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Virginia's Sweet Briar to close, part of drop in U.S. women's colleges

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 06:33
By Gary Robertson RICHMOND, Va. (Reuters) - Virginia's cash-strapped Sweet Briar College will close at the end of the summer, administrators said on Tuesday, part of a sharp decline in the number of U.S. women's schools. The 114-year-old school near Lynchburg is closing because of “insurmountable financial challenges,” President James Jones said. Sweet Briar’s closure is part of a rapid decline in the number of women’s colleges. The Women’s College Coalition website says that in 1960 there were 230 women’s schools, but by 2014 that number had shrunk to 47.

Fire Department of New York gets 1st female, gay chaplain

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 06:32
NEW YORK (AP) — The Fire Department of New York has sworn in its first female and first openly gay chaplain.

Murder charges filed in stabbing of Nicki Minaj's tour member

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 06:24

Murder charges filed in stabbing of Nicki Minaj's tour memberPhiladelphia Police say the man arrested for the stabbings of two members of Nicki Minaj's tour crew will now be charged with murder.

Firefighters wake up to smoke in station, then battle blaze

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 06:24

This Tuesday, March 3, 2015 photo shows Fire Station 2 in Salt Lake City after an early morning fire in a second-floor utility room at the building. Nine Salt Lake City firefighters who escaped the fire that erupted at their own station were taken to a hospital to be checked for smoke inhalation. Fire Department spokesman Jasen Asay says in a statement that the nine firefighters fled the building and returned with a truck to fight the blaze. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Firefighters are used to alarms in the middle of the night, but the smoke doesn't usually come to their front door.

Ex-CIA chief Petraeus to plead guilty, admits giving mistress secrets

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 06:20

Former CIA director David Petraeus speaks at the University of Southern California in Los AngelesBy Mark Hosenball and Will Dunham WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Former CIA Director David Petraeus has agreed to plead guilty to mishandling classified information, with the retired four-star general admitting to giving eight "black books" full of such data to a military mistress who was writing his biography. Petraeus, 62, will plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified material under the deal, according to documents filed on Tuesday in federal court in Charlotte, North Carolina. The plea agreement announced by the Justice Department marks the latest chapter in an astonishing fall from grace for Petraeus, an intellectual with a Princeton University doctorate and a counter-insurgency expert widely considered one of America's most important military leaders of recent decades. He served stints as the top U.S. commander in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and then as CIA director and was lauded by senior U.S. lawmakers.

ACCUWEATHER MAPS: Days of wintry weather

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 06:20

 Days of wintry weatherAccuWeather is tracking ice, rain, and snow for the area from Tuesday to Thursday.

Drew Peterson pleads not guilty in murder-for-hire plot

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 06:15

FILE - In this May 8, 2009 file photo, former Bolingbrook, Ill., police officer Drew Peterson arrives for court in Joliet, Ill. Peterson, convicted of killing his third wife and suspected in his fourth wife's disappearance, was charged in February with soliciting an unidentified person to find someone he could pay to kill Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow who helped put him in prison. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)CHESTER, Ill. (AP) — Drew Peterson, a former suburban Chicago police officer convicted of killing his third wife and suspected in his fourth wife's disappearance, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to trying to hire someone to kill the prosecutor who helped put him in prison.

NYC Council begins hearings on police-community relations

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 06:15
NEW YORK (AP) — Relations between New York City's police department and communities of color, long at a simmer, boiled over last summer when an unarmed Eric Garner was captured on video screaming "I can't breathe!" as he was placed in a fatal chokehold by an NYPD officer.

At least 15 Washington students exposed to pepper spray

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 06:00
At least 15 students were exposed to pepper spray at a Washington school on Tuesday and treated for minor injuries, city officials said. The incident occurred at about 1:40 p.m. after someone sprayed pepper spray into a classroom, the Washington Post reported. The students at Cesar Chavez Public Charter School, which teaches sixth through eighth graders, were transported in an ambulance bus to Children's National Medical Center, fire department and police said. A spokeswoman for Mayor Muriel Bowser put the number of students at 16.

FEMA settles first wave of NY, NJ Sandy insurance litigation

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 05:59
By Laila Kearney NEW YORK (Reuters) - Federal disaster relief officials have settled with a first swath of Hurricane Sandy victims who were denied insurance claims or underpaid for property damage caused by the historic 2012 storm, attorneys said on Tuesday. New York and New Jersey residents have launched about 1,500 court cases over Sandy flood claims, accusing private insurance companies partnered with the Federal Emergency Management Agency of intentionally and improperly denying their claims. FEMA has tentatively settled 160 of the lawsuits and another 90 settlements were imminent, plaintiffs' attorney Steve Mostyn said. A FEMA spokeswoman confirmed that the agency was in settlement negotiations but declined to comment further.

Obama, EU leaders discuss new Russia sanctions over Ukraine

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 05:55
BRUSSELS (AP) — U.S. President Barack Obama and European leaders agreed Tuesday to weigh further sanctions against Russia if the cease-fire agreement in Ukraine is violated, EU officials said.

