The White House said President Barack Obama is due to meet with the families of victims of a deadly mudslide in Washington State on Tuesday afternoon before leaving for a four-country tour of Asia. The Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office said on Monday that 41 victims have been recovered from the slide that buried a river valley neighborhood in the Cascade mountain foothills last month. Obama is due to deliver remarks after meeting with families of victims, emergency workers, and others involved in the recovery effort.
By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - In a video of radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri shown to jurors at his trial on Monday, he did not hesitate when a television interviewer asked him about the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States that killed nearly 3,000 people. "Everyone was happy when the planes hit the World Trade Center," Abu Hamza said in the undated film played in a U.S. court where the former imam of the Finsbury Park Mosque in London faces terrorism-related charges. Prosecutors have accused the one-eyed, handless Abu Hamza of trying to set up a jihadist training camp in Oregon, giving assistance to militants who took 16 Western tourists hostage in Yemen in 1998, a kidnapping that ended with the deaths of three Britons and an Australian, and raising money and supplies for al Qaeda in Afghanistan. If convicted of the most serious charges, the Egyptian-born Abu Hamza would face life in prison.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Defendant Siale Angilau was listening to a witness describe gang initiation rituals on Monday when authorities said he grabbed a pen, rushed toward the witness and lunged at him.
As young Cuban slugger Yasiel Puig is earning millions on the baseball field with the Los Angeles Dodgers, a bizarre story of how the talented player escaped from the Communist-ruled island country is unfolding in U.S. court documents. Puig ran a gauntlet of fast boats, Mexican drug smugglers and even death threats in his 2012 flight from Cuba, according to a $12 million lawsuit filed by a man who accuses the ballplayer of informing on him to Cuban authorities. Puig has declined to comment on the allegations and his lawyer has filed a motion to have the case dismissed. "I'm only focused on being a productive teammate and helping the Dodgers win games," Puig was quoted as saying in a statement issued by his agent.
By Jonathan Kaminsky OLYMPIA, Washington (Reuters) - The widow of a man killed in the Washington state mudslide has filed damage claims asserting that official inaction contributed to the disaster that took more than 40 lives. Thomas Durnell, 65, was at home on March 22 when the mudslide hit and is among the 41 confirmed fatalities. Deborah Durnell, Thomas' widow, filed the claims on Friday against Snohomish County and the state's Department of Natural Resources (DNR), asserting $3.5 million in damages. The county, said her attorney, Corrie Yackulic, knew that the area where the Durnells bought their home in 2011 was prone to mudslides but failed to properly warn those living there.
By Peg McEntee SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - An accused street gang member standing trial in federal court in Salt Lake City was shot to death by a deputy U.S. marshal on Monday as the defendant attacked a witness who was testifying against him, federal law-enforcement officials said. Siale Angilau, 25, lunged at the witness wielding what appeared to be a pen or pencil in his hand, prompting a federal officer in the courtroom to open fire to halt the attack, according to Melodie Rydalch, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office. It is routine practice for federal trial defendants to be unrestrained when appearing before a jury, Rydalch said, and Angilau was not handcuffed. The FBI said Angilau, who was struck in the chest by the marshal's gunfire, was still breathing when he was removed from the courtroom by stretcher, but later died of his wounds at a local hospital.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A prison doctor has been fired and two other staffers are in the midst of being dismissed after an inmate at the Kentucky State Penitentiary starved himself to death, a case that has exposed lapses in medical treatment and in how hunger strikes are handled at the facility. Prison officials have asked prosecutors to investigate after The Associated Press began asking questions about the inmate's death.