Friday, December 19, 2014

Suspected Islamic extremists kidnap 185 in Nigeria

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria — Islamic extremists killed 35 people and kidnapped at least 185 in an attack near the town where nearly 300 schoolgirls were taken hostage in April, witnesses said Thursday. In Sunday night’s attack on the village of Gumburi, most of the kidnapped were young women, children and members of a civilian defense group […]

European court rules obesity can be a disability

LONDON — Obesity can be a disability, the European Court of Justice ruled Thursday — a decision that could have widespread consequences across the 28-nation bloc for the way in which employers deal with severely overweight staff. The ruling, which is binding across the EU, has such profound implications for employment law that experts expect […]

Gay vets can march in Boston St. Patrick’s parade

BOSTON — For the first time in its history, the sponsors of Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade will allow a group representing the gay community to participate, drawing cheers from Mayor Martin Walsh, who boycotted the event last year over the exclusion. The South Boston Allied War Veterans Council, which has long resisted the inclusion […]

Cosby won’t be charged over molestation claim

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles prosecutors on Tuesday declined to file any charges against Bill Cosby after a woman recently claimed the comedian molested her around 1974. The rejection of a child sexual abuse charge by prosecutors came roughly 10 days after the woman, Judy Huth, met with Los Angeles police detectives for 90 minutes. […]

End game: No immigration deal, just divisions

WASHINGTON — A Congress that began with bright hopes for immigration legislation is ending in bitter divisions on the issue even as some Republicans warn that the political imperative for acting is stronger than ever for the GOP. In place of a legislative solution, President Barack Obama’s recent executive action to curb deportations for millions […]

Jeb Bush to ‘actively explore’ run for president

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced Tuesday he will “actively explore” a campaign for president, an early move that could pre-empt some other Republicans with White House aspirations in the bidding for big donations and public support. In a holiday message posted on his Facebook page, the son and brother of Republican […]

Ex-Marine wanted in 6 killings commits suicide

PENNSBURG, Pa. — An Iraq War veteran suspected of killing his ex-wife and five of her relatives in a shooting and slashing frenzy was found dead of self-inflicted stab wounds Tuesday in the woods of suburban Philadelphia, ending a day-and-a-half manhunt that closed schools and left people on edge. Bradley William Stone’s body was discovered […]

Gulf Arab states to create regional police, navy

DOHA, Qatar — The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council, which is concerned about Shiite Iran’s regional influence and the rise of Sunni extremist groups throughout the region, agreed on Tuesday to create a regional police force based out of the United Arab Emirates’ capital of Abu Dhabi and a joint naval force based out of Bahrain. […]

Ukraine forces, rebels largely suspend hostilities

DONETSK, Ukraine — Government troops and Russian-backed separatists largely suspended hostilities in east Ukraine on Tuesday, raising hopes of a lasting peaceful settlement in a conflict that has raged for seven months and claimed thousands of lives. The lull in fighting followed a proposal by Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to hold a “day of silence” […]

Training delays Cuban doctors from fighting Ebola

CONAKRY, Guinea — The Cuban doctors were all fired up and raring to get to work: Fidel Castro had praised their commitment and urged them to work even with American troops who might otherwise be considered the enemy, and President Raul Castro came to the airport to wish them well in their mission to fight […]

Frenchman held 3 years by al-Qaida freed in Africa

PARIS — A Frenchman held for more than three years by al-Qaida’s North African branch was freed Tuesday, days after two of the men implicated in his abduction were reportedly released from a prison in Mali. Negotiations among the governments of Niger, Mali and France led to freedom for Serge Lazarevic, 51, who was described […]

Inside Kobani: Kurds doggedly defend town from IS

KOBANI, Syria (AP) — The men and women of Kobani call one another “heval” — Kurdish for ‘comrade’ — and fight with revolutionary conviction, vowing to liberate what they regard as Kurdish land from Islamic State group militants. Amid the wasteland and destroyed buildings, a sense of camaraderie has developed among the town’s defenders who […]

Likely Pentagon nominee earned stripes quiet way

WASHINGTON — No household name, Ashton Carter has earned his stripes in the national security trenches the quiet way. For decades he has toiled as a defense thinker and strategist, nuclear expert, three-time Pentagon executive, budget guru and academician. He never served in the military or in Congress, unlike many defense secretaries, including the man […]

Tom Hanks, wife to host Christmas tree lighting

WASHINGTON — Tom Hanks and his wife, actress Rita Wilson, will host this year’s National Christmas Tree lighting in President’s Park near the White House. The National Park Service announced Wednesday that Hanks and Wilson will host the ceremony Dec. 4. By tradition, President Barack Obama and his family also will help light the tree. […]

With shake-ups, AC/DC perseveres with album, tour

NEW YORK — AC/DC finally joined iTunes in 2012 after years of refusing to do so, but make no mistake, the Australian rock band is still old school. “I would like everybody to buy vinyl again,” guitarist Angus Young said in an interview. “That’s my favorite.” He continued with a loud laugh: “They ought to make […]

