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[READ THE FULL INTRODUCTION]

Introduction:

“It was the best of times and it was the worst of times.”
-Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

The Best of Times?


By many reckonings, it appears to be the best of times in America: We enjoy a robust economy, reinforced by continually advancing technologies. At least one computer in every home, and a personal telephone on almost everyone’s belt. People are buying their 3rd and 4th cars. Our military is the most feared throughout the world. Indeed, in many ways, it seems like the best of times.

 

 

 

 
U.S. News Headlines - Yahoo! News   
 

Grieving station comes together for newscast after deaths

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎01:33:57 PMGo to full article
WDBJ-TV7 meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner, right, wipes his eyes during the early morning newscast as anchors Kimberly McBroom, center, and guest anchor Steve Grant deliver the news at the station in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)ROANOKE, Va. (AP) — Just one day after two of its own were killed, the news team at Virginia station WDBJ-TV regrouped, gathered together and leaned on one another for the live broadcast of its "Mornin'" show.
 
 

Fired reporter kills 2 journalists at former station on live TV

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎01:33:08 PMGo to full article
Fired reporter kills 2 journalists at former station on live TVVirginia police say a disgruntled former reporter planned the choreographed execution of two former colleagues broadcast live to a horrified television audience
 
 

Northeast Ohio officer charged with selling guns to felons

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎01:30:52 PMGo to full article
CLEVELAND (AP) — A police officer outside Cleveland who authorities say sold guns to felons has been indicted by a federal grand jury.
 

On-air killings gripped millions in social media storm

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎01:23:50 PMGo to full article
WDBJ-TV7 anchor Chris Hurst, right, hugs meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner during the early morning newscast at WDBJ-TV7, in Roanoke, Va., Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015. Hurst was the fiance of Alison Parker, who was killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)MONETA, Va. (AP) — The fatal shooting of a reporter and cameraman unfolded on live TV during the early morning show, as tens of thousands of viewers watched a horrified anchor struggle to comprehend what had happened.
 
 

Study finds peak months for college students' 1st drug use

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎01:10:04 PMGo to full article
FILE - In this Feb. 1, 2011, file photo, medical marijuana clone plants are shown at a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland, Calif. College students are most likely to try marijuana, inhalants and alcohol for the first time during the summer, not the school year, according to the report released Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, which examined data from the annual National Survey on Drug Use and Health. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu, File)CHICAGO (AP) — Parents worried that their college-bound children might succumb to the temptations of campus life may want to take note of a new analysis that found that students tend to experiment with specific types of drugs for the first time during certain times of year.
 
 

The Latest: Moment of silence on air for 2 slain journalists

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎12:51:27 PMGo to full article
Flowers, balloons and cards are left for the staff of WDBJ7 as well as cards for Alison Parker and Adam Ward in front of WDBJ's location in Roanoke, Va., Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2015. Vester Lee Flanagan opened fire during a live on-air interview for WDBJ7, killing the two journalists Wednesday. (Don Petersen/The Roanoke Times via AP) LOCAL STATIONS OUT; LOCAL INTERNET OUT; LOCAL PRINT OUT (SALEM TIMES REGISTER; FINCASTLE HERALD; CHRISTIANSBURG NEWS MESSENGER; RADFORD NEWS JOURNAL; ROANOKE STAR SENTINEL; MANDATORY CREDIT MAGS OUT; NO SALESROANOKE, Va. (AP) — The latest on the on-air killing of two TV station employees in Virginia (all times local):
 
 

Patron robbed at motel on City Avenue in Wynnefield

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎12:39:02 PMGo to full article
Patron robbed at motel on City Avenue in WynnefieldPhiladelphia Police are investigating the armed robbery of a motel patron in Wynnefield.
 
 

National Zoo says smaller of twin panda cubs has died

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎12:38:11 PMGo to full article
National Zoo says smaller of twin panda cubs has diedJubilation over the recent birth of panda twins at the National Zoo turned to sadness Wednesday as one of the newborn cubs died after three and a half days.
 
 

WDBJ morning team struggles after fired reporter kills crew on live TV

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎12:27:04 PMGo to full article
Fired reporter kills 2 journalists at former station on live TVThe Roanoke station WDBJ went on the air Thursday morning, the day after two of their journalists were shot and killed live, on air.
 
 

Prosecutors say Congressman Fattah seeking to influence jurors

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎12:16:48 PMGo to full article
Prosecutors say Congressman Fattah seeking to influence jurorsU.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah has tried to influence potential jurors in his racketeering case by publicly boasting about his accomplishments in Congress, federal prosecutors said Wednesday.
 
