California

Theme parks add metal detectors

Three of America's biggest theme park operators — Disney, Universal and SeaWorld — reacted to heightened security concerns by installing metal detectors outside their gates. Disney, whose six domestic theme parks attract 50 million people annually, will most likely make the detectors permanent but will initially screen guests randomly. Universal called its efforts "a test."

Louisiana

Confederate statues will be relocated

The New Orleans City Council voted 6-1 to remove four Confederate monuments, declaring the Civil War-era statues and an obelisk to be "public nuisances." Mayor Mitch Landrieu suggested they be placed in a museum or park. The monuments include a bronze statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee and an obelisk in the French Quarter to recognize the Battle of Liberty Place.

Washington, D.C.

VA agrees to pay for robotic leg braces

The Department of Veterans Affairs has agreed to pay for the powered exoskeleton for eligible paralyzed veterans with spinal cord injuries — marking the first national coverage policy for robotic legs. Many veterans cannot afford the $77,000 cost of the device called the ReWalk.

Illinois

Former speaker suffered a stroke

Former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert has been hospitalized since early November after suffering a stroke after he pleaded guilty in Chicago to making hush-money payments to hide wrongdoing in his past, his lawyer said. Hastert, 73, has since been treated for a blood infection and has had two back surgeries.

United Nations

Resolution aims to disrupt ISIL money

Finance ministers from the 15 Security Council nations adopted a plan aimed at disrupting revenue that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant gets from oil and antiquities sales, ransom payments and other activities. The resolution, sponsored by the U.S. and Russia, elevates ISIL to the same level as Al-Qaida.

China

Trapped coal miners presumed dead

Nineteen coal miners trapped for more than 24 hours after a gas explosion and raging fire in a mine in Hegang are presumed dead. The explosion initially trapped 52 workers, but 33 were rescued. A spokesman for the rescue team said that they are inside a tunnel could not possibly survive the high carbon monoxide levels.

Israel

Palestinian killed after attack

Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian in the West Bank after he charged at them with a knife, the Israeli military said. Soldiers were conducting "routine security activity" near Hawara when forces approached a Palestinian, the military said. He ran toward the soldiers wielding a knife.

News services