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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   
 
 
 

Quotations in the News

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎09:06:41 AMGo to full article
"This is not a protest. It is a celebration to overcome fear and blackmail." — Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras at a rally in Athens, imploring a "no" vote in Sunday's bailout referendum.
 

66 riders safely evacuated after 400-foot Ferris wheel stops

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎09:02:01 AMGo to full article
In this photo provided by Orange County Fire Rescue, a technical crew with The Orlando Eye Ferris wheel work to evacuated passengers after it stopped in Orlando, Fla., Friday, July 3, 2015. Orange County Fire Rescue spokeswoman Kathleen Kennedy told The Associated Press no one was hurt and all were taken off in an operation lasting about three hours with help from firefighters. (Orange County Fire Rescue via AP)ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A technical crew with The Orlando Eye safely evacuated all 66 stranded riders from the largest Ferris wheel on East Coast, an incident that shut down the attraction that towers 400 feet over central Florida, authorities said.
 
 

America welcomes July 4 with hot dogs, cool music, cold beer

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎07:06:36 AMGo to full article
A young girl waves a flag during rehearsal for the annual Boston Pops orchestra Fourth of July concert at the Hatch Shell in Boston, Friday, July 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)As the nation gears up to celebrate America's birthday, here are some Fourth of July highlights from around the country:
 
 

Medical helicopter crashes in Frisco; 3 escape

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎06:30:02 AMGo to full article
FRISCO, Colo. (AP) — Three people were injured Friday afternoon when a Flight-for-Life helicopter exploded and burst into flames during take-off near Frisco, according to firefighters.
 

AccuWeather: A Cool, Damp 4th of July

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎05:39:48 AMGo to full article
AccuWeather: A Cool, Damp 4th of JulyMeteorologist Cecily Tynan is tracking clouds and showers Saturday, with drying in time for most fireworks.
 
 

Suspect wanted for shooting Camden police officer arrested

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎05:35:08 AMGo to full article
Suspect wanted for shooting Camden police officer arrestedAuthorities say the suspect wanted for shooting and wounding a police officer in Camden late Wednesday night has been arrested.
 
 

San Francisco: No 'legal basis' to hold shooting suspect

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎05:32:22 AMGo to full article
This undated photo released by the San Francisco Police Department shows Francisco Sanchez. A young woman was shot to death, apparently at random, while walking with her father and a friend along a popular pedestrian pier on Wednesday, July 1, 2015, at Pier 14 in San Francisco and died at a hospital. Police arrested Sanchez about an hour after the shooting. (San Francisco Police Department via AP)SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A man suspected in the shooting death of a woman at a busy San Francisco tourist destination has seven felony convictions and has been deported five times, most recently in 2009, a federal agency said Friday.
 
 

Prosecutors: Man in wheelchair arrested for robbing NYC bank

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎05:20:18 AMGo to full article
In this Monday, June 29, 2015 photo provided by the New York Police Department, a man gets away after he robbed the Santander bank in the Queens borough of New York. After receiving over $1,200 in bills, police say the suspect then fled westbound on Broadway in the wheelchair. He remains at large. (NYPD via AP)NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City man in a wheelchair has been arrested two days after he pocketed $1,212 in a daytime bank robbery, authorities announced Friday.
 
 

Eager eaters weigh-in ahead of NYC July 4 hot dog contest

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎05:05:37 AMGo to full article
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams watches Joey Chestnut, left, and Matt Stonie, right, during a news conference to promote the upcoming Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot-Dog Eating Contest Friday, July 3, 2015, at Brooklyn Borough Hall in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)NEW YORK (AP) — Contestants have hit the scales ahead of the annual July Fourth hot dog eating contest at Coney Island's Nathan's Famous.
 
 

Hot dogs, hot music usher in July 4 weekend

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎04:58:46 AMGo to full article
Fom left to right, spectators Mary Ann Rollings, Gloria Kelley, Linda Stacey and Eileen Bitter pose for a photo before rehearsal for the annual Boston Pops orchestra Fourth of July concert on the Esplanade in Boston, Friday, July 3, 2015. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)As the nation gears up to celebrate America's birthday, here are some Fourth of July highlights from around the country:
 
 

Oregon marijuana fans look to cash in on new law

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎04:39:21 AMGo to full article
Vendors and marijuana enthusiasts gather at the "Weed the People" event to celebrate the legalization of recreational use of marijuana in Portland, OregonMore than a thousand marijuana enthusiasts and entrepreneurs met in Oregon on Friday to swap samples, contacts and business tips in hopes of profiting from the state's new law allowing the recreational use of pot. Licensed growers handed out free tastes, gardening experts displayed organic plant food and artists sold marijuana pipes to participants at the "Weed the People" event. “Cannabis is a great opportunity for us," said D.J. King, a labor organizer with the United Food and Commercial Workers who wants to unionize workers at marijuana grow operations, distributors and retailers.
 
