US (MSM)

Survivors gather for 20th anniversary of Oklahoma City bombing

By Heide Brandes OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) – When Priscilla Salyers attends Sunday’s anniversary ceremony for victims of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, she will be thinking how far she has come in fighting depression and survivor’s guilt. She and hundreds of other survivors will bow their heads at the 20th Remembrance Ceremony at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and Museum, marking the day a cargo truck with more than two

Life or death? Boston bomber's trial turns to sentencing

By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) – Convicted Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is set to return to court on Tuesday for the next phase of his trial, when prosecutors will argue that he should be sentenced to death for his role in the deadly attack in 2013. In sharp contrast to the guilt phase of the trial, when lawyers for the ethnic Chechen defendant did not contest that their client

Fast-moving brush fire forces home evacuations near Los Angeles

(Reuters) – A fast-moving brush fire east of Los Angeles has forced the evacuation of more than 200 homes just hours after it started, fire department officials said on Sunday. The blaze, named the “Highway Fire,” was zero percent contained and had spread over 175 acres in Chino Hills, a suburb about 35 miles east of Los Angeles, according to a statement released by the City of Riverside Fire Department.

Paul, Graham clash on foreign-policy on U.S. campaign trail

By Andy Sullivan NASHUA, N.H. (Reuters) – Republican presidential hopefuls Rand Paul and Lindsey Graham took their debate over America’s role in the world from the U.S. Senate floor to the campaign trail on Saturday in an early sign that foreign policy is likely to be a flash point in the 2016 election. At a gathering of 18 potential and actual White House contenders, Paul accused fellow Republicans of being

President Ghani: IS claims responsibility for deadly Afghan bombing

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a suicide attack in Afghanistan Saturday that killed 33 people and wounded more than 100 others, President Ashraf Ghani said, in what appears to be the first major attack by the jihadists in the country. Ghani’s government has repeatedly raised the ominous prospect of IS making inroads into Afghanistan, though the group that has captured swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq has

TV: Russia's Putin says ready to work with United States

Russia has key interests in common with the United States and needs to work with it on a common agenda, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday in a television interview. In his comments to the state-run Rossiya channel, Putin appeared to soften his anti-American rhetoric after being highly critical. Relations between Moscow and Washington and other Western powers have soured over the conflict in Russia’s neighbor Ukraine, sinking to

Texas House approves bill that limits city bans on fracking

By Marice Richter DALLAS (Reuters) – A bill that would stop Texas cities from enacting their own bans on hydraulic fracturing in the nation’s top crude oil and natural gas producing state was approved on Friday in the state House of Representatives. The bill bars cities from overly regulating the industry, targeting a ban on fracking, a method of extracting oil and gas that uses high pressure, adopted by voters

California gas pipeline explosion, fire injure up to 15 people

By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) – A construction crew on Friday accidentally ruptured a natural gas transmission line in Fresno, California, sparking an explosion and fire that injured up to 15 people, four of them critically, officials said. The 12-inch (30-cm) pipeline, belonging to Pacific Gas & Electric Corp , was struck by a backhoe near state Highway 99, unleashing a fireball that injured members of the construction team

Los Angeles school district, teachers in tentative labor deal

(Reuters) – The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) and the city’s teachers union reached a tentative agreement on Friday night, the union said, averting a possible strike. The three-year agreement includes a 10 percent pay rise spread over two years, investment in class size and counseling, as well as improvements to the evaluation system for teachers, United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) said on its website. Representatives for the school

Suicide bomber kills 33 in bloody attack outside Afghan bank

A suicide bomber killed at least 33 people and wounded 100 others in an attack Saturday outside a bank in the eastern Afghan city of Jalalabad, according to officials. “Thirty-three dead bodies and more than 100 wounded were brought to the hospital,” Dr Najeebullah Kamawal, head of the provincial hospital, told AFP. Ahmad Zia Abdulzai, provincial government spokesman, confirmed the attack — the deadliest since November — but put the

