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Yahoo! National News

Training guide likens veterans to Oscar the Grouch

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 04:09
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — An internal training guide used by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs compared veterans unhappy about their care to Oscar the Grouch, a newspaper reported.

Mexican family files suit accusing U.S. agents in border death

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 04:09

Guillermo Arevalo Pedraza poses with his wife and daughters in an undated photo released by his family in Nuevo LaredoRelatives of a Mexican man they said was shot dead by U.S. Guillermo Arevalo Pedraza was shot from a Border Patrol boat on the Rio Grande River while his family was having a picnic on the Mexican side near Nuevo Laredo, the suit said. Arevalo is one of at least 13 people killed under a Border Patrol policy the plaintiffs claim allowed U.S. Customs and Border Patrol said the agency "cannot comment on pending litigation." The suit claims Arevalo was having a family barbecue in a park on the riverbank and was shot twice by agents.

John Lennon's killer sorry for being 'an idiot'

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 04:03

This May 15, 2012 photo provided by the New York State Department of Corrections shows Mark David Chapman at the Wende Correctional Facility in Alden, N.Y. Chapman, John Lennon’s imprisoned killer, says he still gets letters about the pain he has caused. Chapman was denied release during his eighth appearance before a parole board in August 2014, according to the transcript released by New York state corrections officials, on Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014. (AP Photo/New York State Department of Corrections, File)BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — John Lennon's imprisoned killer says he still gets letters about the pain he caused in his pursuit of notoriety nearly 34 years ago.

Pastor shot, wounded in Wyoming church

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 04:02
CENTENNIAL, Wyo. (AP) — A Wyoming pastor was shot and wounded with his own handgun after apparently interrupting a burglary at his rural church.

Tennessee lawyer Barrett dies, a civil rights champion

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 03:55
By Tim Ghianni NASHVILLE Tenn. (Reuters) - George Barrett, a lawyer who waged a nearly four-decade battle for desegregation of Tennessee's colleges and universities and represented student civil rights activists, has died at 86, a law firm partner said on Wednesday. Barrett, who died on Tuesday night from acute pancreatitis, came to be called "Citizen Barrett" for his advocacy. "People search for a mission or a purpose and George found that in the practice of law," said Jerry Martin, a partner in Barrett's firm and a former U.S.

California would triple tax breaks for film production under deal

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 03:54
By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - California will triple its tax breaks for entertainment companies doing business in the state, the latest effort to stem a tide of runaway production that has cost billions in revenue in Hollywood's home state under a deal announced on Wednesday. The increase in tax credits, aimed at luring production back to California even as other states offer tax breaks of their own, comes just a few weeks after the California Film Commission said the state had lost $2 billion in the past four years alone as producers sought cheaper places to do business. "This law will make key improvements in our Film and Television Tax Credit Program and put thousands of Californians to work," said Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, who signed on to the deal along with the Democratic and Republican leaders of the state legislature. The deal, which still must be approved by both houses of the legislature before the end of their session this week, would increase the amount of money available for tax credits for film and television production to $330 million per year, up from about $100 million.

Boston Marathon bombing victim marries his nurse

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 03:53

In this photo taken on Saturday, Aug. 23, 2014, and released by Hyatt Regency Boston, Boston Marathon bombing survivor, James Costello, right, marries Krista D’Agostino at the hotel in Boston. Officiating is Carol Merletti, center. The couple met at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital where D’Agostino worked as a nurse and helped Costello recover from his burns and injuries. (AP Photo/Prudente Photography)BOSTON (AP) — If something good could come out of the Boston Marathon bombing, James Costello and Krista D'Agostino seem to have found it.

Bankrupt Detroit offered bigger loan secured by art

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 03:52

A visitor stops to look at a painting by Picasso at the Detroit Institute of Arts in DetroitA New York-based specialty finance group is ready to loan Detroit as much as $4 billion, double its previous offer, if the bankrupt city uses the masterpieces in its art museum as collateral, according to a new proposal that surfaced this week. Art Capital Group, which offered to loan the city $2 billion earlier this year, doubled the offer based on a recent appraisal that determined the Detroit Institute of Arts' (DIA) collection was worth more than $8 billion. "We're prepared to provide a loan, secured by the art collection, that is a balanced, fair and equitable solution for the city so that it can emerge from bankruptcy with the money it needs to secure a better future," Montieth M. Illingworth, spokesman for Art Capital, said in a statement. Notable works at the DIA include Pieter Bruegel's The Wedding Dance, Vincent van Gogh's Self-Portrait with Straw Hat and Rembrandt's The Visitation.

