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15 arrested as demonstration return to Ferguson
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Disrupting commerce, transit and traffic became focal points for demonstrators across the country days after the announcement that a grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri declined to indict the police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown. As Small Business Saturday approached, numerous storefronts in the Ferguson area had their windows covered with plywood with messages painted across many of them letting neighbors know that the shops are still open. Demonstrators temporarily shut down three large malls in suburban St. Louis on Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping days of the year, and then marched in front of the Ferguson police department to protest the grand jury's decision.


A glance at national protests, cleanup in Ferguson
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Protesters turned out in several U.S. cities on one of the busiest shopping days of the year Friday in response to a grand jury's decision not to indict the police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. Here's a look at the protests, which are turning their attention to disrupting commerce, and the latest in the case:


Pope visits iconic religious sites in Istanbul
ISTANBUL (AP) - Pope Francis visits two of Turkey's most iconic sites and shifts gears toward more religious affairs as he arrives in Istanbul for the second leg of his three-day visit to the Muslim nation. The Vatican says Francis will tour Istanbul's Sultan Ahmet mosque on Saturday and pause for a moment of "reflection." When Pope Benedict XVI visited Turkey in 2006 amid heightened Christian-Muslim tensions, the Vatican added a stop at the mosque at the last minute in a bid to show his respect for Islam.


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Michael Brown's legacy continues to evolve
NEW YORK (AP) - For some Americans on opposite sides of a national debate, Michael Brown has become a symbol, epitomizing their polarized views on who bears the blame for the toll of young black men killed by police officers. Brown was a gentle giant, in one version. A defiant troublemaker, in another. Yet as more details of the 18-year-old's life and death emerge, his legacy in the eyes of many is more nuanced, reflecting the ups and downs and challenges faced by many young Americans.


Taiwan local elections test pro-China ruling party
TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) - Taiwan's relations with historic foe China are playing a key role in local elections on the self-ruled island Saturday as the ruling Nationalist Party meets increased resistance to forging stronger ties with Beijing. Voters on the island with a population of about 23 million will elect representatives to 11,130 local seats, including mayoral posts in major cities such as the capital, Taipei.


Rare optimism ahead of climate talks in Lima
LIMA, Peru (AP) - Energized by new targets set by China and the United States, the world's top climate polluters, U.N. global warming talks resume Monday with unusual optimism despite evidence that human-generated climate change is already happening and bound to get worse. Negotiators from more than 190 countries will meet in the Peruvian capital for two weeks to work on drafts for a global climate deal that is supposed to be adopted next year in Paris. Getting all countries aboard will be a crucial test for the U.N. talks, which over two decades have failed to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.


INSIDE KOBANI: Devastation mixed with optimism
KOBANI, Syria (AP) - Blocks of low-rise buildings with hollow facades, shattered concrete, streets strewn with rubble and overturned, crumpled remains of cars and trucks. Such is the landscape in Kobani, where the sounds of rifle and mortar fire resonate all day long in fighting between Islamic State extremists and the Syrian town's Kurdish defenders. Kurdish fighters peek through sand-bagged positions, firing at suspected militant positions. Female fighters in trenches move quickly behind sheets strung up to block the view of snipers. Foreign jets circle overhead.


Killing of Guatemalan hunter likely to go unsolved
ZACAPA, Guatemala (AP) - Jose Miguel Ramirez went hunting for iguanas on a melon farm, and paid for it with his life. The 19-year-old's body was dumped by a stream near the property line, a bullet hole above his left eye. What happened to Ramirez remains in dispute, though no one is pushing for answers any longer. The private security guards alleged to have killed him were never prosecuted. A witness who said he saw the shooting recanted. In a country that averages some 100 homicides a week, the killing barely drew headlines and public attention moved on.


Venezuela gets ballet commemorating Chavez's life
CARACS, Venezuela (AP) - In life, Venezuela's exuberant leader Hugo Chavez often captivated supporters by bursting into song, even the occasional dance. Now that he's gone, supporters are turning to the musical arts to help immortalize him. A state-sponsored biographical ballet premieres on Saturday, with dozens of performers recounting Chavez's life, from humble roots, to failed coup, to international fame as leader of Venezuela's socialist revolution.


Ray Rice wins appeal; NFL suspension vacated
NEW YORK (AP) - An arbitrator Friday threw out Ray Rice's indefinite suspension by the NFL for hitting his then-fiancee and now wife in a hotel elevator, freeing him to play again. The NFL said Rice, a free agent, is "eligible to play upon signing a new contract." Whether any team will consider signing him is another matter.

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