AP Top News at 12:41 p.m. EST

Thanksgiving parade features balloons, bands, heavy security
NEW YORK (AP) - Giant balloons took to the clear, sunny sky over midtown Manhattan on Thursday for the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, with spectators lining up along the parade route and a heavy police presence keeping a watchful eye. The parade, in its 89th year, included marching bands and floats to go along with Hello Kitty, Snoopy, Paddington and other giant balloons. City officials have said there are no known, credible threats against New York following the recent attacks in Paris and a video purportedly produced by the Islamic State group that contained video clips of Times Square. But Police Commissioner William Bratton said more than 2,500 officers would be stationed along the parade route for the Thanksgiving Day festivities - the largest number of officers the department has ever assigned to the event.

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Teen killed by Chicago officer had broken, troubled family
CHICAGO (AP) - A black teenager shot 16 times by a white Chicago police officer was a ward of the state when he died, having spent years being shuttled between different relatives' homes and foster care from the time he was 3. Laquan McDonald, whose name demonstrators have shouted for two days and will shout again during a planned rally to disrupt the city's famed Magnificent Mile shopping corridor Friday, lived a troubled, disadvantaged life and had at least one previous brush with the law. School officials and the McDonald family lawyer say there were signs Laquan was trying to get his life in order, though prosecutors say he had drugs in his system and was burglarizing cars on Oct.

Trump called out for appearing to mock disability
WASHINGTON (AP) - An advocacy group is offering Donald Trump sensitivity training after he appeared to mock a reporter with a disability in a South Carolina speech. Jay Ruderman of the Ruderman Family Foundation in Boston said Thursday the Republican presidential contender should apologize to Serge Kovaleski of The New York Times and the public. Kovaleski has a congenital condition that affects joint movement. In a speech Tuesday in South Carolina, Trump said: "poor guy, you oughta see this guy," and gestured in a jerky fashion as if imitating Kovaleski's movements. Trump was challenging recollections by Kovaleski and many others about the 9/11 aftermath.

Russia strikes back at Turkey with economic sanctions
MOSCOW (AP) - Russia plans to retaliate against Turkey for the downing of a warplane by imposing sanctions, cutting economic ties and scrapping major investment projects. Since the plane was shot down Tuesday on the Syria-Turkey border, Russia has already restricted tourism, left Turkish trucks stranded at the border and confiscated large quantities of Turkish food imports. On Thursday, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered his government to also draft sanctions against Turkey within two days in response to what he described as an "act of aggression against our country." The sanctions will include "restrictions and bans on Turkish economic structures operating in Russian territory, restrictions and bans on deliveries of products, including foodstuffs," as well as on labor and services.

Pope says 'catastrophic' if interests derail climate talks
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - Pope Francis warned Thursday that it would be "catastrophic" for world leaders to let special interest groups get in the way of a global agreement to curb fossil fuel emissions as he brought his environmental message to the heart of Africa on the eve of make-or-break climate change talks in Paris. Francis issued the pointed warning in a speech to the U.N.'s regional office here after celebrating his first public Mass on the continent: A joyous, rain-soaked ceremony before 300,000 faithful that saw the Argentine pope being serenaded by ululating Swahili singers, swaying nuns, Maasai tribesmen and dancing children dressed in the colors of Kenya's flag.

The Latest: Turkey summons Russian ambassador over protests
BEIRUT (AP) - The latest developments regarding the war in Syria. All times local. 7:32 p.m. Turkey's Foreign Ministry says it has summoned the Russian ambassador in Ankara to complain about protests against Turkish missions and businesses in Russia following Turkey's downing of a Russian jet. A Foreign Ministry statement said Thursday that Turkish offices had come under what it called physical attacks disguised as protests. The statement said Turkey had warned Russian authorities to urgently increase protection for the embassy and other Turkish interests. Protesters in Moscow hurled eggs and stones at the Turkish Embassy on Wednesday, breaking windows in the compound.

The Latest: Pope condemns illegal trade in ivory, diamonds
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) - The latest on Pope Francis' first trip to Africa. (All times local.) --- 6:55 p.m. Pope Francis, who has made the fight against human trafficking a major priority, is denouncing other forms of illegal trafficking during his first-ever visit to Africa. In a speech Thursday to the regional U.N. headquarters, Francis said illegal trade in diamonds and other precious stones and metals, as well as the poaching of elephants for their ivory tusks "fuels political instability, organized crime and terrorism." He said: "This situation is a cry rising up from humanity and the Earth itself, one which needs to be heard by the international community." Francis' speech, one of the most important of his six-day visit, was interrupted several times by rousing applause from the U.N.

The Latest: Putin: Russia ready for anti-terror cooperation
PARIS (AP) - The latest on the attacks in Paris and security alert in Brussels. All times local: 6:05 p.m. Russian President Vladimir Putin says that Moscow is ready for closer cooperation with France against terrorism. Putin spoke Thursday while welcoming visiting French President Francois Hollande for talks focusing on joint efforts to fight the Islamic State group. Hollande said that it's necessary to closely cooperate in the fight against the common enemy while seeking a political solution in Syria. --- 5:45 p.m. Belgian authorities have raided three places outside of Brussels that they say are linked to the Paris attacks but have made no arrests.

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