Nation/World | page 42

THURSDAY, DEC. 24, 2015

Authorities respond to the scene of a shooting Thursday at the Northlake Mall in Charlotte, N.C.

Police: Fight sparks North Carolina mall shooting; 1 killed

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A long-standing dispute sparked a shooting at a crowded North Carolina shopping mall on Christmas Eve, police said, and an off-duty officer fatally shot a man who pointed a gun in his direction. Police said no one else was shot and there were no other reports of injuries. The shooting was not a random act but rather the result of a feud among people who knew each other – though there was no indication it was gang-related, Chief Kerr Putney of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said.

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Police say remains found of suspect in 2010 ranger shooting

SALT LAKE CITY – Remains of a man police believe shot and wounded a state park ranger in 2010 and eluded more than 100 officers in a desert manhunt were found Thursday, authorities said. Skeletal remains believed to be those of Lance Leeroy Arellano were discovered in a narrow cave near Moab, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office said in a press release.

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Christmastime tornadoes ravage South; at least 11 killed

ASHLAND, Miss. – Instead of doing some last-minute shopping or wrapping gifts, families across the South spent Christmas Eve taking stock of their losses after an unusual outbreak of December tornadoes and other violent weather killed at least 14 people and damaged or destroyed dozens of homes. “Santa brought us a good one, didn’t he?” Bobby Watkins said as he and his wife took a walk amid the destruction in rural Benton County, Mississippi, where four people were confirmed dead. “I may have lost some stuff, but I got my life.”

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Ninth suspect arrested in Belgium in connection with Paris attacks

BRUSSELS – A ninth person has been arrested in Belgium on terrorism charges in connection with the deadly attacks in Paris last month, prosecutors announced Thursday. The suspect had several contacts with Hasna Aitboulahcen, who is said to have been the cousin of the suspected mastermind of the Paris attacks, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, Belgian prosecutors said in a statement.

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A Christian pilgrim prays inside the Grotto of the Church of Nativity,  believed by Christians to sit atop  the birthplace of Jesus Christ, in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on Christmas Eve.

Israeli-Palestinian violence clouds Christmas in Bethlehem

BETHLEHEM, West Bank – Christian faithful from around the world descended on the biblical city of Bethlehem on Thursday for Christmas Eve celebrations at the traditional birthplace of Jesus, trying to lift spirits on a holiday dampened by months of Israeli-Palestinian violence. The fighting cast a pall over the celebrations. Crowds were thin and hotel rooms were empty. While the annual festivities in Bethlehem’s Manger Square went on, other celebrations in the city were canceled or toned down.

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Dog domestication saddled man’s best friend with defective genes, study says

Dogs may be man’s best friend, but the humans who created them through generations of breeding have saddled them with an excess of detrimental DNA, according to a new study. For instance, the people who bred poodles to have black coats left many of these dogs with extra copies of a gene called KITLG, which helps determine the pigmentation of skin and hair. Those extra copies of KITLG have also made these dogs more likely to develop squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer, in their nail beds.

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Paris climate goals mean emissions need to drop below zero

STOCKHOLM – If governments are serious about the global warming targets they adopted in Paris, scientists say they have two options: eliminate fossil fuels immediately or find ways to undo their damage to the climate system in the future. The first is politically impossible, which leaves the option of a major cleanup of the atmosphere later this century.

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Mamadou Aliou Ba, , who dresses as Santa Claus, poses Dec. 17 for a photograph in front of a supermarket in Dakar, Senegal.

In Senegal, Christmas is celebrated by Muslims

DAKAR, Senegal – After his morning prayers at the mosque, 25-year-old Mamadou Aliou Ba puts on his Santa suit, the padded belly protruding from his thin, tall frame, and goes to work. He stands proudly, smiling from behind a snowy white mustache and beard that take over his face, waving to families walking by the supermarket in one of Dakar’s wealthier neighborhoods. Ba is one of many Pere Noels, or Father Christmases, seen in Senegal’s capital this festive season. He, like the majority of Senegalese, is Muslim and yet celebrates Christmas.

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Some military discharges mean no benefits after service ends

ST. LOUIS – No medical or mental health care. No college or work training. For many who leave the U.S. military with less-than-honorable discharges, including thousands who suffered injuries and anguish, standard veterans benefits are off limits. The discharge serves as a scarlet letter of dishonor, and the effects can be severe: Ex-military members with mental health problems or post-traumatic stress disorder can’t turn to Veterans Affairs; those who want to go to college aren’t eligible for the GI Bill; the jobless get no assistance for career training; the homeless are excluded from vouchers.

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In this Monday, Dec. 8, 1997, file photo, actor Robert Downey Jr. listens to Municipal Judge Lawrence Mira in a Malibu, Calif., courtroom before being sentenced to six months in jail for violating parole on a prior drug conviction. California Gov. Jerry Brown on Thursday pardoned Downey Jr. for a nearly 20-year-old felony drug conviction that sent the Oscar-nominated actor to jail for nearly a year.

People: California governor pardons Robert Downey Jr. in drug case

The governor of California pardoned Robert Downey Jr. on Thursday for a nearly 20-year-old felony drug conviction that led to the Oscar-nominated actor’s imprisonment for roughly a year. Downey was among 91 people granted pardons for criminal convictions after demonstrating they had rehabilitated themselves and been out of custody for at least 10 years, Gov. Jerry Brown’s office announced.

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 23, 2015

New Jersey girl calls 911 after touching Elf on the Shelf

OLD BRIDGE, N.J. – A New Jersey girl called 911 after she touched her Elf on the Shelf. Police say 7-year-old Isabelle LaPeruta of Old Bridge was worried because, according to the popular children’s book, the magic of Christmas goes away if the elf is touched.

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Grand jury indicts truck driver in Tracy Morgan crash

A New Jersey grand jury on Wednesday indicted the truck driver who crashed into a limo van carrying Tracy Morgan, killing one man and severely injuring the comedian. The grand jury charged Kevin Roper with first-degree aggravated manslaughter, second-degree vehicular homicide and third-degree aggravated assault charges in the 2014 crash.

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US blocks UK Muslim family from boarding plane to Disneyland

LONDON – British Prime Minister David Cameron will look into claims that U.S. officials prevented a British Muslim family of 11 from flying to Disneyland for a planned holiday. The issue is sensitive because U.S. Republican presidential contender Donald Trump has called for a temporary ban on Muslims visiting the U.S. due to concerns about extremist attacks.

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A U.S. service member salutes her fallen comrades during a Wednesday memorial ceremony at Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan, for six airmen who were killed Monday in a suicide attack.

What’s behind the Taliban onslaught in Afghanistan?

KABUL, Afghanistan – It’s starting to look like the bad old days in Afghanistan. After six Americans were killed in a suicide bombing this week, and with the U.S. and Britain deploying troops to help battle a Taliban onslaught in strategic Helmand province, Afghanistan looks as shaky as at any point since U.S.-led international forces withdrew into a smaller, supporting role 12 months ago.

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Rusche: GOP vote will hit homeowners

This will result in a gradual shift in financial burden for local govt and schools to homesteads from other categories of property. That is exactly what happened between 1983 and ...

The heaviest thoughts…

The media is filled with it. A legion of younger hungry single men all foam at the mouth upon command at the thought of it. Even that wonderfully-obscure male bastion ...



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