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Travel Visiting national parks could cost more

Yosemite National Park, CaliforniaPresident Abraham Lincoln first protected Yosemite with his signing of the Yosemite Land Grant on June 30, 1864, 150 years ago. (CNN) -- Want to visit Yosemite, Grand Canyon or Yellowstone next year. They include the largest, Landscape Arch, and the tallest, Double Arch South.Current vehicle entrance fee: $10Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina and TennesseeIt's free. The canyon's width varies, but it measures 18 miles in several spots.

(CNN) -- Want to visit Yosemite, Grand Canyon or Yellowstone next year?

Pack your camping supplies and knock those parks off your bucket list now, because it may cost you a little bit more to explore the national parks by summer 2015.

For the first time in eight years, the National Park Service sites that charge entrance and amenity fees can increase their rates by set amounts. They have to engage their communities, note what the increases will cover and get approval by park service headquarters. Fee increase proposals are due by March 15.

Though just 133 of the 401 National Park Service sites across the United States charge an entrance fee, they're some of the parks that travelers often think of first.

Yosemite National Park, which released its fee proposal on Tuesday, wants to increase its weekly entrance pass from $20 to $30. Camping fees would rise from the current range of $5 to $20 per night for family sites ($40 per night for group sites) to a range of $6 to $24 per night for family sites ($48 per night for group sites).

The cost of national park passes will remain at $80 for the regular annual pass, $10 for the lifetime senior pass and free for the annual military passes and access passes (for those with permanent disabilities).

These are five national park sites we think you must see, either now or after any fee increases take effect. They're still a bargain!

Yosemite National Park, California

President Abraham Lincoln first protected Yosemite with his signing of the Yosemite Land Grant on June 30, 1864, 150 years ago. Yosemite will celebrate 125 years as a national park in 2015.

Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

The Colorado River cuts through the bottom of the magnificent Grand Canyon for 277 miles, and it's a full vertical mile from the South Rim to the canyon floor. The canyon's width varies, but it measures 18 miles in several spots. The South Rim is open year-round, but the North Rim -- generally the coolest place in the park -- is open during the spring and summer.

Current vehicle entrance fee: $25

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, Montana and Idaho

Old Faithful calls this place home.

Established as the United States' first national park in 1872, Yellowstone is also one of the first 12 sites on UNESCO's World Heritage List, which recognizes the world's most important natural and cultural wonders. Yellowstone is one of the few remaining intact ecosystems of significant size in the northern temperate zone on Earth, including a volcano, more than 300 geysers and more than 10,000 thermal features.

Current vehicle entrance fee: $25

Arches National Park, Utah

Arches National Park is one of the most unique spots on Earth, home to the world's highest collection of natural sandstone arches. They include the largest, Landscape Arch, and the tallest, Double Arch South.

Current vehicle entrance fee: $10

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, North Carolina and Tennessee

It's free! Despite its reign as the most-visited national park in the country last year, with 9.4 million visitors, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is our bargain park, with no entrance fees. (There are camping and other amenity fees.)

That's because the park's Newfound Gap Road was once owned by the state of Tennessee. When the state transferred it to the federal government, the state required that no fee "ever be imposed" to travel the road.

CNN
Today
16 Points
1

Travel Perfect pictures: 9 of the world's best photography vacations

"A wave of the camera and a smile is often enough to gain acceptance into their space."Participants get the benefit of Barker's years of experience."I frame dynamically and look for the best angles and the best light," he says. (CNN) -- Remember that giant grizzly in Alaska that came inches from your face. Or those magnificent northern lights on that winter night in Finland.

(CNN) -- Remember that giant grizzly in Alaska that came inches from your face?

Or those magnificent northern lights on that winter night in Finland?

No?

OK, maybe neither of those amazing photo ops have passed in front of your lens just yet.

But when they do, you'll want to be ready.

The best photography tours not only put you in the right place at the right time to capture magic moments, they impart the skills to turn them into photos worth sharing.

The tours below feature award-winning photographer-instructors, exclusive experiences and even the use of $100,000 worth of camera gear.

READ: 11 of the world's best urban resorts

Alaska's Coastal Grizzlies: Kodiak to Katmai Photo Tour

"Coming within feet of these giant creatures in 100% safety is difficult to fathom, and the photos you can get as a result are unparalleled," says Ted Martens of Natural Habitat Adventures, a travel partner with the World Wildlife Fund.

Those "giant creatures" Martens speaks of are Alaskan brown bears, the world's largest coastal grizzlies.

Natural Habitat Adventures' eight-day Alaska photo tour is a luxe, eco-friendly trip for a maximum of eight travelers that gets close to the famed and feared bears.

The draw is exclusive floatplane access to the remote waterways of bear-filled Katmai National Park and Preserve.

The tour also makes a stop on wild Kodiak Island, home to Kodiak bear (brown bear) and animals such as whales, otters and puffins.

Alaska's Coastal Grizzlies: Kodiak to Katmai Photo Tour, Natural Habitat Adventures; departures from June to September in 2015; from $8,895

MORE: Extreme shots by daredevil adventure photographer

Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia: A Photographer's Journey through Southeast Asia

Lane Nevares of Art Photo Expeditions, which leads a unique photo tour through Southeast Asia, talks about his company's equipment-laden tour in terms of a high-performance vehicle.

"It's like Ferrari offering a trip through southern Europe that allows participants to drive Ferraris in various locations," he says.

That's Nevares' description of the 14-day tour led by ace photographer Tim Gerard Barker, which features loaner gear provided by Swedish luxury camera brand Hasselblad.

"Photographing people in Asia is a wonderfully rewarding experience," says Barker. "A wave of the camera and a smile is often enough to gain acceptance into their space."

Participants get the benefit of Barker's years of experience.

"I frame dynamically and look for the best angles and the best light," he says. "I like to work with wide lenses, so I'm often in very close."

Travelers bring their own gear but they can try H5D-50c and CVF-50c medium format cameras, and all Hasselblad's H lenses on the trip.

Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia: A Photographer's Journey through Southeast Asia, Hasselblad Xcursions and Art Photo Expeditions; November 10-23, 2014; from $11,900

Torassieppi Aurora Photography

Even if you're lucky enough to catch the northern lights, you can't brag about it back home if you can't photograph them right.

Aurora Zone guarantees those bragging rights, as long as you're lucky enough to see the aurora in Lapland, the northernmost region in Finland.

"In addition to a passion for searching for the northern lights, our expert guides have a comprehensive knowledge of Lappish culture, people and landscape," says Alistair McLean, founder of the Aurora Zone, a company that specializes in northern lights tours.

Gareth Hutton, a Lapland-based photographer, will lead a tour to Torassieppi in early 2015.

"The tour embraces that quintessential feeling of what winter should really be like -- powdery snow, snow-capped trees and those amazing skies," says Hutton. "Not only are the northern lights spectacular, but the long winter sunsets are pretty magical, too."

Participants learn the most challenging aspect of photographing the northern lights -- having the right combination of camera settings and adapting these as the night sky changes.

The group stays in cottages on a reindeer farm during the trip.

