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  • Expected rains could hinder search for California wildfire victims

    Remains of 79 victims have been recovered since the Camp Fire erupted on Nov. 8 and largely obliterated the Sierra foothills town of Paradise, a community of nearly 27,000 people about 175 miles (280 km) north of San Francisco. The missing persons list kept by the Butte County Sheriff's Office still has 993 names on it. As of Monday, the fire has torched more than 151,000 acres (61,100 hectares) of parched scrub and trees, incinerating about 12,000 homes along the way, Cal Fire said.

    Tue, 20 Nov 2018 04:23:40 -0500
  • U.S. judge blocks Trump asylum restrictions

    A U.S. judge on Monday temporarily blocked an order by President Donald Trump that barred asylum for immigrants who enter the country illegally from Mexico, the latest courtroom defeat for Trump on immigration policy. U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar in San Francisco issued a temporary restraining order against the asylum rules. Tigar's order takes effect immediately, applies nationwide, and lasts until at least Dec. 19 when the judge scheduled a hearing to consider a more long-lasting injunction.

    Tue, 20 Nov 2018 02:29:52 -0500
  • Chicago hospital shooting leaves four dead, including police officer and gunman news

    The shooter knew the doctor he shot outside Mercy Hospital, Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson told a news conference, describing the initial killing as an act of domestic violence. The gunman was the ex-fiance of the doctor, Chicago media outlets reported, with one witness saying he demanded a ring back. The shooting sent doctors and patients streaming out of the facility, some with their hands up, as heavily armed police officers sought to secure the hospital.

    Tue, 20 Nov 2018 00:32:17 -0500
  • Five people shot, one fatally, in downtown Denver

    A shooting on a downtown Denver street corner on Monday left one person dead and four hospitalized with bullet wounds, as investigators sought at least one suspect still at large, a police spokesman said. No further official details were immediately available about the circumstances of the shooting, which erupted about 4 p.m. in the lower downtown area of Denver known as LoDo, a district of hotels, restaurants and high-rise residential lofts. The area is close to Coors Field, home to Major League Baseball's Colorado Rockies.

    Mon, 19 Nov 2018 23:37:47 -0500
  • Trump likely to give U.S. troops authority to protect immigration agents news

    Ahead of U.S. congressional elections earlier this month, Trump denounced the approach of a caravan of migrants as an "invasion" that threatened American national security, and he sent thousands of U.S. troops to the border to help secure it. Currently, the troops do not have authority to protect U.S. Customs and Border Patrol personnel. U.S. officials briefly closed the busiest border crossing from Mexico early on Monday to add concrete barricades and razor wire amid concerns some of the thousands of Central American migrants at the border could try to rush the crossing.

    Mon, 19 Nov 2018 21:18:05 -0500
  • U.S. likely to give troops authority to protect border officials

    The White House is likely to grant U.S. troops on the border with Mexico additional authority to protect customs and border personnel if needed, a U.S. official said on Monday. There are about 5,900 active-duty troops on the border with Mexico. Reinforcements were sent by U.S. President Donald Trump with the goal of helping bolster the border ahead of the expected arrival of caravans of Central American migrants.

    Mon, 19 Nov 2018 20:27:16 -0500
  • 'El Chapo' killed man after he refused to shake his hand: trial witness news

    Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman was a ruthless killer who ordered the murder of a man who had refused to shake his hand at a meeting, a prosecution witness told jurors at Guzman's U.S. trial on Monday. Jesus Zambada, the brother of Ismael "El Mayo" Zambada who was Guzman's alleged partner in running the Sinaloa Cartel, gave his most dramatic testimony after three days on the witness stand as he described Guzman's involvement in a series of murders. In a cross-examination, one of Guzman's defense lawyers launched an attack on Zambada's credibility, highlighting inconsistencies between his testimony and his original statements to U.S. prosecutors.

    Mon, 19 Nov 2018 19:11:44 -0500
  • White House restores access for CNN's Acosta, ending legal fight news

    The White House on Monday restored press access for CNN reporter Jim Acosta, ending a legal fight that had so far gone against the Trump administration. White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement the press pass for Acosta, which was revoked after a contentious Nov. 7 news conference with President Donald Trump, was restored but reporters who ignored new rules for news conferences could have their credentials taken away. The White House Correspondents' Association said it had not helped craft the White House's list of rules for news conferences.

