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Senate: China hacked military contractor networks

The Pentagon

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate investigators are blaming China for nearly two dozen successful hacker break-ins of computer networks belonging to Pentagon contractors. A yearlong investigation announced Wednesday by the Senate Armed Services Committee identified at least 50 intrusions since 2012 against unspecified contractors working for the U.S. Transportation Command, or Transcom. It said at least 20 break-ins… Continue reading →

Blacks, Hispanics have doubts about media accuracy

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new study shows a large majority of African-American and Hispanic news consumers don’t fully trust the media to portray their communities accurately, a statistic that could be troubling for the news industry as the minority population of the United States grows. Three-fourths of African-American news consumers and two-thirds of Hispanics have doubts about… Continue reading →

Scotland ready to vote on its future

Ties that united Scotland to the rest of the United Kingdom for hundreds of years are being tested as Scots vote on independence Thursday. Polls suggest the outcome is too close to call, leading to last-minute campaigning on both sides.… Continue reading →

No welfare for weed under House bill

File photo -- A House bill passed Tuesday may make it more difficult to use government welfare payments to purchase marijuana in states where it is legal.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House passed a bill Tuesday night that could make it a little harder for people to use government welfare payments to buy marijuana in states where the drug is legal. Supporters call it the “no welfare for weed” bill. The bill would prevent people from using government-issued welfare debit cards to make… Continue reading →

Cuts to food stamps will only hit four states

This Dec. 20, 2013, file photo shows shoppers passing through the Sweet Auburn Curb Market in Atlanta. Cuts to the nation's food stamp program enacted earlier this year are only affecting four states, far from the sweeping reform that Republicans had pushed, according to an Associated Press review. As a result, it's unclear if the law will realize the estimated $8.6 billion in savings over 10 years that the GOP had touted.  (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Cuts to the nation’s food stamp program enacted this year are only affecting four states, far from the sweeping overhaul that Republicans had pushed, an Associated Press review has found. As a result, it’s unclear whether the law will realize the estimated $8.6 billion in savings over 10 years that the GOP had advertised.… Continue reading →

‘I’m ’bout to kill this cop,’ suspect reportedly said before officer was shot

Officer Jonathan Smith

Cornelius Barthelemy, laid up in a hospital bed after taking a slug to his side, looked at surveillance pictures New Orleans police showed him and acknowledged he was one of two men photographed in front of a Marigny po-boy shop early Sunday morning when Officer Jonathan Smith fired off eight rounds after someone pointed a gun… Continue reading →

Orleans Parish defendant backs out of deal to testify, pays dearly

Jaroid Washington

Cold feet proved costly for Jaroid Washington on Tuesday, when an Orleans Parish judge nearly doubled his sentence after he refused to testify at a murder trial over the 2012 killing of a Southeastern Louisiana University student in the parking lot of an Algiers strip mall. Criminal District Court Judge Karen Herman sentenced the 18-year-old Washington… Continue reading →

Louisiana’s imprisonment rate posts decline, but state still leads U.S.

FILE - In this Aug. 18, 2011 file photo, a prison guard on horseback watches inmates return from a farm work detail at the Louisiana State Penitentiary in Angola, La. As summer approaches, corrections officials throughout the country must deal with prisoners potentially fatal exposure to extreme heat. Advocates say rising temperatures are a threat to an increasingly mentally ill and aging prisoner population. Lawsuits over heat conditions in jails and prisons have been filed in Arizona, Wisconsin, Illinois, Louisiana, Georgia and Delaware. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, File)

Louisiana remains the country’s prison capital by a long shot, but a federal report released Tuesday shows the number of people imprisoned in the state has dipped slightly. The report, released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, indicates Louisiana’s prison population fell by 2.2 percent to below 40,000 last year after eclipsing the threshold… Continue reading →

House passes Cassidy veterans bill

U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-Baton Rouge.

