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Black Friday gets a little less frenzied
NEW YORK (AP) - Black Friday seemed a little less crazy this year. There were squabbles here and there, and elbows got thrown, but the Friday morning crowds appeared smaller than usual and less frenzied, in part because many Americans took advantage of stores' earlier opening hours to do their shopping on Thanksgiving Day.


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.


BLACK FRIDAY LIVE: Thinner crowds, protests, beer
NEW YORK (AP) - Black Friday shoppers are starting to look like procrastinators. The traditional kickoff to the holiday shopping season didn't seem as frenzied as in past years after many die-hard shoppers swarmed stores the night before on Thanksgiving.


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Protests temporarily close malls, shut down trains
FERGUSON, Mo. (AP) - Demonstrators temporarily shut down two large malls in suburban St. Louis on one of the busiest shopping days of the year Friday, as rallies were held nationwide to protest a grand jury's recent decision not to indict the police officer who fatally shot 18-year-old Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson. Several stores lowered their security doors or locked entrances as at least 200 protesters sprawled onto the floor while chanting, "Stop shopping and join the movement" at the Galleria mall in Richmond Heights a few miles south of Ferguson, where officer Darren Wilson fatally shot Brown, who was unarmed, in August.


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:


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.


Police: Blasts at mosque in Nigeria kill 35 people
KANO, Nigeria (AP) - Multiple explosions tore through the central mosque in Nigeria's second-largest city on Friday, killing 35 people, police said. One hundred and fifty others sustained various degrees of injury in the blasts in the city of Kano, State Deputy Police Commissioner Sanusi Lemu said.


Austin police: Man fired 100-plus rounds downtown
AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - A gunman fired more than 100 rounds at downtown buildings in Austin and tried to set the Mexican Consulate ablaze early Friday before he died during a confrontation with police, authorities said. Some of the targeted buildings are near the popular Sixth Street entertainment district, where bars close at 2 a.m., about the same time the shootings began. Thousands of people are typically on the street at that time, Austin Police Chief Art Acevedo said.


French president cheered in Ebola-stricken Guinea
CONAKRY, Guinea (AP) - French President Francois Hollande brought a message of hope to Guinea on Friday, where thousands of residents lined the roads while clapping, drumming and dancing to catch a glimpse of the first Western leader to visit a country hard hit by Ebola. Guinean President Alpha Conde greeted his French counterpart at the airport and said that if Hollande could visit the country, then anybody could.


Pope urges more Muslim opposition to IS in Turkey
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Pope Francis urged Muslim leaders to condemn the "barbaric violence" being committed in Islam's name against religious minorities in Iraq and Syria as he arrived in neighboring Turkey Friday for a delicate visit aimed at improving interfaith ties. Francis sought to offer a balanced message as he met with Turkish political and religious officials at the start of his second trip to the Middle East this year. He reaffirmed that military force was justified to halt the Islamic State group's advance, and called for greater dialogue between Christians, Muslims and people of all faiths to end fundamentalism.

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