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Judge halts Texas executions over drug secrecy

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 04:18

File - In this Sept. 21, 2011 file photo, a corrections officer keeps watch outside the Texas Department of Criminal Justice Huntsville Unit in Huntsville, Texas. On Wednesday, April 2, 2014, a federal judge issued a temporary injunction halting the executions of Tommy Lynn Sells, a convicted serial killer who was set to die Thursday April, 3, 2014, and Ramiro Hernandez-Llanas, another inmate scheduled to die April 9, 2014. U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore declared that the state's prison system must disclose to defense attorneys more information about the supplier of a new batch of lethal-injection drugs. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)HOUSTON (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday halted two executions in Texas, declaring that the state's prison system must disclose to defense attorneys more information about the supplier of a new batch of lethal-injection drugs.


Judge halts Texas executions over drug supplier information

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 04:18

The death chamber is seen through the steel bars from the viewing room at the federal penitentiary in Huntsville, TexasBy Jon Herskovitz and Heide Brandes AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge has temporarily suspended the execution of two inmates planned for this month in Texas, saying the state has hidden information about the supplier of the drugs to be used in the lethal injections. The decision is part of a series of recent court rulings that have mandated states to release information about drugs used for lethal injection, saying that keeping the information secret violates due process protections of the U.S. Constitution. "While the state has provided plaintiffs information about the process by which they will be executed, it has masked information about the product that will kill them," U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore wrote in Houston in a temporary injunction issued on Wednesday. Several states have struggled to obtain drugs for executions, while many pharmaceutical companies, mostly in Europe, have imposed sales bans because they object to having medications made for other purposes used in lethal injections.


ACLU picks winners in national gay-wedding contest

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 04:12

This Sunday, Dec. 1 2013 photo provided by the couple shows Jeremiah Pyant, left, and Jeff Robertson during their proposal ceremony in Cancun, Mexico. Winning a contest held by the American Civil Liberties Union, they and four other couples will get logistical and financial help from the ACLU to get married the week of April 28, 2014 in one of the 17 states, plus Washington D.C., which do allow gay marriage. They hope to marry aboard a hot air balloon taking off from Texas, where same-sex marriage is banned, and fly over the border into New Mexico, where it is legal. (AP Photo/Mexican Wedding Photography, Mikel Razo)NEW YORK (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union's primary work is litigation, but this month it's moonlighting as a wedding planner as part of its role in the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.


Mississippi religious freedom bill criticized as discriminatory

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 04:12
By Emily Le Coz JACKSON, Mississippi (Reuters) - Mississippi's governor said he will sign a religious freedom bill approved by state lawmakers over the objections of opponents who say it could be used as an excuse to refuse services to gays and minorities. The Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which passed 79-43 in the state House of Representatives and 37-14 in the Senate on Tuesday, protects residents from state laws or local ordinances that violate their right to practice their faith. Critics say the measure legalizes discrimination, giving businesses the right to refuse service based on religious objections. They warned scenarios such as the Colorado cake-shop owner who refused to bake for a gay wedding last year could become commonplace in Mississippi.

ACLU picks winners in national gay-wedding contest

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

This Sunday, Dec. 1 2013 photo provided by the couple shows Jeremiah Pyant, left, and Jeff Robertson during their proposal ceremony in Cancun, Mexico. Winning a contest held by the American Civil Liberties Union, they and four other couples will get logistical and financial help from the ACLU to get married the week of April 28, 2014 in one of the 17 states, plus Washington D.C., which do allow gay marriage. They hope to marry aboard a hot air balloon taking off from Texas, where same-sex marriage is banned, and fly over the border into New Mexico, where it is legal. (AP Photo/Mexican Wedding Photography, Mikel Razo)NEW YORK (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union's primary work is litigation, but this month it's moonlighting as a wedding planner as part of its role in the campaign to legalize same-sex marriage nationwide.


Waters recede, helping search for mudslide victims

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 04:08

19 p.m. PDT shows the area of the mudslide in Oso, Wash. More than 10 days after a large section of a rain-soaked hill crashed down on a neighborhood in the small community of Oso, teams with cadaver dogs are still sifting through debris and soil to determine exactly how many people died in the March 22 mudslide. (AP Photo/Skybox Imaging) MANDATORY CREDITARLINGTON, Wash. (AP) — It is a grim step forward in the search for human remains at a mudslide that crushed a rural Washington community, but an important one: floodwaters at the site are receding, allowing crews to expand their search and yielding more human remains in areas that previously couldn't be reached. The views presented Tuesday on a media tour were chilling: shredded homes and twisted cars.


Poll: Three-fourths of US says pot will be legal

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 04:05

FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2013 file photo, a worker processes marijuana in the trimming room at the Medicine Man dispensary and grow operation in northeast Denver. Nationwide marijuana legalization seems inevitable to three-fourths of Americans, whether they support it or not, according to a new poll out Wednesday, April 2, 2014, by the Pew Research Center on the nation’s shifting attitudes about drug policy. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)DENVER (AP) — Three-fourths of Americans say it's inevitable that marijuana will be legal for recreational use across the nation, whether they support such policies or not, according to a public opinion poll released Wednesday that highlights shifting attitudes following the drug war era and tough-on-crime legislation.


Police: 'Voices' told mother to sit on sons in tub

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 04:03

ADDS DATE PHOTO WAS MADE - This Tuesday, April 1, 2014 booking photograph released by the Allegheny County Police shows Laurel Michelle Schlemmer, who is charged with drowning her 3-year-old son and leaving his 6-year-old brother in critical condition Tuesday morning after she allegedly pushed the boys underwater in a bathtub, then sat on them at their McCandless, Pa. home. Schlemmer, 40, was jailed without bond after arraignment early Wednesday on charges including criminal homicide, aggravated assault and child endangerment. (AP Photo/Allegheny County Police)MCCANDLESS, Pa. (AP) — A woman said she heard "crazy voices" telling her to push her sons underwater before she sat on the boys in the bathtub, drowning her 3-year-old and leaving his 6-year-old brother in critical condition, police said.


