- 2017-10-17 20:00:27Z
By Yasmeen Abutaleb and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Two U.S. senators on Tuesday reached a bipartisan agreement to shore up Obamacare for two years by reviving federal subsidies for health insurers that President Donald Trump planned to scrap, and the president indicated his support for the plan. The deal worked out by Republican Senator Lamar Alexander and Democratic Senator Patty Murray would meet some Democratic objectives, including reviving the subsidies for Obamacare and restoring $106 million in funding for a federal program that helps people enroll in insurance plans. In exchange, Republicans would get more flexibility for states to offer a wider variety of health...
The city council in August voted to remove the statues of Confederate General John Hunt Morgan and John C. Breckinridge, a U.S. vice president and Confederate secretary of war, the Lexington Herald Leader reported, showing video of the removal work that began without advance notice. The Kentucky vote came soon after a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white nationalists angered at the planned removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee clashed with counter-protesters.
By Sarah N. Lynch and Makini Brice WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. lawmaker who was President Donald Trump's pick for drug czar withdrew on Tuesday after a report he spearheaded a bill that hurt the government's ability to crack down on opioid makers flooding the market with the addictive painkillers. Trump had pegged Representative Tom Marino, a Republican from Pennsylvania, to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy, as the administration faces an epidemic of opioid overdoses that is killing tens of thousands of Americans annually. Trump wrote on Twitter: "Rep. Tom Marino has informed me that he is withdrawing his name from consideration as drug czar.
By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Central Intelligence Agency thought for months that it had mistakenly shredded a massive U.S. Senate report on its use of waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation techniques" before suddenly discovering that its copy had not been lost after all, an agency official said on Tuesday. "It's embarrassing and I have apologized," Christopher Sharpley, the acting CIA Inspector General, told the Senate Intelligence Committee during his confirmation hearing as President Donald Trump's nominee for the position. Championed by Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein when she chaired the Senate panel, the "torture report," as it is known, is the...
By Tina Bellon NEW YORK (Reuters) - Victims of mass shootings in the United States often win little or no damages from perpetrators but the Las Vegas massacre may be different because the shooter is thought to have been a wealthy man, lawyers said. While there are often few assets to collect from the young men who typically carry out these killings, Las Vegas shooter Stephen Paddock, 64, is thought to have had multi-million-dollar investments in buildings across Texas and California. "It definitely depends on the assets in the estate whether you pursue that claim," said Theida Salazar, a Los Angeles attorney who represented one of the victim's families in the 2015 shooting in San...
The Chicago Department of Aviation has fired two security officers for their roles in the forcible removal of a passenger on a United Airlines flight in April, an incident that provoked international outrage. The firings were included in a report on the incident released on Tuesday by the Chicago Office of the Inspector General. David Dao, a 69-year-old Vietnamese-American physician, was hospitalized after aviation officers dragged him from a United Airlines plane to make space for four crew members on the flight from Chicago's O'Hare International Airport to Louisville, Kentucky.
Sean Urbanski, 22, of Severna Park, Maryland, had already been indicted by a grand jury on a murder charge for the death of Lieutenant Richard Collins, 23. An investigation of digital material, including Urbanski's phone and computer records, prompted prosecutors to seek the hate crime charge, Angela Alsobrooks, the state's attorney for Prince George's County, told a news conference.
By Jonathan Allen NEW YORK (Reuters) - National Football League officials weighed the fervor of players protesting racism against U.S. President Donald Trump's anger as their two-day autumn meeting began on Tuesday with supporters of the players kneeling outside in solidarity. Trump's repeated denunciation of the players as unpatriotic for kneeling during the national anthem, which he reiterated as recently as Monday, has only made the practice more widespread. Outside the Manhattan luxury hotel where team owners, players and their union's leaders met, about two dozen people showed their backing for the protesting athletes, kneeling on the sidewalk while holding placards that read...
A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit by hedge fund founder David Ganek, who claimed federal authorities lied to get a search warrant against his fund in an insider trading investigation. A unanimous panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled that, even if the Federal Bureau of Investigation did make false statements, it had good cause for a warrant to search the offices of Ganek's Level Global Investors anyway.
