Christmas 1914: The day even WWI showed humanity
PLOEGSTEERT, Belgium (AP) — With British and German forces separated only by a no-man's land littered with fallen comrades, sounds of a German Christmas carol suddenly drifted across the frigid air: "Stille Nacht, Heilige Nacht" ("Silent Night, Holy Night").
12/20/2014 - 06:59 AM
Vonn wins women's World Cup downhill in France
VAL D'ISERE, France (AP) — American skier Lindsey Vonn won a World Cup downhill race Saturday on the same course where she re-injured her troublesome right knee one year ago, clinching a 61st career victory to continue her strong comeback following two operations.
12/20/2014 - 06:41 AM
North Korea says did not hack Sony, wants joint probe with U.S.
By Jack Kim and Steve Holland SEOUL/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - North Korea said U.S. accusations that it was involved in a cyberattack on Sony Pictures were "groundless slander" and that it was wanted a joint investigation into the incident with the United States. An unnamed spokesman of the North's foreign ministry said there would be "grave consequences" if Washington refused to agree to the joint probe and continued to accuse Pyongyang, the official KCNA news agency reported on Saturday. ...
12/20/2014 - 06:40 AM
LA Dodgers chart new course with rebuilt roster
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Andrew Friedman has thoroughly overhauled a 94-win team in his first two months running the Los Angeles Dodgers. None of his myriad moves made a bigger, more baffling splash than his trade of popular slugger Matt Kemp and $32 million to a division rival for what might be no more than half of a catching platoon.
12/20/2014 - 06:36 AM
South Africa's Steyn sends West Indies crashing to defeat
South African fast bowler Dale Steyn ripped through the West Indian batting to send the tourists crashing to a humiliating defeat by an innings and 220 runs on the fourth day of the first Test at SuperSport Park on Saturday. Steyn took six for 34 in Centurion as the West Indies crashed to 131 all out after being 76 for two overnight. West Indian captain Denesh Ramdin admitted that his side were only in the game for about an hour on the first day, when they reduced South Africa to 57 for three.
12/20/2014 - 06:34 AM
Liberia holds Senate vote amid Ebola fears
MONROVIA, Liberia (AP) — Health workers manned polling stations across Liberia on Saturday as voters cast their ballots in a twice-delayed Senate vote that has been criticized for its potential to spread the deadly Ebola disease.
12/20/2014 - 06:23 AM
Obama says North Korea hacked Sony, vows response
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama declared that Sony "made a mistake" in shelving a satirical film about a plot to assassinate North Korea's leader, and he pledged the U.S. would respond "in a place and manner and time that we choose" to the hacking attack on Sony that led to the withdrawal. The FBI blamed the hack on the communist government.
12/20/2014 - 06:21 AM
Magnitude 5.9 earthquake hits Japan's Honshu island: USGS
TOKYO (Reuters) - A 5.9 magnitude earthquake hit Japan's Honshu island on Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey said, shaking Fukushima where crippled nuclear power plants are located, but local media said there was no tsunami warning. USGS said the quake's epicenter was located 42 miles (68 km) east-northeast of Iwaki on Honshu. It was measured at a depth of 22.9 miles (37 km). A spokesman for Tokyo Electric Power, which owns the nuclear plants, said no irregularities have been found at its Fukushkma Daiichi or Daini plants. ...
12/20/2014 - 06:09 AM
Sony tells AFP it still plans movie release
Sony Pictures boss Michael Lynton denied Friday the Hollywood studio has "caved" by canceling the release of "The Interview," and said it still hoped to release the controversial film. He also hit back at President Barack Obama's claim that it had made a "mistake" in pulling the movie, three and a half weeks after a massive cyber-attack blamed on North Korea angered by the film.
12/20/2014 - 06:07 AM
Extremists in Nigeria lining up elderly and shooting them
MAIDUGURI, Nigeria (AP) — Witnesses say Islamic extremists in northeast Nigeria are lining up elderly people and shooting them — a new tactic instilling fear in areas the militants call an Islamic caliphate.