 

Man found shot in the head in Francisville

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎12:09:20 PMGo to full article
Man found shot in the head in FrancisvillePolice are investigating the fatal shooting of a 24-year-old man in the Francisville section of Philadelphia.
 
 

1 person injured in 7-Eleven robbery in Wynnewood

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎12:08:17 PMGo to full article
1 person injured in 7-Eleven robbery in WynnewoodOne person is hurt after a robbery at a 7-Eleven store in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania.
 
 

Obama to herald New Orleans' progress ahead of Katrina anniversary

 
‎27 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎12:04:28 PMGo to full article
U.S. President Barack Obama addresses the National Clean Energy Summit at the Mandalay Bay Resort Convention Center in Las VegasPresident Barack Obama on Thursday will highlight the "structural inequality" that hurt poor black people in New Orleans before the devastation of Hurricane Katrina, during a visit to celebrate the city's progress 10 years after the storm. On what the White House said was his ninth trip to Louisiana, Obama will meet with people who lived through the storm and recovered, heralding a city reborn. Obama, who as a presidential candidate in 2008 sharply criticized Republican President George W. Bush for his administration's handling of the storm, will touch on that past again, according to excerpts of his remarks released by the White House.

 

Teens are shopping more like their parents

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎04:48:41 PMGo to full article
In this July 27, 2015, photo, Giulia Pugliese, 15, right, shops for clothes with friends at Roosevelt Field shopping mall in Garden City, N.Y. Teens are shopping like their parents during the back-to-school season, and that’s putting a lot of pressure on retailers to change the way they market to them. More teens are thrifty nowadays, a habit picked up from their recession-scarred parents. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)GARDEN CITY, N.Y. (AP) — Giulia Pugliese is a typical teenager. She likes to look good, and she's particular about what she wears.
 
 

3 men shot during robbery in Trenton neighborhood

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎04:46:17 PMGo to full article
3 men shot during robbery in Trenton neighborhoodThree men are hospitalized with gunshot wounds after a robbery in Trenton.
 
 

Record: Son held in Oklahoma official death had mental issue

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎04:46:03 PMGo to full article
FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, file photo, Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello speaks during a news conference at the state fairgrounds in Oklahoma City. Authorities say Costello has died after a stabbing at an Oklahoma City restaurant on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An adult son of Oklahoma's labor commissioner, who was arrested on a complaint that he stabbed the politician to death at a restaurant, was once confined for three months so he could be treated for mental illness, according to records obtained by The Associated Press.
 
 

Colorado movie gunman Holmes to be formally sentenced to life

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎04:42:37 PMGo to full article
James Holmes and his defense attorney Daniel King sit in court for an advisement hearing at the Arapahoe County Justice Center in CentennialColorado movie massacre gunman James Holmes will be sentenced to life with no chance of parole at a three-day hearing that begins on Monday following his conviction last month for murdering 12 people and wounding 70 in his rampage. While the murder convictions carry mandatory life sentences with no parole, Colorado law requires that Arapahoe County District Court Judge Carlos Samour formally impose the penalties. Samour must also decide the punishment for the other charges Holmes was convicted of. A jury found Holmes guilty of 165 counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder and explosive charges stemming from the July 20, 2012, mass shooting inside a Denver-area multiplex during a midnight screening of a Batman movie.
 
 

Crews find last 2 of 4 bodies after boat capsizes on river

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎04:39:23 PMGo to full article
PADUCAH, Ky. (AP) — The last two bodies from a boat carrying six people that capsized on the Ohio River where it runs between Kentucky and Illinois have been found, authorities said Monday.
 

New Hampshire prisoner claims religious right to have beard

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎04:35:22 PMGo to full article
CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A prisoner in New Hampshire is suing the state after he was placed in secure housing for failing to shave his thick, bushy beard in violation of prison rules.
 

Police: Louisiana trooper dies after being shot in head

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎04:35:01 PMGo to full article
This photo released by the Louisiana State Police shows Kevin Daigle, 54, of Lake Charles, La. A Louisiana state trooper was shot in the head and critically injured Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, during a struggle with a man whose pickup truck had run into a ditch after being reported as driving erratically, Louisiana State Police said. Col. Michael Edmonson, head of state police, said the arrested man, Daigle, had a number of previous arrests, though he did not know details. He said he did not know all the charges that Daigle will face, but they will include attempted murder of a police officer. (Louisiana State Police via AP)NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A Louisiana trooper died Monday after he was shot by an apparently stranded motorist who stood over the officer and told him afterward, "You're lucky — you're going to die soon," state police said.
 
