February 13, 2014 / 11:46 PM / in 4 years



LATEST AND PLANNED U.S. NEWS COVERAGE (ALL TIMES ET) (Refiles to correct sections.)

Delaware doctor convicted of endangering stepdaughter in “waterboarding” trial

GEORGETOWN, Del. - A Delaware jury found a prominent pediatrician and best-selling author guilty on Thursday of endangering his 11-year-old stepdaughter in a trial featuring testimony that he subjected her to a form of waterboarding to punish her. (USA-DELAWARE/WATERBOARD-TRIAL (URGENT, PIX), moved, 98 words, to be led)

NSA memo confirms Snowden scammed passwords from colleagues

WASHINGTON - A National Security Agency civilian employee resigned last month after telling the FBI he had inadvertently let former contractor Edward Snowden use his password to access information he was not authorized to see, according to a NSA memo sent to Congress. (USA-SECURITY/, moved, 479 words)

Obama aides consult Saudis ahead of Riyadh visit

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama’s advisers consulted a top Saudi Arabia official ahead of Obama’s visit to Riyadh in late March in a flurry of White House activities relating to the Middle East. (USA-OBAMA/MIDEAST, moved, 326 words)

Storms taking toll on families, schools in U.S. Northeast

NEW YORK - A winter storm that froze the U.S. southeast in its tracks pushed north on Thursday, with driving winds and heavy snow snarling travel and closing many schools from Washington to Connecticut, creating havoc for winter-weary parents. More than 700,000 people, including residents of Georgia and South Carolina hit by a heavy blast of ice a day earlier, were without power as the storm made its way up the coast, closing much of Washington and threatening to drop up to 18 inches (45 cm) of snow in some areas. (USA-WEATHER/ (UPDATE 4, PIX, TV), moved, 863 words, will be led)

New York City draws fire for keeping schools open in blizzard

NEW YORK, Feb 13 (Reuters) - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio was blasted by a teachers union, many parents and even a well-known TV weatherman on Thursday for keeping the city’s public schools open during near-blizzard conditions. (USA-WEATHER/NEWYORK-SCHOOLS, moved, 545 words)

Florida jury deliberates 2nd day in loud music murder trial

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A north Florida jury resumed deliberations for a second day on Thursday in the trial of a middle-aged software engineer who shot and killed a black teenager in an argument over rap music blaring from the youth’s car. Defense attorneys say Michael Dunn, 47, who is white, acted in self-defense when he fired off ten rounds at an SUV carrying four teens, killing Jordan Davis, 17, while parked in a Jacksonville gas station. (USA-FLORIDA/SHOOTING-DUNN (UPDATE 1), moved, 644 words, will be led after verdict)

Mississippi lawmakers move forward on 20-week abortion ban

JACKSON, Miss. - Mississippi lawmakers took steps to become the latest U.S. state to ban abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy by passing a measure on Thursday that seeks to further restrict access to the procedure. (USA-ABORTION/MISSISSIPPI, moved, 441 words)

U.S. prosecutors open criminal probe of Duke Energy coal ash spill

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - U.S. prosecutors are investigating whether a crime was committed in a massive spill at a retired power plant in North Carolina that dumped thousands of tons of coal ash sludge this month into a river that supplies drinking water for nearby towns. (USA-NORTHCAROLINA/SPILL, moved, 559 words)

Lawsuit challenges Alabama’s refusal to recognize gay marriages

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.- The Southern Poverty Law Center filed a federal lawsuit on Thursday challenging Alabama’s prohibition against recognizing out-of-state marriages for gay and lesbian couples who live in Alabama. The suit was filed on behalf of a gay man denied the rights to proceeds in a wrongful death case after his husband was killed in a car crash because the state does not recognize him as a surviving spouse. (USA-GAYMARRIAGE/ALABAMA, moved, 365 words)

