Sunday, March 29, 2015

Is California Wine Safe To Drink?



(CNN) - A lawsuit that's causing panic among drinkers of some California wine starts with a history lesson.

The deaths of Napoleon Bonaparte, Simon Bolivar, King George III, King Faisal I and other prominent figures have been attributed to arsenic poisoning, the first paragraph of the 30-page complaint says.

And, now, drinkers of some California wine have become "unwitting 'guinea pigs' of arsenic exposure," thanks to the negligent and misleading actions of dozens of California wineries, according to the class action complaint filed March 19 on behalf of two California couples.

The lawsuit does not include any allegations of physical injury or death due to arsenic consumption associated with drinking the wines named in the complaint.

Read Full Article - CNN News

Seven People Shot at Spring Break Party



Police say seven people were shot early Saturday at a spring break house party in the Florida Panhandle.

The Bay County Sheriff's Office says multiple 911 calls flooded in just before 1 a.m. Saturday reporting gunshots in Panama City Beach, Fla. No fatalities have been reported from the shooting, but at least three of the victims are hospitalized in critical condition.

David Jamichael Daniels, 22, of Mobile, Ala., has been charged with seven counts of attempted murder and is jailed awaiting an initial court appearance.

When police responded to the chaotic scene, they found seven shooting victims. Three victims were found in the home, one in front of the house, one in the median of Thomas Drive, and two across the street from the home, according to WJHG-TV.

Read Full Article - USA Today

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Boston Police Officer in Coma After Shot in Face



A police officer decorated for his role in the Boston Marathon bombing remains in critical condition in a medically induced coma after he was shot in the face during a traffic stop, the city's police commissioner said today.

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans called the shooting of Officer John Moynihan on Friday night "unprovoked." He and five other officers had pulled over a driver in Roxbury, Massachusetts, when the driver began firing at the officers, according to police.

The officers hadn't drawn their guns when the driver began shooting, said Evans. As the officers chased after him, the driver continued to fire, emptying his revolver as he ran.

The officers later shot the driver, who died on scene, police said. Evans identified him as Angelo West, 41, adding that he had a violent criminal past.

Read Full Article - ABC News

Iran Nuclear Talks Near 'Endgame'



Talks on Iran's nuclear programme have entered their "endgame", Germany's Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has said.

Negotiators from six world powers are attempting to strike a deal with Iran to restrict its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief.

The parties have set a deadline of the end of March to reach an agreement.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that progress was being made.

Mr Steinmeier said as he arrived in the Swiss city of Lausanne for the talks: "These are decisive days before us after nearly 12 years of negotiations with Iran.

Read Full Article - BBC News

Iran Nuclear Talks Explained

Friday, March 27, 2015

Astronauts Blast Off For One-Year Mission On ISS



BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan (AP) — American astronaut Scott Kelly and his Russian counterpart Mikhail Kornienko blasted off early Saturday on a mission to spend an entire year away from the Earth.

The trip is NASA's first attempt at a one-year spaceflight, anticipating Mars expeditions that would last two to three years.

Their Soyuz space capsule set off from Russia's manned space launch facility on the steppes of Kazakhstan at 1:42 a.m. (1942 GMT Friday; 4:42 p.m. EDT Friday) and was to dock with the International Space Station about six hours later after making four orbits of the planet.

Read Full Article - The Associated Press

More On Scott Kelly Trip

Indiana Religious Objections Law Strikes Outrage



INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana Gov. Mike Pence vigorously defended the state religious objections bill that he signed into law Thursday as businesses and organizations including the NCAA pressed concerns that it could open the door to legalizing discrimination against gay people.

The state became the first to enact such a change this year among about a dozen where such proposals have been introduced. Arkansas' governor said Thursday he supported a similar bill that's advancing in that state's Legislature.

Pence, a Republican mulling a possible 2016 presidential campaign, signed the bill privately in his office with at least a couple dozen supporters on hand. He later met with reporters and refuted arguments from opponents that law would threaten civil rights laws...

Read Full Article - Yahoo News

Indiana Governor: 'Absolutely Not' A Mistake To Sign Religious Freedom Bill

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid to Retire After 2016



(Reuters) - U.S. Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said on Friday he will not seek re-election next year, leaving Congress after 30 years and complicating Democrats' efforts to retake control of the Senate in 2016.

Reid, who represents Nevada, said in a video message his decision to retire was not due to a recent exercise accident or his party's loss of control of the chamber in the November congressional elections.

"The job of minority leader of the United States Senate is just as important as being the majority leader," Reid, 75, said in the video, posted to YouTube. "It gives you so much opportunity to do good things for this country. And that’s what I am focused on."

