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Judge dismisses New York Columbia University student's claims over rape reports

Judge dismisses New York Columbia University student's claims over rape reports A federal judge on Wednesday dismissed a Columbia University student's lawsuit accusing the school of acting with deliberate indifference after she was sexually assaulted twice as a freshman in her dormitory room. U.S. District Judge George Daniels in Manhattan said Amelia Roskin-Frazee failed to show that Columbia responded in a "clearly unreasonable manner" after learning about the October and December 2015 incidents, which she formally reported to its Student Conduct and Community Standards office in August 2016. The judge said Columbia's actions complied with federal guidelines and its own sexual misconduct policy, including in January 2016 when it honored Roskin-Frazee's request not to investigate her rape claims after contacting her about them.


U.S. sues BMW finance unit over lease payments by military personnel

U.S. sues BMW finance unit over lease payments by military personnel (Reuters) - The U.S. government on Thursday filed a lawsuit accusing BMW Financial Services NA of illegally failing to refund payments made in advance by military personnel who terminate their vehicle leases because they are called to duty.


Trump says arming some teachers would stop shootings 'instantly'

Trump says arming some teachers would stop shootings 'instantly' By Makini Brice WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump pushed his call to arm teachers following last week's school massacre in Florida, saying on Thursday it would be limited to those with military or special training but "would solve the problem instantly." He raised the idea on Wednesday, drawing a mixed reaction in a country where the right to bear arms is constitutionally protected and there are fierce divisions on how to curb mass shootings and everyday gun violence. The Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in which 17 students and staff members were killed, was the second-deadliest shooting at a U.S. public school and has spurred unprecedented youth-led protests. Teenagers and their parents marched in rallies in cities across the country and staged classroom walkouts on Wednesday to push for gun control.


Puerto Rico should rebuild power from scratch: U.S. Fed official

Puerto Rico should rebuild power from scratch: U.S. Fed official Puerto Rico should "start from scratch" rebuilding its already outdated power infrastructure after deadly Hurricane Maria last year devastated it and left citizens without power, the U.S. central banker overseeing the island territory said on Thursday. New York Fed President William Dudley did not comment on U.S. interest rates in a presentation of research on the effects of the storm that struck on Sept. 20. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, whose district includes the Caribbean island, said Maria wiped out about 4 percent of its jobs.


Trump: Arm some teachers to 'fire back if a savage sicko came to a school'

Trump: Arm some teachers to 'fire back if a savage sicko came to a school' President Trump denied that he wants to arm teachers with guns, despite seeming to offer that suggestion during a “listening session” about school shootings the day before.


Marco Rubio jeered at CNN town hall on school shootings

Marco Rubio jeered at CNN town hall on school shootings Sen. Marco Rubio endorsed additional gun control legislation after questions from survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla.


Three executions planned Thursday for three U.S. states

Three executions planned Thursday for three U.S. states Alabama, Florida and Texas plan to execute inmates on Thursday and if carried out, it would be the first time in eight years that three people on death row have been executed on the same day since the death penalty was reinstated in the United States. In Florida, questions were raised about holding an execution based on a majority, not unanimous, jury decision.


White House embraces @realDonaldTrump, not @POTUS. Sad!

White House embraces @realDonaldTrump, not @POTUS. Sad! On official White House websites and Twitter accounts, the Trump administration is linking to and sharing tweets from @realDonaldTrump, not the president's official @POTUS account.


Redemption time for Romney?

Redemption time for Romney? Too often, Mitt Romney has treated principled rhetoric like a stretchy suit he can change into in a phone booth, then throw into a trash can when no one's looking. But if he wins a Utah Senate seat, he could become something he's never managed to be: the most influential figure in the GOP outside of the White House.


Deadly flooding forces evacuations across U.S. South, Midwest

Deadly flooding forces evacuations across U.S. South, Midwest (Reuters) - The U.S. Southern Plains and Midwest braced for more flooding on Thursday as snow-melting temperatures and heavy rains swelled waterways after claiming the lives of at least two people, including a child, and forcing hundreds of people to evacuate. Flood advisories were in effect until at least Sunday for low-lying parts of eastern Texas northeast across the region into southern Ohio and in Michigan, Indiana and Illinois, the National Weather Service said. The flooding forced hundreds of people to place sandbags around their property and flee their homes in small communities like Niles, Indiana and Marseilles, Illinois that sit on rivers, already beyond their flood stages, that were not expected to crest for days.


U.S. students protest over gun laws, Trump considers arming teachers

U.S. students protest over gun laws, Trump considers arming teachers By Jeff Mason and Zachary Fagenson WASHINGTON/TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Reuters) - Students galvanized by the deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school confronted lawmakers on Wednesday with demands to restrict sales of assault rifles, while President Donald Trump suggested arming teachers as a way to stop more U.S. rampages. The unprecedented lobbying effort by groups of teenagers and parents at the White House and at the Florida statehouse in Tallahassee played out as fellow students staged classroom walkouts and rallies in cities across the country.