Torassieppi Aurora Photography, Aurora Zone; departures from January to March 2015; from £2,108 ($3,440)

MORE: Best places to see the Northern Lights

Shikumen Tour in Shanghai

"All of this used to be old shikumen (stone-gate houses), but they've been demolished now," says Gang-feng Wang, photographer and tour guide, standing outside a construction site in Shanghai.

"But don't worry, we'll build you lots of nice museums so you can see how it used to be," he cracks.

Wang is the irascible guide of the Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai's four-hour photography tour through the disappearing shikumen houses of the city's British Concession.

It's a great way to pry into the local community.

After photographing the maze-like alleys -- garnished with clotheslines, chatting neighbors and cages of messenger pigeons -- travelers are taken inside some of the houses.

Originally built for British traders, the houses -- each now occupied by multiple local families -- are still adorned with imported British floor tiles.

"This one houses more than 30 families," says Wang, as the group walks up a set of squeaky wooden stairs to a rooftop, where the tour finishes with a panoramic view of the Shikumen complex.

Shikumen Tour, Four Seasons Hotel Shanghai; available throughout the year; from RMB2,400 ($390)

Tundra Lodge polar bear photo expedition

Natural Habitat Adventures claims it offers the world's best polar bear viewing/photographing tour.

It may not be exaggerating.

The company holds exclusive permits to tour the entire Churchill Wildlife Management Area in Manitoba, Canada.

It also has a mobile hotel, called the Polar Rover.

With a gourmet kitchen, lounge area and sliding windows, travelers can photograph polar bears without leaving the Polar Rover's toasty rooms -- except when they want to head to the moving hotel's open observatory deck.

According to the company, curious bears often wander up the lodge, allowing travelers to photograph them from inches away.

Tours last eight days.

Tundra Lodge Photography Expedition, Natural Habitat Adventures; departs in November in 2014 and 2015; from $7,995

MORE: 7 of Europe's most luxurious ski chalets

Destination in Focus: Miraval, Tucson, Arizona

Leica and Exclusive Resorts have teamed up to host a series of photography expeditions.

Destination in Focus: Miraval (based at the Miraval Resort and Spa in Tucson, Arizona) is the last of 2014's four-night excursions still available for booking.

Participants bring their own gear, but they also have access to the newest equipment from Leica, including the recently launched Leica X Vario camera, and more than $100,000 worth of equipment.

They also get to interact with Leica Akademie's team of instructors.

Participants learn to shoot sunrises and motion photos at a Navajo Hoop Dance Performance.

The trip wraps up with photo-editing classes.

Destination in Focus: Miraval, Tucson, Arizona; Exclusive Resorts and Leica; November 12-16, 2014; from $3,599

National Geographic Expeditions

Desert sunsets and snake charmers in Morocco.

Leopards and rare desert-adapted black rhinos in Namibia.

Giant tortoises and other wildlife on the Galapagos.

Winter snowscapes and Old Faithful geyser erupting in Yellowstone.

The photo ops on National Geographic-organized expeditions are reliably world-class, and so are the celebrated photographers who join trips and lead lessons.

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographers on the star-studded trips -- which range from one to two weeks -- include Ken Geiger and Jay Dickman.

Winter Wildlife in Yellowstone Photography Expedition; departures in January and February 2015; from $3,645

Galapagos Photo Expedition; departures between Febrary and June 2015; from $5,490

Namibia Photo Adventure; December 4-16, 2014; from $8,595

Morocco Photo Expedition; departures in May and October 2015; from $5,995

READ: Paris colors-- one photographer's multi-hued take on the city

Wildlife Photo Master Class at Mayakoba, Mexico

"The winning aspect of photographing birds at Mayakoba is the world-class mangrove forest within the resort, which houses more than 200 species of wildlife," says Steve Winter.

One of the star photographers who leads Banyan Tree Mayakoba's photo master class in Mexico's Riviera Maya, Winter has been a photographer for National Geographic for more than two decades.

"Transportation (through the mangrove) is via beautiful, silent mahogany electric boats, so you don't disturb the wildlife," says Winter.

Photographer-instructors provide one-on-one coaching with students, "whether that be working on composition out on the boat or reviewing the day's images back at the hotel," according to Winter.

In addition to photography skills, tour guides share knowledge of the birds and other wildlife of the area.

Boat-billed heron, little blue heron, roseate spoonbill, egrets, cormorants and anhingas are some of the birds students can expect to photograph.

Wildlife Photo Master Class at Mayakoba; Banyan Tree Mayakoba, Mexico; available until the end of 2014; from $2,499

Zooming in on Cambodia

If there's a new way to photograph Angkor Wat, this tour will find it.

Belmond La Residence d'Angkor offers photography packages that include two-night stays, a three-day pass to the Angkor temple complex and a full-day excursion with an in-house photographer.

A standard photography itinerary includes a longboat tour along the Kompong Phluk water village bordering Southeast Asia's largest lake, a private kayaking tour through the eerie floating forest and shopping at a local market.

For an additional cost, guests can add photography experiences such as trawling down the Siem Reap River on an elephant or taking a helicopter ride over the Angkor temple complex.

Zooming in on Cambodia; Belmond La Residence d'Angkor; available throughout the year; from $1,400

READ: Gallery: How to take stunning landscape photographs

CNN
Today
17 Points
1

NY doctor back from Guinea has Ebola, 1st in city

He asked them to stay in close touch with Ron Klain, his "Ebola czar," and public health officials in Washington.The city's disease detectives have been tracing Spencer's contacts to identify anyone who may be at risk. Someone isn't contagious unless he is sick.Bassett said the probability was "close to nil" that Spencer's subway ride would pose a risk. Still, the bowling alley was closed as a precaution, and Spencer's Harlem apartment was cordoned off.

NEW YORK (AP) ? An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus, becoming the first case in the city and the fourth in the nation.

Mayor Bill de Blasio and Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Thursday urged residents not to be alarmed by the doctor's Ebola diagnosis, even as they described him riding the subway, taking a cab and bowling. De Blasio said all city officials followed "clear and strong" protocols in their handling and treatment of him.

"We want to state at the outset that New Yorkers have no reason to be alarmed," de Blasio said. "New Yorkers who have not been exposed are not at all at risk."

The doctor, Craig Spencer, a member of Doctors Without Borders who had been working in Guinea, returned six days ago and reported Thursday morning coming down with a 103-degree fever and diarrhea. He was being treated in an isolation ward at Manhattan's Bellevue Hospital, a designated Ebola center.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which will do a further test to confirm the initial results, has dispatched an Ebola response team to New York. President Barack Obama spoke to Cuomo and de Blasio Thursday night and offered the federal government's support. He asked them to stay in close touch with Ron Klain, his "Ebola czar," and public health officials in Washington.

The city's disease detectives have been tracing Spencer's contacts to identify anyone who may be at risk. The city's health commissioner, Mary Bassett, said Spencer's fiancee and two friends had been quarantined but showed no symptoms.

In the days before Spencer fell ill, he went on a 3-mile jog, went to the High Line park, rode the subway and, on Wednesday night, got a taxi to a Brooklyn bowling alley. Bassett said he felt fatigued Wednesday but not feverish until Thursday morning.

