By Roberta Rampton and Kylie Gumpert WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - President Barack Obama sought to reassure Americans they were safe as millions of travelers set off for the long Thanksgiving weekend on Wednesday and authorities stepped up security at airports in response to the attacks in Paris two weeks ago. In New York City, record-breaking crowds were expected on Thursday for the annual Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade, and Police Commissioner William Bratton said the city was deploying more officers at the annual event than ever before. "Right now, we know of no specific and credible intelligence indicating a plot on the homeland," Obama told reporters at the White House, two weeks after suspected Islamist militants killed 130 people in a series of coordinated attacks in the French capital.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The big Thanksgiving getaway went into full swing Wednesday with drivers delighted by the lowest November gas prices in years and many airline passengers undaunted by terrorism fears and long lines at security checkpoints.
Four men were being held on Wednesday by Minneapolis police as prosecutors weighed charges against them in connection with the shooting this week of five people protesting the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black man. Allen Lawrence Scarsella, 23, Joseph Martin Backman, 27, Nathan Wayne Gustavsson, 21, and Daniel Thomas Macey, 26, have been arrested and will be held until Monday as the Hennepin County Attorney's office investigates the incident and decides whether to file charges, officials said. Minneapolis police, who are working with the FBI, said they are not seeking any more suspects in the shooting of protesters who had been demonstrating against the fatal shooting on Nov. 15 of Jamar Clark, 24.
Chicago was calm on Wednesday, a day after the release of a graphic video showing the fatal shooting of a black teenager by a white policeman charged with murder, a peaceful response compared with outbursts of violence in Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, over other deaths at the hands of police. Authorities in the city of 2.7 million people had braced for violence, but peaceful demonstrations so far have led to just five arrests with more protests planned for later on Wednesday, one at the Chicago Thanksgiving Day parade on Thursday and another on Friday. Protests Wednesday at Chicago City Hall and the criminal courthouse were sparsely attended, and a protest of between 100 and 200 people in downtown Chicago at rush hour drew stares from shoppers.