CNN: San Francisco transit workers end strike, contract talks to continue
Striking union workers for San Francisco's transit system resume work Friday without a contract while negotiations continue, officials said. "BART workers will return to service without a contract agreement in place," said Marty Morgenstern, the leader of the state Labor and Workforce Development Agency. "Both parties have agreed and are putting good faith in the continuing negotiations." The Bay Area Rapid Transit is expected to resume services at 3 p.m. local time Friday.
CNN: A day after coup, Egyptians awake to uncertainty
Egyptians awoke to an uncertain new political order on Thursday, a day after the military deposed and reportedly detained the country's first democratically elected president, put a top judge in his place and suspended the constitution. The coup that toppled Mohamed Morsy as president on Wednesday brought hundreds of thousands of people into the streets across Egypt to both applaud and assail the generals' decision to take control of the country's politics for the second time in a little over two years. It also left a series of significant questions unanswered.
CNN: McCain arrives in Afghanistan on Fourth of July visit
U.S. Senator John McCain arrived on an unannounced visit to Afghanistan on Thursday, a coalition spokeswoman told CNN. The Arizona Republican is expected to meet with U.S. forces.
CNN: No ‘active deception’ from Zimmerman, says cop
Jurors in the George Zimmerman trial got to hear his story again Tuesday, this time from Chris Serino, the lead investigator in the case, and Zimmerman’s best friend, Mark Osterman. On the trial’s seventh day, both of them recounted the story told to them by Zimmerman with minor variations - but no big inconsistencies. Court ended early Tuesday to give attorneys time to prepare their arguments for a hearing regarding the admissibility of evidence of Zimmerman's interest in the criminal justice field, including his course work pursuing a criminal justice degree, his rejected application to become a police officer and his request to do a ride along with police. Attorneys will present their arguments outside the presence of the jury when court resumes Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m. ET.
ALSO SEE: WX Post: George Zimmerman trial: Race is a subtext, not the focus
WATCH: VIDEO Zimmerman friend gives sweaty testimony Darren Kavinoky talks to Brooke about Mark Osterman's testimony in court.
CNN: Loss of 19 firefighters in Arizona blaze 'unbearable,' governor says
They were part of an elite squad confronting wildfires on the front line, setting up barriers to stop the spreading destruction. But in their unpredictable world, it doesn't take much to turn a situation deadly. In this case, a wind shift and other factors caused a central Arizona fire, which now spans 8,400 acres, to become erratic, said Mike Reichling, Arizona State Forestry Division spokesman. Though the deaths are under investigation, the inferno appears to have proved too much, even for the shelters the 19 firefighters carried as a last-ditch survival tool.
ALSO SEE: NPR: How Firefighters Cope With Profound Tragedy
AZ Central: Yarnell Hill Fire: Feds assume command from state
CNN: Zimmerman: Trayvon Martin attacked me
Jurors got to hear George Zimmerman’s story in his own words for the first time Monday as his interviews with police were played in court. The former neighborhood watch captain is charged with second-degree murder for killing 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida, on February 26, 2012. Zimmerman told police he was pursuing the teenager because there had been a rash of crime in the area. A confrontation ensued, and Zimmerman said he was forced to kill Martin.
ALSO SEE: Associated Press: Police questioning of Zimmerman grew more pointed
WATCH: VIDEO CNN's Anderson Cooper and a panel of legal experts discuss if the prosecution should have gone for second-degree murder.
CNN: 19 Arizona firefighters killed in one of nation's deadliest blazes
The 19 firefighters were members of an elite squad who get as close to the fire as possible to set up a barrier and stop its forward march. But the inferno blazing across central Arizona proved too much. The entire team was killed Sunday while fighting the Yarnell Hill fire, northwest of Phoenix - the deadliest wildland blaze for firefighters in more than 35 years.
WATCH: VIDEO More than a dozen firefighters were killed battling a blaze in Arizona
ALSO SEE: AZ Central: Yarnell Hill Fire: Families watch homes burn
CNNMoney: Student loan rates doubling on Monday
Students preparing to take subsidized government loans will see their interest rates double to 6.8% from current levels, starting Monday, July 1. But hope isn't lost yet. Lawmakers are working hard behind the scenes trying to strike a deal to save the 7 million college students who are slated to take the subsidized federal Stafford loans this year. Senate Democratic leaders are throwing their weight behind a bill that would extend the 3.4% rates for another year, just as Congress did last year.
CNN: Police are back at Hernandez home
Police on Thursday night were back at the Massachusetts home of former NFL player Aaron Hernandez, according to a law enforcement source with knowledge of an ongoing investigation into an unsolved 2012 double homicide in Boston. Hernandez, who is being investigated in connection with that 2012 case, is accused of orchestrating the killing of a man whose body was found last week less than a mile from Hernandez's home. Massachusetts State Police late Thursday said they were seeking a man as an "accessory after the fact" in the death of Odin Lloyd, who was found less than a mile from the home of former NFL tight end Aaron Hernandez. A North Attleboro Police Department tweet linked to a poster that described Ernest Wallace as being armed and dangerous. In most states, accessory refers to aiding someone suspected of committing a felony. Hernandez is charged with first-degree murder in the Lloyd case.