The U.S. lawmaker who was President Donald Trump's pick for drug czar withdrew on Tuesday after it became public he spearheaded a bill that hurt the government's ability to crack down on opioid makers flooding the market with the addictive painkillers. Trump had pegged Representative Tom Marino, a Republican from Pennsylvania, to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy, as the administration faces an epidemic of opioid overdoses that is killing tens of thousands of Americans annually. Trump wrote on Twitter: "Rep. Tom Marino has informed me that he is withdrawing his name from consideration as drug czar.
Washington police are checking a report of a gunman at Howard University in the U.S. capital, authorities said on Tuesday. Take precautions if in the area," the Metropolitan Police Department said on Twitter. Washington's alert system said streets were closed off near Howard, a private university with more than 10,000 students.
LONDON (Reuters) - British negotiators have no plans to walk away from Brexit talks with the European Union, Brexit minister David Davis said on Tuesday, after some lawmakers suggested the talks should end if there is no progress at a summit later this week. "There are no plans to get up and walk away," Davis told parliament. (Reporting by William James and Elizabeth Piper; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)
A Delaware grand jury has indicted 16 prison inmates for first-degree murder over a February uprising during which a guard was killed and others taken hostage, prosecutors said on Tuesday. Prisoners seized Lieutenant Steven Floyd, two other corrections officers and a counselor during the Feb. 1-2 uprising at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center. A New Castle County grand jury handed up charges against a total of 18 inmates that include assault, kidnapping, riot and conspiracy, Delaware's Justice Department said in a statement.
The National Transportation Safety board on Tuesday faulted U.S. aviation regulators and the pilot in the July 2016 Texas balloon crash that killed 16 people, the deadliest U.S. aviation accident in more than seven years. The hearing comes after the Federal Aviation Administration said earlier this year no new balloon regulations were needed, despite a long-standing push by the board to require more oversight of the operations. It was the deadliest crash ever involving a hot air balloon in the Western Hemisphere, according to the Balloon Federation of North America.
(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday canceled arguments in a securities fraud dispute involving Virginia-based government contractor Leidos Inc after the company and investors told the court they had reached a settlement.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said on Tuesday he was very concerned about a report that said new legislation has undermined the Drug Enforcement Administration's ability to crack down on opioid dealers and said the Justice Department would review the law.
The U.S. Department of Justice said on Tuesday it has indicted two major Chinese drug traffickers on charges of making and selling highly addictive fentanyl to Americans over the internet. Xiaobing Yan, 40, and Jian Zhang, 38, were charged with conspiring to distribute large quantities of fentanyl and fentanyl analogues into the United States, the Justice Department said. "For the first time, we have indicted major Chinese fentanyl traffickers who have been using the Internet to sell fentanyl and fentanyl analogues to drug traffickers and individual customers in the United States," Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said in a statement.
(Reuters) - General Motors Co plans to test vehicles in fully autonomous mode in New York state in early 2018, according to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The planned testing by GM and its self-driving unit, Cruise Automation, will be the first by a Level 4 autonomous vehicle in the state, Cuomo said in a statement. A level 3 car still needs a steering wheel and a driver who can take over if the car encounters a problem, while level 4 promises driverless features in dedicated lanes.
The case of a Massachusetts man who prosecutors say plotted to attack police and behead a conservative blogger on behalf of Islamic State nears a close on Tuesday as lawyers make closing arguments. Federal prosecutors contend that David Wright, 28, along with his uncle and a friend had plotted to kill the woman who organized the 2015 "Draw Mohammed" contest in Garland, Texas, a plan they said unraveled when the uncle lost patience and said he wanted to kill police officers instead. Wright, who took the witness stand in his own defense last week, testified that his discussions with the other two men about Islamic state were "role playing" that served as a distraction when he was broke,...
Wineries damaged by wildfires tearing through Northern California are starting insurance claims, and at least some of the smaller vintners are likely to find limits in their policies mean payouts fall short of rebuilding costs. Gaps in coverage and a spike in rebuilding costs, typical after disaster, may come as a shock to many small wineries, favorites of Napa and Sonoma county tourists, said Tom Pagano, who heads the vineyard insurance practice for insurance broker Aon Plc. "The easy part of insurance is buildings burning down," Pagano said, describing the complicated claims process.
