Alabama inmate seeks to avoid execution for eighth time
Tommy Arthur's execution was scheduled for 6 p.m. CDT (2300 GMT) in Atmore, Alabama. Three juries have found him guilty of shooting Troy Wicker to death as he slept. In November, the U.S. Supreme Court stayed Arthur's last scheduled execution after he argued Alabama's lethal injection procedures amounted to cruel and unusual punishment.
Protest in New York over Palestinian-American graduation speaker
Dozens of right-wing demonstrators, including far-right commentator Milo Yiannopoulos, gathered in New York on Thursday to protest a university's decision to invite a Palestinian-American activist to deliver its graduation speech next week. The City University of New York's (CUNY) Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy, which will have its commencement on Tuesday, described liberal, Muslim speaker Linda Sarsour on its website as a "powerful public health and social justice" leader. Yiannopoulos, 32,said she should be allowed to speak but should be held accountable for actions he considered anti-American.
U.S. says three N.Y. prison guards sexually assaulted female inmates
Three male prison guards repeatedly sexually assaulted and raped several female inmates under their supervision at a federal detention center in New York over time periods of up to three years, federal prosecutors said on Thursday. Acting U.S. Attorney Bridget Rohde submitted documents asking a federal magistrate to deny bail for the three guards until their cases come to trial. "By using their authority and power to prey upon and abuse female inmates in their care, these defendants violated their oaths of public service as well as numerous criminal laws," said Rohde.
Web of tracks, switches complicates NY Penn Station summer repairs
Down in a damp, cavernous space beneath the western end of New York's Pennsylvania station, national rail operator Amtrak showed on Thursday the three tracks it will take offline for emergency repairs, outlining the complicated operation. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said the coming months will be a "summer of agony" for commuters between the Empire State and New Jersey along with those riding the entire northeast rail corridor, Amtrak's busiest and most profitable route.
Two Yemenis deported from Mexico after escaping U.S. prison
Mexico's government on Thursday said it had deported two escaped prisoners of Yemeni origin to the United States and dismissed local media reports that the detainees were suspected militants. The U.S. Marshals Service said in a statement the two men, identified as Kamal Qazah, 37, and Salah Mohamed, 35, were serving time in the United States for cigarette smuggling and drug dealing, respectively, and escaped from a high security federal penitentiary in Lee County, Virginia, on May 3 before coming to Mexico. The two were detained in a hotel with a third man who said he was of Australian-Jordanian nationality and is still in Mexico while authorities check his immigration status, a Mexican government official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Civil rights group sues in U.S. court over immigration detention
The ACLU said in its filing that in recent weeks there have been a new series of hunger strikes at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention centers in Georgia, Oregon and Washington, adding hunger strikes have previously hit detention centers in Arizona, Florida, Louisiana and Texas. The suit comes as U.S. Republican President Donald Trump has promised a crackdown on illegal immigration and the Republican-dominated U.S. Congress this month agreed to fund an additional 5,300 detention beds for those suspected of illegally entering the country.
Unions sue to stop Kentucky's 'right-to-work' law
Two labor groups filed a lawsuit in a Kentucky court on Thursday challenging the so-called right-to-work law the state legislature passed earlier this year. The law, which allows workers the right to work in union-represented shops and receive union-negotiated benefits without paying dues to the representing body, violates the equal protection clause of the state constitution, said Bill Londrigan, president of the Kentucky AFL-CIO. The union, as well as Louisville-based Teamsters Local 89, filed the lawsuit - which seeks class-action status - against the state and Governor Matt Bevin in Franklin Circuit Court in Frankfort.
Facebook's Zuckerberg urges Harvard grads to contemplate risk
By Valerie Vande Panne CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (Reuters) - Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg returned on Thursday to Harvard University, the school he dropped out of to start the pioneering social network, to urge its graduating class to help create a new social safety net to allow creative risk-taking. The 33-year-old tech founder of the world's largest social networking company said he would never have been able to risk leaving the elite Ivy League school if he had not known that his family would have been able to support him if he failed. "There is something wrong with our system when I can leave here and make billions of dollars in ten years when millions of students can't afford to pay off their loans, let alone start a business," Zuckerberg told the crowd on a cold, drizzly day when graduates' dark academic robes stood in contrast to the brightly colored plastic rain ponchos scattered through the audience.
New Jersey town settles lawsuit brought by U.S. over rejected mosque
A New Jersey town has reached a settlement with the U.S. government and a local Islamic group to resolve allegations that the town illegally denied plans for a proposed mosque. Officials in Bernards Township voted 4-1 on Tuesday night to approve settling lawsuits filed by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge, according to a spokesman for the town, Michael Turner. Turner did not comment on the details of the settlement, which will not be made public until the agreement is filed with a federal judge in New Jersey.
GM is accused in lawsuit of cheating on diesel truck emissions
General Motors Co was accused in a lawsuit on Thursday of rigging hundreds of thousands of diesel trucks with devices similar to those used by Volkswagen AG , to ensure they pass emissions tests. The proposed class-action lawsuit covers people who own or lease more than 705,000 Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickups fitted with "Duramax" engines from the 2011 to 2016 model years. It said GM used at least three "defeat devices" to ensure that the trucks met federal and state emission standards, even if they generated more pollution in real-world driving.
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