U.S. job growth offers upbeat sign for weather-beaten economy
Fri, 07 Mar 2014 12:02:26 -0500
By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. job growth accelerated sharply in February despite the icy weather that gripped much of the nation, easing fears of an abrupt economic slowdown and keeping the Federal Reserve on track to continue reducing its monetary stimulus. Employers added 175,000 jobs to their payrolls last month after creating 129,000 new positions in January, the Labor Department said on Friday. The unemployment rate, however, rose to 6.7 percent from a five-year low of 6.6 percent, as Americans flooded into the labor market to search for work. "It reinforces the case for the economy being stronger than it's looked for the last couple of months," said Bill Cheney, chief economist at John Hancock Financial Services in Boston.
Conflicting accounts open U.S. Army general's sex crimes trial
Fri, 07 Mar 2014 12:13:45 -0500
By Colleen Jenkins FORT BRAGG, North Carolina (Reuters) - Opening arguments in the military court martial of a U.S. Army general accused of forcibly sodomizing a female captain with whom he had a secret sexual relationship provided sharply conflicting accounts on Friday of the end of the affair. Brigadier General Jeffrey Sinclair stands accused of forcing the junior officer under his command to perform oral sex, grabbing her genitalia against her will and having intercourse with her in public places. The rare trial of a high-ranking U.S. military official is unfolding on a base in Fort Bragg, North Carolina, amid a growing debate among U.S. lawmakers over how best to curb sexual assault in the military. "This case is one of abuse of position, abuse of command, abuse of power, abuse of rank," said lead Army prosecutor Lt. Colonel Robert Stelle on Friday.
U.S. judge throws out fine against commercial drone pilot
Fri, 07 Mar 2014 11:43:54 -0500
By Eric Beech WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. judge has thrown out a fine by the Federal Aviation Administration against the operator of a small commercial drone, a decision that could open up the nation's skies to more unmanned-aircraft flights. The case involved a $10,000 fine levied by the FAA against Raphael Pirker for operating a drone while filming a commercial in 2011 for the University of Virginia, a violation of the agency's ban on the commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles. Administrative law judge Patrick Geraghty dismissed the fine on Thursday and ruled that the agency's prohibition was not enforceable because it was based on a policy statement outside of the formal rule-making process. "Policy statements are not binding on the general public," Geraghty, a judge with the National Transportation Safety Board, wrote in his decision.
Massachusetts bans 'upskirt' photos, closes Peeping Tom loophole
Fri, 07 Mar 2014 12:39:18 -0500
By Richard Valdmanis BOSTON (Reuters) - Massachusetts on Friday banned people from secretly taking pictures or video under another person's clothing, two days after the state's top court pointed out that so-called 'upskirting' was allowed under existing laws. The state legislature had hastily drafted the bill making the practice a crime punishable by up to two-and-a-half years in jail, and Governor Deval Patrick signed it into law on Friday morning, his office said in a press release. "We are sending a message that to take a photo or video of a woman under her clothing is morally reprehensible and, in Massachusetts, we will put you in jail for doing it," Senate President Therese Murray said in a release. Massachusetts' Supreme Judicial Court had ruled on Wednesday that the state's Peeping Tom law prohibited secretly filming a person who is nude, or partially nude, but that it did not apply to people who are fully clothed.
Remains could be those of missing Denver woman
Fri, 07 Mar 2014 12:31:04 -0500
DENVER (AP) â Authorities say recently discovered remains are likely those of a Denver woman who disappeared nearly three years ago.
APNewsBreak: FBI investigates prison company CCA
Fri, 07 Mar 2014 12:30:00 -0500
BOISE, Idaho (AP) â The FBI has taken over the Idaho criminal investigation into private prison company Corrections Corporation of America.
Ted Turner rushed to clinic in Argentina with appendicitis: media
Fri, 07 Mar 2014 12:27:49 -0500
Philanthropist and former media tycoon Ted Turner was rushed to hospital with appendicitis early on Friday in Argentina's Patagonia region, where he owns property, local media said. After a brief stay in the San Carlos clinic in the lakeside city of Bariloche, the 75-year-old founder of cable TV network CNN was flown to Buenos Aires for surgery, according to several Argentine newspapers. Turner spokesman Phillip Evans issued a statement saying his boss was admitted to a hospital for observation while traveling in South America. Media said he took a private jet to Buenos Aires.
Court approves 2nd lawyer to help Bulger's appeal
Fri, 07 Mar 2014 12:20:50 -0500
BOSTON (AP) â A federal judge has approved a second taxpayer-funded lawyer to help with convicted Boston mobster James "Whitey" Bulger's appeal.
Illinois commended for local renewable energy buys
Fri, 07 Mar 2014 12:19:42 -0500
CHICAGO (AP) â Illinois is buying more renewable energy than any other state in the nation, which has reduced pollution by the equivalent of removing a million cars from the road over the past few years, according to a report released Friday by national and state environmental groups.
Venezuelan middle class seeks refuge in Miami
Fri, 07 Mar 2014 12:19:08 -0500
MIAMI (AP) â Carlos Salamanca fled Venezuela's political turmoil in January with his wife, two teenage children and $8,000.