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  • Islamic State group issues new threat to kill Jordanian pilot 29 Jan 2015 | 1:32 am

    Safi al-Kassasbeh, the father of Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh (portrait), who was captured by Islamic State (IS) group militants on December 24, protests outside the Royal court in Amman on January 28, 2015Islamic State militants say they will execute a Jordanian pilot "immediately" if Amman does not hand over a female suicide bomber by sunset Thursday, as Japan waits in anguish for news of a journalist the extremists are also holding. In a new audio recording, a voice identifying itself as Japanese freelancer Kenji Goto says his captors will kill Maaz al-Kassasbeh if an Iraqi woman on death row in Jordan is not handed over by the end of the day. "If Sajida al-Rishawi is not ready for exchange for my life at the Turkish border by Thursday sunset, 29th of January, Mosul time, the Jordanian pilot Maaz al-Kassasbeh will be killed immediately," Goto said, in an unverified audio message distributed by IS-linked Twitter accounts. Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga told journalists the recording seemed genuine.


  • Montana bride has no grounds to appeal murder conviction: prosecutors 28 Jan 2015 | 11:12 pm

    Federal prosecutors on Wednesday said a Montana bride who admitted pushing her new husband off a cliff at Glacier National Park has no grounds to appeal her murder conviction after lying to officials and using trickery in a bid to conceal her crime. Jordan Graham pleaded guilty in December 2013 to second-degree murder in the July 7 death of Cody Johnson, 25, her husband of eight days in a case that garnered international headlines. The former nanny was sentenced last March to 30 years in prison by a U.S. judge after he rejected her request to withdraw the guilty plea that came as part of a deal with prosecutors that saw them dismiss a first-degree murder charge. Graham last October appealed her conviction, arguing prosecutors engaged in misconduct by publicly labeling her a sociopath, distorted facts and acted in a vindictive manner toward her.

  • Islamic State releases new audio message by Japanese hostage 28 Jan 2015 | 10:29 pm

    COMBO - This combination of two photographs shows the detail of a poster of an undated photograph of Jordanian pilot Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, left, used during a demonstration calling for his release from the Islamic State group and a still image from video, right, of Sajida al-Rishawi, an Iraqi woman sentenced to death in Jordan for her involvement in a 2005 terrorist attack on a hotel that killed 60 people. Jordan said Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015 it is willing to swap the woman held on death row in Jordan for the Jordanian pilot captured in December by extremists from the Islamic State group. (AP Photo)Jordan says it is ready to trade an Iraqi woman militant for a pilot held by IS extremists.


  • Top Nevada lawyer joins suit against Obama's immigration relief plan 28 Jan 2015 | 9:50 pm

    Nevada's newly minted Republican attorney general has joined a multi-state lawsuit seeking to block President Barack Obama's order easing the threat of deportation for millions of undocumented immigrants, without the support of the state's moderate governor. Attorney General Adam Laxalt, sworn in Jan. 5 after a campaign that focused at times on challenging federal overreach, said that Obama's November order undermines the rule of law and the U.S. Constitution.

  • Arkansas panel rejects removing Lee from King holiday 28 Jan 2015 | 9:30 pm

    In this Jan. 16, 2008, file photo, a note is posted on a door at the Arkansas state Capitol in Little Rock, Ark., indicating state offices will close in observance of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and Confederate General Robert E. Lee's birthdays. Lee’s birthday would no longer be celebrated on the same day as King under a bill introduced Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, by Arkansas Republican Rep. Nate Bell. Arkansas is one of three states, along with Alabama and Mississippi, that jointly celebrate King and Lee. (AP Photo/Danny Johnston, File)LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — A bid to end Arkansas' practice of commemorating Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr. on the same day was rejected by lawmakers Wednesday after opponents said the move would belittle Southern heritage.


  • Homeless vets to get housing at L.A. VA site under settlement 28 Jan 2015 | 8:38 pm

    By Michael Fleeman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Homeless veterans will get housing and services at a large Department of Veterans Affairs health campus in Los Angeles under a deal to settle a lawsuit accusing the agency of misusing the land, officials said on Wednesday. The 387-acre site located between the affluent Westwood and Brentwood neighborhoods was deeded to the United States in 1888 to give a home to disabled veterans. The campus houses the nation's largest veterans health center, but the Department of Veterans Affairs long ago eliminated permanent housing for veterans there and it leased out portions of the property. Under the agreement, the agency has agreed to work with the American Civil Liberties Union and the plaintiffs the group represents to help the estimated 4,200 homeless veterans in Los Angeles County.

  • State Dept. officials meet with House Benghazi panel 28 Jan 2015 | 5:45 pm

    Benghazi consulate attacks - NHOfficials are prepared to meet immediately with a special House committee investigating the deadly 2012 attacks.


  • Obama's attorney general pick aims to smooth DOJ ties with Congress 28 Jan 2015 | 5:32 pm

    Loretta Lynch testifies on Capitol Hill in WashingtonBy Aruna Viswanatha and Julia Edwards WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Loretta Lynch, President Barack Obama's pick for attorney general, on Wednesday sought to make a clean break from the testy relationship her predecessor had with Congress, while supporting the legality of the administration's controversial actions on immigration. Lynch, a career prosecutor known for her diplomatic skills, struck a delicate balance during her confirmation hearing, telling the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, "I look forward to fostering a new and improved relationship." Her willingness to listen to Republican concerns was generally well received by the senators.


  • Unlikely bedfellows unite on criminal justice reform 28 Jan 2015 | 5:07 pm

    Koch and FrankenFrom the Koch brothers to Al Franken, momentum builds to reduce prison population.


  • Russia says Kiev's actions will escalate Ukraine fighting 28 Jan 2015 | 12:39 pm

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, center, speaks to participants of consultations between representatives of the Syrian government and the Syrian opposition in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, Jan. 28, 2015. Lavrov said the meeting should pave the way for further talks on conditions for a political settlement. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko)By Thomas Grove MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia said on Wednesday military action by the Ukrainian government would prompt an "inevitable further escalation of the conflict" with pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine and undermine any peacemaking. Russia has stepped up criticism of Kiev since violence has intensified in the conflict, where a ceasefire collapsed after rebels drove Ukrainian government forces out of Donetsk airport. The separatists say they want to drive back government forces and their artillery out of range of the cities they hold and improve their grip on strongholds. "The latest military actions provoked by Kiev will lead to the inevitable further escalation of the conflict (and) undermine efforts taken by the international community to end the bloodshed," Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.


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