    Mon, 19 Nov 2018 18:54:11 -0500
  • Two killed in shooting at Chicago hospital, including gunman: local media news

    Two people were killed and two others critically wounded in a shooting at a Chicago hospital on Monday, and among the dead was the gunman who started shooting in the parking lot and then burst into the medical facility and opened fire, according to local media. A police officer was among those wounded in the shooting on Chicago's South Side at Mercy Hospital, officials said. Police cars and ambulances swarmed the hospital after the shooting.

    Mon, 19 Nov 2018 18:29:52 -0500
  • House Democrats target DOJ decision not to defend Obamacare news

    Democrats will scrutinize the Trump administration's decision not to defend Obamacare in federal court, when Democrats take control of the U.S. House of Representatives next year, a leading Democrat said on Monday. In June, the Department of Justice declared the healthcare law's individual mandate unconstitutional in federal court, which threatened to undermine insurance protections for people with preexisting conditions, and helped make healthcare a winning issue for Democrats in House elections on Nov. 6.

    Mon, 19 Nov 2018 17:46:44 -0500
  • Fatal New York limo crash victim's family sues owner, operator news

    Ten John Doe defendants representing additional parties whose acts contributed to the woman's injuries and death were also named in the lawsuit filed in New York state supreme court. Amanda Rivenburg was among 20 people killed in the Oct. 6 crash. The Ford Excursion limousine carrying 17 people to a birthday party ran a stop sign at a highway intersection in Schoharie, about 40 miles (65 km) west of Albany, officials said.

    Mon, 19 Nov 2018 15:47:55 -0500
  • U.S. briefly shutters border crossing to brace for migrants news

    U.S. officials briefly closed the busiest border crossing from Mexico early on Monday to add concrete barricades and razor wire amid concerns that some of the thousands of Central American migrants at the border could try to rush the crossing. Northbound lanes at the San Ysidro crossing from Tijuana to San Diego, California, were closed "to position additional port hardening materials," a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said.

    Mon, 19 Nov 2018 15:41:26 -0500
  • Trial spotlights U.S. drug safety concerns at compounding pharmacies news

    Janet Woodcock, who heads the FDA's pharmaceuticals division, testified in Boston federal court that she had never seen an outbreak like the one New England Compounding Center's mold-tainted steroids caused in 2012. Compounding pharmacies make tailor-made drugs for patients whose needs cannot be met by FDA-approved medications. Woodcock's testimony came during the sixth week of a trial of six former NECC employees or executives indicted after the outbreak.

    Mon, 19 Nov 2018 15:37:59 -0500
  • U.S. judge questions Trump administration on asylum policy news

    A U.S. judge closely questioned the government on Monday as he weighed whether to temporarily halt an order from President Donald Trump that bars asylum for migrants who illegally cross the border with Mexico. Trump cited an overwhelmed immigration system for his recent proclamation that officials will only process asylum claims for migrants who present themselves at an official entry point. Civil rights groups argue that Trump's Nov. 9 order violated administrative and immigration law.

    Mon, 19 Nov 2018 14:58:18 -0500
  • Rain may hamper search for California wildfire victims news

    The remains of 77 people have been recovered, the Butte County Sheriff's Office said late on Sunday, as it cut the number of missing to 993 from 1,276. The Camp Fire broke out in northern California on Nov. 8 and quickly all but obliterated Paradise, a mountain town of nearly 27,000 people around 90 miles (150 km) north of the state's capital, Sacramento. It has burned about 151,000 acres (61,107 hectares) and was 66 percent contained early on Monday, up from 65 percent late on Sunday, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said.