By Paresh Dave SANTA ROSA, Calif. (Reuters) - More evacuees were expected to return home on Tuesday in Northern California where the state's deadliest wildfires have killed at least 41 people and destroyed thousands of homes. Officials said they expected the death toll to rise as 88 people were
The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended the search for a worker missing from an oil production platform in Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain that exploded and caught fire late on Sunday. Missing is Timothy Morrison, 44, of Katy, Texas, the Coast Guard said in a statement. "The decision to suspend a search is never an easy one," Commander Zac Ford said in the statement.
Rallies by neo-Nazis and white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August led to violent street clashes with counter-protesters. "This executive order is an additional step to ensure that the University of Florida and the entire community is prepared so everyone can stay safe," Scott said in a statement. Scott said in the order there was a need to implement a coordinated security plan among local and state agencies before the speech by Richard Spencer on Thursday in Gainesville.
By Paresh Dave SANTA ROSA, Calif. (Reuters) - Search-and-rescue teams combed through gutted homes across California's celebrated wine country on Monday, looking for the charred bodies of those killed in the state's deadliest wildfires, as survivors slowly began returning home. With 88 people still unaccounted for in Sonoma County alone, local officials said they expected the death toll to rise. "I would expect to find some of the missing in their burned-out homes," Sonoma County Sheriff Robert Giordano told reporters at a Monday morning news briefing, standing in front of maps and charts of the 14 still-burning blazes.
The driver of a truck packed with immigrants, 10 of whom died due to sweltering Texas heat in July, pleaded guilty on Monday to human smuggling charges and could face up to life in prison, prosecutors said. James Bradley Jr., 61, pleaded guilty at a federal court in San Antonio to one count of conspiracy to transport aliens resulting in death and one count of transporting aliens resulting in death, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas said in a statement. Bradley told investigators he was caught by surprise when he opened the trailer doors outside a Walmart store in San Antonio on July 23, only to be knocked down by a group of "Spanish" people pouring out of the...
Trump has continued to rail at the symbolic kneeling, which has only become more widespread since his first comments last month, saying as recently as Monday that players who do so should be suspended for insulting the country. "And the NFL should suspended some of these players for one game," Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday.
A woman who has said that U.S. President Donald Trump groped her during a 2007 meeting has subpoenaed his presidential campaign for any documents concerning similar allegations, according to a subpoena filed in New York State Supreme Court. Summer Zervos, a former contestant on Trump's reality TV show "The Apprentice," sought all documents from his campaign pertaining to "any woman alleging that Donald J. Trump touched her inappropriately," identifying nine by name, the subpoena said.
By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sixty-six police officers were killed on the job by felons in 2016, up about 61 percent from 41 deaths a year ago, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Monday. The number was the second highest since 2011, when 72 officers were killed by felons, according to the FBI report. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a statement called the numbers "shocking" and "unacceptable," and said the Justice Department would work toward reducing violent crime.
By Nate Raymond BOSTON (Reuters) - The top court in Massachusetts ruled against Yahoo on Monday by concluding that federal law does not bar it from providing the representatives of an deceased man's estate access to his email account. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's decision marked a victory for two people who fought Yahoo for years after their brother's death in 2006, seeking access to contents of his email account.
By Timothy Gardner WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a directive to his agency on Monday seeking to end the practice of settling lawsuits with environmental groups behind closed doors, saying the groups have had too much influence on regulation. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who sued the agency he now runs more than a dozen times in his former job as attorney general of oil producing Oklahoma, has long railed against the so-called practice of "sue and settle." The EPA under former President Barack Obama quietly settled lawsuits from environmental groups with little input from regulated entities, such as power plants, and state...
By Joseph Ax NEWARK, N.J. (Reuters) - The bribery case against U.S. Senator Bob Menendez survived a key test on Monday, as the federal judge overseeing his trial rejected a defense motion to throw out the most serious charges. U.S. District Judge William Walls in Newark, New Jersey, allowed the trial to proceed on all charges, five days after suggesting he was inclined to dismiss the heart of the case based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year that narrowed the legal definition of public corruption. Prosecutors have accused Menendez, a 63-year-old Democrat, of taking bribes from Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen in exchange for using his office to help the doctor in a...
