BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Thousands of people in an eastern Montana city were told Thursday they can resume using tap water after tests showed no further signs of contamination from a weekend oil spill into a nearby river.
A dead gray whale floated underneath a busy commuter ferry terminal in downtown Seattle, sending a putrid odor onto the dock on Thursday and diverting some passenger ferries to another slip before it was moved to a nearby pier, an official said. Transportation officials had wanted to move the carcass away from the ferry terminal before the busy evening rush hour. "It's the smell," said Susan Harris, a spokeswoman with Washington State Ferries. "More than anything, it's upsetting for people to see." Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) would soon move the body again to a more remote pier to perform a necropsy and determine cause of death, she said.
By Jane Wardell SYDNEY (Reuters) - The United States has agreed that Australian David Hicks, jailed on terrorism charges for five years at Guantanamo, is innocent, his lawyer said on Friday. Hicks pleaded guilty in 2007 to providing "material support for terrorism" but his legal team claimed that he did so under duress and filed an appeal in late 2013. Lawyer Stephen Kenny said the legal team arguing the appeal has been told the U.S. government did not dispute Hicks' innocence and also admitted that his conviction was not correct. Kenny said he expected to hear within a month whether the Court of Military Commission Review in Washington would quash his conviction.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A fire caused by a dropped kerosene heater swept through a rural trailer home on Thursday, killing three young siblings, whose mother fell out a window trying to save them and couldn't get back in, a sheriff said.
By Elizabeth Daley PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - The Pennsylvania Supreme Court temporarily halted the filing of charges against Attorney General Kathleen Kane in a media leak case while it decides whether the appointment of a special prosecutor assigned to investigate her was legal, her lawyer said on Thursday. The court will hear oral arguments in March to determine whether the appointment of Special Prosecutor Thomas Carluccio by Judge William Carpenter was a potentially illegal conflict of interest, said Lanny Davis, an attorney who represents Kane. "If the Supreme Court rules he is unconstitutional, everything he's done is illegal," Davis said, adding that any investigation into the Democratic attorney general would need to start from scratch. A special grand jury recommended charges of perjury and obstruction against Kane in connection with an allegedly illegal media leak to the Philadelphia Daily News.
NEW YORK (AP) — Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who bent state government to his will for more than 20 years as one of New York's most powerful and canny politicians, was arrested Thursday on charges of taking nearly $4 million in payoffs and kickbacks.