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Yahoo! National News

North Carolina man to be freed 19 years after wrongful conviction

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 08:13

Darryl Anthony HowardA North Carolina man who spent nearly two decades in prison for murder will be released as early as this week as he awaits a new trial. Darryl Anthony Howard, 52, was awarded a new trial in May after a judge found misconduct during his 1995 conviction. On Tuesday, a state appeals court denied prosecutors’ request to keep Howard behind bars until they try him again, paving the way for his release. Seema Saifee, one of Howard’s attorneys, delivered the news to him by phone early Tuesday.

Charges detailed for Utah ex-attorney generals

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 08:12
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — After investigating for more than a year, authorities on Tuesday arrested two former Utah attorneys general on charges of bribery, misusing public funds and other counts. Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill on Tuesday laid out allegations against John Swallow and Mark Shurtleff that involve gold coins, luxury houseboats and jets and thousands of dollars in cash or campaign contributions. Swallow and Shurtleff, both Republicans, have denied wrongdoing and the accusations against them.

LA may get first Latino fire chief in its history

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 08:06
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles may be getting the first Latino fire chief in the department's 128-year history.

Obama, Germany's Merkel speak amid spying flap

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:56
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has spoken with German Chancellor Angela Merkel about cooperation between the United States and Germany.

2 ex-Utah attorneys general charged with bribery

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:55

This combination of Tuesday, July 15, 2014 photos provided by the Salt Lake County Sheriff shows former Utah attorneys general Mark Shurtleff, left, and John Swallow who were taken into custody Tuesday as part of a bribery investigation. The arrests come just over a year after two county attorneys began scrutinizing Shurtleff and Swallow's relationships with several businessmen in trouble with regulators. (AP Photo/Salt Lake County Sheriff)SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Two former Utah attorneys general were arrested on an array of bribery charges Tuesday stemming from cozy relationships with several businessmen, a stunning fall for a pair of politicians who built immense political clout in their years at the highest level of state law enforcement.

California high court softens 'three strikes' law

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:54
By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - (This July 11, 2014, story was corrected in paragraph 6 to show courts, not the state, could reconsider cases ) California's highest court has softened implementation of the state's "three-strikes-and-you're-out" criminal sentencing law, marking the second time the rules for identifying and imprisoning career criminals have been loosened in recent years. "The voting public would reasonably have understood the 'Three Strikes' baseball metaphor to mean that a person would have three chances - three swings of the bat if you will - before the harshest penalty could be imposed," Associate Justice Kathryn Werdegar wrote in the court's opinion, released late on Thursday.

Dozens of trains haul volatile Bakken oil to NY weekly: railroads

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:50

A crude oil train moves past the loading rack at the Eighty-Eight Oil LLC's transloading facility in Ft. LaramieAs many as 44 trains loaded with volatile Bakken crude oil are being sent through the state of New York each week, according to confidential disclosures made by railroads to state emergency responders, and released to Reuters through a Freedom of Information Law request. The disclosures come as New York and other states grapple with health and safety risks posed by a recent surge in oil-by-rail cargoes, following at least six fiery derailments of trains carrying Bakken oil in North America since last July. The New York State Emergency Response Commission released disclosures from railroads CSX Corp and Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd on Tuesday. They estimate the number of trains carrying at least 1 million gallons of crude oil from the Bakken region that each railroad sends through New York weekly.

U.S. says deportation of Honduran children a warning to illegal migrants

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:43

Handout photo of women and children at the Ramon Villeda international airport in San Pedro Sula after deportation from U.S.By Steve Holland and Gabriel Stargardter WASHINGTON/TEGUCIGALPA (Reuters) - The White House said on Tuesday that Central Americans trying to cross the U.S. border should know "they will not be welcome to this country," a day after the United States deported a planeload of women and children to Honduras. A charter flight on Monday from New Mexico to San Pedro Sula, the city with the highest murder rate in the world, transported 17 Honduran women, as well as 12 girls and nine boys between the ages of 18 months and 15 years. White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the return of the Hondurans should be a clear signal to those thinking about crossing the border illegally that "they're entitled to due process but they will not be welcome to this country with open arms." The return of the Hondurans was the most high-profile example of President Barack Obama's struggle to gain control of an influx of child migrants from Central America that is overwhelming immigration resources and leading to scattered protests from people angry at the government for housing some border-crossers in communities around the country.

Tenn. leaders downplay union debate at VW plant

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:40
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee leaders downplayed the often public wrangling over organized labor's role at Volkswagen's Chattanooga factory on Tuesday, focusing on the company's recent announcement that it would add a new line there to produce a seven-passenger SUV.

Appeals court overturns Missouri stay of execution

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:39

FILE - In this 2007 file photo provided by the Missouri Department of Corrections is John Middleton. Middleton is scheduled to die for the 1995 murder of Alfred Pinegar, a suspected drug snitch in rural Missouri. (AP Photo/Missouri Department of Corrections, File)ST. LOUIS (AP) — A three-judge federal appeals court panel on Tuesday overturned a stay of execution for a condemned Missouri man, hours before he was scheduled to be put to death.

