Under Iraqi town, IS militants built network of tunnels IRBIL, Iraq (AP) - Under the Iraqi town of Sinjar, Islamic State group militants built a network of tunnels, complete with sleeping quarters, wired with electricity and fortified with sandbags. There, they had boxes of U.S.-made ammunition, medicines and copies of the Quran stashed on shelves. The Associated Press obtained extensive video footage of the tunnels, which were uncovered by Kurdish forces that took the city in northwestern Iraq earlier this month after more than a year of IS rule. "We found between 30 and 40 tunnels inside Sinjar," said Shamo Eado, a commander from Sinjar from the Iraqi Kurdish fighters known as peshmerga.
Turkey shoots down Russian jet it says violated its airspace MOSCOW (AP) - Turkey shot down a Russian warplane on Tuesday that it said ignored repeated warnings and crossed into its airspace from Syria, killing at least one of the two pilots in a long-feared escalation in tensions between Russia and NATO. Russian President Vladimir Putin denounced what he called a "stab in the back" and warned of "significant consequences." The shoot down - the first time in half a century that a NATO member has downed a Russian plane - prompted an emergency meeting of the alliance. The incident highlighted the chaotic complexity of Syria's civil war, where multiple groups with clashing alliances are fighting on the ground and the sky is crowded with aircraft bombing various targets.
Officer charged with murder in teen's death; video released CHICAGO (AP) - A white Chicago police officer who shot a black teenager 16 times last year was charged with first-degree murder Tuesday, hours before the city released a video of the killing that many people fear could spark unrest. City officials and community leaders have been bracing for the release of the dash-cam video, fearing the kind of turmoil that occurred in cities such as Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, after young black men were slain by police or died in police custody. A judge ordered that the recording be made public by Wednesday. Moments before it was released, the mayor and the police chief appealed for calm.
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The Latest: Crowd briefly blocks road in Chicago CHICAGO (AP) - The latest on the shooting of a black teenager by a white Chicago police officer (all times local): 11:45 p.m. A few dozen protesters in Chicago are gathered near a South Side police station, while others briefly blocked a thoroughfare that leads to and from a main freeway heading west from downtown. At least 50 protesters blocked Congress Parkway in the south part of the Loop business district. About two dozen police cars surrounded them. The demonstrators then began walking east along the parkway. At the police station, the lingering crowd stood on a median divider island, with some trickling onto a sidewalk outside the station.
Militant attacks abroad a diplomatic quandary for China's Xi BEIJING (AP) - The killings of Chinese citizens by Islamic militants in Syria and Mali place President Xi Jinping in a quandary: How can Beijing respond effectively without betraying its strict stance against intervention? The dilemma underscores the tension between China's desire to be seen as a leading global power and its desire to maintain its own independent foreign policy while shunning the U.S.-led Western liberal democratic political agenda. How Xi will square that ideological circle and what concrete actions he'll take in response could mark an inflection point in Chinese diplomacy. More likely, analysts say, he'll stick to China's long-established neutrality while possibly taking limited behind-the-scenes measures to help in the global campaign against Islamic extremists.
Trump's family joins him on South Carolina campaign MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) - Donald Trump's wife campaigned with him for the first time in South Carolina on Tuesday, telling voters she loved them and saying her husband would be "the best president, ever." "Isn't he the best?" Melania Trump asked the crowd of thousands in Myrtle Beach, flanked by her parents and three of the businessman's children. "We love you." Unlike come of his rivals' spouses, Trump's wife has until this point chosen to stay largely behind-the-scenes, though Trump mentions her often at events. Trump's family left the stage before the Republican presidential hopeful launched into more than an hour of criticism of both his GOP rivals and the Obama administration.
Group raised suspicions before 5 were shot at police protest MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Protesters demanding justice for a black man fatally shot by Minneapolis police were settling in for their ninth night of demonstrations when something just didn't seem right. Lingering in the crowd were four people who seemed out of place. They were asked to leave. Moments later, shots rang out about a block away. "I really did think it was like firecrackers or something initially because it was so loud and there was like this acrid smell," protester Jie Wronski-Riley said. "I thought, 'Surely, they are not shooting at us.'" Then Wronski-Riley heard the cries of wounded people on the ground.
Tunisia declares state of emergency after bus blast kills 12 TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) - Tunisia's president declared a 30-day state of emergency across the country and imposed an overnight curfew for the capital Tuesday after an explosion struck a bus carrying members of the presidential guard, killing at least 12 people and wounding 20 others. The government described it as a terrorist attack. The blast on a tree-lined avenue in the heart of Tunis is a new blow to a country that is seen as a model for the region but has struggled against Islamic extremist violence. Radical gunmen staged two attacks earlier this year that killed 60 people, devastated the tourism industry and rattled this young democracy.
Obama honoring Streisand, Spielberg, Yogi Berra and more WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama recognized 17 Americans with the nation's highest civilian award on Tuesday, including the first African-American woman elected to Congress, one of the greatest catchers in baseball history and a "Funny Girl." "Today we celebrate some extraordinary people: innovators, artists and leaders who contribute to America's strength as a nation," Obama said. Obama presented the Presidential Medal of Freedom to filmmaker Steven Spielberg, musicians Gloria and Emilio Estefan, singer James Taylor, composer Stephen Sondheim, violinist Itzhak Perlman and actress Barbra Streisand, who won an Academy award for her performance in the classic film, "Funny Girl." The sports honorees were Baseball Hall of Famers Willie Mays and Yogi Berra.
Police: Newborn left in Christmas nativity manger at church NEW YORK (AP) - For a short time Monday afternoon, the Christmas manger at a New York City church might've been able to pass for the real thing: A newborn baby, with the umbilical cord still attached, was abandoned there. Now, New York City police are searching for whoever left the child. It was around 11:30 a.m. Monday when a custodian at the Holy Child of Jesus Church in the Richmond Hill section of Queens left the empty chapel to get lunch. When he returned shortly after 1 p.m., he heard a baby crying, but saw no one else around.