Thu, 24 Jul 2014 17:10:39 -0400

Joseph Wood is pictured in this undated handout booking photoBy David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - Lawyers for a double-murderer whose lethal injection in Arizona dragged on for two hours called for an outside review of the "horrifically botched execution" and prompted new calls on Thursday for the United States to abandon the death penalty. The ordeal in putting Joseph Wood to death on Wednesday at a prison facility southeast of Phoenix followed lethal injections that went awry this year in Ohio and Oklahoma, renewing the U.S. debate over capital punishment. Corrections officials said Wood was never in pain but Rob Freer, a U.S. researcher with human-rights group Amnesty International, asked, "How many more times do officials need to be reminded of the myth of the 'humane execution' before they give up on their experiment with judicial killing?" States that impose the death penalty have been scrambling to find new suppliers of chemical combinations to use in lethal injections after their former suppliers, primarily European drug makers, objected to having their products used to put people to death.


Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:52:29 -0400

Attorney General Harris speaks at the 2014 California Democrats State Convention at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los AngelesBy Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - California's attorney general has personally asked several major law firms to provide pro bono services to unaccompanied immigrant children flooding the U.S. border with Mexico, a signal that California views the growing crisis as a humanitarian issue. The move comes amid escalating political tension in the United States over how to deal with the thousands of children fleeing violence in their Central American homelands. "We've convened a group of law firms to make sure these children, some of them as young as 8 years old, have access to due process," California Attorney General Kamala Harris said on Thursday. By the end of June, about 3,000 of the children had been sent to California, and more have come since.


Thu, 24 Jul 2014 18:52:23 -0400

Senate Minority Leader McConnell (R-KY) listens to members of the Republican Senate leadership after the Republican caucus meeting on Capitol Hill in WashingtonBy Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Jade and rubies from Myanmar will remain banned from the United States unless the Asian nation moves to end a provision in its constitution that bars opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi from running for president, a senior U.S. senator said on Thursday. Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican party's leader in the Senate, said there is little appetite in the U.S. Congress to reinstate stiff trade sanctions that were imposed on Myanmar during its decades of tough military rule. "It is hard to see how those provisions get lifted without there being progress on the constitutional eligibility issue and the closely related issue of the legitimacy of the 2015 elections," said McConnell, who has taken a long-term interest in Myanmar and visited two years ago. Improving relations with Myanmar has been a priority with the U.S. government, but lately Washington has been concerned that the Asian nation also known as Burma is backing away from its reform agenda.


Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:22:13 -0400
MIAMI (AP) — An American who hijacked a jetliner to Cuba decades ago is appealing the 20-year prison sentence he received after pleading guilty to U.S. kidnapping charges.
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:20:15 -0400

Vanesa Zavala, who kept her head down and her face hidden behind her hair for the verdict reading, enters a Santa Ana, Calif., courtroom Thursday, July 24, 2014. An Orange County jury has convicted two women of kicking to death a third woman during a fight outside a Santa Ana nightclub. Candace Brito and Zavala were found guilty Thursday of voluntary manslaughter and assault for the January attack--rather than the more serious charge of second-degree murder. Each faces up to 11 years in prison. AP Photo/The Orange County Register, Joshua Sudock)SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — Two women were convicted Thursday of kicking a third woman to death during a fight outside a Santa Ana nightclub.


Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:18:48 -0400
By Ian Simpson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A likely tornado tore through an eastern Virginia campground on Thursday, killing two people and injuring 31 as it downed trees and overturned vehicles, officials said. The storm swept across the Chesapeake Bay and slammed into the seaside Cherrystone Campground at Cape Charles, Virginia, during the busy summer season, bringing hail, high winds and heavy rain. "It was very scary, a lot of people were still in their beds" when the storm struck, area resident Amanda Blankenship told ABC affiliate WVEC-TV in Hampton Roads, Virginia. Photos on WVEC showed vehicles overturned or their roofs smashed in by fallen trees at the campground about 100 miles south of Washington at the tip of the Delmarva Peninsula.
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:17:47 -0400

