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Futures News - Yahoo News - Latest News & Headlines
From today, October 17, 2017
- Insurance payouts may not cover all wildfire damage for California wineries
Wineries damaged by wildfires tearing through Northern California are starting insurance claims, and at least some of the smaller vintners are likely to find limits in their policies mean payouts fall short of rebuilding costs. Gaps in coverage and a spike in rebuilding costs, typical after disaster, may come as a shock to many small wineries, favorites of Napa and Sonoma county tourists, said Tom Pagano, who heads the vineyard insurance practice for insurance broker Aon Plc. "The easy part of insurance is buildings burning down,? Pagano said, describing the complicated claims process.
- Dozens missing in California wildfires as more evacuees return home
By Jim Christie SANTA ROSA, Calif. (Reuters) - Search-and-rescue teams in Northern California will continue to comb through burned homes for dozens of people still missing in the state's deadliest wildfires, which have killed at least 41 people and destroyed thousands of homes. Light winds were expected, a condition that has helped 11,000 firefighters control the flames which in the past week have consumed more than 245,000 acres (86,200 hectares) in the state - an area more than five times the size of Washington, D.C. The affected area includes Napa and Sonoma counties in California's wine country. "We're in a far better position today than we were several days ago," Calistoga Mayor Chris Canning told Reuters in a phone interview early on Tuesday, referring to the Napa Valley.
- U.S. appeals court rejects hedge fund founder's FBI misconduct case
A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit by hedge fund founder David Ganek, who claimed federal authorities lied to get a search warrant against his fund in an insider trading investigation. A unanimous panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan ruled that, even if the Federal Bureau of Investigation did make false statements, it had good cause for a warrant to search the offices of Ganek's Level Global Investors anyway.
- U.S. indicts major Chinese traffickers for selling fentanyl online
By Sarah N. Lynch and Doina Chiacu WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice has indicted two major Chinese drug traffickers on charges of making illegal versions of fentanyl and selling the highly addictive drug to Americans over the internet and through international mail. Xiaobing Yan, 40, and Jian Zhang, 38, who are both in China and have not been taken into U.S. custody, were charged with conspiring to distribute large quantities of fentanyl and fentanyl analogues into the United States, the Justice Department said.
- Trump's drug czar nominee withdraws from consideration
The U.S. lawmaker who was President Donald Trump's pick for drug czar withdrew on Tuesday after it became public he spearheaded a bill that hurt the government's ability to crack down on opioid makers flooding the market with the addictive painkillers. Trump had pegged Representative Tom Marino, a Republican from Pennsylvania, to lead the Office of National Drug Control Policy, as the administration faces an epidemic of opioid overdoses that is killing tens of thousands of Americans annually. Trump wrote on Twitter: "Rep. Tom Marino has informed me that he is withdrawing his name from consideration as drug czar.
- Police say unconfirmed report of shooter at DC's Howard University
Washington police are checking a report of a gunman at Howard University in the U.S. capital, authorities said on Tuesday. Take precautions if in the area," the Metropolitan Police Department said on Twitter. Washington's alert system said streets were closed off near Howard, a private university with more than 10,000 students.
- Britain has no plans to walk away from Brexit talks - Davis says
LONDON (Reuters) - British negotiators have no plans to walk away from Brexit talks with the European Union, Brexit minister David Davis said on Tuesday, after some lawmakers suggested the talks should end if there is no progress at a summit later this week. "There are no plans to get up and walk away," Davis told parliament. (Reporting by William James and Elizabeth Piper; editing by Guy Faulconbridge)
- Sixteen inmates charged with murder in Delaware prison uprising
A Delaware grand jury has indicted 16 prison inmates for first-degree murder over a February uprising during which a guard was killed and others taken hostage, prosecutors said on Tuesday. Prisoners seized Lieutenant Steven Floyd, two other corrections officers and a counselor during the Feb. 1-2 uprising at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center. A New Castle County grand jury handed up charges against a total of 18 inmates that include assault, kidnapping, riot and conspiracy, Delaware's Justice Department said in a statement.
