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Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014
Local news, state news, national news. News from the Standard Democrat.
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Benton man is reported missing by his family (12/20/14)
BENTON -- The family of a Scott County man who was last seen Wednesday is searching for his whereabouts. Michael "Daran" McDonald, 47, of Benton was last seen Wednesday at his sister's house and mentioned going to watch some races, according to his sister, Leah Faringer...
Juden to lead Missouri Police Chiefs Association (12/20/14)
SIKESTON -- Leading the state's police chiefs over the next year will have challenges but keeping things running smoothly here won't be one of them, according to Sikeston Department of Public Safety Director Drew Juden. "First off, I'm very honored and humbled that my peers thought enough of me to put me in the position that one day would lead to me being president," Juden said when asked about becoming president of the Missouri Police Chiefs Association in January...
Charleston Christmas Concert is Sunday (12/20/14)
CHARLESTON -- The Charleston community will come together Sunday afternoon to celebrate Christmas with music. The public is invited to the program which begins at 4 p.m. Sunday at the United Methodist Church, located at 1700 E. Marshall St. It will include performances by organist Terry A. Parker; soloists Mary Katherine Branum and Kerry Davis; the Sam C. and Jane Goodin Memorial Handbell Choir and the River Bend Brass along with a reading by Bill Hunter...
Christmas often the toughest time of year for those at Refuge (12/20/14)
SIKESTON -- The Sikeston House of Refuge offers a safe place for women and children in need year-round. The average woman stays 90 days at the shelter, which means some women and their children will spend Christmas there this year. "This is the hardest time of the year for women and children at the shelter, and we (staff and volunteers) try to go out of our way to make sure every family has what they need -- and want," said Jill Hill Brown, manager and volunteer coordinator of the Refuge, which keeps its location confidential to the public.. ...
Scott County deputy gets Medal of Valor from Gov. Nixon (12/19/14)
BENTON - A Scott County deputy who risked his life to pull two railroad employees from an overturned train engine as flames surrounded it was honored Thursday for his heroism. Scott County Deputy Justin G. Wooten was one of 10 Missouri law enforcement officers awarded the Missouri Medal of Valor by Gov. Jay Nixon in a ceremony in the state Capitol...
  • 2 NYC officers dead in ambush shooting in cruiser
    NEW YORK (AP) -- An armed man walked up to two New York Police Department officers sitting inside a patrol car and opened fire Saturday afternoon, shooting both of them fatally before running into a nearby subway station and committing suicide, police said....
  • North Korea proposes joint probe over Sony hacking
    SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- North Korea on Saturday proposed a joint investigation with the U.S. into the hacking attack against Sony Pictures Entertainment, warning of "serious" consequences if Washington rejects a probe that it believes would prove Pyongyang had nothing to do with the cyberattack....
  • Sony saga blends foreign intrigue, star wattage
    LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The hackers who hit Sony Pictures Entertainment days before Thanksgiving crippled the network, stole gigabytes of data and spilled into public view unreleased films and reams of private and sometimes embarrassing executive emails....
  • Panama's Noriega in prison 25 years post-invasion
    PANAMA CITY (AP) -- Former Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega is nearly forgotten, languishing in a steamy jungle prison near the interoceanic canal while the country enjoys democracy and economic prosperity a quarter-century after the strongman was toppled by a U.S. military invasion....
  • Raul Castro: Don't expect detente to change Cuban system
    HAVANA (AP) -- Cuban President Raul Castro sent a blunt message to Washington Saturday as the White House works to reverse a half-century of hostility between the U.S. and Cuba: Don't expect detente to do away with the communist system....
The Latest from our Columnists
Christians have right to display their faith
I originally had written a pithy column for today over the North Korean hacking episode and the potential impact of a cyber war. But with Christmas approaching at breakneck speed, no one wants to read yet another sobering story on the decline of America...
'Scrooge' finds Christmas spirit
'Tis the season for my annual bah humbug Christmas column. Because just like every year, when Labor Day rolls around and I start seeing Christmas ads I start to cringe. Normally this time of year I put on my Scrooge cap and rant on the many things I dislike about Christmas. Having to go into crowded stores with angry shoppers looking for that perfect gift when you have no idea what anyone wants. I should get gift certificates but I can't ever get the price tags off...
Videos

10 Things to Know for Today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

1. SPY'S PARENTS SEARCH FOR SON AFTER CUBA-U.S. DEAL

Neither Cuban nor American officials have confirmed that Rolando Sarraff Trujillo, whom Obama hailed as one of Washington's most valuable assets, was spirited off the island.

2. CALLS FOR MORE NORTH KOREA SANCTIONS INTENSIFY

If the U.S. concludes Pyongyang was behind the Sony hack attack, it might cut that country's access to hard currency and declare it once more as a state sponsor of terrorism.

3. PAKISTANI MILITARY KILLS 67 MILITANTS AFTER SCHOOL MASSACRE

The government will also try to cancel the bail granted to the main suspect in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks - a decision that called into question Pakistan's commitment to fighting insurgents.

4. EIGHT CHILDREN KILLED, MOTHER STABBED IN AUSTRALIA

"All parents would feel a gut-wrenching sadness at what has happened. This is an unspeakable crime." _ says Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

5. WHAT AMERICANS THINK ABOUT DRONES

As an Associated Press-GfK poll suggests, the majority of respondents are skeptical that benefits of commercial vehicles will outweigh privacy and safety risks.

6. NEARLY 30,000 SYRIAN NEWBORNS IN LEBANON AT RISK OF STATELESSNESS

It is a problem that is replicated in nations across the Middle East where more than 3.3 million Syrians have found safe haven from the civil war in their homeland.

7. WHERE CHINA'S WEALTH FINDS HOME

An influx of Chinese visitors to Washington state makes its way to high-end property markets, and observers don't expect it to slow down any time soon.

8. WHICH STATE VOWS TO DEFEND POT LAW

Colorado's top law enforcement official promises to fight for the measure known as Amendment 64 after Nebraska and Oklahoma asked the U.S. Supreme Court to declare it unconstitutional.

9. DRESS QUEST FOR MARATHON BOMBING SURVIVOR

The finale of the "Say Yes to the Dress" TV show captures Rebekah DiMartino using crutches for balance as she tries on wedding gowns at a bridal salon.

10. STEPHEN COLBERT RETIRES HIS 'REPORT'

His next step: playing himself as the new host of CBS' "Late Show" replacing David Letterman, who exits next May.

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