National Briefs: Gun violence kills 14 in Chicago

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CHICAGO — The Fourth of July hol­i­day week­end brought an ex­plo­sion of gun­fire to Chi­cago, with 82 peo­ple shot and 14 killed, au­thor­i­ties said Mon­day.

The vi­o­lence was wide­spread with doz­ens of sep­a­rate shoot­ing in­ci­dents in the na­tion’s third-larg­est city from Thurs­day eve­ning through early Mon­day, po­lice said.

At a news con­fer­ence Mon­day morn­ing, Chi­cago Po­lice su­per­in­ten­dent Garry McCarthy called the vi­o­lence “un­ac­cept­able,” blam­ing it in part on a “pro­lif­er­a­tion of fire­arms.”

Bomb­ing-re­lated trial

BOSTON — A col­lege class­mate of Dzhok­har Tsar­naev and other young men tried to pro­tect him be­cause he was a friend “who they knew was be­ing in­ves­ti­gated for the Boston Mara­thon bomb­ings,” a pros­e­cu­tor told a fed­eral court jury Mon­day.

Az­a­mat Tazhay­akov went to Mr. Tsar­naev’s res­i­dence with two class­mates at the Univer­sity of Mas­sa­chu­setts at Dart­mouth and re­moved a lap­top and a back­pack con­tain­ing ex­plo­sives-mak­ing ma­teri­als, As­sis­tant U.S. At­tor­ney Steph­a­nie Sieg­mann said as the first Mara­thon bomb­ing-re­lated trial started.

The al­leged acts by Mr. Tazhay­akov, 20, who’s charged with ob­struc­tion of justice in a ter­ror­ism in­ves­ti­ga­tion, came as au­thor­i­ties sought Mr. Tsar­naev three days af­ter the April 2013 bomb­ing that killed three peo­ple and in­jured 260.

Tod­dler death in hot car

ATLANTA — Po­lice in sub­ur­ban At­lanta are seek­ing med­i­cal and life in­sur­ance records for a tod­dler who died last month af­ter his father left him in a hot car for more than seven hours, ac­cord­ing to search war­rants re­leased Mon­day.

The fam­ily had $27,000 in in­sur­ance on the tod­dler, Cooper Har­ris, ac­cord­ing to po­lice court tes­ti­mony last week.

NYC fare war for Uber

NEW YORK — Uber Tech­nol­o­gies Inc., the car- shar­ing ser­vice that lets peo­ple or­der trans­por­ta­tion via a smart­phone, is tem­po­rar­ily cut­ting fares on its taxi-like op­tion to step up com­pe­ti­tion with New York City cab ser­vices.

The startup re­duced fares by 20 per­cent for its UberX ser­vice, mak­ing it cheaper than a city taxi, the com­pany said Mon­day on its web­site. An UberX ride in the bor­ough of Man­hat­tan from Grand Cen­tral Sta­tion to the Finan­cial Dis­trict would cost $22 un­der the new fares, com­pared with $24 for a city taxi, Uber said. The lower prices will be in place for a lim­ited time.

Lab gets $50M do­na­tion

NEW YORK — James Si­mons, a re­tired hedge fund ti­tan who used math­e­mat­i­cal strat­e­gies to be­come a bil­lion­aire, is fi­nanc­ing a new med­i­cal re­search cen­ter that plans to ap­ply sim­i­lar strat­e­gies to in­ves­ti­gate se­ri­ous dis­eases.

Mr. Si­mons, along with his wife, Mari­lyn, has given $50 mil­lion to Cold Spring Har­bor Lab­o­ra­tory to pay for the cre­ation of the Si­mons Center for Quan­ti­ta­tive Bi­ol­ogy, ac­cord­ing to an an­nounce­ment on Mon­day. With ex­perts in ap­plied math­e­mat­ics, com­puter sci­ence and the­o­ret­i­cal phys­ics, the cen­ter will use so­phis­ti­cated al­go­rithms to an­a­lyze bi­o­log­i­cal data.

Sena­tor asks probe

WASHINGTON — Sen. Robert Menen­dez is ask­ing the Justice Depart­ment to pur­sue ev­i­dence ob­tained by U.S. in­ves­ti­ga­tors that the Cuban gov­ern­ment con­cocted an elab­o­rate plot to smear him with al­le­ga­tions that he ca­vorted with un­der­age pros­ti­tutes, ac­cord­ing to peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the dis­cus­sions.

In a let­ter sent to Justice Depart­ment of­fi­cials, the sen­a­tor’s at­tor­ney as­serts that the plot was timed to de­rail the po­lit­i­cal rise of Mr. Menen­dez, D-N.J., one of Wash­ing­ton’s most ar­dent crit­ics of the Cas­tro re­gime.

— Com­piled from news ser­vices

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