Frantic rescue underway in Indonesia as quake kills scores MEUREUDU, Indonesia (AP) - A strong earthquake rocked Indonesia's Aceh province early Wednesday, killing nearly 100 people and sparking a frantic rescue effort in the rubble of dozens of collapsed and damaged buildings. Maj. Gen. Tatang Sulaiman, chief of the army in Aceh province, said at least 97 died while four people were pulled from the rubble alive. Another four or five are known to be buried, but he didn't say if they were dead or alive. The Indonesian government declared a two-week emergency period in Aceh. The rescue effort involving thousands of search officials, villagers, soldiers and police is concentrated on Meureudu, a severely affected town in Pidie Jaya district near the epicenter.
Trump promises to heal divisions, plans visit to Ohio State FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - President-elect Donald Trump promised to "heal our divisions and unify our country" as he prepares to meet with some of the victims of last week's car-and-knife attack at Ohio State University. "When Americans are unified there is nothing we cannot do - nothing!" Trump told the crowd at a rally Tuesday night in Fayetteville, North Carolina. "I'm asking you to dream big again as Americans. I'm asking you to believe in yourselves." The Republican businessman largely stuck to the script - even stopped the crowd when it started to boo the media - and avoided some of the score-settling and scorched-earth rhetoric that defined his campaign and was present last week in Cincinnati.
10 Things to Know for Today Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. EARTHQUAKE ROCKS INDONESIA'S ACEH PROVINCE The 6.5-magnitude temblor kills at least 97 people and sparks a frantic rescue effort in the rubble of dozens of collapsed and damaged buildings. 2. WHAT TRUMP IS PROMISING TO DO The president-elect vows to "heal our divisions and unify our country" as he prepares to meet with some of the victims of last week's car-and-knife attack at Ohio State University. 3. SURVIVOR RECALLS FEAR, ANGER ON DAY OF PEARL HARBOR Jim Downing, now 103, plans to return to Hawaii with other survivors to mark the 75th anniversary of the Japanese attack that plunged the U.S.
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As Syrian troops gain ground, Aleppo rebels propose truce BEIRUT (AP) - Staring a punishing and brutal defeat in the face, several Syrian rebel factions on Wednesday proposed a five-day cease-fire in the eastern part of the city of Aleppo so the wounded, sick and other civilians can be evacuated. The proposal came as Syrian government troops and allied militiamen declared they have seized control of three-quarters of the enclave that the opposition controlled since 2012. The cease-fire proposal was signed by the Aleppo command center, apparently a reference to the collection of factions fighting inside the eastern enclave. A rebel spokesman said al-Qaida-linked group Fatah al-Sham Front, which has a limited presence in the enclave, will abide by the proposal.
Pakistani plane crashes after takeoff with 47 people aboard ISLAMABAD (AP) - A plane belonging to Pakistan's national carrier crashed on Wednesday with about 40 passengers and seven crew members on board, police and an airline spokesman said. According to senior police officer Khurram Rasheed, the plane crashed in a village near the town of Havelian, located about 75 kilometers (45 miles) northwest of the capital, Islamabad. The small twin-propeller aircraft was travelling from the city of Chitral to Islamabad when it crashed shortly after takeoff. The cause of the crash was not immediately clear. Pervez George, the spokesman for Civil Aviation Authority, told The Associated Press that a total of 47 people, including crew members, were on board and, "I don't think there is any chance of finding any survivor." TV footage showed debris from the plane and a massive fire at the site of the crash.
Survivor recalls fear, anger on day of Pearl Harbor attack PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (AP) - Surprise, fear, anger and pride overcame Jim Downing as Japanese planes bombed Pearl Harbor. Then a newlywed sailor, he recalled a Japanese plane flying low and slow in his direction as he rushed to his battleship from his home after hearing explosions and learning of the attack on the radio. "When he got the right angle, he banked over, turned his machine guns lose," Downing, now 103, said in an interview at a Waikiki hotel, "But fortunately he didn't bank far enough so it went right over my head." The next aviator might have better aim, Downing remembers thinking.
AP WAS THERE: 75 years ago, the AP reported on Pearl Harbor HONOLULU (AP) - EDITOR'S NOTE - On Dec. 7, 1941, as Japanese bombs rained down on Pearl Harbor, The Associated Press' chief of bureau in Honolulu, Eugene Burns, was unable to get out the urgent news of the historic attack that would draw the U.S. into World War II. The military had already taken control of all communication lines, so Burns was left without a line to the outside world. In Washington, AP editor William Peacock and staff got word of the attack from President Franklin D. Roosevelt's press secretary. In the language and style used by journalists of his era, including the use of a disparaging word to describe the Japanese that was in common use, Peacock dictated the details of the announcement.
Official: Refrigerator potential source of deadly fire OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Investigators zeroed in on a refrigerator and other electrical appliances as possible causes of the fire at a warehouse in Oakland that killed 36 people, as crews were set to finish their search for bodies. The death toll in the most lethal building fire in the U.S. in more than a decade was not expected to go higher. A refrigerator was a potential source of the fire, but it was too soon to say for sure, said Jill Snyder, special agent in charge of the San Francisco office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
The Latest: Syria accelerates its push into eastern Aleppo Syrian media and an opposition monitoring group say government troops and allied militias have continued to advance in eastern Aleppo, pushing their way south of the ancient quarters of the city. Syrian State TV showed footage Wednesday of hundreds of men, women and children trickling out of the Bab al-Nairab neighborhood, which lies south of the old city of Aleppo and had been held by rebels. The announcer said government and allied forces now control the district, which lies along the airport road and houses one of the city's main water stations. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said government troops captured large swaths of the district following intense clashes.
Spread by trade and climate, bugs butcher America's forests PETERSHAM, Mass. (AP) - In a towering forest of centuries-old eastern hemlocks, it's easy to miss one of the tree's nemeses. No larger than a speck of pepper, the Hemlock woolly adelgid spends its life on the underside of needles sucking sap, eventually killing the tree. The bug is one in an expanding army of insects draining the life out of forests from New England to the West Coast. Aided by global trade, a warming climate and drought-weakened trees, the invaders have become one of the greatest threats to biodiversity in the United States. Scientists say they already are driving some tree species toward extinction and are causing billions of dollars a year in damage - and the situation is expected to worsen.
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