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AP Top News at 4:20 a.m. EST

Zimbabwe poised to swear in new president, Mnangagwa
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - Zimbabwe's recently fired vice president was set to return as early as Wednesday to be sworn in as the country's new leader, after Robert Mugabe announced his stunning resignation during impeachment proceedings against him. Zimbabweans erupted in response Tuesday, cheering and dancing in the streets late into the night, thrilled to be rid of a leader whose early promise after the end of white minority rule in 1980 was overtaken by economic collapse, government dysfunction and human rights violations. Now the focus turns to Mnangagwa, Mugabe's longtime deputy who was pushed aside earlier this month as unpopular first lady Grace Mugabe positioned herself to replace him and succeed her husband.


US Navy plane with 11 aboard crashes into Pacific; 8 found
TOKYO (AP) - A plane carrying 11 crew and passengers crashed into the Pacific Ocean on Wednesday while on the way to the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, the Navy said. Eight of the people on board have been found, Japan's defense minister told reporters, but it was unclear whether they were alive. The Defense Ministry said it had no information on their condition. The Navy's Japan-based 7th Fleet said in a statement that a search and rescue operation was launched from the carrier. "Personnel recovery is underway and their condition will be evaluated by USS Ronald Reagan medical staff," the statement said.


Trump speaks up for Moore, warns against his 'liberal' rival
WASHINGTON (AP) - Silent for more than a week, President Donald Trump all but endorsed embattled Alabama Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore, discounting the sexual assault allegations against him and insisting repeatedly that voters must not support Moore's "liberal" rival. The president said he would announce next week whether he will campaign for Moore, who faces Democrat Doug Jones in a Dec. 12 special election to fill the seat once held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Trump, who won election despite facing more than a dozen accusations of sexual misconduct himself, dismissed questions from reporters about backing a Republican accused of sexual assault over a man who is a Democrat.


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Cold War drama caught on video as N. Korean soldier escapes
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - It's 3:11 p.m. on a cold, gray day on the North Korean side of the most heavily armed border in the world, and a lone soldier is racing toward freedom. His dark olive-green jeep speeds down a straight, tree-lined road, past drab, barren fields and, headlights shining, across the replacement for the Bridge of No Return, which was used for prisoner exchanges during the Korean War. The shock of soldiers watching the jeep rush by is palpable from the video released Wednesday, and no wonder: They're beginning to realize that one of their comrades is defecting to the South.


The Latest: Hearing on Mladic judgment begins
United Nations judges have opened a hearing to deliver their judgment in the genocide trial of former Bosnian Serb military chief Gen. Ratko Mladic. Mladic looked relaxed in the courtroom of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, greeting lawyers and giving a thumbs-up to photographers in court. Presiding Judge Alphons Orie, wearing a red and black robe, opened the hearing by greeting lawyers and then giving a background of when Mladic was indicted, when he was captured, details of the trial and detailing the charges against Mladic. Mladic is set to hear verdicts on 11 counts of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes for allegedly masterminding atrocities by Serb forces during Bosnia's 1992-95 war.


Uber reveals cover-up of hack affecting 57M riders, drivers
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - Uber is coming clean about its cover-up of a year-old hacking attack that stole personal information about more than 57 million of the beleaguered ride-hailing service's customers and drivers. So far, there's no evidence that the data taken has been misused, according to a Tuesday blog post by Uber's recently hired CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi. Part of the reason nothing malicious has happened is because Uber acknowledges paying the hackers $100,000 to destroy the stolen information. The revelation marks the latest stain on Uber's reputation. The San Francisco company ousted Travis Kalanick as CEO in June after an internal investigation concluded he had built a culture that allowed female workers to be sexually harassed and encouraged employees to push legal limits.


Teen idol David Cassidy, 'Partridge Family' star, dies at 67
NEW YORK (AP) - David Cassidy, the teen and pre-teen idol who starred in the 1970s sitcom "The Partridge Family" and sold millions of records as the musical group's lead singer, died Tuesday at age 67. Cassidy, who announced earlier this year that he had been diagnosed with dementia, died surrounded by his family, a family statement released by publicist JoAnn Geffen said. No further details were immediately available, but Geffen said on Saturday that Cassidy was in a Fort Lauderdale, Florida, hospital suffering from organ failure. "David died surrounded by those he loved, with joy in his heart and free from the pain that had gripped him for so long," the statement said.


Returning PM attends Lebanon Independence Day events
BEIRUT (AP) - Hours after returning to the country following a nearly three week puzzling absence, Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri participated in Independence Day celebrations Wednesday, his first official appearance since he suddenly announced his resignation from abroad, stunning the country. Hariri's resignation on Nov. 4 was not accepted by President Michel Aoun, who said he wanted to hear from Hariri in person first. It was not clear whether Hariri will insist on his resignation, re-negotiate the terms for his re-appointment or withdraw his resignation as many hope. Hariri's televised resignation from Saudi Arabia had sparked a political and diplomatic crisis as Lebanese officials accused the Gulf kingdom, which is feuding with Iran for influence in the region, of forcing the Sunni, Saudi-aligned politician to resign and detaining him for days.


Syria's opposition, divided and varied, to get a new face
BEIRUT (AP) - Syria's notoriously fragmented opposition is gathering in the Saudi capital for a meeting intended to close ranks and come up with a unified vision ahead of a new round of peace talks in Geneva. At a time when Syria's President Bashar Assad is the most secure in his post since the war began, the opposition remains rife with disagreements and weakened by its allies 'distraction with other conflicts. Hours before the Riyadh meeting, a dozen opposition figures, including the head of the Riyadh-formed High Negotiations Committee Riad Hijab, resigned in protest, accusing others of being too willing to accept the continue rule of a man they view as a discredited tyrant.


Credibility at risk, media cuts stars loose over sex claims
NEW YORK (AP) - The consequences came swiftly after the allegations emerged against Charlie Rose. Within hours, the veteran news host was suspended by CBS and his PBS interview show was pulled off the air. The next day, he was fired. Rose became the latest in a string of prominent journalists felled abruptly by accusations of sexual misconduct. While news organizations aren't the only companies taking prompt measures against the accused, they face particular pressure to act because of the risk of losing the audience's trust as they cover the sex scandals coursing through politics, Hollywood and the media itself.