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By Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - From the moment U.S. prosecutors stand up on Wednesday and begin their case against accused Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, their minds and those of their defense counterparts will be focused on just one thing: The death penalty. Tsarnaev, 21, is accused of killing three people and injuring 264 with a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs left at the race's crowded finish line on April 15, 2013, in the largest mass-casualty attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001. "The bottom line is you're not going to get a not guilty in this case," said Jules Epstein, a Widener University School of Law professor who has represented defendants in federal and Pennsylvania death penalty cases. So every move is with an eye on the end game and that is avoiding death." Tsarnaev has pleaded not guilty to all charges and his attorneys have offered little detail on their case, with the bulk of both prosecution and defense filings under seal in Boston federal court.
By Richard Cowan and David Lawder WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Congress narrowly averted a partial shutdown of the U.S. domestic security agency late on Friday night, but the forces behind the chaotic episode remain - fractious Republicans and House Speaker John Boehner's lack of control over them. In five to seven months, the federal debt ceiling will again be reached, and by October Congress must pass spending bills to keep the government running in the new fiscal year. Failing to deal effectively with these issues could have much more damaging repercussions - such as a broad government shutdown or a debt default - than a partial shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Some conservatives speak of ousting Boehner, but it is unlikely they can muster enough votes, while others made clear on Friday that they were willing to take big risks to score ideological points. Brinkmanship like this, reminiscent of 2013's 16-day federal government shutdown, was supposed to be over.
BOISE, Idaho (AP) ? Ten-year-old Alexis Carey has a rare but intractable form of epilepsy, Dravet Syndrome. The genetic disease causes severe and multiple seizures, which often leave parents guessing if the terror of watching their child seize up will pass or turn fatal.
CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) ? Spacewalking astronauts successfully completed a three-day cable job outside the International Space Station on Sunday, routing several-hundred feet of power and data lines for new crew capsules commissioned by NASA.
LANCASTER, Pa. (AP) ? Authorities say a Pennsylvania man accused of killing his wife with an ax on Christmas Eve was pronounced dead after a suicide attempt left him brain-dead.
NEW YORK (AP) ? Will Smith's con-man caper "Focus" dethroned "Fifty Shades of Grey" at the box office, but the film's modest $19.1 million opening still left questions about the drawing power of the once unstoppable star.