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BP penalty trial dredges up gloomy images of 2010 Gulf spill

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 06:05

FILE - In this June 3, 2010, file photo, a bird is mired in oil on the beach at East Grand Terre Island along the Louisiana coast. Lawyers representing the federal government were in a New Orleans courtroom Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, outlining their case for adding some $13.7 billion in penalties to costs already incurred by BP after the 2010 Gulf oil spill. BP points to $42 billion in costs it already has incurred in arguing for a lower penalty. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Images of oil-coated birds and testimony about "widespread sociocultural harm" opened the third phase of a trial to establish penalties BP must pay under the federal Clean Water Act for spilling millions of barrels of crude into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

Maryland governor officially commutes death sentences for 4

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 05:58
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has officially commuted the death sentences of four inmates who had been sentenced to die before Maryland banned capital punishment in 2013.

Bensalem man accused of touching 2 girls during sleepovers at his home

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 05:56

Bensalem man accused of touching 2 girls during sleepovers at his homeA Bensalem man has been arrested and charged with assaulting two young girls during sleepover parties at his home.

Va. governor to spend a second night in the hospital

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 05:54
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe will spend a second night in a Richmond hospital as he recovers from injuries he suffered in a horse-riding accident in Africa, a spokesman said Tuesday.

PHOTOS: Maps of Wednesday's expected snowfall

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 05:51

 Maps of Wednesday's expected snowfallAccuWeather is calling for some accumulating snow in parts of the Delaware and Lehigh Valleys.

New York man charged with trying to buy ricin 'death pills' online

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 05:48

Handout photo of Castro beansA Manhattan man tried to buy the biological toxin ricin from an undercover agent posing as a drug vendor on an online black marketplace, U.S. authorities said in criminal charges unsealed on Tuesday. The man, Cheng Le, has been in federal custody since he was arrested on Dec. 23, and is set to appear in federal court on Friday, according to the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office. His lawyer Patrick Brackley said Le intends to plead not guilty.

Some in jury pool say they could be fair in marathon trial

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 05:47
BOSTON (AP) — As jury selection resumed Tuesday in the highly anticipated terror trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the judge appeared to find what until now has been in scarce supply: prospective jurors who say they can be impartial.

Teen charged with killing mother in Bali allowed defense fund

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 05:40

U.S. citizen Heather Mack listens while sitting in a court in Denpasar, on the Indonesian resort island of BaliBy Mark Guarino CHICAGO (Reuters) - A Chicago-area woman will be allowed access to about 10 percent of her $1.56 million trust fund to help pay for her defense on murder charges in the death of her mother at an Indonesian resort, an Illinois judge ruled on Tuesday. Heather Mack, 19, is accused of murdering her mother, Sheila von Wiese-Mack, 62, while on vacation at a luxury resort in Bali last August. Mack, who was charged alongside her boyfriend, Tommy Schaefer, says she is innocent. The trial starts in Bali this month and is expected to last four months.

Chicago man gets jail for illegal lobbying for Zimbabwe's Mugabe

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 05:37
By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - A Chicago man was sentenced to 15 months in prison on Tuesday for illegal lobbying on behalf of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and others to try to lift economic sanctions against the African nation. C. Gregory Turner met many times in Africa with Zimbabwean government officials, including Mugabe and Gideon Gono, governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, who were both subject to U.S. sanctions, federal prosecutors in Chicago said.

UN Security Council calls for lasting cease-fire in Yemen

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 05:37
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. Security Council called for a lasting cease-fire in conflict-torn Yemen on Tuesday and condemned the recent surge in violence aimed at undermining the country's legitimate government institutions.

New outbreak of avian flu found in Washington state

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 05:25

Police tape and warning signs are seen outside a duck farm in Nafferton, northern EnglandBy Victoria Cavaliere SEATTLE (Reuters) - A third outbreak of avian flu has been detected in Washington state, prompting agriculture officials on Tuesday to warn bird owners to keep their flocks away from migratory birds that have spread viruses from Oregon to British Columbia. "All bird owners, whether commercial producers or backyard enthusiasts, need to continue practicing good biosecurity, preventing contact between their birds and wild birds and reporting sick birds or unusual bird deaths," said U.S. Department of Agriculture spokeswoman Joelle Hayden.

