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  • Firefighter killed battling massive California blaze

    By Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A firefighter was killed on Thursday while battling a mammoth California wildfire as crews sought to protect coastal cities and towns in the path of flames that have destroyed more than 700 homes. The flag-draped remains of firefighter Cory Iverson, 32, were driven out of the fire zone in Ventura County, northwest of Los Angeles, in a hearse as his comrades saluted from roadsides and overpasses. "Anne and I are saddened by Engineer Cory Iverson’s tragic death.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 21:42:03 -0500
  • Inquiry launched into harassment allegations against U.S. appeals judge

    The chief judge of a federal appeals court on Thursday initiated an inquiry into harassment accusations involving another judge that were reported by The Washington Post, a court filing showed. Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Sidney Thomas asked that allegations against 9th Circuit Judge Alex Kozinski be reviewed by judges in another circuit. Kozinski declined to comment when reached by Reuters on Thursday.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 20:45:20 -0500
  • Missouri issues first fines over misuse of farm chemical in 2016

    By Tom Polansek CHICAGO (Reuters) - Missouri has issued its first fines over the misuse of a farm chemical in 2016 that went on to be linked in different formulations to widespread U.S. crop damage this year, the state said on Thursday. Authorities fined eight people a total of $145,125 for improperly spraying the chemical known as dicamba, used to kill weeds, in what Missouri called "the first wave of civil penalties issued to applicators," according to a statement. The delay between sprayings last year and the state's action shows how a long process of investigating many complaints about dicamba use is straining resources in farm states.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 19:09:11 -0500
  • White nationalist charged with first-degree murder in Virginia car killing: media

    James Fields Jr., 20, appeared at Charlottesville District Court for a preliminary hearing, during which a previous charge of second degree murder was changed to first degree murder, local TV station WSET and others reported from the court. Fields would face up to life in prison if convicted of first degree murder, while second degree murder carries a penalty of five to 40 years in prison, according to the Virginia penal code.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 18:52:21 -0500
  • Nigerian man pleads guilty to taking part in global email scams

    A Nigerian man was sentenced to three years and five months in prison by a U.S. judge on Thursday after he pleaded guilty to taking part in email scams to defraud thousands of victims around the world of millions of dollars, U.S. prosecutors said. David Chukwuneke Adindu, 30, was sentenced U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty in Manhattan, according to an announcement from Acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim in Manhattan. Prosecutors said in a court filing Tuesday that Adindu tricked victims into wiring more than $25 million into bank accounts he opened in China, where they said the funds would be difficult for victims in the United States to recover.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 18:37:34 -0500
  • New York woman charged with laundering money to help Islamic State

    Zoobia Shahnaz, 27, was arrested Wednesday on charges of bank fraud, conspiracy and money laundering, the office of Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget Rohde in Brooklyn announced. Shahnaz pleaded not guilty on Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Kathleen Tomlinson in Central Islip, New York, according to John Marzulli, a spokesman for Rohde's office.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 18:35:24 -0500
  • New York, New Jersey commit $3.65 billion to fund tunnel project

    New York and New Jersey on Thursday committed $1.75 billion and $1.9 billion, respectively, to fund a new rail tunnel underneath New York's Hudson River, part of an urgent program to expand and renovate Amtrak's aging and heavily traveled Northeast Corridor line. The announcement by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and outgoing New Jersey Governor Chris Christie resolves questions about how the states would fulfill a promise to provide half of the funds toward the $12.7 billion Gateway Hudson Tunnel Project, among the country's largest infrastructure programs. New York said it would raise its portion through bond offerings while New Jersey would hike charges on NJ Transit rail passenger trips across the Hudson.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 18:24:49 -0500
  • U.S. regulators ditch net neutrality rules as legal battles loom

    Golocal247.com news

    By David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines on Thursday to repeal landmark 2015 rules aimed at ensuring a free and open internet, setting up a court fight over a move that could recast the digital landscape. The approval of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's proposal in a 3-2 vote marked a victory for internet service providers such as AT&T Inc, Comcast Corp and Verizon Communications Inc and hands them power over what content consumers can access.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 18:23:40 -0500
  • Nephews of Venezuela's first lady sentenced to 18 years in U.S. drug case

