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Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

WASHINGTON (AP) — The detective work blaming North Korea for the Sony hacker break-in appears so far to be largely circumstantial, The Associated Press has learned. The dramatic conclusion of a Korean role is based on subtle clues in the hacking tools left behind and the involvement of at least one computer in Bolivia previously…

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  • Ex-Tulsa cop to stand trial in off-duty shooting

    TULSA, Okla. (AP) — A judge Thursday ordered a former Tulsa police officer to stand trial on a charge that he killed his daughter’s boyfriend in an off-duty shooting. The Tulsa World reported (http://bit.ly/1sMguh9 ) that Shannon James Kepler, 54, will face a trial on a first-degree murder charge, along with two counts of shooting…

  • California lawmaker enters plea after DUI arrest

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A Democratic state senator charged with drunken driving after a party at the state Capitol pleaded no contest Thursday to a reduced charge of alcohol-related reckless driving. Sen. Ben Hueso of San Diego was sentenced to three years of informal probation, ordered to participate in a six-week alcohol education program, and…

  • Bondage ‘master’ convicted in plot to kill wife

    DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit-area man was convicted Thursday of murder in a plot to kill his wife so he could devote himself to a life of bondage and domination in an upper-class suburb with women who called him “Master Bob.” The salacious trial of Bob Bashara revealed his secret life in Grosse Pointe Park:…

  • Judge may toss 4 guilty pleas in inside-trade case

    NEW YORK (AP) — A judge said Thursday he’s leaning toward tossing out four guilty pleas in an insider-trading case, the latest fallout from a recent appeals court ruling criticizing prosecutors’ tactics. U.S. District Judge Andrew L. Carter Jr. notified attorneys of his plans in separate proceedings for five defendants. He said he believes it’s…

  • Oklahoma official: Felt ‘pressure’ on executions

    OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A longtime lawyer for Oklahoma’s prison system said Thursday that he felt pressured by the governor’s and attorney general’s offices to make sure two executions last spring happened on schedule, even though the state didn’t have the drugs to carry them out. With access drying up to its usual cache of…

  • Land, water rights needed for Nevada nuclear dump

    LAS VEGAS (AP) — The federal Energy Department will need to acquire water and land rights before it gets approval to entomb the nation’s most radioactive waste beneath a mountain in the Nevada desert, according to a report released Thursday by an the agency being asked to license the project. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission report…

  • Arson caused $30 million downtown Los Angeles fire

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Investigators have determined that arson caused a massive fire that reduced an unfinished apartment complex in downtown Los Angeles to a block of charred wood. Nobody was injured, but the Dec. 8 fire destroyed the wooden framing of the seven-story Da Vinci complex, causing an estimated $20 million to $30 million…

  • Police: Man hid gun parts in luggage at NY airport

    NEW YORK (AP) — Police say a New York City man has been arrested at Kennedy International Airport after TSA agents found handgun parts hidden in his luggage. Port Authority Police Department spokesman Joe Pentangelo says that Oscar Ramirez was arrested Wednesday attempting to board a plane to Mexico City. Pentangelo says agents found pieces…

  • Oregon high court says injured snowboarder can sue

    SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court ruled Thursday a ski resort’s broad liability waiver cannot prevent a paralyzed snowboarder from suing. The justices ruled that the liability waiver was “unconscionable” and contrary to public policy, potentially opening the door for more people injured in recreational activities to file successful lawsuits. Myles Bagley was…

  • Fatal South by Southwest crash brings first wave of lawsuits

    AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — The first wave of victim lawsuits since four people died at the South by Southwest music festival accused organizers Thursday of safety lapses after a driver smashed through a barricade and into a crowd of concertgoers. Aspiring rapper Rashad Charjuan Owens has remained jailed on capital murder charges since the March…

  • California power regulator doesn’t address claims

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California’s chief utility regulator finished the last meeting of his 12-year tenure by calling himself a man who got things done. However, California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey made no mention Thursday of two scandals that marred his time in the post. One was a deadly gas pipeline explosion in…

  • Montana ex-billionaire jailed for contempt

    BUTTE, Mont. (AP) — Embattled real estate mogul Tim Blixseth was taken away in handcuffs on Thursday after a federal judge ordered the onetime billionaire jailed until he accounts for millions of dollars he owes his creditors. Blixseth’s lawyers said they were uncertain how long it would take for them to come up with the…

  • Phoenix police chief fired after union strife

    PHOENIX (AP) — Embattled Phoenix Police Chief Daniel Garcia was fired Thursday, hours after he held an unauthorized news conference to request a two-year contract from the city saying it was “time to silence the critics.” Unions representing Phoenix police officers sought a vote of no confidence in Garcia last month, alleging the chief had…

  • Family wants officer prosecuted for scuffle with man, 76

    VICTORIA, Texas (AP) — The relatives of a 76-year-old man want a South Texas police officer prosecuted for a traffic-stop scuffle in which a stun gun was used on him, an attorney for the family said. Rachel Messer told reporters after a police news conference on the case that Pete Vasquez’s family hopes for “a…

  • Police sketch of meteorologist shooting suspect released

    TEMPLE, Texas (AP) — Authorities have released a sketch of a suspect in the shooting a Central Texas television meteorologist outside the studio where the weatherman worked. Trooper D.L. Wilson of the Texas Department of Public Safety says the sketch was drawn during a hospital bed interview of KCEN-TV meteorologist Patrick Crawford. Doctors at Scott…