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. ...
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, 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.
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.
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.
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. ...
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.
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.
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.
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. ...
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.
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. ...
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.
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.
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.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama says his administration is taking the cyberattack against Sony studios seriously. He says people should "go to the movies."
TORONTO (AP) — Canada's dominant theater chain has postponed its planned showings of the film "The Interview."
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 (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. ...
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.