    Two nephews of Venezuela's first lady were sentenced to 18 years in prison on Thursday following their convictions in New York on U.S. drug trafficking charges. U.S. District Judge Paul Crotty sentenced the two men, Franqui Francisco Flores de Freitas, 32, and Efrain Antonio Campo Flores, 31, at a hearing in federal court in Manhattan. The two are cousins, both nephews of Cilia Flores, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro's wife.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 17:11:10 -0500
  • California firefighter killed battling massive blaze: fire officials

    LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A firefighter was killed while battling a massive blaze burning in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said on Thursday.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 16:14:28 -0500
  • Homegrown attacks rising worry in U.S. as Islamic State weakens abroad

    By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - The online video's message was clear: Supporters of Islamic State who could not travel overseas to join the militant group should carry out attacks wherever they were in the United States or Europe. Bangladeshi immigrant Akayed Ullah, 27, followed those instructions on Monday when he tried to set off a homemade bomb in one of New York's busiest commuter hubs, in an attack that illustrates the difficulty of stopping "do-it-yourself" attacks by radicals who act alone. "They tend to be less organized and less deadly," said Seamus Hughes, a former adviser at the U.S. government's National Counterterrorism Center.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 16:01:54 -0500
  • U.S. states sue Trump administration for not granting student-loan relief

    President Donald Trump's administration is breaking the law in not granting loan relief to students defrauded by Corinthian Colleges and other defunct for-profit schools, according to four U.S. state attorneys general who sued the Education Department and Secretary Betsy DeVos on Thursday. In a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, the top law-enforcement officers of New York, Illinois and Massachusetts also said the administration has unlawfully declared that some of the loans are still valid, which has led to involuntary collections from students' paychecks.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 15:57:11 -0500
  • Leadership of New York Times passes to next-generation Sulzberger

    The New York Times on Thursday named a new publisher in 37-year-old A.G. Sulzberger, a fifth-generation descendant of Times leaders whose internal report on innovation has guided a newspaper known as "The Gray Lady" into the digital era. The younger Sulzberger will also join the board at a time of disruption in the media business, when the newspaper faces frequent criticism from U.S. President Donald Trump against the "failing @nytimes" on Twitter. Into that crucible steps Sulzberger, who has long been groomed for a major role at a business his family has owned since 1896.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 15:50:21 -0500
  • New York state AG to sue over net neutrality reversal

    New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and at least two other state law enforcement chiefs said on Thursday he would lead a multi-state legal challenge to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission vote to reverse landmark 2015 net neutrality rules. Schneiderman, a Democrat, said in a statement that states "will sue to stop the FCC’s illegal rollback of net neutrality." The attorney generals of Washington state and Pennsylvania also said they planned to file suit. The Internet Association, a trade group representing companies such as Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc and the American Civil Liberties Union both said they opposed the reversal and were weighing legal options after the 3-2 vote by the FCC.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 15:41:51 -0500
  • White House supports FCC net neutrality vote, 'free and fair internet'

    The White House said on Thursday that it supported the Federal Communications Commission's vote to repeal 2015 rules that aimed to ensure free and open internet, but added that it would continue to support wide access to the internet. "The administration supports the FCC's efforts and at the same time the White House certainly has and always will support a free and fair internet," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 14:31:14 -0500
  • Turkish banker expected to testify in Iran sanctions trial in New York

    A lawyer for Atilla told U.S. District Judge Richard Berman in Manhattan federal court on Thursday that Atilla, an executive at Turkey's majority state-owned Halkbank, would testify. Prosecutors have accused Atilla, 47, of working with Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab and others to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions through fraudulent gold and food transactions.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 13:21:32 -0500
  • FCC meeting briefly evacuated ahead of net neutrality vote

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission's meeting on net neutrality was briefly interrupted on Thursday as the agency evacuated the meeting room before later reopening it.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 13:10:03 -0500
  • EPA seeks input to rework rule on lead in drinking water

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Thursday it will seek input from state and local officials as it considers how to rework a 1991 rule meant to protect people from lead and copper contamination in drinking water. The agency invited state officials to give input on revising the Lead and Copper rule at a two-hour meeting on Jan. 8 at the EPA's headquarters in Washington. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said the agency is seeking the input to "properly address lead and ensure communities have access to safe drinking water." The move is part of the Trump administration's policy of consulting with state and local officials, or national organizations that represent them, when developing regulations.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 12:47:05 -0500
  • Crime data in Native American tribal lands 'virtually useless': watchdog

