- 2017-12-13 14:49:08Z
A former elected official of a New York City suburb was sentenced to 2-1/2 years in prison on Wednesday following his conviction in what U.S. prosecutors have called the first criminal securities fraud case brought over municipal bonds. Christopher St. Lawrence, who was supervisor of Ramapo, New York, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Cathy Seibel in White Plains, New York, federal prosecutors announced.
Zulifikar Haider hoped his daughter would live the American dream when she married a fellow Bangladeshi living in the United States, but that dream turned into a nightmare when the family saw pictures of her husband wounded after allegedly trying to set off a bomb in a crowded New York commuter hub. Haider's family had been worried when his son-in-law, Akayed Ullah, 27, missed a regular call to his wife on Monday. "Even in our worst nightmares, we could not have foreseen this," Haider, 62, told Reuters on Wednesday evening, following two days of questioning by Bangladesh's counterterrorism police.
Nebraska's main anti-pipeline group is trying to rally opposition to the TransCanada Keystone XL project's recently approved route through the state, tracking down landowners it says were not given a voice in the regulatory process. If it succeeds, Bold Nebraska could throw up new roadblocks to the controversial project to move Canadian oil to U.S. refineries, backed by U.S. President Donald Trump, by pressing regulators to revisit TransCanada's application, or by suing if they refuse.
The U.S. Treasury Department on Wednesday blacklisted two people it said supported the outlawed Lord's Resistance Army in Central African Republic through the illegal trade in ivory, weapons and money aimed at fueling conflict in the region. The Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control said in a statement that it had taken action against Okot Lukwang, a Ugandan national, and Musa Hatari, from Sudan, with help from the governments of their respective countries. The U.S. sanctions, like those imposed last year on the Lord's Resistance Army and its leader Joseph Kony, will block their transactions involving any American or property under U.S. jurisdiction, effective immediately.
By David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said Wednesday the U.S. government needs a major overhaul of information technology systems and should take steps to better protect data and accelerate efforts to use cloud-based technology. "Difficulties in agency prioritization of resources in support of IT modernization, ability to procure services quickly, and technical issues have resulted in an unwieldy and out-of-date federal IT infrastructure," the White House said in a report. The report said one unnamed cloud-based email provider has agreed to assist in keeping track of government spending on cloud-based email migration.
By Noel Randewich SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Shares of Limoneira jumped 4 percent on Wednesday after the avocado and lemon grower said its crops escaped significant damage from a wildfire roaring through an area of Southern California. Limoneira Co's stock remains down about 10 percent since the fire broke out on Dec. 4, even after Wednesday's bounce. As well as destroying hundreds of homes and displacing over 94,000 people, it damaged or endangered much of the region's avocados - the main ingredient in guacamole - with flames, blankets of ash, as well as Santa Ana winds knocking the fruit from trees.
In a report, the New York Independent System Operator (NYISO), which operates the state's power grid, said the system would remain reliable during the five-year period (2018-2023) it studied. Entergy Corp said in January it would shut the two reactors at its 2,069-megawatt Indian Point station for economic and other reasons as cheap gas prices from nearby shale formations like the Marcellus in Pennsylvania have driven down power prices.
Omarosa Manigault Newman, a former reality television star-turned political aide to U.S. President Donald Trump, has resigned from the White House to "pursue other opportunities," Trump's spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said on Wednesday. Newman served as assistant to the president and director of communications for the White House's Office of Public Liaison. A former star of Trump's TV show "The Apprentice," Newman worked as the director of African-American outreach on Trump's 2016 presidential campaign.
Democrat Doug Jones won a bitter fight for a U.S. Senate seat in deeply conservative Alabama on Tuesday, dealing a political blow to President Donald Trump in a race marked by sexual misconduct accusations against Republican candidate Roy Moore. KEY POINTS: The stunning upset makes Jones the first Democrat elected to the U.S. Senate from Alabama in a quarter-century and will trim the Republicans' already narrow Senate majority to 51-49, opening the door for Democrats to possibly retake the chamber in next year's congressional elections.
