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Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Update November 2016


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6 more detained over China platform collapse that killed 74

A man holding an umbrella looks at the collapsed construction site of the cooling tower. (Chinatopix via AP)

BEIJING (AP) — Six more people were detained by Chinese authorities over the deaths of 74 workers in the collapse of a platform in a cooling tower at a power plant, one of the worst work safety disasters in China in recent years.

A total of 15 people have been reported by state media to be under detention after the collapse last week in eastern China's Jiangxi province. The official Xinhua News Agency said the latest detentions Tuesday included two people accused of "selling shoddy products," but did not detail what those products were.

The board chairman of the engineering firm building the plant was already detained, as well as top engineers on the project.

Laborers were building a circular cooling tower when the interior scaffolding collapsed, causing a large amount of steel, concrete and wooden planks to cave in.

The incident prompted calls from government officials for stepped-up inspections and a renewed emphasis on worker safety. Chinese President Xi Jinping said local governments should learn from the accident and hold accountable anyone responsible.

No formal charges have been announced against the 15 people detained. But in other industrial accidents with mass casualties, China has arrested and prosecuted company executives and local officials, with their confessions often broadcast on state television, as part of a longstanding effort to fight deep public skepticism about widespread corruption and poor enforcement of safety standards.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Electric car factory planned in Arizona to have 2000 workers

PHOENIX (AP) — Electric car maker Lucid Motors said Tuesday it will build a manufacturing plant in Arizona that will begin production in 2018 as it looks to compete in the fast-growing market for luxury electric vehicles.

The company said it chose the Casa Grande location from dozens of other spots around the country.

Construction of the factory will begin next year in a move expected to bring an initial 400 jobs. The company projects the plant will have 2,000 workers by 2022.

Lucid, which recently changed its name from Atieva, has been around for a decade, focusing its early years on making batteries. Its staff includes former Tesla employees, including its chief technology officer.

The decision came amid rising demand for electric cars from traditional automakers and Silicon Valley startups such as Lucid.

Tesla Motors is building a sprawling battery factory near Reno, Nevada, after receiving a generous $1.3 billion incentive package from the Nevada Legislature.

Faraday Future, another electric car maker, is building a factory near Las Vegas after getting $335 million from the state, although the project has been stalled amid questions about its funding source.

Automotive jobs took on a prominent role in the recent presidential race as Donald Trump repeatedly blasted trade agreements that shifted manufacturing from the Rust Belt to other countries

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has made job creation and a business-friendly climate top priorities of his administration. He previously made a trip to California to lure the Lucid factory.

"It's a real sign that the state is attractive, that California companies and companies from around the country see Arizona as a great place to do business," Ducey said.

Lucid is receiving government assistance from the Arizona Commerce Authority that could total in the millions.

The future for startup electric vehicle makers is far from a sure thing, especially for companies that have yet to manufacture a single car, said Sam Abuelsamid, a senior analyst for the market research firm Navigant who has studied Lucid and met with company executives.

He cites a litany of challenges.

Tesla has struggled to turn a profit despite huge demand for its Model X and more affordable Model 3. Vehicle reliability is a major concern for any new car maker, especially in a marketplace where traditional automakers are manufacturing their own electric vehicles. And battery technology is highly expensive.

"We'll see if Lucid can do it any better than Tesla has," Abuelsamid said. "The car's not going to be in production until quite a ways out. I wouldn't call it entirely paperwork at this point because they do have real, developed prototypes but it's certainly not ready for prime time yet."

He also noted how startups are at the mercy of investors who can become skittish about handing over cash. He cited the Faraday plant in Nevada where construction work was suspended recently at the factory site. Abuelsamid said the Chinese entrepreneur backing that company was also an early investor in Lucid.

A news conference announcing the move Tuesday featured business and political leaders along with top company officials. The company showed off two prototypes for its planned car.

"We're very excited to be bringing new jobs and our innovative technology to Casa Grande," said Brian Barron, Lucid's director of global manufacturing.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Pirelli launches covered-up 2017 calendar with top actresses

CEO Pirelli Group Marco Tronchetti Provera, second left, poses with actresses, from left, Nicole Kidman, Uma Thurman and Helen Mirren. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)

Thomas Adamson, Associated Press

PARIS (AP)
— Pirelli on Tuesday unveiled the 2017 edition of its famed calendar, which sees photographer Peter Lindbergh mature beyond snaps of semi-nude models and set his lens on Hollywood.

The calendar, entitled "Emotional" and launched in Paris, stars 14 Oscar-winning actresses featured in black-and-white close up, in clothed poses with invisible make-up.

The photos, while beautiful, show wrinkles, lines and imperfections.

It's a dramatic move away from decades of risque shots that made the calendar, produced by the Italian tire manufacturer, one of the most recognizable in the world.

A roll call of A-listers including Charlotte Rampling, Uma Thurman, Helen Mirren, Nicole Kidman, Lea Seydoux, Alicia Vikander, Kate Winslet, Julianne Moore, Robin Wright, Lupita Nyong'o, Rooney Mara, Zhang Ziyi and Jessica Chastain all agreed to go near-makeup-free for the grown-up shoots.

Speaking about his artistic choices, the German photographer said that he's "not so fond of high heels and bikinis" and wanted to capture the nakedness in the soul of the calendars stars, not their bodies.

"In a time when women are represented in the media (as) perfection and truth, I thought it was important to remind people that there is a different beauty," Lindbergh said.

Mirren, 71, noted that the calendar's move toward less sexualized images of women — begun in last year's edition by Annie Leibovitz — marks "undoubtedly a cultural shift, a real opening up and a big change."

The 49-year-old Kidman added that the choice to forgo makeup and proudly look your age projects a good example of what natural beauty should be.

"(It shows that) the courage to be yourself is the epitome of confidence and power," she said, adding that "my husband (singer Keith Urban) totally prefers me without makeup on."

Thurman, with short swept-back dark hair, said that Lindbergh's vision was "beautiful ... wanting to free women from repressive and false standards."

Kidman, Thurman, Mirren and Rampling joined other celebrities at the gala launch of the Pirelli 2017 calendar Tuesday evening at director Luc Besson's Cite du Cinema in Saint Denis, one of Europe's most important film studios.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Longtime Elvis Presley aide Joe Esposito dies at 78

In this Oct. 1, 1998 file photo, Elvis Presley's former road manager and friend Joe Esposito, left, shakes hands with Bremerhaven mayor Manfred Richter at the point Elvis stepped on German soil. (AP Photo/Joerg Sarbach, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Joe Esposito, a former road manager for Elvis Presley and a longtime member of the Presley inner circle known as "The Memphis Mafia," has died at age 78.

Esposito's daughter Cindy Bahr said Tuesday that he had dementia and died Nov. 23 of natural causes in Calabasas, California.

Esposito met Presley in 1959 while both were serving in the Army in Germany and remained close to him until Presley's death, in 1977. He became Presley's assistant in professional matters, from keeping his calendar to functioning as road manager when the King was on tour. He was also part of a Southern entourage of Presley pals and hangers-on dubbed by the press the "The Memphis Mafia," which included Red West, Marty Lacker and numerous others.

Esposito appeared in some of Presley's movies, including "It Happened at the World's Fair," and was one of two best men at Presley's 1967 wedding to Priscilla Ann Beaulieu. A decade later, he was among the first to find Presley's body after Elvis collapsed and died at his Graceland mansion in Memphis. Esposito broke the news of Presley's death to Priscilla and to Presley's manager, Tom Parker, and was a pallbearer at his funeral.

After Presley's death, Esposito worked as a road manager for the Bee Gees, Michael Jackson and other artists. His books included "Good Rockin' Tonight: Twenty Years on the Road and on the Town with Elvis," and he was a frequent guest at Presley conventions.

Along with Bahr, Esposito is survived by his daughter Cindy, son Anthony, a brother, sister and three grandchildren.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Today in History - Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016

The Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, Nov. 30, the 335th day of 2016. There are 31 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 30, 1782, the United States and Britain signed preliminary peace articles in Paris for ending the Revolutionary War; the Treaty of Paris was signed in Sept. 1783.

On this date:

In 1016, Edmund II, King of the English, died after a reign of seven months.

In 1803, Spain completed the process of ceding Louisiana to France, which had sold it to the United States.

In 1835, Samuel Langhorne Clemens — better known as Mark Twain — was born in Florida, Missouri.

In 1874, British statesman Sir Winston Churchill was born at Blenheim Palace.

In 1900, Irish writer Oscar Wilde died in Paris at age 46.

In 1936, London's famed Crystal Palace, constructed for the Great Exhibition of 1851, was destroyed in a fire.

In 1939, the Winter War began as Soviet troops invaded Finland. (The conflict ended the following March with a Soviet victory.)

In 1940, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were married at the Byram River Beagle Club in Greenwich, Connecticut. (The marriage ended in divorce in 1960.)

In 1954, Ann Elizabeth Hodges of Oak Grove, Alabama, was slightly injured when an 8-1/2-pound chunk of meteor crashed through the roof of her house, hit a radio cabinet, then struck her as she lay napping on a couch.

In 1966, the former British colony of Barbados became independent.

In 1982, the Michael Jackson album "Thriller" was released by Epic Records. The motion picture "Gandhi," starring Ben Kingsley as the Indian nationalist leader, had its world premiere in New Delhi.

In 1996, 1960's novelty singer Tiny Tim, best remembered for his rendition of "Tip-toe Thru' the Tulips with Me," died in Minneapolis.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush met in Jordan with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (NOO'-ree ahl-MAHL'-ih-kee); Bush said the United States would speed a turnover of security responsibility to Iraqi forces but assured al-Maliki that Washington was not looking for "some kind of graceful exit" from Iraq. Pope Benedict XVI visited Istanbul's famous Blue Mosque in a dramatic gesture of outreach to Muslims.

Five years ago: The central banks of the wealthiest countries, trying to prevent a debt crisis in Europe from exploding into a global panic, swept in to shore up the world financial system by making it easier for banks to borrow American dollars. Police in Los Angeles and Philadelphia dismantled Occupy Wall Street encampments in both cities. An Arizona jury sentenced convicted "Baseline Killer" Mark Goudeau (goo-DOH') to death for killing nine people in the Phoenix area.

One year ago: Jury selection began in Baltimore in the trial of Officer William Porter, the first of six policemen to face charges in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old black man who died of a severe spinal injury while in police custody. (All charges against Porter were dropped after a mistrial; three other officers were acquitted; all remaining charges were later dropped.) The newly elected mayor of Juneau, Alaska, Stephen "Greg" Fisk, was found dead in his home, apparently of natural causes.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Robert Guillaume is 89. G. Gordon Liddy is 86. Country singer-recording executive Jimmy Bowen is 79. Movie director Ridley Scott is 79. Movie writer-director Terrence Malick is 73. Rock musician Roger Glover (Deep Purple) is 71. Playwright David Mamet (MA'-meht) is 69. Actress Margaret Whitton is 66. Actor Mandy Patinkin is 64. Musician Shuggie Otis is 63. Country singer Jeannie Kendall is 62. Singer Billy Idol is 61. Historian Michael Beschloss is 61. Rock musician John Ashton (The Psychedelic Furs) is 59. Comedian Colin Mochrie is 59. Former football and baseball player Bo Jackson is 54. Rapper Jalil (Whodini) is 53. Actor-director Ben Stiller is 51. Rock musician Mike Stone is 47. Actress Sandra Oh is 46. Singer Clay Aiken is 38. Actor Billy Lush is 35. Actress Elisha Cuthbert is 34. Actress Kaley Cuoco (KWOH'-koh) is 31. Model Chrissy Teigen is 31. Actress Christel Khalil is 29. Actress Rebecca Rittenhouse is 28. Actress Adelaide Clemens is 27.

Thought for Today: "I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain." — James Baldwin, American author (born 1924, died this date in 1987).

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


North Korea in 3 days of mourning for 'great comrade' Castro

Choe Ryong Hae, right, a vice chairman of North Korea's Workers' Party, is sent off before leaving Pyongyang, North Korea, for Cuba Monday, Nov. 28, 2016. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

TOKYO (AP) — North Korea is observing a three-day period of mourning for Fidel Castro, who was seen by the North as a comrade-in-arms against the common enemy of the United States.

Flags outside official buildings are being flown at half-staff to honor Castro, who died Friday at age 90.

Reports from Pyongyang said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visited the Cuban Embassy to pay his respects. A delegation of senior North Korean officials has left for Havana to attend Castro's memorial services.

"We feel pain of the loss of the great comrade, the great comrade-in-arms," Kim wrote in a condolence book at the Cuban embassy, the North's official Korean Central News Agency reported Tuesday.

According to a Japanese agency that monitors North Korean media, Castro is the first foreign political figure to be honored in such a manner since Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who died in 2004.

The mourning period ends Wednesday.

Shortly after receiving news of Castro's death, Kim Yong Nam, head of the North's parliament, and Premier Pak Pong Ju sent a message of condolence to Castro's brother Raul, who assumed power after Fidel Castro became too weak to continue as leader in 2008.

In it, they said that although Fidel Castro has died, "the feats he performed for the Cuban revolution and the fraternal relations of friendship between the two countries would remain forever."

But Fidel Castro's passing could well be the end of an era for North Korea-Cuba relations.

Because of their common enmity toward the United States and similar authoritarian power structures, Cuba and North Korea had maintained generally close diplomatic ties throughout the years. The two countries established ties in 1960 and Castro visited the North in 1986 to meet with Kim Il Sung, the country's founder and Kim Jong Un's grandfather.

Such fraternal sentiment toward Havana and Raul Castro, however, appears to have dimmed in Pyongyang amid a rapprochement between Cuba and the U.S., who agreed to normalize ties in 2014.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Leaning San Francisco tower seen sinking from space

The image provided by the European Space Agency ESA on Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016, shows the Millennium Tower in San Francisco on the base of modified Copernicus Sentinel satellite data.(ESA SEOM INSARAP study/ESA via AP)

Jocelyn Gecker, Associated Press

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Engineers in San Francisco have tunneled underground to try and understand the sinking of the 58-story Millennium Tower. Now comes an analysis from space.

The European Space Agency has released detailed data from satellite imagery that shows the skyscraper in San Francisco's financial district is continuing to sink at a steady rate — and perhaps faster than previously known.

The luxury high-rise that opened its doors in 2009 has been dubbed the Leaning Tower of San Francisco. It has sunk about 16 inches into landfill and is tilting several inches to the northwest.

A dispute over the building's construction in the seismically active city has spurred numerous lawsuits involving the developer, the city and owners of its multimillion dollar apartments.

Engineers have estimated the building is sinking at a rate of about 1-inch per year. The Sentinel-1 twin satellites show almost double that rate based on data collected from April 2015 to September 2016.