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he is weighing recommendations for welfare reform as his government looks for ways to cut costs. Speaking to reporters at the beginning of a cabinet meeting, Trump said some welfare recipients are taking advantage of the system, while others are not receiving enough benefits to live. He did not discuss specific recommendations. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton)
(Reuters) - A New Jersey man was found guilty by a federal jury in New York on Monday of planting two bombs in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood in September 2016, one of which exploded and wounded 30 people.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a Guantanamo Bay detainee accused of being the mastermind of the 2000 bombing of the guided-missile destroyer USS Cole in a Yemeni port to go on trial before an American war crimes military tribunal. The justices declined to hear an appeal by Saudi defendant Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, who argues that the tribunal lacks the jurisdiction to conduct the trial.
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to resolve a major privacy dispute between the Justice Department and Microsoft Corp over whether prosecutors should get access to emails stored on company servers overseas. The justices will hear the Trump administration's appeal of a lower court's ruling last year preventing federal prosecutors from obtaining emails stored in Microsoft computer servers in Dublin, Ireland in a drug trafficking investigation. Microsoft, which has 100 data centers in 40 countries, was the first U.S. company to challenge a domestic search warrant seeking data held outside the country.
By Colleen Jenkins FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Reuters) - U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, accused of endangering the fellow soldiers who searched for him after he walked off his combat outpost in Afghanistan in 2009 and was captured by the Taliban, is scheduled to enter a plea in his case on Monday. The Army said Bergdahl, 31, would appear in court in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, where he was scheduled to stand trial this month on charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, with the latter offense carrying a possible life sentence. Bergdahl's lawyer and the Army have declined comment on the nature of the plea.
By Salvador Rodriguez SANTA ROSA (Reuters) - Firefighters began gaining ground on wildfires that killed at least 40 people in the past week, the deadliest blazes in California's history, as winds eased and searchers combed charred ruins for more victims with hundreds still missing. Two of the three most destructive Northern California fires were more than half contained early on Monday, and some residents who fled the flames in hard-hit Sonoma County could be allowed to return home later in the day, officials said. More than 5,700 structures were destroyed by more than a dozen wildfires that ignited a week ago and consumed an area larger than New York City.
Kenner Police Department spokesman Sergeant Brian McGregor told the Times-Picayune newspaper that there were "a lot of injuries," with at least six confirmed and more expected. A WVUE Fox 8 television video posted on Facebook showed an industrial structure ablaze with smoke pouring off it as lights flashed nearby.
By Heather Somerville SANTA ROSA, Calif. (Reuters) - Andrew Lopas' plans to bring his marijuana business out of the black market with a legal, profitable and organic pot farm went up in smoke in the wildfires that have scorched Santa Rosa, California. After four decades of growing pot illegally, the 54-year-old saw an opportunity last year to start a legitimate business serving the medical marijuana market. Last Sunday, as the wildfires, which have now killed at least 40 people, first erupted, Lopas' cannabis farm in Santa Rosa went up in flames, leaving behind the stumps of two chimneys, heaps of ash, charred marijuana plants and a despairing entrepreneur.
The name of the boy who fired the gun has not been released, but the victim was identified by the Cowlitz County coroner as Edgar Vazquez, also age 13, authorities said. Vazquez and the boy who discharged the weapon "had been friends for quite some time" police said, and the victim had spent Friday night at the home where the shooting occurred.
Andrew Lopas' plans to bring his marijuana business out of the black market with a legal, profitable and organic pot farm went up in smoke in the wildfires that have scorched Santa Rosa, California. After four decades of growing pot illegally, the 54-year-old saw an opportunity last year to start a legitimate business serving the medical marijuana market. Last Sunday, as the wildfires, which have now killed at least 40 people, first erupted, Lopas' cannabis farm in Santa Rosa went up in flames, leaving behind the stumps of two chimneys, heaps of ash, charred marijuana plants and a despairing entrepreneur.
