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Yahoo! National News

White House asked to help journalist held in Syria

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/06/2015 - 11:11

Debra and Marc Tice, parents of freelance journalist Austin Tice, participate in a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015, to raise awareness of their son's disappearance in Syria. Tice, who disappeared in August 2012, is believed to be held by the Syrian government. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)WASHINGTON (AP) — Parents of a missing journalist detained in Syria and the press freedom group Reporters Without Borders are calling on the White House to help bring the journalist home safely and to improve U.S. policy on hostage cases.

Chicago sees fiscal doomsday if court suspends pension changes

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/06/2015 - 10:42
A temporary suspension of cost-saving changes to two of Chicago public pensions funds risks credit rating downgrades that could cost millions of dollars, the city's chief financial officer said on Thursday. Chief Financial Officer Lois Scott testified in Cook County Circuit Court that all three major credit ratings agencies have negative outlooks on Chicago's ratings, largely due to a big unfunded pension liability that a 2014 Illinois law aims to ease for the city's municipal and laborers' funds. Scott said Chicago's ratings are already lower than most big U.S. cities and that further downgrades would pump up interest rates on new fixed-rate bonds and thin the ranks of potential bond buyers and credit providers. She added the termination of interest-rate hedges and letters of credit on existing variable-rate bonds could be triggered, costing Chicago hundreds of millions of dollars.

Amy Pascal steps down as Sony Pictures chief

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/06/2015 - 10:30

FILE - In this Oct. 4, 2013 file photo, Amy Pascal, Sony Pictures Entertainment co-chairman, arrives at Variety's 5th Annual Power of Women event at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Sony on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015 announced that Pascal will step down as co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and head of the film studio, nearly three months after a massive hack hit the company and revealed embarrassing emails. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)LOS ANGELES (AP) — Amy Pascal will step down as co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment and head of the film studio, nearly three months after a massive hack hit the company and revealed embarrassing emails.

Ex-New York assemblyman convicted of federal bribery charges

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/06/2015 - 10:27

Malcolm Smith makes his way through a crush of media to a waiting car after appearing in United States Court in White Plains, New YorkBy Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former Democratic New York state Senator Malcolm Smith was found guilty on federal bribery charges on Thursday, authorities said, the latest conviction in a string of public corruption prosecutions that have roiled the state capital Albany. The office of Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara accused Smith, 57, of trying to bribe Republican officials to secure a spot on the 2013 mayoral ballot in the race eventually won by Democrat Bill de Blasio. Smith's co-defendant, former Queens Republican leader Vincent Tabone, 41, was also found guilty of bribery charges on Thursday by the same jury in federal court in White Plains, New York, a spokeswoman for Bharara said.

Washington state mulls ban on capture of killer whales for entertainment

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/06/2015 - 10:07
Washington state senators held a hearing on Thursday to consider banning the increasingly controversial capture or holding of killer whales for entertainment. More than half of the approximately 455 orcas taken for captivity originated in Washington state but the practice has come under more scrutiny following the 2013 documentary, "Blackfish," which described the capture of orcas and how one killed a trainer at SeaWorld in Orlando, Florida. Today, 57 orcas are in captivity in 14 marine parks in eight countries, including 25 in SeaWorld parks in Florida, California and Texas, according to a sponsor of the legislation, State Senator Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island.

10 Things to Know for Friday

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/06/2015 - 10:06

A pro-Russian rebel guards a captured former Ukrainian Army checkpoint outside Vuhlehirsk, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015. The rebels have closed in around the town in a strategy they triumphantly refer to as the Debaltseve cauldron. Separatists recently burst through government lines in the rural settlement of Vuhlehirsk. (AP Photo/Vadim Braydov)Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday:

Wife leaves husband who refused to give up newborn son with Down syndrome

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/06/2015 - 09:54

Wife leaves husband who refused to give up newborn son with Down syndromeAfter a new father refused to give up his newborn son, born with Down syndrome, the mother has left both of them. Now the father needs a lot of help.

Officials: Coast Guardsman shot 2 colleagues, ambushed cops

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/06/2015 - 09:53
BOURNE, Mass. (AP) — A Coast Guard member shot two colleagues at a Cape Cod condo complex early Thursday, lit a car on fire to hamper police, planted fake bombs and then opened fire on officers, authorities said.

Lawyer says slow-cooker killing followed fight over politics

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/06/2015 - 09:47

Attorney John McWilliams, left, puts his hand on the shoulder of defendant Tewana Sullivan, charged with first degree murder, while she sobs towards the end of her preliminary examination at 16th District Court in Livonia, Mich. on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015. Sullivan is charged in the death of Cheryl Livy, allegedly bludgeoning her with a slow cooker in an argument over presidential politics. (AP Photo/The Detroit News, Robin Buckson)LIVONIA, Mich. (AP) — A defense lawyer says an argument about presidential politics led to a fight in which his client is accused of beating her 66-year-old friend to death with a slow cooker.

