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

  • Cuban cigars? Not yet, but they are coming


    By KELLI KENNEDY, RACHEL LA CORTE December 20, 2014 A man lights a cigar in a cigar club shop in Havana, Cuba, Friday(AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa) The coveted Cuban cigar is set to make its first legal appearance in the U.S. in years, with relaxed guidelines allowing American travelers to return with a few of the once-forbidden items in their suitcases. But the cigars won’t roll into stores just yet, and owners say they aren’t worried about any dip in business. “I don’t think they’ll be able to afford it. It’s not for the average customer,” said Erik Otero, who left Cuba when he was 3 and has been rolling cigars since age 11. Most people won’t travel on a regular basis to buy cigars, said Otero, who works at Guantanamera Cigars Co. in Miami’s Little Havana. “If anything, it might create a cigar boom because it’s going to pique interest again.” Licensed American travelers to …

    December 20, 2014 4:01 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

  • Sony calls in celebrity spin doctor to limit fallout from The Interview


    A Washington fixer who inspired the lead character in television show Scandal has been hired to get a grip of Sony Pictures’ communications after the computer hack that exposed its secrets and sparked a bizarre showdown with North Korea. Judy Smith, “the real Olivia Pope” who worked in the George HW Bush White House and has advised celebrity clients from Monica Lewinsky to Wesley Snipes, has the task of restoring the company’s reputation after a week when it has been accused – even by President Barack Obama – of caving in to blackmail and threats of violence. The low point for Sony in the month-long nightmare of drip-fed personal revelations came last Wednesday when executives announced they were cancelling the Christmas Day release of The Interview, the comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco that depicts an assassination of North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un. Sony said it was not releasing the film in any form, …

    December 20, 2014 4:21 pm
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Science

  • Quantum physics just got less complicated


    Related images(click to enlarge) Here’s a nice surprise: quantum physics is less complicated than we thought. An international team of researchers has proved that two peculiar features of the quantum world previously considered distinct are different manifestations of the same thing. The result is published 19 December in Nature Communications. Patrick Coles, Jedrzej Kaniewski, and Stephanie Wehner made the breakthrough while at the Centre for Quantum Technologies at the National University of Singapore. They found that ‘wave-particle duality’ is simply the quantum ‘uncertainty principle’ in disguise, reducing two mysteries to one. “The connection between uncertainty and wave-particle duality comes out very naturally when you consider them as questions about what information you can gain about a system. Our result highlights the power of thinking about physics from the perspective of information,” says Wehner, who is now an Associate Professor at QuTech at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. The discovery deepens our understanding …

    December 20, 2014 4:22 pm
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Health

  • Ebola death toll in three African countries hits 7,373: WHO


    GENEVA (Reuters) – The death toll from Ebola in the three worst-affected countries in West Africa has risen to 7,373 among 19,031 cases known to date there, the World Health Organization said on Saturday. The latest data, posted overnight on the WHO website, reflected nearly 500 new deaths from the worst ever outbreak of the hemorrhagic fever in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since previous WHO figures were issued on Dec. 17. Sierra Leone accounts for the most cases, 8,759, against 7,819 for Liberia. But Sierra Leone’s death toll of 2,477 is far less than 3,346 recorded in Liberia, leading some experts to question the credibility of the figures reported by Freetown. Sierra Leone’s government this week launched a major operation to contain the epidemic in West Africa’s worst-hit country. President Ernest Bai Koroma said on national television that travel between all parts of the country had been restricted as part of “Operation Western Area …

    December 20, 2014 4:21 pm
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Entertainment

  • Amber Rose Grinds Her Famous Booty Against Chris Brown


    Posted on Sat Dec 20th, 2014 11:30am PDT       By X17 Staff Grab your barf bag — you may need it. Amber Rose attended the first-ever People Magazine Awards on Thursday night at Supper Club in Los Angeles, and when Juvenile’s “Back That Azz Up” came on, she couldn’t help but grind her enormous derriere against Chris Brown. Chris was clearly loving every second of it, and he was so distracted by Amber’s butt, his gum nearly dropped straight out of his mouth. Don’t believe us? Watch the video above… Since her split from estranged husband Wiz Khalifa last October, Amber has definitely been loving the single life, but who’s watching after her young son Sebastian? Seems like the nanny has been working overtime lately…   Stories from around the Web

    December 20, 2014 6:02 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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