WASHINGTON (AP) — The Paris terrorist attacks seem likely to compel President Barack Obama to consider military escalation against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. But that probably will not mean dramatic moves like launching a U.S. or international ground offensive or accelerating aerial bombing in hopes of eliminating the global threat of violent extremism.
(Reuters) - California Governor Jerry Brown has extended his executive order requiring residents to conserve water as the state readies for a fifth year of drought. The order gives state water officials greater authority to deal with drought conditions and to cope with potential winter storms from El Nino, a periodic warming of ocean surface temperatures. The Democratic governor's new order lets emergency water conservation measures to continue through October if California still faces a drought in January.
Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley will face off Saturday in their second debate, their fight for the Democratic presidential nomination transformed by the devastating terrorist attacks in Paris Friday. In the wake of the deaths of 129 — and counting — the prime-time showdown seems certain to focus heavily on national security, pitting the former secretary of state’s more hawkish views against the independent senator’s well-known reluctance to use force, while leaving O’Malley hunting for ways to cast himself as a plausible commander-in-chief.
By Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court's decision on Friday to hear a challenge to tough abortion restrictions in Texas raises questions about the legal fate of similar laws in more than a dozen other states. The court's ruling, due by June, could spell out the extent to which states can impose clinic regulations likely to restrict access to abortion as an outpatient procedure. If the court upholds the Texas law, similar laws would also fall.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has long opposed same-sex marriage, but has angered some members with a new directive on how it should deal with Mormon families headed by wedded gay and lesbian couples. The policy, approved last week by leaders of the church, which claims more than 15 million adherents worldwide, added same-sex marriage to the list of acts considered to be a renunciation of the faith and thus subject to church discipline, including excommunication. It also prohibits natural or adopted children of gay married couples from being baptized in the faith until they turn 18, leave their parents' home and personally disavow same-sex marriage or cohabitation.
New York, Boston and other cities in the United States bolstered security on Friday night after deadly gun and bomb attacks on civilians in Paris, but law enforcement officials said the beefed-up police presence was precautionary rather than a response to any specific threats. The New York Police Department said officers from its Counterterrorism Response Command and other special units were deployed in areas frequented by tourists, and at the French Consulate in Manhattan. "Teams have been dispatched to crowded areas around the city out of an abundance of caution to provide police presence and public reassurance as we follow the developing situation overseas," the NYPD said in a statement.
At least 20 people were injured when a double-decker tour bus crashed into several cars and careened into a scaffolding in downtown San Francisco on Friday afternoon, authorities said. Six people were in critical condition, 12 were transported to area hospitals with various injuries and two were treated on the scene, said San Francisco Police Sgt. Michael Andraychak. San Francisco Fire Department spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge said the incident started around 3 p.m. local time.
At least 18 people were killed in a series of gun attacks across Paris on Friday, as well as explosions outside the national stadium where France was hosting Germany. Police said at least 15 people had been killed at the Bataclan concert hall in central Paris, only around 200 metres from the former offices of Charlie Hebdo which were attacked by jihadists in January. Three people were killed in an explosion outside the Stade de France north of the capital, police said, during a match between Germany and France.
NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - When U.S. prosecutors this week charged two Israelis and an American fugitive with raking in hundreds of millions of dollars in one of the largest and most complex cases of cyber fraud ever exposed, they also provided an unusual look into the burgeoning industry of criminal hackers for hire. The trio, who are accused of orchestrating massive computer breaches at JPMorgan Chase & Co and other financial firms, as well as a series of other major offences, did little if any hacking themselves, the federal indictments and a previous civil case brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission indicate. "They clearly had to recruit co-conspirators and have that type of hacker-for-hire," said Austin Berglas, former assistant special agent in charge of the FBI's New York cyber division, who worked the JPMorgan case before he left the agency in May. "This is the first case where it's that clear of a connection." Berglas, who now heads cyber investigations for private firm K2 Intelligence, said additional major cases of freelance hacking will come to light, especially as more people become familiar with online tools such as Tor that seek to conceal a user’s identity and location.
The U.S. Supreme Court took up a major new abortion case on Friday, agreeing to hear a challenge by abortion providers to parts of a restrictive, Republican-backed Texas law that they contend are aimed at shutting clinics that offer the procedure. A separate section of the 2013 law that requires abortion clinic physicians to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles (50 km) is also at issue but has gone into effect in most parts of Texas. The last time the nine justices of the Supreme Court decided a major abortion-related issue was in 2007 when they ruled 5-4 to uphold a federal law banning a late-term abortion procedure.