By Elizabeth Barber BOSTON (Reuters) - A Massachusetts judge refused to toss out murder and firearms charges against ex-New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez in last summer's killing of a semi-professional soccer player. Bristol Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh in a ruling late Thursday rejected the defense's argument that prosecutors lack probable cause to charge Hernandez in the execution-style slaying of Odin Lloyd, 27, near Hernandez's home in North Attleborough, Massachusetts, about 30 miles (48 km) south of Boston. Hernandez, 24, has pleaded not guilty to all charges, including five counts related to illegal firearms possession. A tight end and one of the league's top franchises, Hernandez had been a rising NFL star before he lost his $41 million contract with the New England Patriots.
By Ros Krasny WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Overall U.S. food inflation will remain near the historic norm in 2014, even as prices for meat and seafood are pushed higher by disease and widespread drought, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said on Friday. Prices for shelf-stable and processed items made by companies such as General Mills and Kraft Foods Group are relatively flat. "It appears that supermarkets are maintaining minimal price inflation on packaged food products, possibly in an effort to keep prices competitive in light of rising cost pressures for most perishable items," the USDA said.
FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake was attending a ceremony for a judicial colleague when he received an urgent — and unusual — request: Lawyers for a condemned inmate wanted him to stop an execution that didn't seem to be working.