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U.S., Cuba restore ties after 50 years

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HAVANA/WASHINGTON - The United States and Cuba agreed on Wednesday to restore diplomatic ties that Washington severed more than 50 years ago, and President Barack Obama called for an end to the long economic embargo against its old Cold War enemy. | Video

Accused Boston Marathon bomber due in court today

BOSTON - Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is due in court on Thursday, his first appearance in public in more than a year, as his lawyers prepare for the January start of his trial on charges of carrying out the deadly 2013 attack.

7:16am EST

From joy to outrage, Florida's Cuban-Americans greet new U.S. policy

MIAMI - Some Cuban exiles responded with outrage. Others with ecstasy.

Politics, Cuba 17 Dec 2014

White supremacist charged in Kansas deaths faces competency hearing

KANSAS CITY, Kan - A Kansas judge will hear evidence on Thursday as to whether a white supremacist accused of killing three people at two Jewish facilities this year is competent to stand trial on capital murder charges.

7:11am EST

Two Wisconsin girls in Slenderman case to appear in court hearings

- Two Wisconsin girls will be in court on Thursday for hearings to determine if they are fit to stand trial on charges that they lured a classmate into the woods and repeatedly stabbed her to please Slenderman, a fictional Internet character.

7:09am EST

Executions in United States at 20-year low: report

WASHINGTON - Amid growing concerns about how executions are carried out in the United States, the number of prison inmates being put to death fell to a 20-year low in 2014, the Death Penalty Information Center said in a report issued on Thursday.

12:21am EST

Montana homeowner found guilty in slaying of German exchange student

MISSOULA, Mont. - A jury on Wednesday found a Montana homeowner guilty of deliberate homicide in the shooting death of a German high school exchange student who entered his garage in a case that tested the state's version of a "castle doctrine" self-defense law.

17 Dec 2014

Lava creeps within mile of Hawaii shopping center

PAHOA, Hawaii - A stream of molten lava from an erupting volcano on Hawaii's Big Island crept to within a mile of the only grocery store and gas station in the village of Pahoa on Wednesday as it neared a highway link with the rest of the island.

Three killed, several injured in crash outside California church

- Three people were killed and at least nine others injured when a driver ploughed into a group of pedestrians leaving a holiday church service in a southern California city of Redondo Beach on Wednesday night, police said.

7:01am EST

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