Police departments on alert after cop killings NEW YORK (AP) - 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 there is no evidence 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 slayings of black men at the hands of white police.
Timeline of events before and after NYC cop deaths A timeline of events in the hours before and moments after two New York Police Department officers were killed in their cruiser Saturday by Ismaaiyl Brinsley, a 28-year-old man who vowed online to shoot two "pigs" in retaliation for the police chokehold death of Eric Garner. ---
US mulls putting NKorea on terrorism sponsor list HONOLULU (AP) - President Barack Obama says the United States is reviewing whether to put North Korea back on its list of state sponsors of terrorism as Washington decides how to respond to what he calls an "act of cybervandalism," not one of war, against a movie company. North Korea has reacted angrily to Obama's comments blaming it for the hacking of Sony, warning of strikes against the White House, Pentagon and "the whole U.S. mainland, that cesspool of terrorism."
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N. Korea threatens strikes on US amid hacking claims SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - President Barack Obama is "recklessly" spreading rumors of a Pyongyang-orchestrated cyberattack of Sony Pictures, North Korea says, as it warns of strikes against the White House, Pentagon and "the whole U.S. mainland, that cesspool of terrorism." Such rhetoric is routine from North Korea's massive propaganda machine during times of high tension with Washington. But a long statement from the powerful National Defense Commission late Sunday also underscores Pyongyang's sensitivity at a movie whose plot focuses on the assassination of its leader Kim Jong Un, who is the beneficiary of a decades-long cult of personality built around his family dynasty.
Experts expect surge in Cuba tourism under Obama opening HAVANA (AP) - As the U.S. and Cuba begin to normalize relations for the first time in half a century, some Americans are already roaming the streets of Old Havana, attending dance exhibitions and talks on architecture as they take part in scripted cultural tours that can cost more than a decent used car back home. The U.S. visitors are participants in the highly regulated "people-to-people" travel that President Barack Obama permitted in 2011 in one of his first moves toward detente with Cuba. The program aims to increase interaction with ordinary Cubans without creating uncomfortable images of Americans lounging on beaches in a single-party state. The tours tend to attract people sympathetic to improving ties with President Raul Castro's government.
Iraq TV show makes 'terrorists' confront victims BAGHDAD (AP) - Haider Ali Motar was convicted of terrorism charges about a month ago for helping to carry out a string of Baghdad car bombings on behalf of the Islamic State extremist group. Now, the 21-year old is a reluctant cast member in a popular reality TV show. "In the Grip of the Law," brings convicted terrorists face-to-face with victims in surreal encounters and celebrates the country's beleaguered security forces. The show, produced by state-run Iraqiyya TV, is among dozens of programs, cartoons and musical public service announcements aimed at shoring up support for the troops after their humiliating defeat last summer at the hands of the Islamic State group, which now controls about a third of the country.
Tent city sprouts in shadow of downtown Detroit DETROIT (AP) - Bankruptcy behind it, Detroit's atmosphere swirls with the promise of better days. Charles Floyd Jones can only hope that the city's good fortune trickles down to him and the 10 other residents of a tent city that's sprouted in the shadow of a resurgent downtown where rental occupancy is close to full and restaurants and shops are doing brisk business. Jones and others in this makeshift community of seven tents - believed to be the only tent city in Detroit - say they have nowhere else to go.
Man who helped subdue gunman among Carnegie Heroes PITTSBURGH (AP) - The parks director of a Pennsylvania township who helped subdue a gunman charged with killing three people at a municipal meeting last year is among 19 people being honored with medals and cash from the Pittsburgh-based Carnegie Heroes Fund Commission. Bernard Kozen was the 56-year-old parks director of Ross Township when he tackled, disarmed and subdued 60-year-old Rockne Newell on Aug. 5, 2013. Newell is awaiting trial and faces the possible death penalty for allegedly killing three people in a dispute over his property.
NKorean cinema: Kidnappings and evil Americans SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - North Korea hates the currently scrapped Hollywood film that revolves around the assassination of its beloved leader, but the country has had a long love affair with cinema - of its own particular styling. In the six decades since North Korea began to cultivate its own film industry, there have been a kidnapped South Korean director and his movie star wife, a Godzilla-inspired monster movie that flopped in the South, American defectors hamming it up in anti-U.S. propaganda films - and even a foray into "girl power" cinema with the more recent "Comrade Kim Goes Flying."
Jets players speak out on slain NYPD officers EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (AP) - Sheldon Richardson was stunned when he heard the news Saturday that two New York City police officers were killed in the line of duty. The New York Jets defensive lineman who has been critical of law enforcement in the past spoke out Sunday in support of Officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. They were fatally ambushed in their squad car in Brooklyn by a gunman with a long criminal record.