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Thursday, December 18, 2014
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Australian leader: Siege may have been preventable
SYDNEY (AP) -- Australia's prime minister said Thursday that a deadly siege in a Sydney cafe may have been preventable, as the chorus of critics demanding to know why the gunman was out on bail despite facing a string of violent charges grew louder.... 12/18/2014 6:09 AM

Afghan official says suicide bomber kills policeman
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- An Afghan official says a suicide bomber detonated his vehicle as it was being followed by police on the outskirts of the capital Kabul, killing a police officer and wounding three others.... 12/18/2014 6:01 AM

Two-speed labor system in Qatar for 2022 World Cup
DOHA, Qatar (AP) -- Men crammed together, dozens to a room, on bunk beds so close they can reach over and shake hands.... 12/18/2014 5:55 AM

Poll: 80 percent back Putin even as ruble falls
MOSCOW (AP) -- From a Western perspective, Vladimir Putin's days as president of Russia should be numbered: The ruble has lost more than half its value, the economy is in crisis and his aggression in Ukraine has turned the country into an international pariah.... 12/18/2014 5:51 AM

Cubans hope for better future with US-Havana deal
HAVANA (AP) -- Cubans cheered the surprise announcement that their country will restore relations with the United States, hopeful they'll soon see expanded trade and new economic vibrancy even though the 53-year-old economic embargo remains in place for the time being.... 12/18/2014 5:09 AM

A look at 'Cuban 5' agents who were jailed in US
HAVANA (AP) -- The "Cuban Five" refers to intelligence agents whose so-called "Wasp Network" operated in Florida in the 1990s. They were arrested in 1998 and later convicted on charges including conspiracy and failing to register as foreign agents.... 12/18/2014 2:19 AM

Palestinians set deadline for Israeli occupation
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Israel suffered back-to-back diplomatic setbacks in Europe on Wednesday, while the Palestinians at the United Nations set a deadline for an Israeli withdrawal from lands captured nearly 50 years ago by the end of 2017.... 12/18/2014 1:02 AM

Draft UN resolution targets Israeli occupation
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Jordan has submitted a draft resolution on ending Israel's occupation of Palestinian lands captured in 1967 to the U.N. Security Council for a possible vote.... 12/18/2014 12:30 AM

Death toll in clash in western Mexico rises to 11
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- A Mexican official says the death toll from a clash between two rural police groups has risen to 11.... 12/17/2014 11:24 PM

Nigerian court sentences 54 soldiers to death
ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) -- Nigeria on Wednesday sentenced 54 soldiers to death for mutiny, assault, cowardice and refusing to fight Islamic extremists.... 12/17/2014 11:21 PM

Colombian rebels announce unilateral cease-fire
HAVANA (AP) -- Colombia's largest rebel group announced an indefinite, unilateral cease-fire Wednesday, saying guerrillas will refrain from staging attacks so long as they aren't targeted by the U.S.-backed military.... 12/17/2014 11:11 PM

UN chief says US torture report should spur global action
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called Wednesday for an international debate on stamping out torture in the wake of the recent U.S. Senate report detailing brutal CIA interrogations of terror detainees.... 12/17/2014 11:04 PM

UN chief: US torture report must spur global action
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says a U.S. Senate report detailing brutal CIA interrogations of terror detainees should spur a global discussion on how the international community can stamp out torture.... 12/17/2014 11:03 PM

Pope played crucial role in US-Cuba rapprochement
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The crucial role played by Pope Francis in bringing Cuba and the United States together signals that history's first Latin American pope has no qualms about putting the Holy See on the front lines of diplomacy, especially for a cause it has long championed.... 12/17/2014 10:46 PM

Analysis: 53 years on, time right for US, Cuba
MEXICO CITY (AP) -- After 53 years of hostility between the United States and Cuba, the timing to make amends was perfect for both governments.... 12/17/2014 10:25 PM

Haiti president meets with opposition amid unrest
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Haiti President Michel Martelly met Wednesday with opposition leaders in a bid to stabilize the politically fractious country as pressure mounted on him to appoint an interim prime minister.... 12/17/2014 9:59 PM

Congo, UN troops launch operation against rebels
KINSHASA, Congo (AP) -- U.N. peacekeepers and the Congolese army have launched an operation against rebels in the country's east blamed for a series of attacks in recent months.... 12/17/2014 9:49 PM

Pope adds 2nd victim to sex abuse commission
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis has added a second survivor of priestly sex abuse to his commission of experts advising the Vatican on child protection policies, tapping a self-described "thorn in the side of the church" who has criticized the church's response to the scandal.... 12/17/2014 9:29 PM

UN chief heading to West Africa to see response to Ebola
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Wednesday he's heading to West Africa to demonstrate the U.N.'s solidarity with the countries most affected by the Ebola outbreak and to see for himself how the world is responding.... 12/17/2014 8:49 PM

Canadian chain postpones `The Interview' showings
TORONTO (AP) -- Canada's dominant theater chain has postponed its planning showings of the film "The Interview."... 12/17/2014 8:46 PM