Headline News

  • Two New York police officers killed in ambush: official


    NEW YORK (Reuters) – A gunman who had posted anti-police statements on social media ambushed two New York police officers as they sat in their squad car on Saturday and then killed himself, police said. The officers were killed without warning in their marked police car as they were on duty in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, Police Commissioner William Bratton told a news conference flanked by Mayor Bill de Blasio. “They were quite simply assassinated,” he said. Bratton said the gunman, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, took a shooter’s stance on the passenger side of the squad car and opened fire with a silver semi-automatic handgun. He then fled into a nearby subway station and died there from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, Bratton said. Brinsley had shot and seriously wounded his girlfriend in Baltimore County, Maryland, early on Saturday before traveling to Brooklyn, where he had connections, the police chief said. Bratton said …

    December 20, 2014 7:43 pm
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Politics

  • Supremes clear way for gay marriage in Florida


    By GARY FINEOUT December 20, 2014 William Roletter, left, and Paul Rowe, press close to one another after they had their photo made with their newly acquired marriage certificate, Wednesday at City Hall in Philadelphia. . (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday refused to block gay marriages in Florida, the latest of about three dozen states allowing same-sex weddings. In a one-paragraph order, the court decided not to step into the Florida case. A federal judge previously declared Florida’s ban on gay marriage unconstitutional and said same-sex marriage licenses could start being issued in the state after Jan. 5 unless the Supreme Court intervened. “This is a thrilling day for all Florida families,” Daniel Tilley, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties of Florida, said in a statement. “As we explained to the court, every day that the ban remains in place, couples are suffering real harms. We are grateful that the …

    December 20, 2014 8:03 pm
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Stocks

  • Republicans to theaters: Don’t be ‘bullied,’ show Sony’s ‘The Interview’


      The Republican National Committee has a message for theater owners: Put “The Interview” back on your screens. In a letter obtained first by CNN, RNC chairman Reince Priebus encouraged the CEOs of 10 major theater chains to show the controversial comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco. “I want to speak clearly on behalf of the Republican Party: I urge you to show the movie,” he wrote to the CEOs. “As a sign of my commitment, if you agree to show this movie, I will send a note to the Republican Party’s millions of donors and supporters urging them to buy a ticket — not to support one movie or Hollywood, but to show North Korea we cannot be bullied into giving up our freedom,” he added. The letter continued, “Like many Americans, I’m deeply concerned that we would allow a foreign regime to dictate the movies we can and cannot watch.” The RNC …

    December 20, 2014 7:02 pm
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Sports

  • Lions claim playoff berth with Eagles’ loss


    (Reuters) – The Detroit Lions wrapped up an NFL playoff berth without playing a down on Saturday thanks to the Washington Redskins’ upset victory over the Philadelphia Eagles. The win by the Redskins put the Lions (10-4) in the playoffs for the first time since 2011 even though they and NFC North co-leader Green Bay currently have the same 10-4 records. Detroit got the nod because a superior record against NFC teams. The Lions, winners of three straight, play at Chicago while the Packers, who were upended by Buffalo last weekend, can claim a playoff spot with a win at Tampa Bay on Sunday. The Lions and Packers meet in Green Bay on the 28th with the Division title on the line. The Lions defeated the Packers in September. Detroit joins postseason party with the Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts and Denver Broncos, who wrapped up berths last weekend. (Reporting by Gene Cherry …

    December 20, 2014 7:43 pm
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World News

  • The Peshawar school massacre united Pakistan – but cracks are already showing


    The Peshawar school massacre has given Pakistanis an unprecedented moment of unity. A country so deeply divided that even 40,000 deaths from terror attacks since 2001 could not create a shared sense of suffering has finally been brought together in horror. It is tempting to believe that this is a moment of paradigm-shifting lucidity, that the country has woken up to the stark realisation that we cannot carry on with business as usual. After all, if the cold-blooded mass murder of your children does not give you clarity about the Taliban, nothing else can or should. Yet, just a few days into our collective mourning, our shared revulsion is already fraying at the seams. Taliban-apologist clerics still enjoy airtime on television, pundits are beginning to point the finger away from domestic militants towards India, and the sickening mantra of “Muslims could not possibly do this”, recited after so many other attacks, is resurfacing. In the …

    December 20, 2014 7:43 pm
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Technology

  • Staples: Hack may have affected more than a million payment cards


    Staples joins Target, Home Depot and a host of other retailers that have become victims of hacking attacks. CNET Office supply chain Staples said Friday that a hack attack on some of its retail outlets earlier this year may have affected 1.16 million payment cards used by customers, giving attackers access to cardholder names, card numbers, expiration dates and card verification codes. It’s the latest news of an attack involving hackers placing malware, or malicious software, on point-of-sale systems. In September, home-improvement chain Home Depot said 56 million credit cards had been put at risk by such an attack. Prior to that, at the end of 2013, Target was attacked in a similar breach the chain estimated could have affected a third of the US population. Art-supply chain Michaels Stores, department store Neiman Marcus and restaurant chain P.F. Chang’s have also been victims of data breaches. Staples said the malware attack spanned the country, affecting …

