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After 22 years on death row, woman sees murder case tossed

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:41

FILE - In this Aug. 1, 2013, file photo, Debra Jean Milke listens to a judge during a hearing at Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix. Milke, a former Arizona death row inmate whose conviction in the killing of her son was overturned, has filed a lawsuit alleging that law enforcement officials violated her civil rights. Milke filed the lawsuit Friday, March 13, 2015, against the city of Phoenix, Maricopa County and numerous individuals. She contends she was denied a fair trial. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File)PHOENIX (AP) — An Arizona woman who spent more than two decades on death row in her 4-year-old son's killing saw her murder charge dismissed Monday, bringing an end to a controversial case that relied almost entirely on the work of a detective with a long history of misconduct.

Ex-NFL star Sharper admits to sexual assaults in California, Arizona

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:39

Former NFL star Darren Sharper appears at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center in Los AngelesBy Daina Beth Solomon and Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Former NFL star Darren Sharper admitted in court on Monday to drugging and raping women in California and Arizona and was expected to plead guilty in similar Nevada and Louisiana cases in plea deals prosecutors say will land him in prison for at least nine years. Appearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Sharper entered a plea of no-contest, the legal equivalent of guilty, to two counts of rape by use of drugs and four counts of furnishing a controlled substance, the prescription sleep medication Zolpidem, sold under the brand name Ambien. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office said the five-time Pro Bowl National Football League safety was expected to be sentenced to 20 years in prison under the terms of his plea deal there. Formal sentencing on the California charges was set for July 15.

Washington state auditor says federal probe may be linked to a past business

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:37
By Victoria Cavaliere SEATTLE (Reuters) - Washington state auditor Troy Kelley, whose home was searched last week by U.S. Treasury Department agents, said on Monday he was aware federal investigators had questions about his former company's finances but was puzzled as to what they might be trying to uncover. Kelley returned to work in Olympia on Monday following a pre-planned vacation last week during which his home was searched by federal agents and his office turned over documents subpoenaed by the U.S. Department of Justice. "I am aware the U.S. Attorney has questions about some financial activities related to my prior business, The Post Closing Department," he said in a statement. No case or papers had been filed in federal court by Monday morning.

Chicago police use stop-and-frisk excessively: ACLU report

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:30
By Fiona Ortiz CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Chicago Police Department defended its policing tactics on Monday after the American Civil Liberties Union reported what it said were excessive stop-and-frisk searches compared with other U.S. cities. The ACLU said that its study of a four-month period last year showed "that African Americans are disproportionately subjected to stops when compared to their white counterparts. Black Chicagoans were subjected to 72 percent of all stops, yet constitute just 32 percent of the city's population." The ACLU issued the report at a time of increased scrutiny of policing practices and nationwide protests over the shooting and chokehold deaths of unarmed African American men. When Chicago police stop someone on the street but don't make an arrest, they fill out a contact card about the person and the reason for the stop.

Mother charged with fatally attacking 3 children in Florida

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:26
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A mother in Florida strangled her two young boys and drowned her little girl, police said Monday.

For business, more women in charge means bigger profits

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:25

In this photo taken Friday, Jan. 30, 2015, aromatherapist Emma Arkell poses for a portrait with one of the natural remedies for the skin and body she makes near Winchester, England. Evidence is growing that gender equity is not just politically correct window-dressing, but good business. Yet while companies are trying to increase the number of women in executive positions, many are struggling because of a failure to adapt workplace conditions in a way that ensures qualified women do not drop off the corporate ladder. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)LONDON (AP) — When Rohini Anand took over diversity programs at multinational catering company Sodexo in 2002, she had one goal: To prove that it pays for a company to have equal numbers of male and female managers.

Things to know about the UVa gang rape investigation

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:22
The investigation of an alleged gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house found no evidence of the attack. Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo detailed the investigation at a news conference Monday. Here are the highlights:

New Orleans judge declares Robert Durst major flight risk, denies bail

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:22

Murder suspect Robert Durst is seen with a newly shaved head as he sits in a hearing, in this court sketch in New OrleansBy Jonathan Kaminsky NEW ORLEANS (Reuters) - Robert Durst, the real estate scion awaiting extradition to California to face a murder charge, was denied bail on Monday after a judge deemed him to be a potential danger to others and a likely flight risk. Durst, recently featured in the HBO documentary "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst," must remain in Louisiana on local weapons charges at least until his next court date on April 2, Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell ruled. Durst's lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, did not seek bail but argued his client's arrest and the search of his hotel room earlier this month in New Orleans were improper, and that investigators wrongly interviewed him without counsel present. The HBO documentary broadcast Durst being presented with evidence that his handwriting appeared to match that of Berman's likely killer.

2 injured in Mayfair dirt bike accident

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:19

2 injured in Mayfair dirt bike accidentAuthorities are investigating an accident involving a dirt bike in the Mayfair section of Philadelphia.

Obamacare subsidies likely expanded insurance coverage: report

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:18

A man sits at a health insurance enrollment event in Cudahy, CaliforniaBy Susan Cornwell WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Early evidence suggests that the tax credit subsidies at the core of President Barack Obama's healthcare reform law likely helped expand U.S. health insurance coverage last year, Congress's non-partisan research arm said on Monday. The subsidies - which can be paid by the federal government to insurers in advance to lower monthly insurance premiums - significantly reduced the premium costs, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said in a report. "Surveys GAO identified estimated that the uninsured rate declined significantly among households with incomes eligible for the APTC (Advanced Premium Tax Credit)," the GAO said.

