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APNewsBreak: Report says 640,200 Syrians in besieged areas

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 06:21

FILE - In this Sunday Feb. 9, 2014, file photo, provided by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian army soldiers, top background, look on as two women walk towards a bus to evacuate the battleground city of Homs, Syria, where a Syrian Red Crescent official says around 300 more people were evacuated from besieged rebel-held neighborhoods in the area. A report due out the week of March 23, 2015, says the number of Syrian people living in besieged areas is at least three times as high as the official estimate and is closer to 650,000, while offering a graphic accounting of hundreds of deaths in communities that the world has struggled to reach for years. (AP Photo/SANA, File)UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Nearly 650,000 Syrians are living in besieged communities in the country's civil war, more than three times the U.N. estimate, according to a new report that offers a graphic account of hundreds of deaths in areas the world has struggled for years to reach.

Penn St students protest against frat over nude photo posts

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 06:21

Students and others demonstrate on the Penn State campus in support of women police say were depicted on Kappa Delta Rho fraternity's private Facebook pages, Friday, March 20, 2015, in State College, Pa. Police are investigating allegations Kappa Delta Rho fraternity members used two secret Facebook pages to post photos of nude females, some of whom appeared to be sleeping or passed out, as well as posts relating to hazing or drug deals. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — More than 100 Penn State University students and other supporters demonstrated Friday against a fraternity accused of posting photos of nude or partly nude women, some asleep or passed out, on an invitation-only Facebook page, urging the administration to take stronger action against those involved.

Lawsuit: Dangerous arsenic levels found in California wine

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 06:18

File - In this May 20, 2009 file photo a glass of white wine is swirled during a tasting in Oakville, Calif. More than two dozen California vintners are facing a lawsuit claiming their wines contain dangerously high levels of arsenic. The industry group Wine Institute dismissed the allegations as "false and misleading." (AP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dozens of bottles of low-priced California wines sold under such labels as Franzia, Mogen David and Almaden contain dangerously high levels of arsenic, according to a lawsuit filed by four California residents.

Utah sues water utility serving polygamous towns on Arizona border

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 06:11
By Peg McEntee SALT LAKE CITY (Reuters) - Utah's attorney general has filed a lawsuit against a water utility that serves two polygamous church-run towns on the Utah-Arizona border, arguing it has not paid a Utah state trust that owns most of the land in the towns. Attorney General Sean Reyes' office is asking a court to dissolve Twin City Water Works Inc, which supplies Hildale, Utah, and Colorado City, Arizona, home to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The sect is not affiliated with the Salt Lake City-based Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which renounced polygamy in 1890. Warren Jeffs, leader of the sect, is serving life plus 20 years in Texas on a 2011 conviction of sexual assault charges related to his marriages with underage girls.

Colorado girl tried to poison mom twice for taking iPhone: police

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 06:10
By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - Police on Friday arrested a 12-year-old Colorado girl accused of trying to kill her mother twice by poisoning her with bleach for taking away her iPhone, authorities said. Boulder County Sheriff's Commander Heidi Prentup said in a statement that the mother drank the caustic fluid on one of the two attempts, which both happened within a week this month. On March 2, the girl poured bleach into a breakfast smoothie that she had prepared for her mother, Prentup said. "Mom noticed an odor of bleach in the drink and thought her daughter had cleaned the glass prior to making the beverage and did not rinse all the bleach out," the police statement said.

NC State temporarily bans alcohol at most fraternity events after sex assault allegation, book

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 06:08
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — NC State temporarily bans alcohol at most fraternity events after sex assault allegation, book.

Defrocked Northern California priest faces deportation

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 06:02
WOODLAND, Calif. (AP) — Federal immigration authorities have arrested a former Northern California priest and are preparing to deport him to Mexico after he admitted having unlawful sex with a 16-year-old altar girl.

Group completes 900-mile trek through Florida for wildlife

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 06:02

In this Jan. 23, 2015 photo provided by Carlton Ward Jr. a West Indian manatee swims in the Three Sisters Springs in the Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge near the Gulf of Mexico, Fla. On Thursday, March 19, 2015, members of the Florida Wildlife Corridor Expedition completed their 900-mile trek across Florida to raise awareness for habitat conservation and native wildlife. As Florida’s human population has expanded, conservation lands have become increasingly isolated from one another, causing problems for numerous species of wildlife. (AP Photo/, Carlton Ward Jr.)??GULF ISLANDS NATIONAL SEASHORE, Fla. (AP) — Tampa-based photographer and ecologist Carlton Ward Jr. traveled the world for breathtaking landscape and wildlife images before he turned his lens on what he terms his own backyard — the swamps, forests and beaches of Florida. Ward and two other conservations hiked, biked and paddled more than 900 miles during a 70-day journey that began in the Orlando area and ended late Thursday at Gulf Islands National Seashore near Pensacola Beach.

Autopsy of black man found hanging from Mississippi tree may yield clues

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 05:46

Handout of Otis Byrd in Jackson, MississippiBy Therese Apel PORT GIBSON, Miss. (Reuters) - Authorities conducted an autopsy on Friday on a black man found hanging from a tree in Mississippi to help determine whether his death was a homicide or a suicide, as about 30 investigators searched the area for clues. Otis Byrd, 54, who had been missing since March 2 when a friend dropped him off at the Riverwalk Casino in Vicksburg, was found in a wooded area about half a mile from his home in a rural part of western Mississippi on Thursday, authorities said. The FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division are investigating the death with state and local officials. "We're going to hold off on coming to any conclusions until really the facts take us to a definitive answer that we're all seeking." Preliminary autopsy results, which are expected next week, will help guide the investigation, Claiborne County Sheriff Marvin Lucas said.

