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Yahoo! National News

Phoenix murder defendant accused in cellmate death

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 10:23

This undated handout photo courtesy of the Maricopa County Sheriffs Office, shows Andrew Ward . Ward has been charged with first degree murder for the death Wednesday of Douglas Walker, Ward's cellmate at the Maricopa County Jail, Thursday, April 3, 2014, in Phoenix. Ward has been in custody since March 12, 2014 after allegedly killing his 12 year old brother in their Phoenix home. (AP Photo/Maricopa County Sheriffs Office)PHOENIX (AP) — A Phoenix man who told police he killed his 12-year-old half brother last month because he "just felt like killing" is now accused of fatally stabbing a cellmate, authorities said Thursday.

Argument may have preceded deadly Fort Hood attack

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 10:08

This undated photo provided by Glidden Lopez shows Army Spc. Ivan Lopez. Authorities said Lopez killed three people and wounded 16 others in a shooting at Fort Hood, Texas, on Wednesday, April 2, 2014, before killing himself. Investigators believe his unstable mental health contributed to the rampage. (AP Photo/Courtesy of Glidden Lopez)FORT HOOD, Texas (AP) — The soldier who killed three people at Fort Hood may have argued with another service member prior to the attack, and investigators believe his unstable mental health contributed to the rampage, authorities said Thursday.

U.S. lawmakers urge revamp of Army vehicle competition

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 10:07
A group of 10 U.S. lawmakers on Thursday urged Pentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall to revamp the U.S. Army's $5 billion competition for a new armored vehicle to allow both tracked and wheeled vehicles to compete. The letter came a day before the U.S. Army is due to rule on a protest by General Dynamics Corp, which argues that the Army's rules for the competition are skewed to favor BAE Systems Plc's Bradley Fighting Vehicle, while putting General Dynamics' wheeled Stryker vehicles at a disadvantage.

County weighed buying up homes in mudslide area

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 10:03

A tattered flag, found in the debris of a deadly mudslide, is flown at a staging area for emergency workers on Highway 530 near the debris field, Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Oso, Wash. Officials have so far confirmed the deaths of 29 people, although only 22 have been officially identified in information released Wednesday morning by the Snohomish County medical examiner's office. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)SEATTLE (AP) — A decade before a colossal landslide buried a Washington community, county officials considered buying up people's homes there to protect them from such a disaster.

Funding gap threatens retirement for California teachers

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 09:55
The pension fund for public school teachers in California faces a long-term shortfall of $74 billion, threatening its ability to pay for the retirement of nearly 1 million teachers and administrators in the nation's most populous state, officials said on Thursday. The gap is growing by about $15 million per day, the California State Teachers Retirement System said in a written statement, and the system could run out of money in 32 years. "CalSTRS has slightly less than 67 cents on hand for every dollar it owes its members," CalSTRS spokeswoman Gretchen Zeagler said in a statement. To make up the difference, participants - whether teachers, school districts or the state - will have to contribute more toward members' retirement, said CalSTRS Chief Executive Officer Jack Ehnes.

FBI: Consultant played key role in weapons case

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 09:49

FILE - In this file photo taken March 16, 2011, Raymond "Shrimp Boy" Chow, second from right, poses with several inducted consultants, including Keith Jackson, left, a former San Francisco school board member, at the Chee Kung Tong spring banquet in San Francisco. Jackson, who is playing a key role in the cash-for-guns political corruption investigation that has ensnared California state Sen. Leland Yee, appeared in federal court Thursday, April 3, 2014 for a bail hearing on charges that include bribery, drugs, guns and murder-for-hire conspiracy. Jackson was ordered released from jail pending trial. (AP Photo/Sing Tao Daily, File)SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Campaign consultant Keith Jackson operated largely outside the spotlight for years as a political power broker in San Francisco.

