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Islamic State releases video purporting to show beheading of 21 Egyptians in Libya

Sun, 02/15/2015 - 10:42

Islamic State released a video on Sunday purporting to show the militant group beheading 21 Egyptian Christians kidnapped in Libya. In the video, militants in black marched the captives, dressed in orange jump suits, to a beach. The video appeared on the Twitter feed of a website that supports Islamic State. A caption on the five-minute video read: "The people of the cross, followers of the hostile Egyptian church." Thousands of Egyptians have traveled to neighboring Libya in search of jobs since an uprising at home in 2011, despite advice from their government not to go to one of the most dangerous countries in the region.


Montana lawmaker claims yoga pants ban was a joke

Sun, 02/15/2015 - 09:34

A Montana lawmaker who suggested that wearing yoga pants in public should be illegal while introducing a bill to expand the state's decency laws now says he was joking about a ban on the popular form-fitting workout attire.


Scorpion stings woman on plane, delaying flight at LAX

Sun, 02/15/2015 - 08:01

An Alaska Airlines flight en route to Portland had to return to the gate at Los Angeles International Airport Saturday night after a woman was stung by a scorpion, airline officials said.


FAA proposes drone pilots should get certificates, not fly over people

Sun, 02/15/2015 - 07:22
By Alwyn Scott NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. aviation regulator proposed on Sunday that people flying drones for commercial purposes obtain a special pilot certificate, stay away from bystanders and fly only during the day. The long-awaited draft rule governing drones also limits flying speed to 100 miles per hour (160 kph) and the altitude to 500 feet (152 meters) above ground level. Industry experts said the Federal Aviation Administration's draft rule appeared to be relatively benign, lacking onerous pilot qualifications standards that could have severely restricted commercial flying of drones. The draft rule, nearly 10 years in the making, still must undergo public comment and revision before becoming final, a process expected to take at least a year.

Boehner ready to let funding lapse for Homeland Security agency

Sun, 02/15/2015 - 07:20

John Boehner, the Republican House of Representatives speaker, said he is willing to let funding for the Department of Homeland Security lapse as part of a Republican push to roll back President Barack Obama's executive actions on immigration.


Northeast battered by relentless winds after record snow

Sun, 02/15/2015 - 06:59

By Elizabeth Barber BOSTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Northeast struggled to dig out on Sunday from another major winter storm that made February the snowiest month in Boston's history, but bitter sub zero cold and huge drifts hampered the effort. Blizzard conditions forced the cancellation of more than 1,600 U.S. airline flights, most of them into and out of airports in Boston and New York, where wind gusts of up to 60 miles per hour (97 kph) were predicted. Temperatures are 25 to 30 degrees below normal for the East Coast, exacerbated by strong winds, said meteorologist Bruce Sullivan of the National Weather Service, adding the region was in the grip of "a brutally cold air mass". Massive snowfall from Boston's fourth major snowstorm in two weeks set a record for the city's snowiest month since weather records were kept, the National Weather Service said.


Carnival parade in Germany canceled because of terror threat

Sun, 02/15/2015 - 06:11

Police in the German city of Braunschweig cancelled a popular Carnival street parade on Sunday because of fears of an imminent Islamist terror attack.


Managers bunk down at U.S. refineries as strike enters third week

Sun, 02/15/2015 - 05:04

By Jarrett Renshaw TOLEDO, Ohio (Reuters) - U.S. oil refinery managers are going to the mats, literally, during the biggest fight with union workers in 35 years, bedding down for a third strike week that experts and some employees say raises concerns over safety and operations. At the 135,000 barrel-per-day refinery just outside of Toledo, Ohio, run by BP Plc and Husky Energy Inc , most of the nearly 300-person staff have been calling the refinery home since Feb. 9. For the last week, they have slept on recently purchased mattresses inside rental trailers to rapidly respond to any problems and avoid striking workers, sources say. On Tuesday, a van full of washing and drying machines gingerly cut through about a dozen United Steelworkers carrying pickets and walking a strike line at the facility's front gate.


Ukraine rebels disavow ceasefire at encircled town

Sun, 02/15/2015 - 02:32

By Anton Zverev and Gleb Garanich DONETSK/ARTEMIVSK, Ukraine (Reuters) - Ukraine's rebels disavowed a new truce on Sunday hours after it took effect, saying it did not apply to the town where most fighting has taken place in recent weeks. Guns fell abruptly silent at midnight across much of eastern Ukraine in line with the ceasefire agreement, but the pro-Russian rebels announced that they would not observe the truce at Debaltseve, where Ukraine army forces have been encircled. "Of course we can open fire (on Debaltseve). It is our territory," Eduard Basurin, a senior rebel commander, told Reuters.


