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Internet outages reveal gaps in US broadband infrastructure

fiber opticWhen vandals sliced a fiber-optic cable in the Arizona desert last month, they did more than time-warp thousands of people back to an era before computers, credit cards or even phones. They exposed a glaring vulnerability in the nation's Internet infrastructure: no backup systems in many places.

Because Internet service is largely unregulated by the federal government and the states, decisions about network reliability are left to service providers. Industry analysts say these companies generally do not build alternative routes, or redundancies, unless they believe it is worthwhile financially.

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Former Alabama officer charged with violating man's civil rights after beating

Ala. officer sued for violation of civil rightsA former Alabama police officer has been charged with violating the civil rights of an Indian man who was injured during a violent confrontation in February, authorities said on Friday.

Former Madison police officer Eric Sloan Parker is charged with using unreasonable force that left Sureshbhai Patel hospitalized. He was slammed face-first to the ground in the confrontation, which was captured on video.

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Calif. deputy police chief among six arrested in drug sting

Calif. deputy police chief among six arrested in drug stingA deputy police chief in Fresno, Calif., was among six people arrested Thursday in a federal drug-trafficking bust that involved the sale of heroin, marijuana and prescription narcotics, authorities said.

Fresno Deputy Police Chief Keith Foster was taken into custody and faces charges of conspiracy to distribute or possess with the intent to distribute, ABC 7 in San Francisco reported.

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Judge in Texas blocks federal rules change for gay couples

Texas judge blocks federal lawA federal judge in Texas has blocked temporarily federal rules that would have expanded medical leave benefits to some gay couples.

In a 24-page ruling filed Thursday in Wichita Falls, Texas, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor granted a preliminary injunction that stays expansion of the definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act to include same-sex couples.

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New York buildings collapse after explosion in Manhattan

NYC buildings collapseAt least 19 people have been injured after an explosion caused two buildings to collapse in New York City.  On Thursday afternoon, more than 200 fire-fighters converged to battle the resulting blaze that affected four buildings.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said there were no reports of missing persons, but noted that the situation was fluid.  Officials said they believe work was being done to the building's gas utilities before the blast.

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Executive for Weapons Manufacturer Admits Publicly That 'Perceived' Threats Are Great for Business

General DynamicsAlthough unemployment is finally starting to fall, the economy overall remains sluggish, as many Americans struggle to regain their economic footing after the Great Recession. There is one industry, however, that has boomed throughout: defense contractors. A recent internal investor call hosted by General Dynamics explains part of the reason why: fear.

In the company's fourth-quarter 2014 conference call with investors, which took place on Jan. 28, 2015, Erin Linnihan, vice-president for investor relations, took questions from a variety of investors about topics relating to the firm's fiscal outlook.

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Cartel funded DEA agent sex parties

DEA sex partiesFor years, Drug Enforcement Administration agents posted abroad engaged in sex parties involving prostitutes who were supplied by local drug cartels, a Justice Department review found Thursday.

The Justice inspector general's inquiry, which examined how federal law enforcement agencies handled sexual misconduct and harassment reports, concluded that seven of 10 agents allegedly involved admitted attending the parties in Colombia where a local police officer often stood guard, protecting the agents' firearms and other property.

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