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Thursday, December 18, 2014
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8 children killed in northern Australian city
SYDNEY (AP) -- Australian police say eight children have been killed at a home in a northern Australian city.... 12/19/2014 3:16 AM

Spy's parents search for son after Cuba-US deal
HAVANA (AP) -- When convicted spy Rolando Sarraff Trujillo failed to call home from prison, his parents went to the jail to see if their son had fallen ill. Officials told the elderly couple not to worry, saying only that he was better off.... 12/19/2014 2:51 AM

Japan, US delay update to defense cooperation
TOKYO (AP) -- Japan and the United States formally postponed Friday an update to their defense cooperation guidelines.... 12/19/2014 2:50 AM

S Korea court orders dissolution of leftist party
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- South Korea's constitutional court on Friday ordered the dissolution of a small leftist political party hounded by claims of pro-North Korea views. Critics say the decision could worsen already deep political divisions in a country once ruled by military dictators, and trigger a fierce debate on authorities' limits in restricting freedom of expression.... 12/19/2014 1:59 AM

IMF withholds bailout money for Cyprus
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) -- The International Monetary Fund said Thursday it won't release $108 million (88 million euros) in rescue money for bailed-out Cyprus after the country's parliament voted to hold a key foreclosure law from taking effect at the end of December.... 12/19/2014 1:41 AM

Report: Australian lawmaker's adviser arrested
SYDNEY (AP) -- The media adviser to eccentric Australian lawmaker Clive Palmer has been arrested in relation to an alleged kidnapping, local media reported Friday.... 12/19/2014 1:27 AM

Sony film took aim at North Korea's biggest taboo
TOKYO (AP) -- If the U.S. government's claim is correct that North Korea was involved in the unprecedented hack attack on Sony Pictures that scuttled Seth Rogen's latest comedy, no one can say they weren't warned. The movie, "The Interview," pushed all of North Korea's buttons.... 12/19/2014 12:37 AM

Hope and some fear in Cuba amid thaw with US
HAVANA (AP) -- The restoration of diplomatic ties between Cuba and the United States unleashed expectations Thursday of even more momentous changes on an island that often seems frozen in a past of classic cars and crumbling Art Deco buildings.... 12/19/2014 12:27 AM

Latin America cheers US-Cuba rapprochement
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) -- Latin America is welcoming the renewal of ties between Cuba and the United States, but the rapprochement may complicate matters for Havana's chief ally, Venezuela, which has been moving in the opposite direction, becoming more stridently anti-American.... 12/18/2014 11:17 PM

EU leaders agree to fund for jumpstarting growth
BRUSSELS (AP) -- European Union leaders agreed Thursday to create a strategic investment fund that could generate up to 315 billion euros ($386 billion) in private- and public-sector money to upgrade infrastructure, jumpstart the EU's sluggish economies and ignite job growth.... 12/18/2014 11:16 PM

UN Experts: Taliban radicals against peace gain prominence
UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- U.N. experts say radical splinter groups within the Taliban movement that are strongly opposed to any negotiation with Afghanistan's new government are gaining prominence.... 12/18/2014 10:49 PM

Iraqi Kurdish troops battling IS open key corridor in Iraq
KOBAN, Iraq (AP) -- Iraqi Kurdish forces battling Islamic State militants managed on Thursday to open up a key corridor so that thousands of people from the country's Yazidi minority who have been trapped on a mountain can flee, said a senior Kurdish official.... 12/18/2014 9:44 PM

Colombia's government rebuffs rebel truce
BOGOTA, Colombia (AP) -- Colombia's government on Thursday rebuffed a unilateral truce declared by the country's largest rebel group, saying the guerrillas' conditions are unacceptable until a peace deal is reached.... 12/18/2014 9:27 PM

Pope Benedict helped free American from Cuba
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- Pope Francis rightly got credit for helping bring the U.S. and Cuba together and free U.S. government subcontractor Alan Gross. But it was Francis' predecessor, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, who made the first high-level Vatican manoeuver to release Gross, spurred in part by an unlikely group of papal lobbyists.... 12/18/2014 9:16 PM

PHOTO GALLERY: Moments in world sports in 2014
LONDON (AP) -- With the Winter Olympics and the World Cup, there was no shortage of memorable sporting moments in 2014.... 12/18/2014 8:59 PM

World War II bomb defused in German city
BERLIN (AP) -- A World War II bomb has been successfully defused in an eastern German city after some 9,700 people were evacuated from the surrounding area and a meeting of a state legislature was interrupted.... 12/18/2014 8:52 PM

Putin: West wants to defang, declaw Russian bear
MOSCOW (AP) -- Sternly warning the West it cannot defang the metaphorical Russian bear, a confident-looking President Vladimir Putin promised Thursday to shore up the plummeting ruble and revive the economy within two years.... 12/18/2014 8:47 PM

Abu Dhabi's Etihad gets A380, complete with suite
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -- Abu Dhabi's national carrier, Etihad, showcased on Thursday the arrival of its first Airbus A380, outfitted with "the only three-room suite in the sky."... 12/18/2014 8:30 PM

Suspected Islamic extremists kidnap 185 in Nigeria
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) -- Islamic extremists killed 35 people and kidnapped at least 185 in an attack near the town where nearly 300 schoolgirls were taken hostage in April, witnesses said Thursday.... 12/18/2014 8:21 PM

Video claims responsibility for Tunisia killings
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) -- A new video has surfaced with the Islamic State group claiming responsibility for the 2013 assassinations of two Tunisian politicians.... 12/18/2014 8:18 PM