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Yahoo! National News

Obama shoots pool in night out on the town in Denver

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 11:13

U.S. President Obama shoots pool during stop in a bar in DenverBy Steve Holland DENVER (Reuters) - A man shouted "get that man a beer" and sure enough, President Barack Obama soon had a cold pint in his hand and prepared to play billiards with Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper. This Tuesday night out on the town in Denver, which included slices of pizza with a group of people who had written to him, was Obama's way of escaping the confines of Washington, where partisan gridlock reigns supreme. It was a case of "the bear is loose," the president's own description of the times when he is able to break free of the trappings of Washington and experience what everyday Americans see. Shaking hands with dozens of bystanders along a Denver street, the "bear" came face-to-face with a person wearing a horse's head mask, in honor of the Denver Broncos NFL football team.

Ex-Coast Guard employee gets life for killing two others on Alaska base

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 10:31
By Steve Quinn JUNEAU Alaska (Reuters) - A former U.S. Coast Guard employee convicted of shooting two co-workers to death at a remote Kodiak Island communications station two years ago was sentenced to four consecutive life terms in prison on Tuesday, federal prosecutors said. A federal court jury in Anchorage found James Michael Wells, 63, guilty in late April of two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of murdering a U.S. employee and two counts of a firearms offense, capping a 19-day trial. The victims, Coast Guard electrician's Mate First-Class James Hopkins, 42, and retired Chief Boatswain's Mate Richard Belisle, 51, were found slain on April 12, 2012, at the sprawling Coast Guard installation on Kodiak Island, about 250 miles (400 km) southwest of Anchorage. All three men served as communications experts on the base, one of the largest in the Coast Guard system.

Judge fulfills 20-year sentencing deal for stepmom

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 10:28

File - This Nov. 10, 2003, file photo, released by Tarshia Williams shows Williams' daughter Talia Williams in Orangeburg, S.C. The acknowledged role of Delilah Williams in the abuse of her stepdaughter Talia Williams helped keep her husband Naeem Williams from receiving the death penalty after he was convicted of murdering his daughter. He is scheduled to be sentenced in October. (AP Photo/Tarshia Williams, File)HONOLULU (AP) — An "evil" stepmother derived pleasure from severely beating her husband's 5-year-old daughter while they lived in Army housing in Hawaii, a federal judge said Tuesday as he upheld a plea deal the woman made with prosecutors to receive a 20-year sentence for the murder of the child.

Stockton bankruptcy judge says city's collateral not worthless

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 10:28

A view of downtown Stockton, CaliforniaBy Robin Respaut SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - The judge in Stockton, California's bankruptcy on Tuesday ruled that the city has collateral worth $4 million with which it could pay holdout creditor Franklin Templeton, dismissing the city's contention its collateral was worthless. At the same time, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein made no ruling on Tuesday on whether the California Public Employees' Retirement System, or Calpers, should be made to accept less than the entire amount it is owed while bondholders take losses in the case. Klein's ruling on the collateral in the case of Stockton, which filed for bankruptcy in June 2012, followed a trial that concluded last month and centered around Franklin's objection to the city proposing to repay it less than a penny on the dollar for a debt of about $36 million. The city's collateral against bonds held by Franklin includes two golf courses, a community center and a park, which the city had estimated had no value while Franklin had pegged their value at $6.12 million to $17.34 million.

Combative Sterling says NBA's Clippers worth more than $2 billion

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 10:19

Shelly Sterling arrives at court in Los AngelesBy Eric Kelsey LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Los Angeles Clippers co-owner Donald Sterling on Tuesday sparred with his estranged wife's attorney at a trial over the $2 billion sale of the NBA franchise, interrupting and shouting during testimony and saying he wants to keep the team for financial reasons.     The 80-year-old real estate billionaire, who has been deemed by physicians to have Alzheimer's disease and is unable to handle business affairs, said he was blocking the sale brokered by his wife to former Microsoft Corp Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer because he believed the team's value could be more than double. It is the first time Sterling has spoken publicly since a televised interview in May shortly after he was banned from the NBA for life for taped racist remarks that were made public. "It showed you the enormous hypocrisy of this guy, who will spout all these things about how he loves his wife, but he's suing her." Shelly Sterling, 79, has asked Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Michael Levanas to confirm her as the sole trustee of the family trust that owns the Clippers and to back the NBA-record deal.