Factbox: Reactions to the death of U.S. evangelist Billy Graham

Factbox: Reactions to the death of U.S. evangelist Billy Graham Billy Graham became the best-known preacher in the United States during 70 years in the pulpit. "The GREAT Billy Graham is dead. Trump ordered flags lowered to half-staff at U.S. government buildings, including military bases, naval ships and embassies, on the day Graham is interred.


Billy Graham, preacher to millions, adviser to U.S. presidents, dies at 99

Billy Graham, preacher to millions, adviser to U.S. presidents, dies at 99 Graham died at 8 a.m. EST (1300 GMT) at his home in Montreat, North Carolina, according to Jeremy Blume, a spokesman for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Graham became the de facto White House chaplain to several U.S. presidents, most famously Richard Nixon.


Ex-Arkansas judge who bartered in sexual favors sentenced to prison

Ex-Arkansas judge who bartered in sexual favors sentenced to prison Joseph Boeckmann, 71, pleaded guilty to charges including wire fraud and witness tampering as well as corruptly using his official position as a district judge, the U.S. Department of Justice said. Boeckmann, a judge in Wynne, Arkansas, resigned in 2016 after a state judicial review commission accused him of taking thousands of lewd photographs of young male defendants and sometimes spanking them.


U.S. students turn to gun-control group after school shooting

U.S. students turn to gun-control group after school shooting When they got prayers and thoughts from U.S. lawmakers after a massacre at a Florida high school that left 17 students and teachers dead, thousands of young people turned to the country's largest gun-control advocacy group to learn how to make their voices heard. Students flooded Everytown for Gun Safety with calls after last week's Florida school massacre, prompting the creation of its first student branch, the group said on Wednesday.


At 'listening session' on school shootings, Trump urges giving teachers guns

At 'listening session' on school shootings, Trump urges giving teachers guns In a White House "listening session," President Trump said his administration would look "very strongly" at allowing concealed carry weapons in schools, even though he knew "a lot of people are going to be opposed to it."


Trump says arming teachers could prevent school massacres

Trump says arming teachers could prevent school massacres By Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump suggested on Wednesday that arming teachers could help prevent massacres such as last week's mass shooting at a Florida high school. Trump voiced support for the idea during an emotional White House meeting with students who survived the shooting and a parent whose child did not. "If you had a teacher ... who was adept at firearms, it could very well end the attack very quickly," said Trump, who acknowledged the idea would be controversial.


Family of black man killed by Washington police gets $3.5 million settlement

Family of black man killed by Washington police gets $3.5 million settlement The city of Washington will pay $3.5 million to settle a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of an unarmed black man who was shot to death by police in 2016, officials said on Wednesday. The shooting death of Terrence Sterling, a 31-year-old motorcyclist who rammed a squad car after a high-speed chase, triggered demonstrations in the U.S. capital amid anger over police killings of African-Americans across the United States. "In the tragic death of Terrence Sterling, a family lost a beloved son and brother, and thus we have a duty to bring some sense of closure to his family," Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement.


United Technologies wins $2.5 billion U.S. defense contract: Pentagon

United Technologies wins $2.5 billion U.S. defense contract: Pentagon WASHINGTON (Reuters) - United Technologies Aerospace Systems, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp, has been awarded a maximum $2.5 billion contract for aviation-related spare parts and related services, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.


After Parkland, a new generation finds its voice

After Parkland, a new generation finds its voice On a bus to Tallahassee on Florida’s State Road 91 on Tuesday, Drew Schwartz sits with a scrum of fellow students planning the logistics of their march on the state capital, just hours away. “Right now it’s all hands on deck,” says Drew, a 17-year-old junior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., site of the nation’s most recent mass shooting and where 14 of these students’ fellow classmates died.


New sealed charges brought in case against ex-Trump campaign manager

New sealed charges brought in case against ex-Trump campaign manager By Sarah N. Lynch and Karen Freifeld WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New sealed criminal charges have been filed in federal court in the case brought by Special Counsel Robert Mueller against two of President Donald Trump's former campaign officials, a court record indicated on Wednesday. The single-page document, filed at the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, did not reveal the nature of the new charges in the case involving former campaign manager Paul Manafort and aide Rick Gates. Its inclusion in a binder in the court clerk's office that is routinely updated with new criminal charges signals that Mueller's office may have filed a superseding indictment replacing a previous one from last year against the two men.


