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Texas executes man despite opposition from Mexico PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by MICHAEL GRACZYK, Associated Press   
Thursday, 23 January 2014 07:13

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A Mexican national was executed Wednesday night in Texas for killing a Houston police officer, despite pleas and diplomatic pressure from the Mexican government and the U.S. State Department to halt the punishment.

Edgar Tamayo, 46, received a lethal injection for the January 1994 fatal shooting of Officer Guy Gaddis, 24.

Asked by a warden if he had a final statement, he mumbled "no" and shook his head. As the lethal dose of pentobarbital began taking effect, he took a few breaths and then made one slightly audible snore before all movement stopped. He was pronounced dead 17 minutes after the drug was administered, at 9:32 p.m. CST.

The execution, the first this year in the nation's most active death penalty state, was delayed more than three hours while the U.S. Supreme Court considered last-ditch appeals.

Tamayo never looked toward Gaddis' mother, two brothers and two other relatives who watched through a window.

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Government panel urges end to phone data spying PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by STEPHEN BRAUN, Associated Press   
Thursday, 23 January 2014 07:12

WASHINGTON (AP) — A sharply divided government task force that reviewed the National Security Agency's surveillance program for four months has urged President Barack Obama to shut down the agency's bulk collection of phone data and purge its massive inventory of millions of Americans' calling records, The Associated Press has learned.

The recommendation from the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to abandon the NSA's phone surveillance was even more sweeping than a similar proposal from another panel of experts. That panel, the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, advised Obama in December to restrict phone surveillance to limited court-ordered sweeps.

The oversight board's new 234-page report — a copy of which was obtained by the AP — contained several strong dissents from two members of the five-member board — former Bush administration national security lawyers who recommended that the government retain its broad phone surveillance authority. The board disclosed key parts of its report to Obama earlier this month before he unveiled his plans during a speech last week to the nation.

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States weighing labels on genetically altered food PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by DAVID KLEPPER, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 16:08

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — States from Rhode Island to Hawaii are considering requiring labels on food items containing genetically modified ingredients, which account for two-thirds of the processed foods on American grocery shelves.

Currently, only Connecticut and Maine have laws requiring labels for food containing altered ingredients, known as GMOs. But those requirements won't start until other states follow suit.

Lawmakers in other New England states are pushing to join them. Efforts are also underway in dozens of other states including California and Washington, where voters rejected a labeling proposal last year.

Biotech and agricultural companies oppose the proposals and say there's no scientific evidence that GMO foods are unsafe.

Rhode Island state Rep. Dennis Canario (cah-NAYR'-ee-oh) supports requiring labels. He says that without federal rules states should let consumers to know what they're eating.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
U. of Okla. president: Lockdown likely false alarm PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by KRISTI EATON, Associated Press   
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 15:51

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — The president of the University of Oklahoma says a campus lockdown likely was the result of a false alarm.

President David Boren said what was reported as gunfire Wednesday could have been related to construction projects near the university's architecture building. He said it was likely that noises near Gould Hall could have been misinterpreted as gunshots.

University officials issued a notice late Wednesday morning that shots had been reported near the center of campus and that people should stay where they were. Within an hour, police issued an all-clear for most of the 30,000-student campus, which is about 20 miles south of Oklahoma City.

Boren said emergency texts were distributed within three minutes of the initial call coming in and that it appeared students and faculty responded appropriately.


Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 
Telescope spies water plumes on dwarf planet Ceres PDF  | Print |  E-mail
Written by ALICIA CHANG, AP Science Writer   
Wednesday, 22 January 2014 15:49

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The largest object in the asteroid belt just got more attractive: Scientists have confirmed signs of water on the dwarf planet Ceres, one of the few bodies in the solar system to hold that distinction.

Peering through the Herschel Space Observatory, a team led by the European Space Agency detected water plumes spewing from two regions on Ceres.

The observations, published in Thursday's issue of Nature, come as NASA's Dawn spacecraft is set to arrive at the Texas-sized dwarf planet next year.

It's long been suspected that Ceres is water-rich, but previous detections have been inconclusive. This is the first definitive evidence of water on Ceres and confirms that it has an icy surface, said lead author Michael Kuppers of the European Space Agency.

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