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AP Top News at 1:37 p.m. EST

Guard reinforcements contain damage in Ferguson
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - National Guard reinforcements helped contain the latest protests in Ferguson, preventing a second night of the chaos that led to arson and looting after a grand jury decided not to indict the white police officer who killed Michael Brown. Demonstrators returned Tuesday to the riot-scarred streets. But with hundreds of additional troops standing watch over neighborhoods and businesses, the protests had far less destructive power than the previous night. However, officers still used some tear gas and pepper spray, and demonstrators set a squad car on fire and broke windows at City Hall.


Prosecutor faces new criticism over Ferguson case
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - He criticized the media. He talked about witness testimony that didn't match physical evidence. And he did it at night, as a city already on edge waited to learn if a grand jury would indict a white Ferguson police officer in the shooting death of an unarmed black 18-year-old. St. Louis County Prosecutor Bob McCulloch - whose impartiality has been questioned since soon after Michael Brown was killed by Officer Darren Wilson on Aug. 9 - has come under renewed scrutiny since he appeared before television cameras to announce that the grand jury would not indict Wilson. A defensive McCulloch repeatedly cited what he said were inconsistencies and erroneous witness accounts. He never mentioned that Brown was unarmed.


FBI data show thousands of gun sales beat checks
BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (AP) - More gun sales than ever are slipping through the federal background check system - 186,000 last year, a rate of 512 gun sales a day, as states fail to consistently provide thorough, real-time updates on criminal and mental histories to the FBI. At no time of year is this problem more urgent. This Friday opens the busiest season for gun purchases, when requests for background checks speed up to nearly two a second, testing the limits of the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.


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US cities urged to keep price tags down for 2024
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - The magic number for the U.S. cities hoping to host the 2024 Olympics is $5 billion. Boston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington have all submitted spending plans under that mark for their bids to host the Olympics. Keeping the price tag down is a key goal of any future Olympic bid.


Sloppy weather slows Thanksgiving travelers
MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) - Rain and snow rolled into the Northeast on Wednesday as millions of Americans made the big Thanksgiving getaway, grounding hundreds of flights and turning highways sloppy along the congested Washington-to-Boston corridor. By early afternoon, more than 550 flights had been canceled, the bulk of them in the Northeast. Thousands of flight delays on what is easily one of the busiest travel days of the year were also expected as the snow spread.


Obama gets the bill for White House Thanksgiving
WASHINGTON (AP) - There's no free lunch - or breakfast or dinner - for President Barack Obama on Thanksgiving day. Or any other day for that matter. He has to dig into his pocket to pay for his holiday feast of turkey, ham, two kinds of stuffing, sweet and regular potatoes, and six different kinds of pie. It's a longstanding practice that presidents pay for meals for themselves, their families and personal guests.


Ferguson protesters across US peaceful, disruptive
People protesting the Ferguson, Missouri, grand jury decision took to the streets in cities across the U.S. for a second day Tuesday, showing that the racially charged case has inflamed tensions thousands of miles from the predominantly black St. Louis suburb. For many, the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson recalled other troubling encounters with law enforcement. The refrain "hands up, don't shoot" became a rallying cry over police killings nationwide.


Impoverished Lebanese city is target for IS group
TRIPOLI, Lebanon (AP) - Jamal Hayak is finally fixing up his restaurant, damaged a month ago in clashes between the army and militants in this northern Lebanese city. But he has little doubt violence will erupt again, and he says he fears next time it will be Islamic State group fighters battling in Tripoli's streets. "In the beginning we used to say. `This is the last time.' Now we've had Round 21 and 22 (of fighting), so we say God knows," said Hayak, 56, grimy with dust as he fixed his shop, shelled during the four days of fighting in late October that killed over 20 people.


Freighter with 700 migrants being towed to Crete
IERAPETRA, Greece (AP) - Local authorities and Red Cross volunteers on Crete were racing Wednesday to prepare shelter and food for hundreds of immigrants on a crippled freighter being slowly towed to safety by a Greek navy frigate, a rescue effort hampered by gale-force winds and high waves. A day after it suffered engine failure in international waters, the 77-meter (250-foot) Baris cargo ship carrying some 700 men, women and children trying to enter Europe clandestinely - one of the largest boatloads of the kind in recent years - was being towed at a speed of about three knots (3.4 miles per hour).


Hiker photographed bear before it killed him
WEST MILFORD, N.J. (AP) - A New Jersey hiker killed by a bear in September took a series of photos of the animal with his cellphone before it mauled him to death. Police in West Milford have released five photos taken by 22-year-old Darsh Patel before he was killed by the 300-pound black bear while hiking with four friends in the Apshawa Preserve, 45 miles northwest of New York.

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