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Yahoo! National News

China plays down US concerns over anti-terror legislation

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 08:15
SHANGHAI (AP) — China played down U.S. concerns that proposed anti-terror legislation would give the Chinese government sweeping power to police electronic communications and marginalize foreign companies fighting for a share of China's $465 billion technology market, saying Tuesday that the law is purely designed to address domestic security issues.

California halts 12 injection wells over water concerns

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 08:10
By Rory Carroll SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California oil drilling regulators on Tuesday ordered operators of 12 underground injection wells in Kern County to halt injections out of fear that they could contaminate drinking water supplies. The action is part of a statewide review of California's 50,000 underground injection wells, which oil companies use to dispose of billions of barrels of undrinkable water produced every year during oil production. The review began last summer after it was discovered that some injection was taking place into zones not approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the terms of the Safe Drinking Water Act. “As we’ve said before, the protection of California’s groundwater resources – as well as public health - is paramount, particularly in this time of extreme drought,” said Steven Bohlen, state oil and gas supervisor.

Venture capitalist testifies in Silicon Valley sex-bias suit

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 08:07
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A legendary billionaire investor defended his Silicon Valley venture capital firm Tuesday while testifying in a high-profile sex discrimination lawsuit that has accused the firm of being an all-boys club where women were denied chances to advance and treated as second-class citizens.

Judge hears arguments over Citibank and Argentina bonds

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 08:07
NEW YORK (AP) — A Citibank lawyer has warned a judge its Argentina branch will be in "great danger" if he refuses to let the South American nation pay interest to bondholders.

Teen's confession to killing teacher won't be used at trial

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 08:04
BOSTON (AP) — A Massachusetts teenager's confession to police that he killed his math teacher cannot be used in his murder trial, a judge ruled Tuesday even as he allowed a bloody box cutter and other key pieces of evidence to be admitted.

AP Exclusive: Airlines reject rechargeable battery shipments

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 07:46

File-This file frame grab from video, provided by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) shows a test at the FAAs technical center in Atlantic City, N.J. last April, where a cargo container was packed with 5,000 rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Citing safety concerns, United Airlines on Monday, March, 2, 2015, became the second major U.S. airline to announce it will no longer accept bulk shipments of rechargeable batteries of the kind that power everything from smartphones to laptops to power tools. (AP Photo/FAA, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — Two major U.S airlines say they will no longer accept rechargeable battery shipments as new government tests confirm that explosions and violent fires are likely to occur when large numbers of batteries enclosed in cargo containers overheat.

NYC warehouse fire destroyed files from 1 million court cases

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 07:42
A massive fire that recently tore through a Brooklyn warehouse destroyed documents from more than 1 million court cases, a New York state court official said Tuesday. The fire on Jan. 31 ruined about 85,000 boxes of case files, said Ron Younkins, the state Office of Court Administration's executive director. Personal injury attorney Robert Vilensky said in court papers last month that he lost nearly 800 boxes of files he had stored in the warehouse. He claims the city's fire department may have been negligent in prematurely turning off the building's sprinkler system.

Non-resident enrollment to be capped at California campuses

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 07:39
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Non-resident enrollment will be capped at the University of California's Berkeley and Los Angeles campuses next year to address concerns that California students are being displaced, but the system also does not plan to admit more residents to any of its campuses unless it gets more state funding, university President Janet Napolitano said Tuesday.

Gov. Tom Wolf seeks billions in higher taxes for schools, tax revamp

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 07:34

Gov. Tom Wolf seeks billions in higher taxes for schools, tax revampIn an ambitious first budget plan, Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday proposed more than $4 billion in higher taxes on income, sales and natural gas drilling to support new spending on schools and to cut property taxes.

Driver whose truck fell through ice into river faces charge

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 07:33
TOMS RIVER, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey state police say the driver of a pickup truck that went onto a frozen river, spun around repeatedly and then plunged through the ice with his dog inside has been charged with criminal mischief.

Islamic State plot suspect to be transferred from Fla. to NY

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 07:32
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — One of three men arrested on charges of plotting to help the Islamic State group wage war against the U.S. was ordered transferred from Florida to New York on Tuesday.

NY considers treating charged 16, 17-year-olds as juveniles

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 07:32
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Jim Saint Germain was mixed up with drugs and just shy of 16 when he was arrested and sent to a juvenile facility. Things might have been different had he been a year older and tried as an adult.

