By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a former air marshal can seek whistleblower protections for disclosing sensitive information to the news media about the absence of security officers on certain flights. On a 7-2 vote, the court rejected arguments made by President Barack Obama's administration, which was seeking to reverse an appeals court ruling favoring whistleblower Robert MacLean, who was fired for the 2003 leak. In an opinion by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court concluded that U.S. Transportation Security Administration regulations that prohibited MacLean's disclosures did not have sufficient legal force to bar him from receiving protections under the Whistleblower Protection Act. MacLean told a reporter with the MSNBC cable TV network that the TSA had decided not to assign air marshals to certain long-distance flights, a decision he disagreed with.
By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Texas plans to execute on Wednesday a man who was convicted of stabbing three people to death with a screwdriver, including his great-uncle and great-aunt, in a San Antonio home robbery in 1993. Arnold Prieto's execution by injection is planned for 6 p.m. CST at the state's prison death chamber in Huntsville. If it takes place, Prieto, 41, will be the 519th person executed in Texas since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, the most of any state. Prieto and two other men went to the home of Rodolfo Rodriguez, 72, and his wife, Virginia, 62, who cooked the visitors breakfast.
A grand jury says there are reasonable grounds to charge Pennsylvania's attorney general with perjury, false swearing, official oppression and obstruction after an investigation into leaks of secret grand jury material.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama's State of the Union address drew unsparing morning-after reviews Wednesday from majority Republicans in Congress, including a rebuke on nuclear talks with Iran and a lament from Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell that a high-profile speech can be about "more than veto threats of strident partisanship."
By Richard Weizel NEWTOWN, Conn. (Reuters) - Civic officials will vote on Wednesday evening whether to demolish the Connecticut home of the 20-year-old man who killed 26 children and staff at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012 in one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history. Adam Lanza shot and killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, on Dec. 14, 2012, at the white colonial-style house shortly before driving to the school to continue his shooting spree, which ended with him killing himself. "The best thing we can do to honor the families is to demolish the house," Patricia Llodra, Newtown's most senior elected official, said in telephone interview ahead of Wednesday's public hearing. Llodra said the Newtown Board of Selectmen, the administrative body that she leads, had unanimously approved a recommendation to demolish the house.