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EPA was concerned about NC deal on Duke ash dumps

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 02:33
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Agency expressed concern last year that a proposed deal between North Carolina regulators and Duke Energy to settle pollution violations at two of the company's coal ash dumps was too lenient.

Advocacy group files 2nd lawsuit challenging a new provision in Texas' strict abortion law

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 02:32
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Advocacy group files 2nd lawsuit challenging a new provision in Texas' strict abortion law.

Advocacy group files 2nd lawsuit challenging a new provision in Texas' strict abortion law

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 02:32
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Advocacy group files 2nd lawsuit challenging a new provision in Texas' strict abortion law.

Hawaii tsunami advisory canceled

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 02:30
HONOLULU (AP) — A tsunami advisory for Hawaii is being canceled after a large earthquake that struck off the coast of Chile.

Newtown residents want gunman's house torn down

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 02:28

FILE - In this Dec. 18, 2012, file photo, a police cruiser sits in the driveway as crime scene tape surrounds the home of Nancy Lanza in Newtown, Conn. Nancy Lanza was killed there by her son Adam Lanza, before he forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Dec. 14, 2012 in Newtown, where he killed 26 children and adults. Some Newtown residents said in a survey released Monday, March 31, 2014, that they want the home torn down and the property turned into a park or nature preserve. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow, File)HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Some Newtown residents are calling for the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooter's home to be torn down and replaced with a park or nature preserve, according to a new community survey.

Obama calls for higher wage with Senate candidate

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 02:18

President Barack Obama gives the thumbs up as he boards Air Force One at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Wednesday, April 2, 2014, en route to the University of Michigan to speak about his proposal to raise the national minimum wage. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — President Barack Obama has said his call for a higher minimum wage is good policy and good politics in this midterm election year, and he's putting that theory to work for a Michigan Senate candidate who is the rare Democrat to appear with the embattled president.

Jindal: GOP needs 'Obamacare' alternative

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 02:11
WASHINGTON (AP) — Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, on Wednesday offered a Republican alternative to President Barack Obama's health care overhaul, saying states should play a greater role in containing health care costs while giving consumers more flexibility in choosing insurance plans.

Majority of Americans want to treat, not jail, drug users: survey

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 02:09
While people are still worried about the extent of drug abuse, especially in their schools and neighborhoods, those surveyed supported less harsh punishment for non-violent offenders, especially marijuana users, the Pew Research Center found. Two thirds also said they supported the growing movement among some U.S. states to back away from mandatory sentences for minor drug crimes, according to the nonpartisan group's survey. The poll, conducted from February 14 through February 23, comes as policy makers and top U.S. law enforcement officials reexamine the nation's drug policy to allow judges greater discretion in sentencing offenders, although some prosecutors have balked at the effort. American's relaxing attitude toward marijuana use was particularly clear: 44 percent of those polled said the medical use of the drug should be legal and 39 percent backed its legalization for personal use.

Ukraine businessman, Indian official charged in U.S. corruption case

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 02:07

Firtash, one of Ukraine's richest men, is seen in KievBy Aruna Viswanatha WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Ukrainian industrialist Dmitry Firtash, a member of India's parliament and four others were indicted by a U.S. grand jury for their suspected role in an international corruption scheme, the U.S. Justice Department said on Wednesday. The indictment, which was returned under seal in June 2013, was made public on Wednesday, a few weeks after prosecutors said they planned to ask Austria to extradite Firtash. Firtash, who is one of Ukraine's most influential oligarchs, Indian lawmaker K.V.P. Ramachandra Rao, and the other defendants participated in a scheme to bribe Indian government officials in order to gain access to minerals used to make titanium-based products, prosecutors said. U.S. prosecutors said they have jurisdiction over the case because the defendants used U.S. financial institutions to transfer the bribes and because the defendants had planned to sell the titanium products to an unnamed American company based in Chicago.

High court limits suits over frequent flier miles

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 01:57
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a Minnesota rabbi who complained about an airline's frequent flier program is out of luck.

Pastor: Drowning suspect backed into sons with van

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 01:54

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) — The pastor of a western Pennsylvania woman jailed on charges she drowned her 3-year-old son in a bathtub and tried to do the same to his brother says he counseled the family after she backed into the same two boys with her van 10 months ago.

