KRISTV.com http://www.kristv.com/ KRISTV.com National News National News en-us Copyright 2014, KRISTV.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:07:57 GMT Synapse CMS 10 KRISTV.com http://www.kristv.com/ 144 25 Sexual Orientation Discrimination Illegal With New Executive Order http://www.kristv.com/news/sexual-orientation-discrimination-illegal-with-new-executive-order/ http://www.kristv.com/news/sexual-orientation-discrimination-illegal-with-new-executive-order/ National News Tue, 22 Jul 2014 5:55:01 AM Miranda Leah - @MirandaLeahKRIS Sexual Orientation Discrimination Illegal With New Executive Order

A new executive order signed will protect the LGBT community from discrimination in the federal workforce.

The order will affect thousands of companies that employ some 28-million workers, roughly a fifth of the Nation's workers.

Koby Ozias is one employee who knows first-hand what it's like to be discriminated against based on sexual orientation.

"Knowing that you're being judged on something that you can't change," he said. "And not on your abilities, is terrible."

With President Obama's new executive order, that won't happen for federal contractors.

The action updates two previous orders about discrimination already on the books, making it illegal to discriminate against federal employees based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

"Millions of our fellow citizens wake up and go to work with the awareness that they could lose their job," said President Obama. "Not because of anything they do, or what they fail to do, but because of who they are."

However, it's too soon to know just how far this mandate will reach. Many are concerned that it could lead to an effect on the private sector.

"Every job has to discriminate at some level," said Lexington Baptist Church Pastor Scott Higginbotham. "That's what qualifications are. Just ‘qualification' sounds nicer than ‘discrimination.'"

The order is also receiving criticism because it does not include an exemption for religious organizations.

"I think people ought to be free to hire who they want to work for them," said Higginbotham.

The order is now in effect for the federal government, and protections for employees of federal contractors will start early next year.


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Federal Appeals Court Deals Blow to Health Care Law http://www.kristv.com/news/federal-appeals-court-deals-blow-to-health-care-law/ http://www.kristv.com/news/federal-appeals-court-deals-blow-to-health-care-law/ National News Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:13:46 AM Associated Press Federal Appeals Court Deals Blow to Health Care Law

WASHINGTON (AP) - A federal appeals court delivered a serious setback to President Barack Obama's health care law Tuesday, potentially derailing billions of dollars in subsidies for many low- and middle-income people who bought policies.

In a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, a group of small business owners argued that the law authorizes subsidies only for people who buy insurance through markets established by the states - not by the federal government.

A divided court agreed, in a 2-1 decision that could mean premium increases for more than half the 8 million Americans who have purchased taxpayer-subsidized coverage under the law. The ruling affects consumers who bought coverage in the 36 states served by the federal insurance marketplace, or exchange.

The majority opinion concluded that the law, as written, "unambiguously" restricts subsides to consumers in exchanges established by a state. That would invalidate an Internal Revenue Service regulation that tried to sort out confusing wording in the law by concluding that Congress intended for consumers in all 50 states to have subsidized coverage.

The administration is expected to appeal the ruling.

The issue is crucial to the success of the health law because most states have been unable or unwilling to set up their own exchanges. The inaction stems in many instances from opposition by Republican governors to the Affordable Care Act.

The small business owners filing the lawsuit say the tax credits enacted by Congress were intended to encourage states to set up their own health benefit exchanges and that the penalty for not doing so was withdrawal of tax credits for lower-income residents.

Supporters of the act say the purpose of the tax credit was not to promote the establishment of state exchanges, but rather to achieve Congress's fundamental purpose of making insurance affordable for all Americans.

The case revolves around four words in the Affordable Care Act, which says the tax credits are available to people who enroll through an exchange "established by the state."

The challengers to the law say a literal reading of that language invalidates the IRS subsidy to people in the federal exchanges. The opponents say that people who would otherwise qualify for the tax credits should be denied that benefit if they buy insurance on a federally facilitated exchange.

"It is implausible to believe that Congress gave the IRS discretion to authorize $150 billion per year in federal spending, particularly when Congress had directly spoken to this issue," the challengers to the IRS subsidy said in a court filing. "Major economic decisions like these - indeed, any decisions granting tax credits - must be made unambiguously by Congress itself."

The Obama administration and congressional and state legislative supporters of the Affordable Care Act say the challengers are failing to consider the words of the statute in its entirety.

"Congress did not provide that the tax credits would only be available to citizens whose states set up their own exchanges," says an appeals court filing by congressional and state legislative supporters of the Affordable Care Act. Congressional lawmakers and state legislators supporting the act said that limiting the subsidies to state exchanges could destabilize important aspects of the law, such as the individual mandate requiring most people to buy insurance.

The judges on the case were Thomas Griffith, an appointee of President George W. Bush; A. Raymond Randolph, an appointee of Bush's father; and Harry Edwards, an appointee of President Jimmy Carter, who dissented.

A lower court had ruled that the law's text, structure, purpose, and legislative history make "clear that Congress intended to make premium tax credits available on both state-run and federally-facilitated Exchanges."

