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Apr 27, 2015

Colorado cinema massacre trial to get under way

By Keith Coffman and Daniel Wallis

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (Reuters) – Colorado’s long-awaited cinema massacre trial will begin on Monday with jurors asked to decide whether gunman James Holmes was insane when he killed a dozen moviegoers in 2012, or a calculating mass murderer who deserves execution.

Public defenders trying to spare the life of the one-time neuroscience graduate student, and prosecutors seeking the death penalty, are set to present their opening statements in a courtroom on the outskirts of Denver.

Apr 22, 2015

Utah lawmaker invokes Mormon prophet grandpa in medical pot plea

By Daniel Wallis

(Reuters) – A Utah state senator has invoked the legacy of his Mormon prophet grandfather in a video in which he describes almost overdosing on prescription opiates and vows to reintroduce a medical marijuana bill that was narrowly defeated this year.

Mark Benson Madsen, a Saratoga Springs Republican, is pushing for the conservative state to permit medicinal pot and seeking to enlist the support of Mormon voters after his proposed legislation failed to pass the legislature last month by just one vote.

Apr 20, 2015

U.S. Supreme Court rejects appeal over Arizona ‘fish pedicures’

April 20 (Reuters) – The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday
rejected an appeal by the owner a Phoenix-area spa that ran
afoul of Arizona state regulations that barred her from
providing pedicures in which clients have their feet nibbled by
small fish to remove dead skin.

The high court’s action, made without comment by the
justices, ends a years-long case over fish pedicures, which have
become a popular alternative to exfoliation for some spa-goers
in recent years but are banned in some U.S. states for health
and safety reasons.

Apr 7, 2015

Terrified fliers confront fears in Phoenix airport class

PHOENIX, April 7 (Reuters) – Heidi Cattey first became
scared of flying when she saw news reports of hijackers seizing
planes in the 1980s.

A decade later, she mistook vapor in the cabin of a flight
in Texas for smoke from a fire, flipped out and hasn’t flown
since.

Mar 31, 2015

Colorado teen found in suitcase suffered drug overdose: coroner

DENVER (Reuters) – A teenage Colorado girl whose remains were found dumped in a suitcase in a remote park area last month died from a drug overdose, the local coroner’s office said on Tuesday.

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

Mar 31, 2015

Washington school shooter’s father charged with illegal gun possession

By Daniel Wallis

(Reuters) – The father of a teenager who fatally shot four classmates then killed himself at a Washington state high school last year was arrested on Tuesday and charged with illegally purchasing the handgun used in the rampage, federal prosecutors said.

Jaylen Fryberg, a 15-year-old freshman, opened fire inside a cafeteria at the Marysville-Pilchuck High School in October, killing four students and wounding a fifth before turning the weapon on himself.

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.

    • 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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