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Yahoo! National News

California city looks to quit Calpers, fears it can't afford to

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:59
By Tim Reid LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Officials in Villa Park are considering pulling the tiny California city from Calpers, saying the monthly costs of the state's giant public pension system are crippling the municipal budget. Calpers, America's biggest public pension fund with assets of $300 billion, last provided the city with a hypothetical termination fee of nearly $3.6 million as of June 2012. "Getting out of Calpers is like getting out of jail," said Rick Barnett, mayor of Villa Park, population 5,800.

Dad acquitted in slaying of driver who killed sons

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:58

Dad acquitted in slaying of driver who killed sonsBarajas was accused of fatally shooting the man who police say was driving drunk when he caused a wreck that killed the defendant's sons


Two sentenced to combined 75 years for Florida bank robberies

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:57
By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI (Reuters) - Two South Florida men have been sentenced to decades in prison for their role in a month-long string of armed bank robberies that crisscrossed the state, netting an undisclosed sum. District Judge Jose E. Martinez on Tuesday sentenced Anthony Isaac Johnson, 25, and Allen Demetrius Bradford, 23, to 35 years and more than 40 years, respectively. Bradford, Johnson, and six others robbed five PNC Bank locations during early summer 2013. The team used getaway drivers in stolen cars, one of which was found abandoned in Central Florida during an investigation into the group's earlier robberies.

Police presence drawing down in Ferguson, Missouri

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:51

Missouri State Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson and St. Louis County Police Department Chief Jon Belmar are photographed after giving a news conference in St. LouisBy Edward McAllister ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - Authorities on Wednesday disbanded what had been a command center in Ferguson, Missouri, for law enforcement responding to sometimes violent protests over the killing of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer. Missouri Highway Patrol Captain Ron Johnson, who has led the response, told a news conference the Highway Patrol and St. Louis County police officers would continue to patrol, but the force had been substantially reduced. "People are communicating with each other and it is already leading to change, not just in Ferguson but across our whole region," Johnson said. Boarded-up stores were the only sign of the turmoil along West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson, which had been the site of clashes between demonstrators and police that led to scores of arrests after the shooting of Michael Brown, 18, on Aug. 9.


A leader admits guilt in big disability-fraud case

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:48
NEW YORK (AP) — An accused ringleader of a sprawling disabilities fraud scheme admitted Wednesday he helped coach retired police officers and others to fake mental-health problems to get Social Security benefits.

2 injured in Berks County plane crash

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:42

2 injured in Berks County plane crashTwo people are hospitalized after a small plane crash in Berks County.


Police: Man kills wife at hospital, son also dead

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:40

Camden County Prosecutor's Office Capt. Ron Moten, left, stands with in front of Kennedy Hospital with hospital chief of safety, David Condoluci, as he answers a question about shootings at the facility Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, in Stratford, N.J. Authorities say Raymond Wychowanec fatally shot his hospitalized wife, Denise, tried to kill himself, and a body was found later at the couple's home. Authorities are investigating what ties the hospital homicide may have with the death of a person found a short time later in the family's home in Glendora in southern New Jersey. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)STRATFORD, N.J. (AP) — A man shot and killed his hospitalized wife on Wednesday and then tried to kill himself, prompting investigators to search their home, where their son was found fatally shot, authorities said.


U.S. court in Ohio overturns hate crime convictions of 16 Amish

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:40
By Kim Palmer CLEVELAND (Reuters) - A federal appeals court in Ohio on Wednesday overturned the hate crime convictions of an Amish sect leader and 15 of his followers in beard- and hair-cutting attacks on fellow members of their religious faith. Circuit Court of Appeals found that jurors in the 2012 case received incorrect instructions on how to consider the role of religion in the attacks. Prosecutors contended the crimes were motivated by religious disputes between Samuel Mullet Sr., leader of a Bergholz, Ohio, sect, and other Amish religious leaders who had accepted into their communities people Mullet had excommunicated from his. The majority of the three-judge panel found that "considerable evidence supported the defendants' theory that interpersonal and intra-family agreements, not the victims' religious beliefs, sparked the attacks." Jurors heard testimony that Mullet's followers had restrained the victims and forcibly cut their hair and beards, using scissors, clippers, shears and battery-operated razors.

Philadelphia honors Little League team with parade

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:34

Taney Dragons' Mo'ne Davis gestures to fans during a parade in Philadelphia, Wednesday Aug. 27, 2014, to celebrate the team's accomplishments during the Little League World Series. (AP Photo/ Joseph Kaczmarek)PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The youth baseball team whose star 13-year-old female pitcher and performance in the Little League World Series drew a wide following received a champion's treatment in a parade Wednesday in downtown Philadelphia.


Son found dead at New Jersey home of man who killed wife at hospital: police

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:33
(Reuters) - A southern New Jersey man shot and killed his wife in her hospital room on Wednesday before shooting and critically wounding himself, authorities said, adding the body of their son was found at their home shortly afterward. Raymond Wychowanec, 63, visited his wife, Denise, 62, on Wednesday morning at Kennedy Hospital in Stratford, New Jersey, where witnesses reported he shot her several times, said Camden County Prosecutor's Office spokesman Jason Laughlin. Police later went to the couple's home in Glendora, where they discovered that their son, Ryan Wychowanec, 35, had been fatally shot, Laughlin said.

