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Clearing the air...Stocks slip...Another ferry victim found

By The Associated Press | Posted - Dec. 30, 2014 at 2:51 p.m.



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NEW YORK (AP) — New York's mayor is aiming to clear the air with police unions after tensions over the shooting deaths of police officers and City Hall's response to protests over police conduct. Mayor Bill de Blasio, Police Commissioner William Bratton and union heads started meeting privately this afternoon. A rift between de Blasio and much of the New York Police Department's rank and file has widened recently. Union leaders have contended that the mayor fostered an anti-NYPD atmosphere and that it contributed to the officers' deaths.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are closing lower in the U.S. and elsewhere as a new flare-up of political uncertainty in Greece has investors worrying about the stability of the euro again. The Dow fell 55 points. The S&P lost ten, and the Nasdaq was down 29 points. European markets fell. Greece's main index was down slightly following a sharp drop a day earlier.

MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin's main political foe has been convicted along with his brother in a fraud case -- a case that is widely seen as a political vendetta by the Kremlin. And the convictions prompted one of Russia's boldest anti-government demonstrations in years. Police allowed a few thousand protesters to gather just outside Red Square for about two hours, before moving in to break up the unsanctioned rally.

BRINDISI, Italy (AP) — A Greek ferry has been adrift for a third day off the coast of Albania, in the aftermath of a fire that killed at least eleven people. Italy's coast guard says the latest victim was found today. And Italian prosecutors have ordered the ferry to be brought to Italy for a criminal investigation. They say they think more bodies could be found on board -- because the boat probably carried some stowaways.

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say the pastor of a central Florida church has shot and wounded an employee during a gunfight after the employee learned he was being fired. Sheriff's officials near Orlando say church pastor Terry Howell had been meeting with maintenance worker Benjamin Parangan today to terminate the man's employment -- and that the fired employee pulled out a handgun and fired multiple shots at Howell. They say the pastor then returned fire with his own weapon, critically wounding the other man. Authorities are treating the shooting as a case of self-defense.

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The Associated Press

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