Exclusive: U.S. Air Force to reevaluate bids in protested radar deal - sources

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 05:18
By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Air Force has agreed to reevaluate proposals received in a competition for a long-range radar system initially won by Raytheon Co , after two losing bidders filed protests, two sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. The Air Force's action is expected to resolve the two separate protests, which were filed by Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp days after the contract was first awarded to Raytheon in October, according to the sources, who were not authorized to speak publicly. The decision followed a series of hearings held by the Government Accountability Office, the congressional agency that evaluates federal contract disputes. "The Air Force is taking corrective action," said one of the sources.

Ironworkers union boss Joseph Dougherty convicted in racketeering case

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 05:09

Ironworkers union boss Joseph Dougherty convicted in racketeering caseA longtime Philadelphia union boss has been convicted in a racketeering case that accused him of using violence and intimidation to secure union jobs.

Most police on U.S. public college campuses are armed: report

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 05:08
More than 90 percent of campus law enforcement officers at public U.S. colleges are armed, according to a branch of the Justice Department. A report by the Bureau of Justice Statistics on the 2011-2012 school year showed that colleges were hiring full-time law enforcement officers at a quicker rate than they were adding students, 16 percent compared to 11 percent, since the 2004-2005 school year. The study said 95 percent of all campuses have their own law enforcement agencies and that 92 percent of public institutions have sworn law officers with full arrest powers. Ninety-four percent of the officers at public colleges are authorized to carry side arms and use chemical spray.

Baker Hughes to lay off 7,000 workers, planning for downturn

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 05:02
HOUSTON (AP) — Oil services company Baker Hughes Inc. will lay off about 7,000 workers as it prepares for a downturn in orders because of the plunge in crude prices, the company said Tuesday.

Reno to rededicate memorial to victims of 1985 plane crash

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 05:00

FILE - In this Jan. 21, 1985, file photo, firefighters continue to water down the wreckage of the Galaxy Airliner that crashed shortly after 1 a.m., killing all but one person aboard in Reno, Nev. George Lamson, Jr, 17, of St. Paul, Minn., the lone survivor that killed 70 people on a Super Bowl junket in 1985 says he can't bring himself to attend a rededication ceremony for a memorial plaque honoring the victims on the 30th anniversary of the tragedy. Washoe County officials plan to unveil a new plaque Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, after the original was stolen two years ago from a regional park near the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno. (AP Photo/Reno Gazette-Journal, Marilyn Newton, File)RENO, Nev. (AP) — The lone survivor of a 1985 Reno airplane crash that killed 70 people who were returning from a Super Bowl junket says he can't bring himself to attend a memorial on the 30th anniversary of the disaster.

2 from Yemen charged in US with conspiracy to kill Americans

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 04:59
NEW YORK (AP) — Two al-Qaida members from Yemen befriended an American recruit and helped him join the terrorist group, clearing the way for the New York native to hatch a plot against the Long Island Rail Road, prosecutors said Tuesday.

Two Yemenis charged in U.S. court over alleged al Qaeda link

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 04:58
By Aruna Viswanatha WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two Yemeni men were charged in the United States with working with al Qaeda and conspiring to attack U.S. military forces in Afghanistan in 2008, according to a complaint unsealed on Tuesday. Saddiq Al-Abbadi and Ali Alvi were arrested in Saudi Arabia and expelled to the United States, the U.S. Justice Department said. The country has no formal extradition treaty with the United States, according to a list on the State Department website.

TransCanada takes steps to acquire Keystone pipeline land

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 04:42

FILE - In this Jan 16, 2015 file photo, a barn called the Energy Barn, which was built by anti-pipeline activists directly on the route of the Keystone XL pipeline, stands in a snowy corn field near Bradshaw, Neb. Officials with TransCanada said Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2015, they've filed paperwork in nine counties to acquire access to land that's needed for the construction and operation of the pipeline. The route still faces challenges as opponents have filed lawsuits to try to prevent the Calgary, Alberta-based company from using eminent domain and to overturn the state law that allowed ex-Gov. Dave Heineman to approve the route. (AP Photo/Nati Harnik, File)LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The developer of the Keystone XL oil pipeline made good on its promise Tuesday to try to seize access to the Nebraska land it needs to finish the project — the first steps it's taken since the state's high court removed a major legal barrier.

Connecticut school settling lawsuit with sex assault victim

Yahoo! National News - Wed, 01/21/2015 - 04:36
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — School board lawyers have agreed to settle a lawsuit by a former student who accused officials of allowing several boys who sexually assaulted her to remain at her middle school and to traumatize her for weeks.