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After fires, Southern California faces risk of mudslides
News ImageCARPINTERIA, 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 06:31:13 -0500
Tech sector loses champion in death of San Francisco mayor
News ImageSan Francisco technology companies including Twitter, Salesforce.com, Uber and Airbnb lost an important ally on Tuesday with the sudden death of Mayor Ed Lee. Lee, 65, a former tenants' rights lawyer and San Francisco's first Chinese American mayor, died with more than two years left in his term. As a champion of the tech industry, Lee arranged a major tax break for companies that moved into the impoverished Mid-Market neighborhood, a measure designed in part to keep Twitter in the city.
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 06:07:49 -0500
Democrat Jones wins U.S. Senate seat in Alabama in blow to Trump
News ImageDemocrat 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. 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 05:00:33 -0500
No evidence NY bomb suspect linked to Bangladesh militants: security chief
News ImageBangladesh 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 04:05:50 -0500
Trump loses his big bet on Alabama U.S. Senate race
News ImageBy James Oliphant WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In backing Roy Moore in Alabama's U.S. Senate race even though the candidate faced allegations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls, President Donald Trump made a risky bet - and lost big. The victory by Democrat Doug Jones over the Republican Moore in the Alabama special election on Tuesday was a catastrophe for Trump, portending a Democratic wave next year that could cost Republicans control of one or both houses of Congress.
Wed, 13 Dec 2017 00:29:16 -0500
Manhattan luxury condo sales skew apartment prices: survey
News ImageA 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 00:10:23 -0500
FBI officials said Clinton 'has to win' race to White House: NYT
News Image(Reuters) - Senior FBI officials who helped probe Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign told a colleague that Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had to win the race to the White House, the New York Times reported on Tuesday. Peter Strzok, a senior FBI agent, said Clinton "just has to win" in a text sent to FBI lawyer Lisa Page, the Times reported.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 23:49:41 -0500
Trump congratulates Democrat for Alabama U.S. Senate victory in tweet
News ImageWASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated Democrat Doug Jones on Tuesday for winning a bitter U.S. Senate race in Alabama against the Republican candidate the president backed.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 23:24:02 -0500
Firefighters wrestle to control massive California wildfire
News ImageBy Ben Gruber CARPINTERIA, Calif. (Reuters) - An out-of-control California wildfire that has already destroyed nearly 700 homes in its path of destruction crept closer to the upscale hillside community of Montecito on Tuesday despite calmer winds that slowed its progress. The Thomas Fire, which broke out on Dec. 4 near the community of Ojai, has since traveled 27 miles (43 km) to become the fifth-largest blaze in state history. It has blackened more than 368 square miles (953 square km) in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, an area larger than New York City.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 21:42:48 -0500
U.S. slaps terror charges on accused Times Square bomber
News ImageU.S. prosecutors on Tuesday brought federal charges against the suspect in Monday's attempted suicide bombing in one of New York City's busiest commuter hubs, accusing him of supporting a foreign terrorist organization. Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi and self-described supporter of the radical group Islamic State, was also charged in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. district court in Manhattan with bombing a public place, destruction of property by means of explosive and use of a destructive device. Ullah planned to "murder as many human beings as he could ... in support of a vicious terrorist cause," acting U.S. attorney Joon Kim told a news conference after filing the charges.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 20:35:43 -0500
U.S. transit agencies cautious on electric buses despite bold forecasts
News ImageCommunities 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. The technology is still a gamble for many cities at a time when bus ridership is falling nationwide and officials are trying to keep a lid on fares, says Chris Stoddart, an executive at Canadian bus maker New Flyer Industries Inc .