Firefighters trying to tame a blaze that has destroyed hundreds of homes in Southern California were facing bone-dry conditions and the return of powerful wind gusts on Wednesday. A lull in the winds a day earlier sapped the forward momentum of the Thomas Fire, which has charred more than 368 square miles (953 square km) in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, an area larger than New York City. The fire, which has destroyed more than 700 homes and displaced more than 94,000 people, was 25 percent contained by Wednesday, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) said in the statement.
More than 1.07 million consumers selected 2018 Obamacare individual insurance plans on the HealthCare.gov website during the week ended Dec. 9, the U.S. government reported on Wednesday, indicating a pick up in the pace of enrollment as the Dec. 15 deadline nears. Of the consumers who signed up, 388,984 were new to the Obamacare individual insurance program, with both figures increasing from the previous week when 823,180 people signed up in all.
By Tom Miles GENEVA (Reuters) - An inmate at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay is still being tortured, the U.N. special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer said in a statement on Wednesday. Former President Barack Obama ended the use of "enhanced interrogation techniques" via executive order in January 2009, but Melzer said the historic use of torture in CIA custody had not yet led to prosecutions or compensation for victims. "By failing to prosecute the crime of torture in CIA custody, the U.S. is in clear violation of the Convention against Torture and is sending a dangerous message of complacency and impunity to officials in the U.S. and around the world," Melzer said in...
(Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice has caught one of the people involved in creating the Mirai botnet, a network of infected electronics equipment used to knock major websites offline in massive 2016 cyber attacks, according to court papers. Paras Jha has agreed to plead guilty to computer-crimes charges in the case, according to federal court documents unsealed in Alaska on Tuesday. The Mirai botnet was used to infect large numbers of internet-connected devices including webcams and video records, which were then turned into a digital army of bots that launched a series of attacks on websites and Internet infrastructure.
The Bangladeshi man accused of attempting a suicide bombing in one of New York City's busiest commuter hubs is expected to be formally charged as early as Wednesday with supporting a foreign terrorist organization and other crimes. Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old supporter of the radical group Islamic State, will appear from Bellevue Hospital before a judge via video conference as soon as Wednesday, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office. Three people suffered minor injuries when Ullah attempted to detonate a pipe bomb secured to his midsection in a pedestrian tunnel under the sprawling Port Authority transportation complex, where many commuters from New York's suburbs arrive on buses...
Governor Mark Dayton will announce the appointment on Wednesday morning, and Smith, 59, will run in a special election for the seat next year, the newspaper said. Calls to Dayton's, Smith's and Franken's offices were not immediately returned.
CARPINTERIA, Calif./LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Firefighters in Southern California are slowly gaining control of one of the largest wildfires in state history, but residents may not enjoy much relief as experts said the flames are laying the groundwork for the next disaster - mudslides. With one heavy rain, the soil above this waterproof layer can become saturated, start to slide in hilly areas and transform into something catastrophic. "Pretty much anywhere there's a fire on a steep slope, there's cause for concern," Jason Kean, research hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey, said in a telephone interview.
San Francisco technology companies including Twitter, Salesforce.com, Uber and Airbnb lost an important ally on Tuesday with the sudden death of Mayor Ed Lee. Lee, 65, a former tenants' rights lawyer and San Francisco's first Chinese American mayor, died with more than two years left in his term. As a champion of the tech industry, Lee arranged a major tax break for companies that moved into the impoverished Mid-Market neighborhood, a measure designed in part to keep Twitter in the city.
Bangladesh has found no evidence linking a Bangladeshi man charged with an attempted suicide bombing in New York with militants in Bangladesh, its counter-terrorism chief told Reuters on Wednesday. U.S. prosecutors on Tuesday brought federal charges against Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi and self-described supporter of Islamic State, accusing him of supporting a foreign terrorist organization. Ullah set off a pipe bomb in an underground pedestrian corridor between New York's Times Square and the Port Authority Bus Terminal at rush hour on Monday morning, injuring himself and three others.
By James Oliphant WASHINGTON (Reuters) - In backing Roy Moore in Alabama's U.S. Senate race even though the candidate faced allegations of sexual misconduct with teenage girls, President Donald Trump made a risky bet - and lost big. The victory by Democrat Doug Jones over the Republican Moore in the Alabama special election on Tuesday was a catastrophe for Trump, portending a Democratic wave next year that could cost Republicans control of one or both houses of Congress.
