Monday, July 6, 2015

Confederate Flag Debate Kicks Off In SC Legislature

The fate of the Confederate flag on the South Carolina state capitol grounds is up for debate today as lawmakers launch into the controversial topic.

The state's general assembly is returning to Columbia to debate the use of the flag as well as finalize budget issues.

No decision is expected to be finalized today, but the topic is going to be raised in both the state Senate and the state House of Representatives.

Making any changes regarding the flag requires a two-thirds super-majority in both chambers under the terms of the 2000 deal that moved a square version of the flag from the top of the Statehouse dome to an area on the grounds that has a monument to Confederate soldiers, according to the Associated Press.

Read Full Article - ABC News

More On Flag Debate

Suspect In Random SF Pier Shooting Deported 5 Times

The suspect accused of a random shooting that killed a woman strolling a popular San Francisco pier had previously been deported five times.

Francisco Sanchez, 45, was arrested soon after allegedly firing a single shot that killed Katheryn Steinle, 32, as she and her father walked on Pier 14 Thursday evening, San Francisco police have said. He had been a free man at the time because San Francisco is a sanctuary city that doesn't comply with all federal immigration requests and there was no active warrant for his arrest.

In March, federal officials transferred Sanchez to San Francisco County Jail to face an existing local drug charge, according to the San Francisco sheriff's office. Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities also asked the sheriff's office to keep Sanchez in custody and to notify them if he were to be released.

The city district attorney declined to pursue the drug charge and the sheriff's office said in a statement that it released Sanchez in April because there was no warrant for his arrest anywhere else...

Read Full Article - Huffington Post

Global Markets Down After Greece Votes 'No' On Bailout

Shares fell in Europe and Asia, the euro stumbled and yields on weaker euro zone economies' bonds rose after Greece overwhelmingly voted against conditions for a rescue package, but there was no rout and contagion was limited.

Investors sought low-risk assets including Bunds, but the yield premium of Italian 10-year debt over Germany remained below last Monday's eight-month highs.

The euro EUR= lost half a percent to $1.1064 and 0.6 percent against the safe-haven Japanese yen EURJPY=. It fell as low as $1.0967 in Asia before rebounding, taking some support from the resignation of Greece's outspoken finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis.

Some bankers, including JPMorgan, said the vote made it more likely that Greece would leave the single currency. Other investors said the European Central Bank's response would be key to the extent of contagion.

Read Full Article - Reuters

Live Updates: Greece's Finance Minister Resigns

U.S. Beats Japan To Win Women's World Cup

VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The history of soccer in America will not be written without this name: Carli Lloyd.

The United States star midfielder scored three times in the first half to vault the Americans to their third Women's World Cup title on Sunday with a 5-2 victory over Japan at B.C. Place. Lloyd scored from close, she scored from far and she scored a place in U.S. sports lore for a team that came together beautifully to vanquish all comers and now will stand aside the 1999 team as most cherished ever by a still-growing soccer nation.

The theme of the team has been "She believes" and Lloyd made everyone believe within the first five minutes of the match, redirecting a shot from Megan Rapinoe at three minutes and then knocking in a second goal two minutes later.

Read Full Article - Yahoo Sports

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Iran, World Powers Continue Talks On Nuclear Deal

Iran and world powers continued marathon talks on Saturday in an attempt to clinch an historic nuclear accord but remained divided on issues such as lifting U.N. sanctions and development of advanced centrifuges.

Diplomats close to the negotiations said they had tentative agreement on a mechanism for suspending U.S. and European Union sanctions on Iran.

But the six powers had yet to agree on a United Nations Security Council resolution that would lift U.N. sanctions and establish a means of re-imposing them in case of Iranian non-compliance with a future agreement.

"We still haven't sorted a Security Council resolution," a diplomat close to the talks told Reuters. "We don't have Iran on board yet."

Read Full Article - Reuters

Tentative Agreement On Sanctions Reached

400-Foot Ferris Wheel Gets Stuck In Orlando, Riders Rescued

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A technical crew with The Orlando Eye safely evacuated all 66 stranded riders from the largest Ferris wheel on East Coast, an incident that shut down the attraction that towers 400 feet over central Florida, authorities said.

Orange County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Kathleen Kennedy told The Associated Press no one was hurt following the Friday afternoon incident and all were taken off in an operation lasting about three hours with help from several firefighters.

She said the attraction, which is billed by operators as the largest observation wheel on the East Coast, had initially stopped for more than 45 minutes.

Power was restored via a backup generator and a technical team at the attraction, backed by the firefighters, carried out the task of removing riders from the enclosed capsules after each was brought down to the platform, officials said.