Judge grills Arizona sheriff's aide in racial profiling case

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 09:47

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio speaks during the Republican Party election night event in Phoenix, ArizonaBy David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - A federal judge on Thursday grilled an aide to Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio for misleading local residents about a ruling that found deputies racially profiled Latino drivers. During the tense hearing in Phoenix, U.S. District Judge Murray Snow also threatened to personally attend training sessions for deputies to ensure his order from last year is complied with at Arpaio's Maricopa County Sheriff's Office. "I am not going to tolerate any slip-ups any more," Snow said on Thursday. The judge has called for an independent monitor to ensure Arpaio's Sheriff's Office stops using race in making law enforcement decisions, in a ruling that stems from a 2007 lawsuit questioning whether police could target unauthorized immigrants without profiling Hispanics who are U.S. citizens or legal residents.

Sen. Yee's political consultant freed on bail

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 09:43
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A political consultant playing a key role in a San Francisco political corruption scandal that has ensnared a state senator has been released from jail.

Philly police: Row over man sparks rat retaliation

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 09:33
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia police are looking for several suspects in what appears to be a case of rat retaliation.

Funeral held for 2nd fallen Boston firefighter

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 09:21

The casket containing the body of Boston firefighter Michael R. Kennedy is carried off his fire truck before his funeral outside Holy Name Church in Boston, Thursday, April 3, 2014. Kennedy and Boston Fire Lt. Edward J. Walsh were killed Wednesday, March 26, 2014 when they were trapped in the basement of a burning brownstone during a nine-alarm blaze.(AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)BOSTON (AP) — A Boston firefighter and former Marine killed in an apartment blaze last week was praised Thursday as a courageous, compassionate man who served his country in Iraq and his community at home.

Report: Poor management led to Shell grounding

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 09:19
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Poor risk assessment and management were among factors that led to the grounding of a Shell oil drilling rig in the Gulf of Alaska in 2012, the Coast Guard said in a report released Thursday.

Daughter of slain Iraqi-American tells of hearing murder

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 09:17
Fatima Alhimidi, taking the witness stand on the third day of her father's murder trial, said that she was sleeping on the morning of March 21, 2012, when she heard noises downstairs. "I heard my mom moan and a while after that I heard glass breaking," a sobbing Alhimidi, 19, told jurors, adding that she initially concluded that her mother, 32-year-old Shaima Alawadi, had probably broken a plate while cooking. Prosecutors accuse the father, 49-year-old Kassim Alhimidi, of bludgeoning her to death, possibly with a tire iron taken from one of the family's cars. El Cajon police and the FBI initially investigated the killing as a possible hate crime because of a threatening note found at the scene.

Skydiver dies during record group-jump try in Arizona

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 09:03
By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - A German skydiver who was among 222 people trying to set a world record with a group-formation jump was killed on Thursday in the Arizona desert when her main parachute malfunctioned, police and a spokeswoman for the skydiving facility said. The skydiver, identified by police as 46-year-old Diana Paris of Berlin, was taking part in a first attempt to set the record on Thursday morning when the mishap occurred, organizers said. "The malfunctioning parachute was released too low to allow the reserve parachute to fully open," said Jocelyn Bernatchez, a spokeswoman for SkyDive Arizona, the facility about 65 miles south of Phoenix in Eloy where the event took place. The team of 222 veteran skydivers from 28 countries had come to the popular U.S. facility to try to break a record for the largest number of people to complete two aerial formations before deploying their parachutes.

Mystery emerges in effort to ID mudslide remains

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

Dennis Peterson, Snohomish County Medical Examiner's office deputy director, talks about the tented area behind him used for decontaminating bodies just outside an intake area at the office, Wednesday, April 2, 2014, in Everett, Wash. The ME's office is processing the remains of victims from the March 22 mudslide in nearby Oso, Wash., that has killed at least 29. Another 13 people are unaccounted for. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — As medical examiners painstakingly piece together the identities and lives of the people killed when a mudslide wiped out a small Washington community, a mystery troubles them.