Surfers, spectators crowd Southern California beaches for giant waves

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:27

A swimmer catches a wave at "The Wedge" wave break in Newport BeachBy Alex Dobuzinskis and Dana Feldman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Waves up to about 20 feet (6 meters) high crashed along the Southern California coast on Wednesday, as heavy and potentially dangerous surf from a Pacific cyclone drew crowds of surfers and spectators to Los Angeles-area beaches, officials said. Large swells generated by Hurricane Marie began hitting the Southern California shore on Tuesday, causing coastal flooding in the Orange County town of Seal Beach after dark that inundated garages of 30 coastal homes. Marie was downgraded on Wednesday to a tropical storm as it moved north some 900 miles off Mexico's Baja Peninsula, veering away from the West Coast but still causing extreme surf, National Weather Service weather specialist Stuart Ceto said. Waves from the storm were the largest seen in Southern California since a pair of hurricanes swept through the Pacific within weeks of each other in 1997, he said.


'Cops' TV show employee killed by police while recording Omaha robbery

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:25
By Katie Knapp Schubert OMAHA Neb. (Reuters) - Omaha police accidentally shot and killed an audio technician for the long-running reality television show "Cops" while he was recording officers responding to an armed robbery, police said on Wednesday. Sound technician Bryce Dion, 38, from the "Cops" crew was wearing a bulletproof vest, but was stuck by a bullet that went through a gap in the protective shielding under his arm, Omaha police spokesman Michael Pecha said. The "Cops" crew travels across the United States documenting the work of law enforcement for its television show.

Mom pleads for release of captive U.S. journalist

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:22

Still image from undated video of a masked Islamic State militant speaking next to man purported to be U.S. journalist Steven Sotloff at an unknown locationThe mother of an American freelance journalist held hostage and threatened with death by Islamic militants pleaded for his release Wednesday in a video message aimed directly at his captors.


South Korea's Kia to invest $1 billion in Mexico

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:19

KIA Vice Chairman and CEO Hyoung-Keun Lee, left, and Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto talk before an announcement regarding a new KIA Auto assembly plant to be set up in Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. KIA announced the construction of a new auto making plant in the northern state of Nuevo Leon which is slated to start operating in 2016. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)MEXICO CITY (AP) — South Korea's Kia Motors Corp. said Wednesday it will invest more than $1 billion to build a car factory in northern Mexico that is expected to begin production in 2016.


U.S. court clears FedEx Ground drivers to pursue wage, benefit claims

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:16

Federal Express truck makes its way down a freeway in San Diego, CaliforniaGroups of mostly former FedEx drivers in California and Oregon can move forward with lawsuits alleging they are owed unpaid wages and benefits under state and federal labor laws after a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, sitting in Portland, Oregon, reversed a lower court's ruling, noting that FedEx drivers wear company uniforms, drive company-approved vehicles and are told where and when to deliver packages. The appeals court noted that the claims brought by the California and Oregon drivers are among similar cases filed against FedEx in approximately 40 states. Other courts have sided with FedEx, finding that drivers are independent contractors.


California bill mandating drone privacy rules heads to governor

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:13
By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - Strict regulations on how law enforcement and other government agencies can use drones won passage by California lawmakers on Wednesday, a move supporters said would protect privacy and prevent warrantless surveillance. The bill, which heads to Democratic Governor Jerry Brown after passing 51-0 in the state Assembly, would require law enforcement agencies to obtain a warrant before using an unmanned aircraft, or drone, except in emergencies such as a fire or a hostage-taking. “Over the next decade drone technology will become much more common in California’s airspace,” said Republican Assemblyman Jeff Gorell, the bill's author.  “There are tremendous benefits that can be realized from these tools, but only if we first pass the legislation that will protect our civil and privacy rights from abuses of the technology." Other public agencies would be able to use drones, or contract for their use, to achieve their "core mission," so long as that mission is not to gather criminal intelligence.

Labor protest disrupts Argentine capital

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:12

Riot police cordon off protesters partially blocking one of Buenos Aires' main access routes over the Riachuelo River in Argentina, Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. CTA, a union umbrella group that opposes the government, started a 36-hour strike to demand more jobs, better salaries and tax cuts on salaries. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — A labor organization opposed to Argentine President Cristina Fernandez caused traffic jams and disrupted life for many in the capital Wednesday at the start of a 36-hour strike.


Police: Diplomat accused of beating, no charges

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:11
ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Police in Virginia say the ambassador of Equatorial Guinea is suspected of beating his daughter with a wooden chair leg but won't be arrested because he has diplomatic immunity.

Girl abducted from school testifies about ordeal

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:10
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A young girl abducted from her kindergarten classroom and sexually brutalized in a 19-hour ordeal recalled bits of the crime for a jury Wednesday, but said she couldn't remember many of the details.

Feds protect 20 species of coral as threatened

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 06:05

This undated handout photo provided by NOAA shows Acropora globiceps which occurs in the Indo-Pacific; within U.S. waters it occurs in Guam, Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands, Pacific Remote island areas and American Samoa. NOAA announced Wednesday it will afford Endangered Species Act protections to 20 coral species. All 20 species will be listed as threatened, none as endangered. Fifteen of the newly listed species occur in the Indo-Pacific and five in the Caribbean. (AP Photo/NOAA)WASHINGTON (AP) — The federal government is protecting 20 types of colorful coral by putting them on the list of threatened species, partly because of climate change.