ISTANBUL - A gunman opened fire on New Year revelers at a packed nightclub on the shores of Istanbul's Bosphorus waterway on Sunday killing at least 39 people, including many foreigners, then fled the scene. Some people jumped into the Bosphorus waters to save themselves after the attacker opened fire at random in the Reina nightclub just over an hour into the new year. Officials spoke of a single attacker but some reports, including on social media, suggested there may have been more.
NEW YORK – What will become a veritable sea of humanity has begun to converge on Times Square on Saturday to experience the annual descent of the New Year's Eve ball, a century-old tradition that will unfold this year under an unprecedented blanket of security. As many as 2 million people, surrounded by a ring of 40-ton sand trucks and some 7,000 police, are expected to gather in the "Crossroads of the World" to watch the glittering sphere complete its midnight drop, marking the beginning of 2017.
WASHINGTON — A code associated with a broad Russian hacking campaign dubbed Grizzly Steppe by the Obama administration has been detected on a laptop associated with a Vermont electric utility but not connected to the grid, the utility said on Friday. "We took immediate action to isolate the laptop and alerted federal officials of this finding," the Burlington Electric Department said in a statement.
A code associated with the Russian hacking operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe by the Obama administration has been detected within the system of a Vermont electric utility, The Washington Post reported on Friday, citing unnamed U.S. officials. The Russians did not actively use the code to disrupt operations of the utility, the officials told the Post, but penetration of the nation's electrical grid is significant because it represents a potentially serious vulnerability.
WASHINGTON—U.S. defense and security agencies said they believed the threat of militant attacks inside the United States was low during this New Year's holiday, yet some chance of an attack was "undeniable," according to security assessments reviewed on Friday, Dec. 29. "There are no indications of specific threats to the U.S. Homeland," said a "situational awareness" bulletin issued to U.S. Army personnel this week by the Army's Training and Doctrine Command. "However the threat from homegrown violent extremists in the United States is undeniable," the bulletin added.
CALGARY, Alberta — A Canadian man punched a cougar in the face to stop it attacking his dog in a wooded area near a fast food chain in Whitecourt, central Alberta, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Wednesday, Dec. 28. William Gibb, 31, from Red Deer, Alberta, had stopped at a Tim Hortons outlet, a popular Canadian restaurant chain on his 372-mile drive Dec. 26 to Grand Prairie and let his dog out for a walk, Whitecourt RCMP Sergeant Tom Kalis said.
MOSCOW/ANKARA - Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a ceasefire between Syrian opposition groups and the Syrian government starting at midnight on Thursday. The Kremlin statement came after Moscow, Iran and Turkey said they were ready to broker a peace deal in the nearly six-year-old Syrian war. The Syrian army announced a nationwide halt to fighting but said Islamic State and ex-Nusra Front militants and all groups linked to them would be excluded from the deal. It did not say which unnamed groups would be excluded.
LOS ANGELES — Friends and colleagues of Hollywood actress Carrie Fisher shared their hopes for a swift recovery for the "Star Wars" star on Saturday, Dec. 24, a day after she was taken to a Los Angeles intensive care unit. Fisher, 60, suffered heart problems during a flight on Friday from London, where she had been shooting the third season of the British television comedy "Catastrophe." Her family had said she remained in the intensive care unit on Friday.
NEW YORK — Just how much would you give up for your children to go to their dream schools? For Seattle's Al Sanders, the answer was his precious stash of 5,000 comics starring everyone from the Avengers to Iron Man to the Fantastic Four. He had been collecting them ever since the eighth grade. It was a tough decision for the lifelong comic fan, but the four-figure proceeds helped with his daughter's first year at Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee.
A winter storm system sweeping the Pacific Northwest on Friday is expected to unleash heavy snow, freezing rain and high winds as it moves across much of the United States over the weekend, making holiday travel treacherous, forecasters said. The storm brought light snow and rain to Seattle in the Pacific Northwest as temperatures hovered around freezing. The National Weather Service said as much as 3 inches of snow could fall on elevated lowland areas by Saturday morning.