Health officials say the chances of the average New Yorker contracting Ebola, which is spread through direct contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person, are slim. Someone can't be infected just by being near someone who is sick with Ebola. Someone isn't contagious unless he is sick.

Bassett said the probability was "close to nil" that Spencer's subway ride would pose a risk. Still, the bowling alley was closed as a precaution, and Spencer's Harlem apartment was cordoned off. The Department of Health was on site across the street from the apartment building Thursday night, giving out information to area residents.

The Ebola epidemic in West Africa has killed about 4,800 people. In the United States, the first person diagnosed with the disease was a Liberian man, who fell ill days after arriving in Dallas and later died, becoming the only fatality. None of his relatives who had close contact with him got sick. Two nurses who treated him were infected and are hospitalized.

According to a rough timeline provided by city officials, Spencer felt fatigue Wednesday and when he felt worse Thursday he and his fiancee made a joint call to authorities to detail his symptoms and his travels. EMTs in full Ebola gear arrived and took him to Bellevue in an ambulance surrounded by police squad cars.

Doctors Without Borders, an international humanitarian organization, said per the guidelines it provides its staff members on their return from Ebola assignments, "the individual engaged in regular health monitoring and reported this development immediately." Travelers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone must report in with health officials daily and take their temperature twice a day, as Spencer did.

Spencer works at NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center. He had not seen any patients or been to the hospital since his return, the hospital said in a statement, calling him a "dedicated humanitarian" who "went to an area of medical crisis to help a desperately underserved population."

Four American aid workers, including three doctors, were infected with Ebola while working in Africa and were transferred to the U.S. for treatment in recent months. All recovered.

Health care workers are vulnerable because of close contact with patients when they are their sickest and most contagious. In West Africa this year, more than 440 health workers have contracted Ebola and about half have died.

Spencer, 33, is from Michigan and attended Wayne State University School of Medicine and Columbia's University Mailman School of Public Health.

According to his Facebook page, he left for West Africa via Brussels in mid-September. A photo shows him in full protective gear. He returned to Brussels Oct. 16.

"Off to Guinea with Doctors Without Borders," he wrote. "Please support organizations that are sending support or personnel to West Africa, and help combat one of the worst public health and humanitarian disasters in recent history."

???

Associated Press writers Frank Eltman, Cameron Young, Jake Pearson, Deepti Hajela and Tom Hays and researcher Susan James contributed to this report.

The Denver Post
Today
15 Points
1

Travel Lonely Planet's top 10 cities for 2015

"I'm excited by this year's list of cities. There's a good mix of obvious places to visit and less-obvious ones."Click through the gallery to see which city took the top spot, and which made the rest of the Top 10 list.

(CNN) -- Whether you want a cosmopolitan city, a central spot from which to explore nature or a hidden gem not yet discovered by great hordes of tourists, Lonely Planet's top 10 cities for 2015 has a spot for you.

Lonely Planet's 10 picks include well-known favorites with something extra to share, smaller cities known only to locals and a select few tourists and cities you simply must visit.

To compile the annual top 10 list, Lonely Planet asked its worldwide staff, contributors and authors for their well-known and lesser-known recommendations, and spots that have something special to offer in 2015.

The top spots in Europe

It must be worthy of the traveler planning his or her special vacation for the following year, says Tom Hall, Lonely Planet's digital editorial director.

"It's the one time each year that Lonely Planet applies its collective brainpower to pick recommendations and rank their recommendations," Hall says. "I'm excited by this year's list of cities. There's a good mix of obvious places to visit and less-obvious ones."

Click through the gallery to see which city took the top spot, and which made the rest of the Top 10 list.

CNN
Today
13 Points
1

Off-duty Chicago police officer shot during robbery attempt

Camden said he was listed in serious condition.At the scene, the wounded officer's car was cordoned off in the 7300 block of Champlain. An off-duty Chicago police officer was shot and seriously wounded on the South Side during an apparent robbery attempt early Friday morning, authorities said.The officer was leaving a lounge near 75th Street and Langley Avenue shortly before 1 a.m. Officers were combing the block east and the block west of Champlain, looking for casings and any other evidence.

An off-duty Chicago police officer was shot and seriously wounded on the South Side during an apparent robbery attempt early Friday morning, authorities said.

The officer was leaving a lounge near 75th Street and Langley Avenue shortly before 1 a.m. and was approached by two robbers as he got into his white BMW, according to Pat Camden, a spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police.

There was an "altercation" and the officer tried to speed away but one of the robbers opened fire and hit him in the chest, Camden said.

The officer kept driving and was spotted by a squad car and pulled over near 73rd Street and Champlain Avenue, police said.

He was initially taken in critical condition to University of Chicago Hospitals, then transferred to Mount Sinai Hospital, officials said. Camden said he was listed in serious condition.

At the scene, the wounded officer's car was cordoned off in the 7300 block of Champlain. Officers were combing the block east and the block west of Champlain, looking for casings and any other evidence.

Police taped off the 7400 block of Langley Avenue, where there was shattered glass on the street. Officers were also stationed outside the President's Lounge on 75th Street.

At the hospital, more than a dozen squad cars were parked outside.  Some officers in uniform and plainclothes wandered around the front of the hospital. A small group of Illinois State Police troopers gathered along Ogden Avenue.

Around 2:20 a.m., an ambulance from the University of Chicago Medical Center left.

Check back for updates.

Chicago Tribune
Today
19 Points
1

Hatchet assault on New York police comes during fears of Islamist attacks

The company's CEO shot Anton Nolen, who survived and was taken to hospital.Though authorities had not made any connection between Nolen and terrorist organizations like ISIS or al Qaeda, his Facebook page included images of Osama bin Laden and an apparent beheading. British authorities place the number of UK citizens fighting in Syria at 500.Thousands more come from the Middle East and Africa. Was the bearded man who used it to wound two New York City police officers motivated by radical Islam.

(CNN) -- A bloodied steel hatchet lay on a rainy Queens sidewalk on Thursday like an ominous question mark. Was the bearded man who used it to wound two New York City police officers motivated by radical Islam?

Zale H. Thompson can no longer answer that question. He is dead, stopped by bullets from the guns of two other officers.

His unprovoked attack on four policemen, which injured one critically in the head and sliced the other in the shoulder, was certain suicide.

A chain of attacks and plots in rapid succession in the Western world by assailants with a radical interpretation of Islam have raised suspicion that Thompson's attack could be the latest link.

Though police say they have no concrete reason to suspect that so far in the ongoing investigation, there is a bad sign.

And there are uncomfortable commonalities with other Islamist attacks that have law enforcement in New York and Washington on high alert.

The bad sign

On a Facebook page bearing Thompson's name, a warrior masked in a head and face scarf and armed with spear, sword and rifle gazes out at the beholder. The vintage black and white photo is the profile picture of the user, who lives in Queens.

A Quran quote in classic Arabic calligraphy mentioning judgment against those who have wandered astray serves as the page's banner.

Some of the user's Facebook friends posted articles about Thompson's attack and death, referring to him by name and linking back to the Facebook page.

Thompson has been in trouble with the law before. He had a criminal record in California, a law enforcement official said, and the Navy discharged him for disorderly conduct.

