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Thursday, December 18, 2014
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S. Korean group cancels plans for border tree
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- A South Korean church group has canceled plans to erect a giant Christmas tree near the border with North Korea after locals complained that it could provoke Pyongyang.... 12/18/2014 9:10 AM

India launches rocket, tests unmanned crew pod
NEW DELHI (AP) -- India has announced two more successes in its space program - launching the country's largest rocket and testing the re-entry of an unmanned crew module, part of India's quest to send humans into space.... 12/18/2014 9:09 AM

Jailed Russian tycoon leaves house arrest
MOSCOW (AP) -- A Russian tycoon placed under house arrest in September in a move that rattled markets was released from house arrest on Tuesday, just hours before President Vladimir Putin's annual televised press conference.... 12/18/2014 9:04 AM

Qatar: Building team to spring surprise in 2022
DOHA, Qatar (AP) -- It's a cold, hard fact of football: Countries with tiny populations don't generally beat big ones with deep wells of talented players.... 12/18/2014 8:41 AM

Afghanistan: Suicide bomber kills policeman
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) -- An Afghan police officer was killed and another three wounded on Thursday when a suspected suicide bomber they were following detonated the explosives in his vehicle, an official said.... 12/18/2014 6:52 AM

Canada man finds woman for free trip around world
TORONTO (AP) -- A Toronto man who made headlines last month by offering a free round-the-world air ticket to a woman with the same name as his ex-girlfriend has found Ms. Right.... 12/18/2014 6:31 AM

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

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