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Yahoo! National News

Judge strikes down Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 07:27

Plaintiffs DeBoer and Rowse arrive for a news conference after a Michigan federal judge ruled that a ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution and must be overturned, in FerndaleBy Bernie Woodall DETROIT (Reuters) - Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage violates the U.S. Constitution and must be overturned, a federal judge ruled on Friday in the latest in a series of court decisions to allow gay couples to wed. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette said he was seeking an emergency stay and appeal of the ruling with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, which struck down a Michigan constitutional amendment adopted by voters in 2004. The ban "does not advance any conceivable legitimate state interest" and discriminates against same-sex couples in violation of their right to equal protection, Judge Bernard Friedman found in a 31-page ruling. The challenge to Michigan's law was brought by April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, a lesbian couple who live in Hazel Park, a Detroit suburb.

Obama reassures Internet CEOs on tech privacy

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 07:27

Tech company CEO's including Google CEO Eric Schmidt, center of group in blue tie, walk to exit the Soutwest Gate of the White House after meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House in Washington, Friday, March 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)WASHINGTON (AP) — A week before a self-imposed deadline for a review of National Security Agency programs, President Barack Obama sought Friday to assure leading Internet and tech executives that his administration is committed to protecting people's privacy.

Lawyers for 2 ex-Christie aides call for immunity

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 07:15
Lawyers for two former underlings of Republican New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said in separate court filings Friday that a legislative committee should be able to offer their clients immunity from prosecution in exchange for providing information for the committee's investigation of possible political payback.

Hawaii law lets police have sex with prostitutes

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 07:04

 Police wanted it to remain legal for undercover officers to have sex with prostitutes. (AP Photo/Oskar Garcia)HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu police have urged lawmakers to preserve an exemption in Hawaii law that lets undercover officers have sex with prostitutes during investigations. But they won't say how often — or even if — they use the provision.

Hawaii lawmakers to end to prostitution exemption

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 06:50

 Police wanted it to remain legal for undercover officers to have sex with prostitutes. (AP Photo/Oskar Garcia)HONOLULU (AP) — Hawaii lawmakers say they plan to change a bill to end a police exemption under the state's prostitution laws.

Ohio rejects death row inmate's organ donation request

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 06:49
By Kim Palmer CLEVELAND (Reuters) - Ohio rejected a request from a death row inmate to donate a kidney to his mother, saying there was not enough time for transplant surgery ahead of the execution. Ronald Phillips, 40, convicted of the rape and murder of a 3-year-old girl, had his execution postponed by Governor John Kasich to July 2 from November to see if the inmate could make the donation of organs, including a kidney to his mother, who Phillips said suffers from kidney disease. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said on Friday it gave Phillips a March 23, 2014, deadline to undergo the kidney transplant, or any other transplant, to family members. "It appears certain Mr. Phillips will not be undergoing any organ donations and transplantation surgery on or before March 23, 2014," the department said in a letter to Phillip's lawyer, adding the execution would go on as scheduled.

Couple in U.S. lived on yacht, collected welfare: prosecutor

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 06:47
A couple who collected food stamps and other public assistance from Minnesota while living on a yacht in Florida were being sought on fraud charges, prosecutors said on Friday. Colin Chisholm III and his wife, Andrea Chisholm, accepted more than $165,000 in public assistance between 2005 and 2012 before benefits were terminated, according to prosecutor Mike Freeman in Hennepin County, Minnesota. Charges against Colin Chisholm were filed in February but they were kept sealed while police searched for the couple, Chuck Laszewski, a spokesman for Freeman, said on Friday.

Foreman: Ex-felon made an honest mistake in voting

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 06:43
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — The foreman of a jury that acquitted a former Iowa drug offender of voter fraud said Friday the woman made an honest mistake when she cast a ballot because she believed her voting rights were restored.

4 men die in New Jersey shore motel fire

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 06:31

Firefighters investigate an early morning fire at the Mariner's Cove Hotel in Point Pleasant Beach, N.J. on Friday, March 21, 2014. An early morning fire killed three people at the Jersey shore motel whose residents included Superstorm Sandy victims who were staying there because their homes remain uninhabitable nearly a year and a half after the storm, officials said. Three other people were critically injured in the blaze. Authorities said several other people may be unaccounted for. Investigators are interviewing motel management to determine how many people were staying there when the fire broke out. The motel's office was destroyed and most records were lost. (AP Photo/David Gard)POINT PLEASANT BEACH, N.J. (AP) — A fire early Friday destroyed a New Jersey shore motel that was housing people displaced by Superstorm Sandy, killing four people and injuring eight, authorities said.

Investigations clear FBI agent in Florida shooting-official

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 06:27

Handout booking photo of Ibragim TodashevBy David Ingram and Barbara Liston WASHINGTON/ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) - Investigators have concluded that an FBI agent should be cleared of any wrongdoing in the fatal shooting of a Chechen immigrant while he was being questioned about his ties to one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, a federal law enforcement official said on Friday. The agent shot and killed 27-year-old Ibragim Todashev in May 2013 after Todashev suddenly attacked and injured the agent during an interrogation at his Orlando apartment, according to the FBI. The law enforcement official spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the release on Tuesday of a review of the incident by a Florida prosecutor. The report prepared by a team of investigators at the office of Orlando State Attorney, Jeffrey Ashton, recommends clearing the FBI agent, the official said.

