18 December 2014

Hack attack spurs call for more NKorea sanctions

FILE - In this Dec. 17, 2014 file photo, a poster for the movie "The Interview" is carried away by a worker after being pulled from a display case at a Carmike Cinemas movie theater in Atlanta. Suspicions that North Korea was behind a destructive hacking attack against Sony pictures and a threat against movie theaters will intensify calls for a tougher US Steps to cuts its access to hard currency and declare it once more as a state sponsor of terrorism. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)The hack against Sony and a threat against theaters intensify calls for tougher U.S. steps.


18 December 2014

Pakistan: 67 militants killed after school massacre

A Pakistani army officer, stands by a wall riddled with bullet marks, inside the Army Public School attacked last Tuesday by Taliban gunmen, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014. The Taliban massacre that killed more than 140 people, mostly children, at a military-run school in northwestern Pakistan left a scene of heart-wrenching devastation, pools of blood and young lives snuffed out as the nation mourned and mass funerals for the victims got underway. (AP Photo/Muhammed Muheisen)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.


31 December 1969

'Colbert Report' gets star-studded sendoff

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.


18 December 2014

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

Members of the Cuban Revolutionary Army hold Cuban national flags during a march "For the Five and Against the Terrorism" in HavanaBy 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. ...


18 December 2014

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

A woman lies in the grass at Columbia University in New YorkBy 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. ...


18 December 2014

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

Protestors hold hands as they rally against the Ferguson, Mo Grand Jury exoneration of police officer Darren Wilson, at the U.S. Justice Department in WashingtonWASHINGTON (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. ...


18 December 2014

8 children killed in home in northern Australia

AUSTRALIA FAMILY STABBINGSYDNEY (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.


18 December 2014

Report: Secret Service needs more, better-trained agents

Secret Service report: White House needs a taller fence and more, better-trained agentsAfter 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.


18 December 2014

Report: Death sentences, executions continue to drop

New death sentences, executions continued to drop in 2014, report saysThe Death Penalty Information Center says the number of executions in 2014 was the lowest it’s been in 20 years.


18 December 2014

Accused Boston marathon bomber makes first appearance since 2013

Tsarnaev appears in court for 1st time since 2013The 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.


18 December 2014

How much will cyberattack cost Sony?

This photo provided by Columbia Pictures - Sony shows, Randall Park, center, as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Columbia Pictures' "The Interview." North Korea has been linked to the unprecedented act of cyberwarfare against Sony Pictures that exposed tens of thousands of sensitive documents and escalated to threats of terrorist attacks that ultimately drove the studio to cancel all release plans for "The Interview." (AP Photo/Columbia Pictures - Sony, Ed Araquel)It may be the most damaging hack ever inflicted on an American business.


18 December 2014

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

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


18 December 2014

'Savior of the nation'

Russian President Vladimir Putin listens during his annual news conference in Moscow, Russia, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014. The Russian economy will rebound and the ruble will stabilize, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Thursday at his annual press conference, he also said Putin says Ukraine must remain one political entity, voicing hope that the crisis could be solved through peace talks. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)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.


18 December 2014

Good news for U.S. homebuyers

In this photo made Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014, a for sale by owner sign sits in front of a home in Richardson, Texas. Mortgage company Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014. (AP Photo/LM Otero)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.


18 December 2014

Matt Bai: Why Democrats should take their convention to central Ohio

Columbus, Ohio skylineThe site a party chooses for its convention can say something about the kind of country it wants to build. And when Democrats select where they expect to host Hillary Clinton’s coronation in 2016, they should go to Columbus, Ohio, to show what American cities might yet become. In terms of jobs, urban renewal and a great location at the center of an urbanized state, Columbus has much to recommend it. But it also has other things all too rare in modern American cities: strong leadership and a business community that doesn’t shirk its civic responsibility. It’s a vision of a hopeful future.


18 December 2014

Obama reignites political debate over Cuba

In this Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014 file photo, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., the son of Cuban immigrants, prepares his statement before a news conference where he expressed his disappointment in President Barack Obama's initiative to normalize relations between the United States and Cuba, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Among potential Republican presidential candidates, Rubio led the attack on Obama's plans Wednesday to ease of economic and travel restrictions on Cuba, to open an embassy in Havana and review the communist nation’s designation as a state sponsor of terrorism. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)WASHINGTON (AP) — The surprising move by President Barack Obama to restore U.S. ties with Cuba reignited long-simmering political passions over the fate of the island nation, reinforcing yet another difference between Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and several Republicans eyeing bids for the White House.


17 December 2014

Executions in United States at 20-year low: report

lethal injection roomBy Lawrence Hurley WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Amid growing concerns about how executions are carried out in the United States, the number of prison inmates being put to death fell to a 20-year low in 2014, the Death Penalty Information Center said in a report issued on Thursday. The 35 executions this year was the lowest since 1994, said the Washington-based nonprofit, which does not take a position on whether the death penalty should be abolished, in its annual survey of national data. ...


17 December 2014

Amid scrutiny, Uber vows bigger focus on safety

William Rouse, the General Manager of Los Angeles Yellow Cab, at podium, takes questions from the media as hundreds of Los Angeles area taxi drivers circle City Hall in their cabs to protest unregulated ride-share services being promoted through smart-phone applications and social media in Los Angeles Tuesday, June 25, 2013. The protest came one day after the city’s transportation department issued "cease and desist" letters to companies such as Uber that allow consumers to book rides online with limo companies and private drivers. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)Uber promises to focus on rider safety amid increasing concerns that its drivers are not adequately screened for past criminal convictions.


16 December 2014

Pakistan massacre ‘blowback’ from U.S.-backed offensive against Taliban, officials say

The Pakistani Taliban assault on a school — killing 145, including 132 children — appears to be ”blowback” from a months-long Pakistani military offensive against the terror group that was encouraged and supported by the U.S. government, Pakistani and U.S. officials said today.

17 December 2014

Obama to free 8 nonviolent drug offenders

Obama to free eight non-violent drug offendersPresident Barack Obama will shorten the sentences of eight prisoners serving time for nonviolent drug crimes and pardon 12 ex-convicts, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.