Thousands of U.S. firefighters mourn comrade killed in Boston blaze

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 01:42

Firefighters salute during the funeral procession for Boston Fire Department Lieutenant Edward Walsh outside Saint Patrick's Church in WatertownBy Daniel Lovering WATERTOWN, Massachusetts (Reuters) - Thousands of firefighters from across the United States lined the streets of a Boston suburb on Wednesday to grieve for one of two firefighters who died battling a blaze in a downtown apartment building. In front of St. Patrick's Church in Watertown, where the funeral was held for Boston Fire Department Lieutenant Edward Walsh, a gigantic American flag hung from two ladder trucks assigned to local fire companies. Walsh, 43, and Firefighter Michael Kennedy, 33, died on March 26 while fighting a fire in a four-story apartment house in Boston's historic Back Bay neighborhood. Seventeen firefighters were injured from among some 150 who responded.

US judge halts Texas executions over drug supplier information

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 01:41
By Jon Herskovitz 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 drug to be used in the lethal injections. "The court stays plaintiffs' scheduled executions until the information identified is produced," U.S. District Judge Vanessa Gilmore wrote in Houston in a temporary injunction issued on Wednesday. The decision is part of a series of court rulings in recent weeks 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. 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.

Interrogation shown in Texas shoe stabbing case

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 01:32

Prosecutor John Jordan does a crime scene demonstration, using a dummy, during the trial against Ana Trujillo Tuesday, April 1, 2014, in Houston. Trujillo, 45, is charged with murder, accused of killing her 59-year-old boyfriend, Alf Stefan Andersson with the heel of a stiletto shoe, at his condominium in June 2013. Defense attorney Jack Carroll, center, and crime scene investigator Christopher Duncan are shown in the background. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Brett Coomer ) MANDATORY CREDIT.HOUSTON (AP) — A Houston woman accused of fatally stabbing her boyfriend with her stiletto heel told police that her boyfriend became obsessed with her and was mentally abusive.

White House 'disappointed' in donor limit ruling

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 01:23
ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE (AP) — The White House says it's disappointed with the Supreme Court's decision striking down overall campaign contribution limits.

All clear at Washington state LNG plant after unexplained blast: Williams

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 01:14
A forced evacuation of the area around Williams Cos Inc's damaged liquefied natural gas facility in rural Washington state has been lifted following an explosion on Monday. What prompted a blast that injured five workers and set off a potentially dangerous leak in a massive LNG tank at the site, near the southeastern Washington town of Plymouth, is still unknown and under investigation, the company said on its website. Company personnel were on site to continue to secure and evaluate the operations and safety of the facility, while developing a plan for assessing the damage and the cause," Williams said in a statement posted on its website late Tuesday. Earlier, emergency responders had evacuated residents and workers within a 2-mile radius of the LNG storage facility, whose large tanks can store a combined 2.4 billion cubic feet of gas, or enough to meet up to 3.4 percent of daily U.S. natural gas demand.

Judge halts execution, cites drug source secrecy

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 01:12

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 Tuesday, April 1, 2014, two days before Texas is scheduled to execute convicted killer Ramiro Hernandez-Llanas, its first inmate with a new batch of lethal injection drugs obtained last month, the state prison agency again is seeking to keep the source of the drugs secret, citing threats of violence to pharmacies that sell drugs used in lethal injections. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip, File)HOUSTON (AP) — A federal judge on Wednesday stopped the scheduled execution of a serial killer in Texas, saying justice department officials must disclose information to the inmate's lawyers about the supplier of a new batch of drugs that would be used to kill him.

222 skydivers to try for world record in Arizona

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 01:10
By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - A team of 222 veteran skydivers from around the world will step off a small squadron of airplanes in the Arizona skies this week and float down in formation to try to shatter a world record, organizers said on Wednesday. "The team is very optimistic that we can do this," said Gulcin Gilbert, a skydiver and spokeswoman for the group, World Team. "Everything seems to be going well so far." Skydivers representing 28 countries will take part in the event in Eloy, Arizona. Gilbert said the complex, record-breaking maneuver is most likely to take place on Thursday at SkyDive Arizona, a popular facility in the desert about 65 miles south of Phoenix.

Schlafly beer trademark flap headed to trial

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 01:06
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A family dispute between a prominent conservative activist in St. Louis and her beer-making nephew is headed to federal trademark court.

Scientists create wiring diagram for mouse brain

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 04/03/2014 - 01:01

This image provided by the Allen Institute for Brain Science on March 28, 2014 shows a top-down view of connections originating from different cortical areas of the mouse brain. The research published Wednesday, April 2, 2014 is the first brain-wide wiring diagram for a mammal at such a level of detail. While it does not reveal every connection between each of the rodent's 75 million brain cells, it shows how parts of the brain are connected. (AP Photo/Allen Institute for Brain Science)NEW YORK (AP) — Scientists have created a detailed, three-dimensional wiring diagram of the mouse brain. That should help researchers seek clues about how the human brain works in health and disease.