The nation in brief


Photographs by AP/SETH WENIG

U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., leaves the federal courthouse in Newark on Monday.

Judge tells Menendez jury to keep trying

NEWARK, N.J. -- The jury in the bribery trial of Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez and a wealthy donor and friend told the judge it couldn't reach a verdict on Monday on any of the 18 counts against them, prompting the judge to order it to return on Tuesday to continue deliberating.

The day began with U.S. District Judge William Walls questioning jurors over public comments made last week by a juror who had been excused for a previously scheduled vacation. The juror told reporters she and others were in favor of acquittal, but she anticipated a hung jury.

While jurors have been told repeatedly not to read reports about the cases, four jurors and three alternates said they had. After questioning each in private, the judge directed the jury to restart deliberations with an alternate replacing the excused juror.

Three hours later, the jurors sent a note saying they couldn't "reach a unanimous verdict on any of the charges." The judge instructed them to "have a good meal and good sleep" and return today.

Prosecutors allege Menendez and Florida eye doctor Salomon Melgen between 2006 and 2013 engaged in a bribery scheme in which Menendez traded his political influence for luxury vacations and flights on the doctor's private plane.

Both men deny the allegations.

Hate crimes top 6,100 in 2016, FBI says

WASHINGTON -- Hate crimes rose for the second straight year in 2016, with increases in attacks motivated by bias against blacks, Jews, Muslims and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, according to FBI statistics released Monday.

There were more than 6,100 hate crimes last year, up about 5 percent over the previous year. In 2015 and 2016, that number was driven by crimes against people because of their race or ethnicity.

The yearly report is the most comprehensive accounting of hate crimes in the U.S. But authorities have long warned it is incomplete, in part because it is based on voluntary reporting by police agencies across the country.

More than half the 4,229 racially motivated crimes were against black people, while 20 percent were against whites, the report shows. And Jews were targeted in more than half the 1,538 crimes that were motivated by religion.

4 people shot, 2 fatally at Atlanta show

ATLANTA -- A shooting at a rap concert in downtown Atlanta that killed two people and wounded two others began when two people climbed onstage between performances, police said.

The two who climbed onto the stage at The Masquerade at Underground Atlanta were shot Sunday night by someone in the crowd who got angry, Atlanta police officer Lisa Bender said.

The gunman, who was still being sought by police Monday, managed to escape as the crowd fled the club, Bender said.

Police found one of the victims dead at the scene from a gunshot wound to the chest. The others were taken to a nearby hospital, where a second gunshot victim later died. Police said the other two suffered non-life threatening wounds to their feet and ankles.

The concert venue's website showed rappers Cousin Stizz, Levi Carter, Big Leano and Givon were scheduled to perform Sunday.

New charges filed in frat pledge's death

Newly recovered security camera footage from inside a Penn State fraternity house showed a pledge had been given at least 18 drinks in less than 90 minutes, investigators said Monday in announcing dozens of new charges related to the pledge's death.

Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller charged 10 new defendants, reinstated charges against two people whose cases had been dropped and added counts against five more for actions surrounding the Feb. 4 death of Beta Theta Pi pledge Tim Piazza. One fraternity member is accused of deleting the video as police were seeking the footage to conceal the worst of the drinking and hazing.

Twenty-six people now face charges in the case.

Piazza, a 19-year-old engineering student from Lebanon, N.J., suffered a fractured skull, shattered spleen and other injuries, likely during a series of falls inside the house. He was estimated to have had a blood-alcohol level several times the legal limit for adult drivers.

Stacy Parks Miller, district attorney in Centre County, Pa., speaks Monday in Bellefonte at a news conference about evidence found in the invest...

A Section on 11/14/2017

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