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Gem, mineral show brings international community to Tucson

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 07:18

This Feb. 9, 2015 photo shows a salesman at the New Era Gems holding a tanzanite mineral found in Tanzania displayed during the Arizona Mineral and Fossil Show in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Astrid Galván)TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Fabiano Vasconcelos came to Tucson from Brazil with a $35,000 emerald cluster and thousands of other pieces, including quartz and crystals.

Transportation Department pushes tough oil train standards: sources

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 07:15

A crude oil train moves past the loading rack at the Eighty-Eight Oil LLC's transloading facility in Ft. LaramieBy Patrick Rucker and David Ljunggren WASHINGTON/OTTAWA (Reuters) - The U.S. Transportation Department has recommended crude oil trains be reinforced and have advanced braking systems installed to prevent accidents from becoming fiery disasters, according to sources familiar with the plan. The proposal, which now faces a White House review, envisions safety improvements that public advocates endorse but oil and rail leaders have said would mean high costs for modest safety gains. The plan would require adding an extra 1/8th inch of steel to most existing oil train tank shells, while new models would have the thicker hull installed on the factory floor. Future tank cars would also be fitted with electronically controlled pneumatic brakes, or ECP brakes, which would trigger all axles simultaneously rather than one at a time in current design.

Chinese mobile sensation dips toes in US with accessories

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 07:10

Xiaomi vice president of global operations Hugo Barra holds up a Mi Note after a presentation in San Francisco, Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015. While stopping short of declaring plans to sell phones in the United States, Xiaomi said Thursday that it will dip its toes in the U.S. market by selling headphones and other accessories online, through an Internet-based, fan-friendly model that has helped make the company one of the leading smartphone suppliers in China. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Xiaomi, one of China's hottest companies, is bringing its blend of cheap yet fashionable technology and crowd-pleasing antics to the U.S.

Oklahoma bill would protect clergy who won't perform gay marriages

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 07:07
(Reuters) - Oklahoma state representatives voted overwhelmingly on Thursday to advance a bill that would provide immunity from lawsuits to clergy who refuse to conduct marriages for same-sex couples. The bill, approved by 88-7 in the state House of Representatives, would protect clergy members from any civil claim or cause of action if they refuse to preside over or recognize a marriage of same-sex couples because of their conscience or religious beliefs. The measure next goes to the state Senate for consideration. The bill's sponsor, Republican Representative David Brumbaugh, said many pastors asked for the legislation after a federal judge overturned Oklahoma's ban on gay marriage in January 2014.

SEPTA posts suicide prevention signs at stations

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 07:03

SEPTA posts suicide prevention signs at stationsSEPTA is continuing its suicide prevention campaign.

Mystery goo that killed seabirds in California identified

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 06:53
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The mysterious gray goo that killed 170 seabirds in the San Francisco Bay Area has been identified as a synthetic oil.

Puerto Rico, North Carolina, Texas tickets win Powerball

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 06:52
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Somebody who stopped by a Shell station in southern Puerto Rico was potentially $100 million richer on Thursday, winning a share of a $564.1 million Powerball jackpot — the first winner outside the continental United States.

Expedia to buy Orbitz, further shift in online travel space

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 06:51

A sign for online travel site Orbitz is displayed outside of the building that houses its headquarters Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, in Chicago. Expedia is buying Orbitz for approximately $1.33 billion, adding to the stable of brands it has snapped up recently in order to extend its reach and keep pace in the fiercely competitive travel-booking industry. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato)NEW YORK (AP) — A wave of deals in the online travel industry has increasingly put some familiar names under two corporate umbrellas: Expedia and Priceline.

UT Austin president influenced 'handful' of admissions: report

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 06:51
By Lisa Maria Garza DALLAS, Texas (Reuters) - University of Texas at Austin president Bill Powers used his influence to admit a "select handful" of applicants who would otherwise have been rejected by the admission's office, according to an independent report released Thursday. The report, requested by the UT System Board of Regents, also said Powers misled an earlier investigation by failing to disclose a system of "holds" on applications that were later reviewed by his office at the request of state lawmakers, regents, donors, alumni and other influential people.

Harvard, MIT sued over lack of closed captioning online

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 06:49
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — Advocates for the deaf sued Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Thursday, saying the universities failed to provide closed captioning for online courses, podcasts and other educational programs.

Utah mother pleads guilty to killing six newborns

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 06:46

Megan Huntsman arrives in court in Provo, Utah on Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015. The mother accused of killing six of her newborn babies and storing their bodies in her garage pleaded guilty to murder. Huntsman, 39, faces up to life in prison on the charges, with sentencing scheduled for April 20. Authorities say a seventh baby found in her garage was stillborn. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, Pool)PROVO, Utah (AP) — A woman who said she was too addicted to methamphetamine to raise more children pleaded guilty Thursday to charges that she killed six of her newborn babies and hid their bodies in her garage over a 10-year period.

Businesses excited about 2016 DNC in Philly

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 06:45

Businesses excited about 2016 DNC in PhillyThe managers of local businesses say they are very excited about the Democratic National Convention coming to Philadelphia in the summer of 2016.

