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

1 hour 52 min ago

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. ...


Louisville 1st-in-South to raise minimum wage

1 hour 56 min ago
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville has become the first city in the South to raise the minimum wage, joining 20 others across the country.

Infant or fetus remains found in storage unit

1 hour 59 min ago
COLFAX, Calif. (AP) — Authorities in Northern California are investigating how the bodies of two infants or fetuses ended up in a storage unit.

Dog missing in North Carolina found in Chester

2 hours 8 min ago

Dog missing in North Carolina found in ChesterA month to the day a dog went missing in North Carolina, the pup will be home after he mysteriously appeared in Pennsylvania.


Massive Los Angeles construction fire was arson, authorities say

2 hours 11 min ago

Flames engulf a seven-story downtown apartment complex under construction in Los AngelesBy Dan Whitcomb LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - A construction fire that gutted an entire city block of downtown Los Angeles and caused up to $30 million in damages was an act of arson, authorities said on Thursday. Los Angeles Fire Department officials have previously said the blaze, one of the largest structure fires in the city's recent history, was likely arson but no suspects have been arrested or charged. The conflagration erupted at about 1:30 a.m. on Dec. 8 and quickly destroyed a seven-story luxury apartment complex under construction near the junction of two freeways. ...


Off-duty Runnemede officer, teenage son stop CVS robber

2 hours 23 min ago

Off-duty Runnemede officer, teenage son stop CVS robberAn off-duty police officer and his teenage son took action when they saw a crime in progress.


California's top utility regulator defends record

2 hours 25 min ago
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California's chief utility regulator ended the last scheduled public hearing of his increasingly embattled 12-year term Thursday with no explicit reference to the alleged back-channel dealings with the state's largest utility company that have marred his tenure.

Contrite Vegas hotelier wins gambling license

2 hours 31 min ago

Sam Nazarian, center, attends a meeting of the Nevada Gaming Commission Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, in Las Vegas. Nazarian, a 10 percent owner of the SLS Las Vegas hotel and casino, appeared before the commission seeking a gaming license. (AP Photo/John Locher)LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Los Angeles nightlife magnate who revamped Las Vegas' Sahara hotel and casino won a Nevada gambling license Thursday after explaining his drug use and curious business dealings, but not without limits and a promise that he'll remain under heavy scrutiny.


Milwaukee to speed police training in handling mentally ill

2 hours 39 min ago

FILE - This file photo provided by the Milwaukee Police Department shows Christopher Manney who was fired from the Milwaukee Police Department in connection with the shooting and killing of Dontre Hamilton, a mentally ill man in a downtown park in April. Milwaukee city officials said they plan to speed up training so that all Milwaukee police officers will get training to deal with mentally ill people. Mayor Tom Barrett said about 400 officers and dispatchers have received the 40 hours of training to be certified under the Crisis Intervention Team program since 2006. But now they plan to get the 1,400 or so others trained by 2018. (AP Photo/Milwaukee Police Department, File)MILWAUKEE (AP) — The Milwaukee Police Department is stepping up training so that all police officers on the force would be fully trained to deal with the mentally ill by 2018, the mayor announced Thursday, months after a Milwaukee police officer killed a schizophrenic man at a park.


Colorado boy, 14, sentenced to 10 years for dad’s murder

2 hours 45 min ago
By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - A 14-year-old Colorado boy who admitted shooting his father dead and concealing the death by calling the man’s work for five days to say his dad was ill was sentenced on Thursday to 10 years in prison, prosecutors said. Kai Kelly, who was 13 at the time of the slaying in May, pleaded guilty this week to the first-degree murder of his father, Joseph Kelly, and to attempted criminal extortion, Eagle County District Attorney Bruce Brown said in a statement. ...

