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Defense moves into spotlight in Boston Marathon bombing trial

A still image captured from surveillance video at the Boston Marathon shows the scene moments before a second bomb exploded near the finish line of the raceBy Scott Malone BOSTON (Reuters) - The Boston Marathon bombing trial shifts sharply in tone next week when prosecutors rest their case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and turn proceedings over to his lawyers, who have already admitted he planted explosives at the finish line in April 2013. One of Tsarnaev's lawyers, death penalty specialist Judy Clarke, opened the trial on March 4 with a blunt statement to the jury that "it was him" who killed three people and injured 264 in the attack. Clarke contended, however, that the 21-year-old played a secondary role to his older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, in planning and executing the plot. Her goal: Persuade jurors in federal court in Boston that Tsarnaev deserves a sentence of life in prison rather than the death penalty.


Venezuelan theater chronicles absurdity of life in crisis

Virginia Urdaneta (L) performs during the play “Pa Lante, presented at the Sambil shopping mall in Caracas on March 18, 2015The two characters in Venezuelan playwright Virginia Urdaneta's new play come together doing something that real people in her homeland spend long hours doing, across the country, every day: waiting in line to buy scarce products from barren supermarket shelves. As the South American oil giant has gone from boom to bust in recent years, shortages, violent crime and the temptation to move abroad have become inescapable markers of Venezuelans' daily reality. The trend is an antidote to Venezuela's mainstream theater scene. "Venezuela is living a moment of pure absurdity.


Sierra Leoneans to stay home in final push to stop Ebola

A usually busy street is deserted as Sierra Leone enters a three day country wide lockdown on movement of people due to the Ebola virus in the city of Freetown, Sierra Leone, Friday, March. 27, 2015. Sierra Leone's 6 million people were told to stay home for three days, except for religious services, beginning Friday as the West African nation attempted a final push to rid itself of Ebola. (AP Photo/ Michael Duff)FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Sierra Leone's 6 million people were told to stay home for three days beginning Friday, except for religious services, as the West African nation attempted a final push to rid itself of Ebola.


Jury clears top Silicon Valley firm of gender bias, retaliation

Ellen Pao leaves court as her sexual bias trial against fomer employer Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byerr continues in San FranciscoBy Sarah McBride and Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Silicon Valley powerhouse venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers was cleared on Friday of claims it short-circuited the career of a former partner because she is a woman, in a gender discrimination trial that shook the tech world. A California jury also rejected a claim that Kleiner, the firm that backed Google Inc and Amazon.com Inc, had retaliated against its former partner, Ellen Pao, by firing her after she sued in 2012. Despite days of courtroom drama about affairs, books of erotic poetry and office flirting, juror Steve Sammut, who mostly voted for Kleiner, said the decision came down to Pao's effectiveness at her job. The verdict dashed Pao's hopes for personal vindication, but the trial revealed embarrassing disclosures about how Pao and other women were treated at Kleiner and Silicon Valley's corporate culture and its lack of diversity.


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Venezuelan theater chronicles absurdity of life in crisis
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FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2015 file photo, House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio is handed the gavel from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif, after being re-elected for a third term to lead the 114th Congress, as Republicans assume full control for the first time in eight years, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Pelosi is bruising some key liberal allies by helping craft a rare bipartisan accord on Medicare. Lawmakers say it will enhance her deal-making status. And it might help her party avoid being sidelined by majority Republicans on future issues. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)
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