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Updated: 2 hours 21 min ago

'Colbert Report' gets star-studded sendoff

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 01:34

Even though it was the last-ever edition of The Colbert Report, host Stephen Colbert seemed determined to treat Thursday night's farewell like any ordinary episode.

8 children killed, mother stabbed, in Australia

Fri, 12/19/2014 - 01:22

SYDNEY (AP) — Eight dead children and a woman suffering from stab wounds were found inside a home in a northern Australian city on Friday, police said.

Pakistan: 67 militants killed after school massacre

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 22:37

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani jets and ground forces killed 67 militants in a northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border, officials said Friday, days after Taliban fighters killed 148 people — most of them children — in a school massacre.

Hack attack spurs call for more NKorea sanctions

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 21:56

The hack against Sony and a threat against theaters intensify calls for tougher U.S. steps.

White House releases snapshot of plan to rate U.S. colleges

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 20:06

By Elvina Nawaguna WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Friday released a draft of its plan to rate U.S. colleges and tie federal aid to performance as a way to coax institutions to pull up their socks. The U.S. Education Department will rate institutions on their performance, intake of low-income students, completion rates, affordability, employment prospects and student loan repayment rates. ...

8 children killed in home in northern Australia

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 19:10

SYDNEY (AP) — Eight dead children and a woman suffering from stab wounds were found inside a home in a northern Australian city on Friday, police said.

As U.S. eases hostilities, Cuba faces new challenge

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 18:37

By Daniel Trotta HAVANA (Reuters) - For decades, it was Cuba's first response to criticism. Poor economic performance? An obvious effect of a U.S. trade embargo that amounted to a blockade of the island nation by a bullying superpower. Arrests of dissidents? A legitimate act of self-defense against mercenaries working for the world's richest nation, which backed the failed Bay of Pigs invasion and plots to assassinate revolutionary leader Fidel Castro. ...

Massive Los Angeles construction fire was arson, authorities say

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 18:18

By Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A construction fire that gutted an entire city block of downtown Los Angeles and caused up to $30 million in damages was an act of arson, authorities said on Thursday. Los Angeles Fire Department officials have previously said the blaze, one of the largest structure fires in the city's recent history, was likely arson but no suspects have been arrested or charged. The conflagration erupted at about 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 8 and quickly destroyed a seven-story luxury apartment complex under construction near the junction of two freeways. ...

Uber's fight of California data-sharing rule highlights its bumpy road

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 15:33

By Sarah McBride SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Uber argued Thursday that it should not have to turn over ride data in a California regulatory standoff that shows how the transportation service is falling afoul of officials who could threaten its expansion. The issue, which is being heard in a California administrative court and whose outcome will not be known until next year, pits Uber against the California Public Utilities Commission. ...

Journalist sues over arrest at protest in Ferguson, Missouri

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 15:25
By Daniel Wallis (Reuters) - A Washington-based journalist has sued St. Louis County and one of its police lieutenants, saying his rights were violated when he was arrested while covering protests over the killing of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer in Ferguson, court papers showed. Gerald Yingst, a reporter and producer with News2Share, also accuses police of defaming him by announcing his arrest on Twitter and saying he had refused a commander's order to clear the street, damaging his professional reputation. A St. ...

Report: Death sentences, executions continue to drop

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 13:27

The Death Penalty Information Center says the number of executions in 2014 was the lowest it’s been in 20 years.

Accused Boston marathon bomber makes first appearance since 2013

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 13:25

The scene that unfolded in a federal courtroom in Boston on Thursday was Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s first public appearance in 17 months. The surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, said just five words in the final hearing before his trial begins in January on charges that he, along with his older brother, set off two deadly bombs near the marathon finish line in April 2013.

Report: Secret Service needs more, better-trained agents

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 13:05

After a prostitution scandal and consternation over how a fence-jumper at the White House got deep into the presidential mansion before he was stopped, the Secret Service needs to make sweeping changes like building a taller fence, hiring many more agents, and stepping up their training, an independent commission says.

Tsarnaev appears in court for 1st time since 2013

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 13:04

BOSTON (AP) — Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev returned to court Thursday for the first time since he was arraigned in July 2013, and he received a shout of encouragement from the mother-in-law of a man who was shot and killed while being questioned by law enforcement after the bombings.

Obama to set up panel to boost trust between police and communities

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 12:49
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Thursday will set up a task force to draw up recommendations to strengthen trust between law enforcement and local communities, following protests over several instances of police killings of unarmed people this year. "There is a sense of urgency," White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett told reporters before Obama was to sign an executive order setting up the Task Force on 21st Century Policing. She said the order directs the 11-member panel to submit recommendations to the president by March 2. Obama had said on Dec. ...

Bill O'Reilly declares victory in the 'War on Christmas'

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 07:52

The Fox News host, who has become Christianity's General Patton in the so-called "War on Christmas," is declaring victory.

Good news for U.S. homebuyers

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 07:34

WASHINGTON (AP) — Average U.S. long-term mortgage rates fell this week, with the benchmark 30-year loan rate reaching a new low for the year.

Boston Marathon suspect's first day in court

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 07:07

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev will be seen by the public for the first time in over a year.

How much will cyberattack cost Sony?

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 06:59

It may be the most damaging hack ever inflicted on an American business.

'Savior of the nation'

Thu, 12/18/2014 - 06:13

MOSCOW (AP) — From a Western perspective, Vladimir Putin's days as president of Russia should be numbered: The ruble has lost about half its value, the economy is in crisis and his aggression in Ukraine has turned the country into an international pariah.