Trump addresses gun violence, vows to be 'very strong on background checks'

Trump addresses gun violence, vows to be 'very strong on background checks' U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday his administration would emphasize background checks and mental health in an effort to deal with gun violence in schools after last week's mass shooting at a Florida high school. "We're going to be very strong on background checks, we're doing very strong background checks, very strong emphasis on the mental health," Trump said at a White House meeting with high school students, teachers and parents, including some from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and educators were killed last week by a former student.


More than $500,000 raised for 13 siblings held captive in California

More than $500,000 raised for 13 siblings held captive in California Thirteen siblings in Southern California who authorities say were beaten, shackled and abused by their parents can count on more than $500,000 in donations that local groups have raised for their care. The parents of the siblings, David Turpin, 57, and his wife Louise, 49, were charged with multiple counts of torture, child abuse and false imprisonment last month. The fundraising drive for the 13 siblings began with an outpouring of donations from local residents, organizers say, after police raided the family's home on Jan. 14 and disclosed that some of the adult children were so malnourished they appeared to be minors.


'Making a Murderer' case may go to Supreme Court: report

'Making a Murderer' case may go to Supreme Court: report Attorneys for Brendan Dassey, 28, made a similar argument to the U.S. 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago in December and failed. The judges voted 4-3 to uphold his conviction in the slaying of Teresa Halbach. Dassey confessed when he was 16 of helping his uncle, Steven Avery, rape and kill Halbach, a freelance photographer, in 2005.


Supreme Court forbids seizure of ancient Persian artifacts

Supreme Court forbids seizure of ancient Persian artifacts The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that Americans injured in a 1997 suicide bombing in Jerusalem cannot seize ancient Persian artifacts from a Chicago museum to satisfy a $71.5 million court judgment against Iran, which they had accused of complicity in the attack. The justices, in an 8-0 ruling, upheld a lower court's decision in favor of Iran that had prevented the plaintiffs from collecting on the judgment, which Tehran has not paid, by obtaining antiquities held at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute.


New York man pleads guilty to attempting to support to Islamic State

New York man pleads guilty to attempting to support to Islamic State A former plumbing assistant from New York City pleaded guilty on Wednesday to attempting to provide material support to Islamic State. Sajmir Alimehmeti, 24, also pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer in Manhattan to committing passport fraud in order to facilitate an act of terrorism, federal prosecutors said. Prosecutors accused Alimehmeti of trying to help an undercover law enforcement agent travel to Syria to fight with Islamic State.


Factbox: Reactions to the death of U.S. evangelist Billy Graham

Factbox: Reactions to the death of U.S. evangelist Billy Graham Billy Graham became the best known preacher in the United States during 70 years in the pulpit. "The GREAT Billy Graham is dead. A very special man." - U.S. President Donald Trump on Twitter "Billy Graham was a humble servant who prayed for so many - and who, with wisdom and grace, gave hope and guidance to generations of Americans." - Former President Barack Obama in a tweet "Billy Graham was a consequential leader.


Parkland students: 'We will not be silenced' on guns

Parkland students: 'We will not be silenced' on guns Survivors of last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., emerged from meetings with state lawmakers in Tallahassee, Fla., on Wednesday, vowing to continue their movement until U.S. lawmakers enact stricter gun laws.


More than one way to prevent mass shootings

More than one way to prevent mass shootings In addition, they hoped their forgiveness might enable them to better reach others prone to violence and perhaps prevent a similar massacre. In contrast, the killing of 17 people at the high school in Parkland, Fla., has yet to reveal much forgiveness toward the shooter. The anger over the murders, especially among Parkland students, is directed mainly at elected officials and the cause of controlling access to guns, especially assault rifles.


Lawsuits challenge Electoral College system in four U.S. states

Lawsuits challenge Electoral College system in four U.S. states By Nate Raymond BOSTON (Reuters) - A coalition that includes a Latino membership organization and a former Massachusetts governor filed lawsuits on Wednesday challenging how four U.S. states allocate their Electoral College votes in presidential elections. The lawsuits were filed in federal courts in Massachusetts and California, states that went for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in 2016, and South Carolina and Texas, where a majority of votes went to Republican U.S. President Donald Trump. The lawsuits challenge the winner-take-all system used in those states to select electors who cast votes for president and vice president in the Electoral College after a presidential election.


There will never be another Billy Graham, because the world that made him possible is gone

There will never be another Billy Graham, because the world that made him possible is gone The world that made Bill Graham, the cohesive culture of postwar America, is gone, and no one preacher will ever again unite all strains of evangelical Christianity as he did.


Skullduggery Episode 6: Michael Cohen's 'stormy' screwup

Skullduggery Episode 6: Michael Cohen's 'stormy' screwup Michael Isikoff and Dan Klaidman examine the latest legal screwups in Washington. Did Michael Cohen just put President Trump in potential legal jeopardy after he confirmed that he paid porn star Stormy Daniels $130,000? Isikoff and Klaidman speak with Larry Noble, former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission, about the legal implications of Cohen’s admission. They also speak with Lanny Davis, author of a new book, “The Unmaking of the President 2016: How FBI Director James Comey Cost Hillary Clinton the Presidency,” about the legal decisions made by Comey during the 2016 election. ...


