Thirteen killed, 31 injured in California tour bus crash
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. A tour bus crashed into the back of a tractor-trailer on a Southern California highway before dawn on Sunday, killing 13 people and injuring 31, authorities said.
NEW YORK Giant helium balloons rose above the treetops along New York's Central Park on Wednesday ahead of the 86th Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the largest public event so far in a city still recovering from Superstorm Sandy.
The parade that typically draws 3.5 million spectators and 50 million television viewers will follow a new route this year, skipping Times Square entirely - to the chagrin of business owners there.
Instead, the procession will head down Sixth Avenue, also known as the Avenue of the Americas, before culminating at Macy's flagship store on 34th Street.
"As it has during turbulent times in our history, we hope the Macy's Parade serves as a beacon of hope for all who tune in and gather with friends and family to give thanks this season, as they continue to heal from the devastating aftermath of Superstorm Sandy," Amy Kule, the parade's executive producer, said in a statement.
The parade will feature 16 giant character balloons, many of which are lucrative registered trademarks or brand mascots, including a 60-foot-tall Kermit the Frog, as well as 28 floats, 1,600 cheerleaders and dancers, 11 marching bands, and someone who looks a lot like Santa Claus.
Celebrities including Whoopi Goldberg, Chris Isaak, Carly Rae Jepsen and the Muppets are due to appear or perform.
Macy's has said it will be providing transport and seats for some 5,000 people affected by Sandy, which last month inundated lower Manhattan with seawater, rearranged the New Jersey shore and Long Island, and tore up neighborhoods in far-flung areas of New York's outer boroughs.
At least 132 people died in the United States and Canada as a result of the storm.
"Coming here is a good distraction," said Chris Tamis, who along with his wife and two teenage kids was in New York to watch balloons being inflated for the parade.
"A lot of people are coming to get away from it," said Tamis, who only recently got power back in his home in Smithtown, New York.
On Wednesday, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that the city, in partnership with local community organizations and businesses, was coordinating 26,500 Thanksgiving meals for people hardest hit by the storm.
(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Paul Simao)
Veteran social activist and politician Tom Hayden, a stalwart of America's New Left who served 18 years in California's state legislature and gained a dash of Hollywood glamour by marrying actress Jane Fonda, has died aged 76, according to media reports.
LOS ANGELES Hundreds of people gathered in Los Angeles on Sunday to protest against climate change and show support for activists demonstrating against the construction of an oil pipeline in North Dakota.