    Mon, 19 Nov 2018 14:06:00 -0500
  • Colorado man gets life for murders of pregnant wife, children news

    A Colorado man was sentenced to life without parole on Monday for strangling his pregnant wife, smothering their two young daughters and dumping their bodies in an oil field so he could pursue a romantic affair. Christopher Watts, 33, was spared the death penalty at the urging of family members of his wife, Shanann, 34, who was 15 weeks pregnant, and their daughters Celeste, 3, and Bella, 4. "This is perhaps the most inhumane and vicious crime I have handled," Judge Marcelo Kopcow, who has 17 years on the bench, said in the packed and windowless courtroom in Weld County District Court.

    Mon, 19 Nov 2018 13:49:03 -0500
  • Some California wildfire victims may never be found: searcher

    (Editor's Note: Please be advised this story contains details that may upset some readers) By Andrew Hay (Reuters) - Searchers looking for the remains of victims of the wildfire that destroyed the Northern California town of Paradise said some bodies may never be found because of the intensity of the blaze. "We have been told we're to look as hard as we can, but it's still possible we may not be able to find something left of someone," said Trish Moutard, a volunteer with the California Rescue Dog Association, who may undertake a second deployment to Paradise on Tuesday with her dog IC. "If the fire stayed long enough and burned hot enough, the bones could, at a minimum, be fragmented down to such a small amount that we couldn't see them, and it's possible that even the dogs might not be able to detect them." Authorities have been urging residents to look at the missing persons list so they can remove people now known to be safe or whose names are duplicated, said Miranda Bowersox, a spokeswoman for the Butte County Sheriff's Office.

    Mon, 19 Nov 2018 09:58:37 -0500
  • Grim search for 993 missing after deadliest California wildfire news

    The number of believed missing fell 283 late on Sunday, down from 1,276 people, the Butte County Sheriff's Office said in a statement, but gave no other details. The blaze ignited on Nov. 8 was 65 percent contained, up from 60 percent earlier in the day. The death toll far surpasses the previous fatality record from a single California wildfire - 29 in the Griffith Park fire of 1933 in Los Angeles - and already ranks among the deadliest U.S. wildfires since the turn of the last century.

    Sun, 18 Nov 2018 23:30:19 -0500
  • Republican Scott secures Florida U.S. Senate seat after recount news

    Rick Scott, Florida's outgoing governor, was declared the winner on Sunday of his hard-fought U.S. Senate race against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson following a hand recount of ballots, giving Republicans control of both of the state's Senate seats for the first time since the 19th century. In the recount of the Nov. 6 election, Scott won by 10,033 votes out of 8.19 million cast statewide, Florida elections officials said. Scott took 50.05 percent, compared to 49.93 percent for Nelson, they added.

    Sun, 18 Nov 2018 16:46:43 -0500
  • Factbox - Still counting: Uncalled U.S. federal elections

    In Mississippi, Republican Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith and Democratic challenger Mike Espy will compete in a runoff election on Nov. 27 after neither won a majority for a U.S. Senate seat. On Sunday, Florida's outgoing governor, Republican Rick Scott, was declared winner of the state's U.S. Senate race following a recount of ballots in the tight matchup against three-term Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson. Democrats have so far made a net gain of at least 35 House seats.

    Sun, 18 Nov 2018 16:46:43 -0500
  • Grim search for 1,276 missing after deadliest California wildfire news

    Early on Sunday the blaze, which ignited on Nov. 8, was 60 percent contained, officials said, up from 55 percent Saturday. The death toll far surpasses the previous fatality record from a single California wildfire - 29 in the Griffith Park fire of 1933 in Los Angeles - and already ranks among the deadliest U.S. wildfires since the turn of the last century. Minnesota's Cloquet Fire in October 1918 killed 450 people.

    Sun, 18 Nov 2018 13:41:06 -0500
  • Fiery mailboxes and dogs in bags: fleeing California's wildfire news

    Nicole Montague and her 16-year-old daughter Destiny noticed a red glow on the horizon as they drove to school in Paradise, California, that Thursday morning. "As we were driving out, the mailboxes were on fire," Nicole said. California's deadliest ever wildfire, the innocuous-sounding "Camp Fire," swept into Paradise early on Nov. 8, as a rapid-moving, wind-fueled disaster that has left at least 76 people dead and more than 1,276 missing.