Visitor trapped in Chicago jail for about 30 hours

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 10:16
CHICAGO (AP) — A visitor to Chicago's Cook County Jail was trapped inside for about 30 hours over the July Fourth weekend.

Hundreds line up for legal pot in Washington state

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 10:04

Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes, left, shakes hands with clerk Pam Fenstermacher after purchasing marijuana at Cannabis City, Tuesday, July 8, 2014, in Seattle, on the first day that sales of recreational pot became legal in the state. Washington on Tuesday became the second state to allow people to buy marijuana legally in the U.S. without a doctor's note as eager customers who lined up outside stores made their purchases and savored the moment. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, Pool)SEATTLE (AP) — Surrounded by thousands of packages of marijuana, Seattle's top prosecutor sought some advice: Which one should he buy?

US prods China on exchange rate at annual talks

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 09:57

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, third right, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, second right, and U.S. Ambassador to China Max Baucus, second left, tour the Badaling section of the Great Wall of China with Chen Fei, left, deputy director of the Badaling Great Wall Special District, and Guo Jiaqiang, right, deputy director of the Badaling Foreign Affairs Office, in Beijing, July 8, 2014. (AP Photo/Jim Bourg, Pool)BEIJING (AP) — The United States is prodding China to move toward a market exchange rate and settle its maritime disputes with neighbors.

Crumbs shows dangers of focusing on single product

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 09:56

FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2007 file photo, Crumbs Bake Shop managing partner Harley Bauer carries of tray of cupcakes during the store's grand opening in Beverly Hills, Calif. Crumbs on Monday, July 7, 2014 said it is shuttering all its stores, a week after the struggling cupcake shop operator was delisted from the Nasdaq. (AP Photo/Matt Sayles, File)NEW YORK (AP) — Turns out, being a one-hit wonder is risky.

Authorities find body of man in Michigan lake

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 09:38
SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Authorities in southeastern Michigan say they found the body of one of two men missing in area lakes and suspended the search for another.

Buyers line up at first legal pot shops in Washington state

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 09:35

People wait in the heat to enter Cannabis City during the first day of legal retail marijuana sales in Seattle, WashingtonBy Eric M. Johnson and Bryan Cohen SEATTLE (Reuters) - Eager customers lined up before dawn on Tuesday as Washington became the second U.S. state to allow the sale of marijuana for recreational use, although shortages and high prices were likely to accompany any euphoria. Store employees clapped and cheered at Top Shelf Cannabis in the northern city of Bellingham as its first buds were sold to a 29-year-old from Kansas, Cale Holdsworth. "I'm happy to be a part of history," said Holdsworth, who was on vacation visiting family and took his place at the front of the line at about 4 a.m. A handful of shops opened a day after 25 outlets were issued licenses under a heavily regulated and taxed system approved by voters in November 2012. The nation, and the federal government, are watching Washington's rollout as a broader trend of liberalization and pro-pot activism takes hold in the United States.

Ala. top attorney: County can't ban guns at polls

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 09:31
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's attorney general says a county commission lacks authority to prohibit firearms at polling places.

More than 550 Memphis police call in sick in 'blue flu' protest

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 09:19
More than 550 police officers from Memphis, Tennessee, called in sick on Tuesday, a quarter of the department, in an escalating protest over cuts in health benefits that could eventually cost some officers their jobs, the city's mayor said. The so-called "blue flu" wave started June 30 and has grown daily in an apparent protest to a new Memphis budget that raises the health premiums active city workers pay and cuts retiree health benefits, officials said. Memphis has canceled vacations and other scheduled time off for officers to take up the slack and the Shelby County sheriff has helped fill in gaps, officials said. "It's a tough predicament," said Memphis City Councilman Lee Harris, chairman of the council's budget committee.

