By Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Shipping lines will partially shut down 29 West Coast ports for four of the next five days, the companies said on Wednesday, as they postponed the latest round of protracted labor talks with the dockworkers union amid mounting cargo backups at the harbors. The loading and unloading of cargo freighters will be suspended, as operations were last weekend, on Thursday and again on Saturday, Sunday and Monday, the companies' bargaining agent, the Pacific Maritime Association, said in a statement. Citing chronic slowdowns in freight traffic they blamed the union for instigating, the companies said it made no sense to pay union workers higher holiday and weekend wages "for severely diminished productivity while the backlog of cargo at West Coast ports grows." Union shifts worked this Thursday and next Monday would command premium pay in observance of separate Presidents Day holidays that fall on Lincoln and Washington's birthdays.
By Colleen Jenkins CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (Reuters) - A gunman who had posted anti-religious messages on Facebook and quarreled with neighbors was charged with killing three young Muslims in what police said on Wednesday was a dispute over parking and possibly a hate crime. Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, a full-time paralegal student from Chapel Hill, was charged with first-degree murder in Tuesday's shootings around 5 p.m. two miles (three km) from the University of North Carolina campus. The victims were newlyweds Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, a University of North Carolina dental student, and his wife Yusor Mohammad, 21, and Yusor's sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19.