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Muted celebrations...Chilly California...Death sentences commuted

By The Associated Press | Posted - Dec. 31, 2014 at 1:01 p.m.



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JAKARTA, Indonesia (AP) — The New Year's Eve festivities have been muted this year in Indonesia, in the aftermath of Sunday's crash of a plane carrying 162 people. The mayor of the community that was home to most of the passengers banned any kind of New Year entertainment. In the capital, Jakarta, there were prayers for the victims -- both from the crash and from a deadly landslide in Central Java.

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) — People who've gathered early for tomorrow's Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, are having to bundle up. The chill comes from a blustery winter storm that's dropped snow on some low elevations across inland Southern California, after stranding dozens of motorists on mountain highways. There are accumulations east and southeast of Los Angeles.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — In one of his final acts as governor of Maryland, Democrat Martin O'Malley has announced that he'll commute the sentences of the state's four remaining death-row inmates. They'll now serve life in prison. Two years ago, state lawmakers abolished the death penalty. Maryland's attorney general has argued that executing prisoners who were already on death row would be illegal without an existing death penalty law.

PHOENIX (AP) — As Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer leaves office, her signature achievement has been dealt a blow by the state Supreme Court. It's allowing a lawsuit to proceed, one that challenges Brewer's Medicaid expansion plan. The program seeks to insure about 300,000 poor Arizona residents using a key part of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul. The state's high court ruled today that 36 Republican lawmakers can sue the Republican governor over the legality of a hospital assessment that funds the expansion plan.

EDMONTON, Alberta (AP) — Police in the Canadian city of Edmonton are trying to find out what prompted a man to kill six adults and two young children before taking his own life. A police spokesman says the suspect's criminal history indicates that it was a case of domestic violence. But police haven't yet confirmed the shooter's relationship to the victims.

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The Associated Press

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