Archives for FUBAR

Gifts cross philosophical, religious lines

Christmastime is here and a new poll reveals the cards and gifts that are part of celebrating the holiday are ubiquitous, even among those who don’t share the Christian beliefs behind the story of the Magi who gave the first Christmas gifts. According to the Associated Press-GfK poll, 77 percent of Americans plan to exchange gifts this holiday season and 48 percent will send greeting cards. The gift-giving set includes about 8 in 10 Christians and 73 percent of those who say they have no religious beliefs. Greeting cards also cross denominational lines, with 53 percent of Protestants, 55 percent
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Backlash feared over killing of New York police officers

Civil rights leaders Sunday condemned the ambush killings of two New York police officers and expressed fear that the backlash over the bloodshed could derail the protest movement that has grown out of the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. In the raw hours following the killing of the officers, police union officials and politicians accused those who have protested the deaths of Garner and Brown of fanning anti-police fervor. Patrick Lynch, president of the Patrolman’s Benevolent Association in New York, said there was “blood on the hands” of demonstrators and elected officials who have criticized police tactics. The
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Police on alert nationwide after killing of NYPD officers

Big-city police departments and union leaders around the country are warning the rank and file to wear bulletproof vests and avoid making inflammatory posts on social media in the days after a man ambushed two officers and shot them to death inside their patrol car. The slayings of Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu on Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn heightened fears about the safety of law enforcement officials nationwide, though authorities haven’t said if they believe any threats are imminent. The gunman, 28-year-old Ismaaiyl Brinsley, had vowed in an Instagram post to put “wings on pigs” as retaliation for the
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Police killings top stories for 2014

The police killings of unarmed blacks in Ferguson, Missouri, and elsewhere — and the investigations and tumultuous protests they inspired — was the top news story of 2014, according to The Associated Press’ annual poll of U.S. editors and news directors. In a year crowded with dramatic and often wrenching news developments around the world, the No. 2 story was the devastating outbreak of Ebola in West Africa, followed by the conflict in Iraq and Syria fueled by the brutal actions of Islamic State militants. Among the 85 voters casting ballots, first-place votes were spread among 15 different stories. The
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Two New York police officers ambushed, killed

A gunman who vowed online to shoot two “pigs” in retaliation for the police chokehold death of Eric Garner ambushed two New York City officers in a patrol car and fatally shot them in broad daylight before running to a subway station and killing himself, authorities said. Ismaaiyl Brinsley, 28, wrote on an Instagram account before Saturday’s shootings: “I’m putting wings on pigs today. They take 1 of ours, let’s take 2 of theirs,” two city officials with direct knowledge of the case confirmed for The Associated Press. He used the hashtags Shootthepolice RIPErivGardner (sic) RIPMikeBrown. The officials, a senior
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Cuban cigars? Not yet, but they are coming

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
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Supremes clear way for gay marriage in Florida

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
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U.S. not really prepared for a nuke attack

The federal government isn’t fully prepared to handle a nuclear terrorist attack or large-scale natural catastrophe, lacking effective coordination, and in some cases is years away from ensuring adequate emergency shelter and medical treatment, congressional investigators have found. The report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office, obtained by The Associated Press before its release, found that the Federal Emergency Management Agency didn’t always keep track of disaster efforts by agencies, hampering the nation’s preparedness even after Superstorm Sandy in 2012. That storm hit a large swath of the eastern U.S., including New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, which received federal
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Americans wary of drones

Americans are skeptical that the benefits of the heralded drone revolution will outweigh the risks to privacy and safety, although a majority approve of using small, unmanned aircraft for dangerous jobs or in remote areas, according to a new Associated Press-GfK poll. By a 2-1 margin, those who had an opinion opposed using drones for commercial purposes. Only 21 percent favored commercial use of drones, compared with 43 percent opposed. Another 35 percent were in the middle. With a few narrow exceptions, the Federal Aviation Administration prohibits commercial use of drones but is about to propose regulations that will broaden
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How should U.S. respond to hack on Sony?

The detective work blaming North Korea for the Sony hacker break-in appears so far to be largely circumstantial, The Associated Press has learned. The dramatic conclusion of a Korean role is based on subtle clues in the hacking tools left behind and the involvement of at least one computer in Bolivia previously traced to other attacks blamed on the North Koreans. Experts cautioned that hackers notoriously employ disinformation to throw investigators off their tracks, using borrowed tools, tampering with logs and inserting false references to language or nationality. The hackers are believed to have been conducting surveillance on the network
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