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Calif. oil spill: Plains All American Pipeline's history of safety violations

State of Emergency and the Race Against Time to Clean Up Oil Spill in Santa Barbara, CaliforniaCritical eyes have uncovered that Plains All American Pipeline, which operates the pipeline that ruptured in Santa Barbara earlier this week, has a history of safety violations.


Suspect arrested in D.C. quadruple murder

This combination of undated photos provided by the Washington, D.C., police shows Daron Dylon Wint. The police issued a news release late Wednesday, May 20, 2015, saying they are looking for Wint in connection with last Thursday's quadruple homicide of a wealthy Washington family and their housekeeper inside their multimillion-dollar home. (Metropolitan Police Department via AP)Daron Dylon Wint is accused in the slayings of a wealthy family and their housekeeper.


Suicide bomber in deadly strike on Saudi Shiite mosque

Saudi police inspect the debris following a blast inside a mosque in the coastal town of Qatif, on May 22, 2015A suicide attacker detonated a bomb at a Shiite mosque in Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia on Friday, killing and wounding several people in an assault that threatens to fan sectarian tensions. The bomber struck during the main weekly prayers in Eastern Province, where assailants linked to the Sunni extremist Islamic State group (IS) killed seven members of the minority Shiite community in November. The interior ministry said a suicide bomber detonated a bomb at the mosque in Kudeih, in the Shiite-majority city of Qatif, the official SPA news agency reported.


Ireland votes in historic referendum on gay marriage

Members of the public arrive to vote at a polling station in Drumcondra, north Dublin, on May 22, 2015Dublin (AFP) - Ireland took to the polls on Friday to vote on whether same-sex marriage should be legal, in a referendum that has exposed sharp divisions between communities in this traditionally Catholic nation.


Federal judge rules again that gay couples have right to wed in Alabama

Supporters of same-sex marriage hold a rainbow flag and a rainbow umbrella outside Jefferson County Courthouse in Birmingham(Reuters) - A federal judge on Thursday reaffirmed her earlier ruling that same-sex couples in Alabama have a right to wed under the Constitution, but she put the ruling on hold until the U.S. Supreme Court issues a landmark decision on gay marriage. U.S. District Judge Callie Granade in January overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage, in a ruling that went into effect the following month and led probate judges throughout much of the state to begin issuing licenses to the couples. In March, the Alabama Supreme Court ordered probate judges to stop issuing marriage licenses.


Quadruple-murder suspect faces arraignment in Washington, D.C

Murder suspect Wint is pictured in police booking photographBy Ian Simpson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A man accused of killing a Washington businessman, his wife, son and housekeeper faced arraignment on Friday after authorities tracked him down overnight in the U.S. capital. The suspect, Daron Wint, 34, of Lanham, Maryland, faces a charge of first-degree murder while armed at his arraignment some time after 1 p.m. EDT in District of Columbia Superior Court. Members of the Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force had tracked Wint to a Howard Johnson hotel in College Park, Maryland, just outside Washington, late on Thursday, only to see him leave as they arrived.


Suspicious package prompts partial evacuation of NYC's Grand Central

Police in New York evacuated commuters from Grand Central Terminal's lower level on Friday after receiving a report of a suspicious package at the height of the morning rush hour, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority said. All trains into the major commuting hub were routed to the upper level tracks after the package was reported on the lower level at 8:45 a.m., said MTA spokesman Aaron Donovan.

Senate expected to act on NSA collection of phone records

FILE In this June 6, 2013 file photo, a sign stands outside the National Security Agency (NSA) campus in Fort Meade, Md. The Justice Department warned lawmakers that the National Security Agency will have to wind down its bulk collection of Americans' phone records by the end of the week if Congress fails to reauthorize the Patriot Act. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — The fate of the bulk collection of American phone records by the National Security Agency is now before the Senate, in what is increasingly looking like a game of legislative chicken.


Anti-Asian discrimination claims at Harvard reveal long fight over affirmative action

HarvardDoes one of the nation’s most prestigious universities really have a racially biased admissions process, or are the organizers behind such a claim merely pushing a larger, more controversial agenda?