Read Full Article - The Associated Press

Friday, July 3, 2015

Thousands To Return Home After Toxic Train Crash

MARYVILLE, Tenn. — Preparations began Friday to allow thousands of eastern Tennessee residents to return to their homes after a CSX train car carrying hazardous material derailed and caught fire.
About 5,000 people within a mile-and-a-half radius of the crash site were evacuated, along with several businesses, Thursday morning in Maryville. Most received urgent knocks at their doors between midnight and 6 a.m. Thursday by emergency workers who told them they should leave immediately.
City Manager Greg McClain said Friday that officials were working on a plan to lift the evacuation. More details were expected at a news conference at noon Friday.

After 2 Failures, Resupply Cargo En Route For Space Station

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian booster rocket on Friday successfully launched an unmanned cargo ship to the International Space Station, whose crew is anxiously awaiting it after the successive failures of two previous supply missions.

A Soyuz-U rocket blasted off flawlessly from Russia-leased Baikonur launch pad in Kazakhstan, placing the Progress M-28M ship into a designated orbit, safely en route to the station. On Sunday, it's set to dock at the station currently manned by Russians Gennady Padalka and Mikhail Kornienko and NASA's Scott Kelly.

The ship is carrying 2.4 metric tons of fuel, oxygen, water, food and other supplies for the crew, the Russian space agency Roscosmos said.

The previous Progress launch in April ended in failure, and on Sunday a U.S. supply mission failed too when SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket broke apart shortly after liftoff....

Read Full Article - Huffington Post


Thursday, July 2, 2015

10th Shark Attack In Carolinas, What's Going On?

(CNN) - Sharks have attacked 10 people off the coast of North and South Carolina this year, according to the International Shark Attack File at the University of Florida, including a man bitten Wednesday on the Outer Banks' Ocracoke Island.

That's higher than the average of six attacks a year off the coasts of those two states.

What's behind the increase?

A number of factors could be contributing to the apparent rash of attacks, such as warmer water and drought conditions, said George Burgess, director of the Florida Program for Shark Research.

Drought conditions reduce the amount of freshwater making it to the sea, which creates an environment along the shore where higher salt levels attract more fish and sharks, Burgess said.

Read Full Article - CNN News

BP Agrees To $18.7 Billion Settlement Over Gulf Oil Spill

BP and five Gulf states announced an $18.7 billion settlement Thursday that resolves years of legal fighting over the environmental and economic damage done by the energy giant's oil spill in 2010.

The settlement money will be used to resolve the Clean Water Act penalties; resolve natural resources damage claims; settle economic claims; and resolve economic damage claims of local governments, according to an outline filed in federal court. The settlement involves Florida, Alabama, MississippiLouisiana and Texas.

"If approved by the court, this settlement would be the largest settlement with a single entity in American history; it would help repair the damage done to the Gulf economy, fisheries, wetlands and wildlife; and it would bring lasting benefits to the Gulf region for generations to come," U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a statement.

The settlement announcement comes as a federal judge was preparing to rule on how much BP owed in federal Clean Water Act penalties.

Read Full Article - ABC News

U.S. Unemployment Rate Hits 7-Year Low

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added a solid 223,000 jobs in June, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.3 percent, a seven-year low. The numbers reflect a job market moving close to full health and raise expectations that the Federal Reserve will start raising interest rates as early as September.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the unemployment rate dropped from 5.5 percent in May. The rate fell mostly because many people out of work gave up on their job searches and were no longer counted as unemployed.

Other details in the report were less encouraging: The percentage of Americans working or looking for work fell to a 38-year low. Average hourly pay was flat. And employers added 60,000 fewer jobs in April and May than the government had previously estimated.

For the first five months of 2015, monthly job growth averaged 217,000, a healthy streak that has been steadily absorbing the unemployed as well as part-time workers looking for more hours.

Read Full Article - Huffington Post

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Fisherman Finally Home After 22 Years A Slave

TUAL, Indonesia (AP) — All he did was ask to go home.

The last time the Burmese slave made the same request, he was beaten almost to death. But after being gone eight years and forced to work on a boat in faraway Indonesia, Myint Naing was willing to risk everything to see his mother again.

So he threw himself on the ground and begged for freedom. Instead, the captain vowed to kill him for trying to jump ship, and chained him for three days without food or water.

He was afraid he would disappear. And that his mother would have no idea where to look.

Read Full Article - Yahoo News

U.S., Cuba Reach Agreement To Open Embassies

WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States and Cuba have agreed to open embassies in each other's capitals, the biggest tangible step in the countries' historic bid to restore ties after more than a half-century of hostilities.

