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In brief

Is that standard issue? U.S. Park police officer Stephen Jones and his 5-year-old horse. Cody, a Percheron thoroughbred mix, patrols the National Mall near the U.S. Capitol, in the background, Sunday in Washington. Is that standard issue?

MALIBU, Calif. Wildfire conditions ease

Crews hoped mild temperatures and gentle winds Sunday would help them solidify gains against the wildfire that destroyed dozens of homes in this upscale coastal community.

Hot, powerful winds that fanned the blaze across 4,720 acres starting early Saturday were not expected Sunday, Los Angeles County Fire Inspector Ron Haralson said. The fire was about 40 percent contained, Haralson said.

Fifty homes and two outbuildings were destroyed Saturday by the fast-moving wildfire, pushed by Santa Ana winds. Twenty-seven other homes were damaged and 10,000 to 14,000 people were evacuated.

By Sunday morning, skies had cleared and the column of smoke billowing over the hills had all but vanished.

LONDON Fire hits oil platform

Dozens of workers were airlifted to safety in high winds after their North Sea oil platform caught fire Sunday, officials said.

The blaze was extinguished with no injuries and workers were returning to the platform, the government said.

Some 116 of the 159 people aboard the remote Thistle Alpha platform, 120 miles northwest of Britain’s Shetland Islands, were taken off the platform by seven rescue helicopters, said the Health and Safety Executive.

Battling strong northwesterly winds, the helicopters — some from Britain and some from Norway — took the rescued workers to three nearby oil platforms, said Royal Air Force spokesman Michael Mulford.

ATLANTA Things smooth at airports

Travelers heading home after the Thanksgiving weekend swarmed airports Sunday, but without the long lines and delays many had feared.

“So far, at least, it’s been reasonable,” Alli Charney of Atlanta said as he waited for a flight at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Despite light rain, wait times were about 25 minutes Sunday at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, spokesman Herschel Grangent said.

There were no delays by late morning at Los Angeles International Airport, spokeswoman Katherine Alvarado said.

Ashley Delseni arrived at Florida’s Pensacola Regional Airport several hours early for a flight to Atlanta and a connection to San Diego, but she found no lines or delays by midmorning.

ST. PETERSBURG, Russia Cops halt anti-Putin protest

Police rounded up scores of people demonstrating against President Vladimir Putin on Sunday, dragging protesters toward buses and beating some who tried to escape.

Hundreds of police armed with shields, body armor and truncheons bore down on demonstrators chanting “Russia without Putin!” in St. Petersburg. Among those detained was a likely contender in next March’s presidential election, Boris Nemtsov.

It was the second time in two days police have broken up an opposition demonstration in the run-up to Dec. 2 parliamentary elections.

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