COLORADO SCHOOL SHOOTING
Hospital: Teen who was shot at Colo. school dies
LITTLETON, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado hospital says a suburban Denver high school student has died more than a week after being shot by a classmate who then killed himself.
Seventeen-year-old Claire Davis had been in critical condition after being shot at point-blank range at Arapahoe High School on Dec. 13. Friends and well-wishers had been posting prayers online and raising money to help pay for her medical care.
Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson says Davis appeared to be a random target.
Authorities say 18-year-old Karl Pierson was likely targeting a librarian who had disciplined him when he entered the school with a shotgun, a machete and three Molotov cocktails. Robinson says Pierson shot Davis before killing himself. The librarian escaped the school unharmed.
4 charged with murder in deadly NJ mall carjacking
NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Four men are in custody after being arrested on charges of murder, conspiracy and other counts in the carjacking death of a man shot in front of his wife outside an upscale mall in northern New Jersey last weekend.
The suspects have been identified as 29-year-old Hanif Thompson, of Irvington, and 31-year-old Karif Ford, 32-year-old Basim Henry and 33-year-old Kevin Roberts, all of Newark.
They're accused in the Dec. 15 carjacking and killing of Dustin Friedland outside The Mall at Short Hills. Authorities say the 30-year-old lawyer from Hoboken was shot in the head in the mall parking garage after being confronted by two carjackers. The assailants drove off in his silver Range Rover, which was found the next morning in Newark, about 10 miles from Short Hills.
The four face charges of murder, felony murder, carjacking, conspiracy, possession of a weapon and possession of a weapon.
The suspects were arrested overnight and are being held on $2 million bail.
UPDATE: Weather mix threatens to frustrate holiday travelers
CHICAGO (AP) — A storm with a 2,000-mile footprint is threatening to frustrate Christmas travelers from Texas to Canada with a little of everything from freezing rain, ice and snow to flooding, thunderstorms and at least one tornado in the South.
It's bad timing for the estimated 94.5 million Americans planning to travel by road or air during this holiday season,
Forecasters say unusually warm weather in the East and very cold air in the Midwest could produce a wide variety of nasty weather. Northern areas could see heavy snow, thunderstorms could hit the South and areas in between may get an icy mix.
Oklahoma, southern Missouri and northern Arkansas have already seen significant ice accumulations. Icy roads are blamed for two traffic deaths in Oklahoma.
Authorities say a suspected tornado injured three people and damaged three homes Saturday evening near Hughes, Ark., which is just 35 miles southwest of Memphis. And the National Weather Service says a second suspected tornado touched down near Dermott in far southeastern Arkansas, injuring two people and damaging about 20 homes.
Forecasters are warning of possible tornadoes from southern Louisiana to southern Indiana.
WEATHER-NORTHEAST RECORD WARMTH
UPDATE: NYC, Philly set weather record, more warmth Sunday
NEW YORK (AP) — New York City, Philadelphia and Atlantic City, N.J., have broken temperature records during a brief December heat wave.
The National Weather Service says the temperature in Central Park hit a record-setting 65 degrees Saturday. The previous record was 62, set in 2011 and 1923.
Philadelphia and Atlantic City, N.J., reached 67 degrees on Saturday afternoon. That broke Atlantic City's previous mark of 63 degrees, set in 2011, and bested Philadelphia's previous high of 66 degrees, set in 1895.
The temperature rose to a balmy 68 in Wilmington, Del., beating the previous mark of 65, set in 1895. And the 64 degrees recorded in Newark, N.J. broke the previous mark of 62, set in 2011.
Sunday is supposed to be even warmer in the region. Temperatures could top 70.
In Hawaii, Obama tries for uninterrupted vacation
HONOLULU (AP) — President Barack Obama is starting his annual winter vacation in Hawaii on a quiet note — and hoping it stays that way.
The president and his wife, daughters and two dogs arrived late Friday and headed to a beachside home in the sleepy Honolulu suburb of Kailua.
Obama got a late start Saturday, and by early afternoon was golfing with friends.
