BOSTON (AP) — U.S. District Judge George O'Toole Jr. is presiding over the trial of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. O'Toole has handled several high-profile trials since he became a federal judge two decades ago. Here are some things to know about him:
By Jim Forsyth SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - Five men died on Thursday when their van slammed into a crude oil tanker truck and burst into flames on a highway in a South Texas oil field, police said. The five, who are believed to be oil field workers, were killed around 8:15 a.m. local time (CT) in the Eagle Ford Shale in Dimmit County, in the heart of the fracking field southwest of San Antonio, state trooper Maria Loredo told Reuters.
A majority of New York City residents are concerned by the unusually deep rift that has formed between Mayor Bill de Blasio and the city's police department, according to a poll released on Thursday, with 77 percent saying the relationship is bad. Forty-five percent say it is the mayor's fault, while 43 percent say it is the police's, according to the Quinnipiac University Poll. Amid police anger over the mayor's qualified support for some of the police's fiercest critics, the number of arrests and court summonses plummeted for two weeks in late December as the nation's largest police department embarked on what city leaders called a slowdown.
By Jon Herskovitz and Lisa Maria Garza AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Four inmates and a corrections officer severely injured in a prison bus crash that killed 10 people in Texas remained hospitalized on Thursday as officials tried to determine what caused the vehicle to slide off the highway and slam into a moving train. Three inmates were in critical condition and another was in serious condition at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, a hospital official said. The guard, who was in critical condition, was transferred to a hospital in Lubbock, prison officials said. Two correctional officers and eight inmates died from injuries suffered in the accident.
WASHINGTON (AP) — How your immune system does its job seems to depend more on your environment and the germs you encounter than on your genes, says new research that put twins to the test to find out.
DETROIT (AP) — Calling him a "master of manipulation," a judge sentenced a former Rotary Club president to life in prison Thursday for arranging his wife's killing so he could devote more time to cavorting with other women who shared his love for sexual bondage and domination.
By Mary Wisniewski Chicago (Reuters) - For the second time in just over two weeks, Chicago-area prosecutors have charged a driver for the ride-sharing company Uber with sexually assaulting a passenger. Adnan Nafasat, 46, was driving for Uber when the alleged assault happened on July 31, Lisa Gordon, a spokeswoman for the Cook County State's Attorney's office, said on Thursday. Nafasat was charged on Wednesday with criminal sexual assault, unlawful restraint and kidnapping and will appear in court on Feb. 3. She told the Chicago Tribune that Nafasat was immediately removed when the incident came to light and the company was working with authorities.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Many of the students at Kingsley Elementary School in a low-income neighborhood of Los Angeles eat breakfast and lunch provided by the school. For the nearly 100 enrolled in the after-school program, another meal is served: supper.
PITTSBURGH (AP) — Pittsburgh's new police chief has asked for an internal investigation of himself to determine whether he broke police regulations by retweeting a picture that shows him holding a sign that said "I resolve to challenge racism @ work" and with the hash tag "end white silence."
BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A federal judge in South Texas didn't immediately rule on whether to grant a request by a coalition of 25 states to temporarily block President Barack Obama's executive action on immigration while a lawsuit to permanently stop the order goes through the courts.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — State regulators have fined a Kentucky fire department $25,000 for improper training and equipment after a firefighter was killed and three others hurt while the crew tried to help a college marching band participate in the ice bucket challenge.
BEIJING (AP) — Rising smartphone star Xiaomi is moving upmarket and taking aim at Apple's iPhone.
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Key Mideast mediators — the United States, the United Nations, the European Union and Russia — will meet this month to discuss the way toward Israeli-Palestinian peace as tensions escalate in the decades-old conflict.
By Sebastien Malo NEW YORK (Reuters) - Scores of airport workers rallied on Thursday in New York and other cities to demand higher wages in one of several protests planned by an array of interest groups to mark the birthday of civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. About 200 service workers blocked a dozen or so bus and car drivers by sitting down on a street bridge leading to New York's LaGuardia Airport. At Philadelphia International Airport, about 100 non-unionized airport workers marched silently through four terminals to a designated "free speech zone" where they held a rally accusing contractors of ignoring minimum wage rules.
AKRON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio woman was drunk when she sped away from police in an SUV that later crashed and flipped with five children inside, ejecting a 2-year-old boy, authorities said Thursday.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — An American astronaut and Russian cosmonaut are just two months shy of launching to the International Space Station for an entire year. Already, though, scientists are clamoring for additional long-term subjects.
By David DeKok HARRISBURG, Pa. (Reuters) - A turreted, Victorian-era jail, the site of Pennsylvania's last public hanging in 1879, was destroyed by a massive fire that forced the evacuation of hundreds of prisoners at gunpoint, officials said on Thursday. More than 200 firefighters from six counties battled the six-alarm blaze, which broke out at the Northumberland County Prison on Wednesday afternoon, according to local media. The cause of the fire is still unknown and investigators are looking into the possibility that it was touched off by an electrical problem, said Brad Hare, chief of police in Sunbury, about 50 miles north of Harrisburg in central Pennsylvania. “It needs to be torn down.” He said the county will consider building a regional prison with surrounding counties, or possibly enter into a lease-back arrangement with a company that builds prisons.
BAY MINETTE, Ala. (AP) — A judge sentenced an Alabama woman to 219 years in prison Thursday for her role in an incestuous sex ring accused of molesting children for years.
By Serena Maria Daniels DETROIT (Reuters) - A Detroit judge on Thursday sentenced a suburban businessman to life in prison without parole for hiring his handyman to kill his wife. Robert Bashara, 57, was convicted last month of first-degree murder and four additional charges in the death of his wife, Jane Bashara, a marketing executive. She was found dead in the backseat of her black Mercedes SUV on a Detroit street nearly three years ago. Prosecutors have said Bashara, who is from the wealthy Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe Park, blamed his wife's death on urban street violence at the time.
By Alina Selyukh and Mark Hosenball WASHINGTON (Reuters) - No existing technology can fully replace collecting data in bulk to obtain electronic intelligence, but some methods could be developed to improve how information is gathered and used, the U.S. National Research Council said in a report on Thursday. The report, sponsored by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, was in response to President Barack Obama's call last year for a review of potential software-based alternatives to the controversial program. The program came to light following explosive revelations in 2013 by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden that the U.S. government was collecting and storing bulk telephone records of calls made to and from U.S. citizens.