Over 75 injured in partial London theater collapse LONDON (AP) - Hunks of plaster and dust rained down on a packed audience when the ceiling of a London theater partially collapsed Thursday night. More than 75 people were injured - seven seriously, authorities said. The collapse at the Apollo Theatre took place around 8:15 p.m. during a performance of "The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time" at the height of the Christmas holiday season. Plaster and masonry from a section of the ceiling tumbled down, bringing parts of the theater's balconies down with it onto the audience, police said.
NSA debate shifts in favor of surveillance limits WASHINGTON (AP) - In a sharp and unexpected shift, the national debate over U.S. government surveillance seems to be turning in favor of reining in the National Security Agency's expansive spying powers at home and abroad. It's happened suddenly, over a span of just three days. First, a federal judge ruled that the NSA's bulk collection of telephone records was unconstitutional, and then a presidential advisory panel recommended sweeping changes to the agency. Together, the developments are ratcheting up the pressure on President Barack Obama to scale back the controversial surveillance programs.
Senate OKs defense bill, sends measure to Obama WASHINGTON (AP) - Congress is sending President Barack Obama a comprehensive defense bill that would crack down on sexual assault in the military and add protections for victims. The Senate voted 84-15 Thursday night for the legislation, which capped a year-long campaign led by the women of the Senate to address the scourge of rape and sexual assault in the ranks.
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Fury and frustration over Target data breach NEW YORK (AP) - Potential victims of credit card fraud tied to Target's security breach said they had trouble contacting the discounter through its website and call centers. Angry Target customers expressed their displeasure in comments on the company's Facebook page. Some even threatened to stop shopping at the store. Target apologized on Facebook and said it's working hard to resolve the problem and is adding more workers to field calls and help solve website issues.
Report: Fired nuke general misbehaved in Russia WASHINGTON (AP) - The Air Force general who was fired from command of U.S. land-based nuclear missile forces had engaged in "inappropriate behavior" while on official business in Russia last summer, including heavy drinking, rudeness to his hosts and associating with "suspect" women, according to an investigation report released Thursday. The events that led to the dismissal took place while Maj. Gen. Michael Carey was in Russia in July as head of a U.S. government delegation to a nuclear security training exercise. At the time, he was commander of the 20th Air Force, responsible for all 450 of the Air Force's Minuteman 3 intercontinental ballistic missiles stationed in five U.S. states.
Gov't offers a stopgap health insurance option WASHINGTON (AP) - Trying to head off more bad news over the chaotic rollout of President Barack Obama's health care law, the administration Thursday offered stopgap options so people whose existing plans got canceled are not penalized. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said in a letter to a group of senators that she will use authorities in the law to issue a "hardship exemption" from tax penalties to those who received cancellations and were not able to line up new coverage.
Dads to diapers and more, myth-busting survey says CHICAGO (AP) - The detached dad, turning up his nose at diapering and too busy to bathe, dress and play with his kids, is mostly a myth, a big government survey suggests. Most American fathers say they are heavily involved in hands-on parenting, the researchers found. The nationally representative survey shows fathers' involvement has increased slightly since the government first asked in 2002, coinciding with research since then that bolsters the benefits of hands-on fathering.
'Duck Dynasty' fans react to Robertson's hiatus LOS ANGELES (AP) - When the A&E network suspended "Duck Dynasty" patriarch Phil Robertson for disparaging gay people, it may have followed a time-honored TV tradition of quickly silencing a star who, for better or worse, speaks his mind. But in doing so it also ruffled the feathers of possibly millions of fans of its most popular show. Fourteen hours after it was learned that Robertson had been placed on indefinite "hiatus" for telling GQ magazine, among other things, that gays are headed to hell, more than a half-million people liked an impromptu Facebook page demanding the show be boycotted until he returns.
Kobe likely to miss 6 weeks with fracture in knee LOS ANGELES (AP) - Kobe Bryant is expected to miss about six weeks with an injured left knee, dealing the second major injury setback of the year to the Los Angeles Lakers' superstar guard. An MRI exam on Thursday revealed Bryant has a fracture in his lateral tibial plateau - the top of his shinbone near his knee.
Figure skating champ Boitano says he's gay Olympic figure skating champion Brian Boitano came out Thursday, two days after he was named to the U.S. delegation for Sochi along with openly gay athletes Billie Jean King and Caitlin Cahow. The 1988 gold medalist had always kept his personal life private, saying in a statement that "being gay is just one part of who I am." But President Barack Obama's decision to include openly gay athletes in the delegation for the opening and closing ceremonies - and not send high-ranking officials - was widely seen as a message to Russia about its treatment of gays and lesbians.