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Ruling on Illinois pension reform law due Friday

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 06:29
By Karen Pierog SPRINGFIELD Illinois (Reuters) - A ruling on whether an Illinois law aimed at easing the state's huge unfunded pension liability is constitutional will be issued on Friday, a judge overseeing the case said on Thursday. Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge John Belz, who heard oral arguments for and against the state's pension reform law on Thursday, said his written ruling will be issued at 2 p.m. CT. The state is contending that its so-called police powers, which can be invoked in an emergency, trump constitutional protections for public worker retirement benefits. ...

Trial scheduled in lawsuit alleging PLO bombings

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 06:29
NEW YORK (AP) — A New York judge says a trial set for January can resolve decade-old $1 billion civil claims brought by U.S. terrorism victims against the Palestine Liberation Organization for attacks near Jerusalem.

Four members of New Jersey family shot, two of them fatally

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 06:25

Police vehicle is parked in front of the scene of a multiple shooting inside a home in TabernacleBy Daniel Kelley TABERNACLE N.J. (Reuters) - A shooting at a home near Philadelphia killed two members of a New Jersey family and critically wounded two others, according to state police, who said other relatives were in the house at the time but did not report hearing gunfire. A boy and a girl were killed, while a woman and an adolescent boy were critically wounded, State Police Captain Stephen Jones said on Thursday outside a house in Tabernacle, New Jersey, where the gunfire took place. ...

Mostly abandoned Kansas City building collapses

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 06:21

A Kansas City firefighter looks over the scene where a building partially collapsed after a woman driving a white SUV ran into the structure while being chased by police, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, in Kansas City, Mo. The building contained about a dozen vintage cars and was unoccupied at the time. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A vehicle being chased by police slammed into a downtown Kansas City building where vintage cars were being stored Thursday, causing the structure to partially collapse and sending at least one vehicle plummeting to the ground from the second floor.

Seattle police may scrap body camera plan over costly record requests

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 06:13
By Victoria Cavaliere SEATTLE (Reuters) - The Seattle Police Department might cancel plans to outfit officers with body cameras because the ensuing public record requests for the videos might become too costly for the city, according to a report published Thursday. The Seattle Police Department was to begin a body camera pilot program in the coming weeks, with 1,000 officers to be outfitted with the technology by 2016 as part of an effort to document crime and protect officers' and suspects' rights. ...

Land buyback expands to 21 Indian communities

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 06:10
The U.S. Department of Interior says it has added 21 American Indian communities to a $1.9 billion program to consolidate tribal lands owned by multiple individuals. They are:

Residents in western New York call snow worst in memory

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 06:07

Pedestrians walks a snow-covered street following an autumn snow storm in LackawannaBy Ellen Wulfhorst (Reuters) - Fresh snow fell on Thursday in snowbound western New York, where longtime residents described the blast of winter weather as the worst in memory. At least eight deaths were blamed on the storm. Some areas of New York state along the Great Lakes had nearly 2 feet (60 cm) of new snow on top of accumulations as high as 5 feet (1.5 metres) from earlier in the week. The National Weather Service said parts of the region could expect 3 feet (9O cm) more snow before skies clear on Friday. "I've been in a lot of snowstorms, and this is by far the worst. ...

3 injured in 2-vehicle crash in Southwest Philadelphia

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 06:07

3 injured in 2-vehicle crash in Southwest PhiladelphiaAuthorities say a three people were injured in a two vehicle crash in Southwest Philadelphia.

Iowa man held after arrest near White House

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 06:06
WASHINGTON (AP) — An Iowa man arrested in Washington after the Secret Service found a hunting rifle, ammunition and a knife in his car parked near the White House will stay in jail for now.

Workers who died at Dupont Texas plant lacked respirators: lawyer

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 06:05
By Erwin Seba HOUSTON (Reuters) - Four workers killed at a DuPont and Co’s chemical plant in Texas on Saturday did not have access to safety equipment like respirators when there was a deadly release of a hazardous chemical, an attorney for one victim’s family said on Thursday. The enclosed five-story tall building where methyl mercaptan was released may also not have had working ventilation fans at the time of the incident, attorney Brent Coon said. ...