- U.S. safety board criticizes FAA, pilot on deadly U.S. balloon crash
The National Transportation Safety board on Tuesday faulted U.S. aviation regulators and the pilot in the July 2016 Texas balloon crash that killed 16 people, the deadliest U.S. aviation accident in more than seven years. The hearing comes after the Federal Aviation Administration said earlier this year no new balloon regulations were needed, despite a long-standing push by the board to require more oversight of the operations. It was the deadliest crash ever involving a hot air balloon in the Western Hemisphere, according to the Balloon Federation of North America.
- Boston man plotted Islamic State beheading, prosecutors say
Federal prosecutors on Tuesday said a Massachusetts man accused of plotting to attack police and behead a conservative blogger was a passionate supporter of the Islamic State militant group who recruited people including his own uncle into the scheme. The prosecutors contend that David Wright, 28, along with his uncle and a friend had plotted to kill the blogger, a woman who organized a 2015 "Draw Mohammed" contest in Garland, Texas. "The defendant was a sophisticated recruiter, he manipulated people, including his own uncle, into believing that they needed to join ISIS and kill Americans," said Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Siegmann, using a common acronym to refer to Islamic State.
- U.S. top court drops Leidos contracting fraud case after settlement
(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday canceled arguments in a securities fraud dispute involving Virginia-based government contractor Leidos Inc after the company and investors told the court they had reached a settlement.
- U.S. Justice Dept will review new law's impact on DEA powers: official
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said on Tuesday he was very concerned about a report that said new legislation has undermined the Drug Enforcement Administration's ability to crack down on opioid dealers and said the Justice Department would review the law.
- GM to test self-driving cars in N.Y. in early 2018: Gov. Cuomo
(Reuters) - General Motors Co plans to test vehicles in fully autonomous mode in New York state in early 2018, according to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. The planned testing by GM and its self-driving unit, Cruise Automation, will be the first by a Level 4 autonomous vehicle in the state, Cuomo said in a statement. A level 3 car still needs a steering wheel and a driver who can take over if the car encounters a problem, while level 4 promises driverless features in dedicated lanes.
- Search suspended for worker missing after Louisiana oil platform explosion
The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended the search for a worker missing from an oil production platform in Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain that exploded and caught fire late on Sunday. Missing is Timothy Morrison, 44, of Katy, Texas, the Coast Guard said in a statement. "The decision to suspend a search is never an easy one," Commander Zac Ford said in the statement.
- Florida governor declares emergency before white nationalist's speech
Rallies by neo-Nazis and white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August led to violent street clashes with counter-protesters. "This executive order is an additional step to ensure that the University of Florida and the entire community is prepared so everyone can stay safe," Scott said in a statement. Scott said in the order there was a need to implement a coordinated security plan among local and state agencies before the speech by Richard Spencer on Thursday in Gainesville.
- Searchers pick through burned-out California homes for bodies
By Paresh Dave SANTA ROSA, Calif. (Reuters) - Search-and-rescue teams combed through gutted homes across California's celebrated wine country on Monday, looking for the charred bodies of those killed in the state's deadliest wildfires, as survivors slowly began returning home. With 88 people still unaccounted for in Sonoma County alone, local officials said they expected the death toll to rise. "I would expect to find some of the missing in their burned-out homes," Sonoma County Sheriff Robert Giordano told reporters at a Monday morning news briefing, standing in front of maps and charts of the 14 still-burning blazes.
- Senate Republicans gain moment on tax reform budget measure
By David Morgan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Senate Republicans on Monday gained crucial support for a vote on a budget resolution that is vital to President Donald Trump's hopes of signing sweeping tax reform legislation into law before January. Two Republican lawmakers, once seen as potential 'no' votes, said they would likely support the measure. A third, Senator Rand Paul, may vote 'yes' depending on what the final resolution looks like.
- Trucker in deadly Texas immigrant case pleads guilty, faces life sentence
The driver of a truck packed with immigrants, 10 of whom died due to sweltering Texas heat in July, pleaded guilty on Monday to human smuggling charges and could face up to life in prison, prosecutors said. James Bradley Jr., 61, pleaded guilty at a federal court in San Antonio to one count of conspiracy to transport aliens resulting in death and one count of transporting aliens resulting in death, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas said in a statement. Bradley told investigators he was caught by surprise when he opened the trailer doors outside a Walmart store in San Antonio on July 23, only to be knocked down by a group of "Spanish" people pouring out of the rig, according to the criminal complaint filed in the case.
