AP Top News at 11:15 a.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.


Black Friday gun buys test background check system
BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. (AP) - Black Friday isn't just when shoppers rush to stores for holiday sales. It's also one of the busiest days of the year for gun purchases. In the U.S., there are nine guns for every 10 people. Someone is killed with a firearm every 16 minutes. And every minute, gun shops make about 40 new requests for criminal background checks on people wanting weapons.


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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.


Inclement weather affecting Thanksgiving travelers
MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) - One of the busiest, most stressful travel days of the year posed special challenges in the crowded Washington-to-Boston corridor as travelers on their way to Thanksgiving celebrations contended with a nor'easter packing rain and snow. Hours before snow was forecast to begin Wednesday, more than 200 flights were canceled at airports in the northeast. Thousands of flight delays also were expected as snow moved into the area in the afternoon, according to tracking service FlightAware.com.


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.


Hong Kong police arrest key protesters, clear site
HONG KONG (AP) - Police arrested key student leaders of Hong Kong's pro-democracy protests on Wednesday as they cleared barricades in one volatile district, throwing into doubt the future of a 2-month-old movement seeking free elections in the former British colony. On the second day of the operation to clear one of three protest zones, police in helmets swiftly removed metal barricades, tents, canopies and other obstructions in Mong Kok, a crowded, blue-collar neighborhood that has been the flash point of earlier clashes.