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U.S. News Headlines - Yahoo! News

Justice Department's criminal division names new No. 2

U.S. prosecutors Miller and Nardini talk with a reporter at the end of a news conference in RomeBy Aruna Viswanatha WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Justice has named Marshall Miller as the new No. 2 official in its criminal division, after a spate of departures thinned its top ranks, according to an internal memo obtained on Wednesday. Miller, who was most recently chief of the criminal division at the U.S. Attorney's office in Brooklyn, is now the deputy head of the 600-lawyer criminal division at department headquarters in Washington, said a DoJ memo dated April 17. "He's done a great job in Brooklyn," said John Buretta, Miller's predecessor in the criminal division until last November when he joined the law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore.



U.S. Justice Department announces clemency review of drug offenders

U.S. Deputy Attorney General James Cole speaks on cyber security at the Cybersecurity law summit in WashingtonBy Julia Edwards and Aruna Viswanatha WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department laid out new clemency guidelines on Wednesday that are expected to make thousands of drug offenders eligible for a reduction in the sentences they are currently serving. Under the new guidelines, inmates that were sentenced under laws that have since changed, have served at least 10 years of their sentence and are nonviolent may be re-examined by the Justice Department and suggested to the president for clemency. Deputy Attorney General James Cole, who announced the details of the plan, said the most obvious candidates for review were those sentenced before a 2010 law that lowered the terms for crack cocaine possession charges. "These older, stringent punishments that are out of line with sentences imposed under today's laws erode people's confidence in our criminal justice system," Cole said at a news conference on Wednesday.



U.S. Army plans to remove about 2,000 officers due to budget cuts

A soldier stands outside the venue for memorial service at Fort Hood, TexasBy Jim Forsyth SAN ANTONIO, Texas (Reuters) - The U.S. Army is looking to cut about 2,000 positions for captains and majors by the end of the year as part of its overall plans to reduce its active duty numbers due to budget cuts, the Army's chief of staff said on Wednesday. "Probably this year, we will ask 1,500 captains to leave the service, and we will ask probably 400 to 500 majors to leave the service," General Ray Odierno, the Army's top officer, told reporters at an event in Texas. "That is because we have to get down to the appropriate size." The Pentagon said last month it would shrink the U.S. Army to pre-World War Two levels, eliminate the popular A-10 aircraft and reduce military benefits in order to meet 2015 budget spending caps. He said the planned cut of the Army to 490,000 active duty soldiers will be reached by the end of 2015 and will not prevent the service from carrying out its current missions.



In Disney's shadow, homeless families struggle

In this Tuesday, April 8, 2014 photo, Theresa Muller prepares to move out of her motel room she shares with her boyfriend, father and three children in Kissimmee, Fla. Muller and her family have been homeless but plan to move to a home in a neighboring county. (AP Photo/John Raoux)KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) ? When they moved from Georgia to the theme park playground of central Florida four years ago, Anthony and Candice Johnson found work at a barbecue restaurant and a 7-Eleven. Their combined salaries nevertheless fell short of what they needed to rent an apartment, so the couple and their two children have instead been hopping among cheap motel rooms along U.S. 192.



Oregon gay marriage ban gets day in court

Plaintiffs, attorneys and supporters walk out of federal court where a federal judge heard oral arguments in two cases challenging Oregon's ban on same-sex marriage in Eugene, Ore., Wednesday, April 23, 2014. Judge Michael McShane did not say which way he was leaning, but his questioning focused heavily on how he should apply precedents from higher courts. (AP Photo/Don Ryan)EUGENE, Ore. (AP) ? Lawyers for four gay and lesbian couples and the state of Oregon urged a federal judge Wednesday to strike down Oregon's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage.



Last year's deadbeats do best as stocks stall

FILE - In this Tuesday Oct. 9, 2012 file photo, a technician prepares 1 Kg gold bars of 995.0 purity to pack for delivery at the Emirates Gold company in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Safer investments like utilities, gold and government bonds were supposed to flop in 2014 as investors pulled out their money and put it into higher risk, higher growth stocks that benefit from a pickup in the economy. But instead of fading, ?safe haven? investments are among the year?s best performers. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)NEW YORK (AP) ? Financial markets rarely stick to the script, and this year is no different.



6 fired for closing Arizona child abuse reports

This Monday, Dec. 2, 2013 photo shows Charles Flanagan, director of the newly established Division of Child Safety and Family Services. On Wednesday, April 23, 2014, Flanagan announced the firing of five senior employees who orchestrated a plan that led to more than 6,500 abuse and neglect cases being closed without investigations, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)PHOENIX (AP) ? Five senior Arizona child welfare employees were fired for orchestrating a plan that led to more than 6,500 Arizona child abuse and neglect cases being closed without investigations, officials said.



Management, safety cited for radiation release

This April 2, 2014, image provided by the U.S. Department of Energy shows workers underground inside the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant facility in Carlsbad, N.M., for the first time since the Feb. 14 radiological release. The operators of this federal government's troubled nuclear waste dump are bracing for a scathing report Wednesday, April 23, 2014, on their response to a radiation release that contaminated 21 workers and shuttered the southeastern New Mexico facility two months ago. (AP Photo/U.S. Department of Energy)ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) ? Poor management, an eroding safety culture, ineffective maintenance and a lack of proper oversight are being blamed for a radiation release that contaminated 21 workers and shuttered the federal government's nuclear waste dump two months ago in southeastern New Mexico.



2-week truce for hot sauce maker, California city

Sriracha hot sauce founder David Tran, at podium, left, addresses a city council meeting in Irwindale, Calif., Wednesday, April 23, 2014. The city of Irwindale is suing the maker of Sriracha hot sauce and last week the Los Angeles suburb tentatively voted to declare the bottling plant a public nuisance. Irwindale City Attorney Fred Galante says relocating seems extreme and the city only wants to see the smell issue addressed. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)LOS ANGELES (AP) ? A cooling-off period has been called in the fight between the makers of a popular hot sauce and the Southern California city that says its air is too spicy to bear.



Fetal tissue used to power Oregon homes

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) ? An Oregon county commission has ordered an incinerator to stop accepting boxed medical waste to generate electricity after learning the waste it's been burning may include tissue from aborted fetuses from British Columbia.