By Steve Holland and Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama told leaders of Congress on Tuesday that he did not need for them to authorize his strategy to fight Islamic State, ahead of a speech to Americans that may herald expanded operations against the group in Iraq and perhaps Syria. Obama's White House speech at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday (0100 GMT on Thursday) will be his most significant effort to outline a strategy against a group whose savage methods have included the beheading of two American captives. Obama met Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrats in the U.S.
MOAPA, Nev. (AP) — The Southwest was mopping up Tuesday after pouring rains and flash flooding washed out part of a major rail line between Las Vegas and Salt Lake City; swelled a river so high that a Utah national park downstream was briefly shuttered; and closed a 50-mile stretch of heavily traveled Interstate 15 when soggy pavement crumbled.
NEW YORK (AP) — Air strikes in Iraq, ongoing unrest in Syria and the beheadings of two American journalists are casting a long shadow over the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks.
HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — A woman who died along with her two young daughters in a hot car last spring had a history of paranoia and most likely had some sort of "psychological break" as the temperature inside the vehicle reached about 120 degrees, the medical examiner's office said Tuesday.
By Kim Palmer CLEVELAND (Reuters) - High school students responsible for dumping a bucket containing water, urine and spit on a teenage boy with autism in a fake ALS "Ice Bucket Challenge" have been identified, police said on Tuesday. Police did not release the names of the teenagers suspected in the attack that generated offers of rewards for information leading to their identification from comedian Drew Carey, a Cleveland native, and others. The group doused a 14-year-old boy with autism with the fouled water in Bay Village, a suburb west of Cleveland, and posted a video of the incident to Instagram, Bay Village police said in a statement. His mother reported the attack on Sept. 3 "We are appalled by the actions of the youth involved in the assault on this young man," police said.
By Tim Reid LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - America's largest public pension fund was criticized in a report on Tuesday for failing to sufficiently audit and clamp down on pension "spiking", a practice of inflating workers' benefits just before retirement in order to boost their pensions. California's State controller, John Chiang, said Calpers, the state's giant public pension fund with assets of $300 billion, had a "passive" approach towards pension spiking and failed to adequately review payroll data, inviting abuse. Calpers administers benefits for over 3,000 city, state and local agencies, or nearly 3 million people. Pension reform advocates have accused Calpers of authorizing pension spiking after the fund's board voted last month to approve nearly 100 types of extra pay that will count toward pensions for workers hired since 2013.
By David Beasley ATLANTA (Reuters) - A Georgia grand jury will decide later this month whether to indict deputies in the case of a 19-month-old boy who was severely burned by a flash grenade tossed into a house during a raid, an attorney for the child’s family said Tuesday. “The family is hopeful and optimistic that the citizens will deliver justice to this child,” attorney Mawuli Davis said after meeting with Habersham County District Attorney Brian Rickman. The toddler, Bounkham Phonesavanh, was severely burned when the police "flash-bang" device landed in the playpen where he was sleeping during a police raid on May 28 to arrest a suspect who earlier had sold methamphetamine to an undercover officer in the county north of Atlanta. Habersham County Sheriff Joey Terrell previously called the child's injuries “devastating” but unavoidable, saying police had no information suggesting there were children in the home.
City officials have given the green light to a bill that would allow the Philadelphia Police Department to stop arresting people from possessing small amounts of marijuana.
Ray Rice, Janay Rice, and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell have each spoken up the day after a video was released showing the football star punching his wife in an Atlantic City elevator, knocking her out.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — An 83-year-old woman pleaded not guilty Tuesday to beating her 89-year-old husband to death in their home.
