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National News

  • Republicans tweak Obamacare repeal bill, support tepid

    Golocal247.com news

    By Susan Cornwell and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republican senators struggled to gather more support for a last-ditch attempt to repeal Obamacare on Monday despite revising funding provisions of their bill to make it more attractive to a handful of undecided lawmakers. The outcome remained in doubt with several senators in the party voicing concerns in recent days about the legislation to dismantle Democratic former President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law. In hopes of finding more backing, Republican senators leading the effort released a changed version of their bill that included a table showing some states where senators have been undecided, such as Alaska and Maine, would get more money.

    Mon, 25 Sep 2017 16:05:31 -0400
  • House of Representatives to vote on FAA extension, hurricane tax relief

    By David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. House of Representatives will vote on Monday on a bill to allow the Federal Aviation Administration to continue to operate and a package of tax relief bills to aid hurricane victims over the objections of ranking Democrats. The bill would extend the agency for another six months as Congress debates whether to privatize the country's air traffic control system. House Democratic leaders on Monday urged their colleagues to oppose the measure, citing Republicans refusal to allow immigration legislation to come to a vote and criticizing additional provisions on healthcare and flood insurance.

    Mon, 25 Sep 2017 15:30:32 -0400
  • New Jersey mayor resigns after admitting corruption charge

    The mayor of Paterson, New Jersey, resigned on Monday, a city official said, after the mayor pleaded guilty last week to a state criminal conspiracy charge that he ordered city employees to perform work at a warehouse leased by his family members. Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres, 58, pleaded guilty on Friday in state superior court to second degree conspiracy as part of an agreement in which prosecutors will recommend a five-year prison sentence, state Attorney General Christopher Porrino said. The plea agreement also required that Torres relinquish his office, never again hold a government job in New Jersey and repay Paterson $10,000 for the time city workers spent at the private warehouse.

    Mon, 25 Sep 2017 15:17:20 -0400
  • U.S. appeals court allows part of Texas law to punish sanctuary cities

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    A U.S. appeals court on Monday issued a mixed decision on a Texas law to punish "sanctuary cities" by allowing a few parts of the law to take effect but blocking major parts of it. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit allowed the part of the Texas law that called on localities to abide by detainer requests from federal authorities to hold people in local jails to allow for checks of suspected U.S. immigration law violations. The appeals court has yet to render a full decision on the law.

    Mon, 25 Sep 2017 15:13:00 -0400
  • Hundreds leave danger zone near crumbling Puerto Rico dam

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    By Dave Graham and Robin Respaut SAN JUAN (Reuters) - Most people living near a crumbling dam in storm-battered Puerto Rico have been moved to safety, Governor Ricardo Rossello said on Monday, as he urged the U.S. Congress to fund an aid package to avert a humanitarian crisis after Hurricane Maria. Much of the Caribbean island, a U.S. territory with a population of 3.4 million, is still without electricity five days after Maria struck with ferocious winds and torrential rains, the most powerful hurricane to hit Puerto Rico for nearly a century.

    Mon, 25 Sep 2017 15:07:19 -0400
  • Desperate travelers crowd Puerto Rico airport in hopes of seat out

    By Robin Respaut and Dave Graham SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Reuters) - Hundreds of stranded tourists and Puerto Ricans seeking to leave filled the sweltering halls of San Juan International Airport on Monday anxious for a seat on one of the few flights operating after Hurricane Maria devastated power and communications across the island. Fearful of checking out of hotels in case they could not get on the few flights available, worried visitors waited in long lines at Puerto Rico's main airport, struggling to reach loved ones and airlines by phone. A microcosm of the storm-battered island, San Juan airport is a top priority in efforts by Puerto Rico's cash-strapped government to rebuild after Maria.