But the appeals court concluded the opposite - that the letter of the law "unambiguously restricts" the law's subsidies to policies sold through exchanges established by the state.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Teen Missing For 9 Months Returns Home Safe http://www.kristv.com/news/teen-missing-for-9-months-returns-home-safe/ http://www.kristv.com/news/teen-missing-for-9-months-returns-home-safe/ National News Tue, 22 Jul 2014 4:41:10 AM Teen Missing For 9 Months Returns Home Safe

NEW HAMPSHIRE - According to New Hampshire's attorney general, Abigail Hernandez was reunited with her family in Conway, NH Sunday night.

15-year-old Hernandez was last seen nine months ago walking home from school in Conway, New Hampshire.

No further details have been released regarding the circumstances surrounding her disappearance and her return home.

The teen's mother said when she got home from work on the evening of October 9th, her daughter was not there.

Authorities said the last cellphone activity they were able to trace to Abby's phone was at around 3 that afternoon. That was about a half hour after she began walking home from Kennett High School.

Two weeks after she disappeared, Hernandez's mother received a letter from Abigail.

Zenya Hernandez, Abigail's mother, has informed law enforcement officers that "today we are the happiest people on earth".

Police say further details will be provided once they determine the information will not compromise the integrity of the on-going criminal investigation.

 


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Water Therapy Teaches Pup To Walk http://www.kristv.com/news/water-therapy-teaches-pup-to-walk/ http://www.kristv.com/news/water-therapy-teaches-pup-to-walk/ National News Tue, 22 Jul 2014 3:30:49 AM Water Therapy Teaches Pup To Walk

PENNSYLVANIA (WJAC) A small litter of puppies was found unable to walk and one Centre County animal shelter is working with an animal hospital to help these tiny paws take some major steps. Stuart and his brother Simon were rescued by Centre County PAWS.

After a short time it was discovered the two dogs and their sister had some difficulties walking. "Stuart's not very severely affected but he still has some problems using and coordinating motor function in both hind legs," said Dr. Bob Rider, a veterinarian with Metzger Animal Hospital. This is where a progressive treatment offered by Metzger Animal Hospital comes in to help.

Every week Stuart walks on an underwater treadmill to build up his muscles in his back legs and tiny paws.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/1qXEaci

 


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Staff Sgt. Ryan M. Pitts Receives Medal of Honor http://www.kristv.com/news/staff-sgt-ryan-m-pitts-receives-medal-of-honor/ http://www.kristv.com/news/staff-sgt-ryan-m-pitts-receives-medal-of-honor/ National News Mon, 21 Jul 2014 1:54:53 PM Staff Sgt. Ryan M. Pitts Receives Medal of Honor

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama is bestowing the Medal of Honor on a former Army staff sergeant who fought off enemy fighters during one of the bloodiest battles of the Afghanistan war.

Ryan M. Pitts is the ninth living recipient of the nation's highest decoration for battlefield valor for actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Obama says Pitts displays "the humility and loyalty" that define America's men and women in uniform. Obama noted that the 28-year-old Pitts has said his honor belongs to everyone who was with him during the July 13, 2008 attack in Wanat, Afghanistan.

Pitts was injured in the attack. But despite losing blood from wounds in both legs and an arm, he continued to fire at about 200 Taliban fighters and guided air strikes that helped repel the attack.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

 


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Marathon Bombing: Suspect's Friend Found Guilty http://www.kristv.com/news/marathon-bombing-suspect-s-friend-found-guilty/ http://www.kristv.com/news/marathon-bombing-suspect-s-friend-found-guilty/ National News Mon, 21 Jul 2014 12:36:35 PM Marathon Bombing: Suspect's Friend Found Guilty

BOSTON (AP) - A college friend of Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev has been convicted of impeding the investigation into the attack.

Azamat Tazhayakov was found guilty Monday of obstruction of justice and conspiracy. Prosecutors say he agreed with a friend who removed Tsarnaev's backpack from his dorm room several days after the 2013 bombing. The backpack contained altered fireworks.

Tazhayakov's lawyers argued that the other friend removed the items from the dorm room at the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth and then threw them away.

Prosecutors told the jury that both men shared in the decision to get rid of the items to protect Tsarnaev. The friend, Dias Kadyrbayev, faces a separate trial in September.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Police Say 4 Year Old Thrown From Car Dies At Hospital http://www.kristv.com/news/police-say-4-year-old-thrown-from-car-dies-at-hospital/ http://www.kristv.com/news/police-say-4-year-old-thrown-from-car-dies-at-hospital/ National News Mon, 21 Jul 2014 8:32:55 AM Police Say 4 Year Old Thrown From Car Dies At Hospital

FLORIDA - A four-year-old boy who Tampa Police say may have been thrown from a car died early this morning.

Witnesses found the boy in critical condition Sunday night in Tampa.

They told police he may have been thrown from the car.

The child was taken to the hospital where he later died.

Police are canvassing the area for any clues.

