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FCC votes to roll back net neutrality rules

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By TJH

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The Federal Communications Commission voted Thursday to repeal the so-called net neutrality rules that govern the way internet service providers treat different types of content and data.

The five commissioners of the FCC voted along party lines — three Republicans to two Democrats — to roll back the rules, imposed in 2015 under President Barack Obama. The public debate over the rules had been heated at times and Thursday’s decision came after a brief delay when, on the “advice of security,” FCC chairman Ajit Pai announced that they would need to take a recess and the hearing room was evacuated.

Repeal supporters claimed the rules unnecessarily regulated the industry and impeded upon the free market.

Under the rules rescinded Thursday, internet service providers were prohibited from influencing loading speeds for specific websites or apps. The vote rolled back the policies that treated the internet like a utility and could potentially lead to the creation of different lanes of speeds for websites or content creators willing to pay for them. Critics worry that those costs could be passed along to consumers.

Internet service providers will have to disclose whether they engage in certain types of conduct, such as blocking and prioritization, following Thursday’s decision. They must further explicitly publicize what is throttled and what is blocked, with the information posted on an easily accessible website hosted by the company or the FCC.

Repeal is a hallmark victory for the FCC’s Republican chairman Ajit Pai whose 11-month tenure has seen him strongly advocate for reduced regulation. Pai was named FCC chairman in January by President Donald Trump, who has made no secret of his interest in reigning in Obama-era business regulations.

Eighteen state attorneys general made a last ditch effort to delay the vote by claiming they have uncovered more than a million public comments on the motion using fraudulent identities.

“The FCC must delay its vote until we get to the bottom of this massive fraud,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Pai ignored requests for a delay.

An additional bipartisan request to halt the vote came from Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine and Angus King, I-Maine, this week, who argued that Congress and the FCC should hold public hearings “in order to investigate the best way to ensure citizens, and our economy have strong net neutrality protections that guarantee consumer choice, free markets, and continued growth.”

More than a hundred House Republicans sent a letter to the FCC on Wednesday applauding the agency’s plan to repeal its net neutrality rules.

Some internet service providers, including Comcast, while supporting the repeal, have promised never to throttle speeds or block websites.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

2 police officers shot near St. Louis, suspect barricaded

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By TJH

ABCNews.com(ST. LOUIS) — Two police officers were shot Thursday morning in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, officials said.

The uniformed members of the Bellefontaine Neighbors Police Department were shot after an encounter with a suspect at about 7:15 a.m. local time. Both officers were expected to survive, according to St. Louis County Police Department spokesman Benjamin Granda.

The suspect was barricaded in a building on Bellefontaine Road and the St. Louis County Police Department is on scene, Granda said. The investigation is ongoing.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

FCC to vote on net neutrality repeal

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By TJH

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The Federal Communications Commission is expected to repeal so-called net neutrality rules Thursday that govern the way internet service providers treat different types of content and data.

The five-member panel includes three Republicans expected to vote along party lines to roll back the rules, imposed in 2015 under President Barack Obama.

Repeal supporters claim the rules unnecessarily regulate the industry and impede the free market.

Under the current rules, internet service providers are prohibited from influencing loading speeds for specific websites or apps. Thursday’s expected repeal vote would rescind policies that treat the internet like a utility and potentially lead to the creation of different lanes of speeds for the websites or content creators that pay for it. Critics worry that those costs could be passed along to consumers.

Repeal would be a hallmark victory for the FCC’s Republican chairman Ajit Pai whose 11-month tenure has seen him strongly advocate for reduced regulation.

Eighteen state attorneys general made a last ditch effort to delay the vote by claiming they have uncovered more than a million public comments on the motion using fraudulent identities.

“The FCC must delay its vote until we get to the bottom of this massive fraud,” said New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. Pai has ignored requests for a delay.

An additional bipartisan request to halt the vote came from Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine and Angus King, I-Maine, this week, who argued that Congress and the FCC should hold public hearings “in order to investigate the best way to ensure citizens, and our economy have strong net neutrality protections that guarantee consumer choice, free markets, and continued growth.”

More than a hundred House Republicans sent a letter to the FCC on Wednesday applauding the agency’s plan to repeal its net neutrality rules.

While some internet service providers, including Comcast, have promised never to throttle speeds or block websites, the debate over the matter has been ugly at times, with Pai claiming that his family has been harassed over his stance.

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

Deadly Kansas City house fire now a homicide investigation, police say

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By TJH

ABCNews.com(KANSAS CITY, Kan.) — A deadly fire that engulfed a home in Kansas City, Kansas, early Tuesday is now being investigated as a homicide, police said.

The Kansas City, Kansas Police Department announced the homicide investigation via Twitter late Wednesday, one day after officials found three bodies inside the scorched single-family residence. Though details surrounding the case are limited, police said the fire may be covering up a murder scene.

The identities of the three victims have not yet been released, but one woman told reporters that she feared her sister could be among the dead.

Patricia Green told ABC affiliate KMBC that her sister, Gwen, had lived at the home for the past several months.

“I hope for the best, that she’s somewhere at another location and she’ll see this broadcast and reach out to one of us and let us know that she’s OK,” Green said in an interview with KMBC on Tuesday.

She said she tried to call her sister multiple times, but “her phone is going straight to ‘not accepting calls.’”

The fire was reported to authorities at around 3 a.m. local time Tuesday. Kansas City, Kansas Fire Chief John Paul Jones said via Twitter that “crews experienced heavy fire conditions upon arrival.”

Firefighters found two bodies inside the residence after an initial search. A third body was later discovered in the home. The cause of death of the three victims remain under investigation, authorities said.

The Kansas City, Kansas Fire Department said it is conducting an “extensive fire investigation” and will release further details “at the appropriate time.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

Deployed Army soldiers return home in time to spend holidays with loved ones

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By TJH

WHAS(FORT KNOX, Ky.) — Fort Knox, Kentucky was a scene filled with emotional reunions Wednesday as deployed soldiers returned home in time to spend the holidays with their loved ones.

The Army soldiers with the 1st Sustainment Command had spent six months away while they were deployed in Kuwait providing food, fuel, water, transportation and other materials for military personnel there, ABC Louisville affiliate WHAS reported.

On Wednesday, family members looked on eagerly as they waited for a glimpse of the U.S. service members.

“There he is right there,” one mother told her young son once she spotted her husband. “Look at Daddy! Look!”

The official homecoming ceremony was cut short so families did not have to wait for their long-desired reunions, according to WHAS.

“Family members, find your soldiers,” a woman’s voice instructed those sitting in the crowd via intercom.

Soldier Chris Campbell returned home after his first deployment since becoming a father.

“It’s great to be back,” he said. “Things have changed, but the little luxury is still being able to see them on the camera every couple days.”

Campbell’s wife told WHAS that the reality of him being home is “really just started setting in.”

“Now he gets to enjoy his kids,” she said. “It’s a feeling I can’t even describe.”

After soldier Kevin Howse first reunited with his wife, there was another young lady he had to make sure to see.

Howse conducted his tear-filled reunion with his young daughter at her daycare.

“Daddy, I missed you,” Howse’s daughter told him. “I missed you too, Daddy.”

Howse said it’s “difficult” for service members to be away from loved ones when they’re deployed.

“We’re used to it, but it doesn’t get any better,” he said. “Even though we’re accustomed to it, still a little difficult at times. That’s the life we chose, so that’s what we do.”

Copyright © 2017, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News

      

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