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Police officer kills armed black man near Ferguson, Missouri

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- A white policeman shot dead a black man brandishing a gun at a suburban St. Louis gasoline station overnight, police said on Wednesday, igniting violence reminiscent of riots over the police killing of an unarmed black teenager in nearby Ferguson.

Four shot, one fatally, in downtown St. Louis

- A shooting at a downtown St. Louis convenience store on Wednesday left one person dead and three others badly wounded, police said.

12:00am EST

Shooter kills man in Louisiana mall on Christmas Eve

- A gunman opened fire inside a New Orleans-area mall still busy with shoppers on Christmas eve, killing a man before he was taken into custody, police said on Wednesday.

24 Dec 2014

CDC worker monitored for possible Ebola exposure in lab error

- A laboratory technician for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been placed under observation for possible exposure to the deadly Ebola virus due to an apparent mix-up in lab specimens, the Atlanta-based agency said on Wednesday.

Health 24 Dec 2014

Firefighters targeted in drive-by shooting in north Florida

TAMPA, Fla. - A firefighter was grazed in the arm during a drive-by shooting behind a north Florida fire station on Tuesday evening, police said.

24 Dec 2014

White Christmas expected in parts of U.S., rain elsewhere

CHICAGO - Fresh snowfall was expected to bring a white Christmas to parts of the U.S. West, Midwest and the Appalachian Mountains, while other regions of the country would slog through rain and fog, the National Weather Service said on Wednesday.

Environment 24 Dec 2014

Santa's global flight under way, 'All systems go': U.S. military official

DENVER - Santa Claus has embarked on his annual Christmas Eve mission to deliver presents to millions of children after a smooth take-off from his North Pole base, at least according to U.S. military officials who track his reindeer-powered sleigh. | Video

24 Dec 2014

U.S. South menaced by storms as Mississippi cleans up from tornadoes

JACKSON, Miss. - Severe thunderstorms menaced the U.S. Southeast on Wednesday, with a small tornado and flooding reported in parts of North Carolina, while emergency workers in Mississippi surveyed damage from tornadoes that killed at least four people and injured 20.

Former President Bush, 90, hospitalized for shortness of breath

AUSTIN, Texas - Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush, 90, was hospitalized in Houston, Texas, late on Tuesday after experiencing shortness of breath, a spokesman for the 41st commander-in-chief said in a statement.

Politics, 24 Dec 2014

NY protesters reject plea for hiatus despite police slayings

NEW YORK - Mayor Bill de Blasio's attempts to soothe a city dismayed by the slaying of two officers were further rebuffed on Tuesday as protesters defied his call to suspend what have become regular demonstrations over excessive police force. | Video

24 Dec 2014

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