 


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Plane Crash Sparks Wildfire, Kills 4 People http://www.kristv.com/news/plane-crash-sparks-wildfire-kills-4-people/ http://www.kristv.com/news/plane-crash-sparks-wildfire-kills-4-people/ National News Mon, 21 Jul 2014 4:50:04 AM Plane Crash Sparks Wildfire, Kills 4 People

ARIZONA - Four people died when a plane crashed near Sedona, Arizona Sunday afternoon.

The crash also sparked a brush fire in Fay Canyon.

Hikers reported seeing a plane crash into the side of Mogollon Rim.

Two helicopters, two engines, one fuels crew and the Sedona Fire District were on the scene Sunday evening.

One hotshot crew and three helicopters are planned to respond today.

 


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Official: 2 Injured, Diesel Spilled in Derailment http://www.kristv.com/news/official-2-injured-diesel-spilled-in-derailment/ http://www.kristv.com/news/official-2-injured-diesel-spilled-in-derailment/ National News Mon, 21 Jul 2014 4:21:37 AM Official: 2 Injured, Diesel Spilled in Derailment

WISCONSIN (AP) - Two people were injured and more than a hundred homes were evacuated due to a diesel spill from a train derailment in Wisconsin, according to fire officials.

Slinger Fire Department Chief Rick Hanke said three engines and 10 railcars derailed Sunday night. He said trains from Canadian National Railway Co. and Wisconsin & Southern were involved and that officials are investigating the cause.

About 5,000 gallons of diesel fuel spilled from an engine, he said. Hazmat crews from Washington County had dikes and booms in place to contain the spill.

Hanke said railcars hauling sand and lumber were also involved, and some lumber spilled.

Six fire departments responded to the scene, though firefighter Scott Krueger said the diesel did not catch fire.

Hanke said the two people who were hurt had injuries that were not life-threatening.

Patrick Waldron, a spokesman for Canadian National, said three engines and "several" railcars belonging to Canadian National derailed. Preliminary reports indicate a Canadian National train struck cars on another train, Waldron said, adding that the circumstances were under investigation.

A representative for Wisconsin & Southern could not immediately be reached.

Waldron said the Canadian National train was headed from Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, to Champaign, Illinois.

Slinger is about 35 miles northwest of Milwaukee.

The Red Cross was assisting evacuees at a local middle school.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Charges Mount Against California Robbery Suspect http://www.kristv.com/news/charges-mount-against-california-robbery-suspect/ http://www.kristv.com/news/charges-mount-against-california-robbery-suspect/ National News Mon, 21 Jul 2014 4:14:25 AM Charges Mount Against California Robbery Suspect

CALIFORNIA (AP) - Prosecutors say they're charging a Stockton man with triple-murder in the deaths of a woman taken hostage during a bank robbery and police shootout that killed two other robbery suspects.

Ron Freitas of the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office said the charges being filed Monday make 19-year-old Jaime Ramos eligible for a death sentence.

Freitas says the charged may include 22 counts of attempted murder of police officers stemming from last week's running gun battle.

Police say that on Wednesday three armed men entered the bank branch and took three women hostage. Two women survived with injuries, but a 41-year-old mother of two, Misty Holt-Singh, was used as a human shield and died.

Ramos is the sole surviving suspect. It is unclear if he has an attorney.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Father Admits to Beating Accused Sex Abuser http://www.kristv.com/news/father-admits-to-beating-accused-sex-abuser/ http://www.kristv.com/news/father-admits-to-beating-accused-sex-abuser/ National News Fri, 18 Jul 2014 6:02:24 PM Father Admits to Beating Accused Sex Abuser

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A Daytona Beach father beat an 18-year-old man unconscious after finding him sexually abusing his 11-year-old son early Friday morning, police said.

The father called 911 around 1 a.m. after he walked in on the alleged abuse, police said. When officers arrived, they found Raymond Frolander motionless on the living room floor. He had several knots on his face and was bleeding from the mouth.

"He is nice and knocked out on the floor for you," the father told the 911 dispatcher. "I drug him out to the living room."

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that the father - who was not identified by police - told investigators he walked in as Frolander was abusing the boy.

When asked by the 911 dispatcher if any weapons were involved, the father said "my foot and my fist."

The father has not been charged with any crime.

"Dad was acting like a dad. I don't see anything we should charge the dad with," Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood said. "You have an 18-year-old who has clearly picked his target, groomed his target and had sex with the victim multiple times."

Frolander is charged with sexual battery on a child under 12. He is being held without bail. It was not immediately known whether he'd hired a lawyer.

According to the arrest affidavit, Frolander admitted the abuse.

___

Information from: Daytona Beach (Fla.) News-Journal, http://www.news-journalonline.com

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Court Rules for Gay Marriage in Oklahoma Case http://www.kristv.com/news/court-rules-for-gay-marriage-in-oklahoma-case/ http://www.kristv.com/news/court-rules-for-gay-marriage-in-oklahoma-case/ National News Fri, 18 Jul 2014 1:09:59 PM Associated Press Court Rules for Gay Marriage in Oklahoma Case

DENVER (AP) - A federal appeals court ruled Friday that Oklahoma must allow gay couples to wed, marking the second time it has found the U.S. Constitution protects same-sex marriage.

