The man suspected of murdering nine black people at a South Carolina church has been charged with federal hate crimes, adding to multiple state counts that could result in a death sentence.
Dylann Roof, 21, is accused of the deadly shooting spree last month at Charleston's historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The indictment says he targeted the victims on the basis of race, in a house of worship, "in order to make his attack more notorious."
"The parishioners had Bibles. Dylann Roof had his .45 calibre Glock pistol and eight magazines loaded with hollow point bullets," US Attorney General Loretta Lynch said after a federal grand jury returned the 33-count indictment against Roof.
Roof planned the attack for several months, Lynch said, singling out the church because of its historical significance in the African-American community.
The federal government has not decided if it will seek the death penalty if Roof is convicted, Lynch said.
Comedian Bill Cosby has lost his latest legal bid to fend off a lawsuit accusing him of sexually abusing a 15-year-old girl.
California's Supreme Court denied the comedian's petition to review the case which focuses on an incident at the Playboy Mansion in Los Angeles in 1974.
The accuser's attorney, Gloria Allred, said the decision cleared the way for the litigation brought by Judy Huth, now in her 50s, to proceed, and that she intended to take Cosby's sworn deposition within the next 30 days.
The White House has confirmed that it is in the final stages of drafting a plan to close the US prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
The announcement was made by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, who confirmed that plans to "safely and responsibly close the prison at Guantanamo Bay" were currently being drafted.
Mr Earnest said closing Guantanamo Bay prison remains a priority and it is a waste to spend more than $100 million per year on a prison holding only 116 detainees. He said terrorists also use Guantanamo Bay as a recruiting tool.
President Obama had promised to close the prison since his first day in office, but has suffered setbacks in Congress.
Earnest said the president has decided to veto a defence spending bill now being negotiated if it includes provisions that would make it harder to close the prison.
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A Kuwait-born man who shot and killed five service members in Tennessee suffered from depression since his early teenage years and fought drug and alcohol abuse, his family has said.
A family representative, who did not want to be identified to avoid unwanted publicity, said relatives of 24-year-old Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez believed those personal struggles were at the heart of last week's killings at a two military sites in Chattanooga.
"He was medicated like many children are. Through high school and college he did a better job sometimes than others staying with it," said the spokesman.
"They do not know of anything else to explain it," the spokesman added.
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