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New York bans cosmetic pet tattoos, piercings

New York state makes it a crime to tattoo or pierce your pet simply for looks
Michael Virtanen, The Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. - Body art is not for animals, at least not in New York.

It will soon be a crime to pierce or tattoo your companion animal anywhere in the state.

"It's simply cruel," said Assembly member Linda Rosenthal. The Manhattan Democrat sponsored the legislation. While people can choose the pain of tattoos or piercings to satisfy their own "esthetic predilections," companion animals don't have that luxury, she said.

The law signed Monday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo takes effect in 120 days.

Timeline of Australia hostage drama at Sydney cafe

Timeline of Australian hostage drama at Sydney cafe
The Associated Press

SYDNEY - An armed gunman entered a Sydney cafe during Monday morning's rush hour and took an unknown number of hostages. Hours after the crisis began, five people escaped but a number of others remained inside. Then early Tuesday morning, a loud bang was heard and police stormed the cafe.

A timeline of events:


Can identifying mental illness stop terror attacks?

Authorities look for mental health clues in fight to stop 'lone wolf' attackers
Jill Lawless, The Associated Press

LONDON - A radical Muslim killed a soldier outside Canada's Parliament. A right-wing extremist opened fire on buildings in Texas' capital and tried to burn down the Mexican Consulate. An Al-Qaida-inspired assailant hacked an off-duty soldier to death in London.

Police said all three were terrorists and motivated by ideology. Authorities and family members said they may have been mentally ill. A growing body of research suggests they might well have been both.

Sony threatens to sue for publishing stolen emails

Sony threatens to sue over publishing its corporate secrets revealed in hacker break-in
Jack Gillum, The Associated Press

WASHINGTON - A lawyer representing Sony Pictures Entertainment is warning news organizations not to publish details of company files leaked by hackers in one of the largest digital breaches ever against an American company.

The Sony materials include studio financial records, employment files and what already has been revealed as salacious gossip by Hollywood executives about President Barack Obama and some of the industry's big stars and upcoming films.

Palestinians seek end-of-occupation vote this week

Palestinians to seek UN Security Council vote this week on ending Israeli occupation
Karin Laub, The Associated Press

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will push for a U.N. Security Council vote this week on a resolution setting a November 2016 deadline for ending the Israeli occupation, officials said Monday.

Such a move could set the stage for a clash at the Security Council, both over the resolution, which is backed by Jordan, or over a second proposal by France, which seeks a two-year deadline for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on the terms of Palestinian statehood.

London banker banned for dodging rail fares

London banker banned from working in financial services after being caught dodging rail fares
Vitnija Saldava, The Associated Press

LONDON - A London banker has been banned from working in the financial services industry after he was caught dodging rail fares.

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said in a statement Monday that Jonathan Burrows has been banned for not being "fit and proper."

Denmark claims North Pole via Greenland ridge link

Denmark claims North Pole through Arctic underwater ridge link from Greenland
Bob Weber, The Canadian Press

An Arctic expert says an unspoken agreement between Arctic nations on how to divvy up northern seas is all but dead now that Denmark is presenting scientific data that it says gives it a claim on waters past the North Pole.

Families of Newtown victims sue rifle manufacturer

Families of Newtown school victims file lawsuit against gun manufacturer, distributor, store
Pat Eaton-Robb, The Associated Press

HARTFORD, Conn. - The families of nine of the 26 people killed and a teacher wounded two years ago at the Sandy Hook Elementary School filed a lawsuit Monday against the manufacturer, distributor and seller of the rifle used in the shooting.

The negligence and wrongful death lawsuit, filed in Bridgeport Superior Court, asserts that the Bushmaster AR-15 rifle should not have been made publicly available because it was designed for military use and is unsuited for hunting or home defence.

Hong Kong police close final protest site

Hong Kong police remove barricades, make arrests as they shut last pro-democracy protest site
Kelvin Chan, The Associated Press

HONG KONG - Hong Kong police tore down barricades, folded up tents and arrested some protesters Monday at a third and final pro-democracy protest camp, ending demonstrations that blocked traffic in the southern Chinese city's streets for 2 1/2 months.

A police negotiator gave the 17 protesters one last chance to leave voluntarily from a short stretch of road in Causeway Bay before officers started taking them away one by one to a waiting bus.

Italian PM Renzi announces Rome 2024 Olympic bid

Italian Premier Matteo Renzi announces that Rome will bid for 2024 Olympics
Andrew Dampf, The Associated Press

ROME - Italy announced Monday that Rome will be a candidate to host the 2024 Olympics, a decision that comes two years after the government scrapped plans to bid for the 2020 Games because of financial reasons.

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