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Updated: 2 hours 28 min ago

Cuba's Castro hails new era of 'living together' with U.S.

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 17:56

Cuban President Raul Castro hailed a landmark exchange of prisoners with the United States on Wednesday and praised U.S. President Barack Obama as the two countries agreed to normalize relations after more than five decades of hostility. The United States freed three convicted Cuban spies in return for the release of U.S. foreign aid worker Alan Gross, imprisoned in Cuba in 2009, and of an intelligence agent who spied for the United States and had been held for nearly 20 years. ...

U.S. links North Korea to Sony hack

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 16:32

Federal investigators have connected the attack on Sony Entertainment to North Korea, an official says.

U.S., Cuba restore ties after 50 years

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 16:14

By Daniel Trotta and Steve Holland HAVANA/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and Cuba agreed on Wednesday to restore diplomatic ties that Washington severed more than 50 years ago, and President Barack Obama called for an end to the long economic embargo against its old Cold War enemy. After 18 months of secret talks, Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro agreed in a phone call on Tuesday on a breakthrough prisoner exchange, the opening of embassies in each other's countries, and an easing of some restrictions on commerce. ...

Obama to free 8 nonviolent drug offenders

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 13:40

President Barack Obama will shorten the sentences of eight prisoners serving time for nonviolent drug crimes and pardon 12 ex-convicts, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

Top theater chains drop 'The Interview'

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 13:31

Spy at center of Obama-Castro deal

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 12:26

Gerardo Hernandez calls himself a terrorist fighter, but denies he conspired to commit murder.

Montana homeowner found guilty in slaying of German exchange student

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 11:49

MISSOULA, Mont. (Reuters) - A jury found a Montana homeowner guilty of deliberate homicide on Wednesday in the shooting death of a German high school exchange student who entered his garage in a case that tested the state's version of a "castle doctrine" self-defense law. Markus Kaarma, who prosecutors painted as an armed aggressor who lured a would-be burglar to his death, was charged in connection with the April death of Diren Dede, 17, of Hamburg, who authorities say was killed while "garage hopping" at night in Missoula in a possible search for alcohol. ...

Ohio police use pepper spray on crowd lined up for Air Jordans

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 10:18
By George Tanber TOLEDO, Ohio (Reuters) - Police used pepper spray on Wednesday to disperse an unruly crowd of about 300 people lined up at a Toledo, Ohio, mall for an opportunity to buy Air Jordan sneakers. People began lining up in front of Franklin Park Mall around 3:30 a.m. for tickets passed out by employees of Finish Line, a national shoe chain. The ticket allowed them to buy the Nike Air Jordan Retro 11 Legend Blue, which goes on sale for $200 on Saturday. "It got pretty crazy," said Toledo police officer P. A. Tatum. ...

Florida's Cuban Americans rejoice at U.S. policy overhaul

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 08:43

By Zachary Fagenson and David Adams MIAMI (Reuters) - Some Cuban exiles rejoiced at the prospect of easier access to their relatives. Some swelled with guarded optimism over the prospect of thawing relations between the United States and the communist island. And some were simply "ecstatic." News on Wednesday that the United States will restore full diplomatic relations with Cuba and open an embassy in Havana for the first time in more than a half century rippled through the 1.5-million-strong exile community in the United States, many of them lifelong opponents of communist rule. ...

Cuba releases Alan Gross after 5 years in prison

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 07:30
The move comes amidst reports that U.S. will try to normalize relations with Cuba.

U.S., Cuba seek to normalize relations

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 07:17

These moves represent the biggest shift in U.S. policy toward the island in decades.

Obama to announce major Cuba policy overhaul; prisoners swapped

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 07:16
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Cuba has released American aid worker Alan Gross after five years in prison, a U.S. official said on Wednesday amid reports of a prisoner exchange that heralds a major overhaul of U.S. policy toward Cuba. The U.S. official said Gross was released on humanitarian grounds. CNN reported a prisoner exchange that also included Cuba releasing a U.S. intelligence source and the United States releasing three Cuban intelligence agents. U.S. President Barack Obama was to make a statement at noon on Cuba, the White House said. ...

Texas ex-justice of the peace sentenced to death for revenge murder

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 06:50

DALLAS (Reuters) - A Texas jury on Wednesday sentenced to death a former justice of the peace convicted of murdering a suburban Dallas prosecutor's wife in a revenge plot. The same jury that convicted Eric Williams, 47, on Dec. 4 of murdering Cynthia McLelland sentenced him to death after deliberating for less than four hours. Williams has also been charged with murdering District Attorney Mike McLelland, who was Cynthia McClelland's husband, and Kaufman County Assistant District Attorney Mark Hassle. ...

After Alan Gross release, Obama seeks to resume full diplomatic ties with Cuba

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 06:23

President Obama will launch negotiations with Cuba.

Clinton early 2016 front-runner — but 'barely': NBC News/WSJ poll

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 04:36

While Hillary Clinton may be the prohibitive favorite to win the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, the margin of American voters who would support her in a general election is razor thin.

'The Interview' New York premiere canceled after threat

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 04:30

The Interview's planned premiere in New York has been canceled, a Landmark spokesperson said Tuesday. The Sony film was scheduled to screen at Landmark's Sunshine Cinema.

Pakistan mourns as mass funerals begin

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 03:40

The nation begins burying the 142 victims, most of them children, of the school attack.

Vastly changed electoral system presents risks and opportunities for Jeb Bush

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 03:14

The Internet may be Jeb's best hope of becoming the GOP nominee.

Democrats go searching for a message ahead of 2016

Wed, 12/17/2014 - 01:21

Democrats are worried that they've become too focused on specific groups within their coalition and have lost focus on winning over moderate voters who care most about the economy and view government with skepticism.

Court-appointed panel to monitor Los Angeles county jails

Tue, 12/16/2014 - 22:15

(Reuters) - A court-appointed panel will begin to oversee the Los Angeles County jail system, the American Civil Liberties Union said on Tuesday, as part of a settlement to a 2012 class-action lawsuit that alleged sheriff's deputies beat inmates. The agreement requires the sheriff's department to adopt an action plan to drawn up by the three-person panel, aimed at reforming its use-of-force policy and give further training to its jail deputies, the civil rights group said. ...