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Alaska train to resume service after cars derail

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 08:38
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A tourist railway in Alaska is set to resume operations after a derailment injured 23 people.

Milwaukee barber sentenced for role in Stradivarius violin theft

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 08:38

The 300-year-old Stradivarius violin that was taken from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's concertmaster in an armed robbery is pictured in Milwaukee, WisconsinBy Brendan O'Brien MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - A Milwaukee barber received a 3-1/2-year prison sentence on Thursday for supplying a stun gun used in the theft of a 300-year-old Stradivarius violin from a concert violinist. Universal Knowledge Allah, 37, was also sentenced by Milwaukee County Circuit Court to 3-1/2 years of extended supervision after his release for being party to felony robbery in the theft of the violin, which was made in 1715. "I just want to humbly apologize to you and everyone for making this mistake," Allah told the court before the sentence was handed down. Allah, who has been a barber for 18 years in Milwaukee, was found guilty of supplying the stun gun to Salah Jones, who faces trial on charges he incapacitated Frank Almond with the weapon as the musician left a performance in a Milwaukee suburb on Jan. 27.

Website lets donors pay Detroit residents' overdue water bills

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 08:34

People hold a banner against the mass water shut-offs to Detroit citizens behind in their payments, during a protest in downtown DetroitBy Aaron Foley DETROIT (Reuters) - Widespread water shutoffs in Detroit have led to the creation of a website that allows donors to anonymously pay the overdue bills of residents in the bankrupt city, a site organizer said on Thursday. Recent efforts by the cash-strapped municipal water authority to collect tens of millions of dollars in overdue bills has attracted international attention and critics say the disconnections are inhumane and unfair to the poor. The donor site,, was born from a Twitter conversation between programmer Tiffani Bell of Fayetteville, North Carolina and designer Kristy Tillman of Boston who were concerned about the water issue, Bell said in an email. Customers with delinquent bills share their account information with the site, where they are matched with donors.

States where immigrant children are released

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 08:20
States with established Central American immigrant communities have received the most unaccompanied children released to sponsors this year after they were arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border.

Eau Canada: Caravan totes water to Detroit

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 08:17

Mary Ellen Kavanaugh, and her children Abby, second from left, Grace and Owen, right, of Windsor, help carry water jugs to St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Detroit, Thursday, July 24, 2014, for a water station being set up to help Detroit residents who need water. A small group of Canadians brought 1,000 liters (264 gallons) of water from Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit to protest thousands of residential service shutoffs by Detroit's water department. (AP Photo)DETROIT (AP) — A caravan of Canadians bringing jugs with 1,000 liters of water arrived in Detroit on Thursday afternoon in a symbolic protest against the bankrupt city shutting off water to residents who haven't paid their bills.

Execution offers evidence against lethal injection

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 08:08

John Zemblidge, right, of Phoenix, leads a group of about a dozen death penalty opponents in prayer as they protest the possible execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood at the state prison in Florence, Ariz. on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Arizona's highest court on Wednesday temporarily halted the execution of the condemned inmate so it could consider a last-minute appeal. The Arizona Supreme Court said it would consider whether he received inadequate legal representation at his sentencing. The appeal also challenges the secrecy of the lethal injection process and the drugs that are used. (AP Photo)ST. LOUIS (AP) — The nation's third botched execution in six months offers more evidence for the courts that lethal injection carries too many risks and amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, death-row lawyers and other opponents said Thursday.

Phoenix breaks temperature with record high of 116

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 08:04

Construction worker Ruben Roman drips water on his head during his lunch break, Thursday, July 24, 2014 at at job site in Phoenix. With Phoenix-area daytime highs hovering around 110 degrees, outdoor activity is minimal throughout the Valley. (AP Photo/Matt York)PHOENIX (AP) — The scorching weather in Phoenix has broken a record as the mercury hit 116.

Doctor fired back at gunman in hospital attack

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 08:01

A hospital worker views police activity around the scene of a shooting Thursday, July 24, 2014, at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pa. Police in suburban Philadelphia are investigating a shooting at the hospital campus and say they have reports people have been injured and a suspect is in custody. (AP Photo)A doctor grazed by gunfire from a patient who had entered his office in a suburban hospital's psychiatric unit stopped him by returning fire with his own gun and injuring him, authorities said.

