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New York jury reviews missing child poster in 1979 Patz murder case

Stanley Patz, father of Etan Patz, arrives at the state Supreme Court in the Manhattan borough of New YorkBy Natasja Sheriff NEW YORK (Reuters) - Jurors in the New York murder trial of the man who confessed to strangling Etan Patz in 1979 asked on Friday to examine a missing-child poster featuring the 6-year-old boy on which the suspect had written, "I am sorry (and) choke him." The jury in state Supreme Court in Manhattan is in its third day of deliberations over kidnapping and murder charges against Pedro Hernandez, 54, the former Manhattan deli worker accused of the boy's disappearance and death. The decades-old case, which still evokes strong passions in the city, especially among parents of young children, came to represent the dangers of living in New York City at a time when crime rates were surging. It inspired a national campaign to put the photographs of missing children on milk cartons to raise public awareness of their plight and solicit tips to locate them.

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Texas House approves bill that limits city bans on fracking

By Marice Richter DALLAS (Reuters) - A bill that would stop Texas cities from enacting their own bans on hydraulic fracturing in the nation's top crude oil and natural gas producing state was approved on Friday in the state House of Representatives. Th...

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Police say Phoenix gunman ‘snapped,’ killed four then himself

By David Schwartz PHOENIX (Reuters) - A man apparently upset over a family business dispute "snapped" before fatally shooting his two brothers, his mother and his sister-in-law and then killing himself at a home in Phoenix, police said on Friday. The s...

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Boston officials lay out security plans for marathon

Woman walks near the Boston Marathon finish line in BostonBy Elizabeth Barber BOSTON (Reuters) - Boston officials outlined a safety plan on Friday for the 2015 Boston Marathon that would protect runners and spectators while maintaining an upbeat mood two years after an attack at the event killed three people and wounded many others. Police will limit the crowds near the finish line on Boylston Street, where a pair of ethnic Chechen brothers set off twin pressure-cooker bombs that injured 264 people and set the stage for the most chaotic week in Boston's living memory. "The city will be the same positive environment that people are used to enjoying during the marathon," said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, describing the impending event on Monday as a "safe and joyful day for everyone." More than 100 cameras will oversee the route through eastern Massachusetts, from a suburb of Hopkinton to downtown Boston, with 50 observation points near the finish line, said Police Commissioner William Evans, adding: "Don’t leave backpacks laying around."   Emergency medical services for the race will include two large medical tents near the finish line, 14 ambulances and a 30-bed ambulance bus parked in a downtown Boston park.

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German president: Germanwings crash an ‘unbelievable horror’

Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr, second left, and Germanwings CEO Thomas Winkelmann, third left, arrive at the Cologne Cathedral in Cologne, Germany, Friday, April 17, 2015. A mourning ceremony will be held in the Cathedral in memory of the 150 victims of the Germanwings plane crash last month in the French Alps.(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)COLOGNE, Germany (AP) — The Germanwings crash last month was an "unbelievable horror" for the families of those killed, compounded by the apparent senselessness of the co-pilot's actions in bringing down the plane, German President Joachim Gauck told hundreds of victims' relatives and dignitaries at a memorial service Friday.

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