Santa Cruz, Calif. (AP) — Surfers catching waves and mountain bikers pedaling through forests are used to the occasional low flying pelican or diving hawk, but these days outdoor recreationalists can find what's up in the air isn't a bird at all, it's a drone.
VAN HORN, Texas (AP) — An isolated edge of vast West Texas is home to a highly secretive part of the 21st-century space race, one of two being directed in the Lone Star State by Internet billionaires whose personalities and corporate strategies seem worlds apart.
BOSTON (AP) — Lawyers for Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will begin presenting witnesses this week in the penalty phase of his trial as they try to make their case that he should be sentenced to life in prison — not death — for his role in the deadly 2013 attack.
CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — James Holmes was growing volatile well before he put on a gas mask and body armor, strapped on a rifle, shotgun, pistol and ammunition, and slipped into a midnight premiere of the Batman film "The Dark Knight Rises."
(This April 24 story corrects headline to clarify that the air carrier in question is not Alaska Airlines, which has no involvement) (Reuters) - An Alaska commuter airline routinely failed to inform pilots of shifting weather conditions and other hazards leading up to a 2013 crash in western Alaska that killed four people, the National Transportation Safety Board said on Friday. The Cessna 208B, a single-engine turboprop, had been heading from Bethel to Mountain Village in deteriorating winter weather and crashed about a mile (1.6 km) southeast of St. Mary's Airport in southwestern Alaska. Prior to the crash, Hageland Aviation Services Inc had failed to follow its own risk assessment plan, and on the day the plane went down the flight coordinators on duty had not been trained properly in those procedures, according to NTSB crash investigation documents released on Thursday.
By Joan Biskupic WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court's arguments on Tuesday over same-sex marriage will cap more than two decades of litigation and a transformation in public attitudes. Based on the court's actions during the past two years, a sense of inevitability is in the air: That a majority is on the verge of declaring gay marriage legal nationwide. Justice Anthony Kennedy, the court's pivotal member on gay rights, has been marching in this direction with opinions dating to 1996. In his most recent gay rights decision for the court in 2013, rejecting a legal definition of marriage limited to a man and woman for purposes of federal benefits, Kennedy deplored that U.S. law for making gay marriages "unequal." That 5-4 decision did not address a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, but lower court judges interpreted the ruling as an endorsement of it and began invalidating state bans.
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments this week on whether a drug used in Oklahoma's lethal injection mix should be banned in a case that comes as a shortage of execution chemicals has sent some states scrambling for alternatives. The main question before the nine justices in the case brought by three death row inmates that will be heard on Wednesday is whether the use of the sedative midazolam violates constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment. The case does not address the constitutionality of the death penalty in general, but brings fresh attention to the debate over whether executions should continue in the United States. Opponents say midazolam is not approved for use in painful surgeries and should not be used in the death chamber because it cannot maintain a coma-like unconsciousness, potentially leaving inmates in intense pain from lethal injection drugs that halt breathing and stop the heart.
Coast Guard crews continued their search Sunday morning for at least four people missing in the water after a powerful storm capsized several sailboats participating in a regatta near Mobile Bay, Alabama.