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Updated: 2 hours 52 min ago

Happy red cup leads to happy new Miss America

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 13:49

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — Miss New York Kira Kazantsev won the Miss America pageant Sunday night, with the help of a red plastic cup.

'Dangerous' hurricane hits Mexico Pacific resorts

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 12:40

Hurricane Odile crashed into northwestern Mexico's Los Cabos resorts on Sunday, taking down trees with powerful winds as thousands of tourists hunkered down in luxury hotels converted into shelters. The "dangerous" category three storm in the five-level Saffir-Simpson scale packed 205-kilometer (125-mile) per hour winds when it made landfall near Cabo San Lucas in the late evening, according to the US National Hurricane Center. The storm took down trees, power lines and roof tiles as it arrived in the Baja California peninsula, said National Civil Protection coordinator Luis Felipe Puente.

New Yorker Kira Kazantsev 'Happy' to be crowned Miss America

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 10:57

New Yorker Kira Kazantsev won the coveted 2015 Miss America Pageant crown on Sunday, a "three-peat" for contenders from the Big Apple. As part of the competition, Kazantsev, 23, sang Pharrell William's song "Happy", keeping time by tapping a red plastic cup. Wearing a long-sleeved, backless white gown and clutching red roses, the newest Miss America walked the runway with a wide smile and waved to a cheering crowd in Atlantic City, where the 94-year-old beauty pageant returned last year after eight years in Las Vegas. Kazantsev's win marked New York's third consecutive Miss America title.

Crews gain ground against southern California wildfire

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 10:23
Authorities in southern California lifted an evacuation order on Sunday evening as firefighters made headway to contain a wildfire that forced hundreds of people to flee their homes as it swept through drought-stricken woods southeast of Los Angeles. More than 1,000 firefighters backed by nine helicopters worked around the clock to contain the Silverado Fire, which broke out Friday morning in the Cleveland National Forest and spread rapidly on Saturday due to a heat wave in the state. "We are at 20 percent containment, but that number should start going up rapidly now." A mandatory evacuation order affecting some 217 homes in and around Silverado Canyon, a gorge in the Santa Ana Mountains, was lifted on Sunday evening, Orange Country Cheriff's Department officials said. Three firefighters suffered minor injuries, and the blaze had so far left 1,600 acres (647 hectares) charred as of Sunday, authorities said.

Diplomatic push grows against Islamic State

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 07:44

Diplomats are in Paris pressing for a global strategy to combat the militant group.

Why Scotland wants independence

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 05:40

There's nothing new about Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom's ups and downs.

Crews gain ground as California wildfire threatens hundreds of homes

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 05:18
Firefighters were making slow progress on Sunday in a battle to contain a wildfire that has roared through 1,600 acres of drought-stricken forest southeast of Los Angeles and displaced hundreds of people from their homes, the U.S. The Silverado Fire, which broke out Friday morning in the Cleveland National Forest, was 20 percent contained with 1,600 acres (647 hectares) charred as of Sunday, authorities said.

Fourth Sierra Leonean doctor dies from Ebola

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 03:19

Freetown (AFP) - A fourth Sierra Leonean doctor, a woman, died Sunday after contracting the dreaded Ebola virus, a top health official said, while a Dutch charity repatriated two doctors suspected of having been contaminated with the disease.

Police search three states for suspect in Pennsylvania police ambush

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 03:19
(Reuters) - Police pushed ahead on Sunday with a massive manhunt in three states for a gunman who ambushed two Pennsylvania state troopers two days ago, shooting to death one of them and injuring the other. The search is focusing on a three-state area around northeast Pennsylvania, Trooper Connie Devens of the Pennsylvania State Police said on Sunday afternoon. The shooting occurred outside a state police barracks in Blooming Grove, Pennsylvania, about 11 p.m. on Friday, authorities have said. On Sunday, the Times-Tribune of Scranton, Pennsylvania, posted a video on its website showing police searching deep woods near the barracks for evidence in the case.