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 20:01:04 -0500
Overconfidence, poor training sank El Faro: U.S. Safety Board
News ImageThe sinking of the U.S. freighter El Faro in 2015 with the loss of 33 lives came after an overconfident captain set the ship and its poorly trained crew on a collision course with a hurricane, the National Transportation Safety Board said in its final report on Tuesday. National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt said at the end of a day-long hearing that tracking the loss of the ill-fated ship on Oct. 1, 2015, was like watching a brewing storm. The report said that Captain Michael Davidson ignored his mates' repeated pleas that he change course to avoid a strengthening Hurricane Joaquin off the Bahamas.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 19:32:45 -0500
Minnesota joins U.S. states limiting controversial farm chemical
News ImageBy Tom Polansek CHICAGO (Reuters) - Minnesota became the latest U.S. state on Tuesday to restrict controversial weed killers made by Monsanto Co and BASF SE that were linked to widespread crop damage, while Arkansas took a step back from imposing new limits. The United States has faced an agricultural crisis this year caused by new versions of the herbicides, which are based on a chemical known as dicamba. Farmers and weed experts say the products harm crops that cannot resist dicamba because the herbicides evaporate and drift away from where they are applied, a process known as volatilization.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 19:31:03 -0500
California lawmakers meet with Pence about fires
News ImageWASHINGTON (Reuters) - Members of the House of Representatives from California areas currently battling massive wildfires met with Vice President Mike Pence at the White House on Tuesday, telling reporters afterward that federal assistance has been swift but that it still may take a week to contain the Ventura blaze.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:55:04 -0500
Firefighters wrestle to control massive California wildfire
News ImageAn out-of-control California wildfire that has already destroyed nearly 700 homes in its path of destruction crept closer to the upscale hillside community of Montecito on Tuesday despite calmer winds that slowed its progress. The Thomas Fire, which broke out on Dec. 4 near the community of Ojai, has since traveled 27 miles (43 km) to become the fifth-largest blaze in state history. It has blackened more than 366 square miles (948 square kilometers) in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, an area larger than New York City.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:55:04 -0500
U.S. judge questions Trump administration on birth control rules
News ImageBy Dan Levine OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) - A U.S. judge questioned on Tuesday whether the federal government properly formulated new rules that undermine an Obamacare requirement for employers to provide insurance that covers women's birth control. New rules from the Department of Health and Human Services announced in October let businesses or non-profit organizations lodge religious or moral objections to obtain an exemption from the Obamacare law's mandate that most employers provide contraceptives coverage in health insurance with no co-payment. The move from President Donald Trump's administration kept a campaign pledge that pleased the Republican's conservative Christian supporters.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:42:41 -0500
Tillerson seeks to ease skepticism about U.S. State Department reorganization
News ImageRex Tillerson, dogged by media speculation about how long he will last as U.S. secretary of state, tried on Tuesday to ease skepticism among staff about his leadership and planned State Department reorganization. During a town hall meeting at the State Department, the chief U.S. diplomat laid out steps such as merging agency email lists, allowing more telecommuting for employees and partially easing a hiring freeze as part of his effort to win over workers unhappy about previously announced plans to reduce staff and to carry out the White House's proposed 30 percent budget cuts.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:41:46 -0500
Advocates ready legal showdown with FCC on net neutrality
News ImageNet neutrality advocates said they are gearing up for a legal fight after abandoning attempts to convince the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to keep 2015 rules aimed at maintaining an open internet. The FCC is expected to vote on Dec. 14 to scrap the landmark so-called net neutrality rules championed by Democratic former President Barack Obama, given FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and two Republican commissioners support the repeal. Industry and public interest groups are considering several strategies to protect the rules banning internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking or "throttling" to slow service for certain content, including arguing that the decision is arbitrary and pushing back on the FCC's classification of ISPs.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:22:49 -0500
Alabama voters choosing senator in race with high stakes for Trump
News ImageBy Andy Sullivan MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Reuters) - Voters in Alabama were casting ballots on Tuesday in a U.S. Senate race with high stakes for President Donald Trump, who has endorsed fellow Republican Roy Moore despite allegations against the candidate of sexual misconduct toward teenagers. Moore, 70, a former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, is battling former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones, 63, who hopes to pull off an upset victory in the deeply conservative Southern state. The race will test Trump's political clout after nearly a year in office, with his approval ratings at historically low levels.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 18:20:30 -0500
