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Monday, December 22, 2014
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Spain handing out $3B in planet's biggest lottery
MADRID (AP) -- The drawing is underway in Spain for the world's biggest lottery payoff, a 2.5 billion-euro ($3 billion) pot of cash that will be divided among thousands of ticketholders.... 12/22/2014 9:21 AM

China opposes cyberattacks, doesn't name N. Korea
BEIJING (AP) -- China says it has told the U.S. that it is against cyberattacks and opposes any nation or individual launching such attacks from a third country, but did not directly condemn the Sony hackings that Washington has blamed on North Korea.... 12/22/2014 9:12 AM

Palestinian man arrested after foiled attack on soldier
JERUSALEM (AP) -- The Israel military says a Palestinian man has been arrested after a foiled attack on a soldier in the West Bank.... 12/22/2014 8:54 AM

Abandoned asbestos mines still a hazard in India
RORO VILLAGE, India (AP) -- Asbestos waste spills in a gray gash down the flank of a lush green hill above tribal villages in eastern India. Three decades after the mines were abandoned, nothing has been done to remove the enormous, hazardous piles of broken rocks and powdery dust left behind.... 12/22/2014 8:49 AM

AP PHOTOS: Sheetos, the street-mime of Cairo
CAIRO (AP) -- Bright colors, strange clothes and a striking white mask steal the attention of everyday people going about their business in downtown Cairo. This is the stage for Mohammed Saeed (aka Sheetos) who is waging a lonely campaign to introduce the art of mime to modern Egypt.... 12/22/2014 8:49 AM

Egypt: Security forces kill 5 Islamic militants
CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's Interior Ministry says security forces killed five militants from a Sinai-based group allied with Islamic State extremists during a raid in the country's north.... 12/22/2014 8:37 AM

Forgotten asbestos mine sickens Indian villagers
RORO VILLAGE, India (AP) -- Asbestos waste spills in a gray gash down the flank of a lush green hill above tribal villages that are home to thousands in eastern India. Three decades after the mines were abandoned, nothing has been done to remove the enormous, hazardous piles of broken rocks and powdery dust left behind.... 12/22/2014 8:06 AM

China punishes hospital for operating room photos
BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese health authorities put a hospital president on probation and fired three others following public outrage over photos posted online of smiling medical staff posing with patients in the middle of surgery.... 12/22/2014 8:02 AM

India lawmakers demand Modi speak on conversion to Hinduism
NEW DELHI (AP) -- Opposition lawmakers, charging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done little to stop hard-liners in his party from forcibly converting religious minorities to Hinduism, threw Parliament into an uproar Monday, with the upper house of Parliament adjourned after descending into shouting matches.... 12/22/2014 7:51 AM

China sends 700 peacekeepers to South Sudan
BEIJING (AP) -- China will send 700 troops to South Sudan as part of the country's first infantry battalion to participate in a United Nations peacekeeping mission, state media reported Monday.... 12/22/2014 7:45 AM

Morocco's transgender dancer courts acceptance
CASABLANCA, Morocco (AP) -- It was a slow night on the red carpet at the opening of the Marrakech film festival for the photographers and everyone was complaining over the lack of celebrities.... 12/22/2014 7:40 AM

Belarus enjoys bonanza amid Russia-West tensions
MINSK, Belarus (AP) -- As relations between Russia and the West have deteriorated, there's one country that's reaping rewards - Belarus, whose authoritarian leader was once dubbed "Europe's last dictator" by the United States and the European Union.... 12/22/2014 7:27 AM

Asian markets gain as oil rebounds
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Asian markets were mostly higher Monday after the Fed's pledge not to rush to raise interest rates prompted investors to add risky assets ahead of the year-end holiday. A rise in the price of oil boosted energy stocks.... 12/22/2014 7:13 AM

North Korea skipping UN Security Council meeting
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- An angry North Korea, now on the defensive over a U.S. accusation of hacking, is refusing to take part in a groundbreaking U.N. Security Council meeting Monday where the country's bleak human rights situation will be discussed for the first time.... 12/22/2014 7:03 AM

NKorean cinema: Kidnappings and evil Americans
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- North Korea hates the currently scrapped Hollywood film that revolves around the assassination of its beloved leader, but the country has had a long love affair with cinema - of its own particular styling.... 12/22/2014 7:00 AM

Australia family found after 10 days in wilderness
SYDNEY (AP) -- A 5-year-old boy and his 7-year-old brother were recovering in an Australian hospital Monday after surviving with their father for 10 days in the wilderness with little food and in weather conditions that ranged from stormy to scorching.... 12/22/2014 6:36 AM

Iraq TV show makes 'terrorists' confront victims
BAGHDAD (AP) -- Haider Ali Motar was convicted of terrorism charges about a month ago for helping to carry out a string of Baghdad car bombings on behalf of the Islamic State extremist group. Now, the 21-year old is a reluctant cast member in a popular reality TV show.... 12/22/2014 6:30 AM

Experts expect surge in Cuba tourism under Obama opening
HAVANA (AP) -- As the U.S. and Cuba begin to normalize relations for the first time in half a century, some Americans are already roaming the streets of Old Havana, attending dance exhibitions and talks on architecture as they take part in scripted cultural tours that can cost more than a decent used car back home.... 12/22/2014 5:29 AM

N. Korea threatens strikes on US amid hacking claims
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- President Barack Obama is "recklessly" spreading rumors of a Pyongyang-orchestrated cyberattack of Sony Pictures, North Korea says, as it warns of strikes against the White House, Pentagon and "the whole U.S. mainland, that cesspool of terrorism."... 12/22/2014 4:25 AM

South Korea lowers outlook on weak private sector
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korea lowered its growth forecast for next year, citing persistently weak sentiment among consumers and businesses. But the government predicted that overall economic conditions will improve from this year thanks to government measures, recovery in the U.S. economy and the fall in oil prices.... 12/22/2014 2:16 AM