AP/Shiraaz Mohamed, File
Oscar Pistorius' prison sentence was more than doubled to 13 years and five months on Friday, a surprisingly dramatic intervention by South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal in the Olympic athlete's fate after the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
In an announcement that took a matter of minutes, Supreme Court Justice Willie Seriti said a panel of judges unanimously upheld an appeal by prosecutors against Pistorius' original six-year sentence for shooting Steenkamp multiple times in his home in 2013.
Under that initial sentence, which the court called "shockingly lenient," the double-amputee runner could have been released on parole in mid-2019. Now, the earliest he'll be eligible for parole is 2023.
At least 85 people were killed when gunmen opened fire and bombed a mosque in Egypt's volatile Sinai Peninsula on Friday, state television reported. Dozens of others were injured in the attack.
Police sources told the Associated Press that men in four off-road vehicles opened fire on worshipers inside the mosque during a sermon. NBC News could not immediately independently verify that account.
Three police officers told the AP that militants attacked the al-Rawdah mosque in the town of Bir al-Abd, which is located about 25 miles from the North Sinai provincial capital of el-Arish.
Around 50 ambulances were transferring victims to hospitals, according to the Ministry of Health.
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Retailers are hoping deals and excitement bring shoppers to stores and to their sites for Black Friday, one of the biggest shopping days of the year.
But Black Friday has morphed from a single day when people got up early to score doorbusters into a whole season of deals, so shoppers may feel less need to be out. Some love the excitement. Others may just check their phones and go back to sleep. But the Thanksgiving weekend, when stores go all-out to attract shoppers, can be an indication of how well they'll do through the season.
Some stores saw long lines and crowds as they opened Thursday.
The U.S. Navy has called off search and rescue operations for three sailors not immediately recovered after a C2-A Greyhound plane crashed into the Philipine Sea, the 7th fleet said in a statement.
Search and rescue efforts from the crash of the transport aircraft on Wednesday afternoon Japan time were suspended at 10:00 a.m. local time Friday (8 p.m. Thursday ET).
Eleven people were on board the plane. Eight sailors were rescued within 45 minutes of the crash and transferred to Ronald Reagan for medical evaluation. All are in good condition at this time.
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Exuberant Zimbabweans greeted the swearing-in Friday of new President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who takes power after an extraordinary series of events that ousted the world's oldest head of state.
Mnangagwa, fired earlier this month as vice president, will lead after the resignation of 93-year-old Robert Mugabe, who succumbed to pressure to quit from the military, the ruling party and massive demonstrations amid fears his unpopular wife would succeed him.
A smiling Mnangagwa greeted a stadium crowd of tens of thousands with a raised fist, and he promised to devote himself to the well-being of the people. The military, fresh from putting Mugabe under house arrest just days ago, quickly swore its loyalty to the new leader.
Mnangagwa, a former justice and defense minister, was a key Mugabe confidant for decades until they fell out because of the presidential ambitions of Mugabe's wife, Grace.
Dramatic footage from the National Fire Protection Association is warning holiday makers from using turkey fryers for this holiday season. (Video courtesy National Fire Protection Association)
North Korea appears to have replaced all of its guards at a jointly patrolled border area where a North Korean soldier defected last week under a hail of gunfire, according to South Korean media. Military officials said Friday they could not confirm the report.
Yonhap news agency cited an unnamed intelligence source saying there were "signs" the North had replaced its entire security force of 35 to 40 men at the Joint Security Area. South Korea's Defense Ministry and the U.S.-led United Nations Command said they couldn't confirm it.
The source also told Yonhap the North seems to have temporarily closed a bridge over which the defector drove a military jeep to reach the border before his dramatic escape on foot last Monday. The source said the North could be preparing to install a security gate at the bridge for strengthening its screening of personnel coming in and out of the area.
Suggesting he's a victim of revenge porn from a jilted lover, Republican Rep. Joe Barton of Texas says he plans to go silent about the release of a nude photo of him online because police are investigating the disclosure as a possible crime against him. Authorities have not confirmed an investigation.
