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Thursday, December 25, 2014
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Russia's Putin scraps New Year's holidays for ministers
MOSCOW (AP) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday scrapped New Year's holidays for government ministers because of the unfolding economic crisis.... 12/25/2014 1:14 PM

Saudi women drivers referred to terrorism court
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Two Saudi women detained for nearly a month in defiance of a ban to keep females from driving were referred on Thursday to a court established to try terrorism cases, several people close to the defendants said.... 12/25/2014 1:13 PM

Text of pope's Christmas Day message
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Here is the official Vatican English-language translation of Pope Francis' `'Urbi et Orbi' Christmas Day message, which he delivered in Italian from the central balcony of St. Peter's Basilica on Thursday:... 12/25/2014 1:07 PM

Official: Gunmen attack AU base in Somalia
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) -- A Somali official says gunmen have attacked the African Union base in Mogadishu.... 12/25/2014 1:06 PM

Father of pilot captured by IS pleads for release
AMMAN, Jordan (AP) -- The father of a Jordanian pilot captured by Islamic State militants in Syria has pleaded for his son's release.... 12/25/2014 12:33 PM

Pope wishes Christmas hope and peace for Mideast
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis focused his concern on those weeping in the world this Christmas, singling out refugees, hostages and others suffering in the Middle East, Africa and Ukraine as he prayed for hope and peace Thursday.... 12/25/2014 12:13 PM

Romanians at Ceausescu's grave, 25 years after death
BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) -- Romanians nostalgic for the communist era gathered Thursday at the grave of former dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, who were tried and executed on Christmas Day twenty-five years ago.... 12/25/2014 12:02 PM

Queen Elizabeth II praises workers who fight Ebola
LONDON (AP) -- Queen Elizabeth II will use her traditional Christmas broadcast to call for international reconciliation and to praise medical workers fighting Ebola in Africa.... 12/25/2014 11:32 AM

Snowstorm in Moscow delays over 150 flights
MOSCOW (AP) -- A massive snowstorm in Moscow on Thursday caused delays to more than 150 flights and brought traffic to a standstill.... 12/25/2014 11:13 AM

Yemen senior intelligence official kidnapped
SANAA, Yemen (AP) -- Suspected Shiite rebels kidnapped Yemen's second highest intelligence official from his house in the capital Sanaa Thursday, security officials and a close associate of the general said.... 12/25/2014 11:07 AM

US senator John McCain meets Afghan leaders
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- U.S. senator John McCain is in Kabul for Christmas day.... 12/25/2014 11:00 AM

Survivors huddle after violence in India kills 72
SHAMUKJULI, India (AP) -- Rina Vor was putting her four young children to sleep in her village in India's remote northeast when she heard the gunfire. She gathered them and ran for safety.... 12/25/2014 10:53 AM

13-year-old girl: My father gave me to Boko Haram
KANO, Nigeria (AP) -- A 13-year-old says her father gave her to Boko Haram extremists and that she was arrested after refusing to explode a suicide bomb in Kano, Nigeria's second largest city in the north.... 12/25/2014 10:49 AM

Monkey brings electrocuted friend back to life
NEW DELHI (AP) -- Onlookers at a train station in northern India watched in awe a monkey using all his powers to bring back to life another monkey who was electrocuted and fell unconscious on the rail tracks.... 12/25/2014 10:45 AM

Hong Kong police arrest 12 democracy protesters
HONG KONG (AP) -- Hong Kong police arrested 12 protesters blocking several roads as pro-democracy demonstrators returned to a site they had occupied for more than two months before police dispersed them, officials said Thursday.... 12/25/2014 9:37 AM

China tightens church control ahead of Christmas
BEIJING (AP) -- Two days before Christmas, members of a rural Christian congregation in eastern China welded pieces of metal into a cross and hoisted it onto the top of a worship hall to replace one that was forcibly removed in October.... 12/25/2014 9:22 AM

Citigroup to sell Japan retail bank unit to SMBC
TOKYO (AP) -- Citigroup has agreed to sell its retail banking business in Japan to Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp., the companies said Thursday.... 12/25/2014 8:57 AM

UK body warns drone owners: Fly safely, or you'll be fined
LONDON (AP) -- Got a nifty little drone for Christmas? If so, fly it carefully. Especially if you are in Britain.... 12/25/2014 8:24 AM

Afghans hope for change after bloody year
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- When Graeme Smith arrived in Afghanistan in 2005, he drove across the country from Kabul south to the Talban's former capital Kandahar on a newly paved road that cut travelling time from a bone-rattling 14 hours to just six.... 12/25/2014 7:58 AM

Cuba relations with Catholic Church at high point
HAVANA (AP) -- Golden rays of tropical sunlight slant through the caved-in roof of Saint Thomas de Villanueva chapel, illuminating tiles graced by the faces of saints. Vandals shattered the stained-glass windows and scrawled their names on the thick walls during decades of frigid relations between the Roman Catholic Church and Cuba's communist government.... 12/25/2014 5:35 AM