Guns, death and tears put Fort Hood in global spotlight, again

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 08:58
By Eileen O'Grady and Lisa Maria Garza FORT HOOD, Texas (Reuters) - At the home of the largest Army base in the United States, the people who bask in the pride of serving the country in wars abroad and are now reeling from blood being spilled in their backyard in the third mass shooting in about 20 years. The troubled soul-searching that took place when former Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan shot dead 13 people and wounded 32 others at Fort Hood in 2009 was rekindled when another soldier shot dead three people on Wednesday before taking his own life. Many in Killeen, a town of well-worn American flags, pawnshops and businesses that cater to the some 45,000 military personnel assigned to the base, were tight-lipped about being thrust in the global spotlight for the second time in five years because of a deadly shooting rampage. Those who have been in Killeen a little longer can remember when George Hennard, who served two years in the U.S. Navy, rammed his pickup truck through the plate-glass door of a chain restaurant named Luby's in 1991, opening fire and killing 23 in one of the deadliest mass civilian shootings in the country.

Senate panel votes to declassify report on CIA interrogations

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 08:56

Senate Intelligence Committee chair Feinstein walks into closed hearing in Washington in this file photoBy Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee voted on Thursday to declassify its long-awaited report on the CIA's use of brutal interrogation methods that critics say amount to torture. Senator Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat who chairs the committee, said the vote was 11-3 to declassify what she called the "shocking" results of investigating the Central Intelligence Agency practices under Republican President George W. Bush. The vote to lift the blackout on the summary and recommendations of the 6,200-page report follows an unprecedented clash by Feinstein with the CIA, and would give the world its first official look at its regimen of interrogation and detentions in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. This is not what Americans do," Feinstein told reporters after the committee voted during a classified meeting.

Texas executes man convicted of killing teenage girl

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 08:54
By Brendan O'Brien (Reuters) - Texas on Thursday executed a suspected serial killer convicted of stabbing a teenage girl to death, a day after a federal appeals court rejected his challenge over the drugs to be used in his lethal injection. Tommy Lynn Sells, 49, was pronounced dead at 6:27 p.m. CDT after receiving a lethal dose of drugs at a state prison in Huntsville, Texas, the state's Department of Criminal Justice said. Sells was the 15th person executed in the United States this year and the fifth in Texas, the state that executes more people than any other in the nation, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. The appeals court said the case might be different if the state were using a drug never before used or unheard of, whose effectiveness was completely unknown, which was not the case.

NY warden reassigned in inmate's death in hot cell

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 08:49

FILE - In this May 17, 2011 file photo, a man walks near the sign at the entrance to the Rikers Island jail in New York. According to a Thursday, April 3, 2014, statement by the New York City Department of Corrections, Rose Argo, the warden of the Anna M. Kross Center on Rikers Island, has been demoted and transferred to another unit that doesn't house mentally ill inmates. In February 2014, a homeless, mentally ill veteran "baked to death" in an overheated cell at the facility. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)NEW YORK (AP) — The warden of the 2,100-inmate New York City jail where a homeless, mentally ill veteran "baked to death" in an overheated cell in February has been demoted and transferred to another unit that doesn't house mentally ill inmates.

U.N. panel to weigh dangers of oil-by-rail cargo

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 08:47
By Patrick Rucker WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.N. panel will examine the rules for handling the kind of oil-by-rail shipments involved in several recent fiery derailments in a move that could rattle the fast-growing sector. The U.N. panel for shipping hazardous materials said this week it accepted a request from U.S. and Canadian experts to revisit rules that govern shipping the kinds of fuel produced in energy areas such as North Dakota's Bakken. Specifically, the panel will examine whether rules for shipping crude oil properly account for dangerous pressure and volatile gases. "Unprocessed crude oil may present unique hazards based on the specific gas content, posing different hazards in transport," the U.N. panel on transporting dangerous goods said in a statement seen by Reuters.

Sharpton, NYC police discuss profiling of shoppers

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/04/2014 - 08:38
NEW YORK (AP) — The Rev. Al Sharpton, civil rights leaders and representatives from the retail industry met Thursday with New York Police Department Commissioner William J. Bratton to discuss the role of police officers in allegations of racial profiling at department stores that surfaced last fall in shoplifting cases that have resulted in numerous lawsuits.