Gay marriage issue lands at Florida Supreme Court

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 03:48
By Bill Cotterell TALLAHASSEE (Reuters) - The hot topic of same-sex marriage was sent to the Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday in a case brought by two women appealing a Tampa judge's denial of their divorce petition. The Second District Court of Appeal asked the Supreme Court to rule on what it said was a matter "of great public importance and will have a great effect on the proper administration of justice throughout the state." At issue is a 2008 amendment to the Florida Constitution approved by voters which defined marriage as the legal union of a man and a woman and denied state recognition of any other union.    Three dissenting judges argued that the issue is not whether Florida must legalize same-sex couples but whether it must recognize such marriages performed in other states.    “Resolution of the constitutional questions will no doubt impact far more individuals than the two involved here,” the District Court majority ruled. “And there can be little doubt that until the constitutional questions are finally resolved by the Florida Supreme Court or the United States Supreme Court, there will be a great impact on the proper administration of justice in Florida.”    The case involves Mariama Monique Changamire Shaw and Keiba Lynn Shaw, who were married in Massachusetts in 2010 and moved to Florida.

NYC Council to hold hearing after chokehold death

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 03:40
NEW YORK (AP) — The New York City Council will hold an oversight hearing next month on a police department review of its training procedures in the wake of the chokehold death of an unarmed Staten Island man, The Associated Press has learned.

California terrorism suspect denies US attack plot

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 03:39
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A terrorism suspect from California who was arrested near the Canadian border in Washington state and charged with attempting to travel to Syria to fight alongside Islamic extremists said in jailhouse interviews that he never intended to carry out attacks in the United States.

NASA's new giant rocket system passes milestone

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 03:39
WASHINGTON (AP) — NASA says its new giant rocket system passed an internal milestone Wednesday, but the first test launch got pushed back a year to 2018.

Shooting reported near Lower Providence Twp. building

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 03:37

Shooting reported near Lower Providence Twp. buildingA shooting has been reported near the Lower Providence Township building in Montgomery County.

Gay marriage advocates ask top U.S. court to strike down state bans

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 03:31

Skinner and her wife Belka wait for the beginning of the Utah Pride Parade in Salt Lake CityBy Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In a bold legal move, gay marriage advocates are urging the U.S. Supreme Court in three pending cases to decide once and for all whether states can ban same-sex unions. Gay and lesbian plaintiffs won before appeals courts in cases involving bans in Virginia, Utah and Oklahoma, and lawyers for those states have already asked the justices to take up their appeals. It is seen as a sign of the plaintiffs' optimism that the justices would side with them that they are joining the appeals.

More Colorado pot seized in the mail, report says

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 03:30
DENVER (AP) — The amount of Colorado marijuana being seized en route to other states through the U.S. mail has more than quadrupled since 2010 and was destined for more states than before, according to a new report by a federally funded drug task force.

Death certificates would reflect gender identity under California bill

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 03:29
Death certificates in California would be changed to reflect the gender identity of people at the time of their death rather than their sex at birth under a bill passed by lawmakers on Wednesday, the latest effort by the state to further the rights of transgender residents. It is one of several measures aimed at furthering the family rights of LGBT Californians passed this session, including a measure allowing same-sex couples to be listed as mother, father or parent on a child's birth certificate. "Once we are deceased, we are often at the mercy of others to treat us with dignity," said California Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, a Democrat from San Diego. "The very least we can do is ensure individuals are given basic human dignity by honoring their authentic selves when they pass so that more pain is not inflicted upon grieving loved ones or the community." Under the bill, an official filling out a death certificate would have to respect evidence that the deceased person had changed gender identity, including health records showing treatment for gender transition, court approval for a name change, an advanced healthcare directive or other documents.

Soldier who shot self at base had earned medals

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 03:27
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A soldier who barricaded herself in a building at a Virginia base and then fatally shot herself in the head earlier this week was a 33-year-old human resources specialist who had earned Army commendation and good conduct medals in the past, the Army said Wednesday.

3 ways insurers can discourage sick from enrolling

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 03:09

3 ways insurers can discourage sick from enrollingInsurers can no longer reject customers with expensive medical conditions thanks to the health care overhaul. But consumer advocates warn that companies are still using wiggle room to discourage the sickest — and costliest — patients from enrolling.

US CDC says flies home staffer who had 'low-risk' contact with Ebola

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 03:09
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday it flew an employee back to the United States from West Africa by chartered plane after the staff member came in contact with an international healthcare worker who later tested positive for Ebola. CDC spokesman Tom Skinner said the employee was "feeling fine" and had been scheduled to return to the United States from West Africa anyway. The staffer's exposure was "low-risk", the CDC said in a statement. The CDC transported the staff member via chartered plane because its regulations require that people who have contact with Ebola patients who travel long distances must travel by private means for 21 days after the last contact, the statement said.

Taney Dragons parade today; street closings, SEPTA detours

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 08/28/2014 - 03:08

Taney Dragons parade today; street closings, SEPTA detoursAn afternoon parade has been scheduled for today in Philadelphia to celebrate the Mid-Atlantic Little League champions Taney Dragons.