ALSO SEE: CNN: Prosecutors: Bubble gum, texts among trail of evidence in Hernandez's case
CNN: Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage hailed as historic victory
A deeply divided Supreme Court nudged the nation toward broad recognition of same-sex marriage on Wednesday in rulings that advocates hailed as a "joyous occasion" - but still left many questions unanswered. Voting 5-4 in each of two decisions, justices threw out part of a law that denied hundreds of federal benefits to same-sex couples and cleared the way for gays and lesbians to once again marry in California. At the same time, the high court declined to make a sweeping statement on the broader issue of same-sex marriage rights nationwide, rejecting California's same-sex marriage ban but leaving intact laws banning such marriages in 35 other states. New Jersey has civil unions for same-sex couples, while New Mexico's marriage law is gender neutral and recognizes valid marriages performed in other states.
ALSO SEE: CNN: After historic court rulings, what's next for gay rights movement?
CNN: Former New England Patriot Hernandez charged with murder
Authorities charged former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez with first-degree murder on Wednesday, hours after police arrested him and the NFL team that once gave him a $40 million contract dropped him from its roster. Hernandez is accused in last week's shooting death of Odin Lloyd, whose body was found in an industrial park area less than a mile from Hernandez's home. Hernandez "drove the victim to the remote spot, and then he orchestrated his execution," First Assistant District Attorney Bill McCauley said in court Wednesday. "He orchestrated the crime from the beginning, he took steps to conceal and destroy evidence, and he took steps to prevent the police from speaking to ... an important witness," the prosecutor said. A judge ordered that Hernandez be held without bail.
CNN: Texas abortion bill dies as confusion marks end of session
The Texas legislature's special session ended in chaos and confusion early Wednesday, with Republicans unable to pass before a midnight deadline a bill that would have greatly restricted abortions in the state. Lt. Governor David Dewhurst stepped to the Senate floor around 3 a.m. to declare the bill dead and the special session over. And thus ended a night of intense drama that both sides of the abortion debate followed breathlessly, in large part to cheer - or jeer - the efforts of a lone lawmaker who talked for 10 straight hours to run out the clock. Texas state Sen. Wendy Davis tried Tuesday to block the abortion bill by attempting a 13-hour filibuster, but fell short three hours early when the chairman ruled she had gone off topic.
CNN: Russian Foreign Minister rejects U.S accusations regarding Snowden as baseless
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday that Russia had no connection to U.S fugitive Edward Snowden. Speaking at a joint press conference with the Algerian foreign minister in Moscow, Lavrov said: "I want to say, right away, that we have nothing to do with Mr Snowden, or his movements around the world. Snowden did not cross the Russian border and United States accusations of Russia with regard to Snowden case are totally baseless".
WSJ: Charter Schools Receive a Passing Grade
Students attending publicly funded, privately run charter schools posted slightly higher learning gains overall in reading than their peers in traditional public schools and about the same gains in math, but the results varied drastically by state, according to one of the most comprehensive studies of U.S. charter schools. The study, published Tuesday by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes at Stanford University, found that charter students in Rhode Island, for example, gained the equivalent of an additional 86 days of reading comprehension and 108 days of math comprehension annually compared with peers in traditional public schools. In Nevada, however, charter students had 115 fewer days of learning in reading and 137 fewer in math annually, the study found. Overall, the new study found that charter students gained an additional eight days of reading, while the math gains were identical. Low-income Hispanic and African-American students did much better in charters than their peers in the traditional school option, while white children did worse in charters.
CNNMoney: 76% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck
Roughly three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, with little to no emergency savings, according to a survey released by Bankrate.com Monday. Fewer than one in four Americans have enough money in their savings account to cover at least six months of expenses, enough to help cushion the blow of a job loss, medical emergency or some other unexpected event, according to the survey of 1,000 adults. Meanwhile, 50% of those surveyed have less than a three-month cushion and 27% had no savings at all. "It's disappointing," said Greg McBride, Bankrate.com's senior financial analyst. "Nothing helps you sleep better at night than knowing you have money tucked away for unplanned expenses." Even more disappointing; The savings rates have barely changed over the past three years, even though a larger percentage of consumers report an increase in job security, a higher net worth and an overall better financial situation.
USA Today: Government begins education blitz for uninsured
A week after a Government Accountability Office report said new health insurance exchanges may not be fully ready to launch in October, the government Monday began a 100-day public education blitz by releasing a new website, call center and publicity campaign. The campaign is designed to educate those who do not have insurance about how the marketplaces will work and how to obtain health insurance. Most Americans who do not have insurance now will need to purchase insurance to avoid paying a fine. The health exchanges, or marketplaces, are meant to provide less expensive, but better, insurance options that are easy to understand. Consumers will go to either a state or federal website, compare and contrast plans from several insurers based on benefits and costs, and purchase insurance. Those making less than 400% of the federal poverty level will receive financial help with the insurance, which will automatically be applied when they sign up online.