Senator Gillibrand calls Trump Twitter post 'sexist smear'
News ImageU.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand fired back at President Donald Trump on Tuesday and said she would not be silenced after he attacked her on Twitter for calling for an investigation into accusations of sexual harassment and misconduct against him. Six U.S. senators, including Gillibrand, have said Trump should resign. Trump lambasted Gillibrand on Twitter on Tuesday writing, "Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office 'begging' for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump." Schumer is the Senate Democratic leader.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 17:59:30 -0500
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee dies at 65: mayor's office
News ImageSan Francisco Mayor Ed Lee, a champion for the technology sector and former civil rights attorney who sued the city on behalf of tenants and would go on to lead as its first Chinese American mayor, died early on Tuesday, officials said. Lee, 65, died of a heart attack, the San Francisco Examiner said. "He was a true champion for the people," U.S. House of Representatives Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, whose district includes San Francisco, said on Twitter.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 17:50:27 -0500
New York to adapt New Year's Eve security after botched suicide bomb
News ImageNew York police will adjust security plans for the traditional New Year's Eve celebrations attended by hundreds of thousands of revelers in Times Square after a botched suicide bombing in a subway tunnel beneath the famous district, the city's counterterrorism chief said on Tuesday. The New York Police Department will conduct both an immediate and an in-depth review of Monday's incident for lessons on how to deal with this type of attack, said John Miller, deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism. "This is the first time I believe that we have seen an individual with a suicide bomb in mass transit and actually have that bomb function.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 17:42:17 -0500
Perfect storm of overconfidence, poor training sank El Faro: U.S. authorities
News ImageThe freighter El Faro sank in 2015, killing all 33 people aboard, after an overconfident captain let the ship steam into a hurricane, while poor training and equipment also factored into the worst U.S. maritime disaster in three decades, a federal safety board said on Tuesday. Preliminary findings of a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) probe showed Captain Michael Davidson ignored his mates' pleas that he change course to avoid a strengthening Hurricane Joaquin off the Bahamas, investigators told an NTSB meeting. Davidson was likely under the sway of "confirmation bias" when he relied on out-of-date weather information and declined to leave his quarters to change course, said Carrie Bell, who investigated human factors involved in the tragedy.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 16:32:00 -0500
Trump's attack on Senator Gillibrand 'nasty': Senator Schumer
News ImageU.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday that President Donald Trump's tweeted attack on Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was "nasty," but Schumer did not join Gillibrand's call for Trump to resign the presidency over sexual misconduct accusations. "That tweet was nasty, unbecoming of a president," Schumer told reporters. Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, on Monday called for Trump to resign over sexual misconduct allegations.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 15:13:48 -0500
Special Report: Unfettered construction raises U.S. hurricane costs
News ImageWhen Hurricane Harvey sent two feet of water rolling into this small community about 35 miles north of Houston, Alfredo Becerra had to flee his modest 1,500-square-foot house. One month later, across the Gulf of Mexico in Big Pine Key, Florida, moving company driver Byron Keeble lost about $10,000 worth of belongings, including a new sofa and his television, when Hurricane Irma sent a surge of seawater through his rented ground-floor apartment. Keeble said FEMA paid for him to stay in a hotel for a few weeks while he tried to figure out where he would go next.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:53:41 -0500
Bangladesh authorities question wife of New York bomb suspect: police
News ImagePolice in Bangladesh are questioning the wife of Akayed Ullah, a Bangladeshi man U.S. authorities say set off a pipe bomb in a crowded New York City commuter hub, two senior police officials in Bangladesh said on Tuesday. Ullah set off an explosion in an underground pedestrian corridor between New York's Times Square and the Port Authority Bus Terminal at rush hour on Monday, injuring himself and three others in what New York Mayor Bill de Blasio called an attempted terrorist attack.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 12:25:29 -0500
U.S. prosecutors bring terrorism charge against Manhattan bomb suspect
News ImageAkayed Ullah, 27, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in Manhattan federal court with providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, using a weapon of mass destruction, bombing a public place, destruction of property by means of explosive and use of a destructive device.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 11:14:07 -0500
Trump's push to cut federal jobs has modest impact, mostly in defense
