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Friday, December 26, 2014
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Ukraine, pro-Russia rebels swap war prisoners
DONETSK, Ukraine (AP) -- Ukrainian authorities and pro-Russia rebels exchanged nearly 370 prisoners Friday, a major step toward easing hostilities in eastern Ukraine.... 12/26/2014 6:36 PM

10th anniversary of tsunami is marked with tears
PERELIYA, Sri Lanka (AP) -- A packed train in Sri Lanka that was swept off its tracks by waves as big as elephants. A boat patrolling off Thailand's shore hurled more than a mile inland. Streets in Indonesia turned into roaring rivers that carried people to their deaths.... 12/26/2014 6:24 PM

Life support ends for dead Irishwoman, live fetus
DUBLIN (AP) -- A clinically dead pregnant Irishwoman was removed from life support Friday after a Dublin court ruled that her 18-week-old fetus also was doomed to die. The case highlighted fear and confusion among doctors over how to observe Ireland's ban on abortion, the strictest such law in Europe, in an age of medical innovation.... 12/26/2014 6:23 PM

Third priest killed in dangerous southern Mexico
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- A priest was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head, his diocese said Friday, marking the latest in series of abductions, attacks and highway robberies against Roman Catholic clerics in an area of southern Guerrero state dominated by drug cartels.... 12/26/2014 6:17 PM

Suspected arsonist sets mosque ablaze in Sweden, injuring 5
HELSINKI (AP) -- Police in Sweden say one mosque has been vandalized and a second mosque in the same town set ablaze by a suspected arsonist, leaving at least five people injured.... 12/26/2014 5:58 PM

Vatican arrests activist who bared chest in square
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The Vatican says it has arrested the Femen activist who on Christmas Day bared her chest and snatched the statue of Baby Jesus in the life-size Nativity scene in the center of St. Peter's Square.... 12/26/2014 5:55 PM

India's brass bands struggle amid changing tastes
NEW DELHI (AP) -- The wedding season is in full swing in India, marking what should be the busiest time of year for the traditional brass bands that lead raucous processions announcing the arrival of the bridegroom to the neighborhood.... 12/26/2014 5:50 PM

Syrian air raids on IS-held towns kill dozens
BEIRUT (AP) -- Activists say Syrian air raids on two northern towns held by the militant Islamic State group have killed more than 50 people in two days.... 12/26/2014 5:40 PM

New Russian military doctrine says NATO top threat
MOSCOW (AP) -- Russia named NATO's military buildup near its border as the main military threat and raised the possibility of using precision conventional weapons as a "strategic deterrent," according to the nation's new military doctrine signed by President Vladimir Putin Friday.... 12/26/2014 5:39 PM

Turkish teen accused of insulting Erdogan freed from custody
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- A high school student who was jailed for allegedly insulting Turkey's leader was released from custody on Friday after his arrest caused uproar and intensified fears that Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is lurching toward more authoritarian rule.... 12/26/2014 4:54 PM

Russia labels leading rights group 'foreign agent'
MOSCOW (AP) -- The Russian Justice Ministry has branded a leading rights group named after Nobel Prize winner Andrei Sakharov a "foreign agent," a stigma that could lead to its closure.... 12/26/2014 4:36 PM

Israel: Palestinian stabs 2 border police
JERUSALEM (AP) -- A Palestinian man on Friday stabbed and lightly wounded two Israeli paramilitary border policemen at the entrance to Jerusalem's Old City on Friday, Israeli police said.... 12/26/2014 3:52 PM

Ukraine cuts train and bus services to Crimea
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- Ukraine has suspended train and bus services to the Russia-annexed Crimean Peninsula, citing security concerns.... 12/26/2014 3:45 PM

Russia's ruble ends 5-day rally, drops 4 percent
MOSCOW (AP) -- The Russian currency on Friday ended its five-day rally and declined 4 percent as the markets remain jittery over the outlook of the Russian economy.... 12/26/2014 3:13 PM

9 killed, 10 missing in Sri Lanka mudslides
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) -- At least nine people were killed and 10 others were missing in mudslides triggered by heavy rains Friday in the central hills of Sri Lanka, officials said.... 12/26/2014 3:02 PM

Coalition strike kills 3 armed Afghan villagers
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- An airstrike by U.S.-led coalition forces on Friday killed three Afghan villagers who were "heavily armed" but not part of the Taliban insurgency, an Afghan official said.... 12/26/2014 1:56 PM

3 SKorea workers die at nuke plant construction site
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Three South Korean workers died Friday after apparently inhaling toxic gas at a construction site for a nuclear plant being built by South Korea's monopoly nuclear power company, which has come under recent threats by hackers, a company official said.... 12/26/2014 1:56 PM

Spain premier announces modest minimum wage raise
MADRID (AP) -- Spain's prime minister has announced minimal increases to the minimum wage and for government-funded pensions and predicted the nation's economy will "take off" in 2015 following years of crushing financial pain.... 12/26/2014 1:54 PM

Archbishop of Canterbury has pneumonia
LONDON (AP) -- Church of England officials say Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby has pneumonia.... 12/26/2014 1:35 PM

China offers to help electricity-starved Nepal
KATMANDU, Nepal (AP) -- China said Friday that it would help Nepal develop its power industry to alleviate severe electricity outages that can last up to 12 hours a day in the Himalayan nation, where Beijing is trying to increase influence and investment.... 12/26/2014 12:33 PM