    Mon, 25 Sep 2017 15:04:19 -0400
  • Eighty percent of Puerto Rico power lines down: PREPA

    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Eighty percent of the power lines in Puerto Rico are down, the U.S. commonwealth's electric utility PREPA said on Monday, after Hurricane Maria blew through the island last week. PREPA spokesman Carlos Monroig said the utility is evaluating all of Puerto Rico's electrical infrastructure by air. (Reporting by Stephanie Kelly; Editing by Mary Milliken)

    Mon, 25 Sep 2017 15:02:38 -0400
  • Violent crime in U.S. rose in 2016 vs. 2015: Justice Department

    Violent crime rose 4.1 percent nationwide in 2016 compared to the 2015 estimates, the U.S. Justice Department said on Monday. Violent crime, which the report defines as non-negligent killings, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, had steadily dropped since 2006, but had increased slightly in 2015, according to the annual report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "The report ... reaffirms that the worrying violent crime increase that began in 2015 after many years of decline was not an isolated incident," the Justice Department said in a statement.

    Mon, 25 Sep 2017 14:05:05 -0400
  • Fidelity executive gets favorable ruling in high-stakes alimony fight

    The highest court in Massachusetts on Monday said a senior executive at Fidelity Investments will not have to pay a percentage of his future income to his former wife in a closely watched decision that dealt a setback to variable alimony awards in the state. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled in favor of Derek Young, president of Fidelity's global asset allocation division, whose annual gross income has topped $7 million in recent years. The court concluded that Young's former wife, Joy, was not entitled to 33 percent of his future income, according to an opinion released on Monday.

    Mon, 25 Sep 2017 13:42:10 -0400
  • Secret Service arrests man with guns near White House on Sunday

    Law enforcement officers arrested a man with multiple firearms near the White House on Sunday morning, the Secret Service and Washington Metropolitan Police Department said. The man was arrested after he approached uniformed Secret Service officers at an intersection close to the White House, the Secret Service said in a statement on Monday. A report by the Washington police on Sunday suggested a different version of events, saying the man was urinating in public when law enforcement officers approached him.

    Mon, 25 Sep 2017 12:03:38 -0400
  • Ex-U.S. Rep. Weiner sentenced to 21 months in teen 'sexting' case

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    By Brendan Pierson NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former U.S. Congressman Anthony Weiner was sentenced to 21 months in prison on Monday for sending sexually explicit messages to a 15-year-old girl, setting off a scandal that played a role in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Weiner, 53, started to cry as soon as the sentence was announced by U.S. District Judge Denise Cote in Manhattan. "I was a very sick man for a very long time, but I'm also responsible for the damage I have done," Weiner said in court before he was sentenced.

    Mon, 25 Sep 2017 11:36:08 -0400
  • Travelers swamp Puerto Rico's main airport; dam on verge of collapse

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    By Dave Graham and Robin Respaut SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Reuters) - Hundreds of stranded travelers filled the sweltering halls of San Juan International Airport on Monday anxious to know when they could leave and reconnect with families after Hurricane Maria devastated power and communications across the island. Fearful of checking out of hotels in case they could not get on the few flights available, worried passengers waited in long lines at Puerto Rico's main airport, struggling to get through to loved ones and airlines alike. "Everything is hearsay at the moment because there is no communication," said 31-year-old Rene Kessler, a medical student from Baltimore, Maryland, preparing to spend the night in the airport ahead of what he hoped would be a flight back to the United States.

    Mon, 25 Sep 2017 09:22:23 -0400
  • Highlights of Sunday's National Football League games

    (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Sunday's National Football League games: - - - Patriots 36, Texans 33 Tom Brady worked his magic again. Down by five points with the ball at his own 25 and 2:24 left, Brady took his team 75 yards, throwing a 25-yard touchdown pass -- his fifth of the game -- to Brandin Cooks with 23 seconds left and then hit Cooks with a two-point conversion to give New England (2-1) the win over Houston. ...

    Mon, 25 Sep 2017 05:30:30 -0400
  • Maria to weaken to tropical storm on Tuesday: NHC

    (Reuters) - Hurricane Maria, now a category 1 storm, continues to weaken and will likely become a tropical storm by Tuesday night, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said on Monday. The hurricane is located about 350 miles (560 km) south-southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, with maximum sustained winds of 80 miles per hour (130 kph), the NHC said. (Reporting by Karen Rodrigues and Arpan Varghese in Bengaluru; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

    Mon, 25 Sep 2017 05:14:46 -0400
  • Barbara Blaine, founder of group for clergy abuse victims, dies at 61

    Blaine suffered a spontaneous coronary artery dissection last Monday, her family said in a statement. Blaine, who was born in Toledo, Ohio, held her first meetings of the Survivors Network of those Abuse by Priests (SNAP) in a homeless shelter that she ran in Chicago. At the time, Blaine was part of the Catholic Worker Movement.