The decision from the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds a ruling that struck down Oklahoma's gay marriage ban. But the Denver-based court immediately put its decision on hold pending an appeal, meaning same-sex couples won't be allowed to marry in Oklahoma for now.

The 2-1 ruling comes after the same three-judge panel ruled in June that Utah's ban on same-sex marriage violates the Constitution. It was the first time an appellate court determined that last year's U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down the Defense of Marriage Act meant states couldn't deny gays the ability to wed. That ruling also is on hold, and Utah's attorney general has said he plans to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The lawsuit challenging Oklahoma's ban was filed against the Tulsa County clerk, whose attorneys were still considering their options Friday afternoon. But they noted the panel's dissenting judge argued that changing the definition of marriage should belong to Oklahoma residents, not a federal court.

"Every child deserves a mom and a dad, and the people of Oklahoma confirmed that at the ballot box when they approved a constitutional amendment that affirmed marriage as a man-woman union," said Byron Babione, senior attorney for Alliance Defending Freedom, which is defending the county clerk.

Proponents of gay marriage quickly planned rallies Friday in Oklahoma City and Tulsa to celebrate the ruling.

"We're excited that Oklahoma will be counted among the places where all of its citizens are treated equally," said Toby Jenkins, executive director of Oklahomans for Equality.

In its 46-page ruling Friday, the judges dealt less with the constitutionality of same-sex marriages and instead focused more on arcane legal matters of whether the Oklahoma couples sued the correct government officials.

However, Justice Carlos Lucero reiterated that the court has already found that same-sex couples have a fundamental right to marry that cannot be breached by the state's concern with keeping the focus of marriage on the procreative potential of man-woman unions. He wrote that Oklahoma's ban, "denies a fundamental right to all same-sex couples who seek to marry or to have their marriages recognized regardless of their child-rearing ambitions."

Justice Jerome A. Holmes concurred but stressed in his own opinion that the court did not find that voters exhibited legal animus, or dislike, toward gay individuals when they outlawed same-sex marriage in 2004. Justice Paul Kelly Jr. dissented.

The two decisions give increased momentum to a legal cause that has compiled an impressive string of lower court victories. More than 20 courts have issued rulings siding with gay marriage advocates since the Supreme Court's DOMA ruling in June 2013. The rulings have come in 17 states, with Florida being the latest.

Two of the most striking of those decisions were in conservative Utah and Oklahoma, which saw their voter-approved gay marriage bans struck down in December and January, respectively. In Utah, more than 1,000 same-sex couples married before the Supreme Court issued a stay.

It's unclear whether the two cases will be the first to reach the Supreme Court. The high court could choose from cases moving through five other federal appellate courts, and it won't consider a case until next year at the earliest.

Attorneys representing Utah and Oklahoma argued voters have the right to define marriage in their states, and unions between a man and woman are best for children.

Gay rights lawyers countered that voters cannot define marriage in a way that deprives gay people of their fundamental rights, and say there is no proof that gay couples make inferior parents.

Ten years ago, nearly a dozen states outlawed gay marriage. Now same-sex marriage is legal in 19 states and the District of Columbia, and recent polls show a majority of Americans support it.

___

Associated Press writer Tim Talley contributed to this report from Oklahoma City.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Obama Confirms 1 American Dead in Airliner Shoot Down http://www.kristv.com/news/obama-confirms-1-american-dead-in-airliner-shoot-down/ http://www.kristv.com/news/obama-confirms-1-american-dead-in-airliner-shoot-down/ National News Fri, 18 Jul 2014 11:15:27 AM Associated Press Obama Confirms 1 American Dead in Airliner Shoot Down

ROZSYPNE, Ukraine (AP) - World leaders called for an immediate cease-fire in eastern Ukraine on Friday and demanded speedy access for international investigators to the crash site of the Malaysia Airlines jetliner shot down over the country's battlefields.

The strong words came amid the contrasting images of emergency workers and off-duty coal miners fanning out across picturesque sunflower fields searching for charred pieces of wreckage from the Boeing 777.

The attack Thursday afternoon killed 298 people from nearly a dozen nations - including vacationers, students and a large contingent of scientists heading to an AIDS conference in Australia.

President Barack Obama called for an immediate cease-fire between Ukrainian government forces and pro-Russia separatists. He also called for a credible investigation.

"The eyes of the world are on eastern Ukraine, and we are going to make sure that the truth is out," Obama said at the White House.

U.S. intelligence authorities said a surface-to-air missile brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 as it traveled from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur. U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power told the U.N. Security Council in New York on Friday the missile was likely fired from a rebel-held area near the Russian border.

The Ukrainian government in Kiev, the separatist pro-Russia rebels they are fighting and the Russia government that Ukraine accuses of supporting the rebels all denied shooting the plane down. Moscow also denies backing the rebels.

After holding an emergency session, the U.N. Security Council called for "a full, thorough and independent international investigation" into the downing of the plane.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said both sides in the Ukrainian conflict should put down their weapons and hold peace talks. On Thursday, Putin blamed Ukraine for the crash, saying Kiev was responsible for the unrest in its Russian-speaking eastern regions. But he didn't accuse Ukraine of shooting the plane down and didn't address the key question of whether Russia gave the rebels such a powerful missile.

