A fatal explosion last month in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, was caused by the accidental ignition of natural gas vapors that had accumulated inside a popular restaurant, according to a report from a joint city-federal task force.
After a gas line nearby was ruptured, firefighters asked employees at JJ's restaurant "to put the flames out on the candles, stove and hot water heater" inside, said the report.
When queried after the blast by investigators, the restaurant's manager acknowledged the initial request and said workers "only put the candles out and turned the stove off, but did not turn out the pilot lights for the stove or hot water heater," according to the report issued Wednesday.FULL STORY
A wildfire jumped a road in central Florida, scorching homes and wiping out trees as it charred more than 1,900 acres, a fire official said Sunday.
Some 24 structures in Marion County had been burned by what's being called the Hopkins Prairie Fire, said U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Susan Blake. Ten of those buildings were homes, according to a tweet from the National Weather Service.
The blaze around Ocala National Forest was 80% contained as of early Sunday evening, Blake added. About 100 local, state and federal firefighters were on site.FULL STORY
Sylvia Mathews Burwell will be nominated Monday by President Barack Obama to be the director of the Office of Management and Budget, a senior Obama administration official said.
The 47-year-old Burwell - who served under President Bill Clinton, including as deputy director of the OMB - is currently the head of the Walmart Foundation, the retail chain's charitable organization.FULL STORY
Bobby Rogers, an original member of Motown staple The Miracles, has died, the group's longtime front man Smokey Robinson announced Sunday. He was 73.
Robinson, Rogers and the rest of the Miracles were a cornerstone act for writer-producer Berry Gordy's infant Motown Records, putting songs such as "Shop Around," "Tracks of My Tears" and "The Tears of a Clown" on the R&B and pop charts throughout the 1960s. After Robinson left the group, the Miracles had a No. 1 hit with "Love Machine" in 1976.FULL STORY
Samsung and Apple were ordered Friday to stand off in court once again after a federal judge struck down more than $450 million that a jury last August ordered Samsung to pay Apple.
"Some of the awards rested on impermissible legal theories," U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh wrote in explaining her ruling.
The jury had awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages total after finding Samsung had copied both the design and software features of the iPhone.
Just under $600 million of that award to Apple still stands, according to Koh.FULL STORY
The Syrian National Coalition – the principal opposition group battling the government of President Bashar al-Assad – has changed its position and will attend an international meeting this week in Rome focused on the Syrian crisis, the coalition's leader Ahmed Moaz al-Khatib announced Monday on Facebook.
The group earlier said it would not attend the meeting.FULL STORY
Microsoft was hacked much like Facebook and Apple, the technology company announced today on its security blog.
Microsoft said that its investigators "found a small number of computers, including some in our Mac business unit ... were infected by malicious software using techniques similar to those documented by other organizations."
Apple said Tuesday that some of its employees' computers were compromised, and Facebook revealed a similar breach weeks earlier.
Former Chicago-area police sergeant Drew Peterson was sentenced Thursday to 38 years in prison – with credit for nearly four years in jail – for the 2004 murder of his ex-wife, Kathleen Savio, a prosecution spokesman in Illinois said.
Peterson plans to appeal the sentence, one of this lawyers said.
Peterson was convicted of murder last September. Savio – Peterson's third wife – was found dead in her dry, clean bathtub on March 1, 2004
The headline-grabbing case did not arise until after Peterson's fourth wife, Stacy, disappeared in October 2007. It was during the search for Stacy Peterson – who has not been found – that investigators said they would look again into Savio's death, which was initially ruled an accidental drowning.
In February 2008, authorities altered their judgment and ruled Savio's death a homicide. Peterson was later arrested and charged with first-degree murder.FULL STORY
A major winter storm whipped the Upper Midwest early Monday, just after a historic snowfall buried much of the Northeast.
The latest blizzard dumped 8 to 15 inches of snow across parts of seven states, but saved most of its fury for the Dakotas and Minnesota, the National Weather Service said.
Snow showers and blowing snow were expected to linger Monday across the area.
More than 1,000 miles away, residents of the Northeast spent the weekend digging out from a storm that dumped several feet of snow across the region.
In the Southeast, at least 15 tornadoes formed across southern Mississippi and Alabama Sunday afternoon as a cold front moved in. Major damage was caused by a tornado that struck Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The Mobile, Alabama, National Weather Service Office was to begin conducting damage surveys Monday.
