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Mar 31, 2015

As many Americans fear pilot crashes as they do hijacking

By Daniel Wallis

(Reuters) – Americans fear pilots purposely crashing an airliner as much as they are afraid of a hijacking, and over a quarter are more scared of flying than they were before a copilot crashed a jet in France last week, killing 150 people, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found.

Andreas Lubitz, who prosecutors said had been previously treated for suicidal tendencies, is suspected of locking the captain out of the cockpit and deliberately plunging a Germanwings aircraft into a mountain in the French Alps, killing everyone on board.

Mar 27, 2015

Colorado urges U.S. Supreme Court to dismiss interstate pot lawsuit

DENVER (Reuters) – Colorado’s attorney general on Friday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to throw out a lawsuit by Nebraska and Oklahoma which challenges the state’s recreational marijuana laws.

Colorado Attorney General Cynthia Coffman said that while she shares concerns about illegal pot activity, her office is committed to defending the state’s laws. And she said the issue badly needed leadership at the federal level.

Mar 26, 2015

California plans public forums on marijuana legalization options

By Daniel Wallis

(Reuters) – California officials will hold forums starting next month across the most populous U.S. state to seek public input on proposals to legalize marijuana under a strict tax and regulatory system, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom said on Thursday.

California became the first U.S. state to allow medical marijuana at a ballot in 1996, and it was followed by several other states, some of which also later legalized recreational use of the drug by adults.

Mar 25, 2015

Colorado pot arrests plunge, but rate for blacks still higher: study

DENVER (Reuters) – The number of marijuana possession arrests in Colorado fell sharply after its first legal retail stores opened last year, but blacks still faced higher arrest rates than whites, a pro-pot group said on Wednesday.

Colorado and Washington became the first U.S. states to legalize the recreational use of marijuana by adults in landmark ballots in 2012. Voters in Oregon, Alaska and the District of Columbia have since followed suit.

Mar 25, 2015

Colorado pot campaigner seeks ‘sanctuary’ status for mountain town

By Daniel Wallis

NEDERLAND, Colo. (Reuters) – Surrounded by tie-dyed T-shirts and marijuana pipes at her gift shop in the Colorado mountain town of Nederland, veteran pot activist Kathleen Chippi seems an unlikely candidate to have voted no when the state legalized recreational weed in 2012.

She says the measure was “fake” legalization because marijuana remains prohibited by federal law, and users, including medicinal pot patients and their caregiver, still risk having their lives ruined by prosecution and jail time.

Mar 25, 2015

Police name persons of interest in death of Colorado teen girl

DENVER (Reuters) – Utah police identified on Tuesday two people of interest in the death of a teenage Colorado girl who vanished in December and whose remains were found in a suitcase in a remote park area late last month.

Kelly Mae Myers, 18, was reported missing in the mountain town of Grand Junction by relatives who said she might have been trying to hitchhike to visit friends in the Salt Lake City area.

Mar 24, 2015

Bark beetles not adding to U.S. West’s wildfire woes: study

DENVER (Reuters) – Forests in Western U.S. states that have been ravaged by mountain pine beetles are no more likely to be consumed by wildfires than forests unaffected by the insects, a new study by scientists in Colorado has found.

Warmer than usual winters in recent years have allowed the tree-killing beetles to survive the cold months and leave behind stands of dry wood that experts had feared could help fuel early season wildfires.

Mar 11, 2015

Utah to bring back firing squad if lethal injections unavailable

By Daniel Wallis

(Reuters) – Lawmakers in Utah voted on Tuesday to bring back executions by firing squad if lethal injections are unavailable, which would make it the only state in the country to permit the practice.

Utah used firing squads for decades before adopting lethal injections in 2004. The Republican-sponsored bill, which passed the state Senate by 18-10, was introduced amid national concerns about the efficacy of lethal injections.

Mar 7, 2015

DNA clears woman of murder after three decades in Nevada prison

By Daniel Wallis

(Reuters) – Prosecutors in Nevada dropped a murder charge on Friday against a woman who spent more than three decades behind bars for the crime, saying newly found DNA evidence cleared her of slaying a 19-year-old nursing student almost 40 years ago.

A judge threw out the conviction against Cathy Woods, 64, in September after DNA evidence from a cigarette butt at the scene of the fatal stabbing near the University of Nevada campus in Reno was matched to a prisoner in Oregon.

Mar 4, 2015

Utah lawmakers file anti-bias bill, with backing of Mormon Church

By Daniel Wallis

(Reuters) – Lawmakers in conservative Utah on Wednesday
introduced a landmark anti-discrimination bill, with the backing
of the Mormon Church, that they said would prevent
discrimination based on sexual orientation while also protecting
religious freedom.

The proposal, which supporters hailed as a model for the
rest of the country, would prohibit employers, landlords or
property owners from discriminating against job applicants or
tenants based on their gender identity or sexual orientation.

    • About Daniel

      "Daniel used to work for The Times newspaper and PA News agency in London before joining Reuters in 2003. Since then he has reported on political, general and economic news from across east Africa, Iraq and Latin America."
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