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Yahoo! National News

California passes plastic bag ban, would be first such law in U.S

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 16:01
By Aaron Mendelson SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - The California state legislature enacted a ban on plastic grocery bags on Friday near the end of its two-year session, a measure that if signed into law would become the first of its kind in America. The California Senate voted 22-15 for the bill, which must be signed into law by Sept. 30 by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, who has not signaled a position on the measure. "Single-use plastic bags not only litter our beaches, but also our mountains, our deserts, and our rivers, streams and lakes," said state Senator Alex Padilla, who sponsored the bill. The measure would ban grocery stores from handing out single-use grocery bags with customers' purchases, and provide money to local plastic bag companies to retool to make heavier, multiple-use bags that customers could buy.

Intelligence nightmare: Extremists returning home

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 15:57

This March 23, 2008 photo provided by the Hennepin County, Minn. Sheriff's Office shows Douglas McAuthur McCain. The Obama administration has offered a wide range of assessments of the threat to U.S. national security posed by Islamic State extremists in an area straddling eastern Syrian and northern and western Iraq, and whose actions include last week’s beheading of American journalist James Foley. Some officials say the group is more dangerous than al-Qaida. Yet intelligence assessments say it currently couldn’t pull off a complex, 9-11-style attack on the U.S. or Europe. (AP Photo/Hennepin County, Minn. Sheriff's Office)WASHINGTON (AP) — The case of Mehdi Nemmouche haunts U.S. intelligence officials.


California lawmakers pass first US plastic bag ban

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 15:32

State Senators Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, left, and Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Los Angeles, celebrate after lawmakers approved Padilla's bill to ban single-use plastic bags at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. By a 22-15 vote, the Senate approved SB270 that makes California the first state to impose a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. The bill now goes to Gov Jerry Brown. De Leon had previously opposed the bill, but gave his support after protections were added for plastic bag manufacturers.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Lawmakers are sending Gov. Jerry Brown a bill that would make California the first to impose a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags.


Tax forms could pose challenge for HealthCare.gov

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 15:27

This photo taken Aug. 21, 2014 shows health care tax form 1095-A in Washington. The federal agency that brought you the glitchy HealthCare.gov website has a massive new project. Technical difficulties on this one could delay tax refunds for millions of Americans. That agency is the Health and Human Services department. To facilitate complicated connections between the new health care law and income taxes, HHS will have to send some 5 million households new tax forms that are like W-2s for health care. Those forms are called 1095-As, and they’re being introduced next year. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)WASHINGTON (AP) — If you got health coverage through President Barack Obama's law this year, you'll need a new form from your insurance exchange before you can file your tax return next spring.


California appeals teacher tenure ruling

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 14:24
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown appealed a court ruling that struck down tenure and other job protections for California's teachers, setting himself apart from leaders in some other states who have fought to end such protections or at least raise the standards for obtaining them.

California says to appeal against teacher protection lawsuit

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 14:12
By Sharon Bernstein LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California will appeal a controversial court decision that overturned some job protections for public school teachers and could change the way educators are hired and fired in the state, the office of Governor Jerry Brown said on Friday. In a notice of appeal filed late on Friday and obtained by Reuters, the California Attorney General's office, with the backing of Brown, said the ruling must be reviewed by a higher court if it is to have statewide legal impact. A Los Angeles Superior Court in June ruled five California laws meant to protect teachers' jobs by granting tenure and other job protections to public school teachers hurt students and are unconstitutional.

Oil train regulation passes in California

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 12:31
By Jennifer Chaussee SANFRANCISO (Reuters) - California lawmakers on Friday passed legislation requiring railroad companies to tell emergency officials when crude oil trains will chug through the state. The bill would require railroads to notify the state's Office of Emergency Services when trains carrying crude oil from Canada and North Dakota are headed to refineries in the most populous U.S. It passed its final vote in the Assembly 61-1, with strong bipartisan support in the state legislature in Sacramento. “We have a spotlight on this issue because of the seriousness of the risk to public safety that it presents,” said the bill's author, Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, whose district encompasses parts of Sacramento along the trains’ route.

Oil train regulation passes in California

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 11:53
By Jennifer Chaussee SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California lawmakers on Friday passed legislation requiring railroad companies to tell emergency officials when crude oil trains will chug through the state. The bill would require railroads to notify the state's Office of Emergency Services when trains carrying crude oil from Canada and North Dakota are headed to refineries in the most populous U.S. It passed its final vote in the Assembly 61-1, with strong bipartisan support within the state legislature in Sacramento. “We have a spotlight on this issue because of the seriousness of the risk to public safety that it presents,” said the bill's author, Democratic Assemblyman Roger Dickinson, whose district encompasses parts of Sacramento along the trains’ route.