The satellite data shows the Millennium Tower sunk 40 to 45 millimeters — or 1.6 to 1.8 inches — over a recent one-year period and almost double that amount — 70 to 75 mm (2.6 to 2.9 inches) — over its 17-month observation period, said Petar Marinkovic, founder and chief scientist of PPO Labs which analyzed the satellite's radar imagery for the ESA along with Norway-based research institute Norut.

"What can be concluded from our data, is that the Millennium Tower is sinking at a steady rate," Marinkovic said in a telephone interview Monday from The Hague, Netherlands.

The data detected a small slowdown this summer but one that needs further analysis, he said, and does not change the overall data. "There is quite a steady subsidence."

The Sentinel-1 study is not focused on the Millennium Tower but is part of a larger mission by the European Space Agency tracking urban ground movement around the world, and particularly subsidence "hotspots" in Europe, said Pierre Potin, Sentinel-1 mission manager for the ESA.

The ESA decided to conduct regular observations of the San Francisco Bay Area, including the Hayward Fault, since it is prone to tectonic movement and earthquakes, said Potin, who is based in Italy.

Data from the satellite, which is orbiting about 400 miles (700 kilometers) from the earth's surface, was recorded every 24 days.

The building's developer, Millennium Partners, insists the building is safe for occupancy and could withstand an earthquake.

The developer's spokesman PJ Johnston said he had no direct comment on the satellite data but issued a statement saying that the Millennium Tower is a state-of-the-art building that was "designed and constructed to the extraordinarily high standards" mandated by San Francisco.

He reiterated the developers' blame for the tower's problems on the city's construction of an adjacent railway station, which they say removed ground water from beneath the Millennium Tower that caused it to sink and tilt.

The city agency, the Transbay Joint Powers Authority, blames the building's "inadequate foundation" which is not anchored to bedrock. The tower is supported by piles driven 60 to 90 feet into landfill.

Engineers hired by the building and its developers have drilled deep holes around the building to test soil samples to determine if the building has stopped sinking, and if there's a way to fix it.

One of the building's tenants, Jerry Dodson, says that developers have given tenants the impression that the sinking was slowing and stopping.

"To have the space agency looking at it debunks what (developers) have put out there. Now we know it's continuing to sink at an accelerated rate," said Dodson, an attorney who has helped organize homeowners lawsuits. "I can tell you that satellite data is way more accurate that digging in the dirt."

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


DirecTV wants to be the next online substitute for cable

Traders gather at the post that handles AT&T on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

Tali Arbel, AP Technology Writer

NEW YORK (AP)
— There are already a few online services that aim to replace cable, but they haven't attracted many users yet. AT&T's DirecTV hopes to change that with a new service announced Monday.

While just about any person you meet on the street will tell you cable costs too much, the vast majority of Americans don't think it's bad enough to cancel. Cheaper online live-TV services, like Dish Network's Sling TV and Sony's PlayStation Vue, remain relatively unknown compared with Netflix, Hulu and Amazon. And while they're easy to order and cancel online and fairly simple to use, they still have drawbacks.

"No one has really delivered the right combination of content, price and ease that will get people to make that call to their current provider and say sayonara," said Forrester analyst Jim Nail.

It's unclear if AT&T's new service, creatively dubbed DirecTV Now, will break out with consumers, especially with another live-TV operation from Hulu coming early next year. And maybe one from Google. Or, who knows, maybe even Apple, too.

The service, which will be available on Wednesday, will initially offer more than 100 channels for a teaser price of $35 a month. But that's a limited-time offer, and the price for that bundle will nearly double once the deal expires. (Existing customers will be grandfathered in.) AT&T didn't say when that will happen.

WHO WANTS TO WATCH?

If an online cable service could figure out how to get customers to pay up, it could attract millions of people.

Americans are increasingly dissatisfied with how much they pay for what's on TV. The number of customers paying cable and satellite operators for TV has dropped nearly 3 million, to roughly 97 million, in the past two years, according to industry experts MoffettNathanson Research.

And plenty of people never signed up for a $100 TV bundle to begin with. Research firm SNL Kagan estimates that about 14.4 million households pay for internet but not TV. AT&T sees the potential market for DirecTV Now as 20 million homes.

But analysts estimate that Sling has racked up fewer than 1 million subscribers since it launched in February 2015. Vue's numbers are harder to get a handle on, but it's not on the list of top 10 most popular online video services compiled by research firm Parks Associates. Neither service reports subscriber numbers.

Of course, it's hard to attract attention when there are also dozens of other video apps. You can sign up for specific sports, or comedy, or anime, or a single channel, like HBO or CBS. Netflix, the country's most popular paid video service, has 47.5 million customers in the U.S.

THE PROBLEMS WITH INTERNET TV

New services don't have all the channels people want. There's been no perfect solution that lets you pick only your favorite channels for a reasonable price, a vision of TV nirvana known as "a la carte" that has failed to materialize because it undermines the business models of entertainment conglomerates. Only people in some markets can watch broadcast channels like NBC and Fox in real time. That's OK if you can wait to watch the next episode of a TV series, but sports fans typically want to watch games live.

And even though so-called cord-cutters are on a quest for cheaper video, virtual cable may end costing just as much, depending on how many sports channels or other extras you want and how much your internet costs when it's disconnected from its cable-bundle discount. Bundles from Sling and Vue range from $20 to $65 a month. You can pay to add more channels.

These services are easy to sign up for and cancel — but connecting them to a TV often requires an extra step or a new gadget, like an Apple TV. On the plus side, while they've experienced some technical issues during major events, service quality appears to have improved.

And they sometimes lack some of the best features of both traditional TV, like endless channel options and DVR recording (which Vue offers now, while Sling is only launching next month) and subscription TV services like Amazon and Netflix (no blackouts, no restrictions based on location if you're in your home country).

ENTER DIRECTV

DirecTV Now, available Wednesday, will have some of those same problems. It is launching without CBS, which airs hits like "NCIS," ''The Big Bang Theory" and NFL football games. CBS also has its own streaming service it wants you to pay for.

And ABC, NBC and Fox will only be available live in a handful of mostly large cities — those in which the national broadcasters own its local TV affiliate. So lots of sports will be unavailable for many subscribers.

The service won't immediately offer an online DVR that lets you store programs online for later viewing, although AT&T says that will be coming next year. You can only run it on two screens at a time, which may not work for large families. And it won't initially work with Roku, one of the most popular streaming-TV gadgets, although it will next year.

Even so, the $35 bundle is cheaper than the typical cable bundle and provides more channels than online cable competitors offer at similar prices. But the $60 standard price that kicks in down the road is much less of a deal. AT&T will also offer a smaller package of about 60 channels for $35. There will also be $50 and $70 bundles.

AT&T will promote the service by letting its smartphone customers stream without eating into their mobile data plan.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Coca-Cola No. 1 in Japan with drinks galore, but not Coke

Takashi Wasa, senior vice president at Coca-Cola Japan, shows the company’s green tea beverages at Tokyo headquarters during an interview. (AP Photo/Yuri Kageyama)

Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer

EBINA, Japan (AP)
— Coca-Cola has been the No. 1 beverage maker in Japan for half a century, but it's not thanks to the popularity of Coke. Instead, the American soft-drink brand has adapted to the quirky ways this society quenches its thirst.

Coca-Cola's nearly 1 million vending machines account for about half of all the vending machines in Japan. Many of them do stock Coke and Coke Zero. But most of the beverages sold by those state-of-the art machines have nothing to do with the company's namesake soda.

Among the bigger favorites are "Georgia" brand canned coffee, orange-flavored water and of course, green tea, the traditional drink of choice,

Japan is The Coca-Cola Co.'s second-biggest market after the U.S., raking in more than 1 trillion yen ($10 billion) in annual sales. But consumers here aren't crazy about bubbly drinks like Fanta and Sprite, other perennial U.S. favorites.

Instead, the notoriously fad-loving Japanese flit from one trend to another across an array of weird product offerings, such as soda drinks with odd flavors like smelly durian fruit or garlicky kimchee that mostly are attention-getting products intended for fun.

Though its product offerings don't go quite that far, Coca-Cola has 850 different beverages in Japan alone, not counting discontinued brands. Among the most popular is Qoo, a water-drop-shaped forest creature designed to appeal to Japan's cult of the cute.

"It is so difficult to survive," Takashi Wasa, senior vice president at Coca-Cola Japan, told The Associated Press at the company's Tokyo headquarters.

The odds of having a hit are "Maybe just three out of a thousand," he said.

Among 20 Coca-Cola global brands that bring in $1 billion or more in annual sales, four came from Japan: the Georgia coffee lineup; Aquarius, a Gatorade-like drink; I Lohas bottled water and Ayataka green tea. Other global top-sellers are Coke drinks or were added through acquisitions, such as Minute Maid and Matte Leao.

Matte Leao, an herbal tea extremely popular in Brazil, is an example of adapting to local tastes.

But the company's Japan operations take that to an extreme, said Raymond Shelton, senior executive officer for Coca-Cola East Japan.

"I have traveled the world for Coca-Cola, and I have never seen such a variety of products, and such an intensive pace of new launches," he said.

"Japanese consumers drink across beverage categories each and every day so I would say they have a much broader set of demands," Shelton said.

Over the past decade or so, green tea has grown into a 777 billion yen ($7.5 billion) packaged beverage market in Japan; many Japanese now prefer tea conveniently packaged in plastic bottles, rather than steeped in teapots.

That makes Ayataka, which sells for 140 yen ($1.30) for a half liter (1 pint) bottle, an important brand for Coca-Cola. Developed in partnership with 1,600-year-old Kyoto-based tea grower Kanbayashi Shunsho, Ayataka also is sold in Singapore, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Ads for Ayataka tea feature a taste test by Kyoto apprentice geishas and Japanese chefs vouching that its flavor is indistinguishable from tea from a teapot.

Unlike acidic bottled Coke, green tea requires special precautions during is bottling to prevent spoilage and preserve its flavor. Coca-Cola has invested about 40 billion yen ($360 million) since 2014 to double its assembly lines in Japan to nine and accommodate such aseptic production.

At Coca-Cola's plant in Ebina, southwest of Tokyo, bottles and caps are splashed with a decontaminating chemical, and then rinsed with blasts of water. Bottles filled with tea from giant vats flash by, 900 per minute. They're inspected, labeled and then boxed in robotic lines: a non-stop parade of bottled teas circling the plant round-the-clock.

Since retailers only stock in-demand products, pressure is high to keep coming up with new products, or at least new adaptations.

Coca-Cola's competitors in this tea growing nation, led by Ito En, a traditional tea maker that pioneered bottled green tea in Japan, were quick to imitate Coca-Cola's lead in adding powdered tea to its green tea drinks to make them cloudier and more evocative of richer-tasting teas out of a teapot.

Some products are specifically developed as "kawaridane" or "weird items," just to attract attention, like cucumber-flavored Pepsi. Or Pepsi Strong 5.0 GV, for "gas volume," which has extra fizz.

"It's that extra burp factor," said Akira Kiga, a spokesman for Suntory Beverages & Food, which sells Pepsi in Japan and trails Coca-Cola with No. 2 market share. "We want people to notice and see that we're a fun brand."

Still, when it comes to solid earnings, Suntory, like Coca-Cola, is counting on three segments — water, coffee and green tea.

"We do want to work on building strong brands that have staying power," Kiga said.

Yoshiyasu Okihira, an analyst at SMBC Nikko Securities in Tokyo, estimates that carbonated sodas like Coke and Fanta comprise a fifth of Coca-Cola's Japan sales, with coffee and tea accounting for 40 percent.

Coca-Cola's legions of vending machines, many offering piping hot drinks on chilly days, are a big asset. To capitalize on that advantage, the company is introducing smartphone applications that award one free drink for every 15 bought on Coca-Cola vending machines, or that send Spotify music playlists depending on the drink purchased.

The Japanese tea products are a strong asset in global markets as people become increasingly health conscious. Japan, with its faster aging, picky consumers, increasingly is leading such trends, Okihira says.

"Roasted barley tea, for example, has global potential, and Americans may really like it," Okihira said.

Like many Japanese, 50-year-old cab driver Masataka Sakabe drinks a variety of beverages every day, including canned coffee to keep awake on long shifts. But he also loves Coke, especially with greasy food like fried chicken or French fries.

"I love Coke, the red kind, not the diet kind, that original flavor. It makes you feel so refreshed," he said.

___

YouTube link: https://youtu.be/hpr4rzL0d2M

Coca-Cola East: https://www.ccej.co.jp/en/

Coca-Cola West: http://www.ccwest.co.jp/english/corporate/

Follow Yuri Kageyama on Twitter at https://twitter.com/yurikageyama

Her work can be found at http://bigstory.ap.org/content/yuri-kageyama

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Today in History - Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016

The Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, Nov. 29, the 334th day of 2016. There are 32 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 29, 2001, George Harrison, the "quiet Beatle," died in Los Angeles following a battle with cancer; he was 58.

On this date:

In 1530, Cardinal Thomas Wolsey (WOOL'-zee), onetime adviser to England's King Henry VIII, died.

In 1864, a Colorado militia killed at least 150 peaceful Cheyenne Indians in the Sand Creek Massacre.

In 1890, the first Army-Navy football game was played at West Point, New York; Navy defeated Army, 24-0. The Imperial Diet, forerunner of Japan's current national legislature, opened its first session.

In 1924, Italian composer Giacomo Puccini died in Brussels before he could complete his opera "Turandot." (It was finished by Franco Alfano.)

In 1947, the U.N. General Assembly passed a resolution calling for the partitioning of Palestine between Arabs and Jews.

In 1956, the musical comedy "Bells Are Ringing," starring Judy Holliday, opened on Broadway.

In 1961, Enos the chimp was launched from Cape Canaveral aboard the Mercury-Atlas 5 spacecraft, which orbited earth twice before returning.

In 1972, the coin-operated video arcade game Pong, created by Atari, made its debut at Andy Capp's Tavern in Sunnyvale, California.

In 1981, actress Natalie Wood drowned in a boating accident off Santa Catalina Island, California, at age 43.

In 1986, actor Cary Grant died in Davenport, Iowa, at age 82.

In 1991, 17 people were killed in a 164-vehicle pileup during a dust storm on Interstate 5 near Coalinga, California. Actor Ralph Bellamy died in Santa Monica, California, at age 87.

In 1996, John C. Salvi III, serving a life sentence for fatally shooting two abortion clinic receptionists, hanged himself in his Massachusetts prison cell.

Ten years ago: The first of two high-profile meetings in Jordan between President George W. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki (NOO'-ree ahl-MAHL'-ih-kee) was abruptly canceled amid conflicting explanations. (Bush met al-Maliki the next day.) Still losing money after job and factory cuts, Ford Motor Co. said 38,000 workers, almost half of its hourly production force, had accepted buyouts or early retirement offers.

