Wednesday, November 25
UPDATE: Americans take to the roads, air
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Many Americans have gotten the jump on Thanksgiving, already taking to the roads and by air to reach their holiday destinations.
Triple-A says some 46.9 million people are traveling more than 50 miles from home to celebrate Thanksgiving.
That's an increase of more than 300,000 people over last year, and the most travelers since 2007.
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Thousands of households in Spokane, Washington are still without electricity following a wind storm that brought down trees and power lines.
More than 180,000 customers lost power at the peak of the Nov. 17 storm, and about 20,000 are still in the dark, and they face a freezing forecast as Thanksgiving approaches.
Then on Tuesday, a new round of strong winds knocked out power to more than 30,000 customers west of Seattle, mostly in the Kitsap Peninsula.
KILLING BY POLICE-CHICAGO
UPDATE: Protesters gather at Chicago police building
CHICAGO (AP) — Hurt and anger. That's what protesters in Chicago say they're feeling after viewing a police dash-cam video that shows a black teen being shot and killed by a white police officer.
The city released the video hours after Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, who was shot 16 times.
On Tuesday night, protesters gathered near a South Side police station and briefly blocked a thoroughfare.
KILLING BY POLICE-MINNEAPOLIS
UPDATE: 3 men accused of shooting protesters
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Three men are being held by authorities in Minneapolis after protesters demanding justice for a black man fatally shot by police were fired upon Monday night.
Five people were shot and wounded. The crowd was protesting the Nov. 15 shooting of Jamar Clark, and they've been camping out since the shooting.
At least one of Clark's relatives is calling for the protests to end.
Minneapolis NAACP President Nekima Levy-Pounds says, "We can't back down."
NEW: Russia says 1 downed pilot held by Syrian army
PARIS (AP) — Russia's ambassador to France says a Russian military pilot shot down over Turkey is in the hands of the Syrian army.
Ambassador Alexander Orlov tells Europe-1 radio that one of the pilots was wounded, then killed on the ground by "jihadists."
He says the other "managed to escape and be rescued by the Syrian army."
Turkey says it shot down the Russian warplane because it was warned repeatedly about entering Turkish airspace.
UPDATE: Brussels tries to function despite terror threat
BRUSSELS (AP) — Students in Brussels have begun returning to class after a two-day shutdown over fears that terror attacks could be launched around the Belgian capital.
But special measures are being taken at primary and secondary schools and universities.
Student movements are limited around or outside school buildings during the day.
Underground transportation in Brussels is also slowly starting up after a four-day closure.
UNITED NATIONS-FOREIGN FIGHTERS
Expert: 20 percent of Islamic State converts were Christian
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A terrorism expert says about 20 percent of the recruits to the Islamic State extremist group are from Christian families and three-quarters of those who become foreign fighters for militant groups do it through their friends.
Scott Atran, co-founder of the Center for the Resolution of Intractable Conflict at Oxford University, says research has found that only one in five young people are recruited by a family member and that "radicalization rarely occurs in mosques" and very, very rarely through anonymous recruiters and strangers.
He told a meeting on "Foreign Terrorist Fighters" Tuesday organized by the U.N. Security Council's counter-terrorism committee that "it is the call to glory and adventure that moves these young people to join the Islamic State" and that "jihad offers them a way to become heroes."
Francis begins peace pilgrimage to 3 African countries
ROME (AP) — Pope Francis has begun a pilgrimage to three African nations.
The plane carrying the pontiff and his entourage left Rome's Leonardo da Vinci airport Wednesday, bound for the first stop in Kenya.
Francis is also scheduled to visit Uganda and Central African Republic before he is due back in Rome on Nov. 30.
SKOREA-US NUCLEAR DEAL
Revised nuclear deal between S. Korea, US to enter effect
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korea says a new nuclear treaty with the United States that will govern its commercial nuclear activities for the next 20 years is set to take effect.
Seoul's Foreign Ministry said that the treaty, which replaces a previous accord reached in 1972, will be enforced Wednesday.
The countries agreed to the revised treaty in April after spending several years arguing whether South Korea should have the right to enrich and reprocess U.S.-origin nuclear fuel for commercial purposes. The revised deal continues to deny South Korea that right, but opens the possibility of the country gaining the ability to enrich uranium to produce non-weapons grade nuclear fuel depending on future negotiations with the United States.
Foreigner among the dead in Taliban ambush on helicopter
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Afghan defense ministry says a foreign national was among three people killed when Taliban insurgents ambushed a helicopter that made an emergency landing in northwestern Afghanistan.
The ministry said the privately contracted Mi-17, which was carrying military personnel, was forced to land in Faryab province on Tuesday after suffering a technical problem. Wednesday's statement also said that two foreigners were among 18 people captured in the raid.
The statement said all of the foreigners were civilian crew members, but did not give their nationalities.
Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi says a total of five people were killed and 15 others, mostly military, were arrested.
Defense Ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri says a rescue operation is underway.
Third search ship joins hunt for missing Malaysian airliner
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — A third ship will join the hunt for a missing Malaysian airliner as the 13-month-old search of a huge expanse of the Indian Ocean ramps up during the southern hemisphere summer.
The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 was scaled back to two ships towing sonar equipment during the winter when the remote target area southwest of Australia was buffeted by gale-force winds and mountainous waves.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau says a third ship Havila Harmony is expected to leave the Australian port of Fremantle on Saturday and reach the remote search area five days later. The ship is equipped with a video camera inside an underwater drone.
The bureau says the Havila Harmony will investigate the most rugged seabed terrain.
JAPAN-AIR BAG RECALL
Toyota recalls vehicles in Japan, Europe for air bag defect
TOKYO (AP) — Toyota Motor Corp. is recalling 1.6 million vehicles for defective air bags supplied by embattled Japanese manufacturer Takata Corp.
The Japanese automaker said Wednesday the recall includes 22 models sold in Japan, including the Corolla and Vitz.
It also affects vehicles in Italy, Britain and Spain.
Takata inflators can explode with too much force, spurting shrapnel. At least eight people have been killed worldwide and hundreds injured.
The problem has led to the recall of 19.2 million vehicles in the U.S., and government regulators are investigating.
No injuries were reported in Toyota vehicles related to the latest defect, but a person in a Nissan car was injured recently in Japan.
BABY LEFT IN CHURCH
Police: Newborn left in Christmas nativity manger at church
NEW YORK (AP) — Authorities are searching for whoever left a newborn baby with the umbilical cord still attached in the Christmas nativity manger at a New York City church.
Police say a custodian at a Queens church found the child after returning from lunch Monday afternoon.
Investigators say the baby was wrapped in towels and laying in the manger at the Holy Child of Jesus Church in Richmond Hill.
Police say the baby is in good health at a local hospital. Police have not released the gender.
State law says a newborn can be dropped off at a church, hospital, police or fire station. But it requires the child to be left with someone or for authorities to be called immediately.
A call to the church went unanswered Tuesday afternoon.