- NFL to tackle protests as Trump decries 'disrespectful' players
Trump has continued to rail at the symbolic kneeling, which has only become more widespread since his first comments last month, saying as recently as Monday that players who do so should be suspended for insulting the country. "And the NFL should suspended some of these players for one game," Trump told reporters at the White House on Monday.
- U.S. Army Sergeant Bergdahl could face life sentence for endangering troops
By Colleen Jenkins FORT BRAGG, N.C. (Reuters) - U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl pleaded guilty on Monday to deserting his duties in Afghanistan in June 2009 and endangering the lives of fellow troops, a step toward resolving the politically charged case that could send him to prison for life. During last year's presidential campaign, Republican Donald Trump called Bergdahl "a no-good traitor." In court on Monday, Bergdahl admitted wrongdoing but said he never intended to put anyone at risk. "I didn't think there'd be any reason to pull off a crucial mission to look for one guy," he said, adding that his actions were "very inexcusable." Bergdahl pleaded guilty to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy, with the latter offense carrying a possible life sentence.
- Woman accusing Trump of misconduct subpoenas presidential campaign
A woman who has said that U.S. President Donald Trump groped her during a 2007 meeting has subpoenaed his presidential campaign for any documents concerning similar allegations, according to a subpoena filed in New York State Supreme Court. Summer Zervos, a former contestant on Trump's reality TV show "The Apprentice," sought all documents from his campaign pertaining to "any woman alleging that Donald J. Trump touched her inappropriately," identifying nine by name, the subpoena said.
- U.S. police deaths on duty spiked in 2016: FBI
By Sarah N. Lynch WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sixty-six police officers were killed on the job by felons in 2016, up about 61 percent from 41 deaths a year ago, the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation said on Monday. The number was the second highest since 2011, when 72 officers were killed by felons, according to the FBI report. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions in a statement called the numbers "shocking" and "unacceptable," and said the Justice Department would work toward reducing violent crime.
- U.S. nursing home chain faces landlord showdown over default
The fate of one of the largest U.S. nursing home operators, HCR ManorCare, will reach a critical court deadline on Thursday in a battle over months of unpaid rent, a growing problem in an industry where eviction would put thousands of elderly out on the street. Many nursing home chains spun off their properties to real estate companies over the last decade to unlock value. Now those landlords need to deal with operators behind on their rent without harming thousands of elderly residents.
- U.S. Supreme Court to decide major Microsoft email privacy fight
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to resolve a major privacy dispute between the Justice Department and Microsoft Corp over whether prosecutors should get access to emails stored on company servers overseas. The justices will hear the Trump administration's appeal of a lower court's ruling last year preventing federal prosecutors from obtaining emails stored in Microsoft computer servers in Dublin, Ireland in a drug trafficking investigation.
- Massachusetts court: Yahoo can give dead man's emails to siblings
By Nate Raymond BOSTON (Reuters) - The top court in Massachusetts ruled against Yahoo on Monday by concluding that federal law does not bar it from providing the representatives of an deceased man's estate access to his email account. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's decision marked a victory for two people who fought Yahoo for years after their brother's death in 2006, seeking access to contents of his email account.
- EPA head seeks to avoid settlements with green groups
By Timothy Gardner WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a directive to his agency on Monday seeking to end the practice of settling lawsuits with environmental groups behind closed doors, saying the groups have had too much influence on regulation. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who sued the agency he now runs more than a dozen times in his former job as attorney general of oil producing Oklahoma, has long railed against the so-called practice of "sue and settle." The EPA under former President Barack Obama quietly settled lawsuits from environmental groups with little input from regulated entities, such as power plants, and state governments, he argues.
