National News from Yahoo

Whole country shuts down for 3 days hoping to delay Ebola spread

FREETOWN, Sierra Leone (AP) — Shoppers crowded streets and markets in Sierra Leone's capital on Thursday stocking up for a three-day shutdown that authorities will hope will slow the spread of the Ebola outbreak that is accelerating across West Africa.


Economy improves: Unemployment claims drop, housing market gains

By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell more than expected last week, suggesting that a sharp slowdown in job growth last month was probably an aberration. While other data on Thursday showed some weakness in home building and factory activity, the underlying trend remained supportive of solid economic growth. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits dropped 36,000 to a seasonally adjusted 280,000 for the week ended Sept. 13, the lowest level since July, the Labor Department said. ...


Dude! Wanna go bowling? Dating sites for stoners catch fire

By Mary Papenfuss SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Dinner and a movie make for a typical date night but dinner followed by a joint could raise some eyebrows or be a turn-off despite increasing acceptance of marijuana use across the United States. So now, tuned-in stoners and users of medical pot are turning on to dating websites that cater exclusively to tokers or, at the very least, the “cannabis friendly” to avoid experiencing what they describe as all-too-frequent shock and rejection on the dating circuit. ...


'It's not nice being the father of a mass murderer'

By Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) - The father of Anders Behring Breivik, who massacred 77 people in central Oslo and at an island summer camp in 2011, said on Thursday his son's fascist, anti-immigrant views seemed to be getting ever more extreme in jail. "It's not nice being the father of a mass murderer," former diplomat Jens Breivik, 78, told a news conference to launch an autobiography entitled "My Fault?". He said the discovery that his son was the killer exceeded a parent's worst nightmares. ...


Chinese hacked U.S. military contractors: Senate panel

By Ros Krasny WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hackers associated with the Chinese government have repeatedly infiltrated the computer systems of U.S. airlines, technology companies and other contractors involved in the movement of U.S. troops and military equipment, a U.S. Senate panel has found. The Senate Armed Services Committee's year-long probe, concluded in March but made public on Wednesday, found the military's U.S. Transportation Command, or Transcom, was aware of only two out of at least 20 such cyber intrusions within a single year. ...


Scots decide whether to declare independence

The fate of the United Kingdom was at stake Thursday as Scotland began voting in a referendum on whether to become an independent state, deciding whether to unravel a marriage that helped build an empire ...

Mark Sanford's oversharing problem

The South Carolina congressman's Facebook post about his broken engagement is bad news for his colleagues and the rest of us

Obama, Ukraine president to meet at White House

WASHINGTON (AP) — In a symbolic show of support for Ukraine's fledgling government, President Barack Obama is meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in the Oval Office on Thursday after the leader of the former Soviet republic speaks to a rare joint session of Congress.


Pakistani woman embraced by Islamic State seeks to drop U.S. legal appeal

By David Ingram NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Pakistan-born neuroscientist has become a rallying cry for militant groups demanding her release from a U.S. prison. But in a little-noticed move she is trying to abandon her legal fight for freedom, saying the U.S. court system is unjust. Islamic militants in Syria, Algeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan have made Aafia Siddiqui's release a condition for freeing certain foreign hostages. Islamic State, for example, proposed swapping American journalist James Foley for her, but he was executed after their demands, which also included an end to U.S. ...

Wildfire in California's Sierra Nevada menaces 2,000 homes

By Alex Dobuzinskis and Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Fire crews in California's rugged Sierra Nevada battled to gain the upper hand on Wednesday against a blaze that threatened at least 2,000 homes and has displaced hundreds of residents as flames roared for a fifth day through dry timber and brush west of Lake Tahoe. The so-called King Fire, the most menacing of 11 major wildfires across the drought-parched state, has scorched nearly 28,000 acres (11,331 hectares) of state land and the El Dorado National Forest since it erupted Saturday, fire officials said. ...


Cardinals RB Jonathan Dwyer arrested on assault charges

Arizona Cardinals running back Jonathan Dwyer has been arrested on aggravated assault charges in connection with two altercations at his home in July involving a woman and an 18-month-old child, the latest in a string of such cases involving NFL players.


Toronto Mayor Rob Ford diagnosed with rare cancer

The tumor in Rob Ford's abdomen, the discovery of which led the mayor of Toronto to drop out of the election last week, is both malignant and rare, according to medical authorities.


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