Target: Men in uniform

Thompson's attack is the third on people in uniform in North America in a week.

ISIS, the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, has recently called to sympathizers in the West to carry out attacks against men and women in uniform.

Two attackers touting radical Islam, in separate incidents, killed two men in uniform in Canada this week. Officers shot them both dead.

On Monday, a radical convert ran down two soldiers in his car, killing one of them. Martin Rouleau Couture, 25, then led police on a chase before his car rolled into a ditch in the town of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, southeast of Montreal.

He exited the car, and police opened fire on him.

On Thursday, radical Islamist convert Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, shot and killed soldier Nathan Cirillo, who was standing guard at a veteran's memorial in the capital Ottawa, then Bibeau stormed parliament and opened fire.

Sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers and police officers fired dozens of rounds, killing Zehaf-Bibeau, who had worn a scarf on his head.

Homegrown attackers

No direct connection has yet been found between any of these men and ISIS, though both Canadian homegrown Islamists had been caught attempting travel to join jihad.

Zehaf-Bibeau had contact to other Canadian Islamists, authorities there have said.

Thompson's running charge, with an ax in hand, at the uniformed officers is reminiscent of an early Islamist extremist killing of a uniformed man in the West, the knife slaying of British soldier Lee Rigby in December.

Radical Islamists Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale first ran down Rigby in a car in southeast London, then hacked him to death on the street with a meat cleaver and knives.

It was intended as revenge for the deaths of Muslims dying at the hands of Western soldiers in conflict regions.

Beheadings, ISIS sympathies

ISIS' global digital reach has terror experts worried about security in the Western world, especially attacks by lone wolves who may not have any official mission from international terrorists.

And incidents have cropped up to support those fears -- in addition to the three attacks this week.

Also this week, a video turned up of a 17-year-old Australian boy standing with ISIS fighters and threatening to behead Western leaders, including President Obama, then fly the ISIS flag over the White House.

And three school girls from Colorado were intercepted at an airport in Germany, as they traveled last week to join jihad in Syria.

In September, Australian authorities interrupted a plot by ISIS sympathizers to snatch a member of the public, behead him or her and drape an ISIS flag over the corpse.

And in the same month, a radical convert in Oklahoma beheaded a woman in his workplace after admonishing women there about the way they dressed. The company's CEO shot Anton Nolen, who survived and was taken to hospital.

Though authorities had not made any connection between Nolen and terrorist organizations like ISIS or al Qaeda, his Facebook page included images of Osama bin Laden and an apparent beheading. Nolen, too, had prior legal trouble, having been incarcerated for the possession of a controlled substance.

Extremist draw

ISIS has, for an anti-Western organization, been surprisingly attractive to young recruits from the West, as well as to some young women.

More than 100 of the foreign fighters for ISIS in Syria have come from the United States, according to intelligence estimates.

Canadian authorities believe that 130 citizens are fighting in jihad.

Hundreds more have gone from Europe, which is geographically closer to the fight. British authorities place the number of UK citizens fighting in Syria at 500.

Thousands more come from the Middle East and Africa. More than 3,000 have joined from Tunisia, the largest single contingency.

ISIS has a draw on the disaffected and those who don't feel at home where they are, jihad expert Richard Barrett of The Soufan Group.

"The general picture provided by foreign fighters of their lives in Syria suggests camaraderie, good morale and purposeful activity, all mixed in with a sense of understated heroism, designed to attract their friends as well as to boost their own self-esteem," he says.

And ISIS constantly cranks the PR machine, making expert use of slick videos and social media.

CNN's Shimon Procupez, Ed Payne and Laura Smith-Spark contributed to this report.

CNN
Today
15 Points
1

Sports Former greats sense more big things from these Broncos

Jones on Twitter @bylindsayhjones.GALLERY: HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE BRONCOS' WIN. Ward (29 tackles) and first-round draft pick Bradley Roby (34 tackles and a sack).The Broncos defense, a group that finished ranked No. No wonder Sanders called Denver "wide receiver heaven" when he signed his contract in March."That's the reason why I came here," Sanders said. He didn't have a single 100-yard game, or any multi-touchdown games, in his four seasons in Pittsburgh.

DENVER ? Denver Broncos Ring of Famers Rod Smith and Shannon Sharpe were among the final people to leave the Broncos' locker room late Thursday night after Denver's 35-21 win against the San Diego Chargers.

Smith and Sharpe, the top receiver and tight end of the Broncos' Super Bowl champion teams, lingered as they talked with current Broncos players, and they enjoyed a reunion with running back Terrell Davis, in town for the NFL Network telecast, and receiver Ed McCaffrey, who does color commentary for the Broncos' radio broadcast, and of course, with their quarterback John Elway, the man who has built their beloved team into arguably the best team in the NFL.

Smith and Sharpe know what a championship team plays like, and they know what a championship locker room feels like. This season might only be nearing its midpoint, but they can sense that Elway has built something special here in the wake of the Broncos' Super Bowl heartbreak in February.

"The one thing I love about this team is its improvement on defense. If they're going to win the Super Bowl, it's going to be on defense," Smith told USA TODAY Sports.

That certainly wasn't meant as a slight to quarterback Peyton Manning and a Broncos' offense that has scored 77 points in the past five days, both prime-time, nationally-televised games against the San Francisco 49ers and the San Diego Chargers, two playoff teams from last year. Smith even described Manning's offense as "more dynamic" and "more cerebral" than the Elway-led group that won back-to-back Super Bowls in 1997 and 1998.

Instead, it's acknowledgement that the Broncos' investment into getting better around Manning has paid off, with big-time production from free agent additions defensive end DeMarcus Ware (seven sacks), cornerback Aqib Talib (two interceptions) and safety T.J. Ward (29 tackles) and first-round draft pick Bradley Roby (34 tackles and a sack).

The Broncos defense, a group that finished ranked No. 19 in total defense last season, moved up to No. 5 Thursday night, including No. 1 against the run heading into the rest of the Week 8 games. The Broncos have yet to allow a 100-yard rusher this season and had held the Chargers to 38 rushing yards on 14 attempts before a 23-yard gain on the final play of the game.

"We're a total team. We have our identity already," cornerback Chris Harris said. "We're going to stop the run, and y'all are going to come out here and throw at me and Talib. That's going to be a long day if you have to do that."

Manning threw three more touchdowns in Thursday's win, all to Emmanuel Sanders, on a night that should have made Broncos fans completely forget about Eric Decker, if they haven't already.

Decker, who caught 24 touchdowns from Manning in two seasons together in Denver, signed a five-year, $36.25 million contract with the New York Jets in March after the Broncos failed to make an offer in free agency. The Broncos signed Sanders, the former Pittsburgh Steeler, for three years and $15 million, believing he'd be a perfect fit with Manning because of his versatility, ability to force missed tackles in space and speed to provide another deep threat.

Now Sanders has four touchdowns in five days, after catching his first score of the season on Sunday night, and four 100-yard receiving days this season. He didn't have a single 100-yard game, or any multi-touchdown games, in his four seasons in Pittsburgh. No wonder Sanders called Denver "wide receiver heaven" when he signed his contract in March.