    Mon, 25 Sep 2017 02:30:31 -0400
  • Masked gunman kills woman, wounds several others at Nashville church

    The shooter, identified as Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, walked into Nashville's Burnette Chapel Church of Christ wearing a ski mask and opened fire, Metropolitan Nashville Police spokesman Don Aaron told reporters. As the church usher grappled with the suspect, he was struck in the head with the gunman's weapon before the suspect fired and wounded himself in the chest, police said. Although injured, the usher, 22-year-old Robert Engle, then retrieved a gun from his vehicle, re-entered the sanctuary and held the suspect at bay until police arrived.

    Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:09:30 -0400
  • Trump slaps travel restrictions on North Korea, Venezuela in sweeping new ban

    Golocal247.com news

    President Donald Trump on Sunday slapped new travel restrictions on citizens from North Korea, Venezuela and Chad, expanding to eight the list of countries covered by his original travel bans that have been derided by critics and challenged in court. Restrictions on citizens from Sudan were lifted. The measures help fulfill a campaign promise Trump made to tighten U.S. immigration procedures and align with his "America First" foreign policy vision.

    Sun, 24 Sep 2017 21:58:54 -0400
  • Supreme Court has option to duck travel ban ruling

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    By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Trump administration's announcement on Sunday that it is issuing new travel restrictions on people entering the United States from eight countries could lead to an upcoming Supreme Court case on its previous more controversial ban ending in a whimper rather than a bang. The Trump administration on Sunday night asked the high court to considering hearing new briefing on the case before the oral argument to address "the effects of the proclamation on the issues currently pending before the court in these cases." Now the nine-justice court could skip deciding the case altogether, legal experts said. The March 6 order under Supreme Court review banned travelers from six Muslim-majority countries and limited refugee admissions.

    Sun, 24 Sep 2017 21:26:11 -0400
  • NFL rallies around protesting players denounced by Trump

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    SOMERSET, N.J.,/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - NFL teams staged a show of solidarity with protesting players before Sunday's games by kneeling, linking arms or staying off the field during the U.S. national anthem, defying President Donald Trump's call for owners to fire those who refuse to stand. Along the sidelines of National Football League games across the country and in London, coaches, support staff and even some owners joined team members in a silent response to Trump's weekend denunciation of players who kneel during the anthem as unpatriotic. In a gesture initiated last season by then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, several NFL players have routinely "taken one knee" during the playing of the anthem.

    Sun, 24 Sep 2017 21:24:32 -0400
  • Prison riot in central California leaves one inmate dead, eight others wounded

    Prison guards fired rubber bullets and pepper spray to quell a riot on Sunday involving more than 160 inmates at a central California penitentiary in which one prisoner was stabbed to death and eight others wounded, state corrections officials said. No staff members were injured in the disturbance, which erupted shortly before 11 a.m. at the California Men's Colony near San Luis Obispo, and took less than 10 minutes to bring under control, said Lieutenant Monica Ayon, the prison spokeswoman.

    Sun, 24 Sep 2017 21:15:47 -0400
  • Masked gunman kills woman, wounds several others at Nashville church

    Golocal247.com news

    The suspect, identified as Emanuel Kidega Samson, 25, walked into Nashville's Burnette Chapel Church of Christ wearing a ski mask and opened fire shortly after 11 a.m., spokesman Don Aaron of the Metropolitan Nashville Police told reporters. As the church usher grappled with the suspect, he was struck in the head with the gunman's weapon before the suspect fired and wounded himself, police said. Although injured, the usher, 22-year-old Robert Engle, then retrieved a gun from his vehicle, re-entered the sanctuary and held the suspect at bay until police arrived.

