South Korea's president ordered more troops to a front-line island and dumped his defense minister Thursday as the country grappled with lapses in its response to a deadly North Korean artillery strike. In scenes reminiscent of the Korean War 60 years ago, dazed residents of Yeonpyeong island foraged through blackened rubble for pieces of their lives and lugged their possessions down eerily deserted streets strewn with bent metal after Tuesday's hail of artillery. The barrage darkened skies, set off fierce blazes, killed four South Koreans and raised fears of an escalation that could lead to full-scale war.
NEW YORK (AP) — Not all Americans tucked into turkey with their families on Thanksgiving. Some were out shopping, hitting sales ahead of the crowds expected Friday. After a year of cautious spending and worry over an uncertain economy and high unemployment, more stores this year extended hours into Thanksgiving Day, a day when stores are traditionally closed.
BAGHDAD (AP) — Incumbent Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki cemented his grip on power Thursday, bringing an end to nearly nine months of political deadlock after he was asked to form the next government. He now faces the daunting task of bringing together Iraq's Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish factions in a government that can overcome enduring tensions as the country struggles to develop its economy and prevent a resurgence of violence as the last American troops are due to leave by the end of next year.
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Soviet Union couldn't win in Afghanistan, and now the United States is about to have something in common with that futile campaign: nine years, 50 days. On Friday, the U.S.-led coalition will have been fighting in this South Asian country for as long as the Soviets did in their humbling attempt to build up a socialist state. The two invasions had different goals — and dramatically different body counts — but whether they have significantly different outcomes remains to be seen.
MONTERREY, Mexico (AP) — A 21-year-old university student lies dead from a gunshot to the head. Nearby, paramedics wrap the head of another woman in a blood-soaked shirt while her husband holds their cowering children. They were shopping in a popular downtown promenade when gunmen chasing a security guard opened fire into the crowd. This wasn't supposed to happen in Monterrey, Mexico's modern northern city with gleaming glass towers that rise against the Sierra Madre, where students flock to world-class universities, including the country's equivalent of MIT.
NEW YORK (AP) — A high-kicking Kung Fu Panda and a diary-toting Wimpy Kid joined the giant balloon lineup as the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade unfolded Thursday, drawing tens of thousands of spectators to the annual extravaganza on a chilly, overcast morning. Emily Rowlinson, a tourist from London, squealed and snapped pictures with her cell phone as the massive Smurf balloon floated by a packed sidewalk along the route.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Three teens who have been missing in the South Pacific for 50 days — and were already eulogized in a memorial service — have been found alive by a New Zealand fishing boat. The boys — two 15-year-olds and a 14-year-old — disappeared while attempting to row between two islands in the New Zealand territory of Tokelau in early October and were given up for dead after an extensive search involving New Zealand's air force.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — An Alabama man accused of killing his wife during their honeymoon on the Great Barrier Reef has been indicted on two murder counts, the state attorney general said Thursday after the suspect arrived in the United States from Australia, where he served an 18-month prison sentence for the 2003 drowning death. Gabe Watson, 33, arrived in Los Angeles on Thursday morning after he was deported on a commercial flight from the southern Australian city of Melbourne. Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said Watson was accompanied by two Immigration Department staff and three Queensland state police officers on the flight. Watson cleared customs within an hour and was taken away in handcuffs.
WASHINGTON (AP) — They just needed some leg room: New research shows the great dinosaur die-off made way for mammals to explode in size — some more massive than several elephants put together. The largest land mammal ever: A rhinoceros-like creature, minus the horn, that stood 18 feet tall, weighed roughly 17 tons and grazed in forests in what is now Eurasia. It makes the better known woolly mammoth seem a bit puny.
DETROIT (AP) — Tom Brady's perfect game was much too much for the Detroit Lions. Brady threw a season-high four touchdown passes, all in the second half, and the New England Patriots routed Detroit 45-24 on Thursday.