Calif. lawmaker proposes warning labels for sugary drinks

SACRAMENTO - All sodas and other sugar-sweetened drinks sold in California would be required to carry warning labels for obesity, diabetes and tooth decay under a bill introduced in Sacramento on Thursday, backed by several public health advocacy groups. (USA-SODAS/CALIFORNIA, moved, 748 words, will be led)

Washington state Republican Hastings to retire from U.S. Congress

OLYMPIA, Wash. - U.S. Representative Richard “Doc” Hastings, a Republican from Washington state who chairs the House Committee on Natural Resources, says he will retire at the end of his current term in office rather than seek re-election in November. (USA-CONGRESS/HASTINGS (UPDATE 1), moved, 378 words)

Second trial ordered for U.S. Marine in 2006 death of Iraqi

CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. - A U.S. Marine facing his third trial in the 2006 death of an Iraqi civilian was ordered on Thursday to stand trial in August, saying outside court that he wanted to put the case behind him. (USA-MARINE/TRIAL (PIX), moved, 452 words)

U.S. drops citation against man whose bride died BASE-jumping in Utah

U.S. prosecutors have dismissed a misdemeanor citation brought against a man whose wife of two weeks plunged to her death when her parachute failed to open while skydiving from a cliff in Zion National Park. Amber Bellows, 28, died on Saturday while she and her husband, Clayton Butler, 29, were engaged in the extreme-sport called BASE-jumping, leaping from tall rock formations in aerodynamic suits designed for controlled free falls. BASE is an acronym for buildings, antennas, spans and earth, the kinds of platforms from which jumpers leap. (USA-UTAH/BASEJUMPER, moved, 232 words)

Indiana gay marriage ban amendment delayed at least two years

A vote by Indiana residents on a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage has been delayed by at least two years, after the state’s Senate on Thursday declined to restore language that would have put the amendment on track to be on the 2014 ballot. (USA-GAYMARRIAGE/INDIANA, moved, 450 words)

U.S. judge blocks sale of controversial execution drug to Missouri

A U.S. judge on Wednesday temporarily blocked a pharmacy from providing a compound execution drug to Missouri jailers to use in the Feb. 26 lethal injection of Michael Taylor, guilty in the death of a 15-year-old girl. (USA-EXECUTION/MISSOURI, moved, 347 words)

Train carrying Canadian oil derails, leaks in Pennsylvania

NEW YORK - A 120-car Norfolk Southern Corp train carrying heavy Canadian crude oil derailed and spilled in western Pennsylvania on Thursday, adding to a string of recent accidents that have prompted calls for stronger safety standards. (ENERGY-CRUDE/DERAILMENT (UPDATE 4), moved, 504 words)

Blast rocks Kentucky natural gas pipeline amid storm

An explosion on a major natural gas pipeline in southern Kentucky led to a forced evacuation of residents and injured at least one person early on Thursday. (USA-KENTUCKY/EXPLOSION (UPDATE 3), moved, 660 words)

Second victim dies in Tennessee package blast, probe continues

NASHVILLE, Tenn., - A Tennessee woman has died from injuries suffered in an explosion that killed her husband, a retired lawyer, at their home this week, state authorities said Thursday. (USA-TENNESSEE/PACKAGE, moved, 264 words)

As Volkswagen workers vote, Tennessee senator ramps up anti-union talk

WASHINGTON/CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - One of Tennessee’s two U.S. senators ramped up his anti-union rhetoric on Thursday in an attempt to sway workers at Volkswagen AG’s Chattanooga plant who are voting this week on representation by the United Auto Workers. (AUTOS-VW/TENNESSEE (UPDATE 3, PIX), moved, 658 words)

Las Vegas Sands websites remain down as Feds investigate hack

The websites of Las Vegas Sands’ casinos around the world on Thursday remained down for a third straight day, as the company and U.S. federal investigators race to unravel a hacking attack that defaced home pages and also exposed sensitive employee information. (LASVEGASSANDS-HACK (CORRECTED), moved, 304 words)