Prosecutor: 6 officers indicted in death of Freddie Gray

FILE - In this May 1, 2015 file photo, Baltimore state's attorney Marilyn Mosby speaks in Baltimore. A few miles off in any direction, and the debate about the knife involved in Freddie Gray's arrest by Baltimore police may have been completely different. The state of Maryland has one set of laws governing knives. The city of Baltimore has its own rules. Caught in the middle are people like Gray, who probably have no idea whether carrying a legally purchased knife can lead to criminal charges. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)The state attorney in Baltimore says all six officers charged in the police-custody death of Freddie Gray have been indicted by a grand jury.


Robert Gates: Boy Scouts’ ban on gay adult leaders not sustainable

The Boy Scouts of America must reverse its longstanding policy of excluding gay adult leaders or risk unfavorable legal decisions that could doom the historic organization, president Robert Gates warned his group’s national leadership Thursday.

Shruggie emoticon makes guest appearance on Senate floor


Suspect in slaying of wealthy family hunted in New York

This combination of undated photos provided by the Washington, D.C., police shows Daron Dylon Wint. The police issued a news release late Wednesday, May 20, 2015, saying they are looking for Wint in connection with last Thursday's quadruple homicide of a wealthy Washington family and their housekeeper inside their multimillion-dollar home. (Metropolitan Police Department via AP)WASHINGTON (AP) — Police and federal agents searched Thursday for a welder suspected in the slayings of a wealthy construction executive, his wife, their 10-year-old son and a housekeeper inside their Washington mansion last week.


Obama's trade bill narrowly clears a key Senate hurdle

President Barack Obama smiles as he walks across the South Lawn to the White House from Marine One, Wednesday, May 20, 2015, in Washington, as he returns from Connecticut where he delivered the commencement address at the United States Coast Guard Academy and attended a Democratic National Committee event. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)WASHINGTON (AP) — In a triumph for President Barack Obama, sweeping legislation to strengthen the administration's hand in global trade talks advanced toward Senate passage Thursday after a showdown vote that remained in doubt until the final moment.


The emoji diversity lobby

The emoji diversity lobbyAs one redhead found out, those cute little figures are ruled by a surprisingly complex political process.


Matt Bai: What presidential candidates need to understand about income inequality

The American Dream that’s at the center of our national identity is not, in fact, in danger of slipping away. For most Americans, it’s already long gone, like Oldsmobiles and New Coke.


David Letterman signs off as late-night host

The funnyman hosts his final show after 33 years and 6,028 broadcasts.


Two 2016 candidates, two faces of fear

Two top Republican senators aired their grievances against the Obama administration’s approach to foreign policy and surveillance.


Innovative technologies under development for cleaning up oil spills

An oil spill is seen in the Pacific Ocean near Santa Barbara in Goleta.As California struggles to deal with Tuesday’s huge oil spill, scientists are working on more efficient technologies to aid in future cleanups.


About 120 guns found at scene of deadly Texas gang fight

A police officer recovers a shotgun while sweeping through the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant Tuesday, May, 19, 2015, in Waco, Texas. A deadly weekend shootout involving rival motorcycle gangs at the restaurant apparently began with a parking dispute and someone running over a gang member's foot, police said Tuesday. (Jerry Larson/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP)By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - About 120 guns and 160 knives were recovered from the scene of a deadly Sunday battle between rival motorcycle gangs in the Texas city of Waco that left nine people dead, police said on Wednesday as they sharply dropped their tally of weapons found. Gang members hid weapons in sacks of flour and bags of chips at the Twin Peaks restaurant, where they attacked each other in a fight that was likely set off by a smoldering turf battle, Waco Police said. Waco Police Sergeant Patrick Swanton told cable channel CNN: "These were vicious gang members that were in our city Sunday." The two main adversaries were motorcycle gangs the Bandidos, seen as the long-standing dominant gang in Texas and called a criminal organization by the U.S. Justice Department, and the Cossacks, which have been challenging them for power in the state, according to experts on the gangs.