    Sun, 18 Nov 2018 06:31:23 -0500
  • Search on for 1,276 now missing after California's deadliest wildfire

    The number of people missing after California's deadliest and most destructive wildfire jumped on Saturday to 1,276, despite authorities locating hundreds of people who scattered when the Camp Fire tore through the mountain town of Paradise. Forensic recovery teams sifting through the charred wreckage recovered the remains of five more victims, bringing the death toll to at least 76, authorities said. Butte County Sheriff Kory Honea said much of the increase in the number of missing was due to his office's efforts to comb through a backlog of emergency calls that came in during the first hours of the fire on Nov. 8.

    Sat, 17 Nov 2018 22:40:59 -0500
  • Republican DeSantis secures Florida governor's seat after rival Gillum concedes news

    Gillum, the 39-year-old liberal mayor of Tallahassee, had initially conceded the race on the night of the Nov. 6 election to DeSantis, a conservative former congressman. This fight for Florida continues." DeSantis, 40, said on Saturday on Twitter, "This was a hard-fought campaign. Now it's time to bring Florida together." After a machine recount ended on Thursday, official results showed DeSantis with a lead of 33,683, or 0.41 percent.

    Sat, 17 Nov 2018 18:47:09 -0500
  • Teams search for 1,000 missing in California's deadliest wildfire news

    Forensic recovery teams searched for more victims in the charred wreckage of the northern California town of Paradise on Saturday as the number of people listed as missing in the state's deadliest wildfire topped 1,000. President Donald Trump visited the devastated small community in the Sierra foothills, 175 miles (280 km) north of San Francisco, where authorities say the remains of at least 71 people have been recovered. "Nobody could have thought this would ever happen," Trump told reporters amid the charred wreckage of the town's Skyway Villa Mobile Home and RV Park.

    Sat, 17 Nov 2018 16:58:49 -0500
  • Evacuation plan 'out the window' when fire hit California town news

    As strong winds sent flames roaring into Paradise at 2 miles per minute, emergency personnel and locals realized their escape plans, crafted after a 2008 blaze, would not work. "The lessons we had learned in the past kind of went out of the window due to the sheer speed and intensity of this fire," Paradise Emergency Operations Coordinator Jim Broshears said in a phone interview. The small mountain town was facing the so-called Camp Fire, one of a series of recent "megafires" fueled by drought, erratic winds and overgrown forests that quickly torch over 100,000 acres.

    Sat, 17 Nov 2018 14:14:02 -0500
  • California searches for 1,000 missing in its deadliest fire

    Forensic recovery teams pressed their search for more victims in the flame-ravaged northern California town of Paradise on Friday as authorities sought clues to the fate of about 1,000 people reported missing in the state's deadliest wildfire on record. Remains of at least 71 people have been recovered in and around a Sierra foothills hamlet that was home to nearly 27,000 residents before the town, 175 miles (280 km) north of San Francisco, was largely incinerated by the deadly Camp Fire on the night of Nov. 8.

    Sat, 17 Nov 2018 11:47:09 -0500
  • Rain storms could bring more misery for California fire evacuees

    Thousands of people displaced by California's most destructive wildfire, including hundreds living in tents and cars, face heavy rains next week that could trigger dangerous floods and mudslides, while helping douse the flames. At least 300 people who fled the Camp Fire were sheltering on Friday in the flood-prone parking lot of a Walmart in Chico, about 15 miles (24 km) west of where the blaze consumed the mountain town of Paradise on Nov. 8. A rain storm is forecast to hit next week and so authorities are asking people to leave the Walmart lot by Sunday afternoon, said Bryan May, a spokesman for the California Office of Emergency Services.

    Sat, 17 Nov 2018 09:31:53 -0500
  • U.S. Coast Guard seizes $500 million worth of cocaine

    The cocaine was taken off the Coast Guard cutter James in the Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale on Thursday after it was confiscated from 15 drug smuggling vessels in the international waters, the Coast Guard said. Multiple U.S. Coast Guard cutters helped seize the drugs of Mexico, Central and South America, it said. Some 49 suspects were also arrested and will be prosecuted in southern Florida, the Miami Herald reported.