A boom in newly built luxury apartments in Manhattan has skewed prices for the overall residential real estate market in the borough and masked a sharp drop in transaction volume over the past five years, a property report on Wednesday showed. The number of apartment sales priced above $10 million has
(Reuters) - Senior FBI officials who helped probe Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign told a colleague that Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton had to win the race to the White House, the New York Times reported on Tuesday. Peter Strzok, a senior FBI agent, said Clinton "just has to win" in a text sent to FBI lawyer Lisa Page, the Times reported.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump congratulated Democrat Doug Jones on Tuesday for winning a bitter U.S. Senate race in Alabama against the Republican candidate the president backed.
Democrat Doug Jones won a bitter fight for a U.S. Senate seat in deeply conservative Alabama on Tuesday, U.S. media projected, dealing a political blow to President Donald Trump in a race marked by accusations of sexual misconduct against Republican candidate Roy Moore. The stunning upset by Jones makes
U.S. prosecutors on Tuesday brought federal charges against the suspect in Monday's attempted suicide bombing in one of New York City's busiest commuter hubs, accusing him of supporting a foreign terrorist organization. Akayed Ullah, a 27-year-old Bangladeshi and self-described supporter of the radical group Islamic State, was also charged in a criminal complaint filed in U.S. district court in Manhattan with bombing a public place, destruction of property by means of explosive and use of a destructive device. Ullah planned to "murder as many human beings as he could ... in support of a vicious terrorist cause," acting U.S. attorney Joon Kim told a news conference after filing the charges.
Communities across the United States are looking to replace their dirty diesel buses, ushering in what some analysts predict will be a boom in electric fleets. Out of more than 65,000 public buses plying U.S. roads today, just 300 are electric. The technology is still a gamble for many cities at a time when bus ridership is falling nationwide and officials are trying to keep a lid on fares, says Chris Stoddart, an executive at Canadian bus maker New Flyer Industries Inc .
By Ben Gruber CARPINTERIA, Calif. (Reuters) - An out-of-control California wildfire that has already destroyed nearly 700 homes in its path of destruction crept closer to the upscale hillside community of Montecito on Tuesday despite calmer winds that slowed its progress. The Thomas Fire, which broke out on Dec. 4 near the community of Ojai, has since traveled 27 miles (43 km) to become the fifth-largest blaze in state history. It has blackened more than 366 square miles (948 square kilometers) in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, an area larger than New York City.
The sinking of the U.S. freighter El Faro in 2015 with the loss of 33 lives came after an overconfident captain set the ship and its poorly trained crew on a collision course with a hurricane, the National Transportation Safety Board said in its final report on Tuesday. National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Robert Sumwalt said at the end of a day-long hearing that tracking the loss of the ill-fated ship on Oct. 1, 2015, was like watching a brewing storm. The report said that Captain Michael Davidson ignored his mates' repeated pleas that he change course to avoid a strengthening Hurricane Joaquin off the Bahamas.
By Tom Polansek CHICAGO (Reuters) - Minnesota became the latest U.S. state on Tuesday to restrict controversial weed killers made by Monsanto Co and BASF SE that were linked to widespread crop damage, while Arkansas took a step back from imposing new limits. The United States has faced an agricultural crisis this year caused by new versions of the herbicides, which are based on a chemical known as dicamba. Farmers and weed experts say the products harm crops that cannot resist dicamba because the herbicides evaporate and drift away from where they are applied, a process known as volatilization.
By Dan Levine OAKLAND, Calif. (Reuters) - A U.S. judge questioned on Tuesday whether the federal government properly formulated new rules that undermine an Obamacare requirement for employers to provide insurance that covers women's birth control. New rules from the Department of Health and Human Services announced in October let businesses or non-profit organizations lodge religious or moral objections to obtain an exemption from the Obamacare law's mandate that most employers provide contraceptives coverage in health insurance with no co-payment. The move from President Donald Trump's administration kept a campaign pledge that pleased the Republican's conservative Christian supporters.
