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Yahoo! National News

Friend of accused Boston bomber pleads guilty to gun, drug charges

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 05:39

Hayden, defense attorney for Matanov who is accused of lying to federal investigators about his ties to accused Boston Marathon bombers Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, talks to reporters following Matanov's arraignment in federal courtBy Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - A high school friend of the accused Boston Marathon bombers pleaded guilty on Friday to charges including having possessed a gun that prosecutors contend the suspects used to shoot dead a university police officer as they tried to flee the city. Stephen Silva, 21, changed his plea from not guilty in U.S. District Court in Boston after reaching a deal with federal prosecutors that was filed under seal. ...


Lots to say in historic Obama-Castro phone call

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 05:36

Cuba's President Raul Castro smiles during a twice-annual legislative session at the National Assembly in Havana, Cuba, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. When the leaders of the U.S. and Cuba had their first phone conversation in more than 50 years, they were not at a loss for words. As President Barack Obama told the story at his news conference Friday, he opened his call with Cuban President Raul Castro _ brother of famously longwinded Fidel _ with a 15-minute monologue, then apologized for taking so much time. "He said, 'Don't worry about it, Mr. President,’” Obama related. “’You're still a young man, and you have still the chance to break Fidel's record. He once spoke seven hours straight." (AP Photo/Ismael Francisco, Cubadebate)WASHINGTON (AP) — When the leaders of the U.S. and Cuba had their first phone conversation in more than 50 years, they were not at a loss for words.


A look at large coal ash spills in the US

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 05:34
The Obama administration on Friday set the first national standards for waste generated from coal burned for electricity, called coal ash, treating it more like household garbage rather than a hazardous material. The Obama announcement ended a six-year effort that began after a massive spill of the ash that contains toxins at a Tennessee power plant in 2008. Since then, the EPA has documented coal ash waste sites tainting hundreds of waterways and underground aquifers in numerous states with heavy metals and other toxic contaminants.

Overseas tip led FBI to recover stolen art worth up to $24 million

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 05:27

Recovered paintings are pictured during a news conference at FBI Headquarters in Los AngelesBy Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An overseas tip investigators received six years after one of the biggest art heists in Los Angeles led to the return of nine stolen paintings, including works by Marc Chagall and Diego Rivera, collectively worth as much as $24 million, police and FBI said on Friday. The paintings were recovered in an FBI sting operation in which a suspect, Paul Espinoza, 45, was arrested after he tried to sell the stolen artwork to undercover agents at a Los Angeles-area hotel in October for $700,000, authorities said. ...


Cops: Woman, 19, killed NY boy, falsely reported abduction

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 05:25

 Woman, 19, killed NY boy, falsely reported abductionA 19-year old New York woman is accused of killing a 5-year-old cousin in her care and then calling in a false report that two masked intruders took the boy from their Albany-area home.


Report: FBI's anthrax investigation was flawed

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 05:18

This undated image attached to an email sent Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2001 by Bruce Ivins shows Ivins handling "cultures of the now infamous 'Ames' strain of Bacillus anthracis" at his lab according to the text of the message. The Government Accountability Office says the science the FBI used to investigate the 2001 anthrax attacks was flawed. The GAO released a report Friday on its findings. The agency didn't take a position on the FBI's conclusion that Army biodefense researcher Bruce Ivins acted alone in making and sending the powdered spores that killed five people and sickened 17 others. The report adds fuel to the debate among experts, including many of Ivins' co-workers at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Maryland, over whether Ivins could have made and mailed the anthrax-filled envelopes. (AP Photo)The FBI used flawed scientific methods to investigate the 2001 anthrax attacks that killed five people and sickened 17 others, federal auditors said Friday in a report sure to fuel skepticism over the FBI's conclusion that Army biodefense researcher Bruce Ivins was the sole perpetrator.


Sheriff: Beheading photo sent to New York lawmaker

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 05:16
NEW CITY, N.Y. (AP) — A suburban New York sheriff said Friday he has contacted federal authorities to investigate a threatening photo of a beheading sent to an Orthodox Jewish lawmaker.

LA airport OKs $4B link from terminals to trains

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 05:15
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Leaders at the Los Angeles International Airport have formally given the go-ahead to a $4 billion plan to build an "automated people mover" that would connect terminals to the region's rail system.

Influential Rabbi Harold Schulweis dies at 89 in California

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 05:12
By Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Rabbi Harold Schulweis, a tireless innovator who implored followers to fight against genocide and see Judaism as a religion with universal significance, has died at age 89 at his Los Angeles home, his synagogue said in a statement. Schulweis, who was regarded as one of the most influential rabbis of his generation, died on Thursday after a struggle with heart disease, his congregation Valley Beth Shalom said in a statement. ...