- U.S. Senator Menendez's corruption trial to proceed: judge
By Joseph Ax NEWARK, N.J. (Reuters) - The bribery case against U.S. Senator Bob Menendez survived a key test on Monday, as the federal judge overseeing his trial rejected a defense motion to throw out the most serious charges. U.S. District Judge William Walls in Newark, New Jersey, allowed the trial to proceed on all charges, five days after suggesting he was inclined to dismiss the heart of the case based on a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year that narrowed the legal definition of public corruption. Prosecutors have accused Menendez, a 63-year-old Democrat, of taking bribes from Florida ophthalmologist Salomon Melgen in exchange for using his office to help the doctor in a variety of ways.
- Trump says working on welfare reform proposals
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he is weighing recommendations for welfare reform as his government looks for ways to cut costs. Speaking to reporters at the beginning of a cabinet meeting, Trump said some welfare recipients are taking advantage of the system, while others are not receiving enough benefits to live. He did not discuss specific recommendations. (Reporting by Roberta Rampton)
- New York jury finds New Jersey man guilty of planting Manhattan bombs in 2016
(Reuters) - A New Jersey man was found guilty by a federal jury in New York on Monday of planting two bombs in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood in September 2016, one of which exploded and wounded 30 people.
- U.S. Supreme Court rejects Guantanamo detainee's appeal
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday paved the way for a Guantanamo Bay detainee accused of being the mastermind of the 2000 bombing of the guided-missile destroyer USS Cole in a Yemeni port to go on trial before an American war crimes military tribunal. The justices declined to hear an appeal by Saudi defendant Abd al Rahim al Nashiri, who argues that the tribunal lacks the jurisdiction to conduct the trial.
- Search goes on for worker missing after Louisiana oil platform explosion
The search continued for a worker missing from an oil production platform in Louisiana's Lake Pontchartrain that exploded and caught fire late Sunday, sending six others to hospital with injuries, the U.S. Coast Guard said. Coast Guard rescue crews were battling 4 foot to 5 foot (1.2-1.5 meter) waves on the lake and a helicopter joined the search at daybreak after an overnight effort failed to locate the worker, officials said at a briefing on Monday. Three workers remain in hospital for blast and burn treatment, some in critical condition, Mike Guillot, emergency medical services director at East Jefferson General Hospital, said during a news briefing on Monday.
- Firefighters gaining edge in California wildfires that have killed at least 40
By Salvador Rodriguez SANTA ROSA (Reuters) - Firefighters began gaining ground on wildfires that killed at least 40 people in the past week, the deadliest blazes in California's history, as winds eased and searchers combed charred ruins for more victims with hundreds still missing. Two of the three most destructive Northern California fires were more than half contained early on Monday, and some residents who fled the flames in hard-hit Sonoma County could be allowed to return home later in the day, officials said. More than 5,700 structures were destroyed by more than a dozen wildfires that ignited a week ago and consumed an area larger than New York City.
- Pot farmer's dreams go up in smoke during California wildfires
By Heather Somerville SANTA ROSA, Calif. (Reuters) - Andrew Lopas' plans to bring his marijuana business out of the black market with a legal, profitable and organic pot farm went up in smoke in the wildfires that have scorched Santa Rosa, California. After four decades of growing pot illegally, the 54-year-old saw an opportunity last year to start a legitimate business serving the medical marijuana market. Last Sunday, as the wildfires, which have now killed at least 40 people, first erupted, Lopas' cannabis farm in Santa Rosa went up in flames, leaving behind the stumps of two chimneys, heaps of ash, charred marijuana plants and a despairing entrepreneur.
- Washington state boy, 13, accidentally shot dead by friend
The name of the boy who fired the gun has not been released, but the victim was identified by the Cowlitz County coroner as Edgar Vazquez, also age 13, authorities said. Vazquez and the boy who discharged the weapon "had been friends for quite some time" police said, and the victim had spent Friday night at the home where the shooting occurred.
- Pot farmer's dreams go up in smoke during California wildfires
Andrew Lopas' plans to bring his marijuana business out of the black market with a legal, profitable and organic pot farm went up in smoke in the wildfires that have scorched Santa Rosa, California. After four decades of growing pot illegally, the 54-year-old saw an opportunity last year to start a legitimate business serving the medical marijuana market. Last Sunday, as the wildfires, which have now killed at least 40 people, first erupted, Lopas' cannabis farm in Santa Rosa went up in flames, leaving behind the stumps of two chimneys, heaps of ash, charred marijuana plants and a despairing entrepreneur.
