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Police officers leave candles at an impromptu memorial near the site where two New York City police officers were killed in the Brooklyn borough of New York, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. Police say Ismaaiyl Brinsley ambushed officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu in their patrol car in broad daylight Saturday, fatally shooting them before killing himself inside a subway station. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Killer of 2 NY police had long criminal history

Sunday, December 21, 2014

NEW YORK — The gunman who fatally ambushed two police officers in their squad car had a long criminal record, a hatred for police and the government and an apparent history of mental instability that included an attempt to hang himself a year ago, authorities said Sunday. Moments before opening fire, Ismaaiyl Brinsley approached people on the street and asked …

Australian woman charged with killing 8 children

Sunday, December 21, 2014

CAIRNS, Australia — A judge on Monday rejected a plea by lawyers for an Australia woman charged with killing eight children to have the next hearing held in a mental health court. Mersane Warria, charged under her full name of Raina Mersane Ina Thaiday, is facing eight counts of murder in the deaths …

Nigeria’s extremists a threat to region

Sunday, December 21, 2014

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — Thousands of members of Nigeria’s home-grown Islamic extremist Boko Haram group strike across the border in Cameroon, with coordinated attacks on border towns, a troop convoy and a major barracks. Farther north, Boko Haram employs recruits from Chad to enforce its control in northeastern Nigerian towns and cities. In Niger, …

Militants kidnap 185 in Nigeria

Thursday, December 18, 2014

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — Islamic extremists killed 35 people and kidnapped at least 185 in an attack near the town where nearly 300 schoolgirls were taken hostage in April, witnesses said Thursday. In Sunday night’s attack on the village …

Bondage ‘master’ convicted of murder in plot to kill wife

Thursday, December 18, 2014

DETROIT — 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 …

Congress 2nd slackest in history

Thursday, December 18, 2014

WASHINGTON — The 113th Congress will just have to settle for being bad instead of the worst — at least as far as productivity is concerned. President Barack Obama signed a whopping 51 bills Thursday, the White House announced, bringing the most recent tally of laws enacted in …

Three killed as speeding car slams into Calif. crowd

Thursday, December 18, 2014

REDONDO BEACH, Calif. — Pedestrians were filing out of a church Christmas service when a car sped around other vehicles at a red light and plowed into the crowd before hitting another car head-on, police and witnesses said. …

Colombia’s government rebuffs rebel truce

Thursday, December 18, 2014

BOGOTA, Colombia — Colombia’s government on Thursday rebuffed a unilateral truce declared by the country’s largest rebel group, saying the guerrillas’ conditions are unacceptable until a peace deal is reached. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia on Wednesday …

Under hackers’ threats, Sony cancels film release

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

NEW YORK — Under the threat of terrorist attacks from hackers and with the nation’s largest multiplex chains pulling the film from their screens, Sony Pictures Entertainment took the unprecedented step of canceling the Dec. 25 release of …

Warren backers set up shop in Iowa

Thursday, December 18, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa — Liberal activists eager to draft Sen. Elizabeth Warren into a run for president are working the ground in Iowa, the pivotal early-voting state where an organizing effort is already in place — for Hillary …

US, Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

WASHINGTON — After a half-century of Cold War acrimony, the United States and Cuba moved on Wednesday to restore diplomatic relations — a historic shift that could revitalize the flow of money and people across the narrow waters …

Victims of school massacre buried

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

PESHAWAR, Pakistan — As they buried their children Wednesday, the families spoke of their dreams. One boy had just gotten high marks on his midterm and hoped to become a pilot. A 13-year-old wanted to become a doctor. …

Colombian rebels announce unilateral cease-fire

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

HAVANA — Colombia’s largest rebel group announced an indefinite, unilateral cease-fire Wednesday, saying guerrillas will refrain from staging attacks so long as they aren’t targeted by the U.S.-backed military. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia made the announcement …