    Sat, 17 Nov 2018 00:34:57 -0500
  • U.S. prosecutors talking with accused Russian agent to resolve case

    U.S. prosecutors and lawyers for accused Russian agent Maria Butina are engaging in negotiations, both sides said in a court filing on Friday, raising the possibility the case could be resolved with a plea deal. Butina, a former graduate student at American University in Washington who has publicly advocated for gun rights, was charged in July with acting as an agent of the Russian government and conspiracy to take actions on behalf of Russia.

    Fri, 16 Nov 2018 19:30:29 -0500
  • California presses search for fire victims, number of missing soars news

    Remains of at least 63 people have been recovered so far in and around the Sierra foothills hamlet of Paradise, which was home to nearly 27,000 residents before the town was largely incinerated by the deadly Camp Fire on the night of Nov. 8. More than a week later, firefighters have managed to carve containment lines around 45 percent of the blaze's perimeter, up from 35 percent a day earlier, even as the burned landscape grew slightly to 142,000 acres (57,000 hectares). More than 11,000 evacuees were being housed in 14 emergency shelters set up in churches, schools and community centers around the region, American Red Cross spokeswoman Greta Gustafson said.

    Fri, 16 Nov 2018 18:45:13 -0500
  • Abrams admits defeat in hard-fought Georgia governor race news

    Abrams' announcement effectively hands victory to Republican Brian Kemp in a bitter race that has drawn national attention both for her historic campaign and for Kemp's role as the state's top election administrator. Abrams accused Kemp of using his position as Georgia Secretary of State to interfere with the vote - an allegation he has strongly denied. "To watch an elected official who claims to represent the people in this state baldly pin his hopes for election on the suppression of the people’s democratic right to vote has been truly appalling," Abrams told supporters in Atlanta.

    Fri, 16 Nov 2018 18:22:07 -0500
  • 'I brace myself': anxious search for the missing in California fire

    Since the "Camp Fire" swept rapidly into Paradise, which sits atop a ridge 1,700 feet above a canyon cut by the Feather River, Farrell's family has been unable to reach her. "The hardest part is just waiting to know what happened," said Tom Perez, 58, the husband of Farrell's granddaughter. California's deadliest wildfire roared into the town of 27,000 last week, speeding seven miles in 90 minutes and leaving residents little time to flee.

    Fri, 16 Nov 2018 18:03:42 -0500
  • PG&E shares surge 40 percent on report regulator wants to avoid bankruptcy from wildfire news

    SAN FRANCISCO/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - PG&E Corp shares soared 40 percent in after-hours trade on Thursday following a report that a regulatory official told investors the agency does not want the utility to go into bankruptcy should it be found responsible for this month's deadly wildfire in northern California. Bloomberg reported the comment by a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) official on a call hosted by Bank of America Corp, citing a person familiar with the matter. A CPUC spokesman said he could not confirm the remarks and Bank of America declined to comment.

    Fri, 16 Nov 2018 17:52:03 -0500
  • Judge eases Reagan shooter Hinckley's release conditions news

    Hinckley, 63, has been living with his mother, who is in her 90s, in Williamsburg, Virginia since his September 2016 release from a Washington psychiatric hospital. The judge also said reports from Hinckley's doctors show that Hinckley has "remained mentally stable" and complied with all his release conditions.

    Fri, 16 Nov 2018 17:14:40 -0500
  • Grim fiscal forecast awaits Illinois' new governor

    Illinois' new governor faces a budget deficit that could triple in size, as well as a backlog of unpaid bills that could surpass the state's record high, according to a new five-year fiscal forecast from outgoing Governor Bruce Rauner. The Republican governor lost his bid for a second term in office to Democrat J.B. Pritzker in the Nov. 6 general election in what was the most expensive governor's race in U.S. history. In January, Pritzker, a billionaire heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune, will inherit a state with credit ratings just a notch or two above junk due to chronic unbalanced budgets and a $129 billion unfunded pension liability.