875 hours of holiday programming on TV last year

NEW YORK — If it’s anything like last year, television viewers won’t have to look very hard for holiday-themed programming. The Nielsen company said Wednesday that some 875 hours of such shows were on broadcast and cable networks in late 2013. That includes both specials and holiday episodes of regularly scheduled series, the company said. […]

Missing model-restaurateur B. Smith found in NYC

SAG HARBOR, N.Y. — Police on New York’s Long Island say former model and restaurateur B. Smith has been has been found safe, nearly 14 hours after she was reported missing. Police in the village of Sag Harbor, where Smith lives, said she was found at around 2 p.m. Wednesday by her daughter, near her old […]

Garth Brooks cites Ferguson for cancellation

NEW YORK — Singer Garth Brooks has canceled a Thanksgiving appearance on NBC’s “Tonight” show because he said it “seemed distasteful” given the reaction to the decision not to prosecute Ferguson, Missouri, police officer Darren Wilson for the shooting of Michael Brown this summer. NBC on Wednesday confirmed the postponement, saying Brooks was being replaced […]

University in Tennessee cancels Cosby appearance

HENDERSON, Tenn. — A university in Tennessee says it has canceled Bill Cosby’s scheduled appearance at a benefit dinner amid allegations made by women accusing the comedian of sexual assault. Freed-Hardeman University in Henderson said in a statement Wednesday that Dr. Ben Carson will replace Cosby at the Dec. 5 dinner. An attorney for the […]

New ‘Hunger Games’ movie debuts Friday

FAIRFIELD — Let the games – resume. “The Hunger Games,” that is. “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1” hits the silver screen Friday. In this outing, heroine Katniss Everdeen finds her family, friends and people of District 12 under threat from President Snow. Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth are featured. The late Philip Seymour Hoffman […]

‘Hunger Games’ stars dream up an alternate cast

LOS ANGELES — Quick – If they were doing a “Hunger Games” remake, who should play the leading roles? We recently posed the question to the franchise’s three young stars – Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth – and they came up with some entertaining answers. Hemsworth, aka Gale Hawthorne, boldly going first: “I’d probably […]

China wins support for Asia-Pacific trade proposal

HUAIROU, China — Leaders of Asia-Pacific economies agreed Tuesday to begin work toward possible adoption of a Chinese-backed free-trade pact, giving Beijing a victory in its push for a bigger role in managing global commerce. In a joint statement after a two-day Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit, the leaders including U.S. President Barack Obama and Russia’s […]

Putin’s gallantry upstages Chinese host at APEC

BEIJING — It was a warm gesture on a chilly night when Vladimir Putin wrapped a shawl around the wife of Xi Jinping while the Chinese president chatted with Barack Obama. The only problem: Putin came off looking gallant, the Chinese summit host gauche and inattentive. Worse still were off-color jokes that began to circulate […]

Obama’s bid for new China ties can’t quell tension

BEIJING — When Xi Jinping took the reins of a booming China two years ago, President Barack Obama saw an opportunity to remake America’s relationship with the Asian power. But even after Obama’s unusually robust efforts to forge personal ties with Xi, the two leaders are meeting in Beijing amid significant tensions, both old and […]

California’s $7.5 billion water bond passes

LOS ANGELES — California voters approved spending $7.5 billion to improve the state’s outdated and undersized water storage and delivery system amid a historic drought. Proposition 1 passed with about two-thirds support on Tuesday. It calls for building two new reservoirs, investing in conservation measures, water recycling and groundwater cleanup. Its passage comes amid three […]

Coastal California residents using far less water

SACRAMENTO — Residents in coastal communities use far less water than their inland counterparts, but still find ways to cut back even more, residential per-capita water use figures released for the first time Tuesday show. The State Water Resources Control Board is collecting per-capita data to better target conservation efforts as farms go fallow and […]

New Call of Duty out next week, at Walmart first

NEW YORK — The latest installment in the blockbuster “Call of Duty” video game franchise goes on sale next week and those that need to be first in line will have to head to Walmart. The retail giant is selling “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” 24 hours before its official release, a move that could […]

Movie screen screams coming to box office

FAIRFIELD — Thriller is this weekend’s box office buzzword. Jake Gyllenhaal, Rene Russo and Bill Paxton star in “Nightcrawler.” The plot centers on a driven young man desperate for work who joins the world of Los Angeles crime journalism. He blurs the line between observer and participant to become the star of his own story. It’s rated […]

Suisun City gallery readies for new show

SUISUN CITY — The Lawler House Galley is set to open a new show on Halloween. The exhibit, “Visual Delights,” opens Friday and continues through Jan. 25, 2015, the museum announced in a press release. An opening reception is scheduled from 3 to 7 p.m. Nov. 1 at the gallery. Admission is free. Gallery hours […]

Fairfield High theater program presents show with Halloween theme

FAIRFIELD — Fairfield High School’s Way Off Broadway Theatre presents a Halloween show this week. “The Weird: A Series of Ghost Stories,” begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the school in Theater Room F5. The school is located at 205 E. Atlantic Ave. The shows are open to the public. There is […]