The California Coastal Commission on Thursday approved a plan by SeaWorld San Diego to expand its killer whale tanks, but banned any future breeding of the whales.
The decision came as hundreds of animal welfare activists packed a meeting in Long Beach where the proposal was being considered.
The Commission decided to expand the theme park's $100 million Blue World Project, which would replace and expand two existing orca facilities with larger tanks, one containing 5.2 million gallons of water and another with 450,000 gallons.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee is set to announce the 2015 winner of the Nobel Peace Prize amid speculation that the prize could highlight Europe's migration crisis, peace talks in Colombia or a U.S.-Iran nuclear deal.
Pope Francis is among the nominees for this year's award though the committee has been reluctant in the past to consider popes — none has been honored since the first Nobel Prizes in 1901.
The five-member committee has released no hints ahead of the announcement, scheduled for 0900 GMT.
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A city in South Carolina approved a $6.5 million settlement Thursday with the family of an unarmed black man shot to death earlier this year by a white police officer.
The North Charleston City Council approved the settlement by a 10-0 vote, and members of Walter Scott's family were on hand when it was announced.
The council had met several times in the past few months to receive advice from city attorney Brady Hair on a potential lawsuit from Scott's family.
Though South Carolina's historically heavy rains have subsided, the state's governor issued a stark warning that more possible flooding is likely, threatening to raise the rain-related death toll in the state over 17.
"The problem is, more is coming," Haley said Thursday, according to NBC News.
Swollen rivers are expected to deliver more water to low-lying and coastal areas, with areas south of Givhans Ferry, northwest of Charleston, bracing for possible flooding over the next three days. Once the water comes, areas could remain flooded for up to 12 days, Haley said.
"If someone comes and knocks on your door and tells you to leave — I know you've lived there a long time, I know that all your belongings are there, I know that you might have been through weather related issues before — this is different," Haley said.
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The USS Theodore Roosevelt exited the Persian Gulf for maintenance early Friday, leaving the key body of water without a U.S. aircraft carrier for the first time since 2007.
The temporary measure comes as Russia steps up its presence in the region to lend muscle to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russian forces began bombing targets in Syria last week, drawing criticism from the U.S. and its allies, who say that Russia is mainly targeting rebels fighting Assad instead of ISIS.
The U.S., which is conducting its own airstrikes against ISIS, will still be able to launch its planes from Turkey, Qatar and other coalition nations that have entered the fight against the radical group.
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In a stunning move, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy on Thursday withdrew his candidacy for speaker of the U.S. House, shocking fellow Republicans just before voting was to begin and plunging Congress' GOP leadership into chaos.
GOP lawmakers said McCarthy told colleagues at the start of a closed meeting that he was not the right person for the job. He recommended that the election be postponed and Speaker John Boehner delayed it.
"I have never seen anything like this," said Rep. Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania.
The election was postponed, as may be the scheduled Oct. 29 vote for speaker by the full House, Democrats as well as Republicans.
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France train attack hero Spencer Stone remained in stable but serious condition Thursday night, after being stabbed early in the morning during a fight in Sacramento, California, authorities said.
Stone, 23, was one of three Americans who helped thwart a terror attack aboard a high-speed train bound for Paris in August. He is assigned to Travis Air Force Base in California.
Stone is expected to make a full recovery, though he is heavily sedated, according to a doctor at the hospital where he’s being treated for his stab wounds.
"I suspect, given his history of recent events, he’s quite a fighter," said Dr. Douglas Kirk.
Deputy Chief Ken Bernard of the Sacramento Police Department said in a news conference Thursday that Stone was "enjoying the nightlife" in midtown Sacramento with four friends when his group got into a dispute with two or three other men in the area of 21st Street and K Street.
An explosion at a dam in central Washington state Thursday afternoon injured six employees, NBC News reported. The workers were transported to area hospitals — some by ambulance, others by airlift — according to the Grant County Sheriff's Office.
A problem with electrical equipment caused the bast at the Priest Rapids Dam, which runs along the Columbia River, the sheriff's office said. The blast did not affect the stability of the dam and officials said there was no danger to the public.
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Capt. William Hoey
U.S. safety investigators say the U.S. Navy soon will set out to find the cargo ship sunk in Hurricane Joaquin and locate a data recorder critical to determining why it went down.
National Transportation Safety Board vice chair Bella Dinh-Zarr told reporters Thursday the Navy would use sonar and other means to find the 790-foot El Faro on the sea floor. The ship sank in about 15,000 feet of water Oct. 1 with 33 people aboard east of the Bahamas.
The Coast Guard called off a search for possible survivors Wednesday.
New York City's hottest new restaurant isn't in a restored factory loft in Brooklyn or a tony high rise in Tribeca -- it's in a Columbia student's dorm room.
Pith, a small bistro created by Columbia senior Jonah Reider and run out of his dorm room's communal kitchen, opened two weeks ago, according to the New York Post. The prix fixe restaurant, which features a five- to eight-course New American dinner, has already been booked through the school's winter break.
"I think of myself as better than the average college student but definitely not an amazing cook so I'm pleasantly surprised by all the positive feedback," he told NBC 4 New York.
Sometimes "Like" just doesn't cut it. So how about Love or Angry? Haha or Sad? Or just Yay or Wow?
Facebook is going "Inside Out" on the Like button, adding a range of new emotional reactions to the iconic thumbs-up icon it launched in 2009.
You won't see the new emoji right away unless you live in Ireland or Spain, the two locations the Menlo Park, California-based social network chose to begin testing them on Friday.
A perfect storm of holiday traffic and foggy weather led to an epic traffic jam on one of China's busiest highways.
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When President Barack Obama arrives here Friday, he will find a timber town still in mourning over the shooting that killed eight community college students and a teacher. But he will also find another deeply held emotion — seething anger over his calls for new gun restrictions.
Only a week after a gunman strode into a writing class and opened fire on classmates, many people in the region known as Oregon's Bible Belt are quick to reaffirm their opposition to stricter gun laws. At least one parent of a shooting survivor says his family will not meet with the president, although his daughter said she hopes to do so. And gun-rights supporters plan to protest during Obama's visit.
Dozens of people in the U.S. are engaged in conversations with overseas supporters of ISIS that the FBI cannot monitor, FBI Director James Comey said Thursday, NBC News reported. Comey has been warning for months that when ISIS supporters find someone in the U.S., through messages on social media, they then employ software that encrypts their communications, making it impossible for the FBI to follow them, even with a court order. While Comey has discussed the "going dark" challenge before, his comments Thursday represent the first time he has put a number on the size of the problem. Over the past three years 250 people have traveled to areas controlled by ISIS from the U.S.
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