Read Full Article - Reuters

Reid Endorses Chuck Schumer To Succeed Him

Thursday, March 26, 2015

King Richard III Reburied in Leicester Cathedral



More than half a millennium after he died in the middle of a battlefield defending his throne, Britain's 15th century monarch Richard III was buried at Leicester Cathedral on Thursday in a ceremony attended by members of the royal family, religious leaders and even Hollywood star Benedict Cumberbatch — a distant relative of the king.

The service followed a week of events related to commemorating Richard III's death after archaeologists discovered his remains in 2012 under a parking lot in Leicester, a city a few hours north London.

Two hundred members of the public were allowed to join Thursday's service alongside the researchers and others involved in finding and identifying his remains. They were chosen by ballot.

Read Full Article - USA Today

More On King Richard III Ceremony

Two Illinois Men Arrested On Terror Charges



(CNN) - A member of Army National Guard and his cousin have been arrested in Illinois for allegedly conspiring to provide material support to the terrorist organization ISIS, federal prosecutors said Thursday.

In the last 18 months, the Justice Department's National Security Division has prosecuted or is prosecuting 32 cases of people attempting to travel abroad to join or providing support to terrorist groups. Of those cases, 18 allegedly involve support to ISIS.

Army National Guard Spc. Hasan Edmonds, 22 was arrested Wednesday night at Chicago Midway International Airport while attempting to travel to Egypt to eventually join ISIS...

Read Full Article - CNN News

Police: Alleged kidnapping in Northern California Was Hoax



A Vallejo, Calif., police official told Cable News Network (CNN) that the alleged kidnapping of 30-year-old Denise Huskins from a Kirkland Avenue apartment on Mare Island apparently never happened and that searchers who looked for her had been sent on a “wild goose chase” by reports of an abduction.
"I can tell you that our investigation has concluded that none of the claims has been substantiated," Vallejo police Lt. Kenny Park said in a prepared statement.
"And I can go one step further to say this,” he said, “that this was not a random act and that the members of our community are safe and that they have nothing to fear."

Read Full Article - Digital Journal

House OKs Medicare Doc Bill



WASHINGTON (AP) — In uncommon bipartisan harmony, the House approved a $214 billion bill Thursday permanently blocking physician Medicare cuts, moving lawmakers closer to resolving a problem that has plagued them for years.

The 392-37 House vote came on a package that bore victories for Republicans and Democrats alike. And it immediately shifted the spotlight to the Senate, where Democrats muted their criticism, perhaps due in part to President Barack Obama's endorsement of the bill.

Conservatives also found fault with the legislation, and that leaves its fate somewhat murky in the Senate. But the House's lopsided vote also built pressure on senators to vote yes.

The package was negotiated by House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, a political oddity in its own right...

Read Full Article - The Associated Press

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

US Military Charges Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl With Desertion



(AP) - The Army sergeant who abandoned his post in Afghanistan and was held captive by the Taliban for five years will be court-martialed on charges of desertion and avoiding military service, a U.S. official said Wednesday.

Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl will also be charged with misbehavior before the enemy, said the official, who was not authorized to discuss the announcement on the record and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

The charges are the latest development in a long and bitter debate over Bergdahl's case, and underscore the military and political ramifications of his decision on June 30, 2009, to leave his post after expressing misgivings about the U.S. military's role, as well as his own, in the Afghanistan war.

Desertion can carry a maximum penalty of death, but most military officials have said they believe that is not likely in this case.

Read Full Article - ABC News

Bergdahl Says He Tried To Escape Captors 12 Times

Israel Suspends East Jerusalem Settlement Plan


Video: Mar 19, 2015

Jerusalem (AFP) - As tension mounts with Washington, Israel's outgoing government has suspended a controversial plan to build hundreds of new settler homes in annexed east Jerusalem, a news website reported Wednesday.

The plan involves the construction of 1,500 homes in the settlement neighbourhood of Har Homa where Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave a controversial speech on the eve of March 17 elections, pledging to build thousands of new homes if returned to office.

His remarks on east Jerusalem construction, along with comments ruling out a Palestinian state, have sparked a bitter spat with Washington.

Read Full Article - Yahoo News

Video: Oct 27, 2014

Amanda Knox Murder Conviction Overturned



ROME (AP) — Italy's highest court on Friday overturned the murder conviction against Amanda Knox and her ex-boyfriend in the 2007 slaying of Knox's roommate, bringing to a definitive end the high-profile case that captivated trial-watchers on both sides of the Atlantic.

"Finished!" Knox's lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova exulted after the decision was read out late Friday. "It couldn't be better than this."

In a rare decision, the supreme Court of Cassation overturned last year's convictions by a Florence appeals court and declined to order another trial. 

Read Full Article - Yahoo News

Italy's High Court Set to Rule on Amanda Knox Case

SEATTLE— Italy's Supreme Court could announce its ruling in the Amanda Knox case as soon as Wednesday.

