Pentagon: An al-Qaida leader killed in Afghanistan airstrike

WASHINGTON — A U.S. counterterrorism airstrike earlier this month in Afghanistan killed an al-Qaida leader responsible for a deadly hotel attack in Islamabad in 2008 and the 2009 attack on a bus carrying the Sri Lankan cricket team, the Pentagon said Saturday. In confirming the death of Qari Yasin, U.S. officials said Yasin was a senior terrorist figure from Balochistan, Pakistan, had ties to the group Tehrik-e Taliban and had plotted multiple al-Qaida terror attacks. The airstrike that led to his death was conducted March 19 in Paktika Province, Afghanistan. Yasin plotted the Sept. 20, 2008, bombing on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad that killed dozens, officials said. The victims… Read More

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In West Virginia, LGBTQ advocates see a shift toward support

CROSS LANES, W.Va. — Between the Kanawha River and the rugged mountains of West Virginia, a group of transgender teenagers and their parents are gathered in a small room at a local library to compare notes. It’s the second meeting of a support group founded by local resident Mary Nichols in a growing effort to navigate new territory: raising a transgender child in a state where resources for them are scant. While these types of meetings are novel in small cities and towns like those that dot West Virginia, they are becoming more and more common. A recent Reuters analysis showed that since the Supreme Court legalized marriage equality in… Read More

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Montana man identified as Las Vegas Strip shooting victim

LAS VEGAS — Authorities say a Montana man was shot and killed on a Las Vegas bus before the gunman barricaded himself in the vehicle, shutting down the Strip for hours. The Clark County coroner’s office identified the victim Sunday as 57-year-old Gary Breitling of Sidney, Montana. He died at a hospital shortly after the gunfire was reported Saturday. Related ArticlesMarch 25, 2017 Gunman surrenders after fatal shooting on Las Vegas Strip Police haven’t released information on the suspect, who surrendered peacefully after a standoff inside the double-decker bus that lasted more than four hours. The bus had stopped on the Strip near the Cosmopolitan hotel-casino, forcing the heart of… Read More

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Oklahoma lawmakers, voters disagree on punishments for drug crimes

Despite decades of leading the country in female incarceration rates and evidence that long sentences do not deter drug users, Oklahoma lawmakers are rushing to undermine recent voter initiatives that weakened punishments for drug offenses and invested in rehabilitation services. Oklahoma voters in November turned drug possession charges, which had been felonies with the exception of a first-time marijuana offense, into misdemeanors, capping the maximum punishment at one year in jail and a $1,000 fine, effective July 1. They also reallocated money saved toward mental health and rehabilitation services. In a swift response, the House passed House Bill 1482 this month with the minimum votes required, ensuring the change would… Read More

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Uber supends self-driving vehicle program following Arizona accident

Uber Technologies Inc. on Saturday halted a pilot program for self-driving vehicles following an accident on Saturday in Arizona. The accident took place in the city of Tempe after the driver of a second vehicle made a turn and failed to yield to a self-driving Uber, police said. Two “safety” drivers were sitting in the front seats of the Uber car when the crash took place, the company told Reuters. Tempe Police Sgt. Josie Montenegro said the Uber vehicle, a Volvo SUV, was not responsible for the accident, which caused the car to flip on its side. “There was a person behind the wheel,” Montenegro said about the Uber vehicle.… Read More

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UK: Attacker used WhatsApp, firm must help police get access

LONDON — Westminster Bridge attacker Khalid Masood sent a WhatsApp message that cannot be accessed because it was encrypted by the popular messaging service, a top British security official said Sunday. British press reports suggest Masood used the messaging service owned by Facebook just minutes before the Wednesday rampage that left three pedestrians and one police officer dead and dozens more wounded. As controversy swirled over the encrypted messages, police made another arrest in Birmingham, England, where Masood had lived. The 30-year-old is one of two men now in custody over possible links to the attack. Neither has been charged or publicly named. Masood was shot dead on the grounds… Read More

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