INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Attorneys on Friday asked U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to step in on behalf of hundreds of same-sex couples who were wed before a federal appeals court stayed an order striking down Indiana's gay marriage ban.
By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - California's highest court has softened implementation of the state's "three-strikes-and-you're-out" criminal sentencing law, marking the second time the rules for identifying and imprisoning career criminals have been loosened in recent years. "The voting public would reasonably have understood the 'Three Strikes' baseball metaphor to mean that a person would have three chances - three swings of the bat if you will - before the harshest penalty could be imposed," Associate Justice Kathryn Werdegar wrote in the court's opinion, released late on Thursday.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — More than 1,000 gay and lesbian couples who married in Utah after the state same-sex marriage ban was overturned could get benefits in 10 days after a favorable ruling from a federal appeals court.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The president of the nation's second-largest teachers union said Friday that President Barack Obama's education chief has turned his back on the concerns of educators and parents, but she stopped short of calling for his ouster.
By Daniel Lovering BOSTON (Reuters) - Accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev told his friends about martyrdom and bomb-building over lunch before the attacks last year, an FBI agent testified on Friday in the trial of one of the friends for obstruction. He is charged with removing evidence from Tsarnaev's room at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and throwing away a backpack containing fireworks casings as the FBI searched for the suspect, accused of killing three people and injuring 264 in the April 2013 bombings. FBI Special Agent Timothy Quinn said Tazhayakov told him that Tsarnaev had discussed martyrdom and his knowledge of bomb building during a conversation over lunch with Tazhayakov and his roommate and fellow Kazakh exchange student Dias Kadyrbayev before spring break last year. "Dzhokhar had explained that people who die in an act of martyrdom die with a smile on their face and go straight to heaven," said Quinn, who interviewed Tazhayakov in the days after the alleged visit to Tsarnaev's room.
PATERSON, N.J. (AP) — Hundreds of mourners gathered Friday evening for a funeral for a 12-year-old girl killed when she was hit by a stray bullet while riding a scooter in her neighborhood, and three young men faced charges in her death.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Utah Attorney General's Office says it will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to delay a court order requiring the state to grant benefits to more than 1,000 gay and lesbian couples who married after the state same-sex marriage ban was overturned.
DADE CITY, Fla. (AP) — A former Florida police captain charged in a fatal movie theater shooting has been released from jail.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An Italian company whose mobile app allows San Francisco drivers to get paid for the public parking spaces they exit has temporarily shut down the service following an order from the city attorney.
Two more suspects were charged in the killing of a 12-year-old New Jersey girl who was struck in the head by a stray bullet as she rode her scooter to a family gathering, authorities said on Friday. Jeffery Ellerbee, 21, and Marshae Anthony, 19, both of Paterson, New Jersey, were charged in connection with the killing of Genesis Rincon, the Passaic County Prosecutor's Office said. Ellerbee was charged with first-degree murder and two counts of illegal weapons possession, while Anthony was charged only with the two weapons crimes.
By Lisa Maria Garza DALLAS (Reuters) - Citizen groups in border states are seeking armed volunteers to patrol the U.S.-Mexico frontier alongside law enforcement officers who are struggling to deal with a surge of undocumented migrants from Central America. Southwestern states have seen a big influx of arrivals this year that has put a strain on the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agency. Federal authorities say they do not support any private group taking matters into their own hands, and say it could have "disastrous" consequences. In a web posting on Thursday, The Minuteman Project, led by former U.S. Marine Jim Gilchrist, said it will take 10 months to organize the launch of "Operation Normandy." The group said it expected to attract 3,500 armed citizen volunteers to cover sections of the 2,000-mile (3,200-km) U.S. border from San Diego, California, via Arizona and New Mexico to Brownsville, Texas.
DENVER (AP) — Dozens more gay couples received marriage licenses in Colorado on Friday as a third county began granting them in the midst of a legal fight to resolve the issue for good.
PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona woman convicted in the disappearance of her young son was released from prison Friday without ever providing authorities details on the whereabouts of the missing boy.
By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - A lightning strike killed a woman and injured seven other people on Friday as they hiked in the Rocky Mountain National Park northwest of Denver, a park official said. The group was at an elevation of 11,000 feet (300 meters) on the Ute Crossing Trail when they were hit by the bolt in the early afternoon, park spokeswoman Kyle Patterson said. The woman, whose name has not been released, was pronounced dead at the scene, two people were taken by ambulance to a hospital in nearby Estes Park, and five others drove themselves to the medical facility, Patterson said. Kerrie Hill, spokeswoman for the Estes Park Medical Center, said some of the injured were treated and released, but could not comment on the condition of the others or the extent of their injuries due to patient privacy laws.
At least three suspects are being sought in connection with a robbery at a clothing store in the city's Northern Liberties section.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The man accused of killing six members of his ex-wife's family, including four children, in Texas this week is a graduate of a suburban Anchorage high school, where he was voted class clown and homecoming king.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, Colo. (AP) — A lightning strike has killed a woman and injured seven other people at Rocky Mountain National Park.
Federal health officials on Friday disclosed a new safety breach at a high-security U.S. government laboratory involving dangerous avian flu, a lapse that came to light as they investigated the potential exposure of researchers to live anthrax bacteria. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said an internal probe found multiple failures by individual scientists and a lack of agency-wide safety policies led to the potential exposure of more than 80 lab workers to live anthrax at its Atlanta campus last month. Investigators also discovered a previously unreported incident: Workers at a separate high-security CDC influenza lab sent samples containing a dangerous strain of bird flu to counterparts at the U.S. Department of Agriculture in March. Mishandling avian flu could have far graver consequences than anthrax does, though no one has been found to have been infected in either case.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The man accused of killing six members of his ex-wife's family, including four children, in Texas this week is a graduate of a suburban Anchorage high school, where he was voted class clown and prom king.
ENTIAT, Wash. (AP) — Several hundred firefighters worked Friday to contain a fire that has burned grass and brush across nearly 30 square miles in central Washington.