Police block off the scene of a shooting Saturday where a gunman killed two New York police officers as they sat in their squad car before killing himself. The officers were patrolling in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn.

Two New York City police officers killed, gunman dead, NY Times reports

By Reuters on Dec. 20, 2014, at 5:43 p.m.
NEW YORK — A gunman fatally shot two New York police officers as they sat in their squad car on Saturday and then killed himself, the New York Times reported, in the first deaths of police officers by gunfire in the city in three years. Quoting a law enforcement source, …

Obama approves creation of World War I memorial in Washington

By Reuters on Dec. 20, 2014, at 5:30 p.m.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has approved the creation of a national memorial to commemorate World War I in which more than 116,000 Americans died, the memorial’s commission said on Saturday. The site will complete the quartet of national memorials in Washington to the four great U.S. wars of the …
Cuba's President Raul Castro gestures after delivering a speech to members of the National Assembly in Havana on Saturday.

Despite US relationship, Castro says Cuban revolution will live on

By Mimi Whitefield, Miami Herald on Dec. 20, 2014, at 5:12 p.m.
Despite U.S. promises of more trade and travel under renewed diplomatic relations with the communist island, leader Raul Castro said Saturday that Cuba would continue to make economic changes at its own pace and would stick with its socialist model. Responding to criticism that more market-oriented reforms are coming too …
A double-decker Megabus crashed Saturday in Indiana, injuring at least 28 passengers.

Megabus rollover in Indiana injures at least 28

By Reuters on Dec. 20, 2014, at 4:31 p.m.
More than two dozen people were injured Saturday when a commercial passenger bus traveling to Atlanta from Chicago crashed in Indiana, officials said. The double-decker Megabus with some 70 passengers aboard slid off Interstate 65 in southern Indiana at about 5:30 a.m. EST and rolled over, Indiana State Police spokesman …
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (center) tours the Kim Jong Suk Pyongyang Textile Mill in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang on Saturday.

North Korea denies hacking Sony, offers joint investigation with US

By Jack Kim and Steve Holland, Reuters on Dec. 20, 2014, at 3:12 p.m.
SEOUL/WASHINGTON — North Korea said on Saturday U.S. accusations that it was involved in a cyberattack on Sony Pictures were “groundless slander” and that it wanted a joint investigation into the incident with the United States. An unnamed spokesman of North Korea’s foreign ministry said there would be serious consequences …
President Barack Obama (center) and his family, first lady Michelle Obama (second from right) with daughters Malia (right) and Sasha (left) are greeted by Adm. Samuel Locklear (center) for their annual Christmas and New Year vacation in Honolulu, Hawaii on Dec. 19, 2014.

Obama relaxed, upbeat during traditional end-of-year news conference

By Juliet Eilperin, Washington Post on Dec. 20, 2014, at 1:34 p.m.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama shook off the grim resignation that had become a hallmark of his recent appearances during his traditional end-of-year news conference Friday, replacing it with the upbeat, easy confidence that helped propel him into office. He spoke in Hawaiian, joked about the prospect of an inside-the-Beltway …

US sends four Guantanamo prisoners home to Afghanistan; more releases expected

By Matt Spetalnick, Reuters on Dec. 20, 2014, at 1:12 p.m.
WASHINGTON — Four Afghans held for more than a decade at the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, have been sent home, the Pentagon said on Saturday, the latest step in a gradual push by the Obama administration to close the jail. The men were flown to Kabul overnight …
Study suggests Dr. Oz's advice is incorrect about half the time.

Behind the curtain: Study finds half of Dr. Oz’s medical advice is baseless or wrong

By Terrence McCoy, Washington Post on Dec. 20, 2014, at 10:19 a.m.
It’s not hard to understand what makes Dr. Oz so popular. Called “America’s doctor,” syndicated talk-show host Mehmet Oz speaks in a way anyone can understand. Medicine may be complex. But with Dr. Oz, clad in scrubs and crooning to millions of viewers about “miracles” and “revolutionary” breakthroughs, it’s often …

Obama signs nearly $578 billion defense bill for fiscal 2015

By Reuters on Dec. 20, 2014, at 5:38 a.m.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama signed an annual defense policy bill on Friday that authorizes U.S. training for Iraqi and Syrian forces fighting Islamic State rebels and sets overall defense spending at nearly $578 billion, including about $64 billion for wars abroad. The legislation, approved by Congress earlier this month, …
Michael Phelps speaks at a news conference following his final competitive race, at the London 2012 Olympic Games in this Aug. 4, 2012 file photo.