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry released a video purporting to show a truck carrying the Buk missile launcher it said was used to fire on the plane with one of its four missiles apparently missing. The ministry said the footage was filmed by a police surveillance squad at dawn Friday as the truck was heading to the city of Krasnodon toward the Russian border.

There was no way to independently verify the video.

Ukraine's state aviation service closed the airspace Friday over two border regions gripped by separatist fighting - Donetsk and Luhansk - and Russian airlines suspended all flights over Ukraine.

Access to the sprawling crash site remained difficult and dangerous. The road into it from Donetsk, the largest city in the region, was marked by five rebel checkpoints, with document checks at each.

A commission of around 30 people, mostly officials representing the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, traveled to the crash site Friday afternoon in the first such visit there by an international delegation.

"No black boxes have been found ... we hope that experts will track them down and create a picture of what has happened," Donetsk separatist leader Aleksandr Borodai said.

Yet earlier Friday, an aide to the military leader of Borodai's group said authorities had recovered eight out of 12 recording devices. Since planes usually have two black boxes - one for recording flight data and the other for recording cockpit voices - it was not clear what the aide was referring to. It was possible he was referring to a variety of computer systems.

The crash site was spread out over fields between two villages in eastern Ukraine - Rozsypne and Hrabove. In the distance, the thud of Grad missile launchers being fired could be heard Friday morning.

In the sunflower fields around Rozsypne, 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the Russian border, lines of men disappeared into thick, tall growth that reached over their heads. One fainted after finding a body. Another body was covered in a coat.

About 70 off-duty coal miners joined the search, their faces still sooty from work.

In Hrabove, several miles away, large numbers of sticks, some made from tree branches, were affixed with red or white rags to mark spots where body parts were found.

Andrei Purgin, a leader of the pro-Russian separatists, told The Associated Press that after consultations with international diplomats and a former Ukrainian president, a decision has been reached for bodies to be taken to the government-controlled Black Sea city of Mariupol.

Smashed watches and mobile phones, charred boarding passes and passports were among the debris.

Large chunks of the plane, which bore the airline's red, white and blue markings, lay strewn over one field. The cockpit and one turbine lay a kilometer (a half-mile) apart, and the tail landed 10 kilometers (six miles) away. One rebel militiaman in Rozsypne told the AP the plane's fuselage showed signs of being struck by a projectile.

The area has seen heavy fighting between government troops and pro-Russia separatists, and rebels had bragged about shooting down two Ukrainian military jets Wednesday in the region.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dismissed Kiev's accusations that Moscow could be behind the attack.

"Regarding those claims from Kiev that we allegedly did it ourselves: I have not heard a truthful statement from Kiev for months," he told the Rossiya 24 television channel.

He also said Russia has no intention of getting its hands on the plane's black boxes and added they should be given to international aviation organizations.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk described the attack as an "international crime" whose perpetrators should be punished in an international tribunal.

Malaysian Transport Minister Liow Tiong Lay insisted again Friday that the airline's path was an internationally approved route and denied accusations the airline was trying to save fuel and money by taking a more direct flight path across Ukraine.

Aviation authorities in several countries, including the FAA in the United States, had issued previous warnings not to fly over parts of Ukraine after Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula in March. Within hours of the crash Thursday, several airlines announced they were avoiding parts of Ukrainian airspace.

___

Peter Leonard reported from Kiev. Others who contributed included Yuras Karmanau in Kiev; Julie Pace in Washington; Mstyslav Chernov in Rozsypne, Ukraine; Nataliya Vasilyeva and Laura Mills in Moscow; Mike Corder in The Hague, Netherlands; Edith M. Lederer at the United Nations; and Eileen Ng and Satish Cheney in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 

 


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Peregrine Falcons Delay USS Saratoga Departure for Scrap Yard http://www.kristv.com/news/peregrine-falcons-delay-uss-saratoga-departure-for-scrap-yard/ http://www.kristv.com/news/peregrine-falcons-delay-uss-saratoga-departure-for-scrap-yard/ National News Fri, 18 Jul 2014 10:51:04 AM Peregrine Falcons Delay USS Saratoga Departure for Scrap Yard

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - The Navy is ready to say goodbye to the USS Saratoga but a family of peregrine falcons is not.

The falcons are nesting on board the decommissioned aircraft carrier in Newport. The Navy has delayed the Saratoga's final trip to Texas, where it will be dismantled, until the fledglings are ready to leave.

Naval Station Newport contacted the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service after the nest was discovered in the spring.

Their experts said the falcons should be done rearing their offspring by mid-August, and recommended waiting until then to move the ship. The peregrine falcon is a protected species under the federal Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

The Saratoga is now scheduled to depart in late August. The contract to scrap it was awarded in May.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Secrets Leaker Manning to Begin Gender Treatments http://www.kristv.com/news/secrets-leaker-manning-to-begin-gender-treatments/ http://www.kristv.com/news/secrets-leaker-manning-to-begin-gender-treatments/ National News Fri, 18 Jul 2014 4:35:42 AM Secrets Leaker Manning to Begin Gender Treatments

WASHINGTON (AP) - National security leaker Chelsea Manning can get initial treatment for a gender-identity condition from the military after the Bureau of Prisons rejected the Army's request to accept her transfer from Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, to a civilian facility.

