PHOENIX (AP) — Officials agreed Wednesday to pay $3.5 million to settle a lawsuit that alleged metro Phoenix's sheriff botched the investigation into the rape of a 13-year-old girl and failed to arrest the suspect who then went on to sexually attack her again.
By Scott Malone, Elizabeth Barber and Richard Valdmanis BOSTON (Reuters) - Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was found guilty on Wednesday of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing that killed three people and injured 264 others, and the jury will now decide whether to sentence him to death. Tsarnaev, 21, is the surviving member of pair of ethnic Chechen brothers who planted the homemade pressure-cooker bombs that tore through the crowd at the famed race's finish line in one of the most shocking attacks on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001. His lawyers opened Tsarnaev's federal trial in Boston a month ago by bluntly admitting "it was him" who planted one of the bombs on April 15, 2013 and three days later shot dead a police officer, kicking off a day of chaos in Boston. The courtroom was packed with survivors of the attack including the parents of 8-year-old Martin Richard, the youngest fatality, and law enforcement officials, including former Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A ninth Minnesota turkey farm has been hit by a form of bird flu that's deadly to poultry, this time in a large Jennie-O-Turkey Store operation that has 310,000 turkeys, federal authorities and company officials said Wednesday.
By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. judge on Wednesday rejected Arab Bank Plc's bid to overturn a jury verdict finding it liable for knowingly supporting terrorism efforts related to a series of attacks in the Middle East. The Jordan-based bank had been accused by victims of 24 attacks in and around Israel in the early 2000s of handling transactions for Hamas, which the plaintiffs said carried out the attacks, and routing money to charities that supported Hamas or families of suicide bombers. U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan in Brooklyn, New York found "ample" evidence for jurors to conclude last Sept. 22 that Arab Bank knowingly provided services directly to senior Hamas officials such as Osama Hamdan, a well-known spokesman who often appeared on television to claim responsibility for Hamas for attacks. Cogan also found a "cornucopia" of circumstantial evidence to show that Arab Bank knew or was "willfully blind" to the charities' Hamas affiliations.
The Oklahoma Senate on Wednesday passed a ban on the main procedure used for second trimester abortions, a day after neighboring Kansas became the first state to ban the practice that its critics call "dismemberment abortions." The "Dismemberment Abortion Act" passed easily in both houses of the Republican-dominated Oklahoma legislature and should soon head to Governor Mary Fallin, a Republican, who has been a staunch supporter of abortion restrictions. "This law has the power to transform the landscape of abortion policy in the United States," Carol Tobias, president of National Right to Life, a prominent group opposed to abortions, said in a statement on Tuesday in regard to the Kansas ban.
By Harriet McLeod NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (Reuters) - A white South Carolina police officer has been fired after being charged with murder for shooting a black man in the back as he fled, but questions remained on Wednesday about some details of the killing that was filmed by a witness. The shooting occurred on Saturday in North Charleston, a town of about 100,000 people, nearly half of whom are black, but it gained national media attention on Tuesday when the video became public. The shooting was the latest in a series of deaths during police encounters in the United States that have led protesters to decry racism and police brutality. North Charleston Police Chief Eddie Driggers said at a news conference that he did not know whether officers performed CPR on the victim, 50-year-old Walter Scott, who ran away after being stopped by police for a broken brake light on his vehicle.
By Lindsay Dunsmuir WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Wednesday deported Carlos Eugenio Vides Casanova, El Salvador's former defense minister, accused of involvement in torture and killings 30 years ago during the Central American country's bloody civil war, U.S. officials said. Vides Casanova was defense minister from 1983-89, a brutal period during the conflict between leftist rebels and U.S.-backed government forces. The Department of Homeland Security had in 2009 announced its initiation of deportation proceedings, at the request of human rights activists who sued on behalf of torture survivors. "The deportation of General Vides Casanova is a historic moment for the victims and survivors of human rights abuses during El Salvador's civil war," said Carolyn Patty Blum, Legal Advisor the San Francisco-based Center for Justice and Accountability, which brought a case against Vides Casanova in 1999 on behalf of torture victims living in the United States.
WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (AP) — A woman convicted of fatally poisoning her 5-year-old son with salt in his hospital feeding tube got a break on her murder sentence Wednesday because she suffers from a mental illness she has refused to acknowledge, the judge said.