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Friday, December 19, 2014
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UN urging Taliban to reduce Afghan civilian casualties
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The U.N. said Friday it's been talking to the Taliban about reducing civilian casualties in Afghanistan but hasn't seen any change on the ground, where it attributes 75 percent of deaths and injuries this year to the insurgent group that used to rule the country.... 12/19/2014 11:38 PM

Israel carries out airstrike on Hamas site in Gaza
JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israel's military struck a Hamas site in the Gaza Strip early Saturday in its first airstrike on the Palestinian territory since this summer's war.... 12/19/2014 11:30 PM

No word yet from Fidel amid historic US-Cuba shift
HAVANA (AP) -- Everyone in Cuba is talking about the startling turn in relations with the United States, with one notable exception: Fidel Castro.... 12/19/2014 10:57 PM

AP Interview: Coelho says Sony hack threatens all
GENEVA (AP) -- Brazilian author Paulo Coelho says the Sony hack threatens us all if society doesn't enforce important values against anonymous terrorists.... 12/19/2014 10:54 PM

Franciscan religious order in `grave' financial crisis
ROME (AP) -- The main Franciscan religious order in the Roman Catholic Church is in a financial crisis because of alleged wrongdoing from within and outside its ranks.... 12/19/2014 10:29 PM

North Korea denies connection with Sony hacking
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- North Korea on Friday denied the FBI's accusation that it was behind a devastating hacking attack on Sony but it said the now-shelved film "The Interview" mocked the impoverished but nuclear-armed country.... 12/19/2014 10:27 PM

Key Profumo scandal figure Mandy Rice-Davies dies
LONDON (AP) -- Mandy Rice-Davies, a key figure in the "Profumo Affair," a sex-and-politics scandal that rocked Cold War Britain, has died at age 70.... 12/19/2014 10:12 PM

Australian woman arrested in deaths of 8 children
SYDNEY (AP) -- An Australian woman was arrested for murder in the killings of eight children, seven of whom are believed to be her own, police said Saturday. The children were found dead inside the woman's home.... 12/19/2014 10:11 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 9:41 PM

Iraq clashes with IS delay evacuation of Yazidis
BAGHDAD (AP) -- Sporadic clashes between Iraqi Kurdish fighters and Islamic State extremists, as well as other logistics problems, are delaying the evacuation of the last Yazidis still trapped on Mt. Sinjar, an Iraqi lawmaker said Friday.... 12/19/2014 9:31 PM

Brazil to study legalization of medical marijuana
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) -- Brazil will soon look into the possibility of legalizing the use of a marijuana derivative to treat people suffering from severe seizures.... 12/19/2014 9:26 PM

Brazil trying to make good use of new stadiums
SAO PAULO (AP) -- It's white elephant time for World Cup stadiums - again.... 12/19/2014 9:04 PM

German Amazon strikes to last until Christmas Eve
BERLIN (AP) -- A German labor union says striking workers at four Amazon.com distribution centers in Germany will remain off the job until Christmas Eve.... 12/19/2014 8:22 PM

Pakistan executes militants and bombards tribal areas
ISLAMABAD (AP) -- Pakistan hanged two convicted militants Friday in the country's first executions in years, while warplanes and ground forces pounded insurgent hideouts in a northwest region bordering Afghanistan - part of a stepped-up response to the Taliban slaughter of scores of schoolchildren.... 12/19/2014 8:01 PM

Putin: Russia military modernization to go ahead
MOSCOW (AP) -- Boasting about the Russian military's capability, President Vladimir Putin vowed Friday to continue an ambitious weapons modernization program with a particular emphasis on nuclear strategic forces.... 12/19/2014 7:21 PM

Greek lawmaker alleges bribery attempt in presidential vote
ATHENS, Greece (AP) -- A lawmaker from a small right-wing party claimed Friday he had been offered a bribe worth up to 3 million euros ($3.68 million) to vote in favor of electing Greece's new president, in the latest twist in the bailed-out country's fraught presidential vote.... 12/19/2014 6:44 PM

Marathon runner Jeptoo's 'B' sample positive
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- Marathon runner Rita Jeptoo's "B" sample tested positive, Kenya's athletics federation said Friday, confirming an earlier test that found traces of a banned performance enhancer.... 12/19/2014 6:44 PM

Report: Turkey orders warrant for US-based cleric's arrest
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) -- A Turkish court has ordered an arrest warrant for U.S.-based cleric Fethullah Gulen - a former ally-turned-foe of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey's state-run media reported Friday.... 12/19/2014 6:39 PM

Little-known book by pope outlines views, hopes for Cuba
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- A little-known book about Cuba by Jorge Mario Bergoglio - now Pope Francis - provides new insight into his views on Cuban society, Marxism and the U.S. trade embargo that helped inform his behind-the-scenes role in helping bring about the historic thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations.... 12/19/2014 6:37 PM

Security flaws allow global cellular eavesdropping
BERLIN (AP) -- Security flaws in a system used by cellphone carriers around the world could open the door to wide-ranging surveillance of mobile phone traffic, according to a German researcher who discovered the problem.... 12/19/2014 6:14 PM