in critical condition Thursday with severe head injuries after a neighborhood mob beat and kicked him when he stopped to check on a 10-year-old boy who stepped from a curb into the path of his pickup.

US reaches $5.15 billion environmental settlement

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 11:02

FILE - In this May 7, 1953, file photo, Navajo miners work at the Kerr McGee uranium mine at Cove, Ariz., on the Navajo reservation in Arizona. Kerr-McGee left abandoned uranium mine sites, including contaminated waste rock piles, in the Lukachukai mountains of Arizona and in the Ambrosia Lake area of New Mexico. The Lukachukai mountains are located immediately west of Cove, Ariz., and are a culturally significant part of the Navajo Nation. This site is among thousands that are part of the $5.15 billion settlement with Anadarko Petroleum Corp. with approximate amount of funding for cleanup efforts and details about the sites, in information provided by the Justice Department. (AP Photo)WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government on Thursday reached a $5.15 billion settlement with Anadarko Petroleum Corp., the largest ever for environmental contamination, to settle claims related to the cleanup of thousands of sites tainted with hazardous chemicals for decades.


Edison bosses sell $18M in stock after rate deal

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 10:24
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Two top executives at Edison International sold $17.7 million of their company's stock when it climbed to its highest price since 2007, after Edison reached a major settlement involving the defunct San Onofre nuclear power plant in Southern California, regulatory filings show.

Phoenix murder defendant accused in cellmate death

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 10:23

This undated handout photo courtesy of the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office, shows Andrew Ward . Ward has been charged with first degree murder for the death Wednesday of Douglas Walker, Ward's cellmate at the Maricopa County Jail, Thursday, April 3, 2014, in Phoenix. Ward has been in custody since March 12, 2014 after allegedly killing his 12 year old brother in their Phoenix home. (AP Photo/Maricopa County Sheriffs Office)PHOENIX (AP) — A Phoenix man who told police he killed his 12-year-old half brother last month because he "just felt like killing" is now accused of fatally stabbing a cellmate, authorities said Thursday.


Argument may have preceded deadly Fort Hood attack

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 10:08

This undated photo provided by Glidden Lopez shows Army Spc. Ivan Lopez. Authorities said Lopez killed three people and wounded 16 others in a shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, before killing himself. Investigators believe his unstable mental health contributed to the rampage. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Glidden Lopez)FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — The soldier who killed three people at Fort Hood may have argued with another service member prior to the attack, and investigators believe his unstable mental health contributed to the rampage, authorities said Thursday.


U.S. lawmakers urge revamp of Army vehicle competition

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 10:07
A group of 10 U.S. lawmakers on Thursday urged Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall to revamp the U.S. Army's $5 billion competition for a new armored vehicle to allow both tracked and wheeled vehicles to compete. The letter came a day before the U.S. Army is due to rule on a protest by General Dynamics Corp, which argues that the Army's rules for the competition are skewed to favor BAE Systems Plc's Bradley Fighting Vehicle, while putting General Dynamics' wheeled Stryker vehicles at a disadvantage.

County weighed buying up homes in mudslide area

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 10:03

A tattered flag, found in the debris of a deadly mudslide, is flown at a staging area for emergency workers on Highway 530 near the debris field, Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Oso, Wash. Officials have so far confirmed the deaths of 29 people, although only 22 have been officially identified in information released Wednesday morning by the Snohomish County medical examiner's office. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)SEATTLE (AP) — A decade before a colossal landslide buried a Washington community, county officials considered buying up people's homes there to protect them from such a disaster.


Funding gap threatens retirement for California teachers

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 09:55
The pension fund for public school teachers in California faces a long-term shortfall of $74 billion, threatening its ability to pay for the retirement of nearly 1 million teachers and administrators in the nation's most populous state, officials said on Thursday. The gap is growing by about $15 million per day, the California State Teachers Retirement System said in a written statement, and the system could run out of money in 32 years. "CalSTRS has slightly less than 67 cents on hand for every dollar it owes its members," CalSTRS spokeswoman Gretchen Zeagler said in a statement. To make up the difference, participants - whether teachers, school districts or the state - will have to contribute more toward members' retirement, said CalSTRS Chief Executive Officer Jack Ehnes.

FBI: Consultant played key role in weapons case

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 09:49

FILE - In this file photo taken March 16, 2011, Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, second from right, poses with several inducted consultants, including Keith Jackson, left, a former San Francisco school board member, at the Chee Kung Tong spring banquet in San Francisco. Jackson, who is playing a key role in the cash-for-guns political corruption investigation that has ensnared California state Sen. Leland Yee, appeared in federal court Thursday, April 3, 2014 for a bail hearing on charges that include bribery, drugs, guns and murder-for-hire conspiracy. Jackson was ordered released from jail pending trial. (AP Photo/Sing Tao Daily, File)SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Campaign consultant Keith Jackson operated largely outside the spotlight for years as a political power broker in San Francisco.