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File photo of Markus Kaarma during an afternoon break in Missoula County Court in Missoula MontanaBy Lori Grannis MISSOULA, Mont. (Reuters) - A jury on Wednesday found a Montana homeowner guilty of deliberate homicide in the shooting death of a German high school exchange student who entered his garage in a case that tested the state's version of a "castle doctrine" self-defense law. Prosecutors painted Markus Kaarma as an armed aggressor who lured a non-violent would-be burglar to his death. Authorities say Diren Dede, 17, of Hamburg, was killed in April while "garage hopping" at night in Missoula in a possible search for alcohol. ...

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Cuba has released American aid worker Alan Gross after five years in prison, a U.S. official said on Wednesday amid reports of a prisoner exchange that heralds a major overhaul of U.S. policy toward Cuba. The U.S. official said Gross was released on humanitarian grounds. CNN reported a prisoner exchange that also included Cuba releasing a U.S. intelligence source and the United States releasing three Cuban intelligence agents. U.S. President Barack Obama was to make a statement at noon on Cuba, the White House said. ...

Cuba releases American Alan Gross as U.S. prepares to overhaul Cuba policyThese moves represent the biggest shift in U.S. policy toward the island in decades.

City of Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado speaks with journalists in Little Havana in MiamiBy Zachary Fagenson and David Adams MIAMI (Reuters) - Some Cuban exiles responded with outrage. Others with ecstasy. News on Wednesday that the United States will restore diplomatic relations with Cuba for the first time in more than a half century divided America's 1.5-million-strong Cuban exile community and threatened to shake up the political landscape in the vital battleground state of Florida. ...

Obama to free eight non-violent drug offendersPresident Barack Obama will shorten the sentences of eight prisoners serving time for nonviolent drug crimes and pardon 12 ex-convicts, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

Cuban spy at the center of the Obama-Castro dealGerardo Hernandez calls himself a terrorist fighter, but denies he conspired to commit murder.

In this Dec. 2, 2014 file photo, cars enter Sony Pictures Entertainment headquarters in Culver City, Calif. Hackers calling themselves Guardians of Peace on Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014 released another round of data leaks, including ominous threats against the premiere of Sony Pictures' film "The Interview," in which the group references the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)NEW YORK (AP) — The blow that the hacking attack has dealt Sony is spreading beyond the entertainment corporation itself to theater chains and movie goers alike. And the financial toll is adding up too.

By Jom Forsyth SAN ANTONIO (Reuters) - A Texas woman convicted of killing her 4-year-old foster child by force-feeding him an overdose of salt has been released on bail after an appeals court said there were sufficient questions in her original prosecution to warrant a new trial. Bond for Hannah Overton, 37, was set at $50,000, which was posted by friends of the Corpus Christi woman, and she was released from prison on Tuesday after serving about seven years behind bars. Nueces County District Attorney Mark Skurka did not respond to a request for comment. ...

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Des Moines, IA

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Wed, 12/17/2014 - 16:54

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