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  • Federal judge rules Obamacare unconstitutional

    Federal judge rules Obamacare unconstitutionalA federal judge in Texas on Friday ruled the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, was unconstitutional based on its mandate requiring that people buy health insurance, a decision in a case that could reach the U.S. Supreme Court. U.S. District Judge Reed O'Connor in Fort Worth agreed with a coalition of 20 states that a change in tax law last year eliminating a penalty for not having health insurance invalidated the entire Obamacare law. The coalition of states challenging the law was led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel, both Republicans.




  • Police search ranch belonging to missing Colorado woman's fiance

    Police search ranch belonging to missing Colorado woman's fiancePolice looking for a Colorado mother who was reported missing from her small mountain town nearly two weeks ago searched her fiance's ranch on Friday but stopped short of calling him a suspect in the case. The police chief of Woodland Park, Colorado, also publicly called on Patrick Frazee, 32, to submit to a formal interview with detectives, saying he was the last person believed to have seen or heard from his fiance, 29-year-old Kelsey Berreth. "We are asking him to sit down with our investigators since he was the last person to talk with Kelsey," Woodland Park Police Chief Miles DeYoung told reporters at an afternoon press conference.




  • Challenging judges' orders, Trump aims to enlist Supreme Court

    Challenging judges' orders, Trump aims to enlist Supreme CourtThe Supreme Court traditionally has been viewed as the court of last resort in the United States, but Trump's Justice Department increasingly has tried to enlist it in paring back or halting unfavorable rulings by lower courts on signature Trump policies, often at early stages of litigation. In another tactic, the administration has asked the justices to review disputes even before lower appeals courts have acted. Trump has appointed conservatives Brett Kavanaugh and Neil Gorsuch to lifetime jobs on the Supreme Court since taking office last year, cementing its 5-4 conservative majority.




  • U.S. government watchdog to probe child's death after border arrest

    U.S. government watchdog to probe child's death after border arrestWASHINGTON/TAOS, New Mexico (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's internal watchdog will investigate the death of a 7-year-old Guatemalan migrant which occurred after she was detained by U.S. border agents, officials said on Friday. The Trump administration defended the treatment of the child, identified as Jakelin Caal by a Guatemalan official, and said there was no indication that she had any medical problems until several hours after she and her father were taken into U.S. custody on Dec. 6. The Guatemalan government had earlier identified the girl as Jackeline Caal.




  • Police probe hoax bitcoin bomb threats across U.S., Canada

    Police probe hoax bitcoin bomb threats across U.S., CanadaU.S. law enforcement officials on Friday were investigating a wave of hoax emailed bomb threats demanding bitcoin payment that caused worry but no damage in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The threats led to scattered evacuations of schools and transit stations before the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies dismissed them as lacking credibility. Hoax threats were received in cities including Washington, New York, Detroit, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Oklahoma City, Grand Rapids, Iowa, Denver, Ottawa and Calgary, Alberta.




  • Saudi man pleads guilty in Oklahoma to lying about al Qaeda training

    Saudi man pleads guilty in Oklahoma to lying about al Qaeda trainingNaif Abdulaziz M. Alfallaj, 35, who was arrested in February, faces up to 18 years in prison, the department said in a statement. Alfallaj's fingerprints turned up on documents found by the U.S. military at an al Qaeda safe house in Afghanistan, the statement said. The documents included an application to an al Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan, it said.




  • Big Washington clean-up bill leads House Democrats' list

    Big Washington clean-up bill leads House Democrats' listWhen the Democrats take over the U.S. House of Representatives in three weeks, their first order of business is expected to be a wide-ranging bill about political corruption, voter disenfranchisement and cleaning up campaign finance. Aimed at sending a message, the legislation is unlikely to become law with Republicans still in control of the Senate and the White House. An outline of the bill, titled H.R. 1, shows it would require presidential candidates to disclose their tax returns, which Trump has refused to do despite decades of precedent.




  • California to phase in electric, fuel-cell transit buses: regulators

    California to phase in electric, fuel-cell transit buses: regulatorsCalifornia air quality regulators voted on Friday to require that transit buses have zero emissions beginning in 2029, another step by the liberal-leaning state that sets it apart from the environmental policies of the Trump administration. The California Air Resources Board voted unanimously on the proposal to ramp up the use of battery electric or fuel-cell buses until 2029, at which point all new transit buses will have to be zero-emission vehicles. The move away from diesel buses will be a boon to companies such as Chinese automaker BYD , backed by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc and Silicon Valley startup Proterra Inc, which have bet that zero-emissions buses will eventually catch on.




