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Utah brings back firing squads if lethal drugs unavailable

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 07:35
Utah Governor Gary Herbert signed a law on Monday that makes Utah the only U.S. state to authorize the use of firing squads for executions if lethal drugs are not available, his spokesman said. The Republican-sponsored bill, which was passed by the state Senate earlier this month, was introduced amid national concerns about the efficacy of lethal injections. "Those who voiced opposition to this bill are primarily arguing against capital punishment in general and that decision has already been made in our state," Marty Carpenter, spokesman for the Republican governor, said in a statement. Carpenter said the state preferred to use its primary method of lethal injection when a death penalty is issued.

Daughter of jailed Mexican Mafia kingpin sentenced to prison

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 07:31
The daughter of an imprisoned Mexican Mafia kingpin who pleaded guilty to racketeering and drug trafficking charges and admitted carrying out her father's orders in running a brutal Los Angeles street gang was sentenced on Monday to 15 years in prison. The sentencing of 39-year-old Vianna Roman marked the final chapter in a lengthy federal case targeting the Harpys street gang that saw a total of 29 defendants charged under the U.S. Racketeer-Influences and Corrupt Organizations Act. She is the daughter of Danny Roman, who prosecutors say oversaw the Harpys despite his incarceration in northern California's super-maximum-security Pelican Bay State Prison. Prosecutors say Vianna Roman acted as her father's surrogate, controlling the gang on her father's behalf of Danny Roman while he was locked away at Pelican Bay.

Judge, citing state secrets, throws out lawsuit over Iran

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 07:21
NEW YORK (AP) — A federal judge, citing national security concerns, on Monday threw out a defamation lawsuit a wealthy Greek shipping magnate brought against a nonprofit organization seeking to prevent Iran's efforts to obtain nuclear weapons.

Defense lays blame for New York boy's murder on another man

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 07:15

Hernandez appears with his lawyer Fishbein in Manhattan Criminal Court in New York in this file photoBy Natasja Sheriff NEW YORK (Reuters) - Attorneys defending the man accused of murdering 6-year-old Etan Patz put the blame on Monday for the boy's 1979 disappearance on a convicted child molester who was a longtime suspect in the case. Pedro Hernandez, 54, a former grocery clerk, is on trial for kidnapping and murder in a case that hinges on his confession in 2012 to police that he choked the boy, stuffed him in a box and left him in a New York alley. His disappearance sparked a national movement to find missing children, with his picture one of the first to appear on milk cartons. Defense lawyers say Hernandez's confession was coerced by police and that the real killer is Jose Antonio Ramos, whose girlfriend used to walk Patz to school and who for years was the prime suspect.

Ex-prosecutor: 2nd man confessed in NYC missing boy case

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 07:09
NEW YORK (AP) — A convicted child molester claimed he accosted a young boy who looked like Etan Patz the same day in 1979 that Patz disappeared, a former federal prosecutor told a jury on Monday at the trial of another man accused of murder in the infamous missing child case.

Correction: Fatal Wrong-Way Crash story

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 07:07

Linden Mayor Derek Armstead talks during a news conference surrounded by police officers at City Hall in Linden, N.J. Friday, March 20, 2015. Three off-duty Linden New Jersey police officers were involved in a wrong-way crash on Staten Island early Friday morning that has claimed two lives. Two of the car's occupants were killed and two were in critical but stable condition. (AP Photo/Rich Schultz)LINDEN, N.J. (AP) — In a story March 20 about a wrong-way car crash involving Linden police officers, The Associated Press misidentified the speaker of a quote. Police Capt. James Sarnicki said the quote that began, "We were all young once, and I'm sure we've all done stupid things in our life," not Chief Jim Schulhafer.

Ohio officer charged in 137-round shooting wants bench trial

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:58
CLEVELAND (AP) — Allowing a white police officer to have a judge decide his fate for his role in a 137-bullet shooting that killed two unarmed black suspects would be unfair because it excludes blacks from being jurors, prosecutors argued in a motion filed on Monday.

UN women's agency backs out of partnership with Uber

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:58
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. women's agency has backed out of a partnership with the ride-sharing company Uber which had pledged to create jobs for 1 million women drivers by 2020 after a protest by trade unions and civil society groups.

ACLU: Chicago police had higher stop-and-frisk rate than NYC

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:56
CHICAGO (AP) — Chicago police officers initiated stop, question and frisk encounters at a much higher rate last summer than their New York City counterparts ever did, and just like with New York's heavily criticized program, Chicago blacks and other racial minorities were disproportionately targeted, according to a civil liberties group.

Girl's mother calls for death sentence in run-to-death case

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:50
GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) — Just as when she was run to the point of collapse as punishment for a lie, 9-year-old Savannah Hardin's final moments alive in a hospital bed were drowned out by her grandmother's shouts, Savannah's mother testified Monday.

