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 President Barack Obama announces a shift in policy toward Cuba while delivering an address to the nation from the White House today. The shift in policy follows Cuba's release of American aid worker Alan Gross after five years in prison in a reported prisoner exchange with Havana.

President Obama: Time to boost travel, commerce with Cuba

Obama administration officials had considered Alan Gross' imprisonment an impediment to improving relations with Cuba.

about 2 hours ago


Pa. state police background check, firearms systems back up

The state police Internet system and background check databases were out of commission for about two hours.

about 2 hours ago


Tunnel closures snarl Parkway West

PennDOT issued a statement around 10:30 a.m. announcing the closures, lasting up to 10 minutes in both directions, through 2 p.m.

about 3 hours ago


 Bill Isler has represented District 4 in the East End since 1999.

Pittsburgh school board losing veterans

Will Pittsburgh’s Board of Education face a steep learning curve in 2016 with incumbents deciding not to run for re-election next year?

about 4 hours ago


 The interior of the Pakistan school where members of the Taliban attacked schoolchildren and staff, killing 148.

Students shot point blank in Pakistan school massacre

A day after 148 people died in one of the most violent attacks in Pakistan, the nation surveyed the damage from the nine-hour slaughter.

about 4 hours ago


 The performance audit document dated Dec. 10 was shared with officials at Cheyney and with the State System.

Pennsylvania audit finds Cheyney University in deep financial trouble

The 54-page report by state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale paints a dire picture of the state school’s financial health.

about 14 hours ago


 Jan Scheuermann plays rock-paper-scissors using a robotic arm and hand during a University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine project.

Brain-controlled robotic arm helps Pittsburgh woman with quadriplegia

Researchers at the University of Pittsburgh connected electrodes in her brain to a robotic arm to make hand shapes and grasps possible.

about 15 hours ago


 Emiliano Cabrera is an undocumented immigrant from Honduras who is applying for legal protection under President Barack Obama's recent executive action. A 53-year-old construction worker who lives in Carnegie, Mr. Cabrera is shown here with his American-born daughter, Emily Cabrera Vindel, 8.

Obama’s executive action clouds long-term immigration changes

Will the president's immigration action lead to gridlock -- or will it trigger piecemeal progress?

about 15 hours ago


 Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane

AG charges 10 in $1.2 million PennDOT theft

The AG says the managers, assigned to PennDOT’s district covering southeastern Pennsylvania, took kickbacks from highway inspectors.

about 5 hours ago


 A plainclothes security officer escorts students rescued from a nearby school during a Taliban attack in Peshawar, Pakistan, Tuesday.

Mournful Pakistanis feared an attack was coming

Peshawar is in deep mourning. One heard the heart-wrenching wailing of women and silent weeping of men every 100 yards or so.

about 15 hours ago


 A security guard stands at the entrance of United Artists theater during the premiere of the film "The Interview" in Los Angeles Thursday.

NYC premiere of North Korea comedy 'The Interview' canceled after threats

The hackers warned people to stay away from cinemas showing the film and darkly reminded moviegoers of the Sept. 11 attacks.

about 7 hours ago


New York bans fracking after health report calls it unsafe

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the decision on whether to allow this kind of drilling in New York was up to New York’s environmental commissioner.

about 1 hour ago


  A early morning view of the Golden Triangle from the roof of the U.S. Steel Tower.

Planning commission backs legislation to add 'affordable' housing to Pittsburgh’s development policies

The legislation is meant to encourage the construction of more housing for poor and working-class people.

about 15 hours ago


Former execs indicted on charges related to chemical spill in Charleston, W.Va.

An indictment unsealed today charges ex-Freedom Industries presidents Gary Southern and Dennis P. Farrell.

42 minutes ago


McArdle Roadway closed today, Thursday

Crews will work on the sidewalk and trim trees from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. both days. Access will be maintained for bikes and pedestrians.

about 7 hours ago


Auditor General's report on Cheyney University paints a 'bleak' outlook

A 54-page report is likely to heighten ongoing concern, not only about Cheyney, but also some of the other 13 state-owned universities.