The body of Jarrod Tutko Jr. was removed from his Harrisburg home on Aug. 1, when his mother Kimberly Tutko called police to say her husband had informed her that their son had been dead for several days. Kimberly Tutko claimed to have been unaware that the boy had passed away because she was caring for another child on another floor of their four-bedroom duplex. The boy's unclaimed ashes remain in the coroner's office, Dauphin County Chief Deputy District Attorney Sean McCormack said, and an investigation into his death is continuing. The boy's father, Jarrod Tutko Sr., 38, is currently being held in the Dauphin County Prison, charged with abuse of a corpse, endangering the welfare of a child and concealing the death of a child.
The United States has no information indicating beheaded American journalist Steven Sotloff was "sold" to Islamic State militants by moderate Syrian opposition rebels, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Tuesday. Sotloff family spokesman Barak Barfi told CNN on Monday night the family believed Islamic State paid up to $50,000 to rebels who told the militant group the 31-year-old journalist had entered Syria.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Seasonal monsoon moisture and the remnants of Tropical Storm Norbert has caused flooding throughout the Southwest, submerging vehicles and homes in several states.
(Reuters) - Nebraska's lieutenant governor resigned on Tuesday and withdrew from the Nov. 4 election, a day after a judge entered a protection order against him in a family dispute. Lavon Heidemann, who was the running mate of Republican candidate for governor Pete Ricketts, said his decision was the best thing for his family and the state. Heidemann himself had been a replacement for former Lieutenant Governor Rick Sheehy, who resigned in February 2013 after an Omaha World-Herald newspaper investigation raised questions about improper cell phone calls to women. Heidemann was accused of grabbing his sister's wrist during a family dispute and an order of protection was entered on Monday.
(Reuters) - One man was killed and another injured in a shooting and scuffle at an eastern Iowa courthouse on Tuesday, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. Francis "Gus" Glaser, 71, of Maquoketa, Iowa, was attending the weekly meeting of the county board of supervisors when he took out a gun and shot at another person who was leaving the meeting, the sheriff's office said. The courthouse was closed for the rest of the day while the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation was looking into the incident.
By Aaron Mendelson SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - San Francisco city employees could soon be zipping around the city’s famous hills in car-share vehicles, rather than city-owned cars, under a proposal introduced in the city’s Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. If approved by the board, San Francisco would join a handful of U.S. “Anytime we can reduce our carbon footprint and potentially realize savings as a city, we should pursue those ideas aggressively,” said Supervisor Mark Farrell, who introduced the ordinance along with Supervisor John Avalos. The ordinance, which could go into effect as soon as December, would require a 25 percent reduction in the city's roughly 1,500-vehicle fleet every three years, leading to the elimination of non-essential vehicles within 12 years. Fire trucks and police cars, among others deemed essential, would be exempted from the plan.
Two people are hospitalized after a fiery accident in Southampton, Burlington County.
(Reuters) - A husband and wife critically injured last week during a crime spree in a normally tranquil Kansas City neighborhood have died, raising the death toll from the attacks to five, prosecutors said on Tuesday. George Taylor, 80, and Ann Taylor, 86, were beaten and three other people were shot dead a week ago in the Woodbridge neighborhood near a country club. Brandon Howell, 34, has been charged with three counts of first-degree murder and prosecutors are considering additional charges after the deaths of George and Ann Taylor, the Jackson County Prosecutor's Office said in a statement.
By Lisa Lambert DETROIT (Reuters) - Detroit reached a deal with three Michigan counties over regional water and sewer services that could eliminate one roadblock to federal court approval of the city's plan to adjust its debt and exit bankruptcy, officials announced on Tuesday. The deal with Oakland, Wayne and Macomb counties creates a regional water and sewer authority, but allows Detroit to maintain control of its local system, Mayor Mike Duggan said at a news conference. "There has been 40 years of conflict between the city and the suburbs over the Detroit water and sewer system, and what you have today is a pretty remarkable accomplishment," Duggan said. The future of Detroit's Water and Sewerage Department has been a big hole in the city's plan to adjust $18 billion of debt and exit the biggest-ever municipal bankruptcy.
Police are seeking two young suspects in the assault and robbery of a 12-year-old boy in a wheelchair.