Nation briefs for December 29

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White officer won’t face charges in killing of Cleveland boy

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White officer won’t face charges in killing of Cleveland boy

CLEVELAND (AP) — A grand jury declined to indict a white rookie police officer in the killing of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, a black youngster shot to death while playing with what turned out to be a pellet gun, a prosecutor said Monday.

Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty said it was “indisputable” that the boy was drawing the pistol from his waistband when he was gunned down — either to hand it over to police or show them it wasn’t real. But McGinty said there was no way for the officers on the scene to know that.

Tamir was shot by Loehmann within two seconds of the officer’s police cruiser skidding to a stop near the boy outside a city recreation center in November 2014. Loehmann and his training partner, Frank Garmback, were responding to a 911 call about a man waving a gun.

Tamir was carrying a borrowed airsoft gun that looked like a real gun but shot nonlethal plastic pellets. It was missing its telltale orange tip.

In a statement, Tamir’s family said it was “saddened and disappointed by this outcome — but not surprised.” It accused McGinty of “abusing and manipulating the grand jury process to orchestrate a vote against indictment.” The family renewed its request for the U.S. Justice Department to step in and conduct “a real investigation.”

Amazon holiday shipping, Christmas Eve deliveries set record

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — Online retailer Amazon has been a prime beneficiary of more consumers doing their holiday shopping online and procrastinating.

Amazon Prime gained 3 million new members in the third week of December alone this year. Meanwhile, the number of Prime members shopping via mobile more than doubled this holiday season, Amazon said Monday.

Christmas Eve was the biggest day yet for deliveries by the company’s Prime Now service, which now offers free two-hour delivery to more than 20 metropolitan areas. When Prime Now launched last year, it only delivered within Manhattan.

Seattle-based Amazon also said it shipped a record number of items worldwide for the holidays, with items going to 185 countries.

Snow-starved Northeast will finally see a winter storm

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — After a December that felt more like spring than winter, the first major snowstorm of the season is about to hit the Northeast.

That’s good news for New England ski resorts, many of which have struggled to make snow amid temperatures that could push several cities to record warmth for the month. Through Sunday, for example, the average temperature in Concord was 39.4 degrees, or 12.1 degrees warmer than normal. The warmest December in Concord came in 1891, an average of 35.4 degrees.

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“It’s made it really hard for ski areas to even make snow, which has meant limited trails, trail counts, limited terrain for skiers,” said Jessyca Keeler, executive director of Ski New Hampshire, which represents a number of resorts. “I think there has also been a lack of interest on the part of a lot people who would normally be out skiing.”

Snow was to start falling Monday night with northern New York and much of Vermont expected to get 3 to 7 inches by midmorning today. Up to 12 inches was expected in parts of New Hampshire and Maine, with lesser amounts in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The snow was expected to turn into sleet and then freezing rain.