    The U.S. Justice Department does not adequately collect or use crime statistics from Native American tribes, a problem that has left the department with stale and "virtually useless" crime data, according to a new internal watchdog report released on Thursday.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 12:37:18 -0500
  • Drone operator caused U.S. Army helicopter collision: safety board

    A September collision between a small civilian drone and a U.S. Army helicopter was caused by the drone operator's failure to see the helicopter because he was intentionally flying the drone out of visual range, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said on Thursday. The incident between a U.S. Army UH-60M Black Hawk helicopter and a DJI Phantom 4 drone near Staten Island, New York occurred as concerns mount over the rising number of unmanned aircraft in U.S. airspace. The helicopter landed safely but a 1 1/2–inch (3.8-cm) dent was found on the leading edge of one of its four main rotor blades and parts of the drone were found lodged in its engine oil cooler fan.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 11:15:57 -0500
  • Fierce winds to intensify as California wildfire grows

    By Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - California firefighting crews may face strong winds on Thursday that could feed a volatile wildfire which has grown into one of the biggest in state history. The so-called Thomas Fire overnight grew to the fourth-largest blaze of its kind on record, at 242,500 acres (98,140 hectares) burned, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said in a statement on Thursday morning. The fire grew larger than the Zaca Fire of 2007, which, like the Thomas Fire, struck Santa Barbara County.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 10:38:01 -0500
  • U.S. weather forecaster sees La Niña chances exceeding 80 percent

    (Reuters) - A U.S. government weather forecaster on Thursday said La Niña conditions are predicted to continue through the Northern Hemisphere winter 2017-18. The Climate Prediction Center (CPC), an agency of the National Weather Service, in a monthly forecast pegged the chance of La Nina developing at about 80 percent, with a transition to ENSO-neutral most likely during the mid-to-late spring. The agency in its November advisory had projected a 65 percent to 75 percent chance of the phenomenon developing during the Northern Hemisphere's winter.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 09:50:15 -0500
  • Record number of Americans to travel during Christmas holiday: AAA

    U.S. travelers will hit the roads, rails and skies this Christmas holiday in their largest numbers on record, lured by cheap plane tickets and a growing economy, the nation's largest motor advocacy group said on Thursday. Roughly 107.3 million Americans will journey 50 miles (80 km) or more from home during Dec. 23 through Jan. 1, a 3.1 percent increase from a year earlier and the most ever recorded, AAA said in a report. “More expensive gas prices are not swaying holiday revelers to stay home,” AAA Senior Vice President Bill Sutherland said.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 09:30:50 -0500
  • Anti-pipeline group goes back to work against Keystone XL

    Nebraska's main anti-pipeline group is trying to rally opposition to the TransCanada Corp's Keystone XL project's recently approved route through the state, tracking down landowners it says were not given a voice in the regulatory process. If it succeeds, Bold Nebraska could throw up new roadblocks to the controversial project to move Canadian oil to U.S. refineries, backed by U.S. President Donald Trump, by pressing regulators to revisit TransCanada's application, or by suing if they refuse. The Nebraska Public Service Commission issued an approval for Keystone XL to pass through the state in late November, removing the last big regulatory obstacle for the long-delayed project.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 05:02:09 -0500
  • U.S. executions edge up in 2017 but stay at decades' low: study

    U.S. executions and new death sentences rose slightly in 2017 from a year ago but remained the lowest in decades as capital punishment has declined in the country, a survey released on Thursday showed. The United States had 23 executions so far in 2017, with no more scheduled for the year. This is up slightly from 20 last year, the lowest since 1991, but far fewer than the record of 98 in 1999, according to the study from the Death Penalty Information Center, a nonprofit capital punishment monitor.

    Thu, 14 Dec 2017 00:08:18 -0500
  • Kentucky lawmaker a 'probable suicide' amid sexual misconduct accusations

    Johnson, 57, also the leader of the Louisville-area Heart of Fire Church, held a news conference on Tuesday at which he denied accusations contained in a report by the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting. The report, published earlier in the week, included accusations from a woman that Johnson molested her in 2013 when she was a teenager. On Wednesday evening, Johnson was found dead in a probable suicide from a single gunshot wound near Louisville, the coroner said, adding that an autopsy would be performed on Thursday.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 23:43:57 -0500
  • GM says former UAW Vice President Joe Ashton to resign from board

