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Russia has rescued one of the fighter pilots who was in a plane shot down by Turkey yesterday. Turkey claims the plane was in its airspace, but the pilot denies this. Also, the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for a bombing in Tunisia that killed 12 presidential guards.
Less than two weeks after the attacks in Paris and with a worldwide travel alert in place, President Obama told Americans today there's no credible threat to the U.S. this holiday weekend. He urged people to go about their normal activities this Thanksgiving.
At the White House, flanked by his top counterterrorism and national security advisers, he said the U.S. government is working overtime to protect the homeland.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:
The combined resources of our military, our intelligence, and our homeland security agencies are on the case. They're vigilant, relentless and effective. In the event of a specific, credible threat, the public will be informed.
The president also signed a $607 billion defense authorization bill today, despite provisions that ban him from moving detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the U.S. In addition, the bill contains a provision that the president come up with a plan for defeating the Islamic State.
Across the Atlantic, the French announced that they will deploy extra police and troops in Paris next week, as about 140 world leaders, including President Obama, arrive for climate talks.
Meanwhile, in Belgium's capital city, where some of the Paris attackers were based, the maximum threat alert remained in place as a manhunt continued. In spite of that, schools did reopen in Brussels after a two-day closure, and subway service was also restored in some areas under tight security.
The Islamic State has claimed responsibility for yesterday's bus bombing in Tunisia that killed 12 presidential guards. In an online post, the group identified the suicide bomber and included a picture of him with explosives strapped to his chest. Today, investigators sifted through the wreckage and found roughly 22 pounds of military explosives on the bus.
Russia today touted its rescue operation of the surviving fighter pilot shot down by Turkish jets yesterday. The pilot told reporters he didn't violate Turkey's airspace and he received no warning, claims that Turkey rejects. The other pilot was killed.
The shoot-down sparked outrage in Moscow, where protesters pelted the Turkish Embassy with eggs and chanted "murderers."
And Russian President Vladimir Putin questioned Turkey's motivation.
PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, Russia (through interpreter):
The problem is not the tragedy we witnessed yesterday. The problem is much deeper. We observe — and not only us, I assure you — the whole world is seeing that the current Turkish leadership over a significant number of years has been pursuing a deliberate domestic policy of supporting the Islamization of their country.
In Ankara, Turkey's prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, called the downing a communication accident, while still maintaining the Russian jet did cross into Turkish airspace. But he said Russian airstrikes along the Turkey-Syria border must stop.
AHMET DAVUTOGLU, Prime Minister, Turkey (through interpreter):
Nobody should pave the way to massacres against Turkmens in this region under the pretext of carrying out operations against the Islamic State. Today, in this region near Turkey's border with Syria, civilians are attacked with cluster bombs. Attacks, close to a massacre, are being carried out. This should stop immediately.
Foreign ministers from Russia and Turkey have also agreed to meet, but not before Russia ordered state-of-the-art air defense missile systems deployed at a Russian air base in Syria.
Pope Francis arrived in Kenya today to begin his first-ever trip to Africa. Thousands of people lined the streets of the capital, Nairobi, to greet the pontiff as his motorcade passed through. Later, he urged Kenyans to work toward peace in a world filled with extremist violence. The pope will be in Africa for six days, with visits to Uganda and the Central African Republic.
Before the year even ends, the U.N. weather agency is predicting it will be the hottest on record. The World Meteorological Organization said there was no point waiting until the end of the year because temperatures around the world have already been so hot. Scientists point to manmade global warming and a strong El Nino weather system for a 1.8-degree Fahrenheit rise over pre-industrial times.
It was a day of light trading and little change on Wall Street today The Dow Jones industrial average gained one point to close at 17813. The Nasdaq rose 13 points, and the S&P 500 dropped less than a point.
And President Obama carried out a time-honored Thanksgiving tradition at the White House this afternoon. He officially pardoned the National Thanksgiving Turkey, named Abe, during a Rose Garden ceremony. The Turkey and an alternate bird named Honest will live out the rest of their lives on a farm in Leesburg, Virginia.
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