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Yahoo! National News

Vermont to Washington: Your education policy is broken

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 02:35

Holcombe talks to elementary school students gathered for an announcement about community eligibility for free/reduced lunch for schoolchildren at the Barre City Elementary and Middle School in Barre, VermontA few weeks back, Diane Ravitch -- the highly regarded education critic, gadfly, born-again enemy of standardized testing and author -- called Holcombe a “hero” in her blog for refusing the federal government’s offer of a waiver under the No Child Left Behind Act. Not Commissioner Holcombe," wrote Ravitch a former Bush administration official who once supported NCLB. "If our nation had more state commissioners like her, it would save our children from a mindless culture of test and punish." That’s one reason why Holcombe, 48, refused the waiver that more than 40 other states have, so far, accepted from the Obama administration as a way to buy time to comply with the core tenets of No Child Left Behind (including the one that requires 100 percent of the students be proficient in math and reading by 2014.) By rejecting the waiver, the former high school principal, all but guarantees that Vermont’s schools will be labeled "low performing" by the U.S.

Virginia marriage by couple in 90s may be illegal, judge says

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 02:30
(Reuters) - The secret marriage this year of a 96-year-old Virginia woman and a 95-year-old man has drawn the scrutiny of a judge, who has ruled the marriage may be illegal, a lawyer said on Tuesday. Judge James Clark of the Alexandria Circuit Court ruled this month that the marriage between Eddie Harrison and Edith Hill may not be legally binding and ordered Hill's attorney, Jessica Niesen, to investigate it. The legality of the marriage surfaced during a custodial dispute over who should care for Hill, who was ruled legally incapacitated in 2011. Hill's granddaughter, Rebecca Wright, and daughter Patricia Barber have been the woman's legal custodians since early this year, Barber's attorney, Cary Cucinello, said.

Though facing deportation by U.S., kids learn to 'pledge allegiance'

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 02:25
By Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama wants to promptly send them home to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala, but until they are shipped out children caught entering the United States illegally are getting an old-fashioned dose of American patriotism. The surge of children making the treacherous journey in hopes of reuniting with relatives living in the United States has brought chaos to the border, stretched Washington's ability to cope with a humanitarian crisis and prompted an immigration backlash in some American communities.

Officials: Cause of deadly Chicago fire unclear

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 02:20
CHICAGO (AP) — Investigators were unable to pinpoint the cause of a Chicago apartment fire that killed four children, although it likely came from an open flame in an apartment on the second floor, fire officials said Tuesday.

American recovery drives the dollar sharply higher

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 02:15

FILE - In this Sept. 24, 2014 file photo, a sheet of uncut $100 bills is inspected during the printing process at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Western Currency Facility in Fort Worth, Texas. A strengthening U.S. economy, combined with a gloomy outlook for growth elsewhere in the world, is pushing the U.S. currency to its highest level in more than a year. (AP Photo/LM Otero, File)NEW YORK (AP) — In the world of currencies, the dollar is starting to look like a safe home in a tough neighborhood.

Ray Rice's wife rips media as video puts NFL on defensive

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 02:15

Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice (27) warms up during the NFL's Super Bowl XLVII football practice in New OrleansRay Rice's wife defended the former Baltimore Ravens running back on Tuesday after a video showed him knocking her out, and assailed the media for its handling of an incident that put the U.S. "I woke up this morning, feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I'm mourning the death of my closest friend," Janay Rice wrote in an Instagram post. "But to have to accept the fact that it's reality is a nightmare itself." Ray Rice, 27, who had been one of the top running backs in the National Football League, was released by the Ravens on Monday and suspended indefinitely by the league. The video shows him striking Janay, then his fiancée, in the elevator of a New Jersey casino in February.

Expansion of Panama Canal expected to open in 2016

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 02:08
MADRID (AP) — Panama's president says the major expansion of the Panama Canal will be completed in time to open for business in the beginning of 2016.

New York City's 'responsible banking' law survives court challenge

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 01:58
By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - A federal judge has refused to block enforcement of a 2012 New York City law designed to ensure that banks holding the city's deposits document how well they meet the needs of low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla dismissed a lawsuit by the New York Bankers Association (NYBA), which said the law gave the city illegal power to regulate banks and conflicted with federal and state law. In a 33-page decision, Failla said the bankers group had lacked standing to bring their October 2013 lawsuit because former Mayor Michael Bloomberg was refusing to enforce the law at the time, giving it "dead-letter" status. NYBA has more than 130 members, including Bank of America Corp, Citigroup Inc, Goldman Sachs Group Inc JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co, with in excess of $10 trillion of assets.

