World News

US Military: IS Leader Linked to Paris Attacks Killed in Syria

VOA News December 29, 2015 The military says an Islamic State (IS) leader with direct links to the alleged ringleader of last month's terrorist attacks in Paris was killed in a coalition airstrike in Syria. A coalition spokesman, Colonel Steve Warren, said in a news briefing Tuesday that Charaffe al-Mouadan was killed last week on December 24. He said Mouadan had ties to Abdelhamid Abaaoud, believed to be the leader of the cell that coordinated the Paris attacks, which left at least 130 people dead. Abaaoud was killed in a police raid a few days after the on November 13…
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Entertainment

‘Harlem Globetrotters’ Star Meadowlark Lemon Dies at 83

Reuters December 28, 2015 8:15 PM Meadowlark Lemon, a skilled athlete and basketball court jester who delighted audiences around the world as a star attraction of the Harlem Globetrotters for some 25 years, has died at the age of 83, The New York Times reported on Monday. Lemon died on Sunday in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Times reported, citing Lemon's wife, Cynthia Lemon. Lemon was the undisputed master of the long-range hook shot, rubber-band ball and other crowd-pleasing tricks during the years he wore the Globetrotters' star-spangled red, white and blue uniform. The team's website said he played in 7,500 consecutive…
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Entertainment

Plenty of Christmas Cheer for Broadway as 18 Shows Break $1M

Associated Press December 28, 2015 NEW YORK—Fans of Broadway gave theater producers reasons to smile this Christmas, with 18 of the current 37 shows breaking the $1 million mark for the week, led by "Hamilton,'' the new Andrew Lloyd Webber production "School of Rock - The Musical'' and Disney's "Aladdin'' and "The Lion King.''The Broadway League said Monday that the shows on the Great White Way pulled in $36,271,797 for the very mild weather week ending Sunday, much better than the previous week's $29,484,797 but more than $4 million less - and with 19,000 fewer people attending overall - than…
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Featured

Cleveland Grand Jury Declines to Indict Police in Killing of 12-Year-Old

VOA News December 28, 2015 3:24 PM A grand jury in the northern city of Cleveland, Ohio has voted not to indict two police officers in the November 2014 shooting death of a 12-year-old African American boy carrying what turned out to be a fake gun. Cleveland prosecutor Tim McGinty announced the decision Monday afternoon, capping a year of controversy and protests by activists and others who were shocked by surveillance footage of the killing of Tamir Rice. “The outcome will not cheer anyone, nor should it," he said, referring to the grand jury decision. "Simply put, given the perfect…
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US News

Reports: US Unemployment Set to Improve in 2016

Jim Randle December 28, 2015 A number of economists predict that unemployment will drop to around its lowest practical level in the United States by the end of 2016. But others say employers remain cautious about taking on new workers, and wages are growing at a frustratingly slow pace. The unemployment rate was 5 percent in November, a dramatic drop from the 10 percent jobless rate seen at the worst of the recession in late 2009. Government experts also say the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits is hovering close to its lowest level in four decades. Jobless rate down…
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US News

Pentagon Thwarts Obama’s Effort to Close Guantanamo

Reuters December 28, 2015 WASHINGTON—In September, State Department officials invited a foreign delegation to the Guantanamo Bay detention center to persuade the group to take detainee Tariq Ba Odah to their country. If they succeeded, the transfer would mark a small step toward realizing President Barack Obama's goal of closing the prison before he leaves office. The foreign officials told the administration they would first need to review Ba Odah's medical records, according to officials with knowledge of the episode. The Yemeni has been on a hunger strike for seven years, dropping to 74 pounds from 148, and the foreign…
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Entertainment

Christmas Lights on the Heights

DYKER HEIGHTS, NEW YORK—"Dyker Lights" is one of New York's most extravagant holiday attractions, and chances are you've never heard of it. Just minutes away from Manhattan's flashy skyline, a mostly Italian-American residential neighborhood in Brooklyn hosts over 100,000 visitors per year, in one of the wackiest holiday light displays in the country. Dyker Heights, nicknamed the handsomest suburb of Greater New York, started out as a luxury housing development in 1895. The early 20th-century homes that line the avenues are still grand and imposing. A giant snowman is part of the light display in Dyker Heights, New York. During…
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Entertainment

Man Charged with Hacking Celebrity Email Accounts, Stealing Scripts, Sex Tapes

VOA News December 23, 2015 A Bahamas-based hacker is facing charges of illegally accessing the email accounts of celebrities in an attempt to steal movie and television scripts. Alonzo Knowles, 23, was arrested in New York Monday in the wake of an investigation by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), according to a news release. Knowles allegedly tried to sell to an undercover agent 15 unlawfully obtained movie and television scripts and sexually explicit videos featuring celebrities and other entertainment industry professionals for $80,000. Knowles also allegedly tried to sell the agent social security numbers of…
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Entertainment

Beatles Music Enters Streaming Age

Beatles fans are getting a special holiday gift: the Fab Four’s music streamed here, there and everywhere as of Christmas Eve. The Beatles website announced the band’s back catalog of music would be released worldwide on nine streaming services as of Thursday, with a rolling start of 12:01 in each time zone. The deal grants streaming rights to 224 songs from the original 13 studio albums released in Britain, as well as from some "essential" collections. Before disbanding in 1970, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Star produced a canon of hits, such as "Love Me Do," "Hey…
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US News

Poll: Americans Inclined to Ban Syrian Refugees, But Not All Muslims

VOA News December 23, 2015 A new survey has found that while a majority of Americans would ban Syrian refugees from the country, most disapprove of "banning people who are Muslim from entering the ," as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has proposed. The Quinnipiac University survey released Wednesday found 51 percent of people oppose allowing Syrian refugees to enter the ; 43 percent support the policy. The Obama administration is planning to accept at least 10,000 Syrian refugees into the over the next year. At the same time, two-thirds of those polled were against Trump's proposal to ban all…
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