Wal-Mart's new tool gives competitors prices

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 06:24

FILE - In this Wednesday, Dec. 4, 2013, file photo, April Taylor of Upper Marlboro, Md., left, buys items from groceries to Christmas presents with her son Jarhon Taylor, right, on opening day of a new Wal-Mart on Georgia Avenue Northwest in Washington. Wal-Mart told The Associated Press Friday, March 21, 2014, that it has rolled out an online tool that allows shoppers to compare its prices on 80,000 food and household products to those of its competitors. The world's largest retailer began offering the feature that's called "Savings Catcher" on its website last month in seven big markets that include Dallas, San Diego and Atlanta. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)NEW YORK (AP) — The "Every Day Low Price" king is trying to shake up the world of pricing once again.

'Noah,' revival of Bible epics, finds rough seas

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 06:22

This image released by Paramount Pictures shows Russell Crowe as Noah in a scene from the film, "Noah." (AP Photo/Paramount Pictures, Niko Tavernise)NEW YORK (AP) — In the beginning of their work together on "Noah," director Darren Aronofsky made Russell Crowe a promise: "I'll never shoot you on a houseboat in a robe and sandals with two giraffes popping up behind you."

'Key' player in smuggling ring sentenced in NJ

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 06:09
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — A Chinese national whom authorities called a key player in a large-scale international smuggling ring was sentenced to more than three years in prison Friday.

Four dead, three critically hurt in Jersey Shore motel fire

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 06:09

A firefighter climbs a staircase to the second floor of the charred remains of the Mariner's Cove Inn in Point Pleasant BeachBy Dave Warner POINT PLEASANT BEACH, New Jersey (Reuters) - An early morning fire tore through a Jersey Shore motel popular with fishermen on Friday, killing four people and critically injuring three others, law enforcement officials said. Beach breezes whipped up the flames that engulfed the two-story Mariner's Cove Motor Inn in Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey, fire and law enforcement officials told a news conference. Seven people were injured, three of them critically, and four bodies were found in the scorched ruins of the motel, said Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato. About half of the motel's 40 occupants were using it as temporary housing after being displaced from their homes by Hurricane Sandy, said James Giannuzzi, whose beachfront condominium was badly flooded during that storm and had been living on the motel's first floor for about six weeks.

Connecticut chimp attack victim seeks right to sue state

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 06:09

Nash speaks to the media at the Legislative Office Building in HartfordBy Richard Weizel HARTFORD, Connecticut (Reuters) - A woman whose face and hands were ripped off by a friend's pet chimpanzee in 2009 came to the Connecticut State Capitol on Friday to ask permission to sue the state for $150 million in damages. Charla Nash, who has undergone a face transplant and many other surgeries, including a failed double-hand transplant, spoke to the Connecticut General Assembly's Judiciary Committee, her head wrapped with protective white gauze. "My name is Charla Nash and I'm hoping you can make a decision based on the fact that the state knew what was happening and failed to protect me," said Nash, 60. She asked lawmakers to pass legislation overruling a June decision by state Claims Commissioner J. Paul Vance Jr. that denied her request to waive Connecticut's sovereign immunity from lawsuits.

State withdraws permit for expansion of nuke dump

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 05:57
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico regulators have withdrawn a preliminary permit for an expansion of the federal government's troubled nuclear waste dump in southeastern New Mexico.

Transport chief asks for review of government GM probe

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 05:48

Anthony Foxx and Eric Holder hold a news conference at the Justice Department in WashingtonU.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx asked the department's inspector general on Friday to review whether the government's auto safety agency had properly investigated reports of ignition problems in recalled General Motors cars that have been linked to 12 deaths. Foxx said he ordered the investigation "out of an abundance of caution." Several safety watchdogs have said the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should have ordered GM to recall the cars as early as 2007. "At the present time, we are not aware of any information to suggest that NHTSA failed to properly carry out its safety mission based on the data available to it and the processes it followed," Foxx said. Last month, GM said it was recalling 1.6 million 2005-2007 Chevrolet Cobalts, 2003-2007 Saturn Ions and other models due to a faulty ignition switch that could cause the engine to turn off while driving, making the car harder to steer and brake and disabling airbags.

Chimp attack victim asks again for right to sue

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 05:44

Briana Nash, left, helps her mother Charla Nash, apply lip balm before speaking to Connecticut legislators at a public hearing at the Legislative Office Building, Friday, March 21, 2014, in Hartford, Conn. Nash, who was mauled by a friend's chimpanzee in 2009, is making a personal plea to allow her to sue the state for $150 million in damages. The panel is considering a bill that would override the June decision by the State Claims Commissioner, who dismissed Nash's initial request for permission to sue. The state generally is immune from lawsuits, unless allowed by the claims commissioner. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Connecticut woman disfigured in a 2009 chimpanzee attack asked state lawmakers Friday to grant her the ability to sue the state so she can pay her medical bills and "have a chance to live a comfortable life."

Turkish attempt to ban Twitter appears to backfire

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 05:42

FILE - In this Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014, file photo, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan attends a news briefing in a ceremony for signing agreements between Iranian and Turkish officials in Tehran, Iran. Turkey restricted access to Twitter on Friday, March 21, 2014, hours after Erdogan threatened to “root out” the social media network where wiretapped recordings have been leaked, damaging the government’s reputation ahead key local elections this month. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi, File)ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's attempt to block access to Twitter appeared to backfire on Friday with many tech-savvy users circumventing the ban and suspicions growing that the prime minister was using court orders to suppress corruption allegations against him and his government.

Next phase of Gulf oil spill trial set for 2015

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/22/2014 - 05:41
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A federal judge has set a tentative trial date next year to consider federal Clean Water Act penalties that BP could face for the millions of gallons of oil that spilled into the Gulf of Mexico after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon rig explosion.