Olympian swimmer Phelps sentenced to 18 months probation for drunken driving

By Steve Ginsburg, Reuters on Dec. 20, 2014, at 5:34 a.m.
BALTIMORE — American swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, pleaded guilty on Friday to driving under the influence of alcohol and received 18 months of supervised probation and a one-year suspended jail sentence. The 18-time Olympic gold medalist was arrested for drunken driving early on Sept. …

Amazon’s cloud business a harder sell in post-Snowden era

By Deepa Seetharaman and Bill Rigby, Reuters on Dec. 20, 2014, at 5:30 a.m.
SAN FRANCISCO/SEATTLE — This spring, Taser International Inc. won a small but high-profile contract to supply body cameras to the London police. But the deal nearly collapsed over one issue: where the video footage would be stored. In the end, the deal survived only after Taser dropped Inc. as …

Supreme Court denies stay, same-sex marriage in Florida set to begin Jan. 6

By Steve Rothaus, Miami Herald on Dec. 20, 2014, at 5:19 a.m.
MIAMI — Same-sex marriage will begin Jan. 6 in Florida. The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday denied Florida attorney general Pam Bondi’s request to Justice Clarence Thomas that he extend a stay in the federal case of eight gay couples. “The application for stay presented to Justice Thomas and by …

US offers reward for poacher who shot bald eagle in Connecticut

By Reuters on Dec. 19, 2014, at 5:35 p.m.
BOSTON — U.S. wildlife authorities are on the hunt for a poacher who shot a bald eagle to death last week in Connecticut, officials said on Friday, announcing a $5,000 reward. The bald eagle, the national bird of the United States, is protected from hunting by federal law and killing …

Influential Rabbi Harold Schulweis dies at 89 in California

By Alex Dobuzinskis, Reuters on Dec. 19, 2014, at 5:33 p.m.
LOS ANGELES — Rabbi Harold Schulweis, a tireless innovator who implored followers to fight against genocide and see Judaism as a religion with universal significance, has died at age 89 at his Los Angeles home, his synagogue said in a statement. Schulweis, who was regarded as one of the most …

Obama says Sony ‘made a mistake’ in pulling ‘The Interview’

By Roberta Rampton, Reuters on Dec. 19, 2014, at 5:31 p.m.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Friday said Sony Pictures “made a mistake” in pulling the satirical film “The Interview” after suffering a devastating cyberattack blamed on North Korea. “I wish they (Sony) would have spoken to me first,” Obama said at a news conference. “I would have told them, …

Five dead, dozens ill from bacteria linked to caramel apples

By Mary Wisniewski, Reuters on Dec. 19, 2014, at 5:29 p.m.
Five people have died and 21 others have been hospitalized in recent weeks in a listeria outbreak linked to caramel apples, federal health officials said on Friday. A total of 28 people infected with listeria have been reported from 10 states, according to a statement from the U.S. Centers for …

UN: Civilian deaths in Afghanistan war reach new high in 2014

By Kay Johnson, Reuters on Dec. 19, 2014, at 5:27 p.m.
KABUL — At least 3,188 Afghan civilians have been killed in the intensifying war with the Taliban in 2014, making it the deadliest year on record for non-combatants, the United Nations said on Friday. The numbers are a sharp reminder that the Afghan war is far from over, even as …

Gold tooth lands in Missouri Salvation Army kettle

By Kevin Murphy, Reuters on Dec. 19, 2014, at 5:26 p.m.
KANSAS CITY, Missouri — People have tossed gold and silver pieces into Salvation Army holiday kettles but a gold tooth found this week in Kansas City was a local first, an organization leader said on Friday. “It’s the whole tooth, with the root and everything,” said Rick Carroll, who is …

Decision expected in McDonald’s labor cases

By Alejandra Cancino and Jessica Wohl, Chicago Tribune on Dec. 19, 2014, at 2:30 p.m.
CHICAGO — The National Labor Relations Board said it will issue a decision Friday on labor-practice complaints that have been filed nationwide against McDonald’s and its franchisees. The details of the decision have not been announced by the labor board. But the group organizing fast-food workers, known as Fight for …

Teen contraband cigarette use linked to other drugs

By Kathryn Doyle, Reuters on Dec. 19, 2014, at 7:34 a.m.
Teens who smoke illicit tobacco are more likely to try other illegal drugs like cocaine, heroin and amphetamines, compared with those who don’t, according to a recent Canadian study. The researchers used survey data from one point in time, so they can’t say that smoking illegal cigarettes leads to drug …
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