10 Things to Know for Friday

3 hours 39 sec ago

Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014. The market is opening sharply higher, building on gains from the day before after the Federal Reserve indicated it was in no rush to raise interest rates. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday:


Judge: Slender Man stabbing defendants competent

3 hours 8 min ago

One of the two 12-year-old defendants is led into the courtroom in Waukesha, Wis. on Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014 during the trial for the stabbing of a third girl in May 2014. The two girls told detectives the attack was an attempt to please Slenderman, a fictional character they found on a horror website. (AP Photo/Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Michael Sears, Pool)WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) — Two Wisconsin girls accused of stabbing a classmate to please a fantasy character called Slender Man are mentally fit to stand trial on attempted homicide charges, a judge ruled Thursday.


Washington governor pushes capital gains tax in face of budget gap

3 hours 17 min ago

Governor Jay Inslee addresses the media outside the Arlington Police Department in Arlington, WashingtonBy Eric M. Johnson SEATTLE (Reuters) - Washington state Governor Jay Inslee on Thursday proposed a new tax on capital gains to try to close a projected budget shortfall of more than $2 billion, rolling back on a no-new-taxes campaign pledge. The proposal, which Inslee said would provide much-needed funds for schools and other programs, is included in a $39 billion 2015-2017 budget he unveiled in Olympia, where he told reporters the tax would raise nearly $800 million. ...


Young immigrants allowed to get driver's licenses

3 hours 18 min ago

Erika Andiola gets her portrait taken at the Arizona State Capitol on Dec 17, 2014, in Phoenix, Ariz. Thousands of young immigrants moved a step closer to getting driver's licenses in Arizona when the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday rebuffed the governor's latest attempt to deny them the privilege. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Nick Oza) MARICOPA COUNTY OUT; MAGS OUT; NO SALESPHOENIX (AP) — A judge cleared the way Thursday for thousands of young immigrants in Arizona who are protected from deportation under an Obama administration policy to get driver's licenses.


Arson caused $30 million downtown Los Angeles fire

3 hours 23 min ago

FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2014 file photo, Los Angeles firefighters battle a fire in the seven-story Da Vinci apartment complex under construction in downtown Los Angeles. Investigators have determined that arson caused the massive fire, causing an estimated $20 million to $30 million in damage. The intense heat also melted a freeway sign and cracked or shattered hundreds of windows in nearby office buildings. The Fire Department announced Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, that the blaze was deliberately set. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)LOS ANGELES (AP) — A fire that reduced an unfinished downtown apartment building to a block-long mountain of blackened wood was an act of arson that caused an estimated $20 million to $30 million in damage, the Fire Department announced Thursday.


Waco TV station meteorologist shot; manhunt underway for shooter

3 hours 26 min ago

Waco TV station meteorologist shot; manhunt underway for shooterA search is underway for a suspect who authorities say shot and wounded an employee at KCEN-TV in Waco, TX


Ex-Tulsa cop to stand trial in off-duty shooting

3 hours 37 min ago
TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A judge Thursday ordered a former Tulsa police officer to stand trial on a charge that he killed his daughter's boyfriend in an off-duty shooting.

California lawmaker enters plea after DUI arrest

3 hours 39 min ago
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A Democratic state senator charged with drunken driving after a party at the state Capitol pleaded no contest Thursday to a reduced charge of alcohol-related reckless driving.

Uber's fight of California data-sharing rule highlights its bumpy road

3 hours 53 min ago

Transportation app Uber driver Shuki Zanna waits for rides in his limousine in Beverly HillsBy Sarah McBride SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Uber argued Thursday that it should not have to turn over ride data in a California regulatory standoff that shows how the transportation service is falling afoul of officials who could threaten its expansion. The issue, which is being heard in a California administrative court and whose outcome will not be known until next year, pits Uber against the California Public Utilities Commission. ...


Bondage 'master' convicted in plot to kill wife

3 hours 54 min ago

 a former Rotary Club president who used cocaine and hosted men and women at a sex dungeon under a bar. (AP Photo/The Detroit News, David Coates)DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit-area man was convicted Thursday of murder in a plot to kill his wife so he could devote himself to a life of bondage and domination in an upper-class suburb with women who called him "Master Bob."