The 68-year-old Barton, who joined the House in 1985, has acknowledged sharing intimate material with a lover and accused her of threatening to make it public when he ended the relationship. The unidentified woman told The Washington Post that she did not put it online and said the congressman sought to intimidate her by threatening to go to the authorities if she exposed his conduct.
The he said-she said dispute erupted in the midst of sexual misconduct allegations drawing in several other members of Congress as well as Senate Republican candidate Roy Moore of Alabama, who is accused of disrobing a 14-year-old girl. The consequences for Barton are not immediately apparent aside from his mortification: The relationship with the woman was evidently consensual.
AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File
In a move that could signal cooperation with the government, lawyers for former national security adviser Michael Flynn have told President Donald Trump's legal team that they are no longer communicating with them about special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian election interference.
Flynn's legal team communicated the decision this week, said a person familiar with the move who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.
The decision could be a sign that Flynn is moving to cooperate with Mueller's investigation or negotiate a deal for himself. In large criminal investigations, defense lawyers routinely share information with each other. But it can become unethical to continue such communication if one of the potential targets is looking to negotiate a deal with prosecutors.
AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File
How easily a stolen gun can be matched to one used in a crime depends on laws that can either speed or impede the trace.
Making the job easier: mandatory reporting of lost or stolen guns and background checks, measures opposed by the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups but favored by gun control organizations. But these regulations are limited because although federal laws govern licensed gun dealers, they do not apply to private individuals and the majority of states have not extended their laws to close the gap.
Making it more difficult: the federal Tiahrt Amendments and the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986, which impede the dissemination of records to researchers or others outside of law enforcement or forbid the creation of a registry of guns, gun owners or gun sales.
William Rosen, the deputy legal director of Everytown for Gun Safety, accused the gun lobby of stoking fears that the government would use a registry for a mass seizure of guns.
AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary
Pakistani authorities acting on a court order released a U.S.-wanted militant Friday who allegedly founded a banned group linked to the 2008 Mumbai, India attack that killed 168 people, his spokesman and officials said.
Hafiz Saeed, who has been designated a terrorist by the U.S. Justice Department and has a $10 million bounty on his head, was released before dawn after the court this week ended his detention in the eastern city of Lahore.
The move outraged Indian authorities, but Saeed's spokesman Yahya Mujahid confirmed his release, calling it a "victory of truth."
Fabio/Getty Images, File
A New Jersey woman who was helped by a homeless man after she ran out of gas on an interstate in Philadelphia has raised more than $230,000 for the good Samaritan.
Kate McClure, 27, started the Gofundme.com campaign on Nov. 10 after she said she ran out of gas on I-95 and a homeless man, Johnny Bobbitt Jr., walked a few blocks and bought her some with his last $20.
McClure said she didn't have any money to repay him at the time but returned to the road several times to give him cash, clothes and food.
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images
The first family's Thanksgiving spread: it looks a lot like your family's.
The spokeswoman for first lady Melania Trump said Thursday that the president and his family will enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving feast complete with turkey at the Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach, Florida. Here's what's on the menu:
Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images, File
The Federal Communications Commission formally released a draft of its plan to kill net-neutrality rules , which equalized access to the internet and prevented broadband providers from favoring their own apps and services.
Now the question is: What comes next?
America's top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. John Nicholson, told NBC News Thursday that the war here remains in a "stalemate," but that President Donald Trump's new strategy has reversed a decline in the U.S. position.
"We are still in a stalemate," Nicholson, a four-star Army general said in an exclusive interview with NBC News. "We are only 90 days into this new policy, but with the U.S. forces that will be arriving, with the new authority that we have been given, put the pressure on external enablers, with the fact that we are condition based and not time based, we've set all the conditions to win."
His comments largely tracked with a more upbeat-sounding assessment Trump gave in a video conference Thursday morning with members of the Army's 82nd Airborne First Brigade Combat Team here.
"I have to say just directly to the folks in Afghanistan: Everybody’s talking about the progress you’ve made in the last few months since I opened it up," Trump said. "We opened it up, we said go ahead, we’re going to fight to win. We’re not fighting anymore to just walk around; we’re fighting to win, and you people are really — you’ve turned it around over the last three to four months like nobody’s seen."
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