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By Ian Simpson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The troubled Eisenhower Memorial designed by celebrity architect Frank Gehry is a "five-star folly" plagued by rising costs, construction delays and design problems, congressional investigators said on Friday.

The memorial to Dwight Eisenhower, the 34th U.S. president and World War Two Allied commander, has cost taxpayers $41 million with no design yet approved, the report by the House of Representatives' Natural Resources Committee said.

By Elizabeth Barber

BOSTON (Reuters) - A Massachusetts judge refused to toss out murder and firearms charges against ex-New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez in last summer's killing of a semi-professional soccer player.

Bristol Superior Court Judge Susan Garsh in a ruling late Thursday rejected the defense's argument that prosecutors lack probable cause to charge Hernandez in the execution-style slaying of Odin Lloyd, 27, near Hernandez's home in North Attleborough, Massachusetts, about 30 miles (48 km) south of Boston.

French officials have dispatched a military unit to the crash site of an Air Algerie jet that crashed in Mali carrying 116 people after vanishing from radar shortly after takeoff late Wednesday night.

French president Francois Hollande announced Friday that there were no survivors in the crash of the aircraft which disappeared from radar less than an hour after it took off early Thursday from Burkina Faso's capital, Ouagadougou, for Algiers.

Fresh evidence that Russia is directly shelling Ukrainian military targets is stoking concerns that Vladimir Putin feels increasingly comfortable running roughshod over his neighbors in defiance of the U.S. and Europe, putting pressure on the Obama administration to draw a red line that even Moscow can see. 

"Putin seems like he's unchecked," Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif., chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, told Fox Business Network, calling the latest Russian involvement a "clear escalation.

Isis 'overruns' Syrian military base
Friday, 25 July 2014 11:40
25 July 2014Last updated at 17:11
Isis fighter aboard captured tank in RaqqaRaqqa province has long been a stronghold for Isis militants, here seen with a captured tank

Fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (Isis) say they have overrun a large Syrian military base on the outskirts of the city of Raqqa.

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The big reveal of this year’s fall lineup of Live After Five was made Friday morning.

The series of outdoor concerts is held each year in the spring and fall in downtown Baton Rouge. Below is the lineup:

Sept. 5 – Marc Broussard (opening act – Jason Martin)

Sept. 12 – Chris Leblanc & the Spanishtown Big Band

Sept. 19 – Flowtribe (opening act – Dulac Smack)

Sept. 26 – Werewolf & AM/FM *SPECIAL: 5 p.m.

HAMMOND, LA (WAFB) - Deputies said the search of a motel room revealed a meth lab and resulted in the arrests of a man and woman.

The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office reported Kristopher Payne, 26, of Albany, and Stephanie Parker, 25, of Loranger, were taken into custody on July 16.

They face charges of manufacturing methamphetamine. Investigators added Parker was on probation for a previous charge of operation/creation of a clandestine lab.

Sheriff Daniel Edwards said an ongoing drug investigation led narcotics agents to the 190 Motel on US 190 in Hammond.

Los Angeles Clippers forward Blake Griffin decided to pass on playing the U.S. national team at the FIBA World Cup of basketball in August and Washington Wizards guard John Wall reportedly was added to the roster.

49ers TE Davis not holding out
Friday, 25 July 2014 11:37

San Francisco 49ers tight end Vernon Davis -- the first in NFL history to post multiple 13-touchdown seasons -- reported back to the team on time, ending his holdout after missing the team's minicamp.

By Nia Williams

CALGARY Alberta (Reuters) - Oil from a spill or oil well blowout in the Arctic waters of Canada's Beaufort Sea could easily become trapped in sea ice and potentially spread more than 1,000 kilometers to the west coast of Alaska, a World Wildlife Fund study showed on Friday.

The WWF contracted RPS Applied Science Associates to model 22 different oil spill scenarios and map the spread of the oil, potential impact on the water and shoreline, and interaction with sea ice, wildlife and the surrounding ecology.

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