Suspect in 1992 slaying of Illinois teen arrested in California

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 08:00
An elderly California man, long suspected in the unsolved killing of a Chicago-area youth 22 years ago, has been arrested in Los Angeles on a murder warrant from Illinois prosecutors, a spokeswoman for the Cook County state's attorney said on Thursday. Robert Serritella, 71, is wanted in the slaying of 15-year-old David Chereck, who vanished on Jan. 1, 1992, on the way home from a bowling alley in Skokie, Illinois, and was found strangled with his own scarf the next day in a nearby wooded area. Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for the Cook County state's attorney, said Serritella had been suspected of the killing by detectives who initially investigated the murder, but authorities lacked sufficient evidence to charge him until this week. She said Serritella, an Illinois native who relocated to the West Coast years ago, had a relative to lived in Skokie and was seen in the Chicago suburb around the time of the boy's death, possibly at the bowling alley where the victim had been playing video games with friends.

New videos add to scrutiny of N.Y. police use of choke holds

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 07:56

Gwendolyn Flagg-Carr, mother of Eric Garner, and Eric Snipes Garner, Jr., son of Eric Garner, leave his funeral service at Bethel Baptist Church on Wednesday, July 23, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Garner's death while in police custody has led to accusations of police misconduct. (AP Photo/The Daily News, James Keivom, POOL)It is a potentially deadly maneuver that New York police have been banned from using for 21 years, but on Thursday the force confirmed it was probing what seemed to be a second case of an officer using a choke hold within a single week. The investigation of the incident comes just days after videos emerged showing police using a choke hold on a Staten Island man, Eric Garner, as he was being arrested for selling untaxed cigarettes. While trying to handcuff the suspect, identified as Ronald Johns, a police officer can be seen in the videos punching him in the head and using an arm to grip Johns around his neck during a struggle on the station floor.

Arizona execution: Lawyer said inmate not in pain

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 07:49

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections shows inmate Joseph Rudolph Wood. Wood took nearly two hours to die and gasped for about 90 minutes during his execution in Arizona on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Arizona Department of Corrections, File)FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — The nearly two-hour execution of a convicted murderer prompted a series of phone calls involving the governor's office, the prison director, lawyers and judges as the inmate gasped for more than 90 minutes.

Notorious drug smuggling ship towed to Seattle for scrapping

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 07:45
By Victoria Cavaliere SEATTLE (Reuters) - A freighter seized off the coast of Washington state nearly four decades ago in one of the largest marijuana busts in the region's history was moved to Seattle on Thursday and will eventually be scrapped, local officials said. The Helena Star was towed from Tacoma to Seattle by state agencies and will be inspected and broken down over the next week, said Bob Redling of Washington's Department of Natural Resources. The drug smuggling ship made national headlines when it was seized by the Coast Guard in 1978 with 37 tons of marijuana on board. Helena Star's South American captain and eight crew members were arrested, and the flagless ship, en route to Canada, was docked in Seattle.

California inmates win class-action status in racial bias suit

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 07:42
By Jennifer Baires SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A ruling that granted class-action status to a lawsuit accusing California prison officials of racial discrimination for keeping inmates of the same ethnicity in cells during lockdowns brings all state prisoners into the suit, an attorney said on Thursday. The ruling on Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley marks the first time in the state a suit of this kind has been cleared for class-action status, and it covers all 125,000 of the state's inmates, said Don Specter, a lawyer with the Prison Law Office who is representing the plaintiffs. Robert Mitchel, an African American and the lead plaintiff in the case, filed a complaint in 2008 alleging he was repeatedly confined to his cell in High Desert State Prison, a facility in the northeast part of the state, after incidents involving other prisoners of the same race. “And often they have had nothing whatsoever to do with the events that precipitated the lockdowns." Lawyers for the inmates argue these lockdowns violate inmates' constitutional rights under clauses of the U.S. Constitution that ensure equal protection and prohibit cruel and unusual punishment.

