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Tropical Storm Blanca expected to become major hurricane

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - 05:06 AM

MIAMI (AP) — Tropical Storm Blanca is forecast to rapidly strengthen and become a major hurricane later this week over the eastern Pacific.

The storm's maximum sustained winds early Tuesday are near 50 mph (85 kph). The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the storm is expected to become a major hurricane by Wednesday night or early Thursday.

Blanca is centered about 365 miles (585 kilometers) southwest of Zihuatanejo, Mexico, and is moving west around 1 mph (2 kph). A slow and erratic motion is expected over the next few days.

Hamas kills Islamic State supporter in Gaza crackdown

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - 05:01 AM

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Hamas forces have killed an Islamic State group supporter, the first fatality since Gaza's Islamic rulers launched a crackdown on the more-radical group months ago.

Hamas spokesman Eyad Al-Bozum says Tuesday that a 27-year-old man died "during an attempt to arrest him."

He says after the man refused to surrender, Hamas forces opened fire and planted explosives in the house where he was holed up.

Free test-preparation program for revamped SAT goes online

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - 03:51 AM

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The nonprofit organization behind the SAT college entrance exam is teaming up with a Silicon Valley pioneer in online education to make test-preparation materials available for free.

The College Board gave unprecedented access to the revamped SAT it plans to introduce next spring to Khan Academy, which has developed diagnostic quizzes and interactive practice tests that will be accessible to anyone with Internet access starting Tuesday.

California water board to announce conservation in April

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - 03:34 AM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's latest monthly report on water use is expected to show if residents have finally responded to the drought's severity.

The State Water Resources Control Board on Tuesday will release data showing how much water communities saved in April. That was the month Gov. Jerry Brown ordered mandatory conservation after the worst snowpack measurement on record.

The report will compare total water use compared with the same month in 2013, the year before Brown declared a drought emergency.

Either way, no more NSA collection of US phone records

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - 03:18 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate now will decide the fate of a House bill backed by the president that would end the National Security Agency's collection of American calling records while preserving other surveillance authorities.

But whatever the outcome of a scheduled Tuesday vote, the last two days in Congress have made this much clear: The NSA will ultimately be out of the business of collecting and storing American calling records.

IRS commissioner to face questions about security weaknesses

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - 03:14 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Government watchdogs warned the IRS about security flaws in the agency's computer systems years before hackers stole the personal information of thousands of taxpayers from an IRS website.

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen (KAHS'-kihn-ihn) is heading to Capitol Hill Tuesday to answer questions about why the tax agency didn't address those weaknesses.

Lawmakers likely to question Amtrak on safety technology

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - 03:12 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal safety regulators and Amtrak officials face questions at a congressional hearing Tuesday on why technology to slow trains that are going too fast wasn't in place before last month's deadly derailment in Philadelphia.

The hearing by the House transportation committee comes amid rising concern about rail safety. There have been seven major passenger and freight train accidents this year.

Black and Jewish WWI heroes finally getting Medal of Honor

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - 03:11 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama is posthumously bestowing America's highest military honor on two World War I Army veterans who may have been denied the honor because of discrimination.

Obama was holding a White House Medal of Honor ceremony Tuesday for Sgt. William Shemin, who was Jewish, and Pvt. Henry Johnson, from an all-black regiment.

FBI behind mysterious surveillance aircraft over US cities

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - 03:08 AM

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Associated Press has learned the FBI is operating a small air force with scores of low-flying planes across the country carrying video or, at times, cellphone surveillance technology.

The surveillance equipment is generally used without a judge's approval, and the FBI says the flights are for ongoing investigations. The planes can also capture video of unrelated criminal activity on the ground as evidence for prosecutions.

Boston Marathon bomber's college friend faces sentencing

POSTED BY: Associated Press
Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - 02:26 AM

BOSTON (AP) — A college friend of Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (joh-HAHR' tsahr-NEYE'-ehv) faces up to seven years in prison when he's sentenced for impeding the bombing investigation.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled Tuesday for Dias Kadyrbayev (DY'-us kah-dur-BY'-ehv). He pleaded guilty last year to obstruction of justice and conspiracy charges for removing items from Tsarnaev's dorm room after recognizing his friend in photos released by the FBI days after the bombing.

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