17 minutes ago


Russian economy treading water

President Barack Obama will sign into law a bill bringing additional sanctions against Russia for its Ukraine incursion.

about 15 hours ago


For GOP, Jeb Bush's decision to explore presidential bid scrambles 2016 field

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush said Tuesday that he is actively exploring a 2016 presidential run, shaking up the GOP field.

about 15 hours ago


Vatican cites achievements, challenges of U.S. nuns

The Vatican inquiry that some saw as critical of U.S. nuns has ended instead with praise for the sisters’ selfless work.

about 15 hours ago


Ecuador family wins favors after donations to Obama campaign

Finance records and officials show that Ecuadoran family has won favors from the Obama administration after giving donations to Democrats.

about 15 hours ago


Pennsylvania Supreme Court affirms $151M ruling against Wal-Mart

The case concerns unpaid wages from work during breaks and in other circumstances.

about 15 hours ago


Holiday Herald: Christmas with dozens of cousins fit her just right

Christmas felt right amid dozens of cousins and other relatives.

about 15 hours ago


 Teachers and students listen to a live, nationally broadcast speech by Cuba's President Raul Castro today about the country's restoration of relations with the United States, at a school in Havana, Cuba.

Florida's Cuban-Americans rejoice at U.S. policy overhaul

Florida is home to roughly 80 percent of the country's Cuban-American population.

about 2 hours ago


Threatening emails sent over Sony movie

Sony Pictures hackers threaten 9/11-style terror against theaters showing the studio’s new comedy, “The Interview.”

about 15 hours ago


Nation briefs : Survey says teen e-cigarette use increasing

Plus: Apple wins suit; Mars rover finding; Obama pick confirmed; Alaska leasing ban.

about 15 hours ago


World briefs: Australia's prime minister Tony Abbott vows siege investigation

Plus: Israel arrests 10; China police torture; N. Korea slams U.S.; Korean Air troubles; Anti-Islamist rally.

about 15 hours ago


Research shows Americans are still divided on immigration

Surveys done by the Pew Research Center show that three-quarters of Americans think the immigration system needs to undergo major changes.

about 15 hours ago


 Newly appointed Allegheny County Airport Authority CEO, Christina Cassotis, speaks to the media.

New airports chief wants to bring more nonstop flights to Pittsburgh

Christina Cassotis will oversee operations at Pittsburgh International in Findlay and the Allegheny County Airport in West Mifflin.

about 15 hours ago


 Bradley William Stone, 35, of Pennsburg, Pa., a suspect in six shooting deaths in Montgomery County.

Ex-Marine wanted in 6 killings found dead near Philadelphia

Bradley W. Stone, wanted in the killings of his ex-wife and five of her family members, was found in a wooded area near his home.

about 15 hours ago


 Women mourn their relative Mohammed Ali Khan, 15, a student killed in an attack by Taliban gunmen on the Army Public School in Peshawar.

132 children, 9 staffers among those killed by Taliban gunmen

The attack, carried out by a Pakistani militant group trying to overthrow the government, killed mainly students at an army public school.

about 15 hours ago


Newtown families sue rifle manufacturer, distributor and seller for wrongful death

Newtown school shooting victims’ kin have sued the manufacturer, distributor and seller of the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle.

1 day ago


 Police are looking for 35-year-old Bradley William Stone, of Pennsburg, in the killings of six people in the Philadelphia area.

Manhunt on for ex-Marine suspected of killing ex-wife, five relatives in Philadelphia area

Police said Bradley W. Stone, 35, of Pennsburg also killed his ex-wife’s mother, grandmother, sister, brother-in-law and niece.

1 day ago


 Andrew Achilleos, a British citizen who is graduating from Carnegie Mellon University, hopes to get an H-1B visa to start a custom suit company in Pittsburgh.

H-1B work visa full of uncertainties for immigrants

The H-1B program: Is America shortchanging itself, or are we exploiting foreign-born students?

1 day ago


 Above, fMRI images show brain activity in a subject without autism, left, and a subject with autism, right, when both individuals thought about the word and the concept of "hug." The circled area at left defines the area reflecting the "self" factor in neurotypical people. In the person with autism, no activity in that area appears. The results were found common in each group and were similar with the other social-interaction verbs.