12/20/2014 - 06:04 AM
After turbulent year, Obama aims for quiet Hawaii getaway
KAILUA, Hawaii (AP) — A tumultuous year all but behind him, President Barack Obama set off for his annual winter getaway in Hawaii hoping for one thing: Quiet.
12/20/2014 - 05:54 AM
Putin urges Russia's secret services to tackle 'modern challenges'
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin called on Saturday for improvement of Moscow's secret services to tackle "modern challenges and threats" amid his country's standoff with the West over the Ukrainian crisis. The call came in a letter by Putin, himself a former KGB agent, to veterans and current operatives of Russia's security services on the day Moscow traditionally honors them. ...
12/20/2014 - 05:50 AM
2016 hopeful Ben Carson pledges support for Israel
JERUSALEM (AP) — In his first visit to Israel, prospective Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said he is in awe of the Jewish state, inspired by its ancient holy sites, impressed by the resilience of people living in a perpetual conflict zone — and deeply disappointed in President Barack Obama.
12/20/2014 - 05:37 AM
Child under observation at Chicago hospital to rule out Ebola
By Mary Wisniewski CHICAGO (Reuters) - A child who arrived in Chicago with a fever was under observation on Friday at a city hospital to rule out the Ebola virus, hospital officials said. Federal officials screening arriving passengers at O'Hare International Airport detected the fever but no other symptoms of the disease, the University of Chicago Medical Center said in a statement. The patient was isolated under strict quarantine protocols until the child’s condition improves and a diagnosis is established, the hospital said. The child was in stable condition. ...
12/20/2014 - 05:36 AM
China offers $3 billion in aid and loans to neighbors: Xinhua
BANGKOK/SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China has offered more than $3 billion in loans and aid to neighbors Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar, Thailand and Laos to improve infrastructure and production, and to fight poverty, state media reported on Saturday. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said the offer included $1 billion for infrastructure, $490 million for poverty alleviation and $1.6 billion in special loans for China's production capacity export, Xinhua news agency said. During a speech to the fifth summit of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Economic Cooperation in Bangkok, Li also pledged $16. ...
12/20/2014 - 05:27 AM
Pakistan slammed for resuming executions after school massacre
Rights groups Saturday condemned Pakistan's decision to hang two convicted militants in its first executions for six years, as leaders vowed decisive action in the wake of a Taliban school massacre that left 149 people dead. The bloody rampage in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Tuesday sparked international outrage and Pakistan described it as its own "mini 9/11" and a game changer in its fight against terror. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif relinquished the six-year ban on the death penalty in terror-related cases two days after the school attack, with two militants convicted of separate terrorism offences the first to face the noose. The Human Rights Watch termed the executions "a craven politicized reaction to the Peshawar killings", demanding that the executions be stopped immediately.
12/20/2014 - 05:16 AM
American nurse exposed to Ebola released from hospital
(Reuters) - An American nurse who was exposed to Ebola while volunteering in Sierra Leone was released from the National Institutes of Health's Clinical Center in Maryland on Friday without showing signs of the disease, NIH said. "The patient has shown no clinical or laboratory evidence of Ebola infection and will complete 21 days of monitoring at a private residence in Virginia under the direction of the Virginia Department of Health," NIH said in a statement. ...
12/20/2014 - 05:16 AM
Seven dead as Pakistan hits militant hideouts
Seven people including a policeman and paramilitary soldier were killed in two separate incidents when Pakistani security forces hit militant hideouts in the restive northwest Saturday morning, officials said. In the first incident, police and paramilitary soldiers raided suspected hideouts in Shabqadar, a town around 30 kilometres (18 miles) north of Peshawar. "A soldier of the Frontier Corps and a policeman embraced martyrdom in an exchange of fire with militants in Mechani neighbourhood of Shabqadar Saturday morning," local police official Wilayat Khan told AFP. He said two militants belonging to Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the militant organisation that carried out Tuesday's massacre at a military-run school in Peshawar -- the deadliest ever attack in Pakistan -- were also killed.
12/20/2014 - 05:01 AM
Protesters in contempt of court for anti-whaling campaign
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers were found in contempt of court for continuing their relentless campaign to disrupt the annual whale hunt off the waters of Antarctica.