    December 20, 2014 8:23 pm
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Science

  • RNA measurements may yield less insight about gene expression than assumed


    The majority of RNA expression differences between individuals have no connection to the abundance of a corresponding protein, report scientists from the University of Chicago and Stanford University in Science on Dec. 18. The findings point to a yet-unidentified cellular mechanism that regulates gene expression and suggest studies that rely only on RNA measurements to characterize gene function require further analysis. “The chief assumption for studies of RNA differences is that they ultimately reflect differences in an end product, which is protein,” said senior study author Yoav Gilad, PhD, professor of human genetics at the University of Chicago. “But it turns out in most cases this may not be true.” For a gene to be expressed, information in DNA is copied onto messenger RNA (mRNA), which are the direct templates used to create proteins — the structural components and molecular machines for almost every function in a cell. Differences in mRNA levels between individuals are …

    December 20, 2014 8:24 pm
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Health

  • U.N.’s Ebola mission should be closed once battle won: Ban


    BAMAKO (Reuters) – The United Nations mission to fight Ebola should be wound down quickly once the battle is won, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Saturday during his first tour of countries stricken with the virus. The U.N. emergency Ebola response mission, or UNMEER, was set up in September to coordinate policy and logistics for a campaign that includes governments, charities and healthcare workers from affected countries. Ban said UNMEER differed from peacekeeping missions and should not outlive its immediate purpose. “There’s a tendency that missions go on because of continuing political instability and conflict. Ebola is a very urgent and unprecedented epidemic, therefore we cannot take too long in eliminating it,” he told Reuters. “That is why I am sending a political message. It is not because we have made any decision on when UNMEER should end, but it should be a short-term mission,” he said. More than 7,300 people have died …

    December 20, 2014 8:23 pm
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Entertainment

  • Joanna Krupa Flashes Some Serious Boobage For A Night On The Town


    Posted on Sat Dec 20th, 2014 10:59am PDT       By X17 Staff Joanna Krupa certainly knows how to catch the attention of our X17 photographers! On Friday night the 35-year-old reality TV starlet stepped out with a gal pal in Hollywood, and with this cleavage-baring dress, we doubt anyone was even looking at her pretty face. I mean, if you’ve got it, flaunt it, but wasn’t she a bit cold? And/or concerned about a tittay popping out? Either way, props to her for making it work… In other news, Joanna recently underwent an egg-retrieval procedure, which the final phase of getting her eggs frozen. Joanna shared her story with People, and she told the mag, “I’m happy that I decided to do this. I will feel more secure about the fact that, no matter what the future holds, I will have these eggs stored, healthy and ready whenever I’m ready to become a mother.” Check out the …

    December 20, 2014 8:03 pm
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Editorial

  • Last minute Christmas shopping: Five things to avoid


    FILE — Nov. 28, 2014: A man dressed as Santa Claus greets shoppers outside the J.C. Penney store at the Glendale Galleria shopping mall in Glendale, Calif. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes) This weekend millions of Americans will take to the mall to get last-minute gifts for their loved ones. They will pour through the already-picked-over selections to try and find “the gift.” For those of you who are forced into the mall this weekend: I’m sorry. Here are five things to avoid as we enter the final shopping days before Christmas.   1. Believe the best bargains are found if you wait until the last minute. While it’s true, retailers are starting their after-Christmas sales earlier than ever – just as the Christmas shopping season starts before you get to Thanksgiving dessert – seasoned shoppers know (1) value and (2) bargain do not mean the same thing.  We all know just because something is cheap doesn’t mean …

    December 20, 2014 4:21 pm
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Odd News

  • Canadian driver jailed for deaths caused by stopping for ducks


    OTTAWA (Reuters) – A Canadian woman was sentenced to 90 days in jail on Thursday for causing two deaths in 2010 when she stopped her car on a Quebec highway to help a group of ducklings crossing the road. Emma Czornobaj had been convicted in June of two counts each of criminal negligence and dangerous driving causing death. According to media reports on Thursday, Czornobaj stopped her car abruptly in the passing lane of a highway south of Montreal when she saw the ducklings. The motorcycle behind Czornobaj’s car then crashed into her vehicle, killing the 50-year-old man driving the motorcycle and his 16-year-old daughter. “I just wanted to pick all these ducklings up and put them in my car,” Czornobaj had testified during her trial. “I know it was a mistake.” The jail time will be served on the weekends. Czornobaj was also sentenced to 240 hours of community service, probation and banned from …

    December 18, 2014 3:58 pm
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