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The U.N. Security Council took up the issue of North Korea's bleak human rights situation for the first time Monday, a groundbreaking step toward possibly holding the nuclear-armed but desperately poor country and leader Kim Jong Un accountable for alleged crimes against humanity. North Korea quickly denounced the move.
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Cuba says it has a right to grant asylum to US fugitives

By Michael Weissenstein and Andrea Rodriguez, Associated Press  |  posted 26 minutes ago
Cuba said Monday that it has a right to grant asylum to U.S. fugitives, the clearest sign yet that the communist government has no intention of extraditing America's most-wanted woman despite the warming of bilateral ties.
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Pakistan makes arrests in Taliban school carnage

Zarar Khan, Associated Press  |  posted 40 minutes ago
Authorities made several arrests in the case of the Taliban school attack that killed 148 in the northwestern city of Peshawar, on Sunday, officials said.
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Wife of Cuban agent freed from US expecting baby

By Peter Orsi, Associated Press  |  posted 45 minutes ago
Cuba is celebrating the return of three intelligence agents imprisoned in the United States for more than a decade, and the joyful but puzzling news that one of their wives is expecting just two weeks from now.
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Argentina: Court grants orangutan basic rights

By Almudena Calatrava, Associated Press  |  posted 54 minutes ago
An orangutan that has lived 20 years at the Buenos Aires zoo is entitled to some legal rights enjoyed by humans, an Argentine court has ruled, a decision the ape's attorney called unprecedented and a ticket to greater freedom.
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Dozens injured in 3 separate attacks in France

By Greg Keller, Associated Press  |  posted 56 minutes ago
French authorities urged calm after a series of attacks across the country left dozens of people injured, and said there was no evidence the violent acts were connected by any terrorist motive.
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NKorea accuses UN of discussing its rights, not US torture

By Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 22nd - 3:21pm
A North Korean diplomat is accusing Western nations on the United Nations Security Council of "turning a blind eye" to acts of torture and spying by the United States and focusing only on human rights violations in his country.
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Belfast leaders near deal to save power-sharing

By Shawn Pogatchnik, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 22nd - 3:01pm
Northern Ireland leaders said Monday they are close to reaching an agreement to sustain their troubled Catholic-Protestant government, but faced all-night negotiations to see whether they can seal a deal.
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Bombs blamed on extremists kill 26 in northeast Nigeria

By Haruna Umar, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 22nd - 2:51pm
Two explosions in two northeast Nigerian states on Monday killed at least 26 people and injured 79, rescue and health officials said.
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Spain hands out $3B in planet's biggest lottery

By Alan Clendenning, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 22nd - 2:11pm
Spaniards and Latin American immigrants who bought lottery tickets in an upper middle class Madrid neighborhood hit the jackpot on Monday, cracking open bottles of champagne on the streets as they celebrated winning 400,000-euro ($490,000) payoffs from a 2.5 billion-euro ($3 billion) pot of cash divided among thousands of ticketholders.
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Leaders agree on Ukrainian peace talks this week

By Vladimir Isachenkov, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 22nd - 1:41pm
Leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France and Germany on Monday reached an agreement to call another round of Ukraine peace talks this week, the latest attempt to negotiate a settlement to the conflict that has badly strained the ties between Russia and the West.
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Debt and hunger at birthplace of Ebola in Guinea

By Michelle Faul, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 22nd - 1:21pm
When 2-year-old Emile Ouamouno caught a fever, started vomiting, passed blood in his stool and died two days later, nobody knew why.
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88-year-old ex-minister wins Tunisia election

By Bouazza Ben Bouazza and Paul Schemm, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 22nd - 1:02pm
An 88-year-old political veteran has been elected president of Tunisia, a country whose young people once electrified the world by overthrowing its 73-year-old dictator in 2011 and triggering the Arab Spring uprisings across the region.
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AP PHOTOS: Spain searches for Franco-era graves

By Daniel Ochoa De Olza, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 22nd - 1:02pm
Across Spain, volunteer teams of archeologists, anthropologists and forensic scientists head out every year on expeditions to dig for suspected mass graves — a legacy of Spain's fascist past.
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Al-Jazeera shuts down its Egypt channel

By Sarah El Deeb, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 22nd - 12:20pm
The Qatari-owned Al-Jazeera news network on Monday shut down its Egypt channel, quieting a major source of tension between the two countries at a time when regional efforts are underway to reconcile between the two countries over the Gulf nation's support for Islamists.
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UN chief urges better early warning of next disease outbreak

By Edith M. Lederer, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 22nd - 11:51am
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Monday the international community urgently needs better early warning and rapid response to the next outbreak of disease — "a test that is sure to come."
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Truck veering out of control kills 6 pedestrians in Glasgow

By Paul Kelbie and Gregory Katz, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 22nd - 11:21am
Six people were killed and several others injured when a garbage truck crashed into a group of pedestrians in downtown Glasgow Monday, police said.
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US court nixes state's abortion ultrasound law

By Larry O'Dell, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 22nd - 11:11am
A federal appeals court has struck down a North Carolina law requiring abortion providers to show and describe an ultrasound to the pregnant woman, even if she refuses to look or listen.
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Palestinians say Gaza reconstruction pledges unfulfilled

By Tia Goldenberg, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 22nd - 11:01am
International donors have so far failed to deliver billions of dollars in aid money that was promised to rebuild the war-battered Gaza Strip, a Palestinian official said Monday, saying the rift between rival Palestinian factions is deterring foreign governments from sending aid.
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Burundi arrests brother of French police attacker

The Associated Press  |  posted Dec 22nd - 10:41am
An intelligence service spokesman says the brother of a man who attacked police in France has been arrested in Burundi.
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El Salvador's gangs target women and girls

By Alberto Arce, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 22nd - 10:31am
In a country terrorized by gangsters, it is left to the dead to break the silence on sexual violence.
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Sexual violence rampant among El Salvador gangs

By Alberto Arce, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 22nd - 10:21am
In a country terrorized by gangsters, it is left to the dead to break the silence on sexual violence.
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10 years after tsunami, victim's mom learns body wasn't lost

By Jerry Harmer and Jocelyn Gecker, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 22nd - 10:21am
Of all the moments to chase a dream, May Aye Nwe chose the morning of Dec. 26, 2004.
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In IS-held town, Iraqi Kurds face heavy resistance

By Dalton Bennett, Associated Press  |  posted Dec 22nd - 10:10am
Iraqi Kurdish forces forged ahead with their assault Monday on a militant-held town in northern Iraq, but encountered heavy resistance from Islamic State fighters whose snipers fired at the attackers and who used burning tires to create a smoke screen against coalition airstrikes.
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