The Obamas vacation every year in Hawaii, where Obama was born. This is the first year that last-minute wrangling in Congress didn't prevent them from departing on schedule.
Major news events have disrupted the vacation in previous years. This time the Obamas are hoping for some uninterrupted rest and relaxation.
Obama did spend part of Saturday morning conferring with top advisers about the tense situation in South Sudan.
UNITED STATES-SOUTH SUDAN
Obama keeping with tense situation in South Sudan
HONOLULU (AP) — President Barack Obama says any effort in South Sudan to seize power through military force will lead the U.S. and others to cut off support.
The White House says Obama, who's vacationing in Hawaii, spoke with his national security team Saturday about the situation in South Sudan.
Obama's national security adviser, Susan Rice, briefed Obama by phone after leading a meeting with aides in Washington.
Earlier Saturday, gunfire hit three U.S. military aircraft trying to evacuate Americans in a remote region that's become a battle ground between South Sudan's military and renegade troops.
The White House says four wounded troops are in stable condition.
The White House says Obama told advisers that the conflict can be peacefully resolved only through negotiations.
GIRL KILLED TRASH BIN
Ohio man indicted in rape and death of girl, 9
WOOSTER, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say an Ohio man has been indicted by a grand jury in the rape and strangulation of a 9-year-old girl whose body was found in a trash bin at the trailer park where they were neighbors.
Officials in Wayne County say the grand jury returned an indictment on Friday against 24-year-old Jerrod Metsker in the death last Saturday of 9-year-old Reann Murphy. The grand jury charged him with aggravated murder, kidnapping and rape.
Authorities say the death penalty would be available as punishment if Metsker is convicted of murder.
Authorities say Metsker was the last person seen with Reann at the trailer park in Smithville, southwest of Akron. He is being held on $1 million bond. It was not clear if he had an attorney.
Pa. pastor defrocked over gay wedding offered job
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A United Methodist pastor from central Pennsylvania who was defrocked after officiating his son's gay wedding has been invited by a California Methodist bishop to serve in her region.
Frank Schaefer says he is deciding whether to accept the offer from Bishop Minerva G. Carcano (car-CAHN'-yo) to join the California-Pacific Annual Conference. The region includes California, Hawaii, and the Pacific Islands.
Carcano does not have the authority to restore his credentials but she says he would have the same rights.
Schaefer on Friday appealed the decision of the church's regional Board of Ordained Ministry to defrock him.
A church jury suspended him for 30 days last month and told him to decide whether he would uphold the church's Book of Discipline or resign. Schaefer refused to surrender his credentials.
John Eisenhower, historian and Ike's son, dies
WASHINGTON (AP) — The family of President Dwight D. Eisenhower says his son, 91-year-old John S.D. Eisenhower, has died.
The retired brigadier general and military historian had resided on Maryland's Eastern Shore in the community of Trappe, Md. No cause was given for his death Saturday.
John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower was born in Denver in 1922 to Dwight D. Eisenhower and his wife, Mamie. He was an assistant staff secretary in the White House during the last few years of his father's administration, and served as U.S. ambassador to Belgium during the Nixon administration.
Eisenhower was the author of numerous books about military history.
He is survived by his second wife, Joanne, son David and daughters Anne, Susan and Mary.
DYING GIRL-CHRISTMAS CAROLS
NEW: Dying Pa. girl gets Christmas carol wish granted
WEST READING, Pa. (AP) — Thousands of Christmas carolers are gathered to sing outside the home of a terminally ill Pennsylvania girl.
The singers are fulfilling one of 8-year-old Delaney Brown's wishes: a huge holiday sing-along outside her West Reading home. On her "Team Laney" Facebook page, a picture of Delaney giving two thumbs up was accompanied by the text, "I can hear you now!!! Love you!"
Delaney was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia in May. Her family says earlier this week doctors gave her only days to live.
Supporters have been trying to fulfill a number of Delaney's wishes. She video chatted with singer Taylor Swift on Friday, her eighth birthday.