- Forty dead, neighborhoods burned to ash in California fires
Dry, warm gusts of wind are forecast for Sunday as firefighters continue to grapple with the deadliest blazes in California's history, which have killed at least 40 people and reduced entire neighborhoods to ash. More than 10,000 firefighters supported by air tankers and helicopters battled 16 major wildfires in areas north of San Francisco that have consumed some 214,000 acres (86,000 hectares), or roughly 334 square miles (865 sq km) - an area larger than New York City. Arid winds would eventually die down on Sunday afternoon, the National Weather Service said, but no rain was forecast to fall on the fires till Wednesday.
- Republican Senator Collins likely 'yes' vote to advance tax reform
U.S. Republican Senator Susan Collins, who helped torpedo President Donald Trump's effort to repeal Obamacare, said on Sunday she was leaning towards a 'yes' vote on the Senate budget resolution to advance tax reform. The Senate is expected to vote on the fiscal 2018 measure this week. The resolution contains a legislative tool that could facilitate adoption of a tax reform bill later this year.
- Afghan Taliban deny former hostage's claims of murder, rape
A Taliban spokesman denied on Sunday accusations by a Canadian man that one of his children had been murdered and his wife raped while they were being held captive by militants who kidnapped them in Afghanistan in 2012. Joshua Boyle and his American wife, Caitlan Coleman, were held by the Haqqani network, a semi-independent wing of the Afghan Taliban, before being rescued by Pakistani troops in northwest Pakistan, near the Afghan border, last week. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid rejected that as propaganda by the Western governments that helped rescue the family.
- California 'horror' fires kill at least 38, deadliest in state history
By Heather Somerville SANTA ROSA, Calif. (Reuters) - Fast-moving fires spread by shifting winds forced thousands more Californians to evacuate their homes on Saturday as the death toll from the deadliest blaze recorded in the state's history rose to at least 38, with hundreds of people still missing. About 10,000 firefighters supported by air tankers and helicopters overhead were battling 16 major wildfires, some encompassing several smaller merged blazes, in areas north of San Francisco that have consumed nearly 214,000 acres (86,000 hectares) over seven days, or roughly 334 square miles (865 sq km) - an area larger than New York City. The 38 confirmed fatalities, including 20 in Sonoma County, already make it the deadliest fire event in California history.
- Rescued Canadian-U.S. couple reunited with family; receiving medical attention
A U.S.-Canadian couple freed in Pakistan this week, nearly five years after being abducted in Afghanistan, reunited with the husband's family on Saturday, the Associated Press reported. Joshua Boyle and Caitlan Coleman arrived with their three children late on Friday in Toronto, where the husband said one of his children was murdered and his wife had been raped. Boyle, a Canadian, and Coleman, an American were kidnapped while backpacking in Afghanistan in 2012 by the Taliban-allied Haqqani network.
- Latino workers flee California wine country fires for shelters, beaches
By Noel Randewich and Peter Henderson PETALUMA, Calif./SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - At the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds north of San Francisco, Spanish is the language that dominates many conversations about shelters, work and how to survive the California wine country wildfires, one of the deadliest fire events to strike the Golden State. Flames bore down on a vineyard where Sofia Rivera, 50, was picking grapes at about 2 a.m. on Monday. The Latino population of Sonoma and Napa counties grew by more than 60 percent each between 2000 and 2015, outpacing a 38 percent growth in the Bay Area as a whole, according to U.S. Census data provided by Sonoma County.
- Canadian says child killed, U.S. wife raped during Afghan kidnapping
OTTAWA/TORONTO (Reuters) - A U.S.-Canadian couple freed in Pakistan this week, nearly five years after being abducted in Afghanistan, returned to Canada on Friday where the husband said one of his children had been murdered and his wife had been raped. American Caitlan Coleman and her Canadian husband, Joshua Boyle, were kidnapped while backpacking in Afghanistan in 2012 by the Taliban-allied Haqqani network. "Obviously, it will be of incredible importance to my family that we are able to build a secure sanctuary for our three surviving children to call a home," Boyle told reporters after arriving at Toronto's Pearson International Airport, wearing a black sweatshirt and sporting a beard.
