By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - The white Chicago policeman charged with murdering a black teenager he shot 16 times spent his first full day in custody on Wednesday in a jail hospital ward, but calm prevailed in the city despite fears of civil unrest over a video of the slaying. Five people were arrested late on Tuesday in mostly peaceful demonstrations following release of the graphic footage showing 17-year-old Laquan McDonald being gunned down in the middle of a street on Oct. 20, 2014, as he was walking away from police who had confronted him. A new round of protests on Wednesday at Chicago's criminal courthouse and City Hall were sparsely attended, although members of the City Council's black caucus again demanded the resignation of Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.
By Roberta Rampton and Kylie Gumpert WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - President Barack Obama sought to reassure Americans they were safe as millions of travelers set off for the long Thanksgiving weekend on Wednesday and authorities stepped up security at airports in response to the attacks in Paris two weeks ago. In New York City, record-breaking crowds were expected on Thursday for the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, and Police Commissioner William Bratton said the city was deploying more officers at the annual event than ever before. "Right now, we know of no specific and credible intelligence indicating a plot on the homeland," Obama told reporters at the White House, two weeks after suspected Islamist militants killed 130 people in a series of coordinated attacks in the French capital.
Three white men were being held on Wednesday by Minneapolis police as prosecutors weighed charges against them in connection with the shooting this week of five people protesting against the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man. While police have said they will not identify the men until they are charged, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, citing sources, reported that Allen Lawrence "Lance" Scarsella III, 23, was arrested, while Nathan Gustavsson, 21, and Daniel Macey, 26, were taken into custody after they turned themselves in. None of the five demonstrators wounded in Monday's shooting received life-threatening injuries, police said.
By Roberta Rampton and Kylie Gumpert WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - President Barack Obama sought to reassure Americans they are safe as millions of people traveled on Wednesday for the Thanksgiving holiday, with security heightened at airports, New York City's parade festivities and other venues after the Paris attacks. "Right now, we know of no specific and credible intelligence indicating a plot on the homeland," Obama told reporters at the White House, flanked by his FBI director and other top security officials. "We are taking every possible step to keep our homeland safe," he said.
The Turkish army on Wednesday released a series of audio recordings of apparent warnings issued to a Russian jet before it was downed near the Syrian border. "This is Turkish Air Force speaking on guard. Change your heading south immediately," a voice in one of the recordings can be heard saying in English, repeating the message several times.
By Kylie Gumpert NEW YORK (Reuters) - Millions of Americans embarked on their annual Thanksgiving travels on Wednesday, with security at airports, New York City's parade festivities and other venues expected to be heightened amid jitters after the Paris attacks. The FBI sent a bulletin earlier this week to police departments across the country warning of possible copycat incidents and sharing intelligence on how the assailants in Paris carried out attacks on Nov. 13 that killed 130 people. The U.S. State Department also issued a world-wide travel alert on Monday warning American travelers to remain vigilant, particularly when visiting foreign countries.
Daniel Herbert, a lawyer for Officer Jason Van Dyke, told CNN his client arrived at the scene 18 minutes after a suspect carrying a knife was reported to have threatened businesses and vandalized police cruisers. Prosecutors said Van Dyke had been on the scene 30 seconds before he shot 17-year-old Laquan McDonald 16 times. The Chicago shooting charges follow more than a year of unrest across the United States over police shootings of black men that was sparked after the August 2014 killing of unarmed Michael Brown, 18, in Ferguson, Missouri.
Brussels struggled to return to normal Wednesday after four days on maximum terror alert, with schools and the metro reopening despite two suspects from the Paris attacks still being at large. "It's not very reassuring, is it?," said Sarah, who runs a private nursery in Brussels. The Brussels metro system had been closed since Saturday and gradually returned to service, but with many stops still shut to better deploy security staff.
A woman who brought a sexual misconduct suit against the former co-director of the Kabbalah Center, a spiritual group whose brand of Jewish mysticism has drawn many celebrity devotees, was awarded $177,500 in damages by a jury on Tuesday. The Los Angeles County Superior Court jury found Yehuda Berg, 43, known in Hollywood as "a rabbi to the stars," liable for inflicting emotional distress on a former follower, Jena Scaccetti, according to her lawyer, Alain Bonavida. The case marked the latest controversy faced over the years by the Kabbalah Center, a non-profit organization founded in 1965 by Berg's late father, Philip, a rabbi who espoused teachings rooted in metaphysical principles of Jewish belief.
By Andrea Shalal WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government is working hard to ensure quicker processing of U.S. foreign arms sales, which surged 36 percent to $46.6 billion in fiscal 2015 and look set to remain strong in coming years, a top Pentagon official said. "Projections are still strong," Vice Admiral Joe Rixey, who heads the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA), told Reuters in an interview late on Monday. The fight against Islamic State militants and other armed conflicts around the globe were fueling demand for U.S. missile defense equipment, helicopters and munitions, Rixey said, a shift from 10 years ago when the focus was on fighter jets.