  • ICE arrests of immigrants in U.S. illegally highest since 2014: agency

    ICE arrests of immigrants in U.S. illegally highest since 2014: agencyU.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials arrested more immigrants who were in the United States illegally in the fiscal year through Sept. 30, 2018, than in any year since 2014, the agency said on Friday. The 158,851 people arrested in the 2018 fiscal year by ICE's Enforcement and Removal Operations division, the branch that carries out immigration arrests and deportations, represented an 11 percent increase over 2017, according to agency data. ICE arrests of immigrants with no criminal history but who are in the country illegally increased by nearly one-third compared to 2017, to reach 20,464.




  • Connecticut school evacuated for bomb threat on sixth anniversary of massacre

    Connecticut school evacuated for bomb threat on sixth anniversary of massacreSandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, where 26 children and educators were killed in 2012, received a threatening phone call around 9 a.m. EST, said police Lieutenant Aaron Bahamonde. "It was a bomb threat over the phone," Bahamonde said. Bahamonde said the threat was unrelated to a Thursday incident in which hundreds of schools, businesses and buildings across the United States and Canada receive email bomb threats demanding payment in cryptocurrency.




  • U.S. sues YRC Worldwide freight units, alleges overcharging

    U.S. sues YRC Worldwide freight units, alleges overchargingU.S. officials have filed a lawsuit against several units of freight company YRC Worldwide Inc alleging that they systematically overcharged the federal government for services and lied to hide their misconduct, the U.S. Department of Justice said on Friday. The YRC units named in the lawsuit are YRC Freight Inc, Roadway Express Inc and Yellow Transportation Inc.




  • Georgia police officer shot to death; gunman killed

    Georgia police officer shot to death; gunman killedA rookie suburban Atlanta police officer was shot and killed Thursday by a man who was also killed in a shoot-out with other officers, officials said. The names of the DeKalb County police officer and the suspected gunman were not immediately available and few other details were released. "Tonight, a DeKalb County police officer died in the line of duty serving the citizens of DeKalb County," James Conroy, the DeKalb County chief of police, said in a statement on the Internet.




  • Australia, NZ investigating bomb threat emails: cyber security agencies

    Australia, NZ investigating bomb threat emails: cyber security agenciesWELLINGTON/SYDNEY (Reuters) - Law enforcement agencies in Australia and New Zealand are investigating bomb threat emails received by some residents, cyber security officials said on Friday, after similar threats were made in the United States and Canada. "Given the widespread nature of these malicious emails, we have reason to believe this to be a scam," the Australian Cyber Security Centre said in an email to Reuters. A rash of bomb threats were emailed to hundreds of businesses, public offices and schools across the United States and Canada demanding payment in cryptocurrency but none of the threats appeared credible.




  • Number of U.S. inmates on death row at 25-year low: report

    Number of U.S. inmates on death row at 25-year low: reportThe number of U.S. inmates executed this year has reached a 25-year low as fewer death sentences are handed down and death row inmates clear their names or die of natural causes, the Death Penalty Information Center reported on Friday. Fewer than 2,500 inmates are awaiting execution as 2018 draws to an end after 25 executions, making this the third consecutive year with fewer than 30 executions, the DPIC, a non-profit organization that collects data on the death penalty in the United States, said in its annual report. "Public appetite for the death penalty has declined dramatically since the 1990s," Robert Dunham, executive director of the DPIC, said in a phone interview.




  • U.S. Green Beret charged with murder of man in Afghanistan

    U.S. Green Beret charged with murder of man in AfghanistanA U.S. Army Green Beret has been charged with the murder of an Afghan man during his 2010 deployment to Afghanistan, a U.S. military spokesman said on Thursday. Major Matthew Golsteyn has admitted to shooting and killing a man in Afghanistan because he suspected he was a bombmaker for the Taliban militant group, NBC News reported. Golsteyn admitted twice to the killing, once in an interview for a job at a spy agency and again during an interview with Fox News Channel, NBC News said.