NFL's Carolina deactivates Hardy as NFL draws more fire

Mon, 09/15/2014 - 00:49

The NFL's Carolina Panthers deactivated defensive end Greg Hardy for Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions, according to the team's website, in a reversal of an earlier decision to let him play while he appeals a domestic violence conviction. The move comes after a week of fierce criticism over the National Football League's handling of a domestic violence case involving three-time Pro Bowler Ray Rice. The outrage over the NFL's response to the incident has led to calls for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to step down.

Liberal Senator Sanders may seek U.S. presidency in 2016

Sun, 09/14/2014 - 23:58

Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont, could pose a challenge from the left to Hillary Clinton, widely seen as the front-runner for the Democratic presidential nomination. Sanders is serving his second six-year term in the Senate. He has cultivated a following among some American liberals, especially on economic issues like the growing income disparity between rich and poor and corporate greed.

#GoodellMustGo banners fly above NFL stadiums

Sun, 09/14/2014 - 22:04

A women's rights group flew banners above several NFL stadiums on Sunday calling on its commissioner, Roger Goodell, to resign over his handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case.

Liberal senator may seek presidency

Sun, 09/14/2014 - 21:56

Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders says he may run as a Democrat.

Several Arab countries offer to join air campaign on Islamic State, say U.S. officials

Sun, 09/14/2014 - 21:14

By Jason Szep PARIS (Reuters) - Several Arab countries have offered to join the United States in air strikes against Islamic State targets, U.S. The officials declined to identify which countries had made the offers but said they were under consideration as the United States begins to identify roles for each country in its emerging coalition against jihadists who have declared a caliphate in the heart of the Middle East. “I don’t want to leave you with the impression that these Arab members haven’t offered to do air strikes because several of them have,” a senior U.S.

Scottish independence could mean messy divorce

Sun, 09/14/2014 - 19:36

How do you divorce after a 300-year union? It's complicated, and there is a deadline.

Islamic State attracts female jihadis from U.S. heartland

Sun, 09/14/2014 - 19:05
At least three Somali families in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area have female relatives who have gone missing in the past six weeks and may have tried to join Islamic State, said community leader Abdirizak Bihi. In a separate case, a 19-year-old American Somali woman from St. Paul snuck away from her parents on Aug. 25 saying she was going to a bridal shower. Instead, she flew to Turkey and joined IS in Syria. Home to the biggest Somali community in the United States, the Twin Cities area of Minnesota has been plagued by terrorist recruiting since the Somali group al-Shabaab began enlisting in America around 2007.

Family: Remember slain hostage for helping others

Sun, 09/14/2014 - 18:15

LONDON (AP) — British aid worker David Haines devoted his life to helping civilians in war zones and that is how he should be remembered, his family said Sunday as they grieved his death at the hands of Islamic State militants in Syria.

'Dolphin Tale' hero's new home tangled in aquarium politics

Sun, 09/14/2014 - 18:12

By Letitia Stein CLEARWATER Fla. (Reuters) - The family-friendly hit "Dolphin Tale," whose sequel opened in theaters this weekend, tells the true story of a dolphin who learns to swim without a tail. The movie ends with Winter, the tail-less dolphin, helping save the struggling Florida aquarium that rescued her. "Winter can't do those kind of shows, even if we wanted to, which we don’t," said David Yates, chief executive officer at her home, the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. "Dolphin Tale" and its sequel, "Dolphin Tale 2," were filmed at the Clearwater aquarium, a sun-bleached former sewage treatment plant retrofitted as a marine animal hospital.

North Korea sentences U.S. citizen Matthew Todd Miller to six years hard labor

Sun, 09/14/2014 - 17:50

By James Pearson SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea sentenced U.S. Matthew Miller joins Kenneth Bae to become the second American currently serving a hard labor sentence in North Korea. A third, Jeffrey Fowle, is currently awaiting trial. "He committed acts hostile to the DPRK while entering the territory of the DPRK under the guise of a tourist last April," the short statement said, without elaborating.

N. Korea sentences US man to 6 years of hard labor

Sun, 09/14/2014 - 17:46

Matthew Miller was accused of entering the country illegally and trying to commit espionage.