    Fri, 16 Nov 2018 16:53:09 -0500
  • Prosecutors in talks with accused Russian agent to resolve case: filing news

    U.S. prosecutors and defense lawyers are in talks potentially to resolve a criminal case accusing gun-rights activist Maria Butina of acting as a Russian agent to infiltrate a pro-gun rights organization in the United States and influence U.S. foreign policy toward Russia. The filing also asked a federal judge to delay a status hearing on the case scheduled for Dec. 6 and said that defense lawyers are poised to withdraw motions they filed on Thursday asking for the case to be dismissed if the judge agrees to delay the hearing. Robert Driscoll, attorney for Butina and who is under a media gag order imposed by the judge in the case, declined to comment when asked whether his client may plead guilty in order to resolve the case.

    Fri, 16 Nov 2018 16:52:26 -0500
  • Eleventh child dies from viral outbreak at New Jersey facility

    An 11th child has died in less than four weeks at a New Jersey rehabilitation center, one of 34 young patients with compromised immune systems to have been infected by a viral outbreak, state health officials said on Friday. The child, who died late Thursday, and the others at the Wanaque Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in the town of Haskell, became ill with adenovirus between Sept. 26 and Nov. 12, the state's Department of Health said in a statement. The deaths of the first six children at the facility's pediatric center were announced by health officials on Oct. 23.

    Fri, 16 Nov 2018 16:12:18 -0500
  • Louisiana can enforce ban on strippers under 21: U.S. appeals court

    The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans had on Sept. 20 found the 2016 law vague about how much of dancers' breasts or buttocks could be exposed legally, and said it was unlikely to survive a First Amendment challenge. The decision is a defeat for three erotic dancers, each identified as Jane Doe, who were ages 18, 19 and 20 when they sued in Sept. 2016 to overturn the law. "They want to wear the bare minimum, but the Constitution does not guarantee them that level of specificity," Circuit Judge Leslie Southwick wrote.

    Fri, 16 Nov 2018 14:21:27 -0500
  • Top Kentucky court upholds state's 'right-to-work' law news

    Rejecting a challenge by the Kentucky AFL-CIO and other unions, the court in a 4-3 decision on Thursday said the promotion of economic development and job growth formed the "rational basis" that the state needed to justify passing the law. Voters in Missouri in August decided to reject a proposed right-to-work law, marking the first time such a measure was defeated at the polls. Kentucky state officials did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    Fri, 16 Nov 2018 14:03:15 -0500
  • U.S. judge orders White House to restore press pass to CNN's Acosta news

    The White House withdrew Acosta's credentials last Wednesday in an escalation of the Republican president's attacks on the news media, which he has called the "enemy of the people." U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly, who is hearing CNN's lawsuit challenging the revocation, said Acosta's credentials must be restored while the network's case is pending. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Acosta's credentials would be temporarily restored. In its lawsuit filed on Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Washington, CNN said the White House violated the First Amendment right to free speech as well as the due process clause of the Constitution providing fair treatment through judicial process.

    Fri, 16 Nov 2018 13:13:50 -0500
  • White House will temporarily reinstate CNN reporter's access

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Friday it will temporarily reinstate access for CNN correspondent Jim Acosta, after a U.S. judge restored Acosta's press credentials for the time being, saying they had been revoked without due process. "We will also further develop rules and processes to ensure fair and orderly press conferences in the future," White House spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, said in a statement. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Writing by Makini Brice; Editing by Lisa Lambert)

    Fri, 16 Nov 2018 11:58:55 -0500
  • Kentucky supermarket murder suspect charged with federal hate crimes

    The U.S. Department of Justice said the indictment on Thursday charged Gregory Bush, 51, with hate crimes for targeting victims because of their race and color during the incident at a Kroger Inc grocery store in Jeffersontown, about 15 miles (24 km) from downtown Louisville on Oct. 24.

    Fri, 16 Nov 2018 11:17:35 -0500
  • Forced out, Bolton aide Ricardel expresses admiration for Trump, Melania news

    Forced out of the White House in a feud with first lady Melania Trump, Mira Ricardel on Friday expressed admiration for U.S. President Donald Trump and his wife as a tumultuous week ended for the former deputy national security adviser. Ricardel ran afoul of the first lady in negotiations over government resources for use in Mrs. Trump's trip to Africa in October. In a statement, Ricardel said she had been honored to serve as deputy national security adviser and proud of her tenure working for national security adviser John Bolton.