CORRECTS: FBI says 30 state, federal, local investigators probing hanging death in Mississippi

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 05:44
PORT GIBSON, Miss. (AP) — CORRECTS: FBI says 30 state, federal, local investigators probing hanging death in Mississippi. (Corrects APNewsAlert to show that 30 investigators are from state, local and federal agencies, not only federal.)

Illinois man freed after 20 years in prison gets $20 million

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 05:44
By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - An Illinois man who was freed from prison after 20 years for a murder he did not commit was awarded $20 million in a settlement - the highest individual settlement ever given in a wrongful conviction case, his lawyers said on Friday. Juan Rivera, 42, was cleared by DNA evidence of the 1992 rape and murder of 11-year-old Holly Staker in Waukegan, a city about 40 miles north of Chicago. Rivera was coerced into a false confession, and his conviction was not an accident or a mistake, attorney Locke Bowman told a news conference. He thanked his attorneys, and noted that other unjustly accused people are still incarcerated in Illinois and around the world.

Florida woman accused of chaining grandchildren to washing machine

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 05:36
By Barbara Liston ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) - A 58-year-old Florida woman accused of forcing her grandchildren to sleep chained to her washing machine by dog collars and leashes, was released from jail on Friday on a $5,000 bond, according to court records. A spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Children and Family Services (DCF) said the children were placed into a foster home after the arrest of their grandmother, Linda Brantly, on aggravated child abuse on Wednesday. The children, whose ages were not given, had been in the custody of Brantly, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department's arrest report. One of the children demonstrated for an officer how they would lie down on the laundry room's tile floor and place the dog collar on their wrists to sleep without blankets or a pillow, according to the arrest report.

Commuters beware: Fares set to rise on NYC's mass transit

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 05:36
NEW YORK (AP) — Commuters, brace yourselves: The price of traveling on New York City's mass transit system is about to get even steeper.

No tornadoes reported anywhere across US in March

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 05:33

File - In this May 20, 2013 file photo, Moore police dig through the rubble of the Plaza Towers Elementary School following a tornado in Moore, Okla.There have been fewer tornadoes nationwide through the month of March than in the past 10 years. In Oklahoma, two years after deadly tornadoes ripped into the state's midsection, there could be a second straight year of an uneventful tornado season. It's part of what forecasters are calling a 'tornado drought. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)TULSA, Okla. (AP) — With only about two-dozen twisters recorded so far this year during a period when 100 or more are typical, the U.S. appears to be in a tornado drought as cool, stable air prevents the ingredients of the violent storms from coming together, meteorologists said Friday.

Northeast gets another blast of winter on 1st day of spring

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 05:28

Students brave the elements at Penn State Schuylkill Campus in Schuylkill Haven, Pa., Friday, March 20, 2015. Forecasters say a storm will dump up to 6 inches of snow on the Northeast and mid-Atlantic on Friday. New England will be on the lower end of the snow totals but even Boston, which has seen a record 108.6 inches of snow, could get an inch or more. (AP Photo/Republican-Herald, Jacqueline Dormer)BOSTON (AP) — Just when flowering bulbs were poking out their heads and snow shovels were getting a well-deserved rest, winter weather has returned. And on the first day of spring no less.

U.Va. students grill law enforcement officials about arrest

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 05:26

In this photo provided by Bryan Beaubrun, Martese Johnson is held down by an officer Wednesday, March 18, 2015, in Charlottesville, Va. Court records show that Johnson was charged with obstruction of justice without force and public swearing or intoxication. The Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is calling for an investigation into the arrest of the student. (AP Photo/Bryan Beaubrun)CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — University of Virginia students demanded answers about an arrest that left a classmate injured, and some were not satisfied with what they heard Friday during a forum with law enforcement officers.

California high court takes up man's murder conviction again

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 05:26
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The California Supreme Court agreed to reconsider its decision not to overturn the murder conviction of a man charged with the slaying of his wife nearly 20 years ago.

Capitol Hill Buzz: House Judiciary Committee enlists GIFs

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 05:24
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House Judiciary Committee includes some of President Barack Obama's fiercest critics on immigration. That doesn't mean they can't have fun.

Kids of comedian killed in Tracy Morgan crash get $10 million settlement

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 05:23
By Patricia Reaney NEW YORK (Reuters) - The children of the comedian James McNair, who was killed in a highway crash that injured fellow comic Tracy Morgan, have reached a $10 million out-of-court-settlement with Wal-Mart Stores Inc, according to court documents. The settlement for the June 7 crash last year was initially announced in January with terms of the agreement confidential. "We deeply regret the loss of Mr. McNair as a result of the accident." The court documents, first revealed by the news website, show that Wal-Mart and the comedian's family wanted the sum to remain confidential because financial damage could result to Walmart, as well as concerns about the safety risk to McNair's children. McNair, 62, died after the limousine bus he was traveling in on the New Jersey Turnpike was rear-ended by a Wal-Mart truck when he was returning with Morgan and others from a comedy performance in Delaware.

Top New Hampshire lawmaker wants apology on abortion comment

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 03/21/2015 - 05:21
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire's House speaker on Friday called on a state representative to apologize for invoking abortion during the debate of a group of fourth-graders' bill to name the red-tailed hawk the official state raptor.