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LA chief says threat involved assault rifles...US, Russia move closer on Syria...Teen convicted of killing teacher

By The Associated Press | Posted - Dec. 15, 2015 at 2:51 p.m.



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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The police chief in Los Angeles says the threat that prompted today's shutdown of the city's schools described an attack with assault rifles. Chief Charlie Beck says the threat was specific to all of the campuses in the Los Angeles Unified School District. And he says the city takes threats against its schools seriously, particularly since the recent attack in nearby San Bernardino. But New York officials say they received a similar threat and determined that it was a hoax. )

MOSCOW (AP) — The United States and Russia are moving closer to putting aside years of disagreement over how to end Syria's civil war. Secretary of State John Kerry today accepted Russia's long-standing demand that the future of Syria's Bashar Assad be determined by his own people. After meeting with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Kerry told reporters that the U.S. and its partners "are not seeking so-called regime change." A major international conference on Syria will take place later this week in New York.

SALEM, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts teenager has been convicted of raping and killing his high school math teacher. Philip Chism was convicted today in the 2013 slaying of Colleen Ritzer, an algebra teacher at Danvers High School, about 25 miles north of Boston. Chism was 14 when he followed Ritzer into a school bathroom, strangled her, stabbed her at least 16 times with a box cutter and raped her. Ritzer's body was found in woods near the school. Chism's lawyer admitted his client killed Ritzer, but said he was suffering from severe mental illness and wasn't criminally responsible.

BALTIMORE (AP) — It's the first full day of deliberations in the first trial of a police officer in connection with the death of Freddie Gray -- but already, jurors have told the judge that they're deadlocked. They've been told to keep deliberating. Officer William Porter is the first of six officers to stand trial on charges stemming from Gray's death in police custody in April.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks have posted their biggest gain in more than a week, led by gains in energy companies and banks. Bank stocks rose as traders anticipated that the Federal Reserve would raise interest rates tomorrow. The Dow industrials rose 156 points. The S&P 500 climbed 21, and the Nasdaq composite gained 43 points.

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The Associated Press

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