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Houston ship lane remains shut as cleanup drags on; Exxon cuts output

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 10:56

US Coast Guard photo shows barge loaded with marine fuel oil partially submerged in the Houston Ship ChannelBy Erwin Seba TEXAS CITY, Texas (Reuters) - The closure of the vital Houston Ship Channel looked set to extend to a fourth day after the Coast Guard struggled to finish cleaning up after an oil barge spill on Monday, threatening to force deeper production cuts at local refiners. Earlier on Monday, the Coast Guard had told ship operators that it should be able to reopen the waterway later in the day, resuming at least some supply of crude oil to more than one-tenth of the nation's refining capacity. "We will begin the process of a tapered ... not a floodgate resumption of marine traffic," Captain Brian Penoyer, commander of U.S. Coast Guard sector Houston-Galveston and captain of the Port of Houston, told reporters on Monday. "We anticipate re-opening the Houston Ship Channel as soon as we can," he said.


NYC jail guard charged in death of inmate who ate disinfectant

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 10:53
By Jonathan Allen NEW YORK (Reuters) - A former senior guard at New York City's main jail complex was arrested on Monday on a federal charge that he deprived a mentally ill inmate of medical aid after he swallowed a corrosive disinfectant. Terrence Pendergrass, 49, was a captain on duty at Rikers Island in August 2012 when an inmate in the mental health assessment unit swallowed a so-called "soap ball," according to a criminal complaint. Unaware that rules require the soap ball to be diluted in water, an inexperienced guard gave it to the inmate, Jason Echevarria, so he could clean up sewage flooding his cell, the complaint said. Instead, Echevarria swallowed the ball, which contained highly caustic ammonium chloride, it said.

Navy breaks down ice camp north of Alaska

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 10:36

In this Saturday, March 22, 2014 photo provided by the U.S. Navy, sailors aboard the Virginia-class attack submarine USS New Mexico tie mooring lines after the submarine surfaces through the arctic ice at Ice Camp Nautilus, north of Alaska. Cracks in polar sea ice are prompting the Navy to break down the camp that provided support for an exercise involving submarines. The Navy says in a release Monday, March 24, 2014, that the commander of submarine forces ordered an early end to Ice Camp Nautilus because shifts in winds created instabilities in ice floes. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Joshua Davies)ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Cracks in polar sea ice north of Alaska will force the closing of an ice camp supporting a Navy submarine exercise, the Navy announced Monday.


Officials: Missing plane went down in Indian Ocean

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 10:27

 new analysis of satellite data indicates the missing plane crashed into a remote corner of the Indian Ocean. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — After 17 days of desperation and doubt over the missing Malaysia Airlines jet, the country's officials said an analysis of satellite data points to a "heartbreaking" conclusion: Flight 370 met its end in the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean, and none of those aboard survived.


Authorities: No exact number of missing from slide

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 10:05

A Civil Air Patrol plane flies over the massive mudslide that killed at least eight people and left dozens missing as shown in this aerial photo, Monday, March 24, 2014, near Arlington, Wash. The search for survivors grew Monday raising fears that the death toll could climb far beyond the eight confirmed fatalities. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)OSO, Wash. (AP) — Authorities say they still don't know how many people remain missing from a deadly Washington state mudslide.


Number of people listed as missing in Washington state landslide rises to 176

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 09:59
The number of people listed as missing from a devastating Washington state landslide that has killed at least 14 people rose on Monday to 176 from 108, Snohomish County emergency management director John Pennington said. "The 176 I believe very strongly is not going to be a number that we're going to see in fatalities, I think it's going to drop dramatically," Pennington said, adding that there appear to be duplicates in some of those people reported missing.

