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AP Top News at 5:58 p.m. EST

Rain and sorrow accentuate memorial for dead at Brazil club
CHAPECO, Brazil (AP) - On a rainy Saturday that only accentuated the grief, 20,000 people filled a tiny stadium under umbrellas and plastic ponchos to say goodbye to members of the Chapecoense soccer club who died in a plane crash. The accident Monday in the Colombian Andes claimed most of the team's players and staff as it headed to the finals of one of Latin America's most important club tournaments. Seventy-one of the 77 people on board died, including 19 players on the team. Rain-soaked mourners jammed the modest stadium with four or five times that many outside to pay homage to a modest club that nearly reached the pinnacle of Latin American soccer.


Campus attack could be latest terror case in heartland state
CINCINNATI (AP) - Authorities are investigating terrorism as a possible motive in the car-and-knife attack on the Ohio State University campus, the latest in a series of cases involving young men who apparently became radicalized in the heartland state. They are still piecing together information on the activities of Abdul Razak Ali Artan, the Ohio State student killed Nov. 28 by a police officer after he ran his car into others and began slashing with a butcher knife. Among other recent cases that left people close to the suspects stunned, one man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison, another will be sentenced Monday and another was arrested last month.


Syrian and allied troops advance in besieged Aleppo
ALEPPO, Syria (AP) - Syrian warplanes, artillery and mortar rounds pounded areas in eastern Aleppo on Saturday drawing rebel rockets, as government troops gain new ground in the shrinking opposition-held enclave. After four years of holding nearly half of the divided city, rebel fighters have been increasingly squeezed into the center of the eastern enclave. Government and allied troops, including Lebanese, Iraqi and Iranian fighters, have concentrated their fight on the northeastern part of the enclave, swiftly taking new districts since their offensive began last week. Another front on the southern outskirts of the city has been slower, as rebel fighters push back government advances there.


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Fire tears through Oakland dance party, killing at least 9
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Fire tore through an Oakland warehouse converted into artist studios during a late night dance party, killing at least nine people, and officials said Saturday that the death toll could rise as high as 40. Officials said people either escaped from the cluttered building or died inside, where the only way down from the second story was via a stairwell constructed entirely of wooden pallets. "It appears that either you got out or you got trapped inside," said Alameda County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly. Just last month, the city of Oakland opened an investigation into the warehouse after numerous complaints filed by neighbors complaining of trash piling up outside the property and reports people were illegally living in the building, which was zoned as a warehouse.


The Latest: City started investigating warehouse weeks ago
The city of Oakland started investigating nearly three weeks ago whether people were illegally living in a warehouse destroyed by a fire late Friday night. At least nine people died. Darin Ranelletti, of the City of Oakland Planning Department, says the city had received reports of people living illegally in the building, which was only permitted as a warehouse. They opened an investigation on Nov. 13. He says an investigator went to the premises on Nov. 17 but could not gain access to the inside of the building Ranelletti says they had not yet confirmed people were living inside. Photos posted online of the warehouse - called the "Oakland Ghost Ship" - showed pictures of a bohemian, loft-like interior made of wood and cluttered with beds, rugs, old sofas, pianos, paintings, turntables, statues and other items.


Trump shrugs off fuss over Taiwan call
BEIJING (AP) - President-elect Donald Trump is unapologetic about roiling diplomatic waters with his decision to speak on the phone with Taiwan's leader, a breach of long-standing tradition that risks enmity from China. The U.S. severed diplomatic ties with the self-governing island in 1979 but has maintained close unofficial relations and a commitment to support its defense. Trump's conversation with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen drew an irritated, although understated, response from China, as Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Saturday that the contact was "just a small trick by Taiwan" that he believed would not change U.S. policy toward China, according to Hong Kong's Phoenix TV.


For now, Trump bears signs of a dealmaker, not a policymaker
WASHINGTON (AP) - He phones. He kibitzes. He cajoles. He threatens. He rewards. It's a freewheeling style that President-elect Donald Trump used to stop Carrier from shipping 800 jobs from an Indiana factory to Mexico. And it marks a radical shift from the measured words and scripted events that typify most presidents-elect. It's the agenda of a dealmaker, one who seems inclined to take a transactional, ad hoc approach to economic policy - offering some help to this company, perhaps directing a warning to others. Thursday's announcement by Carrier that it had reversed its decision to move certain jobs outside the country spotlighted Trump's inclination to personally intervene in the economy, down to a company's assembly line.


Bergdahl seeks pardon from Obama to avert desertion trial
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the former prisoner of war who's accused of endangering comrades by walking off his post in Afghanistan, is asking President Barack Obama to pardon him before leaving office. White House and Justice Department officials said Saturday that Bergdahl had submitted copies of the clemency request seeking leniency. If granted by Obama, it would allow Bergdahl to avert a military trial scheduled for April where he faces charges of desertion and misbehavior before the enemy. The misbehavior charge carries a maximum penalty of life in prison. If the pardon isn't granted, Bergdahl's defense team said it will expand its legal strategy to the new administration by filing a motion arguing President-elect Donald Trump violated his due process rights with scathing public comments about the case.


Emergency officials: We won't let pipeline protesters freeze
FARGO, N.D. (AP) - The head of North Dakota's emergency management services says the state is prepared to respond to Dakota Access pipeline protesters who may need help during a winter storm or some other crisis. State Homeland Security Director Greg Wilz said it would be a "huge challenge," especially during a mass evacuation, but his office has winter shelter plans in place and various agencies are ready to respond. "The bottom line here is, if we are in a situation of life and limb, we are going to be humane in anything and everything we do," Wilz said. "We aren't going to let somebody out there freeze.


Players: Kerr's marijuana admission could spark dialogue
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - David West has undergone four surgeries in his long NBA career: left knee, right elbow and right foot twice to fix a couple of toes. "I don't even like saying all that," he said. So, yes, West knows real pain. Draymond Green has never needed an operation - he knocks on a table not once but twice as to not jinx himself - yet he considers that the option of using medicinal marijuana "makes a lot of sense." Steve Kerr's players believe his voice can go far in starting a serious, thoughtful dialogue in professional sports regarding pot use for pain relief.






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