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Slain officer mourned...Man held in threat against officers...Four dead in fire

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NEW YORK (AP) — A wake is being held this afternoon at a church in Queens, New York, for a New York Police Department officer who was killed along with his partner in an ambush shooting last Saturday. The funeral for Officer Rafael Ramos will take place tomorrow. The killings ramped up emotions in the already tense national debate over police conduct. In the days since the officers were killed, police in New York say they've arrested six people accused of threatening police.

NEW YORK (AP) — A man who authorities say was overheard at a New York City bank on Christmas Eve threatening to kill a police officer remains held on $500,000 bail. Authorities say a witness became alarmed after overhearing Elvin Payamps talking into his cell phone and called police. He was captured nearby and arrested on gun charges. Court papers say he admitted saying that the gunman who shot two police officers in their patrol car nearly a week ago should have killed two white officers rather than an Asian and a Hispanic officer.

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — An Afghan official says the three villagers who were killed today in an airstrike by U.S.-led coalition forces were "heavily armed," but were not part of the Taliban insurgency. The provincial governor says the coalition had told local authorities that the dead were Taliban militants -- but he says villagers in the area disputed the claim. The villagers instead said that the dead were civilians who'd been protecting their land from nomads.

WASHINGTON COURT HOUSE, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio fire marshal's spokesman says four bodies have been pulled from the burned-out remains of an Ohio home where three children were visiting their grandmother. Firefighters had sifted through the smoldering debris to try to find the four missing people. The early morning fire occurred near Washington Court House, some 40 miles southwest of Columbus. There's no word yet on what may have caused the blaze.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A residential motel near downtown Los Angeles has been badly damaged in a Christmas night fire. Some residents had to slide down knotted bedsheets, while others escaped with the help of human ladders -- people standing on others' shoulders. Six people were hurt -- including two who suffered critical burns and smoke inhalation.

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