President Barack Obama is expected to announce the agreement Wednesday at the White House. The U.S. Embassy in Havana is scheduled to open later this month.

The U.S. and Cuba have been negotiating the re-establishment of embassies following a surprise December announcement that secret talks had led to an agreement to restart diplomatic relations.

For Obama, ending the U.S. freeze with Cuba is central to his foreign policy legacy as he nears the end of his presidency. Obama has long touted the value of direct engagement with global foes and has argued that the U.S. embargo on the communist island just 90 miles south of Florida was ineffective.

Read Full Article - The Associated Press

Monday, June 29, 2015

NBC Cuts Ties With Donald Trump: You're Fired

NBC is ending its business relationship with Donald Trump over his recent comments about Mexican immigrants.

"At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values," NBC said in a statement. "Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump."

The network will no longer air the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants that were part of a joint venture with Trump, the statement added. Its relationship with "Celebrity Apprentice" will continue, as Trump ceased his involvement with the reality show during his presidential bid.

Read Ful Article - NBC News

More On Trump's Dimissal

15 Hikers Struck By Lightning In Colorado, Dog Dies

DENVER — Three people were transported to Denver-area hospitals after a lightning strike 500 feet below the summit of popular Mount Bierstadt Sunday morning.

The Clear Creek County Sheriff's Office says eight adults were transported from the trailhead, and that three adults were taken to Denver-area hospitals. One of them was in serious condition, the other two had non-life threatening injuries.

Five others refused further treatment, the sheriff's office said.

Initial reports said as many as 16 people were injured. A dog also died after the strike.

A call first came in about the incident at around 11:30 a.m. MT. Rescue crews initially said all of the victims were on the way down the mountain when they were struck.

Read Full Article - USA Today

Blockade: Israeli Forces Intercept Aid Ship For Gaza

(CNN) - Israeli officials said Monday that the country's military had blocked a ship trying to break the blockade of Gaza, boarding it in international waters, arresting people on board, and directing it to dock in an Israeli port.

The group trying to run the blockade said Israel had "hijacked" the ship in an act of "piracy."

The Israeli Defense forces said in a statement that it had ordered the ship to change course but it did not, so military action was taken.

Israel has maintained the blockade since 2007. Israeli officials say it is needed to stop the Palestinians from launching rocket attacks on Israeli cities -- and to prevent Hamas, the Islamic organization that runs the Gaza strip, from getting new weapons.

Read Full Article - CNN News

Tunisia Beach Attacker, From Rap Fan To Terrorist

On Wednesday, Saif Rezgui sat down with friends in his Tunisian hometown to chat about his favorite soccer team, girls and his break-dance skills over coffee and cigarettes.

On Thursday, he met up with his uncle in Gaafour, catching up on family matters, on a break from his master’s studies in the nearby historic town of Kairouan.

A day later, Resgui walked calmly though the Imperial Marhaba beach hotel on Tunisia’s Mediterranean coast opening fire with a Kalashnikov, and in more than five minutes slaughtered 39 foreign tourists in the name of Islamic State.

Once again, Tunisia is in shock over how one of its young men with little warning turned from what appeared to be a normal life to hardline violent ideology of Islamic jihad.

Read Full Article - Reuters

Tunisia Makes More Arrests In Connection To Terrorist Attack

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Prison Escapee David Sweat Captured Near Canadian Border

CONSTABLE, N.Y. -- Escaped convict David Sweat was shot and taken into custody by law enforcement officers, sources have confirmed to CBS News.

Sweat escaped with now-deceased convicted murderer Richard Matt on June 6.

Sweat was shot and wounded by law enforcement in Constable, N.Y., when police caught up with him two days after Matt was shot to death by police. CBS News affiliate WCAX in Burlington reports Sweat's condition is unknown.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said federal law enforcement told him Sweat was shot twice. He said no officers were believed to be injured.

Read Full Article - CBS News

David Sweat: Mexico Was The Planned Destination

SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket Explodes After Liftoff

An unmanned SpaceX rocket carrying supplies to the International Space Station erupted while in flight just a couple of minutes after a successful liftoff in Cape Canaveral, Florida, at 10:21 a.m. EDT on Sunday.

Pieces of the Falcon 9 rocket could be seen falling into the Atlantic, The Associated Press reported. NASA officials said that they have deployed vehicles to recover debris.

Among the more than 4,000 pounds of payload in the rocket's Dragon cargo ship were important research equipment, student experiments that were lost in a previous Orbital rocket explosion, and a docking adapter, or parking place, for future commercial crew capsules.

Read Full Article - Huffington Post