Five years ago: Eurozone ministers sent Greece an 8 billion-euro ($10.7 billion) Christmas rescue package to stem an immediate cash crisis. Hard-line Iranian protesters stormed British diplomatic compounds in what began as an apparent state-approved show of anger over the latest Western sanctions to punish Tehran for its nuclear program. American Airlines' parent company, AMR Corp., filed for bankruptcy protection, citing high labor and fuel costs and the weak economy. (American Airlines emerged from bankruptcy protection in Dec. 2013 as it merged with US Airways.)

One year ago: President Barack Obama, arriving in Paris late at night for a climate conference, briefly visited the Bataclan, the concert hall that was the scene of the worst of France's terror attacks 16 days earlier. Pope Francis visited the conflict-wracked Central African Republic, where he urged the country's Christian and Muslim factions to lay down their weapons and instead arm themselves with peace and forgiveness. Andy Murray gave Britain its first Davis Cup title in 79 years when he beat Belgium's David Goffin 6-3, 7-5, 6-3 in the first of reverse singles.

Today's Birthdays: Hall-of-Fame sportscaster Vin Scully is 89. Former French President Jacques Chirac is 84. Blues singer-musician John Mayall is 83. Actress Diane Ladd is 81. Songwriter Mark James is 76. Composer-musician Chuck Mangione is 76. Country singer Jody Miller is 75. Pop singer-musician Felix Cavaliere (The Rascals) is 74. Former Olympic skier Suzy Chaffee is 70. Actor Jeff Fahey is 64. Movie director Joel Coen is 62. Actor-comedian-celebrity judge Howie Mandel is 61. Former Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano is 59. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is 57. Actress Cathy Moriarty is 56. Actress Kim Delaney is 55. Actor Tom Sizemore is 55. Actor Andrew McCarthy is 54. Actor Don Cheadle is 52. Actor-producer Neill Barry is 51. Musician Wallis Buchanan is 51. Pop singer Jonathan Knight (New Kids on the Block) is 48. Rock musician Martin Carr (Boo Radleys) is 48. Actress Jennifer Elise Cox is 47. Actor Larry Joe Campbell is 46. Rock musician Frank Delgado (Deftones) is 46. Actress Paola Turbay is 46. Contemporary Christian singer Crowder is 45. Actress Gena Lee Nolin is 45. Actor Brian Baumgartner is 44. Actor Julian Ovenden is 41. Actress Anna Faris is 40. Gospel singer James Fortune is 39. Actress Lauren German is 38. Rapper The Game is 37. Actress Janina Gavankar is 36. Rock musician Ringo Garza is 35. Actor/comedian John Milhiser is 35. Actor Lucas Black is 34. Actor Diego Boneta (TV: "Scream Queens") is 26.

Thought for Today: "All the world is birthday cake, so take a piece, but not too much." — George Harrison (1943-2001).

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


China detains 9 managers after plant collapse kills 74

Rescue workers look for survivors. (Wan Xiang/Xinhua via AP, File)

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese authorities have detained nine executives responsible for a power plant where 74 workers were killed when an under-construction cooling tower collapsed.

State media reported Monday that those held included the board chairman of engineering firm Hebei Yineng, which has a history of workplace deaths in its projects.

The workers were building a circular cooling tower in the southern province of Jiangxi when the interior scaffolding collapsed last Wednesday, releasing a cascade of steel, concrete and wooden planks. It was one of China's deadliest workplace accidents in recent years and prompted calls from government officials for stepped-up inspections and a renewed emphasis on worker safety.

Investigators previously announced the detentions of 13 people after the accident. It wasn't immediately clear if the suspects identified Monday were included in that total.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Thanksgiving weekend shoppers spent less due to discounts

Shoppers carry bags as they cross a pedestrian walkway near Macy's in Herald Square, in New York. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews, File)

Anne D'Innocenzio, AP Retail Writer

NEW YORK (AP) — Thanksgiving weekend shoppers picked up hot toys, TVs and new Apple products, buying both online and in stores, but spent less per person because of rampant discounting that they've come to demand.


Once all the receipts are in, customers look to have spent an average of $289.19 over the four-day weekend, down nearly 3.5 percent from a year ago, based on a survey by the National Retail Federation. The pressure on prices was especially strong on products like TVs.

More than 154 million customers said they had shopped or planned to this Thanksgiving weekend, up from 151 million a year ago, according to the survey conducted Friday and Saturday by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. And more were doing it online, as about 99.1 million went to the stores and 108.5 million shopped online.

Carmen Cunnyngham of Kansas City, Kansas, was in Denver on Sunday and decided to stop at the mall to pick up a new pair of Ugg boots for her daughter. They were discounted at Nordstrom, which is one of her favorite places to shop. She said she got a bit of a late start this year because of the presidential election, so she's been looking online for deals and jumping when she sees them.

"I'm trying to make sure I get the wish lists in and look at those and shop and do what I can before Christmas gets here," she said.

The drop in spending underscores how even with an improving economy, many shoppers are still focused on habit developed during the Great Recession. They're fixated on deals and more readily using technology to find them whenever they want to buy. More than a third of customers surveyed by the NRF said that all of their purchases were on sale, up 11 percent from a year ago.

The Thanksgiving weekend kicks off the holiday shopping season but stores have increasingly started their sales earlier. Stores had been wary about being left with a lot of inventory they would have to discount to get off the shelves, and so started the season with less on hand. That will help preserve profit margins, but they've still planned aggressive promotions to grab shoppers.

"People are much more deliberate about the purchases they make," NRF CEO Matthew Shay said Sunday. "In a perfect world, everyone would sell at full price, but as consumers and as buyers all of us would like to get a deal on things we buy. The era of promotional sales is with us to stay."

Even though shoppers are spending less per person, more shoppers could still translate into more spending. MasterCard Advisors SpendingPulse, which tracks spending on all kinds of payments, estimated that spending over the four-day weekend will be up 3.8 percent, with online sales up by double-digit percentages and in-store sales up in the single digits. But MasterCard Advisors' Sarah Quinlan also cited a slight decline in the average sale because of promotions.

Stores trying to snag customers first and compete with Amazon are shifting to a steady stream of online discounts and alerts instead of focusing on doorbuster sales on a few products. That meant that online shopping stole thunder away from sales at stores. And while areas like electronics and toys remained strong for the weekend, clothing, particularly basic sweaters, were still a tough sell.

Shoppers are visiting fewer stores and the rate at which browsers converted into buyers was slightly lower than last year, said William Taubman, chief operating officer at Taubman Centers, which operates 24 malls around the country. Still, after a contentious presidential election, he believes people are ready to buy.

"Resolution is a good thing," he said. "That makes people feel somewhat more comfortable." And for wealthier customers, he said, the prospects of tax cuts will help.

Janice Allsop, 66, a retired secretary who worked in the trucking industry, said she'll likely spend more this year because of the election.

"The stock markets have gone up. I'm just delighted with President Trump," said Allsop, who was shopping at Water Tower Place mall in Chicago on Saturday. "I'm not afraid (to spend more). If Hillary Clinton would have gotten in, I would have been very scared, very reluctant."

But shoppers may still be split. Joyce Hill, a 67-year-old retired auto worker from Inkster, Michigan, who was also shopping in Chicago. Hill said she will stay on the low end of her usual spending this year because she's worried that Trump will start to cut back on Social Security.

"I'll spend less because you don't know what's going to happen. I don't think he'll (Trump) support us but I don't know if he's gonna let things stay status quo," said Hill.

Even though the weekend bring many out shopping, Black Friday usually vies with the Saturday before Christmas as the busiest sales day. But this year, that falls on Christmas Eve, so Saturday, Dec. 17 is the big contender, says Craig Johnson, president of Customer Growth Partners. The retail trade group's survey found that fewer shoppers had finished their holiday buying and more hadn't even started compared to a year ago.

"We've seen in recent years that most places will have good sales after Black Friday comes and goes, so we don't have to do everything this weekend," said William Junkin, who was at the Best Buy store in Howell Township, New Jersey, on Thursday night. "We'll see how it all plays out."

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Associated Press writers Sadie Gurman in Denver, Don Babwin in Chicago, Bruce Shipkowski in Howell Township, New Jersey and Josh Boak in Washington, D.C. contributed to this report.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Manila police safely defuse suspected bomb near US Embassy

A Philippine National Police bomb disposal squad member, wearing a bomb proofed suit, approaches the scene shortly after detonating in the middle of the boulevard.(AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Manila police have defused a suspected bomb found in a trash bin just a few meters (yards) from the U.S. Embassy, snarling morning traffic after authorities closed a portion of a major boulevard where the device was found. No one was reported hurt in the incident.

Two explosions were heard Monday as a bomb disposal unit detonated what police described as a suspicious package believed to be an improvised explosive device.

Street sweeper Winniefreda Francisco says she called police after finding a cellphone attached to a bottle-like cylinder wrapped in black, with wires connecting the cylinder to the phone.

Manila police spokeswoman Marissa Bruno would not give further details, saying a statement will be issued later.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


China will build $2 billion film studio, industry park

BEIJING (AP) — China's government has announced plans to build a $2 billion film studio, in the latest example of a national push to expand its cultural influence.

State media reported that the studio in the southwestern municipality of Chongqing will include a theme park and tourist facilities. Construction will begin early next year and is expected to cost 15 billion yuan ($2.18 billion).

Officials say they have operating agreements already with several foreign partners. The park will be named after President xi Jinping's signature "One Belt, One Road" program.

China is already the world's second-largest film market and home to the world's largest theater operator. But Chinese officials and companies have made it a priority to fend off Western imports by producing more competitive films in China.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Today in History - Monday, Nov. 28, 2016

The Associated Press

Today is Monday, Nov. 28, the 333rd day of 2016. There are 33 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 28, 2001, Enron Corp., once the world's largest energy trader, collapsed after would-be rescuer Dynegy Inc. backed out of an $8.4 billion takeover deal. (Enron filed for bankruptcy protection four days later.)

On this date:

In 1520, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Pacific Ocean after passing through the South American strait that now bears his name.

In 1861, the Confederate Congress admitted Missouri as the 12th state of the Confederacy after Missouri's disputed secession from the Union.

In 1905, Sinn Fein (shin fayn) was founded in Dublin.

In 1922, Captain Cyril Turner of the Royal Air Force gave the first public skywriting exhibition, spelling out, "Hello USA. Call Vanderbilt 7200" over New York's Times Square; about 47,000 calls in less than three hours resulted.

In 1942, nearly 500 people died in a fire that destroyed the Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston.

In 1958, Chad, Gabon and Middle Congo became autonomous republics within the French community.

In 1964, the United States launched the space probe Mariner 4 on a course toward Mars, which it flew past in July 1965, sending back pictures of the red planet.

In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford nominated federal judge John Paul Stevens to the U.S. Supreme Court seat vacated by William O. Douglas.

In 1979, an Air New Zealand DC-10 en route to the South Pole crashed into a mountain in Antarctica, killing all 257 people aboard.

In 1987, a South African Airways Boeing 747 crashed into the Indian Ocean with the loss of all 159 people aboard.

In 1990, Margaret Thatcher resigned as British prime minister during an audience with Queen Elizabeth II, who then conferred the premiership on John Major.

In 1994, serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer was slain in a Wisconsin prison by a fellow inmate. Sixties war protester Jerry Rubin died in Los Angeles, two weeks after being hit by a car; he was 56.

Ten years ago: At the opening of a NATO summit in Latvia, President George W. Bush rejected suggestions Iraq had fallen into civil war and vowed not to pull U.S. troops out "until the mission is complete." The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously to extend for a year the mandate of the 160,000-strong multinational force in Iraq. Pope Benedict XVI, in Turkey on his first visit to a Muslim country, urged all religious leaders to "utterly refuse" to support any violence in the name of faith.

Five years ago: Egyptians, despite a recent wave of unrest, waited peacefully in long lines to vote in the first parliamentary elections since the ouster of Hosni Mubarak (HOHS'-nee moo-BAH'-rahk); Islamist parties were the big winners. Occupy Wall Street protesters defied a deadline to remove their weeks-old encampment on the Los Angeles City Hall lawn.

One year ago: President Barack Obama kept up his holiday tradition of supporting small businesses, taking his daughters, Malia and Sasha, to a bookstore in Washington's Petworth neighborhood, where he bought nine books. Victor Mooney, a New Yorker who rowed across the Atlantic Ocean for AIDS awareness, arrived home in Brooklyn, ending a 21-month journey. Tyson Fury defeated Wladimir Klitschko (VLAD'-uh-meer KLICH'-koh) by unanimous decision in Duesseldorf, Germany, to end the Ukrainian's nine-and-a-half-year reign as heavyweight champion and take his WBA, IBF, and WBO heavyweight titles. Marjorie Lord, 97, the Broadway and film actress who became a TV star on the sitcom "Make Room for Daddy," died in Beverly Hills, California.

Today's Birthdays: Recording executive Berry Gordy Jr. is 87. Former Sen. Gary Hart, D-Colo., is 80. Singer-songwriter Bruce Channel is 76. Singer Randy Newman is 73. CBS News correspondent Susan Spencer is 70. Movie director Joe Dante is 69. Former "Late Show" orchestra leader Paul Shaffer is 67. Actor Ed Harris is 66. Former NASA teacher in space Barbara Morgan is 65. Actress S. Epatha (eh-PAY'-thah) Merkerson is 64. Former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff is 63. Country singer Kristine Arnold (Sweethearts of the Rodeo) is 60. Actor Judd Nelson is 57. Movie director Alfonso Cuaron (kwahr-OHN') is 55. Rock musician Matt Cameron is 54. Actress Jane Sibbett is 54. Comedian Jon Stewart is 54. Actress Garcelle Beauvais (gar-SEHL' boh-VAY') is 50. Actor/comedian Stephnie (cq) Weir is 49. Rhythm-and-blues singer Dawn Robinson is 48. Actress Gina Tognoni is 43. Hip-hop musician apl.de.ap (Black Eyed Peas) is 42. Actor Malcolm Goodwin is 41. Actor Ryan Kwanten is 40. Actress Aimee Garcia is 38. Rapper Chamillionaire is 37. Actor Daniel Henney is 37. Rock musician Rostam Batmanglij (bot-man-GLEESH') is 33. Rock singer-keyboardist Tyler Glenn (Neon Trees) is 33. Actress Mary Elizabeth Winstead is 32. R&B singer Trey Songz is 32. Actress Scarlett Pomers is 28. Actor/rapper Bryshere Gray (TV: "Empire") is 23.

Thought for Today: "We are not all born at once, but by bits. The body first, and the spirit later." — Mary Hunter Austin, American novelist and playwright (1868-1934).

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Today in History - Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016

The Associated Press

Today is Sunday, Nov. 27, the 332nd day of 2016. There are 34 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 27, 1978, San Francisco Mayor George Moscone (mahs-KOH'-nee) and City Supervisor Harvey Milk, a gay-rights activist, were shot to death inside City Hall by former supervisor Dan White. (White served five years for manslaughter; he committed suicide in Oct. 1985.)