Boston officials set memorial for victims of marathon bombing

BOSTON - Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, and some of the 264 people injured in the April 15 Boston Marathon bombing will attend a memorial service on the one-year anniversary of the attack, officials said (USA-EXPLOSIONS/BOSTON, 250 words, moved)

Baseball in Brazil? US sports gain in the land of soccer

SAO PAULO - Brazil is and always will be a soccer country yet the major U.S. sports leagues for football, baseball and basketball are seeing unprecedented growth as Brazilians become richer, more worldly, and also frustrated with the shortcomings of their own national pastime (BRAZIL-WORLDCUP/BASEBALL (FEATURE, PIX, TV), moved, 1,091 words)

Love above all else at Valentine’s Day weddings atop Empire State Building

NEW YORK - Three couples ascend to the top of the Empire State Building for wedding ceremonies this Valentine’s Day - the only day of the year that marriages can be performed at the iconic New York City skyscraper. Also on Friday, The Knot, a wedding planning website, reveals details about the wedding it is awarding to a couple who survived the Boston Marathon bombings. (USA-VALENTINE/WEDDINGS (PIX, TV), expect Friday afternoon, 300 words)

Mediator to provide update in Rhode Island pension dispute

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Rhode Islanders will get an update on the negotiations between the state and a group of unions over a 2011 law that would cut union members pension benefits by about $4 billion over two decades, cuts that state officials say are necessary for the state budget and the unions contend are unacceptable for their members. The Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service, which was called in December 2012 to help resolve a lawsuit between the two sides, is scheduled to provide an update on the state of talks. (USA-RHODEISLAND/PENSIONS, expect by 6 p.m. Friday, word count TBD)


Sochi Olympics doesn’t help Americans’ view of Russia sinking

WASHINGTON - Americans’ view of Russia was “the worst in years” as it prepared to host the Olympic Games, a poll released on Thursday showed. (USA-RUSSIA/POLL, moved, 316 words)

Injured Plushenko retires, overshadows men’s hockey

SOCHI, Russia - Russia’s flamboyant figure skater Yevgeny Plushenko pulls out of the Winter Olympics through injury in a shock twist that immediately deflates home fans pumped up by an opening victory for their beloved men’s ice hockey team. (OLYMPICS/ (WRAPUP 4, PIX, TV, GRAPHICS), moved, 1,185 words)


Syria “failure” looms, mediator seeks U.S., Russian help

GENEVA - Warning that “failure” was staring him in the face, the Syria peace talks mediator said on Thursday that the United States and Russia had promised renewed support to keep their rival Syrian allies talking. (SYRIA-CRISIS (WRAPUP 4, PIX, TV), moved, 800 words

+ See also:

- RUSSIA-UN/ (UPDATE 1), moved, 200

- SYRIA-CRISIS/HOMS (UPDATE 1), moved, 215 words

Britain warns Scotland: Forget the pound if you walk away

EDINBURGH - Britain tells Scotland it will not be able to keep the pound if it votes to end its 307-year-old union with England, declaring that the currency could not be divided up “as if it were a CD collection” After a messy divorce. (BRITAIN-SCOTLAND/ (UPDATE 3, PIX), moved, 820 words)

Venezuela seeks protest leader’s arrest after unrest kills 3

CARACAS - Venezuelan authorities seek to arrest opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez on charges including murder and terrorism linked to street protests that ended in deaths of three people (VENEZUELA-PROTESTS/ (UPDATE 6, PIX, TV), moved, 838 words)

Al Shabaab car bomb hits UN convoy, killing 7 Somalis

MOGADISHU - At least seven Somalis are killed when a remote-controlled bomb aimed at a United Nations convoy tears through cars and tea shops just outside the capital’s international airport. (SOMALIA-BLAST/ (UPDATE 2, PIX, TV), moved, 425 words)

+ See also:

- SOMALIA-ARMS/UN (EXCLUSIVE), moved, 890 words

Karzai rejects U.S. warnings over freed Afghan detainees

ANKARA/KABU - Afghan President Hamid Karzai on Thursday rejected criticism of his government’s release of 65 detainees viewed by Washington as dangerous militants, further fanning tensions with the United States as the international mission in Afghanistan winds down. (AFGHANISTAN-DETAINEES/ (UPDATE 5, PIX, TV), moved, 962 words)