Voters reject ATV use in longest debate since $1 cat-fee

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 07:22

Tracy Puffer, center, asks questions at a town meeting about a proposal to open some town roads to ATV use during the state's town meeting day Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in Groton, Vt. Voters rejected the proposal after a half an hour of discussion -- the longest debate since the town discussed a $1 fee for registering cats in 1999. (AP Photo/Lisa Rathke)GROTON, Vt. (AP) — Voters in the Vermont town of Groton have rejected a proposal to allow the use of all-terrain vehicles on some town roads in what the moderator says is the rural community's longest Town Meeting Day debate since it discussed a $1 fee for registering cats in 1999.

Police investigate report of shots near U.S. spy agency headquarters

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 07:15
Authorities are investigating a report of shots fired on Tuesday near the National Security Agency headquarters in Maryland and damage to an NSA building, a U.S. Park Police spokeswoman said. Shots were reported near an exit along the Baltimore-Washington Parkway leading to Fort Meade, site of the spy agency, spokeswoman Sergeant Lelani Woods said. Officers found damage to an NSA building "and they are investigating if it is damage from shots fired," Woods said. Park Police officers and the NSA were trying to gather more information, she said.

Arizona jury told to keep deliberating on Jodi Arias case

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 07:13

Jodi Arias sits in the Maricopa County Superior Courtroom in PhoenixBy David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - Jurors deciding whether convicted killer Jodi Arias should be executed in Arizona were told by a judge on Tuesday to try harder to reach a verdict after apparently deadlocking in the closely watched retrial, court officials said. Judge Sherry Stephens issued the eight women and four men with a "modified impasse instruction" as the jury deliberated for a fourth day on the fate of the former waitress from Salinas, California, who murdered her ex-boyfriend in 2008. The jurors had earlier told the Maricopa County Superior Court they had several questions that had come up in their discussions, the court officials said. Arias, 34, was found guilty of killing Travis Alexander, 30, at his Phoenix-area home following a 2013 trial that captured widespread attention with its lurid details and sexually explicit testimony.

House breaks impasse, passes security funding without provisions

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 07:10

Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) walks to the House Chamber before a vote on funding the Department of Homeland Security, in WashingtonBy David Lawder and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A chaotic three-month-long fight in Congress over funding the U.S. domestic security agency finally ended on Tuesday, but not before it highlighted House Speaker John Boehner's inability to halt the Republican Party's further descent into disorder. The House of Representatives approved full fiscal-year funding for the Department of Homeland Security, after attempts by conservative Republicans to make funding contingent on blocking actions on immigration last November by Democratic President Barack Obama in which he bypassed Congress. The final bill passed by the House in a 257-167 vote was a Senate measure stripped of language attacking Obama's orders, which lifted the threat of deportation for millions of undocumented residents. The vote ended a fight that brought the DHS within hours of a partial shutdown last week and raised new questions about Boehner's leadership.

Lawmakers taking another crack at expanding gun checks

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 07:10
WASHINGTON (AP) — Former congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is returning to Capitol Hill on Wednesday to help kick-start a longshot campaign to expand criminal background checks to all commercial firearms sales.

New U.S. defense chief presses lawmakers for boost in funding

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 07:08

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter testifies before a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol HillBy David Alexander WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Ash Carter warned lawmakers on Tuesday that continuing cuts to U.S. defense spending were causing "corrosive damage to our national security" and he urged them to back the president's request for a big boost in military funding in 2016. Testifying for the first time as secretary before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carter said military modernization by rivals such as Russia and China threatened to erode the Pentagon's technological advantage over other forces. He said President Barack Obama's request for a $534 billion Pentagon base budget plus $51 billion for overseas military operations would help the department repair equipment, restore training levels and invest in new weapons for the future, factors put on hold because of budget cuts and ongoing wars.

City, contractor questioned at NYC jail health care hearing

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 07:08
NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City lawmaker said at a hearing Tuesday that he didn't have confidence in the leadership of the private health provider awarded a $126 million contract to administer health care at the Rikers Island jail complex.

Justice Department finds racial bias in Ferguson police practices

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 07:04

A female protester raises her hands while blocking police cars in FergusonBy Julia Edwards WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department has concluded that the Ferguson, Missouri, police department routinely engages in racially biased practices, a law enforcement official familiar with the department's findings said on Tuesday. The investigation into the police department began in August after the shooting of unarmed African-American teen Michael Brown by a white police officer in Ferguson sparked national protests. Analysis of more than 35,000 pages of police records found racist comments from officers as well as statistics that showed African-Americans make up 93 percent of arrests while accounting for only 67 percent of the population in Ferguson, the official said.