    Sun, 24 Sep 2017 19:15:05 -0400
  • Senate opposition to Obamacare repeal bill grows

    Golocal247.com news

    By Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A proposal by U.S. Republicans to repeal and replace the Obamacare health insurance program suffered serious new setbacks within the party on Sunday, when Senator Ted Cruz expressed his opposition and Senator Susan Collins dug in with strong criticisms of the legislation. Phil Novack, a spokesman for Cruz, confirmed that the Republican senator said at an event in Texas: "Right now, they don't have my vote, and I don't think they have (Senator) Mike Lee's vote, either." Aides to Lee, a conservative Republican and close ally of Cruz, were not immediately available for comment. Politico reported that Cruz complained that the latest Obamacare repeal bill did not address his concerns about bringing down the costs of healthcare.

    Sun, 24 Sep 2017 15:58:07 -0400
  • Trump renews clash with U.S. sports world

    By Barbara Goldberg and James Oliphant SOMERSET, N.J. (Reuters) - President Donald Trump renewed his spat with the sports world on Sunday, again calling for National Football League owners to fire players who protest during the U.S. national anthem. In an early morning tweet, Trump suggested fans could boycott NFL games in order to pressure teams to discipline players who protest the anthem. "If NFL fans refuse to go to games until players stop disrespecting our Flag & Country, you will see change take place fast," Trump wrote on Sunday.

    Sun, 24 Sep 2017 08:22:36 -0400
  • Trump pressures U.S. senators to back Republican healthcare bill

    By Amanda Becker WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday blasted Senator John McCain for dealing a possibly fatal blow to the latest Republican attempt to dismantle Obamacare. According to a new independent analysis, the bill awaiting a Senate vote could lead to 21 million fewer Americans having health insurance. McCain, an Arizona Republican who is being treated for brain cancer and cast a crucial "no" vote to defeat a similar bill in July, said on Friday that he could not "in good conscience" vote for the proposal authored by Republican Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham.

    Sat, 23 Sep 2017 20:30:37 -0400
  • Trump clashes with sports world over player protests, invitation

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    By Barbara Goldberg and Joel Schectman WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump and the sports world engaged in an intensifying spat on Saturday after he called for National Football League owners to fire players who protest during the U.S. national anthem and disinvited a National Basketball Association star from a White House visit. Responding to Trump's attacks on football players who protested during the national anthem, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said on Saturday that Trump's statements revealed “unfortunate lack of respect” for the NFL and its players.

    Sat, 23 Sep 2017 19:26:53 -0400
  • Man spared death penalty for 2011 murder of Tennessee nursing student

    Zachary Adams will spend the rest of his life in prison for the 2011 kidnapping, rape and murder of Tennessee nursing student Holly Bobo after a plea deal on Saturday spared him from the death penalty. Adams, 33, the first of three men to face trial in the high-profile case, was found guilty of all counts on Friday in Savannah, Tennessee. After the agreement was disclosed in court on Saturday, Bobo’s mother, Karen Bobo, thanked the jury and then asked to address Adams.

    Sat, 23 Sep 2017 17:50:07 -0400
  • Trump pressures U.S. senators to back Republican healthcare bill

    Golocal247.com news

    U.S. President Donald Trump on Saturday blasted Senator John McCain for dealing a possibly fatal blow to the latest Republican attempt to dismantle Obamacare. According to a new independent analysis, the bill awaiting a Senate vote could lead to 21 million fewer Americans having health insurance. McCain, an Arizona Republican who is being treated for brain cancer and cast a crucial "no" vote to defeat a similar bill in July, said on Friday that he could not "in good conscience" vote for the proposal authored by Republican Senators Bill Cassidy and Lindsey Graham.

    Sat, 23 Sep 2017 17:07:26 -0400
  • U.S. army probes fake evacuation orders sent to U.S. military, families in South Korea

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    The U.S. military said on Saturday it has opened an investigation into fake mobile phone alerts and social media messages advising U.S. military personnel and their families to evacuate the Korean Peninsula. The phony messages, which were spread on Thursday, came at a sensitive time, with tensions high after North Korea conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test on Sept. 3. The test and a series of missile launches have triggered a war of words between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.

