WASHINGTON (AP) — Capping a three-month struggle, the Senate closed in Monday on passage of election-year legislation to restore jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed that expired late last year.
By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas will carry out the execution of convicted murderer Ramiro Hernandez this week after a U.S. appeals court on Monday ruled that the state does not have to reveal where it gets its lethal injection drug. Texas is set to execute Hernandez, a 44-year-old Mexican native, on Wednesday for breaking into the home of a couple in 1997, beating a man to death and raping his wife. A three-judge panel from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit Court said the drug used by Texas was effective and there was no compelling evidence that protections provided by the U.S. Constitution would be violated under current procedures. The 5th Circuit made a similar decision last week when it reversed a stay for another inmate, Tommy Lynn Sells, who was executed last Thursday.
By Jonathan Allen NEW YORK (Reuters) - The driver of a train that derailed in December in New York City, killing four passengers, had an undiagnosed sleep disorder at the time of the accident, the National Transportation Safety Board said on Monday. William Rockefeller, the engineer at the controls of the Metro-North commuter train that derailed in the Bronx on December 1, suffered from severe sleep apnea, which can cause drowsiness, according to documents published by the safety board on Monday. The documents also included a transcript of Rockefeller's interview with investigators two days after the crash, which provides the fullest account yet of the "hypnotic" state he said overcame him before he realized his train was derailing. "I was dazed, you know, looking straight ahead, almost like mesmerized," Rockefeller told investigators.
(Reuters) - John Pinette, a stand-up comedian who guest-starred as the victim of a carjacking in the final episode of the comedy show Seinfeld, has died at age 50, an official said on Sunday. Pinette was found dead inside a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, hotel room on Saturday, an official with the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office said. The show's stars stand by and watch the incident and make fun of the man's weight before they are arrested by a police officer for violating the "Good Samaritan Law." The medical examiner's official said Pinette was in Pittsburgh to attend a wedding.
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Severe thunderstorms crawled across the Southeast on Monday, dumping heavy rains and causing flash flooding in central Alabama, where crews in small boats and military trucks had to rescue dozens of people from their homes and cars.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — The aunt of a 1-year-old girl rescued at sea by the U.S. Navy says the baby's fever is gone, and she is responding well to medication after showing salmonella-like symptoms before her family's sailboat broke down.
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Derek Kitchen was a teenager still coming to grips with his sexual orientation when yard signs began popping up throughout his suburban Salt Lake City neighborhood in 2004 supporting an amendment to ban same-sex marriage.