France Vows To Punish ISIS For Paris Attacks

PARIS (AP) — French President Francois Hollande vowed to attack the Islamic State group without mercy as the jihadist group claimed responsibility Saturday for orchestrating the deadliest attacks on France since World War II.

Hollande said at least 127 people died Friday night when attackers launched gun attacks at Paris cafes, detonated suicide bombs near France's national stadium and killed hostages inside a concert hall during a rock show. More than 200 people were injured, dozens critically.

Hollande, who declared three days of national mourning and raised the nation's security to its highest level, called the carnage "an act of war that was prepared, organized, planned from abroad with internal help."

The Islamic State group's claim of responsibility appeared in Arabic and French in an online statement circulated by IS supporters. It was not immediately possible to confirm the authenticity of the admission...

Read Full Article - The Associated Press

3 Arrested In Belgium Linked To Paris Attacks

American Student Among Those Killed In Paris Massacre

Live: Latest Updates In Paris Attacks

Soldier Awarded Medal Of Honor For Tackling Suicide Bomber

(CNN) - An Army captain who survived attacks by two suicide bombers moments apart but was badly wounded as he saved his fellow soldiers in Afghanistan received the Medal of Honor on Thursday.

President Barack Obama awarded (Ret.) Army Capt. Florent Groberg the honor for what the White House called "his selfless service" during a deadly attack in Kunar Province, Afghanistan, in August 2012.

"He deployed to Afghanistan twice. First as a platoon leader, and a couple of years later when he was hand-picked to head up a security detail," Obama said Thursday in a White House ceremony.

Read Full Article - CNN News

FanDuel, DraftKings Vow To Fight New York's Halt On Bets

(Reuters) - Daily fantasy sports sites FanDuel and DraftKings are prepared to fight in court against New York state's top prosecutor, who said that they were running illegal gambling operations and ordered them to stop taking bets in the state.

DraftKings called the cease and desist order issued by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on Tuesday "hasty and uninformed" and said it was prepared to mount a legal challenge so the company could continue operating in the state.

"We will pursue this fight to the fullest to ensure that New York fantasy sports fans do not need to stop playing," DraftKings said in a statement on Wednesday.

FanDuel also said it plans a legal challenge.

Read Full Article - Yahoo News

Severe Winter Weather Threatens Midwest

Up to 60 million Americans face the threat of severe weather Wednesday from a mix of snow, thunderstorms and even tornadoes in an area stretching from the Rocky Mountains to the Great Lakes.

A blizzard warning was issued for the Great Plains east of Denver, while twisters and high winds would pose a problem across the Midwest, forecasters said.

The city of Denver itself could see up to four inches of snow, The Weather Channel said. Airlines canceled 50 flights at the city's airport, according to NBC station KUSA.

In Chicago, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) issued an alert encouraging residents to stay aware of local forecasts and "be prepared to act quickly if storm warnings are issued."

Read Full Article - NBC News

Post will be updated as storm progresses 

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At Least 9 Dead After Small Jet Crashes Into Ohio Building

A private charter jet that crashed into an apartment building in Akron, Ohio, had nine people on board, all presumed dead, according to published reports. There were no reports of deaths or injuries on the ground.

Augusto Lewkowicz, the owner and operator of the plane, told the Akron Beacon Journal that there were seven passengers and two crew members on board. He would not release the names pending notification of families.

The Hawker H25 business jet, which seats 10, was approaching Akron’s Fulton Airport, about four miles away, when it clipped power lines and plunged into the building, setting it ablaze.

Read Full Article - The Washington Post

Sister: Plane Crash Victim Was 'Excited' About Business Trip

DOJ Vows To Take Deportation Relief To Supreme Court

WASHINGTON -- The Department of Justice plans to try to take the president's deportation relief programs to the Supreme Court, it announced Tuesday, one day after an appeals court maintained a hold on the policies moving forward.

The department didn't say, however, when it would file an appeal with the Supreme Court -- and timing is critical if it wants the court to review the issue before President Barack Obama leaves office.

The programs, Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents, or DAPA, and an expansion of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, would allow millions of undocumented immigrants with longstanding ties to the U.S. to remain in the country and work legally.

Read Full Article - Huffington Post

Court Upholds Delay On Obama's Immigration Order

SeaWorld To Phase Out Killer Whale Show By 2017

SeaWorld has announced that it will be phasing out its current killer whale show in 2016 and replacing it with a new orca experience in its San Diego park.

In a presentation given to investors today, President and Chief Executive Officer Joel Manby announced the current show "One Ocean" will run through 2016 and will be replaced in 2017 by an experience that highlights orcas' natural behaviors.

The new show will include conservation messaging and tips on how to make a difference for orcas in the wild, SeaWorld said in a press release.