New York police will adjust security plans for the traditional New Year's Eve celebrations attended by hundreds of thousands of revelers in Times Square after a botched suicide bombing in a subway tunnel beneath the famous district, the city's counterterrorism chief said on Tuesday. The New York Police Department will conduct both an immediate and an in-depth review of Monday's incident for lessons on how to deal with this type of attack, said John Miller, deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism. "This is the first time I believe that we have seen an individual with a suicide bomb in mass transit and actually have that bomb function.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Members of the House of Representatives from California areas currently battling massive wildfires met with Vice President Mike Pence at the White House on Tuesday, telling reporters afterward that federal assistance has been swift but that it still may take a week to contain the Ventura blaze.
Net neutrality advocates said they are gearing up for a legal fight after abandoning attempts to convince the U.S. Federal Communications Commission to keep 2015 rules aimed at maintaining an open internet. The FCC is expected to vote on Dec. 14 to scrap the landmark so-called net neutrality rules championed by Democratic former President Barack Obama, given FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and two Republican commissioners support the repeal. Industry and public interest groups are considering several strategies to protect the rules banning internet service providers (ISPs) from blocking or "throttling" to slow service for certain content, including arguing that the decision is arbitrary and...
U.S. Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said on Tuesday that President Donald Trump's tweeted attack on Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was "nasty," but Schumer did not join Gillibrand's call for Trump to resign the presidency over sexual misconduct accusations. "That tweet was nasty, unbecoming of a president," Schumer told reporters. Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, on Monday called for Trump to resign over sexual misconduct allegations.
Akayed Ullah, 27, was charged in a criminal complaint filed in Manhattan federal court with providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization, using a weapon of mass destruction, bombing a public place, destruction of property by means of explosive and use of a destructive device.
By Ben Gruber VENTURA, Calif. (Reuters) - Firefighters on Tuesday fought to take further control of a massive California wildfire, the fifth largest in the state's history, as relentless wind gusts and bone-dry weather were expected to persist throughout the week. The blaze, known as the Thomas Fire, has burned 234,200 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties about 100 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, and grew by about 2,500 acres overnight, according to the Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) on Tuesday. "Severe fire weather will continue to promote significant fire growth further into Santa Barbara County, threatening the communities of Santa Barbara,...
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he did not know the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct and alleged their claims were a political attack pushed by Democrats, rejecting renewed calls to look into his behavior. On Monday, three women who had previously accused Trump of misconduct called on the U.S. Congress to investigate the president's behavior. Trump has denied the allegations and the White House has said the women were lying.
San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee died early on Tuesday, the mayor's office said in a statement that did not cite the cause of death. Lee, 65, died at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, with family and friends at his side about 1:11 a.m. local time. "It is with profound sadness and terrible grief that we confirm that Mayor Edwin M. Lee passed away," the statement said.
Investigators are searching for reasons a Bangladeshi man set off a bomb strapped to his body in a New York City commuter hub during the morning rush hour in what is being characterized as an attempted terrorist attack. Three people, including a police officer, suffered minor injuries when the suspect, Akayed Ullah, 27, set off a homemade pipe bomb early on Monday in an underground passageway between the subway station underneath the Port Authority Bus Terminal and the Times Square subway station in midtown Manhattan. Ullah was taken to a hospital after suffering burns from the explosive device, which was attached to his body with Velcro and zip ties and did not fully ignite, officials...
DHAKA (Reuters) - Police in Bangladesh are questioning the wife of Akayed Ullah, a Bangladeshi man U.S. authorities say set off a pipe bomb in a crowded New York City commuter hub, two senior police officials in Bangladesh said on Tuesday. The two officials, who declined to be identified as they are not permitted to discuss the matter publicly, did not give details of the questioning but said the couple have a six-month old baby boy. ...
By Benjamin Lesser and Ryan McNeill PATTON VILLAGE, Texas (Reuters) - When Hurricane Harvey sent two feet of water rolling into this small community about 35 miles north of Houston, Alfredo Becerra had to flee his modest 1,500-square-foot house. One month later, across the Gulf of Mexico in Big Pine Key, Florida, moving company driver Byron Keeble lost about $10,000 worth of belongings, including a new sofa and his television, when Hurricane Irma sent a surge of seawater through his rented ground-floor apartment. Keeble said FEMA paid for him to stay in a hotel for a few weeks while he tried to figure out where he would go next.