Seattle approves $34 million to expand historic Pike Place Market

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:47
Seattle lawmakers voted on Monday to invest $34 million in taxpayer funds to expand the city's historic Pike Place Market, which draws millions of visitors each year to its fresh produce, flower and fish stalls. The existing waterfront farmer's market, which opened in 1907 and is one of Seattle's most recognizable landmarks, cannot be significantly altered under historic preservation rules. Architects Miller Hull Partnership have also created plans to add about 50 new outdoor stalls for farmers and artists as well as 12,000 square feet of retail space. The project is expected to cost $73 million, according to the not-for-profit Pike Place Market Preservation and Development Authority, which manages the historic district.

Expert: Silicon Valley bias suit spurs closer look by firms

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:46
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A sex discrimination trial that has put a spotlight on gender imbalance in Silicon Valley has prompted some technology and venture capital companies to re-examine their cultures and practices — even before a jury reaches its verdict.

Villanova's piccolo girl laughs off internet fame

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:43

Villanova's piccolo girl laughs off internet fameShe is now famous for the tears she shed the night Villanova's men's basketball team lost.

After 22 years on death row, woman sees murder case tossed

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:41

FILE - In this Aug. 1, 2013, file photo, Debra Jean Milke listens to a judge during a hearing at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix. Milke, a former Arizona death row inmate whose conviction in the killing of her son was overturned, has filed a lawsuit alleging that law enforcement officials violated her civil rights. Milke filed the lawsuit Friday, March 13, 2015, against the city of Phoenix, Maricopa County and numerous individuals. She contends she was denied a fair trial. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File)PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona woman who spent more than two decades on death row in her 4-year-old son's killing saw her murder charge dismissed Monday, bringing an end to a controversial case that relied almost entirely on the work of a detective with a long history of misconduct.

Ex-NFL star Sharper admits to sexual assaults in California, Arizona

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:39

Former NFL star Darren Sharper appears at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los AngelesBy Daina Beth Solomon and Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former NFL star Darren Sharper admitted in court on Monday to drugging and raping women in California and Arizona and was expected to plead guilty in similar Nevada and Louisiana cases in plea deals prosecutors say will land him in prison for at least nine years. Appearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Sharper entered a plea of no-contest, the legal equivalent of guilty, to two counts of rape by use of drugs and four counts of furnishing a controlled substance, the prescription sleep medication Zolpidem, sold under the brand name Ambien. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said the five-time Pro Bowl National Football League safety was expected to be sentenced to 20 years in prison under the terms of his plea deal there. Formal sentencing on the California charges was set for July 15.

Washington state auditor says federal probe may be linked to a past business

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:37
By Victoria Cavaliere SEATTLE (Reuters) - Washington state auditor Troy Kelley, whose home was searched last week by U.S. Treasury Department agents, said on Monday he was aware federal investigators had questions about his former company's finances but was puzzled as to what they might be trying to uncover. Kelley returned to work in Olympia on Monday following a pre-planned vacation last week during which his home was searched by federal agents and his office turned over documents subpoenaed by the U.S. Department of Justice. "I am aware the U.S. Attorney has questions about some financial activities related to my prior business, The Post Closing Department," he said in a statement. No case or papers had been filed in federal court by Monday morning.

Chicago police use stop-and-frisk excessively: ACLU report

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:30
By Fiona Ortiz CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Chicago Police Department defended its policing tactics on Monday after the American Civil Liberties Union reported what it said were excessive stop-and-frisk searches compared with other U.S. cities. The ACLU said that its study of a four-month period last year showed "that African Americans are disproportionately subjected to stops when compared to their white counterparts. Black Chicagoans were subjected to 72 percent of all stops, yet constitute just 32 percent of the city's population." The ACLU issued the report at a time of increased scrutiny of policing practices and nationwide protests over the shooting and chokehold deaths of unarmed African American men. When Chicago police stop someone on the street but don't make an arrest, they fill out a contact card about the person and the reason for the stop.

Mother charged with fatally attacking 3 children in Florida

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:26
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A mother in Florida strangled her two young boys and drowned her little girl, police said Monday.

For business, more women in charge means bigger profits

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:25

In this photo taken Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, aromatherapist Emma Arkell poses for a portrait with one of the natural remedies for the skin and body she makes near Winchester, England. Evidence is growing that gender equity is not just politically correct window-dressing, but good business. Yet while companies are trying to increase the number of women in executive positions, many are struggling because of a failure to adapt workplace conditions in a way that ensures qualified women do not drop off the corporate ladder. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)LONDON (AP) — When Rohini Anand took over diversity programs at multinational catering company Sodexo in 2002, she had one goal: To prove that it pays for a company to have equal numbers of male and female managers.

Things to know about the UVa gang rape investigation

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:22
The investigation of an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house found no evidence of the attack. Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo detailed the investigation at a news conference Monday. Here are the highlights: