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    US, Britain, France jointly strike Syria; Trump warns Russia, Iran

    The United States, Britain and France launched punitive military strikes against Bashar al-Assad's Syrian regime in response to its latest alleged chemical weapons atrocity, President Donald Trump announced Friday.

    Shortly after Trump began a White House address to announce the action, large explosions were heard in the Syrian capital Damascus, signalling a new chapter in a brutal seven-year-old civil war.

    "A short time ago, I ordered the United States armed forces to launch precision strikes on targets associated with the chemical weapons capabilities of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad," Trump said in a primetime televised speech to the nation.

    "A combined operation with the armed forces of France and the United Kingdom is now under way. We thank them both. This massacre was a significant escalation in a pattern of chemical weapons use by that very terrible regime."

    A US official said the strikes had targeted chemical production facilities. Another official said multiple types of bombs were used, and a variety of targets chosen.

    Trump also warned Russia and Iran not to stand by their ally in Damascus.

    "Russia must decide if it will continue down this dark path or if it will join with civilized nations as a force for stability and peace," he argued.

    The strikes had been expected since harrowing footage surfaced of the aftermath of the alleged toxic gas attack in the Damascus suburb of Douma, which took place a week ago, and Trump reacted in an emotional tweet.

    "Many dead, including women and children, in mindless CHEMICAL attack in Syria," he declared.

    "President Putin, Russia and Iran are responsible for backing Animal Assad. Big price to pay."

    Trump's anger and apparent determination was quickly matched by France's President Emmanuel Macron, who signed his country up for a joint response.

    Halloween: The Donald and Pizza Rat among top costumes

    When a Donald Trump look-alike rings the doorbell on Halloween night, he or she may solicit a piece of candy but the treat they really seek is recognition. Pop culture experts say ripped from the headlines costumes to celebrate the 31 October holiday - such as Cecil the lion - are a way for adults to connect in a world full of a myriad choices for information and entertainment.

    We do have a lot of overlap between the two, both of, more traditional sell really well, pop culture sells really well. And our top ten costumes its a big mix between the two, said Sarah Chamberlain, Website strategist for Yandy.com.

    While children typically dress up as witches and ghosts, the most popular costume this year among adults shopping on Yandy.com is The Optical Illusion Dress, the subject of an online debate that went viral over its colour. The hot seller is a compromise: half blue and black, half white and gold.

    Also in high demand is Pizza Rat - a grey mini dress with a tail, hood, ears and two pepperoni pizza slice pockets - that is arguably sexier than the video of a New York City rat dragging a pizza slice down subway steps, shared more than 100,000 times on Twitter. The site is turning the killing of Zimbabwes Cecil the Lion by an American dentist into a good cause.

    We were actually already making a lion costume this year and we decided, you know, when everything happened with Cecil, we wanted to do something good with it. So were offering 20% of the proceeds, which is basically all of our profits, are going to a wildlife charity. And it has this great furry hood, fun little romper and of course the little lion tail. A little sexiness with the romper bottom, said Chamberlain.

    Some costumes are meant to touch a nerve, but some vendors say there are lines they will not cross. New York-based store Abracadabra and Yandy.com both decided against carrying a Caitlyn Jenner costume, featuring a shiny white padded bustier resembling the outfit the Olympic gold medallist and reality TV star wore to come out as transgender. Politicians are typically fair game and Yandy is having fun with its Donald Trump-like costume.

    SC reserves judgment on Teesta Setalvad anticipatory bail

    The Supreme Court on Thursday reserved judgement in an anticipatory bail plea for human rights activist Teesta Setalvad and her husband, Javed Anand.

     Setalvad had appealed a Gujarat high court order that denied her anticipatory bail on 12 February. Setalvad and Anand have been accused of embezzling funds collected through donations for the construction of a memorial for the 2002 Gujarat riot victims at Gulbarg Society.

    As a temporary relief, however, the apex court directed that no arrests would be made in relation to the investigation into the alleged embezzlement of funds through Setalvad’s two trusts—the Centre for Peace and Justice and Sabrang Trust.

     A bench of justices Dipak Misra and A.K. Goel heard arguments from the Gujarat government and Setalvad for nearly two hours. Judge Misra questioned the need for custodial interrogation in a case where there were allegations of embezzlement and possible irregularity in the accounts of the trusts.
    Lawyer Mahesh Jethmalani, for the Gujarat state, who was also the special public prosecutor before the high court, said that they were asking for custodial interrogation because there had been “rank non-cooperation” and “tampering with witnesses” by Setalvad and Anand. He added that trust money, collected for the beneficiaries, here the riot victims, had been used for personal credit card payments.

    While refraining from making any observations to that extent, the court orally said that while some cases required custodial interrogation, this perhaps was not one of them.

     Lawyer Kapil Sibal, for Setalvad, agreed to furnish documents required by the Gujarat police in furtherance of the investigation. He also said that 11,000 pages of documents had been given to the high court, including cash vouchers.

    Pakistan accuses US of nixing Taliban talks

    The Pakistani interior minister on Saturday accused the US of "scuttling" efforts towards peace talks with the Taliban by killing the militants' leader in a drone strike. Chaudhry Nisar said "every aspect" of Pakistan's cooperation with Washington would be reviewed following Friday's drone attack that killed Hakimullah Mehsud in the country's tribal northwest. Pakistan also summoned the US ambassador on Saturday to protest over two recent drone attacks, the foreign ministry said.

    Conflicting reports emerged on Saturday over the selection of Hakimullah Mehsud's successor. Local media reported that Khan Said Sajna , a battle-hardened terrorist with years of fighting experience in Afghanistan, was named chief after a Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan meeting. However, a late-night PTI report said the outfit had put on hold a decision to make Sajna its new chief as several commanders opposed the move.

    Instead, Shehryar Mehsud has been named caretaker chief and its Shura or council will meet again in the next few days to decide on a new leader, Taliban sources said.

    Sajna comes from South Waziristan and belongs to Shabikhel sub-tribe of Mehsud clan. He was Mehsud's key aide and is said to have been behind many deadly attacks across Pakistan, including a jailbreak and an attack on the Karachi naval base.

    The other contender for the top job in the group was Mullah Fazlullah, the chief of Taliban in Swat, whose fighters shot Malala Yousafzai. Meanwhile, Taliban fighters secretly buried Mehsud, who was in his mid-30 s and carried a $5 million bounty on his head, under cover of darkness amid fears that his funeral might be attacked. Mehsud's vehicle was hit while he was returning from a meeting of Taliban leaders. A Taliban leader said his body was "damaged but recognizable".

    The slain Taliban chief's deputy was killed in a drone attack in May while his top aide was captured in Afghanistan last month. Mehsud's two predecessors were killed in similar attacks.

    Fears of Taliban backlash has mounted in Pakistan after Mehsud's aide vowed to avenge his killing. "Our revenge will be more deadly and unprecedented," said Taliban commander Abu Omar. He blamed the Pakistan government for endorsing the drone strikes and added they know their "enemy very well".

    The government sounded highest alert across Pakistan , fearing attacks as uncertainty prevailed over its move to engage with the Taliban, who have often fiercely retaliated to the killings of their leaders and targeted public places, military installations. Peshawar, which has taken the brunt of the Taliban attacks , wore a deserted look on Saturday as security forces had put up blockades across the city to prevent possible strikes.

    Barack Obama 'approved tapping Angela Merkel's phone 3 years ago'

     President Barack Obama was told about monitoring of German Chancellor in 2010 and allowed it to continue, says German newspaper
    Obama 'approved tapping Merkel's phone 3 years ago'
    Mr Obama was told of the secret monitoring of Mrs Merkel by General Keith Alexander, the head of the NSA, in 2010, according to Bild am Sonntag, a German newspaper. 

    President Barack Obama was personally informed about secret US monitoring of Angela Merkel three years ago, according to latest reports on the eavesdropping affair.

    The President allowed the National Security Agency (NSA) to continue spying on the German chancellor, it was claimed.

    Mr Obama was told of the secret monitoring of Mrs Merkel by General Keith Alexander, the head of the NSA, in 2010, according to Bild am Sonntag, a German newspaper.

    “Obama did not stop the action at that time but allowed it to continue,” a US intelligence source close to the NSA operation told the Sunday newspaper.

    The White House later commissioned an extensive NSA dossier about Mrs Merkel, according to Bild.

    Box office update: 'Bad Grandpa' wins Friday with $12.6 million as 'The Counselor' flops with 'D' CinemaScore

    Even without the rest of the Jackass crew, Johnny Knoxville scored with his latest irreverent prank movie, Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, which topped the chart on Friday with an excellent $12.6 million. The film, which cost Paramount about $15 million to make, is expected to gross $30 million this weekend. Not a bad return on investment! Audiences issued the film a lukewarm “B” CinemaScore grade.

    Bad Grandpa‘s success meant that Gravity finally had to give up its spot atop the chart. Warner Bros’ $100 million space drama starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney grossed $6.2 million yesterday, a drop of just 32 percent from the previous Friday, which sets it up for a $21.5 million weekend and just over $200 million total after four frames.

    One rung below, Captain Phillips dropped just 29 percent from last Friday to $3.6 million, meaning it will sail away with nearly $12 million in its third box office voyage. By Sunday night, the $55 million Tom Hanks drama will have accrued about $70 million total.

    All the way down in fourth place, Ridley Scott’s star-studded drama The Counselor failed to bring in crowds — despite the appeal of stars Michael Fassbender, Cameron Diaz, and Brad Pitt. Fox’s $25 million film grossed a measly $3.2 million, setting The Counselor up for a weekend in the $8.5 million range. Granted, that’s not as bad as The Fifth Estate‘s opening last weekend, but it’s surprisingly awful given the talent involved. Distressingly, audiences stamped The Counselor, which has earned weak reviews, with a dismissive “D” CinemaScore grade.

    Arizona police 4-year-old boy fatally shoots his father

    A man was fatally wounded when his 4-year-old son fired a gun he found while they were visiting a residence in Prescott, Arizona, officials said.

    Justin Stanfield Thomas, 35, and his son made an unannounced trip Friday to the home of an unidentified former roommate, police said. Thomas had previously lived in the residence, according to investigators.

    "This appears to be an accident. There was no conflict in the stories of those in the house," said police Sgt. Brandon Bonney. "The resident didn't know his former roommate was stopping by to visit."

    Moments after arriving at the home, the boy picked up the small-caliber handgun and asked his father and other adults in the room what it was he was holding, said Bonney.

    Seconds later he pulled the trigger.

    Officers and emergency crews arrived and found Thomas, of Phoenix, with a single gunshot wound to the chest. He was transported to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

    Acknowledging it appears to have been a tragic accident, Bonney cautioned gun owners

    "We want to remind people without making a villain of this person, that if a child is visiting your home, the first thing to do would be put the firearm away."

    The New Season of 'Arrested Development' is Hard to Take. Why?

    A second life on Netflix has become a mixed blessing for the creators of "Arrested Development" -- an unprecedented option with some unexpected burdens. Yes, Mitchell Hurwitz and company have had to contend with sky-high expectations that are all but impossible to meet as they've brought the show back after seven years off the air. But they're also now working in a medium stripped of many of the boundaries that originally shaped the series.

    Netflix isn't network TV, a fact that goes beyond all 15 episodes going live at once. Installments don't need to keep to 22 minutes, or even be all that episodic; content restrictions are a thing of the past -- as are, if what was said about "House of Cards" continues to be the case here, notes from executives. Aside from dealing with the not-inconsiderable difficulties of scheduling the busy cast, Hurwitz was theoretically freed to make the purest version of "Arrested Development" he desired, and the result is an uneven, funny, ambitious, overlong and knotty tangle of individual storylines that form a whole that's darker and more brittle than expected. The Bluths are back, but time has not been kind.

    The new episodes haven't gone over well with critics so far -- though having only been out for a few days, opinions seem worth sitting on for a little longer. As someone who came to the show after it was first canceled, I'll admit that it took some time to grow on me even in its friendlier Fox incarnation. And season four is not friendly, which may be the most difficult and most remarkable thing about it.

    It's not that the 2013 version of the Bluths are unrecognizable. "Arrested Development" is nothing if not consistent to its own mythology, which may include stair cars and Motherboy competitions, but is just as involved, intricate and layered as that of a sprawling sci-fi saga, with jokes set up for and called back over years. But, unleashed to pursue their individual destinies with the oblivious self-centeredness and without the edict to be "likable" that the show used to mock in its third-season moments of metacommentary, the Bluths are no longer lovably awful but mostly just awful. Cornball moments, little or otherwise, have pretty much been cleared out.

    The new season finds the Bluths and the Fünkes literally whoring each other out for cash, guilting each other into buying homes they can't afford in the midst of a community of sex offenders, sleeping with underage boys and sending addicts crashing back into drug use while cheerfully ignoring their pleas for help. And while the first three seasons made occasional gestures toward timeliness, as when George Sr. (Jeffrey Tambor) was tricked into building houses in Iraq, in season four the Bluths are more linked into farcical takes on current events.

    Welcome to ‘Margaritaville,’ the Most Lucrative Song Ever

    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie cut the ribbon on Thursday outside Atlantic City’s newest tourist attraction: Margaritaville. The $35 million, 40,000-square-foot complex houses two restaurants, multiple bars, a beach-themed casino, and several breezy, laid-back retail stores—all tucked away in a larger gambling mecca called Resorts. The singer and songwriter of the eponymous song was conspicuously absent from the festivities. For Jimmy Buffett, the grand opening was no special occasion: The Atlantic City outpost is the 27th Margaritaville in the world.

    Margaritaville Enterprises, founded in 2006 and based in Orlando, sells everything from beachwear to furniture and also oversees at least one Caribbean island resort, two American resorts, and four casinos. You can buy Margaritaville rum and combine it with a Margaritaville drink mixer in your very own Margaritaville blender that costs $349.99. According to the Orlando Business Journal, the company brought in at least $100 million in revenue in 2007. As a private company, Margaritaville doesn’t release information about its holdings, but by all accounts it has only expanded since then.

    To think that all of this poured forth from a goofy, three-chord song—a mere 208 words, roughly half the length of this article—written about being lazy and getting drunk. But as Buffett’s Parrothead empire continues to spread, one can’t help but wonder whether a more lucrative song exists. “If there is anything on the same scale as a Margaritaville, it’s not a song—it’s a motion picture,” says Robert Brauneis, a professor of intellectual property at the George Washington University Law School and author of a research paper on Happy Birthday to You, which continues to generate upwards of $2 million a year. “When you’re talking about hundreds of millions of dollars, you have to think in terms of Star Wars, Winnie the Pooh, or Transformers. That’s probably in the same order of magnitude.”

    As a recording, Margaritaville doesn’t post stratospheric numbers. After debuting on Buffett’s 1977 album Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude, it peaked at No. 8 on the Billboard 100 charts. According to the 2012 BBC documentary The Richest Songs in the World, Margaritaville doesn’t crack the top 10, which is populated by three Christmas songs. The two highest-ranking pop songs are You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling, by the Righteous Brothers, and Yesterday, by the Beatles. (No. 1 was Happy Birthday to You.) “If you want to get technical, there are two Margaritavilles,” says Brauneis. “There’s the copyright that protects the song, which is valuable because of the stream of income. Then there’s the trademark that has developed out of the song’s title, and legally that’s a different piece of intellectual property.”

    Man accused of putting 6-week-old baby daughter in freezer

    A Washington state man accused of putting his infant daughter inside a freezer long enough for her body temperature to drop to 84 degrees was charged Tuesday with first-degree child assault, first-degree criminal mistreatment and interfering with the reporting of a domestic violence incident.

    His bail was set at $1 million, NBC station KING5 of Seattle reported.

    Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist said the 6-week-old baby also suffered a broken arm and leg and a head injury.

    Tyler James Deutsch, 25, and the baby's mother live together in a trailer in the city of Roy. The mother left the child alone with Deutsch from about 1:30 until 3:30 p.m. Saturday, KING5 reported.

    The prosecutor’s office said Deutsch told detectives he was tired and the baby was crying, so he put her in the freezer and closed the door, according to KING5.

    The man then fell asleep and only woke up when the mother returned home.

    According to the prosecutor's office, Deutsch did not remove the baby from the freezer until the mother returned to the trailer. The baby was only wearing a diaper, KING5 reported.

    The mother tried to call 911, but Deutsch wouldn't allow it because he didn't want to get in trouble  the prosecutor's office said. She then left the trailer and alerted the neighbors, who called for help.

    Alleged Hit-and-Run Driver Brags on Twitter, Joins Other 'Crime-Braggers'

    The criminal mind can be cunningly brilliant—or stunningly foolish. You can safely put Emma Way of the U.K. into that second category. She’s the aggressive 21-year-old motorist who allegedly hit a cyclist while out for a drive in the city of Norwich, fled the scene, and bragged about it on Twitter on Monday.

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    “Definitely knocked a cyclist off his bike earlier—I have right of way he doesn’t even pay road tax! #bloodycyclists,” she tweeted.

    Her admission was soon retweeted more than 300 times, inspiring angry responses and the nickname “twit and run girl” by fellow Twitter users. They also retweeted her brag to the social-media savvy Norfolk police department, who wrote back, "we have had tweets ref an RTC with a bike. We suggest you report it at a police station ASAP if not done already & then dm us." Though Way deleted her account, the ball kept rolling. The cyclist, Toby Hockley, a chef who had been taking part in an organized ride, came forward, and police said they tracked down Way and are progressing with an investigation.

    On Wednesday, the police department told Yahoo! Shine there was “no further information at this time.” Way later apologized on ITV News, saying "It was a spur of the moment thing and I'm sorry," adding, "I don't want any cyclist to think I have hatred against them." Her lawyer said during the interview that she'd been interviewed by police but that no arrest had been made.

    Way, unfortunately, is not alone in bragging about wrongdoing on her smartphone. The post-privacy generation has given way to a host of accidental confessions and video-taped self-indictments. Get a load of these other social-media users outed by their own Internet mistakes:

    The drunk driver: Oregon teenager Jacob Cox-Brown landed himself in the county jail after posting about his drunk-driving hit-and-run escapade on Facebook earlier this year. "Drivin drunk ... classsic ;) but to whoever's vehicle i hit i am sorry. :P" was the early-morning post that quickly led to his at-home arrest, after Facebook friends alerted the local police department, who had already been looking into the mysterious hit-and-run of a parked car.

    The baby Jesus thief: A York, Pennsylvania juvenile (who has remained unnamed in the press) was charged with theft after stealing a baby Jesus statuette worth $400 from a neighbor’s front-lawn manger scene. The boy’s gaffe? Posting a photo of the swiped statuette on Facebook, where rightful owner Frank McKee spied it after combing through profiles of locals for clues.

    Kerry in Japan amid heightened Korean tensions

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Japan on Sunday for the last stop of his Asian tour, a trip that has largely focused on the provocations coming out of North Korea.

    He spent early Sunday visiting a 620-year-old Buddhist temple and spoke with university students on their views on America and global issues. He is scheduled to meet with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida later in the day.

    His visit comes amid heightened regional tensions.
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    North Korean Crisis

    North Korea issued a scathing warning to Japan on Friday, saying Tokyo should "stop recklessly working for staging a comeback on Korea, depending on its American master," state media reported.

    Japanese foreign minister spokesman Masaru Sato said such remarks only hurt North Korea.

    "Japan would not be pushed around by rhetoric of North Korea," he said.

    Japan's Transport Ministry has issued a notice requiring its airplanes to report to the U.S. military if they fly near the U.S. military's Kadena base in Okinawa prefecture, the Kyodo News Agency said.

    The notice, made at the request of the U.S. military in Japan, is believed to be part of precautions taken against possible North Korean missile launches.

    As Kerry visited the Japanese capital, North Korea responded to South Korea's call last week for open talks.

    "If they have true intent for dialogue, they should drop the attitude of confrontation to begin with, not getting inveigled in wordplay," North Korea's state-run media KCNA reported. "The possibility of dialogue entirely depends on their attitude."

    South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se, speaking with Kerry on Friday, urged North Korea to open talks.

    "We urge North Korea to cease its reckless behavior and to stop issuing threats," he said.

    In his first trip to Asia as secretary of state, Kerry visited South Korean and Chinese leaders as tensions stemming from North Korea loomed.

    On Saturday, Kerry and Chinese leaders said their two nations would work together to press North Korea to tone down its provocations.

    Kerry told reporters in Beijing that the United States and China are calling on North Korea to refrain from any provocative steps -- including any missile launches.

    But, he said, both nations want to focus on a peaceful solution, not "threat-for-threat or confrontational language. There's been enough of that."

    No option was left off the table in his talks with Chinese leaders, he said. Among those he met Saturday were Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.

    Weary passengers leave disabled cruise ship

    Passengers who finally escaped the disabled Carnival cruise ship Triumph were checking into hotels early Friday for a hot shower, fresh-cooked food and sleep or boarding buses for a long haul home after five numbing days at sea on a powerless ship.

    The vacation ship carrying some 4,200 people docked late Thursday in Mobile after a painfully slow approach that took most of the day. Passengers raucously cheered after days of what they described as overflowing toilets, food shortages and foul odors.

    "Sweet Home Alabama!" read one of the homemade signs passengers affixed alongside the 14-story ship as many celebrated at deck rails lining several levels of the stricken ship. The ship's horn loudly blasted several times as four tugboats pulled the crippled ship to shore at about 9:15 p.m. CST. Some gave a thumbs-up sign and flashes from cameras and cellphones lit the night.

    Less than four hours later, the last passenger had disembarked.

    Some, like 56-year-old Deborah Knight of Houston, had no interest in boarding one of about 100 buses assembled to carry passengers to hotels in New Orleans or Texas. Her husband Seth drove in from Houston and they checked into a downtown Mobile hotel.

    "I want a hot shower and a daggum Whataburger," said Knight, who was wearing a bathrobe over her clothes as her bags were unloaded from her husband's pickup truck. She said she was afraid to eat the food on board and had gotten sick while on the ship.

    Buses arrived in the pre-dawn darkness at a Hilton in New Orleans to reporters and paramedics on the scene with wheelchairs to roll in passengers who were elderly or too fatigued to walk.

    Many were tired and didn't want to talk. There were long lines to check into rooms. Some got emotional as they described the deplorable conditions of the ship.

    "It was horrible, just horrible" said Maria Hernandez, 28, of Angleton, Texas, tears welling in her eyes as she talked about waking up to smoke in her lower-level room Sunday and the days of heat and stench to follow. She was on a "girls trip" with friends.

    She said the group hauled mattresses to upper-level decks to escape the heat. As she pulled her luggage into the hotel, a flashlight around her neck, she managed a smile and even a giggle when asked to show her red "poo-poo bag" — distributed by the cruise line for collecting human waste.

    This was only part of her journey to get home. Hernandez, like hundreds others, would get to enjoy a brief reprieve at the hotel before flying home later in the day.

    "I just can't wait to be home," she said.

    It wasn't long after the ship pulled into the Port of Mobile that passengers began streaming down the gang plank, some in wheelchairs and others pulling carry-on luggage. One man gave the thumbs up.

    400 injured as meteor fireball screams across sky in Russia

    A huge fireball fell from the skies over Russia's Chelyabinsk region early Friday, resulting in a powerful blast that reportedly injured about 400 people.

    Reports from Russia suggested that the fireball was caused by a meteorite.

    "Preliminary indications are that it was a meteorite rain," the RIA-Novosti news agency quoted an emergency official as saying. "We have information about a blast at 10,000-meter (32,800-foot) altitude. It is being verified."

    The Associated Press quoted a spokesman for the Russian Interior Ministry, Vadim Kolesnikov, as saying that the fireball caused in an explosion and sonic boom that broke windows.

    City authorities in Chelyabinsk, 930 miles east of Moscow, said about 400 people sought medical help, mainly for light injuries caused by flying glass, Reuters reported.

    The sounds of car alarms and breaking windows could be heard in the area, the witness told Reuters, and mobile phones were working intermittently.

    "I was standing at a bus stop, seeing off my girlfriend," said Andrei, a local resident who did not give his second name. "Then there was a flash and I saw a trail of smoke across the sky and felt a shockwave that smashed windows."

    The meteorite raced across the horizon, leaving a long white trail in its wake which could be seen as far as 125 miles away in Yekaterinburg.

    "I was driving to work, it was quite dark, but it suddenly became as bright as if it was day," Viktor Prokofiev, 36, a resident of Yekaterinburg, told Reuters. "I felt like I was blinded by headlights."

    No fatalities were reported but President Vladimir Putin, who was due to host Finance Ministry officials from the Group of 20 nations in Moscow, and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev were informed.

    Multiple videos posted to YouTube showed the object flaring brightly as it sped across the sky. Twitter users posted photos showing broken windows. One video showed an office building in Chelyabinsk being hurriedly evacuated.

    Russian news media quoted local residents as speculating that the blast could have been caused by a missile explosion or a military plane crash, but an unnamed emergency official told Reuters that was not the case.

    Derrick Rose may sit out season

     Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose reiterated Wednesday night there is a chance he will sit out the entire season as he recovers from surgery to fix a torn ACL in his left knee.

    Rose said he isn't sure when he'll return to the floor.

    "I really don't know," he said. "I'm feeling good, but like I said, if it's where it's taking me a long time and I'm still not feeling right, I don't mind missing this year."

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    Rose said he would like to play this season but isn't sure if his body will heal in time.

    "I would love to," he said. "I would love to. That's why I approached my rehab and my workout so hard. I'm trying to get back on the court as quickly as possible, but if I have anything lingering on, it's no point."

    Rose's told USA Today Sports on Monday afternoon that he was still "far away" from returning and wouldn't come back until he was "110 percent." Rose did acknowledge late Wednesday night the decision to play is his and he would listen to his inner circle of trusted associates and Bulls' personnel.

    "(Agent) B.J. (Armstrong), of course. People from the organization, (Bulls GM) Gar (Forman), (Bulls VP of operations John Paxson), all them people. Trainers, just people that I will normally be around every day. But it's really on me to make that decision when I'm going to play again, so that's cool that they left it up to me."


        Rose I would love to [return]. I would love to. That's why I approached my rehab and my workout so hard. I'm trying to get back on the court as quickly as possible, but if I have anything lingering on, it's no point.

    Rose, who injured his knee in the first game of the Eastern Conference playoffs on April 28 and had surgery on May 12, admitted he is still struggling with gaining his explosion back. The next step?

    "Being able to dunk," he said. "I can't dunk, man. I know if I can dunk off stride, I know I'll be out there playing, but I can't."

    Still, Rose's spirits appear high. He has accompanied the Bulls on the road since the first of the year and is enjoying being with his teammates.

    "Right now, I'm feeling pretty good, man," he said. "Where (I'm) slowly getting back in the mix. The other day we played the 3-on-3, one-on-one, and I felt good out there. I'm not trying to rush myself, just still trying to be patient and just trying to take my rehab very serious right now."

    Paxson said earlier Wednesday that Rose will participate in 5-on-5 practices after this weekend's All-Star break.

    Meanwhile, Rose admitted he's struggling to regain both his mental and physical confidence.

    $1 million reward offered as LA manhunt enters fourth day

    Authorities in Los Angeles have offered a $1 million reward for information leading to the capture of a fired LA police officer sought in connection with a series of killings and threats against his former colleagues and their families.

    The reward was announced even as investigators continued to comb the snowy mountains around Big Bear Lake, where Christopher Dorner's burned out truck was found on Feb. 7, and hundreds of officers patrolled the neighborhoods where people live who were threatened by Dorner in an online screed.

    Every day that Dorner is loose, said LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, is another day when the likelihood of an attack on police officers or their families increases.

    "We are asking the public, 'Please help us to protect you,' " Beck said at a news conference. "Please help us to find Dorner before he is able to kill again."

    Dorner is wanted in the slayings of three people and the ambush-style shooting of two others, all part of a revenge-style rampage that began last Sunday, when he allegedly shot the daughter of a police union lawyer and her fiancé in an Irvine parking garage.

    The heart of the search continued to be the San Bernardino mountains where Dorner was last seen, Beck said on Sunday. Officers will also look for him near where some 50 LAPD families live who were threatened by the former policeman.

    "You fish where the fish are," Beck said. "And Mr. Dorner has made his intentions very clear."

    Timeline: Revenge-Plot Slayings | Read: Full Manifesto | Map: Search Locations

    Police locked down a home improvement store in the San Fernando Valley, more than a hundred miles away from Big Bear, after receiving a tip that someone resembling Dorner was seen in the store. Authorities searched car-to-car and cordoned off neighborhoods in Northridge, but the move was seen as mostly precautionary.

    Also on Sunday, the Riverside Police Department released the name of one of Dorner's victims. Michael Crain, 34, was ambushed by a man police believe was Dorner on April 7, as he sat with his partner at a stoplight in his patrol car.

    DC police investigating 'Meet the Press' incident

    District of Columbia police say they are investigating an incident in which NBC News reporter David Gregory displayed what he described as a high-capacity ammunition magazine on "Meet the Press."

    Gun laws in the nation's capital generally restrict the possession of high-capacity magazines, regardless of whether the device is attached to a firearm.

    "NBC contacted [the Metropolitan Police Department] inquiring if they could utilize a high capacity magazine for their segment. NBC was informed that possession of a high capacity magazine is not permissible and their request was denied. This matter is currently being investigated," police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump said in a written statement. She declined to comment further on the investigation.

    While interviewing National Rifle Association CEO Wayne LaPierre for Sunday's program, Gregory held an object, apparently as a prop to make a point, and said it was a magazine that could hold 30 rounds.

    "Here is a magazine for ammunition that carries 30 bullets. Now, isn't it possible if we got rid of these, if we replaced them and said, 'Well, you can only have a magazine that carries five bullets or ten bullets,' isn't it just possible that we could reduce the carnage in a situation like Newtown?'" Gregory asked, referring to the Dec. 14 mass shooting at an elementary school in Connecticut.

    LaPierre replied, "I don't believe that's going to make one difference. There are so many different ways to evade that even if you had that" ban.

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