    Sat, 23 Sep 2017 08:16:44 -0400
  • Protests could derail St. Louis' bid for second Amazon hub: sources

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    By Brendan O'Brien ST. LOUIS (Reuters) - Protests in St. Louis over the acquittal of a white former policeman who killed a black man could impede the city's bid to attract Amazon.com's second headquarters, academics and business executives said. Marked by scuffles, teargas and property damage, the protests have been unfolding as the city, which has a history of social unrest, is vying for the lucrative Amazon deal. "There is no good timing for something like this and it will have an impact," said Didi Caldwell, founding principal with Global Location Strategies in South Carolina, which helps companies choose locations for new businesses and expansion.

    Sat, 23 Sep 2017 06:18:10 -0400
  • Hurricane Maria skirts Turks and Caicos as Puerto Rico endures fresh flooding

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    By Dave Graham and Robin Respaut SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Reuters) - Hurricane Maria, the second major storm to ravage the Caribbean in a month, skirted past the Turks and Caicos Islands on Friday, leaving devastation in its wake that included fresh flooding on Puerto Rico two days after pummeling the U.S. island territory. Maria, which ranked as the most powerful hurricane to strike Puerto Rico in nearly a century, has killed at least six people there and claimed 19 lives on several other Caribbean islands, according to government officials and local news media accounts. Roughly 70,000 people live in the area downstream from the earthen dam that was under evacuation, the island's governor, Ricardo Rossello, said in a late-afternoon news conference.

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 22:26:41 -0400
  • Man found guilty of 2011 murder of Tennessee nursing student

    The first of three men arrested and facing trial in the 2011 kidnapping, rape and murder of Tennessee nursing student Holly Bobo was found guilty on all counts on Friday in Savannah, Tennessee. It took jurors about 10 hours over two days of deliberations to find Zachary Adams guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated kidnapping and aggravated rape. Circuit Court Judge Charles Creed McGinley moved the trial from Decatur County to neighboring Hardin County to secure an unbiased jury, local media reported.

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 21:33:39 -0400
  • Corporate donations for Harvey, Irma disaster relief near $225 million

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    Corporate donations for Hurricanes Harvey and Irma relief funds totaled nearly $225 million by Friday and pledges continued to be made, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation said. Automakers and energy companies, some of them affected by the most powerful storm to hit Texas' Gulf Coast in 50 years, are among the prominent corporate donors. Texas, the biggest oil-producing state, was pummeled by Harvey when it made landfall as a powerful Category 4 hurricane and proceeded to dump more than 50 inches of rain on the Houston region.

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 20:05:53 -0400
  • Spelunker in Indiana rescued after 60 hours locked in cave

    "I managed to get some water from the cave walls, by basically licking the moisture off the wall," Lukas Cavar said in a telephone interview on Friday. Cavar was on a beginner's field trip to a cave south of the university's main campus in Bloomington, Indiana. "My biggest worry was not making it out alive," Cavar said.

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 19:23:46 -0400
  • U.S. judge will not disturb Wilmington Trust indictment linked to crisis

    A federal judge in Delaware on Friday refused to let four former Wilmington Trust executives charged with bank fraud gather new evidence they hoped would prove that their indictment was tainted by false grand jury testimony and should be dismissed. U.S. District Judge Richard Andrews' decision preceded a scheduled trial next month of the former executives and Wilmington, the first recipient of federal bailout money in the 2008-2009 financial crisis to be indicted. The former Wilmington executives are President Robert Harra, Chief Financial Officer David Gibson, Controller Kevyn Rakowski and Chief Credit Officer William North.

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 18:22:36 -0400
  • Hurricane Maria skirts Turks and Caicos as Puerto Rico endures fresh flooding

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    By Dave Graham and Robin Respaut SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (Reuters) - Hurricane Maria, the second major hurricane to wreak havoc in the Caribbean this month, skirted by the Turks and Caicos Islands on Friday and was blamed for fresh flooding on Puerto Rico two days after ravaging the U.S. island territory. The storm, which ranked as the most powerful hurricane to strike Puerto Rico in 90 years, has killed at least 25 people there and on other Caribbean islands, according to government officials and local news media accounts. U.S. weather forecasters and Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello warned that a dam on the rain-swollen Guajataca River in northwestern Puerto Rico was failing, causing flash flooding in the area.