  • Florida executes man convicted of killing woman during 1992 burglary

    Florida executes man convicted of killing woman during 1992 burglaryJose Jimenez, 55, was put to death by lethal injection at 9:48 p.m. EST at Florida's execution chamber in Raiford, according to Patrick Manderfield, a spokesman for the state department of corrections. Manderfield said Jimenez made no final statement. Jimenez was convicted of first-degree murder and burglary in 1994, stemming from the beating and stabbing to death Phyllis Minas, 63, two years earlier.




  • No free money in New Jersey: Police want spilled banknotes back

    No free money in New Jersey: Police want spilled banknotes backEast Rutherford police began receiving calls at around 8:30 a.m. EST (1330 GMT) on Thursday that cash was blowing out of the bullet-resistant truck and multiple vehicles had crashed after several motorists abandoned their cars to chase the money. Videos posted on social media showed a Brinks armored truck with its hazard lights flashing on Route 3, about 10 miles (16 km) outside New York City, as people ran after bills blowing between cars and trucks on the busy roadway. A person in uniform chasing the money appeared to be the truck's driver.




  • Girl dies after being detained by U.S. Border Patrol-Washington Post

    Girl dies after being detained by U.S. Border Patrol-Washington PostA 7-year-old girl from Guatemala died of dehydration and shock hours after she was taken into U.S. Border Patrol custody, the Washington Post reported on Thursday. Early on Dec. 7, the girl started having seizures, and emergency responders measured her body temperature at 105.7 degrees, the Post said. U.S. Customs and Border Protection did not immediately respond to a request from Reuters for comment.




  • No foul play suspected in deaths of two workers at U.S. research station in Antarctica

    No foul play suspected in deaths of two workers at U.S. research station in AntarcticaThe two fire-safety technicians died in unexplained circumstances on Wednesday while performing preventive maintenance on a building that houses a generator for a radio transmitter outside the NSF-managed McMurdo Station, the agency said. While the science foundation, a U.S. government agency, said an official inquiry into the deaths was just getting under way, spokesman Peter West told Reuters that investigators had turned up no evidence of foul play. NSF also declined to disclose any personal information about the two workers, except to say they were employed by a Virginia-based company, PAE, which in turn was hired by the U.S. Antarctica Program's logistics contractor, Leidos, headquartered in Colorado.




  • U.S. appeals court narrows order on Trump birth control rules

    U.S. appeals court narrows order on Trump birth control rulesLast year two federal judges - one in Philadelphia and one in Oakland, California - had blocked the government from enforcing a new guideline allowing businesses or nonprofits to obtain exemptions from the contraception policy on moral or religious grounds. The Justice Department appealed both rulings. The appeals court said, however, the injunction issued in California should not apply nationwide, but only within the five states that sued over the policy.




  • Bitcoin ransoms just are not what they used to be

    Bitcoin ransoms just are not what they used to be(Reuters) - Give me bitcoin or your life. Seriously? The people behind a rash of bomb threats made across the United States and Canada on Thursday demanded a $20,000 ransom to be paid in bitcoin. Authorities said none of the threats - emailed to hundreds of businesses, public offices and schools - appeared credible. Frankly, the perpetrators would have been better off asking for Turkish lira. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have long been a favorite ransom tender for cyber criminals thanks to the currencies' anonymous nature. U.S. ...




  • New Zealand police investigating bomb threat emails: cyber security agency

    New Zealand police investigating bomb threat emails: cyber security agencyPolice in New Zealand are investigating email threats received by some residents that claim explosive devices were hidden in their offices, the cyber security agency CERT NZ said on Friday after similar threats were made in the United States and Canada. A rash of bomb threats were emailed to hundreds of businesses, public offices and schools across the United States and Canada demanding payment in cryptocurrency but none of the threats appeared credible. CERT NZ said the emails received by New Zealanders appeared to be very similar to those in the United States and Canada.




  • New York sues Target, Walmart for sale of lead-contaminated toys

    New York sues Target, Walmart for sale of lead-contaminated toysUnderwood said her office conducted tests in New York City, Long Island, and the Syracuse and Buffalo areas on "Cra-Z-Jewelz" jewelry-making kits that were imported by LaRose and found levels up to 10 times higher than the federal limit. The kits were supplied by LaRose and sold at Walmart and Target stores.




