National News

NYC Police Will Be Retrained, De Blasio Says At News Conference

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and New York Police Department Commissioner Bill Bratton have announced plans to give training to police officers to help them treat all citizens with equal respect and with equal regard for their safety.

"These changes are happening because the people demanded it," de Blasio said.

An investigation by Attorney General Eric Holder and the Justice Department found a pattern of excessive force used by Cleveland's police department.

Justice Department Finds Cleveland Police Uses Excessive Force

After a long investigation, the Department of Justice has found that Cleveland's Division of Police has "engaged in a pattern and practice of using excessive force" because of inadequate training and a lack of accountability, Attorney General Eric Holder said on Thursday.

In a press conference in Cleveland, Holder added that the city and the federal government had reached some understanding on ways they could curb the deficiencies.

Vani Hari, known as the "Food Babe," speaks at the Green Festival in Los Angeles on Sept. 12. Hari has made a name for herself by investigating ingredients in Big Food products that she deems potentially harmful. But critics accuse her of stoking unfounded fears.

Is The Food Babe A Fearmonger? Scientists Are Speaking Out

In an age when consumers have become increasingly suspicious of processed food, the Internet has become a powerful platform for activists who want to hold Big Food accountable.

Philadelphia 76ers forward JaKarr Sampson congratulates guard K.J. McDaniels during the fourth quarter of Wednesday's NBA basketball game against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

It Wasn't Pretty, But 76ers Manage To Win Their First Game Of The Season

And on the 18th try, the Philadelphia 76ers finally snapped their losing streak, beating the Minnesota Timberwolves 85-77 on Wednesday.

Yes, they managed to right the ship to avoid tying the record for worst start to an NBA season and, yes, a win is a win.

But it wasn't pretty. Dead Spin notes that the 76ers may now be 1-17, but they are still "a cynical and indescribably awful fraud," or, put simply, the "grossest team in the NBA."

Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, got his flu shot in September.

CDC Warns That The Flu Season May Be A Bad One

We may be in for a nasty flu season. That's the warning out today from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC is worried because the most common strain of flu virus circulating in the United States is one called H3N2. In previous years, H3N2 strains have tended to send more people to the hospital than other strains — and cause more deaths, especially among the elderly, children and people with other health problems.

Relatives of deceased organ donors mourn for them at a ceremony unveiling a monument for the organ donors in April in Chongqing, China.

China To End Organ Harvesting From Executed Inmates

China says it will halt the controversial practice of harvesting human organs for transplant from executed prisoners beginning on Jan. 1 in what The New York Times describes as "the firmest deadline given to date for ending" the practice.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his state of the union speech on Thursday, defended the Kremlin's aggressive foreign policy, saying the actions are necessary for his country's survival.

Putin Defiant In Speech In Face Of Sanctions, Economic Woes

Russian President Vladimir Putin said today that the "difficulties" his country faces "also create new possibilities," and insisted that while he isn't interested in a "long-term arms race" with the West, Russia would do what it takes to defend itself.

Al-Qaida Branch In Yemen Threatens To Kill Hostage

The Yemen branch of al-Qaida is threatening to kill a hostage who says he is a British-born American citizen.

Reuters reports the video of the man was first noticed by SITE, an organization that tracks terrorist groups. The video shows a man who says his name is Luke Somers, a 33-year-old journalist allegedly captured in Sanaa back in September.

Reuters adds:

NASA's Orion spaceship early Thursday in Cape Canaveral, Fla.

NASA Scrubs Orion Launch For Today

Update at 9:35 a.m. ET

NASA's Orion spacecraft, which could one day send astronauts to Mars, is stuck on terra firma for at least another day after the space agency's mission control was unable to satisfactorily resolve a number of issues before a 9:45 a.m. launch window closed.

Benjamin Carr, stepfather of Eric Garner, leaves the district attorney's office Wednesday in Staten Island after a grand jury's decision not to indict a New York police officer involved in Garner's death.

The Sentiment In New York Captured In A 25-Second Audio Clip

We've written a lot about the emotions that poured out onto the streets of U.S. cities and across the Internet when a grand jury in Staten Island declined to indict the police officer involved in the death of Eric Garner.