    Fri, 16 Nov 2018 08:48:56 -0500
  • Labor unions file pension lawsuit against Puerto Rico

    Puerto Rico violated a law meant to safeguard the pensions of its public-sector workers who have been unable to invest the more than $300 million they contributed to a new retirement plan, according to a lawsuit filed against the U.S. commonwealth's government and others by two labor unions on Thursday. The litigation, filed in U.S. District Court in San Juan, joins a long list of adversary cases in a form of bankruptcy Puerto Rico's federally created oversight board initiated in May 2017 to restructure the island's $120 billion of debt and pension obligations. It is also the latest chapter in a fraught relationship between Puerto Rico and its government employees, particularly teachers.

    Fri, 16 Nov 2018 07:22:35 -0500
  • Judge overturns Montana man's conviction in tribal bond scheme

    U.S. District Judge Ronnie Abrams in Manhattan ruled that the evidence at the trial earlier this year had not shown that the man, Devon Archer, knew that the bond issue was fraudulent, or that he received any personal benefit from it. A spokesman for the office of U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman, which prosecuted the case, declined to comment. Galanis is already serving a six-year sentence for a separate financial fraud involving manipulation of the stock of now-defunct reinsurer Gerova Financial Group Ltd. His son, Jason Galanis, has pleaded guilty to taking part in both the Gerova and tribal bond schemes, for which he has been sentenced to more than 11 years and five years, respectively.

    Fri, 16 Nov 2018 07:22:13 -0500
  • North Korea to deport U.S. citizen held since October: state media

    The KCNA news agency identified the American as Bruce Byron Lowrance and said he was detained on Oct. 16 as he crossed the border. An American man of the same name was deported from South Korea in November 2017 after being found wandering near the heavily fortified border with North Korea, but there was no immediate confirmation of the identity of the man held by North Korea. Using the initials of North Korea's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, KCNA said the man had told his captors "he illegally entered the DPRK under the manipulation of the CIA".

    Fri, 16 Nov 2018 04:33:28 -0500
  • Captain says U.S. military does not view Central American migrants as 'enemies' news

    "The military is not classifying them as the enemy in any way, shape or form," said Cunningham, who is the spokesman for the Special Purpose Marine Ground- Air Taskforce 7. Trump's politically charged decision to send troops to the border with Mexico came ahead of U.S. congressional elections last week. The number of U.S. troops at the border with Mexico may have peaked at about 5,800, the U.S. commander of the mission told Reuters, noting he would start looking next week at whether to begin sending forces home or perhaps shifting some to new border positions.

    Fri, 16 Nov 2018 02:57:02 -0500
  • Tally of missing in California's deadliest blaze surpasses 600

    A search for victims of a catastrophic blaze that reduced a northern California town to ashes intensified on Thursday, as authorities expanded to 630 the number of those reported missing in the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history. At least 63 people have been confirmed dead in the Camp Fire, which erupted a week ago in the drought-parched Sierra foothills 175 miles (280 km) north of San Francisco and now ranks as one of the most lethal single U.S. wildfires since the turn of the last century. Authorities attributed the high death toll in part to the staggering speed with which the wind-driven flames, fueled by desiccated scrub and trees, raced with little warning through Paradise, a town of 27,000.

    Thu, 15 Nov 2018 23:25:37 -0500
  • NiSource lapses led to deadly Massachusetts blast: federal agency

    The federal regulator said in a review of how Columbia Gas Co of Massachusetts, a subsidiary of NiSource, handled pipeline repair work that better construction orders could have prevented the disaster. Explosions and fires that killed one person, injured 21 and damaged 131 buildings erupted as Columbia Gas was replacing cast-iron pipe with plastic lines. Utilities have told state regulators that thousands of miles of natural gas pipelines in Massachusetts are leak-prone and need repairs.

    Thu, 15 Nov 2018 20:26:54 -0500
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