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Updated: 2 hours 36 min ago

NYC's mayor launches new program to help quell tide of homelessness

Thu, 12/17/2015 - 12:52

By Laila Kearney NEW YORK (Reuters) - Mayor Bill de Blasio launched a new program on Thursday to reduce New York's rising population of people living on the streets, following criticism of his handling of the issue and days after the abrupt departure of his top advisor on homelessness. The program will dedicate a team of city workers to make contact with and help the 3,000 to 4,000 people living on the streets and will be the most comprehensive homeless outreach plan deployed in a major U.S. city, de Blasio said in a speech. "No matter how long it takes, we will reach every single person." The NYC Homeless Outreach and Mobile Engagement S‎treet Action Team, or HOME-STAT, which aims to be fully operational by March, is part of a $2.6 billion plan by the mayor to address homelessness.

Ex-U.S. House Speaker Hastert suffered a stroke: lawyer

Thu, 12/17/2015 - 12:03

By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - Former U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Dennis Hastert, who pleaded guilty in October in a hush-money case stemming from allegations of sexual misconduct, has suffered a stroke, his lawyer said on Thursday. Attorney Tom Green said that during the first week of November, Hastert, 73, was admitted to the hospital. Hastert suffered a stroke, was treated for sepsis, had two back surgeries and remains hospitalized, Green said in an emailed statement.

Obama says no specific, credible terror threat over holidays

Thu, 12/17/2015 - 10:27

McLEAN, Va. (AP) — President Barack Obama said Thursday that U.S. intelligence and counterterrorism officials have received no specific, credible information suggesting a potential terrorist attack against the United States. He said Americans must be vigilant this holiday season.

Obama: U.S. will prevail over 'despicable' terrorist threats

Thu, 12/17/2015 - 09:27

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Thursday that U.S. intelligence professionals did not have any specific or credible information about a pending attack on the United States, but warned Americans to remain vigilant going into the holiday season.

AP Sources: Buyer of rifles used in massacre to be charged

Thu, 12/17/2015 - 07:46

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A former security guard who bought the assault rifles used by his friend in the San Bernardino, California, massacre was expected to be charged as early as Thursday, according to two law enforcement officials.

Putin says Russia's ready to improve ties with the US

Thu, 12/17/2015 - 07:12

MOSCOW (AP) — Russia and the U.S. agree on a general approach to settling the Syrian crisis, President Vladimir Putin said Thursday, saying that Moscow stands ready to improve ties with Washington.

U.S. to charge man who supplied guns to California shooters: reports

Thu, 12/17/2015 - 03:40
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal authorities are set to file criminal charges later on Thursday against the friend who investigators say supplied guns to the two shooters behind the San Bernardino, California, attack earlier this month, according to media reports. CNN and NBC said the charges are expected to be filed later on Thursday against Enrique Marquez, a friend and former neighbor to Syed Rizwan Farook, who carried out the attack with his wife that left 14 dead and 21 injured. (Reporting by Susan Heavey and Megan Cassella)

Cruz and Rubio are vying to lead the anti-immigrant party

Thu, 12/17/2015 - 02:23

The sons of Cuban émigrés jockeyed at the GOP debate over who will close the border faster.

Pentagon says defense secretary used personal email

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 21:05

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Pentagon acknowledged Wednesday that Defense Secretary Ash Carter used a personal email account to do some of his government business during his first months on the job.

Pentagon chief Carter used personal email account at times: NY Times

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 18:04

U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter used a personal email account for some government business in his first months at the Pentagon, the New York Times reported on Wednesday, citing White House and Defense Department officials and copies of the emails. Carter, who took office in February, continued to use his own email account, contrary to Defense Department rules, for at least two months after it became public in March that Hillary Clinton had used only her personal email account while she was secretary of state, the Times quoted the officials as saying.

Baltimore on edge after hung jury in policeman's manslaughter trial

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 16:43

By Ian Simpson and Donna Owens BALTIMORE (Reuters) - A mistrial was declared on Wednesday in the case of a Baltimore police officer charged in the death of Freddie Gray, a black man whose killing while in custody sparked riots in April, and the city's mayor urged calm. The judge dismissed the jury in the involuntary manslaughter trial of Officer William Porter - the first of six officers to be tried in Gray's death - after 16 hours of deliberations during which the jurors were unable to reach a verdict on any of the charges against the policeman. Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams said an administrative judge would schedule a new trial, but said there would be no court proceedings in the case on Thursday.

Exclusive: San Bernardino shooters buried in quiet funeral following Islamic rituals

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 15:38

Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, who opened fire on a San Bernardino holiday party earlier this month, were buried Tuesday in a quiet, graveside funeral guarded by FBI agents. At a Muslim cemetery hours away from San Bernardino, the bodies were cleansed according to Islamic rules, wrapped in white cloth and buried. Muslims are usually buried within 24 hours of dying, but family members and community members had to wait for the bodies to be released by law enforcement officials and then for permission from a cemetery.

Pennsylvania couple handed long sentences in son's starvation death

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 13:46

A Pennsylvania man and his wife were each sentenced to up to four decades in state prison on Wednesday after pleading guilty in the murder of their disabled nine-year-old son, who was found starved to death in a dark, feces-smeared room last year. Judge John Cherry of Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas said Jarrod Tutko Sr., 39, and Kimberly Tutko, 40, were equally culpable in the death of Jarrod Tutko Jr. and the near-death of his sister Arianna, now 12. Cherry castigated both parents, who were sentenced separately, but he reserved particular scorn for Kimberly Tutko.

No evidence California attackers were part of terrorist cell-FBI head

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 09:25

By Joseph Ax NEW YORK (Reuters) - There is no evidence a married couple who killed 14 people in California this month were part of a terrorist cell, the head of the FBI said on Wednesday, confirming that investigators believe the pair were inspired but not directed by Islamic State. The Islamist militant group has "revolutionized" terrorism by seeking to inspire such small-scale attacks, FBI Director James Comey said, noting the group uses social media, encrypted communications and slickly produced propaganda to recruit followers around the world.

Fence-line diplomacy at Guantánamo Bay

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 08:23

Monthly meetings between rival commanders offer a rare chance for amity amid U.S.-Cuban hostility.

‘War on Christmas’: House Republicans introduce bill to protect holiday

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 08:23

A group of House conservatives makes a stand in favor of nativity scenes and the greeting “Merry Christmas."

Threats to NY, Los Angeles show tough decisions schools face

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 07:40

LOS ANGELES (AP) — When it comes to assessing threats, schools in New York City and Los Angeles likely have more experience than most other districts in the country.

U.S. Homeland Security chief: Expect some more social media reviews

Wed, 12/16/2015 - 07:36

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said on Wednesday that his department has been consulting social media in conferring immigration benefits. "We will be doing more of this," Johnson told reporters at the unveiling of a revamped terrorism alert system. The Department of Homeland Security has been criticized over reports that it did not routinely consult social media during the vetting process for visa applications. One of the San Bernardino shooters, Tashfeen Malik, entered the United States on a K1 "fiancee visa. ...