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Jul 13, 2013

Jury deliberates Zimmerman case, breaks for the night

SANFORD, Florida (Reuters) – Six anonymous women began deliberating on Friday whether to convict George Zimmerman for the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in a case that has captivated and divided the U.S. public for the past 16 months.

After presiding over 12 days of testimony and two days of closing arguments, Seminole County Judge Debra Nelson turned the case over to a jury sequestered since the trial began last month. They broke for the day without reaching a verdict.

Jul 12, 2013

Zimmerman lawyer says Martin was lying in wait to attack

SANFORD, Florida (Reuters) – Trayvon Martin spent four long minutes preparing to attack George Zimmerman before landing the first punch in a fight that ended in the teenager’s death, Zimmerman’s defense lawyer said in closing arguments of the murder trial on Friday.

Lead defense lawyer Mark O’Mara attempted in his closing argument to the six-member jury to shift the blame to Martin, the unarmed, black 17-year-old who Zimmerman shot dead last year. The case has captivated and divided much of the U.S. public, raising questions about race and guns in America.

Jul 11, 2013

Zimmerman called ‘wannabe cop’ whose errors got Martin killed

SANFORD, Florida (Reuters) – “Wannabe cop” George Zimmerman wrongly profiled Trayvon Martin as a criminal, followed him with a gun and provoked him into a fight that resulted in the shooting death of the unarmed black teenager, a prosecutor said on Thursday.

“A teenager is dead,” Florida state prosecutor Bernie de la Rionda told the jury in closing arguments of Zimmerman’s second-degree murder trial. “He is dead through no fault of his own. He is dead because another man made assumptions. Because his assumptions were wrong, Trayvon Benjamin Martin will no longer walk on this Earth.”

Jul 10, 2013

Florida police chief ready for Zimmerman verdict in divided town

SANFORD, Florida (Reuters) – In a once-segregated Southern town where a shooting death last year ignited a dispute that polarized America, the new police chief has embraced a simple tactic. He calls it the “walk and talk.”

Unprecedented in Sanford, where George Zimmerman is on trial for killing teenager Trayvon Martin, the campaign has led Cecil Smith out of the police station and into a historic black neighborhood nearby. There, the newcomer from the Northern city of Chicago, has knocked on doors and talked with people about their concerns.

Jul 5, 2013

The case against Zimmerman: Far from clear, undercut by blunder

July 5 (Reuters) – As the prosecution winds up its case
against George Zimmerman for the killing of Trayvon Martin, the
accused murderer has been called a truth-teller by the chief
detective on the case and allowed to present his story without

While some experts have credited prosecutors with building
the best case possible out of sometimes murky evidence, they
generally see the case as falling short of proving second-degree
murder beyond a reasonable doubt.

Jul 1, 2013

U.S. fights growing wildfire threat with shrinking budget

By Daniel Trotta

(Reuters) – The tragedy came without warning. Wind split the Arizona wildfire in two, trapping 19 firefighters from the Granite Mountain Hotshots between twin walls of flame that would take their lives.

The erosion of U.S. firefighting resources has been much more gradual, building through years of tighter budgets just as wildfires have grown more intense.

Jun 27, 2013

Across U.S., Supreme Court gay rights ruling celebrated

By Daniel Trotta

(Reuters) – With cheers, tears and kisses, gays and lesbians across the United States celebrated Wednesday’s historic Supreme Court decision in support of same-same marriage, which provided cause for joy after years of protest.

Crowds turned out in gay meccas such as West Hollywood, San Francisco, South Miami Beach and the New York gay bar called The Stonewall Inn, seen as the birthplace of the gay rights movement.

Jun 25, 2013

Carlyle CEO buys 1776 printing of Declaration of Independence

NEW YORK, June 25 (Reuters) – The chief executive of U.S.
private equity giant Carlyle Group bought a copy of the
first newspaper printing of the U.S. Declaration of Independence
for a record $632,500 on Monday, adding to his collection of
historic documents for public view.

David Rubenstein, co-founder and co-CEO of the
Washington-based asset manager, bought the printing of The
Pennsylvania Evening Post from July 6, 1776, two days after
American colonists declared their independence from the British

Jun 20, 2013

U.S. group that ‘converted’ gays closes its doors and apologizes

By Daniel Trotta

(Reuters) – A Christian group that once promoted therapy to encourage gays and lesbians to overcome their sexual preferences has closed its doors and apologized to homosexuals, acknowledging its mission had been hurtful and ignorant.

Exodus International billed itself as the oldest and largest Christian ministry dealing with faith and homosexuality, operating since 1976. It announced it would cease operations in a statement on its website on Wednesday.

Jun 11, 2013

Civil rights group challenges NSA phone surveillance program

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The American Civil Liberties Union sued senior U.S. government officials on Tuesday to challenge the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s telephone surveillance program, saying it violates rights to free speech and privacy.

The suit asked the court to immediately halt the NSA’s vast tracking program of telephone calls, declare the program illegal, and order the U.S. government to purge all databases of the call records.

    • About Daniel

      "Daniel Trotta joined Reuters as a correspondent in 1993, starting in Nicaragua and moving Mexico City (1996) and Madrid (2000) before coming to New York in 2005. As a U.S. General News correspondent, his specialty is writing the lead story on major breaking news. Trotta also travels the United States producing in-depth features and helps edit the national news file from the Reuters headquarters in New York. Outside the office, he is the manager of the New York Express of the New York City Metro Baseball League."
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