The storm _ produced by a cold front from the Gulf of Alaska _ frustrated holiday travelers who found themselves crawling along alternative routes in sometimes icy conditions when the California Highway Patrol shut the main artery linking the state’s north and south for more than nine hours.

More than 7 inches of snow fell in Pearblossom by noon while enough snow piled up in nearby Palmdale to snap tree branches, the National Weather Service said.

Farther south, the storm deluged Long Beach with more than 2 inches of rain, breaking the city’s previous record for the day set in 1970.

1100 (with trims) by Alex Wigglesworth, Joseph Serna and Rong-Gong Lin II. MOVED


^A white Thanksgiving in the high desert as snow falls in Antelope Valley and elsewhere

WEA-CALIF-STORM-SNOW:LA _ The Thanksgiving Day storm was producing significant amounts of snow in Southern California’s high desert region Thursday.

Up to 8 inches of snow was reported in some parts of the Antelope Valley. Over the last two days, Lancaster has seen 4 to 5 inches of snow and Palmdale 3 inches, according to the National Weather Service. The agency said a weather spotter reported 7 inches Saturday morning in Pearblossom.

Snow was falling along Interstate 15 and Highway 14, but both routes so far remain open.

200 by Alex Wigglesworth and Rong-Gong Lin II in Los Angeles. MOVED

^Heart transplant patient marries high school sweetheart in hospital chapel

CHICAGO-HOSPITAL-WEDDING:TB _ A little past noon Wednesday, around 50 friends, family members and hospital staff at the University of Chicago Medical Center squeezed into a chapel in a corner of the hospital’s seventh floor to celebrate the wedding of a 23-year-old patient expected to be discharged to go into hospice care.

A makeshift aisle made of white tissue paper ran down the center of the chapel, bordered with electric candles. Perched between the foldable chairs facing the front of the room _ too few for the weddinggoers to sit on _ were small tissue boxes.

Javier Rodriguez has familial dilated cardiomyopathy, a genetic disease that predisposes victims to develop heart failure at a young age. He’s had two heart transplants, one when he was 14 and another when he was 18.

He has several days, possibly weeks, left to live.

800 by Elaine Chen in Chicago. MOVED


^Balloons brave strong winds at Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

THANKSGIVING-PARADE:NY _ Revelers cheered Astronaut Snoopy, Smokey Bear and the rest of the gang during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on Thursday after fears earlier this week that strong winds would keep the beloved balloons grounded.

With high winds forecast for Thursday, the decision on whether to let the colossal balloons float came down to the last minute.

450 by Rosemary Misdary and Shant Shahrigian in New York. MOVED


^Death of 5 in public housing high-rise fire sends shock wave across Minneapolis

MINN-APARTMENT-FIRE:MS _ There were 24 floors between Maryan Mohamud and safety, two dozen sets of stairs that would mean life or death for a woman who struggled daily to walk.

She only made seven of them.

With two of her daughters helping her down the steps of a burning apartment tower, the 69-year-old Mohamud was overcome by smoke on the 17th floor. She was one of five people who died Wednesday in the early-morning fire at Cedar High Apartments, a blaze so intense that firefighters likened it to a blast furnace.

1050 (with trims) by John Reinan, Paul Walsh and Faiza Mahamud in Minneapolis. MOVED


^The Rev. Clay Evans, famed church pastor, civil rights icon and gospel singer, dies at 94

EVANS-OBIT:TB _ The Rev. Clay Evans, legendary gospel singer, choirmaster and celebrated Baptist minister who became a fast ally to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in his effort to expose the slum conditions black Chicago residents endured, has died.

Evans linked King to other ministers interested in his Operation Breadbasket program, which sought to improve conditions for blacks and open jobs at all-white supermarket chains and bottling companies. “I try to embody the principles of Christianity, and for me that means being dedicated to freedom and equality,” Evans told a Chicago Tribune reporter in 1974.

Evans died Wednesday at his home on the city’s South Side, a spokeswoman for the retired pastor said. He was 94.

1000 by William Lee in Chicago. MOVED


^Florida man arrested after gun is found in airport 2nd time this month

AIRPORT-GUN-ARREST:OS _ A Florida was arrested for the second time this month after getting caught transporting a gun in a New York airport.

100 by Joe Mario Pedersen in Orlando, Fla. MOVED



^25 killed in anti-government protests in Iraqi city

IRAQ-PROTESTS-1ST-LEDE:DPA _ At least 25 people have been killed in clashes between security forces and protesters in Iraq, the health directorate of Dhi Qar province said Thursday, one of the bloodiest days since anti-government rallies started in early October.

The violence in Nasiriyah, the capital city of the southern province, erupted in the early hours of Thursday after security forces tried to reopen three bridges controlled by protesters in the center of the city, witnesses said.

550 by Kadhem Al-Attabi and Saad Al-Samak in Baghdad. MOVED


^Uruguay’s Lacalle Pou wins presidency as rival concedes

URUGUAY-ELECTION:BLO _ Luis Lacalle Pou of the center-right National Party won Uruguay’s presidency after his rival conceded four days after a runoff election.

