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2 people shot in JC December 22, 2014

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No word yet from Fidel amid historic US-Cuba shift

Everyone in Cuba is talking about the startling turn in relations with the United States, with one notable exception: Fidel Castro.

Obama: No quick end to embargo on Cuba

Two days after reopening diplomatic relations with Cuba, President Barack Obama said Friday he doesn’t expect the effort to bring overnight change on the island, a quick end to the U.S. economic embargo or the likelihood that he will soon visit the communist nation.

Pakistan executes militants, bombards tribal areas

Pakistan hanged two convicted militants Friday in the country’s first executions in years, while warplanes and ground forces pounded insurgent hideouts in a northwest region bordering Afghanistan — part of a stepped-up response to the Taliban slaughter of scores of schoolchildren.

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Bergdahl investigation wraps up; top leaders get briefings

The Army has finished its investigation into how and why Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl disappeared from his base in Afghanistan and senior Pentagon leaders have been briefed, including Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, officials said Friday.

Supreme Court won’t stop gay marriages 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.

New York mayor caught between protests, police

Mayor Bill de Blasio was elected last year after making promises to keep crime low while improving relations between police and the community.

Powdered alcohol? Not so fast, lawmakers say

Powdered alcohol hasn’t even arrived in stores yet, but states already are moving to ban the product touted by its inventor as an easy way to mix a drink on the go.

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Lawsuit shows resistance to legalization of pot

Despite growing public support for legalizing marijuana, a lawsuit filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma shows at least two segments of American society are prepared to fight the idea before the nation’s highest court — social conservatives and law enforcement.

Theater shooter’s parents plead for his life

The parents of Colorado theater shooter James Holmes begged Friday for his life to be spared through a plea bargain — a move that rekindled the long-running, emotional debate about whether the horrific details of the mass killing should be played out at his upcoming trial.

Tick-tock: Tips for last-minute shoppers

The clock is ticking, and your holiday shopping list isn’t complete.

Chrysler gives in to gov’t, expands air bag recall

After resisting for several weeks, Chrysler is bowing to government demands to expand a recall of driver’s side air bag inflators across the entire nation.

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Staples: Customer data exposed in security breach

Staples Inc. says nearly 1.2 million customer payment cards may have been exposed during a security breach earlier this year.

Lockheed Martin pays $27.5M in billing allegation

A subsidiary of defense contractor Lockheed Martin has agreed to pay $27.5 million to resolve allegations that it overbilled the government, federal prosecutors announced Friday.

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Obama says North Korea hacked Sony, vows response

President Barack Obama declared Friday that Sony “made a mistake” in shelving a satirical film about a plot to assassinate North Korea’s leader and pledged the U.S. would respond “in a place and manner and time that we choose” to the hack attack on Sony that the FBI blamed on the communist government.

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T-Mobile paying at least $90M for unwanted services

T-Mobile US will pay at least $90 million, mostly in refunds, for billing customers for cellphone text services they didn't order, under a settlement with federal regulators.

US stocks edge higher after a big two-day rally

U.S. stocks are edging higher as the market comes off a massive two-day rally. The market closed out its second-best week of the year Friday.

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Arctic loses snow, ice; absorbs more heat

The Arctic and its future are looking dimmer every year, a new federal report says.

Tsarnaev appears in court for first time since 2013

Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev returned to court Thursday for the first time since he was arraigned in July 2013, and he received a shout of encouragement from the mother-in-law of a man who was shot and killed while being questioned by law enforcement after the bombings.

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Exiles divided on plans to thaw US-Cuba relations

When Cuban and American leaders announced they would restore diplomatic relations after a standoff lasting more than a half-century, all eyes in the U.S. immediately turned to Miami, where many expected the country’s largest population of Cuban exiles to pour angrily into the streets.

Not much chance of Congress stopping Cuba policy

A lack of unanimity in both political parties toward President Barack Obama’s sudden move to re-establish ties with Cuba complicates any congressional effort to scuttle the most significant change in U.S. policy toward the communist island in 50-plus years.