 

2 injured in Route 70 crash in Pemberton Twp.

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎04:35:56 AMGo to full article
2 injured in Route 70 crash in Pemberton Twp.Two people were injured in a crash on Route 70 in Pemberton Township, New Jersey.
 
 

400-foot Ferris wheel stops: All 66 riders safely taken off

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎04:32:42 AMGo to full article
In this photo provided by Makayla Bell, the Ferris wheel known as the Orlando Eye is stopped Friday, July 3, 2015, in Orlando, Fla. Authorities say the 400-foot Ferris wheel stopped moving for more than 45 minutes, stranding riders aboard. (Makayla Bell via AP)ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A technical crew with The Orlando Eye safely evacuated all 66 stranded riders from the Ferris wheel that towers 400 feet over central Florida after the attraction shut down Friday afternoon, authorities said.
 
 

Hundreds of Arizona inmates to be moved following riot

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎04:28:30 AMGo to full article
KINGMAN, Ariz. (AP) — About 700 inmates at an Arizona prison were being moved to new locations Friday after disturbances on consecutive days left their housing units uninhabitable.
 

Dozens affected by Southwest Philadelphia water main break

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎04:17:16 AMGo to full article
Dozens affected by Southwest Philadelphia water main breakDozens of customers were left without service after a water main break in Southwest Philadelphia.
 
 

Colorado crash of medical transport helicopter kills pilot

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎03:46:47 AMGo to full article
No patients were on board, and the helicopter was not on a medical mission at the time, he said. The pilot was killed, and a flight paramedic and flight nurse were seriously injured, according to Air Methods Corp , an Englewood, Colorado-based company that operated the helicopter. “We are deeply saddened by the news that our pilot was fatally injured, and our hearts go out to the pilot’s family," the company said in a statement.
 

Coast Guard suspends Alaska search for overboard crew member

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎03:44:06 AMGo to full article
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Coast Guard has suspended a search for a cruise ship crew member who was reported overboard off Alaska.
 

Minnesota burn survivor leaves hospital after 264 days

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎03:38:50 AMGo to full article
She Yan Chen folds his hands on Thursday, July 2, 2015, at Regions Hospital in St. Paul, Minn. Chen, who survived being badly burned in a lawnmower explosion was discharged Friday, July 3 after 264 days in Regions Hospital, but not before his caregivers gathered to say farewell to one of their favorite patients. (Jean Pieri/The St. Paul Pioneer Press via AP)ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota man who survived being badly burned in a lawnmower explosion was discharged Friday after 264 days in the hospital, but not before his caregivers gathered to say farewell to one of their favorite patients.
 
 

High-ranking Mormon church figure Boyd Packer dies at 90

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎03:31:13 AMGo to full article
Packer of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints attends Annual General Conference of the church in Salt Lake City(Reuters) - Boyd Packer, head of the Mormon Church's highest governing body, died at his home in Salt Lake City on Friday, the church said on its website. Packer, who served as president of the church's Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, had been next in line to be church president, according to his obituary in the Salt Lake Tribune.
 
 

Top-ranking Mormon leader Boyd K. Packer dies at 90

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎03:28:46 AMGo to full article
FILE - This April 4, 2015, file photo, shows President Boyd K. Packer, seated, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, leaving the opening session of the Mormon church conference, in Salt Lake City. Mormon leader Packer, president of the faith's highest governing body, has died. He was 90. Church spokesman Eric Hawkins said Packer died Friday, July 3, 2015, at his home in Salt Lake City from natural causes. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Mormon leader Boyd K. Packer, president of the faith's highest governing body, has died. He was 90.
 
 

Another 1700s Massachusetts home hit by vehicle

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎02:59:31 AMGo to full article
HALIFAX, Mass. (AP) — For the second time in two days, an 18th century Massachusetts home has been heavily damaged in a car crash.
 

Former sheriff who helped shape modern Las Vegas dies at 88

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎02:26:50 AMGo to full article
FILE - In this Sept. 18, 2012 file photo, Michael Chiklis, from left, Dennis Quaid and Sheriff Ralph Lamb attend the CBS 2012 Fall Premiere Party at Greystone Manor in West Hollywood, Calif. Longtime Clark County Sheriff Lamb has died. The 88-year-old former lawman died at a Las Vegas hospital on Friday, July 3, 2015, according to a hospital spokeswoman. (Photo by Todd Williamson/Invision/AP, File)LAS VEGAS (AP) — Longtime Clark County Sheriff Ralph Lamb, a prominent figure credited with shaping Las Vegas' modern history, has died.
 