Clinton faces early test on trade deal fight

Less than a week after formally launching her presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton is already being tested on a thorny issue for Democrats: free-trade deals and their impact on workers. On Thursday, the debate rose to a full boil when members of Congress from both parties announced legislation that would give President Barack Obama the “fast-track” trade negotiating authority he needs to complete a massive Asia-Pacific free-trade deal. Over two days

WORLD (MSM)

Obama, Castro head toward historic encounter

US President Barack Obama and Cuba’s Raul Castro will break bread with other leaders from around the Americas at a historic summit Friday, a potent symbol of their efforts to end decades of animosity. As the gathering in Panama approached, a White House official revealed that Obama and Castro had spoken by telephone Wednesday — just the second phone call between a US and Cuban leader in more than 50

Iran's Khamenei breaks silence in nuclear deal, says details are key

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Thursday demanded that all sanctions on Iran be lifted at the same time as any final agreement with world powers on curbing Tehran’s nuclear program is concluded. Khamenei, the Islamic Republic’s most powerful figure and who has the last say on all state matters, was making his first comments on the interim deal reached between Iran and the powers last week in the

Iran's leader says Saudi air strikes causing genocide

By Mohammed Mukhashaf ADEN (Reuters) – Iran’s leader on Thursday condemned the military intervention by its main regional rival Saudi Arabia in Yemen as genocide, sharply escalating Tehran’s rhetoric against the two-week-old campaign of air strikes. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Saudi Arabia would not emerge victorious from the war in Yemen, where Iran-allied Houthi fighters who control the capital Sanaa have been trying to seize the southern city of Aden

Ukraine sets sights on joining NATO

Ukraine, locked in conflict with Russian-backed separatists in its east, on Thursday drew up a new security doctrine denouncing Russia’s “aggression” and setting its sights on joining the U.S.-led NATO military alliance. Oleksander Turchynov, head of the national security council, told a session of the body that Ukraine saw Russian aggression as a “long-standing factor” and viewed NATO membership as “the only reliable external guarantee” of its sovereignty and territorial

North Korea fires missiles into sea as U.S. defense chief visits region

By David Brunnstrom OSAN, South Korea (Reuters) – North Korea has fired two surface-to-air missiles off its west coast, South Korea said on Thursday, with the latest in a string of short-range firings by the North coming shortly before the U.S. defense secretary arrived in the region. The two short-range missiles were fired on Tuesday, South Korea’s defense ministry said, and followed the launch on Friday of four short-range missiles

Man shoots judge, lawyer, co-defendant in Milan courthouse

By Manuela D’Alessandro MILAN (Reuters) – A man on trial for bankruptcy shot dead a judge, a lawyer and a co-defendant in the Palace of Justice in central Milan on Thursday, emergency services said. Police arrested the man, whom they named as Claudio Giardiello, in Vimercate, a town north of Italy’s financial center, Interior Minister Angelino Alfano tweeted. Emergency services said a fourth person was found dead in the court

Belgian prince attacks 'Stasi' royal family for sabotaging career

Prince Laurent, brother to Belgium’s King Philippe, attacked the royal family and their entourage Thursday, saying they were like the Stasi secret police and had sabotaged his career for years. “My family has never supported me,” Laurent told RTBF public television, complaining bitterly that he had been hard done by despite the rich external trappings of royalty. “It started with my uncle King Baudouin. “Today, I have the impression it

Coalition air strikes 'hit Yemen defence ministry'

Air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition on Thursday hit Yemen’s defence ministry in the capital Sanaa which is controlled by Shiite rebels and allied troops, witnesses said. Three explosions were heard as warplanes hit the building in central Sanaa and thick smoke billowed over the area, the witnesses said. The attack was part of raids that struck positions across the capital, including a base of the elite Republican Guards in

Ukraine outlaws Communist names in fresh break with Soviet past

Ukraine on Thursday outlawed Communist names, symbols and even songs in a fresh break with the country’s Soviet past as its soldiers fight pro-Russian separatists in the east. The legislation, which also targets Nazi propaganda was adopted by 254 votes in favour in the 450-member parliament, or Rada. For the former Soviet republic it could mean a major overhaul of public buildings and town squares across the country, with Lenin

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