The new plan comes amid efforts at the state and federal level to put an end to SeaWorld's captive breeding. In October, the California Coastal Commission approved SeaWorld's $100 million expansion of killer whale tanks...

Read Full Article - ABC News

Is SeaWorld's Business Over?

Russia Accused Of Widespread Athletics-Doping

(Reuters) - Russia could be banned from international athletics, including the 2016 Olympic Games, after anti-doping commission report on Monday alleged widespread corruption and collusion that added up to a state-sponsored drugs culture in a sporting superpower.

The commission, set up by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), found a "deeply rooted culture of cheating" in Russian athletics, which is said Russian state security services colluded with, and also identified what is called systematic failures in the global governing body, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF).

At one point, the commission said, the WADA-accredited anti-doping laboratory in Moscow destroyed 1,417 samples shortly before an inspection. "This was done on a Saturday morning immediately prior to the arrival in Moscow of a WADA audit team," the report said.

Read Full Article - Reuters

Obama, Netanyahu Meet To Discuss Need For Middle-East Peace

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday insisted they had not given up on the pursuit of Middle East peace, even as the prospect of an elusive agreement between Israelis and Palestinians appears further out of reach.

Obama and Netanyahu's meeting at the White House marked the first time the two leaders have talked face to face in more than a year. Their relationship has long been marred by tension, with the most recent being the U.S.-backed nuclear deal with Iran.

Ahead of Netanyahu's arrival in Washington, U.S. officials made clear the White House does not expect peace to be achieved before Obama leaves office in January 2017.

Speaking to reporters ahead of their private meeting in the Oval Office, Obama said he would instead seek Netanyahu's thoughts on ways to lower tensions between Israelis and Palestinians and get the parties "back on a path towards peace."

Read Full Article - The Associated Press

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Former House Speaker Hastert Pleads Guilty In Hush-Money Case

CHICAGO—Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert pleaded guilty Wednesday to lying to the FBI about illegally structured bank withdrawals that were part of an effort to pay hush money to someone for decades-old misconduct.

Hastert pleaded guilty to one count in the indictment, which carries a maximum sentence of five years. Under the plea agreement, federal prosecutor Steven Block recommended that Hastert, the longest serving GOP speaker in history, be sentenced to zero to six months in federal prison.  A judge will make the final decision on the terms of the sentence and may reject the prosecutor's recommendation. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 29.

But with the guilty plea, Hastert, 73, may be able to keep further embarrassing details about why, according to the federal prosecutors, he agreed to pay $3.5 million to an unidentified individual from Yorkville, Ill., the town where he worked as a high school teacher and wrestling coach before entering politics.

Read Full Article - USA Today

Video: June 5, 2015

Royals Top Mets 5-4 In World Series Marathon Game

If Game 1 on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium was any indication, this is going to be one highly-memorable World Series.

Alcides Escobar got the Royals on the board first, launching Matt Harvey‘s opening delivery to the warning track in center field and racing all the way around the bases on a Yoenis Cespedes misplay for a leadoff inside-the-park home run. It was the first inside-the-parker in a World Series game since Mule Haas rounded the bags for the Philadelphia Athletics in the 1929 Fall Classic.

Travis d'Arnaud answered Escobar’s first-inning tally in the top of the fourth with an RBI infield single that bounced in and out of the glove of Royals third baseman Mike MoustakasCurtis Granderson then added a solo shot in the top of the fifth and Michael Conforto plated the Mets’ third run with a sacrifice fly to left field in the top of the sixth.

Kansas City would rally to tie the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the sixth, but the Mets took the lead again in the eighth when...

Read Full Article - NBC Sports

World Series Game 1 Delayed After Fox Sports Lost Power

Poll: Ben Carson Leads Donald Trump Nationwide

Ben Carson has surpassed Donald Trump and now narrowly leads the Republican field in the race for the nomination in the latest national CBS News/New York Times Poll.

Twenty-six percent of Republican primary voters back Carson, giving him a four-point edge over Trump (22 percent). Support for Carson has quadrupled since August.

The rest of the Republican presidential candidates lag far behind in single digits. Marco Rubio is now in third place (eight percent), followed by Jeb Bush (seven percent) and Carly Fiorina (seven percent). All other candidates are at four percent or lower.

Carson has made gains across many key Republican groups. In a reversal from earlier this month, he is now ahead of Trump among women and is running neck and neck with him among men. Carson's support among evangelicals has risen and he now leads Trump by more than 20 points with this group.

Read Full Article - CBS News

Poll: Trump Leads Carson Nationwide

White House, Congress Reach Tentative Budget Deal

The White House and congressional leaders reached a two-year budget deal overnight that would lift mandatory sequestration cuts on both defense and domestic spending and raise the federal debt ceiling, averting a fiscal standoff as the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives prepares for new leadership.