Indiana stage collapse survivors settle for $50 million: lawyers

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 05:05
(Reuters) - Survivors and bereaved family members of a deadly August 2011 Indiana State Fair stage collapse have reached a settlement totaling nearly $50 million, plaintiffs' lawyers said on Friday. The settlement includes compensation for Alisha Brennon of Chicago, as the surviving spouse of Christina Santiago, as well as compensation for her own injuries. The payment for the surviving member of a lesbian couple in a civil union could be precedent-setting in the state, the lawyers said. "This is an historic settlement," said Bryan Bradley of the Kenneth J. Allen Law Group, in a statement. ...

EPA sets first national standard for coal waste

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 04:57

F ILE - In this Monday, Dec. 29, 2008 file image provided by Greenpeace, coal ash slurry left behind in a containment pond near the Tennessee Valley Authority's Kingston Fossil Plant is shown in Harriman, Tenn., after the dyke at left broke Dec. 22, 2008. The Obama administration is under court order to unveil the rule Friday, Dec. 19, 2014 ending a six-year effort that began after the massive spill at the Tennessee power plant in 2008. Since then, the Environmental Protection Agency has documented coal ash waste sites tainting hundreds of waterways and underground aquifers in numerous states with heavy metals and other toxic contaminants. (AP Photo/Greeenpeace, Wade Payne)WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration on Friday set the first national standards for waste generated from coal burned for electricity, treating it more like household garbage rather than a hazardous material.


PacifiCorp Energy pleads guilty in bird deaths

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 04:53
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Wind farm operator PacifiCorp Energy will pay $2.5 million in fines after pleading guilty to charges in connection with the deaths of protected birds in Wyoming.

Sponsors pay big bucks to join college bowl games

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 04:26

FILE - In this Jan. 1, 2014, file photo, fans gather behind a Rose Bowl banner presented by Vizio at the Rose Bowl NCAA college football game in Pasadena, Calif. This holiday season's blitz of college football bowl games will feature a reshuffled roster of corporate sponsors spending millions to thrust their names in front of fans watching on TV and in the stands. The bowls haven't disclosed their asking prices, but sports marketing experts contacted by The Associated Press estimated the annual cost for the top-tier games ranges from $25 million to more than $30 million. That's up from $16 million to $20 million previously. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, File)SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Ready! Set! Hut, hut: This holiday season's blitz of college football bowl games will feature a reshuffled roster of corporate sponsors spending millions to thrust their names in front of fans watching on TV and in the stands.


Court finds Texas 'stand your ground' trial unfair

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 04:23

FILE - In this June 27, 2012, file photo, Raul Rodriguez looks at the Danaher family and friends after hearing victim impact statements in the 178th State District Court at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center in Houston. A Texas appeals court has ruled Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, that Rodriguez, convicted of murder after jurors rejected his "stand your ground" self-defense claim, didn't get a fair trial and deserves a new one. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Mayra Beltran, File)HOUSTON (AP) — A Texas appeals court has ruled that a man convicted of murder after jurors rejected his "stand your ground" self-defense claim didn't get a fair trial and deserves a new one.


Cops: Woman killed boy, falsely reported abduction

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 04:20

Tiffany Van Alstyne is led to a police vehicle after her arraignment in Knox town court on Friday, Dec. 19, 2014, in Knox, N.Y. The 19-year old has been accused of killing a 5-year-old cousin in her care and then calling in a false report that two masked intruders took the boy from their Albany-area home. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)BERNE, N.Y. (AP) — A 19-year old New York woman is accused of killing a 5-year-old cousin in her care and then calling in a false report that two masked intruders took the boy from their Albany-area home.


Obama says U.S. blacks better off overall than when he began presidency

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 04:19

U.S. President Barack Obama reponds to a question during his end of the year press conference in the briefing room of the White House in WashingtonWASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Friday that U.S. blacks are better off now than they were when he began his presidency in 2009, but that the gap between blacks and whites remains. "Like the rest of America, Black America, in the aggregate, is better off now than it was when I came into office," he told reporters in an end-of-year news conference. "The gap between income and wealth of white and black America persists, and we've got more work to do on that front. ...


Flu season, early again, hitting hard in South and Midwest

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 04:18
NEW YORK (AP) — Health officials say the flu is now hitting hard in parts of the country, especially the South and Midwest.

Ohio Muslim woman sues over jail church attendance

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 04:11
CLEVELAND (AP) — A Muslim woman who says she was forced to attend Christian church services during a 60-day jail stint on an assault charge has sued the county.

ACLU seeks halt U.S. detentions of immigrant families seeking asylum

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 04:10
By Jim Forsyth SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - The American Civil Liberties Union and others have filed a lawsuit on behalf of Central American immigrants seeking to halt the Obama administration from placing immigrant women with children seeking asylum in detention centers. The lawsuit, filed this week at a federal court in Washington D.C., comes as the United States opens what is billed as the largest family detention facility in the country for immigrant families, located in the southern Texas town of Dilley. ...

Man on death row gets new sentence, may go free

Yahoo! National News - Sat, 12/20/2014 - 04:08
ELKO, Nev. (AP) — A Nevada man sentenced to die for a 1998 murder has been issued a new sentence that gives him credit for 16 years of time served and makes him eligible for parole immediately.