Monday, December 29, 2014
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Thai theater pair plead guilty to insulting monarchy
BANGKOK (AP) -- Two activists charged with insulting Thailand's monarchy because of a play they produced pleaded guilty Monday to the offense, which carries a punishment of three to 15 years in prison.... 12/29/2014 1:27 PM

Ukraine drops nonaligned status
KIEV, Ukraine (AP) -- The Ukrainian president has signed a bill dropping his country's nonaligned status but signaled that he will hold a referendum before seeking NATO membership.... 12/29/2014 1:17 PM

Italian premier: Evacuation of Greek ferry is complete
BARI, Italy (AP) -- Italian Premier Matteo Renzi says that the evacuation of the Greek ferry that caught fire off Albania has been completed, and that only the vessel's captain and four Italian sailors remain on board to assist in the operation.... 12/29/2014 1:15 PM

Israeli military shoots and kills Palestinian stone thrower
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) -- The Israeli military says its forces shot and killed a Palestinian who was throwing stones at drivers in the West Bank.... 12/29/2014 1:11 PM

S. Korea officials face punishment over 'nut rage'
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Four South Korean officials will be punished for improper conduct during an investigation into a former Korean Air Lines executive who forced a flight to return over a bag of macadamia nuts, the Transport Ministry said Monday.... 12/29/2014 1:00 PM

Chinese access to Gmail cut, regulators blamed
BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese access to Google Inc.'s email service has been blocked amid government efforts to limit or possibly ban access to the U.S. company's services, which are popular among Chinese who seek to avoid government monitoring.... 12/29/2014 12:58 PM

Egypt court bans festival honoring Moroccan rabbi
CAIRO (AP) -- An Egyptian court has banned an annual festival in honor of Moroccan rabbi that was regularly attended by hundreds of Jewish pilgrims, mainly from Israel and Morocco.... 12/29/2014 12:41 PM

Liberia reports dozens of new Ebola cases on border
MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) -- Dozens of new Ebola cases have erupted in Liberia, near the border with Sierra Leone, Liberian health officials warned Monday, marking a setback amid recent improvements.... 12/29/2014 12:37 PM

After a year, journalists jailed in Egypt seek end to ordeal
CAIRO (AP) -- A year after three Al-Jazeera English journalists were arrested in Egypt, they and their families are pleading for justice and an end to their ordeal.... 12/29/2014 12:25 PM

Stocks mixed amid China growth hopes, Greece woes
BEIJING (AP) -- Global stocks were mixed on Monday after a report said China will change banking rules, apparently to boost lending and economic growth, while oil prices rebounded. European shares underperformed as Greece was headed for early elections that could endanger its bailout program.... 12/29/2014 12:13 PM

Afghan official says 4 soldiers killed in south
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) -- An Afghan official says four soldiers have been killed while repelling a Taliban attack on an army checkpoint in a volatile region of the southern Helmand province.... 12/29/2014 12:03 PM

Greece heads for early election, stoking financial concerns
ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- Greece will hold early national elections on Jan. 25, stoking concerns over the future of the country's financial bailout, after lawmakers failed to elect a new president in a third and final round of voting Monday.... 12/29/2014 11:54 AM

Iraq: Suicide attack on funeral kills 15
BAGHDAD (AP) -- A suicide bomber struck a funeral north of the Iraqi capital on Monday, killing at least 15 mourners, a government official said.... 12/29/2014 11:51 AM

Unclear whether oil, objects found in sea linked to lost jet
SURABAYA, Indonesia (AP) -- An Indonesian helicopter searching for the missing AirAsia jetliner saw two oily spots in the water Monday, and an Australian search plane spotted objects elsewhere in the Java Sea, but it was too early to know whether either was connected to the aircraft and its 162 passengers and crew.... 12/29/2014 11:46 AM

Strong earthquake shakes southern Philippines
MANILA, Philippines (AP) -- A strong earthquake shook parts of the southern and central Philippines on Monday, frightening people but causing no serious damage or injuries, officials said.... 12/29/2014 11:30 AM

Iran holds funeral for general killed in Iraq
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) -- Iran held a funeral on Monday for a senior Revolutionary Guard commander who was killed during a battle against the Islamic State extremist group in Iraq.... 12/29/2014 11:23 AM

Russian ruble drops 7 percent as economy shrinks
MOSCOW (AP) -- The Russian currency extended its losses on Monday after a report showed the economy has started shrinking in annual terms for the first time since 2009 as the country is buffeted by falling oil prices and Western sanctions.... 12/29/2014 10:51 AM

Suicide bombers attack Syria gas facilities
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) -- A Syrian official says two suicide attackers have targeted separate natural gas facilities in the central province of Homs, killing eight people.... 12/29/2014 10:16 AM

Allianz says it's lead insurer for AirAsia plane
BERLIN (AP) -- Allianz says it is the lead insurance firm for the AirAsia jetliner that went missing off Indonesia with 162 people on board.... 12/29/2014 10:00 AM

Differences between MH370 and AirAsia incidents
SINGAPORE (AP) -- The disappearance of an AirAsia passenger jet soon after takeoff inevitably brings back memories of the mystery behind Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared nearly 10 months ago and is yet to be found.... 12/29/2014 9:38 AM