Regulators approve tougher rules for Internet providers WASHINGTON (AP) - Internet activists declared victory over the nation's big cable companies Thursday, after the Federal Communications Commission voted to impose the toughest rules yet on broadband service to prevent companies like Comcast, Verizon and AT&T from creating paid fast lanes and slowing or blocking web traffic. The 3-2 vote ushered in a new era of government oversight for an industry that has seen relatively little. It represents the biggest regulatory shake-up to telecommunications providers in almost two decades.
'Jihadi John' identified as London-raised college grad LONDON (AP) - The world knows him as "Jihadi John," the masked, knife-wielding militant in videos showing Western hostages being beheaded by the Islamic State group. On Thursday, he was identified as a London-raised university graduate known to British intelligence for more than five years. The British-accented militant from the chilling videos is Mohammed Emwazi, a man in his mid-20s who was born in Kuwait and raised in a modest, mixed-income area of west London.
5 things to know about 'net neutrality' WASHINGTON (AP) - Netflix, Twitter and Internet activists have won. Big cable has lost. At least until the federal courts get involved, when everything could change. Five things you need to know about the Federal Communications Commission's vote Thursday to enforce "net neutrality" rules for the broadband industry: 1. NET NEUTRALITY IS WHAT YOU ALREADY HAVE. With few exceptions, the cable and wireless companies that provide much of the nation's broadband already operate under the idea of net neutrality. This means they don't discriminate among similar types of web traffic, and don't intentionally slow or block data.
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House GOP weighs new approach on Homeland Security WASHINGTON (AP) - Sounding a likely retreat, House Republicans weighed short-term funding Thursday to prevent a partial shutdown at the Department of Homeland Security while temporarily leaving in place Obama administration immigration policies they have vowed to repeal. Under the emerging proposal, the agency would receive funds with no strings attached for perhaps three weeks. The House would also approve a separate measure to allow normal agency operations through the end of the budget year on Sept. 30, but only in exchange for immigration-related concessions from the White House.
What determines the perfect candidate for 2016? WASHINGTON (AP) - Let's say, for a moment, that America has given you the job of picking the perfect candidate for president. Good luck, Mr. or Ms. Voter, deciding what they've got to have - and what they can do without. There are all sorts of things to start the list: leadership, vision, charisma, communication skills and foreign policy cred. And more: fundraising prowess, authenticity, empathy, a keen understanding of the presidency and maybe a little familiarity with running for the office.
Militants abduct more Christians, smash ancient artifacts BEIRUT (AP) - Islamic State militants seized more Christians from their homes in northeastern Syria in the past three days, bringing the total number abducted by the extremist group to over 220, activists said Thursday. At the same time, the extremists also released a video showing the continued destruction of the heritage of the lands under their control. It depicted men using sledgehammers to smash ancient Mesopotamian statues and other artifacts in Iraq's northern city of Mosul.
Vandalism in Arizona shows the Internet's vulnerability FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - Computers, cellphones and landlines in Arizona were knocked out of service for hours, ATMs stopped working, 911 systems were disrupted and businesses were unable to process credit card transactions - all because vandals sliced through a fiber-optic Internet cable buried in the rocky desert. The Internet outage did more than underscore just how dependent modern society has become on high technology. It raised questions about the vulnerability of the nation's Internet infrastructure.
Feds: 3 accused in Islamic State plot had vocalized beliefs NEW YORK (AP) - Two men arrested on charges of plotting to help the Islamic State group were vocal both online and in person about their commitment and desire to join the extremists, with one speaking of shooting President Barack Obama to "strike fear in the hearts of infidels," federal authorities said. The men were among three charged Wednesday with attempt and conspiracy to provide material support to a terrorist organization.
No thanks! Companies reject "Shark Tank" deals, still thrive NEW YORK (AP) - With the cameras rolling, Daniel and Stephanie Rensing accepted an offer from a "Shark Tank" investor. But after they had time to think about it, they changed their minds. Annual revenue for their company, The Smart Baker, is close to $1 million, up from $130,000 before their March 2012 appearance on the ABC reality TV show.
Johansson: Nothing 'creepy or inappropriate' about Travolta NEW YORK (AP) - Scarlett Johansson is defending John Travolta and calls the image of him kissing her on the Academy Awards red carpet "an unfortunate still-frame from a live-action encounter that was totally sweet and totally welcome." In an exclusive statement to The Associated Press on Thursday, Johansson said: "There is nothing at all strange, creepy or inappropriate about John Travolta." She called her former co-star of the film "A Love Song for Bobby Long" a "class act."