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AP Top News at 4:27 a.m. EST

Zimbabwe, facing new leader, wonders 'Where is Mugabe?'
HARARE, Zimbabwe (AP) - As Zimbabwe on Thursday prepared to swear in a new leader, Emmerson Mnangagwa, after 37 years, attention turned to the fate of Robert Mugabe and the wife who just days ago was poised to succeed him. The 93-year-old Mugabe, who resigned on Tuesday as lawmakers began impeaching him, has not been seen outside a few photographs since his stunning speech to the nation on Sunday night in which he defied calls to step down. Mugabe was said to remain in the capital, Harare, with former first lady Grace but it was not clear under what terms. Some wondered whether the former president had secured guarantees of protection, including immunity from prosecution.


For Franken, a rising trajectory, and then the accusations
WASHINGTON (AP) - "Many of you have jobs, many of you have families," Sen. Al Franken told Virginia Democratic leaders gathered on the eve of what seemed an uncomfortably close gubernatorial election. After an expectant pause, he leaned into the microphone and added, "Ignore them." Franken was jokingly beseeching activists to get out the vote the following day, in what ended up as a surprisingly decisive victory for Democratic candidate Ralph Northam. But the moment, barely two weeks ago, also underscored how high the one-time "Saturday Night Live" comic had risen in his party's firmament. After spending much of his nearly nine years as senator trying to shed his funnyman image and quietly digging into issues like internet access and consumer protection, he was now a draw at political events and mentioned by some as a 2020 presidential possibility.


Report: Barton said he'd go to Capitol Police over photo
DALLAS (AP) - U.S. Rep. Joe Barton told a woman that he would complain to U.S. Capitol Police if sexually explicit photographs of him and other material from their relationship were to be exposed publicly, according to a published report. The Washington Post reported the threat Wednesday after Barton, a North Texas Republican, apologized for a nude photo of him that circulated on social media. The photo of Barton appeared on an anonymous Twitter account. It was not immediately known who posted the photo or when it was taken. Barton issued a statement saying that while separated from his second wife, prior to their divorce in 2015, he had sexual relationships "with other mature adult women." The 68-year-old Republican said each relationship was consensual and has since ended.


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Retailers look to woo shoppers from rivals as Amazon grows
NEW YORK (AP) - Toys and TVs at J.C. Penney, Barbies at Best Buy, kitchen appliances like wine refrigerators at B.J.'s. As the holiday shopping season officially kicks off Thursday, shoppers may find some surprises at their favorite stores. Even as retailers are counting on a lift from a better economy, they're looking beyond economic data and mapping out ways to pick up sales from other retailers as Amazon expands its reach. That can mean opening earlier than rivals on the holidays or even jumping into new product categories. The fight for market share comes as analysts at Bain say Amazon is expected to take half of the holiday season's sales growth.


Balloons, Broadway stars and security at Macy's parade
NEW YORK (AP) - New faces and old favorites will fly, float and march in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as police go all-out to secure it in a year marked by attacks on outdoor gathering spots. One of the nation's biggest outdoor holiday events, the parade makes its way through 2 miles of Manhattan with marching bands, performers from Broadway hits, elaborate floats and signature giant balloons. Olaf from the Disney movie "Frozen" and Chase from the TV cartoon "Paw Patrol" will be among the new balloons Thursday, along with a new version of the Grinch of Dr. Seuss fame.


Papua New Guinea officials pressure refugees to leave camp
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) - Papua New Guinea authorities on Thursday removed dozens of asylum seekers and ratcheted up pressure on more than 300 others to abandon a decommissioned immigration camp, where refugees reported their shelters, beds and other belongings have been destroyed. Police Commissioner Gari Baki said 50 police and immigration officials entered the Manus Island camp Thursday morning and "peacefully relocated" 50 asylum seekers among the 378 men to alternative accommodation in the nearby town of Lorengau. Shen Narayanasamy, a human rights campaigner for the activist group GetUp!, said some of those bused from the camp reported being forced to leave.


George Avakian, jazz producer and scholar, dies at 98
NEW YORK (AP) - George Avakian, a Russian-born jazz scholar and architect of the American music industry who produced essential recordings by Louis Armstrong, Miles Davis and other stars has died at age 98. Avakian's daughter, Anahid Avakian Gregg, confirmed that her father died Wednesday morning at his home in Manhattan. No further details were immediate available. Avakian, an executive at Columbia Records and Warner Bros. among other labels, helped popularize such consumer standards as liner notes, the long-playing album and the live album. Few could claim as many milestones as Avakian, who started out as an Ivy League prodigy rediscovering old jazz recordings and became a monumental industry figure and founder of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, presenters of the Grammys.


Colombia rebels trade combat for cameras with new TV network
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) - In a tiny bathroom, Marilu Ramirez prepares for her segment in a production studio by brushing her long black hair and covering her lashes in another coat of mascara, small luxuries in a life no longer being spent behind bars. Sentenced to 27 years in jail for her role in a car bombing at a military school, Ramirez was released as part of Colombia's peace agreement with leftist rebels and is now the host of an online debate show. The live program is produced by Nueva Colombia Noticias, a new network started by former guerrillas with the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia that aims to offer an alternative to what some see as a media landscape crowded with biased, traditional outlets.


Ships, aircraft search for 3 US sailors missing in crash
TOKYO (AP) - U.S. and Japanese ships and aircraft are searching the Philippine Sea for three sailors missing since the crash of a U.S. Navy aircraft. Eight people were rescued about 40 minutes after the crash of the C-2A "Greyhound" transport aircraft Wednesday, the Navy said. They were taken aboard the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier and were in good condition. The Navy said Thursday it had notified next of kin that the three missing sailors were "whereabouts unknown" but it would delay releasing their identities publicly for three days due to policy. The twin-propeller plane came down about 500 nautical miles (925 kilometers) southeast of Okinawa as it was bringing passengers and cargo from Japan to the aircraft carrier, the Navy said in a statement.


Raisman embraces role as 'Fierce' advocate for abuse victims
The people come forward to Aly Raisman almost daily now. Random strangers. Men and women of various ages, races and backgrounds. They see the six-time Olympic medal winning gymnast out in public and approach with a hug to give and a story to tell. It was jarring at first, if Raisman is being honest. When she pitched her autobiography "Fierce" to publishers last summer shortly after the 2016 Olympics, she intended to focus on her journey from tenacious prodigy to champion. And while all of that is in there, the part of her experience that's resonated the most since the book's release earlier this month is the one she wasn't sure she'd be able to share.