    Ashton was nominated to his GM board seat by the UAW Retiree Medical Benefits trust, which administers funds that pay for health benefits for UAW-GM retirees. The trust can nominate a replacement for Ashton, but shareholders won't vote on the trust's nominee until the company's next annual meeting in the spring, a GM spokesman said.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 22:37:51 -0500
  • Firefighters defend homes as huge California wildfire rages on

    By Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Firefighters grappling with a wildfire that has burned out of control for 10 days on California's scenic coastline, destroying more than 700 homes, sought on Wednesday to defend homes from flames whipped by resurgent Santa Ana winds. The so-called Thomas Fire, already the state's fifth-largest wildland blaze on record, remained a threat to the communities of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Summerland and Montecito as darkness fell and winds picked up, fire officials said. "Very high fuel loading, critically low fuel moistures, above average temperatures and single-digit relative humidities will continue to support fire growth on the west, east and north sides of the Thomas incident," the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in a statement.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 22:07:01 -0500
  • U.S. appeals court vacates conviction of drug distributor over Botox

    A U.S. appeals court on Wednesday vacated the conviction of the owner of a wholesale drug distributor accused of selling authentic Botox and other drugs with foreign labels, dealing another setback to the government, which has struggled at times to successfully prosecute similar such cases. A three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit found that a lower court erred when it declined to allow William "Liam" Scully to introduce evidence at his 2015 trial showing he sought legal advice about importing drugs with foreign labels from one of his lawyers. "I'm so happy with the court's decision to grant Liam a new trial and I look forward to him coming home," his wife, Suzanne Scully, told Reuters.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 22:01:16 -0500
  • Ohio passes law barring abortion over Down syndrome diagnosis

    Women in Ohio would be prohibited from receiving abortions because of a fetal Down syndrome diagnosis under a bill that passed the state senate on Wednesday and is heading to Republican Governor John Kasich’s desk. Lawmakers voted 20-12 in favor of the law, which criminalizes abortion if the physician has knowledge that the procedure is being sought due to a diagnosis of Down syndrome, a genetic disorder caused when abnormal cell division results in an extra full or partial copy of chromosome 21. Doctors would lose their medical licenses in the state and face a fourth-degree felony charge under the law if they were to perform an abortion with that knowledge.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 20:36:51 -0500
  • Ex-New York town official sentenced to two-and-half years for bond fraud

    A former elected official of a New York City suburb was sentenced to 2-1/2 years in prison on Wednesday following his conviction in what U.S. prosecutors have called the first criminal securities fraud case brought over municipal bonds. Christopher St. Lawrence, who was supervisor of Ramapo, New York, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel in White Plains, New York, federal prosecutors announced.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 17:38:10 -0500
  • Alabama win thrills Democrats as Republicans point fingers

    Golocal247.com news

    Democrats said on Wednesday their U.S. Senate victory in Alabama could lead to a sweeping comeback for the party in 2018 elections, while Republicans sought to assess blame for a defeat in one of the country's most conservative states. Doug Jones, a Democrat and former federal prosecutor, won the special election on Tuesday night after a bitter campaign that drew national attention amid sexual misconduct accusations against conservative Republican candidate Roy Moore. President Donald Trump had endorsed Moore and the loss was a stunning upset for him and fellow Republicans, narrowing their majority in the Senate to 51-49.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 17:02:07 -0500
  • Accused N.Y. bomber's family says attack 'our worst nightmare'

    Zulifikar Haider hoped his daughter would live the American dream when she married a fellow Bangladeshi living in the United States, but that dream turned into a nightmare when the family saw pictures of her husband wounded after allegedly trying to set off a bomb in a crowded New York commuter hub. Haider's family had been worried when his son-in-law, Akayed Ullah, 27, missed a regular call to his wife on Monday. "Even in our worst nightmares, we could not have foreseen this," Haider, 62, told Reuters on Wednesday evening, following two days of questioning by Bangladesh's counterterrorism police.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 16:29:41 -0500
  • Firefighters defend homes as huge California wildfire rages on

    Firefighters grappling with a wildfire that has burned out of control for 10 days on California's scenic coastline, destroying more than 700 homes, sought on Wednesday to defend homes from flames whipped by resurgent Santa Ana winds. The so-called Thomas Fire, already the state's fifth-largest wildland blaze on record, remained a threat to the communities of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Summerland and Montecito despite gains made by crews during a lull in the winds a day earlier. "Very high fuel loading, critically low fuel moistures, above average temperatures and single-digit relative humidities will continue to support fire growth on the west, east and north sides of the Thomas Incident," the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said in a statement.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 16:27:54 -0500
  • Anti-pipeline group goes back to work against Keystone XL