Supreme Court declines to broaden whistleblower protections

Supreme Court declines to broaden whistleblower protections The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday refused to broaden protections for corporate insiders who call out misconduct, ruling they must take claims of wrongdoing to the Securities and Exchange Commission in order to be shielded against retaliation. The justices ruled 9-0 in favor of Digital Realty Trust Inc, throwing out a lawsuit brought against the California-based real estate trust by a fired former employee who had reported alleged wrongdoing only internally and not to the SEC. The 2010 Wall Street reform law known as the Dodd-Frank Act is unambiguous in offering no protection from retaliation such as firing or demotion to employees who report claims of securities law violations only in-house, the court ruled.


U.S. hate groups proliferate in Trump's first year, watchdog says

U.S. hate groups proliferate in Trump's first year, watchdog says By Ian Simpson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of U.S. hate groups expanded last year under President Donald Trump, fueled by his immigration stance and the perception that he sympathized with those espousing white supremacy, the Southern Poverty Law Center said on Wednesday There were 954 hate groups in the country in 2017, marking a 4 percent increase over the previous year when the number rose 2.8 percent, the civil rights watchdog said in its annual census of such groups. Among the more than 600 white supremacist groups, neo-Nazi organizations rose to 121 from 99. Last year brought "a substantial emboldening of the radical right, and that is largely due to the actions of President Trump, who's tweeted out hate materials and made light of the threats to our society posed by hate groups," Heidi Beirich, director of the SPLC’s Intelligence Project, told reporters.


Gender equality as ‘trade secret’? Businesses awaken to a long-dawning idea.

Gender equality as ‘trade secret’? Businesses awaken to a long-dawning idea. When IBM lost its chief diversity officer, Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, to rival Microsoft earlier this month, Big Blue went to court to stop her working for a year. It seems that ways to recruit talented women, then retain and promote them, have become proprietary business data, just like more traditional trade secrets. In the eyes of a growing number of companies such as IBM, gender equality is central, not peripheral, to their business success.


Before Russia's 'troll farm' turned to US, it had a more domestic focus

Before Russia's 'troll farm' turned to US, it had a more domestic focus For many Americans, last week's indictment of the Russian “troll farm” by special counsel Robert Mueller was the first time a spotlight had been shown on the enterprise that allegedly meddled in US elections. The IRA is a well-funded “internet marketing” operation that may perform commercial functions, but has become notorious for its political activities. Experts believe there are several such operations around Russia, some aimed at regional audiences.


Oil worker killed on Talos Energy platform in U.S. Gulf of Mexico

Oil worker killed on Talos Energy platform in U.S. Gulf of Mexico An oil and gas worker on a Talos Energy LLC platform in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico was killed on Saturday while replacing piping, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) said on Tuesday. The worker was injured while removing out-of-service fire suppression equipment and later died as a result of the injuries. The company has not publicly identified the deceased worker.


Truck was on tracks despite gates when struck by Amtrak train: U.S. report

Truck was on tracks despite gates when struck by Amtrak train: U.S. report A garbage truck was on the tracks despite lowered safety gates when it was struck by a train carrying Republican lawmakers in a fatal crash last month in rural Virginia, the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board said on Wednesday. Data from a camera mounted on the front of the chartered Amtrak train showed the gates were down at the crossing at the time of the crash, according to a preliminary NTSB report on the Jan. 31 accident. A passenger on the garbage truck was killed and two others on the truck were injured.


Tyson Indiana pork plant resumes operations after two-day shutdown

Tyson Indiana pork plant resumes operations after two-day shutdown Tyson Foods Inc's hog processing plant in Logansport, Indiana returned to normal operations on Wednesday after resolving a production-related problem that idled the facility since midday on Monday, a company representative said. The issue has been resolved and the plant is back in operation today," Tyson spokeswoman Caroline Ahn said in an email. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated last week's hog slaughter at 2.384 million head.


Trump signals he's open to mileage tax with praise of Oregon program

Trump signals he's open to mileage tax with praise of Oregon program The White House on Wednesday praised an experimental program in Oregon that charges a mileage tax to volunteer drivers, adding to signals that President Donald Trump is open to finding new revenue sources to pay for his proposed infrastructure program. Many of Trump's fellow Republicans, however, dislike the idea of a transportation tax as it would go against the grain of the party's push to lower taxes and could hit Republican-leaning rural areas harder than cities. In the annual Economic Report of the President, the White House described Oregon - a Democratic-leaning state where environmental issues are a priority for many voters - as a "pioneer" in transportation funding and highlighted its funding initiative, which began in 2015.


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