BC-CA--California News Digest, CA

The supervisor in Los Angeles will be Amy Taxin. If you have a news tip or questions about the report, call 213-626-1200. The supervisor in San Francisco will be Paul Elias. He can be reached at 415-495-1708.

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SEOUL, South Korea — North Korea state media claimed Saturday that an elderly U.S. tourist from California detained for more than a month has apologized for alleged crimes during the Korean War and for "hostile acts" against the state during a recent trip. North Korean authorities released video showing 85-year-old Merrill Newman of Palo Alto, wearing glasses, a blue button-down shirt and tan trousers, reading his alleged apology, which was dated Nov. 9 and couldn't be independently confirmed. Pyongyang has been accused of previously coercing statements from detainees. There was no way to reach Newman and determine the circumstances of the alleged confession. But it was riddled with stilted English and grammatical errors, such as "I want not punish me." By Foster Klug and Eun-Young Jeong. SENT: 600 words, photos.


SANTA ANA, Calif. — A man ate cleanser that he apparently collected slowly while in custody and died while awaiting trial in the killings of four homeless men and two others, his lawyer said. The lawyer, Michael Molfetta, who was briefed on the death, said Friday that the incident raises serious questions about Orange County jail deputies' supervision of Itzcoatl Ocampo, who was mentally ill. By Gillian Flaccus. SENT: 580 words, photos.


OAKLAND, Calif. — A Northern California teen who was set on fire on a bus in what authorities believe is a hate crime says the 16-year-old accused of the attack shouldn't be charged as an adult. Sasha Fleischman spoke to reporters about the horrific ordeal after leaving a hospital in time for Thanksgiving, more than three weeks after suffering second- and third-degree burns when the teen's skirt was set on fire on an AC Transit bus in Oakland. SENT: 430 words.


RENO, Nev. — Organizers of the annual weeklong celebration of self-expression and eclectic art known as Burning Man and a Nevada county where it is held thought they had resolved their legal dispute over the festival. And they hoped to get the blessing of a federal judge overseeing the case, and asked him to dismiss the lawsuit earlier this week. Instead, they got an earful from U.S. District Senior Judge Robert C. Jones, and threats that the lawyers in the case should either go back to law school or be disbarred. By Scott Sonner. SENT: 600 words, photos.


ROSEVILLE, Calif. — More than two dozen people were arrested in protests at California Wal-Mart stores during the Black Friday shopping surge. Police in Roseville, northeast of Sacramento, arrested 15 people following a protest at a Wal-Mart there, police said. In Southern California, 10 people were arrested from among more than 100 members of a labor group and their supporters after they sat down in an Ontario intersection. SENT: 250 words, photos.


— STORE STANDOFF — Los Angeles County sheriff's deputies say a gunman who robbed one store in a La Crescenta shopping center and barricaded himself inside another for hours has died in an apparent suicide.

— SICK KIDS-VEGAS CASINO — Firefighters in Las Vegas say they responded to the Rio casino after 20 adults and children in town with a traveling football team from Santa Monica came down with flu-like symptoms.

— BURNED BODY — Los Angeles police say a burned body found against a fence in Playa Vista may have been a suicide.

— HIGHWAY-PEDESTRIANS HIT — The California Highway Patrol says two pedestrians were killed in separate incidents hours apart on the same San Francisco Bay Area highway.

— WIFE KILLED — A Sacramento-area man who sheriff's officials say called 911 to report finding his wife dead has been arrested on suspicion of killing her.



The holiday shopping season started as a marathon, not a sprint. More than a dozen major U.S. retailers stayed open for 24 hours or more on Thanksgiving Day through Black Friday, and crowds formed early and often over the two days. About 15,000 people waited for the flagship Macy's in New York to open at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Long checkout lines formed at the Target in Colma, Calif., on Friday morning. And by the time Jessica Astalos was leaving North Point Mall in Alpharetta, Ga., after a six-hour buying binge that started on Thanksgiving, another wave of shoppers was coming in about 5:30 a.m. on Friday. By Anne D'Innocenzio. SENT: 800 words, photos, video, audio.



LOS ANGELES — Whether you're on a beer run, a bathroom break or just can't find a good seat at a packed party, there will be ways to keep tabs on the upcoming Super Bowl. Just to make sure you're covered, let's examine each scenario so you don't miss a second of the action. You might need a credit card. But what's a few more bucks since you just bought that six-pack of beer? By Ryan Nakashima. SENT: 630 words, photos.



SAN DIEGO — So, after their riveting victory at Kansas City, do the San Diego Chargers have what it takes to reach the playoffs for the first time in four seasons? "We're going to find out," said Philip Rivers, whose 26-yard touchdown pass to Seyi Ajiritutu with 24 secods left Sunday gave the Chargers a 41-38 win that may have saved the season. Still, the Bolts are 5-6 and it'll be a scramble for them to claim the AFC's second wild-card spot. They play four of their final five games at home, starting Sunday against Andy Dalton and the AFC North-leading Cincinnati Bengals (7-4). By Bernie Wilson. SENT: 950 words, photos.


SAN FRANCISCO — Michael Crabtree produced a career season a year ago and helped lead the San Francisco 49ers back to the Super Bowl for the first time in 18 years as Colin Kaepernick's top target. Now, the wide receiver is expected to make his long-awaited season debut Sunday against St. Louis, barely six months after he underwent surgery for a torn right Achilles tendon. The reigning NFC champion Niners (7-4) made significant strides in their passing game during Monday night's 27-6 win at Washington, and now hope to build on that — with or without Crabtree back in the mix. He sure could provide a boost as San Francisco makes a push for the playoffs. By Janie McCauley. SENT: 880 words, photos.




ALAMEDA, Calif. — Dennis Allen's second season as coach of the Oakland Raiders is starting to look a lot like his first — and that's not necessarily a good thing. A year ago, the Raiders were 3-4 and showing signs of progress before stumbling down the stretch with eight losses over the final nine games, including a stretch of six straight. This year's team has almost mirrored that with a similar collapse. Oakland's 31-24 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving was its fourth in five weeks after what had been another encouraging 3-4 start. By Michael Wagaman. SENT: 700 words, photos.

See also:

—CALIFORNIA NEWS DIGEST, which moves weekdays at 1 p.m.

—CALIFORNIA NEWS DIGEST, ADD, which moves weekdays at 4 p.m.

—NEVADA NEWS DIGEST, which moves daily at 1:30 p.m.

Technical problems may be reported to 213-626-5833 in Los Angeles or 415-495-1124 in San Francisco.

Send Southern California stories by electronic carbon, fax 213-346-0200 or email losangeles@ap.org. Send Northern California stories by electronic carbon, fax 415-495-4967 or email sanfrancisco@ap.org.