Friday, December 19, 2014
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Belarus slaps 30 percent fee at currency exchanges
MINSK, Belarus (AP) -- Belarus has imposed a 30 percent fee on currency exchange transactions in an effort to contain panic that has spilled over from neighboring Russia.... 12/19/2014 1:30 PM

In spite of Asia advance, European stocks steady
LONDON (AP) -- European markets were largely subdued Friday, a day after a big rally in the wake of the U.S. Federal Reserve's reassurance it was in no hurry to hike interest rates. But shares of Sony Corp. dropped as a hacking scandal rocked its American movies unit.... 12/19/2014 1:28 PM

Auschwitz victim suitcases get high-tech storage
WARSAW, Poland (AP) -- The Auschwitz museum says some of the victims' 3,800 suitcases have been put into a state-of-the-art protective storage room partly funded by the European Union.... 12/19/2014 1:28 PM

Spanish police probe car attack on ruling party HQ
MADRID (AP) -- Spanish police searched Friday for possible explosives at the Madrid headquarters of the ruling conservative Popular Party after a man rammed his car into the office entrance.... 12/19/2014 1:26 PM

Britain moves closer to allowing women in combat
LONDON (AP) -- Britain's defense minister said Friday that women should be allowed to serve in front-line army combat units, and he hopes the first will be joining within two years.... 12/19/2014 1:22 PM

Israel grants Palestinian permits for Christmas
JERUSALEM (AP) -- The Israeli military says it is relaxing travel restrictions for Palestinian Christians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip during the Christmas holiday season.... 12/19/2014 1:18 PM

China arrests US aid work in N. Korean border town
BEIJING (AP) -- A Korean-American aid worker working in a Chinese city near North Korea has been arrested on charges of embezzlement and possession of fake invoices, his lawyer said Friday, in a sign that authorities are increasingly sensitive about activities by foreigners in the border region.... 12/19/2014 1:16 PM

UN chief visits Ebola-ravaged West African nations
MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon praised Liberia on its efforts to combat Ebola on Friday during his second visit here since the start of the outbreak that now has killed more than 6,900 people in West Africa.... 12/19/2014 1:14 PM

Russia to seek 10 years in prison for opposition activist
MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian prosecutors on Friday demanded that an opposition activist be imprisoned for 10 years on allegations of fraud.... 12/19/2014 1:10 PM

Turkish court orders custody for 4 following raids
ISTANBUL (AP) -- Turkish news reports say a court has ordered the formal arrest of four people detained in recent raids on a newspaper and a television station affiliated with the U.S.-based Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen, a one-time ally of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan turned foe.... 12/19/2014 1:09 PM

FIFA will not reopen 2018 and 2022 World Cup votes
MARRAKECH, Morocco (AP) -- Sepp Blatter says FIFA will not reopen the vote for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, and will publish at least some of the confidential report in the bidding process.... 12/19/2014 1:08 PM

Indonesia volcano erupts, injuring 4; 1 missing
TERNATE, Indonesia (AP) -- A volcano in eastern Indonesia erupted Friday, spewing towering clouds of hot ash into the air and leaving four hikers injured and one missing when they scrambled to safety, an official said.... 12/19/2014 1:05 PM

Trade between China and Mozambique nears $3 billion
MAPUTO, Mozambique (AP) -- Trade between China and Mozambique increased to nearly $3 billion this year, said China's ambassador.... 12/19/2014 1:00 PM

Hungary is new hot spot on migrant route into EU
ASOTTHALOM, Hungary (AP) -- With the Mediterranean Sea becoming too treacherous and other routes blocked by barbed-wire fences, would-be migrants are taking a new route into the Europe Union: through Hungary.... 12/19/2014 12:49 PM

Smashing Pumpkins' Corgan looks ahead, not back
LONDON (AP) -- The Smashing Pumpkins are dead. Long live the Smashing Pumpkins.... 12/19/2014 12:22 PM

Victory for plaintiff in China gay conversion case
BEIJING (AP) -- A Chinese psychological clinic was ordered Friday to pay compensation to a gay man who sued it for administering electric shocks intended to make him heterosexual, in what is believed to be China's first case involving so-called conversion therapy.... 12/19/2014 12:20 PM

5 die in Mozambique floods
MAPUTO, Mozambique (AP) -- Five people have died in floods in the capital Maputo, after days of torrential rain, according to Mozambican authorities.... 12/19/2014 12:17 PM

Pope boosts Rome's 2024 bid but warns: 'I won't be around'
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis has given a papal thumbs up to Rome's bid for the 2024 Summer Olympics amid talk that the Vatican might host some events. But he is warning: "I won't be around."... 12/19/2014 12:15 PM

Sri Lankan opposition pledges war crime inquiry
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP) -- Sri Lanka's main opposition presidential candidate said Friday that the country cannot be charged with war crimes in the International Criminal Court, but he will launch a domestic inquiry if he wins a January election.... 12/19/2014 12:06 PM

Pakistan: 77 militants killed after school massacre
ISLAMABAD (AP) -- Pakistani warplanes and ground forces killed at least 77 militants in a northwestern tribal region near the Afghan border, officials said Friday, days after Taliban fighters killed 148 people - most of them children - in a school massacre.... 12/19/2014 12:05 PM