U.S. government watchdog criticizes probe into student detained for days

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 09:18
By Marty Graham SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - A federal government watchdog criticized the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration on Tuesday for assigning agents suspected of misconduct to investigate the near death of a college student left in a holding cell for five days without food or water. The student, Daniel Chong, says he survived by drinking his urine and spent three days in intensive care after the incident. His lawyers said he reached a $4.1 million settlement with the DEA last year. The Office of the Inspector General said on Tuesday it was a conflict of interest for the DEA's San Diego Field Division to appoint to the investigation the same supervisor and case agents who were responsible for Chong's detention.

Shooting victim crashes car in Grays Ferry

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 09:13

Shooting victim crashes car in Grays FerryAuthorities say a gunshot victim, after leaving the scene of a shooting, crashed into another vehicle in Grays Ferry.

Ex-roommate: Tsarnaev seemed normal after bombings

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 09:03

In this undated law enforcement agency photo released by the U.S. Attorney's Office and presented as evidence Tuesday, July 8, 2014, during the trial of Azamat Tazhayakov in U.S. District Court in Boston, name tags are affixed to the former dorm room door of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. Tazhayakov, a friend of Tsarnaev, is on trial on obstruction of justice charges, accused with another friend of removing items from Tsarnaev's dorm room. He is not charged with participating in the bombing or knowing about it in advance. (AP Photo/U.S. Attorney's Office)BOSTON (AP) — Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev did not seem nervous or agitated in the days after the deadly attack, his former college roommate testified Tuesday during the trial of a Tsarnaev friend accused of obstructing the investigation.

U.S. judge declines to dismiss charges against ex-Connecticut governor

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 08:58
By Richard Weizel MILFORD Conn. (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Tuesday refused to dismiss charges that former Connecticut Governor John Rowland violated campaign finance laws while working as an adviser to congressional campaigns after leaving office. District Court Judge Janet Bond Arterton in New Haven ruled that a jury must decide whether the charges against Rowland, a Republican who was forced to resign in 2004, are justified. Rowland, 57, pleaded not guilty in April to charges of conspiracy, falsifying records in a federal investigation, causing false statements to be made to the Federal Election Commission and causing illegal campaign contributions while working as a campaign adviser from 2009 to 2012. The new case against Rowland involves former Republican congressional candidate Lisa Wilson-Foley and her husband, Brian Foley, who prosecutors say agreed to pay Rowland $35,000 under an illegal contract when he worked as a political consultant.

NYPD arrests mother of baby left in subway station

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 08:52

In this Monday, July 7, 2014 surveillance camera image provided by the New York Police Department, a woman, top right, pushes her baby girl in a stroller at the Columbus Circle subway station in New York. The 20-year-old woman, who is suspected of abandoning the baby at the Manhattan station, was in police custody on Tuesday. (AP Photo/NYPD)NEW YORK (AP) — Security video showed nothing amiss when Frankea Dabbs — wearing dark glasses, pushing a baby stroller and pulling a rolling suitcase — entered a busy Manhattan subway station Monday night.

Ex-Minnesota Governor Ventura alleges 'American Sniper' defamed him

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 08:26
By Todd Melby ST. PAUL Minn. (Reuters) - A late Navy SEAL accused of defamation by former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura described an alleged altercation between the two men in 2006 in a videotaped deposition played for jurors in a federal trial that began on Tuesday. The issue of whether that confrontation happened is at the heart of Ventura's case against Chris Kyle, who was killed in 2013 at a Texas shooting range. Ventura, himself a former Navy SEAL, contends his reputation was damaged by Kyle's best-selling 2012 book, "American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History," and subsequent public statements. Ventura sued Kyle in 2012, and his lawsuit now names as defendant his widow, Taya Kyle, the executor of Kyle's estate.

Iraq: 'Terrorists' seize ex-chemical weapons site

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 08:22

Volunteers, who have joined the Iraqi army to fight against militants of the Islamic State, stand at attention as they gather in BaghdadThe Islamic State extremist group has taken control of a vast former chemical weapons facility northwest of Baghdad, where remnants of 2,500 degraded chemical rockets filled decades ago with the deadly nerve agent sarin are stored along with other chemical warfare agents, Iraq said in a letter circulated Tuesday at the United Nations.