National News

New this week: Lizzo, 'Criminal Minds' and 'The Woman King'

This week’s new entertainment releases include an live posthumous album from Tom Petty, the criminal profile spinoff series “Criminal Minds: Evolution,” a documentary about the plucky Mars Rover Opportunity and a TV series that focuses on the backstage melodrama at the Chippendale’s male strip clubs. There's also the new documentary “Love, Lizzo,” an intimate portrait of the superstar musician, and if you need a way to shake off the stuffing after that Thanksgiving feast, why not throw an international dance party with friends from around the world with Ubisoft’s video game “Just Dance 2023”?

In Your Debt: 4 ways to limit your holiday debt

The holiday season is full of sneaky costs, expensive travel and the pressure to spend. It’s a time that leaves many Americans in debt long after the decorations come down. But with some planning and the patience to hunt for deals, you can still enjoy a meaningful season without spending hundreds of dollars in interest payments. If you do end up in debt, make paying it down as quickly as possible your New Year’s resolution, and start thinking ahead so you can begin saving for next year’s festivities.

After a year, omicron still driving COVID surges and worries

The omicron variant is driving U.S. COVID-19 case counts higher in many places just in time for the holiday season. The ever-morphing mutant began its assault on humanity a year ago. Experts soon expect a wave to wash over the U.S. Cases nationally now average around 39,300 a day, though that's believed to be an undercount. Hospitalizations are at about 28,000 a day and deaths about 340 a day. Yet a fifth of the population hasn’t been vaccinated. Most eligible Americans haven’t gotten the latest boosters. And many have stopped wearing masks. Meanwhile, the mutating virus keeps finding ways to avoid defeat.

Serb police: man shot in border town clash between migrants

Serbian police say a migrant has been shot and wounded and a number of others have been detained following reports of a clash between migrants in a northern Serbian town on the border with Hungary. Police said Friday they found a 20-year-old man shot twice in the chest after responding late Thursday to calls from Horgos residents that groups of migrants were shooting at each other in the town. Six others were also found at the scene. The incident comes as the numbers of migrants trying to reach Western Europe through the Balkans have grown considerably in the past months.

AP Week in Pictures: Latin America and Caribbean

This photo gallery highlights some of the most compelling images made or published by Associated Press photographers in Latin America and the Caribbean. It was curated by AP photo editor Leslie Mazoch in Mexico City.

Owner of gay club: Shooting comes amid a new 'type of hate'

The co-owner of Colorado Springs’ Club Q said that anti-LGBTQ hate has evolved from prejudice to incitement. In one of his first interviews since Saturday night’s mass shooting, Nic Grzecka told the Associated Press that politicians calling transgender people “groomers” breeds violence. Grzecka built Club Q into an enclave that sustained the LGBTQ community in the conservative-leaning Colorado Springs. On Saturday, a shooter killed five and injured 17 in Club Q. Grzecka and community leaders are working to reconstitute an LGBTQ support system to facilitate healing.

Witness: Walmart shooter seemed to target certain people

A witness says that the Walmart supervisor who shot and killed six coworkers in Virginia seemed to target people and shot some victims after they were already hit and appeared to be dead. Jessica Wilczewski said that workers were gathered in a Walmart break room to begin their overnight shift late Tuesday when team leader Andre Bing entered and began shooting with a handgun. While another witness has described Bing as shooting wildly, Wilczewski said that she observed him target certain people. She said he looked at people's faces and picked out who he was going to shoot.

Writer who accused Trump of 1990s rape files new lawsuit

A writer who accused former President Donald Trump of rape filed an upgraded lawsuit against him Thursday in New York, minutes after a new state law took effect allowing victims of sexual violence to sue over attacks that occurred decades ago. E. Jean Carroll’s lawyer filed the legal papers electronically as the Adult Survivor’s Act temporarily lifted the state’s usual deadlines for suing over sexual assault. Carroll previously sued Trump for denying that he raped her. But she previously had been barred from suing over the alleged rape because too many years had passed. Trump says Carroll's claims are a hoax.

High-flying balloon characters star in Thanksgiving parade

Throngs of spectators have lined the streets of New York as colorful, high-flying balloons help usher in the holiday season at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. The annual tradition packed streets as a procession of giant inflatables and floats streamed for more than 40 blocks from Central Park to Herald Square. International cartoon sensation Bluey, the Australian cattle pup, made her parade debut Thursday morning. She towered as tall as a four-story building and stretched as wide as seven taxi cabs. Stuart, the one-eyed Minion, was also there. This year’s parade featured 16 giant balloons, 28 floats, 40 novelty and heritage inflatables, 12 marching bands, 10 performance groups, 700 clowns and one Santa Claus.

Next act for Palin unclear after Alaska House losses

Republican Sarah Palin re-emerged in Alaska politics over a decade after resigning as governor with hopes of winning the state’s U.S. House seat. She had unbeatable name recognition, the backing of former President Donald Trump and an unrivaled ability to attract national media attention. But she struggled to catch fire with voters and ran what critics saw as a lackluster campaign against a breakout Democrat who pitched herself as a regular Alaskan and a Republican backed by state GOP leaders. Palin lost two elections this year for the House seat to the Democrat, Mary Peltola, who is Yup’ik and with her win in the special election became the first Alaska Native to serve in Congress.

Ford recalls over 634K SUVs due to fuel leaks and fire risk

Ford is recalling over 634,000 SUVs worldwide because a cracked fuel injector can spill fuel or leak vapors onto a hot engine and cause fires. The recall covers Bronco Sport and Escape SUVs from the 2020 through 2023 model years with 1.5-liter, three-cylinder engines. But the Dearborn, Michigan, automaker says it’s not recommending that owners stop driving the vehicles or park them outdoors. That's because fires are rare and generally don’t happen when the engines are off. Dealers will update engine-control software so it detects a cracked injector. Drivers will get a dashboard message to get service. They’ll also install a tube to drain fuel from the cylinder head and away from hot surfaces.

Holiday shopping kicks off with inflation dampening spirits

While Black Friday will mark a return to familiar holiday shopping patterns, uncertainty still remains. The U.S. job market remains strong, consumer spending is resilient and inflation has been slowing. But elevated prices for food, rent, gasoline and other household costs have taken a toll on shoppers. As a result, many are reluctant to spend unless there is a big sale and are being more selective with what they will buy — in many cases, trading down to cheaper stuff and less expensive stores. Shoppers are also dipping more into their savings, turning increasingly to “buy now, pay later” services, as well as running up their credit cards. Such financial hardships could help drive shoppers to look for bargains.