U.S. Republican Senator Susan Collins, who helped torpedo President Donald Trump's effort to repeal Obamacare, said on Sunday she was leaning towards a 'yes' vote on the Senate budget resolution to advance tax reform. The Senate is expected to vote on the fiscal 2018 measure this week. The resolution contains a legislative tool that could facilitate adoption of a tax reform bill later this year.
A Taliban spokesman denied on Sunday accusations by a Canadian man that one of his children had been murdered and his wife raped while they were being held captive by militants who kidnapped them in Afghanistan in 2012. Joshua Boyle and his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, were held by the Haqqani network, a semi-independent wing of the Afghan Taliban, before being rescued by Pakistani troops in northwest Pakistan, near the Afghan border, last week. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid rejected that as propaganda by the Western governments that helped rescue the family.
By Heather Somerville SANTA ROSA, Calif. (Reuters) - Fast-moving fires spread by shifting winds forced thousands more Californians to evacuate their homes on Saturday as the death toll from the deadliest blaze recorded in the state's history rose to at least 40, with hundreds of people still missing. More than 10,000 firefighters supported by air tankers and helicopters overhead were battling 16 major wildfires, some encompassing several smaller merged blazes, in areas north of San Francisco that have consumed nearly 214,000 acres (86,000 hectares) over seven days, or roughly 334 square miles (865 sq km) - an area larger than New York City. The 40 confirmed fatalities, including 22 in...
A U.S.-Canadian couple freed in Pakistan this week, nearly five years after being abducted in Afghanistan, reunited with the husband's family on Saturday, the Associated Press reported. Joshua Boyle and Caitlan Coleman arrived with their three children late on Friday in Toronto, where the husband said one of his children was murdered and his wife had been raped. Boyle, a Canadian, and Coleman, an American were kidnapped while backpacking in Afghanistan in 2012 by the Taliban-allied Haqqani network.
By Noel Randewich and Peter Henderson PETALUMA, Calif./SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - At the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds north of San Francisco, Spanish is the language that dominates many conversations about shelters, work and how to survive the California wine country wildfires, one of the deadliest fire events to strike the Golden State. Flames bore down on a vineyard where Sofia Rivera, 50, was picking grapes at about 2 a.m. on Monday. The Latino population of Sonoma and Napa counties grew by more than 60 percent each between 2000 and 2015, outpacing a 38 percent growth in the Bay Area as a whole, according to U.S. Census data provided by Sonoma County.
TORONTO/OTTAWA (Reuters) - A kidnapped U.S.-Canadian couple freed in Pakistan this week, nearly five years after being abducted in neighboring Afghanistan, has returned to Canada, the Canadian government said on Friday. American Caitlan Coleman and her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, were kidnapped while backpacking in Afghanistan in 2012 by the Taliban-allied Haqqani network, which the United States has long accused Pakistan of failing to fight. "Today, we join the Boyle family in rejoicing over the long-awaited return to Canada of their loved ones," the Canadian government said in a statement.
By Noel Randewich SONOMA, Calif. (Reuters) - Fire officials reported further headway on Friday against devastating blazes in Northern California's wine country but said the death toll of 34, already a record for the state, would likely climb higher with more than 250 people missing. "We've challenged the troops to get out there and secure mainly the south parts of these fires in preparation for those strong north winds," Bret Gouvea, deputy chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire), said at an afternoon press conference. The fires have destroyed at least 5,700 homes and other buildings, Cal Fire said, with much of the devastation centered in and...
President Donald Trump praised Puerto Rico's people on Friday, calling them "wonderful" and having an "unmatched spirit" as the U.S. territory struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria and he weathers criticism for his handling of the disaster. "The wonderful people of Puerto Rico, with their unmatched spirit, know how bad things were before the [hurricanes]," Trump said on Twitter.
By Yeganeh Torbati WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Advocates for Americans imprisoned by Iranian authorities said on Friday they were concerned the Trump administration's hard line on Iran would close off the chance for talks to secure the prisoners' release. In a major shift in U.S. policy, President Donald Trump announced he would not certify that Iran is complying with a 2015 nuclear deal and warned that he might ultimately terminate the agreement. The administration also designated Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the dominant player in the country's security, economy and politics, as a terrorist group, a move one expert said would make the group less willing to negotiate over the...