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Alaska pot legalization vote pushed back to November

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 13:30

A marijuana leaf is displayed at Canna Pi medical marijuana dispensary in SeattleBy Steve Quinn JUNEAU, Alaska (Reuters) - A ballot initiative that could make Alaska the third U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana will go before voters in a general election in November rather than in August as previously scheduled, officials said on Monday. The move means that a broader swath of the public is likely to vote on the issue than if it had gone before voters as scheduled during a state primary election in August. Alaska ballot initiatives typically go before voters in primary elections. But a lengthier-than-normal state legislative session this year forced the change because, under state rules, initiatives must go to voters no less than 120 days after the end of a session.

Courtroom shooting came despite security updates

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 13:25
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — When Utah's new federal courthouse opened last week, it came with security improvements that are becoming standard around the country: separate entrances and elevators for judges, defendants and the public; bullet-resistant glass and paneling; and vehicle barricades to keep car bombs at bay.

U.S. airlines rank lowest in satisfaction among travel sectors: poll

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 12:24

Two ground crew members walk past a United Airlines airplane as it sits at a gate at Newark Liberty International Airport(Reuters) - U.S. airlines lag hotels and online travel agencies in customer satisfaction as travelers face increasingly cramped airplanes and poor in-flight service, a poll published on Tuesday showed. The annual American Customer Satisfaction Index found that airlines scored 69 on a 100-point scale, compared with 75 for hotels and 77 for Internet travel agencies. Though that grade was unchanged for air carriers from the year before, only subscription TV service, social media and Internet service ranked lower among other industries tracked. The ACSI Travel Index is based on random interviews with more than 7,400 U.S. customers of airlines, hotels and Internet travel websites from October 2013 to March 2014.

Tunnel delays latest blow to downtown Seattle revitalization

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 11:38
By Jonathan Kaminsky OLYMPIA, Washington (Reuters) - A damaged drilling machine built to bore an expressway tunnel beneath Seattle will be out of commission months longer than initially thought, officials said on Monday, marking the latest blow to a key component of a major downtown revitalization project. The delay is the latest setback to the $1.35 billion tunneling project which ground to a halt in December, shortly after the machine, 57.5 feet in diameter and nicknamed Bertha, ran into a steel rod left underground years earlier by officials conducting an earthquake readiness study. The machine is now expected to be back up and running by next March, Washington state transportation officials said. "We're disappointed by this delay, but believe the schedule is moving in the right direction," the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) said in a statement.

Stowaway teen forces review of airport security

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 11:29

A 16-year-old boy, seen sitting on a stretcher center, who stowed away in the wheel well of a flight from San Jose, Calif., to Maui is loaded into an ambulance at Kahului Airport in Kahului, Maui, Hawaii Sunday afternoon, April 20, 2014. The boy survived the trip halfway across the Pacific Ocean unharmed despite frigid temperatures at 38,000 feet and a lack of oxygen, FBI and airline officials said. FBI spokesman Tom Simon in Honolulu told The Associated Press on Sunday night that the boy was questioned by the FBI after being discovered on the tarmac at the Maui airport with no identification. "Kid's lucky to be alive," Simon said. (AP Photo/The Maui News, Chris Sugidono)SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A 15-year-old boy found his way onto an airport's tarmac and climbed into a jetliner's wheel well, then flew for five freezing hours to Hawaii — a misadventure that forced authorities to take a hard look at the security system that protects the nation's airline fleet.

Affordable Care Act only chips away at a core goal

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 10:40

Swan Lockett stands for a photo in the doorway of her Houston apartment, Monday, April 21, 2014. Lockett said she was unable to get an affordable health care plan on the federal marketplace. The federal health care overhaul is providing coverage for millions of Americans, but it has only chipped away at one of its core goals to sharply reduce the number of people without insurance. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Swan Lockett had high hopes that President Barack Obama's health overhaul would lead her family to an affordable insurance plan, but that hasn't happened.

Lawsuit accuses entertainment figures of sex abuse

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 10:20

Plaintiff Michael Egan III, right, 31, and his mother Bonnie Mound take questions from the media during a news conference in Beverly Hills, Calif., Monday, April 21, 2014. Egan, who previously accused “X-Men” director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing him when he was a teen, sued former TV programming executive Garth Ancier in Hawaii Monday accusing him of abuse in 1999 when Egan was 17. Egan also sued two other men in separate federal court lawsuits in Hawaii Monday, claiming they also abused him on trips there. (AP Photo/Nick Ut )BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — A man who has accused "X-Men" director Bryan Singer of sexually abusing him when he was a teen sued three more entertainment industry figures Monday, claiming they also molested him.

Lawyer appointed for Utah mother accused of killing six newborns

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 09:32

Megan Huntsman appears in court in ProvoA Utah mother accused of killing six of her newborn babies over the course of a decade made her first appearance in court on Monday and was appointed a public defender after telling the judge she has not earned an income in two years. Megan Huntsman, 39, was ordered to return to court in a week for a resumption of proceedings against her, giving police more time to assemble evidence authorities said they need to bring formal charges, Utah County Attorney Jeff Buhman said. "The judge's expectation is that we'll have charges by then," Buhman told Reuters after the brief hearing in Provo, Utah, south of Salt Lake City. Huntsman was arrested April 13 on suspicion of murdering six newborns whose bodies were found rolled up in shirts, towels and plastic bags and stashed inside cardboard boxes in the garage of her former home in Pleasant Grove, just north of Provo.