The top 10 songs and albums on the iTunes Store

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 01:56

FILE - This Sept. 15, 2012 file photo released by Point Foundation shows Robin Thicke performing at "Voices On Point" Concert & Gala in Los Angeles. Thisck's “Blurred Lines," featuring T.I. & Pharrell was the top selling song on iTunes for the week ending June 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Point Foundation, Colin Young-Wolff)iTunes' Official Music Charts for the week ending September 8, 2014:

Wildfire sends smoke into famed Yosemite Valley

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 01:55

In this Sunday, Sept. 7, 2014 photo provided by Rachel Kirk, hikers take photos of smoke from a fire rising above Little Yosemite Valley near Yosemite National Park, Calif. About 100 Yosemite National Park visitors were evacuated from the top of Half Dome by helicopter Sunday when a wildfire that started weeks ago in the park's backcountry grew unexpectedly to at least 700 acres, officials said. (AP Photo/Rachel Kirk)YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — Fire officials called in additional crews to help battle a blaze in Yosemite National Park that forced hikers to be evacuated and sent smoke into the park's famed valley for the first time Tuesday, officials said.

Woman smiles for mugshot after admitting to killing her children

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 01:54

Woman smiles for mugshot after admitting to killing her childrenSonya Katrina Spoon, 24, of Cheverly, Maryland, smiled in her mug shot Sunday after police say she admitted she murdered her two young children.

Terror plotter Padilla gets new 21-year sentence

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 01:53

FILE - In this Jan. 5, 2006 file photo, Jose Padilla, center, is escorted to a waiting police vehicle by federal marshals near downtown Miami. Padilla is set to be sentenced a second time by a federal judge Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014 in Miami, because the original prison term of 17 years was too lenient. Padilla was arrested by the FBI in 2002 on what authorities said was an al-Qaida mission to detonate a radioactive "dirty bomb" inside the U.S. Those accusations were later discarded. (AP Photo/J. Pat Carter, File)MIAMI (AP) — Convicted al-Qaida terrorism plotter Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen jailed for years as an enemy combatant, was handed a new 21-year prison sentence Tuesday because an appeals court determined his previous 17-year term was too lenient.

4th US aid worker with Ebola arrives in Atlanta

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 01:52

A person wearing a haz-mat suit steps out of an ambulance as an ebola patient arrives for treatment, Tuesday, Sept. 9, 2014, in Atlanta. The fourth American aid worker sickened with the Ebola virus arrived Tuesday morning for treatment at Emory University Hospital, where two others have been successfully treated. (AP Photo/David Goldman)ATLANTA (AP) — The fourth American aid worker sickened with the Ebola virus arrived Tuesday morning to a mostly calm scene at Emory University Hospital, where two others have been successfully treated.

Ray Rice's wife issues statement in wake of knockout video

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 01:47

Ray Rice's wife issues statement in wake of knockout videoShe released a statement the day after a video was released showing her husband punching her in an Atlantic City elevator, knocking her out.

The top iPhone and iPad apps on App Store

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 01:47
App Store Official Charts for the week ending September 8, 2014:

Electronic Arts drops Ray Rice from Madden game

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 01:45
NEW YORK (AP) — Video game publisher Electronic Arts is removing former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice from its recently released Madden NFL 15 title, the latest company to pull its support for the player.

The top 10 books on Apple's iBooks

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 01:37
iBook charts for week ending September 8, 2014:

Medical flight got wrong fuel before crash

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 01:22

relatives of victims of a plane crash react after reaching the siteLAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) — Federal safety investigators say an air ambulance got the wrong fuel at a New Mexico airport before it took off and crashed, killing all four people aboard.

Court hears arguments over gay marriage's impact

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 01:21

Judge Stephen Reinhardt, left, and Judge Marsha Berzon listen to arguments on gay marriage bans at the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. A federal appellate court has heard arguments over Nevada, Idaho, and Hawaii's gay marriage ban, with an attorney against the ban saying it sends a message to same-sex couples that they and their families are inferior. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, Pool)SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A debate over whether children would be harmed or helped by legalizing gay marriage was the main focus when a federal appeals court in San Francisco waded again into the issue of the constitutionality of gay marriage.

Women seen leading governors' races in Mass., Rhode Island

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 09/10/2014 - 01:17

A woman arriving at a polling station walks past an enlarged copy of the democratic primary ballot in primary election day in BostonMeanwhile, voters in New Hampshire and Delaware were picking Republican challengers to Democratic incumbents in the U.S. Polls prior to the start of voting showed Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and Rhode Island state Treasurer Gina Raimondo leading competitive fields to win their states' Democratic nominations to run as governor in the general election. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, healthcare worker Amy Perlack, 28, said she had just voted for Coakley.