"That's the reason why I came here," Sanders said. "I wanted to go to a team that is going to spread the football around and that's going to throw it. ... I'm just happy to be part of it, obviously, and hopefully we just keep throwing the football."

Follow Lindsay H. Jones on Twitter @bylindsayhjones.

GALLERY: HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE BRONCOS' WIN

USA Today
Today
15 Points
1

5 things you need to know Friday

Chiquita shareholders are set to vote on purchasing Irish rival Fyffes amid bidding contestChiquita Brands International could be going B-A-N-A-N-A-S on Friday as the company's shareholders vote on buying a rival company out of Ireland, Fyffes. China launches experimental moon orbiterChina launched an experimental spacecraft Friday to fly around the moon and back to Earth in preparation for the country's first unmanned return trip to the lunar surface.

1. New York begins to deal with first Ebola diagnosis

"We want to state at the outset, there is no reason for New Yorkers to be alarmed," Mayor Bill de Blasio said after the first New York case of Ebola was diagnosed Thursday. "New Yorkers who have not been exposed to an infected person's bodily fluids are not at risk," he said. The doctor was identified as Craig Spencer, an emergency physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

2. Chiquita shareholders are set to vote on purchasing Irish rival Fyffes amid bidding contest

Chiquita Brands International could be going B-A-N-A-N-A-S on Friday as the company's shareholders vote on buying a rival company out of Ireland, Fyffes. This comes as the ownership of the company lies in the balance. Thursday, a team of Brazil-based corporate suitors raised their proposal to take over. The sweetened offer by the Cutrale Group and Safra Group is the team's second increased bid in more than a week.

3. Malaysian official seeks additional help from U.S. for Flight 370 search

Transportation Minister Liow Tiong Lai is visiting U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and international aviation officials Friday to ask for continued support after the two Malaysia Airlines disasters this year. Malaysia and Australia are splitting the $60 million cost of searching an area of ocean floor for remains of Flight 370 after the U.S. Navy stopped providing its Bluefin submersible months ago.

4. The United Nations celebrates 69 years

The United Nations has a big birthday Friday as the organization marks the anniversary of its entrance into law. The special day has been celebrated since 1948. To commemorate, a concert will be held in the U.N. General Assembly Hall in New York at which Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon will speak.

5. China launches experimental moon orbiter

China launched an experimental spacecraft Friday to fly around the moon and back to Earth in preparation for the country's first unmanned return trip to the lunar surface. The eight-day program is a test run for a 2017 mission that aims to have a Chinese spacecraft land on the moon, retrieve samples and return to Earth. That would make burgeoning space power China only the third country after the United States and Russia to have carried out such a mission.

And, the essentials:

Weather: Three of the four corners of the nation will see soggy conditions Friday while the rest of the country enjoys mostly mild, dry weather.

Stocks: Wall Street was on track to open lower Friday.

TV Tonight: Wondering what to watch this weekend? TV critic Robert Bianco looks at Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett on PBS.

Need a break? Try some games.

If you missed Thursday's news, we've got you covered here.

You can also get the day's top news each weekday in your inbox. Subscribe.

Contributing: Associated Press

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Travel 5 can't-miss Tanzania experiences

Massive Mount Kilimanjaro just adds to its allure.The Indian Ocean laps Tanzania's eastern edge between Kenya and Mozambique, and the "spice island" of Zanzibar is 22 miles off the mainland.Tanzania's sprawling plains are sparsely populated, by people, at least. To wash down all the yumminess, try some honey beer or a mixture of sugar cane water, ginger and lime juice.Nearby Pemba Island, also part of the Zanzibar Archipelago, offers a quieter, unspoiled experience.

World-renowned chef, best-selling author and Emmy-winning television personality Anthony Bourdain explores Tanzania at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Sunday, October 26, in the fourth season of "Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown." Follow the show on Twitter and Facebook.

(CNN) -- Tanzania is far more than just a spot to climb the world's tallest freestanding mountain.

The East African country's stunning wildlife, expansive volcanic crater and intriguing islands all set it apart as a unique destination. Massive Mount Kilimanjaro just adds to its allure.

The Indian Ocean laps Tanzania's eastern edge between Kenya and Mozambique, and the "spice island" of Zanzibar is 22 miles off the mainland.

Tanzania's sprawling plains are sparsely populated, by people, at least. About half the world's dwindling lion population lives in East Africa, estimates indicate.

Here are five ways to experience Tanzania's splendor.

Instagram: Following Bourdain around the world

Roam the Ngorongoro Crater

Sometimes called "Africa's Garden of Eden," some 25,000 large animals live in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, which stretches across 3,200 square miles of the southeastern Serengeti Plains adjacent to Serengeti National Park.

The 12-mile-wide Ngorongoro Crater is the area's crown jewel. The largest unbroken caldera in the world, it is thought to have formed after an active volcano collapsed about 2.5 million years ago.

Well over a million wildebeest pass through the area during the annual Great Migration, one of the planet's most remarkable natural spectacles.

From December to March each year, wildebeest, zebras and other animals gather near Lake Ndutu on the edge of the conservation area. From there they move north, eventually ending up in the Northern Serengeti and Kenya's Maasai Mara in the fall.

Beyond the huge wildebeest herds, black rhinos, leopards, gazelles and birds thrive here -- as does that most powerful crowd-pleaser, the lion.

'Parts Unknown': 14 things to know about Paraguay

Get to know the lions

You're bound to be on the lookout for lions in the Serengeti and their conservation deserves a special mention.

The tawny lion prides dominating the Ndutu area of the southeastern Serengeti are not your "Lion King" variety of big fuzzy kittens. These giant creatures are respected among locals because of their history of asserting dominance when challenged by aggressive hunters.

In an attempt to discourage the trend of stalking and killing lions in the Amboseli Ecosystem, conservation organization Lion Guardians recruits young Maasai warriors to instead protect the regal creatures.

By naming the lions and developing relationships by tracking them, members of the guardian program recognize that animals like local lioness Selenkay can live in peace with their human neighbors.

Safaris throughout the vast Serengeti give visitors the rare opportunity to see these majestic cats in their native territory. The Ndutu Safari Lodge features 34 cottages with porches facing Lake Ndutu.

Learn about Maasai culture

For the Maasai, one of the last warrior tribes in the world, cattle are integral to day-to-day life. Besides providing sustenance in the form of milk, and sometimes meat and blood, cows are also currency in the region.

The tribes move with their livestock across northern Tanzania and southern Kenya, constructing villages as they go. The settlements generally consist of a ring fence that encloses a group of families, their herds and a collection of mud and dung houses.

Where livestock gathers, so do big cats hunting for meals. Relations between the Maasai and the lions that lure tourists by the truckload are tense but evolving.

The Maasai are formidable opponents strengthened by a nearly 100% protein diet. A staple is amasi, a lumpy, yogurt-like drink made from fermented milk.

Sample the Spice Islands

The semi-autonomous islands off the coast of Tanzania exhibit the rich and varied influences that arrived on their shores.

On the island of Zanzibar, African, Arab, Indian and European flavors emerge in the cuisine, the homes, the people and the famous carved doors. Today, 99% of the population is Muslim, compared with about a third of the mainland population.