Tesla to sue New Jersey over car dealer rules

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 04:03
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Electric-car company Tesla Motors has filed notice it intends to sue New Jersey over a ruling that would stop it from selling its vehicles in the state within two weeks.

Jury asks to see video in tot's creek-toss death

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 04:00
FREEHOLD, N.J. (AP) — A jury deliberating the fate of a man charged with killing his 2-year-old daughter requested Wednesday to view a video statement in which he tells police he kissed the toddler before tossing her into a creek in her car seat.

Daughter to testify in high-profile California murder trial of Iraqi man

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 03:59
By Marty Graham SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - The trial of an Iraqi-American man accused of murdering his wife, a killing first investigated as a hate crime, resumed on Tuesday with his 19-year-old daughter expected to take the stand to testify about finding her mother bludgeoned and dying. The high-profile trial of Kassim Alhimidi opened on Monday with the 49-year-old defendant wailing in court as prosecutors played a recording of his daughter's call for emergency help after she discovered her mother bloodied on the kitchen floor of their San Diego-area home. San Diego Superior Court Judge William McGrath admonished Alhimidi for the disruption and ordered that any further such outbursts be translated into English. Shaima Alawadi, a 32-year-old stay-at-home mother of five, was bludgeoned at her home in suburban El Cajon on March 21, 2012, and died of her injuries several days later.

Peabody Awards given to record 46 recipients

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 03:51
ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — The ABC drama "Scandal," Netflix's "House of Cards" and pair of news programs about concussions in the National Football League are among a record 46 recipients of Peabody Awards.

Possible tornadoes in the forecast for Midwest

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 03:49
By Brendan O'Brien MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - A large swath of the U.S. Midwest is bracing for potentially dangerous weather including possible tornadoes as an intense storm system moves through the region on Wednesday and Thursday, according to the National Weather Service. The area of greatest risk includes Oklahoma, Arkansas, southern Missouri and Illinois and western Kentucky and Tennessee, where significant tornadoes, large hail and damaging winds could strike Thursday afternoon and evening, said John Hart, a meteorologist in the service's storm prediction center.

Artist plants fake Bieber CDs in LA stores

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 03:47

In this image an album that appears to be Justin Bieber's "Believe" sits on the rack at the Best Buy in Culver City, Calif., Tuesday April 1, 2014. Paz, whose full name is Paz Dylan, a 25-year-old electronic musician and artist, says he's planted 5,000 copies of an album that appears to be Bieber's "Believe" but that actually contains a copy of his own CD in retailers such as Best Buy, Walmart and Target on April Fool's Day. This album turned out to be a copy of Paz's own CD. (AP Photo/Derrik J. Lang)LOS ANGELES (AP) — An artist is making it difficult to believe there's actually a copy of Justin Bieber's latest album for sale in Los Angeles.


High court loosens reins on big campaign donors

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 03:45

FILE - This Oct. 8, 2013 file photo shows Cornell Woolridge of Windsor Mill, Md., takes part in a demonstration outside the Supreme Court in Washington as the court heard arguments on campaign finance. The Supreme Court struck down limits Wednesday in federal law on the overall campaign contributions the biggest individual donors may make to candidates, political parties and political action committees. The justices said in a 5-4 vote that Americans have a right to give the legal maximum to candidates for Congress and president, as well as to parties and PACs, without worrying that they will violate the law when they bump up against a limit on all contributions, set at $123,200 for 2013 and 2014. That includes a separate $48,600 cap on contributions to candidates. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court's conservative majority voted Wednesday to free wealthy donors to give to as many political candidates and campaigns as they want, further loosening the reins on giving by big contributors as the 2014 campaign moves into high gear.


Teen who climbed World Trade Center faces judge

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 03:42
NEW YORK (AP) — A teenager who climbed to the top of 1 World Trade Center will be assessed in a program for youthful offenders.

Houston train strikes SUV that evaded safety gates

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 03:39
HOUSTON (AP) — Police have released video showing an SUV being struck by a Houston passenger train after the driver went around crossing gates.

Houston train strikes SUV that evaded safety gates

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 03:39
HOUSTON (AP) — Police have released video showing an SUV being struck by a Houston passenger train after the driver went around crossing gates.

Urban League: Blacks doing worse in the job market

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 03:30

 Jobs Rebuild America,” noted that African Americans are twice as likely as whites to be unemployed. The unemployment rate for blacks was 12 percent in February, compared to 5.8 percent for whites. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — While unemployment has been a major impediment to African-Americans' economic progress, underemployment is a bigger obstacle for them than it is for whites or Hispanics, the National Urban League says in its latest State of Black America report.


Another poll shows Drug War policies rejected

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 03:22

FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2013 file photo, a worker processes marijuana in the trimming room at the Medicine Man dispensary and grow operation in northeast Denver. Nationwide marijuana legalization seems inevitable to three-fourths of Americans, whether they support it or not, according to a new poll out Wednesday, April 2, 2014, by the Pew Research Center on the nation’s shifting attitudes about drug policy. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)DENVER (AP) — Three-fourths of Americans say it's inevitable that marijuana will be legal for recreational use across the nation, whether they support such policies or not, according to a public opinion poll released Wednesday that highlights shifting in attitudes following an era of drug war and "tough on crime" legislation.