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Monday, December 22, 2014
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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

China punishes hospital for operating room photos
BEIJING (AP) -- Chinese authorities have put a hospital president on probation and fired three supervisors following public outrage over photos posted online of smiling medical staff posing with patients in the middle of surgery.... 12/22/2014 7:35 AM

India lawmakers demand Modi speak on conversion to Hinduism
NEW DELHI (AP) -- Opposition lawmakers have thrown India's Parliament into an uproar by charging that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has done little to stop hard-liners in his party from forcibly converting religious minorities to Hinduism.... 12/22/2014 7:28 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

France: Driver goes on rampage, feeding fears
PARIS (AP) -- A driver deliberately slammed his car into crowds around the city of Dijon in eastern France on Sunday, raising concerns at a time when Islamic extremists are calling for attacks in France.... 12/22/2014 1:56 AM

Australian woman charged with murder of 8 children
CAIRNS, Australia (AP) -- A judge on Monday rejected a plea by lawyers for an Australia woman charged with killing eight children to have the next hearing held in a mental health court.... 12/22/2014 1:36 AM

Interim prime minister named in politically fractious Haiti
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) -- Health Minister Florence Duperval Guillaume was named as Haiti's interim prime minister on Sunday following the resignation of her predecessor a week ago amid a stalemate over delayed legislative elections.... 12/22/2014 12:43 AM

Nigerian Islamic extremists pose regional threat
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) -- Thousands of members of Nigeria's home-grown Islamic extremist Boko Haram group strike across the border in Cameroon, with coordinated attacks on border towns, a troop convoy and a major barracks.... 12/21/2014 10:37 PM

Exit poll: Ex-regime official is Tunisia's new president
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) -- Tunisian polling firms have declared Beji Caid Essebsi, an 88-year-old official from previous regimes, as the winner of Sunday's presidential runoff, cementing his dominance over a country where his party already controls Parliament.... 12/21/2014 10:10 PM

Protester takes perch on St. Peter's fa??ade
VATICAN CITY (AP) -- An Italian entrepreneur lowered himself onto a narrow ledge on the facade of St. Peter's Basilica on Sunday, the fifth time he has evaded Vatican security to mount a public protest against government reforms at one of Roman Catholicism's holiest sites.... 12/21/2014 9:37 PM

German-language pop superstar Udo Juergens dies
BERLIN (AP) -- Udo Juergens, an Austrian-born star who dominated pop music in the German-speaking world and sold more than 100 million records in a career spanning five decades, died on Sunday. He was 80 years old.... 12/21/2014 9:22 PM