On this date:

In 1815, the constitution for the Congress Kingdom of Poland was signed by Russian Czar Alexander I, who was also king of Poland.

In 1901, the U.S. Army War College was established in Washington, D.C.

In 1910, New York's Pennsylvania Station officially opened.

In 1924, Macy's first Thanksgiving Day parade — billed as a "Christmas Parade" — took place in New York.

In 1939, the play "Key Largo," by Maxwell Anderson, opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theater in New York.

In 1942, during World War II, the Vichy French navy scuttled its ships and submarines in Toulon (too-LOHN') to keep them out of the hands of German troops.

In 1945, General George C. Marshall was named special U.S. envoy to China by President Harry S. Truman to try to end hostilities between the Nationalists and the Communists.

In 1953, playwright Eugene O'Neill died in Boston at age 65.

In 1962, the first Boeing 727 was rolled out at the company's Renton Plant.

In 1973, the Senate voted 92-3 to confirm Gerald R. Ford as vice president, succeeding Spiro T. Agnew, who'd resigned.

In 1983, 181 people were killed when a Colombian Avianca Airlines Boeing 747 crashed near Madrid's Barajas airport.

In 1989, a bomb blamed on drug traffickers destroyed a Colombian Avianca Boeing 727, killing all 107 people on board and three people on the ground.

Ten years ago: President George W. Bush, stopping over in Estonia en route to a NATO summit in Latvia and meetings in Jordan, intensified diplomatic efforts to quell rising violence in Iraq and Afghanistan. An early morning fire burned down a group home for the elderly and mentally ill in Anderson, Missouri, killing 10 residents and a caretaker. (Faulty wiring was cited as the likely cause of the blaze.)

Five years ago: In an unprecedented move against an Arab nation, the Arab League approved economic sanctions against Syria to pressure Damascus to end its deadly suppression of an 8-month-old uprising against President Bashar Assad. British movie director Ken Russell, 84, died in Lymington, Hampshire, England.

One year ago: A gunman attacked a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, killing three people and injuring nine. (Suspect Robert Dear has been undergoing treatment at a psychiatric hospital after being deemed incompetent for trial.) A subdued France paid homage to those killed in the Paris attacks two weeks earlier, honoring each of the 130 victims by name as President Francois Hollande (frahn-SWAH' oh-LAWND') pledged to "destroy the army of fanatics" who had claimed so many young lives.

Today's Birthdays: Author Gail Sheehy is 79. Footwear designer Manolo Blahnik is 74. Academy Award-winning director Kathryn Bigelow is 65. TV host Bill Nye ("Bill Nye, the Science Guy") is 61. Actor William Fichtner (FIHK'-nuhr) is 60. U.S. Ambassador to Japan Caroline Kennedy is 59. Academy Award-winning screenwriter Callie Khouri is 59. Rock musician Charlie Burchill (Simple Minds) is 57. Jazz composer/big band leader Maria Schneider is 56. Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is 56. Rock musician Charlie Benante (Anthrax) is 54. Rock musician Mike Bordin (Faith No More) is 54. Actor Fisher Stevens is 53. Actress Robin Givens is 52. Actor Michael Vartan is 48. Rapper Skoob (DAS EFX) is 46. Actor Kirk Acevedo is 45. Rapper Twista is 44. Actor Jaleel White is 40. Actor Arjay Smith is 33. Actress Alison Pill is 31. Actress/singer Aubrey Peeples is 23.

Thought for Today: "In youth we feel richer for every new illusion; in maturer years, for every one we lose." — Anne Sophie Swetchine (sweht-CHEE'-nyah), Russian-French author (1782-1857).

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Counting 1 million crowds at anti-president rally in Seoul

In this Saturday, Nov. 12, 2016, file photo, protesters stage a rally calling for South Korean President Park Geun-hye to step down in Seoul, South Korea.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)

Kim Tong-Hyung, Associated Press
Youkyung Lee, Associated Press

SEOUL, South Korea (AP)
— South Korea is seeing its biggest wave of street demonstrations in decades but nobody is sure how many people are taking to the streets each week.

For the fifth-straight weekend, masses of protesters are expected to occupy major avenues in downtown Seoul on Saturday demanding the ouster of President Park Geun-hye. She is suspected of helping in the criminal activities of a secretive confidante who is accused of manipulating government affairs and extorting companies to build an illicit fortune.

The rally is certain to renew what has become a weekly back-and-forth between police and protest organizers, whose crowd estimates have differed widely in the previous four Saturdays.

There are many challenges for counting the number of protesters. The rallies stretch from midday to late night — some people stay for several hours, others just several minutes. The demonstrators not only gather in open space but also small alleys and between buildings. Some of them are constantly moving.

Here's a look at how police and protest organizers size the crowds at protests, and also how South Korean scientists and a technology company are exploring new ways to more accurately measure the number of protesters:

___

POLICE: MEASURING CROWD AT ITS PEAK

While the protest in Seoul on Nov. 12 might have been the largest since South Korea freed itself from dictatorship three decades ago, it's unclear how big it actually was. Police saw the crowd at 260,000, while organizers say 1 million turned out.

For the police, the aim is to measure the maximum crowd occupying a certain space at any given time so that they could determine the size of police personnel and resources to deploy, according to an official from the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency, who didn't want to be named, citing office rules.

Police presume that, when sitting, six people would fill a space of 3.3 square meters (35.52 sq. feet), or 1 "pyeong," the aerial unit commonly used in South Korea. The same area would hold nine or 10 people when standing, police said.

Based on this, police consider the 32,100-square-meter (345,525-sq. feet) boulevard in front of the Gwanghwamun palace gate, which has been the center of the protests, as accommodating close to 600,000 people when fully packed.

Critics say the police model understates the actual number of demonstrators because it fails to track people moving in and out of the area during the duration of the protest, and is ill-equipped to measure protesters in non-open space, such as sidewalks and alleys between buildings.

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ORGANIZERS: TRACKING EVERYONE WHO CAME AND WENT

Han Seon-beom, one of the protest organizers, admits outright that their measurements aren't scientific, but still argues they are more reliable than police numbers.

Organizers seek to track the entire flow of people from the protest's start to its finish. They collect estimates given by counters deployed at different locations to size up the crowds in each area and update the numbers throughout the duration of the protest.

They try to account for the people on the sidewalks, spaces between buildings and also those moving in and out of nearby subway stations and restaurants, Han said.

The numbers of participants reported by organized groups, such as labor unions, are also put into account.

"What you try to do is to count the first 1,000, like the first 20 rows of 50 people, and that gives you an idea of how many people you are seeing," said Han.

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COMPANY: COUNTING NUMBER OF SIGNALS FROM SMARTPHONES

One South Korean retail analytics company measured the number of protesters by counting the number of smartphone signals.

Zoyi Corp. deployed about 60 people, each carrying a backpack with the company's Wi-Fi signal-detecting sensor, to the rally on Nov. 19.

They collected Wi-Fi and Bluetooth signals from smartphones for about seven hours from 2 p.m. at 53 spots and found about 369,372 smartphones that had their wireless signals on during the rally.

The company presumed that about half of smartphone users usually leave their Wi-Fi feature on and the other half switch it off, based on a separate survey on smartphone usage. It also assumed that about 20 percent of the smartphone signals were repetition from the same device. Based on this, Zoyi concluded that about 738,700 people joined the rally.

"The limitation of our method is that it can measure only those who kept their phones' Wi-Fi signals on," said An Nahyun, the company's chief operating officer.

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SCIENTISTS LOOK AT PARTICLE PHYSICS AND MORE

Some scientists strived to improve accuracy by drawing methods from their own field. In general, they conclude that the protests must be larger than the police estimates.

Park Inkyu, a particle physicist, counted the number of people by applying a method that scientists use to measure particles in high energy physics, writing a code that counted the number of candle lights based on pictures from the rally.

Based on his own observation at the past rallies, Park assumed that at least half of the demonstrators did not bring a candle. He added the number of candles in the photo to the possible number of people without a candle and drew a conclusion that about four people were occupying 1 square meter (11 sq. feet) at the rally.

That means that the number of people occupying avenues, streets and alleys near the presidential office could range from 500,000 to 700,000 when the areas are packed, he said. The limitation of Park's estimate is that it cannot count the candles hidden behind other people or objects.

Another scientist suggested a way of measuring the crowds' movement.

Assuming that about 10 percent of the area at the rally is used as passageways for people who are moving, and also assuming that each person moves every 0.3 second, the number of people who came and left the Nov. 12 protest would have been three times larger than the police estimate, according to Won Byung Mook, a science and engineering professor at Sungkyunkwan University.

Won said scientists need more data to make their estimates more precise.

"There are many limitations in this method because it is based on assumption, not on vetted data," he said.

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Follow Kim Tong-hyung at https://twitter.com/KimTongHyung and Youkyung Lee at https://twitter.com/YKLeeAP

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Nude students, Filipino activists protest dictator's burial

Filipino victims of "Martial Law" raise their clenched fists as they join a rally at Manila's Rizal Park, Philippines, Friday Nov. 25, 2016.(AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

Jim Gomez, Associated Press

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Thousands of Filipinos, including more than a dozen nude students, protested against the hasty burial of Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos in a heroes' cemetery, in a growing political storm that's lashing the president who allowed the entombment.

A few thousand activists joined a "Black Friday" protest despite rainy weather at Manila's seaside Rizal Park, where they carried Marcos' effigy in a mock coffin.

While the anger was directed at Marcos and his family, President Rodrigo Duterte was also targeted for allowing the burial of the dictator, who was ousted in a largely peaceful "people power" revolt three decades ago.

Protesters held placards reading "Digong traitor, a lapdog of the dictator," referring to Duterte by his nickname.

Dozens of students trooped outside the presidential palace in Manila in a separate protest and burned an effigy of Marcos in a mock coffin.

At the state-run University of the Philippines, a fraternity turned its annual recruitment ritual into a protest with naked student recruits running with placards that read, "Marcos dictator not a hero."

"This run is a manifestation of our anger against what we see as the Marcoses trying to revise history, trying to revive their name because they have fallen from grace," Alpha Phi Omega fraternity spokesman Toby Roca said. "We are angry that they are trying to ignore our painful history of human rights abuses under his term."

Duterte, whose father served in Marcos's Cabinet, allowed the burial on grounds that there was no law barring his interment at the Heroes' Cemetery, where presidents, soldiers, statesmen and national artists are buried. It was a political risk in a country where democracy advocates still celebrate Marcos's ouster each year.

Duterte's decision was upheld earlier this month by the Supreme Court. Marcos opponents had 15 days to appeal the decision, but Marcos's family, backed by Duterte's defense and military officials, buried him in a secrecy-shrouded ceremony with military honors last week at the cemetery.

The stealthy burial enraged democracy advocates and sparked protests in Manila and other cities.

Protest leader Bonifacio Ilagan, a left-wing activist detained and tortured under Marcos, said many protesters are young Filipinos who did not experience the brutalities of the dictatorship but "got assaulted by the surreptitious burial."

Ilagan said he was struck by the message on a placard carried by a college student in a recent rally that said, "If he was a true hero, why was he buried in secrecy?"

Human rights victims who suffered under Marcos's rule asked the Supreme Court this week to order the exhumation of his remains and to hold his heirs and Duterte's officials in contempt for their role in burying the body before the court heard final appeals.

Marcos's rule was marked by massive rights violations and plunder. After being ousted in 1986, he flew to Hawaii, where he lived with his wife and children until he died in 1989.

Duterte has allowed the protests to proceed without permits but has stood by his decision to allow the burial. During a speech in southern Zamboanga city, he said he tried to strike a balance by considering the sentiments of many pro-Marcos followers in the dictator's northern political stronghold. He has said that past presidents opposed to the burial should have taken steps to legally prevent it, for example by passing legislation.

Duterte's deadly crackdown on illegal drugs has been widely criticized but has not sparked widespread protests because many crime-weary Filipinos back the effort despite concerns over the killings of many drug suspects, said political analyst Ramon Casiple, the director of a think tank promoting electoral and political reforms.

"Duterte's decision to allow the Marcos burial opened up old wounds," Casiple said.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Woman in Japan reclaims dad, US identity in 6-decade journey

Marianne Wilson Kuroda speaks during an interview at a Japanese-style room at he home in Kashiwa, east of Tokyo.
(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Ken Moritsugu, Associated Press

KASHIWA, Japan (AP) — At a public bath in a Yokohama slum in the 1950s, a red-haired girl scrubs her skin with a pumice stone, hard, to try to get the white out.

Other kids sometimes taunt her. "American, American." She yells back, "I'm Japanese!"

She is told she was abandoned. Only much later would she learn that her family had been a casualty of anti-Asian immigration policy in the United States. Her American father got Congress to pass a special bill that would have allowed her to enter the U.S., yet she went most of her 67 years without knowing that.

"So many coincidences happened in my life," she said in an interview at her house outside Tokyo. "But altogether, you know, I managed to put the whole story, that now I'm settled, and I have peace of mind. Thank goodness that I don't have to live with two people anymore."

Those two people are Mary Ann Vaughn, the girl she was born as, and Marianne Wilson, the girl that fate made her.

Her father, Texas-born James Vaughn, arrived in Japan in early 1946. The 20-year-old civilian was assigned to a U.S. military base in Yokohama. He met 16-year-old Vivienne Wilson working in the PX to help support her family. Their daughter, Mary Ann Vaughn, was born in a Yokohama hospital on April 17, 1949.

It was an ill-fated romance. The military denied Vaughn permission to marry Wilson, based on U.S. immigration law, because she was half-Japanese. Back in the U.S., he wrote to Congress, which passed a law allowing Wilson and her daughter to enter the U.S. It was dated Aug. 5, 1950.

That very day Vivienne Wilson died of tuberculosis. Mary Ann was 16 months old.

Wilson's family asked her nanny to take care of Mary Ann until her father returned. He never did.

She didn't know she was American. In fact, she was taught to be terrified of Americans. But ultimately, an organization set up to help orphans left behind by American soldiers found her.

In letters to the Swedish consul in Tokyo in 1955, the group reported that Mary Ann's nanny wanted to adopt her, but questioned whether that was advisable, given her impoverished circumstances.

Sweden decided it should find a home for her, and a custody battle ensued. The court ruled in Sweden's favor in 1958.

Under a compromise with the Swedish Embassy, the child would go to an international school, live with a foreign host family during the week and stay with her nanny Fumi Yamaguchi on weekends.

That wasn't the only change the deal required. Until then, the girl had been known as Mary Ann Yamaguchi. "From now on," Yamaguchi told her, "your name is going to be Marianne Wilson."