News ImagePresident Donald Trump's campaign to shrink the "bloated federal bureaucracy" so far has made a small dent in the federal workforce, and that largely because of a decline in civilian defense jobs. Days after his Jan. 20 inauguration, Trump ordered a hiring freeze later replaced with an order for federal agencies to cut staff immediately, and in March he proposed a 2018 budget that sought to shift $54 billion to the military from other departments.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 11:03:16 -0500
U.S. soldier who deserted to North Korea in 1965 dies aged 77
News ImageA U.S. soldier who deserted to North Korea more than half a century ago, but who was eventually allowed to leave the secretive state, has died in Japan aged 77. One of the Cold War's strangest dramas began in 1965 when Charles Robert Jenkins, then a 24-year-old army sergeant nicknamed "Scooter" from tiny Rich Square in North Carolina, disappeared one January night while on patrol near the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas. At an emotional court martial in Japan in 2004, Jenkins - who had never gone to high school - said he deserted to avoid hazardous duty in South Korea and escape combat in Vietnam.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 10:08:10 -0500
Cuba tells U.S. suspension of visas is hurting families
News ImageCuba told senior U.S. officials during talks on migration in Havana on Monday that the U.S. decision to suspend visa processing at its embassy on the island was "seriously hampering" family relations and other people exchanges. Relations between the former Cold War foes became strained after Donald Trump became the U.S. President, partially reversing the thaw seen during Barack Obama's presidency.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 09:50:36 -0500
New York charges Times Square bomb suspect; Bangladesh questions wife
News ImageBy Ruma Paul and Daniel Trotta DHAKA/NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York officials on Tuesday said they charged a Bangladeshi man with terrorism, accusing him of setting off a pipe bomb a day earlier in a crowded Manhattan commuter hub, as investigators in his home country questioned his wife. Akayed Ullah, 27, was charged with criminal possession of a weapon, supporting an act of terrorism, and making a terroristic threat under New York state law, the New York Police Department said, adding U.S. authorities may also bring federal charges. Investigators in Bangladesh were questioning Ullah's wife, according to two officials who declined to be identified as they were not permitted to discuss the matter publicly.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 09:24:03 -0500
U.S. transit agencies cautious on electric buses despite bold forecasts
News ImageCommunities 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. The technology is still a gamble for many cities at a time when bus ridership is falling nationwide and officials are trying to keep a lid on fares, says Chris Stoddart, an executive at Canadian bus maker New Flyer Industries Inc .
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 06:11:02 -0500
Five years after Sandy Hook, U.S. gun-control advocates switch strategy
News ImageInstead of pressuring lawmakers to push new gun-control measures through the U.S. Congress, volunteers from groups including Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America are now running for office themselves. Nine of 13 volunteers trained by the group ran for office this year and won seats, ranging from New Hampshire state representative to city council member in West University Place, Texas. Fourteen more have already declared their intentions to run for office in 2018, seeking seats in Congress, state legislatures and local government, all running as Democrats.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 06:07:52 -0500
Bangladesh police looking for family, associates of New York bombing suspect
News ImageOfficials in Bangladesh are trying to track down the extended family and any known associates of Akayed Ullah, a Bangladeshi man U.S. authorities say set off a homemade pipe bomb in a crowded New York City commuter hub on Monday. "Police are looking for his family, but so far they've not been able to trace them," said Abul Khair Nadim, the Chair of Musapur Union council, a local government body in the Chittagong division in southern Bangladesh, where Ullah's family originally lived.
Tue, 12 Dec 2017 00:36:08 -0500
Firefighters hold back massive Southern California wildfire
News ImageBy Ben Gruber VENTURA, Calif. (Reuters) - Firefighters, taking advantage of a lull in the winds, on Monday held in check a massive Southern California wildfire that has torched hundreds of buildings and charred an area larger than New York City. The Thomas Fire ignited a week ago and has burned 231,700 acres, in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, about 100 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) officials said at a news conference. The fire threatens 18,000 structures, including some in the wealthy enclave of Montecito where a number of celebrities have their homes.
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 22:41:35 -0500
Subway bomber wounds self, three victims in New York
News ImageA Bangladeshi man set off a homemade pipe bomb strapped to his body in a crowded New York City commuter hub during the morning rush hour on Monday, officials said, immediately calling it an attempted terrorist attack. The suspect, Akayed Ullah, 27, was taken to a hospital after suffering burns from the explosive device, which was attached to his body with Velcro and zip ties and did not fully ignite, officials said. Investigators told Reuters they believe the attack in midtown Manhattan was intended to be a suicide bombing.
