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Jun 23, 2015

U.S. appeals court backs claim under state law in Rocky Flats saga

DENVER (Reuters) – A U.S. appeals court ruled on Tuesday a decades-old pollution case over nuclear weapons production in Colorado should be sent back to the district court which in 2006 ordered companies that ran the facility to pay damages of $353 million.

“This long lingering litigation deserves to find resolution soon,” wrote one of the judges, Neil Gorsuch, about a case dating back to the 1980s, when Dow Chemical Co. [DOW.N] and a unit of Rockwell Automation Inc [ROK.N] were involved in operating the Rocky Flats plant.

Jun 23, 2015

Brave kitty stares down mountain lion in viral Colorado video

DENVER (Reuters) – A video of an unfazed, fluffy house cat staring down a large mountain lion as the predator paws at a Colorado kitchen window has gone viral, receiving nearly 1 million views on YouTube in just a couple of days.

The footage, recorded at a home in the Rocky Mountains about 10 miles west of Boulder, shows the cat sitting on the windowsill and meowing as the much-bigger mountain lion looks into the house, its eyes glinting gold in the light.

Jun 20, 2015

Mormon church to make available records of 4 million freed slaves

By Daniel Wallis

(Reuters) – The Mormon Church will lead efforts to index records of about 4 million former slaves and their families in the hope of connecting African Americans with their Civil War-era ancestors, the Utah-based faith said on Friday.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) has sponsored a non-profit organization called FamilySearch, which made the announcement alongside senior LDS officials in Los Angeles on the 150th anniversary of “Juneteenth,” the day when word reached the last group of slaves that the Civil War was over and they were free.

Jun 19, 2015

Rights group condemns Colorado bike club’s ‘anti-Ramadan’ barbecue

DENVER (Reuters) – A civil rights group said on Friday it was deeply disturbed by reports that a Colorado motorcycle club has distributed flyers for an anti-Ramadan barbecue, including a pig roast, this weekend “in defiance of the Islamic holiday of Ramadan.”

Scott Levin, regional director of the Mountain States Anti-Defamation League (ADL), said in a statement the “open bike party” was being advertised by the Colorado Springs chapter of the Infidels Motorcycle Club.

Jun 17, 2015

U.S. sends seven seized boa constrictors back to Brazil

By Daniel Wallis

(Reuters) – The United States has returned to Brazil seven boa constrictors that are the offspring of a very rare white snake dubbed the “Diamond Princess” and were seized in connection with an illegal wildlife smuggling scheme, U.S. officials said on Wednesday.

The valuable leucistic boa constrictor was unlawfully brought to the United States in 2009 by a Utah-based collector, the U.S. Justice Department said in a statement.

May 27, 2015

Colorado movie massacre defense: We need to talk about James

By Daniel Wallis and Keith Coffman

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (Reuters) – In a hushed courtroom on the outskirts of Denver, defense lawyers played family videos of a young boy sitting on a sofa in shorts and a T-shirt, playing on a slide in a park, and frolicking in waves on a sunlit beach.

The films gave no hint of the violence that would later be committed by James Holmes, who could face the death penalty if convicted of murdering 12 people and wounding 70 others by opening fire inside a suburban Denver multiplex in July 2012.

May 12, 2015

Colorado rule lets massacre trial jurors dig into thorny issues

By Keith Coffman and Daniel Wallis

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (Reuters) – Lobbing questions on topics ranging from loading ammo clips to booby-trapping apartments and the chemistry of gunshot residue, jurors have waded into the thick of the Colorado movie massacre trial as they weigh the fate of gunman James Holmes.

Taking full advantage of unusual state rules that require the judge to let them question witnesses, the jury of 19 women and five men have asked probing follow-ups on issues including crime scene forensics and Holmes’ behavior before the rampage. They have also made more unexpected contributions.

May 4, 2015

Human spirit, humor shine through at Colorado movie massacre trial

By Daniel Wallis and Keith Coffman

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (Reuters) – While the details emerging in the Colorado movie theater massacre trial have been almost too much to bear for many, glimmers of the human spirit and resilience have also shone through at times in the windowless, low-ceiling courtroom.

Prompted by terrified accounts from severely wounded survivors and halting testimony from choked-up police officers, sobs have often been heard all around Courtroom 201 at the Arapahoe County Justice Center, from the victims’ families, the jury box, and members of the media.

May 1, 2015

Insane or evil? Trial fills in details of Colorado movie gunman Holmes

By Keith Coffman and Daniel Wallis

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (Reuters) – Harrowing accounts from survivors dominated the first week of Colorado’s movie theater massacre trial, but amid the tears a much more detailed picture emerged of gunman James Holmes, his personal life, and his deadly plan.

    Prosecutors seeking the death penalty for the 27-year-old former neuroscience graduate student, and his public defenders, have filled in many of the gaps left when a judge sealed much of the key evidence in the 2012 mass shooting case.

Apr 30, 2015

Carjacker gets 80 years for Colorado crime spree caught on live TV

DENVER (Reuters) – A gun-toting felon whose two-hour carjacking and crime spree in Colorado last year played out on live television filmed from a news helicopter has been sentenced to 80 years in prison, prosecutors said on Thursday.

Christopher David Sullivan, 37, pleaded guilty last month to 46 charges including aggravated robbery, menacing with a deadly weapon and first-degree assault, the Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

    • 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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