Airlift begins for hundreds trapped on burning Italian ferry

In this photo taken from a nearby ship, smoke rises from the Italian-flagged Norman Atlantic ferry after it caught fire in the Adriatic Sea, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014. The ferry carrying some hundreds of passengers caught fire off the Greek island of Corfu early Sunday, trapping passengers on the top decks as gale-force winds and choppy seas hampered their evacuation. (AP Photo/SKAI TV Station) GREECE OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT

By Renee Maltezou ATHENS (Reuters) – Air crews began lifting passengers off a burning ferry adrift in the Adriatic Sea on Sunday, racing to rescue as many of the hundreds trapped on board as possible before nightfall as storms hampered seaborne operations. Helicopters were taking passengers off the Italian-flagged Norman Atlantic in pairs and transferring them to a nearby vessel, officials said. …

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Anti-police Oakland protesters break windows, trash Christmas tree

(Reuters) – Demonstrators in Oakland, California, broke store windows and vandalized a public Christmas tree during a march protesting police shootings, media reports said. Vandals who were among about 50 largely peaceful marchers broke store windows in downtown Oakland late on Thursday, looted a liquor store and pulled ornaments and lights off the Christmas tree, the SFGate news website reported. An Oakland police spokesman said there were no arrests but had no other details about the protest. … …read more

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