Jamaican extradited to U.S. on lottery fraud charges

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 06:43
A Jamaican man accused of cheating elderly Americans in a lottery scheme was extradited to the United States on Thursday, the first such action by Jamaica in a crackdown on global fraud, the U.S. Justice Department said. Damion Barrett, 28, was brought to Florida, where he faced an indictment that accused him of telling Americans they had won a lottery, and inducing them to send him and his partners thousands of dollars to cover fees to get their purported winnings, the agency said. "The Department of Justice will find and prosecute those responsible for fraud against American consumers, no matter where the perpetrator resides," Joyce Branda, head of the Justice Department's civil division, said in a statement.

Commuter infected with measles is San Francisco LinkedIn employee

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 06:32
By Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The Northern California commuter who health officials say may have exposed tens of thousands of people to measles while riding San Francisco's Bay Area Rapid Transit system while infectious is an employee of LinkedIn Corp, the social networking company said on Thursday. The passenger, who commuted to and from LinkedIn's offices in San Francisco on three days last week and also spent time at a San Francisco restaurant and bar, represents the first case of measles confirmed in Contra Costa County during an outbreak of the disease that began in December. "On Tuesday, Feb. 10, we were informed that an employee based in our San Francisco office was diagnosed with measles.

Mourners remember slain North Carolina Muslims; fresh calls for hate probe

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 06:27

A makeshift memorial for Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife Yusor Mohammad and Yusor's sister Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, who were killed by a gunman, is pictured inside of the University of North Carolina School of Dentistry, in Chapel HillBy Colleen Jenkins WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (Reuters) - Thousands of mourners attended the funeral prayers on Thursday for three young Muslims killed in North Carolina, and the father of two of the victims urged U.S. authorities to probe whether religious hatred was a motive for the murders. Newlywed Deah Barakat, 23, a University of North Carolina dental student, his wife Yusor Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister, Razan Abu-Salha, 19, a student at North Carolina State University, were gunned down on Tuesday in a condominium about two miles (three km) from the UNC campus in Chapel Hill. Police charged the couple's neighbor, Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, with murder. The case has garnered international attention and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan criticized President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday for not speaking about the incident.

Rabbi accused of secretly videotaping more than 150 women

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 06:22
WASHINGTON (AP) — A rabbi accused of secretly videotaping nude women at a Jewish ritual bath recorded more than 150 women, prosecutors said during a meeting with victims, the first specifics they have given on the scope of the man's recording.

Company suspends efforts to seize Nebraska land for Keystone

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 06:22

FILE- In this Jan. 16, 2015 file photo, Susan Dunavan, who opposes the Keystone XL pipeline, points to the planned route of the pipeline which will run through on her property, in York, Neb. TransCanada is temporarily suspending efforts to seize Nebraska land for the Keystone Pipeline XL amid a legal challenge. On Thursday, Feb. 12, 2015, a Holt County District judge issued a temporary injunction, keeping TransCanada from invoking eminent domain along the proposed Keystone Pipeline route in northern Nebraska. TransCanada agreed to the order, hoping to get an accelerated trial schedule. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, file)OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — TransCanada Corp. will temporarily suspend efforts to seize Nebraska land for its much-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline after landowners sued, in what is one obstacle the Canadian company still faces in the 1,179-mile project.

AP Exclusive: Disney gave input on measles health messages

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 06:19

FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2015, file photo, visitors pose with Mickey Mouse at Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif. As the measles outbreak spread last month, Disneyland executives sent a series of emails to California health officials asking them to emphasize that the theme park was not responsible for the illnesses and was safe to visit, documents obtained by The Associated Press show. There is no evidence Disneyland — or health officials, who incorporated at least some of Disneyland's suggestions — tried to downplay the seriousness of the outbreak or mislead the public. Nor is it unusual for companies to try to get public officials' ear during a crisis. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — As the measles outbreak spread last month, Disneyland executives sent a series of emails to California health officials asking them to emphasize that the theme park was not responsible for the illnesses and was safe to visit, documents obtained by The Associated Press show.

Saving: Get FREE help with tax preparation

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 06:18

 Get FREE help with tax preparationThe bad news is, tax season is here again. The good news is, many folks can get free help!

Timeline of ethics issues surrounding Oregon governor

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 02/13/2015 - 06:18

FILE - In this Jan. 12, 2015 file photo, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber, middle, is joined by his fiancee, Cylvia Hayes, as he is sworn in for an unprecedented fourth term by Senior Judge Paul J. De Muniz in Salem, Ore. As an ethics controversy has prompted calls for Oregon's governor to resign, the woman who would replace him has abruptly left a conference in Washington, D.C., to return home. It wasn't clear whether the unscheduled return of Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown on Wednesday, Feb. 11, 2015, had anything to do with the influence-peddling allegations surrounding Kitzhaber's fiancee, Cylvia Hayes. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)Just weeks after being sworn in for an unprecedented fourth term, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber finds himself fighting for his political life over allegations his fiancée used their relationship to win contracts for her consulting business and failed to report income on her taxes.