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Japan seeks to keep pressure on NKorea over abductions

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 1:21pm

The government minister responsible for the issue of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea during the 1970s and 80s says he believes growing international pressure will eventually lead to a return of the abductees or their remains.

Saudi king shakes up top religious, advisory council

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 1:11pm

The Saudi king has ordered a shake up of the country's top religious institution and advisory councils in a series of royal decrees.

Philippines President Duterte phones Trump

Jim Gomez, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 1:03pm

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte telephoned U.S. President-elect Donald Trump late Friday and had a brief but "very engaging, animated conversation" in which both leaders invited each other to visit his country.

Cyprus president: No bad peace deal will be put to a vote

Menelaos Hadjicostis, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 12:41pm

Talks aimed at reunifying Cyprus were back on track Friday after the leaders of the ethnically split island ended a two-week stalemate by agreeing to meet next month to tackle the most difficult issues in the way of a peace deal.

Paris police asking drivers to avoid area near armed robbery

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 12:41pm

French police say they are asking drivers to bypass a southern district of Paris where an armed robbery is in progress.

Q&A: Candidates, issues in Austria presidential election

George Jahn, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 12:30pm

Austria holds presidential elections on Sunday in a contest pitting a left-leaning contender against a right-winger supported by a populist anti-immigration party. Beyond the contest for the largely ceremonial office, the vote is being watched in other EU countries as a barometer of how well their populist candidates will do in upcoming elections. A look at the candidates and the issues:

Libya's Tripoli sees worst militias clashes in 2 years

Rami Musa, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 12:30pm

Clashes continued for the second day among heavily-armed militias in the Libyan capital Tripoli, vying for power and control over the city, with one dislodging another in at least two posts, a five-star hotel and a barracks, in what appears to be the worst outbreak of violence the city has seen in two years.

Kerry: US, Russia studying new ideas to stop Syria fighting

Bradley Klapper, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 12:11pm

The United States and Russia are studying new ways to break a monthslong diplomatic deadlock over how to stop the fighting in the Syrian city of Aleppo, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday. He said the "ideas" will be tested in follow-up discussions between American and Russian diplomats next week.

Bolivian president calls for sanctions against airline

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 12:01pm

Colombia's president is calling for "drastic measures" against aviation officials who signed off on the flight plan filed by the crew of the plane that crashed into a mountainside this week, killing all but six of the 77 people on board.

The Latest: Syrian army clears town near capital of rebels

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 11:50am

The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local):

Radical Pirate Party to seek to form government in Iceland

Jill Lawless, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 11:40am

Iceland's anti-authoritarian Pirate Party took the helm in talks to form a new coalition government for the island nation Friday, after two earlier rounds of negotiations broke down.

Gambian official: Opposition candidate Barrow wins election

Carley Petesch, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 11:40am

Gambians tore down posters of longtime President Yahya Jammeh and celebrated in the streets as the military stood by Friday after election officials said the ruler of more than two decades would concede defeat in a startling turn of events for a country where the critics have long alleged votes are rigged and opponents jailed.

French candidate: Trump's win frees voters from 'diktats'

Sylvie Corbet and Elaine Ganley, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 11:22am

French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said Friday that the spring election will pit nationalists and patriots such as herself against supporters of globalization, the European Union and immigration.

UK foreign secretary underscores commitment to NATO

Danica Kirka, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 11:00am

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson underscored Britain's commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on Friday, describing the alliance as the foundation of security in Europe.

Colombia repatriates dead as airline's licensing questioned

Luis Benavides and Carlos Valdez, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 10:50am

Colombia began repatriating the victims of this week's tragic air crash in the Andes as Bolivia's president called for "drastic measures" against aviation officials who signed off on a flight plan that experts and even one of the charter airline's executives said should never have been attempted due to concerns over a possible fuel shortage.

Calls for ceasefire, massive displacement in Syria's Aleppo

Sarah El Deeb, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 10:41am

The U.N. said Friday an estimated 31,500 residents have been displaced following Syrian government advances into the besieged eastern Aleppo enclave this weekend, as government media reported from those newly-captured areas, demonstrating its restoration and resettlement efforts there.

Iraqi troops bring to 23 districts retaken in Mosul

Qassim Abdul-Zahra, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 10:41am

Iraqi special forces fighting Islamic State militants in the northern city of Mosul seized a new neighborhood on Friday and took full control of a densely-populated neighborhood, where troops happened upon a residential complex for IS fighters, according to two Iraqi field commanders.

Stolen Nazi concentration camp gate believed found in Norway

David Rising, Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 10:00am

The wrought iron gate to the Nazis' Dachau concentration camp that was stolen two years ago, prompting an international outcry, appears to have been found in western Norway, police said Friday.

EU police report highlights ongoing IS threat to Europe

The Associated Press  |  Posted  Dec 2nd - 9:51am

EU police agency Europol says in a report published today that the Islamic State group is likely to carry out new attacks in the European Union in the near future. The agency says the attacks would probably target countries that are members of the U.S.-led coalition fighting the extremist organization in Syria and Iraq.