A defense official says Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has approved the Army's recommendation to keep Manning in military custody and start a rudimentary level of gender treatment. Defense officials have said the Army doesn't have the medical expertise needed to give Manning the best treatment.

The initial gender treatments provided by the military could include allowing Manning to wear some female undergarments and also possibly provide some hormone treatments.

Previously known as Bradley Manning, the Army private has been diagnosed with gender dysphoria, the sense of being a woman in a man's body.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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VA Mixes Up Declaring Man Dead Who Is Alive http://www.kristv.com/news/va-mixes-up-declaring-man-dead-who-is-alive/ http://www.kristv.com/news/va-mixes-up-declaring-man-dead-who-is-alive/ National News Fri, 18 Jul 2014 4:04:15 AM VA Mixes Up Declaring Man Dead Who Is Alive

KENTUCKY (WLEX) A Central Kentucky family says the VA Hospital in Lexington made a major mix-up. They tell LEX 18 that the hospital declared their loved one dead, days ago. However, that family tells us that man is still alive.

Jennifer Dunn tells LEX-18 that she woke early Thursday morning to find her husband, Danny Dunn, was unconscious. He was taken over to a hospital in Harrodsburg, then flown to the VA Hospital here in Lexington.

Dunn was then allegedly told by hospital staff that her husband was deceased. "I asked him if I could go back in there one more time before I left and when I went back in there, the man had a heart rate and blood pressure was holding good and everything," she said.

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Microsoft CEO Pivots Sharply With 18,000 Job Cut http://www.kristv.com/news/microsoft-ceo-pivots-sharply-with-18-000-job-cut/ http://www.kristv.com/news/microsoft-ceo-pivots-sharply-with-18-000-job-cut/ National News Thu, 17 Jul 2014 9:39:51 PM Associated Press Microsoft CEO Pivots Sharply With 18,000 Job Cut

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Microsoft announced the biggest layoffs in its 39-year history Thursday, outlining plans to cut 18,000 jobs in a move that marked the CEO's sharpest pivot yet away from his predecessor's drive for the company to make its own devices.

Although some cuts had been expected ever since Microsoft acquired Nokia's mobile-device unit, the number amounted to 14 percent of the Microsoft workforce - about twice what analysts had estimated.

The cuts will include some 12,500 jobs associated with the Nokia unit - nearly half of the 28,000 employees Microsoft brought on board in April through the acquisition.

When the cuts are complete, the company will still have about 10,000 more employees than before the Nokia acquisition, with an overall headcount of 109,000.

In a public email to employees, CEO Satya Nadella said the changes were needed for the company to "become more agile and move faster." The move also pushes Nokia to focus solely on the Windows Phone operating system.

Nadella is clearly backing away from former CEO Steve Ballmer's strategy of getting Microsoft to make its own smartphones and tablets.

"He's making a pretty serious game-changing strategy move away from hardware," said Michael Turits, managing director of equity research for financial services company Raymond James & Associates.

Nadella indicated that Microsoft will largely abandon low-price Nokia Asha phones - which work on their own non-Windows operating system - and reverse a strategically questionable move by Nokia in February to launch a line of phones called "X'' that supported rival Google Inc.'s Android platform.

"To win in the higher price tiers, we will focus on breakthrough innovation that expresses and enlivens Microsoft's digital work and digital life experiences," Nadella said in the memo.

Some 1,350 Seattle-area workers around Microsoft's Redmond, Washington, headquarters were laid off Thursday, as were 1,800 workers in Hungary and nearly 370 in San Diego. The Nokia cuts include 1,100 jobs in Finland.

In addition, the company is closing its Xbox Entertainment Studios, a 2-year-old venture based in Santa Monica, California, that produced original video content but was seen as separate from Microsoft's core business.

Microsoft Corp. expects charges of $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion over the next four quarters, largely for severance payments. The move puts the company on track to meet the target it set in September, when it announced the Nokia purchase, of saving $600 million in annual costs within 18 months after the deal closed. Ballmer announced the Nokia deal a month after he said he was resigning.

FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives said the cuts were about double what Wall Street was expecting.

"Microsoft needs to be a leaner and meaner technology giant over the coming years in order to strike the right balance of growth and profitability around its cloud and mobile endeavors," he said.

The move dwarfs Microsoft's previous biggest job cut, when it eliminated about 5,800 jobs in 2009. That was the company's first widespread layoff.

Microsoft has been shifting its focus from traditional PC software to cloud computing and cloud-based products like its Office 365 productivity software that can operate on mobile devices.

With its $7.3 billion acquisition of Nokia's cellphone business, Microsoft had sought to meld its software and hardware business into a cohesive package, similar to rival Apple.

But investors had lingering doubts about the strategy, especially because the two brands' market share in smartphones and tablets was so far behind Apple and Samsung. According to the latest financials, the Surface and Nokia device units are both losing money.

