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The Islamic State group, which has employed a broad range of strategies to subdue Sunni Muslim tribes in Syria and Iraq, is pushing its war for a caliphate into North Africa. Younger jihadis in particular appear to be mimicking the militants' rhetoric and brutality. (Associated Press)

Islamic State spreading into northern Africa, alarming U.S.

- The Washington Times

In its war to create a caliphate across Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State is opening a front in North Africa, where affiliated militants are wreaking havoc in eastern Libya and Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula — presenting a complex challenge for Washington and its allies in the region.

 William A. Reinsch, National Foreign Trade Council President. CSPAN

Confessions of a panda hugger

William A. Reinsch, former undersecretary of commerce for export administration under President Bill Clinton, offered a surprising mea culpa in the latest annual report by the U.S.- China Economic and Security Review Commission made public earlier this month.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson speaks at a news conference following the secretary's visit to the Islamic Center of the San Gabriel Valley in Rowland Heights, Calif., Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014. (AP Photo/Nick Ut) ** FILE **

Eerie lack of terror chatter this Thanksgiving, but feds keep ‘vigilant’

- The Washington Times

U.S. authorities say there’s no specific “chatter” indicating an imminent terrorist plot targeting the American homeland, but intelligence and law enforcement officials are staying vigilant around Thanksgiving — which arrives just weeks after the Department of Homeland Security cited an enhanced threat of “lone” wolf attacks in the United States.

Powerful Republicans, such as incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, have argued that the USA Freedom Act to limit data collection would curtail U.S. counterterrorism operations. (Associated Press)

Obama facing uphill battle in curbing NSA snooping

- The Washington Times

With the lame-duck Congress failing to advance bipartisan surveillance-reform legislation, President Obama faces an uphill climb next year with his plans to end the National Security Agency’s mass collection of phone records.

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FILE - In this March 18, 2013, file image taken from video obtained from the Shaam News Network, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, free Syrian Army fighters fire at Syrian army soldiers during a fierce firefight in Daraa al-Balad, Syria. Syrian rebels backed by the United States are making their biggest gains yet south of the capital Damascus, capturing a string of towns from government forces and aiming to carve out a swath of territory leading to the doorstep of President Bashar Assad's seat of power. (AP Photo/Shaam News Network via AP video, File)

Rebels push forward in southern Syria

- Associated Press

Syrian rebels backed by the United States are making their biggest gains yet south of the capital Damascus, capturing a string of towns from government forces and aiming to carve out a swath of territory leading to the doorstep of President Bashar Assad's seat of power

Afghan security forces, upper left, inspect the site of an attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014. Taliban fighters staged an attack Thursday evening in an upscale district in the Afghan capital Kabul. Witnesses described multiple explosions and bursts of gunfire in the Wazir Akbar Khan district, which contains numerous foreign embassies and compounds housing international agencies and companies - as well as the homes of some senior Afghan government officials. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

Afghan official: Attack on army base kills 6

Associated Press

Insurgents killed six Afghan soldiers in an assault on an army base Friday that lasted more than 14 hours, a day after attacks on foreign targets in Kabul killed two British embassy employees.

Russian warships wait out storm in English Channel

- Associated Press

Russian warships have entered the English Channel to wait out a storm following a week of maneuvers in the North Sea, the latest in a string of Russian military exercises this year.

Kodiak cleanup could extend into 2015

- Associated Press

The cleanup of hazardous materials and metal shards continues at the state-owned Kodiak Launch Facility three months after military testers detonated a rocket carrying an experimental weapon, and the work might not be completed this year.

President Barack Obama shakes hands with a parton as he and his family distribute food at "Bread For The City" Wednesday, Nov. 26, 2014, in Washington, as part of an annual Thanksgiving tradition of participation in a service event.  (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Full holiday menu for Obamas, plus 6 pies

Associated Press

President Barack Obama spent a quiet Thanksgiving at the White House where the belly-stuffing menu featured all the holiday's basics. He also continued a tradition of telephoning members of the armed forces to thank them for their service.