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New York officials: LA overreacted...Afghan violence increases...Mayor, council member fight

By The Associated Press | Posted - Dec. 15, 2015 at 11:51 a.m.



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NEW YORK (AP) — Officials in New York say Los Angeles school officials overreacted today when they shut down every school in the nation's second-largest school district because of an emailed threat. The threat, sent to a school board member, raised fears of another attack like the deadly shooting in nearby San Bernardino. But New York officials say they received the same threat -- and that it was also sent to many other cities around the country. And New York Mayor Bill de Blasio says there was "nothing credible" about it. Los Angeles authorities are defending their action, saying the safety of students and employees was their main concern.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says the different reactions taken by the nation's two largest public school systems after receiving threats show that local first-responders are responsible for protecting their communities. Spokesman Josh Earnest says he won't "second-guess" the decisions by Los Angeles officials to close their schools and New York City officials to keep their students in class.

WASHINGTON (AP) — A new Pentagon report to Congress says violence in Afghanistan is on the rise. The report says the overall security situation has worsened since June, with more effective attacks by insurgents and increased casualties among Afghan security forces. The report also said the Taliban-led insurgency has been emboldened by the U.S.-led coalition's transition this year from direct combat operations to a train-and-advise role. The U.S. now has about 9,800 troops in Afghanistan.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A fight that broke out during a City Council meeting in Birmingham, Alabama, today has left the mayor and a councilman with minor injuries. Both were taken to a hospital for treatment. It's not clear who started the fight. The council president told reporters that Mayor William Bell had assaulted Councilman Marcus Lundy. But a spokeswoman for the mayor says an arrest warrant will be taken out on Lundy.

MOSCOW (AP) — A Russian spacecraft carrying three astronauts from the United States, Britain and Russia has arrived at the International Space Station. They'll be joining two other Russians and American astronaut Scott Kelly already on board. Kelly and one of the Russians are on a year-long mission.

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The Associated Press

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