    Nebraska's main anti-pipeline group is trying to rally opposition to the TransCanada Keystone XL project's recently approved route through the state, tracking down landowners it says were not given a voice in the regulatory process. If it succeeds, Bold Nebraska could throw up new roadblocks to the controversial project to move Canadian oil to U.S. refineries, backed by U.S. President Donald Trump, by pressing regulators to revisit TransCanada's application, or by suing if they refuse.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 15:49:08 -0500
  • Three U.S. men plead guilty to crimes tied to 2016 botnet attacks

    A former Rutgers University student and two other men pleaded guilty to computer crimes related to the creation, sale and use of the Mirai botnet, a network of infected electronics equipment used to knock major websites offline in massive 2016 cyber attacks. Paras Jha, 21, pleaded guilty in federal court on Friday to charges involving writing code that allowed him to infect and control devices with Mirai, the Justice Department said on Tuesday. Two other individuals, Josiah White, 20, and Dalton Norman, 21, also pleaded guilty to charges related to the development and use of Mirai for criminal gain.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 15:33:00 -0500
  • U.S. judge orders accused New York bomber detained ahead of trial

    By Brendan Pierson NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Bangladeshi man accused of attempting a suicide bombing in a busy New York City commuter hub will remain in federal custody while he awaits trial on charges that include supporting a foreign terrorist organization, a judge ruled on Wednesday. Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old supporter of the Islamic State militant group, appeared by video for a brief hearing from his bed in Bellevue Hospital, where he was recovering from injuries he suffered when his homemade bomb ignited but failed to detonate on Monday. Ullah was covered with a white blanket and remained largely expressionless as Magistrate Judge Katharine Parker told him that he had a right to an attorney and did not have to make any statements.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 15:32:35 -0500
  • U.S. sanctions two Africans over ivory, weapons trade

    The U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday blacklisted two people it said supported the outlawed Lord's Resistance Army in Central African Republic through the illegal trade in ivory, weapons and money aimed at fueling conflict in the region. The Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control said in a statement that it had taken action against Okot Lukwang, a Ugandan national, and Musa Hatari, from Sudan, with help from the governments of their respective countries. The U.S. sanctions, like those imposed last year on the Lord's Resistance Army and its leader Joseph Kony, will block their transactions involving any American or property under U.S. jurisdiction, effective immediately.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 15:08:32 -0500
  • Trump administration calls for government IT to adopt cloud services

    By David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said Wednesday the U.S. government needs a major overhaul of information technology systems and should take steps to better protect data and accelerate efforts to use cloud-based technology. "Difficulties in agency prioritization of resources in support of IT modernization, ability to procure services quickly, and technical issues have resulted in an unwieldy and out-of-date federal IT infrastructure," the White House said in a report. The report said one unnamed cloud-based email provider has agreed to assist in keeping track of government spending on cloud-based email migration.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 14:26:39 -0500
  • Minnesota lieutenant governor to replace Franken in Senate

    Smith, 59, will serve a one-year term concluding in January 2019, Governor Mark Dayton said at a news conference, and will run in a special election for the seat in November next year. Dayton said he listened to the views of many Minnesotans before deciding on Smith. Smith told reporters at the news conference that she will be a fierce advocate on behalf of the state, pushing for economic opportunity and fairness.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 13:54:09 -0500
  • California avocado grower douses fire fears, stock surges

    By Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Shares of Limoneira jumped 4 percent on Wednesday after the avocado and lemon grower said its crops escaped significant damage from a wildfire roaring through an area of Southern California. Limoneira Co's stock remains down about 10 percent since the fire broke out on Dec. 4, even after Wednesday's bounce. As well as destroying hundreds of homes and displacing over 94,000 people, it damaged or endangered much of the region's avocados - the main ingredient in guacamole - with flames, blankets of ash, as well as Santa Ana winds knocking the fruit from trees.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 13:38:38 -0500
  • Obamacare sign-ups rise but overall enrollment set to fall

