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A firefighter watches the King Fire burn near Fresh PondBy Alex Dobuzinskis and Steve Gorman LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Fire crews in California's rugged Sierra Nevada battled to gain the upper hand on Wednesday against a blaze that threatened at least 2,000 homes and has displaced hundreds of residents as flames roared for a fifth day through dry timber and brush west of Lake Tahoe. The so-called King Fire, the most menacing of 11 major wildfires raging across the drought-parched state, has scorched nearly 28,000 acres (11,331 hectares) of state land and the El Dorado National Forest since it erupted Saturday, fire officials said. ...


Illustration file picture shows a man typing on a computer keyboard in WarsawBy Ros Krasny WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hackers associated with the Chinese government have repeatedly infiltrated the computer systems of U.S. airlines, technology companies and other contractors involved in the movement of U.S. troops and military equipment, a U.S. Senate panel has found. The Senate Armed Services Committee's year-long probe, concluded in March but made public on Wednesday, found the military's U.S. Transportation Command, or Transcom, was aware of only two out of at least 20 such cyber intrusions within a single year. ...


By David Ingram NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Pakistan-born neuroscientist has become a rallying cry for militant groups demanding her release from a U.S. prison. But in a little-noticed move she is trying to abandon her legal fight for freedom, saying the U.S. court system is unjust. Islamic militants in Syria, Algeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan have made Aafia Siddiqui's release a condition for freeing certain foreign hostages. Islamic State, for example, proposed swapping American journalist James Foley for her, but he was executed after their demands, which also included an end to U.S. ...

Fiery crash injures driver in Buena VistaA motorist is hospitalized after a fiery crash in Buena Vista, New Jersey.


Pennsylvania State Police Trooper Richard J. Janesko talks with Father Thomas M. Muldowney, during a viewing for Pennsylvania State Trooper Cpl. Bryon Dickson on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014, at Marywood University in Scranton, Pa. Dickson was killed on Friday night in an ambush shooting at the state police barracks in Blooming Grove Township. Authorities are looking for 31-year-old Eric Frein, of Canadensis, who is charged with killing one trooper and wounding another outside the barracks. (AP Photo/The Scranton Times-Tribune, Butch Comegys) WILKES BARRE TIMES-LEADER OUT; MANDATORY CREDITHundreds of mourners, including law enforcement officers from around the country, are gathering in Scranton, Pennsylvania, for the funeral of a state trooper amid a mood of grief and fear as a manhunt continues 40 miles away for the killer, identified as a self-taught survivalist who hates police.


By LAURA ONITA LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Six communications towers built in Afghanistan were never used and were a waste of more than $6.5 million in U.S. taxpayer funds, an inquiry into U.S. State Department spending on Afghan reconstruction said on Thursday. The inquiry by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) tried to find out whether officials responsible for the project ignored a number of apparent warning signals before building the towers. ...

This Sept. 15, 2014 photo provided by Washington County, Ore., Animal Services in Hillsboro, Ore., shows a Jack Russell terrier named Gidget. The 7-year-old dog who went missing from her Pennsylvania home outside of Philadelphia on April 22 has turned up at an animal shelter nearly 3,000 miles away. Deborah Wood of the County's Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter says a good Samaritan found Gidget this month in Tualatin, Oregon. A microchip implanted in Gidget revealed her owner and hometown. Wood says Gidget was a little thin, but otherwise in good condition. It's a mystery how the dog ended up in Oregon. The shelter and the owner are trying to figure out how to get the dog back to Pennsylvania. (AP Photo/Washington County Animal Services)PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A Jack Russell terrier that went missing from its Pennsylvania home has turned up at an animal shelter nearly 3,000 miles away.


JENNINGS, Mo. (AP) — County police officers shot and killed a man after he pointed a rifle at them during a chase in suburban St. Louis, less than five miles from the site of the August shooting of a black 18-year-old by a white Ferguson officer that sparked weeks of unrest.