Indiana man charged in killing of police officer

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 07:37

Carl Blount is seen in an undated picture released by the Gary, Indiana, Office of Communications.By Mary Wisniewski GARY Ind. (Reuters) - A 25-year-old Indiana man was charged on Thursday in the fatal shooting of a Gary, Indiana, police officer in his patrol car earlier this month, city officials said. Carl Blount of Gary was charged with the murder of Jeffrey Westerfield, 47, who had served on the Gary Police Department for 19 years and was on duty when he was shot. Westerfield's body was found in his patrol car by a fellow officer early on the morning of July 6. "I hope this brings a certain amount of relief to the family and the men and women of the Gary Police Department," said Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson in a statement.

Witness: Teen's plane didn't show obvious distress

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 07:34

In this July 2014 photo provided by The Citizens Foundation 17-year-old Haris Suleman is greeted by students from the Citizens Foundation school in Lahore, Pakistan, during his around-the-world flight. The body of the Plainfield, Indiana, teen was recovered after his single-engine plane crashed Tuesday, July 22, 2014 shortly after taking off from Pago Pago in American Samoa. Crews were still searching for his father, 58-year-old Babar Suleman, who was flying with him. (AP Photo/Courtesy The Citizens Foundation)PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (AP) — A man who saw a plane flown by a U.S. teen seconds before it crashed and killed the boy and his father during an around-the-world flight attempt said the aircraft was flying low but didn't show any obvious signs of distress before diving into the ocean off American Samoa.

Ohio woman gets 32 years in forced labor case

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 07:28

FILE - This undated file photo released by the Ashland County Sheriff's Office shows Jessica L. Hunt. A jury in March found Jordie Callahan, 27, guilty of forced labor, conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and a drug charge. That jury found the girlfriend, Hunt, guilty of the same three charges. She is expected to be sentenced Thursday, July 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Ashland County Sheriffs Office, File)An Ohio woman convicted along with her boyfriend of enslaving a mentally disabled woman in their home for nearly two years through intimidation, threats and abuse was sentenced Thursday to 32 years in federal prison, the U.S. attorney's office said.

NJ church volunteer, bus drivers in child porn sweep

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 06:58

NJ church volunteer, bus drivers in child porn sweepA church volunteer and two school bus drivers were among 14 men arrested in a New Jersey child porn sweep.

Investigators release sketch in missing teen case

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 06:57

This police artist sketch released Thursday, July 24, 2014 by the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office depicts a man's likeness drawn from a description provided by Abigail Hernandez that she said drove her away from North Conway, N.H., more than nine months earlier. Attorney General Joseph Foster said it is unclear if the girl was taken against her will, lured away, or what role the man may have played in concealing her whereabouts. Hernandez returned home Sunday night. (AP Photo/New Hampshire Attorney General's Office)CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The New Hampshire teenager who returned home this week nine months after vanishing on her way home from school has provided investigators with a description of the man she says drove her away that day.

Boxing champ's daughter in fight of her life

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 06:52

Boxing champ's daughter in fight of her lifeProfessional boxer Steve Cunningham is the USBA Heavyweight Champion.

Senior U.S. lawmaker: Myanmar must reform before more sanctions easing

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 07/25/2014 - 06:52

Senate Minority Leader McConnell (R-KY) listens to members of the Republican Senate leadership after the Republican caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in WashingtonBy Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Jade and rubies from Myanmar will remain banned from the United States unless the Asian nation moves to end a provision in its constitution that bars opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from running for president, a senior U.S. senator said on Thursday. Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican party's leader in the Senate, said there is little appetite in the U.S. Congress to reinstate stiff trade sanctions that were imposed on Myanmar during its decades of tough military rule. "It is hard to see how those provisions get lifted without there being progress on the constitutional eligibility issue and the closely related issue of the legitimacy of the 2015 elections," said McConnell, who has taken a long-term interest in Myanmar and visited two years ago. Improving relations with Myanmar has been a priority with the U.S. government, but lately Washington has been concerned that the Asian nation also known as Burma is backing away from its reform agenda.