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Pittsburgh police, accused of racial bias, will revamp hiring

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 04:44
By Elizabeth Daley PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - The Pittsburgh Police Department has agreed to revamp its hiring practices in order to settle a federal lawsuit that claimed discrimination against African-American job applicants, Mayor Bill Peduto said on Thursday. The city also will pay legal fees of up to $600,000, said the city's lawyer Lourdes Sanchez-Ridge, who spoke to reporters at a press conference with the mayor and the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, which filed the legal action. About 19.5 percent of applicants who took recent Pittsburgh officer exams were African-American, but only 4 percent of new hires since 2001 have been black, said ACLU legal director Witold Walczak. Census figures show 26 percent of Pittsburgh residents are black.

Swan found burned in NJ state park

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 04:33

Swan found burned in NJ state parkOfficials are trying to figure out how a swan ended up burned in a South Jersey park.


Tornadoes, flash floods upend the Oklahoma City area

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 04:29

Tornadoes, flash floods upend the Oklahoma City areaVictims from a 51-twister outbreak across Tornado Alley sifted through rubble Thursday while forecasters issued ominous forecasts for the coming days.


Lawyer: Officers 'doing well' after shooting at contest

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 04:26
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A lawyer for five police officers involved in a shooting at a provocative cartoon contest in Texas says they have yet to return to work but are "doing well."

PHOTOS: 7 accused of Medicaid fraud by Pa. AG

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 04:11

 7 accused of Medicaid fraud by Pa. AGSeven people have been accused of Medicaid fraud by the Pa. Attorney General.


7 accused of Medicaid fraud by Pa. AG

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 04:06

 7 accused of Medicaid fraud by Pa. AGSeven people have been accused of Medicaid fraud by the Pa. Attorney General.


NSA's phone spying program ruled illegal by appeals court

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 04:05

NSA Surveillance-Privacy ReportBy Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. spying program that systematically collects millions of Americans' phone records is illegal, a federal appeals court ruled on Thursday, putting pressure on Congress to quickly decide whether to replace or end the controversial anti-terrorism surveillance. Ruling on a program revealed by former government security contractor Edward Snowden, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan said the Patriot Act did not authorize the National Security Agency to collect Americans' calling records in bulk. Circuit Judge Gerard Lynch wrote for a three-judge panel that Section 215, which addresses the FBI's ability to gather business records, could not be interpreted to have permitted the NSA to collect a "staggering" amount of phone records, contrary to claims by the Bush and Obama administrations.


White House fence getting sharper spikes in security upgrade

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 04:00

Snow covers the North Lawn of the White House in WashingtonThe black iron fence surrounding the White House will be topped with a row of "sharp metal points" in July, the U.S. Secret Service said on Thursday, part of a series of security upgrades for the famous mansion where the president and his family live. The planned changes were sparked by an intrusion last September when an Iraq war veteran carrying a knife scaled the fence, ran across the North Lawn and entered the residence, running through a large ballroom before being tackled by a Secret Service officer. The incident was one of several embarrassing breaches for the agency, which is responsible for the security of President Barack Obama, and led to the resignation of the agency's director. The Secret Service released photos of the new "pencil point" spikes that in July will be bolted to the top of the fence and face outward at a 5 degree angle.


Florida woman accused of extorting married doctor she met online

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 03:59

Florida woman accused of extorting married doctor she met onlineA sheriff's office worker in Florida is accused of shaking down a doctor she met online.


Nun of 'Dead Man Walking' fame may testify for Boston bomber

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 03:58

This undated file photo released Friday, April 19, 2013, by the FBI shows Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Russian relatives of Boston Marathon bomberTsarnaev are expected to testify at his trial as his lawyers continue to make their case to spare his life. Five family members are expected to take the witness stand Monday, May 4, 2015, in federal court. (AP Photo/FBI, File)BOSTON (AP) — As lawyers for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev make their final push to persuade a jury to spare Tsarnaev's life, they may call to the stand a Roman Catholic nun and death penalty opponent made famous in the 1995 movie "Dead Man Walking."


Syrian rebel training has started in Jordan

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 03:52

FILE - In this June 18, 2013, file photo, U.S. Marines monitor Eager Lion multinational military maneuvers in Quweira, south of Amman, Jordan. After months of delays and vetting, the training of Syrian rebels has started in Jordan as part of a broader effort to build a force capable of fighting Islamic State extremists, U.S. officials said Thursday. Jordan is the first of four training sites to begin the instruction. The others are in Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, and Turkish officials have been saying they expect the training there to begin this month. (AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — After months of delays and vetting, the training of moderate Syrian rebels has started in Jordan as part of a broader effort to build a force capable of fighting Islamic State extremists, U.S. and Jordanian officials said Thursday.