Pa. state police trooper killed in ambush to be laid to rest; killer still at largeHundreds of mourners are gathering in Scranton for the funeral of a state trooper amid a mood of grief and fear as a manhunt continues for his killer.


By Aaron Foley DETROIT (Reuters) - A Detroit police officer charged in the shooting death of a 7-year-old girl during a raid is being retried following a mistrial last year, with opening statements expected on Thursday in a case that has sparked concerns over police use of force. A jury failed to reach a verdict last year for Officer Joseph Weekley, who faces involuntary manslaughter charges in the 2010 death of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, who was sleeping on a couch when officers stormed her home in search of a murder suspect, court documents said. ...
BOSTON (Reuters) - Attorneys for the accused Boston Marathon bomber are due in court on Thursday as they resume sparring with prosecutors over issues including defense requests to move the trial out of Boston and to delay it past its scheduled Nov. 3 start. Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 20, could face execution if he is convicted of killing three people and injuring more than 260 with a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs on April 15, 2013, and with fatally shooting a university police officer three days later as he and his older brother, Tamerlan, attempted to flee the city. ...

Missing University of Virginia student Hannah Elizabeth Graham is seen in an undated photo provided by the Charlottesville, Va., Police Department. University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan says the university community is deeply concerned about Graham, who has been missing since early Saturday, Sept. 13. Police say she was last heard from at 1:20 a.m. Saturday when she texted a friend. According to U.Va. officials, Graham is 5-foot-11 with blue eyes, light brown hair and freckles. Anyone with information on Graham's whereabouts is asked to contact the Charlottesville Police Department at 434-970-3280. (AP Photo/Charlottesville, Va., Police Department)CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Police say they've reviewed additional surveillance videos from two businesses showing a missing University of Virginia student and others walking the night she disappeared.


FILE - In this March 12, 2009 file photo, Peanut Corporation of America's president Stewart Parnell, arrives a federal court in Lynchburg, Va. A jury weighing criminal charges Thursday Sept. 18, 2014 against the owner of a Georgia peanut plant blamed for a nationwide salmonella outbreak five years ago will decide the case without hearing one fact _ that nine people died after eating the company's tainted peanut butter. (AP Photo/Don Petersen, File)ALBANY, Ga. (AP) — A jury weighing criminal charges Thursday against the owner of a Georgia peanut plant blamed for a nationwide salmonella outbreak five years ago will decide the case without hearing one fact — that nine people died after eating the company's tainted peanut butter.


Catholic high school coach fired in connection with gay couple attack in PhiladelphiaThe Archdiocese of Philadelphia has fired an assistant basketball coach at Archbishop Wood High School in connection with last week's brutal attack on a gay couple.


Pa. state police trooper killed in ambush to be laid to rest; killer still at largeHundreds of mourners are gathering in Scranton for the funeral of a state trooper amid a mood of grief and fear as a manhunt continues for his killer.


A man walks past an advertising billboard showing the mobile app of Alibaba’s Taobao consumer-to-consumer site at a subway station in Beijing Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Alibaba Group's U.S. stock offering is a wakeup call about an emerging wave of technology giants in China's state-dominated economy. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)BEIJING (AP) — Alibaba Group's U.S. stock offering is a wakeup call about an emerging wave of technology giants in China's state-dominated economy.


President Barack Obama speaks at U.S. Central Command (CentCom) at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Fla. on Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. Obama consulted with military officials about the U.S. counterterrorism campaign against Islamic State militants during his visit. (AP Photo/The Tampa Bay Times, James Borchuck, Pool)WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. will train at least 50,000 veterans to become solar panel installers in the next six years, the White House said Thursday.


Yes campaign and No campaign posters stand outside a polling place in Edinburgh, Scotland, Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. Polls have opened across Scotland in a referendum that will decide whether the country leaves its 307-year-old union with England and becomes an independent state. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:


VEVEY, Switzerland (AP) — Some 200 companies on Thursday pledged to create new work and training opportunities for Europe's young jobseekers, of which one out of four is unemployed.