Fracking activist wants back on driller's land

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 09:22

FILE - In this Monday, May 6, 2013, file photo, Vera Scroggins stands in front of a gas compressor station in Liberty Township in northwestern Pennsylvania. Scroggins, a high-profile anti-fracking activist who often gives tours of natural gas drilling sites in northeastern Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale region, asked a judge Monday, March 24, 2014, for relief from an order barring her from stepping foot on more than 300 square miles of land owned or leased by one of the state's leading natural gas drillers. Scroggins said the injunction, in place since October, has effectively prevented her from traveling to her favorite grocery store, eye doctor, hospital, restaurants, businesses and friends' homes because all of them have leased land to Cabot Oil & Gas Corp. (AP Photo/Mary Esch, File)A high-profile anti-fracking activist who often gives tours of natural gas drilling sites in northeastern Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale region asked a judge Monday for relief from an order barring her from stepping foot on more than 300 square miles of land owned or leased by one of the state's leading natural gas drillers.


Union: Train operator in Chicago crash 'tired'

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 09:18

A Chicago Transit Authority train car rests on an escalator at the O'Hare Airport station after it derailed early Monday, March 24, 2014, in Chicago. More than 30 people were injured after the train "climbed over the last stop, jumped up on the sidewalk and then went up the stairs and escalator," according to Chicago Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago. (AP Photo/NBC Chicago, Kenneth Webster) MANDATORY CREDITCHICAGO (AP) — An operator of a Chicago public-transit train that jumped the tracks and scaled an escalator at one of nation's busiest airports Monday may have dozed off, a union official said.


University of California's Napolitano joins skeptics over online courses

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 09:10
By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) - University of California President Janet Napolitano on Monday joined a growing chorus of higher education leaders who have expressed skepticism about the use and cost-effectiveness of courses that are offered online. Napolitano's remarks at a Sacramento luncheon came as the 10-campus system struggles to overcome a possible $125 million budget shortfall for next year, a gap many had hoped would be repaired over time via low-cost online course offerings that would let the state educate more students while saving money. "There's a developing consensus that online learning is a tool for the toolbox, but it's harder than it looks and if you do it right, it doesn't save all that much money," Napolitano told about 500 policy and education experts at a speaker series sponsored by the Public Policy Institute of California. Educators are moving away from the idea that online courses can help disadvantaged students prepare for college or earn their degrees at a lower cost even as numerous startup companies jostle to create online universities that backers say will remake higher education.

Four men arrested for World Trade Center parachute jump

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 09:09

New York skyline and the One World Trade Center are seen in the distance as a man makes his commute after a night of snow from New York City to Exchange Place in New JerseyFour men accused of organizing a parachute jump from the top of the 104-story One World Trade Center in New York City in September were arrested after turning themselves in at a city police station on Monday, police said. Security cameras around the World Trade Center site had recorded at least two figures in black suits and black helmets landing and walking off into the night with their parachutes at about 3 a.m. local time on September 30. "They're professional thrill-seekers," Andrew Mancilla, a lawyer representing Brady, said in a telephone interview, adding that all four men would plead not guilty. Brady was employed as a construction worker at the World Trade Center site, police said.


Colorado Supreme Court lets lawyers work with marijuana businesses

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 09:05

Joe Rey, a grower at 3D Cannabis Center, waters marijuana plants at the company facility in DenverBy Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - Colorado lawyers who provide legal services to state-sanctioned medical and recreational marijuana businesses will not run afoul of attorney ethics regulations under a rule adopted on Monday by the state's highest court. The decision could help marijuana entrepreneurs widen the number of attorneys they can rely upon to navigate the legal gray zone in Colorado for the drug, which remains illegal under federal law. Colorado and Washington state legalized recreational marijuana use in voter initiatives in 2012, and a similar measure is on the ballot this summer in Alaska, while many more states allow medical marijuana. Retail cannabis stores opened in Colorado in January, and Washington is set to follow suit later this year.


Oklahoma adds options to execution protocol

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 09:03
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Facing a shortage of its traditional execution drugs, Oklahoma has revised its procedures to include the same two-drug mixture that left an Ohio inmate making gasp-like sounds as his lethal injection was carried out earlier this year, lawyers for two condemned inmates said Monday.

