Obama monitoring Detroit after bankruptcy filing
WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says it's standing by Detroit after it became the biggest city in America to file for bankruptcy.
Spokeswoman Amy Brundage says President Barack Obama and senior advisers are monitoring the situation.
Brundage adds that while Michigan leaders and the city's creditors understand their responsibility to solve Detroit's financial problems, the White House will continue to partner with Detroit as it tries to recover and maintain its status as one of America's great cities.
Thursday's filing in federal bankruptcy court was approved by Gov. Rick Snyder. The move puts the city on an uncertain path that could lead to layoffs of city workers, the sale of city assets, higher fees and cuts in such services as trash and snow removal.
Defense official: New anti-leak measures set at NSA
ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — A top defense official says the National Security Agency is implementing new security measures because of the disclosures by former NSA-systems-analyst-turned-fugitive Edward Snowden.
Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter says systems administrators like Snowden must now work with another colleague when accessing sensitive, compartmented intelligence. That's the kind Snowden leaked to the media, revealing that the agency was gathering millions of U.S. phone records and intercepting some U.S. Internet traffic.
Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in Colorado, Carter says they are implementing a "two-man rule" everywhere systems administrators have "elevated" clearance to read sensitive information. Access to data will be limited as well instead of storing so much on a single server.
NY judge blocks Sept. 11 claims against airlines
NEW YORK (AP) — A New York judge has decided that the World Trade Center owners cannot demand more insurance money for the Sept. 11 attacks.
Judge Alvin Hellerstein ruled Thursday after listening to witnesses for the owners of the trade center and airlines linked to the jets used in the attacks.
The trial was held to decide whether the owners of the trade center complex can collect more than the nearly $5 billion they've already received toward reconstruction.
Lawyers for the airlines argue the claims against them duplicate claims that insurance companies have already been paid the complex's owners.
But developer Larry Silverstein and the trade center companies insist that aviation companies owe at least $3.5 billion for letting hijackers board planes that destroyed three skyscrapers.
The complex developers' lawyers say they'll appeal.
DOJ tells Sanford PD to hold Zimmerman evidence
SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — Police in central Florida say the U.S. Department of Justice has placed a hold on all evidence related to the fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by former neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman.
Sanford Police Capt. James McAuliffe confirmed the hold Thursday. That includes the gun Zimmerman used to shoot Martin, which Zimmerman would otherwise be legally entitled to reclaim.
Zimmerman was acquitted over the weekend of second-degree murder and manslaughter charges in Martin's death last year. Jurors found that Zimmerman was acting in self-defense when he shot the unarmed black teenager. Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic.
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said during an NAACP convention in Orlando this week that the Justice Department has an open investigation into the case. The department is looking into whether Zimmerman violated Martin's civil rights.
Fla. Gov. Scott meets with Fla. Capitol protesters
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida Gov. Rick Scott is telling protesters that he will not ask lawmakers to revamp the state's self-defense laws.
Scott returned to the state Capitol late Thursday and met for nearly an hour with seven members of the group that has been staging a protest in his office for three straight days.
During the meeting, those present talked about the verdict in the George Zimmerman murder trial as well as racial profiling they said they had witnessed.
They asked the Republican governor to show "leadership" by calling a special session.
Scott said he planned to call for a day of unity Sunday, and would be willing to listen to their ideas on how to deal with racial profiling. But he said he had no plans to call a special session.
Gawker: Money won't be used to buy mayor video
TORONTO (AP) — The website Gawker says money raised to buy a video purporting to show Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine will instead go to four Canadian community health organizations.
John Cook, editor of the U.S.-based website, said in May that he'd seen a video of Ford inhaling from what appeared to be a crack pipe. Cook said he'd been shown the video by a drug dealer who had been trying to sell it for a six-figure sum.
The website raised $192,000 through an online campaign but said it lost contact with the owner. Gawker said on its website Thursday the money will be split between the four organizations.
Ford has said the video does not exist, though he has never said he has never smoked crack.
PORN INDUSTRY-AGE VERIFICATION
Judge upholds law meant to keep minors out of porn
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A judge has upheld a federal law that requires the pornography industry to verify performers are at least 18 years of age, rejecting industry arguments that the measure is unconstitutional and imposes burdensome record-keeping requirements.
U.S. District Judge Michael Baylson in Philadelphia ruled Thursday against a bid by the adult entertainment industry's advocacy group to have the law overturned.
Federal law requires producers of sexually explicit photos, videos and other media to obtain government-issued photo ID from each performer and keep it on file for government inspection. The law also imposes labeling requirements. It's meant to protect minors from sexual exploitation.
The Free Speech Coalition filed suit in 2009, arguing the law is overbroad and tramples on protected speech. The industry says it already takes measures to keep kids out of porn.
Colo. judge won't block recalls over gun votes
DENVER (AP) — Two Democratic Colorado state senators who supported gun restrictions say they won't appeal a Denver judge's ruling refusing to stop recall elections against them, meaning their political fate lies with voters now.
State Senate President John Morse of Colorado Springs and Pueblo Sen. Angela Giron (HEE'-rawn) had argued the recall petitions against them are invalid because they didn't ask for an election for a successor like the state Constitution mandates.
Denver District Court Judge Robert Hyatt ruled Thursday afternoon that the petitions shouldn't be thrown out on "hyper-technical grounds."
After the ruling, Gov. John Hickenlooper signed an executive order setting elections for both senators on Sept. 10. No Colorado state legislator has ever faced a recall election.
United jet returns to Houston with engine trouble
HOUSTON (AP) — A United Airlines jet headed to Amsterdam returned to Houston shortly after takeoff after problems were reported with one of its two engines.
United Flight 58 left Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport about 3:30 p.m. CDT Thursday. A statement from the airline says the Boeing 777 landed safely in Houston at 5:13 p.m. None of the 223 passengers and 15 crew members was injured.
United said passengers were to be booked on another airline while maintenance workers examine the aircraft. The Chicago-based airline has a hub in Houston.
A Boeing 777 was involved in the July 6 crash in San Francisco of an Asiana flight from Seoul, South Korea. Three people were killed. The National Transportation Safety Board says it has found no mechanical or computer problems with the plane.
Metro-North train derails in NY, service suspended
NEW YORK (AP) — A freight train hauling garbage has derailed in New York City.
The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says service on Metro-North Railroad's Hudson line has been suspended. The line runs between Manhattan and Poughkeepsie (poh-KIHP'-see), 80 miles north.
MTA spokeswoman Marjorie Anders says 10 cars of the train derailed Thursday night between stations. She says the tracks in that section of the railroad were fouled. No trains are stranded because of the service suspension.
The train was moving garbage from New York City and had an engineer, a conductor and a brakeman. All three crew members are unharmed.
The MTA runs service in New York and Connecticut. It says bus service will operate to a station where customers can connect with shuttle train service.
The cause of the derailment is under investigation.
Created: Fri, 19 Jul 2013 02:15:48 EST
Updated: Fri, 19 Jul 2013 02:15:48 EST