WASHINGTON (AP) — Ending years of last-minute fixes, President Barack Obama on Thursday signed legislation permanently changing how Medicare pays doctors, a rare bipartisan achievement by Democrats and Republicans.
By Natasja Sheriff NEW YORK (Reuters) - The jury in the trial of a former New York deli worker accused of kidnapping and murdering 6-year-old Etan Patz in 1979 adjourned without a verdict on Thursday after a second day of deliberations. In a case that first raised national awareness of the issue of missing and abducted children, Pedro Hernandez confessed to police in 2012 that he had choked the boy, stuffed him in a box and left him in a lower Manhattan alley. Defense attorneys say Hernandez's confession was coerced, and that the 54-year-old man is mentally ill, intellectually disabled and suffers hallucinations.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Bible usually unites Republicans in conservative Tennessee, but lately it is proving to be — as an epistle writer put it — more powerful and sharper than a double-edged sword.
By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - Federal prosecutors on Thursday objected to what they said was a call by lawyers for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that jurors "look deep inside" themselves when considering whether they believe the testimony of foreign witnesses. In a filing in Boston federal court, prosecutors said they objected to what they said was the defense's request that U.S. District Judge George O'Toole instruct the jurors to consider whether they are naturally prejudiced in favor of "people like themselves" and if they tend to discredit the testimony of foreign witnesses. Both prosecutors and defense witnesses are set to begin calling another round of witnesses, with the trial's sentencing phase expected to take four weeks before the jury begins deliberations on Tsarnaev's fate.
By Zachary Fagenson WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - A Florida ophthalmologist accused of giving lavish gifts to U.S. Senator Robert Menendez in a corruption scandal that led to criminal charges against the New Jersey Democrat pleaded not guilty on Thursday in federal court to Medicare fraud charges. Salomon Melgen faces 76 counts of Medicare fraud and falsifying medical records, for which he has been jailed in southern Florida since his indictment on Tuesday.
OVER THE GULF OF MEXICO (AP) — A blanket of fog lifts, exposing a band of rainbow sheen that stretches for miles off the coast of Louisiana. From the vantage point of an airplane, it's easy to see gas bubbles in the slick that mark the spot where an oil platform toppled during a 2004 hurricane, triggering what might be the longest-running commercial oil spill ever to pollute the Gulf of Mexico.
(Story officially corrects Melgen age by U.S. prosecutors in Miami from 61 to 60 in fifth paragraph) By Zachary Fagenson WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - A Florida ophthalmologist accused of showering New Jersey Senator Bob Menendez with gifts in exchange for help on Medicare disputes plans to fight new federal charges of fraud related to millions in Medicare payments, his attorney said on Wednesday. An arraignment hearing in the Medicare fraud case was continued to Thursday after Salomon Melgen appeared briefly in Florida federal court on Wednesday morning wearing handcuffs and disheveled in a blue jumpsuit. Melgen, who has pleaded not guilty in the Menendez case, now also faces 76 counts of Medicare fraud and falsifying medical records. Melgen was arrested and indicted on Tuesday for Medicare fraud by the U.S. Attorney's office in Miami.
SEATTLE (AP) — The father of the Washington teenager who fatally shot four high school classmates and then himself in October pleaded not guilty in federal court to illegally possessing the gun used in the slayings.
DALLAS (AP) — In a story April 14 about a church leader accused of helping starve a 2-year-old boy, The Associated Press, relying on court documents, erroneously spelled the suspect's first name. Her name is Aracely Meza, not Araceli Meza.