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Hopes, fears, doubts surround Cuba's oil future

MIAMI (AP) — One of the most prolific oil and gas basins on the planet sits just off Cuba's northwest coast, and the thaw in relations with the United States is giving rise to hopes that Cuba can now get in on the action.

2004 tsunami: A crying boy with a piece of bread

Some 230,000 people were killed in the Indian Ocean tsunami set off by a magnitude 9.1 earthquake on Dec. 26, 2004. A dozen countries were hit, from Indonesia to India to Africa's east coast. Scores of Associated Press journalists covered the disaster, and as the 10th anniversary approached, the AP asked 10 of them to describe the images that have stuck with them the most. This is the fourth of their stories, which are being published daily through Dec. 26.

Posted: December 19, 2014
Judge strikes down government’s decision to remove gray wolves from endangered species list

MILWAUKEE—A federal judge on Friday struck down the federal government’s decision to remove gray wolves in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan from the endangered species list.

Posted: December 19, 2014
De Blasio defends NYPD’s ‘broken windows’ strategy, a target of protests

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio Friday stood by the NYPD’s “broken windows” crime-fighting strategy that targets low-level offenses—a policy under attack by protesters in recent weeks.

Posted: December 19, 2014
Long Island laundry worker recalls ‘horrendous’ attack on customer’s baby

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. — One minute Long Island laundry worker Lesley Licona was playing with a customer’s baby daughter. The next she was fighting off a robber, riveted in horror as her attacker kicked the baby and ripped away her diamond necklace.

Posted: December 19, 2014
AP WAS THERE: US breaks relations with Cuba

EDITOR'S NOTE — When the United States severed its diplomatic relationship with Cuba on Jan. 3, 1961, it kicked off a year in which CIA-funded counterrevolutionaries would try to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs, and after that, the withdrawal or ouster of almost all American and European media from the island, including The Associated Press' American staff.

Posted: December 19, 2014
Kitten rescued after being stuck in storm drain for two weeks

ANTIOCH, Calif. — A day after a cunning rescue near Harbour Park in Antioch, east of San Francisco, it’s hard to say who’s happier: the small, gray cat that was saved from the depths of a 15-foot storm drain, the residents who listened to its distressed meows for two weeks and tried everything they could to save it, or the dozen volunteers who ultimately came together to pull off the rescue Thursday evening.

Posted: December 19, 2014
Sony CEO worried for months about ‘The Interview,’ emails show

LOS ANGELES — Kazuo Hirai was worried. For months, the Tokyo-based chief executive of Sony Corp. had been raising questions about his Hollywood studio’s plans to go forward with a film depicting the assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Posted: December 19, 2014
Woman arrested in fatal car crash pleads not guilty

LOS ANGELES—A Redondo Beach woman accused of felony gross vehicular manslaughter for allegedly plowing into a crowd of people leaving a Christmas concert Wednesday night, killing four people, including a 6-year-old boy, has pleaded not guilty.

Posted: December 19, 2014
FDA approves new ovarian cancer drug

Opening a new chapter in the use of genomic science to fight cancer, the Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved olaparib, a medication for advanced ovarian cancer associated with a defective BRCA gene.

Posted: December 19, 2014
Marco Rubio, Rand Paul trade shots over Cuba on TV, Twitter, Facebook

MIAMI—As they jockey for possible presidential bids, Republican senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul are taking aim at each other on TV, Twitter and Facebook over Cuba policy.

Posted: December 19, 2014
Supreme Court denies stay, same-sex marriage in Florida set to begin Jan. 6

MIAMI—Same-sex marriage will begin Jan. 6 in Florida —the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday denied Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi’s request to Justice Clarence Thomas that he extend a stay in the federal case of eight gay couples.

Posted: December 19, 2014
Poll: Cuban-Americans split on Obama’s Cuba policy

MIAMI — Cuban-Americans nationwide are almost evenly divided over support for the embargo and for President Barack Obama’s effort to normalize relations with Cuba, according to a new poll that shows a vast generational divide in reaction to this week’s historic announcement.

Posted: December 19, 2014
Lava could reach Hawaii shopping center in 8 days

PAHOA, Hawaii (AP) — Lava flowing in a rural Hawaii town continues to slow down and is estimated to reach a shopping center in about eight days.

Posted: December 19, 2014
Supreme Court won't stop gay marriages in Florida

MIAMI (AP) — The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday refused to block gay marriages in Florida, the latest of about three dozen states allowing same-sex weddings.

Posted: December 19, 2014
Safety experts make the case for getting teens newer, larger cars

Attention Santa Claus: If there are some teenagers on your list who have been very good this year and will be getting cars for Christmas, please make sure those cars are relatively new and relatively large.

Posted: December 19, 2014
Muslim woman says she was forced to attend Christian service in Ohio jail

A 24-year-old Muslim woman has filed a lawsuit against an Ohio jail after Cuyahoga County corrections officers allegedly ordered her to attend Christian prayer services or face solitary confinement, according to court filings made public Thursday.

Posted: December 19, 2014
Lawsuit shows resistance to legalization of pot

DENVER (AP) — Despite growing public support for legalizing marijuana, a lawsuit filed by Nebraska and Oklahoma shows that at least two segments of American society are prepared to fight the idea before the nation's highest court — social conservatives and law enforcement.

Posted: December 19, 2014
Sales for holiday shopping season come down to the wire

NEW YORK (AP) — Despite an early start, sales data provided to The Associated Press show that stores may once again have to rely on procrastinators to save the holiday shopping season.

Posted: December 19, 2014
What's delaying trial of Colorado shooter

DENVER (AP) — Defense lawyers acknowledge that James Holmes opened fire on an Aurora movie theater auditorium on July 20, 2012, killing 12 people and injuring 70. Yet jury selection for his trial doesn't begin until next month.

Posted: December 19, 2014
Obama's Cuba switch forces exile groups to adapt

MIAMI (AP) — Hours before President Barack Obama announced an end to a half-century of U.S. efforts to isolate Cuba's communist government, the Cuban American National Foundation opened the doors to its inviting new headquarters, with a modern glass and concrete lobby in the heart of Miami's Cuban exile community.

Posted: December 19, 2014
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