Lacalle Pou, a career politician and son of a former president, was congratulated by his opponent, Daniel Martinez of the ruling Broad Front, ending 15 years in power for the left-wing coalition.

850 (with trims) by Ken Parks in Montevideo, Uruguay. MOVED


^Rudy Giuliani has curious links to a Jewish village in Ukraine


Anatevka’s honorary mayor is Rudy Giuliani, President Trump’s Ukraine point man, and its fundraisers include Giuliani’s two associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, who’ve been indicted on charges of funneling foreign money into U.S. political campaigns.

1200 by Stephanie Baker and Daryna Krasnolutska. MOVED


^TikTok restores account of user who criticized China over Uighurs’ treatment

TIKTOK-ACCOUNT:BLO _ A woman who was suspended by TikTok after posting viral videos critical of the Chinese government’s actions in Xinjiang said in a Twitter post that the Chinese video-sharing app has restored her account and apologized.

New Jersey teenager Feroza Aziz had posted a series of videos that initially looked like makeup tutorials, before quickly morphing into stinging rebukes of China’s treatment of Uighur Muslims.

400 by Max Zimmerman in Tokyo. MOVED


^Tories give Johnson the cold shoulder after ice block replaces UK prime minister in climate debate

ENV-BRITAIN-JOHNSON:BLO _ The U.K. Conservative Party accused Channel 4 News of breaking impartiality rules after the broadcaster used a melting ice sculpture of a globe to replace Prime Minister Boris Johnson who failed to attend a live climate change debate on Thursday night.

The news program had asked the leaders of the key political parties to take part in the debate ahead of the Dec. 12 election but Johnson and Brexit Party head Nigel Farage chose not to attend. This prompted Channel 4 to replace the two politicians with ice sculptures rather than the empty chairs as is usually the case.

The decision by Johnson, who is expected to lead the Conservatives into a comfortable majority, drew derision on social media. Hashtags such as #WheresBoris and #borisisacoward trended in the U.K. as online users vented frustration with Johnson’s choice to refrain from debating on a topic that is seen to be one of the greatest issues for generations to come.

350 by Melissa Cheok in Singapore. MOVED

^WHO partly suspends Ebola fight in Congo after deadly attack

CONGO-EBOLA:DPA _ The World Health Organization suspended operations in one of Congo’s Ebola hotspots on Thursday after four health response workers were killed and six were injured in two attacks, the U.N. agency said.

“Ebola was retreating. These attacks will give it force again, and more people will die as a consequence,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. “We call on everyone who has a role to play to end this cycle of violence.”

There had only been seven Ebola cases in the last week, down from a peak of more than 120 per week in April, the WHO said in a statement on Wednesday.

500 by dpa correspondents in Goma, Congo. MOVED


^Racism in Cuba persists despite government efforts, prominent Afro-Cuban artist says


“Cuba is a society that has tried to transform constantly, but racism has mutated to other subtle levels and remains in Cuban society,” despite government’s efforts, he said in an interview a few weeks after the opening of his exhibition “Diago: the past of this Afro-Cuban present” in late October at the Lowe Art Museum in Miami.

900 by Nora G mez Torres. MOVED



^The tumultuous life of an independent redistricting commissioner

REDISTRICTING-COMMISSIONERS:SH _ A warm breeze blew past Colleen Coyle Mathis and her husband, Christopher, as they lounged on the back porch of their Spanish Colonial Revival-style house one evening earlier this month, drinking bottles of Pacifico. Marigold, their 2-year-old Bernese mountain dog, lay at their feet, and the music of Linda Ronstadt hummed in the background.

Life in the Mathis house wasn’t always so idyllic. Eight years ago, the couple had boarded up their bedroom windows with plywood and secured their front doors with floor bolts. Colleen traveled to Washington, D.C., to meet with FBI agents about public threats to her life.

What made Mathis so fearful? Her volunteer state job. As the independent chairwoman of the state’s citizen-led redistricting commission, she became the target of intense organized opposition from tea party-inspired residents and Republican lawmakers to her leadership and the new maps she supported.

2300 (with trims) by Matt Vasilogambros in Tucson, Ariz. MOVED


^Insult comic’s video at center of Texas death row appeal

TEXAS-INMATE-COMIC:AU _ Billed as a “one man verbal assault unit,” insult comic Jeff Ross is best known for leading celebrity roasts on Comedy Central, but he’s also at the center of a Texas death penalty appeal thanks to a cable TV special he shot inside a College Station jail.

Ross, trailed by a camera, was allowed to mingle with inmates for the 2015 special, and one of the first prisoners he approached was Gabriel Hall, who was awaiting trial for a brutal attack that left an elderly man dead and his wife severely wounded four years earlier.

The footage of Hall never made it into “Jeff Ross Roasts Criminals: Live at Brazos County Jail,” but it did get played for a different audience _ the 12 jurors who had found him guilty of capital murder and who had to choose between sentencing Hall to death or life in prison without parole during the punishment phase of his 2015 trial.

1250 Chuck Lindell in Austin, Texas. MOVED




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