Ohio prep football game halted after fights

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 11:49
GARFIELD HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) — Police say fights on the field and in the stands forced the stoppage of a season-opening high school football matchup in Ohio.

Lawmakers pass first California groundwater rules

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 11:44
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The worst drought in a generation has pushed California lawmakers to overhaul the state's longstanding "pump-as-you-please" groundwater policy under a package of bills lawmakers sent Friday to Gov. Jerry Brown.

U-Haul truck fire in North Philadelphia

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 11:34

U-Haul truck fire in North PhiladelphiaAuthorities say a truck fire spread to the outside of a building in North Philadelphia.


Made in America FYI: Set times, road closures, what to bring

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 11:23

 Set times, road closures, what to bringThe Made in America music festival is this weekend in Philadelphia. We already knew who was playing, but on Wednesday, the concert promoters announced the set times for the acts.


California to shift mentally ill inmates out of solitary confinement

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 11:17
California will move mentally ill prisoners from solitary confinement to special isolation units as part of a series of new policies outlined by corrections officials Friday to improve treatment for inmates with psychiatric illnesses. In 2013, about 28 percent of California's overcrowded prison population was diagnosed with some sort of mental illness, according to state and federal statistics. Complying with the federal order to amend how it deals with these inmates, the state earlier this month outlined changes to curb the use of force after video footage showed mentally ill prisoners screaming as guards doused them in pepper spray. Corrections officials are "focused on ensuring a strong collaborative environment between mental health and custody staff ... to ensure mental health input is fully considered in programming and housing decisions," Friday's filing said.

NY police probed for 2nd restraint-related death

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 10:58
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Police Department said Friday it's under investigation for a second restraint-related death, this one involving a drugged, emotionally disturbed man four days before a fatal videotaped chokehold that fueled community outcry and led the department to overhaul its use-of-force training.

Idaho attorney for boys in polygamous sect says he fears for them

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 10:57
By Laura Zuckerman SALMON Idaho (Reuters) - A court-appointed attorney for boys removed from the Idaho home of a follower of imprisoned polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs said on Friday he feared for the well-being of six of the children released to their parents' custody. Nathan Jessop, a follower of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was charged with misdemeanor child injury offenses after police raided the home on the outskirts of Pocatello last month and took away the eight teenagers. Their parents had agreed to the arrangement but, earlier this month after Jessop was charged, they traveled to Idaho from such states as Arizona and Kansas to reclaim custody of children they had not seen for years, authorities said. Bradley Willis, an attorney appointed by an Idaho court to represent the boys, was opposed to the state’s handoff of the six boys.

Rescuers race to reach trapped miners in Nicaragua

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 10:13

Margarita Mendez is helped by friends while she waits for news her son Salvador Urbina, one of the miners trapped at El Comal gold and silver mine after a landslide trapped at least 24 miners inside, in Bonanza, Nicaragua, Friday, Aug. 29, 2014. Rescuers on Friday located 20 of at least 24 gold miners trapped by a landslide in northern Nicaragua, but were not immediately able to bring them to safety. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)BONANZA, Nicaragua (AP) — Rescuers in Nicaragua raced Friday to reach at least 24 freelance gold miners trapped by a landslide, including 20 who have been located and have managed to communicate with emergency crews.


California bill would remove guns from potential offenders

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 10:03
A bill allowing family members to ask a judge to order firearms removed from people likely to commit gun violence was sent to California Governor Jerry Brown on Friday for signing into law. The bill, one of several gun control measures up for votes in the last week of the state's legislative session, was introduced after police near Santa Barbara said they were unable to confiscate weapons from a man who later went on a rampage and killed six people, despite concern from his family that he was in poor mental health and might become violent.     The bill passed the Assembly 47-25.     If Brown, who has steered a centrist course on gun control legislation, signs the bill, California would be the first U.S.

Jury finds woman guilty in silicone-injection case

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 09:40
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A Mississippi woman was convicted Friday of murder in connection to illicit silicone buttocks injections that led to a Georgia woman's death.

Comedian Tracy Morgan still struggling after crash

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 09:40

Comedian Tracy Morgan still struggling after crashAn attorney for Tracy Morgan says the former "Saturday Night Live" actor is having a tough time recovering from a June accident on the New Jersey Turnpike that left a fellow comedian dead.


Border Patrol agent fires at armed militia member

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 08/30/2014 - 09:10
McALLEN, Texas (AP) — A Border Patrol agent pursuing a group of immigrants in a wooded area near the Texas-Mexico border on Friday fired several shots at an armed man who later identified himself as a militia member.