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 21:57:15 -0500
U.S. House Democratic women seek probe of Trump misconduct accusations
News ImageMore than 50 female Democratic lawmakers in the U.S. House of Representatives called on Monday for a congressional investigation into allegations by various women of sexual misconduct against President Donald Trump, who has denied the accusations. "We cannot ignore the multitude of women who have come forward with accusations against Mr. Trump," the lawmakers wrote in their letter, though a formal inquiry was unlikely to result because Republicans control the agenda in Congress. The letter, spearheaded by the Democratic women's working group, which is composed of all the party's female members in the House, was signed by 56 lawmakers.
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 21:11:13 -0500
Houston man arrested for trying to aid Islamic State: U.S. government
News ImageAn 18-year-old Houston man was charged on Monday with trying to support the radical group Islamic State and distributing information about how to make bombs, the U.S. Justice Department said. Kaan Sercan Damlarkaya, who is a U.S. citizen, was arrested on Friday in Houston after the filing of a criminal complaint by federal prosecutors, the Justice Department said in an emailed statement. This followed an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that found he had allegedly said he planned to travel overseas to fight for Islamic State or failing that, commit an attack in the United States, the statement said.
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 20:28:18 -0500
Ex-investigator tells of fleeing Turkey with evidence of corruption
News ImageHuseyin Korkmaz, 30, was testifying in Manhattan federal court for U.S. prosecutors in the trial of Mehmet Hakan Atilla, an executive at the majority state-owned Halkbank, who is accused of taking part in a scheme with gold trader Reza Zarrab to help Iran evade U.S. sanctions. Halkbank has denied involvement with any illegal transactions. Zarrab, a Turkish and Iranian national, has pleaded guilty and testified against Atilla, saying he used fraudulent food and gold transactions to launder money for Iran with the help of Atilla and others.
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 20:04:57 -0500
Monsanto offers cash to U.S. farmers who use controversial chemical
News ImageBy Tom Polansek CHICAGO (Reuters) - Monsanto Co will give cash back to U.S. farmers who buy a weed killer that has been linked to widespread crop damage, offering an incentive to apply its product even as regulators in several U.S. states weigh restrictions on its use. The incentive to use XtendiMax with VaporGrip, a herbicide based on a chemical known as dicamba, could refund farmers over half the sticker price of the product in 2018 if they spray it on soybeans Monsanto engineered to resist the weed killer, according to company data. The United States faced an agricultural crisis this year caused by new formulations of dicamba-based herbicides, which farmers and weed experts say harmed crops because they evaporated and drifted away from where they were sprayed.
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 20:01:13 -0500
Subway bomber wounds self, three victims in New York
News ImageBy Nick Zieminski and Daniel Trotta NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Bangladeshi man set off a homemade pipe bomb strapped to his body in a crowded New York City commuter hub during the morning rush hour on Monday, officials said, immediately calling it an attempted terrorist attack. The suspect, Akayed Ullah, 27, was taken to a hospital after suffering burns from the explosive device, which was attached to his body with Velcro and zip ties and did not fully ignite, officials said. Investigators told Reuters they believe the attack in midtown Manhattan was intended to be a suicide bombing.
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:55:16 -0500
Factbox: Attacks on mass transit around the world
News ImageLondon: A homemade bomb on a packed rush-hour commuter train in London engulfed a carriage in flames and injured 30 people, but apparently failed to fully explode. April 3, 2017 - St. Petersburg: A suicide bomber killed 16 people and wounded more than 40 on a metro train. March 22, 2016 - Brussels: A suicide bomber detonated a bomb on a train in the city's downtown Maelbeek subway station, about an hour after bomb attacks on the main airport.
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:53:17 -0500
'Soup Nazi' company's former CFO pleads guilty to tax evasion
News ImageThe former chief financial officer of a company that licensed the name and recipes of the chef who inspired the tyrannical Soup Nazi character on the TV comedy Seinfeld pleaded guilty on Monday to tax evasion, according to court records. Robert Bertrand, 63, pleaded guilty to one count of failing to pay taxes before U.S. District Judge Pamela Chen in Brooklyn federal court. Michael Weil, a lawyer for Bertrand, declined to comment on the plea.
