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Friday, December 19, 2014, 10:35 a.m.
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Speaker invites Obama for State of the Union

posted: 12/19/2014 9:18 a.m. Discuss

WASHINGTON — Speaker John Boehner has invited President Barack Obama to deliver the State of the Union speech on Tuesday, Jan. 20.

Spy U.S. got in swap seen as invaluable in rooting out Cuban spies

updated: 12/19/2014 2:44 a.m. Comments 2

He was, in many ways, a perfect spy -- a man so important to Cuba's intelligence apparatus that the information he gave to the CIA paid dividends long after Cuban authorities arrested him and threw him in prison for nearly two decades.

U.S. studies 'proportional response' to Sony hackers

posted: 12/19/2014 2:38 a.m. Discuss

The Obama administration is weighing a "proportional response" to the cyberattack on Sony Pictures Entertainment computers and is wary that the intrusion may have been designed to provoke a large-scale U.S. reaction, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

U.S. sues NYC to quicken jail changes

updated: 12/19/2014 2:37 a.m. Discuss

Federal prosecutors sued New York City on Thursday to speed the pace of changes at the Rikers Island jail complex and address what a Justice Department investigation found was a "deep-seated culture of violence" toward young inmates.

Secret Service stretched thin, study says

posted: 12/19/2014 2:36 a.m. Discuss

The Secret Service "is stretched to and, in many cases, beyond its limits" and needs to hire 85 agents and 200 officers to sufficiently perform its mission, according to a report released Thursday by the Department of Homeland Security.

Paul favors trade with Cuba, says embargo hasn't worked

posted: 12/19/2014 2:35 a.m. Discuss

WASHINGTON -- Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul said Thursday that the lengthy U.S. economic embargo against Cuba "just hasn't worked" and voiced support for opening trade with Cuba in the aftermath of the Obama administration's policy shift regarding the communist island.

2 top extremists killed, U.S. says

posted: 12/19/2014 2:33 a.m. Discuss

Two senior Islamic State group leaders were killed in U.S. and coalition airstrikes in northern Iraq in the past week, U.S. officials said Thursday, as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel approved new orders for several hundred troops to deploy to Iraq to train Iraqi forces.

Tsarnaev at Boston hearing

posted: 12/19/2014 2:31 a.m. Discuss

BOSTON -- 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.

Judge says girls fit for trial in stabbing

posted: 12/19/2014 2:30 a.m. Discuss

Two Wisconsin girls accused of stabbing a classmate to please a fantasy character called Slender Man are mentally fit to stand trial on attempted-homicide charges, a judge ruled Thursday.

2 states challenge Colorado ‘pot’ law

posted: 12/19/2014 2:29 a.m. Discuss

Nebraska and Oklahoma on Thursday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to declare Colorado’s legalization of marijuana unconstitutional, saying the drug is being taken from Colorado into neighboring states.

The nation in brief

posted: 12/19/2014 2:24 a.m. Discuss

Obama inks, stays Russia sanctions WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama signed legislation Thursday authorizing new sanctions on Russia but said he does not plan to impose the penalties outlined in the measure.

Names and faces

updated: 12/19/2014 2:22 a.m. Discuss

An up-and-coming rapper appeared in a New York City court Thursday to face allegations that he moonlighted as a gun-toting member of a street gang that was behind several shootings, one fatal, during turf wars over drug trafficking. Ackquille Pollard, who performs under the name Bobby Shmurda, pleaded innocent and was ordered held in lieu of $2 million bond at a hearing in state Supreme Court in Manhattan. The Brooklyn-born Pollard is best known for the hit song "Hot Boy."

Getting it straight

posted: 12/19/2014 2:21 a.m. Discuss

The Democrat-Gazette wants its news reports to be fair and accurate. We correct all errors of fact. If you know of an error, write: Frank Fellone Deputy Editor P.O. Box 2221 Little Rock, Ark. 72203 or call 378-3475 during business hours Monday through Friday.

In the news

posted: 12/19/2014 2:20 a.m. Discuss

President Barack Obama signed into law a measure that bars suspected Nazi war criminals from receiving U.S. Social Security benefits that stemmed from an Associated Press investigation that found dozens of former Nazis collected millions in retirement benefits after being forced to leave the U.S.

Feds sue NYC over Rikers Island jail violence

posted: 12/18/2014 11:02 a.m. Comment 1

NEW YORK — Federal prosecutors sued New York City on Thursday to speed the pace of reforms at the Rikers Island jail complex and address what a Justice Department investigation found was a "deep-seated culture of violence" against young inmates.

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