Murder charges filed in stabbing of Nicki Minaj's tour manager

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 05:50

Murder charges filed in stabbing of Nicki Minaj's tour memberPhiladelphia Police say the man arrested for the stabbings of two members of Nicki Minaj's tour crew will now be charged with murder.

Visa, MasterCard moving into mobile pay in Africa

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 05:50
NEW YORK (AP) — Americans may just be getting used to mobile pay, but consumers in many African countries have been paying with their phones for years. Now payment processors Visa and MasterCard want to get a slice of that market, and are launching card services aimed at Africa's growing mobile payment industry.

Fugitive ex-NSA contractor Snowden seeks to come home: lawyer

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 05:29

File photo of Snowden appearing live via video during a student organized world affairs conference at the Upper Canada College private high school in TorontoA Russian lawyer for Edward Snowden said on Tuesday the fugitive former U.S. spy agency contractor who leaked details of the government's mass surveillance programs was working with American and German lawyers to return home. In Washington, U.S. officials said they would welcome Snowden's return to the United States but he would have to face criminal charges which have been filed against him. Snowden's lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, who has links to the Kremlin, was speaking at a news conference to present a book he has written about his client. There is a group of U.S. lawyers, there is also a group of German lawyers and I'm dealing with it on the Russian side." The United States wants Snowden to stand trial for leaking extensive secrets of electronic surveillance programs by the National Security Agency (NSA).

Judge orders white supremacist to stand trial in Kansas killings

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 05:29

Frazier Glenn Cross appears in court on murder charges in Olathe, KansasBy Kevin Murphy OLATHE, Kan. (Reuters) - A Kansas judge on Tuesday ordered a Missouri white supremacist to stand trial on capital murder charges in the shooting deaths of three people outside two Jewish centers in a Kansas City suburb last April. Johnson County District Court Judge Thomas Kelly Ryan found probable cause to believe that Frazier Glenn Cross Jr., 74, committed the murders as well as three attempted murders, following 1-1/2 days of sometimes harrowing testimony. Cross, a former senior member of the Ku Klux Klan who had expressed a hatred for Jews, could face the death penalty if convicted on the capital murder charges in the shooting spree on April 13 in Overland Park, Kansas. A public defender asked Ryan to delay Cross' arraignment until later in March so he could advise his client and present evidence.

Victims to relive horror of marathon bombing as trial begins

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 05:25

Boston Police Special Operations officers use a bomb-sniffing dog while searching a vehicle on a street near the federal courthouse, in Boston, Tuesday, March 3, 2015. A panel of 12 jurors and six alternates was seated Tuesday after two months of jury selection for the federal death penalty trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)BOSTON (AP) — In the two years since twin bombs tore through crowds at the Boston Marathon finish line, the case against suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has focused on arguments over where his trial should be held, who should sit on the jury and what evidence prosecutors should be allowed to use.

'Free-range' parents in Maryland found responsible for neglect

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 05:20
(Reuters) - A Maryland couple who drew national attention for being "free-range" parents after police found their children walking home alone have been found responsible for child neglect, a state child protective services spokeswoman said on Tuesday. The finding of "unsubstantiated child neglect" means a CPS file will be kept open for five years on the family of Danielle and Alexander Meitiv. Police stopped the children on Dec. 20 while they were on a walk home from a park in the Washington suburb of Silver Spring, Maryland, said Paula Tolson, spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of Human Resources and Montgomery County Child Protective Services. An unsubstantiated finding typically is reached when the agency has some information supporting a finding of child neglect,?? has conflicting credible reports, or does not have ?sufficient information to reach a more definitive conclusion, Tolson said.

Computerized school testing off to a rocky start in Florida

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 05:17
By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI (Reuters) - Newly computerized state tests were suspended on Tuesday in some of Florida’s largest public school districts after students across the state struggled with faulty software. The 60-to-90-minute exams are a Florida version of the controversial Common Core standards that set national benchmarks for student performance. About half of Florida’s school districts reported problems with online testing on Monday, according Florida Department of Education Spokeswoman Meghan Collins. Miami-Dade County Public Schools Chief Academic Officer Marie Izquierdo called the Florida State Assessment tests on Monday an “epic fail” on Twitter, blaming the state for hastily rolling out an unproven computerized testing system.

Man charged with killing family dog after it bit 4-year-old

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 05:15
ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Police say a New Hampshire man stuck his dog in a kennel and shot it dead with a hunting rifle after it bit a 4-year-old boy.

Nitrogen gas executions approved by Oklahoma House

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 03/04/2015 - 05:14

Oklahoma state Rep. Mike Christian, R-Oklahoma City, gestures as he answers a question about his bill allowing the execution of inmates using nitrogen gas as an alternate method, if the state's current lethal injection method is declared unconstitutional, on the floor of the House in Oklahoma City, Tuesday, March 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma would become the first state to allow the execution of death row inmates using nitrogen gas under a bill overwhelmingly approved on Tuesday by the House of Representatives.