Madoff feeder fund settles; victims' recovery tops $10.6 billion

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:16
By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - The trustee recovering money for Bernard Madoff's victims on Monday announced a settlement to recoup $93 million from a "feeder fund" that sent client money to the swindler's firm, boosting the total sum raised to roughly $10.65 billion. Irving Picard, the trustee, said the settlement calls for the Defender Ltd feeder fund to receive a $522.8 million claim in the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC because it deposited more there than it withdrew.

Protesters call for charges in San Francisco police shooting

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:13
By Emmett Berg SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Protesters rallied outside a San Francisco police station on Monday, calling for prosecutors to reverse course and file charges against officers who shot and killed a man who pointed a stun gun at them in a city park, firing a total of 59 shots. The death of Alex Nieto, 28, in a hail of police bullets on March 21, 2014, pre-dates recent police killings of unarmed black men that have touched off a nationwide wave of demonstrations over the use of deadly force against minorities. Prosecutors last month declined to file charges against the four San Francisco police officers who opened fire on Nieto in Bernal Hill Park, saying they believed the Taser electroshock device he was holding was a gun. In calling for the San Francisco District Attorney's Office to reconsider that decision, activists said they were skeptical of the police version of events and that investigators did not interview a key witness in the case.

Franklin Templeton files opening brief in appeal of Stockton, CA, bankruptcy exit plan

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:06
(Reuters) - The holdout creditor in Stockton, California's bankruptcy case filed its opening brief in an appeal of the city's reorganization plan on Monday, claiming "no bondholder has ever received so little in the history of municipal bankruptcy." The creditor, two funds managed by Franklin Templeton Investments, said Stockton's plan to exit Chapter 9 bankruptcy was discriminatory and punitive. Franklin said it would receive less than 1 percent of its $30.5 million unsecured claim in the case, now before the U.S. Bankruptcy Appellate Panel of the Ninth Circuit. The brief claimed that by confirming a plan providing such a small distribution, compared with recoveries of 52 percent to 100 percent for other unsecured claims, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Christopher Klein erred in backing Stockton's exit plan. "The court's errors of law, and the erroneous findings of fact on which those conclusions were premised, require reversal and remand with a direction for the city to fashion equitable plan treatment for Franklin," the brief said.

Good Samaritan struck by robbery suspect's car in Upper Chichester

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:04

Good Samaritan struck by robbery suspect's car in Upper ChichesterPolice say a good Samaritan was struck by a car while attempting to stop the vehicle from fleeing the scene of a robbery in Upper Chichester Monday morning.

Zimmerman blames Obama for racial tensions after Trayvon Martin shooting

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 06:01
By Letitia Stein TAMPA, Fla. (Reuters) - George Zimmerman, acquitted of murder charges in the shooting death of an unarmed black teen in Florida, said in a videotaped interview that President Barack Obama stoked racial tensions in the case. The former Florida neighborhood watch volunteer said he felt liberated after federal prosecutors last month decided not to press civil rights charges in the 2012 death of Trayvon Martin. "Now is the perfect time to speak my mind without fear of retaliation," Zimmerman told one of his attorneys, Howard Iken, in a March 8 interview, released to the media on Monday.

Victim attacked by large group at SEPTA subway station

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 05:58

Victim attacked by large group at SEPTA subway stationPhiladelphia police have just released video of a large group of young people attacking another person at a SEPTA subway station in Center City.

Arkansas moves to resume executions after 10-year hiatus

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 05:53
By Steve Barnes LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (Reuters) - A decade after the last execution in Arkansas, a ruling by the state's Supreme Court has moved the state back on a path to resuming capital punishment by lethal injection. The Arkansas court ruling was applauded by the Republican-dominated government that took office in January, wanting to resume executions of the 33 people on the state's death row, and residents, with opinion polls showing strong support for capital punishment. "Obviously they are all in a very perilous situation," said Jeff Rosenzweig, a Little Rock attorney who represents four of the eight prisoners at the front of the line for execution. There are about 1,000 U.S. inmates who have been sentenced to death in states like Arkansas, California and Pennsylvania that have not conducted any execution for years because of political or judicial reasons.

Maker of Louisville Slugger bats selling brand to Wilson

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 05:52

A Wilson baseball glove and a Louisville slugger bat sit on the field prior to a spring training baseball game between the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants on Monday, March 23, 2015, in Scottsdale, Ariz. Hillerich & Bradsby Co., the company that made bats for a who's who of baseball greats, including Babe Ruth and Ted Williams, announced a deal Monday to sell its Louisville Slugger brand to rival Wilson Sporting Goods Co. for $70 million. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Over a century of family ownership of Louisville Slugger bats is going ... going ... nearly gone.

Freedom Industries pleads guilty to pollution charges

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 05:51
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — A now-bankrupt chemical company pleaded guilty Monday to three pollution charges related to last year's spill that contaminated a West Virginia river.

Nation's mayors call for more federal transportation funding

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 03/24/2015 - 05:43

Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges addresses members of the media during an availability after a U.S. Conference of Mayor's Cities of Opportunity Task Force session at historic Faneuil Hall Monday, March 23, 2015, in Boston. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, left, looks on as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio talks with a colleague. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)BOSTON (AP) — The nation's mayors are calling on Congress to increase transportation funding in order to keep roads and bridges in good repair.