FILE - In this Feb. 11, 2014, file photo, Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont., right, and his son Michael leave the Old Senate Chamber on Capitol Hill in Washington, after a ceremonial swearing-in ceremony with Vice President Joe Biden. Walsh's thesis written for the U.S. Army War College contains unattributed passages that appear to be taken word-for-word from previously published papers. The Democrat is running to keep the seat he was appointed to in February. Walsh faces Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Daines on Nov. 4. (AP Photo/Lauren Victoria Burke, File)HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Sen. John Walsh remained steadfast Thursday amid an investigation into whether he plagiarized a research project required for a master's degree, winning fresh backing from fellow Democrats in Montana and the governor who appointed him to the Senate earlier this year.


Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:17:32 -0400

Police: Upper Darby mom beat son for not doing choresAn Upper Darby mother is accused of beating her 11-year-old son because he didn't do his chores.


Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:12:52 -0400
LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Police said Thursday they're deciding whether to arrest an 80-year-old man who shot a fleeing, unarmed burglar despite her telling him she was pregnant, but they have arrested the woman's accomplice on suspicion of murder for taking part in a crime that led to her death.
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:12:37 -0400
Maryland officials are hoping that the prospect of landing a record fish will enlist anglers in the battle against the northern snakehead, a voracious newcomer dubbed "Frankenfish." The invasive snakehead, which can breathe air and travel short distances over land, has spread throughout much of the Potomac River basin in Virginia and Maryland in the last decade, snapping up anything in front of it. The new program to be formally announced next week sets official records for snakeheads caught in Maryland waters. "Snakeheads are thriving," said Joe Evans, spokesman for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. "We've been encouraging people to catch them, keep them and eat them since they are a non-native species that has a capacity to affect the local fish population." There are enough of the fish in the region to support the annual Potomac Snakehead Tournament, where some anglers call the fish Potomac pike.
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:04:55 -0400

Appeals Court Strikes Down Federal Exchange Subsidies for ObamacareMIAMI (AP) — Federal officials have capped the amount of money scofflaws will be forced to pay if they don't buy insurance this year at $2,448 per person and $12,240 for a family of five.


Thu, 24 Jul 2014 21:03:25 -0400

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., right, joined by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 21, 2013, after the Democratic majority voted to weaken filibusters and make it harder for Republicans to block confirmation of the president's nominees for judges and other top posts. McConnell said Democrats are using a power play to distract voters from the president's troubled health care law. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday:


Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:54:53 -0400
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) — An Orange County jury has convicted two women of kicking to death a third woman during a fight outside a Santa Ana nightclub.
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:52:56 -0400

Theodore Wafer stands in court during his trial before Judge Dana Hathaway at Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit on Thursday, July 24, 2014. The 55-year-old Wafer is charged with second-degree murder in the death of 19-year-old Renisha McBride. He claims it was an act of self-defense. (AP Photo/Detroit News, David Coates) DETROIT FREE PRESS OUT; HUFFINGTON POST OUTDETROIT (AP) — A suburban Detroit man who killed an unarmed woman on his porch immediately suggested to police it was an accident and that he didn't know his shotgun was loaded, according to recorded remarks played in court Thursday.


Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:51:20 -0400

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections shows inmate Joseph Rudolph Wood. Wood took nearly two hours to die and gasped for about 90 minutes during his execution in Arizona on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Arizona Department of Corrections, File)FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — The nearly two-hour execution of a convicted murderer prompted a series of phone calls involving the governor's office, the prison director, lawyers and judges as the inmate gasped for more than 90 minutes.


Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:44:09 -0400

'Boyhood': A movie 12 years in the makingWhat were you doing 12 years ago?


Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:42:54 -0400

A hospital worker views police activity near the scene of a shooting at a wellness center attached to Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pa., on Thursday, July 24, 2014. A doctor grazed by gunfire from a patient who had entered his office in a suburban hospital's psychiatric unit stopped him by returning fire with his own gun and injuring him, authorities said. (AP Photo)DARBY, Pa. (AP) — A psychiatrist who was grazed by gunfire from a patient at a hospital on Thursday helped stop the patient by apparently using his own weapon to shoot and wound him, but not before a caseworker was killed, authorities said.


Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:42:46 -0400
DALLAS (AP) — A Dallas man who said he pleaded guilty to a 1990 rape because his attorney advised him to avoid trial may soon be exonerated, the Dallas County district attorney said Thursday.
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:41:48 -0400
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A vintage rail company that transports hundreds of thousands of tourists a year along the route of the historic Klondike Gold Rush intends to resume operations Friday, two days after a derailment left 23 people with minor injuries, officials said.
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:38:51 -0400
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A tourist railway in Alaska is set to resume operations after a derailment injured 23 people.
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:38:18 -0400

The 300-year-old Stradivarius violin that was taken from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra's concertmaster in an armed robbery is pictured in Milwaukee, WisconsinBy Brendan O'Brien MILWAUKEE (Reuters) - A Milwaukee barber received a 3-1/2-year prison sentence on Thursday for supplying a stun gun used in the theft of a 300-year-old Stradivarius violin from a concert violinist. Universal Knowledge Allah, 37, was also sentenced by Milwaukee County Circuit Court to 3-1/2 years of extended supervision after his release for being party to felony robbery in the theft of the violin, which was made in 1715. "I just want to humbly apologize to you and everyone for making this mistake," Allah told the court before the sentence was handed down. Allah, who has been a barber for 18 years in Milwaukee, was found guilty of supplying the stun gun to Salah Jones, who faces trial on charges he incapacitated Frank Almond with the weapon as the musician left a performance in a Milwaukee suburb on Jan. 27.


Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:34:29 -0400

People hold a banner against the mass water shut-offs to Detroit citizens behind in their payments, during a protest in downtown DetroitBy Aaron Foley DETROIT (Reuters) - Widespread water shutoffs in Detroit have led to the creation of a website that allows donors to anonymously pay the overdue bills of residents in the bankrupt city, a site organizer said on Thursday. Recent efforts by the cash-strapped municipal water authority to collect tens of millions of dollars in overdue bills has attracted international attention and critics say the disconnections are inhumane and unfair to the poor. The donor site, DetroitWaterProject.org, was born from a Twitter conversation between programmer Tiffani Bell of Fayetteville, North Carolina and designer Kristy Tillman of Boston who were concerned about the water issue, Bell said in an email. Customers with delinquent bills share their account information with the site, where they are matched with donors.


Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:30:32 -0400

1 dead, 1 injured in Chalfont head-on crashBucks County authorities are investigating a fatal crash in Chalfont.


Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:20:04 -0400
States with established Central American immigrant communities have received the most unaccompanied children released to sponsors this year after they were arrested at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:17:09 -0400

Mary Ellen Kavanaugh, and her children Abby, second from left, Grace and Owen, right, of Windsor, help carry water jugs to St. Peter's Episcopal Church in Detroit, Thursday, July 24, 2014, for a water station being set up to help Detroit residents who need water. A small group of Canadians brought 1,000 liters (264 gallons) of water from Windsor, Ontario, to Detroit to protest thousands of residential service shutoffs by Detroit's water department. (AP Photo)DETROIT (AP) — A caravan of Canadians bringing jugs with 1,000 liters of water arrived in Detroit on Thursday afternoon in a symbolic protest against the bankrupt city shutting off water to residents who haven't paid their bills.


Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:08:34 -0400

John Zemblidge, right, of Phoenix, leads a group of about a dozen death penalty opponents in prayer as they protest the possible execution of Joseph Rudolph Wood at the state prison in Florence, Ariz. on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. Arizona's highest court on Wednesday temporarily halted the execution of the condemned inmate so it could consider a last-minute appeal. The Arizona Supreme Court said it would consider whether he received inadequate legal representation at his sentencing. The appeal also challenges the secrecy of the lethal injection process and the drugs that are used. (AP Photo)ST. LOUIS (AP) — The nation's third botched execution in six months offers more evidence for the courts that lethal injection carries too many risks and amounts to cruel and unusual punishment, death-row lawyers and other opponents said Thursday.


Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:04:24 -0400

Construction worker Ruben Roman drips water on his head during his lunch break, Thursday, July 24, 2014 at at job site in Phoenix. With Phoenix-area daytime highs hovering around 110 degrees, outdoor activity is minimal throughout the Valley. (AP Photo/Matt York)PHOENIX (AP) — The scorching weather in Phoenix has broken a record as the mercury hit 116.


Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:01:49 -0400

A hospital worker views police activity around the scene of a shooting Thursday, July 24, 2014, at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital in Darby, Pa. Police in suburban Philadelphia are investigating a shooting at the hospital campus and say they have reports people have been injured and a suspect is in custody. (AP Photo)A doctor grazed by gunfire from a patient who had entered his office in a suburban hospital's psychiatric unit stopped him by returning fire with his own gun and injuring him, authorities said.


Thu, 24 Jul 2014 20:00:12 -0400
An elderly California man, long suspected in the unsolved killing of a Chicago-area youth 22 years ago, has been arrested in Los Angeles on a murder warrant from Illinois prosecutors, a spokeswoman for the Cook County state's attorney said on Thursday. Robert Serritella, 71, is wanted in the slaying of 15-year-old David Chereck, who vanished on Jan. 1, 1992, on the way home from a bowling alley in Skokie, Illinois, and was found strangled with his own scarf the next day in a nearby wooded area. Sally Daly, a spokeswoman for the Cook County state's attorney, said Serritella had been suspected of the killing by detectives who initially investigated the murder, but authorities lacked sufficient evidence to charge him until this week. She said Serritella, an Illinois native who relocated to the West Coast years ago, had a relative to lived in Skokie and was seen in the Chicago suburb around the time of the boy's death, possibly at the bowling alley where the victim had been playing video games with friends.
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 19:56:31 -0400

Gwendolyn Flagg-Carr, mother of Eric Garner, and Eric Snipes Garner, Jr., son of Eric Garner, leave his funeral service at Bethel Baptist Church on Wednesday, July 23, 2014, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. Garner's death while in police custody has led to accusations of police misconduct. (AP Photo/The Daily News, James Keivom, POOL)It is a potentially deadly maneuver that New York police have been banned from using for 21 years, but on Thursday the force confirmed it was probing what seemed to be a second case of an officer using a choke hold within a single week. The investigation of the incident comes just days after videos emerged showing police using a choke hold on a Staten Island man, Eric Garner, as he was being arrested for selling untaxed cigarettes. While trying to handcuff the suspect, identified as Ronald Johns, a police officer can be seen in the videos punching him in the head and using an arm to grip Johns around his neck during a struggle on the station floor.


Thu, 24 Jul 2014 19:49:11 -0400

FILE - This undated file photo provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections shows inmate Joseph Rudolph Wood. Wood took nearly two hours to die and gasped for about 90 minutes during his execution in Arizona on Wednesday, July 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Arizona Department of Corrections, File)FLORENCE, Ariz. (AP) — The nearly two-hour execution of a convicted murderer prompted a series of phone calls involving the governor's office, the prison director, lawyers and judges as the inmate gasped for more than 90 minutes.


Thu, 24 Jul 2014 19:45:06 -0400
By Victoria Cavaliere SEATTLE (Reuters) - A freighter seized off the coast of Washington state nearly four decades ago in one of the largest marijuana busts in the region's history was moved to Seattle on Thursday and will eventually be scrapped, local officials said. The Helena Star was towed from Tacoma to Seattle by state agencies and will be inspected and broken down over the next week, said Bob Redling of Washington's Department of Natural Resources. The drug smuggling ship made national headlines when it was seized by the Coast Guard in 1978 with 37 tons of marijuana on board. Helena Star's South American captain and eight crew members were arrested, and the flagless ship, en route to Canada, was docked in Seattle.
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