Autism markers found in CMU study of brain activity

Carnegie Mellon University researchers say they have found a way to diagnose autism through brain imaging and machine learning techniques.

1 day ago


 Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane

Two Philadelphia legislators face indictment in case Kane refused to file

Philadelphia District Attorney R. Seth Williams is expected to charge state Reps. Reps. Ronald G. Waters and Vanessa Lowery Brown.

about 15 hours ago


 A West Oakland Light Up Night event  at The Corner

Diana Nelson Jones' Walkabout: The Corner is one special place for West Oakland

West Oakland’s The Corner plans to enhance amenities for little, cut-off neighborhood.

1 day ago


Drainage work to slow Route 88 traffic in Bethel Park

Work will occur from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. between Milford and Hillside drives through next Tuesday.

1 day ago


Bessemer Avenue in East Pittsburgh restricted today through Friday

Crews will inspect the Route 30 bridge, causing alternating one-way traffic on Bessemer from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through Friday.

1 day ago


Twitter ends account that targeted State College Area School District

State College police are trying to determine who made the insulting posts, and district officials say any students involved could face

1 day ago


 Pittsburgh Public Schools prepare for another year of the Summer Dreamers Academy in 2014.

Pittsburgh summer learning programs boost math scores, not other outcomes

The Wallace Foundation invested more than $50 million into the Rand study to determine how well the summer enrichment programs work.

1 day ago


 “I came to the decision on my own,” Mark Patrick Flaherty said of the decision to run for Allegheny County controller.

Flaherty announces bid to regain old job as Allegheny County controller

Mark Patrick Flaherty will battle Chelsa Wagner for the Democratic nomination for controller, a job he gave up to run for county executive.

about 14 hours ago


 The Philadelphia district attorney charged state Reps. Ronald Waters and Vanessa Lowery Brown with accepting money in exchange for promises of political actions.

Two Philly state reps charged with accepting bribes

They were charged by Philadelphia authorities after state Attorney General Kathleen Kane refused to prosecute, saying the case was flawed.

about 15 hours ago


 Justin Lamb, 28, of Tarentum, died in October after two months in the custody at Allegheny County Jail.

Allegheny County Jail deaths remain above normal

Despite a new medical provider, Corizon, at Allegheny County Jail, six inmates have died in custody this year.

1 day ago


 "Congress’ lawmaking power is not subject to presidential supervision or control," Judge Arthur J. Schwab wrote of President Obama's immigration action.

Federal judge in Pittsburgh declares Obama's immigration action unconstitutional

U.S. District Judge Arthur Schwab issued the opinion in a criminal case involving a Honduran man who re-entered the country illegally.

about 15 hours ago


 Sidney Crosby at Consol Energy Center.

Mumps outbreak hitting Crosby confuses experts

Why Sidney Crosby, who had a recent vaccination, contracted the almost-eradicated disease? Doctors say it’s hard to explain.

1 day ago


 Allegheny County Jail as seen from Duquesne University campus.

Inmates complain about lack of medical care at Allegheny County Jail

One inmate says jail medical staff delayed testing a chest mass for weeks while another said a nurse performed surgery to remove wrist pins.

1 day ago


Health happenings for Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2014

Latrobe Area Hospital Aid Society is hosting a Handbag Blowout sale from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday.

1 day ago


 John Thornton, CEO of Astrobotic, stands in front of the company's Griffin Lander at their headquarters in the Strip District.

Astrobotic and CMU land $750,000 in race to moon

Astrobotic, which is developing the lunar lander for the team's entry, won $250,000 in the “imaging” category.

about 15 hours ago


Netanyahu, in Rome, tries to forestall Palestinian statehood drive

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Rome for a series of diplomatic sessions, including with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

1 day ago


Man pays for $50,000 worth of layaway at a Walmart in Pennsylvania

The store manager said the benefactor showed up at the Walmart in Mechanicsburg on Monday with a cashier's check that covered 100 accounts.

1 day ago



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