Knox has been back in Seattle since her conviction for murder was thrown out more than three years ago. But her fate is still uncertain because her acquittal was also tossed out. And last year she lost her appeal to a Florence court. If Italy's Court of Cassation (Supreme Court) upholds Knox's murder conviction, it could set the stage for an extradition battle between the U.S. and Italy.

In 2007, while Knox was living in Italy as an exchange student, her 21-year-old roommate Meredith Kercher was found dead of multiple knife wounds and bearing signs of sexual assault.

Read Full Article - USA Today

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

U.S. to Keep 9,800 Troops in Afghanistan Through End of 2015



(Reuters) - The United States will maintain its current 9,800 troops in Afghanistan through the end of 2015, the White House said in a statement on Tuesday after President Barack Obamamet with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

"Based on President Ghani's request for flexibility in the U.S. drawdown timeline, the U.S. will maintain its current posture of 9,800 troops through the end of 2015," the White House said.

"The specific trajectory of the 2016 U.S. troop drawdown will be established later in 2015 to enable the U.S. troop consolidation to a Kabul-based embassy presence by the end of 2016," the statement said.

Read Full Article - Reuters

Full Video:

Indiana Senator Dan Coats to Retire at End of Term



(CNN) - Republican Sen. Dan Coats won't run for re-election in 2016, ending his political comeback while creating an opening for one by his long-time Indiana rival -- former Democratic Sen. Evan Bayh.

The two have swapped the Senate seat since 1989. Coats first retired from it in 1998, dodging what would've been a high-profile challenge from Bayh. Then Bayh retired in 2010, ducking Coats, who'd called his comeback bid unfinished business.

Now, as Bayh considers a return of his own -- he's still got $10 million in his campaign bank account from 2010 -- Coats will retire again, he announced Tuesday.

Read Full Article - CNN News

Germanwings co-pilot said to have suffered from depression



3/27/15 - MONTABAUR, Germany (AP) — Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz appears to have hidden evidence of an illness from his employers, including having been excused by a doctor from work on Tuesday, the day authorities say he crashed a passenger plane into a mountain, prosecutors said.

The evidence came from searches of Lubitz's homes in two German cities as authorities sought an explanation of why he locked himself into the cockpit and crashed the Airbus A320 into the French Alps, killing all 150 people on board.

Torn-up sick notes for the day of the crash "support the current preliminary assessment that the deceased hid his illness from his employer and colleagues," Duesseldorf prosecutors' office spokesman Ralf Herrenbrueck said Friday.

Read Full Article - The Associated Press

German Police Search Home of Germanwings' Co-Pilot 

(Reuters) - A young German co-pilot locked himself alone in the cockpit of Germanwings flight 9525 and set it on course to crash into an Alpine mountain, killing all 150 people on board including himself, prosecutors said on Thursday.

French prosecutors offered no motive for why 28-year-old Andreas Lubitz apparently took the controls of the Airbus A320, locked the captain out of the cockpit and deliberately set it veering down from cruising altitude at 3,000 feet per minute.

German police were searching his home for evidence that might offer some explanation for what was behind Tuesday's crash in the French Alps.

Read Full Article - Reuters

Pilot Locked Out of Cockpit Before Crash in France

PARIS — As officials struggled Wednesday to explain why a jet with 150 people on board crashed in relatively clear skies, an investigator said evidence from a cockpit voice recorder indicated one pilot left the cockpit before the plane’s descent and was unable to get back in.

A senior military official involved in the investigation described “very smooth, very cool” conversation between the pilots during the early part of the flight from Barcelona to Düsseldorf. Then the audio indicated that one of the pilots left the cockpit and could not re-enter.

“The guy outside is knocking lightly on the door and there is no answer,” the investigator said. “And then he hits the door stronger and no answer. There is never an answer.”

Read Full Article - The New York Times

Passenger Jet Crashes In French Alps, 150 Dead

PARIS (AP) — A passenger jet carrying 150 people crashed Tuesday in the French Alps as it flew from Barcelona to Duesseldorf, authorities said. As search-and-rescue teams struggled to get to the remote, snow-covered region, France's president warned that no survivors were expected.

The crash site was at Meolans-Revels, near the popular ski resort of Pra Loup, according to Eric Ciotti, the head of the regional council in southeast France. The site is 700 kilometers (430 miles) south-southeast of Paris. But with mountains all around and few clear trails into the area, access to the crash site was expected to take time.


The Germanwings Airbus A320 plane left Barcelona at 9:55 a.m., sent out a distress signal at 10:45 a.m., then crashed in a mountainous zone in France at an altitude of about 2,000 meters (6,550 feet), said Pierre-Henry Brandet, the French Interior Ministry spokesman.


Read Full Article - The Associated Press

3 Americans Among Victims Of Crash

High School Mourns Loss Of 16 Students