It was a name she hated. Marianne is the Swedish version of Mary Ann, and in her 9-year-old mind, it was the source of all her troubles. She struggled to learn English, and while she met other mixed-race children, it didn't help her understand her own family.

On her deathbed in 1975, Yamaguchi told Marianne everything. James Vaughn was her father, and he hadn't abandoned her, but had tried to find her. She gave her old photos, and said, these are your parents.

Marianne did not investigate further until after she had a family of her own and had become Marianne Wilson Kuroda. Even then it took years to get answers. In 2004, the Japanese Red Cross told her: We found James Vaughn, but unfortunately he died 11 months ago. And you have a younger brother in America.

Three months later, she was flying to Albuquerque, New Mexico.

She and her 56-year-old half-brother, Steve Vaughn, compared photos. They found they had similar ones of their father. They visited the grave of their father, who had died on Feb. 3, 2003, at the age of 77.

"I had to give him respect, you know. But, um, hmm, it was like, you know, 'Why did you die 11 months ago?'" Marianne said. "You could have lived a little bit longer after all these years."

She decided to claim her U.S. citizenship, in his honor. It would take 12 years. U.S. officials had questions about the law, and about why someone who did not intend to move to America wanted citizenship.

"Her case is a consequence of this history of discrimination from immigration law and citizenship law that I thought really needed to be corrected," said Rose Cuison Villazor, a professor at the Immigration Law Clinic at the University of California, Davis, who helped Marianne. "There was ... this awful history that I felt needed to be addressed as a matter of justice."

The U.S. ultimately granted Marianne citizenship. A photo posted this June on Facebook shows a smiling Marianne standing outside the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, holding up the oath of allegiance she had just signed.

She says she has one more task. She wants to visit the cemetery in the west Texas city of Spur where her paternal grandparents are buried.

"I want to show them my American passport and say, 'Grandpa, Grandma. I'm home.'"

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Police: License-less driver topped 100 mph before killing 3

Police investigate the scene of a multi-vehicle crash at the intersection of Route 30 and Route 48, Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016, in North Versailles, Pa.(Darrell Sapp/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP)

Joe Mandak, Associated Press

PITTSBURGH (AP) — A man who led police on a car chase that ended with a fiery crash that killed three people in another car likely was driving more than 100 mph and had a suspended license, police said in a criminal complaint filed Friday.

Demetrius Coleman was pulled over by East McKeesport police Thursday afternoon for making an illegal turn, then sped away when officers learned he was wanted for violating his probation for a felony charge of possessing with intent to deliver drugs, the complaint said.

David Bianco, his fiancee, Kaylie Meininger, and their 2-year-old daughter, Annika, were killed when Coleman hit their car and it burst into flames at an intersection, friends and relatives said. They had been driving to an uncle's house for dinner.

"They were talking about the future and getting married," Meininger's cousin Brittany Puccio told KDKA-TV.

James Blystone, a vice president for Glacier Restaurant Group, which owns Max & Ermas restaurant, where Bianco and Meininger worked in Monroeville, called them "a really hardworking couple trying to provide a great life for their daughter," the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

Coleman is charged with criminal homicide, vehicular homicide and aggravated assault with a vehicle among other charges in the Thanksgiving crash on a busy highway about 10 miles southeast of Pittsburgh. He remained hospitalized in police custody and didn't have an attorney listed in court records.

Coleman, of Pittsburgh, sped away from the convenience store parking lot where he was pulled over once officers turned up the drug warrant while checking his identification, the complaint said. The crash scene, in North Versailles, was about 2 miles from the initial traffic stop.

Online court records show Coleman, 22, was on probation for a 2012 drug possession case when he was charged with drug possession with intent to deliver in March. He was sentenced to jail but was then paroled and had his probation on the former case extended.

Accident reconstruction experts and other investigators were piecing together the crash, in which a second vehicle also was struck. Three women in that SUV were injured but survived. A female passenger in Coleman's vehicle also was injured, police said.

Witnesses and police said the chase reached speeds at least double the 40 mph speed limit on U.S. Route 30 before the crash at state Route 48.

North Versailles Officer Norman Locke, one of the officers chasing Coleman, "estimated the vehicle as exceeding 100 mph and he was not gaining on the vehicle at all," the criminal complaint said.

As Locke crested a hill, he could see the roof of Coleman's vehicle weaving in and out of traffic and approaching the intersection, where the light was red, the complaint said. That's when Locke saw a "large fireball and the telephone pole was immediately sheared in half and flipped over," the complaint said.

County homicide Detective Scott Scherer blamed Coleman for speeding away from the parking lot "with disregard to everything he does."

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Today in History - Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016

The Associated Press
Today is Saturday, Nov. 26, the 331st day of 2016. There are 35 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 26, 1941, U.S. Secretary of State Cordell Hull delivered a note to Japan's ambassador to the United States, Kichisaburo Nomura (kee-chee-sah-boor-oh noh-moo-rah), setting forth U.S. demands for "lasting and extensive peace throughout the Pacific area." The same day, a Japanese naval task force consisting of six aircraft carriers, left the Kuril Islands, headed toward Hawaii.

On this date:

In 1789, Americans observed a day of thanksgiving set aside by President George Washington to mark the adoption of the Constitution of the United States.

In 1864, English mathematician and writer Charles Dodgson presented a handwritten and illustrated manuscript, "Alice's Adventures Under Ground," to his 12-year-old friend Alice Pleasance Liddell; the book was later turned into "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland."

In 1933, a judge in New York ruled the James Joyce book "Ulysses" was not obscene and could be published in the United States.

In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered nationwide gasoline rationing, beginning Dec. 1. The Warner Bros. motion picture "Casablanca," starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, had its world premiere at the Hollywood Theater in New York.

In 1944, a month and a day following her Carnegie Hall recital, New York socialite and self-styled soprano Florence Foster Jenkins died at age 76.

In 1950, China entered the Korean War, launching a counteroffensive against soldiers from the United Nations, the U.S. and South Korea.

In 1965, France launched its first satellite, the 92-pound Asterix, into orbit.

In 1973, President Richard Nixon's personal secretary, Rose Mary Woods, told a federal court that she'd accidentally caused part of the 18-1/2-minute gap in a key Watergate tape.

In 1976, the Sex Pistols' debut single, "Anarchy in the U.K.," was released by EMI.

In 1986, President Ronald Reagan appointed a commission headed by former Senator John Tower to investigate his National Security Council staff in the wake of the Iran-Contra affair.

In 1990, Japanese business giant Matsushita (mat-soosh-tah) Electric Industrial Co. agreed to acquire MCA Corp., owner of Universal Studios, for $6.6 billion.

In 1991, the Stars and Stripes were lowered for the last time at Clark Air Base in the Philippines as the United States abandoned one of its oldest and largest overseas installations, which was damaged by a volcano.

Ten years ago: In New York City, an angry crowd demanded to know why police officers killed Sean Bell, an unarmed man, on the day of his wedding by firing dozens of shots that also wounded two of Bell's friends. In Turkey, tens of thousands of protesters denounced Pope Benedict XVI as an enemy of Islam two days before the pontiff's scheduled visit. Rafael Correa won Ecuador's presidential runoff.

Five years ago: In a friendly-fire incident that further strained relations between the United States and Pakistan, U.S. forces launched airstrikes that mistakenly killed 24 Pakistani troops at two posts along the Afghan border. NASA's Curiosity rover blasted off from the Kennedy Space Center on an 8ฝ-month, 354 million-mile journey to Mars (it arrived in Aug. 2012). NBA players and owners reached a tentative agreement to end a 149-day lockout.

One year ago: French President Francois Hollande (frahn-SWAH' oh-LAWND') and Russian President Vladimir Putin (POO'-tihn) agreed to tighten cooperation in the fight against the Islamic State group. Pope Francis celebrated his first Mass in Africa; later that day in Nairobi, Kenya, the pope met with several hundred priests and nuns, urging them to serve others and not be served. The White House underwent a Thanksgiving Day lockdown after a man draped in an American flag jumped the fence.

Today's Birthdays: Impressionist Rich Little is 78. Singer Tina Turner is 77. Singer Jean Terrell is 72. Pop musician John McVie is 71. Actress Marianne Muellerleile is 68. Actor Scott Jacoby is 60. Actress Jamie Rose is 57. Country singer Linda Davis is 54. Actor Scott Adsit is 51. Blues singer-musician Bernard Allison is 51. Country singer-musician Steve Grisaffe is 51. Actress Kristin Bauer is 43. Actor Peter Facinelli is 43. Actress Tammy Lynn Michaels Etheridge is 42. DJ/record label executive DJ Khaled (KAL'-ehd) is 41. Actress Maia (MY'-ah) Campbell is 40. Country singer Joe Nichols is 40. Contemporary Christian musicians Randy and Anthony Armstrong (Red) are 38. Actress Jessica Bowman is 36. Pop singer Natasha Bedingfield is 35. Country singer-musician Mike Gossin (Gloriana Rock) is 32. Rock musician Ben Wysocki (The Fray) is 32. Singer Lil Fizz is 31. Singer Aubrey Collins is 29.

Thought for Today: "Better to trust the man who is frequently in error than the one who is never in doubt." — Eric Sevareid, broadcast journalist (born this date in 1912, died 1992).

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Manhunt in France after killing at religious residence

Firefighters and ambulances are seen in the village of Montferrier-sur-Lez, southern France, Friday, Nov. 25, 2016.(AP Photo)

Philippe Sotto, Associated Press

PARIS (AP) — French police searched Friday for a masked gunman suspected of stabbing an elderly woman to death in a retirement home for Catholic missionaries in southern France, authorities said.

An unusually large police operation was launched to search for the suspected attacker, believed to be armed with a shotgun and a knife. The identity of the assailant and motive for the killing were unclear.

The press service for the gendarmes, or military police, couldn't say whether the incident was linked to a terrorist act. Security at religious and other sites has been increased after a string of Islamic extremist attacks on France.

A gendarme service spokesman said early Friday that more than 100 members of the security forces were dispatched to the village of Montferrier-sur-Lez, near the city of Montpellier in the southern tip of France. The spokesman was not authorized to be publicly named.

Prosecutor Christophe Barret told reporters that a woman who works at the retirement home called police Thursday night to say she had been attacked.

When the officers arrived, they found the body of another woman, gagged and tied up outside the building with three stab wounds, the gendarme spokesman said.

The worker who alerted police did not suffer serious injuries but was deeply rattled, and no one else at the residence was harmed, the prosecutor said in televised remarks carried on the website of Midi Libre newspaper.

Security forces searched the complex but did not find the assailant. The spokesman said the about 60 residents of the facility are out of danger, and the search is continuing in a larger perimeter with help from a helicopter and police dogs.

The residence, called "Green Oaks," is operated by the African Missions Society, and takes in retired priests, nuns and others who have worked on missions in Africa.

Olivier Ribadeau Dumas, spokesman for the French Catholic bishops' conference, tweeted condolences for the woman killed and added, "our prayers reach out also to the missionaries attacked in their retirement home in the Herault (region). God give them all peace."

France has been under a state of emergency for a year since Islamic State group attacks on Paris killed 130 people. Another Islamic State attack in July targeted a Catholic church in Normandy, where two attackers slit a priest's throat and held elderly parishioners hostage.

Angela Charlton in Paris contributed.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Vietnam seizes 619 kilograms of ivory smuggled from Africa

 

Security officers guard containers of seized ivory tusks and rhino horns before they are destroyed in Hanoi, Vietnam.(AP Photo/Hau Dinh)

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — Vietnamese authorities have seized 619 kilograms (1,362 pounds) of ivory illegally shipped in from Africa after finding 4 tons at the same port over the past two months, state media and an official said Friday.

The ivory seized Thursday had been hidden in two containers arriving at Cat Lai port in southern commercial hub of Ho Chi Minh City, the city's Customs newspaper said.

Le Dinh Loi, the city's deputy customs chief confirmed the report, but did not give more details Friday.

The Customs newspaper said the smugglers used more sophisticated tactics than previous shipments by sealing the ivory inside emptied-out timber.

The seizure came just a week after leaders and senior officials from more than 40 countries met at an international conference on illegal wildlife trade in Hanoi, which was attended by Britain's Prince William.

The conference called for stepped-up efforts to combat illegal wildlife trade.

At the conference, Prince William, who is president of United for Wildlife, praised Vietnam, China and other Asian countries for taking steps to battle wildlife trafficking, but said rhinos, elephants, pangolins and tigers are still being killed in horrifying numbers.

He said the international community is not moving fast enough to keep up with the crisis.

Vietnam is one of the world's major transit points and consumers of ivory and rhino horn.

Elephant ivory is used as jewelry and home decorations in Vietnam, which bans hunting of its own dwindling population of elephants.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Death toll in construction accident in China rises to 74

Rescue workers look for survivors (Wan Xiang/Xinhua via. AP)

(Wan Xiang/Xinhua via. AP)

Geryy Shih, Associated Press

BEIJING (AP) — The death toll from the collapse of scaffolding at a construction site in eastern China rose to 74, state media said Friday, in the country's worst work-safety accident in over two years.

Two others were injured after the work platform at a power plant cooling tower that was under construction collapsed Thursday, sending iron pipes, steel bars and wooden planks tumbling down on the workers, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

The cooling tower was being built in the city of Fengcheng in Jiangxi province when the scaffolding tumbled down, an official with the local Work Safety Administration who would only give his surname, Yuan, said by telephone.

About 500 rescue workers, including paramilitary police officers, dug through the debris with their hands, according to state broadcaster CCTV. It showed debris strewn across the floor of the cavernous, 165-meter (545-foot) -high concrete cooling tower, in the middle of which stood an unfinished structure.

Chinese President Xi Jinping urged local governments to learn from the accident and hold those responsible accountable. He said that in the wake of recent work accidents, the State Council, China's Cabinet, should carry out thorough inspections of work sites to reduce risks.

China has suffered several major work-safety accidents in recent years blamed on weak regulatory oversight, systemic corruption and pressure to boost production amid a slowing economy.

The scaffolding accident happened the same day that Yang Dongliang, a former head of the State Administration of Work Safety, stood trial in a Beijing court for allegedly accepting $4.3 million in bribes between 2002 and last year, as he rose through the ranks as an official in Tianjin before joining the regulatory agency.

Yang was sacked in August 2015 in connection with a massive explosion at an illegal chemical warehouse in the northern port of Tianjin that killed 173 people, most of them firefighters and police officers. The head of a logistics company was given a suspended death sentence over the case.

Earlier this month, 33 miners were killed in a gas explosion at a coal mine in Chongqing in China's southwest. In 2014, a dust explosion at a metal production workshop killed 146 people.

Other accidents blamed on lax safety standards in recent years have also caused significant fatalities.

In June 2015, 442 people were killed in the capsize on the Yangtze River of a modified cruise ship blamed on poor decisions made by the captain and crew, while 81 people were killed in December when an enormous, man-made mountain of soil and waste collapsed on nearly three dozen buildings in the southern manufacturing center of Shenzhen.

