U.S. Evacuates Embassy In Libya Amid Clashes

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States shuttered its embassy in Libya on Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort as fighting intensified between rival militias. Secretary of State John Kerry said "free-wheeling militia violence" prompted the move.

American personnel at the Tripoli embassy, which had already been operating with limited staffing, left the capital around dawn and traveled by road to neighboring Tunisia, with U.S. fighter jets and other aircraft providing protection, the State Department said. The withdrawal underscored the Obama administration's concern about the heightened risk to American diplomats abroad, particularly in Libya where memories of the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in the eastern city of Benghazi are still vivid.

Read Full Article - The Associated Press

38 Killed As Libyan Forces Battle Militias In East

Costa Concordia Nears End of Final Voyage

Rome (CNN) -- The crippled Costa Concordia cruise ship is nearing the end of its final voyage.

Refloated by salvage crews earlier this month, the rusting hulk reached the mouth of Voltri port in the Italian city of Genoa early Sunday.

The cruise ship, which ran aground ran in January 2012 off Giglio Island with more than 4,200 passengers aboard, will be eased into a dry dock at the port for salvage.

It managed to make the four-day journey in a convoy of vessels from Giglio to Genoa without major incident, despite one night of storms.

Read Full Article - CNN News

Plagiarism Scandal Tests Senator's Rapport With Montanans

Official portrait of U.S. Senator John Walsh (D-MT).
BUTTE, Mont. — Montanans are not quick to get riled up over politics. Here in this historic copper and silver mining town, the big news this week is the kickoff of Evel Knievel Days — the annual summer festival featuring flying motorcycles and other stunts that recall the famed daredevil, Butte’s native son.

Now another Butte native — Senator John Walsh, a Democrat who was appointed to office in February — is caught in a plagiarism scandal over a paper he submitted to the United States Army War College in 2007. But voters seem to be taking a wait-and-see attitude as they judge the future of a politician they barely know.

If people here were bothered about anything, it was Mr. Walsh’s suggestion that his behavior was shaped by mental health challenges he suffered while on combat duty in Iraq.

Read Full Article - The New York Times

U.S. fighter jets escort passenger plane back to Canada after threat

F-16 CJ Fighting Falcon on takeoff
Two U.S. fighter jets escorted a Canada-to-Panama flight back to Toronto after a passenger allegedly threatened the plane Friday morning.

Sunwing Airlines Flight 772, which left Toronto Pearson International Airport at 7 a.m. ET, was over West Virginia when "an agitated customer made a direct threat against the aircraft" about 45 minutes into the flight to Panama City, the Canadian carrier said in a statement.

The nature of the threat or why the passenger was agitated were not specified. CBS News reported that the passenger told a flight attendant, "I have a bomb and I will blow up Canada."

Read Full Article - USA Today

Doctor Fires Back at Gunman in Pennsylvania Hospital

(AP) - Authorities are attempting to determine why a patient fatally shot a caseworker at a suburban Philadelphia hospital complex and whether a psychiatrist who pulled out his own gun and wounded the patient had concerns about him.

The psychiatrist, Dr. Lee Silverman, was grazed in the temple during the gunfight in his office Thursday afternoon with patient Richard Plotts, said Delaware District Attorney Jack Whelan.

"We do believe that there were some issues between the doctor and the patient, but whether or not he actually feared him is unclear," Whelan said.

The prosecutor identified the caseworker killed at Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital as Theresa Hunt, 53, of Philadelphia. Hunt had accompanied Plotts to an appointment with Silverman at a psychiatric crisis center adjacent to the hospital in Darby, just southwest of Philadelphia, authorities said.

Read Full Article - ABC News

Cost of Wildfires Scorching Budgets in the West

Wildfire scorches trees
WASHINGTON -- As a massive wildfire burned in Washington state this week and the threat of more fires looms over the West, there has been increasing pressure to fix the way the country pays to fight fires.

Fire season in the West has expanded from five months to seven months since the 1970s and fires are burning twice as many acres, the head of the U.S. Forest Service testified last year. The problem is only projected to get worse as the climate continues to change. Scientists say that higher temperatures are increasing drought conditions, which are in turn causing more frequent and intense wildfires.