A White House official said on Tuesday the compromise deal would protect Social Security and Medicare beneficiaries from cuts and urged members of Congress from both parties to pass it.

"It's a responsible agreement that is paid for in a balanced way by ensuring that hedge funds and private equity firms pay the taxes they owe and by cutting billions in wasteful spending," the official said in a statement.

House Speaker John Boehner and other congressional leaders raced to finalize the deal, which included extending the debt ceiling until March 2017...

Read Full Article - Reuters

Deadly Quake Hits South Asia, Casualties Top 300

Kabul, Afghanistan (CNN) The powerful earthquake that struck northeastern Afghanistan Monday also rattled people in in Pakistan, India and Tajikistan, killing dozens, collapsing structures and creating panic.

The panic in itself was deadly -- in one northern Afghan town, 12 schoolgirls died in a stampede as they tried to evacuate their school during the quake.

The girls, between 10 and 15 years old, were crushed in their Taluqan city school's stairwell, between the first and second floors, local police spokesman Abdul Khalil Asir said.

Early reports from Afghan, Pakistani and Indian officials put the death toll more than 180, with hundreds of others injured.

Read Full Article - CNN News

Video: Vice President Biden Decides Not To Run For President

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden said on Wednesday he would not run for president in 2016, ending months of suspense and easing Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton's path to the party's nomination.

Biden, who had been pondering a run since August, appeared in the White House Rose Garden with his wife Jill and President Barack Obama to say the window for mounting a successful campaign had closed.

"While I will not be a candidate, I will not be silent," Biden told reporters. "I intend to speak out clearly and forcefully to influence as much as I can where we stand as a party and where we need to go as a nation," Biden said.

Biden, 72, had been wrestling with his own doubts about whether he and his family were ready for a grueling campaign while still mourning his son Beau, who died of brain cancer in May. His son had urged him to run.

Read Full Article - Reuters

Gunman Opens Fire On Israeli Bus Station, 2 Dead, 10 Injured

JERUSALEM (AP) — An Arab attacker armed with a gun and a knife opened fire in a southern Israel bus station on Sunday, police said, killing an Israeli soldier and wounding 10 people in one of the boldest attacks yet in a month-long wave of violence.

The attack came as Israel further tightened security around the country, highlighted by the construction of a barrier separating Jewish and Arab neighborhoods in east Jerusalem. In a bid to halt the fighting, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he would meet the Israeli and Palestinian leaders in the coming days.

Israel has deployed thousands of police, backed up by troops, to maintain order following a spate of attacks, mostly stabbings, by Palestinian assailants. Those measures have so far failed to stop the violence.

In Sunday night's attack, police said the Arab assailant entered the central bus station in the southern city of Beersheba and began shooting and stabbing people...

Read Full Article - Yahoo News

Colorado’s Largest Pot Grower Sued Over Pesticide Use

By Karen Graham

The U.S. marijuana industry’s first class-action lawsuit was filed on Monday, Oct. 5 against LivWell Co, one of Colorado's largest marijuana growers, claiming the company inappropriately used Eagle 20, a potent pesticide on their plants.

The lawsuit was brought by Brandan Flores of Denver and Brandie Larrabee of Grand Junction, Colorado. The two are seeking class-action status and claim that for years, LivWell has used a pesticide called Eagle20, that contains myclobutanil, a dangerous chemical, reports The Cannabist.

Eagle 20 is a petroleum-based fungicide used on hops and fruit trees, but not on tobacco plants because it releases hydrogen cyanide, a toxic gas when burned. The lawsuit comes at a time when reports about the use of heavy-hitting pesticides by marijuana growers has hit the news.

Read Full Article - Digital Journal

Video/May 4, 2015

Six Charged In Alleged U.N. Corruption, Bribery Scheme

NEW YORK - U.S. authorities Tuesday announced charges against six people in an alleged United Nations corruption and bribery scheme involving millions of dollars in secret payoffs to a former president of the world body's General Assembly.

John Ashe, the former U.N. ambassador for Antigua and Barbuda, accepted more than $3 million in bribes and other payments from business officials to back construction of a U.N.-sponsored conference center in Macau, China and advance the alleged plotters' business plans at the U.N. and with senior Antiguan officials during his 2013-2014 term as General Assembly president, according to a federal court complaint.

In exchange for the payments, Ashe allegedly submitted a document to the U.N. Secretary General's office showing a need for the conference center. He also shared a portion of the payments with senior officials of Antigua, including the country's then-prime minister, the court complaint charged.

Read Full Article - USA Today