  • Bomb threats demanding bitcoin sweep U.S., Canada, none found credible

    Bomb threats demanding bitcoin sweep U.S., Canada, none found credibleOne email targeting a St. Louis-area middle school was traced by local investigators to an internet protocol, or IP, address in Moscow, the sheriff's office in Lincoln County, Missouri said. Two weeks previously, a married couple inspired by Islamic State had killed 14 people at a California county office building in a shooting rampage.




  • Curry agrees to lunar lab visit: NASA

    Curry agrees to lunar lab visit: NASAAllard Beutel, a spokesman for the agency who this week invited Curry to tour the Johnson Space Center in Houston, told science publication Inverse on Thursday the Golden State guard said he would be willing to make the trip. The controversy started on Monday when Curry said on a podcast that he did not believe humans had ever been to the Moon. NASA landed 12 American astronauts on the Moon from 1969-1972.




  • Butina admits being Russian agent, pleads guilty in U.S. to conspiracy

    Butina admits being Russian agent, pleads guilty in U.S. to conspiracyMaria Butina, a former graduate student at American University in Washington who publicly advocated for gun rights, entered the plea to a charge of conspiracy to act as a foreign agent at a hearing in Washington. Butina admitted to conspiring with a Russian official and two Americans from 2015 until her July arrest to infiltrate the National Rifle Association, a group closely aligned with U.S. conservatives and Republican politicians including President Donald Trump, and create unofficial lines of communication to try to make Washington's policy toward Moscow more friendly. Alexander Torshin, who was a deputy governor of Russia's central bank, has been identified by Butina's lawyers as the Russian official.




  • U.S. appeals court narrows Trump birth control ruling

    U.S. appeals court narrows Trump birth control rulingLast year two federal judges, one in Philadelphia and one in Oakland, California, had blocked the government from enforcing rules allowing businesses or nonprofits to obtain exemptions from the contraception policy on moral or religious grounds. The Justice Department appealed both rulings. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said on Thursday the injunction issued in California should not apply nationwide, but only within the five states that sued over the policy.




  • Jury convicts ex-employees of pharmacy in U.S. meningitis outbreak

    Jury convicts ex-employees of pharmacy in U.S. meningitis outbreakA co-owner and four ex-employees of a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy were convicted on Thursday of committing frauds and other illegal activities that helped boost its business before a deadly 2012 fungal meningitis outbreak linked to drugs it made. The verdict by a federal jury in Boston came in the latest criminal trial involving former executives and employees of New England Compounding Center, which produced mold-tainted steroids that prosecutors said sickened hundreds of people and killed more than 100. Jurors found pharmacist Gene Svirskiy guilty of racketeering and pharmacist Christopher Leary guilty of mail fraud over what prosecutors said was their role in misleading NECC's hospital customers about the quality of the drugs it produced.




  • Alabama attorney general takes over probe of police shooting at mall

    Alabama attorney general takes over probe of police shooting at mallIn a letter to Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr, Attorney General Steve Marshall said he made the decision after Carr admitted the presence of potential conflicts and biases between him and other parties in the case. "While I have no reason to believe that you are actually biased or compromised, I agree that other fair-minded persons might question your neutrality based on the information that you provided in the letter and during our private conversations," Marshall said in the letter, which was posted on the website of the attorney general. On Thanksgiving night during Black Friday sales, a police officer in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover shot and killed Emantic "EJ" Bradford, 21, at the Riverchase Galleria, believing him to be the gunman in a shooting at the mall that wounded two people.




  • Craps: Dice roll sinks Arkansas candidate who twice missed voting for himself

    Craps: Dice roll sinks Arkansas candidate who twice missed voting for himselfBecky Linebaugh, an incumbent alderman in the small town of Hoxie, rolled a "six" to hold on to her seat for a third term, defeating challenger Cliff Farmer who came up short with a "four." The dice roll broke a 223-223 tie in a Dec. 4 runoff election, according to the Lawrence County Clerk's Office, which oversaw the game of chance that ultimately decided the winner. The runoff was scheduled after none of three candidates for alderman in the Nov. 6 election got a majority of the vote in Hoxie, a town of about 2,700 people located 120 miles (193 km) northeast of Little Rock. "I early voted because I was afraid something might happen and I might not be able to make it to the election." Her opponent, Cliff Farmer, 33, had a different approach.




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