The Union of Concerned Scientists released a new report this week looking at how climate change and development patterns contribute to the increasing cost of wildfires...

Read Full Article - Huffington Post

U.N. School In Gaza Shelled, At Least 15 Dead

GAZA CITY - A U.N.-run school crowded with Palestinian evacuees in the northern part of the Gaza Strip came under shelling on Thursday, leaving at least 15 people dead and more than 100 wounded, Palestinian officials said.

Several shells hit the main building and courtyard of the elementary school run by the U.N. Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in Beit Hanoun, witnesses and Palestinian officials said. They said the school was filled with women and children who had fled their homes to escape more than two weeks of fighting between Israel and Hamas, the militant Palestinian Islamist group that runs the Gaza Strip.

Initial reports indicated that the shells came from Israeli tanks...

Read Full Article - The Washington Post

CNN Freelance Journalist Abducted In Ukraine

Donetsk, Ukraine (CNN) -- A Ukrainian journalist working as a freelancer for CNN remains in detention two days after he was abducted by pro-Russian separatists.

Armed men from the self-declared Donetsk People's Republic seized Anton Skiba outside a hotel in the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk after he had worked for one day with a CNN television crew.

Since his detention, CNN has attempted through a number of different separatist officials, including the office of the separatist Prime Minister Alexander Borodai, to secure Skiba's freedom.

Read Full Article - CNN News

Washington Post Correspondent Reportedly Detained In Iran

Arizona Execution Takes Almost Two Hours

Inmate Joseph Rudolph Wood provided by the Arizona Department of Corrections
PHOENIX (AP) — A condemned Arizona inmate gasped for more than an hour and a half during his execution Wednesday before he died in an episode sure to add to the scrutiny surrounding the death penalty in the U.S.

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne's office said Joseph Rudolph Wood was pronounced dead at 3:49 p.m., one hour and 57 minutes after the execution started.

Wood's lawyers had filed emergency appeals with federal and state courts while the execution was underway, demanding that it be stopped. The appeal said Wood was "gasping and snorting for more than an hour."

Read Full Article - The Associated Press

Reporter's Account Of Arizona Execution

Arizona Execution Under Review

Father-Son Flight Around World Ends In Tragedy

Haris Suleman, 17, was on the adventure of his young life.

He died nearing the end of that adventure, his family learned Wednesday. But the Suleman family now hopes — and prays — that Babar Suleman, Haris' father and co-pilot, will still be found alive.

The Plainfield teen was piloting a single-engine aircraft around the world under the watchful eye of his father to try to set a world record and raise money to build schools in Pakistan.

Their plane crashed about 10:15 p.m. American Samoan time Tuesday, just 20 minutes after taking off from that island en route to Hawaii, Haris' sister, 26-year-old Hiba Suleman, said Wednesday.

Read Full Article - Indianapolis Star

Video: Jimmy Fallon & Dwayne Johnson's Workout

Actor/Wrestler Dwayne Johnson Visited "The Tonight Show" Tuesday to promote his new movie, "Hercules." While there "The Rock" share his old VHS fitness tapes of "The Fungo Brothers" with Jimmy.

David Perdue Wins Georgia Republican Senate Runoff

ATLANTA — Businessman David Perdue has defeated longtime Rep. Jack Kingston in a Republican runoff for Georgia's U.S. Senate nomination, setting up a general election matchup against Democrat Michelle Nunn.

On Tuesday night, unofficial returns showed Perdue with a lead of more than 6,000 votes, with about 93% of precincts reporting.

Perdue is a former corporate CEO making his first bid for public office. He campaigned as an outsider and called Kingston a career politician who has done little to solve the nation's problems.

Twin Court Rulings Create New Uncertainty Over Obamacare

Stethoscope with a red circle around and line through it - used for "No medical advice"
(Reuters) - Two U.S. judicial panels on Tuesday injected new uncertainty into the future of President Barack Obama's healthcare law, with conflicting rulings over whether the federal government can subsidize health insurance for millions of Americans.

