April 2015
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FALL RIVER, Mass. - Former National Football League star Aaron Hernandez was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday for murdering an acquaintance in an industrial park near his Massachusetts home, concluding the first of two murder trials he faces this year. | Video

WASHINGTON - A small helicopter landed on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol with a single occupant aboard on Wednesday, but a bomb squad found nothing hazardous and normal operations have resumed, U.S. Capitol Police said.

4:34pm EDT

NEW ORLEANS - Attorneys for former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who is serving a 10-year sentence in federal prison for corruption, are seeking to have his 2014 conviction overturned because of what they say were flawed instructions given to the jury, court papers show.

NEW YORK - A New York jury reached no verdict on Wednesday in its first day of deliberations in the trial of a former deli worker accused of kidnapping and murdering 6-year-old Etan Patz, whose 1979 disappearance called national attention to the issue of missing children.

5:41pm EDT

WASHINGTON - Members of a key U.S. congressional panel said on Wednesday they have no confidence in Drug Enforcement Administration chief Michele Leonhart, a day after grilling her about DEA agents accused of engaging in sex parties with prostitutes in Colombia.

5:42pm EDT

- Texas on Wednesday executed a 34-year-old man convicted of seizing a gun from a San Antonio police officer and fatally shooting him in a struggle in 2001, a prison spokesman said.

7:55pm EDT

LOS ANGELES - Two teenagers accused of conspiring to kill teachers and students at their suburban Los Angeles high school admitted on Wednesday to making a criminal threat in connection with the planned mass shooting that never materialized, prosecutors said.

7:42pm EDT

DALLAS - A suburban Dallas pastor has been charged in connection with the death of a 2-year-old child who was allegedly starved as part of a religious ritual to rid him of demons, authorities said on Wednesday.

7:37pm EDT

RICHMOND, Va. - A Virginia circuit court judge on Wednesday rejected efforts by alumnae and others to block the closing of Sweet Briar College, clearing the way for it to join the growing ranks of shuttered U.S. women's schools.

7:30pm EDT

CHARLESTON, S.C. - South Carolina's chief justice has assigned a judge from outside North Charleston to preside over the murder case of a white former police officer accused of shooting a black man in the back in that city.

4:31pm EDT

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Eddie Redmayne wins first Oscar for 'Theory of Everything'

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Eddie Redmayne won his first Oscar on Sunday for his break-out role as physicist Stephen Hawking in the biographical movie "The Theory of Everything."

The British actor, 33, took home the Academy Award for best actor for playing Hawking and the disabling complications of a motor neuron disease, known as Lou Gehrig's disease or ALS, over the course of 30 years.

The Oscar came as little surprise following Golden Globe, SAG and British BAFTA trophies for his performance, which catapulted Redmayne from a relative unknown in Hollywood to its newest and most modest star.

"I am fully aware that I am a lucky, lucky man," Redmayne said as he held the gold statuette on stage. "This belongs to all of those people around the world battling ALS."

Redmayne spent seven months preparing to play Hawking, mastering his physical decline into almost total paralysis as well as his dry wit, mischievous glint and lady's man charm. He met the author of "A Brief History of Time" just days before filming began.

Hawking, now 72, gave his blessing to the film, even though it is based on the memoir of first wife Jane who married the young genius when he was given two years to live.

Before "The Theory of Everything," the freckle-faced Redmayne was best known as an up-and-coming actor in movies such as "My Week with Marilyn" and the musical "Les Miserables," in which he played the rebellious young lover, Marius.

Educated among Britain's elite at Eton College and Cambridge University, Redmayne made his professional acting debut in London in 2002 at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre.

Eight years later he won Britain's top stage award, an Olivier, for his role in the play "Red" and followed it with a Tony award when the play transferred to Broadway.

Redmayne has also worked as a Burberry clothes model, and he topped the 2015 list of GQ's magazine's 50 best-dressed British men.

(Reporting By Jill Serjeant and Lisa Richwine; Editing by Sandra Maler and Ken Wills)

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