Long a scourge of the back alleys of American life, heroin is spreading across the country. The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman in February only underscored a problem many American communities already were combatting: the rising use of — and deaths from — heroin. Here are five things to know about this issue.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A proposed California bill would force SeaWorld San Diego to stop using killer whales in its iconic shows and to release them from their tanks, the latest blowback that the exotic animal attraction has faced after a documentary criticized the marine park's animal welfare practices.
EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — The death toll from the landslide that hit the Washington town of Oso rose to 33 on Monday, according to the Snohomish County medical examiner's office, which said all but three have been identified.
DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) — Pro-Moscow activists barricaded inside government buildings in eastern Ukraine proclaimed their regions independent Monday and called for a referendum on seceding from Ukraine — an ominous echo of the events that led to Russia's annexation of Crimea.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Severe thunderstorms dumped heavy rains across the Southeast on Monday and caused flash flooding in central Alabama, where crews in small boats and military trucks had to rescue dozens of people from their homes and cars.
(Reuters) - Creditor objections flowed into a U.S. bankruptcy court on Monday, claiming a document supporting Detroit's plan to deal with $18 billion of debt and other obligations is missing crucial details. Labor unions, bond insurers, bondholders, city retiree groups and Michigan county governments met Monday's deadline set by the court and filed laundry lists of objections to the city's disclosure statement. That statement explains how Detroit came to file the biggest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history in July 2013 and how the city plans to treat its scores of secured and unsecured creditors in order to exit bankruptcy. Detroit's biggest union, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 25, whose members face cuts in retirement benefits, wrote that "the city has failed to provide large amounts of critical information." The union also said the city was remiss in not addressing any fallout from pension cuts.
PHOENIX (AP) — A Phoenix woman arrested after leaving her two kids in a hot vehicle during a job interview is fighting to clear her name in court, with the support of a New Jersey woman who has raised more than $91,000 to help her effort.
By Marty Graham SAN DIEGO (Reuters) - The daughter of an Iraqi-American man accused of killing his wife in California in what was first investigated as a hate crime denied under cross-examination by a defense lawyer on Monday that she ever said she wanted her mother dead. Fatima Alhimidi acknowledged telling an uncle's then-girlfriend that she hated her mother because the two had fought over her romance with a local Chaldean Christian boy, a relationship that would be taboo in many Muslim families. I don't think so." The questions appeared to be part of a defense strategy to suggest that the father, 49-year-old Kassim Alhimidi, may not have been the only person with a possible motive for killing the stay-at-home mother of five in her San Diego-area home. When it was his turn to question Alhimidi, San Diego County Deputy District Attorney Kurt Mechals asked her directly if she had anything to do with the crime.
PERTH, Australia (AP) — A concentrated air and sea search was underway in the Indian Ocean on Tuesday after an Australian ship detected faint pings deep underwater in what an official called the "most promising lead" yet in the search for Flight 370.
By Dana Feldman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A drug smuggling boat loaded with roughly a ton of marijuana was found beached on Monday in California near a popular Malibu-area surfing spot, and three people located nearby were detained for questioning, a Los Angeles County sheriff's spokesman said. The so-called panga boat was found at the Leo Carrillo beach, which is popular among local surfers, and was loaded with bundles of marijuana, said Deputy Joseph Baclawski of the Los Angeles sheriff department's special enforcement bureau. "Two thousand pounds (910 kg) is about all these pangas can fit." The past four years have seen an upswing in drug arrests along the Southern California coastline involving the deep V-bottom pangas, although it is rare to find a beached boat loaded with drugs on a popular beach during daylight hours, Baclawski said.
CHICAGO (AP) — Rahm Emanuel has been a force in politics — the mastermind behind a Democratic takeover of Congress, dealmaker in two White Houses and now the hard-charging mayor intent on fixing what ails the nation's third-largest city, no matter whom he ticks off in the process.
HOUSTON (AP) — Attorneys for a U.S. woman accused of fatally stabbing her boyfriend with her stiletto heel used a martial arts expert Monday to demonstrate for jurors how they believe she was attacked on the night of the killing.