Construction of the 1,000-megawatt coal-fired power plant at the center of Thursday's accident began in Fengcheng in late 2015 and was expected to be finished in November 2017. Provincial officials held a televised news conference late Thursday at which they bowed to express condolences to the workers' families.

The cause of the collapse is under investigation.

Hundreds of coal-fired power plants are under construction in China.

Beijing has vowed to solve a looming problem of power oversupply and cap greenhouse gas emissions in the medium term, but economic planners said earlier in November they intend to boost coal power generation capacity by a fifth over the next five years, or the equivalent output of hundreds of new coal-fired plants.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Greece: 2 dead as fire rages through refugee camp

Derek Gatopoulos, Associated Press

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Police say two people have died on the Greek island of Lesbos and two others were seriously injured after a fire raged through a refugee camp used for migrants facing deportation back to Turkey.

Police early Friday said the fire at Moria refugee camp started by a cooking gas canister and that the victims were a young boy and an older woman. Two others were hospitalized, including another child, with extensive burns, an officer told The Associated Press.

He asked not to be identified because he is not authorized to speak to the news media.

The fire was put out but the extent of the damage was not immediately clear. Migrants at the camp clashed with police during the evacuation.

Protests have repeatedly occurred at overcrowded deportation camps.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Today in History - Friday, Nov. 25, 2016

The Associated Press

Today is Friday, Nov. 25, the 330th day of 2016. There are 36 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 25, 1920, radio station WTAW of College Station, Texas, broadcast the first play-by-play description of a football game, between Texas University and the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas. (Texas won, 7-3.)

On this date:

In 1783, the British evacuated New York, their last military position in the United States during the Revolutionary War.

In 1864, during the Civil War, Confederate agents set a series of arson fires in New York; the blazes were quickly extinguished.

In 1915, a new version of the Ku Klux Klan, targeting blacks, Jews, Catholics and immigrants, was founded by William Joseph Simmons, who proclaimed himself Imperial Wizard as he staged a cross-burning on Stone Mountain outside Atlanta.

In 1940, the cartoon character Woody Woodpecker made his debut in the animated short "Knock Knock" produced by Walter Lantz.

In 1947, movie studio executives meeting in New York agreed to blacklist the "Hollywood Ten" who'd been cited for contempt of Congress the day before.

In 1957, President Dwight D. Eisenhower suffered a slight stroke.

In 1963, the body of President John F. Kennedy was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery; his widow, Jacqueline, lighted an "eternal flame" at the gravesite.

In 1974, former U.N. Secretary-General U Thant (oo thahnt) died in New York at age 65.

In 1986, the Iran-Contra affair erupted as President Ronald Reagan and Attorney General Edwin Meese revealed that profits from secret arms sales to Iran had been diverted to Nicaraguan rebels.

In 1999, 5-year-old Elian Gonzalez was rescued by a pair of sport fishermen off the coast of Florida, setting off an international custody battle.

In 2001, as the war in Afghanistan entered its eighth week, CIA officer Johnny "Mike" Spann was killed during a prison uprising in Mazar-e-Sharif, becoming America's first combat casualty of the conflict.

In 2002, President George W. Bush signed legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security, and appointed Tom Ridge to be its head.

Ten years ago: A police shooting outside a strip club in Queens, New York, resulted in the death of Sean Bell hours before his wedding. (Two officers were later indicted for manslaughter while a third faced lesser charges; all three were acquitted at trial.) Israel and the Palestinians agreed to a cease-fire to end a five-month Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip and the firing of rockets by Palestinian militants into the Jewish state.

Five years ago: The U.S. increased pressure Friday on Egypt's military rulers to hand over power to civilian leaders, and the generals turned to Kamal el-Ganzouri, a Mubarak-era politician to head a new government in a move that failed to satisfy more than 100,000 protesters jamming Tahrir Square. Former New York Times political reporter and columnist Tom Wicker, 85, died in Rochester, Vermont.

One year ago: Vice President Joe Biden attended an urgent summit of southeast European leaders in Zagreb, Croatia, focusing on tensions and security concerns over a surge of asylum-seekers and migrants crossing the region. Pope Francis arrived in Kenya on his first-ever trip to Africa and urged Kenyans to work for peace and forgiveness amid a wave of extremist violence on the continent that threatened to disrupt his trip.

Today's Birthdays: Playwright Murray Schisgal is 90. Actress Kathryn Crosby is 83. Actor Christopher Riordan is 79. Pro Football Hall of Fame coach Joe Gibbs is 76. Singer Bob Lind is 74. Author, actor and economist Ben Stein is 72. Actor John Larroquette is 69. Actor Tracey Walter is 69. Movie director Jonathan Kaplan is 69. Author Charlaine Harris is 65. Retired MLB All-Star Bucky Dent is 65. Dance judge Bruno Tonioli (TV: "Dancing with the Stars") is 61. Singer Amy Grant is 56. Former NFL quarterback Bernie Kosar is 53. Rock musician Eric Grossman (K's Choice) is 52. Rock singer Mark Lanegan is 52. Rock singer-musician Tim Armstrong is 51. Actor Steve Harris is 51. Actor Billy Burke is 50. Singer Stacy Lattisaw is 50. Rock musician Rodney Sheppard (Sugar Ray) is 50. Rapper-producer Erick Sermon is 48. Actress Jill Hennessy is 47. Actress Christina Applegate is 45. Actor Eddie Steeples is 43. Actress Kristian Nairn is 41. Former NFL quarterback Donovan McNabb is 40. Actress Jill Flint is 39. Actor Jerry Ferrara is 37. Actor Joel Kinnaman is 37. Actress Valerie Azlynn is 36. Former first daughter Jenna Bush Hager is 35. Former first daughter Barbara Pierce Bush is 35. Actress Katie Cassidy is 30. Neo-soul musician Ben Griner (St. Paul & the Broken Bones) is 26. Contemporary Christian singer Jamie Grace is 25.

Thought for Today: "To know things as they are is better than to believe things as they seem." — Tom Wicker (1926-2011).

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Amnesty: Nigeria military kills 150 pro-Biafra separatists

Michelle Faul, Associated Press

LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria's military has killed at least 150 peaceful protesters in a "chilling campaign" to repress renewed demands to create a breakaway state of Biafra in the southeast, Amnesty International said Thursday.

The military denied any "killing of defenseless agitators." Security forces have "exercised maximum restraint" in response to violent protesters who in May killed five police officers and wounded several soldiers, said army spokesman Col. Sani Kukasheka Usman.

The London-based human rights organization said an analysis of 87 videos, 122 photographs and testimony from 146 witnesses showed "the military fired live ammunition with little or no warning" into crowds protesting in several cities between August 2015 and August 2016.

Hundreds of people have been arbitrarily detained and some tortured, Amnesty said.

The report quotes one woman in Onitsha city who said her husband called her May 30 to say a soldier had shot him in the stomach and he was in a military truck with six others, four already dead, and then whispering that the vehicle had stopped. Then she heard gunshots. The woman later found her husband's body at a mortuary with three gunshot wounds, one to the stomach and two in the chest, the report said.

Amnesty said it has "evidence of mass extrajudicial executions by security forces," including at least 60 people killed at a May 30 rally in Onitsha to commemorate the 1967-1970 civil war to create a Biafran state for the Igbo people. One million people died in that war.

Usman accused the secessionists of targeting other tribes in "a reign of hate, terror and ethno-religious controversies ... (threatening) national security."

Protests have increased, along with military violence, since the October 2015 arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, a leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, who has broadcast incendiary statements in southeast Nigeria through the group's London-based clandestine Radio Biafra.

Amnesty said that Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to investigate but done nothing about its previous reports documenting the December 2015 military killings of more than 300 Shiites and the deaths in military detention of some 8,000 people in the war to curb Boko Haram's Islamic.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Sudden currency move spoils business at Indian food market

A labourer squats on a truck loaded with cucumbers waiting for customers at Azadpur Mandi, one of Asia's largest wholesale market for fruits and vegetables, in New Delhi, India. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)

By Muneeza Naqvi, Associated Press

NEW DELHI (AP) — The scale of India's cash economy can be seen in the Azadpur Mandi wholesale fruit and vegetable market. Trucks bring load after load of fresh produce to its grimy lanes every day. Then a complex web of wholesale merchants, smaller traders and retailers delivers the produce to most of north India.

Almost every transaction, like most in India, is done in cash. And business at the massive New Delhi market is evaporating, the food spoiling and wasted, two weeks after the government's surprise currency move made more than 80 percent of India's banknotes useless.

By withdrawing all 500- and 1,000-rupee notes from circulation, the government is trying to clean India's economy of "black money," or untaxed wealth. Its success remains to be seen, but for now the move has created serpentine queues outsides banks and ATMs of people replacing their rupee notes or making small withdrawals.

Few people have access to banks, however. The vast majority of Indians earn and spend in cash, and more than half of the country's 1.3 billion people have no bank accounts.

In Azadpur people are upset: the impossibly wiry laborers who transport fruit and vegetables in handcarts around the 90-acre market, the big traders who conduct hundreds of thousands of rupees of business in a day and the small retailers who buy a few baskets or crates of food to sell each day.

Stopping to talk to a reporter would have been impossible a month ago, but business at the market was so thin on a recent day that groups of traders and workers were free to speak. A look at how India's currency move has impacted people at one crucial market.

____

WORRIED ABOUT THEIR NEXT MEAL.

— Jitendra Prasad sits propped on one edge of his wooden handcart. Flies buzz over bunches of ripe bananas but few customers stop to even ask his price.

People are holding on to their precious 10s and 100s out of fear of when they'll be able to make their next withdrawal, he says. Banks and ATMs are dispensing the new 2,000 rupee bill but smaller bills are scant. For Prasad the big bills are useless: "We don't have enough money to give them change."

So his fruit sits unsold or has to be thrown away.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has claimed the currency move had the support of India's poor, since it was aimed at corrupt wealth. "The poor are sleeping soundly. It is the rich who are looking to buy sleeping pills," he declared a few days after the switch.

Prasad for one isn't sleeping well.

"We are worried day and night. We are worried about having food to eat."

— Handcart puller Jagat came to Azadpur Mandi to find work when he was 14. He has done every odd job the market has. And he says it's never been harder to make enough to scrape by.

"I would make 1,000 rupees a day ($14.50). At this time in the morning I would be so busy I wouldn't have time to stop and talk. But now making even 200 rupees ($3) is hard." Some days there is no work at all.

For now small loans, from other laborers in the market, is helping a little.

"But if this doesn't end soon we will starve. What else?"

STRUGGLING TO DO BUSINESS.

— Everywhere in the market groups of traders have time on their hands.

"Nothing is going on here. Our suppliers have stopped buying. So, we are not getting any produce. What are we going to sell to our customers? Our investments are stuck. The new currency bills are not easily available," says Sanjay, a wholesale buyer of sweet limes, who uses just one name.

"Things are so bad that I'm actually taking the old currency notes from the few people who show up to buy," he says pointing to the sacks of fruit piled in his shop.

He knows that it'll be a while before he can deposit the bundles of old notes in the bank, "but what can I do? Throw it all away?"

— Amit Kumar hasn't had a customer hail his auto rickshaw all morning, a rarity on usual days. Over the last two weeks he has seen fares drop by about half. But food costs just as much and the rent won't pay itself.

He's not hopeful that the government will help ease the problem of cash flow that has hit people like him so hard.

"Those people, who have passed this order, they won't come to help us. They've created a problem for us. We have to find solutions."

For now he's borrowing money from anyone he can.

"I borrow from one person and ask another person for more time to pay back his loan. That's how we are managing."

COUNTING THEIR LOSSES.

— Sharique Qureshi says he only comes to the market to take stock of his losses. Behind him piles of papaya, wrapped in newspapers, have begun to rot.

"You can see that the market is empty. There is no produce, no customers. What are we going to do? Our business has stopped."

It took Qureshi 10 years to set up a steady business. Now he worries that he will lose all his customers if money doesn't make it way to the traders soon.

"People aren't even buying small amounts. Am I supposed to take another 10 years and find another way to earn money?"

In the kiosk next to Qureshi, trader Irshad Ali shouts out, "I've lost 300,000 rupees ($4,400) since this news. Is anyone going to compensate for that?"

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Snow falls in November in Tokyo for first time in 54 years

A woman walks in the snow at Kanda Myojin shrine in Tokyo.
(AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

TOKYO (AP) — Tokyo residents woke up Thursday to the first November snowfall in more than 50 years.

An unusually cold air mass brought wet snow to Japan's capital. Above-freezing temperatures kept the snow from sticking in most places, though it did accumulate on sidewalks and cars in Tokyo's far western suburbs.

Meteorologists forecast up to 2 centimeters (1 inch) would fall, and more in the mountains northwest of Tokyo.

The snow caused minor train delays during the morning commute.

The last time it snowed in central Tokyo in November was 1962.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Amazon removes negative reviews of Megyn Kelly's memoir

Megyn Kelly poses for a portrait in New York.
(Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP, File)

SEATTLE (AP) — Amazon has suppressed a number of negative reviews of Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly's new memoir.

The Los Angeles Times reports more than 100 negative reviews of Kelly's "Settle For More" appeared on the online retail giant's site within hours of its release Nov. 15. The newspaper reports many of the comments came from a link from a pro-Trump Reddit forum.

Seattle-based Amazon removed some reviews from users it couldn't verify had purchased the book.

Company spokeswoman Angie Newman says in a statement that "Amazon Customer Reviews must be product reviews and are designed to help customers make purchase decisions."

Kelly and Republican President-elect Donald Trump had a contentious relationship during the campaign.

Publisher HarperCollins tells the Times it alerted Amazon to the reviews.

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Today in History - Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016

The Associated Press

Today is Thursday, Nov. 24, the 329th day of 2016. There are 37 days left in the year. This is Thanksgiving Day.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 24, 1941, the U.S. Supreme Court, in Edwards v. California, unanimously struck down a California law prohibiting people from bringing indigent non-residents into the state.

On this date:

In 1784, Zachary Taylor, the 12th President of the United States, was born in Orange County, Virginia.

In 1859, British naturalist Charles Darwin published "On the Origin of Species," which explained his theory of evolution by means of natural selection.

In 1865, Mississippi became the first Southern state to enact laws which came to be known as "Black Codes" aimed at limiting the rights of newly freed blacks; other states of the former Confederacy soon followed.

In 1939, British Overseas Airways Corp. (BOAC) was formally established.

In 1944, during World War II, U.S. bombers based on Saipan attacked Tokyo in the first raid against the Japanese capital by land-based planes.

In 1950, the musical "Guys and Dolls," based on the writings of Damon Runyon and featuring songs by Frank Loesser (LEH'-suhr), opened on Broadway.