 

Louisiana trooper dies after being shot in head

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎04:33:54 PMGo to full article
Senior Trooper Steven Vincent, 43, had pulled over to assist the driver of Dodge pickup truck in a ditch on Sunday afternoon, state police said in a statement. The driver, Kevin Daigle, who was driving recklessly earlier, then pulled out a sawed-off shotgun and fired, striking the trooper in the head. You're going to die soon," Louisiana State Police Colonel Michael Edmonson told reporters on Sunday.
 

The Latest: Louisiana trooper dies after weekend shooting

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎04:27:46 PMGo to full article
This photo released by the Louisiana State Police shows Kevin Daigle, 54, of Lake Charles, La. A Louisiana state trooper was shot in the head and critically injured Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, during a struggle with a man whose pickup truck had run into a ditch after being reported as driving erratically, Louisiana State Police said. Col. Michael Edmonson, head of state police, said the arrested man, Daigle, had a number of previous arrests, though he did not know details. He said he did not know all the charges that Daigle will face, but they will include attempted murder of a police officer. (Louisiana State Police via AP)NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The latest on the shooting of a Louisiana State Police trooper, who died Monday of his wounds (all times local):
 
 

The Latest: Oklahoma stabbing suspect had past mental issues

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎04:26:43 PMGo to full article
FILE - In this Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014, file photo, Oklahoma Labor Commissioner Mark Costello speaks during a news conference at the state fairgrounds in Oklahoma City. Authorities say Costello has died after a stabbing at an Oklahoma City restaurant on Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The latest on the fatal stabbing of Oklahoma's labor commissioner (all times local):
 
 

Judge to decide whether Pennsylvania official will face perjury trial

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎04:24:26 PMGo to full article
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kane congratulates Governor Wolf following his inauguration ceremony in HarrisburgProsecutors on Monday will lay out the details of their criminal case against Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, who is accused of illegally leaking grand jury information to embarrass a political foe, and then lying about it. Magisterial District Judge Cathleen Rebar will decide if the prosecution has presented enough evidence to send the case for a full trial in Common Pleas Court. Kane, 49, has resisted widespread calls for her resignation, including from Governor Tom Wolf, a fellow Democrat.
 
 

Dow plunges more than 1,000 points after open

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎04:15:40 PMGo to full article
Dow plunges more than 1,000 points after openThe Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 1,000 points shortly after the markets opened on Monday.
 
 

Police: Woman fakes death to avoid being killed by boyfriend

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎04:13:23 PMGo to full article
BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) — A woman played dead to avoid being killed by her boyfriend after he threw her down a flight of stairs and shoved a rag down her throat, police said.
 

Man shot multiple times in Kensington

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎04:12:43 PMGo to full article
Man shot multiple times in KensingtonPolice are investigating a shooting that left a man shot multiple times in Philadelphia's Kensington section.
 
 

NYC officer on mayor's security team shot with pellet gun

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎04:05:32 PMGo to full article
A New York City police officer assigned to the mayor's security detail was struck by an apparent BB or pellet gun outside the mayor's residence in Manhattan, police said on Monday. The female officer, assigned to Mayor Bill de Blasio's security team, was struck in the back Sunday night and was treated for minor injuries before being released from a local hospital, a police spokesman said in a statement. Michael Veritsky, a 19-year-old from an affluent Manhattan neighborhood, has been arrested in the incident, police said.
 

US stocks plunge at open after Chinese stock rout

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎03:44:53 PMGo to full article
People watch trading boards at a private stock market gallery in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Monday, Aug. 24, 2015. Stocks tumbled across Asia on Monday as investors shaken by the sell-off last week on Wall Street unloaded shares in practically every sector. (AP Photo/Joshua Paul)NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. markets plunged at the open Monday following a big drop in Chinese stocks.
 
 

Man arrested in pellet gun shooting of NYC mayor's guard

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎03:38:18 PMGo to full article
NEW YORK (AP) — New York City police say a man has been arrested on charges of assault and reckless endangerment after an officer assigned to guard the mayor was struck with a pellet gun.
 

Former '30 Rock' star Tracy Morgan weds long-time fiancee

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎03:32:22 PMGo to full article
FILE - In this Tuesday, May 6, 2014, file photo, Tracy Morgan and Megan Wollover attend One Night Only: An All-Star Tribute To Don Rickles, in New York. Morgan married fiancee Wollover, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015, according to Morgan's publicist, Lewis Key. Their 2-year-old daughter was in attendance. It is Morgan's second marriage. (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)NEW YORK (AP) — Tracy Morgan has married his fiancee of four years.
 