Tourism has replaced the spice and slave trades that shaped the island's history, and delicious street food is part of the local island experience.

Every night in Stone Town's Forodhani Gardens, vendors set up stalls selling seafood snacks and the famous Zanzibar pizza.

Zanzibar pizza is revered as one of the most delicious foods in the region. With toppings ranging from fresh meats to juicy mango, the crepe-like pizza carries its flavorful toppings on the inside almost akin to a burrito. Unlike traditional pizza crust, Zanzibar's variety has the texture of a pancake. And who doesn't love pancakes?

The various carts are piled with fresh seafood skewers, African doughnuts called "mandazi" and fried breads. To wash down all the yumminess, try some honey beer or a mixture of sugar cane water, ginger and lime juice.

Nearby Pemba Island, also part of the Zanzibar Archipelago, offers a quieter, unspoiled experience. Known as "the Green Island" for its lush vegetation, the delicately sweet fragrance of cloves permeates the air, underlining the "spice island" moniker. The rolling hills also produce other fragrant crops like mangoes and coconuts.

Pemba's coast is home to some of East Africa's best diving. Go snorkeling or diving in the translucent waters to admire graceful manta rays, stunning live coral and schools of jewel-toned fish.

Conquer Kilimanjaro

The tallest freestanding mountain in the world, northeastern Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro draws tourists because of its relatively accessible trails. While other towering summits require Spiderman-like agility and climbing skills, conquering Kilimanjaro primarily demands training, determination and a sturdy walking stick.

Kilimanjaro is Africa's highest peak at 19,340 feet. Allot a minimum of five or six days of climbing to reach the top.

As climbers ascend the mountain, they experience each of Africa's climates, from the tropical heat at the bottom to the clear iciness at the top of Africa.

The view at the summit, Uhuru Point, presents a breathtaking picture of the sprawling country below.

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Sports Peyton Manning throws 3 TDs as Broncos top Chargers 35-21

Sanders outran Marshall, playing in place of injured Brandon Flowers (concussion) on a go route and Manning hit him in stride for the touchdown.San Diego had evened the score on its previous possession. The Chargers also were without RB Ryan Mathews, sidelined since suffering a knee sprain Week 2 against Seattle. San Diego LB Andrew Gachkar started in place of Manti Te'o, who missed his fourth consecutive game since suffering a foot injury Sept.

DENVER -- Quarterback Peyton Manning threw for three touchdowns, all to wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders, and the Denver Broncos pulled away to beat the San Diego Chargers 35-21 Thursday night.

Manning, who became the NFL's career leader in touchdown passes last Sunday night against San Francisco, added to the mark with scoring passes of 2, 31, and 3 yards to Sanders.

Overall, Manning was 25 of 35 for 286 yards along with the three touchdowns.

It was the fourth win in a row for Denver (6-1) since its only loss of the season in overtime to Seattle on Sept. 21. San Diego (5-3) lost back-to-back games for the first time this season.

Up by seven at the half, the Broncos stretched their lead to 28-7 in the third quarter on Sanders' third touchdown catch of the night and running back Juwan Thompson's 2-yard scoring run.

Sanders finished with nine catches for 120 yards.

Cornerback Chris Harris' interception of a Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers' pass led to Sanders' 3-yard touchdown early in the period, and a pass interference penalty against San Diego cornerback Richard Marshall got the Broncos inside the Chargers' 10-yard line, and Thompson scored the first of his two scoring runs two plays later.

After Rivers' fourth-down, 4-yard touchdown pass to tight end Antonio Gates pulled the Chargers to 28-14 with 2:39 remaining in the third, Denver responded with a second-chance touchdown.

San Diego safety Eric Weddle picked off a pass by Manning in the end zone but it was negated by a defensive holding call on fellow safety Marcus Gilchrist. Denver, on a first-and-goal from the 1, scored on the next play on a burst by Thompson for a 35-14 lead with 13:29 left to play.

Rivers, who finished 30 of 41 for 252 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions, later hooked up with Gates from 10 yards out to get one score back but Denver quashed the comeback when safety Rahim Moore intercepted Rivers in the late going.

Manning connected with Sanders for a touchdown for the second time with 32 seconds remaining in the second quarter, giving the Broncos a 14-7 halftime lead.

The Broncos, given a reprieve when an apparent fumble by kick returner Andre Caldwell was overturned on replay review, drove 74 yards to the go-ahead score. Sanders outran Marshall, playing in place of injured Brandon Flowers (concussion) on a go route and Manning hit him in stride for the touchdown.

San Diego had evened the score on its previous possession. Facing a third-and-20, Rivers found Gates open down the middle for a 31-yard completion to the 2-yard line and wide receiver Keenan Allen caught a pass in the flat for the score on the next play.

On the ensuing kickoff, officials on the field ruled that Caldwell fumbled the ball when tackled at the Denver 26-yard line by linebacker Kavell Conner. But under review, it was determined that Caldwell didn't lose control of the ball until after hitting the ground with his arm, and the fumble call was reversed.

The Broncos broke a scoreless tie early in the second quarter when Manning and Sanders teamed up for the first time on a 2-yard touchdown pass.

NOTES: The Broncos released S John Boyette from their practice squad after he was arrested this week for investigation of assault, theft and harassment in connection with an attack on a cab driver. ... San Diego LB Andrew Gachkar started in place of Manti Te'o, who missed his fourth consecutive game since suffering a foot injury Sept. 21 at Buffalo. ... The Chargers also were without RB Ryan Mathews, sidelined since suffering a knee sprain Week 2 against Seattle.

Chicago Tribune
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Money Stocks: 4 things to know before the open

Amazon disappoints: Investors are getting fed up with the constant stream of losses at Amazon (AMZN, Tech30). Ford (F), Bristol-Myers (BMY), Shire (SHPG), Colgate-Palmolive (CL) and Procter & Gamble (PG) are all set to report ahead of the open. Meanwhile, investors are pushing Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) shares up by 3% premarket in reaction to the company's latest earnings. Shares in Amazon are set to take a dive, and the overall market looks set to drift lower.

Shares in Amazon are set to take a dive, and the overall market looks set to drift lower.

Here are the four things you need to know before the opening bell rings in New York:

1. Amazon disappoints: Investors are getting fed up with the constant stream of losses at Amazon (AMZN, Tech30). Shares in the online retailer fell by about 10% premarket after the company reported a loss of $437 million in the last quarter, even though revenue was up 20%.

2. Market moves: U.S. stock futures were edging lower ahead of the start of trading after stock markets rallied the previous session. On Thursday, the Dow Jones industrial average jumped by 1.3%, the Nasdaq rose by 1.6% and the S&P 500 added 1.2%.

European markets were all dipping lower in early trading. Asian markets ended mixed. The standout performer was the Nikkei in Japan, which rose by 1% after a volatile week.

Related: Fear & Greed Index

3. Earnings: The flow of quarterly results continues into Friday. Ford (F), Bristol-Myers (BMY), Shire (SHPG), Colgate-Palmolive (CL) and Procter & Gamble (PG) are all set to report ahead of the open.

Meanwhile, investors are pushing Microsoft (MSFT, Tech30) shares up by 3% premarket in reaction to the company's latest earnings.