The appeals court rulings, handed down by three-judge panels in Washington, D.C., and Richmond, Virginia, augured a possible rematch before the U.S. Supreme Court, which in June 2012 narrowly upheld the Democratic president's 2010 healthcare overhaul.

Read Full Article - Yahoo News

Earlier Article:

Federal Court Deals Potential Huge Blow To Obamacare 

(AP) - A federal appeals court has thrown out an IRS regulation that implements key subsidies for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, dealing a potentially significant blow to the law. 

In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals sided with plaintiffs who argued the law, as written, only allows for subsidies to be provided through state exchanges. The lawsuit, Halbig v. Burwell, has the potential to cripple Obamacare in the 36 states where the federal government provides subsidies for low-income people to buy health insurance.

Read Full Article - Yahoo News

More On Appeals Court Decision

Read Full Decision

NYC Cop in Chokehold Arrest Death Stripped of Badge

Video 7/18/14

Officials say an eight-year veteran of the NYPD has been stripped of his badge and gun because of his use of a chokehold while arresting a Staten Island man who later died in police custody.

Authorities said Saturday that Officer Daniel Pantaleo has been place on modified assignment pending further investigation into the arrest of 43-year-old Eric Garner, which was captured on cellphone video showing the chokehold, a tactic prohibited by NYPD policy.

Officials said another officer involved in the arrest, a four-year veteran of the force who has not been identified, has been put on administrative duty but has not had to surrender his gun and shield.

Read Full Article - NBC News

4 EMTs Suspended Over Chokehold Death Response

Raw Video:

Actor James Garner Dies At Age 86

James Garner as Jim Rockford and James Whitmore, Jr. as Freddie Beamer from the television program The Rockford Files.
James Garner, star of the long-running TV shows “The Rockford Files” and “Maverick” has died at 86, according to media reports.

Law enforcement sources told TMZ that an ambulance was dispatched to the actor's home in Los Angeles around 8PM Saturday evening and that he was dead when they arrived. No immediate cause of death was available.

A dashing, dark-haired and dark-eyed figure with a sly sense of humor, Garner played private investigator Jim Rockford from 1974 to 1980. He came back to play the character in several TV movies in the 1990s.

Read Full Article - The Wrap

More On Garner's Life And Death

James Garner Bio

Wildfires Devastate Communities In Washington State

PATEROS, Wash. (AP) — A massive wildfire that has destroyed at least 100 homes has forced the residents of a second north-central Washington town to leave their homes, and prompted a partial evacuation of a third community, a sheriff said Friday night.

"We basically evacuated the whole town" of Malott, Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said. Those living in outlying areas of Brewster were also told to leave.

Several hours later, Rogers said one home had burned in Malott but the fire threat in Brewster had eased.

Malott is home to about 500 people, while the population of Brewster is about 2,400.

Read Full Article - The Associated Press

FedEx Charged With Drug Trafficking

 FedEx delivery truck. Photograph taken in Chicago, Illinois
FedEx is facing drug-trafficking charges after a federal grand jury in San Francisco indicted the overnight shipping company, accusing it of conspiring to deliver prescription drugs for illegal Internet pharmacies.

The indictment says FedEx knew for a decade that such pharmacies used their services. FedEx took steps to protect its business by setting up special credit policies for Internet pharmacies so it wouldn't lose money if police shut the sites down, the indictment says.

FedEx ignored nearly a decade of warnings from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Food and Drug Administration and members of Congress, the indictment says.

Read Full Article - USA Today

Microsoft To Cut Up To 18,000 Jobs

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wasn't kidding -- he really is making bold changes.
The software giant said it would cut 18,000 jobs within the next year -- about 14% of the company's 125,000 employees. That's by far the largest round of layoffs in the company's history.

The previous record came during the lowest point of the Great Recession, when Microsoft (MSFTTech30cut more than 5,000 jobs in 2009 -- the first mass layoff in the company's history.

Most of the latest round of layoffs -- 12,500 -- will come from Nokia's devices and services business that Microsoft recently bought. 