Chris Christie Administration Facing New Criminal Investigation

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/06/2015 - 09:34
Federal authorities have launched a criminal investigation into NJ Gov. Chris Christie and members of his administration, a man at the center of the investigation said.

Lawmakers want tougher vaccine exemptions amid measles outbreak

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/06/2015 - 09:26

Demand For Measles Vaccine Increases As Outbreak Started At Disneyland In California SpreadsBy Eric M. Johnson and Shelby Sebens SEATTLE/PORTLAND, Ore (Reuters) - Several U.S. states are considering laws to make it harder for parents to legally opt out of vaccinating their children, as health officials fight a measles outbreak that has sickened some 120 people in more than a dozen mostly West Coast states. Lawmakers in California, Oregon, and Washington state, which have all had recent measles cases, want to remove exemptions based on personal beliefs, while farther afield, Ohio recently extended a law that covers those entering childcare.

Navy plans more intensive review of H-53 helicopters

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/06/2015 - 09:21

A CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter departs the USS Makin Island amphibious assault ship near KuantanThe U.S. Navy on Thursday said it was launching a more intensive effort to ensure that any wiring or fuel line problems with its CH-53E and MH-53E heavy-lift helicopters are corrected as quickly and effectively as possible. The Navy first ordered inspections of the Sikorsky Aircraft helicopters in February 2014 to find and fix any sign of the damaged fuel lines and wires that caused a January 2014 crash of an MH-53E Sea Dragon that killed three crew members. The helicopters were built by Sikorsky Aircraft, a unit of United Technologies Corp and first entered service in the 1980s.

Minnesota man bound for Turkey accused of lying to federal agents

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/06/2015 - 09:14
A Minnesota man pulled off an airplane bound for Turkey last year has been charged with repeatedly lying to federal agents investigating the recruitment of young U.S. residents to join Islamist militant groups, prosecutors said on Thursday. Hamza Ahmed, 19, and three other young Minnesota men took a bus to New York from Minneapolis where authorities stopped them from leaving on international flights on Nov. 9, FBI Special Agent Daniel Higgins said in court papers. The charge of making false statements against Ahmed, a Minneapolis resident, was unsealed on Thursday.

Attorney general: Use debate on force to aid relations

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/06/2015 - 09:09

Attorney General Eric Holder speaks during a building community trust roundtable discussion with law enforcement, elected officials and community leaders Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015, in Oakland, Calif. Sitting alongside Holder from left are Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Congresswoman Barbara Lee and U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag. Holder talked about law enforcement and community relations in Oakland, a city that experienced violent demonstrators against police abuse last year. Oakland is the sixth and last city the attorney general has conducted these police-community relations since unarmed black men were killed by police in Ferguson, Missouri and New York. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Attorney General Eric Holder said Thursday that law enforcement and other leaders should use the national debate over the use of force to improve relations with the communities they serve.

911 call in 'Suge' Knight murder case is released

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/06/2015 - 09:03

Marion "Suge" Knight appears in a court during his arraignment, Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015 in Compton, Calif. Knight, 49, pleaded not guilty on to murder, attempted murder and other charges filed after he struck two men with his truck last week. (AP Photo/Paul Buck, Pool)LOS ANGELES (AP) — A 911 recording was released Thursday in which a shaken witness reported seeing two men run over in Compton after a fight — an incident that led to murder and other charges against former rap mogul Marion "Suge" Knight.

RadioShack files for bankruptcy, plans deal with Sprint

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/06/2015 - 08:58

FILE - This Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015 file photo shows a RadioShack store in Dallas. The electronics retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Thursday, Feb. 5, 2015. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez, File)NEW YORK (AP) — A diminished RadioShack will live on, but its future may lie with Sprint.

California woman battles Navajo Nation over husband's body

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/06/2015 - 08:43
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A woman who was ordered to return her husband's body to the country's largest American Indian reservation for burial said she's not ready to stop fighting to have his remains laid to rest at a California veterans cemetery.

Chris Christie Facing New Criminal Investigation

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/06/2015 - 08:38
Federal authorities have launched a criminal investigation into NJ Gov. Chris Christie and members of his administration, a man at the center of the investigation said.

New York train was not speeding before crash with car

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/06/2015 - 08:35
By Sebastien Malo TARRYTOWN, N.Y. (Reuters) - The New York commuter train that plowed into a car stopped on a crossing this week was traveling just below the speed limit and no problem was found with the signals or traffic barriers at the site of the deadly crash, a federal investigator said on Thursday. The fiery crash that followed killed the SUV driver and five train passengers in the deadliest rail accident in the New York area in more than three decades. The driver of the vehicle behind the Mercedes told NTSB investigators on Thursday that traffic was "edging along" at the railway crossing in Valhalla, an affluent town north of New York City, Robert Sumwalt, an NTSB member, said at a news conference. The Mercedes came to a stop on the crossing, Sumwalt said.

Brothers separated for nearly 60 years reunited in Fresno

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/06/2015 - 08:34

Brothers separated for nearly 60 years reunited in FresnoTwo brothers separated since their childhoods were finally reunited this week in Fresno.