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SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — Police and South Korean officials were investigating the simultaneous shutdown Wednesday of computer networks at several major broadcasters and banks. While the cause wasn't immediately clear, speculation centered on a possible North Korean cyberattack.

The shutdown came days after North Korea blamed South Korea and the United States for cyberattacks that temporarily shut down websites in Pyongyang.

Officials at the two South Korean public broadcasters KBS and MBC said that all computers at their companies shut down at 2 p.m. (0500 GMT). The officials said the shutdown was not immediately causing any damage to their daily TV broadcasts.

The officials declined to give their names saying they were not authorized to speak media.

YTN cable news channel reported the company's internal computer network was completely paralyzed. Local TV showed workers staring at blank computer screens, and at one coffee shop employees asked for cash, saying their credit card machine wasn't working.

The state-run Korea Information Security Agency confirmed that computers at at least five South Korean companies were down. The agency was investigating what caused the outage.

Shinhan Bank, a lender of South Korea's fourth-largest banking group, said the bank's system, including online banking and automated teller machines, has stopped working since 2:20 p.m. Thursday. The company is unable to conduct any banking activities at bank windows to customers including retail banking and corporate banking.

The company does not know what caused the paralysis.

Immediate suspicion fell on North Korea.

Tensions between the neighboring countries are high following North Korea's recent nuclear test and U.N. sanctions that followed. Accusations of cyberattacks on the Korean Peninsula are not new. Seoul believes Pyongyang was behind at least two cyberattacks on local companies in 2011 and 2012.

Internet access in Pyongyang was intermittent at times last week, and Loxley Pacific Co., the broadband Internet provider for North Korea, said it was investigating an online attack that took down Pyongyang servers. A spokesman for the Bangkok-based company said Friday that it was not clear where the attack originated. Experts indicated it could take months to determine what happened and one analyst suggested hackers in China were a more likely culprit.

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency blamed the shutdown on the United States and South Korea, accusing the allies of expanding an aggressive stance against Pyongyang into cyberspace with "intensive and persistent virus attacks."

South Korea denied the allegation and the U.S. military declined to comment.
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VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Daniel Sedin had a goal and an assist, and Cory Schneider made 32 saves in the Vancouver Canucks' 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday night.

Jannik Hansen and Dale Weise also scored for Vancouver (14-9-6), which ended a two-game losing streak.

Jaden Schwartz and Patrik Berglund both scored in the third period for the Blues (16-11-2), who lost for only the second time in seven games. St. Louis had won three straight with rookie goalie Jake Allen. He stopped 16 Canucks shots.

The Blues outshot the Canucks 34-19. Vancouver managed only a total of five shots in the first and third periods.

After being badly outshot in the opening frame, the Canucks woke up in the second period and scored three unanswered goals.

Schneider started after watching the previous four games from the bench. He was kept busy in a scoreless first period as the Blues outshot the Canucks 15-3.

He made saves on David Perron from left wing and Alex Pietrangelo from the right point. After retrieving his own rebound, Perron sent the puck to Pietrangelo.

Later in the period, he robbed Pietrangelo from short range with his glove and foiled Andy McDonald, who returned to the Blues lineup after missing 10 games with a knee injury.

Hansen opened the scoring 2:30 into the second period when he took a cross-ice pass from Mason Raymond in the neutral zone, skated over the blue line and beat Allen with a slap shot.

The goal came on Vancouver's sixth shot of the game. Daniel Sedin gave the Canucks a 2-0 lead less than two minutes later when he fired in brother Henrik's angle pass from behind the goal line.

Daniel Sedin ended his scoring drought at eight games.

Weise, known for fisticuffs rather than scoring dexterity, extended Vancouver's lead to 3-0 midway through the second period on a nifty play. He took a spin-around forehand pass from Jordan Schroeder and then deked Allen while skating across the goal mouth.

It was Weise's second goal of the season and first in 11 games.

The Blues got on the scoreboard just over five minutes into the third period when Vladimir Tarasenko's shot bounced in off Schwartz, cutting their deficit to 3-1.

Berglund pulled St. Louis within a goal at 13:38 of the third as Kris Russell's shot bounced to him off the back of Canuck defenseman Chris Tanev's head.

The Canucks received a power play with 3:06 left in the third period as Vladimir Sobotka was called for holding. The whistle finally blew after the Canucks had a prolonged delayed penalty, struggled to get the puck up the ice with an extra attacker. Kevin Bieksa just missed the net as he tried to put in a pass from Raymond.

St. Louis was blanked on three power plays. The Canucks were unsuccessful on two.

NOTES: The Canucks lost forward Zack Kassian to an injury in the first period. He had returned to Vancouver's lineup after missing the previous two games with a sore back. He fought St. Louis forward Chris Stewart, the NHL's first star of the week, less than three minutes in. ... Vancouver forward Andrew Ebbett was scratched, and David Booth remains out indefinitely with a leg injury. ... Stewart played his 300th NHL game. ... Blues forward T.J. Oshie missed his third consecutive game with a rib injury. He is expected to return Saturday in Edmonton.
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 01:50
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CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — James Frost is already serving 40 years in prison for four St. Louis-area rapes. Now, he is getting more prison time for a fifth.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that all the crimes occurred in 2006 in St. Louis city and county. The fifth case was brought by prosecutors in September on the basis of further DNA testing. Prosecutors say Frost assaulted the victim at gunpoint.

As part of a plea deal, Frost on Monday was sentenced to 30 years plus 10 on charges of forced rape, forced sodomy and sexual abuse. The latest sentence will run concurrently with the time already being served on the other attacks.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 16:34
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PERRYVILLE, Mo. (AP) — A judge has issued an order blocking a newspaper's request for documents about the resignation of the police chief in southeast Missouri.

Perryville Police Chief Keith Tarrillion submitted his resignation last week amid allegations that he falsified a police report in a personal insurance claim two years ago.

Perryville city officials alleged that Tarrillion used another officer's name to create a police report about vandalism at his home. Tarrillion later received nearly $5,700 from his insurance company. Tarrillion denied the allegations when he resigned Wednesday.

The Southeast Missourian reports that Circuit Judge Ben Lewis has issued an order that blocks the city from responding to the newspaper's records request for documents about the case.

Tarrillion's lawyer says the records constitute a "closed record" under the Sunshine Law.
Tuesday, 19 March 2013 16:32
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