Read Full Article - CNN News

California Bank Robbery Turns Into Violent Gun Battle, 3 Dead

Robbers fleeing a California bank took three women hostage and led police on a chase that reached speeds of 100 mph, ending when three people were shot dead, including one of the hostages, authorities said.

During the 45 minute chase, two of the hostages were tossed out of the moving car, authorities said.

The violence erupted in Stockton, a city in the northern part of the state. Authorities say three robbers at Bank of the West made off with money and the three female hostages.

One of the hostages, identified by family and friends as Misty Holt-Singh, was dragged away by the robbers as her 12-year-old daughter watched in horror.

Read Full Article - ABC News

U.S. Imposes Toughest Sanctions Yet On Russia

(Reuters) - President Barack Obama imposed the toughest U.S. sanctions yet on Russia, striking at the heart of Vladimir Putin's powerbase by targeting companies closest to him over what Washington says is Moscow's failure to curb violence in Ukraine.

By imposing penalties on Russia's largest oil producer Rosneft, its second largest gas producer Novatek and its third largest bank Gazprombank, Washington targeted Putin's allies, many of whom have become wealthy during his tenure.

Moscow denounced what it called "primitive" revenge for events in Ukraine, and pledged to retaliate with sanctions of its own. Putin said the U.S. sanctions would damage American energy companies and bring relations to a "dead end."

Read Full Article - Reuters

New Sanctions Cause Russian Shares And Rouble To Tumble

White House defies congressional subpoena

The White House is defying a subpoena from the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, refusing to make a top political adviser to President Obama available for testimony Wednesday morning.

The clash is the latest skirmish over the powers of the executive branch and particularly the role of White House political advisers.

Tensions flared in a letter exchange late Tuesday between the White House and Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chair of the panel. After a day of briefing congressional staff, a frustrated White House announced in a letter that political adviser David Simas would be a Capitol Hill no-show....

Read Full Article - The Washington Post

Texas Lawmakers to Offer Bipartisan Border Bill

WASHINGTON — Two Texas lawmakers say they plan to introduce a bipartisan bill on Tuesday intended to combat the humanitarian crisis at the nation’s southern border and make it easier to send migrant children from Central America back to their home countries.

The legislation is expected to encounter resistance from some congressional Democrats. It comes as the White House has signaled a willingness to work with Republicans to win passage of President Obama’s request for $3.7 billion in emergency funds to confront the surge of Central American migrants into the United States, with a heavy concentration of them in Texas.

The legislation by the two Texas lawmakers — Senator John Cornyn, the chamber’s No. 2 Republican, and Representative Henry Cuellar, a Democrat — would amend a 2008 law intended to stop sex trafficking...

Read Full Article - The New York Times

Details Announced in Citigroup $7B Settlement

In a settlement that will be announced Monday, Citigroup will agree to pay $7 billion to the Justice Department for misdeeds associated with the sale of mortgage-backed securities tied to the 2008 financial crisis, according to a U.S. official with knowledge of the matter and media reports.

The official was not authorized to comment publicly on the settlement and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The bank has been under investigation by federal authorities for faulty mortgage securities that fueled the housing bubble a decade ago. The settlement is far higher than the $3 billion Citigroup had offered to settle, but less than the $10 billion the government was seeking, according to a Wall Street Journal report.

Read Full Article - USA Today

Citigroup Settles | Data Dive

Israeli Commandos Clash With Hamas Gunmen

(Reuters) - Israeli naval commandos clashed with Hamas militants in a raid on the coast of the Gaza Strip on Sunday, in what appeared to be the first ground assault of a six-day Israeli offensive on the territory aimed at stopping Palestinian rocket fire.

With aerial support from fighter jets, the Israeli force attacked a site in northern Gaza used to launch long-range rockets, an Israeli military spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Peter Lerner, said. Militants opened fire, wounding four commandos, but the launch site was hit, he said.

Hamas said its fighters had fired at the Israeli force offshore, preventing them from landing.

Read Full Article - Reuters

Israel Calls For North Gaza Evacuation After Raid