5 Madoff ex-workers convicted in case's 1st trial

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 09:02

FILE – In this Oct. 8, 2013 file photo Annette Bongiorno arrives to federal court in New York. She is one of five former employees of imprisoned financier Bernard Madoff convicted Monday, March 24, 2014 in New York, at the end of a six-month trial that portrayed them as telling an elaborate web of lies to hide a fraud that enriched them and cheated investors out of billions of dollars. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)NEW YORK (AP) — Five former employees of imprisoned financier Bernard Madoff were convicted Monday at the end of a six-month trial that cast them as the long arms of their boss, telling an elaborate web of lies to hide a fraud that enriched them and cheated investors out of billions of dollars.


Oregon fines wild cat sanctuary in mauling case

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 08:58
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon safety officials have fined a suburban Portland wild cat sanctuary $5,600 for two serious violations, one of which likely contributed to an employee being mauled to death by a cougar.

Mayor: Wrong to say Albuquerque shooting justified

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 08:46

This March 16, 2014 photo of an Albuquerque Police Department lapel camera still, shows a standoff with an illegal camper in the Albuquerque foothills, before firing six shots at the man. Police say James Boyd, 38, refused to drop a knife and had threatened to kill officers. He later died at a nearby hospital but police have not said if he died from gunshot wounds. (AP Photo/Albuquerque Police Department)ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — In a rare show of displeasure with the troubled Police Department, Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry said Monday it was wrong for the new police chief to say officers were justified in killing a homeless camper in the Sandia foothills.


Consumers seek to raise California cap on malpractice awards

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 08:41
By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) - Consumer advocates in California said on Monday they had gathered enough signatures to place an initiative on the November ballot that would raise a decades-old state cap on medical malpractice awards to $1.1 million. The proposed initiative, backed by trial lawyers and the Santa Monica-based Consumer Watchdog, would more than quadruple the amount of money a patient could be awarded for pain and suffering in a malpractice case - currently capped at $250,000. Consumer Watchdog president Jamie Court said he began submitting the signatures late Monday afternoon, after waiting to see if a legislative compromise that fell apart last week would be resurrected before an early evening deadline to submit the signatures for a ballot initiative.

Washington landslide: Big, deadly and dangerous

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 08:41

This March 23, 2014 photo, made available by the Washington State Dept of Transportation shows a view of the damage from Saturday's mudslide in Oso, Wash. At least eight people were killed in the 1-square-mile slide that hit in a rural area about 55 miles northeast of Seattle on Saturday. Several people also were critically injured, and about 30 homes were destroyed. (AP Photo/Washington State Dept of Transportation)From the air, the area devastated by a massive landslide in rural Washington state looks like a muddy lake of felled trees, dirt, rocks and remnants of what used to be people's homes.


Google Glass to feature Ray-Ban, Oakley frames

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 08:31
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google is hoping to make its Internet-connected eyewear more stylish as part of a partnership with the makers of Ray-Ban and Oakley frames.

UN chief says both sides block aid to Syrians

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 08:26
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon blamed the Syrian government and opposition Monday for escalating violence and blocking aid to millions in desperate need of help, despite pledges from both sides to comply with a Security Council resolution demanding immediate access everywhere in the country to deliver aid.

5 bodies found in Colorado plane crash wreckage

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/25/2014 - 08:26

This photo provided by the Ouray County Plaindealer shows rescue personnel examining the tail second of a plane on Saturday, March 22, 2014 after it was recovered from the Ridgeway Reservoir south of Montrose. Colo. The plane believed to be carrying five people crashed into a reservoir in southwestern Colorado and authorities say all are feared dead. Divers are to be used Sunday to search for victims and to recover the rest of the plane. (AP Photo/Ouray County Plaindealer, Patrick Moore) MANDATORY CREDITDENVER (AP) — The bodies of five people were found inside the wreckage of a single-engine plane that crashed into a cold, murky reservoir in southwestern Colorado over the weekend, authorities said Monday.