The Associated Press

A top leader of Yemen's al-Qaida branch has claimed responsibility for last week's attack on a Paris newspaper, when two masked gunmen killed 12 people, including much of the weekly's editorial staff and two police officers.

Nasr al-Ansi, a top commander of Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP as the branch is known, appeared in an 11-minute Internet video posted Wednesday, saying that the massacre at Charlie Hebdo was in "vengeance for the prophet." The paper had published cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, which is considered an insult in Islam.

Payton Chung / "O'Hare Concourse C" CC by 2.0

Screening for the Ebola virus begins today at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport.

Customs and health officials will take temperatures of passengers from three West African countries. They will use no-touch thermometers to try to halt the spread of the Ebola virus that has killed thousands.

Customs officials say about 150 people travel daily from or through west African countries to the U-S. Almost all of them land in New York, Chicago, Newark, Atlanta or Washington, D.C.


Starting next year, passengers on Chicago area trains and buses will be able to use smartphones to pay.

Transit officials announced Wednesday that a free mobile app will be available in the first half of 2015 from Ventra, the company that produces fare cards. Passengers will be able to use it system wide — on C-T-A trains and buses, suburban Pace buses and the Metra commuter rail service.

Flickr user / Andrew "Chickens" (CC BY 2.0)

Elgin will welcome chickens to 15 backyards in a pilot program.

The city will accept applications in January 2015. Permit holders will be allowed to house four hens but no roosters.

Coops must be at least 25 feet from neighbors' and they can't be visible from the street.

The city will review the program after a year.

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra Association announces a fourth consecutive record year in ticket sales and contributions.

Overall revenue added up to $57 million for last season.

More than 13,000 individuals supported the CSO through philanthropy, including the Zell Family and Negaunee Foundations.

Chicago's mayor has one less challenger. Incumbent Rahm Emanuel wishes Karen Lewis a quick recovery from her cancerous brain tumor.

The Chicago Teachers Union president says she won't run for the mayor's office.

Lewis was seen as Emanuel's most credible re-election opponent. She often tussled with the mayor during the 2012 public schools teachers' strike.

In a statement, Emanuel said he respected and admired Lewis' willingness to be part of the conversation about Chicago's future. He said he looks forward to seeing her back on her feet.


An Aurora air traffic control facility should be fully functioning today after a two-week shutdown.

The FAA said testing was complete, a full shift of air traffic controllers will return and other sites would transfer control back to the center after midnight.

Fare prices will increase dramatically over the next decade for Metra commuters as the agency prepares to modernize the railroad's fleet. 

The board voted Thursday for a budget that includes a nearly 11 percent average fare hike in February. It also voted for a two billion dollar modernization plan.

A federal judge will decide if a 19-year-old suburban Chicago man - accused of trying to travel to Syria to join ISIS - should stay behind bars while pending trial.

Mohammed Hamzah Khan's hearing in Chicago today follows his Saturday arrest at O'Hare International Airport as he attempted to board a plane to Turkey.

Prosecutors filed a motion Wednesday asking Judge Susan Cox to close part of today's hearing to the public. Their explanation was sealed.

A researcher at University of Illinois at Chicago was named to the NFL's domestic violence panel.

Beth Richie teaches African-American studies, criminology, law and women's studies. She is joining a panel of experts that includes a former New York attorney general and leaders of numerous anti-violence groups.

Officials say Richie studies the ways that race, ethnicity and social position affect women's experience of violence and incarceration.

The football league formed the panel after players were involved in domestic violence or child abuse incidents.