JERUSALEM (AP) — A Good Friday tradition has played out again today in Jerusalem’s Old City.
Hundreds of Christians hoisted wooden crosses and chanted prayers as they walked through the cobblestone alleyways, retracing Jesus’ steps on the way to crucifixion. Later today, a service is scheduled in Bethlehem’s Church of the Nativity, the traditional site of Jesus’ birth. Continue Reading
WASHINGTON (AP) — Consumers earned more and spent more in February, helped by a stronger job market that has offset some of the drag from higher taxes.
The Commerce Department says consumer spending rose 0.7 percent in February compared with January. It was the biggest gain in five months and followed a 0.4 percent rise in January, which was revised up from an initial 0.2 percent estimate. Income rose 1.1 percent last month. That followed January’s 3.7 percent plunge and December’s 2.6 percent surge. Continue Reading
The U-S-D-A spring planting survey shows farmers across the country intend to plant a little more corn and slightly less soybeans in the upcoming growing season.
Iowa goes slightly against that trend. The state was the top corn producer in the nation last year and estimates show farmers will plant the same 14-point-two-million acres in corn planted last year. Iowa soybean acres are expected to increase by one-percent to nine-point-four-million acres. Overall, the report says 97-point-three million acres will be planted to corn this year compared to 97-point-two million last year. Bean acreage is projected at 77-point-one-million acres, compared to 77-point-two million in 2012. Continue Reading
Prosecutors in the Colorado theater shooting on Thursday rejected an offer from suspect James Holmes to plead guilty in exchange for avoiding the death penalty and accused defense lawyers of a serious breach of court rules by making the offer public. In a scathing court document, prosecutors said the defense has repeatedly refused to give them the information they need to evaluate the plea offer, so the offer can’t be considered genuine. No plea agreement exists, prosecutors said, and one “is extremely unlikely based on the present information available to the prosecution.” They also said anyone reading news stories about the offer would inevitably conclude “the defendant knows that he is guilty, the defense attorneys know that he is guilty, and that both of them know that he was not criminally insane.” Neither the defense nor the prosecution immediately returned phone calls Thursday. Continue Reading
The former chef at Virginia’s executive mansion has been indicted on embezzlement charges amid a continuing criminal investigation into his tenure as head of kitchen operations for the governor and first family. Todd Schneider was arrested Thursday on four felony embezzlement counts. The indictments handed up March 20 allege that Schneider embezzled property valued at $200 or more from the state in July, September and December of 2011 and in January of 2012. The indictments contain no further details. The 52-year-old Schneider, now a Sarasota, Fla., resident, turned himself in to the Virginia State Police and was released on a $2,000 personal recognizance bond. Continue Reading
A California border patrol agentpled guilty Thursday to taking bribes in exchange for letting illegal immigrants into the U.S.
According to court records, Hector Rodriguez confessed that from 2010 until his arrest on July 13, 2012 he received bribes such as cash, luxury vehicles and the use of an apartment for allowing illegal immigrants to pass through his inspected lane at the San Ysidro Port-of-Entry. Rodriguez confessed to receiving the bribes from Gerardo Rodriguez and Maria Guerrero, his co-defendants in the case. Records state that in one instance, Gerardo Rodriguez drove a vehicle containing 8 illegal aliens and codefendant Vanessa Moya drove a vehicle containing 6 illegal aliens through Hector Rodriguez’s inspection lane. To conceal the smuggling, Rodriguez would enter false information about who was driving the vehicle and the number of occupants into the government database. Hector Rodriguez was charged with conspiracy to bring illegal aliens in for financial gain and to receive bribes, bringing in aliens for financial gain, and bribery. Continue Reading
A California Chick-fil-A surprised gay marriage supportersat a rally by passing out free meals coupons, despite the fast food chain’s COO’s outspoken stance against same-sex marriage. The Los Angeles Daily News reports Corey Braun, the owner and operator of a franchise in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., says he felt the gathering was an opportunity to show hospitality to members of his community, regardless of their beliefs. “I wanted to show that Chick-fil-A doesn’t discriminate against anybody,” Braun told the Los Angeles Daily News. “We serve everyone. We’re happy to serve the community and this was an opportunity to have this group come in and show them our hospitality regardless of their beliefs, sexual orientation, or whatever.” Continue Reading
V-C-U HEAD COACH SHAKA SMART HAS TURNED DOWN AN OVERTURE FROM MINNESOTA…
SMART, WHO COACHED V-C-U TO THE FINAL FOUR IN 2011, WILL STAY WITH THE SCHOOL… HE EVEN WILL GET A CONTRACT EXTENSION THROUGH 2023 BY TURNING DOWN MINNESOTA’S OFFER TO BECOME THE GOLDEN GOPHERS NEXT HEAD COACH…
MINNESOTA FIRED TUBBY SMITH FROM THE SAME POSITION EARLIER THIS WEEK… Continue Reading
THE IOWA HAWKEYES MEN’S BASKETBALL TEAM IS NOW JUST TWO WINS AWAY FROM THE NATIONAL INVITATION TOURNAMENT TITLE…
IOWA WENT ON THE ROAD AND BOUNCED VIRGINIA 75-64 WEDNESDAY NIGHT TO WIN A QUARTERFINAL N-I-T MATCHUP. THE HAWKEYES WILL PLAY AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN IN NEW YORK CITY TUESDAY AGAINST MARYLAND. HEAR THAT GAME ON NEWS RADIO 1490 KBUR…