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U.S. News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Accused Boston bomber's lawyers challenge jury-selection process

Courtroom sketch shows Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tsarnaev during the jury selection process in his trial at the federal courthouse in BostonLawyers for the accused Boston Marathon bomber filed on Thursday a last-gasp request to dismiss the charges against their client or delay the start of the trial next week, contending that court officials had violated their own rules during jury selection. Attorneys for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who is accused of carrying out the largest mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001, argued in a court filing that after randomly assigning numbers to the more than 1,350 people who reported for initial selection early last month, the court re-ordered the jurors based on arrival time. They also contend that people who live within the Boston city limits and those under 30 and over 70 were disproportionately under-represented. The final phase of jury selection is set to take place on Tuesday, when prosecutors and defense attorneys will whittle down the field of about 70 provisionally qualified jurors to 18 people, including 12 jurors and six alternates.



Two killed in southern California street racing crash

(Reuters) - Two onlookers were killed and one injured on Thursday after a driver taking part in an illegal street race near Los Angeles lost control of his sports car and plowed into the crowd, police said. Henry Gevorgyan, 21, was racing his gray Ford Mustang around 2:05 a.m. local time in Chatsworth when the incident occurred, the Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement. Two pedestrians, 26-year-old Eric Siguenza and another unidentified person, were killed in the accident, police said. A third was taken to a local hospital, where he was in stable condition. ...


Prosecutors back off charges in California train crash

An aerial view shows the scene of a double-decker Metrolink train derailment in Oxnard, CaliforniaBy Dana Feldman VENTURA, Calif. (Reuters) - A driver who was taken into custody after his truck was hit by a Southern California commuter train in a fiery wreck that injured 50 people will not be criminally charged, at least for now, prosecutors said on Thursday. Jose Alejandro Sanchez-Ramirez, 54, was arrested on suspicion of hit-and-run after police said they found him walking and talking on a cell phone "in distress" more than a mile from the scene of Tuesday's destruction in Oxnard, California. Oxnard police have said Sanchez-Ramirez was taken into custody for leaving the scene of the crash and that they were investigating whether drugs and alcohol were a factor. "While charges will not be filed at this time, the arrest of Jose Alejandro Sanchez-Ramirez by the Oxnard Police Department was clearly appropriate and lawful," prosecutors said The crash in Oxnard flipped over three double-decker Metrolink rail cars, derailed two others and tore apart the Ford pickup that authorities said Sanchez-Ramirez had driven 80 feet (24 metres) onto the railroad tracks after making a wrong turn in the pre-dawn darkness.



Employer: Man accused in IS group plot was about to quit job

NEW YORK (AP) ? The employer of one of three men charged with plotting to help the Islamic State group says the suspect was about to quit his restaurant job.


2 vandalism suspects rescued after being stranded on cliff

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) ? Two men suspected of vandalizing a historic military structure at a national park north of San Francisco had to be rescued by authorities after they were stranded on a steep cliff while trying to escape.


Syria expels 2 key UN humanitarian staffers

UNITED NATIONS (AP) ? The Syrian government expelled two key U.N. humanitarian staffers because of their contact with armed opposition groups while trying to arrange aid deliveries ? a decision that could harm a new effort to secure a six-week truce in the country's largest city, the U.N. humanitarian chief says.


Official: Remains of 3 recovered from Washington state fire

WINLOCK, Wash. (AP) ? Investigators have recovered the remains of three people from the debris of a fire that destroyed a home in the southwest Washington community of Winlock early Thursday, a police chief said.


Cuban cigar makers anticipate big bucks from US travelers

A woman places the ringed label on a Hoyo de Monterrey cigar at the Corona cigar factory in Havana, Cuba, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2015. Cuban cigar makers are licking their chops over new U.S. rules that let more Americans travel to the island and legally bring back as much as $100 worth in prized stogies for the first time in decades. Officials said during this week's annual cigar festival that this year alone, they expect to double sales of hand-rolled "habanos" on the island. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)HAVANA (AP) ? Over six decades rolling premium cigars with his small, wrinkled hands, Arnaldo Alfonso has taken pride in seeing his "habanos" sampled by visiting heads of state and other dignitaries.



Parents of slain journalist James Foley: US should do more

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) ? The government ? and the press ? failed to do enough to save the life of the freelance journalist who was the first American killed by Islamic State militants, James Foley's parents said at a university forum Thursday.


No charges yet for pickup driver in train crash 'mistake'

This image from video provided by KABC-TV Los Angeles shows wreckage of a Metrolink commuter train after it crashed into a truck and derailed early on Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015 in Oxnard, Calif. Three cars of the Southern California Metrolink commuter train derailed and tumbled onto their sides after the collision on tracks in Ventura County, northwest of Los Angeles. (AP Photo/KABC-TV)OXNARD, Calif. (AP) ? Investigators on Thursday were trying to determine why a pickup truck driver mistakenly turned onto railroad tracks before a crash that derailed a California commuter train, and prosecutors said they would await more answers before deciding to file charges.