12/20/2014 - 04:49 AM
Lawyer: Woman did not intend to hit pedestrians
TORRANCE, Calif. (AP) — The attorney for a 56-year-old woman accused in the deaths of four people, including a 6-year-old boy, said it was an accident when she ran her car into nearly a dozen pedestrians outside a California church, describing her as someone who "does not live her life recklessly."
12/20/2014 - 04:04 AM
Spurs lose another overtime heartbreaker
Damian Lillard scored a career high 43 points as Portland beat San Antonio 129-119 in triple overtime, sending the Spurs to their second-straight heartbreaking triple overtime loss. The reigning NBA champion Spurs also lost in multiple overtimes 117-116 to the Memphis Grizzlies on Wednesday.
12/20/2014 - 04:00 AM
Israel aircraft hit Gaza for first time since August truce
Israeli aircraft hit Gaza for the first time since an August truce ended 50 days of war after a rocket hit the Jewish state, witnesses and the army said early Saturday. A spokesman for Gaza's health ministry said there were no casualties in the air strike, which came just hours after the rocket hit an open field in southern Israel on Friday without causing casualties or damage. It was only the third instance of rocket fire from Gaza since the August 26 truce between Israel and the territory's Islamist de facto rulers Hamas. The Israeli army said the air strike had "targeted a Hamas terror infrastructure site".
12/20/2014 - 03:56 AM
UN chief praises Ebola nurses, pledges support during visit
By Matthew Mpoke Bigg HASTINGS, Sierra Leone (Reuters) - U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Friday praised healthcare workers fighting the Ebola virus as he paid his first visit to Liberia and Sierra Leone following an outbreak that has killed nearly 7,000 people. Ban paid tribute to local workers and the United Nations, but he singled out medics from the three countries at the heart of the epidemic who have fallen sick while treating patients. ...
12/20/2014 - 03:37 AM
Things to know about Friday's baseball news
There was a flurry of news around Major League Baseball on Friday as teams worked to retool before the holiday break. Here are some things to know about all the player moves and other changes:
12/20/2014 - 03:30 AM
Bush officials did little oversight of CIA program
WASHINGTON (AP) — In July 2004, despite growing internal concerns about the CIA's brutal interrogation methods, senior members of George W. Bush's national security team gave the agency permission to employ the harsh tactics against an al-Qaida facilitator the agency suspected was linked to a plot to disrupt the upcoming presidential election.
12/20/2014 - 03:25 AM
Pakistan: US drone strike kills 5 militants
ISLAMABAD (AP) — A U.S. drone fired two missiles at militant hideout in northwestern Pakistan on Saturday, killing at least five Taliban fighters, two security officials said.
12/20/2014 - 03:23 AM
Bouteflika's mental faculties intact, to continue to rule Algeria: party chief
ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's mental and cognitive faculties are intact and he will continue to govern, the ruling FLN party's chairman said on Friday, in comments aimed at quashing rumours over the ageing leader's health. Bouteflika, 78, suffered a stroke last year that put him into a French hospital for months and fuelled speculation over whether the former independence fighter would step down and make way for a transition in the North African state. ...
12/20/2014 - 03:21 AM
EPA coal ash standards a setback for environmental groups
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Six years ago, there was a massive spill of coal ash sludge in Tennessee. Three years later, tons of coal ash swept into Lake Michigan. Last February, there was another spill and gray sludge spewed into the Dan River in North Carolina.
12/20/2014 - 03:13 AM
5 things to know about year-end tax breaks
WASHINGTON (AP) — In an almost annual ritual, Congress has passed a last-minute package of temporary tax breaks, sparing millions of businesses and individuals from unwanted tax increases just weeks before start of filing season.
12/20/2014 - 03:05 AM
Nine migrants drown off the coast of Morocco
MADRID (Reuters) - Moroccan rescue teams recovered the bodies of nine migrants who drowned off the coast of Tangier and rescued another 21 who were trying to reach Spain on a small craft, Spanish authorities said on Friday. Three infants were among the dead, Spanish media said. Tens of thousands of migrants make the dangerous journey from North Africa to Europe every year, often in crowded, unseaworthy boats. Hundreds die in the attempt.