Kerry tells North Korea not to link family reunions with exercises

SEOUL - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says military exercises with South Korea this month will be the same as drills that have been held over the years and North Korea should not link them with reunions of separated Korean families. (KOREA-NORTH/TALKS (UPDATE 2), moved, by Jack Kim, 430 words)


Comcast takeover of Time Warner to reshape U.S. pay TV

Comcast Corp’s proposed $45.2 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable would combine the country’s top two cable providers into a colossus that could reshape the U.S. pay TV and broadband industry if it clears regulatory hurdles. (COMCAST-TIMEWARNERCABLE/ (UPDATE 7) (CORRECTED), moved, 1,072 words)

U.S. jobless claims rise in latest week

WASHINGTON - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week, government data shows. (USA-ECONOMY/JOBS, moved, 100 words)

+ See also:

- USA-FISCAL/ (ANALYSIS), moved, 955 words

Risk of deflation in euro zone seen by economists as more serious than ECB Says-Reuters Poll

LONDON - Reuters has surveyed around 150 economists on their views for the economic outlook for the United States and the euro zone. (ECONOMY-EUROZONE/POLL, moved, 600 words)

Snow blind: winter’s wrath obscures views on U.S. economy NEW YORK - Interpreting U.S. economic figures in the last couple of months has taken on a familiar pattern: wonder about possible weakness in demand, and then shrug and dismiss it all as a product of bad weather. (USA-WEATHER/ECONOMY (ANALYSIS), moved, 1121 words)

Cyber attack on bitcoin a big warning to currency’s users

NEW YORK - A massive cyber attack from unknown sources that has been spamming bitcoin exchanges is highlighting some of the dangers people can encounter when they exchange cash for digital currencies like the bitcoin, experts said. (USA-BITCOIN/SECURITY (ANALYSIS), moved, 820 words)

PepsiCo says won’t spin off N.America beverages

PepsiCo, rejecting a proposal by activist investor Nelson Peltz, said it had decided not to spin off its North-American beverage business, which posted another drop in sales in the fourth quarter. (PEPSICO-RESULTS/ (UPDATE 2), moved, 643 words)


Singles turn to specialty dating sites to find Valentines

NEW YORK - Traditional online dating sites attract many people looking for love, but niche sites for book fans, pet lovers and even prisoners are helping Cupid’s arrow hit the right target. For taller-than-average people, there is tallfriends.com, and if pets are important, datemypet.com may help. Foodies who prefer not to eat meat can try VeggieDate, and fans of Apple products can turn to Cupidtino to find their perfect match. (VALENTINESDAY-ONLINE (TV), moved, 439 words)

In new profile feature, Facebook offers choices for gender identity

SAN FRANCISCO - For the first time, Facebook Inc is letting users of its online social network identify themselves as a gender other than male and female. The basic user profile for members in the United States now includes a customizable category among the gender types that users must select, the world’s No.1 Internet social network announced on Wednesday, the day the feature became available for U.S. members using the site’s English-language version. (FACEBOOK-GENDER/, moved, 240 words)

Linklater’s family saga, 12 years to make, captivates Berlin

BERLIN - Director Richard Linklater’s “Boyhood” which portrays an American family over a 12-year-period as the two children mature into young adults has emerged as a leading contender for the top award at this year’s Berlin film festival. The movie, shot at regular intervals from 2002 as the actors steadily aged, is a tender meditation on the passage of time, the messiness of human relationships and modern American life. (BERLIN-FILM/BOYHOOD (TV, PIX), moved, 584 words)

***************** Paul Thomasch Editor, U.S. General News Reuters Phone: 001-646-223-6280 Mobile: 001-646-303-6092 paul.thomasch@thomsonreuters.com www.thomsonreuters.com


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