In 1963, Jack Ruby shot and mortally wounded Lee Harvey Oswald, the accused assassin of President John F. Kennedy, in a scene captured on live television.

In 1969, Apollo 12 splashed down safely in the Pacific.

In 1971, a hijacker calling himself "Dan Cooper" (but who became popularly known as "D.B. Cooper") parachuted from a Northwest Orient Airlines 727 over the Pacific Northwest after receiving $200,000 dollars in ransom; his fate remains unknown.

In 1974, the bone fragments of a 3.2 million-year-old hominid were discovered by scientists in Ethiopia; the skeletal remains were nicknamed "Lucy."

In 1985, the hijacking of an Egyptair jetliner parked on the ground in Malta ended violently as Egyptian commandos stormed the plane. Fifty-eight people died in the raid, in addition to two others killed by the hijackers.

In 1991, rock singer Freddie Mercury died in London at age 45 of AIDS-related pneumonia.

Ten years ago: Shiite militiamen in Iraq doused six Sunni Arabs with kerosene and burned them alive and killed 19 other Sunnis, taking revenge for the slaughter of 215 Shiites in Baghdad's Sadr City the day before. Belfast's most infamous Protestant militant, Michael Stone, stormed into the Northern Ireland Assembly headquarters with a bagful of pipe bombs; he was quickly subdued. (Stone was sentenced to 16 years in prison in 2008.) Opera singer Robert McFerrin Sr., the father of Grammy-winning conductor-vocalist Bobby McFerrin, died in suburban St. Louis at age 85.

Five years ago: After a meeting in Strasbourg, France, German Chancellor Angela Merkel deflected calls for the European Central Bank to play a bigger role in solving Europe's debt crisis but won the backing of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italy's new premier, Mario Monti, to unite the troubled 17-nation eurozone more closely. In the first NFL game featuring brothers as opposing head coaches, the Baltimore Ravens, led by John Harbaugh, beat the San Francisco 49ers, 16-6, under rookie coach Jim Harbaugh.

One year ago: In a show of Western solidarity, President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande (frahn-SWAH' oh-LAWND') met at the White House, where they vowed to escalate airstrikes against the Islamic State and bolster intelligence sharing following the deadly attacks in Paris. A suicide bomber struck a bus carrying members of Tunisia's presidential guard in the country's capital, killing 12 victims. Turkey shot down a Russian warplane that it said ignored repeated warnings after crossing into its airspace from Syria, killing one of the two pilots. (Turkey later formally apologized for the shootdown.)

Today's Birthdays: Basketball Hall of Famer Oscar Robertson is 78. Country singer Johnny Carver is 76. Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue (TAG'-lee-uh-boo) is 76. Rock drummer Pete Best is 75. Actor-comedian Billy Connolly is 74. Former White House news secretary Marlin Fitzwater is 74. Former Motion Picture Association of America Chairman Dan Glickman is 72. Singer Lee Michaels is 71. Actor Dwight Schultz is 69. Actor Stanley Livingston is 66. Rock musician Clem Burke (Blondie; The Romantics) is 62. Record producer Terry Lewis is 60. Actor/director Ruben Santiago-Hudson is 60. Actress Denise Crosby is 59. Actress Shae D'Lyn is 54. Rock musician John Squire (The Stone Roses) is 54. Rock musician Gary Stonadge (Big Audio) is 54. Actor Conleth Hill is 52. Actor-comedian Brad Sherwood is 52. Actor Garret Dillahunt is 52. Actor-comedian Scott Krinsky is 48. Rock musician Chad Taylor (Live) is 46. Actress Lola Glaudini is 45. Actress Danielle Nicolet is 43. Actor/writer/director/producer Stephen Merchant is 42. Olympic bronze medal figure skater Chen Lu is 40. Actor Colin Hanks is 39. Actress Katherine Heigl (HY'-guhl) is 38. Actress Sarah Hyland is 26.

Thought for Today: "Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings." — William Arthur Ward, American writer (1921-1994).

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
 


Samsung, pension fund raided as South Korean probe widens

Youkyung Lee, AP Business Writer

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — South Korean prosecutors investigating a corruption scandal surrounding the country's president and her friend raided a unit of the country's largest business group, Samsung, and the national pension fund on Wednesday.

Officials at Samsung Group and National Pension Service confirmed investigators visited their offices in Seoul.

The Investment Management Office of the world's third-largest pension fund was the target of the raid, according to an NPS official who declined to be named, citing office rules.

Samsung spokeswoman Lim Bomi declined to say which Samsung department was raided.

Prosecutors at Seoul Central District Court did not return calls seeking comment.

South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported earlier that prosecutors were looking into whether the presidential office played a role in the pension service's vote to support a controversial merger of two Samsung companies last year.

Samsung narrowly won shareholders' approval to merge Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries in July 2015.

Most investors and analysts questioned Samsung's argument that the deal was to create synergies between a Samsung construction firm and another Samsung firm that ran an amusement park and fashion businesses.

The merger deal was crucial for Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong who held a small stake in Samsung Electronics. It helped Lee, a grandson of Samsung founder and vice chairman at Samsung Electronics, strengthen his grip on the group's crown jewel, Samsung Electronics, without spending his own money.

Shareholders who opposed the merger, including U.S. hedge fund Elliott, said the deal unfairly benefited Samsung's founding families while hurting minority shareholders.

In the end it was National Pension Service, a major shareholder at both Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries, which played the role of king maker in the shareholder vote. The pension fund cast a vote in support of the merger even as some outside advisers recommended it oppose the deal.

The pension fund came under scrutiny for how it reached the decision to support the contentious merger. Public anger has been growing in recent weeks after one estimate showed that the value of the pension fund's stake in Samsung C&T, the merged entity, fell by hundreds of millions of dollars.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Czech free-climber scales Yosemite rock wall in record time

Adam Ondra celebrates after finishing the most difficult pitches of his climb on the Dawn Wall of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. (Heinz Zak/Courtesy of Black Diamond Equipment via AP)

Scott Smith, Associated Press

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Gripping tiny slices of sheer rock and hoisting himself up 3,000 feet with only his strength, Adam Ondra quietly inched his way up one of the world's most challenging rock walls and into the record books, a spokesman for the climber said Tuesday.

Ondra, a 23-year-old from the Czech Republic, took eight days to finish the free-climb up the Dawn Wall of the famed El Capitan in California's Yosemite National Park.

He completed the second-ever free assent of the wall Monday, said John Dicuollo, a spokesman for Black Diamond Equipment, which sponsors Ondra.

Nearly two years ago, U.S. climbers Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgeson were first to chart and conquer the route, a feat that took the pair 19 days.

"It's like being a proud parent, in a way," Jorgeson said Tuesday, honored that Ondra was drawn to the challenge. "That's the point: To raise the bar so someone else can do the same thing and stand on our shoulders."

Unlike climbers who need more elaborate equipment, free-climbers use their strength and ability to grasp tiny cracks and lips on the granite rock with their fingertips and toes. They use ropes and harnesses only for safety to catch a fall.

Throughout the climb, Ondra took to social media to post about the cold, soaking rain and the pain from the granite wearing down the skin on his fingers. He also celebrated victories.

"Hard to find the words to describe how I feel," he wrote on Instagram as he neared the top. "We made it up to the Wino Tower and no more hard pitches guard my way to the top. I could not have asked for a better day."

Ondra, pictured in jeans and a T-shirt pumping his arms after completing a difficult stretch of the climb, was not available for comment. Dicuollo said Ondra's cellphone was off as he celebrated by resting.

Ondra completed the climb in his first visit to Yosemite Valley. He arrived in mid-October, spending several days practicing some of the wall's most harrowing sections, before launching the formal climb on Nov. 14.

To rest, Ondra and his team pitched tents suspended on the wall's sheer face towering hundreds of feet above Yosemite Valley. The park — famous for its grand views, giant sequoias and pristine meadows — is known for attracting daredevil adventurers from around the globe.

Ondra had already distinguished himself as the first to hold two world championships in climbing, his sponsors said. Earlier this year, he also completed his university degree in business management.

He closely monitored Caldwell and Jorgeson's accomplishment in early 2015, drawing on inspiration from their climb to attempt his own, his sponsor said.

Yosemite climber and historian Ken Yager said there is no doubt that Ondra is the strongest climber alive today. Yager, however, credits Caldwell for taking years to chart the path up the Dawn Wall, the most difficult of several routes that climbers can take up El Capitan.

"Hopefully, Adam, with his skills, will come back and pioneer his own route," Yager said. "He can push it to his own level. He's got the skills to. It's whether he has the desire, too."

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FBI: No charges for Brad Pitt in alleged flight dispute

US actor Brad Pitt poses for photographers during a photocall for the premiere of the new film 'Allied' in Madrid, Spain Tuesday Nov. 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Abraham Caro Marin)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The FBI says it will not file charges against Brad Pitt stemming from an alleged dispute with his family aboard a private flight.

The FBI released a statement Tuesday saying it has reviewed the circumstances of the accusations and will not pursue further investigation.

Sources familiar with the allegations have said they center on the actor's treatment of his 15-year-old son, Maddox, during a private flight in September.

Angelina Jolie Pitt filed for divorce a few days later. Her attorney said it was "for the health of the family."

A spokesman for Pitt had no comment Tuesday. A representative for Jolie Pitt did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Custody of the actors' six children has been the primary issue in their divorce. Jolie Pitt is seeking sole custody of the children, while Pitt is seeking joint custody. A final agreement will be part of the couple's divorce judgment when it is entered.

California law favors joint custody, although details about custody arrangements are rarely made public in celebrity divorce cases.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


South Korea president's office explains Viagra purchase

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — An increasingly strange political scandal surrounding South Korean President Park Geun-hye has now left her office defending the purchase of hundreds of erectile dysfunction pills.

Park's office on Wednesday confirmed revelations by an opposition lawmaker that it purchased about 360 Viagra pills and the generic version of the drug in December.

The report has created a frenzy on the internet, but Park's office says the pills were bought to potentially treat altitude sickness for presidential aides and employees on Park's May trips to Ethiopia, Uganda and Kenya, whose capitals are 1 to 2 kilometers (0.6 to 1.2 miles) above sea level.

It says none of the pills were used. Local doctors sometimes prescribe Viagra-style drugs to climbers because they are thought to prevent altitude sickness.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Today in History - Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016

The Associated Press

Today is Wednesday, Nov. 23, the 328th day of 2016. There are 38 days left in the year.

Today's Highlight in History:

On Nov. 23, 1936, Life, the photojournalism magazine created by Henry R. Luce, was first published.

On this date:

In 1765, Frederick County, Maryland, became the first colonial American entity to repudiate the British Stamp Act.

In 1804, the 14th president of the United States, Franklin Pierce (puhrs), was born in Hillsboro, New Hampshire.

In 1889, the first jukebox made its debut in San Francisco, at the Palais Royale Saloon. (The coin-operated device consisted of four listening tubes attached to an Edison phonograph.)

In 1903, Enrico Caruso made his American debut at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York, appearing in "Rigoletto."

In 1910, American-born physician Hawley Harvey Crippen was hanged at Pentonville Prison in London for murdering his wife, Cora. (Crippen's mistress, Ethel Le Neve, was acquitted in a separate trial of being an accessory.)

In 1914, the seven-month U.S. military occupation of Veracruz, Mexico, ended.

In 1945, most U.S. wartime rationing of foods, including meat and butter, was set to expire by day's end.

In 1959, the musical "Fiorello!" starring Tom Bosley as legendary New York Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, opened on Broadway.

In 1963, President Lyndon B. Johnson proclaimed Nov. 25 a day of national mourning following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

In 1971, the People's Republic of China was seated in the U.N. Security Council.

In 1980, some 2,600 people were killed by a series of earthquakes that devastated southern Italy.

In 1996, a commandeered Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 767 crashed into the water off the Comoros Islands, killing 125 of the 175 people on board, including all three hijackers.

Ten years ago: Car bombs and mortar rounds struck a Shiite slum in Baghdad, killing 215 people. Former KGB spy Alexander Litvinenko (leet-vee-NYEN'-koh) died in London from radiation poisoning after making a deathbed statement blaming Russian President Vladimir Putin. Death claimed Broadway librettist Betty Comden at age 89; jazz vocalist Anita O'Day at age 87; and French actor Philippe Noiret at age 76.

Five years ago: Yemen's authoritarian President Ali Abdullah Saleh (AH'-lee ahb-DUH'-luh sah-LEH') agreed to step down amid a fierce uprising to oust him after 33 years in power.

One year ago: The White House urged its allies to step up their contributions to the campaign against the Islamic State, as President Barack Obama faced pressure to show the U.S.-led coalition would intensify efforts even without a major shift in strategy. Blue Origin, a private space company, landed a rocket called New Shepard upright and gently enough to be used again, a milestone in commercial aeronautics. Cynthia Robinson, 71, a trumpeter and vocalist who was a key member of Sly and the Family Stone, died in Carmichael, California.

Today's Birthdays: Former Labor Secretary William E. Brock is 86. Actress Elmarie Wendel is 88. Actor Franco Nero is 75. Actress Susan Anspach is 74. Screenwriter Joe Eszterhas is 72. Actor-comedy writer Bruce Vilanch is 69. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is 66. Singer Bruce Hornsby is 62. Former Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., is 61. Actor Maxwell Caulfield is 57. Actor John Henton is 56. TV personality Robin Roberts ("Good Morning America") is 56. Rock singer-musician Ken Block (Sister Hazel) is 50. Rock musician Charlie Grover is 50. Actress Salli Richardson-Whitfield is 49. Actor Oded Fehr (OH'-dehd fayr) is 46. Rapper-actor Kurupt (Tha Dogg Pound) is 44. Actor Page Kennedy is 40. Actress Kelly Brook is 37. Actor Lucas Grabeel (GRAY'-beel) is 32. TV personality Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi is 29. Actress-singer Miley Cyrus is 24. Actor Austin Majors is 21.

Thought for Today: "I'm a realist and so I think regretting is a useless occupation. You help no one with it. But you can't live without illusions even if you must fight for them, such as 'love conquers all.' It isn't true, but I would like it to be." — Marlene Dietrich, German-born actress (1901-1992).

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Japan residents flee after tsunami warning

Vehicles make a line as they flee following a tsunami warning in Iwaki, Fukushima prefecture.(Kyodo News via AP)

Long lines of cars, with their headlights on, are formed as coastal residents follow government orders to flee to higher ground after a strong earthquake with a magnitude of 7.4 struck off the coast of Fukushima prefecture.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami warning for waves of up to 3 meters (10 feet) in Fukushima, which is home to the nuclear power plant that was destroyed by a huge tsunami following an offshore earthquake in 2011. There were no immediate reports of damage or injury.