Los Angeles police chief, union at odds over homeless man's slaying

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 03:49
By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The union representing Los Angeles Police Department officers has lashed out at LAPD Chief Charlie Beck for comments suggesting that the police slaying of an unarmed man during a scuffle in Venice Beach was unjustified. "Any time an unarmed person is shot by a Los Angeles officer, it take extraordinary circumstances to justify that, and I have not seen those extraordinary circumstances," he said. "I don't know what was in the officer's mind." Beck's comments drew sharp criticism from the head of the Los Angeles Police Protective League, Craig Lally, who called the chief's remarks "completely irresponsible." "As the final trier of fact in the use-of-force investigation and disciplinary process, the premature decision by the chief essentially renders the investigation process void," Lally said. "By making his opinion public without having all the faces, he influences the investigation for all parties involved, including his command officers and the public." The slain man was shot, according to police, during an altercation with two LAPD officers who were trying to detain him about two blocks from the Venice Beach boardwalk.

Oregon may end self-serve gas ban _ but only in rural areas

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 03:48

Attendant James Lewis pumps gas at a station in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, May 6, 2015. Oregon is one of just two states where motorists aren't allowed to pump their own gas. The other is New Jersey. Now the Oregon Legislature appears ready to at least let people driving through rural Oregon pump their own. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon is one of only two states where drivers aren't allowed to pump their own gas, but lawmakers appear ready to allow people cruising through rural areas to serve themselves.


FDA schedules meeting on twice-rejected female libido drug

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 03:47
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Food and Drug Administration will ask a group of outside medical experts next month to evaluate a much-debated experimental drug designed to boost sexual desire in women.

Judge wants psychiatric exam for woman with stowaway history

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 03:45

This undated booking photo provided by the Cook County Sheriff's Department shows 63-year-old Marilyn Hartman. Hartman was arrested Friday, April 24, 2015, for loitering in a restricted area at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. She was charged with misdemeanor criminal trespassing on state land and released. She was arrested again in Chicago on Sunday May 3, at Midway International Airport and charged with the same offense in addition to violating her bail bond. Hartman has succeeded in getting on a flight at least once without a ticket. She has previously said she's mentally ill and homeless. (Cook County Sheriff's Department via AP)CHICAGO (AP) — A judge has ordered a psychiatric evaluation for a woman with a history of trying to sneak onto planes after she was arrested twice in nine days at Chicago's two international airports.


Bail set at $250K for stepdad in decade-old custody case

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 03:45
LANCASTER, N.H. (AP) — The stepfather of a girl who was taken out of the United States a decade ago amid a custody dispute has been arraigned in New Hampshire with bail set at $250,000 cash.

Ohio man held in alleged U.S. Capitol plot hit with new charge

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 03:43
An Ohio man already in custody for an alleged plot to attack the U.S. Capitol in January has been charged with the additional crime of attempting to provide material support to the Islamic State militant group, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday. Christopher Lee Cornell, 21, pleaded not guilty in federal court in Cincinnati in January to plotting an attack on the U.S. Capitol with guns and bombs. In March, prosecutors asked a judge to limit Cornell's phone access in jail after he gave an interview to Cincinnati's FOX 19 WXIX TV in which he said that he wanted to shoot President Barack Obama in the head. The additional charge was brought by a federal grand jury in Cincinnati and carries a sentence of up to 15 years in prison.

US appeals court: NSA phone record collection is illegal

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 03:34
NEW YORK (AP) — The unprecedented and unwarranted bulk collection of the entire U.S. population's phone records by the government is illegal because it wasn't authorized by Congress, a federal appeals court said Thursday as it asked legislators to balance national security and privacy interests.

Canada goose recovering after cigarettes spark fire in nest

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 03:30
CASTALIA, Ohio (AP) — A mother goose is recovering from serious burns after cigarette butts started a fire in her nest.

Oregon babysitter charged with murder of baby

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 05/08/2015 - 03:30
By Shelby Sebens PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - An Oregon babysitter accused of violently shaking a 7-month-old boy who died of head injuries has been indicted for murder and is back in jail after her original arrest on a manslaughter charge, authorities said on Thursday. Police arrested Sarah Elizabeth Martin, 37, on Wednesday after a grand jury indicted her this week, Oregon City Police Sergeant Matthew Paschall said in a statement. The death was ruled a homicide on April 9 and Martin was accused of causing the child's injuries by “violently shaking him” while she was watching the baby at her home in Oregon City, court documents show.