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 18:11:36 -0400
  • Factbox: How U.S. multinationals in Puerto Rico are responding to Hurricane Maria

    (Reuters) - Hurricane Maria has devastated the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico, another blow to its already precarious economic situation. Puerto Rico's government owes $72 billion to bondholders, and an additional $50 billion in pension obligations to teachers and almost all other government employees. The following are responses from multinational companies on how they are dealing with the aftermath of Maria: WAL-MART STORES INC Phillip Keene, Wal-Mart's director of corporate communications, said, "Like many businesses, we are working to assess any damage to our facilities as we are safely able to access them and working to connect with our associates to assess what their needs are so we can support as appropriate.

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 18:04:14 -0400
  • Kentucky psychologist gets 25 years in prison for $550 million disability fraud

    Alfred Adkins, 46, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Danny Reeves in Lexington, Kentucky, after a federal jury in June found him guilty of charges including conspiracy, mail fraud and wire fraud, the U.S. Justice Department said. Adkins, of Pikeville, Kentucky, was also ordered to pay over $93 million in restitution, the Justice Department said.

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 18:00:28 -0400
  • St. Louis sued for misconduct toward protesters of white officer's acquittal

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    The civil rights lawsuit was filed in U.S. district court in St. Louis by the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri. It names Maleeha Ahmad, Alison Dreith and "a class of similarly situated individuals" as plaintiffs.

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 17:39:55 -0400
  • Storm Maria pitches Puerto Rico barrio into sunken 'Venice'

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    By Dave Graham and Robin Respaut CATANO, Puerto Rico (Reuters) - Wading through highways swamped by turbid waters that sloshed over scattered, sunken belongings, residents of this Puerto Rican barrio flooded by Hurricane Maria have begun emerging from their shattered homes. Lying southwest of the capital San Juan, the Juana Matos neighborhood in Catano municipality took a huge hit from Maria after the storm slammed winds of up to 155 mph (249 kmh) into Puerto Rico early on Wednesday, destroying or damaging an estimated 80 percent of housing in the working-class barrio. The storm, the second Category 5 hurricane to batter the Caribbean this month, claimed at least 32 lives across the region, including 15 in Puerto Rico, and shut down power and communications across the island of 3.4 million people.

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 16:42:15 -0400
  • Magnitude 5.7 earthquake hits off northern California: USGS

    (Reuters) - A magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck on Friday off the coast of Northern California in the Pacific Ocean, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said, but there were no reports of damage or injury. It was quickly followed by a second quake of 5.6 closer to shore, the USGS said. Both quakes struck west of the California town of Petrolia and were very shallow, amplifying their effects, but a USGS map showed that they were not widely felt along the coast.

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 16:40:36 -0400
  • Doomsday sale: U.S. survivalists stock up as disasters roil the planet

    Golocal247.com news

    Sales of freeze-dried food, gas masks and other survival equipment have spiked in recent weeks as so-called "preppers" get ready to ride out any disaster, whether natural or man-made. People buried in rubble after earthquakes rattled Mexico.

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 16:25:52 -0400
  • N.Y. power company sends crew to aid Puerto Rico after hurricane

    (Reuters) - The New York Power Authority (NYPA) on Friday sent 10 engineers, planners and technical supervisors to Puerto Rico to help with the assessment and reconstruction of the island's power grid, which was completely shut down by Hurricane Maria. The NYPA workers were part of a group that traveled to Puerto Rico with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo on the first flight to depart for Puerto Rico's capital San Juan since the Category 4 hurricane hit the island on Wednesday, according to a statement from the governor's office. "We have assembled top emergency response experts to support Puerto Rico and help repair its devastated power structure, and we are providing supplies and any additional assistance we can to support the island as they recover from this unprecedented natural disaster," Cuomo said in a statement.

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 16:16:04 -0400
  • Buckeye Partners' Puerto Rico oil terminal still closed after Maria

    Buckeye Partners LP's Yabucoa oil terminal in Puerto Rico remained closed on Friday, the company said, days after Hurricane Maria left a trail of destruction and at least 25 people dead across the Caribbean. The U.S. oil storage and transportation company did not say if the tanks at the 4.6-million-barrel terminal were damaged by the storm, which made landfall near Yabucoa, but it said a full assessment of the facility is under way. "We are working to maintain the safety and well-being of our Yabucoa, Puerto Rico employees," it said in a statement.