Sheriff: Burned armpit hair led to car crashA SUV full of teenagers crashed in Idaho after one of the passengers lit the driver's armpit hair on fire with a lighter, authorities said Wednesday.


AccuWeather: Lots of Sun, 70s Again TodayMeteorologist David Murphy says the weekend looks warm.


BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union's highest court says airlines are allowed to charge passengers an extra fee for checking in luggage.

Gunman sought in 7-Eleven attempted robbery in OlneyPolice are searching for the armed suspect who held up a 7-Eleven store in Philadelphia's Olney section early Thursday morning.


Janet Jones, second left on stage, leads a Vixen Workout fitness concert at the Highline Ballroom, in New York, Saturday, July 26, 2014. Former Miami Heat dancer Janet Jones created the Vixen Workout two years ago after she lost her job as a financial assistant and her high-energy routine has caught on in New York and other cities. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)NEW YORK (AP) — When Janet Jones was laid off from her job as a financial assistant two years ago and hit rock bottom, inspiration struck.


Mesa residents, reflected in a truck window, take free sandbags to protect their homes, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014 in Mesa, Ariz. Phoenix area residents are filling sandbags in anticipation for the remnants of Category 3 Hurricane Odille which decimated Mexico's Baja California. (AP Photo/Matt York)TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A weakened Pacific storm slammed much of southern Arizona, but it appeared to spare Tucson on Wednesday night.


"This is the best of a long list of bad options." — Rep. Jim Moran, D-Va., after the Republican-controlled House voted to give the Obama administration authority to train and arm Syrian rebels against Islamic State militants.

Donn Hewes leads his work horses back toward the stables from the pasture at The Northland Sheep Dairy Farm in Marathon, N.Y., Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)MARATHON, N.Y. (AP) — While most modern farmers work their fields accompanied by the rumble of a trusty tractor, sheep farmer Donn Hewes labors to the faint jingling of harnesses in rhythm with the hoofbeats of horses and mules.


FILE - In this Aug. 27, 2014 file photo, a chef walks in the headquarter campus of Alibaba Group in Hangzhou in eastern China's Zhejiang province. Control over Alibaba Group will stay in the hands of founder Jack Ma and other company veterans after the Chinese e-commerce giant goes public on the New York Stock Exchange in a record busting share sale. (AP Photo/File) CHINA OUTBEIJING (AP) — Control over Alibaba Group will stay in the hands of founder Jack Ma and other company veterans after the Chinese e-commerce giant goes public on the New York Stock Exchange in a record busting share sale.


Daredevil Nik Wallenda poses for a portrait on the roof of the Leo Burnett Building in downtown Chicago, Wednesday, Sept. 17, 2014. Wallenda said his next tightrope walk will be more than 50 stories high from one high-rise building to another over the Chicago River. Wallenda, 35, will attempt the feat on Nov. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)CHICAGO (AP) — Nik Wallenda is all about spectacle, a showman who crossed Niagara Falls and an Arizona gorge on a high wire and now has his sights on Chicago's iconic skyscrapers — partly because of the city's reputation for being windy.


SUNBURY, Pa. (AP) — A newlywed couple who lured a stranger to his death through a Craigslist ad are due in court for sentencing.

The smoldering empty shell of a local library and a Head Start center are all that remain Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, the day after a wildfire swept through Weed, Calif. In just a few hours Monday, wind-driven flames destroyed or damaged roughly 100 homes, a saw mill and a church. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)POLLOCK PINES, Calif. (AP) — An out-of-control wildfire in Northern California threatened more than 2,000 homes and consumed huge swaths of timber land east of Sacramento while another town near the Oregon border took account of the damage done by a wildfire that burned 200 homes earlier in the week.


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