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Yahoo! National News

Many Americans open to better ties with Cuba: Reuters/Ipsos poll

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 09:35
By Jeff Mason WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Though lawmakers from both political parties lambasted President Barack Obama on Wednesday for shifting U.S. policy on Cuba, Americans by and large are open to stronger ties with the communist-governed island, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. Fewer than 20 percent of Americans oppose establishing U.S. diplomatic relations with Cuba, the poll of 31,000 adults showed. More than 40 percent of the respondents were in favor of rapprochement. Some 39 percent said they were not sure. ...

Man gets life sentence in Vermont teacher's death

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 09:33
ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (AP) — A man accused with his wife of kidnapping and killing a teacher was sentenced on Wednesday to life in prison, with the judge saying they hunted their victim like prey.

Tucson police to stop some immigration checks

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 09:28
TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Tucson police said Wednesday they will no longer fully enforce the state's landmark immigration law that requires local police to check the immigration status of people they encounter while enforcing other laws.

Avon Products settles bribery charges for $135M

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 09:25
NEW YORK (AP) — The world's largest direct seller of cosmetics, Avon Products Inc., will pay $135 million to settle criminal and civil charges after its China unit pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by bribing officials there.

Stolen emails reveal lapses in Sony security practices

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 09:16

FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2004 file photo, Sony Pictures Entertainment Chairman and Chief Executive Michael Lynton is seen in Beverly Hills, Calif. In the weeks before hackers broke into Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio suffered significant technology outages blamed on employees keeping too many old emails and hackers targeted executives to trick them into revealing their online credentials. The company’s chief executive regularly was reminded in unsecure emails from his executive assistant of his own secret passwords for his and his family’s mail, banking, travel and shopping accounts, according to a review of more than 32,000 stolen corporate emails circulating on the Internet. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, File)WASHINGTON (AP) — In the weeks before hackers broke into Sony Pictures Entertainment, the studio suffered significant technology outages it blamed on software flaws and incompetent technical staffers who weren't paying attention, even as hackers targeted executives to trick them into revealing their online credentials.

Texas plumber harassed after company truck seen in Syrian war photo

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 08:55
By Amanda Orr HOUSTON (Reuters) - A Houston-area plumbing company owner has been getting threatening phone calls after one of his former work trucks turned up in a photograph on a Twitter feed that appears to show a militant group fighting in Syria's civil war. Jeff Oberholtzer traded in a Ford F-250 more than a year ago that bore the name of his father's 32-year old family business "Mark-1 Plumbing" in large white letters on the door as well as the company's phone number, according to local reports. ...

Cuban exile community divided over Obama changes

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 08:49

Anti-Castro activists Osvaldo Hernandez, right, and Miguel Saavedra, second from right, chant anti-Obama slogans in the Little Havana area of Miami, Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. Hernandez and Saavedra express their disagreement with a surprise move announced by senior Obama administration officials that could pave the way for a major shift in U.S. policy toward the communist island nation. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)MIAMI (AP) — President Barack Obama's surprise move to re-establish ties with Cuba was applauded by the men and women in a barbershop on Calle Ocho, the heart of Miami's Cuban exile community. Waitresses stopped serving coffee at the El Pub restaurant as Obama spoke on TV. One wiped a tear from her eye as she clasped her hands, overcome with emotion at changes no one believed would come.

AP EXPLAINS: Montana's 'stand your ground law'

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 08:46
The murder trial of a Montana man who shot and killed 17-year-old German exchange student Diren Dede in his garage tested a state law that gives a person the right to use force or threaten to use force to protect his or her own home from unlawful entry or attack, particularly a provision known as "stand your ground." Markus Kaarma unsuccessfully invoked the law in his defense, saying he was protecting his family and property. He was convicted of deliberate homicide Wednesday. Here's a brief explanation of the law and controversy surrounding it.

Man charged with killing wife stuffed in fridge

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 08:44
HOUSTON (AP) — Houston police have charged a 38-year-old man with murder in the stabbing death of his estranged wife, whose body was found rotting in a disabled refrigerator.

