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Accused kidnapper of NY Amish sisters to attend change-of-plea hearing

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 06:50
By Matthew Liptak SYRACUSE, N.Y. (Reuters) - A man who has pleaded not guilty in the alleged kidnapping and sexual exploitation of two Amish sisters in northern New York will appear at change-of-plea hearing next month, prosecutors said on Thursday, raising the possibility that he would strike a deal on at least some of the charges against him. Stephen Howells II and his girlfriend, Nicole Vaisey, both from Hermon, New York, are accused of abducting the two girls, aged 12 and 7, from a roadside farm stand in the rural Amish community of Oswegatchie, near the Canadian border, and then sexually exploiting them to make child pornography. John Duncan, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Syracuse, would not say whether Howells intended to plead guilty to any or all of the charges he faces. The St. Lawrence County Sheriff's Office said Howells and Vaisey had lured the two sisters into a car on Aug. 13 with an offer to pet a dog and had the intent to enslave them.

Driver who hit toddler starts events that leave 4 dead

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 06:50

In this Feb. 6, 2012 photo provided by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections is Ricky Chiles III. Milwaukee police said Thursday, April 16, 2015 that Chiles, suspected of fatally shooting two people Sunday at the scene of a traffic accident that killed his 2-year-old nephew, shot himself with his gun as police closed in on him at a hotel in the Chicago area. Police suspect Chiles of killing 40-year-old Archie Brown Jr., who had struck and killed Chiles' nephew in the accident. (Wisconsin Department of Corrections via AP)MILWAUKEE (AP) — Damani Terry just wanted to join a group of girls dancing in a park across the street. The 2-year-old stepped into the road — right into the path of an oncoming van.

Top US lawmakers strike deal to fast-track trade deals

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 06:49

FILE - In this March 5, 2014, file photo, the Senate Finance Committee ranking member Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. speaks on Capitol Hill in Washington. Top lawmakers struck a bipartisan agreement on Thursday to allow President Barack Obama to negotiate trade deals subject to a yes-or-no vote from Congress without the possibility of changes. The "fast-track" legislation comes as Obama seeks a sweeping trade deal with 11 Pacific nations. The Trans-Pacific Partnership proposes a trade agreement involving the United States, Japan, Vietnam, Canada, Mexico and seven other Pacific-rim nations. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — Top congressional lawmakers struck a long-sought, bipartisan agreement Thursday for the broadest trade policy pact in years, allowing President Barack Obama to negotiate trade accords for Congress' review and move forward with talks on a sweeping partnership with Pacific nations.

Double homicide suspect in Milwaukee commits suicide: police

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 06:12
By Brendan O'Brien MILWAUKEE, Wis. (Reuters) - A man suspected of fatally shooting two people, including a motorist who had struck and killed a toddler on a Milwaukee street, killed himself on Thursday after police found him at a Chicago-area motel, authorities said. Chicago police and U.S. Marshals had tracked Rick Ricardo Chiles III, 27, to a motel room in a Chicago suburb where he was staying with his girlfriend, Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn told a news conference. Chiles had been suspected of fatally shooting motorist Archie Brown, 41, and Rasheed Chiles, 15, who was believed to be his nephew, after Brown struck and killed 2-year-old Damani Terry on Milwaukee's northwest side Sunday evening. The suspect also shot Rasheed Chiles, Terry's brother, who later died at an area hospital, police said.

IRS says prominent Texas businessman, late brother owe $3B

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 06:10
DALLAS (AP) — The IRS wants $3.2 billion to cover back taxes that it says are owed by a prominent Texas businessman and his late brother who the IRS says hid income by setting up overseas trust funds.

Ohio man accused of plot to attack US military base, prison

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 06:07

FILE - In this Feb. 25, 2015 file photo, Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud, left, speaks with his defense attorney, Sam Shamansky, during a hearing to set bond on charges of money laundering and providing support for terrorism in Columbus, Ohio. A Thursday, April 16 indictment says Mohamud left the country a year ago to train and fight with terrorists in Syria. The indictment says Mohamud, who was arrested in Columbus earlier this year, weighed which extremist group in Syria was more effective before his travels. (AP Photo/Andrew Welsh-Huggins)COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio man traveled to Syria and trained alongside terrorists, then returned to the U.S. with plans to attack a military base or a prison, according to a federal indictment announced Thursday.

UN chief set to nominate new special envoy to Yemen

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 06:04

FILE - Assistant UN Secretary-General, Special Adviser to Secretary-General on Yemen, Jamal Benomar, speaks to a reporter during an interview with The Associated Press in Sanaa, Yemen, in this Nov. 18, 2013 file photo. The U.N.'s special envoy to Yemen has stepped down after four years of efforts at a peaceful political transition in the Arab world's poorest country fell apart amid a Shiite rebel uprising and Saudi-led airstrikes. A U.N. statement late Wednesday April 15, 2015 said Jamal Benomar "has expressed an interest in moving on to another assignment" and that his successor will be named "in due course." (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed, File)UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday is expected to nominate the head of the U.N. Ebola mission as the new special envoy to Yemen, the country's U.N. ambassador said Thursday.

Christie: Pension dispute a state budget matter, not court

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 06:03
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie says his plan to lower contributions to public employee pension funds is a state budget matter and no business of the courts.