According to Storm Prediction Center reports, nearly 70 people were injured in Sunday's storms, with at least 61 of those in Hattiesburg.FULL STORY
Frank Ocean says he'll "choose sanity" and let his fight with Chris Brown go.
"No criminal charges. No civil lawsuit," Ocean said on his Tumblr pageSaturday night.
"As a child, I thought if someone jumped me it would result in me murdering or mutilating a man," the post said.
"But as a man i am not a killer. I'm an artist and a modern person. I'll choose sanity."
Authorities are investigating the January 27 brawl, in which Brown is accused of punching an unnamed victim on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said in a statement the following day.FULL STORY
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is about to get a lot bigger.
The hall's selection committee on Saturday - meeting in New Orleans, on the eve of Super Bowl XLVII - selected former players Larry Allen, Cris Carter, Curley Culp, Jonathan Ogden, Dave Robinson, Warren Sapp and legendary coach Bill Parcels. They'll be formally inducted in August.
Yemeni authorities working with the U.S. Navy intercepted a ship carrying a "substantial" cache of "illegal arms" such as surface-to-air missiles, potent explosives and rocket-propelled grenades, a U.S. official and Yemen's government said Monday.
The incident took place in Yemeni territorial waters in the Arabian Sea last Wednesday, according to a statement issued five days later from Yemen's embassy in Washington.
On the same day the first of six Patriot missile batteries intended to protect Turkey from Syrian threats became operational along the border, violence continued to rage inside Syria - including bombing that, according to an opposition group, killed eight children.
The slain children were among 16 people killed in strikes by Syrian warplanes in the Aleppo suburb of Manjab, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. The same group noted similar air attacks elsewhere in the Middle Eastern nation, while another opposition group - the Local Coordination Committees - said 96 people were dead nationwide.FULL STORY
Actor Burt Reynolds is in intensive care in a Florida hospital, where he went for treatment of flu symptoms, one of his representatives said Friday.
Reynolds was dehydrated when he went to the hospital, and was eventually transferred to its intensive care unit, his representative Erik Kritzer told CNN.
"He is doing better at this time," Kritzer said late Friday afternoon of the 76-year-old actor. "We expect, as soon as he gets more fluids, he will be back in a regular room."FULL STORY
A massive cold weather system pushed perilously cold temperatures from the Upper Midwest to the Mid-Atlantic on Monday, triggering blinding snows in spots that spawned numerous nightmare traffic pileups in Ohio alone, including one fatal accident.
Residents of 14 states, from North Dakota to Virginia, faced wind chill warnings or advisories due to frigid temperatures combined with strong winds heading into Tuesday.FULL STORY
Train cars filled with Egyptian security force recruits hopped the tracks and crashed in Giza early Tuesday, killing at least 19 people and injuring some 107 others, a local official said.
The train carrying Central Security conscripts was heading from Assiut north to Cairo when it partially derailed around 12:45 a.m. Tuesday (5:45 p.m. ET Monday) in Giza, National Railways Authority Chairman Hussain Zakaria said, according to state-run EGYNews.
The partial derailment happened after two cars separated from the rest of the train, said Transportation Ministry spokesman Mohammed Shahat, according to the same news organization.FULL STORY
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy on Saturday announced a December 15 referendum date on what could become the nation's constitution, shortly it was presented to him by the Islamist-dominated assembly that crafted it.
While his supporters cheered the move, there was little indication the vote or anything Morsy said would placate the opposition.FULL STORY
Six people died after a train slammed into a vehicle early Saturday evening in southern Italy, the nation's official news agency reported, citing investigative and other sources.
Photos taken in Rossano showed what had once been a Fiat Multipla impaled against the front of the train - mangled and largely unrecognizable - as firefighters walked along the track.
A rescuer described the scene as "appalling," according to the official ANSA news agency.FULL STORY
A strip club in the western Massachusetts city of Springfield was torn to shreds Friday by an explosion caused by a gas leak, a city official said.
Those inside Club Scores evacuated the single, multistory building just before the blast, city spokesman Thomas Walsh said.
Even so, 18 people suffered injuries in the explosion that leveled the club's building, caused significant damage to 12 other buildings and caused collateral damage to roughly another dozen structures, city officials said. Nine of those injured were firefighters, four worked for the Columbia Gas company, two were police officers, and one was a city employee, Mayor Dominic Sarno said.FULL STORY