 

Man killed as external stairway collapses in California

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎02:10:15 AMGo to full article
FOLSOM, Calif. (AP) — A stairway collapse at a Northern California apartment building has killed a man.
 

Under fire for comments, Trump weighs in on California shooting

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎01:42:00 AMGo to full article
Businessman and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reacts to supporters during a back-yard reception in BedfordA random fatal shooting in San Francisco, allegedly by an immigrant, proves the United States must tighten its borders, according to a statement on Friday by U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, who is facing heavy criticism for his comments about Mexicans. Kathryn Steinle, 32, was fatally shot as she walked with her father along the popular Embarcadero pier on Wednesday in what San Francisco police described as an apparent random attack. Francisco Sanchez, 45, was quickly arrested nearby.
 
 

Suit in deaths of 19 firefighters ends in little cash

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎01:18:06 AMGo to full article
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich discusses the status of the Yarnell Hill Fire settlement negotiations Monday, June 29, 2015, at the Arizona Attorney General's office in Phoenix. A dozen families who lost members when a Hotshot firefighting crew was overcome by a wildfire near the small community of Yarnell settled the suit they filed against the state of Arizona. Arizona State Forester Jeff Whitney, right, listens in. (AP Photo/Matt York)PHOENIX (AP) — A dozen families who lost loved ones when 19 members of a Hotshot firefighting crew were overcome by a 2013 wildfire originally wanted $220 million from the state for their deaths, plus changes to how Arizona responds to fires and trains its crews.
 
 

Washington motel closes after possible Legionnaires' report

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎12:55:03 AMGo to full article
LACEY, Wash. (AP) — Thurston County health officials say a Super 8 Motel in Lacey has voluntarily closed while officials investigate a possible outbreak of Legionnaires' disease.
 

Dozens without service after Southwest Philadelphia water main break

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎12:43:54 AMGo to full article
Dozens affected by Southwest Philadelphia water main breakA water main break in Southwest Philadelphia has left dozens of residents without service.
 
 

Marking 50th anniversary of historic LGBT protest in Philadelphia

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎12:42:18 AMGo to full article
Marking 50th anniversary of historic LGBT protest in PhiladelphiaThis Fourth of July also marks the 50th anniversary of the first equality protest for gay rights and it happened right here in Philadelphia.
 
 

UN says children being killed in Burundi's violence

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎12:16:47 AMGo to full article
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Children are suffering as a result of instability and election-related violence in Burundi including three killed in the last five days and dozens forced to flee from school, the U.N. children's agency said Friday.
 

Menendez prosecutors seek hearing on evidence

 
‎04 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎12:10:19 AMGo to full article
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Prosecutors in the corruption case against Sen. Bob Menendez asked a judge to hold a hearing to determine whether some evidence should be withheld or restricted due to possible national security concerns.
 

New York governor orders more July Fourth security after alert

 
‎03 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎07:14:09 PMGo to full article
Members of the U.S. Army National Guard Joint Task Force Empire Shield patrol Grand Central Terminal in New York"We are keenly aware that New York State remains a top target for terrorists," Cuomo said in a statement. The Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have issued an alert calling for local authorities and the public to remain vigilant for possible threats following recent calls for violence by Islamic State militants. In New York City, the nation's largest municipal police force assigned about 7,000 officers and nearly all its counterterrorism personnel to handle security around Independence Day events.
 
 

New York fugitive wrote to daughter 'See you on the outside': report

 
‎03 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎06:03:16 PMGo to full article
Prison inmates Richard Matt and David Sweat are seen in enhanced pictures released by the New York State policeMatt, 49, was shot and killed by a U.S. Customs and Border Protection agent on June 26 about 27 miles northwest (43 km) northwest of the prison in Dannemora, New York. Sweat, 35, was shot and captured on Sunday another 23 miles (37 km) away, close to the Canadian border.
 
 

Child falls from 2nd story window in North Philadelphia

 
‎02 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎05:09:48 PMGo to full article
Child falls from 2nd story window in North PhiladelphiaA child is hospitalized after falling from a second floor window of a home in North Philadelphia.
 
 

Ex-church official housed at jail that pope is to visit

 
‎02 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎05:04:45 PMGo to full article
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia prison that Pope Francis plans to visit during his U.S. trip houses a former church official jailed for his handling of abuse complaints.
 

Police identify victims of fiery crash on I-76

 
‎02 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎04:55:24 PMGo to full article
Police identify victims of fiery crash on I-76Police have identified the victims of Wednesday's fiery crash on the Schuylkill Expressway.
 
 

California cancer patient with amnesia identified by sister: NBC

 
‎02 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎04:53:45 PMGo to full article
(Reuters) - A woman with amnesia who has been undergoing cancer treatments since she was found semiconscious in Southern California has been identified by her sister after turning to social media in a bid to rekindle her memory and find her family, an NBC affiliate in San Diego reported on Thursday.
 

