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Justice Thomas speaks as U.S. top court confronts racial bias in jury selection -

Justice Thomas speaks as U.S. top court confronts racial bias in jury selectionU.S. Supreme Court justices appeared poised to side with a black Mississippi death row inmate put on trial six times for a 1996 quadruple murder who accused a prosecutor of repeatedly blocking black potential jurors, though the court's only black member sounded skeptical. Justice Clarence Thomas, who had not posed a question during an oral argument in three years, asked several in the case involving Curtis Flowers, 48, who has argued that his constitutional right to a fair trial was violated. Thomas, an idiosyncratic conservative and only the second African American ever appointed to the court, signaled through his questions he might vote against Flowers, who otherwise drew broad support among the other justices, both liberal and conservative.


Wed, 20 Mar 2019 14:54:44 -0400

Trump gets a U.S. Supreme Court victory on immigration detention -

Trump gets a U.S. Supreme Court victory on immigration detentionThe Supreme Court on Tuesday endorsed the U.S. government's authority to detain immigrants awaiting deportation anytime - potentially even years - after they have completed prison terms for criminal convictions, handing President Donald Trump a victory as he pursues hardline immigration policies. The court ruled 5-4 along ideological lines, with its conservative justices in the majority and its liberal justices dissenting, that federal authorities could place such immigrants into indefinite detention anytime without the possibility of bail, not just immediately after they finish prison sentences. The ruling, authored by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, left open the possibility that some immigrants could challenge their detention.


Wed, 20 Mar 2019 14:07:43 -0400

Mitsui petrochemical unit probed after Texas fire rages for days -

Mitsui petrochemical unit probed after Texas fire rages for daysState and local investigators have begun probing a petrochemical storage company outside Houston where a massive fire fed by giant tanks of fuel burned for days, darkening the skies with soot for dozens of miles, officials said. The blaze at Mitsui unit Intercontinental Terminals Co (ITC) in Deer Park, Texas, began on Sunday and was not extinguished until early Wednesday. The agency has cited Intercontinental Terminals for violations of state air-emissions rules 39 times in the last 16 years.


Wed, 20 Mar 2019 14:04:50 -0400

Deadly Midwestern U.S. floods threaten to spill south as Nebraska cleans up -

Deadly Midwestern U.S. floods threaten to spill south as Nebraska cleans upNebraskans struggled on Wednesday to clear the wreckage left by deadly floods that caused an estimated $1 billion in damage, while emergency officials farther south kept a wary eye on the Missouri and Mississippi rivers as the disaster threatened to spread. Floodwaters resulting from a late-winter storm last week and warming spring weather that melted snow quickly this week inundated a large swath of Midwestern farm states Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa along the Missouri, North America's longest river. Missouri officials stacked sandbags along major waterways and closed highways near the rising Missouri River, and Governor Mike Parson urged residents to be careful near the river.


Wed, 20 Mar 2019 13:49:47 -0400

U.S. government failed to consider climate impacts of oil, gas: judge -

U.S. government failed to consider climate impacts of oil, gas: judgeThe ruling, by U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia Judge Rudolph Contreras, was issued late on Tuesday, according to court documents. The Department of Interior, which is the defendant in the lawsuit, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. DOI oversees the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which is responsible for oil and gas development on federal lands.


Wed, 20 Mar 2019 12:09:03 -0400


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