Israel's Likud claims vote for left will benefit IS

Sun, 02/15/2015 - 01:27

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party claims in a contentious new campaign ad that a vote for the left in Israel's March election would benefit jihadists from the Islamic State group. The ad drew fire from the left-wing coalition opposing Likud, the Zionist Union, which accused Netanyahu of "colossal" security failures. The Zionist Union, formed in December as an electoral alliance of Israel's Labour Party and the centre-left Hatnuah, denounced the ad and "the colossal failure of Benjamin Netanyahu in the field of security". Security will be a key issue in Israel's March 17 general election, which was called early after the collapse of Netanyahu's ruling coalition.


Police kill man believed behind 2 shootings in Copenhagen

Sat, 02/14/2015 - 23:11

Danish police say he was likely behind the shooting attacks at a free-speech event and a synagogue.


Deadly shootings within hours in Copenhagen; 5 wounded

Sat, 02/14/2015 - 23:10

Danish police later shoot dead a man during an intensive manhunt.


U.S. appears ready to make commercial drone flights much easier

Sat, 02/14/2015 - 21:35
U.S. aviation regulators are preparing to ease commercial restrictions on small drones under a draft rule to be released Sunday, according to regulators and a government analysis that leaked over the weekend. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation said late Saturday that they had scheduled a news conference for 10 a.m. ET Sunday to release the draft rule. The unusual weekend release was scheduled after an economic analysis of regulation was inadvertently published on a government website. FAA officials were not available for comment late Saturday.

Friends remember Arizona aid worker who died in Islamic State captivity

Sat, 02/14/2015 - 19:02

By Katherine Locke FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (Reuters) - Friends and colleagues of Kayla Mueller, the aid worker who died while a captive of militants of the Islamic State group in Syria, remembered her on Saturday as someone who was trying to give back in gratitude for a life of freedom. "She was in a volatile part of the world because she knew there were things that needed to be addressed there,” said Peggy Sheldon-Scurlock, who met Mueller at the New Day Peace Center in Flagstaff, a non-profit peace organization. President Barack Obama also acknowledged in an interview with the website Buzzfeed that Mueller was among the hostages whom U.S. commandos were sent to rescue but failed to find in an operation he ordered last year. In Flagstaff on Saturday, the Rev. Kathleen Day, head of the United Christian Ministry at Northern Arizona University, said Mueller wanted to help people and she felt a responsibility to maximize the privileges she had as a resident of the United States.


Both sides claim violations after Ukraine cease-fire starts

Sat, 02/14/2015 - 17:34

KIEV, Ukraine (AP) — A cease-fire was declared in eastern Ukraine at a minute after midnight Sunday, kindling slender hopes of a reprieve from a conflict that has claimed more than 5,300 lives.


U.S. agency fixes problem hampering Obamacare applications

Sat, 02/14/2015 - 17:11

A day before the open enrollment deadline for private health coverage under Obamacare, some consumers were unable to submit applications because of "intermittent issues" with income verification, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department said on Saturday. It said in a statement that it had worked with the Internal Revenue Service to fix the problem. The department said consumers who were affected should log into their account on the HealthCare.gov website and click on their 2015 application to finish it and complete their enrollment for coverage. The department said anyone who was unable to submit an application because their income could not be verified due to this or any other technical problem will receive an extension for enrollment.


Autopsy shows New York Times writer Carr died of lung cancer

Sat, 02/14/2015 - 16:53

NEW YORK (AP) — New York Times media columnist David Carr died of complications from metastatic lung cancer, according to autopsy results released Saturday.


In Newark, the American dream is this year's sweetest Valentine

Sat, 02/14/2015 - 15:29
By Peter Wolf NEWARK, N.J. (Reuters) - For more than 200 couples who lined up in Newark, New Jersey, on a frigid Valentine's Day morning, the city's plan to sell building lots at the bargain price of $1,000 a piece was a chance to make the American dream come true. The turnout was also beyond the wildest dreams of the officials who came up with the idea of offering a sweetheart deal to attract fledgling families to neighborhoods of the state's largest city that need of an influx of new residents. "Families are the core of community, so we wanted to change the perception of our community, to get people to choose to live in Newark," said Mayor Ras Baraka. "But this has taken on a life of its own." Baraka, the son of poet and activist Amiri Baraka, said a website about the sale drew 10,000 hits, and the offer has garnered international media attention.

U.S. agency says work to fix problem hampering Obamacare applications

Sat, 02/14/2015 - 13:50

A day before the open enrollment deadline for private health coverage under Obamacare, some consumers are unable to submit applications because of "intermittent issues" with income verification, the U.S. Health and Human Services Department said on Saturday. A senior U.S. health official said last week that nearly 7.5 million people had signed up for 2015 Obamacare health plans through the federal exchange, and that demand was increasing as the Feb. 15 deadline approached.


Not again! Another winter storm bears down on New England

Sat, 02/14/2015 - 11:42

BOSTON (AP) — Mother Nature is proving to be cold-hearted to New England for Valentine's Day.


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