PG&E pleads not guilty to federal charges in deadly California blast

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 09:31
By Laila Kearney SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Pacific Gas and Electric Co pleaded not guilty on Monday to federal charges stemming from a natural gas pipeline explosion in California that killed eight people and injured 58 others in 2010, according to court filings. The utility was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 1 and charged with 12 felony counts of violating safety regulations leading up to the deadly blast in San Bruno, a city of about 41,000 just south of San Francisco, according to the indictment. The U.S. Attorney's Office accused PG&E of knowingly relying on "inaccurate or incomplete" infrastructure management records and failing to investigate its high-pressure natural gas pipelines after potential hazards had been identified, the indictment said.

Jurors hear cleric’s praise for September 11 attacks

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 09:26

Islamist cleric al-Masri is seen in this courtroom sketch during a court appearance in Manhattan Federal Court in New YorkBy Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - In a video of radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri shown to jurors at his trial on Monday, he did not hesitate when a television interviewer asked him about the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States that killed nearly 3,000 people. "Everyone was happy when the planes hit the World Trade Center," Abu Hamza said in the undated film played in a U.S. court where the former imam of the Finsbury Park Mosque in London faces terrorism-related charges. Prosecutors have accused the one-eyed, handless Abu Hamza of trying to set up a jihadist training camp in Oregon, giving assistance to militants who took 16 Western tourists hostage in Yemen in 1998, a kidnapping that ended with the deaths of three Britons and an Australian, and raising money and supplies for al Qaeda in Afghanistan. If convicted of the most serious charges, the Egyptian-born Abu Hamza would face life in prison.

Prosecutors: Prep school graduates ran drug ring

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 09:23

This undated photo provided by the Montgomery County District Attorney shows 18-year-old Timothy Brooks. Montgomery County prosecutors identified Brooks as one of the leaders of a drug ring they say supplied marijuana and cocaine to three colleges and a number of high schools in Philadelphia's affluent Main Line suburbs. Brooks and the other suspect, Neil Scott, are both graduates of The Haverford School. The two college dropouts are scheduled to be arraigned Monday, April 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Montgomery County District Attorney)ARDMORE, Pa. (AP) — Two prep school graduates sought to use their sports connections and business acumen to establish a monopoly on drug sales to high school students in the affluent Main Line suburbs of Philadelphia, authorities said Monday.

Glitches prompt suspension of Oklahoma tests again

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 09:22
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma's public schools superintendent suspended online testing across the state on Monday after middle and high school students systemwide experienced disruptions during high-stakes standardized tests for the second consecutive year.

10 Things to Know for Tuesday

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 09:00

These printed copies of a presentation released by the U.S. Department of State on Thursday, April 17, 2014, purport to show Russian involvement in Eastern Ukraine. The 11-page document contains images of soldiers in eastern Ukraine that the State Department says are Russian forces, showing militants wearing similar uniforms and brandishing Russian weapons. There was no way to immediately verify the photographs, which the State Department says were taken from the Internet and social media. (AP Photo)Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday:

Turkish Cypriot: Cyprus accord possible in 2014

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 08:50
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The Turkish Cypriot leader said Monday that a settlement of the 40-year-old conflict that divided the Mediterranean island is possible this year.

Families' hopes for ferry victims painfully humble

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 08:42

A relative of a passenger aboard the sunken ferry Sewol prays as she waita for her missing loved one at a port in Jindo, South Korea, Monday, April 21, 2014. Divers continued the grim work of recovering bodies from inside the sunken South Korean ferry Monday, securing a new entryway into the wreck, as a newly released transcript showed the ship was crippled by confusion and indecision well after it began listing. The transcript suggests that the chaos may have added to a death toll that could eventually exceed 300. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)JINDO, South Korea (AP) — Lee Byung-soo says he knew, when he saw his 15-year-old son's body in the tent. It could not have been more horrifically obvious. But he wanted so much for him to be alive.

NYC jury hears tape defending 9/11 terror attacks

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 08:41
NEW YORK (AP) — An Egyptian cleric defended the Sept. 11 attacks in a broadcast interview, saying it left Muslims and non-Muslims around the world happy, according to a tape played for the jury at his terrorism trial on Monday.

Minnesota homeowner's interview played at trial

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 08:27
LITTLE FALLS, Minn. (AP) — The day after a Minnesota man killed two teens who entered his home, he matter-of-factly described the shootings in chilling detail, telling authorities he finished off one teen with a shot under her chin because a .22-caliber "doesn't go through bone very well," according to an audiotaped interview played in court Monday.

Texas search group sues FAA over drone use

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 08:24
HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas-based group involved in searches for missing persons around the nation filed a lawsuit on Monday asking a federal court to set aside an order that prohibits the nonprofit from employing drones in its work.

Lawmaker shelves bill to name Bible as state book

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 08:11
BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A Shreveport lawmaker is scrapping his proposal to name the Bible as Louisiana's official state book.

PG&E pleads not guilty in fatal pipeline blast

Yahoo! National News - Tue, 04/22/2014 - 08:08

FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2010, file photo, a massive fire roars through a mostly residential neighborhood in San Bruno, Calif. Pacific Gas & Electric Co. pleaded not guilty Monday, April 21, 2014, to a dozen felony charges stemming from alleged safety violations in a deadly 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion that leveled a suburban neighborhood in the San Francisco Bay Area. As survivors of the blast looked on, attorneys for California's largest utility entered the plea in federal court in San Francisco to 12 felony violations of federal pipeline safety laws. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Pacific Gas & Electric Co. pleaded not guilty Monday to a dozen felony charges stemming from alleged safety violations in a deadly 2010 natural gas pipeline explosion that leveled a suburban neighborhood in the San Francisco Bay Area.