NASA Spacecraft Nears Second Stop: Dwarf Planet Ceres

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — A NASA spacecraft is preparing to rendezvous with the largest object in the asteroid belt located between Mars and Jupiter. The Dawn craft is on target to slip into orbit around the dwarf planet Ceres on Friday after a three-year journey. It’ll be the second stop for Dawn, which earlier visited the asteroid Vesta. Dawn has been snapping pictures of Ceres as it nears the Texas-sized object. Continue Reading

Nurse who Survived Ebola says Hospital Failed Her

DALLAS (AP) — A nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for the first person in the U.S. diagnosed with the deadly disease tells a newspaper that the hospital where she had worked in Dallas and its parent company failed her during the medical crisis. Nina Pham tells The Dallas Morning News she is preparing to file a lawsuit Monday in Dallas County against Texas Health Resources. Pham says she continues to suffer from body aches and insomnia after contracting Ebola from Thomas Eric Duncan, who died after catching the disease during an outbreak in West Africa. Wendell Watson, a spokesman for Texas Health Resources, says the hospital system continues “to support and wish the best for her, and we remain optimistic that constructive dialogue can resolve this matter.” Continue Reading

Christie to Calif. Republicans: No Rush to Pick 2016 Nominee

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is telling California Republicans the party should not rush to choose a 2016 presidential nominee because of pressure from pundits and donors. Christie addressed about 500 lunch guests Saturday at the California Republican Party’s convention in Sacramento. He says news stories in the coming months will say Republicans can’t afford a long nomination battle and should “unite behind whatever candidate appears to have the most money, the most endorsements or the best press coverage.” But he reminded the audience that former California Gov. Ronald Reagan didn’t win the presidential nomination until May 1980, and President Barack Obama didn’t win the Democratic nomination until June 2008. Continue Reading

Seven Killed in Missouri Shootings

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri State Highway Patrol says seven people have been killed in overnight shootings in southeastern Missouri and that the gunman is also dead. Sergeant Jeff Kinder says the 36-year-old suspect was found dead in Shannon County early Friday from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound. Investigators say the attacks took place in multiple locations in and around the town of Tyrone, in Texas County, about 40 miles north of the Arkansas border. Authorities have not named the victims or the gunman. Continue Reading

Custom Dress Worn by Lupita Nyong’o at Oscars Stolen

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Los Angeles sheriff’s detectives are investigating the theft of a $150,000 pearl-adorned dress worn by actress Lupita Nyong’o at Sunday’s Academy Awards. Sheriff’s Sgt. Richard Bowman says the dress was reported stolen from a West Hollywood hotel around 11:20 p.m. Wednesday. The ivory Calvin Klein dress featured 6,000 pearls of various sizes. Detectives are reviewing whether security footage is available that would aid the investigation. Continue Reading

NY Transit Officials Review Safety After Train-Car Collision

NEW YORK (AP) — The chairman of New York’s transportation agency says officials are reviewing safety practices at railroad crossings after an SUV drove onto the tracks and collided with a commuter train. Metropolitan Transportation Authority Chairman Thomas Prendergast said Wednesday the agency is partnering with a nonprofit that educates the public about the dangers at railroad crossings. The crossing where the crash occurred in the Westchester County community of Valhalla has no barrier between the street and the tracks. Prendergast said such crossings present safety issues. He said it would cost millions to build an overpass or tunnel at the many street-level crossings on the Metro-North Railroad and the Long Island Rail Road. Continue Reading

Without Hate Crime, US Limited in Prosecuting Zimmerman

MIAMI (AP) — The Justice Department’s decision to not prosecute a civilian neighborhood-watch volunteer for a hate crime in the shooting death of an unarmed black teenager isn’t necessarily a harbinger of how it will rule in two other high-profile deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police. Legal experts say that’s because the standards used to gauge the existence of a hate crime committed by civilians are different from those used to measure the behavior of police officers. Because George Zimmerman was not a police officer, the experts say, the Justice Department could only prosecute him for fatally shooting teenager Trayvon Martin nearly three years ago if it had sufficient evidence the killing was motivated by racial bias or hatred. The department determined there was insufficient evidence to prove that. Continue Reading

Congress Sends Keystone Bill to Obama, who Plans to Veto it

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner says Congress is sending President Barack Obama legislation to build the Keystone XL pipeline on Tuesday. The White House is indicating Obama will quickly veto it in private over Republican lawmakers’ urging that he sign it. It would be the third veto of Obama’s presidency. Republicans may try to override Obama’s veto, but have yet to show they can muster the two-thirds majority in both chambers that they would need. First proposed in 2008, the pipeline would connect Canada’s tar sands to Gulf Coast refineries. Continue Reading

Arias won’t Address Jury as Sentencing Retrial Nears End

PHOENIX (AP) — Convicted murderer Jodi Arias has declined to address a jury considering whether to sentence her to life in prison or death in the killing of her former boyfriend. Arias said Monday that she wanted to make comments to jurors but insisted the courtroom be cleared. She said she wouldn’t make any remarks if she could be seen and heard from a remote viewing room. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Sherry Stephens said an appeals court has forbidden Arias from making such closed-door comments. Lawyers are scheduled to make closing arguments Tuesday in the proceeding that began in mid-October and has dragged on months longer than expected. Continue Reading