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Updated: Sun, 15 Dec 2013 01:16:21 EST


Snowstorm brings dangerous travel conditions

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The bulk of a wintery storm is heading into New England after leaving a blanket of snow on Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The storm caused more than 1,000 flights to be canceled Saturday in the Midwest and Northeast. More than 200 more flights were canceled for Sunday as some areas were expected to get a foot or more before the storm clears.

The National Weather Service says more than half a foot of snow fell in some parts of inland Pennsylvania, while Philadelphia got more of a slushy mess as the region experienced its third round of snowy weather in a week.

Coastal regions in Maine could see 14 inches combined with heavy winds. A winter storm warning is in effect there through Sunday afternoon.

Bad weather caused numerous traffic collisions, including four deadly crashes in Missouri in two days.


UPDATE: South Africa prepares to bury Mandela

QUNU, South Africa (AP) — South African military honor guards are marching and guests are arriving ahead of the state funeral for Nelson Mandela.

The anti-apartheid leader will be buried Sunday at a family grave site in his hometown of Qunu in Eastern Cape province.

The burial will end 10 days of mourning ceremonies that included a massive stadium memorial in Johannesburg and three days during which Mandela's body lay in state in the capital, Pretoria. He died Dec. 5 at the age of 95 in his Johannesburg home.

In preparation for the funeral, servicemen from the army, navy and air force have marched on a dirt road in Mandela's family compound. Nearly 5,000 guests are expected to be there, and a smaller group will attend the burial.


Sheriff: Sheriff: Colorado gunman wanted to hurt many more

CENTENNIAL, Colo. (AP) — Authorities say a teenager who wounded a fellow student before killing himself at a suburban Denver high school entered the building with a shotgun, a machete, three Molotov cocktails and ammunition strapped to his body.

Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson says it appears 18-year-old Karl Pierson intended to track down a librarian who had disciplined him. But the librarian, who coached the school's speech and debate team, was able to escape the school unharmed.

Robinson says investigators believe Pierson made some kind of threat in September, after being disciplined.

Pierson fired a round down a hallway, then shot a fellow student who just happened to be sitting nearby with a friend as he headed toward the library. The victim, 17-year-old Claire Davis, was shot in the head at point-blank range and remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Robinson says Pierson set off one of the incendiary devices, but killed himself just one minute and 20 seconds after entering the building because he knew a sheriff's deputy assigned to the school was closing in.

Based on Pierson's arsenal, Robinson believes the teen intended to hurt many others at the school.

Pierson legally purchased his shotgun at a local store a week before the shooting and bought the ammunition the day of the shooting.


Venezuela grounds flight over terror threat

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — Venezuelan explosive experts are inspecting a grounded Air France flight after being tipped off by French authorities that a terrorist group may be planning to detonate an explosive device in midair.

Venezuelan Interior Minister Miguel Rodriguez Torres told state TV that bomb experts are performing an exhaustive search of the aircraft that will take several hours.

Rodriguez said that flight #385 to Paris was scheduled to depart at 7:25 p.m. local time Saturday but was cancelled after French authorities received information from a credible source that a terrorist group is seeking to place a bomb aboard a future flight between the two cities.

He said information is still being processed and it is unclear whether the targeted flight would depart from Caracas or Paris.


China's moon rover leaves traces on lunar soil

BEIJING (AP) — State media reports that China's first moon rover has touched the lunar surface and left deep traces on its loose soil, several hours after the country successfully carried out the world's first soft landing of a space probe on the moon in nearly four decades.

The 300-pound "Jade Rabbit" rover separated from the much larger landing vehicle early Sunday, around seven hours after the unmanned Chang'e 3 space probe touched down on a fairly flat, Earth-facing part of the moon.

The rover and lander are expected to take photos of each other and start their own scientific explorations. The six-wheeled rover will survey the moon's geological structure and surface and look for natural resources for three months, while the lander will carry out scientific explorations at the landing site for one year.

The mission marks the next stage in an ambitious space program that aims to eventually put a Chinese astronaut on the moon. China's space program is the third to carry out a lunar soft landing after the United States and the former Soviet Union. The last one was by the Soviet Union in 1976.


Man dives between tracks as NYC subway approaches

NEW YORK (AP) — A man who fell onto the tracks in front of a New York City subway train survived when police say he dove into the deep roadbed between the rails as the train passed over him.

Police say Ralph Mercado was hospitalized in stable condition with only a bruised hand after Saturday's hair-raising incident at Union Station in Manhattan.

Witnesses saw Mercado screaming for help as the train rolled toward him. Suzannah Troy told the New York Post there wasn't enough time for onlookers to act.

Police don't know exactly how Mercado, who's in his 50s, ended up in front of the northbound R train.


Lawyer disputes SF hospital stairway death report

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — An attorney for the woman found dead in a San Francisco General Hospital stairwell is disputing a coroner's report that her death was probably due to a chemical imbalance related to chronic alcohol abuse.

Haig Harris asserted to the San Francisco Chronicle Saturday that Lynne Spalding's death wasn't related to alcoholism and insisted that she died of starvation or dehydration.

He said the mention of alcoholism "demeans the memory of this woman, without telling us when she died, how long she was out there suffering."

Spalding's body was found in a locked stairwell Oct. 8, 17 days after she went missing from her hospital room.

David Perry, a family spokesman, also denied that Spalding had a drinking problem.

A call to the medical examiner's office was not immediately returned.


Michelin recalls 1.2 million tires in US

WASHINGTON (AP) — Tire-maker Michelin says it is recalling about 1.2 million tires sold in the U.S. because an increasing number are experiencing tread loss or rapid air loss.

The tires are commonly used for pickup trucks, heavy-duty vans, small RVs and commercial light trucks. The Greenville, S.C-based company says no deaths or injuries have been reported because of the tires.

The tires, known as Michelin LTX M/S tires, were manufactured between January 2010 and June 2012. They were sold as original equipment on some vehicles and as new replacement tires.

The company says that fewer than 200 of the tires have been returned by customers. Owners can have them replaced at Michelin stores for no charge.


Maine wreaths laid at Arlington National Cemetery

ARLINGTON, Va. (AP) — Tens of thousands of wreaths made in Maine have been laid at graves at Arlington National Cemetery.

Trucks carrying about 143,000 balsam wreaths began rolling toward the Washington, D.C.-area cemetery Dec. 8. They arrived Saturday.

All told, the Columbia Falls-based nonprofit Wreaths Across America expects to ship more than 500,000 wreaths to adorn veterans' graves across the country and overseas this holiday season.

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King of Maine say the Senate has passed a resolution designating Saturday as "Wreaths Across America Day."

The wreath-laying tradition began in 1992, when the owner of Worcester Wreath Co. ended up with extra wreaths and shipped them to Arlington.

Next year, for Arlington's 150th anniversary, the organization wants to place a wreath on every headstone — about 230,000 of them.


More famous Jameis: Winston wins Heisman Trophy

NEW YORK (AP) — Jameis (JAYM'-ihs) Winston has won the Heisman Trophy, making the Florida State quarterback the second straight freshman to win the award.

Winston is a landslide winner of college football's most prestigious individual honor. He received 668 first-place votes to finish 1,501 points ahead of AJ McCarron of Alabama.

Texas &M's Johnny Manziel was the first freshman to win the Heisman, and now Winston has made it two in the 79-year history of the award. Winston also is the youngest winner at 23 days short of 20.

Winston is the nation's top-rated passer and has led the top-ranked Seminoles to the BCS championship game against No. 2 Auburn on his birthday, Jan. 6.

The 19-year-old also was investigated last month for a year-old sexual assault, but no charges were filed.

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