Veterans who suffer traumatic brain injuries would be eligible for a wider range of government-paid medical treatments that would be evaluated more thoroughly under a bill by U.S. Rep. Bill Cassidy, of Baton Rouge, that passed the U.S. House late Tuesday. The bill also seeks to ensure greater access by… Continue reading →

Top general: US ground troops possible in Iraq

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, left, and Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the first in a series of high-profile Capitol Hill hearings that will measure the president's ability to rally congressional support for President Barack Obama's strategy to combat Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria, in Washington, Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014. Obama last week outlined his military plan to destroy the extremists, authorizing U.S. airstrikes inside Syria, stepping up attacks in Iraq and deploying additional American troops, with more than 1,000 now advising and assisting Iraqi security forces to counter the terrorism threat.  (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON — American ground troops may be needed to battle Islamic State forces in the Middle East if President Barack Obama’s current strategy fails, the nation’s top military officer said Tuesday as Congress plunged into an election-year debate of Obama’s plan to expand airstrikes and train Syrian rebels. “To be clear, if we reach the point… Continue reading →

Bobby Jindal touts national energy policy plan in Washington D.C.

Associated Press file photo J. Scott Applewhite -- La. Gov. Bobby Jindal

Gov. Bobby Jindal says America is hurting its economy through efforts that curb domestic energy production. In back-to-back events in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, Jindal touted a new national energy policy that focuses on increasing domestic and cheaper energy, which he says will stimulate jobs and the economy. The policy paper, released through Jindal’s America Next… Continue reading →

Charles Boustany bills focus on IRS controversy

— In a response to the controversial IRS probes of conservative organizations seeking tax exemptions, the U.S. House approved three bills late Tuesday by Rep. Charles Boustany, of Lafayette, to reform the agency’s practices. The bills were among several IRS-related measures brought to the floor of the Republican-controlled House, but U.S. Rep. Sander Levin, D-Mich.,… Continue reading →

Higher ed commissioner search meetings scheduled

Louisiana Board of Regents members who are handling the search for a new state higher education commissioner will be in Kenner this week for “meetings with interested individuals” at the New Orleans Hilton Airport. Twenty-five people have been under consideration for Louisiana’s top higher education leadership post, but the state board has declined to release… Continue reading →

NOPD seeks van in quintuple shooting

Photo provided by New Orleans Police Department -- Police were searching for this van, which they suspect was involved in a quintuple shooting on Monday, Sept. 15, 2014, in New Orleans East.

New Orleans police on Tuesday were searching for a van that was involved in a quintuple shooting a night earlier in New Orleans East. Surveillance footage police released shows a white van pull up near the corner of Dale Street and Chef Menteur Highway about 7:45 p.m. A man who carried an assault rifle got out… Continue reading →

More children live to age 5, work still to be done

WASHINGTON (AP) — More of the world’s children are surviving to their fifth birthday, but 6.3 million still died last year, mostly from preventable causes, the U.N. children’s agency said Tuesday. That’s nearly 17,000 young children dying every day. And while death rates have been cut in half since 1990, the world still is short of meeting… Continue reading →

U.S. to assign 3,000 from U.S. military to fight Ebola

In this Sept. 3, 2014, file photo, President Barack Obama speaks at Nordea Concert Hall in Tallinn, Estonia. The Obama administration is ramping up its response to West Africa's Ebola crisis, preparing to assign 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the afflicted region to supply medical and logistical support to overwhelmed local health care systems and to boost the number of beds needed to isolate and treat victims of the epidemic. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration is ramping up its response to West Africa’s Ebola crisis, preparing to assign 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the afflicted region to supply medical and logistical support to overwhelmed local health care systems and to boost the number of beds needed to isolate and treat victims of the epidemic. President Barack… Continue reading →

DOJ extremism fight could take cue from Minnesota

This 2005 file photo released by the Hennepin County, Minn., Sheriffs Office shows Troy Kastigar.  Kastigar, was killed in Somalia in September 2009 while fighting with the terror group al-Shabab. When young men from Minneapolis began traveling to Somalia seven years ago to join a terror group in the midst of a civil war, investigators trying to stop the recruiting went straight to the citys large Somali community to try to build trust and gain understanding. The nationwide effort to stop a new wave of Westerners being recruited, this time for Islamic State militant groups in Syria and Iraq, could take some cues from Minnesota.  (AP Photo/Hennepin County, Minn., Sheriffs Office, File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A new, nationwide effort to obstruct the recruitment of Westerners for Islamic State militant groups in Syria and Iraq could take some cues from efforts in Minnesota to stop people from joining a terror group in Somalia. When people began leaving Minneapolis, investigators worked to build trust with the Somali community and raise awareness… Continue reading →