4. Economics: The U.S. Census Bureau will release monthly data on new home sales for September.

In the U.K., preliminary data show the British economy slowed a bit in the third quarter compared to the second. GDP grew by 0.7%, which was roughly in line with expectations, and by 3% over the same period last year.

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Who is Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, the man behind the deadly Ottawa attack?

The attacker, identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, may have taken the answer to his grave when he himself was shot dead before he could seriously hurt anyone inside Parliament.Yet, bit by bit, we're learning about the 32-year-old Zehaf-Bibeau, a man with a criminal record and, according to a friend, an unstable mind.Investigators are digging to find out more. (CNN) -- What would spur someone to walk up to a war memorial, fatally shoot a soldier guarding it, then rush into Canada's Parliament and open fire.

(CNN) -- What would spur someone to walk up to a war memorial, fatally shoot a soldier guarding it, then rush into Canada's Parliament and open fire?

The attacker, identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, may have taken the answer to his grave when he himself was shot dead before he could seriously hurt anyone inside Parliament.

Yet, bit by bit, we're learning about the 32-year-old Zehaf-Bibeau, a man with a criminal record and, according to a friend, an unstable mind.

Investigators are digging to find out more. One thing they already know, though, is that the bloodshed is "a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of terrorist attacks we have seen elsewhere in the world," according to Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Here's what we know so far about Michael Zehaf-Bibeau:

He's the son of a Libyan father, Canadian mother

He was born October 16, 1982, to father Bulgasem Zehaf and mother Susan Bibeau, according to court documents tied to his parents' 1999 divorce.

His father is from Libya, while his mother is Canadian, Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner Bob Paulson said.

The Globe and Mail newspaper described the father, Zehaf, as a businessman.

Zehaf-Bibeau's mother is the deputy chairwoman of the immigration division of the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, according to her official profile. She's been with that agency since 1990, having worked as a refugee protection officer, legal adviser and manager of operational support, among other roles.

"I know that the mother was very caring and a very involved parent. Actually both parents seem to have been," Janice Parnell, a former neighbor, told CNN partner network CTV.

"The boy seemed to have had a very good upbringing. He had a good home base. He was involved in community things."

He lived in several places in Canada

According to Canadian media reports, Zehaf-Bibeau worked as a miner and a laborer at various points in his life.

Not only did he change jobs, he changed places.

Born in Montreal, Zehaf-Bibeau also lived in Calgary and most recently in Vancouver, according to Paulson.

He had a criminal record

One way that authorities traced Zehaf-Bibeau's past was by following his criminal record.

Paulson said that Zehaf-Bibeau's "record indicated infractions related to drugs, violence and other criminal activities."

Specifically, court documents obtained by CNN partner network CBC reveal Zehaf-Bibeau was charged with drug possession in Quebec in 2004. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 60 days in jail.

In 2011, he was charged with robbery and uttering threats in Vancouver, CBC reported. He was found guilty of only the second charge and sentenced to a day in jail.

What, if anything, does this criminal record have to do with what happened Wednesday?

The RCMP commissioner said that Zehaf-Bibeau "had a very developed ... non-national security criminality of violence and of drugs and of mental instability."

Investigators are trying to determine what role that criminal past, if any, played in Zehaf-Bibeau's radicalization and decision to attack Wednesday, Paulson said.

Sergeant-at-arms hailed as 'hero'

Prime Minister: 'Terrorist' killed soldier 'in cold blood'

He asked to go to jail to overcome crack addiction

In December 2011, as part of a psychiatric evaluation prior to a trial in Vancouver, Zehaf-Bibeau said "he wants to be in jail as he believes this is the only way he can overcome his addiction to crack cocaine," according to a psychiatric assessment provided by a Canadian court.

The 2011 assessment continues, "He has been a devoted Muslim for seven years and he believes he must spend time in jail as a sacrifice to pay for his mistakes in the past."

The psychiatric expert who completed the assessment wrote, "I am unable to find any features of signs of a mental illness."

"Although he seems to be making an unusual choice, this is insufficient basis for a diagnosis of mental disorder," the expert said.

A convert to Islam, he had 'radical views'

As mentioned , Zehaf-Bibeau converted to Islam about a decade ago. At some point after that, he became radicalized -- though officially haven't specified when or who he rubbed elbows with.

Paulson, the RCMP commissioner, spoke Thursday about Zehaf-Bibeau's radicalization as well as his "association with some individuals who may have shared his radical views."

Asked later what he meant by "association," the national police commissioner said Zehaf-Bibeau's "email was found in the hard drive of somebody who was charged with a terrorist-related offense.

"What does that mean?" the commissioner asked. "We need to understand what that means."

Some found his behavior troubling

Zehaf-Bibeau was asked to stop attending prayers at the mosque he attended because elders found his behavior "erratic," a friend told the Globe and Mail.

The friend, Dave Bathurst, said Zehaf-Bibeau once told him the "devil is after him," and frequently talked about supernatural spirits.

"I think he must have been mentally ill," Bathurst told the paper.

He wanted to go to Syria, couldn't get passport

Zehaf-Bibeau spoke of wanting to go to the Middle East to study. Bathurst, the friend, told the Globe and Mail that he "urged his friend to make sure study was on his mind and not something else."

More specifically, his mother told authorities Wednesday that her son "wanted to travel to Syria," according to Paulson.

He applied for a passport, which was "subject to an investigation," at the time of the Ottawa attack, the commissioner said.

"I think the passport figured prominently in his motives and -- I'm not inside his head -- but I think it was central to what was driving him," Paulson said.

He visited the U.S. at least four times

U.S. law enforcement officials are tracing back Michael Zehaf-Bibeau's travel to the United States and interviewing people with whom he came into contact, according to a U.S. official with knowledge of the investigation.

He visited at least four times, most recently in 2013, the official said. There's no reason to believe he's connected to any extremists in the United States, the official said.

He had 'connections' to jihadists, wasn't necessarily part of a big network

Zehaf-Bibeau had "connections" to jihadists in Canada who shared a radical Islamist ideology, including at least one who went overseas to fight in Syria, multiple U.S. sources told CNN on Thursday.

According to two U.S. counterterrorism officials, Zehaf-Bibeau was connected to Hasibullah Yusufzai through social media. Yusufzai is wanted by Canadian authorities for traveling overseas to fight alongside Islamist fighters in Syria, The Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper, reported.

Other radicalized individuals connected to Zehaf-Bibeau are still believed to be in Canada, two U.S. law enforcement officials said.

Early indications are that his connections involved "interactions" online, including via Islamic extremist websites, a U.S. source told CNN. There is no evidence so far that Zehaf-Bibeau had any "operational links" to other jihadists, according to the source, who drew a distinction between interacting online and plotting an attack.

And when asked Thursday by CNN's Christiane Amanpour if Zehaf-Bibeau is linked to a wider network of jihadists, Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird said "there's no evidence, at this stage, for us to know that. ... That's something authorities are looking at right now."

He was not on a Canadian list of possible extremists

Whatever his associations, Zehaf-Bibeau wasn't high on Canadian authorities radar when it comes to potential terrorist attacks.

He was not among about 90 individuals that Canadian authorities are examining for possible Islamic extremist ties.