Massey ex-CEO pleads not guilty in fatal West Virginia mine blast

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 06:04
By Kara Van Pelt BECKLEY W.Va. (Reuters) - A former chief executive of Massey Energy Co pleaded not guilty on Thursday to charges he violated federal mine safety laws before a 2010 explosion that killed 29 miners in West Virginia, the worst U.S. mine disaster in four decades. Donald Blankenship, who headed Massey from 2000 to 2010, was released on a $5 million cash bond after a hearing in U.S. District Court. Trial was set for Jan. 26. "Not guilty," Blankenship told Magistrate Clarke Van Dervort. ...

Deal divides billions in closed nuke plant's costs

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 05:53

FILE - In this June 30, 2011, file photo beach-goers walk on the sand near the San Onofre nuclear power plant in San Clemente, Calif. Consumers will get refunds and credits of about $1.4 billion, but also pay about $3.3 billion, under a settlement approved Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014, on costs stemming from the premature closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi, File)LOS ANGELES (AP) — Consumers will pay about $3.3 billion and shareholders will pay about $1.4 billion under a settlement approved Thursday on costs stemming from the premature closure of the San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Pittsburgh 911 dispatchers allege discrimination, harassment

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 05:51
By Elizabeth Daley PITTSBURGH (Reuters) - Three minority women are suing a Pittsburgh 911 dispatch center where they worked, alleging that sexual harassment and race-based discrimination threatened their job performance and put callers at risk, their attorney said on Thursday. Kelli Rodriguez, 34, who worked at the Allegheny County 911 Communications Center in 2013 before being fired, charged in her lawsuit that her supervisor, a white man, used racist and sexual language in speaking to her. ...

Former Brown dean whose group won Nobel Prize dies

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 05:48

This undated black and white photo provided by Brown University shows David Greer, a former dean of the university's medical school. Greer died Tuesday, Nov. 18, 2014, in Fall River, Mass. He was 89. Greer helped found the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989. (AP Photo/Brown University, John Forasté)PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — David Greer, a doctor who co-founded a group that won the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize for working to prevent nuclear war and who helped transform the medical school at Brown University, has died. He was 89.

Sources: Tabernacle shooting may be murder-suicide attempt; 2 kids dead

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 05:47

 Tabernacle shooting may be murder-suicide attempt; 2 kids deadPolice confirm that two children - a boy and a girl - were killed in a multiple shooting inside a home in Tabernacle, New Jersey.

'Unauthorized' immigrant from Mexico to be sworn in as lawyer in Florida

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 05:46
By Saundra Amrhein TAMPA Fla. (Reuters) - A Mexican national who studied law in the United States while an undocumented immigrant is set on Thursday be admitted to the Florida state bar, in the culmination of a politically charged case. The Republican-dominated Florida Legislature in May passed a measure clearing the way for Jose Godinez-Samperio, who came to the United States as a child on a visa that subsequently expired, to practice law in the state. ...

Florida student says books saved his life in campus library shooting

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 05:45
By Bill Cotterell TALLAHASSEE Fla. (Reuters) - Florida State University student Jason Derfuss did not think to look at his book bag as he fled the university library where a gunman wounded three people early on Thursday. Only later did Derfuss realized that his books may have saved his life. "He was about 5 feet from me, but he hit my books. Books one minute earlier I had checked out of the library, books that should not have stopped the bullet," Derfuss wrote on Facebook. The shooter was killed in an exchange of gunfire with law enforcement at Florida State's Strozier Library at about 12:30 ...

Kansas City students walk out of governor's speech

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 05:43
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Some Kansas City students have walked out of a speech Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was giving in an apparent protest of the police shooting in Ferguson.

Texas State University building briefly evacuated over gun report

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 05:39
AUSTIN Texas (Reuters) - A university admissions building at Texas State University was briefly evacuated on Thursday after a student reported seeing an individual with a gun on campus, the university said. No one was injured in the event in the central Texas city of San Marcos amid concerns at colleges nationwide after a gunman shot and wounded three people at Florida State University early on Thursday. "The Texas State University Police are questioning two individuals following an evacuation of the Undergraduate Admissions Center on campus," the university said in a statement. ...

U.S. seeks ways to stop Americans from becoming 'foreign fighters'

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 11/21/2014 - 05:35

FBI Director James Comey takes a question from reporter during a news conference at the FBI office in Boston(Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has set up a task force to identify ways to prevent Americans from traveling abroad to become "foreign fighters," a problem that the government has said is one of the nation's top security concerns. The task force, which was disclosed Tuesday in the Federal Register, will also examine whether current security policies are adequate to prevent the return of "foreign fighters" who have been trained overseas. ...