 

The Latest: Fire near California ski resort threatens homes

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎03:17:44 PMGo to full article
The latest on wildfires in the West (all times local):
 

National Zoo staff keeping cautious eye on panda twin cubs in U.S.

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎03:14:51 PMGo to full article
Smithsonian's National Zoo image of one of the giant panda cubs born on SaturdayNational Zoo staff are keeping a close eye on giant panda Mei Xiang's newborn twins, given the cubs' fragile state just days after their birth, the zoo's lead veterinarian said on Monday. "The cubs are doing pretty well. Mei Xiang, a star tourist draw, took staff by surprise on Saturday by giving birth to the twins about four-and-a-half hours apart after being artificially inseminated.
 
 

Serious crash on Black Horse Pike in Gloucester County

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎03:03:18 PMGo to full article
Serious crash on Black Horse Pike in Gloucester CountyA serious crash slowed traffic on the Black Horse Pike in Gloucester County.
 
 

White House announces plans to boost renewable energy use

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎02:53:07 PMGo to full article
Solar panels are pictured on the rooftops of residential homes in San Diego, CaliforniaWASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House on Monday announced plans to increase renewable energy exploration and decrease homeowners' cost of using rooftop solar panels and other such energies. President Barack Obama will travel to Las Vegas, Nevada later on Monday to unveil the plan, which includes $1 billion in loan guarantees for new research projects and a tax break for homeowners using renewable energy. (Reporting By Julia Edwards; Editing by Susan Heavey)
 
 

Trial of suspect in Jewish site shootings set to begin

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎02:44:55 PMGo to full article
OLATHE, Kan. (AP) — The capital murder trial is set to begin for a Missouri man accused of killing three people last year at two Jewish sites in suburban Kansas City.
 

Police: Man stabs relative, rapes woman in crime spree

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎02:43:56 PMGo to full article
WAVERLY, Ohio (AP) — A man who allegedly stabbed his relative, raped a woman and then drove both victims from his home in Massachusetts to Ohio before authorities captured him following a chase has been jailed in Ohio, police said Monday.
 

Officials: Arrests in drone plot to supply prison contraband

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎02:41:12 PMGo to full article
CUMBERLAND, Md. (AP) — Maryland officials say investigators have uncovered a plot to use a drone to sneak contraband into maximum-security state prisons in western Maryland.
 

Americans Receive France's Highest Medal After Subduing Gunman

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎02:35:19 PMGo to full article
Three Americans were honored by French President Francois Hollande at the Elysee Palace, days after they subdued a gunman on a Paris-bound train.
 

Chinese stock market plunge causes global rout

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎02:33:04 PMGo to full article
Chinese stock market plunge causes global routWorld stock markets plunged on Monday after China's main index sank 8.5 percent - its biggest drop since the early days of the global financial crisis - amid deepening fears over the health of the world's second-largest economy.
 
 

Mississippi deputy shot at traffic stop, expected to recover

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎02:22:04 PMGo to full article
OKOLONA, Miss. (AP) — Officials say a north Mississippi deputy has been shot by a motorcyclist during a traffic stop but is expected to recover.
 

Fire damages home in Mantua Twp., N.J.

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎01:52:14 PMGo to full article
Fire damages home in Mantua Twp., N.J.Fire has heavily damaged a home in Gloucester County.
 
 

Right-to-die group heads for sentencing in woman's suicide

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎01:49:55 PMGo to full article
HASTINGS, Minn. (AP) — A national right-to-die group is due to be sentenced for its involvement in a Minnesota woman's suicide in 2007.
 

New Orleans' finances still vulnerable 10 years after Katrina: Moody's

 
‎24 ‎August ‎2015, ‏‎01:09:21 PMGo to full article
File photo of Louisiana homes near a levee remain under water a week after Hurricane KatrinaPension, retiree healthcare and debt service costs combined increased nearly 54 percent from 2009 to 2014, from $129 million to $198 million in 2014, Moody's noted, while fixed costs exceeded 30 percent of the city's operating revenues, even as its contribution to its public pensions fell $17.7 million short in fiscal 2014. New Orleans is also dependent on the oil and gas sector, which is volatile, and its population remains about roughly 18 percent below pre-hurricane levels. In addition, after using its reserves to fill budget gaps during the recession, its liquidity is weak, Moody's said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

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