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WORLD NEWS

China condemns cyberattacks, but says no proof North Korea hacked Sony

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry delivers remarks as China's Foreign Minister Wang looks on, before their meeting in WashingtonBy Megha Rajagopalan and Steve Holland BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - China said on Monday it opposed all forms of cyberattacks but there was no proof that North Korea was responsible for the hacking of Sony Pictures, as the United States has said. North Korea has denied it was to blame and has vowed to hit back against any U.S. retaliation, threatening the White House and the Pentagon. The hackers said they were incensed by a Sony comedy about a fictional assassination of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, which the studio has pulled. ...


Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 04:34:38 -0500
U.S. leads 22 more air strikes against Islamic State: task force
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S.-led coalition conducted 12 air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria on Monday and 10 strikes Iraq, the U.S. military said in a statement. In Iraq, the strikes hit near the strategic northern Iraqi town of Sinjar as well as near Asad, Tal Afar, Ramdi, Mosul and Falluja, the Combined Joint Task Force said. They destroyed six units of Islamic State fighters as well as a weapons factory, numerous buildings and several vehicles, it said. ...
Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 09:45:07 -0500
Exclusive: WHO says Syria approves medicine deliveries to Aleppo, other areas

A woman carries a child as she walks past a boy selling yogurt along a street in Aleppo's Bab al-Hadeed districtBy Oliver Holmes BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Syrian government has approved the delivery of medicine and surgical supplies to three areas of the country aid workers were previously unable to reach regularly, including opposition-held Aleppo, the World Health Organization said on Monday. All sides in Syria's three-year civil war have prevented medicine from crossing front lines fearing it could be used to help wounded enemy fighters. This has deprived trapped civilians from life-saving medical assistance. ...


Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 11:16:36 -0500
Twin bomb blasts in northeast Nigeria bus station kill 20
By Isaac Abrak and Lanre Ola ABUJA/MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (Reuters) - Two bomb explosions at a bus station in the northeast Nigeria on Monday killed at least 20 people and wounded 40, an emergency services official said, and witnesses said many of the victims had rushed in to help those wounded in the first blast. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the attack in the city of Gombe. Boko Haram insurgents have repeatedly set off bombs targeting civilians, especially in the northeast where they are trying to carve out an Islamic state. ...
Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:36:24 -0500
Veteran Essebsi wins Tunisia's first free presidential vote

Nidaa Tounes supporters wave flags and shout slogans as they celebrate after Essebsi won the country's first free presidential election, in TunisBy Patrick Markey and Tarek Amara TUNIS (Reuters) - Veteran Tunisian politician Beji Caid Essebsi won the country's first free presidential election, in the final step of a transition to democracy after an uprising that ousted autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011. Essebsi beat rival and incumbent Moncef Marzouki with 55.68 percent of the vote against 44.32 percent in Sunday's run-off ballot between the two men, according the results released on Monday by the electoral authorities. A former official under Ben Ali, Essebsi recast himself as a technocrat. ...


Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 11:55:18 -0500
Libya fighting spreads to third oil port, 11 killed in Benghazi

Libyan Army Forces belonging to Libya's rival government, that are part of the Libya Dawn operation to free oil ports, fire a vehicle-mounted weapon on the outskirts of Al Sidra oil portBy Ayman al-Warfalli and Ulf Laessing BENGHAZI/TRIPOLI (Reuters) - Fighting between Libya's competing governments has spread to a third oil port, curbing gas exports to Italy and cutting crude production to less than needed to cover the North African country's own domestic requirements, officials said. The OPEC producer is struggling with fighting on several fronts as brigades of former rebels who once battled side by side to oust Muammar Gaddafi in 2011 now clash for political power and a share of oil revenues. ...


Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 13:06:42 -0500
Truck veering out of control kills 6 pedestrians in Glasgow
GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) — Six people were killed and several others injured when a garbage truck crashed into a group of pedestrians in downtown Glasgow Monday, police said.
Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 13:18:24 -0500
Neureuther leads 1st slalom run; Hirscher only 11th

Felix Neureuther, of Germany, powers past a gate on his way to clock the fifth fastest time during the first run of an alpine ski, men's World Cup giant slalom race, in Alta Badia, Italy, Sunday, Dec. 21, 2014. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati)MADONNA DI CAMPIGLIO, Italy (AP) — Germans Felix Neureuther and Fritz Dopfer stood 1-2 following the opening run of a night slalom Monday, while three-time defending overall World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher was only 11th.


Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 13:18:22 -0500
US stock indexes drift higher in afternoon trading

FILE - This Aug. 9, 2011 file photo shows a Wall Street street sign near the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. U.S. stock indexes are opening mostly higher Monday, Dec. 22, 2014, as the market builds on its big gains from last week. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)Stocks moved slightly higher in afternoon trading Monday, on pace to build modestly on gains from last week. The market has closed higher over the past three trading days. Discouraging data on U.S. home sales and a deepening slide in oil prices held back the rally.


Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 13:17:57 -0500
Top firms' greenhouse gas emissions rise, despite call for cuts
By Alister Doyle OSLO (Reuters) - Greenhouse gas emissions by the world's top 500 companies rose 3.1 percent from 2010 to 2013, far off the cuts urged by the United Nations to limit global warming, a study showed on Monday. The top 500 firms by capitalization accounted for 13.8 percent of world greenhouse gas emissions and 28 percent of gross domestic product in 2013, according to the report, drawn up by the information provider Thomson Reuters and BSD Consulting, a global sustainability consultancy. ...
Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 13:17:25 -0500
Russia bails out bank following ruble slide

Alexei Kudrin gestures during a news conference in Moscow, Russia, Monday, Dec. 22, 2014. Alexei Kudrin, Russia’s finance minister in 2000-2011, has predicted a major economic crisis in Russia next year even if the prices on oil, the backbone of the Russian economy, go up. (AP Photo/Pavel Golovkin)MOSCOW (AP) — Russia has bailed out a mid-sized bank for about $500 million to save it from bankruptcy— a clear sign that the slide in the value of the ruble in the wake of falling oil prices is straining the banking system.


Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 13:16:30 -0500
Car rampage in France 'not a terrorist act'

French police stand on December 21, 2014 at the site in Dijon where a driver ploughed into a crowd injuring 13 peopleA Frenchman who ploughed into pedestrians shouting "Allahu Akbar" had been to psychiatric hospital 157 times and had no known links to jihadist groups, a prosecutor said Monday, easing concerns the attack was inspired by Islamic extremism. The incident Sunday in the eastern town of Dijon left 13 people hurt in a scene one witness described as "apocalyptic" and came a day after a man assaulted police in the central town of Joue-les-Tours with a knife, slashing one officer in the face. In Saturday's attack, Bertrand Nzohabonayo, a Burundian convert to Islam, was shot dead after entering a police station in Joue-les-Tours armed with a knife, seriously wounding two officers and hurting another.


Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 13:16:02 -0500
Six dead as garbage truck ploughs into Christmas shoppers in Glasgow
LONDON (Reuters) - Six people were killed when a rubbish truck ran out of control and careered down a pavement crowded with Christmas shoppers in Glasgow, Scotland, on Monday, people, police said. "Sadly, six people have died as a result of the George Square major road incident," Police Scotland said on Twitter. A police spokesman had earlier said that at least seven people were seriously injured and the number might rise. ...
Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 13:10:42 -0500
Prosecutor: No terror link in France car rampage

This photo provided Monday, Dec. 22, 2014 by local newspaper Le Bien Public shows rescue workers tending at victims after a driver deliberately slammed into passersby in several spots in Dijon, central France, Sunday Dec. 21, 2014. French police are raising security after an attack on officers in central France, and the country’s top security official is arriving in the city where a driver ran down 11 pedestrians. (AP Photo/Christian Guileminot; Le Bien Public)PARIS (AP) — French officials called for vigilance but warned against jumping to conclusions Monday after a pair of weekend attacks — one in which a driver ran down 13 bystanders, and another in which a recent convert to Islam knifed police officers.


Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 13:09:47 -0500
4th suspect arrested for death in football fight
MADRID (AP) — Spanish police have arrested a fourth suspect for the death of a football fan following a brutal street fight between rival "ultra" groups before a match in Madrid last month.
Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 13:04:17 -0500
TripAdvisor fined $600,000 by Italian anti-trust
MILAN (AP) — Italy's antitrust authority has fined travel planning website TripAdvisor 500,000 euros ($600,000) following complaints of improper business practices lodged by a national hoteliers' association and a consumer protection agency.
Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 13:02:37 -0500
Top Asian News at 6:00 p.m. GMT
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — An angry North Korea, now on the defensive over a U.S. accusation of hacking, is refusing to take part in a groundbreaking U.N. Security Council meeting Monday where the country's bleak human rights situation will be discussed for the first time. International pressure has built this year on Pyongyang after a sprawling U.N.-backed inquiry of alleged crimes against humanity and warned that young leader Kim Jong Un could be held accountable. And attention has focused on the North in recent days, as the Obama administration on Friday blamed it for the devastating hacking attack on Sony over the film "The Interview," which portrays Kim's assassination.
Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 13:02:34 -0500
Dortmund signs Slovenia midfielder Kevin Kampl

FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2014 file picture Slovenia's Kevin Kampl, centre, keeps the ball from England players including Kieran Gibbs, left, during their Euro 2016 Group E qualifying soccer match in London, England. Slovenia midfielder Kevin Kampl is joining Borussia Dortmund from Red Bull Salzburg, reinforcing Dortmund’s squad after a disastrous first half to the Bundesliga season. Dortmund said Monday Dec. 22, 2014 that the 24-year-old Kampl will be given a contract through 2019. It gave no details of the transfer deal. (AP Photo/Jon Super,file)DORTMUND, Germany (AP) — Slovenia midfielder Kevin Kampl is joining Borussia Dortmund from Red Bull Salzburg, reinforcing Dortmund's squad after a disappointing first half of the Bundesliga season.


Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:58:57 -0500
Getafe's Lafita out for 5 months with leg injury
MADRID (AP) — Getafe says forward Angel Lafita will be sidelined for at least five months after injuring his right leg.
Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:57:53 -0500
Six people confirmed dead in Glasgow lorry crash: police

"It is a road traffic collision with multiple fatalities," a Scottish police spokesman said. "It does not look to be a criminal or deliberate attack."London (AFP) - Six people were killed on Monday when a rubbish lorry ploughed into a crowd of Christmas shoppers in the centre of Glasgow, the police said.


Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:55:18 -0500
Palestinians say Gaza reconstruction pledges unfulfilled
JERUSALEM (AP) — International donors have so far failed to deliver billions of dollars in aid money that was promised to rebuild the war-battered Gaza Strip, a Palestinian official said Monday, saying the rift between rival Palestinian factions is deterring foreign governments from sending aid.
Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:54:59 -0500
Turkey-based AFP photographer wins Time laurel

A photo by Bulent Kilic shows Kurdish boy Mohammed with his father who is watching fighting in the Syrian town of Kobane from the Turkish border village of Mursitpinar, on October 19, 2014Time magazine named AFP's Bulent Kilic as its Best Wire Photographer for 2014 on Monday for his powerful images from the Syrian border, Ukraine and his native Turkey. He is the third Agence France-Presse photographer to win the Time laurel for excellence in news wire images, established in 2010. Kilic, 35, "systematically found himself at the heart of the news," not least when he captured the moment when Islamic State fighters came under air attack near the flashpoint Syrian border town of Kobane, Time said. "His striking, vivid and memorable images have captured the attention of photo editors across the planet," added Olivier Laurent, editor of Time's LightBox photo blog.


Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:54:38 -0500
Turkey ex-ministers accused of corruption to hear fate

A picture taken on December 24, 2013 shows Turkey's then ministers Zafer Caglayan (R), Erdogan Bayraktar (2-R), Muammer Guler (2-L) and Egemen Bagis (L) at the Esenboga Airport in AnkaraFour former Turkish cabinet ministers will hear Monday whether they will stand trial on charges of corruption after losing their jobs in a spectacular graft scandal last year that rocked the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. A parliamentary commission is to decide whether to send the cases of the four men to the Supreme Council court, which only hears cases against cabinet ministers and other top officials. They resigned in the wake of a corruption probe launched on December 17 last year that Erdogan angrily blamed on his arch foe, the US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen.


Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:53:06 -0500
Marathon bombing suspect's lawyers invoke McVeigh

In this still images from aerial video provided by WHDH-TV in Boston, Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, center wearing an orange jumpsuit, is transferred between vehicles in Devins, Mass., following his hearing in federal court Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014, in Boston. Tsarnaev is charged with carrying out the April 2013 attack that killed three people and injured more than 260. He could face the death penalty if convicted. (AP Photo/WHDH-TV Boston) NO ONLINE, PRINT OR BROADCAST USE MASSACHUSETTS. MANDATORY CREDIT.BOSTON (AP) — Lawyers for Boston Marathon bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev seeking to have his trial moved out of Massachusetts again drew parallels Monday between the media coverage of their client's case to the coverage received by Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.


Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:49:05 -0500
Al-Jazeera Egypt channel shuts down
CAIRO (AP) — The Doha-based Al-Jazeera satellite station has shut down its Egypt channel, which has been at the center of tensions between Egypt and Qatar.
Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:46:37 -0500
Big changes coming to Cuba tourism with US opening

In this Dec. 19, 2014 photo, tourists sunbathe as a vendor sells kites decorated with Cuba's flag on a beach near Havana, Cuba. The easing of tourism regulations is a gamble for both the U.S. and Cuba. Obama said Wednesday that people-to-people travel was a way to “empower the Cuban people.” At the same time, a U.S. tourism surge could funnel sorely needed cash to a tourism industry run mostly by what Obama described Friday as “a regime that represses its people.” (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)HAVANA (AP) — U.S. tourists are roaming the streets of Old Havana, listening to lectures on Art Deco architecture and meeting with jazz musicians. What they aren't doing yet — at least most of the time — is lounging in the sun and sipping mojitos at white-sand-beach resorts.


Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:40:17 -0500
London shares rally for fifth straight day

London's FTSE 100 index rose 31.47 points, or 0.48 percent, to 6,576.74 pointsLondon (AFP) - London shares ended higher on Monday for the fifth day in a row, benefiting from a renewed "Santa rally" powered by a modest recovery in oil prices early in the day.


Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:38:02 -0500
Burundi arrests brother of French police attacker
KIGALI, Rwanda (AP) — An intelligence service spokesman says the brother of a man who attacked police in France has been arrested in Burundi.
Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:36:59 -0500
French power company to pay $772M in bribery case
WASHINGTON (AP) — A French power and transportation company has agreed to pay $772 million in penalties to the U.S. to resolve allegations that it bribed government officials in multiple foreign countries for lucrative projects, the Justice Department said Monday.
Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:32:33 -0500
Blast hits market in north Nigeria's Bauchi
BAUCHI, Nigeria (Reuters) - An explosion shook a busy market in the north Nigerian city of Bauchi on Monday, engulfing it in flames and causing an unknown numbers of casualties, a Reuters witness said. Large sections of the central market area were on fire, sending plumes of smoke into the air, he said. Medics were driving some wounded away in ambulances. The explosion hit hours after a double bomb attack in the main city of neighboring Gombe state killed at least 20 people and wounded twice as many. (Reporting by Ardo Hazad, Writing by Tim Cocks, Editing by Angus MacSwan)
Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:31:31 -0500
Al Jazeera suspends Egypt channel as Doha, Cairo mull closer ties

The logo of Qatar-based Al Jazeera satellite news channel is seen in DohaCAIRO (Reuters) - Qatari-owned Al Jazeera suspended broadcast of its Egypt-focused channel on Monday, citing a product restructuring, as Doha and Cairo seek to mend ties that deteriorated last year after the army toppled elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi. Qatar was one of the main supporters of Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood during their year in power. Ties between Egypt and Qatar have been strained since then-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ousted Mursi in July 2013 after protests against his rule. ...


Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:24:41 -0500
El Salvador's gangs target women and girls

In this Oct. 23, 2014, file photo, Elba Magdalena Alvarez, 17, lies dead by the side of the road in San Salvador, El Salvador, after she was allegedly pulled out of a bus by gang members and then shot, according to an eyewitness on the bus. She was naked from the waist down and police were trying to determine if she had been raped. Officially, 239 women and girls have been murdered in El Salvador so far this year, and 201 have been registered as missing. Through the month of August, 361 rapes were reported--more than two-thirds of them against minors. But experts say that does not begin to tell the story of female sexual abuse here, particularly of the violence committed by street gangs with tens of thousands of members who control swaths of the country by instilling fear. (AP Photo,File)SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — In a country terrorized by gangsters, it is left to the dead to break the silence on sexual violence.


Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:23:15 -0500
Ten years on, tsunami warning stumbles at the 'last mile'

File photo of a rose which was thrown into waters of Andaman Sea lies near foot pints in Khao LakBy Aubrey Belford BANGKOK (Reuters) - In April 2012, Indonesia's Banda Aceh, the city worst hit by the tsunami that killed at least 226,000 people on Boxing Day ten years ago, received a terrifying reminder of how unprepared it was for the next disaster. As an 8.6-magnitude quake struck at sea, thousands of residents shunned purpose-built shelters and fled by car and motorcycle, clogging streets with traffic. A network of powerful warning sirens stayed silent. No wave came. ...


Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:21:31 -0500
10 years after tsunami, victim's mom learns body wasn't lost

In this photo taken on Nov. 7, 2014, Aye Pu, mother of May Aye Nwe, 20, who was lost at sea during the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, wipes her tears during an interview at her home in Seint Paing, Myanmar. An Associated Press investigation helped track down two families with loved ones at the Tsunami Victims' Cemetery in southern Thailand, including Maye Aye Nwe’s mother. As the 10th anniversary of the disaster approaches, Aye Pu, now a 55-year-old widow, says her healing process can finally begin. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)SEINT PAING, Myanmar (AP) — Of all the moments to chase a dream, May Aye Nwe chose the morning of Dec. 26, 2004.


Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:18:58 -0500
Sexual violence rampant among El Salvador gangs

In this Oct. 23, 2014, file photo, Elba Magdalena Alvarez, 17, lies dead by the side of the road in San Salvador, El Salvador, after she was allegedly pulled out of a bus by gang members and then shot, according to an eyewitness on the bus. She was naked from the waist down and police were trying to determine if she had been raped. Officially, 239 women and girls have been murdered in El Salvador so far this year, and 201 have been registered as missing. Through the month of August, 361 rapes were reported--more than two-thirds of them against minors. But experts say that does not begin to tell the story of female sexual abuse here, particularly of the violence committed by street gangs with tens of thousands of members who control swaths of the country by instilling fear. (AP Photo,File)SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador (AP) — In a country terrorized by gangsters, it is left to the dead to break the silence on sexual violence.


Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:15:27 -0500
88-year-old ex-minister wins Tunisia election

Presidential candidate Beji Caid Essebsi, 88-year-old former minister, leaves his party headquarters, Monday Dec.22, 2014 in Tunis. Newspapers in Tunisia have followed exit polls in proclaiming Beji Caid Essebsi the winner of the presidential election. Official results are expected later Monday but polls immediately after voting ended gave Beji Caid Essebsi around 55 percent of the vote.(AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — An 88-year-old veteran of Tunisia's political establishment won the country's presidency, according to official results issued Monday, capping a four-year-long democratic transition.


Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:14:33 -0500
South Africa's high crime rate inspires novelist

In this photo taken Monday Nov. 24, 2014, author Angela Makholwa speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Johannesburg, South Africa. Makholwa’s fascination with South Africa’s violent crime has made her one of the country's most popular writers. Using sharply drawn characters and intriguing plots, Makholwa’s fiction helps readers to make sense of the country’s high crime rate. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)JOHANNESBURG (AP) — Novelist Angela Makholwa's fascination with South Africa's violent crime has made her one of the country's most popular writers.


Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:14:18 -0500
Cameroon army says dismantles Boko Haram training camp
YAOUNDE (Reuters) - Cameroon's army has dismantled a training camp for the Boko Haram Islamist group, arresting or killing dozens of militants and seizing 84 children who were being trained there, the army said on Monday. Local people in northwest Cameroon alerted the military on Saturday to the camp in Guirvidig locality, near the border with northeastern Nigeria, said Lieutenant Colonel Didier Badjeck, spokesman for Cameroon's Ministry of Defence. ...
Date Posted : Mon, 22 Dec 2014 12:10:55 -0500
 

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