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Bank of America will pay $430 million to settle Merrill Lynch claims

Bank of America fined $430MBank of America Corp., the nation's largest bank, has agreed to pay $430 million and admit wrongdoing after its Merrill Lynch wealth management arm misused customer cash.

The company generated profits and issued misleading offering documents for structured notes off of the money, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday.

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At least 80 homes destroyed in California wildfire

California firs burn 80 homesA fast-moving fire in central California destroyed at least 80 homes near Bakersfield, making it the most destructive to personal property in a week of wildfires across the state.

The Erskine Fire has burned 5,000 acres -- or about 5 square miles -- and forced thousands to evacuate with about 1,000 homes still threatened.

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Report: Islamophobia is a multimillion-dollar industry

Islamophobia is multimillion dollar industryMore than $200m was spent towards promoting "fear and hatred" of Muslims in the United States by various organisations between 2008 and 2013, according to a fresh joint report by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the University of California, Berkeley.

Released on Monday, the report identifies 74 groups, including feminist, Christian, Zionist and prominent news organisations, which either funded or fostered Islamophobia.

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Fourteen people die in West Virginia floods

W Virginia floodsAt least 14 people, including an eight-year-old boy and a toddler, have died in flooding in West Virginia, according to the state governor.

Heavy storms and flooding have caused widespread damage throughout the state, said Governor Earl Ray Tomblin.

A state of emergency was declared in 44 of the state's 55 counties.

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High court strikes limits drunk driving test laws

Breathalyzer testThe Supreme Court on Thursday placed new limits on state laws that make it a crime for motorists suspected of drunken driving to refuse alcohol tests.

The justices ruled that police must obtain a search warrant before requiring drivers to take blood alcohol tests, but not breath tests, which the court considers less intrusive.

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Freddie Gray death: Baltimore cop Caesar Goodson acquitted of second-degree murder

Freddie Gray cop acquittedBaltimore Police Officer Caesar Goodson, one of six officers charged in the death of Freddie Gray, was found not guilty of second-degree murder Thursday for his role in the 2015 case that sparked violent protests nationwide.

Goodson, who drove the transport van following Gray's arrest on April 12, 2015, was acquitted of the most serious charge against him.

Judge Barry Williams ruled on seven counts: Second-degree depraved-heart murder, manslaughter, second-degree assault, vehicular manslaughter (two counts), reckless endangerment and misconduct in office. Goodson pleaded not guilty on all charges. The verdict on the other charges was not immediately available.

Update: Goodson has been acquitted on all charges.

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Supreme Court deadlocks, thwarting Obama’s immigration actions

Supreme Court deadlocks on immigrationThe Supreme Court has thwarted President Barack Obama’s drive to expand his executive actions on immigration by making as many as five million immigrants currently in the U.S. illegally eligible for quasi-legal status and work permits.

By dividing 4-4, the justices left in place a lower court order forbidding the president from launching a new program to grant “deferred action” status to illegal immigrants who are parents of U.S. citizens or green card holders.

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