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Gay rights supporters win UN victory to keep UN LGBT expert

Supporters on both sides of the case vie for position following a hearing before Washington's Supreme Court about a florist who was sued for refusing to provide services for a same sex-wedding, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2016, in Bellevue, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press

UNITED NATIONS (AP)
— Supporters of gay rights won a victory at the United Nations Monday when an African attempt to suspend the first U.N. independent expert charged with investigating violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity failed.

African nations had urged the General Assembly's human rights committee to delay implementation of a resolution adopted by the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva to determine "the legal basis" for the expert's mandate. They also sought to suspend the expert, Vitit Muntarbhorn of Thailand, who was appointed on Sept. 30 and has started his work.

Latin American and Caribbean nations, who supported the appointment of the expert, introduced an amendment to get rid of the paragraph in the African-backed resolution calling for a delay in implementing the Human Rights Council resolution and suspension of the expert's activities.

That amendment was adopted by a vote of 84-77 with 12 abstentions by the assembly's human rights committee — a move that was welcomed by LGBT supporters.

The amended resolution, taking note of the Human Rights Council's report without any reference to suspending the expert, was then approved by a vote of 94-3 with 80 abstentions.

It now goes to the 193-member General Assembly for a final vote next month, when the Africans could again try to seek a delay. But the result is likely to be very similar to Monday's vote.

The vote on the amendment — and the 23-18 vote with 6 abstentions in the Human Rights Council that established the LGBT expert — reflect deep international divisions on gay rights.

The U.N. has worked to improve the rights of the LGBT community in recent years but has repeatedly run into opposition from some member states — especially from countries in the Middle East and Africa as well as China and Russia. Many of those countries spoke against the amendment on Monday.

According to a U.N. human rights report last year, at least 76 countries retain laws used to criminalize and harass people on the basis of their sexual orientation and gender identity or expression, including laws criminalizing consensual same-sex relationships among adults.

Botswana's U.N. Ambassador Charles Ntwaagae, who sponsored the resolution seeking the delay, reiterated Africa's alarm that the Geneva-based Human Rights Council is delving into national matters and attempting to focus on people "on the grounds of their sexual interests and behaviors" while ignoring intolerance and discrimination on other grounds including color, race, sex or religion.

U.S. deputy ambassador Sarah Mendelson countered that the council has approved numerous resolutions on violence and discrimination against minorities and others. She warned before the vote on the amendment that having the General Assembly re-open a Human Rights Council mandate for the first time could undermine its ability to function.

Gay rights groups campaigned hard against the African resolution.

A statement endorsed by 850 organizations from 157 countries around the world highlighted the need for all countries to respect the authority of the Human Rights Council and to vote in favor of the independent expert.

Jessica Stern, executive director of the U.S.-based gay rights group OutRight Action International, said the vote confirmed that countries believe in the council. "A lot can be accomplished when forces join hands," she added.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Rockwell painting on 1944 election fetches $6.5 million

NEW YORK (AP) — A painting by Norman Rockwell that depicts the undecided voter sentiment during the 1944 presidential election — much like the 2016 race — has sold for $6.5 million at an auction of American art in New York.

"Which One? (Undecided; Man in Voting Booth)" shows a man standing in a voting booth clutching a newspaper while pondering the choice between Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Republican Thomas E. Dewey.

It was sold at Sotheby's on Monday and just topped its high pre-sale estimate of $6 million.

The painting came from the estate of horse racing executive Ogden Mills Phipps, who acquired it in 1985.

Rockwell is best known for his covers of The Saturday Evening Post that capture the spirit and popular culture of everyday American life.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Box Office Top 20: 'Fantastic Beasts' summons $74.4 million

This image released by Warner Bros. Entertainment shows Eddie Redmayne in a scene from, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them." (Jaap Buitendijk/Warner Bros. via AP)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kicking off a five-film franchise spun off from the Harry Potter universe, "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" debuted to a healthy $74.4 million this weekend. The $180 million production benefited from lingering Harry Potter goodwill, but failed to reach the heights of those films in its first weekend.

The J.K Rowling creation unseated "Doctor Strange" from its two-week run at No. 1. "Strange" still managed to pull in $17.8 million, bringing its domestic total to $181.6 million.

The strength of the top five films, including holdovers "Trolls," ''Arrival" and "Almost Christmas" left little room for the other new openers, like the R-rated high school dramedy "The Edge of Seventeen," which debuted outside of the top 10 with $4.8 million and the fact-based boxing drama "Bleed for This," which took in $2.4 million.

Meanwhile, Ang Lee's technologically ambitious wartime drama "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" bombed in its expansion, earning only $901,062 from 1,176 locations for an abysmal $766 per screen average.

The top 20 movies at U.S. and Canadian theaters Friday through Sunday, followed by distribution studio, gross, number of theater locations, average receipts per location, total gross and number of weeks in release, as compiled Monday by comScore:

1. "Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them," Warner Bros., $74,403,387, 4,144 locations, $17,954 average, $74,403,387, 1 week.

2. "Doctor Strange," Disney, $17,761,060, 3,694 locations, $4,808 average, $181,627,937, 3 weeks.

3. "Trolls," 20th Century Fox, $17,448,673, 3,945 locations, $4,423 average, $116,163,206, 3 weeks.

4. "Arrival," Paramount, $12,138,671, 2,335 locations, $5,199 average, $43,709,470, 2 weeks.

5. "Almost Christmas," Universal, $7,256,950, 2,379 locations, $3,050 average, $25,637,690, 2 weeks.

6. "Hacksaw Ridge," Lionsgate, $6,666,920, 2,883 locations, $2,312 average, $42,771,212, 3 weeks.

7. "The Edge Of Seventeen," STX Entertainment, $4,754,215, 1,945 locations, $2,444 average, $4,754,215, 1 week.

8. "Bleed For This," Open Road, $2,366,810, 1,549 locations, $1,528 average, $2,366,810, 1 week.

9. "The Accountant," Warner Bros., $2,156,421, 1,423 locations, $1,515 average, $81,293,439, 6 weeks.

10. "Shut In," EuropaCorp, $1,605,648, 2,006 locations, $800 average, $6,042,293, 2 weeks.

11. "Moonlight," A24, $1,488,740, 650 locations, $2,290 average, $6,644,790, 5 weeks.

12. "Tyler Perry's Boo! A Madea Halloween," Lionsgate, $1,141,538, 1,171 locations, $975 average, $72,134,359, 5 weeks.

13. "Jack Reacher: Never Go Back," Paramount, $988,286, 1,110 locations, $890 average, $56,657,471, 5 weeks.

14. "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk," Sony, $901,062, 1,176 locations, $766 average, $1,057,673, 2 weeks.

15. "Loving," Focus Features, $869,430, 137 locations, $6,346 average, $1,752,518, 3 weeks.

16. "Inferno," Sony, $664,301, 770 locations, $863 average, $33,397,774, 4 weeks.

17. "The Girl On The Train," Universal, $588,440, 492 locations, $1,196 average, $74,469,545, 7 weeks.

18. "Nocturnal Animals," Focus Features, $492,648, 37 locations, $13,315 average, $492,648, 1 week.

19. "Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children," 20th Century Fox, $375,818, 464 locations, $810 average, $85,763,459, 8 weeks.

20. "Ouija: Origin Of Evil," Universal, $303,855, 381 locations, $798 average, $34,904,885, 5 weeks.

Universal and Focus are owned by NBC Universal, a unit of Comcast Corp.; Sony, Columbia, Sony Screen Gems and Sony Pictures Classics are units of Sony Corp.; Paramount is owned by Viacom Inc.; Disney, Pixar and Marvel are owned by The Walt Disney Co.; Miramax is owned by Filmyard Holdings LLC; 20th Century Fox and Fox Searchlight are owned by 21st Century Fox; Warner Bros. and New Line are units of Time Warner Inc.; MGM is owned by a group of former creditors including Highland Capital, Anchorage Advisors and Carl Icahn; Lionsgate is owned by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.; IFC is owned by AMC Networks Inc.; Rogue is owned by Relativity Media LLC.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Today in History - Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016

The Associated Press

Today is Tuesday, Nov. 22, the 327th day of 2016. There are 39 days left in the year.

Today's Highlights in History:

On Nov. 22, 1963, John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, was shot to death during a motorcade in Dallas; Texas Gov. John B. Connally, riding in the same car as Kennedy, was seriously wounded; suspected gunman Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested. The same day, authors Aldous Huxley and C.S. Lewis also died.

On this date:

In 1515, Mary of Guise, the second wife of King James V and the mother of Mary, Queen of Scots, was born in Lorraine, France.

In 1718, English pirate Edward Teach — better known as "Blackbeard" — was killed during a battle off present-day North Carolina.

In 1890, French president Charles de Gaulle was born in Lille, France.

In 1914, the First Battle of Ypres (EE'-pruh) during World War I ended with an Allied victory against Germany.

In 1928, "Bolero" by Maurice Ravel (rah-VEL') had its premiere at the Paris Opera.

In 1935, a flying boat, the China Clipper, took off from Alameda, California, carrying more than 100,000 pieces of mail on the first trans-Pacific airmail flight.

In 1944, the MGM movie musical "Meet Me in St. Louis," starring Judy Garland, had its world premiere in St. Louis.

In 1955, comic Shemp Howard of "Three Stooges" fame died in Hollywood at age 60.

In 1965, the musical "Man of La Mancha" opened on Broadway. Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan married Sara Lownds (the marriage lasted 12 years).

In 1975, Juan Carlos was proclaimed King of Spain.

In 1989, Rene Mouawad was killed by a bomb after serving 17 days as president of Lebanon.

In 1990, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, having failed to win re-election of the Conservative Party leadership on the first ballot, announced she would resign.

Ten years ago: A chemical factory explosion in Danvers, Massachusetts, destroyed the surrounding neighborhood but caused no deaths or serious injuries.

Five years ago: Baseball players and owners signed an agreement for a new labor contract, a deal making baseball the first North American professional major league to start blood testing on human growth hormone and expanding the playoffs to 10 teams by 2013. Ryan Braun was voted the NL MVP after helping the Milwaukee Brewers win their first division title in nearly 30 years. Death claimed France's former first lady Danielle Mitterrand at age 87 and Svetlana Alliluyeva (ah-lee-loo-YAY'-vah), daughter of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, at age 85. Soldier-turned-soap opera star J.R. Martinez and his professional partner, Karina Smirnoff, were named champions of season 13 of ABC's "Dancing with the Stars."

One year ago: Trying to reassure a nation on edge, President Barack Obama said in Malaysia that the Islamic State group "cannot strike a mortal blow" against the U.S., and he warned that overreacting to the Paris attacks would play into extremists' hands. Opposition candidate Mauricio Macri won Argentina's presidential election, marking an end to the left-leaning era of President Cristina Fernandez. Former South Korean President Kim Young-sam, 87, who led the country's transition to democracy, died in Seoul. Actress and artist Adele Morales Mailer, 90, died in New York. Novak Djokovic (NOH'-vak JOH'-kuh-vich) won his fourth straight title at the season-ending ATP finals by beating six-time champion Roger Federer 6-3, 6-4. Kyle Busch won his first career Sprint Cup title claiming the season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. One Direction won artist of the year at the American Music Awards.

Today's Birthdays: Actor Michael Callan is 81. Actor Allen Garfield is 77. Animator and movie director Terry Gilliam is 76. Actor Tom Conti is 75. Singer Jesse Colin Young is 75. Astronaut Guion Bluford is 74. International Tennis Hall of Famer Billie Jean King is 73. Rock musician-actor Steve Van Zandt (a.k.a. Little Steven) is 66. Rock musician Tina Weymouth (The Heads; Talking Heads; The Tom Tom Club) is 66. Retired MLB All-Star Greg Luzinski is 66. Actress Lin Tucci is 65. Rock musician Lawrence Gowan is 60. Actor Richard Kind is 60. Actress Jamie Lee Curtis is 58. Alt-country singer Jason Ringenberg (Jason & the Scorchers) is 58. Actress Mariel Hemingway is 55. Actor Winsor Harmon is 53. Actor-turned-producer Brian Robbins is 53. Actor Stephen Geoffreys is 52. Rock musician Charlie Colin is 50. Actor Nicholas Rowe is 50. Actor Michael K. Williams is 50. Actor Mark Ruffalo is 49. International Tennis Hall of Famer Boris Becker is 49. Actress Sidse (SIH'-sa) Babett Knudsen (TV: "Westworld") is 48. Country musician Chris Fryar (Zac Brown Band) is 46. Actor Josh Cooke is 37. Actor-singer Tyler Hilton is 33. Actress Scarlett Johansson is 32. Actor Jamie Campbell Bower is 28. Singer Candice Glover (TV: "American Idol") is 27. Actor Alden Ehrenreich is 27. Actress Mackenzie Lintz (TV: "Under the Dome") is 20.

Thought for Today: "Experience is not what happens to a man; it is what a man does with what happens to him." — Aldous Huxley (1894-1963).

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


 


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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]

6 more detained over China platform collapse that killed 74

Electric car factory planned in Arizona to have 2000 workers

Pirelli launches covered-up 2017 calendar with top actresses

Longtime Elvis Presley aide Joe Esposito dies at 78

Today in History - Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2016


North Korea in 3 days of mourning for 'great comrade' Castro

Leaning San Francisco tower seen sinking from space

DirecTV wants to be the next online substitute for cable

Coca-Cola No. 1 in Japan with drinks galore, but not Coke

Today in History - Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016


China detains 9 managers after plant collapse kills 74

Thanksgiving weekend shoppers spent less due to discounts

Manila police safely defuse suspected bomb near US Embassy

China will build $2 billion film studio, industry park

Today in History - Monday, Nov. 28, 2016


Today in History - Sunday, Nov. 27, 2016

Counting 1 million crowds at anti-president rally in Seoul

Nude students, Filipino activists protest dictator's burial

Woman in Japan reclaims dad, US identity in 6-decade journey

Police: License-less driver topped 100 mph before killing 3

Today in History - Saturday, Nov. 26, 2016


Manhunt in France after killing at religious residence

Vietnam seizes 619 kilograms of ivory smuggled from Africa

Death toll in construction accident in China rises to 74

Greece: 2 dead as fire rages through refugee camp

Today in History - Friday, Nov. 25, 2016


Amnesty: Nigeria military kills 150 pro-Biafra separatists

Sudden currency move spoils business at Indian food market

Snow falls in November in Tokyo for first time in 54 years

Amazon removes negative reviews of Megyn Kelly's memoir

Today in History - Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016


Samsung, pension fund raided as South Korean probe widens

Czech free-climber scales Yosemite rock wall in record time

FBI: No charges for Brad Pitt in alleged flight dispute

South Korea president's office explains Viagra purchase

Today in History - Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2016


Japan residents flee after tsunami warning

Gay rights supporters win UN victory to keep UN LGBT expert

Rockwell painting on 1944 election fetches $6.5 million

Box Office Top 20: 'Fantastic Beasts' summons $74.4 million

Today in History - Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016

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