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Yahoo! National News

Obama grants first commutations under new clemency program

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 06:27
By Aruna Viswanatha WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Eight Americans serving time for drug offenses will be allowed to leave prison ahead of schedule next year, making them the first inmates to earn reduced sentences through a broad clemency program announced by the Obama administration earlier this year. President Barack Obama on Wednesday granted the commutations to men and women from Alabama, Virginia, Iowa and other states who were in prison for possessing crack cocaine or methamphetamine, with the intent to distribute the drugs or related charges. In April, the U.S. ...

Third person arrested over Oregon school shooting that wounded four

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 06:23
By Shelby Sebens PORTLAND, Ore. (Reuters) - Police in Oregon have arrested a 16-year-old boy suspected of involvement in a shooting incident outside a Portland high school last week that wounded four people, including three teenagers, authorities said on Wednesday.  The teenager, the third person held in connection with Friday's shooting, was taken into custody late on Tuesday following a car chase with police, according to a Portland Police Bureau statement. ...

Lethal injection drug bill clears Ohio Legislature

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 06:21

This undated photo provided by the Ohio House of Representatives shows Rep. Jim Buchy. he Ohio House is expected to consider a bill that would shield the names of companies that provide the state with lethal injection drugs. Buchy is one of the bills sponsors. The bill is among several the House planned to vote on Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 as lawmakers finish work for the two-year legislative session. The Senate passed it last week. (AP Photo/Ohio House of Representatives)COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The names of companies that provide Ohio with lethal injection drugs would be shielded under a proposal sent Wednesday to the governor.


3 men accused of trying to sell arms to terrorists

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 06:19
NEW YORK (AP) — Three men arrested in Montenegro have been charged in a New York court with conspiring to kill Americans and aid terrorists and have been labeled by prosecutors as international arms traffickers.

U.S. policy shift finally rewards Cuba-focused fund manager

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 06:18
By David Randall (Reuters) - After twenty years, Thomas Herzfeld’s long bet on Cuba is paying off. The Miami Beach-based portfolio manager behind the $25.3 million Herzfeld Caribbean Basin fund, the only Cuba-focused fund in the United States, watched its shares soar more than 40 percent at one point on Wednesday after President Barack Obama's surprise move to thaw relations with the island nation. Herzfeld, 69, said he launched his fund in 1994 inspired by his daughter, who was 16 at the time and had many Cuban-American friends in school. ...

A fresh setback for efforts to cure HIV infection

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 06:17
Researchers are reporting another disappointment for efforts to cure infection with the AIDS virus. Six patients given blood-cell transplants similar to one that cured a man known as "the Berlin patient" have failed, and all six patients died.

Indictments in West Virginia chemical spill case

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 06:10
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — Four former chemical company executives and two lower-level employees have been charged in a January spill that contaminated a river and left 300,000 residents around West Virginia's capital without usable water for drinking and bathing for days.

Bush makes surprise visit to Sept. 11 museum

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 06:05
NEW YORK (AP) — Former President George W. Bush made a surprise visit to the Sept. 11 museum in New York City over the weekend.

1st Florida gay divorce granted by judge

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 06:04
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — The first formal divorce for a gay couple in Florida history was granted Wednesday by a Broward County judge who used the case to join other judges in declaring the state's ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

Oldest U.S. black college on verge of financial collapse

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 06:03
By David DeKok HARRISBURG, Penn. (Reuters) - The nation's oldest black college, Cheyney University, one of Pennsylvania's 14 state-run universities, is on the verge of a financial meltdown that threatens its ability to continue operating, a state official said on Wednesday. Cheyney's student body has shrunk by two-thirds, to about 1,000, since its 1983 peak, and its four-year graduation rate is just 9 percent. A quarter of students never receive a degree, and student loan defaults are high. "Cheyney is in dire, dire, dire straits," the state's auditor general, Eugene DePasquale, said. ...

Immigrants closer to driver's licenses in Arizona

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 06:03
PHOENIX (AP) — Thousands of young immigrants moved a step closer to getting driver's licenses in Arizona when the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday rebuffed the governor's latest attempt to deny them the privilege.

Regal, AMC theaters cancel 'The Interview' showings

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 06:02

Sony Pictures cancels Dec. 25 release of 'The Interview'The top theater chains in North America have dropped "The Interview" after hackers threatened terrorist attacks at theaters showing the comedy, effectively squashing the Christmas Day release of the film.


Senior U.S. senator seeks study of impact of Cuba trade restrictions

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 06:01
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democratic Senator Ron Wyden, chairman of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, asked the International Trade Commission on Wednesday to begin a study of the economic impact on the United States of current restrictions on exports to Cuba. He said the study, ordered in light of President Barack Obama's easing of trade restrictions on Cuba, would assess the effect of restrictions on exports of goods and services and travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens. ...

Freed American endured years of declining health

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 05:58
WASHINGTON (AP) — Alan Gross spent five years wasting away in a Cuban prison, losing hope that he would ever be free and at one point apparently contemplating suicide. He dropped more than 100 pounds, developed hip problems and lost most of the vision in one eye.

AP Interview: McConnell wants to stop coal rules

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 05:57

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., talks about his agenda for a GOP-controlled Congress during an interview with The Associated Press on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. McConnell says approving the Keystone XL pipeline will top the Senate agenda in January. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)WASHINGTON (AP) — Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., pledged on Wednesday to do all he can to stop President Barack Obama's coal plant regulations, saying a White House "crusade" has devastated his state's economy.


Jeb Bush says Obama shift on Cuba undermines U.S. credibility

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 05:39
By Gabriel Debenedetti WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Potential Republican 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush on Wednesday criticized the White House's move to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba, calling the shift a "dramatic overreach" of President Barack Obama's executive authority. "Cuba is a dictatorship with a disastrous human rights record, and now President Obama has rewarded those dictators," Bush, the former governor of Florida, a key state with a large Cuban-American population, said in a statement. ...

Thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations won't affect baseball right away: experts

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 05:38
By Steve Ginsburg WASHINGTON (Reuters) - There will be no immediate flow of top Cuban players into Major League Baseball despite the major U.S. policy shift toward the communist-run island, experts on baseball in Cuba said on Wednesday. Any move to let Cuban players leave their country freely will not happen for at least several years, said author Pete Bjarkman, who has written extensively about Cuban baseball. "I don't think it will have any real visible immediate impact," Bjarkman said of the policy change. "Cuba wants to maintain its strong baseball at home. ...

Officers cleared in killing of FSU gunman

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 05:38
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Grand jurors called actions of police "heroic" and cleared five officers of all wrongdoing in killing a gunman who shot at students at a Florida State University library.

Mom driving van of kids pleads not guilty in chase

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 05:37
ALBUQURQUE, N.M. (AP) — A Tennessee woman has pleaded not guilty in a chaotic 2013 traffic stop and chase during which a New Mexico State Police officer shot at her minivan full of children.

Dentist suspended; patient died after teeth pulled

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 05:35

Dentist Rashmi Patel, center, sits with supporters at a hearing of the Connecticut State Dental Commission in Hartford, Conn., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Officials suspended Patel's license pending a comprehensive review of his practice after finding he didn't properly care for two patients, including a woman who died in February while having 20 teeth extracted at Patel's Enfield office. (AP Photo/Dave Collins)HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A dentist whose patient died after developing complications while getting 20 teeth pulled and several implants installed will not be allowed to work until after a comprehensive review of his practice.