(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court allowed Oklahoma to proceed with an execution planned for Thursday, which would be the state's first since a flawed lethal injection in April 2014 led to widespread criticism. Oklahoma plans to execute convicted murderer and rapist Charles Warner later on Thursday. In the April execution, inmate Clayton Lockett could be seen twisting on the gurney after death chamber staff failed to place the IV properly. Lawyers for Warner said the sedative used by Oklahoma could not achieve the level of unconsciousness required for surgery and was therefore unsuitable for executions.
A prominent Mormon activist who has gone against the church by supporting same-sex marriage and questioning church doctrine said on Thursday he had been summoned to appear before a council where he could face excommunication. John Dehlin, founder of the Mormon Stories website and podcast, said in a statement he was asked to appear before a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints disciplinary council on Jan. 25 in North Logan, Utah, on a charge of apostasy. Dehlin, 45, who says he still loves the Mormon church but acknowledges many areas where his beliefs stray from orthodoxy, has faced disciplinary action in the past. His struggles with the church have become one of the faith's most high-profile cases of threatened discipline, due to his role as the outspoken founder of "Mormon Stories," an online discussion forum and podcast.
McALESTER, Okla. (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court says Oklahoma can proceed with its first execution since a botched one last spring.
By David Alexander WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military's insatiable demand for intelligence collected by drone aircraft is putting a huge stress on operators who fly them 14 hours a day, Air Force officials said on Thursday as they unveiled bonus pay and other steps to tackle the issue. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James said aviators who remotely fly Predators, Reapers and other drones have been putting in 900 to 1,100 flight hours a year, three or four times the number flown by traditional military pilots. Many experienced operators are nearing the end of their active-duty service commitment and will soon decide whether to stay in the Air Force, she said, potentially depleting an already short staff. James said the Air Force was taking a number of initial steps to stem the loss of drone pilots, including boosting monthly incentive pay for pilots reaching the end of their active duty commitment to $1,500 from the current $650.
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The amount of oil discharged into the Gulf of Mexico as a result of a 2010 rig explosion was more than BP estimated, but less than the government calculated, a federal judge determined Thursday in a ruling that could cost the London-based oil giant more than $13 billion.
ASHERTON, Texas (AP) — A van slammed into a toppled tanker truck carrying oil, killing five men in a fiery crash Thursday on a South Texas highway, officials said.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Target is giving up on its money-losing foray into Canada after just two years, closing 133 stores and cutting loose more than 17,000 employees.
LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — The hospital treating victims of a deadly prison bus crash in West Texas said Thursday that relatives aren't being allowed to visit the inmates because of a longstanding policy, despite demands from the inmates' families to see them.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service on Thursday proposed slight increases for mailing postcards and international letters — but wants to leave first-class "Forever" stamps at their present 49 cents.
Utah's attorney general says he posed as a bodyguard and translator during a secret mission coordinated with authorities in Colombia to rescue more than 55 child sex slaves from a gang on an island off the country's Caribbean coast. Sean Reyes, the state's top law enforcement official, said on Thursday he played the role of Spanish-speaking interpreter and muscle for the sting set up by Operation Underground Railroad, a Utah-based nonprofit organization that works with police to fight child sex trafficking worldwide.
By Anna Yukhananov, Matt Spetalnick and Krista Hughes WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States announced sweeping new rules on Thursday that will significantly ease sanctions on Cuba, opening up the communist-ruled island to expanded U.S. travel, trade and financial activities. Defying hardline critics in Congress, President Barack Obama made good on his commitment last month to loosen restrictions on dealings with Cuba as part of an historic effort to end decades of hostility. The U.S. embargo on Cuba, in place for 54 years, will remain. Only Congress can lift it.
Police say a woman falling from a Center City building, struck a pedestrian who was on the ground below.
By Daniel Kelley PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - An illegal immigrant who has taken sanctuary in a Philadelphia church since November to avoid deportation has won a two-year reprieve, U.S. immigration authorities said on Thursday. Angela Navarro, 28, has lived in the church as part of a national campaign of civil disobedience aimed at pressuring President Barack Obama on immigration reform. She has defied a final deportation order for more than 10 years, avoiding authorities as she worked as a cook and married a U.S. citizen. “I can live a normal life.” U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed Navarro's reprieve.
By Jon Herskovitz and Lisa Maria Garza AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Icy roads were to blame for a crash that killed 10 people when a prison bus slid off a Texas highway overpass and slammed into a moving freight train, officials said on Thursday. Two correctional officers and eight inmates died in the crash. The wreck involving the prison transport vehicle, which carried 15 people, was one of six accidents in a two-hour time period in the same highway area on Wednesday morning, the Texas Department of Public Safety said. Three inmates were in critical condition and another was in serious condition at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa, a hospital official said.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A judge revoked Chris Brown's probation on Thursday but allowed him to remain free for now after the R&B singer traveled without approval for a concert and failed to complete community service on time.
PHOENIX (AP) — Before his arrest this week in Phoenix for the early 1990s killings of two women, suspect Bryan Patrick Miller succeeded in eluding authorities' grasp nearly 13 years ago.
(Reuters) - A suspect in western Wisconsin led police on a high-speed car chase on slick rural highways only to be caught after his prosthetic leg got stuck in a fence when he fled his vehicle, court documents showed on Thursday. On Tuesday night, a police officer in Holmen, Wisconsin, saw a brake light was not working on Thomas Fuselier's vehicle and tried to pull him over, according to the criminal complaint. Instead of stopping, Fuselier, 47, fled, leading police on an 11-mile (18-km) chase that reached 80 mph (130 kph) on dark, ice-covered rural roads. Fuselier drove his vehicle into a ditch and fled, running more than a mile through the woods and a creek before his prosthetic leg got stuck in a fence.
Meteorologist Cecily Tynan is tracking a dry start to the weekend followed by rain for parts of our area.
McALESTER, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma's first execution since a botched one last April appears headed for a delay.
Burlington County authorities are investigating an accident closed northbound Route 73 in Maple Shade.