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:45:34 -0500
New York subway attack shows limits of counterterror strategy
News ImageMinutes after a man set off a pipe bomb strapped to his body in one of New York's busiest transit hubs, throwing the Monday morning commute into chaos for many, a suspect was in custody, trains were rerouted and throngs of police swarmed the streets. The massive response exposed the limits of the antiterrorism force the city has built since the deadly attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. It has learned to respond quickly and effectively to attacks but faces an almost impossible task in trying to thwart every threat, particularly the acts of "lone wolves" targeting public places and New York's vast transit system.
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:30:27 -0500
Monsanto offers cash to U.S. farmers who use controversial chemical
News ImageMonsanto Co will give cash back to U.S. farmers who buy a weed killer that has been linked to widespread crop damage, offering an incentive to apply its product even as regulators in several U.S. states weigh restrictions on its use. The incentive to use XtendiMax with VaporGrip, a herbicide based on a chemical known as dicamba, could refund farmers over half the sticker price of the product in 2018 if they spray it on soybeans Monsanto engineered to resist the weed killer, according to company data. The United States faced an agricultural crisis this year caused by new formulations of dicamba-based herbicides, which farmers and weed experts say harmed crops because they evaporated and drifted away from where they were sprayed.
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:25:05 -0500
U.S. judge warns of mistrial in Nevada rancher Bundy's trial
News ImageA U.S. federal judge in the criminal conspiracy trial of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and three other men on Monday warned that prosecutors' failure to produce documents that could support defense arguments may lead to a mistrial. The four men, including two of Bundy's sons Ammon and Ryan, are accused of conspiring to use the threat of force in a 2014 armed standoff with federal agents near Bundy's ranch. The revolt was sparked by the court-ordered roundup of Bundy's cattle by government agents over his refusal to pay fees required to graze the herd on federal land.
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:12:49 -0500
U.S. military must accept transgender recruits by Jan. 1, judge rules
News ImageIn a ruling, with which the Pentagon said it would comply, U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly in Washington refused to lift part of her Oct. 30 order stopping the ban from taking effect until the case is resolved, saying it likely violated the U.S. Constitution's guarantees of due process and equal protection under the law. The White House said the Justice Department was reviewing its options. The Pentagon said in a statement that it would follow court orders and begin processing transgender applicants on Jan. 1.
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:08:46 -0500
California wildfire rages, threatens communities
News ImageBy Ben Gruber VENTURA, Calif. (Reuters) - Crews battling a massive wind-driven California wildfire that has torched nearly 1,000 buildings and charred an area larger than New York City on Monday struggled to protect communities menaced by flames along the state's scenic coastline. The Thomas Fire ignited a week ago and has burned 230,500 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, about 100 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles. Firefighters were contending with severe weather as the fire expanded into Santa Barbara County, threatening the communities of Montecito and Summerland, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said in a statement.
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 17:57:31 -0500
Trump wants to send U.S. astronauts back to moon, someday Mars
News ImageBy Steve Holland WASHINGTON (Reuters) - At a time when China is working on an ambitious lunar program, President Donald Trump vowed on Monday that the United States will remain the leader in space exploration as he began a process to return Americans to the moon. "We are the leader and we're going to stay the leader, and we're going to increase it many fold," Trump said in signing "Space Policy Directive 1" that establishes a foundation for a mission to the moon with an eye on going to Mars. "This time, we will not only plant our flag and leave our footprint, we will establish a foundation for an eventual mission to Mars," Trump said.
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 17:54:30 -0500
U.S. not granting loan relief to defrauded students: inspector general
News ImageThe U.S. Education Department under President Donald Trump and Secretary Betsy DeVos has stopped cancelling the student-loan debt of people defrauded by failed for-profit schools and those borrowers face mounting interest and other burdens, its inspector general said on Monday. DeVos is seeking to redo the process for cancelling the debts of people who attended Corinthian Colleges, which collapsed in 2015 amid government investigations into its post-graduation rates, and other failed schools. In the final days of his administration, President Barack Obama approved rules speeding up the debt cancellations.
Mon, 11 Dec 2017 17:47:56 -0500
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