President Donald Trump's campaign to shrink the "bloated federal bureaucracy" so far has made a small dent in the federal workforce, and that largely because of a decline in civilian defense jobs. Days after his Jan. 20 inauguration, Trump ordered a hiring freeze later replaced with an order for federal agencies to cut staff immediately, and in March he proposed a 2018 budget that sought to shift $54 billion to the military from other departments.
U.S. safety officials were due to meet on Tuesday to discuss their final report on the 2015 sinking of the El Faro freighter, which killed all 33 crew members in the worst cargo shipping disaster involving a U.S.-flagged vessel in more than three decades. The NTSB said the meeting, which could last several hours, would be broadcast online. "There are definitely some things that could have changed the outcome," NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson said of the long-running investigation into the loss of the ship.
Instead of pressuring lawmakers to push new gun-control measures through the U.S. Congress, volunteers from groups including Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America are now running for office themselves. Nine of 13 volunteers trained by the group ran for office this year and won seats, ranging from New Hampshire state representative to city council member in West University Place, Texas. Fourteen more have already declared their intentions to run for office in 2018, seeking seats in Congress, state legislatures and local government, all running as Democrats.
By Andy Sullivan MONTGOMERY, Ala. (Reuters) - Voters in Alabama were headed to the polls on Tuesday in a hard-fought U.S. Senate race in which President Donald Trump has endorsed fellow Republican Roy Moore, whose campaign has been clouded by allegations of sexual misconduct toward teenagers. Moore, 70, a former Alabama Supreme Court chief justice, is battling Democrat Doug Jones, 63, a former U.S. attorney who is hoping to pull off an upset victory in the deeply conservative Southern state. Polls open at 7 a.m. (1300 GMT) in the Alabama special election for the seat vacated by Republican Jeff Sessions, who became U.S. attorney general in the Trump administration.
Communities across the United States are looking to replace their dirty diesel buses, ushering in what some analysts predict will be a boom in electric fleets. Out of more than 65,000 public buses plying U.S. roads today, just 300 are electric. The technology is still a gamble for many cities at a
Officials in Bangladesh are trying to track down the extended family and any known associates of Akayed Ullah, a Bangladeshi man U.S. authorities say set off a homemade pipe bomb in a crowded New York City commuter hub on Monday. "Police are looking for his family, but so far they've not been able to trace them," said Abul Khair Nadim, the Chair of Musapur Union council, a local government body in the Chittagong division in southern Bangladesh, where Ullah's family originally lived.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson holds a town hall with staff on Tuesday amid skepticism about his planned agency reorganization that has been aggravated by his recent inaccurate comments about the State Department, a dozen current and former officials said. The embattled diplomat, who has endured repeated media speculation about how long he will last, appears under fire both from the White House and his own workers, who resent his embrace of a 30 percent cut to the department and planned reorganization. Tillerson made erroneous statements about the top echelon of U.S. diplomats during a question-and-answer session after a Nov. 28 speech, misstating their title and ages at retirement.
By Ben Gruber VENTURA, Calif. (Reuters) - Firefighters, taking advantage of a lull in the winds, on Monday held in check a massive Southern California wildfire that has torched hundreds of buildings and charred an area larger than New York City. The Thomas Fire ignited a week ago and has burned 231,700 acres, in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, about 100 miles northwest of downtown Los Angeles, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) officials said at a news conference. The fire threatens 18,000 structures, including some in the wealthy enclave of Montecito where a number of celebrities have their homes.
A Bangladeshi man set off a homemade pipe bomb strapped to his body in a crowded New York City commuter hub during the morning rush hour on Monday, officials said, immediately calling it an attempted terrorist attack. The suspect, Akayed Ullah, 27, was taken to a hospital after suffering burns from the explosive device, which was attached to his body with Velcro and zip ties and did not fully ignite, officials said. Investigators told Reuters they believe the attack in midtown Manhattan was intended to be a suicide bombing.
A U.S. soldier who deserted to North Korea more than half a century ago, but who was eventually allowed to leave the secretive state, has died in Japan aged 77. One of the Cold War's strangest dramas began in 1965 when Charles Robert Jenkins, then a 24-year-old army sergeant nicknamed "Scooter" from tiny Rich Square in North Carolina, disappeared one January night while on patrol near the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas. At an emotional court martial in Japan in 2004, Jenkins - who had never gone to high school - said he deserted to avoid hazardous duty in South Korea and escape combat in Vietnam.