Nokia phones ran a wide array of operating systems that were not helpful to Microsoft's Windows brand. The Asha operating system, for instance, lacked features like the ability to use mobile versions of Office software or even GPS mapping.

Soon after the deal was announced, Nokia's overall handset sales plunged 29 percent in the final quarter of last year, even as its high-end Lumia devices grew quickly.

The Nokia purchase "is not a deal that (Nadella) agreed upon or negotiated or perhaps really wanted," said Scott Kessler, senior equity analyst at S&P Capital IQ. "Secondly, it seems that the market has changed pretty significantly over the last year ... pretty traumatic cuts seem probably somewhat appropriate at this point."

In a letter to employees, Executive Vice President Stephen Elop said the company will drive sales of its Windows Phone by targeting the lower-price smartphone market with its Lumia devices.

A separate memo by a Microsoft executive in India posted by the BGR website said the company will stop engaging with developers on new apps for Nokia X, Asha and Series 40 phones, but maintain support for customers who own the phones.

In a blog post a week ago, Nadella hinted at the move, saying Microsoft had to "change and evolve" its culture for the "mobile-first and cloud-first world."

Nadella planned to provide more details when Microsoft reports fiscal 2014 results on Tuesday. He will also address staff Friday at a monthly question-and-answer session.

Shares of Microsoft closed up 45 cents, or 1 percent, to $44.53 on Thursday. The stock is up about 19 percent since the start of the year.


(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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US Unemployment Aid Applications Drop to 320,000 http://www.kristv.com/news/us-unemployment-aid-applications-drop-to-320-000/ http://www.kristv.com/news/us-unemployment-aid-applications-drop-to-320-000/ National News Thu, 17 Jul 2014 9:32:04 PM Associated Press US Unemployment Aid Applications Drop to 320,000

WASHINGTON (AP) - The number of people seeking U.S. unemployment benefits fell last week, a steady decline that suggests a strengthening job market.

Weekly applications for unemployment aid dipped 3,000 to a seasonally adjusted 302,000, the Labor Department said Thursday.

The four-week average, a less volatile measure, dropped 3,000 to 309,000, the lowest level since June 2007, about five months before the start of the Great Recession.

Applications are a proxy for layoffs, a sign that they expect economic growth to continue. When businesses are confident enough to keep staff, they are also likely to hire more people.

Hiring is at its healthiest clip since the late 1990s and the 6.1 percent unemployment rate is at a 5 1/2-year low. Employers added 288,000 jobs in June, the fifth straight month of job gains above 200,000.

The latest report on unemployment benefits "suggests another solid payroll report" with job additions in July, said Jennifer Lee, a senior economist at BMO Capital Markets.

Still, the steady hiring gains have yet to boost wages significantly. Wage growth has barely matched inflation since the recession ended five years ago.

But more people with jobs increases the total number of paychecks, which could boost consumer spending and growth. After a sharp contraction in the economy in the first three months of the year, most economists expect growth to return in the April-June quarter and exceed 3 percent at an annual pace in the second half of 2014.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Bank Robbers and Hostage Killed http://www.kristv.com/news/bank-robbers-and-hostage-killed/ http://www.kristv.com/news/bank-robbers-and-hostage-killed/ National News Thu, 17 Jul 2014 1:58:37 PM Associated Press Bank Robbers and Hostage Killed

STOCKTON, Calif. (AP) - A gang of bank robbers who took three women hostage during their getaway attempt and waged a deadly, high-speed gunbattle with police were heavily armed, had ammunition magazines taped or strapped to their bodies and intended to kill, police said Thursday.

Two of the robbers were killed Wednesday afternoon along with a hostage who police said was used by the only surviving suspect, 19-year-old Jaime Ramos, as a shield.

"In my over two decades of law enforcement I have never seen or experienced this type of total disregard for human life," Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones said.

During the hour-long chase through the streets, two of the hostages jumped or were thrown from the stolen SUV, one of them while the vehicle may have been going more than 50 mph. At least one suffered a gunshot wound. Both were expected to survive.

The drama began when the men held up a Bank of the West branch in Stockton, a city about 80 miles east of San Francisco, and took two bank employees and a customer hostage. It ended in a hail of gunfire after police shot out the tires of the getaway vehicle.

It was not clear whether the hostage who died - the bank customer - was shot by police or by the robbers.

"What we've got to remember is what and who started this very deadly incident. It's three armed and very violent suspects," police spokesman Joe Silva said.

The sole surviving suspect was identified as Jaime Ramos, 19, of Stockton. Police said the other robbers, ages 27 and 30, were gang members, also from Stockton.

Police said that they recovered at least three handguns and an assault rifle.

"It was such a chaotic ... fluid situation, really one of the most dangerous, tense situations that a police officer could go through," Jones said. He added: "There was a lot on the line and the officers responded appropriately."

Fourteen police cars and many homes along the chase route were peppered with bullets, Jones said.

"The firing never stopped," Jones said. "They were trying to kill (the officers), no doubt."

Witnesses said the shootout that brought the episode to a close looked like a war.

