WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress' easy renewal of an expiring ban on undetectable plastic guns belies the larger reality that one year after the horrific school shooting in Newtown, Conn., major new firearms restrictions have little chance of enactment anytime soon.
By Sarah McBride SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A Google Inc commuter bus was blocked in San Francisco's Mission district for about a half hour Monday morning, highlighting many residents' growing concern that an influx of affluent technology workers is driving up costs in the city. "San Francisco, not for sale" and "Stop evictions now" numbered among the slogans yellow-vested protesters chanted as they surrounded the double-decker bus. Google's offices are in Mountain View, about 34 miles away from the incident. The protest, organized by an advocacy group called Heart of the City, took aim at private commuter buses which whisk thousands of employees from stops around San Francisco to jobs at technology companies south of the city such as Apple Inc, Facebook Inc and Google.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Narrowly beating a midnight deadline, Congress voted Monday to renew an expiring ban on plastic firearms that can evade airport detection machines. But Republicans blocked an effort to toughen the restrictions — the latest defeat for gun-control forces in the year since the grade school massacre in Newtown, Conn.
U.S. Representative Alan Grayson, a Florida Democrat, lost about $18 million in a scheme involving a Reston, Virginia-based firm that loaned customers funds in exchange for securities posted as collateral, his office said on Monday. The loss was confirmed by Lauren Doney, communications director of Grayson's office in Washington, D.C., who said the firm in question "sold the congressman's collateral without his permission." The head of the firm, William Dean Chapman, was sentenced to a lengthy prison term by a federal court judge in Alexandria, Virginia, last week for defrauding scores of investors of more than $35 million. Prosecutors said Chapman and his company, Alexander Capital Markets, sold stocks and other securities belonging to Grayson without his knowledge or consent, at a time when they should have been held as collateral. "Because the defendant sold it (the collateral), it wasn't there to return to the congressman when his loans matured," Doney added.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Snow and bitter cold snarled traffic and prompted another 1,650 U.S. flight cancellations on Monday, and tens of thousands of people were still without power after January-like weather barged in a month early.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Federal officials said 18 current and former Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies saw themselves as being "above the law" when they engaged in crimes that included beating inmates and jail visitors, falsifying reports, and trying to obstruct an FBI probe of the nation's largest jail system.
PRINCETON, N.J. (AP) — Princeton University has begun vaccinating nearly 6,000 students to try to stop an outbreak of type B meningitis in an unusual federal government-endorsed administration of a drug not generally approved for use in the United States.
By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, California (Reuters) - California pledged on Monday to restore 80,000 acres of the depleted Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta as part of a massive project to send fresh water from mountain streams in the north to farmers and residents in the parched south. The ambitious program would divert water from the Sacramento River above the delta, sending it through massive underground tunnels to provide water for two-thirds of the state's population, from San Jose to San Diego, and thousands of farms.
By Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An elderly U.S. Korean War veteran released from detention in North Korea said on Monday a videotaped "confession" he made was given under duress and that he believed he may have been held in a misunderstanding over his interest in the war. Merrill Newman, 85, said in a statement that he was kept under guard in a North Korean hotel during a detention that lasted over a month, and that his interrogator told him he would be sentenced to jail for 15 years if he did not cooperate. Newman, who was a U.S. special forces soldier during the 1950-53 Korean War and worked with guerrillas fighting behind the lines against the communists in the north, was pulled off a flight on October 26 as he was about to leave the reclusive East Asian nation at the end of a tourist visit. The California native was held for crimes North Korea said he committed during the war, when he was a lieutenant with a U.S. Army unit nicknamed the "White Tigers," serving as an adviser to a group of partisans who fought deep behind enemy lines.