    The number of consumers who signed up for 2018 Obamacare health insurance surpassed the 1 million mark in the second-to-last week of enrollment, the government said on Wednesday, but it did not appear to be enough to grow the program. The Trump administration has worked to undercut former President Barack Obama's national healthcare law by decreasing advertising and discussing ending the mandate that Americans have health insurance, which has weighed on 2018 enrollment. Through Dec. 9, 4.68 million consumers signed up for the insurance in the 39 states that use the federally run HealthCare.gov website.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 13:37:01 -0500
  • U.N. expert says torture persists at Guantanamo Bay; U.S. denies

    An independent U.N. human rights investigator said on Wednesday that he had information about an inmate being tortured at the U.S. Guantanamo Bay detention facility, despite Washington banning "enhanced interrogation techniques" almost 10 years ago. The U.S. Department of Defense denied the allegation, saying there was no credible evidence to support it. Nils Melzer, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture, said he had information that Ammar al-Baluchi - accused of being a co-conspirator in the 9/11 attacks on the United States - was being subjected to treatment that is banned under international law.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 13:23:06 -0500
  • U.S. transit agencies cautious on electric buses despite bold forecasts

    Communities across the United States are looking to replace their dirty diesel buses, ushering in what some analysts predict will be a boom in electric fleets. Out of more than 65,000 public buses plying U.S. roads today, just 300 are electric.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 13:06:30 -0500
  • N.Y. power seen sufficient after Indian Point nuclear retirement: report

    In a report, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), which operates the state's power grid, said the system would remain reliable during the five-year period (2018-2023) it studied. Entergy Corp said in January it would shut the two reactors at its 2,069-megawatt Indian Point station for economic and other reasons as cheap gas prices from nearby shale formations like the Marcellus in Pennsylvania have driven down power prices.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 11:56:26 -0500
  • After fires, Southern California faces risk of mudslides

    By Ben Gruber and Alex Dobuzinskis CARPINTERIA, Calif./LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Firefighters in Southern California are slowly gaining control of one of the largest wildfires in state history, but residents may not enjoy much relief as experts said the flames are laying the groundwork for the next disaster - mudslides. With one heavy rain, the soil above this waterproof layer can become saturated, start to slide in hilly areas and transform into something catastrophic. "Pretty much anywhere there's a fire on a steep slope, there's cause for concern," Jason Kean, research hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, said in a telephone interview.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 11:34:39 -0500
  • White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman resigns

    Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former reality television star-turned political aide to U.S. President Donald Trump, has resigned from the White House to "pursue other opportunities," Trump's spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Wednesday. Newman served as assistant to the president and director of communications for the White House's Office of Public Liaison. A former star of Trump's TV show "The Apprentice," Newman worked as the director of African-American outreach on Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 11:07:32 -0500
  • Analyst View: Democrat Jones wins Alabama U.S. Senate seat in blow to Trump

    Democrat Doug Jones won a bitter fight for a U.S. Senate seat in deeply conservative Alabama on Tuesday, dealing a political blow to President Donald Trump in a race marked by sexual misconduct accusations against Republican candidate Roy Moore. KEY POINTS: The stunning upset makes Jones the first Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate from Alabama in a quarter-century and will trim the Republicans' already narrow Senate majority to 51-49, opening the door for Democrats to possibly retake the chamber in next year's congressional elections.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 10:55:19 -0500
  • No evidence NY bomb suspect linked to Bangladesh militants: security chief

    Bangladesh has found no evidence linking a Bangladeshi man charged with an attempted suicide bombing in New York with militants in Bangladesh, its counter-terrorism chief told Reuters on Wednesday. U.S. prosecutors on Tuesday brought federal charges against Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi and self-described supporter of Islamic State, accusing him of supporting a foreign terrorist organization. Ullah set off a pipe bomb in an underground pedestrian corridor between New York's Times Square and the Port Authority Bus Terminal at rush hour on Monday morning, injuring himself and three others.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 08:20:14 -0500
  • Manhattan luxury condo sales skew apartment prices: survey

    A boom in newly built luxury apartments in Manhattan has skewed prices for the overall residential real estate market in the borough and masked a sharp drop in transaction volume over the past five years, a property report on Wednesday showed. The number of apartment sales priced above $10 million has doubled since 2013 when the post-crisis recovery was fully in swing, CityRealty's 2017 Year-End Manhattan Market Report said. The super wealthy have tilted condo prices in Manhattan, marking a dramatic change from the pre-crisis building boom, said Gabby Warshawer, director of research at the CityRealty real estate listings and data website.

    Wed, 13 Dec 2017 07:49:32 -0500
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