"It sounded like five minutes of straight gunfire," Sam York told KCRA-TV. "It seemed like it wasn't real."

At one point during the pursuit, the SUV - taken from a bank employee - stopped around a corner and turned to face the direction officers were coming from, in what would have been an ambush, police said.

One of the gunmen was leaning out, taking aim with a rifle, police said. An officer shot at the gunman, and the SUV took off again.

When the SUV's tires were shot and the vehicle came to a stop, officers exchanged fire with at least one of the robbers, police said.

When it was all over, the last hostage was found dead in the SUV along with one of the gunmen, police said. A second gunmen died later at a hospital.

Jose Maldonado, who said he saw the robbers taking the women out of the bank, said the men had rifles slung over their shoulders and didn't seem to care that there were police all around.

"They were not afraid. They weren't going to take no for an answer. These poor women, they were screaming, they were so distraught, so scared," Maldonado said.

Police did not say how much was taken in the bank robbery. During the holdup, the gunmen also tied up a security guard.

____

Associated Press reporters Lisa Leff, Terry Collins, Sudhin Thanawala and Daisy Nguyen contributed to this report from San Francisco.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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Senators Call on GM CEO to Fire Top Lawyer http://www.kristv.com/news/senators-call-on-gm-ceo-to-fire-top-lawyer/ http://www.kristv.com/news/senators-call-on-gm-ceo-to-fire-top-lawyer/ National News Thu, 17 Jul 2014 12:09:57 PM Associated Press Senators Call on GM CEO to Fire Top Lawyer

WASHINGTON (AP) - Lawmakers on Thursday demanded General Motors fire its chief lawyer and open its compensation plan to more potential victims as a Senate subcommittee delved deeper into GM's mishandling of the recall of small cars with defective ignition switches.

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., who chairs the subcommittee, praised GM CEO Mary Barra, saying she "has stepped up, and with courage and conviction has confronted the problem head on and the corporate culture that caused it."

But McCaskill also put Barra on the spot, telling the CEO that she should have fired GM's corporate counsel, Michael Milliken, based on the conclusions of an internal report by outside attorney Anton Valukas. Milliken sat next to Barra as she defended him as a man of "tremendously high integrity."

The Valukas report found that GM's legal staff acted too slowly to share details of settlements it was making in cases involving Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions where the front air bag hadn't deployed in a crash, possibly due to a defect in the ignition switch. The lawyers didn't alert engineers or top executives to a potential safety issue.

She also questioned why Milliken didn't inform GM's board or the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission of the potential for punitive damages as GM settled the cases, saying, "This is a either gross negligence or gross incompetence on the part of a lawyer," she said.

Barra said Milliken had a system in place but it failed. Some lawyers were among the 15 people the company let go based on Valukas' report.

Milliken said he only learned about the ignition switch problems in February and acted quickly once he did. He said any potential settlement, no matter how small, must now be brought to him before any action is taken.

But Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., also called for Milliken to be fired, saying that an ongoing Justice Department investigation will likely find evidence of "cover-up, concealment, deceit and even fraud" within GM's legal team.

He also asked Milliken whether the company would make public all of the documents it gave to Valukas, whether it would unseal previous settlements and whether GM would waive the legal shield from its bankruptcy that protects it from lawsuits related to crashes that happened before July of 2009.

In all three cases, Milliken said no.

Milliken also acknowledged that the attorneys dismissed from GM received a retirement package based on the salary they would have made if they hadn't been terminated. Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., suggested that's why the attorneys aren't challenging their dismissal.

GM has admitted that it knew about the faulty switches for more than a decade before recalling the cars. The ignition switches can fall out of the "run" position, causing the engines to stall. It took years for GM engineers to connect the switch problem to the failure of front air bags to deploy in certain crashes.

GM recalled 2.6 million small cars beginning in February. That recall prompted an unprecedented safety review within the company, which has since issued 54 separate recalls for 29 million vehicles.

Lawmakers also questioned Rodney O'Neal, the CEO of Delphi, which made the switches for GM. The switches didn't meet GM's specifications when they were first used in 2001. Later, a GM engineer changed the design but didn't change the part number, making it harder to trace the problem.

O'Neal said Delphi wasn't informed about problems until February, and said the company bears no responsibility. Barra agreed.

O'Neal also said it's common for changes to be made in parts without changing the part number. In 2013, he said, Delphi had about 120,000 engineering changes, and only about 40 percent of them had a part number change. In the case of the GM switch, however, Barra has previously called not changing the part number "unacceptable."

Compensation expert Kenneth Feinberg, who is administering a plan for victims' families, was the first to testify Thursday. The plan will begin taking claims Aug. 1.

Blumenthal asked Feinberg if the compensation plan should be expanded to cover victims of other recalls, specifically a June 30 recall of 8.2 million older large cars such as the Chevrolet Impala and Malibu with ignition key defects. In that case, the switch meets GM's regulations but the key can pull it out of the "run" position.

Feinberg said it's not up to him which vehicles to include.

___

Durbin reported from Detroit. AP Auto Writer Tom Krisher also contributed to this report.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

 


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