Experts tell U.S. court that Oklahoma had deeply flawed execution

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 08:42
By Heide Brandes OKLAHOMA CITY (Reuters) - The Oklahoma inmate put to death in a flawed April execution may have died in agonizing pain due to a troubled lethal injection mix, a medical expert on Wednesday told a U.S. court that is hearing arguments on whether to halt executions in the state. Lawyers for 21 death row Oklahoma inmates, four of whom are scheduled to be executed next year, have asked the court to halt future executions there after the flawed lethal injection of convicted murderer Clayton Lockett in April that prompted the state to set up new execution protocols. ...

Doctor says Oklahoma inmate suffered in execution

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 08:34

File - This Oct. 9, 2014 file photo, shows an arm restraint on the gurney in the the execution chamber at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester, Okla. Attorneys for 21 death row inmates who will be in a federal court this week challenging Oklahoma's lethal injection procedure outlined their strategy in court documents that reveal grisly new details in the botched execution of an inmate in April, 2014. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A doctor who examined the body of an Oklahoma inmate who died during a botched execution told a federal judge Wednesday that he is convinced the man suffered after being declared unconscious.

Washington governor unveils carbon cap-and-trade plan

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 08:33
By Rory Carroll SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Washington Governor Jay Inslee on Wednesday laid out a plan for a carbon cap-and-trade program aimed at fighting global warming and raising $1 billion a year for state schools and public transportation initiatives, but he will first need the support of a divided state legislature. The program would place an overall limit, or cap, on the amount of carbon that large businesses and fuel distributors can emit. ...

Teen admits killing 2 at Oregon hunting cabin

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 08:32
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) — A 15-year-old who shot and killed his foster father and another man at a remote Oregon cabin in 2012 never meant to kill anyone and never should have been around loaded guns due to his lack of maturity after years of abuse and other problems, a defense lawyer says.

Draft UN resolution targets Israeli occupation

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 08:30
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Jordan has submitted a draft resolution on ending Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands captured in 1967 to the U.N. Security Council for a possible vote.

Alaska ferry project caught in flap over US steel

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 08:27
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — A U.S. requirement that American steel be used to update an Alaska ferry terminal is causing some tension with Canadian officials, potentially threatening the project.

Obama says people should 'go to the movies'

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 08:27
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says his administration is taking the cyberattack against Sony studios seriously. He says people should "go to the movies."

Canadian chain postpones 'The Interview' showings

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 08:24

FILE - In this Nov. 29, 2013 file photo, actors Seth Rogen, left, and James Franco, top, and producer Evan Goldberg, right, pose for a photograph during filming of "The Interview" at Robson Square in Vancouver, British Columbia. Canada's largest theatre chain has announced it will postpone screening "The Interview" after the controversial comedy was the target of terrorist threats. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck, File)TORONTO (AP) — Canada's dominant theater chain has postponed its planned showings of the film "The Interview."

Sanford giving $25M for South Dakota scholarships

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 08:20

T. Denny Sanford and Gov. Dennis Daugaard are all smiles after the new scholarship program was announced at Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls, S.D., Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Argus Leader, Emily Spartz)SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Philanthropist T. Denny Sanford is donating $25 million to South Dakota for a scholarship program for the state's technical schools, the governor's office announced Wednesday.

New York awards three licenses for upstate casinos

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 08:16
NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York state approved three casino developments worth $1.4 billion on Wednesday that promise to add more than 5,000 jobs to the sluggish upstate economy and generate around $300 million in tax revenues for state coffers. New York is aiming for a bigger chunk of the $38 billion national gambling industry by tapping into demand from the huge New York City market. The move could head off growing competition in the region. Massachusetts is set to expand gambling after voter approval this year. Gambling is heavily regulated in the United States. ...

Lawyer: Christie won't be sued in bridge scandal

Yahoo! National News - Thu, 12/18/2014 - 08:07
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Two lawsuits filed by people stuck in traffic jams caused by apparently politically motivated lane closings of the George Washington Bridge will move forward without New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie as a defendant, a lawyer in the case said Wednesday.