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 16:16:04 -0400
  • California mass killer sentenced to life in prison for hair salon attack

    Golocal247.com news

    A California man was sentenced on Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the worst mass killing in Orange County history, the 2011 shooting deaths of eight people at a hair salon where his ex-wife worked. Scott Dekraai, a 47-year-old former tugboat worker, was spared the death penalty in August when a judge ruled that serious misconduct by Orange County prosecutors had violated his rights to a fair trial. “The gates of Hell flew open and you emerged as the face of evil in this community” Superior Court Judge Thomas Goethals told Dekraai before pronouncing the sentence, according to the Orange County Register newspaper.

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 15:41:35 -0400
  • Former mobster Sammy 'The Bull' Gravano released from prison

    Golocal247.com news

    Gravano, 72, was freed from federal custody on Monday after completing his sentence for running a drug ring, his New York-based lawyer Thomas Farinella said by phone. Farinella declined to say which facility released his client or where Gravano would live. "Right now, he's just enjoying the fact that he's free after 17 and a half years," Farinella said, adding he was spending time with family.

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 15:40:32 -0400
  • U.S. mainland Puerto Ricans anguished, unable to reach loved ones

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    FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla./NEW YORK (Reuters) - Deserie Rivera is having difficulty sleeping at night, unable to get through to Puerto Rico to find out if her mother is safe after Hurricane Maria struck. Rivera, a 34-year-old waitress at a Puerto Rican restaurant in the southern Florida city of Sunrise, says that she knows that she is not alone.

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 15:35:24 -0400
  • Trump administration drops guidance on college sex-crime probes

    Golocal247.com news

    The Trump administration on Friday reversed Obama-era guidelines on how colleges should handle sexual assault allegations that it said treated the accused unfairly. U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has said the guidelines established under former Democratic President Barack Obama, under the Title IX U.S. education equality rules, led to too many students being falsely charged, and that schools were scared of being accused of ignoring accusations. The Education Department is issuing new "interim guidance" to help schools combat sexual misconduct while treating all students fairly, DeVos said in a statement.

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 15:33:56 -0400
  • NFL vows 'vigorous' fight against Aaron Hernandez CTE lawsuit

    Golocal247.com news

    The National Football League on Friday vowed to vigorously fight a lawsuit filed on behalf of former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez's family that claimed his severe chronic traumatic encephalopathy led to his suicide. Hernandez, 27, hung himself in April in a Massachusetts jail where he was serving a life sentence for the 2013 murder of an acquaintance. The lawyer who secured his that acquittal, Jose Baez, on Thursday sued the league on behalf of Hernandez's 4-year-old daughter and fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, saying a severe case of the brain disease CTE that Hernandez developed as a player contributed to his death.

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 15:16:20 -0400
  • Hurricane-ravaged U.S. cities hit by rising cleanup costs

    Golocal247.com news

    By Rod Nickel HOUSTON (Reuters) - Communities in Texas and Florida, each swamped by a hurricane within two weeks of one another, are rewriting debris removal contracts and paying millions of dollars more to lure trucks, as subcontractors say costs have jumped. The willingness of communities to renegotiate such contracts in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida shows the limits of pre-planning for events as unpredictable as back-to-back hurricanes. Higher fees, however, may not be covered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), even after these huge storms brought intense public pressure to clear millions of cubic yards of rubbish from streets and damaged furnishings from flooded homes and businesses.

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 14:29:58 -0400
  • Accused mobster tied to Boston art heist to undergo psychiatric test

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    An octogenerian alleged mobster who police believe may be able to help solve the largest art heist in U.S. history will undergo a psychiatric evaluation before being sentenced on gun charges, a federal court judge in Connecticut ruled on Friday. The decision came after Robert Gentile, 81, appeared in court earlier this month for sentencing on charges he pleaded guilty to in April, but claimed to have no memory of entering a plea or of the events involved. "The defendant's counsel has become increasingly concerned about the defendant's ability to understand the charges against him and assist in his defense," defense attorney Ryan McGuigan wrote in a motion asking for the competency hearing.

    Fri, 22 Sep 2017 14:01:13 -0400
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