12/20/2014 - 02:54 AM
Mother arrested for murder of eight children in Australia
Australian police said Saturday they had arrested the mother of all but one of eight children reportedly stabbed to death in the northern city of Cairns, as vigils were held to mourn the tragedy. Officers have not revealed the cause of death of the children, the youngest of which was a toddler and the oldest a teenager, but said knives were found at the house where the bodies were discovered on Friday morning. "The 37-year-old mother of several of the children involved in this incident has been arrested for murder overnight and is currently under police guard at the Cairns Base Hospital," detective inspector Bruno Asnicar told reporters. The woman arrested is the mother of the seven younger children and the aunt of the 14-year-old girl.
12/20/2014 - 02:53 AM
Craig Ferguson says good night as 'Late Late Show' host
NEW YORK (AP) — Craig Ferguson will spend tomorrow's future yesterdays (as his theme song proclaims) somewhere other than "The Late Late Show." Friday was his last hoorah after a decade as host of the CBS talk show.
12/20/2014 - 02:35 AM
Johnson inspires Australia to Gabba Test victory
Mitchell Johnson inspired Australia to a four-wicket win over India to take a 2-0 series-lead on the fourth day of the second Gabba Test on Saturday. The ICC Cricketer of the Year condemned India to defeat with a hostile spell of three for 10 in the space of 11 balls, ripping the heart out of the tourists' top order in the morning session. Johnson snared four wickets for 61 off 17.3 overs as Australia dismissed India for 224 and were left needing 128 runs for victory. At the close, Australia were 130 for six with Mitchell Marsh hitting the winning runs and finishing six not out with Johnson on two.
12/20/2014 - 02:26 AM
Kenya's Kenyatta signs security law despite protests
By James Macharia NAIROBI (Reuters) - Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta signed new anti-terrorism measures into law on Friday, triggering fresh protests from opposition MPs who said they would take legal action to overturn the legislation and protect civil liberties. Kenyatta's move came a day after parliament approved the new laws amid chaotic scenes in which opposition legislators threw books at the Speaker, shouted, chanted and sprinkled water over his deputy. ...
12/20/2014 - 02:23 AM
Investigation into ex-POW Bergdahl over: US officials
The US Army has wrapped up its investigation into how an American soldier was captured by Taliban insurgents in 2009, and now senior officers will weigh the findings, Pentagon officials said. Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl was held by militants as a prisoner of war after disappearing from his base in eastern Afghanistan. He was released in May in a swap for Taliban inmates held at the US-run prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. After questioning Bergdahl and others, US Army investigators have finished their inquiry and now top commanders and officials have to decide on the next step, officials said.
12/20/2014 - 02:19 AM
APNewsBreak: Dodgers end Yanks' payroll streak, owe most tax
NEW YORK (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers have ended the New York Yankees' 15-year streak as Major League Baseball's biggest spenders and owe more than $26.6 million in luxury tax.
12/20/2014 - 02:12 AM
Lillard scores 43 as Blazers beat Spurs in 3 OT
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The Portland Trail Blazers know firsthand how cold and methodical the veteran San Antonio Spurs can be when they have a team in trouble.
12/20/2014 - 01:18 AM
Iraq's Shiite fighters desert over shortages
BAGHDAD (AP) — Abu Murtada al-Moussawi answered the call last summer from Iraq's top Shiite cleric to help save the country from the Islamic State group, but after less than three months on the front lines he and several friends returned home because they had run out of food.
12/20/2014 - 01:17 AM
Japan, South Korea condemn Sony hack; Chinese paper says movie is senseless
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan and South Korea condemned a hacking attack on Sony Pictures that the United States has blamed on North Korea and said they would cooperate in international efforts against cyber-crime as asked for by Washington.
12/20/2014 - 01:09 AM
US issues worldwide travel alert
The United States issued a worldwide travel alert, warning Americans to be vigilant during the holiday period, especially in the wake of a deadly siege in Australia. Sydney this week saw a dramatic siege in a cafe that began Monday and left two hostages and a gunman dead.
12/20/2014 - 01:05 AM
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