WikiLeaks creates online archive of hacked Sony documents

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 05:56

FILE - In this Aug. 18, 2014, file photo, Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino, left, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speak during a news conference inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. Whistleblower site WikiLeaks has put hundreds of thousands of emails and documents from last year's Sony hack into a searchable online archive. Assange says that its database includes more than 170,000 emails from Sony Pictures Entertainment and a subsidiary, plus more than 30,000 other documents. (John Stillwell/Pool Photo via AP, File)NEW YORK (AP) — Sony's hacking problems aren't over yet.

EXCLUSIVE: Fugitive roundup nabs violent offenders in Camden

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 05:54

 Fugitive roundup nabs violent offenders in CamdenThousands of violent offenders are off the streets after they were captured by U.S. Marshals around the country, including New Jersey.

Work plan possibly ignored in accident that killed family

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 05:52

In this undated photo provided by Pastor James Ludlow, Josh and Vanessa Ellis pose with their son Hudson at the Eastpointe Foursquare Church in Bonney Lake, Wash., where the couple served as youth pastors. All three were killed Monday, April 13, 2015, when a concrete slab fell from a highway overpass and crushed their vehicle as they drove below it. (Courtesy James Ludlow/EastPointe Foursquare Church via AP)BONNEY LAKE, Wash. (AP) — Officials in the Washington city where a concrete slab fell from an overpass and killed a young family in a pickup below say they would've closed the roadway if they had known heavy work was being performed on the structure.

Lawsuit seeks to legalize prostitution in California

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 05:51
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Advocates for California sex workers are seeking to legalize the world's oldest profession.

Police praise modest hero who saved Idaho driver from cliff-hanging vehicle

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 05:50
By Laura Zuckerman SALMON, Idaho (Reuters) - An Idaho man who initially declined to identify himself after pulling a driver to safety from a vehicle teetering on the edge of a cliff was lauded by authorities on Thursday as a shy hero. Police in the north-central Idaho city of Lewiston said 29-year-old Jason Warnock pulled driver Mathew Sitko, 23, from his GMC Yukon where it hung precariously on the cliff face on Wednesday after careening over bushes and through a yard. Authorities credited Warnock with saving Sitko's life after an accident they said might have been triggered by "some type of mental episode." Warnock was driving up the canyon when he noticed debris in the road and spotted the sport utility vehicle tangled in a chain-link fence that stopped it from immediately plunging down the steep mountain, Lewiston Police Chief Roger Lanier said in a statement. Warnock did not give his name to Lewiston police officers who arrived on the scene, and instead drove off to work, triggering a search by authorities for the reluctant hero.

Correction: National Guardsmen-Arms Dealing story

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 05:47
SAN DIEGO (AP) — In a story April 15 about illegal gun sales, The Associated Press, relying on information from the U.S. attorney's office in San Diego, erroneously reported the affiliation of two defendants. They were members of the National Guard, not U.S. Army reservists.

California city fails to discipline problem police: report

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 05:45
By Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - An investigator appointed by a U.S. federal judge said the city of Oakland, California has failed to discipline problem police officers "time and again," as police tactics are under increased scrutiny across the U.S., according to a court filing on Thursday. The Oakland investigation started after an arbitrator reinstated a police officer who was heavily criticized for firing tear gas at a crowd of protesters during Occupy protests in 2011. In his report on Thursday, investigator Edward Swanson said Oakland's city attorney frequently lost arbitrations against police officers because the office handled cases "haphazardly, often waiting until the last minute to prepare for hearings or to assign cases to outside counsel." Swanson interviewed several witnesses who expressed concerns that Oakland's city attorney may have chosen outside lawyers based on campaign contributions.

Correction: Police Beating-Video story

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 05:45
INKSTER, Mich. (AP) — In a story April 15 about the videotaped beating of a black motorist in suburban Detroit, The Associated Press, relying on information from radio station WWJ-AM, reported erroneously that a judge said defense lawyers could receive additional police dash cam video. The judge said lawyers could receive video of the man being booked after his arrest.

U.S. House transport panel chief dating airline lobbyist: Politico

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 05:44
The head of the U.S. House of Representatives' transportation panel is dating a top lobbyist for the airline industry, Politico reported on Thursday. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Bill Shuster, a Pennsylvania Republican, is in a relationship with Shelley Rubino of Airlines for America, an airline industry lobby group, Politico said, citing multiple sources familiar with the situation. Shuster said in a statement that he and Rubino have a "private and personal relationship" but declined to elaborate.

US Senate veterans panel to review pricey Denver hospital

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 05:44
DENVER (AP) — The U.S. Senate Veterans Affairs Committee will hold a hearing in Colorado next week to scrutinize the bungled VA hospital project and visit the construction site.

NY Senate leader pledges to cooperate after federal probe reported

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 05:43
By Barbara Goldberg NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos vowed on Thursday to work with authorities after the New York Times reported he and his son were the focus of a federal grand jury investigation. Wednesday's story, which cited unnamed sources, said federal prosecutors were presenting evidence to the secret panel on the business dealings of Adam Skelos, 32, and trying to determine whether the elder Skelos, 67, used his political influence to help his son's associates win a government contract. The report of the investigation is just the latest blow to Albany, the state capital, following the January arrest of then-New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, a Democrat, on federal corruption charges. Both cases stem from a 2013 anti-corruption panel known as the Moreland Commission that was created and abruptly dismantled by Governor Andrew Cuomo, a move that triggered an investigation by U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.

Expert: Georgia execution drug problem cause by low temp

Yahoo! National News - Fri, 04/17/2015 - 05:42
ATLANTA (AP) — A pharmaceutical expert says a problem with a lethal injection drug that caused the last-minute postponement of an execution in Georgia was likely caused by shipping and storing the drug at a temperature that was too low.