Bodies of missing Phoenix-area couple are believed found

 
‎02 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎04:53:36 PMGo to full article
MARICOPA, Ariz. (AP) — The bodies of a man and a woman believed to be a Phoenix-area couple missing for more than a week were recovered from a property near their home, and a man who lives there was arrested, authorities said Thursday.
 

Men charged with stealing brass markers from RI graves

 
‎02 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎04:47:59 PMGo to full article
WEST WARWICK, R.I. (AP) — Two men have been arrested in the theft of bronze markers from the graves of veterans in a Rhode Island cemetery.
 

Rainbow Facebook photos: Armchair activism or shifting tide?

 
‎02 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎04:47:22 PMGo to full article
NEW YORK (AP) — You may have noticed your Facebook friends getting considerably more colorful.
 

1 dead after stabbing at southwest Ohio apartment complex

 
‎02 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎04:46:58 PMGo to full article
SPRINGDALE, Ohio (AP) — A stabbing at an apartment complex in southwest Ohio left one person dead and four people, including children, injured, authorities said Thursday.
 

Philadelphia legalizes Airbnb-type rentals before pope visit

 
‎02 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎04:44:32 PMGo to full article
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Philadelphia has legalized and plans to tax Airbnb and other short-term rentals ahead of Pope Francis' visit in September and next year's Democratic National Convention.
 

Police declare false alarm after reports of U.S. Navy Yard shooter

 
‎02 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎04:32:55 PMGo to full article
Police respond to reported active shooter at Navy Yard: Washington PostAuthorities issued an "all clear" after reports of a possible shooter at the U.S. Navy Yard in Washington on Thursday touched off an hours-long lockdown at the military facility. Police found no evidence of a shooter at the facility just a mile south of the U.S. Capitol, a Washington police department spokeswoman said about two hours after initial reports emerged. The spokeswoman said the police investigation was concluded and subsequent inquiries would be done by Navy authorities, who had placed the facility on lockdown at about 7:45 a.m. EDT.
 
 

Police: No evidence of shooting at Washington Navy Yard

 
‎02 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎04:28:13 PMGo to full article
Police officers stand guard in front of the Transportation Department in Washington, Thursday, July 2, 2015, adjacent to the Washington Navy Yard. A lockdown was underway Thursday morning across the Washington Navy Yard campus after reports of shots fired, but a senior law enforcement official said those reports had not been confirmed. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)WASHINGTON (AP) — Investigators found no evidence of a shooting after the Washington Navy Yard went on lockdown Thursday because someone reported shots fired in the same building where a gunman killed 12 workers in a rampage two years ago.
 
 

Texas grandmother trapped in ravine for 2 days

 
‎02 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎04:27:05 PMGo to full article
Texas grandmother trapped in ravine for 2 daysA 75-year-old Texas grandmother is alive after spending two days trapped in a ravine.
 
 

The Latest at Navy Yard: No evidence of shooting, police say

 
‎02 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎04:25:23 PMGo to full article
Police officers stand guard in front of the Transportation Department in Washington, Thursday, July 2, 2015, adjacent to the Washington Navy Yard. A lockdown was underway Thursday morning across the Washington Navy Yard campus after reports of shots fired, but a senior law enforcement official said those reports had not been confirmed. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)WASHINGTON (AP) — 10:20 a.m.
 
 

PHOTOS: Lockdown at Washington Navy Yard

 
‎02 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎04:20:50 PMGo to full article
PHOTOS: Lockdown at Washington Navy YardPolice and SWAT teams responded to a reported shooting at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, D.C.
 
 

All clear given at Navy Yard in Washington DC

 
‎02 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎04:18:59 PMGo to full article
All clear given at Navy Yard in Washington DCLaw enforcement sources tell ABC News that the all clear has been given at the Washington Navy Yard and that no threats have been found.
 
 

Man gets community service for defacing Confederate monument

 
‎02 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎04:18:51 PMGo to full article
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A man must perform 100 hours of community service after pleading guilty to defacing a Confederate monument in Richmond, Virginia.
 

DC police: After report of shots, Navy Yard search complete; no evidence of shooting, injuries

 
‎02 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎04:17:36 PMGo to full article
WASHINGTON (AP) — DC police: After report of shots, Navy Yard search complete; no evidence of shooting, injuries.
 

Philadelphia legalizes, taxes Airbnb-type rentals

 
‎02 ‎July ‎2015, ‏‎04:10:48 PMGo to full article
Philadelphia legalizes, taxes Airbnb-type rentalsAirbnb is now legal - and taxable - in Philadelphia.
 
 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

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