- Five arrested in Georgia, including two law enforcement officers, over 1983 murder
The body of Timothy Coggins, 23, was found on Oct. 9, 1983, in a grassy area near power lines in the community of Sunnyside, about 30 miles (48 km) south of downtown Atlanta. Investigators spoke to people who knew Coggins, but the investigation went cold, Spalding County Sheriff Darrell Dix said at a news conference.
- Trump calls Puerto Ricans 'wonderful'; reprises comments on island's pre-storm woes
President Donald Trump praised Puerto Rico's people on Friday, calling them "wonderful" and having an "unmatched spirit" as the U.S. territory struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria and he weathers criticism for his handling of the disaster. "The wonderful people of Puerto Rico, with their unmatched spirit, know how bad things were before the [hurricanes]," Trump said on Twitter.
- Advocates for Americans held in Iran worried by Trump's hard line
By Yeganeh Torbati WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Advocates for Americans imprisoned by Iranian authorities said on Friday they were concerned the Trump administration's hard line on Iran would close off the chance for talks to secure the prisoners' release. In a major shift in U.S. policy, President Donald Trump announced he would not certify that Iran is complying with a 2015 nuclear deal and warned that he might ultimately terminate the agreement. The administration also designated Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the dominant player in the country's security, economy and politics, as a terrorist group, a move one expert said would make the group less willing to negotiate over the prisoners.
- Dark skies and chest pain as California fires spew smoke 100 miles
By Noel Randewich and Sharon Bernstein PETALUMA/SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - California's deadly wildfires have darkened the skies for a hundred miles, causing respiratory problems and making it hard to see the sun not only in the state's wine country but as far as San Francisco and Sacramento. Wind-driven smoke and soot forced coastal San Franciscans to breathe air as dirty as parts of Beijing on Thursday and Friday. "I have asthma and allergies, and my chest really hurts," said Beatriz Lerma, a white face mask over her mouth and nose in a clinic at an evacuation center in Petaluma, west of the fires.
- U.S. states sue to block Trump Obamacare subsidies cut
By Yasmeen Abutaleb and Dan Levine WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Eighteen U.S. states sued President Donald Trump's administration on Friday to stop him from scrapping a key component of Obamacare, subsidies to insurers that help millions of low-income people pay medical expenses, even as Trump invited Democratic leaders to negotiate a deal. One day after his administration announced plans to end the payments next week, Trump said he would dismantle Obamacare "step by step." His latest action raised concerns about chaos in insurance markets. The subsidies cost $7 billion this year and were estimated at $10 billion for 2018, according to congressional analysts.
- Las Vegas police say no delay in massacre response
(Reuters) - Las Vegas police presented a third version on Friday of the timeline of events for the Las Vegas gunman who killed 58 people and himself, saying they responded immediately to the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo, who oversees the Las Vegas police department, told reporters that gunman Stephen Paddock shot at Mandalay Bay hotel security guard Jesus Campos outside his room on Oct. 1 at about the same time he opened fire on the more than 20,000 concertgoers at an outdoor venue. Previously, police said that Paddock shot Campos six minutes before he started firing on the crowd, raising questions as to whether police and hotel security could have acted faster to prevent casualties in the attack.
- 32 dead, hundreds missing as California wildfires rage
By Noel Randewich SONOMA, Calif. (Reuters) - Firefighters made headway on Friday against devastating wildfires in the heart of California's wine country but said the death toll of 32 was expected to rise with hundreds of people still missing. Giordano said 45 search-and-rescue teams and 18 detectives had been deployed to comb ruined neighborhoods for more victims.
- University of North Carolina dodges penalty after sham-course probe
The University of North Carolina has avoided major penalties for running sham classes taken by scholarship athletes after a probe found they did not violate National Collegiate Athletic Association academic rules, the sports body said on Friday. Had the NCAA infractions panel found the classes existed solely to benefit athletes, the university could have faced penalties such as having its powerhouse men's basketball team barred from playing in the national championship tournament. The panel found two violations in the case - a former department chair and a former curriculum secretary failed to cooperate during at least part of the investigation, the NCAA said.