Court upholds University of Texas affirmative action plan

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:37

Students calling for diversity protest outside the U.S. Supreme Court in WashingtonA federal appeals court upheld the use of race by University of Texas at Austin in undergraduate admissions, a victory for affirmative action proponents, one year after the U.S. Supreme Court ordered closer scrutiny of the school's practices. By a 2-1 vote, a panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday said the state's flagship university had justified its limited use of race to achieve diversity, given a lack of workable alternatives. A contrary ruling "would hobble the richness of the educational experience," Judge Patrick Higginbotham wrote for the majority. "University education is more the shaping of lives than the filling of heads with facts." Opponents pledged to appeal, which could give the Supreme Court a chance to again review the case in its next term.

Lawyer: Mother of boy left in hot car devastated

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:34
ATLANTA (AP) — A lawyer for a suburban Atlanta woman whose husband was arrested after their son was left for hours in a hot SUV said Tuesday that she is devastated by the boy's death.

North Carolina pastors rally for gay marriage ban

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:31

Pastor Patrick Wooden, front left, and Rev. Mark Creech, right, executive director of the Christian Action league of North Carolina, join other pastors from around the state at the Old Capitol in Raleigh, N.C., Tuesday, July 15, 2014 to call on Gov. Pat McCrory to defend traditional marriage in North Carolina before a Court of Appeals judge is set to rule on the issue. When McCrory, a Republican, ran for governor in 2012, he supported the state amendment that defined marriage as between a man and woman, but the socially moderate governor has said little on recent lawsuits challenging it. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)Pastors on Tuesday called on North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory to defend that state's constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in the face of lawsuits from same-sex couples in the state and around the country.

Man sentenced to 5 years in synagogue shooting

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:28
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A 22-year-old Salt Lake City man has been sentenced to five years in prison for shooting out windows at a Utah synagogue two years ago in what prosecutors considered a religiously motivated attack.

AP names Beelman Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas Editor

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:27

This Feb. 2, 2009 photo shows Maud Beelman in Dallas. On Tuesday, July 15, 2014, Beelman, a veteran investigative journalist who as a foreign correspondent covered the reunification of Germany and the wars in the former Yugoslavia, has been named to a new position overseeing news coverage and editorial operations for The Associated Press in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Beelman, 56, joins the AP from The Dallas Morning News, where she is deputy managing editor for investigations and enterprise. (AP Photo/The Dallas Morning News, Evans Caglage)DALLAS (AP) — Maud Beelman, a veteran investigative journalist who as a foreign correspondent covered the reunification of Germany and the wars in the former Yugoslavia, has been named to a new position overseeing news coverage and editorial operations for The Associated Press in Arkansas, Oklahoma and Texas.

Immigration activist Vargas detained and released in Texas

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:22
By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) - Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, an undocumented immigrant and prominent activist, was detained for several hours on Tuesday after being stopped at a security checkpoint at an airport in the border city of McAllen, Texas. The U.S. Border Patrol said agents apprehended Vargas "after he stated that he was in the country illegally." He was later released on his own recognizance and provided with a notice to appear before an immigration judge.

Man faces 3 murder counts in California rampage

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:20

Pasadena emergency services operator Diane Marin, left, speaks during a news conference in Pasadena, Calif., on Monday, July 14, 2014. During a 20-minute emergency phone call, Marin talked to a barricaded suspect, who called Saturday afternoon and said, "I killed someone." She persuaded the man to surrender while another operator relayed information to officers surrounding the house where he was holed up. Alexis Bartoli, the other emergency services operator is at left. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — A man arrested after a weekend shooting rampage in Pasadena has been charged with three counts of murder.

U.S. judge stays Missouri execution of convicted killer

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:15
A federal judge in Missouri on Tuesday stayed the impending execution of a 54-year-old man convicted of three drug-related murders after the inmate's lawyers lodged a series of appeals, including arguments he is mentally incompetent and innocent. John Middleton was scheduled to die by lethal injection in the execution chamber at the Missouri state prison in Bonne Terre at 12:01 a.m. CDT on Wednesday.     But U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry issued a stay in response to arguments by Middleton's attorneys that he is not competent to be executed.     The inmate made "a substantial threshold showing of insanity" and provided evidence showing he had been diagnosed with a variety of mental health disorders after a long history of abusing methamphetamine and other drugs, Perry ruled. Middleton is entitled to a hearing to present evidence about his mental status, the judge said in her ruling.     The Missouri Attorney General's Office filed a motion to vacate the stay with the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that Middleton's claim of mental incompetency was not valid and was a last-ditch effort to create an "artificial time shortage" so he could gain a stay.

Police: Jersey City shootings part of job's danger

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:15

A makeshift memorial is seen for Jersey City Police officer Melvin Santiago, who was killed while on duty at the West District precinct, Tuesday, July 15, 2014, in Jersey City, N.J. Officer Santiago was shot in the head while still in his police vehicle as he and his partner responded to an armed robbery call at about 4.a.m., on Sunday, July 13. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — Authorities in Jersey City, already on edge following the ambush-killing of a rookie police officer over the weekend, said an officer shot a man Tuesday morning who authorities say had attacked him and his partner with a sharpened fence post.

Maryland insurance executive plotted to kill judge: court documents

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 07/16/2014 - 07:11
By John Clarke ANNAPOLIS Md. (Reuters) - A Maryland executive charged with lying to insurance regulators was allegedly plotting to kill a judge handling his case, according to federal court documents. Searches of the home, office and vehicle of Jeffrey Cohen turned up extensive evidence of the alleged plot and a cache of weapons, according to the documents filed in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Cohen, 39, former president of the Indemnity Insurance Corp, was arrested in June and charged with lying to Delaware insurance regulators.