"Had we have known that he wanted to travel to Syria, and had we had some basis to suspect that he wanted to do that for a criminal purpose, then he certainly would have been" on that list, Paulson said.

The commissioner also noted, "There is no one path or formula to ... radicalization. And understanding each individual's path to that state is the challenge."

He recently came to Ottawa, was staying at shelter

Paulson said Zehaf-Bibeau had been in the Canadian capital since at least October 2.

During those few weeks, he stayed at the Ottawa Mission shelter, according to residents there.

One resident, who asked to be identified only as Brian, recalled running into Zehaf-Bibeau -- who was then chanting and praying -- on the shelter's stairs the night before the attack.

"I just walked by and I started singing (a Christian song)," Brian said. "And it didn't affect him at all. He just kept going."

Perhaps related to his short time there, Zehaf-Bibeau didn't frequent mosques in Ottawa, according to Aymler mosque imam Mohammed Lahlou

"We have no clue about that person," Lahlou said. "And that kind of person should not have any place in our community."

He is believed to have acted alone

All day Wednesday, Canadian officials vacillated back and forth on whether Zehaf-Bibeau acted alone. By Wednesday night, they settled on the answer: yes.

"It appears there was just one shooter and that shooter is dead," Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson told CNN's Anderson Cooper.

He's not connected to a similar incident this week

On Monday, a man who Canadian authorities said was "radicalized" killed a Canadian soldier with his car in Quebec. That man, Martin Rouleau Couture, was then shot and killed.

Paulson said Thursday that investigators have not found any link between Couture and Zehaf-Bibeau.

Prime Minister: 'Terrorist' killed soldier 'in cold blood'

CNN's Shimon Prokupecz, Sonia Moghe, Susan Candiotti, Elise Labott, Jim Sciutto, Pamerla Brown, Deborah Feyerick and Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to this report.

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Sports Brandon Saad needs consistency to take next step

"He's still a young player. He has grown a lot since he came into the league. That consistency in young players is something you (want for) that complete type of player look. Hopefully, one day he can get that consistency and be that power forward every team looks for."When Saad is at the top of his game, it resembles that of teammate Marian Hossa. Quenneville said the veteran goaltender did not skate in Chicago on Thursday but, "hopefully in the next day or so."[email protected] @ChrisKuc.

NASHVILLE ? There are times Brandon Saad absolutely dominates during hockey games.

And then there are times he does not.

In his third season with the Blackhawks, Saad is searching for the consistency that would elevate him to the upper echelon of NHL wingers.

"It's something I have to bring every night," Saad said before the Hawks lost to the Predators 3-2 on Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena. "It's a part of being a pro and being in the NHL. I've had some good parts of the season and some good games, but I'm looking to continue that consistently throughout the year."

With his 22nd birthday looming next week, Saad still is determining ways to control play on a regular basis. It has been a battle.

"It's a tough league," he said. "You're playing every other night, some nights back-to-back, and playing against good teams. It's a challenge, but you have to bring that intensity and competitiveness every night."

During the loss to the Predators, Saad flashed some of his offensive talent in the third period with a terrific scoring chance when he fired the puck on goal while diving to the ice. But Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne made the save to keep the Hawks down two goals. Saad finished with two shots in 15 minutes, 5 seconds of ice time.

In addition to getting his body to its peak efficiency, Saad is working on the mental aspect of the game. The Pittsburgh native has worked with the team's mental skill coach, James F. Gary, and Saad has incorporated his techniques into pregame rituals.

"It's not quite meditation but something just to think about a little bit before the nap and get it in your head and get prepared for the game," Saad said. "It has been a big part of it."

Saad has been a big part of the Hawks since bursting onto the scene during the 2012-13 season and posting impressive numbers with 10 goals and 17 assists in 46 games. He followed that with 19 goals and 28 helpers in 78 games last season before really coming alive in the playoffs with six scores and 10 assists during the Hawks' 19-game postseason run.

"If he can play at that pace he can be one of the top forwards in the game," coach Joel Quenneville said. "He's still a young player. He has grown a lot since he came into the league. That consistency in young players is something you (want for) that complete type of player look. Hopefully, one day he can get that consistency and be that power forward every team looks for."

When Saad is at the top of his game, it resembles that of teammate Marian Hossa. So much, in fact, winger Patrick Kane called Saad a "mini-Hossa."

"(Saad) has the size and the speed and the talent and strength at such a young age that you don't see in a lot of young players," Kane said. "He's going to be a special player. You look at Hossa, he has that same mentality where he can dominate on any given night. You can say the same thing about Saad."

The comparison to the likely future Hall of Famer sits just fine with Saad.

"That's a huge compliment," Saad said. "Hossa to me is a complete player and does all the little things right. I'm trying to be my own player but he's someone to look up to for sure."

One place Saad has found consistency is in the dressing room where he fits right in.

"He's a fun-loving kid you can kind of hang out with and maybe call your brother," Kane said. "He's still very young so there are a lot of good things to look forward to in his career."

One-timers: The Hawks had one power play during Thursday's game and it was among their best efforts of the season with the man advantage ? yet they didn't score. "Two minutes of zone time, we definitely did everything," Quenneville said. "A lot of good things on it." ? Corey Crawford missed his second consecutive game with an upper-body injury. Quenneville said the veteran goaltender did not skate in Chicago on Thursday but, "hopefully in the next day or so."

[email protected]

Twitter @ChrisKuc

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N.Y. doctor with Ebola 'a dedicated humanitarian'

"Please support organizations that are sending support or personnel to West Africa, and help combat one of the worst public health and humanitarian disasters in recent history."The New York Daily News, citing unidentified sources, reported that the doctor had been seen at bowling spots in Willliamsburg, Brooklyn on Wednesday and had used Uber taxis.

Craig Spencer, who tested positive for Ebola Thursday, is a New York emergency physician who recently worked with Doctors Without Borders treating patients in West Africa.

He is on the staff at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia University Medical Center, which in a statement called him "a dedicated humanitarian .. who went to an area of medical crisis to help a desperately underserved population.''

"He is a committed and responsible physician who always puts his patients first,'' the hospital said in a statement. "He has not been to work at our hospital and has not seen any patients at our hospital since his return from overseas. Our thoughts are with him, and we wish him all the best at this time. ''

Spencer, 33, describes himself on his Linkedin page as a "fellow of international emergency medicine'' at the New York hospital. He speaks five languages including Chinese and studied language and literature at Henen University in China in 2006-2007 and received his medical degree from Wayne State University School of Medicine.

He also has a masters in public health from Columbia University and did his undergraduate study at Johns Hopkins University.

According to his Facebook page, he left for West Africa via Brussels in mid-September. A photo shows him in full protective gear. He returned to Brussels Oct. 16.

"Off to Guinea with Doctors Without Borders," he wrote. "Please support organizations that are sending support or personnel to West Africa, and help combat one of the worst public health and humanitarian disasters in recent history."

The New York Daily News, citing unidentified sources, reported that the doctor had been seen at bowling spots in Willliamsburg, Brooklyn on Wednesday and had used Uber taxis. It said he lived with his fiance in an apartment in Harlem.

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